A good friend of mine died unexpectedly in October.  It was terrible.  It is terrible.  Sometimes it feels like it doesn’t get better.

Me being me, I wanted to do something.  Anything.  Doing is better than sitting still in the emotions that are often too difficult to process.  Just keep moving.  Problem is, I do need to process; we all do.  I wanted to do things to help create a legacy for Arne, to make sure he was remembered.  I also wanted to try to heal just a bit more.

I stopped running just after he died in October.  It was a combination of grief and a knee injury that just wouldn’t resolve.  My knee was constantly swollen and sore and located out; I had trouble walking let alone running.  My heart was also broken. I refrained from running in November, December and well into January.  I skied.  I biked.  I swam.  My heart and body weren’t there to run.

Happy running selfie (head band from Skida).
In late January I came to the realization that my knee wasn’t swollen anymore.  It didn’t hurt to ski.  It didn’t hurt to walk.  So I tried a run.  20 minutes.  Barely over a mile.  I did it.  The next day I ran again.  20 minutes again.  I went a little bit farther.  I remembered that outside, alone, without any devices my mind could settle.  I could process.  I decided to see how many miles I could run in the month of February.  I also decided that some external motivation would be a good thing, so I decided to pledge $5 to Salida Mountain Trails for every mile I ran in Arne’s memory.  I could physically process and build legacy at the same time.  This was good.
It was cold and snowed a lot.
I also that decided that if I was going to donate $5 for every mile I ran, there need to be some rules:
  1. I’ll donate $5 for every mile I run, walk, hike or snowshoe outside. In New Hampshire (and Colorado). During the winter. On dirt and gravel roads and rocky trails.
  2. Miles must be on foot. I rely on the Garmin to tell me the miles, even if I disagree with the total (stupid trees).
  3. Miles that don’t count — swimming, biking, treadmill running, water running, skiing (both downhill and cross country) and general chasing of Ivy.
  4. Every time I log, I’ll post on Facebook. Gotta have accountability. And, well, I like the encouragement (internet, please pay attention to me).
  5. I’m recovering from a knee injury. And slow. So I won’t be setting speed or distance records. What I will hopefully have going for me is frequency and consistency.
Ryan and Ivy joined in for some Colorado miles.

That’s were things got interesting.  I posted on Facebook and people started responding.  Pledging additional amounts per mile and making lump sum donations.  Johan jumped on board tracking both miles and donations, of course there was a spreadsheet.  We jumped up to donations of $11 per mile.  Getting my butt out of the door mattered.  To sweeten the deal even more, Johan promised that if I hit 60 miles by February 26, 2021, he would run a mile on Poocham Road (my cold and muddy New Hampshire dirt road) in a Speedo.  In February.  As of yesterday (February 25, 2021) I was just over 60 miles for the month. Johan is going to run!

Running miles for Salida Mountain Trail in Salida, CO.

In an effort to secure even more donations for Salida Mountains Trails (we have a legacy to build), Johan sweetened the deal:

If I can get 10 people to donate 50 cents a mile, for every mile Kelly ran in February, we’ll post a video of me, doing this undie-run on my FB page for your viewing pleasure. Yes, there is snow, it will be cold, and you’re not going to want miss this!!!😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀 There may be snow angels!!!!🐧🐧🐧. I got my hat, gloves, screw shoes and Sonic blue underwear ready to go!!! 😀😀😀
Please let me know how much you’re willing to donate!!! I’ve attached the link below. Thanks in advance 🧡👍🙂
If you actually read all of this, you’re a trooper.
Arkansas River in beautiful Salida, CO.

As we sit at the end of the month, it still hurts.  It’s going to hurt for. very long time.  Despite the hurt I created some physical space to process, I got back into a bit of a running groove, and, with the help of lots of amazing people, I’m helping to build a legacy for Arne.  Not bad for a short month.

Being in Salida was the first time I cried in a while.

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