Because when we don’t follow through with them – it registers in our mind as a failure. At least in my mind it does. Which is why I was kicking myself up the arse all night on New Year’s Eve when I realized the New Year’s Day “Commitment 5k” that I’d registered myself and my children for was a potential failure for the very first day of the year. I’d been watching the weather – the very cheery weather woman (just what do we call these people??) stated it would be “brrrr! a very cold New Year’s Day!!! Temps will drop to zero!”. She said it with all the enthusiasm of a woman riding a high of chocolate ecstasy Seriously, wtf is so cheery about freezing temps?? I googled ‘frostbite’ and discovered children should not be out in temps below 13 (that’s -10c which sounds downright arctic).
That began my dilemma. Forego the 5k and start off the year with a ‘failure’ or be a potentially bad parent and drag my children to the event. After telling my children that I thought we were going to have to cancel (cheers from the oldest), I changed my mind (yes, can’t have a child happy enough to cheer in this house), and we decided frostbite, blizzards, Yeti’s, whatever the world could throw at us – we were going.
7 a.m. the next morning: Oldest is dry heaving and moaning as if in the midst of his final death throes. (Insert deep breath). My greatest obstacle: obstinate children. I grabbed the other one (the more agreeable one) and we threw on enough clothes to survive a REAL apocalypse and headed to the race.
I’m not necessarily one of those over-happy people – you know the ones you secretly think of mowing over in your car while yelling, “take that you over-happy motherfucker!!”. But, I can say my daughter might be the grumpiest. There were really only 2 times during the run that I seriously thought about ditching her and her 1001 complaints.
“My foot hurts!! owowowowowowow!!”
“My legs are itchy!! Mylegsareitchy! Mylegsareitchy… I’m dying!”
“Mom!! (insert seething tone) stop doing Gangnam dance or I’m going to die!” – how can you not do that dance when they play the song?? geez.
“ohmygod I’m dying….” – which was followed by either, “my head is on fire”, “my hands are sweating”, or “I’m dying”.
I will say that there are a few tactics that work on motivating little people. Pointing out a smaller child of the same sex and saying, “Oh wow! look at her go!! I think she’s even younger than you!!”. Umm… not a good way to go. This only resulted in my own child stopping in the middle of the road, arms crossed, glaring at me and yelling, “YOU HATE ME!”. (watch for a future blog titled: when your children are smarter than you).
Oh my god. The drama…. it’s only 3.2 miles FFS.
As we approached the finish line, I looked at her and said, “We have to run. It’s the law. You have to run across the finish line”. And took off running – if she wanted to argue my point she’d have to catch me first. Amazingly, it worked brilliantly and as I reached out to tap her head in a “Yay!!” type of way, as we both cross the finish line, she turns and yells, “YOU HIT ME!!”.
Gah. Happy Fucking New Year.
It was the right thing to do – I’ll accept a challenge over a failure any day and after the race I took her out for breakfast and after she’d refueled on: hot chocolate (sugar), french toast with some amazing buttery cinnamon syrup (sugar), and bacon (food of the gods) – she was my sweet little bunny again. I even got a hug and a big thank you for taking her to the race.
So far – one day down…. 364 to go. Seize this year by the motherfucking balls and make it your bitch. That’s my motto for this year.
Facing a fear… not easy. My own chosen fear to face: forearm balance went quite well. A bit of hyperventilating and lots of “okay, okay, okay… I can do this”… lol. After a few attempts (that didn’t result in a broken nose) I began to gain some confidence with it. I did miss one day but have decided to continue working on them after the week is over. A lot of times for me, it’s just finding a way to get started. I can get comfortable not pushing myself and allowing my fears of being alone, breaking my nose, feeling sad… whatever they may be stop me from doing things that I want to do. Things that will make my life better. Or, so I hope.
This week was a really good week… and a really hard week for me. Trying to fit in a run every day (which I have except for today) and finding the energy to teach and work, make time for my friends, and for myself, can be a hard balance. And, letting go of those things and people who might keep me from reaching the goals I have for myself…. that can all be very challenging too. Sometimes, it can be hard to find humor through tears. But, that is why challenging ourselves to accomplish one small goal at a time can create that strength we need in ourselves to say “I can do this”. Even though, you don’t want to and you run screaming from it like a little girl (not that I have ever done that…lol).
Some homework for this week: Find one intention for yourself. One small or large intention. It can be you ‘intend’ to tackle the laundry, call an old friend / new friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while, maybe volunteer somewhere…. maybe it will be to be the very best ??? that you can be. 🙂 Start your day off with that intention… see how it goes 🙂
In addition to Challenge 5 – Fear Factor https://yoginijen.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/challenge-5-fear-factor/ I am running a 30 day challenge for myself. Anyone that wants to participate is welcome to.
I had started to notice that my normally lean body was becoming… not so lean. And, I wasn’t doing some of the things that I love to do: photography and running. So, I had to take a step back and decide why I wasn’t doing these things. For photography it was because when I’m feeling rushed or stressed, I find it harder to be creative. For the running, it was an excuse mostly.
The last race I ran I was in excruciating pain from my knee. Not the knee that has had all the surgeries… but the one that has had to overcompensate for the weak knee for the past 10 years. So, out of fear of what that might mean, what injury might be in my future, what surgeries I might have to have, and from experiencing the pain… I stopped running.
I’d still set out to do a run, but, at the first sign of pain, I’d stop or I’d try to. I’m not good at telling myself to rest, relax, take it easy and instead of looking out for myself I’d push myself too far. So, because I felt my best when I was running I’ve decided to commit to myself to run (a little or a lot) for 30 days straight.
I’m a bit inspired by my friend Brian who seems to train rain or shine and somehow always keeping his motivation even when he’s not quite so happy with his times ;). There is also my friend Kim, who, despite knee pain ran her first 1/2 marathon this year! So, when I woke up this morning, Day 2 of my own personal running challenge, and woke up to 6 inches of snow and what looked like a giant pillow fight going on outside… I knew I was going to have to run anyway. Quitting on the 2nd day just didn’t seem right. And, even though, I detest the cold, I was excited to be keeping a promise that I’d made to myself. It was a bit like an adventure 🙂 And, I ended up walking quite a bit of the route I’d chosen, but, at least I’d done it. And, I felt amazingly empowered by it.
So anyone that would like to run with me (figuratively speaking) for the next 30 days…. I’d love the company 🙂
*I want to add that: lurching, jogging, skipping, walk / running… are all acceptable. The point is for 30 days put your running shoes on and say “I’m going running”. If you run to the neighbors driveway and stop to lay in the grass… that’s great! Get up walk to the next neighbors driveway and challenge yourself to run to the next. Another benefit from this… someone, I guarantee it, will see you running / walking / lurching… and they will be motivated just by seeing you. You can be that person to make a difference in someone’s life… maybe your neighbor, a coworker, your children, a spouse…. maybe your best friend, but definitely, the biggest difference you will make is in yourself