Mary Eggers

General

Just like me

I miss very few sunrises. In some way shape or form, I see almost every single one.

Some days it’s through the window from the pool, other days it’s a morning run, or maybe as I crest the hill on that one road on my way to the gym, or to work. I have no photos of any of them, but sunrise and I have been companions for most of my life. From the early morning swimming days of my youth to the early morning training days of my adulthood, they never get old. I rarely miss them.

They represent a new beginning, one that happens every single morning. A new beginning, a new opportunity, a fresh start, a clean slate every single morning. It’s invigorating and freaking EXCITING. Every damn time.

“How do you get up that early.” a friend asked me recently, to which I replied, “How do you stay up so late?”

As sad as I was to watch the snow melt this week, I was relieved at the exact same time. Winter was great and skiing was amazing and I learned so much. But I had an unexpected rough time in other ways. There are times in your life where you have a hold on things like grief, and other times it creeps up like a dark cloud, looming. You see it coming and you can’t even worry if it will swallow you up or just creep, but it’s there. This time the cloud got a little more of me than I expected it to.

But I did what I always do, I kept my chin up, I felt it all over again, I shed tears, I laughed, I reached out, and I kept moving. I knew the heaviness would pass and it did. You never have a guarantee of how long it will pass for, when it will rebound, or whatever it wants to do. You just have to keep your feet on the ground, your heart and head high and take it whenever it does come.

As the snow has been melting and spring has slowly been making its way through the gray and so has the light within me. With time and patience, these times pass. The sun rises and the world comes back to life again and again and again. This cycle of life is no mistake.

With my focus shifting to the marathon for a while, I get to witness the sunrise while running. Every single day it’s different and every single time I see it happen it awakens something within me. These days while I run I leave the data at home and I just run. Through the years I have learned and relearned and understood over and over again that there is nothing stronger than my intuition. I have allowed myself to get pulled to the external side of pace and numbers, and I have found that it just pulls me away from me. I need no numbers to feel strong. I need no trending data to feel the crisp air, or see that sunrise.

No app in the world can help those feelings of grief and pain pass, we have to just experience them and allow them to move through us. No app in the world can tell me how I should be feeling when I move. I move the way I need to… to feel what I need to feel.

I love the simplicity of just running. I love the feel of getting stronger again. Foot by foot, mile by mile. With brand new dreams. I don’t even call them goals because goals are too easy to grab onto. What if it were a dream? Dreams draw me to them and help me aim higher than I am likely capable of flying. I don’t care because those dreams are what have helped me learn to fly.

There are very few sunrises I miss. As that sun rises so does my hope, my faith in this world, and the promise is that a new day is before me. What was dormant throughout the winter is able to bloom again with new color, new life, new energy that can stretch out wide, feel the sunshine, and breathe big.

Just like me.

General

From here

Spring break has been good to me. It’s exactly the break I have needed. I am a busy person, we all are, and I am lucky that I get to choose to be busy rather than do it out of necessity. But still, I find the time to do everything I do, becasue I love it. Pure and simple.

I am coming down to the final weeks in my Masters of Nursing Education program, my cap and gown have arrived, and I have officially been invited to graduation. Recently I learned that this degree puts me 3/4 of the way through a Family Nurse Practitioner program that I have been eyeing (another Masters degree). I love nursing education, and I love clinical practice and I firmly believe the two belong together. I know that in ten years I would regret not going for this, so I am going for this. Beyond that a Doctorate is only 2 years, so I am considering that, but first things first.

So the end of one chapter is almost here, and hopefully the beginning of another!

Last November I set a winter goal to become proficient at downhill skiing. It took me months, it took me many many trips to the mountain, it took weeks of weekly lessons, but I did it. In fact yesterday while I was skiing, an instructor stopped me on the connection between two trails. He told me that it had not gone unnoticed, the amount of skiing I have done this year. He said that he didn’t know me but he and many others have seen me come daily and ski, and ski and ski, and he wanted to let me know he’s seen how far I have come.

It’s a good thing my ski goggles are mirrored, because I would have been mortified if he had seen the tears pouring from my eyes in response. When I took this on I didn’t know there was fear hidden within me, I didn’t know what was going on when it bubbled to the surface. I didn’t know how to work through it except to just keep showing up. Most days I ski alone because I just have to do my own thing at my own pace.

His words meant so much. I have been so in love with the attitude of everyone I have met through this journey. When you ski alone you ride the lift with strangers, and you get to know many people in that 5-minute trip up. Last Wednesday I ignored the travel ban and had the chance to ski in the best conditions (I am told) that the mountain has ever had. I have never been around so many people who were so happy in my life. I felt so at home.

So I did it. I became proficient. I am still the slowest skier on the mountain, but that’s no matter to me. I have my season pass for next year and I will continue on this journey. The best part? Luc has asked to learn.

Luc isn’t the type of kid who could have been thrown on skis at 2 years old and taught. With his sensory issues, the snow was horrifying to him back then. Unless you have been through sensory issues with kids, you really don’t understand. You just don’t. He’s the kind of kid who truly must be ready.

He’s watched me work this ski thing, he’s looked at my pictures, he’s listened to my journey and he finally said, I am ready in December. That’s the best piece of all of this. Now I know who I need to teach him, I already secured him skis and I can not freaking wait.

So what’s next?

While I have never stopped training multisport training, my desire to compete in swim bike run comes and goes. For twenty years it burnt so strong. My triathlon career has been wildly successful and taken me places I still can’t believe I got to go. The places I have been, the podiums I have stood on, the people I have met, it’s been unreal. Truthfully I do believe I will swim bike run in competition again, I just don’t have the feel for it right now.

I have been searching for the next big thing. When you have done so many Ironmans, when you have been through what I have been through…. it’s hard to find the next big thing. It’s actually a good problem to have.

It came to me a few weeks ago…… what if I spent a season running? What if I ran a marathon this fall? I haven’t run a marathon unless it’s been preceded by a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike, since 1996. I have thought about run focuses before, but I haven’t been able to truly step back from multisport.

For some reason, now I feel like it. Now seems like the right time. Running truly fits with my insane schedule. Sure I can make the time for 15 hour training weeks, but I have been there and done that. And while I have no intention of giving up my wheels or water…… what if I took the time to really build my run up, over a long period of time, slow and steady and … well what could I do????

So that’s the theme for this season. Answer that question. I don’t know the answer, but I am eager to find out. No longer am I attached to the outcome, but the process. The process of all of it is what I love the most. The outcomes are the bonuses.

So it’s going to be another busy ten weeks before summer comes. Time to lace up my running shoes and get started.