The sun warmed my shoulders and my legs stretched into each step like a well practiced-dance. (In my brain anyway .. most likely? Not so dance-like in person. Unless of course flopping zombie is a new dance move…:P)  I checked my time:  48 minutes.  “I’m making my best 5 k time yet!” I thought.

Which is about the time the log splitter hit my knee/leg. The next step was as far from dance like as possible. I lost stability in my left knee and felt a screaming pain. “A cramp.” I decided.  “Walk it off.” I kept walking. It got worse. With. Each. step.

I was only a block from home. I could : A) call home and hope the college boy would wake up and pick me up without killing me. or B) walk back.

I decided to walk back. Each time my leg swung my foot up and into the next step, I had hope that it was better… each time it landed back on the cement, the hope was crushed.

“This is not right.” Was all I could think.

I hobbled home. I must not have any Zombie apocalypse prepared neighbors.. because if I had, they’d have been all over me.  I lurch and swing my arms and leg like a zombie chasing down grey-matter souffle.  I had an appointment to get to, so I got ready, and strapped the ice to my knee for the drive.

“I’ll be fine by the time I get there.”  The drive was fine.  Not much pain. When I swung my legs out of the SUV to hop out of the truck, I felt the crushing pain, again. “I’ll go to the doctor later, if it’s still bad.”

It was.  I did.

2 sets of xrays and a leg immobolizer later- I’m the same. The ER doc thinks it could be a partial tear in a ligament. Possibly with miniscus involvement, I think: IT HURTS. And it makes me cranky.

I can’t run. (umm the inability to walk, kind of precludes, that.)

I don’t  know exactly what’s wrong.  (control freak?  Why yes, yes I am. I am happier when I know whats wrong. Also: better yet when I self diagnose. :P )

This is a different kind of pain from any other that I’ve experienced.

I hate that I did this while TRYING to exercise.

I hate that in the back of my mind I am wondering if it’s from over use…(Read: my own dumb fault.)  I’ve been pushing it. and hate the idea of having to start all over.

Now, I wait. Have I mentioned, that I’m not a fan of waiting?  I like it about as much as I like pain. (From all this complaining- you could safely deduce- I don’t.) In either my desperation or impatience- I called and made an appointment with a ortho.  It’s tomorrow morning.

I am hoping that by making the appointment it will magically be better. If not– then I am hoping that by GOING to the appointment it will magically be better. I would like to be able to woggle (my version of walking/jogging/wobbling) tomorrow.

Right now I’m wondering…” is there a lesson to be learned in this? “(umm other than the obvious) And “How can  best use this detour of my life?”

So far- I got nothin. My brain is to addled to write about anything but the pain. I can’t do housework.

So here are some questions for YOU:

When was the last detour you experienced?

How did you spend it?

Any lesson’s learned?

Do you think this brace makes my butt look big?

sunday dewI never thought I’d be one of “those” moms.  You know, the ones- they walk their kid to the bus stop and then head out for a “run.”   Them. The crazy runner moms.

I had lots of excuses:  “Bad knees.” “No time.” “I can’t afford the shoes…”  “If I have an hour I should spend it doing something productive… like laundry.”  “I have too much to do for my kids… to take that kind of time for myself.”

Yup. I had plenty of nice- good mom-excuses..

But, as I work on the “Mile in Her Shoes Project,” I realized, it’s more than excuses. I’ve been judging those “workout moms.”  And thats why, I didn’t want to be one.

I kind of thought I was “holier than thou,” because I don’t have time to take care of myself.  I focus on my kids, their needs, their schedules.. them. . So-that means I’m not selfish, right?

Then a couple of months ago we had that dog attack of doom.  I ended up flat on my back with an injury from trying to fend off a german shepherd….The worst part is- I couldn’t really fend off that shepherd. It was pathetic. I am so out of shape I couldn’t take care of myself, my kids or pets.

Not good.

Recovering gave me some time to ask myself some questions. I did not like the answers… “In the condition I am in… can I really care for my kids in the best way possible?  Answer: No.  I’m tired and sore and crabby over my weight. What kind of example am I living?  Answer: That cake and cookies are a good stress reliever. If it’s not what I say but what I do that matters as a mom..what a I showing my kids to do? Answer: “To not take care of yourself.

BUZZZZZ! Wrong answer.

When you combine these answers with a cholesterol level hovering over 200, my blood pressure creeping up at each doctors appointment, an ongoing struggle to manage stress and PMDD…and a family history of diabetes and heart disease (my Dad had a heart attack and bypass at 50.) … Something had to change.

My attitude.

It’s not selfish to want to be alive and healthy for my kids, my husband and (yes) myself.  Is it?

174 miles in this pair of shoes has taught me that no, it’s not.

At first- it was HARD. I made lame mistakes by being overzealous and training too hard.  I made it hurt more than it needed too. It took more time than necessary.  I felt crappy. That was not so much, good for my family.  but I’m learning.

Now- I’m listening to my body. I run when I feel like it and walk when I don’t.   It doesn’t HURT everyday.  Actually- my back feels better and things are starting to fit better. Looser- even! (Although- I’m refusing to weigh myself because I don’t want this to be about weight…)

At Noah’s cajoling- I’m trying to eat breakfast.  (I hate eating in the morning.)

I’m eating fruit instead of some of my baked goods frenzies… (let’s not be nuts here-.. some baked goods are necessary for mental health!)

And yes- I’m running 5 days a week. I’m averaging somewhere between 4-6 miles each day. Sometimes I run more than I walk- sometimes I walk the whole thing.. But,I’m getting there. One step at a time. One mile at a time.

174 miles in her shoes.. only now?  They are mine!

To all the moms out there who’ve been working hard to take care of yourselves while I’ve sat back and judged you as selfish.. I’m sorry about that.  I’m learning. I’m growing..

I’m letting go of my prejudices.

***for those who will worry- the shoes in the pic- are NOT what I’m running in:P

Questions for you:

How do you take care of yourself?

Do you exercise?  Why, or why not?

How do you feel about “those” moms?

Who are “those” moms to you?  The moms like me, who sit on the couch and complain about and make excuses for being un-fit?  (Until I really felt like I HAD to do something.. I really thought I couldn’t…)


Every day she totters the distance from her front door of her farm house, to her mailbox.  Her carefully coiffed grey hair is always appropriately, seasonally covered.  Sometimes by a stocking cap, other times by one of those amazing plastic origami-like rain-bonnets that fold into tiny rectangles and are stored in every grandmother’s purse. (Where do they get those?  i’ve never seen them in the wild…)

Her walker may have snow tires.  I’m not sure, but she makes that trek, every day rain or shine. It takes her about 1/2 hour, round trip.  (I may be even slower when I run.. maybe I should check into a walker for speed work?) I think she’s amazing.

Last week, while I was on my “wun” (walk+run=wun) I watched her  make her trek as I came down the road.  Maybe it was because I miss my grandmother.. maybe it was a holy prompting, but my heart said to : go say “Hi” and hug her.

“Hug her?” I argued with my heart.  “I’m sweaty.. besides, if I stop, my heart rate will slow down and muck up my work out…”

“Hug her.” Came the response. “If she’s close enough, when I get there, I will.” I countered.

It’s possible I slowed my already slow-motion run into a snails pace to avoid the hug. Honestly?  I didn’t want to have her hit the button on her “lifeline” necklace and have the police show up because I had accosted her at the mailbox… well.. that, and I didn’t want to look like a sweaty- nut.

My plan backfired. My slowed pace put me right at the mailbox as she was checking and rechecking it.  There was nothing there.

“Hi” I said, smiling and sticking out my (sweaty)  hand, hoping she’d heard my approach and fearing if she hadn’t, I was at risk of giving her a heart attack… “Hello.” She said “There’s nothing for me today. Did you see if the mail lady already came?  I thought she did, but there’s nothing for me.” Her disappointment was palpable. “Yeah, she already came by…” I offered.. knowing it wasn’t what she wanted to hear.

“Hug her.” Said that little voice, yet again. Tired of arguing with it, I swallowed my fear and stepped closer. (more…)

The 78th mile was not the most difficult to run/walk.

I’m not talking about running a straight 78 miles. That would be insane, and I’m pretty sure, in that case, the 78th mile would be the hardest.  Anyway…

My 78th mile took a month to arrive, I’ve been building up to it one step at a time.  It wasn’t what I’d expected.

The 78th was far from the most difficult.  The most difficult mile wasn’t even in the first 5 miles.  Or the first mile.  The most difficult was the distance from the couch to my front door.

Now- I’m not so bad that I was wheezing by the time I got to the door… I just had a really difficult time making myself do it.

I kept making up excuses:  I’ll hurt my back, I don’t have time, It’s too cold, It’s too hot, I’m too fat to be seen running in public.  I’ll embarrass myself.  I’ll hurt myself. What if I can’t do it anymore? The list was endless.

I decided to just do it. (Nike owes me now. I’ll take payment in shoes, kthnxbai)

In the past, I’ve dieted and exercised to lose weight.. and I’d like to see that as a by-product now… but this time, there’s something more.   I want to see how far I can go. I want to see what I can do.   I want to run a 5 k this summer.

Why?  I don’t know.  I like challenges and growth?  We’ll chalk it up to that. But, I also think there is the whisper of God in my ear… reminding me of who I am and who he is making me into…

I’m learning a lot as I run. I forgot how much stress is relieved by exercise.  I forgot how much better I feel when I exercise.  (well.. when I’m not hurting, that is..) Somewhere along the line, I forgot that I actually CAN run and can even enjoy it. The sunshine feels amazing.. even when I’m sweaty.

My goal right now is to see how far I can go.  This morning I walked/ran 5.2 miles.  It took me an eternity. (Ok it took 1:29 minutes, but still.. I did it!)  I’ve been slowly building up distance for a month…started with 2 miles… I’m going to keep going…

I’m not a sprinter.. I’ve never been.. but somewhere, under all that has become me.. is the distance runner I used to be. A long, slow, distance runner. Someone who doesn’t quit, even if the road gets hard and changes and it takes me forever. Someone who finishes and stretches and goes further than she thought she could…

I’d like to find her again…

Maybe not just on the road…

It’s part of my journey.

So where are you at?  Are you facing challenges?  Do you wonder how far you can go?  Maybe it has nothing, or everything to do with exercise.. but I’m curious…

I’m at the 78th mile.. and it’s not as bad as I thought it would be:)

001

Yoga looked so easy and relaxing,  until I tried it.

“Breathe, maintain your center of balance, lift one foot, using your hand and place it on your opposite thigh, knee turned out.  Bring hands together, front centered..” 

So begins the instructions for the Yoga practice known as the Tree pose.   It sounds simple enough and not the least bit dangerous or even painful.  IT LIES.

Yoga is about maintaining body centeredness, core stability and deep breathing.  This should be RELAXING.  Umm.. Hello.  IT IS NOT. (At least, not so far). 

Maybe it’s because I’m using the Wii Fit Yoga method…Maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe it’s because my yoga partner is a 6 year old who giggles while I wobble.  I’m not sure WHY, but I KNOW I do not look like the pics and videos I’ve been viewing. 

The yoga instructors look calm and relaxed- my face is scrunched up in a mix of: concentration and pain while sweat is dripping down my back .  The yoga instructor looks serene and stands elegantly motionless.  My ankles shake and I sway like a top heavy sapling in it’s first summer storm.

In the Yoga class of life I may be more tree-frog than tree pose, but I’m  making progress. During this lenten season- I’ve felt that I needed to add things into my life that would nourish and care for the life that God has given me.  An aspect of my life that has been long neglected is the physical aspect..

I’ve started 3 simple things:

1)  Eating food, not products.

2)  Feeding myself instead of starving myself until I’m ravenous and then stuffing myself.

3)  Exercising to strengthen my body for service.

I used to run. ALOT.  I miss the rhythm and the meditational quality of running, what I don’t miss is my former obsession with it.  I’d like to learn to run in moderation.  I’ve set a small goal: to run a 5 k race.   I’m starting slowly- and am adding other forms of exercise to balance out my exercise schedule.

 I may be a tree-frog now— but I’ll be a strong deeply rooted tree , eventually.  This is the scripture I’m meditating on while my ankles shake and I struggle to maintain the tree pose:

Psalm 1:3 (New International Version)

 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
       which yields its fruit in season
       and whose leaf does not wither.
       Whatever he does prospers.

Dear Lord- I want to care for all that you’ve given- mind body and spirit..please help me to honor you by being a stewart that cares well for your gifts, oh.. and Lord?  Could you hold me still duing the tree pose?  I’m having a little trouble with that!  amen