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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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THIS IS 40

It is almost 3 months into my 40th year and I find my inner voice saying “this is 40” in the back of my head at least a few times per week lately.

I spent a week in Florida over the 4th of July.  My travel was hooked to a International Chiropractic Pediatric Association seminar the weekend of July 8-9 but I went down to get a change of scenery the Tuesday prior.  I have not mastered the art of “stay-cation” where I just stay home instead of going to work.  I take 2 weeks off per year, Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - This is 40- Dr Erica Peabodyone at the holidays and one at the 4th of July however I have to leave town to not go into work.  It is not possible for me, YET anyway, to just hang out at home and take time off from work.  The guilt rules my days and getting on a plane and being away makes it peaceful for me so I am able to relax and let go of the office for a bit.

My most favorite way to start my days on vacation is to put on a swim suit and a cover-up and walk the beach for 1-2 hours.  It is a peaceful time of day and the walking helps the energy and thoughts surface organically.  In fact, the friends that I often vacation with, began to start asking me what the “song of the day” is because, inevitably, a song would surface in the morning time.  There is always a song in my mind however when it is quiet, it gets really loud.

While in Florida last week, my morning routine changed.  I still walked the beach but I had to have socks and shoes on.  My left foot is still not right from my trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro.  If you saw me in my day to day, I am fine and my foot is fine.  As soon as I start moving forward deliberately walking, it yells at me.  My walk is now a stroll and socks and shoes don’t look cool with bathing suit and swim cover so I wore workout clothes.  Which is fine.  So I am out there the first morning walking, strolling, on the beach for 45 minutes to start my day.  I look down and am in socks and shoes and avoiding the waves as they come to shore, instead of barefoot and walking in the water and my inner voice pipes up “This is 40”.

That bums me out.  I realize I just have to let my body rest and my foot will recover but it has really slowed me down.

In these moments, I know the very best thing to do is to start reviewing my current gratitude list to override that little pesky voice inside of my head.

“I have an incredibly strong and healthy body, stronger and healthier than every before.  This is 40.”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - This is 40 - Dr Erica Peabody

“I have an amazing chiropractic practice that has been amazing all these 12.5 years it has been open but it is a new level of awesome as I have progressed as a doctor and servant to my community.  This is 40.”

“I have outstanding relationships with my brothers and their families and can bring the wisdom I have gained over the years to help guide the littles in my family and offer unconditional love in their lives.  This is 40.”

“I have learned so many great, hard, wonderful, nasty, eye-opening lessons in life and love.  This is 40.”

“I am grateful to share regular time with my amazing Mom as we have grown to be such allies in life.  This is 40.”

“I have found an incredible supportive loving relationship and I am grateful for all the lessons in love up to this point.  This is 40.”

“I have come to a point in my life that I realize 100% of what I focus on heads my way so I better keep it positive and fruitful.  This is 40.”

“I realize the days, weeks, months and years go by so quickly and have learned to squeeze the juice out of every single day.  This is 40.”

“I am more and more grateful for all the little moments during the days that make my heart warm; from serving my patients, to stopping along my morning stroll to take in the beauty of a neighbor’s yard, to the simple hugs from loved ones, to laying down in my bed earlier at night in order to get proper rest to keep my body strong and healthy. This is 40.”

“It is obvious who ‘real’ friends are, who is in my tribe, and to invest in those relationships.  This is 40.”

“I realize how fast I got to 40 and I will spend the next 40 years trying to slow life down and smile even more.  This is 40”

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Trivial things like having to wear socks and shoes while walking the beach can really take us, well me for sure, out of my game.  I know and trust the tools I have worked to develop in my life that can change that feeling of being bummed and it all begins with GRATITUDE.  This life is not perfect.  These days have their own inherent challenges.  Life lessons come at us in all shapes and sizes.

But be grateful. Search for that silver lining.  For me, even though I had to wear socks and shoes to support my feet while I walked on the beach every morning and every evening, I am grateful I CAN walk and I am grateful to have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and realize it is just a reminder of my journey…for now.  This is 40 and I LOVE being 40!!

 

 

 

 

 

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SERVING OTHERS

The concept of “serving others” lives at the core of my being.

I remember 2 years into private practice at Cafe of LIFE Chiropractic I called my mom and said “So I wake up, eat, go to work, come home and eat lunch, go back to work, exercise, home for dinner and then to bed to get up and do it all over again.  Is this all there is?”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Serving Others - Dr Erica Peabody

I had jobs along the way however being a chiropractor was my first true career and I opened my own practice right out of school.  I busted my behind (and still do) to get this thing up and running and 2 years into it I made a realization that this is what I would be spending my years doing and it blew my mind to think that was all there is.

When I say that, I am not ignorant to the fact that many are married with children and running families and doing the same thing, however, our lives are truly filled quite full with time spent at work.

My very next thought was…”THANK GOD I am in a profession serving others.”

Service is my highest heart calling and my life has revolved around that for over 12 years in private practice and a few years beyond that during my internship at school.

It was dinnertime our second day on Mt. Kilimanjaro, we sat down and one of the first comments I heard was “Man, I really wish there was a chiropractor here.”

When I am out and about in my personal life, I do not always offer up front that I am a chiropractor and since it hadn’t some up in conversation yet, not many in that particular crowd knew I was.  …well until that very moment anyway.

Day 2 of the trek I still felt yucky, sore, tired and out of it.  That is not a place to “serve others” from since my own tank was on empty but it was now sitting in the back of my mind.

I could probably adjust this entire group.

It would do every single person some good in making the trek a success.

It only takes my hands.

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This thought sat in the back of my mind the following day as we made our way to the next campsite.  As we hiked along that next day, or porters would pass us on the trail.  As they cruised by us, they all carried about 30 pounds of stuff on top of their heads and I know one carried 30 pounds of my own stuff.  This is their job and many had been doing it for years.

From a chiropractor’s eyes, it is so clear to see just how much stress has been placed on their spines and it dawned on me that I should spend any extra energy I have serving them.  The 31 women on this trek live good lives and have access to all the care they need at home.  This is not to discount their need in that moment but many of our team of porters and guides had never heard of chiropractic and had no concept of what a chiropractic adjustment could do…much less how beneficial it would be to their spines, nervous systems, health and well-being and multiply that by the fact they carry so much weight on their heads on a regular basis.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Serving Others - Dr Erica Peabody

Our day 3 hike was long and tough.  I stopped part way down the trail and adjusted Kelly (my patient/friend that invited me on this trip in the first place) and that led to a couple staff members lining up to get checked. That led to me offering my services to all staff and  I opened up a make-shift office outside of the dinner tent, which pretty much just consisted of a chair that the staff could sit in so I could check and adjust their spines.

Many stood back and watched, but some jumped right in with full trust.  By serving them, my own energy lifted.  This is a usual thing that happens, even at my office here in town.  By helping others, I am helped.  By helping others to heal, I am healed.  By helping others to increase the energy inside their bodies, my energy increases.  It is the COOLEST thing about this work I do.  Serving others helps me.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Serving Others - Dr Erica Peabody

It also fills my heart and nothing is more satisfying than what happened the very next day.  I was stopped and standing on the side of the trail.  One of the guides, that was really reluctant to sit down in my chair the evening before but decided he would in the end, walked up to me and sort of whispered “That ‘thing’ you did to me yesterday, I have been so calm ever since.  Do you think you could do that again before you leave?”

Then the following day he stops me as says “That ‘thing’…do you think you could teach me how to do that so I could help my team?”

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.”  -Marianne Williamson

There is serious power in those adjustments, every chiropractic adjustment is powerful and I often wish you all could feel what I feel in my hands.  Being able to release healing energy inside of the body to allow people to be stronger, healthier and adapt to the internal and external stresses in their lives better, I would argue it is one of the greatest things in life.

Serving others truly is one of the greatest things in life.

I am blessed and lucky to be spending my days waking up, eating, going to work at the Cafe, coming home and eating lunch, going back to work, exercising, then home for dinner and then to bed to get up and do it all over again the next day serving others.

 

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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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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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DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON

“DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!”  they said.

These words stuck in my head from our briefing after dinner on summit night.

Every evening after dinner, they would come into the mess tent, do our medical examinations and share with us how they thought we were all doing and what will happen the next day, or later that night in this case.

Dr Erica Peabody - Don't Die With Your Daypack - Chiropractor Cafe of LIFE Fenton

Me (Dr Erica Peabody) Ready for Summit Night

We had 12 guides with our group for our normal day to day and about 50 support staff.  The porters were the ones that carried all of our gear, food water and tents and such.  Everyday they would pass us on the trail and get to camp ahead of us and have everything set up for us for when we finished our days.

The intensity of summit night required the assistance of our normal 12 guides along with 18 additional porters in order to have one to one support for the final hike to the very top.  Having this one to one support for the final summit is the reason this particular company has such high summit success rates.

I woke up nauseated and although I ate a tiny bit of food, I really couldn’t manage to stomach much at 15,000 ft and almost no sleep.  So the climb begins at 1am.  We line up in our hiking line and start to make our way up the trail.  It was the most beautiful night with bright stars in the big African sky.

As we begin to hike, the phrase “DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON” came back in my mind.  What exactly where they talking about?  I feel absolutely fine.   Were they really serious when they said that?  I am surprised they made such a point to make sure that was clear and that if we needed to hand over the load on our backs to a porter, we could easily do that.  “I won’t need to do that, I feel super strong.”

An hour goes by and I had already overheated once and had to strip my outer expedition-weight goose down jacket off.  The guide warned me to keep it close because I would want it back sooner rather than later.  As I thought about it all, it is close to zero degrees and I should not be overheating at this point.  Then I got the chills.  Then I got goosebumps from head to toe.  Then I got hot again and then the chills.  What on Earth was my body doing???  It felt as though my body was confused and couldn’t regulate my temperatures.

I felt my stomach start to gurgle (which will be an entirely separate blog post) and just after the first hour I realized I was not going to be able to do this summit with the current situation I had going on.  I tried and tried and tried to remain calm and keep pressing on.  I tried so hard to the point I got blurred vision and lost all my strength.  Unfortunately for me my camelbak water hose froze and I no longer had easy access to hydration.

Dr Erica Peabody - Don't Die With Your Daypack - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

Me (Dr Erica Peabody) Finishing Kilimanjaro Trek

I fell to the ground.  I needed a break and I needed help…and THIS is exactly what they meant when they said “DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!”  I understand now.  Sometimes that extra 10-15 pounds, although comfortable and distributed evenly on my back, was just going to be too much, and for me, it was.

Now let’s back up a minute and discuss this concept.  I am not one to ask for help from others.  Of course in my office, I cannot do that alone and have hired help.  But life in general is manageable and when I focus my mind and efforts on something, I almost always can be able to come out on top.  I rarely ask for help, I guess maybe I was raised that way.

There was absolutely no way I could have gone on from that point which is common in those circumstances, hence them having one to one support for that part of the trek.

The greatest thing happened when I fell down.  I was in tears and yelled “I NEED HELP!!!!”  The next thing I heard was “Erica we got you covered.  As I lay on the ground, those from the group that hiked past me put out their hands for a high-five and I heard things like “Erica you are my hero.”  

I realized in that moment that I wasn’t a hero because I was so strong and powerful, I was a hero in that person’s eyes because I recognized that I needed help and asked for it.

Sometimes our admitting defeat is where we really grow into the person we are supposed to be.  Admitting defeat and receiving the help we need is a sign of vulnerability and inside vulnerability is where true power lies.

Turns out that not only did I need my assigned porter to carry my pack, the final 50 steps to the summit, I needed him more than ever.  When it got to the very end of the climb, I would take 2 steps and lean over so my chest would lay on the top of my trekking poles and take a few breathes.  Then another 2 steps and lean over my poles.  You guys, there is a reason NOTHING LIVES THAT HIGH!!!  It was so void of oxygen I didn’t know how I was going to do it.  My porter took my left arm and put it up over his shoulders.  He then took my trekking pole and he took the final 50 steps as the left side of my body (picture the 3 legged race during field day in elementary school).

Even as I write this right now, I get goosebumps from head to toe as I re-live the intensity of that scenario (again, sorry Mom).

“DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!!”  I get it now and I am so glad that my subconscious took good note of that when it was said that night.

 

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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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I HASH TAGGED AN OFFICE SIGN

This morning I hash tagged an office sign!!!!!

That cracks me up how far we have come on social media!

I wanted to share few details about the office schedule as i head off on my trek a week from today March 2-12!!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Let us know!!!

It still cracks me up that I hash tagged an office sign!

 

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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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