Monday, September 21, 2015

Laughter Makes the Best....


I cannot tell you the last time I laughed this much! 

Like stomach muscles hurt!

This weekend kicked off with my bestie & I taking our older daughters out for a little date night picking up our 5k race packets & some homemade root beer and pizza. Oh boy, did we laugh! My daughter, Jacee & her best friend are too much fun together! Their friendship is refreshing to watch: there is no judgement, complete openness & comfort with each other! They are simply themselves, there is no pretending! Something that seems to be hard to come by much of the time!

Saturday morning, again with my bestie & her family, we ran the 5k for Breast Cancer! I stayed with my Jacee & it was such a joy! She did amazing running every step of the way! There is just something about crossing that finish line with your daughter....

From there, we ran home to shower & pack before we ran back out the door so that I could attend a team meeting for my health + fitness business at  my upline's home! I absolutely LOVE being around like-minded & passionate people! 

After that, my girls were off to stay the night with their best friends & my bestie, Roberta, & I headed out to Lansing for the half-marathon part of our weekend!

We ate food....a lot of food! 

We walked across the road from our hotel to go sit & enjoy a pre-race drink! Of course, we made friends that were a riot to talk to!
Then, we laughed for hours as we tried to fall asleep!! 

Finally, Sunday Race day arrived! After about 4 in the morning, I could not sleep. I was so incredibly nervous! I was not trained for this & can't say I have even worked out as hard or as much in the past few months as I have in the past few years. It's that adrenaline rush in the pit of your stomach...the same one I would get before pitching a big softball game! 

The thing is....putting yourself at the start line is putting yourself out there with a good chance of failing. So many times since beginning running before I sign up for a race, I will honestly ask myself "but what if you fail & everyone knows?" Finally....I realize the only true failure is in not trying; its me not putting myself out there to fail & refusing to step outside of my comfort zone.

You stand there at the start line & although you are trying to pep talk yourself up; there are always doubts.

This was not my best race but it went better than what I had set myself up for! If I would take away my stop in McDonald's (not for fries! But for the restroom - I didn't have time to wait in line before the race started) at about miles 4-5 & me stealing half a roll of toilet paper to blow my nose (I NEVER forget kleenex - first time for everything!!) with for the next 5 miles thanks to the onset of my cold, along with some excruciating foot pain I might have pulled off a pretty decent time! Not to mention, although a beautiful course, it felt like I was going up & down constant hills! For real....not much flat ground! 

My bestie rocked the heck out of her run smashing her previous half-marathon time! I was like a proud mama!!! 

Such a great weekend! Being able to share in these race journeys with someone else makes it a million times better! We laughed so hard all weekend, challenged each other, pushed each other for what is next & enjoyed every mile! All 16.2 of them!
 Until Next Time~

Friday, September 18, 2015

At My Best?

A year ago....

I was in the best shape of my life.

I was getting ready to step my feet up to the starting line of an extremely difficult challenge.

A day that would change me.

A journey that already had changed me.

As I look back, part of me quickly points out that I am not the same person, almost as if I have gone backwards.

Physically, she is right....I am not at my best.

I cannot knock out a five mile easy run like it is nothing. I cannot hold a plank for minutes. I cannot squat a ridiculous amount of squats before I take a break. There are even clothes in my closet that I don't like the way they fit right now.

But, on the other hand, I think I am at my best. Honestly, I am incredibly happy at this point in time.

At this time last year I had only been separated for a short time. I had endured daily struggles adjusting my life to what would become my new normal.

Since a year ago, I have traveled through divorce which is scary, emotional, stressful, depressing,....adjusting myself & my girls while learning to balance being single & keeping my girls' needs as my number one. 

I have had many fights, sleepless nights, tears dealing with my daughter's health: testing, trial & errors of different regimens, decisions on surgery, & now finding the right recipe for her regimen still so her nights can be pain-free.

There has been a lot of life, a lot of changes, in the past year. Yes, at times, my fitness has had to be pushed to the side a little here & there.

But, today I think I am at my best. In the past year I have learned so much about myself, grown so much. I have learned to truly love exactly the person I am, regardless of who loves me or who does not want to accept my imperfections. 

It is SO incredibly freeing to feel like this!!! 

I know that I am enough; I am me. I have changed my life & built my present & my future to be around those who do love me for the person I am, the ones that push me to be better, those who believe in me & my dreams. I will never forget the people who were there to support me whether it was during my adjustments to single, my daughter's surgery time or my dream as a health + fitness coach.

I have followed a passion of mine that I have been dreaming about for years - becoming a health + fitness coach to help others, to encourage others. I want to help change lives, I want to help shape the future one person at a time. I was led to the exact right person at the exact perfect moment in time to take this leap of faith.

So, this weekend I will be running a half-marathon. Nope, I am not planning on a PR. I am not even planning on running every stride. I have not trained for this; although I tried time & time again - my biggest focus lately has been on my daughter & that has simply taken so much of my time but also my energy. Sure, I got in a few miles here & there but not what I intended. I can say that I am proud that I haven't quit; I haven't given up.

But, this weekend is not about the medal or the finish time. First, it is about my buddy, Kingsley, who is my coach & I am his running legs. Secondly, it is about running & being with my bestie who has been such a rock for me in the past year. Without her, I don't know where I would be today. Third, its for my girls, like always. They are proud of mom & her running & I truly believe that it is showing them a wonderful example.

Last, but not least, this weekend is about the journey in the past year. A journey, truly, of a thousand miles. My past has had many dark moments, but my present is glowing with such a bright light. There is no doubt in my mind that next year I will be ready for a full marathon again after a year filled with amazing love, endless laughter & incredible people to share every step with. 

Until Next Time~

Thursday, September 3, 2015

This Would Not Have Been the Outcome

Tonight was a night that once never would have happened.

A night where once the outcome would have been different.

A picture like this would have never been taken or shared:

My laundry basket that was supposed to be tackled sits untouched in the background.

My kitchen sink got left like this:

However, I was supposed to be in dream land by 10:30 & here I sit awake & writing.

This was a night where our routine did not go well. My little Bear ended up a mess from her nighttime routine. It was a night of awful pain from her cramps to loud screams and big tears that led to her getting sick. It was a very intense two hours. All three of us girls ended with tears.

Sheer exhaustion hit us all by the end. My plan of getting a load of laundry done never happened. My kitchen didn't get cleaned like normal. My ab workout I had intended to do was left undone.

Once both my girls drifted off to sleep, I grabbed my yoga mat. I needed to unwind, to settle, to stop & take a deep breath in the moment.

There was a time where I would have turned elsewhere. I would have poured a glass of wine...and chances are a second glass. There was a time I would have gone to the kitchen & shoved whatever I could find in my mouth at a ridiculous fast pace with really zero idea of what I consumed.

As I allowed my body to stretch & relax, I found myself lost in a moment of self-pride. Proud that I was allowing myself to not be perfect & letting the laundry & dishes to stay untouched for tonight. Proud that I turned to a healthy activity versus trying to de-stress via ways that were not ever going to provide my any true comfort (Don't get me wrong here....there are nights still where I will be pouring myself a glass of wine & will enjoy it very much!! But because I want it & not for comfort).

I'm growing daily to love the imperfect me. The me that doesn't have to finish her to do list. The mom that isn't afraid to allow the day's events to lead her to tears. The woman that loves & respects her body & treats it that way.

There was day I would have been ashamed to admit most of this. But, I have promised myself to show the real me; never fake & not simply the highlight reel of my life.

Tonight, I had tears, I was stressed, I felt defeated. But, the changes in me I saw at the end of the night is allowing me to lay my head on my pillow now feeling & believing that "it will get better."

Until Next Time~