Please excuse me for a moment…

cat-fukken-win-5990-1I sincerely apologize to anyone who might be offended by the language used in this picture, I only used it because it was absolutely necessary… ūüôā

Why am I posting this particular picture? Two reasons: #1: this picture makes me laugh out loud every time I see it; #2: it is an exact representation of how I feel right now.

Not only did I manage to jog a full 1.5 miles (in one go, no stopping!), I FINALLY achieved my goal of a 12 minute mile. I came in at 11 minutes, 53 seconds, to be exact. So, yeah, I’m feeling pretty awesome. When the little voice came through my headphones to tell me what my mile time was, I actually (half) shouted “hell yeah!”. Yes, I was in the middle of a park, and I should probably also apologize to the elderly couple who I startled with my little victory cry; I am terribly sorry for scaring you half to death, I just got a bit carried away.

In other news, I have decided to try my hand (or maybe I should I say “feet”?), at an 8k race. In just over four months, I will be participating in the 8k portion of¬† the 2014 Shamrock Marathon. I haven’t decided on a plan of attack just yet, but ultimately, I would like to finish it in 45 minutes or less. That would put my pace at about 9 minutes/mile… Don’t worry, I’m already questioning my sanity, so no need to call the men in white coats just yet.

Right now, my biggest concern is whether or not to join a gym. Why? It’s too darn cold. I know, it’s only November and it’s not even “cold” yet, but without my protective layer of blubber, 50 degrees is just too cold. I barely even broke a sweat after jogging 1.5 miles and once I cooled down from the workout, it literally took me hours to warm back up. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll get a very good workout if I’m dressed like Randy from “A Christmas Story”, so I’m thinking maybe joining a gym for the winter months is the way to go.

tumblr_lvrnvt61kw1qcv2z3o6_250

My only concern is that running on a treadmill is going to bore me to tears. How on Earth am I supposed to entertain myself if I’m trapped in one spot? Trust me, trying to watch a movie or TV while running is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. I DO NOT have the attention span for that kind of multi-tasking. I enjoy jogging outside because even if I take the same path every time, there’s always something new to look at. It also gives me the perfect opportunity to spy on my neighbors and come up with bizarre stories to go along with my observations.

For example, the other day, I noticed that two of my neighbors were home extremely early. It seemed awfully suspicious that they pulled into their respective driveways (right across from each other) at the exact same time… Sure, it could have been pure coincidence, but what if they planned to come home early that day to perfect their zombie apocalypse plans? Perhaps they belong to a secret cult of cat worshippers and had to get ready for some kind of gathering? This is exactly¬†the kind of thing that keeps exercising interesting!

Unfortunately, since the cold always has a negative effect on the fibro, I’ll probably end up spending the winter on a treadmill. Maybe I’ll take a few tours and choose a gym based on its people watching potential!

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Choices and dreams

Life-1

What do you want out of life? Do you want respect? Do you want love, maybe a family or are material things more your speed?

We all have our dreams, some just seem more impossible than others. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go on another “you can do whatever you set your mind to” style rant. ūüôā

Today, I’m thinking about choices and how they shape not just us, but our dreams as well. From the minute we wake up, until the moment we fall asleep, we’re making choices. What to eat for breakfast, what to wear, or even whether or not to get out of bed for the day. So many of our choices are automatic that most of us don’t even really think about them until we hit one that’s not so simple.

For instance, when I get up in the morning, I make a conscious effort to choose to be happy. It’s not that I wake up depressed everyday, I’m just taking a moment to remind myself that I don’t have to let whatever happens throughout my day bring me down. Before my day even starts, I choose to have a good one. Some days, that’s all it takes, but other days, I have to make that choice again, sometimes several times in one day. No, it doesn’t always work, but you’d be surprised by how often it does.

I am choosing to be happy, and in doing so, I’ve realized that I’m becoming a stronger person. I’m creating myself into the person I want to be. That is a very cool statement to be able to make. Too many people simply take what they are given and go along with it, never realizing that they have a choice. You can’t always choose the situations you land yourself in or the way things turn out, but in every situation, you do have a choice. You can choose how you react to it.

Here’s an example: you and your family (husband, wife, kids, who ever), have been planning to go on vacation for months. You finally get where you’re going and the very next day, you wake up in so much pain that you can’t get out of bed. This is where I lose most people, they immediately start in on me saying things like “you can’t just choose not to feel the pain”, or “there’s nothing you can do to make the situation better”. No, you can’t just choose not to feel the pain, I can’t argue with that, so I won’t; however, there are things that can be done to make the situation better! Time to start looking at your choices.

The first choice you have to make is: how do you react to being in pain?

A: Do you choose to be angry or depressed?

B: Do you choose to ignore the pain the best you can and carry on with your plans?

C: Do you choose to accept the fact that you’re in pain and move on?

If you choose A, you may as well go ahead and prepare to make your loved ones miserable with you. Being angry or upset is usually the default reaction for people, being in pain is miserable, especially when you know you can’t do anything about it. It’s understandable. The problem is, when you choose to be miserable, you’re choosing to let everyone around you be miserable as well. When you choose to be angry or upset, you close the door on any other options. Choosing option B might sound like the more selfless thing to do, and sometimes, (major stress on sometimes), it actually works. You ignore the pain, carry on with your plans and the pain gets forgotten. The problem is, that it¬†really doesn’t work very often, at least not for me. Whenever I’ve chosen option B, I nearly always end up in even more pain than I was in to begin with and then I get really grouchy. Chances are, in my attempts to ignore my pain, I didn’t tell anyone that I wasn’t¬†feeling well, so my mood changes¬†are¬†unexpected.¬†I start blaming my friends or family, who ever it was that “dragged” me out or made me feel guilty about not feeling well, and then I start picking fights. It becomes a game of “who can I drag down with me?”. It’s really not a pleasant way to spend your day.

By choosing to accept the fact that you’re in pain and move on, you open up new choices, not just for yourself, but for your loved ones as well. In my case, since I don’t have kids to worry about just yet, it’s usually just myself and my husband when we go on vacation, so I’ll start with that example. When I choose option C, the first thing I have to do is be honest. I have to say “honey, I’m in a lot of pain this morning, I’m not going to be able to go to the beach”. Yes, he’ll be disappointed, but I’ve just avoided what could have been a truly miserable day for the both of us. It also opens up new options: what do we do instead?

Let’s say that we choose to spend the morning enjoying breakfast in bed, enjoy some conversation, or maybe we just watch a movie together. It’s entirely possible that by the afternoon, I might feel well enough to go¬†and actually enjoy¬†some time at the beach after all. If, however, that’s not the case, I can choose to not guilt my husband into staying bedridden with me. He’s certainly capable of enjoying some sunshine and relaxation at the beach on his own. The hard part is choosing not to feel jealous about him having a good time while I’m stuck in pain.

From my own experience, option C is the best option, not only because it keeps the overall misery level down, but also because by listening to my body and taking it easy when it tells me to, I’m much more likely to be able to enjoy the next day. If I drag myself out and ignore the messages, I’m going to keep paying it for it day after day until I’m an emotional wreck. No one wants to be stuck¬†with that!

It took me a long time to realize that it takes more courage to admit that you need help than it does to hide it. Every time I choose to face my pain and admit that I can’t keep up with everyone else, I become stronger. My choices are responsible for how the world sees me, but more importantly, they impact how the people I love see me. I don’t want them to see me as weak and miserable; I want them to see me as strong and confident. I don’t want my friends stay by me because they’ll feel guilty for abandoning me, I want them to want to be around me because they enjoy my company and respect me as a person.

I know those may seem like awfully small things to call “dreams”, but I’m¬†choosing to¬†start small. Right now, I need stepping-stones to help keep me on track for all of my really big dreams.¬†I can finally see the person I want to¬†become, I just have to choose to create her.

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