This Crazy Life

Eventually I will get back to “Living in the Present While Reflecting on the Past.” Ideas flow through my brain like marbles down a staircase. Sometimes it’s not pretty. Although, I think marbles are pretty. Most of them anyway.

I’m a feeler. You know the type-we like to FEEL things! I guess I have always learned about my world this way. The squishy feeling of play-doh, the cool grass on bare feet (except when you step in dog poop-yuck-squishes between your toes)! The feeling of the wind on my face, soft puppy fur, a cool shower after a run or working out in the yard.

I have always been a hair twister. Nervous habit maybe. It somehow is comforting. Some people smoke, some people twirl hair. Don’t judge me!!! Whatever it takes to calm the soul. Running calms my soul. Music calms my soul as well. Music is the universal language.

Have you ever been so down on yourself to the point of being disgusted? I have. I think being a mother is the most challenging, frustrating, rewarding thing in life. Yet-when you are a “feeler,” your soul doesn’t let you forget. A mother holds things in her heart forever-the good, the bad, the great, the sad. Things that she wished she could go back and change, yet she knows that life is not that way, and that she did the best that she could with the circumstances at hand at the time.

Mental pain-it is a real thing. It is much worse than physical pain. Physical pain eventually comes to an end-unless it is a chronic physical pain that you just get used to . I think this is why I have such a high pain tolerance. Physical pain is nothing compared to some of the mental anguish that I have been through. I think that is somewhat of  a good thing. It helps me get through life-this crazy life. And sometimes I feel like Bat Woman.

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What I think I look like running

Hope to see you out on the roads or trails,

Stephanie

Living in the Present; Reflecting on the Past (Part I)

Today was a day of firsts for many, in my town at least. It was the first day back to school after summer vacation. What??? Wait a minute. The calendar still says August and the thermometer is registering 90 degrees. In fact, I cut my planned seven mile run down to four today because I didn’t get out until 1:00 p.m. I truly do not understand the concept of starting school this early. What ever happened to starting the day after Labor Day?

Ah, the ponderables of life! I don’t know when the powers that be decided to start school in the middle of August, but for the record, I think it is ridiculous (Disclaimer: this is MY blog, with MY opinions. If you do not like what I say that is fine. Leave a comment and frankly my dear, I do NOT give one good DAMN)!

Okay, now that that is off my chest, let’s move on shall we? After seeing all the facebook posts of others’ back to school photos, I am SO thankful that that period of my life is over. It was fine at the time, because that was the season of life that I was in, but I do not miss it one iota! Thankfully, my kids are all grown and married. I have had an “empty nest” for quite some time. It is the natural flow of things.

I remember my first day of kindergarten. I DID NOT want to be there. I remember screaming and crying when my mom left. It was SO different than what kids experience now. It was in a little building called “Washington School.” Only kindergarten was held there. It was my first real social experience.

I can only recall a few things that happened there, like the boy eating the string when we were playing some game with marshmallows, and of course, the dreaded “nap time” on the mats. I always got in trouble for fidgeting and giggling. Such a concept, kindergarten.

At any rate, summer IS winding down. School starting at crazy times or not, some things never change and are not controlled my mankind. Take for instance this little guy:_20160816_201453

I say “guy” because it is the male that makes the loud shrill droning noise. “He” got in my house and was very noisy! He was whisked out and I found him dead the next day out in the yard (it is an educated guess that it was him). That familiar noise of the cicada in this part of the good old U.S.A. is a familiar sound of the end of summer. I always thought they were cute little creatures. Those big old eyes had me at “hello!”

It got me to reflecting on other aspects of summer as a kid. I don’t mind extremely hot weather that much because I didn’t grow up with an air conditioner for a good portion of my childhood. When we did get it, it was a window unit that froze the room it was in, but the bedrooms were still relatively hot. What was central air? Fans were put in the hallway to try to blow the cooler air to the bedrooms. Being overly hot and going indoors was a real treat. I spent most of my time outdoors riding my bike, going on adventures in the woods, going to the pool, playing in the hose, catching snakes and toads, or just hanging out. It was the best of times. Then when the frigid window unit made me too cold, I would go back outside to get warmed up!

Drive In movies were always a fun summer thing to do. My mom would pop big paper grocery sacks full of popcorn, load up the neighborhood kids, and we’d all go to the drive in. My mom made sure we had a fun childhood to the best of her ability, even though she worked full time.

I think about my parents a lot and how they have affected my life. My mother was 20 years old when she married my dad on his 30th birthday. Ironically, I married the first time at 20 and my daughter recently got married at age 20. The apples don’t fall too far from the trees evidently. My mother gave me her wedding dress from 1958  and I have had their cake topper for many years.

I look at these two people and wonder what they saw in each other. I heard so many stories growing up from my paternal grandmother (who was my primary babysitter), but I was a child. I know that my dad was married once before, very briefly. My childhood was pretty turbulent. Though I love these two people very much, their legacy lives on in their children-some good, some bad. It is by trying to make sense of the past that I am trying to make sense of the present.

Come on this journey with me, won’t you? Maybe you can add to the tapestry that weaves itself together in this thing called life. Maybe we aren’t so different. Maybe we can learn from each other. I hope so.

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I have 7 weekends of racing starting this weekend. Hope to see you out on the roads or trails!

Stephanie

Breaking Out Again (of this rut I’m in)

May  I be painfully honest? I have really not felt like running since Grandma’s Marathon on 6/18/16. In fact, I’ve really not felt like doing much of anything-except sleeping! It’s summer for goodness sake, what’s WRONG with me???

I tend to internalize crap that I shouldn’t. Like having a crappy race experience when I know I am capable of so much better! Oh there are other things like not hearing from my kids for weeks, worrying about my mother’s health, and thinking about the project I need to get done for work. Some things are out of my hands, this I realize. Other things, like knowing I should be training more (or better) are completely in my control!untitled (89)

I refuse to blame it on age, because I have always believed that age is a number. We get out of anything what we put into it. I know 90 year old people that have more energy and spunk than a lot of 40 year olds (and younger). I am definitely not a lazy person, but I have discovered that I am definitely one who gets bored easily. I thrive under pressure. I am always looking for that new experience and adventure.

I have never followed just ONE running plan. I tend to glean from a few different ones and adjust them to my schedule. I also admit, that as a nurse on my feet for 12 hours for 2 days in a row completely drains me mentally and physically. Running is usually my outlet, but then again, I have been in a rut of sorts.

So I decided that I needed something more. I need accountability to help me get through the rough spots. So once again, I hired a trainer to get me to the finish line of my next marathon pain free and under 4 hours. The last time I did this was early 2014 before my first Boston qualifier. It’s so easy to get lax when one doesn’t have someone pushing them and expecting more out of them. PLUS, when I have spent the $, I expect to get my money’s worth! It is definitely no quick fix. I MUST put in the work!

Variety is the key. I love being around people who are constantly trying to better themselves and do not accept mediocrity. The dumbing down of our society as a whole is so frustrating! I have mentioned before that I am SO thankful for the high school teachers who pushed me and didn’t let me get away with less than my best! I will forever be grateful for my college prep teacher who instilled in me a HUGE vocabulary!

So once again, discipline is key. July first will be the start of my training for the Marine Corps Marathon this fall. No more rest days when I need to be training. No more talking myself into less miles than I should be running. I need to “get out of my head” and be a little selfish with my time.

Would I like my kids to visit/contact me more? Certainly! Would I like for my mother to be completely healthy? Of course! But those are two things that are completely out of my control. What is in my control is the goals I have for myself and the steps it takes to get there. That means core work every day even when I’m sore and running when I don’t feel like it! 049c711c262d57cf3909b8a1cfa92bb7

Everyone experiences low spots in life, it is the human experience. Realizing that  you are not alone is a major step to breaking out of ruts, no matter what it may be. Maybe it’s not running. Maybe it’s life in general. The news media certainly doesn’t help with making our world a cheery place. Depression is real. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is treatable, and you are not alone. You are not a weirdo or a freak of society.

This month marks 7 years that someone I was close to chose to take her life. She is missed every day and her contribution to society is forever gone. It doesn’t have to be this way. Reach out-there are people who truly care and can help you through this rough spot.

Sometimes we can get so down on ourselves that we can’t see the beauty of our lives for what it really is. ALL lives matter. Whatever you’re going through, don’t let it defeat you!

“I choose to be strong by being soft and pliable rather than inflexible, brittle, and hard.”–Affirmation by Wayne Dyer from Living the Wisdom of the Tao, verse 76

Hope to see you out on the road or trails!

Stephanie

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255