When the global pandemic first became reality in California, where I live, it was March 2019. It had already had a significant impact on many other places around the world but by spring of that year it hit home. My husband was in the hospital for an elective surgery and I was in the lobby drinking my post run coffee waiting for him to come out of surgery. Suddenly my cell phone started to blow up with incoming messages of panic, confusion and industry peers just needing to have strategic conversations about what might happen next to our business world.
I remember distinctly not being worried, remaining calm and being able to ground myself knowing that this was not the first life earthquake I’d survived. I also felt confidence because I lived in America where I have privilege, resources, comfort and most importantly information access. I felt trust in leadership and myself to navigate the crisis ahead. And so I went on about my day focusing on my husbands immediate health and recovery but giving no thought to the future.
As a small business owner in the endurance event space, as a wife and mother, ultra runner and as a coach-mentor my role in life is to be a solid mountain for others. I live to inspire and provide hope, resiliency and strength to people so that they can live their best lives. Little did I know that this perceived ‘simple flu’ would shake all of us to our core and test every ounce of my purpose for the next year and a half.
Sometimes your old life identity needs to die in order for YOU to be born. I have experienced this many times in my life since I was a young girl. Born of immigrants, lacking connection, searching for the American dream, and repeatedly building and dismantling my life in search of self. I almost died at sweet sixteen and then again at age thirty. Failed relationships, failed businesses and failed health were the storyline of my book called Adulting.
On my way to BECOMING I found endurance sports and ultra running, toeing the line at over one hundred races in search of the right finish line. Suffering was a grand canyon I had crossed many times before. But like millions of my fellow humans the pandemic took my business, took the lives of people we loved and took our everyday routines and identities down to piles of ruble. This earthquake was global and the aftershocks just kept coming. 90 days into the crisis we each battled every emotion possible and still had no real answers. While I watched the human landslides continue around me, I decided I’d had enough suffering. Determined to rebuild again, I clawed my way out of the dirt. Once I could breathe again and back on the committed path, I reached out to as many others as possible in order to help them change their own perspective. Instinctively I knew this thing was going to get worse and if we did not collectively work together to ride this tectonic shift of the planet, we would fall deeply into the crevices of pitch darkness.
Flash forward a full year and we see a world we never knew possible. Hear voices of the silent sufferers. See faces of the unseen. Feel both the pain and the love of humanity as we are bound together on this nonstop orbiting planet. For where there is loss there must be birth. Where there are seeds there must be growth. Where there is darkness there must be light.
14 days. Who knew that 14 days of a persons life could change everything? What outer experience for 14 days could completely transform a human beings inner experience? When does 14 days allow both a dismantling down and a building up cycle of a persons life happen?
For 14 days I was in complete isolation quarantine in a foreign country. I willingly locked myself in a room alone with no opportunity to leave or to have any other person enter.
For 14 days my daily comforts of food, exercise and human connection were no longer in my control but instead determined by strangers. I went from my 110 degree outdoor desert lifestyle to wintertime gloom with 2 hours of sunlight daily through a sealed glass wall. My days became my nights and my nights drew longer. Baring witness and hunting for energy from any human life outside my window became impossible as the lockdowns spread like the disease. For 14 days I thought, felt, cried, laughed and simply allowed myself to BECOME.
When you are not swallowed by your busy routines, obligations, news, noise, other peoples needs, you simply BECOME. It is a natural part of our evolution to go thru adversity in order to develop our body, mind and spirit. For 14 days I became more connected to my athlete body and my writers mind. For 14 days I opened my heart and mind up to a deeper understanding of others and the world. For 14 days I regressed back to when food, shelter and love were all that I needed to survive. 14 days.
Today is my last day of isolation quarantine and I am overwhelmed with both sadness and joy. My sadness flows as I leave behind the broken shells of my past life. My heart aches as I accept that this 14 day life of essentialism is now over. That same heart pumps wildly knowing that I am walking out this door into an adventure of a lifetime, to run across Australia for the United States of America. After 14 days I see and feel more hope and love for myself and humanity than I ever dreamed possible. 14 days, what’s possible for you?