i want to fall in love……

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AirCatcher

(photo credit: favim.com)

…… with running again.

It’s been so long since I’ve gone on a run.  It’s been so long since I’ve gone on a run and actually liked it.  It’s been even longer since I went on a run and loved it.

I remember how I used to feel while running.  I remember the freedom that I felt. The energy that I had.  The belief that anything was possible. How thankful that I was for everything in my life.

I remember the runners highs that I used to get.  I remember the buzzing feeling that I would get at the starting line of a race.  The feeling of accomplishment as I crossed the finish line.

And now I don’t know how to get back there.  I feel like I’m lost. And now that I’ve gained so much weight, I feel like I’m going to be starting all over again.  And that’s pretty damn depressing.

I think the thing that’s holding me back is the fact that I’m so damn slow.  I mean, I was slow back when I was actually IN shape.  Now that I roughly resemble a pear with stubby legs I’ll really be embarrassed by my pace.

I’ve always said…. When people ask you what your finish time is, or what your pace is (and they will)  …… always lie.  It’s been my experience that when you’re slow and you actually tell people what your pace is, they remind you of how lame and mind numbingly slow you are with their responses.  

So I guess you could say that it’s the opinions of others that’s holding me back from being a better version of myself.  Which is stupid.

How do I get past this?  How do I start over? Again?  Without being embarrassed? How do I not care what my runner friends think?

I want to find myself again.

 

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family?

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When I was in my mid and late twenties, if you asked me if I ever wanted kids, my answer would have been…..

No way dude……

Then of course when I turned 32, all of that changed.

I never thought too much about what having a kid later in life would do to my son’s family life.  I also didn’t realize what moving across the country would do to me as a mother with no local family support.

Long story short, I’m jealous.  And I know that that sounds horrible.

My son will never have cousins his age to play with, take vacations with, have arguments with or look forward to seeing at family get togethers.

My son doesn’t get to see his grandparents (my parents) weekly, take vacations with them, or have sleepovers at their houses.

I don’t have the luxury of being able to just have my mom or dad come over to help out if I have an appointment or if I have to work extra hours.

But I suppose that there are a lot of others like me.  I moved to the west coast for a new opportunity. I had my son later in life when I felt more mature (ha ha).  I chose not to go back to work full time after I got laid off so that I could take my son to physical therapy and occupational therapy and cognitive therapy and speech therapy (and I didn’t have my family nearby for the moral support that I so desperately needed at that time…..).  Geez. Bitter much?

So…. I’m trying to look at things differently, so that the things that I look at will change.

We are healthy.  We have a place to live.  We have amazing friends here.  My husband and I both have jobs.  We have food to eat and clothes to wear.

 

But darnit it’s just so hard sometimes.

to start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you.

Secure your mask first, then offer assistance to those around you.

We hear it every time we fly.  We know it by heart and we hardly ever pay attention to the flight attendants if we are seasoned travelers.  Although I do, because it’s a common courtesy. No matter how many times I’ve heard it, I always stop and listen and look them in the eye.  I let them know that someone cares about the mind numbing motions that they go through a gazillion times a day.

Everyone deserves to be listened to.

Which brings me to a point.

I had a conversation with an amazing friend recently and they brought up the idea of “self care”.  Self care is not a new concept for me. I used to do it years ago and I recall my life going much more smoothly than it is now.  I was thinner. I didn’t feel stressed. I didn’t feel the burden of the day to day that comes with motherhood. I meditated. I ran.  I actually ate and drank whatever I wanted.

But here’s the thing that I found with “self care” ….. the universe wants you to be your best self.  And if you can’t even care for yourself, how can the universe give you what you want?

Put another way….. If you don’t feel that you’re important enough, no one else will either.  We all have our own agenda. And that’s ok. We need to make sure that our own needs are being met (but we shouldn’t be assholes in the process).

Today was a glorious example of self care.  I haven’t had a day like today in a long time.  I got up early and was able to make my son breakfast, lunch and snacks and help him off to school.  Since my husband took our son to school I was able to relax a bit, catch up on things, drink some coffee and work out.  I then proceeded to catch up on a tv show I’ve been wanting to watch. I understand that not everyone is able to relax in the morning as I was able to today.  And even I don’t get that luxury every day. But a funny thing happened, because I was able to make time for myself this morning, the rest of the day flowed by so smoothly.   People were pleasant to me. I was more patient. I felt more confident.

I think that I need to be more selfish more often so that I can be a nicer person in general.  And I owe that to myself.

mom guilt.

(DISCLAIMER: If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you might not want to read this…..)

 

Mom, I wish I had a sibling…… or someone close to my age in our family….

This.  This is the thing that keeps me up at night.  This is the thing that makes me cry in the middle of the day.  This is the thing that makes me think that I have ruined my son.

I always thought that I would have two kids.  It didn’t matter if it was a boy and a girl….. Just two.  To keep each other company.

I had a relatively easy pregnancy.  Other than a couple of episodes of bed rest, I had no morning sickness, no problems with hypertension, no real food cravings.  My son even came before my due date and my water broke on its own.  I had some complications during delivery, but other than that, everything seemed fine.  Until it was time to really become a mom.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I was afraid that everything that I did was wrong.  I know that I had postpartum depression, but did nothing about it, because I was supposed to be happy.  I was supposed to have the mom instinct.  I was supposed to have everything under control.

Then at 9 months old, I learned that my son had developmental delays.  We started with physical therapy.  A year and a half later we were going to cognitive, speech, oral and occupational therapy 3 times a week.  I was overwhelmed.  What did I do wrong to make my child like this?  Did I eat something wrong? Did I not stimulate him enough? Read to him enough? Play with him enough?  You see, as a new, self conscious, second guessing mom with no self esteem, I felt that I was the one to blame.  I blamed myself horribly for all of it.  I didn’t know who to talk to.  I thought I was supposed to be happy.

When my son was almost three, I got pregnant again.  I was both happy and scared.  “What if?” I kept thinking.  I let my fears subside and let myself be excited.  I had my first ultrasound.  I remember waiting in the waiting room for an extremely long time and I really had to pee (when you get an ultrasound, you have to drink a crap ton of water, and you can’t go to the bathroom until after the procedure is done…..).  I was feeling really uncomfortable and then I realized that they had forgotten about me.  I finally got called back to the ultrasound room and the technicians were unusually quiet.  I thought that they were just trying to be nice because of having to make me wait so long.

The time came to visit my OBGYN to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  I thought that it would be a great time to let my son know that he was going to be a big brother.  I was excited for him to hear the “woosh woosh” sound coming from mom’s tummy.

Except that’s not what happened.

I walked into the doctor’s office with my husband and son and the receptionist quickly lost her smile when she saw me.  She said to me “Didn’t they tell you? Didn’t they call you?  Your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat.”.

Again……. What did I do?  WHAT DID I DO WRONG?!!?

My doctor told me that within two weeks the baby would abort itself.  He said wait two weeks and then come in for a follow up.

Except nothing happened. (I am crying now as I type this by the way……..)

A week went by with my baby inside of me, not living.  During this time I had my son’s third birthday party.  I walked around the party in a daze, knowing my secret.  Wondering what I could have done.  Wondering what I did wrong.

After the second week, I finally had to have the procedure, to remove my dead baby from my body. I remember crying the entire time until the anastesia took effect.  When I woke up, I felt numb.

I still wonder why.  I still feel guilty for not giving my son a sibling.

So when people ask me if I’m going to have another…… I just smile and say “no”.

“sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind” – tyjo

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“Freeze frame please, let me paint a mental picture portrait, something you wont forget, it’s all about my forehead…” – Tyler Joseph

Have you ever had one of those life experiences where you wish you could stop time?  Like everything clicks and goes smoothly and is hella fun and you wish that you could relive the moment forever and ever? There’s no stress and no drama.  I’ve had a couple of those “picture perfect” moments in the past year.

Oftentimes when I have an awesome race experience, just like a fun life experience, I wish, and I try, to recreate it, some how, some way.  But oftentimes these new experiences fall short.  Nothing measures up. You try so hard to recapture the feelings of the past but you fail.  And then your “real life” feels ….. blah.  You live your day to day life feeling like something is missing.  Like you should be living your life in a different way.  That you’ve made some horrible, bad decision along the way and THAT’S why you don’t have lovely, awesome, fun life experiences EVERY DAY.

But here’s the thing…. Life isn’t always going to be fun.  Or perfect.  Or zit or wrinkle free.  There’s beauty in the breakdown (Imogen Heap).  There’s something to be said for those tough life experiences too.  I’m fortunate enough to not have too many of those.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been through my share of sh*t.  The perfect moments make you realize how lucky you truly are. There are some super cool people out there and sometimes all of the stars align and these perfect moments happen.  Take note.

My point is this…. LOVE those moments, but don’t get all worked up if the next time doesn’t live up to the awesomeness.

why do you want to be fast?

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PR

…. my good friend and co-worker asked me at work last week. I had told her about my excitement with my latest PR from my most recent half marathon. I was so happy that day that I cried. I have been working hard lately trying to get myself in better shape, and to see the results of my minimal training made me extremely happy. I have only been running half marathons for three years and the PR made my 20th half very special.

That is until dinner that evening, when someone that I had just met that night asked me what my time was….. “What was it?!” he said, “were you under two hours??”. Right there. Someone who didn’t even know me slapped me back to reality and made me realize how slow I am and how much work I still need to do.

Or do I?

The question my friend asked me last week made me wonder, why DO I want to be fast?

I actually said “You know what? I don’t even really know”.

Self doubt, comparison and social media can be brutal. Do I want to be fast for myself? Or do I want to be fast so I can show other people how fast I am? I have never been a competitive person. Growing up with a twin was enough. People compare the two of you whether they admit it or not. So a part of me tends to shy away from competition because people will either see me for who I am or make up their own minds about who they think I am. And the people that don’t really know me…. Do they really matter? Why should I be concerned about what Joe Schmoe thinks of my finish time? Why should I be concerned about what people on social media think about my finish times?

(I’m not saying that these feelings of slow inadequacy will go away, I’m just trying to figure out how to deal with them….)

So the question to myself still stands…Why? Bragging rights are certainly nice, but then again, there will always be someone faster, better, stronger than you, so again, why? For the photo on Instagram? For the better corral placement? For the feeling of accomplishment? For myself? Am I afraid of being judged for my lack of speed? Or am I just too lazy to even want to try to become faster? Am I afraid of the challenge?

No matter how old you are, there is still something to be learned about yourself, isn’t there?

“You’re never satisfied. That’s what life is, it’s just this ongoing, neverending vacation adventure, you see. You can’t get it wrong and you’ll never get it done…..” – Ester Hicks

running on stress and depression.

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Three years ago I was dealing with a substantial amount of stress and depression. Every day after I dropped my son off at school, I would run. Not fast. Not far. But I would run (…. away). I would take off and just listen to the music in my ear buds. Zero thoughts crossed my mind. I ran away from the boxes that needed to be packed. I ran away from the thoughts of failure. I ran away from my son’s trichotillomania. And I was able to deal with it all. And I was able to get through it. Little did I know that it would just be the beginning of my love for running.

Flash forward to my new state of affairs. New problems. New stress. Same old depression. I went for a run yesterday and I found myself back in that “place”. That place of zen. That place where you just zone out and just GO. My body was tired. I was hot. I was thirsty. My legs hurt. I wanted to stop and walk. But my brain said NO! So I didn’t. And I was ok. Something seriously turned off in my brain and it made me “just go”. I felt nothing but the desire to keep. going. And to tell you the truth, I’ve never even felt that in a race before (which I guess is why I always perform so poorly in races, lol).

I am no stranger to depression. I can remember those creeping thoughts as early as seventh grade. I had my ups and downs in high school, followed by some serious downs in college. I felt like I had to have it all figured out. I felt like I didn’t fit in. I felt like a failure so I almost changed my major the semester before I was supposed to graduate. That particular year was the worst (let me tell you, you don’t ever want to be forced to drink a cup of activated charcoal).

But now I am not older. I am better. I am stronger. I am a role model for my son. And I will. Not. Fail.

noend

parenting is hard/i miss my family.

For those of you with kids….. remember that day when you decided that you were ready to have a baby? Remember that day when you found out that you were pregnant? Remember when you had dreams of how you would decorate the nursery and what your child would be like? When I decided that I was ready to have a baby I didn’t think about things like “will my child be lonely?” or “is my child happy?”. I didn’t think about things like “your child has developmental delays” or “your child has trichotillomania”. I dreamed of the football player that my son would be (he has no interest in playing any sports of any kind) and how he would follow in my footsteps by playing a musical instrument (in which he also has no interest).

But then I read an article on Scary Mommy’s blog and realized that my son is Ferdinand the bull. Ferdinand “would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights”. My “bull” (who is also very headstrong and stubborn) loves to build Legos according to his own instructions. He thrives in his room when it’s an absolute disaster and has no interest in special dress up days at school (he doesn’t even care if “everyone else is doing it”).

My real worry (at this moment….. because let’s face it, as parents, we always worry) is about my son’s loneliness (and mine also, for that matter). He is constantly asking me to set up play dates and asking me “who’s going to be at the beach house?”. He’s always wondering “who’s going to meet us at Disneyland?” or “who can I play with today?”.

My son and I are lonely.

When I was growing up, I didn’t know how good I had it. I have a twin sister, an instant playmate. My best friend lived a block up the street. I would walk up to her house and play there all day long. I played in the neighborhood with the other kids outside until the street lights came on. I had family to hang out with, grandparents and cousins for all holidays. And once a week in the summer I would go to Wildwood in New Concord, Ohio with my grandparents and sleep in their camper and play with the other grandkids of their friends.

My son does not have these options.

First, I tried to give my son a brother or sister. Things were not meant to be and I have so much guilt because of that.

Second, our closest family is an hour away. And it’s not my family. All of his cousins are at least 7 years older and have no interest in playing with a 7 year old. My son is dying for their attention but they are just into their own things at this time.

We don’t have any (constant) kids in the neighborhood to play with. Divorce is messy. Kids come and go.

I guess the bottom line is, I wish that my son had the kind of life that I had growing up. It wasn’t perfect, but I never felt lonely. Not like we do now.

I miss my family.

I miss my family.

love, hate and Ragnar.

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OneMore My introduction to anything Ragnar was back in February of 2013, when I had just started to become a serious runner. I had just completed my first half marathon and was ready to do my second, two weeks later, with one of my BRF’s, Annie. She invited me to a team meeting for a Ragnar race that she was thinking about doing. I sat down at a table full of strangers and learned all there was to know about doing a Ragnar Relay race. The signs, the vans, the traveling…. All of it way too hard core for me. And although the thought of participating in such a thing scared me away, I met a lot of cool people that day. Flash forward to October, 2014. Again, my running partner in crime, Annie, needed my help. She could not take her place on her Ragnar Trail team and asked me if I’d be interested. The thought of it still scared me, but I was trying to venture my way out of my comfort zone. I was reluctant, but I agreed. RedLoop Nothing could have prepared me for the hellish hills of the Red Loop (my first leg) in the heat of the day. I don’t even know what my finish time was. All I know is, I was so happy to see Kyle. After that run, I thought, “never again”. I figured that I had had my Ragnar experience and that was that. But I still had two more legs to run. I was nervous about running the trails at night. My second leg, the Yellow Loop, was scheduled around 11pm. I don’t even recall if I had any night running practice at that point. Either way, it was my most favorite run of the weekend. I saw maybe 10 people out on the trail during the time that I was out there, but the majority of the time I was alone. And I wasn’t afraid. I had found a way out of my comfort zone. TrailAnnie Leave it to Annie (again) to rope me into yet another adventure. Annie, a Ragnar SoCal veteran, was looking for more people to add to a Ragnar Relay team that she had joined. Even though the Trail and Relay races are vastly different experiences, I felt that I had conquered most of my (unknown Ragnar) fears at Vail Lake.   “Sign me up!” I said. I even strung my sister along for the ride. sleep This brings me to the love/hate portion. It’s kind of like pregnancy and childbirth…. There are parts of it, when you’re going through it, that are awesome and fun and rewarding. And then there are the rough, exhausting “why the hell am I doing this?” parts. After my second leg, just like at Vail Lake, I had made it over the hump. The lack of sleep and lack of sleep space was the worst of it. Everything else was THE BEST. The instant camaraderie with my team mates, the YouTube videos in the parking lot in Oceanside, the 3am comedy routine, the compiled list of quotes…. All worth it. And just like at Vail Lake, I made some awesome friends during Ragnar Relay SoCal. And I can’t wait to do it all over again. eddie-harris-jr-the-sooner-you-step

slowly sinking in.

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medal

In my living room all of my running shoes are in a pile. Each pair has its own story. Some have seen lots of asphalt. Others are barely broken in. The purple Pure Flow 2’s in the pile are the shoes of a marathoner. It’s been two months. Two months ago today I completed my first full marathon. A year ago I had no desire to attempt such a daunting task. I thought that marathons were for real runners.

Why can’t I feel good about my accomplishment? Maybe it’s because I didn’t run the entire race? Maybe it’s because I don’t run fast? Maybe it’s because I didn’t exactly train very hard for my marathon…..

Or maybe I’m just too hard on myself?

Whatever it is, I’m waiting for the accomplishment to truly hit me. I’m waiting for that feeling of elation. When will it come???

celebrating