How My Sister Found Her Inner Runner (While Mine is MIA)

I suck at math. This is not atypical of creative types who flourish in the right-brain arena. I have my writing, and I think I’m pretty good at it. I can accept the left-brain-lackthereof. But then, there are people like my sister, Jill, who can do it all. She was a math major at a top university, graduated summa cum laude and has a very successful finance/banking career. And then she has to go and be an amazing writer and athlete on top of it all. And she’s beautiful. I swear I didn’t develop a complex growing up. Not. At. All.

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Jill (left) and me at the Greenville Zoo a couple of years back.

But I long ago accepted that she and I both have our strengths and weaknesses (does she know all the words to Blues Traveler’s song “Hook”? Wait, she might. Damnit.), which makes it easy to be so proud of her when she writes something like this. Her running group asked her to contribute a blog post to their website about finding her inner runner. Oh yeah, she runs marathons, too. Bitch.

Since I have absolutely nothing to contribute to the running world and she did it in such a moving way, I felt compelled to share. Oh and for those of you like me who literally can’t run to save their lives, “PR” stands for “Personal Record,” not “Public Relations.” I think my inner runner is curled up on my inner sofa watching Grey’s Anatomy and eating nachos:

I sat in my car in the lot at CMC on Kings capturing a few more minutes of warmth before stripping off my sweatshirt and heading toward the start of the Hopebuilders 5K. In those few minutes, I took a moment to reflect and offer up a pre-race prayer. This was a ritual I had done countless times before races in high school, but have only recently come back to. The juxtaposition of it all is what hit me so hard sitting in my Jeep.

It was at that very hospital not more than five years earlier I sat in a room as the doctors and nurses came in to deliver the news. You know it is not a good sign when the first thing they do is hand you a box of Kleenex. When I was discharged and wheeled out to the car a week later, I had regained my ability to walk, but life certainly looked different to me. Even the sky seemed to have a different tint, like I was looking at the world through a lens.

That began a year where every day was punctuated with anxiety. Would this be the day I had another attack? And would I recover this time? What would happen to my family, my children? But life marched on and suddenly I was not so acutely conscious on a daily basis. To the point where reminders now consist of doctors’ appointments and near quarterly infusions.

Sitting in my car, it seemed nothing short of God’s grace and the strength it inspired that brought me from a time where I was exiting this lot via a wheelchair to this morning where I was limbering up to run a 5K – inarguably in the best shape of my adult life.

As I neared the last tenth of a mile, the timer indicated it would be near impossible to break the personal goal I had set for myself. Sure enough, I finished off by just 10 seconds. Undoubtedly, I left 10 seconds somewhere out there on the course. However, instead of racking my mind to determine where in the 3.1 miles I had let that go, I chose to focus on the fact that this was a PR for my post high school/collegiate career and more than a two-minute improvement over my time on the same course last year.

What happened between then and now? FiA. It has been nearly two years since I showed up at my first workout. While I do not deny the relative success I enjoyed as a runner as part of the Ballard cross country and track teams, the joy in running had long since faded for me. On my first Tuesday run – now affectionately known as the Diva Run – I was unsure whether I would make it five miles and was certainly not tied to any goal pace. Over the past couple of years, I have watched my mileage increase, my times drop, and even have my first marathon under my belt.

However, given all these tangible accomplishments, I am most grateful for the love of running that has been re-awakened. And this I owe to the friendships and the inspiration that comes from being part of FiA. It is so much more than being a member of a workout group. It is transformative – physically, mentally, spiritually.

For me, running had become a source of frustration – a reminder of what I used to be, but would never be again. Instead of joy, each step had become painful. My relationship with FiA inspired a running epiphany – the beauty of being part of a running community and letting the sheer joy of it carry you each step of the way. It is the “attitude of gratitude” that I now strive to always hold at the top of my conscious. It may not be my best day. Perhaps, I am sick, or deprived of sleep, or over-stressed. But when the alarm goes off in the wee hours of the morning, I get out of bed because I am so grateful for the opportunity. Grateful for my body that allows me to log in the miles, grateful for the women who are there to greet me and listen and share.

This epiphany is much bigger than running. It is more pervasive than that. It is a collective gratitude that applies to all facets of my work, my family, my relationships – including that with myself. I recognize that this is a journey and I am certainly not implying that I have everything figured out. But in re-discovering my inner-runner, I am getting re-acquainted with myself and the type of person that I want to be. For this, I am indebted to the beautiful friendships I have found in FiA.

New Moms in Skinny Jeans and Other Grievances

I’m a very impatient person. I want the Walmart checkout line/Internet connection/school bus on the highway to move faster. I want my post-baby belly gone now. I want this weight (which is quite heavy for being invisible) lifted off my chest yesterday. I wonder which I’ll lose first: The weight or the crazy?

They say it takes nine months for your body to get that way, and that long — or longer – for it to go back to “normal.” I hate They. (Almost as much as I hate the women I see who had babies after me who are already back in their skinny jeans.)

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So while I feel paralyzed by my anxiety and while I’m stomping mentally on the inside like a two-year-old because I’m not getting what I want right now, I’m at least thinking about making healthy decisions. Planning — whether it comes to fruition or not — keeps me from pushing my cuticles down past my knuckles. It’s possible none of this stuff will happen, but better to obsess virtually via Internet searches, going blurry-eyed from the bright screen light than to turn inward. It’s dark in there.

I’m thinking about:

But it’s not all talk and no walk. I said before that I was going to ask for help, and I did. Unfortunately, the perfect person to help me is not available until mid-December, but I’m going to wait it out. It’s like when you have a craving for a specific dish, but when you get to the restaurant, it’s a 45-minute wait. If you leave and try somewhere else, it will likely take almost as long but the result won’t be nearly as satisfying. So I’m going to hold out another six weeks for the ultimate mental health veggie burrito as it were.

I’ve also discovered the healthy wonder that is spaghetti squash. Not figuratively, but the real thing. The way it transforms when you scoop it out with a spoon? Blows my mind.

Your Daily Migraine Forecast

I was on AccuWeather.com checking out temps in Charleston for November and I noticed a new feature: Migraine weather reports.

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As longtime migraineur, I pretty much know the kind of weather that’s going to set “it” off (rain, snow, wind, really anything that’s not a nice perfectly calm sunny day). And then I saw this:

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Is it really possible that the entire country is experiencing ideal weather for migraine sufferers? I’m skeptical. Still, it’s nice to see my people recognized, and this could prove helpful when planning trips or even mentally preparing myself for the pain to come (assuming I ever see a state that’s not in the blue).

On a semi-related note, my absolute favorite place to get the weather is from Gigi. If you haven’t, you must.

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Is It Postpartum Depression at 3 Months?

I’m sick of putting on a face for Facebook and only showing my bright side… it’s exhausting. So Lindsey Living is now where I’m going to come to be me. All of me. Not just “look at the cute thing my son did the other day” me. I love to write, but I’m a very private person so this is a big step.

Okay, so I LOVE being a mom. I adore my children. I do not wish to hurt them or hurt myself. (Sometimes I want to hurt my husband, but that’s for many different reasons). My daughter was born 12 weeks ago and she’s a joy. I was told when I went back to work that I would be SO ready and actually relieved to rejoin the living. Truth is, I’m not. I could spend every second of the day with Abbie and be perfectly, blissfully happy. I’m not saying this to make anyone feel like a bad mom who was indeed ready to get back to work. It’s just how I feel. So there’s that.

And then there’s this sudden, overwhelming imperfect storm of anxiety, irritation and sadness that has me mentally paralyzed. I’ve read on the interwebs that this could have to do with weaning. I remember feeling the same sometime during the middle of the first year of my son’s life. I sought help, I felt better. So once again, I’m seeking help. I hope that it is in fact helpful. In the meantime, I’m trying to keep it together, keep my job (which I actually really like) and not to scare the crap out of or totally disorient my family. All while keeping up with the laundry and dishes.

Sorry, there’s no cute pic or stock image to go along with this post.

 

The Nursery Is Ready. Baby, Almost Ready!

I’m at the point in my pregnancy where I will bring life into the world before my milk in the fridge expires. It’s really any day now. And while I don’t feel as psycho ready as I did the first time, at least I have the nursery all finished!

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My aunt makes these amazing quilts and has created one for our little girl, which will be en route to Asheville with my parents when they come for The Event. I plan to hang it over the crib. She also made a cushion for the rocking chair to match!

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I also want one of those giant letter A’s to go over the day bed. Other than that, it’s pretty much done!

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I could probably do a better job of storing the wipes and dipes, but I know if it’s the slightest bit of an extra step, it won’t last long anyhow.

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As Jed says, all we need now is the baby:)

 

 

Hipster Finds Lifestyle Too Expensive, Reverts Back to Mainstream

Lindsey:

For those of you who don’t know, I live in Asheville, a hipster haven in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This little story sums up the culture here rather brilliantly. And the Lettuce Fold is my new Onion. LOVE.

Originally posted on Lettuce Fold:

HipsterASHVILLE, NC — Derek Loy has been living the hipster lifestyle for the past two years, but after his bank account began to dwindle, he reverted back to mainstream customs.

“I tried my best,” said Loy, “I really did. I was juicing regularly, eating local and organic, and was doing my best to only drink craft beer. Unfortunately, my bank account just couldn’t handle hipster living.”

Loy said the added stress on his bank account caused him to revert back to a more conventional lifestyle, that he enjoyed in his pre-hipster years.

“All the stuff I was doing was great. Kale salads and IPA’s are delicious, but you know what’s also fantastic: cheap stuff. Bud light, frozen chicken and pizza, Coke. Was I saving a lot of money on clothes? Absolutely. I mean, I was buying stuff from thrift stores that homeless people probably wouldn’t wear. And, because I rarely showered…

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