Monday, March 28, 2011

Vulnerability- Between Wind and Water

Gail Sheehy

I had a dream a few days ago where someone very clearly said to me “running makes you vulnerable.”  Wow.  The very word makes me want to hide under the covers.  Running shouldn’t make me feel vulnerable; it should feel strong and safe.  But as a runner, I am reminded of my shortcomings on a weekly basis.   The truth is that lately my runs have felt more like a chore to mark off the list than a fun play date; and since my goal race has some pretty serious ground to cover…well….that scares me.  It feels as if I'm a ship between wind and water. 

How many times in our running journey do we compare ourselves to others, or doubt that we are good enough?  With each goal that we set, we open ourselves to experience disappointment or anxiety.    We put our heart on a platter, and serve it up for everyone to feast judgment on. 

Dr Marcy Cole says “The ego judges, while our spirit is compassion. The ego runs with fear, while our spirit is fueled by faith.”
I think that in my dream, my spirit is begging me to use it as fuel for my continued journey.   It’s time to quiet my doubting mind and to go on a fearless adventure.   It’s time to be invulnerable. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"What are you running from?"

My life is one big running metaphor. 
“What are you running from?”  someone recently asked me. 
 “Wow- you’re really going to go there?” was the first thought that came into my head, but it did make me think.  Am I running from something? 

It’s very possible that I am running from stress;  the chaos that comes with being a busy, working mom and coach. 
It’s possible that I am running away from home, and work, and the concrete jungle that is Dallas. 
It’s possible that I am running away from my past, those I have hurt and those who have hurt me.  Those I have lost, and those I have found. 
It’s even possible that I am trying to run away from myself and the confusion that comes with all that is me. 

Aren’t we all running from SOMETHING though?  Maybe the question should be “what are you running TO?”
I’m running to freedom, to clarity and to independence.  I’m running to success, and patience and hope.
I’m running to be a better me, a better mom and a better coach. 
What I do know is that if I wasn’t running FROM something- I would probably be running TO something that was much more toxic.   
And so I run, and life keeps on keeping on……

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Things are OUT OF CONTROL- and hey, I'm good with that

It’s Tuesday morning, and I am headed home in a chipper mood after a particularly good run.     I call my husband to check in, and then it begins…..
“Ben can’t find the note that he needs to return to his teacher, and Hannah thinks she left her backpack in the back of your car.  Oh, and by the way, don’t forget that I’m going to be home late tonight and Maria comes today. ” 
Ah!  Maria!  I begin the scramble to pick things up off of the floor so that our housecleaner can actually CLEAN the house.  I meant to get this done yesterday, but last night I decided that I wanted my children to actually be able to see  so I took them to get their haircut.  I ooh and awe about how beautiful the youngest two look as the stylist reveals their precious faces.  I talk my oldest daughter into a new, flattering style and she agrees.  All is good and I decide to read for a bit when I hear “Mrs. Kimble, can you come here please?”  Trust me, not what you want to hear when your child is getting a haircut.  Hannah has lice.  At 7:30 p.m.  on a Monday night.  So instead of picking up a few things off of the floor and preparing for my big presentation due in a couple of weeks, I am now combing lice out of my child’s long, thick hair, and dumping all of the linens in the house into huge piles so they can be washed. 
I feel out of control, and I don’t like it.

Control.  Janet Jackson and I both thought that once we were “all grown up” we would have it, but that is far from the truth.  But I’m starting to wonder, is that something we really want or need?  The definition of control is pretty harsh:  to exercise restraint or direction over; to dominate; to command.   I certainly don’t like the thought of someone dominating or commanding me, so why should I want that from life?
I like to think that life unfolds itself just as we need it to.  It’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is.  This helps me a bit to let go of my need to control things, people or situations. 
Man, it’s a hard thing to do, but when I find myself letting go, it feels as if a huge burden is being taken right out of my gut.

Life happens.  We can’t control our situations and we can’t control others.  I for one find that I am so much happier when I don’t even try.