30 Days – Follow your heart…

It might not actually lead you to where you think. You may end up somewhere better…

“Can I hold the kingsnake?” Kathy looked up wide eyed at Dena, the conservatory worker.

“Sure,” said Dena. “Let me get my key to his tank.”

It was Sunday morning and Kathy, Jean and I had made our way down to the Bolsa Chica wetlands. After an 8 mile run and some birdwatching, we found ourselves here, learning more about the birds and now, apparently, playing with snakes.

“Cool!” Said Jean, as the beautiful black and white creature began to curl around Kathy’s wrist.

I’ll be honest, snakes have never really been my ‘thing’ but I was captivated by the interest that the two of them were showing. Kathy and Jean were both my mom’s age and older, but somehow I identified with them better than most of my female friends. They were the type of women that I want to be – strong and independent, good and kind, but would never let themselves be taken advantage of. They delighted in the little things in life which is what brought us here to the Bolsa Chica Conservatory on such a beautiful and inspiring day.

On Monday morning I opted out of my usual bootcamp class for a multitude of reasons. The biggest of these being the wildfires that left a smoke cloud looming over the city. Among it’s lesser vices, it brings with it the inability to breathe to those of us that are asthmatic. But on Tuesday morning I was back in class, warming up, when my instructor approached me.

“Do you run on Sundays? asked Nadia.

“I do,” I smiled.

“Well, I was thinking about running the LA Marathon…” Within minutes we were plotting her 4:30 finish and what steps it would take to get her there. I had quickly become my bootcamp instructor’s marathon personal trainer, with our first long run planned for this Sunday.

I am suddenly starting to see a shift occur in my life. The focus that I have had on men, on finding ‘the one’ and even training and competing with them is changing to a deeper development of my female friendships. I love the male friendships that I have, but there are strong, fierce women in my life that I am fortunate to know and that I want to know better.

Another one of these women is Catra Corbett. She is one of the toughest women that I know. Her and her ultrarunning boyfriend, Andy, recently broke up as well and I have found comfort in her blog. Her words are better than anything I could write to describe my feeling at the moment, so I will end with those:

“Persevere and direct your energy towards your goals. If you do this and truly believe in what you’re trying to achieve you will be given the power to succeed. Sometimes obstacles should be seen as a test – pass the test and overcome the obstacles and success will be in your grasp. If you are feeling challenged right now examine whether it is due to misunderstandings or perhaps a mistrust. Opportunities will arise to resolve your situations.”

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