Day #73

Today I failed. I was supposed to run six miles per the training app we are following. We got to the gym one hour before it closed. They turned the lights out on me right after I finished mile five…

I know I should be okay with running the five. I did hills the first three miles. I ran without stopping for a breather for four miles which is the longest I’ve managed thus far. I finished five miles in an hour. This should all be enough…

But the bar was set at six… my Love finished six… and I missed the mark…

As much as I didn’t want to be, I was disappointed in myself. I’ve always been the token first-born overachiever… or at least up until the last couple of years. Then I realized something that shook my whole life up… achievement doesn’t fulfill me. I have been the one to never give up, even when giving up would have served me better. I have been the perfectionist, the dependable one, the “hardest working person in show biz” as my dad likes to call me.

But I realized a few years ago that no one is really going to remember me for my achievements and no one really cares much if I’m the best. I learned the hard way that if who I am isn’t good enough to begin with, then no matter how hard I work to prove myself, I will just never be good enough for that person, that religion, that marriage. And I finally did the one thing I never thought I could do, I quit. I walked away holding my breath and terrified. And when I got outside in the dark in the night in the aloneness, I though I would die, I thought I would be punished, I thought I would crumble to pieces.

I remember marveling at the night when I first left my former life. I would put Adalie to sleep and take a blanket and just lay in the night. And instead of terror, I found hope. Hope in feeling connected without feeling condemned. Hope in the stars that share dust with me. Hope in living by the dark, of not needing to have all the answers to enjoy the day, embrace this life, and love without condition.

My failed run… it is only a blip on the scale of failures I have achieved… I failed huge a few years ago and it was the most liberating experience of my life…

Try it, my gentle readers, fail sometime when failing serves you best… embrace the dark… and just breathe…

Day #71

It was an ordinary run in the park. It was chilly so not a lot of people were there. I ran my 3 miles steadily, slowly, and with little pizzazz. But I ran it all and I finished.

Then my Love and I went back to Adalie’s dance class and waited. We did dinner, bath, homework, bed. I did my homework … Love worked on his computer. We went to bed, we kissed good night, we drifted into dream worlds.

It was nothing special of a day by the markers of extraordinary days. But it was mine and I loved it.

Every grateful breath of it.

Shiny balls of candy-coated chocolate atop ice cream in a clear bowl.

Day #68

I hobbled through three miles today … I think I may be getting shin splints … it was the most painful run on the books so far but I was able to finish it. And in finishing it, I was able to find the beauty of discipline … discipline creates in its own time … it’s creates strength in the soreness … completion in the chaos … peace in the stressful … love in the face of feeling wronged.

We exercise a lot of discipline everyday .. well most of us do … in what we do, say, eat, work, create … and sometimes I forget that in the discipline there is a choosing … I feel dictated at times by the demands, the to-do lists, even the laundry piles … but I am the one who really creates with my decision to disciple myself … toward a half-marathon, a more knowledgeable teacher and counselor, and even an organized office and house. And, at least for me, when I do accomplish, when I see tangible results of a good run, paperwork caught up, grading done, and fresh laundry on the couch I feel good about who I have chosen to be. Industrious, yes. Continuously growing, forever. But always, always choosing and that reminder today felt good!

Day #67

Today is my birthday! I have always loved birthdays … it’s a beautiful thing to celebrate one’s life I think. To take each experience of that year … dust it off … marvel at it … and put it back. For me it breaks down into moments that brought me growth … knowledge gained, experiences had, truth revealed. Moments that brought me joy … adventures shared, snuggles close, and watching my own little creation as she changes and grows. And finally, moments that brought me into balance … reminders in perfect timing, earth reaching out to touch me, and silence in my head.

I love reflecting, because in reflecting I remember who I was a year ago and recognize who I am today. I hope that I never stop evolving as a mind and never stop shining as a soul. I hope I can help share the burden with more people this year through words, through action, through simple faith in them. I hope for more adventures with my Love

… be they big or small, we are the best team I have ever known. I hope for more growth in my abilities in my career and success in the steps we are taking to do that for both of us. I hope for love and happiness above all, because they are the Crown Jewels in this experience for me.

So there are my birthday wishes … now all I need are some candles!

PS: I ran 5 miles today … spent a lot of it trying to distract my self with my favorite moments of 31 … and I survived!

Day #66

I had an unexpected visitor today on my run … sharp, cool wind. We did not make friends. I found it very difficult to catch my breath, and regulating my breathing while running was pretty much out of the question. But I finished my 3 miles and as always I felt better for having done it.

Upon my return home from our run, I found another unexpected guest at my door. A beautiful soul who lights me up every time I see her. She was much more welcome than the cold wind, and instead, an instant friend.

Has anyone else noticed how it’s hard to make friends when you are an adult?

Everyone is so busy with careers and jobs and honorable pursuits that there is little time to really dig in to the sustenance of existing together. This was a chance of a chance kind of friendship that has taken root in my heart because I have few friends who really get me … she is one of those. And this is how I know …

After dinner with her and my Love, we enjoyed the rest of the evening in pjs, snuggled up, eating cupcakes, drinking wine, and coloring … yes my gentle readers … coloring. And in the glow of the lamp with my sweetest Love on one said and my dear friend on the other, I had never felt more complete with a color pencil in my hand. Sometimes the simplest connections are the hardest to come by … I urge you to connect with someone today … I dare say you will smile … genuinely, whole-heartedly … and it feels good.

A coloring book lying upon a bed with colored-pencils and a mandala coloring book in the background.

Day #58

Today I ran 3 miles without stopping … and for most of it … I felt awesome. Today I was a true runner.

Today I got paid … and that also feels awesome. Today I am rich.

Today was spent, off and on, with my best friend. My Love. We talked, flirted, planned our anniversary trip and generally were awesome. Today I was in love.

Today I was the mountain peak — unstoppable, beautiful, and breathtakingly awesome.

And I’m just gonna ride the high all the way down to the valley…

Ebb and flow … its a beautiful flow …

Day #55

Today, I … kinda … ran 4 miles.

We went in the morning which is not my best time. It’s like my body hates me for waking it up. So I huffed, and puffed, and wheezed. My legs hurt, my side cramped up, and my stomach revolted on me. I walked, limped, and jogged my way through and … eventually … I finished, but it was tough.

I’m thinking of making some changes in my life … big changes. It terrifies me … I’m the kinda girl that likes certainties and always has a back up plan. I’m the kinda girl who hates to flounder and loathes failure. Because underneath it all I’m a girl who’s scared.

But what is fear and who defines failure? It makes things uncomfortable. It causes self-reflection. It can even be a bit embarrassing. But if you don’t try, you don’t know what it is to lose but neither do you taste the win.

I’m working to overcome the self-doubts. The concern of stability. The drive for easy. The fear … and I think I will … even if I have to wheeze and limp to get there.

Day #54

I ran 3 miles and I dreamed.

I dreamed of skiing down the mountain. I dreamed of wind in my hair. I felt the cold on my cheeks and the tightness of the boots on my feet. I moved back and forth across the mountain in my mind, eyes full of trees and snow and beauty all around. Today, I flew as I skimmed down a mountain to the vast openness of adventure.

It made the run worth it … the dreaming.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my self for being such a dreamer. It makes staying content in the present difficult at times. But let’s be honest, sometimes the present sucks.

My ability to dream keeps me optimistic. Gives me hope in life, joy in mundane. It also helps me to see outside the box of now. Gives me creativity license to freehand my life and often times my life follows. So as silly as it seems in my head at times … it has been my salvation on more than one occasion …

…like running three miles on a treadmill.

Day #53

It was a cold, wet, dreary day around here. We decided to go to the gym again instead of trying to walk in the ice rain.

I am SORE today after yesterday’s run. But it’s a good sore, a just sore enough. I jumped on the elliptical today to switch it up a little because we are suppose to run 3 miles tomorrow. My body is sore but my mind is sharp and my energy is good. Reminds me why I love working out … although the thought of it exhausts me every time!

After the workout, I walked around the track a few times to cool down. My face was red, my bangs slick with sweat, my heart beat pronounced. But I felt light, and good chemicals were pumping.

It reminded me that we all have choices to make but nothing to control in this life.

A fruit smoothie in a little mermaid cup with a candy-striped straw and a cookie jar in the background.

Day #52

Today I ran! Double!!

We have decided that due to a ski trip we are planning next month, we should probably work on strength and stamina before we go. Also, we really want to run a half marathon this spring. No time like the present to start training I suppose.

I am no real runner. We trained for a few months back in April and May and June last year, ran a 5K, went on vacation and have only played at it since then.

I have a love/hate relationship with running. I love it because I feel so alive and strong after doing it. I love feeling the muscles in my legs loosen and stretch over the first mile. I love feeling the sweat start beading on my forehead from exertion. And I love the sense of empowerment that comes over me when my power songs come on.

I hate it because it’s hard. It’s work. I spend half the time feeling like my lung is collapsing, my heart is exploding, or I am going to puke my guts up.

But isn’t this true of most things in life?

Either way it feels good to be back in training, adding up the miles and increasing the clean energy in my head.