Tag Archive | strong women

Girlfriends

I met Taryn in college.

Taryn and Me with the bow

I used to work with Shelley at my first HR job out of graduate school (not counting internships).

I met Katie and Katy when I joined a young professionals networking group sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce round about 2008.

I met Mikaela when I started having her cut my hair. (And why do I not have a photo with her!!!?)

I met Kiera because she managed the staffing agency that I used at a previous job.  Kiera introduced me to Lelani.  We have stayed friends long after Kiera moved to Seattle, then Boise.

Bliss was my real estate agent’s wife when I bought my current house.  I also met her mother JoAnne.

Shelley, Me, Bliss, JoAnne and Katie, before the race!

I met Paula through her cousin Brandon, a long time friend.

As it turns out, many of these amazing ladies have come together to lift me up and support me over the years, and some have become friends with each other too.

Taryn met Paula on a weekend trip I took to Portland to see them both.

Katie and Katy met through the networking group too.

Waiting to start

 

Shelley met Katie and Katy when we started doing our half-marathons together.

Shelley met Mikaela when she asked me for a hairstylist recommendation.

Katie met Mikaela because they were both pregnant at the same time and in the same birthing support group.

Lelani met Katy through networking, or a mutual friend, or I don’t even know.

Bliss and JoAnne met Shelley and Katie from walks and half-marathons.

Bliss and Katy both work in the medical field.

Lelani met Paula on a long weekend trip with me.

Lelani and Paula outside an awesome shop!

There are others too – this tribe of mine.  Women I see frequently or rarely, but who I know have my back. I love that even though some of these amazing ladies live far away, and I might not see them often, when we come together it is as if we spent no time apart. I love that we do things together, and do things separately.  I love that these women are all strong and independent and give me people to look up to.  I love that we all at times feel like we have our shit together, and at other times feel like we are failing.  I love that we listen without judgment, give advice when asked, and sometimes provide that kick in the butt that is needed.  We have lost mothers and fathers, said goodbye to beloved pets, had medical scares, have found love and lost love, been challenged by children, have found and left jobs, have navigated career hardships, and have moved away from each other.  I love that we laugh so hard we cry, and at times cry so hard we laugh.  I love that we all need each other.

I am blessed to have these women in my life.

Muscle Memory

When I was in college, my father tore his rotator cuff.  My childhood home had a really steep driveway, and he slipped on some ice and fell down, catching his fall with his right hand.  Dad was right handed, and he lost a lot of use in that arm.  He couldn’t raise his arm above his shoulder anymore, and the doctors told him that he shouldn’t bowl anymore.  My dad loved bowling; I never knew him to not be on a team or two, from as early as I could remember.

Dad got pretty mopey after his injury, and at one point was very down in the dumps feeling sorry for himself.  I was over at my parents’ house when he was complaining that he couldn’t do things anymore, because he couldn’t use his right hand.  The task at hand that day – changing the light bulb in the hallway.

I was annoyed by his attitude, and I got pretty snarky with him and told him he was just going to have to figure things out.  I dragged a chair over to the hallway, pulled down the light fixture cover, and changed the light bulb, all with my left hand.  I told him that if I could do it, so could he.

The next week, dad asked if I wanted to go bowling on Sunday morning.  He was going to learn how to bowl with his left hand.  We went together several Sundays, and talked about life and school and whatever came to mind, while he practiced left handed bowling.  After a little time away, he went back to his league and spent the next 20-some years bowling as a lefty.

This morning I finished a 15K; the Hot Chocolate Run in Seattle.  It was my second time doing this distance, although if you read here you know I have done many half-marathons.

I haven’t been training; I haven’t even been exercising as much as I normally do in the last several weeks since my dad died.  I’ve just been trying to get through all the day to day stuff.  Yesterday I felt like absolute garbage.  But I didn’t want to bow out of the race.

While I was walking and jogging this morning, under a clear blue, cloudless sky, I was reminded that sometimes all you can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep looking up, and keep knocking the miles and tasks off the list.  You just have to let the muscle memory take over.  Even if you don’t feel like you can.  Even if you don’t want to.  Because you can do it.  And someday, you’ll want to again.

I’m also blessed to be surrounded by amazing women who lift me up and carry me, even when they might not even realize they are.  They are a big part of why I crossed that finish line this morning.

I finished the 9.3 miles in 2 hours, 14 minutes and 14 seconds, for a pace of 14:25 per mile.  It wasn’t a fast time, and I didn’t run as much of the race as I normally would, but I finished.

Just keep going.  You got this.