Back in February on the last day of the Shape Goal 40, I found out I was the week six goal crusher of the week. Jen told me it was a joint decision based off of not only people who nominated me, but on her observations, and with the help of the Shape Squad. I distinctly remember in the Facebook live she said, “I’m not giving you this award because I’ve known you for a long time, but because there’s something shifting in you. You’re truly finding your way. You’re changing the narrative”.
Those words have stuck with me, which is leading me to change the focus of this blog. While I feel like my past is important, and sharing my experiences as a caregiver are important, sharing growth of myself is more important.
In the last two and a half months, I’ve been to two of Jen’s events and at both she has made me cry. The first was at the Arnold Classic in Columbus. I drove four hours to support my friend signing her book at the Laura’s Lean booth. After the signing was over we had a talk where she was really hard on me. Things we talked about made me cry in the middle of this huge event. One thing she asked me was what mentally was holding me back. I stood there and said, I don’t know. On the four hour drive home it became evident to what was holding me back mentally and I was crying on the drive home. It wasn’t a sad cry, but a cry where everything just sort of clicked and me being disappointed in myself for allowing something that had happened years earlier still have this control over me mentally. It may be hard to let things that happened in your past go, but when you do it’s so freeing and that day was a huge shifting point for me.
Jump ahead about a month and I’m nearing the end of my first vacation in eight years in NYC. I took this trip for me because I deserve to treat myself and to live and having amazing experiences, but it was also to do things I never thought possible. I also wanted to support my Shape squad in things they were doing this week/weekend. Friday night I got to meet Mara who was supposed to run the half, but couldn’t due to an injury. I met her at NYRR along with Tiff McFierce for yoga. It was the first time I had ever done yoga and everyone was so supportive and Mara was surprised it was my first time. Here’s proof of me doing yoga.
Saturday morning I had two events to go to. The first was a workout that Jen was leading a workout at Paragon Sports, where only 40 of about 150 people who signed up actually showed up. Her workout was hard, but so much fun. While I was there I met Cara from the goal crushers group and we were partners for workouts that needed a partner. What we experienced was special on Saturday morning. After the workout we all met by the Shape ActiveWear in the store and had a fantastic talk. Jen answered our questions and had Cara and I share our stories. The connections that were made that morning is something I will never forget. After the workout Cara and I headed up to NYRR for the panel talk for the Shape Women’s Half Marathon. The panel of women was absolutely amazing. To be in a room with so many influential women inspired me in ways I can’t even get out in words yet. And the big event on Sunday was the Shape Half. I made it eight miles before I had to head toward the finish line because of a blister on my foot that wouldn’t let me go any farther. Another woman I met at the start of the race named Joy was having issues with her shins so we linked arms and crossed the finish line together. That’s what this whole weekend has been about. Women empowering women. After the race I was able to see Jen for a few minutes and told her that I had completed eight of the 13.1 miles. She said “You fucking did eight miles?! I’m so proud of you!” She signed my medal and helped me take off my race bib. She told me to write a message to myself on it and to keep both of those together.
This whole trip was much needed, but also life changing. In a matter of days I have so much insight and passion to pursue things I never thought I’d want to pursue. I will be leaving NYC tomorrow with a heart much fuller than when I arrived and I have to give all the credit to the wonderful women who made this weekend one of the best in my life. Check out some more pictures from this weekend below.