Tag Archive | Encouragement

Be Brave (Take 2)

Take 2! The first published before it saved changes. Those who I text regularly could recognize my crazy voice and fat finger typing without editing……. Plus, I hate when editing does not change:)

Anywho….

Consistency is key to anything. Repetition is what takes something and makes it learned behavior. Think when you learned your multiplication tables. Who remembers those drills, pop quizzes and all those practice, practice, practice. (yeah, maybe that was just me since math was never my forte). You didn’t learn them from osmosis or at least I didn’t. You’ll learned them because you continually worked on them. Practiced until it became instant recall. My son in college seems to be doing this with formula’s I couldn’t even begin to tell you what they are called, let alone their purpose. During the pandemic many took up baking bread. As a baker, I can attest the more you do so the better the end product. Baking bread to many was like a science experiment with many complicated but necessary steps. Over time it became easier to tell when kneading was done. When your dough had the the right texture,and eventually could just do it by feel. There was no second guessing, you just knew.

The same consistency is required with training and creating a workout routine. For most, we need to schedule time for your workout because it is not part of the routine nor necessarily something we are looking forward to (yet) . Eventually with consistency it becomes part of you and it feels strange if you miss it. I’ve mentioned before how my husband transformed himself with loosing weight through the tried and true method of diet and exercise. In the beginning, it was challenge but now he couldn’t imagine a day where he was not doing something physically active. It has become part of him and he looks forward to one of his daily workouts.

It takes bravery to step out and try something new. It takes bravery to commit to something. To put yourself out there no matter how far or near out there you may go. It takes bravery and commitment to say you are going to do something and then actually do it. Even if it isn’t working for you, it is so much easier to stay in the same place. There is comfort in the uncomfortableness of the known because while it may suck at least you know what you are dealing with. To stay with what is comfortable even if it is not where you want to be instead of tiptoeing into the unknown…… So no matter how hard it is to stay in one place, it is always so much harder to take the first step and then the second.

Consistency is needed in beginning of any plan. It is necessary until it becomes part of you.

Some will go far.

Some will go as far as they can.

Some will go fast.

Some will go as fast as they can.

Pace….. Distance…. Events…..

The most important thing is to be true to yourself. With that thought process, I’ve been plugging away on my half marathon training plan. I’ve been sticking to the program which I admit is much easier to do with a treadmill now. I used to hate treadmill running (and part of me still does), but since I’ve discovered watching shows on Netflix while running it isn’t bad. I also credit the treadmill with allowing me to reboot my training and keeping me in check with where I should be running for that reason alone I owe it some love. That being said, you can’t race from a treadmill which means you need to also do some training outside.

This week for the first time since I started following my Half Marathon training plan, I took the run outside. I didn’t watch my watch, but wanted to test myself and run by feel. I wanted to keep the run conversational for the most part, but also make it a worthwhile training run. So I chatted with myself. Tested how I felt and kept myself where I thought I should be running. Hours later I looked at my paces and info from my run and I surprised myself. I hit the paces that I should be hitting. I actually had surprisingly beautiful negative splits. Most of all and this is the best part…… I enjoyed the run. There was no beating myself up because I wasn’t hitting certain paces, that I was running too slow or any such thing. There was knowledge that I was doing what I should be doing and that was enough.

Sometimes that is more than enough. I know that if I pushed myself that I could hit faster paces, but for now this is not a tradeoff I am willing to make right now. I also realized that this was enough. It is always enough. I might actually be able to push myself faster and harder, but the cost to do so is one that I am no longer willing to pay. We all have to decide what we want. What we are willing to give up. What we are willing to trade off. What we are willing to work for and what is not worth the work. These are individual choices that no one can make for us. There is no one size fits all and that is ok.

What choices are you making today? Remember not making a choice is still a choice, so choose wisely my friend

Putting You in a Box

Some people look at you not as you are but their vision of you. They look at you as who you were when you knew them – High School, College, job, time in your life, weight, or what ever they think of. Their vision does not necessarily meet reality. It is just the reality that they see and often they are wrong.

Often in life the struggle is knowing who you are. Being confident in who you are. Most of all not letting outside sources define you, but walk your own path. Many people will think they know you based on your social media posts alone, but does that mean they really know you?

People will judge you without truly knowing you. People will judge you based on their perception of you. People will judge you and not have all the facts even if they think they do. It’s not our job to provide these people the facts. It’s not our place to fill in the blanks for them. We owe them no explanations. Often we still explain ourselves. We feel we need to justify our life choices. We don’t.

I think I have said this before, but sometimes we must also realize that in some peoples story we will be the bad guy. Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we can repair the damage. Sometimes we can’t and must walk away. That is life.

Today I had a moment where I realized that someone put me in a box that I don’t fit in. (Ok at the moment, I fit in them) I was talking to someone close to me who has recently gotten into running. I was mentioning how I was planning to start heart rate training. I was saying how I really don’t know what pace that I should be training with and how I was basing perceived paces on past paces. I went on to say before my 2016 thyroid surgery I was much faster and ran a 26:26 5K. They literally thought I was mistaken because the pace was 8:30 and they thought that was too fast for me (then).

I showed them my stats from Atlinks and pointed out that I used to be much faster and was quit the bad-ass at the time. Again this was someone in my life close to me. Someone who knows how much I love(d) running and how often I’ve run. They realized how much I raced. How many events I completed and all of that……. but they put me in a box. They didn’t see me for who I was at that time and only their perception of me.

Even now I know people define me….. Let them because their vision is not mine. Their perceptions don’t define me. I know that some see me just as a mom. Some see me as a wise ass (ok that one might be true). Some see me as my size. Some see me with their vision…… They are missing who I am

I may be some of what they say, but I am so much more. I am determined. I am an athlete. I am social warrior. I am many things. What I am most is what I determined.

As a finally note, you will come across people in your life that will see all the pieces in your box. They will see you with clear eyes. They will see the good. They will see the bad. They will see it all. Those that see it all and accept it as it is and not as they want or imagine…. Those are your peeps. Those are the keepers. I am lucky to have a few of those and I’m holding onto them.

Hold onto yours too.

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.

The In Between

For some the Great Pause as I refer to the time since Covid has caused things to stop, not much changed in their daily life except location of where they worked. My husband is one of those people. He just rolled with it as he is lucky enough to have a job that made it possible. For many of us though life (depending where you live) stopped mid March. Spring was not filled with soccer tournaments, races, and everyday events. School, jobs, sports…. all cancelled.

As I have said before, many of us treated this initially like it was a snow day but then slowly came to the realization that it was the new normal. We learned to bake bread (I already knew). We did what we could to get by, fill up the day, and maybe ease our worries. There was no right or wrong…. There was just what each of us needed to do to get by.

Now we are in the in-between. Things are opening up. We are in the Goldilocks stage of things. For some, not fast enough. For others, too fast. There might be some that feel it is just right too. I am not sure where I fall into this and it might depend on the day. I also know that there is not one size fits all and what works for one family may not work for another. We are all just doing our best still to get by.

Often what many people forget in these stressful times is that our perspective might not be the same as another’s perspective. (Now I am NOT talking about those that refuse the science, I am talking about those of us trying to safely and smartly navigate all that is going on right now. ) There are many moving pieces. There are many levels of comfort and we should not be forcing where we are on others.

One of the reasons that I have not been writing recently is because I felt like I had nothing to say. One day was leading into the next and the day after that. It was all becoming a blur and I wasn’t really sure that I had anything to say or wanted to say out loud. I still don’t but as I’ve said before writing is a way for me to process and maybe I just didn’t want to process. Maybe I wasn’t sure what to process.

As we get into the fall season which I love, I am missing the sound, sites, and posts of people training for various races. I am missing the pictures from finish lines. I am missing all that comes with knowing that you have an event on the calendar that you are excited about. I am missing this and so much more as are so many people, but to me this is nothing in comparison to what we could all be missing. We don’t want to come out of this only to be back where we were in March.

Now it may sound like I have shut myself out of the world, but that is not the case. I go to stores. I have walked with friends. I even have started a new job. I do all these things in the safest way possible. To me this is my comfort zone. I will say that I have still not gone out to a restaurant for dinner nor is that on the list of things to do anytime soon. My family is fine with take out right now.

So for today…. This is enough. I am trying to get my head out of the weeds. I am trying to not worry about the future. I am trying not to let anxiety and depression take hold which is so easy in times like this. Many of us are just trying to hold our heads above the water while keeping those we love above water too.

So in these times….. and always….. know that you are entitled to feel the way you feel. You are entitled to think the way you think. We must all take care of ourselves, those we love, and most of all hold onto the hope that things will get better. That this was not all for naught. That it is ok to be sad that races are cancelled. It is ok to be upset that your child’s school is not what you wanted it to be. It’s ok to feel all the feelings.

What is not ok is to let that stop you from living your life even if you need to live it differently right now.

So hold on.

This is not forever.

We are all in this together.

We will get through it especially with a little (or a lot) of help from our friends.

Be Kind…. Even to Yourself

Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we always put ourselves down? Why don’t we treat ourselves the way we treat our friends? Why aren’t we kinder to ourselves?

Inquiring minds want to know!

As with everyone, I am in a few group message chains with my friends. These forms of communication are even more important now when you can’t see your friends. In one of these groups recently, we were all saying all the bad but very tasty things we were eating that we shouldn’t be. Then how we needed to get on track. On and on….. You know this conversation because I’m sure you’ve had these converstions.

(Sidebar – Do ONLY women have these conversations? Seriously. Although my husband has said to me about getting back on track, I don’t think he discusses with his fishing or work buddies. Maybe I’m wrong. Am I? )

Anyway after this conversation where we were all beating ourselves up about gaining weight, not loosing weight, and our bad eathing habits I started to think…..

This particular group was a bunch of running Mamas. Some are still running and training for virtual marathons. Those of us not running are still active. We are not sitting on the couch eating bon bons all day even during a pandemic.

A wise friend said, “Life has been extra nuts lately right ? Eat the damn cake chocolate pie cookie ..drink the wine beer pizza whatever …and more importantly be kind to ourselves”

Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves?

If a friend calls us and tells us they totally blew their diet, blew through their Weight Watcher points, or gained weight; we would come back to them with a kind word (at least I hope so!). We would not berate them. We would not tell them they were hopeless. We would not tell them they blew it. We would reply that it’s ok. That tomorrow is another day. That each day is hard enough without beating themselves up. We would be kind.

So lets be kind to ourselves. Let’s start by treating ourselves the way we treat our friends. Let’s start by giving ourselves a break. Let’s start by knowing that it’s ok to eat the donut, eat the cake, and even eat the brownie but just maybe not in the same night. And if for some reason, we do eat them all in the same night to pick ourselves up the next day and say it’s ok. We will do better.

Here is another thing. As a woman of a certain age, it is pretty damn hard to loose weight. Hormones are all over the place. Metabolism is non existent. Then add no thyroid and a non working parathyroid glands and it is perfect storm of impossible weight loss.

Seriously.

No joke.

No lie.

Now I am by no means saying it is impossible to loose the weight. I am just saying that I am not committed enough right now to engage in trying to the extreme necessary. And while I may eat the donuts, the cake, the treats for the most part I really am not a bad eater. I eat a fairly healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables For right now, I have embraced a pescatarian diet. I don’t really eat much processed foods. I’ve dieted. I’ve trained and run marathons. On paper, I look good. On the scale is another story.

My sister has suggested that I talk to my doctor about hormone replacement therapy. Truth be told, I take so many pills a day because of my Hypoparathyroidism that the thought of adding to the mix is just tiresome. So I am at a loss and I really do not feel the need to go to extremes as I have maintained where I am for the last 3 years since my surgery when I added these extra 20 pounds.

Now please don’t take this to mean that I have given up. I haven’t. I am not sure when yet, but I will once again start tracking my food. This actually is more for when I go to the doctors for my physical so that we can discuss it. Although my doctor is not one to use the scale as the be all indicator of health. If your doctor isn’t, I would say find one!

Now with all this being said, I am not saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to wake up 20 pounds lighter tomorrow. I’m just saying for right now….. With all that is going on in the world…… It is just not my priority. I am not saying it won’t one day in the near future, but for today I am content to walk my mile a day and complete my 30 day yoga challenge.

You Either Control it or it Controls You

They say you either control your fear or it controls you.   It’s not just an expression.   There is so much truth to that.  Fear can paralyze you.   Fear can keep you from reaching your dreams.   Fear can keep you from reaching your potential.   On the other hand….. Fear can keep you safe.    Fear can help you to make wise decisions.    Fear can help you to live to see another day.     Like everything in life, it is about balance.

Some people in order to control their fears ignore it.   They pretend real dangers don’t exist.   That somehow they are immune to the consequences.   They pretend that if they don’t give into fear that somehow that makes them stronger than what they are afraid of. But pretending the dangers aren’t real, don’t make them any less real.  It just makes you reckless and in some cases stupid.   That someone they are immune when you are not.

Some people go to the opposite extreme and let their fear paralyze them.   They refuse to try anything for fear of failure.   They shut themselves off from people, relationships, challenges and just follow the path of no fear.   They live a shell of their potential life and never each for the brass ring for fear of missing it.

A little fear is good .  A little fear makes you think about consequences.   Helps you make smart and safe choices.   Not too much that keeps your from trying, but enough to keep you trying smartly.     It won’t stop you from signing up for a marathon because you don’t know if you can do it, but will ensure that you plan to get to the finish line.    It won’t stop you from life, but will make you think about your life choices.

We are all at a crossroads now.    Everyone I know whose paying attention is thinking about what is going on in the world.   How much social distancing is enough?  Some wonder if they are even necessary.   Are the places we think we need to go really places that we need to go?  What are the consequences if we go.   Then making sure we wash our hands when we get there and when we get home.   If your lucky, you even have some hand sanitizer for the trip.

Then there are people right now thinking that they are stronger than this virus.   That they will continue to gather, go to races/group runs, and somehow that makes them braver and stronger than the rest of us.   It really doesn’t.   It makes them more reckless.

One of the definitions of fear is to have concern or anxiety.

One definition  of brave is to defy, challenge;dare

I don’t know about you, but I pretty much have anxiety and concern right now.   I also don’t wish to challenge the coronavirus to enter my home.    All you need to do is look to places like Italy to see that right now a little fear isn’t a bad thing.

The beauty of being a mostly solitary outdoor runner is that for now I can still be a solitary outdoor runner without actually being brave because my fear is making me smart.   Today I went for a 6 mile run on the trails.   I was not the only one on the trails, but I was by myself on them.   Passing, being passed, and going the opposite direction.   It was all good.   The sun was out.   The air was fresh.   Most of all it let the anxiety fall away.

I’ve been reading a book recently about mindful meditation.   It is about meditating where you are no matter what.   Becoming in tune to your surrounding.   So today while I was out, I put on no music and to be honest when your running the trails the sounds of them are music enough.   But today, I ran.   I noticed the swish, swish, swish sound that my jacket made as I ran.    I noticed the sound of my feet hitting the dirt.   I just took it all in and spent time in the moment.

It was enough.

 

Take the First Step

Getting off the couch is hard.

Staying on the couch is hard.

 If getting off the couch was easy, everyone would do it.    But sometimes, sometimes, sometimes it’s just so damn hard to get off the couch.   The couch is comfy.   The couch is safe.   The couch doesn’t disappoint.    Most of all the couch is what we know.   The couch is easy, safe and comfy.   Although that is a lie too.   The couch isn’t easy, it’s just what we are used to..

Sometimes though it’s not just about physically getting off the couch, but getting mentally off the couch too.   These things usually go hand in hand.  Sometimes you can go through the motions, but your mind just isn’t with you.   Motivation isn’t always there as much as you want it to be.   As much as you will it to be.   The lie your mind tells yourself that it just doesn’t matter.   It doesn’t matter if you go for a run.   It doesn’t matter if you stay.   Nothing matters.   So why bother.

It matters.

What we do in life matters.

How we show up in life matters.

I will say that for someone who has struggled in the past, I do know that how easy it is to listen to the voice that tells you it doesn’t matter.    It comes to you as a friend.   It comes to you as a reason for your struggles.   It comes to you wrapped in lies, but sounding so truthful.   That voice is a lie.   That voice is wrong.    That voice needs to be told to shut the (blank) up.

Easier said than done sometimes.

Taking that first step off the couch in life is hard, but the first of anything in hard.   Once up, you can see the sun shining.  You can feel the wind on your face.   You can see the buds on the trees.    You can see that all those things that told you to stay put, hide your head,  and listen to the lies was just that…… lies.

Take the first step.

You won’t regret it.

first step

 

 

Be Positive

I’m a pretty positive person. I usually take a wait and see approach to life. Usually don’t focus on the negative. That being said, life is messy and complicated and as much as we want to you can’t always post about rainbows and puppy dogs.

I see people on social media who post nothing but positive things. Even going so far as to apologize if something is miscontrud as negative. I am not judging them as that is their choice, but to me it’s not a real choice as life is not all good or all bad. Pretending otherwise is just that pretending.

Sometimes people are crappy. Sometimes XYZ is Crappy. Sometimes life is crappy. Sometimes you don’t want to put on a happy face and sometimes your just not feeling it. That’s life unless your Mr Rogers. It’s ok to get mad. It’s ok to express frustration, disappointment, and even be what might be considered negative. That’s life as long as you don’t just focus on the negative, that’s ok. It’s a balance.

Life has it’s ups. Life has it’s downs. In order to appreciate the ups, you must acknowledge the downs. Acknowledging the downs does not mean that suddenly you are going to be negative Nelly. It just means you are acknowledging that life is complicated and we don’t live Stepford Lives. I can appreciate the good, while acknowledging the suck.

So right now, I still feel like I’m in a holding pattern. Counting the days till the magic juice runs dry. That is 4. Part of me doesn’t like the holding pattern I’m in. Part of me is grateful for it as it has given me time to prepare….. talk to my doctor, order my meds, plan. But now I’ve done all these things, so now it’s just enjoy these 4 days and worry about day 5.

I’m also angry because I accepted the new normal of having to inject myself every day and take just a few calcium supplements a day. I’m angry because I thought this was going to last more than the 5 months and I should have started sooner. I’m angry because of the lack of information on how long this will take and when the medicine may be available again. I’m angry because I felt like I had my life back.

I’m also feeling a little defeated. Finally start getting things together and now this. And again, I know it could be worse and I’ve been lucky Some people might also think I’m being dramatic. Those people would be wrong and really don’t know the truth of this disorder, my life, or what I do to make things look easy. That being said, you would never say to a diabetic, “Well you’ve only a little diabetics.” Yes, I’m lucky in my symptoms. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to do so much. I’m lucky that my schedule will allow be self care as needed, but I still have Hypopara with all that comes with that.

I’m also nervous and these next 4 days I will probably see more Hypopara stories to make me slightly more. As I said before coming off the Natpara is no joke. In my Hypopara support group, someone tracked that there are already 14 who have had to go to ER with 7 being admitted. Again, don’t know what will happen, but it is a little nerve racking. I, honestly, don’t expect that to happen to me because I’ve never had to in the past. I’m hoping for a smooth transition, but it’s always in the back of your mind. If there is one thing Hypopara people spend a lot of time worrying about is their calcium levels, symptoms, and how to handle it all.

Here’s the crux of it too…….. I’ve got about 7 more weeks till the NYC Marathon. Training for a marathon is no joke under any circumstances. I’ve trained before without Natpara, but I use the word train loosely. I’ve trained prior to being Hypopara. I will admit that there comes a point in every training cycle where it kind of sucks, but you know you’ve got to do it. I can do it again. That being said, I’m going to be doing the dance of adjusting my meds while finishing my training. And did I ever mention that sweat and exercise effect your calcium levels. I’m sure I mentioned it. Luckily, I am usually in tune to my symptoms, have a doctor I can text if symptomatic, and am pretty good about keeping my levels. All while working and taking care of my family. Hmmm.

Lastly, I’ve still got $800 to raise for Sandy Hook Promise in these next few weeks while doing everything else.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

So while I’m being super Negative Nelly that is also not the true story. Yes, all of these feelings, worries, thoughts are valid but there is another side to the coin. I know that I am lucky. I know that it will work out. I’m optimistic that things will go smoothly. That levels will remain stable and I will just keep on keeping on.

You can recognize the negative while embracing the positive. I always say….. Hope for the Best. Prepare for the worst. Most of all accept it all.

Coming Out the Other Side

If you don’t get to spend time running trials, I think that you should still live life like you are out in them. You go out thinking, “how hard can it be.” You may prepare, but realize that your never as prepared as you should be.

The path is marked and you just run right in.

Somewhere during the run, you realize that the path is not marked as clearly as your wish or maybe you just miss the signs. Then you realize that you’ve made a wrong turn and maybe you’re lost. Although sometimes you are stubborn and foolish not admitting that you’ve gone the wrong way until you hit a dead end. Then you have to backtrack and find a new path. All the while learning to do better next time around.

Sometimes you are on the wrong path and don’t realize it. You are uncertain the right way and what you should do. You have to decide weather to be stubborn and move forward in the wrong direction. Sometimes foolishly because your don’t want to admit you’re on the wrong path. Once you admit your mistake, you can take the smart approach to turn things around and find your way.

All the while you must keep moving because if you stop, you are wasting time and will never get anywhere. So you keep moving. You will stumble some. Sometimes you will even face plant, but you can’t stay down in the dirt so you must pick yourself up. You realize that with each step you are closer to where you are supposed to be even if you aren’t sure where that will be yet. Eventually you will find your way even if it is not the original trail you expected to follow.

This may or may not be (ok yes it is) my run today on the trails, but as I was doing all of these things I thought about how this really how we live our lives. We never know what is coming. We often have to change our plans. There are stumbles with bruises, but the only choice is to keep moving forward. Looking back is only good to see how far you’ve come and eventually you get right where you are meant to be.

Often where we end up is not where we think that we would be, but that is the beauty of the adventure. Sometimes the adventure is not one we would pick, but we are that much stronger when we come out the other side.

So here’s to coming out the other side.

Often times the struggle in life comes from not knowing who you are. Knowing what you can be versus what you want to be. Like the little kitten who thinks that he is a lion. Yes, he may have the heart of a lion, but that does not mean that he has the body on one. There are some things that one must accept.

Often in life, our struggles come from reality versus expectations. Some realities with dedication and hard work can change. Then there are times that no matter what you do, how hard you work, or what you are willing to change that reality can not. Often that is where the battle comes in. Where disappointments come in.

Some may have the heart and soul of an elite marathon runner. That does not make it so. That being said, that does not mean that you can not become the best version of you at a given point in your life. Trying to live where you are not at a point in time will put you in constant battle with yourself. If you can accept that reality as it is and not how you want it to be, than you can not only enjoy the process but be happy with it too. Again, easier said than done. This holds true for much of our lives.

I will admit that I do not have the dedication or will to be an elite athlete even if I had the body which I clearly do not. I like to sleep in too much and maybe ice cream more than I should. That being said, I do have a drive to be more than I am. The reality though is that I am now a (ahem) middle aged runner with Hypoparathyroidism who can never compete with the image in her head of how things should be or where I was prior to surgery. The beauty is that doesn’t stop me from trying to be more.

So off I went plugging away. Getting my runs in. Doing what needs to be done. Going about my business. Going out for my longest run this training cycle. 10 miles. I didn’t know if I could do it. I reminded myself of my last post where I clearly said that what you do without the fanfare is more important than when you have it. I also reminded myself to stay true to the training. So I went out thinking no matter what I would just get the run in. My plan actually called for 9, but mentally I needed the 10. So I went out and just plugged away.

Just keep running. Just keep running. Running, running, running.

You know what? I did it. I finished the run. I felt good about it. I felt like I could have kept going. Although I was very happy to be done. It was hard, but it was not impossible. Sometimes you don’t need to be the lion, you just need to be the kitten that is not willing to give up.

Here’s the thing too…… Sometimes though it’s ok for the Kitten to know that maybe it’s not her time to be the lion. Sometimes we need to step back because as fierce as we are, sometimes life has other plans for us and that’s ok too. Every battle does not need to be fought. Sometimes it’s ok to find a new path. Often it is the acceptance of that new path even if it’s just a temporary one is what makes you as fierce as a lion.

The world is filled with people getting shit done. Doing what needs to be done to get through the day. Most you might walk past and not even realize the struggle it may have taken them to get from point A to point B. This is why one of my favorite expressions is “Be Kind” because you never know what someone is struggling with…. be it depression, be it an injury, be it giving up a dream, struggles at home, or maybe they are just having a bad day.

So be the lion. Be the kitten. Be you. Most of all… just be kind.