I’ve been on rest and reset mode the last couple of weeks regarding both running and writing- but I have not quit!
This past weekend we went to the Mariposa Festival here in Fort Worth. It is fascinating to learn that the Monarch Butterfly travels from Canada to Mexico every year pollenating along the way.
This got me to thinking. This tiny creature has a big job. What if it decided to quit? Without its migration, there would be no pollination of plants, fruit or flowers in the spring, monarchs to see in October, nor festivals to celebrate them.
The following day we completed a six mile run. It was faster than the last which was a victory, but we are substantially behind schedule. Still, we are enjoying the journey and all it has to teach us along the way.
So far, I’ve learned my health needs more than exercise. I knew this, but sometimes we need to experience truths for them to settle in completely. So, for three weeks I have been eating a mostly vegan diet and taking the Cleansing Trio from Young Living. I’ve also stopped coffee for a bit to let my adrenals rest and re-nourish. Oils like Endoflex, Nutmeg, and EnerGee are helping too.
Mostly, I’m learning how important small efforts are in relation to our lives and the world. I mean maybe only a handful of people read these posts, but that handful matters. You matter. Besides, with each post, I grow too!
Nothing occurs without impact, not even from the tiniest creatures. So, no matter how small the job, if it is yours- don’t quit!
I mean I work my Young Living business and see clients regularly, but I make the hours for these gigs. I set the pace. School on the other hand…
When school ended in May, I had 2.5 months off with my kids. The days filled mostly with late morning breakfasts, swimming, gym-time, and eating frozen yogurt on the regular. Then BAM– August hit, and I was back in the saddle with full-time adulting. TA work, PhD Homework, dinner preps, early mornings, and all the food packing issues are now daily demands.
If I am being honest, some of the first things I wanted to ditch was this blog and the half-marathon training. I mean, who really wants to read this blog anyway? Who would notice if I decided to quit running? Would it really matter? Perhaps, it’s even wise to quit- you know? Rest. Present over perfect. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Turns out, I can totally quit if I want to, but here’s the thing- I don’t. I made a commitment to myself to consistently run and write. Not for achievement sake, but to attempt something I knew I may NOT do incredibly well, on purpose, and to give myself the grace to do it anyway. To ENJOY it. After all, I chose these tasks because they bring me joy and clarity in my often too hectic world. The publication of these efforts? I mean, I could totally write and not have a blog. Still, because I work from home and my regular conversations are with two really cute but verbally non-responsive dogs, I crave community and connection.
I absolutely love that I have an online community of like-minded people who are always on a journey to live well. So, it is here, that I share these tiny offerings of noticing, with the hope that we might connect on some level and encourage one another.
More on quitting.
Last Sunday, we headed out for an 8-mile run. The weather was awesome, and the run was good. We made it to mile 7 and then I stopped. At that moment, I realized that resting is okay and it is not the same as quitting. This may seem over-simplified and obvious to some, but for me, I am historically an all or nothing kind of player. I’m a rule follower and have Achiever in my Top Five Gallup Strengths. Still, I am discovering that I have the freedom to change the rules at any time and that I set my own bar for achievement- especially in tasks like running for fun for Pete’s sake!
This Sunday, I ran 2 miles. My body was achy, my mind scattered, and my day too full. So, I rested, oiled, and nourished my very tired self.
But I ran! I set the pace.
Today, my noticing is that resting is better than quitting. My reasons are still formulating. One that is clear is that I have kept a commitment to myself. It dawned on me, when life got busy the first thing I was tempted to put down, were things I had promised myself. The more I live, the more I realize how valuable the commitments I make to myself are, and how these commitments directly impact who I want to become. In contrast, I don’t want to happen upon a life that chaos brought forth. I’ve had both, and I undoubtedly prefer the life I choose.
So, this week I encourage you to keep going. Rest; don’t quit. You can do this!
There is a day in my training schedule that calls for cross-training. Confession- I did not do this well my during training for my last half-marathon. I did a bit of yoga but that was it.
This time around I have included indoor cycling. Last winter we discovered Peleton and I fell in love with the classes, music, and instructors. Specifically, Ally Love. This lady is an inspiration and I find myself thinking of her words throughout my day too.
“Yes or yes?” She asks and this helps me stay on track and not quit even when my legs are burning and my eyes are filled with sweat. Then, later in the day, those same words help me do the things, adult, and get my life done.
Yes and yes, I also realize that this is a bit of a bougie bike, and no we are not rich. But, I felt that investing in something that improves our health and mind was worth it! And, it has been.
As for effectiveness, both Tom and I have felt really good on our long runs, and I have noticed less joint pain. I imagine this is due to the variety of motion I get now in my cardio sessions.
Today, I will be heading out for a run and tomorrow yoga. Funny thing is now that I follow the schedule, I’m not running all the time to train for running.
The goal of cross-training is to improve overall performance.
This got me to thinking.
Everything we do in life is actually cross-training for our other activities. What I learn in yoga I use in life. I breathe through difficulty and stretch myself mindfully to avoid harm. Eating teaches me the power of choice and temperance. Friendships teach me the beauty of connection, sameness, difference, and a hundreds of other meaningful things I couldn’t possibly capture here or maybe not even in words.
This week I’ve been back at school. Specifically, I started a class regarding human systems. From what I’ve learned so far, everything is connected and no action within a system goes without impact.
I’m venturing to say this concept as a construct is the reason for mindfulness in regard to our actions. Or perhaps it’s because of this concept that there is something to for which to be mindful.
See what I did there?
Some might call this overthinking. Gallup Strengths might call this Input and Intellection. Both could be correct.
For me, today, I believe it might be better described as savoring each moment of my existence in this divinely orchestrated universe.
In which types of cross-training do you participate?
The school year is upon us and our family schedules are changing.
During vacation months, I enjoy the time with my kids but simultaneously want more order and structure. So, the end of the summer is generally both sad and exciting for me. See, the fall quickly provides that structure in which I thrive, but it also creates an empty house.
As my family heads back to school, my daily company becomes Willow our black lab. I see clients on weekends and attend classes for my doctoral program in the evening, making my schedule opposite to that of my people.
Wellness will require some planning. Less sugar for healthy bodies, warm potted meals due to less produce and prep-time, and supporting immune systems and spirits with warm scents of Young Living Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Ginger, and Thieves. Even when I’m gone I can leave these investments for my family.
Running during this season is a perfect reminder for how to adapt.
The trees lead by example and remind me to change gracefully, conserve energy, and shed unnecessary attachments. The cooler temps remind me to add useful layers and purpose to connect with others to stay warm. Rising heat in the afternoons, remind me that the summer will be back sooner than I expect.
Next week, I will begin taking later morning runs and eating earlier dinners. Both will be alone, as I we all complete another semester.
I am preparing my heart for this gift. I know it’s exactly what we need. Still, I am grieving another summer, another year with my small but growing boy and the young lady who is no longer little. Meanwhile, celebrating and still missing the oldest whose away at college. I know time can’t stand still, but I wonder if has to go so fast?
Gratitude and praise.
Here’s to another school year. May it bring friendships, knowledge, health, opportunities for service and a gentle practice of training through change.
I am not sure about the psychological truth to this statement- yet. I do know that guilt tends to surround my efforts in health and fitness. You know the shoulds and oughts that linger the minute you’ve eaten off plan or rested on a non-rest day?
Maybe it’s just me.
Yesterday, I had a three mile run scheduled, but I also had some unscheduled insomnia the night before. Sleeplessness shows up from time to time and does it’s best to wreck my plans for productivity. I’ve learned many tricks that help: yoga, essential oils, good nutrition, and supplements. Still, I have off days of little to no sleep.
Progress not perfection.
Instead of a run, I slept late. Then, I took my son to the aquarium, where we met our aunt, uncle, and cousins. We ate lunch at the cafe instead of at home as planned and ended with ice cream.
It’s been some time since we’ve seen this part of our family and it was fun to catch up while exploring. I absolutely loved this day and the time spent with my sweet boy and our family.
It was a treat.
Guilt lingered in the background to be sure it wasn’t left out, and pestered this morning as the sun came up.
And today, I’m back on schedule and headed out for a run. I intend to eat better too- again.
I wonder if guilt is what gets me back on track? I also wonder if grace could be a better more kind and edifying encourager?
Off to pound that out. Wishing you a day filled with guilt-free joy!
Remember the snake fear that came to mind at my 5:00 am alarm last week? Well, that became a reality during yesterday’s 5-mile long run. So in defense of the psychological immune system, it does know things. However, the moral of this story up front is, I survived.
Snakes are a real possibility when you run on a trail in North Texas. This one was of the rat snake variety (according to a biker who passed it when we did) and was long enough to stretch the width of our paved trail.
It was harmless.
Still, I think I stopped breathing for a minute or two following the sighting. Which, in my defense, could have been deadly.
But, it was not.
One of my big fears came to be yesterday and it wasn’t that bad. As I finished my run, with improved pace time, I couldn’t help but think about how this relates to most of the fears that have held me back in life. Maybe you too?
I literally have the word Courage tattooed on my arm and have spent the last several years perfecting the art of “doing it scared”.
I took my first yoga class, because I heard it could be helpful in practicing bravery. (It is!) I discovered essential oils to help support my emotions and overcome other fears. Hiking has become an effort in intentional adventure and running has helped tremendously too.
As a therapist and coach, I work with others to help them overcome the scary and live a life they love. As a student, I study resilience and the power of mind. I guess you could say I’ve learned to leverage this challenge of mine and use it to add value to my life and that of others.
What I continue to discover is that fear is indeed a liar or an exaggerator at best. Rotten things do happen but most of the time they don’t. Leaning into difficult experiences builds strength for that which lies ahead.
Running trails and life have unexpected challenges, but I wonder, if we don’t take those trails, how can we truly know our fullest potential? I still hesitate. I will probably always need to breathe through scary moments. It’s my wiring, but it is no longer my cage.
Today, my challenge was a friendly snake, and I’m happy to report I lived to write about it.
What would you do today if you knew you would succeed? I say go for it! I can’t wait to hear about your success.