Saturday, July 20, 2013

Work. Run. Heat.

Hold onto your seats, here's a summer update thanks to my phone camera.

Summer has found us with more than a couple irons in the fire. We really ramp up work this time of year with rodeo entries, so why not tear down some walls in the house?? Its always an adventure to unearth what is hidden behind the sheetrock.

Not the biggest hardware we've found holding the house together, but it is definitely more than necessary. With solid wood walls on both sides of the studs throughout the house, the home was built to last. We've left most of the original walls intact.

Hot days + stressed out mama = chasing children with garden hose. Believe it or not, this was their idea and they had a blast running away from the cold water.

15 minutes later. Soaking went and loving it!

A few thoughts on my summer stress relief. A couple of months ago I took up running. Yeah, I know. Anybody who knew me as a Chester Flyer can attest that my 7th through 10th grade years I participated in cross country as the slowest person on the team. One year, I didn't finish last in all of the races. I was in horrible shape, had bad knees, and zero athletic ability or coordination. I went out for cross country because my older brother did and I either had to participate with him, or ride the school bus to and from school every day. (The horrible plight of the American Teenager.) So for me to tell you that I enjoy running now is kind of a big deal. I'm in better shape now than I ever was when cross country started in the fall and my times are better than they've ever been. I'll probably never win a race, but I'm doing it.

I find that running makes me less "short" with people, including the children. My patience is better, and I have more energy through the day. I figure I can run, so I probably should. I am fortunate to be alive, and healthy enough to run, and taking off down the highway is my way of saying thanks.

Also, I've had crazy nightmares about running for most of my adulthood. Running away from danger, running toward loved ones, running around lost. Always running. My time in cross country, while enjoyable in the social aspect, was a little haunting. I joke that when cheering someone on you'll usually hear, "Way to go! Keep going - you're doing great!" However, I remember on more than one occasion hearing complete strangers throughout the course cheer for me, "You're almost there. Its ok, just a little farther!" I must have been a pitiful sight, and I knew it.

So just like 15 years ago, I'm running because I can. For my cross country coach who always ran back to finish practice with me, and now walks with a pronounced limp from a massive stroke. For the students I used to teach who have passed away far too soon. And for the times in my life when I may not be able to run. Today I run.

My running partner, some days. I can tell you this: if you think you're in great shape and want to brag about being in great shape, start running behind a stroller. Max doesn't come all the time. In the perfect world, he's still asleep when I get up to run because he needs the rest. But many days he'll tag along, bringing a few toys, a bowl full of breakfast cereal and my phone full of music. Sure, we go a little slower and sometimes we walk more than run but this time together where he'll fit in the stroller and come willingly is fleeting.

Get this - I ran so much for a while that I got horrible shin splints. Apparently you can get them when you push a little too hard and increase distances too fast. I joke that if there's a way to run incorrectly, then I'd find a way. You'll be happy to know that after backing way off for a few weeks and new shoes, the shin splints are gone. And no vegetables were harmed in the process either.

Look - I ran a 5K! I crawled out of bed, secured my hair in a headband and sweated it out with almost 150 other people for the 10th Annual Boss Cowman 5K. Here's Kayla, one of my former students and I after we finished. She's a new runner too and we're probably going to be awesome together for the next 60 years at the BC5K.

Alright, enough about running. I really have been meaning to pop in a post about running because it has really changed my perspective on a few things.

One more picture I got a kick out of. In taking the laid back approach to summer, I spend most days (and every evening) in a headband. I have to get the hair out of my face the minute I leave work so I usually just throw it back. I was taking a picture to show you (all of my faithful drought readers) when Max snuck in and photo bombed. I totally deserve it. :)