Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

7:21 p.m.

Around 11:30 last night I realized I didn't write yesterday.
I was in the bed and very comfy.
Needless to say,  I didn't get up and write.

We are still at my mom's and will leave first thing in the morning to head home.
One of the things I like best about being at my mom's is the abundance of running choices. 

I can run on the Jemison Trail.
I can run in her old neighborhood.
I can run on the trails behind her current neighborhood.
Or I can run on 3 other trails that connect at the park where the trail from her neighborhood connects.

I've always loved running on trails.
I don't really know how to explain it.
I've long suspected it has something to do with the trees, flowers, softer running surface, scurrying animals, etc...I still suspect that.  But there's something more that I just recently discovered.

The day of the St. Jude's Marathon, I was a little panicky.  
I still like to run pretty much alone.  I don't care if someone else is with me technically, but I don't want to have to pace with someone else or worry about someone else.  I know that sounds selfish, but honestly, I'm doing good to keep my own self calm, much less having to worry with anyone else.  If anything, I'm sure I would slow someone else down.  I'm competing with myself if anyone...I don't want that to change.
For the St. Jude's Marathon, I had my oldest daughter and a friend with me. 
I was very worried that we would all get separated and by the time the races were over, no one would have phone power to contact each other.
I chose not to run with music the first 13 miles.  
I told myself that I would turn my music on and get lost in my head the 2nd 13 miles if I made it that far.

Running without my headphones ended up not being as big of a deal as I thought it would be.  
I was constantly surrounded by groups of people to see, scenery to keep my interest, and crowds along the way to communicate with.
I wouldn't have missed this for the world and will make sure I don't use my music during the first part of any future races.
Of course, I didn't make it the 2nd 13 miles so my phone was fine.
That's a story for another day...

After taking a week off from running to "lick my wounds," I ventured out to run a slow steady 3 miles.  
I looked everywhere in our house for headphones.
We have headphones in every drawer, in every vehicle, in every bedroom, attached to every phone...etc.
But I couldn't find one pair.
After threatening my youngest daughter, she finally produced a pair from the car that were the earphones with the flat heads that fall right back out of my ears.
The found earphones also were about as tangled as a "rat's nest."

I just said, "nevermind," and tossed them to the side.
I ran 3 miles that afternoon with no earphones.  
No music.
No distraction.
Just me and my thoughts.
And it wasn't that bad.
I did make a mental note to pick up more earphones since I didn't figure the gentleness of the night's run could be a norm.

The next night as I was getting ready to run I realized I still didn't have earphones.
My dog Layla reminded me that she hadn't been for a walk in a while so I figured I'd take her since I obviously wasn't going to get in a very good run since I still didn't have earphones.
I fully expected to have a frustrating run where I had to focus on keeping Layla in line more than actually focusing on the run itself.
The run that night was probably the best run Layla and I have ever had.

The next night Layla went with me again.
After a couple of miles, I brought Layla home and swapped out for my daughter's dog Zeke and took him for the last mile.
He was a pest, but we still had a good time.

For short runs, I don't even look for earphones anymore.
Not really any need.
So, when we left for my mom's I didn't worry about whether or not I had earphones.

I pulled up to Jemison Trail that first morning and thought...well, no distractions...didn't think about that.
But, I just went.
Again, spectacular run...I even PRd the first mile.

The air felt so good, the sun was peeking through the trees, the water was high in the brook and running over the rocks...I could hear the water.  I could hear the wind in the trees and the sounds around me.  Some of the sounds were other people and many with their dogs.
I liked it.
I ran in the neighborhood without earphones.
I ran on the back trails without earphones.
I think I might be a no earphone runner.

I can see where I might want my earphones for longer runs, and I will definitely make sure I have them for the next half marathon and marathon.
But, for everyday, I kindof like just being in my own skin, being distracted by nature, and not trying to block everything out.

If you had told me 7 months ago, I would be at a place in my life where I didn't need to block everything out, I would have snorted sarcastically and probably even rolled my eyes.
7 months ago, I might have even cried because I knew my life had to change...but I wasn't sure how that was going to happen.

5 months of 2016 I drank.
7 months of 2016 I did not drink.

The 7 months have been much happier than any months I've had in a long time.
It hasn't been easy.
And the holidays have certainly been difficult.
But this decision probably saved my life.
It probably saved many relationships that are important to me as well.
There have been times where I would like to have a drink...times that most people say, "I need a drink."
But, I choose not to drink.
I wake up every day and choose not to drink.

I have a lot more trails to run.
See ya, 2016.


  1. I debated leaving a comment here, but maybe this perspective will help with the understanding. I personally am not religious. And yet I have prayed when some horrible things happened within our family. I do believe in evolution, it's been proven scientifically and it makes sense to me. I don't know that there is an all powerful being and that there is the reward of an afterlife in Heaven once our life is through. The reason I question it is, why all the suffering then? The answers I've heard to that question don't make sense to me. What does make sense is - if you find comfort in your beliefs, if they bring you peace of mind and help you through this life that can be very difficult at times, then it is absolutely worthy of your devotion. Just because a person doesn't -have religion- does not necessarily mean they are missing something or lacking in a good quality, for lack of a better way to put this. I am not religious, yet I am far more generous of heart than many who go to church weekly. So when someone has told me when I was struggling that if I find Jesus I will get my answers, I'm not soothed by that knowledge or advice. It seems judgemental. When someone says Jesus is the only way... again, it seems judgemental based on one set of beliefs.

    I congratulate you on your recovery process and your strength to pursue it, glad you have a faith that sustains you in difficult times. I know it's a blessing -

    1. I'm glad you commented, Karen! :) The sadness I felt from the comment made by the person in my online recovery group was more about how it sounded she was approached rather than her actual response...exactly as you a judgmental way instead of a helpful way. I truly believe this attitude by many Christians keeps people from getting help. As a Christian living in a Christian community, it is very difficult to admit that I need help for fear of how I will be seen, responded to, talked about, etc. My beliefs, however, aren't based on what people think. I have to remind myself of that every day. My beliefs and strength in my recovery and every day comes from faith, faith that there is a higher being and that he/she is ultimately in control. I believe that humans live in an earthly world so we are influenced by powers of all kinds. I believe we were offered a perfect world in the beginning but due to those other forces, we chose imperfection. I do believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world, but I also believe a belief in Jesus can be manifested in many viewpoints. My Bible Belt friends would be cringing about right now. Who am I to say what will "Save" and who/what other religions believe or don't believe? I try to read my bible daily. It helps me to focus on my personal journeys and what I think I am supposed to do with my life. I believe that the way Jesus Christ lived and taught is how we should align our lives and actions so I try to do that. I mess up everyday, but then I get back up again the next day and go at it all over again. It is just the way I survive I guess. I want everybody in the world to feel that contentment. When I say that, I don't mean that I think they have to do what I do or believe what I believe in order to find that contentment. I hope that makes sense, and I should try and make myself clearer when I'm writing off the top of my head and assuming other people can read my mind.