Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Heart to Heart

Within 15 seconds of dropping the big, heavy umbrella base on my toes, I already was 1)nauseous bc of the blood I saw, 2)mad I wouldn't be able to wear my new boots that night, and 3)devastated that I wouldn't be able to run 8 days later in the Manhattan Beach 10k, the only 10k I'm absolutely committed to running in for the rest of my life. I let the injury run it's course and endured the pain (yes, it was painful even if it only was a toe or two) but couldn't squash the desire to run that dang 10k.

After reaching out for some tips to FB- which produced no sympathy-, I got the buoying up I needed to commit to the run. So Saturday morning I got up bright and early, loaded up on the IB, wrapped those toesie wosies, and headed out to run for the first time in almost two weeks. The toes were numb enough when the race started and really only caused minimal discomfort. Turns out, they were the least of my concerns. My movement was all stiff from lack of activity. I kinda felt like a running mummy. My body was out of sorts- I kept breaking out in cold sweats, wondering, " I going to pass out?" So I walked. And then I ran again wondering, " I going to throw up?" My thought was right in sync with the man behind me bc in that instant he started barfing....right in stride with his running. Didn't even slow down, never missed a beat. I was shocked that people really do that. I've heard of people doing it and once a trainer even suggested that I run until I throw up. Uhhh....PASS. But never did I know people really did this. I learned that they do. Must be a special breed because I don't like pain or discomfort. Which is why you found me rolling around on the ground, writhing in pain for one FULL hour after breaking my toe. My husband was no where to be found, my personal nurse/Kady did the best she could over the phone after I literally crawled upstairs to call her, and my lifeline/Christy finally bailed me and the babies out 45 into the trauma. So no, I would not be passing out or throwing up to make it through this run even if I wanted to.

It never got that extreme and I finished, giving it my all. I crossed the finish line where Kady was waiting for me and all I could do was fall to the side and say, "I just wanna cry." Because I was physically wasted and to be honest, I was disappointed in my time. It was a respectable time. 54:37. But all that effort and pain and it produced what I considered to be only a decent time. Only decent because it wasn't my best ever time? Or because it wasn't the time I wouldn't have gotten if I hadn't been hurt? I don't know but it stung.

Now as much as I'm sure you all just loved hearing my sob story, I come with a point. That I'm a grown adult with 31 years under my belt and I struggled with accepting that my best isn't always the best. My self-confidence, self-worth, self-esteem, self-{fill in the blank} took a temporary blow. And I didn't even have anything riding on that run. In fact, I really didn't even think I was going to be able to run it.

The couple days following this little incident, I got to thinking. Because I'm a thinker and a self-conversator. And I mulled around these happenings in my head trying to pinpoint what was really bothering me. And all this thinking brought me to kids, to youth, to those formative years. And I felt my little heart having small pangs of momentary break as I realized the gravity of what we as parents, teachers, and mentors ask of them- the same thing that I had momentarily failed at.

The pressure they face, both external and internal, is present even at the tender age of 5 and 6. Life gives us only a small grace period from feeling those pressures and theirs has already expired. They're now onto character building reality. Hence the inundation of hammering into them to do their best and be proud of it. We're pushing the building of character versus social acceptance. We're doing our absolute best to ingrain in them a love for self and a confidence that comes within. And that realization is what really tugged on my heart strings...that we're asking them to love themselves. 
It's something I've spent a lot of time reflecting on lately- my own personal journey in this area of coming to love myself, especially the growth that has taken place these last couple of years. I couple that with the aspirations I have for my kids' journey and it brings mixed emotion. 
Because I know the reality of that journey, and believe me, a journey it is. Getting a glimpse of what it feels like to love myself more completely has left me with a desire that is alive and wild to give that self-love to my children. But the only way I can give it to them.... is by allowing them a lot of heartache and allowing them to take their own many falls, and in so doing gaining the tools to love themselves in the face of so-called failure, hurt and defeat. This produces something they will have earned and can call their own and become the possessor of this confidence and self-worth.
While I believe 100% in the process, it's a tough one and takes a lot of courage to stand by and allow our young ones to start on the path at such an early age.

My own personal fall didn't last long. I'm the bounce back girl and within 24 hours my ego was all mended, my pride was stuffed down deep into my back pocket again, and I recognized triumph. I fought against instinctual human nature and took out the "buts" and "should of's"- and was ready to genuinely be proud.

In my personal opinion, indisputable self-confidence is one of the major keys to success and happiness. Yet, it's one I've struggled with. But I so desperately want to help my kids instill this deep inside their souls. So, spill the beans. What's the secrets, how's it done? It really does take a village.....


  1. So, I've been meaning to comment on a few of your posts, but I've been sorta shy. Anyway, what I love about your blog is that it makes me think about things in a different way. You write with intent and meaning and it's refreshing, and genuine. I know you asked for advice on this, but my son is just 16 months and I haven't got past trying to teach him to climb on the couch...BUT, seems like your kids will do just fine since you're setting the example. The fact that you even think about these things is half the battle, right?

    {I'm R. Cowan's sister BTW} :)

  2. I think you touched on an important point - that at 5 or 6 this journey has already begun. Allowing them smaller heartaches at a younger age hopefully spares them a little later or at least prepares them with how to deal with it as they get older. We all know that stresses and trials just get bigger and how we handle it determines what kind of person we are. Your kids are lucky to have such an intentional mom. I count myself lucky to have you in my village and be part of yours as well.


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