I spent Fathers Day in Mammoth Lakes, California. Alone. Not alone exactly. With my friend Peggy who planned this with me six months ago and another woman named Jennifer who I’d met once. There are race stats here, but the best things about the race were the things I learned and the way I felt inside. Continue reading
The Reno Tahoe Odyssey is in the books. The race I wasn’t sure I’d ever do again but I’m so glad I did. 178 miles, 2 vans, 12 people – all of us women from our 5:20 am running group. The majority of the women I knew, the ones I didn’t know well I knew very well by the end. It took us just over 30 hours to complete and we had a total of 2 hours of sleep on one of our breaks. People who have never run a relay think you’re crazy and don’t get it but those of us who have taken the leap know all too well how amazing they are. Continue reading
D and I got away last weekend for about 48 hours. It’s the longest we’ve ever been gone without kids, although our older daughter watched her younger sister, so we managed to keep the family together. They did great (as was expected) and we got fun updates on their weekend. Continue reading
I’ve had a couple people comment lately that I must get a lot of stuff with the way I pimp out certain companies. Nope. Let me fill you in on something, friends….. Compliments are free. So is saying thank you. So is “liking” someones picture or post. Believe it or not, leaving a comment is also free!! I kid you not….. Referring someone is ALSO free!! One of my favorite extroverted tendencies is my love of connecting people. It’s like a high for me. I don’t even care if I introduce two people and I’m no longer involved in the circle. I just get off on putting people together who can mean something to each other. It’s amazing. Continue reading
I used to run on trails a lot. My favorite races are trail races and I’ve missed it. I stopped because the team I was on didn’t run trails and because I knew if I had any kind of emergency, I may not have cell service. So running alone on trails became a thing of the past. I’ve done three trail races in the last six months and LOVED them. I’m smart enough to know it does take trail training to be better at trail races, though, so I’m once again attempting to live life on the trails. I have a great pair of trail shoes and space outside my door. Continue reading
Failure is a big, bad, ugly, nasty word.
Definition of failure
1a: omission of occurrence or performance; specifically: a failing to perform a duty or expected action: a state of inability to perform a normal function (2): an abrupt cessation of normal functioning c: a fracturing or giving way under stress
2a: lack of success b: a failing in business
3a: a falling short
I don’t see any super positive, wonderful verbiage jumping out at me there. Failure is the word I would have to say sums up how I’ve been feeling lately and I’m gonna tell you why.
I had a race last Saturday. 3.5 miles of beautiful trails in a town called Fallon in the middle of nowhere. I went with my friend Pete and met some other friends there. It was a small, well run race. I did well, felt great, placed first in my age division and recalled my intense love of trails. When I was there, I heard about another 10K trail race coming up and I signed up as soon as I got home. I felt great. The next day, I ran at Reno Running Company 6 miles – 3 uphill (Thomas Creek, I love and hate you!) and back down again with people I adore. I felt euphoric. Lovely. Beautiful. I walked in the house greeted by a plate full of eggs, kale, spinach and a cup of coffee served up by the most amazing, handsome, fantastically supportive man (OK, OK, he would have looked better in an apron, but I’ll take what I can get here). He looked at me beaming at him with a goofy smile and said, “Wow! You’re back!”. Indeed I was. Since breaking my foot 18 months earlier and easing back into running again, I finally felt “back”. Not as fast or as thin, but more myself. Later in the day the family went on a hike. BEST WEEKEND EVER!!!! At one point, I turned and looked over my shoulder to smile at D because life is just so awesome. When I did, my left foot – the same one I broke 18 months earlier – rotated off a 3″ ledge, twisted and I went down in an ungraceful heap. Shit.
I was hired by a friend to work for his company a couple months ago. I loved doing something different (AKA not Non-Profit), I loved his vision and, as one of my closest friends, I felt blessed to be involved. My original job description was lots of everything I wanted, but as we were winding it up, I was put in a different position. One I don’t particularly like. One that I’m not good at. Bookkeeping. And for two months I worked my ass off only to make things worse than when I started. For weeks I knew my days were numbered, for the best interest of the company, the friendship, my stress level and sanity. That only made me try harder, but in the end, I got things ready to be turned over to a real bookkeeper and hoped for the best. I worked hard, but sometimes that’s just not enough.
Monday came and my ankle was swollen half way up my calf and into my toes, turning purple and blue and very painful. So I drove myself to urgent care. “Just checking to see if there’s anything wrong on the inside and then get a game-plan to heal and go running again” I said with some forced optimism. Hours later, the doctor came in to tell me my ankle was fractured. FRACTURED!!!! She gave me a list of orthopedic surgeons, an ace bandage and crutches and wished me luck. As we were having this chat and I was trying not to cry, my phone buzzed alerting me of an email from my boss. I was – as expected – being fired. Shit, shit, shit. Yes, I knew both of these things could be happening and I wasn’t shocked by either, but the timing was impeccable. And I was saddened by both. The orthopedic surgeon wanted to wait a few days for swelling to go down, so all I had was a piece of paper with the type of fracture I had, crutches and unemployment.
Later that day D helped me drop off all my work belongings at the office. I was blessed to be able to work from home, but now my empty “work space” that was set up at home was just a reminder of my failure and my crutches a reminder that now I couldn’t even drop my stuff off by myself.
How both things made me feel:
- Embarrassed. I fell on a hike on relatively flat ground after kicking ass on two separate runs, looking back to smile at the man I love. Stupid anyone?? Yes, we’ve laughed a lot about how ungraceful I am, what a klutz I can be, how such a silly fall would be such a big deal. As I laugh and joke with my family, I am utterly humiliated. Embarrassed beyond belief. At work, I knew I wasn’t a bookkeeper and I proved that without question. I’m embarrassed that I couldn’t learn enough, fast enough or work harder, or been different or SOMETHING. It’s embarrassing to look at a friend, apologize and need to move on.
- Insecure. I feel lost, I’m fumbling. I know I’m not a bookkeeper and I know what I’m good at, but I feel a little insecure looking at job postings and applying. I’m insecure about being a klutz. About not being able to run.
- I’m questioning what I’m good at. Feeling embarrassed and insecure makes me question if I’m really good at what I’ve been good at before. Like working and running. Damn, this sucks.
- I’m worried about the future. OK, let’s be honest. I need to work – I need to make money. I’m the one that provides health insurance so there’s a ton of pressure about that. I’m glad I have some wiggle room as far as time, but I don’t have an endless supply. I have to get an income and insurance and I don’t have the luxury of time. So I worry about the future. Will I be able to run again? When? How long will recovery take? Will I need surgery? Will I get hired if I’m broken? Shit. Again.
- Afraid. I am afraid. Scared. Of letting my family down, of not having insurance and getting a penalty, of someone getting sick, of not being able to run, of gaining weight, of slowing down, of potential employers looking at me and knowing I screwed up my last job, that I’m not good enough, that I’m a klutz, that I’m less than.
It’s amazing how two completely different situations elicit the same reactions. It’s ironic that for me they happened simultaneously. Here’s the thing. It’s not a big deal. Really. Honestly. It’s not a big deal and here’s why:
- Maybe I am a klutz. Perhaps I will be again but in a completely different way. I’m me and that’s OK. I have fallen before (both literally and figuratively) and I’m certain I will again. It’s OK to screw up. We’re all imperfect. My imperfections make me ME and I think that’s perfectly OK. I don’t look gazelle-like when I fall, but no one does. Laugh it off, brush off the cast, respond to that job opening and move on.
- If I wasn’t LOST, I wouldn’t know when I was FOUND. Waxing poetic here, but really, how do you know when you’ve got a good thing if you haven’t tasted the bitter. I’m good at lots of things – including falling on my ass. Embrace it. Love it. Love yourself, insecurities and all. Perfect – if it existed – would be boring as hell.
- I’m Great at lots of things. One of them was being available to my kids. I was so stressed this last couple months, working so hard and so many hours spinning my wheels that I wasn’t as available to my family. This break in employment gives me a chance to balance myself, heal my ankle, spend time with my family and reevaluate. That is a gift. Sure, maybe one of the things I’m great at is falling on my ass. Good thing baby got back!! Another thing I’m good at – getting back up.
- We all worry about the future. Or most of us do to some degree. I was worried when I was employed and nothing was busted. I’ll know about my foot tomorrow at the orthopedic surgeon’s office and I’ll move forward from there. I’m blessed that during this downtime I’ll get unemployment. We’ve gone without insurance before and although I’m not excited about that, I know we’ll get through it. I have a chance to focus on other things right now and that’s never a bad thing. I have an amazing man that’s supportive which is a blessing.
- I am Enough. I am imperfect, I mess things up sometimes, I get scared but I am enough.
Who knows what the future will bring? Maybe what seems like a failure will ultimately be a wonderful success. Perhaps this is a lesson I needed to learn. It could be a jumping off point to something bigger. I know there are things I hope to get done during this downtime, so here they are:
- My blog was successfully moved (I think!) so I can get back on the bandwagon of writing
- I have an editor for my book and I’m hoping to get a lot of that written
- I own my website domain, so it would be amazing to get my webpage up and running
- I’m working on public speaking again – which is my favorite and I used to do a lot of. That would be fantastic to do again
- With my website, I have several “newsletters” that I’m writing in my areas of expertise so I can work on those
- I’ve been taking health and nutrition classes and I’d like to implement that knowledge into all the above
- Weights – I’ve been slacking. So I asked D to write up a training plan. I can at least work on my upper body and will know soon what my limitations are with my ankle. We have everything at home, so I’m good to go
- Battle Bites – my YouTube channel is being used as a video platform for video snippets of life with 13 kids
- I have a vision board and outline of my writing/web page. I’ve had it for a while, but I’m looking forward to working on making these things happen
- Minimizing – I just went through the house AGAIN and it’s amazing! Such a difference in our stress this last year and a change in attitude, so I’m planning on keeping that up and writing about it more
The floor is yours….. Tell me what’s happening with YOU!
It’s cold. Sure, not as cold as Alaska when I lived there, but still cold. It snows too. Not always as much as this year and not as much as other places, but we get it. This year quite a bit of it, relatively speaking. Ice. It’s everywhere. I’ve only gone running in temps as low as 13* this year. I’ve also bypassed running when the roads have been excessively crappy which seems like a lot. I used to run no matter what, but then I broke my foot. That taught me to be more of a fair weather runner – or at least less stupid about running. Winter running isn’t just about the clothing you wear – although that makes it manageable – it’s about being safe and following rules differently. Continue reading
DNF. Those horrid little letters that mean SO much to a runner. Did Not Finish. It’s one thing us runners try desperately to avoid. The finish, after all, is where we want to be. Why, though, can’t we embrace the DNF? Why does it have to be such a bad thing? Continue reading
How, you may ask, does minimalism correlate with running. Minimalism is difficult for me to articulate sometimes, I feel inadequate trying to quantify the results. Minimizing your life isn’t just about getting rid of crap and having less clutter. It spills over into every aspect of your life. Minimizing puts your priorities into perspective. It takes away the things that are unimportant and leaves behind what is important. Continue reading
I’ve done gear reviews for almost a decade – even though the blog is only going on 4 years old. When we minimized and moved, I really had to evaluate the stuff I had accumulated – often because I was doing a review. I pared running gear down to only what I really used on a very regular basis. Continue reading