Plant Impossible Dreams

Four years ago, I decided on January 1stthat I was going to accomplish something “impossible” that year. Up to that point, I’d never been a runner. I’d barely accomplished the 100-yard dash in elementary school, and that was only because we were required to attempt it as part of the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. (God bless the 1980’s.) Running a half marathon was the closest thing to impossible that I could imagine, especially as I had friends at the time who were all constantly training for “this Half Mary”, or “that race” in some exotic location, or simply wanted to “be ready” in case a “fun” Half showed up. (Be ready? For what? The apocalypse?  This seemed like utter nonsense to me. Who trains to run 13.1 miles on a whim, just in case? I had weird friends.)

Thus, I embarked on this impossible goal, set up a training schedule, and I stuck to it through heat, snow, rain, wind, and shin splints. I was not fast, but that was ok with me, my goal was simply to finish, and to “run” the whole thing – no walking. I trained for 18 weeks, and at the end, I ran 13.1 miles without stopping. It was amazing, exhilarating, I was proud, and I was completely surprised at my own abilities.

The day before I ran my race, I received a plant and a beautiful note delivered to my door. It was from a friend who simply said, “Congratulations on making your goal, you’re going to do great.” I was so touched that someone would celebrate my impossibility with me! I loved that plant and what it symbolized – the work, the effort, the daring to dream, the follow-through, and finally, the tenacity to do the impossible. Every time I looked at it, I thought about how I went from not believing in myself to accomplishing more than I ever gave myself credit for.

Historically, I have not been a good plant keeper, I water plants too much, I water them too little, I put the ones that are supposed to be in shade in the brightest room, I put ones that need sun in my cave of a den.  Suffice to say, I am generally a plant killer rather than a nurturer, and I even manage to kill the ones that are supposed to be hearty and un-killable. Yet, this plant has survived. Nay, not just survived, it has grown and thrived and continues to flower. This plant that symbolized impossibilities realized, is an impossibility itself, a testimony to overcoming impossibilities. Yesterday, I transplanted that plant into a new pot, one where it can stretch out and keep growing, and when I look at that plant now, I find myself asking what impossible thing I am going to attempt next.  #NeverSettle #ImpossibleContainsPossible #KeepGrowingBecome

California Poppies

Lately it seems like making “positive choices” is not moving the needle in any direction whatsoever…and when that happens for me, I start to question if my choices are worth the effort. Choices like buying organic (it can be more painful for my wallet), or choices like walking at least 3 miles a day (not exactly sore muscles, but I don’t see a difference in muscle definition or tone), choices like actively finding educational books to read to expand my mind (it takes more “work” than reading pop culture magazines). None of these things are bad.  I don’t regret choices to read something that expands my understanding and challenges my assumptions or to fuel my body with food that I know is more healthy.

Today I was reminded that sometimes even when we can’t see a difference being made every day, doesn’t mean work, growth, or change isn’t happening.  I’m talking about the poppies in my yard. I have always thought of myself as being a notorious black thumb; once I almost killed a cactus because I didn’t water it enough. I have felt for a long time that plants see me coming and immediately commit suicide as an easier means to death than to suffer my nurture. My neighbors, on the other hand, are naturals; if they just think about planting it in their amazing yard, the plants thrive. Inspired by their success, (albiet slightly intimidated), last summer, I planted a dozen seed packets around the yard, near the walkways, in patches by the fence, in the healthy unused outside my front door.  I figured that if something grew, I could be delighted, and if nothing grew, no one would know that I’d attempted, and therefore, couldn’t give me a hard time about the short life span of plants at my house.

To my delight and surprise, the poppies grew around my flagstone walk, but there weren’t any flowers, just the green plants.  That was ok, I’d managed to grow plants, and in my mind, that was a win right there! The season turned and winter came to Colorado; everything died amid the snow and cold. Then a month or so ago, little sprouts started to appear around the flagstone walk, and I was once again delighted to see that my poppies were going to come back. Next door, the neighbors’ poppies were in full bloom, and mine were still just the straggly plants, but they were getting bigger.  Yesterday, it was all fronds.  Today, there was a flower.  Just one flower, but it was a flower, and in my mind it was perfect!  All the work, the patience, the care, the watering, the sun, the consistency….it paid off.  Today there was a flower.  And next door is a promise of many more to come. Consistency in life – there is a payoff, and it’s worthwhile.  This is what healthy living looks like.

Balance

If you ask, it seems like everyone has The Answer; the one way to be healthy, the one way to eat, the one dietlifestyle you should follow, the one thing you should omit, the one thing you should add, the one exercise regimen that works, the one supplement package that is right for everyone, everything in pursuit of The Answer to lose weight/gain weight/add bulk/trim down/sleep better/get stronger/become more flexible/look younger/feel better/be more healthy. But is that the right way to find the answer…?

Maybe it’s actually the wrong answer. Maybe instead of one universal answer, there is simply an answer that’s right for you.  Because you are unique – your gender, age, metabolism, work requirements, habits, family, genetics, and DNA. You are special. Instead of trying to make everyone fit into the current fad or lifestyle de jour, maybe it should be about Balance, and finding out what works for you.  Don’t get me wrong – for every fad, lifestyle, diet, or exercise/training plan, you will find a kajillion testimonials, and chances are, those testimonials are true!  People share them because they found something that worked for them, and they want others to feel and experience that same kind of health and wellness. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at the end of the day, no one knows you better than you.

So consider Balance – in your work, your attitudes, your eating choices, your exercise habits, your excitement and your calm…in short, consider Balance in your life, and how that might be part of your answer.

New Beginnings

The last time I posted a blog was a fictitious letter from my dog to me.  I had no idea at the time that he would pass away nine days later, and it truly broke my heart. Let me be clear, he was almost 15 years old and had lived an amazing life…it was time.  But it was the first time I truly experienced tangible grief in my life from “someone” close to me dying.  Part of my coping meant I took a break from writing.  Then I forgot why I wasn’t writing. Then I forgot to write.  Then it faded as something that I used to do….and then I’d write once in a while and forget to post to the site.  Yet, every time the renewal came up, I kept the site, knowing in my heart that one day, I was going to start writing again.

So here is to New Beginnings. Here is to starting fresh, celebrating the past and anticipating the future with joy. Here is to launching anew, a new chapter and new goals.  Here is to continuing to evolve into the person I am becoming. Here is to being Brave.

If we are not growing and changing, we are decaying. There have been lessons and stories, choices and decisions…. Today is a new day, and now is when we go from here.  Where is your “here”?  Join me.  Come with me on a journey….discover what the best self might be.  Struggle with balance.  Challenge yourself further than you think possible. Be inspired. Love. Your. Life.

 

Dear Mom… (a letter from my dog)

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Dear Mom,

I was just thinking about all the fun times we have together. There have been so many. I think I am the luckiest dog that I got to live with you. I know you weren’t sure at first, but I’m really glad you kept me. And I have really tried to be a good dog as much as I can. I know I have trampled your gardens, and sometimes I make the house dirty. I have tried really hard to always pee outside, and when I get into the garbage, it’s only because it smells so INTERESTING. I get a little distracted and forget that I’m not supposed to open the lid. I’m sorry. And, I want to state for the record, that it wasn’t me that at your Dansko clog – that was Molly. And I NEVER would have tried to eat that turkey and avocado sandwich if Molly didn’t first. It was all her fault. I have to be honest, Mom. I wasn’t crazy about Molly. But you and me? I think we have had some of the best times a dog and his girl can have together.

Hey! Hey!! Remember the time that you took me to that lake, and we swam and swam? And I got to get the Frisbee when you’d throw it? And then I got to chase the ball? And then I was so tired I had to rest a minute and we got to do it again? Do you remember?

What about the time we watched movies together on the back patio on the Big Pillow? Do you remember that? I might have snored a little bit, but the movie was so loooong. Do you remember?

Do you know what it’s like to go to Camp Cheese? I trained Grandma real good….she always gives me breakfast and water and lets me out and sometimes she makes me GrandmaSnack Cookies! If I know that she has them, I’ll stay up by the fence extra long and not come back in the house until she offers to give me one! She stands at the back door, and she calls, ‘Draaaaake…come here! Drake, come inside!’, and I wait a little bit…and then I sniff around the fence for something – there’s always new smells with all the people walking by – and then she says the magic words, ‘Drake! You want a GrandmaSnack? Come-on!’ And then I come running! Not so fast anymore. In my heart I’m still a puppy and I can outrun anybody, but my legs just don’t work so well anymore, so sometimes I have to take it a little slower.

The rabbits and squirrels know it, too, and sometimes they tease me a little bit. Especially the squirrels. The bunnies are just flat out obnoxious, so I chase ‘em out of grandma’s flower beds, but those squirrels! I think they plan it out…they’ll see me laying in the sun, and come down the tree and scamper towards me… hop, hop, scramble, pause….and they check to see if I’m watching. If I’m not, they chatter at me a little bit, just sort of to poke me I think. I whip my head up and narrow my eyes and I bark at them to let them know I might be old, but I’m not deaf! I don’t bother chasing them so much anymore…they’re just being ornery. But I let them know that I’ve got their number, and I’ve alerted Grandma and Grandpa. No siree, there will be no squirrels in our house!

Sometimes Grandma gets distracted and forgets to give me a cheese snack before bed. So, I remind her. I talk to her a little bit, and then she gets it right. You never give me cheese, but Grandma does every night. And I know you say they spoil me, but I don’t think that’s true. It’s not spoiling when I only get the most delicious snacks ever once in awhile!

I will say this, Mom, you are great about getting me toys. There was this one – it was a box that had squeaky balls inside, and I had to get them out! The squeakers were pretty damn annoying, too, so I had to really chew on them to get them to stop. You always say, “be NICE to the squeaker”, but I don’t think you really understand. What if the squeaker is really a small version of the squirrel – I have to make sure! I loved that box though. I’d carry it around the house with me and sometimes I brought it to bed. I have some dragons, and they are pretty cool. There was a duck once that I loved. I would groom it, lick his feathers, and keep it safe, he was my best toy ever. The new monster is pretty good, too. He makes funny crackling sounds AND has a squeaker. I like that.

The times when I got to ride in the car were amazing. And I always knew where we were going. I think sometimes you sort of forgot how to get places, and that’s the only reason I’d start talking to you in the car. I just wanted to make sure you knew, that I knew, that you knew how to get there. And if you didn’t, I was ready to help.

The time we went camping was epic. Yeah, I mean, it’s great being a city dog, but I think I could have been a country boy just fine. I’m not complaining! But going up to the mountains or out on the plains, rivers and grasses and sooooo many smells….yeah, those were good times.

But my best times were always with you. It didn’t matter what we were doing, just that we could do it together. If you were working and I could just take a nap in the same room, that was good. I love going for walks with you. And watching you cook. I love it when people come over because they give me all kinds of attention, and sometimes, they give me extra snacks….I like being in the middle of everything though. And with all those extra people around, I don’t want to somehow lose you, so I stick close, just in case. But it’s because you are my person. You are my world. You are everything. And I don’t ever want you to think that I might love someone else more.

So Mom, I just want you to know….I am the luckiest dog and I am happy. I have had such a good life. And every day I get to spend with you is the BEST day of my life. So let’s just keep being happy, for every day we still have left. Because until I can’t make it down the stairs anymore, I will always be ready to go for a walk with you. And I will always smile when you come home. And I will always love you best.

Finally, Mom, here are a couple things I don’t want you to forget, even after I’m not here….

  1. Always greet people with a smile and tail wag – you gotta let people know that you love them. Don’t hide that.
  2. Never turn down a snack. You never know if it’s the last one that will be offered.
  3. Work hard and sleep hard. Life it tough, so go after it all with gusto. It’s ok, there is time to sleep at the end.
  4. Five minutes of playing can turn your day around.
  5. This one is hard sometimes, but always try to mostly follow the rules. Nobody really likes a rebel who just causes trouble and makes other people clean up after him.
  6. Be loyal.
  7. Don’t be afraid to tell someone what you need, whether that is help, a listening ear, or that you are hungry or need to go out.
  8. Don’t forget that we are meant to be a pack, we are meant for community, so don’t try to do everything by yourself. The lone wolf howls at night because he is alone.
  9. Life is better when you risk a little bit. You’ll never get that proud feeling of saving the house if you don’t take on those fierce squirrels.
  10. When the time is right, let go. I will always live in your heart.

I love you, Mom, and I will always be your very best buddy. Nobody can take that away.

Love,
Drake

Coming Back to the Mat

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During a yoga class this week, my instructor said, “Everybody has a reason to come the first time, but what brings you back to the mat? Why,” he paused, “do you keep…showing up?”

It’s a powerful question that I have been pondering for several days now. People come the first time for a variety of reasons – because they got a Groupon or Living Social deal, for fitness or flexibility, for the social aspect or because a friend asked them, because of curiosity…. I have had guy friends tell me they went to see the girls in the cute little yoga outfits, sticking their booties up in the air, and girlfriends tell me they go because of the cute yoga instructor up front. I went mostly kicking and screaming, with great skepticism and trepidation.

In my mind, yoga was for the people who already knew how to do yoga, because if you didn’t already know the Sanskrit words for the different poses, if you didn’t know how to do the different movements, if you couldn’t keep up, then they would look down on you in distain. In short, it was a special club, that you either already belonged to, or you weren’t invited to join.

Last summer, I ran a marathon on an injury, and when the event was done, my team of coaches and trainers all told me that if I wanted to be able to keep running long term, I couldn’t run for a minimum of two months to really let my body heal. After two weeks I was stir crazy for something active to do. The only thing they agreed that I could do without further injury, was yoga, and only if I promised to do it at 50-60%.

So no one was more surprised than me, when I realized that I still wanted to show up regardless of injury. It went from being the only “allowed” exercise, to realizing that it was fun to see what crazy poses I was able to do. Then that changed to something even deeper, which is learning that it is less about perfecting poses (although I do like to strive towards looking pretty), and more about just being. It is the challenge of accepting myself in whatever condition I come to the mat, and choosing to be present for that hour or so. It is remembering the wonder that comes with doing things I had no idea I could do.

Anything worth doing in life usually takes some effort, and unless you find a deeper reason than what you started with, chances are that you will give up on it. This is true in relationships, diets or lifestyles changes, exercise, work patterns, and yoga. Eventually, the Groupon expires, the novelty wears off, it’s a lot easier to look at a yoga magazine than to show up and do the hard work in class if you want to see pretty people, and injuries do heal.

Yoga may have started out as an end unto itself for me, but it became about reflecting and finding inner peace and breathing. It became about the mat itself, letting that be my own space, where there is no judgment, except the judgment I bring to it. It is the smiling at myself, and giving myself grace, and listening to my body, and challenging my mind, and laughing when I fall, and choosing to get back up again. I come back to the mat because the mat will always meet me wherever I am.

I Am A Survivor

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I am a survivor.  Six years ago today, I suffered a stroke.

For a long time, I didn’t tell most people because I was ashamed; I thought of it as a weakness on my part, and that somehow, having a stroke in the first place, was my fault.  I am ready to tell my story now because I realize that I have overcome some great obstacles, more than some and far less than others, but the journey is worth telling.  And perhaps in some small way, sharing my journey can encourage someone else in his or her journey.

People have asked me what the experience was like….It started when I woke up.  I was alone in my house, and I noticed that my entire left side was prickly, like when you have been laying on your hand wrong and it is just starting to fall asleep, only, it was the whole left side of my body.  I went outside to let the dog out and fill up his water bowl, and I noticed that my hearing was incredibly acute.  I could hear the dog barking 8 blocks away, I heard insects flying near me, only they were across the patio, I could hear the blood going through the veins inside my head; it seemed very surreal.  I picked up the water bowl with my right hand and when I wanted to go inside, I remember telling my left hand to open the door, but it wouldn’t move.  I used my right hand and told myself to “wake up!”

I should have known something was wrong at this point, but it didn’t occur to me because I was young, I was healthy, and symptoms of a stroke are very serious and only affect older people….little did I know.

When I tried to brush my teeth, I couldn’t swish water around in my mouth, and I realized couldn’t make a smile in the mirror.  That’s when I got scared….so I called my parents, only, I couldn’t make the right words come out.  I knew what I wanted to say, but the words weren’t there.  I finally made my dad understand that I didn’t want an ambulance, but I thought something was wrong…please come.  When he got to the house, I was feeling fine again, so I felt bad for getting him out of bed early.  Thankfully, he and my mom had the sense to make me go to the ER to get checked out.  What I didn’t know is that I was having a series of small TIAs (trans ischemic attacks), sort of like mini-strokes.  While I was in the hospital getting checked out, I had an actual stroke where a blood clot hit my right frontal lobe, and I lost movement in my left side, from my cheek bone to about my knee, which lasted for several days.

After I got out of the hospital, I had to learn how to do many things all over again, and it was frustrating.  Driving, writing, talking, picking up small things, holding a fork and knife, thinking….  I learned that the best way for a person to heal from a brain injury is to sleep, so I had to sleep 10-12 hours each night.  I struggled with missing words and not being able to express myself, I struggled to remember things, I struggled with physical weakness on my left side, I struggled with clumsiness, I struggled with becoming very tired without warning.  I often wondered if I would ever get back to “normal” again.

Having had a stroke does not define who I am, but it has certainly changed the way I see and live life.  It has changed certain priorities for me, it has challenged me to learn who I am, and honor that in myself.  I still have to pay attention to myself when I get very tired.  I laugh at myself when I forget things that I know.  I have to be more conscientious when I get a bad headache and determine if I am dehydrated, or am I tired, is it just a headache, or is it more serious?  I have had to learn how to give myself more grace.  And in the midst of all that, I have chosen to live.

I took culinary classes at the Art Institute, and I wore a mesh glove so that I wouldn’t chop my fingers off.  I learned how to ski.  I started working with a personal trainer, and we spend a lot of time on balance exercises and strengthening my left side.  I auditioned for a play and figured out how to memorize all my lines.  I competed in a Sprint Triathlon at altitude.  I trained for and ran a Half Marathon.  I’m currently training for a full marathon.  I started writing a blog.  I bought a motorcycle.  I passed the Level 1 certification towards becoming a sommelier.  I decided that the only person that can truly put limits on me, is me.  I go on vacation, and take pictures, and make memories, and love the people around me.

Some days, I still struggle with finding the right words, and I get frustrated that it’s not as “easy” as it once was.  Sometime I hit the wall and stop functioning, and I’m pretty sure that my left side will always be a little bit weaker than my right side.  But I am a survivor.

In six years, I have learned so much about myself, about living, about loving, about not taking things for granted, about courage, about what it means to “show up”.  Today, I celebrate life, recovery, hard work, and hope.  Today, I celebrate the people that have surrounded me with love and support and encouragement.  Today, and every day, I live life a little bit differently….because it can all change in a moment.  Take the time to tell the people around you that you love them.  Be nice.  Take risks.  Live out loud.  Own your choices.  Be courageous.  Laugh.  Say you’re sorry.  Listen.  Be present.  Celebrate the life you live.

Crisis of Confidence

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I started running 3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days ago.

My race is in 25 days. I am terrified.

In these last few months, I have already accomplished more than I truly thought possible, but suddenly, it doesn’t seem like enough. I am having a crisis of confidence on the level of pure, unadulterated panic.   The kind of panic that paralyzes you, and makes you forget everything you’ve been done thus far, because the fear is so real and in your face and in the moment now. It’s the kind of paralyzing fear that has kept me from writing because I type 7 words and then stare at my screen for an hour, wondering what to say.

I am so afraid that even though I have been working hard, I don’t have enough time left to make sure that I will be able to finish what I set out to do. I have never run further than 8.25 miles and that was at sea level when I was visiting friends. I have never gotten to “double digits” in my runs, never mind getting to 13+ miles. Crisis of confidence.

 

I have been told all kinds of things that are supposed to be reassuring.

“If you follow your plan, you will be fine.”

“If you are able to run double the distance of what your race distance is in one week, you are good to go. You can split it up any way you want. Just be able to run 26 miles in a week.”

“You have run more than 8 miles? Oh, you are good to go!”

“On race day, you will have so much adrenaline and the crowd will pump you up, you are going to be fine!”

And my personal favorite, “Remember, you can always walk.”

 

My goal is to run 13 miles, not just finish 13 miles! Walking isn’t an option. (I mean, I know technically it is, but I don’t want it to be an option.) I feel like I have worked too hard to compromise myself at the very end. And that’s what it would feel like to me – a compromise. Crisis of confidence.

But this crisis of confidence is real, and it’s scary, and it’s staring me in the face today. I’m not sure I can do this anymore, and the really crazy part is knowing that I won’t actually experience doing 13 miles until race day. That means that no matter how much confidence I can find for myself in the next 3 weeks, I still won’t actually know, as in, have person history and experience of knowing, until it’s over! Crisis of confidence.

In the last month, I have gotten sick twice, which required me to take time off from running. I still have a cough that is kicking my tooshie, I’m fighting with seasonal allergies which adds a whole new level to not being able to breathe while running, and apparently I didn’t know how to stretch one of my muscles correctly, so I had to take a couple days off to let a pulled muscle heal. All of these things, in and of themselves, are probably a pretty normal part of the cycle of training – everyone deals with these things once in awhile. But I have just been having it all handed to me on a silver platter without any reprieve. Crisis of confidence.

I have people in my life that believe in me, that encourage me in so many ways, that have literally walked and run beside me along my journey.  I haven’t given up, and I’m not positive that I won’t find an overwhelming sense of peace and confidence before May 18th rolls around, but today…in this moment…I am having a crisis of confidence, and I don’t want to let those people down.  Even more, I don’t want to let myself down.  But I have to tell you, it’s really hard to believe that it will all be ok when you are in the middle of a crisis of confidence.

#IRun4

IR4

Once upon a time, there was a boy who had bilateral hip dysplasia.  It hurt, and he had to stay in bed.  This boy had a friend who liked to go running.  “You can run for me anytime!” the boy said to his friend.  That simple phrase sparked a movement, and Irun4 was born.

Today, this organization has approximately 10,000 members in 24 countries, and it pairs up athletes (who are normal folks), with people who have disabilities or diseases that prohibit them from running or being active.  The athletes can dedicate their runs, workouts, or races to their buddy who can’t be out there.

I have two very special people in my life who inspire me on a daily basis; Kevin and Daryl are both my cousins, from opposite sides of the family, so even though they don’t know each other, they are sort of cousins, too.  For different reasons, neither one can run anymore, so when I’m out there, and when I start to get tired, I remember these two amazing guys who would trade places with me in a heartbeat, and just that thought makes it a little easier to push through.

When Kevin was 12, the summer after his 6th grade year, he was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy.  MD is a genetic born disease where the muscle cell walls break down and don’t grow.  He described it to me this way, “Imagine a balloon with little holes – the balloon can’t hold in air with the holes.”  There are nine major groups of the muscular dystrophies – he has the one called Facioscapulohumeral MD (FSHD), and it initially affects muscles of the face (facio), shoulders (scapulo), and upper arms (humera) with progressive weakness.  Kevin’s is the third most common form of MD, and while some forms of MD are life threatening, his is not.  He does not live in pain, but because his 12 year old muscles are supporting a full grown man’s body now, it is safer and better for him to be in a wheelchair all the time now.

I remember being in college and, as college students do, a group of us (including Kevin) were sitting around talking about whatever.  The topic turned to the dreams we have when we sleep, and somebody asked, “what’s your favorite dream?” and we all took turns answering.  When it was Kev’s turn, he said, “It’s when I dream I’m running.  When it feels so real.”   That statement has always stuck with me because he dreams about something that I just take for granted.  The last time he was able to run was in junior high….

Daryl has been a runner his whole life – fun runs, runs with family members, cross country in school, track, etc.  When Daryl was in college, he was road-tripping home for Thanksgiving with some friends, and enroute from Grand Rapids, MI to Loveland, CO, they were in a car accident.  Daryl was thrown from the vehicle, and when he woke up, he was a paraplegic.  Today, he is an accomplished musician, writer, and teacher.  Recently he told me he is getting back into Hand Cycling, which sounds pretty hard core to me.

These guys inspire me because they would love to run, even though they aren’t able to anymore.  More than that though, they inspire me with their amazing attitudes every day.  These are not the guys that sit on the sideline – they are out there living!  They are out there in their communities, at work, sharing with family and friends, living courageous and joy filled lives.  It is my honor to dedicate my runs to these two extraordinary men – they inspire me to go further, push harder, and challenge myself when I think I’m done.

#IRun4KevNDaryl.    #WhoDoYouRun4?

 

If you are interested in learning more about IR4, donating, or being matched up as an athlete or a buddy, please check out their site here.

 

 

Character Development

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Not every run is going to be awesome.  I’m not going to go further every time.  I am not going to always be able to do negative splits.  (Shute, 4 weeks ago, I didn’t even know what negative splits were.)  My point is, I know my runs are not always going to be amazing.  Mentally, I’d prepared myself for that day.  Being mentally prepared does not make it any better when that day comes.  It came for me today.

I have been exhausted all day, and I really seriously considered blowing off today, but I thought to myself, “no, I need to just get out there and get it done – I’ll feel better when I’ve finished.  I’ll be so proud of myself….”

Nope.  I just feel tired.  More tired than I was before, in fact.  I know it’s good to push through on those days that are harder than others.  Incidentally, I do believe that there are times when it’s actually a good decision to blow off a run.  I/e, when your body is telling you it needs a break, when it is so cold that your eye lashes will freeze to your face, when it’s so hot that heat stroke it likely in the first half mile, when you are recovering from injury or sickness, and maybe even when your best friend is in town visiting for one day.  I did not have any of these legitimate reasons to not run today.  Being tired is not good enough.

So I pushed through.  I finished what I set out to do, and I’m going to be brutally honest here, I don’t feel better, I don’t feel more energized, and I am not motivated to get out there bright and early and do it again tomorrow.  Mostly, I just want to go to bed.

So, the best thing I can say about today is that I did it, and now, the day is done.  And even though a day like today is probably good for my inner character development, I really hope that I don’t have many more like this.  I’m pretty sure I have enough character as it is.