Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Power of WORDS

I can remember it like it was yesterday.  One of the most meaningful and influential memories of my childhood. A moment in my life that not only changed the way I saw myself at the time but that shaped who I would become as an adult.  It was fifth grade.  My teacher was Mrs. Lopez.  One day she asked all of us to take out a blank sheet of paper.  On the top of our papers we were asked to write our names.  Then she explained that we were going to be passing the papers around and writing down one positive word that described the person's name at the top of the paper.  We would pass the papers until ours came back to us.  Before starting the activity, Mrs. Lopez helped us brainstorm a list of words that we might want to draw from.  We all took turns raising our hands and coming up with words that a fifth grader would like to be seen as:


Normal words.  Bland.  Nothing special in the big world of words but they were a big deal to us.  I can still remember how excited I was to see what my classmates thought of me.  I knew we weren't allowed to write anything negative so all the words on my paper would be good words. Words some of us needed to hear.  I wasn't alone in my excitement and anticipation.  With each pass of the papers, there was an exchange of whispers about who had what paper even though the activity was supposed to be done in silence.

With each new paper I got, I tried hard to come up with the perfect word for that person.  The more POSITIVES I gave out, the better I felt about ME.  It was an activity that created so much happiness and good feelings.  With each "Pretty" or "Beautiful" I wrote down, I wished for someone to write the same about me.  The other words mattered too  but I heard many of them often enough.  Smart.  Funny.  Creative.  I knew I'd get plenty of these words.  Not so much with Pretty.  I didn't think of myself as Pretty.  Certainly not Beautiful.  And this probably affected how I felt about myself on the inside too.  Everyone needs someone in their life that tells them that they are beautiful (certainly not referring to only physical beauty).  It surely meant a lot to me in my awkward fifth grade world.

Once the papers were almost around, our teacher collected them early.  WHAT?!  I didn't even get to see my paper.  The class broke out into a string of sighs.  Our disappointment palpable.  We were incredibly eager to know what our papers said.  Mrs. Lopez assured us that we would see them soon.

It wasn't more than a day before we saw them.  There they were.  All lined up outside our classroom wall.  Each kid had a piece of tagboard with their school picture on the middle of it.  Around the picture, Mrs. Lopez had written down all of the words that described us.

It was a struggle to get close enough to the bulletin board to see our words but everyone happily waited their turn while trying to sneak a peak at THEIR SPECIAL WORDS.  Then I saw mine.  So many wonderful things.
Even though the words were probably similar for each person, they were still OURS.  These were words that described us! Words that said what our peers thought of us.  And then I saw them....


To this day, I know in my heart that that was one of the first moments in my life where I truly felt beautiful. And smart and strong and all of the other words I read on that paper.  I'm sure my mom and family told me that they thought I was wonderful and beautiful, etc.   Sure.  That's what family is supposed to think. But to hear that from my peers?  From my teacher?  From people that aren't my family but people I see every day?   This felt special.  And it stayed with me for ALWAYS.  It was a moment that changed me forever in realizing the POWER of WORDS.

For every year of the eight years that I taught before staying home with my kids, I always did this activity.  And every year I recognized the same excitement and wide-eyed anticipation in my students that I had when I did this activity.  I knew that there were some student that would need this more than others, but without a doubt, I believed every. single. student would be given a gift when they received "Their Words".  And yes, I took the papers early and wrote them down on a special piece of paper.  I'd be lying if I said that I didn't add a word or two on my own but they never had to know that.  I remembered how important it was for me to see
certain words.
And how it made my heart fly when I did see those words.  Who knows if my teacher wrote down some of the words on her own or if they were all from my classmates.  It doesn't matter.  What matters is that it changed the way I saw myself.
I began to blossom in a way I had never done before. I saw myself differently.  I had a new sense of confidence.

Words continue to hold such power in my life.  Really, words are powerful in all of our lives.  The words we think.  The words we write and speak.  They hold power.  I was reminded of this again today as I found myself in GRUMPY MOM MODE where I was muttering under my breath and thinking to myself what a little brat my son was being.  There was a storm of words running through my head:
bad choices

Then I caught myself.  Wow!  If I'm thinking all of these words about him, he's got to be FEELING these things.  And then giving me more of what I'm already labeling him to be.  So, before I went about my "To-Do"s, I stopped myself, grabbed some sticky notes and scribbled down some positive words about my sweet boy.  I instantly felt more positive about him and myself.  While I was at it, I scribbled some words about everyone else in my family and then made a sticky note for myself.  This was just a sloppy jotting down of words but I did go back later and add to them once I realized how many meaningful words I could think about each of my kids and my husband.  Perhaps I'll write them down for them to have in their rooms or do something else with them.  In the meantime, they are in the kitchen for me to see.

Notes...words...power messages...having these things up where I can see them is part of having more of them! These are just a few of the notes I have up in a visible place. Sometimes I find myself only pointing out the negative flaws in my kids (and myself)...the things I'd like them to work on. But I'm trying to be more intentional by focusing on, acknowledging and celebrating more of the character traits that ARE WORKING and WONDERFUL (in myself and others).

Words truly do hold power.
The words we tell ourselves about US.
The words we communicate to others.  They matter.
The words we think about life, what we are doing, who we are, what life has in store, our goals, the people around us.
So Powerful.

I whole heartedly believe that if we choose to be more conscious of and intentional with the WORDS we use with ourselves and others, we have the power to make amazing things happen
So. Much.  More.


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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Random Running Bullets

Time for some random bullet posts.  Because I want to blog but I have nothing specific to say.  Because this head of mine is FULL.  Full.  But a good full. And because I don't feel like writing in paragraph form where I try to avoid starting sentences with But, And, and Because.  So, I think that clearing my head out a bit with a hodgepodge of stuff might help give me a little more focus with my thoughts.  Besides, I love writing bullet posts.  No pressure to stick to any cohesive thought. I will however stick to RUNNING related bullets.

  • I'm running.  A little bit.  Like maybe 30-35 miles a week. 
  • I love running.  I love the endorphins and tired happy feeling I get from running.  I love how it clears my head and allows my heart to open up.  I love running.  
  • But
  • Running takes a lot more work these days than it used to. At least on these hills. I guess I'm still in that mode where I am tired of training hard but yet having something to train for can be a source of motivation that I like having.  
  • I'm kind of training LIGHTLY for the Savannah Rock n' Roll Marathon on my birthday (November 9th). 
  • I say "Kind of" because I'm so noncommittal these days.  This whole "train for fun" thing might not be so fun for me because really, marathons aren't so fun when you think of it.  I mean, if you're not prepared and well trained, a marathon can really SUCK.  Far from fun. But if you're trained adequately (and that takes focus and commitment), a marathon can be one of the most powerful things in life!  It still hurts, but it can definitely be fun and rewarding.  
  • So, I might need to either step it up a notch and make set a goal or just do the half instead.  THAT sounds a lot more fun. And A LOT easier on my body.  Especially if I'm going to be running a spring marathon.  
  • Spring Marathon.  Might be Boston.  But honestly, since I ran Boston this year for "fun" (again, still not so fun at the end) and didn't push myself too much because of my low iron and having just done Napa Valley Marathon, my time wasn't what I think I'll need to get in again.  Obviously, nobody knew that there would be bombings and that it would be so hard to get in this coming year.  So I'll be very surprised if I get in with a 3:35:xx even if my qualifying time was 3:40.  I think it will be TOUGH this year.  
  • If I don't get into Boston, I have hopes that I'll still be there to cheer my husband on!  He's trained so smart and so hard and it's almost time for his marathon where he will put it all out there and go for it!  
  • My body feels okay  now.  The thing that is tricky is that once the mileage increases, I tend to skip the important things like core work, strength, etc....the stuff that helps us stay injury free.  I've GOT to make time for this stuff!  It's important.  

  • My paces are okay.  Just okay.  I haven't done any speed or fancy workouts.  Just running.  I did a pace run the other day and that felt good ...5 miles@7:31 pace.  But my attempted 14 miles this past Saturday SUCKED!  I ended up with 11 miles@ 8:15 average but I felt like HECK! Might have been the beer and pizza the night before and the fact that I was running mid day but it still sucked!   I should have been shooting for an 8:30ish average considering my fitness level right now.  My 10 miles @ 8:09 average just 2 weeks earlier felt fantastic though.  In fact, I have that run to thank for even thinking of training again.  
  • So, maybe it's a good idea to be less WISHY WASHY with my training if I'm going to do it.  And more sticking to a plan man. Or just truly running for fun and cutting the distance for Savannah to a fun half. 
  • My husband is trying to convince me to get into more trail racing.  He wants to do ultra races.  And he'd love if I jumped in on that with him.  I have to wrap my head around this idea but I could see myself really falling in love with ultra trail racing if I had the time.  I do LOVE to get out and run on the trails.  I always feel happy when I have an excuse to slip on my Brooks Cascadias or PureGrits and take in the beauty of the trails.  Nothing quite like that.  

  • This GIRL is super inspirational to me lately.  Her energy is contagious! Love seeing her pictures  on Instagram and Facebook. And love watching her reach her goals!  Thank you Jessica!  
  • Lots going on in the motherhood and life department! But that's for another post.  Lots of reading, exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, getting the kids started in school, and reminding myself of the things that really matter in life.  I'm excited for this chapter in my life.  This one. Not the last one or the next one but the one I'm in right NOW!  It's off to a great start!  

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Motherhood Tantrums. We All Have Them.

picture source

Why is it...
that when we are really losing our shit as REALLY throwing a huge mommy tantrum where we are setting every possible bad example for our kids...every example of HOW NOT TO ACT when you don't get your way... it's like our real self, our higher self, is sitting inside  looking out at the storm, shaking the head with a "tsk tsk tsk" knowing full and well what a complete and ridiculous ass of a mom we are being,

Slamming of doors
Huffing and Puffing
Crying over a broken vase (an accident)
Wearing the puckered up, wrinkled eyebrow Cry Face (so glad nobody was filming me).
Demanding that my house stop being taken apart as soon as they get home from school even though   they are clearly using their imaginations.
Being completely unreasonable about the couch cushions being taken off to be used as a fort.

A dust of angry Mom Storm.

And through all of it, I'm fully aware of myself and what I SHOULD do.  I know that I'm an exemplifying the opposite of every "good parenting behavior" I've read about in all those stupid mom books (okay, so not stupid).  I know that I'll have to apologize later for this mommy meltdown.  I'm aware that I'm giving new meaning to OVERREACTING.


Until I'm done, I feel better, and all three kids are hiding in their room writing "sorry" notes.  I'm wondering if they are writing the "sorry" notes because they really feel bad or because they know that these notes are just the perfect thing to make me FEEL AWFUL about my bad mom fit. Or maybe a bit of both.

Either way,
It all ends okay.

  • Kids say sorry,
  • Mom cleans up glass while bitching about how she can never have anything nice in this house because kids break everything.
  • Mom says sorry and turns the whole thing into a teachable (laughable) moment on how not to act.
  • Kids forgive.
  • Mom forgives.
  • Kids go back to their harmless and imaginative mess making while turning their bedrooms into miniature houses fully equipped with kitchen (including plates, food, and silverware), couch cushions for the couch, and who knows what else.  
  • I've removed myself from the situation, given up the idea of a clean and organized house (why did I even attempt such things?!) and decided to put myself outside in a time out and blog (VENT) on the front porch.  I'll deal with the mess later and pretend that they are the ones cleaning it up.  
Gosh, it sure sucks when we reach these rope ends of motherhood.  When we lose our shit.  Blow our tops.  Act like small children that need a nap and ate too much candy.  

But even though it sucks, we all need to have moments where we blow off some steam, act a little ridiculous, laugh about it afterwards and then not beat ourselves up about it because:

  1. Motherhood is HARD
  2. Throwing a fit feels GOOD sometimes
  3. Our kids are better off in the long run if they get to see that life and people are full of imperfection.  It's good for them to see their parents lose it and act a little nuts at times (within reason).  And it's good for them to see how we respond AFTER our bad behavior...when we come back and say "Gee kids, Mom really acted a little crazy here.  I'm sorry, I guess I'm just having a bad day.  Will you forgive me?"  
Oh, and the longer I am lucky enough to enjoy this Motherhood gig,
so darn thankful 

Bring on the long run!  14 miles tomorrow will do the trick. Then I'll be too tired to throw any huge Mommy Fits.  Or maybe not.  

Happy Friday,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Snapshot Run in Asheville, NC

In light of making running more about fun and taking an easier path to training runs, I decided to make today's run a SNAPSHOT RUN an opportunity to see more of this beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina.  After all, we go back to Portland, OR in a year so I really want to make sure I soak up Asheville as much as I can.  Today's run was all about heading  out on the streets of downtown Asheville with the main intention of capturing some of the parts of my city that are not only new to me, but spots that are my favorites and places I'd like to visit soon!  I grabbed my camera/phone, found my easy pace and kept my eyes wide.  I've never really gone on a Snapshot run before but I think this might have to be something I do more often...especially when getting to know a city.

Walnut Street. One of my favorite streets.  Little alleys tucked in along this street as well as some wine bars that look interesting.  

The Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. Love love love this book store right along the outside of the Grove Arcade.   It is filled with some really neat room, couches, and places to just hide with a good book.  And a glass of champagne or coffee or...  SO. MUCH. Character!  A must see if you love bookstores and visit Asheville.  

YUM!  Kilwin's will surely draw you in with the aromas of fresh sweets...fudge, chocolates, taffy, caramel corn, etc.  This was a stop on one of the night's of my recent Girl Weekend.  We couldn't help but stop and grab a few things.  So so GOOD.   

This is the area right downtown called Pritchard Park.  Every Friday evening there is an amazing drum circle here.  It is so energizing to watch or even sit in the middle of.  People of all walks of life...drumming...dancing...and loving life.  It is also a great place to sit.  Many benches to choose from...perfect place to sit with a friend and chat.  
A Special Bench that holds lots of meaning to me.  

Asheville's famous Iron at the end of Wall Street.  You will often find musicians  sitting here.  

Wow!  I fell in love with these pens.  I walked by this table outside of the Grove Arcade where artist Carl Pittman of Blue Mountain Bowls was working.  His work was beautiful.  Bowls, Journals, Pens...adding the pen below to my "things I love" list! 

Pen by Carl Pittman from Blue Mountain Bowls.  Beautiful work!

I've heard amazing things about this place Tupelo Honey Cafe.  The wait is always long but that's usually a good sign. This is on my list for one of my next date nights.  

Yay for Used and Rare Books!  Love Bookstores!  This one, The Captain's Bookshelf,  is especially fun to just go and look through.  So far, I haven't had much time to really visit as long as I would like but I did find a really old copy of Jane Eyre that I almost bought.  

Next time I'll actually go inside instead of run by.  
This place, Bouchon, looks like a fun place to go for some French food.  

Love this staircase that leads down to Wall Street.

Dolce Vita is my favorite shop in all of Asheville.  Love going in here.  Love the art, cards, magnets and so much more.  It is small but FULL of ME.  

If you want a place to get some really great HEALTHY Vegetarian food, this is the place to go.  So good.  And So good for you!  Definitely a CRUNCHY VIBE.  Ha!  Laughing Seed Cafe , located on Historic Wall Street, is one of our favorite places to take visitors who like this type of food/vibe. 

Another restaurant on Wall Street that is a MUST.  Early Girl Eatery is the Best breakfast place around.  The wait might be long but it is worth it.  

Would love a date to the Asheville Community Theater.  A good place to take the whole family!  
 And my FAVORITE part of this city run??  Stopping by my husband's work for a kiss.  He even let me take his snapshot:

Have you ever taken a Snapshot Run in your city or a new city that you are visiting?  One where you stop often to capture the places and images that catch your eye or make you want to return?


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Life Smiles

I woke up the other day dreaming about a friend of mine back in Portland.  Gina.  She is one of the happiest people I know.  She just radiates a sense of peace.  Warm.  Friendly.  Loving.  I loved being around her.  I didn't see her very often except for the occasional book club but when I did see her, it made me smile.  And she was usually smiling.  With her whole self.  I felt safe with her.  She is one of those genuinely kind hearted people that sees the good in people and things. We were never that close but I think of her from time to time as a person that I admire.  In my dream, her words were so clear and meaningful. Loud and distinct.  They were the first words I "heard" when I was waking up to the day.  She said something along the lines of Smiling.  Smiling with your heart and looking for the things to smile about because when we SMILE and find those things to focus on, we get MORE of them. This made me smile right away.

Many things make me smile lately.  And the more I've been running consistently again, the more I find myself SMILING and feeling truly excited about life.  I came home from my run last night feeling so 
Not to say that I'm not also feeling a bag of motherhood stress from the end of summer, life stress, personal bumps here and know, all that "stuff" that comes with LIVING. Stuff worth working through.  Life isn't all roses and butterflies all the time.  But with running involved, life sure is more enjoyable.  Easier.  Running brings with it 
A Bigger Sense of ourselves and the possibilities 

Today, I'm making a SMILE LIST.  So many things around my house and in my life that make me smile. Really SMILE.


  • My husband.  So thankful for him.  Gosh, he's so patient with me.  Kind.  Loving.  Giving.  Marriage is work and a good marriage is FAR from perfect.  I see this more and more. After 10 years now, I'm realizing more than ever how easy it is to just "settle" and stop doing the little things that make a marriage strong.  I'm thankful for many chances to keep growing with this man.  I truly want my marriage to flourish...not just last.  But be the part of my life that I hold most dear.  Smiling at the opportunities, wake ups, and desires that I have to work here.  

  • The Gift of Tin for our Ten Year Anniversary.  Not sure what I'll do with this special little card box but for now, I love it on my mantle.  It makes me smile.  

  •  Finding notes of love like this on our family message board in our dining room.  

  • Old Books.  Especially this old book.  I recently went into a bookstore with two of my dearest friends and as they chatted, I wandered through the unique rooms filled with shelves of old and used books.  Gosh, I LOVE bookstores. When I walked in the tucked away room full of art related books, I told myself that I just wanted to find a book that jumped out at me.  Then I found this old 1895 edition of What is Art by Leo Tolstoy.  It was all alone surrounded by newer books.  Just sitting there on a bottomish shelf waiting for me to find it.  And when I did, I instantly fell in love.  Not even that I wanted to read THIS book right away but I fell in love with the look, the feel, the smell, the way it was worn, the repaired pages, the underlining that tells a story in itself (I Love when I get a used book that has been underlined and written in).  Finding this book made my spirit light up. It made me smile. I do plan on reading it but for now, I am finding smiles and joy in just having it in my house, flipping through it, and wondering about the many stories that book can tell from over the years.  Thankful for the GIFT that it is.  

  • Gifts of ART.  This one makes me especially smile because it makes me think of two friends that bring so much love to my life.  Thankful.  It reminds me that life is so much better with safe friends that accept you as you are, support you, listen to you, and love you even though they know about so many of your bags of crap.  True friends are such blessings. 

  • These Girls.  What a treat it was to have them visit me for a Girl Weekend.  My husband packed up and took the kids camping and we were able to just "Be" together.  I have to say, they inspire me on so many levels... running (they are fast), marriage, learning, career.  Just love them.  They make me SMILE.  

  • Beautiful places to run.  I've had many of these moments this summer.  Alone and with friends.  This Smile of a Run was in the White Mountains of New Hampshire but there are lots of runs like this around here.  Nothing quite like getting lost in the beauty of a run.  

  • Of course this image that I shared yesterday.  How can it not make me smile?!

  •  Summer Mornings where we all start our day with reading for 30 minutes.  Big SMILES when this actually happens with all of us at the same time.  

  • Boggle.  I've just started playing this game in the last month or so.  The first time I played it, I got my butt kicked!  It was so hard for me to get my brain thinking in the Boggle way but now I can't get enough of it.  My husband has been humoring me and playing it with me almost every night. This weekend we had some alone time and we played it for much of the day.  So far, I beat him most of the time.  But let's not talk about what happens when we play Cribbage together.  He's the Number man and I'm the one who loves words. 

He may or may not be wordlessly expressing some frustration at not winning here.  Ha!

Other smiles:
  • Reading
  • Sunshine
  • School Starting next week.  Hello Routine!  
  • Having a nature park right by our house that we can walk to in a few short minutes
  • Living downtown in a cute little town
  • That we never stay the same but are always growing and moving on to the next stages of our lives.  
  • A November Marathon (a gift from Brooks) to run for Fun and Travel. Still making final plans here.  More on this soon.   
  • Adirondacks Ragnar relay coming up in September.  I've got my tickets booked to Boston, plans to drive to the start of the relay with friends, and then a day with my friend AM after the relay as I recharge.  Yay!
  • Kids writing letters to family so that I get writing time too.  
  • A healthy body.  
  • Getting a text message from my husband this morning telling me that he NAILED his hard run this morning!  On track for his September Marathon!  So proud of him.  So glad we can share in this sport as something we both love to do.  
I plan on continuing my Life Smile List this week  here.  I like the idea of taking snapshots of things that make me smile.  Some of you might get sick of my #lifesmiles photos but they make me smile so hopefully some of them will make you smile too. 

What are some of your Life Smiles right now?  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Embracing Change; Dancing Through the Downpours

Runninghood has an Instagram now!  Imagine that...finally!
If you can't beat the downpour of rain, throw your hands up and embrace it with one big rain Playdate party! Best summer memory ever!!

I'm laughing to myself because this morning I wrote a really long blog post here and now I've decided to just save it all for myself.  I know some of you already read it and you were probably tired after doing so.  Ha! It was all good stuff ...for me.  Lots of processing as is typical for many of my posts.  But as I drove back from my appointment today, I thought about how just writing the post was enough for me.  It was what I needed...For Me.  And now I'm saving it in my journal, sharing the above picture (because it brings me much joy), deleting the long wordy processing post,  and being happier for it.  Really, it was just a long ramble about something like:

  • Change is hard
  • Change is good
  • Change can bring hard work
  • I'm happier for it
  • I continue to learn from watching my children live life
  • I wouldn't go backwards for all the money in the world
  • Life is Beautiful
  • Despite some hard work, life has brought with it a long overdue exfoliation.  
  • I'm so grateful
  • I feel different.  Life has changed me.  I see things differently.  Think things differently. But my heart feels bigger, my spirit wiser, and my eyes wider.  
  • Excited about things to come.  
  • Life. Is. Good.  Even with the RAINS.  
More soon... so many thoughts running through this head of mine.  In a good way.  Feeling excited about a few things in particular (one of them being a possible marathon) and glad to be embracing some NEWness in my life.  


Saturday, August 10, 2013

I Needed That! Bringing Back the Double Digits.

I've been struck with that glow.  That high.  You know, the one that you can only get from a run.  A longer run for me.  Really, the longest I've run in quite some time.  Considering that my weekly mileage  has probably not been over 20ish miles in awhile, my long run has been a whopping 8 miles, and I skip more days than I run, I'm really really happy that I fit in a 10 mile run today.  I needed it.  Oh, I NEEDED it.  Gosh, I forget how much running serves as therapy for me.  It helps me make sense of this life.  It gives me a peace like nothing else.  When I'm out there running... really running....
talking to myself
setting goals
letting my feet lead the way...
I'm finding myself all over again.
When I take time for these kinds of runs...the kind I had today... I'm giving myself such a gift.

Ended my 10 miles right in front of this.  My initials (before marriage).  With a beautiful red canoe behind them.  I love  seeing beauty in things that I've run by many times but never noticed.  A sign?  Yes, I think so.  I think there are signs everywhere.  This one reminded me that I find MYSELF when I just let go and RUN.  Longer. 

Before my run today, I was just feeling BLAH.  I was angry.  Hurt.  Frustrated.  Missing home.  Realizing how much of a sacrifice it can be to have your partner in the heart of marathon training...especially when you're a stay at home mom and long runs come on the weekend.  And I was SICK to DEATH of the constant and supposedly rare for here RAIN that comes
I mean, I wanted to get away from Portland for lots of reasons but one of the biggest reasons was because of the rain.  The rain.  The Rain.  And more rain.  But funny, Portland is getting one of the most amazing summers it has had in quite some time.  Sunshine.  Blue Skies.  Butterflies.  And I brought all the rain here to Asheville.  It's all downstairs in my flooded basement.  Ha! Ah, Life, you've got a sense of humor, haven't you?

I know,
I know,
The Grass isn't always GREENER.
The rain will follow you if you run from it.  Think Metaphor.

But really, it isn't just the rain.
It's lots of things.
It's being the end of summer.  Those last few weeks where mothers everywhere are throwing their hands up.  We forget what time of year it is.  We forget that routine and structure are just around the corner and our lives are about to get so much easier.  It usually takes me a few days of feeling like I'm going crazy and I need to get my career back before I realize where I'm at in my year.  It takes a few days of dusting off my Masters degree and wondering how I got to this point where I'm wearing a robe at 10:30 while cleaning up messes and listening to three different kids ask me a question as the same. exact. time.  There has to be a name for this.  Moms?  Let's think of a name for this end of summer madness.  This clustery, non-structured, pulling our hair out string of days where we swear we are alone in our madness. Where we wish we would have signed them up for more summer camps.  That time where we would give anything to have a remote control to just shut all three kids off for just 20 stinking minutes.  Just 20 minutes of silence.  20 minutes of just listening to nothing.  20 minutes of shutting off the
Where we don't have to say "WHAT?!" every 3 seconds.

Ah, but yes, yes, we WILL miss this someday so suck it up Moms.  Suck it up.  Right?  This time will go way too fast and then I'll wish I heard the Mom Chorus again.  I'm sure of it.  But it doesn't change my crazy feelings

However, my run sure did change things.  It just makes it all seem a little bit more enjoyable.  And to think I wasn't even going to run today.  So glad I did.

10 miles of just letting it all out.  Just enough time for the rain to stop, the sun to come out, and for me to find a semi-flat area to run in Asheville (VERY RARE).  First mile a very easy 8:50 and last mile 7:30 with finishing at a 7:04 pace.  Nothing spectacular.  Nothing fancy or fast.  But DARN it felt good to just run with my heart.  To just run.  Not because it was in a plan or because I felt like I needed to fit in a run.  But just to RUN!  And believe in myself again.

Amazing how this run has just made everything else so much easier.  It's like looking through a completely different set of "life spectacles".  And you know, I'm determined to keep this feeling going. I've spent too long without running regularly. At least the longer runs.  I need my long runs back.  They are the times in my life where I reconnect with myself the most.  They make me happy. They are my therapy (and I believe we all benefit from therapy).  They make me smile with my whole SELF.  My WHOLE SOUL.  And when we smile with our soul, we put out a really powerful energy into this crazy wonderful universe that will come back to us in a powerful way.

I want this.


Friday, August 9, 2013

See Beautiful

Sitting in my office this morning.
Drinking coffee.
Wishing for more sunshine.
Listening to piano and cello.
Having so many things I want to express but not knowing where to start.
Flipping through my journal.
Seeing Beauty in so many of the things I want to express... life, thoughts, moments...

And then I found this card that was given to me recently.  It is a card from the 2005 Twin Cities Marathon which I've heard from several people to be one of the most beautiful marathons around.  Until today, I don't know that I'd really read the back of this card but this morning as I read it again and again, it struck me...

"To see Beautiful, it must be experienced with all the senses -- It is a fusion of emotions that touch deep into the heart and reveal pictures that need not be seen, but must be lived.  

Beautiful is the dawn's silence, awakened by the rhythmic beating of hearts echoing the footsteps of their past.  Beautiful is the clear, crisp air, drifting softly between towers of steel that stand like giant spectators applauding in the wind.  Beautiful are the lofty oaks releasing crimson petals like raindrops from the sky.  Beautiful is the rippling water as it runs swiftly along your side.  Beautiful is the energizing strength of a sound when it is shaped into music, or a supporting cheer.  Beautiful are the eyes of the young and the old, for they aspire as one.  Beautiful are the memories of those we run for.  Beautiful is the child waiting patiently for a loved one to run by, and Beautiful is the hero that person becomes with a simple kiss blown in the breeze.  Beautiful is a bond between friends -- made inseparable through the miles.  Beautiful are the tears..of frustration, of joy, of accomplishment.  Beautiful are the emotions of one last long mile, lined with stunning faces of people who will never have names.  Beautiful is the final stride and the stories that will now be told -- all of which proclaim, 
"I have seen Beautiful." "  

I'm not sure who the author of this is, but after typing them out, they are more beautiful to me than my first read of them.  It captures so much of the beauty that we find in the marathon... not just the Twin Cities Marathon (I wouldn't know about that one) but the experiences we gain from our marathons.  These words paint a picture...they are ART.  They are beautiful to me.  And I know they will be beautiful to many of you that know this kind of beauty that is expressed.

What's your favorite line from the writing above? Why?   Hard to choose for me but I think mine might be either "Beautiful are the emotions of one last long mile, lined with stunning faces of people who will never have names."  or "Beautiful are the memories of those we run for."  

Happy Friday,