I’m not just your average Flitter either; my golden crown proclaims me “Queen of the Flitters.” Technically, that makes me a Flitter Queen.
“What’s a Flitter Queen?” you ask.
A Flitter Queen is simply somebody who delights in all of life’s possibilities and flits from one thing to the next. A Flitter Queen gets deeply and passionately involved in an idea or project, then zippity doo, when she feels that magical spell of inspiration and opportunity swirl around her, she gleefully dons her glittery, flittery crown and zooms into action.
The core problem of a Flitter Queen, if you choose to think of it as a problem, is that she finds life so damn interesting that it’s impossible for her to stay anchored to only one project for any length of time.
For years this Flitter Queen fought her instincts and forced herself to stick to the plan, stay focused, not veer from the path, but then one day she had an epiphany: life is way too short to waste precious moments of inspiration.
Why not roll with it and see what happens? she thought to herself. You can always go back to what you were doing, but you may never know what is possible if I don’t follow your heart and your gut.
A Flitter Queen, as you might imagine, is often an all-or-nothing person. If this FQ is working on a project that stirs her imagination, there’s no stopping her. No detail is left unturned while other mundane responsibilities get left in the dust–often literally (dear Lord, don’t come by her house to do the “white glove” test when she’s on a roll).
“Sorry other projects,” the Flitter Queen says breathlessly, “You’ll just have to wait until this new project comes to fruition. I’m too inspired right now NOT to make it happen. The rest of you will get done eventually…maybe just not in the order you had planned or at the speed you had expected, but you will get done. Be patient.”
This flittery little tale brings me to the reason my blog has been quiet for so long.
You might have guessed it: it’s my latest project. It has a stronghold on my spirit —so much so that it has sent me bounding from my computer.
What could be so exhilarating that it makes me set aside work on my book and blog?
Simple: kids and fitness.
I recently launched a running club at my daughter’s elementary school.
“Yeah…and?” I can hear you say with a slight smirk, or “Cool, but how complicated can that be? All you have to do is gather up some kids and run.”
And you would be absolutely right. When I’m passionate about something though, I find it impossible to be blasé, to do the minimum and squeak by, knowing it could be better.
The Roosevelt Running Club is no exception.
For the past month or more, I have been brainstorming, organizing, designing, creating, and pulling together a program that is meant to be both memorable and inspiring for a group of seventeen boys and girls, ages 8-12.
The goal is to connect mind-body-spirit and show these kids what they’re capable of—not only in running, but in school, and life in general. I’m trying to get them fired up about a lifetime of health and fitness and create a fun and supportive environment for them to see what they can do.
I recently read a statistic that 33% of American children are obese. At first I thought it had to be a typo, but soon discovered this staggering statistic to be true. That is 1 in 3 kids, my friends. If that’s not motivation to flit, then I don’t know what is!
Running has also been a big part of my life since I was a kid. I competed in my first road race when I was twelve, and have since logged thousands of miles and oodles of races over the past thirty-odd years–with distances ranging from a mile to a marathon, and a few triathlons thrown in along the way.
Sometimes I’m fast (that’s relative, of course). Sometimes I slow. Most of the time I’m right in the middle. No matter what my pace or place, no matter how many sore muscles or ice bath remedies, I am always grateful to be a runner.
Running has not only given me a sense of accomplishment throughout my life, but it has helped me build strong friendships and it has offered me unlimited challenges and opportunities—especially the opportunity to be inspired by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Running has given me a place in which to base a decade and a half of charity work for cancer research, and it has offered me a place of my own to think and feel and sort through all of life’s complicated and exquisite moments.
It has taken me to remarkable locations like Mt. Everest Base Camp in Tibet where I was lucky enough to experienced the thrill of running on the Roof of the World; and it has taken me to Paris and Rome and other points in between where I logged several unforgettable marathons.
Most importantly though, it has taken me to a place within that can only be described as a place of confidence. That is what I hope to pass on to these young kids.
This Flitter Queen has received more from running than she could possibly ever imagine, and now she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to give back, or pay it forward, and hopefully in the process, make a tiny bit of difference.
So how do I plan to do this and not make running seem like drudgery to these kids? After all, running isn’t always easy.
Two ways: make it FUN, of course, and make it doable.
I’ve set a goal for each athlete to run a total of 13.1 miles (a half marathon) over our eight-week season and I’ve chosen a combination of relays, obstacle courses, and long runs intermixed with high octane music and a “hydration station” filled with drinks, wet sponges and spray bottles for the kids to cool off and play (it’s still hot where we live).
Then there’s the swag—t-shirts, personalized mileage log books, prizes for every three miles run, and healthy snacks. And finally, a race and a raffle at the end of the season with insanely great prizes, including a brand new pair of running shoes donated by our fabulous local running store (thank you, Monica and Joe at Kids Corner)!
Even more exciting is the motivational speakers. We have two Ironman triathletes who have agreed to come help get the kids fired up, along with a record-setting marathon winner, and also the founder of the Santa Barbara Marathon who happens to be a world-class runner himself.
The enthusiasm coming from these athletes bowled me over; not one of them hesitated to volunteer, even though I know many are parents who hold full-time jobs and often have to get up at 5:00 AM to squeeze in their workouts. Thank you Drea, Ernesto, Rusty and Vanessa!
By sharing their stories, our young runners will learn first-hand that big dreams can come true with hard work, passion and determination.
The energy buzzing around this little club right now—from the motivational speakers to the parents and teachers, and most of all, the young runners–could power a small city. Can you feel it?
The best gift though, is the spark I see in these kids’ eyes and the pride they wear with each new mile they log.
Hopefully while I’m coaching the running club, I’ll still be able to flit back here to my blog, the other place I love so much—especially with all of you who always make it interesting and gratifying. If my blog is silent for a while, at least you’ll know what I’m up to; this Flitter Queen is stirring up some fun for some very cool kids, who will only be young once.
I’ve missed you, dear blog peeps, and would love to hear from you!