Wednesday, I broke in my steel-toed, puncture proof, construction site approved boots.
The trip to Guayaquil, Ecuador will involve building 6 houses in 8 days, and I want to be ready. Fit, strong, and wearing boots that don't give me blisters.
So, after work, I decided to walk to my daughter Gaelle's work to meet her. We were leaving directly from there to embark on the 24 hour drive to Columbus, Ohio, where I sit now, well-rested, belly full of all-you-can-eat breakfast, and ready to start this adventure. So I put on my new breathable work socks and my beautiful new boots. Not esthetically beautiful, you understand. But beautiful nonetheless for what they represent. I leaned over and kissed Bob on the forehead and said I'd be back to see him in a few weeks and to be nice to Gillian and Kasandra while I was gone. Then I did one more safety check around the house, put on my backpack and headed out the door.
I usually walk on this beautiful path through the woods from Halifax to Bayers Lake Industrial park. It's picturesque. It's quiet. It's FLAT.
But not today, my dears. No, no, no. I was in training. So I headed out on the route that would take me through Fairview, along the new Washmill Lake Rd route that goes directly to the middle of the Park where Gaelle works. Google said it was the same distance. Perfect.
It probably was the same distance. But it was NOT flat. My ankles and shins were sore as I turned the corner from Romans onto Bayers, about 3 minutes into my journey. Then I felt the blister forming on my right heel and the tops of the beautiful new boots rubbing persistently against the backs of the bottoms of my calves, as I started up Sunnybrae. And I mean up. And it just kept going up. And up.
About 50 minutes into my uphill climb I texted Andrew, "HELP. It just keeps going up!"
But what a feeling, a few minutes later as I reached the summit of Mount Fairview. Betcha didn't know we have a mountain in Halifax, eh? Well we do. I have summitted it.
In steel-toed, puncture-proof, construction-site approved boots.
I have band-aids on each heel, but no other injuries to report. I broke in those boots. They did not break me.
Oh and the loveliest things happened on that walk. I had the time to pray for the people of my city, for the people of Guayaquil, Ecuador, for the leadership conference in Ohio, for my family at home. I got to sing a little as I summitted..."I feel the winds of God today, today my sails I'll lift..." And I met the most awesome kid. He was shooting orange pucks at a net and the first one I knew about went flying in front of me, across the street and down someone's driveway under their car. So when the inquiring face came out from behind the net, I was able to point the way to the stray puck.
"Thanks! There's pucks everywhere around here. You from around here?"
"No, I live in Timberlea. Just out for a walk to break in my new boots. But I used to live around here. Convoy. When I was your age...14?"
"Yeah, 14! Woah. Cool. I better start gettin' some of these in the net!"
"You will. Keep shootin'. Shoot for the NHL, man!"
"I will, thanks! Have a good one!"
"You too, my friend."
Sure I passed other teens during that walk. One of them grunted in response to my Hey, and one of them dropped an F bomb. Not at me. He was just talking to his pals in the vernacular of his peers. But he gave me an almost apologetic look as he said it and I smiled at him. He spit casually on the sidewalk as they passed me.
But that 14 year old left a mark. It was good.
So I'm packed, our itinerary is all laid out, my boots are broken in. I'm in Ohio ready for a weekend of the best leadership training on the planet with my awesome husband, my bright light of a daughter and her inspiring, strong fiance. And I feel the hand of God today on all of it.
Time to go shoot some pucks at the net. I'll miss some, but I'll keep shooting.
"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;
Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~Proverbs 24:3-4