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Trials, Tribulations and Not Giving Up In Life, Running and Business

May 17, 2018

Inspiration and Wisdom for Women Dealing with Challenges

Today started out with the intention of running. It is May 17th in Syracuse, New York, the snow has melted and the maple trees fully in bloom. A light humid breeze is swirling in the air making me feel like I’m waking up in Florida. I decide to start the day on an athletic note instead of work since I’m on a medical sabbatical until July. Some days it is harder than others to focus on “time off” because my mind still wants to work behind a desk promoting my company Women TIES or marketing the women entrepreneurs who are members. Many of them have applauded my decision to take care of myself. It shows what self-love looks like in the hectic world of business ownership.

I hear the voices of the women who are following me through this time period and decide to run to prepare myself for the Women Can Marathon next weekend in England. I re-read information about the course and the words “hilly off-course, rugged terrain” set off an alarm in my mind. I’m use to running on fairly flat roads. As I put on my bright pink NAVY hat so the tractors and cars don’t hit me while I run my farm road, I am excited to take off and let the warm humid air carry me up and over peaks, alongside horses and near farm land with small plants peeking out of the soil.

Sometimes best laid plans are unexpectedly halted because one can’t foresee what’s on the mind of others. Half way up the first big hill, a huge tractor carrying liquid cow manure went by me. If the wheels didn’t almost knock me off the road, the pungent smell of the contents sure did. After it passed twice, I turned around and returned home. I have a commitment in Devon, England and a stinky tractor wasn’t going to deter me from that trip and I’m positive no one would believe me if I told them I couldn’t come because I was hit by a manure truck.

After my return home, I decided to pick my second choice of exercise and walked down to my beautiful pool house that also acts as an aerobics studio and Jillian Michaels workout pad. I was going to pump some iron, flatten my stomach and give my legs a different workout. I was determined to exercise before working in my office. As I went to grab the handle of the pool house door, a snake jumped out at me having found a warm place in the crevice of the door to literally “hang out” in the sun. Holy Batman is all I can tell you I said as I ran away from the door. My second fitness routine wasn’t possible since the snake went into the pool house.

All of a sudden I turned around and saw my beautiful pool, with pool water around 60 degrees and thought to myself, “should I dare?” After stepping on the first pool step, I retreated and said, “Tracy, you need to be hot before you get in that Maine temperature water;” but I didn’t want to run on the road or drive my car somewhere else to run. I just want to run NOW! I sounded like the bratty girl in the Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie! My creative mind set in because around my long pool is a beautiful “track” of decking which my eyes selected as my running route for the day. It was flat, unlike what I would be running in England, but I could just take off and so I did. I ran around the pool like a crazed woman who needed a fix. Now I have run that pool route before even though I don’t admit it to most people because it is longer than a treadmill and outside in the elements so it acts as a last resort if needed. I was at the last resort!

I started running, around and around, feeling pretty gleeful that the manure and snake did not stop my determination. I was acting pretty smug if I say so myself, when the next thing I know I’m doing a somersault half air born and on the deck landing on my back, scrapping my leg and almost tearing up my hands. I lay there for a moment and screamed, “I give up! I give up!” as if everyone in the world could hear me. I lay there for about 2 minutes and then sat up. Stood up and started running again with blood running down my right leg because I was not going to be stopped from doing what I set out to do on a glorious Central New York morning!

I ran 3.5 miles on that pool deck and ended my run with a jump in the cool waters followed by some water aerobics to Don McLean’s “American Pie!” Let me tell you, accomplishing a goal through trials is a feeling you can’t explain! I stayed in the water longer than I wanted getting some more leg work in and then sat on the stairs, right next to where I tripped, and smiled at the sun saying, “Good Job!”

The moment felt like a defining moment for me because I realize I don’t give up easily. When it comes to battling alopecia, with its own daily drawbacks, I think and act the same way as I do about running this morning. The moment I think I see some hair grow in, another strand falls out. When I think my hair is coming in, my doctor tells me she is disappointed in the progress of the treatment. When I step out confidently without my eyebrows penciled in above my eye, someone asks me what’s wrong and when I tell them about having alopecia and all they say is, “Oh!” Those setbacks don’t stop me or define me, they propel me forward.

Sitting on those swimming pool steps with the same warm breeze swirling through the very few wisps of hair I still have on my head, I grab the sunscreen rub it on my head like my brother-in-law, who has been mostly bald for some time, to hopefully turn my scalp into a lovely tan to match my remaining hair – instant make-up I hope. Then I listen one more time to American Pie, smile at the sky, say some prayers and jump back in the water one more time to SIMPLY rejoice in accepting the trials and tribulations that come from a simple morning run, confronting a snake and discovering how deep my well runs when it comes to life and its trials. I know I might not conquer this disease but I also know it has picked one bad-ass, potentially bald woman, to test.

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