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  • Writer's picturejulietertin

In Search of Sunshine

You know those people that have 2,556 unread emails? Yeah, I’m her.

I’m that person with a voicemail from two Thursdays ago still popping up. I don’t mean to, I just… postpone. Every so often it pays off (minds are changed, crises averted, emotions return to stasis), and that gives me just enough confirmation to continue the pattern of avoidance.

I didn’t always have this habit of drawer-stuffing. People use the word procrastinate, but that’s not it. I’m not lazy and I’m not unorganized, nor am I unmotivated. Rather than a matter of not caring, I chalk it up to a matter of worry. There have been enough bad phone calls and terrible conversations in my life that it might be wise to let it ring.

In four weekends, something is happening.


Something that  cannot be shoved into a drawer (or, if it can, I suspect it will hurt a great deal upon taking out).

“The Superior 50 Mile Trail Race is a point-to-point (100% trail) ultramarathon which traverses the Sawtooth Mountain Range on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches northern Minnesota. The course parallels Lake Superior, the greatest freshwater lake in the world, climbs to near 2000′ peaks (25,000 ft net elevation change) with breathtaking vistas of the lake and inland forests and crosses countless whitewater rivers and serene streams while meandering through mystic Boreal forests.  The Superior 50 Mile is put on by ultrarunners for ultrarunners.”

I’ve never run that far. I’ve never run that hard.

One doesn’t think of “mountain ranges” when one contemplates Minnesotan geography. We Minnesotans like to gloat about working our river bluffs, true, but I’ve also run a tiny bit in Colorado, Utah, Montana, and my knees are knocking. This race not only requires a 50-mile race qualifier, but it’s also a lottery registration. I’m lucky to run it.

Whatever might be on the other end of the line for you at this time, I can promise that postponing will not help; go ahead and learn it for yourself.

For me, this is less of a learning curve and more of a grab-the-bootstraps-and-yank situation. It’s time to do the extra hill repeat, to go the extra 10 miles.

I notice that when I don’t rotate my plants (tomatoes, beans, peppers), they start arching out to deliver their leaves to the sun. They are still growing, but not stronger. They are growing in the wrong direction and increasingly unbalanced. The advice I’m giving to myself this week (applying to my training plan as well as daily life): don’t grow lopsided in search of sunshine, plant yourself where you need to be. 


Cover photo: my dog, Sioux. He used to whimper and vomit when I took him in the car. Eventually, he realized that car=trails, and he still whimpered but he also wanted to go. Finally, he started to stick his head out the window and now he loves the car (now I can take him more places, too). He’s a good teacher.

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