That brings me to thinking about my parents. My mother often says Carpe Diem in a precious Quebecois French accent. She truly means it and lives it to a T. My brother is the same way, too. Take a risk. Work hard and play hard. I value these qualities in them.
|Mom in 1966.|
This pictures portrays her personality so well.
|Mom skiing in Europe in 1960.|
The Matterhorn in the background!
One of my favorite Carpe Diem moments is when my 70 year old dad, suffering from arthritis in his back, got up to the plate at my wedding to play baseball (we had a pot luck wedding and played sports....Seth I are nontraditional as you can tell). He did not care if he wrenched his back. He got up there and swung like a champ. My brother and I spent HOURS with him playing catch and catching pop flies as kids so this moment was special.
|My Dad in 2000 at my wedding.|
I love the Red Sox hat and cigar.
Photo credit: Adam Walker
As I am getting older, I am feeling more adventurous or wanting to get out of my comfort zone. Not to say that I have not been on many adventures in my life. I have backpacked all over the country with Seth....The Canyonlands, Zion and Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Olympic National Park, the Grand Canyon, I have hiked the Long Trail, and I have almost completed the 4,000 footers in New Hampshire and in New England. (Oh, and don't forget motherhood). But, the ultra marathon I am running in 4 weeks takes the cake. Mentally. I am going to have to push myself like I have never done before. I am so excited to try something new, to go to a place I have never been emotionally and physically. And, what I am REALLY excited about for that day is to be around so many athletes: people who are running races for the first time, intermediate runners and those that are fine tuned machines. I look forward to the energy of these people on the trail, helping each other if needed, chatting, meeting new friends, learning running tips, etc. My mantra for that day will be my mom's frenchie voice in my head saying "Carpe Diem."
This past weekend, I ran 15 miles up and down a mountain and then a little more on a woods road after that. That is the furthest I have ever run. In a week and a half, I will push it further and run 20 miles. And then two weeks after that, 30 miles for the Peaks Ultra. I want to take more risks and try things that are out of my comfort zone. Why not? We are not here forever and it seems like this really hit home for me this year. Don't dwell on stuff...just make a decision and try something new. If you fail, say fuck it and do it again or move on. There are too many things to experience before we are gone. Steve Jobs said it perfectly:
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
Now get out there and challenge yourself.