Mended More Than a Shirt!

Friends, I made a breakthrough of epic proportions last night which I’m feeling led to share. I don’t even know if it will make sense to anyone else…but here’s hoping!

My epiphany began when I lifted the remnants of a sweatshirt, my favorite sweatshirt from it’s resting place.

It had been balled up in my mending basket for quite some time. I messed with it every so often, but each time it left me feeling broken. It still held heavy memories that I continued to stuff down, feelings I thought had been dealt with long ago. But as I picked it up again last evening, that heaviness bubbled right back up. I knew that if I didn’t face this baggage, release and set it free, it would continue to resurface again and again. It was time.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may know I was injured in a serious car accident a while back. If you need a refresher, here’s a post about it from last year.

Maybe if I’d thrown the sweatshirt away like the rest of my clothes from that night, there would have been no reminder. But I had a plan for that thing that involved healing. I knew at some point, when it was stitched back together, I’d likely be whole again too. Here’s what its shreds looked like after being cut off me in the ER.

Only one cut-length remained last night when I was determined to finish it. As I began stitching, my body tensed up something fierce; it’s like I was reliving the pain of my healed injuries. See, I thought I’d fully recovered from it, but my mind continued to present me with notions I hadn’t considered earlier. This past year had been filled with a ridiculous amount of training runs and events…marathon, half marathons, Ragnar.

And, mile after mile of training rides in prep for RAGBRAI, the little 420 mile bike ride across Iowa.

On several occasions throughout that busyness, people asked why I was pushing myself to that degree. Upon much soul searching, I didn’t have an answer. I simply didn’t have a clue. I mean, I thought maybe I continued to push the limits to see how far I could go. But as physical breakdown soon replaced the fun and adventure, I continued to push through the pain, as if forced to continue.  I didn’t know why, until last night!

The closer I came to completing the mending, it became clearer and clearer. I’d relentlessly pushed this past year to prove the accident had no hold on me. How ironic, because in working that hard, it became clear it had a stronger hold on me than ever. And there it was, I was face to face with the baggage!

The realization hit me in the feels…HARD! With only a couple inches left to stitch, the tears rolled down as I let it all out. I can’t tell you how freeing that was. How crazy to think it took this long to figure out. I couldn’t help wonder if I’d finished mending the sweatshirt much earlier, would I have reached the same, important closure then? Who knows. The important thing is that it happened.

I’m relieved to have finally figured out what I was running and biking from. I’m ready to do things now because I want to, not because I had something to prove. As I placed the last few stitches, in that moment of clarity, came peace…and my fully mended proof that I not only survived, I THRIVE!

I’m looking back at that night three years ago, one more time. When I consider how differently things could have turned out, gratitude completely washes over the entire experience. My husband and I still have each other. Our boys still have their parents. My body has attempted and pretty successfully proved nearly unstoppable. I still have my favorite part of the car! And my sweatshirt, although noticably scarred, is whole again, and still my favorite!

It’s become a work of art, really. I’ve entitled it What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, and I intend to wear it and feel its/my strength for years to come!

Life is good, Friends…damn GOOD!

 

Nalu Float Review

Friends, amidst the feverish pace of holiday preparations, I was able to hit pause on all of it last evening. A profound opportunity allowing me to return to inner peace, I left completely recharged. Does this sound like heaven? Well I assure you, it came as close as I think I’ve ever been.

Jon, owner and operator of Nalu Float in Rochester, MN generously provided me with a 90 minute complimentary float in the hope I’d share my experience with readers.

If you’ve never heard of floating, this is an experience like no other. Nalu operates two float tanks that each hold 800 lbs of epsom and water at a depth of 10″. The water is heated to 93.5 degrees to duplicate skin temperature. You can read more about floating at Nalu Float here.

I’ve floated at other establishments before, but what sets Nalu appart from others is the warm, welcoming atmosphere. I felt right at home, probably because this business is nestled within a cozy home.

The waiting area, bathroom and float room are decorated with serenity in mind; they are spotless too! All the little extras like the pre-float meditation, luxury toiletries, robe, slippers, piles of plush towels and post-float cup of tea make this a truly exquisite experience. It’s plain to see Jon pays meticulous attention to every detail of his operation to leave a lasting impression on his customers.

As I mentioned, I’ve floated in the past, so I could hardly wait to climb into that tank!

 

But I’ve never taken the opportunity to float 90 minutes. I was astounded at the results. From the moment I stepped in, all sense of time ceased to exist. I felt as though this were an out-of-body experience until I realized it was much more of a melting inward, into my inner-most being. With the simulation of deprivation of all senses, it seemed impossible to discern where my body ended and the water began. Nearly right away, I felt weightless and quite suddenly noticed all pain left my body.

The boyancy produced from the high salt concentration allowed every last inch of my body to be suspended, supported, cradled. There was zero pressure on any of my angry parts. Although I’d been to sports med, the chiropractor and physical therapy this week, this was the modality that provided the most relief. I felt all of it…my muscles, tendons, ligaments…everything relax and release…just subtly let go.

This release allowed me a complete awareness of breath. The longer I was in the tank, the more I noticed how my breathing slowed…almost as if it were no longer necessary. I was just that gone…heavy meditated! My soul was lulled by the gentle rhythm of my heartbeat. I would have to describe this sensation as tranquil solitude. A state of blissful euphoria deeper than any I’ve experienced in the outside world.

Friends, I can’t think of a better way to treat your loved ones this holiday season. If you need a last-minute gift idea…look no further! Stop by Nalu’s Facebook page here for details on their current gift package offerings. And while you’re there, don’t forget about treating yourself too. Don’t forget to tell them Carla sent you!

This floating phenomenon is one more healing way to put our Best Foot Forward!

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