Most of us have heard the quote from Lau Tzu: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." But did you know that the more correct translation of Tzu’s quote is: “The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins beneath one’s feet”?
For me, reading that translation was an aha moment, as in angels singing the heavenly chorus and a bright white light appearing in the sky. As a runner and fitness instructor, I very often share with my Sole Sisters and Sweat Sisters that when battling self-doubt and dismay, “there’s nothing to it but to do it”, that “one step at a time, one day at a time, over time leads to real transformation”, and “when we give ourselves the time, the space, and the grace to cover the miles, somewhere along the way the inner critic is silenced by the grit, gumption, and strength our legs have proven we have had inside of us – all along.
Read that last part with me again: “we have had inside of us – all along." Which is where Tzu’s point hits home. Because even before we’ve taken one.single.step, even before we’ve proven to ourselves that we can and we will, we already are all that we need to be and we already have all that we need beneath our feet.
As I’ve shared through recent blogposts, in the last two years I have walked across a hot dry desert, swum a seemingly endless ocean, climbed up steep mountains, forged back down into dark valleys, and run long lonely miles – to get myself to the FINISH line of my ‘run to Free.' I crossed under the banner, celebrated with sparkling cocktails and sprinkles, and then got a running START on my life’s next race.
This month, I write from inside the walls of a new life. And I sit in a sunny window of a new home, in a new city. And I run new trails. And in the quiet moments when my Little Lovelies are asleep in their beds or in the chaotic moments when I am simultaneously managing bath time and homework help and dinner prep, I find myself hearing angels sing… And my heart is broken wide open to the beautiful reality of life as I know it now.
I did it. I am here. I am where I said I wanted to be, doing what I said I wanted to do, with my Lovelies by my side. And now I'm here - creating a whole new world for us. Designing our daily moments and memories. Purposefully living *within* my intention, following my arrow, and watching us all bloom.
I have worked tirelessly and ceaselessly. Because I stayed the course even in defiance of all known structures and even with all the odds stacked up against me. Because I didn't listen to anything else but my own voice - the one deep, deep down.
And so, I am embarking on a new journey: I am returning to school - first, to earn myself a Paralegal Certificate so that I can immediately educate, equip, and empower those answering the call of their very.own.voice. And then, to earn myself a Law Degree, so that I can soon stand *with and for* those who cannot afford to fight for their rights and pursue justice.
Because I am a mother runner – I am part of a Tribe of women who set out in pre-dawn or post-practice hours to push their own limits all while they keep other human beings alive, loved, and thriving. But also, because I am brave enough. And strong enough. And tough enough. Because *I am enough*.
(How can she say that out loud, you ask yourself discreetly?)
Because my legs proved it to me… I was strong – all along.
I am on a mission - and now climbing *my own impossible mountain* fiercely and devotedly.
Because now I know I can.
I Eat Mountains for Breakfast.