That time you woke up heart bursting because you get to see the Game of Life played by your first-born who left you just 6 months ago to chase his dreams, have new experiences and get a college degree.
And you walk extra slow across the parking lot to make the getting of shampoo and toothpaste and beef jerky and sour patch kids and microwave popcorn at a smelly and run down Family Dollar take hours upon hours because you know the time is nigh to say good-bye (again)
And even though you know he is safe and happy and on a path you cannot pave for him, your heart quakes a bit because the velcro sandals and the band aids no longer need the curl of your knuckles to apply. Why oh why does time fly?
And don’t get me started on the pirate costume and swords made of sticks.
And you realize everyday is another day closer to another good-bye. Next time, it will be her, then her:
The best part is, if we are very, very lucky – there is also ‘hello’ right around the corner.
In gratitude for the 11 mile run I have today and the endless hours of Ironman Training coming up,
I have never been fast and I am okay with that. My best marathon time is 4:20.
In 2014 I added in swimming and biking and became an age-grouper triathlete with realistic expectations. I can hang on the slow side of the middle of the pack on a good day.
I do it for this:
And because she does:
And for her legacy:
I do this for fitness, to test myself, because I am fascinated by human endurance. Whatever the reason a person endeavors to travel 140.6 miles WITHOUT A MOTOR and IN ONE DAY, it’s a big F**king deal. I bet none of them expects to be last. DFL (dead f**king last)
I was. You can read about it here. The full truth. Full disclosure. 16:55:42. Barely BARELY Ironman cut off.
For the last 7 months (to the day TODAY!) I feel slight tug of embarrassment whenever anyone asks about my first full ironman distance tri.
I say things like:
‘It was something.’
‘I barely made it.’
I never say: ‘I was last.’ But I was. I came in just ahead of the sweeper who was tooling about on a basketed bike wearing a smile that seemed so out of reach for me.
But I found a smile:
I would come in last again for this. But I don’t want to. Not so much because I am embarrassed anymore but because I had to dig so deep for so many hours to make it.
I don’t want to have to go there for so long again.
So if you see me at Ironman Chattanooga in September, remind me I am one and done on being DFL.
2nd to DFL would be a PR.
I am working hard and plan to cut copious amounts of time from the race.
I will hug whomever is DFL. I know what it feels like.
I don’t know if is this morning’s prana pumping party (aka kundalini yogaclass) hosted by the marvelous Holly Henty or that fact that I have just had the 3rd of 3 surgeries on my face to remove skin cancers but I feel better than I have in 3 weeks.
In less than 3 weeks I have:
Received 113 stitches in my face.
Taught a yoga class and given a talk looking like this (although a shower was involved):
Learned to drink water and wine like this:
Showed up at Thanksgiving looking like this:
I also got to experience this:
I was not and am not in a health crisis but the work was necessary if I want it to say so. I feel so refreshed, so free so grateful to have access to an amazing surgeon, health insurance, and the means to pay for the balance on this bad boy. (I estimate my out of pocket to be around $25 per stitch.) Merry Christmas to me, I suppose.
Besides the people, prana, and stitch-free state of affairs, I am stoked from a run-in with an angel this morning. As I was braiding my daughters hair I reflected that my mother (almost 20 years an angel) would have loved watching her daughter weave shapes into her granddaughter’s mane. I decided to ask if she was with us. I felt her presence but wanted a REAL SIGN. (hello, where’s the faith??) I asked her to show me by having my daughter say something in the next 10 seconds, could be anything.
10, 9, 8, (lord, please let it happen)
7, 6, 5 (I just know Jane will speak)
4, 3, 2, 1 (nothing. RATS)
All good though. I don’t like to be tested either.
About an hour later, as we began our yoga class, Holly reminded us that we are infinitely connected to our source of life. Before and after to umbilical cord is cut. The connection never dies. I connected it to my mother-yearning-moment of earlier and just KNOW I was meant to hear it.
It wasn’t for anything good. As a yoga teacher, I know it is disingenuous to rate the poses or practice as good, bad, or great. However I do not mind being told my down dog is the bomb or my camel, dancer, or pigeon pose is on point.
The middle little girl in me still likes a pat on the back, a nod, some attention that she is special. But not like this.
Last week I tried out a new yoga studio. It is posh, lovely, soothing, and smells good. It attracts the hipster millennials who live in its cool urban hood. When I noticed my teacher looked like Simone Biles, the gold medaling megastar gymnast and was about Simone’s age, I thought I’d be in for a real athletic and dynamic workout. I had already started thinking how my practice would certainly stun her stunning self (so not yogic).
As is customary in many studios there were no mirrors. By my calculations, on the inside I am about 27. On the outside I am actually 48. Apparently without the help of mirrors, I forgot what the outside said. Because the next thing happened.
In a new studio I never know how each teacher will incorporate the use of props in the sequence. I do not need them but I find them to be great tools to deepen a pose or provide spatial reference or just give my ASSana a soft place to land if I want to. So I gathered a few to have at-the-ready near my matspace. (I made that word up – like a millennial would)
After the usual centering activity Simone brought us up to (wait for it…) table top – to start our moving practice. I think she thought it might be too much for me.
Simone then explained while looking AT ME that if our knees hurt we could roll our mat up a few times to provide some cushioning. Or, we could use a blanket underneath to soften the blow to our knees. She didn’t say it but she implied – like those of us with more advanced body parts. She even came over to me (only me) with said soft blanket to offer her geriatric follower some relief. I giggled like the school girl I think I still am and told her I was fine.
Some might call it a sweet gesture, others might call it ageism or profiling. Most would might call me petty.
But I couldn’t help it. What I wanted to say is: Look b*tch, I have been holding tabletop and plank longer than you’ve been alive. Have you seen my tattoo?
I proceeded to put so much zest into a slow hatha yoga with meditation class that I made myself sore – serves me right.
I temporarily forgot that the face that chatted Simone up before class looked like this:
I had just had a number of skin cancers removed and am wearing new but healing scars. I can’t blame my yoga teacher that she may have thought that mostly happens to old people. Because it does. Compared to my waiting room compatriots for the procedure, I am millennial.
I am old. I am young. I am whatever. Age isn’t a thing – it’s me that made it so.
Maybe the gymnast in Simone look-alike saw the efforts my body made to be strong and vital and healthy and thought I could use a rest.
Maybe she felt a tug at her heartstrings that I may have been through something recently and could use some extra softness.
Whatever it was, it was just (what for it…) nice.
For the record, I would go back. Maybe my next teacher will be her:
At 2:21pm tomorrow I will have been married 19 years. I never tire of a good race, birth, or relationship story and I do wholeheartedly believe every single one of us has one or a few. Here’s my story and why I simply must drop the mic.
I met my husband 20 years ago tomorrow at a party my cousin threw to mark her move to a new neighborhood that would soon become mine. She thought I may like her new neighbor but probably didn’t bank on having her cuz, bestie, partner-in-crime literally living a hundred yards from her kitchen table one year later.
We met. We chatted. Three weeks later, he asked me out on a date. 9 weeks later my mother died suddenly.
Boom. Biggest ever.
Two weeks later at her gravesite he asked me to marry him. Seven months later, a year to the day we met, I said ‘I do’ forever. Six days later, I got pregnant.
We had him:
19 months later, we had her:
Then we had her:
Boom. Boom. Boom.
16 months later, my first love – my Dad – died of a heart attack in his car.
A number of years passed. Big stuff. Little stuff. All kinds of stuff happened on this amazing journey we call life. Two and half years ago, we were changed forever.
From the beginning we have been going through big booms.
Meeting and marrying my husband is a case study in serendipity. When my mother died I had a brand new, called-when-he-said-he-would boyfriend who made me a laugh at the ready to help heal my broken heart. His million good qualities are only matched by my immense hope that he knows how well loved he is. By many – especially me.
He is tenacious, kind, loyal, compassionate, an amazing listener, an athlete extraordinaire, shy by nature, award-winning salesman who puts his family above himself with every breath he takes.
(That’s 15 booms mic drops if you are counting.)
He a wants only the best for me, supports my crazy, is a good cook, a gardener, with a sense of humor that still makes me belly laugh 19 years later.
One day I’ll get him to take my Yoga class
(The seven half marathons we’ve run together just isn’t enough).
On Sunday, my husband and I took my oldest to college. It hit me like a freight train.
I knew it was coming but didn’t anticipate the impact.
Deal with the ache of missing him daily around the house. (knew it)
Wish I could have stayed longer when we dropped him off. (normal, kinda)
Face the fact that much of my job with him is done. (endings, not doing well with this one)
I like beginnings much better. Until I went to Germanywith theSpeakUp Race Team, I had never been on a train. Because of the beer and comfy seats, I love this mode of travel.
Just yesterday I said good bye to Nick as he boarded the big yellow bus for the first time.
What feels like 2 seconds later, I did this:
Organized his dorm room and stood next to him for a big moment – The last hug before I was no longer his daily confidant, baseball sherpa, homework advisor, cook (sometimes) and nag (kinda, sometimes).
He is ready to fly and for that I couldn’t be more grateful for all his new beginnings. (And for the record, mine too)
He is prepared!
As we were loading the car I noticed one of his Thomas the Trains sitting in the box marked “desk”. I pointed it out to him as tears welled for a moment long gone:
Mom, you gotta bring Thomas. It’s good luck.
His childhood brings him strength and hope and luck for the hard work of new beginnings. That’s just what I needed to let him go and grow.
And to begin again in a life of change and adventure. How blessed am I for the chance.
I have a bevy of beautiful girlfriends; smart, adventurous, fun, accomplished, driven queens of their kingdom who inspire me everyday. Of particular note, is my friend Jen who could and probably has been mistaken for Kelly Lynch or Michelle Pfieffer.
Not Jen but could be.
I was super excited when KellyMichelleJen came to a few of my yoga classes earlier this summer.
Jen gave me a book she thought I would enjoy, she was super-sized right.
Here’s the obsession
I want to attain a level of fitness as I approach 50 that is currently stunted by the untrue mantra, ‘sucks getting old’.
No it doesn’t. It means you are here drawing new, never-been-done before inhales every single second. Makes me giddy to think of it and to read this book.
Webb argues that exercise can improve our bodies at any age, hailing it as the most powerful tool we have to forestall aging and prevent and even treat just about every chronic disease that exists today. “If we had a drug that did what exercise did, it would be the biggest revolution ever and would be promoted all over the world. And all you have to do is go out for a run.”
I am staring at 50 with rose-colored glasses and this affirms my passion for exercise. I am not going down as age creeps up, unless it’s opposite day.
This book is filled to the brim with research-backed expert, nutritional advice and preaches from the Bible of Yoga and Cross Training – my own personal fitness scripture. Among other, I-love-you athletes and experts in their field, Webb went to see the world’s oldest yogi to glean sage advice for living with vitality to old age.
Tao Porchon-Lynch who turns 98 tomorrow.
Like the author:
I want to enter the second half of my life in the best shape of my life.
And I will get older, faster and stronger – a nice side bonus will be more energy, better quality, good moods, and a leaner frame. Good Lord, now I can’t wait to be fifty.
I bet this book is pretty good too:
I never said I wouldn’t have fun along the way. Margarita’s, anyone?? (only with fresh organic lime and Patron, please)