Dreary = Lazy

What is it about dreary days that automatically make you lazy?  And moody?  And irritable?  Living in the Seattle Metro area, this can be very debilitating and lead to piles of laundry, days without working out, and a bad mood I can’t blame on my period.  I prefer to save up my moody days for my cycle.  I’m afraid my husband will leave me if I’m moody the other 4 days of the month I don’t blame it on my period.

I woke up yesterday and it was dreary and cold and rainy, and that’s also pretty much how my day felt.  I had no reason to feel this way besides I looked outside and the weather was basically flipping me off.  It’s like it knew I had plans to get a bunch of stuff done around the house and that I hadn’t worked out in many days and it said, “Add one more day, Toots!”  I wanted to flip it off right back and get a bunch of things done and go sweat it out for 2 hours at the gym.  That would show it!  I ended up on the computer most of the day, talked on the phone with a couple of girlfriends, and barely picked up the house before I had to get the kids.

Today I got up and the sun was peering through the clouds and I was immediately rejuvenated (probably also had something to do with the nine and a half hours of sleep I got), but I prefer to think that the weather felt bad for its apparent lack of respect for me, my mood, my ambition, my husband’s sanity, and my parenting abilities that also seem to diminish when it’s crappy out.  Today I made my juice, hummed while I made the 3 rounds of waffles and 3 bags of lunch, and didn’t yell at my kids once!  I’m also about ready to head to the gym.  Yes, today will be marvelous.

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So now that I sit here and ponder the weather’s bizarre control over me, I immediately am frustrated.  I am the type of person who will chant to my friends and family when they’re having a bad day, or year, “You make your own happiness.”  And I truly do believe this.  So why, will someone with this mentality, allow the weather to dictate the type of day, wife, mother, and all around productive person I am going to be?  Why am I to be controlled by the weather that is clearly attempting to taunt, rule, and decide how my day will go??

I’m done being controlled, weather.  You can blow all the wind, pine needles, rain and hail you want because, one, after I get done posting this I’m heading to the gym (and I don’t care that you made the sun go behind those now questionable clouds as I rant about you), and two, my husband will totally clean all those pine needles out of the gutter and sweep the driveway and walkways, so again, you have no control over me.

Now, if I can just somehow tell my menstrual cycle, period, the 10 days leading up to my period, and the 10 days after that it takes to recover from my period, that they don’t rule me either, I would be eternally grateful.  Okay, my husband would be eternally grateful.  And my house would be a lot cleaner.  And my kids would probably smile more.  And my dog would stop hiding from me when he has this 6th sense of what’s happening.  I can’t be expected to be responsible for all my moodiness, can I? I didn’t think so.

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Determination

Our 17-year old, Logan, is in his 4th year of cross country.  Cross country is the only sport he’s participated in throughout high school, which is absolutely fine by us.  We’ve always had the approach when it comes to our kids and activities that we just want them to participate in at least one during the year.  Our reasoning is primarily focused on keeping them out of trouble.  Being that they are my offspring, this is important.  Just trust me on that.  We also place importance on the social aspects of belonging to a group, whatever that group may be.  Yes we send our kids to school to learn, but it’s not just writing and grammar and math and textbooks.  School is just as important for teaching kids social norms, emotional ups and downs, and being a part of a group of people all gathering for a common reason.  What life lessons you get out of it will stay with you for a lifetime.  Good or bad.

Logan has developed some amazing friendships and hopefully a few lifelong bonds with his cross country teammates.  It’s provided him a social network that has gone beyond his cross country team.  It’s provided him valuable lessons and traits he will carry with him well into adulthood; self-discipline, determination, camaraderie, and going beyond what he thought his body was capable of.  Anyone who knows me knows that I consider running as a replacement to therapy.  Although some still think it should be in addition to.  So this being Logan’s last year of cross country, I am so happy and proud as a mom to see his growth, not only as a runner, but as a person.

Every year his school hosts a meet called The Twilight Invitational.  I honestly think this meet is one of the reasons why Logan loves cross country so much.  It’s actually an amazing event.  It takes place on a golf course, a 5K distance, ran on the golf course itself.  If you look across the greens on the day of the meet you see 60-plus schools’ tents from all around the state pitched with their school name and mascot stretched across the front, hundreds of runners all decked out in their school colors scattered about, and parents and supporters of all kinds wandering the landscape taking in this marvelous event for all to enjoy.  Some take it a little more seriously than others.

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If you haven’t been to a cross country meet before, it’s important to realize you only see your runner for a few moments at different times throughout the course.  You don’t sit in a bleacher as a spectator — you move around to catch a glimpse of your runner at pivotal points throughout the course.  Being a 4-year veteran of the Twilight Invitational, I know exactly where to go to plant my position to begin videoing when I expect to see Logan appear.  Considering my glimpse is usually through a video camera, I don’t absorb much of what is going on except for capturing Logan as he goes by.  I just concentrate on filming and screaming Logan’s name as he runs by and tell him how amazing he is by chanting, “Go Logan!  Woohoo!!”

This particular meet I did see Logan from about 500 to 600 yards away as I was scanning the distance for where he was, throw an object into the air to the sidelines as someone caught it as he was running by.  I briefly thought to myself, “What in the heck is he throwing?”  After another half mile or so I see Logan coming up the hill.  I am predictable as usual with my phone out videoing him as he runs by not paying attention to much else.  Go Logan!

It was not until after the race did I see Logan walking away from the finish line, clearly not happy with his time (although his time was beyond anything I could obtain even on my best day running), holding one shoe in his hand.  My initial thought was he took it off after the race for whatever reason he had — too hot, his foot hurt, a rock was in his shoe.  It was not until hours later did I find out that his shoe came untied during the first half-mile.  Instead of stopping to tie it, or worse, stopping the race completely, Logan decided to take the shoe off mid-stride, and carry it for another quarter a mile and throwing it to the first teammate he recognized on the sideline the first chance he got, and finished the rest of the race with only one shoe.

I looked through all my footage of the pivotal moments of Logan’s race that I had, and sure enough, he had one shoe on the entire time.  Knowing he kept going with only one shoe, knowing how determined he was to PR during this race, knowing how much he looked forward to this race each year, seeing all the things I hoped his connection with cross country would accomplish, they were all displayed during this 3.1 mile run; self-discipline, determination, camaraderie, and going beyond what he thought his body was capable of.

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The First Step is Admitting it…

I’m not afraid to admit it.  I’m not afraid to say it.  I am proud of this part of my life.   I may even talk about it on Facebook.  I will occasionally upload a someecard about it (gasp!).  But not everyone shares my enthusiasm.  Some even make fun of me for it.  Try to make me feel ashamed.  But I refuse.  My name is Mollye Taylor and I like to work out.

There I said it!  It’s not so bad.  There’s nothing shameful about it.  My name is Mollye Taylor and I like to work out.  Man that feels good to say.  I like to workout.  Yes, it’s true.  I like how it makes me feel.  No I don’t always like how I feel during.  I think there’s this misnomer from those who don’t like to workout, or have tried it only a couple of times, that those who do work out think it feels amazing.  I mean all the Nike commercials tell us we will.  Aerobics video infomercials tell us we will not only feel amazing, but we will look amazing.  And it will only take 6 weeks and we will have 3% body fat and a six pack.  Well I’ve been working out most of my adult life and I’m here to tell you, I do not have a chiseled six pack.  I mean it may be in there, but it’s hidden under my stretched out skin.  Thanks, kids.

No, it’s not always pleasant.  And there are days when the last thing I want to do is run 4 miles or sweat it out on an elliptical machine for 30 minutes.  It sucks when you’re exhausted from being a mom, wife, career woman, chauffeur, blah, blah, blah – we all have a zillion reasons why we’re tired every day.  Actually exhausted.  I’ve recently made it a goal to stop saying how exhausted I am all the time.  Even though I am.  Right now.  I’m exhausted.  But I still take my tired, exhausted ass to the gym, or hit the pavement, for a run.  You want to know why?  Because I like to work out.

I’m not writing this to convince someone to work out.  Although that would be a bonus!  I’m writing it as an attempt to erase the stigma that sometimes surrounds those who do work out.   Not everyone enjoys punishing themselves for hours each day.  I don’t.  I do have several friends who will run for hours each day and love it.  I consider that punishment.  I’ve ran 4 half marathons and I don’t recall one day where I ran more than 10 miles that I didn’t dread doing it beforehand.  I dreaded it up until I finished.  Nothing can quite compare to a “runner’s high”.  Yes, there’s such a thing.  And it’s exhilarating.

So what I’m trying to say is, not everyone who works out loves every second of it.  It can suck.  It does suck.  It hurts.  You sweat.  But you feel so good for doing it.  There’s a saying that sums it up perfectly as to why I love it (and trust me I have a ton of sayings), “Sweat is weakness leaving the body.”

It’s true.

Moe Running