Gratitude

Here I am. Awake at 0700 on a Sunday morning, having worked some of the most difficult shifts of my career thus far in the last seven days; and yet…img_1537

The world is beautiful.

The leaves are freshly fallen, colours of burnt auburn, pumpkin and yellow canary.

Sunshine glistens through the trees; a new day, a fresh start.

Tea billowing, flowing with steam.

Flannel pyjamas against my skin; soft, warm, seasonal.

Acoustic covers play list catching the melodies of my soul.

There is so much beauty in this world.

Hold whom you love tight, take risks, love recklessly, dance like no one is watching.

Live passionately.

As the song says;

This is your life, what are you waiting for?

Today I am grateful for:

Incredibly supportive, hard-working, kick-butt, passionate friend-workers [co-worker friends].

I have everything I NEED.

The gateway music opens in my soul.

 

 

Moving On From Self Doubt

Yesterday I ran the EY River Run Classic Half Marathon.

RIVER CITY 2011
This was my first ever half marathon, back in August of 2011. (above)
I had just finished nursing school, just started my dream job as an emergency RN, just got married, and was in the best shape I had ever been in up to that point. I was able to train with three friends who through running became some of my best friends.
The race kicked my butt. It was painful, it was hot, it was hard. I left feeling more accomplished than any other day in my life. Non-athletic Sarah just did something few complete. She ran a half-marathon. Running was an outlet, a way to prove to myself I was capable of anything I set my mind to.

Flash forward to July 10, 2011: it was a humid, overcast day. One of my best friends and mentors signed up, and paid the $70 just to pace me. I was full of expectations. There was no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t achieve my 6-year goal of running a half marathon in two hours and thirty minutes-just one month ago I ran a 2:34 with digestive issues.

By 8km my  mind started to collapse. I started trailing behind, loosing time. I started thinking about how stupid I was for trying to conquer such a lofty goal (4 minutes faster in less than a month). My toe went numb, and then incredible pain. I was nauseated, my hands were swollen. I started working myself up so much I couldn’t breath because I was fighting back tears.
This is pretty much how the rest of the race went. I beat myself up emotionally. “You can’t do it”, “Just quit now”, “Why did you ever think you could do this? You aren’t an athlete!”, “What a bad friend, wasting Rebecca’s time”…. and on and on it went.

I knew my goal was gone….and then a few minutes later, a PR was also gone. I basically whined, and cried on and off from 8km all the way to 20km. I was ready to pull out my debit card and call a cab. I threatened to hitch hike home. I didn’t fuel properly, because I had already given up in my head. I drank way too much water, not enough salt…and hardly any carbs. Becky wouldn’t leave me. She encouraged me. She pushed me to work harder, and she pulled back when she saw emotionally I couldn’t push harder. She tried to remind me, just ONE MONTH ago, this would be a GREAT time.

At 2:42, 3rd to last, with tears streaming down my face, I crossed the finish line.

RIVER CITY RUN 2016

Today, after almost a full 24 hours of sulking, it brings tears to my eyes. Not because I am upset with myself for the time anymore-but because I was my own enemy. My own self-though process destroyed me. The race was over in my head after it had barely just started physically.

I took my time to sulk. I am now surpassing those demons that told me I wasn’t good enough on race day. I am good enough. I am MORE than ENOUGH.

I am pulling out of the full marathon in September, not because I think I can’t do it…I know I can. I want to love running. The best part of running is the self awareness, and confidence it gives me…. I lost that somewhere in this race.

I have two more half marathons this summer, one in august and September (switched down from the full). My biggest goal being to show myself love, and the love of running again. Run for enjoyment. Run to prove to myself I am ENOUGH.

…Because I am.🙂 On to bigger, better things. SEE YA LATER SELF DOUBT.

Saskatchewan Marathon

Sunday was the Saskatchewan Marathon in which I was running the half marathon. Having only gotten out of a boot cast for a bad sprain two months prior, I started the day with my only goal to get close to my old PR.

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My HEART was a different story. I wanted to break 2:30 for the first time. One of my best friends was pacing the group, and I knew with her encouragement I could do it.

The first 5 km of the race was through residential area. At first I was dreading this as I find residential BORING. However the first 5 km everyone was still close together, it doubled back on itself and there were tons of people cheering. By the time we got to the river trail I thought, oh wow! Its just like starting a regular run, I just have to go a shorter distance now!

Running a 7min/km pace felt hard, but do-able. Around 12km I realized I had to use the washroom and use my inhaler, but didn’t want to stop and risk loosing my pacer. I ate two gels-pretty much forcing them down on Becky’s advice knowing I would need the energy later. By 14km, I NEEDED to stop [I was majorly regretting cutting my digestion time pre-race by half an hour]. I picked up my pace to PAST comfortably hard, hard as I could go to get to the washroom for…

SOME SPECTATOR KID TO SWIPE THE ONLY BATHROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I couldn’t wait. I knew if my pacer passed me, I would have a really hard time getting back to her.

I slowed for a mini-tantrum. HA! My eyes were watering, I had rage inside me [yes, I know, kids can’t hold their bladders…rationally, I’m not mad….irrationally in my “IM GOING TO KILL A 6 YEAR DREAM” head I was RAGING. It was all I could do not to scream at the mother as I ran by. There were literally public bathrooms 300 meters away.] Becky caught up to me and I am sure she could tell I was defeated. She pointed out the bathrooms up ahead and I went for the sprint. I knew if she got more than 30 seconds ahead of me I wouldn’t be able to catch her.

I sprinted along the course to the public bathrooms. I went faster than ever in my life, one minute.  I sprinted back out. I saw Becky in the distance. I ran as hard as I possibly could. Possibly harder than I ever had to try to get back with her and the group. I could see her in the distance for a full 2-2.5km. She was SO close, but I was burning every ounce of extra energy I had to try and catch her. TMI alert: I was running so hard, I vomited in my mouth, and swallowed again in an attempt to KEEP GOING.

I approached the south bridge which has a slow incline. She was at the end of the bridge [thanks to a bright orange tank I could find her]. I tried as hard as I have ever tried for anything. The incline started, and I just knew, I couldn’t keep this pace any longer. I would have to push myself to try my best, and PR as close to 2:30 as I could.

I slowed my pace back to my goal pace and kept going. Within another 2-3 km my pace slowed dramatically. I was 1 minute slower per KM. I downed almost an entire pack of gel dummies desperate for energy. All of that sprinting wore me out early.

I knew that if I didn’t PR at least, I would never forgive myself for giving up.
I pressed on at 90% effort. The hardest I have ever worked in a race, EVER.
In my head I kept calculating how many minutes behind I was. FINALLY I was on the final stretch. I could see the finish line.
400 meters left, I had plenty of time to PR. Becky  ran back for me. All I could say was “I tried so hard to catch you” through tears. I was so emotional I could barely breath. I had to beg her, and a few seconds later, my husband, not to talk to me so I could at least breath and finish strong. Becky took my camel back to lighten the zone and I ran the last 300 meters at a pace around 5:28 according to my watch. If you saw me dragging it in, you probably would have thought I was a robot. I wasn’t smiling. My eyes were on the prize.

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I finished in 2:34:59. 11 whole minutes off my previous personal best. Almost 5 minutes off of the dream I had been chasing for 6 years….and while I didn’t believe I could achieve until mid race, had my heart set on.

Now, I am selfishly bummed. Im trying to be so happy with my accomplishment. I PR’d by such a large amount. I ran the hardest emotional and physical race I have ever run. I all out sprinted 2.5km…..and I can’t stop thinking about 2:30.

I could have done it. I COULD HAVE DONE IT.
The fire is inside me. Now to find a race….

PS. Don’t ask me about aid stations or any of that jazz- the only ones I really remember were at 4km and 14km[with the dang kid], but I was so zoned in and focused I can’t remember. I DO know 14km only had ONE porta potty. I know they were often, I was just trying to run my hardest and zone them out. I wore a camel back with my energy and water.

Perspective

Per-spec-tive
Noun
1. the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.
2. a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

It is incredible how as humans, we have such ability to change our perspectives based on experiences.
I find it so interesting when you actually look at the definitions of perspective, you find at first a description which does not seem to fit with emoting. Two dimensional surfaces,  drawn in a way to so you can see them differently. How mechanical…but isn’t that really all the second definition is too? Our attitudes are so two dimensional, until we add our experiences and emotions giving them a three dimensional meaning.
Have I lost you?
Where are you getting with this Sarah?

My perspective has once again shifted. Having blurred my outlook, and lived in my own grief for a little while, I have had new experiences to shift my attitude, and give me a new perspective.

I find myself so INSPIRED.
I am LUCKY. I have been surrounded in a tribe of STRONG WOMEN. In my saddest, most selfish moments I have never been far from someone who is ready to pick me up, ask how I am feeling, share their story, allow me to open my mind and heart to the world and let beautiful things in again.

In so many ways my infertility has blessed me. I have become rooted in deep friendships and bonds which I doubt I would have found without a little struggle….

You see, we are all a little bit broken. Thats what makes this life journey so beautiful. That is what BONDS us. Our ability to change our PERSPECTIVES and see; the world is beautiful. The brokenness allows for such beautiful GROWTH, LOVE, SUPPORT, PERSEVERANCE. 

People die, hearts get broken, trust gets destroyed, dreams get shattered.
But isn’t this why we DREAM? Isn’t this why we HOPE? So we can take one step further away from the things that slay us, and into the light and beauty of this world.

I have a little saying that I now  find myself uttering  as my mantra. When I want to complain about how tired or broken I am, how my legs can’t run a step further, my heart can’t break again, how I want to GIVE UP; I find myself saying :

Everything worth having is HARD. The best things require HARD WORK. PUSH HARDER.

As we head in to Infertility Awareness Week in Canada, I just want you to know. You are not aloneWE (that 1 in 6 couples…and every single person who didn’t get married and have 2.3 children by 34 like society told them to) are not alone.

Dream. Hope. Want. Work for…. because even if you get a little broken along the way…
There is so much beauty in the broken, and WE have your back.

The One That Almost Went Unpublished

Change is hard. Grief is unpredictable.

2012_0513AJ

Last month we moved into a new house. We left behind our first home, the place we started our fertility journey, and the place we ended it in so many senses.

I discovered in the moving process how bad I am at change. I also discovered that little apartment  which I had so many fond memories in, I also held so closely tied to our fertility journey.
I had no idea really STARTING OVER would be so hard.
We didn’t tell very many people, but immediately before we moved, we did some fertility re-testing to find our tests were much worse than previous. This was the end game. The final determinant. While we had already proclaimed we were done with fertility treatments, this was the nail in the coffin. It is over.

I pushed thoughts of fertility out to get the move done. I was perhaps the most stressed I have ever felt in my life. I blamed it on the move of course.
Now things have calmed. The boxes are unpacked, we are settled in.

Here I find myself in this house. Lots of space, perfect for a FAMILY.
There is a children’s bike left behind in the backyard from the previous tenants.
For the most part, I am me. Hopeful, excited, happy….but then these moments that I never saw coming come. My soul breaks open and the pain feels so sharp it is as though someone is squeezing my heart.

In those moments, I become that person I hate, that I won’t allow myself to be. The bitter one. The one who avoids pregnant friends. The one who allows strangers “You’ve been married for 5 years? No kids? What are you waiting for?!” questions to penetrate and hurt them. The one who sometimes has to fake a smile when people talk about their families. The one who cries in her husbands chest because she can’t shake that pain as quickly as she scheduled. The one who wants to go kick that damn bike and tell it to stop reminding her of what she doesn’t have.

It feels so selfish and overwhelming.

But then I pick myself back up…and trudge upward, searching for peace.

So friends, please excuse me while I am selfish for a while. Be soft for me when my heart is hard.

We will have a beautiful life, with or without children…
We will have a beautiful life, with or without children…
We will have a beautiful life, with to without children…

Today I am choosing joy, but pardon me if tomorrow I can’t.

Record Breaking Weekend

This weekend was one of the most fun I have had in a while. I am typically a big home body on the weekends, but this one I had fun things planned every single day! Saskatoon is such a great city!

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Friday my friend and I went for a coffee/walk [because I was too lazy to run our preplanned 10km] and then that evening, along with our new friend, went out for mexican [you guessed it, my fave- La Bamba] and then some live music at a local coffee shop, Mystic Java.

IMG_0018Saturday the hubby had a conference in the morning so I was left to my own devices to cook up a storm/relax. I made some easy buffalo cauliflower (roast cauliflower until soft/crispy and then douse in frank’s buffalo sauce) + granola + an amazing smoothie bowl.

IMG_0017Once G was finished with work, we headed out for a delicious dinner at Prairie Ink followed by heading over to Greenbryre Golf Course for Holly’s Wine and Paint class. We had a great time and ended up coming home with two very different works of art!🙂

IMG_0016Sunday we slept in (skipped church) and then I made some gluten free crepes and then in the afternoon S and I went to help break the world record for the biggest snow ball fight!

IMG_0013EPICLY FUN is the only way to describe it! There were AT LEAST 8200 people (the previous record was held by seattle at less than 6000) registered…and likely a couple thousand more unregistered since they ended up running out of wrist bands and reg lines got really long.

IMG_0010Now we are settling in for a night in, my brother is coming over for curry, and we will likely finish The Incredibles which G and I started before bed last night, and I nearly fell asleep half way though in.🙂

Have a wonderful week, and thanks for reading!

10 Random Thoughts

  1. Being a bad dancer is better than being a non-dancer. No one feels joy from non-dancers. JOY is present with confident bad dancers.IMG_0004
  2. Sweating feels GOOD. Believe me. Getting my but moving lately has been a real struggle …. BUT when I get out there and run or yoga or walk, I feel mighty mighty good after. While I am no where near back to normal in this sector, I did get out for a run and one hot yoga class this week. [P.S. Costco has these amazing Addidas thermal tights for $16…and they are really great]
  3. The Jinx. Seriously. People! If you think The Making of a Murderer on Netflix is amazing…You haven’t seen anything yet. M.I.N.D.B.L.O.W.I.N.G! G and I finished this series (only 6 episodes) last weekend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.IMG_0006
  4. MY JEEP! Old Bernie was sent to the crusher, but beautiful Walter lies in her wake. We purchased a 2016 Jeep Cherokee North Edition, with a panoramic sunroof and 4-wheel drive. I had ZERO intention of buying new but the deal we received, on top of 0% financing and the security of 5 years of extended warranty….could not pass it up. I feel like a celebrity cruising down the street in this thing. Going from the most basic car (not even power windows or locks) to this lux SUV is pretty fun. I am definitely already noticing a difference in how much fuel it takes to power the thing though-only downside. IMG_0005
  5. ROAD TRIPPING. I am starting to look at the first half of our baby-detox road trip this summer. Researching the coolest places to see/stay/etc. I am beyond excited. If you have any suggestions for Salt Lake/Grand Canyon/LA/Seattle/Vancouver/Calgary/Saskatoon driving route….COMMENT!😉
  6. Soft Candy Canes. I discovered these bad boys too late-on the christmas clearance racks…but HOLY TAMALE…new favourite candy.IMG_0008
  7. Refreshed roots make me feel like a new woman. [the hair wash/head massage helps too.]Thank goodness for my hair dresser. [who shared with me she is pregnant for the third time with T.W.I.N.S!!! EEP!!!]IMG_0001
  8. Knitting. I can officially knit….sort of. I knit this thing. I don’t know what it is, but to me, it is a graduation to a real project. I am going to start a blanket this month. IMG_0002
  9. This. I saw it posted at work and loved it. Have a happy week.IMG_0007
  10.  Gosh that was a lot of pictures of myself. BAHAHA!