I did something a little different this year than my usual dancing, wild celebrations, and drinking champagne to welcome in the New Year. I usually try to gather all my favorite people, but this year everyone had splintered agendas. I decided to spend the evening with one of my beautiful mentors, Koby, who was a senior at Southwest High School when I was a freshman. She showed me the ropes of racing and running with the mind set of honoring mind, body, and spirit. Now she manages the urban farm which supplies produce to Kim Bartmann’s Twin Cities restaurants, especially the newly opened Tiny Diner.
Koby had a few friends over to her house for elderberry cider, fresh appetizers, games, and, my favorite part, creating a vision board. Koby’s friend Brittany instructed us to leaf through magazines and cut out whichever images or words that struck us. Then we pasted together our clippings and explained what our artwork meant to us and how we thought it meant for our intentions for the next year. The women in the room were eloquent and verbalized deep analyses of their boards. They spoke about medical responses to mental health, the images missing from the magazines, and the inversion of spaces to inhibit. The men had more difficulty, or were less willing to analyze in depth. Explanations were more surface-level; i.e. “I cut out Brussel Sprouts because I like them.” Either way, it was an excellent challenge and reflection.
My collage focused on regaining my fitness, my need to rejuvenate in nature, eating quality food, continued learning and exploring my future beyond running professionally. Two phrases which struck me were “the art of healing,” and “deep roots.” I think I’ve been doing a great job of healing physically, but I’m lagging behind on healing my mental and spirituality. Creating a sense of community has been difficult for me in Seattle, partially because I left so many deep relationships in Minneapolis, and partially because I have had a hard time finding all the pieces I need to be at peace in Seattle. For example, it took a year for me to find a women’s rights organization that was willing to let me volunteer with them. Even though I have a pretty flexible schedule and I have a lot of experience supporting women’s rights non-profits.