Rest. It’s one of the most difficult things for athletes to do. Well, at least this athlete. Oh sure, the thought of rest is fantastic. And one day of it can be bliss. Heck, I can even stretch that feeling to two days, particularly when my legs are still screaming from a marathon personal record. But the post-race blues set in and I want to start moving. I want to start planning. I want to get on with my next mission.

It’s not just post-race restlessness that has set in. I’m surrounded by stories of women who are driven to action by their passion. Yesterday, we met Jackie Gross who is taking her love of art, athletics and people and starting her own sportswear company. Then, I interviewed Michelle Moore, a synchronized swimmer from Western New York who is on the U.S. National team preparing for the Pan-American Games. Their goal — earn a spot in the 2012 Olympic field.

Moore is 22 years old and was an All-American at Stanford. But she took a leave of absence from the school in April to take the opportunity to train with the national team full time:

“I’ve wanted to pursue this dream for a long time,” Moore said. “I’m taking the time to live out this dream while I can. School will always be there for me to return to. I wanted to take this opportunity while I had the chance.”

There is something about that sentiment that gets me all fired up. It makes me want to leap out of my seat and live out my own dreams. Of course, I then realize that leaping from a seated position is still somewhat painful. Perhaps that is a good metaphor as I come out of my latest marathon experience with lessons in patience. I used to see patience as a waiting game but I’ve since learned that patience does not equal passivity. Patience is combining trust and confidence to see the entire playing field. It’s about believing in your passion without frenzy in order to fully appreciate and evaluate the opportunities which come your way.

And so I take my passion and my new definitions of patience out west. The recovery show goes on the road today. First stop: Las Vegas. I’m not much of a late-night-casino-party girl but I’ll play a few slots, sit by the pool and take in some sights on my first trip to Nevada. For me, it’s a stop over to the next phase of the trip: Mt. Whitney. The plan is to day hike the trails in and around the Inyo National Forest with my best running buddy Sue and a few others. Of course, a winter storm passing through the area may turn it into a different type of adventure than the one I had envisioned. But if I harness the gifts of patience, I can embrace the opportunities as they come to me. I can live my passions with a full view rather than constricting them one narrow interpretation.

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