Category: erin is …
I think I have a little mini-series of posts in my head … a lot of processing and thinking to do, in a good way! Here’s the first part …
I spend a good chunk of time at work helping people – employees, managers, organizations, whatever – crystallize their goals and plans. Maybe it’s goals for their career, maybe it’s goals for the organization to reach within the year or five years, maybe it’s goals for a specific project. We plan full day workshops to work on organizational strategic planning. I’ll spend an hour or two with an employee, talking about their motivators and demotivators (is too a word), their interests and goals, and what they can do to take steps in that direction.
What’s the old saying? “The cobbler’s wife has no shoes, the doctor’s wife is always sick”… something like that. What I mean by that is that I rarely remember to turn the attention to myself – where do I want to be in five years? Where do I want to grow, try new things, or stop old habits?
Most of the time, there’s work to do before we can even get to that conversation. It’s the “Who am I?” conversation. As a professional, I counsel people that it’s one of the best and most important conversations they can have, whether as an individual or a team. “Who am I? What’s my identity? What’s my purpose?”
A lot of the time that can get too overwhelming. We think we have to have a big huge answer, complete with world-changing personal impact. Then we get caught in a trap of “What if I’m not special? What if I can’t change the world? What if who I am isn’t good enough?”
So let’s get that out of the way: you are special. You are unique. As Dr. Seuss says:
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” (Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You)
I love that quote because every person has something about them that sets them apart from the body on the other side of them. One of the biggest problems I see is that people don’t appreciate themselves enough. Or they appreciate themselves too much, but then they don’t come talk to me because they already have it all figured out. Ahem.
These are the questions I ask them, and that I want to ask myself:
- What do you love to do, even if you’re not the best at it?
- What would you spend your day doing if money, time, and other commitments weren’t a factor?
- What, when you finish it, gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction?
- What are you also good at?
- What do other people always come to you for?
- What would make you miserable if you had to stop doing it?
Even when I’m talking with people about their professional careers, I ask them to think about the full spectrum of their lives – personal and professional. Sometimes we think that our personal inclinations and preferences have to stay out of our professional lives (and sometimes we’re right!). Sometimes, though, we can find hidden things in our personal life preferences that would add a lot more joy to our professional life.
So that’s my assignment for today: What makes Erin me-er than me?
What about you? What’s youer than you?
Friday morning, around 4 am, the day and time finally arrived! I’d been excited and obsessed and planning for this race since Jenn mentioned it in September. I wasn’t worried about the distance, even though it was the farthest official race I’ve done. I knew I’d carry through no matter what because of the experience and because I was running with a friend! I’d gone over 5 miles in training, so the race itself wasn’t an issue. I know it may not sound like much to all of the Dopey challengers and marathoners out there, but considering that I only really started running again in July, I’m pretty happy with this. 🙂
I posted via Instagram and Twitter on walk breaks, so this is a photo-heavy recap. “Recap.” Ha. Here’s my recap: the weather sucked. It was hot, humid, and incredibly gross (and I’m from Houston, so that’s saying something). I should have brought my Camelbak mini mule. Being a nursing mom, running in high humidity, when it’s that warm … the water stops weren’t quite as much as I needed. I kicked myself because I KNOW THIS from the aforementioned living in Houston. The humidity messed with my breathing, my heart rate, and everything else, but the race was overall just AWESOME. But really, Disney, we could’ve done with some Powerade at the water stops. That would’ve made the race even better.
Posing with the starting line in the background, wearing our Homes For Our Troops jackets. HFOT has raised $32000 toward their $35000 goal through the Marathon Weekend races! Woo hoo!
“Princess Sofia, at your service!” as my three year old Nora would say. I wore my HFOT tattoo and the costume my donors voted on. The fabulous and fluffy tutu was by Leslie from Greater Fitness, part of her own fundraising efforts for Girls on the Run. Shirt was Tek Gear from Kohl’s (and I loved it!), sparkly silver Sweaty Band for the “tiara”, and my beloved purple Mizuno Wave Rider 16s.
The first three miles just sucked. I was in the last corral because I’m a slower runner (which is fine by me!), and that meant there were tons of people. We’d been waiting awhile for the other corrals to get started … well, and finish. Someone had already won the race by the time we exited our corral. Yeah, that was more than a little demoralizing. The first three miles were hot, humid, and zero breeze. It was also a challenge trying to politely navigate around people to get out of the herd. Not just because of there being so many people, but also because everything was so wet and slippery. I wasn’t willing to blow an ankle or knee on slick pavement, reflector markings, or mud just to get around a group.
So it was nice to finally get to and enter Epcot. 🙂
Somewhere in “France”. Since the husband is French, we had to stop and take a tribute picture. Hot and sweaty, damp from pouring water over our heads … we still smelled better than the streets of Paris. We took a few shots in the park but didn’t stop for any characters. Why? Well, the characters weren’t any of my “must have” characters. They were nice – Peter Pan & Wendy, Chip and Dale, Football Goofy, Genie … someone else I’m not remembering – but for me they weren’t worth stopping and waiting in a hot sweaty line. Did I mention that the race was hot and sweaty?
We did it! We finished the race and were very proud of ourselves. And a huge thanks to Jenn, who slowed herself down way beyond her usual pace to keep me company while we ran.
So while I had some gripes about the experience, they are so very minor compared to the fun I had. I loved the runDisney experience, and I will definitely do it again. I’d love to do one of the half marathons with Will, although he will not be caught dead doing a Princess or Tinkerbell run. (Darn.)
After a nap, the rest of the day was spent in Epcot. I made sure to get some princess pictures there to impress the kids … including this priceless one with Belle! (Thank you, Adrith, for capturing that!)
And then there were the beloved race character “sponsors” themselves at the Pasta in the Park party. I cherish these since we didn’t have many character pictures in the race itself:
Dopey, I will likely NEVER run your challenge, but I still love you.
My men Donald and Goofy …
And of course Mickey and Minnie. We were at the end of the picture-taking time and had a grumpy Cast Member doing the pictures, or I would have asked for them to do the “Hot Dog!” dance with me for Jude. Oh well! Also: I thought how short they were and now I realize I’m even shorter than they are. Wow.
The best part of the experience, though, was coming home to my wide-eyed children, who asked me questions like “Are they real or are they made of air?” (my five year old, about the cartoon characters) and “Did you WIN, Mommy?!” (because in their minds, I did). They were as excited or maybe even more excited than I was. They worked with my mom to make this very special celebration cookie cake, and that means more to me than any collection of medals or pace record.
And yes, I told them that I did win – that all of us who ran win because we tried hard and we did our best!
I came, I picked up, I shopped (sorry Will), and I got soaked.
Blurry picture of the huge vendor hall … it was great! I had a lot of fun browsing through the various booths and options. I may have had too much fun … I have a Raw Threads Minnie Mouse shirt to commemorate my first 10K, Yurbuds that I’ve been eyeing for a while, a visor from One More Mile that asks people to drag me across the finish line if they find me on the ground … oh, and some more sparkly hair ties from Bondi Bands. And a sparkle skirt. Oh well … at least I have my outfit for the Galveston Half next month!
There was the requisite Minnie Mouse picture to get ready for the 10K the next day … Since Jude loves the Hot Dog dance so much (from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), I had to try Minnie’s moves for my picture.
Then the heavens opened and the rain fell down. Seriously, it just started pouring like anything while we were in the Expo! The parking lot turned into a mud pit, leading us to joke that this was Disney’s first mud run. So I decided that we’d call it the Merida Challenge in honor of Disney’s own warrior/obstacle course/mud run. Ha.
The Expo was tons of fun, and I didn’t even hit every possible booth! Believe it or not, I restrained myself. Too many things, too little money. Or too much budget restraint, take your pick!