I literally just got back from a whirlwind trip to Philadelphia. Home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center, Franklin Square, and countless other iconic attractions. I wish I could say that I hit them all and would be sharing wonderful photos soon, but the truth is that I got after 10 p.m. Sunday evening; spent Monday in a conference room until it was dark and rainy; and was back at the airport again at 5 a.m. this morning. Sadly (or maybe not), the highlight of my trip was a lovely, quiet, French breakfast on Monday morning. And coming home today, of course!
In the midst of all this, I’ve also found that I’m very emotional these days. Not in a bad way. More in the sense of being easily touched by things these days.
I usually don’t cry all that often. It takes a lot for me to cry at the movies. In my six-year law firm career, I’ve only cried at work twice (which is no small feat in this environment). And, I never really have a “good cry” at the end of a long week just let things out. (Maybe I should; maybe it would be good for me; but, it just never happens.)
Yet, in the last week, I have found myself getting all weepy-eyed no less than five times. In public, no less!!
First, it was at the Race Across the Sky movie. Every person interviewed had an unbelievably inspiring story behind his or her decision to participate in the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. From the blind guy who rode on the back of a tandem with his best friend to the woman who was hit by a car training for LT100 the year before and now rides in excruciating pain because half of her spine consists of metal pins to the numerous teams riding in honor of friends diagnosed with cancer (one of whom died only a few weeks before the movie premiered). By the end of the movie, I was fighting back tears and ready to fly out to Colorado and volunteer — like tomorrow.
Next, came all the stories from my friends who ran the New York City Marathon this past weekend. (For those who may read this, I hope you don’t mind my indulgence!)
- One did not have the day she had hoped for. Rather than lament in missing her time goal, she settled in to a comfortable pace, soaked up every minute of the experience, and felt blessed to have participated. We should all aspire to finish a marathon with such grace and gratitude.
- One was running in honor of autism – a charity that is near and dear to her heart. She received unparalleled support from complete strangers both during and after the race. Can you imagine getting a standing ovation when you walk into a coffee shop?
- One implored me to put this race at the top of my list. He described NYers as amazingly passionate about supporting this marathon – something you just don’t get in Dallas, unfortunately. By happenstance, he also met the female winner’s manager and got to put on the winner’s crown. Good golly; I can only imagine how cool that was!!!
I’m sure these stories are barely the tip of the iceberg, and I can’t wait to hear many more at our celebratory class dinner tomorrow night. I just hope that I hold it together better than I did reading them in my email at the office and at the airport!
Finally, there’s the book I am (re-)reading :: Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer, who is THE pioneer woman of running. This book is so amazing that it warrants its own post, which I promise to share very soon. In the meantime, let me say this. Her life story is fascinating and, in many ways, unexpected. I could hear her elation and feel her raw emotion as I read the chapter in which she describes running her personal best and finishing second in the 1975 Boston Marathon. Just as I’m sure all the airplane passengers next to me could hear me sniffling tears of joy while I read it.
I suppose the explanation for my recent emotions could be as simple as my above-noted exhaustion. Instead, though, I’d like to think that this is a sign that I’m doing something right. I’ve identified things that I’m passionate about, I’ve made meaningful personal connections with inspiring people, and I’m allowing them to take center-stage in life.
Let’s just hope this doesn’t ruin my no-crying-in-the-office streak because that might be way too much in one week . . .