Tag Archives: self

Rest your mind, soothe your soul.

Though I continue to feel as though I struggle with mental mind games, ridding myself of the guilt prison and easing up on the rush-rush-rush of life, at the same time, I know I am thisclose to that breakthrough that I am craving. Freeing myself of the need to overcomplicate my day, week, and season, going with the less-is-more approach to all things social life, family life, and home life, and, almost, if not more importantly, that same approach to my workouts, my eats, and my ‘fit life’ generally.

It’s easy to overdo it in the workout department when I love what I do, what I teach, and all things runtasticness. 

But when you step back and make each ‘me’ moment count, you realize less-is-more is actually far more effective than jamming in too much. I continue to learn this and strive for this and think I am finally finding my ‘happy place’ balance of the best of both – doing and resting.

It’s easy to get into the excitement of the season and try to jam in too much to each day, week, and month.

But it’s far more worth it to sometimes say no (Lindsay says it so well here!), reset and focus on priorities and those that matter most – even when sometimes those that matter most is yourself! I am working on this balance, and helping those around me who also fall into this yes-itis habit to step back, think, then say yes or no whatever it may be that’s on their plate.

It’s easy to get up-in-my-head about myself and comparision-itis sets in.

But when I step back and see how far I have come, how inspired I am and can be to others, I realize the mental mind games aren’t worth it, they aren’t productive and they are self-defeating.

And when I read things like this beautiful devotional from Holley Gerth, it all comes full circle. I need to rest my mind far more than I do. It makes me feel chaotic, and anxious, and more busy than I actually am, and not nearly as balanced as I strive to feel and be.

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Less is more. And it is utterly soothing for the soul. (the below from my ‘angel’ Lindsay – the most perfect words that I just can’t quite put into words as well as she does here).

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Why April was a blur: my #LASEK story.

So, I seriously didn’t intend to go all MIA here for the last six weeks, but remember when I said I was going to get LASIK, in my last post? Well, that didn’t happen. What *did* happen was LASEK, and it literally made the month of April almost entirely a blur (in more ways than one). Here goes, why April was a blur…my LASEK story.

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April 10. LASIK surgery day! (not)

Totally excited. Nervous, but ready. I walk into a shall-not-be-named office for my LASIK surgery. A surgery I was told I was a ‘perfect’ candidate for just a week and a half prior, and instructed to wear my glasses, no contacts allowed, until the day of my surgery (which was a feat in itself, I wanted to hurl them across the room on an hourly basis. Running, teaching classes, and even working was a huge pain wearing them, but I digress). As I am about to pay for the surgery, I am instructed that I am actually getting PRK today, and *NOT* LASIK, because the surgeon decided – today – that I am actually not a candidate for LASIK. The very surgeon that assured me I was less than two weeks prior.

Uh, what? Huge pit in my stomach. Huge feeling of letdown. PRK is the precursor to LASIK and involves a much longer recover, more pain involved, and vision that takes weeks (or longer) to perfect. After discussing with M and the office manager (random – how about we talk to the surgeon?!), we walked out, deciding not to move ahead with the surgery. Mind you, this place was reputable in many of the reviews I read, it was even recommended by my medical insurance. Yet, no, I did not like that last minute change and immediately wanted a second opinion. Like, right now. And conveniently, my sister was also doing LASIK (you know, since we do everything together, as many of you know!), so we called her surgeon and got an appointment within an hour.

I was not looking forward to the two-hour evaluation do-over to see if I was a LASIK candidate, but was ready to just plow through. I’d gone this far, I got time off work, cleared my barre n9ne teaching schedule and just wanted to get it done (can you tell I am stubborn?!). Immediately, I felt comfortable with this office, the assistants, everyone. The process for the evaluation is long, a lot of eye tests, eye dilation, more tests. And the diagnosis? I still was not a candidate for LASIK. Sad face. My corneas were thick enough (usually why you aren’t a candidate, thin corneas) but my corneas are not symmetrical (damn those astigmatisms!) and therefore, made me not a candidate. Instead, I qualified for LASEK, which is basically a hybrid of LASIK (where they cut the cornea into a flap to do the laser surgery) and PRK (where they shave the cornea from the front, not cutting it at all), which is supposed to be a little less painful and shorter recover than PRK (the old approach).

I thought for sure that if I got the same diagnosis, I was going to walk away and just be destined to wearing glasses and contacts forever. But I was surprised when I immediately felt that I wanted to move forward. They assured me that the recovery was not as bad as I had googled (damn Google!!) or as painful, and many patients are seeing pretty well in 7-10 days, and up to 3-4 weeks, typically for really good vision. So I went for it, the next day, in fact.

So, back we went, that Friday, April 11 for surgery. Shortly after arrival and a few more tests (one of which to make sure my eyes weren’t still dilated from the day before, or they couldn’t do the surgery. I would have been so pissed off, lemme tell ya!), I was ready to go. I was given a Valium to keep me calm during the procedure, and my eyes were numbed (in part so they could write on my eyeballs – yes, write on them! to guide the laser appropriately). Having your eyes numbed is the oddest sensation and one I would get used to having done far too often, in coming days and weeks.

Valium is amazing, let me tell you. It calmed me in the most subtle way. They equated it to feeling as though you just had a couple glasses of wine – to which I joked…but that doesn’t affect me THAT much (wow, spoken like a true wino, much?!), and it really did keep me calm. When they called me in, it went pretty quickly. I was given a stuffed animal to hold onto in case I felt the urge to squeeze my eyes shut (which I never did), and then it began. They clamped my eyes open, which I thought would feel weird or hurt, but it really wasn’t too bad, and I just felt a lot of water and liquid going into my eyes, I could see them ‘wiping’ away my cornea, and then the laser came down – and the only creepy part was that I could smell the laser, it smelled like my eyeballs were burning. Eww – and then they switched to the other eye. I was done in less than 10 minutes, walked out, and was told to shut my eyes for four hours to let them rest. I was given a slew of eye drops for inflammation and antibiotics and tylenol with codeine for pain.

I peeked before shutting my eyes for the next four hours and I could see! it was the WEIRDEST thing. I could see, but it was very foggy, almost like I was walking through a fog, literally. Little did I know, I would get very used to that feeling…

While the surgery itself was not as bad as I thought, and I actually NEVER felt any pain almost entirely over the last 3.5 weeks, what has been the most frustrating has been how slowly my eyes have healed. And this is largely in part due to my inability to just slow the hell down. Take the rest. Shut my eyes. Allow them to heal (this is for another post entirely, this post is already getting so long!). But it’s been a lot of fits and starts. Good days of sight and not so good, very frustrating, teary days of struggling to see. Weeks of not driving (thank goodness I work from home!), which was so hard for me, relying on others, feeling trapped. I am finally at a stage where I can *mostly* see. My eyes are very dry, and this is the biggest inhibitor to my vision right now. The dryness is causing a lot of blurred letters when I read or work, but my vision overall is quite good (if that makes sense!).

So, I joke with friends, family and clients at the studio wondering where the heck I went, that April was a blur – literally – and I am finally ready to SEE and use these (expensive!!) new eyes to experience details I’ve never been able to see for the last 24 years. While this has been one of the most trying experiences of my life, mentally and physically, in hindsight, looking back, I would have still done it, despite the struggles and slowness of the healing process. I am proud of myself for a) going through with it and b) GETTING through it, even when I just wanted to cry.

I think what was most eye-opening – seriously, no pun intended ha! – was how much I struggled with loss of routine, lack of control and change. It is something I plan to explore in some future posts and is just something I realize more than ever I need to work on, like, really really work on.

Until then, I shall embrace my (almost) perfect vision and am glad to say  SEE YA LATER April, that was quite the month. :)

On life and musings in bullets.

My mind is a jumble lately, bullets are what I could muster. Not one specific thing in mind, but I miss writing. I miss sharing. So here it is, for whoever may still be out there lurking ;-)

  • I have no idea where my writing mojo has gone, but it has yet again left the building. And it again makes me wonder if I want to keep blogging. I *do* but sometimes I don’t have as much to say, and that has been happening far more than it used to. I’m boring, what can I say ;-)
  • I’m getting LASIK!!!! GAH!! Finally! I am a little skeered, but I know it will be SO worth it. 24 years in the making, as I was all of 10 when I got my first pair of green-rimmed, speckled, huge-a$$ glasses. And they were, h-a-w-t, HAWT. (not. clearly).
  • In juuuust about a month, M and I are heading to Sonoma!! No, we aren’t doing a huge epic wine country mecca outing per our usual this year (insert sad face. but 2015 trip, THAT shall be epic, yes?). He has a conference out there to attend and I am fortunate enough to get to tag along. And since we won’t have our bigger trip there this summer, we (somewhat) last minute decided to extend our stay and are staying three more days in Healdsburg, about 45 mins from where we are staying for the conference. It is our mecca, it is where we got married, of course, and it is where our hearts lie, in so many ways. It’ll be a much-needed time for us to get away, flit about relatively unplanned, connect, and lose that burn-out feeling that life tends to hand us, especially during the brutal winter we’ve been having up in here of late!
  • Speaking of winter, I am ridiculously thrilled that spring may be FINALLY making an appearance around here, and spring running (among many other things) can finally commence. I’ve tried to keep up outdoor runs at least once  a week (with Jess, when we can together!) so I don’t feel as though I am starting over from ‘mill running all winter, and that has been hugely helpful.
  • I’ve been obsessed with roasting a sh*ton of veggies and feasting on them all week. And with experimenting with new flavors and textures – lentils, farro, and my latest – TOFU! Such a foodgasm of late, admittedly ;-)
  • I continue to work on that relaxing and letting go thing, in all areas, including mental mind games, mindfulness when it comes to eating (vs stressing over what I eat! who has time for that? it’s silliness. I remind myself constantly), and reveling in living UNplanned. I’ve found that in some cases, I need to embrace plans now, vs. trying to NOT make them. Is that ironic, or what?
  • And, last but not least, yesterday marked 6 months since Nala’s passing. It was admittedly a rough day, with many more tears than I expected, starting with a #runforNala to the tune of 6 miles for 6 months. I have dreamed of her almost nightly lately, some are sad dreams, some are happy. She’s just so freshly with me and sometimes it surprises me to the point of tears. Anyway, with that in mind, I am lamenting a memorial run for the one year anniversary. 12 miles for 12 months for Nala and 1(.1!) for Kayla (who has been amazing lately, so cuddly, so loving, so NEEDED) to the tune of my ‘own‘ 13.1, the way I’ve loved to hit this number the last couple of years. Not a racer, but I do enjoy hitting that number each year at least once, just for fun ;-) More on that later. Just rambling now.

Okay, I think that’s about it, for what’s jumbled in my brain right now. Not a pretty post, not overly thoughtful or even very humorous, but it’s what I got ;)

On humbleness, respect, and reality checks.

Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve gotten hints, reminders, little lessons in humbleness and it’s really made me stop and think, stop and change, stop and shift.

It reminds me that I’m not perfect. That my journey is not over, it’s lifelong.

For example, my fitness journey? Of the barre n9ne variety? It continues. Practicing mindfulness in eating. It takes committment. It’s not a sprint. Ever.  Practicing ‘smarter not harder’ is also ongoing. I can’t cram it all in, but what I do know is whatever ‘me’ workouts I get a week, go big or go home.

Don’t half ass a run.

Don’t take a class but zone out…zone IN.

Focus. Drink it all in. Learn more (because there is always, always, ALWAYS more to learn, even after almost two years instructing). I feel invigorated in this new season – literally and figuratively – as I set my own mini goals, to continue growing, refining and challenging myself, my body. As an instructor  at barre n9ne, to continue bettering my abilities, and being humbled by the knowledge that I can always always always improve. And that I want to always improve. Strive for better. Strive for stronger. Not only a passion but a committment. 

It reminds me that respect, trust and honor are three traits never to be taken lightly, or for granted.

These things take time to build, and an instant to be crushed instantly. This weekend, I mourn that this was taken from me, in a friendship I very much respected, trusted and honored, and as much as it saddens, shocks and upsets me very deeply, I know that sometimes, its irreparable…once the damage has been done, there’s truly no going back. And I realize how much I value those traits and how much I value the friends that do respect, trust and honor. That commit to a friendship 10000%, and it is making me reach out to those friends most right now. That I value more than maybe they even know.

It’s felt like I have gotten a few of these lessons in humbleness, respect, and reality checks this week, and I sit here, readying myself for the week ahead, I feel renewed. Clear-minded. Ready. Leave it all behind, and move forward, embrace the journey, the good and the not so good, because it all shapes you, it makes you better, and it gives you perspective.

As I read Jeff Goins’ latest newsletter (the genius behind the Slow Down Challenge), my jumble of thoughts here came together…he writes:

A thought came to mind. In the pursuit of our dreams, maybe we need to remember two things:

How far we’ve come.

How far we still have to go.

One makes us grateful, and the other makes us humble. And I think we need both those things in order to do great work without going crazy.

Without humility, we’ll become arrogant or settle for less than our best. And without gratitude, we’ll never be content and make those around us miserable.

The best art comes from a place of both contentment and unrest. It’s a paradox. We need to always be striving for better and at the same time resting in who we are, not just what we do.

As you attempt greatness today (whatever that looks like for you), I hope you’ll consider this. I hope you’ll take note of how far you’ve come and still how far you’ve yet to go.

I don’t think I could have put it any better if I tried. Attempt greatness today, practice gratitude, embrace humility.

Could it really be?

Five years, (almost) since my journey truly began?

One that was born out of divorce, that brought me to the here and now?

As I thought about what  I wanted to post today for a barre n9ne studio instagram challenge we are doing (#b9thinkspring – 7 days of photos, from favorite pre-workout snack, to spring accessory, to someone that inspires you, to something you are thankful for), there was no question about it: I give thanks for my life, this life, the one I am living each and every day, the life I have lived  as true to self as I ever have, since that day in October 2008 where my (now) ex-husband told me he wanted a divorce.

Five years. Just about five years ago?

I have no words. Just this quote, which pretty much sums it up.

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Happy weekend friends…I hope you are thankful too, for wherever you are in life, for wherever it has brought you, for who you are, as a result. Be inspired.