So this plan was set in motion long before we began packing boxes…
January 2015 I am filled with enthusiasm for my fellow runner girls who ran the first marathon in the Rock N Roll Race Series in New Orleans. Ryan and I had wanted to go back to NOLA since the kids got married there. The food, the history, the parks, the beauty, the food! I signed up for NOLA 2016, convinced Alex and a few other runners to go as well. We came up with a slow and low miles building plan that would cover a year’s time. Two months later my father died and life was altered forever. I had my runner girls and we ran. We ran and talked. We ran and cried. We ran in silence. We ran through it. We trained for NOLA. One foot in front of the other.
My January 9, 2016 18-mile training run was a DNF. My IT band literally rebelled against me. I took a week off to rest, nope. My left knee wasn’t having it. Saw an orthopedic he sent me for an MRI. The results came in as three tears in my knee with the deepest being at my IT band. The good news was I didn’t need surgery. The bad news was I wasn’t running NOLA, or even around the block for awhile. Three weeks of physical therapy turned into eight. I began C25K again and joined a gym so I could continue therapy.
Thankfully, I had purchased travel insurance for the NOLA trip. Ryan began planning a summer vacation. Thinking of something drivable where we could explore nature, hike, camp, see caves, like Carlsbad Caverns. Me being directionally challenged said “how far away is the Grand Canyon?” Ryan said: It’s a 10-hour drive from Carlsbad Cavern. The wheels began to turn. We still had our travel vouchers from NOLA. All we would have to do is add The Adhesive and pay for his accommodations.
We flew into Phoenix on the hottest day of the year, 120 degrees. It was hot, but not smothering. We marvel along the way on our drive to Flagstaff. The scenery, the cactus, the mountains, the smooth roads, the traffic signs. We visit the Grand Canyon, hike Black Angel Trail, sit on the edge, dodge big horn sheep running towards us, fend off squirrels, breath in deeply. It is grand and it is a wonder to behold. We do all the things. We dream about what it would be like to live here with no humidity, allergies, frizzy hair, ya know, the important things. We still bask in the awe of this wonder. We come home to a sick dog and well, life. School for me and The Adhesive, work for Ryan. There was a summer semester, a fall semester and now it was the winter (spring semester) of our discontent.
Earlier in the year, through a business associate, Ryan learned of career opportunities out of state. A seed was planted.
To Be Continued…