For the last 4 weeks, since my BQ marathon, I haven’t run at all. (I’m letting my stress fracture heal…) And although I said I was going to write down a different “training plan” to make sure I stayed on track with my fitness while taking a break from running, I haven’t done that either.
I know, that sounds bad. But, believe me, it’s been ah-mazing. Turns out, that at least for short periods, I’m totally able to keep myself in shape without being tied down to a running training plan. And yesterday, while I was out on my mountain bike ride, I figured out why…
We’ve been really busy over the last month with lots of family commitments (the kids’ sports, end of the school year ceremonies, family visiting, family birthdays…). Fitting in 10-18 mile runs would have been really tough and stressful. But, sneaking out for unplanned mountain bike rides whenever they fit in, or doing 20 – 30 minute HIIT workouts hasn’t been hard at all. In fact, I get pretty excited when I realize I have time to squeeze something in (instead of worrying and fretting over how I’m going to make time for it).
Initially, my fear was that if I took this approach, I would never actually feel like exercising and I would end up out of shape and miserable. So far, that hasn’t been the case. What I figured out yesterday while enjoying my challenging bike ride is that it’s important to me to stay healthy and fit so that I’m ready to do anything. Over the past few months I’ve had more than one situation where I’ve invited someone to join me on a hike, a run, or a mountain bike ride, and they’ve turned me down because they just didn’t think they could do it. Even though I insist that we can go slow and just have fun, they don’t think they are in good enough shape to do it. And, each time, there has been a sense of sadness and regret from each person.
I don’t want to have any regrets when it comes to how I take care of my body. If someone tells me I won a trip to hike the Grand Canyon, or the PCT, or the Appalachian trail or anything else, I don’t want to ever have to pause and question whether or not I could do it. I want to be ready and confident that I can do just about anything at any time. And if life throws something horrible my way, like cancer or some other terrible sickness, I want to be ready to take that on too.
So ya see, right now I’m not following a training plan for another big race. Right now I’m training for life.
And more adventures, of course.
Sparkle.Pounce.Train For Life.
“A dork is someone who can be themselves and not care what anyone thinks.” – Urbandictionary.com
Ummmmm….if this is the definition of a dork, sign me up! This is what I strive for every day in my life, and it’s what I try to teach my kids to do. Because, if we are always worried what others think, how can we ever figure out who we really are?
Admittedly, swimsuits are not my favorite article of clothing. Every year, I search for a suit that is just right…it needs to be cut high enough on the thighs that my legs don’t look like sausages, not too revealing (I’m a mom…), comfortable so that I can play with my kids and not worry about constantly having to readjust, and just all around flattering. This “search” for the perfect suit has been going on for about 15 years. I’m not kidding. Every year I try on a million suits, and settle for one that’s not totally awful, but I never love it. Until this year…
I finally found a suit that I love! But, what I think may have actually happened is that I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. I really don’t think my body is that much different than in the past, but I just don’t care anymore. It is what it is, and I realize that all of us women are the same. Maybe 0.5% of us actually look like those girls in the Victoria’s Secret magazines, and I’m not one of them! But that’s okay 🙂
Who I am is someone who loves me. Do I love the cellulite on my thighs? Nope. But it’s part of this package that makes up who I am, so I’ll take it.
I want to be a dork, 100% of the time.
And as long as I’m happy with myself, that’s all that matters.
Sparkle.Pounce.Be a dork.
I love adventure. I also love attaching the word “adventure” to anything that might even come close to resembling an adventurous experience. Because, let’s be honest, the definition of adventure is, “an exciting or very unusual experience,” and I can convince my kids that just about anything will be exciting, especially if it’s a new experience.
What that means is that my kids love adventure nearly as much as I do, and there’s a small chance that they also overuse the word.
(Other words that are currently overused at my house include: dude, bro’, swag, seriously…)
Even a three mile, dirt road bike ride can turn into an adventure. All you need to do is pack a backpack with snacks, water, and walkie talkies, and boom! Adventure!
Another adventure that the boys and I have taken up this summer is geocaching. Basically, what this is, is wilderness treasure hunting. There are thousands of “caches” hidden around the world at different coordinates, just waiting to be found. So, with the help of the geocaching app, GPS, and a determination to keep on looking, you can find hidden “treasures”!
This is one of three caches that we found hidden on the trails of Addison Oaks County Park. It took us about 3 hours and 2.5 miles of hiking and searching, and it was AWESOME! I have finally discovered a way to get my boys excited to hike the trails. Real life hidden treasures don’t happen every day!
One week from tomorrow my husband, two boys, and I take off on our very first family drive across the country to backpack in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. I’m pretty stinkin’ excited about that adventure! But, my goal is to look forward to every new day with the same excitement and know that it is filled with possibility.
Sparkle.Pounce.Make Every Day An Adventure.
Yesterday morning I was doing a yoga workout (Jillian Michaels on YouTube…that chick means business!) in the living room. My 4 year old son, Finn, was on the mat next to me trying to follow along (so cute). We were about 15 minutes into the workout and I was holding a difficult pose. Finn looked at me and asked why my arms were shaking. I responded that the pose was very hard to hold and my muscles were tired. In a completely serious tone he said, “Don’t hold it anymore Mom. You don’t have to listen to her.” I laughed and told him that I was going to hold it for as long as I could so that I could become stronger. He simply said, “Okay,” and that was that.
I like to think that in that moment, I taught him something. Just because something is difficult does not mean that we have to quit doing it. It is the difficult things that make us stronger. Unfortunately, I know that my kids are watching me all day long, and I’m not always setting the example for them that I want to set. I need to work on being more patient with them. I need to work on looking at them when they’re talking to me and giving them my full attention. I often wonder what they really think about me. If something happened to me today, how would they remember me ten years from now?
“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.” -Dr.Suess
I want to make this my new motto. If I were thinking about this more throughout my day, I’m sure that my behaviors would change. I wouldn’t hit snooze and go back to bed when my 5:30 alarm goes off for a morning run. I wouldn’t forget to send birthday cards in the mail. I wouldn’t tell my kids I was too tired to go play outside. Instead, I’d throw on a cape, pretend to be super woman, and always do what I knew was best for everyone else, not just what was easiest for me. Because I know that it is not the easy things in life that make us great. It’s the things that are the most difficult, that we do not give up on, that show who we truly are.
**This blog was originally published to Kendra’s personal blog “Always Wear Your Invisible Cape” in 2013
Yesterday was my birthday. And although I realize that 35 is not “old”, it’s still older than I’ve ever been, so it’s kind of an intimidating number. Luckily, I don’t feel old at all. In fact, I feel pretty awesome.
For my special day, I took a couple of hours away from my family to go mountain biking by myself. It was a much needed break, as my 6 year old had just had a monster sized melt down that really tested my patience. And, since joining him in my own tantrum and yelling something like, “It’s my birthday! You can’t act like this!” didn’t seem completely appropriate, I was lucky to have my husband tell me that that seemed like the perfect time for me to take my bike ride. AGREED.
I don’t know if it’s because I can’t run right now (because of my leg injury), or because it was my birthday, or because the woods were so green and beautiful, but that bike ride was stinkin’ amazing! It filled me with pure joy and made me feel MUCH younger than 35 🙂
And while I was racing down hills, powering up hills, rubbing bugs out of my eyes, and dodging tree branches, I realized that I want nothing more than to be able to do crazy, fun, adventurous stuff like that for as long as possible. So, I’m going to keep living this healthy, active lifestyle, and hopefully, on my 75th birthday I will still be writing about my amazing mountain bike rides that left me feeling like a little kid again.
Sparkle.Pounce.Live Life Now.
If you know me at all, you know that I struggle with not having a definite goal. So, every time I cross a finish line, I go through a phase of discontent. At first there’s the high that accompanies the major accomplishment. But that is followed shortly by a bit of panic and an unsettling feeling, because I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing if I’m not following a plan.
This time is no different. I trained hard for 5 months, and achieved something I never thought I could do…qualified for the Boston Marathon.
During the last couple months of my training I was nursing a sore shin. Compression socks and sleeves were a permanent accessory, high heels were out of the question, and my ice pack saw quite a bit of action. It’s been a few years since I’ve had a stress fracture, but I know what they feel like. I’ve had plenty. They start out manageable, and then they’re not. Luckily, I was able to finish my training and my race with tolerable pain.
The next couple of days after my race, my shin was screaming at me for putting it through that. But then, as the week went on, it calmed down and I had zero pain….until I decided to go for my first run. And, actually during the run the discomfort was minimal. The next morning, however, was a different story. My body was definitely telling me it needs a break from running.
Which is funny because my appetite is telling me a different story… So, now I’m left in a place I don’t like to be. I have no training plan on the calendar. I have no race to train for. And my body wouldn’t let me even if I did.
Instead of completely freaking out about this
I definitely freaked out on the inside but have restrained from an outward meltdown, I have recruited some friends to help keep me accountable. I don’t have an official workout schedule written down yet, but I will soon! It’s going to be a combination of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), biking, and maybe even possibly some swimming (cringe!).
For me, it’s all about keeping it fun, finding a way to be held accountable, and sticking to a plan.
I got this.
Because I’m a pretty persistent little bugger.
Sparkle.Pounce.Stick To It.