I have tried to write this post a few times now, but just haven’t been able to get it right. And I’m probably still not going to, but I’m going to give it a try.
Last week, I got to run the Boston Marathon.
And…Holy. Moly. It was everything I could have possibly dreamed it would be. And more. It was something I had worked so hard for, for so long, and it did not disappoint. Here’s a glimpse of our weekend in Boston.
During the few days leading up to the marathon, and the few days following the marathon, I was completely overwhelmed with love and support from friends and family near and far. I mean, over-the-top support. The kind of support that actually left me feeling completely unworthy.
Because, here’s the thing. I was out there literally living my dream. I was getting to do something that I honestly never thought I was going to get to do. And the only reason I was able to do that was because of everyone who loved and supported me on this journey.
When I attempted to earn a spot in that race the traditional way, by running a fast enough qualifying time, I failed. More than once. So I worked at earning a charity spot. And there’s zero chance that I could have gotten that charity spot by myself. Angela (my honored hero for LLS) wrote me a letter of recommendation. Janet Harden (Michigan’s LLS Woman of the Year fundraiser) convinced the Michigan chapter representative for LLS to write me a letter of recommendation. And SO MANY people donated to my page long before I was even chosen to be a part of Team in Training and run Boston. All of those things ARE the reason I got to run across the finish line on Boylston Street last Monday.
So, instead of me hearing how awesome I am and that I’m a rock star, what needs to be happening is that I need to be saying that to every single one of you that has shown me love and support. YOU are the reason I got to go live my dream out in Boston last week. I honestly can never thank you enough. Not only did you help me earn a spot in the race, but you blew my fundraising goal out of the stinking water!
Did I mention that I was absolutely terrified of the original $10,000 goal that I set for myself when I first applied to LLS? Yes. Terrified. That’s so much money. And yet, somehow I ended up with OVER $20,000 raised for CANCER RESEARCH! Unbelievable.
People have asked me how I was able to raise that much money. It’s a hard question to answer because it’s not like there was one big event that brought it all in. But, in the same way, it’s easy to answer. SO MANY PEOPLE SUPPORTED ME. That is the answer. I had a few amazing fundraisers that lots of people attended. I had my husband and his friend Erick volunteer to charter fishing trips. I had my friend, Adrienne, host a fundraiser. I had another friend, Kristen, whose company does matching funds and donates money on behalf of employees. Janet H and her “Mission: Is Possible” campaign were a huge support. My mom and her countless hours of work organizing the basketball fundraiser and making items for the bowling fundraiser. The company I work for (The Romine Group) and all of the principals of their schools that showed their support. Michelle did an online fundraiser early on to help get me started. The Nall’s, the Demings, and the Bedients who all wanted to get me to that $20,000 mark and made donations to make that happen! And SO MANY more. Every single one of you that shared my fundraising page, made a donation, came to a fundraiser, whatever it was, YOU are what made my dream come true. I know I’m leaving people out and I am so sorry. It’s nearly impossible to list all of you because the love just didn’t stop!
So, every time I think about the Boston Marathon and just how incredibly awesome it was, I can’t help but think about all of the people that got me there. You are the true rock stars.
I’ve been somewhat addicted to a Netflix series over the last few months that is not my typical kind of show. It’s like watching a car wreck. You just stare at it and can’t look away. It’s awful and tragic and sad and shocking.
I have finally come to the realization that I envy the lack of expectations that are set for these characters. If anything, the expectation is that they are going to mess up. They ALL screw up. Constantly. And hardly anyone cares. And if they do, forgiveness is quickly granted and everyone gets on with their lives. All of their garbage is laid out for everyone to see, and yet, life goes on.
For me, and for many people, that is not the case. The expectation is that we are going to do the right thing. Make the right choice. Be the bigger person… And, every time that we succeed at that, the expectations get higher and higher. And with bigger expectations comes a bigger fear of letting people down.
This is something I need to work on.
Often, I only want people to see the good stuff. Deep down I worry that if everyone knew about all of the imperfections in my life, they would be disappointed. And I really hate disappointing people.
The truth is that we all carry stuff around that we don’t want people to see. Whether it’s addiction, debt, unfaithfulness, eating disorders, OCD, loneliness, guilt, fear… Every single one of us carries something. We are not alone with our imperfections, and we’re certainly not the only ones trying to hide them.
But here’s the deal. We can carry that stuff around and still be pretty great people. I don’t have to show you all of my junk. You just need to know that it’s there.
Instead, I can keep showing you the good stuff.
Yup. I definitely prefer sharing the good stuff.
***Sidenote: I’ve been reading the book Present Over Perfect because a couple of friends recommended it to me (thanks, girls!) and I HIGHLY recommend it!
I had one of those amazing runs today where you get lost in your thoughts and lose track of how many miles you’ve run and how many miles you have to go. One of the things that I spent a lot of time thinking about was my fundraising for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I was thinking about how it is kind of selfish that I’m not satisfied with having already met my original goal of raising $14,000, but instead feel like I won’t be happy unless I reach the $20,000 mark. And I kept asking myself why that was. Why isn’t $19,462 enough? That’s A LOT of money! And, I think I found an answer. But, in order to really explain it, I feel like I have to go alllllll the way back to the beginning and tell my whole story. So here goes…(Sorry, it’s a long one).
I ran my first marathon in Alaska in 2002. My goal for that marathon was to finish in under 5 hours. I did accomplish that goal, but it was unbelievably hard and defeating.
After that experience, I was too scared to run another marathon until 8 years later. 8 YEARS! Marathons are stinkin’ hard!
Once I got back into distance running, I realized that one thing I love about marathons is how much they make you stronger, mentally. For a while, my only goal for each of my races was to not feel like I wanted to quit, to enjoy the run, and to know that I would finish (all things that I did not experience in my first marathon). Speed was never my goal, and it was not something that I thought was realistic for me. I always envied the fast runners, but didn’t associate myself with that crowd. The Boston Marathon was a bucket list goal of mine that I hoped to reach when I was much older. I figured if I kept running marathons and maintained my pace, I’d eventually qualify for Boston when I was around 60 years old. (I’m serious.)
Finally, I had successfully finished enough marathons that I decided to aim a bit higher and try to break 4 hours. I didn’t really do any speed work for my training, but somehow, I managed to accomplish that goal on my first try at the Lansing Marathon in 2014 with a time of 3 hours 58 minutes. This was a new personal record (PR) for me by about 20 minutes.
I was feeling confident, and devoted my next year of training to trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I would need to finish a marathon in under 3 hours 40 minutes (an average pace of 8:20/mile). Again, that would mean shaving 20 minutes off of my previous PR. I registered for the Bayshore Marathon and worked my butt off preparing for that race. Going into it, I didn’t feel like I absolutely knew I could do it. I felt like I didn’t have anything to lose. If I did it…AWESOME! If not, I was “young” and there was plenty of time to try again.
Well, after a tough race and a small mental breakdown around mile 21, I DID qualify for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3 hours 38 minutes.
Unfortunately, I learned in September that my qualifying time wasn’t fast enough that year. It’s a rolling entry, with spots filling up first with the fastest qualifiers and working through as many runners as possible until all spots are filled. I had missed a spot by 90 seconds. 90 SECONDS. I felt defeated, but not hopeless. I was bound and determined to train again and try for another BQ in 2016.
This time, my sister got the BQ bug and decided she wanted to train with me and shoot for Boston so that we could go together! Of course, I loved that idea, and we spent the next year following the same training plan and texting almost daily about our workouts (we live a couple hours apart, so we were virtual training buddies). It kept me motivated and I don’t think I have ever trained so hard to reach a goal.
So, when I kind of fell apart at that race and didn’t even come close to reaching my goal time, I was heartbroken. I had worked so hard, but my body did not cooperate. Rondi, on the other hand, earned her BQ and was heading to Boston in 2017.
Bound and determined to get to Boston with my sister, I started training for a September marathon to try and qualify one last time.
Unfortunately, I developed some health issues during my training and was struggling with hitting my times on my speed work and on my long runs. I would get severe stomach pains, followed by decreased energy, and an immediate need to use the bathroom, which always resulted in lots of blood in my stool (TMI…I’M SORRY!). This had been going on for quite some time, following/during all of my long runs and strenuous workouts. I finally went to a doctor about the issue, who referred me for a colonoscopy.
The results of the colonoscopy came back and I was given a diagnosis of ischemia, which happens when there is decreased blood flow to the digestive system, and as a result, the body sheds the outer lining of the colon. The doctor could not explain why this was happening so frequently though, and he said that it could possibly be treated by increasing the size of the opening of some blood vessel, but that more testing would need to be done to be sure. I wasn’t interested in that at all, and was happy to learn that my symptoms weren’t caused by a serious problem. However, the colonoscopy also showed that I had a precancerous polyp and I would need to come back every 3 years for routine colonoscopies. (NOTE: I’m only 36 years old!) That freaked me out more than my other issue! But I was assured there was nothing I could do to prevent it, and there was nothing I had done to cause it. So…I just kept training as planned, and kept having the same issues.
Needless to say, I didn’t qualify for the Boston Marathon on my next attempt either. Rondi and I ended up running/waddling/walking a lot of the race together and it was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done. But we finished and crossed another state off of our list (we are working on running a marathon in all 50 states)!
During that race, we came up with a plan to get us both to Boston in 2017. Rondi was going because of her qualifying time, and I decided I was going to apply for a charity spot. At the time, I had no idea that those were actually really hard to get. I kind of thought that if I applied for a bunch of them, I was sure to get one. I should have known better. There is nothing easy about running the Boston Marathon.
I ended up filling out a bunch of applications, only to hear back from one charity, the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I had applied to LLS in honor of a co-worker, Angela, who is battling Leukemia. On the application, you have to put down a fundraising goal and a plan of how you are going to reach that dollar amount. I had never really done much fundraising, but I was pretty confident that if I didn’t put a goal of at least $10,000, I wasn’t going to be chosen. Long story short, after a phone interview, being wait listed, another phone interview, raising my goal to $14,000 (which I honestly didn’t think I could raise…) and lots of overly ambitious fundraising before even being chosen…I was finally chosen! Out of hundreds of applicants, and only 60 spots available for LLS, I was chosen.
And yet, I still didn’t feel that I had earned my right to run in the Boston Marathon. You see, for me, the Boston Marathon is a race for the fastest runners. That’s how you’re supposed to gain entry into the race. Be fast. That’s what I had dreamed about ever since I ran my first marathon in 2002, and that’s what I dedicated 2 years of my life training for and attempting, without success.
So, as I started my fundraising efforts, in the back of my mind I kept the thought that this wasn’t my “real” Boston Marathon. This was just my Boston Marathon when I would get to cross the finish line with my sister. It wouldn’t really count as me running the Boston Marathon because I hadn’t gotten into the race the way you’re supposed to.
But, as my fundraising efforts have soared, I can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, I HAVE earned my way into the Boston Marathon. And, selfishly, I feel that if I hit the $20,000 mark for my fundraising, I will know that I’ve accomplished something even bigger and better than running a qualifying time for the race. After all, of the 30,000 runners that earned their spot that way, I’m thinking that they all couldn’t have raised $20,000 for charity.
So, even though I do want to earn a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon some day, today I feel comfortable with how I earned my spot in the race. Today I know that I’ve made a bigger difference in the world by running with a charity spot than I ever would have made by running a marathon 90 seconds faster.
Here’s to dreaming big, working hard, and making a difference!
Not many people are familiar with the small town where I grew up. Often, when I describe it to people, I say that it’s in the middle of a corn field. Which, although not completely accurate, does paint a pretty good picture of the surrounding areas.
Growing up in St.Johns, Michigan, I experienced all of the annoyances of small town life. Everyone knows everyone. Which means that everyone is constantly in everyone else’s business. Secrets are hard to keep in small towns. And, like many people who grew up there, once I graduated high school, I was ready to get out of there and go away to college.
Well, unlike my siblings, I went away for college and never moved back to St. Johns.
It wasn’t until I graduated college, found a job, got married, and settled into a new town, that my heart began to long for all of the things that I thought I hated about my little hometown. Every time I went to the grocery store or out to eat, I would look around for a familiar face. I was lonely, and missed my community where everyone knew who I was.
Fast forward 19 years (Eeeeeek!)….
I have finally settled into my new small town, but I am so incredibly thankful for the hometown where I was raised.
Last weekend, my mom, sister, and I held a St. Johns High School alumni basketball game fundraiser for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, for my Boston Marathon Team in Training page. We advertised for the event on Facebook, recruited as many people as we could to play, my mom asked the middle school dance team to perform, and she wrote an article about the event for our local newspaper. But still, I felt really anxious about what kind of a turnout we would have for the event.
The morning of the game I posted one last update on Facebook asking who would be there….not many people responded. I honestly felt a little sick with worry that the stands would be empty and all of the players that committed to playing wouldn’t show up.
I should have known better. Small towns are loyal to their own. And, even though I haven’t lived in that small town for 19 years, most of my family does still live there, and it will always be my hometown.
The turnout was absolutely overwhelming. Everything came together perfectly, from my brother singing the National Anthem, to plenty of players showing up and each team having a coach, to the refs, the score table, the dance team….ALL OF IT! It was such a fun night.
Honestly, I couldn’t have imagined this fundraiser going any better. With the support of my hometown, we raised over $2300 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society! My heart is bursting with pride from bring from the small town of St. Johns, MI. The love I felt during that fundraiser is hard to match.
Thank you to everyone that was a part of such a special event. I am truly humbled and overwhelmed by the support.
This morning, as I was about to walk out the door for work, I got a text message saying that the school where I teach didn’t have power. No power. No school.
It honestly felt like a Christmas miracle, in March.
I quickly began to make a mental list of all of the tasks I could accomplish after the boys left for school. Instantly, the list in my head grew longer than the hours in the day, so I prioritized what was most important to me, sent out a couple text messages, and made a plan that looked something like this:
Grocery shop for lasagna ingredients to take make and deliver dinner to a friend who “just” had a baby (4 weeks ago…) and get ingredients for an appetizer for an LLS fundraiser that a friend is hosting for me on Friday.
Run 8 miles and do the strength workout I skipped yesterday.
Make the lasagna and maybe some cookies.
Visit my friend and her sweet new baby girl.
Pick boys up from school.
At 7:45, just as my husband was heading out the door to take my boys to school, he said, “I have some errands I need you to run for me today.”
I was instantly annoyed. I didn’t have time to get all of MY stuff done, let alone his stuff too! But I listened to the list of things he needed me to do, and grumbled an “okay”, while inwardly growing more frustrated.
By 8:15, I was out the door and on my way to the grocery store. And of course, as soon as I started to drive away, my “CHANGE ENGINE OIL” alert reminded me that I’ve been overdo for an oil change for about 2 weeks. DANG IT! I absolutely loathe getting my oil changed. It always takes SO long and just seems like a huge waste of time. But, I knew it had to be done, so I headed there first.
Upon arriving, I was told it would be about 45 minutes before my car was done. I headed to the waiting area to stew over the amount of time that was going to be wasted and wondered if there was any way I was going to get everything done today…when all of a sudden it hit me that I was right next to a great running trail! And, per usual when setting out to run errands, I was wearing all of the necessities to go running! I quickly went and notified the worker that I’d be back in 45 minutes, and I headed out the door for a run.
It. Was. Awesome.
The weather was perfect. The trail was empty, except for me and my thoughts. And I had time to really think about how I was spending my miracle “me” day. Often, when I have a “me” day, that’s all that I focus on. Myself. And yes, those are important sometimes. But I was so happy to have a day planned that didn’t just focus on me. I couldn’t wait to finally meet my friend’s precious baby girl, and I was so glad to have the time to make her dinner too.
And then I started thinking about the few things that my husband had asked me to do for him, and I realized that I was being completely selfish with my internal temper tantrum. I thought about how incredible it would be if I was feeling overwhelmed and someone else was able to take some things off of MY “to do” list for me. And at that moment, I felt happy to be able to help out. My “me” day was about me making other peoples’ days better. And that felt pretty great.
I finished my run, completely refreshed and ready to tackle my day…again…and in a much better mood. (It really is amazing what a good run does for you!)
Somehow, I managed to get everything done, besides making cookies and doing my strength workout. And, just as I was rushing out the door to get to my friend’s house, the UPS man pulled in the driveway with a delivery.
I prefer being able to see what’s in front of me and knowing what’s ahead. But when it’s really foggy, that’s not possible. Instead, I’m left moving at a slower pace, being quite cautious of what I might encounter.
So, the last few days have been less than ideal in my world, as far as the weather goes. The thick fog has not lifted for 3 days. Yes. Three days straight of not being able to see much of anything besides pure gloom and dreariness.
Luckily, the temperatures were warm enough (49 degrees!) to motivate me to do my Saturday run outside. But it was a real struggle. I even text my sister beforehand telling her that I didn’t think I was even going to try and do a pace run because I was feeling so down and unmotivated. But, I put one foot in front of the other and got my run done at a much faster pace than I had planned! I still didn’t love the fog, but it did make for a cool picture and the fresh air felt good for my soul.
I had checked the weather and it was supposed to be partly cloudy with a fog advisory until 10 AM. Finn and I had plans to head over to Stony Creek so he could roller blade with me while I ran the 6 mile loop. I was really looking forward to it! Then, I checked the weather again and the fog advisory was extended to noon. So we decided we wouldn’t head to the park straight from church. Instead, we’d come home first, eat lunch, wait for the fog to clear, then head out for our fun.
But instead of the fog clearing, the fog advisory got extended a couple more times, and it is currently in effect until 10 AM TOMORROW morning. (Insert loud noises and angry, angry faces.)
For a little bit, Finn and I actually thought about skipping our whole outing all together. Looking out the window was just so depressing and neither of us really wanted to go out in the fog. Thank goodness we shook off our disappointment in the weather and went anyway.
We had an awesome time. And took a lot of breaks to snap pictures and relax and enjoy the views.
But there were also times on our journey where we really couldn’t see very far ahead of us and Finn was a little nervous. And of course, since I really dislike fog and it creeps me out, I felt exactly the same way. But, instead of showing that fear, I assured him that everything was going to be fine and I held his hand tight until the fog eased up a bit.
And that, my friends, is what we all need to do right now. In our world at this moment, it’s very hard to see. It’s hard to see the good. It’s hard to see how anyone could think that hate and anger and violence could be the solution to anything. It’s hard to see how we’re going to get ourselves out of this mess and back to a world where our words and our actions are full of kindness and empathy and a concern for the well being of those around us.
But, until this fog lifts, we really do need to stop showing fear, start showing love, grab a hold of someone’s hand, and assure each other that everything is going to be okay.
Every year around this time, I spend a lot of time reflecting on the previous year and mapping out my plans for the coming year. According to my Facebook “memories”, I generally sign up for the majority of my races sometime between Christmas and the first week of the New Year. For me, this helps me find the motivation to get back on track after a month or so of indulging in all of the goodness of the holidays and taking a break from my usual training schedule.
This year was no different. Over the last couple of weeks I have done a lot of reflecting on things I can do to be a better version of myself in 2017. And, one of the things I’ve realized is that I need to work harder to give credit where credit is due.
Each and every day, I work hard to live life to the fullest. But, what I often neglect to mention is that I wouldn’t do a lot of the stuff I do without being inspired and motivated by the people around me. So, this year I’m making it my goal to show more gratitude and make sure people know when they have helped me out, in big ways and in small ways.
For example, when I see fitness posts on Facebook, I generally have one of two thoughts, depending on my mood. First, I might think, “Good for them. That’s awesome that they are getting/staying in shape. They look amazing and so happy!” Or, if I’m feeling a bit crabby, I might see a post and think something like, “Must be nice to not work full time and be able to work out whenever you want…” Or, “Do they do anything besides workout?!” I know, I know…harsh. But, that’s the truth of it. HOWEVER, regardless of my instinctive reaction to said post, whenever I see fitness posts it ALWAYS gives me a little bit of motivation to get my own workouts done. And, I am incredibly thankful for that! Even if I’m crabby and jealous for a minute…I’m always thankful in the end.
Another thing I’m super thankful for is the fact that my sister is just as crazy as me and immediately signed on to my idea to run a marathon in all 50 states! Seriously. There’s ZERO chance I would be working towards that goal by myself. AND, to make it even better, my other sister and my parents are on board to be our amazing support crew! I definitely do not thank them enough for these things and many more. Without them, this goal would not exist.
Next, I am soooooo incredibly thankful for everyone that has and continues to support me on my journey to the Boston Marathon with my fundraising for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society! From the very beginning when I decided I was going to apply for a charity spot, to today when I have nearly $6,000 already raised, I have been humbled by the amount of support that I have been given. There are no words that can express how truly grateful I am for every single encouraging word that has been spoken, texted, or posted and every single cent that has been donated. And all of the effort that people are making to not only attend my fundraisers, but to help me organize them is amazing. From people signing up to play in the alumni basketball game, to registering to bowl, to helping me get items donated for the silent auction…the list seriously goes on and on!!! There is ZERO chance I could do this on my own. I have SO many people to give credit to for helping me make this dream a reality!
Another HUGE goal that I have for 2017 is to finish a 100 mile ultra marathon. Although this is something I have been thinking about for a couple of years, I never really had the confidence to give it a try until a close friend of mine decided that she was going to run it. And then, just like that, my mind was made up, and I decided this was the year I was going to give it a try. Because big, scary things are a little less scary when you’re not alone. And I’m really lucky to have some amazing friends in my life who do incredible things and inspire me to go out of my comfort zone.
I could go on and on with the list of people who deserve more credit for the roles they play in my life. But in the end, what it boils down to is that I realize more and more every day just how much I appreciate everyone who helps me get through this life and inspires me to make it great. And, this year I’m going to try really hard to show all of you that appreciation and give you much deserved credit!
Today at work, a colleague said to me, “I feel like Kendra today!” My response was, “What does that mean?” He said, “Ya know, like I’ve got everything under control.” I laughed and told him that in the last few weeks, the thought that has crossed my mind most often is this: “Kendra, you really need to get your ______ together.” I’m not kidding. Every year at this time, I start to feel pretty overwhelmed with everything that’s going on. And every year, my list of responsibilities seems to grow longer and longer. And I’m not good at juggling all of it. I’m really not.
But, apparently, what I am good at is making it look like I’ve got everything under control. I think mostly what I’m good at is putting on a smile, regardless of how I’m feeling. However, what I’m really feeling is this….
How am I going to plan and organize all of the fundraisers I need to in order to raise $14,000 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society before the Boston Marathon?! When am I going to find the time to ask for silent auction donations? Who will donate? How does all of this even work?! I really need to get on this….
I really need to write all of the thank you notes to all of my awesome friends and family that have already donated! How do I even get all of their addresses?
We really need to finish moving everything into our house and getting situated…
I really need to get my Christmas cards…and then address them and send them out…
Who do I need to get Christmas gifts for? I should make a list. And then I should probably start shopping.
Why yes, I would LOVE to plan and organize my son’s school Christmas party. Yes, I definitely have time for that. No problem.
And I would LOVE to coach basketball. Yup. Plenty of time for that, right?
I really need to remember to move the Elf every day this year. No more slacking. I can do this.
And I would really like to find an opportunity for the boys and I to volunteer at a soup kitchen or something similar before Christmas….
Oh, didn’t I already pay that bill? No? It’s late? Sigh….
We’re out of sandwich bags? And Klennex? Good thing we have aluminum foil and toilet paper!
When am I going to get that data analysis done? I really need to start working on that each night when the boys go to bed. But I really don’t want to…
I have to find time to write another blog. It’s been way too long…
I need to get back into running. Yes. That will help my stress level!!
Those are the thoughts that are going through my mind at any given moment of every day. It’s a lot to handle. But…
That is it.
My heart is full. And that means my responsibilities will always be many. Because I have people to take care of and work to do to make this world a better place for them. And…I won’t always get it right. But I will never stop trying.
Life can be pretty frustrating sometimes. As I get closer and closer to this thing called “middle age”, I keep thinking that I should be improving in the area of “adulting.” It should surely be getting easier with the more practice that I have. But that does not seem to be the case. Instead, life just keeps getting more and more complicated. Responsibilities at work keep intensifying, and parenting feels like it matters more and more with every passing second. I mean, they are REALLLLLLY watching and listening now. And I am pretty sure that every decision I make regarding their well being is going to make or break their chances of growing to be decent humans. With that in mind, I tend to think about situations much more before I react to them than I used to. (Or at least I try to think things through before I react…) And that was the case yesterday when I found out that I was not, in fact, one of the 6 parents that was chosen to volunteer at my son’s Halloween party at school today. Over the last month I have emailed back and forth a few times with his teacher, letting her know that I wanted to volunteer. She told me that she added my name to the list, and that the head party planner would be contacting me. Much to my surprise, no one contacted me. So last week I spoke to another parent and asked her to have the “room parent” let me know what I needed to bring for the Halloween party. She sent me a text stating that I wasn’t on the list that the teacher had given her, and I would not be able to attend the party because they already had their max of 6 parents volunteering. Deep breathes. I decided to wait approximately 12 hours before emailing the teacher to find out what the problem was, as I was sure there was a misunderstanding since she had told me I was on the list. She responded right away that she had passed along my info, but there must have already been 6 volunteers and she was sorry, but…. And that was that. I am pretty sure that a few years ago I would have called the teacher, or called the principal and tried really hard to make things go my way, without thinking of the effect that could potentially have on my son’s relationship with his teacher. And, believe me, I wanted to throw a little fit and tell people how ridiculous and unfair that was. But, instead, I thought about it. I thought realllllly hard about it. And realized that no good was going to come out of me doing that. So, I went and watched my boys in their school parade, and then, I left. And spent the next hour doing this…
And when the boys got home I had them tell me all about their parties and all of the fun games they played and snacks they ate.
Then I showed them pictures from my bike ride. And they thought that was pretty cool.
And right at that moment I knew that I had made the right choice. Sometimes you just have to let it go. Because they are watching and listening and learning.
The “STOP” button on my treadmill decided to quit. I noticed it during a run earlier this week when my phone rang mid-run, so I hit the stop button and grabbed my phone, only to realize that the speed of the treadmill didn’t change.
This was somewhat annoying, but not the end of the world.
Then, tonight, I hopped on the treadmill to do a 35 minute tempo run, where I would gradually increase my speed to an uncomfortable pace, then increase it some more, and some more, and then work my way back down to a less torturous speed. As soon as I stepped onto the treadmill, I remembered that the stop button wasn’t working earlier in the week. So I started it up and hit stop, just to see if maybe it was back to functioning. It was not.
Now, the broken stop button DID seem like the end of the world. I panicked a little thinking, “What if I need to take a quick break during this run? I don’t want to have to pull the plug. UGH! I cannot stop!”
My husband happened to be down in the garage when I realized that the button was definitely not working, so I explained the situation, telling him that the stop button didn’t work and there was no way to stop during my run other than pulling the plug and wiping out all of my distance and time information. His response? “Well, don’t you think that’s a sign?”
Me: “A sign of what?”
Husband: “That you shouldn’t stop…”
And, that was that. He was right. I shouldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop. And I didn’t stop. Finished up that tempo run a sweaty mess with 4.25 more miles in the books. And I felt proud.
Sometimes we need that extra little push to keep us going. Something that kicks our butt a little in the right direction and forces us to not stop, to not give up on what we want. And to keep fighting for it, no matter how many times we have fallen short in the past.
Because as these pictures prove, sometimes what we think is a failure, turns into something pretty great.
My “successful” post-run jumping pic.
And my jumping “fail” where I was pretty positive that my dog was going to destroy my phone. But clearly, this is the better picture 🙂