I have four full-time jobs. I am mom to two beautiful boys, I am in a committed relationship, and I have a career in nutrition. Each one of these things requires my full attention. How on earth do I have time to train for trail races in the mountains?
This isn’t a question of why I feel compelled to add one more “thing to do” into the mix of overwhelm that sometimes spins around me. It is about prioritizing self-care, soul care, to diffuse the overwhelm so I can properly prioritize my attentions.
Adventures in the mountains, kicking up dirt on the trails, breathing in that low-oxygen air, and moving in whatever silly ways my legs will take me feeds me so that I am able to show up to “work” each day.
I must train and prepare to adventure out in the wilds. How do I possibly squeeze it in? I re-think my workouts, which also brings a little urban adventure into my day!
Three key principles to rethinking a workout:
- Get creative. For example, I run commute with work-gear in a pack sometimes! It adds weight and builds strength right?! Yes, some days run with a laptop, fruit, and wallet on my back.
- Choose quality over quantity. For example, I skip ineffective junk miles when I am feeling overtired and, instead get good rest so I can run hard the next day.
- Be adaptable. Sometimes I need to opt for bringing my kiddos along on run in order to get it in. So, I adapt the workout to make it fun for all. For example, I will take the to the track and race them down the straight-aways while they count laps. Another good one is giving them the stop watch to do timed sprints while they follow along on their bikes.
Not only do these three principles help me get in the training, they also make it a whole lot more adventurous (fun).
Here is a photo of me run-commuting the hills of San Francisco back to the train after a meeting, with my lap top and lunch in my pack. This is how I get er’ done!
December tenth doesn’t mean much to my enthusiastic 8 year old. He doesn’t get presents and it isn’t his birthday. To me however, this day never goes by without a moment to note its very special significance. Today will always be the day we brought our first born home from his 96 day stay at California Pacific Medical Center. It was a long sleepless night for all of us.
I was terrified. I had convinced myself that babies were best cared for under the twenty-four hour attention of highly trained medical professionals and, maybe he was better off there until he is was one year old. Something so natural as bringing your baby home from the hospital seemed inconceivable for me at that time. He seemed so safe in the hospital. Bringing him home felt equivalent to running a mountain ridge with scissors in your hand.
|First Ride in the car. Destination? Home!
Of course it was time and ready or not he was coming home leaving behind the sanitized medical facility for the warm and nurturing environment of home where he has continued to thrive every since.
We will never know for sure why he was born at 26 weeks and 2 days gestation. Could have been my body with an attitude problem, an incompetent cervix and an over active uterus. It was most likely not one thing but rather, a variety of factors that we solved for during my second pregnancy.
Today Eric is a growing boy so enthusiastic to start each day that he sets his alarm clock in case his internal clock which, rises him with the sun, fails him. He begins his day immediately asking the questions on his mind and talking about the plan for the day. He winds down at bedtime, all tucked in his cozy upper bunk-bed, talking and squirming and processing the activities of the day to himself as he falls asleep, smiling most the while.
|Loving his home
He is always moving and never content to sit still. He doesn’t have ADHD. In fact he pays close attention to what is going on around him picking up on conversations I would have rather he missed. This is just his temperament.
Observing his temperament and comparing it much to my own has lead me to believe that our combined temperaments of being early risers, morning learners, and active people had something to do with why Eric was pushed out by my eager to contract uterus.
His introduction to our home and the world outside has been slow and steady, and eight years later his temperament has remained true. He is busy, active, and social despite his seemingly sheltered two years of “baby steps”.
I guess what leads me to write these words is the fact that I was told by many people who had not experienced what I had experienced that I was harming his social development by not doing things like taking him into crowded places like day cares, grocery stores, or shopping malls. To those people I say LOOK At US NOW! Oh how far we have come. His temperament and my own would never have allowed us to stay put long!
As I got older I used Sunday as a ski day rather than a church with a steeple day. My mom would say to me “what about church” and I exclaimed to her that I was closer to God on that mountain. At the time I meant higher in the sky. But later I reflected on that statement and thought well, damn, I am a lot closer to God on the mountain. That transcended into being closer to God on the mat, on a run, just plain out in nature. That was my time to get in touch with my spiritual side and connect to something much greater than me.
There is so much in this world that can not be explained and by faith we just choose to except it. Somethings can be chalked up to nothing more than magic divinity. The story of Jesus is one, the seven wonders of the world another, and our bodies even another. As much as I search not everything has an explanation and it feels good to just believe in the magic. I hope I can teach this magic, that feeling that takes your breath away at the top of the mountain or gives you total freeness, to my children.