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You Are BeYOUtiful Today

July 9, 2021

Inspiration, Friday Feelings, Love for Women, Women Entrepreneurs and Alopecia

The dark clouds still gathered above me and the humidity dripped and hung close to my exposed athletic arms and legs as I made my way through an overgrown canopy trail of trees and shrubs. “Perfect,” I thought to myself. Lately my favorite biking path was full of Fourth of July vacationers walking in foursomes across the narrow bikeway oblivious to anyone else. My sharp sounding pink bike bell quickly moved them aside so I could wiz past, but not today.

My internal energy and strong legs carried me quickly through the twisting woods, over a bridge, through an Amphitheater where Luke Bryant had played twelve hours prior and where I’ll see my favorite the Dave Matthews Band play in August, around the lake’s edge, down a long hill and over to the top of another bridge where I stopped to catch my breath and grab a view.

Today was a different bike day. It was serene. Deeply peaceful even with music in my ears. The humidity provided the hug I needed on the fifteenth anniversary of my father’s passing to the “great football field in the sky” as I like to think. He was an avid sports participant and fan and biking today was the perfect homage to his crystal anniversary typically commemorated with a watch as the gift.

On my way back through the woods, I peered down at my purple Fitbit watch as I rounded a bend noticing a lilac painted rock with some words on it. “It must be one of those special painted rocks people gift strangers,” I thought to myself. I was the receiver of a red rock in Maine, where my father lived for many years, and another one in Sanibel Island, where we vacation annually. Both are perched on my kitchen windowsill to view daily.

This light purple rock had two pink hearts on it and the words “Be- YOU-tiful”. Since I was biking bald, my latest way to accept my alopecia and total baldness as a 56-year-old woman who once had gorgeous dark flowing hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes, and where I tell people I feel the most like myself – carefree with pink glasses on – an image of my dad whispering from above, “Be you, Tracy, it is enough,” vibrated in my heart. I felt him all the way from above, 15 years later from when he left my side, exactly when I needed to hear it.

On the back of the rock was a label from Coach Matt’s Art Academy with the note, “If you find a new home for this rock, please take a picture and post it to our Facebook page.” When I arrived home, I visited the page and attached a photo of me holding the rock and suggesting the kids learn more about alopecia at www.naaf.org.

If I’ve learned one thing dedicating my life to sports, especially since losing all my hair, it’s that sports bring freedom, happiness, health, self-love and peace of mind to those of us struggling with any problems in our lives or careers. If today is the day you read this post looking for inspiration, I highly suggest taking a bike ride, walk or run by yourself, looking up to remember someone special who always made you happy, and looking down to find special gifts laying at your feet…..and most importantly remember to love who you are.


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