I haven’t been running much. While I was training for the Horsetooth Half, I formulated a plan: I’d finish the half marathon un-injured, take it easy for a bit, run a Mother’s Day 5k, run the Bolder Boulder, and then jump back in and train for a fall marathon. But as the days turned into weeks and I remained uninspired to run, I ditched the Bolder Boulder and the idea of a fall marathon.
I had been on the verge of an injury for most of my half marathon training. I had to skip or modify workouts and cut back on my mileage much more frequently than I wanted to. I didn’t feel like jumping into marathon training without being 100% healthy. Meanwhile, my running mojo had yet to return. In May I went to a fabulous event at Skirt Sports where Mara Abbot, former Olympian cyclist, gave a fabulous talk. And something she said resonated with me. “When the sports gods talk, you need to listen.” The sports gods had been trying to tell me to give running a rest for a while, probably since Lady Bug (who just turned three) was born. Finally I decided to listen. Some say I’m stubborn. I prefer the word “determined.”
I decided to try to CrossFit and I am fully enjoying it. I love that all I have to do is show up and I get an intense workout in an hour. Even though the actual time spent with your heart rate elevated is pretty minimal (sometimes as short as 16 minutes), the effort is INTENSE. Meanwhile, I am learning to use a barbell (totally brand new to me) the foundations of a pull-up (another feat I have yet to accomplish), and getting my ass handed to me on the rower.
I love being a beginner. Starting something new means I have no expectations. It means I can only get better. We had to do this thing with a really heavy duffel bag the other day. I don’t know what you call it, but you basically had to grab it by the handles, deadlift it, and then flip it about 45 degrees and into your arms while squatting. The coach made it look easy. So did everyone else.
Did I mention it was extremely heavy? On my first try, I stood in front of the bag, reached down for the handles and then looked up at the coach and said, “Wait, what?” The second time was not much better. The third time, I deadlifted it, but when it was time to try the flippy thing, I sort of short-circuited and stopped moving. It was too heavy and I was too clumsy. On my fourth try, the coach told me to try it with a smaller, lighter object. On my fifth try the coach said I could just deadlift it for today. Still, I kept trying and failing while everyone around me sailed through it. On my seventh try, I nailed it. This made me insanely happy.
The thing is, you can’t have the joy and satisfaction of nailing it unless you are willing to endure the discomfort of being totally out of your element. In other words, pain equals growth. I had an amazing opportunity to speak about my experience with pain, growth, impostor syndrome, sport, and what happened when a mean girl denied me a handful of fries in high school at a Skirt Sports’ flagship store in Boulder last month, which you can watch here.
I’m still writing weekly for Parent.co and for other places here and there. It’s amazing what a deadline will do for your productivity. Some of my recent faves:
My first ever viral post. I might or might not have spent days obsessively hitting refresh to see how many shares it was getting on Facebook. I got to talk to pro athlete/ barefoot guru Jessi Stensland for this one. She was awesome.
My second ever viral post! Apparently I’m not the only one having a hard time getting my kids out the door in the morning…
I have zero memories of my mom ever being awake before 8am. Somehow we survived.
I love, love, love books, so this was a fun one to write. Well, sort of. It was a fun one to outline. It was a lot harder writing short blurbs about each book than I thought it would be. (Hopefully I made it look easy!)
A post I wrote last year, about the misadventures of taking my kid to a bris (a Jewish ritual circumcision) found its perfect home.
I got to interview Marjorie Ingalls, one of the editors of Sassy magazine. There is no shortage to the regret I carry for having given away my bankers box of back issues. As you would expect, she was smart and hilarious. We talked about her new book, “Mamaleh Knows Best,” raising kids in the digital age, and more.
My new cordless Dyson vacuum has changed my life. I’d had my eye on it for about two years. By the time I saw it at Tuesday Morning I was so over the sensation of crumbs on my feet when I walked barefoot in my kitchen, no matter how often I vacuumed or swept, that I was nearly ready to adopt a dog. It was expensive but a) cheaper than a dog and b) worth it. The feeling of a clean floor against your bare feet is so unbelievably satisfying. Not only that, but I can do our entire first floor on max suction on one charge.
I am loving the fact that our kids are getting a little older and more independent. We rented a house in Hotchkiss (Colorado’s wine country) with another family and it was amazing. Our kids entertained each other all weekend while the grown ups hung out. It sounds so ordinary but the ability to relax for an extended period of time in a house that is not 100% childproofed is a luxury that is perhaps even more precious than a crumb-free kitchen floor. I’m not saying we were on vacation but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. (Read this hilarious article to find out the difference between a trip and a vacation.) Below is a pic from our trip.
I just discovered Grammarly. It’s not perfect but for a free tool, it’s pretty good at finding and correcting my grammar mistakes. Also, the competitor in me loves the weekly email where the good folks of Grammarly tally up my stats.
I got to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to Sweet Pea this summer. Yes, I miss her baby giggles, pudgy thighs, and toothless grins. I miss her mispronounced words (she does still say “aminal” instead of “animal” and if you correct her I swear I will cut you). But having a kid who loves Judy Blume perhaps as much as I do fills my heart with so much joy. I am loving this phase, too.
Oprah has never steered me wrong… I tore through Ellen Foster in a few days.
Ellen Foster was AMAZING. Told in the voice of a ten year old biracial girl in rural NC in the 60's (or 70's?) whose mother dies, whose father is worthless, and who ultimately finds a loving family… You just can't help falling in love with Ellen. She's sharp, funny, and unfussy. I read this one in about 3 sittings. . . . . . . #bookstagram #amreading #oprahsbookclub #bookworm #ellenfoster #kayegibbons
I read “Hourglass” for book club. Although it’s not exactly a book club. It’s just some women friends who decided to read this, threw a date on the calendar, and met at my house to talk about lots of things (including the book), eat chocolate, drink wine, and try to ignore my kids (Dan was out of town and I hoped the kids would fall asleep before the ladies arrived so I could enjoy my friends without having to get a sitter. I overestimated my kids’ fatigue level and underestimated their tenacity.)