Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What would you change if you knew you only had one year left to live

Recently I revisited an article titled "What would you change if you knew you were going to die in one year"

So here is what I would change.

1) I would move back to Maryland  to be with my family

2) I would sell everything except my car, because I like to go places.
3) I would splurge on Food and Experiences
4) I would stop worrying
5) I'd stop questioning my value and beauty
6) I would quit social media
7) I'd take my daughters out of school and spend every day with them.
8) I would smell them and hug them too much.
9) And, I would make them videos and write them books of memories and lessons
10) I would print every picture I ever took.
11) I would be as honest and sincere as I could, always.
12) I would let go of pain and scars.
13) I'd kiss my husband every day.
14) I wouldn't work out, but I would run until my bones broke, and then some more.
15) I would tell each person I love, why I love them.

So, the point of this exercise, I gathered, was to pick your list apart, and change what you can control now.  As I sit here with tears rolling down my face, it's a very simple but powerful exercise to really narrow down what is important to each of us. I look at this list and I see very clearly what is important to me: My Family, Nature, Friends, Mental Freedom.  I guess I could move home without a death sentence, and I guess I could pull my daughters out of school and forgo conforming any longer to society. I kind of already do run until my bones break, so I guess I can check that one off.  But..all of those things have consequences that leaves us in a rational state figuring out the right and wrong things to do in our lives, the possible, the difficult, the affordable things that contribute to quality of life . But...I think the conversation that is starts with yourself, when you put yourself in this idea wholeheartedly , is possibly one that can filter thorough the muck, through the decision making process, through the top layers.   I realize this is getting very abstract, but looking at my own list I see the things I want.  I want to be free of negativity and excess, it gets in the way of so many things in so many ways! I want to like myself more, which goes hand in hand with my previous "want".  That is not a poor me thing. I like myself a lot, most of the time. But, I want to all the time...

I'll digress for just a moment because I think this is one of the greatest things I've heard in a long time...

“Even if you sleep late, eventually every day begins, and in the first minute of each day you have to face yourself. Day after day, until you die, you will wake up and remember what you’ve done. Memories of what you did the night before will bubble to the surface. Those memories will come with feelings. If you binged on ice cream or box wine or cocaine, that will be one of your first thoughts, and it will come with a weight of shame, maybe even self-hate.
“Those feelings may be subtle when you’re young and you think you have all the time in the world to turn things around. But unless you practice treating yourself well, soon you’ll be in your 50s and you’ll wake up and the pain of that first minute will be so intense that the day ahead will feel like a prison sentence.”
  “If you practice treating yourself well, then in your first minutes you’ll remember that you met a goal. You’ll remember that you ate food that nourished you, and that you moved and played with the body you’re so lucky to have. Those positive memories will come with good feelings—with deep, meaningful pleasure. A sense of peace. Accomplishment. Rightness.
“Practice living with intention and treating yourself well. Bother to care for and about yourself and your body, and your first minutes will feel like new beginnings. Ignore your body’s needs, neglect yourself, or continue to justify not treating yourself well, and your first minutes will be torture.
 “And here’s the thing: Your first minutes are unavoidable. Even if you graduate and get rich, you can’t ever outsource your first minute. You can’t hire someone to deal with it for you. Yes, you’re gonna die. We’re all gonna die. But until that hammer drops, you alone have to experience the first minute of every single day between now and then. We’re talking tens of thousands of times. Dying only happens once. Relative to those thousands of first minutes, dying is small potatoes.
 “Not to say that stuff has no impact on how you feel about life. Obviously, it does. But unless you treat yourself well and feel well, then it doesn’t matter how much good stuff you’ve got going on, because it’ll all just feel like a fancy box that you live in and resent until you die.”-Kelly Coffey

I want to work on my relationships, I want to make them better, stronger, more honest, less fluff, less criticism and judgement, more accepting, patient, and loving.  

The other day, a rare day when my house was clean, my to-do list was all crossed off for the day, dinner was great, and there was no arguing or bickering with or by anyone...I looked around and felt satisfied. I felt calm and happy. I felt loved and loving. I decided at that moment, that everything I have is enough. I tried really hard to hold on to that feeling for a few days.  It lasted until one night I had one too many cocktails, and spent the first minutes of the next morning wishing I hadn't, not feeling very good. The house was no longer straight, and the girls were arguing over the Minecraft world they were playing in together, virtually.

It's hard  for me to look at myself without negativity.  I don't always see the good stuff.  I don't always see strong, only the weaknesses I have.  Some days I forget to listen to my children talking. And some days marriage is work. Some days I miss my family so much that resentment and anger builds like a fire. I believe all of us are works in progress, and I thought this exercise, of listing the things I would change if I only had one more year to live, showed me the things I should change if I have 100 more years to live...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My New Year Post 2017

I went total cliche this New Years.  I took off December and  ate and drank myself into a jean size bigger, all with the idea and anticipation of resting & recovering from a year full of races, runs, biking, yoga, and getting stronger. A year full of really cool places and really hot runs, actual muscle definition, and very little body fat. But all that melted away in December with the help of all the food and all the drink and all the merry ol' holiday spirit..with gravy.

Actually, if you know me, you know this was an unplanned R&R.  Nagging pains and past injuries had been pestering my runs since a  Thanksgiving morning run in the snow. So, I talked myself into a planned (not really planned) rest, because I have filled my plate and went back for seconds, thirds, and a doggy bag for 2017.

Not to mention all the training runs I love and need to get me to these races in the New Year, this year, here's what I have on my horizon:

  • Moab Red Hot 55k in February
  • Buffalo Run at Antelope Island 50k in March 
  • Quad Rock 50 mile in Colorado in May
  • Scout Mountain 20 mile, Pocatello in June
  • Bighorn 100 mile, Wyoming in June
  • Speedgoat 50k (The Monster of the 50k) in July, Snowbird, UT
  • Wasatch 100 mile Endurance Run, September, Wasatch Mountains, UT
  • The Bear 100 mile Endurance Run ALSO in September, Utah/Idaho.

The only one iffy on that list is Wasatch, as it is a lottery. However, I did not get in last year, so I think my chances are even better this year of my name getting pulled. I am January 3, with a mostly healed lower leg.  This pain comes and go's. It is an off and on  lingering pain / sensation from a tibial stress fracture 2 years ago.  I have had it MRI'd in the past (not this time) But, the MRI came back clear as  crystal.  Doctor said it could be nerve damage.  Either way, it irritates and worries me, becasue I have been benched in the past for almost 4 months due to an injury in the same spot..ayeyeye. So, I have rested..Im so damn rested, I feel like Ive been hibernating with Winnie the pooh and and large quantities of honey..and wine..and Salsa Verde dorittos..and tacos, plenty of tacos.

So here is my New Year Post.  Not of much interest to many, but a good way for me to get it all outta my head. So thanks computer for allowing me to blow my running bubbles with the ease of a keyboard and the risk of carpal tunnel. Who needs paper anyway. #savethetreesman

I gotta end this post with a reflection of 2016.  As far as running goes, it was mostly great.  Ups and downs with aches and pains didnt stop me this year from finishing all the races I set out to run. The first half of the year was tough. I figured out some tummy issues and dealt with a 5 week rest a month before Bryce100 (another unplanned rest due to a nagging injury that felt too much like a breaking bone)  Bryce was interesting and eye opening. Beautiful race, but hot and more like 105 miles. I learned way too close for comfort of the need to carry more water than you think you'll need. I learned to take care of your feet out there in the sandy desert for 100 miles, and that was no joke. I also learned DO NOT expect you and your ALSO sleep deprived crew to rally back to Salt Lake after a 100 mile race in the dark. Because although 4 hours aint no most certainly is after being awake for 40+ hours.
I came back to end my summer running with a satisfying finish at the Speedgoat 50k.  Paced 3 different friends in 100 mile races, exceeded my expectation at the Corner Canyon 50k in October, and ended the year with a double crossing of the Grand Canyon.Which was really great. For what its worth, I thought the eye candy was on the North Rim, BY FAR!

But- lets talk about this election. Have you heard?? The US elected an unqualified orange man who tweets angrily and often at media criticism and has turned this country into a dangerous joke, that for the first time in my life actually makes me want to cry about politics. This is not a new feeling for the millions of Americans who chose differently.  I was having a conversation with 2 men the other day- about this said asshat.  At last, I blurted out.."But hey guys!! Grab them by the Pussy?!?" Both men, one lib & one not, agreed with each other, that that was not that big of a deal."That's how men talk"...My only response was , well, than I am disappointed in both of you too. A friend of mine, whom I was very close to in my youth, is an apparent Trump supporter given her social media accounts.  I know for a fact this girl has been sexually assaulted, raped.  I will not go further into other reasons I can't understand her support for the man-baby. But, I am so shocked and sickened by even this one aspect of Trump.  But, more so, I am shocked and sickened by the "no big deal" attitude of the way he treats and has talked about women.  Trump is a national Show full of quick insults when his detached from real America ego gets fractured by the NY times or CNN. He's a joke..and we are the butt.

I'm putting it here, and honestly hope I am wrong when I come back and re-read this next year. I hope we go further forward as a united country. This will be tough given the volatile steps we have taken backwards over the last 18 months. But, I'll do my part. I will try to understand why him? How Him?! But, I am not hopeful I'll ever agree.

Anyway,  back to running for sanity, for health, for a pure high, and for a damn good time.
Happy 2017


No one can really know Everything about you, but

I cannot live with someone who can't live without me.
Nadine Gordimer