True Confession Tuesday:
Where every Tuesday: I confess.
Confession: Sometimes I feel like I am outside of my life looking in. And I am amazed at what is happening.
As I mentioned yesterday I embarked on a crazy adventure running across Iowa for 339 miles in under 60 hours with 5 other women.
As we walked up to the start line to take our photo they asked “Is this all of you?”
“Yes” we answered all feeling that bit of doubt that comes with being a team of 6 and watching teams of 8, 9, 10 or up to 12 walk up to the start line.
But I KNEW we would make it. And what’s funny to me is I still don’t know where this mental strength has come from in my life. I know I have it but I encounter people and situations where they doubt themselves so much that it brings them all the way down and I am reminded that I am so strong.
What I love most is sharing this strength and experience with others and showing them that they CAN DO IT. We had 3 returning members of our team and 3 newbies (our return rate is very low – haha!). I knew the key to success was keeping our team mates confidence high and reminding them that they have the strength within – it just has to be tapped.
Our journey across the state had many challenges – mainly the 100 plus heat index. We started and remained strong during the first day but the heat beat us down and drained our bodies. We persevered – drank water, electrolytes, pickle juice, ate Frito’s, protein bars, baby food and kept running.
We attempted to take breaks and rest our bodies but the heat didn’t break under 80 until 5am that next morning so there was no reprieve.
Our bodies and minds hit a low point on Saturday early morning and we knew if we were going to keep pushing on, we needed a group rest, nap and food. Unfortunately we drove ahead 20 miles, which we didn’t want to do, but it had to be done for the sake of our team.
We hit the road again after a full belly and a nap only to have one of our cars over heat in the mid day. Thankfully we had stopped right in the parking lot of a family farm/shop and the nice gentlemen came out and fixed us right up. At the same time this was happening, we lost our GPS tracker and had to back track to find it. It felt like the wheels were coming off. Would we make it?
I’M SO HOT. IT FEELS LIKE AN OVEN. I CAN’T STOP SWEATING.
It was so hot. Mental strength was everything. On Saturday I realized we only had to run approximately 18 times before the sun went down so we started counting down the number of runs before that evil yellow thing went away.
I was amazed by the power of this team. No one mentioned quitting, no one talked about how we might not make it. Everyone got out of the car and ran when it was their turn. It was a true team effort and I get chills thinking about it now.
Saturday afternoon we were approached by a team who had 4 team members QUIT. They wanted to merge teams to help each other out. We mutually helped each other through the night so each team could get rest and get back out there. I would have loved to have completed it all by ourselves, but with a team of 6 we needed some help.
By Sunday afternoon we finally reached the finish line and people again asked“Where’s the rest of your team?”
I realized at that moment that we did something incredible. We kept a team of 6 women running from Friday morning through the blistering heat, lightening storm, temperature drop of over 30 degrees to the finish line. No other team did that.
I feel like I can’t even convey what we experienced into writing but what I want you to know is that you are strong – you just have to tap into it. Sometimes we bring challenges into our life (like this relay) to see what we can do but sometimes life challenges us with things out of our control. But I can promise you, like I promised my team mates – if you focus on getting out of the car for your next run, you will finish. And you will finish strong. If you focus on how much you have left to do, or how hard it is, you will never make it.
Just in case you got the impression we didn’t have any fun, let me assure you we did. Some of it just can’t be talked about in an email…ahem..streaking in the middle of the night.
We met great people, saw beautiful Iowa farmland, spent quality time with new friends, hung out with llamas, and ate a lot of Frito’s creating an experience you can never forget.
Watch this video to get a feel for the relay. It is from two years ago and I will pass on the new video when it is finished.
Not only is the relay an amazing experience but they do it for a good cause.
“Relay Iowa is a non-profit organization benefiting Restoring Hope Village, a group of homes for orphaned children in Welkom, South Africa. Restoring Hope takes children who have been neglected and abused and gives them a home where they are loved.”
I would be honored if you would consider a donation to Restoring Hope Village –CLICK HERE TO DONATE.
BUT….that’s not all. If you’re ready to have your heart strings tugged – watch this video. The heart and soul of the relay.
“Relay Iowa has become a metaphor for a life well lived. It is not a race to the finish, but an extended relay of individuals journeying closely together, sustaining each other as they stretch the limits of their physical endurance, test their mental toughness and draw upon their emotional well in a place beyond their comfort zones, for the sole purpose of improving the life of another human being.” – obituary of Jill Raine – co founder of Relay Iowa.
If you enjoy the blog and would like to receive them directly to your email, along with education, event announcements and more – join us on the email list.