Tuesday, December 9, 2014

If I Can, You Can

A week ago, I wasn't sure that I should have signed up for a second half marathon. Now, I'm sitting here scanning races for my next. 

Yes. It's hard to run 13.1 miles.. For me it is, anyway. But the amazing feeling of accomplishment is unreal. 

I tell people all of the time.. If I can do it, you can do it. I'm 39, overweight and have FULL PLATE OF RESPONSIBILITIES. I have to work at scheduling running time, especially the long runs ( 1 hour +). I haven't been able to get my nutrition just right and so that's been a challenge, too. 

Here's a myth: running makes you skinny. Truth: eating right along with running will help you lose weight. My next adventure is to figure out how to get those two in balance and get to a healthy size and weight for me. 

I have to say, the two races that I chose were amazing experiences. The Chosen and the Rock and Roll Marathons were great races and I have nothing, but great things to say about both!

Now my only question is: what's my next race?!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

An Unexpected Gift

Several weeks ago, I posted a picture on my Instagram account . It was a snapshot of a Land's End catalog with a pair of sandals circled. My mom had looked through the catalog and found pair of sandals that she wanted. On this particular day, she had put the Land's End catalog on the kitchen counter, next to the coffee maker (she knows my daily routine, coffee first, always first). What is so special about this is that my mom has not worn any type of sandal since the stroke because she has to wear a brace on her affected side to support her leg, ankle, and foot. When I saw that she was interested in a sandal, something different, it made me a little sentimental. I tagged Land's End on the picture and within a few hours, someone from the company commented on my picture and asked me to contact them. I emailed them and heard back from a wonderful new friend named, Raija. I told her a little bit of my mom's story, that she had suffered a massive stroke four years ago and faces many daily challenges. I shared with her that my mom's speech was affected and that she isn't able to communicate with words, but she finds many creative ways to get her point across. Raija and I emailed back and forth about my mom's situation. She shared with me that her grandfather had suffered a stroke and that is why our story touched her heart. She wanted to know what types of things my mom enjoys doing or what hobbies she might have. A few weeks later.. this wonderful package arrived.

We were overwhelmed and grateful. Not only did they send us the sandals that my mom wanted, Raija also added a personalized bag, a beautiful blanket and some word search books that my mom would enjoy. I want to express how much this meant to us. The journey with a loved one that requires constant care and supervision can become overshadowed by the monotony of daily tasks and challenges. I will admit that some days, I forget to look for the blessings or take time to notice the progress that my mom has made. The fact that Land's End would take the time to notice a picture and want to brighten my mom's day helped to restore my hope and realize that we aren't alone on our journey. We deal with bouts of isolation and it's easy to feel like no one notices the challenges we face. My faith has been recharged and I am inspired to look for ways to be a blessing to others. Thank you Raija and Land's End for your thoughtfulness and generosity. You have blessed us beyond measure!