Lately Kim, Marie and I have been getting together once a week to train each other. (Both are personal trainers. Kim is training clients regularly at the studio and Marie subs for me frequently.) It is great for several reasons. One, we don't normally get to spend that much time together since we are busy working with clients. Two, we get to learn new exercises and sequences from each other. And three, we get a great workout.
This past Friday was Marie's turn. She came in with a workout written up that was different from anything else we've done. No weights were involved at all, just high intensity exercises in rapid succession. The goal was to go nonstop for 25 minutes and count the number of times you could get through the list. It was designed as a competition. Here's the final score:
She took a picture of this scoreboard and posted the workout on Facebook. My initial thought (fear) was oh my gosh everyone is going to think I am out of shape. I couldn't keep up. But the posts were all encouraging things like "Way to go girls!" Not one single person said Sue! What's up with THAT?
I realize that is because no one cares. At all.
Then today I was signed up for a half marathon at Three Creeks MetroPark. I signed up months ago, planning to walk it as part of my training for the Grand Canyon hike next month, figuring it would help me get long walks in. Then I got a message yesterday about something that was going on today at 11:30 AM with my niece that I really wanted to attend. So I switched to running so I would get done on time.
Well, I haven't been training to run long distance at all in the past few years. I've been walking. So my run was slow and I was near the back. Way back. And you know what? Everyone was so awesome and supportive. No one would have cared if I was absolutely last. No one cares! I got thumbs up and high fives regardless of my finish time.
And what I got to experience was so far beyond any finish time. I had made up a playlist for the event and loaded it up on my iPod the day before. So as I was slowly making my way to the turnaround and back, sometimes by myself where I couldn't even see other runners in front of me, I got to experience a flood of memories and joy as the sunlight filtered through the trees on this beautiful morning.
When Able by Need to Breathe played, I remembered the first time I heard it while getting ready for work one morning and just stopping to listen to the amazing words and passionate voice.
Find your patience, find your truth
Love is all we have to lose
I'm not able on my own
Then a song called Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith came on and I remembered my dear friend Sharon sending me this song while she was going through chemo and I remember her telling me she was not afraid. Healing rain, it comes with fire
So let it fall and take us higher
Healing rain, I'm not afraid
To be washed in Heaven's rain
Paradise City by Guns N Roses took me back to the days of spin class at Lifestyles. He sings that last "take me home" and you think it's over, then Slash keeps going for about two minutes on guitar and my legs would burn and I would push, push, push and finally make it to the end of that song feeling like I was unstoppable.
Thunderstruck always reminds me of my mom. She would watch that AC/DC video and shake her head, commenting on Angus and his nonstop head banging for the entire video. Her nickname for him was appropriately, "Headache". How can I not smile and feel so incredibly lucky when that memory comes up?
And then When We Were Beautiful by Bon Jovi. I love this song, but at the end of it when you see them in concert, the band stops and the crowd just keeps going with sha la la, sha la la hey sha la la. I have a vivid memory of singing it with my sister at one of the concerts we've gone to and every time I hear this song I think of her (and usually text her "sha la la hey"). I hope she knows what it means to me and as I thought about that today, I got so choked up I had to stop and walk for awhile.
You can't tell me this is just about the exercise or the calories burned. If you believe that, then you need a better playlist. This is about showing up and being you. Whether you're first or last. Whether you're slow or fast. Open your heart, become radically present with your amazing authentic self, and experience the gifts of this life.