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Appreciation Day

Appreciation Day
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

I was on my way to a scheduled doctors appointment but had time to spare. So I thought it best to walk to the grocery store and pick up some much needed items.

Funny thing, though, again here I am at the grocery store on Tuesday. And what happens on the first Tuesdays of each month at Safeway? Appreciation Day! It seems to be a common thing for me lately, constantly noticing I am shopping for groceries particularly on this busy day. You see, I usually prepare my schedule so I can avoid traffic; morning and after busyness at the schools, ferry traffic, or afternoon rush hour. But when it comes to grocery shopping, here I am again on the first Tuesday of the month at Safeway.

Busy as it was, it didn't seem to bother me too much. At the Ambleside location there is a lot of elderly people and I really love and appreciate them. They have so much history. And when I say this, I mean it in the most kindest sense. I'm always so intrigued by their story's that they so long to share. I sometimes wonder if I am a beacon of light for them. There is no place that I go where I am not approached by a beautiful face of wisdom and told so many great things.

Today, standing in the line up, I met a wonderful lady. She started talking about the Olympic Games and how great they were for Vancouver, Canada. The Olympics had brought back so many memories for her and I was so happy to listen.

We somehow got on the subject of the cross-country skier that fell into a pit hole. She broke three ribs and punctured a lung and still continued to ski to the finish line. As we talked about it briefly, I mentioned how much physical pain these athletes must endure. She agreed as though she knew and identified exactly with their experiences. Well...of course I had to ask her. She told me she was a competitive speed skater for years in her younger days. I was so intrigued to hear all the details while she was joyfully mesmerized in her story.

Anyways, I had one more burning question. I asked her in so many words what it was that she had to do to stay in the game of being a competitive speed skater. There were many factors.

1. She said she had to give up a lot of things in order to succeed at what she loved. She repeated "I gave up a lot," several times. There were brief moments when she smiled and laughed and there were brief moments when she was shaking her head in sorrow.
2. She had to be strong within herself to endure the yelling of her coaches, the physical pain, the long training days, the crying, the conflict, the adversity, and the loses.
3. It was a must to have determination and discipline.
4. She said in winning 'timing' was everything.
5. She said above all, she had to have the competitive nature. She said if she didn't, she'd have no reason to push herself to win.
6. But even above the competitive nature, she said she could never have done the demands of the sport unless she had support! Nodding and repeating the words, "Yes, support was important." "If I didn't have support, I couldn't have done it."
It truly was a wonderful experience to talk with her. I'm glad I was shopping today on Appreciation Day. How ironic. I loved every moment of it and I'll genuinely cherish our talk and ponder her words.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


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