Sunday, September 27, 2015

Never EVER Give Up

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide.
No escape from reality.
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies, and see...
...
Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see...
Nothing really matters to me...

If you are not living in a hole, you probably have heard those lyrics. There are so many interpretations of the song Bohemian Rhapsody but the best interpretations is always your own, right? So, I've had a tough week, with glimpses of amazing, and I'm sure my perspective will flip eventually to amazing week with glimpses of tough. 

So many things that can't be summed up on this blog, but one of the lessons I was constantly reminded of is that regardless of the situation, you have to charge on. There is never a circumstance that warrants throwing in the towel. What does this mean? Well, I had a miserable run on Tuesday, one of those runs that made me wonder how in the heck I was able to do a marathon in this lifetime, one of those runs that was so miserable, I didn't want to remember it happened, and so I simply forgot about it when my friend and I were talking about running yesterday. On Tuesday I could have thrown in the towel and given up all together, but I didn't... Instead I got up on Saturday morning, went to the trail and had a strong run.

With that being said, I am was constantly reminded that stretching myself is the greatest gift I can give myself. If I think I can't take one more step on a run, then I should push myself to take two more, because you just never know what might come after those two steps. A wise woman is always saying something along the lines of: take the first step, it is only new ground once. Being a shy extrovert, I can tell you the first step IS the hardest. Take the day I decided to run a marathon. I'm pretty sure I signed up for the marathon and then went outside and smoked a few cigarettes. I'm also fairly certain, the next day, I went for a run to show myself that I could run.

So, I used to think of Bohemian Rhapsody as an anthem of which the lyrics were never heard. What I realized when I listened to the song yesterday, I heard a sad boy telling his story of giving up. It actually pissed me off. Seriously, based the lyrics, he did something unmentionable, however he could have chosen to change the trajectory of his life, not just throw in the towel. As I was OVERthinking the lyrics it made me reflect back on the dance routine my friend and I made to the song when we were kids. It was a dramatic routine in which we acted out the lyrics, probably never understanding the depth or implications of our actions.

Very recently, my sister posted on Facebook about the sleepover her daughter had in which the girls were dancing around the house to Fight Song all night. The juxtaposition of Bohemian Rhapsody's lyrics and Fight Song's lyrics are the perfect example of how different people can react to a tough week. I am happy that my niece and her friends chose to walk around singing fight song, because it is a song of strength and personal power. As silly as it sounds, I have officially decided to adopt Fight Song as my anthem because there is never a reason to stop fighting to be better at everything we do... better friend, better pet owner, better employee, better gardener, better runner.

With all that being said, I challenge you all to stretch yourself every day... I'm going to continue taking the first step regardless of how difficult that step may be because "I've still got a lot of fight left in me."

The following lyrics can be found in Rachel Platten's Fight Song:

And all those things I didn't say.
Wrecking balls inside my brain.
I will scream them loud tonight.
Can you hear my voice this time.
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

Video may not be accessible on a mobile device. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Celebrate

I'm always working on something. The projects might include organizing my house, training for a half marathon, cleaning out my car, doing my dishes, organizing my cat toys. I also spend a lot of time creating stuff. For instance, last Christmas was the year of the homemade gift! I spend so much time making things for other people, and I love the joy I see (or the eye rolls) when I give someone one of my home made gifts, but I never make anything for myself. And then, every once in awhile I do work on little 'gifts' for myself. When I do, it gives me so much satisfaction. 

Most recently, I decided I needed to do something for myself. In the interest in also organizing my race stuff, I jumped into a medal 'rack' and framing some bibs from various races. You see, I keep my bibs for no good reason. I knew they would just end up in the trash some day, and then I decided they couldn't. I mean, they must have meant something to me if I have kept them around this long!

You see, every medal, every bib is a reminder of my accomplishments over the years; accomplishments that are meant to be celebrated, not ditched in a junk drawer waiting for the inevitable trip to the garbage dump. If it were someone else's junk drawer, and that someone else was about to throw away all of their medals, I would be doing everything in my power to make sure their stuff wouldn't just be tossed to the side, and forgotten forever! And so my projects began for myself.

Here are a few of my masterpieces:





All this to remind myself to celebrate what I have accomplished.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

An Extrovert's Dilemma

I've talked about the difference between an introvert and an extrovert before on my blog. The topic resurfaces in life from time to time, and the past week is one of those times. Someone shared a shirt that had a reference regarding how to treat an introvert. In this email exchange I stated that there needed to be a shirt for the extrovert, but they pointed out that an extrovert doesn't need a shirt because everyone knows everything about an extrovert from their feelings, down to what they ate for lunch. I responded stating that the comment was proof that a shirt needed to be made for the extrovert that says something like this: 'Just because I'm an extrovert, doesn't mean you know me. All you know is what I ate for lunch!!!' I should mention this exchange was in jest because we all know each other well, and we were poking fun at our differences.

This exchange got me thinking and researching again about the extrovert, so I hit google to find out if anyone has decided to take care of the extrovert since the last time I blogged about the difference between the introvert and extrovert. Not to my surprise, there was nothing new out there for our loud, outspoken souls...

Anyway, I'm not going to dissect the relationship between introvert and extrovert in this post, I'll leave that to the researchers out there...

I do want to take this opportunity to instead identify the struggles that one might have, as it relates to exercise, if they are an extrovert. You have likely noticed that I have been fairly lackadaisical about my workout regimen this summer.  It is impossible not to notice that, since my bike ride, workouts have been inconsistent, or should I say, semi non-existent. With a lackadaisical routine comes weight gain, lethargy, exhaustion, inconsistent diet, etc. It is so bad that I have literally skipped bike rides because I didn't want to load bikes in my car. I mean, come on!!!

Why did I just give up? That is the million dollar question... I have some theories (excuses), and they all point to yes. You see, I took a running break, although I've still been running at least once a week, because it is too hot outside. Again, I'm going to say, COME ON!!!!! Yes, I have MS. Yes, it is hard to walk after I run sometimes. Yes, it is scary to be alone after a run, when struggling. But really? Is that a good enough excuse? Some would say yes, but I'm starting to think no. I know after a 5 minute cool down, I'll be able to walk unassisted again. So then, what is the true problem? Some would say I don't want it bad enough. But, talk to me when I'm an emotional wreck because I haven't exercised and you will understand I want it, and I want it BAD!!! But, who likes to be on the trail, running alone in silence. Who gets energy from this alone time? Not the extrovert. And so the dilemma begins.

Luckily, my exercise buddy has been willing to ride this summer, so I have had that outlet, THANK GOD. But, you see, I have spent this weekend alone and it has exacerbated the extrovert dilemma in my mind. I have had every opportunity to go out and exercise, but instead I have been focusing on other activities, because I'm no longer in the habit of daily exercise. I have no one to blame but myself. I'm either going to have to try and beg my exercise buddy to get back to running with me (we are signed up for a 5 miler soon), or I'm going to have to learn to run solo again. OMG, the extrovert in me is tearing up just saying that!

I'm going to have to throw myself some kind of bone to get myself going again... The only person who can take care of yourself, is yourself... except when you are an extrovert??? Not quite, but part of taking care of yourself when you are an extrovert is having consistent, dependable people who you can recharge with, and when that person is an introvert, they soon understand that their simple presence in the same room as an extrovert can be enough. A perfect example. This week I simply needed time in the presence of a good friend to relax and so I asked my friend if I could come over and watch TV. I simply wanted to sit there, stare at the TV and know that someone was there. As an extrovert, it is extremely lonely spending a weekend by yourself, without a bone from the people who are closest to you. It is kind of crazy, but when you are an extrovert, your phone never dinging can literally feel like you are non existent to people. I'm going to say this again though... extroverts don't need people to take care of them, they just need people around to recharge and acknowledge them from time to time.

So, when you are talking to an extrovert about starting an exercise program, tell them to find a really good exercise buddy, because they will need it! I'm lucky to have found one...