#girlscamp

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After the Coast Ride #girlscamp began! This was a first for Muddy, but last year I sensed that his girls would really like to get to know each other more, and I was excited to incorporate some of my girls into the group as well. Three of my athletes: Mikki, Ellen, and Mo attended. Mikki and Ellen did the Coast Ride so they were a little tired. Getting the spark of Mo on Wednesday was much needed! Coeur also helped me get “girl kits” made for the Muddy gals since his kits are kinda dude like. The ladies were so excited to pick up their kits. We kept it simple with a heart with ML in it for “Muddy Love.”  If you know Muddy at all, you know he’s all positivity. I can’t wait to see the ladies racing around in them this year!

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Camp started off Tuesday morning with a 5K on the “dirt track.” This is the track that Muddy and I come to when I’m in town and it’s a special place. It’s not a nice track, there are holes in it, and it’s a good symbol for just getting the work done! I have been recovering from a knee injury so I ran one mile during cool down and then coached. This was really cool for me, to be coach instead of athlete. It took a little getting used to and it wasn’t until the end of the week that Muddy and I were better able to say “coach this workout” and “be an athlete during this workout.” It’s all just part of the learning process when you are coach/athlete and trying to balance that in a camp situation where I can’t just afford to not train for 5 days. A delicate balance!

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Watching the girls have so much heart during that 5K was inspiring. Brynje is just a gazelle and Eileen was 2 minutes faster this year. Rock on! Any sadness I might have had due to not participating was quickly replaced with the joy of watching their fierceness!

Tuesday after the 5K we swam at the fun pool and worked on drills and stroke and “pulling more water!” Everyone was ready for bed that evening!

Wednesday was a sleep in morning and then swimming and doing a coached spin class that evening at La Dolce Velo bike shop. What a great group! Muddy coaches spin on Wednesday evenings and it was a blast. I love sessions like this with a focus on form and strength building, so important!

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Thursday was such an exciting day. All the girls got to run up Sierra Road! This is a 3.6 mile climb that is super super steep. We ran over there, that was 4.75 miles and I ran with the girls. This was my longest run in a month and I felt like an uncoordinated hippo but I was running and that made me so happy! Then I got in the truck while everyone else SLAYED Sierra Road. It was really cool to see Mikki come alive on this run. She’s a pretty stoic girl and this was the run where she just let loose and let her heart sing.

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It was visible and made me smile from ear to ear! I hopped out of the truck and ran home another 4.75 miles with everyone after Sierra because I just wanted to hear the stories of the experience. The two hour swim that evening was hard but everyone just kept swimming and remembered what the end of an ironman swim feels like! There were some great surprise performances on that big hill by Mary and Jenesse (our resident Aussie), these ladies have FIGHT!

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Friday was a big day as we climbed Mt.Hamilton on our bikes. We did this after an all out swim set that had everyone on the ropes at one point or another. Afterwards they ran off the bike, but my knee was sore from 9.5 the previous day so I was benched. It’s all good. I loved that Mikki ran her 20 minutes and then Mo came in off the bike and she ran Mos 20 minutes with her too. The girls were just so supportive of each other!

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Hamilton was where Ellen really shined. She had me on the ropes the whole climb and just motored hard core up that thing. I was really proud of my little skipper! It was cool from a coaching perspective to see how each athlete coped with the fatigue of the week, some wound up, finally relaxing into the work, and others got increasingly tired as the week went on. I think it’s really important to get yourself into these sorts of environments as an athlete so that you can learn more about yourself. As a coach, this kind of time with my athletes is priceless. I eat it up! I also loved getting to know Mary T better. She is coached by Muddy and this was the first time we have spent time together.

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The top of Mt.Ham is always worth the climb, the view does not disappoint. It was great having Muddy there running SAG support. We could not have done this without him.

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The final day of camp was long run day and this was something I knew everyone was dreading. The legs are tired, the body is tired, the mind is tired, and long runs are always a little bit of an unknown. Then throw in an unknown environment and that adds to the stress, but boy did the ladies step up. Mikki and Mo ran less because they were doing a trail race the next day (that report is up next). I ran 4 miles and was totally stoked to have no pain during or after. My favorite part was biking with the girls during the last half of their run. I really learned a lot about Ellen as a runner, and I have great ideas of how to get the most out of her in future races. Brynje and Deirdre just cruised!

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Everyone left camp happy, tired, ready to eat for three days and with some new lessons learned. Huge thanks to Muddy for recognizing the value of community among women. He has some great ladies in his stable and I feel thankful to have gotten to know them through the years! Again, I’m just continually inspired by women who show up fully present, ready to train hard and to push their previous boundaries. #girlscamp was a safe and supportive place to do that!

Coast Ride 2015

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Another New Year celebration and that means another Coast Ride to head out on! This year was quite the leap for me. As a way to step out of my comfort zone and to practice being a leader I invited lots of ladies who had been wanting to go on the Coast Ride! After the ride Muddy and I were hosting a #girlscamp in San Jose and the perfect start to camp (for those who are ready and willing) is 375 miles of riding in 3 days. Everything at camp seems easy after that! I like to get women out of their comfort zone.

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So, quite a few ladies signed on and it was such an interesting lesson for me on how women process challenge. It’s scary. I experienced ladies wanting to stick with what they knew they could do, second guessing their fierceness, and defaulting to what was safe. I had phone calls with each of them at one point to provide more information, answer questions, talk them off the ledge, or in one case just flat out yell “GET ON THE AIRPLANE!” In retrospect, what an amazing honor it was for me to share space with them in their fear. They trusted me, and that really meant a lot. I really can’t say enough about how impressed I was with those who dared to show up and take the LEAP! Everyone of them was so happy they did! (Whew)

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Then there is Dan. He was the opposite. He texted 36 hours before the Coast Ride and was like “I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m going for it” and he did. Made the hotel reservations and really ended up being a major asset for us ladies to have along…even though he was a dude! He is just one great guy and I loved watching him experience the ride for the first time. His gratitude was infectious for me, and a constant reminder to stop worrying about all the baby hens, and look around!

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Then there was a slight issue with my fitness level. Yea, sooooo, it’s been a hard winter for my fitness. I am a little appalled at how little riding I did before the ride and I can say that I learned my lesson.  I made it through, but oh lordy I was much more tired and much slower than in years past. Although by day 3, I was starting to feel some fitness…a little…for a few brief moments!

We were lucky on Day 1 to have Muddy and his truck take 7 of our bikes up, and Mary T helped immensely with getting people up to San Fran to start the ride. It was a logistical headache, but everyone was on time and it turned out to go just fine. We pulled in the parking lot first…ummm awkward, last year I think I was last. Everyone was ready to go and we took off. Four minutes in AlliG dropped her chain, got it stuck and was already dropped and off the back without me even knowing. Welcome to the Coast Ride! My ability to heard cats was already being put to the test. Luckily Muddy was still around and got her back on the road. We met back up at the lunch stop.

The rest of day 1 was me not quite knowing how to separate people by ability and figuring that out on the fly, while hoping and praying nobody got lost or had a major mechanical. We eventually were mostly in one group until the end of the day when Brynje got her 2nd flat, I sent the other girls ahead, and they promptly got lost. Brynje and I pulled into Monterey just as the sun set, it had been a long long day on two wheels. I was pretty tired but still alive!

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See how glowing we are? Yea, that’s because the sun is about to go down, it does make for good light though, and as you can tell Brynje and I are still all smiles!

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Dinner that evening was fantastic! Fish and Chips and great company. There may have been a impromptu cocktail, who am I?

Day 2 is the best day. Monterey to Big Sur! It’s jaw dropping and the weather was amazing and we had our group pretty figured out. Ellen and Dan who were ahead the day before stayed with my group, and Mikki and AlliG stuck together off the back. We rolled as a small group that morning and everyone spent some time at the front taking short pulls and getting familiar with the concept, which meant many barked orders from Sonja!

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I really enjoyed the stretch of road just before Big Sur. This is one of my favorite photo spots, there is this huge downhill and you are coasting and feeling amazing and just so alive. We were rolling with Jen and Christine and it was chill and just a special moment for me. And, I don’t remember being in much pain. Hahaha!

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There are no route finding issues on the day and despite Mikki shredding a cheep tire, the day was mostly full of Ooohs and Ahhhs and subtle shaking of the head due to absolute beauty. Dan did go off the front and I had to put the smack down, but we laughed about it a lot later and he did his penance by pulling Amy and Christine all the way to Morro Bay.

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Dan and I seemed to spend most of today consuming calorie dense foods. Some people stop at the Big Sur bakery in Bir Sur, but my routine is to stop for a Big Sur bar. I have fond memories of riding with Jess and Beth and thinking the Big Sur Bar was the most amazing food item on the planet. So I get one to remind me of them mostly, and the calories, I needed the calories.

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After Big Sur you are treated to the most amazing views, where you HAVE to get off your bike and stop and take pictures. We did lots of that. It’s about the experience and cherishing the moment. It’s not hard to stay in the moment out here, the whole day is like one big meditation. BIG SUR SELFIE!

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Ragged Point is the official lunch stop and also the location where all the cyclists buy out all the coke at the little store. They have benches and tables…oh benches how I love thee. I think I ate a Klondike bar and a full sized bag of chips at this stop. It was divine. Salt and ice cream are my friend.

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Dinner that evening was at the Haufbrau house, my favorite restaurant in Morro Bay. It was Christine and I’s 2 year anniversary of meeting, so we had to celebrate. She has been a light in my life for several years now and I’m always so happy to see her and spend time together!

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That evening we got everyone tucked into bed and then my “bad wolf” really started barking. Oh the brain and irrational fears of possible future problems. The car situation for the next day required that we rely on Hailey for a spot in her van. A minivan fits 5 bikes and 5 people and we had 6 bikes and 6 people by the end. My bad wolf really started saying “they will have to wait too long, you are too slow, you should have trained harder, they are beating you in by 90+ minutes, blah blah blah” I walked around Morro Bay that night, blind as a bat with my contacts out crying big tears on the phone to Troy. “Being a leader is hard, I’m not cut out for this, I’m too out of shape, blah, blah blah.” In retrospect I was just really tired and second guessing myself.

Day 3 turned out to be fantastic…for 80 miles. Our group departed with Hailey, Mark, KK, and Pia dead set on sticking with them for the day. That meant “letting” (begging) them to do a lot of the pulling and there was lots of time to practice some great pace line work as we combined with some other groups along the way. All my baby ducks stayed in that pack except for Mikki and Alli who were attached at the hip and good at not getting lost and were a bit behind us. I may have barked at Ellen and given her a talking to for breaking cyclist code at one point, but everyone was trying their best to ride hard, learn lessons, and grow as athletes, myself included. I did learn that if my heart rate is high, nice nurturing Sonja pretty much goes out the window and you get SARG….my inner drill sergeant. Good to know, good to know!

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The last part of day 3 I really struggled. I distinctly remember being somewhere outside of Santa Barbara on the freeway and Hailey getting a flat and thinking…I’m pretty sure I willed that flat into existence. “please someone flat please someone flat please someone flat….wha lah…flat!” She gave me some Barnana and almonds which perked me up for about 8 minutes. Those last 40 miles I was a sad bonking, tired, undertrained pony! Just keep peddling, just keep peddling, hold your line, take short pulls, and don’t lose that wheel.

I’ve never been so happy to pull off at the rental car place at the Santa Barbara airport and GET OFF MY BIKE, Thank you Mark for leading us there! We were a two minivan caravan on the way home, but not before Mikki and Alli got the Sonja wrath for attempting to shower….yes, everyone eventually got barked at by SARG on this trip (hangs head in shame). One van had 7 bikes and 4 people and the other had 2 bikes, 5 people, and a ton of bags. It’s amazing it all worked out! And I have to extend a huge thank you to Dan for driving the van back while I got catch up time with Hailey, and got to know Jen, who rocks!

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This Coast Ride really did me in. I’m so glad I went, and so very glad I was able to share the journey with SIX newbies. It required me to really step out of my safe place but knowing that the six of them now have the success of this wonderful new adventure in their pocket, makes me incredibly happy. Hopefully they will pay that forward and show up next year with a newbie of their own!

Microadventure #1 – January

I stumbled upon a tweet from Chrissy Wellington the other day that lead me to the profile of Alastair Humphreys. He has this ongoing challenge or concept called #microadventure. Oh yes, I did just include the hashtag.

The concept is that you spend one night a month outside. That’s it. Outside. Preferably not in a tent. Yes, that means in most places it’s going to be a cold start, Brrrrr. And when talking about Colorado, probably muddy too. The goal is just to go looking for adventure close to home. To explore your local boundaries and remind yourself that adventure truly is around any bend.

I ran the concept by both Annie (who is 9) and Troy and of course, they were both totally in! Alastair puts together this calendar and as the year goes on, a bit of a community forms since people are spending the same night outside. I find it hilarious that Feb 14th is the designated night for February. Sorry Troy…

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In January, and especially if it’s your first microadventure, he urges you to stick close to home, like, backyard close. Start small he says. And in time, start spreading your wings. He gives all sorts of suggestions for themes you can apply to your microadventure as you get more in the swing of it (river, hill, mountain, beach, wood, friends, alone, kids, by foot, by bike, work night, weekend, etc etc).

A few nights ago I started pulling out all of our sleeping bags and mats and seeing if we even had enough warmth to spend a night outside without a tent. Then I got all excited because the stuff was out all over the place, and I’m less of a planner and more of a doer, and I yelled at Annie, “wanna sleep outside tonight?” Of course she did, so she and I did a microadventure betatest.

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Gear: we had our tent tarp on the bottom, I had 2 backpacking mats, Annie had a thick purple sleeping mat (like 4 inches thick, I think it’s a Japanese sleeping mat). Annie was in the 1978 (err… ’77? ’76?) North Face “red mummy bag” (antique) and I was in my zero degree bag inside a 1978 North Face mummy bag. Yes, I was double bagged. We both had our favorite blankets shoved down in there too, and pillows with cotton pillow cases. There was a very light misting rain that was coming down and we didn’t have anything to keep the bags from getting wet.

Annie and I laid there in our bags, chatting about the clouds, lack of stars, the wind, and the neighborhood sounds. Even though it was like 8pm, I found that my body responded very quickly to the darkness with sleepiness. I’m a night owl and usually really struggle to get to bed, but I think that maybe I am just very sensitive to house lights at night time.

This is how Troy and Lolli found us in the morning. Yes, we are actually in there, and yes, Annies feet migrated towards mine. Awwwww…

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Lolli growled at us at first and then when she got close enough to smell us she got all excited and woke us up with lots of undesirable dog kisses. There was a thin layer of ice on the bags, but both Annie and I slept great and were warm all night. Except my pillow froze, so I had to pull my head inside my bag. Pillows seemed like a good idea, but not so much.

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The test run was awesome, and I especially loved Annie waking up in the middle of the night to tell me the moon was up, the clouds were gone, and to ask if I thought the thing next to the moon was a planet or a star.

A couple nights later was the night Troy and I designated for our official January #microadventure, the one where the whole family would partake. In the theme of sticking close to home we headed to the state park next to our house and purchased a one night camping pass for a campground that included zero other campers.

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Annie and I stuck to the same gear (which we had dried out over a few days) and Troy wanted just his sleeping bag and a pad, no second bag like me. For Lolli we put her in her sweater and I had an older GoLite 20 degree down bag that I draped over her. Lolli is a survivor, she curled up in a ball on Annies big purple sleeping pad right next to our heads and probably slept better than all of us combined. I was nervous she might wander in the night so I kept her on the leash, but she didn’t budge.

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(My goPro is taking fuzzy pictures…I must sort it out…next ones will be better)

We used Troys phone to identify lots of stars. Orion was in full effect and Annie told me the moon rises at 12:30am. We identified constellations and Annie picked out her favorites. It was really weird not to have a tent. I thought the ducks were coyotes, silly me! I read some of my book until my hands froze, and before I knew it, we were all sound asleep. Soundish asleep.

I didn’t sleep quite as well as I did in the backyard. I woke up maybe 5-8 times through the night to readjust or find more comfort, I got a little cold in the middle of the night. The low was forecasted as 22F but I think where we bedded down it dipped a bit lower than that. Annie, in her words, slept “a little bad.” Of course Troy, ever so stoic “slept fine.”

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We talked about the moonrise and where it would be at different times in the night and I found it comforting when I woke up to look for the mood to judge what time of night it was. I don’t wear a watch and didn’t bring my phone. With the first light all of us woke up together and laid in our bags, toasty warm. The dog meandered a bit. As is the usual, nobody wanted to get out of their bags. Finally, I dragged myself out to head to the bathroom and troy packed everything up for the 3 mile drive home where the hot cocoa lived.

There were a couple things I really enjoyed. It was definitely “getting away.” No computers, no dishes, and no fridge where I tend to snack all night. No staying up late, LOTS of oxygen, fresh crisp oxygen, that’s a highlight. Even though I woke up a fair amount, I slept so many more hours than usual. Troy and Annie had a long conversation at 4:30am but I don’t remember hearing any of it. It was just a really sweet time. Good for everybody.

The microadventure is definitely something I want to keep trying. Part of me was ready to go home, and part of me kept thinking about situations where I could spend many more nights in a row outdoors (PCT, ACT, Camino de Santiago). For now, I know each month will get a little warmer, until it doesn’t and as we go along with more experience and more fun places, I think new goals will emerge. Bivy sacs are probably in our future, but not for awhile unless we can find some used ones. We didn’t purchase anything for this adventure, and that was rather fun too.

If you want more information on #microadventure check out the following:

Alastair Humphreys – he’s the ringleader, he even wrote a book about it.

What to bring – good to read through a gear list. We survived 12 degree lows without a bivy sack, but if rain was in the forecast, a bivy sack would be needed.

Just a good article for inspiration – we all need a little bit of that sometimes.

An awesome read about a winter microadventure in Chamonix – sleeping in the snow, I want to add that to the to do list!

Happy Adventuring!!!

Figuring Something Out

Whelp, December turned into one of the longest and hardest months I’ve had in the last 35 years. I spent a large part of it in bed, really unable to drag myself out on more days than I would like to admit. I managed to get some things under the tree for the munchkin, thank you Amazon. Most my workouts, I just skipped. I got an injury in my knee that will prevent me from racing any of the ultras that I signed up for in January and February. That didn’t help me get out of bed. Whenever I go though these times I tend to hole up. I hunker down, usually in covers. I had depression…have depression…had a bout of depression…heck I don’t know what to call it. I felt sad, and acted sad, and left the house very little, and watched a lot of pointless crappy shows on hulu, read a few books, stayed up all night, slept all day, you name it.

Why so glum chum? Well, I think many people who have had times where they were off balance would agree that there isn’t really a cause, just a consistent darkening that they can’t seem to pull out of. I would agree. I have good things in my life and I have sad things in my life, just like everyone else on this planet (aka tiny ball of dirt spinning around in the universe). I would just say that I stopped putting up the good fight against the sadness. I just stopped, and then I kinda just got headed down that path.

I had a lot of talks with Troy through this time. Sometimes I couldn’t talk to him for days, and sometimes I had to talk all day. He’s an exceptionally patient man. He listens, and he doesn’t tell me things like “you need to fix this.” He just tucks me in, checks on me a lot, and encourages me to do more of the things that seem to make me happy in the moment.

I quietly hoped that all that time being down would eventually turn back up and that I might learn something in the process. I kinda felt like I just had to wait it out. I thought about a lot of stuff while I was chilling. Mostly stuff about my daughter. My daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia over a year ago and that means that I worry constantly. If you know me, you would not peg me as a worrier but in this case I worry and I worry, and then I worry some more. All the confidence I have in other areas of my life seems to just be gone here, it’s my baby girl, and I can’t fix the struggle for her. And the school, and the teachers, and the right path, it’s all a problem, it’s all a worry, daily. You would think this is a known thing in these days, and that there is a clear course and clear options for her, but I’m here to say “nope.” Getting any follow through on the items in her IEP is akin to pulling teeth. But we have a great tutor, and we have money. So we are using those as well as we can.

Just typing that last paragraph may seem kinda tame to you with your personal problems that don’t look like mine, but I just put that out in the world forever. And that is literally the definition of airing your dirty laundry.

But I promise this post isn’t all doom and gloom. Because while I was down, things in my brain were stirring. Why the heck am I even here, on this blob of Earth? What’s the point of it all? Why the pain? I have asked myself this over and over and over during the last few months. What’s my responsibility to this fleeting life I have, to my daughter, and to my family? What’s the flipping point?

A little angel sent me an email with the link to a blog post a few days ago. And in the space of a few hours I started to see the light. I started climbing out, and I started to get clear, real clear, on all of these things. And the clearer I got, and the more nodding I did, the better I felt. I started combining it with other stuff I’ve read through the last year, and things just really started coming together for me, my I’s started getting dotted and my T’s started getting crossed.

Here comes the “I think” part of the post. I wonder how many people ever voice what they think? If you have I would pat you on the back, because even this over sharer is finding it really really hard. What you think probably isn’t what I think. I think that’s cool. Some of what I think may intertwine with some of what you think, that’s pretty darn cool too. I may have at one point, but I no longer have any judgement on what you think. Since figuring out what I think, that judgement just went away. You think stuff, I think stuff, it’s all good stuff. So, here goes.

I think that we have a mind; this consciousness/soul/spirit/essence/heart, and I think we also have this body, and the two are really pretty separate. Something I read that really stuck with me once, was that 10 seconds after we die, we still weigh exactly the same as we did 15 seconds prior, but something is gone, something in us is really really gone, and that Something doesn’t weigh anything, but it’s a Something. It’s a big Something. I think that Something is me. That’s me. And because I think that, I tell Troy that when that something is gone, just burn me up, and scatter me around somewhere pretty.

I think that Something is vast, and I think there are other Somethings, like the one in you, and I think the different Somethings have gone through different experiences that have lead to different levels of consciousness. I think the something in a bug is the same kind of something that is me, but the bug might not have gone through as many past experiences as me. Maybe I did my time as a bug, and now I’m here in a body, and maybe after this I get to go to another physcial form next. I think that there are “somethings” that know a lot more than I do, I think there are a lot of them, and I think some of them are here on Earth, but a lot of them are elsewhere in the universe. This is what I think.

I think my something decided to take a ride in a body, on this Earth. Woo, Hoo. It wanted another experience in it’s path of development and it went for a human. Go me. I think that our time here on Earth is itty bitty. Just a blip, a blink, hardly a postscript. When I think about “what’s the point” I think about “legacy.” Thinking about legacy really gets me thinking about people who’s deeds stuck around after their something moved on. They are few. Really few. What famous caveman do you know? Most of the deeds that most of the somethings do with their bodies are just actions, that don’t really matter. When I really went down this line of thought, I got a little sad at first. Nothing I do will live on. Even if I become the next President, or I set a gajillion world records, or I help raise a super amazing kid, or I start a huge great company, in time, it’s all gone. And then I thought, Hummm, I think that means that those things must not be the point. You know “the point”…you know what I mean.

When I was thinking about this, I kept coming back to a petrie dish. It’s a petrie dish, we’re in one! I remember in High School science putting the little bacteria cells in, and watching over several days as they went about their business which was purely based on their environment. I, as the researcher, was watching them in their little petrie dish planet do their thing. Some of them didn’t play nice with others, some of them gravitated towards each other. They were such a product of their environment. And what was their role? What was their responsibility? To me? To themselves? It was just to “do their thang.” Were they supposed to please the researcher? Um, they didn’t have that level of consciousness. They were there to go about their business in the tiny petrie dish world, getting the most out of their current environment and experience. That resonated with me.

I know that I don’t know a lot. I know there is tons of stuff on our planet that I don’t know about, but then taking it outwards into our universe and beyond that and not only do I not know, but we here on Earth are clueless about the majority of what’s out there. Can the bacteria in the petrie dish understand the depth of my love for my daughter? I’m pretty sure not, and therefore I think there are vast amounts of stuff out there that I’m not capable of really getting either.

So what’s the point? I think I’m experiencing these 80 (hopefully) trips around the sun to see what the human thing is all about. I’m doing my time in the petrie dish of Earth, and I think this is probably my only chance at a little human body. And it’s a short trip.  In the grand scheme, its just a blink of an experience for me. Once I got to that place, I started to feel really good.

“If you knew your potential to feel good, you would ask no one to be different so that you can feel good. You would free yourself of all of that cumbersome impossibility of needing to control the world, or control your mate, or control your child. You are the only one who creates your reality. For no one else can think for you, no one else can do it. It is only you, every bit of it you.”

– Esther Hicks

Humm, okay, what to do now? That’s when I started to get really clear. I get this one chance, and I think the point is to experiment and explore the potential of the human body/experience. I am just a lump of atoms, running around on some dirt, colliding into other lumps of atoms along the way. Meander, collide, meander some more, collide again. Some collisions are good, some bad, some are wrong place wrong time, some are right place right time. But my purpose is to explore potential, the potential that is: My “something” in this “body”.

When I think back on the things that felt good/fun/fulfilling/truth/destiny, it was always when I was searching for that edge in human capabilities. When I was in school and I was getting to the limit of what my brain could compute (I have a degree in Pure Mathematics and grad school was literally brain ironman on many occasions) I was like Wowah…this feels really fulfilling. Same with triathlon, testing the limits of my human form, and this last year using more mental tools, and tapping into my something to get more out of my physical body, I was like “there are some limits I’m finding here, and that process feels like what I was meant to do on this Earth.”

I am here, for this short duration, to experiment with the limits that come from the combination of my “something” and my body. I have explored math, I have explored triathlon, I’ve explored marriage, there are a lot of things left to explore and there is no check list. I am free and capable to explore any direction I want to. I can head towards art, towards music, towards making money, towards more physical outlets. I like the physical outlets. Those really speak to me, so I think I’ll keep heading in that direction for now. Anything on this planet is open for exploration, and I’m not going to get to all of it. I’m only going to get to the things that I want to. Oh Yea, and it’s supposed to be fun.

That’s another one of the “I thinks”…

I think it’s supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Yup. I think that.

Also. With this ah-hah, I had some clarity on being a mom. I started with “What’s my responsibility to my daughter?” It’s a special thing, at least I think it is, to birth a new life into this Earth. It’s cool beans, and it changed me, it changed my “something” big time. But, I also realize that I am just a something (right now she is called Sonja) with a 26 year head start on another something (whom I chose to call Annie). We are the same thing, and we have the same purpose on this planet: to experience the human form. I just get to help this little one, and we are the same, I just have a head start.

Coming to these conclusions has really stirred something deep inside me. Suddenly I feel like a sponge who wants to travel around the Earth picking up bit of color from all the unique places that are out there. Possibilities seem very open and at my core I feel grounded in the fact that I am here to explore potential. I want to taste all the foods, visit all the places, hear all the noises, smell all the smells, and also push this body to the limit while doing so.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

– Hunter S Thompson