Unrelenting Blogging, Running and Courage: Six Year Anniversary!

Word Press informed me today it’s my six year anniversary as a blogger.

Hard to believe this chronicle of my life still stands– I attempted to erase it once. Exes had commented, past friends were keeping tabs on me, fellow bloggers encouraged me. Thank you to those who have subscribed, followed, commented and encouraged this unrelenting literary journey! Some have left, but most have stayed.  It’s edifying.

I went through a period of wanting my life without documentation.

My emerging narrative had no focus, I felt it was a waste  of time. But as events unfolded, I found this humble blog to be a refuge.

I would write what I want, without censor or error by editors. Without deadlines.

This journey began as a public vow of accountability during Lent, to uphold my Catholicism and Lenten promises. To challenge me.

Six years ago, I was searching for meaning in a relationship with a man. I thought that was the dream I should chase. I thought my treasure would be in another’s heart– in the reflection of what he loved in me.

Now I have accepted loss in relationships that haven’t lasted. I wrote about some dates, and the struggles to combat loneliness and failed compatibility. But I kept the details away, not wanting to jinx something still evolving, nor preserve details of suitors who did not work out.

Now I have accepted uncertainty and blog when I feel compelled.

I am still restless, but have re-directed my energy. Now the relationship I feed is that with myself– and running is the mechanism driving me forth.

Now I have races and goals for which to train! The joy I find is in surpassing my doubts.

I seek my own approval, reward myself with courage.

I’m making plans without fear.

I’m still Catholic, but now I forgive myself easier. I don’t depend on Lent to hold me accountable to my own promises.

I allow myself to be human, faults and mishaps included. I enjoy Mass but it’s not the center of my life as it once was.

I’ve chosen to build my life around developing a routine of running. I’m struggling with rising early and getting to sleep early enough to maintain that schedule. But already, it’s bringing me peace.

I’ve signed up for training classes for an upcoming race, my first 10k with lots of hills. I’ve joined the local run club in my community. I’ve attended group runs. I’ve enlisted a running buddy to start soon. I’ve purchased running gear necessary. I’m learning to layer properly in differing weather so I can persevere.

I’ve also failed twice this week on something I consider major: I missed my training class Thursday, and slept through a group run this morning.

I’m worried because my next race has a time limit for me to qualify as a finisher– I usually need 1 hour and 30 minutes to run five miles. This race requires 1 hour and fifteen. I felt intimidated— but signed up anyway. Now that fee has been paid! I want that finisher’s medal.

Today as I ran, I pushed myself. I knew I had to wean my mileage and maintain it below a 15 minute mile. And I did, except for two short bouts of walking. I noticed my knees hurting by the end, 3.16 miles. But I don’t normally feel that when I’m running regularly.

Tomorrow morning I’m meeting someone from our running group early. I’ll go faster.

I’ll be the runner I know is within me.

I think I’ve found something special with running.

And it’s in every road, every time I put on my shoes.

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How to be Happy

Tonight a last-minute movie invitation made my day!

After attending Stations of the Cross at my church for the second week, I was driving around aimlessly in my hometown. I didn’t feel like going home.

And at 6:55 p.m. my friend called and asked me to go see “How to be Single.” We usually make plans way in advance and it’s rare that she calls spontaneously– and I had been in the mood for a movie. My back-up plan was actually to just go to Family Video. Of course I enthusiastically accepted!

“When’s it start?” I asked.

“7:15,” she answered.

I had to laugh! Despite thinking I had no direction, I was headed directly toward the mall where it was playing.

I felt like God was ribbing me just a little.

I felt a profound sense of peace. He was steering.

And we met up inside the theatre and the only seats available were the handicapped seats in the middle– but no one was using them. So there were sat. I had gotten a hot green tea in the lobby, because I had run for the first time in about 2.5 months! I didn’t check , but I’m guessing it was about 45 or 50 degrees when I went running in only a thin hoodie, without a hat or gloves. I had gotten a little cough in that short time.

I made it .64 of a mile– uphill, in fierce wind! But I’m glad I did. Cold air was refreshing. My throat feels better, I’m not coughing.

My friend got popcorn and we passed it back and forth– with delicious butter!

I loved the movie so much that I honestly cried toward the end. Although there are certainly too many ensemble movies set in NYC about motley singles, this one was excellent.

After the movie we sat outside talking in her car for about an hour, catching up.

We’re both 35 and single. We’re both doing our thing and supportive of each other.

We talked about an upcoming 8k we planned months ago to run Cinco de Mayo weekend.

That’s five miles! Neither of us have done that before, but we’re gonna. Even though the shirts for the race are hideous!

It’s good to have a plan.

It was the perfect movie with a gal pal who I adore.

That’s my Friday night and now I’m going to bed early to sleep in tomorrow morning!

My life is pretty stellar.

 

 

 

 

And I Danced

Tonight my friend Nikki invited me out for karaoke, and I said “I’m in!”

My friend Tim was bartending and my fav KJ Katrina was working again. The songs I requested kept getting scrambled or delayed.

“You’re the Queen of Technical Difficulties tonight,” Katrina said. “Sounds like my life!” I replied.

How often did something you planned not work out? But there’s always a good reason.

Tonight was about flexibility despite stymied plans.

My first song, “Speechless,” by Gaga, was a bogus track. The tempo was totally off— then it got stuck on a loop. I got her to switch out for another song, since that track was broken. I did “Come to My Window,” by Melissa Etheridge, and rocked it.

Those strong ballads and raw rock songs are my specialty.

I got Nikki to sing “Eye of the Tiger,” with me, and goofed around. She got into it and soon we were both dancing a little bit. We took pictures and just had fun.

And I noticed something: the way I sing is changing. I used to stand there meekly with my feet crossed in front of me, my water in my other hand. I would cling to the mic and only make eye contact with the screen– even when I knew the words.

Now I’m chancing eye contact– and finding that others are watching with respect. Daring to look around the room a bit, even.

I was hoping to do “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” by Michael Bolton– I was in the mood for some soul. But the track never materialized– it was listed, but always came up as another song. So I substituted “Love is a Battlefield,” by Pat Benatar.

And that’s when I started dancing. I had both hands up, my feet were going, my hips swaying. I was smiling and laughing– I was in my own little world. I didn’t care if anyone was paying attention or not– but I saw they were.

I sound quite a bit like Pat Benatar, and have been told before I resemble her, being petite with a pixie. I don’t harness her total firepower– but I can hold most of those notes and always get the low ones.

But I’m getting her attitude. I love it.

As my confidence grows, I’m taking up space in my performance– and that’s a small step.

Maybe next time, I’ll interact with one of the other patrons.

But I forgot how happy it makes me to just dance around. At work earlier, I got caught by a co-worker dancing in the aisles. She completely cracked up! It helps pass the time!

Karaoke used to be one of my regular activities. I remember why now– it’s just a wonderful stress relief.

Just like stand-up.

Despite being a bit shy otherwise, I like performing.

I like drawing out the shy people and getting them to loosen up and laugh in spite of themselves.

I don’t mind being silly if it helps others relax.

I know I’ll sleep better tonight because I got to belt out out some great songs, hang out with Nikki, and dance it up too. And I did it all drinking just water.

I just gotta get out more.