In just one blink, a moment has past…
Maybe you were entirely present to that moment, storing it safely in you memory bank for an opportunity to appreciate or share it down the road. Maybe it was a moment in traffic as your mind sifted through the long list of “to-do’s” for the work day ahead…a moment that quickly transports you to a world of pondering, and, to your surprise, within a blink of an eye you are at work…thirty minutes later. Maybe it was a moment just for yourself and never to share, or as mom always liked to say, “we all need something to smile about in our rocking chairs”. I see it everyday in the college world I coach in, that routine we all know too well as “the grind” or what I like to call, “survival mode”.
Wake up, workout (if you can manage), work (or class depending on your situation), maybe more work, practice, extracurricular activities, errands, homework, family, Netflix. The list literally goes on and on and sometimes seems to never end and is different for every single one of us. I always think about this in traffic…the man munching a donut with slick back hair and a bowtie…the women in a ’98 Corolla with a mop of wild curls and a flannel that she rocks because she has a backseat of busy children but is smiling as big as ever…the small older lady in bright yellow with spectacles and a perm who can barely see over the steering wheel but holds her own just fine on the 10. I always wonder about everyone’s story and what people are facing in their unique days as we all move forward on the hamster wheel, harmonizing with our indifferences…captivated by our stories.
Growing up one of my greatest fears (aside from spiders and spinach of course) was forgetting the magical memories of my childhood. From climbing trees with my big sister, to scavenging the house for every blanket possible to engineer a tent village in the basement, to watching my parents dance in front of the headlights of the car after dinner out…there were too many I could never part with. This is why I stared a diary as soon as I could pick up a pencil, and why I still write today…never wanting a precious moment to slip through my fingers. We all have them, some are wonderful, some we may prefer to forget and let time heal the scars as, “they say,” it always does.
When my athletes start to fret about the time passing too quickly I like to say to them, “Time does go fast, most of the time…but when you look back and really reflect on all that you have done and accomplished in just a year, the thousands of moments small and grand that led you to this moment now, it puts time into perspective”. It is up to us how we decide to write and read our time.
I was blessed to learn young to count my blessings daily, it’s a great thing to do, and I truly recommend it for everyone. A life led with gratitude, even for unfortunate moments, will return you with infinite rewards because you always have your eyes open for the possibilities. This year, I have to admit, seemed to pass within the blink of eye.
I had just made it through my first season coaching with track legends Steve Scott and Wes Williams, and a new inspiring team of young and determined people when one of those never to forget moments changed my pace entirely. My fast life led my full speed feet and knee cap careening straight into the concrete, cracking my femur like a giant splinter half way up my thigh, in the blink of an eye.
And just like that my new world was a long road ahead, leading me through months of uncharted territory…Ironic eh? To slow down I literally had to break my leg. And it did have its slow moments of course, hours on end, day after day on the sofa. Which was a blessing because it allowed me time to write more and put energy into designing my blog and mission to share possibility to the world. But there were many hoops to jump through too…and an entirely new learning curve in the rehabilitation process for the remainder of my first year at my new job.
To make a long story short, it was a wonderful whirl-wind of a year. By the end of the track season as our team was peaking for championships, I was finally able to join them on warm up runs and it was the greatest feeling ever! There is nothing like falling in love all over again with your favorite sport or hobby. Anticipate an intense endorphin rush!
I am grateful for breaking my leg because now I understand what it means to break not only a bone, but the largest bone in your body. I have acquired knowledge for proper recovery and what it takes to get back on your feet and while I pray it never happens to one of our athletes, I at least know a thing or two about what to do now. I also know that breaking my goal of running sub- 17:00 minutes in the 5k after this incident will be a thousand times more satisfying after breaking my femur and I continue to dream and work for that day. I hope to inspire and help others sidelined with injuries to remain positive and take matters into their own hands.
Meanwhile, ten miles down the 78 my boyfriend Noah was wrapping up his fourth year of teaching and first year here in California, this time grade four. If you know anything at all about the world of education and teaching, then you understand how once the academic year begins, you jump on the train and hang on as best you can until that bell rings on the very last day of school. Hundreds of thousands of moments, high and low, carry you through until you find your much needed reset button.
Filled with gratitude for all that we learned in the past year and for all of the amazing people who came into our lives, we finished out our years with a smile and packed our bags for the journey ahead…
And trust me, it would be a journey. Our plan was to visit as many family and friends as possible in one month because at best, we see our loved ones twice a year as they are scattered all around the country…but mostly up and down the east coast. The second plan was for each of us to truly experience the places where we both grew up. For me, that is Keene, New Hampshire and the beautiful mountains of New England. For Noah that is Virginia, the Carolina’s and Florida, places I had only vacationed. I was so eager to show Noah my grassroots because it’s a huge part of who I am and because he has never been north of New York before…wicked crazy right?!
The third plan was to capture all of the beautiful scenery by still photo and film our adventure from start to finish to share with friends and family. My plan was to blog and vlog about each destination so other people can get a glimpse into our journey and hopefully be inspired to experience these places for themselves someday. There is so much juice to squeeze from in life, and odds are, if it’s sweet, others may want a taste too!
The first leg of the trip ahead would be a wild one, driving from San Diego, California to Portland, Oregon to visit my dad and little sister Maddy in their new town of Lake Oswego. We departed from Oceanside at 8:00 am, which means around noon we made it out of LA and could finally breathe. Those who have embarked on this road trip understand perfectly that feeling you get when the seven lanes of bumper to bumper traffic finally thins out and it’s just you and the open road ahead, smog in the review mirror.
Having driven the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco more times than we can count, we were more than excited to experience the coastal route in the pacific northwest. I’ve always heard it is incredibly breathtaking if you’re into diverse coastlines, giant redwood trees and the magnificent Pacific Ocean. It was all that we had imaged and more, I had to turn my phone off for some of it to soak in some of the moments without distraction. But not to worry, I gathered a great deal of footage for you all like secluded beaches off the beaten path, drive through Redwood trees, and primo coffee shacks. The possibilities are endless and you can see them for yourself on my YouTube channel The Juice of Life.
This is just part 1 of the journey, I will be uploading my videos in the next few weeks and publishing my journals and photos simultaneously to paigesofpossibilties.com from each adventure. So get your tall glass ready and be prepared to sip slowly, because in just a blink of an eye, a moment has come and gone.
I hope you enjoy and always remember, the possibilities are endless when you take the path less traveled…
Peace, love, travel,
p.s. Part 1 “West Coast Road Trip, San Diego to Portland” is now on YouTube for your entertainment and inspiration~
p.s.s. Next up: Exploring Portland, Oregon