Friday, November 28, 2014

Long time, no blog...

Long time, no blog.

Where have I been? Well, the truth is I have been all over the place. Two months with my running injury has had me running around like a mad woman trying to get back to my happy place.

No bueno.

Painful runs. Pity parties. Renewed strength followed by giving up. Stops. Starts. A few extra pounds. 3 chiropractor visits. Gym substitutions. A tryst of physical therapy. One that netted me a creepy winking doctor watching me do pelvic thrust exercises and sending me off with exercises he referred to as my love note. Oye vay.

The latter was the final push to see the serious guys regarding my running injury. I made an appointment with the local orthopedic group. The doctor there suspects I have torn the meniscus in my knee. I have an MRI scheduled next week to confirm his theory. If the doctor is right and I have a tear, he said the only fix will be surgery. The good news is that he said if you have to have knee surgery, it's the best one to have. He promised I would be running again after the surgery in a month, which means I should be able to make my May marathon goal.

Deep breath.

I left with mixed emotions. I've said all along that I just wanted a diagnosis. I usually do better with knowing rather than not knowing. But the truth is that even knowing, I've still been struggling. I'm struggling to stay positive. My wise friend likened finally having a diagnosis to standing at the edge of a mountain rather than an abyss. That visual has helped me a ton. It's helped me realize also though, that I'm having a hard time finding the strength to face the daily view of the mountain. Some days I feel alone and it feels insurmountable. Other days I feel invincible and determined to get to the top. It's a daily chore, sometimes an hourly chore, to stay positive and keep my perspective.

I've been reflecting on all this a ton. My blog was meant to be positive and to inspire others through my running. How do you do that when you aren't running? How do you inspire others when you don't feel consistently inspired yourself? My writing inspiration has been MIA. I've realized that I have defined myself as a runner who writes. Simple enough, right? Makes sense, right? Except if I believe that then who I am is defined by what I do. If I'm not running I'm not a writer.

Not true.

This is all stuff I have realized before and stuff I thought I already knew and yet here I am. Apparently I didn't know as much as I thought I did. In fact I recently wrote about all this as I was contemplating what this is really about. What the heck is the lesson in all this?

I once heard a speaker ask the question, who are we, really? This is what he said...

We are not what we do.
We are not what we have.
We are not what other people say we are.

Ok. So then who am I?

I run.
But if I am not the runner, who am I?
I write.
But if I am not the writer, who am I?
I own beautiful possessions.
But if I were to own none, who am I?
I am called the Director of Operations.
But if I am not really, who am I?

Here's what I decided.

I am that which awakens when I feel my heart pounding when I run. I am the peace that travels through the wind from a far away place that connects me to something I can't explain.
I am the essence that I clothe in words hoping to connect myself with the world.
I am the kindness and love I seek to express in the job I have chosen to do.
And the culmination of all this was captured perfectly by a friend...
I am what drives me and the consequence is apparent in what I do, have or am.

None of these realizations make me miss running any less. I still long to get back out there. But it does make me pause and recognize that what I love to do is simply an outlet to reveal who I already am deep inside. So today I've created space for my writing. I realized I've been making excuses.

I'm not running so I can't write my blog
No one wants to hear my thoughts outside the context of running.
I don't have the proper space to write in.
Blah, blah, blah.

The truth is, they are all excuses. All of them. I can write even when I'm not running. I can create time and space for writing.

The truth is, I have been afraid to write and post my blog since I haven't been running because I have defined myself by running. I have defined myself by something I do.

But you know what? I'm so much more than just a chick who loves to run and write about it. I need to get over myself. And until I can hit the road again and get back out there I will be writing about that chick on here. I will be sharing my struggle and journey to overcome this injury and stay healthy. I will be sharing who I am rather than just something I do until I reach my next starting line. And will reach the next starting line :)

Just like I realized after finishing the marathon a mere two months ago, everything really happened when I named my dream and started training for it, not when I crossed a finish line.

And so, once again, I am humbly reminded that life really has so little to do with the destination, and everything to do with the journey. I'm hoping you'll decide to stick with me on mine.

Friday, November 7, 2014

When the student is ready....

I've had some major writer's block since completing my first marathon 6 weeks ago. I continue to struggle with a leg injury from my big day and my morale and writing have really suffered. 

Another blogger and friend is interviewing other runners for a fitness series he is doing (PS His story is amazing and you can check him out at ) 

So I have been sitting on his interview questions far too long. Ironically, in finally sitting down to write my answers, I came across an old blog post I had written in 2013, the very first time I ever dared dream of running a marathon. Reading it was a good reminder that I gave up fear a long time ago. It reminded me to be brave in a new decision and dream I am currently contemplating. It's funny how when you set out to do something for someone else, it often times circles back to you. Thanks Fred :)

He asked the question if I had ever run as a kid and I had this flashback to a funny story from high school.......

Written June 19, 2013

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.....

I actually had the nerve to google training for a marathon last night! I know, crazy…right?? It was a pretty bold act because to even entertain the thought of running 26.2 miles with only an 11 mile long run seems absurd even to me! But much to my surprise, after looking at the training I humbly and apprehensively thought, Hmm

I couldn’t help thinking about my marathon running neighbor telling me that if you finish a marathon you are automatically a 1%-er. I’m not exactly sure what that meant but I liked it immediately. Stay tuned :)

Still thinking about my gutsy google search over my morning coffee today, I had a funny high school flashback. I was 15 or 16 years old and my friend and I decided to try out for cross country. Our reasoning for doing this escapes me. Here we were, girly girls with zero experience in any sport other than cheer leading, huffing and puffing down Maple Avenue, dead last behind a pack of runners that had become black specks in the distance. I vividly remember the coach driving by as we happened to be resting by a tree asking each other why the heck we were doing this.

“Come on ladies,” he shouted. “Move it! At the very least walk”.

Man did that tick me off! I remember thinking, who the heck is this pudgy little man driving in his teenie tiny compact car to tell me to move it? 

So we did what any other teenage girls would do. One of us watched for him and we hid & rested behind random parked cars when we saw him circling by as we made our way down Maple Avenue back to Notre Dame. 

And that marked my first and last time running for 25 years.

Today I started wondering why something I hated as a kid suddenly became so meaningful to me 25 years later. I decided the answer might be in a quote I had heard a long time ago…

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear”

So at 41, I’m finally laced up and ready to learn! And as shallow as it may be I secretly wish my past skeptics and even my pudgy little cross country coach would drive by and see me now! I wouldn’t hide behind a parked car today. I have 41 years of maturity and wisdom behind me.

In the spirit of the wise quote….

Sometimes when the pudgy shouting teacher appears the student is ready. To shout back, take a look at me now, buddy! Happy Friday!