My Self-Care Grade As A Mom

I texted a friend before heading over to Julie’s book signing last night. I told her that Julie needed to use me as an example on how mothers are NOT focusing enough on our own self-care. I had a crazy day(and week). I was working, the fridge was empty, the house was a mess, the laundry sat in piles, I had not combed my hair or put on make-up and honestly haven’t had a cut or color since September, and I was sitting in the dance studio basement trying to get the bills paid so they were only a few days late.

 

But I told me friend that I was going to Julie’s reading come hell or high water. However the only way for me to attend was to drop some kids at dance, head home with another kid to quickly let the dog out to pee, and then go to the bookstore with my six year old and hope that it ended before I had to get back for dance pickup. And yes, I was the only one at the signing with a child. I laughed at myself and my situation and at how sometimes we just need to make somethings happen for us and our families. And last night – while in full motherhood and working mode – I needed to carve out 90 minutes for me. And I explained to my six year old that we were going to a thing for Mommy and she would need to bring a book and some coloring to keep busy(and not talk) so I could visit with my friend and celebrate Julie and her new book about Self-Care.

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Because kids, sometimes its not about you. I mean 99.9% of the time it’s about you. But I’m taking that .1% and holding onto it tightly as I try to increase my time and focus on my own self-care as a mother, so I can be a better mother. Last night was just what I needed.

 

And I realized that I need to set a better example for my kids on how a mom needs to take time for herself too. It’s always a joke to some that all we want for Mother’s Day is a day off from mothering, but it’s a joke that rings true for many(and many times for me too).

 

But this year I’m not asking for that day off on Sunday, because I just had five days off last month. I did something that I recommended to everyone – I took a long weekend with one of my best friends and spent it celebrating my running the Boston Marathon. I ran a marathon and seriously I had never felt so refreshed and renewed and happy. And I know it was because I got away completely and was able to focus on me(and not feel selfish about it) and enjoy adult company and so much laughter for a few days. It lifted me up and made me ready to come back and know I would be a good mom again.

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My kids were sad that they didn’t get to travel to Boston with me, but I hope they understand why I needed to go with friends, and they will use that as an example on their own motherhood journey someday.

 

And they know how important is to take care of ourselves..always. I model this to my tweens through my dedication to running and keeping fit. I never think of my daily run or workout as time away from my family – I see it as time for me to stay healthy and strong(both mentally and physically), and teach my kids that it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle now and throughout their lives. Remember to not just try to say the right things to your kids, but truly act and do how you want them to remember to live their lives. Actions are always louder than words.

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It’s important to me to keep an open dialogue going with my tween and teen about everything. From self-care and motherhood to friendships and making good choices. I love what responsibility.org is leading as part of their Ask Listen Learn project to build a foundation of trust and continual conversation between parents and tweens. By encouraging a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t include underage drinking, Ask, Listen, Learn has the resources for parents to be informed and talk with their kids about why drinking underage can have long-term and short-term consequences on a developing brain and body.

 

Everyone says that parenting a toddler is hard – but these tween and now as we enter the teen years, are getting even tougher as their independence grows. NOW, and today and tomorrow and always is the time to model a healthy lifestyle and continue to talk with your kids about everything. And if you don’t know what to say or do – well you are lucky because there are so many resources like Ask Listen Learn for those of us who need a helping hand. You are not alone.

 

Please visit asklistenlearn.org for more information and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

And remember that it’s okay to take time for yourself too. Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Responsibility.org for a post, but all words, actions, and love for my tweens are completely my own.

 

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Boston Marathon Recap

It was wicked hot out there.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

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I ran a marathon without much training.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

I didn’t train on any hills.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

My legs cramped up like they’ve never done before.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

I’m not sure I should be running this far on my injured ankle.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

I can’t begin to drink enough water.

 

But I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

I never, not once, not even for a second, once I stepped up to the starting line thought “I can’t do this.”

 

Because I was ready to earn the sentence, “I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher.”

 

No buts anymore. No buts.

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I could leave my recap as just that – I came, I conquered(okay, endured), I finished. But I have so much more to say. So here it is….go get a coffee…

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I ran the race I trained for. I mean, I barely trained as I was in a boot for six weeks and just started running six weeks before Boston. And in my previous post, I said my head was telling me “4:15.” And that’s the race I ran. My plan – as stupid as it may sound to an experienced runner- was to go out and run as well and and as fast and as far I could, and then walk, limp, crawl the rest of the way…but there was no way in hell I was walking off the course. And in my head that meant a 4:15. I thought I could run a 1:50 half and then keep a decent 9 min/mile pace until 20, and then figure out the last 6 miles at a 12 min/mile or so…which puts me at about a 4:10 without water stops…so a 4:15.

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Sure I had an optimistic plan – a 3:51 so I could Boston Qualify again with a few minutes to spare. And maybe,  just maybe, on a cooler day that could’ve happened. Because hell, it was wicked hot. 70+ and sunny is awesome for spectators – but it’s about 20 degrees too hot for runners. I was sweating and my body temp was up just walking the mile to the starting line. They had water stops at every single mile(thank god), and I drank 1-2 cups and poured one over my head at EVERY SINGLE MILE. And I was still thirsty. And hot. And sweaty. And don’t even ask me about the dang headwind. But you know what – I did not care because I was running my first Boston Marathon.

 

Things started off very close to plan – I ran a half marathon in 1:52 and that was great, but I was getting tired. Thank goodness for those Wellesley girls as their kisses pulled me through the next few miles.

 

Miles 14-16 starting slowing down for me and I was walking by mile 16. Not because I was tired(I was), but because of leg cramps. I have NEVER felt cramps like that – they start in your toes, work their way up your foot and to your calf and then FREEZE. Like you are going to fall over if you take another step.

 

So miles 17-21 were brutal. It was still hot and still sunny and I was already walking, and it was time for the Newton Hills. NO ONE CAN PREPARE YOU FOR THESE HILLS. The downs were actually worse than the ups…so I basically would run a quarter mile, walk a quarter mile, and repeat for these four miles. But holy hell – I was running the Boston Marathon – I was NOT giving up. I was honestly happy with 10:30 min/miles with all of the walking I had to do.

 

Thank goodness for the amazing crowds and volunteers along the way. They made a VERY tough day brighter with their huge numbers and encouraging words. I wrote my name on my arm and leg and had hundreds of people shout my name as I ran/walked by. It was also during these miles that I saw the most people getting medical attention. MANY people on stretchers, getting IV fluids and being massaged for cramps.

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Miles 22-25 are kind of a blur. At this point I had to stop and stretch a few times just to even keep walking. My pace slowed to 11 min/mile but I kept on moving forward. At least the course flattened out.

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I saw my friend Kristi, my sister-in-law Amy, and my mother-in-law, at mile 25. It gave me the courage to kind of run that last mile in as I took a right on Hereford and a left on Boylston. I can’t even begin to describe how loud the crowds were down Boylston Street. It was surreal. I cried the whole time as I tried to keep running and thank the crowds for coming out to cheer. High-fives all around, my friends. It was all I could do to lift my arms at the finish and then I just cried as I hugged my “medal-giver” as I finished with a 4:12. It was all in the plan…

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Would I have loved to BQ last Monday? Sure. But I am a Boston Marathon Finisher.

 

It was a tough day out there for many. I was looking at some stats since this is a very fast race with some of the fastest runners in the world – so many earn another BQ each year. In fact in 2014 11,053(36%) qualified to run again the next year..and in 2015 12,767(48%) did. But this year, in 2016, only 4324(16%) runners qualified again. That’s CRAZY low and a testament to the heat this year. So KUDOS to them and to all of us who showed up on Marathon Monday!

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I’ve never enjoyed a donut and a beer more than I did that evening.

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I plan to be back to Boston Marathon again soon. This won’t be my last. But this will always be my first and it was truly a beautiful and perfect day.

 

Nothing(except the time and love of my family and friends), will ever compare to running this special race. You sure know how to throw a party Boston.

 

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Boston Marathon One Week Countdown

I’ll be at the starting line of my first Boston Marathon in exactly one week.

 

One week.

 

26 years of running. And now one week.

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I’ll be there with hope and positive thoughts to get me through. They say the first 20 miles are what you train for, and the last six miles are mental. This time I’m not leaning on my training for any of it really.

 

But I’ll also be there with the love and support of so many of you that have reached out with your encouragement on this crazy journey. Thank you.

 

So I’ll be at the starting line of Boston Marathon in one week without my typical marathon training. There has been no taper as there’s no time. There’s nothing to taper from.

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By now I should’ve been training for 14 weeks, had some 50 miles weeks. at least three 20+ mile runs, speed work, track workouts, tempo runs, hills repeats…

 

Instead I’ve been only back on my feet for seven weeks after four months of rest from a stress fracture and tendonitis…that still bothers me. In those seven weeks I’ve run only 2x week, had one long run of 16 miles and instead focused on strength, core and cross-training.

 

And right now I have no idea what that means over 26 miles. But as with any marathon, I have to trust in my training..and this was all I could do.

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A year ago my goal without an injury was to earn another BQ to bring me back to Boston in 2017, but now I just want to be there to enjoy the party and reach the finish line…somehow.

 

My ankle is telling me that this might be a 5:15 marathon(never had a “5” in front of that before…).

 

My head is telling me that I can pull a 4:15 safely.

 

And my heart is telling that 3:51 is totally possible. My heart is ever the optimist and yet it’s been broken a few times before.

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I’m not sure which will be right next Monday, but what I do know is I’m going to enjoy every single step of those 26 miles as this young girl qualified for THE BOSTON MARATHON and dammit I’m going to own this journey all the way to getting that unicorn medal at the finish. And I’ll be grateful to just see another beautiful Monday and have the ability to take even one step.

 

See you there, Boston.

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Boston Marathon Training

I ran twice this week. I ran a full mile on Tuesday, and then a whole mile and a half on Thursday. Tomorrow, Saturday, I plan to run another mile or so.

 

These are my first miles since December. But it’s been since mid-September and my injury since I’ve done big miles. And big miles to me these days mean anything over five. Whereas a year ago I was doing 20 on any given Saturday without a thought of it being a big deal.

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Now this mile hurts. Later in the afternoon on Tuesday I felt aches in my shins and the back of my thighs. My ankles felt weak. And it’s not like I’ve been sitting around binge watching Netflix and getting out of shape. (Okay, I have binge watched Netflix – OMG Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and Friday Night Lights...). But I’ve been doing most of my binge watching while riding the bike and putting in about 150 miles a week to keep my cardio up. I also spend a good 30 minutes each day on core and strength to be ready to increase my running mileage. But running is different. And these short miles don’t feel natural.

 

After 24 years of running, I’m a beginner again.

 

And Boston Marathon is 8.5 weeks away. After returning to marathon training two years ago, I qualified for Boston….and now…I ran a mile on Tuesday.

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I know I can run that first mile of the race. And damn that last .2 is MINE…but the 25 in between. I’m not feeling sure.

 

And I go through my options..

  1. Skip it. Cry a lot about skipping Boston Marathon. How does one skip BOSTON??? But take another year or so to really get better. I mean I had a torn tendon and stress fracture…do I really need to do this. And then maybe I’ll qualify again in two years and THAT will be my chance to do Boston. But what if I’m never in Marathon shape again. What if my ankle and foot are done. If that’s the case…
  2. ..then I’m going to Boston this year. It might just be my slowest marathon ever. But even finishing in five and a half hours gives me a Boston finish and a medal. Screw it all. I’m going – come what may. Even if it means walking half of it.

I’m scared. No matter how determined I am and ready to embrace the suck I am…I still am scared to mess with an injury.

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So how’s that Boston Marathon Training going? Well I will run three miles this week. And maybe five next week..and seven the week after..and we will just see how things go. That’s where I am right now….scared, confused, mad, frustrated, hopeful, hungry, ready, yet no matter…

….I’m still a runner.

 

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High Five Friday

Five Things To Read This Week.

I’ve been writing. I swear to you I’ve been writing like I promised to last month. But I’ve been writing with a pen and paper just like Julie asked me to do. So maybe those words will end up on here. Or maybe not. Maybe they will show up somewhere else, or maybe they will stay in the notebook for my kids to find 60 years from now when they are cleaning up my cat lady house after I die.

 

Speaking of Julie…her novel Letters For Scarlet launches in April and I just finished my preview copy. You MUST buy and read her book. A full review is coming soon…..

 

My friend Christine always inspires me. Like I wake up most mornings thinking about her and seeking out her writing and photographs because she is pure joy, inspiration, talent, and beauty. She had a few articles go crazy viral over the past week, but I love her article on The Washington Post.

 

I adore Jennie – her faith, family and her writing. I needed to read and nodded through this post about Forgiveness. I think you will see your human self in it too.

 

Love, Surfing, and Marriage – yes yes and yes..all of it from my dear friend Michelle.

 

Five Instagram Photos This Week

 

I do most of my writing these days on Instagram. So if you are looking for me – find and follow me over there..

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  1. New neighbors moved in over the weekend so we made and delivered cookies! Hopefully they will be some new “clients” for Eloise’s babysitting business.
  2. Fernie the Bernie…(WE GOT A DOG…more later)…with her sweet sister in the van.
  3. Yoga #poseoftheday – I’ve been doing core work and daily stretches and yoga as I continue to get stronger as I recover from my running injury.
  4. Snow Day! We had 12″ of snow this week and had a blast in the snow.
  5. Matilda Jane launch week! Our new Spring line is available so I spent the week working my tail off. I’ve been a Trunk Keeper for almost nine years and love my job still every single day.

Linking up with Angela at Happy Fit Mama!

 

Have a great weekend

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Where I Give 15 Fs About 2016

This morning I woke up the same way that I wake up every morning. The cat is licking my face as my alarm goes off. I wonder if she really thinks I’ll forget to Feed her. Have I ever Forgotten to Feed her? I Feed her and I make sure the coffee is ready and then I work-out. After my work-out I drink copious amounts of coffee as I watch the morning news. I catch up on Facebook and Instagram and email, and then I wait for the Family to wake.

Just hours into the New Year, 2016 Feels the same. The cat, the coffee, the news, the work-out and the being First up for like always a million mornings later. I like the comfort in the routine and Familiar. I am not beyond Feeling like a toddler in my need for the predictable. Yet I don’t want to get comfortable in other ways. I want to step out of my comfort(and honestly, control) zone to be better and experience new. Just don’t mess with the First hours of my morning.

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2015 brought some big changes in many areas – Friends, Family, Fitness, Finances…and honestly had me using the big F word more than usual. And if you know me and my love for the big F word – well, wow that’s kind of a big deal to use it even more.

 

I’m not making resolutions here, because eFF that – so instead I’m using 15 F words that will define my life living Forward in 2016.

 

Focus – Like how I started writing this blog post on New Year’s Day..and here it is Five days later and I’m Finally Finishing it. Yeah, I need to work on this one. This Focus of putting First things First and prioritizing and letting go of the crap that’s not important. But I won’t be able to really Focus until I Finish Breaking Bad. Check back with me in a Few days after I binge watch the Final two seasons. Just tell me that cute Jesse is okay.

Family – Numero uno. But I can’t do this until I get clear Focus, right. That’s why I have it listed as number two. Family First and always. I love my people and they need to know it more. I mean sure I clean the house and cook their meals and make sure they have Folders and clean clothes. And I give hugs and kisses and encouragement and love. But I need to be more present for them when we are together. Whether it’s the now old cliche of putting my phone down, or maybe even watching the Minions for the 153rd time.

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Fun – Which brings me to Fun. I’m the heavy in our Family. The enforcer of the chores and the discipline. I run a tight ship and have high expectations of everyone. This will not change. But I do promise to have more Fun this year and always. We can all wear dirty clothing for a day if it means a few hours of sledding. More yes and less no.

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Fitness – I qualified for the Boston Marathon and am running it in April. I’m currently in a boot – so no running which totally sucks, but I’m coming back even stronger than before…trust me. My Fitness goals in 2016 are to get back into running shape with overall health and Future in mind…strong core, strong body, good choices. And by the end of 2016 I want to be in even better overall health and in stronger shape than I am in now. My goal is to write more about my Fitness journey in 2016 too. Hold me to that one, okay?

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F(ph)otography – My camera has taken a bit of a hiatus in recent years. I’m giving myself the time to explore and get to know my Friend Canon again in 2016. I need to stop worrying about perfect and just shoot.

Food – I have always watched what I eat, but I’m bringing my Family more into this in 2016. In 2015 I started “new recipe” Wednesday with the family – I cooked something completely new each Wednesday, and it was a huge success(maybe I should’ve blogged about it), so 2016 is continuing that as well as Focusing on cutting out more sugar and meat and processed items from everything we eat.

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Future – No looking back this year. The best is yet to come. Let’s celebrate and make an impact where we can – in tomorrow…not yesterday.

Friends – This is a BIG one For me in 2016. The older I get the more I know how important true Friends are. Yet how difficult it is to Find Friends at this age. We aren’t having babies anymore, we aren’t in college anymore, and I don’t have a workplace that I go to where I’m heading out to lunches with adults. But it’s Finding those true and easy Friends – through school or activities or book clubs or Facebook…AND making the time to have coffee or wine or even a phone conversation. Let’s all make the time For Friends this year. Friends Feed our soul differently than work or Family. Let’s celebrate and make time for that.

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Finances – Our BIG commitment for 2016. We made some huge Financial decisions in 2014 and 2015 – and now it’s time to continue moving Forward to ensure our Future retirement(EEK) as well as the kids’ Future is Funded. We will hold monthly Family Finance meetings and Focus on what’s important with our Finances. Full transparency as we move Forward is key.

(non)Fiction – I WILL write in 2016. It might not be here always, but I will write. I want to write a children’s book that I’ve had in draft for almost three years, and I will pitch some articles this year. I have Found that the less I write, the more scattered and unhappy my brain gets…so I need to do this. And I will.

Facebook – And all social media. I Find it can be such a time suck because I love to see you all – your Families, your pictures, your lives..and I love to support you all…but I need more balance here. I have already stepped away quite a bit and will continue to Focus my social media time better in 2016.

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Fly – We WILL take a Family vacation in 2016. We WILL continue to show our kids the world in 2016. We WILL Focus on our Finances better so this is our yearly goal as a Family – to invest in our Fun, our Future, and our global views moving Forward.

(give)Forward – I have applied for a local volunteer position and intend to dedicate more of my time in 2016 to giving Forward to others(more locally) in 2016. “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank.

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(my aging)Face – Hey, guess what? I’m 47..and will be 48 in 2016. This happens. Yet, I like my Face in the here and now. I do. I like the lines that have come with time and experience. Even the lines on my arms and tummy – YES that happens too dear young people. But I love it. My Face scared me when I was 41-43 because I saw the changes from 37-39..but now, I think it’s kind of awesome. I don’t need to get carded. I can be somebody’s mom, and I can be old enough to be somebody’s mom in college, and I can be old enough to be your mom, or your grandma…and I’m totally zen with all of that. I take care of my body – good Food and Fitness..and well For my Face…not all the thousand dollar lotions in the world can stop time nor do I want to pay for treatments or surgeries or any of that Fake stuff. I own this Face and I love it – wrinkles, age spots, and randoms hairs and all. Also, wearing reading glasses on a date is incredibly sexy.

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F*ucks – And as with my Face..I just can’t give any F*ucks anymore with any bullshit. “I want real. I want true. If you don’t like me that’s on you.” – Tracy Morrison, 2016.

 

Happy 2016, my Friends. The best is yet to come.

“There is no passion to be Found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela

 

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Five For Friday

I’m just sharing five Instagrams for this Friday. I thought I would have more time to write today, but instead we were crazy busy and this is the first time I’ve even opened my laptop.

 

I hope you all enjoyed time with family and friends yesterday and today.

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  1. We celebrated the last day of school before break with a big coffee! She likes coffee. I like that she likes coffee. Maybe she will never grow because of the coffee. Maybe she’ll be my baby forever.
  2. A little yoga after my run on Wednesday morning. Seriously perfect sunrise. I was nice to run when it wasn’t pitch black.
  3. Thanksgiving family selfie. Beautiful snowy day!
  4. My first run this year with icy roads. I love and hate the snow and ice. It’s beautiful but makes for a difficult run.
  5. We went to the MOA for Black Friday. Eloise turns 13 in 5 days so she got to pick out a few things for her birthday. We had such a blast. I am NEVER a Black Friday shopper – but this was worth it. Just me and Eloise and her friend. We laughed for hours.

Happy Friday Friends. xoxoxo

 

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Five For Friday

I’m linking up with Angela again this Friday!

 

Five Instagrams For A Friday:

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  1. #prayforparis I took this shot of The Eiffel Tower on Valentine’s Day 1999
  2. We took a family hike on Sunday. It was 60 degrees in November in Minnesota – CRAZY!!
  3. Mad for Plaid! LOVING all of the Fall offerings from Aventura this season! Love being an ambassador for them. I have coupon codes too – so now is the time to shop!
  4. Physical Training is going well and I’m getting stronger and faster! LOVE my wrap from Momentum Jewelry – 26.2 #boston2016 here I come!
  5. The holiday line from Matilda Jane Clothing is just dreamy – and these girls aren’t too shabby either! And cooperating for Holiday pictures no less!

Follow me on Instagram!

Five Posts For A Friday:

A lot has changed and happened since I posted last Friday. The world weeps as extremists terrorize the innocent. We need to weep along with them, yet let them know that we are not afraid. And we must continue to help the innocent.

 

The world is suffering the worst refugee crises in decades. One mother writes here about why we must all help and why.

 

Angela wrote one of my favorite things this week – nighttime running safety. I’ve written how I am one of those who actually prefers not to be seen as I’m more afraid of being attacked than of being hit by a car – and run knowing that I yield and give vehicles the right of way. Now that we’ve moved out of the city though – it’s DARK out here and I’m running like a Glow-Worm to see and be seen. Love her tips.

 

My dear friend Jennie lives just outside of Paris. Her family is safe and I love what she wrote this week. We continue to send love to her, her family, and her friends.

 

My friend Arnebya is a true gem, a brilliant writer, and just all around kick-ass person. What she wrote here about searching for love as a young girl hit hard and close to home…and now as a parent..whew.

 

And the best news all week – drinking coffee makes you live longer! So I believe I will live to be 526.

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

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Physical Therapy For A Running Injury

Not much is more humbling than physical therapy. I’ve been in PT for six weeks now. Injured for eight weeks – but it took me almost two weeks to even get to the doctor as I was in complete denial that something was wrong. Even though my ankle hurt like hell. And I couldn’t walk. Or run. Or really talk without extreme pain. But instead I used meditation and prayer and acupuncture and denial. None of those really worked, so eventually I succumbed to modern medicine as I really really wanted to run again.

 

Has it been mentioned that runners are incredibly stubborn?

 

I laughed the first few times I went to PT as the exercises seemed so small and silly. But I did them as instructed. And each time she added more strength exercises – and stretching exercises – and we’ve worked on my form and my cadence. And now I pretty much just want to go to PT every single day as she knows so much. And I’ve truly found out that I know so little.

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You see I’ve done this running thing on my own for 20+ years  – without ever having a coach, a running group, a running friend, or even an online running community. Through my injury I’m meeting more and more people who all work together to lift up and support this community – through cheering, education, fun, and fitness.

 

However – with the good comes the bad…before PT I was just obsessed with running. Now I’m obsessed with EVERYTHING that has to do with good running…so how am I suppose to do anything but work on running better, running stronger, running faster, running more social. ALLTHERUNNING!!!

 

Has it been mentioned before that runners are crazy?

 

I’m 5 weeks out from the official start of Boston 2016 Marathon training -and I feel like I’m on a good path to make this training cycle good and healthy and injury free. Just don’t expect me to do anything but eat sleep and breathe running. Also, don’t let my PT person break-up with me.

 

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Five Good Things On A Friday

I haven’t done a link-up in about three years – which is about three thousand years in blogging. But there is NO WAY I’m going to make it through November and 18 more days of blogging without a few link-ups, memes, and picture posts.

 

And this time I am actually thrilled to link-up for High Five Friday with Angela. She is an inspiration to me as a mom, athlete, and all around badass. I love following her on Instagram and on her blog. So go check her out. But come back here and say hi.

 

Five From Instagram. Here are five pictures from Instagram this week.

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  1. Family holiday picture outtake…I think Esther did a pretty dang good job behind the camera! Also…#manbun.
  2. My new Motivate Wrap from Momentum Jewelry. I LOVE it and haven’t taken it off in a week. I am thrilled to be a new ambassador for them!
  3. Ahem. Official confirmation of acceptance into the 2016 Boston Marathon!!!!!!!
  4. The view from my grandma’s hospice room in Duluth. She was moved to hospice on Monday. She is still holding strong, but prayers for peace would be loved right now.
  5. Typical morning in my family room – coffee, the morning news, and core work after my run. Trying to continue strengthening my core to be a stronger runner and avoid getting injured again.

You might want to follow me on Instagram as I do post more there than here or on Facebook.

 

Five Reads This Week. Okay – maybe some are from last week, but these are reads that I loved and you need to see.

  1. My dear friend Anna is HAVING A BABY! Do you know Anna? Everyone needs to know Anna. Her story. Her Family. Her book. I want Anna and her baby to be in my Five Awesome Things For a Friday every single Friday.
  2.  My friend Kerstin is 44 today! I love her list “What I know at 44.” It’s true that we never stop learning. I love that she never wants to work for someone else again. Amen, Sister! And Happy Happy Birthday!
  3. I adore Christine. Like I want to be college roommates with Christine. Do you think that is possible? I love everything that Christine writes, so I laughed a bit as I read her post about running with your significant other. Jed sometimes asks me if I want to run with him. Um, no…I don’t. I love you, but I don’t want to run with you. Ever. Is that weird? Read her post and you decide.
  4. I’ve become a bit obsessed with Fit Foodie Finds. Lee is a Minnesotan and is brilliant with her unique, healthy, and yummy recipes. I am totally making these Healthy Salted Caramel Cups this weekend.
  5. Get inspired by Kim Stemple who has a terminal illness and just ran the Marine Corp Marathon, yet gave her medal to her husband. Her organization We Finish Together has inspired thousands of runners to give their finishers medals to others.

Happy Friday – and leave a link to a favorite read this week!

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Why I’m Glad I Had A Running Injury

I didn’t run the Twin Cities Marathon this year. Mentally, it was so hard not to be at the starting line, yet I know it was the right decision. I ended up with peroneal tendonitis two weeks before the race and couldn’t walk without pain, let alone think about running 26.2 miles.

 

It was my first running injury and I guess I am lucky that I have been running for decades injury free. I know this now as I’ve spent the past six weeks talking with doctors, physical therapists, and other runners, and it turns out that almost every runner has an injury at some point.

 

And as frustrating as this injury has been(and how hard I was to live with for the few weeks immediately afterwards), I now actually see it as a blessing in disguise.

running-injury-recovery

What I’m Glad I Had A Running Injury…

 

1.  It made me realize the importance of cross-training. I’m a “one sport pony” and really only run. And run. And run some more. I’ve ignored the need to work on other muscle groups and give my running “parts” a rest by really focusing on a cross-training plan. I’ve rediscovered yoga, discovered Cross Fit and Pilates, and have enjoyed some bike rides with my family.

2.  I’ve started stretching more. Before I was injured, I stretched because I felt I was suppose to – and I’m sure I never stretched what I was suppose to stretch. Now I’ve learned some amazing stretches for before and after my runs to really work on my body, to work on flexibility and mobility, and warming up before I run. After determining what probably caused this injury – overuse, my gait, some weakness on my left side – it’s given me the opportunity to focus on specific exercises that I can do to improve my running overall.

yoga-for-runners

3. I found out that core strength is really the key to everything to be a better and healthier runner – and also knowing how to fire different muscles for running running distances. I’ve become more immersed in the science of running and this will help me continue to run for years and years to come. Before my injury all I did was run. Sure, I did a little bit of core work – some planks and light weights and ab work – but it was never regular or probably even working like it should. Now I’m taking time to work on my core almost every day with specific exercises to really focus on my running strength. I’ve incorporated strength training into my weekly training plans to increase my endurance, strength, speed and hopefully to keep me injury free. And I’ve fallen in love with Cross Fit and now do some great hip and glut strength work that I’ve learned at PT.

cross-training-for-runners

4. I’ve become social and realize that I need people, and that’s okay. I joined a gym for the first time in my life(I KNOW, RIGHT?), and after feeling really shy and silly and uncertain at first, I LOVE working out with other people! Everyone is so supportive and kind and really works together to keep everyone focused on their goals. Seriously, the love is crazy amazing. I have always been someone who runs alone and works out alone and now I’m actually considering joining a local running club. Also, I’ve been given the gift of a village – from fellow runners to my PT – I have a support network beyond my family. Don’t ever feel alone.

injury-recovery

5. I’ve taken the time away from running to focus on other priorities. I made a last minute decision to go to Haiti for a week again(more on that later), which really gave me time to rest and focus on others. I’ve also spent more time finding recipes and cooking for my family, and honestly I’ve enjoyed taking a bit of a break from running to get my mojo back before I start training for Boston Marathon 2016.

tempo-run

Now I don’t recommend getting injured, but I’m six weeks out and pain free and feeling stronger, smarter and faster than ever. So, it’s totally not weird to say with certainty that I’m glad this happened.

 

What has your running injury experience been?

 

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How To Cope With A Running Injury

I’m injured. And I cannot run.

 

How I’ve been coping with this injury.

  1. Crying
  2. Screaming
  3. Pretending that it’s not that bad
  4. Trying to run through it and making it worse
  5. Crying
  6. Drinking wine
  7. Whining
  8. Shopping
  9. Googling “quick fix” ideas so I can continue to run through it
  10. Staying off the internet
  11. Feeling sorry for myself
  12. Sitting in a dark room
  13. Eating candy corn…damn you Halloween
  14. Crying
  15. Doing Yoga and bitching about doing yoga NAMASTE YOURSELF!
  16. Being angry
  17. Being told to chillax
  18. Getting angrier
  19. Considering just getting 40 more cats and becoming a cat lady and never running again
  20. Binge watching Netflix
  21. Knitting sweaters out of cat fur
  22. Downloading every Candy Crush game possible and INVITING EVERYONE ON FACEBOOK TO PLAY
  23. Crying
  24. Drinking wine
  25. Whining

Two weeks ago(and 12 weeks into my training for Twin Cities Marathon), I had an incredible last long run. I did my final(and third) 20 miler at the exact pace I was training for to end the intense part of my training. I’ve ran injury free for 20+ years, my pace has increased, I’ve qualified for Boston, and this training was easy and fun. I felt ready to race in just a few weeks.

20-mile-marathon-training-run

But…

 

…after I rested for a day and hit the streets for a short four miles, my ankle felt sore. Not strangely sore – but still sore. I brushed it off to being stiff after my long run, or just a little stiff because the morning air was cool and I know that at nearly 47 year old, sometimes my body just needs more time to warm up.

 

But…

marathon-training

…my ankle remained stiff all week and by Friday it was more than stiff…it was sore. So I took Saturday off from running to rest it a bit before heading out for 13 miles last Sunday morning. My ankle hurt from the first steps out of my house and continued to hurt through mile 13. Why I decided to tough it out – I don’t know…but I knew that something was really wrong. I hobbled in at 13 miles at barely a 9 min mile pace. STILL in denial though, I took two days off to rest and hit the pavement again last Wednesday. I could only run with a limp..which I knew would happen as I could only walk with a limp for the past few days. So I turned around and came home and brought up Dr. Google. And then a PT friend reached out to me to come in after I posted on Instagram about my injury. It turns out I have peroneal tendonitis. It hurts to walk. It hurts to run. It hurts to think about it. So I’m full-on R.I.C.E -ing and still crying…and trying to stay positive that with complete rest I will be there lining up on the starting line for TC Marathon 2015 this coming Sunday.

peroneal-tendonitis

It’s the 20th anniversary of my very first marathon – and I was suppose to be there finishing and celebrating.

first-marathon

But…

 

..instead I might be there as a volunteer and celebrating all of you…while I heal completely so I can kick some ass at Boston in 2016.

yoga-runners

In the meantime I’m biking, stretching, and trying yoga again. And going crazy. You know that runners are crazy and stubborn, right? I’m not sure if we get that way from running or our unique personalities draw us to running.

biking-marathon-training

Have you had tendonitis before… and please tell me it does get better? Because I totally suck at this sitting around knitting sweaters out of cat fur thing.

 

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Grandma’s Marathon – Recap

It’s been 11 days so you would think my legs and brain would be rested enough to finally write a Grandma’s Marathon Recap, right? But no, it’s still hard to put words around the race(also, why are my legs still sore?). I think that’s the hardest part about being a Mother Runner – the race is just this three to four hour period of time where you don’t need to serve anyone a snack. And the four months of training before the race is pieced together with before the sun rises runs while everyone sleeps or between school drop-off and pick-up times and your own work schedule. You steal an hour before you grocery shop, or even skip that trip to Target so you can get in a track work-out. And after the race is done, it’s back to work and motherhood and then a week later…what race?

 

I felt lucky that I even remembered my running shoes by the time the minivan was packed on the Friday before Grandma’s. Not only did we have to pack for two days in Duluth(and remember my music, fuel belt, headband, GU, running shoes and clothing), but we had to pack the two older girls for a two week sleepaway camp that I dropped them off at after the marathon, and Astrid and I had to pack for a week at the cabin with my parents. And sure, we had to make sure there were some crumbs of food left behind for Jed and the cats to live off of during our absence.

 

I spent the week before Grandma’s obsessing about the weather. Not that obsessing about the weather does any good – but especially in this race – it does have an impact on the race. Since we run the 26.2 miles along Lake Superior, a nice tailwind and cooler temps makes this a very fast marathon. But sometimes Mother Nature feels like messing with us. Temps were predicted in the 60s(hot for Duluth), with high humidity and severe thunderstorms and heavy rain…and with a bit of a headwind just for fun. So I chose a tank, running skirt and a garbage bag as my outfit of choice and just said “It is what it is.”

running-in-a-trash-bag

The morning temps were fine – about 59 degrees, but the headwind they predicted showed up, and about 20 minutes before the race started the sky opened up with a very very very heavy downpour. Like two inches of water in your running shoes kind of downpour. I wonder if anyone was able to get a cool shot of 6500 people wearing trash bags at the start of the race? Like crazy rain. But once the gun went off and we started moving, besides the squishy feet, the rain felt good.

 

Miles 0-8

I ate a GU about 10 minutes before the start(after peeing 4569 times) and felt ready. I lined up between the 3:35 and 3:45 pacers and had a goal time in mind of 3:40. My strategy was to run closer to the 3:45 group through mile 15 and then push ahead. OH that is so funny to read now. Because ME, being ME just cannot do that. As usual – I went out too fast and pretty soon found myself running an 8 minute mile pace and slightly ahead of the 3:35 pacer. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. So at mile 8 I slowed to run with the 3:35 pace group. Of course I still felt great and I had a GU about every 5 miles or so as I ran. The rain continued and kept the temperatures cooler.

mother-runner

Miles 9-14

I stayed with the 3:35 pace group through these miles and finished my half at a PR pace(which at this point I knew was going to be trouble….oh silly me…). And at mile 14, the pace group started pulling ahead of me. So I started doing some math in my head that if I could just hold on to run 9 min miles for the last 10 miles, I would still stay ahead of the 3:45 pacer. At this point I started questioning the reality of a 3:40 run.

 

Miles 14-20

By mile 16, I lost the 3:35 in the distance ahead and then the rain stopped and the sun came out and the steam coming off the pavement was freaky. Also hot. The humidity really kicked in and the sun pretty much sucked. I just kept my head down and was thankful I finally had a GPS watch for the race so I could make sure I was keeping my pace at or below 9 min miles. I just held on and ran the best I could before hitting the last six miles that are in Duluth and would have bigger crowds to give me some more energy.

running-grandmas-marathon

Miles 20-24

At this point I was embracing the suck big time as I just wanted to maintain my speed – which I did. This is the part of the race that you don’t train for – but actually all of your training is what gets you through these miles. The mental games were full on crazy town through these miles. Thankfully the sun went away and the wind switched and that part of the race did not suck. The crowds were awesome along the course by this time.

 

Miles 24-26

My family was at mile 24 which was wonderful! I was in the “I can run for 18 more minutes, right – I can do anything for 18 minutes!” mode. Typically I have enough energy to have a fast last mile – but no, not this time. I struggled to the end and could not wait to stop running and get a bottle of water and a banana. I still smiled at the end. But I was ready for it to end.

Me at mile 26.1

Me at mile 26.1

I finished with a 3:43. Which, yes I was disappointed not to meet my goal…BUT I set a new Marathon PR for myself and improved my Boston Qualifying time by another 5 minutes – so I beat my BQ needed time by 12 minutes – which is HUGE really! And I finished in 16th place for my age group and made it into the Sunday paper!

grandmas-marathon-results

And after I got my water and my banana(and a fancy medal), I immediately decided to start training for a 50 mile race to complete before I turn 50…OMGosh soon.

 

So obviously I felt okay if I started thinking about my next stretch running goals.

 

In the meantime I just started training for Twin Cities marathon and I’ll be in Boston next April!

 

What is your next race?

 

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Top 5 Running Moments

On of my favorite fitness bloggers – heck, one of my favorite people of all time – Christine, wrote a post detailing her Top 5 Running Moments. Her post made me smile as it made me look back at my 22+ years of running and some of my favorite moments.  And since Grandma’s Marathon is about 48 hours away and I’m freaking out about my taper and having all of my doubts – this was fun to keep my mind busy and to go back and look at the happy times of actually finishing some races and smiling. It helped me remember that the race is the party and just to chill the heck out right now.

training-for-boston

1. Running my first race ever. I ran a Corporate Challenge 5K in 1993. I had been running for about six months and had never even thought about running in a race – but my company found out that I at least could run(also I was about 25 years old and could do just about anything), and so I became our running representative that morning. I showed up in my white Reebok tennis shoes, cotton t-shirt and khaki pleated shorts(NOT EVEN KIDDING!). As someone who had just taken up running I had no idea what running gear was or even the proper shoes that I needed. But I still came in third out of the 60ish competitors. The next day I went out and bought some actual running shoes, a tank top and sport shorts. I was hooked.

 

2. My first marathon. Fast forward two years from my first race and the next thing I know I’m training for a marathon. I ran the Twin Cities Marathon in 1995(wow – 20 years ago!). My gun time finish was 4:03 – there were no chip times back then. I crossed the starting line though about six minutes after the gun – so I was crazy proud to finish my first marathon in under four hours. However, I’m not sure why I tucked in my running shirt. I guess that was the style in 1995? Also, I still own and run in that shirt!

first-marathon

3. Running the Edmund Fitzgerald 100k Ultra relay in 1995. This was probably the most amazing experience ever- and why I would LOVE to do a Ragnar sometime. Me and four guys from my work(old guys – like late 30s and early 40s…) took to the North Shore of Minnesota well before sunrise to have some fun. And when I say “have some fun” I mean run…not frolic on the rocky beaches with a six pack of beer. Although, I’ve done that too. I think they asked me to join as they wanted to have a coed team – but I ended up picking up an extra leg of the race for us and we really kicked some butt and had so much fun.(Wish I had pictures).

4. Running with my daughter during her first 5k. We had run some “fun runs” as a family – Color Runs and runs for charity where much of the run we would walk just for the finish. But last Thanksgiving, my daughter and I ran the Turkey Trot 5K as a run where she really pushed herself for a good finish time. It was so much fun running together and that experience gave her the confidence to sign-up for the school track team this Spring where she had many first place finishes in her 400 and 200m runs!  I love watching her grow in her own running career and chasing her own goals. Proud running mama here.

cold-running

5. My #5 has to be achieving my #BQ(Boston Marathon) qualifying time last October at the Twin Cities Marathon. I trained hard last summer and everything just came together to make this huge goal of mine a priority. Sometimes I joke that I knew if I just maintained my speed that eventually the Boston qualifying time for my age would intersect with my training – but I won’t diminish the work I put into that race last Fall. I cannot wait to run Boston in 2016 because I worked my butt off to get there!

marathon-results

What is your own favorite running moment?

 

 

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So How’s That Marathon Training Going?

Funny that I haven’t written about running since I wrote about qualifying for Boston. That was last October. Forever ago in raising kid years. And yet running is such a huge part of what I do and honestly who I am. I feel like I’m becoming 12 years old again. Do tweens blog? Not really. Do they instead do YouTube, text, Instagram, and SnapChat? Um, yeah. They write and watch and read and see in short snippets of time. Ain’t nobody got time to read a blog post. Unless it’s in list form of course.  So my running is being documented on Instagram mostly. With a few Facebook posts thrown in because that’s what old people do. I can take a few pictures, write a few lines, tag a few hashtags and move on with my day.

 

Weird.

marathon-training-for-moms

Because only a year ago I wrote about running a lot. My journey of running marathons again – first just to finish, then to improve, and finally to qualify for Boston.

 

But then what?

 

That’s why I’ve taken to Instagram instead of my blog to talk about my training.

 

But with another marathon less than three weeks away, I needed to put more words to it. Also, it’s taper time so my head is a mess. Also my shoulders are wrinkly.

marathon-training

Marathon training for Grandma’s(again) is both great and weird and tiring and normal and what I do now. Only two years ago I was rediscovering the 20 mile training run – with my music plan, my routes, my hydration, my fuel, my time. Now I know all of that stuff. This time around it’s more how can I run faster, further, and get stronger. How do I keep myself from injury. How do I manage my run and still get my daughters to dance and gymnastics on time?  How does training feel as I continue to age(dammit) and how much harder do I have to work to maintain or gain speed. And why don’t my toned legs make my face a little less wrinkly.

marathon-taper

So this time around – this training cycle is good. My long runs are faster than ever. My short runs are even better. My daughter has made me run some speed work(I’ve never done speed work before) with her since she ran track this Spring. Our new neighborhood is ALL HILLS so I think that is adding to my overall strength and fitness. Now all I need is some favorable weather in Duluth – and I think a PR to beat my 3:48 is clearly doable. I’d love to run a sub-3:40 marathon – and maybe the sun and moon and stars will align that day so I can do just that.

 

22 years ago when I first started running I never thought I’d have this kind of speed. I’ve always been more tortoise than hare. But at 46 years old I’ve learned that the human body is an amazing thing. But the work is hard and long..so it’s a good thing that I love it. And damn, if Harriette can still run marathons at 92 years old – well I figure my marathon training career is really just beginning.

training-grandmas-marathon

I have two more marathons on the books for the next calendar year – Twin Cities again in October and Boston in April. I never know what will come after that or in-between – but I do know that I plan to run until I can no longer run. There’s something hard-to-explain sweet that continues to happen between me and the quiet, empty roads in the pre-dawn hours that I never want to end.

 

So don’t think I’m not running because I don’t post about here. Just know that I’m sharing my thoughts quickly like the tweens do so I can save my time for more important matters like binge watching Game Of Thrones or obsessing over a new pair of running shoes.

garmin-running-gps-watch

(No, I didn’t burn that many calories – I just can’t figure out how to change my weight from 325….)

OH and one more thing to share – Jed and the girls bought me an actual, live(okay not live) GPS fancy Garmin watch as they do believe I am the only person who runs marathons and trains without one. So now I can really see my splits and “stuff” and all the fancy stuff that GPS watches do. I was so excited about it until I tried it out for the first time and could not see the fancy splits and “stuff” because I don’t run with my readers on. Damn you 46 – sometimes you are a real pain.

 

 

 

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Learning To Ski

I have snapshots of memories the winter I learned to ski. Like many memories from early childhood I only remember pieces from the stories of that time. Those pieces and pictures come together to form what I think happened, while I’m quite sure there is some important information missing or an error in the sequence of events. Yet these snapshots of the winter I learned to ski, the winter I turned 5, are still developed in living color in my mind.

 

I picture my dad putting on my ski boots. I remember how they felt foreign and big and not meant for humans. I remember my skis – short and without edges – the only thing available in 1973 for kids that had tiny feet.  A vague memory of Cookie Monster comes up when I think back to that winter. Yes, a man dressed up as Cookie Monster skiing too. I remember the ice on the hill as the temps were for sure well below zero in Minnesota. The wind was strong, my toes were cold after just one run, and the ice made me fall, slide, and tumble down the hill. Who wouldn’t tumble and slide because of the ice and the skis without edges. I remember sliding down the hill with my skis flying off and my face catching the ice. My dad bought me real gold earrings for my birthday. These earrings were little pairs of crossed skis – my favorite present for turning 5 – and those keepsakes were ripped clean out of my ears on the way down the hill.

 

But still I skied.

learning-to-ski

I skied even after falling off a chairlift. Losing skis off of the lift. Dozens of poles. A few mittens. A hat. My pride. And my courage. I skied after getting dragged up on the hill by a rope-tow because I was too afraid to let go. I skied after falling off the t-bar when I was too little to realize not to sit on the darn thing. I skied after experiencing vertigo at altitude. When my dad broke his shoulder while skiing one day. Also slicing his leg open. I skied even after the lift stopped for hours that one day and I about peed my pants as I watched more adventurous(stupid) people jump from the lift.

 

I skied after friends’ lost loved ones to ski accidents.

 

I skied even though I’m not a great skier. And may never be one. And that’s okay.

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For me it’s the time on the mountain(or hill here in Minnesota), enjoying the fresh air, the beautiful scenery, the peace from the solitude yet you are never really alone, and the joy on nearly every face you see on each run. I ski for the pink cheeks, the brighter eyes, and the stories at the end of the long day. I ski to be with friends and family and to indulge in eating french fries and drinking hot chocolate without apology. I ski in wonder watching the adventurous, watching the experts, watching the ones that take great dares as well as the ones that are barely three feet tall and are taking their first run. My favorite skiing view will always be the snake of littles winding their way down the bunny hill.

 

Yet I stopped skiing when I became a mother. I’m not sure if it was because of time, expense, or fear of injury – or maybe a mix of those things – but I’ve stayed off the mountain. I’ve watched instead as Jed has taken the girls skiing. I’ve listened to their stories as they laughed and smiled. I’ve kissed their pink cheeks and wiped their noses that run from the cold. I’ve packed bags, found mittens, and mended ski pants. As I’ve only watched.

ski-boots

But something about watching our last 5 year old hit and enjoy the slopes made we want to join in the fun again. My equipment is old – at least 20 years old – before shaped skis or even comfortable boots it seems. So it was donated and I got outfitted again. Last week I joined my girls on the mountain(okay – hill). My anxiety was high – and not just because I hadn’t skied in years, but because I was doing it alone as Jed was out of town. The anxiety of carrying all of the skis, the poles, the goggles, the helmets, the boots, the mittens and coats – and then getting it all on them, and then getting them out on the hill, and then managing different ski levels – well it seemed exhausting and impossible.

IMG_9789

However my anxiety was unwarranted. What Jed failed to tell me was that the two older girls didn’t need any help. Or me really. They carried their own equipment to the chalet, procured their own tickets, put on their own boots, remembered their own mittens, stashed their bags, asked me for $20 for some food, and took off to ski with friends and told me they’d text me their whereabouts and meet up with me in two hours. WHAT THE WHAT?? And two hours later, they had the pink cheeks, the brighter eyes, the stories and the laughter as they ate fries and drank hot chocolate at the table with their friends next to mine. Before I could say much more – they left again – off to ski and make their own snapshots of this winter of their childhood.

how-to-carry-skis

So I stuck close to Astrid, as she still needed help with boots, help with the lift, help getting up at times, and hey, she still likes hanging with me..and needs me to buy her food. And I’m going to soak up this time with her as I know now we are only four to five years away before she leaves me to ski with friends instead. But whether she skis with me or not – I will still ski…because last week I remembered why I learned so many years ago and how now I never want to forget that girl who liked making new memories.

 

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Will I Do Yoga Again

I’m a self-proclaimed yoga hater. Okay, maybe hater is a bit harsh, so let’s just say that yoga is no longer my jam. I mean I don’t hate you for doing and loving yoga, as many of my dearest friends are instructors and extraordinary women who live and die by the yoga sword. In fact 13 years ago I started towards my yoga instructor certification and took a trip to India which inspired me to continue with my training. I was one of them – the yoga people. I practiced yoga in a studio at least four times per week, a few times per week at home, and I even…wait for it…meditated. Hell I was mindful before mindful was in. Now when I hear the word mindful I want to shove some kale up someone’s ass and ask them if they are experiencing mindfulness right at that moment. In fact my rage is surfacing as I type that word on my page. Like it’s the biggest judging word of our generation. Like if you aren’t being mindful, than you’re just an asshole. I want to invent a new nomenclature for those of us who feel we are mindful without having to tell everyone that we are being mindful. Because it’s not like we are the mindful-less. We are just so damn zen that we don’t have to even explain how fucking okay we are. And that we can enjoy eating a carrot just because we like carrots and  do not need to think about how we are mindfully eating the damn carrot. Like if I eat it while standing at my kitchen counter I am enjoying it less than I would be sitting lotus in my living room eating the same damn carrot. Bugs Bunny doesn’t give a crap about this. Bug Bunny ate carrots while standing up, was never mindful, and he has lived a very long life.

 

Maybe if I had continued doing yoga – my zen-ness would be more enlightened and lighter if you will.  Maybe I wouldn’t have rage. Maybe I would eat more carrots. Maybe I could shove my legs into lotus. Maybe I would eat allthecarrots. Maybe I wouldn’t be thinking about shoving kale up your mindful ass.

 

I still remember walking out of my last yoga class in Holland. I was eight months pregnant, moving home to the US, and moving onto a new life as a mother. In the three years that followed I tried a few local yoga classes, but nothing stuck. I felt awkward and self-conscious at each place and nothing felt like home to me. Yet I assume yoga must still be part of my soul because I think about it nearly every single day. I visit websites and look at schedules, touch mats as I pass them by in a store, and watch with envy as people exit a yoga class. I listen to friends tell me about the latest classes they are taking. I stalk people on Facebook as they become instructors. And I follow way too many people on instagram who do yoga. Unless they start using the word “mindful.” I unfollow those mindful people quickly and feel more zen than a good yoga sculpt class could ever make me feel.

yoga

I know I’m feeling the draw towards yoga again because I have this new thing called “time” on my hands now that all of the little children are at school all day. And sure, I could fill it with more work, or more volunteering at school, or more binge watching on Netflix. But yoga(non-mindful) yoga is calling my name. But I stress – will I buy the wrong mat, will I buy the wrong clothes, will my body not bend and hold like it used to, will people make fun of my wrinkly knees, will I pass gas. Maybe more than once? Because a mother can and will make everything stressful – including the thought of starting yoga again. Sometimes I have this vision of me entering my first class in so many years and being all like “Okay, Motherfuckers, let’s get mindful and shit!” And then the uptight mindful ones hate me forever, but my true blue new friends give me high-fives and martinis after class. But I know myself, and I know I’ll be the one hiding in the back of the class just hoping that I don’t pass gas and pausing with envy at the people with the nice mats and better clothes.

 

If I ever actually make it to a yoga class. Because right now I’m just checking online schedules while I eat chocolate and watch season six of the Gilmore Girls.

 

We shall see what 2015 brings.

 

I will report back. But I’m telling you right now that I am walking out the first time that someone says “mindful.” I’d like instead to make that into a drinking game. I would have to stay off the internet though as I’d always be too drunk to leave my house. Good excuse to skip yoga I guess.

 

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