Thursday, July 27, 2017

OUR BODIES: Taking up room and societal control

             I have been reflecting a lot lately about body size and how women try so hard to be as diminutive as possible and are always working at getting smaller and smaller and smaller...and in essence, we strive to take up less and less room on this planet and how that very aim strongly shapes how we see ourselves and how we see our roles in the world. 
              
              I have seen and experienced a lot of couples in the past few months and have noticed an interesting trend. The women and men are often drastically different in size. Often, you will see a man 6 foot plus, sometimes even grossly overweight, paired with a woman sized at basically nothing. This may sound like I am making light of it, but I am a visual person, contrast calls to me when I see it. One might think all women strive to be size nothing, yet, in the past 10-12 months I have been exploring what it's like to take up space, like these men, and more importantly trying to see how aiming at taking up space changes my behavior. I have been steadily going to the gym and lifting weights for about a year now and I have had to buy new bras to accommodate for my bigger chest. These new purchases were tough. Buying bigger clothes felt like a failure, it went against everything I have been taught to be as a woman in modern society, in modern society women don't strive to be bigger, that strive to be smaller, so this whole buying experience was not pleasant or easy. Yet, the bigger, more muscular body opened new doors for me in how I interacted with others, in my confidence and even as something as simple as my stance. Suddenly,  despite all I kept hearing, it was okay to feel right in my body and this was so thrilling, so new, so powerful. And if you are a women reading this, we all know how it feels to inhabit our body and yet feel like we are constantly on display for others; that is just how society brought us up to think of ourselves, sadly. 

            So the reflection continues. Daily, I strive to own the space I occupy and own my actions, my movement and drop the self-consciousness we've all grown to carry at all times. I have observed men and how they live free of such constant and caged thoughts and I want a piece of that, I want to be like that. I want to move around my space with confidence and comfort and own every moment, every space.  But as I gain confidence in myself I see how my new-gained demeanor gives off an aura of non-approachability. I now know what my single friend complain about in the current dating world; one in which a confident woman has less chances of finding a partner, for she often scares away potential suitors with an unfamiliar characteristic most men have not been trained to work with, that being confidence. This, reveals an interesting societal chemistry among men and woman, one in which size, confidence and control all play part of the same dance. I am not a number gal, but surely there must exist some universal formula out there in which these three factors all affect each other in fascinating ways, ways we may never clearly know. 

            What I do know though is that I am on the right track to freedom from these societal messages of which we have all been programed. I take up room in so many ways, with my movements, with my body, with my words. I take up room with my movements by running where I want, at whatever times I want, and in whatever weather I please. I take up space with my body by freely chasing my athletic dreams despite not looking like traditional athletes, I take up room in my desires for my life by fanning the flames of my dreams and daily, chiseling towards them. I take up room with my opinions and my words, always fearless and full of conviction, in all actions. 

***Do you feel there is a connection between how we are taught to strive for small and societal control over women overall?
              

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 6, day 1 Intermediate 1, Hal Higdon

            I am loving my training plan, for once. Usually training plans ask too much from me too fast and I abandon ship soon after starting. For most of my past races, aside from my first marathon, I have made up my own plan as I went, but not this time. I am on week 6, day 1 of Hal Higdon's intermediate 1 plan and it is progressing slowly enough that I feel strong and capable on most runs and unlike other years, it has not been a struggle keeping up. This weekend I completed a total of 18 miles and the only side affect was a bit of crankiness, and not even the usual soreness the next morning. 
              For my 2 days off during the week I am totally taking the day off completely, no guilt, no cheating, just rest 100%. Over the years I have grown to value of these days off as essential parts of all training plans. Only with proper rest in between intense training periods is one able to come back stronger each time. Most of my speed PR's we've earned on days I took 1-2 days off running. I tend to liken these days off to pauses in all songs, they are just as essential as the song, yet, any song would not sound right without these gaps of no song; song and no song, they each complement one another just as running days and non-running days; they each make up a part of a whole. 

              What plans do you use? 
               

Sunday, July 23, 2017

$2,000 bikes my ass.....

             I am in the market to buy a new bike for myself for my upcoming birthday. Seems simple enough, right? NOPE! Unlike running gear, buying a bike is like entering a never-ending maze of shit and more shit! Perhaps I have never tuned-in to bikes and their relative cost at all but when did generally GOOD bikes become worth in the thousands and crappy bikes worth about $400-$500. What happened?! Excuse the language but that is such bullshit. I frequented several forums to get an idea of a good, reliable bike and all I see everywhere is this saying, "You get what you pay for". That is doublespeak alert for people who don't think and just follow along what everyone tells them. Come on! I can buy a solid used car for 2-3 thousand dollars, and although I am not a bike athlete I still want a solid bike. But what I get more and more from these forums is that IF you want a generally good bike you need to pay in the thousands. No wonder running is my sport. I can't afford to be a bicyclist anyway. 
             I will continue to chip away online and get some more reliable information to make my selection but the mounting frustration is no fun to deal with, plus, I am starting to not like bicycle people that much anymore. They come into each forum with so much jargon and snootiness.....and again, they so fully believe THE ONLY way to get a good ride is to hand over thousands of dollars. That will sadly not be me. I will find a way to get a good bike, but I be dishing out any more than $500. Whether one has that kind of money to burn or not, it is still absurd to think a typical working class American is going to afford to dish out $1000+ per family member, if so, than no wonder we have such a credit issue. 
                 Getting ready to go for a 6 mile trail run. Will try to get bikes and these dumb forums out of my head. 


Saturday, July 22, 2017

When we come upon other runners...

           When running I am usually very happy, so it's no surprise that I smile at other runners and walkers as they pass me by and say, "Good Morning". Most often I get a smile back and even a return hello. When totally depleted of energy I will muster maybe a raised peace sign and a smile, but most times I will at least acknowledge the other person. But, more and more, and most often from younger runners, I get a deadpan stare, in which case after they pass silently to my greeting, I utter (under my breath, "or not"). Over the years I have gotten over the non-response. When I first started distance running I remember it really bit at me how some would simply pass you by. Then again, I WAS running in DC and like in any city people are cautious. Who knows what a smile or a greeting might bring, right? But I'd think that one could easier judge another's danger capability by engaging in a hello. For example, a drunk man stumbled out of the wooded area the other day, he was singing wildly and seemed unable to walk a straight line. As I ran by I summoned the voice of a Marine and sternly said a "good morning". In his drunken stupor the man responds, "Good morning Ma'am". Right then I categorized him as harmless.  

          Over the years, I have boiled down my greeting to a combination of a nod, a peace sign and a quick closed lip smirky smile. These three seem to be respectful, not too puppy giddy, not too forward, but communicate,  "Hey, we are into the same sport....oh yeah!" No matter what though, I find that a greeting is something I just naturally do and have never considered not doing. How do you greet other runners? 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

MTB Project -Trail Maps Online


I was at the local bike shop and the man who worked there told me about this site.....MTBproject.com....he was almost giddy telling me about it, claiming it would change my life! no kidding! I am so in love with this free site. It even comes with an app so that it can be accesses while on the trails (see bottom left app). 



While on the app you can see all local trails near you and see yourself on the map. Plus prior users have all uploaded tons of photos and reviews about each trail, also accessible on the app. 


Here is the local trail. The one I ran with Nora yesterday. I ran, she biked. 












Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Fun

               I have always loved tahini.....and I have always bought the Goddess dressing, which incidentally has tahini in it. Today I made my own dressing with tahini. It had tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, and very little salt. The salad was great. 


            Bought Nora a new bike yesterday.....21 speed Trek bike. Now I have a trail partner. Today we went for a 6-mile run/bike  around Accotink and she did awesome. It was in the 90's yet she breezed on those hills and pebbly downhills. 

At the bike shop the bike attendant told us about this site where we can find trails and trail maps. 

Me at my friend's pool! 


After ending a 17 mile weekend.....next weekend, 18 miles. 


My Dahlias are blooming!! I think I might purchase some more for my garden.....cannot get enough of them. 















Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rain in Paraguay

The warm rain fell hard, cooling off the dusty ground
Heat from the ground visibly rising. 
To this day I love that smell 
of wetness and dirt, 
of cleansing and cooling of the earth.
As fast as it came it left, 
Once again exposing us to the relentless summer sun
After, we kids would run from small tree to small tree 
shaking off the excess water that has fallen onto our sweaty skin

Friday, July 14, 2017

Find your song and sing it....

             I once heard this comparison between soccer and golf. How soccer is a group activity that requires very little acreage and can be played anywhere, while golf requires acres and acres of land and how only a few could play on the green at a time, while also being quite expensive, both to play and for the equipment. Well, ladies and gentleman, how about we hold up running next to these two? or  ow about any other sport for that matter. Running, by far, is THE most zen-like sport on earth. You don't need anything to run, you don't need to wear anything special, or even go anywhere special, and apparently, some people don't even need shoes to run. It beats any sport in terms of simplicity. Plus, a bonus, there is ZERO training needed to run, we all essentially know the basics of how to run, it's in our bones. 

         The simplicity of running is not what got me started running, yet, the simplicity of it is what made me continue. As most things often go in life, all one's choices align neatly and predictably with who we really are deep inside. Deep inside, I am a no-frills individual. I wear no make up, I hate getting compliments, I don't ever paint my fingernails OR my toenails, I stay away from flamboyant, over-dramatic people, yet, I highly admire any human who, in the midst of so much modernity, chooses to live life simply. 
             
           The DNA of who you are, your karma, some might say, shines through all your choices. One such choice can be who you marry. Before I met my now husband I had a dream. You see, I believe there are many types of dreams. There are processing dreams, there are worry dreams and then there are predictive dreams. This was a predictive dream. You see, I come from a long tradition of women who believe in dreams, omens (bad and good) and the significance of random signs.....with the same intensity as some follow, say, a religion. So you bet I paid attention to this dream. In the dream, I met a robe-wearing monk whom I got close to and while having coffee with this monk one day he proposed to me. This was no grand proposal either. It was more done in between two sips of coffee. I happily accepted and we lived happily ever after. Shortly after this dream, I met my now husband, he was living in a group house I moved into in Kensington, Maryland when we met. His lifestyle was as ascetic as they come, for these days at least. He ate the same foods every day, oatmeal for breakfast, tuna for lunch, pasta for dinner, oatmeal, tuna, pasta, oatmeal, tuna, pasta, etc. He also ran the same number of miles every day and on the same route. He owned ONE duffel bag in which he kept a few of his belongings and he was calm, fresh, happy and full of interesting things to talk about. But when I met him, I did not know right away this was the man "of my dreams", excuse the pun. He was NOT at all my type, he had long hair, he was much older, zero tattoos, he wore these thick glasses and was thin and lanky. Definitely not my type. I'd even dare say, he also was not at all interested in me; I was most likely not his type either. At the time, I had 8 piercings and wore only black clothes sometimes held together by safety pins. I was also on the rebound from an 8-year relationship, so I was in full-on party mode. I soon learned though, that I loved talking with him. To this day, this is the one human being I could talk to for hours and never tire, he's highly opinionated, witty, funny, wise and never changes himself for anyone, I respected that. And so, as this story illustrates, the essence of who you are shows up through all your choices. My attraction to simple things lead me to my husband, a humble, calm and simple man, yet, whose wisdom brought simplicity and peace to my then-crazy life. My attraction to simple things also led me to my profession, and to my choice in clothing, the way I do my hair, the things I choose to talk about with my friends, and finally, to running.  

       I don't think running is for everyone, just as don't think most women would be happy in a relationship like mine. Yet, both fill me with joy and satisfaction. It's important to know what speaks to each of us and find the common thread of that specific tune in everything we do. Your thread may be intensity, yours may be movement, yours may be thrill. Whatever it is, you owe it to yourself to find the call that most speaks to you and replicate its song in everything you choose. Happiness is finding that twin soul who speaks the same language. 


          

          
        

Favorite inspiring videos about running


Best running movie ever....a must watch....I have personally watched this maybe 5 times



"Running is about movement- movement is the essence of life". 
"Ideal I'd like to be a bird, but running is a close second"










I LOVE this woman!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

week 4, day 3...feeling strong baby



             It's sad when I think about how most women rarely get to feel the way I feel after a run. It's tough to describe the feeling exactly, but after a run, I feel a combination of utterly invincible, imperfectly beautiful, powerful beyond belief and just so blessed and joyful all around. Everything is right with the world right after a run, and one can think and make decisions with crystal clear clarity for several hours after. When people ask me about running, which RARELY happens by the way, but in the rare, rare occasions when they do ask me about it I always make sure to add in there that running is my anti-depressant, not only that, but I think of it as the love of my life. In describing it this way I can successfully communicate (in mainstream "America-speak") the importance and the intensity of the relationship. So yes, when asked about running I almost always bring out the intense, romance-speak to make sure to communicate just how essential this activity is in my life. 

      On that note, I had a GREAT run today. Not one part of my body hurt and no breaks were needed. It was a straight 6 miles, with the last two being much faster than the first 4. What more can one ask? 

             


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Don't live like a hamster...

            One could spend endless amounts of time spinning webs, making extra work for oneself and not really living. I can best illustrate this idea with a short vignette. A family friend of mine once showed me several paint samples, there were about 5 different shades of gray, of all colors....or should I say noncolor?. She was going to repaint her living room and wanted my opinion on which shade to choose. First, to me, her house already looked amazing, but there was always a home project on the back burner. No amount of repair was ever enough. One could spend endless hours running on a spinning wheel and going nowhere, like a hamster. I recently read a story about a brain study that proved that in order to function at its best, the brain sifts out information to let go of, to forget about. So while most people might think the more info we have inside our brains the more efficient our brains are, recent studies actually prove otherwise. I can only assume, it is the same with life; the more crap we spin the less time we have for the stuff that really matters. As a young teen I worked for a wealthy elderly couple cleaning their home. The two of them lived in a nine bedroom house, NINE! Whether they had guests or not, my job was to vacuum and dust every room, whether it was occupied or not. We too do that in life. We think more is better and then only after we have been carrying the "more" for some time do we realize that more also means more work, more responsibility, more time, more effort spent on ridiculous activities that take us nowhere. I have compiled a list of what I think are absolutely wasteful activities that do nothing but suck our time. You don't need to agree, but to me these are true....and heck, it's my blog....LOL


1. Car wash! Seriously!! you need to pay to have someone wash your car? I am 43 and have yet to get my car washed. 
2. Folding t-shirts.....come on! go have fun outside! stuff that shit in a drawer and go write a story or something. 
3. Pay someone to do your eyebrows.....nonsense, YOUTUBE!!! 
4. Pay someone for a pedicure, again, nonsense......YOUTUBE!
5. Leaf blowing- I cannot think of a more stupid activity----rake that shit up....get a great core workout and have compost for the next year all at once. 
6. Have too much junk? get a ton of black trash bags and donate to Goodwill....consider it your 10% tithe. Don't waste time trying to sell it online....just donate and clear your home of extra stuff. You will feel great and have tons of extra time. Why black trash bags? so that in the process of cleaning you won't revisit what you are giving away and reconsider and take it back into your home....
7. Shopping...the high of shopping for most lasts about 1 day and then you want something else, a vicious cycle. Recognize it. 
8. Video Games- you got 1,000 points! Yeah! but in fact you are not doing shit....do real shit....save real lives, inspire others.....
9. Social media- only share what you do.....don't sit there pining someone else's life. 
10. Need your kitchen redone? NOPE, you don't, go outside and have fun. if it's functional, it's all good. 

And here, a list of things to help you enjoy life.....
1. Get outside!!!! 
2. Garden- have no plot? get a plot at a local community garden
3. Carry a book/magazine everywhere you go
4. Carry a notebook everywhere you go...ideas go as fast as they come, catch them in your notebook. 
5. ONLY listen yo music you like, forget what others think of it...life is too short. 
6. Walk outdoors barefoot.....who cares what idiots think of you...
7. When it rains, go out and walk in it
8. Find where your local trails are---walk them, know them. 
9. Adopt a pet you can pet.....(please adopt a rescue)
10. Get up before everyone at your house....it's magical!
11. Learn how to make your own tea....
12. If you watch TV/movies only watch things that make you laugh or inspires you
13. Write a letter and send it......you might just a get a response...
14. Plan an adventure/challenge that scares the shit out of you (like a race or a long hike)
15. Take a class.....anything....learning can be quite inspirational
16. Learn how to play an instrument
17. Sweat.....a lot.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Highlights to my day-







          There is NOTHING more exciting to my morning than having my own home-made tea. This one has mint leaves, blueberry leaves from my garden and slices of ginger. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and then drink the entire thing, which is about 2 cups worth.  


My first crop! 3 tomatoes, not ready yet though....can't wait to have them. I also have chives, beans, kale, lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, mint, cilantro, peppers and mint growing in my garden. 



Someone in my neighborhood got rid of some crib sides and guess who got them? I created a triangle with them over my strawberries, which keep being eaten by wildlife. I need to cover them now with some thin material so that bugs and birds don't get to them. I also used some recycled some wood Nora had me buy last year for a woodworking project she was going to work on but never did to hold up my many bean plants. I am not crazy about beans but with the shady gardens I have been dealt I am willing to grow what wants to grow, and it seems like beans want to grow here. 












Saturday, July 8, 2017

Week 3, Day 6





          I got to see the lake today.YES!!! That alone is enough to make me smile all day today. Here is where I stopped to stretch my legs a bit over some bench acing the lake. This was a relatively easy week of running. I have one more run tomorrow, a 6-miler. As much as I like the trails, I think I will do my 6-miler on pavement tomorrow, for my ankles are totally beat from navigating over all the loose rocks and mud from the rain on this particular trail. 

            My compression shorts ripped where my thighs meet mid-run and it made me think that for any long run, like a race, I would have to take with me a threaded needle for occasions such as these. To avoid getting chafed, I simply rotated my sweaty shorts pant leg around to the front of my tight a bit so that the hole did not meet my other leg, it worked. Although every runner coming towards me got to see a weird hole in the front of my shorts. Luckily, few people are on the trails early on a Saturday morning. I got home and sewed up the hole and the shorts are back in circulation. 

         Surprisingly, I ran without music for the second time this week, and in a long time. It seems almost wrong to go into a rich, lush forest and put on earphones to hear pop music, my heavy synthetic running tunes heavily clashes with the more natural feel of the forest. 

 




Friday, July 7, 2017

Cleaning out my closet



           I cleaned out my closet yesterday. I normally do not have these many shoes. BUT, they discontinued my favorite running show, Brooks Pure Connects. So I went on a hunt on Ebay...no, I've been hunting in Ebay for weeks and weeks finding every decent, size nine, women's Brooks Pure Connects I can buy. Then in this mix are the shoes I ran special races in.....like my first marathon, my first (and only so far) Ultra. Then, there are the shoes I bought during my uber minimalist stage, which sadly, did not last long, but it did dent my wallet quite a bit. During the cleaning I DID get rid of most of my heels by the way. I went through a stage of wearing sexy shoes with my sexy dresses, not I still wear sexy dresses, but sandals are the only accompaniment to those outfits. In the winter it's sexy dresses and boots. Below are some of the shoes I am getting rid of, if interested and you wear 8.5 women, write me, I will send you the Ebay links where they are listed. 














 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Planning around safety and priorities

                     Safety is something every runner needs to ponder, make decisions about and plan for. Women especially, cannot ignore the enormous topic of safety. Today, while I was in total bliss running 7 miles on the trails of Lake Accotink alone at about half an hour past sunrise, I was trying to figure out a way I could run alone in the woods in the fall/winter season and stay safe. What would I need to each this? What are the dangers I'd need to consider? Are the dangers wild animals, or are the dangers people? Would it be too scary out in the woods in the dark? 

                    The rebellious feminist in me fights even wearing reflective gear for my night runs, yet, the practical survivalist in me wants to make it back home in one piece at all costs, so that part of me is a little more willing to compromise, I do, after all  want to make it home in one piece. In reflecting a few solution, unfortunately, a running partner is not a choice for runs have become my "ME" time. I use my running time to reflect on all that is happening and purge, ponder, make decisions, etc. As the saying goes, "Been there, done that". I already tried a running group and was highly disappointed with some of the women I met. I had one very traumatic experience and after that I have not been able to get past it enough to try the group again. I know, sounds incredibly immature for a 43 year-old, but that is how I feel and I know how I am, it's not easy for me to forget people's outright negative actions towards me. Knowing me, I can almost assure that once I get a bad experience in a relationship I tend to stay away and not give second chances, I have learned that people often repeat their behaviors and keeping those people in our lives is a sure recipe for pain. So the group running idea is O.U.T. for all reasons listed above. 

               Upon further reflection I might just relegate my trail runs to weekends when I can catch the sunrise. In the fall/winter months the sun comes out much later. In the weekdays I am well on the way to work when the sun comes out, leaving me with only weekends. Still, I crave more nature and wish there was some way I could squeeze in some nature in my runs.....maybe I could run on the trails AFTER work, in Arlington, VA, but I would have to be super disciplined and leave work on time on days I do my runs after work, or else, I will never see my kids and husband. 
               
                I have runner friends who don't have children and they can freely carve their day to their hearts' content. I am not envious of their limitless open time, instead, I feel so blessed to be a mom and have this opportunity to see these two young people grow. As much as a part of me wishes I had more time to leisurely triple-plan my running life, I would not trade motherhood for anything, not even more running. As important as running is to me and my sanity, my children will always come before running. I demonstrate this by always doing my long runs while they sleep, so that I make them breakfast when they wake up. I am constantly reminding myself that soon, the time will come when they both fly from us and I will be wishing these mom days back, I better enjoy them while it lasts. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dare to dream big, but work small

          When I crossed that 50K finish mark on October 11, 2013 lots of things changed for me, but primarily in the way I relate to my own body. All my life I have been like an entity, totally separate from my body, driving my body through all these potentially dangerous habits. First, the stupid diets from Atkins to the Soup diets, all the way down to the an eight-day lemonade fast, yes, I only drank lemonade with cayenne pepper for 8 days. Then came the smoking in my 20's, then the staying up ungodly late hours to party and dragging myself around for the next few days. All these are example of how my body is being treated as dispensable. But crossing that 50K finish line after 10 hours, 29 minutes, 45 seconds  made me see how much my body can give back if given the proper care and training. And please!!! know that in the running world this is not a fast time for a 50K, in fact I came in DEAD LAST, so know that by no means am I bragging....but I DID finished under the cutoff by 15 seconds, in other words....I finished and that was quite huge for ME.

         One might think there is no difference between "making" one's body train and run a 50K and "making" one's body run 7 miles on zero training, at first glance, both experiences ARE hard on the body. Well, there is a huge difference. For one, for the 50K that is, you are working with your body over a period of months to slowly scale up your training to be ready for what it's going to go through. It's a painstakingly long process that requires tons of planning, lots of learning and mistakes making.  As the training slowly increases your body takes time to heal during the schedules rest days and comes back stronger. On the other hand, the 7 miles on zero training is absolute suicide, even 3 miles on zero training is dangerous, but I hear about people doing this quite often these days. Just going out there and pounding their body mercilessly and never once checking in, never once realizing it's going to be a bitch tomorrow when I wake up.

         If there is one thing I have learned from long-distance running is all kinds of facts about my body, how it operates, what is bound to injure it. I know that on cold days I can cause my shin to spasm, especially if I try to pass a slightly faster runner on a hill, which sadly HAS happened (and caused me months of recovery). I have learned that insoles are overpriced pieces of shit that cause more damage than good, I have learned that the first 2 miles of any runs will make you hate life but once it goes away you will be so grateful that you're running, I have learned to recognize which morning aches go away by noon and which aches are more serious and may require a day off. I have learned that a good bra is worth every penny and that Vaseline under my arms is absolutely necessary if I am to run 8+ miles, I have learned that good socks, again, are worth every penny. I have learned that I can wear shorts and a t-shirt in weather as cold as 40 degrees, bundle up any more and I will be tying my extra top around my waist at mile 3. You see, all this knowledge comes from the training. The training is not just an annoying meaty center meant to be ignored. In so many ways, the training IS the race. Just like in life, the end result does not encompass the experience of the journey. The certificate, the graduation, the promotion ceremony all are just mere stamps on the enormous and lengthy path it took to get there.

          Perhaps that is why I have been so cheery these past few weeks. I started my training plan and once again I am on this journey, this long trudge to the top, every day focusing on that day only. I have always been a person who needs a purpose. There are two kinds of people in this world, the incidental types who let life happen to them and the hopefuls. The "hopefuls" need an idea, a dream to chew on and as long as they have that bone, they can go through all kinds of hell and all will be fine because like holding a map, the Way is clear. Therefore, following this plan is very much like having this dream that one day will be realized, but I am not concerned about that now, THE DAY, I have learned, comes soon enough, but to have it come you need not focus on it, just trudge along, day after day, step after step.

         So choose the right plan for your current fitness level and dare to dream big. Keep your nose to the grind and make each day count. Before you know it, you will be on top of the world and in a world where instant gratification is the only language, no one will know how you ever made it so far.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Do what you fear most....

         The Wheel of Fortune is constantly spinning, always something new in the horizon, we never get a rest from fearing what may lie around the corner. When things are going well in our lives, we always fear what may happen next to ruin our current state of peace. When things are bad, we fear this stage may last long and cause continuous discomfort and pain. There is a way out of this constant fear of 'what may come next' and it's found in confronting it head-on. 

     Planning for races, long races especially, brings such a sense of awe and fear that it almost takes my breath away every time I think about the enormity of the challenge. I just signed up for my first 50 miler and I have NO idea how I will ever get this done. I know I can, with proper training and the proper mental game all is possible, yet, still, I cannot fathom YET all it would take to cross that line; it's a terrifying thought. 

      One interesting thing about fear though is that once you have faced the fear and defeated it, you know it is possible and no matter how big the next challenge is you now know it is possible to defeat fear. My daughter did gymnastics for some time and when it came time to do her first ever performance in front of a crowd she froze. She told me in very dramatic fashion that she could not, would not, do it. I told her that no matter what she needed to do it, that only in seeing it through would she ever feel right and that if she caved now she would forever cave at all challenges. Sure enough she did it and from that challenge forward she knew the fear was a mere facade; she knew from that day forward now to believe the fear, but to face it and only in facing it, would the anxiety surrounding it go away.