And what's more, for me, this came quite late in life.
Which may be why I also feel gratitude.
I used to balk at roughing it. I used to hate most sports, especially running. It was all so uncomfortable. And I was never much good at it anyway. I opted to stay on the bleachers or in the support vehicle, preferably with air-conditioning, and look cute in my latest new top from TJMaxx. And heaven help us if my hair frizzed!
But now ..... maybe it is because I am getting older and the self-perceived cuteness is fading ..... either I just don't care as much or I'm in denial regarding how bad I actually look. (Which is why I don't like TOO many cameras pointed at me because the pictures usually force me out of that denial to which I emotionally cling.)
I am free to DO. I am free to run and to be on a team with people who are young enough to be my kids, and keep up. And even pass a few of them! I am free to be seen sans make-up, in all my middle-aged glory, letting my frizzy curls fly -- gray roots and all. I am free to sleep on the ground (With at least an air-mattress please!) un-showered after my last run, in my sleeping bag, next to teammates who are in a similar gritty state, and unsure as to where the nearest toilet is. I know I can do this and survive!
And not only can I survive, I can walk away in my sunburned, smelly, frizzy condition with a grin. I CAN do it! I DID do it! And I can DO IT again!
THAT, my friends, is empowerment. I have eliminated some personal fears and replaced them with freedom. And it feels good.
|Thank you, Favorite Daughter, for this picture.|
Stay tuned for Part 2. Freedom ain't free.