To the Roots

Is there value in learning your heritage? 

Last week, my great Aunt Gladys died in Dillon Montana and so we’ve spent the past two days driving to Dillon, staying at the family ranch, attending the funeral, and driving home. The last time I went to the family ranch was in 2010 for my Glady’s husbands funeral. I was 9 years old, and I mostly remember spending most of the time in the only tank top I’ve ever owned, standing on the stream skipping rocks for hours. 

Coming back I had a greater appreciation for the beautiful landscape that the little cabin is nestled in. Sheep Canyon, just a few miles outside of Dillon has wild cliffs shooting out on one side, a beautiful stream on the other, and it’s surrounded by big beautiful mountains with sparse snow still nestled in the peaks. 

We pulled in late, and after blast to my Grandpas life in the little cabin, with the propane refrigerator, and the old wood burning stove, we went to sleep. In the morning I went and explored the mountains for a few minute and was amazed by the beauty, and the endless potential for rock climbing. I messed around on a short little cave and crack in my chacos. It definitely would’ve been an excellent place to bring climbing gear, I was wishing I would’ve at least brought my shoes. 

Then we were off to the funeral. It was unique to learn about the history of my Grandpas sister, and in learning more about her life growing up, I learned more about my heritage. They worked hard, long, and consistent days in the cabin. They weren’t afraid of suffering and making things work. 

Life wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for them, but they created something beautiful. 

I feel closer to the earth after spending just a couple of days detached. No service. No distractions. Just time with my brothers and Dad. Time with extended family. Time to more simply be. It’s fascinating to me how quickly the cares, and stresses of life can leave after a quick night without service in the mountains. It heals. 

From a training standpoint physiologically this wasn’t ideal. I’m supposed to have a big week this week, and now I have to pack in what should have been six days of training into 5. And the first two weren’t big. Which means the next three need to be long. 

But I think from a training standpoint mentally this was valuable. Although my motivation was already high, I feel like taking a day to reset and do something different will benefit me in my mental strength. I now have a greater understanding of my potential, because I’ve learned what my ancestors have done. Now I feel ready and extremely motivated to make some exciting things happen this season, and I feel more confidence in knowing who I am. 

There’s a balance here, but think about how you can take time to reset, rethink, and REMEMBER who you are and where you came from. It’ll make a bigger difference than you think on race day. 

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