Mission Accomplished

So now the trip…My Mom always said it’s fun to have something to look forward to.  I feel like I have lived my life looking forward to things.  The upcoming concert, the big party, the wedding, the birth of a child and on and on.  The trip I was looking forward to for a couple of years is now over in a blink.   And looking back, Mom is right – the anticipation was fun!

Five women leaving their spouses and kids behind for adventure, Florida sun and sand, daily transportation by trolley, side-splitting laughter and snorts, inside jokes, vodka tonics (too many!) and very little sleep – how lucky am I?

It was so fun to learn more about these women in my life as the trip unfolded.  We had everything covered from the navigator who rode shotgun to the cook who prepared the best homemade scrambled eggs in recent memory.  From the “cruise director” who planned our big excursion to the best parallel parker who shouted turn by turn instructions from the back seat (thank you).  And for each one liner that had us all in hysterics I’m sure there is a stand-up comedian somewhere who is jealous.

I loved hanging out in the company of four great friends anticipating the half marathon we would all run together, the relief we would feel when it was over and the ensuing celebration.  Having put a lot of pressure on myself to make this race count and try for a “PR” or personal record I was very focused on making that happen.  However, I was never so relaxed before a race as on this trip. It could have been the location, the company I was with, the vodka tonics or the delirious lack of sleep. But it was a new and welcome feeling!

However the highlight of the race was not conquering the course or meeting the goal.  It was witnessing a friend face the unknown, overcome many hurdles in her training, doubt herself regularly and still show up no matter what. It was watching her smile and wave at the eighth mile and seeing that same smile at the thirteenth mile. Many times throughout the course I thought of her and hoped that she wasn’t wishing I had not dragged her into this experience! And when she crossed that finish line it was such a huge victory and we savored it with her.

I do not know when I will have another opportunity to experience something like this trip again. But that is not for me to worry about.  I have these sunburned body parts, these wonderful memories, these amazing friends. Mission accomplished.

Leap of Faith

IMG_1966I am sitting on the precipice of a huge waterslide. The view down is obscured by the fact that the drop on the slide is so steep that you can’t even see where the slide ends. The water is rushing by. The people behind me are waiting to take their turn. The water slide operator (who has this job??) is smiling at my fear. And my husband is egging me on. We are in the Bahamas at the Atlantis resort on a MUCH anticpated vacation for the two of us.

I can’t do it. I thought I was brave enough. I was all puffed up and ready to go. No problem…Seriously?!

Okay breathe. You got this. Afterall, this slide is called the Leap of Faith. And it was the ONE thing you swore you would check off on this trip. So what is happening? You are finally here. THIS is the moment. You are frozen in fear.

Like the woman training for her first marathon with doubts about the experience.  Will she finish last?  Will she injure herself in some way?  Or the friend on the precipice of a divorce from an abusive relationship.  Can she take that first scary step?  How will her children cope? Is she doing the right thing?

These forks in the road occur all the time in daily life.  For each woman who faces them there is the inevitable moment of feeling all alone.  When the urge to turn back, stop in your tracks or take your ball and go home is just too strong.

What makes that moment pass? I asked myself that question recently when talking a friend through a scary, anxiety-filled event coming up.  And for some reason I flashed back to this moment on the slide and how it felt. How I felt was so similar to what my friend was experiencing- anxious, scared and pondering “what will happen on the other side?”

Well what happened was I could not wait to go up to the top and ride down again!

Aren’t so many moments in life like this?  You take a deep breath, calm yourself and take a Leap of Faith. I hope she can’t wait to do it again.