Female Octogenarians Caught Playing at the Beach

July 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Posted in attitudes, Health | Leave a comment
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OK so to start- what in the world is an octogenarian? It happens to be one of my favorite words. It means a person who is 80. And if you are 80 I think you really do deserve such a fancy and fun name as octogenarian. Anyway, I was out in the water playing dunk my 11 year old daughter. My mother and her cousin were doing their exercises in the waist deep water. Walking, using their arms, and looking solid and strong, and just a bit serious.

Then all of a sudden they began to play catch. They tossed the little orange and black water ball-the new ones for this sumer that “bounce” in the water- And things changed. There was bit of a giggle floating across the water. They began to have just a bit of a bounce in their movements. Then it happened- they let loose and began to splash. These two old ladies- yes my mother and her cousin are old ladies- they splashed each other for all they were worth.

Needless to say I was in utter hysterics, as were many other beach goers. Who ever saw old ladies just let loose and play like that? Not me.

SO after they settled down in their beach chairs, I asked them what it was like to get out there and play like that. “OH, were we playing?” said my mother. “I was just trying to get your mother back for all the times she got me. I thought this might be my best chance ever.” “And was it?” asked my mother. “No- you won again like always.” “And boy was it ever fun!” They both said in unison and burst into that laugh you usually only hear with a couple of 8 year olds.

So at 8 or 80+ the desire to play a physical competition still lingers. My mother wasn’t about to let her “little” cousin get the best of her. And her cousin still longed to win. Bottom line- It was fun.

But how could they still do it? Lots of things. Here’s a few things.
* They still do exercises daily
* They eat healthy- relatively anyway
* They think they can do things
* They love to compete
* They have high self-esteem

So as you do your play or compete formally, know that you may be setting yourself up for an octogenarian all out splash fight in a few years down the line. IF nothing else it will make others have a great ab workout with all the laughing caused by you.


Some Days I Really Question Why I Run

July 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Posted in attitudes | 2 Comments
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Some days I really question why I run and you’d think that when the heat and humidity are supposed to reach unbearable numbers, and people are hot inside their air conditioned homes and I don’t have any AC, just fans in my home, and a river, pool and ocean to swim in- None at my home though- that maybe I’d think this was a great day to take off.

Then again you might think that I’d want to get out there and have a real connection run with the heat. Let it really get into my soul and stir things up.

Of course since I suggested these they are not what I did. I decided last night that I needed to get in 12 miles today to stay on task with my 60 miles per week goal to reach my year long goal of 2011 miles in 2011.

This being decided I knew that I wasn’t going to skip the day and I wasn’t young and foolish enough to want to have a connection with the heat run. So I set my alarm for 5:15 and got my self up. That was actually rather easy. It was light out, but the sun hadn’t quite come up yet.

First things first- Lyona –my dog- needed her morning outing. Easy enough- just a ¾ mile out and back. She KNEW that she was going right back home after her business- no long run for her today!

Then came the first hard moment, when I brought her back to the house and had to turn right around and take off. OK so I do this many mornings, but this morning it might have been nice to just say, “Oh its so hot I’m going in to nap- maybe I’ll run this evening.”

Whew- I did it. And yes I was already wet from the outside in from the humidity with just that short little jaunt. As I ran on I saw the sun rise. This was extraordinary. It was brilliant magenta- without even a red ball of sun in the middle. But I had my plan to be back before that sun had anytime to really get into action. I had some dream running time- that’s when I know I am going and I don’t really remember when I am in the run what is happening or what I’m thinking I just keep going. And got through Long Shore.

Off to the beach- oh it was lovely- Just a whisper of breeze. Not cooling. But somehow refreshing nonetheless.

Then it was uphill after that, which is OK with me. I like the up hills. I had purposely made my run route to have an option to head home early if it really was too hot. I’m not really interested in being in the news for having been found in a bush about to die of heat stroke.

This made for the second hard moment- I knew I could go on AND I knew there was coolness at home. I checked myself out- was I delirious? No. Was I still sweating? Yes. Was my mouth dry? No. Did I have any cramps? No. Did I really want to run another bunch of miles? YES. All that thinking took me a mile. And that was good because there were five side streets for that mile that lead straight home. I did run on the right side of the road to avoid the even easier access to those streets since they were all off to the left.

Then came a nice steep hill- Park Lane. I put my head down and ran up. Still in the shade and truly on my way home now-

As you may expect after the up came the down. And as a runner there are different ways to go down. You can attack it, let it take you, or somehow glide down without much work at all. For me the last is actually the slowest, but under the heat circumstances I took the easy way down. If you’re not a runner then there is no easy way down. You just have to do it.

Up a mile, down a mile, and onto the real home stretch. The sun was really doing her thing. It was just plain HOT HOT HOT.

The last main road till my road was being resurfaced. This morning is was a packed dirt/gravel road. I want to mention it because of the difference between the CT drivers on this kind of road and the NH drivers. Normally I think the CT drivers are more intense and indifferent about runners, but not on this dirt road. They made huge arches around me, drove at a snails pace, and made sure I was safe. This dirt road was alien territory to them. For me, I loved it. It was cooler than the road and just softer to the touch.

Ah, my street- in the shade and around the bends- Into the driveway. Looked the same to me, but I was surely different. I had made it. I had made this trip, this run, as planned, before the truly intense heat had struck, before I had to give up, before I had let any sensible sane ideas come into action.

With that thought I took the hose and doused myself for ten whole minutes to cool down. And yes I did let plenty of that hose water trickle right into my mouth.

I went dripping wet up to my room- aimed the fans on me and stretched. When done I was good to go for the day.

Whose Drumbeat are You Following?

July 7, 2011 at 10:37 am | Posted in attitudes | Leave a comment

Over the last month or so I’ve had some great and extraordinary experiences. And of course many basic and ordinary life happenings. For the next few days I’m going to relate last month.

Here goes-Starting Wed June 8. (This is not a diary or history- Actually there are some interesting ideas.)

It may seem that things were going pretty fast after the last two weeks of May. What with Cinthia Funes’ graduation from Wellesley College, right into the Waterville Valley Elementary School play of Alice in Wonderland to Jilly’s 24-hour birthday party. But of course those where all fantastic events and were just the setting of the stage for what was coming my way.

I knew that time would both zip by without my least ability to slow it down, and yet filled with so much to do that it seems impossible that time could move slow enough to let it all in. The way life used to be and the start of how it is changing for me began really on the weekend of June 10-12. Two things were simultaneously going on.

Jamie had been developing and creating a trampoline camp geared for girls in conjunction with Freestyle America. To offer this camp Jamie had to talk to the people who could support the idea, both in and out of Freestyle America. She had to market to the families who would send their girls. She had to think of and prepare activities that would cater to the girls. She was also in charge of her two younger sisters and our dog for the weekend.

Jamie and her sisters had a great time. Jamie and Jeanee loved providing the camp for girls- along with the regular Freestyle America coaches. Nick Preston bopped in and out with his huge enthusiasm! There is nothing like Nick’s smile showing every positive emotion possible to a person. It just bounces in all directions.

With Jamie taking the initiative to think, create, develop, market, produce, and follow up the camp my life changed as did hers. Knowing now that she has this combined ability I know that she can stay out of any confining 9-5 job for her whole life. That she has the true ability and smarts to be her own person on skis and off. Now if she chooses to have a 9-5 job it will be something she can love and be dedicated to doing. On the other hand, she can create her own life just as she wants it to be.

For those of you who know Jamie you may think, “Well, of course. Who would have ever thought anything different?’ Well, actually I knew this was totally all Jamie. She will live her life with her own flare, her own design, and her own path. As a kid she followed her own drumbeat, and played it loud and clear for anyone who wanted to join her.

But some people were afraid to follow or let their children follow- they wanted to follow a well-worn path. They wanted to follow a drummer that everyone has listened to. Some people were scared to let her follow her path and create her own drumbeat. Then when she had an injury last Dec, even Jamie had to step off her path. The path that she had envisioned- The one that she thought was straight ahead. She had choices to make. She could decide to mope and heal, mope and get out, become disenchanted. Or get the new path all cleared out and lined up so she could charge ahead with energy, gusto, and full knowledge of where she was heading.

And this tramp camp for girls- (Remember I was talking about her camp June 10-12?) – was the new path. And guess what? The new path was a circle back to the old path. By being able to give her all in a new venue, she was able to understand her deep love and devotion to her skiing. Skiing for the deepest joy, the greatest freedom, the ability to enlighten others to be their own personal best. Skiing because it’s fun, challenging and simply because Jamie loves to ski.

And here’s the thing- no matter what you choose to do or be in life, at this moment or in the past or in the future, there is only one bottom line necessity. Choose because you love to do it. There will be parts that aren’t enjoyable. I’ll always say that being a parent is my number one enjoyable thing, and of course we all know that from dirty diapers to teens’ life experiments there are many aspects of parenting that are, shall I say, less than pleasurable.

When I live my life on my path using my own drumbeat I live to my fullest, I help others partly by being an example and partly by being able to reach out to them. I can flit and float when I want to and stay close to the ground with the most solid foundation.

You have the same choice- Go find YOUR path and live by your own drumbeat.

PS- Any idea what your drumbeat really is?


Family Day at Tuckerman’s Ravine

May 13, 2011 at 6:34 am | Posted in attitudes | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I went up to Tuckerman’s Ravine on MT Washington with my three younger daughters.  To get there you need to hike with your skis and boots, water and food up to the base of the ravine.  It’s not a really hard climb till you get to the last .7 mile.  Then it is all rocks, snow, and ice.  But we were all very comfortable on this hard spot.

On the way up, Jamie and Jeanee somehow found a couple of cute boys and up they went with them.  They had a great time chatting, which of course makes the trip that much more enjoyable and easy.

Jilly and I were a bit slower, but not by much.  I told Jilly a very long and detailed version of The Little Blue Engine That Could.  I really love telling these kinds of stories while hiking.

This was Jamie’s first real physical adventure since her ACL reconstruction operation last January.  She had her physical therapist’s OK.  She was very strong and actually less tired or stiff than others at the end of the day. (Maybe because she wasn’t allowed to carry anything??? Or because she was actually that strong????- I have to say I think the latter.)

Jeanee climbed up to the top of the left gully, past the choke.  She was the leader of a group of five.  She was amazing.  She just calmly went up- making it up there without any difficulty at all.  The gully had a few snow chutes.  This is where the top snow goes to make a stream of snow.  It’s actually a small, in control avalanche.  So the skiing up there is really tricky!  Jeanee came down with complete control and ease!  BOTH times.

My dog, Lyona, was with us.  She is a small bishon/shitzu mix dog who in the winter has a very thick, long coat of hair.  But she just had her spring shave on Monday so had to wear a sweater yesterday.  It was a nice contrast to see the little “Cutesy” dog running up the mountain just like a dog is supposed to do.  Anyway, she was following Jeanee up the left gully when a skier started down.  She jumped in the snow chute and slid ½ way down. You could see that she was laughing and wagging her tail.  Funny dog!

Jilly went up to the bottom of the rocks and had a good couple of turns from there.  She thought once was enough- not the skiing but the hiking up.

I went to the bottom of the rocks with Jilly.  I loved it.  But for some reason I had this fear take over me.  I skied across for a while and then finally had to make myself do this jump-start to get turning.  The snow and pitch were different than what I am used to but not so difficult that I needed to be afraid.

Then I went up a second time.  I was on my way up the left gully but decided I didn’t really want to go there.  So I climbed across the bowl just above a section of brush and below a section of rock outcrop.  It was an adventure in and of itself.  At one point there was a rushing stream under the snow.  So I had to figure out how to go across it without going deep through the snow.  Then at the end there just happened to be a small 8-foot cliff- and a crevice.  No easy jump off.  I did manage to find a way to hold onto the scrub and crab crawl out.  BUT one of my skis got away from me.

It fell in the crevice!

But ever resourceful as I am- I asked a tall man coming up if he could help me.  He was not exactly overjoyed with the idea, but felt a bit compelled.  Because of his length he was able to fish the ski out a bit so he could pull it out the rest of the way.

Again I had the same stop fear I had the first time.  And this time I knew the snow and pitch.  SO I stood there in the middle having a talk with myself.  Right out there in front of anyone- in particular my daughters.  I really had to ask myself why was I scared? Why was I holding myself back?  Had anything every happened to anyone I knew personally in Tuckerman’s?  Had I known plenty of people who had hurt themselves in very easy conditions?  I had this talk with myself for at a couple of hours- Maybe even the whole day. (In reality it was only a couple of minutes) I began to wonder about myself.  What was wrong with me anyway?  Why was I so scared?  And then I remembered my story to Jilly.  The Little Blue Engine That Could.  I had told this story to Jilly to give her entertainment and strength to get up the mountain and here I was – her 52-year-old mother who needed to listen to the moral of my particular version of the story.

My version the engine finally gets up and over the mountain using her attitude with her whole heart and soul, as well as everything she did to be prepared.

So I knew I was prepared.  I had the skills and strength.  All I needed was my attitude of heart and soul love for skiing.  Once I got myself figured out, I jumped off and had a great set of turns.

There is really something so special about Tuck’s.  The spring songbirds are tweeting away.  The air is soft and cool.  The other mountains are all green and lush.  The water is gushing all around- even waterfalls within the bowl.  It’s similar to glacier skiing but not exactly like it. It’s a very unique and special way to spend the day.

After that we began our descent.  We could ski about 1/3 down and walked after that.  At the bottom we stretched doing yoga.

At one point we were all unloading our packs and putting the skis in the cat when all of a sudden we couldn’t see where Lyona was.  I whistled.  Began to look around quickly when she looked up from the middle seat of the car where she had gone soundly to sleep.  She was saying, “Really more?  I LOVED it but now it time to sleep!”

Great day and, as always, great people we met on the way.


Mom Who Teaches Parenting Skills Has Hit Her Wall.

November 28, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Posted in attitudes, teenagers | Leave a comment
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I know I am supposed to be the mom who has it all together.  I am supposed to just love home schooling my kids.  To be able to engage them, organize them and even have them happily and willingly do the dishes, take out the trash, and walk the dog.  Well- here’s a moment of truth.

It didn’t take a marathon for me to hit the wall.  Just the MESS!

Our house is a MESS- almost all the time.  I have so many tricks, gimmicks, and charts to get the dishes done all with little or no success.  Well, many of them work for up to a month, then it’s completely over.  The dishes stack up, the laundry is in heaps, the dog gets out- with me mostly, and it’s really tough to engage two of my kids in their education.

I suppose if I had not had my two older children be so totally involved and excited about academic learning, I would not know or expect anything different from these last two.  But man o man.  They are NOT into learning.  Especially the fourteen year old.  She is my total social butterfly.  And its a good thing she is so good at it, because she won’t be able to do much else as an adult with the lack of academic learning she’s doing!

But now wait a minute!  This is me and I am going to talk back to me right here on this blog!  Cause as much as I am infuriated that they did nothing to help pick up the house, do the dishes, and that 14 year old has the eyes to melt any ice cold maternal stare, and the dog knows how to “hold it” till I get back, I do think they are doing some very important life learning things.

In actuality, I think that being able to interact and communicate with others is by far the most important skill that anyone can ever have.  I mean its terrific to be able to be a world champion, to be the captain of your hockey team at ten years old, to be able to attend an ivy league college, be a doctor, do a real interior design job at fourteen, but if you can’t interact or communicate does any of the other stuff really matter?

No, it doesn’t and neither does the messy house.

Now the that I think about it, yes my house is a mess, without dishes being done regularly, without pickup being the norm, struggling with over stuffed trash bags not getting to the dumpster. And well, not that I like it, but I do think that these are so less important than learning the deep and involved life skill of how to communicate and interact.

Now as far as the academic learning- I think the fourteen year old will have to go without facebook or texting for a week and show me some real applied attention to her education.  It will feel like the end of the world to her.  And I will be dragged along this mud slide with her- remember her eyes- This means I will need to keep my head down, my eyes focused with their ice cold stare and wait that week out!  Good luck to me (I already know if she shows good attention to her school work, no whining and complaining, I will be glad to let her have some time with her FB and texting.  BUT I will need to start each day fresh with no electronic communications till after her schoolwork is done.

Yes, I can do that!  How about you?  Will you be able to do what you really need to do to be sure your kids are going to get to be their own personal best?  Let me know what you do, cause I really can use some help now and then!


Why I Have Trouble Valuing What I Do

November 21, 2010 at 9:39 am | Posted in attitudes, New York Marathon 2010 | 1 Comment
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As a girl I had one absolute irresistible interest.  I loved babies.  This wasn’t overwhelming.  There was nothing I needed to do to love babies.  I just saw them and loved them.  I did become one sought after baby sitter!  Simply because I loved babies.

As I matured, I took this passion to school with me.  I studied about babies, in high school, in college, in my master’s program.  I studied every self-help book I could find.  Now I was the baby expert as well as the lover of babies.  Then I got to be a mom of my own babies, the absolute joy of my life. There was nothing that filled my entire soul more than being a mom.  I carefully had my babies spread out, four years or more between each one, so I could totally relish in each and every baby.

It was obvious to those around me that mothering was not just a thing I did.  Mothering filled every moment of my living and breathing. It filled my awake hours, my sleeping hours, and my other than reality self.  This is that self that is real but not tangible.  It is not connected with time or age.  Maybe it’s the soul or spirit part.  It’s what makes us more than automatons.  Anything that has personality has it.

I was/ am a unique and wonderful mom.  I follow my heart, insist my children live and follow their passions.  There is nothing that gets in the way of my mothering.

Yet, I am not one of those moms who is obnoxious or over bearing.  I don’t get caught up in guilt trips by my kids, by other family members, by friends, or society.  I can be the amazing mom I am simply by being my fullest and most joyful self.  My girls, their friends, and those I work with professionally, know that when I am with them I am one hundred percent with them.  My interest in what they do, think, have, where they holdback, what they excel in, is completely genuine.  There are no barriers, shutters, blinders, or lights only on specific things.

Now here’s the thing that I do that is different from what you hear you are supposed to do.  You hear you are supposed to be fully present to those around you to really get a deep understanding of them.  But that’s totally false.  To really be able to have that deep connection and understanding of those around you, you absolutely have to be completely present with your self.  If you are distracted with whom you are then there is little or no chance you are going to get it about anyone else.

But this post isn’t about you becoming present to others; it’s really about why I have trouble valuing what I do.  And it may be why you have trouble valuing what you do.

So here’s the thing.  I know how good I am at what I do- personally as a mom to my four daughters and one stepdaughter, and professionally with the young female athletes I work with, and my other clients who are becoming their own personal best.  Everything in my life is connected, centered, and joyfully executed around doing what I personally excel in.

So where is the value?  Isn’t there supposed to be hardship, difficulty, real work involved with things that have value?  I mean it’s OK to spend some time doing enjoyable things, but one’s whole life?  Doesn’t that make you (really me) be some how selfish and shallow?

If you know me in any capacity you know this is complete fantasy.  If anything, I am so rock solid and genuine that I scare off people who feel they need and want fluff and scattered energy around them.

So back to value- When I ran the New York Marathon 2010 everyone I know was impressed.  I was impressed.  Does that give running this marathon or any marathon value?  Of course there is hardship, difficulty, and real work involved with being able to run a marathon.  But this in and of itself did not give anyone else or me value from my running.  I got my value from my running because I put my heart and soul into being able and ready to run 26.2 miles at my own personal best.  And others around me soaked up this attitude and energy.  They got value from me because I created the value simply by following my joy.

You see the value does not come from the work or sacrifices.  The people in concentration camps have been made to do terrible work; they have had to sacrifice many amenities.  But no one will ever say that there was value in their work or sacrifices.  People who grudgingly go off to work or school everyday don’t bring value to what they are doing.  People are unaware of their outcomes, good or bad.

One reason marathon runners impress others is that they can only do the marathon by being fully present for months on the task of getting ready.

And this is what gives a marathon and its runners value. It is not only the actual day of running 26.2 miles.  The value comes because we all know there is something much deeper and much more encompassing than the one day of the race.

It’s the focus, the dedication, the absolute determination of overcoming the obstacles.  But it’s way more than that.  It’s the personal joy that is interspersed throughout.  And that is why I have trouble valuing what I do-

Because everything I do has joy in it there must not be value. I don’t work hard, I don’t suffer or sacrifice in any way.  Sure I put in huge amounts of effort in everything I do, I even struggle to get things done.  I have a car we call the Toasted Marshmallow- It’s a white mini van with over 200,000 miles and rust spots.  But these are not work or sacrifices. These are easy choices so my family and I have and do what we want.

But here is the reality.  Because everything I do has joy in it, everything I do has the most intrinsic full value that exists.  And that’s why it’s hard for me to know it has value.  Value is the corner stone foundation to everything I do.


Chair Lift Attack Brought Me to the New York Marathon 2010

November 12, 2010 at 10:01 am | Posted in attitudes, New York Marathon 2010, Self Esteem, sports | 10 Comments
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(OK I have finally gotten my NY marathon story written. It’s a four part series. I’m interested in your feed back and comments, as I will be using this in a book I am writing. SOOO I am regifting a prize worth $25 I won from Greg S to be raffled off to everyone who comments on the blog. You can get more raffle chances by commenting on each of the four parts- to be posted over the next few days. Happy reading and commenting)


My story actually began four years ago when I was in Chile with my family for a ski training vacation.  As I was standing alone preparing to get on a quad chair lift, a young man thought he’d join me.  (He thought I was my 22-year-old daughter- quite the compliment at 47!)

Unfortunately, the chair was coming a bit faster than he thought.  It was going to clip him so he gave it shove away from him.  The chair was attached to a bull wheel so as it went around the centrifugal force made the chair go up eight feet in the air. Then the chair crashed into me.  By the way, the chair weighed 1000 pounds!

I was obviously knocked into with tremendous force.  I was unconscious at first. When I came to my 14-year old daughter was there, a relief until I realized my feet and legs did not move!  But after about ten minutes the toes were back in action!  Let me tell you those were some of the LONGEST minutes in my life.

Because of strength and flexibility due to a life of eating healthy foods and being physically active, and especially from doing two hours of yoga each day with my eldest daughter, my spinal cord was not severed, my hip was not crushed.  I was only severely bruised in my muscle and bone.  And of course those heal easily.

Except that one-week after the accident my bruised muscles did not heal.  They atrophied.  They actually disintegrated and disappeared.  I had a dent in my hip about three inches diameter and one inch deep.

None-the-less, I still thought I would heal just fine doing nothing in particular to help the healing process.

I was completely wrong. After a year the ITB band had slid forward about an inch, towards the front of my hip.  This force torqued my body causing displacement in my bones and muscles from my toes to my neck.  I ended up with a pinched nerve in my neck.  Through two years of physical therapy and chiropractic I was able to retrain my body to its natural position.  No surgery- Lots of time and effort.

My therapist knew that I had been a runner in my youth, running a staggering 100 miles a week, and as I had more and more children (4 total) I had given up my running.  And she knew that I really yearned to get back into running.  Being able to run a marathon would mean that I was truly healed.

During these two years of recovery I had been thinking I wanted to do something for the Women’s Sports Foundation.  The foundation epitomizes and represents so much of what I stand for: Equality for women; and athletics as a major source of health, both physically and mentally.  But I just couldn’t figure out just what to do.

In May (2010) my physical therapist said, “I think you are ready to do anything you want.  You’ll have to stretch everyday, possibly for the rest of your life, but I think you can do anything you want. Maybe even run a marathon.”  The very next day I received an invitation to run the New York Marathon for the Women’s Sports Foundation.

This was the perfect match!

So in June I began my 1000-mile journey on foot.  I started huffing and puffing a measly three miles.  I worked up to six but I was VERY slow!  My daughters could ride their bikes up the mountain road I trained on faster than I could run.  But their support being there and saying, “You can do it Mommy.  You are almost at the top.”  was pure music to my ears.

I used every single motivating idea and inspiring quote I gave to my daughters and clients.  And low and behold they really did work!  I was able to get myself going.

I ran, first just trying to get the distance in.  After I had accomplished some long runs, 18-20 miles, I added speed and technique.  I did workouts with core, Pilates, Zumba, arm strength, specific leg strength and flexibility, and yoga.

All the while I had to be sure I was eating the right foods to replenish and build strength.  Luckily I minored in nutrition at college.

I also needed to keep myself mentally going forward.  Some runs were horrible, some were very inconvenient.  Many were fantastic.  If I did not have the mental stamina I would have quit.

It’s not an easy task to train from scratch, to engage and solicit funds, to educate others about the Women’s Sports Foundation and to do everything else that needed to be done in my regular life of being an education and life management coordinator and coach for young female athletes, being a mother of four active daughters (two of whom are pro- and semi-pro freestyle skiers, homeschooling the three that live at home, and all the other things that come along with being CEO and CFO of a home.

I found that joining some online communities really helped. One was specifically set up for runners.  We post our runs and workouts, notes about running, support and motivate each other.  The other is facebok.   With these two and my local friends I had all the connections and support I needed.

So training and living went on.  Summer heat and humidity, new running shoes, and an unexpected two trips made me wonder if I really could get myself trained and ready for the marathon.

But you know I did!  I spent the last two weeks of Sept and all of Oct getting my final training done.  I had some long runs- all in the New Hampshire Mountains that I live in. One stands out in particular.

It was a nice sunny day. I was going for a ten-mile run.  I ran up the mountain road from my home and down to old dirt, logging road going up into the mountains.  This became a grass path, which turned into a muddy trail.  I reached the pass and started down the other side.

It was a stream that I had to jump from stone to stone with plenty of cold splashes along the way.  I was heading to a road about two miles from the pass, planning to hitch hike back to my town from there.  But all of a sudden there was a marsh in front of me.

I had to turn back!  And the weather had changed from sunny and warm to cold and damp and windy.  It was awful!  So I hopped and splashed my way back trying my hardest to not think anything.  I got to the logging road.  Some hikers were catching up to me.  So I forced my feet to pick up, move a bit faster.  I was back to running again, even though I hadn’t realized I’d stopped running.   All the while my twelve-pound dog was happily bouncing along.  When we got back to the road I put her leash on.  And bless her little soul, she tried to pull me home. She is not a regular leash pulling dog.

I was now two miles from home- and I was feeling dejected, exhausted, and ready to go home and cry!  The cry was going to be the best thing about this run. At least I would be able to get it all out of me.

Then my daughters drove the car up to me.  They were coming up the other side of the road.  They made a u-turn offering me food and water.  I just wanted a sweatshirt. The dog got in the car, not tired, just happy to be with happy people.  And the girls drove off toward home.

But they couldn’t leave me like that, even for the last mile left to get home.  They turned around again, made another u-turn by me and drove close to me blaring out the windows “We Are the Champions Of the World.”  Something happened.

I really can’t say what.  All I know is it was sort of like when the Grinch changed.  My heart warmed up.  I remembered who I was running for, My girls, All my extended family girls, and ALL the girls and women that the Women’s Sports Foundation represents.

How could I quit?  So what if I had a crummy run.  I had an obligation to myself and literally thousands of other girls and women to run!  If I quit what would I be saying to my own girls?

So I really picked up my feet and ran.  I focused deep inside.  I cut all the stings that were holding me back.  I looked at that road and nowhere else.  We were approaching our street.  I was on the right side of the road. The girls next to me. The road to the left.  The car began to turn slowly.  I kept going.  I waved my hand for them to come.  On we went.

Twenty yards further was a road to the right that looped around for a short circle back to my home road.  This was hard.  I looked at that road directly in front of me.  I made my feet keep going.  I picked them up, and ran straight on.   The girls put on other songs of inspiration.

Another twenty yards and I made a right turn.  This was back up the mountain road.  My pace picked up.  I was hauling up that road.  The music was blaring.  I got to the top, made the loop, and began the flight down.

And down I went.  My feet barely hit the ground.  I was here with my girls and I was twenty again running.  I was thrilled and amazed.  A sharp left turn to the flats.  Right turn to go down again.  Then up a short steep hill.  Back on the flats.  And a left up the steep hill to home.

I did it.  I ran those last six miles, in under 40 minutes. That was a pace of six-minute miles after a horrible run.  The total run was 26.5 miles.

I also knew I had changed forever.  I was now able to do my own impossible.  I was able to go beyond my own abilities, reach somewhere deep inside to gather strength and energy I’d only dreamed of.  I could do this because I wanted to show my girls and all girls and women that they could do it too.  We can all pass our impossible.  We can all run those last six miles.

And funny thing, after this run my soliciting became easier. My daughters began to make calls, to post about my running, to email their friends and acquaintances, to think there was more to it than just “Mommy running.”

That training run was the Sunday just three weeks before the New York Marathon, the day after going to an all day Bar Mitzvah with hours of dancing.

Monday I was tired, but I knew I needed to stay strong.  I went to my Zumba class anyway.  I kept right on with my training.  I really ramped up my core and arm strength. I stretched and did as much yoga as I could find time for.

These activities were not only for my physical strength, they added mental power too.

But I knew I had to slow down before the race.  And thankfully Halloween was right there, one week before the race.  My ten year old still wanted me to be with her for lots of festivities the whole weekend.  And she had two ice hockey games and one soccer game.  No time for my training.  But I did know now that if I really wanted to get in a work out I could.

That’s the prelude story of my New York Marathon 2010 race.  It was a race in and of itself.  It was a 1000-mile journey on my feet.  The beginning of the journey.  The next 26.2 are the end and the beginning.


Plain Old Tuesday or Terrific Tuesday?

October 27, 2009 at 8:21 am | Posted in attitudes, Terrific Tuesday | Leave a comment
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It’s just plain old Tuesday. It’s not the beginning of the week. It’s not really the middle. It has no significance. It’s just a day.

Yet today is the most important day today. It’s this day that really matters- Without today you would not be. None of us would be.

I know you all work for the day of when your family runs smoothly.  Nothing gets in the way-. Those days are unique and special. You try to be at your best. You look forward to the excitement and adrenalin rush of the day. The anticipation builds and the day comes. Yes, those are the days that make up for today- plain old nothing Tuesday.

Wait a minute. I started this with Terrific Tuesday of Plain Old Tuesday, so why am I slumping up Tuesday this way?

You see everyday in your life matters. Some are memorable. Others just happen- you get up and eventually you go to bed- plain old Tuesday for sure. Yet it’s these regular days that set you apart. When you can take your mediocrity, your normal, and bring it to great then you will be great. Settling at any moment can bring you from being terrific to being good. Good is the antithesis of being terrific and great.

So what makes you be terrific today?

Now you put your comments in. Lets see what makes you parents tick on plain old Tuesday.


Is It Tomorrow Yet?

October 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Posted in attitudes | Leave a comment
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Here it is late at night for me.  Not so late for some of my kids.  I remember that days when I had all my kids in bed by 8:00.  And I would be sleeping by 8:30.  Oh how I loved those days.  And we would all be up in the morning singing, happy and playing.  But now I have one child left who on her own- well almost on her own- gets up in the morning.

The other daughter at home is a SSSLLLLOOOOWWWW riser.  And with home schooling, she often forgets about the necessity of getting up.  So every now and then I spend the day letting her know and understand the privileges she gets.

Today was one of those days.  When she strolled downstairs at 9:00,  when she had her breakfast at 9:30, when she did her math test in pajamas, when she got to go for a bike ride after lunch, and now that she has just gotten home from dance she does not have to stay up for the next two hours to get her homework done.

These are her privileges for now.  And what do I get out of her being home schooled?

Sometimes it’s as easy as pie to understand.  You see I am just like you.  I have all kinds of stuff to do.  Busy stuff that really doesn’t mean too bits of anything if I get it done or not.  Only somehow it SEEMS like if I don’t get it done I, or one of my kids, will just fall all apart.

And so with home schooling I have this time when we are not actually crazy with that stuff.  But really the thing is that no matter how you raise your kids.  You get consumed with all the stuff.

So here’s what I am doing- writing you- and then I will go up and read to my kids, know that whatever is on my list that did not get done again today will still be on my list tomorrow and the next tomorrow and the next.

Because tomorrow I get to start again, but it will never be today again.  You know that old cliche- Only it is true.  You just do what you can today.  Be thankful you have your kids and know that one day you won’t have them. You better really know that because no matter what you do, they will be gone.  And anything else would be too sad to think about.

Night all. Sleep well- I am sure I will now that I have shared this with you.


Poop Pie up Your Nose-Man was I pissed!

October 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Posted in attitudes | Leave a comment
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Man, I am pissed off.  Well, actually at this moment I have had a time to cool off.  But here’s the story- with as few details as I can put in.  Cause I know parents will get the picture.

Here are the characters- but not real names just in case, you know.



Supposed to have kid Divorced Parent of GirlA- PA

Other Divorced Parent of GirlA- OPA

Parent of GirlB – PB

And the only reason I mention anything about divorce is because to help you understand a bit more.

OK my 9 year old daughter and her two friends decided to have a sleep over at my house.  And the plan was set, we thought, with all necessary parents on board. By necessary I mean PA and PB.

Then we got word from the other parent (OPA) that there was a problem this weekend and the visitation was being altered. So the “BIG” sleepover for Saturday sort of fizzled out.

And that was OK.  But here’s the tough part.  This morning we find that PA has called and made plans with PB to have GA go to GB’s house.  And that after lunch GA will come over to play at my house.  And of course we all know that no one wants to leave one house when the play has just really begun.

Now mind you it was the girls who begged their parents to have the sleepover and play time at my house.  It was not that my daughter was not liked or wanted.  Both the other girls love my daughter.  After all, being a parent for 25 years I can tell when my kid is not liked.  And it is not the case here.

I was unaware of this new arrangement.  Oh yeah, last night I talked with PA and even though the sleepover wasn’t going to happen, the day of playing was still on.

I called PA this morning.  I threw out the idea of going to a fall festival. That’s when I was told of the new plan.  Then an hour later PA and I talked again.  And it seemed to me that the girls would all be going to the festival.  And before we went we would have the dogs and girls run around for an hour together.

Next thing I know is that GirlA is at GirlB’s house.  And GirlA would come over after lunch.  SO you know it didn’t happen.  But I did talk with PB.  She was totally understanding and sympathetic and I do believe had no idea of all this stuff.

Then PA calls and is going to bring GirlA over right after going to the grocery store- around 12.  At 1:00 I took my daughter to the field to run the puppy- who by the way hadn’t gotten run yet.  We got back at 2.  (We live in small village, and had left a note on the door incase GirlA showed up.)

And of course you know they did not come over.  Now I’ve got a really moping and pissed off nine-year old.  And it’s NOOOO fun to have that let me tell you.  My day had gone from great to sucky just like hers.

But PB called, not realizing the time and to have my daughter come right over.  I was pretty relieved! And PB was shocked that PA had not come by.

Now I have never in my life been a gossiper, or defender of myself when others have gossiped about me- and it has cost me a lot over the years I have to say.

But I stood there with my friend – PB- and just let it all out about PA.  It was actually a really healthy thing for me to do.  I doubt if I will now become a gossiper, but this was a truly cathartic experience.  No tears, no huge expression of emotions, just letting something that had been going on for years be released.

I’ll let you know how I react after I see PA again.

But now I am feeling really relaxed.  I know that I showed my daughter, who really wanted to take a poop pie and shove up PA’s nose- a great way to handle the crap that gets dished your way.  Although I think I would feel way more satisfied if I could do the poop pie method!

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