Monday, December 10, 2012


Every day, it seems there’s some kind of obstacle I have to get over, through or around before I can work out.  Lately, I’ve been up against the weather forecast.  Most days it’s my crazy schedule.  Every day, it comes down to mental preparation.  And I’m not talking about preparation for a workout, steeling myself for feats of strength or anything like that.  Most days, I’m talking simple logistics.  

Homeschooling three kids who are actively involved in musical theatre makes for a pretty interesting schedule, and I wasn’t in any kind of exercise habit when I started.  It’s a 20 minute drive to the gym, so I had to find more than 2 hours each day (drive time, hour workout, shower, and drying my hair, which is a whole ordeal unto itself!)  Then there were the details—where did I leave my sneakers?  do I have everything I need?  water, my gym ID, headphones (for listening to the built-in TV on the elliptical), phone (for checking Facebook).  I have forgotten all of these things (except the phone) at least once.  (yes, even my shoes.  I wouldn’t recommend it on a regular basis, but you can get thru and hour on the elliptical in a pair of Toms.)   I learned that they can look me up if I forget my ID, they sell water bottles in the vending machine, and there’s usually decent music playing in the gym if I forget my headphones.    I actually made myself this “chant” to remind myself: “phone, headphones, keys, ID, waterbottle” and got a wallet that will hold my ID, headphones, phone, and a few extra hair ties.  Sounds trivial, but the devil is in the details and the best defense is truly a good offense.  

Last week, I got to a place where I was really struggling.  I usually try to stay focused on the positive, but if I told you all the things that happened in the last month, you’d be horrified.  The thing is, I don’t see it as my place to horrify anyone, so I tend to keep a lot to myself.  I had hit a point where I was just completely overwhelmed with it all.  I was tired of fighting to see the bright side of everything.  I had just lost one of the most influential people in my life, someone who embodied what it was to be an awesome mom, and I was done putting on a brave face. 

I knew it was bad when I wasn’t even looking forward to running.  That was incredibly sad for me, because when it’s a running day, I wake up looking forward to it.  But this running day, I was almost afraid to go.  I really didn’t want to run feeling sad, and I couldn’t seem to make it stop.  Fortunately, I am surrounded by some amazing friends.  This particular day, it was Daniel who managed to make me laugh a little, and, as he always does, shared some encouraging words.  It was just enough to get me to lace up my sneakers.  I can’t say I felt better, but I was determined to run.  

And that run was perfect.  I didn’t think about all that was weighing on me.  I really didn’t want to be sad when I was running.   When I run, I don’t tend to think about my life, anyway.  I like to turn up the music and get lost in the lyrics on my playlist.  And that’s exactly what I did.  The weather was nice, and I was feeling better running at a slower pace (after weeks of working up to running 5 miles, now training for a half marathon, my challenge is to slow down!)  I was comfortable the whole 6 miles, and felt like I could have run a little farther, which is my favorite way to finish.  I even got to see these two sweet girls who live on my running route… twice! (because I run by their house twice).   They are the cutest little girls, the “Sophia Grace & Rosie” of the south!  Any time I run and they’re out, they run their cul de sac with me, laughing and talking the whole way!   

When I finished running, I still had a little way to walk home.  As I walked, I realised something:  life is far from perfect, but I’m OK with that.  I can’t fix everything, and there’s a lot beyond my control.  But it’s not like I’m not doing anything.  I’ve been working hard and taking care of myself for a change.  And in February, no matter what else happens, I’m running a half marathon.  IN DISNEY WORLD!!!  And I’ve got a few more things on my list that I plan to accomplish very soon. I’m not just suffering through here, I’m making the most of every day.  And looking back, it hasn’t been a bad way to spend a year. 

I pushed through and I ran.  I didn’t figure anything out.  I didn’t solve anything.  I didn’t even try.  When I got home, I was another hour behind on the long list of things I needed to get done that day and my situation was essentially the same as it was when I left the house.  But somehow, 6 miles later, I felt like I could handle it.  I felt good about my path and the direction I was going.  

I felt hopeful.  

And hopeful is everything.  

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