Hello, my name is NOT G.I. Jane.

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you.
All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding,
find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”
-Richard Bach

“I don’t wanna run.  I don’t wanna climb. I’m sick of fighting. I’m exhausted.”

These thoughts cross my mind daily.  I do not wake up feeling like Rocky Balboa or G.I. Jane.  I wake up  in a fog and proceed with what I’ve got: two wobbly sore legs, lethargic body, fuzzy brain. 

Motivation doesn’t pump through my veins.  For me, motivation comes like waves. I accept the ebb and undertow and look to the horizon for hope.  Sometimes, I’m quite certain there are no more waves left in my ocean.

With 36 days til the Mt Washington Road Race, this has already been the greatest athletic challenge of my life.  I don’t say that lightly – I played Division I sports in college and ran the Boston Marathon in 2010. 

Almost every day that I’m scheduled for a “hard” workout, I don’t feel like it.  I avoid it, making other plans like going to yoga or Zumba first…

Eventually, I let momentum carry me to my workout. I start with walking.  I don’t rush motivation. It’s usually a song that tugs at my heart and brings me onto the wave. I run as long as I can, but return to walking when I must.  Maybe another wave will come, maybe not… 

The INCLINE is what makes this training so uniquely challenging. I can’t describe how much harder it is to run UP as opposed to running FLAT. I’ve been humbled by each and every mile.  

I admit, my approach to training for the steepest road race in America is “alternative.” I’ve received great advice about things I should be doing to prepare. Yet, the only “right” training plan is one I can stomach. So I nod politely and return to the my ocean.

Last night, I rode the waves as usual. I had no interest in heroic feats. Yet, in my pockets of energy and enthusiasm, I managed to climb higher than ever before: 2192 vertical feet (Mt Washington = 4,700 feet) while running 5.62 horizontal miles (Mt Washington = 7.6 miles)!!

I’m digging deep and I have a ways to go. But here’s the secret:

When I am on the wave, I am free.  I am NOT a person with narcolepsy, I am NOT a healthy person either. 

I am simply a collector of molehills.  The way I see it, I could either give up now OR keep going forward – at any pace I can -and maybe, JUST MAYBE – my molehills will make a mountain. Only time will tell. 36 days, to be exact, but who’s counting?  Thank you for your support!! 

“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly,
but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.”
-Mary Kay Ash


  1. TheDreamer on May 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Wow, what great pictures.

    Looking forward to more, and putting money to the cause….

    • julie on May 13, 2012 at 4:07 am

      Thank you so much, Dreamer! Your support means so much to me. Sending wakefulness and smiles your way, Julie (aka the REM Runner)

  2. Hopefully Awake on May 14, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Julie Great Job and Keep it up, you are so inspirational to all of us!!
    Good Luck in your Race!!

    Hopefully Awake

  3. Debbie on May 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    You have more motivation that I have – I am impressed with your determination! Keep up the great work – you are an inspiration!

  4. JJM on June 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I learned about your blog while at the narcolepsy meeting at Mass general this weekend. I too often find every step a struggle, but once in a while I get past it and ride the wave. Its great to feel empowered, to fly past the struggle if just for a little while. Its a reminder that all things ebb and flow.
    Best of luck on your run/climb!

    • julie on June 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Hi JJM: I’m so glad you heard about my blog at the Mass general meeting. I wish I could have been there! Sounds like you have a great perspective on the ebb and flow. Keep your head up. You’re overcoming incredible adversity and you should feel very proud. Sending wakefulness and smiles from DC, Julie

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