My 2018 THP Runs Fundraiser is up!
Hello my beautiful New Balance friends! So, this week I’m chatting with my buddy Mackenzie Smith who’s not only a local Raleigh runner – she’s ALSO a local Rale...igh chiropractor. Say what?!?! A chiropractor that intimately understands our needs as runners? That’s GOLD Jerry! (Seinfeld). She will be a guest speaker at out injury prevention clinics this March. The following is a discussion between us.
Mackenzie will be a guest speaker at our free in-store Injury Prevention Clinics (see below for info)
SCOTT: Mackenzie, you’re a runner AND a chiropractor! That’s a magic combination as far as I’m concerned. As an athlete, I like to know that my caretaker really understands my needs and lifestyle. I like to know that the caretaker understands my therapeutic needs on a personal level and not just on an “intellectual” level. How has your life as a runner directly helped you connect with and help your patients?
MACKENZIE: I think having something to directly relate to with my patients on a personal level is very important. As a runner, I understand the typical runner’s mindset of “go,go,go” even if an injury is emerging. With that being said, I also have the education and understanding to know when it would be detrimental to continue training. As a runner who has had to make difficult decisions on myself in the past, I will do everything in my power to ensure you are either able to continue training, or get back to training as soon as possible. Providers who aren’t big runners may be more apt to try to get a runner to lessen their training or stop altogether. I understand the absurdity of that statement and that most runners won’t listen. I feel that runners take what I say a little more seriously since I’m not only a health care provider, but a fellow runner. If I ask you to lessen your mileage or rest for a few days, there’s a good reason for it.
RSVP for these clinics as well as our free Spring 2018 5k training. Target Race: "Race for The Cure" May 2018. www.runtriangle.com New Balance
@trianglecrc @susangkomen1 @newbalancetriangle #newbalancerdu #raleighchiropractor #breastcancerawareness Triangle Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Center
What does it really TAKE to endure extreme distance on foot? It's the same thing that it takes to live life. Some say you need to know what you stand for when i...t gets difficult. This sounds intimidating if you're not sure. Maybe you're feeling "less than" if you haven't found that esoteric truth others seem to dip into when the going gets tough. Maybe you're not sure if you have a warrior's heart. I say the truth is universal. Don't become lost in its simplicity. We don't want to be sufferers. Self pity is poison. We don't want to be people who say, "I hate this, I want to go home, I'm so sick of doing this." If you can fend off those demons many miles into a cold dark forest, you can do so in most other places a normal Westerner would go. We're learning how not to wish for things to be different. If you run a 100 miles you'll probably see sunny panoramas like this and you'll probably experience a cold dark night with it. That's life. Don't quantify either as less or more than, as in this disparity you'll justify self pity. The reason that pity is poison, is because involuntary victimization is only real in the external world. Others can steal your property and cause physical harm. They don't possess the true power to harm you emotionally. All of this power is intrinsically yours and yours alone. If one is their own victim, they posses the potential to redress their perception. Some are so ill, angry or universally immature that it may be miraculous that they ever seize upon a moment of clarity, but its potential indeed exists. I hypnotized and victimized myself with self pity for three decades. It requires due diligence to seed new growth over old paths, but it doesn't require running all night and day to choose this perspective. For me, for now, it helps me remember. #ultrarunner #thirdeye #mindfulness #youchooseyourpath #youwriteyourstory #addictionrecovery #theherrenproject
I taught myself how to "ultrarun". I went to the army surplus store and got a bunch of "Walking Dead" gear and started adding a mile each week to my long run. I... was really stubborn. I wouldn't google anything about the sport. I wanted it to be my own learning process as if I was "inventing" the activity. I wouldn't go meet any other runners or walk into a running stores until I could run at least 50 miles from my front door and back. I know this is crazy but I felt like I needed to learn to rely on myself. I don't regret this process so much as my outlook on people at the time. I know I had an imposter complex. I isolated myself because I feared judgement from accomplished ultrarunners. I didn't really understand the culture, even though in my own weird way, I was partly embracing its quirkiness. What this sport has helped me begin to develop is some finer spiritual tuning. Now, it is very clear to me that anyone who would judge another, solely based on where the other person is in their journey, isn't the sort of person you'd want to know anyway. So, if you want to avoid looking like you're training for a distance run through nuclear fallout, here is my go-to list of stuff I pack before races. I hope it's useful. Please, if you're like I was, go out and meet people and give them your time freely. It will make your world explode with wonder...So, here's me last week right before the Rocky Raccoon 100 start, representing my New Balance family back home at Raleigh RDU. Check out my gear list at: www.runnerscott.com / Run w/ me this Spring, free New Balance coaching & 5k training for "Race for the Cure" at www.runtriangle.com 🥑☮️🙏🕉 #newbalancerdu #raceforthecure #rrcacoach #rrca #theherrenproject #thpruns #soberrunner #ultrarunning #ultrarunner #plantbased #ultrarunninggear #raleighrunning #raleighmeets #ultrarunvegan #breastcancerawareness #lawofattraction #powerofnow #changeyourmindsetchangeyourlife @newbalancetriangle @ultrarunvegan Ultrarunvegan New Balance
We'll be at "Run for The Roses" 🌹5k this Sunday Feb 11th in Raleigh! Only 2 days left to register! Go to: @newbalancetriangle in-person this Sat Feb 10th 2-6 p...m to register, New Balance Raleigh, 6204-121 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh NC 27612 (or) visit www.ncroadrunners.org - proceeds benefit Canines For Veterans & Team Red, White and Blue NC. Moreover, read the blog interview with my friend & race co-director Elizabeth Werner here: www.runnerscott.com ...See you out there! #newbalance #newbalancerdu #caninesforveterans #teamredwhiteandblue #teamredwhiteandbluenc #ncroadrunners #ncrunners #raleighrunning #runfortheroses #runforourveterans #thpruns #theherrenproject ... Join my free 5k training: www.runtriangle.com North Carolina Roadrunners Club Canines For Veterans Inc Team Red, White & Blue RRCA North Carolina The Herren Project New Balance
Here's why a plant-based diet is good for runners or anyone. The rest of this video contains naughty language (shame on me) and shows me cleaning out the horrif...ying contents of my gear bag. So, I've decided not to tag my employer or running team, in case it's "too much", ha ha. Some times you gotta "be you". #ultrarunning #plantbasedathlete #trailrunner #ultrarunner #beyou Scott Waldrop Scott Waldrop Ultrarunvegan
"For Helen. One of a kind. We miss her." - Eva Anderson www.runforhelen.com
Thank you so much to Eva & Joel (Ben, Sam, & Jacob) Anderson for their incredible c...ontribution to me & Mary's charity run in Boston this spring. I'm defining the word "incredible" as "that which is greater than any recognition can quantify." It was beyond generous and clearly the cause is near and dear to their hearts.
Below is a link to a (very) personal story I wrote about synchronicity, alcoholism, love and the law of attraction.
My bff of 24 years and beloved wife Mary @vegangaga will be joining us for New Balance Raleigh - Durham's free 5k training in spring 2018. Free NB shirt & free ...entry to "Race for the Cure". Kickoff event is the end of this month! Get your health on and race for a reason! All shapes & skills are welcome! Mary will head the back of the pack, I'll be in the middle, and we'll have one of New Balance's collegiate sprinters heading up the front for those speedsters focusing on speed work. Free clinics on nutrition, injury prevention, and good form running will be provided as well. Again - IT'S FREE! So, come out and hang with us! Sign up at: www.runtriangle.com follow us: @newbalancetriangle #newbalance #newbalancerdu #fearlesslyindependent #raceforthecure #rrcacoach #ultrarunvegan #ultrarunner #runtriangle #theherrenproject #susangkomen #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness #5k #5ktraining #nutrition #nutritioncoaching #injurypreventiontraining #goodformrunning #newbalancerunning #marriage New Balance Race for the Cure Intrepid MG Mary Nanos Waldrop Scott Waldrop Scott Waldrop The Herren Project
The falling tree began to materialize out of the darkness in suspended animation while in tandem my truck ate the highway’s yellow lines in ...some surreal pac man esque manner - a darkly comedic countdown unto certain impact and total death. I knew it was it. Time for my death. As I moved forward I saw the titanic pine tree falling diagonally to the left and in perfect timing to smash me from existence. My whole life had lead up to this moment. Every step I took, every time I didn’t say hello to my neighbor at the store, and every time I was distracted from my day by picking up a pile of clothes had perfectly synchronized the this moment of my life with the fall of this tree. I didn’t even try to hit the breaks albeit now as I type this, I recall it’s not that I wanted to die, it’s that some mysterious mechanism of the brain retarded the unfolding scene with such perfection that I simply knew by intuition of physics that resisting was useless. My SUV impacted with the giant pine with a dull and cruelly brutal thud. It’s a sound you only hear for a fraction of second but your mind seems to still find the time to observe, “Hmm, thought I’d never be someone who would hear THAT sound.” With the sound of that mighty impact the disintegration of the tree as it was bluntly blasted apart by the Trailblazer. I collided with the top part of a very old pine. Its branches impaled the windshield dispersing inumerable bits of glass which slowly bounced off the skin of my face in slow motion as the wind howled through the truck. My memory of the sound the wind made was also slowed like a record spinning on the incorrect rpm’s. A massive branch stabbed onward through the cabin just to the right of my head. Simultaneously, I felt the SUV’s weight shifting on its counter-clockwise course, awry and surrendered to that inertia where things are violently flung into suspenseful chance. I sense a presence with me. I’m not sure if I sense it in the moment or in memory but I have a memory of it being in the moment. It is some sort of protective energy. When these slow-mo matrix-esque disaster scenes are depicted in movies there’s only a whisper of the visceral experience conveyed through cinema portrayal. No amount of trickery, special effects, or CGI can begin to touch upon the divine articulation within the zone the soul enters in times of instantaneous duress - it is only available to us then. Strangely, the real life experience suspended animation is more cinematic than cinema. The trudging seconds of 180° spinning in this massively weighted object mercifully came to an end like a song where the fade out is ridiculously long. Then all is still. I am momentarily internally still as my mind has been emptied of any pervasive thought. I’m not a ghost. I’m still alive! I’m covered in grounds of glass. Splintered white bark and green needles are also all over me. It’s sticky and beautifully reeking with its earthly life force having just been violently opened. I gently unclench my fingers off the steering wheel and the thinking mind dutifully snaps me out of the ethereal state and back into preservation mode. My inner monolog says, “You’re alive dude, now get this fucking truck off the highway if it can still drive and if not, run for it because you have traffic coming up on your rear and they cannot see anything either!” I quickly drive the truck to the side of the highway and emerge onto the rainy midnight highway. Glass is all over the road, stuck to my clothes and scattered all over the cabin of my truck. Only seconds ago these shards were horizontally blasting my knuckles and face. There is not so much as a scratch on me. There is no blood. There is no pain. I am 100% unharmed. Rain pelts me diagonally as I scream upwardly “thank you” in with my arms stretched as wide as possible. My heart is stretching the arms - not my brain. I weep “Thank You” to god repeatedly. I’m “machine-gunning” the deepest celebratory messages of gratitude and happiness into the upwards blackness. This was the same blackness I had drunkenly beseeched some year and a half before, asking for “God” or “The Universe” saying, “Show thyself to me please, take away this misery, addiction and lostness”. So why now? I was already practicing mindfulness and gratitude. I didn’t understand the timing of the divine message but I knew it would reveal itself later. I didn’t question it. I knew it had to do with some sort of renewed gratitude. Albeit I was two hours from home, another man from my small town was the first responder and he took me home. I still had glass on my clothes when I woke up my wife Mary and told her what happened. She knew something profound had happened from the look on my face. We hugged and we cried at length. It can all be taken from under you so instantly yet few of us seem to be able to live with this as rule number one.
Mary kept a tiny urn capsule on the rearview mirror of that truck. The urn contained her late mother Helen’s ashes. The following week when I returned to the truck to collect my personal belongings before it was scrapped, I saw how thoroughly mangled it was in the full light of the sun. The roof looked as if Paul Bunyan had rammed into a “V” shape into it with his giant axe. The windshield looked like a frozen pond with a cannon ball dropped into it from an airplane. Everything was strewn about the inside without rhyme or reason but Helen’s ashes were seemingly carefully placed on my driver’s seat.
So what do we do with these experiences? Move on with life like it wasn’t a gift or a lesson - even though our gut instinct nags us to heed it for some reason we cannot understand. Or, do we use it? Do we patiently wait for its lesson to “show thyself”? Without choice, I did the latter. That’s the thing about having faith. To have faith is to follow those omens like breadcrumbs and be patient for their meanings to unveil themselves at their own leisure and caprice. Our mission is to relinquish control of immediate and analytic understanding. We must trust in circumstance and feel this trust with our hearts and not try to meticulously categorize circumstance in our cabinets and calendars. The Universe always laughs at us when we do this.
When I first saw Mary Nanos in the mall in 1994 she drew me in like a magnet. She was friends with a mutual friend from a different high school. No other human has ever had that effect on me. I am certain there was “something to it” and albeit my antenna was not finely tuned at the time, I was definitely cognizant of some cosmic forces at work. She was the most beautiful and fascinating girl I’d ever seen. There was an instantaneous wisdom or an inner-knowing working in me saying something to the effect of, “That’s the one, you’re only 17, you haven’t even spoken to her, but there’s your girl for the rest of your life.” There was this petite nymph- like girl with this long blonde Marsha Brady hair dyed with punkrock platinum streaks. She was wearing some crazy dark red velvet suite and a that made her like a member of a bohemian hippy cult. “Sign me up!”, I thought. She also had on glasses which was the icing on the cake. Her beauty was entrancing but those glasses seemed to send this message to me saying, “Hey, I know you’re fascinated and like what you see so bear in mind there’s a soul in here and it’s not going to put with any carnal objectivity!” She was a natural beauty and she didn’t care about what all the pompous Washington D.C. teenagers were wearing and to me she looked like the most fashionable person I’d ever seen. There was some sort of deep sophistication in her cryptically eclectic aesthetic. I couldn’t crack the code! She was such a misfit I couldn’t even tell what “type” of misfit “look” she was going for. Was she into punk? Did she like The Grateful Dead? Did she like both? No one likes both?! I could not gauge or label her and I was melting in love immediately. It felt like a warm “glaze” settling gently in and over me. We were both so sensitive and shy with one another it took another week of us putting ourselves in social situations where we could stare at each other from across the room. With very little words ever exchanged between us, we eventually wound up at a friend’s house alone in a room in the dark. What happened next can only be described as a molecular cataclysm of goodness - like two halves of an old soul reuniting through the thinned veil of aeons. Or, if you like less dramatic, it can also be described as a 90’s teenage house party where we had a sloppy make-out session while the Rolling Stones “Let’s Spend the Night Together” blared downstairs. That’s all I can remember. Either way, it was instant propulsion into a love that has only gained momentum and flourished since. Every time I hear John Lennon sing the lyric, “Would you believe in a love at first sight? Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time”, it reminds me of magic being real. It reminds me that we’ve been given a unique gift. I wonder if there’s other people out there that get goosebumps from this seemingly quaint little lyric.
So who made this beautiful gift of a soul that walks by my side? Helen Anderson (born Helen Marie Tucker), that’s who. The day I met Helen she told me she “knows” what teenagers do and to “watch out”. She told me how she’d seen a lot with alcohol and drugs. She told me how far south things can go if that lifestyle sucks you in. She told me about how she watched her friend overdose and die right in front of her. Drugs and alcohol are no game. That was her message. I wasn’t used to such sincerity from someone on such a taboo subject, especially when you first meet them. It was implied to me as a child that through the words and actions (of certain influencers) that addiction was an embarrassing family matter. It seemed like something you begrudgingly deal with and then put the matter out-of-sight & out-of-mind like a pile of dog shit. Helen was resurrected from her disease for a sustained period during which her authentic self spread much light. This trajectory of greatness notwithstanding, addiction is a dangerous and unpredictable animal which unguarded will eventually escape its cage. I have a very sad memory of the first time I saw Helen drunk as she was like an unchained wild animal which had long been shaking with rage and pain in its captivity. The memory is only poignant as I look backwards because at the time it just seemed crazy. I now understand how much pain she was in but at the time I was just being a judgemental know-it-all-already teenager.
When someone dies we often choose to honor the best of them. We do this because the good deeds done represented The Deceased Person’s true essence. Their bad traits were those manifested by the Earthly “tainting”. The tainting comes from the experiences of material existence which corrupt our innocence and scrawl their ugliness on the bodily shell housing our divine form here on Earth. That graffitied shell and its graffitied brain which enables it to reason isn’t really us - it’s just our experience here. The soul inside the shell comes into the world pure and remains pure. There’s an adage that goes something to the effect of, “As we walk through life, we’re all just walking each other home.” Helen made it home earlier than we expected but then again, what are our dashed expectations but mourning the loss of a future that we never had? Helen’ life seemed tragic and her death seemed early but that’s all just perception. Helen’s story is one of those breadcrumbs we try not to judge or pretend we have any firm understanding of. Her story, like her, is ethereal and meant to provide clarity as the unfolding moments allow. Nothing about Helen remains frenetic or sorrowful. She’s in a place now where she stands in her wisdom and light. She’s watching us.
Throughout the years Helen would always bring up the day her and I met. She loved to retell the story about “the answer” I responded with when she asked me, “So what does your Dad do for a living?” In my wacked-out teenage cheekiness I gave her the nebulous response of, “He’s a B.A.”
“What’s a B.A.?” Helen asked.
“A Bad Ass”, I said.
She roared laughing as if I’d busted out a zinger for the ages. It was just something that I blurted out without thing. It was just teenage vernacular - an acronym my friends defaulted to. In my akward teenagerness I was’t quick enough to separate the social situations. I guess at first I had her stringed along like he may be something akin to a “CPA” but she wanted the real truth. What exact services does a Certified Badass provide and to whom? I confessed that my Dad was the CEO of Media General Cable (the main cable provider for Northern Virginia at the time). My filibustering was done in hope that she wouldn’t attempt excavate my background with further inquiry. I didn’t realize this wasn’t the sort of person that just shrugs shit off. She was present in conversation and she was going to engage my ass unto thorough excavation. The thing was this: I didn’t want to drive a wedge between us. I was a rich kid on the blue collar side of town. I was old enough to be judged by people for what my father did. Being Tom Waldrop’s son seemed to carry a certain weight of expectation. I was tired of getting the “well aren’t you a lucky little shit” vibes off of people whether they were real or imagined. The idea that I was obligated to greatness because I was born with a monetary advantage scared the shit out of me. It also humiliated me because I didn’t have real confidence. I put on a good show but this was overcompensation for I having been physically abused, abandoned for years by my birth mother, had been “abandoned” through the death of my stepmother, and simply didn’t feel secure. I didn’t possess the wisdom to understand that money doesn’t mean shit if your mind isn’t well. I wouldn’t understand that about myself for another twenty years. So I ran from my social identity. I wore clothes to throw people off. I lied by omission about the size of my home. I was scared of who I thought the world thought I was supposed to be and I carried that fear for decades. That fear alchemized into that fucking addiction Helen tried to warn me of. I was so narcissistic I thought I was impervious to it. Maybe I thought only poor people become alcoholics. Funny how I decided to wear the “uniform from the other side of the tracks” but decided to hold on to judgement as if I was some coy genius walking between two worlds in a clever disguise and empowered by pessimism. I recently learned to try to stop comparing myself to my father and may need to practice it for the rest of my days. Helen acted like I was clever as hell but I was just trying to circumnavigate my guilt for being born into money. Maybe she knew what I was up to. Maybe it’s just one of the Easter Eggs Helen has left for me to find.
I have my own favorite Helen quote but sadly I was never able to express this to her in this life. When she originally coined the forthcoming oxymoronic-genius term, it embarrassed the God-loving shit out of me. Now I see it with a light heart as one of the funniest off-the-cuffs another human has ever spat out. One night my parents took her to the country club. Here’s Helen: this once hard-living, hard-working, recovering alcoholic, blue collar, tattooed biker chick from West Virginia walking into the main foyer of the Washington Golf & Country Club in Arlington Virginia. She takes in all the pomp and opulence for all of about a 2 seconds and without filter remarked, “This is F?CK!*G ELEGANT!” My parents remained stoic like a monk and a nun as if they didn’t hear a thing (it was loud). As much as I enjoy putting words together as a lyricist and writer, I’ve yet to find two words that alchemize with such comedic magic, ha ha ha!!! God bless you Helen! Fuck that was funny! Cussing is NOT intrinsically evil. It’s some preposterous stipulation we’ve put on certain sounds that come out of our mouth which are meant to trigger reactiveness in fearful people. They are nothing more nor nothing less unless you choose to empower those sounds with the unique quality of the ability to harm your sensibilities. To imbue words with the perceived power of creating social separateness is by far devolved than to partake in the cussing party. That irony escape me for many years. When Helen complimented my parents’ country club by remarking its “fuck elegance” I wanted to jump out of my skin and run down Glebe Road. Helen was breaking the rules of arbitrary propriety! My prime directive wouldn’t allow me to comprehend why one would choose not to filter them self in the very place where good people gather under the united cause of stuffiness. It was antithetical to my family’s ethos of public etiquette and veiledness of “personal matters”. I had a lot of walls to break down.
“Sober Helen” was a delight. She had positive energy flowing from her in such abundance it would spread out and illuminate the darkest corners of any room she entered. She couldn’t be ignored - she was coming at you with a smile whether you were grumpy or not! She lived life with the wisdom and spirituality of a highly evolved individual with a unique tenderness. She saw people that other people didn’t see. She married an African man so he could gain citizenship because she knew he was a good soul. She went to visit him years later to meet his beautiful large family. She was responsible for them being together. She helped her brother get sober and change his life. She helped a homeless gentleman get back on his feet. She literally fed, housed and nurtured these souls until they could fly again. One memory of her tenderness sticks out in particular for me. It sticks out because all the elements of the story are there for me to grab on to and attach a deeper meaning. As it goes, there was an intellectually disabled guy named Ardi who used to walk around town when he wasn’t bagging groceries. From the perspective of my teenage memories, my general recollection of Ardi is that he would walk from business to business in is off time as he didn’t have much else to do. He was a diminutive guy in middle age and he was very harmless. People would awkwardly put up with him but he was for all intents and purposes a pariah without much companionship. When I was 16 I worked at Roy Rogers with my friends. Those of our gang who didn’t work were tolerated loiterers who chain-smoked and talked shit all day in the booths. Picture a gaggle of greasy long-haired boys in black T-shirts depicting scenes from hell infesting a fastfood restaurant and those were my afternoons in 1992. Ardi used to come in every day and buy one chicken leg with an array of loose change. My boss at the time was hilarious. He was always busting out these incredible one-liners inflecting them in such a way that hinted he was a student of Richard Pryor. Ardi loved him. Whenever he walked out with his single chicken leg I listened to (and partook) in, some vicious Ardi make-fun. It was some base level mean-spirited shit to be sure and it’s the sort of thing I look back on and think, “Hmm, glad I don’t think like that anymore.” Years later, I came to find that Helen took to Ardi and taught him how to drive. I doubt Ardi was ever issued a license but that is far beyond the point. She knew it meant the world to him that someone not only spend time with him - but believe in him and empower him. She saw souls. She saw togetherness. She didn’t see us all as separate, yet she still felt alone. That’s why her soul hurt - it was so sensitive.
As I mentioned Helen enjoyed many years sober in which (I believe) she’d hoped the battle was behind her. I think that when she fell off the wagon after many sober years of altruism and happiness, a part of her spirit left Earth years before the rest would follow. She fought her alcoholism ferociously for years. She’d pull everything together for months at a time. You’d see her power and determination restored to full capacity. She’d fall, get back up, and then fall again. It was a very emotionally frenetic existence for her and all those who loved her. I think everytime she fell, she fell a little bit further into some dark place only she knew. Maybe she was climbing up a little bit further so she could fall further. She had a high level job at the post office with a sympathetic supervisor so she danced on the wire for a long time before she fell for the last time. Her ultimate decline was gut-wrenching, drawn out, and generally tragic. The list of adjectives and superlatives I could use to describe this time could float off the page. The descriptives could float off the page, down the river, sink into ultimate abstraction, and I still wouldn’t chance upon one too dramatic or appropriate to convey the emotional vortex Helen and her family went through during her final descent. It’s an exercise in total futility attempting to encapsulate these emotions into some trite limited symbols we call words. I didn’t understand addiction. I just knew it was to be avoided and that those who got “caught” being “addicted” where stigmatized as losers. I lacked the awakeness and empathy to interact with Helen meaningfully as she frayed into the unknown. She pissed me off because she couldn’t get her shit together. I got shitface drunk all the time and never once did I get a DUI or call someone screaming, “I hate you!”. What the fuck was her problem? Put your boots on woman! I had no idea I was slowly just slipping down the same hole. Maybe she was screaming at me trying to warn me that I was just like her. It ended with her silent in a dark hospital room in an induced coma. Reeking drunk relatives were wailing and lashing out at staff. Others were standing by poignantly and wisely. We cleaned out her house and what was left of her worldly possessions. This process can only be described as a journey into sorrowful delirium. It was an archaeological excavation in which we gingerly dusted off the long-settled detritus of unbridled mental illness. It was a debris field where tangible madness had at-length flaked off its creator, burying those forlorn Earthly treasures in a “pumice” of sorts. This substrate was a veritable strata depicting a history of phased dissipation from which emanated the general malaise what mysteries neglect brings in the between hours. Extensions of the being are all those little trinkets which strive to quantify and commemorate their mortal journey. They are abandoned coins and photos rendered meaningless without their curator, so they like them, they slowly forget to exist and slip away beneath the rot. We kept things she loved like her tambourines and that which represented her light, but most was just the pitiful material wreckage manifest from internal wreckage - so visceral, so tangible, so filthy and painful to sort that it stripped the metaphor of any abstract or poetic value and simply left you with sadness in its stark portrayal of consequence. It was a morbid discovery walk through a place where I think Helen may have decided to just die.
We learned very little directly after the experience. Mary and I continued to drink as if we’d never seen its nihilistic results. Friends died around us. We drank. I’d punch a door and break my own finger. We still drank. Our house burned down so we “put on our big boy pants”, cleaned up the mess, and then we kept on drinking. I was clearly the fondest of alcohol between the two of us but Helen was just one of a myriad of our own personal “lonely hearts club” collage, our frame of reference encompassed a veritable quandary of extremely fucked-up and damaged people. We did have a healthy narrative when it came to diagnosing substance abuse “problems”. Finally, my day came when I became sick of sickness and I started having conversations with the spirits metaphorically and the opposite. I sensed certain doom impending far beyond any chemical-induced paranoia. I don’t know what catalysed this glimpse of clarity. A miracle? God? Helen? Common sense? Maybe I’ll know for sure some day what the cause of sobriety was but I know it’s not something I need to understand if I’m not meant to. I was without doubt given to a sense that something absolutely terrible was going to happen if I did not quit drinking alcohol. I feel like this intuition had an ethereal quality to it. It didn’t seem to be coming from me so much as to me. Irrespective, I didn’t want to wait around to find out what the “Proverbial UPS Man From Hell” was about to deliver, so we both started to pivot away from the lifestyle we were leading. It was like we were out on a foggy lake in a canoe and we had just woken up. We were scared and we didn’t know where we were or where we were going. We just pivoted the canoe and started going the other way.
The act of consciously growing together is the one thing that has always kept Mary and I strong. We talk everything out and we do not keep secrets. She is intrinsically sweet and I am by default analytical, so when you put us together there is an alchemy we generate to balance one another. She has always helped me see the good in people despite the judgemental narratives I chose to hold on to for many years. She always saw past that as if she knew one day I would snap out of it. We are both possessed of some natural complementary rhythm which understands when the other is ebbing towards the light and to thus to follow hand-in-hand. Romantic life partners must be loyal to the very end, otherwise what’s the point? This is the one person you’ve chosen to invest devout trust into and to breach that trust isn’t a transgression on the other so much as it’s a failure to rely on yourself. When you keep secrets in your home, you fail yourself. You’re the only one that lives in the house between your two ears where all the chattering goes on. Allowing another to trust you informs yourself about what sort of person you want to be. It’s a big part of the question, “Who am I?” You carefully maintain trust because it is sacred. To do the opposite is to stray from everything. Trust lives with love and those two will keep people together. Her and I are powerful together and I deeply know with devout trust in “God” or “The Universe” that Helen was present when that tree crushed my truck in the middle of the night. Helen helped protect me because Mary and I have a job to do on Earth. Helen was protecting our alchemy. This woman made my beautiful lioness and for that I thank and love her! I know Helen knows I have this clarity now. I feel her around me laughing while I “lighten the f?!k up” day by day. The point is, you need to start healing by doing one thing: believe. You need to BELIEVE that the universe is out to do you GOOD. You need to believe that by working hard to be STRONG, and then passing this strength to others is THE WAY. You need to believe that you can learn to be quiet and listen for The Universe’s offerings. You need to BELIEVE that this all you REALLY need to do to receive abundance in your life. I’m not talking about not paying your bills and hoping it will all “work out”. I’m just talking about thinking with your heart and believing that being good will lead to good. You just need to BELIEVE this is all real. Once you take that leap of faith you will know it to be true.
By putting this out there my hope is that it may offer some peace and trust in the way nature works to those who are suffering with soul-sadness and gloomy uncertainty. I have been there too and know it well. Walk away from it and towards living in “the light”. I promise you will never NEED to return to the gloom again. There is a better life out there and it’s patiently waiting. I have experienced firsthand in my life what opening your heart brings. I know the power of miracles, epiphanies, and personal angels. You can spin the vernacular on these words to fit scientific, secular, or a religious set of beliefs, and the outcome will be the same - the best of this world. If you’re atheist just say to yourself, “Hmm my actions are not conducive to success in this environment.” They’re just words and as I said before, they are only imbued with the power YOU bestow.
Mary would give anything to see her mother again. I cannot buy Mary another day with her mother. Here’s the thing though, here’s the alchemy: Mary and I may be able to buy someone ELSE one more day with THEIR mother. That's why we are running The Boston BAA 5k with The Herren Project. The Herren Project is unique in that it helps individuals get treatment on a case-by-case basis. We often get to meet the individuals we’ve helped. The funds we raise often change lives and the in-turn, they pass this gratitude on making positivity ripple outwards and exponentially. So please, if this has pulled on your heart strings in any capacity, give anything that won’t put your personal abundance in the deficit. Just trust that The Universe dutifully responds to good and living for one another. Thank you for reading this. Your willingness to read this far is evidence enough for yourself that we do or WILL eventually walk the same path.
We miss you. We love you. We feel you. You’re in your true form now and that is love. You work with us. You are a beautiful mother.
Scott (& Mary)
PLEASE DONATE: www.runforhelen.com
THE HERREN PROJECT wrote:
The Herren Project and THP RUNS is truly honored to once again participate in the 2018 B.A.A 5k. Please join us as we provide assistance in taking the first steps toward recovery, and a life of sobriety, through treatment navigation, educational programs, mentoring resources and support groups. We seek to increase awareness on the signs of addiction and bring hope for a better tomorrow. Step by step, The Herren Project team is truly making a difference, one person, one family, one community at a time! For additional information please visit www.theherrenproject.org and www.thpprojectpurple.com.
My NB Blog for this week on making changes
"...You write your own story. This is your life to live exactly how you want to live it based on paradigms and values... you create for yourself. You need not be enfettered to the stories told to you by others about who you’re supposed to be. One of the most common deathbed regrets described is that of not living a life true to oneself..."
Read all of it here: https://rduinmotion.wordpress.com/…/change-your-mind-chang…/
Thanks to Devil Dog Ultras for the photo! My 2018 Charity Race Schedule Thus Far:
1-27-18 - Fat Ass 50k, Ellerbe NC
2-3-18 - Rocky Racoon 100 Miler, Huntsville ...TX
3-11-18 - Northern Trails Marathon, Greensboro NC
4-7-18 - Umstead Endurance Run 100 Miler, Raleigh NC
4-14-18 - Boston Athletic Association 5K, Boston MA
5-5-18 - Grayson Highlands 50k, Mouth of Wilson VA
5-12-18 - Ultra Race of Champions 25k, Skylark VA
5-19-18 - Massanutten 100 Miler, Fort Valley, VA
6-2-18 - Bryce Canyon 50 Miler, Hatch, UT
8-11-18 - Eastern States 100 Miler, Waterville, PA
RRCA Certified Running Coach, New Balance (Raleigh) Running Coach, THP Runs Ambassador
#ultrarunner #vegan #trailrunner #raleighrunners #ncrunners #rrcacoach #newbalancerdu #thpeverywhere #thpruns #theherrenproject #fatass50k #rockracoon100 #northerntrailsmarathon #umstead100 #boston5k #graysonhighlands #ultraraceofchampions #massanutten100 #brycecanyon50 #easternstates100 #brycecanyonultras New Balance The Herren Project
Me & my THP RUNS teammate Aaron Rich are running the Fat Ass 50k on Jan 27 in Ellerbe NC (The Sandhills) with some friends. It’s free! There is also free campin...g on-site (yup we’re sleeping outside in January) as well as a potluck so there will be some great ultra comradery going on. According to the Weather Channel it's supposed to be 36° and rainy so you'll definitely transcend the ordeal a sad and wiser soul. So be crazy and come join us because you only live once (in this space and time). Arnold Schwarzenegger voice: "Come on! Kill me! I'm here! Come on! Do it now!" You can sign up on our MeetUp page at this simple url: thpnc.org (or) message me! #thpruns #theherrenproject #thpeverywhere #soberrunner #ultrarunvegan #fatass50k #ncultrarunner #ultrarunner #winterrunning #husky #siberianhusky #newbalancerdu Scott Waldrop Scott Waldrop AAron Rich The Herren Project Ultrarunvegan
Traffic...listening to We Are Superman Podcast...and posting this after I parked! Great listening for people trying to make a change for the better or maintain ...a positive outlook on things!
David Clark is a former 320 lb. alcoholic who found the determination to transform himself into a monster endurance athlete and aspiring MMA fighter.
I'll be training in Umstead Park in Raleigh through the winter. I posted my schedule in case anyone would like to join me for a run! Anyone is welcome! Check ou...t www.thpnc.org
Here are direct links to the specific dates:
Why is that when you hear about people who have made profound, paradigm-shifting changes in their lives, they never seem to mention it being done by a New Year’...s Resolution? Probably because New Year’s is merely a “reminder” that the calendar is resetting. Now I’m not discouraging New Year’s resolutions, but real lasting change comes from seizing onto those precious and fleeting moments when we choose to follow them instead of forgetting about them the next day. The truth is that we’re constantly surrounded by the possibility for change and provided opportunities for success, but we’re often too blind to see them. We become stuck in our routine ways and unopened to personal growth. The childlike wonderment of possibility has been buried under the stresses of commutes, mortgages, and I’d venture to say a certain loss of gratitude. We should be grateful that every morning we wake up we’re provided the opportunity to write our own story. When you open yourself to possibility and face the unknown, this is when you give the seed of opportunity a chance to grow. I didn’t go from booze-addled to ultrarunner by just committing to an obligatory “reset” button on January 1st. I changed because I was tired of being sick, and I wasn’t willing to live that way any longer. I improved by desperately searching for change with tears in my eyes and a lot of humility. It was not based on a calendar date.
That’s why New Year’s resolutions don’t always work – at least for some people. Your date to change is uniquely your date and no one else’s. It is the day you think to yourself, “I’m going to stop telling myself the story about how I’m the guy who isn’t a morning person”. The way you change is by rewriting your own story. You decide to start redressing those flawed neural pathways that default into limiting beliefs. Change happens when you create and commit to healthy paradigms such as, “I am someone who enjoys being healthy, moving by body, and eating delicious foods that are good for me and give me energy.” Moreover, make no mistake, no matter what day is your special day, there will always be other days peeking around the corner trying to dissuade or delay change. I know because I’ve had them. These are thoughts like, “I’ll change my eating habits after the 4th of July”, or “I’ll stop drinking in 3 weeks because that’s after Halloween.” You cannot change the exterior world. You cannot stop the world from getting drunk on New Year’s Eve just like you cannot stop your friends from eating buffalo wings during the Super Bowl, but the power to make the right choices for yourself is uniquely yours and something the exterior world can never take from you. That’s why, while I encourage individuals to make a positive change or resolution this year, New Year’s doesn’t have to be the only reason to make a change in your life. Your wellbeing, your growth and your health should be the reason you change.
I know about profound change as I’ve lived through it and I’d love to share my experience with you! Please stop by my free New Balance 5k training group, and join us this February for group runs from The New Balance Raleigh and Durham stores. We’d love to have you!
https://rduinmotion.wordpress.com/…/make-profound-change-i…/ #changeispossible New Balance Intrepid MG #soberrunner #soberwarrior #ultrarunning #newyearsresolution #rrcacoach #newbalancerdu #thpruns #theherrenproject