Thursday 1-10-13 Nothing is Wasted

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Lost Lake Road


I woke up this morning wondering if my cold was coming back… scratchy throat and more congestion.  I am sore from yesterday’s drive and run (short as it was, it was tough going).  I am feeling discouraged and sad today… we’ve worked so hard to meet our goals (the goals I felt led to commit to earlier in the season) and the race is now canceled, and even though I’ve changed our plans, our previous fitness we had worked up to seems to be slipping through my hands.  I’ve gotten weak from being on the sofa all week with this cold that keeps hanging on and dragging me down, and the dogs have run less than 4 miles all week.  This was to be an important week to get miles on as our races are fast approaching, and now I’m wondering how we’re even going to find access to decent trails.  Discouragement is such an enemy of the soul.  I know on some level that what we have accomplished so far (especially the privilege of spending more time behind my team on the trails) will benefit us for a long time to come, but it feels as though if we can’t continue to put good miles on NOW, it will have been wasted time…and this is my biggest frustration.  I know it’s not reality.  I KNOW the Lord will not lead me down a dead end road for no reason.  I KNOW He is teaching me and molding me, and if it takes this type of frustration on a regular basis to do so, then this is exactly what I want in my life.  But that doesn’t make it easy to walk through at the moment.  When I’m not leaning hard on Him, I can’t handle it, as was evident as the day progressed.

So I tried to relax while waiting for Mikki’s update, which told us that the Parking Lot was plowed last night, and there is good access to the trails now.  We got loaded and headed back down the road towards Crystal Springs.  We showed up and I experienced even more frustration while trying to decide where we should park, and how we should tie off to the truck while trying to shovel away the “ice rocks” left by the snow plow that were partially blocking the entrance to the lower trail.  After changing our minds several times, we settled on parking in our designated musher parking lot, which had not been plowed recently.  I struggled to not get the truck stuck in the soft snow while turning around to find the most appropriate spot to launch from, when I look up to see several loose dogs have joined my truck and are barking at us.  Seriously?  I can’t believe my eyes… my biggest frustration is staring me in the face.  I go talk to the owner (who Pam had just talked to) because I don’t see him around to collect the one dog (of the original 5) that is still around my truck and end up having a run in with one of the rudest people I’ve ever met in my life.  I was so upset that I went back over to him a bit later to try and settle him down, and make sure he understood mushers’ concerns about having lose dogs around the teams (trying to be a good ambassador for the sport), but things went from bad to worse with him.  I ended up saying “Wow” and walking back to the truck, shaking I was so upset with him.  “The Season of Parking Lot Woes” continues! 

I tried to get ready to get on the trail (we’ve been here almost 45 minutes by now, and light will be leaving us in another few hours) but I’m more upset than ever now.  Next I look up to see a car has just parked right next to my truck and I’m wondering who’s going to be exiting and how many loose dogs will they have (!) when I see a familiar, smiling face… it was Connie stopping in to see if anyone was here while on her way to Seattle!  The Lord sent exactly the person I needed with just the right words of encouragement for me (and a great hug to go along with them) at just the right time… and my tears started to flow.  It was obvious to me right then how tired I was, and how much I needed a little “breakdown” complete with tears!  I HATE to cry, and I rarely do it, but today it was healing, and I did feel better afterwards.  Connie got back in her car and I eventually got onto my runners and set out down the trails, wondering what we would encounter.  As it turned out, we had a very nice run up to Lost Lake (and alongside the Lake to the loop at the end of the trail), back down to the John Wayne Trail and then hooked in to our dog trails and back down Stampede Pass Road to the truck.  The dogs started quite slow today, as if they were sharing some of my discouragement or fatigue, but we all ended well, and all ended happy.  We went 16 miles and averaged just over 6 MPH.  I looked forward to trying it again tomorrow, “if the Good Lord’s willin and the creek don’t rise”, as my sweet Daddy used to say!

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