As you may have noticed, I am a nomad at heart. This year, I am going to realise a long standing dream of mine: I am going to run in the Navajo Nation. It will be my very own Arizona dream come true. What can I say? I might be French, but I am also a citizen of the world!
When I was a child, I loved learning about Native Americans. For instance, we were taught about Geronimo, and I was imagining arid plains and wild horses. What would it be like to hunt buffalos and other animals? Every day, if I were living there, we would pick fruits and seeds. We would not be interested in settling down in a permanent community, we would just travel and enjoy life!
Now that I am going to experience it, it feels a bit like going back in time, and I can’t wait.
What will I do there? Well, I will run an ultra marathon of course. Which one? One of the most beautiful and exclusive ones: the Canyon de Chelley Ultra (http://www.canyondechellyultra.com). I am a bit worried, because we are going to start running in sand, cross streams, and then apparently there will be a ‘technical climb’ to go on top of the Canyon -and then we do it all over again on the way back. As I train in London, I think that I might find the conditions a bit challenging. Let’s just say that it’s going to be an interesting race (did you hear the British understatement ?).
As is usually the case, I have had to deal with a lot of judgemental comments about why I am running such long distances, especially so far away from home (it’s ‘only’ 55k, I have run longer races!). In no particular order: it makes no sense, I am going to hurt my knees, I should be more reasonable, I am setting the wrong example and I should stay in London…
Why do people keep judging me? Am I not free to make my choices (especially at my age)? The reason why I am running such races is very simple: I don’t want to live as if I was already dead. I also can’t help thinking that I wouldn’t get such comments if I was a man. So why don’t people just live and let live?
So, wish me luck, and I’ll tell you all about it in three weeks.
In the meantime, I am seriously considering making my very own teepee in Arizona, and staying there for a while. After all, you only live once, right?