Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

Trail therapy.

I've talked about this before.

How on the trail there is opportunity to work through things, either alone or with friends.

How on the trail there is opportunity to spend time in God's wonder.

How on the trail there is opportunity to examine yourself.

Last Sunday I went on a hike with my husband and four good friends.  We had planned a little Christmas gathering and the first thing on the agenda when we were planning our activities for the day was to go on a hike.  The second thing was that the hike needed to be something new.  We decided to go do the 400 gate hike.  Joe had done this one before and two others in the group had done parts of it but it was new to the rest of us.  Joe said the first three miles were pretty steep but then after it wasn't too bad.

With my new attitude about my abilities firmly in place (tightly griped like a life-line) I embarked out with my friends on a new trail.  I was a little worried that I would revert back to the way I have been and not enjoy myself.  I was determined to have a good time with a good attitude.

Joe wasn't kidding.  The first three miles were tough but they were fun too.  I know, right?  That doesn't sound like me.  Or at least, it doesn't sound like me this past year.  Makes me feel like I'm finding my way back to the having fun at all costs part that I had lost.

What made it fun?  Well, two friends took off running up the hill and I just laughed because I knew that was SO not happening for me.  And I was okay with it.

My husband and two other friends were up ahead of me while I worked my way up the hill and I enjoyed listening to them laugh and talk.  With no envy or feeling inadequate because I was in the back  I was okay with it.
Love these people!
Then I started thinking about what had changed and why I was okay with being in the back when I have spent the last year being so frustrated and angry about it.  Yes, I am admitting that I was angry.  I have been angry with myself for not being better, for not working harder, for letting events of the past year hold me back and make me sad, for not shaking off the emotions that get in the way and moving forward.  For not being stronger.  For not being Badass with Sparkle.

I realized that the thing that was really getting in my way on the hikes was that I was worried.  I was worried there would come a point where my friends would stop inviting me because I slowed them down, or because I couldn't keep up.  So I would try to keep up, feel uncomfortable, not be able to breath or whatever, and I would get frustrated with myself.  I should have had much more faith in my friends.  I owe them apologies for not trusting in their friendship and acceptance of where I am at.
Loved all the ferns in this part of the forest.
I realized that I was starting to view our outings with dread because of this.  I wanted the time with them but it was being tarnished with my own bad attitude.  Too many tears and frustrations focusing in on what I didn't have instead of what I do have.  My husband Joe and my friend Wendie bore the brunt of this and thankfully just kept encouraging me and dragging my sorry butt along during this past year.  Again, apologies owed for focusing on the negative instead of just being thankful that I can even be there at all.
We actually saw some blue sky!!
So here I am, trudging up this hill.  At the back of the group.  Aware that I'm going to be sore and tired later.  And I was happy.  For the second hike in a row I was happy where I am at.  This made me feel like the last hike wasn't a fluke.  I have turned a corner and while I'm sure there will be days that I'm frustrated, and days where I'm sad, I think that I'm going down the road of figuring out how to be okay where I am.  Such a good road to be on!
Beautiful!  I can't wait to go again and see the view on a clear day.
The hike was hard but awesome!  It rained.  The wind blew.  But I was with my husband who spent most of the hike hanging with me, which I loved.  I got to laugh and joke with my friends.  I got to see a new and different part of the beautiful world I live in.
This was at the top of the last big hill we had to climb.  Can't really see how steep it was but believe me, it was steep.  :-)
The afternoon consisted of laughter, football, chili, cornbread, laughter, adult beverages, laughter, pushups, and did I mention laughter?  Can't get much better than that!!  Such a perfect way to begin Christmas week and my winter vacation!

The other fun thing that happened last weekend was that I went on a run with my daughter on Saturday.  We ran in the pouring down rain.  I took the dog.  We got soaked.  We ran some, we walked some.  It was a blast.  No worrying about pace.  No worrying about running the whole thing.  Just get in three miles and call it good.  Did better than I thought I would considering how long it has been since I actually have gone for a run.  I think that might be because of how I have changed my focus.
My beautiful girl was proud to wear one of my race shirts.  Made me realize that I should be more proud of my races too!
Why am I running/hiking/biking/swimming now?  Because I want to.  Not because I am on a training plan.  Not because of a race I'm signed up for that I must PR in.  Not because I have to run all of a race or somehow it won't count.  Not because I need to loose a bunch of weight in order to feel like I've accomplished something.  Not for all of the other silly things I build up in my head.  I am going to do these things because I WANT to do them.  I want to be healthy!  It is supposed to be fun!  I'm especially focused on reclaiming the fun.
I love this sweet puppy!  
I have the annual Hangover Run coming up next week.  I'm probably going to suck at it.  I never have done this one well so I really have nothing to worry about.  I am going to go and have a fantastic time and enjoy my friends and family.  It is always a fantastic way to start off the new year!

Then I have a 10k in January and I don't anticipate setting any records at that race too.  But once again, I get to spend time with people I think are amazing.  So I already know it will be a fantastic day and I can't wait.

Also time for me to stop focusing on myself and remember to be the kind of person and friend that my friends need me to be!!!
Got a mug this week that has this quote on it.  Been thinking about it all week.  :-)

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