Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On running

I've decided to put the running on hold for now.  

I'm not giving up.  I'm just going to step back a little  and see where I'm at in a couple of months. 

I tried it for four months. I really did try.  I only got to week seven of the nine week couch to fivek program though because I injured myself a couple of times and I repeated several weeks over because I didn't feel I was ready to move on to the next week. 

The truth is I didn't like it.  At all. I found myself dreading the days when I would have to do it. I always felt better afterwards(who doesn't feel good after exercising?  I always do).  

But during it was torture.  Joe and I were talking about it and he asked me why I continued to do it if I disliked it so much. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  I was hoping it would grow on me. 

But it didn't. No matter how hard I tried it just didn't feel right for me.  

I was so determined to prove to myself that i could run that I forgot how much I used to love to walk.

 I love walking!  I can actually walk at a faster pace than I can run.  Weird, I know.  Today we went walking.  I walked for an hour. My heart rate was still raised.  I was still sweating.  I still felt a little sore afterwards. 

The only thing that was different from the running was that I didn't hate it.    On the contrary, I actually enjoyed it. 

I did a combination of walking/jogging but I did my own intervals. In the hour that we walked I did eight sets of running for a minute to a minute and a half.  Sometimes there was three minutes between a set. Sometimes five  or even seven.  I just listened to my body and did what I could do.  

It was so much easier than trying to keep up with the couch to five k  program. And we have lovely walking trails. They are dirt trails and I find it so much easier to walk on dirt than cement.  They also have hills in them which adds another dimension to the workout too.

I love it.   If I want I can still participate in five k or even ten k's.  I can walk them.  There is no right or wrong way to get into shape.  I need to stop comparing myself to other people and set my own goals. I don't know why that is so hard for me to do.   

I plan to continue with the walking  three to four days a week.   I might supplement with some arm exercises and boxing on  the Wii Fit which I also enjoy.   

Dragon boat practice started up again last weekend so that will be one day of really great exercise too. 

Last weekend we practiced both days and did some training for the full hour each day. Such a great workout!

I loved every minute of it, but Holy sore muscles batman!  Ouch.   I only just started feeling better today, three days later. 

It feels good to push your body though.  I'm looking forward to getting in better shape this summer.  

Maybe I'll return to the running in the fall.  We'll see.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Here is a post I thought I would never share.

I'm not even sure at this point that I'll hit publish on this one. 

Three years ago this weekend I was in the worst place mentally that I have been in my entire life.

Three years  ago I spent  Mother's Day in the hospital due to a depression so bad it had consumed me.

I have had people ask me how I got to that breaking point, what caused it?

It was a lot of things.

I was juggling a lot of balls in the air.  I was working two jobs because Joe's unemployment had unexpectedly stopped paying(for no apparent reason. After six months they started paying again with just an "oops!  Sorry about that!"). Don't even get me started on how they hold people's lives hostage with their ineptitude.  

I was in an abusive work environment(have you ever been called a lazy piece of shit by your boss?  I have.)

We were in dire straits finacially.

Our adoption was unravelling.

Everything in my life seemed like it was falling apart.

On the outside I was trying to maintain an outward impression of "I'm fine.  Nothing to see here".

But on the inside I felt like I was dying. Every waking minute I wasn't at work I was lying in bed. Sleeping.  Crying. Lots of crying.  But mostly sleeping and wondering where I would find the strength to get out of bed the  next day and do the whole charade again. 

I'm not sure why I am sharing this here, except that I have felt  ashamed of it for years and terrified of what would happen if people found out.  

I realize now it's nothing  to be ashamed of.  

I have an illness and I needed medical attention and I sought it.  

That's it.  End of story.  

If you feel differently about it then keep it to yourself because for the first time in my life

I.    Don't.   Care.  

I'm done being ashamed.  

I don't even know that person now, and I hope to never again. The right meds.   A wonderful support system.  A (fabulous) new job.   Slowly, slowly I started to come out of it.  To see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But when I was in it all I saw was darkness.  All I felt was hopelessness.

I struggle to find words to convey how awful it was.

Do I still struggle with depression?  Yes.  Do I still have bad days(or even weeks?)  Yes. I always will. That's the nature of depression.  

But I have far more good days than bad days these days.  This is the best I have felt in a very long time and I intend to enjoy it.

More than enjoy it.  Revel in it.

I was inspired to write this post after reading this:

I could have written that post.  Word for word.  It's like that person was in my head, reading my thoughts while she wrote it.

I'm so thankful for people like that who are brave enough to put that stuff out there so I can feel brave too.

As much as I wish no one else had to feel the crippling pain I have felt, I'm grateful to them.   Because of their bravery I feel less alone.   I feel free from the shame of that secret I have been keeping all of these years.

This is one of the reasons the Internet is awesome. It has the power to make you feel less alone.

And sometimes that's all you need. To feel less alone.

If you are in a black hole of depression right now,  hang on.  It gets better.  It really does. You aren't alone.  

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day makes me sad. I know people who are probably so sick of hearing that.  Especially since I say it every year. But it does.  

I know I have friends who feel the same way.  Friends with kids and without kids, for various reasons. Those that have lost their moms, like me, especially.  Most of the single friends I know don't like Mother's Day either.  

When your kids are little Mother's Day is really just a reason for your partner to buy you a gift and say thanks for being the mother of my children.  Here's a present that I bought for you "from the kids". 

That's not happening when you are both the mom and the dad rolled into one. (I am in awe of single moms.  You guys rock.  You really do). 

I know that Mother's Day is just a Hallmark holiday, the same as Valentine's Day. I'm not sure why I let it affect me the way it does. 

I think if my mom was still here I wouldn't dislike the day so much.  I just feel so....left out.  

I learned many years ago not to go to church on Mother's Day.   I learned that one the hard way. There's a good article going around in fb about that very topic.   The last time I went to church on Mother's Day(I think five years ago) I cried through the whole service.  As people came into the church they gave all of the mothers a pink rose. I didn't take one.  Then in the middle of the service they had all the mothers stand and they prayed over them. I was one of very few women(aside from children and teenagers) who didn't stand.  Then they played a slide show of children telling their Mothers what they loved the most about them.   I sobbed through the rest of the service and felt like an idiot.  It pretty much sucked and I haven't gone back to a Mother's Day service since.

There have been many mother's days in the past that I stayed in bed all day.  

Others we have gone to the movies so I could sit in a dark room and didn't have to see everyone else out with their mothers.

This year I was dreading Mother's Day yet again.  

Until I got an e-mail from our dragon boat team asking if we wanted to participate in a special training practice both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  Ummmmmm.....heck yeah I do!!

So for the first time in a very long time I am looking forward to Mother's Day. I wil spend my day out on the water in the sunshine and salty air with a group of people that I love, and getting a great workout to boot. I couldn't ask for anything more than that!

I might still feel a twinge of sadness on Mother's Day.  But that's ok.

For those of you who struggle with Mother's Day along with me, know that you aren't alone. I wish we could all get together for a cup of coffee(or maybe a nice stiff drink) but since we can't I'll just send a virtual hug out into the universe and hope that you'll  feel it.

If you are celebrating, I am happy for you and I hope you have a great day.

And for the first time in a long time I really mean it.  ;)