Not To Tri

Yesterday was the Half Ironman in Kona. Hiking in the woods by the flatirons, dragging the dogs over boulders and through scree fields, I was looking for a place to sit and chant, to let go of the frustration I built up over not being there. Try as I might I couldn’t find the perfect spot so I just sat on a big rock and cried.

It only took a few seconds to get it all out though, ultimately proving that maybe I think I might actually be happy where I am. In Hawaii I spun my wheels alone on an island for a few years. It was lovely, highly recommended, and it’s done. I don’t want to spin any longer. I have to move on with my life.

During the four years I was away, I unexpectedly found my maternal side with my staff at the coffee bar – loving, caring, guiding, wanting each of them to grow and explore… delicately interspersed with being an absolute hard ass with tremendously high expectations of excellence and no tolerance for bullshit or excuses.

This wasn’t something anyone else needed to discover about me. So much so that when my mother visited two weeks ago and I told her about my plan to homeschool my future children, she instantly agreed this was a great idea. It made perfect sense to her. Then she and my sister made relentless fun of how I won’t let my kids call me mom when we’re in the basement “at school” and that I’ll probably incorporate my homeschool as my next business.

The business name grew over the course of the weekend and we eventually settled on The Jennifer Ann Lynch Academy for Excellence and Continued Learning Every Day All Day We Never Stop Learning Ever.

I love it because finally and for the first time in my life, parenting seems like something I could not only do well, but also enjoy. I’m excited about this new path, it makes sense to me too, but I don’t yet see how it’s going to unfold. I’m still in the weeds.

A few days after my mom left I ran the Bolder Boulder 10K. It was a blast. I’ll just say you end the race in a stadium full of thousands of people cheering you on and leave it at that. Afterwards my sister and I walked over to the Boulder Creek Festival. I walked into a tent of intuitives offering free spirit readings and sat down facing two complete strangers. I said nothing more than “Hi, I’m Jennifer. What do I do?”

They answered, “You just sit here and we take you in. Then we give you the information that comes to us.” And so for three or four pleasantly awkward minutes we just sat. I smiled. They smiled. I changed positions. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. They did the same then the man spoke first.

“Bear with me,” he said. “All I can do is tell you what comes to me.” I smiled and nodded as he continued. “I see a place of education. You love to teach and I want to encourage you to follow that path. You’re very good at finding the diamond in the rough, the underdog that no one else would even notice. You bring out the best in them and surprise people in the process.”

I did my best to not seem wide-eyed and in awe. He gave me some fitting compliments then it was the woman’s turn. She scrutinized my beaming face. “You seem to have a very high standard for excellence.” Again I did my best to keep my jaw intact as she went on to explain that I’m also a good gift giver. I stood up and bowed, thanking them as I backed out of the tent, stunned and simultaneously over the moon.

I’m walking this line of understanding what I want to do and getting encouragement from all sides to pursue it, yet I’m still alone. What I want to do is very much not intended to be a solo adventure, so where does that leave me?

When we finished our hike and got back to the car my dog Banjo plopped down in the grass under the shade of a tree and I realized that was it; that was the perfect spot. Right there in the middle of the action with kids running around, traffic, hikers, dogs wrestling on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in a very crowded park – that’s where I want to be now.

If I need a sense of peace, the Om Mani Padme Hum is there on repeat in the back of my head, calming my nerves and brain. But the Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya is what comes out of my mouth when I’m hoping and praying with clarity about what I want to manifest. It’s what I sang last month to the full moon and it’s what I sang under that tree in Chautauqua Park yesterday.

Both times the longing and intention were clear: I’m no longer building to 70.3 miles. Instead I’m building to family, community and home.

It’s an odd thing to do when you’re single and have no prospects in sight, but I have to believe that if I start moving in this new direction, someone will cross my path, turn around and decide to join me.

Here’s to keeping the hope alive.

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