Yéego means “with much effort” in the Navajo Language and could easily correlate with the English word, “strong“. So with much effort, Jennifer and I hope to convey words of strength through this post today. As we continue to share the beloved gym stories and flex our smiles. There have been many challenges through our three years towards building a stronger body, mind and spirit.
All matters when done with HEARTwork!Native on the Run
Several months have passed since our last post but who could really stand to count, as the days were quickly dissolved with news feeds of disturbing behavior, illness, stress, frustration and those few moments of joy. In fact, within hours of finishing one of our most memorable adventures to Havasupai was immediately interrupted by the pandemic. As soon as we were able to have cell phone signal on day 3 of our hiking and camping trek our phones filled with notifications of closures to include Havasupai.
Honestly, we didn’t have time to reflect and share all that we wanted to from that trip which is a bit disappointing. However, I would like to at least share one photo of this beautiful and sacred place. The abrupt closures spreading across the nation shifted our adventure very quickly. Within minutes, our schedules were overlapped with work meetings, school cancellations and our motivation to think about what to share for our blog. Our plans for involvement with wellness events became a long list of cancelled events and our hope of continuing promoting health and community diminished, “until further notice…”
As we ventured to this moment of redefining strength the news continued to hit home. The Navajo Nation is now one of the hardest hit by COVID and what do we do? This question echoed in our conversations and prayers as our emotional thoughts were at a constant battle. Added to these daily stressors there are nonstop updates of positive cases happening throughout the world. Every where we turned our attention, the news poured in like sand being filled into our shoes, we were weighted down and began to drag our feet. We were stuck which is now referred to as, “quarantined”.
Yes, there are days and weeks of sluggish work. However, through the process, we witnessed and experienced a stronger community. For us, it began at the end of April, Spring Season, “Movement is Medicine” with Running Medicine. We were invited to be apart of making movement happen “virtually”. And so yes, as COVID influenced the Loving Service of Running Medicine’s celebrations and high fives. Their in-person group gatherings transitioned to virtual zoom meetings and though using the social media platform proved a little intimidating, it was nice to interact with our Running Medicine circle. Even with the ever-changing guidelines and safety measures, Anthony knew what to convey in order keep his RM family in good spirits. “Movement is Medicine,” was a successful reminder that we are all in this together.
Then in May one of the most highlighted events, the Shiprock Marathon coordinated by Navajo Yes became our first series of virtual races due to COVID. So in the spirit of keeping the community on their feet, Navajo Yes organized the Shiprock Virtual Marathon. We registered, laced up our shoes to run 4 weeks back to back starting with the 5k to the 10k then the half and finished the virtual series with a full marathon. Upon completion, Mr. Tom Riggenbach, Race Director of Navajo Parks Race Series delivered a personal letter conveying thoughts of ongoing community support with a bit of humor displayed on the event t-shirts, “ I wasn’t there.”
It was from these community efforts, we were inspired to share a simple yet empowering message to our community. To start June strong, we sent numerous stickers with messages delivered throughout communities everywhere.
First of all, ahéheeʼ (thank you), during these times of uncertainty and waves of stress, we might shy away from adding more things to do. However, please know that your contribution is appreciated. Your daily heartwork is keeping families and communities safe. Your sacrifice shows how one person’s efforts can transpire a community’s strength. So, please continue to be the strong warrior you are!
Warriors pray strong
Warriors train strong
Warriors finish strong– Native on the Run
Though our thoughts ran mindless mazes of do’s and dont’s. We were determined to stay motivated with our gains while finding a way to continue inspiring others to stay healthy. So, we thought it was fitting to continue with the same motive expressed in our previous post, “Strong 365”.
So here we are with a Yéego mindset combined the idea of a new strength routine Yéego PUSH + PULL + RUN. Sharing six weeks of some of our favorite exercises, the hashtags #yeegoskoden and #yeegostoodis was created as a fun, yet motivating theme on social media to uplift each other positively. Skoden is a slang word for “Okay Then!” and Stoodis is a slang word for “Let’s do this!”
Walking into that gym three years, was without a doubt one of the best decisions made in this share journey. The 3,095 days contained moments of setting personal records, making new friends, running 100s of miles, prayers, failures and above all the answered prayers. From these experiences we found a pathway to growth, healing, grieving and faith.
Yéego is the mindset and as the days continue to pass on by, we are reminded of how special it is to share this beautiful story of inspiration to others. We are humbled in each opportunity that has been presented to us. The three years of this journey and moving forward, we are redefining strength in achieving Whole Health.
Ahéheeʼ thank you for your time and support!
Yeego Skoden T-Shirt can be found at the link below:
Yeego Stoodis T-Shirt can be found at the link below: