Proud … 

If I had to describe this past school year I would describe it as CHALLENGING. It started off as any other year had … and then craziness ensued. Getting sick is one of the most selfish things I could have ever done to my kids, my family and my friends. It derailed all of us.

Do I really believe it was my fault?

No. Of course not. But I still feel a tremendous sense of guilt especially when it comes to my kids. They needed me and there were days when I could hardly lift my head. My heart broke each time I couldn’t do something for them. I was angry when they had to struggle without me. They had to step it up and do so much on their own. Things that I normally would do for them or with them. They missed out on our talks. Moments that they used to deflate from their day or share their excitements. They handled stress and problems without me. Again. It broke me.

Today my son George graduates from high school. Goodness I love this kid of mine! He is gentle, kind, compassionate and brilliant. And throughout this past school year he grew into so much more. He matured naturally but also because he had to. He didn’t fight it. He never acted out. He wasn’t bitter. He just went with it. He helped so much. He took on so much. And he accomplished so much. As painful (and wonderful) as it is to admit this, my baby boy grew up in what seems like a few short months. He had to.

Today feels surreal. I want to cry because it’s over and cry from a sense of relief. This was a tough school year but George did it. He finished despite the curve balls life threw at us. And he somehow managed to thrive.

If we are lucky, as parents, sometimes we get a glimpse of reassurance that our kids are READY to take on the world. They get it. They can do this. Those moments when we see clearly that they are exactly what God meant them to be in this time and in this place. I gratefully had many of these moments this school year. They came as a result of time and nature but also out of pain and need. I don’t believe anything happens by chance so I cannot look back on this school year bitterly. All the events that unfolded have delivered us to this day. My baby boy’s graduation day. He got here precisely how he needed to and in a way that has left him better and more capable. What an amazing young man he has become. Indeed.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are proud!!!

That hot, hilly, and windy 20-miler was so much fun (said no runner ever) …

Today I ran my 20-miler. I have been physically and mentally preparing for it all week. This is a big one. Huge. I couldn’t wait to get it under my (fuel) belt. And then I woke up.

I woke up to the sound of wind. As I started to get ready I realized the wind wasn’t letting up, so I checked the weather report. High wind advisory. SWELL. I already knew I would be racing against time to avoid the heat, which wouldn’t be an easy battle because I mapped out 10 miles of hills for myself. Wind was not going to make anything easier. Not. At. All. But I laced up and got out there anyway. Somehow I survived and lived to write about it. Here’s how it all went down:

Mile 1: The wind appears to have died down. Run woman run!

Miles 2: I was wrong … the wind did not die down.

Mile 3: Suspicious stranger sighting. I’m glad I have my pepper spray but with all the wind I figure using it could backfire. I determine I can out run him. My paranoia subsides.

Mile 4: My left hamstring woke up and is pissed we aren’t still in bed. I also come to the realization that everyone in my neighborhood is still asleep. I am overwhelmed with jealousy.

Mile 5: 10,000 steps. Whatever Fitbit, whatever.

Mile 6: Gusts. I hate them and all the debris that comes with them. Ouch.

Mile 7: I wonder why I didn’t register for the Donate Life 5k that is this weekend. It’s practically in my backyard. Then I realize I would have had to run it over 6 times to get all my miles in. I calculate 6 race entry fees. I am happy I can still do simple math. This skill will be dead to me soon.

Mile 8: Cyclists pass me. I notice all their butts. I conclude that my butt is too big to fit on a bike seat.

Mile 9: The downhill. This is just mind trickery to build my confidence … the REAL hills are coming.

Mile 10: I’m at the gates of Hell. Let the hill repeats begin.

Mile 11: Branches are falling from the trees. Sure let’s make this a terrifying obstacle course too. Because I obviously need THAT in my life.

Mile 12: Blood, sweat and gagging. I REALLY hate hills. Oh and MORE WIND.

Mile 13: If wind was a person I would call it a bad name … and punch it in the throat.

Mile 14: I’m pretty sure everything is chapped.

Mile 15: What fresh hell is this?

Mile 16: Pulling out the big guns. Electrolytes with extra caffeine. This will either get me to the end of this run or give me a heart attack. At this point I see it going either way. 

Mile 17: A brief encounter with feeling TOTALLY BITCHEN. In your face haters. I GOT THIS.

Mile 18: BITCHEN feeling gone. I start my run home. I remember that it’s uphill. I am running into the sun and have a constant headwind. I cry a little and question my sanity.

Mile 19: My ability to do simple math is gone. Everything hurts. I am pretty sure running is very bad for you.

Mile 20: DONE. Elated and thankful. It is over. I did it. And I am pretty sure that once the feeling of wanting to throw-up leaves my body I will want to eat my weight in donuts.

The 20 miler. Even under the best of circumstances I have never found this distance easy. Today was unbelievably hard. It beat my tush. But I have learned over the years that if I try hard enough I can find humor in even the most difficult runs. I gotta say, I like that about myself.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you laugh yourself through some tough times!!!