Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Heaven on Earth

 I was given a moment today. A beautiful, breathtaking moment... I started my run with a mile and a half jog to the Y with my son. There, we met some friends and proceeded to walk a 5k. Jack dropped off as we passed back by home and I finished the walk with my Pappy, my dear friend. After the walk, I went ahead solo and ran the 2 miles back home. Of course, I was running with my trusted beagle, Andi, and she was in heaven as she finally hit her groove. Right about mile one of the loop home, the sun started to set and a cool breeze began to ease my journey. As I ran down a windy road, I looked up just in time to see the evening sun beautifully afire behind the Veterans Monument. I stopped my run, and stood completely still for what seemed like hours. I took it in. I gently walked across the road to the Monument, and the world became so silent. Even Andi became calm and laid gently by the bench as I wondered onto the Monument grounds. I walked immediately to one of the large stone walls reading "Patriotism" and returned to my favorite name. My eyes, as always, immediately filled with tears and my heart pained just a bit. All in sadness, pride, and love intertwined so deeply that they've become one. Nevertheless, my racing heartbeat had calmed, my breathing had slowed and my legs no longer ached. I was in awe of the moment and the beauty. I left a kiss on the wall, a soft "still love you" and returned to the road. My sweet dog was certain to acknowledge my small tear with a gentle lean against my leg, and then a pull on the leash to bring us back to our heaven. I finished my run strong, not even feeling the tiredness of my legs despite the hills and distance. At least, until now, that is...

 I draw my strength form all the love in my life. When times are really hard, I always find myself reminded of the love and strength that others have given me. Especially the love of those who give it so selflessly, and how they unknowingly changed me forever.

In this place,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Big Quitter.

If you're sitting on your ass reading this, and notice that the same aforementioned ass is hanging off the sides of the chair, then get up off it and do something about it.

How many excuses can I hear in one day... I mean, really people. Don't you ever get tired of excuses? Giving them, receiving them. If you don't want it, fine. Sit on it. If you do want it, then get it. Really. That is all. It is hard to work out. It is hard to eat right. It is hard. So? Stop whining. Do it. Now. Quit your bitching. Quit your laziness. Quit avoiding life. You're wasting it.

I'm mean.. I know.

In a mood,

The Path.

(Error in posting.. so this is last nights... apparently I'm not patient enough when I publish..)

Big decisions made. Relief, fear, anguish, joy, relief. Deep sigh...

How do we ever know if we are heading in the right direction or if we're even on the path anymore? Well, I suppose it doesn't matter if you make your own roads. I'm making my own again. Running is hard when you carry large burdens so I'm unpacking the baggage and picking up the pace. Priorities straight, motivation good, regrets none... okay. Let's go.

In transition,

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Exhale. Each breathe piercing cold, chilling every inch of my being. Standing in the downpour, I am in awe of my own shadow. I look around the field and acknowledge that I am in this moment. Completely winded from running an outdoor field, my shins throb and muscles beg for rest. My skin aches under the drenched pool of clothing draping from my frame. Whistle blows. Inhale. The ball returns to play, smacking against the exposed skin of my thigh. The burn is excruciating. Settle the ball! Exhale. I turn over to pass the man attacking. Inhale. The ball is hard as a rock against my numb foot. Open field... bam! Exhale. Even sharp kicks spin out of control, but placement hits right on target. I hustle and my feet take me no where.   The turf is too wet for traction, even for my pink cleats. Inhale. I stumble back to recover the gap at midfield. I bend to my knees to catch a break. Exhale. The rain drips into my eyes, races down the bridge of my nose. The ball pummels back a few feet ahead of my stance. I rise to run. Inhale.

In the cold rain,

I can't fix it for you.

Some days you can't believe there is enough strength in the world to make things work. Somedays there aren't enough tears to work through the anger, sorrow, or frustration. The rainbows don't come out, the clouds don't lift, and the world keeps spinning. I can go for a run, take some time out with the girls, play with the kids outside... so many ways to make my own rainbows, so many places to find sunshine. What I can't do is make them for someone else. And learning to accept that is my biggest challenge.

This morning I ran a 5k, promoted my race for May, played outside with the kids, did a little work, took some me time and headed out for an evening of fun with the girls. Last night I played soccer, tomorrow morning I'm playing soccer... and with all these blessings, and this clarity, I can't breathe life into those who waste it. I can't bring back those who lost it. And I can't fix it for you. The best I can do, everyday, is choose to not waste the gift.

In between,

Friday, March 26, 2010

I did too much, and not enough.

I am human after all. I went to soccer, not feeling my best, and played anyway. After the first two hard sprints, I felt terrible. I subbed out, ten seconds later I was on the floor. The cold overtook my body, the sweat felt like ice. The pressure of the world was pulling me into the ground, the weight too heavy for my eyes to open, too heavy for my chest to breathe in. My husband quickly got me a glucose tab and I managed to avoid passing out. The world slowly lifted and the warmth of my racing pulse brought me back into life. A good ten minutes later, I was ready to play again. Just a little recovery, a little help, and I was back on my feet. A little slow out of the gate, but back in the game none the less. Last week was my best game yet, tonight was a disaster, but with lessons learned, my best games are still ahead of me.

I wasn't prepared tonight. I hadn't fueled my body with what it needs; I hadn't properly prepared for the game. I did too much, and not enough. I couldn't control what was happening, no matter how hard I tried.

I could, however, let someone help me, use a sub, and learn from my mistakes that got me there.

Just like my life.

In conscience,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

When it rains, it pours...

What happens when you're life gets so crappy that even your blog that makes it better doesn't work? Yep. Lost a good one too. Deep breath, and I'll survive.  I do not like bad, sad, or slow. Those things do not work well for me. I need people and things that happily function quickly, and move forward.

I am in the middle of a mid life crisis. I have been enlightened to this in many ways recently and these nice long runs are helping me figure out what exactly is going on. I am not crazy, and I'm not unhappy. But I am discovering more and more everyday that my life IS happening...

Like when my doctor's "helper" let me know that if I want more children, time is running out. Really? Aren't I still at the beginning of this adult thing? Or when my son gets dropped off at Junior High and his friends want to hang out, all the time. And when my littlest steps onto his two wheel bike and flies down the street. How about this morning, when my body ached enough to actually take tylenol... my chemical filled enemy... and when my foot, taped entirely black, is struggling to keep me on the roads. And working to the bone, 18 hours a day, just to keep our heads above water, for something that wasn't even in the plans.

So as I ran, I realized I am there. I am at the mid... whatever. And I think the crisis part of that word is coming on fast.

I have no idea what to be when I grow up. I know that every day, I am not fulfilled with what I do now. I need to work on a major factor in the happiness of my home. And my body deserves to be treated better, inside and out. I am burned out, everyday, until I run. I have big decisions to make, as a big girl... no better time than the present to make those choices, on a good long run. Only this time, not to run away from, but through the crisis.

In mid,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Living makes you interesting

I am bruised and scraped and sore. I didn't notice the bruises so much until I worked today, when many guests pointed it out. I used to hate it having to explain my busted vein, or bandage on my neck, or bruises. Just another reminder of why my life wasn't as it should be, and that an illness was not going to let me just live. Today, however, reminded me of how much I love bruises. No longer from blood work or doctors or treatments; not bruised from illness anymore, but health! Soccer isn't a game until the bruises are purple. A run isn't over until I get whipped from a branch or scraped on the curb. Family fun night isn't fun until the pajama pillow fight breaks the... yep, living makes you interesting, inside and out.

Life is good. Go get it.

In living color,

Still climbing

(Sorry for the delay.. this post remained somewhere in cyberspace last night)..

I deal with a lot of stress each day... A lot! But I do know that my life could be so much worse. Take last year, for instance, I get told I have cancer. My stepson has one of his worst years to date with his Aspergers issues while living in our home. I had just opened a new restaurant/ store. My husband's great job at a great company became a little less secure with ownership changes. My best friend was going through a terrible time with a marriage. Other friends were suffering from job losses, loss of parents, loss of a spouse, sick kids... It all was overwhelming.

This stress now isn't so bad. I have made some crucial decisions to cut out the negative and bring in the positive. My stepson has bad days, really bad days, but they are much farther apart and there is a lot of hope for him to have a real future if he puts some effort into it. My husband's job is doing okay. He is incredibly smart and driven and even if the job situation were to change, I know he will do what it takes to take care of us. And I know that he is a catch, even for an employer, so that makes it easier for me to take some time to figure my stuff out. My restaurant has found it's footing, as has the store, but I have found mine in knowing that it is not the end of the world if it doesn't work. My friends have worked on the marriage, nursed their kids back to health, mourned their losses, and moved forward. I have found happiness in my decisions. I have my health, and proudly wear the scars of the battle.

So it could be worse... . It could be so much more than it ever was...

There are mountains to climb, and I haven't yet seen the top.

In motion,


Sunday, March 21, 2010


Some days you just have to try harder.

You work with the injuries; you deal with the pain. What you don't do is quit...

I fight for the life I want to have. I push for it. I look hard at the obstacles in my way and see which of those obstacles are bigger than me, and I conquer them anyway. I don't quit. Not anymore.


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Some nights I walk out into the dark and trust it. Opening my world through the rhythm of earned cadence, following only the paths of pavement before me. I see no farther ahead than my footsteps, and think no farther than I step. I trust in the calm, vast glow of the dark. It is endless, enduring. I close my eyes in approach, trust in each step. I own my strength. The exhaustion of the run, the pace... the exhilaration of the air... such unbridled intensity without physical sight in view. Abandoning chaos, I own the authenticity of my thoughts. I engage in the pureness of the moment. Simply breathing, pulsing, flying. 

Have you ever trusted... just trusted.

In the air,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hello, its your second favorite writer, Jack

Today my mom, the loved and well known Beth Spradling got hurt playing soccer two nights in a row, while working a 14 hour shift, 7 days a week, 12 months a year. So while she is incapacitated her son, Jackson, is taking over until she's better. Today was a loss of 5 to zip. If only she wasn't hurt. While our favorite team was losing, borrowing players, I was out with my grandparents and brother watching Les Miserables at the high school. It was amazing, a work of art.  My brother was passed out halfway through the show. At this moment he is still asleep on his bed for the first time in months. Now my mom is wincing in pain at accidentally moving her toe on the foot she hurt today. That must hurt because she is very resilient and if she feels like it, very stubborn. {Teachers, parents, Mom, do not comment, it is the truth.] She is now attempting to walk, or hobble, against my better judgement. She is saying that she doesn't believe in being hurt so she is walking [and wincing].And now as her favorite, Jedi Master Yoda, would say" Good night, have one. Hmm? Hmm? "

In health, 
Jackson, age 12

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lose like Ali

Tonight, we finally got our rematch. Although exhausted from twelve hours on my feet waitressing, my legs throbbing as if I'd already ran a marathon, I headed straight to the soccer field. I could have fallen over from exhaustion before I ever entered the building but nothing would keep me from this game. Especially with no girl subs tonight, I was concerned that I could make it through the first minutes without collapsing. No matter how hard a day it has been, no matter how much pain my body holds, when I step out onto the field and the whistle blows, I want to play. And play I did...

I remembered the anger from the last game. I have returned, weeks later, lighter and faster than before. A bit more worn for the show, but I definitely arrived. They played hard, but I played harder. I did not let them take the ball from me. I out ran and out smarted. I thoroughly pissed them off because I was simply in their way. I even rallied our men into action trying to challenge them into out hustling me. We were able to keep the game within one, despite being significantly out numbered. I didn't play a perfect game, but I held my own. At no point did their team think we were intimidated. They couldn't say we were dirty players or even white trash. We gave them nothing to use, and we made them play. I didn't even need to tackle physically, as foot tackles were more effective and much more gracious for this game. They played well with others tonight, and so did we.

The final score didn't put us on top, but we left the field having won the battle. I enjoyed playing hard, and standing up, even if we didn't get the win we wanted. The other team respected our game, our pride in simply taking it out on the field. And that is soccer game to enjoy.

I would much rather lose like Ali... knowing the opponent may have one, but was better for the fight, leaving the match with an unprecedented respect for the fighter they had to overcome.

In satisfaction,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Walk away smiling

If I force a smile, it actually makes me happy. When my shins hurt, my knee swells, my quad pulls, I wince in pain and my stride shortens. I start thinking of how to get home. I figure out how to justify quitting. Instead, I force a smile. It changes my run. I start to think of the thousands of body parts that don't hurt and proceed to laugh at my aging body... and I run my full route.

I forced a smile this morning. I didn't go to work and bitch and complain, I went to work and rolled with the punches. When I came home I didn't get mad at the little things, I found what was happy in the moment.

Focus on the positives and your life changes. Not in the cheesy way, but as a fellow miserable moments in life person to another, just try it. It doesn't hurt. I think those late night infomercials should start selling smiles. It is honestly life changing, priceless, and guaranteed. The whole world needs a good kick in the head, and to walk away smiling. Negative people suck. I try hard not to be one anymore.

In sunshine,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Knocked down...

"Everybody gets knocked down... how quick are you gonna get up?"~ The Hours

I am facing a lot of rejection, failure in my life. Things that I put my heart into, no matter how hard I try, just can't be fixed. I can't save everything. Everything I do is not a success. And sometimes all those things collide and after a giant explosion, all I'm left with is a great big hole. No ladders, no ropes, no stairs. Just a great big gaping hole right where a life used to be. The difference for me is how quickly I'm gonna get up. I started to climb out of a hole two years ago, and made it about half way out; but, I hadn't developed my strength yet, so I fell back down. This recent explosion added a few thousand more feet to climb, but little does it know that I have been building my strength and have endurance for miles longer than it runs deep.

As the New World Spirits say, "it's one of those most satisfying feelings, to get your head kicked in, and still stand there and take another one." I can take it. I can't avoid it, so I take it. But I get up quickly. And that's when it counts. I think of all those great stories of people who fail and fail and fail, only to reach great success. It's incredible motivation, and possible a ploy to keep us from burying our heads in the sand, but it can't stop the pain or disappointment. It can gives us an extra boost, outside of ourselves, to help us climb back, to get up a little quicker.

So tonight I share with you the depth of the whole, the pain of the failures. And... that no matter what, I have the strength to run up the sides of that gaping hole, getting up quicker than most, even if to get knocked down again.

"Like Ali in the jungle, like Nelson in jail... it's not where you are, it's where you're going."  ~ The Hours

In the whole,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Top 10: change your life

Top ten reasons for changing your life:

1) You're miserable and know how to fix it.
2) You're stuck and know how to get out.
3)You're fat and know how to get thin.
4) You're in pain and know how to make it stop.
5) You're tired and know how to rest.
6) You're walking and know how to run.
7) You're sad and know how to laugh.
8)You're alone and know how to be together.
9) You're together and know how to be alone.
10) You know how.

In strength,

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I got mad tonight, really mad. And I wasn't sure how to breathe anymore. So I went out for a run.

Normally I would go ahead and eat all the ice cream in the fridge, or pick a fight with anyone daring to walk into the room, or even drive around town until my eyes became heavy. But instead, when it seemed to be too much, I laced up my shoes and headed to the sidewalk. It's pitch black just past my porch light and I got lost in the emptiness. The darkness around me seemed so open. With each step, the heaviness started lifting and the pain seemed to shake loose from the soles of my shoes. My mind was going too fast to think through the anger, so I ran through it. I ran fast, and it forced me breathe. I ran fast, and it forced me to push through the pain. I ran fast, and it slowed down my mind enough to think through the anger. And I figured it out. I understood my anger and let it go.

Sometimes it sucks to be an adult. Sometimes a good run reminds me I can still fell like a kid, be as free as a kid. Sometimes I need to let it all out, and leave it on the street.

Sometimes, I'm glad only comes every once in a while.

In peace,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

And I even found my parking spot.

I wanted to stay home this morning; I wanted to put myself last again. But my son would not allow it. Despite his health issues last night, he insisted on me leaving and running my race. I stayed home as long as I could, just to make certain he was okay, but at the last minute I headed out the door.

After backing into my parents car, sitting in a jam across the bridge, missing the first exit off the bridge, and then realizing all streets in the entire downtown of the city were closed, I managed to somehow end up on a street leading me back toward the bridge... only this time crossing over to home. There were no places to park and no where else to go. I decided to just go home. The clock showed 9 am, the start time of the race, and there was no magic left to get me to the race line. I thought about my son, though, and how excited he was to send me out the door to run 5 miles. So I turned right, one last time, to see if maybe I could park in an alley. Lucky me, I headed straight for a parking garage of a major hotel. I pulled in, parked as quickly as possible, and headed to the ground floor. At 9:06 am, my feet finally touched the street. Unfortunately, I was nearly a mile from the start line. As I took off running toward the race route, I remembered to look up to know where I had parked and tried to pay attention as I ran toward the sea of green shirts.

Exactly 9:13 a.m. and I could see the start line... thousands of runners had already passed me as they began the route. I was still running the wrong way trying to get to the start! I managed to cross the time chip system start line with about 500 people still behind the line. I officially started the race at 9:15.

And by this time, I really had to pee.. yep, pee.

I was a chaotic mess, trying to run and set my Garmin timer and get my music going. Luckily, .5 miles into the race there were port-a-potties set up for the parade.. A quick stop in and I was on my way.

I held a steady 10:30 pace for the first mile and a half, at least until I hit the hill. I was enjoying the run so far... the mass of people ahead of me, and the satisfaction of passing hundreds while keeping my pace. As I climbed the hill, I realized I would have to slow down or not finish. As each person passed me, I felt a little more disenchanted, a little less empowered. But I didn't give up, I didn't even walk. I just let up my pace and remembered to run my race, no one else's.

As I hit the third mile marker, I began to tire a bit, thinking about my morning and the stress of things lately. I began to lose focus on my race, my run. And if you mentally can't focus, you physically can't preform. I changed my music, switched sides of the road, and talked myself into focusing on the freedom of the race. I choose to be there, to put myself away from everyone and everything that requires my attention. I was free of all my obligations, and I was free to run the race on my own terms. And off I went for another mile much more focused.

At mile four, my side began to cramp. I had run fairly quickly through the last mile and had not contemplated the final stretch. I seriously considered walking it. Taking the safe route and simply walking the end, avoiding injury or pain, and finishing.Instead, I thought of Jackson, just one week ago, finishing strong at his first race. I thought of him fighting hard last night, after the fifth attempt at getting his blood sugars read. And I thought of my inability to finish what I start, to do things on my own and complete them. I needed to do this.

I pushed through the hill of the last mile. I refused to go easy, and forced a strong finish. As I stopped my own timer, I realized I had ran the five miles in 58 minutes giving me a little less than a 12 minute mile pace. And I realized that I ran the entire five miles. This shouldn't have been such a shock to me, as I have been adding miles and picking up speed for the past few weeks. But it suddenly hit me that I had made it... I didn't turn around and go home when I was late. I didn't cheat the start when everyone started before me. I didn't walk when I hit the hills. I didn't walk when I hit the wall. I didn't let the chaos of my life ruin my run. I didn't put myself last.

I did run this race, for the first time in nine years, and I did it on my own terms. And I smiled from the strength it gave me.

In happiness,


I'm sorry to have missed you all yesterday. My son has hypoglycemia... the full blown real hypoglycemia, and sometimes he likes to see how badly he can scare his Mom.

Jack's blood sugars drop very suddenly, without warning. Last night he had a very severe episode and the tremors and shaking were terrible. He stayed somewhat alert and we were able to get his sugars back up enough to function. Once this happens though, he's exhausted and scared for the rest of the night. And so am I...

I didn't leave his side the rest of the evening, and he was a little bit afraid to sleep. So we laid on the couch together, his feet stretching way past mine. I didn't worry about doing any of my other jobs for the evening; I didn't even make it to soccer. I did do my best job though. I got to be the only person in the world who could make Jack feel better. I just was his Mom.

So this morning I hover over him like a good Mom does, and he's pushing me out the door to my race. I want to stay with him to make sure he's better... and he wants me to go race, so I'm better.

In strength,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jesse Owens

"I always loved was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs."
-Jesse Owens

This gets me out the door on days I am not sure how to turn the handle. Today finding the door was hard enough.

In couragement,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Strength to run in the storm

I woke this morning to the news of my friend's passing. I ended my day with the news of another friends pregnancy. How precious that our lifetimes can come full circle in a single day...

I enjoyed a day of sunshine, but am holding out for the rain. I love to run in a warm rain shower, as the breeze begins to cool my skin while the steam escapes the sidewalk. Anyone can run in the sunshine, but it takes strength to run in the storm. If I can only keep my eyes open long enough for the storm to arrive...

In patience,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hold me...

Did you ever let someone take your hand and lead you through the crowd? When they reach back for you, when you grab hold, all the anxiety and chaos settles and the world around goes black. Just the two of you exist now, and nothing can stop you, nothing can hurt you. It is the most comforting feeling, to no longer be on your own, to no longer feel alone. There are people who reached back for me in my life. They are all people I needed to get me through, even though I may not have known it then.

I remember grabbing his hand through the crowds at a concert, all the way to the front of the stage. The hand I grabbed through the theme parks, the streets of New York, the crowds at parades and stadiums. I remember grabbing his hand at Mardi Gras, walking through the masses until the daylight broke. I remember grabbing her hand when she told me he was gone, when we walked into the church, when we walked away a final time. I remember grabbing her hand as we packed the last box into the car, moved the last one back home, walked into the court room, and out of the bar. I remember grabbing his hand when we waited in the crowded room to hear from the doctor, for the surgery to end, for the results of the tests. He reached back for me as we walked in after treatments, up the hill of the first 5k, into the concert, even when the memories were stronger than the crowd.

I remember all these times when someone reached back for me. They come to mind so quickly and so significantly, as if they were happening right now. My soul is warmed by these experiences, happy or sad.

When someone reaches back for you, are you holding on?

In reach,

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'll slap you. No problem.

I do too much, anyone ever know that about me? Well, I do. In good form, I went ahead and worked out this morning, ran a good time, and then had a full day of working on all of my many jobs... My kids had good time playing with Mommy tonight and here I am writing my blog. I could have used an extra hour of sleep; I could have used an extra hour to get things done. But, I know that to be the best me possible, I need to get my body moving everyday and give my mind some time to think. It is such a simple choice, and no matter what else you have going on, there is a way to do it. It doesn't have to be running specifically either... it has to be something that moves you, in every way.

I love you all, but please don't tell me why you can't. I am not a superwoman. I have no magic secret to get me where I am that can get you where you want to be... I simply made a choice. I hear each day form many of you wanting to be on the run with me. So please join me! Stop wishing and start doing. If you need someone to snap you out of it, I am happy to slap you across the face... in the most loving way possible. I didn't need someone to tell me how beautiful I am, or how sweet and smart I am... I needed someone to say "what the hell are you doing, you look like death"... because I did, and still partly do. We need to stop lying to ourselves and each other. I don't mean to go up to strangers and say that, but to the people we love, including ourselves. It's time to actually love enough to tell the truth. We are slowly killing ourselves, and our families, our children, with the way we live...  we need to be proactive in changing it!

It isn't easy for me to do this everyday. Despite what your excuse ridden conscience may say, I do know how it feels to not be here and feel hopeless. I know how it feels to wish I could run and lose the sadness. I remember how it feels to want to punch the skinny bitch on TV that said she's been where I am... I remember, and still understand, how hard it is to do this.

So, to make this a level playing field for all, I am upping the ante... I have been hanging here in the 180s for a while now I think I need a boost. I need to push a little harder to get this weight moving again. I am going to actually start cooking, yes- cooking, new vegetarian meals instead of living off of potatoes. I am adding additional weight training and more miles per week. Yes! I am adding more to do! And not because I have so much free time, but because I want something to happen, and I'm going to be proactive at getting it done. I want to continue to share this journey with you, but if you aren't moving, then you're no longer on a journey. You are at your destination, you've arrived. And once you've arrived, you need to be happy with the resulting destination of the route you took. If you're not, do something about it.

Proactive... it's not just an acne ad, it's an actual way of life. Yes, I am new to it too. I want to be proactive in my health and weight instead of dieting to take off the damage, instead of taking meds. I am keeping my butt in gear instead of starting over again after the weight piles back on. I am adding proactive to my personality traits and am applying it to my own life!

I'm tired of good enough... it's time for the best.

In slap happiness,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lean on me.

 Jack finished his first 5k race this morning! Despite a few worries in the first half mile, he courageously made it. He was so amazing. Cold and windy, even with a little rain, he wasn't feeling it at first. He struggled to get his mind into it. But once he got started, he found his groove... for a while. A few times on the route I wasn't sure he'd stick it out.  Then again at the end he had wanted so badly to give up. But he never quit. He dug in deep and pushed out a great finish, with a little encouragement from his Mom and Stepdad.  He came, he conquered! I ran a 5k race with my kid today. And so the best day ever began...

But of course things aren't always easy. Somedays are just damn hard. Late this afternoon, my stepson called and had been in an altercation at the park. He had already had a rough day with behavior, and I knew this wouldn't be good. At this point, his fault, their fault, didn't matter. My heart dropped and I rushed to find him... my husband was already out the door only saying Jeffrey was attacked at the park. He was ultimately okay, but I have rarely felt that amount of terror in my life.  Until I could physically see him, I couldn't breathe. I actually considered how to keep my cool if the other kids were still there. Regardless of what had happened, someone hurt my kid! The kids were gone and we dealt the best we could. And of course any problems with the kids puts stress on the adults... so our great day was quickly unfolding. Everything can fall apart so easily with a step-family, in a family with a child with special needs, and in a family without much time together. And we have a handful of all of all of that! We can so easily be torn apart and put into the negative. But we do our best to stay strong and not fall into that trap. I don't want to live in that darkness. So we see the light in it and love each other stronger...

We may not be able to have a whole day of greatness, but we are great for a whole day. Everyone is home and safe this evening. Everyone made it through the day, maybe with a few bruises, but by the time our heads hit the pillow, we'll each be stronger for them. Some of us got them from joy, others from pain, but in the end they're all the same. They all force us to get stronger, to heal, even if it's just to prepare us for the next ones.

Today was a great day. My son ran his first race, I was reminded how much I love my stepson, and my littlest one held my hand through an entire movie, in public! My husband and I are still standing and loving each other... so I suppose I'm enlightened today in knowing that I can always count on my family to pull through. No matter how hard the punch, we all get up and finish the fight. And with all the bruising, we sure are pretty.

In the light,

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The stars align...

It is almost here... count down 10 hours till my son, Jack, runs his first 5k race with me. Perfect timing for his first race too, like the stars have aligned. The weather is going to be sunny, near 50. Not too hot for him, and warm enough to not layer. The race is at Toolen's Running Start, the same store I bought my first pair of running shoes many years ago. The same place I just bought Jack his first pair of running shoes. And Mike, the owner, is the ultimate runner. He loves running and his enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. A perfect example of a runners life. Little Jacob will even be there after our race, running his own 1/2 mile kids run. Can I possibly express the pride in my family right now? I started out to do this for myself, and now am able to give my kids this gift, this love. Jack and Jacob's running clothes are at the end of their beds, just as mine are, and tears fill my eyes..

I will do my best to keep Jack calm tomorrow morning. I will do my best to get him safely to the finish line, without smothering him. I will do my best not to cry when he crosses the finish line.

And I will do my best not to hug him too much in front of the other people once he does.

I will not be setting a PR tomorrow, but it will definitely be a personal best.

In excitement,

Friday, March 5, 2010

Leave it at the gate.

I never notice I'm running at soccer. It isn't effort; it is innate. My body doesn't go as fast as I think it does, and I can't make every play. But I can check out on the field. My mind can stop thinking of everything else, and just play. I stop being a mom, a business owner, a waitress, a volunteer, a wife... I am in the moment, the whole time. I love my life. I love everything I am. And I love being able to step onto the field and leave it all at the gate, just for an hour. On that field I'm not even a writer. I am purely free.

In happiness,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The walk before the run...

In the still of the room, in the calm of the night, I rest. My mind releases the generalities of the day and the confinements of my roles. I relax the tension of my shoulders, take deep breathes of the cool air, let go of things. In the silence, I am simply me.

This is the walk before the the run. The moment you try to hold onto.. the moment you find peace. It can't happen without the challenge of the run. It can't happen without the dullness of the static pace. It happens always and only when you go from nowhere to somewhere.

This is the breathe before the leap, the curtain before the lights. It's everything in this moment. And I'll hold it through till morning, when the sun kisses my cheeks and  my soul is warmed to run.

In silence,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bad to the bone.

So it's not Thursday, but I'm feeling like I've got a case of the Thursdays...

Running is hard. Somedays I am reminded of that a little too quickly. I have pain in every part of my legs, through to the bones. It even hurts to sit here and type. Yeah, legs.. this is so painful for you to have to just hang from my hips and do nothing.

I ran barely 1.5 miles today... I wanted to run 4. What the hell? Come on body... catch up! Give me something today!

I was thinking I would run the rest of my miles tonight; I was thinking I would be recovered this evening. Instead, my stupid old body is acting like a stupid old body, that's old! Ugh! I am not fueling right, I am not recovering, I am not focused.. this is how we get off track. This how we end up in the car shaking our heads in wonder at the runners on the street while we guzzle sugar and shovel in fries...

I know how hard this is... I know how painful it is... and I know how hard maintaining this is. But I choose it. I can handle the pain of exhaustion physically in exchange for the euphoria of clarity mentally.

Today is frustration. Not panic. Not quitting. Just frustration. I can do this.

In pain,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Be happy today, and tomorrow.

10 things that make me happy, in no particular order:

1) Jackson and Jacob laughing. Anytime, anywhere. That simply makes me happy.

2) Running after mile one. Every mile after is a gift, a happy little gift.

3) Baby monkeys.

4) New World Spirits concerts, my favorite band that I've now seen with everyone I've loved.

5) The first batch of fresh green zebra tomatoes, right out of the garden, still warm from the sun.

6) Soccer games! Competition, teamwork, pain, drive, desire, skill, speed, strength, smarts, oh so happy..

7) Time with my parents. All of them, Mom and Dad, the Wilts, the Frickes

8) Phone calls and dinners with the girls, especially late into the night.

9) Being in love with my husband.

10) Good wine at the end of a good week.

I love that I can name these so quickly from the top of my head, and know that the list could go on forever. That in itself makes me happy.

Thanks for the challenge, my dearest Brianna ( I must say I am happy to see that friends so far away can share such similar happy lists... And to my loyal readers, make this list and share it if you'd dare... if you can't think of ten things fairly quickly, it's time to spend some time figuring that out.

Be happy today, and tomorrow.

In happiness,

Monday, March 1, 2010


I ran treadmill today.
My legs shook from exhaustion.
They trembled to the point I could barely step.
I shook from the inside out and my skin turned cold.
The hot sweat slowly dripped from my face as I recovered.
My hands swelled and the nausea overwhelmed me.
I ran faster, ran longer, ran harder than before.
I pushed until I couldn't anymore.
Then I did it again.

Today was awesome.

In strength,