OUTSOURCE...MY NEW MANTRA

Control freak. Type A. Or even Type A ++…those might describe me in some way. Actually in most ways.  I don’t like being out of the loop on anything at all.  I don’t like being out on boats because I cannot turn around and get back when I want, I don’t like giving up control of things in most areas of my life generally,  so it took me a lot of work to make certain decisions that I can now look back on and see how they completely changed my life.  There are few that stand out that I’ll share with you but first, I want to dig deeper into this concept.

We’re all doing a lot, we’re all super busy, we consistently hear people sharing their calendars with us, they love to tell us their plans, and they love to complain about things that must be done that we all wish we would rather not have to do. I wonder though, why is it that we take on so much above and beyond the nitty gritty that must be done, only to have ourselves be driven crazy about the lack of time and the fact that we just sometimes cannot get it all done?

One of the best examples of how I decided to conquer my control freak issues was many years ago when my first business was growing. I was ecstatic but also panicked because the workload was expanding more rapidly than I could  have imagined at that stage and I was becoming less and less productive. Why? Because I was doing every single thing I took on- that meant everything from admin, to running to the post office, to taking high level calls, building my website and everything in between that happened on a day to day business. Sure, I had great clients but was I serving them optimally? No. Was the money great? Absolutely but at what cost? I was terrified all the time that I was going to lose them because I wasn’t performing at my best for any of them individually.  I needed help, but I was so adverse to it just because of the way I was wired that it was so difficult to admit.  How could I delegate properly? What about money? I worked so hard, how could I part with what I was earning and how was I going to teach someone quickly what they needed to know? And worst of all for a control freak, how could I take responsibility for someone’s livelihood? What if something happened? What if I lost it all?   All rational questions but they plagued me intensely for a long while until I sat down with a mentor that simply gave me a hard look, cut the conversation and just said “It’s simple. Do you want to grow or not? Yes? Then get the hell over it and make it happen. Stop this nonsense and  F*&K the rest.  You’ll figure it out”

I’ll never forget that lunch where I felt like I got punched in the gut- it hurt for like a few seconds and then it all made sense.  I took a chance and took someone on- without her , who is still with me to this day, and some amazing team members, I never could have achieved half of what I’ve done in business and in life.

I’d been feeling overwhelmed like that lately. Business has grown, life is full, being a mom takes every minute and every bit of energy one has in them on a nonstop basis and truly I wouldn’t have it any other way. But, things started to slip that I couldn’t stand. Laundry wasn’t getting done, food shopping had become a ridiculous chore that I never seemed to have time for, closets felt crowded, things in cabinets felt disorganized and why? Because I opt to do things  with my time that for me, are much more fruitful like spending quality time with my daughter. Like strategizing on a new idea. Like writing. Like building businesses.  The stuff that matters, and things like laundry just simply at this stage, matter not.

So, I decided to do an experiment and outsource as much as possible.  I soon found out that it’s the best money I could ever spend because I have, over the course of a year, become so much lighter, happier, freer, more creative and most crucially, MORE PRESENT with my daughter.  I use Peapod for my food delivery and they bring it right into my kitchen, cutting down hours per week spent back and forth to the supermarket between shopping, packing and then unloading from the car. I have an amazing dogwalker that I call on when needed to help me with my 2 bulldogs when I can’t get them outside enough.  I have an incredible lady who helps me with everything from deep cleaning to laundry (including putting it away) and she with her professional organizer mind is going through each and every one of my closets and drawers one by one and organizing them with military precision.  I have someone to shovel snow, someone to handle landscaping, the dry cleaning gets delivered and collected and I do most of any other personal shopping online with my favorite stores and tons on Amazon Prime.  Does it all cost more money? Yes, of course some of it does but when you break it down, in some cases it’s pennies on the dollar such as the food shopping.  I pay a small delivery fee but the grocery prices are  exactly the same as they would be if I was in store. Amazon Prime frequently offers free shipping which is rapid as well, the dry cleaning service doesn’t charge any fees to pick up and drop off items and so forth. The cleaning is an indulgence but worth every penny and then some. And the very same with the dog walker, and so forth.  So,  yes, in many cases it’s an investment but to me, the positive effects it’s had on my life and the quality time I can dedicate the most important things in my life are priceless.

Have a look at what’s really slowing you down and measure it all out. Can you afford to have it taken over by someone or something that can free that time up for you to do something more productive? If you can, I know it will be worth the investment.  Because your life deserves it, and so do all of the important people in it.

WHY IMPERFECT IS COOL...

Some people shut down when they are extremely tired. My mind works the complete opposite way, when I am operating on very little to no sleep, I find a unique clarity that only exists when I am operating at a significant sleep deficit.  One of those moments came to me this week in Japan.  It was an easy going trip, busy and crowded but nothing out of the ordinary for my schedule- the only thing missing was some good hard sleep for a consistent few hours. Snoozes came here and there but nowhere at the level I needed so like I always do, I just went with it. I know a person here who thinks very deeply, he asks questions, he’s highly educated and well informed, and he asks questions that really make you think. Perhaps harder than you want to at that time.

So, when he was weaving in and out of Zen concepts and tenets of Buddhism, my tired ears and weary brain were instantly peaked.  Especially when he said something about perfection.  The idea revolved around thinking about what happens when things are “perfect”- where can they go after that but down? They crumble, they disappear, they morph into a different phase that perhaps is no longer as appealing or satisfying and I started to really wonder about this. Most people I know are striving for some perfect moment. The moment where they’ll have the perfect salary, the perfect mate, the perfect, house, the perfect life….but what is perfect, first of all?  Is there any such thing?  Did you ever know anyone that, for example, decided to have a baby once they were PERFECTLY ESTBLISHED? Is there ever enough money in the bank, really, before you embark on that journey?  People say things like that all the time but when is enough? What is the perfect peak and why wait so long when you have a dream that you want to come true?  And, once you achieve this idea of perfect, what happens then? It’s easy to stop striving, or to fall off and not try as hard.  I have been thinking a great deal about this since that conversation and I wonder if we’re all chasing something that doesn’t exist and missing the bigger picture?

Perfect, to me, is right now- great  blessings but with imperfections.  I have everything I need but do I want things still? Yes. Do I ever feel off balance? Absolutely. Do I want to continue to achieve much more in business? You bet your ass.  So, why would I want things to be perfect? It would leave me with no real new level to aspire to.

He said that the Japanese believe that a crystal clear full moon is best viewed under a bit of cloud cover. Think about that and the entire concept…what is it you are striving for, and how do you view your goals and current situation?  There’s no real right or wrong answer here, but it’s certainly something to consider.  Nobody, and nothing, is truly perfect and what I do know for sure is, that’s OK.

WHAT CRYPTO REMINDED ME ABOUT INVESTING IN PEOPLE

I must have heard the word “cryptocurrency” about 25 times per day for the past few months.  Today is no different- my Facebook feed is flooded with news, my friends give me tips, I obsessively check my balances and what for? Is it only to make money? Yes, that’s part of it but the other part is the emotional side, the gamble, the selection of investment, the careful approach, the highs, the lows and everything else that comes along with it. With so much banter about what one should invest in, I started thinking about how much so many elements reminded me of relationships and how it really applies to people in your life as well.  Here’s what I’ve been reminded of through my crypto-journey, I love the parallels…

THE LONG GAME-  Crypto, like any relationship or friendship, is the long game. For me, at least- I’m not into investing everything into someone (or some sort of currency) for the short play. I don’t have the time, or the emotional bandwith and I would venture to say most of us really are the same in that vain.  If you keep tabs daily, you’ll get significantly happy one minute and then sad the next because life cycles are like that and so are relationships of any level- friendships, business or otherwise. For me, looking at my balance on Coinbase hourly might completely make me frustrated, then elated but it’s the long game.  It’s the back and forth that is the nature of the market, or in this case, life that tests any sort of relationship and there are always going to be ups and downs.  It’s how the long term plays out that really makes the difference so breathe and bask in the good moments, hold on with strength through the worst and if it’s the worthwhile investment you believe it to be, it will hold.

DON’T GET FOOLED BY THE THE BRAND NEW HYPE- Someone, in some way, may come into your life…just like a brand new currency that everyone can’t stop talking about.  Does it look interesting at first glance? Yes. Does everyone seem to love it? Yes. Is it a trend? Yes.  But is it real? Will it sustain? Will it perform well and give back to you what you give into it?  Probably not because it’s  just winning the minute with something slick.  Just because everyone else thinks it’s cool doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you- do your research or in a person’s case, give them a chance, two if you need to but it’s got to be the right fit for you, not for what fits for everyone else. 

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW-  There is no substitute for intuition, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t go there.  But if it does, pour in everything you can, support it, and keep wishing for the best.

So, invest wisely my friends.  Time is short, emotions are long and strong and you know where to direct them.

HERE'S THE WHAT WHEN YOU CAN'T GET THE WHY

An unanswered question, to me, is pretty much one of the worst things I could ever have to contend with. I’m the girl that will go to the 27th page of a Google search to find what I need, so when I don’t have the WHY, it sits on me like an awful mosquito bite on the middle of your back that will neither go away nor ever be reached to be scratched enough to make it feel better.  It is one of those things that has always stayed with me, sat on my heart like a 50 lb. weight, and lingered in the back of my head no matter how much clarity I had otherwise in every other aspect of my life.

The unknown. Why do we have such a challenge with it? Is it that we need to control situations? Is it that we have such command of everything we do and everything we need, at our fingertips? We are so accustomed to instant gratification that the second something cannot be accessed or figured out, we get irritated. I’m a self-professed control freak so I know that’s my issue…but it’s only recently in my life that I have learned to get better with this and I will tell you what helped.

I was talking to a friend of mine about something challenging that I was dealing with one day a long while back and after listening a bit, he simply said,

“Stop it. Like, now. You’re never going to get the WHY.”

And, another amazing friend of mine more recently told me during a deep conversation about life,

“Sometimes shit just is what it is. That’s all.”

It’s so simple, it’s one of those things that smacks you in the face when you hear it and it’s pretty damn obvious until you repeat it to yourself and actually BELIEVE it. That’s what takes the work. That’s what takes the investment in yourself and that’s what prompts the shift in being able to let the unanswered things go.

Gaining the acceptance of the fact that sometimes you really just are never, ever going to get the WHY is one of the most challenging things ever.  We search, we seek, we try to wrap our minds into an explanation, we pursue, we research, but sometimes there just actually is no answer. Why do people that we love fall ill and pass away?  Why is there inequality?  Why are some amazing people dealt truly shitty situations? Why are families sometimes left with nothing after a natural disaster strikes?   The list goes on.

The truth is, there is no good answer. Sometimes there just is no WHY.  At least no WHY for everything. Sometimes there is and when you get it, it’s great. It’s pure elation when things make sense but there’s also a large portion that goes unexplained and the older we get, the better (I’d like to think) that we get at moving into a quicker acceptance.  Life is short, we don’t have much time and what I have come around to understanding is that time spent pursuing the WHY is time wasted, and time you’ll never get back. I’ve wasted too much of it over my lifetime and I refuse moving forward to let it drain me and I wish the same for you.

It’s not easy, it’s not natural and it shouldn’t be (ok, don’t go there and ask WHY you don’t always get the WHY)…but the next time you find yourself spinning your wheels searching for a higher reason WHY, refer to this and just do your best that day/week/month to accept that “Sometimes shit just is what it is. That’s all”   Your only job is to figure out how to make yourself better from it, and that I know you can figure out.

BEHAVE LIKE A 5 YEAR OLD…REALLY

Every time the year ends and a new year begins, I always find myself doing a mental review of several areas of my life…work, personal, goals crushed, future ideas and of course, the tangents go on and on.  I’m blessed to be surrounded by a group of incredible people who lift me up when I need it, are happy for me when things happen for me and likewise- I’m there for them just as much if not more. But, when I thought about a few areas where that was just out of balance this year, I thought about how very basic so many lessons really are and how much I wish everyone just adhered to them. Some have taken me years to return to and master, but in the end, behaving like a 5 year old is actually OK.  In fact, I recommend it and here are 5 reasons why.

1.       WHEN YOU APOLOGIZE, SHOW DON’T TELL-  Not just a line from one of my favorite songs, but really. When you say you are sorry, mean it and back it up with an action. Or, don’t even say it, just make something happen that shows the other person it’s real.  Let me tell you what is NOT an apology- the old “I’m sorry if you took it that way”. That doesn’t count and neither do words when there are no actions to back them up. What does a 5 year old do? They say sorry and you can see it in their eyes that they REALLY mean it. You get that hug, that plea of “I’ll never do it again” which at that time you can see they truly mean from their heart, and they do things like trying to glue a plate back together which makes more of a mess than you can handle but that’s ok.  It’s the gesture and action that goes along with it that counts, not the words. 

2.       BE NICE-  Why is this just not a totally universally adopted thing?   Smile at people, don’t avert your eyes. Say hello. Put people first. Share your toys.  Sit down next to someone who looks like they’re alone and talk to them- 5 year olds do it all the time. Remember that first day of school when you didn’t know anyone, and didn’t understand what “everyone’s in the same boat” meant yet? You probably sat down next to a stranger and became their friend. You probably opened yourself up and asked someone to play with you, or someone asked that of you.   Just be nice- don’t hurt people, think about your words before you say them because you can’t take them back.

3.       DON’T HOLD GRUDGES- What does a 5 year old do when they’re mad? They get SERIOUSLY pissed about something they think is the end of the world and then by the next day (or even like by the next hour) they’ve forgotten all about it and have moved on. They don’t remember that they couldn’t get that toy in the store, they don’t remember that so-and-so accidentally bumped into them or misplaced the eraser they loaned them (both of which are easily the end of the world at the moment).  It’s not that you have to forget everything, just forgive and go forward.  Grudges do nothing but give you wrinkles and grey hair, neither of which are sexy.

4.       FIND THE HUMOR IN EVERYTHING- Honestly, what saves me from like 99.9% of things that would otherwise stress me out is the humor. I laugh at everything even when it’s not really funny in a conventional way or even if nobody around me understands why I’m laughing.  It lightens the soul, it makes us happy, it makes us smile and if you look around, the world is pretty fucking funny and so are all of us that inhabit this planet.    5 year olds giggle with reckless abandon, they don’t see the dark side of anything so take that cue- even when it’s a really shitty thing that’s happened, there is usually something, even if you have to search deeply for it, that you can find to laugh about.

5.       DO THINGS LIKE NOBODY IS WATCHING-  That’s right. Sing in your car. Dance down the aisle of the supermarket.  Eat lunch in a restaurant by yourself.  Do something that puts you outside of your comfort zone.  Honestly, who cares what people think or if they’re staring? Does a 5 year old care? No, they dance. They play crazy games.  They sing. They perform. And when they do, they are PROUD and do it with courage.  We could all take a cue from that. 

I ORDERED MY COFFEE IN A GARBAGE CAN

Yes, I did it, in front of a whole line of cars at Dunkin Donuts today. And I might add that it’s not the first time that I’ve done it.  The more important issue here is WHY I did that and to that, I have an answer.  I simply was just not paying attention.  Sure, we all dip out from time to time but it’s always important to examine why we do it, especially when it’s something silly, before it turns into something major that just cannot be fixed.

I was on the phone (speaker of course), the radio was on, I was lost in thought about an event I’m working on and trying to solve issues while thinking about what I may have forgotten to send in to school with my daughter, the emails that stacked up overnight that I had to get to, the gifts that are due tomorrow for a charity I work on, and a million other things and when I rolled up, I wasn’t even looking around.  I saw the garbage can in my peripheral vision and spoke my order. It was only when I didn’t get a response after a minute that I looked up and realized there’s nobody in there, or at least I hoped there wasn’t.  I never even knew where the hell I actually was.

This doesn’t happen often to me but when it does, it’s the best kind of wake up call I can get. I, like so many of us, tend to get wrapped up in everyone else’s needs. My kid, my family, my friends, my clients. Who needs a conference call at 5 AM so that it’s convenient for them? Who needs a ride somewhere? Who needs to talk? Who needs something nice done for them? Who’s birthday is it and did I make sure I sent something and called them?  Who needs a dentist appointment scheduled? What do the dogs need?  And the list goes on.   It’s nothing new, and usually I can balance everything but there are moments, like today, where apparently it just fell out of whack.  The reason? Because even though I got up early, felt accomplished, worked, exercised, and so forth, I didn’t actually do anything in the last few days that was truly FOR ME.   I was busy traveling for work, working around everyone else’s schedule, handling meetings, back home to handle holiday decorating, getting ready for the week, preparing for client visits, producing an event, shopping, scheduling a court date to get divorced (yes, that’s also happening next week) and I just realized I haven’t even stopped to BREATHE.

And, this is why I really relish my life.  Instead of getting stressed, I felt really giddy that I got that kind of ridiculous reminder because no matter what, I can always laugh at myself and as long as you can do that, you’re a step above anything that can possibly stress you.  I saw it, took it as a sign, ate a Munchkin (the horror!), drank my coffee, listened to a great song and felt a little more centered.

We all have a ton on our plate, my story isn’t different from anyone else’s who is reading this and the reason why I can usually handle so much is because I do have outlets- mainly exercise and occasional really bad TV.  But when I forget the basics, that’s when things start to fall out of focus.    So, please, no matter what, promise me that you’ll do something for YOU each day. Every single one of us actually has a few minutes to just BE. Even when we think we don’t, I promise they are there. You just have to find them. When you do, use them and don’t forget them. They are the moments that balance us, and save us from ordering food into inanimate objects.

GO ANY WAY BUT BACKWARDS

“Just keep it moving”.  If you know me well, or even if we’re just in the same orbit, chances are you’ve heard me (or overheard me) saying this at some point. I actually say it a lot, all the time truthfully because it is one sentence that helps me through just about anything.  And, lately, I’ve been repeating it more than ever.

Motion is everything. What I mean by that is action, purpose, steps, intention, pursuit, thought, and about a million other things that your mind and body can control versus being stagnant, stuck or paralyzed. Often times, things are thrown at us that we feel we cannot control. A work problem occurs and gets bigger as the day or week goes on, a relationship falls off track, someone says something that makes you upset, you lose something and the list goes on.  There are so many things that just occur and that, my friends, is just called life.  But, what we do about it is completely within our control and the best way, the ONLY way through it is to continue to move.  Forward is best, sideways is ok, but backwards is never an option. Move, even if you’re in place and not going forward, just don’t go backward.

This can be physical motion which I always recommend, but mental motion is key when you feel like you’re about to step into a gigantic pile of steaming goo that’s going to glom on to your shoes and never let you go.  When a situation upsets you- say it’s work, say you lose a client or lose your job, it’s shit. It kills. You get angry and that’s normal but getting stagnant just isn’t an option.  It’s a time to think about what you really want, how you want to pursue it and then what you’re going to do to get there. Motion here is critical when these things occur. It kills like hell but moving in any way but backwards will just never, ever propel you forward. Instead of letting the darkness prevail, understand it’s a time to consider what you’re really looking for, what type of work makes you happy, a new path perhaps that you can discover and then focus on working on that. Motion such as writing, research, networking, even when you feel it’s not yielding immediate results, is still working for you in a bigger (just slower) way.  It’s not a time to sink down, it’s a time to step up. I know it’s a lot easier to say than to do but I’ve been there so I can say it with some authority. Motion is key. 

When someone or something upsets you, it’s the best time to tune into yourself, take stock and think about one thing- just one thing that you can to do make yourself feel just a little bit better. Write a letter that you never intend to send, yell, cry, call me =), vent to a friend, dress up, get yourself together for at least 10 minutes per day, sit in bed and binge watch a show- anything to keep your mind active as it needs to be while opening up the space to sit back and learn more about the WHAT because we never really understand the WHY. The point is, don’t bottle it- do SOMETHING, and not NOTHING.  Take a little step each day to shift your head out of the space even if it’s just for a few minutes. That motion will build critical mass and sooner than later, you’ll start to see your way upward. 

Life delivers a lot that we cannot choose, but remember, you always can choose to do nothing, or something..I’ll always go for the something. 

 

I'LL TAKE AN EXTRA HELPING OF GUTS, THANKS

You know how it is to be able to be in control of most everything and then be hit with a few things that you just absolutely can’t control? Yeah, that’s the last few days for me.  Aside from a few things that have been difficult to deal with, my Type A mind can’t seem to wrap itself around the fact that things like running are just not getting any easier. OK- full disclosure, I’ve only been training for a half marathon for a few weeks but I expected better of myself than what’s been happening. Am I going further? Sure, a little bit. Do I see a little more endurance? Yes, but to me it’s not enough and it feels like no matter how hard I work, I just can’t get it to click. I’m busting my ass and feeling like I’m getting nowhere, giving it my all and not getting back what I am putting into it.

This brought me to another seemingly consistent issue in my life, overdelivering and under-receiving if that’s even a word. It’s a cold feeling, a smack in the face kind of like that first blast of icy winter wind when you psych yourself up to go out and train and get hit with that gust which makes you wonder why the hell you’re out there in the first place or who the hell thought it was a good idea to even get involved? (me, usually me, actually ALWAYS me)

I feel like the running is a symbol of other areas of my life- giving, pushing, dedicating my heart, delivering my all and though most of the time it seems balanced, there are other gaping holes that are just so glaring. It started me to think recently- why do I do it? Why do any of us do it? Why do we embark on things that are difficult, challenging, even heartbreaking at times? Why do we love the torture and pain it brings? And, what are we all getting from it?   It’s easier to retreat, to go back, to dismiss and bow out all the time but that doesn’t make us whole. That doesn’t let us be who we are and who we are meant to become. That doesn’t let us reap the rewards when they come, and they always do come even if we have to be super patient which you know is not my strong suit at all.

I feel these days that perhaps we are always in training for something- a job, a life change, a new status, not just a run and it’s these hard times, the times we feel like we are going to fall apart and that it all means nothing, that we find out that we still are something and we can do everything.  Does it suck in the meantime? You bet your ass it does. It hurts, it makes us cringe, but we cannot quit because what’s on the other side, when the time is right, will all be worth what you went through. So, this Thanksgiving, just like I will, go for an extra helping of guts to overcome whatever’s blocking you at the moment and when it’s all in the past, you’ll be better for it.  TRUST.

 

     

AND WHAT I NEED IS ALL AROUND ME

Sometimes you hear lyrics from a song that you listen to often and something just strikes you. You hear it in a way you hadn’t before and today it was Dave Matthews saying “and what I need is all around me”. Think about that for just a second and then we’ll move on.

It’s been a year for me, to say the least. So much has changed and I’m good with that, and one of the lessons I’ve learned most (and yes, it’s taken a lot of work during the darker times) is to focus on gratitude.  Yes, things sometimes are great and then all of a sudden turn to shit. People leave our lives, people come into our lives, money ebbs and flows, and directions turn on us before we even have a chance to put a signal on and get prepared. It’s easy to get angry, I do it.  It’s easy to complain, we all do it. But at the end of the day, believe me, there are millions of people in this world that would give anything they could to live one day in your shoes. 

When I was listening to this line of the song a few times, I started to think about some people I come across that tend to focus more on what they don’t have versus what they actually DO have. Again, all normal, we’ve all done it but when you take some time to really look around and evaluate, I’ll bet anyone would find that they’ve actually got everything they need, just perhaps not in the traditional way that they may expect it to be there.

Here’s what I mean.  I have friends that are unattached, with no real significant other in their lives. Perhaps they’re post-divorce, or between relationships, or have never really found “the one” who loves them truly and conditionally. They harp on it, get upset about it, worry about it and yet when they look more deeply, they find that they (just like me) have an amazing circle of friends who tell them they love them regularly.  Who will do anything for them. Who surprise them. Who hold their hand when they’re sad, listen without judgement and always have their back.  It’s just not in the form of a partner in that sense, but when they look deeper they see they have that feeling and those bonds with loved ones in some way.

Or, consider those who never feel satisfied with what they’re earning.  I mean, really, is it EVER enough? It’s normal and natural to want to strive, even when we’re rocking it financially. We crave more, we feel like we deserve more and sometimes we let money rule our lives.  Again, normal. We all need it to live and to be able to do some of the things we love. Look deeper though and guess what? If they’re reading this it or anything else online, they have a computer, an internet connection, most likely a roof over their head, food to eat, a job that hopefully they love (but may not) yet still it’s a job, and they’re way ahead of so many others.  Goals are great, goals are necessary, but it’s equally as necessary to pause and see exactly what you’ve already done and appreciate what that has brought you.

I have always believed that where you are right now is exactly where you’re supposed to be.  Bad times lead to good, dark days lead to strength, pain leads to endurance and confidence- feel it all, go through it, let it run through you but try (and I know it’s hard) to always find a way to push past it regularly even if it’s just for a few minutes and look at what you DO have versus what you DON’T and you’ll find it’s really all there.  Just perhaps in a slightly different way that you’ve expected it to be.

 

13.1 OR BUST. AND YES, I’M FREAKED OUT

When things get rough and there are two roads to take, for some reason I always opt for the more difficult one.  I have no idea why. The complicated and the extremely complex intrigue me.   I like a challenge, I enjoy breaking things down and figuring them out and sometimes, it’s more of an obstacle than I’m sure I can take on at that moment.  Today’s Everest happens to be my first half marathon. 13.1 or bust.

It began at 3:45 AM local time in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I woke up cranky for various reasons and couldn’t go back to sleep so I headed down to the hotel gym.  It was so early that the lights weren’t on and no matter how hard I tried with my phone flashlight, I couldn’t find the master switches so I just lost my patience and hopped on a treadmill. Let me preface this by saying I’m not a runner. I’ve never been.  I run if I’m being chased, I run once in a while if I want to mix it up at the gym but it’s not a thing for me. I was the worst “IT” when playing Tag.   I am a walker, a hiker, a climber, a biker, a strength trainerand that’s where it stands.  Running, and races in general have always spooked me a bit and for that reason I’ve always focused on other areas of fitness.

So, there I was, even crankier at that point when I noticed my Apple watch was going to die any minute but I was armed with a fierce mix on my phone and the peace of the absolute darkness. I started to run, bad mood and all which I am sure was fueling me double-time.   And I ran.  I thought about things that were bugging me and I melted into the beats in my ears and before I knew it, 5 miles had passed. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I did that in one shot. When I looked down, something strange came over me and though I was tired, I didn’t want to stop so I continued.  It was a feeling I wasn’t used to but I wanted more of it.

By the time I was nearly finished, a trainer had come down and turned on the lights, after I apparently scared the hell out of him and I wound it down.  6 miles and change. Not a big deal for so many, but a massive deal for me who doesn’t runregularly and I decided at that moment I was going to do yet another thing that freaks me out. Run a race. A half marathon sounded good.

Yes, I said it sounded good at the time and as of yesterday, I’m officially on. March 18, 2018, just two days after my 43rd birthday, I will be embarking on this journey. I have a ton to do, a lot to learn and the curiosity of how it will all turn out is driving every single part of me, mentally and physically.

The point of it all is that a life lived without challenges is not the fullest possible life, at least not for me. Digging deep, experiencing exhilarating moments and also the most ridiculous disappointments, knowing love, laughing until you cry, challenging your body and mind and always embarking on journeys that inspire and scare you are what makes it all worth it.  So, this is my next mountain to climb.  There’s no turning back. What are you going to commit to that will shake your world?