Saturday, September 8, 2012

Home??? Where are my ruby red slippers? (and of course current updates)

"She goes no more to the places she used to be. She goes to fly now into life's mystery." -J. Richman

LOST…. To a little less lost. That’s kinds how I feel about the past year.
Well…. not exactly lost, or not really in a bad way, and somewhat at home while lost.
Over the past month I’ve had the same lyrics go through my head every time I feel completely confused about what decisions to make about my life:
“I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away. I don’t know where my soul is, I don’t know where my home is.” (Nelly Furtado)
Possibly sounds a little corny, but those words have become comforting. I don’t hear them like they’re negative, rather, that I’m still flying, just going by the wind instead of by step by step directions.
In August, I completed a year of Service with AmeriCorps at the Boys and Girls Club of Buena Vista (while living in Salida). AmeriCorps was great- I got some great experiences, learned a lot, and lived on a small living allowance to see what it was like living under the poverty level. I’ve made huge messes with paint and sequins, built fortes, helped kids raise money for Impossible2Possible through running, flown kites, and also had my patience tested when kids go off the deep end. Best of all, I have formed some beautiful relationships with the kids at the club and always get greeted with hugs from the little kids to the big kids. I’ve also seen what can happen behind the scenes in organizations where normalcy isn’t normal. The staff changes, budget cuts, staff hours cut (not mine b/c I was AmeriCorps), and much more was sometimes frustrating to take in. Not mainly for me, but for other staff and the kids.
Another great experience I have taken away from AmeriCorps is the humility of being poor. AmeriCorps hopes volunteers get this experience. We really aren’t given enough money to pay bills and for food comfortably, so AmeriCorps encourages all volunteers to use Food Stamps. Before this year, never in my life did I think that I would be using food stamps. But, that’s what I was told to do, and also needed to do. Even though the Safeway was closer to my apt, and I have unsure feelings about Walmart, I mainly shopped at Walmart because I felt even more self-conscious about using food stamps at Safeway. It was also interesting to think about food stamps while using them and gain a better understanding of people who have used them for years. I won’t get into that so much because I think my studies in social science and experiences have given me beliefs (or understandings) that may be disagreeable. Lastly, AmeriCorps really had reaffirmed how much I love serving others and how important I think it is. For those of you who are unaware, there will be no AmeriCorps volunteers at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Colorado this year due to budget cuts. Please learn about these things in your state because I really don’t think it is good to cut out service programs right now. The B&GC’s really depended on some of the AmeriCorps volunteers and they will be hurting this year without them.
But that’s not why I’m flying with no idea where to land. Although I will admit the lack of income the past year is preventing me from just going off and exploring Colorado the next month as the leaves begin to change.
I’ve had a BEAUTIFUL summer exploring mountains and high alpine trails. My heart soared and I’ve never felt so at home, or exactly where I was supposed to be in my life. I get butterflies just thinking about some of the places my feet have taken me this summer. My mind and heart felt completely, 100%, at home.  But, I always have to come down from the mountains, my home with a hole in the roof.  I come back to beautiful small towns I really enjoy, but rarely have anyone to share them with. There were great little festivals all over this summer but when alone, I just browse around for a little bit and then wonder what to do. I miss my family, always feeling guilty and sad on missed birthdays and holidays. My dad’s 60th surprise birthday party is tomorrow… I should be there. My family and Ohio friends are my home too, I don’t feel complete without them, but I also can’t deny my personal growth this year from living a calmer way of life in the mountains and small towns. I now realize, that I will always have a part of me that will be missing something, but I hope knowing that I am loved will keep the rain out of the hole.

If only Rach (and Steve!) would move to Colorado!  :) (Rach on right)

About running…….
Unfortunately, I have felt physically “off” for a long time. I know going up a mountain there is nothing to do but work hard, and it will hurt a little, but I really thought I should be feeling better. I felt myself getting tired easier and easier, only moving on because I adored where my feet had taken me that day. Finally, I went to the doctor so I could get some blood tests and found out my iron was very low. I eat tons of things with iron (though admittedly no red meat…I really loved driving pass the little calves this past spring) and took iron supplements, but my body wasn’t absorbing it. Common in distance runners, main symptom is fatigue, and it takes a month + to get to normal. I found this out two weeks before the Pikes Peak Marathon.  Two days later I pulled my calf muscle and couldn’t run the rest of the week. New Pikes Peak Goal: just finish. I did finish in 10th, and it hurt.  I deeply missed the spring in my step that I haven’t had in months, but I was still happy to push on and be on the mountain.  Though a week later I won the small (but huge in beauty and fun) Silverton Alpine Marathon after a week full of adventures in Southern Co with Rach, my confidence is almost shot going into Run Rabbit Run. I was hoping to improve this summer, but my speed work out times ended up getting slower as the summer progressed. I am feeling better now, but I just don’t know if the quality of this summer’s training will be enough.  My hope lies in knowing that while I am physically not in the shape I hoped to be in, I still have a deep passion in my heart for 100 miles and the mountains. I will go into the 100 miles with no crew or pacer, just with knowledge of the love of others who support me, and the love I have gained for myself this past year.  If nothing else, I WILL finish.
Of course I fell (Pikes Peak)

Just doing my best to get to the top. (Sometimes it's all we can do)

Starting my descent at the Silverton Alpine Marathon
                Last weekend, I moved out of my apartment. I packed everything I own, once again, in my car (not without 2 stops to the donation center). I didn’t just drive to another apartment and unpack. I don’t know where I want to go or what I want to do…again. Really, I just want to quit my part time job and explored the mountains before the snow comes, but with hopes of one day traveling to New Zealand or other foreign lands, that isn’t a possibility right now. However, much to my family’s dismay, it’s a bit of a relief to be back in my tent the last month of summer. I don’t have the pressure of committing to a place I’m not sure I want to be just yet and I get to wake up already outside.

My gym while camping

“Sail by the wind sailor, turn by the wind.”


  1. We miss you Sandi and the family will miss you tomorrow (later today). Someone always asks how you are doing. I wish you were here to help your sisters plan the big 60th bday bash for your dad. He is going to be super surprised! This is the first time Rach and I have ever hosted a Nypaver-family get together, so I'll be interested in how things turn out. Amanda says we have nothing to worry about as long as the Browns' game is on. I don't even like the Browns lol. Of course Rach does all the major planning, I just stay out of her way and help where I can like picking up the subs and pizza! And I know Rach has told you already, if you need a place to fly to after RRR, you can always perch yourself in Hudson. Which is beautiful in the Fall :) Oh, I'll be in Colorado the first week of October! I'll be staying in Boulder. Have a good day and rest up for next weekend. Run hard, live easy :)

  2. Been following along with your blog for a while. I was working the first aid station at Mt. Werner this past weekend at Run Rabbit and got a few good pictures of you I can send if you want. Saw you later on just past the high school as I was heading up with my pacer in the opposite direction. Just wanted to say good job out there. Was not an easy day on anyone and though I'm sure you aren't thrilled, a day on the mountain is better than a lifetime of second guessing a DNS to begin with.

    As to this post, I know how you feel when you're not quite where you want to be in terms of running shape. After Leadville last year, it has taken almost a year before I really felt like I was able to run to my potential again. Who knows why. Anyway, stick with it and hopefully we'll see you at some more races around CO soon!


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