I am going to have to come up with a pretty amazing goal in 2017 to compete with the first ever Donkey Run of 2016! I can’t wait to tell you about it!
This was an accomplishment for a very important reason….
You see, I have anxiety. Not just your average run-of-the-mill nervousness but an actual disorder… Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Lucky me, right?)
We all have our own particular brand of “crazy” and this one is mine. I’ve decided to embrace it because denying it never got me anywhere except frustrated…
What this means is that I have less tolerance for LIFE than most other folks. It also means that I have to regularly pull up my big-girl pants (like a freaking badass) and move though many situations that others may see as relatively minor but I find terrifying. It’s exhausting. Everything. Everyday. is. exhausting.
Any other anxiety badasses out there? (I hear ya… I love ya… you are my people.)
So anyway.. about the donkeys…
A little backstory may be helpful:
My family and I love to cruise. I like to visit many different locations in a single trip (with someone else driving and amazing fruity drinks)! Last year we visited Grand Turk. When the boat departed, I ran into someone who ran “to the lighthouse” and took a selfie with a wild donkey!
God I was SO jealous!
I LOVE running, but at this time, I could only WISH to ever be able to do something as amazing as run on an island with frolicking wild donkeys. I mean, this is the stuff DREAMS are made of, am I right? Unfortunately, my anxiety was pretty unmanageable at that point. I had too few “tools” in my toolbox to deal with the panic. But it was something that stuck in my mind.
As a life coach, and a fiercely determined human, I worked over the next year to expand my window of tolerance. After all, I’m a business owner and I am forced to do things on a regular basis that scare me. So I worked on it… and…
…..when we planned a cruise with my kids last December, I saw that one of the stops was Grand Turk. I had been working on my anxiety tool-box and thought I could do it!
For the months leading up to the cruise, I planned. I calculated that the entire run would be around 6 miles. Physically, I could do it! However, the trip would take me into the surrounding areas of an unfamiliar country and safety was a concern.
I had a difficult time distinguishing “real” safety concerns with the anxiety-fueled brain chatter I manage on a daily basis.
People with anxiety are nodding their heads right now… the struggle is REAL.
I decided that I would be okay as long as I took reasonable precautions. My husband, who runs but hasn’t yet declared himself a “runner” (only because he’s stubborn, not because he’s NOT an actual runner) gallantly offered to run with me.
I was SET.
My kids were afraid for me and thought I was being reckless. I understood their concern… Anxiety has convinced me that the world was pretty scary and for many years, I believed it. I never took risks.
My family didn’t understand the significance of the run. It was less about the actual run and more about overcoming the FEAR that I manage on a daily basis that keeps me from fully living my life (I’m not sure I could emphasize this more). This particular run was also proving my fear-kicking badassary….
…… and the prize at the end was a WILD DONKEY!
We saw many donkeys on our run but for some reason, they all ran away from me. I couldn’t understand it! I tried to lure them closer by speaking softly and offering them cucumbers (I totally forgot to research donkey snacks). Apparently, my “speaking softly” is different from my husband’s because he said I was “screaming and chasing them” but I am the animal lover in our relationship so you can decide for yourself who is most accurate.
Check out my less than excited husband’s face after we got lost and had to call a cab. Apparently, I miscalculated the miles and it was actually 12, oops ….my husband, the not-yet-declared-runner, wasn’t amused. BUT I REMEMBERED EMERGENCY CAB FARE and I think we can ALL agree that that’s the important
lesson to take away. Be prepared. Not anxiety-fueled prepared. But normal prepared.
We got into the cab and realized we didn’t have enough money to make it to the light house to see the less-antisocial donkeys, but after seeing my disappointment, the kindest cab driver in ALL of Grand Turk agreed to take us up to the light house and I met Wilbur (I named him… isn’t it perfect???…. he totally looks like a Wilbur).
I had completed my very first Donkey Run and kicked Anxiety’s ass (not Wilbur the Ass) like a freaking badass.
Thanks for reading. My blogs are typically more “article-ish” than this one. But I figured you needed to read a little more about the real (crazy and completely imperfect) ME! I swear, I’ll write something smart next….maybe about chocolate…
So……….what should I do in 2017?