Declare It Day 2017

Declare It Day 2017 is in the books!

Knock on wood, my running’s been going well lately and I’ve been kicking around the idea of a fall marathon, most likely the Twin Cities Medtronic Marathon given that the course is  going to be (practically) in our new neighborhood and it’s a course I’ve run four times already.

This will also be my tenth marathon, which seems like a cool milestone.

Putting something out there for everyone to see has usually been an effective motivator for me in the past, so here’s my Declare It Day goal for 2017:

16473960_10154279395545267_3663531742610550963_n

And yes, I want to go for a PR!

 

The Banishment of Just

I’m working hard to eliminate the word “just” from my vocabulary.

Not “just” in the sense of what is fair and equitable, but “just” in the minimizing sense, the one that depletes the value of everything that comes before or after.

As in “I just want to tell you something …” or “I just think that …”

Adding “just” feels apologetic, as if the contribution somehow isn’t worthy without qualification.

And that’s not how I feel about what I have to say.

As a runner I sometimes hear that word used in reference to shorter races, e.g. “It’s just a 5k.”

This great post sums it up well: It’s not JUST a 5k.

Bloom_Notjusta5K_Final-760x397

Via Fellow Flowers

A few days before going to a running retreat held last weekend, I broke my toe – for at least the third time.

Let me repeat: I was headed to a RUNNING retreat. With a broken toe.

Visions of long miles were quashed every time I even thought about my bruised, swollen toe. Running seemed out of the question.

On the final day of the retreat there was a 5k run, strictly for fun and not meant to be competitive. I gingerly tested my toe and discovered that it hurt, but I could run, and that was enough.

With gratitude, I finished that 5k.

Nothing “just” about it.

 

Rising

And … I’m back.

Sorry for the radio silence. I didn’t mean it to be that way, I swear.

A lot of things happened, but I didn’t feel like talking about any of them.

Until now.

Something happened and I don’t want to stay quiet.

Or perhaps better said: I found my voice again.

I’ve written about my love for Fellow Flowers before. After discovering the group in 2014, I was all in.

photo-26

I wanted – needed – to be part of a community of women runners that is about so much more than running.

Last weekend I attended Rock Retreat Run, where nearly 250 like-minded Flowers were ALL IN for three transformative days of dreaming, connecting, laughing, sobbing (yes), and undergoing personal development (although to call it “personal development” is to practically belittle how important this felt).

Spiritual Gangsters in running shoes, y’all.

My BFF T. came along, and I was so glad to have her there as a witness. Two minds now blown.

There were so many Big and Small Moments over the course of the weekend, but a few particularly stood out.

One Big Idea was to figure out what it would take to lead a life you love, one filled with passion and purpose, and then find your First Step.

thumbnail_FullSizeRender-1

Except.

The First Step can seem really, really scary. Paralyzingly so.

And then one brave, eloquent woman stood up and talked about the concept of Summiting. (Flower Friend, thank you for these words. You don’t know how they hit me). 

I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist:

When mountain climbers get to the top of a mountain, they don’t stay there. They get to the top of Mount Everest and then they get the hell out of there, because it can be cold and dangerous at the top. And staying at the top of the mountain isn’t the point, anyway. The point is to Summit, to take it as far as you can go and then head down to complete the expedition and move on to the next adventure.

The thing is, Summiting exists in real life. There are some things we can take so far and then they’re done; we’ve Summited. 

Without too many details, lately a part of my life feels like I Summited, fell right off the damn mountain, and now I’m lying there busted up at the bottom of the valley.

But like Glennon Doyle Melton told us on Friday, the valley is where the rivers and the fields are. Rivers and fields give us tools to make energy. Being in the valley makes us stronger, and we can Summit higher the next time.

thumbnail_FullSizeRender

Now I’m ready to Rise.

Thank you, Fellow Flowers.

thumbnail_IMG_0655

A Small-But-Awesome Moment: T. and I celebrating the Flower 5k finish.