Welp, I’m officially a year old than I was on this date 365 days ago! More notably, I am 29 years older than I was 10,585 days ago. Probably. In all my time on this earth I have never been that great at math. What I’m trying to say…in a lot if words, something I’ve always been good at…is that today is my birthday.

I toyed with the idea of going in a grand adventure but instead I watched Ice Age while eating breakfast in bed, took the long trail to the grocery store, snagged a train ride home and retreated back to my bed with all the snacks. Why? Definitely not because there aren’t any adventures to be had, I have quite a to-do list waiting for me.

I’m being lazy because my body said so…by not so politely taking over my sinuses, mass producing snot and blessing me with a pretty stellar man voice. Yup, I’m sick. For no reason other than the fact I get sick every spring and fall, without fail. I know the signs, I’m way too familiar with the symptoms and, so far, the only proven solution is to wait it out. Which is best done from bed, with snacks. It’s a fact.

But enough woe is me…sick or not, birthday or not, I have a lot going for me. The other day I crested a ridge to a beautiful mountain meadow, high above the city below me and realized that if the world ended at that moment I would die a happy person. Not just a “eh, life is okay” happy person but a completely fulfilled, smiling-just-because-the-sun-rose happy person. The annoying kind of happy person.

Why? Well, I’ve said many times over the last year that people make this would go round. They really do. As I ran across that wide open meadow I realized just how incredibly happy I am to be me. Sure, that sounds very egomaniac but its my birthday… More importantly, I realized that I am able to be this happy because of the people in my life. The people who support, enable and encourage me.


I stopped running and sat down, just staring across the grass at the mountains surrounding me. I didn’t feel like a different person than I was 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. I am still Heidi…a stubborn, oversharing farm kid from Wisconsin who really likes asking “but, why not?” and can’t stay committed to one bright idea long enough to actually make it happen. That’s me. That’s who I have always been and who I’ll always be.

I’m definitely not perfect. I’m in debt up to my eyeballs, my job/career is absolutely nothing like High School/College/Young Adult Heidi imagined, and my mailing address only exists because my friends can be bribed to stash my junk mail with donuts + trail runs as I have no home. On the surface my life is a chaotic mess. Luckily, if the world were to end today none of those simple facts would matter.

And, honestly, I am completely at ease with the fact my life doesn’t fit into the white picket fence yard I once thought was the answer to all of life’s problems. I am okay with this supposed chaos. More importantly, there are other people in my life okay with it. Friends. Family. Equally crazy, awesome people who see the world the way I see it, or at least they encourage me to keep seeing what I see.

Sure, it’s my birthday and I like to think I’m pretty amazing…but there is absolutely no way I would be here where I am today without the incredible people I have in my life. So forget about celebrating me [but I still get dibs on the cake, I’m not that selfless], today should really be about all the incredible people in my life. I have never felt so lucky or so thankful as I have in the past year — people truly make all the world go round and the people spinning my world are freaking awesome. I wouldn’t trade them for anything…ever.

Most of these people are hundreds of miles away from me today but that doesn’t matter. They still find a way to support my crazy ideas, keep me in touch with reality and remind me why this life is so wonderful. I owe them at least a few donuts for all their patience!


Lee · October 13, 2021 at 6:24 am

Happy Birthday Heidi I remember 10585 days ago like it was yesterday!!!!!

    Heidi Nicole · October 15, 2021 at 3:50 am

    Thanks! If only life allowed me to nap like I did back then…

Natalie @ Free Range Human · October 13, 2021 at 8:53 am

You do you, friend 😉 I’m so proud of you, and I feel lucky to be in your orbit!

    Heidi Nicole · October 15, 2021 at 3:47 am

    Oh, you are definitely in my orbit! And you’re rocking at life over there on your planet…I’m going to make you run a half with me one of these days. Or further… 😉

Anne T. · October 13, 2021 at 11:44 pm

Heidi, you are awesome — happy birthday :). Your post about the Xterra Cheyenne Mountain trail race inspired me to try my first organized footrace at the ancient age of 48 yesterday. I’ve dreamed of trail running for years but only recently had the guts and the resources to actually and try it. Your account of the race made it sound like so much fun that I decided to take the plunge and register. Unfortunately, I’m more of an aging turtle than a nimble mountain goat, but I survived the race . . . and loved it. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your wonderful descriptions of your adventures, and for motivating me to reach for a long-postponed dream.

    Heidi Nicole · October 15, 2021 at 3:50 am

    This. Is. Awesome!
    And that’s the beauty of trail running — even so called aging turtles can get out there and love it! I’m glad you enjoyed it…when’s the next one?! [because you’ve crossed over to the dark side, I know you’ve been thinking about the next one!]

    Thank you so much for your comment, it totally made my day! Your story is exactly why I overshare random bits of my life and running, and now you’re my excuse to continue doing it! You’ve been warned! 🙂

      Anne T. · October 19, 2021 at 8:05 pm

      I’ll probably have to wait until March to do my next organized trail run, but that will give me lots of time to strengthen my turtle legs. Please do keep sharing your running stories — I’m happy to be an audience for your adventures. I know it can be hard to find people who want to listen to detailed accounts of trail runs (amazingly enough), but there are lots of us who love it!

        Heidi Nicole · October 26, 2021 at 8:11 am

        Thank you so much! Sometimes the details get lost, even on me. I like sharing them for the sake of remembering them myself!

lynne · October 15, 2021 at 9:00 am

happy birthdayyyyyy! 🙂

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