There are some people in this world that just “get it.” They see things differently, or have a perspective that doesn’t seem to lend itself to the masses. Whatever they say always seems to be the right thing, or the answer that you were looking for all along. Blair Speed is one of those people.
|Blair and Char-char on the Bridgers.|
Headed North from the Tetons, my next stop was Bozeman, MT. I had never been in “big sky” country before and was excited to see what it was all about. I was meeting up with Blair to do some trail running and catch up.
I first heard about Blair when my trail sister, Ashley Arnold, spoke about their childhood memories together. They have been best friends ever since they were three feet tall. I finally met Blair in person while pacing Ashley at the 2013 Leadville 100. Ashley went on to win the race in a speedy time of 20:25.
|Ashley and Blair before the start of the L100.|
Blair was the perfect crew captain. Besides knowing the in’s and out’s of the course, she constructed a binder with color-coded tabs and more excel spreadsheets than a college stats class. We appointed her as the “rock” for our crew. When things got hectic, we all looked to Blair for the answer. Sure enough, she had an uplifting and logical response every time. As for her council with Ashley during the race, I had no idea what advice she would whisper, but Ashley left each aid station smiling and with a renewed sense of determination.
|Blair and Catsby.|
Exhausted, I arrived at Blair’s quaint yellow condo around 2pm. I parked the Xterra and grabbed a bag from my back seat. I didn’t go more than two feet before I heard the backdoor open, followed by a cheerful “yayyyyyy you made it!” There stood Blair, wildly waving her hands in excitement while gusts of wind playfully tossed her long red hair. She looked like the poster child for an Eddie Bauer fall clothing campaign with her red plaid shirt and dark gray cords. By her side was Catsby, a regal orange and white long-haired meow.
After a big hug and lots of laughter, we headed to the Bridgers for our run (local rolling mountain range).
|Prepping for the Bridgers.|
|Overcast day = no blue skies.|
Blair asked me about my life, knowing that I had recently quit my job, and what my next steps were going to be. I responded that I just hoped to train full time and see where my legs could take me. I didn’t have a long-term plan; I just knew that I wanted to give myself the opportunity that I had always dreamed of. Blair seemed impressed that I was taking control of what I wanted and was going for it.
|Snapping photos of the incoming storm.|
We continued to talk about my road trip, which I referred to as a vacation. “Wait, why does your road trip have to be a vacation?” Blair asked. “Why can’t this be a normal part of your lifestyle? It doesn’t really have to end unless you want it to. You are in control.” She was right. Why couldn’t this be normal, or an everyday thing? Why was I treating it as a reward, or something that I was only supposed to do a few times a year? It parallels the idea of special occasions. Sure they are nice, but why do people reserve only certain times to do something special? If the celebration, reward, or occasion is that important or “near and dear,” then why not try to obtain or embrace it every day?
Blair “life coach” Speed had just blown my mind with a simple question. She had just triggered a “reboot” to my brain, and had me looking at my life and choices from a whole new perspective. Blair gave me the ability to rewrite the book on how I had previously assumed life should be, and empowered me to become more aware of my control over my own life.
|Blair and I at the Ale House, post run :)|