Friday, July 25, 2014

4 Magic Words

You know those 3 little words that everyone wants to hear? They are not at the top of my list right now. Instead I want to hear 4 magic words: "I have to poop!" No joke.

We are now at the end of the third week of no more Pampers Easy-Ups at our house. My 3 1/2 year old is being a champ and has really gotten the hang of the bathroom thing...for the most part. We have had a few close calls, but mostly we're getting in there on time without fail. I don't remember learning to use the bathroom as a small child and I hope he won't remember it either. Thus, why it is hard for me to relate to being "scared" of pooping. The terror on his face sometimes is confusing. It's just poop.

Some of my favorite quotes from the past three weeks include:
"I pooped!" (with a look of surprise)
"See, I just let it out. I just let the poop out."
"I can do this every day."
"I pooped in the toilet. Now I get a cupcake." (Yeah, we were bribing rewarding him for awhile.)
"My poop looked like a telephone."
"That smells terrible!" (wish I could share a sound bite of how he says this one)
And yesterday, "Move! I have to poop!" I had just gotten out of a shower post-run and he had decided he wanted to use my bathroom.

One thing that has amazed me about this little guy is his amazing sphincter control. He was holding it in for days at a time at first. Literally 3-4 of them while still consuming loads of fruit, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and beans. It blows my mind! This is mostly because I am "old" and have had two children and things down there just kind of tell you: "NOW!" For instance, yesterday we went out for a run (2.11 mi). It's a fairly easy course that I've done many times before and was actually my first walk in our new neighborhood. Things started out great and I was smiling and hearing my mantra about long and propulsive steps. It's a bit of an uphill at the beginning, so it felt a little slow, but I hit my stride and was headed back into our neighborhood when I had to stop and walk. I had to stop and walk in one of those hunched over, butt clenched positions that tells everyone you need to find the bathroom ASAP, but you're still 1/2 mile from home and feel like you're going to die!

The truth is that I have been experiencing some serious cramps this week which have hindered a lot of my activities and made me feel like I should be in an IBS commercial:
Yes, that's my actual stomach taken this morning; sorry for the "selfie" nature of the photo. I told you I'd post more pictures. I used to feel very self conscious of my fallen belly button, but hey, who am I trying to impress these days? I'm married and have two kids to show for that stomach!

All of this got me thinking that maybe I need to do a little more yoga to help alleviate some of these symptoms. But this is a tricky situation, yoga during menstruation.

I wrote the following for the yoga teacher training manual I completed in May:


A Special Note on Contraindications for Menstruating Women:
In some of the following asanas you will find a contraindication for menstruating women. These poses, most likely inversions or balance poses, are considered contraindicated by some professionals, especially during the heaviest flow days because yoga can increase the menstrual flow, cause a backflow of blood stores, reverse energy flows, and/or stretch the broad ligament due to a heavy uterus pushing upward into the body. However, others believe that yoga can be very beneficial during menstruation to aid in increasing energy levels and alleviating some of the issues associated with menstruation like cramps, headaches, etc. We feel that these are all valid points and therefore recommend each individual woman decide what is right for her in her practice during this time. We encourage you, as instructors, to educate the female participants in your class about the benefits and risks of participating in yoga and encourage them to engage in a practice that makes them feel most comfortable.


So, here are three yoga poses that are good for alleviating these symptoms include things that open up the hip and pelvic joints and basically soothe and massage the organs in this area. With photos:

Butterfly aka Cobblers Pose aka Bound Angle

Goddess or Supine Butterfly

Bow Pose

These will be on my afternoon agenda after groceries and getting kids down for naps alongside some breathing exercises for relaxation and a little meditation. Enjoy the weekend ahead!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hobbling Like a Hobbit

I spent a nice 3 days with some of my husband's family this last weekend. It is something we have done every year for the last three years, but this year we were a few family members short due to illness. These visits with family are always nice, but a challenge because I tend to spend a lot of time not doing anything but eating and visiting. And the eating is not always mindful, but more social in nature.

When we got back on Sunday it was nice to be home again and Monday morning I was back pounding the pavement and thinking about all of the important issues that are always running in my mind. The run was short on purpose because Sunday evening I injured my hip again and it has been bothering me ever since. I am now hobbling around and, for some reason, can't get the idea out of my head that I somehow look like a hobbit. The boys and I tackled a walk this morning too in attempting to get back in the groove, but my hip was just not into it. It was slow (18min/mi) and painful. Additional pain was added to the process by the fact that after 22 months of pregnancy and breastfeeding my cycle has returned and with a fervor! Thank goodness it was today and not yesterday.

Yesterday I was watching the TODAY show (as it's always on in our house in the morning) and Jenna Wolfe was interviewing one of the creators of the Spartan Race series (see video here). It looked like so much fun and I wanted to start planning for how I could participate in one of these events. I was trying to decide if it would be better to train specifically for the event or to train as I usually do and then work on my burpees for my first attempt at a course. See, for every obstacle that you fail to accomplish you have to do 30 burpees before moving on to the next challenge. If you've never done a burpee or heard of one:

I love this step by step image, but also love this:

Yeah, burpees are not fun, but they are great exercise. Yesterday I decided to get started on my burpee training. I did exactly 8 before noticing my husband standing outside our front door in the pouring down rain like a creeper....LAUGHING at me! Why? I have still yet to figure that out, but I promptly stopped and haven't gotten back to them today due to my uterus feeling like it's being trampled by elephants. (Trust me...do NOT Google image search that phrase!)



Anyways, this all got me thinking about my yoga life. In yoga we teach the concept of non competition. Do not compete with others around you in order to do the pose the way they are doing it. Accept yourself for how you are and how you practice each day. Does it make me a bad yogi if I want to compete? How do I balance competition in other aspects of my life, but use the idea of non competition and acceptance to be balanced and happy? What is the opposite of non competition if it isn't competition and therefore, do I not need a little of both to be balanced?

This is what is challenging my mind today through the cloud of Tylenol and Hershey's bars. Therefore, I'm going to start on my 2015 challenge a little early (all of 5 months early, but it's time). I am going back to a book I love called Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates. I am going to dig in on Monday, July 28th, and diligently do my reading, one each day, to help me re-learn some more about yoga and myself. I want to figure out how to be a competitor and a yogi at the same time. Want to join me? Pick up the book or just follow along. In the process, I am going to work up to doing as many burpees as I can and pick a Spartan Race to accomplish no later than July 28, 2015.

Okay, because I know you're dieing to find out....here's one of the scary images of a uterus trampled by an elephant:
SOOOOO glad I only have one uterus to give me troubles! Happy Tuesday everyone!



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vroom, Vroom, Beep, Beep

My posting of late has been delayed due to travels and weather. First, I had the most amazing 24 hour visit with my long time friend Sarrah whom I hadn't seen in person for almost 6 years. It was bittersweet fun as I knew it wouldn't last. This, I believe, is how you can measure true friendship...take a 6 year break and it feels like you just saw the person the other day. Here's to hoping it's not another 6 years before we're back together!

I was able to get in a nice 4 mile walk with Sarrah while staying at my in-laws. This is a place where exercise is usually thrown out the window and especially since my husband stayed home by himself for a few days. However, I took advantage of nap time and having grandparents on hand to handle any emergencies with the boys.

When we returned home (and even on our trip) the weather was bad. We have had some serious down pours over the last week which have prevented a lot of runs and walks. This is probably a good thing in some respects as I have now worn an "almost hole" into the bottom of my shoes and am looking forward to starting regular work in August so that I can get a new pair.

I drove a lot in the few days I was gone and while driving for hours on end with my children in the backI heard a great slogan:

"You take your car in for a tune up; why not your body."

This got me thinking about all the things we take care of on a daily basis that do not include taking care of ourselves. I tried Googling a statistic to see how many Americans get a yearly physical and instead got a whole slew of info about why you do not need one. I'm kind of in a different mind set all together about the practice. For one thing I do agree that many doctors will order unnecessary tests and lab work during physical exams and therefore jack up the cost of health care. However, I think that Americans (as a general population) are not taking very good care of ourselves and therefore may need to check in a little bit more with their health care professionals.

I have a 13 month old and a 3 1/2 year old. The little one is still going to the pediatrician every 3 months for a variety of vaccinations, growth checks, etc. The big guy is going just once a year and a second time for his flu shot. I haven't had a full on physical that was just for me since I was in high school and playing sports. I have had yearly exams for my female health and all of the necessary check ups when I was pregnant. I get eye exams yearly, mostly because I wear contacts, and visit the dentist every 6 months. But I started thinking about all of the other ways that we should get checked up or tuned up each year.

This ad was for a massage company (almost said parlor, but that wasn't even close to right). They suggested by their slogan that we regularly need time to release the tension in our bodies, but I think we need more than just that. I wish that my insurance company would pay for several different yearly physicals. I want a yearly meeting with a nutritionist in order to talk about my eating habits at each age (because I have a different metabolism at 33 than I did at 23). I want a regular mental health professional meeting. I think it would be nice to know that twice a year I could go and talk to someone about what I've got going on without it costing an arm or leg. I also don't think that we should only seek out therapists when we've got something "wrong" or feel depressed. It'd be nice to talk to someone when you're on the up and see how best to maintain that feeling. I'd also like a chance to meet with another personal trainer (one who has a degree and holds an accredited certification) to help me set new fitness goals and teach me some new exercises. It'd be nice if that person could observe me as I do my regular workouts and see all of the things I'm missing myself.

I believe in preventative maintenance for my car and myself. I think this is why I am so deeply drawn to yoga. Yoga focuses on the individual (all aspects), but also as the individual as a part of the whole. By doing more yoga I feel more deeply connected to those around me. I notice simple things like how the sound of my breath can put my baby to sleep or calm him down. I notice that when I am grounded that I parent better and let go of tension easier. I notice that when I feel limber and loose that I perform better in my running and other physical training. And I notice that when I meditate I see more clearly my life and the beauty in it.

Today is a good day for meditating on the self and getting in tune with the body. In listening to the body, think about what areas are telling you that they need more attention. Consider which areas are telling you that things are going smoothly. Sometimes, when all we listen to is the negative, it's easy to get down, but if we can also hear the parts of our vehicle that are driving us forward we can hold out until our next pit stop and know that things are going to be okay.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Series of Unfinished Projects

Now that Arthur and the 4th of July have passed, it's time for some more reflection and some more yoga. You know how they say life is a journey and not a destination? Well, my life seems more like a series of unfinished projects. Yesterday I tackled two of them: sew up the whole in a pillow and sew my pocket back on my pj pants. Maybe that's only one project as they were both in the "to sew" pile. Today I am working on the loading of pictures to the computer and then out to the family....that doesn't mean I'll get it done, but I'm working on it. Oh, and there are pictures to be mailed too that will have to wait for another day.

I often find myself with lots on my mental "to do" list and I think this is common of many people these days. I wonder when I am going to start enjoying the things I am doing instead of staring down the massive pile of things I have yet to do. I try not to take on too much, but I believe it's part of my personality to intentionally overwhelm myself in order to feel superhuman when I finally accomplish it all. However, it makes you feel miserable in the process and even like you're drowning.

I'm not good at asking for help, but really like to offer it. My high school swim coach and very close family friend once told me that I would know the right person to marry when I could ask them for help. If this were true I'd still be single. I'm not at a point in my life where I'm ready to reach out and completely surrender to another person. I like things done my way and I like the sense of pride that comes from doing the things I do.

Today it got me thinking about a few more things I want to finish before the year is through, but more importantly it got me thinking about me and acceptance of me how I am. My yoga practice today was going to be one of the physical path with the Asanas as my guide. However, I think I'm going to bridge between physical and mental/spiritual by meditating on my breath.

Before I sent back the Amy Weintraub book I took notes on one of the sections about breathing (p.128-150). She noted that if you breath in your chest or see your clavicle rise when you breathe that it's a sign you're too much in your own head. I wonder if I were able to look back at my former self (prior to learning "how to breathe") that I would see myself as a clavicular breather? If you breathe into your belly you tend to be more grounded and in touch with your emotions and gut feelings. I feel like I must be breathing somewhere directly around my diaphragm as I'm in my head a lot but also very in tune with what is going on with my body.

Weintraub then talks about breathing in the different sides of your nose in an alternating nostril breathing practice called Nadi Sodhana Pranayama. In observing your breath you may notice that you tend to inhale and exhale more strongly through one side over the other. The right side is a warming breath and associated with characteristics of a left brain person; more creative and relaxed. These people sometimes need to more heat building breathing exercises to ignite themselves and get motivated to accomplish tasks. The left side is a cooling breath and associated with characteristics of a right brain person; more logical and organized. These people need the cooling breath to keep them from "burning out". These people should practice pranayamas found often in group fitness yoga classes to help them relax. I am one of these people. My right nostril is definitely blocked most days and I am a Type A personality. I also like to consider myself creative and fun. (I guess I should stop referring to Type A persons as not fun.....) I also wondered if my constant want to grind my teeth (not just at night) and the tight jaw I experience when I'm doing pranayama, or just really deep in thought, is a symptom of that congested right nostril. I want to feel balanced in my breath, but not forcibly so.

Finally, Weintraub talks about the dangers of practicing activating breaths. While the cooling breath is often very good for those who need to settle their minds, she warns that these breaths can also cause depressive moods because it can cool the brain too much. She warns too that the activating or warming breaths can lead to manic episodes in those who suffer from bipolar. Reading the book at this point both challenged and scared me. I wanted very much to try something new (an activating breath series), but struggled with the fear of finding myself in a manic state. "What if?" I wondered over and over again. I have never been diagnosed with bipolar, nor has anyone in my family. I have never even considered the possibility until the moment that I read her caution. So, I skipped that section and moved on until I had to take the book back.

I may still revisit the activating breaths some day, but I find that this fear has rooted itself a little too much and I need to dismiss it before moving forward. So, for today, to cool my mind and not let it list the 8 million things that I feel I should be accomplishing, I will just try to balance my breath and bring balance to my life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Smile while you run....la, la, la, la, la, la, la

*Originally for posting on Monday, June 30*

If you've never seen Snow White you are missing out....or maybe you never had sisters or daughters. Either way, it was my inspiration for my run today. I had a goal in mind to accomplish an alternating interval run/walk of 5.21 miles today and I did so in under an hour (10:45/mi, check it out on MapMyRun). YAY ME! But the real victory was that every interval I ran I smiled. I smiled at first a forced fake smile. Then it became more natural. Then I was just happy that I was getting close to the end and the baby was asleep and it wasn't too hot out and I was under my hour goal time. What I noticed though, as I ran, is that every time I caught myself not smiling I started to feel short steps and bouncy and tired. Then I plastered on the grin and the legs felt free again. I almost thought I was floating at one point like a little blue bird. It was PHENOMENAL and I highly encourage you to try it on your next exercise adventure.

The only thing that is holding me back from having pretty much perfect runs while pushing the two boys is the jogging stroller. If you've ever run with a jogging stroller you've probably noticed that they're not all the same. There are even imposter strollers out there that look like joggers, but when you go to buy them they say: Not Intended For Jogging. WHAT?! (We made that mistake once and had the whole thing assembled, but the tire was flat and upon reading the instructions found out we couldn't run with it anyway so we returned it and got a different, actual jogging, stroller.)

When my first son was born I was all gung-ho about wanting to get back into jogging, so eventually my husband found me a floor model jogging stroller that seemed to fit all of my needs. It also was highly discounted and could be "easily" wedged into the front seat of my Honda Civic Hybrid....assuming that I never wanted to put the car in Reverse. Oh, did I forget to mention that I still drive a manual transmission vehicle because I like to be in control of my machines?

Anywho....I ended up with  a Baby Trend Velocity that didn't come with the running strap and the speakers worked once and the pedometer never did. Aside from all of that, it was a really great stroller that helped me to get back into regular running and walking and also made it easy for me to join some other moms who had kids that year and walk with them regularly. However, it shakes sometimes when you run too fast (even with the front wheel locked) and it pulls to the left, so I don't feel comfortable pushing it too far ahead of me.

When number two was on the way we started searching for a double jogging stroller. We couldn't afford full price on a single, much less a double, so we searched on Craigslist. I had in mind a few different types I was looking for and we settled on another Baby Trend jogger, this time the Navigator. However, this was an older model and it doesn't have the speakers on it. We got a great deal on it and it came with the car seat attachment which allowed me to get back to walking much sooner. When the littlest one was old enough to sit in the big seat I started running.

This is what I am pushing every time I go out with both boys:
  • Stroller - 43lbs
  • Kid 1    - 36lbs
  • Kid 2    - 23lbs
This makes for a total current weight of 102lbs not counting water bottles, toys, snacks, and my phone (currently my time keeper for runs and walks). It would be nice if the stroller would roll, but mine does not. I keep the tires properly inflated, but unless its down hill  it doesn't go when I push it out in front of me. The front left wheel shakes even when it is locked and the whole stroller pulls to the right. Thus, my right arm gets quite the workout pushing it back across my body. It, at times, also makes me feel like I'm running across my body, but I've been paying enough attention to my running style of late to compensate for that and keep me facing forward. I've looked online for any suggestion as to how to fix these problems with my stroller and my husband has tightened and straightened it all. I would love to not have to invest in a new one, nor do I want to continue to feel like Sly in Rocky 4 while training.

For now I will just be smiling while I run as it keeps my mind off of the negative.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

When all you want to do is eat Cheetos on the couch....

I am spending my Sunday afternoon snacking on the couch and watching Parks and Recreation because I never got into it when it first started and now find that the humor is very humorous. This is not how I would normally spend a Sunday afternoon, but E is still cutting teeth and I am getting little to no sleep whatsoever. He is napping, as is his brother, and that means I get to veg out. This is not the kind of veg out that includes giving up on trying to be healthy or abandoning my ideals of being active. This is the kind of veg out that is deserved every now and then as a break from hard work and commitment to your family.

This morning we went for a family walk at a park near by. My oldest will be starting a preschool nature program there on Tuesday and he is sooo excited! Usually a family walk means a lot of meandering and a short walk followed by play time at the park. Today I was on a mission to get some exercise in and begged my husband to push a little harder with me. We completed 3.9miles at a pace of 15:47/mi which felt nice and easy, but also helped me feel like I was balancing life (exercise with family time). While we were out there enjoying nature and the sounds of our kids screaming (because we can scream outside and not in the house) we were also people watching.

There was a  fit woman in her 60's on a bike in just biking shorts and a sports bra. Some day I want to be that fit 60 year old woman who is confident enough to ride around town in biking shorts and a sports bra. There was a cute older couple walking their little dog. In the future, when the kids are gone, I want to still be going on walks with my husband. And there was a girl who was running with the oddest form I have seen in some time. She had short choppy strides with her arms up near her bra line. Her head was high and her back was arched. It honestly looked like she was holding something between her hind cheeks while she ran. This made me want to video tape myself as I've been thinking a lot about my own running cadence and gait.

I read an amazing training book (Triathlon Science ) last year that gave me some great perspective on running patterns and since that time I've been trying to make changes on my own runs and walks too. A few of the highlights include:
  • Landing on the balls of my feet instead of the heels: this allows for greater propulsion
  • Barefoot running is the most natural form, but needs to be eased into: if you wear a supportive shoe to run for pronating, work on changing the actual biomechanics of your stride while in that shoe, then move to a neutral shoe, then a minimalist shoe, then try barefoot running on some kind of soft surface like sand before attempting to do it elsewhere (ps-barefoot running on sand forces you to land on the balls of your feet)
  • To improve your speed work first on the cadence and second on the length of your stride: turn over faster and then turn over fast with longer steps
 Right now I'm still working on the first and a little on the second. I wear a stability shoe when I am pregnant because I tend to be a pronator on one foot only and more so when my center of gravity has shifted. I am currently in a neutral shoe and have been for some time. I can tell that I'm not pronating much at all and I'm getting better at landing on the ball of my foot, but the other day, while alternating running and walking I noticed that my gait has severely changed over the years and it's not just about how my foot lands. If you've ever watched yourself run (looked down at your own legs) or watched your shadow run you may find that it looks different than it feels. This is why I want to video myself running.

When I was younger I know that my stride was very bouncy. I used to see my shadow fly high up when I would push off of the ground. This is not very efficient for moving forward if you're expending all of your energy vertically instead of laterally. But my stride also used to look purposeful and exuberant. When I looked at myself running last week my shadow looked low to the ground. She didn't rise up into the air. This made me happy to know she wasn't bouncing all around and was actually moving forward (see my mantra work here). However, when I looked down at my legs to see what my feet were doing, they looked listless and apathetic. :( I started thinking about other women I've seen running. Women my age vs. women younger than me and even women older than me. In observation I've noticed that our free and long strides tend to shorten with age. Our heads hang down instead of rise up high.  Our arms creep up our sides and our hands hang limp. The runner looks shy, uncomfortable in her skin, and not confident about her ability to push forward.

Now, I'm not trying to generalize, these are just a lot of my own observations over the years and what I am personally experiencing now. But I'm ready to add yet another level to my change and that's to add more intention to what I am doing. I will not just be long and propulsive, but purposeful and joyous in my run. I may not want to run like Phoebe.....


But I no longer want to run like Rachel is before she lets loose. The next run I have will be one of intention. I will breathe to my lungs fullest; I will land on the balls of my feet; I will lean into my run and turn over quickly; I will hold my head high and be grateful that I can run. It will show and I will see it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mommy Vs. Me

I know a lot of moms and I know they all struggle with the balance between being "Mom" and being whomever they were before they were "Mom". Yesterday I was having one of those moments until my husband gave me the greatest gift....he let me go for a run by myself. I get this every once in awhile and it really helps me to stop feeling like I only live to serve these two little boys.

My latest struggle with this concept of mom vs. me has been a product of the weather. It has regularly been in the upper 80s and low 90s here for the past few weeks and reaching this temp by 10am, if not earlier. My kids are late sleepers. The earliest we are up is 7am, whereas I know a lot of families are rising around 530am. Therefore, by the time everyone is changed, breakfasted, pottied, and ready to go out for a run or walk in the morning, we are now at scorching temperatures.  This is not conducive to any of us and therefore the walk or run has been put off until late in the day or abandoned all together.

Yesterday this was really getting to me. It was library day and I think it's good practice to take the kids to at least one activity each week to get them out of the house and around other kids. However, I knew that it was going to be really hot yesterday and I hadn't gone for a run or walk the day before. I hate skipping days and I dreaded waiting until evening as there was a chance of rain. Plus, it always puts dinner late and then I feel like I'm taking kids straight from the table to bed. So, I sucked it up and we went to the library anyway. I felt a little cheated. I started to feel like I was going to be short with the kids if they were noisy or asked for things. I took some mental notes about my mood and remembered that I signed on for this by choosing to stay home with the kids.

(A little side note. I realize that moms that work face a whole different set of challenges than what I face. I can't imagine the fortitude it takes every day to leave your children in the care of others in pursuit of your career. I often wish I would be able to do the same, but have chosen this route as what is best for OUR FAMILY, not EVERY FAMILY. )

On top of it all I was thinking about the fact that I had committed to signing the oldest up for some more activities as he is currently doing a preschool online curriculum at home and craves learning. We will be doing all kinds of preschool experiences staring this next month and that means a whole lot more mornings devoted to the kids and less to my training. So, I started to think about how feasible it would be for me to be up at 6am to run without the kids and then be ready to tackle the day ahead and not to worry about the weather and schedules etc. But honestly, my youngest is still getting up two or three times a night and I am exhausted at 6am. I don't think it would be a wise decision.

I started looking through my notes at the point for this quote I'd found in the Amy Weintraub book before I had to return it (I didn't get to finish it and I will check it out again this fall when I start to travel again). It said, "....break your heart no longer. Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart. ~Swami Kripalu" If you don't know much about Kripalu you can check it out here. (I like to link not to the selling page of organizations so you can actually find out what they're about instead of how they want your money.) But the quote was important because I was starting to get down on myself for wanting time for myself.

Then, my husband came home from work and the kids were napping and he told me to go out for my run. It was hot....too hot really, but I went and I let my head clear and I let the judgement fall away. I thought about how it's funny that when I run I can actually understand more clearly the lyrics to some of my favorite songs. I thought about some more ideas for topics to write about here later this week. I thought about how I want to frame my thoughts on my life. And the answer to the last one is the following:
I am me.
I will always be me before I am any other title and after I am that title.
I am not a competitive athlete, so if I miss a day; I miss a day.
I love what I do and how I do it.
I do not need to judge myself against anyone or any ideal.
Life is what it is and right now it's pretty darn good.

My run was a good one for most of the run, despite the heat. I felt the dizzy coming on and I walked a little coming in around 9:12/mile for 3.14 miles. I got to take a shower without rushing and I faced the rest of my evening with a positive perspective. It is ungodly hot again today and this morning I took the kids to sign up for more activities. We played UNO and did laundry and didn't run or walk. I may still take them out this evening as my husband is making dinner tonight, but if it doesn't happen today, I won't feel like I've lost anything. I am getting to where I want to be, breathing freely, and enjoying the ride.