So hello. Been a while I guess.
In case you don’t follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may not know that we have been living under the plague, i.e…….. strep and the flu and bronchitis and sinus infections and allergies that won’t quit and grumpy children for the past three weeks. It’s been awesome. And yet, sorta not.
I’m a bit of a homebody. I love my time at home, especially when everyone is away(dude. I love my family but who are we kidding, a quite house can be a beautiful thing). But there is a limit to my ability to be at home. At some point, the walls begin to cave in and you can only watch so much Netflix and bleach the doorknobs and light switches so many times. The last 3 weeks have been like Summer only with a throw up bowl and an endless supply of Motrin, bleach and tamiflu. And by the looks of my Facebook feed, we are not alone. By Friday of this past week I was hanging on by a very tiny thread, and also so very thankful for an overall healthy family. Healthy kids. This is not our normal. This is temporary and eventually, they will all go back to school and I’ll leave this house and life will resume some sense of normalcy. Not everyone can say that, and that alone fills me with massive amounts of gratitude. All that to say……..running.
I have not been running. Not unless 3 times in 3 weeks counts as running. Which in my world, it doesn’t. Stupid I know.
I started this year with great plans. Nothing unattainable. Just a half marathon mid Spring.
One. Stinking. Half.
People are out there racing and training and running all around me. Friends and acquaintances alike, doing their thing and carving out the time. And here I am, stuck. The half in March will not happen.
That’s not a pout or a shout out for some pity. I’m not pouting, not really anyway. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve had my moments of frustration. I’m not as far along as I had planned to be. But again with the little setbacks comes the reminder that it’s ok. It’s all good. Because really, it is, all good. I don’t need to run or race to be used, to have value or to have joy. Period.
I ran into a friend at the gym the other day who gently reminded me that not every season is for racing or training hard. She’s in a season that has been conducive to training and long runs and races. I’ve been there, and it was awesome and fun, and as much as I say I miss it, in a way, I don’t. I think I’m ok without it for now. Most days anyway.
This season, my season, is for marriage. And kids. And the kids stuff(not that my friends season or anyone else’s who are racing and training are not for family or other activities, we did both for a long time and I think, did them well. I’m just saying MY season is more about those family things for deeper reasons than I can discuss here. Does that make any sense? Gosh I hope so).
For tending to and caring for and loving on. For investing and thinking outside the box. For getting my continuing education credits, which I am LOVING because I’m a giant fitness nerd. For taking care of sick kiddo’s, for being sick myself and learning how to take better self-care outside of running. I can’t explain why, it just is.
My body looks totally different than it did two years ago. Two years ago I was training for marathons and running 6 days a week. My season allowed for it. I was thinner and faster and whatever. I don’t look like that or run like that right now, but who cares right? I’m doing my best. I’m running when I can. I’m working out. I’m embracing the body I have NOW and I’m doing the things that are in front of me that bring massive amounts of joy. And those things are so much more important than my weekly mileage. And pretty soon, my season will change. Next year, all my kids will be in school ya’ll.
ALL MY KIDS WILL BE IN SCHOOL.
How is this even possible?!?!?! And one will be in middle school. Oh sweet Jesus, someone hold me.
But, it will be a new season. New goals. A new phase of life. I have spent(or will have by August) 11 years at home with my kids. 11 years as a stay at home mom and just like that, they will all be gone. Which leaves lots of opportunity for new goals for myself. I’ll still be mom. I’m not planning on working full-time, but it has made my wheel turn as to what I want to accomplish, even outside of fitness and being a trainer. It’ll all be new. I want to grow this blog. I want more clients. I want to run outside every day ha! I want to invest in young moms. I’m a dreamer, so my dreamy wheels are spinning.
So running. It is what it is right now. Inconsistent. Non goal oriented(apart from the goal of just actually DOING IT) and really just a leisurely activity that I do because I love. That’s it. And that’s ok.
When you go through seasons of heavy training (and we hit 4 marathons, a full Ironman, and countless half iron and half marathon distances between the two of us in about 3 years, all while navigating a busy career for Rob, 3 small kids…..with Lila in her baby years, becoming a personal trainer, and all kinds of other life stuff) it’s normal to have a season of burn out. It was a lot, and to be honest, I’m not sure either of us have really fully recovered. We keep saying we want to get back to racing and triathlon and running more, but we just keep maintaining and doing other things. And back to my theme of the day…THAT’S OK.
So. Maybe you are stuck. Maybe you aren’t a runner at all, but you can relate to the feeling of being stuck. Stuck in your career, your marriage, as a parent, in your hobbies or goals. Maybe you are trying to do big things in some area of your life, and it’s just not going as planned. I think what God has used this time in my life to teach me is that knowing WHO I am is a key factor to being content when things go off the rails and I feel a bit stuck. To open my eyes and look around me. I have so much to be thankful for. If you have never read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp I highly recommend. In fact, I need to read it again.
“I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.” Ann Voskamp
Let’s be real. Right now, my life is not ugly. We’ve been navigating some hard things yes, but it’s not ugly. I am simply so blessed. I’m not saying the fact that I’m not able to run like I want to means my life is hard and messy. I am NOT complaining about it in that sense. I get how trivial it is. BUT, I think sometimes God uses the very seemingly small and trivial things in our lives that trip us up or make us feel stuck, to remind us of what is truly important. What’s valuable. What takes us deep into a place of gratitude.
“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.” AV
You see, thanksgiving, the attitude and very presence of gratitude in our lives, always precedes something big. Maybe it’s just something big that we learn about ourselves or something big that we decide needs to change or shift in our lives. For me, running has always been so much more than just running. It has almost always represented some other facet of my life. It’s a catalyst for teaching me valuable lessons. It’s a perfect metaphor for life and God always has something extra to teach me from this silly sport. And right now, He’s teaching me to be content, right where I am. I fight and pout and hang my pitiful little head, wanting things to be different sometimes, and He gently reminds me that if He wanted things to be different, they would be. So be ok, right where you are. And be thankful.
At some point, running and racing will return. And maybe they won’t. Either way, I need to be ok with both sides of that coin. I need to let go, and let God do his thing with me.
“Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control, let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy’s fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper a surprised thanks. This is the fuel for joy’s flame. Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will. And I can empty. I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me. I can empty because I am full of His love. I can trust.” Ann Voskamp