Last night in Cali...what an experience! What an amazing, heart-changing, emotional, grace filled, physically challenging experience.
Drama Queen Alert:
I am a bit sad that it is all over...Not just the vacation part...but the completion of this mini goal...that really turns out....was a major goal!!! It has been 4 days since I showed up in Manhattan Beach...all 5'4" 230lbs of me...(Not quite where I had hoped I would be when I made this a mini-goal...BUT way beyond ready to meet Kerri face to face). Four days since I took the first 5-10 steps up that hill and thought...Dear God...what have I gotten myself in to...LOL!!!!
What I have not said...and I think I stammered trying to say it to Kerri..is that I was SO NERVOUS when we started that I had NO breath!! So...those first few steps were so hard...and I totally panicked (on the inside)....I think I tried to say something to the effect ( or is it affect)...but God only knows what came out of my mouth!!! Here is what I said in my head...REALLY...I said:
"You are a 46 year old grown ass woman...you can do this!!! Pay no attention to the 3 time U.S. Olympic gold freakin medalist standing next to you!!!
Of course, the truth is....by paying attention to the youngster to my right...I made it up that hill...but again, not just because she is a world class athlete...but because of who she is...because of the kind of person she is...because she has the patience of Job...because....I believe with all of my heart...that this was one of those Divine God moments that can have no other explanation...It was completely by Design!
The moment we reached the top...hand in hand...busting out our best Rocky pose...was amazing....unforgettable for me...life changing and ass kicking all at the same time....Emotionally and physically!!!
I did not know until AFTER it was all over...how emotionally impacted I have been by the events on Saturday! I really try to fully represent my experience in this blog....for myself as a reflection of this Journey and for those reading it...for a truthful representation of what it is like for me to radically change my life given my weight, health issues, age...the whole enchilada!!!!
I have talked about the highs and lows....the roller coaster...I have talked extensively about the amazing gift and blessings I have received and I have discussed my struggles...physical, emotional and spiritual.
I have to really fight back shame...that inner voice that says to "man up" and never let them see you sweat...when I acknowledge that this whole experience has been profoundly emotional for me....lots and lots of tears...once I reached that Summit. Not until I got home...and of course, more and more each day as I began to realize the depth of the moment for me.
I think that not quitting...not giving up while I was in the middle of the climb was huge!! Not being embarrassed at how difficult it was for me....just accepting who I was at that moment in time and finishing on God's terms...was equally as huge. I think allowing myself to be seen in such a vulnerable state in front of such an accomplished athlete....was huge...I think much more importantly for me...allowing myself to fully accept the immense kindness, love and support from someone who did not have to be standing next to me...was a break through...No pretense...No forced comedy...No bravado...No Tough Texas girl BS....Kerri Walsh saw ME....a fairly raw version of me...An overextended, in pain, but completely happy version of me...the real ME....A grateful, blessed, humbled version of me...that was completely willing to take her hand, to let her get me water...she even carried my shoes!!!
My cousin Lori made me laugh my butt off...she said, "you must have been in pretty bad shape if you couldn't carry a pair of shoes!!! HILARIOUS and so true!!!
I would not trade this experience for anything...not anything. I know it is an important piece to this complicated, glorious puzzle...that is this Journey!!!
The events that have followed Saturday...Kerri's words, the words of others....family, friends and total strangers again have peeled off yet another layer of the fluff....and have once again, given me an opportunity to accept the Grace of God through others. MY inspiration is OFF THE CHARTS....TRUTHFULLY THOUGH...I don't really have a "plan"..I am clear that I need a plan from this point forward and I do have options for help with that plan.
I will need help! Or should I say....I will continue to need help. Please hear me say...NONE of this...not one lb...not a single moment of this Journey would be even remotely possible without the love I have received from others. Of that, I am 100% certain.
So here is my currently reality...I am ready to take on the next step in this Journey...I am empowered by the events of the past week. I am blessed by the Glory of God and the burns on my feet are all better...:)) However, I cry everyday...like a big ole baby...LOL...oh well...I guess I will go with that...for now.
SO....I know everyone is going to get REALLY tired of how often I talk about this week....Just know that unless you outlive me...you will NEVER stop hearing this story...AND, given my tendency to repeat my stories....well...this will be on the PLAY list for life.
Kerri....Thank you again...Your Mom and Dad must be the proudest parents on the planet, your husband and kids can trust that they have the best wife and Mom, your sisters and brother can know you are a wonderful sister and your friends...well...I hope they know the treasure they have in their lives. OH....and the whole world can know that they are in the presence of one bad ass volleyball player!!!
As for me Kerri....here again is my reality....I met a superstar on a hot sand dune...she is the inspiration behind my decision to get up....get healthy and to be a better human being! I met a wonderfully kind "mentor" who coached me up the hill, providing encouragement, support and the experience I needed to accomplish the physical task. But for me...most importantly, I met someone that I completely connected with...that I could have, had time permitted, sat on the sand next to and just talked to...for hours. My reality is that I met a friend. Someone that will, I hope, be a part of my life from this point forward in whatever way God sees fit...that I can not only have as a friend but be a friend to as well. You are in my heart....Love to you...
OK..so at this point....I have written about how I ran today at the beach...a milestone for me...sprints...if you can imagine...but I am too wiped out to recount the whole story...so here are some pics...Technical Difficulties are no fun!!!
So Long Sunny California...Thanks for the inspiration!!!