16
Sep

It's personal

I get asked why a lot.
Why do I run, why do I race, why the triathlon?
Why if you're so scared of swimming do you throw yourself into a body of water and swim across a canal?
Why if it causes this much anxiety do you keep doing it?
Why?
What is the rush for you?
Is it the training?
Is it the exercise?
Is it the body issues you still carry?
Why do you do this?
When it hurts, why do you keep going?
When do you think enough is enough?
When will you finally stop?
Why is it so important right before you turn 40, why in your 40s, why?

These aren't the only times people sit me down and ask why?
Because when you live like "this", people look at you and wonder why a lot.
Why do you do it that way?
Why do you add so much?
Why would that bring you, hell anyone, pleasure?
Why did you start doing that?
Why are you participating in that?
Why are you so type A?
Yeah, I get asked why a lot.

And all I have to offer is, it's personal.
There's only one person I am trying to prove it to.
And that's me.
I am sure it stems from them and wanting some sort of acknowledgment.
I am sure it is because they told me all I couldn't do it.
I am sure it is because they wanted to be needed and so they wanted to raise weak.
But I will be 40 and soon.
The only person this falls on now is me.

What I am about to write,
what I am about to share, is going to sound self-loathing.
It's going to sound as though there is too much self-hate.
But, I promise, it is the opposite.
This is the most loving part of me because it is all about self-care.
It's personal.

Races and running and triathlons and half marathons and marathons and hearing my feet on the road and freezing in water and swimming even though I just learned and biking 20 miles on a Wednesday and being bone tired and killing myself isn't just gratifying, it's healing.
It's healing because I live in doubt.
All year, all month, all hour, minute by minute, I live in doubt.
Of me.
And I have strong roots in fear.
Of all that I do and try to do.
Everything that I say yes to, I walk through fear to get there.
My jobs, my careers, my business.
My family, marriage, parenthood.
Owning a home living a life or just plain living.
I doubt myself and am scared of everything.
So, if that was my litmus test, if being too scared or thinking - I can't - was the reason I didn't do something,
I wouldn't do anything.
And f that.
That's not a life, certainly not one I want to live.
So instead, I do.
I run.
I try.
I swim.
I do yoga and get stronger.
I weight train and step out of my comfort zone.
I push.
I make sure I'm tired.
I keep going.
I work long hours.
I train for long periods of time.
I work on being a mom.
I work hard at my marriage.
I take the promotion, I plan for my future and next steps.
I write a blog to protect their childhood.
I work hard period and end of story.
I do.

And I tell myself enough.
Enough of the BS talk and whining and the scared nonsense.
Do.
Your body hurts? Too bad.
You're too tired? Everyone is tired, get out there.
It's cold and the water scares you to the point of shaking? Stop it, they won't let you drown, get in now.
You trained for four months and he is beating you barely hitting the road? Yeah, that happens, he's stronger and more athletic but who cares.
Oh you think you'll be a shitty mom and fail them? Well everyone thinks that so you're not special.
You're worried your marriage will ruin what you guys have? Stop being so negative.
You think you can't run a company, specifically this company? Too bad because you are so keep going.
You're worried everything will fail? Yeah, it might, it could all crumble, but you still have them.
You're busy? Show me someone who isn't.
You want your MS to be the reason you can't? Someday it might be, but not today.
Today you will shut up and show your body you can run 13 miles.
Show it that a triathlon is in reach, who cares how long it takes.
Shut the hell up and lace those shoes.
Get up early and get started.
Hand out your business cards and talk to people about what you do, sell your brand.
Work your mission and remind people why it's important.
Work for what you ultimately want.
Do.

Show yourself that you can handle this.
Remind yourself of what you are trying to get to, what is waiting for you within reach now.
Do.
That might mean more grit than most.
That might mean more exhaustion.
That might mean more from you more expected out of you.
Because in order to quiet the doubt and the fear,
I have to do.

And from the outside it looks crazy because it is crazy.
From the outside I know people judge.
From the outside I hear the whispers of that is one tightly wound ball because I am and I won't let myself down.
And those that don't have to be this way, I envy you. I wish I could live just like you but I can't.
I know I make my life harder and I am working on that but I won't give up on me either.
So instead, I do.

It's personal.

14
Sep

Five Minute Friday - crowd

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on crowd.

Go.

It's not my favorite, being surrounded by a crowd.
I instantly think of strangers and small talk and the awful feeling of awkward.
I think of how awkward I am, how quiet I get.
I get lost.
But then I think of him.
How much he loves a crowd.
How much he comes to life.
How much he seeks it.
How much energy he gets from it.
And I realize he is my balance.
He has taught me to find the energy from it, to take their excitement and turn it into my own.
He has taught me to love races, not just solo races, but official races with crowds of people.
He has taught me to sit back and watch, take in the crowd, watch how excited they get.
He has taught me to look at my resort town with enthusiasm when the crowds pour in.
He has taught me that it means life and joy and people are out and happy.
He has taught me to get caught up in it, use it to my advantage.
And so I have.

Each summer, our amazing little town comes to life in this amazing way and crowds and crowds of people come.
Everything is busy and loud and warm and summer nights walking around have become my favorite.
We are teaching our kids how special it is, how lucky we are.
We remind them that having to find parking means people are here.
We tell them that we are privileged, we get to live here, where others want to be.

Each year, I do two races and both are now in official race settings, not just on my own.
I have learned that my time does improve.
I have learned that it does warm my heart to hear people cheer their family members on.
I have learned that there is something about that "great job" from a stranger who is smiling that makes me feel okay.
I have learned that reading the signs always makes me laugh when I need it most.
I have learned to relish in their screams and cheers and go get its.

You taught me this and now I know it too.
I get it.
I don't need it like you do, I never will but I understand now.
Crowds do mean life and joy and spirit and energy.

Stop.

2
Sep

Five Minute Friday - loyal

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on loyal.

Go

I was away when this one was posted.
And I am too loyal to just let it go.

Loyal is a word I often use to describe myself.
I am loyal to my family
to my framily
to my work
to my life choices
to my little faces
to my person
to my life.
I am committed to myself and my life.

I am your go to if you need someone in your corner.
I am the one always on your side.
I am the constant, I am the protector of relationships and bonds, I am loyal.

I am the one that can be counted on.
I am the one that rushes to defend, myself, my choices, my people.
I am always working for you, I am the one that will have your back.

And recently, a coworker mentioned how they too were described as loyal and how that is such a generic term
and a different coworker was quick to point out that it's really not.
Because it is not generic and it's not a given and it's not in everyone.
It is only the loyal that understand that we will stand by your side.
We will stand proud and strong and we will be your everything.
It is the loyal that understand that we love fiercely and with all we have.
We give you our all so we do not take love lightly, we know who is deserving, who we allow in.
Because once you have us, really have us, we don't let go.
We are yours and you are now a part of us in a very special and unique way.
We are the loyal.

31
Aug

Five Minute Friday - rush

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on rush.

Go.

We are having a summer.
An actual summer with late nights and camping and vacation and the dad adventure days and camps and sleep aways and smores and ice cream for dinner and a Saratoga Racetrack kind of summer.
We are having an amazing summer.
With sunsets and sunrises and paddling and water and swimming and tired puppies and fall asleep the second your head hits a pillow and friends and framily.
God, we are having a summer.
But with everything so jammed pack and every week and weekend planned and crammed, I feel so rushed.
It all went by so fast.
And I know it always does and I know it only gets worse the older and older they get, but this was a different kidn of rushed.
This is a: our window is closing kind of rushed.
This is a: our time with them, this part of them is quickly fading kind of rushed.
This is a: they are getting bigger and more independent but still just want us and that won't always be the case kind of rushed.
This is a: are we appreciating this time enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we pausing enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we telling them how much they mean to us enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we letting them know how much we love to be around them too kind of rushed.

I spent a summer watching you.
Both of you.
The nine-year-old that still loves stuffed animals and playgrounds and mom and dad time and reading.
the six-year-old that still loves all Star Wars stuff and running around, and all sports and mom and dad playing with him and reading dates.
I watched you and I saw our gorgeous wide open window.
The one in which you don't need, you just want us around.
The one that lets you do more for you, but still love all little girl and boy things.
And I watched me too.
I watched me inhale all of you in.
The deepest breath I could hold, and I forgot to exhale.
And so I watched me live in a world we aren't in right now and I held and held my breath.
I lived in the world where this incredible window was already closed.
I lived in a world where there was no going back in time.
I lived in a world where there was no reliving it and I felt rushed.
Because I want zero regrets when it comes to living your best childhood.
I want to wake up old and have these memories make me smile.
I want to wake up much more wrinkled and have my eyes glisten at the thought of all we did together.
I want to wake up more gray and run my hands through my hair and remember all the times you did.

I lived in tomorrow and forgot to exhale and remember I am here with you today.
I lived in a time where I want time to constantly hit pause, even for a little while longer
so I can hold you more.
so I can tell you more things about you.
so we can discover more about you.
so I can give little guys and kiss noses and breathe in all the little and olive juice love.

But, I can't pause and I think I am being to realize I don't have to.
I have a little while longer to go and so this is the pause.
This is the time, this is when they don't need us but want us.
It is happening right now and as long as I don't rush through it
as long as I don't look at this gorgeous open window of time and spend it worrying about the door on the other side,
I won't rush us through it.
I have exhaled.
I have hit pause.
Every day until you guys tell me, mom, it's time to take one more deep breath and hit play again because we are ready
and taking you with us.

Stop.

3
Aug

Five Minute Friday - anniversary

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on anniversary.
Go.

There's the one I share with you and the world.
The one in which I met you halfway down an aisle and together, we walked hand in hand to our forever.
But then there's the one just for us.
The one that people tell me I am silly for still recognizing.
The one where we met.
And for me, meeting you is the same as the day we became family.
I never needed the big day, or the announcement.
All I ever needed was us.
Because from the moment you smiled at me, I had this overwhelming feeling we would be in each other's lives.

There's the one I share with you and the world.
The one in which I am not even in the picture and dad is introducing you.
The one in which everyone else gets to finally see the amazing you are, all wrapped in pink little.
But then there's the one just for us.
The one in which we became connected well before it was time.
The one in which you let me know you were there
you were coming
you were a girl
when you were actually coming to meet everyone else.
There's that anniversary too and I remember it so clearly.
You were my girl, I was your mom and since I didn't enter into motherhood lightly
this is the anniversary where you whispered in my ear, we've got this.

There's the one I share with you and the world.
The one in which everyone came to meet this little man we created.
The one in which people fell hard for you fast.
The one in which I can hear nurses fighting over who gets to change you because being by your side meant finding joy.
But then there's the one just for us.
This quiet moment in chaos in which they put us face to face, nose to nose.
And I gave you our first little guy.
It's the one in which I remember thinking, this is love at first sight.
You are my one and only love at first sight.

There's the one I share with you and the world.
The one in which a family a four went and picked you up in a parking lot.
Got to take new puppy pictures and tried to heal from a loss.
But then there's the one just for us.
The one in a friend's living room looking through pictures of a new litter.
And I saw your puppy face and I said, that's her.
That's our girl.
I showed your dad and said clearly, this is her.
This is our next baby and we have to go get her.
Because I knew you had healing powers to mend the sad and broken.
And I knew we were ready to accept that again.

Anniversaries around here are important.
Anniversaries around here are special.
Some are joyous reminders of love and family and framily.
Some are reminders of loss and goodbyes and heartache.
All tell our story though because life has to be filled with both.
Anniversaries around here are plentiful.
There are many of them because we have much to celebrate, so much to remember and keep close.

Stop.

27
Jul

Five Minute Friday - 13

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on thirteen.
Go.

The moment I left home for college.
The moment I met and realized I had forever found framily.
The moment I adopted our Mia.
The moment I met you and it all melted.
The moment you asked me.
The moment we moved to our little town.
The moment I fell for Anna.
The moment I became CEO.
The moment I met Cole.
The moment we once again found forever framily.
The moment we had to say goodbye to our first peanut.
The moment I started a company.
The moment you agreed to Pearl and I realized I couldn't love you more.

These are my 13 moments of life. Looking back, I realize we have a nice little life.

15
Jul

I am the answer

When you were brand new to this world and I was forced to share you
I was the one you needed in the middle of the night.
I was the one you needed to smell.
I was the voice you remembered.
I was the comfort you looked for.
I was your food, your rocker, your changer, the one that knew all the sounds.
I was your answer, I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

When you have a bad dream, you immediately go to his side of the bed.
When you are feeling sick, you call for me.
When you fall, you look for us immediately.
When you are trying something new, you seek our familiar faces.
We are your answer, we always were, we still are, but we will not always be.

So many twists and turns
so many changes
so many different milestones and from the beginning to today I am the answer.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Life will continue to bend.
It will make you feel upside down.
It will also make you feel confident, moments, long moments of feeling like you have this part of life down.
But, there will always be questions, there will always be changes.

For this little window in time, I get to be your answer.
For this minute in our lives, I get to hold it all for you.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Because you will grow and you will go and live the life you are meant to.
You are going to find your circle.
You are going to find and at times create your reason.
You are going to be.
You will become the answer for others.

But, for now, I will allow this window to be wide open.
I will welcome this time of you wanting to be with me.
I will welcome what in the end will feel like a brief moment in life.
I will be the answer.

When you are wondering who in the world you can turn to.
When you are searching so you don't feel terribly alone.
When you are seeking comfort and someone that knows your whole story,
I am the answer.

When you need a hug, one that feels so familiar.
When you need to hear words that make you feel like you belong, remind you that you are home.
I am the answer.

I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

13
Jul

Five Minute Friday - done

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on done.
Go.

I try.
It's the best I can do.
No, it's the best thing about me.
I put one foot in front of the other and I keep going and trying and I use grit and determination and I get there.
I never look the prettiest.
I never look accomplished.
I never look like I belong.
I never finish first or top anything.
I struggle, but I keep trying.

And I am done with feeling bad about it.
I am done with hearing how I need to tweak something or change something or work harder on a different part.
I try my best and I get there and that makes me proud as hell of me.

I work for what I want.
I set my mind to it, I formulate a plan and I learn by making mistakes.
And I make a lot of them.
I make them as a mom, as a business owner, as a long-time CEO, as a friend, as a bride.
I make them over and over again.

And I am done pretending that I am the only one that has faults.
I am done with feeling like the world is sitting on my shoulders and I have to, should have, need to have
everything or anything figured out.
I tell my kids that everyone makes mistakes
all you have to do is take responsibility
apologize and learn so you don't do it again.
And it is time I start listening to myself.
Everyone makes mistakes, not just me, everyone.

I do a lot of research on me and others.
How to communicate
how to manage
how to be a better person to those in my life
how to connect better
how to make them feel better
how to make myself feel better.
What makes me run?
What makes me tick?
What makes me move?
What is frustrating for me?
What motivates me?

And I will never be done.
There is always new information to learn.
Always more information to gather.
And it does make us better people.
Not because of labels and putting things in boxes but because it illuminates who we are, who others are.
Because it helps us understand more
judge less
have more patience
set up better systems
be our best selves.

Anger comes easily to me.
Blue and lack of luster and joy.
Never calm and or at peace but always moving, nervous, my mind always going.
But there is too much beauty and joy for this to be all of life.
And I need a balance. I need to be surrounded by love and joy and calm and happy.
So I am done with misery for misery's sake.
I am done with those that look for reasons to be angry, just because.
I am done with having to be with those that cannot see color, everything is black and white.

It is my year of different and I have found ways to say yes, I accept as well as no, I am done.

Stop.

8
Jul

I am better, with you.

Find your circle
find your family
find your framily
find those that make you better and hold on, never let them go.
Surround yourself with those that make you the best you.

Because mom did and it has been why I am able to do
be
breathe
become
create
do more
ask more of myself
because everywhere I turn I can say...

You make me better,
a better person,
a better mom,
a better bride.
I am better with you.

You make my eyes wake up,
you allow my feet to touch the ground,
even on cold and early days.

You make me a better person.

You make me forgive quickly, you help me come back to reality.
You laugh at my crazy with me
you make me feel not so crazy.
I am better with you

You made me believe in something big.
You made me believe in family.
You made me believe in love at first sight.
You made me believe in happily ever after.
You made me believe people care.

You make me joyful.
You make me seek joy.
You make me smile bigger,
laugh a little harder.
I am better with you.

There are people that will come and go.
There are people that leave on purpose.
There are people you will push out.
There will be people that you love but life gets too busy.
There will be people you wish lived closer.
There will be times you feel lonely.
There will be times you feel whole.
There will always be people that make you feel worse.
There will always be people that try and step on you.
There will always be people that make themselves feel better by making you feel bad.
But, not your circle.
Not the real family you need in your life.
Not the real framily you create.
Not the ones that you decide, this is who I belong with.

So, go and find those you can honestly say...
I am better, with you.

15
Jun

Five Minute Friday - restore

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on restore.
Go.

It's the end of another school year.
It's the end of another season.
It's the end of sports and lessons and so many schedules.
It's time for this family to sit back and restore.

It's the end of our tri.
It's the end of all of that training.
It's the beginning of the racing season but for now
it's time for my body to rest, it's time for me to restore.

It's the start of my kids acting up.
It's the exhaustion coming through.
It's the lack of patience from every single one of us.
It's time for our unit to regroup, come back together, find the simple and bask in it.
It's time for us to restore.

It's time for a summer bucket list, the only one we stick to.
It's time for some new traditions and in my year of different, it's time for me to find my restoration too.

It's time to get back in front of framily.
It's time to fill myself full with all the right people.
It's time for me to step back from those I do not feel good about or good about myself with.
It's time for me to find where my heart is full.
It's time for me to find those that are comfortable with my crazy and admit to their own.
It's time for me to find my restoration too.

It's time for my kids to feel a part of a happy family again.
It's time for us to find all the relaxing parts of life again.
It's time for us to feel connected and squished together again.
It's time for this family unit to be restored.

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