Monday, September 24, 2012

yay for chilly!

Back when I had horses, I loved fall and winter's descent into cold.  I had pretty lively horses, but the heat of summer sometimes took some of the "lively" out of them.  When fall came, they perked up.  They stepped faster, carried their heads higher, ran harder.  Being all about the awesome power of a high-strung, tightly wound horse under me, I really loved the change.  

Running makes me understand a little better why they perked up so much in cold weather.  This morning it was 34 delicious degrees outside at run time.  Cold enough to get out the running tights and the long-sleeved Under Armour shirt.  Cold enough for wool socks and gloves.  Cold enough to fill me with glee - 34 is enough to add bounce to my step and subtract some of the sweat from my brow.  

It was a great run, even on a Monday.  I didn't drag my butt up the hills, I bounced up.  It wasn't hard to push myself a little harder, a little faster.  

It's not a bike day today, but if the weather holds like this tomorrow, it means finally my head won't be a total sweat ball when I take off the helmet, arriving at work.  YAY!

Hallelujah and thank You LORD for 34 degrees!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

regaining lost momentum, and choosing life

I missed some runs last week, as the arthritis in my feet acted up.  And then I missed my run Monday, because I was running on something like 4 hours of sleep.  So this morning, it was EXTRA DELICIOUS to get out there in the awesome chilly fall pre-dawn.  

Here's the thing about missing the run for a period of time:  you lose momentum.  I started out feeling heavy as lead.  Running in my old heffalump heavy steps.  Feeling too tired to possibly finish the thing.

I was patient.  I know it takes me a full half-mile to really get in the running groove anyway.  And I was aware of the missed runs.  

It didn't get better at the half-mile mark.  

I have a choice, when my body doesn't feel all the jubilation at running that my mind and spirit do.  I can feed the voice of "I can't" by speaking its language, thinking its thoughts, considering it as a valid option.  If I do that, chances are good that it's right....I CAN'T. 

Or I can feed the voice of "I love my body" by refusing the "I can't."  I can be patient with me and speak kindly to myself.  I can choose to be satisfied with just finishing, and not worry about beating my recent speed.  I can keep putting one foot in front of the other, knowing that all I've done is lost a bit of momentum, and the only way to regain, this is deep, people...KEEP MOVING! 

I chose the latter.  Finally, just before I turned around at the halfway point (so, around 1.25 miles), the heaviness left me and I was able to step more lightly and pick up the pace.  Evidence of how much this was true:  turning around meant running UPhill...but I still bounced.  HALLELUJAH, THANK YOU JESUS, WOO HOO!!!  

Really in life I find that we have that choice all the time.  I can feed the voice of insecurity or the voice of trust.  I can feed the voice of resentment or the voice of blessing.  On and on.  What I decide to say aloud and inside my head, where I decide to allows God to work, or blocks Him, depending on what I choose.

I think THAT is what the whole "I set before you life and death....choose life" is about (ummm somewhere in the first 5 books of the Bible, and I'm in too much of a hurry to find it right now).

As for me, today, I choose life.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

sometimes love means changing your mind

I was all dressed this morning (even had on the silly reflective vest) and was already stretching when I realized my foot really hurts.  

This is not the same foot that I showed to the podiatrist awhile back.  It's the OTHER one.  Since it's the same pain, I conclude that apparently I have arthritis in BOTH feet.  Grabbing my foot for the stretch, even in a shoe, was painful.

I know what I did.  Remember me leaving my running shoes in Iowa while I went to Chicago?  Well, I still walked around A LOT in shoes I shouldn't even own, much less walk long in.  (In my defense, THEY LOOK GREAT with the dress I was that a defense?  No?  Erm....)

So the foot has bothered me on and off since then, but not on a running morning before now.  

I first decided to go anyway.  It's REALLY HARD for me to change my mind, once I set something in motion.  And I was craving the run.  And I was already stretched.  And, did I mention, I already had on the silly reflective vest?

But then came the reminder, really just as I was about to walk out the door, that the doctor said, "If it hurts, don't run on it."  I remember how marvelous that was, the simple truth that my body knows how to tell me if I should go or not.  It didn't feel marvelous this morning.  It felt frustrating.  Still, I remembered....

...this is not about "being tough"'s about loving my body. frustration was because I wanted the good feeling of running.  It's no more right to do THAT, just to feel good, than it is to eat a second helping of something bad for me or go indulge in any other uhhh sensory overindulgence "just to feel good."  THAT IS NOT LOVE.  And this is about loving my body.

...I won't die from changing plans at the last minute (part of me is never quite sure, on that point.) 

So I chose love.  I stayed home, got out the bag of frozen peas, and iced the snot out of my foot.  

I didn't do it with a good attitude, at first.  I was mad, I was whiny, I was frustrated, I was whiny, I was impatient, I was whiny.  

Thank God for the perfectly wonderful man He has placed in my life, who happened to be talking to me, and happened to turn my brain away from the whine into remembering the other ingredient, besides rest and ice, that will help with my foot pain:  prayer.  

Uhhh.  Oh yeah!  

So I'm on it.  And I'm done whining.  Sometimes love means being willing to change your mind.  Today, I chose love for this body - more precisely, that foot.  

If you need to do that too, may you do it with more grace than me. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

happy monday morning thoughts along the way

Last week contained almost no exercise for me at all.  I missed Monday's run as I was in Chicago and had left my running shoes in Iowa.  Wednesday and Friday both brought more lightning than I was comfortable with for running.  My schedule and the weather also prevented me from biking to work even once.  Let me tell you, MY BODY OBJECTED.  My body and mind are very connected and in agreement these days:  exercise is a good and welcome thing, and its absence brings sluggishness and generally not feeling as well.  

So it was a beautiful thing to get back out there for the run this morning.  My muscles were very tight and stretching was much harder than usual, but again, my body and mind are very connected these days.  Felt FANTASTIC to work the stretch, to get out there and move.  I love feeling my running muscles come alive.  I love feeling very clearly the reshaping that continues to happen.  This body, that I spent my whole life hating, resenting, ignoring, abusing, and being ashamed of...well, let's just say God's grace is amazing.  He really has taught me to love my body, which I had no idea was such an integral part of loving myself.  

Also:  on Friday and again last night I had fast food.  Friday was because I was hurrying between tasks, and last night that was just the place I landed, with a group, and hadn't had supper.  The change in me is still real:  the fast food was very disappointing.  It doesn't TASTE like loving my body.  It isn't satisfying.  It doesn't feel like a celebration, an affirmation, an encouragement, a bit of hope.  My normal body-loving choices DO.  

For all of the above reasons, I have hope that this isn't just another "skinny cycle" in a lifetime of the yo yo diet.  I'm not "trying harder."  I'm not "working a program."  I'm not forbidden ANY food, EVER.  I'm not counting calories or carbs or exercising any other food measurement program.  I'm not trying to beat my muscles into submission with unwelcome workouts.  I'm not defining my worth by inches or pounds or pants size.  ALL I AM DOING IS LETTING GOD TEACH ME TO LOVE MY BODY.  You this:  Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.  The continual weight loss, the increasing fitness, the joy in movement, the ever-increasing understanding of nutrition...all that is "added" stuff and is NEVER the point of the story. 

The point of the story is LOVE.  It's the beginning, the middle, the end, the focus, the purpose, and all that really matters.  The other details mind themselves, as I mind the mission.  Meanwhile, every day I am healed a little more.  Every day my mind and body are a little more connected - that's among the definitions of wholeness...and wholeness ROCKS.  I recommend finding it.

Isn't God amazing?!