I can’t comprehend how it’s possible; it’s already been five years ago tonight that my epic team, The Aquanauts, won Cotopaxi’s Questival Las Vegas.
You can read all about our 24 hour adventure of a lifetime here. No other experience in my life provided 24 continuous hours of adventure, empowerment, teamwork, travel, enthusiasm, humor, adrenaline, urgency, determination, laughter, creativity, strategy, ingenuity, perseverance, positive energy and FUN! It was my first high-speed trek to San Diego and Tijuana hahaha!
Looking back, Questival was one of the craziest things I’ve done, but I’m nothing but grateful I said yes. This was the beginning of a string of events that bolstered my confidence in knowing I could do literally ANYTHING! It was an awakening, a knowing that I should listen to my heart and say yes to EVERYTHING I want to do before I wake up one day and realize it’s too late. It helped me realize if I can dream it, I can do it!
This picture is oh so precious to me. It was a moment my magical cousin and I knew so many great things were about to happen and Questival was just the beginning! So I wish my soul sister a very Happy Questiversary. I can’t wait to see what the next leg of our lifelong adventure holds as we both put our Best Foot Forward!
Friends, it feels like an eternity since my last blog post. Just before Christmas, I turned onto a new section of trail along my continuous journey toward wellness. Here’s the humbling photo depicting that starting point…is what it is.
It was a restart of the same holistic weight loss program I slayed back in 2012-13, so this re-entry was kind of like the 2.0 version…who knew that shortly it would become a more challenging master course? I’m older, more beat up and my horomones are vying for complete control, even more reason to hit reset, right? It was well past time to regain focus and I was so, so ready to ignite and set flame to this leg of my journey. See, I’m still dreaming and working toward a healthier me, but extenuating circumstances and that darn voice within immediatly started saying I’d never reach it. It all but extinguished my fire.
Mere days in, so many new struggles attempted to knock me down, that I began likening my situation to Miley Cyrus’ song “The Climb.” It was uncanny how aligned this road was becoming with that song!
I suddenly became support person for my brother that landed in the hospital with an appendix so outraged, they couldn’t remove it yet.
Every time I’ve been in that hospital, I’ve felt literally trapped. Time and energy are consumed in mass quantities and there’s nothing left but exhaustion. My big bro was discharged Christmas Eve night and that’s when the uphill battle really began for both of us.
I did all the little things I could to fit workouts and good nutrition between my everyday family stuff, work and my brother’s check-ins at the hospital. But as the song suggests, “always gonna be an uphill battle,” and this one felt like it was trying to knock me down. At this time, my mom was wintering solo in Arizona with unmistakable signs of dementia. I seriously felt lost with no direction…which way to turn? With my bro out of commission and no other siblings to share the load, it was clear to me at this point, I couldn’t allow this all to take me down…I had to keep on trying to find time for me. I kept my head held as high as I could even though I felt like crying my eyes out at most inopportune moments/places like the gym, work, social gatherings, etc.
I reminded myself I had to be strong and keep pushing on. But at the same time, I had to grant myself some major grace knowing sometimes, in my endeavors, I’m gonna have to lose. At the moment, it felt like my weight loss endeavors were smothered.
An upcoming short vacation I had planned, before all hell broke loose, had me questioning which way to turn. I didn’t want to lose this one. I had others I was responsible for to consider, and many people giving me opinions. In the end, I set all my ducks in a row, trusted my gut and decided that little getaway was what I needed most. And that afforded me some much needed time with my husband as well as a meetup with my faraway soul sister.
The respite was exactly what I needed to recharge so I could come back to everyone and everything stronger and ready to face whatever came next. And am I glad I did, because I got thrown right back in the hot seat, or plane seat to Arizona; it was time to bring my mom home so I could help her instead of just worry about what I couldn’t do for her from afar.
Knowing it was perhaps the last time I would be in the area, I had some unfinished business that seemed all too appropriate. Picacho Peak was a nearby mountain I had meant to hike/climb everytime I was down there, so it seemed to be now or never at this juncture of the sojourn. I felt like I had something to prove to myself. I did my homework to know this was going to be an uphill battle as in a difficult, strenuous metaphor for what was going on in my life.
Though parts of it were downright dangerous, I reminded myself it just wasn’t about how fast I got there. I was simply determined to tackle those chances I’m taking, the struggles I’m facing. Sadly, in my heart, I knew I was going to be climbing tougher, more terrifying challenges in the future with my mom’s declining health.
Though stretches of Hunter’s Trail/Picacho Peak were the hardest, sketchiest thing I’ve ever done, I know it doesn’t compare to what my heart will be going through in the near future, I just have to keep pushing on. I have to keep moving, climbing, and keep the faith as Miley urges.
At my own pace, in a body that’s proven its strength again and again, with plenty of what sustains me (water, fuel, faith)…well, I knew I could do it. And I stayed up there long enough to remind myself…there will always be another mountain that I’m always gonna wanna make move. And I should listen to those desires within because stretching myself, taking important time for me…these are going to be the game changers for my soul.
I figured as much effort as I put in, I needed a little reminder of what I had just accomplished…love that hat! I’ll be sure to wear it on days I need to dig extra deep. And with that, it was time to pack my mom’s things up and bring her home.
No sooner did I get her home and settled as best as I could in this frozen trundra, it was time for someone to finally get rid of an appendix!
Friends, if you’ve managed to read this far, know I appreciate you for listening. All of us are on this forward journey of life with our loved ones. We can be oh so grateful when life is calm and uneventful. But I invite you to take the inevitable struggles in stride, because it’s not about what’s waiting on the other side of these mountains. Just keep moving, keep climbing, (take care of yourself the best you can throughout) and keep the faith. These challenges with our loved ones, they are the moments we will remember most because it’s all about the climb!
Once upon a time, several years back, I adopted a new mindset that has vibrantly colored my life nothing short of astounding at times. If you’ve followed me for a while, you may recall some of the many adventures I shared here…none of which would have occurred if not for a single, solitary word. YES!
This mindset was encouraged, in part, by the humorously thought provoking 2008 Jim Carrey film, Yes Man. This movie portrayed a man living a mundane existence until he learned to unleash the power of simply saying YES. The thought intrigued me. What would my life be like if I said YES more often? I admit, I was careful about what I considered because I’d become a big believer in saying no to things that did not serve me. But what if I said YES to opportunities meant to enhance my life?
The crazy part of it all, the more often I said YES to things like running marathons in Honolulu & Washington DC, participating in a 24 hour urban scavenger hunt/adventure race in Vegas, hiking the Narrows of Zion, walking Key West over and over, climbing a mountain here and there…the more these opportunities seemed to seek me out. Here’s a fun example of how this YES mentality worked for me…
A few months back, my neighbor asked if I’d like to accompany her on a business trip to Chicago. An amazing hotel was covered and I’d just need to come up with airfare. There was never a moment of hesitation…the answer was an obvious DUH! And before I knew what hit me, I was on a plane, and the Universe seemed to nod with exulting approval…
In anticipation of the possibilities of this playground, I did some recon before we left. In doing so, I was able to make some preparations to assure our trip’s awesomeness; as soon as we landed, it began to unfold!
Of course, Jane was there to work, so while she was occupied, I jumped into an event I knew I was meant to attend.
Weeks before, I found the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk and could already envision myself helping make a difference. Armed with generous American Cancer Society donations contibuted by friends (thanks again!!!), I joined thousands of others that morning with a united aim to put an end to this vicious killer! No need to guess how I felt about it…
It still blew my mind how easily I found myself in the very place I was meant to be in that moment. And how surreal to find myself surrounded by abundant love and a common goal as I walked across the start line.
What a brilliantly perfect way to sightsee!
Before I could even comprehend what happened, I found myself talking with a girl I have no doubt I was meant to meet in this sea of fuschia. Emma and I had an instant connection and spent nearly the entire 3.1 miles sharing our stories and lives. I LOVE when this happens!
Oh how that serendipitous time flew! Lovely to meet you, Emma! As we went our separate ways, I came upon someone else I felt destined to meet.
Melissa is a BADASS WARRIOR SURVIVOR…no other way to describe how she’s chosen to pay forward her struggle. She is the co-director of Ginger The Movie, inspired by her courageous, ongoing battle with breast cancer. I can’t wait to see her movie when it hopefully hits the big screen in my area or shows up on Netflix soon. Friends, keep your eyes open for it!
I was also grateful for the opportunity to sing OOFOS’ praises for the love they’ve shown me over the years. I walked in memory of Duncan Finigan, OOFOS fearless Brand Leader & Marketing Director, creator of Project Pink.
With my heart broken wide open, and my awareness greater than ever, the event came to an end and I was reunited with Jane for some sights and tastes of Chicago…like how can you hit the Windy City without some deep dish?!?
Oh, how we celebrated with a heck of a YES to that pitcher of sangria! Uff-da! Or explore the city without a stop at an icon or two…
And you’ve got to love this chance encounter…imagine me running into a health expo at the church I chose to attend lol! No way I could say no to free acupuncture (I’ve been dying to try) and massage…thanks, Healing Paradise Acupuncture!
And if I hadn’t done my research, I’d never have known my beloved Powell’s in Portland originated from this treasure in Hyde Park…what a fun place for this book addict to play!
Time and again on that trip, I was reminded just how glad I was that Jane invited me (thanks, Jane!) and that I had the good sense to say YES!
My favorite line from Yes Man kept washing over me again and again, “The world’s a playground, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it.”
That, Friends, is something I refuse to forget! The world is a playground and I just can’t seem to get enough. As I tuck Chicago away in my precious cache of memories, I look onward because I’ve said YES to much more in the near future. I’m preparing for an upcoming trip to Spain in a few weeks and it’s time for this YES GAL to do her homework!
Wait! What just happened?!? An entire season has come and gone without nary a blog post. Apparently my life has been put on an even faster forward…do you relate? I can’t fathom where summer has gone, so it’s time I share with you a peek at what I’ve been up to since my last entry back in (gosh, oops…) May! If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you already know haha!
I welcomed the warmer weather by tilling and planting my garden because I love the gifts the growing season provides. I knew homegrown veggies would add a fresh flavor to all my favorites.
I got a few early season 5Ks in, but my jerk knee’s knee jerk reaction was not pleasant, so that was that.
My husband joined my beloved athletic club and I gained a brand new source of live-in gym accountability! This pic was from the morning of our 25th Wedding Anniversary…got the workout in before we celebrated!
We observed our anniversary by continuing Eric’s Hop Passport Brewery Tour…we knocked out a few of the 68 breweries in his passort while playing in Minneapolis/St. Paul. That passport has challenged me to work off all the empty calories I’ve been consuming with each tour, a battle I sense I was losing.
Next came our annual family vacation up north; though relaxing, I did all I could to keep it an active one…
Loved the time it allowed me to spend with our oldest and his wife…feels like there’s never enough time, so this week was a great chance to put everyday life on hold and just play!
Ahhh, but that fresh air and lake vibes!
And the sunrises!!! What a beautiful place to catch our breath as summer began to take flight.
I got a quick room overhaul accomplished, turning our oldest son’s room into a place of mindful rejuvenation. I don’t mind telling you, I worked through some emotions as I painted over a little boy’s youth.
It seems to have helped me work through the feels I needed to release. I managed to get the room pretty close to finished just in time for a houseguest.
My soul sister flew in from Portland with that giant bag…part of an epic plan! What a treat to have this Lady with us for an entire month. Pinch me!
Eric and I had been training for RAGBRAI, a weeklong bike ride across Iowa, and Nadia decided pretty last minute to join in…YAY! I rode RAGBRAI back in 2016 by myself, so I was pretty excited with the prospect of having some really fun company this time!
We got some great training rides in with part of our fantastic team…such important preparation for success.
Even on days we didn’t feel like it, we still figured out how to keep moving forward…air conditioning helped haha!
A few short weeks later found us in Council Bluffs, IA at the RAGBRAI expo, ready to set this adventure in motion. Remember, I’d done this before and once was actually enough for me, until this 50-year-old decided it was time for him to do it too. Now how could I say no when he asked me to join him?
And just like that, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa happened…427ish miles of it!
Was pretty much an exhausting, seven day party as we ate our way across the entire state of Iowa…fuel, you know?!? Uff-da!
Felt good to see completion of another training schedule and event. Goals can get a person pretty far!
My job continued allowing me to share the great outdoors and fitness with the mentors and mentees I work with. I’m grateful to say I love the work I am doing…seems more like play if you ask me…WIN!!!
I spent a portion of the summer partnering with the Rochester Police Department encouraging the youth in our mentoring program to accomplish some of their 10 mile bike rides. How amazing it would be if one of them goes on to ride RAGBRAI in the future…how cool would that be?
My flexible part-time work schedule has afforded me some important time for much needed self care. I’ve taken many opportunities to work on me this summer. Sure, I spent a ton of time being active, but I also took time delving into some healing modalities that I’ve been meaning to explore. I’ve been holding on to some baggage it was time to unpack and release.
In the process, I’ve enjoyed profound relief from things I’ve felt were holding me back from being my best. It was challenging but necessary work to move forward.
Time and again, I put myself in the way of beauty and let nature facilitate the healing.
I’ve made my emotional and spiritual health big priorities this summer, and the shift I’m experiencing is a divine gift. One that is right on time, because life is constantly changing and I want to be ready for what’s coming next…case in point…
See, this is something else we accomplished this summer…senior pictures. How is our youngest already here? As I know all too well, this will be the fastest school year yet. This young man has been busy with incredible academic government and musical composition programs this summer, as well as traveling abroad. I feel like we barely saw him. And my heart knows what little time we have left before the nest is empty.
I know how important these fleeting moments are, so I’m tucking the memories away one by one, as long as I can.
So I look back at this summer with such joy as this guy and I evolve into a deeper relationship. The one where we begin to remember who we are without our kids, and what that looks like going forward. I think about how quickly 25 years really go and what I want for myself and for us.
And this right here is it. I want to go forth with love and longevity the best way I know how. That means it’s time for me to take way better care of myself, to get honest on a very vulnerable level. I know I’ve been neglecting myself when it comes to mindful eating and that mofo scale has been shouting obsceneties at me. Or maybe it’s the other way around lol! So it’s time to show the damn thing what I’m made of. Again.
So, well…here I grow again. I already know I can.
I’m embarking on a new leg of this transformational journey I’ve been on these past 8 years that will ensure I go into our next 25 years with my very Best Foot Forward.
Hi Friends! As I looked back today, I realize it’s been two months since my last post. I’ve been quiet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy practicing what I preach. I stepped away from blogging for a bit to make extra time for myself…some extraordinary experiences of personal growth and much needed self care. I took time for what my body/mind/soul craved…
I joined family in making new memories.
When alone time was needed to heal some hurt, I savored a quiet getaway to feel instead of avoid.
And I’ve learned when I face what weighs me down, head-on, I’m lighter, more ready to move forward. After nourisning some grief last month, I went ahead to become trained and certified in Laughter Yoga Ho-Ho Ha-Ha-Ha!!!
Next thing I knew, I was facilitating a Women’s Wellness Weekend getaway so others could recharge too.
I continued, this past month, to be mindful of what I needed to feel most myself as the hum of the holiday preparations began to sound. I made consistency at the gym(s) a priority.
But soon I felt as though I was spinning my wheels. Something was missing. Something that hasn’t been there for quite some time…I needed a new challenge to work toward, a new goal. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know it needed to be BIG! I did some soul searching and came up with some driving motivation that will take me well into 2019.
I’ve always been so inspired by Diana Nyad’s courage and perseverance. She’s the DIE HARD that conquered the swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West. I knew of her incredible walking initiate EverWalk, and recently saw on the website she is hosting a life-changing event in Key West…a wonderful week of walking 10 miles every morning and volunteering for Habitat For Humanity–helping rebuild what Hurricane Irma destroyed every afternoon. This was exactly what I was looking for…a fitness event with a service component! EPIC!!!
Though it will be tough to wait until April to embark on this next adventure, that leaves me time to diligently prepare. I put great thought into how I will train to be ready to rock Key West; I devised a plan that will help keep me accountable. I’m going to set aside the more stressful aspects of the holidays, the ones that no longer serve my family and me. In saying no to certain things and people, I am saying yes to what I truly need and want. I’ll spare you the family portion, but for me, that looks like walking. A LOT of walking.
My plan is to walk at least 110.86 miles…the distance Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Key West, and to do it this month…starting NOW! Thanks, Julie, for helping me kick this off despite the 17 degree wind chill…I LOVE fellow walking warriors!
A couple quick laps around the lake and my challenge has begun…
Friends, I have been very busy on a project I’ve been dying to tell you all about! You know these past four years that I’ve blogged my transformational journey, I have worked hard to get where I am today. I’ve loved myself through a multitude of adversities, learning and implementing everything I can regarding self care.
It has made ALL the difference! You may also have noticed how frequently I take fun little breaks and getaways from my normal, everyday life. These have become instrumental in allowing me to live my best life…so much so, I’m inviting you to join me this time, Ladies, and I’m sharing my plethora of wellness secrets with you!
I’ve reserved some cozy rooms in the Miracle Lodge at Ironwood Springs…one of my favorite places just minutes outside of Rochester, MN (only a couple miles from the RST airport). Each room comfortably sleeps three (or up to five if you are really close friends/family haha), though one of you may need to climb a bit…
Plan to spend the weekend of November 9-11th unplugging to recharge your batteries! I’ve also reserved a wonderful meeting space for us to enjoy…
And we will be treated to some delicious, nourishing meals right next door in the dining hall…
Invite your besties you know could use some renewal too, but don’t feel at all nervous if you are coming alone. I will welcome you with open arms and you will probably leave the weekend with a bunch of new BFFs! I only ask that you arrive open-minded with a kind and open heart, willing to try some new things…who knows, you may just find some new favorite interests! Of course I won’t force you to do or try anything you don’t want to, but I invite you to explore and grow while you are here!
The weekend will offer some very gentle introductions to meditation, yoga and Tai chi chih, some exploratory journaling designed to guide you forward on your own journey, a stunning guided hike…
…a breathtaking zip-line ride or two (if you dare)…don’t worry, I promise to go first haha!
…a sunset hayride, some nourishing meals, some gifties from some generous sponsors, a bit of pampering and spoiling (think facials and chair massages!!!), a bit of crafting, an unforgettable girls’ night in, and some free time to enjoy all this beautiful venue has to offer!
You won’t want to miss some unique photo ops, like this giant adirondack chair that makes me feel like a kid every. single. time…
This getaway may leave you feeling like a kid again too; did I mention they have animals? We will likely catch a glimpse of some deer, turkeys and an eagle while out hiking. But if we don’t, Ironwood is also home to bunnies and chickens and llamas, OH MY! But that’s not all…
Look how happy those two are; you will totally understand when you get here! And if we’re lucky, maybe the peacocks will give us a show…
And you certainly won’t want to miss meeting my friend, Clyde!
I specifically chose the weekend of November 9-11 so you can destress before the holidays this year. When is the last time you went into the holiday season with a renewed and energized spirit? I’m telling you, Friends, the secret to all of this is self care…it’s time to show yourself some love, to treat yo’self! Consider giving yourself that first gift this season!!!
Of course we should talk details…
I will require you to sign a liability waiver/hold harmless agreement, as you will be involved in outdoor and physical activities…it is what it is.
Plan to arrive Friday evening, 11/9, at 6:30 pm, to get moved into the lodge before we begin our adventure together. We will need to check out of our rooms Sunday, 11/11, by 11 am, but can remain until 1 pm before you head home ready and motivated to be your best you.
Spaces are limited and will fill quickly, so free up your schedule, talk with your friends, and arrange for child care if needed, as this is a LADIES ONLY WEEKEND haha!!!
Cost for this amazing, all-inclusive weekend is $309 per person! Email me at email@example.com to sign up today!
A HUGE thank you to our sponsors: Momentum Jewelry, MassageZen with Tylynn, BeBetter Bars, Eco Lips and Essence of Vali
Friends, I don’t know about you, but summer took hold and had its way with me…not in a negative way, just the contrary. I found myself in adventure after bold, new adventure and got very happily distracted. So for those of you that have been faithfully participating in my 52 Fridays weekly journaling activity, I apologize. I hope in its weekly absence you’ve taken time to experience some summer adventures of your own. But I’m back here in my comfy chair and ready to dive into this week’s prompt. Pardon me while I dust off my journal haha.
I’ve got my tea and I’m ready to explore a thought that’s been quite active in my mind lately. The below photo was taken a year ago this time. It’s from a trip I was able to share with my mentee that proved just how bold we were at trying new things. If you missed that memorable post, you can read it here.
Friends, I’ve been spending the majority of my summer at it again…having dreamt up the things I’ve always wanted to do, then making plans to make those dreams reality. Because here’s the thing…I’m not getting any younger, and the older I get, the longer the list of things I hope to try becomes.
So on this week’s 52 Fridays, I ask you, Friends…when was the last time you did something for the first time? Is this something you think about every so often, or do you push those thoughts away because you tell yourself to forget it?
The more new things I’ve tried for the very first time within the past few years, the more vibrant, alive, fulfilled I’ve become. What things would you like to try if you began telling yourself you can, rather than you can’t? If you haven’t already, start a list. The longer the better!
I would LOVE to hear some of the things you chose to include on that list if you are willing to share in the comments below…it would seriously make my day!
Once you’ve worked on that list for a while, sit with it. Take a good look and decide which things you want to pursue first. Then all you have left to do is set your mind to making it happen and putting your Best Foot Forward!
Yup, it’s that time again…happy 52 Fridays, Friends! Now that we are headed into summer, you may choose to switch out that warm soothing beverage for something cooler…water, iced tea, wine cooler…hey, I won’t judge (but I do recommend something hydrating)! Grab that journal and pen, cozy in and let’s make some plans!
Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer! If we don’t take time to think about what we hope to get out of this special time of year, it can easily pass us by! I LOVE summer because the weather is conducive to so many activities that feed me on a soul level. What will you do this summer?
I want to challenge you to dream. If you could do something, anything, outside your comfort zone, what would it be? Is there something a bit crazy and intimidating you’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but you are holding back? I have a whole list, but this is more about you! What are you waiting for? It’s not a secret that none of us are getting any younger. It’s time to put pen to paper…what are those bucket list items you’ve been dreaming of doing that maybe give you a funny, tingly feeling of fear behind your ribs/lungs (that’s where I sense it, anyway)?
I mean, don’t go too crazy…I feel led to remind you of my disclosure, although I am encouraging you to step outside your comfort zone…consult with your physician before doing anything completely insane because I can’t be held responsible haha!
I have found the things that I dreamt of doing, the big ones that scared me the most…running my first 5k, my first 10k, my first half and first full marathon, my first backpacking trek, riding RAGBRAI, completing the black course at Flagstaff Extreme, climbing to the Hidden Peak summit for an aerial tram ride down Snowbird, a canoeing journey through the Boundary Waters. I could totally go on. My point is, without any of these adrenaline rushes, my life would feel pretty mundane, I’d always feel like a great big part of who I am is missing.
I’ve been imangining some pretty exciting (adrenaline-explosive) dreams for the next few years, but without making plans, setting goals…well, they just won’t happen.
So the opportunity is NOW, Friends, take some quiet time to determine just what you dream of doing if you had the determination, the courage, the fearlessness to do it. Dream BIG, Friends. And my Memorial Day triple dog dare…set a date to just DO IT!!!
Write it on the calendar, start preparing, put your Best Foot Forward and enjoy the full length of summer. I would LOVE to know what you dream up…please leave a comment below with what you plan to go out there and do!!!
I love when Facebook reminds me I have memories to look back on, Friends. This morning I was reminded of some unusual things I did three years ago today that I will never forget!
Like at 3 am, when we made a renegade 30 minute trip to Mexico. And soon after, I could easily have been mistaken for a homeless person or gunshot victim when I found myself resting on the sands of Mission Beach…my first, but very short visit to San Diego.
Why? I was exhausted from the night that began partying and running amok in Vegas, then roadtripping for a midnight cookout on Big Bear Lake in California. So, yeah…I was tired, but there was little time to rest because we needed to watch the sun rise and then skedaddle back toward Vegas with our hair on fire while stopping briefly, and often along the way, to do some bizarre things.
The day had just begun and we still had LOTS to do, like a quick run through Red Rock Canyon on zero sleep before the clock ran out!
Does this sound like insanity? It was far more than that…it was the craziest fun I ever had! You can read more about our Questival, the 24 hour adventure race we crushed here.
Though the members of my amazing team, The Aquanauts, are scattered to the four corners of the Earth these days and our lives have all drastically changed since that adventure, I know it is an experience none of us will soon forget. I still can’t believe what luck put this 40-something on a team with these 20-somethings. They have no idea how important that event and their acceptance was in shaping who I am today.
I’d lost a ton of weight, transformed my body and life, battled back from some tough injuries sustained in a car accident, just waiting for my next game-changer. Little did I know Questival was merely the springboard of many crazy-awesome endeavors yet to come, but will remain my favorite race of all time!
Today I look back on those 24 hours and remember the feeling of just being a kid again. I never expected to be able to stay awake for the entire event, but was so stoked by the outcome, I had trouble coming down off the adrenaline high we all shared for hours after.
Though it’s been three years, it seems like only yesterday we made this shenanigan-filled memory happen. And because Facebook keeps reminding me, I will continue to make plans and go places to keep this middle-aged mom a forever young kid at heart! I can’t think of a better way to put my Best Foot Forward!
Friends, I began my day the same way I always do. I reached for my very broken-in copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I’ve read this daily bit of encouragement for many years now. It’s uncanny just how closely each excerpt resembles what I encounter throughout any given day…the perfect dosage of exactly what I need! Some days are downright intense with resonance and realization. Today’s entry was an extreme example; one I was not expecting! It was Jesus telling me he is my strength and my shield, not to wonder what is on the road ahead, or waste energy worrying…when I’m afraid, I should remember he is my shield. And the big kicker…”My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers.”
The strong reverberation echoed clear to my soul; I remembered why this passage struck me so. Today is an odd anniversary for me. Four years ago tonight, that protection was perfectly demonstrated…
Those of you who’ve been with me for a while recall how Eric and I got up close and personal with a pickup truck, and you might remember the evidence of some heavenly protection buffering the impact…
If you missed this part of my journey, you can catch up with a post from 2016 and 2017 that demonstrate how my healing has ventured far beyond the physical!
I’ve made some great progress in how I remember January 31, 2014. I know I must have read the same Jesus Calling passage that morning, I just never expected to be on the receiving end of such immense protection that evening. As I read it again this morning, I understand more and more what that night was all about. My perspective has continued to shift from the challenges and struggles that night imparted toward what profound gifts were bestowed…blessings of survival, gratitude, a fresh new journey toward more strength than I ever thought I could embody, a deep appreciation for a good samaritan and rockstar paramedics (my son will officially be one in May). Yeah, thinking about it now hits me straight in the feels all over again!
Another gift I’ve been granted from that evening is the return visit of chronic pain each time the clouds bring forth a new storm. I can seriously forecast the weather with it! I no longer associate this pain with self-pity; my fresher perspective reminds me that pain is proof that I’m still here and I have important work to do!
Friends, if you are struggling with something tough right now, I’m really sorry! But I encourage you to look at what the bigger picture is telling you. Can you adopt a wider, more positive perspective on what is actually going on?
I keep coming back to this quote I swiped off Facebook. I was not ready to understand its truth the first weeks, months, years following that night of trauma, but it makes perfect sense to me now.
Thanks for having our backs and helping me be prove this true, JC!