deliberate

THE SIDELINES

I am not a sit on the sidelines” kind of gal.

I am in it.  I am in the game.  I am in the adventure.  I am playing full out.  I am making things happen in whatever way I can.

This coming weekend…I will be sitting on the sidelines.

Let me explain…

Wait!  Before I explain, I do not want sympathy but I will take some positive vibes if you have some to spare:)Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Sidelines - Dr Erica Peabody

By now, you all know that I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro back in March of this year.  I had a successful summit, flew home the next day, had one day to rest and then I was back at Cafe of LIFE, my chiropractic practice, being the chiropractor that I always am.

Two weeks later one of my favorite yoga studios, Bent Yoga, started a 6 week yoga challenge.  In those 6 weeks the challenge was to complete 32 yoga classes in 42 days.  “Piece of cake” said my internal voice and I signed right up.

I also workout every single day in some way and I have had a regular step aerobics class that I have attended for years every single week at my favorite gym, Genesys Athletic Club.

I also have done a couple cleanses which included two long walks (8-9 miles) as part of the protocol in the past few months.

Every single one of the activities I feel fine during, but soreness has followed ever since my climb.  Then I would do something again, and I am fine but maybe a little more sore the next time.  …more sore…and more sore…and more sore.

The beginning of June I decided to scale way back on the intensity of all of my workouts and simply just walk and lift weights.  I would feel good for a while and -> so I would want to increase again -> and I would get set back again.

I always heal.  No problem for my body, I always heal.  Until now…

The end of July I got some x-rays taken of my foot and ankle to rule out stress fracture.  Bones are fine.  “It is ligament damage and if you do not rest, you are heading for surgery.”  WHAT?!?!?!  “Oh and here is a boot you will wear for 6 weeks and we will see how you are at the end of those 6 weeks.”

Um…boot?  I cannot adjust and serve my patients IN A BOOT!!!Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Sidelines - Dr Erica Peabody

Most of you have no idea any of this is going on.  When you come to my office, the focus is on YOUR HEALING, not mine.  The focus is on YOU, not me.  We are serving YOU and YOUR FAMILIES, not me.  This is our way.  I truly cannot wear my boot to the office.  I tried adjusting one of my chiropractors and I got stuck and had to have him push me back up to my feet.  No bueno, that is not going to work.

So instead I slowly and mindfully walk through the office and take care of patients.  And when I am doing that, I am pain free.  Then after work and whenever I am not there, I am in my boot.

When I really slowed down back in June, I told my man that “if I slow down, maybe I will heal and still be able to run the Crim 10 mile road race.”  

This Crim is this coming weekend.

I will be on the sidelines.

Sometimes I can find the blessing in it all and sometimes I am crushed over not being able to run those 10 miles.

The Crim rolls around every year.  It is one of the greatest days that Flint has all year.  The energy is high, spirits are high, music is blasting through the streets and there are thousands of people accomplishing big goals that day.  It is a FUN day and really fun to be part of it all.

I have ran the Crim for the past 12 years and when the end of August comes, it is just part of what happens and in the back of my mind it is sort of a way that I prove to myself that “I still have it”.  It is a head game for me.  I have been told that some people think that I don’t have any of those “head games” going on for me…but WE ALL DO!!!  Every last one of us is playing a game with those internal voices EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I attended an incredible event this past weekend which brought my awareness to a whole new level surrounding this subject.  For the past two months, I have been in so much pain that even when I simply see a runner, I view it as a horror film in the back of my mind “That would be so painful”.  When I see high heels I also view that with so much distress.  I realize that “if thoughts are things” and they are, that these thoughts have inhibited my healing process as well.  We head in the direction our thoughts go and so I may as well spend my time getting excited for when I can get back to running and wearing heels (not that I wear heels a lot but I do like having options, ya know).

I am sure I will shed some tears from the sidelines this weekend.

I am sure I will laugh and be entertained from the sidelines.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Sidelines - Dr Erica Peabody

I will actually get to see the head of the pack finish the race (let’s be honest, I never see them ever for my entire race at my pace).

I will hang with everyone else’s families and friends as they cheer on their runners from the sidelines.

I will cheer the loudest for my man from the sidelines.

I will cheer all my patients on and yell real loud from the sidelines.

I will stand proudly in my boot, excited for the coming years and returning to running, from the sidelines.

I have already learned so many lessons from the sidelines these past couple months and I will report back to you what that day teaches me from the sidelines.

I will cheer for this life and my incredible body that has chosen a successful summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro instead of finishing the Crim this year.

I will sit in massive gratitude to just BE ALIVE while I sit on the sidelines.

And now that I am finishing up this piece of writing, maybe I will actually enjoy the sidelines.

The best part is, I do not have to sit on the sidelines of the dance floor at the after party, so meet me there for a jig!!!

Best wishes for an incredible 10 miles this coming Saturday and wave to me if you see me on the sidelines!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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THE VALUE OF A DOLLAR

I learned the value of a dollar from a very young age.  I come from a hard working family and not a whole lot was just given to us once we had earning potential.

That earning potential started around age 12 with babysitting and by age 14 I was working in our family orchard store.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Value of a Dollar - Dr Erica Peabody

During high school I worked locally at the grocery store and nights were spent babysitting.  In fact, just last week I ran into one of the kids I babysat one summer that helped me earn money enough to pay for half of my 1977 Buick LaSabre ( <<–OH YEAH!!!)  , my first car.

I think it goes without saying that the money we earn through our own blood, sweat and tears makes us appreciate what we buy with it even more.  The work we do adds massive value to the earnings.

This post is not about earning money…I want to talk about the VALUE OF A DOLLAR…but even more than that, I want to talk about the VALUE OF A LOCAL DOLLAR.

I was leaving my office, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic, last night and I was struck by one of the coolest concepts that I have to take a moment and share the details.

I see many local business owners and one was leaving my office at the very end of the night, he was my last patient.  This particular guy owns a painting company and does a lot of work for a local restaurant.  I also frequent that restaurant as well as have hired this guy to do some work around my building.

So as he was leaving my office last night, I stopped dead in my tracks with this thought…

I am leaving my office and heading to a restaurant for dinner.  I sit down and eat great food and pay for it as well as the service there at that establishment.  That restaurant needs painting done and so that restaurant takes some of those same dollars and pays this painter to come into their space and do his work for a fair money exchange.  Now because this particular painter is so busy and has been for years, he has some regular work to be done on his spine to keep him in tip top shape so that he can keep doing what he is doing for a long time.  He comes to my office regularly for chiropractic care and spends some of those dollars he earned painting that restaurant.  Then I take some of those dollars he spends on his chiropractic care and I pay my staff for helping me run my office.  My staff all live locally (actually born and raised in this area) and go to have incredible food and spend some of their wage at that same restaurant.  I am a big fan of that restaurant and so I go back and spend those dollars there as well…and the cycle continues.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Value of a Dollar - Dr Erica Peabody

Now I use plastic for most transactions in my life, it is just easier to track that way.  But let’s say I use single dollar bills to do all of this, and let’s say that the restaurant and that painter do as well.  In all actuality, one single dollar could literally travel that loop for years and years to come.  Of course some of those dollars need to go elsewhere to keep lights on and supplies stocked and such, but WOW!!!  WHAT A CONCEPT!!!

The power and value of a dollar means something to all of us.  But I want to challenge you to take a closer look into this concept and just how POWERFUL your LOCAL DOLLARS spent really are.  Maybe these people are your neighbors.  Maybe they are the owners of your favorite restaurant or hair salon or bike shop or other service location.

This isn’t a rant about where and with whom you spend your money.  Not at all.  I just wanted to shine the light on how money is energy and the dollar bill isn’t created or destroyed, it is like energy and just changes hands and gets a LOT OF THINGS done!!!  When that energy is invested back into the local businesses, it becomes true power for this community.

Fenton is very “small business friendly” and even more so as the years go by.  I currently live right downtown and as I walk by the stores and business, I realize my friends own and run those places, real friends and really good people.  Fenton is a really cool place to be and in saying all of that, I want to say THANK YOU!!!!  to the community for having me and my office as part of it all.  As you are going through your days to come, think about the value in a dollar and just how much value we can all contribute to this energy circle right here in this beautiful town.

 

 

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Type 2

This morning I was reminded about Type 2 fun.

Have you heard of Type 1 and Type 2 kind of fun?

So here is the deal.  Type 1 fun is something you do that is super fun to be doing.  It is fun, brings a lot of joy, usually a lot of laughter and lots of good feelings.  An example would be going to a carnival where there are lots of peopleChiropractor Fenton Michigan - Type 2 - Dr Erica Peabody Headstand having lots of fun, smiles around every corner, giggles and laughter and rides and treats and good feelings.  It is very clear that you are having fun as well as anyone with you is also clearly having fun.

Type 2 kind of fun is something totally and completely different than that, yet still considered fun.  Type 2 fun is work, usually really hard work.  It is grinding away at a goal or mission for the sake of the accomplishment.  During the activity, there is usually a lot less of what people would consider actual fun.  It can be treacherous, hard, miserable, painful, all kinds of unpleasant experiences can happen during Type 2 kind of fun.  Exercise is often Type 2 fun.

The yoga classes that I attend are Type 2 kind of fun. Often it is not fun during the process.  It is treacherous, hard, moments of absolute misery, pain and very very unpleasant.  One of my instructors thinks you should “do something every single day that makes you nauseated because it’s so hard” and that “every yoga class should be a near death experience,” and he doesn’t back down However, big rewards happen because of attending class that drives us to come back for more and more and more.

“That was awful.  I hate this place.  I’ll be back tomorrow.” -a common thought in a yogi’s mind after finishing a class.

If you have been following this blog or my journey in life, I would give you one wild guess as to the most intense Type 2 kind of fun I have had recently, or actually ever.

The trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro was Type 2 kind of fun.  Training was Type 2 fun.  Moments of connecting with the rest of the group and going through our days were quite pleasant but the overall trip was so freakin’ intense!

I remember the first day, we all stopped and were taking a little snack and “bathroom” break about 4 hours in and I was standing with a group of about 5 women.  One asked “how are you?”  The response of the first one she asked was “I’m doing well.  I’m making it.”  It was asked again and a real similar response to the first.

Then that “how are you?” question got directed at me.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Type 2 - Dr Erica PeabodyMy answer, “I am absolutely miserable.  My right shoulder feels like there is a knife stabbing into it and it is progressively getting worse.  My feet are the most painful I can ever remember them being and I am hot and sweaty and sticky.  NONE OF THIS IS OKAY AND I AM NOT GOING TO PRETEND IT IS!”…and then I started crying.

Of course this was only 4 hours into the first day so I wasn’t going to sob in front of these women I just met but I was an absolute wreck inside.

I had no idea that I would come to a moment similar to that on each one of the next 7 days.  This was not fun.  In fact there were moments during the trip that I thought to myself “if I am off of work right now, I would much prefer to be doing a fraction of the amount of work I am currently doing.  I work so hard all year I could use these next few days and just chill out, why am I even here????”

Commitment to this trip for myself and all of you following the journey kept me in high enough spirits to get through these daily meltdowns.

The good thing about Type 2 fun is it has HUGE PAY-OFFS and I mean HUGE!!!  …the real trick is that the fun shows up between 2-4 weeks after the fact BUT then that lasts for a lifetime.  Type 1 fun is fun in the moment, but aside from a few incredible memories made within a lifetime, Type 1 fun, although super duper fun, is short-lived.

WHOA Travel, the adventure company that I traveled with for the Kilimanjaro trip, just sumitted their next group on the Solstice last week.  I watched their progress through facebook and Instagram and had a chance to relive it a little bit.  In fact, I felt nervous for them as though I was trekking that whole path again.

Many have asked me if I have a desire to go back and do it again.  Remember what I just said, Type 2 fun shows up a few weeks later…and lasts a LIFETIME!!!  If the stars align and something like that trek shows up in my life again, I am the type that will figure out a way to say “yes” if I can.  However more than anything else, I am hoping stars are aligning for me in other big ways in my life at this point as I pursue both Type 1 and Type 2 fun.

 

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DO LESS

“DO LESS” is the mantra I say over and over to myself lately.

I don’t know about your life, but every single last second will fill up in my life if I let it.  I find myself running here and there and being pulled in all kinds of different directions.

Dr Erica Peabody - DO LESS - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

In Moshi, Tanzania relaxing

Also when all the minutes of life are filled up, the days and weeks and months fly by!  In fact, it is hard to believe we are working on the second half of June already when it feels like January was yesterday!

Since my training and trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, I have had a lot to accomplish.  I always have a lot going on during my weeks of serving the community at my office Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic.  But on top of that, I had so many weekends where I needed to travel for work conventions and the other weekends filled with other plans, fun plans, but plans nonetheless.  It turned out I was only home 3 weekends out of 3 full months.

Once June rolled around and I was working to plan my month ahead, I decided this was going to be the month to do less.  Do less traveling.  Do less roaming around this area.  Make less plans.  Do less with my downtime.  And now that we are over half way through this month, I am glad I made that an actual goal.

I have spent a few full days sitting at the lake.  I have spent many evenings just relaxing and reading and writing at home.  I have opted for longer walks and bike rides from my home rather than making it up to the gym.  I have ran less since my foot is still healing from my climb in March (subject of the next blog).  I have eaten more meals at home and stayed in to just sit and listen to music.  I have successfully done less.

I was considering getting on a plane this coming weekend because I have some new really important people born into the world in the last week but have decided against it.  I have had invites to head up north that I have turned down.  I did take advantage of one day road trip last week that really filled my soul so I haven’t been totally and completely grounded to Fenton, but in that day we did less than what would have been my norm in the past.

Dr Erica Peabody - DO LESS - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Traverse City

Enjoying the beauty in Traverse City

Since summer break from school is in full force, I have asked many of my patients at the Cafe “What are your summer plans?  Any trips coming up?”   Many of them have said “Nope, we are mostly just going to be home.”  When they respond like that, I almost have a small sigh of relief for them as the school year is so busy that it truly is a time to do less.  Especially since the fall sports season pretty much cuts the last month of summer right out, that is just a few weeks away.

My Tuesday mornings used to be spent going up to the gym and taking a step aerobics class and now I am sitting and writing instead.  When I say DO LESS, I do not mean with your body or with mine and will follow up this writing slot with a bike ride to get my daily movement.  But following that I will sit meditation, if even for just 5 minutes.

Do less.  This doesn’t mean do less with your family or do less with your body, it means do less with your time and be more present.  Be closer to home, closer to the ones you love and closer to yourself.

I am a doer.  I go and go and go and go and go…non-stop…for years.  It has been so eye-opening to have a true goal to do less.  For many reasons I reevaluated what are the most important things to me and saved my extra time to spend doing those things with specific people and cut the rest out.

After writing and sharing all of that, I want to encourage you to look around your life and find an area or maybe a couple areas that you can do less.  I find when I am doing less, I am being more…more centered, more grounded, more peaceful, more rested…less of a human doing and more of a human being, and that makes me really happy.

 

 

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60 EXTRA HANDS

Most of you know that I grew up with 3 brothers. If I could possibly explain to you my childhood in 3 simple words, I would call it “three against one”. Always…and I was on the losing side of that scenario.

I am not used to being around women for extended periods of time.  Of course I have a lot of incredible women in my life, I have personal time with them in doses.  The thought of spending and entire 8 days together with 30 other Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - 60 Extra Hands - Dr Erica Peabodywomen was an intimidating factor of my trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  However, in retrospect, those 30 women changed my life forever for the good.

I would say probably around a third of the women on this trip had children at home.  Women, in general, are naturally helpful and the “mom” energy of the crowd ran strong and deep.  If ANYONE, and i mean ANYONE, needed ANYTHING, someone was stepping up to help out, assist others and offer additional supplies.  And when I use the word “someone” I am actually talking about 3-5 “someones” because the generosity of this particular group of women was palpable.

We were in this trek together.  And when I look out at the broader picture of life, we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.  

I am not one to ask for assistance, I have been able to accomplish a lot in my life on my own.  When I am exposed to 8 solid days of really intense activity with such an incredible group of women willing to literally give you the shirt off their backs, it changed me.  The consistency of having those 60 extra hands willing to share, give and serve me in the time of need with anything they have to spare…I am forever grateful.  I learned from them it is okay to ask for help as I stand shoulder to shoulder with such willing souls to offer help.  Of course the culmination of this I wrote about already (click here–>>) “Don’t Die With Your Daypack On”.  Such a POWERFUL lesson!!!

I returned to my normal life back in Fenton with a different perspective about asking for assistance.

I know that my willingness to accept help from others has also taken me to a different place as well.  I have some amazing friends, a couple specifically I am referring to, that stand shoulder to shoulder with me as I progress through my days.  When I ask for help or need assistance with something, their consistent support has continued to help me evolve to a new version of myself.

“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  -African Proverb

The picture I have added to the post is not a picture I took, however it is a really good representation of how I view this helpful world now.  To have 60 extra hands ready to assist in making this life and world a little bit easier for me, what a gift.  I love you Kili Dadas!!  Thank you for everything!!!

 

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STUNNED

Absolutely stunned.

I cannot believe what just happened.

I am pretty sure most of you know that the high altitude training I did leading up to my trek up MT KILIMANJARO was done at a gym that is set up in the packing plant of the orchard where I was born and raised.

My brother set this gym up last fall and I remember my first time training out there and how cool it was that I was working out in a room we used to store apples in when I was growing up.  It was our family’s livelihood.

I also remember training day after training day how grateful I was to have that access to that gym and the concept of being able to train at 8,000-12,000 ft above sea level right here in Fenton, Michigan.

Dr Erica Peabody - Stunned - High Altitude Training Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

high altitude training in Fenton, Michgan

Kelly, my mountain sister and training/trek/tent partner, and I would meet out there a few times per week.  We would text each other during the day and share our nerves and how we were feeling and then we would get together regularly and talk each other down from the anxiety during our workouts.  This happened over and over and over, week after week.

We also met each other out there 2-3 nights per week to spend the night at high altitude (which is really where the magic in high altitude training comes from, endurance at the altitude which is what is happening while spending hours sleeping there).

The training days were pretty brutal yet gratifying, but the slumber parties were more like mild torture…for me anyway.  I would sleep for about 5-6 hours and then I would wake up and not be able to get back to sleep.  When you sleep at altitude it is as though the body is working out all night long, and for me it was very difficult to rest.  Couple that with the fact that my comfortable bed in my precious tiny home is roughly 3 miles away and here I am sleeping on a cot in my sleeping bag.

I remember one morning after a difficult night at the gym, I called Kelly in tears that “I am going to fail the sleeping portion of the trek, I just know it!”  (funny thing is I DID FAIL that part if you had a chance to watch my short documentary video log<<—click link to watch.  Ugh life is such a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn’t it?)

Hours and hours and day after day I spent there prepping my body to handle the 19,341 feet summit that is MT KILIMANJARO and because I don’t have a current need to suffer excessively, I sort of boycotted trips back to that gym since I got home a month ago.

Today is a beautiful sunshiny day in Michigan and my brothers and I spend a lot of time out at the orchard when the days are like this.  I was there all afternoon.  I was more focused on the sun, getting a heavy dose of vitamin D, playing with my nieces and nephews, Jeeping and hanging out today that I didn’t go inside.

At the end of the afternoon, I gathered my things and sat down in my vehicle to drive away and then my subconscious chimed in and said “just go and walk in the gym.”

And so I did.

Do you remember the smell of your grandmother’s house when you were little?  I remember the soap smell she had and anytime in my entire life, when I smell that, I warp right back to being a child and all the memories of being in her home (which I always had a great time there with my cousins).

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - stunned - high altitude sleep training chiropractor Fenton Michigan

high altitude sleep training

The gym has a smell.  It is a distinct “PEABODY HIGH ALTITUDE” gym smell.  It is sort of a rubbery, apple storage, air compressor air kind of smell.  Ok, maybe it really doesn’t have proper descriptor words to tell you about it.

Anyway I walked in, the gym is at 8,917 feet today and I instantly choked up and then burst into tears.  In fact, I cannot stop crying as I write this.

It isn’t a sad cry, it is a “HOLY CRAP!!!  Because of this place, all the training, all the conversations and all the hard work and shitty sleeps, I MADE IT TO THE TOP OF MT KILIMANJARO!!!”

All the planning and plotting and scheming that Kelly, my brother and I did in and around training for the trip GOT ME TO THE TOP!!!  

But then the other layer kicked in…because I was born and raised right here and am part of this incredible family, I MADE IT TO THE TOP.  Because my family had a vision a few generations ago for this orchard life and this land and building that they built, I MADE IT TO THE TOP.  Because my brother is such a crazy out-of-the-box thinker I MADE IT TO THE TOP.  And because I am a Peabody, I MADE IT TO THE TOP.  

Every single day on the mountain I had my brother’s gear on, something of his that I would be proud just to have and I would gather strength knowing that he was rooting for me.  That would then extend my thoughts to the family, the orchard and my many blessings of having Peabody blood and the perseverance that runs far and deep through those bloodlines.

So I sit and think, “could I have made it to the top if I didn’t have that gym to train and sleep and learn the deep meaning of embracing the suffering?”  Yeah, I may have been able to, probably would have found success regardless, however I will never know for sure.

What I am certain of, I am stunned and shocked that a gym could choke me up like it did…and I am blessed to be a Peabody because as a family, we always MAKE IT TO THE TOP!!!

 

 

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A SUNDAY SHARE

I was driving back from Chicago this past Sunday and deep in thought about life and living.  Here is a Sunday share…

I hope this message finds you happy and healthy and enjoying your week…and your LIFE!!  I was realizing as I was sitting in the car for all those hours that we really do have a lot of power in the intention we set for our own lives.  I hope you are making the most of it all!!!  As the title of this blog says…we only get one chance.

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A MONTH LATER

I have made a commitment to blog frequently and I am not sure how it is one month later since my last blog. I am not sure where the time goes. I am not sure what happened to that month…but to say it has been one of the most impact-ful months of my life is a massive understatement.
A month later I look back and cannot believe the trek up MT KILIMANJARO even happened. It feels like it was all just a Dr Erica Peabody - A Month Later - Chiropractor Fenton Michigandream. My life here in this precious little town of Fenton is so vastly different than the 10 days in Africa that it feels like I was swept into someone else’s existence when I went to do that. I am only brought back to my reality when I stand up in the morning and my feet are still screaming “Yup, it was us that did that!!!”
A month later I sit in my office, CAFE OF LIFE CHIROPRACTIC, and am so very grateful for this life I have created and how much of it I have shared along the way. Although sometimes I feel like technology and social media has taken us a step backwards learning how to have human to human interactions, I am so grateful to have been able to share the experience with all of you over FACEBOOK LIVE specifically and of course YOUTUBE as well (<<<—links provided to my Facebook page as well as to the YouTube clip of my video logs along the entire trip).

A month later I am still stopped all over this precious little town so that people can congratulate me on my mission accomplished.  I get stopped at the gym, grocery store and absolute strangers continue to walk up to me and introduce themselves.  I am so happy I have been able to share far and wide that people have followed the story and lived it with me.  When I get stopped people say things like “Hey!  You don’t know me but I know that you are Dr. Peabody.  I caught wind of your story and have followed your updates along your trip.  Thank you so much for sharing that because I don’t ever think i could possibly climb that mountain but I want you to know that because you did that, I have been inspired to take on ____________ challenge.”  This is the most incredible part of this trip, just knowing that it has spread and ordinary people like myself are dipping into reserves of strength they didn’t know they had.  I FREAKIN’ LOVE THAT!!!  I ABSOLUTELY LIVE FOR THAT!!!!

A month later I look back at just how serious the trip was.  I haven’t shared yet, but two women in the group ended up getting high altitude sickness.  When this happens, the porters put them on piggyback and have to run them down to lower elevation as it can be fatal.  When I say piggyback, I mean 2 hour piggyback while the porter is running 4,000ft down the mountain.  We had an awesome crew and they were able to recover well however in retrospect I can see why my mother was fearful for her stubborn, strong-willed daughter that decided to climb MT KILIMANJARO in the first place.  Sorry Mom, life was waiting for me.

A month later I cannot believe how much richer my life is because I was taught the great lesson of surrender.  Surrender to the elements.  Surrender to the body.  Surrender all thoughts and dreams and aspirations.  Surrender to the moment.  Surrender to the sensations.  Surrender surrender surrender.  In the most intense peak moments of this trip, there was nothing I could even think about aside from putting one foot in front of the other and taking one breath in and letting one breath out.  I know there were a lot of people pushing for my success but I couldn’t even think about any of it or I would instantly choke up and lose my breath.

And just a month later I can look back and say that was one of the most rich and rewarding experiences of my life and I am so very grateful to have taken the time and done the work to make it all happen.  Thank you to each and every one of you for all of your encouraging words and positive energy you sent my way.  Many have asked what is next on my list?  I am not sure as I am still processing this one a month later.

 

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MANY EMAILS

I receive many emails.  About once or twice a month I get emails that sound exactly like this.  This exchange is copied and pasted from my inbox…

“I have been dying to ask your motivation behind your “living”  Has this always been your life or was there a catalyst?  I recognize the journey and enthusiasm and I am wondering if I can ask your reason?  Would you mind sharing?”

My response:  “There was no catalyst, just realizing that more and more of life slips by fast and faster…I have always lived like this just have taken it to a whole new level recently for no other reason than life is slipping by.  Many have written me asking if I am sick or have some sort of terminal diagnosis (and I don’t) but more than anything is my desire to help inspire others to take action in their lives.”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody Many Emails

These emails come in regularly and so I thought I would just share in a bigger way than I have before.

As most of you reading already know, I am taking on MT KILIMANJARO in just under 2 months.  No I do not really run a true “bucket list” because I don’t want to do things because I will be dying someday.  I take on these adventures because I want to TRULY LIVE this life that I have been given!

When I wake up in the mornings, I start with gratitude.  I am so grateful for another day and I go about getting up and around and making things happen.  And then I do the same thing the next day and the next day and the next day.  This can get mundane and monotonous however I also plan on life mostly being mundane and monotonous and by default it will stay that way.  Most people experience this.  I think real joy is found in the mundane and monotony of the everyday.  When we can learn to enjoy the mundane and monotony of the day to day, happiness is truly lived because lets face it, life is not one crazy adventure and vacation to the next.  We live mostly in the in between.

I am a rather simple gal at my core.  I love my life, I love my job, I love my family and I love my friends.  I like to have nice things but I usually try to go about obtaining them through shopping the “sale” racks.  I am always prudent with my next steps and am ultra responsible.  In all of that, I do my best to say “YES” to invitations that are thrown my way.  Many times I do not know what I am getting into but I choose to stir up all the courage inside of me and step forward.  I have learned that over and over and over again, LIFE has my back.  And even when stakes are high and probability is down, I choose to step forward anyway and just see what turns up.

I have fallen many, many times, more times than I like to admit or own up to (and for the sake of this blog, I have maybe not shared as much of that as I should) but what do they say?  “Fall 17 times, get up 18!’ and I try to live by that.  Just get up and step forward and see just what appears under your foot.

So I am taking on MT KiLIMANJARO in the beginning of March.  The highest altitude I have been is around 14,000 ft above sea level, “KILI”, as it has been nicknamed, stands at 19,000 ft.  That is HIGH!!!!  SUPER HIGH!!!

Some of you know about my heart condition, some of you don’t.  The hole between the top 2 chambers of the heart that is there in utero never closed for me.  What does that mean?  It means that a portion of my blood skips the trek through the lungs and doesn’t get oxygenated.  It is an issue in my day to day and a bigger issue when I am working out and I manage it by staying super healthy and strong.  Will it be a problem at altitude?  Quite possibly however 10% of the population has this defect and many don’t even know about it and I am trusting that a few of those 10% that have no idea they have it have done KILIMANJARO or something even more intense and succeeded.  I am trusting that LIFE has my back on this one.

But who really knows?  There is absolutely no way for me to know if I am going to succeed at climbing to 19,000 ft or not.  The only real way to know is to train as hard as I can and then show up and give it my all and see what happens.  All that I have read so far is that this trek is treacherous and daunting and a good portion of it is, what my brother refers to as, a “nose down suffer-fest“.  He hasn’t done Kili, he has done way more intense trips than that and is partially my guide, trainer and inspiration.

I am so curious if summit is possible for me, way too curious to do anything else but get over there and give it a whirl! It sounds extravagant to be doing something so intense.  I plan to share the entire story with you so that you may have an idea of what something like that is like.  I also hope that in this process you realize that there may be something in your mind and in your heart that you want to take on and that waking up day in and day out without taking on the challenges just isn’t living enough for you.

It will take us 6 day to summit and then 2 days to descend.  In my mind I am preparing for just keeping one foot progressing in front of the other and see what happens.  If I took that last step, I can probably take this next step.  If I can take the next step, I bet I can take the next one too.  If I can string a bunch of those small wins together over and over and over again, I can make it to the top I just know I can.  When I picture this process, I get choked up as I know it is going to take every single bit of willpower that I have to make it happen.  I am a natural athlete but I have physical restrictions that have deterred me from doing anything too extreme.  This will be a test of just how far I can go.

For my 30th year, I ran a full marathon.  At this point, I do not see a future of taking on any kind of extreme challenges beyond KILIMANJARO.  That will be plenty and such an awesome way to cap my 40th year on the planet and shift into seeing where life takes my next 10.

As I started this post, I get many emails all the time asking why and how and what makes me do these things.  Just LIFE…just simply and purely the desire to really live this life fully.

 

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MT KILIMANJARO

That is a CRAZY IDEA but I LOVE IT!!!” was my response when a patient invited me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Yes you heard that right, MT KILIMANJARO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The invite came last April 2016 and I am pretty sure both of us suspected something would stop us in our tracks prior to making this happen…but it hasn’t.  And so WE WILL!!!   Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Dr Erica Peabody - Mt KilimanjaroAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

In March of 2015, this beautiful woman named Kelly started chiropractic care in my office, Cafe of LIFE.  She is just a year older than me and had gotten a cancer diagnosis just a couple weeks prior to starting care.  I was in shock and awe that she could have such a bright, shiny composure with so many unknowns ahead.  If I remember correctly she already had a huge scar from one biopsy they had done the week prior.  Kelly was bright and energetic and positive and she had made the connection that chiropractic is going to help her body process everything that is ahead of her.  And it did just that.

She made all kinds of lifestyle shifts as well as underwent heavy chemo and radiation treatments and kept with her chiropractic care all along the way.  Because she was so regular with her care, I was able to follow her step by step through all of the radical changes that those heavy drugs had on her body.  I have worked with many cancer patients over the years however none so vulnerable to share every little detail.  Of course I learned a lot about the cancer going through school but experiencing it with her, from the patient’s perspective, was eye-opening.

And through it all, we became friends.

She did the entire treatment process quite gracefully and came out on top!  She has been clear for a while and one day back in April of 2016 I got added to an email thread she started with a list of other great female friends of hers, that invited us to climb MT KILIMANJARO.

Let me just start by saying that I was ABSOLUTELY HONORED to be included in thread along with her close friends.  My stomach sank at the possibility of taking on the challenge and my head started spinning with excitement as I really pondered what it would be like!

We started a conversation that went on for about 6 months while she waited for her final scans and clearance from her doctor.  In October, we pulled the trigger on putting a deposit down to hold our place with the adventure company.  We continued conversations trying to digest this whole idea and the first week of January we purchased our airline tickets.

Now life is officially in “CHECKMATE” status and this is happening.

There are bits and pieces of logistics to figure out and each day one more thing comes together.

I will continue this blog as I progress through all the details and training and of course share the entire journey with all of you.  Please stay tuned right here as Kelly and I make our progress.

…as we work towards CLIMBING MT KILIMANJARO!!!!  

 

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