Showing Up 5k thanks to Nacy MacKenzie for the photo

Showing Up Wholeheartedly

Woody Allan, along with others, has been quoted as saying that 80% of success is just showing up. There is a kernel of truth there but I suggest that showing up wholeheartedly may be the defining factor.

Last weekend my 98 year old Mother along with 39 family members participated in the Ottawa Race Weekend. Several ran or walked the ½ marathon but it was the 5K on Saturday that was the hi-light. This event was where my Mother, along with our motley crew, walked the 5k in 1 hr and 34 minutes. This is no mean feat at 98 years old, and having flown 4500 KM to do so.

I was thinking about what my Mother brought to the occasion besides her walking poles. First of all was her commitment and effort that she put into preparing for the walk. More importantly was her heart and grit as she placed one foot in front of the other. She gave it her all, with a smile on her face, determination and a desire to complete the course, along with the rest of us.

When we crossed the finish line together she received her medal along with the cheers of the crowd. Yet, what delighted her was to have earned that medal and done her part to contribute to our team. She went to bed that night happy and satisfied.

I have pondered on what it means to show up wholeheartedly. Dr. Itami, my mentor, encouraged his patients to take on all tasks with that spirit. He would remind them that not much changes if you are just warming the seat. With a willingness to fully participate, stretch ourselves appropriately (in this case, the 5K not the 10k) and generously contribute to whatever it is you are doing, a subtle change of spirit takes place. We rejuvenate and become more creative and alive as it influences everything we do. Best of all we have more fun.

Living Well with Illness and ageing, for that matter, isn’t about running races, rather it is about finding fulfillment in the present by living to the best of our ability. It is about carving out meaning, each in our own way, through active engagement in purposeful activities. Like I said last week, it is singing while there is voice left. Three cheers to my wonderful Mom and to all of you dear readers.

Note: Some people go around flashing photos of their kids and grandkids. I go around, to the amazement and dismay of my mother, flashing photos and telling stories about her. Until next Wednesday, warm regards, Trudy