Zola and I scaling Madonna Mountain in SLO, California.

On day 2 of my re-entry to in-shapeness, I cajoled our 8 month old puppy, Zola, to try to summit with me. We made it 2/3 of the way up the mountain before I was convinced she needed to turn back – lest I have to carry her down. Zola is in major need of heeling lessons, and I quickly realized that her successful forays in both puppy kindergarten and “puppy etiquette” class hadn’t prepared her for the real trail. Nevertheless, between her heeling and my healing, the work of day 2 on the mountain was a success.

The next task is day 3 – continuing to hike into shape. All of this healing is a way to go about getting back to running the trails. And I see now that my goals have stretched beyond getting back to competing on the trails. Now, my ambition is to simply run the trails again. The bliss of arcing across mountain meadows and sprinting up dirt rivulets eclipses my need to compete. Running for the sake of running is the elevated goal now. The bliss of a distance run! Yes – I am healing…