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ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton MichiganFrom the beginning of our time spent together, the one thing that I told Mike is that I didn’t want normal engagement photos taken.  I didn’t want to take time out of our busy schedule to prepare our wardrobe and have an “engagement photo” session.

Some people have asked “What?  What did you want then?”

Right from the start I had asked Mike to “just be sure there is a photographer standing by close for when the engagement happens and we can have some candid photos taken on the spot.”

Of course for a woman, this makes a lot of sense.  For a man, this can be a difficult situation to maneuver.  Poor Mike got stuck in the middle of it…and though there was a photographer right there for the actual engagement, the photos are not what I was thinking, not because of the photographer though, he was great.  For many other reasons…let me explain.

You see, the proposal was a total surprise.  I did know he was going to ask me to marry him but I didn’t know when or where or how.

I remember along the way we had been talking that he was going to go in and get his haircut just prior to the engagement…but WHAT ABOUT MY HAIR!?!?!?!   My hair appointment was schedule for 4 days after the day he proposed.

I asked him to be sure that when he is going to do it that I at least know enough to wear an outfit that I would want photos taken in.  To make a super long story short, it happened at a western themed winter party.  Not ideal as western wear is not my normal. Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Now mind you, Mike and I get dressed up every single week and go out on a date night.  We make a deliberate effort to change out of our ordinary work or day clothes and get a little bit fancy and go out for the evening for dinner and dancing. Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

I don’t know (as I shrug my shoulders) maybe one of those nights would have been a good option???Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

Our lives are filled with work, personal and family obligations and it isn’t the easiest thing to carve time out for a photo shoot and I was a little bit annoyed that it had to happen this way…that is until I got the pictures back.  Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Dr Erica Peabody

The day was fun-filled touring all around Frankenmuth, Michigan, hugging and kissing and getting our pictures taken.  We have a second home right downtown Frankenmuth and we have many sweet little place that we scoped out for great backdrop to our hugs and kisses.

I will be quiet for now and let you scroll through some of the other engagement photos…Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton MichiganChiropractor Fenton Michigan - Engagement Photos - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

 

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RUNNING AGAIN

I am beyond excited to be running again!

I completed my first 5K over this past weekend.

5K may not seem like anything to write home about (blog about) however it is a really big deal.

If you have been reading right along with my shares, you know I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in March of last year.  It was an incredible experience (CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO LOG OF THE TREK) and landed me shortly thereafter in an immobilization walking boot.  I lived in that boot for 6 months. Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Running Again - Dr Erica Peabody

I haven’t told you this yet but many many people, after seeing me hobble around in the boot for months, ask me “Well was it worth it?”

HECK TO THE YES IT WAS WORTH IT!!!  There is no question about that.

I learned some incredible lessons while in that boot and the most important has been patience.

I am a chiropractor at Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic in downtown Fenton, Michigan.  Being a chiropractor is one of my most favorite roles in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Being an integral part of people’s healthcare team is amazing and fun and rewarding.  I help people that are striving to get back to health, as well as, those that want to be and stay healthy.  Chiropractic care is for just about everyone!

Those that visit me in serious acute pain often have this dreaded feeling of “life is always going to be this hard and painful.”  I don’t know why but humans are hard-wired to think “worst case scenario” and think that whatever is going on will always be going on.  It comes out of fear and frustration and it is warranted AND in a short time are feeling better.

I have a lot of those times of thinking “life will always be this way.”  My thoughts went there as I was approaching 4 and 5 months in that boot.  I finally got to a place where I fully accepted that if I was going to have to wear that boot for the rest of my life, I would be alright with it.  It would shift a lot of my hopes and dreams for what I want to do physically with the remainder of my years but if that was how it was going to be, may as well not fight it.

In my mind I succumbed to the idea of not being able to walk around my neighborhood comfortably again.  Maybe I would never snowboard again.  Maybe I will never run again.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Running Again - Dr Erica Peabody

That is sad.  It is still sad looking back on those feeling and just how real and raw they were.  This “boot camp” was not a couple week thing, this went on for MONTHS!!!

For the holidays, I went away to the beach for a week with Mike and great friends.  I decided I would walk the beach barefoot and build some strength and mobility in my foot.  I did that.  It still hurt but I was alright with that.

When the New Year rolled around and I still had the pain, I decided I would stop remaining in limbo and I would get back to my weekly step aerobics class at Genesys Athletic Club and begin to run.  If I jarred the foot enough, it would move past this nagging injury and maybe I would end up in surgery or something, but at least I wouldn’t be in limbo.  I decided I would break it or fix it but I was going to start really using it again.

The first step class was January 2nd.  I was going.  Even if I didn’t use any risers underneath my step, I was going to go, make deliberate movements in class and have some fun again.  WOW!!!  SO MUCH PAIN that afternoon.  Maybe that was not a good idea???

But the next day it was better, I returned to my usual workouts…and the day after that was even better.

My next test…what if I start running on it?  I did 1/4 mile.  That HURT!!!  But it was better the next day.  I did 1/2 mile and that was painful…but it was even better the next day.  On and on with step and running over a few weeks time until I built my distance back up to complete a 5K this past weekend.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Running Again - Dr Erica Peabody

I was nervous to start that race.  I was nervous to even drive up to the venue.  “What if I cannot make the 5K happen?”  “What if I stress it on the snow and ice covered trail and I set myself backwards again?”

Then I remember my plan of pushing it to the point it either breaks or fixes and I settled into the idea.

The drive took almost 2 hours and I had waves of ideas back and forth between this is a great decision and this is a bad decision.  I have a bit of PTSD after being in that much pain for that long.

Then I remember looking back over some of the “boot camp” time and realizing how devastated I was to think I would never run again and here I was going to be able to at least try and I got choked up in tears of gratitude to just be that far started to fall.

Mike was there.  He has a race management company as a side business called TRI To Finish.  Their company was hosting the run and honestly I am always stronger and more confident with that kind of cheering squad!!  

I did it.  I ran the entire 5K on uneven snow/ice covered trail.  I will never be setting records with my paces and I will never ever make it on a podium but I won in my mind.  It wasn’t a battle against my foot, it was more a battle for feeling whole again, feeling capable again.  That medal means more to me than most of my long distance medals I hang in the lobby of my office.

That medal symbolizes healing, patience, support, gratitude and persistence and the fact that I am so happy to be running again.

 

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THE PROPOSAL

Everyone loves love and I have shared this video with so many people, PLUS, there were about 150 people there to witness it anyway…I wanted to share the proposal.Chiropractor Fenton Michiagn - The Proposal - Dr Erica Peabody

If you are wondering what I am talking about, check a few posts prior to this one.  🙂

Let me set the scene…

I grew up on an apple orchard just south of town called Peabody Orchards.  It is no longer a functioning apple orchard and hasn’t been for quite some time.

My family still owns a good portion of it and along with the property came a rusty old crane-like piece of equipment.  My brother is an adventurer and he and a buddy of his had an idea if they erected some telephone poles, braced by the crane, wrapped them in chicken wire and put a sprinkler system at the top, they could farm ice and then climb it.  This is currently a fully functioning business called Peabody Ice Climbing, sort of like a rock climbing gym only for ice climbers.

Every winter for the past 10 years or so, Peabody Ice Climbing has been hosting people from all over the region for regular ice climbing and even some competitions.  For his loyal customers, my brother throws a huge party called Ice Fest and it is a riot every single year.  Through the years he has gotten bigger and bigger sponsors to help support his efforts and the party.

It takes a lot of people to get the party started and keep it going.  AChiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Proposal - Dr Erica Peabodys a family member, I always show up to enjoy the celebration but also help in any way I can.

Little did I know the plan was on me this year, and everyone there was in on it…

At the end of the day the ice climbing portion shuts down and it is time for dancing and a little bit of cheer.  The after party goes to the wee hours of the night and, although tiring, is super duper fun.

It kicks off with a raffle for gear donated by the sponsors.  I always help with the raffle to be sure everyone get their stuff and all the gear gets into the right hands.

This year was no different…until Mike grabbed the microphone and proceeded to tell our story.  It went like this (be sure to watch until the end).  It starts with me kneeling down near the floor figuring out the raffle items:

YouTube Preview Image

So there you have it!

Everyone loves love and through this relationship I have realized that everyone relives their own little love story out along the stories I share.  Since there were so many people there to witness it anyway and it was recorded on numerous phones, I thought I would share the proposal with you all.

 

 

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UNKNOWN

Today I found the unknown staring me in the face.

The unknown is intimidating, very, very intimidating.

As most of you read in my last blog post, I GOT ENGAGED!!!!  I am absolutely OVER THE MOON EXCITED, blessed and honored that this man has asked me to be his wife.

…and I have a GORGEOUS RING!!!Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Unknown - Dr Erica Peabody

Newly engaged, it is hard to turn my eyes away from the ring.  I had the chance to pick it out in the beginning of December but to actually wear it is a whole new experience.

As many of you know, I was married at 19 for 7 years.  At one point someone said to me “Oh, you have had your ‘starter marriage’.”   “STARTER MARRIAGE”???????  Um, sure???  I am not a fan of that concept, I understand the idea of a “starter home” by not a “starter marriage”.

Since then I have dated for 14 years and had some long term relationships, however even during all that time, the voice in my head would chime in and say “How do people actually get to the place of committing to marriage anyway?”  I couldn’t make sense of it at the time.  Now In retrospect, it is simple to see that internal voice was just making sure I would eventually find the right one and I get it now.

I look down at this ring and it says “commitment” to me in the most beautiful way.  But staring right back at me is this huge UNKNOWN.

There are so many unknowns…things that have been on my radar but also things that I/we  haven’t thought through completely.

It is scary to look down and know that I have literally committed to the unknown with Mike.   The longer I linger in thoughts of the unknown, the more nauseated I get.  It’s pure worry and I am sure there may be some place in your life that you can relate to that feeling.

When I snap out of that I think to myself “This unknown is WITH MIKE, my Mike.”

“We’ll figure it out” has rolled off our tongues so much to each other throughout our courtship.  It is accompanied by this incredible I’ve-got-your-back energy, confidence, respect and honor and is followed by actually figuring things out together.

It is the most beautiful thing I have ever been involved in, the most innocent and precious connection.

We have not had a simple and easy road so far.  We have been together for just over nine months but we have already scaled some walls and traversed some valleys that stood in our way.  Something that is working in our favor is our age.  I think when I was involved in my marriage at such an early age, as was Mike was as well, it is difficult to know who you are and what you want life to really look like.  Also there is so much growth and evolution that happens through the 20s, it is simple to get set up in relationship patterns that will not go the distance.

We have both been there and have learned a lot along the way.  The lessons have been interesting and some so painful it was often difficult to see any light.  Neither of us fantasize about how easy marriage will be, but we do remain hopeful that things can remain simple.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Unknown - Dr Erica Peabody

What I have learned through 14 years of dating is that core values are the most important key to finding a partner.  Deep core values NEED to line up.  I have dated enough to know a little bit about connection and what questions to ask right from the start.  When I was younger, it was difficult to ask the heavy hitting questions and that landed me in relationships that couldn’t endure he long haul.

So Mike and I had a lot of hard discussions right up front and vetted out some of the serious topics to be sure we lined up.  Of course there will always be that work to do.

The other thing that has really built our foundation we bring up absolutely anything and everything that is on our minds, no matter what it is.  Because of this we have been able to get to the roots of our personal challenges and have the hard talks about life and what we are looking for.

He is my safe place, my home and has been from the very beginning.

Together we will walk hand in hand into the unknown.  From the outside this may look and sound like a match made in heaven with all rainbows and butterflies and unicorns.  There are many obstacles, I will reveal more as time goes by, big obstacles that we have overcome already and some yet to be uncovered.

Jumping off the cliff into the unknown seems do-able with Mike.  Father Time will be the great determiner and until then I will embrace the work, lean into the discomfort, have faith and put one foot in front of the other.

As I am writing this, I am curious to know more about you.  I am curious if you have found yourself staring into the face of the unknown as well as maybe a hint or two about how you stepped in anyway.  How did you do that?  What did you bank on?  Where was your courage sourced from?  I think we can learn a lot from each other’s experiences.  Leave your comments for me…

 

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I’VE BEEN MEANING TO TELL YOU

I’ve been meaning to tell you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - I've been meaning to tell you - Dr Erica Peabody

Wait!!!  It is past the middle of January, isn’t it too late to say that?  Yes, you are probably right however I do hope your New Year is off to a great start!!!

I am writing to let you know that I spent all the money I was going to use to send out holiday greeting cards.  I went to order them but when I ran the numbers of how many thousands of cards we would have to send out here at Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic as well as my personal life and how many hours it would take to personalize all of that, I decided to do something different.

Over the past 13 years, Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic has grown and served so many people in and around this area that our address list consists of thousands of people.  Back in the early days when the Cafe was in its infancy, it was pretty simple to order 500 cards and take the time to sign them all, address the envelopes and send them out.

After a few years, and our office filled up, I realized how much time that was taking from my staff and myself as well as just how much money was spent to make all that happen.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love receiving Christmas cards and and holiday greetings and love to see how your families are growing.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for including us in your Christmas card list!  In fact, we have kept all of those beautiful cards with your gorgeous families here at the office and have wallpapered the back side of a door here atChiropractor Fenton Michigan - I've Been Meaning to Tell You - Dr Erica Peabody

the Cafe.  Want to see it?   —>>>

I decided about 5 years ago, since it was a substantial amount of money to make that all happen and I also know that there are many people going without food in our area, more than we even know, I would donate all that money to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

The Food Bank can take $1 and get six meals out of it.  I don’t know what kind of food they can get their hands on but it has to be better than no food at all, especially during this time of year.

If one single dollar provides SIX MEALS to those in need, with the money we donated we provided THOUSANDS OF MEALS.  That makes us feel good about what happened to your Christmas greetings this year and for the past few years…someone is eating your Christmas card.

I realize that sending Christmas cards and greetings is an important part of the year to many people.  In fact, I am certain in the coming years I will get back to sending personal holiday cards again with a regular update as life progresses.  In the meantime, I will be supporting places that support our community and make the world a better place.  I think feeding people instead of sending cards was a great choice for us as I know our money was spread far and wide.

I trust the year is off to a great start and I’ve been meaning to tell you all that I am thinking about you, Merry Christmas and Happy 2018!!  May this be your best year yet!!!  …and something to think about for the future, maybe you will send some money to them as well knowing how much need there is and how far your dollar can go.

 

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MY TRIBE

As many of you know, I usually spend the holidays with my tribe.

This tribe consists of long time friends that I met during chiropractic college (and a couple since).  Many of them have traveled most years together, other parts of my tribe were not able to go and a few have yet to join us.  Whoever shows up for the holiday trip is always the perfect blend.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - My Tribe - Dr Erica Peabody

We always meet somewhere warm and spend a week together.  The week is filled with laughter and silliness and play…but also some serious talks about the past year and projection and goal-setting for the year ahead.

The greatest thing about my tribe is we have known each other for so many years and have been out in the field doing similar work for that long that we see the world through the same lens and they all get me.

Speaking of being out in the field, we have all been so career-focused that there haven’t been any children on this regular holiday tribe trip until this year.

One couple has grown children and they were with us but we also have beautiful 6 month old twins in the tribe now.

Taking twins across the boarder and to the beach is no easy task and prior discussions sounded a little like this “Just get them there and then there will be 11 adults to 2 babies and we will help all week long.”  I am so glad they did.

Much of the tribe lives in close proximity to each other in Denver and get to spend a little more regular time together however being this far away, I don’t get that kind of regular time with any of them.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - My Tribe - Dr Erica Peabody

Although the babies added a lot to the dynamics of the group, it was delightful as we all learn to transition into the “with children” phase of our lives.

We shared great conversation over meals, while sitting around the pools and during walks on the beach.  These are the people that light my flame and keep it stoked.  We have a text message thread that goes on and on daily for years however having true face to face time fills my soul.

I do not have a tribe like that in Fenton.  By the end of the week together, I feel so recharged and ready to take on the New Year.  I always head back home rejuvenated but I am also a little sad when I land in Detroit and drive home knowing just how far away they all are.  I miss them terribly and in a small way I dread coming home.  I have a great life here but have always felt a little lonely following a week with my tribe.

This time was a little different.  My boyfriend Mike was able to make it down for the week and of course we traveled home together.  He is my ideal match I feel fortunate that he blends so well into my group of friends.  Our connection fills my life so full on a daily basis and has ever since the day we met 9 months ago.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - My Tribe - Dr Erica Peabody

So this time around, instead of having to head home alone and readjust to Fenton and life apart from my tribe, I got to come home with him and together have put some action steps in place towards our goals we set for this year already!!

Although I have lived in pure gratitude for my incredible life for a long time now, I have always said that “Life is sweeter when shared.”  I am finding so much truth to that with a connection like this.

My tribe is part of my lifeline.  Our text message thread has continued on just as silly with bouts of seriousness as before.  I laugh all day long with these people that are thousands of miles away and am grateful for technology helping us easily stay connected.  I love them all so much and miss the babies and am sad I don’t get to watch them grow up in person.

To have this incredible man alongside me as all the days progress wins over all of that.  He is my tribe, but more than that, he is my safe space, my recharging station and my true home.  I tell him daily how grateful I am he is in my life but once more here (because he always reads) Thanks Babe.  🙂

 

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THE SECOND STRAP

He always reaches for the second strap.

It doesn’t matter how many hundreds of times I have put this walking boot on, he reaches for that second strap to help out.

Most of you know I have been in a walking boot since early August.  This has been an overuse injury do to my climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro back in March.  Actually it didn’t happen on the mountain, it was when I got home and never took the proper time to rest that the injury happened.  And beyond that I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis off and on for the past 4 years in my left foot.  It was simply the perfect storm of events.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Second Strap - Dr Erica Peabody

The trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro was life changing and amazing however since Kilimanjaro it has been the best seven months of my life and all due to meeting one heck of an incredible man.

He has been such a light in my life and I will be sharing our incredible life adventures as we go but I wanted to introduce you all to Mike.

He is the most kind, gentle, generous, hilarious and loving man I have ever been around and I feel lucky to even be able to hang out with someone like him on a regular basis and even luckier to be loved and supported by him.

The other day as I was leaving to head back into work after my lunch, he was there grabbing the boot and helping me.  Of course I am the only one that knows exactly when I am putting it on and taking it off but as soon as I grab and velcro or un-velcro the first strap, he always grabs the second strap.  I got choked up “Even after all this time, how do you just keep doing that and helping me?”

Last week must have marked 500 (not exaggerating) times or so that I have taken this boot off and put it back on.  If he is with me, he jumps up from any place and is instantly up in my business and helping me get this thing back on and he is always fast enough to grab the second strap.  There are 5 total and by the time he has his hands on the second strap he is fixing the rest of them up for me to go out and take on the world.  Every.  Single.  Time.

We have worked and camped and traveled and danced and played since I have had this boot on.  He is always always always making sure it is handled.

There is an air pump on the boot that pumps air around the liner and softens the hard rough corners of the boot.  He knows it takes 8 pumps to pump it up to a comfortable level and that when I stand up it needs 2 more pumps of air for it to be solid.  He counts out loud as he does it.  It comforts me.

I have never ever known a man so willing to help me in my life.  He is there for the fun times but also there, right by my side for the mundane-ness of life…like taking this boot off and putting it back on.  The extent of his help is endless, I am just using this simple task as illustration.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Second Strap - Dr Erica Peabody

I would be a liar if I said this has all been easy for me but honestly, to accept help in my life isn’t easy to begin with and it has taken this long to really be alright with leaning on him.  His continual willingness to grab that second strap has been eye-opening, as well as mind-boggling.  For the 40 years of my life so far, I have never had so much help, love and support.

Does it sound strange to say that I believe the Universe sent me such a crazy injury that needed so much tending to and sent him at the same time just so I could truly have a shift in my being and allow him to infiltrate my life?  Does it sound crazy that this boot has been like a “boot camp” of sorts to break me down, break all the guards down and teach me to allow someone, him, in?

A friend said to me the other day “I sympathize with your foot thing as I dealt with something similar for 6 months.  It took me getting to a place in my mind that if this is how it was going to be for the rest of my life, if this pain is permanent and I have to deal with this limitation for life, I accept that as my reality…and then I started healing.”

That hit me like a ton of bricks mostly because I have learned to accept it into my life with the condition that it is just for the time being assuming it will heal and feel better.  But taking the idea up a level to the concept that if I have to live in this boot for the rest of my life and be alright with that has really allowed a huge emotional release for me and I can feel the healing happen…on many levels.

…because if I get to have his help with this (which I am finally healing so I will be back to normal in the next few weeks so I won’t need help with it for a lifetime BUT there are ALWAYS other obstacles) life for the rest of my life, I open my arms and heart fully and accept it.

After all of these months and never wavering ever even once, I know he will always be by my side ready to grab that second strap and help me move forward.  I am forever grateful for his love.

 

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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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SURRENDER

Many things have crossed my mind over the past 3 months, many, many, many life lessons learned and one of the greatest has been SURRENDER.

In the 10 days that we were on Mt. Kilimanjaro and and traveling to and from Africa, I counted somewhere around a total of 24 hours of sleep.   Once I was on the mountain, I averaged around 3 hours of sleep per night.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Surrender - Mt Kilimanjaro Dr Erica Peabody

The dayss would look like this:

  • The team would come to each tent and wake us up at 6:30am.
  • We would make it to breakfast at  7 and on the trail around 8.
  • We would hike for 3-4 hours and stop for lunch.  We would hike another 3-4 hours to the next camp so our days were around 6-8 hours of total hiking time.
  • We would get settled in and they would call us for dinner around 6:30-7pm.
  • We would get our briefing for the following day, turn our water bladders for our camelbaks in and head back to our tents around 8-8:30.

At this point we were free to go to sleep and that would have been AWESOME if I would have been able to.  There is this thing called “high altitude insomnia”.  It happens because the heart is beating faster than usual, like it does for exercise, because there is less oxygen.  My my mind thought my body was still working out and it is very hard to sleep with my body in that mode.

My usual is I would finally find sleep around 11ish and sleep for about 3 hours and then be up for the rest of the night.  This happened every single night.  I would lay there frustrated because I knew every minute I wasn’t sleeping was also a minute my body wasn’t truly resting and recuperating from the intense day before and not really able to prepare for the next intense day ahead.

When the team would come by the tent at 6:30am to wake us up again, I would be so beside myself with frustration.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Surrender Hike - Dr Erica Peabody Mt Kilimanjaro

I would get my stuff packed up anyway.  I would strap my boots on and get my backpack ready, grab my water and be ready for breakfast no matter what.  In the back of my mind I would think to myself, “maybe later tonight I will be able to finally sleep”.

The thing is, I felt miserable inside in those moments.  But there are 30 other women maybe feeling just the same or having some other experience just as miserable.  It didn’t do me any good to complain to anyone.  I would get in this mode of I need to do what needs to be done right now, which was strap my boots on and prepare for the day ahead.  Even though it would have felt good to at least express my stress and frustration to the staff, that didn’t matter either because the trail heads in one direction, it isn’t an “out and back”.  We start on one trail and continue to another one for the descent.  Forward momentum is vital.

It didn’t matter how much I slept that night, or the night before, or the previous 6 nights.  It didn’t matter how sore I was, how foggy my head was, nothing mattered but forward momentum and so I knew I better get started.

Endurance, the whole “put your big girl panties on and step forward“ness of this trip was such a powerful lesson in surrender.  I had many logical reasons to resist what was happening and most people in that position would have similar self-talk going on about the whole scenario.  But pure surrender, strapping on my boots and getting after the task at hand for that day was my only option.  There was no turning around, no turning back and only one way to move.  FORWARD!

When I equate this to things in my life back home, I see how this lesson has served me so well in the past few months.  I have a different view on life.  I have spent a lot of my years paddling upstream.  I have spent so much Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Surrender Hikers - Dr Erica Peabody Mt. Kilimanjarotime and effort pushing against the current going in the other direction.  The past three months I have spent more time setting down my oars, surrendering and allowing myself to be pushed in the direction that life is trying to naturally take me anyway.

I have always had high and lofty goals for my life and I always will.  Though I have goals and the “WHAT” I want to accomplish figured out, I don’t have to be so wrapped up in trying to control the “HOW” it all happens.  I set some really powerful intentions at the beginning of April this year and life has unfolded more beautifully than I could have ever imagined.  I am in shock and awe sometimes knowing that the most powerful move I can make is keep surrendering my own plan for the bigger plan of the Universe.

Maybe surrender in your mind means “to give up”, “to give in” an “to stop progress”.  To me, it means to “let go and let God”.  It also means to set the goals you want to achieve but surrender to the process of how it all unfolds.  Our thoughts about how we want things to be or how we want them to look is usually a limited view of what is really possible.  I have been taught this lesson over and over and over.

My action of surrender in the mornings on Mt. Kilimanjaro was the moment I strapped my boots on.  From that point I would stand up from the tent, put my arms through the straps of my backpack, embrace the unknown for the day ahead (have no idea exactly what the day would hold, which direction we were going or how long it would take) and start stepping one foot in front of the other.

“Surrender isn’t about being passive, it is about being open.”  -Danielle LaPorte

For 8 solid days, this strategy worked and I realized it would work for my life when I got home as well “Have a goal and a destination ahead, surrender to the process of the steps in getting there.”  Yet another humbling life lesson and a huge THANK YOU to KILIMANJARO!!!

 

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Surrender - Dr Erica Peabody

 

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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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