Change Is Hard…Doing Nothing is Harder – My Ode to 2018…May She Rest in Peace.

What would you do to be happier?  That my friends is a very loaded question.

I wish I could say 2018 was a banner year.  Let’s just say I am looking forward to 2019.  I just got around to “updating” my working status on Facebook (not that it’s necessary) to living in the DC area and working at the National Archives and Records Administration.  Those in my inner circle laughed a bit and yelled “old news”!  I kept it on the low burner because it was a major change and upheaval. This isn’t a negative post but a post about growth, change, uplifting myself and somewhere down the line winning.

After serving in the Army as a logistician, Army wife, mother and eventually a civilian which totaled about 20 years I decided that I needed a “change”.  From there I moved to Phoenix, AZ and went to esthetician school to, how can I say this, entertain my more artistic side.  I have always played a balancing act with my technical side and my artistic side.  I decorated cakes for many years and found being an esthetician to be artistic but on another level.  Unfortunately, there were many things about it that just didn’t fit and so I moved on to work for a private business.

I have never publicly written about my time at this place of business.  It was the first time out of college that I had worked for a private company and not the government.  I worked directly for the CEO/owner and all I can tell you it was 9 months of pure hell.  I have no sympathy for the devil of which he must have been related.  Sitting on the couch with him during my third interview I knew taking this job was a mistake.  There is something in trusting your gut.  But me, being who I am, I was willing to give it a go.  Worst.Decision.Ever.  He ran me ragged and was prone to changing his mind constantly, not in a good way, and wanted to be treated like a king.  The only task I will bring up just to give you insight was stocking the personal fridge with Perrier™.  He drank massive amounts of Perrier™ and required his personal refrigerator to be stocked daily.  He drank the lemon and lime flavor and I would place the bottles lined up with labels facing the front.  They had to be perfectly in order by flavor…. yeah think about that for a moment.  I mean I can be type A, but damn.

I decided that I needed another change, but most of all I needed to make myself happy and take control of my happiness.  Believe me, this is a hard tasks for Catholics.  Guilt anyone?  I felt for the three years I was in Arizona I was just floating through a fog. Arizona was pretty…in parts, but it just wasn’t for me.  That’s right class, at 50 you can decide to change – and change I did.  Daunting.Scary.Unpredicable.  Yes, all of those words and a whole lot more.

I started feverishly applying to other jobs ~ everywhere.  I prayed.  I cried.  From time to time I felt sorry for myself.  Oh, and I flew to Dublin, Ireland and ran a marathon in between this mayhem.  I would wake up early in the morning and apply for jobs all day long.  Sometimes even on weekends.  I was relentless.  I can remember starting my day with this saying:

“Help me find the right job, the right place, I’m ready for the good stuff”.

Everyday.  Day after day, for nine months (no symbolism here – lol) until I finally got a call from the National Archives and Records Administration.  I had been wanting to get out of the logistics field and I applied for an Executive Assistant job to the Archivist of the United States of America in DC.  After three interviews, I got the job.  It was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life.  I had no apartment and only one friend in the area.  I packed up my Subaru and drove across country to my new life in DC.

I was extremely lucky for my friend Rajni who lived and worked in the area.  It was like she was there at the right place and time.  I owe her a debt of gratitude I will never be able to repay.  I stayed with her for a few weeks and eventually found my own apartment.  The transition was mentally hard.  I hadn’t lived in an apartment since my 20s.  Making that move from a big house to a small apartment wasn’t easy.  All the things I had I left behind ~ I only took the necessities.  Again mental, but necessary for change.  Sometimes you throw things out to the Universe.  You taunt it by saying – “only if”.  Then the Universe throws it back and says “put up or shut up”.  So then you have a choice to take the “red or blue” pill.

“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth.” ~ The Matrix

I took the red pill.  I wanted to find my truth – and so I did.  I left with what I could fit in my car and drove across country, by myself, in search of better.  Change is so hard.

There were times I would walk through my apartment looking at all the nothing.  I would sit in the silence on some days and just think about what was next.  I would get up each day and push a little further, grow a little larger, and eventually smile a little wider.  When I think back at the first time I stepped into this apartment there was a sense of despair and laughter.  There were days I would cry and days I would walk through laughing that this was mine.  I did it.

The job, what can I say.  I work for the Archivist of the United States in downtown DC.  He is amazing and the people I work with equally amazing and talented.  An academic atmosphere.  Even better, I like everything about the place and what we do for the country.  I can say I’m very happy.  I’m happy living in DC and with my job.  It has been a little over 10 months and I love my truth, my little red pill.

I am learning to embrace my future.  I continue to expand and grow.  In order to move forward you can’t dwell on the past.  Study it.  Accept it. Challenge it.  If a little 50 year old female can do it, so can you.  Change is so damn hard, mentally, physically and spiritually.  If you find yourself contemplating about 2018 and where your going, might I suggest taking that red pill?  Open wide and wash it down with your favorite beverage.

I hope this post finds you with a hot crazy determination for life.  The kind that burns the soul, makes you cry and shake and demand you do whatever it takes, however hard it may seem, to stay the course and find your truth.  Yeah, there’s going to be plenty of dead bodies along the way ~ so bring the body bags and a big ass shovel to bury that shit.  Six feet down – three feet wide –  cover it all nice and pretty, dust off those hands and make a sign of the Cross if you have too.  It’s over.  Happy Miles to You!

 

 

 

 

Into Everyone’s Life A Little Pain Must Fall ~ Mileage Recap 18 – 31 May

May was great for two reasons: 1) My completion of the Grand Canyon Half and 2) My daughter came home from college (at least for a while) .  Needless-to-say we have been adventuring!

I didn’t want to lump all my miles into one post so just decided to finish up with May.  May was a strong month for me and I have been busy to say the least.  I finished up a little under April by about 8 miles.  Mostly running miles and now I  begin to focus more on cycling and my goal to complete a century.  I’m finding training time and availability of races an issue, but I will keep going forward to complete this goal.

This month also celebrates a milestone ~ I finally have fallen off the bike.  I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself before taking off for a ride that eventually it’s going to happen.  Now I wish I could tell you that it happened while I was powering up a hill, escaping from some wild animal, or cruising around some corner.  Nope!  I was screwing around trying to get something out of my pack….lost my balance and over I went.  For a moment I just sat there…dazed really.  It all happened in slow motion too…I just toppled over.  I broke my fall with my left hand…so I felt that jarring pain the next morning for sure.  My left handle was a little worse for wear.  I’ll have to get that into the shop soon.  Still works but annoying as heck.

Left Side of the handlebar is bent.

Left Side of the handlebar is bent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I try to remember to turn on my Garmin to capture my miles, but sometimes I just forget.  I was able to capture a little bit of hiking mileage at one of Arizona’s “swimming holes” at Camp Verde called the bullpen.  Just two hours away from Phoenix the desert turned to green and offered up miles of clear water and green.  To get there was five miles off the beaten path and a mile walk after that, but well worth the effort and a good time.

Camp Verde CampVerde_BullPen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished the month of May with a total of 68.42 miles.  I have completed 3,236.20 miles so far and 8,078.80 adventures await.  I hope this finds you well.  Happy Miles to You.

 

 

 

 

Running Angel ~ Blog Brag

Here’s a Monday blog brag.  Congratulations to my sweet little neighbor Katlyn.  She was part of an after school running program.  She participated in her first run ~ Go St. Louis!  She ran 1 mile without stopping!  You can tell by the smile on her face that this is a special achievement.

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These types of programs are great for kids because it teaches so much more than running.  Kids learn how to set a goal, practice then achieve ~ lessons that are important in every day living.  Let’s face it…a little running bling doesn’t hurt either!  Fantastic work ~ we’re proud of you!!!

Passion Post # 5 ~ Distance is Just A Number

I love being 46 years old.  Yeah you heard me.  I love being 46.  I have no desire to be a teenager or a twenty something.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked being a teen, and enjoyed my 20s and 30s, but now I’m in my 40s ~ and I love it.  I’m comfortable in my 46 year old skin.  When I look in the mirror and see the lines that are beginning to form I see battles won and a few I lost.  I see love, happiness and adventures still to be experienced ~ hard work, joy and pain.  Every line that is forming and every line that will be has been/will be earned.  Some are joyous lines others lines of pain.  They’re my lines.

I came across this link someone posted on Facebook directed at how the media portrays women’s bodies, mostly famous artistic women, i.e. models, singers etc.  The woman narrating the piece is specifically zoning in on digitally changing images that make women appear slimmer, have bigger busts and of course flawless skin.  Sending the misconception of how these women look in real life and what is considered beauty.  Hips too wide no problem digital enhancing will fix the problem.  I have no doubt this happens with male images as well.  So you’re asking yourself what does this have to do with running?  A lot actually.  I bet you would be hard pressed not to find in the top ten of “Why I run” posts/articles the reason people started to run is to slim down ~ and that is a great reason There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best you can be physically and if running gets you there great!  A runners physique is slim and muscular.  I wanted to tie this into running because I’ve had quite a few people discuss with me (mostly females) how difficult it is to be “everything”, be fit and on top of it look great and emulate all of those images you see.

You can access the link below ~ it’s a little long but you’ll get the gist after a couple of minutes.

5 Minutes Of What The Media Actually Does To Women

When I started running I was a good 40 to 45 lbs. over my normal weight.  People tell me today when they look at pictures from a couple of years ago they can’t believe it’s the same person.   I am a petite woman.  I have always been that way.  Like all normal women I was raising a very busy child and working which didn’t leave a lot of time for working out, much less running in those early years, so I gained weight.  One day I was putting on a pair of pants and they were so tight they were high waters!  Come on laugh ~ quite a few of you know what I’m talking about:)  So I finally just got fed up.  I just wanted to be able to feel good and fit in my clothes without the fear of taking out someone’s eye if a button popped loose.  So, I started eating better and planned time   to exercise.  I started to run and it stuck.  Running changes your body and running a lot really changes your body.  I’m back to how I used to be ~ plank meet world.  I’m here to tell you I’m so okay with it ~ matter of fact I’m Amen and pass the pork chops okay.  Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.  I eat a lot and sometimes not well, but I burn a lot of calories.  I burnt 2500 cals just running the St. Louis marathon.   You get the picture.  I have more time to myself now that the kid is older and in college ~ you’ll get there too.  Let’s face it, training for a half or full marathon takes time.  Time away from family and all those necessary’s you have to do.  Don’t beat yourself up about it if you can only spare a certain amount of time each week.  It is what it is and you do the best you can.

Queue in wavy lines and “take me way back music“.  I can remember, very specifically I might add, being at a pool and jumping off the diving board and a kid I really liked yelled out “you’re flat”!  Well I was 10 and Einstein he wasn’t, but that stuck with me for a long time.  I even thought about enhancement from time to time.  But I am comfortable with my shall we just call it the female “runners” chest.  Let me be the first to say, I don’t think there is anything wrong with “fixing” anything on your body.  If you want to do it and it makes you feel better all I’m saying is keep it in perspective.  Don’t do it because you think that’s what you have to do to be beautiful to others or you perceive that’s what is considered beautiful ~ you do it for you.  Heck, who knows, I might want to get rid of some of the crazy a few years from now.

Let’s fast forward a few years ~ Circa 1995.  I’m in the Army and in the hospital fixing to be induced to receive for our little bundle of joy.  I’m sitting there and I tell my husband to go get a magazine while I’m waiting for the blessed event to start rolling.  Lo and behold he comes back with…wait for it…Cosmo.  Now I don’t know about you, but I quit reading Cosmo back in my early 20s.  I had packed up and moved on from that crazy train long ago.  I said, “you have to be kidding”!  To which he replies, “well it was that or Newsweek”.  I just stared blankly ~ really….really?  So I had to take what I could get and I started reading Cosmo.  In walks the “female doctor”, two “female nurses” and one really young Sargent (that was a little creepy) and they all started laughing when they saw the magazine.  The older nurse blurted out “hey look she’s reading Cosmo!  We stopped reading that year’s ago”!  Guffaw guffaw…snicker snicker.  Then she says, “it’s just kind of funny ~ here you are giving birth and you’re reading Cosmo”!  Ha, ha yes the joke is on me.  Nothing better than having a pregnant body reading Cosmo magazine.

The moral here ~ no one is perfect ~ physically.  Make a reasonable training plan and stick to it the best you can.  Look in the mirror and focus on that image ~ not what the world is telling you that image should be.  Realize that good results sometimes take a little time to achieve.  Let your true passionate self radiate your true beauty.

Mileage Recap 1 June – 8 June

The first week of June saw some heavy mileage completed.  Still basking in the afterglow of the MS 50 Mile Challenge Walk I was able to complete 43.75 miles for the week.

I feel pretty good so far.  I was lucky I didn’t have any knee problems and the back is pinching a little.  One thing for sure, my legs are super tight.  Whew, I’m in need of some heavy stretching.  That is one of my main drawbacks in running.  I just don’t do enough stretching.  I’ll be honest, it bores me.  It’s like I need to be monitored – “Laurel, do that stretching”.  Oh well, I try:)  Then there’s….

The Hunger…..

I can tell I’m still in recovery mode because I’m tired…and hungry!  I laughed when I read a post from another enterprising blogger who called it “rungry“,  Well, let me tell you, I’m way rungry.  I’ve been eating my way through Belleville, IL for the last week.

Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A, and Cracker Barrel just to name a few.   It hasn’t been pretty.  I was so hungry on the last day of the MS walk that some of the nice people I met along the way were beginning to remind me of the old cartoon where the two guys are stranded on an island and hungry.  They start to look at each other like food, one looks like hotdog and the other a hamburger.  “Hey guys this is Laurel, she’ll be walking with us today.  She’s very nice, but keep your distance, she’s a little…hungry”.

Hotdog and Hamburger

This would be my “other” lack of discipline I have acquired.  I’m trying to tame my eating habits, but honestly I’m hungry, all the time.  This is an area I really want to try harder.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful and peaceful Sunday.  I’ve completed 462.06 miles and have  10,852.94 to go.

Run on….

MS 50 Mile Challenge Walk Update….

Or lack there of….  I am undisciplined at times.  This appears to be the case with my walking “training” in preparation for the 50 Mile Challenge.  Every time I decide to walk, I end up jogging, running, skipping or whatever.  All I know it isn’t walking.  I am coming clean.  I am a USDA grade A walking failure.  No, that’s not me in the photo…and no, I don’t know why the gentleman on the left isn’t wearing shoes in the snow.

???? 

There are only a couple of weeks left before I go on this adventure.  What do I plan to do to rectify this behavior you ask?  Nothing…nada…zero.  I’m going stone cold walking.  I figure this will be one of the many life lessons I will have to learn. 

There are many kinds of failure in this world. 

Like a really bad tattoo.  Something tells me this ended the “best friend status”.  No, that’s not me or my best friend.

tattoofailure

Ready or not I’ll be there with bells on.  Hopefully, I won’t end up like this poor lass…

Walking Dead

…she appears somewhat dehydrated.