I don’t even know where to begin today. Lately my life is like a torpedo flying through the Bermuda triangle. I’ve been wanting to write a blog lately but as I try to spill my thoughts fifty incoherent sentences come vomiting out about twenty different topics.
In twelve days I’m marrying the sweetest man I’ve ever met in my life. Every day I ask him if he’s sure he wants to marry me. I’m messy and flaky and, oh, so forgetful! He finally told me to stop doubting him. It was never him I doubted…but I’m trying.
In 34 days I will be toeing the line at Ironman Lake Placid. To say I’ve lacked training this year is an understatement. Compared to past years I’ve completed less than half of that training. That terrifies me. But I’m working hard to do what I can. Over the weekend I ran 6 miles on Friday, cycled 96 miles on Saturday and ran 16 miles yesterday. It wasn’t easy. I’m slow but I’m still out there doing my thing. This year is not about anything except completing this race for the Ironman Foundation. Completing this race in memory of my dad. That still just doesn’t feel real. It still brings stinging tears. He was there at my race last year at Lake Placid. I miss him terribly but I will carry him with me every step of the way. I will also be carrying the loved ones of some dear friends with me. Yesterday when my run got really hard around 14 miles Geoffrey asked me why I’m doing this…reminding me that it’s not about MY pain or MY tired legs. Those are two things so many would gratefully carry. It’s about WHY I’m doing this. It’s about choosing to take the pain and to keep going, just doing it while helping people that need it.
I constantly doubt myself. Yesterday morning my body was so tired and fried I didn’t think there was ANY way I could run 16 miles. I did. At an average 9:08 pace. One step at a time, one mile at a time. Why can’t I just believe in myself, for, like a minute?????n I started to fall behind Geoffrey shortly in to our run. I was running about a 9:35 pace. Then I decided that I did not ask him to wait to run so I could run a half mile behind him. I sucked it up and ran hard until I caught up to him. I decided I would try to stay with him until I had only a couple miles left and then I could slow down. Somewhere inside I knew that he wouldn’t let me fall behind again though.
These things make me know that I’ve got the confidence somewhere inside me. I wouldn’t sign up for them if I thought I couldn’t do them, right? About 13 miles in yesterday I started to think that I AM strong. I AM the storm. That goes and comes. But it’s in there, I think. Somewhere. I often read and post quotes, like the one in the picture at the beginning of this post, to gain strength from them. Sometimes they do work. Oftentimes they do work.
Abby’s schedule is slowing down but Kielin’s is picking up. A side from his regular season baseball playoffs he recently made the all-star team. He doesn’t usually show a lot of emotion but this is something he wanted badly. When he made the team he said that he had always wanted to wear one of those white hats they wore and he was going to wear it every day. He now has several more practices and games and scrimmages all over Syracuse. That means starting runs later in the afternoon or splitting the bike in two or getting up earlier. It doesn’t matter. He worked so hard for it, he believed in himself and he got it. I’m proud to be there supporting him every step of the way. That will ALWAYS come first.
I’ll be honest. I hate when Kielin pitches. He does great. But the pressure on these kids is tremendous. Especially in these playoff games. He gets up there calm and collected and does his thing. I’m the one biting my fingernails. It’s not that I don’t believe in him- I very much do. It’s the pressure that I hate on top of him. He’s 9! But good or bad he handles it like he’s been doing it forever. He did not get that from me, that’s for sure. One day he hit batter with a pitch. I was so upset for him and worried for the batter. The batter was okay and eventually walked to first base. Kielin walked over to him, apologized and shook his hand. That’s MY kid!!!! OMG! I was more proud in that moment that I can explain.
It’s amazing how much we can learn from our kids. Maybe the world should stop and watch them. As much as we guide them…they seem to have the important things right before we teach them hate and anger.
I love Kielin’s baseball games. One thing I do not love about them is the social piece. I’m not an overly social person when I do not know people. A lot of these mom’s have been friends for years and I definitely feel like the outsider. I’m a nice person. I try to be. But when I first meet people I’m nervous and often awkward. I don’t really do small talk. That makes it hard for me to make friends at events like kids’ baseball games. I wish it wasn’t that way but it’s just how I am. I often leave feeling bad about myself. I often feel like I have a sign over my head that says “weirdo”. That’s probably accurate. But most of my friends did not come from these occasions. They are people who have seen me doing my thing and in more comfortable setting. You put me in something like running and I will chat to you until the sun goes down. It’s just how I am I guess. Geoff says I’m different that most mom’s. I know he means that in a good way but it’s hard to feel when you are the lone one there. In the long run, though, it doesn’t matter. I try to be kind and real. I have the best friends and family one can ask for. I’m luckier than any one person deserves.
Life is moving a mile a minute. Abby finishes school today and Kielin finishes tomorrow. Elliot graduates at the end of the week. Reilly is heading off to SUNY Geneseo in the fall to pursue a business degree. Aria is off making a life for herself 90 minutes away. Everything is changing. All good things. Scary things. Exciting things. These kids are amazing but while life is so beautiful, the world is so cruel. I worry about them constantly and about what this life will throw at them. But they are smart, wonderful kids and will take it in stride. I’d just like to be able to protect them from the bad things but we all know that’s not how it works. I just want the world to be a little gentler with my babies. Please.
It broke my heart when Gabe Grunewald passed away earlier in the month. I admit that I never really followed her running. I first learned of her when she coached Chip Gaines through his first marathon last year. I started then following her remarkable story. If you do not know who she was, look her up. She was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable cancer when she was in her 20’s. She continued to run professionally for the past ten years with many amazing wins while dealing with many bouts of cancer. She ran through it all. She raised money and awareness for cancer research. #Bravelikegabe became the slogan that was attached to everything she did and a guide for all who walk in her footsteps. Gabe passed away June 11th but left so much inspiration. The two quotes I constantly saw on her page or posted to Instagram are ‘Being brave was not giving up on the things that make you feel alive’ and ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle’. Powerful messages that put it all in perspective. The little things can get me as they get everyone. Some days I just want to crawl in to bed and cry. But when I read about how Gabe lived such a hard life with such love and passion it makes me stop and find my gratitude for all I have.
So, life is good. I mean, I’m marrying my best friend in the world soon. I FINALLY know what that means. To be marrying your best friend. How can life not be good? It’s chaos and exhausting and scary and exciting. And wonderful. And we are getting ready to have all the people we love the most here in just over a week. How can that NOT be wonderful? Everything else will work itself out.
Show up and never give up. One step at a time. One mile at a time. Forget the doubts…even when they are screaming. Find the little voice that has always been in there whispering that you can. Grab on to it. It knows the way. ❤