I encourage you to create one if you haven’t already. They give you an outlook of your many dreams on paper. A feel good way to say, one day, I WILL do this. A Bucket List gives a feeling of hope to make time to set out on your dreams. It’s almost as if when we create a Bucket List, the child in us comes out to help use our imagination again. Something many of us have forgotten how to do in the “real world”.
Two weeks ago I went on vacation with my parents and Tyler. It was by far, the most amazing vacation I have ever been on. I like to call it my Bucket List vacation!
You see, the 12-hour car ride gave me time to forget about work and focus on me. Focus on my mind-body connection that I have been working on for many months now, focus on the beautiful world that the Lord has made (which by the way, the South is one of my favorite places to site see), focus on family time and letting go of the stress and worries that I seem to allow in my life on a daily basis.
I honestly have to say that I believe it was reading “Happy Belly” by Nadya Andreeva that made this vacation so special. It allowed me to understand how to listen to my body, how to stop eating when my tummy said enough so that I wouldn’t be curled up on the couch the rest of the night. Nadya taught me how to talk myself through the good things I did that day rather than beating myself up. She taught me how to find the positive and fun in everything. I was able to live in the moment and not worry about anything and I have never been able to put my worries aside like that on vacation before.
Note: After reading this post, I encourage you to check out “Happy Belly.” By far the most life changing book I have ever read. However if you don’t struggle with emotional eating, bloating, digestive problems etc., some of the book may not be as helpful as it was for me. But it would be helpful to everybody to learn the amazing connection between the mind and body and how we all have more control over how we feel than we think. I’ll have more posts on this in the future so stay tuned 🙂
Anyway, by putting my worries aside I was amazed by how much fun I was having. I spent more time feeling accomplished and checking items off my Bucket List. I also have to admit, I did add and check off some items as I was doing them! They were just so much fun and so inspiring that I thought, “These have to be on my Bucket List!” Is that cheating?
I mean did I ever think I would go on a run with Tyler at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, a jaw dropping experience! Nope, but I did! CHECK! Or how about:
- go to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Aquariam…..CHECK
- visit some local painters living in the Smoky Mountains…..CHECK
- golf in the Smoky Mountains…..CHECK…..(well sort of, I broke my wrist in February so I didn’t golf but I rode along so I’m going to half mark that off my list! Gives me a reason to take a trip to the Smokies again 🙂 )
- taste test Moonshine in the cutest little town, Gatlinburg…..CHECK
- go to Nashville…..CHECK
- run in Nashville’s Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon…..CHECKKKKKKK
Hold up, did I just say I ran in a 1/2 Marathon. HECK YES I DID!!! And in one of the most beautiful cities in the Untied States. It was by far the most inspiring and humbling experience I have ever had. And, it was an impulse decision because I didn’t want my opportunity of always wanting to run in a 1/2 Marathon slip away.
My dad was an angel for me that day. As we walked down Broadway, the music city street of Nashville, I saw all the runners registered with their Marathon bags and gear. I watched with envy and my father watched me as I couldn’t help but wonder how I would do in a 1/2 Marathon. As we headed back to the hotel, he stopped in his tracks and said, “You are running in that race tomorrow. I refuse to be 3 hours away from Nashville tomorrow morning hearing you complain about how you should have done it.” So, I did it.
We went and signed up at the conference center. I have to admit, I started to cry. I couldn’t believe that I was having this opportunity. I have been through a lot of health and injury issues in my past and 3 years ago, running long distance was not a foreseen event in my future. And here I was, about to conquer the words of the doctors.
I do have to admit I did not train and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to try that. But I do workout about 6 days a week. I probably run close to 20-25 miles throughout the whole week and I think that is what helped me get through the 13.1 mile race with flying colors. I was so surprised as to how great I felt through the whole race. I think my background in competitive sports and knowing how to push through helped a lot. I know the mind breaks down before the body and my amazing epiphany I had throughout the vacation with my mind-body connection helped get me through the race. It was the most incredible thing I have ever experienced.
The volunteers that day warmed my heart and so did the cause of the race. We ran to help support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the children there suffering ever day. Throughout the race, or should I say parade, there were a lot of supporters with signs and inspirational sayings getting us through the long distance run. A group of girls that I will never forget were all wearing princess/angel outfits cheering on the runners. One of them held up a sign that said, “You are the wing of our angel”. I literally had tears in my eyes as I realized what this race meant to so many people. The most humbling moment of my life.
As the supporters, adrenaline and love for running got me through, I was approaching the end of the race and I wanted it to keep going forever! I truly didn’t stop smiling once throughout the run.
Notice the huge smile on my face as I am coming in on the finish line around 2 hours and 2 minutes. (I’m the long legged smiling runner behind the man in the blue.)
The feeling of coming up on that finish line was one of accomplishment, joy and happiness as I could Check off another item on my Bucket List. As I stretched out my parents asked me how it was and if I was happy I did it. My response, “Can I do it again?!”
I now have the addiction so many runners get from their first 1/2 Marathon. I can’t wait for the next one! I also have the addiction of continuing to add and check off items on my Bucket List. This life is full of so many opportunities, we have to go after them! I encourage you to stop what you are doing today, create your Bucket List, and go after it.
We only have one life to live, go after those dreams 🙂
Questions of the Day:
What are some Bucket List items you hope to check off?
What crazy things have you done that you would add and check off all at once?