Day 17, Monday, October 5th
Carbondale to Glenwood
John Olson, Highlands Ranch
Sam Roach, Carbondale, CO
Paul Schmidt (In Memory Of)
No alarm clock set today! We had a later start again because we didn’t have to be at Defiance Strength and Conditioning until 11:30 and it was only 8 miles away. I got to wake up slowly, enjoy my usual hardboiled eggs and banana before heading out the door with the crew for a 13-mile slightly downhill day. Michelle and Becky stuck around today to join me for the run. We gave our hugs and “I love you’s” to my friends and family before Tyler (Becky’s son) escorted us out of town on his bike down the Rio Grande Trail. It was such an enjoyable run on an overcast day. We jogged down the valley surrounded by the mountains painted in red dirt and junipers. We talked CrossFit most of the way. Michelle shared stories from the business side of things as the owner of CrossFit Parkhill. We reminisced on the personal side of things from past Reebok CrossFit Games we competed in together. We talked about how far the sport has come in such a short time and where we think it’s going. Then, in what seemed like no time at all, we saw Big Blue up ahead. Eight miles down in a jiffy! We waited for an opening in traffic and timed it perfectly to cross the busy HWY 82 as a group and jogged up to Defiance.
Mackenzie (owner of Defiance) greeted us with a smile and open arms. We socialized at the big dining table in their warm, welcoming entry of the gym as we gobbled up our polenta muffins and chugged our Rehydrate from True Nature Kitchen. Shortly after, Tyler and Becky had to take off back to the front range as to not miss Tyler’s lacrosse practice later that evening. Thank you Becky so very much for the time you spent with us and for bringing Tyler to be a part of it as well. Defiance members started to file in for the 12:00 class that Michelle and I helped to assistance guest coach. We got to share my story before class and then had the pleasure of coaching these individuals through a pretty grueling barbell complex right into some conditioning. Tory got to join in the fun with the group and get her sweat on too! Thank you Defiance for opening your arms and listening to some instruction from a couple of Games athletes. It was our pleasure.
We had to unfortunately rush out of the gym as the class ended to make our next appearance…one that I was personally really looking forward to. The rain was pouring down during class, but faired off just as we started down the trail again. I should probably knock on wood when I say this… but I don’t know what’s up, but we’ve been SO lucky with outstanding weather. I was confident by this point in the run we would be in rain at the very minimum, if not snow. Anyways, as Michelle and I trotted down into Glenwood Springs another 2.5 miles, we veered off the path and took a right turn up toward Valley View Hospital. This place holds great significance in my life… I spent a lot of time here as a little girl. The Valley View family treated me well and I am so thankful to have had such a good place to make a bad situation feel as pleasant as it could. Also, my mom worked at Valley View for most of my childhood and young adult life. Several of the people that work there were family to her and thus family to me. I also, worked at Valley View Hospital out of college as a PT aide when deciding whether or not to go to Physical Therapy school. Needless to say, I have a lot of history at this place.
As Michelle and I ran up toward Blake Avenue we heard cheering and saw the sidewalks to the entrance of the hospital lined with people in lab coats and scrubs holding the most beautiful purple balloons. As we got closer I could read that they said “Move Mountains”. There were so many familiar faces to remind me that I was home. The kindness, the pride, the joy that was felt in that moment I will cherish forever. People who had an integral part in my life as a child, were there to support me as an adult, helping me to Move Mountains in the same place where I often felt like the mountains were crumbling down on me.
After the welcoming party, Marcus, my mom, Michelle, Tory, Vaughn, and myself joined Mike and Chris (owners of Sopris CrossFit and also medical professionals at Valley View Hospital) up to the café where they all got coffee and I had them order me a Hot Chocolate for after the run. Michelle and I took off back toward the bike path and ran along the Colorado River with Marcus on bike (with cameras) until we reached our stopping point in West Glenwood. Waiting with big smiles and our warm drinks were my mom, Tory and Vaughn. Thank you Michelle for so generously donating your time and energy to help me Move Mountains and give me company for a total of 20 miles of my journey in the last few days. Michelle is a great person, a phenomenal coach and I’m lucky to call her a good friend.
After the run I got to spend a bit of time alone with my momma. We went to Target to get a few odds and ends while Tory and Vaughn explored Glenwood Springs and Marcus did whatever Marcus does. On our way back to the hotel, we had to stop to capture the full double rainbow embracing the Colorado River roaring through the valley floor… a sign that we were just where we needed to be and that the future was going to be bright. My mom headed back home and Marcus and I took the dogs to the park for a serious game of fetch until my dad was able to come meet us at our hotel (which was generously donated for the night). Some friend time, some gym time, some party time, some mom time, some dad time and now some sleep time! Another good day! Tomorrow… I get to run to my hometown!
Lesson Learned: There is no better time than with those that you love.