Thinking for 30:55

Sometimes I lose the motivation to continue, to push myself, to regain control. ¬†And then I realize, all I have to do is lace up my runners and get active, and just like that the motivation comes back. The hardest action to do in this scenario is the lacing up of my running shoes. ūüėČ

I did just that today, I went to the gym for a run…even though I didn’t want to. Running is a time that is just for me. It’s a release to clear my head and to think. During my run today, I thought through a lot!

“If you hear a voice within you say¬†I can’t run, then by all means¬†run, and that voice will be silenced.”
(I googled the source of this quote, and it appears this is a take on a quote by Vincent Van Gogh)

I started my run replaying the above quote over and over in my mind. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through running, it’s that my mind is my biggest hurdle to reaching my goals. If you believe with all of your being that you can reach a goal, you will work through the pain to reach it.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” Lance Armstrong

If it wasn’t for replaying Lance Armstrong’s quote in my mind while I ran, I may have given up on my goal to finish 5K under 31 minutes. By the 4K mark I realized that I wasn’t going to make it if I didn’t pick up the pace…and it hurt. There was a span of 30 seconds where I just kept thinking “This hurts”, and then I realized I needed to replace it with “So what?! It will only hurt for a bit. Suck it up, what’s a little pain?!” I knew the pain of disappointment would have been far greater, so I picked up the pace and finished with a time of 30:55. For me, that’s a good time. It’s not about how fast others can run, it’s about reaching MY best and then improving upon it.

You can’t compare yourself to another, we are all different. For today, simply do your best, and then tomorrow go a little further, go a little longer. There are no limits to your success…now that’s exciting!

Part two in the quest for motivation comes in setting purposeful goals. Another thing I’ve learned is that for me, it’s harmful to set a goal of losing a certain amount of weight or fitting into a certain size (even at the begging of this journey). ¬†It’s a focus on the external, and that’s not what I’m after. ¬†I want to be stronger/build endurance and to obtain that goal, I need to put the work in. The most FANTASTIC part about that goal is that I see results with¬†every¬†workout, which means I feel successful every single time I put in the extra effort.

Beauty, confidence, and strength comes in every shape and size. As women, we are surrounded by outside influences. Magazine ads, TV commercials, the latest lose-weight-quick program…all in the quest to be a¬†certain¬†size, and to fit into a certain mould. It’s not realistic, nor is it at all original.

What’s interesting about everyone looking the same? Different is beautiful. It’s easy to give up on a goal when you are striving for something that just isn’t attainable because it’s not sustainable for YOU. Because guess what, when you get there, you have to keep it up to stay there. For me that’s just not realistic. I will never be a size 2-4, nor do I want to be. That’s just not realistic for me. God gave me curves, and I’m going to embrace them thank you very much.¬†I’ve been a size 22, a size 8, and all the sizes in between. ¬†I’ve settled where I’m at based on the work I put in and the food choices I make. I’ve found great freedom in the control within that equation.

Thank you for reading through all the thoughts that were swirling around in my head for 30:55. ūüôā ¬†I hope your day was ridiculously amazing!

Oh and for those of you who know I have the tendency to get lost in thought and attempt to get into the wrong vehicle in a parking lot…I did it again today. In my defence, this time it was the same make of vehicle and not the blue minivan I tried to get into last time I was lost in thought. Lucky for me, there wasn’t a family in the car (as there was in the blue minivan….oopsie daisey)

I will leave you with a favourite running song (the kind of song that makes you run faster when you want to quit):

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Life is Good, Not Perfect

We live in an online era where friend’s and family’s lives are visual. ¬†Where we once met other disheveled, sleep-deprived, and frazzled¬†Moms in school hallways, we now focus on bright shiny pictures of kid’s first days of school: perfect hair, perfect clothing, and the beautiful Mom smiling proudly beside them.

There is nothing wrong with that, I love looking at my friend’s and family’s photos they post online. I feel connected to them when life gets busy or when miles keep us apart. ¬†The trap lies within the perfect, because really…who’s life is perfect?

I’ve fallen into the trap of envying another’s seemingly flawless life who appears to be full of fun and adventure. ¬†It’s not the type of envy where I wish I was them, but rather I wish I had life figured out a little more! ¬†I struggle with keeping up with my kid’s homework, sports, housework, the mountain of laundry that grows daily, photography, bake sales, picture day, and at times I forget to brush my own hair…and then I get a glimpse of another’s “perfect” life and I wonder why I can’t get it all together. ¬†What am I doing wrong!?

That has me wondering if I portray my life to be full of roses and lollipops…I assure you the roses are often neglected and the lollipops may have hit the crumb filled floor, but it’s OK…the 5 second rule dictates it’s still edible.

I do know that I’m far too awkward to hold onto a perfect-life illusion for any amount of time. The other day I parked my bike in the school parking lot and it tipped over in the wind. I had my mail stuffed into my bike basket and I had to run around catching it while it flew in the wind. This magical moment happened as the school bell rang so I was lucky to have an audience of many adults and kids. I would have aborted the mission after a few long minutes, but the mail had my name and address on it. Why must I be so awkward?

Anywhoooo, I’m focussing on gratitude these days, which means when I say “Life is Good”, it’s usually in the midst of dealing with something difficult and well…not so good. I’m trying to appreciate the beauty that lives within everyday life despite the trials and the heart-ache that goes along with it. ¬†We wouldn’t appreciate the good without the bad.

So let me be real here.

Take for instance this photo:

I went for a bike ride that cold day in April because I was incredibly down, life’s “it’s not fair” moments had piled up. I was angry at God because my Dad has Cancer. Minutes before I took the shadow photos, I sat on a park bench and told myself not to cry. Despite my will to keep it bottled up, I cried anyway. I took this photo because photography makes me feel better, as does exercise. It’s an emotional release that is in my control, when life is out of control.

Or how about this photo:

This was the first day of school this past September. My oldest son almost missed the bus so I could take the 1st day photo which “I HAD TO HAVE” (I actually yelled that from behind my camera). ¬†You obviously can’t see me in this photo, but if you could, you would have averted your eyes. I was sporting mis-matched ugly PJ’s, wild tatty hair, and my mascara had made a run for it.

And lastly this photo:

This was my last day of 34. I felt anxious that day because I hadn’t accomplished what I wanted to in 34 years. I chose that necklace, because it was a gift from a dear friend and it means a lot (thank you Tawn). I got over it and embraced 35 by the next day. But on this day, I was quite insecure which I covered with a smile. ¬†ūüôā

So this post is for any woman who has looked at another with envy and thought to herself “why can’t I be as put together as she is.” or “why can’t I be as confident as her?” ¬†Chances are, she isn’t as confident or put together as she seems.

And this post is for any Mother who wishes she could be better based on the outside view of another Mom. ¬†I’m willing to bet, she too wishes she could be a better Mom and may even look the same way at you. There is no handbook for parenting, you just do your best from one day to the next.

I try to remember this when I see a horrified Mom standing in a grocery store line while her screaming kids flail around because they want candy. ¬†It’s in my nature to look away so I don’t embarrass her, but if it was me…I would love another Mom to say “I’ve been there. I can relate.” ¬†There is support and kindness within empathy.

Yes life is good, but it sure isn’t perfect. ¬†Please remember that if you ever feel less than. ¬†We are all perfectly imperfect.

From my heart to yours,

Christine