A few days ago my new trail shoes arrived in the mail. Whenever I’m in a slump, a new pair of shoes or a new running outfit can be motivation enough to get me back in the game. Normally I run in the woods on Thursday afternoons with one of my favorite people on this planet. But today she can’t make it. Plus it’s raining and I’m sure it will continue into the afternoon. I can continue this slope of defeat all morning as to why I won’t be able to try out my new kicks this afternoon. Or I can find inspiration in others and start convincing myself now that an opt out is not going to happen.
Here’s my motivation tour this morning……
I’m voting for strong!
Enough wallowing already….
Not quite my run through the woods,
but it’s breathtaking!
Yeah…I have dreams.
I know, I know!
Just keep running, just keep running….
(images courtesy of pinterest.com)
This morning I met my neighbor for one of our weekly runs. We meet at 5:30 AM, which I was informed by my 8 year old is way too early. She also threw in a “you’re crazy.” Yeah, I know. I’ve heard it before. I’ve been running since 1999 (yes, partying too) when I started my professional career. I befriended a colleague who ran and we quickly built up to a nice 3 mile loop. We met several mornings a week before work, even on freezing mornings too! It was pretty easy since neither of us had kids.
From there I met other runners and worked on pace and distance. Before I knew it, I was running 8 mile clips. Complete runner’s high achieved. One of the women I ran with was training to run a half marathon, so I ran with her when I could to get in some long runs. She encouraged me to run one too, so the following year I signed up. I’ve completed two more since the first, the last being the hardest. I ran half with knee pain and began experimenting with my running form. I’m now a forefoot runner and not a heel striker.
Running has always been a place to escape for me. I’ve come up with lesson plans, job ideas, conversations to solve conflicts, etc. I survived my divorce and the dating scene. I never minded running alone for hours on end. It was my time. But something changed once I had my 3rd child and ran that 3rd half marathon. Running became an enemy. I didn’t enjoy it as much. I found it difficult to go faster and just overwhelming to complete a basic 3 mile run. I learned my health was compromised; basic vitamin deficiencies and hormone imbalances were throwing off my energy levels. Instead of being a stress release, it became a source of anger.
Just today I had to do something on my run that I haven’t done in years. I had to stop and walk. It was hard to breathe and I had no energy. My town is extremely hilly, so just the thought of climbing Main Street on my way home sent off a panic button. At a time when others look to me for motivation, I don’t even know how to motivate myself. I know life is cyclical and that this too will pass. I just wish it would hurry up because I’ve got a few races on my docket for this year. So I’m looking to you for help. Maybe you have felt the same way about running. Maybe you have the answer for me. Please?
(image from thoughtofthejay.blogspot.com)
This morning as I walked through town, I could hear a woodpecker high above in the trees, some geese honking on the pond, and random dogs barking in the distance. I was walking on one of the less traveled roads in my town that has enormous Victorian houses, almost all with a stunning view of the pond and waterfalls below them. I got to thinking about how truly lucky I am to live here. That when my now husband, then only someone I was dating, asked my opinion on where to look for a house, I mentioned this place. It’s a miracle he listened to me and it’s been hard to not have him uproot us and move to the shore, his first love, but now, we are finally settled here.
On any given day, I can walk the 3/4 of a mile into town and take my children to incredible restaurants, a clothing store full of originals, and at least 5 different art galleries. We can visit gift shops, breakfast stops, and even a bead store. Walk a little further and we happen upon the library and our church. We know the owners of many of these stores or at least many of the customers in these stores. I swear on a visit to town I’ll see at least 5 people that I know AND like, and leave with a new piece of knowledge or just a happiness in my heart. Even the people I don’t know will always say hello or remark about my children.
This friendliness doesn’t just stay within. We’re even nice to the many visitors to our town. We have a race on the 4th, an organic farmer’s market, a Halloween parade, a carol sing, and a winter carnival, all of which draw hundreds of extra people to our small town. But we love it because we know each one of these visitors wishes they were lucky enough to be a resident. Why? Because one of the best things about where I live is that everyone is accepted. I have a friend with a million dollar home and one that rents a home and no one cares. There’s just no pretension here. Down the same street that houses the 5 or more galleries, my town holds its yearly tractor parade. Image that.
Would I want to live anywhere else right now? No, I couldn’t be happier here. It’s home. Finally.
Ok, on my About Me page, I said I didn’t have a theme. I’m rethinking that….just for Fridays though. Fridays are fun days for the working world. We know the weekend is starting at the end of the day. That means we’re in charge for the next 48 hours, or sort of in charge. Here are some Friday Funnies from pinterest.com
Need I say more?
Ha! This is just bad parenting right here.
No Mom, this is for a friend of mine.
Had to throw in a Ryan Gosling.
Honesty is the best policy.
I know I’ve read this on a few FB posts.
Enjoy your Friday! It’s rainy where I am…hopefully the sun will be out soon.
Tonight as I watched TV with my daughter, a question came up about the Japanese sea slug and it’s bright color. Was there a purpose to the color, or was it merely to add beauty to the ocean floor. Having taught students about insects for years, I knew the answer. The bright colors warn predators to stay away unless they want a mouth full of poison or just a mouth full of bad tasting animal. Animals learn quickly which species to stay away from. Funny, many humans can’t do this. Why? Because the poisonous ones aren’t brightly colored. I think the animals are onto something here….
Lately I’ve been struggling with this feeling of insecurity. Not about myself, but about the relationship I have with my children. Specifically my older girls who split their time between my house and their father’s. For those of you who don’t have to share your children, I don’t know if you can fully understand what I mean. Yes your children will some day shout “I hate you. I’m moving out.” They may pack their bags and head out down the street. However, you know deep down that they don’t really mean it. And even if they leave, they’ll return by nightfall. But I worry that some day my girls might say to me, “I don’t want to live with you anymore” and mean it. I’m mostly confident this won’t happen. But whenever we have a rough weekend, one where expectations weren’t met and there were more tears than smiles, this thought goes through my head.
This insecurity makes me say things that are completely stupid. Things I wish I could have thought about longer before uttering them. It makes me angry and short. It makes me question my parenting methods and my standards. During these moments, I have to remind myself to stay strong and keep plugging along. That this minute, day, weekend, is just a drop in the bucket and that the bigger picture tells a completely different story. I remind myself of the good parenting moments, like waking in the middle of the night to nurse them or dancing around the house singing Raffi to stop them from crying. The endless number of playdates, music classes, and story hours that I set up and/or took them to. The times I was thrown up on, peed on, sneezed on, and just generally used as a napkin. The spontaneous dance parties, baking lessons, book readings, snuggle fests, and craft projects that I led. I remind them of these times too in case at this particular moment, they can only see the mistakes I’ve made.
This weekend was one of those weekends. I could not please my middle child, the medium one as we call her. I know there was more going on in her head than just disappointment that she too didn’t have a sleep over to attend like her older sister. I imagine the medium one missed her big sister since it’s the big one who usually orchestrates their games. It’s also hard for my middle child to express her feelings and her desires until it’s too late and then nothing meets her expectations. It is then that I have to take a deep breath and walk away. I can’t worry about what she texts her dad. I can’t worry about snapping her out of this mood. What I can do is remind her I love her and that I tried.
So I’m working on it. Just another part of parenting that no one warns you about. There’s a reason God made puppies and babies so cute.