Appeasing the Universe

The other day when it was snowing I made a deal with the universe. If we had a snow day I would run a 5K and clean the house.

I got my snow day. And I cleaned my house.

And then I went to the gym, fully invested in running this 5K today. And I made it about half way. And even that half way was tough.

As someone who ran a half marathon and trained for a marathon (yes, before quitting), not being able to really finish a 5K was beyond humbling. It may have even been a little humiliating.

But at the same time, I’m glad I stopped. I’m just getting back into running and I know if I would have kept going I would have been in pain tomorrow and then yet another workout would not get completed.

So I thought of a better way to appease the universe. Maybe I didn’t have to actually run the 5K today. Maybe I just had to commit to one…really commit.

So I did.

I registered for the Kelly Shamrock 5K in Baltimore. This will be the first race I’ve completed since the Turkey Trot when I was pregnant with Charlotte. Oh, I’ve signed up for a bunch since then, but I haven’t completed a single one.

This is also the first 5K I ever ran the entire race. Granted it was in 2014, but I’m seeing that as a sign.

I’m ready to do this all again.

The Resolute Quitter

Someone once told me that to write I need to write about what I know. Luckily that’s all I know how to write about anyway.

In the past four years I’ve quit every thing I’ve started. You name it, I’ve attempted it…and then quit. Run streaks? I quit by week two. Running? I used to run 25 – 30 miles a week, and now I’m lucky if I even walk two. I’ve signed up (and wasted a LOT of money) on countless 5Ks, half marathons, and marathons only to quit about half way through…when I had decided that it got too hard. Being more environmental? I’m pretty sure I threw away a pile of paper yesterday instead of recycling it because the recycling was full and I just needed it out of my house. Hell, I’ve even quit my marriage. At this point the only thing I haven’t quit is my job, but I did switch schools so maybe that counts?

I wasn’t always this way. As a matter of fact, I used to be exactly the opposite. I would make a plan and resolutely stick with it, no matter the consequence or if it was the best decision in the long run. I was just that stubborn. I would see it through to the end even if it killed me. I used to think this was one of my biggest character flaws, but now I’m not so sure. The tenacity that would once push me over the finish line has now been replaced with apathy and indifference. I would do anything to get it back.

Maybe I’ve spent so much time quitting lately that it’s just what seems normal and comfortable now. I’m used to it. It’s familiar. It’s has the feeling of that soft, comfy shirt that is completely stained and threadbare. You need to throw it away. You want to throw it away. And yet, you can’t bring yourself to do it. As if parting with that one thing is going to increase your sadness even more than it already is.

Fear has become such a major part of my life over the past few years that it is literally ingrained in my soul. The fear of failure keeps me from making the big leaps. The fear of judgment keeps me from making the choices I know I need to make, the choices that are the best for me. Fear of retribution keeps me on my feet at all times…constantly looking over my shoulder and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ve spent so much of the last few years of my life being scared that I have barely lived at all. I’ve made so many goals and had so many things I want to accomplish which have all been brushed aside because of fear. And I don’t want to do that anymore.

If you know me at all, you know I love New Year’s. The blank slate, the new beginnings, the chance to start again all resonate with me on a deeply pure and spiritual level. I tend to make resolutions, grandiose goals, and big decisions all to have me eventually quit. I just can’t keep living my life like that anymore. I think this year I’m going to dump the resolutions. The changes I want to make within myself are big. Every single thing I want to change about myself I can control. And I don’t need resolutions or a New Year to do that. I can just do it. Plain and simple. It’s really that easy.

Of course, coming up with the idea to do something is the easy part. The hard part is the follow through…and that’s exactly what I plan to work on first.

The other day, as we were driving through the city on the way home, two runners crossed in front of our car. Joe’s immediate response was about how it was cold and they were outside running and that they were wearing shorts. It’s true, it was about 25 degrees…it was cold. But all I felt was the formidable tug of nostalgia. I remember thinking that I wish I was a runner. Or more clearly, I wish I was still a runner.

So you know what? I’m going to become one again.

Back to the Start

I’ve been wanting to write again for quite a while, but as usual, I had no idea where to start.  I currently have 9 notes in my phone about things I want to write about, but when I sit down and open up WordPress…crickets.  Every time.

So, today, in my all plague-induced sickness haze, I think maybe I’ll go back through my old blog posts and see what I used to write about.  Maybe it will spark something so I can get going again.

After all that, you know what I realized…I’ve fallen very far from the person I’ve become.

I used to think that the person I was in late 2013-2014 was so misguided and had no idea who she was.  I thought she was a mess.  I thought she was at the bottom.  But looking back over those posts I can’t believe how wrong I was.

She was strong.  She was honest.  She was brave.  She was motivating.  She was a survivor.

She climbed out of the darkness and found the light again.

I envy her.  I admire her.  I want to be her.

I know she is in here somewhere.  I just have to find her again.

39d8d66fe8b73524514d3750b4023e1b

Starting Over

Don’t call it a comeback…

I’ve started going to the gym before work again.  On Monday when my alarm went off I immediately turned it off, rolled over, and went right back to sleep…just as I had done the last two weeks.  But after 5 minutes of laying there I knew I had to get up and go.  And I actually did.  I was so proud of myself for getting up on Monday that I was able to easily rise out of bed today.  Fingers are crossed for tomorrow and the rest of the week.

I’d forgotten how much better I felt during the day when I worked out in the morning. I feel calmer (though it’s probably just that I’m tired) and more focused.  I’m able to tone my anxiety down quicker and compartmentalize better (This is a school worry.  You are home with the kids.  Stop thinking about this).  And this is just after 2 days.

But 2 days seems to be the most I can do these days.  Usually by day 3 I convince myself I need a “break” and the one morning off turns into a week or more.

It’s amazing how much easier it was to work out when I was unhappy.  When it was hard to be at home or spend time with Mike I would always find time to take a break at the gym.  When my dad died and I spiraled into my summer of self destruction, running was the thing that was able to pull my back to the surface long enough to take a breath.

But now, bed and home are my safety nets.  I like being here.  It’s cozy and warm and far away from the anxieties of a bad marriage and an overly stressful job.  It’s hard to get up and go.  It’s hard to leave the place where I feel the safest.

But I’ve done it twice this week.  I managed to get myself up and go, even when I did it alone.  So I can do it again, I know I can.

7ab499f61b1e5dee5fba49ee424a3648--funny-gym-humor-crossfit-humor

I think I can’t

After two long months of injury, I’ve started running again.  Every morning when my alarm wakes me up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am, I throw on my running clothes and head out the door…and it sucks.  Not just in a way that all running sucks, but in a very real, painful, and depressing way.

My shin and my knee is still killing me.  And because of that I’m running all kinds of crazy causing other muscles to hurt.  My pace time is abysmal…and I don’t mean in the “I run a 13 minute mile, I’m so slow” way, but in an actual “people walk faster than I run” way.  And it’s killing me inside.

I don’t know if it’s the extra stress I have going on at work or simply the extra street I have going on at home (or maybe it’s a combination of both), but I can’t seem to get motivated to go any faster or do anymore.  I literally plod on and on and on praying that I get finished the run soon.

Yes, I feel great after.  Yes, I feel accomplished.  But the before and during are worse than they were when I first started.

And to top it off, I have a hard marathon in 10 weeks and I and scared out of my fucking mind.  I’m already having anxiety attacks about it and it’s 2.5 months away. I don’t think I can do this.  I will be nowhere near ready.  I am going to fail.  And it’s going to suck.  Big time.

I hate this feeling of inadequacy.  I hate the lack of self confidence I have.

But I hate more that I’m pretty sure I’m right about this.

Fall down seven times, get up eight

Everything hurts and I’m dying.

I literally don’t think I could get out of this chair if I wanted to.  And I only ran/walked 2.5 miles today.  This summer I was up to over 25 miles a week with my long runs between 10-14.  Today? The idea of running 10 miles at one time makes me want to kill myself.

And yet, I have an alarm set on my phone to sign up for a half marathon when it opens on Thursday.

I’m constantly starting over. And for no other reason than I’m constantly giving up.  Something happens when I get to a certain point in almost every endeavor in my life.  I leave it behind, trying to convince myself I won’t get any better, or that I’m just going to fail, or thatI have something more important that needs my time and attention.

But we all know this is crap.  And then I’m forced to start over again.

I constantly wonder how far along I would be if I simply stopped giving up.  When I first started I was “running” a 16-17 minute mile on a fast day.  And I would get better and faster, but never lower than a 12 minute mile and never for very long.  And now here I am,  not anywhere near where I started, but definitely not where I was.  And after just a day back into it I feel like giving up…again.

My word this year is (was) supposed to be “brave” but I’m not feeling very brave these days. I have all these plans and goals but I’m too scared to follow through.  Mostly it’s fear of judgment.  And a little fear of failure.

I want to do things.  I want to help people.  I want to make the most of this tiny amount of time we are allotted on this earth.  I want to claim my guaranteed entry to to the NYC marathon, but what if I flake out again?  I want to really start using my running to give back, like running with Back on My Feet, working with a population I respect and who needs so much love, but will always feel like I’m too slow. I want to write more, more than just these blog posts, but never feel like it will go anywhere so what’s the point?

I have so much trouble putting myself out there…really out there.

Brave?  Not so much these days…

But I guess the fact that I care at all is something.  I guess the fact that I always try again proves I’m meant for more.

I know who I am.  I know what I want.  I know what is important to me.

But knowing is easy.  Doing is hard.

 

 

Brave

It’s almost that time.  My favorite time of the year.  The day we all get a blank slate to begin again.
I’m so excited.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now.  The last couple years have been marred by big events, both good and bad.  From new relationships and friendships, to break ups and new babies.  New houses and old baggage, and starting and stopping many times over.
I know the calendar has nothing to do with this, but there is something about the last number of the year changing that signifies a baptism.  The past is put aside so new experiences can emerge.  With the change in number so comes a change in attitude, purpose and resolve, almost as if the year is shedding off it’s old coat in order have renewed sparkle and shine.
In the past I’ve spent time coming up with strict, structured, and concrete resolutions; run this much, weigh this much, eat this food, be the person.  But not this year.  Instead I’ve decided to come up with a word, a theme if you will, that will drive the way I live my life.  My word this year will be brave.
In the past few weeks I have flirting with this concept, almost as if I’m simply tasting it to see if it’s something that my palate can agree with.  I’ve been more honest, stood up for myself, engaged in mild confrontations, and spoke truths that I’ve been too scared to address in over two years.
And I’ve never felt better.
Some of my braveries will be small (I’ve never tried steamed mussels) and some will be life changing.
I started this blog as a way to express myself and and make sense of my soul.  But in a way, I’m still hidden.  I speak the truth, but only a part of it.  I add sprinkles to items I’m not ready to completely address, like a way to liven up a bland sugar cookie.  I leave out details I’m sure will get judged.  But not anymore.  I’m ready to be open and honest about certain elements.  I’m ready to embrace who I am; the good and bad, the ugly and awesome.
I’ll probably be judged.  I’ll probably lose friends.  But that’s ok.  I’m almost 35 years old and life is short, dammit.  Why be someone I’m not?  It’s getting too hard.
I’m read to embrace 2016 and all of it’s amazingness.  And I’m ready for me to be amazing as well.
In 2016 we should resolve to be who we really are.
Be brave.  Be fearless.  Be you.

Unknown.jpeg