Running “From” Something?

Why do I run? 

Every once in a while I will read an article or a blog, or talk to someone who assumes that everyone who runs is running “from” something. This is annoying to me. Running away from something gives the impression that you are hiding from your problems, rather than facing them. So, when I see something that tells me to “just run” from my problems, it really bothers me.

And then, weeks like this come along, and all I want to do is run. 

It hasn’t been a horrible week, but it hasn’t gone as expected either. I was supposed to take Monday off to stay home with my boys who had the day off from school. But, due to some family issues, I found out Sunday that I need to take a day off next week. So, taking Monday off wasn’t a great idea. No big deal. I worked yesterday, after a jam packed weekend of company and fun.

Then, today, I was needed to sub. (Maybe you’ve heard the commercials on Pandora about how Michigan has a shortage of substitute teachers…true story.) So, my schedule was thrown off completely and I subbed in middle school all day, and for 45 minutes of the day I also subbed in a 3/4 split. So, I was handling twenty-four 8th graders and twenty-two 3rd and 4th graders all at once. Boom. 

In the midst of that, I got a phone call from my sons’ school that my little guy wasn’t feeling well and needed to be picked up. Luckily, my husband was able to go grab him so that I could continue filling in for other teachers that had family emergencies. 

Then, I had to tutor after school. I finally got home at 5:15 and walked into my house that WREAKED of skunk. I mean, totally and completely smelled like there was a skunk in my house. Apparently, we have a friend that has moved in under our home for the winter and feels the need to spray his nastiness on a regular basis. This is the 3rd time in the last month and a half that the smell of my own home makes me want to vomit because of this creature. 

I digress.

After all of this, I honestly could not wait to get my run done. Actually, today at work when I dropped the 3/4th graders off at gym, I literally ran back to the middle school building to get back to subbing for the 8th graders, and it felt so good to run. Granted, I was in a hurry, but I still just wanted to run. It made me feel alive and in control, and like I was being ME instead of pretending to be someone else for the day (because that’s what subs do…).

So, when I got a UPS package delivered to my house at 6pm with a new running shirt it in (from a super thoughtful friend!), it made my run even that much better.

And that made me start to think about the idea of running “from” things. It is true that I generally have better runs when I’m stressed out or having a bad day or worried about something. But, I don’t think that’s because I’m running away from my problems. Instead, it’s because my runs help me work through them. 

During my runs I feel alive. I am reminded of how much my body is capable of and how blessed I am to not be suffering physically. As the people around me deal with so many issues from cancer, to infertility, to thyroid problems, to arthritis (just to name a few), I am only dealing with a hard run on my marathon training schedule. That’s about as tough as it gets for me, physically, right now. And I need that reminder.

Also, during my run I have time to process things that are going on in my life. It’s my time to think. And I really need that. 

So, when I’m feeling overwhelmed or bummed or just “blah” about February in Michigan, all I want to do is go for a run. But don’t be fooled. I’m not running away anything. I’m running so that I’m prepared to face life head on!

Sparkle.Pounce.Run It Out.

24 Hours In A Day

I have been looking forward to today for a couple of months. It was my first day off of work that my kids didn’t have the day off from school since October 2, 2015. My husband also had to work, so I had the day all to myself. 

A few weeks ago I scheduled a hair appointment for today, thinking that it was the perfect opportunity to get a trim and highlights without feeling rushed or too busy. But, last night when I was thinking about what I wanted to do today, I realized that I absolutely did not want to spend my day off sitting in a salon when it was supposed to be 37 degrees and sunny. So, I cancelled my appointment and started planning an adventure. 

Trails are pretty much my favorite thing, and I really wanted to spend my day exploring some new ones. I text some friends and posted on Facebook asking for ideas of where I should go. Since I had the whole day, I was willing to travel a little farther than normal, and I ended up at some single track mountain bike trails about an hour from my house. 

Just me and my boxer, Blu.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, or a footprint on the path. I honestly can’t even explain how happy my heart was to be out there. I got to the trail head at 10 AM and I had nothing but time. That is NEVER the case these days. I’m always in a hurry, or at least always looking at the clock to see how much time I have before I need to be done with what I’m doing so that I can move on to what I’m supposed to be doing next. 

But not today. Today was different. Today, instead of taking the shortest trails, I took the long ones. I stopped often and took pictures. I looked around. I listened. 

I was all alone in a brand new place and I wasn’t nervous. I felt confident, brave, and adventurous. I felt like the world was mine. 

And it was beautiful. So beautiful.

We explored for almost 3 hours. I couldn’t believe how tired my body was from our hike. About 2.5 hours in, I was starting to feel like we should probably figure out where we were and start heading back to the car. There were definitely a few moments of concern, thinking that I was lost. Luckily, the trail was well marked and we made it out safe and sound.

As soon as we got in my car, Blu crawled in the back and passed out. She was one pooped pup!

I was tired too, but I was wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my day. If I went straight home, I would only be there for a little over an hour before I would have to leave and grab my boys from school. Plus, I didn’t really have anything I wanted to do at home. 

The other problem I was weighing was that today was supposed to be my “rest” day. That hike was not a rest… So, I was thinking that I should go ahead and do tomorrow’s run today, and take tomorrow as my rest day. And just like that, I figured out how to spend my last hour of “me” time.

Blu and I drove 45 minutes to my favorite local metro park, and I knocked out my 5 mile run. 

It was the perfect end to the perfect day.

I wish I had more days like this, where I didn’t have to watch the clock or rush from one thing to the next. When I could spend my day exploring God’s beautiful creations, without a care in the world. 

Even though these days are few and far between, I will continue to take full advantage of every single one that comes my way and be incredibly thankful for them.

Because 24 hours in a day never seems like enough, but it’s all we have, so let’s make the most of it.

Sparkle.Pounce.Make It Count.


Do What You Love

I really like helping people.

It’s funny, because when I look at all of the things I do on a regular basis, it’s kind of obvious. But, I feel like it’s just hitting me. I REALLY like to help people.

A few weeks ago I was feeling super, duper unmotivated about going to work. It was kind of weird because I’m a remediation teacher, and all I was doing each day was student testing. So, honestly, each day was about as easy as being a teacher can possibly be. I was pulling small groups of students, or even one at a time sometimes, to take tests in my room. No classroom management necessary. No lesson plans. Just testing.

And yet, I just really didn’t want to go. And I didn’t know why.

Now, I am finally back to pulling small groups of kids every day and I am once again not dreading work. It’s amazing. And what that lead me to realize is that even though it’s really hard, exhausting, and…hard…I love teaching kids. It’s kind of my thing. I feel like I’m really good at it and I can make a difference in their education. So, 13 years in and I’m realizing I chose the right career after all!


Then, on a totally different topic, a friend text me last week and jokingly asked if I would make her a half marathon training plan because the one she’s using was killing her. I said I would look at a few plans and get back to her.

A couple of days later I had a bit of time on my computer and I was super excited at the idea of coming up with a training plan for someone. So, I looked around at plans I trusted and liked, did some modifications, entered in suggested paces, and rewrote the plan. Then, because the plan called for two days of strength training, I even created a separate document with 18 HIIT workouts to use with her plan. All of the HIIT workouts were ones I had created for myself and a group of girls for 6 weeks of strength training that we did leading up to the beginning of official Boston qualifying training, and I knew they were pretty good, quick, home workouts. I felt so happy when I sent her that email with her training plan and the strength workouts to go with it! Partially because I love running and all things related, but mostly because it just felt really good to help someone out.

So, I’m wondering…what do you love? And are you making sure you get to do something you love every day? Because I’m thinking that is pretty important 🙂

Sparkle.Pounce.Do What You Love.