Monday, October 17, 2011

My "X" Factor Moment


I have been watching the new show on television called THE X FACTOR.   You know, it's the one Simon Cowell started where people with great talent get their shot to make it big?   I don't know what it is, but something about watching people who have such extraordinary talent get a chance at their dream is so inspiring to me, and if you were looking in my window at night when I watch it, you'd probably see me in tears more often than naught.  

I spent a lot of time yesterday getting caught up on DVR'd episodes, and it somehow got me really thinking about my own life.   I watched all this amazing talent and all these extraordinary stories, and I found myself wondering when my "X Factor" moment would be....

You know, I've been looking for it all my life.   That moment that would define me, and although there have been many, I wonder why it is that I can't feel like I've completed the one big thing.   

When I was younger, it was fortune and fame.   In graduate school, I was going to become the next big designer.   I would design on Broadway, win a Tony, and be forever known as one of the greats.   Then I got married, and my life priorities shifted a little.   I wanted a home, and security.   Then, I became a mom, and trust me....these two births probably have defined my life more than anything I have EVER done.   I wanted to be the best mom.   I wanted to raise healthy and happy kids.  I gave up the dream of the Tony and decided to stay home.   Then Andy was born, and my entire being was shook to the core when his health was not good and we wondered if he would even be with us for long.    Suddenly my moment was to stand strong for this little boy and make sure people were listening to what he needed.  I realized that my accolades were now making sure my children had good lives and grew up to understand what it is to be a good person.   The "moments" I had dreamed of were growing quiet.   They were changing.   They were becoming something much less glamourous and exciting, and were instead something that made only a quiet difference with no one looking.

I think what I need to remind myself of is that although my moment wasn't grand and loud and in the spotlight, I still experience them.   Just on a different level. 

I struggle all the time with feelings of inadequacy and low self worth.   I think on some level I am still looking for that one moment that will make my life complete.   But what I need to realize is that every day has an "X Factor" moment in it, no matter how small.   The moments in our lives that define who we are aren't always glaring out there for the world to see.  Sometimes they sneak up on us, and we have to figure them out for ourselves.

Today I didn't want to get up.   I have been struggling with getting back on the exercise bandwagon since hurting my knee, and I found myself once again in the cycle of shame and negative thinking.   I feel like I have lost some ground, and am incredibly hard on myself for that.   I had an appointment with my trainer this morning, and although I didn't want to, I went and gave it my all.   Unfortunately my all today wasn't what I wanted.   I was tired, my muscles were fatiguing, and we ended up the session with a lot of heavy stretching.   I kept apologizing and feeling bad, and actually was in tears at one point because I was so disappointed in myself.   (granted, the tears were masked by the sweat, so I don't think anyone saw.  ha)   I left the appointment and sat in my car and cried.   I felt like such a failure....and again my mind wandered back to this wondering when my moment would be.  I was sitting in my car, crying, disappointed, and feeling sad...

And that's when it hit me.   This WAS my moment.   My "X Factor" moment for the day was sitting in that car and realizing that although I felt like crap, my body hurt, I was tired, and I didn't want to do it....I DID do it.   I went, I gave what I had, and I fought to get back on track.  I'm not saying it's all roses and happiness now, but at least I know that I am not sitting and wallowing.   I am DOING something.    That was MY moment.   The defining moment for me today when I chose not to give up and let the voices in my head win.   My defining moments aren't grand moments when all my dreams are realized on a world stage.  I gave that dream up to live a different life.   My defining moments happen quietly when I realize that once again I have taken a step forward on a journey that is taking a LONG damned time.   

And although it won't get me a $5,000,000 recording contract, a Tony award, or the accolades of anyone but myself, I think even Simon would get it.....and I think he'd be proud.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shhh....I Can't Hear!

I feel like my life is full of white noise, and I can no longer hear what it is that I am supposed to be doing.

So much has been going on since I last wrote.   Knee blew out, had surgery to repair that.   Found out in the process that I don't do well with narcotics, and ended up in the hospital.   Took a job.   Started job.   Already stressing about job.   Kids back in school, but also back in all their events, clubs, sports, etc.  Took over as Den leader for Cub Scouts.  (stupid move, btw)   Jason's work is taking off even more and he's gone 4-5 days a week which is good financially, but means I am home dealing with the day to day all by my lonesome.   Sigh.

I am leaving in 5 days for a vacation with my family.   We are going on a cruise in the Bahamas, and for this, I should be excited, but because of the chaos and how I am feeling, I am looking at it as just one more thing I have to do.   When I realized this vacation was STRESSING ME OUT this morning, I knew it was time to try to slow things down again, and get myself back on a healthier track.   Seriously?   Get it together Tina.   Vacations are FUN!

Here's my problem, right?   See, I keep taking on more things, but am not adjusting for what I was doing before.   I am still trying to do all the same things at all the same intensities, but what's happening now is that I am having a hard time enjoying ANY of them.   Exercise, which I have grown to love and NEED as a way to keep me sane has become yet another check on a list a mile long.  Not much is enjoyable, everything just necessary.  Like a "have to..."

I can't hear anymore.   I feel like I am sitting here with my fingers in my ears, trying to will some of the noise to stop.  

So...once again I am forced to examine how I am choosing to live my life.   What is important, and what is going to fulfill me on the level I need.   Truly?   This vacation.   The thing that I am dreading because it means packing and organizing and list making, is the one thing that I need most right now.   To slow down, and enjoy something.   So I am going to try to get through this week with all that is on my plate, and look forward to spending some time AWAY FROM THE NOISE, with my husband and kids enjoying a beach, a boat, and some much needed down time.

You would think that this is a lesson that I have learned a million times, and that perhaps I would have "gotten it" by now.  I would have thought that too, yet here I am...practicing again.  I have to believe that all this "practice" is going to one day help me find the volume level that allows me to hear beautiful melodies instead of just noise.   For now though, I'll settle for a level that lets me hear the sound of the ocean, the tinkle of the ice in my fruity drink, and the laughter of my kids enjoying a vacation with a mom who is happy to be there with them, in this moment.

I'll deal with the rest when I get home.  :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Anyone have a Hammer?

Have you ever had one of those weeks?   Really and truly, one of those weeks where it seems like the universe is taking a colossal crap right on your head?    Well, for me....this one is close to topping the list.
I went bowling with my kids about 10 days ago.   We had a great time.   They loved it, and we laughed and danced, and just had a great time.   That is, until I woke up the next morning with a grapefruit of swelling on my left knee.   Hmm...strange.   So I went to the doctor, and they said I had probably torn cartilage or a tendon, and I would have to wear a knee brace.    Just go pick one up at the store, they said.   You can get one anywhere.  Not the news I wanted, but I was doing what they told me.   Go get a brace.   Check.
So I went to Wal Mart.   I bought 3 different braces, took them home, and got the kick in the teeth that none of them fit.   One of them, labeled XXL didn’t even go over my calf.   Nice.   Just what I needed really, was a reason to obsess about my weight.   NOT!    I called the doctor the next day and they had me go to a specialty place.   Got my brace for my big fat knee.   Check.
Before the kneasle happened (thanks Jason....that’s his term) I had been having some swelling in my neck and had in general just had a feeling of being really tired.   I had been to the doctor and had some blood work done and had heard nothing back, so I assumed that things were fine.  (you know what they say about assuming right???)   Well anyway, through the knee problem, a nurse called me from the doctor’s office with the prescription for the knee brace and casually asked, “has anyone talked to you about your lab work?”   I said no, so she proceeded to read me the results, and in those results she told me that I did NOT have Lyme’s disease, but I did in fact have MONO!   Seriously?   Mono?   Kissing disease, check.
So...as I digested the mono diagnosis, and made an appointment to see the doctor to find out what this means for my restrictions, they decided to schedule an MRI on my knee.   So...appointment will now include instructions for mono and MRI report.   Check.
On top of all of this, I had made an appointment about a month ago with my foot doctor.   You remember the foot, right?   Broken?   Gave me lots of trouble last year?   Well, I had been having some trouble before all of this began, so I made an appointment.   Lucky me, it just happened to fall in this past week of magic.   THAT doctor said...severe tendinitis in my right foot and ankle.   His suggestion?   Back in the boot for 3 weeks.    He said as long as the boot isn’t on the leg with the bad knee....I should be fine to wear BOTH.   ARE YOU FRIGGING SERIOUS?   I am NOT wearing a knee brace on one leg and a BOOT on the other.   As of today, I am completely ignoring his advice until I get the knee under control.   Ignoring podiatrist....check.
By the time this little jewel was introduced into my life....I had spent a fair amount of the week in tears.   I don’t do this kind of thing gracefully, and to have ALL of this thrust upon me at one time was really beginning to take a toll, but I was going to get through it.   That’s what I do....I go on.   I handle things.  I learn from what the universe has to say, and I go with it.  Keeping nervous breakdown at bay?   CHECK!
Well...apparently the stress of it all had taken a toll and I hadn’t yet learned my lesson.   I had the MRI on Friday, but before that could happen, I threw out my back from the screwed up gait, stress, and God only knows what....and ended up with the mother of all spasms in my mid back.   I couldn’t get up from bed without going onto all fours, but I couldn’t go onto all fours, because of my knee, so I was stuck.   To make a long story even longer, Jason ended up taking me to the ER, where in the process of placing an IV, the nurse blew two veins in my hands before pumping me full of opiates so I could relax and stop crying.    Opiates, narcotics, and bruised swollen hands.   CHECK!
I guess I can just say, it’s been the mother of all weeks, and I think perhaps I am beginning to see the humor in it.   I mean, there IS something comical about a booted, braced, bruised woman with mono just trying to get through the day, right?
Honestly though, I have to try to find the humor in this, because this is an obstacle that is testing me.   It is testing my resolve.   It is testing my strength, and it is SERIOUSLY testing my patience.   I am terrified that all of this could mean that I am on exercise restriction for a longer while than I want, and that I am going to lose progress I have made.   I am scared that my mood will deteriorate and I will give up.   I am afraid that I won’t be able to get back to the intensity that I want.   I am scared that I have pushed myself into an injury that could potentially keep me from things I want.  I’m scared I did this by not listening to my body.  I’m just scared.  
I’ll know more this week.   MRI results will be in.   I will see the doctor, and I will begin to formulate a plan for recovery, rest, and rehab.
So I’m looking for the humor.  And if I can’t find that.....I’m looking for a hammer, and I’m going to start hitting things.   :) 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You are here.

Could I be okay here?

This is a question a friend asked me. "Tina...what if you woke up and realized there would be no more weight loss and no more physical challenges... Could you be happy here?" I want to say yes...of course, but I don't know that I have reached that level of self acceptance. I have been struggling a bit lately with all of this self discovery and have felt "stuck" in a rut, so my friends just asked. It's a simple question. Could you be okay here?

See all this time I have known a secret. I KNOW where nirvana is. It lies just below a number on a scale. Just under a size on clothing. Just below a measurement. We all say it and I am HoRRIBLY guilty of it..."my problems will be solved when I reach my goal." But you know what, I am finding more and more that my life is my life is my life no matter what the numbers, and the closer I get to my "nirvana" the more I see this idea as a fallacy.

Could I be okay here?

Here. Where I havent achieved all I have hoped for, but where my life is happy. Here where I might still desire to lose a little more, but my children are healthy? Here where I can't run a marathon, but where I have friends and family who love me unconditionally? Here where life isn't perfect and sometimes things just plain suck?

I would like to say yes, but this is an idea I am still working on. I am not content to live here in this place yet, but perhaps visiting until I am a little less shaky is okay.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I might be quitting my circus act.

Have you ever felt like changing things in your life requires a precarious walk across a tightrope, and one step in the wrong direction can throw you off course, tumbling to the ground?    I feel like I have been walking that tightrope for SO LONG, and today....I think I stepped off.....and nothing happened.   Perhaps this tightrope is just an illusion and the path to change is simply wider and a little easier to navigate than that.

I tend to work well in very tight parameters with very clear rules.   If you move more and eat less...you will change your body.   If you eat healthier and make better choices, you will lose weight.   And the list goes on....   I like these rules.    They work.   They get me moving in the direction that I want to go.     But the problem is...when I set rules.....I inevitably end up straying from them....and then find myself tumbling to the ground.   And honestly....no one can live by the rules that I set.   They just aren't realistic.

So....a little background and then the moral of this story of stepping off and not falling.  

Eight weeks ago I started working with a new trainer.   His name is Jonathon and he's really a super guy, although he kicks my a$$ once a week.   I made a new commitment to working out with him, and have been hitting the gym 4-5 times a week.   I also made a new commitment to eating better and really putting forth effort to change habits....and I have been STELLAR at following my new set of rules for the most part.   I've lost some weight, some inches, and generally am doing well.   But then...a slight change in the wind and the rope began to shake.

This past weekend was a family event that involved me eating outside of the  safety zone of home I had set up for myself and wasn't going to give me opportunity to exercise in the fashion I have been.   I went back home...ate food off the safe list.....drank beverages off the safe list.....didn't go to the gym....and threw caution to the wind.   I gave up a little of the precious control I cling to that gives the illusion of balance, let myself waiver a little, and stepped to the side a bit.

The funny thing is...and I attribute this to the journey I have been on for the past year or so...is that I didn't fall.   I didn't wake up this morning with a feeling of dread.   I knew I had to go meet Jonathon, and that he was going to weigh me.   I knew that because of the dietary changes I would probably be up in weight slightly, and.....here's the kicker folks.....I didn't panic.   I didn't freak out.   I regained my footing and continued down the walk.

I got up...went to the gym.    Told my trainer about my weekend and that I fully expected a weight gain...got weighed....worked out....came home, and continued the work I started.   I ate well, I didn't obsess, and had a good day.

So, when I really stopped to think about this tonight, I realized that maybe the rope is widening into more of a plank.   Something that is a little easier to navigate.    Something that is more realistic to walk on, and is leading me to the life that I want.   I stepped a little to the side over the weekend, and instead of falling to the ground in a heap, I simply regained a different footing and moved forward.   Something new.   Something kinda cool.   Something much more tolerable than the mental beating I would have given myself in an earlier version of this life.    

So what I am wondering is if it might be time to quit my circus act.   Maybe tightrope walking isn't for me....maybe there is a kinder path for me to take.    One with less strict rules, one with wiggle room.   One that won't send me tumbling when I take a step to the side.  It's not nearly as exciting or "death defying" but it's certainly more sane, and isn't that what I'm looking for?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Now what?

So...as you have read in previous posts....I kind of feel like this journey isn't over.   Finishing the race and meeting my goal sort of feels like the first step rather than the end, so I've decided to keep this little pet project of mine going.   The name felt wrong now...so notice the new blog title.   "I'm Wearing the Crown....Now What Do I Do?"   I guess the journey continues.

One things I have realized is that I work well with a goal in mind, so I'm noodling on a couple of options that will be revealed soon.  I hope that you will continue to follow the path with me.   It has been an enormous inspiration to know that people are so supportive and that I am so blessed with so many great people in my life.  Thanks again.

I am in the process of starting some new and somewhat scary (for me) things.   I am no longer working with my old trainer Mandy.   (sniff.)    She is back from her maternity leave and her schedule isn't jiving with mine, so I am going to start with a new trainer, and hopefully have the success and trust that I had before.  New things are scary for me, so I'm nervous, but excited at the possibility of what could come.   So...enter Jonathon.   New trainer.   New workouts.   New start.

I"ll keep you posted on progress and goals, and of course let out my somewhat disjointed thoughts on this whole matter, so enter as you like, and thanks for sticking with me!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The kiss that awakened the Princess...

I have had a few weeks since the race to look back at this journey and to reflect on where I have come from, the roads I have taken, and the landing spot that I have found.   I went on a WONDERFUL vacation with my family, and in the relaxation and peace that only comes with sitting by a vast ocean, do I feel that I have found a little clarity.

When I started out to make this half marathon experience happen, I think that I thought it would be life changing.   I'm not sure WHY I thought this exactly, but I think on some level I thought that perhaps I would end up with all the answers to all the questions that have plagued me for the past several years.   But really, that didn't happen.   I started this journey with big grand gestures and feelings of pride and happiness, and I wanted to declare to the entire world that I was going to DO this.   It was fireworks.   Big. Loud.   Showy.   Grand.

After the race was over I found myself in a quiet place, and not really knowing what to think.   Certainly about as opposed to my starting point as I could find myself, and it was very confusing to me.  I thought that fireworks of celebration would come at the end, and that suddenly the sky would open up, and clarity that only a Princess could have would come to me.   Ha.   It's a pretty comical thought when you really look at it that way.

What I realize now is that becoming a Princess isn't about wearing a tiara and running a race and having all the answers.   It's about changing my life and becoming the person I want to be.  

I am still not satisfied with my weight and appearance.   So...I'll keep working on that.   I still have days where I want to throw in the towel.  So...I'll keep pushing myself to continue.   I still find myself wondering how I ended up where I was.     So...I'll try to find peace with my past, after all it DID lead me to where I am now.    I still spend too much time shaming myself and pulling myself down.   So...I'm gonna continue to spend more time trying to build myself up.

When I look back over this past year, I realize all that I have done, and I am thankful for the support and encouragement that I have gotten from all of you along the way.   I have had setbacks in injury, broken bones, and boots.    I have had fear, sadness, and grief.  

However, there have been MANY more positive accomplishments.   I have completed my first 10k and HALF MARATHON and done it in the time set out.   I have overcome adversity and continued to move ahead.    I have become healthier.   I am happier.   I am showing my children through example what it means to live a healthier life.   I have accomplished something that I NEVER thought was physically or mentally possible for me.   I have realized that I have a support system that is greater than I had ever imagined.   I have also seen that by sharing my own journey I was in a small way inspiring others.  I have grown so much.

Do I feel like a Princess?   No, not really.    I think that awakening in myself the part of me that CARES about ME is what this journey was about.   So maybe the race and the journey leading to it was just the kiss from the Prince that brought me back to life after many years of being in the dark.

Thank you for coming along on this ride.   I intend to keep writing, and will indeed put it out there if you care to read it.   The thing I've realized is that the journey will continue.....at least for a while.......and no matter WHAT happens, I CHOOSE to live happily ever after.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thoughts from the throne...


Well...I did it!   It wasn't fast, or graceful,  but it was mine.   I finished the Disney World Princess Half Marathon on Sunday February 27, at approximately 9:30 in the morning.  I limped across the finish line with my foot KILLING me and very very tired, but I did it and I finished under the time frame that the race allotted.  

I have so many feelings about the experience that I don't know quite what to say.   I set out on this leg of my journey a year ago, and honestly there were many times when I questioned whether or not I would be writing this entry.   I broke my foot AND my toe.   I had bronchitis and the flu.   I had questions of loyalty. Questions of will.   Questions of determination, and questions of ability.   But guess what folks.   I DID IT!

I crossed the finish line with a re-injured foot, and a very tired spirit, but when it was over I was completely overwhelmed with the emotion of the experience.   This has never really happened to me quite like it did then....I cried, I shook, and literally couldn't breathe.   It didn't last long, but the power of that moment was so strong that I still get a little shaky when I think of it today.  

Nothing about it went like I had planned, from the snowstorm before making the kids miss school to the fact that I spent my last night in FL quietly in my hotel room with my foot on ice.   I expected to want to celebrate in a grand fashion letting the entire world know what I had done, when in reality, I am having a hard time reconciling my feelings of accomplishment.   I'm proud, I'm happy, and in a strange way, I'm sad.  

A lot of people have asked me if I would do this again.   The short answer is I don't know.   I have no intention of quitting training for something, but I can't say that this is my thing.  I have my eye on a few things, but this race has also reminded me of some things that I need to revisit with myself as well.  I have every intention of continuing the work, continuing the challenge, and continuing to push myself, but I also know that there is more to being this princess than running a race.   It's about maintaining my momentum, continuing to live a healthier life, and to continue to give myself the things I need to keep myself healthy.   

I love that I did this.   I love that I was able to be strong enough to complete it both physically and mentally.   I love that my kids saw me accomplish this goal.   I love that I proved to myself (and all the negative voices) that I CAN do this, because I DID!  

I'm hoping with time that I will have more clarity and that I will be able to share a little more insight about what this means to me.   It's big, it's good, and I'm so glad I did it, but for now I am ready to take a little break and give myself some time to just enjoy my new found sense of royalty.   

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thoughts from the starting line...


This one step - choosing a goal and sticking to it - changes everything.
             -Scott Reed-
I am 5 days from the race.   Five days from accomplishing this goal.   I’m proud of myself for keeping my focus, for overcoming injury, and for giving myself enough credit to do this.  Five days from taking the first step across the starting line.
I’m scared.   Nervous.   Anxious.   Excited.   All of these things.    
I’m not sure if nerves are something I will overcome in these sorts of scenarios, it may just not be in my nature.   I feel a little nauseas a lot of the time when I think about it.  But I do know one thing....I am different.  
I still wish when I looked in the mirror that I could just be happy with what I see.   I wish I could be better at forgiving myself.   I wish that I could judge myself by the same standards I use for others.   (I am realizing I’m often easier on others...)  Preparing for this race didn’t change some of the things I thought it would, but it has proven many other things to me.
I am focused.   I am persistent.   I am strong.   I can work through tough circumstances to get where I want to be.   I am a priority.   I will always be a work in progress and I will always be valuable enough to keep working on. 
So...with these somewhat disjointed thoughts, I will prepare to go become a princess.  I am only a few steps from the starting line and I’ll see you when the tiara is mine!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Finding my Place in a crowd.


"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit." ~ George Sheehan

My friend Carey sent me this the other day.   I have re-read it every day since she sent it and intend to read it every day for the next 27.   



I remember doing my first 5k.   I was so excited.   It was the 35th year of the Hospital Hill, and I was so proud of myself for doing it.   I wasn't in great shape, and walking 3.12 miles seemed like a huge feat.   I felt just the same facing that race that I do facing the 13.1 miles of the Princess Half.   That was a challenge for my body, just as this half is for me now.  The only difference is in who I have become on the inside in the years since then.


Hospital hill ended up being a really bad experience for me.    When I should have been reveling in the accomplishment, I was wrapped up in the comparisons.   How I didn't look like the "runners" and how I finished a 5k at the same time that the first half marathoner finished their 13 miles.   (I laughed about it, but inside, it truly upset me.)  I ended up in a really bad place for a while after that race, because I wasn't doing it for me.   I was still wrapped up in the self blame and shame game.  I didn't feel that I belonged with "those people."   I quit working out after that race.   I quit for over a year.   I gave up.   I couldn't change my thinking, and because of that, I couldn't move forward.  In that instance the little voice won.


Things feel so different for me now.    I feel like I have found a spark within myself that is fueling the fire this time.   I have my days.   There is no denying that, but I do believe that the only competition I face in this challenge is myself.   When I cross that finish line, I will be proud.   Proud of myself for coming this far, for keeping a promise to myself, for continuing to challenge myself both mentally and physically, and for proving to myself that I am worth this.  This time as I stand with all the runners I will know that I am there for me and no one else.  I will find MY place in the crowd and I will know that I deserve to be there.   That little voice doesn't have a chance against me this time.


So, thanks Carey.   The little piece of wisdom you sent me will help me through the next 27 days.   As the fear and apprehension was creeping in, you somehow sent me the nugget I needed at that particular moment to keep my head (and spirit) in the right place.     

Monday, January 17, 2011

Philosophy brought to you by......A FISH!

"Just keep swimming.   Just keep swimming.   Just keep swimming swimming swimming.  What do we do we swim...swim....."  -Dorie from Finding Nemo

This saying is really important to me.   When Andy was having his spinal cord surgery and when he was hospitalized a lot, all he wanted to watch was Nemo.   Over and over again we watched this movie.   In fact, when he is sick to this day...he will ask for it.  He found comfort in it.   And I guess in my own way....so did I.  

When things were hard with him....there was Dorie.   "Just keep swimming......"  When I wanted to give up.... there was Dorie.   It's a pretty profound life lesson if you really stop and think about it.   The only thing we can do is keep moving....Keep plugging through.    Just keep swimming.

That's not to say that we don't have days that are stagnant.   Today was that day for me.   Lots of doubt crept in.   Lots of negativity, and lots of feelings from my past.   I have a name for the voice in my head and he paid me some pretty lengthy visits today to try to keep me down.   At times it seems like feelings are unbearable or that one little snag has ruined everything.    Today felt a little negative, a little like the "old" me, and a little blue.   But tonight....Dorie popped into my head.   Just keep swimming.

Being on the road I have been on hasn't always been positive moments with hopes of tiaras.   There have been lots (in fact..lots and LOTS) of moments where I felt like giving up, like quitting, like I couldn't do this.   Today was one of those days, and today it seemed important to write about it.   To put out there that I am feeling discouraged, blue, and uncertain about this whole journey.   Not to the race mind you.....but in general.   Today wasn't a red letter day.   It was FAR from a perfect day.   It wasn't a particularly good day.   And as I was sitting here tonight watching a little tv, I found myself starting to worry about tomorrow.   

That's when Dorie popped into my head.  " Just keep swimming.....just keep swimming....."   I think sometimes we have a misconception that changing aspects of our life will permanently erase the obstacles and the voices in our head that try to stop us.   I am seeing the flawed nature of this thinking.   These feelings don't go away permanently......they just aren't allowed to stop us anymore.   They will show up.....try to work their evil magic, and sometimes they will succeed, but as long as we listen to Dorie...they will not be able to take over our minds/bodies/lives anymore. 

So...I am going to end my day today....with today.    I am not letting tomorrow get involved.   Tomorrow is a new day where I will continue to paddle my way along.   It may not be great, but as long as I keep moving...I'm doing okay.   Today sucked a little.   Just keep swimming....   Tomorrow will bring whatever it has in store no matter what I say about it.   Just keep swimming.....  

Just keep swimming.....  Just keep swimming.......




 

 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Aloha Luck...is that you??


I'm lucky.   Truly....one of the luckiest people in the world I think.

See...this week I was able to go ahead and sign up for the race.   I have registered, bought a plane ticket, and booked a hotel.   It's a done deal.   Financial investment made.   I'm excited at the prospect of completing this goal, and being able to do it with some of my best friends and supporters with me in person and in spirit.   I'm lucky.  

I'm lucky because I have really great people in my life who give me the straight poop when I need it.   Jason who said "just freakin' do this!" when I was questioning.   Robin who said "make sure you're making the decisions for yourself."  Johnna who told me "I'd hate to see this goal pass you by."   (and walked 8 miles in the gale force wind and sleet with me.  ha)   Mandy who said from the beginning over a year ago, "you can do this," and who has helped me get stronger and healthier.   My kids, who inspire me to show them that their mom is strong, healthy, and does things for herself.     And all the people who have read, commented, and encouraged me to keep on the path.   Truly lucky.  

I am 49 days out from the race now, and I have no doubt that I will be crossing that finish line in Florida a Princess.   Not because of the medal, but because of the lessons I've learned and continue to learn along the journey to this accomplishment and because of the people who have supported me along the way.

And if you wanna talk lucky, listen to this.   Seems I'll be going to Hawaii anyway.   Yup...our timeshare company emailed us that we had been booked in a condo on the island of Oahu for the week of our kids' spring break.    11 days after the race, I will be sitting on the beach in Hawaii with my husband and my kids.  It might not be the swanky romantic trip for two, but maybe this sweet, fun, amazing family vacation is really where I was meant to be.   Spending time with the people for whom I want to live a long and healthy life.......

The training continues, the muscles continue to ache, but the person is happy and content today.  That's really what makes me luckiest.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Becoming a Princess....one year later.

This is my talisman from 2010.   This is what I made to remind myself (and my girls) of what my goal was.   The race.   The finish.   The life.  Being a Princess.

This bracelet isn't fashionable, or expensive.   It didn't come in a fancy box....but it means more to me than a lot of my other possessions.   It is a physical reminder to me of the year I faced, the challenges I overcame, and the progress that I made.   I look at it every day, and it is there to remind me not of what I can't do, but of what I CAN.

I have to be careful at this time of the NEW year, not to make resolutions I can't keep, not to set unattainable goals.   They gyms are filled to the brim with people who are determined that "this will be the year" and the tv is loaded with commercials about diet plans, pills, magic bullets.   It's a time that the media uses to try to get us to focus on how fat, out of shape, and pathetic we've become.  They want us to think that we have to completely reinvent ourselves to become acceptable, loveable, and successful.   Well....they are wrong.  Sometimes all we need to see our New Year clearly is a healthy dose of perspective.  And I think finally....that perhaps in a small way the bracelet has helped me find it.

I still haven't signed up for my race.   Not because I don't want to, but because another really GREAT opportunity has come up for Jason that might take place the week of the race.   It would prevent me from being able to go to Florida to do the half marathon, but would give me a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a swanky trip with my husband for FREE!  The battle I had to fight with myself is that this race is my GOAL!   This race is what the bracelet was about!   This race was the reason I had spent all of this time and energy last year enduring injury, setback, and sweating!  I had to sign up before January 1 to get my name on the bib, and so everyone wouldn't think I had failed on my goal.   I couldn't wrap my mind around the possibility of NOT doing this.  The bracelet was reminding me daily that THIS WAS MY GOAL.  

But you know what.   I don't believe that this is what the bracelet was telling me at all.   Who cares if my name is on a bib, if I run in Florida or Missouri.   If Jason is honored by his work, this Princess should be standing beside her husband who she loves more than anything and honoring his accomplishment.   I love him, how could I NOT wait to see if this comes through for him.   There will be other races, and if he doesn't win the trip, then I will go to Florida and write my name on my bib with a sharpie pen.   I don't have to have Walt Disney tell me that I am a princess to know it to be true.   Sometimes being the Princess is acknowledging the accomplishments of others, being flexible, and taking life as it comes.

So, as I looked at my bracelet this morning, I realized that although my outward goal was the race, (and whether that gets done at Disney is yet to be seen, but trust me....there WILL be a half marathon for me in the very near future) but the true meaning of what it brought me was so much more.   It represents the way I want to live my life.   Happy.   Healthy.   Strong.    And of course standing next to my Prince Charming.  

It seems the bracelet did change my life.  

So...with that I wish you all a Happy New Year.   Happy beginnings to wherever this year will lead you.   My princess is still evolving and I hope yours is too.  Be realistic with yourself.   Be kind to yourself.   Try to show yourself understanding.    

I'll keep you posted on the race progress.   I'm still training, and getting ready like I'm going, but honestly, given the outside chance at a  free week in Hawaii with the person you love, wouldn't you take the chance that you might have to alter your goals?   I'm glad that I am.