It’s Not Always, It’s Right Now
Story Contributed by Ruffwear Ambassador Krissy Moehl
One of the earliest lessons PD taught me on and off the trails was – It’s not always, it’s just right now. When times are tough, no matter where we are, it is good to remember that it isn’t always going to be this way. It may get worse. It will likely get better.
This lesson isn’t new to me. Running 100 mile races and the long training miles in preparation for them provides a lot of opportunities to know that there will be low and high moments on the trails and in life. While not exactly the same, the variation on dealing with peaks and valleys both literally and figuratively has long been a part of my process. How I choose to move through them is where the magic happens. What do I need to do to make this feel better? On a trail run… eat something? In a relationship conflict? Say I’m sorry. Or I love you.
I am known for my “Smile” story. Ma Moehl told me as I lined up for my first ultra at 22 years old, that if I looked at all tired or fatigued she would pull me from the race. As a result, I smiled the biggest, brightest smile I could muster no matter how I was feeling. That smile got me through a tough race and taught me more about what I could endure than any previous life experience. And the next year when I returned to volunteer at the race? I was remembered as the smiling girl that won the race. What a wonderful way to be remembered! Smiling remains my goal 18 years later.
The variation I feel I am learning from PD is that knowing it isn’t always going to remain, makes it is okay to show the emotion that goes with the current feeling about the situation. Ears back, eyes down, crouched body while in the bath tub. Followed by the towel zoomies – shaking, rolling around, pawing at the towel and rubbing up against everything to dry off and celebrate clean! The bath doesn’t last forever, but she doesn’t like it while in there, and shows me in her demeanor. Likewise, the sensation of toweling off is exhilarating, or so it seems, as she expresses so with grunts, snorts and happy, wiggly body language. She is in the moment and shifts as the situation changes.
The difference and what I appreciate about what PD is teaching me, is that it is okay to feel and even express the low just as much as we express the high. Acknowledging and expressing the emotion allows me to better accept whatever is going on, good or bad, and move through it, rather than trying to mask it. Yes, still smile! But perhaps smile amidst a few tears if things are painful. Let someone know their comment hurt my feelings. The key is to not get so absorbed by the feeling and allow myself to move on as the situation changes. PD is the best at adjusting from situation to situation. She moves from a sound sleep couch dog, to a protective guard dog, to a playful wiggle machine purely pending on what is happening around her. She will cuddle up close, nose my hand for pets and toss her toys around with vengeance all depending on where she is at and what she needs.
The organizer, planner, GSD personality I’ve always known insists I put effort into my direction, and planning how I want life to unfold, this reminder from PD gives ease to my life, offers perspective on what is important, and ultimately shows me that even when I plan it all out “perfectly” the reality of what will unfold still has a lot of chance and magic to it. So being able to roll with what is happening, which I am not the best at (I am a constant work in progress), and acknowledge what I’m feeling in each moment, allows more free flow feeling to life.
Show it! Exactly what it is! Especially with wiggles.
Krissy Moehl is a professional ultra runner, writer, coach, and race director. She and PD live in the Pacific Northwest.