Somebody Else's to them, whomever they may be.

Somebody Else's to them, whomever they may be.
How I feel after throwing a party...

Thanks for the visit!! :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Victory on the Trail

So I'm doing this fitness thing. I'm changing some habits, tossing them out, and acquiring some new ones. Not always so easy, but I feel pretty good about all of it and find myself exceptionally cheerful about all of this newness.

Last Saturday I went out with some of my family to Antelope Island for a pre half-marathon hike. I'm in training. Gotta rack up some mileage as I get ready for this chunker of a goal I have inadvertently and surprisingly set for myself.

We had a delightful time, talked, hiked, laughed, and looked at the extraordinary views. During the course of this new adventure I felt strong. I felt like my body was ready for some challenging, and I was excited and happy about the whole thing. I could feel health inside of me, and for a bazillion different reasons that hasn't been something that was overly present during the past decade plus a few, so like I said, it felt fantastic.

At the halfway mark we took a nice little break, drank some water, ate some oranges and a Caveman bar (way tasty little granola bar-type thing) and talked about beating our time back on the last half. Now I'm self-comptetitive so a goal like this is perfect for me, plus I had a feel for the terrain and thought I could definitely beat my time back. I became a woman with a mission and so my race was on.

During the course of my trek I eventually left my people behind me and with single mindedness I focused on my feet, and my legs, and my arms, and my breathing. I listened to the birds and the little scurrying creatures and my running shoes on the pebbles and the rocks and the dirt and I felt so free, so incredibly alive that I teared up a little and then achieved a level of physical and mental bliss that I had forgotten I knew, and so I pushed on harder and I began to jog. This is a really big deal. I haven't run in years, but I knew that I could do it, at least a little bit, and if I could do it a little bit today, I knew there was hope for tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after, and on into the horizon.

I was tentative at first, and then bulldog determined to make it to this boulder, then that boulder, and then to the top of the hill. I paused to drink some water, take off my stocking hat and my coat and stuff them into my backpack. I was so alive and hyper aware of my surroundings. I pushed on with my walk-jogging to see what I could do. In the back of my mind I was still questing to beat my time, but now it wasn't just about beating the time, it was about beating the time and meaning it.

All along my pathway I envisioned the half marathon that I've got coming up. I visualized myself finishing it, I visualized my run-walk, I thought about what comes after this, what kind of physical goals would I accomplish next? All of my thoughts and visualizations were focused on making all of these new, exciting dreams come true. I lost myself in hope, in potential, in the joy of getting my body back from harder times and challenging it to new heights. Lost in these thoughts I moved on and on closer to my goal.

As I approached the last leg of the trail I passed by an older gent who was runner-fit. He was tan with white hair and a big old white moustache and had on the kind of clothes that told you this was what he did for fun. I looked up as we passed and he smiled a huge welcoming smile and said a hearty "Hello" and I felt like he was encouraging me, and may have thought something along the lines of "Hey girl, you're doing all right. Keep up the good work. You can do this." I nodded, smiled, and said "Hello" back and continued on my way. I told myself "See, you can do hard things. Good job. You're almost there."

A scant number of minutes later I saw that there were three women coming down the trail my way. They were all fit and hiker-trendy. I saw them see me and suddenly I began to question myself and everything I was doing. Now, I'm a pretty confident woman. I like who I am. I treasure my life and what it has taken to become who I am. I'm not usually thrown by people who don't like me or aren't interested in me, but for some reason, I began to question myself.

I thought "Should I stop and put my coat back on? Maybe my shirt is too snug. Do I look too fat to be out? Are they judging me?" And as quick as I thought these things, I thought "STOP! These women don't matter to you one tiny bit! They are strangers." And I was disturbed and somewhat annoyed with myself, and with them for what they had almost imperceptibly made me feel and question. I told myself that I was being ridiculous and that they hadn't done anything and that I was imagining things.

I decided to test my theory.

The trail was narrow, but there was plenty of room to politely pass each other if they pulled in on their side and I kept to mine, and I'm a "Hello" kinda gal, it's what I do, so of course I would say "Hello" as we passed. 

We continued approaching each other. They were not inclined to share the trail and expected me to stand aside so they could walk three abreast. I refused. I wasn't about to be bullied off the trial by rude women and so I ended up walking between them as two went to one side and one to the other. As we passed each other I said "Hello" with a smile and got crickets in return. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I wasn't really upset by it, nor was I surprised by it, but I was disappointed and left curiously empty. Why do people pretend that others are less? Why do they act like someone is invisible? Where are the human courtesies and manners? I'm sure there are 8,000 different reasons why I may have experienced the lack of interaction that I did, but you get a feel for things, and even though I always give the positive benefit of the doubt, there are times where you cannot ignore the truth that you find even when it's a little sketchy and ugly around the edges.

In retrospect I'm really glad I ran into the older man first, and in the end I'm glad I ran into the rude women as well because it helps me to remember how easy it is to be brought low by things and people that don't matter one iota to the value of who you are. I thought about people that I know, and don't know, that perhaps do not have the confidence or love for who they are that I have for myself, and how this type of experience, where it affected me briefly, had the potential to steal initiative and thunder from someone less confident, secure or sure of themselves. It reminded me that other people cannot take your glory, your light and your value away from you unless you permit it first. I don't want to be that kind of person. I want to be someone who builds others up, it costs me nothing to have good manners, or to smile, or to say "Hello" and to mean it. It costs me nothing to encourage others in their dreams, their quests, their endeavors, their goals, their tasks, their trials and challenges, with my own positivity and enthusiasm.

We all have value. We are all equal. Each of us have our lives and all of the experiences, obstacles, trials, and learning that bring us to knowledge and wisdom if we so desire it. Life isn't just about the cherries, it's about the pits too, it's about learning to love others as they are, and to allow them to have the freedom to make their choices that direct their path. Be kind to one another, seek to be builders instead of destroyers, love one another, be charitable, forgiving and kind.

Good luck out in the big, bad my friends. Be well, peace be with you always. Go live your dreams and be exactly who you want to be. Shine on.

p.s. I beat my time by 16 minutes. Determined girl coming through! ;)

Don't Shrink Your Dreams

February 8th, 2014
Don't Shrink Your Dreams. Supersize Your Courage and Your Abilities--Karen Salmonsohn

Tracy Story

I did something courageous last night. I signed up for a half-marathon.

It may not seem courageous to some, but it was a big deal to me.

I use to be a pretty fit gal quite some time back, but without going into all my drama and the reasons of this and that, I'm not fit anymore. I started my path back to fitness a few years back and slowly but surely I have had good leaps and strides, and I have made some excellent progress, more than excellent, fantastic really. I still have a lot that I still want to do.

In the beginning of this year I laid out a set of physical fitness activities that I wanted to accomplish. I wrote down how many times I wanted to do these things during the course of one year. To give you an example, in addition to participating in a half marathon, one of my goals is that I want to snowshoe 3xs a month in Jan., Feb., and Mar., and possibly April if the snow holds. I didn't make it at all in January, but in February, I'm two down and one to go. It feels fantastic. I think I was riding on that high when I thought "What the heck? Why not?" and proverbially "drunk-dialed" the half-marathon website last night and signed up. I was ecstatic, elated, and filled with the power of "I CAN DO THIS!" I was planning out everything I needed to do. I went to bed knowing I could do this, I could make this dream. When I woke up this morning, and remembered what I had done, I wanted to throw up and I kinda freaked out a little bit. I thought "WHAT DID YOU DO???" "You can't do this?" "You're not ready for this!" "You. Are. An. Idiot." Not kind words to my usually happy little inner self and nothing near the excitement and joy of last night.

With some help from my husband I talked myself back off the ledge and have decided that "Yes. I can do this. I can do hard things. I can make a change." I am going to do more than dream and hope, I am going to take action. And so I let it be, and in the end of March I'm going to make my way several hours south of here with my sister and BIL, my mom, my brother and SIL, and I'm going to be a woman of action and I'm going to do something exciting and new, something that will build me and stretch me and give me experience. I am nervous (and a little scared) and I am excited.

I want to be a doer, not just a dreamer. I'm not ready for this, I am definitely not in prime racing order . . . at all. My purpose was in the taking a step towards something that is important to me, which is being a woman who does hard things because they are fun, a woman who braves the unknown and stares down fear of failure because she can and because the "doing" is the important part that will lead to more doing and more doing and more doing.

My goal is to go. My goal is to start. My goal is to go as far as I can and that will be the measure of my success. I hope to finish, but if I don't, the failure to finish will be a victory in the beginning of my path to becoming a woman who loves the outdoors and thrives in the use of her body.

I hope all of you have dreams and desires that are exciting to you and maybe even a little scary, or perhaps a lot scary. Don't wait to start. Be courageous. Begin now. I am with you.