Things that change depending on your viewpoint (just like this photo, it could be from early morning or early evening):

  • Thinking you’re fast or slow, compared to other people (like my bro, who told me his goal is to run Boston with average paces of 6:20/mile)
  • Thinking you’re fast or slow, compared to some of your own racing times
  • Thinking you’re feeling “weak” or “tired” one day because you can only hold a 1-footed plank for 7:26 (knowing your record is much longer), also knowing most people would be happy with half of that
  • Feeling sore from a workout you think is hard (hopefully a month later it will seem easy)
  • Feeling like today is a great day (or not), depending on what happened the day before
  • Feeling in control of  and satisfied with your life
  • Feeling like things in life will get better, or not
  • Feeling like it is better to have diminished expectations of people and things, because it’s easier, has less likelihood of hurting you, or whether that’s taking the easy way out.

Last summer, I really didn’t think things in my life would improve. Someone told me, don’t worry, things will get better. I didn’t believe them at all because I was consumed in sadness and depression. Today, I have a core group of old friends I still rely on (as well as certain members of my family), and many new ones have come into my life. Many of you reading this should know who and what you are to me. Today, I know a bad day is just that – a bad day, one that will pass, and even if the next one isn’t great, there will be better ones, and compared to what I have been through, it’s still better now the way things were.  It goes hand-in-hand with “feeling in control and satisfied with my life.”

Two years ago, I thought I was happy with being a 10 minute miler. Today, I’m running comfortably in the 8 mins range, and am aiming to be within the 7 minute range by the end of this year. I look at the progress of the past years, and especially the last few months, and know I can continue onward. I’m still not as fast as my brother, who wants to run Boston this year in 2:42, but I’m getting faster relative to him. (Sadly, I am not growing any taller in relation to him.) I’ve even run a race where my first mile was under 7, something I would never have thought possible! (And I still kept going, I didn’t fall to the ground with a sign on my head saying “please drag me over the finish line, don’t trample me.”

I held a 1-foot plank position this morning for 7:26. Just didn’t feel like I had it in me, and felt weak. Not too long ago, I would have been psyched with that! Now I know I can do better.

A little while ago, I was afraid to take chances, paralyzed with fear in many ways, and thinking I couldn’t deal with being on my own. Now, I feel comfortable in my own skin, not afraid to meet new people, and try new things. I’m still afraid of heights, but now I can point to the fact that I can scale a 30 foot wall sometimes and not feel afraid.

I sometimes think it would be easier for me to go through life just expecting a lot less of people. Then I wouldn’t be disappointed at times, or feel hurt, which is something I’m trying to avoid right now. But then, I think that that would make life kind of boring, and it’d take me back to that safe cocoon I used to live in, when things were comfortable, even if I didn’t feel completely alive. So when those defeating thoughts come  to mind, I try as hard as I can to push them away. I recognize my mood for being down, and just try to deal with it and move on.

First Totally Unrelated Topic:

Guys, do you tend to work harder when there is a girl on a treadmill next to you? A very nice coworker of mine said he won’t get on one, if there’s a girl next to him, because he knows he’ll work himself harder than he should. (He’s recuperating from knee surgery.) He said to me “Terri, I don’t know what it is you women have, but you can just keep going and going and going…maybe it’s the stress you’re trying to get rid of, maybe you just zone out, maybe you just have more endurance…” and then proceeded to tell me of this amazing woman he saw running at his gym, who was running before he got there, and still was, at a fast pace, after he was done and showered, and ready to go. (You go, girl, whoever you were!!)  Hey, if I ever make a guy on a treadmill next to me work harder than he would otherwise do, I just say “dude, you’re welcome!” :-)

Second Totally Unrelated Topic:

I met the owner and manager of the Boston Rock Gym last night when I was there climbing. Turns out someone had read my earlier blog post that mentioned I’d gotten the climbing bug as well as the name of his establishment. When he realized I was there last night, he wanted to meet me. He was a SUPER NICE GUY! He even offered to belay me some nights if I didn’t have a partner, saying he would love to get the opportunity to have some fun like that!  He even showed me a sneak peak of what they are putting together for their bouldering competition tomorrow night, March 26th. The guy has so many years of experience, I would love to learn or get tips from someone like that!

You never know who your words can affect, and how that person can, in turn, affect you. Just hope that it’s always positive.


Today is one of those days in Boston that we wait for all winter, and remind ourselves will eventually return, even as we are in the kung-fu death grip of one storm after another.  It’s  not bathing suit warm outside, but it’s in the high 40s/low 50s, and the sun is shining.  One of my friends texted me earlier while he was hanging out in the city, and I could just see the happiness and huge smile that was very likely on his face, just watching all the people that were out running, etc. (He’s a triathlete, and the only one of all of my ex’s friends that makes a concerted effort to stay in touch with me.)   To me, he is a true friend.

This afternoon, I’ll be volunteering at the number pickup for the 5K I’m running tomorrow, called An Ras Mor, which is run by my running group, the Somerville Road Runners. There are definitely some super fast people in the club (the track coach ran in a Masters race recently, and did the mile in, oh…4 minutes and something like 41 seconds. We all know Masters are over 40, right?  That’s freaking amazing.)

One of my friends emailed me after my post the other day, and said she was learning about anti-depressants and how they work, from my blog. I was glad to hear that, as I do hope that my words can clear up a lot of misconceptions about them, some of which I used to hold.  They are not what people might think are “happy pills.”  It’s not like you immediately feel no pain or sadness in your life just because you are taking them. But they can help on a day like I had Thursday, where I definitely felt more down than normal. 

Whereas last summer (when I was very sad, confused, not knowing which way was up or down), a day like that would have sent me into a tailspin, and I’d not be able to focus on much other than what was making me sad, on Thursday that was not the case.  I knew why I was feeling down, and I also knew it was something I could work through. I knew that I might not be able to get rid of those thoughts that day, but I knew the next day could be better, and Friday definitely was. It helped to just be able to look at the day for what it was, and know it was temporary.

 I also reminded myself of how few and far in between those days have become for me.  Last summer, I never would have thought that was possible.  Back then, my friend and officemate told me of someone she knew who had been through a divorce, and that she’d said she was much happier than even a year before. I remember thinking at the time, “wow, I wish that could be the case for me, but right now, I just don’t see the road to get there. I don’t know which route to take.”

I will also say that it helps to have people to talk to.  Having somone who is paid to talk to you, and be objective, and point out when your thoughts are going down the depressed route, is definitely worth the co-pay I pay every week. Having really good friends who don’t judge you also helps, more than you will ever know. I’ve kept a lot of my old friends and have met many new  ones. Many of them are younger than I am, and at first I felt like they must think I’m immature, or weird, or something like that, but not anymore. I realize that in many ways, I’m in some of the same life stages that they are.  We’re all still trying to figure out our lives. It’s not like you hit a certain age, and a light goes on in your mind and you suddenly have everything figured out. (Wouldn’t it be nice if that were the case? Frankly, I think it’d be boring.)

So, one of my new friends has introduced me to the world of indoor climbing, or rather, I should say, planted the seed in my mind.  I went to an Intro class last night, and it was a lot of fun. I definitely realize I have a problem tying knots the correct way (I’m a visual learner, so I had to do it over and over) but today I keep playing it over and over in my mind, so I think I’ve got the idea down. Now if only I had some rope to play with!)  So yeah, my group of 3 didn’t get as many climbs up the wall as others might have, I felt bad about that. They just kept telling me that they didn’t mind, and they wanted to be safe up there anyway, so it was ok to take time and make sure everything was done properly.

Even though I am afraid of heights, I found that as long as I didn’t look all around the room when I was on the top of the wall, and just focused on what was in front of me, it was ok. (Seriously, people, when I’m standing on the 4th floor of a stairwell, I get scared looking down.) But last night was definitely ok, and it was kind of liberating the first time I climbed up. I knew I had someone really qualified standing below me, who was not going to let anything happen to me, and I liked the fact that I seemed able to scale the wall pretty easily.  (Now I know which shoulder muscles I need to work on.)  Some people said “yep, she’ll just spidey up the wall” to refer to me, and that was a nice ego-boost. I think it’s probably because I’m small that it may be easier for me than for others. That and I’d say all the running and more recently, strength work on my arms, that helped a lot. (Hey, people even clapped for me after my first time up the wall, and no one else got applause!) What can I say,we were a bunch of beginner nerds/dorks :-)

I will say one thing I liked about it was that you have to strategize ahead, and in the moment, as to where you are putting your hands and feet, and be able to readjust if a move doesn’t work out the way you planned. I also liked the fact that you work in pairs (usually but not always because this gym has some automatic belays in case you are on your own) and that you need to watch out for each other. I can imagine, being outdoors, the stakes are much higher so you’d definitely have to have a lot of confidence and faith in your partner.  (Read: your face could become “one” with a rock.  So not pretty.)  

I think it can also be an activity that is confidence boosting, and not always just from the climbing standpoint.  They had me belay a guy who was easily 70-80 pounds heavier than me, and she had him intentionally fall a few times, without telling me he was going to, and I caught him with no problem. (Of course I was anchored into the ground.)  And the instructor kept saying “she’s so light!” which definitely felt good to hear.  It was cool to know I could have a partner that much larger than me, and believe me, he was kind of spastic with the falls (not sure if it was on purpose or not), but to have the confidence in myself that I could take care of him.

Oh, and the culture of the people there – they all seemed super chill. The guy in our group was all upset because people were late, and I just wanted to say “dude, RELAX. This is supposed to be a fun thing, not something to get all worked up about!” (What a change in attitude from my law school days. Still blows my mind I was like that at some point in my life.)

Anyway, I considered the day a success, as I think today will be too. Volunteering and meeting a very good friend for Thai food for dinner. Of course, it’s Thai food. That’s my go-to food before a race, even though it’s a short race!

I’ve got my goals for tomorrow, pace-wise, I’ll let you know if I reach them, afterward.  Just want to enjoy myself and see how all the strength training, inner growth, and confidence-building can come together at one time.  If a negative thought comes into my mind, I’ll just remind myself “Girl, you did an ELEVEN minute plank on one foot. You can DO THIS!”

:-)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.