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Monday, April 24, 2017

Finding the time to run

The number one issue with starting running is how to find the time. Most of us mortals are not lucky enough to get sponsored to run and workout everyday so we have to make it work other ways. I have in no way got it figured out. There are days where I can barely find time to sit down much less run, but for the most part I do what I need to do. I have trained for marathons, half-marathons, and now an ultra-marathon all the while working full-time, raising two boys, finishing my master's and planning an elopement. Here are some of my tips to get it done:

1. Set a goal. I stay motivated better when I have a goal. Whether it's  race or a goal to get faster, I get out the door better when I have a something to work toward.

2. Make a plan. If you want to get started running, find a training plan. For me, I love following a training plan. There is no figuring out how far to run, what work out to do. I look at my schedule and see what I need to get done.

3. Plan ahead. I have a ton of things going every week, so Sunday I look at my training plan and see what's ahead. Depending on everyone's schedule I will write down what days I can get my runs in.

4. Stay flexible. Things come up.A lot of times, I have to scribble and change things on my calendar to adjust for changes in the week.

5. Get back at it.  If you can't get a run or workout in, it's okay to scratch it. Sometimes no matter how much you plan it just isn't possible. Don't give up and get discouraged, just get back at it tomorrow.

Everyone gets their motivation from different places.  For me, it got easier when running became a habit. You have to make your physical health a priority. Sometimes, that means it's an early alarm getting you out before dawn or it's staying up an hour past your bedtime to get it in. If it's important to you, you make the time. Life as a mommy is always busy and chaotic but you have to learn to roll with it. You have to figure out when you have time to squeeze in a half hour run or workout. Believe me, it is possible. For any extra tips or questions leave a comment below and I will get back with you!

When all else fails, bring the kiddos along! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Teaching love

Nelson Mandela once said no one is born hating another person; people learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love. This weekend I saw hate like I had never seen before.  Jackie and I were on a long road trip to see my dad. We made a stop at a little diner in Kentucky to refuel after 4 hours on the road. The diner was empty except for a little white haired couple who were so offended by a couple of gay girls coming to eat near them, they left the restaurant. They left their glasses filled and menus lying on the table. I didn’t think a thing of it until I heard the waitress explain to the other waitress that they left because of us. Wow.
What did we do to deserve that little bit of hate? I was fully aware we were in a conservative area of the country; in a very small minority in that area but what about that fact made it okay for that couple to completely walk out simply because of our presence? They didn’t know us. They didn’t know what kind of people we were. Would it have been different if we were a male and female walking in there? What about if we were a couple of gang members walking into the diner? What was it about our presence that was so threatening and insulting that they felt like they couldn’t be near us?
Now, I am new to the LGBT community so I have not had the pleasure of experiencing all the hate that has been thrown at the community all these years. I felt a little snippet of it that morning. It crazy how isolated a little instance like that can make you feel. I didn’t know these people and will probably never see them again but I couldn’t help but feel hurt. The hatred was palpable and the stares were obvious. The feeling was really indescribable. I would be lying if I said it didn’t stay on my mind after. So, I thought no better place to work through it than on my little outlet here.  
I have talked about all the amazing ways my life has changed and how ridiculously happy I am. But, I think it's only fair to be transparent and say there are times that haven’t been the best and brightest since coming out. The isolation I felt was probably the worst part. To worry whether or not your family still loves you or will continue to love you was absolutely the scariest part of it all.  Just like the couple in the diner the other morning, some people feel like it's easier to turn away, to not deal with discomfort of someone different. I don’t think people notice how the little things are super apparent. The lack of communication from some family, the avoidance, the urge to tell me what I'm doing wrong or how they don't believe in it; has become par for the course. Lucky for me, most of the time I am floating around in my little bubble and I am completely oblivious to stares and comments or hatred. Whether you feel the need to flee from my presence is up to you. Whether you believe in it or not is up to you. But, I was raised very religious and I know the bible extremely well and those conservative individuals who spew judgement and hate as their venom so easily forget the main theme of Jesus's teaching; love. I thought it ironic that I felt isolation and hate on Easter weekend.
But, despite how I have been treated and what friends or family I have lost, I am a grown woman who will continue to focus on being happy and loving everyone in my life.

You don't have to accept who I am.

You don’t have to love my lifestyle.

You don’t have to love my tattoos.

You don’t have to love the fact that I'm a gay woman.

You don't have to love the fact that I'm a hippy or feminist.

You don’t have to love me.

But don’t pretend you do.  I have been through a lot of things in life and I will keep moving forward. I don't owe one single person an explanation. I will never again make mistakes I have made in the past, or spend my valuable time making people happy who don’t deserve my time or affection. It's always easier to judge those we don’t know or don’t understand.  I will never know why that gray hair couple couldn’t stand to be in the same restaurant with two women who love one another. I just can't muster up enough hate to understand why. But, I do know, if you give me a chance and get to know me you will know I am a loving person. If you get the chance to see us together, you will see how deeply we love one another. How could a love like that be wrong?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Courage & Happiness

Abuse comes in many forms. Abuse is defined as a pattern of behavior used to gain and maintain power and control. This pattern of behavior doesn’t look a specific way. Each abuser is different, so the way the abuse is different. You may be a victim and never feel someone’s hands around your neck or feel contact of any kind; that doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. Emotional abuse is hard to see, but the scars it leaves runs deep and hurts long after the abuse has stopped.  

Emotional abuse or verbal abuse is the non-physical actions taken against a victim. Emotional/verbal abuse can be anything from threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking-in”, excessive texting, humiliation, and isolation to just down right stalking. This type of abuse can go undetected for years. It may start small and methodical; a jealous comment here or there but eventually it snowballs. The mind games start to work. You think it’s just a little jealousy. You start to believe it’s normal to be told what you can or can’t wear. You believe it’s normal to be told what money you can spend. Yelling, screaming, cussing and name calling begin to seem normal. You start to learn when you shouldn’t say or do certain thing because that’s when life gets harder for you. You become an expert at walking on egg shells. You start to compartmentalize parts of your life. You keep more and more things to yourself. Somehow they make it feel normal, like all relationships are like this. “They do these things because they love you”. Wow, why doesn’t everyone want a love like that? I will tell you why; because that isn’t love.

Being scared to tell someone you have to go out of town for work, that’s not love. Being isolated from friends and family isn’t love. Being told you’re a whore isn’t love. Being accused of cheating on a daily basis isn’t love. Receiving voice messages calling you every kind of malicious name possible all because you didn’t answer a text right away, isn’t love. Threatening to harm you if they found out your cheating isn’t love. Being stalked isn’t love. Manipulating you isn’t love. If you have to put on a show in front of people, then there is something wrong with your relationship. Don’t believe the things your told, it isn’t normal.

I have heard time and time again, why do women stay? I don’t think there is one answer for every woman. Each woman has their own reasons. Staying doesn’t mean we’re weak. We are brave. We have endured something most people will never know or understand. Sometimes, we just refuse to see how bad something is until it completely destroys us.  Sometimes, we don’t know we are being broken. Sometimes, we just stay until we can’t anymore. Whatever the reason, you are strong enough to leave.

But, I warn you, once you are finally liberated and free, it’s not immediately over. The fear and powerlessness runs deep to your core. Your heart is tattered because for so long you’ve been told you’re loved by the one person who has broken you. But, everything heals in time. Eventually, you will be happy again. You will be loved again.

When you find love, don’t be afraid. For a while, they will have to love someone who is broken and scarred. Let them see the scars you bare. Open your heart up to them completely. Realize they aren’t the person who abused you, they won’t hurt you. They will show you what love is supposed to look like, not the twisted version you have known.

You can be loved and you will be happy again. 

Complete happiness