Well…Here I Grow Again!

Wait! What just happened?!? An entire season has come and gone without nary a blog post. Apparently my life has been put on an even faster forward…do you relate? I can’t fathom where summer has gone, so it’s time I share with you a peek at what I’ve been up to since my last entry back in (gosh, oops…) May! If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you already know haha!

I welcomed the warmer weather by tilling and planting my garden because I love the gifts the growing season provides. I knew homegrown veggies would add a fresh flavor to all my favorites.

I got a few early season 5Ks in, but my jerk knee’s knee jerk reaction was not pleasant, so that was that.

My husband joined my beloved athletic club and I gained a brand new source of live-in gym accountability! This pic was from the morning of our 25th Wedding Anniversary…got the workout in before we celebrated!

We observed our anniversary by continuing Eric’s Hop Passport Brewery Tour…we knocked out a few of the 68 breweries in his passort while playing in Minneapolis/St. Paul. That passport has challenged me to work off all the empty calories I’ve been consuming with each tour, a battle I sense I was losing.

Next came our annual family vacation up north; though relaxing, I did all I could to keep it an active one…

Loved the time it allowed me to spend with our oldest and his wife…feels like there’s never enough time, so this week was a great chance to put everyday life on hold and just play!

Ahhh, but that fresh air and lake vibes!

And the sunrises!!! What a beautiful place to catch our breath as summer began to take flight.

I got a quick room overhaul accomplished, turning our oldest son’s room into a place of mindful rejuvenation. I don’t mind telling you, I worked through some emotions as I painted over a little boy’s youth.

It seems to have helped me work through the feels I needed to release. I managed to get the room pretty close to finished just in time for a houseguest.

My soul sister flew in from Portland with that giant bag…part of an epic plan! What a treat to have this Lady with us for an entire month. Pinch me!

Eric and I had been training for RAGBRAI, a weeklong bike ride across Iowa, and Nadia decided pretty last minute to join in…YAY! I rode RAGBRAI back in 2016 by myself, so I was pretty excited with the prospect of having some really fun company this time!

We got some great training rides in with part of our fantastic team…such important preparation for success.

Even on days we didn’t feel like it, we still figured out how to keep moving forward…air conditioning helped haha!

A few short weeks later found us in Council Bluffs, IA at the RAGBRAI expo, ready to set this adventure in motion. Remember, I’d done this before and once was actually enough for me, until this 50-year-old decided it was time for him to do it too. Now how could I say no when he asked me to join him?

And just like that, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa happened…427ish miles of it!

Was pretty much an exhausting, seven day party as we ate our way across the entire state of Iowa…fuel, you know?!? Uff-da!

Felt good to see completion of another training schedule and event. Goals can get a person pretty far!

My job continued allowing me to share the great outdoors and fitness with the mentors and mentees I work with. I’m grateful to say I love the work I am doing…seems more like play if you ask me…WIN!!!

I spent a portion of the summer partnering with the Rochester Police Department encouraging the youth in our mentoring program to accomplish some of their 10 mile bike rides. How amazing it would be if one of them goes on to ride RAGBRAI in the future…how cool would that be?

My flexible part-time work schedule has afforded me some important time for much needed self care. I’ve taken many opportunities to work on me this summer. Sure, I spent a ton of time being active, but I also took time delving into some healing modalities that I’ve been meaning to explore. I’ve been holding on to some baggage it was time to unpack and release.

In the process, I’ve enjoyed profound relief from things I’ve felt were holding me back from being my best. It was challenging but necessary work to move forward.

Time and again, I put myself in the way of beauty and let nature facilitate the healing.

I’ve made my emotional and spiritual health big priorities this summer, and the shift I’m experiencing is a divine gift. One that is right on time, because life is constantly changing and I want to be ready for what’s coming next…case in point…

See, this is something else we accomplished this summer…senior pictures. How is our youngest already here? As I know all too well, this will be the fastest school year yet. This young man has been busy with incredible academic government and musical composition programs this summer, as well as traveling abroad. I feel like we barely saw him. And my heart knows what little time we have left before the nest is empty.

I know how important these fleeting moments are, so I’m tucking the memories away one by one, as long as I can.

So I look back at this summer with such joy as this guy and I evolve into a deeper relationship. The one where we begin to remember who we are without our kids, and what that looks like going forward. I think about how quickly 25 years really go and what I want for myself and for us.

And this right here is it. I want to go forth with love and longevity the best way I know how. That means it’s time for me to take way better care of myself, to get honest on a very vulnerable level. I know I’ve been neglecting myself when it comes to mindful eating and that mofo scale has been shouting obsceneties at me. Or maybe it’s the other way around lol! So it’s time to show the damn thing what I’m made of. Again.

So, well…here I grow again. I already know I can.

I’m embarking on a new leg of this transformational journey I’ve been on these past 8 years that will ensure I go into our next 25 years with my very Best Foot Forward.

Win-It Wednesday OOFOS Black Glitter Winner

Happy Win-It Wednesday, Friends! I want to take this opportunity to thank the generous folks at OOFOS for their unwavering support in my endeavors and providing today’s amazing giveaway prize…thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

I’m excited to announce the lucky winner of the Black Glitter OOlala Luxe Sandals is…

Congratulations to Patty!

I will email you for shipping details, Patty.

Thank you to all who entered. If you did not win but are looking for the ultimate in support and sport recovery relief, you can treat your feet…pop on over to OOFOS website right away so you can feel the OO too!

This FIT BFF is here to tell you, OOFOS is one of the best ways I know to put our Best Foot Forward!

Of Closure and Gratitude

It’s been well over a month since I traveled to Jacksonville to participate in the Donna Marathon Weekend’s half marathon. I’ve meant to blog about it for weeks, but I think it has taken me until now to understand its significance.

If you read this post a while back, you know this event has become far more important to me this year than when I participated in 2016. Though I walked it back then too, I was in the thick of my marathon and half marathon addiciton…I was seriously running out of control! The proof is in the bling I earned throughout that year…

Oh how I loved my running, it was an obsession that seemed to come out of nowhere…it was a total escape from life’s crazy, and the endorphins were a reward second to none. So much so, that when I found I needed that lumpectomy, I calmly rescheduled it so I could run a half marathon in California. And when I finally faced the music to have the lump removed, I was running another half only days post-op.

Yeah, that was a tough run for me. When I look back at this pic, I’m right back in that moment with the weight of all the feels. I know now, it was the running that kept my mind north of the worry and fear.

But, it’s also clear to me now, I was’t exactly running toward anything…I was running away from things. That girl had a LOT going on.

The running continued nearly every day until later that year when this dumb thing happened…

I awoke the meniscal beast, and though I eeked out another marathon and one more half that year, that was the end of that. Though the meniscus has quieted down, runner’s knee, osteoarthritis and my sports med doc have made it quite clear. I’m finished.

So there I was in Jacksonville, wondering what in the world I was doing. I picked up my race packet and enjoyed the expo with my friend Julie, because I kind of knew it might be my last.

Although we had walked plenty of training miles and planned to walk every last step of those 13.1 miles, I secretly feared my body wouldn’t be able to cut it.

So I gave my regards to Jeff Galloway one more time, just in case!

Before I left for Jacksonville, I checked in with my friends at OOFOS (my beloved recovery footwear company). Mind you, their footwear has supported my body throughout my injury and eased a TON of my pain since. It just so happens they have a Project Pink line…the same amazing comfort, but as part of their charitable giving effort, $10 from every Project Pink Collection shoe purchased goes to breast cancer research! Check out OOFOS’ fantastic Project Pink line here.

Well they generously sent me a pair for the occasion, so what else would I have worn to the pink carpet Expo?

Same amazing comfort/support, extraordinary cause near and dear to my heart! And I’ll just tell you right now, I couldn’t have recovered from this half later without them!

I was really rusty at setting out my flat Carla the night before. I barely remembered how and hoped I hadn’t forgotten anything important.

It had been well over a year since my last event, Friends. Past disappointment, the threat of pain…it was a crazy-loud loop running through my head I could not silence. Where did that even come from? I thought I was over all that. But there it was, and I barely slept that night.

I tried to reason with myself…I was only walking; but I was walking 13.1 miles on a bum knee. Ugh. Well, there was only one thing to do, so I put my best foot forward…just ask Elvis!

And the moment we crossed the start line, I remembered what I love about Donna’s event.

It’s not about the race or my pace. It’s about something so much bigger, and Julie and I were reminded of that with every neighborhood corner we turned…

Those homeowners embrace this race for the important cause it is. And to keep it light…

Though I felt I might lose my emotions multiple times along in gratitude for my own breast surgury scare results, these people kept reminding me to laugh and enjoy the journey.

 

My knee was getting angrier and angrier, and I hate to tell you how many times I thought about quitting. The emotion was raw as it became clearer and clearer with every mile, the race days I loved were drawing to a close. What if all the running was just a temporary vehicle to ease me through a tough time?

A deep, comforting feeling washed over me like the waves of Jax Beach…a gentle yet unmistakable clarity. What a gift to be there, to be able to take that winter walk with a great friend on a beautiful, sunny day in Florida. A day that’s not promised to any of us. A day I was grateful to be alive.

That medal is a symbol of closure I will treasure forever.

 

 

 

NSV…Look What I Can Finally Do!

I was eager for my training session today…hopeful to finally put weight on the bar for my press. I’ve only recently started pressing the naked 45 pound bar and today was the day to increase. I admit, when I saw how small the weights were, my first instinct was to be embarrassed at how pathetic it must have looked to the heavy lifters around me.

Shame on me for going that direction! It quickly dawned on me how significant this was; in that moment, my perspective shifted to gratitude.

Although there is just no flattering angle for today’s NSV…this non-scale victory is so important! I don’t know if you can even see those weights on that bar, but I am pressing 55 pounds. Today I am especially grateful for the ability to lift anything considering it has taken me three years (post car accident) to work up to this following broken ribs/sternum and the chiropractor putting shoulder, neck and collarbone stuff back where it all belongs. It feels downright awesome to be fully functional again. ALIVE!

Friends, have you struggled to finally achieve something you’ve been spinning your wheels to accomplish? Instead of beating yourself up about how long it has taken, grant yourself a moment of grace. Look back at barriers you’ve had to overcome in order to be where you are right now, then consider it a NSV to celebrate! A shift in perspective may be exactly what you need to embrace where you are right now; it’s just one more way to put your Best Foot Forward.

Nothing is Impossible

Friends, it’s very hard for me to believe what blessings this past year has brought my way. Exactly one year ago this morning, I was in Honolulu starting a marathon…A MARATHON! I admit, if you had told me two years ago I’d run one, I would have told you, “Impossible!”

I’d only just begun running the year before, and never imagined in a million years I would run 26.2 miles. In one day. For fun. Yet I found myself meeting up with Rhonda and Matt, complete strangers at that time, to do exactly that!

honolulu-start

Just a few short years before, this concept was impossible. Unthinkable! Because at 246 pounds, the first few miles would’ve surely induced cardiac arrest!

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But having lost the weight, adopted healthy eating habits, a love of fitness and a wellbeing in my soul, I allowed myself to think crazy thoughts. And when certain thoughts just couldn’t be ignored, I set goals. Little by little those goals became realized dreams I never even knew I had a few short years ago.

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It took everything I had to give that day, but I knew all along it was there.

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And when it was done, I was able to say what I never thought I could…I was a Marathoner!

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And better yet, with continued determination, the astounding generosity of others, despite injuries, health setbacks and mental blocks…these further impossibilities became realities:

  • Carlsbad Half Marathon, Carlsbad, CA (January)
  • Donna’s Half Marathon, Jacksonville, FL (February)
  • San Diego Half Marathon, San Diego, CA (March)
  • Beginner’s Luck Half Marathon, Henderson, NV (April)
  • La Jolla Half Marathon, La Jolla, CA (April)
  • Rockin’ Robin Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (May)
  • Med City Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (May)
  • Mammoth Lakes Half Marathon, Mammoth Lakes, CA (June)
  • Bubble Run 5K, Madison, WI (June)
  • Mini Iron Man, Many Point, MN (June)
  • MN Nuthouse 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (July)
  • RAGBRAI 420 miler, IA (July)
  • Ragnar Great River, WI/MN (August)
  • America’s Finest City Half Marathon, San Diego, CA (August)
  • Med City Fall Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (September)
  • Mankato Half Marathon, Mankato, MN (October)
  • Marine Corps Marathon, Washington, DC (October)
  • Rock’n’Roll 5K and Half Marathon, Las Vegas, NV (November)
  • Silver Lake Walk with Friends Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (December)

And to think it all started a year ago today; all of it seemingly impossible, yet…

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Friends, you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to…ANYTHING! Believe in yourself, your hopes, dreams and ambitions. Set multiple short and long-term goals to get yourself there. Tell yourself I’M POSSIBLE and put your Best Foot Forward; there’s no telling where we can take ourselves if we remember NOTHING is impossible!