I have decided that there is something within me that rises up and says, "ME, ME, Me!" when a challenge arises. Was I always like that?? I really don't think so. I think as I have gotten older I have gained that "I CAN DO THAT" spirit more each year.
Is that a good thing?? My opinion is YES, because as I consider the challenges I have taken on, have been mainly HEALTH oriented.
My new favorite montra is:
"DON'T TELL ME THE SKY IS THE LIMIT WHEN THERE ARE FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOON"...Paul Brandt
My first challenge I found on the web sight of my Weight Watchers a couple years ago. A challenge to "get off the couch" and walk 250 miles in 3 months. I turned to my husband and said, "We could do this!!"
Now there was no prize, no recognition, just the knowledge that "I took the challenge and completed it." Well, that was enough for me, so I ordered pedometers and we began counting steps and miles.
At the end of that 3 month time, we had logged 500+ miles which was like a WOW factor to my soul!!
I had never thought of myself as an athlete but now I was realizing that my heart held the desire to prove that I could accomplish some pretty cool things.
About that I time I read about a man who had purchased a set of walking sticks and walked ACROSS the U.S. and then inside the boundary of EVERY state in the continental United States. Jim had recently retired and I suggested to him that, "WE CAN DO THAT! Let's walk across the United States."
He was getting a bit worried about my state of mind until I explained that I would buy a MAP of the United States and we would trek it by means of miles logged. THAT sounded do-able and our adventure began. To keep the adventure exciting and to get others involved, I set with my address book and GPS and measured the distance to the homes of family and friends. We made 'virtual' visits to people we had not seen in years!!! We arrived in Erie, PA one evening to 'share a dish of ice cream with our daughter and family!!! :)
It was in the midst of this incredible journey that I signed up for the adventure of a lifetime. I registered in February of 2013 for my first 3Day..60 Mile Walk for Breast Cancer. I had just reached a milestone in my life and took the challenge for several reasons. One being to prove to myself and to show my kids and grandkids that age need NOT be the measure by which your challenges and adventures are planned.
I had lived for years with the complications of having compound fractures in both legs as a teenager and the voices of doctors and others telling me "you can't do that." After an ankle surgery I was now celebrating walking further than I had in years.
Also 6 years earlier I had come through surgery and radiation as a Cancer survivor.
I claimed the 3Day as 60 Miles of celebration of life and the ability to walk. Also it was an opportunity to honor and give hope to many others who had fought and won and others who had lost their battles with the big 'C'.
So with a heart filled with THANKSGIVING, I joined approximately 1200 other walkers in Seattle for 60 of the most amazing miles I could have ever walked. The hills rang with the stories, faces were drenched with tears and smiles stretched for miles as hundreds of walkers shared their challenges and nursed their blisters on the trails. Each soul held their individual reason for making the walk.
At the end of the 3 days we walked as a group into a stadium filled with friends and loved ones who had cheered us on and provided words of encouragement and love when needed. It is impossible to voice the emotions and feelings of fulfillment those last few minutes brought to culmination. Suffice for me say that those 3 Days, the weeks of preparation (1100 miles walked) and the hundreds of people I met and stories I learned have change my life forever.
Let me share with you the one lesson I learned and the LIFETIME CHALLENGE I have given myself and would love to share with you.
"Each day choose to SLOW DOWN for a few moments and LISTEN to that person you find in your life for that moment."
Your life will be enriched beyond measure as you give that small piece of your day to another.
I would love to hear your story!!