Do you see a tree or a mushroom cloud?

Tree or Mushroom Cloud


When I run on my treadmill, this is a picture that I often draw inspiration from. Some days, when looking at it from afar, it appears to be a big powerful tree and some days it appears to be a mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb detonation. To be honest, I haven’t noticed if what I see at a distance (tree or mushroom cloud) correlates with my mood for the day. 


On days when I see a tree, it reminds me of a blog post I wrote, “At risk of being uprooted from an oversaturated environment?” The post was about storms in our life and how to change your environment when you feel overwhelmed so you don’t become uprooted. It reminds me to focus and set boundaries. I am reminded that there is so much more beneath the surface. The roots are what gives the tree its strength and nourishment.  Seeing the tree reminds me that my body needs to be nourished and maintained. Part of the reason I’m on this treadmill in the first place. It also reminds me to stay grounded and surround myself with people who make me stronger, mentally and physically.


On days when I see the mushroom cloud, I think about all of the things that are outside of my control. I don’t often like to say things are outside of my control, but I am learning there are some things I just can’t control or fix no matter how hard I try. Sometimes I find myself in a situation where I am trying to solve a problem that is not mine to solve, I can feel my stress levels rising, the pressure filling up inside me like a bomb about to detonate. Often times I am pushing aside my own priorities to try to help or fix someone else’s problem. Other times, I hear that little voice in my head, you know the one. The voice that tries to sabotage all of your best-laid plans. That annoying little voice of self-doubt that tells you, “you can’t”. It is on these days when I take a step closer to remind myself what the picture really is about. 


St. Louis Cardinals

When you look more closely at the photo you will see that the photo is actually all of the names of some of the best baseball players in St. Louis history! It reminds me of the blood, sweat, and tears those players endured to get there. The hours of training, planning, and work to win their coveted and deserved spot in that frame. I wonder how many of their days were Tree Days and how many were Mushroom Cloud days. If they inspire me, who inspired them? I then notice the stadiums, Robison Field, Sportsman Park, Busch Stadium II, and III. They also changed their environment to succeed and grow into the Saint Louis Cardinals we know and love today. What you don’t see in the frame, much like the roots on a tree, are the supporting staff, family, friends, and fans who helped cheer them on and supported them throughout their journey. 


I didn’t really have a conclusion in mind when I started writing this post, but now that I can see it all in writing there are three things that stand out, mindset, your team, and your environment. Mindset is a very powerful tool. When you learn how to control your mindset you will open opportunities for yourself that you never knew existed. Much like your mindset, your team has the ability to make or break you. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to do better. Your team should consist of people who are smarter than you. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room?” Lastly, if you are in a place that does not value your priorities, change your environment. 

Ruminating while running

I hope you enjoyed my random ruminations while running. If you want to connect or follow me be sure to check out my Linktree here. Now go out there, tighten your ponytail and get it done! Oh, and Go Cards!