Monday, May 9, 2011

Back in the Saddle


So, with my birthday, and getting sick, and Mother's Day, I missed Day Three of Week One. But I was determined on Sunday, that I was back to business. So Sunday night, during our Family Planning Meeting, I made sure that the family (and the calendar) knew that I was going running three times this week. I made sure to write it (in PEN!) on the calendar, the dates and times I would be gone. And so, tonight is Week Two, Day One.

"I am important enough"

I am important enough to spend time and money on me. I am a mom to my kids, I give all of my love, time, energy, money and more to my family. I rarely, if ever, spend those things on me. And if I do spend it, it is to get secondhand things. After a talk with my mother this morning, and some deep thinking with myself recently, I have come to realize that when I don't spend a little on me, I have nothing to give to them. That is, surprisingly, really hard to accept. I want to give it all to my kids and husband. I don't want to be selfish. My mother has a favorite analogy that she shares about moms being wells of water. Children (and sometimes out husbands too) are takers, they don't put very much back in the well, and they can drain the well really quickly. That doesn't mean that we don't get joy from motherhood, or that motherhood (and marriage) is an oppressive state. What it means is that we have to be in charge of refilling the well, nobody else can do it for us.  And so it is necessary that we spend a little (time, energy, love, money) on ourselves. Now, I am not saying we all need to go out and buy Coach purses or Versace evening gowns, or Gucci whatevers. Or that we should take month long vacations to exotic lands without our families. What I AM saying, is that it is okay to go out and run for a half hour or two. It is okay to purchase appropriate apparel for running in. It is okay to buy ourselves new clothes for once. It is okay to take ourselves to the salon occasionally. As long as we are not draining the family funds bare, thus neglecting our children's NEEDS (not wants), then it is okay to take care of ourselves, and treat ourselves to something special.

So, for my birthday, a friend gave me a Wal*Mart gift card. And unlike years past, I used ALL of it to buy things for me.  And my dear mother gave me a really neat pedometer. While that may offend some daughters to receive exercise equipment ("What are you saying Mom?") I view it as an endorsement from my mom, that she believes in me, supports me, and wants me to succeed. So, thank you Mom. :D

Also, about a minute after walking out the door this evening, I realized that I neglected to look up this week's challenge. But rather than turn around and go back home, and risk being sucked into my computer's time -machine vortex capabilities, I decided to keep going anyways. I decided that I would walk 90 steps, run 90 steps. Last week was walk 120, run 90, so I figured that this would be harder. And it was.

"Self:  Shut-Up"

The first five minutes of the work-out is a stretch, a warm-up, and a stretch (I forgot the first stretch). Piece of cake, easy-peasy. Then I started running. Now, I run really slowly, in fact, I probably walk faster than I can run, but that's not important. The important thing is I do it.

Anyway, as I was running and walking, the first little bit wasn't too bad. I'd say the first quarter of a mile was pretty easy. But about halfway through, it got harder, and I started trash talking myself. "You think THIS is hard? On what planet will you finish a 5K? You will never finish. You can't do this. Why are you wasting your time? Such a loser. You are going to fail." Charming, aren't I? It was really hard to keep going. I do hate running. I don't want to go out and do this three times a week. I do not enjoy running, I dread it.  Why was I doing it? I was doing it because I want to succeed. I was doing it because it's the right thing to do. I was doing it because I want to enjoy it. Here's a great quote "Fake it til you make it!"  I can pretend I enjoy it, and maybe someday I will (hopefully sooner rather than later). Meanwhile, my inner self, my inner demon, was beating me down. Telling me how undeserving I was of fitness, how selfish I was for not being home (for a paltry 30 minutes). And mostly, telling me what a loser I was. I wanted to cry, I wanted to give up. How am I ever going to run a 5K, when I can't even run a half mile without stopping? And then, something revolted. "Self! You shut-up!" I began consciously attacking the jerk inside, and fighting back, and it was freeing. I may not be able to run a quarter mile, but today I walked and ran 1.56 miles.

Maybe I can't run a 5K now, but I have an entire month to get there. And I already know I can walk a 5K, because I did that on Week One Day One (accidentally). Thanks to my new pedometer, I know how far I am going each day, which is lovely by the way. And because of it, I know that last Monday I walked and ran about 3 miles. I argued and told myself that while I was away from my kids, it was only 30 minutes, and my husband was with them. They weren't left alone, they were being taken care of.

And I am not a loser, I may be many things, but a loser is not one of them.  I am valuable. I am worth something. I deserve a long, healthy life. And my children deserve to grow up with their mother. And so, I chug on with it, hating the process, but loving the way I feel when I walk in the door, and know I finished.


  1. You inspire me! Dad and I walked to the end of the street and back last night because of your example. I am looking forward to doing a 5K with you! Traditions of health for our family--what a lovely thought!

  2. Carrie you are inspiring! Thank you for having the courage to share your personal demons and battles. I find much of myself in your words and so I also find some small triumph in your triumphs. Thank you.


  3. Why thank you ladies. I am glad to know that I am helping others be inspired to be better.