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

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!

Ups and Downs and Fun Runs

So lots has been going on around our household.  I finally heard back from my ob/gyn about my lab results and ultrasound.  Lab came back okay, the ultrasound showed a small simple cyst inside my right ovary like the doctor was thinking.  I go back at the end of June for another ultrasound to check on the status of it.  So far the only issues I have been having, the birth control pill that the doctor put me on have fixed.  However it kind of stinks having to take something like that since after having Taylor I had my tubes tied.  I think my husband gets a good laugh at this every night!

Other than that, things have been going well!  Work has been fairly busy and Sofie has had a few more extra curricular activities with Girl Scouts and such.  They got to go a day camp for horses which I think the girls loved.  I know Sofie did!

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I also wanted to bring home this little guy, but my husband told me no….

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Now that you know what I have been busy with, I would also like to take a moment and talk about a fun run that is coming to our state that I have been wanting to do!  Run or Dye!  I have done the Color Run and earlier this year, my daughter and I got to do the Color Me Rad 5k.  Those are a lot of fun!  I love not having to worry about run times and PRs.  It’s all about having fun and getting friends and family involved and moving!

Run or Dye is coming to Oklahoma City July 26th at 9 a.m. at the Dead Woods Haunted Forest!!!  How cool is that?!?!   Run or Dye, is the world’s most colorful 5K.   Bring all your friends and run a color-blasted 5K, where you get showered in safe, eco-friendly, plant-based cornstarch dye every kilometer. Then enjoy our world-famous Dye Festival afterward, where you can Tie-Dye the Sky (not to mention all your friends!) in this ultimate celebration of life, friendship, fitness, and fun. Use the code: BLOGOKC to save another $5.  Don’t forget the code EXPIRES July 18th!  You can also form or  join a team and save another $5 for a total savings of $10!

Don’t worry, if you think you can’t do this, then THINK AGAIN!  Run or Dye is for absolutely everyone! Whether you’re a recovering couch potato or an avid marathon runner, you’ll love the atmosphere and experience at Run or Dye. You’re welcome to walk, run, dance, or skip your way to the finish line. And Run or Dye is family-friendly — kids 6 and under participate for FREE and do not require registration!  It will be so much fun and you better believe I’m going to be there with my whole family!

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Enter below for your chance to win two codes for free admission to Run or Dye in Oklahoma City on July 26th, 2014. Giveaway ends 7/6/2014 at 11:59pm. Winner will be sent the codes via email within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway.

Please join and Invite your friends/and fans to join our Facebook Run or Dye event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1417026548570050/?context=create&source=49

Disclaimer: We will receive compensation and admission to this event in exchange for this promotional post.

Links to RunOrDye

#RunOrDyeOKC

https://www.facebook.com/RunOrDye

https://twitter.com/RunorDye

https://plus.google.com/111656639231999978072

http://www.youtube.com/runordye

http://instagram.com/runordye

http://runordye.tumblr.com/

I hope to see you there!

When REAL Life Interrupts Plans

So all the highly productive and successful people say to “make lists.”  I got that down fo’ sho!  But what happens when that thing called Life throws a monkey wrench in your plans?  You keep on going and do the best that you can, that’s what!

So the last couple of weeks have been busy with work and preparing my daughter for her Rooster Day 5k Run here in Broken Arrow, OK while still prepping myself for my 3rd half marathon coming up June 7th all the while starting Focus T25.  I’ve dealt with a sick husband and a sick toddler.  Not fun, I must say!

As for the Rooster Day 5k with Sofie.  I was feeling iffy going into it.  She was determined to place in her age group, however all of her runs were hit or miss.  I just let it be as she is only 8 years old, but she can be so competitive at times, and as any parent you hate to see their heart-break.

In the car headed to the 5k, you could tell she was excited.  We hadn’t run since Tuesday before with all of her extracurricular activities and my work schedule just left me drained, but we were determined to have fun.  We were the “Pink Divas” after all (her name choice not mine!  HA!).

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While we were in the small corral area waiting for the gun to go off.  She ran with this wand the whole time.  Lots of people were asking her if she had run before or if she was a runner.  I tell you this girl did NOT inherit her momma’s body!  She is long and lean with this mile long legs.  She puts on her running attire and she looks every bit of what most people in vision a runner to look like.  #jealousofherlegs My little brown-eyed beauty!  <3

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She may not have got her momma’s pale skin, or blue eyes, but she got every bit of my stubbornness and determination!  No wonder we butt heads on many occasions!  Pre-race photo!

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Post race picture!  Starting to get dark, so I apologize for the bad picture.  Super proud of her here.  She kept to herself the whole race.  Wouldn’t talk to me much.  Every time I looked at her to see how she was doing, she was in her “zone.”  She was focusing on her breathing.  I would ask her how she was doing and she would nod and tell me “good.”  She knew we had to push the pace if she wanted to pace, but I never told her how fast we were running compared to all of her training runs.  Every time we came up to another little girl or boy near her age, she would tell me we had to pass them.  This bolt of lightning came in 2nd place in her age group with 29:53.  Her and the first place girl were neck and neck the last 200 feet or so.  Super proud of her!  She is already asking when can we run again!  Hmm…sounds familiar…. 🙂

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Her with her very first medal!

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In between all of this and T25, I have been battling some health issues.  I won’t go into great detail, but will leave it as something only females will have to deal with.  But I have been having issues the last ~4-5 months.  First doctor I mentioned it too a couple of months of go, said it was no big deal, but this nagging thought in the back of my head told me to go see my primary care or my ob/gyn.  Well I went in last Thursday.  Got some blood drawn and examined and sent for further testing which I had today.  I’m not sure yet what any of it is, other than I “have something on my right ovary.”  So I had an ultrasound done today.  Granted she told me that in most cases that it’s a cyst, that still doesn’t eliminate the possibility of having to have surgery or more.  I’ve been trying to stay focused on my training and my family’s health and as always thinking positive.   I won’t say emotionally but I know mentally, my states have been all over the place between the positive mini talks and deep, inner focus.  Not sure how to describe it.  Lost in my thoughts and “zoned out” is the best way I can describe it.

As of right now, I know absolutely nothing other than even though I had a tubal ligation after having my son, I find myself now back on birth control pills trying to regulate hormones and decrease risk of cysts (if that is in fact what it is).  So if you find me quiet on here or on my Facebook page, this is most probably why.

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend with my 3 favorite people and yes I made sure to call my momma and even my mother in law to wish them Happy Mother’s Day as well.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers til we figure out what this is exactly.