One of the things I like about being in my position having come from a weight problem, depression, eating issues and lack of motivation is my ability to speak from experience. It’s one thing to try and make someone feel better by telling them that they will get there but it’s entirely another to look them in the eye and tell them with complete conviction that only they can reach their goals through making a change. Telling someone that they have to change their habits and be motivated and determined and focused. Assuring them with the tone of my voice that it can in fact be done but they have to WANT to do it. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it till I die, unless you are in a wheelchair, dying or dead, where there’s a will there’s a way. Blind people have run marathons, people without limbs compete in all kinds of sports, fat people lose hundreds of pounds without surgery and why? Because they have sheer determination and will power to do what it takes to get it done. It’s funny how having experience changes how you say something to someone looking for advice. Not having experience makes you want to tiptoe around feelings and impressions. Having experience waives all that because you know how to get it done because you’ve done it and you didn’t accept excuses from yourself and you’re not about to accept them from anyone else. The bottom line advice is Just Go Do It! Period. I did it and so can you! What are you waiting for?
You know people say all the time that you should do what you love. The other day someone at work, who is among the group of people whom I torture with all my workouts and runs and successes all the time, told me I should teach fitness. After I giggled I thought about and then I took a stroll through my Facebook photos and it was clogged with pictures of me before, during and after runs and Tabata routines, stationary bike rides and strength training. In fact it’s all I talk about when I’m not talking about my kids. I’m sort of obsessed with working out and my running endeavors and not just a little bit…a LOT! They pretty much all look like these:
So I gave it some more thought sort of seriously and sans sarcasm for the most part, and here is what I think about that.
I really wouldn’t want to teach fitness classes for many reasons. The thought of jumping ship and leaving the comfort of a 9-5 job isn’t realistic for me because I like my job and it’s way to scary to think about not having one at the moment. If, perhaps I could think about it for a moment pretending that I could ever do that (but won’t or at least won’t right now or in the near future) Let’s consider some things. I hear all the time of people like James Lawrence aka The Iron Cowboy (reading his book which is AMAZING btw) and Kelly Roberts @KellyKKRoberts who found her voice through sheer will, tragedy, a sister who just wouldn’t quit and people who believe in her to create a way of life. Whether that’s forever or just for now who knows. What matters is that it’s working. Either out of sheer necessity, part insanity and by stumbling along trying to find themselves and their purpose, they found themselves a lifestyle that they mostly love. Mostly because like every job it has it’s ups and downs and sheer shitty days. I’ve followed along with both of them, one in a blog / Twitter / Podcast kind of way and the other through reading his words and experiences chronicled on a tightly kerned tiny printed pages of his book 50|50|50: Redefining Impossible. Read it if you want to see what determination looks like!
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to just go for something seemingly crazy and try to make a go of it. I think about how scary that must be with bills to pay and kids to feed. What a leap of faith and utter confidence in percentages leaning more toward success over failure. Maybe someday when my kids are on their own and life is a little easier to keep me busy. What would it be like to blog and get paid for it? What the hell would I write about or would I write about exactly what I do now…my daily thoughts and experiences? I think about what it would be like to get sponsored to go have fun doing something I’m really passionate about and perfect my craft for a purpose. I love being fit and definitely have more to give if I had time to give it in. What would my perfect dream job look like right now?
It would probably involve one or all or a combination of the following things none of which are probably realistically one role but wouldn’t that be amazing!
- Motivational speaking impressing upon people the differences between I can’t and I don’t want to and time management. I can’t stand those two words because it’s all bullshit unless you’re in a wheelchair or have seriously extreme conditions that actually prevent you from getting it done. I don’t subscribe to excuses and I think society uses them all to often.
- Working to spread awareness and raise money to help a cause like Epidermolysis Bullosa (Butterfly Children).
- Personal Fitness. I am driven and motivated and determined and I truly believe that you can do anything you set your mind to which sometimes means that you need a little help from someone doing it. What would this look like given I haven’t ever run a marathon or trained anyone and I have no certifications of any kind, just a lot to offer in terms of focus and motivation that can be delivered with a smile and some fun. Probably more along the lines of helping people find a routine, find their limits and stay on track. Do you really need a certification for that? I guess if you do if you want to get paid and if you don’t want to get sued.
So, that’s where I stand on that thought. Till the day comes where I’m sitting in a boardroom with a totally amazing offer with some serious dough attached to it or I find a crazy opportunity that I just can pass up I’ll stay right here in mainstream America doing a job I love with people that are amazing and continue to be fit, write blogs and encourage the masses to be their best.
It was bound to happen sooner or later and with all the training I’ve been doing sooner was more like IT. IT is as you may have guessed, some minor and irregular discomfort on the outside corner of my knee cap. It’s been bothering me for a few days but infrequently. Since my 10 mile race on Sunday following a dose of Ibuprofen, I thought it felt better at least I had no pain. When I say pain I really mean uncomfortable and sudden twinges that are painful for a moment…stairs or if I put pressure on the knee leaning or getting up from sitting mainly. When I’m at work or walking or just not running I’m fine. Yesterday I went for a run and not 50 feet out of the gate what felt like a sudden shard of glass poking my knee caused me to hop and interrupt my motion for a moment. It didn’t happen again but it did make me think to look it up to see what it could be even though I had a pretty good idea already. Sure enough I didn’t have to look far before I found the obvious, IT Band Syndrome. Iliotibial Band Syndrome aka IT Band Syndrome, shows up when the outside ligament running down the thigh (hip to the shin) is tight or inflamed. The IT band is attached to the knee and assists in stabilizing the joint. When it isn’t working properly, running and sometimes knee movement becomes uncomfortable and even painful. If it isn’t monitored a happy runner can be taken off the road for quite a while. Funny thing is that when you look it up on Google the first thing it says is to stop running. LOL it’s almost like getting yelled at by the doctor.
So I’ll do some adjustments like taking today off from running and making it a Tabata strength training day which in order since I try to do it every other day if possible. Riding my bike is a great and recommended alternative in addition to swimming which I just haven’t found the time to add into my jam packed fitness schedule. Hopefully a day off is all it needs. I’m also proactively taking Ibuprofen for inflammation despite the fact that at the moment my legs don’t feel swollen nor does my knee feel tight. Better safe than sorry. I have so much going on this year in terms of races that I have to monitor regularly and modify whenever I can if I need to so I can make it to the end of the running season. Yes, I take the winter off from racing. I just don’t like winter races much but 8 – 9 months of the year I go at it hard so I need to be careful. I
Since it just showed up all of a sudden and since my running shoes are just about ready to be changed out, I’m going to try that to see if maybe it was caused by end of life gear. This time I’m going to try a pair of New Balance to see if I like them. I have been a devoted Saucony disciple nearly exclusively give or take a few Reeboks and Asics here and there. My friend runs in New Balance and loves them so we’re going to head over and see if we can find a pair we like. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was indeed caused from needing to change the guards so to speak. We’ll see and advise. Till then…
For more information about causes, prevention, symptoms and treatment of IT Band Syndrome you can read this article from Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/it-band-syndrome
Today I ran a 10 Mile race with my friends. It was awesome having friends with me. We didn’t run together much but just having them there was amazing and invigorating and so freaking happy! We are all different in so many ways but runners are wonderful people with an amazing comraderie even to strangers. Today I had something happen to me that I’ve always feared. I missed the turn markers. This race was less than stellar in terms of most everything and the weather did a torrential downpour on us half way through. It would have been ok but my watch and phone are cracked so water is NO BUENO! So I was running respectable splits and would have hit my target finish time of sub 1:40:00 but I missed one of the turn markers. All of a sudden in the pouring rain while trying to keep my watch dry and jump big puddles and not get hit by a car I found myself all alone. I thought maybe I would see another runner around the corner but no…. I looked back and there was one of the girls I had met who came with one of my friends so I thought I was on the right track. I kept running until a woman in a truck stopped me to tell me that the runner behind me asked her to tell me i missed a turn. MISSED A TURN! uugghhhh! I thanked her and started back and it was my new friend that I met earlier at the start of the race. She stopped her race to get me back to mine. Only runners would do this.
This mishap is something that I have always dreaded. What would I do? Well now I know so it’s not so scary anymore. I have my new friend to thank for that. She’s a runner and we smile and say hello, cheer eachother on, pick eachother up, pat eachother on the back when things go wrong and we look out for eachother no matter what. I don’t know how long I would have kept running in that direction but it was far less because she stopped and helped me. It’s one of my favorite things about running. We support each other. So my overall time for 10 miles was more than I wanted but less than it could have been on the flip side. I’ll take that! I spent time with familiar smiling faces that mean the world to me and I met new friends and I’ll take that too! These ladies, this sport mean the world to me. I am so happy I started running! I love you all!
Today I feel like Cinderella reflecting on her wonderful evening at the Ball! Last night I went to a show at Symphony Hall! I have never been there and was in sheer awe at every detail of the building’s exterior, the interior and the hall itself. The doors were leather with brass riveted fastenings, the details adorning the walls and ceilings and staircases alike were amazing. The rugs were brilliant and royal and soft as I walked on them. The front doors all open wide under the lit overhang which sat beneath the majestic flags that hung high near the roofline were welcoming and the staff with smiles on their faces stood at every door welcoming guests and assisting us to our seats. It was absolutely the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in in my life. As I sat in that brilliant hall in my seat watching just an incredible show I had something pop into my head that will be on my bucket list for sure. I want to dance in Symphony Hall! If I had my way, I would have been brave enough to try it, waiting for everyone to leave but that isn’t really feasible without some serious strings. It’s actually more like a pipe dream from a combination of chick flicks out there that I’ve seen so many times. In my fantasy the lights would be low, the tables and chairs would be cleared, the POPs would have stayed in their seats playing a dancing tune and my love would have led me to the middle of the floor for a dance while the Symphony Hall staff looked on thinking how lovely we looked.
Back to reality. Things like that only happen in the movies but wouldn’t it be so wonderful if it actually happened? I think so and I plan on finding a way to indeed Dance at Symphony Hall! EEJANAIKA (Japanese for What The Hell) you might be thinking. Is this even related to Running? The answer is actually yes! This blog is mostly associated with running and fitness but it is also associated with having goals and being brave and being motivated which is more where this particular blog fits in. I owe this bucket list addition to running in fact. It is because of running that I feel like I can actually have a dream about dancing at Symphony Hall. I am in shape now and I can dance and I now also feel comfortable in pretty clothes and flowy dresses that aren’t boxy that show off my much better shape. Running has given me the confidence to even think that I would want to or could do that, a gift that just keeps on giving! Running has made me brave enough to have a bucket list and feel worthy of believing that I can do these things. Running has given me a believe that I can and should experience amazing things. I love running and all that it brings me…friends, happiness, confidence, strength, tenacity, motivation, memories and an updated bucket list!
PS: Someday I WILL dance at Symphony Hall, twirling round and round in a flowy dress and pretty dancing shoes to the music of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The lights down low glowing off the gold frosted walls of two tiers of balconies, caressing and flowing over ornately crafted walls and a ceiling that are intricately and delicately designed to catch and release light, memories and dreams.
I finished the book “When Breath Becomes Air” last night which was written by Paul Kalanithi. Paul wrote this book because he found out he had terminal cancer and he wanted to document his journey as he faced his own mortality. He wrote his journey from brilliant Neurosurgeon to Cancer patient. Paul was quite interested in diving into looking death in the eyes and analyzing what death means and looking at it as a process instead of running away from it. It is an honest book that I don’t know as if I could have written in the midst of suffering from Cancer and watching myself wither from health to having people on my death watch just waiting for me to pass to move on. It’s a good read and something that will not leave my mind. You should read it. THIS Ted talk by Lucy Kalanithi is what prompted me to read the book.
I thought about Paul this morning as I headed out to run and I thought about Lucy his widow and Cady his infant daughter who most likely won’t remember her father except in the things her family and her mother share with her. I thought about my own life and thought about how I read and cried through this book and as my legs carried me over my three miles I confirmed with myself that if I face this same kind of decision in my life, I do NOT want to spend time chasing time if the outcome is sure to be finality. I would rather spend my time simply talking to my family, and running, having cookouts and creating memories and laughter than living in a hospital bed. Everyone dies we just don’t know when we’ll die or how. Why worry about it? Every day and moment should be lived to the best of our ability being the best people we can be don’t you think?
I run because I want to be more healthy. I want to be more healthy because I want to live as long of a life free from canes or adult diapers and medications as I can. I started off running to run away from life’s problems. I ran to save myself from deep dark places that the anti-depression commercials talk about. I ran not to look forward but to not look back. Things are much better now for me and I am probably the happiest I’ve ever been since getting married. I now appreciate meaning in life and the joys that my family brings me, especially my children as they head into adulthood. I now run to be able to have as many tomorrows as I can and to “experience” every day rather than just living every day. Lucy and Paul “experienced” life and looked at life in a really analytical way both in life and through and during death. Running saved me and has taught me to really appreciate and experience most everything. Running has become the glue that keeps me sane, lets me analyze things so I can better understand them more like Paul and Lucy do. Running lets me reflect on things that have happened and what my takeaways are a lot like Lucy and Paul did as they applied the lessons they were learning through their difficult journey through Paul’s illness.
It’s books like this that make me a better human who appreciates the important things in life over skimming through each day blindly, and it’s running that has allowed me to take all those moments and push them forward to tomorrow and the next days to come. Life, like running has good days and bad, joy and pain, frustrations and memories, positives and negatives. We should know what we want from both, have goals for both, give mindful thought to the moments and milestones that we experience during both.
Some days it’s just a Runch kind of day. It’s 41 this morning which is ok with me because I like a little chill in the air when I run in the morning. What is not ok with me however, is that my intestines are not cooperating so that I can appropriately get ready to run. I hate that and I was totally prepared to risk it but at the drop of a hat I just thought about how around lunch time it will be 73 and sunny and warmer and most likely I will be intestinally set to go for a run. You have to love Summer running! Sometimes it just doesn’t take much to convince me to switch up my plan. I would actually go after work but I have an obligation that interferes with that so RUNCH it is! It’s good to switch it up so you run new routes, new times and new places, after all life is not a spectator sport. Go be adventurous and switch it up. You just have to be open to it.
What things do you do to switch up the sameness of your routine?