I'LL TAKE AN EXTRA HELPING OF GUTS, THANKS

You know how it is to be able to be in control of most everything and then be hit with a few things that you just absolutely can’t control? Yeah, that’s the last few days for me.  Aside from a few things that have been difficult to deal with, my Type A mind can’t seem to wrap itself around the fact that things like running are just not getting any easier. OK- full disclosure, I’ve only been training for a half marathon for a few weeks but I expected better of myself than what’s been happening. Am I going further? Sure, a little bit. Do I see a little more endurance? Yes, but to me it’s not enough and it feels like no matter how hard I work, I just can’t get it to click. I’m busting my ass and feeling like I’m getting nowhere, giving it my all and not getting back what I am putting into it.

This brought me to another seemingly consistent issue in my life, overdelivering and under-receiving if that’s even a word. It’s a cold feeling, a smack in the face kind of like that first blast of icy winter wind when you psych yourself up to go out and train and get hit with that gust which makes you wonder why the hell you’re out there in the first place or who the hell thought it was a good idea to even get involved? (me, usually me, actually ALWAYS me)

I feel like the running is a symbol of other areas of my life- giving, pushing, dedicating my heart, delivering my all and though most of the time it seems balanced, there are other gaping holes that are just so glaring. It started me to think recently- why do I do it? Why do any of us do it? Why do we embark on things that are difficult, challenging, even heartbreaking at times? Why do we love the torture and pain it brings? And, what are we all getting from it?   It’s easier to retreat, to go back, to dismiss and bow out all the time but that doesn’t make us whole. That doesn’t let us be who we are and who we are meant to become. That doesn’t let us reap the rewards when they come, and they always do come even if we have to be super patient which you know is not my strong suit at all.

I feel these days that perhaps we are always in training for something- a job, a life change, a new status, not just a run and it’s these hard times, the times we feel like we are going to fall apart and that it all means nothing, that we find out that we still are something and we can do everything.  Does it suck in the meantime? You bet your ass it does. It hurts, it makes us cringe, but we cannot quit because what’s on the other side, when the time is right, will all be worth what you went through. So, this Thanksgiving, just like I will, go for an extra helping of guts to overcome whatever’s blocking you at the moment and when it’s all in the past, you’ll be better for it.  TRUST.

 

     

AND WHAT I NEED IS ALL AROUND ME

Sometimes you hear lyrics from a song that you listen to often and something just strikes you. You hear it in a way you hadn’t before and today it was Dave Matthews saying “and what I need is all around me”. Think about that for just a second and then we’ll move on.

It’s been a year for me, to say the least. So much has changed and I’m good with that, and one of the lessons I’ve learned most (and yes, it’s taken a lot of work during the darker times) is to focus on gratitude.  Yes, things sometimes are great and then all of a sudden turn to shit. People leave our lives, people come into our lives, money ebbs and flows, and directions turn on us before we even have a chance to put a signal on and get prepared. It’s easy to get angry, I do it.  It’s easy to complain, we all do it. But at the end of the day, believe me, there are millions of people in this world that would give anything they could to live one day in your shoes. 

When I was listening to this line of the song a few times, I started to think about some people I come across that tend to focus more on what they don’t have versus what they actually DO have. Again, all normal, we’ve all done it but when you take some time to really look around and evaluate, I’ll bet anyone would find that they’ve actually got everything they need, just perhaps not in the traditional way that they may expect it to be there.

Here’s what I mean.  I have friends that are unattached, with no real significant other in their lives. Perhaps they’re post-divorce, or between relationships, or have never really found “the one” who loves them truly and conditionally. They harp on it, get upset about it, worry about it and yet when they look more deeply, they find that they (just like me) have an amazing circle of friends who tell them they love them regularly.  Who will do anything for them. Who surprise them. Who hold their hand when they’re sad, listen without judgement and always have their back.  It’s just not in the form of a partner in that sense, but when they look deeper they see they have that feeling and those bonds with loved ones in some way.

Or, consider those who never feel satisfied with what they’re earning.  I mean, really, is it EVER enough? It’s normal and natural to want to strive, even when we’re rocking it financially. We crave more, we feel like we deserve more and sometimes we let money rule our lives.  Again, normal. We all need it to live and to be able to do some of the things we love. Look deeper though and guess what? If they’re reading this it or anything else online, they have a computer, an internet connection, most likely a roof over their head, food to eat, a job that hopefully they love (but may not) yet still it’s a job, and they’re way ahead of so many others.  Goals are great, goals are necessary, but it’s equally as necessary to pause and see exactly what you’ve already done and appreciate what that has brought you.

I have always believed that where you are right now is exactly where you’re supposed to be.  Bad times lead to good, dark days lead to strength, pain leads to endurance and confidence- feel it all, go through it, let it run through you but try (and I know it’s hard) to always find a way to push past it regularly even if it’s just for a few minutes and look at what you DO have versus what you DON’T and you’ll find it’s really all there.  Just perhaps in a slightly different way that you’ve expected it to be.

 

13.1 OR BUST. AND YES, I’M FREAKED OUT

When things get rough and there are two roads to take, for some reason I always opt for the more difficult one.  I have no idea why. The complicated and the extremely complex intrigue me.   I like a challenge, I enjoy breaking things down and figuring them out and sometimes, it’s more of an obstacle than I’m sure I can take on at that moment.  Today’s Everest happens to be my first half marathon. 13.1 or bust.

It began at 3:45 AM local time in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I woke up cranky for various reasons and couldn’t go back to sleep so I headed down to the hotel gym.  It was so early that the lights weren’t on and no matter how hard I tried with my phone flashlight, I couldn’t find the master switches so I just lost my patience and hopped on a treadmill. Let me preface this by saying I’m not a runner. I’ve never been.  I run if I’m being chased, I run once in a while if I want to mix it up at the gym but it’s not a thing for me. I was the worst “IT” when playing Tag.   I am a walker, a hiker, a climber, a biker, a strength trainerand that’s where it stands.  Running, and races in general have always spooked me a bit and for that reason I’ve always focused on other areas of fitness.

So, there I was, even crankier at that point when I noticed my Apple watch was going to die any minute but I was armed with a fierce mix on my phone and the peace of the absolute darkness. I started to run, bad mood and all which I am sure was fueling me double-time.   And I ran.  I thought about things that were bugging me and I melted into the beats in my ears and before I knew it, 5 miles had passed. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I did that in one shot. When I looked down, something strange came over me and though I was tired, I didn’t want to stop so I continued.  It was a feeling I wasn’t used to but I wanted more of it.

By the time I was nearly finished, a trainer had come down and turned on the lights, after I apparently scared the hell out of him and I wound it down.  6 miles and change. Not a big deal for so many, but a massive deal for me who doesn’t runregularly and I decided at that moment I was going to do yet another thing that freaks me out. Run a race. A half marathon sounded good.

Yes, I said it sounded good at the time and as of yesterday, I’m officially on. March 18, 2018, just two days after my 43rd birthday, I will be embarking on this journey. I have a ton to do, a lot to learn and the curiosity of how it will all turn out is driving every single part of me, mentally and physically.

The point of it all is that a life lived without challenges is not the fullest possible life, at least not for me. Digging deep, experiencing exhilarating moments and also the most ridiculous disappointments, knowing love, laughing until you cry, challenging your body and mind and always embarking on journeys that inspire and scare you are what makes it all worth it.  So, this is my next mountain to climb.  There’s no turning back. What are you going to commit to that will shake your world?

Waking up in a state of body-content

It’s terribly strange when you’ve been used to something for days, weeks, months, even years…and then suddenly it’s just not “a thing” anymore.  Maybe it’s a tattoo, a scar on your arm that faded, a person in your life that’s been bothering you and suddenly just doesn’t… for me, this thing most recently was a negative body image and I honestly never saw it coming. Yes, it’s taken me 42 years, but it’s here and it’s being embraced in a big way.   And, if you are anything like me and had any of these experiences, I urge you to be doing the same.

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