milestones, new moons and marley

So, last time I wrote to you I shared a few things that I had shifted in my life during 2018.

This time I want to shout it from the rooftops.

Because, we just don’t know till we know. Specifically, we don’t know how strong we are until we are forced to dig deep.  I will write more on this in my next newsletter.  I hope you’ll stay-tuned…
For now…
One year ago, I felt a call to get even stronger than I already felt in mind, in body, in SOUL.  Very likely connected to the milestone of turning 50 which came and went on Feb 19th.  I felt the loud call to fortify myself. 
And, for some reason, I listened.
I added fun new workouts, even more yoga, a strict regimen of supplements.  I was already eating mindfully but I even took that up a notch or two or ten.  I started running consistently again.  Incrementally increasing my miles till suddenly I was hitting miles I’d never even considered running before…16, 18 and 20.  Then, after a public outreach in my newsletter, my beautiful friend, Lori Melançon, told me about the Napa Valley Marathon which her hubs had run several times.  It’s the perfect location, climate, and race course for a first time marathon runner.

It was happening in March and that felt like ideal timing for me to keep pounding the pavement and run it! So, my running transformed into training.  Even while on my yoga retreat to Tulum, Mexico, I locked in some running buddies like MaryBeth, Shelly, Krista, Devin and others and I ran every morning before yoga.  Not long or far, but I kept up the training and ran at least 26 miles in total.  It was beautiful, warm, we ran barefoot along the ocean’s edge.  It was downright dreamy. 

Here’s a yoga + sunrise pause during our morning run.
Aaaah, Tulum.

After returning home from Mex, I laced up my Brooks and headed out for my first run in PDX.  In 34 degree weather (wtf?) and returning from soft white sand to unforgiving asphalt. I only ran 7 miles to get my Portland legs back. By the end of that run, an old injury in my calf was rearing its angry head.  Mind you, it’s now February 3rd.  My race is March 3rd.  Only 4 weeks till race day.  For my mental game, I knew I needed one more LONG run to feel confident that I could climb this freakin’ mountain.  
I hit the pause button.  I still worked out but nothing that used that angry push-off muscle of my left calf.  Instead I opted for the bike or strider.  I had two incredible massages, plus acupuncture. I soaked for 90 minutes in 1,000 pounds of magnesium-based epsom salt at Enso Float.  I rested.  At this point, now I’m sitting just two short weeks from race day, still unsure if I will be able to do this thang!  Once I was feeling no pain in that calf – after 14 days of no running – I headed up to Forest Park.  Decided I would test out my tender calf with a run on softer ground.  I’d take my time.  If I felt pain, I’d stop.  This is the day that would determine if the race was even in the cards. 
I ran…and ran…and ran…and there was no pain. 
18 miles later, I knew I was headed for Napa Valley.
Then, I did THIS thing.  Twenty six point two.  
We truly do not know what we’re capable of until we try. 
I never thought I could DO life after losing my dad.  Or, my fur-babe of 14.5 years, Maggie Mae.  
I never thought I could live without WINE.  HA!  March 25th is officially one year!
I never thought I could train for and run a full marathon. 
There are so many things I didn’t know I was capable of until I tried…or until I HAD no choice but to endure.  As Bob Marley said,“You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”  
Then, you sit on the other side of impossible, recognizing the truth of your strength and recognizing the shear, utter possibility in every moment.  Even more importantly, you recognize your resilience. 
I hope you’ll do something today that reminds you of your strength and resilience. 
Even if that is simply asking someone who knows and loves you to REMIND you of a time they witnessed you demonstrating your strength.  Sometimes we can’t see the tree through the damn forest!  Especially when it comes to the brilliant aspects of ourSELVES.
You are so f*cking strong.  How do I know this?  Because I know myself.  I know what I have thought.  I know the beliefs that are dramatically shape-shifting in me right now.  I know how I have dramatically underestimated myself.  I know how lost we can get.  How we can forget. I also know what is possible when we tap in, when we believe. 
When we remember who we are. 
You are so incredible.