Went running today. Had a bunch of miles to cover as the last long run before an upcoming half marathon. But was very tired beforehand, feeling rundown, wondering if I was going to make it at all past the first muddy hill.

It's funny how it goes though. I get out there with a partner, and as we start to run and chat, time flies. And her energy and positivity keeps me going. All the way to the end, when we finish feeling actually pretty great.

When we put in the effort and go for it, funny coincidences seem to take place again and again. Not quite sure of where to go in one of the many turns and shortcuts the trail takes, out of the blue this runner shows up and tells Steph and I yes that way. Funny. That way.

It seems almost as if when we get into a positive place, energy, and move forward, think forward, things start to happen. We meet people who enjoy doing what we do, share their passion, guide us… and energy grows as we share, opening ever new opportunities, big skies, horizons. The more we get out there the more we are given the means, by some serendipitous force, to help us along the path.

Early morning stuck in a trail by myself with a bear, this guy Korin shows up and shows me a different path through the woods. We not only ended up going up South Teton and Buck Mountain that summer, we've hiked and skied together since, and have remained friends. Same as I set out to go up to the Middle, the Enclosure, Teewinot, the Grand. People show up, advise where to go, give tips, teach about snow, axes, crampons, tools, knots, techniques. We share food, drinks. And we keep going.

Of course things are not that simple. They do get incredibly tough, and concrete walls abound. Seems like most of the time when I am trying to accomplish anything, really. But that wall only means there needs to be more training, or more studying, or more time put into it. It is there for a reason. It is there because I am not ready to go to the next level yet. Put in your dues, as Vance says. Put in your dues and it will happen.

Nursing school. Many many dues. I did not know how or if I was going to make it through the year with any sanity left. Coming form the world of classical music, the drugs, subjects, instruments, techniques, everything was so foreign to me, it seemed really that I had lost my mind and stepped into an entirely different world I did not know ever existed. I was so overwhelmed with papers, exams, lack of sleep, and lack of money to top it all off, that I cried pretty much just about any and everything, to the point of becoming a joking point to my friends and even to myself. But it somehow happened. Study... study… keep studying. Put in my dues. Keep going. One day, week, month at a time. And people showed up and helped, really out of the blue sometimes. When least expected. Books, study groups, shared assignments. Food, clothes, furniture, money. Hugs, letters, words. My dear dear sisters Lucrecia and Vic, Nancy, Eileen, Kalee, Suzanna, Roberta, Mel, Drew, Stephen, Sue, Bruce… sometimes at the most desperate times. And job opportunities eventually, new place to live. Discovering new places. Support. Jan, Alan, Matt, Vance…and meeting new friends as we keep on going.

The trick is, like in lead climbing, to not get tunnel vision and see only what your hands are holding, the impossible hold above me. But to look around and see where I can get grounded with my feet, rest, and then keep going again. I invariably end up falling. And as I fall I see the place where my feet slipped and I fell… and a new place for the feet. And so I get up, and try again. And stepping on, I realize it really was a question of keeping on breathing, awareness, looking. Because there is always a solution, a way. And the means and knowledge come. They really do. Advice, tools, guidance to solve the problems, get through or above or under or around walls... and keep going.

The key is to keep going. Keep going. Because at the end, wonderful things do happen.

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