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The Girl Who Runs Through Fire

April 14, 2014



It was a hard weekend. If you read this post, you know that I had an extremely busy week. It was a good week; very productive, but it took so much out of me. I am a giver. If I love someone or something I give and give and give. Sometimes you give so much, that there is nothing left in you. On Friday evening when I was finally able to leave work, I was exhausted. I planned to take Saturday off from the gym, but decided to take Friday off instead. I came home, cleaned for an over an hour, picked up dinner, and played my guitar for a few hours. By 10 PM I could not keep my eyes open any longer so I went to bed.

Friday night I had a really bad dream. I woke up Saturday morning with tears in my eyes. Waking up crying is probably one of the worst ways to start your day. It did not set a good tone. My body was aching; as was my heart and soul. I was empty. I was exhausted. 

I took the day to myself. I felt that I needed to be alone and regroup. I played my guitar, went and got my hair done, ran a few errands, and watched a movie. I thought taking time to myself, cutting myself off from the world, and trying to rest up would help me feel better. It did, but not a lot. 

Yesterday I awoke feeling better. I knew I planned to spend the day hiking, which makes me really happy. I got dressed, packed my backpack, and I was off. I still felt fatigued and tired, but I knew I needed to go. I arrived to the mountain and prepped to start my dual trail. I had a 4 hour hike planned - 10 miles. The Monday before last, I planned to do that, but I only made it 8 miles.

I started my dual trail. Spiritually, I was motivated, but mentally and physically, I was not. Nonetheless, I started my brisk walk. After a couple of minutes, this beautiful woman with gorgeous, long legs walked past me like I was a slug. I watched her walk like she had a motor in her backpack pushing her along. She inspired me.

She inspired me to push harder and make myself do a good job. Happiness is a choice; I firmly believe and and tell everyone that. I felt sorry for myself, dwelled in my apartment, and it was time to let my pain go. I approached my first big hill on my trail. I thought I would try and run it. I have been extensively training for a couple of months now with hiking, plus increasing the intensity of my cardio in the gym. Now would be a great time to add running into my hikes. So I did. I reached the top and thought I would be completely out breath, hunched over, and exhausted. I wasn't. I was liberated. I instantly felt my soul coming alive again. So I kept going.

Almost every single hill I came to while hiking the mountain, I would run it. I would catch my breath, speed walk for a while, then get back to running. I could not believe that I was running parts of this mountain. This was the mountain, that a year ago, I could not even walk without stopping every 10 minutes. A year ago, I was doing a shorter trail there and crying out of frustration because I could not believe how hard it was to do. 

By the time I reached the last 1/2 mile, which is an incredibly steep incline that leads to the very top, I thought I was not going to make it. Damn, it was hard... but I kept going. Slowly, I walked. I never stopped though. I put one foot in front of the other; sweat pouring off of me like I was a water faucet, and I kept going. 

I reached the top of the mountain and I don't think sitting on a rock ever felt so good. The sun warmed me; which felt like a hug from nature and the light breeze was the perfect "you did it". 

In my short 24 years on this earth, I have learned two things about pain: you can let the fire define you and drown in it OR you can walk through. You can walk through the flames, let it burn you (because it will) and if you just keep going, you will eventually come to the end. At the end, you will become a stronger person. 

Life has thrown me an abundance of change over the past 6 months. Majority of the change has been the best thing to ever happen to me - but it is not easy. However, only over the past month have I been battling emotional emptiness and pain; which to me, is the worst. It's hell on earth. But every single day, I keep going. 

I did my 10 miles today. I finished in 3 hours and 56 minutes. My Polar band decided to stop working, which irritated me (I would have loved to have seen the total caloric burn and where my heart rate stayed towards the end), but I kept going. I was thankful the mountain was not crowded today because when I finished, I collapsed by my car for a few minutes. I just had to stop and rest. That hike was physically the hardest thing I have ever done. 

I think I told myself 50 times "you did it Liz". A year ago, this girl could not even walk up a mountain. I was 45 pounds heavier, cringing at my reflection, at a staleness in life, and I was losing my drive. I was losing my positive, wild spirit. And now here I am. I am alone, but it is a good thing. Pain can bring out the best in you, if you choose to see it that way. That is how I view hardships now in life. I will take the pain, accept it, and no matter what happens, I will keep going. 

18 comments

  1. That is amazing!! Sometimes our bodies just tell us we need to rest I think. And others, it tells us we need to push harder. Sounds like you had a great time in the mountain--and it's a beautiful place!! I'd love to do something like that one day!!

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  2. You are so amazing! I love the fight in you, and your drive to never quit! You should be so proud of sprinting up those hills and the journey to get there! You earned every bit of it!!

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  3. This is so beautifully written!! Way to go running through those fires!

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  4. fitness teaches you a lot about physical and mental strength because we often associate feeling, and giving into, pain with weakness. but if we surpass that and push ourselves beyond our limits; beyond what we thought was possible, we come out physically stronger AND even more important, mentally stronger as well. i'm glad that fitness has given this kind of strength to you.

    i've always believed that our bodies can do anything but it's our mind that we have to convince!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  5. Congrats girl! 10 miles is amazing! Congrats on how far you've come.

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  6. Happiness is a choice... and you are choosing to be happy and healthy! You are an inspiration.

    24? you are ONLY 24? The way you type, I would have expected 30-35... You are a SAGE...

    You inspired me today.

    Keep pushing... onward and forward!

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  7. This is just amazing! You are so strong! Such an inspiration!!! I truly believe that fitness is more of a mind game than ANYTHING! We have to believe in ourselves and believe that we can do something and our body follows suit.

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  8. Wow!! That is amazing! Good for you girl, killin it!
    It is such an amazing feeling thinking back to what you couldn't do to what you can do now.
    Keep it up! You are totally inspirational.

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  9. Wow girl! So great! Strong mind ! Loved reading this you are so inspiring and beautiful! xo
    Showered With Design

    - also, thanks for linking up!

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  10. I love this and you are just awesome, girl! Way to go!

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  11. Sorry to hear you have struggled emotionally, but it's normal. Way to rise above it and do something healthy and beneficial for YOU.

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  12. You are NOT alone in any way, shape of form. Last week was pretty shitty for me too. I finally broke down and cried (which isn't really my thing) but I got it off my chest and Im ready to move forward. Im SOOOO glad the mountain left you feeling spiritually renewed. Its amazing how nature can do that. I hope you keep that momentum throughout the week and continue to feel better. Sending you all of my love!!!!

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  13. Hell on Earth indeed. I'm happy for you, way to go Liz!

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  14. SO proud of you for accomplishing this!!!!!!!!!! :D

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  15. I love your outlook on life, girl! So full of inspiration and positive energy! :) And my motto always is "if you're going through hell...keep going!!" Finding the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel is always the best feeling!

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  16. This is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Congratulations!

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