After over a week I am still trying to come up with the words.
Or perhaps it's that I'm trying to pare things down. Short of signing a deal for a three installment series of books it wouldn't make any sense for me to say everything that I could and would like to say.
There are moments in life that change you. Sometimes they are huge, sometimes they are simple.
Sometimes they fall nicely in the middle of the spectrum, not altering your course in life, but certainly making a difference in who you are. Hood to Coast is one of those for me.
I am shy. I am an introvert. I have a hard time putting myself out there, especially in big groups of people! I am easily intimidated, even when there is no reason to be.
I know, ironic considering I throw my life out here in the online world.
I guess my efforts at trying to change it all started when I made the new year's resolution a few years ago to step out of my comfort zone. Who knew how far reaching those effects would be!
I started rewatching Lost recently (stay with me here for a second), and in the first episode there is a moment when Jack asks Kate to stitch up the slice in his back. They talk about fear and he recounts a story of his first surgery and having something go wrong. He says that the fear was overwhelming, and that he let the fear in, but only for five seconds. After he counted to five, he moved on.
I had a little pep talk with myself as I was waiting to board my flight to Seattle. I prepped myself to get over my fears and doubts and insecurities and embrace what was certain to be incredible experience that lay before me. When I landed in Seattle it was time to put it into action-I was due to meet up with Jolene there at the airport! I counted to five, and off I went.
Despite my nerves, I was so excited to meet up with her and have some time to sit and chat.
Behold the wall of happiness.
Then there was Megan. She is the one I met in SLC back in June. The woman is magical I tell you. She coordinated 36 women coming in from all over the country, plus the awesome guys who drove for all of us crazy women who are Nuun employees also from all over, plus accommodations, entertainment, awesome swag...not to mention she personally transported almost every single person from the airport to the office. Wow. Totally in awe of everything she put together.
And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Casey. A blast. Genuinely great guy, and a decent bowler to boot. Also the magic behind making sure that I went home with enough quackers for the whole family. Explanation, pictures, and video, to come.
After basking in the glow at Nuun for a while, the next round of ladies appeared and we set off to explore Seattle.
I ordered soup from some little cafe and was seriously craving bread, so I figured I'd grab a "mini baguette" to go with it. She handed me a loaf of bread longer than my arm. So I then roamed around Seattle eating a loaf of bread. The ocean and ridiculous amounts of carbs=happy.
After our little tour there and raiding their candy drawer, as well as snagging free tshirts, we headed back to Nuun to meet up with everyone else who had flown in through the afternoon so we could go to The Garage where we would spend the evening stuffing ourselves with food, bowling, and trying to remember the names of 40ish people we had just met.
I have to admit that I wish I could do this night over again. I was so terrified with all of these people there! I feel like I did ok introducing myself to people and not being too incredibly awkward, but there are SO many ladies who were there that I wish I would have made an effort to talk to more than just introductions and small talk. It was a little overwhelming to be completely surrounded by so much greatness. There were women who are elite athletes (like world class elite), women who are mega bloggers, and women who I am just totally in awe of. Which pretty much covers everyone there. It really was a blast to hang out with everyone though, and get a chance to meet the guys who would be chauffeuring us around in big vans for a couple of days. I know I've used the word awesome probably a dozen times already, but really, it was just a giant room full of awesome.
After all of that awesome we headed to the hotel where we met up with our roomies for that night and the next. I was blessed to be set up with Allison, Karen and Devon, three incredibly wonderful ladies. Allison and I have a mutual friend, so it was super fun to get to know her a little more after hearing so many great things about her from said mutual friend.
Day two started out with a run around Green Lake, which was gorgeous.
Aside from the novelty of the whole driving in to the water thing, our tour guide was fun and funny, and the atmosphere with this whole group of people was a riot.
That evening we all gathered back at Nuun for dinner and a little pow-wow,
Megan, Mallory, Kara, Hannah and Sarah, with the fabulous Jeantel at the wheel. We made up the first van of Team Watermelon.
The rest of Team Watermelon was chauffuered by Casey, and consisted of Meghan, Megan, Laura, Lisa, Lindsay and Devon. Such an amazing group of ladies!
By the end of the night we were anxious and excited to get to the running part of this trip!
Which I'll share with you tomorrow. Because this is already way too long.