我心目中的母親──越野跑者歐明婕口中的Anita Ortiz


本文作者:Amelia Ortiz 有個非常好聽的中文名字『歐明婕』,學習中文的她來台灣已有好些時日,溝通無障礙。隸屬於跑山獸團隊的歐明婕在台灣越野跑界非常受歡迎,也同時是許多場越野賽事的冠軍跑者。而她口中的 Anita Ortiz,是美國一級越野跑者,也同時是她的母親。


It is said that everyone has their fifteen minutes of fame. As a world-class trail, then mountain, and now ultra runner, Anita Ortiz has had her fifteen minutes hundreds of times over, but Anita has always been more than just a runner. As the mother of four children, a schoolteacher, and an avid athlete, Anita has spent all the days of her career masterfully juggling the three parts of her life like a true professional. As her oldest child, my fifteen minutes of fame are those I have gathered by growing up with this incredibly strong and powerful woman for a mother.

有句話是這麼說的:人人皆有轉瞬即逝的名氣。對於世界級極限越野、越野跑者Anita Ortiz而言,這種獲得名氣的機會實在太多了,不過,Anita Ortiz可不只是一般的跑者。身兼數職的她不只是四個小孩的媽媽,也是學校教師,更是運動狂熱者──Anita Ortiz將這三種角色扮演得淋漓盡致。我是Anita Ortiz的長女,能由如此強大的母親撫養長大,就是我的名氣。

Being my mother’s daughter meant that from a very early age my childhood was closely integrated with the trail running scene. As children, my siblings and I practically grew up at races. Since my earliest memories, the four of us would spend every weekend at a race watching my mom run, or rather being watched by others while my mom ran. When we were very little, we would cheer for her at the finish line and as we got older we were put to work “volunteering” handing out water at aid stations. As a young kid at weekly races, people would always say to me, “you’re going to be just like your mom one day!” and of course watching my mom finish each race with expert ability, I was proud of their assumptions that I would one day be just like her. However, as I got older it was something that I fought tooth and nail to resist.

作為Anita Ortiz的女兒,代表我從小就與越野有深刻淵源,兄弟姊妹基本上就是在賽事中長大的。自有記憶以來,我們四個每週末都會去看媽媽比賽,更確切地說,是在媽媽比賽時,被其他觀眾看著長大的。還很小的時候,我們就會在終點線等著為她加油;長大一點,就被丟去補給站當志工,發水給選手們了。每週都參與這些賽事,大家總會說:「有天你也會像你媽媽一樣厲害!」當然,我可是專門看著媽媽穿越每條終點線的人,當人們這麼說時我總心懷驕傲。不過顯然長大後的我,並沒能像媽媽一樣厲害。


There is a lot of pressure in having someone who runs upwards of 25 miles a day for a parent, and as a teenager I felt that pressure quite strongly. In middle school, I saw my mother’s dedication and intense determination and felt that I had to rise beyond such levels of persistence and reach perfection in all areas of my life. I felt this pressure in my academic and athletic life, so the last thing I wanted to do was venture to try running where I might fall short of following in her footsteps. When people asked me if I was soon going to start running and be just like my mom, my response was frustrated indignation rather than pride.


But as nature would have it, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. When I first started running, I did it by myself and for myself. Struggling with teenage depression like many middle school students, one day I decided to go out for a run. I ran loops on a trail nearby our house. Soon it became a habit, and I would get up early in the mornings as the sun had just barely shed light on our little town, and I would go out into the cool crisp air of Colorado mornings for some endorphins and the smell of pine trees in the wind. My mom never pushed me to run. When I joined the high school cross-country team, she did not even come to watch my first race, as I asked her not to. She never wanted to force the pressure of her success upon us. She merely set us up with the tools for healthy lifestyles.



When I decided I did want to run, I did so because from an early age she had taught us a love for nature, bringing us on lots of hikes and bike rides and thus I knew the healing power nature can have on the human heart. When I decided to run, I knew where to go because she had made sure that we were familiar with our natural surroundings, taking us up to play in the streams in the mountains behind our house. When I decided to run, I did so because she had shown me that persisting in something that is challenging for you can bring one ultimate happiness and fulfillment.


Of course my mother is intense. Magazine articles over the years have called her the “tiny blonde with the intense stare” and the “pitbull who intimidates her opponents.”[1]  And of course I have my own stories that show this side of her.  When I finally did start running, she took me out on a long run on a hot day in the middle of the Colorado desert. When I felt like I could not take another step, I complained to her for bringing me out on the run and refused to move any further.However, being the tough woman that she is, she did not wait to hear my childish complaints, instead she simply asked, “well what are you going to do, die out here?” and kept running, leaving me to realize the truth of her response… I could either run back to water and shade or stay there in the hot sun forever.


But that story just like all the others that have been told about her in articles in the past see my mother in one dimension. They see her as a fiery competitor and a merciless opponent.



Of course there is still pressure to be felt, especially as a runner, but if I look behind the completely staged mud splotches at the face on the magazine cover,[1] at the end of the day, she’s my mom and I have so much to be thankful for. My mother was always a very caring and kind parent, but running allows me to get to know her in a way that continues to draw our relationship closer and closer. The fierce competitor is also a fierce laugher and loves more than a few good jokes along the trail. My mother and I regularly spend at least half of our runs together laughing until our abs can no longer take the stress of running and giggling at the same time. My mom and I have our deepest conversations while traveling through beautiful forests and over mountains together at speed. She has taught me to be a humble winner and a graceful loser. She has taught me to tread lightly on the earth, regularly carrying trash that was left behind by others down off the mountains. She has taught me to enjoy natural beauty and find importance in the simple things in life.


People often ask me for my favorite memory of running with my mom, but that’s not how trail running or life-long relationships work. There is no one moment that stands out from all the rest. It is the enjoyment of the little things, the rituals, places, and spaces that make such experiences so special. My favorite places on earth are the places she has taken me. Places high up in the Colorado Rockies in meadows and aspen groves mostly untouched by humans that cannot be reached by any other means than by the steady ritual of placing one foot in front of another in a running stride. These places are why I love running and they are the places I go back to when life throws its various obstacles in my path. Getting to these spots through sweat and sometimes tears so that we can share such special moments has built a relationship between my mom and I that is incredibly strong.



She was once quoted as saying: “ Everyday I stop halfway through my run for five minutes, look around, and enjoy the surroundings. I’m reminded of why I do it and why I love it so much.” For me, the reason I love it so much, running that is, is because of the beautiful places and spaces that I get to share with my mom.


Since coming to Taiwan, I have discovered so many of these beautiful spaces, lush forests, thick overflowing jungles, emerald green mountains. Now that I have ventured here to this beautiful island on my own, I have places that I have discovered all on my own. Although the time will be short when Taiwan holds so many treasures to be seen, so many trails to be explored, I hope I will be able to share some of these special places I have discovered with my mom, just as she has shared her places with me.



5月1日(母親節前一周) Anita Ortiz將來台北分享講座,喜愛越野大自然的朋友和母親們,千萬不要錯過這位當代越野傳奇的分享!


日期時間:5月1日(日)下午 14:00-16:30  (13:30開始入場)

講座主題:越野跑者的訓練 • 母親、教師、跑者三種角色的平衡