Feeling Fearful…

fearfulI know this might sound a little crazy but this weekend I was not myself.  I woke up on Sunday morning with the expectation to go for a long run on a beautiful day.  But that was not to be.  When I placed my foot on the ground, my whole leg hurt so bad that I could hardly walk.  I still tried to rehab it all morning.  Foam rolled, had Dave rub my leg and some stretching with no good results.  Not only did this not help but I started to become stressed about my next half marathon which led me to “I will never run again”!

Wow, isn’t it amazing how fast fear takes over our thoughts?!

I was also in a very bad mood because when I get scared I go to a very bad place, not to mention I use running/exercise as my mood stabilizer anyway.  I was glad my family was away for the day because I spent the day struggling through and kind of moping.  It seemed like everything was going wrong too.  I went grocery shopping and when I got home I dropped a whole gallon of milk on the floor when trying to put it on the counter.  If you have ever heard the expression “don’t cry over spilt milk” and thought it was crazy, you have never spilt a full gallon of milk all over your tile floor, under the appliances and cabinets and need I mention the fact that my leg was killing me and oh yeah I had not run since Thanksgiving and I was under the impression I would never run again!

The fear was real…

On Monday, I still had pain.  It was getting a little better but yet I was still concerned.  I’ve worked hard for the past 5 years staying in shape.  Even on Sunday when I was struggling with pain I went to the gym and rode the bike and did some stretching.  Monday I also went to the gym and rode the bike and got my free chair massage which helped for a little while.

This morning I woke up and was pretty much pain free.  Not sure how that happened but I was really thankful.  I was able to go to the gym after work and run 5 miles, pain free.  Just like that the pain was gone!  It seems really strange.  My focus was back and now I can focus once again on my training for my next race.  (But I am still trying to figure out what happened in my leg that caused the pain)

Isn’t it crazy how things can change very quickly in our lives?  Isn’t it crazy how we can go from perfectly normal (okay I am not perfectly normal but normal for me) to a crazy stress bag overnight?  I can go from being very confident that I can complete anything I try to I can never do this again?

When we take a moment to step back and face the fear that is happening in our lives, label it, we are able to come up with a plan to overcome it.  But often we just get swallowed up by it.  We have a pity party in it, we don’t look for a better outcome, a positive solution.

I like to think if just like that my running days were over, I could find something I liked to do to stay healthy maybe some crossfit (I see a lot of friends doing that).  I usually can reframe just about anything into a positive solution.  Life is short and I don’t know about you but living in fear is not where I want to live.  Of course having a good run at the gym really did help my thoughts go from fear to “I can handle this.” fearful1

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Holding on too long…

let-go-3First let me say that this is not something I’m struggling with personally right now but something I was thinking about.

Anyway, I was thinking that we tend to hold on to things too long.  Sometimes its jobs, sometimes its friendships, sometimes its other relationships.  Then I started to think about why.  Why do we hold on to things even when we are not happy?  Why hold on even though we know there are better things out there or at least we hope there is?  Why do we get stuck in the same routine and not push ourselves to change?  And most of all why do we hold on when the only emotional gain is only one of knowing you have the security but is that how you really want to live?

I feel like the biggest factor that keeps us stuck or holding on and unwilling to change is FEAR.  We are scared of the unknown.  We are scared of change.  We are fearful of how life will be if we let go and move on. let go

I have had many times in my life where I have had to face fears and brave the unknown.  Sometimes it went well, other times it was okay but most of all, it was never as bad as I made it in my head.  In my head I could imagine the worst possible thing and just knew it was going to happen.  But really much to my surprise it was never as bad as what I thought it would be.

In my work we have anagrams for the letters of FEAR

F**K

Everything

And

Run

Or

Face

Everything

And

Recover

I think you can use the word recover to mean lots of things.  Recover from the emotional loss you have from hanging on to long, recover and figure out what you want from life, and recover spiritually and mentally in your life to make the most of what you have.  We are all on this planet for way to short a time to be stuck in fear and not learning to let go and move forward.  It’s time to make the changes you want to make in your life even if it means leaping out of your comfort zone to do it.  Believe me, it will be worth it.

How do you let go?  Sometimes it happens slowly by making small changes while others you will be thrown into the need to change by life.  But as much as you can, don’t be fearful, be planful (new word I just made up).  Take a deep breath, decide what you want, and make a plan on how to get from point A to B.  You might need options of C,D, or E but know that you have control and can make it work.  I didn’t learn how to run a marathon all at once and even still after running three and many miles under my feet am I even beginning to understand how to do things.  But I have a plan and I’m facing that fear very planfully!

Take the leap to let go and give a new plan a try.

let go1

Worst Best Marathon EVER! – Part 1

This title should give you a little hint about what happened this past Sunday.  The other title’s I threw around were, “Almost DNH (Did not Happen)” and “What the Hell was I thinking?!”

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Bill, Mark Bravo, Dick Beardsley and packet pick up!

Anyway, the days leading up to the marathon were filled with travel and anxiety.  After arriving late on Friday night, I struggled to sleep past 8 (I was too excited to sleep) so we were up and moving and headed to the Expo for bib pickup.  I was ignoring the weather because it was so iffy about what was happening.  The weather was nice, hot but nice, but that was supposed to change and here comes the anxiety.  I figured if I didn’t look it wouldn’t happen, right? Right!  Well, wrong! IMG_2083[1]

After spending a wonderful early evening carbo loading with my wonderful college friends of 20+ years, we called it a night.  I made it home (mom’s house), gathered all of my stuff for the race, and headed to bed because I needed to get up by 4:15 to make it down to the race for all the events by 5:30 (yes that is AM!).  I slept the majority of every hour from 10pm until alarm time (which never goes off but at least it is set).  I ate my oatmeal, gathered my stuff, and we were about to head out the door when it happened.  My stepfather said the horrible words no runner wants to hear, “Well the storms are firing up!”  I was hoping he was wrong, praying he was wrong, but as we approach downtown OKC, he became correct.  Little drops were falling on the windshield and there was lightening happening all around.  Nothing big but enough that I figured it would be a problem.  But onward we went, in hopes that it was going to pass by us.

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My crazy friends of 20+ years.

Dave and I dropped my mom off to meet a friend and we made our way over to the starting corrals via the port-a-potties cause if you run, you know before any race there is a need!  The rain became steadier and so we sought shelter in the 4 story parking garage right by the corrals.  We found an area in a reserved parking spot that we claimed as our own.  Little did we know that this spot would be ours for almost 2 hours.  Yep, that’s right, nothing like being ready to run, keyed up, excited that you have done all the training only to be told that they have to wait for the storms to pass.  We didn’t know it would be two hours from the start, it started as 30 mins and then an hour and then they had to check with the city of Oklahoma City to see if they could start the race after 8am.  Evidently they had a drop dead time of the race starting by 8am or it would not have happened.  So we sat… and sat…. and stressed that the race might not be run… and sat some more …. Oh and

Nothing like hanging out in the parking garage.

Nothing like hanging out in the parking garage.

the storms moved through.  It cooled off to low 60’s, hailed a little, rained a lot but we were protected.

Finally the word came down that the race would start at 8:20am.  They began all the prerace activities with the 168 seconds of silence for all the victims of the bombing, followed by the singing of the National Anthem and inside the parking garage we all hummed along until the last few lines that we all sang together (it was beautiful!).   We all reentered the corrals, cheered on the wheelchair start and then counted down to the beginning.  The horn sounded and we were off (okay it took me over 5 mins to cross the starting line but we were off)…….IMG_2094[1]

Fear and balancing the checkbook

checkbookI begin to think no one does this but me.  Balancing a checkbook.  My daughter and I had a conversation the other day about how to balance a checkbook and she has never had to do this.  She has a debit account (also known as a checking account) but now a days they don’t even give them temporary checks to utilize.  I am beginning to wonder if anyone else uses checks (albeit just about 5 a month) but I use them.  I think her belief is she just keeps checking her account and if there is cash in there she can spend it (which is okay when you don’t have outstanding bills you paid by checks and you are waiting for them to be cashed.)  I guess one of these days I will have to teach her how to balance a checkbook but that won’t be today.

However this isn’t about checks but more about balancing or fears we have that distort our attempts to balance things.  I find myself avoiding the checkbook once the fear4statement comes in.  I know it needs to be balanced, I know I need to make sure I know what monies are left in my account but I don’t always want to know down to the exact penny.  This is weird coming from a person who always wants to be in control and even stresses as we spend, spend, spend especially during the holidays.  But some days I just want the mysterious bank fairy to deposit enough cash in the account so I don’t have to worry.  In reality when I do spend the 20 minutes balancing everything out in Quicken, I realize I have more monies than I thought I did and I am at ease (well at least for the evening until we start spending again).  I think this is sometimes how I live my days.

I know I need to do some things but yet I plug on and on and avoid the obvious things and just do the easier things.  I will clean the house to avoid writing a paper (okay it doesn’t happen right now but when I was in college).  I find myself opening up my computer to do something but instead of doing it I will waste my evening on Pinterest (not really wasting, there are some great ideas on there which I will probably not do half but I have them pinned just in case).  And yet one more example I need to sign up for my licensure test so I printed out the form, left it on the printer for days, finally got all the paperwork finished, couldn’t find an envelop big enough so had to buy one (it took days), got the envelop and addressed it, and it took a few more days to add postage and send.  In all I filled out the form towards the end of November and finally sent it a few days before Christmas.  Why?  Because of fear of the unknown or at least that is what it feels like.

If I spent as much time getting stuff done and as I did avoiding certain things who knows where I would be.  Well I would probably be where I am but more than likely some things in my life would be different.  I’m not making a resolution for the new year to do things differently mainly because I like to set goals and not resolutions and this is really a change I need to make to make things better for myself forever and not just for 2014.  So I guess what I am saying is that facing these little fears of everyday life is a goal for me.  I already know the relief I feel when I do it so now I just need to implement it.

Are there fears that you need to face in 2014?  Will you do it? 

Come balance your checkbook with me so you don’t have to worry ridiculously!fear5

What was I thinking?!

thinking2I promised myself I would run a race in every month leading up to my April marathon.  Well guess what, the weather has struck again.  My turkey trot last month was cold and windy and I contemplated running it up until about an hour before (good thing the race was close to home).  Now the 5K fun run for Sunday is predicting cold, windy and the best part, wait for it…. wait for it….. rain or snow!!!!  (Anyone want to take my place?!)  It’s a fun run and this will be memorable.  Now I’m getting a little scared about signing up for January and February races.  I can only imagine the weather then!

The fact I am thinking about this and talking about this after reading this today is kind of interesting:

“When you have a circumstance that wasn’t part of your plan or that you didn’t invite into your life, ask yourself if you can change it.  If you can’t, then embrace it, deal with it and go on.” ~ Change Your Words Change Your Life by Joyce Meyer

This one was just too cute!

This one was just too cute!

It is funny how things that need to be said to you so you can move on happen in unexpected ways, in a book that you have in your car that you read periodically when you have a few moments of down time.

It is funny how I could have easily just read that and been like “well that’s interesting” and moved on but as I sit here this evening it touched me again.  I watched the weather, started becoming freaked out and contemplating whether to do this.  Then I realized, you can’t control the weather, but you can control embracing it, dealing with it and doing it because you said you would!  So here I come Jingle Bell Run.  I might turn my light jog into a faster run to be done but you will be done!  (Now I must head out to find some waterproof clothes to make into a costume!)

F.E.A.R.

fear2With my work in addiction we talk about Fear.  Each letter stood for something.  There was the negative, F*** Everything And Run or the positive, Face Everything and Recover.  These letters and this singular word have been resonating in my head lately.  FEAR!  Fear holds us back but can also be a motivator.  I talked yesterday of facing issues or dealing with things.  Well it boils down to this simple word.  Or not so simple word.  FEAR!

I know last night I called it a curveball but really I have been thinking more (dangerous I know) and I think it is the fear of the curveball.  Or the fact that the curveball that was thrown was never called a strike or a ball (pardon me for my baseball talk) but it was left undecided.  The umps couldn’t make a decision.  At the moment it looked like a strike and it would have been the third one so the batter was out, but they can’t decide.  Was it just another moment to learn from so they call it a ball and we move on to receive another pitch?  Okay, Okay, enough of that…

Well here is the deal.  A while back I found out some information that pretty much sent me for a loop.  I lost some trust (which is developing back but it does take time) and now I look at things a little (okay a lot) differently.  I am fearful.  I fear when the next shoe will drop.  I seem to look at things a little more jaded.  I am just waiting for the next thing to come along until it will change, good or bad it doesn’t matter because I am trying to not become invested in it.  I don’t want to get hurt.  But this is not how you should live your life!  Right?!  You should fully invest in each day.  But how do you do that each day when you have a temporary frame of mind.  When you think, if only this happens things will change and it will be better.  fear3

I don’t want to be here.  There is a lot of change going on and I want to enjoy every moment.  I want to cherish each moment.  Hey, maybe that’s it!  Maybe I set myself up for this!  I did choose the word cherish as my word of the year and I am more present for events (or I’m trying to be) and I’m noticing more.  Maybe that is what is giving me this sense of temporariness (I know not really a word).  Maybe I am just fearful because I am feeling more.  My mom will tell you that I am feeling more.  (She even worries that it is not healthy).  I use to think it was but in some respect I am thinking it is not.  I am emotional.  I cry at the drop of a hat.  I don’t think it is stress but it could be the fact that my world is changing so much and I am fearful of the future.  I don’t know.  I don’t have the answer.

So it comes down to this right now…. What would I tell my client sitting across from me who presented this problem?  (Because after all, I have been trained to help with this right?!)  I think the answer would be something along the lines of what do you want to do?  Is this fear a good thing for you, driving you, pushing you, making your life better?  Or is it a bad thing, holding you back, stressing you out and not letting you live life?  For me it is holding me back.  I need to Face Everything And Recover!  I need to take a breath, try to live in the day, realize I only have control of this very moment and even then that is only limited to my reaction of the moment, and LIVE.  So this week I choose to LIVE.  I am choosing to face the fear and quit letting it consume me.  I can be in charge of my feelings and my emotions.  I can be in charge of how I react.  So here goes.  I know, I know there are only two days left but I have to start somewhere!

What is holding you back?  What FEAR do you have you need to face?  How are you going to do it?  I would love to hear it!fear1

OMG 100!! Now what?!

100I looked down earlier this week and noticed that I had reached it.  My 100th blog post!  Now what?!  What am I going to write about?  Is it going to help someone realize their struggles are mine too?  Is it going to be funny (cause I love to make people laugh)?  Is the post going to be my training for my marathon or other running tidbits?  But then I realized, I got nothing, except a little more nervous and pressured about what to blog about.  So of course, what did I do?  Well you saw it, nothing.  No blog, no humorous antidotes or silly surveys.

Why do we/me put so much pressure on things in our life?  Well, I have no answer for that except that when I started this blog (6 months ago, wow that has gone fast), I knew I wanted to make a difference and impact people’s lives.  Thanks to my wonderful followers and great conversations I have had with people through the comments I feel like that has happened.

So as I sit here in my snuggie (oh yes, I still have a snuggie and it is embroidered to make it that much more special) reflecting on 100 posts (okay 99 posts), I feel like I have achieved what I set out to do.  With Motivational Mondays to the random Training Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesdays, Occasional marathon/running updates as well as just random posts I want to thank all of my faithful followers.

Now that I have talked about absolutely nothing in my 100th post I have faced that fear of what to say and I can go back to just ranting/chatting/exploring for my next 100.  Now to get 100 followers (the stats on the blog don’t count when they include your facebook and twitter friends who might not even read my rants!).  Thanks for reading.

Fear, Real or Imagined?

My answer for this question is yes and yes.  Fear holds us back because we imagine things that might happen.  The symptoms are completely real, upset stomach, trembling, anxiety, sweating, you name it these are things that happen to me.  I have recently been facing fears head on and I want to say “winning” or maybe better yet, “succeeding and becoming stronger”. c

Let’s start with a fear faced today.  This story is brought to you by the letter “C” for Chicken or Cold (or cake, cookie or cookie monster!), I’ll let you decide.  I was all prepared for my long run Sunday, headed to gym because it was cold outside.  Not a big fan in running in weather under 40 degree temps with snow on the ground, not really sure why but I think it is has to do with fear of Cold.  My brain tells me over and over, “you’re from the Midwest 50 degrees is cold to you”, “Your lungs will burn and ears will get cold”, then of course the normal “You’re crazy go the gym it is safer and you can jump off the treadmill if you can’t make it the long distance.”  Well anyway, back to the story, I was in my car headed down the hill from my house and the sun was begging me to come out and play, so I listened.  I turned around, went home and got dressed in clothing that I hoped would defeat my inner voice of cold.  (See pic)  And it worked.  I faced this fear of running in the cold head on!  And loved it!  In fact I was able to keep a great pace (8:27 per mile) for 12.23 miles.  My best, longest, training run yet!   I wasn’t even cold until the end when I was walking to cool off.

Facing a fear posting this post run look!  Nice and toasty as long as you have the right equipment.

Facing a fear posting this post run look! Nice and toasty as long as you have the right equipment.

 

This facing of my fear allows my larger fear of completing my first marathon seem a little less daunting.

I guess the real question here is do we let fear win or do we use it as a motivator to go farther, push further, do things we never thought we could do.  The fact is, fear is a state of mind.  It is a voice that runs through our head determining our actions.  The key is to turn the voice into something positive.  Reframe it!  Use it for good not evil!  🙂

Have you faced a fear and succeeded?  Or are you letting fear hold you back?  Now is a perfect time of year to face it and make some big changes (notice how I didn’t say make some resolutions!).  Changing your thoughts can change your world.  What will you do to face a fear this week/month/year?