I am pleased to announce that I have been booked to speak at my first national conference in Indianapolis, Indiana this July!
The Women’s Board of the Car Care Council is an organization devoted to seeing the success of young women in the automotive industry by providing scholarships and educational opportunities. As a woman in the engineering field and having just returned to school myself, I have a deep appreciation for this vision.
It is truly an honor to be invited to present my English Channel story at their Women’s Leadership Conference.
I love the morning. The still silence before the people interrupt with their machinery and voices. The quiet of the woods as the shift from night to day begins. The time for reflecting on dreams and planning for the day.
Today, the mist was thick, shrouding the future with its solemn mystery. Fog is beautiful in the way it makes you focus on what is immediately before you. It reminds me of a child in its wonderment, “You have to see this! No, look at it! This, this, and only this!” Indeed, it is all you can see; what is right before you. Don’t worry about what is ahead, my dear. Look at how beautiful this place is. This place.
It is beautiful, isn’t it? The birds have returned from winter’s home and fill the trees with song. The leaves have opened. The path is full of fading, graying memories…
Why do we grieve so hard for the living? Because there is nothing wonderful, I suppose, about the death of connection – sometimes it’s murder and sometimes it’s suicide and sometimes it’s natural causes that compel our distance. There is some deep place of suffering when you are no longer welcome in the place you called home. It was the place you called home… but don’t come back. I wonder; does everyone lose that place at some point or another?
I am reminded of the fragile nature of strength when my back buckles of its own choosing and I stumble. Every muscle is called on to keep me from collapsing to the ground. The pain steals my breath away. I long for tears to cry. How I wish there were tears to be cried.
But no. No. It is too early for tears. It is too early for anything but hope. Hope and dreams and coffee and silence and plans. Today, I plan to heal just a little bit more.
In only a moment, the air fills my lungs again. The dazzling pain is quieted. I straighten back up. I find the steps forward along the path of gray memories in the most pleasant company of the birds and the trees and the mist.
“Look at this! Look at it! Isn’t it beautiful?!” The fog asks.
That it is, my friend. The most beautiful place I have ever been.
My beautiful, accomplished, athletic friend, Genevie (not Genevieve) started this fantastic challenge for the month of May: a mile every day in the month of May. It was April 29th, I think, when I first saw her challenge go out to her family on Facebook or Instagram or both.
I just decided that I was going to do it, too!
It’s been great fun so far! A hike in the rain, a couple of early morning swims… I’m going ninja in the next couple of weeks – sneaking my miles into the minutes around my oh so sporadic and ridiculous schedule in the days ahead. Never has anything so normal been so much epic!
The reason this is just so exciting is that I’ve been in really tough physical shape the last few months. My lower back has been in great pain, to the point where walking and climbing stairs, getting up from chairs and typical things that I always took for granted were really hard. It’s been getting better with the new things I’ve been doing every day and I finally feel like a mile a day of physical activity is possible.
So weird after swimming 3 miles every day for years.
I believe it was (still is, in fact) a combination of many bad practices, not really knowing how to move correctly in the first place, and being too flexible without having enough strength.
Currently, I still can’t swim for more than 45 minutes before the pain gets really bad. I can walk and hike, but I will be in pain when I am done. But sometimes, just waking up in the morning hurts… and there isn’t really a remedy for that now, is there? I mean, waking up in the morning is my favorite!
Whatever shall we do?
What do we always do when we meet a challenge?
Get help. Find an expert. Listen to them with your mind and your heart and your actions. Then go slow. Start off gentle. Dolcissimo. Sweetly. Just like the spring season around us. One mile. Just walk. Or a short swim. Stretch. Strengthen. Fail well. Fail to your own advantage. Fail so you can try again the next day, even stronger. It will get better.