Your Kids Don’t Parent YOU …

Some days I wonder how some people make it to parenthood, let alone adulthood. Seriously … I work with the public, and am in constant contact with some very interesting people. Most days all I can do, short from asking them if they are serious, is just keep my mouth shut and shake my head. Oh, if you could only hear the conversations that I have with myself in my head … Yeah … If I could say what I really want to say and exactly what I feel …

Take for example the woman who came in because she stepped on something and she just knew that there was a tiny piece of a wood splinter in her foot. The Doc on examines it, and orders the appropriate x-ray, and finds nothing. However she is insistent that there’s a splinter in her foot and she wants it out. The Doc explains to her that it’s not visible, and that there is no reason to cut open her toe to find a splinter that may not even be there. She is devastated because her toe hurts, she wants us to find that splinter. Ultimately, she is discharged home. She’s upset because she doesn’t understand that cutting open her toe would be FAR worse than just letting the “invisible” splinter work itself out. She tells us that she would be heading to another ER for a second opinion.

Then there’s the mother who brought her son in to the ER because he told her that he was playing and his heart stopped. Really? He was playing, then he came to you and just told you that his heart stopped? Well, yeah, and I want him checked out. I ask the child if, when this happened, he fell or if he passed out. He tells me, no, that he was just playing and it stopped. Here’s the kid bouncing off the wall in my triage room, as happy and as healthy as can be. Okay? Could she not see that her son was perfectly healthy? Did she really want us to find something wrong?

What about the 7 year old girl, whose mother brought her in because she threw such a huge temper tantrum that “she started shaking and just didn’t look right.” She, too, was acting appropriately in triage, albeit she had what I call the “sup sups,” you know the diaphragm spasms that you get when you have yourself a good cry? Nothing wrong with your kiddo, Ma’am, except that she knows how to play you and get what she wants.

Then there’s the 15 year old girl who shows up with an infected tongue. Hmmm … let me see … yep, it’s green. Through her lisp, she tells me that she just got her tongue pierced. I tell her to take the piercing out, and she argues with me that she can’t because of the fact that the hole will close. Um … I look to her mother for a little support, and I find none. She tells me that she doesn’t listen to her ever. She tells me that she told her not to get the piercing, that she was against it. I shake my head, then turn to my patient, and tell her once again to take out the piercing. I explain to her that her tongue is infected, and that it could get worse. I tell her that she doesn’t have a choice unless she wants to lose part of her tongue. I ask her to try and swallow without using her tongue. She tells me that she can’t. Case and point, now hand over the piercing.

I love this one … Young boy comes in with a head injury sustained from falling off his bicycle. I ask if he was wearing a helmet, and his mother says that he was not. I ask why and she tells me, “I can’t make him wear a helmet.” Excuse me, ma’am, but you are his mother, are you not? YOU ARE HIS MOTHER! You don’t need to explain anymore. If he wants to ride his bike, he wears a helmet, no ifs, ands, or buts!

If I sound judgemental, I don’t mean to be. I won’t tell anyone how to parent their child, but it does grate me when parents tell me that their kids don’t listen to them. What? YOU are the parent. They don’t get a choice. We are responsible for them at least until the age of 18, and this means that we prevent them from causing undue harm to themselves as best as we can. This doesn’t mean that they get coddled, or that we overprotect them. It means that they don’t parent you. They don’t get much of a say when you decide something, they don’t get to tell you what they are going to do. I don’t understand why some parents are afraid to discipline their children. It’s not that hard. Children need boundaries that they cannot cross. They need rules. They need that discipline.

Too many times I see parents who are overwhelmed and have the look of defeat on their faces. I say that they gave up, they let their kids “win” because they don’t want to hurt their feelings, or that they want to be their kid’s best friend. You are not supposed to be their friend, you are their mother/father, suck it up, and be the parent that they need you to be.

I smile when my nine year old daughter, can spot a rowdy, obnoxious kid and tell me exactly what he needs – a good spankin’! She can tell if a baby is tired and needs a nap, or if it’s hungry and needs something to eat. I listen to the conversations that my boys have about kids who are annoying, and how they understand that their parents are in need of being parents.

Mind you, I am not a “perfect” parent, but I am the parent. My kids don’t get away with much. What they do get away with are minor incidents that don’t require any or much punishment, but rather a stern talking to. I am thankful to have a husband who is a great dad, and who is on the same page as I am when it comes to parenting. That’s important. My kids have wild requests for tattoos and earrings, etc. The earring I can handle. The tattoo, they know not to ask until they’re 18. For the most part, my kids are just as spoiled as the next, and they understand that they have it pretty good. They’re great kids – smart, funny, polite, individuals, and I would not trade them for anything. I am thankful, and I know that I am very blessed. I have to thank my parents, who didn’t let me get away with anything, or raise me to be an idiotic adult. Thank you, Jesus!

Now … Repeat to yourselves as you peruse the following pictures … “I will not complain about my children. I will Not complain about my children. I will NOT complain about my children.”

Pouty lip? I don't feel sorry for ya!
Wow! Really?
Oh my ...
I don't even have any words ... There are NO words ...

***Note: I downloaded these pics from the internet. I don’t know who these individuals are personally, but I DO understand that they are someone’s children. I am just amazed, and looking at them, it makes me even more thankful and grateful for the children that I have been blessed with. God bless the parents of these children. I only hope that they are loved unconditionally …

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Marathon Training – Week 5 – Chillin’ Like A Villain

It’s week 5, and for me it means that I’m starting over with week 1 of my training plan. It’s kind of hard to explain, but the training plan that I’m using is 18 weeks long, and since I started early (July 1) I was 4 weeks ahead. So … once week 4 was over, I was to start over.

At first I thought that I was being hypocritical by writing this post after I had just posted a blog where I basically said that I was done running for awhile. I didn’t and still don’t want to run “seriously” at this time. But I’m still working out because as I said, I’m not the kind of athlete to just walk away completely. I’m still doing things. I still plan on working hard, just not running hard as I have hung up my running shoes. I think that I got over zealous and put too much pressure on myself with the marathon training and basically petered out.

My last blog post caught the attention of a lot of people. Maybe it was the title, “Hangin’ Up My Shoes.” I don’t know.

MiniRow, MACHine, & Mellie Mel!

A lot of people were worried about me, and wanted to know what happened and why. What can I say? Things happen. Running is such a huge part of my life, but like I said, it’s WHAT I do, not WHO I am. Marathon training is NO joke. It takes up a lot of time and energy. Waking up early to run left me practically listless throughout the rest of the day, leaving me without the needed energy to do much else. I missed my boys baseball games, I didn’t read or play much with my daughter, I still had to work full-time, I couldn’t pick up many shifts at my other job, my husband had to ask for various days off to take me to the races. Mind you, he says that he doesn’t mind, but in a way, I know that he did/does. Then at races, it wasn’t just about running anymore … It was “racing.” I am not a “racer.” I am a runner. Where once running made me happy, it was and is now overwhelming and became more like another job and felt like chore, and I started to resent it. Stepping back was a good choice for me. Once I did, I could feel myself take a huge breath and the weight was somewhat relieved from my shoulders.

On The Golden Gate Bridge.

I was literally running the San Francisco Marathon last Sunday thinking, “WTF am I doing?” I was running amongst all these individuals who were happy and smiling and excited to be there, and here I was … Debbie Downer, so unhappy, and thinking all these negative thoughts. I imploded. No joke … the bomb went off in the middle of San Francisco. I’m surprised that it didn’t take SF out! It was so loud inside my head, I’m surprised that my head didn’t explode like a pumpkin being dropped from a high rise building! I felt lost. I felt as if I was drowning as all of these thoughts flooded my head. And I wanted to cry. But being who I am, I held it together and finished what I started because Row. does NOT cry!

There were many decisions that needed to be made. The first one was telling my running buddies and my marathon training partners that I would not be proceeding as planned with the training plan for now. I will still run CIM in December, however, I needed a break from the training as I reevaluated how I was going to do this because I really had no clue! Holy cow, how the heck am I going to pull off running a marathon without “formal” training? I think that it is better to take some much needed time off rather than force it because as I was feeling in SF, I know that it would only get worse!

So … here’s a recap of my Week 5 training …

Sunday: 13.1 miles through the streets and Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This is the only time I truly lost it.

Osmin Style! Except I swallowed a lot of water! LOL!

Monday: I relinquished all expectations and control. I decided that I would no longer do what did not serve me or make me happy. So, in the midst of my Mini Meltdown, I took myself to a local tattoo shop and had a tattoo placed on my wrist to remind me. “Comprometerse.” I love this word, and now it is a permanent part of me. As soon as I got it, I felt an IMMEDIATE inner peace and a calming sensation come over me. My workout for today started as a fluke. I was just going to hop in the pool with my fun-loving kiddos. It ended up morphing into something else … 30 minute “swim” (okay, it was more kick boarding) but I hit 1000 yards! 30 minute spin = 9.5 miles. 3.25 mile walk/”jog” intervals (39 mins). My own Mini Tri. It was fun. No stress.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: Rest day. Did a lot of self-care today. I got my eyebrows threaded, and I got an hour massage which was awesome!

Thursday: Triple workout!!!  You read correctly – TRIPLE!  Workout number 1 –  Lower body resistance.  Holy mother! Lower body was awesome! Lunges, Squats, Inner/Outer Leg Lifts, Hamstring Curls, Leg Extentions, and Ab Work! Nice! Immediately after came workout number 2, my FAVORITE cardio workout … Awesome workout! Running, Jump Kicks, Burpees, Mountain Climbers, Two Point Burpees, Jacks, and Ab Work! Love it! My trainer, Mikey, ROCKS! He knows how to push me and takes me to puke point. I wasn’t going to stay for yoga, but my friend, Karyn, had asked me, so a third workout it was.  I’m glad I stayed.  My third workout of the day! Very nice – our instructor made it hard, yet peaceful and relaxing in

Not drowning! =)

the end. It was a nice class, just me, my girl Karyn, and the instructor, Alexis. Loved it. The best part of my day was when I walked through the dojo doors and my friends were all saying that they were just talking about me and asking about me. The people that I work out with at American Martial Arts Academy/Central Valley Krav Maga have dubbed me “Front Row.” I try to encourage everyone that I workout with – EVERYONE. If I know your name, you will hear me call you out in class! I love my peeps! LOVE! I am so thankful that I am able to workout with a great bunch of people!

Friday: I really thought about sleeping in, but decided against it at the last minute. As usual, I do what I always do … I get dressed and I head on over to they gym. If I change my mind when I get there, then I don’t go in, but usually by the time I get to the dojo, which is my second home, I’m

Ready for the cycle part of my Mini Tri ...

ready to goooooo and get a good workout in whether I’m tired or not. I don’t workout half assed – ever. If I’m there, I give it 110%. Go big or go home! Anyhow, this morning’s workout was done the resistance bands and the ankle straps (sounds like S&M lol)! Push ups, knee raises, lunges, arms, shoulders, abs, running sprints! Damn, I LOVE this workout! So good for my soul! And to think I *almost* slept in …

Saturday: I worked a full 12 hour night shift. Thought about just going home and crawling into bed, but instead decided to get my workout gear on and do a little bit of something first. So a very slow interval run it was. 5-10 min walking warm-up, then I hit the intervals – slow running/even walking at times, then I picked it up, then walked a cool down. Did this for an hour total and hit just about 5.5 miles. Not bad. Got an arm workout in also which is always nice to get some resistance in along with my cardio. On this run I wore my HR monitor and just watched my HR, made sure it didn’t get close to max. It was HOT, but I wanted to get something in and I did.

Those that know me, know that I am not the kind of athlete to just slack. I’ll always do something because it’s just what I do – even when I’m not training for anything.  I had a very low stress week and I’m happy that I decided to just lay low and not put any kind of pressure onto myself. I am happy with my decision to stay off Twitter and FaceBook. I did lurk a bit, but did no posting. I did post on my new favorite Google+. It was nice to not hear any “voices” and feel no pressure. All in all, it’s been a great week for me. It seems as if when I just let go and relinquish any and all control that I try to harness, that things just fall into place by themselves. As I said, an immediate inner peace and calm washed over me as soon as I posted that I was hanging up my shoes, and after I got my new tattoo. I’m happy. Thanks for a great week, Week 5. Week 6 comin’ up … You ready for me?

Comprometerse.

Hangin’ Up My Shoes

My Saucony Kinvaras. Just hangin' ... Waiting for me ...

It’s been a rough week for me … AGAIN. I know. I’ve had a lot of rough weeks lately. And I get it … I know that we all have good days and bad days, and good weeks and bad weeks, but for me it seems as if the “good” days are fewer and FAR between. It’s actually been happening to me for awhile, but I’ve been trying hard to stave it off and convince myself otherwise. Over the last few weeks I have been trying to trick myself that this IS what I want to do, that I love this … and I DO, but it’s gotten a little difficult. Therefore, I have made the decision to hang up my running shoes for an indefinite period of time.

It may sound as if I am whining, but the fact is is that I am NOT happy running. I haven’t been for a LONG time. I do it because it seems like the right thing to do, because my friends do it … That’s NOT good enough anymore. It has become more of a chore than that of something fun to do. The decision to hang up my shoes was an easy one because I’m not going to force myself to do something that is not fun. I need to do this for me. I need to do this MY way …

Running is “WHAT” I do. Running is NOT “WHO” I am.

I had several realizations while running the San Francisco Marathon – First Half. I realized that I was seriously unhappy with all this running that I have been doing. I realized that this is NOT what I desire to be doing all the time. I realized that I was not enjoying myself at all, and that it has been harder and harder to find the joy in running itself. I feel as if I am regressing rather than progressing. I also realized the sacrifices that my husband and family have made in order for me to pursue running all of these races. It has consumed my life. Mile after mile after mile I asked myself, “Why? Why are you torturing yourself as you do?” And it’s just not worth it when I have to ask myself that. I have never wanted to “DNF” a race more than I did as I ran through the streets and over the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco.

When you do something it should be fun, not something that feels like a chore. If you have to force yourself to do something you really need to reevaluate your reasons. Right now, I’m overwhelmed, burnt out, overloaded, and I’ve just hit max capacity. I know that if I don’t hang up my shoes, I’ll use the laces to hang myself, and that’s just not going to happen because death by hanging is NOT a pretty site. Trust me on this one, I’ve seen a few hangings in my day.

People have told me that I’m too hard on myself. No, that’s not true, if anything I am not hard enough on myself. They have told me that the course for the San Francisco marathon was hard. The course was hard, but it was do able. They said maybe I was coming down with something. Maybe, but in all honestly I have run feeling much worse. They told me that I need to take a week off. Well, no, I need MORE than just a week off. I need to take off as much time as I need to to find myself. I need to regroup and refocus, and I believe that it may take more than a week because I just can’t seem to get it together. I get that there are people out there who would love to be in the position that I am in. I understand that there are others who would love to walk, let alone run. I’m not taking anything for granted. I am thankful that I am able to run. I am thankful and very grateful that I have been blessed with the ability, and the means to do what I do.

I’m not afraid. I’m just tired. Tired of training. Tired of not getting enough rest. Tired of trying to schedule runs into my already busy schedule. I am burnt out. I lack the much needed motivation and have lost whatever mojo that I once had. So I’m just gonna go with the flow for awhile and do what I want and need to do. In all honesty, I know what I need to do. It was as if a light bulb went on as I was writing. But I’m keeping it to myself. For once I’m not injured and forced to be sidelined. I’m sidelining myself. Don’t believe that I’m going to slack off either, because I am so NOT that kind of athlete.

I have 12 more races scheduled and paid for until December. TWELVE! I could take the easy way out and sell my bibs, but I won’t. I’m NOT a quitter. I WILL finish what I started. Besides, I’m not one who’ll just throw money away like that. I’ll run those races, I just won’t advertise which races I am running or that I’m even running. I’m just going to show up and run. I just want to run alone without all the hype, and drama, and chaos that usually comes with every race. I’m going to run incognito. I’m going to do it MY way, and I WILL do it with a happy heart, or not at all.

There is a word that describes what I am feeling … Comprometerese. It’s Spanish and in one of its uses it means to commit to yourself, rather than to compromise yourself. I LOVE this word.

It’s just going to take some time. I need to disconnect for awhile. This is what I need to do for me. So as of today … I’m hanging up my running shoes and taking a much needed running hiatus …Indefinately ...

Marathon Training – Week 3 … Kinda …

Well, I knew it was going to happen.  I knew that when I went on vacation that it would not go exactly as laid out on paper.  What did Robert Burns say again?  “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray?”  I had it all laid out, ready to go, but life had other plans.  I heartily believe that it was the Universe calling me out, challenging me … Basically saying, “You know, Row., you have this great plan set out, let’s see if you’re gonna stick to it.”  ‘Cause you know that’s usually what happens to me anyway, when I set out to do something.  Yep … the Universe likes to challenge me … over and over … again and again … I set myself up …

I spent my week in BEAUTIFUL South Lake Tahoe with my family.  My week consisted of two birthdays … Milestone birthdays at that.  My son, Samuel, turned 21, and my hubby, Chris, turned 40.  Yep.  So … in typical Wallen fashion, we hit the impromptu vacation – just picking up and taking off whenever we can get a couple days off together.  So … here’s the breakdown of my week …

Monday:  I had a little soreness from my half marathon on Saturday night.  Just a little not a lot.  I hit up my favorite Chiropractor, Dr. Brian Crawford, and had him adjust me from head to toe, feet, ankles, and sinuses.  I had my H-wave treatment done on my feet, and I laid on the traction table for awhile.  Aaaaaahhhhh!  I love manual adjustments of my head, neck, back … I love the feeling and sound of all my spinal cord clicking into place.  I’m a little sadistic, I know, but that’s me.  Afterwards, a 2 mile walk done once in Lake Tahoe to explore our surroundings.

Ski Run Drive in S. Lake Tahoe. Loved this place!

Tuesday: 3 mile run done.  Kind of an interval workout, interspersed with lots of hills.  Was a nice run.  Beautiful weather, great surroundings, nice place to train.  Then another 2 mile walk.

Wednesday:  More walking.  This time about 3 miles.  So much fun here in Tahoe.  I love it here.  In the evening it was time to do a little resistance training, so biceps, triceps, shoulders, and core … DONE.  Today was also my son’s 21st birthday!  Yippee!  Can’t believe that he’s already so “old.”  Wow!

Thursday:  4 miles – walking.  I know, I know … I’m supposed to be running, but it’s time on my feet, right?  At least I wasn’t sedentary.  So proud of my daughter who walked 1.5 miles and only complained a few times.  Did a core workout also.

Friday:  Cardio.  I love cardio!  My cardio is high intensity and includes lots of resistance along with interval training.  I got smart and prepared an ice cold towel to cool me off which was a good idea.  Made it a little more bearable, and I got a good solid hour in!  Intervals, squats, lots of leg work, and core.

Saturday:  I did absolutely nothing …  I had every intention to go to cardio or to yoga and I slept instead.  Yep.  I made it a recovery day … from my vacation.  It was also my husband’s 40th birthday!!!

So there you have it.  My week at a glance.  All in all, even though it was a very “easy” week, it’s okay because I know that not all weeks will be this easy.  I also didn’t make the *best* food choices, not all bad, but not all good either.  Hey, I’m human, okay?  And I like my share of cake and ice cream … it’s not my fault that two birthdays fell within 3 days of each other.  And I don’t go on vacation all the time either so weeks like this will be few and far between!

Tomorrow starts another week.  Hope everyone has a great one.  School starts for my kiddos this week so life will once again start to have some sort of routine.  My sleeping patterns are still somewhat crazy, but at least I’m sleeping.

Happy training everyone.  Make good choices, and just get out there and do it.  That’s the hardest part … getting out there.  But what I have found is that if you just show up and start, it gets a little easier.  Just give yourself 20 minutes … if after 20 minutes you want to stop, then at least you will have gotten a little something done, but chances are you will be ready to finish once you start.

Marathon Training – Week 2 (Really? Only Week 2?)

So … Here we are in week 2.  So far so good … How many weeks left?  22?  Crud … Just kidding.  Just kidding …  I have nothing to complain about.  I got up and got the work that needed to be done … DONE!

Sunday – I wanted to start my week off on Sunday.  I tried.  I called Cory, but she headed off to beautiful Southern Cali.  Who could blame her?  I’d go to.  So … Instead I just hung around the house and took care of things that needed to be taken care of there.

Monday – Not a bad day.  I got my cross-training in with a kick a$$ workout at AMAA.  Dang … I got my a$$ whopped by Meana  … err .. I mean Nina!  I love Nina!  She really worked my entire body, and I left there dripping with sweat!  I got home, and I headed out for the three mile run that I owed my schedule.  I had a really great run surprisingly.  My calves still ached from my Stadium run last Thursday, but all in all it was a good run.  I know it was just a short run today, but I dedicated it to my friend Rosie’s son, Jesse,  because I had gone to his funeral earlier that day, and spent a few minutes with Rosie.   I thought of him and prayed for Rosie and him during my short run.  RIP, Jesse.

This is the overpass that Judy & I run in Lathrop.

Tuesday – I was going to run the Stadium again with Joe and Becky, however, since I’m running a half on Saturday, and I was still kinda aching from the last time I ran the Stadium … I opted for something that was just a run.  I had asked Joe if he wanted to go, but hadn’t heard, so I called Judy and she’s always willing to run our crazy hill workout with me.  So off we went at 0630 in the morning.  It was a nice and cool morning!  However, for some reason I was “off” and Judy could tell.  She said that my workouts are usually near vomit so for me to be so “blah,” was weird.  She didn’t care though.  We were still out there and we got a good 6 mile run in out there in our small “hill” run … the Lathrop Overpass.  We all have our days, I guess.  It didn’t help that I stayed up until 0300 or so … Nope.  I know better.  That was just stupid!

Wednesday – Kinda took it easy.  I hopped on the spin bike in the morning and got a great ride in.  One hour, easy – just to keep the legs loose and moving.  18 miles, then a three mile run.  Nice brick workout.  Yep … that’s how I roll.  I’m a Brick House … I’m Mighty Mighty … Okay … I’m Mini but MIGHTY.  Never underestimate the power of a very small woman, okay!  LOL.  I know … I’m crazy!

Thursday – Rest day.  I’ve learned that it’s getting harder and harder for me to workout after I work all night.  (I work the night shift, in case you were wondering.)  I wonder how other runners who work night shift do it?  I need to ask this question on Twitter.

Friday – Another rest day.  Yeah, well, rest is training also, so deal with it.

Mac, Me, Judy, & Cory Pre Race!

Saturday – Here we go … Davis Moo-nlight *Almost* Half Marathon.  OMG!  This race was something else!  For one, it started at 7 p.m. which is fine, except it was still 80 degrees and sunny out.  Row doesn’t fare well in heat.  And … And … AND it was one mile short, therefore, I have dubbed it the *almost* half marathon.  It’s all good though.  I had a great time with Cory and Judy, and Cory’s hubby, Sam.  I got to see my girl Mac, and also Mellie Mel (or Big Burt, as Grace calls her).  I remember from February’s Davis Half Marathon that I HATED Davis’ crazy tunnels!  Yeah, well, I *still* hate them.  Not sure if I’ll run that one again, or if I’ll ever run in Davis again.

So … That’s Week 2 in a nutshell.  What I’ve learned is that I don’t fare well with little sleep … Um … DUH, Row.!  Where have I been?  Seriously, it’s just harder for me to recover when I work a full weekend – 12 hour night shifts x 3 days … I know that rest is an important aspect of training.

I pulled out my new Saucony Triumph 8s to start training in them this week.  They’re my work horse shoes … and I have found that they are NOT very nice to my ankles.  I ran the half in them and could hardly walk afterwards!  I was walking with a lot of pain to my left ankle, and my gait was severely off.  No plantar fascitis pain to my feet, thankfully!  I spent 1.5 hours with the H-wave on my ankles and feet, then wore my compression stockings to help recover.  I wonder if you can O.D. on too much electrical stimulation?  Oh well, let me tell you, it worked like a charm!  No pain.   I’m not sure what to do about my shoes though.  I may just train in my Triumph 8s and run in my Kinvaras.  I need to figure it out retro STAT!

Next week, I need to see my favorite Chiropractor on Monday and get adjusted.  I plan to focus on core get some resistance training in there along with all the cardio that I’ve been doing.  May be a *little* bit of a challenge since I’m on VACATION!!!  We’ve got 2 birthdays to celebrate:  my son’s 21st birthday, and my hubby’s initiation into a new decade!  LOL!  Happy *almost* Birthdays to my guys!

I know that my exterior is “hard,” but really there’s a real live, caring person underneath.  I’m just not one to let my guard down and show much emotion.  I’m always asked what I think about when I run?  Honestly, it’s my church.  I think a lot, and I spend a lot of time reflecting and in prayer.  I talk to God a lot.  Not just asking Him to help me get through this run or that run either.  Although a lot of is is wondering about all that,  I had more pressing matters at hand.  This was a week filled with emotions, and I had a slightly heavy heart as I prayed for my friend.  You see, I DO believe in God, and I know that there’s always a reason, but sometimes … sometimes the reasons are difficult to accept.

Have a great week, everyone!  Remember that life is good.  Hug your loved ones a little tighter, and remind them that you love them because you just don’t know.  I’m thankful to my hubby who puts up with my insanity and OCD, and to my kiddos who hold my heart in their hands.  And I’m thankful to my friends who run with me and accept me as I am.  =)

An Ostrich In Disguise

I can't see you ... You can't see me ...

I’m not great when it comes to confrontation.  Hell, I’m not even remotely good at it.  I am one of “those” individuals who, like and ostrich, prefers to bury my head in the sand all the while thinking that, “if I can’t see it, then it can’t see me.”

I know.  I know.  I can’t do this.  I can’t live like this.  Truth be told, I don’t … I eventually come around and confront what ever it is that I need to face and deal with, it just takes me a minute or two to gather my bearings and muster up the courage that I need.  I know that pretending that something isn’t really there doesn’t make it so … I know that it’s there and that if I don’t deal with whatever it is head on that it can, and will rear it’s ugly head and deal with me – forcing me into action.

You would think that I, ER Nurse Extrordinaire, mixed martial artist, black belt, and mother of four, could not possibly be one of “those” people.  Row.?  An ostrich?  A freakin’ scardey cat?  No freakin’ way!  Way … but like I said … only to an extent.

I’m human, okay?  I want to live in a “perfect” world.  I want things to go smoothly and don’t want anyone to suffer.  I don’t like being told bad news, or having to confront issues.   I don’t like the feeling that I get when my body is thrown into the “Fight or Flight” mode.   I function well once over the initial shock and trauma, it just takes me a second, or two.  That flood of adrenaline needs to cycle its way out of my system; my heart needs to stop racing so I can take a deep breath and I’m okay.  But sometimes … sometimes I’m not okay.  Sometimes … I don’t function well at all.

FEAR:  False Evidence Appearing Real.

I fear the unknown, even though I am intelligent enough to know that fear is nothing but a state of mind.  I have a tendency to make things out to be bigger than they really are.  I understand that fear can be paralyzing, causing one to stand still.  Although I do stand still for that split second, it’s, like I said, to gather my bearings and courage, and to take a much needed deep breath so that I can cautiously move forward to deal with the fear/issue/problem that I need to deal with.  Fear stands still, and can be paralyzing.  Caution moves forward, albeit slowly, but you move forward to deal with whatever it is that you, need face.  Fear keeps your head buried in the sand.  Caution allows you to face your fear and start taking action to fix whatever needs to be fixed, or to get over it.  Take action, yes, but this is not the same as reacting.  That knee jerk reaction is not the way to deal with all issues – that sometimes exacerbates the problem.  However, over-analyzing is not the answer either.  I’m an over-analyzer, and I am known to have paralysis from over-analysis.  My husband says that I think too much.  I know that I do, but I can’t help it, always expecting the worst, or making things out to be worse than what they are even before I know what I’m facing.  I let my thoughts get the best of me sometimes … what can I say.

I’m not always like this.  When I really need to take action immediately, I can do it.  It’s the other stuff … the crazy, mundane stuff that I let fester and grow in my head – only getting bigger by the thoughts that I feed it.  And I know that things could be much worse, that there are people out there dealing with bigger, far worse things.

So … I will feel the fear … I will feel it some more … then I will start to move … I will do what I need to do.  I promise to not stand still for too long.  I promise to look fear in the eye and take care of what needs to be done.  But you promise me … you promise me … that if you see me falter … that if you see me stand still for a little too long … that you will stand beside me, grab my hand and help me face that fear and not let me go it alone.  Promise me that you will grab me by the hair if you see me attempting to bury my head in the sand.  Just let me know that I am not alone; that I don’t have to do it by myself, and I, in turn, will do the same for you …

Kinda looks like me, right?

It’s All On YOU!

What's It Gonna Be?

We all want it to some degree … some MORE than others. Some just dream about it, while others are out there working hard to get it. Some try and take shortcuts believing that this gadget, or this new diet fad is gonna work for them this time. Let me tell you though, that it’s NOT. The only thing that’s gonna get you that body that you desire is pure HARD WORK. Eighty percent is eating “right,” and the other twenty percent is working out hard. I don’t just mean a leisurely stroll, nor do I mean working out until you puke your guts out. I just mean, getting a good sweat on. Cardio and resistance training. Find something that you love, that you enjoy, that makes YOU happy! Hate running? What about riding a bike or dancing? Don’t like lifting weights? Try resistance bands or TRX! Just move!

I’m tired of watching people around me slack. They talk about “wanting to lose weight and getting into shape.” They talk A LOT. But talk is cheap. Talking only works your jaw and tongue muscles. All I can do is encourage, and try to guide in the right direction … but they have to want it more than to just talk about it. They have to put forth the effort or else I’m just wasting my breath. They have to want it for themselves.

I’m not “perfect,” but I work hard at maintaining and improving what I have. I’m in that gym or hittin’ that pavement 5-6 days of the week. Some call me OCD, but I know that if I didn’t … I’d be “soft” and my heart and entire body would suffer. I’m over 40 and I function and look so much BETTER than some, okay, most who are younger than I am.

There is no magic get skinny pill. There is no magic diet. There is no magic exercise gadget. Sorry, but there’s not. There is only YOU. You and your decision to make your life better. It’s not going to be easy. There will be days of frustration. You will hurt in places you didn’t think you had muscles. But think of that end result … A better, healthier, stronger, fitter YOU.

I know and understand that I am supposed to be encouraging and motivating.  Do it, or don’t. That decision is all YOURS. I’m not going to force you. I’ll ask you to come run with me. I’ll invite you to come to the gym with me. But if I keep hearing your excuses, trust me … I won’t ask or invite anymore. I’ll just wait until you’re my patient … no, I’m kidding, I won’t. I’ll keep encouraging (I may roll my eyes a little), I’ll just know to not waste too much of my breath and to save it for someone who actually cares. I know, I’m hardcore. I know, I can be “mean” and sound somewhat “demeaning,” but trust me … I don’t mean to sound like that, it’s said with love and respect. It just comes out sounding more like a Drill Sargent, than all “lovey dovey.” That’s just how I roll.

So … What’s it gonna be? You in? Or do you keep doing what you’re doing which isn’t exactly working for you? The choice is YOURS and yours alone. But whatever you decide, be happy with what you choose. If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you will ALWAYS get what you’ve always gotten. In order for changes to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to do the work. It WON’T be easy, but trust me … it WILL be worth it. The only thing standing in your way is YOU.

With that … I’m done and I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’ll leave you with one of my FAVORITE videos inspiring motivation … Enjoy. Make good choices, and have a great day!!!

Update:  I realize that this blog may seem a little harsh.  I should be kinder to those individuals that want to do better, but yet do nothing, right?  My husband says that I’m somewhat demeaning.  Well, all I can say is that I know that I’m not exactly the nicest person.  I know that I can be brash, harsh, hard … BUT … I am also hardest on myself when it comes to stuff like this.  I am the best person at kickin’ my own ass and beating myself up.  Being nice only gets you so far.  I’m an ER Nurse, for gosh sake.  I am one of the FIRST persons that sees first hand what all this nonsense does to people who make excuses.  Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes … I’ve seen my share of “stuff,” and believe me, it is NOT pretty and I will admit that I don’t like to touch fat!!!  Our society is a society of wanting quick fixes and easy way outs.  There aren’t any!  NONE!  So … what you do with your body is your choice.  I’m just saying that it’s easier to put in the 30 mins to an hour 5 times a week, than it is to have a hospital stay that may render you bed bound for a LONG period of time.  Okay … I’ll get off my soap box again.

So Spoiled That I Stink

I’m not going to lie. I’m spoiled. Very spoiled. Some say so spoiled that I stink.

I wasn’t always this way, seriously. I was and still am a very independent woman. I work hard. I am smart. I do a lot of things for myself. I just happen to be fortunate enough to have a husband who loves and cherishes me . . . A LOT.

Let’s define spolied. Checking www.dictionary.com it says that spoiled is a verb. In one definition, it says that to spoil is “to become bad, or unfit for use, as food or other perishable substances; become tainted or putrid: Milk spoils if not refrigerated.” Um … yeah … that’s not the right kind of spoiled. In another definition, to spoil is “to damage severely or to harm (something), especially with reference to its excellence, value, usefulness, etc.: The water stain spoiled the painiting. Drought spoiled the corn crop.” Or better yet … definition number three … “to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of (someone) by unwise treatment, excessive indulgence, etc.: to spoil a child by pampering him.” Hmmmm … definition number three would be the most likely be the one to define the type of spoiled that I am, except, really, “to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of someone?” Hahaha! I’m by far NOT impaired, damaged, nor is my character or nature harmed because of the treatment that I receive. Or am I?

I don’t believe that I’m so spoiled that my functioning is hampered. I do believe and will admit that I am spoiled to an extent. But … BUT … I blame my husband for that. Seriously, if you ask him, he will tell you that he does it out of love. All I have to do is ask or mention it and I will find it done or given to me. I’m serious when I say that on the days that I have to work, all I have to do is wake up. My kids are cared for, dinner is made, whatever I need is done.  He knows what I need, can complete my thoughts and sentences.  Some say that he’s whipped … whatever. If I had to do something, I could. My husband will tell you that he enjoys doing things for me, and I believe him.

Many people ask me how I am able to do the things that I do … workout excessively, work the hours that I do, run different races, etc., etc. Well, for one, my husband is my biggest supporter. You can find him at all of my events and doing whatever it takes to help me succeed. Secondly, my kids are not “little,” they may be young, but not little. Even if they were, even when they were, it really made no difference they came to the events or we found someone to watch them while we were away. Let it be known that my husband was the one who tricked talked me into running my very first full marathon. He is not only my biggest supporter, he is my biggest fan, loudest cheerleader, the best S.A.G. person. He will ride his bike beside me as I run for miles and miles. All this WITHOUT whining complaints. Oh … and if you’re sarcastic enough, you will find a car in your driveway for your birthday, complete with a BIG red bow!  Well, maybe you won’t, but I did … =)

He never gets enough credit. He deserves much more props than he gets. So … to my husband, Chris, THANK YOU! Thank you for allowing me to do what I need to do. Thank you for letting me go to the gym – for knowing that I need to get there or I’d go nuts.  Thank you for taking such great care of all of us, especially the kiddos. You are a great father and husband. Thank you for driving the “Party Bus” in which you graciously pick up my friends and take us to our various runs. Thank you for running when I sign you up for crazy races. Thank you for always looking out for us – finding events, taking the kids to their various practices and games.  Thank you for being our biggest fan, our greatest source of support.  Thank you for taking time off of work. I could never thank you enough for all that you do for us.  For your unselfishness, your undying devotion, your true love for us … There are not enough words, not enough thank yous, to express how grateful I am to have you in my life. You all have to know how much this man does not just for me, but for all of us – Me, Sam, Nate, Noah, Grace, his mom, and even his friends (the ones that he cares about anyway).

Call me spoiled. I really don’t care. It’s something that I am proud to be. I am very blessed to be in the position that I am. My life is better because of Chris.

Chris ... The Culprit. Ultimate Husband & Father. Spoiler.

My Childhood Memories

Things Reminiscent of My Childhood

Running amok from sun up to sun down.

Teaching myself how to ride a bicycle.  Many thanks to my neighbor, Paige, who let me borrow her bike.

My yellow, banana seat bicycle. “The Rascal.”

Spending summers with my beloved Grandma in San Francisco.

Japanese paper wallets – and stashing as much cash as I could “save” in them.

Pee Chee folders, and newsprint tablet paper.

Reading anything and everything.

Grape Bubble Yum, Pixie Stix, and Jolly Rancher Cherry Sticks!

Mrs. Corpus and her encouragement.  Best & still my favorite teacher EVER!

Cherry Kool Aid and Grape Tang!

Saturday morning cartoons.

Summer vacation from June to September!

Being the fastest girl runner in my classes.

Junior Olympics, running track.

Wondering if I would ever grow tall enough to reach the pedals of a car so I can drive.

No worries.  No cares.  Just being a kid trying to grow up.  My “problems” were so different that what kids have now.  Enjoy your childhood.  Be a kid. Don’t be in such a rush to grow up so fast!

That’s Just Me

I don’t put myself out there very often. I don’t do that well in large social settings, and I prefer the comfort of my own home to that of the outside world. I pretty much keep to myself and don’t bother anyone. I am a self-professed anti-social being, and I’m okay with that. That’s just how I am. That’s just me.

On the outside, I keep the very tall, armored wall I that have built around myself high and locked tight. I’m one of those people that is hard to get to know because I don’t offer much information, nor do I say very much on any given day. I’m far from “quiet.” I am somewhat guarded, and truth be told, I just really don’t have much to say. I’ve been known to give off the impression that I’m “stuck up” or “rude.” That’s just a perception, it so rarely is the case (unless I *really* don’t want to be bothered by you at all, then it’s probably true). Besides, it’s not my perception, it’s theirs or yours and I could really care less.

Truth be told, if I never had to speak or utter another word again, I’d be okay with that. Known to want to say more than what’s necessary at times, my tongue sometimes holds on by a bare thread from all the biting that I do to keep my mouth shut! My family would probably be relieved to hear no more nagging from me. =] If I had to communicate by just writing, I’d so enjoy that. Just remember that I believe that silence speaks volumes at times and that sometimes people need to know when to just STFU!  Seriously, if people could hear themselves and hear how annoying they sound to me – like fingernails down a chalkboard! *shudders*

Why, you might ask? I just happen to be wired that way. I’m not great around a lot of people. I feel claustrophobic and get the feeling that I may suffocate. I don’t care to be the center of attention of anything, I’m okay with being on the periphery of things – just know that I’m there. It’s weird because it’s so opposite from how my father was. My father was so very outgoing, so open and friendly to everyone. I mean EVERYONE!!!  He made and kept friends everywhere, and he could talk for hours! Social butterfly breeds recluse! How ironic is that?!? I loved my Dad. He was a good man and at times I wish that I were more like him. But I am okay with who I am, who I have become.

I have, however, just a little bit of my beloved father within the me. If you are fortunate enough to be one of those who has been able to chip away, break down, or get thru the wall I have built around myself, you will find that I am vulnerable, easy going, funny, smart, a little obnoxious (in a good way), likable, even lovable, and actually human complete with a heart. I love passionately and value my family and friends. It just takes a little while for me to warm up to you, for my icy coldness to thaw. I have a few friends that I have kept and held onto for many years. I will remember your birthday, send you greeting cards with sappy sentiments, buy you things that remind me of you for no reason at all. And I will love you ferociously … Because that’s just me.

– Posted using BlogPress from my RowPhone =]