My 30s: A retrospective

I’m 39 today. Whoop! Cake-loading for Rocky tonight.
It’s been a good decade.  The start was rough enough;  My husband walked out on me (fill in the bad after-school-movie details yourself) and I’d just moved in with my parents.  Awesome.  Pre-dawn of my 30th birthday found me running with three folks who worked for my dad.  I’m not sure whether they were ordered to run with the general’s sad, lonely daughter or not; Perhaps it was only a strong suggestion.  I managed to fall into a ditch during the run and scraped up my leg pretty well.  No big deal except my mom had arranged to take me to a day spa later that morning — where I was given a sea salt scrub.  I almost passed out.  Then I wandered around the spa getting pampered in a one-size-fits-all bathrobe.  One size does not fit all.  I resembled one of those Star Wars Jawa guys — in oversized slippers.   (For the record, I had to look up that Star Wars reference.)  My mom also arranged for me to get a make-over, which involved some serious counseling from a woman wearing six inches of foundation and lots of bright blue eye shadow.  I made the mistake of telling her I washed my face with soap, (facial cleanser, people!)  and I left the encounter looking as much like Dolly Parton as I am capable of looking.  Interestingly, I have never gotten more compliments on my appearance.  “Liza!  You really look lovely!  Wow!!”

In any event, the decade got better from that painted lady point low.  My family and friends held me close.  I got a job working with Outward Bound in the Colorado mountains.  I met Eliot there.  We sea kayaked along the coast of Baja for a while.   We traveled around climbing.  I began teaching for the Wilderness Medicine Institute.  Wonderful people in wonderful places.  I began working for the National Outdoor Leadership School.  Dream job.  More wonderful people in wonderful places.  Asa was born.  I finished nursing school.  I started trail running.  I made wonderful give-you-the-shirt-off-their-backs running friends.  I discovered I had a talent for running lots of hours.

And that’s about it (minus all the details and piles of good stories).  I kind of feel like the other shoe is going to drop, First Noble Truth style, sometime soon.  We’ll see.  It’s a reason to practice enduring the suffering of a 100 mile race anyway.  But that’s Saturday.  Today it’s just cake and lots of “Life is Good” sentiment.

Wish we could all share some cake.  Asa helped make it and it’s good.

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23 Responses to My 30s: A retrospective

  1. Trimble says:

    Happy birthday!!! I can’t believe I never knew!

  2. sunkicamp says:

    Happy Birthday, Liza!
    Does the cake have Lego men in it? If there’s frosting on them, I’d probably just eat ’em too.
    Thanks for making me laugh this morning (one-size fits all robe got me).
    Tim

  3. Sara G says:

    Happy Birthday Liza!!!

  4. Tony M says:

    Happy Birthday Liza! You’re a Gem!
    Your friend’s Shirts also fit you like over sized bathrobes 🙂
    Good Luck Saturday. Have Fun!

  5. Domingo says:

    Happy birthday! Good luck Saturday.

  6. varunner says:

    Happy birthday! That sounds like a rough 30th. 39 is bound to be better! Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  7. Amy P. says:

    Happy Birthday, Liza!

    Our weather looks good … if the “few snow showers” predicted don’t soak the earth. See you there!
    Amy

  8. Gene Taylor says:

    Happy Birthday Girl. I wish I could remember back that far. 39! Enjoy and Good Luck at Rocky. In advance, all the Madison, Wi runners are proud of you.

    Gene Taylor

  9. kerry says:

    Happy birthday, Liza! I’ll be thinking about you on Saturday. –kerry

  10. Catherine Silbiger says:

    Happy Birthday, Liza! Thank you for writing your blogs and adding some sunshine to my day! Hope to meet you soon. I will be thinking of you on Saturday!

  11. How many carbs in that cake????
    Enjoy this day!

  12. olga says:

    40’s is much more fun. Hurry up:)

  13. Julie says:

    Happy Birthday, Liza! Hope you have a wonderful and special day. : )

  14. larry says:

    Happy Birthday, Liza! We all have stories–good and bad and thanks for sharing some of yours. 🙂

  15. Greg Luffey says:

    Happy Birthday, Liza. Good Luck Saturday. El Paso is cheering for you!

  16. Pingback: Wild uncluttering | Liza Howard's Blog

  17. Dave W says:

    Happy B’day Liza…your smile befits the good years. Be great on Sat.

  18. Norma M. Arias says:

    Still have to squeeze in my Happy Birthday wishes to you Liza! Will b thinking positive thoughts for you for Saturday!

  19. LOL! You are hilarious!

  20. Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I discovered you after I looked at the results of Rocky Raccoon. It is so inspiring to know elite women running with the elite men! It used to seem like the men “owned” ultra running but I realize now that anyone who dares to try can own it!
    I am 42 years old with a 6 year old daughter and a busy husband. I am just starting trail running again after about 7 years off and I love it even more now. I have signed up for the NF Endurance 50 k in San Fran this year. EEEEK!
    I am also a nurse- will finally finish out my BSN next year! It’s refreshing to know you are using your skills outside of the hospital setting inWilderness Medicine. So cool Liza.
    I congratulate you on your fabulous finish in the Rocky Raccoon and thanks for the inspiration!

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