Tag - mental-health

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Starved Rock feeds the soul…my hiking adventure.
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My Road to The Death Race Entry 3

Starved Rock feeds the soul…my hiking adventure.

Those who know me have learned I’m always up for an adventure so when my friend, Sara, asked me if I would be interested in joining her for a couple of days hiking in Starved Rock State Park in Illinois I jumped at the chance. I had heard from a few people that it was a beautiful place and since it was just a couple of hours away I didn’t want to miss this.

After working a 12 hour shift I came home, grabbed a bag filled with what amounted to too much clothing as always (hey I may hike and run in the mud but I’m a girly girl and I pack like one!), said goodbye to the furkids and headed out. Sleep be damned, I wanted to hike!

2 hours later after a beautiful drive with perfect skies and surprisingly little traffic I arrived at the campsite. I don’t even think I had everything out of the car before we were heading out to explore. We started off trekking to the namesake of the park, Starved Rock, which gave an amazing view of the area surrounding.

View from Starved Rock

After that I can’t even begin to remember all the places we visited by name but I had the wonderful experience of standing under two waterfalls and just feeling all my stress and cares being washed away.

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We hiked for most of the day and then went in search of firewood at one of the local “camp stores”, Jack’s. Now Jack…yeah, he was a character. You pull up to his home which has a garage full of odds and ends to purchase as well as clothes baskets with firewood. You have to honk your horn if you don’t see anyone. For $5 you get approximately five or six pieces of wood AND the treat of having to fill up a new clothes basket as well. Yep, you pay to work. I didn’t quite catch this at first and I’m sitting in the car as I see Sara head over and load two baskets!

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After the camp store we headed out to dinner at a tiny little place called the Cajun Connection. When you walk in it’s just like any little hole in the wall restaurant (well, other then quite a few alligator heads and such) and we sat down to what has to be one of the best meals I’ve had in ages! Alligator and crawfish both deep fried but light and tender, hushpuppies like none I’ve ever had that melted in your mouth, and shrimp etouffee that was amazing!
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Full from our wonderful dinner we head back to camp for a little bit of fire and relaxing before the storm came in. I was exhausted and slept through everything including the attack of aluminum foil by a raccoon into shiny things in the midst of the storm.

Morning light breaks through the trees and we were up and ready to explore more after a trip to town. We stopped and hiked in another nearby park for a bit and be still my heart it was a trek through mud! Lilo came out full force as I happily slipped and slid though the muck (and crossed a bridge that was beyond sideways; learning after I had completed my crossing that it was on one leg and the bolts were coming out of that one!).

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After what felt like a training for the next mudrun was completed we ended up at what might have been THE most beautiful area we found in those two days. The waterfall we found could have been enough all on its own but the reflections dancing on the walls from the water looked like liquid fire. I was in awe. Stunned and silent awe. The photos do not do this justice at all!
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I could go on for hours about the beauty that I was able to explore and the amazing journey we had but I think that the best thing I can do is to tell you….go! If not to Starved Rock just go, find a place to hike and explore and let everything just disappear for a while.

Live and Love Life!
Thank you Sara for allowing me to be a part of your journey as well!

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Ohana my friends!

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Muddy and loving it!

My Road to The Death Race Entry 3

Day 23Sitting down and doing this after my run allows me to think about my day and what I have went through physically and mentally.  I had 6 miles to think about my day which took me 50:51 (still over my goal time of 45).  This was, by far, was the best Christmas I have ever have.  It started with us waking up and  having Lucas walk Ethan out to all the presents with him saying “wow” every 5 seconds!  It was a big joy to hear the boys so happy and eager to open their gifts.  Laura, who had to have makeup and be all prettied up for pictures (I have to admit, pretty beautiful), made us all open our gifts first with her waiting till the end.  We had a great morning and enjoyed the company of each other and had a lot of fun.

We knew that my mother was going to visit us for Christmas, which was quite a surprise because of the relationship I have with her.  A few weeks ago, she had a major heart attack (blew out her coronary artery) which had a 50% mortality rate.  Up until this point, she has really missed out on her grandson’s life ( he is almost 2) and maybe this has given her some perspective on what is important.  I was happy that she came over and actually got on the floor and visited with him, interacted with him, because he sat down right beside her and did so well with her.  Let’s hope for change….

Anyway, this was my day in my mind as I ran.  My life, much like the people reading this, has had a lot of downs, curves, disappointments, people telling me I can not do this or that, and the Death Race is my middle finger……go ahead and doubt me, call me crazy, ignore me, tell me I don’t matter…..but, just remember who you are because when I finish the Death Race, you can look in the mirror and STFU!!  I remember Joe DeSena, one of the founders of the Death Race say that this race was just like life in that is always threw you curve balls and you never know what to expect.  If that is the case, then the opposite should be true as well.  Life is just like the Death Race….and I have been preparing for this my whole life.

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