elisa jones loki

Visualization and Conversation

“You can kid the world, but not your sister.”
― Charlotte Gray

Today was another last-minute-get-in-the-trail-before-bed-or-it’s-not-going-to-happen-today-and-then-you-will-have-missed-a-trail-and-where-will-you-be-then?-you-can’t-make-it-up-tomorrow-the-whole-idea-is-one-per-day. So there.

You have to understand that I haven’t had a full-time job since 2007. And even then it’s not like I had a desk job- I was a jr. high band teacher. It’s a pretty physically demanding kind of gig. So spending lengthy times on the computer have been hard for me over the last 2 years- since I started my MBA coursework.  But even through all of that I found ways to break up my “desk” time. I would set a timer for 20 minutes and when it would go off I’d get up, stretch, take care of Connor, do some pushups….or I would set up my laptop on the counter and study whilst peddling on the bike trainer.

Today my to-do list was (and, I’m sorry to say, still is) extensive. And it’s all computer work. Emails, outlines, project plans, presentations, more emails…. But with looming deadlines my work ethic doesn’t permit me to set a 20 minute break timer. I just work and work and work and only get up when I absolutely have to. Fortunately, with three kids at home it’s more frequent than if it were just me.

I couldn’t even pull away when Dennis got home from work. I force-fed him left-over lasagna (that’s a joke because my lasagna is immensely delicious), and finished up a client request. Then I pulled on my tights, slipped on my shoes, pulled on hat, gloves, Loki and headphones, kissed my family goodbye and headed for the Lunch Loops.

It felt good to be out. I wasn’t sure I would feel that way since #1 my headlamp was ultra-dim and #2 I still don’t think I have thawed from yesterday. But as I was running I decided I would perform a mental exercise and visualize myself running in the bright summer morning. 70-degrees and wearing nothing but shoes, shorty shorts, a sports bra and sunglasses. Feeling my skin warming in the sun. Sand beneath my feet. Flying down the trail. Strong, confident, practically laughing.

I like visualization. It works for me. There is a quote that I love, from one of my favorite books, “The Art of Racing in the Rain”. It reads thusly: “That which you manifest is before you.” My dad (who was my mentor through my music education degree program) says it this way, “What you most want to be, you are.” The concept is the same, we own our own power. I have often used visualization to help me accomplish my goals and to feel confident in potentially uncomfortable situations. By seeing it beforehand, one feels more prepared.

Well, it worked quite well. But then another thought occurred to me: I missed my sister, Wendy. She had sent me a message earlier in the day to call her. I hadn’t. I’d been too busy with work, right? Seeing how I can typically manage a conversation while running, I decided to give her a call. So I did.

Wendy and I talked until I was back home. I ran for 45 minutes while she listened to my life story over the last few weeks- all of my stress, my excitement, my progress, my blogging, my cute kids, my other stresses (I have a whole variety right now). I listened to her talk about Christmas, and winter and her kids and doing exercises at work.

I have often described Wendy as my opposite in many ways. She and I have always been close- physically of not emotionally. But we are physically on opposite ends of the spectrum. She has had light hair (though it has grown darker as mine has grown lighter/grayer), and very light eyes- strikingly blue). We have opposite body shapes. She was always ultra-studious in school, brilliant and talented. I was more social, into extra-curricular activities. She played flute and I French horn. She majored in medical technology, I in music education. She graduated from the University of Utah one week after I graduated from Brigham Young University. But she has been my hero, my closest friend, my confidant, my favorite travelling companion. I love my sister!

I returned home more relaxed, understood, and generally happy. Amazing how less than an hour can create such an alteration. I am grateful.

photo (1)