I’ve been wanting to jump on here for awhile and just write away but time has been limited and I haven’t been able to properly organize and compile my thoughts and feelings…
The personal things/challenges that have happened in my life over the last few weeks has taught me some valuable lessons that I’ve wanted to share.
However, these personal matters involve people close to me and I value their privacy. I’ve struggled trying to figure out how to write this without delving into too much detail and stepping over boundaries.
This morning I read The Athletarian’s blog post about her retirement from blogging. Certain words that she wrote connected with me and after 6 miles of processing/organizing my thoughts, I’ve found a way to use her content to help me convey my personal message. So strap in and lets roll…
The Athletarian wrote in her post that she used to be so dedicated to blogging but it started to consume her. She wrote,
“I’d photograph everything, blog multiple times a week, respond to comments, spend time finding new blogs and leaving comments on them, obsessively watch my stats in Google Analytics, and the list goes on and on.”
I thought to myself, “WOW, that’s what I am doing wrong…that’s why my blog isn’t making it big time”….I don’t really do ANY of these things. But then again, I just don’t care to. Of course, I check my stats on WordPress occasionally after I post, but after a day or two, I never look at it.
However, I AM a little envious of bloggers who get all expenses paid for at certain races or events. I’m still waiting for the day that Brooks sends me all the extra Launch 3s they have in stock with a letter saying, “Hey Fruitful Runner, we love your blog and find it so great/psychotic that you have purchased seven pairs of the Launch 3s in the last year so we just want to send you more…and pay for your hotel in Chicago and NYC this fall because we know your teacher salary isn’t amazing.”…..hey, a girl can dream!!!
What I am trying to say is that, I would love for my blog to take off and I get so happy when people can relate and genuinely connect with the content. I’ve always said that if ONE person can be inspired from my Instagram or blog, that is enough to make me happy.
I started this blog because I enjoy writing and letting my thoughts just take off. Three years later, that is still why I do it. If my audience expands and grows, that is fabulous but if not, I will still keep writing away. My posts are just as much for me as they are for you. My Instagram is my virtual scrapbook/training log. I frequently scroll back to see how I trained in past cycles. Some pictures don’t have a long caption but the picture holds a thousand words to me.
Last summer, I posted a picture from the Vermont 100 on 100 relay race.
It doesn’t look like much/you can barely see me, but that pictures holds a special place in my heart. What you don’t know was how emotional and crazy this day and this run was. My grandma was sick in the hospital but my mom and I thought we could still do the relay race and make it back in time to comfort her in her final hours. In the middle of the relay, we got a call saying that she wasn’t doing well. We decided to skip our last leg, planned for the my dad to meet us at the end of my second leg and rush us to Boston. That second leg was a run I will never forget. I was tired but hit sub 7s for those 8 miles. I just kept my eyes in the clouds and begged my Grandma to keep fighting. I promised her I’d run fast because I knew my tiredness was nothing compared to what she was facing. I spent those 8 miles just talking to her and motivating her to keep going because I wanted to be there for her. It is amazing what you can do when you aren’t focused on yourself and your own pain…when your competitive mind isn’t so selfish.
Here is where I will start to segue into my personal life and the lessons I’ve learning over that last couple of weeks. I blog because my posts are my memories and if there is anything I have learned over the last couple of weeks, it is that making memories is so important in this crazy roller coaster called LIFE.
You will never regret spending extra time with family and friends but you WILL regret not doing so. I am someone that is ALWAYS on the go. I always want to improve myself and try to be involveed in everything. My perseverance can send me straight into a stressed-out mess or leave me sidelined for a few days because my body couldn’t handle all the activities I decided to jump into. But it also advances me in my career and my athletics and makes me happy and proud.
However, when Friday nights roll around, I just want to lay on the couch and catch my breath from the whirlwind of a week. If a friend or family member asks me to get dinner or catch up, I am often torn between…’I really ought to spend time with them’ and ‘ohhh but this couch feels so nice!’….and I hate to say it, but the latter usually wins.
Well let me tell you something, life can throw a curve ball that you’ll never see coming. These curve balls can come fast and rob you from a lot of things. Even if you are not directly hit by the curve ball, you are still impacted. In my case, I watched someone get thrown this curve ball. I watched them not be able to do the things they loved. I watched them have to watch others do things for them. I watched the pain they went through everyday. The physical pain they felt was nothing compared to the mental pain of seeing their life fade away.
We can’t control these curve balls. We can’t live in fear of these curve balls but we can’t live so freely in preparation of them. But we can be MINDFUL. We can say ‘I love you more’, stop in to say HI to someone more often, stress less and when we are feeling down….we can think of all the things we DO have.
I’ve spent the last week trying to help as much as possible. Trying to visit more often and put other things on hold. Trying to be patient and just listen. I couldn’t make someone less sick but my presence could be valuable. Giving my presence means giving up other things. But it shouldn’t take a curve ball to be a better person. I need to learn how to stop, step back and do a few extra things each day for someone else.
So to my future self who will scroll back and read this at some point. You are probably tired and did 100 things today and that to-do list is still going strong…but stop.
Do something for someone else before the day over. Do something that will make someone else happy even if your tired. Trust me, you won’t regret it.