If you’ve been following along the last couple of months, you know I’ve been delivering a series of corporate workshops with a leader in my field who has become a mentor and friend. I’m learning so much in a compressed period, it feels like I’m either getting my Masters, in the first 90 days of a new job, or both—at the same time! Yes, definitely both!
I’ve learned new rituals and tools to ready myself for each workshop, and I’ve put in multiple hours of prep for each and every one. I know it won’t always be like this, but this is where I am right now, and I have released any judgment I once had about what my intuition is telling me I need right now. Because the truth is, it’s working. I’m standing in my power and my confidence, and my audience is moved. They feel inspired to lead as WHO THEY ARE after our sessions and that is why I do the work.
That said, all of the prep and the focus brings a certain level of intensity to my life that can be at odds with the peace I often seek. It’s finally 65 degrees and it feels like I’m still weighed down by my puffy coat, except it’s as heavy as a fur and I don’t even wear fur. As my biggest workshop to date approached for the senior most women in a financial services firm, the pressure hit a fever pitch. I found myself wishing it was over—mentally traveling to a moment in the future where it would be done, so I could remove my coat.
The morning of the event, in my smartest emerald green dress, I stepped onto the subway nearly two hours early. A seemingly random—but not random at all—memory struck me. I was brought back to my 2014 New York City Marathon training, the culmination of which shifted the course of my life. During one of my five weekly training runs, I ran into a friend who’s completed several half and full marathons. I told her my training was going well, but I was so nervous about the race. What if I fall? What if I can’t make it? What if…? What if…? She put her hand on my sweaty shoulder and said, "You’ve already put in all of the hard work! The five months of training is the hard part. The race is your reward!" It was just what I needed to hear back in 2014 and…in that moment as I was on my way to train a room full of powerful women leaders.
The race is your reward.
I’ve done the prep. I know my content. I know who I am. I know why I’m here. Now, I can be present. I can enjoy every moment of my reward. I will take in the pleasure of being exactly who I am, serving just who I want to serve—contributing my part to a problem I see in the world. What else is there, really?
By wishing it was over, and getting through it just to tell myself I did it, I almost missed the best part! Instead, I stood in front of a room full of rapt faces, opened with one of my favorite stories about my girls, and breathed in every single possibility that exploded in the 90 minutes that followed.