Monday, May 20, 2013


Since we moved to northern Utah back in 2008, Ben has been wanting to run the Wasatch Back Ragnar.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a 200 mile relay race from Logan, Utah to Park City, Utah over the course of 2 days (about 30 hours).  I have had less than zero interest in doing it.  First it looked way too hard.  Second, it has lots of dirt roads and trails, steep hills, and long distances.  With the dust and elevation changes, my asthma would KILL me!  Not interested.  But Ben REALLY wanted to run one.  So the last few years we have keep our ears open to hear if anyone needed a team member.  None of our friends were really into it, and Ben's army buddies just looked at him like he was crazy.  Their take on the whole thing was "why run if you don't have to."

Since this was our last summer in Utah, it might be Ben's last chance to do it.

Then a couple weeks ago, I got invited into a runner's group on Facebook.  The next day one of the guys on there asked if there was anyone who wanted to be on his Ragnar team because he had a couple spots to fill.  I got SO excited because I knew Ben had been wanting to do it SO BAD!  I called Ben and asked him if he was free that weekend and if he wanted to do it.  "HECK YA!" he said.  I instantly contacted the guy and we set things up.  I even went and met him and gave him the money for Ben to be on the team.

Not even 20 minutes after I handed the check over, Ben's commander called him and requested him to come in that weekend to get things ready for the unit's Annual Training coming up.  Ben told him that he was busy and was running the Ragnar that weekend.  Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say even in the Reserves.  Because he went on and on about the commitment Ben made when he enlisted and the example he needs to set as a platoon leader and future officer.  That making sacrifices was what being in the Army was all about.  Then he said that ultimately he was going to leave the choice up to Ben.

So Ben came up with this plan that he was going to work really hard and get all the work done early so he could still run the race.  But Friday night at drill, his commander called him into his office and asked him what he decided.  So Ben explained his plan.  Again, wrong answer.  To say his commander was not happy is an understatement.  He was ticked.  He told Ben that he had no choice in the matter and would report when he was requested to.  No Ragnar for Ben.

Disheartened, he called me with the bad news.  It wasn't just that his dream of running it was shot, but he felt like he had let down the team he had signed up with.  I was upset because I blamed myself for getting Ben in this pickle and in trouble with his commander.  Plus we already had payed for it.

I started asking my friends if any of them wanted his spot.  Heck, it is hard enough to get people to join the fitness challenge or to go work out with me let alone convince them to run this super rough re-lay race.  Yeah, I pretty much got the cricket treatment.  My more active friends were already running it or were planning on heading down to the St. George Marathon that is going on that same weekend.

I started crying.  Here I was, stuck.  I felt let down.  I had felt so good about getting Ben signed up it.  I felt good when I prayed about his commander letting him do it after all, and I STILL felt in my heart that things were going to work out.  But they weren't!!  I was DREADING calling the team and telling them Ben had to back out and we couldn't find a replacement.

Then came Saturday.  A new day.  New days are the best right?  And that was the day I headed out on my 8 mile run.  If you haven't read the story, click here before you continue because it has a lot to do with what happens next!

I felt on top of the world after that run!  My self confidence shot right up to the sky.  I know I have a lot to work on still, but I was on an amazing path and I knew I would get to where I eventually want to be if I keep pushing myself a little harder.

Now, you all know, that I am a very, VERY spiritual person.  I love my faith, my religion, and I live it the very best I can.  Because of my lifestyle and the things I do, once in a while I am privileged to have some AMAZING spiritual experiences.  And Saturday was one of those days.

I was in the shower having a conversation, or prayer, if you will in my head.  I was feeling very thankful for the Lord helping me to achieve my goals and lift me up on that run when I almost felt like giving up. I pray a lot when I am in the shower -- it is one of the only times I am alone, away from screaming kids.  It is also the place I get my best ideas and the place I de-stress and meditate.  After I finished giving my thanks, I asked the Lord what to do about the Ragnar.  I was so confused because I had felt so good about signing Ben up... I was starting to mistrust my gut feelings.  I couldn't believe I could have been so wrong... Then all of a sudden I had a revelation, or epiphany, if you will.  It was so clear that I could have sworn there was someone in the bathroom talking to me.

"Catherine, Ben was never meant to run the Ragnar.  You were!"  It hit me like a sledge hammer to the back of the head.

"What!?"  The thought never once crossed my mind!  I started crying.  I can't!  It's too hard!  There is no way I can do that, not with my asthma... or my weight... I still have 40 pounds or so to lose.  I just can't... not me.

Then an amazing feeling of comfort and peace settled around me and I had the thought: "Yes, you can.  You just proved today what you can do it you put your mind to it.  You can do this, Cat.  You NEED to do this."

The feeling was right... and I just knew what I had to do.  I jumped out of the shower and grabbed my phone.  I texted this to Ben: "I will run in your place."

One minute later, he texted me back: "That's my girl!"

So I emailed the team captain and told him what happened and asked if he would take me instead.  I thought I was less than a consolation prize, more like a boobie prize, since I eat Ben's dust when it comes to speed; but he was actually thrilled to have me.  He encouraged me and made me feel like I was more than welcome and as long as I gave it my all it was good enough for them.

I know now, looking back, that I would never have signed up to do this for myself.  That the good Lord knew the only way he would get me on those trails was to sign up Ben first and pay the money.  A very sly trick of fate, if I say so myself.  A trick I am very grateful for.  I get a chance to really prove myself, and I am going for it!!

So there you have it.  I, Cat, am going to run the Ragnar Wasatch Back next month.  And it's going to be hard and my body might want to give up, but I won't.  I am going to love it, blisters and all!  And I am going to cross that finish line in victory and earn my very first running medal.

Here's to reaching new heights, amazing and seemly impossible goals, and the miracles that make them happen!


 PS:  If you need a little motivation to get yourself moving this summer, please join our challenge!!  Click on the link on the top of the right sidebar for more information.  Please spread the word as well.  We have 12 sponsors signed up and over 40 challengers as well -- trying to get to 100 challengers!!  We can do it!


Catherine Metz said...

Great blog, Catherine.

Kayli Sue said...

You will do awesome! I have thought about similar races...but it is pretty intimidating. I may have to be tricked into it myself!

Ariana said...

I love this story. Thanks for sharing!

Terra said...

How completely wonderful!!! Isn't inspiration amazing. So excited for you Cat!!!