Tending

As I have been on this journey of motherhood for the past five months I’ve had a lot of time to think about things I wanted to share.  However the thoughts in my head as I’m doing laundry, nursing June or at work don’t equal out to time it would take to actually put pen to paper. The time spent on those things that are most important trumped the time that I would have spent getting those thoughts down. But now I think I have a routine and some tools in my toolbelt that will allow me to share these things.

One of the best books that I have read recently has been The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner (I also have a N. middle initial and love she always uses hers as well!). This book was queued up in my kindle long before June arrived, however it was not the right time for me to read it. I love it when God has a plan even down to the timing of when we read a particular book. The Cliff Notes version of this book is essentially a way for women in particular to grasp the most out of the little moments that pass by in life. It’s not necessarily multitasking but being more intentional with those moments in time that are somewhat wasted because we are scrolling on our phone or aimlessly doing things that are inconsequential. Since finishing her book I have read more books and accomplished more things than I thought possible with a newborn at home EVEN after returning to work.

So with that said I have realized that this space is something I want to tend to. I know that writing is very cathartic for me through all that I’ve experienced over the past year.  I feel that this is something I need to do. I realized in looking back that through the encouragement of my counselor and even my chiropractor that this space is important and healing for me and need not be neglected. Even if it’s a discipline for me as time can be hard to carve out to tend to this. But that’s just it…tending is a daily effort–not something done all at once.  You don’t magically go out once or even once a week to your garden and magically have a harvest–it takes small bursts of time and effort–along with some large bursts! And I’ve learned to use the tools necessary–I may be sitting here right now dictating most of this post via voice-to-text on my phone (ps-this is a new/nursing mama’s BFF!).

So with that I am hoping to share (at least) weekly on a combination of faith, parenthood, wellness, community and practical tips I’ve learned along the way as an encouragement to all those who may find their way to this place. I’m finding my niche in the intersectionality of all of those things and I want to share what I have learned as well as hear from you on your tips advice and wisdom on all of those same things. The past 5 months (and let’s face it–year) has been challenging and isolating at times but it’s also allowed me to really determine what I’m made of and how to best steward the time and resources I have on those things that are life-giving to me and necessary in the multiple identities that I hold.

And let’s face it, there’s bound to be some cute pictures of our sweet June Parker from time to time.

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Summer.

The days of June are slipping between my fingers. Life is taking some drastic, exciting and unknown turns. Summer which started so slowly, so calmly is now like the roaring Ocoee.

Y’all, I’m tired. It’s been a very busy season.

So what’s my resolve? Is your season busy as well? Here is my reality over the past week or so. At first I tried to fight it.  Then, I had an a-ha. And ya know what? I’m settling in to this rhythm and my, oh my…

Taking it down a notch. Watching movies in the evening and sleeping in later than usual. Giving myself grace that I’m not getting in my needed quiet time every morning because my body is screaming for another hour of rest. Snaging a few sets of jumping rope or a few kettlebell swings in between home chores versus a 30 minute walk or run. Making a habit to take a relaxing bath and go to bed with semi-wet hair once a week. No one really cares nearly as much as I do what my hair looks like anyway. Implementing a casual day once a week within company dress code guidelines. One day where you wear a skirt or a maxi dress that honestly feels like you’re wearing pajamas. This, my friends, is summer.

Like I mentioned, life is about to pick up. I know I can’t control it. But I can certainly control sitting in the silence, smelling the aroma of fresh flowers from the market, sipping my iced coffee after work reading a book.

summa summa2

Does this mean I’m lazy? Heck no! I’m being super productive at work, knocking some of my #SuperSummer challenge items each day, tracking my clean eating journey, drinking water and moving. I’m just giving myself grace in that I’m in a season and know that one is coming up that I am going to need the extra rest-fuel I’m saving up. Just like bears go into hibernation in the winter, I feel I’m in a hibernation stage. I’m getting myself into the right frame of mind to attack the next season with continued intention, purpose and focus. All the while watching a movie and sleeping in every once and a while.

xoxo,

Faith

Need some accountability for something like this in your life? Check out my girl Krissie at Committed Coaching.  She’s got an amazing offering in July coming up that might be right up your ally!  

#SuperSummer Update 1

So I’m 10 days into #SuperSummer and like anything else, it’s been a roller coaster of sorts. I woke up on Saturday, June 1st around 6am (after my goal of a 5am wake time) to my wake-up light birds chirping and the beau standing across the room turning that alarm off.  Apparently he tried to wake me at 5 saying “alright, who’s ready to earn some points?” and I wasn’t having any of it. Funny thing is, I never even heard him.  Needless to say, May was exhausting.

The rest of that weekend however and even the first few days into the week, I was rocking some points. It was a game–like a live video game (I don’t even like video games) but I was winning this one. Water the flowers? POINTS! Do a 5 minute habit workout while the frittata’s cooking? POINTS! Eat Breakfast (hello, frittata!)?  POINTS! Drive to Lexington or work in silence? POINTS! 5 minute stretch while catching up on all un-read blogs?  DOUBLE POINTS!!  I was loving it.

Then the upswing of all the points came crashing down. It didn’t crash and burn, just a little reality set in. I had a great Google Hangout chat with my accountability pals which was really encouraging (Thanks!)  I need to re-evaluate some of my points. My theory going in was that I wanted to have as many options as possible to earn points. Why not? Why only set 5 goals for each point category when I could set 10. Reflecting on some recent conversations however, I’m reminded that I have a tendency when it comes to goal setting to go big. Like really, really, pseudo-unattainable big. And that’s exactly what happened.

I’m WAY over on the amount of Mind points I should have gotten in a week and right on target (according to the numbers) for Body points.  However, most of my body points came from things that didn’t necessarily make me sweat.

So here’s my plan moving forward in week 2?

  • Think. Take some time to really think about the goals I set and if they match their assigned point value.
  • Adjust.  Change some goals. Cut some out. Simplify. It’s allowed.
  • Balance. Integrate a goal of trying to find balance with Body and Mind points. One should not have be just shy of 1000 Body points in one week yet well over 2000 mind points. Perhaps I’ll give myself bonus points if my body and mind points are within a certain value of one another each day and each week. Any other #SuperSummer folks have thoughts?
  • Sweat.  Sweat daily. I must increase my activity. My body goals are valid pursuits, but I need to move. To sweat. To be sore.
  • Grace.   Give myself grace. This is a 3 month/100 day challenge for a reason.  I’m not going to learn all I’m hoping to, make all the changes I need to in 1 week.

Take care and be well!

faithfulness and balance

As the semester comes to a close for me, I’m constantly thinking and reflecting about what went well, what things to change next semester or next spring and how to maximize my summer time. Believe you me, all educators know that you blink and suddenly you’re turning your calendar to August 1 and few of the items on your “summer list” have been checked off.

balance

This semester was incredibly fast. There were some challenging days.  But it was also very good. It seemed as if once a month I was traveling or doing something outside the responsibilities of my job. I was very fortunate to attend a StrengthsQuest Intensive at my alma matter in February and have been brainstorming on how to incorporate this with students. In March, I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as the Volunteer Coordinator for RunTheBluegrass–the half-marathon held at Keeneland in Lexington, KY. This was the bucket-list half-marathon I ran last spring and although life threw some curve balls to my training, I still wanted to be involved and absolutely loved this experience. With 4000 runners, approximately 6000 guests at Keeneland and 200 volunteers, I definitely learned a lot about large-scale event planning. Definitely threw me back to New Student Orientation and Check-In energy and although I was exhausted, it was so worth it! April brought my class trip and graduation for Leadership Scott County and the end of the semester which is quite busy in and of itself. My interns made their final presentations, seniors prepare to don their cap and gown and I recall all the things that haven’t been confirmed before students or faculty duck out for summer. (Photo credit: ★ jox via photo pin cc)

May. One of my favorite months for a multitude of reasons. The biggest is that it brings a different pace to my life. Through all the busy-ness this season brought my way, I was still trying to do my best in all my goal areas for 2013. It’s hard to believe that it’s May and I still haven’t really posted a true overview for my yearly goals.  I’ve been chucking away at them, remaining silent in this space for a variety of reasons.

faithfulness

In April, I worked with a friend who is also starting her business as a running/wellness coach.  We looked at some goals, what things I feel need to be in place to make me happy. Many of our coaching sessions were over a run at West Sixth. The last week I’ve been reflecting on our last conversation. I’ve always been the type to have these huge goals. I know deep down that goals are to be attainable, and in my mind, they have been. However, I find myself disappointed at my self-discipline in actually attaining said goals.  Over the weekend, I spent a little extra quiet time fueling my soul with reflections in my journal entries over the past few months and preparing for the summer session of HelloMornings (a fantastic way to build accountability for morning quiet time, movement and planning). I re-read the e-book that HelloMornings was built off of, Maximize Your Morningsand something that the author Kat Lee said, jumped off the page for me.  (Photo credit: Perfesser via photo pin cc)

It’s about faithfulness and balance, not about perfection.

Talk about being stopped in your tracks. Whether it’s practicing a morning routine, or eating clean, or staying committed to a running plan–

faithfulness.

balance.

Two things I strive for in my daily life, but had been failing at miserably for months.

That’s my goal for May. Be faithful in what I do and what’s important to me. No check-sheets or lists. Just faithfulness to what I have on my plate each day.

My accountability is just to show up.

Let faithfulness guide the things I commit to and may they be fueling my calling and passions and God given talents.  That will bring balance to all things in my life.

Be well,

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My Refusal

I’m done making excuses, pretending, and dealing with life’s curve balls. I am going to love every ounce of my life if it kills me. This is my new motto.

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I’m refusing to let life get the best of me. I have a lot of best in here waiting to be unleashed.

Who’s with me?

Radically Responsible

There’s never a good time to make drastic changes to your life, right?  That’s what I keep hearing.  There’s always distractions, life curve balls and the “I’ll start on Monday” mentality that plagues some of us from time to time from really getting on the saddle and reaching our goals, whatever those may be.

I have some folks I’ve gotten to know through various means over the past 7 months of 2012 who have really encouraged me in so many ways to really take the bull by the horns and start doing those little things that will make a difference in my life.  Friends via Twitter and Facebook who are setting and attaining major goals like running a marathon or completing a triathlon.  Friends from Facebook groups who are living into their life’s purpose and aren’t afraid to share it.

Dream Journal

I think one thing I’m realizing though is that it’s difficult for me to focus on more than one “major” undertaking at a time.  For instance, when I was training for the Half-Marathon, I felt my life revolved around that training.  There were most definitely things in life that hit the back-burner.  Important things.  And the life happens (both the good and the challenging aspects) and the cycle begins again.

Now, I’m not saying that you can have it all (don’t even get me started on that topic), but I do believe there is a way to manage what you have or what you desire to have.  A better way than what I’ve been living out lately.

Our little family is about to experience quite a big change–the Beau is starting Nursing School in three weeks.  We have lots of things we want to do before he does that.  Things around our home.  Date nights.  Finishing the entire series of LOST (I know some of you out there cannot believe that I’m finally caving to watch it!).  We also have got to figure out how to manage it all.  I know I’m not the only one in this boat and that’s comforting.  It’s just hard at times to not feel that you’ve given up, you’ve loosened your grip on some goals and had to say no.  It’s that feeling of disappointing others, but also disappointing yourself.

Thankfully, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m ready to jump in the game-forget sitting on the sidelines seeing all the progress in health and life and business and family that these folks are making.  I want to be there too.  Now, it may  not happen completely tomorrow.  We’ve got to become accustomed to a few things with this new schedule and all that we’re hoping to complete in these 3 weeks.

I’m thankful to have seen this today.  It came at just the right time.  I’m ready.

“Choose to be radically responsible for who you are.” Danielle LaPorte

I must be responsible for me.  I’m the only one there is.  And I know that I’m meant  to be something greater than I have been–do something great in this one glorious life I’ve been granted.

Best,

Don’t bite off more than you can chew…

Training for a half marathon is tough stuff.

Training for a half marathon when you’re significantly overweight is really tough.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super stoked that I crossed that finish line.

However, there’s a bit of regret that I didn’t train quite like I’d hoped–I never really got a hydrating & fueling schedule down, I didn’t increase my speed like I’d hoped and I abandoned all other forms of physical activity in lieu of half training.

That’s both half-marathon training and half training for the half.  No morning gym session with the beau.  No Cardio Sculpt classes with work friends.  Barely getting in my training runs.

Last week was rough.  Like–really rough.  The beau and I had decided we would complete a Whole30 every quarter or so (January, April, & July, October).  Being out at a conference the week before and then just completely wiped after last Saturday’s race, there was no intentional meal planning or grocery shopping, so needless to say, our Whole30 plans for April started out as a complete failure.

We also have been talking about being more intentional with our budget and saving for a bigger vacation this summer as it’ll be the last one for a while (more on that to come), so we were going to also implement a no-spend April.

Last week also happened to be the last week of my lenten practice of saying no to that lovely thing called Java….

Let’s recap: Implement a Whole30 (no sugar, dairy or grain when we hadn’t meal planned or grocery shopped), no spending outside of groceries (which meant no meals out) and no coffee.

Looking back, I’m happy to see I simply survived last week at all!

About half way through the week we decided we just needed to give it a rest, and come up with a better plan before we could be successful.  Knowing we had a fairly low-key weekend, we had several great discussions about what needed to change, what our plan was going to be and how we could make some small changes to help us be successful on all accounts.

Biggest lesson–don’t bite off more than you can chew.  We were clearly over-zealous in our plans last week thinking we’d be on some sort of super-human high from the half-marathon that we’d be more than able to jump right on a Whole30.  Boy were we ever wrong.

Looking back, the half-marathon completion was a great feat to complete and check off my list.  But completing the half did not allow me to reach all my health goals.  I struggle (greatly) with scale and size issues (partly because I feel we as a society are so super infatuated with these things that do not really equal health–but that’s most definitely another blog for another day).  However, part of those health goals include for me do include becoming smaller and healthier to allow me to meet other goals with more success down the road (more half-marathons, perhaps a Tough Mudder, and hopefully one day, having babies).

I’m gonna get back on the blogging wagon this week (boy, have I missed you by the way) to share some of the techniques we have up our sleeve as a way to help us stay accountable. I hope that you’ll share your thoughts, tips and suggestions along the way.  This week (as many of my recent posts) will be about changes to make our lives more healthy, but in the long run, I’m looking for sustainable practices that will help every area of our life–from physical to financial, the renovation of our house, and the continual renovation of our souls.

Some of our techniques I’ll be sharing about:

  • Fuel In = Food = Eat Clean
  • Fuel Out = Movement = Do something (at least 1 thing) active each day
  • Recover = Sleep  = Down at 9pm &  Up at 5am
  • Internal Living = Balance for mind, body and soul
  • External Living = Clean yo’ house!

Best,

Run the Bluegrass

Swag and Medal!

When the beau and I were approaching turning 30 last year, we made our 30 before 30 list–you know that list of 30 things we wanted to accomplish before reaching that milestone age.  I’d love to be sitting here saying that we crossed everything off that list.  Unfortunately, we got the list down to 15 seeing that that would be more manageable, but that didn’t quite happen either.  I think at the time, I was really ashamed for not doing that and heaped guilt onto myself so much so I even deleted the posts around here that I had made about that list.  In the spirit of vulnerability, I’ll dig that out and re-post soon.  Perhaps now I should start working on my 40 before 40 list.  Haha…

Although there was a sense of grief for not getting that list completely checked off, the one thing that really haunted me was the half-marathon.  Deciding that I wouldn’t live in a state of regret, I vowed that I would at least finish it within my 30th year of life.  I’m very proud to say that this weekend, that happened. As you may have read in my intro to running post right after we started our training, running wasn’t just about getting healthy and completing a goal, but being the best steward of the life (and legs) that we have so graciously been given.

There was also this idea for me that completing this was a dream I’d always had, and I had to do something to make it happen.  Dreams are good, but they don’t get you anywhere most of the time unless you have some accountability.  Enter the deadline.

my push for the finish line

When first hearing about Run the Bluegrass, the Beau and I discussed it and decided to hop on board.  What a better way to finish our first marathon in our own town (okay–we claim Lexington as ours even though it’s not officially) and it was touted as being one of America’s prettiest Half-Marathons.  We signed up. We had no idea it was also going to be extraordinarily full of those rolling Kentucky hills.

We started training after our second 5K in November, registering at the early, early bird rate ensuring that if we had money on the line, we’d be more likely to train.  I looked up training plans and found one that was solely a running planning, jotted it all down in my Erin Condren planner and in December, we set to training.  We had about 17 weeks at that point.  We didn’t get in much running the week of Christmas due to being sick and the holidays, but overall, felt pretty good about our plan at the time.

Let me just state right here that training is rough.  Not only is training for a half-marathon tough regardless of your age, fitness level or experience, when you have quite a bit of weight on you that you need to shed, it’s even tougher.  More on that to come…

We did our best for what we knew how.  We stuck to our plan (for the most part) and thank the good lord above, got connected with LexRunLadies at the perfect time.  I was able to join on two group runs and even though my pace was much slower than all those other ladies (and gents) out there running, having a support community made such a difference in my training.  I’m so thankful that there are exciting training plans for the summer and into the fall already underway.

So March 31st came and although I had been on part of the course before with the ladies, it’s hard to really conceptualize what 13.1 miles is going to look like and more importantly feel like.

We picked up our packet the day before and were stoked to get our shirts and numbers.  It still seemed very surreal at that point.  I could not believe we were actual going to run a half-marathon.

Pre-Race Pic!

It could not have been a more perfect morning.  Temps starting out in the 50’s with it forecasted to be no warmer than 70.  It was sunny to start out, but ended up being very overcast all day, which was perfect.  We went to bed early the night before (per usual) and woke up at our usual (early) time.  We got our gear on and went out for a walk/run to warm up our legs.  We had lots of time before we had to be at the course, so we both read a bit and I got real sleepy.  That adrenaline picked back up though once we got in the car and was close to the course–seeing all the cars and taillights.

Man...it was early!

Getting to the course, we saw a few familiar faces, got a pic with the Ladies and shared a few hugs and met some fellow runners that I hadn’t even met yet from our group.  Krissie  as always was so encouraging and I was stoked to finally meet Lydia, a fellow first timer!  After seeing a few other friends from church who were running, we made our way to the starting line.  We continually moved toward the back, knowing that my emotional and mental state would be much better having fewer people passing me at the start.

Lex Run Ladies Runners and Volunteers

A few of the LRL Runners

I kept it slow and steady knowing some of the hills that were awaiting me and that I didn’t want to run out of steam too fast.  I don’t have a Garmin or anything super fancy to track my pace and time, but I felt like I was doing good.  Breathing was good.  Pace felt just right.  Right before getting to the first water station at around 2.75 miles, I met up with Abby and Daphne her dog wearing running shoes.  Abbi was the end.  The gal whom I later became to know as the sweeper.  She was to keep a 16 minute pace and be the last “runner” although she walked almost the entire way.  Those around me were mostly walking.  Several had started running, but after encountering the hills, quickly turned to a solid walk.  My short legs even at my standard running pace were barely keeping up with those walkers.

Not gonna lie.  I was discouraged.  I had started out saying I just wanted to finish this race.  Then I said I wanted to finish and not come in last (I know that someone has to come in last, I just did not want it to be me).  The week of, I said I wanted to finish in 3:30.  Knowing that before I had even gotten to mile 3, I was already with the “sweeper”–I was not feeling it. Why in the world had I signed up to do this?

Then I remembered what a dear friend & colleague shared with me earlier this week about our professional lives.  “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Let me state that again. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

From that point on, those six words rang through my mind over and over and over.  I kept a smile on my face thinking of all those folks I was running for.  Those who were on my mental list.  Those who had been encouraging me all week.  Those who had been my cheerleaders for the entire training period.   I had my phone on me and from time to time would take a look at the tweets and one fun text from a student encouraging me to press on.  No one was going to steal the joy that I was going to have at that finish line.

I kept trucking on, walking up hills and running fast down them and in the few straight stretches.  There was a nasty S-curve at one point that I just was over before even starting to walk it.  Then I remembered those who would have loved to have walked it but can’t.  “Suck it up Faith and walk up this nasty hill for them.”

There was nothing like seeing a crew of folks standing near the barn close to the finish and all of a sudden seeing neon signs being held up.  Then I recognized the Beau.  And then Krissie and Nathan with his ‘stache. 🙂 I saw Maria, my accountability partner.  Our friends from church.  Our small group family.  A baby stroller–little Grayson had made the trip too.  Let me just tell you, I could barely hold back the tears.

Best Smallies Evah!

Seeing those smiles and encouragement really pushed me across the finish line.   Maria joined me for the last stretch and it was so great to have her there and share in a really incredible moment.  Hearing the cheers from those strangers at the finish was amazing.  And having that medal placed around my neck was one of the proudest moments of my life.

We did it!

Let me state again–this course is very tough.  The part that I had not ran before was brutal.  I did not finish in 3:30.  I was not last–but not far beyond the last.  I actually didn’t even come in last in my age group, which honestly, I’m completely shocked by.

I am very proud.  I didn’t give up.  I stopped comparing myself to others and finished with a smile.  I’m excited about what’s next.  Have a few 5K’s and 10K’s on tap to really zone in my training and looking forward to a new perspective when I complete the Iron Horse Half in October.

Can’t wait to getting one of those 13.1 stickers for my car and (as Lydia said) recalling each time I see it just exactly what I’m capable of.  Tough to have a pity party for yourself with that on the back of your car.

Best,

10 Miles and more races?

I did something this weekend that I never thought I would do.

I didn’t even set out to do it on Saturday.

Run 10 miles.  10 miles? Yup.  Sure enough.

The beau and I headed out to a beautiful nearby town to meet the other LexRunLadies and another running group who was running parts of the Iron Horse Half Marathon route.  When we were getting ready early to make the trek out there, the beau said, “I cannot believe we are about to run 10 miles!” and I immediately clamored back, “No, we’re not.  We’re only slated to run 9 today!”  You see our plan actually had us running two 9 mile runs on back to back Saturdays.

We got out there, started running and it was beautiful.  I mean, it was chilly to start off, but the course is truly beautiful and there’s nothing like running in pure, bottomless sunshine.  As I’m running and hit 6 miles, I realize that I’ve got a little bit before I’m supposed to head back and turn around to get back into town and from that turn-around spot, it was a 3 mile run.

I could possibly run 10.

So I did.

And it was magnificent. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done.  But it was magnificent.  I’m still trying to figure out my fueling power, and getting that extra “ooomph!” to get up and go when my legs and brain are telling me to just walk for a minute.

But nonetheless.  I ran 10 miles on Saturday.

The beau and I celebrated by breakfasting at our favorite spot in Georgetown on the way home.  I heard from a friend (also training for her first half-marathon) who got advice from the folks at John’s Run Walk Shop in Lex that when you run your first 10 miler, celebrate by having a slice of pie.  Well, we were at Fava’s…so…there was pie.

We ran some errands, got home, watched the UK game, ate our pie and recovered.  There is quite a difference from recovery to resting.  For sure.

I immediately started thinking of what races I wanted to keep running.  After being out there on that course on Saturday, I knew that I wanted to be back out there in October with autumn leaves falling to the ground around me and decrease my time by quite a bit.  But there has to be additional cross training, more races and weight lifting for me to get faster and decrease that time.

Enter the Race Calendar.

These are all still in flux, but as of right now, this is our race calendar for the remainder of 2012.

As running mate of several LexRunLadies Mark the Beast said earlier today, “Are you waiting for the perfect time to make changes in your life? I think now is a perfectly good time.”  Get out your calendar, the checkbook and join me for one of these races! Some of the 5K’s listed on the John’s Run Walk Race Calendar are only $15!

There are several others that will be coming up that will most likely get added to the list.  For real…what are you waiting for?  Sign up and join me!

Best,

Thoughts from the pavement…

*This may or may not be a intermittent series from the constant blog ideas that always roll around in my head when I’m running.  Enjoy!

This morning I had a 7 mile run awaiting me.  When the alarm when off at 4:20, I knew I’d snooze a couple times, but it was 5 before I actually got out of bed and got ready.

I checked my phone for the temperature as I always do, but sometimes at 5 am, your mind doesn’t always connect with  your actions that at 46 degrees, you did not need to wear long pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt a fleece vest and a hat on your run.

Once I was out there, I was miserable, but could not really connect what was going on.  I wanted to stop my run.  I thought about quitting running altogether (gasp!).  I was parched.  My pace was not good.  On.  And on.  And on.  The mental beating continued.

Finally, I realized (although I knew I was hot) that perhaps my temperature had something to do with my attitude.  I had to shed my layers.  My route takes me by our house a couple of times, but I could. not. wait. until then to get rid of the heat.  I took the vest off, held it in my hands until I got back to the house.  Sweet relief!  I had no idea just how much it was weighing me down, making me sweat and completely ruining my mood.

It really reminded me of just how often I get bogged down by the layers of life and get caught up in things I think I need or should do and all they do is complicate matters.

What layers might you need to shed to have that sweet relief?  Don’t wait until you get to your “house”–do it now and find that peace in your life that is awaiting you!