Wednesday, June 29, 2011

After Shock...I Mean After Thoughts!

So WSER has literally come and gone and not to sound corny, but the journey has changed me.   I know that I avoid a lot in life and last November I committed to trying to break out of my safe shell and explore.  Putting myself in the mix for WS was a constructive risk that involved anxiety, exposure, sacrifice, communication, pain and work.  For me the distance of the race wasn't the largest challenge and a lot of effort went into preparing for all the aspects that come hand in hand with the race such as travel, interaction and self confidence.

As I began to prepare all the pieces began to fall into place, although some took more work than others.  At times some pieces looked like they would fit, but even with force they were not going to come together in a effective way, thus some restructuring was needed.  It all required patience and time, although I think that all my experiences have helped change my perspective and mentality for life.  By no means do I even think that I am close to being done "working" on myself, but perhaps the direction that WSER helped me go in is one that is worth further pursuing.  During both the race and some of my training I had moments of great joy and clarity.  It was like I was seeing the world in color rather than black and white, which is typical for me.  With these highs there also conversely came low times where I did a lot of time exploring internally while doing my best to enjoy God's creations.

All and all it is very difficult to explain, but I hope to continue to explore what the world has to offer and what I have to offer the world.

Some of my favorite meaningful moments from Western States:
-"You inspire me."

-"I just want you to know that I love you and I am very proud of you." 

-"Remember, the race is just one day, anything can happen.  It's the journey that's more important."

-"You've worked hard and I hope you accomplish and even exceed your goals-whatever they may be."

-"You've done all of the work. Don't let your mind beat you. Channel it into confidence!"

-"I will be thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way! GO GIRL GO...!!!!"

-"You have done the work now this is the icing on the cake, that of course is a vegan/gluten free cake."

-"Run like you are hungry and headed to Whole Foods."

-"I believe you in and know that you will make Vermont proud."

-"One step at a time you will get there, just remember to run in the right direction."

Going through hydration issues along with my banged up right leg and nasty feet made me feel more human.  I struggled more because of these set backs, I had to dig deeper inside and in the process I gained more respect for a lot of things. I guess that if it were a walk in the park I wouldn't have learn as much and my report would more look like this:
 "I went, I ran, I finished. -The End"

But in all honesty and humor set aside I am so thankful for having so much support from family and friends to complete strangers and volunteers.  For those who were there I am glad that we got to share race day together and for those who were not in CA with me you were always in my mind and helped keep me going when things weren't going my way.  


  1. Excellent post, Aliza. I was one of your many fans out there Saturday cheering for you. Congratulations on battling through some demons and finishing strong!

  2. Great stuff Aliza! I look forward to catching up... I am truly inspired just reading about your journey!