“The Krewe”

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Wow! It seems there is SO MUCH I could write about in the past 2 days… completing my first 10K, a great Easter, and good times with family and friends. If you want the “readers digest” version of this post, here it is: I’m damn lucky. I have a great life, and it’s constantly enriched by the wonderful, amazing people I have around me.  If you want a more complete version, read on….

I was at dinner with a friend tonight, and we were catching up on the gossip in each other’s lives, Easter with families, work drama, and all the usual topics of discussion when enjoying a glass of wine, good food, and the company of a good friend. Naturally, part of that convo was about starting this blog, and finishing THAT RACE… I was explaining that I had 3 different ideas floating in my head for my next post (that basically only I read anyway) but that I didn’t think I was gonna spend an entire post on the race doing a play-by-play. My friend was like, “What?!?!?!? You’re not??? Seriously?”

Nope. I’m not. Seriously. I documented it all pretty well on FB, and I am pretty pumped about it, but I’ve gushed enough- perhaps too much.  As proud and shocked by and amazed by myself as I am, I do realize 6.2 miles really isn’t an earth-shattering feat…. Granted, it rocked my world! I will touch on it in this post, but if you really want the full story, from me having to pee at 8:27am to me finishing, we’ll just have to talk.

What’s really been most present for me for the last few days is…. “my krewe.”

I can honestly say if I had to pick out one thing as the best thing in my life, hands down, that’d be it. Everyone has friends and family, I get that. Maybe I’m a complete narcissist, but I really do, 100%, believe that mine are extra-wonderful. “My krewe” is my family; and I use the word family loosely, but seriously. Some of “my krewe” are biologically my family, but many are not. It truly makes no difference to me- it’s just as “real”- this is my family: They are the people that are there- good day, bad day, in between day… They laugh with me (and at me, when appropriate), cry with me, support me, listen to me, challenge me, inspire me, motivate me, give me honesty and truth even when it’s hard, get diet coke for me, and even sometimes go to surgery or have an eye-smashing party with me.

See, you all thought you had it, too… Then I threw the real clinchers in there at the end! 😉

There’s no one way to describe them- they are all different and unique- some I get to see every day, others maybe only once every few years… but they are always there. So, I wanted to take a second while I WAS actually aware of and thankful for “my krewe” to give them some well-deserved attention.

The biggest challenge so far in this “12 Weeks of Quiet” is seeing a lot fewer people than I used to. My first weekend, I attempted this self-imposed isolation… Did NOT work for me at all. This weekend, I started to try to find a new (albeit, temporary) way… Infinitely better! I needed “my krewe”… and that’s exactly what I got.

I saw my friend, Eric, and he gave me a hug and said, “Lovie! I miss you!” and I looked at him and said, “You have no idea, this is SO not ok for me!” …And his perfect response? “This is SO not working for me, either!” …And we laughed. …And hugged again. It was a stupid hello hug at a crawfish boil… but that moment and about 12 others like it over the course of this weekend brought me back.

Texting and calling and talking and eating crawfish and shopping and running and catching up and hearing people sing and play…. This is closer to my normal. This I can deal with.

In fact, in this, I can thrive. My run this weekend was not so much about running, it was about me, and it was about taking challenges head on…. Finding a way to push through and dig deep even when I think I can’t, or won’t, or just shouldn’t have to, or that it’s too hard…. And realizing the result is SOOO worth it, so much better than you could have even anticipated. It’s progress.

After the race when we met up, my littlest brother, who ran it with me (and is a fabulous part of “my krewe”) asked me, “So, how many times did you seriously think about quitting during the race?” I honestly answered “None. Not once.” This surprised him, but I think that was only because his last question to me (before the race) was, “You’re like freaking out, huh?” and my response was an honest, “Oh yeah, totally losing my shit right now. This is crazy. I kinda wanna just run back to the car.” Haha!

Once the race started, it was “me, myself, & I” against something I truly believed I would never do and wasn’t capable of. I was scared. However, I can say with absolute certainty, that once I crossed the starting line, I KNEW, without a doubt, that I WAS going to do it. This was a battle with myself that I could win… and I felt “it”. “IT” is a strangely familiar feeling- it’s that feeling I have felt during far bigger challenges than a 10K in my life… But I had been having a hard time locating it. It showed up big time, at exactly 8:40am, on Decatur Street outside Jackson Square. It’s like my inner-Muppet gets activated, proclaiming, “Don’t take no for an answer!” and that’s it- the job is getting done, whatever it is. Like/dislike, want/don’t want, fear, anxiety, doubt…. Gone and irrelevant. It’s go time. …And it’s good to know it’s still there. (I was starting to worry…)

I also felt the energy and support and love of “the krewe”… From my two crazy friends who “decided” I was gonna do this on Thursday night, to my brother who ran with me, and everyone who gave me a text, FB post, call, good luck convo on Friday….  They knew I needed this, too… and for reasons beyond being able to justify eating anything I wanted today. (For the record, I ate Easter candy like it was my job.) So, just like countless other times in my life, many of them not totally understanding what I was doing or why I was doing it, they rallied.

After I finished the race, one of the celebratory texts I got from my friends read, “Amazing girl!!! Just goes to show you have deeper resources than you ever thought!”

It’s true. I do.

But the deepest of those resources just may be the people around me, who bring out the best in me and who help me conjure up what I didn’t even know was there.

…The “after” shot… Mission accomplished. “IT” was back.

… and so am I, I think.

In case you were wondering, yes, my headband DOES say, “This isn’t sweat, this is liquid AWESOME”.

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