Putting myself out there

Failure to launch….. Fear of failure……

There are so many reasons not to start. There are so many reasons to start. It is like having the angel or devil on your shoulder and deciding who to listen to. Sadly, the devil seems to speak louder and knows just how to spread doubt.

Like the bully on the playground who pushes people away before they can reject him or self sabataging a relationship/job/goal because somewhere deep down you think that you don’t deserve it or it won’t last, we all have done it. Ok, most of us have done it. I have never claimed to have it all together, so I know for a fact that I have done it. I’ve done it in the past.

It is easy not to fail if you never put yourself out there. Like the heroine in those Hallmark movies that we wish would just take the leap of fail, sometimes we need to take a leap of faith on ourselves. Every leap won’t land perfectly. Some won’t go the distance. Some will land with a thud, but if you never take off you stay in the same place. I’ve been staying in the same place. I’ve planted my feet and refused to move. I’ve put cement shoes on and have wondered why I am standing still. I’ve had valid reasons. I’ve had some major BS reasons. No matter what the reasons though, the truth is that I’ve been shortchanging myself.

I can do hard things.

I have done hard things.

I forgot how to do hard things……

Now don’t get me wrong, I have pushed myself to go outside my comfort zone. But…… but…… I pushed right up till the point where I should have taken that leap of faith and instead planted my feet.

As the saying goes….. Some are

Chasing Badass

Some are…….

Chasing Dreams

Some are…….

Chasing the past

I have chased all of these before. I realized that right now I am chasing something a little simpler and yet more complex.

I am chasing…….

Chasing myself.

I may never reach some goals. I know I will never run as fast again. If I will ever do this or do that. I think about If I will ever loose any weight. (Mind you I’m not doing anything actively for that to happen, but even when I did nothing changed.) I wonder how far I can run. I wonder. I wonder……. I wonder…..

All I know is that it might be time to start chiseling away at those cement boots so that I can start to take a leap of faith again. Maybe a small leap. Maybe a baby step forward. Maybe something that won’t even be visible to anyone else, but a step that I will know has made a difference.

Say what??????

I realized recently that I forgot what I can do. I forgot that it is ok to push myself and that it actually feels good to do so. That I was not while not taking the easy way out, that I was giving up before even starting. I’ve struggled before. I’ve realized that I’ve forgotten that I like to actually try.

So with that being said and with motivation and inspiration from a friend, I am doing 30 days of strength minimum of 10 min a day. Few days in and while I am not strong like I was in my Crossfit days, I forgot how much I enjoyed working with weights.

It’s go time.

No excuses

Defining Moment in Time

Life is filled with defining moments. Moments that change us…. for good and bad. Moments that stay with us forever. Some of these moments we go through alone and some we go through collectively. As anyone of adult age at the time, where there were on 9/11 and I would bet everyone has a story. For Many including myself December 14, 2012 is another defining moment.

Those of you that have been here awhile know that Sandy Hook Promise is close to my heart and that I have run 2 NYC Marathons as a charity runner for them. Recently, I was approached to write a blog post for them.

I was honored to be given the opportunity to share my story, but this is the story of many “soccer moms” who woke up demanding change. Change is hard. Change is slow. Change is happening…..

I still remember a year after the unthinkable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary being in the parking lot of a Toys-R-Us store. I was on the phone with a friend who has very different ideas and we were debating gun control issues. She said to me that I needed to do something because I couldn’t seem to let go of what had happened. I told her that I was doing something…… Something to bring change….. Something to help protect children in the future….. Something….. Anything…….

I also told her that I had joined a few new organizations that formed. One being Sandy Hook Promise that just formed. This has brought me to where I am today.

Here is the link to the blog post…… https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/volunteer-resources/holiday-reflections-from-a-promise-leader/?fbclid=IwAR13M69lqzVdm5lPr1dzyxrE852lkI5stURRoEG9ljEvsuoTZZhmUzEPf7M

We all have a story to tell. We all have these defining moments. We all need to seize these moments and let them stay with us. Let them guide us. Let them change us for the better and work for the change we want to see in the world.

What is your defining moment and what have you done with it?

It’s a Wonderful Life

Often in life we wonder…. Did I make a difference? Was I effective in what I wanted to accomplish? Would Anything be different if I hadn’t been there?

Then again…. Maybe that is just me and George Bailey. If you are unfamiliar with George, you need to acquaint yourself with the classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life. It is one of my favorites. A classic tale of a man who is granted a wish from an angel to see what the world would be like without him. Now my hubby thinks that it is not the stellar movie that I do, so I guess it is a subjective thing. For me, it is a heartwarming story of a man who doesn’t recognize how important he is to those around him and the impact he has had on others.

I think most of us in life do not realize the impact we have on others. We go about doing our things living our lives and often we don’t know how our actions have influenced, helped, or impacted someone else. A kind word here. A deed that maybe we thought went unnoticed noticed there. Sometimes because we don’t see it, we begin to think that maybe we aren’t making a difference or no one is paying attention.

Similar but different to when people post those “I know no one reads my posts” on their social media to see who is paying attention. Not the copy and paste ones, but the real ones. Sometimes in a world filled with noise it is easy to get lost or feel invisible. So when a friend posts something like that don’t just roll your eyes, they may truly feel invisible and just need to feel seen. To feel validated. To not feel alone. Sometimes a simple Hello is all it takes to make someone feel seen.

Then there are the times we wonder if we are being seen. If the things that we do have made a change. We may never know the full impact of our words, deeds and life. There aren’t too many Clarences (angel in above movie) to show us our impact but that does not lesson it. Each and ever person’s life has an impact on another’s life. Good or bad. This is why the expression of being kind is so important. One life really does touch another. Sadly in our society, we often wait till someone is gone to express how impactful they were in life. It really is sad.

The truth of the matter we may never know how we have touched someone’s life. If you think about the people who touched your life, the people who effected your life with a word or deed (good or bad), how many of these people actually know. I thought about a 4th grade teacher who showed me kindness. I thought about people that I worked with that inspired me. I thought about words that I’ve read that have stayed with me. I’ve thought about words that were spoken to me that stayed with me. We all have moments that for one reason or another stay with us while. They stay with us because they impacted us and the other person might not even have a clue. They don’t even need to be big moments……. many of these moments are not the BIG moments in life because every moment is life is a big moment we just don’t realize it. Each day is a gift. It’s not hokey to say. It is true.

As you can tell from this post, I’ve been doing some reflections recently. I believe part of it comes from taking part in Remembering Sandy Hook with 14 Days of Actions. These actions have been showing gratitude, being kind, and self-care. Some days it was as simple as taking a moment to actually talk to a friend…. not text…. not facebook….. have a real conversation which many of us miss as we stay home due to Covid. Some days were as simple as Saying Hello to brighten someones day. Then there were the days of action taking a moment to not only think about what we are grateful for but actually write it out. These things got me thinking about the impact we all have on each other. It is much greater than we realize.

Each life has an impact on another life in ways we might never know. I think having so much time at home has mad me a little more reflective Normally, I send a million and one Christmas Cards. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but my list is long! This year, there was no great family photos to use. I joked that maybe I could take a picture of my couch as that is really where my year unfolded “Merry Christmas from my couch to yours.” Without this photo card, I was didn’t want to send cards. Then a friend said something that got me thinking how in this year of crap how something as simple as a card could make someone’s day brighter. So I changed it up. This year there is no photo card, my list is MUCH shorter, but I am going old school. Sending cards with actual handwritten messages telling those who receive something that I might not let them know enough….. How much I appreciate them. (PS – If you were previously on my list and don’t get a card, please know that I do love and appreciate you too, but time is limited!)

If you don’t already know, I want you to know………

You are important.

You make a difference.

I encourage you, let those in your life know this too.

Is this the Year for Goals?

It is a weird world right now. It is a strange and hard time right now. Even those of us getting by and staying healthy are adjusting to all the changes in our day to day lives right now. We are trying to keep it as normal as we can when there is no normal. There is just getting by.

This is the time of year many of us would start thinking about goals for the New Year. Things we hope to accomplish. Races we want to race. Distances we want to conquer. PR we want to set. As with everything in 2020, goals will be harder to set. More challenging and sadly in some cases unattainable for now.

We do not know what 2021 will bring, but we do know that all the bad juju of 2020 will not be wiped away at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve. I really feel that it will end much better, but it will have a bumpy beginning.

Normally I set goals. Never resolutions because I just don’t like them. I set goals. Some easily attainable. Some that need a lot of work but are still attainable. Then there are the goals that are a stretch. Goals that I have to work my ass off to reach and push myself to get there.

A few years ago, I set a goal to run a sub 2 Half Marathon. I worked with a coach. I ran often. I ran fast. I trained hard. Then the day came and I ran the NYC half in 1:59. NYRR just announced that this race will not take place next year as it is in early March and the way things are going they know that there 2021 is going to start off much like 2020 has ben all year.

2021 will be different. Simpilier…

I am setting a goal of being more connected. Now those who know me personally might be rolling their eyes and wonder how someone like me could be more connected I could be. My goal to be more connected is not about upping my online connections, but my personal connections. To be more connected to my day to day life. to disconnect a little more often from online world. To focus on the people in my life.

As I work on setting my personal goals, I saw this……

I have been participating in the Sandy Hook Promise 14 Days of Action. This is part of not just remember Sandy Hook but by honoring them by taking part in actual action. So while I think of my personal goals, I will think about some short term goals to help others. This is what I’ve come up with:

  1. Support local small businesses this Holiday season.
  2. Donate regularly to locate food bank
  3. Still working on
  4. Still working on

No matter what we do or don’t do with our goals, we must know that next year might not be the year to make big goals. Then again maybe we need big goals. Right now, I just need to keep trucking on my C25K program and see what happens.

Do you set goals for the year?

Are you setting goals for 2021?

A State of Mind

I can be both a seasoned marathon runner and a runner just beginning. Who knew that being a runner was also a state of mind? Pretty much every runner will tell you that it is both physical and mental. Even as someone who couldn’t run a 5K right now, I still consider myself a runner. My car carries magnets proudly displaying 26.2, 50K, and Moms Run this town. To anyone who sees these, they might think that I run miles every day. There was a time that was true. I earned them and so they remain.

For now though, I am not running any marathons but I am still a marathon runner. No matter if I were to never complete another marathon, nothing can take away the finish lines that I have crossed. So yes, yes, I am a marathon runner who happens to not be training for a marathon.

I don’t want to say that I am starting over again. I think I need to start looking at my running as the ups and downs that we all have in life. There are times when we are up and there are times when we are down. It is the ying and yang of life. So as a runner, there are times when I run and there are times when I will not be running. The not running chapter is coming to an end.

I have been running with the C25K program now for going on 3 weeks. This is where I need to be just like I needed to give myself a break from running. Now my body and my mind have reset and am once again looking forward to running again. If you don’t look forward to doing something, you shouldn’t do it. Now I don’t mean work or all the responsible things that we as adults must do, but running had been my release. When it started to be another chore it was time for a reset.

I enjoyed spending my spring and summer walking. I enjoyed not feeling like I should be doing something else. I had no desire to do more.

I do now. How much more is up for debate and will change over time.

So with that, I am lacing up again. There are no races on the horizon to train for and who knows what 2021 will bring race wise either but that isn’t what I am even thinking of right now. What I do know is that it is not about feeling like I need to run, but a feeling of I want to run. Rebuilding is allowing me to do exactly that…. Rebuild. I must be serious about it as I bought new sneakers and new Oofas too.

So with that, I will continue on this running journey that I have been all these years. You know it is time when you actually look forward to the thought of running. Not for racing. Not for pace. Not for distance. Just to run again.

Life is about listening to your inner voice. To respecting what you need and when you need it. And as will all things, what we need will change. What we want will also change. That doesn’t make us a failure. that makes us human.

Hold On

So tired of 2020, but who says 2021 is going to be any better. Although I do have hight hopes for after January 20th, but even then it will be a process to turn things around. Not the flick a switch, say Happy New year at midnight and everything rights itself.

The problem is now we have all gotten comfortable being uncomfortable. It is the norm. We stopped wiping down our groceries. We started going out more (not really in this house). We started expanding our bubbles. We took our lives off the holding pattern that the initial surge created.

This is good…..

This is also bad…..

It is good because for the here and now, we do need to learn to live with Covid. We need to work. We need socialization. We need do what we can in the safest manner we can. Although there is good news on the horizon, it is on the horizon and we need to do what we can to get through the here and now.

The time will come when this will pass. When the lockdowns, the masks, the intimate gatherings become social events again. When this will all be a not say very pleasant memory that we will pass stories on to our potential grandchildren about…… We won’t even need to exaggerate because the truth is bad enough. The stories will begin with….. The year was 2020 and there was no toilet paper to be found.

But for now.

We wait.

We still show caution.

We remain patient.

We wear our masks.

Most of all we….

Tomorrow will be a better day even if tomorrow is a short distance away. We don’t know what tomorrow yet, but it is coming. Life will go back to normal. We will carry the lessons that we learned We will hold onto those that carried us through 2020 in what ever way necessary. We will throw mask burning parties. We will do all of these things if we just have patience to get there.

As a runner, what I miss most about 2020 is races. Not even crossing the finish line, but racing with friends. Training for events. Planning events. Waiting at start line of events. I miss it terribly, but I have no desire to do any in person events right now. Everyone has their level of comfort and this is past mine. To be honest, I don’t much enjoy running in the park filled with other runners and walkers. There will be a day where that won’t even be a thought and I can’t wait.

So we wait.

We practice all the things we know we need to do….

We hold onto hope

New Beginning

Some times in order to start over, you need to step away.

This morning I was watching an interview with Matthew McConaugh about his new book Greenlights (Can’t wait to read). He was talking about how he stepped away for 2 years from the business and when he came back he was considered “new” again. That he was able to start over and not be pigeonholed for one type of character. He still loved what he had done before, but in order to start over he needed to step back.

I’ve stepped back.

I’ve said before that I’m ready to begin again. I am ready to run again. To begin with no expectations of what I used to be and with the expectations of what I will be. Just to rediscover who I am as a runner today and not keep trying to put a square peg in a round hole. It never works and brings nothing but frustrations.

What’s old is new again.

I’ve talked the talk and now I am going to walk the walk. Actually I am going to run/walk the walk. I have stepped back. I have allowed my body a chance to reset. There are no expectations what it can do as a runner as I have no clue. There is no I must do this pace or must hit this milage. There is only today.

Last week this time, I was recovering from walking my NYC Marathon. This was my final step in putting my expectations behind me and moving forward as a new runner. I had set the goal to walk the marathon and I did. I am ready to run again, but as the runner I am today and not the runner I was years ago. I am ready to forge a new path and see where it takes me. To accept where it takes me.

So with all this in mind, today I started the Couch to 5 K program. Some may say that is odd as I just completed a marathon, but I did so as a walker. I have not run in several months. It felt good to get out today. To follow the plan. To not feel I needed to be going faster. To not feel like I needed to hit a distance. To not have expectations that could not be met. There was only what was today.

And that was enough.

Walk, Run, & Everything in Between

I’ve run a marathon. I’ve run/walked a marathon. Now I can say I’ve walked a marathon. I’m ready to run again…… Ok, not just yet, but you know what I mean.

I walked for 8 hours 11 minutes and 51 seconds. My fastest marathon clocked in at 4:38:14 for perspective. Although post hypopara, I have been getting slower and last year crossed finish at 6:20:41. I guess I can go with since this was my 8th marathon that I was going for an hour for each one. I can honestly say that while I will probably do another marathon that I will NEVER specifically plan to walk another marathon. Then again maybe if it had been an in person event that I would have put more pressure on myself to do more.

I did know that I wanted to complete this event. I realized that I have done at least one marathon a year since 2014, so I didn’t want to break my streak. More than likely I would not have been able to keep the streak going if this was in person. Then again if Covid hadn’t shut everything down, I might have not had the mindset to take a break from running. Who knows?

I will also say that I didn’t tell a lot of people my plan. I really wasn’t sure what my plan was other than to go out and walk 26.2 miles. I did put it out there as I also signed up to with Sandy Hook Promise to raise funds. (https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/christines-virtual-sandy-hook-promise-walk/christinechaillet )

Unlike when their is an actual event, there was no minimum to raise, but I missed being part of the team and spreading their message and helping to support their important cause. This year though as with the marathon, there was no pressure. I only posted it on my Facebook pace twice and did not promo it. Honestly based on all the stuff I post, I am sure many people missed it which actually took the pressure off the actually event.

So I planned a route in town. I told my hubby and some friends and then off I went. I started with a friend who walked a few miles. She then joined me for the half way point for a little more. Then I walked the last few on the phone with another friend. Finally I did the las one just walking.

Walking….. Walking…. Walking…..

No music.

No podcasts.

Just silence.

Just the noise rattling around in my mind.

You would think it would be boring. You would think spending that much time just walking without outside stimulus would drive you crazy. I enjoyed the peace. I let my mind wonder. Walking alone taking in the surroundings. Being at peace with my thoughts. It was a good day.

Time on your feet with your thoughts while a good day does not make it an easy day.

Running a marathon is hard. Walking and running a marathon is hard. Walking a marathon is just as hard just a different type of hard.

A few days post marathon and my feet are healing nicely. Only 7 blisters, but only 2 that were thoughts of concern initially but they are both on road to recovery. So I am taking the week off. I am letting my feet totally heal. I am giving my legs a chance to recover. And then…. only then will it be time.

Time to rebuild.

Time to run……….

Whatever that will mean, but we will find out together.

In This Together

Like many I am at a weird place in my running. I am a runner who doesn’t run. Sometimes I miss the push. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I wonder why I pushed as hard as I did. Then their are the Facebook memories to pop up that show you what you used to be and you wonder if it will ever be again. Not just the races, but the drive that I had to do them.

Right now, there is no drive. there is no feeling like I need to do this. Nothing to even make me feel like in the whole scheme of things is it even necessary. There is so much bigger, real, and important things going on in the world. It makes me feel like my running, my races, my paces is not even worth pursuing or important.

I am fatigued by it all.

I am worried about it all.

I am missing the the world that used to be.

Then I remind myself that yes, all those “wordly” things need attention and are important, but….. but…. but……..

Life is a gift that needs to be enjoyed. Yes, we need to pay atention, get involved, and do what we can to make the world a beter place. Yes, there is much that needs to be done. Yes, we have a responsibility to help make the world, our communities and those closest to us a priority.

But….. But…. But

If we also don’t take time to actually enjoy the gift of life are we really living it?

This week my Facebook memories is filled with Marathon preparations. It is filled with Runner’s World Hat Trick PR’s (5k, 10k, and HM in 2 day). It is filled with a time when I was at my peak as a runner. Not just pre-covid, but in my case pre-hypoparathyroidism. It made me nostalgic, sad, and proud all at the same time. I miss running. Really running like I haven’t done in a long time. I miss training hard. I miss racing hard. I miss it all.

I started this post last weekend, but I never finished it because I felt like I was wallowing a little. That I was being selfish. That it was all in my head. Then this morning I read a post (It’s been a minute) by a blog I follow that reminded me we are all feeling it and that it is ok to feel all the feels.

Sometimes when your are feeling low about something, you want to pretend that you aren’t feeling it. You think that you are the only one feeling it. You tell yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling the way you feel. You tell yourself so many lies to hide the simple truth that it is ok to feel the way you feel. That it is ok to miss what you miss. That it is ok to just allow yourself to be what you are with all the feeling that come with it.

Often in life, too often we pretend that we are ok when we are not. We pretend we aren’t angry when we are furious. We pretend we don’t care about someone when we do. We pretend we aren’t hurt when we are ready to crawl into a ball and cry. We pretend it is ok, when ok is the furthest thing from being ok. We pretend to be so many things that we aren’t. All because we somehow feel that our emotions aren’t justified. That we aren’t justified in feeling them. Every time we do this, we do a disservise to ourselves and those in our lives.

Part of this I think comes from society, from growing up and telling little ones not to cry, not to be angry and what they are feeling will pass. We need to do better not just for future generations, but for ourselves. In my job as a preschool instructor, I often have kids lay their emotions on me. There is one child who will tell me what kind of day he is having. Some days he says, he is having a happy day. Some days he will tell me that he is having a sad day. On those days he is telling me that he is having a sad day, I would never discount his feeling and just tell him to have a happy day. I always have the same answer, “it’s ok to have a sad day but Ms Christine is here for you.” Simple and to the point. Now….. we need to do the same for our own emotions.

Some times it is ok to have a sad day. Some times it is ok to have a down in the dumps day. Some times it is ok to have a I’m just not feeling it day. Some times it is ok to have any kind of day we are having. The trick is to find the balance. If you are having more sad days than good days, please know that there is help. We must stop trying to pretend that we don’t feel the way we feel and we must know that no matter how we feel we are never alone.

We need to allow ourselves to be ok with all the emotions not just the good ones. We need to allow people in to help us when we need help. We need to be willing to help and listen to our friends even when they are not feeling all rainbows and sunshine. We need to know that the good days out weigh the bad days. We need to know that there is hope.

Hope is what we need to hold onto until the days are once again filled with rainbows and sunshine. We are not in this alone, but in this together.

*****If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and/or depression, you are not alone. Please find someone to talk to or call 800-273-8255 to talk with a counselor****

Often in our society, we are told to hold on to something or someone that no longer fits. Down to our skinny jeans… Don’t give up. Hold on to them. Use them as an incentive. We are told we need to build bridges. We are told that things will get better. Things will change. To give time. Sometimes these things are true and many times they are not.

What if instead of trying to hold onto things that no longer service, we embrace the new. Embrace the change. Realize that nothing stays the same on life…. even us.

It is holding on that keep people in unhealthy relationships, patterns, and not willing to embrace the unknown. What if sometimes the best thing that a person can do is to let go. To free ourselves from what is holding us back? Many times we aren’t even sure what is holding us back unless we are willing to dig a little deeper which is always scary.

Social media is a funny thing too. It can connect you with people you have never physically meant but feel extremely close to. It can keep you connected to people in your “real” life. It can also show how disconnected you are with some of those in your real life. Before social media, your circle was smaller. Some would come in and some would leave. It was every changing. New beginnings taking place with new endings.

Social media has a way of keeping the eb and flow unnatural. People that you are no longer connected with stay connected because somehow that final “unfriending” seems harsh. People remain “friends” but aren’t friends. They unfollow, hide or just roll eyes when they see posts of people that they are no longer really connected to, yet can’t let go of. You have to wonder if it’s healthy or natural and I wouldn’t doubt if physiatrists aren’t already studying it. Sometimes it is a way of keeping a door open for the person to come back into our lives. Sometimes it is a way of not shutting the door fully when we should. At the very least, it doesn’t always feel good.

While I am not really sure where I am going with this train of thought, I will say that I’ve realized that some doors are meant to be closed. Some are meant to be locked, and some while not locked should still be closed. People change. Our lives, needs, and wants change and sometimes people will keep trying to fit you into that place you used to be even when you are no longer there anymore.

I will be the first to admit that I’ve changed and still have much to change, learn and grow. That being said not everyone will the grow the same way and that is ok. Our lives changes. Our needs change. Our wants change. Change is part of life. Change is how we grow.

When I started this blog, I was on a quest. I wasn’t sure what it was other than I was going to complete a Sprint Triathlon. I had much to prove not just to others but myself. I pushed myself and I pushed hard. It was where I was at the time. Things changed. I changed. I honestly say that I no longer have the drive that I used to have to push myself, yet I still enjoy a challenge.

I am complex.

I am not one dimentional.

I have changed and I am starting to embrace that change.

I am coming into my own or at least my own for right now. Stepping back and giving myself time to just be. It has allowed me to embrace where I am now. It has allowed me time to walk the walk. To just enjoy the many blessing that I have today. It has given me much and I am happy to have had that time.

All that being said, I am also realizing that this time has allowed me to appreicate not just walking but what I have gotten out of running. I am starting to miss the feeling of running and know that I will be running soon. I also know that taking the pressure off the table of trying to be somewhere I was not will be gone. All that being said, running will wait till after I complete my virtual NYC Marathon. I can only do myself wrong if I don’t continue to have patience and respect where I am today.

So with that I am letting go. I am realizing in more ways than one closing a door is not always a bad thing. Holding onto something that should be released whether it be people, expectations or things that no longer serve me is not a loss but a gain.

What do you need to let go of?

As the song says…. LET IT GO.