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Angels Rest to Devils Rest – Adventure or Torture?

Angels Rest is perched up high in the Gorge. To get there you have to push yourself up 2 miles of steep, rocky, super challenging terrain. This adventure was a run for us, but many others hike. Angels Rest offers a spectacular view and is a great reward after the climb. Devils Rest is a continued accent from Angels Rest but with no view at the top – it’s hell to get there and has no reward, hence its name. The entire run is an adventure but teeters on torture as well.

The idea of this run began as an adventure, but after a half mile of running it quickly began to feel like torture. My last bit of writing was about the rewards of pushing past our comfort zones, so I tried to keep that in my mind as I scrambled over rocks and one foot after the other tried to push up the mountain. It was a struggle. On the other hand, my husband loves trail running. He describes trail running as an adventure and “feeling free.” He looks like he’s gliding over the rocky uphills and eloquently galloping the downhills. Every quarter mile or so, my husband pauses and waits for me to catch up to him. He stands  there with this giant smile on his face and says, “Isn’t this fun? You’re doing great. We’re almost there.”
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I’m a high school running coach, fitness specialist, and I’ve been a runner for more than half of my life; I’ve never needed anyone to really coach me in a workout or race. Yesterday, though, I needed every bit of encouragement from my husband. He’s so happy running trails. The happiest. Meanwhile, I’m cursing under my breathe the entire time.

Having PMA (positive mental attitude) is a way of living that I work on every day. My favorite books are Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, The Energy Bus, Real Love, and The Power of Positive Leadership, but yesterday I struggled to bring the positivity out of me. I didn’t spread the torture I was feeling, but I also wasn’t shining positivity like my husband. I decided to praise the beauty around us and every time we ran down a part of the trail that felt good I made it a point to tell my husband. That little bit of positivity that I put out in the world took the edge off of the physical torture I was feeling. In the past, when I felt physical pain in a workout or race I’d repeat the words “you can do this” so I decided to give it a try. It worked when I needed it during this torturous adventure.
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After six miles of mostly uphills, I ate my date with almond butter. Then we had 2 miles of rolling hills, and ended the run with 2 miles of insane downhill running. I told my husband I’d meet him at the bottom and like a deer he trotted off down the rocky mountain. I tripped without falling a handful of times, but finally made it to THE END. Water, an Orgain and half of a Picky Bar refueled my tired body and sore ego. My husband is really good at trail running. Trail running is really hard for me.

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We hugged, kissed, high-five, fist-bumped and hopped in the car to meet our kiddos and my parents at the Vista House. They had a great time exploring Larch Mountain, blueberry picking, and running around the Vista House while we adventured, borderline-torutured ourselves on a glorious trail run. In the end feeling free on the trail felt good and the thought of it puts a smile on my face. So, go #livefree and #befree among nature!

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