The following entries (from beginning runner to half marathon finisher) represents a continuing journey of tremendous grief and sorrow, and of transformation - largely through the therapeutic power of running. The sorrow that has broken my heart open wide has in time allowed me to experience the beauty of being in the present moment. And of course, without the support of family and friends to guide me, I would not have made it this far.

If you have lost someone in your life, I offer these words and verse (some Kristy's, some mine and others) with the hope it may touch your heart and help you heal.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Only weeks before she died, Kristy wrote this to her fellow cycling team mates. She was winning all the races she entered, and winning big. Besides her phenomenal physical abilities, she had cultivated an iron will. When she was a teenager it was not always helpful, but when she channeled it into racing it was everything. This was her edge - she never gave up.

"So I've got this bag of tricks, or I should say trick, which I use at every race. It consists of an early "attack" and then a couple hour time trial. Each time I've done this the pack chases closely for exactly 30-40 min. I am fascinated by their effort, but even more so by their giving up. I'm of the belief that a group that can sustain an effort for 30-40 min can carry on much longer. They simply lose the will. What they might not get is that at each of these races I consider giving up because I am going unsustainably hard, but not making much time.

Point being, the rider putting the hurt on you, even if he/she seems twice as strong is always hurting themselves, and a more enduring will can go a looong way towards bridging the gap."

- Kristy Gough, 2/24/2008

I read this and I was reminded of the Kristy I knew so well. The force of will she had cultivated kept her focused and it never allowed her to give up. All of her life she showed an iron will in everything she did. Even when she didn't do something, it was because she willed it so. When you know how to demand this of yourself it provides a way to "cut out all the jewelry".

Kristy never used adornments. Her beauty was what she was inside, what she had accomplished for herself. Kristy was a force so strong and determined she exuded confidence to everyone with whom she made contact. Not an arrogant confidence, but one clothed in humility and grace. There is such a difference. Never content with what she had accomplished, she was constantly setting the bar higher and higher.

Keep it going Kristy.

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