Monday, June 13, 2016

Saying Yes

I have had some weird stomach pain for the last few days. It was so bad one morning, I had Sarah pick me up from work and I left my bike at the station. Had a lot of things planned for the weekend, so I was bummed when I got sick.

And so with aching stomach, on Friday, we headed over to Heyburn State Park in Idaho for another Trail Maniacs half-marathon trail run. We made camp at Lake Benewah. As soon as we put the awning and the tent up, it started to dump rain. It rained really hard for an hour or two while we huddled in the tent. After the weather subsided, Sarah made a great dinner. We sat by a very warm fire and had a little wine. Went to bed early and slept great.  

In the morning, I did one last stomach/digestive-tract check. It was still hurting but I thought I could still do the run. Wow. I am so glad I did. It was beautiful. Awesome views, magical trails through meadows with grasses that tickled your elbows. Dark forests, streams, arduous climbs and rickety descents. 

We met a young couple and their four kids at the campground, and Mandy, the matriarch, was running the route and taking pictures - what a great idea! I never take pictures on these runs and always wished I had. Mandy's husband Joe won the race and their kids did really well in some of the shorter runs.

So many times, I was almost overwhelmed by the beauty of the trail and realized how much of that beauty was in the actual act of running and being ingrained in the landscape. Just an amazing time. I was so glad that I decided to run. I'm glad I said "yes" to something that I could have easily avoided and probably should have avoided. Bagging out of a half-marathon full of mountain climbs when you are sick seems like a pretty logical thing to do. So glad I ran instead.

After the race, there was the usual good food and fellowship. I had one beer and decided that was all my stomach could sign up for. Besides, it was about an hour's drive back home.

After unloading all our camping gear, we went down to the Pride Festival and really enjoyed the entertainment and being with so many people who were enjoying themselves and each other. It was great to be there. In a way, I felt honored to be there. Thanks to all those who could have stayed safe and not participated, and I'm not just talking about the LGBT community but all families, couples and individuals who came together to celebrate - not tolerate - but celebrate diversity and beauty in our town! Thank you for saying "yes."

And then Sunday's news of the shooting tragedy in Florida. I would imagine some of the folks celebrating that night were "out" for the first time or were friends supporting friends, or just people wanting to have a good time with people having a good time. And then the senseless violence. Another very sad act by another angry person - a person angered that some people said "yes" to not hiding, or "yes" to not-hating/tolerating/celebrating/loving.   


I am beginning to realize that saying "yes," to the beauty of something, the challenge of something, the rightness of something, saying "yes" to who you are, and loving your neighbors when they show you who they are, is a risky proposition, but it may be the only thing that will move us all forward into a much greater, much more beautiful, place.