Take that Momma to a Park!

ParkI normally don’t enjoy running. So much so that one of the blog ideas in my queue is to pen an “open letter to running” and catalog my numerous complaints about the uncomfortable exercise that is the only thing that helps me shed pounds. Dear Running, I really don’t like you (sorry, not sorry).

But this weekend… my run was nothing short of beautiful. On Friday I felt a minor panic attack building up in my chest as I irritably confessed to Eric that I feel overwhelmed. Book stuff has ramped up, work is on full blast (you know that’s the case when a board member says you need a vacation…), and Emma has regressed hard on sleeping at night. Eric and I have been alternating hitting total burnout and it’s not pretty. I came into the weekend with nothing in my tank. I wasn’t even sure a run was a good idea… but somehow my tired, zombie self put on my old school running shoes and earbuds and walked out the front door of my in-laws house right after arriving for a weekend visit. Thankfully they are gracious people who understand and support me even when I miss the mark on social graces!

But the run. So good. It was perfect warm sunny weather with a cool breeze. The air, significantly cleaner than the Zip code where we live, was noticeably fresh and crisp – I wasn’t just breathing, I was taking gulps. The gorgeous landscape was speckled with blue birds, cardinals, and two majestic swans. Kids were playing sports and laughing and the flat, well marked road stretched for miles and miles. At the edge of a small lake I took a deep breath and the incredible tension that’s been building in my neck and shoulders started to release. I filled my Park Prescription today and took a double dose. Green space heals.

The truth is, as my dear friend Antonette Montalvo (rock-star working mom of two) so eloquently wrote about earlier this week in a post titled The Price of Purpose,

What I have recognized in this #visionary pursuit of purpose, is that it often comes at a price. A price that often feels beyond me, and, in some instances, too costly for me to handle. But, what I have also come to realize is that the obstacle, challenge, or hardship that we think may break us, can also be transformed into our greatest resource in finding our purpose.

The purposes I’ve chosen to give my life to: mothering, working, writing, advocating for healthy equity… take their toll. They are rewarding and awesome but they are costly. My heart, my body, my spirit are all engaged in this work and they feel all the feels- the highs and lows of a full schedule and life…the highs and the lows of trying to change the world to be a better, healthier place.

This weekend, standing on the edge of the little lake I was bone tired, but grateful. Grateful that at least one consolation for the weary traveler, or the “wounded healer” as Henri Nouwen calls it, is they get to drink the deepest when the moments of rest saunter by. Rest doesn’t visit much, but when it does, I drink it down to the last drop.

So that girl in the pink workout gear rolling around in the grass, skipping through the trees, and blowing kisses at the sun? Don’t mind her. She’s just taking a long overdue dose of green space on the journey to make sure that everyone, in every Zip code, can do the same.

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