Amy

Last year an acquaintance of mine passed away, and it shook me more than I thought it would. (I wrote a long post processing my feelings then, but then it disappeared, so I figure it was something I was meant to keep to myself at the time. So here is part 2!). We had some different views on things, but I always, ALWAYS admired her light, warmth, and kindness. She comes to mind often, reminding me that life is so short. There are days that I’m scrolling through photos on my phone and I come across the couple we have together, or the screenshots I took from her Instagram stories (she was a nutritionist and posted some great information), and still can’t believe she’s gone. It’s just unreal.

We shared a passion for wellness, nutrition, and physical fitness. We both had experienced emotionally traumatic relationships, and had gone through our own experiences with betrayal trauma recovery. And, apparently our birthdays are less than a week apart—a week and a year!

Last Sunday was my birthday, and I celebrated by going to Portland to visit my brother and some close friends for the weekend. As I walked home from church that peaceful gray morning, I came across a “Poetry Post,” where a poem was posted for people to read by the sidewalk. The poem was “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver.

“…And therefore I look upon everything

as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,

and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common

as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,

tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something

precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

I cried then, and I cry now. Happy birthday, Amy. You continue to inspire me, and I hope to carry light, love, determination, and focus like you do.

Race Recap: Thankful13 – 5k / Girlfriend Run!

This Thanksgiving morning two of my girlfriends and I ran the Thankful 13 – 5k! It was so good for my soul to enjoy running with friends again (or at least seeing each other before and afterward, haha) and I’m pretty proud of how I ran this race. So let’s chat about it!

Before the race, I met up with Haley and Maddison. Haley went off with her mom and another friend to start the race. I started with Maddison. At the beginning of the race they had sign posts to help you line up according to your pace (6 min mile, 7 min mile, etc.). We were walking toward the 9 minute mile flag but the crowd was so huge we just settled in the 8 minute mile section. We started shuffling along as the race started, and IMMEDIATELY had to start dodging people.

Let’s pause and talk race etiquette really fast, because this was a huge problem, especially at the first half of the run: If you are planning on walking the race from the get go, please do not line up ANYWHERE before a 10 minute mile pace, because your pace is SO slower than that. 10/11/12 minute miles are still running. If I am lined up with the 8 minute mile group and tripping over you as soon as we cross the starting line, that is not cool. And if you maybe start running then stop in the middle of the race to walk, please go off to the side, probably the right side somewhere so people can more easily keep running around you. If you stop in the middle of a small path—and especially if you have one or two other people stop running with you—people will be tripping on you and dodging and hopping off the paved path to get around you. And if someone is really pushing to get their best time, these stops can really add up and negatively impact their personal performance. These things go for even a casual 5k race like yesterday, or a full blown marathon. (Strollers: Usually people want you to start in the back if you’re pushing a stroller, but I don’t have a huge opinion on this. Some people are hardcore runners with strollers. If you can do that and keep up with the pace that you are lined up to run in, amazing. So do what you think is right in this case.)

Okay, thanks. On with my own race recap.

The first bit was a lot of weaving around people. I lost Maddison in the first quarter mile (she’s really good at dodging people, haha). There was an aid station at the half mile mark that I skipped and just kept running.

I did this 5k with my friend David Seletos maybe 3 years ago? (Hi old friend, hope you’re well!)—but they definitely switched the course around a bit. I had a flashback at a particular point of running DOWN a hill toward the Jordan River Trail and realized I had run UP that hill the last time! I liked this course better (it could also have to do with the weather—3 years ago it was sunny but FRIGID, SO SO COLD, and this time it was overcast and had been rainy, but it wasn’t raining when we were running. There was a chilly breeze but the breeze actually felt SO good while running. And I love overcast running. It just felt really nice).

The course runs along the Jordan River Trail and it is just so beautiful. I made sure to look up and enjoy the scene especially at that portion of the run.

Another cool thing about this run: It was my first race wearing contact lenses!! That’s what I had asked Santa for for Christmas—an eye exam and contact lenses! I received my gift last week, so I was able to run this time in them. Usually I’d be running in prescription glasses or sunglasses, and if rain is expected I’d just leave those in the car and run with blurry vision. It was AMAZING being able to see everything as I ran. I find myself in awe throughout the day when I wear my contacts, just noticing how much I can read and see without frames around my vision now. It’s just the best gift!

I ran every hill. I paused to walk a few steps just two or three times, but each walking break lasted probably just 5-8 seconds. According to my Garmin, I ran a pretty steady pace the whole time (because I’m a nerd, I’m going to attach screenshots from my Garmin app from the race). I tried to keep a good running form, and experienced zero pain while running! (My right shoulder at LEAST usually hurts at some point, especially when pushing the pace, but I don’t remember feeling any pain this time. I think it’s because I really am working on my running form and maybe it’s getting more natural to run this way).

I crossed the finish line still at that steady pace, feeling good about my form, though we’ll see how it looks when I get the final photos 😉 haha

I walked a few steps then squatted to breathe for a moment. I was given my medal then walked to the curb to sit down. I met up with Maddison who had finished just a few seconds before me. We then got in line for food and were part of the 5% that actually stood in that line forever, instead of cutting in somewhere, to get our pumpkin pie and churros. Worth it. So delicious.

We got our official times, Maddison rung the PR bell, then we met up with Haley to hear about her run and take a photo together.

I said it before and I’ll say it again—this run was so good for my soul. I admit I’ve been laying low lately— preferring to be alone, busy with work, and this week enjoying family in town. It’s been an odd few weeks. I’m so grateful for Haley and Maddison—both for who they are as awesome women and friends, and also for signing up and running this race with me. It was so, SO good for my soul!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Confession

Confession: I feel very sad. Because sometimes timelines don’t match up etc. etc. and my heart is a little broken. Today feels particularly heavy for a couple different reasons (one of which is just my body and the chemicals in it! So fun!) The person who I am missing doesn’t read this blog so I figure it’s safe to share just a bit on here.

I’m very sad.

A few years back I remember a similar type of sadness, and I chose to counter it by exercising 1-2x a day (endorphins), so I’m back at that now. I’m also not feeling guilty about drinking sodas right now, because soda brings me joy, so I’m doing it. And I’m trying to put more focus on my scripture study each night, because even though I’m feeling a little sad about how my life is feeling right now, I’d rather be with God than without Him.

I’m very tired and I’m very sad, but I’m doing my very best.

Tender mercies:

  • A last minute trip down to Las Vegas for work, and using the money I earned to get myself a nice room at a resort. That was the first time in a week and a half that I felt some peace.

  • A trail run last week that resulted in a very funny story that you can ask me about sometime.
  • Literally 10 minutes after finding out that a part of our family can’t attend Thanksgiving dinner, I ran into an aunt who I haven’t seen in a couple years at a gas station, found out that they have no plans for the holiday yet, and was able to invite them.

  • 10 minutes after that, I decided to treat myself to my favorite apple fritter. The woman at the drive thru window said they had ONE left, and it was kind of crumbly, so I could have it for free. I told her it made my day!—and I think that made HER day too!

  • Spending time with my dear friend Erika. Regular messages and calls from Kathryn. Support and check ins from Jason.

Freewrite: Death, Anxiety, Running, Vacation

There are things on my mind but I haven’t really known what to say or how to say them, but after a solo weekend away (full truth: it was a work trip, and I pre-spent my income from the weekend on a nice hotel room for myself, and it was the best), I figure now is as good a time as any to free-write all my thoughts out, right?

DEATH

A couple weeks ago I found out that someone I knew passed away in August. I had just deleted my Facebook prior to that and somehow missed the memo otherwise, and it hit me hard when I googled to try to find her website again to see what she’s been up to, and found out that she and her new husband had died in a car accident. I wrote out my thoughts on a blog post that somehow disappeared, so I took that as a sign to keep it to myself. But it’s worth mentioning, because I’m still thinking about her death, and death in general.

Basically, this quote:

“I wonder what it would mean, what effect it would have in my life to know that I had only one more day to live. How would I treat my wife, my children, and others? How patient and polite would I be? How would I take care of my body? How fervently would I pray and search the scriptures? I think that, in one way or another, we all at some point will have a “one more day” realization—a realization that we must use wisely the time we have.” – Elder Taylor G. Godoy

And this quote:

“In a bizarre, backwards way, death is the light by which the shadow of all of life’s meaning is measured. Without death, everything would feel inconsequential, all experience arbitrary, all metrics and values suddenly zero.” – Mark Manson

In Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” (which is very very good and I’ve listened to the audiobook twice—but I do not recommend if you don’t care for swearing), he has a whole section on death, and I just listened to it again on my drive home today. Basically, it’s good to remember that YOU AND I WILL BOTH DIE SOMEDAY. Because when we remember that, it’s easier to not give an eff about the things that really don’t matter.

ANXIETY, SADNESS, RUNNING

Due to some anxiety and sadness lately over some life things, I’ve started running more again. I cut back a lot last summer due to tiredness, focusing energy on creative endeavors, then focusing my time on a relationship. I love running, but I find that it’s a similar outlet as creativity, and I don’t always have the energy or time to give 100% to both at the same time. And relationships? Nothing matters more to me, whether it’s friendships, dating relationships, or family. I realize it’s a value I hold, and as long as those relationships are healthy, it is well worth cutting back on running goals to nurture those relationships.

I’ve chosen to not post about my recent runs on Instagram just because it’s sacred me time right now. I need it.

But if you wanted to imagine what that Instagram picture would look like: it’s just me running in the dark (morning or night), overdressed with ear warmers AND gloves AND a fleece jacket even though it’s not THAT cold yet, and thus sweating profusely. Got that picture in your mind? Good. Continuing on…

Running goals though! I can say something here. Right now I’m just building up my base again. I intend to do a small “race” later this month with some girlfriends (not actually “racing” though, just enjoying our time). I intend to then train for a half marathon next spring, with a specific goal in mind.

VACATION WEEKEND

It was very nice, thank you.

IN CONCLUSION

Thanks for reading! I hope it makes sense. I don’t feel like editing it.

P.S.

New article of mine on the Healthy Humans Project website: The Two Things That Helped Me Forgive

August Updates

At the beginning of the year, I had a goal to make 3 new recipes a week. I was signed up for 2 races, then a third. I was in the most peaceful relationship of my life. In February, for my 29th birthday, I visited my cousin just outside of Las Vegas, where we enjoyed meaningful conversation, delicious food, and we ran a half marathon relay together and I PR’d everything. I was hoping (and planning) to ride that momentum through the entire year.

In April I got shin splints and had to cut back on training a lot. I started adding in more trails (less of an impact on my body).

In May that peaceful relationship ended—which was fine, but it was hard to lose such a close friend.

Also in May, I realized that any pavement running caused my shins to ache, so I moved completely to running trails. I ended up dropping out of my June half marathon (more on that here).

I kept my July half marathon on the schedule, but I had just barely started adding pavement runs back into my schedule so the race was pretty rough. I felt so good as I started the race—but I soon realized that I went out too quickly. I started out at my usual pavement race pace, but I was NOT prepared or trained for that (trail running is very different—my pace is slower and I do a lot of power hiking). I crashed FAST. By mile 5 I hit the wall. I stopped and slow walked, calling Kathryn and leaving her THE MOST pathetic voicemail. I finished though, and am glad I did the race. But man oh man, I think it burnt me out more than I realized.

It’s been about 4 weeks since that race. My third planned race this year is next month, and my new training cycle was supposed to start yesterday. Every time I even THINK about running right now, I feel like my body gets 20 times more tired and I feel like crumbling into a ball on the floor. SO.

I feel like my body is craving slowness and gentleness. At the beginning of the year I taught a 3-class series of gentle yoga classes, but by the time I finished teaching those classes my focus had turned more to running. I felt like I was done teaching yoga—at least for the foreseeable future, and maybe forever.

But now I feel like it’s time to come back. To be gentle to my body. To come back to that space.

The year so far is not how I planned it to be. My hips are wider than I expected them to be (despite exercising more intensely and eating better than I did last year, if I’m remembering correctly), my bank account is about where I expected it to be, and I have run far fewer races than I had planned to.

And yet, this year is so much more than I thought it would be. I have healed from multiple heartaches faster than I ever have in the past. I feel SO much fulfillment in my job—a job that has grown over the last few months in really great ways, and I am so grateful. My heart has healed in miraculous ways, and things that would have triggered trauma in the past no longer shake me like they used to. I have been blessed with greater closure from past heartaches than I ever thought I’d receive. I have the joy of serving in the LDS Temple every week, which is bringing me more joy, light, peace, and clarity than I ever expected it to. I upgraded my living space to include more space and light. I’m learning how to care for my body better. I made really good cookies last week, and on Sunday I cooked my first roast! Monumental times over here! 😉

 

This year so far isn’t what I expected it to be, but despite the setbacks, losses, errors, and what have you, this year has led me to exactly where I need to be right now. I have no idea what the rest of 2018 will hold, but I have a feeling that it will yield some of the greatest gifts I’ll ever have.