Twelve year old, middle school me was the worst member of the track team. I was always the last person on the track and I couldn't finish a mile to save my life. I had no interest in the sport, I was just there so I wouldn't get fined. Read: physical elective requirement. If you’ve ever experienced Florida humidity, you know how ungodly it is to even walk, much less run at 1pm on any given sunny afternoon. Coach had me running outdoors, no shade, all up in that Florida heat, like, why couldn’t we run in an air conditioned gym?
See, the way my body is set up, I get migraines when I am dehydrated, a fun fact I only discovered in the last 10 years. That, combined with the boiling sun was enough to make ya girl want to throw up each time I ran. But, being a newbie, I figured everyone was in as much physical pain as I was. I had zero understanding of how breathing technique and pacing created endurance.
Enter sophomore year of college when I was introduced to a practice that would change my entire life: yoga. I took early morning vinyasa flow classes that taught me how intentional breath can energize and sustain your entire body. Over time, I got better at managing mind over matter and have built endurance and physical discipline. I'm certainly not a pro, but my Undoordinary fam taught me that slowing down is OK, and never stopping is key.
Fast forward to 26 year old me during an early morning run on a beach in Zanzibar - a jog I willingly (more on that in a few) participated in with my Nike and Everyday Ppl family. We’d started our jog with the plan to run back to our hotel via seashore, but once we reached the shore, the tide had risen to an insurmountable height. See that rock far behind me on the left of the photo? About two hours earlier it was all white sand and now it was eight foot deep water. A few of us were willing to swim, but the current was too unpredictable for safe crossing. We took a break, posed for some pics and vid, and began our run (I walked) back to the hotel by foot.
I won’t even front- I almost didn’t go on this run. If our group hadn’t met right outside my hotel room, if I hadn’t heard several people chatting outside my window, if someone hadn't knocked on my door persistently to make sure I was still going, I would not have waken up that damn early on the first day of 2017. I was tired (ahem, New Years tunup the night before) and dehydrated, but I said, nah, I won't miss out on a once in a life opportunity for sleep. If I can party til 5 am, I can run for an hour. Suck it up, you can do this.
I slipped on some shorts, grabbed a water bottle and stepped out to meet the group. We were each handed a new pair of nike sneakers to rock on the run - so kind! I laced up sans socks and proceeded to run in said brand new, non-broken in shoes, in the hot af African sun, through white sand, onto a rocky back road that eventually led to this gorgeous view. Sand started grinding into my achilles and I was very uncomfortable, but I wasn’t bout to turn back, nah, I was in it to stay. My pep talk was just keep going, its definitely hot but you got this, also this is beautiful af, you got this, oh there’s another person, keep your pace, just keep going, breathe, take a sip of water, oh those flowers are nice, breathe… and so on.
About 35 minutes into the run, we came upon a Maasai market. It was still early and vendors hadn’t yet opened up their booths, so each stall was covered in a pimento red tarp that perfectly matched the trees above, talk about beauty in the ordinary! Being the color feign I am, I had to stop and capture the moment. I was panting, tired and sweaty, but 12 year old me would be so proud of 26 year old me for saying yes to challenge and sticking with it.
2017 was a year of smashing self limitations, beating the odds, stepping into the dream and facing all the work that comes with it. I dared to believe I'd make it to Tanzania and Beyond, and it came to fruition with the help of many people and the will to move forward. After several months living and working on the new Purposerosa jewelry collection in Bali and shooting video and photo in Tanzania in 2017, I returned to the states with a need for a platform to share all the challenges, lessons, triumphs, video, photo, writing and inspiration I've garnered.
For years, I let doubts like “there are so many blogs out there, whose gunna wanna read mine?” and "blogging is such a time commitment, can I really dedicate myself to this?" stop me from building an online community outside of my immediate friends and family. But, there comes a point when knocking on everyone else's door for platform/approval/permission/hope will no longer do. I am carrying the boundlessness I fought hard for in 2017 into 2018 and rather than keep stories on my hard drive for no one to see, I created this new website and blog to share a bit of myself with you.
As a trained artist and detail obsessed creator, I'm slowly learning that presenting work online doesn't always have to be a big production, that small events string together to form a larger story. This blog will be an accumulation of small, ordinary things. Tiny snippets of travel stories, doses of my photographs and videos, inspiration and a some #bts of the makings of Purposerosa. These stories will be personal, they will be real, and my goal above all is to be consistent and to pace myself for longevity.
While the goal to start on the right foot is still very much alive, running is quite the opposite of how I've started my 2018. Its been a quiet start to the year with a need for pause, writing, dreaming, affirmation, rest and planning. The beauty of jogging lies in its function as a self-propelled challenge. It pushes you to your limits and then asks for more. It proves you can do it and elicits a primal understanding that, yes, you indeed are enough. Cheers to telling yourself you are enough. Cheers to setting a rhythm of boundlessness and pacing yourself to meet the challenge. Cheers to having people around you that urge you forward. Cheers to recognizing how far I’ve come. Most days its easy to drown in how much work there is yet to do, but not today. Today I just appreciate the fact that I am alive with the privilege, mind and discipline to build my dreams and do my best to get through the day- I'm leaving the rest to God. Welcome to this space. Feel free to visit often, leave a comment, get inspired and share with your friends.