I’ve been remiss about writing the two previous weeks due to amazing family events, such as celebrating my husband’s fortieth birthday and visiting family for Memorial Day weekend. All great things to focus on while I put my writing on hold for a bit.
I feel as though a lot of my previous entries have a common theme—peaks and valleys. I know several of you resonate with that message and today’s thought is a continuation of a similar concept.
This past week was definitely a great example of some highs and lows. Admittedly, I have experienced some symptoms of post-partum depression since having my son over a year ago. Add to that all of our big changes over the past year and some days are definitely in the “valley” category more than I would like to admit.
After some soul searching, I chose to de-stress my life and take some things off my plate. With my husband’s 100 percent support, I did make two rather large decisions to cut out some activites in my life (this is HUGE for me—not easy to do, coming from the “achiever” background). Immediately, I felt a huge weight lifted off of me and after an energy and chakra healing session with my yogi friend, Marta, I found additional peace. I could feel a complete shift within my being.
Have you ever done that? Just taken a step back, a few deep breaths perhaps, and realigned yourself with your own truth?
I have found myself in the past few years identifying with so many roles – mom, coach, realtor, wife, business owner, friend, etc., etc., – that I ended up having a bit of me spread in all of those directions. It is a very common thing happening in our country right now, with spouses unemployed or economic demands being greater than they were before. Yet, I was reminded this week that I am not just about those “Titles”. I am much more than that at the heart of me.
Part of that reminder came when my sweet husband went out and bought me some beautiful red roses and encouraged me to “stop and smell the roses.” As I heard him say that, I realized that that is exactly what I want to do.
It started with my half-marathon race this weekend. I have been known to be quite the achiever. Yet, knowing that I had been under trained for this race due to all the stressful events in our lives and wanting to stay in alignment with that theme of “smelling the roses”, I went into the race ready to do just that, smell the roses. It wasn’t going to be about the time I finished in. It wasn’t going to even be about how good or bad I felt. I wanted to find joy in the journey. I wanted to look around and enjoy the scenery – the river, the trees, the downtown city landscape of Minneapolis, look into the eyes of the supportive fans.
As the race started and I looked around me as I ran, I noticed how many runners didn’t do the same. 99% of them were simply staring straight ahead, listening to their headphones (or not) and “in the zone” of simply moving forward. I’m not at all downplaying that, for that is mostly what I tend to do. But not today.
In spite of aches/pains and moments where I chose to walk instead of run, I did maintain a pretty decent pace through mile 11. I started flirting with “achieving” my time goal after all and attempted to muster all the stamina I could beyond that point. Yet, it was at mile 12 that something happened I never expected. Not in a million years.
My head immediately jerked around to look behind me to see where this “Superman” was.
Just 20 paces behind me was a runner dressed in a Superman costume. I had always seen a “Superman” costumed runner in nearly every race. As a Lois it has always been a dream of mine to run with a Superman, get pictures and just plain enjoy the experience.
Here was my opportunity. The choice was made in a split second. My time goal had flown out the window. I wanted to simply smell the roses. I ran back to meet Superman and ask him if I could run with him, since my name was Lois and it was my dream to do so.
“Sure!” was all it took and we finished the last mile or so together. We stayed side by side. When he walked, I walked. When he ran, I ran. When he made a charge for the finish, I charged with him.
At the end, I felt great (outside of the massive pain my body was exuding). Superman and I had several photo opportunities, donning our finisher medals. We said our goodbyes, thanking each other for a great finish.
“I couldn’t have done it without you,” ‘Superman’ said.
I smiled from ear to ear and laughed.
“Same here.” I replied.
I walked slowly back to the car, my legs feeling as if I had run a marathon rather than just a half. Yet I didn’t care. Following my heart and smelling the roses created an amazing race, an amazing opportunity and more amazing photos that will last a lifetime.
CLICK HERE to see pictures of my race and the “Super” finish.
Life is good and I am still smelling the roses!