You know those dreams? The big kind that get in your craw and stay with you for years. It’s the dream you have that once you get there you will have lived a big part of your life purpose. Mine has been to walk some long distance as a fundraising vehicle for pediatric cancer and caregiver support. When I was in greater physical shape and less realistic, I envisioned walking the length of the entire United States. Dream version 2.0 is walking across Washington State.
This kind of “big risk” dream takes planning and overcoming internal obstacles, and the motivation ebbs and flows. I decided to write down my list of speed bumps and how I intend to overcome them.
- I’m out of shape and can’t do this.
- I need logistical support I don’t have to accomplish this dream safely.
- I need to be assured significant financial contributions to make this walk feasible and profitable for my cause.
- I’m a single parent. How can I possibly take this dream on now?
How to overcome them is Operation Just Start. It’s a simple strategy. Just start on any piece of the dream.
Yesterday was my first day in 21 with a break from desk work, and I walked 8 miles in perfect temperature sun. I just started! I currently weigh more than I did at 9 months pregnant years ago, so I envisioned this sign attached to me for a long distance journey:
I have a lifelong pattern of being confronted with bumper stickers that reflect what I need. The one in front of me halfway through my 8 miles was “Enjoy Being.” That says it all! Self talk “fat woman walking” is now officially replaced with:
Actually, the best thing about being a hefty woman trying to be athletic is no heckles from drivers or creepy men slowing down in cars, both of which happened when I was shapely in a different way.
People I have never met are inspired by my child’s story of survival (and countless others) enough to run 100 miles.
They helped reignite my dormant dream. The way that things go around and come around, they happen to train a lot at a spot I wrote a poem (below) about 20 years ago when I lived nearby. Each will be doing separate 100-mile journeys. At end of September, my daughter and I will be at Lake Padden at the final leg of the 100 for Shannon to cheer him on.
Lake Padden Spring
The salmon-berry blossom has arrived
like an obstinate star-petaled rose.
Skunk cabbage megaphones announce
their yellow swampy smell.
Lady finger and licorice ferns
unbend spines in slow-motion yoga;
fourteen human days to straighten
a single frond.
Winter-brown Equisetum brushes stand
ready to paint this season’s green-tiered bristles.
Guards survey the territory stock still,
orange-bellied half-moons suspended
from their witch-broom backs.
A blond-haired child begs his mother
to keep pushing the tire swing chains
so he can spin in the gyroscope of spring.
A girl shouts, raises an arm
sending all the ducks skidding
over the water, back where they belong.
Wind pushes clouds and waves–
water changes, pressure changes
April showers. Even the mowing
machine has its green hair swept away.