Dear Former Gym Teacher

Dear Former Gym Teacher,

So on Sunday, I set out for my scheduled long run.  It started out rough as it was staying darker longer and I was trying to get out earlier to beat the heat.  Well after about 30 minutes of tossing and turning and fighting those inner demons in my head, I managed to pull myself out of bed and get ready.

As usual when it comes to my long runs, I tossed around different routes in my head and which way did I want to go today.  Down the paved trail where I would find rolling hill after rolling hill, or did I want to go through the park, where it was mostly flat, however I would have to circle passed my parked car at some point?  I ended up choosing the paved trail so I wouldn’t have to go passed my parked car and be tempted to call it good.

I’m sure dear former gym teacher, you would be so proud, I chose to go the path less traveled and “most difficult” in my mind.  So my run started out like any of my other runs despite the fact that it was already warm and a little too balmy outside.

Dear former gym teacher, you have to understand that on my long runs, my thoughts range greatly.  Most of the time, it is with great ideas and things I want to do.  Today it was a little different.  My thoughts went “dark” so to speak.  No I was not running in the dark for those that thought that.  I started thinking about growing up and being that “fat kid.”  I mean come on, I weighed 186 lbs in 6th grade (and you know, I haven’t even ever told my husband this).  I started thinking about when I did I start to feel self-conscious about myself and about my abilities or lack of abilities rather when it came to team sports and physical activity. When do I recall that I started to hate gym and physical activity?  I plodded along thinking and thinking and thinking.

It was you that made me learn to hate it and to dislike myself.  It was you that made me feel inadvertently self-conscious about myself and my body, even after I later on, became an athlete.  Definitely not a choice I made due to any encouragement from you that’s for sure.

I tracked it down to one particular instance.  ONE.  It only takes on time right?  This is it.

I headed to gym like any other day dear former gym teacher with my class and after our daily warm ups, we were instructed to go out and run two laps around the cinder track.  TWO.  For some, this may not seem like much, but for the 186lb 6th grader, who wore a size 20, this was a lot.  Yes, I get that your job is to instill good health, nutrition and fitness in our youngsters, but how you went about it in my case, was NOT helpful

So I remember taking off running to keep up with my classmates, because that’s what all kids do right?  Well about a quarter of the way around lap one, I, gasping for air had to stop and walk.  I felt defeated but I was determined to keep going, I remember thinking I could walk a bit then start running again.  I never saw myself different from others before, until this day.  So there I was having to stop and walk because I was gasping for air, when I heard you yell out my name along with a few others and sent us to time out by the football field posts.  Coming from the kid that had never gotten in trouble at school, to being reprimanded (in my mind), because I was too fat and couldn’t run 1/2 a mile without having to stop to walk like all of the other kids and your football players.  Really?  Did you try to come out and run with me, to ENCOURAGE me to keep going?  No.  Instead I had to sit there in time out, while other kids ran passed me, laughing, giving me “those” looks.  Yeah I knew they were talking about me (or at least in my mind with their actions they were)  I never held it against them, only you.  You were the one that called me out.  The shy and quiet kid.

Here, you put me in time out and I was sent home with a letter to my parents telling them all about it (and in my mind that your child is overweight and not good enough).  I dreaded having to take that letter home.  I was devastated and upset.  I was furious and in tears.  I remember handing that letter to my mom at bedtime and crying (yet again).  I had went all day postponing the inevitable task of announcing my sorryness as a child.  I remember my mom reading it and not saying a word.  She didn’t get mad at me.  She simply signed the paper and hugged me.  She loved me no matter what.  You on the other hand, dear former gym teacher, did not.

Not only did I have to bring that ridiculous piece of paper back to you signed, but I was reprimanded and had to run that 1/2 mile again WITHOUT walking while the other kids did something else.  I remember taking off on that nasty looking, old, beat up cinder track and running, slow this time, because I wasn’t having to “keep up” with anyone.  I cried the entire way around those two laps (without stopping yes).  I was gasping for air, my legs and knees hurt, my lungs and throat burned, face red I’m sure, but yes I did it.  Not because you had motivated me or encouraged me dear former gym teacher, but because I was FURIOUS and because if I didn’t make it, I would have to do it again another day.   I.  Hated.  You.

The time when I needed some encouragement and someone to SHOW me how to be healthy, you did not do that.  Instead you reprimanded me for something I couldn’t do.  I hated gym ever since.  Did you ever think to look that at home what I was dealing with?  The fact that my dad suffered from diabetes and was going on kidney dialysis?  The fact that I needed some guidance but my parents had too much going on with my dad’s health to help me.  Did you think about the long-term effects your choice of “fixing” the problem would do?  Did you think about how the kids would treat or see me after that?  Did you think about the fact that I needed help, and not being put in timeout?  Did you even know I was shy and quiet?  I got my feelings hurt easily back then?  Did you know because of you, I became aware of the fact that my dad was ashamed of my size?  No….

I.  Hated.  You.  It wasn’t for you that’s for sure, that I chose to go out for volleyball.  It was because of you that after middle school volleyball, I didn’t try out for high school volleyball, simply because there was a timed mile run and because of you, I was afraid.  Afraid of running.  Afraid of failure.  Afraid of being made fun of even despite the fact that I had a wonderful volleyball coach in middle school that encouraged me and knew I would try my best even when I made mistake after mistake and would have to run laps on the bleachers.  He saw that I would try even when I struggled.  I kept trying because he did not reprimand me and put me in time out.

It’s not because of you that I excelled at tennis during high school.  Instead, I had an amazing coach that made it fun and turned it into a game.  A coach that was patient and encouraging.  Not one to point out that I was still bigger than all of my friends, one that pointed out all of my strengths and what I had going for me.

It’s not because of you, that I later became a long distance runner and to this day have run numerous 5ks, six half marathons and one full marathon .  It’s.  Not.  Because.  Of.  You.

It’s because of you, that I was ashamed of myself growing up and afraid to go to gym.  I dreaded going to gym every day.  Even in high school when you were no longer my gym teacher.  The seed was planted.  I recall loving to play kick ball in grade school, but after THAT day in 6th grade.  No longer did I want to play any team sports or go to gym.

Dear former gym teacher, I hope that one day that this finds its way to you and that you take the time to read this and know, that’s it’s NOT due to you that I have learned to love running finally.  It was all of those other people and coaches in my life that encouraged me.  Please don’t take credit for something you didn’t do.  I no longer hate you, don’t get me wrong, but I still don’t like you.  There are far better ways to get someone to accomplish something especially a young mind, which you were put in charge of on a daily basis.  Life isn’t fair and kids are mean, I fully know this, BUT you are a teacher.  You were put in your job to help encourage young minds and shape them. You are put there to TEACH them.  Teach them to love themselves and each other, not to hate themselves and what they are.  Dear former gym teacher, I hope this finds its way to you and you learn that “tough love” doesn’t work all of the time.  Being a therapist, I know all about “tough love.”  It has a time and a place, once you get to know the person’s personality and if it’s appropriate for them.  Tough love isn’t for everyone.  Sometimes it can be more damaging than anything else.

Dear former gym teacher, it is because of you, I shed tears on Sunday’s run.  I shed tears because I recall how I felt just like it was yesterday.  I shed tears because I let you get to me like that.  I shed tears for all of the inner turmoil you caused throughout those years.

I have changed greatly since then.  I am no longer that shy and quiet kid.  I am a grown woman with kids of my own now and I will not let a teacher like you, do what you did, to my kids.  I am stronger and tougher than I used to be.  I am proud of what I have accomplished, all despite what you helped instill in me.  I am strong.  I am happy once again.  I run for myself.  I run for others.  I run to SHOW others that they can do anything they want to.  I, a former 186lb “fat kid,” am a MOTHERFREAKING.  RUNNER.  No thanks to you.

Warrior Dash both

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Sincerely,

Your former fat student

The Reality of Motherhood

So it has yet again, been awhile.  I set the goal to work more on my blog and within the first few days, your goal disintegrates.  POOF!  Just like that!  Just like trying to lose those “last 10lbs.”  Hmm….funny how that happens huh?

I’m sure every single one of you has had that happen.  Not the need of trying to lose those last 10 lbs, but starting something with the best of intentions and then life happens, you get sidetracked, you forget, you lose focus.  Whatever it maybe.  It just doesn’t become high on the priority list, especially when you have kids.

I mean with a ten-year old and a four-year old, who has time to think most of the time, let alone put it into words.  By the time I get them in bed and it’s quiet, I want to crash in bed.  Just ask my husband!  “Alone time” with my husband?  After the kids have gone to bed?  You mean I have to be sexy?!  What the what??!  HA!  Just give me my blankie and pillow!  Yes I am aware my husband may or may not read this and will probably be shaking his head, but I’m just being real here and I know I’m not the only one out there.  It’s not that we don’t want that time with them, but we do sooo much for our families, that when it’s time to crash, we just crash!

mom

 

Am I right or am I RIGHT?!?!

Who knew as a mother AND a wife so much of our time would be dictated by others? Nothing was ever mentioned about this in a book, in that Young World class that Mrs. Lesser (and we, as a class, had so much fun with her!), or for Heaven’s sake by our OWN mothers?  MA?!?!  Come on!  You were holding out on me!  Oh wait I know why!  Because we want revenge on our own kids!  AH HA!  I figured it out!

Heck I tell my own daughter, if she doesn’t have kids when she gets older, I will adopt some for her!  You know, just like you do animals!  Go down to the pound and pick out the right one!  That’s how it works right?!?  I mean it’s all about attempting to raise your kids right, not screw them up, teach them to be strong, independent individuals that are kind souls, do right in the world and help others as they can right?!  What’s a little payback to them for all that they “put us” through?!  Hardy Har Har!  Okay, seriously though I’m JUST KIDDING!  I know that’s not how one goes about it, and I know that kids aren’t for everyone, but I have to laugh and say what I know some of you are thinking.

Okay, so back where I started.  Got sidetracked again.  SQUIRREL!  HA!

So as busy mothers, we try to take on more tasks, or get this brilliant idea that we are going to do something new in our lives for US, but how do we fit that in?   How do we find the time to take care of those tiny little humans that we created, care and show affection to the love of our lives and then of course still take care of those furbabies that have been added to the family over the years that those little humans promised to feed and water so that “you don’t have to,” PLUS take care of the house and (GASP!), try to work outside of the home?!  Oh Lordy!  I mean come on those tiny little humans and the spouse want to eat every. Single. Night!  COME ON!  That’s a lot of commitment dude!

So where in all of that do we find time for ourselves and still manage to survive the day without taking someone’s head off?!  I mean it’s no wonder that one in FOUR middle-aged women take a prescription med for mental health!  (You can check out the article here.)  Oh yeah….we get up at the butt crack of dawn or we stay up til the butt crack of dawn.  Take your pick.  One or the other!  Or both, I mean who needs sleep anyway right?  Sleep is overrated anyway right?!?

This is where I take advantage of early mornings.  I get up, exercise and then head out to my oasis and get to work.

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I mean what mother doesn’t have SIPPY CUPS in their oasis?!  Or is littered with toys?!  It’s amazing at how much stuff I can get accomplished though at 6 am!  The world is yet to awaken (or at least at my house, husband, kids, OR animals for that matter), I mean I get out to my usual running location on my run days and the parking lot is filled right now with those bikers and fellow runners who are out trying beat the heat and humidity here in good ol’ Oklahoma.

I am the first one to tell you I am NOT a morning person.  I am not a night owl either.  I like my uninterrupted sleep of 8 hours just like everyone else, but let’s face it, once you become a mother, that doesn’t happen regularly!  Some nights its 4-5 hours of sleep, occasionally it’s 9 hours of sleep, but on average it’s more like 6-7 hours of sleep and then I’m doing good.  I don’t know what your average is, but that’s mine at least.  I would rather sacrifice a little bit of sleep and feel good about myself, all while feeling accomplished in my day.

Despite all the time though that I put into my family and making sure they are all happy and healthy, I seriously love them to pieces and wouldn’t trade them for the world.  They keep me sane (and drive me insane some days!) and grounded and love me regardless.

family time

 

What do you Super Moms do to make it through your day?

 

I want to know!

Kim 🙂

 

 

 

Rooster Day Run 15k

So I started this post back on the day of my race and then got sidetracked with other things, typically my full-time job and my family and basically not having enough hours in my day to do everything that I need and want to.  I think that is life in general though, don’t you agree?

So my race went better than I actually expected.  My unspoken goal was 90 minutes as I have only ever done one other 15k and it was while I was training for something else, so I was much better conditioned then I was coming into this.

This race actually took place on my “turf” if you want to call it that.  I always run out along this route.  Always some hill work involved and some good flat areas as well.  Plus not to mention I love the scenery!

So the race had a fairly late start compared to most races with a gun time of 8:30 am, which I think is mainly in part due to the fact this IS a family friendly race which I love.  I got to sleep in compared to most other races and get up at 7 am.  I had my usual whole wheat toast with PB, half of a banana and some honey.  This works perfect for me.  I good amount of complex carbs, protein and easy energy with the banana and honey.  Once I had my breakfast and got dressed, I headed to the race venue.  One of my favorite things to watch is the fun run.  I love being able to watch the kids and families take part in a healthy lifestyle together.  Plus I love watching the competitiveness of the little ones!  They melt my heart!

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After the fun run got underway, they got set up for the 5k and the 15k.  We were both starting together, which I kept having to remind myself in the beginning to pull back on the reigns as I kept wanting to stay up with those doing the 15k.  We looped around the park and then headed out towards NSU college grounds, which are absolutely gorgeous!  Somewhere around the NSU grounds is when a man came up and introduced himself as Mike.

I absolutely love the running community for the simple fact that everyone is typically friendly and will come up and just start talking.  This was Mike’s first run since his half marathon over a year ago.  His goal was under 90 minutes as well.  We chit chatted most of the way about our spouse’s and our kids and our “why” for running.  It’s so neat hearing everyone’s reason.  Along the way, he kept pointing out all of his B.A. Runner friends and even pointed out one that said he would give him $20 if he could pass him somewhere along the way.  Mike just chuckled and said he had to do this.  GAME ON!  Once we got onto the actual trail system where the hills start to take over, this is where I just look down and running becomes mechanical for me.  Right before the first big hill, we manage to come up to the gentleman that Mike said he had to pass.  Needless to say we did!

Hills are not enjoyable, but yet I find myself easily getting into a steady rhythm and pushing forward.  I began to pull away from Mike and he told me not to wait up and that he was going “to cry like a little girl up this hill.”  HA!  I just had to chuckle to myself and kept going.  Somewhere along the way after that first hill, Mike caught back up to me for a little bit before his running watched beeped at him, letting him know that his heart rate was too high so he kind of pulled back some.  We still have a few miles to go, so I pulled back some too as the sun was taking its toll on me and starting to get a little warm.  

I kept drinking more and more of my water and was getting towards the bottom of my bottle.  As we started up some more of the smaller hills, Mike slowed down and I just pushed forward.  The last mile was rough as you could see the finish line the whole way.  It was just pure torture as it was too hot for me at this point.

I felt like the ending was rather uneventful as I had pushed myself enough during the whole course that I had no umph to finish it off with.  I was happy to see though that I had beat my goal and even set an PR for my 15k time!

Another great year for the Rooster Day run!

13 days to go….

So after today, I only have 13 more days to go til my 15k at the Rooster Days run on May 2nd.  It’s been awhile since I have raced, November 23rd to be exact.  After my marathon, my drive to run was just shot.  I was burnt out to say the least and with all of a sudden change that happened in our life, I had little time and energy for it with selling a house and moving.

So now it’s back on and I have been running at least 3 times a week now for the last 4 weeks or so and it has been a struggle.  Not so much getting it done, but my speed is just not there like it was, but I will keep pushing because I know it will come back, I just need to get my lungs built back up.

So today I ran 8 miles and it went well, however the last half mile my right foot and arch started in with a stabbing pain.  Got home and took my usual bath post long run and then got ready for our afternoon out as a family.  I will still hobbling around some but not too bad.  Well we ended up going to the zoo and walked around for a good 3 hours and throughout that my foot just kept in with the sharp pain more and more.   So now I find myself sitting in my recliner with my feet propped up, Ibuprofen taken, frozen water bottle in hand (or under foot rather) and doing a few stretches here or there.  I’m pretty sure I know what it is and hoping it’s better by tomorrow.  If not, I may have to treat myself at work.  Perks of working at a physical therapy clinic I suppose.

Anyway, here is to feeling better tomorrow and getting prepped for my race!

 

Do you have any upcoming races?

I think I disappeared!

Wow!  Has it really been almost 3 months since I have posted?!!? HOLY COW!  Who knew taking a new job would suddenly render me out of commission on blogging.  Who knew that by adding ONE MORE hour to a normal work day, would leave someone so utterly tired with feet KILLING me that I would only come home, eat dinner with the family and zonk out as soon as the kids were in bed only to wake up and do it the very next day.

So if you remember from my last post back in February that I had taken a new job at an outpatient clinic.  Enjoyed it for the most part except the long days and the constant running around the clinic (I averaged over 10,000 steps a day just at the clinic alone!).  My husband was able to make his work schedule fit our family’s needs, however it grew to be more and more difficult.  He ended up losing his co-worker and friend at the end of February and life became chaotic from then on.  He would have to get up at the crack of dawn to get started so that in hopes our son wouldn’t have to spend the entire day at the sitter, however it didn’t always work out.  An overnight out-of-state trip here, several long, trying days there, selling a house, a week-long move since I was unable to take days off, potty training, and getting acclimated to a new house with a 8-year-old and a 2-year-old and completely new hours for school and work ALL while trying to learn a new job, someone just had another plan for our family.  We can say we tried, however it was just not meant to be.  So beginning May 11th, I am going back to my old job, so that I may have the flexibility in my schedule that my family needs.  No longer will I have to try to wake my cranky (now 3-year-old) up at the crack of dawn and get him up and functioning, fed, dressed and out the door, while dropping both him and my daughter off at school because she can no longer ride the bus from our new neighborhood.  No longer will I come home about 6:15 to find that my husband was doing his best to throw a meal together so that I wouldn’t have to do that after a 9+ hour day.  No longer will this momma only exist to her family, but she will be back on her feet (without them hurting or the sharp, shooting pains that come from the uncomfortable shoes I had to wear), enjoying time once again with her husband and kids like she should be.

 

Life isn’t all about making the money in life.  Life is about making ends meet and enjoying what you have in front of you.  As I eagerly count the days until my return back to my previous work family (whom I GREATLY missed), I will enjoy what I have learned thus far at my new job, be thankful for the new bonds I have formed  and the people who I have met, however my first priority is my family at home.  Our happiness and health is most important.

 

What have YOU been up to lately?

Happy New Year! Bring on 2015!

So one of my goals this year is to be more active on my blog.  I often think of things to write during the day, then when I get home and the chaos of kids hits and I hit writer’s block.  Doesn’t make for a successful blog let me tell ya!

Another thing I’m hoping to help change this year is the way fellow moms think.  Just recently I had a mom tell me that I was selfish of all things for spending so much time exercising and worrying about my health versus spending it with my family and taking care of my kids.  HELLO?!??!  How else is mom suppose to remain healthy?  Exercising is NOT being selfish especially as a mom.  I feel kids learn by their parents setting an example and how is it when mom is eating crap and not taking care of herself a good example for her children.  Here she is worrying about whether they eat their veggies and what not and then she “don’t have time” to do that for herself?  I call bullshit!   Excuse my language, but this is something I am very passionate about.

I’m pretty sure kids will grow up just fine and not to mention learn some independence in the process, if mom isn’t focused on them 100% of the time.  If kids get 100% of your time and effort, think of it as them learning to be selfish.  It is alright if you take 30-60 minutes of your day to focus on YOUR health.   Exercising is NOT about “being skinny” or “looking good.”  It’s about being HEALTHY and planting those seeds in your children so that they learn the value of making good decisions.

Not only will mom’s health improve from daily exercise, but so will her stress levels, her self esteem and her overall life/marriage.  As my friend says “happy mommas, make happier families!”  RIGHT ON!

In another recent conversation with a fellow mom who was worried about her health, however did not want to lose anytime with her babies.  What about when your health is suffering and you can’t truly enjoy your time with your kids 100% because you are in pain or discomfort or just uncomfortable in general?  How is that any better?  How is it any better that you spent ALL your time focused on your family and kids and then you are disabled or even worse gone at a young age because you didn’t spend the time to focus on you either?  Your kids and family NEED you even after they are grown.  Trust me, I know this from a fact.  Losing my dad at the age of 19 was devastating.  Granted it has been what makes me so passionate about health and wellness, but it also lead to many tears over the years of the things that I was deprived of.  Having my dad walk me down the aisle.  The support from him going through a divorce.  Knowing that my dad had met my husband.  The list goes on and on and I’m sure it’s not over with.

Take the time to work on your health. Please!  I beg all of you mom and even dads out there. It doesn’t have to be much.  Thirty minutes daily is all that is really required.  That is a fraction of your day.  Show your kids what it truly means to be healthy and lead by example.

Plant those seeds and stop thinking/feeling like your being selfish by focusing on your health this year.  Your whole families health depends on it.