A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.Mary Poppins
Disney is the spoonful of sugar that allowed me to begin a self care journey. It allowed me to take my mind off of the difficulty of learning to run and gave me something to look forward to. I plan Disney trips for my family because I love imagining and planning for the next trip. Disney offers endless permutations and options to consider.
Do we go in the fall? or the spring? Do we stay in a deluxe resort? which one? Should we consider buying into the Disney Vacation Club? If we did, which one? Is the use year long enough at that one? Should I run a challenge? Would I ever run a marathon if it meant I could do the Dopey Challenge (that would really be the only reason for me)? Should we plan FastPass+ in a park with Early Morning Magic that day? (the answer is usually no, we’re of the sleeping in age). What about dining reservations? Can we really consume three whole meals a day? How many Mickey Bars should I plan to consume each day? (2, at least). Do I want to try that new Hei Hei cone at Aloha Aisle?
It’s fun and it’s nothing like the real problems I need to consider each day of my adult life. It’s a distraction. It helps me to get through the things that aren’t fun. It helps me in the moments when I feel overwhelmed or when I want to cry because I’m not sure that I’m actually a good parent to my daughters – I think I’m doing my best (as a Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) trained therapist that’s my operating assumption), but I’m not sure my best is enough to actually count as good.
It’s a spoonful of sugar that help me to be more effective at getting through those moments of emotional distress and crisis. It helps me to manage my anxiety.
I lead a weekly DBT skills group. Today, we were talking about distress tolerance and ways to take a mental vacation. Disney offers that chance every day. It’s why I’ve always got at least one trip planned, even if I know we’ll never take it. We can’t live at Disney. Most people can’t make a living at it. But I can distract myself with it, as needed, when things become overwhelming.
So, I’m sorry to those of you here looking for tips on running at Disney – there are so many people much better equipped and with way more knowledge to offer than I.
If I can offer three pieces of advice for planning a trip to run at Disney they would be:
- Go with a friend who runs about the same speed as you;
- Don’t plan to run your best time – stop for the occasional picture even if the lines seem almost unbelievably long; and
- Don’t plan to fly home the afternoon after your race (like I did,) you’ll want a nap and to walk around the park wearing your medal all afternoon hearing “congratulations” and “good job” from all of the cast members.
Like I said, there are so many people better equipped to help with planning your runDisney experience. Disney is more an idea here than a practical thing. A reminder to myself to find something I enjoy and use it to motivate myself through the things I don’t always want to do.