“Love It or Leave It.”

It never ceases to amaze me how you can be going about your life, believing you have all your shit together, and then something unexpected happens that stops you in your tracks. BOOM! – just like that, your thoughts and memories become crystal clear and, all of the sudden, you realize exactly what is most important. This moment; this LIFE.

Needless to say, I had a bit of a “near death experience” recently and it really got me thinking about all the time and energy I have simply been wasting ; stressing myself out about and chasing after things that never really even matter when you can finally look and see the bigger picture.

I have no interest in elaborating on the actual event itself because it doesn’t matter either, in and of itself – what matters is what I saw in that exact moment when time “slowed down” and I realized that THIS could be IT.

First and foremost, I was not scared. I was calm, almost peaceful. I wish I could say that I had no regrets… but the regrets that I had were not what you, I, or anyone who knows me would even expect!

I regretted all the times I crawled out of bed early to go get that long run, as my husband lay sleeping beside me.

I regretted all the invitations I declined and beers not drank with friends whom I love because I was “in training”.

I regretted letting myself feel “weak”, “slow”, and “not good enough” for Boston – as if Boston were the epitome of what a good human being should be.

I regretted putting off all the things I WANT to do, in order to force upon myself the things I believed I “should” be doing to achieve these goals – goals which no longer serve a greater purpose for me.

Running has been such a big part of my life; since I was a frustrated teenager, growing up in our religiously restricted world… all the way through my years as a Paramedic, striving to stay healthy and sane in a very unhealthy and insane world! But somewhere along the line this “healthy obsession” became an unhealthy hindrance.

It took me awhile to see it… but now it appears so clear. For so many years, I needed to run… but then I learned how to FLY! 🪂

#ChasingBoston #ForTheLoveOfTheRun

“Beyond Broken.”

“What brought you here?”

That’s a very good question.

When I started writing this blog, it was primarily about a physical journey. An average, middle of the pack runner with nothing too special in the way of athletic ability – but with a dream of excellence and the desire to evolve to a much higher level.

Now, it seems, this blog has become much more of mental journey for me – the chronicling of a psychological revolution.

Much of my life has revolved around measuring up – to the expectations of my parents, the rigid rules of a religion which never really resonated with me, as well as, the personal and professional standards I’ve set for myself throughout my years upon this Earth.

I’ve spent years trying to find my place – figuring out where I belong, doing what, and with whom.

Now, it seems more about breaking free – from all of the people, places, things, thoughts and feelings which were never really meant for me and no longer hold space in my heart.

It’s crazy how, in just a few short years, something so simple can become so complex. What once seemed so important now pales in comparison to what’s most important to me now. Yet, what’s most important is the simplest thing of all.

As I sat on that picnic table today, staring up at the sky, and the skydiver sitting next to me asked, “What brought you here?”, my entire life flashed through my mind and lingered upon my three tandem jumps before taking on the AFF course.

#1.) May 2015, strapped to the same man who had assumed the responsibility of my instruction today, in order to simply face my fear.

#2.) October 2019, on the anniversary of my parents deaths, surrounded and accompanied by friends who have now assumed the role of my family.

#3.) October 2020, following the anniversary of my parents deaths and in the aftermath of their trial, as I was drowning in grief, guilt, and regret. It was on this day, as I was seeking to find out what it might feel like to die, that I was handed the reins (or, in this instance, the toggles!) and shown what it feels like to truly LIVE!

I’ve discovered that many students and skydivers have some similar experience (sometimes many!) and those who’ve been jumping a long time have a way of looking at things differently – with humor and grace, and a deeper respect for this gift which we have been given.

So, as a million thoughts and moments, failures and fears flashed throughout my mind, and my first instinct was to deflect and avoid, I stopped for a moment before deciding to simply speak my truth.

“A deathwish.”, I replied as our eyes locked on…and we both smiled.

When I came here, I came because I was broken; but now I am beyond all that. I am finally free.

Sometimes it takes facing death to make you realize how much you really want to LIVE!

Those who jump, KNOW. 🪂

#ChasingBoston #ForTheLoveOfTheRun

*It’s not always about running; sometimes, it’s simply about LIFE.