Archive for March, 2016

Life and Business Are a Journey…You Don’t Always Know What Lies Ahead

March 13, 2016

Two years ago, on March 13, 2014 my mother passed away. The original plan was for my father to move to Cincinnati to live in my home with me, but the stress of that move was sending him to the cardiologist and the ER on a weekly basis. He didn’t want to move. As an only child, I did what was right. I moved to Kansas City to live with my father who was terrified to live in the house alone. I sincerely felt the move to Cincinnati would kill him, and I wasn’t about to lose both my parents in less than a year. I know the statistics.
While still in shock over my mother’s death, I sold my home, donated almost everything in the house to charity and got on a plane with my beloved cat, Sheba, to take care of my dad. That year was filled with loss. I’d lost my 19 year old cat, Cleopatra, about six months before I lost my mother. I was leaving my clients and friends of 25 years that were like family to me. I was leaving my neighbors that were like family for the last 25 years. I’d lost my center.
As those of you that follow this blog know, I write this blog based on things I learn while running. When I moved to Kansas City I spent the first four months at the vet every day trying to get Sheba stabilized. The stress of the move nearly killed her. Losing her would have nearly killed me. She is my child! Our vet did a wonderful job of getting her stabilized, and I finally felt things with Sheba were under control. I am her center.
My dad’s health improved during that time too. There were no more trips to the cardiologist or ER once I moved in with him. His recent annual physical was the best it’s ever been. His doctor says I’m the reason for that. As a health coach, I make sure he eats right and exercises every day. I am his center.
With Sheba and my dad stable, it was time for me to focus on getting my center back. Running has always been what grounds me. It brings me joy, peace and helps me stay healthy.
What I didn’t know was that the streets of the town where my dad lives are steeply graded. Running in the road, which is what I did at home in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, tears you up! After running in the road for a few months and feeling beat up, I realized something was seriouly wrong. I found a great Active Release Techniques chiropractor through the one I used back home. Marty got me put back together. It took months, but I was able to run as he helped me heal the damage I’d done to my body. Running started to be comfortable again…joyful again. It was a blessing. He was a blessing.
Yet I still wasn’t inspired to write a blog. I knew it had been a long time since I’d done so, but Kansas City wasn’t inspiring me. My dad’s neighbors certainly weren’t inspiring me like my neighbors back home did. Nothing I saw on my runs captured my heart…much less captured it enough to inspire me to write about it. I wasn’t meeting people at races that inspired me either. Frankly, running in Kansas City left me utterly uninspired…until March 12, 2016.
I decided to run the Westport St. Patrick’s Day race in honor of my mother. It’s a four mile race. It was the perfect distance because I suspected I might be in tears for the entire race. But tears weren’t what my mother had in mind for me.
Here’s what happened:
Race morning, I get out of my car and a friendly young woman sees I have a race bib on and asks me where packet pickup is located. I told her I was there yesterday and it’s hard to find. I told her I’d walk her there. As we walked and talked, I found out she’d signed up for the race the week before with a friend that had bailed on her that morning due to being sick. So, she was completely untrained to run the four miles and was going to have to do it by herself. “No way! I will run with you and pace you for the four miles,” I told her. She had only run a 5k quite some time ago and had trained for that race. But I knew with the fact she was young and fit, she was up for this task…even though she hadn’t trained. Amanda did fabulous. We took a couple of walk breaks but averaged a 10:33 minute/mile and finished in about 43 minutes.
She knew I was dedicating this race to my mother and she apologized for slowing me down. I smiled and told her it was an honor to run with her and we made my mother proud. She thanked me and my mom for getting her to the finish line. She told me she would have walked more of the race if I hadn’t been there to push her.
My mother didn’t know a stranger. She made friends with anyone she met. That day, I honored my mother’s memory in the best possible way by making a stranger my new friend.
So what does this story have to do with business?
Life and business are a journey. Sometimes the road is bumpy and throws us curves. Sometimes the road is smooth and easy. Life and business journeys are about the paths we take and the people we meet along the way. When we open our minds, bodies and spirits to new things and new people, we open our lives and our businesses to new possibilities and opportunities. Those possibilities and opportunities can be joyful and life changing in very positive ways.
It was a joy to run with my new friend, Amanda, and pace her for a PR (personal record) at the race! She said I was a blessing to her sent by God. She was an angel on earth and a blessing to me sent by God and my mother. Without Amanda, that race would likely have been filled with pain, loss and sorrow. Without Amanda, I most likely would have cried the entire four miles. But because of Amanda, my new friend for life, I found inspiration, purpose and joy. She was my center that day.
My advice to you is to mourn your losses…in life and in business. But in that process, open your eyes and your hearts to the joys that can be part of those losses and you may find your inspiration and your center again. You may find a new friend too.