This last week has been a week of vulnerability and really putting myself out there. In the middle of all of this Covid-19 stuff, I have been working on some other activities to keep my mind and my heart busy, and well... the time came for some action. The first has been training for my first 50k ultra marathon (31.06 miles). I am not a runner, nor do I have a life long love of running. In fact I have only been running for about a year and a half, and for some reason, it is starting to click for me. By no stretch of the imagination am I fast, or am I motivated to be a top racer. Most of the time I am not even running the full distance, I am just moving forward at a determined pace. Well, Friday, I went out and did a virtual 50k, and while my time was not stellar, I never stopped moving forward. It really was a weird roller-coaster ride of emotions and pain for the full day.
I mean just look at me here, this is my 'start line' photo at 6:15 am, all excited to set out on the journey. I knew that I had not prepped very well for the adventure, so I adjusted my goals and set out. The first few miles was fun, and then the first hints of pain starting setting in. That pain never left, and for the next few hours it intensified.
Physically it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and it wiped me out for the weekend.
With each foot step, and each mile, I found myself more raw, more vulnerable. I am not sure that I was fully ready for being that vulnerable, let alone for that long. i am still processing a lot of what I thought about on that journey, processing a lot of what the inner 'demons' were saying, processing what I think I should have learned from the trip.
Here is a photo after I finished. Crashed on the floor, ice packs on my knees, cat's trying to check for a pulse and comfort me.
The second 'activity' that I did this week was release the draft of a simple kite plan. I had been working on this thing off and on for the past month or so, to the point that I was a bit
numb to what was right and what was wrong. So, instead of setting it aside and letting it just sit there till I was ready to tackle it again, I decided to go ahead and release the plans with one little caveat. I wanted to gather together a group of folks to test it out. Not only to critique it and find the flaws, but also build it and see what they liked about it. I signed up about 25 people in the first offering, half of them I even mailed the supplies to, and now I am sitting here reading some of the initial feedback. It is an incredibly humbling and vulnerable experience to put an unfinished product out there and actively ask for people to critique it. At the same time, I feel that I am learning so much more, and seeing things in a different way. Hopefully a better way.
I guess I will end on that thought, the common thought from both activities. That really the only way forward is to open up to being vulnerable, and accepting that pain and criticism is a part of the process. It isn't something to be feared, it is something to be acknowledged and embraced.
By the next time I publish, I hope to have a video or photos of some of the kite builds!