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Betcha Thought That I was DEAD?

Betcha thought I was dead…

Betcha thought I was dead, and fair enough because I haven’t raced in 3.5 years. 2019 was the last time and that was at the 100 mile Trail Champs where I went down at mile 93 with rhabdomyolysis. Nope- wasn’t from dehydration by fault, it was from autoimmune diseases- specifically uncontrolled ulcerative colitis that was inhibiting the absorption of electrolytes (which was triggered from my total thyroidectomy earlier that year due to having both opposite diseases- hashimoto's antibodies and grave’s antibodies).

The snowball kept rolling into glucose, adrenal, and pelvic floor dysfunction problems and the worst of all of them, the reaction that I had to sulfa (part of a medication for the ulcerative colitis) that landed me yet another 5 days in the hospital. About 4.5 months ago I had my tailbone removed due to it being dislocated (we were unaware of this!) for years, and causing all the pelvic floor dysfunction, not helping the reactive hypoglycemia etc.. For over a year I spent an average of 17 hours in bed a day and was at my weakest ever in life. At one point, I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom without collapsing on the floor and pissing myself. I want to paint this picture because I am typically a person who would NEVER want to show weakness. Tough girl. And I am not victimizing here…I’m simply trying to show you that I was in need of a damn miracle, not just to run, but to live. Period.

This past weekend, I put on my big girl pants, stopped hiding like Gideon and freaking out like Moses (bible references here). God called me to do the one thing I never thought he would want me to do again. RACE.

[Whether you believe in God or not, ask yourself, do you feel you are living your calling right now? Did you maybe settle for less or are living in your comfort zone?]

Funny though… I entered the 100k thinking I could do it all my way, and he very clearly changed my path again. You see, I knew I needed a Colorado race, one that was held on a Friday, so I could hurry up, drive home and see my daughters soccer game on Saturday. Nope. Wouldn’t you know it, the desert got freak rainfall the night before the 100k and flooded the whole course to the point where it was unsafe and BLM said no way!

Even crazier the rivers/streams that formed (that were never there in the first place), the day before almost ALL gone the next day. Just in time for race directors to give us the green light to at least do a 50k in place of our 100k but in our own division (not the normal 50k division competition since, well we didn’t necessarily train to go that fast). Again I found myself hiding behind my reasons of why I shouldn’t (like Gideon), and making excuses like Moses! The next morning I woke up realizing once again, that this wasn’t for me, it was for YOU. From God.

1st Masters female of both divisions. In the 50k (100k alternative) division, I finished 2nd female and 13th overall. About 6 minutes behind the blazing Canadian, Arden Young and 20 minutes ahead of 3rd. 4:47. 3,700 feet gain. Earning a spot at the OCC UTMB 50k this fall.

Those of us in the 50 k (100k alternative) division had a bit more of a challenge than those in the 50k. We had to pass all of them! And there were nearly 400 runners in that division. Luckily there were some wider trail/road opportunities, but honestly, we got stuck several times. I’d like THANK those that did allow us to pass more easily! I also hope that I helped encourage people along the way. That was one of my main reasons for knocking off the rust in a race I wasn’t quite 100% for yet and I also believe it was God’s plan to allow me to have more interaction with other runners.

Although I made it sound like rainbows and cupcakes, it wasn’t. Did I enJOY myself, heck yeah! Am I grateful for the opportunity, heck yeah! Did I struggle some still.. Yup. I’m hoping the extra back/pelvic pain was just scar tissue from that latest and greatest surgery… but more training and possibly more racing and we will find out!

“Masters” has many definitions but I found it interesting that the few I pulled up on google were these:{ acquire complete knowledge or skill in (an accomplishment, technique, or art)} and { gain control of; overcome.}

A synonym of MASTER is ARTIST. The BEST Coach, Teacher, Master, and Artist that I lean into is God. His scripture, his work, his guidance has all brought me to a place where I hope that I am walking in his footsteps to serve and help others with these gifts and talents he has given me. His artistry …

“You are God’s work of art (Eph 2.10)”

No, not just me, you too! Of course, if we do not step into the light (and would rather fall into the entitlement trap or victimize) we will never see this.

But ‘the man who lives by truth’ will learn to recognize true art: (Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being, God’s truth. God does not make junk …)

and realize that the works of art which God makes are made as original art, for a purpose, and as a work of art, it takes time and effort- a process like the cocoon the butterfly inhabits for only a short time ( listen to the podcast on this here - Are you a not enough girl?)

Thank you ICESPIKE, Eldorado Springs Water, and GU ENERGY!!!!

So why do I bring all this up? Because I truly believe that God had to stop me in my tracks (literally), over the past few years for me to see that I was focusing on my will, tunnel vision with running, and although I feel I exist to inspire, God showed me that yes, I do, but not just in one way, in many. And when I race/run for his Glory, or to serve others, to empower others, to inspire others, it will be even better and more ENJOYABLE, then if I stay in my own zone, my comfort zone.

Not that the comfort zone is all bad, after all there is something there that must be good to keep you there, (like coaching Rugged Running was for me), but I was called to more. To uncomfortably launch SheRUGGED and help others with all my gifts and talents, not just the one or two he gave me. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I started the progress and process of stepping out of my comfort zone into faith, things started happening. Not all good, always-

Romans 5:3-5

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Whether you believe in God or not, ask yourself, do you feel you are living your calling right now? Did you maybe settle for less or are living in your comfort zone? I would encourage you to take a step in faith. To sign up for that class or join that group. To make that first move that could also empower others to light theirs up!

From Soccer dads to doctors, who are you robbing from if you aren’t using your gift of patience, positive reinforcement, or knowledge? You could give that little girl the confidence she needs to excel in life all starting on a small soccer field. Will it be easy, no- kids are not “easy” but learning from my soccer mom - kid coaching adventures last year, I will tell you, YOU WILL GROW.

Thanks once again to my support crew: Wyatt & Maya, SheRUGGED ladies, Rugged Running peeps and the sponsors who stood by me: Icespike, GU Energy, and Eldorado Springs Water.

So then the question remains, will I continue this conquest of racing? And will it be at the OCC?

Rugged Running/SheRUGGED/ and Michele Yates are looking for new sponsors! Interested? Please email

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Nice job Michele! Very inspiring. I now have to stop complaining about my dumb little pains ... Go for the OCC, would love to have someone to follow there.

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