Nike has a campaign that became a national tagline.
Just Do It. Catchy. Works. Sometimes…
I have to start with a simpler step.
JUST. SHOW. UP.
A year can make a big difference. I am writing this blog with a spirit of gratitude. I felt grateful last year too. But it was from a hospital bed where I found peace and bendy straws, which I wrote about here. Send me a note, I’ll send you a bendy straw and a glass treat. Some days it helps. It was tax time, and Matt & Megan Tilly’s wedding weekend. An event we got to attend, driving straight from the pink palace to celebrate new beginnings between two very special people.
You have to just show up to know what time will tell. It’s story is always different than dreamed, and it’s always unimaginable.
Here is me circa 2011 at the pink palace hospital, smiling in pj’s and on a pillow girlfriends provided and check out the bedhead.
I was grateful last year, but I was IN PAIN. Unable to walk across a room without pounding, and I do mean pounding like a sledge-hammer-tackling 18 inches of solid-steel kind of head pain.
I had to lay down, and it was better not to get up. So, I found myself at tax time in the hospital for ten days and having a battery of tests, I’ll spare you the details, but let’s say their titles and descriptions included daunting words like tap, dye, drill, scan, contrast, specimen.
Tests results did not contain answers for our local doctors. So, my awesome Jim took me on a road trip for answers at the Cleveland Clinic. He showed me what it looks like to be there for a mate ‘in sickness and in health” and it’s bigger and harder to do than to say. How can one girl be so lucky?
He even made it fun. We saw a Bela Fleck concert in a beautiful park in Cleveland, and last week we saw Bela again, except in Tulsa at Cain’s. It was great, and even better when we climbed into our own beds instead of between hotel sheets.
This year is different than last year. Leaner. Happier. Healthier. Stronger.
Last year I gained 36 pounds. Quickly. We came home and changed our habits. We began to eat differently, first with a program of fresh fruits, veggies and juicing. I started to walk — at first a little, then a couple of miles each day. I joined a gym where I take all kinds of classes. I spent time with a diet life coach to figure out where my personal food blocks resided. I learned from great instructors and trainers and my fellow gym mates at St. Johns Health Club.
Jim started to ride his bike every day for 10 miles. Rain, snow, sun beating down, vacations, colds, dreary spirits, there are no excuses. He bikes. Which inspired me. Since January, I decided his energy and decreasing waistline was something I wanted for myself.
Workouts vary. At times I join water aerobics classes where I can look around me and think about what it looks like to be a few decades down the road. Sometimes I take interval and intense weight classes with people more often younger than myself, so I can remember what it was to walk in a young body. Yoga, or machines, water or land. It is about movement and motion. I vowed not to be embarrassed or intimidated, and I keep that promise to myself. We even rode in the MS 150 last year, Jim and Val the whole ride, and I did 30 proud miles, and you can see the fun we had by the picture below.
While I was in the hospital, artist and bonus-girlfriend Kim Doner gathered up a big group of friends to decorate the bike below to promote the MS 150.
Today, I’m feeling a bit of pain, but that satisfying sore muscle pain that comes from challenging my body to its limit. This morning, I took a class with a group of lean, fit people at St. John’s Health Club called Blast & Furious. Or how it felt to me this morning: Wild & Crazy. I’m out of my element. The truth of the matter is the class is filled with people that are stronger, leaner and more fit than I am. But it didn’t matter. I showed up.
Finally, at the end of the self-paced 10 reps of 10 cycles of four movements, and I was the last person still working to finish I smiled through that last lift.
I passed the first step: JUST. SHOW. UP.
I might as well finish it off and JUST. DO. IT.
Just Show Up and Find A Village Of Friends
L-R: Rose McCracken, Valarie Keown, Kim Donor, Mary Fitzgerald & Debbie Williams surprised me with “The Flying Artist” bird bike promotional for MS 150 during Mayfest 2011. Other artists that created this beautiful bike and not shown include: Betsy Perry, Linda Stilley, Dennis England, Shan Goshorn, Victoria Hoge, Mary Ann Hille, Tony Essman and PC Cast.