LONG POST ALERT (you know when you get that from me it is a novel but also well worth it)
I am not sure how to start this post. I have typed out a few entries but they all seem so lame. They all basically say the same thing.. but in differing degrees of disguise.
Maybe blunt is just the way to go here.
I am here after a 4 month sabbatical where I once again allowed everything to take priority over myself. It’s what I do…. (rephrase… it is not what I do.. it is what I have done repeatedly and I want to break that cycle) I never seem to find myself as being the “important” piece of my life puzzle.
My sisper sent this quote to me a few days ago
Truth: People prioritize what’s most important to them and let the unimportant things go. That involves people too.
It is the truth… and not only does that involve people it involves ourselves. I did this starting the day I cut my foot. Strange that it was an injury to myself that put myself on the back burner again right?
Drake was already injured at this point but I was still doing me at the same time. My injury happened and everything blew up! Again. Lord knows it is not my boys fault, or my foots fault, or anyone’s fault other than my own so please don’t read that in the words I am getting ready to write.
When my injury happened I realized that I had only so much energy to expend and I immediately prioritized Drake’s care over my own. That simple small mistake led to an avalanche of requests and needs from all over .. everywhere except from myself! With each request I pushed myself farther and farther away from where I needed to be and dove head first into the needs of others. (AGAIN NO ONES FAULT BUT MY OWN.) The universe saw that crack in my resolve and shoved it’s way right in my space and I allowed it, why.. because I was helping others! I was out there filling up buckets all over the place. (that is a phrase from this weekend) In return I “helped myself” by firmly smacking a lid down on my own bucket so that not only could I not fill my bucket neither could anyone else.
I have been running on empty for 119 days. Want to know what happens when you run 119 days on empty, you break down. You start trying to fill yourself up with the wrong things, the wrong people, the wrong places BECAUSE YOU ARE DESPERATE! I was desperate .. desperate to fit in.. desperate to be part of something, even if that something was the wrong thing and was not filling me up at all!
One thing I can tell you about myself is that I love being alone. Yesterday I got home and flat out refused to leave again. Dad came by but it was a very quiet afternoon and evening of rest and reset. I needed time with myself. I actually LOVE time alone, but on the flip side of this coin is the fact that I love my “tribe” I need that closeness that connection, that motivation and support. I love social interaction. Odd that I am saying this but I think my actual life contact needs are pretty well rounded, I crave both solitude and interaction…
A few weeks ago I went home for a couple of days and had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with two of my best girlfriends. They had just gone on a run .. myself had just made it out of bed. At coffee that morning I mentioned that I had a half marathon in just 2 weeks and that I had once again not trained. I stated and I do remember word for word what I said “It is so hard for me to train without my tribe”. I completed that half but it was by no means good. I again thought… if I had trained if I had “my tribe” I would have done so much better. After the half I went right back to scrabbling for something to fill me up…
Also around the same time I went home for the weekend I was invited to be a van driver by my friend Hope and RIOT Rangar Relay team. I immediately said yes, without really even knowing what I was supposed to be doing. I said yes because I don’t know how to say no. I am not kidding here that is exactly why I said yes. (Sorry Hope) I even just a week ago said to Ed that I didn’t want to do this. I wanted to stay home. Thankfully he said “ABSOLUTELY NOT! You are going.. you need this..” I still thought of calling off my trip but kept replaying how much of a burden it would be on the others if I backed out and they had no driver so I pushed ahead and on Thursday morning I packed up my gear and all of my anxieties and drove to the meeting spot.
Out of the 13 ladies I would be spend the next 5 days with I knew 5 of them and let me just say that these ladies were all considerably younger than myself so full on panic was ensuing, add in a 14 hour trip driving a van that was chasing another van and the panic was also met with stress causing the perfect storm of exhaustion before the race ever started! The night before the race I laid in bed and nearly cried (until 2 minutes later when my body when into crash mode and proceeded to snore) I thought to myself, what is “WRONG WITH YOU.. Why did you agree to this. You don’t fit in this group! They need someone energetic and peppy! You are worn out and grouchy! Once you get through this thing NEVER will you agree to do something like this again!” 4 hours later I was back behind the wheel driving 6 excited and sleepy women to meet the other 6 team mates at the start line of a 200 mile road race and I still didn’t really understand what I was doing!
Over the course of the next 33 hours I witnessed the most amazing sites I have ever seen. The area of New England where this race was held was beautiful, new and refreshing. The landscape gorgeous, the homes and small towns we encountered were incredible, but I am not even talking about the landscape, the area, or the towns.. I am talking about the 13 women I was with. Come to find out some of them were merely acquaintances, I was not the only newbie in the crew. But the camaraderie these women shared was simply amazing. They prayed for each other, the encouraged each other, they shared things that on a normal day would not have been said or maybe offered. They absolutely CRUSHED their runs, even on tired, sore, worn out bodies they persevered and continued on to the finish line where as a group they ran together for the first time since the start 33 hours before. I teared up. I was part of this… but I continued to say “I am JUST the driver” or “I ONLY drove”. Team members kept repeating, we could not have done this without you, but I continued to doubt my part in the team.
In the elevator after the race, I was met with another Ragnar survivor, and he congratulated me, I said I would pass it on to the team, as I “only” drove. He said “Wait.. you were the driver??” When I repeated that I in fact was, he said, “you take that congratulations, I have done that to and that to me is frankly harder and more stressful than running!” He then proceeded to lift up his drivers and myself with praises. I was floored. This wasn’t just some one off job that I was asked to, these women trusted me to push through and make sure they were all safely dropped off and picked up from locations, they trusted me to drive through the night while they rested, they trusted me to also lift them up with encouragement when needed and you know what.. I came through for them! I completed my job and completed it well.
By morning after a good solid 6 hours sleep I was ready to sign up to drive the next one! I found my place, I am a Ragnar driver! I sat with Hope over coffee quietly in the hotel lobby and told her I would gladly drive another Ragnar but I would never run one. Never. This was met with a solid WHATEVER!
My inner dialogue ensued.
I’M TOO OLD = EXCUSE
I’M TOO FAT = EXCUSE
YOU HAVE NO WILL POWER = EXCUSE
YOU CAN’T RUN FAST = EXCUSE
YOU DON’T HAVE A TRIBE = WHAT???? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Look around you .. you buffoon! (I said buffoon ladies not baboon!)
As the day wore on I started thinking about how badly I wanted to be back in shape and not the fat slob I was becoming again. I wanted to run again and run well. I have a full marathon in 2022 but it is a whole year away. I need something sooner to aim for.
Run the Ragnar.
Run The Ragnar.
RUN. THE. RAGNAR!!!
Just like that I had logged in and found a baby leg that I felt I could commit to. I texted my guy and said.. Hey I want to do this which was met with two words. Start Training.
I again circled back around to how would I train without my tribe. My people. My 530 am support crew. I fidgeted with this for hours and hours and hours, how are you going to do this without them.
Then I realized something. Those people, they are my people, they will always and forever be my people, my tribe but… they aren’t my only people. I have a huge tribe and while they don’t meet me at 530 am to work out, they do support me through encouragement and cheers.
It’s you.. you all are my people. The ones on the other end of my words and posts. You all fill up my bucket! I realized that when I stopped posting about my journey and the efforts that I was making it was so easy to backslide into old behaviors and actions. As I didn’t have the support from you all, I also failed to support myself and allowed my bucket to empty to the point of desperation and my own light failed to shine.
So here I am this morning with a bucket full of strength from 13 amazing women, restarting my own journey to greater adventures, knowing that in order to succeed I need to continue with not only my training but with my writing and eating plan!
Oh and by the way I have officially put my name in to run Ragnar in July 2022.
Peace, Love and Light