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A Sweet Surrender

January 26, 2011

Winter. It’s here..in New Jersey..  and it’s only January 14th. I run and I prefer to run outside.. year round..in fact I LOVE to be outside.. Three things “I know for sure” (thanks to you Dad and – Oprah as I take that phrase from you) is that I LOVE  LOVE LOVE to be outside and I LOVE to trail run and I LOVE the river.  No surprise there being schooled in basic child psychology.  My earliest recollection of my life was staring at the wall mural in our basement in Martinsville, NJ. 1963. Those days murals were popular I guess..  Dad mounted a big scene of the woods and a stream as I think I remember it. It was .as if he was imprinting  the great outdoors  in my mind at an early age.. Well, it worked.. My next memories are of us kids treking through the snow covered trails along the Mississippi River near our home in Clinton, Iowa like ducks following their fearless leader in search of something….. else out there.. out where,  I don’t think mattered  or what we would find.   I was smitten with the big bright blue sky, the crisp air, the smell of hot dogs roasting in the fire pit we would uncover and the taste of frozen  Hostess HoHo’s melting in my mouth..  and the warmth of hot chocolate reaching all the way to my toes..mmmmm.. I was so warm… I was home.. I was always home walking in the pack.. with my family. It did’nt matter what campground we discovered or what mountain range we hiked.. I was home there with the pack. 

Except now, I am 51.. I am cold,   I am 30 days already into this cold daily training outside for my latest summit, The Boston  Marathon 2011..  It will be my first Boston. Out here in the east it is the holy grail..for runners.. I was not a runner most of my life.. and I was not raised out here.. SO for me, my holy grail is   Longs Peak.. Colorado.   Boston, not on the bucket list growing up.. But it is now.  I live here.. I have raised my kids here.. I run here and I qualified.. Twice… so I must do it….yes.. I must..  But I am cold..  really cold running here now.  So I’ve been entertaining (we’ll honestly more than entertaining) the idea of joining a local gym to get me through this winter.   But I am struggling.. really struggling with this one… I can’t make a decision… Being cold, which I hate is the bain of my winter running. I have tried to like, I’ve pretended I like,  I trudged through this training, I’ve layered myself like the pillsbury dough girl, even broke down and bought new heavy winter running pants and a pink head lamp ..But I am tired of it.  I’t takes so much energy just thinking about how much my head hurts running in these winter days and nights..here through the streets of Flemington, NJ to get my miles in before and after work.  Last week I even registered for a FREE pass to “try” out a cheap gym nearby.. I have  racket my brain, asked everyone’s  I can think of to find a solution, a dreadmill an inside track  I can use for the remainder of the winter months.  Trust me… this is  my latest personal challenge.. Do I give in?.. go for the epidural…or do I further toughen up and brave it like the few who take the path where few eastern girls go….for today’s obvious reason?-Hey this is the Mid atlantic states..the  east.. we have everything everywhere at our fingertips.. we need to feel no pain…we can reach the summit from here..

But today.. it is Saturday…something was about to shift for me and I had no idea when I woke up this morning that I would find my answer  some solice  in this indecision I have had about running outside or succombing to the dreadmill inside  as I clicked my heals.. in the snow.. along the South Branch of the Raritan River. 

Today’s run started  8am.. at the usual temperature for this season 11 degress.. and yes cold.. most of the group had bolted out of the gate…at their usual pace.. the fast track but hey no problem, I was there HERE outside . It was the back of the pack and  cold. .. but I was there. …. running alone..or so I thought.. Today I was in luck.. there were a couple of other  runners who decided to brave the cold today… loyal to themselves and to the true spirit of running outside where also in the back of the pack with me.   We ran just a bit behind the main group and   to my surprise we found them waiting for us at the first main bridge at the river.  Actually were also staring at the top of the trees at a bald headed eagle Glorious we all said and pushed on … We set out for the next 5 miles that took us through the snow covered farm fields of Hunterdon with a view so spectacular it took my breath away.  The sun was inching its way back down  by the time we ran down to river again but  it didnt matter too much as my body was completely warmed by the constant motion and beauty around us.. I was now in the flow…I was home… I was in the rythmn of the river.. my anchor .. IT was one foot in front of the other treking through the single path in the snow… Today I was not cursing the cold but awestruck by the brilliance of the day.. the peace, the glory of the morning… and as we approached the final bridge over the river on our return trip there up in the trees were two more glorious eagles.. each as if to say..welcome home .. you are on your right path

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Boo

November 2, 2010

Homesteading on Halloween.. I savor the moments every Halloween and this year was no exception especially cause Halloween fell on a Sunday. I had the whole weekend to welcome the fall season in.  I love Halloween, Not only is this a holiday for the kiddies but for us Moms.  First off it’s fall, it’s the weekend I start baking again. The day embodies everything I hold on to as far as being a Mom: being home with my kids, making  costumes,  baking, decorating, staring at the sun, cooking and being in the kitchen from 7am til 10pm, lighting candles, listening to music, carving the pumpkin (yes we even did that yesterday). Though our lives are so busy and the kids keep getting bigger, we still found time to decorate these delicious cupcakes, carve the pumpkin, call a Grandma and line up all the candy from the pillow cases.. Much fun was had by all. Happy Halloween to all and to all sweet dreaming of next year’s magic..

Bloom Baby Bloom

March 31, 2010

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  -Anais Nin 

I wake up in the middle of the night so many times thinking of this quote, The fear of the unknown and the chatter in my brain holds my feet to the tattered kitchen floor.  We remain tight it the bud sometimes for all the wrong reasons… reasons that we convince ourselves that we are suppose to be here for a reason… only to realize we have stayed  way too long… long enough for that familiar pain to set in til it flails you around, twisting and bending in every direction forcing the imminent  break.. .but oh these are the spring winds of hope casting the bud off it’s once secure stem forcing it to take seed somewhere else with the reassurance that our dreams are destined to bloom somewhere else.

                                                                     So where is the wind taking your dreams right now?