Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Difference a Year Makes

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I got to go running on Saturday.  After my first treatment with Dr. Brian on Friday, I had orders to go run.  I woke up on Saturday morning to a gorgeous blue sky and perfect running weather.  I strapped on my Garmin, threw on my visor and set off out the door for 2 glorious miles!

Dr. Brian had said, “No more than 2 miles and definitely not PR pace.”  Such a tease, but at least it was something.  I was ecstatic.  A little nervous about how it would go, but so excited and hopeful.

I ran my usual route from my front door, around the lake and out to the entrance of the neighborhood.  I got all the way to Schnuck’s before I hit the mile mark and had to turn around.  Usually at that point of the course I cross the overpass and run west along the Wildwood path.  Usually that is where my run is just getting started.

At the same time I was out for my run, several of my friends were getting ready to run a race over at Castlewood.  I had handed my bib off to my friend Jen since I knew it was out for me.  I’d rather have someone run in my place and enjoy the experience than have the bib go to waste.  You might remember last February I had to bail on a race I really wanted to run.  Strangely, this was the exact same race, a year later. Last year there had been permit issues so they had changed the date of the race to a day that didn’t work for me.  I took the refund for my race entry fee and I pouted like it was going out of style.  Remember that?

This year was totally different scenario.  Being injured for the last month meant there was no way this was a good idea.  This race has eluded me yet again.  And yet, somehow, this year, I was totally and completely at peace with it.  Maybe it’s that I know that it could be detrimental to my health.  Maybe it’s that I have a long term goal that has priority in my race calendar.  Or maybe, it’s that I’m just in a completely different place than I was a year ago.

The other night while I was at work, I had some down time and I was doing research.  By that I mean I was flipping through the new Triathlete magazine.  I found an article about Nicole Gross, marathon coach and Ironwoman.  Nicole had been situated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last year waiting for her mom to cross when the first bomb went off.  Along with her husband and sister, she sustained some major injuries.  She has been working hard over the past year in physical therapy to undo the damage that was done.  But what struck me was this quote, “I have been forced to have a new perspective on life, but also have a sense of grounding where there is more to life than identifying myself as an athlete.  I am learning to enjoy things a lot more and not having to put that added pressure on myself.”  As it should be.

So, on my run back home on Saturday, I just appreciated being outside, under that blue sky, the sun shining, my fingers and ears cool from the slight nip that was hanging in the air.  I didn’t get to compete on Saturday.  And I have another race that I have to give up again in a couple weeks.  A race that I was even more excited about.  But there will be other races.  And as a Cubs fan, I’m already very familiar with the words, “Maybe next year…”  I used to live in a way that screamed, “I have to do it all right NOW!”  But now my life is so full, that I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  Everything else that comes along is just gravy.

As I neared my house, my two miles almost up, I felt great.  I felt like I could run forever.  Which likely had something to do with the fact that I was running a significantly slower pace than usual.  But I followed doctor’s orders and cut it off before I hit 2 miles.  As I stepped back onto my driveway, my Garmin read 1.99.  Every runner knows that you always run up and down your street 15 times if you have to in order to end on a whole number.  But I didn’t feel the need to do that this time.  My run was over and that was ok.

I smiled the whole day because of that run.  I told everyone I saw that I got to run.  I couldn’t have asked for a better “first run” back.

Today I went back in to see Dr. Brian for another treatment.  Funny that I could hear Steve in the waiting room when I came out.  And when I texted Diana to tell her I had crossed paths with Steve, she informed me that she crossed paths with him on the other side of his visit.

Why do we do this?  Why do we push our bodies so hard that we all end up in the doctor’s office together?  I can’t speak for all my friends, but I can tell you the reason that I do.  Because I can.  And for that, I am grateful.  Running helps me find perspective, it keeps me grounded.  Sure it has something to do with competition and camaraderie and constant improvement.  But more than anything, running reminds me to enjoy life.

It’s funny to look back at the year behind me and see someone who placed so much emphasis on the races and the added mileage, that’s what I needed to call myself a “runner”.  I used to think that for me a run wasn’t a “real” run unless I went at least 3 or 4 miles.  I have doctor’s orders to go run another 2 miles tomorrow and again on Wednesday.  And I couldn’t be happier.  Because I love to run, and that is what makes me a runner.

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A (sort of) Brief Update From the Doctor

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The sun was shining a little brighter in St. Louis today.  Both literally and figuratively.  We did actually hit a high in the mid-60’s this afternoon which was a welcome break from the subzero temperatures we have become accustomed to this year.

However, it wasn’t just the weather that brightened my mood.  This morning when I arrived at Brian’s…Uh, I mean Dr. Laiderman’s office I was greeted by his office manager Debby and a hand written thank you note posted on the wall that I recognized the signature on to be that of my friend Diana. I filled out the electronic form and when I got to the question about who had referred me, I basically did an eeny-meany-miney-mo to land on Andrea’s name since it could have been any number of people.  And there’s the fact that I know him personally.

Dr. L knew the gist of my situation since shortly after my near collapse on the floor of West County Lanes on Saturday I sent him a message saying something like…Ouch, I hurt, how soon can you get me in?  But when we got started he said, “Ok, pretend I don’t know anything about you and tell me what’s going on”.

I went through the story of being out for a run with Brian…my Brian.  I can see how this might get confusing so for the sake of clarity “my Brian” will henceforth be referred to as Koz.  So, I told Dr. L about our run on Al Foster a few weeks ago, attempting to let my hamstring heal, reinjuring it bowling and so on.

Dr. L was convinced that there was more to it.  He had me do some squats and stretches.  He checked my range of motion and resistance levels on both legs.  He definitely found the tender spots.  I had tenderness in my legs, my back, my gluts, my hips, my calves and my feet.  (Really?  I have a messed up left hamstring, what’s with the tenderness in my right foot?!) He was even concerned with the weird blood blister I had developed a few months ago that I had just attributed to the stitching on my Cascadia’s and the sizeable bunion on my right foot.  Anyway, we traced it back to last summer.  Apparently my body was trying to tell me something then, I just chose not to listen to it until now. Remember all the hip trouble I was having leading up to Racine?  Well, it’s all connected.  And it’s basically causing me to run all twisted up and hunched over.  I’m crooked.  He still wanted to determine why my hip was fatigued, but we figured that would come.  It came sooner than we thought, but I’ll get to that a little later.

Today’s visit ended without time to begin treatment, so I’m going back on Friday.  The bad news is: I’m giving up my bib for the Quivering Quads trail half marathon next month.  As much as I hate missing my races, I’m willing to do this knowing that we’re focused on the big goal: Getting me healthy enough to kick it into high gear for Arizona training.  But the good news is: Dr. L seems to think that after a couple rounds of treatment, I should be able to get back to running.  Nothing crazy just yet, but when he said the words “…possibly a short run next week…” I almost cried out of sheer happiness.  (I may have actually done so when I was alone in my car with the sound of Dr. L’s words still ringing in my ears)

I’ve been feeling a little like I might never be able to run again.  And while Koz told me that notion was completely irrational, it has still been hiding out in the back of my mind.  Talk about a tough pill to swallow.  Fortunately, I don’t have to.

On my way out, I stopped by Debby’s desk to set up my next appointment on Friday morning.  And then I practically skipped out of the building into the warmth of 57 degrees.  I didn’t actually skip, that would be silly seeing as I still can’t run…or even bowl for that matter.  But I was walking on air.  And the sun breaking up the overcast skies was symbolic to say the least.  It’s been chilly and gray here for weeks and now the sun is finally starting to shine.

I celebrated by going over to the pool for a 2500 meter swim.  I came out of the pool to a text from Steve, who is also a patient of Dr. L.  Steve signed up today for the Rev 3 full triathlon at Cedar Point this summer (To anyone not “in the know”, Rev 3 is a brand like Ironman that puts on various races of that same distance).  Anyway, our text conversation went like this:

Steve:  What did our buddy Brian have to say?

RRG: Good prognosis.  It’s coming in form of an RRG update later.  QQ is out, but I’m ok with that. Focus is on the long term goal.

RRG again: And btw, Congrats on signing up for Cedar Point.  Woohoo!  Oh, wait, I mean…always gotta beat me to it, don’t ya?  Jerk.

RRG again (What?!  We all know I talk a lot.  Would you expect my texting habits to be any different?): And especially funny to remember…Hey Steve, do LSL (Lake St. Louis) with me.  No, I don’t think so…well, ok.

Steve: This is really all your fault.  I was also reminiscing with Nick how when I first met you, you were asking what I was wanting out of the social run.  I replied with thinking of maybe a fall half marathon.

RRG: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I went about the rest of the day, but I kept mulling over that weird pain in my right foot.  And then suddenly it occurred to me.  Sometimes I am such a dope, why hadn’t I mentioned that to Dr. L when he asked about my injury history?!  Duh.  And so I sent him this message…

“Oh my goodness!  I don’t know why I didn’t think to tell you this today! I figured out what trauma started everything!

In September of 2012 I was moving out of my old house and on the last load of stuff I took to the car I fell down the stairs and landed on the floor of the garage.  I completely twisted my right foot, I thought it was broken.  It was swollen and purple and green.  But did I go to the hospital? No.  Did I even see a doctor about it?  Nope.  Why?  Because I had the Chicago marathon 3 weeks later.  I ran one time in those 3 weeks (the ultimate taper) just to make sure that I could still run at all.  Then I ran a marathon.  Then I took a short break from running.  Then I started Half-Ironman training for Racine during which my right hip got out of whack, etc, etc…”

So, now that we know what started all of this, we can get on with the business of fixing it.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  RRG will be back to running and good as new…eventually.

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Rolling With the Punches

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Some days just don’t seem to go according to plan.  Saturday was one of them.  I had a great day planned.  The boys’ basketball games in the morning, meeting friends at Hidden Valley ski resort at noon to learn how to snowboard, church and closing out the day at Luke Hoffman’s annual ice skating fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s.

The day started off fine.  I got up, put my hair in braids, made some coffee and met Mike and the kids over at school for an 8:30 basketball game.  Since Ethan also had baseball practice on Saturday morning, Mike and I had arranged to divide and conquer.  I stayed at the school at watched Silas’ game with Ally, while Mike took Ethan to the JCC for batting practice.  When the game was over, we still had some time to kill, so I took the kids back to my house for a bit.  I didn’t realize until we pulled back up to the school that Silas had jumped in the car without his coat.  He was only wearing his basketball uniform.  And it was 18 degrees out.  Parenting fail.  So, I threw an extra sweatshirt of mine around him to get him into the school and offered to drop his coat off at Mike’s house later.  Disaster averted.  But still, Strike 1.

Ethan played his heart out for the next hour.  Even though he didn’t score as much as he has in previous games, he is still a joy to watch.  He had one play where he drove down to the basket and passed it off to his teammate Adam who threw it up for 2.  Let’s not forget that the assist is just as important as the shot itself.  It’s all about teamwork.  Well done, boys!

After the game, I came out of the school (where I get absolutely no service to my phone) to find a message from Emily.  We were supposed to meet at Hidden Valley at noon, but she was still hadn’t heard from the boys who were running 16 at Forest Park that morning.  I took my time heading to the ski resort since I knew we were already dealing with “Nick time” but contemplating that the icy running conditions may have slowed them down even more.  So, I stopped and filled the car up with gas.  While I was there I decided to run in and use the little girl’s room.  I walked out to find it was my secret girl crush, Amy Marxkors, who had been trying to break in on me.  We stood in PetroMart cracking up at the apropos absurdity of our chance meeting.  I’ve said it before, if we try to plan a get together we can’t make it happen, but of course we would find each other at a gas station bathroom.  Especially since I knew I would see her that night at Luke’s event in Shaw Park.  We parted ways, but before we did, I had to ask, “How far are you going?”  I felt a pang of jealousy as she responded, “Sixteen”.  Only another injured runner understands how I could possibly be jealous of someone running 16 miles in 18 degrees.  Seriously, is EVERYONE I know training for a spring marathon right now?  Well, I thought, its ok, my hamstring seems to be getting better.  I still have a shot at 26.2 this spring…

In the meantime, Emily had located Nick and Steve so we made our way to Hidden Valley.  I was the first to arrive, so I went up to the lodge to check things out.  I arrived to find a sign stating…We are out of rental snow board boots sizes: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13.  Ugh.  Maybe I’ll ski?  And the sign continued…We are also out of Helmets medium and large.  No worries, I have a tiny head, a small is fine.  Do they have youth?  That would work too.  The sign…And we’re out of ski poles.  Sigh…Strike 2.

I pulled out my phone to text everyone this new information and saw that Steve had just parked.  Steve and I waited in the cold until Nick and Emily arrived and we could discuss.  I had already warned Dan off since he was coming the farthest.  Serena had bailed due to an ankle injury and we couldn’t find Jen, who we learned later had made her way on to the slopes to ski without us.  Good thing she didn’t wait around.  So, back to the drawing board.  I was ready to do something.  I needed some physical activity.  Everyone else had already run…42 miles between the 3 of them.  My jealousy reared its ugly head.  Then Emily suggested bowling.  Yes!  Bowling!  I jumped up and down in the snowy, gravel parking lot at her suggestion.

Our caravan set off down Manchester toward West County Lanes.  Ok, so it wasn’t the intense cardio of running or the challenge of learning to snowboard, but it was something.  And at least I was still going to put the hockey skates to good use later.  We were salvaging the day.  We paid for 2 games, got our shoes and Steve filled in the computerized score monitor with nicknames for all us.  The order was Emily Pink, Lindsey Goat, Pirate Nick and Vancouver Steve.  How I got shafted with the goat name since it was Nick who started that whole thing with his inability to read “COAT ROOM” at the Racine Marriott, I’m still not really sure.  Anyway, Emily gathered all the sparkly and pink swirly bowling balls and we got underway.  My first frame I snagged a spare.  Oh yeah, it’s on!  Yes, I’m even competitive at things I suck at, like bowling.  My second frame, I got up, grabbed a ball, started toward the lane and just as I released the ball I almost fell to ground in pain as the ball went straight into the gutter.  The hamstring!  Oh, No!  What have I done?!  I limped back, grabbed the ball again.  It’s ok, I’ll just go slow…?  Another gutter ball.  It was bad.  I sat down in pain feeling dejected.  Had I really just re-injured myself while I was BOWLING?!  Of all the lame ways to keep myself out of the running game.  And so much for skating later.  Strike 3!  I’m out.

Steve went to his car and grabbed a brand new bottle of Advil.  “Can I just eat these like M&M’s?” I joked.  I had to laugh to keep from crying.  In reality, I was devastated.  I could barely walk, let alone continue bowling.  But I did manage to prove that I am the world’s best granny bowler! And I still managed a significant ab workout since Emily spent a solid 5 minutes laughing at Nick’s question, “When is New Year’s?”  Hey, it’s good to laugh at yourself, it’s even better to laugh at your friends.

Steve, who had declared himself a terrible bowler, managed to beat everyone both games.  Somewhere along the way, the other Steve showed up and took over for me.  And Nick and Emily thought about going round 3 to break their tie, but ultimately, we all agreed to call it a day.

I headed home to get ready for Brian’s arrival for the evening.  Even though I likely couldn’t skate, we were still going to the fundraiser to support Luke and be social.  When Brian and I pulled up to the Shaw Park skating rink that night and I pulled my skates from the back of my car, Brian looked at me like, “You’re not seriously going to try this, are you?”  It was a bad idea, I knew it.  But the idea of being the one to just stand there while everyone else participates, is more painful than the hamstring injury itself.

We arrived and immediately said hi to Megan and Amy.  Shane, Heather and Gerry showed up with skates on a minute or so later.  Brian went and got skates, while I stood there holding mine and contemplating my dilemma.  Everyone went out to the ice while I went in to say hi to Luke and buy raffle tickets.  And then Shane started with the peer pressure.  “Get those skates on, Lady”.  Knowing that he was going to be there, I really should have left the skates in the car if I had any chance of avoiding getting on the ice.  A few minutes later the skates were on, at least I was as tall as everyone else while I stood around in the cold.  And finally, I ended the debate in my head, even if I went around the rink only one time, I HAD to.  So we made our way to the ice.  I was slow and careful and deliberate with my footing.  And as I skated, I realized, this is ok.  It’s really not too bad.  The big fear was if I started to fall and had to use my hamstring to stabilize myself, but I went around and around, hoping for the best.  Until finally, it happened.  I hit a chunk of ice and while I managed to stay upright, the damage was done.  Ok, yes, I admit it.  I was dumb.  It was a bad idea.  A really, really, really bad idea.  So what made me ultimately risk it and get on the ice?  Pride.  Of course.  There is absolutely no other reason.  I should have accepted Strike 3 and left it at that.

As we got off the ice, Luke’s girlfriend Kim, who is a hilariously awesome and wonderful human being (and has beautiful red curtains) grabbed me to let me know I had won the Qdoba gift card in the raffle.  Awesome.  So now while I am injured and unable to run, at least I can eat free burritos.

So now where do I go from here?  Well, the good news is I have an appointment to get my hamstring looked at tomorrow morning.  In the meantime, I guess I’ll just keep swimming and biking as much as I can.  Of course, we had yet another snow day today, so swimming was cancelled.  So much for that idea.

If nothing else, Winter 2014 with all of its snow days and setbacks is reminding me that I don’t get to be in control and sometimes I just have to roll with the punches.  On Saturday as I felt that jealousy twisting in my stomach over my friends running mileage in double digits in a day (I haven’t even done that in a week lately…or a month), I had to wonder…am I jealous that they are doing that?  Or am I jealous of the feeling they get when they are done and they can say, Yeah, I just finished a 16 mile run.  Honestly, it’s a little bit of both.  As much as I say I don’t have anything to prove to anyone else, I’ll be honest here, I sure do like the look on a customer’s face when they say, “So did you run today?”  And I respond, “Nah, I ran 20 yesterday so I took today off.  I’m training for another marathon.”   It’s pride.  And I like to keep proving my abilities.  But it’s times like this that I am forced to remember that while I am a runner, because I love it, it’s not all that I am.  There is so much more to it.

The other night I was having a text conversation with my friend, Kristen.  She was feeling frustrated that her running ability isn’t where she wants it to be.  And in my attempt to help her see the beautiful person that she is, she actually did the same for me as I read back through those texts.  Sometimes we score, sometimes we assist.  It’s all about teamwork.  Here is a portion of our conversation:

RRG: You may not be able to do what everyone else can.  That’s ok.  I want to qualify for Boston, but I can’t quite get there.  Does that make you think any less of me as a runner?

KS: Not at all.  I describe you to everyone else as “epic badassosity”.  Boston has nothing to do with it.  You run, you push yourself, you laugh, you cry, you help everyone around you, and your strength has nothing to do with your ability to run, swim, bike or drink epic amounts of Rum Chata.  What makes me put you on that epic badass pedestal is the person you are inside, not your athletic awesomeness.

RRG: And that, my friend, was exactly my point.  It’s not about who runs faster or farther or any of that BS.  Be true to yourself.  People are attracted to real, genuine people.  You’re awesome as you are.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  If they do, I will kick their ass.

RRG again: Who you are is enough.  Remember that.

It’s funny that I was having that conversation in an effort to make her feel better.  And yet, I needed those words just a few days later.  Yes, I have an injury.  And it’s incredibly humbling to say the very least.  Especially because it re-happened while I was Bowling.  Nothing ever hurts more than a blow to the ego.  But I am RRG and I will rise again. One way or another.  In a way, I have already risen above this, because I remember that who I am is enough.  Thank you, Kristen, for reminding me of that.  This hamstring ain’t got nothin’ on me.

Hopefully Dr. Laiderman will say the same.

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A New Adventure Awaits…

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Since starting this blog a year ago, I haven’t gone more than a week or so without posting.  Until now.  I’ve been quiet this month.  This hamstring injury has me a little down.  I’ve been swimming and biking and boxing and yoga-ing as much as I am able.  But sitting on a bike that isn’t going anywhere and staring at the cast of CSI while I pedal away doesn’t give me quite the same adrenaline rush as a long run through the woods.  Likewise, staring at the blue line on the bottom of the pool does even less for my mental health.  I still get the endorphin high of a good workout, but it’s just not the same.

Last week I did a quick warm up on the elliptical and then tried to jump on the treadmill for a bit.  By the time I was closing in on a mile, I could feel my hammy getting tight.  I decided to be smart, not risk it.  So I put my tail between my legs and went back to the elliptical.  I have started to question whether or not a spring marathon is really in the plan for me this year.  It’s still up in the air.  I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet, but we’ll see how the next couple weeks go.  Ultimately, I have to consider the long term goal.  Arizona in November is way too important to risk spending the whole summer healing from a hamstring injury.  Sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the present situation, but it’s important to remember the big picture.

My injury isn’t the only thing that has kept me from posting lately.  I am terrible at keeping secrets.  Wait! Before you decide to never confide in me ever again, let me clarify.  I am terrible at keeping secrets that I’m super excited about.  Like when I find the perfect present for someone.  Or if I’m on the brink of an awesome new adventure that I want to share with the world.

Well, it just so happens that there is big news in the world of RRG that I’ve been sitting on since just about the same time as my last post.  A couple weeks ago I showed up to work on a Monday afternoon and just as I sat down at the staff computer to send the weekly social run email, Rosie came flying into the backroom to see if I had read the email from David.  I had noticed the subject line, but hadn’t read it yet.  Something about Town and Country…huh?  I opened the email and Rosie stood behind me reading over my shoulder.  Come to find out, FLEET FEET St. Louis is starting a new partnership with the specialty triathlon store Swim Bike Run, located in Town and Country, MO.  Wow.  This is big news in the St. Louis world of endurance athletes.  FLEET FEET will be sharing space under the same roof as Swim Bike Run to assist with the specialty run part.  After reading the email, I went…Ohhhhh, that’s why Jaime called me today!  So I quickly grabbed the phone and called her back.  She didn’t even realize David had sent the staff email yet, but by the time we got off the phone we had a meeting arranged for Wednesday.

On Wednesday I went into the St. Charles store to meet with Jaime and Kristen to talk about my possible role in the new store.  Kristen has been on a yearlong hiatus from FLEET FEET, after serving as the head training coach in the past, she is now back to head up the new store.  You might remember Kristen’s appearance in my posts from Racine back in July.  Kristen and I, being very close in age, started the Racine half Ironman in the same wave.  I caught up to her on the bike somewhere around mile 50.  And we saw each other a couple times on the run.  Ultimately, I think she beat me by about a minute.  I can think of no other person that would make this new opportunity more enticing.  Funny side note:  Tracy, Kristen and I all showed up in each other’s race photos from Racine.  I guess it makes sense, you put three adorable blond triathletes from St. Louis in one wave and there is bound to be some confusion.

Anyway, I left that meeting an hour later feeling like my head was spinning.  I was on information overload.  I had a lot to think about.  I spent that afternoon and evening thinking about all that was presented.  I felt overwhelmed.  As much as I tried not to think about it, I would still find myself right back to dissecting every little detail.  I would have given anything to go for a run while I processed everything, which is typically what I do when faced with a big decision.  But since I couldn’t run, I had to opt for other methods of therapy.  So I baked brownies.  Somewhat counter-active, but whatever, it seemed to help temporarily.

I got to work Thursday morning still thinking through everything.  I talked with Erin some in between customers.  I was working it out.  I remember Erin saying, “I think you know your answer, Linds”.  She was right, it was pretty obvious.  Why wouldn’t I do this?  The timing of this is perfect.  The benefits are overwhelming.  As soon as it warms up, I can start riding my bike to work, where I can interact with experienced cyclists and triathletes on a daily basis while I try to figure out this whole Ironman thing.  I get to help blaze a trail with this new concept, and let’s face it, we all know that I am always up for a new challenge.

Here’s the thing that struck me recently.  Being a single parent is hard.  I don’t mean that in a whiney way.  I’m just being real.  Being a parent with a spouse is hard, so imagine doing it on your own.  My schedule is crazy.  Between a custody schedule, a retail schedule and a training schedule, I almost never know what day it is.  I go to work every Sunday while most of my friends are out playing.  Monday is a sleep in day for me while the world starts the work week.  My “weekend” can be found in the middle of the week because Tuesday and Wednesday are my two consecutive days off.  But not really, because I still have to do school drop offs and pick-ups.  I pack lunches and wash school uniforms. I take the boys to basketball practice. I
help with homework. I deal with snow days and sick kids, somewhere in there I try to get to the pool or jump on the bike.  I rarely know which end is up.  I have a hard time keeping track of anything.  But somehow I manage to keep it together.  Most of the time. Why?  Because I chose this life.  My life is a direct result of the choices I have made.  And it will continue to be.  So I try to make the most of the options presented to me.

As I was faced with this amazing possibility of joining Kristen and a couple of my other colleagues, I thought, no regrets.  Yes, life as a single parent is hard, but everybody has hard stuff to deal with in life.  The other day after swimming, I stood in the parking lot talking to my friend Sarah while our wet hair proceeded to freeze.  Sarah is a working mom who takes care of a child with a disability and she was telling me about the heart condition she has been dealing with for years.  She has a defibrillator implanted to assist her heart in an emergency, and she still participates in her events, but she can’t compete as hard as she used to.  I saw her at Innsbrook last summer where she had a huge PR and placed in her age group.  But she also had to have a personal kayaker out on the water with her.  Coincidentally, her kayaker was Sally Drake, owner of Swim Bike Run.  I also think of our friend Teri, who is constantly inspiring all of us with her pursuit to beat Cancer as she continues to complete marathons, Ironmans, all of it.  Not even the C-word can make Teri stop living life.  We are an amazingly close, supportive and interwoven community that I am beyond blessed to be a part of.

So, yeah, life is hard.  For everyone.  I’m no exception.  It’s all about perspective.  Just like Sarah said, as we stood in the parking lot cursing the stupid groundhog, “Sometimes we’ve just got to put on our big girl pants and keep going”.  We have been given the gift to keep doing what we love, even though sometimes it’s hard, and so we continue to do it.  Work hard, train hard, play hard.  And if I can combine all three at the same time, all the better.

No, my schedule doesn’t make any sense at all.  Not to anyone.  Least of all me.  I’m all over the place. But life is too short to go sit at a desk all day and do something that I’m not passionate about.  About a year ago, I wrote a post that started, “I love my job”.  That is still completely true today.  I’ve found my niche.  I am a runner.  I am a triathlete.  Here’s to the new adventure that awaits!

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