*This was written about two weeks ago, but I’m only now posting it.


Last week, I was feeling pretty hesitant about the Pilot
Mtn. Payback.  Crystal and I had
run the first part of the course, and to be honest, the doubt was really
creeping in.  At nearly four hours,
we had only covered 2/3 of the course, and I was feeling sort of crappy.  That and the knowledge that the hardest
climbs were yet to come really dampened my enthusiasm.  I was also encountering more than a few
skeptical head shakes and “It’s your funeral” comments from friends.  I was not feeling confident.


At supper one night, I confided my hesitation to Harper Lee,
who reminded me, once again, that she thought I should do it.  “I really hope you won’t give up,” she
said between mouthfuls of mashed potatoes.  Talk about someone’s words going straight to the heart.  I waited for a moment and then asked
her why. 


“Well, that’s who you are,” she explained.  “It’s what you do, it’s what you like,
and you’ve prepared for it.  You
get tired, you get hurt, whatever—that’s OK because it’s what you do, and you
should see it through.”  She
continued to eat. 


I sat for a few moments and let that one sink in.  I thought about her words for the next
couple of days, and as Crystal and I prepared to run the “hard” part this past
Saturday, I couldn’t help but feel a little twinge of excitement.  I was psyched because she was right;
this is who I am, not a great trail runner by any stretch of the imagination
but someone who isn’t afraid to try something different and who can see it
through to the end, whatever that end might be.


The hard part, as it turns out, was also the most beautiful
part, and afterwards, my confidence was back.  I have no illusions that this will be an easy endeavor; in
fact, I’m expecting a death march at the end, but I will see it through.  Someone very important is watching.