I frequently reference running in my podcasts because I know how it directly benefits my wellness. I always say, “There are two Sundaes — the relaxed, happy version that got in her daily run, and her cranky, tightly wound doppelganger who didn’t.” Which one do you want to live with you? Exactly.
Ask any runner, and there’s a story behind how they got started; it’s usually emotionally-charged and never random. Because for so many of us, running is therapy.
This week, it’s my honor to host Nicole Whiting. She’s a “life pacer” who turned to running during a time of tremendous hardship. Instead of retreating and playing the victim, Nicole picked something extraordinary to help her process and move the difficulties through her body.
Now an ultra-runner and life coach, Nicole meets women “where they are” and gets them across the finish line. She teaches how to stop making life a series of transactions and start building one based on experiences that define you and remind you of who you are at your core.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- How running is a metaphor for life
- When putting yourself first inconveniences someone else
- Responding to permanent shifts from life’s defining moments
- Becoming emotionally designed to conquer struggle
- The recharging power of encouragement
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- It takes the support of a team to make extraordinary acts happen. Are you ready to meet your new team? Become part of Expat Coaching Coalition right here. The doors are closing soon, so don’t wait another second to join us.
- Expat Coach Coalition
- Nicole’s Website – www.nicolekwhiting.com
- Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
We’re delighted by our recent nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, it is 7 am in New York, 1 am in Johannesburg and 6 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I’m a solution oriented coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations and I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition
I was on a business retreat and had the pleasure of having Nicole Whiting next to me as we were on our morning run. We went through the forest which is gorgeous and at the very end of our run there was a huge hill and I’m powering up, I mean Nicole is an ultramarathonist, she just ran 100 miles and I’m doing my best to run by her side and she says to me, “Hey Sundae, would you be interested in knowing how to run up hills?” And at this point I’m at the end of my run next to an ultramarathonist up a hill, of course I want to know. And she said, “When you run up hills you take tiny steps, but you keep the same pace.”
And when she said that the entire scene became a metaphor of how many times I’ve run up hills with huge leaps and all of my force like, “Come on, let’s do this.” But the irony is that I was expending more energy than I needed to and it would actually impact how far and how long I could go.
Running and how you do it is often like a metaphor for how you do life. And there’s no one better that knows this then Nicole who’s joined us today. I originally invited Nicole to come and talk about bucket list items, there are many of you who are listening who have a marathon on your bucket list, and she is absolutely the right person to help you understand how you can do it.
But let me tell you more about Nicole, Nicole is a mom of two, an entrepreneur and what they call a life pacer. By being by your side as she works with women with a deep desire to find and embrace their whole self. She uses running as a method, a holistic approach to your life.
And she’s amazing, you’re going to discover more as we go into our in-depth interview.
So my invitation to you is to look at this episode from two perspectives. One as Expats we want to meet our bucket list whether it’s in your country, the things you want to do while we’re there. Or we have big goals for ourselves, things we want to get done. And running a marathon or half-marathon or an ultramarathon might be on that bucket list. But don’t miss what is there for you that goes way beyond the running.
Speaking of bucket lists, if running a successful coaching business that serves expats is on your bucket list, don’t miss out on the Expat Coach Coalition, I’ll leave it in the show notes, but it is designed specifically for professionals who are working in the expat space and who want to up level how they serve expats and how they run their business.
So join me and Nicole in this intimate conversation about bucket lists limits and tapping in before tapping out.
Sundae: So you’ve just heard the impressive bio of Nicole, and Nicole I just want to say thank you so much for getting up at 4:30 in the morning to be here today on Expat Happy Hour.
Nicole: Thank you so much for having me, it was a pleasure to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get to talk to you and your audience.
Sundae: I don’t know if I have ever said that out loud, “It’s a pleasure to get up at 4:30 in the morning.” But you’re here, when people know more about you they probably will realize that it’s not uncommon for you to get up at 4:30 in the morning, but we’re going to get to that in a second.
Listen, Nicole, I originally invited you on Expat Happy Hour to talk about bucket lists. And in the intro, I’ve kind of given some context of why those are important. But there’s something really special that you do that ties into bucket lists that my audience has, but it goes so much further than that.
So Nicole let’s start with this idea of a bucket list with running and the marathon. So here’s the thing, I know that a lot of my listeners set a bucket list of running a marathon and they do it in amazing cities around the world, and I know that you help people do that. So why is this important? Why is this a thing?
Nicole: Why is this a thing? You know, sometimes I wonder that myself, you it seems that the marathon is something that so many people like dream about doing, because it seems at one point in their life like this like this huge amazing, “Like how do you even run 26.2 miles?” It seems like this goal that is a little bit outside of their comfort zone, a little bit outside of their reach and it’s something that enough people do that other women and men believe it’s something that they can achieve as well, so it becomes this goal that is a little bit risky, a little bit scary, a little bit uncomfortable, but they know that they can do it.
Sundae: Isn’t it about something a lot more?
Nicole: Yeah, I mean I believe like with any running distance that the marathon will change you, any running distance that will change you that stretches your capacity, that stretches your emotional, mental, physical capacity will change you. I see so many people go into running goals that have really often had something happened to them in their life and they’re like, “Okay, I’m going to get through this.” So many times I’ve heard people “Well, aren’t you running from something when you’re doing this?”
I’m an ultra runner, so I typically run longer than a marathon. I’ve even had one woman really close to me, she’s like, “What are you running from?” And I’m like, “Oh, I’m not running from anything, I’m running through the middle of my hardship, my joy’s my grievances, all of these things that have happened to me in my life.” Running becomes this therapy and this processing system for all of it.
So I think the marathon and people who really strive to do these running distances, it becomes this thing that changes who they are and takes them to the next place in their life.
Sundae: You know what, you talked about a marathon and then you talk about the ultras. I don’t even know what that means, a hundred miles?
Nicole: An ultramarathon is anything over the standard 26.2 miles, so they have 50 k’s, they have 50 milers, 100 k’s, a hundred milers, they have up to 200 miles, 300 miles.
Sundae: I just met someone on your Facebook feed complete 250 miles, that I want to come back to, let’s not talk about that yet because that’s a that’s very connected.
First of all, I love that you’re talking about running through. This is a way for you to, I run to process my emotions so I don’t run long distances. I’ll just run for half an hour every day, but it’s to help me process whatever is going on, whether it’s my stress or the emotions for my clients that I’ve kind of absorbed, I run to move it through my body. But what I’ve seen, I know I have good friends who are doing couch to 5K, and it’s like I am becoming the person who runs and it’s irrelevant that it’s 5K or 25k or a hundred miles, I am becoming this person.
Nicole: Right, I mean I’m also a running coach outside of being a life coach, but I’d like to go out and extend this to anybody that doesn’t feel like they’re actually a runner, because I hear this so many times like, “Oh, I’m not really a runner.” If you put your shoes on and you run down the block you are a runner, you’re not becoming, you are, you’re a runner. And I think that’s one thing that so many people can’t identify as because they’re like, “Oh well, I don’t do this or I don’t do that.” And I’m like, “Oh no, did you put your shoes on today? Great! You’re a runner, so give yourself a little bit more credit.”
Sundae: I think you are something unique because you are a life coach and you’re a runner and you call yourself a life pacer, can you just tell me what you mean by that.
Nicole: So a pacer is, so I’m going to dive back into ultra running again, a pacer is someone at extended over 50 miles if you’re doing a hundred mile race or at some point later in the race. And what they do is they come alongside you, they have fresh legs, they help remind you to eat, they help basically attend to you every way possible to make sure that you get to the finish line. A lot of times and in the races that I do you run through the night, so you run through the day and then through the night and then part of the next day. So at nighttime, I mean you haven’t slept for quite some time, you’ve been running for fifteen plus hours and they come in to help guide you. They are this person that comes alongside you to guide you, to be with you, to remind you of the basic things that you need food, keep moving, watching where you are, watching your feet.
So that’s what a pacer is, so that’s why I call myself my your life pacer because I use running as a vehicle for life coaching. And that’s what I do, I come alongside people in their journeys and I say, “Okay, here’s where we’re at, I’m going to meet you exactly where you’re at in this very moment and I’m going to help you get to the finish line, whatever that metaphorical finish line in your life is.
Sundae: I love that you that you mention that, because I think a lot of times whenever someone does something special or beyond the ordinary we look at that individual, “Wow, they’re amazing, they did that all on their own.” And we forget that usually when you see extraordinary acts that is is from a team of support, you can only achieve the extraordinary, I believe, when you are supported by others.
Nicole: Let me give you a little story, I remember coming away from my very first hundred mile race and there are aid stations, so there’s what they’re called aid stations and they are every five to nine miles. There is food and electrolytes and water and all of the things. A group of people at these aid stations that are supporting you. And I remember walking away from the first one and thinking “Oh my gosh, I just witnessed something that we don’t ever witness in real life and these people at these aid station had given up, two days of their lives to sit out there in the cold, in the middle of the night, in the heat in the middle of the day and their only goal was to make sure that a person that came in to the aid station, got what they needed and left and that they didn’t stop, that they didn’t quit on themselves, that they didn’t give in to whatever their mental state was.
And I thought you know if the world was a little bit more like that, we had strangers supporting people and wanting them to complete and finish their goals just as much as the person in the middle of it, I thought what a different world we would live in. And it was really really powerful, especially when doing something as big as running a hundred mile race, to have people and strangers come alongside you that really want the best for you was pretty amazing.
Sundae: And that leads me to this topic of limits, I think that those people that are there probably helped you go beyond your limits when you were were feeling that.
But before we do that, I mean you have run a hundred miles, it’s not the first time you’ve done it, you just did it, I know you’ve done it before. I need to just stop for a second and find out, how did you get here, how did you become a person who runs ultra marathons.
Nicole: I know I started running when I was in high school, I had an older brother and he was a wrestler and my dad had been a wrestler his whole life. My dad was the wrestling coach, so they had this thing to bond over and I really started running because my whole life I watched my dad run marathons and so I was like, “I bet you I could do that.” And I could bond with my dad that way. Not that me and my dad didn’t bond but it was like this extra layer of being able to bond with my father. And so that was really why I started running in the very beginning and my dad and I ran my first marathon together in 2003. And I really just decided that that’s part of what I wanted to be in my life, was I wanted to be a runner.
And so fast forward college, I got married I had kids and I really kind of stopped running as much. And so after I had my first son I was like, “Okay, I’m getting back in the game.” And I started running half marathons and it built up. And actually if I’m really honest the reason I really got into ultrarunning is we adopted our daughter through the foster system and I don’t know if anybody has been involved with the foster system that’s listening, but it can be a pretty hairy road. And we had brought our daughter in and she had some pretty difficult emotions and behaviors and navigating all of that I really found myself in a place where I was in a beautiful rock bottom if I should say. And with some of her behaviors and some of her issues I ended up finding a developmental preschool that was two hours away from where I lived. And so three days a week I would drive her for two hours up to this school where she could go for an eight-hour day and then we would drive home.
And during this time that was in a community that had an Ironman, and I thought “I have all this time while I’m up here.” That had always been kind of a pipe dream of mine and I actually had a friend who had done one, he’d actually done two. And I was like “Man if he can do it, I can do it.” And so I decided I was like, “I’m going to train for this Iron Man.” And what I found was that training for that Iron Man and going for that, like if we’re talking about bucket list items, and going for that bucket list, I processed so much of my life that I had stuffed away doing that. And I was by myself for hours a week between the swimming and the biking and the running and I learned so much about myself and I healed so much of myself doing that.
And my running coach during that process was an ultra-marathoner and I didn’t really know about this whole world of ultra marathoning and she really gave me an education in it and really kind of opened up this whole new world of what’s possible. Sometimes we don’t know what’s possible and then we see somebody do it we’re like “Whoa, like people do that, like people I know do that.” And so I really decided after I did Iron Man I was like “I’m going to do one of those ultra marathon things they’re talking about.” And I did it and so about six or seven months after I completed Iron Man I got into the ultra field and I really never turned back. It was like a homecoming. I’m like, “This is who I am, this is part of me.” And yeah, I haven’t looked back since.
Sundae: So I’m going to pull out a couple of things here. What I love about this, and this is why I wanted you to kick off with the bucket list topic, is that you are actually facing probably one of the hardest things you’ve ever gone through in your life, and in that moment instead of retreating, instead of playing the victim, you actually picked something extraordinary to help you process that. I think that it’s so amazing and I mentioned that now because when people are struggling, often they feel like retreating or they think, “I don’t have the time or energy to do this because things are so hard.” And you were able to channel that into something positive.
I was just on the phone with one of my good girlfriends from Switzerland today, and she studies something called human design and our design is both characterized by struggle. And we were talking on the phone today about we’re both people that are designed for struggle. And I said, “When I hear the word struggle, I can’t hear anything else but development, that struggle is the development, it’s the growing. I don’t hear struggle as a bad thing, I hear it as like becoming what’s more of what’s inside me.” And that’s what I love what you talked about that.
So anybody who’s listening who’s going through, excuse my French, but a shitshow in your life, something like a marathon, Or you’re couch to 5K, whatever that is, allow yourself to dream into this possibility that you can use your struggle to process what’s going on and achieve something really amazing.
The other thing I hear that I love about how you think is you’re like, “Well if they do it I can do it too.” And you’re not separating the extraordinary from yourself.
Nicole: Yeah, I’m just a small town girl from Idaho, most of you probably don’t know where Idaho is. I think sometimes we forget that we all can be extraordinary, we all have it in us and it’s not just kept out there for these select few people. The reason the people are doing extraordinary things is because they decided they were going to do them.
Sundae: And that’s why I find so much inspiration in what you do. So it was 100 miles that you ran and you you posted this picture of that big donut the size of your head. And then you posted kind of reflection on that and some of the hard stuff that happened. And what you don’t know, I haven’t shared this with you Nicole, is when that was going on I was in the middle of my own what what I call capacity challenge. We share a coach and this is it was at the height of my capacity challenge and I was thinking things like, “Oh maybe I shouldn’t have started this.” or “I don’t know if it’s going to work out.” or “Can I really do it.” I was kind of having one of those days and I’m on Facebook watching your thing, and I’m like, “Oh my God, of course I can do it, just look at Nicole, she has run a hundred miles.” And it really did inspire me, it did give me strength, I want you to know that.
And I want everybody listening to think about that that, you are the sweetest most approachable person and you’ve done extraordinary things. I love that you say you’re just a small town girl from Idaho because it’s like “Hey, maybe if you can do it someone else can.” Because you have a complex, right? You’ve got kids, you’re running your business and you have managed it. I love that and what do they say, “I have to see it to believe it.”
Nicole: When you were talking about like you were going through a struggle, and seeing other people overcome struggles as well, I think that’s really powerful to remind us who you are. When you do an ultra marathon and you’re in the middle of it, the last two that I’ve done have taken me about 28 hours, and you’re running through the day through the night and through the day again, it’s like a lifetime in 30 hours. You go through this moment, like you find your lowest of lows and you also have some of the highest of highs and they’re all happening like sometimes they can happen seconds apart from each other.
One of the most powerful things somebody had said to me, which I actually think was in this race report that you were talking about, was I had a really rough race and at mile 30 I really thought “Okay, this is it, today’s not my day, it’s not going to work.” And I just kept going, I kept taking another step, like being super present in that moment. Sometimes we forget that we can be super present in the moment because we’re always looking ahead, like the life that we live, the society, the world that we live in always has us looking so far ahead that so far ahead sometimes seems overwhelming. And I think that’s where we get caught up in this like, “Should I have been doing this? Was this too much? Did I take on more than I can chew?” And we have to stop and bring us back to that moment and go, “Okay, what’s the next little step?”
You know, I race from aid station to aid station, if I’m at Mile 5 and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I have 95 miles to go before I’m done.” That’s overwhelming, and so many times we do this in life which overwhelms us. So let me pull that back in a second. But at Mile 30, I remember thinking “Oh boy, 70 more miles. this 30 miles has not gone well, I might have to be calling it a day here pretty soon.” And I kept going and I kept going and I just, you know stayed present and took another step. And I remember texting my brother, who is also an endurance athlete as well, and I texted him I said, “You know Tony I thought at mile 30 I was done.” And he responded to me and he goes, “Well Good.” I told him I go “I was 90% sure I was done.” And he goes, “Well, it’s a good thing you weren’t a hundred.” And I thought, honestly I was like, I just started sobbing and I was like “Isn’t that the truth in anything in life, like well good thing you weren’t a hundred percent done.” Right and it was that 10% that 10% chance that you could finish it, that you can make it, you could see it through the grievances of what’s coming. And so that was like this whole shift for me I was like, “How do you teach people to tap into that 10% instead of tap out at 90?”
Sundae: Right, totally and you know what? Nobody would shame you for that, you just ran 30 miles, of course, you were tired, oh my gosh, you ran 30 miles is something to celebrate. But what I’m hearing is, this is about limits, you learning and growing and saying. I think there’s a difference between pushing your limits and testing your limits and this might sound very nuanced but there’s people who push their limits in a really unhealthy way and I think that’s different from testing your limits.
Nicole: I always call that like risk and disappointment. “How much disappointment am I willing to risk?” Because I think that that’s what holds people back, like they don’t want to be disappointed, they don’t want to be like, “Well, I didn’t finish.” or “I didn’t win, the idea of what I thought it was going to be didn’t pan out that way.” And I really talk about it in that way it’s like “How much disappointment are you willing to risk?” Because every day I want to risk more, I want to see what my limits are. And I know Sundae’s heard me talk about this, but I’m always looking for my tapout point and I haven’t hit it yet. And that’s really really intriguing to me. And I know it sounds a little bit off the wall, probably a little bit crazy but like what’s the point for myself? Like what’s the point when I say I’m done? I haven’t hit that yet in this ultra world and that’s a really intriguing point to me because I don’t know where that’s at.
Sundae: And so let’s let’s draw that into our own lives when we tap out, I work with a lot of people who are looking for more purpose and meaning or they’re starting a new business or they want to have a creative conversation with their partner about changes they’re looking for in their family, you know that idea of risking disappointment. What if you tap out before you even try, like that is crushing disappointment.
Nicole: Yeah, we guarantee it, like when we don’t show up we guarantee it, we’re just controlling the situation which I think is so much of what we try to do is to control our environments, control everything that’s happening and when we don’t show up, we guarantee our outcome.
Sundae: Yeah, I’m a queen at that, like controlling my environment, when I am out of control I feel so vulnerable. And to practice that vulnerability and knowing where do I have control and where do I have to let go of control. And who has control over what I am worrying about and let’s go talk to them, when you don’t have control that feels really vulnerable, but like you said, you have to sit in that and take one more step.
This feels really connected to an article that you wrote about your life being a series of transactions. You said in one of your blog articles, you said “I have stopped making life a series of transactions and started building that life as a series of experiences that are there to refine us and remind us of who we are and who we are meant to to be holy enough and fairest.”
Nicole: Did I write that?
Sundae: Yes you did, you are so good. Doesn’t it sound good, It’s beautiful. So I paused when I was reading that, and those who haven’t read that article, can you tell us what you mean by your life was a series of transactions and then you made a shift.
Nicole: I can dive deep into the origins of this, when I was younger, I was 13 years old, I think that if you look back at your life, we all have a handful of really defining moments. We have those moments where you’re like, “I walked into this moment, my life was something and I walked out of this moment, my life was something else.” And I guess life is really what we do with that and how we adapt to that.
So when I was 13 years old, I was in junior high school and I had a boy that I didn’t really know, he was I would say an acquaintance, come up to me at the end of the day and he asked me to be his girlfriend and I really kindly said “I’m sorry, I don’t really know you so I can’t be your girlfriend, but maybe you can call me sometime and we can get to know each other.” And he left the school and he walked home and he killed himself, and so at 13 years old I was dealing with a really really heavy life experience that I didn’t really have the tools to navigate. And to be honest I don’t either I just know how played out, like, I don’t remember, there’s a lot of things I don’t remember, but what I do remember is from that point on like I almost went into protection mode. I really kind of decided that I was strong enough to deal with whatever came my way and I was strong enough to deal with other people’s stuff too. Like I could carry myself and their stuff.
And so I really try to manipulate everything, because in my mind like disappointing somebody, like I knew what the worst case scenario was. And even as irrational as that seemed, like that was that really played out in my life. And so I really became the ultimate people pleaser like the ultimate to the 10,000th degree because I would sacrifice myself, my feelings, my actions as long as I could make sure that somebody, like whoever was in transaction with me was okay. And that really led me to be in this place of like for years I mean it was honestly into my 30s before I decided that I wasn’t going to be transactional any longer, because it was it was suffocating me, because everything was about everybody else and I was trying to make everybody okay.
Sundae: Well, I mean when you share that, I mean I can totally see from this story where that came from and I’m grateful that in your 30s you were able to wake up from that and make a change. But I have so many clients who have not had such an extreme case and ended up in the exact same place. Where they’re meeting everybody else’s needs and ignoring theirs. And only when enough resentment and bitterness or unhappiness surfaces, are they willing to lift their heads up and say “No enough.” So how did you make that transition to start allowing more space for what you are, creating space for who you are and what you really wanted, how did you make that transition?
Nicole: I think part of it was that everything I was doing and the reason I think I was at such a low point, was I was trying to fix everything, I was trying to make everything okay, and it really wasn’t, life was not okay, our family was in crisis. And when I decided, if we want to pull this back to running this is actually really interesting, is when I decided to to do Iron Man, it was a big commitment, a commitment that affected my family. There were some weekends that I was gone on eight mile or eight hour bike rides and all of this stuff.
And it took a lot of my time and my family was used to having all of my time for them. And not in a negative way, that’s just the way that it was, like from day one I always did what everybody needed me to do and Iron Man was very, and all of my races from that point on it was the only thing in my life that I had really done that was an inconvenience to other people.
Like nobody cared if I crossed the finish line, I mean it was my thing, it had no effect on anybody else and it was inconvenient for my family for me to be gone training, it was inconvenient for me to go out for a run, to go out for a bike ride, to figure out how to get to the pool. And that was a really powerful experience for me in a place where I was inconveniencing other people for self and I don’t know if there was a time in my life that I had really done that since I was 13 years old. Like I stood up for something that I wanted and I had to risk the disappointment in other people, it was like that was really scary.
So interestingly enough like in all honesty it was a hard time for my husband and on top of all of the things that we had going on with my daughter. And then I was all of a sudden I’m gone all the time and doing my training, it was hard. I mean there was arguments, there was difficult times and at the end of the day, I remember driving home and my husband sitting in the car, we had to drive home to get there, and he’s like, “That was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever witnessed.” And maybe a week or so later, he told me he goes “As hard as …..” this makes me tear up a little bit “…as hard as all of this was in the adjustment phase, when things start to change and there’s like this adjustment like, okay, how do we do this new reality? How do we accept this new reality? I got my wife back.” And He’s right, I always talk about it like a homecoming, but I had this homecoming to myself and it was through like showing up and doing the work and it was through like risking disappointment with people around me like, “Oh no I’m going to do this for me and I know that’s an inconvenience for you, but I need this for my life.” And finding that inner strength to do that, I know that that may sound crazy, but for me it was a really big deal to be like “Oh, I’m doing this and I’m sorry that sucks for you.” I’d never done that in my life, and it was really really powerful and I think that’s also something that people don’t do.
Sundae: Because what it’s saying is, “What I want right now is important.” And we can say it’s important if nobody’s inconvenienced, but if all of a sudden someone’s inconvenienced than it feels like the stakes are higher and then maybe they won’t like us or maybe we really accomplished avoidance and all of that.
I just want to pause there for a second, it’s like I see this so much in my clients. It might not be an ultramarathon, it might be starting their own business or transferring household tasks, raising their kids differently or incorporating more exercise into their lives, whatever it is. But I love that you talked about this adjustment phase, there is a hard phase in between where everybody around you is getting used to the you that you are becoming or the new you and that might be bumpy and if it’s bumpy it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. And what I love about your husband seeing that is he saw a part of you that had been hiding and he stuck around, because this is more of you.
Nicole: Yeah, I mean, it’s really powerful when you decide that you’re going to do something that means something to you.
Sundae: This is big Nicole, you know, this is the thing because I’ve had the pleasure to meet you in person and it is amazing how much strength is packed into your little package, there’s so much in you, there’s so much strength, and I know that when you’re by someone’s side you help them find that too.
So I want to just be mindful of the time that we have left. One, I know that what you do with others is you lace up, you rise up and you help people chase after the life that they’re dreaming of unapologetically and methodically.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of this specific aspect of a bucket list, when they’re like “I am going to do something amazing like a marathon or half a marathon or an ultra marathon.” Because that’s their bucket list, that’s what they want to find out they have in them.
Nicole: I think it’s really just deciding and figuring out how to show up for yourself. I always say “Show up, lace up, rise up, repeat.” This is what we do, you have to decide that you’re worth it, decide that you deserve to have this experience, decide that you deserve to have this transformation and that it’s meaningful and that your life is going to change and be altered forever because of it. And I think there’s also that you have to commit to the grievances that are going to come along the way, I think that’s really important because it’s going to be hard.
Going after a bucket list or running your first marathon, it’s not easy, it’s hard. But I always say, with every training cycle, with every bucket list item that I do there’s a really big lesson in it. And that’s the anticipation of what the lesson is going to be this time is beautiful. It is like get excited about what you have to learn about yourself and then decide that you’re worth it and go for it and really just making the commitment, find someone like me to come alongside you that’s not going to let you quit. Find that crew member, find that pacer, find that stranger at the aid station in the middle of the night that they’re going to come up alongside you and say, “Get up, we’re going to keep going, there’s more here for you. This is hard, it sucks I get it, but keep going.”
Sundae: No, you won’t know until you do it, that limit that you’ve put in your mind is not really a limit.
So listen, I want more of this Nicole and I know that their listeners here that do too. I want to know where people can find you, and please tell people what you have coming up, I know you have this epic retreat coming up for people who want to discover more inside themselves.
Tell us, who is the retreat for and how can they find you?
Nicole: So you guys can find me on my website and that is at www.nicolekwhiting.com, and I’m sure Sundae will put it in the show notes. And you can also find me on Facebook or Instagram under the same tag.
I do have a retreat coming up and it’s called base camp. It’s going to be a six to eight-month program for women, where we come together and we work through the life transitions one-on-one. And we also have a supportive group of women that are doing it as well. And we’re going to go and do a hiking retreat either at Glacier National Park, The Enchantments in Washington or in Moab Utah.
And so there’s three options that you can choose for a retreat and it’s really about coming together, deciding who you want to be and then having this group of women and me to come alongside you and we’re all going to do it together. The hikes are going to be hard, they’re going to be life-changing. And so you get that physical aspect of what you’re doing as well as the group, the transitions, the one-on-one.
It’s really a homecoming to yourself like I always talk about and I talked about in here, like having a homecoming. This is an invitation and for women who are like, “Ah, I want to feel that too.” to have this homecoming for themselves in nature.
Sundae: And I can’t think of anybody better to do something link that Nicole.
Nicole: Thank you.
Sundae: Just because I know some people are thinking it, do you need to be in really great shape to do this retreat
Nicole: No, I mean and that just like with everything in life the best place to start is to meet you where you’re at. And you can start anywhere and you can be anywhere, you can be anything and I come in and I meet you where you’re at and I get you to become the person that you need to be, to do the thing that you want to do. And that’s part of the process is becoming that person
Sundae: That’s going to be awesome, like I mean just this combination that you have with the running background the life coaching, the nature experience, the community of people, it’s gonna be epic.
You guys should check her out on Facebook and Instagram, her pictures are amazing. So wonderful, Nicole, thank you so much for being here today. I know that those who are listening, whether or not running is on the radar this is about life, this is about saying yes to the tough stuff that is coming. And I love that you mentioned that about committing to the grievances and then looking forward to the lessons.
So thank you so much for being on Expat Happy Hour, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
Nicole: Thank you for having me.
Sundae: All right, everybody Nicole is amazing, I really encourage you to take what she shared today and think about how that applies to your own life, whether running is a bucket list for you or there’s something else that you really want, go back and read the transcript and and take in what she said because it has so much to do with transformation, whether it is in a relationship, for your health or your business or just how you’re showing up in the world or for your community. There’s a lot of hard-earned lessons there that she’s sharing, so it’s been wonderful.
Thank you for listening to Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Bean.
I’ll leave you with the quote from one of my favorite childhood athletes Michael Jordan “Limits like fears are often Just an Illusion.”