Monday, February 9, 2009

My Sister, my hero.

Photo by J. Andres Vargas

My sister just ran 233.6 total km covered over six days. A total of 33,800 ft of elevation was climbed and it was calculated that she burned over 30,000 calories.

She ran through the jungles and rainforest of Costa Rica, along mountain trails, single track across ridgelines and coastal ranges. She's 50 years old and came in 3rd place among the women.

She is amazing.

She wrote this to us:

I just finished my second day and I am now in 3rd place. The heat and humidity is staggering. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. It is also the most incredible thing I have ever done. What can I say about the first two days? Heat, humidity, mud, snakes, swamp, lots of no trails. Just straight up the rainforest. At times it is a little scary, but it is simply amazing. I told one of the race directors today, that if I died after this race, it would be okay. My life would be complete. It rained alot yesterday and the humidity was horrible. We got up at 330 am today and the heat and humidity was horrible. It is like being in a steam room 24-7. This race is not for everyone, that is for sure. It is hard to stay organized and putting the tent up in the pouring rain is quite comical.

I miss you all. Mom, please don´t worry about me. I am having the time of my life. Tomorrow is a very hard day. It is hard to imagine running in this terrain again. I am feeling good though. The people here are great. Matt is rafting down a river today and I hope he is having fun. I love you Caleb, Chelsea, and Courtney. Hi Angie, Wally, Tyler and Kate! Hi Shawn, and Mom!! I say your notes today. Thankyou they really help. They made me almost cry. I love you all and can´t wait to tell you all about this incredible adventure.

and this:

well, the race is over and i am so happy to be finished with this adventure. the coastal challenge was the hardest race i have ever done. they didn't tell us that we would be swimming and bouldering, and running up steep muddy rainforest trails. actually they were not trails, we had to navigate straight up through the jungle looking for course markers. the heat and humidity was outrageous. we saw snakes, alligators, and lots of monkeys. they kept telling us that they had plenty of anti-venom in case we got bit by a snake. that was reasurring. one day we swam for 2 hours through a large river with our packs on before running for 7 hours more. on that day, i ran alone for 8 hours in the rainforest. it was exciting and exhausting all at the same time. camping in the middle of nowhere is interesting too. there was no downtime and the spiders in our make-shift cold showers were as big as softballs. i came in 3rd. the two women who beat me are in the 30s, so i can't complain. if you thought i was skinny before, well baby, look at me now!! wow, what 6 days in the jungle does to the bod!! thanks everyone for all the support. i love you all.


Kelly is my hero. I know she can do anything. Brenda says she can be in the Green Berets. I think she could be in the Pony Express. (If they still had the Pony Express). Kelly truly believes in mind over matter. I started to wonder what has been my great challenges in my life have been. I know we all have them.

I have always been a great believer in listening to what makes our heart sing with joy. Finding exactly where our inspiration lives and then moving forward towards it. If you open your heart you will hear something that is devinely right for you... and life-fulfilling. Kelly has found that. So have I in a different way.

I have found it in my art.

We can spend endless hours in what brings our heart joy. That's when you know you have found it.

You can read more about my sister on her blog here.


spuddy said...

I'll be thinking healing and heartfelt thoughts and prayers for your mom, shawn. She's so packed full of good spirit and energy, she's truly amazing and this time will be another great example of her courage and tenacity.
Here's a big hug for your family! (((((( )))))))


doodlegirl said...

A very deep-felt thank you to you, Spud! :O)

Paula Prass said...

I realized I hadn't heard your sweet voice lately, so thought I'd see what you are up to.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom. I hope everything is going well.

Brenda McShan said...

She is my hero too! So inspirational. WOW.
What an amazing thing she did. I know you are very proud of her.

Kate said...

Something's up with your mom? You have my prayers. Moms can pull at our heartstrings.
In the meantime, I just read about your sister and I am exhausted. What an underachiever I am and I'm ten years older than she is! Gotta run.
Literally and figuratively.
Bless you, Shawn, for opening up the soul of your family.

danny said...

What an amazing achievement that was! And an inspiration to the human spirit, which you wonderfully described. My healing thoughts are with your mom, and another warm hug to you all! You are an amazing family.

violetismycolor said...

wow, that is going to motivate me to get into better shape. your sis IS amazing.

doodlegirl said...

Paula, It was so wonderful to see you came for a visit! Thank you for your kind words. My mom is doing well, thank you!!

Thank you Brenda, Kate, danny and "violet".. for your comments. I always love to see your notes!

I have been daydreaming of starting to run myself.. now that I'm at the age where I'm finding myself having a slower metabolism... I know my sister and brother will run with me.... if I ask them.

And I will do that. Once the sun starts to set later.. I wonder how many people have this excuse? Is that procrastination?

Hope said...

So glad to hear your Mom is doing better. You and your family have been in my heart and thoughts this week please know you can call if you need anything at all.
Love Ya,


doodlegirl said...

Thank you so much Hope! I will surprise you and call you soon!! :O)

platitudinal said...

Yes, your sister is amazing ... such endurance and focus. Oh, and fearless too!

And, I think you are amazing too. You have an incredible sweet heart and a gentle soul. Add to that a mega dose of creative talent.

It is not surprising really. For both you and your sister come from such remarkable woman (your mom). I am glad to hear that your mom is doing well :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Shawn first time reading doodle it is six am enjoying your pages and i like your movie list and recollections as a child i remember those days cowboys and indians army men somehow we were numb to a mean world out there and thank God for his protection hope your family is well kudos to you and your sister running is hard and your story has inspired me to get off my gluetious maximus if thats how you spell it i look forward to reading more doodle