My day with Gwen

Three months ago I was able to have a day with my friend Gwen and her husband. Although this was just one day in a very busy weekend, it kept me looking forward to Success School 2014 and a welcomed distraction to my dissertation studies.

AdvoCare’s Success School is an amazing gathering of the most positive group energy I have ever experienced.  It is the time of year where we are recharged, ignited with new fuel, and remodeled with an refreshed outlook on the future.  I realize that each year means something so different because I am never the same person.  I am a year older, a year wiser, a year experienced.  These experiences mould and sculpt my life.  Some years are fine details, others are rough shapes…but this weekend is more to me than AdvoCare, it is a moment for me to reflect positively on what I am working towards, how I am helping others, and learn more.

My journey with AdvoCare has goals. This year I set a 90 day goal, that goal expired November 15. I had hoped that this post would be a celebration of sorts as I have been holding onto it for various reasons. And although I cannot write that I met my goal this week, I can say that I have evaluated my focus, revised my reach, and am okay with my current purpose.  So…it is now that I choose to celebrate my friend Gwen!

I met Gwen through a mutual friend in Florida. She has since gotten married, moved (back) to Texas, passed her professional engineering exams, and has demonstrated more ambition wrapped up in a spunky personality than I can express in words. While getting to know her in a more personal context, I have come to realize she and I struggle with some of the same areas of life. We both are driven resulting in wanting to do it all, a need for activities, and a strong desire to find a balance between personal life, faith and family. We know we can stand alone but we strongly desire camaraderie and the love of partnerships.  We are very hard on ourselves when we feel we have failed ourselves and especially when we feel we have disappointed others. Disappointment is something we try to avoid at any cost, even if it is to our own sanity. I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to spend the day with her, to catch up on life, to talk about our dreams…and yes, our time together did include a scheduled morning workout before I drove back to Kansas. BUT it also included a pretty amazing first for GoSarahRun…paddle board yoga!

Friends, I cannot tell you just how amazing paddle board yoga is for the soul. Although it was hot and we did not prepare well for hydration…the connection to every muscle in your body while balancing on the surface of water is an overwhelmingly inspiring practice. If you ever have the opportunity to go for a paddle…do it!!! Even if you have no yoga experience whatsoever, just try it with an open mind and open heart. Let yourself explore. The worst thing that happens is a refreshing dip in nature’s swimming pools.

Words for Gwen…

These are words I must remind myself and now I share with you…

When in doubt find patience in your thoughts…be in awe of your accomplishments…give praise for all that has been placed in your life…breathe and know there is no shame in baby steps for even the smallest movements forward with determination amount to miles of accomplishments.

You are an amazing friend. I cannot wait to see you again next year! Hopefully Russ is our instructor again and we will actually get those photos of our handstands (and water plunge) attempts.

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