Not a Humble Brag

Nope – we don’t play those games around here!

This post is about some pretty cool things that have recently happened…much cooler than keeping my kitchen island clean!

First, I recently received a “Notable Mention” on the nature themed haiku I submitted to Vita Brevis. I am over the moon about this because Vita Brevis showcases some really beautiful poetry. And to know that they actually thought my haiku deserved a shout out…I’m seriously so proud and honored!

I told my parents about the Notable Mention and my mom wrote back this haiku for me:

<tears> My mom was so proud of me that she wrote a beautiful haiku despite her admission that she doesn’t even like haikus.

<still crying here> <heart overflowing>

Second, I’ve admitted – out loud – several times – to different people that…I want to be a “real” writer. And by “real”, I mean someone who spends time during the day (or night) to write something, anything with purpose, and then sends it out into the world in hopes that at least one other person (who isn’t their mom or other family member) finds their writing worthy. And by “worthy”, I mean, that after reading it, the other person can say, “I’m glad I spent the time to read that”.

Hopefully, that’s what you, my dear readers, say to yourselves after reading my posts. Am I right? Can I get a “like” in here?!

Since making this admission, I’ve joined a writing group at my local library. I met with this lovely group of writers tonight and was blown away at the amount of knowledge and insightful critique imparted. While I throughly enjoy the connections I’ve made on the blogosphere, meeting other writers in real life is a necessary experience for me. It’s just like needing to meet other mother runners in real life to run or needing to drink coffee around 2 PM or always needing to get fries with that.

Thirdly, I finished typing up a “back to work” resume. It seems that being a mother runner writer is not really making the big bucks (note to self, if you’re thinking about that career choice). So, I’m in the market to do something where my interpersonal and creative skills, coupled with my expensive…I mean, intensive schooling, can make a difference in some type of (paying) organization. This is definitely one piece of writing that I hope someone will find worthy enough.

Lastly, I’d like to brag about my awesome family who has supported me and continue to support me through this chapter in my life. I realized after I wrote this last post, that I really would not have been able to get those things done without my husband watching the kids while I ran or my mom (who was visiting) helping to clean up after the kids or even my kids who have started to consistently bring out their dishes (it only took all summer to get into that habit!). I am surrounded by some super wonderful, loving people and I just want all of you to know that!

Well, that’s it. I’m turning off the spotlight and putting away my jazz hands…at least, for now.

Taking advantage of Newton’s 1st Law

If you need a physics refresher, go here.

I’m on a roll this week…

I wrote three posts this weekend (two in one day – this one is my fourth!) and am working on one more post for this week. I’ve also crossed of half my weekly to do list AND my kitchen island has remained clutter free since Tuesday (that is a significant feat!). I’ve also started going through my kids’ clothes to sell at the Just Between Friends Consignment Event next month.

I’m pretty sure this spate of energy and motivation came from my sola 5 mile run this past weekend. There were several excuses that I could have used to not do this planned run:

-it was supposed to thunderstorm that morning

-my group run got cancelled because of this

-I overslept my planned start time by two hours

-by the time I got out, the humidity was so high because the storm hadn’t come yet, that I looked like it had rained on me (and only me) after a mile of running.

And yes, I am calling them by their rightful name, EXCUSES, and not reasons, because those items (individually or together) should not have been a factor in my decision to run or not.

Even though I did less mileage than I had originally planned, just the fact that I got out there was enough to make me realize a few things:

1. Even if I don’t really wanting to do something, if I have to do it, I should still do it (or at least make a good attempt to do it).

2. Even if I have excuses for not doing something, if I have to do it, I should still do it.

3. I need to stop thinking about the action/activity and just get it done.

4. The sense of accomplishment and bad-assery that comes after doing 1 and 2 (above) is immense and continues for numerous days after the deed is done.

I’m calling those Irma’s Laws for Getting Shit Done.

Now, I know, that what I’ve just written above is nothing new. I’m sure you type A personalities are thinking, “I’ve known that since I was 5!” Well, if you know me IRL, you know that I am not so much a type A or even a type B. If there was a type L (for people who want to get things done with the least amount of effort – you know, leisurely type people, not lazy!) or a type P (for people who procrastinate then run around crazy trying to do things last minute and still manage to pull it off even if it’s not their best work at least it’s done), that would probably be more like me.

I joke with my kids that I’m not a “Tiger Mom”; I’m more like a “Panda Mom” (FYI – I just googled that phase, totally thinking I was making it up but I didn’t! Panda moms are real!!) I am pretty relaxed about most things which works for me as a parent and partner (even as a therapist), but maybe not so much as a runner or a writer.

So, I’m going to keep rolling with this bit of insight and see how long it will last. I’ve discovered I love making little boxes next to my to do items and checking them off. Whether I love having a little more structure and discipline in my life is still up in the air….

Shhh, be vewy, vewy quiet…

…I’m hunting wabbits!! (If you don’t know where this is from – you’re still a baby in my book; if this brings back memories – get your dose of nostalgia here!)

Don’t worry! No rabbits were hurt in the writing of this post! But let me tell you about this fun run I did a few weekends ago and you’ll see the connection.

I went for a run with three fabulous mother runners, Cara, Emily and Olivia, from my MRTT group. They are faster runners than me and had to do more miles than I did on this group run.

We were on an out and back trail so the plan was that I would turn back at my half way point and they would turn back with me, then go back out again to finish their miles. (BTW, I LOVE this about my RBs at MRTT, they really try to not let members run alone. We’re all in it together – start to finish!)

So, I’m about to turn around at the halfway point of my run, when I had this idea. Maybe it was from reading about Harrier runs or maybe it was my way of making up for holding them back with my slow, interval running. I had never suggested this before but the ladies I was with seemed like a fun bunch who were willing to take the challenge.

My idea: they continue their run (it was about an additional half mile before they needed to turn around to get their miles). Then, they could catch up with me on their way back (they were faster and I was doing run/walk intervals) and we would continue the rest of the run together.

Now, these ladies are faster than me by a good 3-4 minutes – which doesn’t sound like a lot but every runner knows that each second multiplied over a run is a lot of time. I figured I had about a 9-10 minute head start on them. At this point, my competitive self appeared and decided that my secret goal was to try to beat them back to the start before they could catch up to me (insert diabolical laugh here). So as long as I kept my pace, I figured, I had a chance. Did I mention that running math was not my strong suite?

Anyways…I’m chugging along, enjoying the scenery and trying my best not to devolve into just walking (which is my tendency when I run sola). I’m checking over my shoulder every now and then and see no sign of these lovely ladies. Now, I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself, thinking, “Ha! Intervals do make for a faster run (at least for me). I am pretty awesome for keeping ahead of these mother runners who I know can run faster than I can without breaking a sweat!” I mentally pat myself on the back and promise myself a mocha latte for the ride home.

I’m a little over a mile from the start and had just passed a male walker. I think to myself, “Gosh, I still don’t see them – I might actually really beat them to the start! I can probably walk and still beat them.” I mentally give myself a high five and include whipped cream to that reward latte.

So now, I’m just walking and looking over my shoulder (lone male walkers/runners keep me on high alert). I go around a bend and after a bit, look behind and lo and behold…I see these awesome women totally catching up to me! Ack!!!! Panic!! I start to run like they are chasing me because clearly they are!! Be vewy, vewy quiet…but I can’t, because my breathing is like a 1-900 Operator (do you young’uns even know what that is?). And of course, I still have to take walk breaks every now and then (because my heart is going to explode). When I do, I look over my shoulder and see them getting closer.

At this point, I’m in full blown “OMG! They’re going to catch me” mode because my competitive self has come out and is screaming, “Go! Go! Go! Don’t let them win!!” I’m about fifty yards from the start and I am totally sprinting like those people on the shirt with the dinosaur chasing them because these mother runners are totally on my tail.

I see the finish line about 20 or so feet ahead! I think, “I can make it! Run Irma Run!!!” Then WHOOSH!! Cara totally smokes me and breezes by to the finish line!!

OMG!! These mother runners are TOTALLY DA BOMB!! Emily and Olivia were only seconds behind. Even my competitive self had to give these ladies props and sweaty high-fives. After getting some water and chatting, these freaking awesome mother runners turned around and finished the rest of their miles. That’s right – they totally did what amounted to a speed workout for about 3 miles then went on to finish up the rest of their 8 mile run. Drop mike.

THIS is what mother runners are made of…

So proud to have run with these kick-ass mother runners! Thank you for indulging my crazy idea and for one heck of a workout!! We’re calling this the “Elmer Fudd Run Challenge”!

That’s all folks!!

(Seriously, if you didn’t get that last line, how old are you?? I can probably be your mother…)

Gestures

I’ve been thinking about this prompt all week and it finally came together today! Thank you again to Patrick for his Pic and a Word Challenge #48.

Jaw set

Brows coming together

Looking straight ahead while around her

Kids are squirming, tearing, jeering

She rubs her forehead, right above her nose and closes her eyes

The gesture of acceptance

Out numbered defeat

Head tilted to the side

Eyes squinted

Staring into a face that doesn’t believe in her worth, her rights, her existence

She crosses her arms, juts her hip and taps her foot

The gesture of defiance

Disbelief that in this day and age

Mouth agape

Neck outstretched

Listening to advice and false promises yelled by witnesses to her body’s treachery

She swings her arms and shuffles forward

The gesture of persistence

Knowing pain is temporary

Afterwards, she sits still

Listening to the quiet sounds

Of trees swaying and not breaking

Her breathing deepens

Her arms raise to the sky

The gesture of triumph

Self determined

©️iido 2018

In conclusion….

Our vacation is over and I must say, I feel quite accomplished! Besides the customary over-eating, I was actually much more active this vacation than most. I hiked and walked. I read books. I wrote posts for this blog. I even did laundry…

I read this book by Lauren Graham (of Gilmore Girls game) called, In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It.

It was a very light read but with some good messages. Like this line about progress being found in the “small, seemingly uneventful accomplishments”.

I’ve found this to be so true about running and staying healthy and about life in general. It is all about these small accomplishments that add up to being a better runner, a better mother, a better person.

It’s what gives me hope that people are still inherently kind and considerate of other people. What might be a small accomplishment to you, could be a huge life changer for someone else.

Yes, those are unisex bathrooms (from 2 different locations). They are just like the unisex bathrooms you have in your home!

When I was the chapter leaders of the San Jose MRTT Chapter, I started these daily posts where I would recognize the accomplishments that the women posted or told me about. Sometimes it was a mom going for her first post partum walk with her newborn. Sometimes it was a woman who ran her first double digit mileage run. Sometimes it was a mom who was able to workout and shower in the same day. Our small accomplishments can be so often overlooked by the people in our lives so I think, having it recognized by a group of like minded women was something that was really appreciated.

What was your small accomplishment today? How are you recognizing it?

Here are mine:

– finishing this post which I started last week.

– not being late for my appointments today.

– running for 1.75 miles straight with no walk breaks.

– setting aside time for reading with my kids.

– eating salad with minimal dressing for lunch.

So in conclusion, don’t worry, be happy…Small accomplishments can lead to big rewards!