parenting · running

Staying Active in Order to to Stay Active

It rained this weekend, a socked in, chilly spring rain. So this afternoon when the sun finally peeked out we had plenty of stink to blow off. I hauled the boys outside for a rollicking game of frisbee with a little tug-of-war with Meg and fetch with Abbi thrown in.  

We shared some laughs, mostly courtesy of Meg, and Alex taught me how to dab and nae nae, which evidently means I’m almost as cool as Betty White. (Apparently I have some work to do).  

It was bliss

I kept thinking that this is what life is really about. Horsing around, laughing and making memories together. 

And it occurred to me that I want to keep doing this kind of thing. Not just until my kids are grown, but as long as there’s breath in my body.  

I took a moment to deeply appreciate today, realized that I am not guaranteed another second here, and yearn for the ability to continue to create and enjoy moments like this.  

It’s at the core of my passion for exercise. Activity begets activity; I stay active so I can stay active. When someone suggests going for a hike, I want to be the first to don my boots, not only now, but for as many years as can.  When I see those videos of octogenarians running marathons, I don’t just find them inspiring, I want to do it. 

Every single step I take today is an investment in the steps I want to take next year, and every year after that, hopefully well into my 80’s or 90’s. And every single step I take today is a return on the investment of last year’s steps.  

Lastly, movement is an act of gratitude. Gratitude for my health, my ability, my strength. It’s not lost on me how fleeting it all is, and that my ability could be altered this very day. While I do hope to maintain it as much and as long as humanly possible, it’s not entirely up to me when or how it will no longer be possible. So today, while I am able, I will be active as an act of gratitude and investment. 

running · Uncategorized

The Pros and Cons of Lularoe Workout Capris

I have been outspoken about my opinions on Lularoe; opinions which are essentially based on my annoyance at being added to sales groups without the consultant or party holder asking first, which means that I despise everything about them on principle. So in a brilliant move, my friend Kristy challenged my prejudice.  She offered to send me a pair of workout capris in exchange for a completely honest review. 


I got the capris, here’s my review:

PROS:

They’re cute!  The accents are fun and match one of my favorite workout shirts. 

The brushed lining feels delightful. 

They’re comfortable and I can move easily in them. 

CONS:

The waistband felt tight at first, and seemed to need breaking in. I’m pear shaped so usually waistbands aren’t tight on me. 

On first wear the waistband was stiff, it did seem to improve with time. 

They are not in the same league as my favorite brands, Brooks and Nike, which are dedicated workout brands, as far as both fit and performance. 

NEUTRAL OBSERVATIONS:

The fit is high waisted, especially in front. 

Tied in with the above observation, there was a bit of “extra” material on my lower tummy, which could be because of my build. 

I don’t plan to wear them in hot weather because the soft fuzzy lining wouldn’t be ideal in high sweat conditions. 

BOTTOM LINE:  

These are cute, comfortable capris which would be great for walks or other light to moderate workouts. If you’re a serious athlete, they won’t perform like the dedicated athletic brands, so you might be disappointed. Overall a good pair of capris for a day of light to moderate activity. 

dog · running

The Top 10 Reasons I Absolutely Love Being a Runner Girl

“Runner Girl” is a title I wear with pride.  I have nothing but love and respect for the phenomenal women with whom I share the name.  I love being a runner girl for many reasons, but here are the top 10.

  1. This feels incredible.  There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with crossing the finish line of a race.
    Crossing the finish line of a half marathon.
    Crossing the finish line of a half marathon.

     

  2. I love to eat, and I do mean love.                                                                    pexels-photo-99606
  3. My 72-year-old mom is a long-time runner girl, and she can still run, jump, and play monster tag with her grandkids and great grandkids, and still loves going for hikes in the mountains!  I want to be like my mom!

    My mom, ziplinging in Vermont at the age of 70.
    My mom, ziplining in Vermont at the age of 70.
  4. I have the best running buddy ever!
    Abbi, my German Shorthaired Pointer loves to run with me.
    Abbi, my German Shorthaired Pointer loves to run with me.

     

  5. I’m a glutton for punishment.
    Running in Michigan in the winter means some pretty grueling conditions.
    Running in Michigan in the winter means some pretty grueling conditions.

     

  6. I want to be a healthy role model for my kids.

    Out for a run with my son, Alex.
    Out for a run with my son, Alex.
  7. I’m a happier, more productive wife and mother when I take the time to workout.
    Me "hanging" with my boys.
    Me “hanging” with my boys.

     

  8. I love me some endocannabinoids!
  9. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, running is a major survival skill!                           night-camp-vhs-zomibie-8958
  10. It’s good for my marriage.  Not only is running great self care, and good physical fitness, it’s a way for my husband to tangibly show me he cares by taking over the house and kids for an hour or two so I can get my run in.  He knows that my primary love language is sending me out for a run!

Being a runner girl is one of the greatest aspects of my life.   Taking up the sport has been a game changer for me in every way.  I am thankful for my mother as a role model, and thankful for the chance to be a role model for my kids, as well as keep myself healthy and strong, mentally, physically, spiritually and relationally.

dog · running

The Year’s First Snowshoe Excursion 


I love running (especially trail running), I love hiking, I usually like bicycling, and throw in an occasional video for variety, but snow shoeing has got to be my favorite exercise. 

Last year stunk for snow shoe conditions, I don’t think I got out at all, so I was all the more eager to go when the snow started piling up this weekend. Hannah popped upstairs late this morning and suggested that I take off; I didn’t let the door hit me on the way out.  I might have been premature as conditions were less than ideal, but was loathe to dismiss the opportunity. 

We have trails right behind our house, easing my access so that I can literally walk outside and go.   Abbi was just as eager as I was, and if possible, she took an even greater enjoyment out of it than I did. 


Pictures don’t do it justice. The solitude and peace of being in the woods in the snow is palpable. The white coating over everything insulates noise, smell and sight, making for an idyllic kind of quiet that is nearly impossible to obtain in any other setting. 


I found myself longing to become lost in it, and fell down into the downy fluff in surrender to it.  An angel or five later, the exploration resumed. Though I’ve tromped these trails hundreds of times in the 15 years we’ve lived here, each season, and even day by day there are new discoveries to be made, and it was with sheer delight that I did so. 

The wind kicked up momentarily, showering me in clouds of snow displaced from the trees above. I found myself reaching for my phone to catch a picture, but instead I paused to tune into my senses and savor the moment.  I’m a bit sorry I can’t share it with you, but wouldn’t trade the otherworldly moment for a photo. 

Yes, snow shoeing is a workout, and according to my Fitbit, a darn good one, but it’s greater purpose is the restoration of my soul that the abject solitude grants, the physical benefits are just for show. 

parenting · running · special needs parenting · writing

Mom Doe

One of the biggest struggles I have is divorcing my own identity from my identity as a mom. 

Shorty after we had Alex, for complex reasons, I quit my job; my career. I told myself I would keep up my paramedic license, and I knew it was a lie. It didn’t happen, I don’t think I was kidding anyone anyway. 

I became a full time mom. Not only that, but a special needs mom. I threw myself into the role, I was so proud of the work I was doing, I valued my new role, and claimed it as my identity. As time went, the role grew and became all-encompassing. I struggled to relate to friends whose kids were mostly typical, and I lost any desire to do so.  

Even the things I do for myself, running and writing primarily, have threads of my children’s stories emmeshed in them, they don’t stand alone as my own.  I have precious little in my life that has my name stamped on it as my own. I’m Mom Doe, a nameless, faceless person whose very existence is almost entirely in support of others. 

And I feel like I’m in a cocoon (or a chrysalis, it’s hard to tell from here).  It’s too tight and it’s uncomfortable. It’s necessary, but I don’t want to be here and I don’t like it. I suspect the time will come for me to emerge, perhaps even with a glorious set of butterfly wings, though I suspect I’m more of a moth. 

I’m eager to break out, likely too much so.  Patience has never been my strong suit.  Who knows, maybe I’m just imagining things. We’ll see. 

Or maybe, just maybe, I’m sprouting wings in here. 

running

What Do Running and Dishwashers Have in Common?

I had to empty the dishwasher this morning.  It’s one of the approximately every single indoor chores that I abhor.


So, this morning, feeling inspired, I decided to see if I could get the dishwasher (minus the silverware) empty by the time my Keurig finished brewing my coffee.  And you know what?  It was darn close, and that was with Ben’s interruptions (because we don’t go 2 straight minutes without Ben needing something around here.)  So this is where any other mommy blogger would tell you to gain new perspective on your chores and realize how blessed you are.

Not this girl.

I realize that I’m fortunate to have a dishwasher (albeit a hand-me-down from my grandma).  I realize that chores don’t take as long as they often feel like they take.  I get all of that, and I still loathe chores.

I start to wonder if it’s not the chores that sink me, but the drudgery of modern life that they represent.  We have sunk everything into having houses and conveniences, and then we become slaves to them.  And I don’t know how to get out.

I yearn for a life rich in experiences, not bogged down in a daily to do list that serves as a ball and chain, but for the life of me I cannot figure it out.

I wonder if I would feel so trapped if I lived a “Little House on the Prairie” life, or perhaps if I had a tiny house with only a fraction of the material commitment.  I don’t rightly know.
I wonder if the American Dream has become one of those dreams where you try to run for your life, only to feel like your legs are sandbags moving through quicksand.

And I realize that there’s almost nothing I could do to change any of it.

And so I run.  I run because it’s a taste of freedom, of unfettered movement, of discarding the shackles of everyday life, if even for a brief while, to connect with a deeper meaning and a simpler existence.  And I run barefoot, and on trails.  I become one with the biosphere, and live fully in the moment, not trying to escape or defeat the present reality.  Not always, but often, it’s enough to carry me through the mundane days and years, and fill me with the abundance of life that I crave.

running

To The Always Inspiring Runner Girl

I’ve slumped of late, and been thirsty for some motivation or inspiration.  This morning, I got my inspiration while out running errands.  

My inspiration, dear Runner Girl, is YOU.  I saw you this morning while out driving, and remembered how very much I want to be like you.

woman-jogger-jogging-sport

Yes, you. Would you look at you a minute. No, no, no, look past the cellulite and stretch marks (unless you don’t have any, then YAY YOU!) just look at you. You are the woman who has the courage to sign up and train for a race; whether you’re walking your first 5k or making a new PR on your hundredth half, you are shining. Look at those legs and glutes, and think of the miles they’ve given you and get excited for many more to come.

Look at you, a role model for the younger women in your life. That niece who is trying Girls on the Run this year, your daughter who rides endless miles in the running stroller, the neighbor girl who peeks out past the curtain as she see you zoom by for the fourth time this week. They’re watching you, admiring your steadfast commitment.

Look at you engendering wellness. You’re staving off heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and bone loss with every step you take. You’re taking time to take care of yourself, improving your emotional well being right along with your physical well being, and you look and feel great.

I’m sure you’ve looked at other runners and felt that admiration and solidarity. Well I’m looking at you, dear Runner Girl. I’m inspired and encouraged by you. I’m proud of you. It doesn’t matter if you’re working toward a medal or just hope to finish. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re slim and sassy or rocking some fabulous curves, you are an inspiration. To me and to so many others who see you out there training.

I can’t wait to see you on race day, dear Runner Girl, you are a phenom.