Ryan Donnelly's Blog

No Boundaries- Post 2


Can Lake

In my humble opinion, the human mind is one of the most interesting things on this planet.  It never fails to completely boggle me how in a split second, something can trigger adrenaline  in our bodies to give people super human strength.  I also find it extremely interesting how the frame of mind, or mood we are presently in, determines how we react in certain situations. It even can effect the way we each live our life.  So, while thinking about all of this I realized that when it comes to running a 50 mile race, it really isn’t very different. 

As Jess stated in her blog posting from yesterday, it was 4:30am when our alarm went off on race day. The room at our B&B was dark and chilly but there was an energy in the air.  It was as if this moment in my life was going to lead to bigger and better things.  I sat up from my bed, wide awake, and headed into the bathroom.  I did my business, took a shower and stood in front of the mirror.  I was alone in the bathroom while my Jess still squirmed around under the covers of the toasty bed.  I looked at myself in the mirror and was very happy with what was looking back at me, which is a complete 180* from my life a year or so ago. I couldn’t get the smile off of my face.  The day that I had been dreaming about, training for, and had dedicated a good part of my life to, had finally arrived. I had finally arrived.

 It was time for me to release yet another demon that was over my shoulder. See this race was much more than just a race to me.  And maybe that has started to become obvious to all of you now. It was symbolism at it’s best in my own mind.  I had a very long road ahead of me on this run and I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy race. I was prepared with the fact that I knew that at times during the race I would face mental destruction,  and voices in my head telling me to stop. I knew the pains in my legs would be screaming for rest, but I knew I wouldn’t stop. 

I have found in my recovery and in my new  life that you always need to look past the immediate reward of comfort, and  push hard through the pain of life and reach the nirvana that awaits.  My nirvana was the finish line, it was my sanctuary, my personal victory over my drug addiction. 

My family was very eager in celebrating my 1 year anniversary of my sobriety on July 25th 2010, and I didn’t want any part of it.  I simply let them know that time wasn’t what I wanted to celebrate.  I wanted to celebrate the race, the race was the ultimate  test of my mind.

After I stood there for a second in the mirror, I started my daily routine. I  slabbed lotion all over my body and became friendly with my good friend Vaseline, he has been known to keep me from chafing on my adventures.  I got my gear on as if facing the battle of a lifetime, except I had already faced the battle of a lifetime. And so far? So good. I knew I could do this. I was excited to do this, but more then anything, I needed to do this.

Jess came into the bathroom with what I call her “shit eating grin,” and asked me if I was ready. I didn’t even have to give her a response for her to know the answer. I think we were both ready for it.  We got dressed and headed out into the still dark morning sky. I was ready, it was time to get it.

The night before the race. Standng at the shores of Lake Canandaguia, ready to run around her the next day.

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