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When I was initially approached about doing the Seek the Peak my heart skipped a beat.

I mean, I’ve always thought of myself as an athlete. All through school I was on various competitive sports teams and moving into my twenties I found a passion for cycling which lead into triathlons. It only seemed natural when an irreversible injury sidelined me from cycling that I transitioned to the next component as my fitness focus.

When I reached my thirties I realized I wasn’t as much as an athlete. My definition of the word evolved with growing wisdom. In my 30 year old mind, I was sporty, and for the most part, I embraced this label. Running isn’t new to me, I love getting lost in my thoughts while my limbs dance to the beat of my playlist as my feet pound the pavement beneath me. And the high of race day?! The way your body feels after you’ve pushed it to your limits, crossing the finish line and the instant gratification when a medal is placed around your neck. It’s a feeling I never seemed to get tired of.

Now all of those things are fine and dandy but the thought of committing to a challenging 16km course with the Grouse Grind right smack in the middle?!?! You’ve got to be nuts!

I guess I need to go back a little and explain where I’ve come from and where I’m heading, to get the full picture of why, after my first reaction I have decided to put myself through this incredible race experience. 
Last year everything I knew came to a screeching halt when an illness crippled me from what I knew and loved. The motivation to put on a smile and brave the world seemed unbearable let alone to put on my runners and drag myself out of my cozy bed. Then breaking an ankle, at the bitter end of what felt like the most trying year of my life seem to only reiterate the comfort of the indoors was the best place for me. Since then I’ve seem to come up with every excuse why today is not the day to start running again. Excuses that were so foreign to me in my previous life and can-do attitude, I knew I had to do something BIG to get me back in the game. 

Early in 2012, I woke up from my daze and made the conscious decision that this was going to be my year! I was going to feel good and I was going to do well. Since I only shared my illness with a few chosen family members and friends, basically, I fought my fight in silence and alone. So for a few people reading this that might know me, it is the first they’ve heard of it. And that’s okay. I’m not indulging this information as a form of attention or pity but to express that any obstacle can be overcome with a little will, drive and determination. This was the same time I told a friend that I would commit to running 230km in 6 days for charity in the beginning of 2013. 

In my coming posts I hope to take you along my fight to get back to the sporty nut I had come to love, my personal journey of getting to know myself again, the challenges of my training and my quest to be a do-gooder in all aspects of life. I hope to inspire along the way but most of all, I hope to see smiling faces join me at the start line on June 17 for my comeback and most meaningful race I will have done yet..... 

Thanks for reading my story, and remember to check back next Monday for another post! — Jodi Eckland


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