Zion Trails

Zion Trails 

May 14, 2023

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing and hard-working Moms out there (including my Mom in heaven).  Thank you to all the moms (young and old), grandmothers and great grandmothers too; who work tirelessly to raise good kids.  Without you none of us would be here.  These women have an incredible and difficult job; often with little praise or thanks.  Mothers (the good ones) are an invaluable part of their children’s lives.  Unfortunately, like many things in our world, not all are good at what they do.  I hope and pray that children everywhere have a great mother (or female figure) to look up too and help them grow and mature into productive adults.  Moms have the ability to provide a much-needed different perspective and point of view, than a father.  Mothers are loving, tender and kind; yet can be stern disciplinarians and a powerful force of nature.  Be sure to thank your mother; whether she’s close by, far away or resting in eternal peace; today is her special day of recognition and appreciation.  This is your day Moms, to be honored and revered by all.  I send you all my praise and affection.  I’m confident you will all continue to do an amazing job as fabulous and wonderful mothers

I traveled to Utah and Zion National Park last Monday.  Its beauty, like all National Parks in America, is truly indescribable.  I spent several days, prior to the start of the event, exploring and enjoying the splendor of the area.  The best excursion, of the trip, was a UTV tour and hike through Crimson Canyon.  It’s one of many amazing, majestic and beautiful slot canyons in the area.   The canyon was created over thousands of years, by God and nature, revealing an inspiring master piece of art.  It’s truly an incredible and magnificent place.  If you haven’t visited Utah, I highly recommend you take the time to see this for yourself.  The state is home to several amazing National Parks; including Bryce Canyon, Arches and several other wonderful locations.  My primary reason, besides experiencing the beauty and wonder of Zion, was to participate in another Ragnar Trail race.  This is an eight-person, non-stop, start to finish, team relay race.  Each member runs three loops; a green = 4.4 miles, yellow = 4.4 miles and red loop = 7.8 miles; one through eight, in succession, three times.  The intensity, elevation gain and toughness of each loop increases from green to red. The total miles aren’t necessarily a significant factor of the race.  It’s considered a fun endurance race.  It’s all about how much grit, stamina and determination you have to endure running for approximately 36 hours (or less).  Team cohesion and support helps with motivation, while your attitude pushes you through.  It’s just as much a physical race as it is mentally challenging.  Like many things in life, you may possess the physical strength, but you also require the mental fortitude to help carry you through difficult moments.  This event was held on the east side of the park, based at the Ponderosa Ranch (a privately-operated resort).  The views, along the mountains, ridge tops and trails were spectacular and magnificent.  The wonders of God and the universe were clearly apparent.  

We began our racing fun at 0830am Friday morning (our official start time).  I suppose you can say the real fun began when our team (Addicted to Trails) arrived at the ranch; along with hundreds of other Ragnar racers; on Thursday afternoon to set up our campsite.  Did I forget to mention this is a camping event?  It’s just another part of the puzzle that adds to the fun and challenge.  I definitely love being outside in nature.  I enjoy camping too, but when you throw the race component into the mix, it bumps up the difficulty factor.  When I first began running these events, getting enough sleep I needed.  Now that I’ve completed multiple races, sleeping is no longer an issue.  Now it’s getting my body up and ready to run in the in the middle of the night.  I suppose the age factor doesn’t make this any easier.  Sleeping on the ground (with an air mattress of course) just doesn’t hold the appeal or level of comfort for me.  I now opt for the “Glamping” selection, but the spaces are limited and sell out quickly.  Zion was sold out when I registered our team.  I made it a priority to register early for the Tahoe Trail and secure a Glamping spot.    

Our week and Ragnar were fantastic, tough and fun.  The days were beautiful, with sunny skies and chilly nights.  It all added up to perfect running conditions.  Everyone powered through their loops like champs.  We covered about 131 racing miles of mountain trails with steep climbs, single track cliff hanger loops, up, downs and the most amazing scenery imaginable.  It was an incredible experience. My race went as expected; it wasn’t my best outing, but I finished.  I was slow, careful and walk / ran my loops.  I recall during the final exam with my orthopedic doctor and he gave me the “okay” to start running again.  When I asked him about my upcoming trail races he said, “you probably won’t be running very fast.”  My response was simple, “Doc, I haven’t been running fast for the last few years!”  He laughed told me to take it easy and I’d be fine.  The best I can do from this point forward is to maintain a steady training pace and seek improvement.  I’m not out to win trophies or impress anyone.   My biggest competitor is myself.  I’m hopeful by the time the Tahoe Ragnar comes in July, I’ll be better prepared physically, mentally and spiritually.  I can only do what I can do; and I’m happy with that.  I will never give up trying.  Surrender is not a part of my genetic make-up; plus, it’s another strong quality I learned from my Dad.  When you give up, you lose everything.  

Running, races, exercise, fitness, nutrition or nature may, or may not be your thing or what you enjoy.  I suggest that nature, should be a part of every one’s life experience.  It is spectacular and magnificent in every aspect and detail.  Being outside in nature always provides me with comfort and solace.  The comradery I feel and experience with each event is truly magical and inspiring.  Running, like nature, has always provided me a method of releasing stress and anxiety.  It gives me the freedom to go fast, slow, clear my thoughts, an avenue to solve problems, make decisions or simply relax.  Having this easy, yet vibrant way to work through life and exercise my body at the same time is truly magical and extremely beneficial.  I send a special “Thank You” to my Zion teammates; Jodie, Sherie, Tiffiny, Maggie, Mendi and Jodi.  Everyone blended together to cheer and support each other throughout the 36 hours of non-stop trail running fun.  Edward offer support and food; which is always welcome.  Unfortunately, we lost two of our runners the day before the event.  One suffered a knee injury during a training run and the other bailed out due to a work event.  I’m looking forward to seeing many of you (my running friends) in Lake Tahoe for another fun filled Ragnar Trail race adventure. Until then: Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, let’s be healthy and strong; mentally, physically and spiritually! 

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!


Published by lapd22695

My goal is to be a better me. I want people to be more aware about mental and physical health. We are all humans living on this planet. Let's enjoy our lives, happy and healthy. It's okay to smile and help others along the way.

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