Last week I had the pleasure of doing an 18 mile hike with a friend. Yes, you read that right. 18 miles. In one day. And we even ran a few of them. It was a glorious day, and actually much cooler in the mountains at elevation (80 compared to 107 in town... I'll take that any day!) It was a perfect time for chatting, laughing, ohhing and ahhing at the scenery... and reflecting.
When my friend had asked me to go a few weeks back I said yes without hesitation. I surprised myself with both the assertiveness and the confidence with which I responded. The most I've ever hiked in one day is 15 miles, let alone running some of it. My body was obviously game!
As we hiked, I thought back to this time last year. In pain. so much pain. unable to sleep at night. Feeling foggy. Feeling drained. Falling asleep on the drives in to teach or lead trainings. I knew something was up and had to give. August of last year was the month I turned my life around and finally got serious about my health. The month I stopped saying, "oh, maybe I should give that up," and actually gave up all the things. Many of them for good. August is the month I chose myself. And a year later, I'm seeing the huge repercussions of said choice.
A year later, I can hike 18 miles, wake up with a little bit of soreness the next day, and a do a crossfit workout without being dead to the world. A year later, I can see with clarity. A year later, the heat drains me, not everything else. A year later, I'm in better shape than I ever thought possible and recovering faster and enjoying life full out. I don't ever want to forget that! And I sort of did... It's become so habitual to feel so good and alive and vibrant that unless I specifically remember to look back or something gets triggered... I forget. It also means I've found a new level of comfortable. And 18 mile day hikes are helping me break out of that zone. If the things I've done in one year by changing my health are possible, it begs the question:
What else is possible in my life that I'm not seeing right now?
While I've been sitting pretty feeling good about myself, there are new limits to be set. New heights to encounter. New challenges to endure. Not that it's bad or wrong to feel good about myself at all. And... I get excited thinking about what could be if I set my mind to it.
My journey with health and food started many years ago at a 40 Days program when I gave up sugar. I felt so amazing at the end of it, and it planted this seed within me. Maybe sugar is not so great. Maybe I should give it up. Maybe. And then every year, every 40 Days program, I'd do it again, and I'd get the same results, only to go back to old habits. It wasn't until I was at my wits end that change happened. I also believe all those things happened when they were supposed to, and it took me having a little faith and trust in someone who could help me figure it out to get things moving.
And so... a year later, I look back and I marvel at just how far I've come. It wasn't easy to give up sugar and gluten and dairy and so many other things I love. It was worth it.
It makes me wonder about this year... 2020... this strange anomaly.
How it too feels not easy. It feels like there's a lot of things I'm giving up... or rather that have been shed. Things I can no longer do... much like when I changed my diet there were things I could "no longer eat." I remember changing my mindset on that and saying, "but look at all that I get to eat!"
What if it's the same with this year? What if, instead of looking at all the things we can't do, we looked at all the amazing opportunities ahead of us?
If I can have the same feelings about 2020 I had about changing my diet and my food intake, and I can NOW feel like it was all so worth it... I can only think that 2020 must be the same. That a year from now we will look back at all this and despite all the hardship and pain and loss think, "Wow, that was so worth it!"
I recently said in an Instagram story that all good things are worth the work. If we want to open our shoulders, we've got work our back bodies. If we want peace, we've got practice meditation. If we want to have better relationships, we've got to practice my listening skills. I still believe this, not because it has to be done, and because there is something about digging deep that polishes us to a new level of shine.
We are deep in the work right now people. The work to stay afloat. To feed our families. To fight for injustice. To pivot our businesses. To pivot our lives. To stay compassionate and connected and full of love. And at time, this work can feel like too much. Like we just can't do it. We are going to have peaks and valleys. It's part of the ride. As my teacher, Susanne Conrad said this morning, if it's all flatlined, like a heart, it's not really a life. Heart beats go up and down, just as our lives have ups and downs. It's the natural rhythm of things. And some of us may feel deep in the valley right now. Looking for the way out. The way to the peak.
I suppose I share all this to say, take heart. Remember to put things in perspective, and mostly... to have faith. And when faith fails, practice patience. We WILL see the other side of this. We may not come out unscathed. We will come out changed. We will come out with having created new opportunities and realized new dreams we never thought possible.
I'm all in for the challenge. It doesn't mean I love it all the time. But I'm committed to seeing myself through it. Join me. Let's support each other. I'm always here to listen or help however I can. Reach out to me. Reach out to each other. 2020 is far from over, in fact, it's just beginning, so let's get to it, my friends.
Sending you love and hugs!