BBenzel - Homolovi Suvoyuki 12-Jul-08 #377 Steve Ilg 2_2

Like Father…



like Daughter…

Dighándíshwo’go bee shidziil…
(Running makes me strong)
– Navajo


You may have been surprised at Dewa’s (7) second-place overall finish recently at my Warrior Warrior race.
i was.
i had no idea how much chi-force my little one had in her until she took the hole shot, held it, and won the under-40 category in 37 minutes
over a world-class caliber of difficult snow, mud, creek crossing, and muck course with 500′ of vert.(watch the Race Video at www.WinterWarrior.com for a direct chi hit)

we’ve always ran with Dewa…sprints, tag, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, hiking…but nothing structured. just play.
so, when D laid down the pipe on Race Day it was c(om)pletely unanticipated.
the Nordic Center’s manager watched Dewa finish in 2nd overall along with the rest of us with our jaws dropped and looked at me  and asked,
“Ohhhhh my god!   i can’t believe Dewa!   What kind of training does she do?”
i was dumbfounded to answer, even if i could find words, my dropped jaw would have eliminated any such intellect from coming through.

the Thing is?
Dewa loves to run.
i did too.
100 mile weeks?  no worries.
each weekend?  another podium:  be it from 10k on the roads to 35-mile trail runs…
running, to me, raised by a Wolf hybrid in these San Juan Mountains?
felt more natural to me than walking.
why walk,
when you can run like a Wolf?

until i broke my spine.
i still run.
i still race, kinda.
it ain’t the same.
not carefree feet flirting like Dewa’s upon and across Mother Earth’s skin.
not any more.
these days, my running is ugly and heavy.
but i can still run.

and, as my Hopi Family from Second Mesa told me, “If you are lucky enough to be born a Runner?
well, then,  you are lucky enough.”


Navajo Running:

Running to the east before dawn warms you up, and it lets you greet the sun. Even non-traditional Navajo parents will wake their children up. It is said that the Holy People approach from the east in the morning, and they enter your home and see that it’s orderly. The idea behind having a clean home is that if you leave your things laying around, they’ll think you have many things, and that you don’t need more.

Sadly, especially if it’s a school day, running until the sun rises would mean missing the school bus. On the Navajo Nation, commuting to public school can mean traveling hours each day.

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