Tuesday, April 28, 2015

And now Adrianne Haslet-Davis dancing the foxtrot with her partner Shane ....

She vowed that she would dance again despite losing her leg in the Boston Marathon bombings on 4/15/13. As the convicted Boston Marathon bomber sits in the Federal Courthouse having to wear shackles and chains when he is transported from prison to court, the beautiful and graceful, loving and kind Adrianne Haslet-Davis danced across the finish line on Boylston Street.

Adrianne was interviewed for an article in today's Boston Herald:

“The finish line, to me, is first remembering the lives lost, feeling the struggle of the survivor community and the beginning of something,” Haslet-Davis said. “It means another start...”

Haslet-Davis now is focusing on Boylston Street and tomorrow’s commercial for Oberto Beef Jerky. The company has made her part of its “Heroes of Summer” 
video campaign.

The director, Court Crandall, said Haslet-Davis is being paid a “nominal fee” for showing off her dancing skills near the very spot that changed her life forever.

She’ll be part of an ad that will feature others who have beaten the odds. Her dance partner will be Shane Crellin.

“The finish line will never be the same. It will still stand for grit and glory for runners, but it means so much more to so many people,” she said of why she’s dancing there. “It means another start. To accomplish something I thought was only a dream.”

Haslet-Davis said she senses the city “wants to heal.” Dancing is her way toward taking that step.


How remarkable that just two weeks ago, Nancy Taylor used the metaphor of dancing at One Boston Day: A Service of Resilience to talk about our healing journey as the Boston Strong Community.

A small crowd gathered in the early morning hours. It was cold and windy but we gathered together basking in the glow and warmth of what it means to be Boston Strong. I brought Boston Strong Ducks with me to share the message of kindness and love, and paying it forward, and I made new friends along the way:


John Campbell, pictured above with Trish Chandler of Marathon Sports Boston run club turned to me as we first gathered and said, "Another day for healing."

Adrianne walked down Boylston Street and greeted each and every one of the people waiting in the crowd to take part in this incredible moment. Her love, her gratitude and kindness; her gentleness yet her incredible strength were palpable.

I don't know how she danced in her sleeveless gown given that we were shivering with coats, gloves and hats on but she floated across the finish line with grace:




There wasn't a dry eye on Boylston Street!

After the first take for the commercial, Adrianne spent some time with those of us who came out to support her.

I asked her if she had a Boston Strong Duck. She said she had one but would love to take the one that I had with me. She posed with everyone who was there, even the construction workers, for photo ops.



"I'm a hugger," she said to each person she greeted and said, "I love you."

I was able to share with her my journey to the Boston Marathon finish line and how she has inspired me to set a goal for another marathon next year. She hugged me with such warmth and love and said, "Congratulations on all you have done and good luck for your next one."

So as the accused bomber awaits his fate, we hugged, we laughed, we cried, we came together as we do in this beautiful, brilliant, resilient City of ours; Adrianne danced and we cheered. We celebrated resilience and redemption. We made new friends and the fiber and strength of the tapestry of our Boston Strong community continues to grow. Therein lies the true meaning of justice and freedom.

I am deeply honored, blessed and grateful that I could be a part of this incredible morning where Adrianne Haslet-Davis returning to the finish line of the Boston Marathon danced the foxtrot with her partner Shane.

Be blessed. Journey well. To all good things....

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.










Monday, April 27, 2015

Freedom is a State of Mind



Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we forget that the door to the Universe, the portal of possibility as I like to call it is wide open. We forget that regardless of our physical circumstances we can experience freedom in our mind, heart and soul.

Victor Frankl speaks to this in Man's Search for Meaning.


At the age of 5, I contracted paralytic polio. I was one of the lucky ones not needing to be in the hospital and not needing an iron lung. I was initially paralyzed from the neck down but soon regained a little movement on my right side. My left side remained paralyzed for several months but with the help of a leg brace and an amazing physiatrist and physical therapist, I was able to walk again.

After coming out of my leg brace, my dad's alcoholism manifested in rape and rage; my mother was addicted to prescription pain meds and my grandmother was just flat out nuts and subjected me to all sorts of torture rituals when we would spend weekends with her in the Bronx.

I managed to become valedictorian of my high school class and had a stellar social work career at the VA until everything caught up with me and my body shut down; my Spirit cried out for healing in 2006 in the guise of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease.

What got me through my childhood and adolescence was my imagination. I always held onto hope and I always imagined being taken care of (often calling upon the likes of the TV doctors at the time). I was blessed to have earth angels come into my life who provided me with enough unconditional love and support to make it through.

When my life came to a screeching halt in December of 2006, I went back into a leg brace and used a wheelchair at times for mobility. I once again turned inward and I let my heart and soul speak. I started writing poetry - well poetry started flowing out of me is more to the point as though my body shutting down turned on a spigot in my heart and soul. My imagination took over and transcended all that was happening in my body as I wrote the poem, "Running the Race."

It was a foreshadowing of my 2009 Boston Marathon run. Now I couldn't just sit back and imagine that I would run the Boston Marathon, I had to train and work hard to be able to get to the starting line in Hopkinton since I'd never run a day in my life. But had I not harnessed the power of visualization through meditation and writing poetry and feeling myself cross that finish line with every training run, I'm not so sure I would have been able to get to the finish line on 4/20/2009.

Because of all that my physical body and heart/mind/Spirit has experienced, it's easy for me to default to feeling like a prisoner in my body and in my life, not walking away from situations that are draining my energy; and just having enough energy to survive. Like that bird in the cage, I can forget that the door is wide open for me to fly free.

That is transforming now. I've decided to kick fear to the curb and move forward in my training and in my life with renewed vigor and determination. I am so blessed to partner with Dr. Ryan of Elevate Health Cambridge who believes in endless possibilities; who know the body's infinite capacity to heal and who are willing to work with me, to laugh with me, to cry with me and join me on my latest quest to reignite the endurance runner within me.

When I push myself in my strength training workouts I can feel the marathoner within me fire up. While right now I am race walking, I can imagine myself running - actually running - with ease and grace and I know that one day it will all come together and happen. I can see it and feel it happening in my body; being around the running community and watching races ignites the neuromuscular pathways for healing in my own body.

And so with a chiropractic physician, a muscular therapist, my husband by my side stride by stride, a wonderful community of running family, my own fierce determination which combines meditation, visualization and a training plan I:

Pave the Path of Freedom

Frivolous frolicking filly be not deceived by her devil may care
eye of the tiger a fiery soul exceeding all limits she’ll dare.
She pounds pavement paving her way no longer driven by fright
portal to possibility all she’s ever dreamed of now within sight.
Thundrous hooves determined and strong unbecoming all that she once knew
leave her old self in the dust shedding past of all she lived through.
Pave the way to embrace herself as she was always meant to be
spirit joyful rejoicing being herself unbridled she’s free.
Competing with no one but herself she instinctively quickens her pace
no longer limping swift of foot overflowing with ease and grace.
Feeling Spirit expanding with breath nostrils flare and peace fills her soul
filled with goodness and kindness undefeated remarkably whole.


"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy" - Rumi



Be blessed. Journey well. To all good things....

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.









Sunday, April 26, 2015

Running Family and The James Joyce Ramble



We are so blessed to be a part of the running community. It's an amazing sport where whether you are an elite runner or a back of the pack runner like myself, we inspire each other to be the very best we can be. We share triumphs and tribulations. We talk about and share the frustration of injuries and tips to recover from injuries. We love to regale each other with our war stories and our stories of how running has transformed our lives.

Reno Stirrat is known as the Master of Boston. He’s one of 31 people who have logged a sub-3:00 marathon for five decades in a row. We belong to L Street Running Club and connected on Facebook, meeting at the Boston Marathon Expo a few years ago when he was at the Outside Interactive Booth. He posts daily inspirational quotes about running and life on Facebook and we became close cyberspace friends. He moved to New Jersey to care for his elderly mother but when I found out that he and his wife Susan would be coming to Boston for the James Joyce Ramble this weekend, I signed Tom up for the race.

We had an amazing dinner at the Yard House in Dedham last night.



Two and a half hours seemed to fly by. There was never a gap in the flow of conversation and there was such comfort and ease along with delicious food. Reno and Susan are both coming back from injuries. They are using a combination of acupuncture, chiropractic care, PT and cross training exercises to heal and recover from their injuries. Tom is emerging from 3 1/2 years of incredible job stress so that he now has the time to train and enjoy running again. I have been helping him cross train using the exercises that Dr. Ryan of Elevate Health Cambridge has recommended to help me with recovery from my knee injury and to complement my running. As we said good night, we all felt the energy and inspiration generated by our get together that carried us into Sunday.

When we arrived at the Endicott Estate, it was like walking onto a movie set:


We bumped into one of our fellow L Streeter's, Mary Scherr:


and were able to find Reno and Susan:




The Masters Championship runners went off 3 minutes ahead of the regular field and I was able to capture these two photos of Susan before and during the start of the race:


I took a video of the field taking off:


And then moved to the finish line to see Reno run a sub 6 minute mile taking 2nd in his AG by 4 seconds:


In a stunning upset, Susan took 3rd place in her AG. Here is Team Stirrat with their medals:


And then there's Tom's PR by almost 8 minutes from his last 10K, the BAA 10K in October and I have a story to share:


Recently, Tom and I have been talking about him taking me on a run with him. In today's race, he told me that I was with him - pure Spirit - light, easy and free and he visualized me running side by side with him keeping pace at an 8:48 minute/mile pace. I could feel it. Being with Reno and Susan Saturday evening, reminiscing about when I trained for Boston and sharing my goal to run another marathon, being around the energy of the race and feeling myself running with Tom out on the course is fueling my healing and transformation. During a meditation, I had this awareness. "It's so simple. All I have to do is remember. Remember how I felt in my body before paralytic polio and violence took its toll." And with remembering how I felt combined with incredibly hard work of training and cross training, we will create the reality of us running together - running together - with ease and a steady pace.

That's what happens when you have the unconditional love and support of running family who believe that anything is possible - regardless of age or circumstances.



Be blessed. Journey well. To all good things....



My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.






Friday, April 24, 2015

Foundations

Through the crack in the sidewalk, the foundation of the street, a plant grows finding its way to the light:



And through the earth shattering, life changing events of 4/15/13, these amazing survivors are drawn to the light now helping others through their Foundations.

The Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recovery
is a charitable organization under the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts. It is a registered 501(c)(3).



Our mission is to provide support to promote health and well-being for families and individuals affected by traumatic events.

Beneficiaries to date have included a young woman who was critically injured in a car accident, paralyzed from the neck down, and a gentleman who was hit as he exited his vehicle, who has been hospitalized for over two months due to his serious injuries.

Do you know someone who could use our help? Please let us know! Click on the “Contact” tab and tell us.


On April 11, their 2.62 mile run/walk raised over $17,000. The Brittany Fund is gearing up for their next round of events now that the marathon is over. You can still donate to Hafsa Lewis Labreche who ran for The Brittany Fund on April 20, 2015 transforming the memories that had been seared into her mind and heart from 4/15/13.

Out of the pain of their son's death in Iraq followed by the suicide of their other son and in the wake of 4/15/13, Carlos and Melida Arredondo are growing the beautiful Arredondo Family Foundation whose mission is to "provide a helping hand to those experiencing a tragedy and to provide education on matters relating to military, veterans, military families and the issue of suicide."

In addition to support, education and advocacy, the Foundation will allow for the expansion of the already existing Scholarships honoring Alex and Brian to include scholarships for military siblings attending UMass Boston.



You can donate to their team of five fabulous runners who ran through the wind and the rain for 26.2 miles to benefit the Arredondo Family Foundation.

On Sunday June 14th at 10:00 am, Boston Strong Survivor, Michele Boynton is collaborating with local veterans groups to host the first Arredondo Family Foundation Fundraiser in Gardner, Mass at the Gardner Fish and Gun Club. Join Michele, Carlos, Mel and the veteran and survivor community for a motorcycle ride and cookout. Details are on this Facebook Event Page. Motorcycles are $20 and riders are $10. Bike and rider eat free. You can attend for free and enjoy the LIVE music and food will be available for purchase. There is a cash raffle and a day that's sure to be filled with inspiration, fun and good will.

Live.Your.Life. is the motto for the Heather Abbott Foundation. The Heather Abbott Foundation helps provide customized prostheses to those who have suffered limb loss through traumatic injury, with a special focus on women and young girls.

Your donation is used to provide financial support to individuals who cannot otherwise afford the prosthetic limb that can help them return to the life they love. Please help us provide amputees with the financial resources they need to ease their way into their new normal.



At last Sunday's launch, Heather noted that there would be an event in May for the ladies so stay tuned ....

Although lives and the very foundation of trust and safety and a sacred tradition of running on the 3rd Monday in April that we had always experienced at the Boston Marathon were shattered on 4/15/13, out of the cracks, a beautiful community that is filled with Boston Strong survivors blossoms and continues to grow. These three survivors are now providing the foundation on which others can heal and move forward in their lives in the wake of trauma.

No matter what happens in our lives, we can always find a way to journey well. Be blessed. To all good things...

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Creating better memories" - Part 2

There are so many stories of survivors' resilience and creating better memories than those we all have from 4/15/13. While many wounds are reopened and raw with the penalty phase of the trial happening in Boston, those wounds will heal and all that will remain are these better memories as we continue to move forward in our lives; as our love, strength and resolve as a Boston Strong survivor family continue to grow.

Hafsa Lewis Labreche
had some training in emergency medicine which she was able to use to help save the life of Brittany Loring on 4/15/13. Together they forged a friendship and a Foundation to help trauma survivors. Her thoughts after running the 2015 Boston Marathon:
I am so OVERWHELMED with love and support it is seeping through my pores. I never in a MILLION years thought I would (or could) run a Marathon... let alone, arguably, the greatest Marathon in the world. Before this journey I had never run more than 8 miles…what I have learned in these last few months is that you are capable of FAR more than you could possibly imagine. If you TELL yourself you can do something…you absolutely CAN. Face your fears head on or as my dear friend Ben Foley says “Embrace the Suck". When I took that left on Boylston St yesterday, I took back an image of the Finish Line that has been seared in my memory for the last two years, whats more, I ran for a cause that has become a big part of me in so many ways. Saying "thank you” doesn’t quite seem like enough, to all of those who supported me, listened, gave advice and pushed me until I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore…you have all unequivocally changed me as person. I am honored to be the first Boston Marathon Runner for the The Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recovery and I know I will certainly not be the last! Boston Marathon 2016?....who's with me?!



She was planning to run the full marathon but her doctors advised her it was too soon after her November amputation. Rebekah Gregory DiMartino was at Ground Zero on 4/15/13. In November she made the decision to amputate her leg after numerous surgeries and being confined to a wheelchair. Her reflections on running the last 3.2 miles of the Boston Marathon on Monday and crossing the finish line:
I am beyond humbled at the support I have gotten around the world by crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon yesterday. I do not feel deserving of so much recognition though, especially when there were thousands of amazing people who worked so hard and ran the entire thing. I'm totally in awe of the sheer power that they exuded.

And while that is what I originally set out to do, I was only able to go in at the 23 mile mark per doctors orders earlier in the week. Because even with as hard as I've worked and as much as I have trained, my leg still is not healed enough to endure the beating of the full marathon since I only had my amputation in November. So I had to make the tough decision to compromise and only try to run 3.2 miles. And believe me..it was tough because I was totally bummed about it. So we came up with 3 miles because each one symbolizes a month of learning to walk on my prosthetic, Felicia (who came into my life January 7th.)

And yesterday EVERYTHING was working against me. The rain alone, caused other injuries I have to flare up, and my leg was so swollen and in excruciating pain as a result. About half way through I hit a small pothole with my running blade. It wasn't enough to make me fall, but it was enough to make my knee twist pretty hard and be escorted in a cop car up the road another 1/2 mile. I stopped for adjustments. (To add more socks as my leg shrunk for all my fellow amputees out there.) And overall, I honestly have just had way more successful runs. But that's life right?

And when I put everything into perspective, for me it wasn't about how many miles I could run. It was that I COULD run. 6 months ago, I couldn't even walk. And while I worked as hard as I could to prepare for the entire thing, the most important mile to me was Boylston Street. That moment when I got to run past the place where I nearly lost everything, and not stop until I made it across the finish line.

That is the single reason why I was so overcome with emotion when I fell down to my knees at the end. Because to me, by doing that, I was reclaiming my life. I was showing myself that I am not destroyed. And even though I am not up to 26.2 miles quite yet, what I am....is stronger. And there won't be a day that goes by that I don't try to show that because no matter what...I am also very BLESSED. And yesterday was only the beginning....of many many more miles.

Thanks to each of you for your overwhelming support, and for being a part of my journey.


"This is the day I take my life back."
is the caption for this photo:


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7


One would think that after all that was lost near the finish line on 4/15/13, that the Richard Family would stay as far away from the Boston Marathon as possible and yet there they were on Monday, creating better memories cheering on all 73 members of the Team MR8 Foundation. Sean Astin eloquently shares his observations:

Boston Marathon 2015. Finish Line.
Denise and Jane Richard are cheering and smiling as each of the 73 members of their Team MR8 come across.

I did what I said and tried to honor young Martin Richard (8yrs old) as I passed the site of the tragedy, by reflecting on everything that happened that day and since. After 4hrs and 49 minutes of cold and rainy 26.2 mile crowd fueled, leg demolishing awesomeness, I had prepared myself to end the run on a note of reverence.

Then there they were, Jane (9yrs old), standing, jumping up and down, with her prosthetic leg, courtesy of that awful day and Martin's mom, Denise with a huge smile of, can you believe it, gratitude of all things. A smile back and a kiss on the hand later, I turned and lost it.

News media and others around, so I bottled it, but something wonderful happens inside when the electricity of greatness visits you. This family, no fear, not a shred of perceptible anxiety, even if they privately had some. They were enjoying themselves. What a lesson. What an incredible demonstration, not just of resilience and faith and goodness, but of grace and wisdom. It's people like this that are the best hope for advancing our too often beleaguered civilization. This is what progress looks like.

My answer was to race back to the starting line in Hopkinton and alone, in the dark and comically stormy night, cycled my way back across the 26.2 mile Marathon route. Even though they had a 2.5 hour head start, I caught race director, Dave McGillivray and his intrepid amphibious running mates and their motor cade, 800 yards from the finish line.

Unreal.

That duathlon was the official kickoff to my Ironman Kona training. October 10th on the big Island of Hawaii, I'm gonna test myself again.

But for now, I'll simply saturate in yesterdays overwhelming and gratifying experience.

Our Team MR8 raised over $780,000. My friends, family, colleagues, supporters, fans and all of you here on Facebook, Sponsored my run and raised $22,000. There were, I believe 450 of you all, and I estimate that the average donation was between $25 and $50, with a few people putting in $1k or more that jacked the number up a little higher.

You all gave the Richard Family and the foundation they established in their late son's honor a financial boost. This money equals just a little more power to make some decisions to help a bunch of people. Good work everyone! I thank you with every fiber of my being.

As for all of you who made personal #run3rd dedications for your loved ones and causes close to you, I read them all and I carried them all in my heart as I ran. As predicted, Team MR8 and your trust bolstered my run so so much. So, thank you for those.

You can still donate to the Team so if you feel like it, here's the link:

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/SeanAstin/bostonmarathon2015


Much Love, Respect & Gratitude Always,

Yours,
Sean




Be blessed and journey well. Here's to all good things!

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.