LDRICHEL   46,087
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The Best Laid Plan

Friday, December 07, 2012

In training, as in life, the best laid plan will always be just that: a plan.

This is a key lesson I'm learning as I enter Week 5 of my 52-week training plan. Because of a schedule issue, I had to do some re-arranging of workouts this week, leaving me triple booked yesterday. There was that groundbreaking, wonderful one-mile swim early in the morning. But, as I reported, my legs began to feel achy mid-day. Still, I had scheduled a spin class for 5pm and weight lifting at 7:15pm.

As soon as I got to spin class and the instructor led us into the first stand/jump section of the workout, my legs cried out. I did the very best I could for as long as possible, but about 2/3 of the way into the class, I simply couldn't follow everyone else in terms of resistance and standing. So, I did all I could do, which was sprint the entire last third of the class. It was the first time I've ever wondered if I might not be able to finish. But I did finish with a total of 18 miles. And I was proud of myself.

After spin, my body clearly said to me, "I'm done for today. That's enough. I will not perform for you anymore." So...I ditched the weight lifting. And I'm OK with that.

The simple truth is...sometimes our plans don't work the way we hope they will.

Training hours end up getting cut or made up elsewhere.

A job you thought you'd love somehow morphs into something that creates a horrible lump in the pit of your stomach every Sunday night.

A seemingly romance-filled relationship succumbs to the harsh demands of reality and love fades...sometimes even dies completely.

Things happen in life and you question long-held beliefs...you're forced to think about why you believe what you've always said you believed.

These disruptions to the plan are sometimes harmless, sometimes heart wrenching. But the beauty of a well laid out plan is...it's written in pencil. You can erase and you can re-write. And, when you do so, be sure to keep this in mind: if you have to make yourself fit into your plan, it will probably fail. A truly great plan will be designed to fit YOU.

When my legs clearly weren't going to cooperate last night, I listened and gave them a bit of a break...without completely giving up on my goals. Weight lifting was scrapped and my body was thankful for it. This morning, the schedule called for another one hour swim...but I was tired and my body was weary. The moment I got in the water, my arms were feeling yesterday's swim. So, I adjusted.

I mentally erased the plan and re-wrote it. New objective: gentle, easy 30 minute swim. Not trying to break any records...just do what I can do.

Sometimes erasing a part of the plan is as simple as that. Other times, it requires an unparalleled inner strength. There is a beautiful secret to our training, though. The longer you train, the more reserves you build. One day, you realize there is a tough choice...a change to the plan...and you are surprised...because you find inside you a wealth of courage that wasn't there before. That courage leads to action. And that action changes everything.

If you find yourself dreading the morning commute because you just don't want to walk into that office....re-write. Take a step of courage and look for other possibilities, grow your skills, ask friends for leads.

If your marriage was over long ago and no one cares to admit it...re-write. Dare to imagine what you could do if you were given a second chance at life and love.

If you find you're coming up against ideas over and over again that go against the grain of everything you've been taught....re-write. Dive into your sacred texts, think hard and work with your higher power to figure things out...for you, not dependent on what anyone else thinks or believes.

Finally...recognize that sometimes a change in plan will yield results you never expected.

When I set foot in that aquatic center this morning, I was shocked to find it almost empty. For the first time...well, EVER...I had an entire lane to myself for the entire duration of my swim. There were no water aerobics classes near me, no flailing swimmers in other lanes. It was completely quiet. Completely peaceful. I did my usual 850m in 30 mins and decided to call it a day. Because I'd shown up so early, I had a lot of time after my swim, so I treated myself to a post-swim soak in the hot tub.

That hot tub was wonderful...like a reward for every bit of hard work I've put into my training this week. When I sunk into that relaxing water, it was as if every horrible and painful occurrence from this week just fell away and there was relief and peace. At the same time, it afforded me the opportunity to think more deeply about every wonderful and amazing thing that happened to me this week and genuinely thank God for those things.

Sometimes, when we change our plan (as scary as it may be to do so)...it yields unexpected results.

Peace
Joy
New Love
Purpose

Let's all examine our plan. If you don't have one, it would be a good thing to think about creating one. If you do have one, don't forget to regularly check in with it and make sure it's still working for you, as opposed to you working for it.

See you at the finish line, friends.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERASARA 1/5/2013 11:38PM

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 12/31/2012 6:25AM

    Have been struggling with a lot of things recently and didn't read this when you first wrote it. Read it today.............when I seem to be needing this kind of reminder most. Thanks!

Happy New Year................happy re-write!

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LRSILVER 12/18/2012 8:39AM

    This is a great blog. We sometimes set the bar so high for ourselves that we are not able to adjust. It is good to be able to modify the plan when it needs to be modified. I am glad you are able to do it.

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/17/2012 10:31AM

    emoticon

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FATHINSN 12/12/2012 8:34PM

    For me, a good plan is something that you can change depends on circumstances so there will be lots of rev-up plans and backup plans :D And you can follow other people's plan but do personalize them based on your needs (which is why I like to read other people's blogs on their plans, give me ideas and tips!)

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PENOWOK 12/12/2012 8:54AM

    Our God is the God of 2nd chances!! I know I've had mine! Begin again...re-write is right!

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SHANNONY84 12/12/2012 2:09AM

    emoticon

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SKJCHAPMAN 12/10/2012 11:37PM

    Wise counsel. emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 12/10/2012 10:20AM

    Sometimes your body just needs a rest. You did well to listen to it. Have you ever tried yoga? Very restorative when your body says "Nope. Not today." but you still want to do something for peace of mind.

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FARIS71 12/10/2012 9:35AM

    Very encouraging. Thank you so much!

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1GODGIRL 12/10/2012 9:12AM

    emoticon

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REY-REY 12/10/2012 9:00AM

    Thanks for that reminder!

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LIVELYGIRL2 12/9/2012 3:16PM

  Thanks Coach Leah, how many of us scrap our plans, than invent new ones??? emoticon

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GRUMBLEGIRL 12/9/2012 9:35AM

    Thanks for sharing your life thoughts with everyone. Good for for you for listening to your body and adjusting accordingly. Applying that logic from a training schedule to "real life" certainly would alleviate a lot of stress and bad feelings. We should all walk around with a pencil and big eraser and feel free to clean up and start over when needed!!

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CLAYARTIST 12/9/2012 9:06AM

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RESTORETOSANITY 12/9/2012 8:44AM

  Open-mindedness is a spiritual principal. That was wonderful, thank you!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 12/9/2012 3:08AM

    This was awesome! Yea for listening to your body, and sharing with all of us! You're an inspiration!

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BLUE42DOWN 12/8/2012 9:16PM

    What a beautiful message!

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JAMER123 12/8/2012 9:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/8/2012 8:52PM

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TRYINGHARD54 12/8/2012 5:36PM

    great blog. thank you

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WALLINMW 12/8/2012 4:42PM

  Marvelous!

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WALLINMW 12/8/2012 4:42PM

  Great blog. Stay encouraged. You will get there, one pound at a time.

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ALIDOSHA 12/8/2012 4:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JOANNHUNT 12/8/2012 4:18PM

    emoticon Blog. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JACKIE542 12/8/2012 4:09PM

    Great blog, emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 12/8/2012 3:24PM

    Strong woman!

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HEARTS116 12/8/2012 1:07PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 12/8/2012 12:42PM

  As usual...........So VERY well said. emoticon

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MIMIDOT 12/8/2012 11:16AM

    You always have good points to share. Thank you.

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IAMAGEMLOVER 12/8/2012 10:13AM

    emoticon Remember, two steps forward, one step back is progress. No one is super human except God himself.

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SHOAPIE 12/8/2012 10:06AM

    emoticon

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MOMMY445 12/8/2012 10:00AM

    what a great blog! thanks for sharing and have a fabulous day!

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RUNNERRACHEL 12/8/2012 9:58AM

    Plans are important but thanks for the reminder that we can re-write or erase part of the plan that is not meeting our expectations/needs. I have been a little too permissive with myself in erasing and re-writing my workout plans and a little too stubborn in other areas, unwilling to change the plan I set out on. That is much scarier to re-write--maybe I need to be more willing to re-write the areas that I should and not as willing to change my workout plans! Great blog. Glad you had a successful week and adjusted where necessary. emoticon emoticon

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KIPPER15 12/8/2012 9:33AM

    We do get do overs in life. You can do this. Be strong. emoticon Take care of you. emoticon

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JANEMARIE77 12/8/2012 9:25AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIFETIMER54 12/8/2012 9:19AM

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DNRAE1 12/8/2012 8:44AM

    Resting and active recovery are so important for our well-being and health. Great blog!

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JIBBIE49 12/8/2012 8:14AM

    emoticon What a star you are. Glad to see you featured in the Spark Mail again.

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MANDELOVICH 12/8/2012 7:24AM

    What a great blog about so much more than exercise. It's really true that the more open we are to change and exploring new options, the better life can be! Thank you.

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BESSHAILE 12/8/2012 7:12AM

    Peace

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MARYBETH4884 12/8/2012 6:42AM

    You are wise and inspiring. Make sure you pass this wisdom on to your children!

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SHERYLDS 12/8/2012 6:37AM

    emoticon you're strong inside and out....
you won't just survive...you will thrive.
Go For It


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COLETTEISGREAT 12/8/2012 6:06AM

    I absolutely love it when I read about people listening to their bodies! And I love the re-write idea!!

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SUNNYLIFE72 12/8/2012 5:39AM

  Good for you! I love the quote at the end!

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NCSUE0514 12/8/2012 4:54AM

    Well done

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TDWANDD2MYK9 12/8/2012 4:51AM

    emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 12/8/2012 4:16AM

    Thanks. Ineeded to hear that!

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DALID414 12/8/2012 12:01AM

    "It's written in pencil" I love that idea!!

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NAT-AGAIN 12/7/2012 10:44PM

    Wonderful thoughts! Thanks for posting it!


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Some blogs are crazy creative...some are just a training journal, y'know?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Big day for me, people. Rolled outta bed at 5:30am because THIS was going to be THE day.

Upstairs: Suit on, teeth brushed, contacts in, hair pulled back.
Downstairs: filled water bottle, grabbed gym bag, hopped in the car.
In Car: Fueled with caffeinated gel chews, gulped water.
Locker Room: Clothes off, towel on shoulder, grabbed goggles.

In the Pool:

One full hour of swimming with a break in between the first and second set of 20 lengths (500m) and between the second and third set of 20. Those energy gels made such a huge difference in my energy levels. I had no issues with my body until the final 5 minutes, when my foot suddenly cramped and I had to do backstroke with one leg kicking for half a length. Once I reached the end of the lane, though, it had worked itself out and I was fine for the last few minutes.

This was a great lesson for me, as I've never had anything like a cramp while swimming in the past. It was good for me to have to figure out what to do in that situation (better than on race day!). The cramp was so bad, I could not move my foot or leg at all or it would make it worse.

Other than this cramp, my body felt pretty amazing this morning. I had no stomach issues, no excessive thirst and no pain. In total, I finished 70 lengths in one hour, which works out to 1750m or 1.08 miles. SOOOO close to Half Ironman distance!!!! WOW! It was a great workout and I do not feel like I overdid it. Actually, hoping to repeat it tomorrow!

One side effect I've noticed after some delay...I was surprised to find that my legs are very achy (you know how they feel when they are just very tired?) It was a little shocking to me because I generally swim with everything in my upper body (in a triathlon race, you want to save your legs for the bike after the swim). I was not aware that my legs were playing such a big part in my swims. I will have to watch that from here on out. I think I do tend to kick more when I am getting tired...to subconsciously take pressure off of my arms and shoulders. I could definitely feel the burn in my shoulders this morning. It was wonderful!

I've still got spinning tonight after work. Yikes! That ought to be fun for my already tired legs. Then, weight lifting while my daughter is in martial arts later. Think I'll take it easy there, though. Pretty big day.

I am pretty sure I'm going to sleep GREAT tonight!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LRSILVER 12/18/2012 8:42AM

    What a great workout. It is important to listen to your body. If you hurt yourself, you won't be able to keep working out.
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RUNNERRACHEL 12/8/2012 10:12AM

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SENIORSWIMMER 12/8/2012 8:18AM

    Eating a banana a day takes care of the leg cramps.

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COLETTEISGREAT 12/8/2012 6:03AM

    YAY!! This is awesome!

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KBRADFORD88 12/7/2012 12:44PM

    Be sure you are taking magnesium. You are working out differently than you ever have, This can cause lots of legs and ache and tired stuff. Be sure to work in rest days

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SUSANSERENE 12/7/2012 12:42PM

    Woweee! You are a real rock star and I am so impressed with your enthusiasm, your diligence, your goal of a half marathon! Good job! And a big THANK YOU for the inspiration!

Yes, caffeinated energy chews? Sounds like something I could really use! Any particular brand or just at the local health food or nutrition store?

Keep sparkling! emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 12/7/2012 9:28AM

    Ack! You go girl!!

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NUOVAELLE 12/7/2012 1:54AM

    Wow! I'm impressed!!! Where do you get all that energy from? Swimming, spinning and weight training in the same day? I'm exhausted just by the thought!
You should be super proud of yourself and your fitness achievements!
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KRYSTALLA 12/6/2012 11:21PM

    emoticon

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NKOUAMI26 12/6/2012 10:33PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 12/6/2012 9:43PM

    That is awesome!!! Keep it up!! You've got some major focus going on there, girl!

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KALANTHA 12/6/2012 9:14PM

    OMG!!! I'm exhausted just reading your blog!!!

You're doing great!! Congratulations on your amazing swim!

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JMARIES51 12/6/2012 9:02PM

    You are awesome!

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KIPPER15 12/6/2012 8:55PM

    emoticon Don't burn yourself out. Take care of you. emoticon

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KAYATLANTA2010 12/6/2012 8:00PM

    GREAT workout, lady!
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PEGGYO 12/6/2012 7:52PM

    Wow you are really progressing

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GOING-STRONG 12/6/2012 7:52PM

    emoticon

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LINDAK25 12/6/2012 7:37PM

    Wow, that is a whole lot of training!

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CAT-IN-CJ 12/6/2012 6:18PM

    You're an animal!! Sounds like you're on your way.
Great lesson learned.
So, no Mr Brute today. good deal!

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CHARTHESTAR 12/6/2012 5:43PM

    I don't think there is any question that you will have a good nights rest tonight.
WOW. Keep up the good work.

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BRAVELUTE 12/6/2012 5:38PM

    Okay, so you need to explain caffeinated gel chews. What are they? Why do you chew them?

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DIANNEMT 12/6/2012 5:34PM

    TRaining for the Iron man takes a crazy amount of time. Good luck!

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KARENLEIGH32 12/6/2012 5:29PM

    That's amazing!

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PHOENIX1949 12/6/2012 5:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ISABELLE31 12/6/2012 5:04PM

    Good for you! I'm exhausted just reading about your workout!

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HOLLYM48 12/6/2012 4:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REMEMBER2BME 12/6/2012 4:17PM

    Pretty big day? YIKES! Sounds like a totally full day. Great job but take care of you too! Again, great job!!!!

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CAGMUAHFO2 12/6/2012 4:13PM

    Look at you!!! You are doing emoticon

You are super motivated and dedicated!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DJSHIP46 12/6/2012 3:55PM

    You are doing GREAT and it sounds like you know it, which is perfect!!!

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BABAOF4 12/6/2012 3:46PM

  Impressive. It seems like you have studied and learned how your body works and responds . You are being a good steward of God's creation . Keep it up.

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HFAYE81 12/6/2012 3:43PM

    Woo hoo! You've got it going on!

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IRONBLOSSOM 12/6/2012 3:42PM

    GREAT workout! I can't believe you swim with contacts in! That was one thing that kept me from swimming for a long time, they were such a pain.

You go get 'em at spinning and st tonight! :-)

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KATRMOSS 12/6/2012 3:41PM

    omgosh what a great accomplishment today...wish I lived close to a gym...the closest one around me is about 40 mins away.

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JSTETSER 12/6/2012 3:38PM

    Go girl go!
You motivate me!


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JUNEAU2010 12/6/2012 3:35PM

    I'll bet you're walking on air with that euphoric feeling! AWESOME day for you!

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CINDHOLM 12/6/2012 3:33PM

    emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 12/6/2012 3:32PM

    I'm proud of you! You rock. That was a great workout.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Dear Mr. Brute - We're Not So Different

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

This week, I've been dragging a little bit. I keep hitting snooze on my alarm and going back to bed. Monday, I was late getting in the pool so I only did a half swim (15 mins). Fast & furious 500m, which left me a little dizzy. Good thing I packed peanut butter on whole wheat...devoured IMMEDIATELY after that swim.

Yesterday, I literally rolled out of my bed at 6:15am and my spin class starts at 6:30...on the other side of town. Guess what? I still went. Bad. A*s. So glad I didn't skip that one...because it was a great workout.

So, this morning...I was bound and determined to make up the 15 mins I missed on Monday. I had planned a 45 min swim, rather than my usual 30 mins. That extra 15 mins was pretty rough. You might think it's because my body was not ready for it...nope, you'd be wrong.

In order to explain both the suckage of the final 15 mins of my workout, as well as lessons learned, I feel a change in format would be appropriate. Please feel free to read my mail...a letter I'm sending to one Mr. Brute.

Dear Mr. Brute,

You showed up in my lane when I just had 16 lengths to go.

First of all, how do you swim in gold chains? Why don't you take your jewelry off when you get in the pool? Don't you worry about it getting tarnished or ruined?

Secondly, I don't understand how it's possible, but as soon as you got in the pool and swam one length, I could literally smell and taste your cologne for the rest of my swim. How is that even possible? Considering, I don't have the superpower of breathing underwater?

Last, and definitely not least, why do you swim like a brute? Your crazy thrashing and flailing of your arms and legs created the biggest tidal waves I've ever seen in that pool. Do you know that you are wasting SO much energy and you could do a lot more if you'd just chill out? And, thank you very much, as I gently glided through the water and went to breathe over my shoulder, I was not greeted with pure, sweet oxygen...but, rather, an entire mouth and lung full of chlorine cologne water. You might have noticed me choking at the end of the lane if you weren't too busy parting the Red Sea.

Ahhhh, my apologies. This is so mean. Let's look at the positives...you showed up at a public pool at 7:30 in the morning. You did ASK me if you could share the lane (which is one of the most intimidating aspects of swimming in public, if you ask me). I clearly said, "Yes." So I suppose some of the blame goes to me.

And I suppose I should give you credit for doing what so many are too afraid to do. Even if you did waste energy with your chopping strokes, it's so much better than just rolling over in bed and sleeping another hour...or sitting on the couch for hours upon hours playing video games.

You know, I should apologize for my cruel assessment of you and commend you for doing something for yourself. And, hey...about the cologne, at least you care what you smell like. So many guys don't. Good for you.

Let's also acknowledge the fact that, when I actually do end up making it to a real triathlon, the swim will most likely be in open water with hundreds, if not thousands, of other athletes. And if the biggest worry I have is gulping water because of waves from other swimmers, I'll be in pretty damn good shape. Come to think of it, maybe you should accidentally kick me in the face next time we share a lane...you know....training and preparation for reality and all that.

I suppose we have a bit more in common than I care to admit. Listen, fella...you go out there and kick some a*s. I'll see you in the pool soon, buddy.

Your friend,

Leah

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERASARA 1/2/2013 9:27PM

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 12/13/2012 5:56AM

    So many of us could learn so much from your attitude............as well as your determination.

.............
..thanks!!!!!!!!!!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 12/9/2012 7:43PM

    That's funny!

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KATHIC2 12/9/2012 10:48AM

  Sharing a lane is sooooo hard! Glad you can refocus!

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JULIA1154 12/8/2012 10:41PM

  Been there. Congrats on a great job of re-framing the situation.


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AMARILYNH 12/8/2012 5:55PM

    Great attitude!!

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COLETTEISGREAT 12/8/2012 5:59AM

    Awesome! Love it!

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FUN2BAROUND 12/7/2012 4:19PM

    OMG! This is so funny and I can SOOOO relate! Thanks for putting into words how freaking strange it is to be in this situation! And I love your sense of humor....and your positive spin on things!
Good luck - and hope you get your OWN lane next time!

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PHEBESS 12/7/2012 4:06PM

    LOL - love your attitude, and I've met swimming brute guy!

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NESARIAN 12/7/2012 2:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ALEXESQ33 12/7/2012 2:02PM

    Wow what an amazing attitude. This made me cry. You are an amazing person!!

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BLESSED2BEME 12/7/2012 11:46AM

    Perspective can either make us soar or sink. You are soaring!

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OPTIMIST1948 12/7/2012 11:32AM

    What doofus puts on cologne before heading to the gym. You're going to shower afterwards and need to put it right back on??!? Still, love the positive attitude!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 12/7/2012 10:52AM

    Love it. I think I shared a lane with the same guy. emoticon

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FIRECOM 12/7/2012 9:01AM

    Your altitude is determined by your attitude. Girl, you are soaring to new heights.

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DOODIE59 12/7/2012 8:44AM

    You have a great attitude. Thank you for taking the time to turn the story around, which reminds all of us that there are two sides to every story -- that's an important life lesson:)
Deirdre

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BLUEJEAN99 12/7/2012 1:55AM

    emoticon

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PCASEY7 12/6/2012 11:16PM

    Good blog!

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DALID414 12/6/2012 10:35PM

    Omg! I was lol like a mad women!! Awful, yet hilarious! emoticon Way to see the positive side of things.

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ROCKYCPA 12/6/2012 10:20PM

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CLAYARTIST 12/6/2012 10:15PM

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CM_GARDNER78 12/6/2012 9:41PM

    Parting the Red Sea..............BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHA!

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JAMER123 12/6/2012 9:01PM

    Way to turn a negative into positive!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/6/2012 6:45PM

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MARYSUE39 12/6/2012 6:24PM

  I love how you can still see the positive in what was truly a negative situation. And for the life of me, I am still baffled every time I get in the pool next to one of the older aqua aerobics ladies and I can still smell their perfume. I thought the chlorine would kill everything! One of life's mysteries, I guess. emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 12/6/2012 5:13PM

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SANDYLH1 12/6/2012 5:06PM

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PATRICIAANN46 12/6/2012 3:58PM

  You have a wonderful attitude........ emoticon

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SHOAPIE 12/6/2012 3:54PM

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CARAMELSMOM 12/6/2012 3:49PM

    It was really nice of you to share your lane. I don't think I could do it. Of course my old style breast (or is it butterfly) stroke means the lane has to accommodate my full arm span. If I don't swim in the center of the lane I risk one hand going under the lane marker. emoticon

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KARRENLYNN 12/6/2012 3:11PM

    You're abilitiy to see positives and negatives to an adjustment to your swim time real emoticon ly makes your life better, certainly smoother and calmer.

Thanks for making me smile today!

Karen

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NEWTINK 12/6/2012 2:58PM

    Omg you are to funny emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 12/6/2012 1:54PM

    Lols!

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DIANNEMT 12/6/2012 11:54AM

    Based on what my brother has said--yeah, the swim is like being in a blender...

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LOLAINSC 12/6/2012 11:48AM

    That blog was absolutely adorable! How much lovelier life would be if we spent less time judging and criticising what others do wrong and made more effort to accept and appreciate them--warts, cologne and all--it won't change the other guy's life, but it sure would make ours so much sweeter.
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Comment edited on: 12/6/2012 11:49:13 AM

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JACKIE542 12/6/2012 11:03AM

    emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 12/6/2012 10:47AM

  Your beyond clever. I say technique move over, DRIVE is king.
Wonderful you got that lump out of bed!!! Your a winner for sure....

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DNRAE1 12/6/2012 10:36AM

    So glad you turned the negative into a positive! It gets rid of all the stress and made us all laugh!!!! emoticon But......chains and cologne for a swim???? emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 12/6/2012 9:37AM

    I loved it. My Mom has always told me look for the positive in the adversities.

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HEARTS116 12/6/2012 9:37AM

    Great blog!!
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JOANNHUNT 12/6/2012 9:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OFGREENGABLES 12/6/2012 9:21AM

    thanks for the morning laugh and inspiration

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SIMOFDIM 12/6/2012 9:18AM

    You rock! I love the way you turned that around! Keep it up!

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PENOWOK 12/6/2012 9:10AM

    Ah!! The flip side of the coin that you describe so well! Good for you for finding the good in his annoying!

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KWING517 12/6/2012 8:48AM

    Oh, Leah, you made me laugh again! You seem to have a knack for that :)

Have a great day!

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WALLINMW 12/6/2012 8:40AM

  love your blogs!

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CAM2438 12/6/2012 8:19AM

    Great blog! emoticon

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FITFOODIE806 12/6/2012 7:58AM

    What a great blog. Your attitude is the best!! How you turned that guy into a positive is beyond me. Made it a part of tri training! I love it!!! You clearly have the heart of an Ironman!! (Ironwoman!!!!)

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NILLAPEPSI 12/6/2012 7:47AM

    Great blog!!! emoticon emoticon

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MIMIDOT 12/6/2012 7:45AM

    Loved your blog! True SP style. Look for the best in others. You're great! Thanks for sharing.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Pushing the Limits & A PR in the Pool!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Back to your regularly scheduled programming, folks. Taking a bit of a break from the heavy emotional fare of the past two blogs. Today is all about training, yo.

Last night, I attended a one-hour spin class. It was the second time I've gone in deciding that I would not cheat on the resistance and would allow myself to feel the pain...because I know it will make me stronger rider when it's all said and done. It was SO difficult, but guess what? I lived.

About an hour later, I took my daughter to martial arts at the YMCA, expecting to do weights. But something strange happened and I switched it up at the last second and decided to get some cardio in instead (I was running about 1 hour behind in cardio this week, according to my training schedule and I reason it's easier to fit strength in at home or even just do body weight exercises on my own). Got on the treadmill and got a quick 2 miles in. Geez. This is the first night I've REALLY felt my workout in quite awhile. We're talking close to 1400 calories burned in a span of a few hours. WOW.

I realized when I got home that I needed to pack my gym bag because my schedule called for a swim early this morning. My body was absolutely spent...it took all my effort to pack that bag and not just say, "You know what? Forget tomorrow's workout...this was good enough." I had to remind myself that, after some restorative sleep, I would have more energy and that swimming is active muscle recovery so it would actually make my body feel better.

I really didn't expect heroics this morning. I figured I'd be lucky to get 30 lengths in (let alone my usual 34 lengths). That's when it happened...

I walked into that pool and was hit with the warm air and smell of chlorine and saw people already swimming laps and everything in my heart shouted, "This is my heaven." Instant relaxation and happiness.

It's hard to explain what happens in that lap lane. It amazes me what the human body is capable of. At the very same time that I'm counting laps in my head, I'm paying attention to every minute detail of my form and where every part of my body is supposed to be at all times, breathing at regular intervals over my shoulder....and I STILL have time to entertain my most secret thoughts over top all of that. Underneath the water is so quiet...all I hear is my breathing and, once my body begins to take over and get into its rhythm, I'm just alone with my thoughts.

This morning, I was so happy to be in the pool and to think the things I was thinking that I just kept swimming and never felt the need for a break. I did take one very short one at 20 lengths...to catch my breath and let the guy I was sharing a lane with get a bit ahead of me (I hate swimming side by side in a lane). But, otherwise...no breaks today. A first for me.

It occurs to me that I just started swimming in August and that was only 4 months ago! Remember how I was gasping for air for months? And how completely awkward and self-conscious I was when I started? It's incredible how far I've come. All of that has fallen away. Somewhere in there I found a rhythm for breathing and the entire puzzle clicked into place. Now, my focus of every swim is in relaxing and letting my body do its work.

And what was the result? 40 laps in 30 mins. 1000 meters. Personal record. Previous PR: 34 laps in 30 mins (850m). I completely tore up that old PR. I don't know what happened in that pool today (OK, I do...but, as I said...private thoughts).

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I never would have predicted that a cheap $5 pair of goggles from KMart would unlock my own personal heaven.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERASARA 1/2/2013 9:03PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/8/2012 2:34PM

    Swimming is such a fun sport :)

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VOLLEYGIRL77 12/7/2012 10:41AM

    Congrats! I love swimming too!

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ROSES4ME1 12/5/2012 2:14PM

    Thanks! Great way to start my day with a laugh. And a good reminder that there may be a way to turn a difficult situation into an advantage just by looling at it differently. emoticon

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KATHIC2 12/5/2012 7:28AM

  I love swimming too! You describe so beautifully! Congrats on your PR!

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STARSUB99 12/4/2012 7:30PM

    From one swimmer to another - YOU GO GIRLFRIEND! It is truly the best for connecting with yourself - aned an awesome workout - I love being in that zone - too - the quiet - the breathing - so connected it is an amazing thing.


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PENOWOK 12/4/2012 8:36AM

    I felt the calm while you were describing it! Thanks for the blog...and awesome for you!!

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CAT-IN-CJ 12/3/2012 2:04PM

    emoticon

I know exactly what you're talking about! I was afraid of water until I was 40 . . . and that's when I signed up for swim lessons at the city pool and stepped into the 2 foot wading pool with the 1 and 2 year olds in their plastic diapers . . . but I was determined. That was June and by November I jumped off the back of a boat into the Pacific for my first open water SCUBA dive . . . . and that's when I experienced what you described.... my very own piece of heaven!

There really is nothing like it! Enjoy every moment.

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FARIS71 12/3/2012 6:48AM

    Totally awesome!! Tear it up!

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FEELINGFITERIN 12/3/2012 1:47AM

    How awesome! emoticon

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PCASEY7 12/2/2012 5:01PM

    Woo hoo great job!

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JACKIE542 12/2/2012 1:23PM

    Good job emoticon

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ROB704 12/2/2012 11:02AM

    I so love reading your blogs! Too cool.....

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REGSHAR 12/2/2012 10:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 12/2/2012 1:59AM

    emoticon

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JOANNHUNT 12/1/2012 10:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CICELY360 12/1/2012 10:38PM

  good bog

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JAMER123 12/1/2012 9:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEARTS116 12/1/2012 9:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/1/2012 9:17PM

    emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 12/1/2012 8:30PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHARTHESTAR 12/1/2012 8:16PM

    emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 12/1/2012 5:41PM

    Doing great,sis!

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PATRICIAANN46 12/1/2012 5:33PM

  From what I am reading in your blog, you have not only developed physically with all of your training, but you are also in a better place mentally and sound stronger.
Good for YOU!!!!! emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 12/1/2012 5:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CHSHULER89 12/1/2012 5:05PM

    So happy for you!!! Can't wait until i learn to breathe right in the water! I love the feel of the water. Thanx for the hope. Keep up the great work!

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GODIVADSG 12/1/2012 4:53PM

    That's what I am talking about! emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 12/1/2012 3:51PM

  Congratulations! It's wonderful what you have accomplished in such a short time.

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DALID414 12/1/2012 3:19PM

    Confession: I don't know how to swim. I have a panic attack at the thought of a pool (sweaty palms as I confess), but I love reading about people enjoying pool workouts. One day I'll workout my pool demons and jump in.

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LIVELYGIRL2 12/1/2012 2:11PM

  That is simply WONDERFUL. And you describe it very well.

It makes me want to emoticon you. It's more of the passion you have for running.

Ya know, I do it, but I haven't found the niche , that thrills me. I guess I get bored at times.

I hope to start over with running between Dec- Jan. Hopefully, I can find someone who will give me tips, to prevent the problems .

I will do something today, because I had a low grade fever for two days, and did my only exercise at the beginning of the week.

Your doing super Leah!!! emoticon

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MOMMY445 12/1/2012 1:39PM

    way to go! glad to hear that you are doing so well! keep it up!

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DIANNEMT 12/1/2012 1:17PM

    You know, I should look into swimming. I can't do the crawl--but you said you couldn't either so--maybe I could....

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NEWMOM20121 12/1/2012 1:04PM

    Great job.

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NEWTINK 12/1/2012 12:31PM

    You are making amazing strides emoticon

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SHOAPIE 12/1/2012 12:12PM

    emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 12/1/2012 11:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYO 12/1/2012 11:12AM

    way to go!!

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MIMIDOT 12/1/2012 10:36AM

    Awesome! You did it! Thank you for your great blog. Very motivating! Keep Sparking!

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GARDENCHRIS 12/1/2012 10:22AM

    nice!

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WALLINMW 12/1/2012 10:09AM

  Whoop whoop!

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NITELITE72 12/1/2012 9:47AM

    Way to go!! That is a great accomplishment!

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DNRAE1 12/1/2012 9:27AM

    Yahoo! Great job! I'm so very impressed and inspired by you. Keep it up!


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KARRENLYNN 12/1/2012 9:00AM

    Sometimes change up your routine is just the ticket. Comgratulations on beating your own record! Keep going and don't give in.

Karen

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JANEMARIE77 12/1/2012 8:59AM

    way to go

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DJSHIP46 12/1/2012 8:21AM

    Sounds so wonderful... I wanna swim too. Maybe I'll actually get to the pool this winter! I so love sharing your progress. It's like watching a butterfly emerge from her cacoon!!! You Go Girl!!! emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 12/1/2012 8:17AM

    emoticon you really have found your sport!

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NCSUE0514 12/1/2012 8:12AM

    WTG

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BESSHAILE 12/1/2012 8:11AM

    Love it!
Love it Love it Love it!
Love! It!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 12/1/2012 8:08AM

    emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 12/1/2012 7:54AM

    You GO, girl!!!! emoticon

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Am I Authentic? Are You?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wow, you guys. It's been pretty difficult for me to figure out how to follow that last blog I posted. Partly because it was one of the most honest blogs I've ever written and I felt a bit exposed and wasn't really sure how to recover from that. Truthfully, I expected a flood of judgment and lectures. While I did receive a little bit of that (comes with the territory in a public forum), I have been pleasantly surprised by the kindness in your hearts. I really can't begin to reply to everyone that has so deeply touched me with their loving words. Please know that I read every single comment and think deeply about them.

The impetus for this blog is the other kind of response I've been receiving. Allow me to step away from the divorce talk for a moment and use a different metaphor.

My friend, Andie Redwine, is a screenwriter and she made a film recently called "Paradise Recovered" (stream it free on Netflix!!!! It's SO good!) The film deals with religious abuse - it's the story of a girl very much entrenched in a religious cult, who through a series of events, finds herself alone with nowhere to go. Her boss (a philosophy student at the university and agnostic) takes her in and cares for her. (Like the story of the Good Samaritan) Throughout the film, we see Esther experiencing new things and embracing herself and her right to enjoy all the things that used to be "forbidden". Of course, she flounders...don't we all when we get sudden freedom? I won't ruin the end for you. Haha.

The reason I bring this up is this: after the film was released and it started making the film festival circuit rounds and began to win awards, there came so many letters and e-mails and comments from real life spiritual abuse survivors in recovery. This pleases Andie greatly, as most of the proceeds from this movie will go to Wellspring Recovery Center, a place that specializes in helping spiritually abused people become free. So, a "fictional" movie is changing REAL lives.

I feel my experience since I posted that blog has been similar. I am shocked and saddened by the sheer volume of responses I've received from so many of you that are currently at some stage of life that is similar to mine. The overwhelming idea that just keeps hitting me is: look at all of us hiding, pretending, wishing things were different. Everything looks beautiful on the outside. But inside things are so much more complex. There are so many sad people. If you guys knew how many there were...it is heartbreaking.

I don't have the answers to my own issues and I'll tell you I'm completely broken myself right now. But there is a very helpful exercise that my therapist is having me do...and I don't see how it couldn't benefit EVERYONE (whether your life is just the way you want it or you're in a more difficult place). So, thought I'd toss it out there...just in case it helps someone else.

The past couple weeks, we've been discussing the fact that it seems the reason I've been so unhappy for so long is because I've been living a life that isn't authentic to me. Other ways to say it: living a lie, pretending to be happy, propagating a facade (if you're a vocab nerd). You get it, right?

Yesterday, she pushed it further and asked me the hardest question I've had to answer in a long time...

When you imagine living a life that is wholly authentic to you and who you truly are as a person, what kinds of practical things do you see yourself doing in that life? In other words, think about what is TRUE to you.

I couldn't think of one thing. NOTHING! What the heck? How is it possible that I don't even know myself? It was really eye opening. After quite a bit of silence, I thought of one: hold each of my kids each day.

As we talked more, I began to think of more and, since yesterday afternoon, I have not stopped adding to the list.

Here's a sampling, to get your mind rolling:

If I were to live a life that is completely authentic to who I am inside, I would be doing these things:

Take care of myself in ways I haven't before: nails, waxing, haircuts, etc.

Get rid of my TV

Teach my kids the joy of reading

Read more about my business

Sit in silence and feel God's love and shut out all other voices

Spend time listening to music and connecting with it

Use my workouts as a way to build and express my inner strength, rather than as a way to run away from my problems and myself

Tell my kids each day that they are loved completely...no matter what happens

Take my kids outside and spend time exercising WITH them

Be present when I'm helping my kids with their homework - it's not just a pain in the butt task, it's valuable precious bonding time

I suppose that's enough for now. Once you get started, it gets easier. In identifying these things and actually doing them, I will apparently create a "safe place" inside myself that is my center of strength. Because it's fully ME. The idea that I can carry around a "safe place" instead of it having to be somewhere to travel to (whether physically or mentally) is kind of revolutionary for me.

I mean, when you think about it...it's everything we are being taught here on SparkPeople - find strength within yourself. Own your beauty and your strength. Dig deep and make it happen. Make your life what you want it to be with hard work and dedication. Some of that hard work has nothing to do with muscles or cardio capacity. Some of it is purely emotional. This is the side of my life that I've let go for so long...I've somehow lost myself (if I ever knew myself in the first place).

You don't have to be going through hell in your life for this to apply. All of us could use a reminder of who we are at the core...and what we need to do to remain true to that every single day.

So...when I say this...you understand that it holds so much more meaning than a trivial sign-off:

Take care of yourself today. You're worth it. And you're beautiful.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERASARA 1/1/2013 8:26PM

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MSCOPE10 12/17/2012 4:21PM

    Great blog! You are so right about taking care of ourselves. I think so many of us are focused on taking care of those around us that we sometimes "let ourselves go". Not realizing that what the ones we are taking care of want the most is for us to be happy, healthy and to be here with them for as long as possible. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 12/17/2012 1:11PM

    wOw! Powerful blog. Thank you.

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SUSANSERENE 12/7/2012 1:01PM

    Oh, Leah, this is such an amazing blog! Thank you! I should be getting to my chores but I'm so glad I sat here and read your blog and all the comments; it's a blessing to me to know that I am not alone.

I've been overweight for so many years, essentially all my adult life, even increasing by twenty pounds after I got laid off from my last job. I have great intentions but do not ever follow through and push toward success. I keep giving up.

A Weight Watchers leader once said at a meeting "How do I get myself back?" and I began to cry. I wrote those words down that day and have been trying to figure out how to do just that, get myself back, "come home to myself". Your exercise about "my authentic self" is just perfect for my journey and I thank you so very much. I'm looking forward to beginning it!

Keep Sparkling, Leah! emoticon Continued good luck on your own journey!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/7/2012 9:11AM

    Wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing. I don't have TV, in the sense that I don't have cable. I mainly read as a outlet to relax and sometimes watch movies either through my dvd player or netflix.

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BEATLETOT 12/5/2012 9:43PM

    Gorgeous...absolutely gorgeous.

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MIDROAD 12/5/2012 9:41AM

    God bless you Leah!

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BLOORP 12/3/2012 8:55PM

    Fabulous blog! Thanks for sharing. Definitely will start on my list and start making it my true direction. Best wishes on your journey. emoticon

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HOMIELUVRFRND 12/2/2012 10:22PM

    I just love what you wrote. It is universal for all people in any stage of life. WONDERFUL

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JRM54100 12/2/2012 10:44AM

    This blog brought tears to my eyes.

You have no idea how much I needed to read those words and feel like someone was speaking them to me.

That someone else could possibly feel the same way I do right now.

Thank you so much.

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CFMOSS 12/2/2012 7:55AM

    Healthy life journeys are definitely about making better choices in the face of the difficult stuff of life. Keep on your journey - you are so worth it.

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ELSCO55 12/1/2012 11:52PM

    emoticon

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EVESRUN 12/1/2012 7:39PM

    Thanks for this post! Making an "authentic living" list is a smart move, and your blog forced me to think of all of the things that are important to me and that I've been ignoring.

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CHERYLSBUTT 12/1/2012 7:11PM

    Keep learning the lesson
My promise to you is that you get there with work and application of what you believe about you!
Peace and blessings

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NAOLEE 12/1/2012 12:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NITELITE72 12/1/2012 9:43AM

    I so needed to read this. I have been in a "holding pattern" for far too long. Just going through the motions instead of dealing with myself and who I really, truly am. Thank you...be blessed!

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LIBRARYBELL1 12/1/2012 8:33AM

    Thank you so much for that. You are such a good writer. I have a clear image in my head of who I want to be and every day I think about doing those things, but something always stops me. It's not about exercising or eating right, most of the things that would make me better, especially at home, are things I'm already doing at work. I'm there. I help so many people and do it with a good and loving heart. I listen, am patient, use my instincts, I'm always on the move. I love it. I love who I am at work. Then I come home and sit, or nap. I'm exhausted. I want to be the way I am at work, at home. This is going to help me. I think about this every day. How I can bring that spirit of loving helpfulness home with me. I'm going to sit down and make a list of who I want to be at home. Yesterday I overextended myself at work. It was a crazy day and I let myself be pulled in all directions. I stopped and said no a couple of times. When I got home, I thought about how it's good to be helpful at work, but that I have to respect myself first, and put myself and my own job first, and not let this happen again. So much to think about! Thanks for your post!!!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 12/1/2012 7:41AM

    Beautiful blog. Profound insights. Wonderfully written.
Very touching.
At a similar point in my life, I was so overwhelmed.
My code of action had to be simplified.
It became:
Tell the truth
Speak from the heart
Take things one step at a time. The light will shine on the next step.

That got me through the rough spot and eventually into a much better life.
In retrospect, I guess it did help me get in touch with my authentic self.
Retirement has now given me the opportunity to pursue more what I hold dear to what I consider my mission, my essence. It is harder to do this when you are younger and there are so many demands on you and so little time.

It is good to remember as we go through our everyday life, that we are seeing the facade and that some people may really be needing a cup of kindness. They are hurting inside. Are we all afraid of being vulnerable? Spark does help you to realize how people really think and feel.



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SLFGOLF 12/1/2012 1:03AM

    A great thought provoking blog! Thanks for sharing.

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EMILYDOODLE 11/30/2012 9:34PM

  Great blog! emoticon

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FITFOODIE806 11/30/2012 8:02PM

    While you may feel broken and are obviously dealing with a lot, look at what you're doing for this community. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your talent with words and writing.

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KRISTEN_SAYS 11/30/2012 6:17PM

    So moving. Thank you for writing this.

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FUSCHIA6 11/30/2012 3:35PM

    I was just thinking about what a counsellor once said, " some of the most evil people hide in churches." I really think it is true.


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FUSCHIA6 11/30/2012 3:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good for you. You deserve peace & happines.

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SMILEY3826 11/30/2012 2:19PM

    that is a lot to think about. thanks for sharing what you are going through. have a wonderful day.

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AMANDEES76 11/30/2012 2:09PM

    Great Blog and WOW! That's really all I can say. You gave me a lot to think about. Most of us live to take care of others and leave ourselves behind so we can all relate on some level.

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LALATIDAH 11/30/2012 2:07PM

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. You are quite inspiring! Good luck in your future endeavors. emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 11/30/2012 1:49PM

    Thanks!!

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AMANDAROX 11/30/2012 12:49PM

    Wow, this is a perfect exercise I think we all could benefit from. Thanks for sharing!!

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TAFFYS_MOM 11/30/2012 12:02PM

  Thanks for sharing.

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MARYJEANSL 11/30/2012 10:47AM

  I wish you the very best on your journey.

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BANDMOM2012 11/30/2012 10:02AM

    It is frightenly easy to lose yourself in marriage and parenting. While I whole-heartedly believe that parenting is the most important role I have, it isn't everything I am. So good to see that you are discovering these things in your life. Blessings :)

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PINKANGEL73 11/30/2012 9:17AM

    I sometimes think that we all, but perhaps women in particular, throw ourselves into so many different roles (partner, parent, career person, good friend, good neighbour and so on) and try so hard to do our best in each one that we run out of time and energy to look after ourselves and remember who we are and what we like.

It is almost as if there is something a bit shameful or self-centred about spending time looking after ourselves. But the reality is, if we don't look after ourselves, love ourselves and be the best we can be, how can we give our best to others?

Many years ago I went through a devastating break up and it took about 3 years but I learnt to really enjoy my time being single. In many ways it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened.

Good wishes on your learning curve. There is always some pain with a birth or re-birth of any kind - but the end results............... emoticon

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LEANMEAN2 11/30/2012 9:06AM

    Thought provoking
Thanks

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AJB121299 11/30/2012 7:33AM

    Wow. Amazing blog

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CRAZY_DIET_MOM 11/30/2012 7:03AM

    Wow. That hit something inside of me... I'll be thinking about this for a while I'm sure. It brought up some things that hovering on the edges of my life for some time now - I think this is my kick in the pants to do something about it.

Thank you for sharing.
Traci

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DOTTIBELL 11/30/2012 1:04AM

    Wow! You have me awe-struck. Love your focus and simplicity. I needed this PEP TALK so, so very much. Yes! I intend to get back on track and will succeed....hope you don't mind but I will be stalking your blogs for more insight and encouragement.
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PCASEY7 11/29/2012 11:53PM

    Great blog, thanks!

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CICELY360 11/29/2012 11:47PM

  good blog

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ROCKYCPA 11/29/2012 11:09PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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BLUEJEAN99 11/29/2012 9:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 11/29/2012 9:19PM

    emoticon

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LYNNA1968 11/29/2012 8:50PM

    fantastic blog! Learning ourselves takes a lifetime, we are always evolving. Are you the same person you were in 1st grade, high school or college? I'm not. I have a basic idea but who knows!? Enjoy your journey and smile! There is only one you!

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ONLYTEMPORARY 11/29/2012 8:38PM

    emoticon

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COLETTEISGREAT 11/29/2012 8:38PM

    emoticon I love this idea! Keep thinking of things that you want to be doing while living authentically, and spend time working towards these!

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GOOSIEMOON 11/29/2012 8:11PM

    emoticon

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JAMER123 11/29/2012 8:06PM

    Wonderful Blog!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts & steps.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARYHENNIG 11/29/2012 7:11PM

  You have a beautiful heart!!!!!

You are on the right path. Enjoy the journey & God Bless You!!!

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PEGGIE0203 11/29/2012 7:07PM

    Great blog! I appreciate your honest sentiments.

Now I want to go watch that movie! :)
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4KWALK 11/29/2012 7:00PM

    You must feel free just by expressing yourself so honestly. It is freedom to be able to speak so honestly to yourself and to others.
Thank you for putting into words what many of us cannot.

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