December 2006 Archives

Snowy Run

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Okay, so it wasn't snowy on the actual run itself, but the mountains were covered. Dark clouds clung to the cliff tops, shadowing monoliths peeking through. Very fantasy-land, magical, witches and dragons and flights of fancy inducing.

Kiera and I took off for a four-mile loop run yesterday morning, a fun run that was reminiscent of running back east on a crisp fall day. Sycamore leaves cruncing beneath our feet, cold air freezing our cheeks.

We decided to ring in the new year the best way possible: with a run. Tomorrow morning, we'll head out for a long run, woo hoo!

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Christmas Festivities

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My view

Christmas was fantastic, I had a blast, as did Ash.

Christmas goodies

The Saturday before Christmas was a fun trail run at Sabino with Kiera and her sister, Ginger. We set a PR for our ascent, and Kiera set a blistering pace for the way back (although no actual blisters were harmed during the making of this run).

Presents

Christmas eve found me up early to give a friend a ride to the airport, then scampering about town, trying to get all my last-minute errands done. I also deep-cleaned my house, woo hoo! At 8 pm, I realized I had two more gifts to make – I quickly set about getting those done. Then I was off to Johnny’s to stuff the stockings, and back home to crash. Up early again on Christmas morning, to get to Johnny’s before Ash woke up. Upon waking and seeing his mom, Ash was so so happy, the look on his face just made my year. It was awesome.

Ash opens his stocking gifts

After stockings and cinnamon rolls and tree gifts, Ash and I were off for my folks in Mesa. At dinnertime, Ash seemed exhausted, so I suggested he go into the living room and lay down on the couch, which he did (unheard of for him). About 15 min later, he was asleep! Woke up 2 and a half hours later with a temp of 102.6, poor guy. Medicine dropped the fever, and he slept the whole way home and then through the night. Woke up the next morning with his tummy hurting. After vomiting (making it mostly in the toilet), he felt much better. Even though he was sick, he still seemed to really enjoy his Christmas.

Roar!

Yesterday, I made myself go out for a run at lunch. I was sluggish and slow, it was only 2 miles, but I had to walk parts. I decided to be happy that I got myself out there, rather than be pissed off and angry that I was slow and had to walk. Today, Paki and I decided spur of the moment to head out for a short lunchtime run – it was a good run. My knee hasn’t been hurting since my second acupuncture session (yay!), and I need to make sure I keep foam rolling and stretching. I’m trying to take it easy and run around 2 miles a few times a week. After I ease back into things, hopefully I’ll up my miles and go from there.

Ash sleeps off his fever

Here are the gifts I made:
Kiera's plaque
Kiera's "friend" plaque (notice the running gear in the background)

Kate's box
My sister's box

Mama's tray
My mama's tray

Mama's frame
My mama's frame (on my art table/tv table/computer table/storage table)

Seed pod plaque
A friend's seed pod plaque

Grandpa's Ash plaque
Ash's Grandpa's plaque

Paki's plaque
Paki's plaque (us racing to the finish at Jim Click's Run'n'Roll)

Oh my goodness

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The Christmas spirit has hit!

(Or more like, my hormones have subsided...)

I've decided to stay in town Christmas eve, maybe I'll go look at the lights or rent a movie (or two). And Christmas morning, I will head over to Johnny's before Ash wakes up, with his stocking, cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa in tow as a surprise. One of my favorite childhood memories is waking up to overstuffed stockings and having cinnamon rolls and cocoa. I'd like to share a similar ritual with Ash, and Johnny thinks it's a great idea. Yay!!! Just because I don't have Ash Christmas eve, doesn't mean I can't spend Christmas morning with him. I feel much better, and I know Christmas eve will be filled with excitement on my part, wrapping gifts and getting ready to surprise him. After we do stockings that morning, Ash and I will head up to my family's house in Mesa to do more gifts and a big family dinner. All my gifts have been made (I'll post pictures after everyone receives theirs). I'm happy and excited and relieved and glad to have made a choice that brings a smile to my face, Johnny's face and will do the same for Ash!

Tonight: Ash's birthday party. My baby turned 4 years old on Tuesday. What a big boy! All the family is gathering with some friends at Johnny's house tonight, where we'll have pizza and cake and tons of kids. Should be a blast!

Tomorrow morning: trail run with Kiera and her sister (who is in town). Looking forward to it!

Christmas

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How do I do Christmas this year? I’m stumped and sad and nostalgic and scared and wanting to make it special for Ash (and me!). I haven’t wanted to read anyone’s responses to the meme making the rounds, because I’m afraid it will just make me cry. Christmas is so steeped in tradition in my family, a tradition I shrugged off as an adult because I wasn’t comfortable with the religious overtones. Now, after having a child, I realize that it’s a cultural event, a special holiday to share with my son, my family, my friends. I want to embrace it, but I don’t know how. I’ve been busy and avoiding it these last few weeks. No tree, no lights. I have been making gifts, but that is it. How do I want to celebrate? How do I bring a sense of tradition and ritual and comfort and peace and love to my son on this holiday? I treasure those memories from my childhood, and hope to bring the same to Ash. How will I bring a sense of love and beauty and peace to *me* on this holiday? I think I’m ready to start thinking about how I want to celebrate it, how I want to savor it, instead of wondering how I will grin and bear it and get it over with. How will I spend Christmas eve this year, when I can’t have my son with me? How do I want to make it special for me, even though he won’t be there? How do I want to make it special, even though I won’t have anyone “special” in town to celebrate it with? I’ve been struggling with feelings of loneliness over the last few days; it’s really hitting home now.

I want to focus on the fact that things are wide open this year. I can choose what I want to do, create new traditions, new rituals. Instead of being scared that the new traditions or whatever choice I make won’t live up to the beauty of my childhood traditions, I want to savor whatever it is I choose to do, now, in the present.

I was just re-reading some e-mails I sent to a friend earlier this year, explaining my approach to life: “The main thrust of my life right now is about being open, honest, free, seeing where life’s flow goes, knowing that I and I alone am responsible for my choices, my decisions, my life. Seeing where my life takes me, and who comes into or out of my orbit and in what way. Or rather, seeing where I want to go, and who I want coming into or out of my orbit and in what way. Learning to let go, knowing I’ll be fine no matter what happens.”

Damn, I haven’t applied that to Christmas yet! I need to remember that I’ll be fine, no matter what happens. No matter how sad I may feel on Christmas eve, no matter who I do or do not spend it with. One foot at a time, I will make it through this. And I will be okay.

Speaking of one foot at a time, I went for a run last night. I rushed home, and threw on my winter gear – it was so cold yesterday, it snowed in nearby towns and up on the mountains! I ran just over 2 miles, and it felt great. No knee pain, although my calves were a little tight. It was great fun to be running out in the chilly air; I really enjoyed feeling my body move, breathing deeply. A great release that I needed! I should get out a few more times this week, woo hoo!

2006: The Year of Courage

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Chugging up the track, the roller coaster pulls me up higher and higher and higher. I look out over the landscape of my life. Friends cheering me on, Ash smiling happily, the ocean stretching out to the horizon of forever. The wind whips through my hair; I smell the salty spray of the life-giving sea. The seagulls are crying, echoing through the opened chambers of my soul. I am airing myself out, I am open, I am free. I lift my arms to the heavens, grateful and calm and content.

I reach the top, the coaster pauses. My breath catches, there is an endless moment of anticipation, expectation, resolution, faith. I plunge down, down, down. Fast, faster, fastest. I can’t breathe, I am whipped to the side, then the other side. I am scared, I am overwhelmed, but I know I chose this course of action. I know I thought about it long and hard before I got on this ride. I am here and I know I am going to be okay. I am solid and secure in my choice, even though I want to cry and scream and rage and hide.

I let my breath out, an overwhelmed, keening wail of grief over the loss of safety in my life and let it go. The wind takes it, whips it, disperses it.

I reach another hill, and I am chugging back up, up, up. A moment of respite, a moment to gather my thoughts. To ground myself. To check in and listen. Is this still the right course? Am I still making the right choice?

Yes.

Yes, I am. I know it, through to my bones. I am doing the right thing. This is wild and crazy and scary and overwhelming and oh, so right.

This year of running, of courage, of pushing my body farther than I ever thought it could go, this year of choices and listening to myself and learning how to move through pain, this year of leaps of faith, of learning I can choose to do what I want and still be okay, this year of strength and emotions and fragility and changes…this is an epic year of beauty and pain and change and extraordinary growth.

I learned how to live. I learned how to live according to me, my thoughts, my desires, my needs, my intentions. I learned how to have courage. I am still learning courage. Weeks like this past week test me. Nights like last night are painful reminders that I never said staying true to myself would be easy. Loneliness makes itself known on more occasions than I care to admit. I reach out and grab emptiness. Quiet stillness in my tiny apartment where my pantry also houses my shoes and half my closet, where the other half of my closet hangs for all to see in my living room, where I don’t have a couch, I only have a futon that I can’t fold into a couch because it’s too difficult to do by myself, where a giant wooden table hugs the wall, with my TV and computer on it and art supplies – paint and mod podge and photos and mosaic tiles and pastels and beads and paper – strewn across it. I lie on my tummy on my bed, on this maroon and blue and green paisley quilt given to me on my wedding day by my mother, and bury my face in my pillows, hoping to drown the sounds of car doors slamming in the parking lot outside, the sound of happy people talking after dinner. I smell the sweet spicy smell of gingerbread from the house Ash and I made, the pumpkin smell of a favorite candle. A string of orange lights casts a muted glow in this space – my own space for the first time in my life. So empty with just me. I want touch, arms around me, the comfort of another person’s breath on my cheek.

I am still learning how to keep myself company. I am still learning how to rely on me. Now that I am on my own for the first time in my life, I am learning how to pay bills and keep the house clean and go to work and take care of my son and still find the time to shower and shave my legs and wash my face.

I’ve learning that I’m rebellious and I don’t like that. It’s not living life according to me. It’s living life according to other people – by being the anti-whatever-they-say. (Or, more accurately, the anti-whatever-I-think-they’ll-say.)

I decided last night I don’t like that.

So this next year? Further exploration of what it means to be me. Of listening to me, not others. Part of that means not running ultras – at least for now. It means writing and painting and creating and dancing. It means lonely nights, and putting myself out there for rejection and judgment, and letting people know what’s going on inside me. It means telling the truth – to me and others. It means continued trust in myself, in the idea that I am going to be okay, no matter what happens.

No matter what. I am going to be okay.

Fun Run and Gift Making

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So I stayed up till 2 am last night, enjoying mr. Gnome. True to my promise, I was up at 6:30 and out the door by 7 to go for a run with Ms. Kiera. After seeing the e-mail I sent at 1:55 a.m. detailing my drunken state,Mike thought I wouldn't make it. I was puffy-eyed, exhausted, naseous and in pain, but I was there.

Kiera and I headed out to Sabino Canyon, and had fun on the Bluff Trail. It's a short 2.5 miles, but it felt good to both of us. I didn't fall (I thought I might, given my state), and the run definitely helped to wake me up. After some coffee and toast, I was raring to go shopping for supplies to create holiday gifts. I'm quite excited about the item I made for my sister, but she reads this blog from time to time, so I can't post a picture!!!

I got so caught up in the gift-making, I failed to take my nap. Sigh. I have tried to get re-hydrated today, so maybe I'll drink some caffeine, since I'm headed back out late tonight (Ash is away in MI, a free weekend!); at least tomorrow morning I can sleep in!

Flow

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And I'm driving down the road, just having gotten my extremely dirty car washed, listening to Modest Mouse and feeling good that my car is clean and I took out the trash and put all the clutter from my car into my house, freeing up all the space to pack up for this giGANtic event I've been responsible for planning that is going to happen tomorrow. I'm relieved to have the car cleaned, but I'm stressed and scared and hoping the weather stays so wonderful for tomorrow's event. I'm listening to the judgment recording in my head: Angie, you are eating too much, you are gaining weight, you need to stop, you need more sleep, you need to run, you need to bike, you need to go to the gym, you need to stop eating so much junk food, you are becoming ugly, you won't be desirable. My body tightens with the repitition of each phrase. I am contemplating an e-mail I received last night from someone I care about, wondering I should proceed, knowing my feelings and insecurities and desires and hopes and fears. I am thinking about the two cookies I ate for lunch, and the fact that the last time I ran, my knee hurt. I am wondering about people in my social circle, wondering about new people I'm meeting, other people I've met, and where things are going in my life. I am stressed and exhausted and scared and hopeful and yearning.

And suddenly, I start to cry.

I am so happy and grateful to be alive, to be feeling these feelings of stress and fear. I am alive. I am breathing and I am so GRATEFUL to be feeling these feelings. Five years ago, I didn't want to be alive. Five years ago, internal pain hurt so much I wanted to die. I tried to die - three times. Twice, I wound up in the hospital. I entered therapy and learned I am worthy and worthwhile and valuable regardless of outside influences. I learned not to despise myself. I learned how to be strong. I learned how to keep moving even when the pain feels unbearable. I learned I could stay alive, that the pain won't kill me.

I am reflecting on the vast changes in my life over the last five years, four years, two years, six months. I am thinking about how I am judging myself, stressing myself, tying my self-worth to food and relationships, and knowing my self-worth is not really tied to either of those things. And I am grateful that I am alive to know that. I am so content to feel the wind on my face, the warmth of the sun. I am so happy to be stressed out and alive. That I can feel. That I know I'm safe no matter what happens. That I worthwhile and valuable and wonderful and fantastic no matter what. No matter if I am involved with someone or not. No matter if a particular person has me as number one in their life or not. No matter if I make a mistake. None of it matters. It's all a part of the flow, the process, the beauty of life.

And I love it.

Knee Treatment

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A friend introduced me to Dan, a practioner of traditional chinese medicine, and he suggested acupunture for my knee. I decided to go with it.

He shows me to a small guesthouse behind his house. Harris hawks are screeching in a nearby eucalyptus, and the sun is pouring through a window, warming the tiny space. Books line the shelves along the top of the wall, and soft music plays in the background. We discuss my knee, and after I lay down on the table, he moves my legs around while doing "tuina" - chinese physical therapy. He works on my legs for awhile, then he starts the actual needle part. He explains what he's doing in a soothing voice, and I quickly relax.

If I understand this correctly, my pain is located along the gallbladder meridian. Apparently, by taking out my gallbladder, a vacuity formed, which is causing the pain along my leg and in my knee.

He begins with a large needle in my hip/glute area, then moves down to my knee. After two needles are placed there, he moves to my foot. The first three needles felt more like a quick electric shock, followed by warmness. The one in my foot hurts at first, then that fades away to warmth as well.

He leaves the room, and I am left laying on my side in comfort. I am wrapped in peace and warmth and a sense that eveything's okay. My leg is aching, a deep, pleasant ache reminiscent of a massage. I am yielding into the moment, allowing myself the luxury of complete and total relaxation.

After awhile (10 minutes? 30 minutes? I have lost track of time. Time is irrelevant.), Dan comes back and gently removes the needles. After a few more adjustments, he is done. I feel amazing. Calm. Peaceful. Right. We discuss the possibility of one more treatment, and the idea of life-long maintenance, using my foam roller or a tennis ball to place pressure on the area in my hip/glute.

I drive back to work, and as I walk back into the office, I notice it. The mis-alignment, the off-ness, the wrong-ness, of the knee and leg that I've been feeling for months - is gone. The pain comes and goes over the next 24 hours, but that feeling of things being back in place stays.

I haven't run on it yet - my schedule hasn't allowed for it - so we'll see how that goes. I'll report back when I do.

On another note, I have decided that I am no longer pursuing ultrarunning. I am seeking balance and moderation in my life right now, and there is nothing moderate about running 50 miles. I love ultra races and the ultra community, and will still participate as crew or as a volunteer (Jess, I'm still hoping to come out in February! Olga, I still want to crew you for ZG!). And I will DEFINITELY still be running. Just not wicked long distances. That being said, now I need to focus on my nutrition and health regarding food intake (uh, can we say junk food???), and also see what other forms of movement I can bring into my life to keep my mind and soul and body happy.

Just you wait

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I have purchased a computer, woo hoo! Internet will be hooked up on Thursday. Oh boy, just you wait until I get Internet service at home!!! I'll be all over all y'all's blogs :)

On the running front: no running at all this past week. The knee still hurts. I have not seen the doctor yet (busy busy!).

I'm thinking about heading to the Tucson Marathon finishing line on Sunday, to hang out and cheer folks on. Might be fun!

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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