Archive for February, 2013

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This week….

February 25, 2013

We’ve got lots happening around here…. as always! Here is what we’ve got for you this week! Stay tuned, I have two programs coming up at Midtown Athletic Club that I am really excited about. Without giving it away….. it involves swimming, indoor cycling, and yoga for athletes. But not all together (I love a surprise!)

Monday:

  • FREE webinar with myself and Score-This!!! called “Bike: Get the basics!” In this webinar we will review everything you need to know about multisport cycling. The difference between time trial and road bikes. Price points, etc. It’s free and it is at 8pm. Expect it to last about 30 minutes!
  • Register here!

Tuesday:

  • 6am Midtown Athletic Club: Indoor cycling 6am. This week we will ride the 4 6 minute climbs from last week hitting progressive sets in the tempo and aerobic ranges.
  • 6:30pm Cycledelic Indoor Cycling: Continuing to develop our aerobic base we will utilize HR, cadence, and power as we ride watching a movie screen of a route, this week maybe in the Southwest United States! Reserve your bike here. (as of Monday morning only two bikes remain for this class!)

Wednesday:

  • 5:30am Cycledelic: get a good 20 miles in before the world wakes up with the sunrise gang, again developing that solid aerobic base, maybe today we will ride the roads of Hawaii. Reserve your bike here.
  • 5:45pm Midtown Athletic Club: Indoor Cycling. Tonight we will execute the 4 X 10… a set of tempo, climbing and cadence work designed to take you to that edge, but not over!

Thursday:

  • Rochester’s American Diabetes Association’s Tour De Cure kick off dinner is at 5:30pm, at Harrow East, and I am your keynote speaker. I will share with you the story of what it was like to grow up with a brother who has Type I Diabetes. I will walk you through his diagnosis at age 8 (I was 6), how it changed our family, and how we lived through technological advances through the years.

Friday:

  • Midtown Athletic Club: 6am Power Vinyasa Yoga. In this heated 60 minute class we will flow and enhance strength and flexibility in time to get you on your way to work.

As always a busy schedule…. but I have the best job on earth… connecting with an amazing community while helping people get fit and reach goals. Does it get any better than that? I think not!

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Letters to msyelf

February 24, 2013

“Who takes care of you? You take care of everyone else?” I get this question a few times a week… related to sport (triathlon). The answer is easy…. I take care of myself.

This journey of self coaching is an interesting one, I am growing a lot. I have been on the edge of hooking back up with my coach many times….. but I committed to this endeavor and I committed to myself. One of the last things Jesse said to me before we parted was “I would like to see you take some Mary time.” Mary time is hard for me. But I took his words very seriously and this season not only did I give myself permission to chase Iron again, I committed to leading myself through it.

I know…. a real world decision and a real world issue (choke). My sport has always been important to me and a giant slice of my life. I am an athlete in my core and it is who I will always be. I often have said that I would give up many things before I gave up my coach. At the same time  coaching is not cheap. It’s a privilege and a choice, and money can always be better spent and better saved.

On Tuesday I found myself just wanting a coach to reach out to. I have many people to lean on. A call, text or email away. Nothing was wrong , I just wanted that guidance. While many friends have offered to help me in any way I need….. it’s a big task to place on them when they are not intricately involved in, or don’t quite understand the dynamics of my life.

Everyone thinks I have this crazy hectic unorganized life, and it’s easy for me to see why people think that way. At the same time that… it’s not how my life is at all…. I do absolutely nothing to convince anyone otherwise. I am actually not that busy, I have a ton of downtime. I am home more often than you can imagine. Because of that misconception of my life the advice usually comes in the form of “You need to rest.” I smile, I nod… of course. That’s always the answer. It’s an easy answer to give someone, but what do I expect when I fail to explain?

So on Tuesday I did what I am used to doing when I have a coach…. I sent an email. To myself. Dear Coach…. it read. I set the timing so that it would arrive an hour after I sent it. I sent it as an athlete asking her coach for a little guidance with some small things.

An hour later it arrived, and I read it from the perspective of the coach. A forced split personality if you will. I thought about it not in terms of me, but as if I was giving the guidance from someone else. I replied in that same fashion. I changed the settings in my workout log to email me the workout when it was submitted, just like it happens for the athletes I coach. At the end of each night I look at my workouts from the perspective of the coach and I even… reply (is this getting weird?). Good work, watch the watts on that last BST, don’t let them fall off. Try looking at the clock in the pool there Eggers, you’ve spent enough time off of it! And then I reviewed them…. as the athlete.

It’s been working very well. It’s hard to put yourself in an objective perspective, for some I would even call it impossible. I am getting it down to a science.

I always say that the longest distance you will ever have to travel is the distance from ear to ear. When you are making a comeback more people will criticize you than believe in you. You are only as fast at your last race. Sport is fleeting. You are only as strong as your weakest link. If people don’t know what you’ve been through (Because you have chosen not to tell) then they are even more critical.

My biggest attribute… thank you mom and dad…. is that I just don’t care. I have never listened to critics…. why would I begin now? It’s sport…. it’s a huge piece of my life but it’s not the only piece. I have it all in perspective and it works. The work is getting done and I have been relying on too many people instead of on myself.

There are things you can carry solo. Sport is absolutely one of them. If it becomes a burden or something I can’t carry…. then I have taken it way too far.

So who takes care of me? In life my husband and my son and the people in my circle. In sport…. I take care of myself. It’s what I have always done. It’s what I do for my athletes. It will make this Ironman so much more rewarding in more ways than just covering 140.6 miles.

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Headstrong

February 22, 2013

Do you know the story of the golfer who was a prisoner of war? Click here for it. The short story is this: a golfer spent 6-7 years in captivity during the Vietnam War. To escape the realities of his situation, every day he visualized a round of golf (his favorite sport). He visualized every piece of it. The feel of the clubs, every shot, the smell of the grass. For however long it took him to visualize that each day… he did it. When he was finally released… one of the first things he did was go play golf. He knocked 20 strokes off his best ever game. And he never picked up a club in captivity.

I love that story because (whether it is true or not doesn’t even matter to me) it demonstrates the power of the mind. As Karen Smyers once said “The longest distance you will ever have to travel is the distance from ear to ear.”

One of the swim coaches I worked with in high school was the first to teach me about the power of the mind. Weekly we would take us into the gym and we would lay down on mats. He would lead us through visualization techniques. Nothing fancy… just picturing swimming as we lay there. Later on he would instruct us to visualize our races. He would hold a stopwatch and he would start us. We were to raise our hand at the end of our event. “Raise your hand when you feel your hand touch the wall.”

You can’t imagine how close I came to the times I actually swam as my best times. It was unreal.

This weekend is the Dharma Rama, an annual retreat for Teens Living With Cancer. It was here two years ago that the concept of TLC Fit was born. At that time I was asked to do an hour on fitness. A kind person donated tubing and for an hour I led them through simple exercises. The tubing was perfect because it is something they can have in the hospital, at home, anywhere.

One of the teens asked me a question about one of the movements, she had a rod in her leg, thanks to osetosarcoma. I asked her what her doctor had recommended. She looked at her friends and they began to laugh. “Our doctor told us to go get healthy.”

It was then that I realized that there was no care or support for these kids post treatment, to help them claim their fitness again. Yes, Livestrong has a very good post chemo fitness program, but it begins at age 18. We spend a year developing the TLC Fit program and became an actual study with the University of Rochester.

And next month we start round two…. again as a study with the University of Rochester Medical Center.

This weekend I am teaching a yoga segment at the retreat. And we ran into some complications. 3 of the teens are physically unable to participate in yoga…. at all. One has just completed an intense… and intense isn’t even a strong enough word to describe it…. round of chemotherapy. He’s too weak. Another has had so many complications due to her treatment and cancer, so many surgeries…. that even raising her hands above her head is risky. She’s not even 17 yet. The third is another who has been through such intense and horrifying treatment that she was even told by a physical therapist…. I don’t know what to do for you.

Not only are they surviving cancer…. let’s kick them while they are down. All of them suggested they sit and watch the yoga segment.

While I was running on the tready the other morning and email came through from Leah (she’s the heart and soul of Teens Living With Cancer). I could feel from her words she was beyond stressed about this…. she’s been there. She’s a two-time cancer survivor herself and she felt the same way I did. Is there a way we could include these three without physically risking them?

She worries…. I run. I upped the speed a bit because I felt angry. I felt angry at cancer. Again. I am told that my anger at cancer is not productive but … well look at where it’s gotten us this far. My anger at cancer causes me to become creative. It’s the only way I know how to fight back against it.

Twenty minutes later it hit me. I straddles the treadmill and began to email her back. I have an idea.… I told her.

Just because these kids are weak doesn’t mean they can not do yoga. And why does doing yoga have to be on a mat anyway? I thought back to the story of the POW golfer and the visualization that we did on my swim team. I thought about what I felt during those times where I visualized swimming. You see… we visualized swimming….. we didn’t picture ourselves floating on a cloud or on a  ray of light…. that’s not that kind of thing that works for me. I pictured every stroke I took, I felt the water against my skin, I felt each breath I took.

I can do the exact same thing with yoga. Who says we ever need to do a physical downward facing dog? There are times when these teens are not going to be able to hop on a mat and flow through a sun salutation A, and why should we deny them the ability to do it at all? I will walk them through a practice. They will lay on the floor, or sit in a chair and close their eyes. I will get them on a mat in their heads and I will lead them through the same practice as the able-bodied teens. And they will walk away from this with a tool.

When I have gone through something physically difficult, and have been unable to physically move….. I revert to swimming. When I am in a procedure…. I swim the 500 yard free in my mind. Every single time. I do it just like I did in high school. I have just never really acknowledged it like I do now.

I have had this tool with me for how many years? It’s just occurred to me that I have had it. This si what has gotten me through. This is where I go when I physically can’t go somewhere else.

It’s my hope that this gives them that … something. When they are in the middle of a treatment, in isolation in the hospital….. they can roll out the mat in their mind. Visualize the inhale as they move through a practice. If you have ever done something like this….. you know what I mean. You know how well it can work.

My anger towards cancer pushed me to be creative. That’s my way of fighting back.

I am beyond excited to be part of Dharma Rama again this weekend. It’s a day for them, for them to connect, let loose and have some fun. It’s a day for them to understand that they are not alone.

Here is a video of the Teens from a few years ago. You will understand after watching this…. why these kids are my life.

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On grief

February 19, 2013

My son asked me what grief feels like, almost as if he knew. It’s strange entering that part of life where you have gathered so many life experiences that you begin to teach life experiences to your children.

Today as I am writing about grief I write about it for all of us. We have all lost someone… somewhere along our journeys. Some more than others, some more traumatically, some expected. It’s something we collect as we go through our lives and as we collect grief through loss we realize that quite literally…. we are all in this together. It’s never the same for each of us and at the same time, its common ground. Regardless of who we have lost or when we have lost them, or even how… I think we all can agree. It’s never gets better, only further away.

This isn’t meant to be sad. Nothing happened. I know it happens to you too, and know you aren’t alone in this experience.

For me…. grief hits in the middle of the night. Every so often. Like two nights ago. I wake up suddenly feeling like there is an elephant sitting on my chest. I am breathing rapidly and my bottom lip quivers. I breathe to hold back tears and I tense up every muscle in my body as if I am fighting or as if I am hearing the news for the first time.

And it might have happened twelve years ago. Or twenty. It’s never for one person… it’s collective. A collective crushing. I never know what brings it on and I never know when it will strike. Once a month, once every few months. Maybe six months.

It happens rarely enough that I know to pay attention to it when it happens and not try to run. You don’t always get over things…. you just kind of get through them. I have to get up out of bed, because it’s nothing I really need to wake my husband up for. It’s just something that happens. I go downstairs, have some water and lay down on the couch.

My dog seems to know what to do. She will just come lay next to the couch on the floor. Like she knows I don’t need to be held I just need someone nearby until it passes.

Sometimes I think of memories. My Grandmother sitting at her kitchen table while we are coloring eggs. My Grandfather showing us his photography. The hug she gave me at the race before she died. Our last phone call. Did I tell him I loved him? Was she happy? Did he feel anything?

Memories bring back tears and rip the scab right off and I realize the wound is just as fresh and just as deep. And I think of that scene in Forrest Gump …. the one where Jenny returns to her childhood home and throws rocks at it. Forrest says “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.”

That’s how I feel about death and cancer and unfair things. Like I want to hurl rocks and there are never enough. I don’t know what I hurl them at either, I just wind up and throw. For some reason the thought of throwing eases the pain and soothes the grief to a point. I don’t know how to fight against things bigger than me. But I want to. I want to fight back with everything I have.

The entire next day I feel reminded and grateful and sad. I hate when it hits me and I am so glad that it does. Take nothing for granted. I will wonder who God is and feel my faith is returning. There are many times I feel faithless and yet faithful. Sometimes I walk in the back of the line and other times I lead it.

The answer to the question “What does grief feel like?” doesn’t come easy. It feels like hole in your heart that you will always have. It feels like you miss someone so bad and it never fades. It means you don’t understand the world and why things happen and you carry around some anger and some peace and a lot of faith and questions that are not answered.
I never want him to feel grief but I know he will. I just don’t want him to ever feel it for me. At least not for a long time.

For now though we just get through it. We don’t ever have to get over it. We drop down the walls of pretending that we don’t understand. Grief is grief. No two journeys are the same yet they have the same theme…. and we are never alone. Unless we choose to be. And why choose to be? What does that earn you?

While we can’t fix it for each other we can hold hands, pat each other on the back, give that code type of smile and agree… that yes this sucks sometimes. It sucks a lot. But we will get through.

And we will throw as many rocks as we need to.

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Year 13

February 17, 2013

I have been married to Curt for 13 years, and we have been together for 15. We met on a 50 mile bike ride, and the rest is history. We just….. clicked. While many people know him, many people don’t. Not only is he a triathlete, he’s a 5 time age group National Champion for triathlon, he’s been national champ for duathlon, he’s done Kona, and his last Ironman was a 9:54.

We are a triathlon family and to be very honest….. it’s not a balancing act. I can’t imagine being married to someone who not only didn’t love what I love, but didn’t support what I love. And vice versa. It’s our lifestyle.

Curt and I are polar opposites. Yin and yang. I am a spaz, and he’s super calm and laid back. I am loud, he’s quiet. I am social, he’s more of an introvert, (but not antisocial). He loves short course, I love long course (and he’s great at both). He is the grounding factor of my life. He pulls me in when I work too much, do too much and overextend myself.

Many people are surprised to learn that we don’t train together. It’s for no real reason except…. we don’t need to be each others training partner and we respect each others training time as our time for ourselves. Both of us train quite early, and if we end up on our bikes at the same time in the garage (aka pain cave), it’s just because we happen to be there at the same time.

It’s common ground and freedom. We don’t get competitive with each other but we will push each other in our own ways. Each of us wants to see the other excel and achieve. We do it extremely positively. I am incredibly grateful for that.

We discuss with each other our goals for the season and what races we will do. Curt loves to go to Nationals, and he loves to make a boys trip out of it. I tend to go to half Ironman and Ironman races with my Qt2 mates. When he does Ironman…. I don’t. That’s too much on a family in a season. In the summer Curt does a lot of the Score-This races… I announce them and Luc works as part of the race crew. When it’s my turn to race I tend to tell them…. if you are at the finish line… great… if not…. no big deal. My races are long and the allure of watching mommy start an Ironman are long gone.

Neither of us take entire days to train…. that’s not good for the family. It’s why you see us up at 3-4am. We get up, get it done and then we make sure we do normal family things. Our multisport lifestyle awards us with fitness and appreciation for the way we are able live off the field. I think we carry a lot of gratitude with us.

Being a multisport family…. for us…. is relatively easy. It’s not dramatic, it’s not tense. It just tends to flow along. I think that’s because our priorities are aligned. Our son is first no matter what. Nothing gets put before him. As important as multiport is to each of us… it’s always in the background.

People ask me all the time about balance. I can’t say I live a balanced life…. I live an integrated life. I see athletes trying to maintain this magic balancing act, and even they can’t define it…. so they spend a lifetime trying to be balanced. Which really means chasing a target that they can’t define. I roll it all into one and it all just seems to fit. Naturally, easily. It’s the life I choose, we choose…. so why make it hard?

You don’t get to year 13 of marriage on a beam of perfection. We like every couple on earth… have our moments. Our trends….. that’s normal. But multisport should enhance your life….. not rule it. Whatever level you are at

Did I know on that 50 mile ride 15 years ago that I met “the one”. Yep. I sure did. Here is to many more!

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Barrier

February 13, 2013

John Landy was an Australian runner, and the second man in the world to break the four minute mile. He was slated and expected to be the first man to break that barrier, yet several times came up short. In an interview he was quoted as saying something to the effect of ‘I don’t think it’s possible for a human to run a mile in less than four minutes‘ (paraphrased).

Soon after a British man named Roger Bannister ran a 3:59.4 mile and became the first man to break that four minute barrier.

The difference between these two men at the time…. was the space between their ears.

In 1952 Bannister broke a British world record in the 1500m at the Olympics yet didn’t earn the medal he expected to. His resolve became stronger than ever. His sights were set higher. He had an ax to grind.

While Landy drew the line in the sand, Bannister used that line to raise his own game. Soon after bannister broke the 4 minute mile…. Landy followed suit. Nothing changed in their physical training. It was the distance from ear to ear they each had to cross.

Jens Voigt was a German cyclist who has worn the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, yet has never won the Tour itself. He is best known for his positive frame of mind while competing. The number may have said that he was not strong enough or fast enough… but his mental game set him apart from what it said on paper. Famous for telling his legs to “shut up” it was known that he simply tolerated the pain better than anyone, or he would physically fail trying.

Pete Jacobs won the Ironman World Championships this past October and I got to watch him do it in person. In his victory speech he talked about the data. The data said he was going too hard. His coach said he was going too hard. But he felt good, and he was leading the race in the part of the race he was least likely to, THE BIKE! So he went with it. He won and he smiled the entire way.

If you look at all of these athletes you notice one thing: their head determined their outcome. While they are all spectacular athletes what gave them the extra edge, or held them back was their mind.

Do you do the same?

While we might not be winning the Hawaii Ironman….. have you ever walked up to the start of a 5K race feeling good, fit and confident. Only to spot a woman whose chest was puffed out and who was rattling off her training… and you took a step back? Nothing changes in that moment except for how you perceive yourself.

Have you ever written the end of the story before the story even began?

Have you ever allowed someone else to try to write the end of that story before it began?

What if Pete Jacobs had listened to the numbers? What if he listened to the power meter and the heart rate monitor…. instead of what he felt in his head and in his heart? What if those numbers had been wrong…. technology can do that every now and again….. what if at the pivotal time in his race he didn’t take the chance and didn’t go with his gut instinct?

This is not to say throw your plan out the window. At the same time when you come into a moment where you feel like it’s the time to take a chance…. why wouldn’t you?

If I had listened to every person who told me I couldn’t do something I would never have done a triathlon much less eight Ironmans.  I ignored doctors, well wishers…. and I followed my heart. I followed my gut instinct. I followed my dream. And I am still following it. On paper I shouldn’t be training as I am able to right now. Today I am healthy and happy and fulfilled. What if I had listened to them????? What if I listed to what was written down on paper?

Well f*ck paper. Paper doesn’t know jack sh*t about me. Don’t ever try to write the end of my story. Ever. And don’t let anyone grab the pen and try to author yours either. Those who do are merely projecting… afraid to reach…. afraid to dream and they find sanctuary in trying to hold you back from looking for your edge. Don’t let them. Just don’t let them.

Step up to the edge and do it with fear in your back pocket instead of in your visual field.  Push the edge. Ride it. Hell cross over it at times. You won’t know where it is if you are too afraid to cross over it.

It’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. None of this sh*t is easy or everyone would do it. While I am talking sport, sport is a metaphor for life. Our true character is revealed in sport and at the same times the lessons we learn in sport are brought back to life as we know it. But it is not easy.

Your biggest opponent is not them. It’s the person in your own mirror. Your biggest challenge isn’t ignoring their voices, it’s ignoring the ones inside of your head. So don’t. Rise above. Ignore them. Tap into what you do know.

When you were five you had no qualms about running around the house in a superman cape or a tiara. None at all. You were a superhero and you were damn proud of it. Then someone…. your older brother perhaps…. said “You look dumb.”. The seed of doubt was dropped into your life of calm water. The ripples began and they spread far and wide. You got separated from that fearless little kid who dared to dream and you got sucked into a world of doubt and holding back.

Your cape sat silently in your drawer and while you sometimes took a  good look at it, you feared being called stupid. So you kept it in the drawer.

Well now is the time to get the cape out. Shake it out. Iron it if you must. But put the cape back on, stand at the top of the stairs and take a deep breath in. Find the edge of your world and stand right on it. Take that deep breath again and let the dreams fly.

Last I checked we got to do this thing called life once. So we might as well live it like we mean it.

Remember how powerful the space between your ears is. Remember what it did for Landy, Bannister, Voigt, and Jacobs and countless athletes who have shown us time and time again that you are capable of more than what the data says. You are capable of everything you dream of.

The only one who gets the end of the story is you. Now go out and live it.

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Happy

February 11, 2013

I have a friend who makes me think. Those are good friends to have, ones who can jump-start your thought process…. that keeps you fresh, alive, on track. I like those friends who with a few simple words can get you to dig a little deeper within yourself and say…. what track am I on here?

“Just remember you are human.” Were the words that jump started my thoughts. We were talking about sport and then it began to morph…. but those words initially stopped me. Made me pause. On one hand those words allowed me a sigh of relief. On the other hand I reminded myself that my standards for myself are high.

I went on to explain, as it relates to sport my drive used to be… winning. This season especially… my drive comes from …. feeling like I need to earn this gift, this life that I have. I have my health right now and too many people don’t. I have been through and survived things 100% intact. Do I deserve that? I feel I need to earn it by crossing the ‘t’s and dotting all of the ‘i’s, and not wasting what I have been given.

I have an overwhelming need, desire, drive to use the platform I have been given to create positive change. I feel that is a tremendous gift and I aim to use it to the best of my ability. Not everyone gets to have that chance. I can’t waste it. My chosen fight has been cancer. I feel like when it comes to cancer the walls are closing in. New diagnoses daily in all of our lives. Our parents, relatives, friends. I feel that daily another teen dies. I don’t know how else to fight it except raise money for programs that help people through it…. and of course my kids at Teens Living With Cancer.

We are starting a new round of TLC Fit in another week or so…. and these kids become my life. I have the platform to fight for them. Each day that we fight I feel like we hold the walls back from closing in….. just a little longer.

My friend then reminded me that I need to make sure I am doing the things to make me happy. To not lose myself in the process of everything that I do. That…. was a good one.

I asked myself….. what makes you happy? The roles I get to play in other people’s lives makes me really happy. The journeys I get to see people take makes me really happy. As an example….. the kids I work with at Teens Living With Cancer. I get to watch them walk into TLC Fit a bit broken from the journey of cancer and treatment. 9 weeks later I get to watch them walk out a stronger person. I just give them the nudge. They do the work.

As a triathlon coach the journey is equally rewarding. I get to watch a young woman navigate her way through the professional ranks and take down the demons that stand in her way. Another one of my athletes halted her training to become a bone marrow donor, as she resumes this week it’s as if there is more purpose. I work with a new mom who is beautifully balancing motherhood, being a wife, a career as a teacher with Ironman training. I love watching her navigate and figure it all out and do so with incredible grace.

Working with people at the club … the same. There is nothing more amazing than watching someone step onto their mat for the first time. Or execute a standing climb for the first time. You just have to give people a little push sometimes and then they open themselves to possibility.

The journey that I love most of course…. is being a mother. For a long time I mourned only being able to have one child. Then I realized what a special child I have. To be part of his life is the best gift of all. He teaches me more than I teach him. To watch him grow and evolve as this beautiful human being….. that makes me happiest of all. It of course ties in with my role of being wife… one I am always certain I am not good at yet my husband assures me I am. I hope. I truly hope.

I get to do such cool things. I get to work with so many amazing people, on many levels. People……. people make me happy. Especially people who make me think.

The feel of the wind in my helmet, the feel of swimming through the ocean, and running down a dream, those abilities are gifts and the ability to do all of this makes me happy.

Sitting on the stairs outside on my back deck and looking at a world illuminated by beautiful white snow….. that’s what makes me happiest. The small moments. The quiet moments. Where you realize that we each sit here in our respective homes yet we share this whole world and we share this same sky. Yet at this moment right here the world stands still. And a friend is a phone call or a text, or an email away. Reminding you to stop and pause and look around you.

I am not the only one on this journey. I am not the only one who faces hardships, heartbreak, and loss that’s too great for words. When we share that with each other we lessen the burden. We know we are not alone whatever we are going through. We never have to be alone…. that’s the beauty of this thing called life. I don’t know how we would get through if we didn’t lean on one another in some way.

The hard parts of life are not meant to be carried alone. They are meant to be shared. No one is going to take on the weight on your shoulders….. but we can help hold the load. When we don’t share that load, that burden, it only gets heavier on our own shoulders. Sharing that load with others, and helping hold some of theirs….. makes me incredibly happy. It’s what we do when we are friends. It’s why we are here.

I love people who make me think, who stir my pot a bit. I love when that leads to conversation. I love when that leads pausing for a moment, looking around and saying…. yes… this is the path I need to be on right now.

Good friends that make me think….. that share their load too…. they make me happy.