Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Running Errands: It's all part of the fun in my (unpaid) day.

Running errands: It’s all part of the fun in my (unpaid) day

Six am: and the children are up, not necessarily awake, but on the move, stirring through our morning, the house is cool and quiet and I enjoy this brief moment of stillness before the kids start bumping heads. I stand routinely at the kitchen island making first breakfast and then lunches; the wheels in my head are spinning going through the day’s task.

I launch through a mental check list, laundry started-check, feed pets-check, drive kiddos to school, double check. If I am not transporting one of our many pets to the vets, I can take the morning and drive over to the park for a quick run. Running is where I stop making lists, the morning belong to me, there is nothing else to do at that moment than move forward down the paths and into the unknown.

I always feel a bit more alive after I have tried to run every bit of breath from my body. Sweating, with a slightly pink face I head back towards the car, walking alone the water’s edge I see the fish swimming in unison darting back and forth through the moss and water plants growing close the to bank.

This is my time, a sort of meditation; I watch the large white headed duck wander under the giant oak trees, spreading their wings as if to dance in the morning breeze. I am a country girl at heart and living in my small town America suits me well.
I am now off to the market, Keith Urban sings (Raining on Sunday) to me, my windows are down and my hair blows freely in my face. Leaving the park I can feel my body tightening, it needed a good stretch, but I haven’t time for such luxuries.

There are 22 items on my list as I head through the market doors, it would be best to go home and shower, instead (ode to Brannam) is moving with precision along the rows of fresh veggies and frozen foods this is quick work since I prefer shopping at the speed of a NASCAR driver. I move my way through the aisle, knowing the best time of day to avoid the blue hair brigade with their over sized, slow moving electric shopping carts, if you do happen along side of one stopped flat in the middle of the row it’s best to deposit the item they are searching for in their basket, since there is absolutely no way around them, retreat is your best defense, stealthy these Grandma’s gone wild will block you in, working in pairs the freewheeling Granny takes up the rear with only seconds to spare I maneuver a hand brake turn speed pass and back down the aisle.

With all 22 items lined up neatly in my shopping cart by category and size I find myself wondering what someone with habitual OCD truly looks like, the clock on the wall is reading 9:05 I have a bit of time on my hands I quickly scan through the trash magazines looking for the latest headlines on where Brad and Angie have relocated their small army of kids.

Back on track I head for the register and I quickly try to fluff up the sweat soaked bits of hair along my neck, Kevin is bagging my groceries one of the more adorable boys I know his face well, we have carried on many pleasant short conversations about the nonsense of the day, while he deposits the randomly filled sacks of nutrients and saturated fats into the back of my Tahoe.

Home and a minute to relax with a cold beer, while the groceries unload and put themselves away in an orderly fashion, (someday I will invent a system, to do just this unpleasant job, but for now it’s all mine,) there is cooking cleaning and collecting of the offspring from their appointed places of education still ahead on today’s agenda.

Homework must magically find its way through a wormhole in the cosmos and onto the kitchen table before nights end, often a topic of debate whether the oldest can complete her assignments in the open period before class start the next morning, the youngest debate is that homework is given out by those whose understanding of the educational system is flawed, therefore assigning school papers to be finished in a home environment. In her own words “It is my understanding that school and home are two places I must be, but home is for me, and my time is too valuable after 3:00pm to continue with school papers if the teacher is unable to fit in her day. “

This is only a part of my everyday routine, saving the best for last, I muster up the remaining bit of energy, tuck in under the covers on my bed, while the little one and I play a round of Princess Sorry (the board games she most loves) where she skillfully miscounts her way into once again winning.

Somehow it all fits together the puzzle pieces of our lives connect to one another leading to a grand discovery like the picture on the box it unfolds in front of us.
All I want now is to turn off the light, take a deep breath and dream the night away knowing tomorrow will take care of its self, with a little help from mom of course.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Never Knew I would Become a Runner

I Never Knew I would Become a Runner:

The funny thing is I don’t truly enjoy running, the pounding of my feet with each step hitting the hard surface beneath me, the way I huff, as I force my way up a hill or the bright color red plastered across my sweaty exhausted face. No, this is not my idea of having a good time, so why do I do it? Simple, after finding myself on a quick collision path with my mid 40’s I knew like most of you that the time had come to move my body in a more active way, before it seized up and fell over on me.

Conversations with a good friend one day lead to the topic of our impending weight gain since high school. After having two baby girls and loads of spicy guacamole filled tacos later, my slim figure and small butt have engaged in their own conversation, believing in the concept that more is better expansion has set in.

They say confession is good for the soul, but after deep contemplation I chose to believe that not looking into those damn three way mirrors is an act of denial I can live with, as my friend and I continued on our path of self discovery, a challenge had taken place, not one to follow the course of least resistance I allotted my conditions, sharing September birthdays we set the timeline to fall in between the dates of our birthdays.
Replacing years of margaritas and 10:00pm late night dinner runs would take on a wee bit of work, the winner would of course be sporting a new and much improved body, along with a consolation prize from the loser. I was to lose a whopping 15 pounds and my friend was to melt away a mere 30 pounds.

Now let it be said that my friend has a habit of gaining and losing weight, where I have never once tried to lose any weight at all, looking back to my high school days I was 5’6 at 103 pounds and sporting more of Keira Knightley iron board figure then my present more shapely Selma Hayek form at 134.

To rein in my unruly thighs I took up Yoga and found myself in arrangements of down ward dog and lotus positions that truly seemed to help tone up my bottom and waist line. This felt great. I had more energy and loved the full body stretch, but back at home that stupid talking scale in my bathroom refused to acknowledge the hard work I had put in and like a yipping Chihuahua kept announcing my weight at 134. It seemed I have just been moving my weight around and not losing any, I need to get my heart rate up and after weighing my options running seem like the one for me.

Even as a young child I was always outside, running with my friends climbing trees and riding my little blue bike around the neighborhood, it has always been hard to keep me indoors; even now I would rather be digging in my garden than watching T.V., so I was set, I would run in the park down by the river.

My first morning go at my new weight loss procedure was a bit tougher than I expected; I had gone through the check list in my mind. Running shoes-check water bottle-check iPod-check, nothing left to do then start, I hit the pavement slowly, moving under the trees and past the pint sized train station where nursery school aged children waited in line for their turn to board.

What was the big deal, I could do this all day, I had the morning breeze pushing me forward, a family of ducks to keep me company and the soft light of the morning showing me the way, I also had one whopping cramp, WOW, like an electrical surge taken hold of my left calf, and I was down for the count, doing my best to walk the pain off I headed back towards my Tahoe knowing full well I would be reporting to my friend my progress of the day. Sitting in my car I thought about my options, If I quit now I would never build up the tolerance needed to continue running and losing a bet even to a close friend was not in my playbook.

Looking back now I know I did the right thing, my thighs are toner, my butt higher, and my waistline curves sweetly into my slim round hips. I can’t say I won the bet with every pound of taco I lose I gain a pound of muscle, and that stupid yipping scale is still refusing to acknowledge my hard work.

Truth be told I have found a kind of peace to my day I did not know I was looking for. I have found that this 40ish year old women still enjoys the child inside her that the great outdoors is my play ground and I enjoy every sweaty, red-faced, heart pumping minute it will give me.