How are you doing?

Version 2

Lately, I can’t decide how to answer this question when people ask. This summer has been bizarre. It’s been wonderful to experience life with my son, taking him to the beach for the first time, and going swimming with him etc. He’s such a joy. What makes it bizarre is that despite these swells of happiness and enjoyment I’ve been dealing with post-partum depression.

So when people ask “How are you doing?” I don’t know how to answer. Do they really want to know? Is it over-sharing to tell them right away? Or do I say I’m OK or I’ve been better and then further into the conversation I share what’s really going on. I’m not embarrassed by it — it happens to a lot of women. I’ve been in treatment for a few months now and it’s been going really well. But I have been thinking about a few things, like this blog. One of the things I often face is with goal setting. I talked about this with my therapist this week. If I tend to have too-high standards for myself, how do I know when my goals are too much? It doesn’t seem right to throw them out all together. So what do I do?

The weirdest part of this blog etc. is that I look around me and see people succeeding who have told me that I have inspired them. This is very cool! But it’s also strange knowing that in a few ways I feel stuck, but these other people seem to be flourishing after I have “inspired” them. As you can see I, like so many people, have the tendency to compare. I am “happy” with my life. I am content. I love my family, I love my job, but somewhere between J being born and June my train hopped off the rails. It’s the oddest thing to have this mix of such positive feelings and such lack of motivation, tiredness, etc.

So that’s where I’m at. That’s how I’m doing. It’s why I haven’t been blogging or running. Despite knowing that it’s really really good for my health, I can’t be bothered. But I am colouring…. and people, this is good for my soul! I’m so glad “adult” colouring is a fad right now because it’s the greatest thing!

What’s next after falling off the horse

The following is a draft post I wrote back in June. I never got around to publishing it but now it’s so far past the whole getting-back-on-the-horse and I’m not even thinking about it really anymore. I’m over it. Past that phase, and live has taken on new directions. Also, it occurred to me that the whole premise of the horse analogy was majorly off because the phrase is “falling off the wagon” not the horse haha.

horse

I’ve been thinking a lot about knowing when to quit again. This time it’s trickier because I’ve experienced success after many failures and wanting to quit. Remember all those pie crusts?

There are a few reasons for this. I fell off the horse with running. There were a few contributors: a rainy week, a week with my husband away on a work trip, a serious lack of motivation. And while I was doing great with a vision of me crossing the finish line of my first race, I started feeling overwhelmed with all my goals.

It got me thinking about this idea of “falling off the horse” and the horse itself.

In horse racing if a horse gets injured, oftentimes it is put down because the injuries are so enormous that it’s cruel to keep it alive. Or at least this is what I’m told, maybe animal activists will tell me otherwise (probably that racing horses is cruel). Anyways, as I was thinking about this image, I wondered if rather than getting back on the horse, I needed to put the horse down.

Maybe I should give up this goal I had of entering a race I had in mind (which I didn’t tell you guys about!)? Maybe it’s OK that life is a lot more than I had anticipated right now? Not that I’ll give up running entirely because it’s important that I have physical exercise, but right now maybe no race goal. I think the goal I need right now is to enjoy life and keep on top of my daily and weekly tasks because that isn’t as easy as it may sound. I guess it sounds kind of lame that I would give up this quickly, (maybe not because I still do have a growing and increasingly active 8 month old!) but there is more to the story that I will share in another post!

Then again, I spent 4 months with my son hoping his naps would just get magically better the same way they got magically worse until I decided to do something about it to help him nap better (hearing his cranky whining all day long was not a positive contributor to my mental health!). I kept thinking there would be a better time to do it or maybe I wouldn’t have to because it would just change. There’s always something that will come up to mess with our plans, but we need to figure out how to persevere despite those constant inhibitors.

Addendum: Where I am now: I plan to get my fitness life in order again but there are some big changes coming up in my life – two very major ones – that I will blog about. I’m just giving myself grace for now and crossing my fingers that the scale wont lurch any closer to my pregnancy weight than it already has.

Ian on the Boston Marathon

It’s been years since I’ve done an interview on the blog (it’s hard to believe I’ve had this blog for years already. I guess when you don’t post for a few months time passes more quickly?) and finally I have another one for you. I love listening to stories of “regular” people who have achieved big things according to their own standards. I’ve been listening to this podcast Runner Academy a lot lately and there are crazy stories on there. One girl was like most of us – not really athletic and she took up running. AND THEN SHE WENT ON TO RUN 366 MARATHONS IN ONE YEAR. Everyone told her it wasn’t doable and she did it kind of to spite them.

I get that. I think Ian would, too. He went from having very few kilometres on his running shoes to running a full marathon. Shortly after he completed the Boston Marathon I sent him a few questions and he generously replied with audio. So I did some ghetto editing and adding my own audio and now you have this very low-budget interview. Thanks iMovie for the cheesy “News” theme. Apologies to my younger brother who has college training in radio broadcasting: you’ll cringe.

Running

My friend Ian ran the Boston marathon and it was maybe the most inspiring thing I have witnessed in a very long time. Why? I had never heard him talk about running frequently or ever talk about any interest in distance running. So when a couple weeks before the marathon he updated his Facebook saying he was doing it, I had to watch. I kept his race page open on my computer the whole time and cheered him on on his Runtastic page. When he crossed the finish line I was so proud of him I nearly cried.

He had ran for five and a half hours!!!!

A couple days later he stopped by when he was in town and I grilled him on the race and how it went. It sounded like the neatest experience I had heard of in a long time.

It made me want to run again.

It has only been a week, but I will say it: I’m back. It’s been six months since giving birth to my son and I’m fairly sure it’s safe for me to get back to running. I had ran a few times at the gym in the winter but I usually felt pretty awful after so I stopped.

photo by Roman Boed

After my first run last week (which was more like a walk-run-walk) my body HURT but I was still able to get out for my next run. I felt so proud of myself for running in the rain and with a slightly sore body. It makes me feel so much more legit – like a “real” runner. I sure don’t look like a real runner, though. I’ve been wearing my maternity leggings which turn out to be AWESOME because when my shirt rides up it has to go pretty far before it shows any of my jiggling post-baby belly. Half the time I feel like a lost cow lurching down the sidewalk, wishing for my pre-baby body back. When I’m honest with myself I realize that body wasn’t any better at running so it won’t do me any good now.

But that first run didn’t murder me. Nor did the run where I increased my distance. We’re still talking about very SHORT distances, but it’s a huge improvement from when I hit the pavement the first time.

I think I’ve turned a corner where I realized I’m willing to commit to this. I had quit before because of foot pain (not wanting to injure myself and not being sure enough that I wanted to keep going), then winter, and then pregnancy. But now it’s spring, and I’m not pregnant anymore, and I’m pretty sure I want this.

I bought a legit baby jogger (for dirrrrrt cheap).

I got sized for shoes (that I’m still holding out on because they’re $150 and I’m not convinced they’ll change my life or help me avoid injury).

I’m obsessively reading about running online and listening to this podcast.

And I’m doing it. It feels good. Please cheer me on!

Update on my morning routine with baby

A few weeks ago I posted about how I needed to re-establish new routines for my life with my five-month-old. Well,  I have resounding good news for you: IT WORKS. It’s been great! My morning now looks like this:

  • Wake up, make coffee, drink a glass of water
  • Hop in the shower
  • Feed Jack (Willy gets Jack when they wake up and they play together until I’m done in the shower)
  • Eat breakfast With Willy, put on make-up (it makes me feel like a real person)
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Jack goes down for his first nap and while he naps I do my first round of cleaning for the day.

By the time Jack is sleeping at 8:30, I have already accomplished so much, that I’m able to sit down and enjoy the silence. I’ve even CLEANED stuff. I’ve realized that I need to get something done like this first thing in the morning before laziness/ tiredness sets in. It’s really easy in the afternoon to “justify” not doing any cleaning because I’m tired or whatever excuse that comes up.

You know, I was really sceptical about the difference having my shower first would make. One day I was having a bunch of moms over and I had to maximize my morning so I hopped in the shower first since Jack seemed to be fine waiting to eat. It revolutionized my morning! Instead of waiting till his nap and showering, now I can use that time to do other things.

I’m very pleased with myself. Now I need to make sure I don’t get lazy with the cleaning because that’s been the best part of all: I don’t feeling gross about this apartment I’m sitting in all day long.

Lie 3: “I don’t have the right tools.”

This is the final post addressing the three lies we believe that lead us into procrastination. See the introduction post here and you can find the first post here and the second here.

I clued into this one a few weeks ago. I had been putting off doing a task because I had no idea what I was going to use to do the task that needed doing. Then the task was “magically” done (thanks, Willy!). When I asked him what he used to do it, I was a little shocked and embarrassed. I was making this thing to be overly complicated and it really didn’t need to be. I really believed that I didn’t have the right tools to get the job done, when that was totally false.

I think there have been many cases of this in my life that meant something just didn’t get done. In my head these things require a super elite and specialized tool to get the job done.

This is the exact reason why a toddler’s forehead print is still on my TV from 11 months ago. Half the time I can’t see it because the light hides it, but when I do see it, I think “oh yeah, I should wipe that off.” Then I think “with what? What won’t streak, or mess up the TV screen etc.?” And then the moment is over and a year passes. Last week I went to clean it off in a surge of cleaning enthusiasm and I found that this forehead smudge was no longer just a smudge. It was hard thanks to 11 months of dust mixing with the toddler forehead oils.

“What should I use to clean that off?” I asked Willy.

“Windex.”

Life is so simple for that man. In my head I needed a microfibre cloth and a specialized cleaner. When I think about it, I can’t decide how much it’s me being a total idiot or it’s my brain exploding the situation to be 1000x more complicated than necessary so that I can sit on my couch a little longer. I think it’s probably 60% me being an idiot and 40% my brain being crafty.

What’s your excuse?

I’m sure you can think of various ways this works out in your life. You don’t start keeping an agenda because you haven’t found THE PERFECT ONE. You haven’t started taking pictures of pretty things because you don’t have your super expensive DSLR that you’ve been dreaming of. You’ve only worn your favourite outfit once because you’re afraid you’ll ruin it when you clean it because it’s some fancy material. You keep putting off starting your (mythical) home work out because you don’t have a yoga mat. You keep putting off starting to run because you don’t have good shoes or you don’t want to go out in public in the only workout clothes you have: your husband’s T-shirt and shorts that ride up with every stride (read: what I wear to the gym. I’m always the ugliest dressed person there but at least I’m going!).

So how do we combat this?

  1. Think about it. Do you really need it? If you still think you do. What are the ways around this specialized tool? How would you do it if you were poor (rather than just too lazy to buy it)
  2. Ask someone. If you’re too embarrassed to ask your mom, friend, brother, workout inspiration, do what everyone else since the history of the modern internet has done: google it.
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