Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Get Away

We look forward to it all year.  The countdown starts at the beginning of May with numbers written in a child's hand on our chalkboard.

20, 15, 10.

When we reach single digits I can see the kids vibrating with excitement.  We are going on vacation!  Hooray!

Every year I wonder how it can be as good as it has been in the past?  Will this be the year that something will go wrong, the year we vow never to go back?  But it doesn't happen.  Rain or shine, cold or hot, childish arguments, fights and tantrums, none of it matters.  Our family is good here.  We recognize the special quality of the weekend, the place.

When we leave, I research condos and cabins.  Maybe we could buy here, spend summers and more.  It's a dream I have, knowing that I could come here whenever I wanted.  It won't be the same.  I won't catch lightning in a bottle.  But I continue to put pennies in a jar all the same.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I post a lot about running on Facebook.  I share details of almost every run.  I am that girl.

I do it partially to hold myself accountable in my training.  I have a schedule that I need to stick to.  I need the inspiration that likes and comments provide.

The other reason I do it is because I never thought I would be here.

When I was in college, I faced a health crisis that took a long time to identify and resolve.  During that time, fatalism, drama and self-absorption combined in such a way that I could not see beyond the pain I felt in the moment.  When I thought about the future it was in abstract terms.  I wanted jobs, marriage, family, a future but I couldn't really see myself with any of those things.  I was sick.  I was in pain.  I figured I would die and that would be it.  The end.  No future.

But I didn't die.  My health crisis was diagnosed and resolved.  Jobs came (many, many, many jobs).  I got married.  We traveled a long path to family.  I began to see a future with me in it.

However, my old way of thinking still persisted.  Doubts, "I'm not strong", "I'm not good enough",  "I can't do this", became the soundtrack in my head.  So I didn't do anything.  Well that is not true.  I did lots of things halfheartedly.  I couldn't stick with anything because I wouldn't do it right.  Try this.  Quit this.  Try that.  Quit that.  Think about trying that other thing.  Don't try that other thing.  What about ...?  No, never mind.

Few years ago I had a wake up call.  I had to change my way of living.  I couldn't do it anymore.  It was exhausting.  I was mentally, emotionally and spiritually dead.  I might as well have been physically dead.  So I stopped, surrendered and changed.  Slowly, sometimes almost imperceptibly, I became a new, better version of myself.

As I got stronger, I saw that I could do things.  I could do "easy" things.  I got up, I made my bed, I fed, clothed and took care of my kids.  I did life.  I wondered about the hard things.  Could I do them too?

Running is a hard thing.

It seems easy enough, moving at a pace faster than walking.  But it's not easy.  I have to push my body past it's comfort zone, take more steps, go farther, move quicker.  The mental challenge is equally tough.  I have to convince myself that my mind is lying.  The familiar thoughts of "I can't", "It hurts", "No more" play like a broken record.  Those are fears, lies.  They are not truth.  So every time I am out there I have to tell my mind to shut up.  "No! I can do this."  "I am strong."

The running posts I share are not boasts.  They are my way of reminding myself that I am here.  I am doing.  I am living.

Friday, May 16, 2014


My favorite moment from the week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I needed the reminder as I slogged through my run today.

I needed the reminder as I struggled to stay awake and alert at home.  If I do not get off the couch right now, I will be late picking up my kids.  If I do not get off the couch right now I may never get off the couch again.

I needed the reminder that I don't have to do this.  I get to do this.  I get to live this life.  It is a privilege and a gift.

It's a gift that I have two strong legs.  I get to lace up my running shoes and I get to pound the pavement.  There are days, like today, when the steps hurt, a twinge here and a pull there.

But there are also days, like Sunday, when I blaze forward faster than I have ever gone.  I may not be the fastest and I sure as heck won't win anything but that time is fast, super fast, for me.  Personal record, personal best.

I also get to share my passions and joys with my family.  I always thought running was solitary, just me and the road.  But it's not.  Frink is there to feed the kids when my morning runs go too long.  Bunny and Lion are there with signs cheering me on as I start and finish a race.  And Lion is there running faster than I ever thought possible, leaving his momma in the dust with her heart swelling with pride.

Those are the days that make days like today worthwhile.  I know that the slow days will be replaced with faster ones.  The dull days replaced with ones that are much, much brighter.