I am a California native.
In thinking about it on todays run… I spent all of the time I was an adult and working in California obese, inactive, eating all the wrong things.
I am not really exaggerating.
There were times where I would start a diet, try to get active, only to give it all up in a freaking hurry. As soon as I got hungry or sore – I would quit. And then gain even more weight. Like probably 30 different times. Hell. Maybe 50. Or more. You get the point.
I see California as my ‘fat’ young adult years.
It’s where pre-diabetes walked in the door and would soon refuse to leave. I don’t have memories of California that aren’t of me as an obese adult. Happy, but the obesity and type 2 Diabetes were escalating rapidly.
Doing something new that I never knew existed always makes me introspective… And this time doing something new in California – in a place I drove by for decades – made me sappy, happy, grateful. I mean this is a place that could have been my stomping grounds had I been in any shape to have been stomping around.
Spencer and I along with our friend and fellow ultra-runner Josh Hough are in Auburn, California this weekend to run in a training camp. We will run 70 miles of the Western States Endurance Run 100 course over the next 3 days. Spencer and I did this training camp last year and it is ahhhmazing. Running a historic course. Non race event, just long training runs that are supported. Surrounded by amazing athletes and folks passionate about the sport of trail running.
This year our road-trip brigade came down a day early to get our bearings, get set-up and simply spend one day relaxing.
Turns out that none of us are very good at relaxing. 🙂
Spencer and I went for a run this morning on a new-to-me trail that is right off of a highway I traveled for decades with my family and during College.
I was telling Spencer that my life is just still so surreal on a few levels.
Being in California, eating plant based, running… Those are all things I could NEVER, ever have imagined when I was living in California. I found myself thinking about 6 different times this morning… ‘WOW! Is this really my life now?!’
I’ve driven by this spot for 20+ years and never thought for a split second about trails in all the years we drove by. This specific freeway off-ramp had ALL the good fast food you could possibly want before heading up 84 to Tahoe. I know those locations by heart.
I never thought I’d be back here one day and parking at a trail head so we could go run alongside the American River for a few miles.
I never imagined I would want to climb the trails in the Sierra’s, or run on them, or care deeply about treading the ground of a historic running race.
Yet, here I am.
And I’m loving this view and experience of California that requires me to get off of the roads, explore and eat healthy and move along under my own power. And explore!
I am happy and healthy and do NOT take any of that for granted for even one second.
I have been given the second chance at life. Not everyone gets that chance. I won’t waste it.
I will use this weekend to build new and healthy memories in the state that I grew up in.