Sunday, January 3, 2021

Going old school


Over the past year, I have sat down to write many times, but what do I say? How do I write when it was a year where some people lost their lives or lost everything they had; yet others barely felt anything more than a mask on their face?

I had to come to terms with the fact that if I was going to write, it would be just about me.

It was probably better that I didn't write back then because when I sat down to write, I would feel this anger bubbling up. 

It wasn't anger about any one thing. It was anger about everything. FFS, I was even mad at people who were exercising/training at regular intervals because it took every ounce of energy for me to just get out of bed.

I don't want to go down that road now. I had a few people that honestly kept me sane. They didn't seem to care if I was snarky or cynical in my response, or if my responses weren't sincere. They just let me be. Those friends were Alison, Gabi & Liz, who would message me random bits of things going on in their lives. Those random bits would remind me that the world (as much as I wanted to believe) did not revolve around me.

Weird. Huh?

Most importantly, they made me smile or laugh. 

Why blog again? Why now? Way way back when I was a kid, I always kept a journal. Of course as an older adult, that became blogging. Then, as I started focusing on being an athlete, the blog became more of a training journal. 

I don't know; other than it just felt right. I really don't have a reason.

For a long long time, I was lost with life. Normally, I have goals. For most of this year, my goal was to get through each day. SURVIVE each day.  

2020 felt like Groundhog's day, every single day. 

In December, I started to think about how I wanted to move forward. (That's progress, right?) This is my new workload. This is my new schedule. What do I want to accomplish in 2020?

It was not an easy thing to do because I was not in a place where I had ANY motivation to do anything. All I had was this overwhelmingly positive feeling that 2021 was going to be better.  I knew that I would have to work through a few more months of darkness. Then, good things would start happening again.

Being in a state of darkness, what do I do? I tried repeatedly to run or bike or swim or strength train, but I did nothing consistently. 

The more I let go, the better I felt. I thought, "Maybe this is the best time for me to go back to the basics". 

I started as a runner, a very long time ago. Running is hands down the easiest thing to do. No gym required. Step out the door and run. 

And of course, there's Dobbs now. Dobbs the wonder dog. Dobbs the dog that we thought would be a small dog. Dobbs the pup we got that was practically emancipated, with visible bones sticking out, ended up being incredibly muscular, powerful, energetic, athletic (we think) 70lbs now at 14 months. 

We did a dna test that came back, "He's a baaaaad bitch".

Most importantly, Dobbs loves to run. It took extensive training, as we ran into hurdles with the pandemic hitting. No doubt, we put a lot of work into his training, as I've posted ad nauseum on FB and IG. 

All the work was worth it, as we have an incredible dog that is fully off leash trained, trained to run with me, and on and on.

I have a dog that nudges me with his nose immediately after breakfast, starts running in circles, & whining with excitement. When I ask, "Do you want to run?", he loses his mind.

Being as I was struggling to get to the pool because of work and my bike motivation was very low, and I have a dog ready to run marathons at full speed.....well, running became my thing.

I went full circle.

I have no goals. No plans. I feel like I'm starting all over again, and it was an incredibly refreshing feeling. 

Dobbs and I run and walk. Because each run is technically "training" for the both of us, we work on running longer stretches each run. When we walk, he gets a mental break to just walk next to me and smell fun stuff like goose poop and the long grass (that I swear must be doggie crack). Physically, he can go forever, but mentally, we need to work on his focus. I can tell when he starts getting tired of thinking.

This whole thing led me to think that if I'm starting over again, what do I really want to focus on? 

If you've ever set goals before, you know that the goal has to be something that is truly important TO YOU. It doesn't matter what other people tell you. It doesn't matter what your BFF is doing. 

I needed to find that thing.....the one thing....that I felt was important. 

I was excited for the first time in over a year.

I went online and bought planner and colorful, sparkly pens, and fun stickers because I like that shit. I personalized it with quotes that mean a lot to me.(It got delayed due to the holidays, but it's supposed to be here on MONDAY!)

I signed up for a course with Dina to help me get back on track. 

I found a running plan, many months ago, that I like. Although, I'm not following it exactly. I am running on the days it says to run. On opposite days, me and Dobbs are walking. I really really like the plan. It even includes strength training. 

I started meditating again. I haven't done it since 2018. I signed up for Headspace again (when they had a year end promotion). 

There was a session, where Andy (the headspace founder) said something along the lines of "The thought of "I don't want to meditate" comes into your head. Let the thought come in and let it move on, like watching cars on the road. Then, sit down to meditate".

I realized how that is to my running. One day, I thought, "I don't want to run". Then, I sat down and put on my running shoes and went running. 

Of course, nothing I do is perfect, and perfect isn't the goal. My goal is to run a bit more consistently this month than I did last month. My goal is to meditate a little bit each day, because even 1 minute makes me feel better. My goal is to write with my sparkly pens, a few times a week. 

Then, maybe, me and Dobbs can do a 5k together in the coming months.

Oh, and here's Dobbs after a run a few weeks ago. And yes, he smiles like that all the time.