I walk into a room with marble pillars, gold ornamental décor, floor to ceiling windows overlooking Union Square. I’m definitely not in Eastern Colorado anymore (I’ll stop picking on Kansas). Maybe this transition is going to take some time. I look down at my Bandolino black patent leather pumps and think, ‘these are not my Crocs’. And, I look around the room and see some of my favorite colleagues. The people who pull together incredible philanthropic events that support the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans. And, in a way, I’m home. I can’t even begin to explain the longing I feel for being on the open road. But, I know I need to be here. I am passionate about facilitating today’s event. But, I miss the remoteness of Wyoming and the beauty of Montana. I long for feeling that physical exhaustion at the end of the day. Waking up in the middle of the night and stretching my legs out… slowly so they don’t cramp. Standing up in the morning for the first time and wobbling a little on unsteady and fatigued legs. Do I really miss that? I do. Will the empowered feeling of confidence and freedom persist?
The uncertainty of each day on my bicyle trip was incredibly freeing. Most days of my life I know where I’m sleeping that night, I know I won’t wake up wet from the rain. I know what I’m making for dinner or the leftovers I’ll have for lunch. I know the roads I will drive to get to my daily meetings. The people I see each day I know well, or at least are familiar. On my bike trip, I went weeks and weeks (a month at one point) without being with someone I knew. Sometimes we have uncertainty for a weekend get-a-way, or a vacation, but for 90 days? I had space to think, grieve, heal, reflect, process. Let the laughter flow! Let the tears stream down! I feel recharged and I hope I continue to feel this way for a long time. Even though I’ll need to put on my pumps every once in awhile.