Do I have grit? That was the question I was left with after the Chicago Marathon. When I looked back on the race and remembered how I fell apart in the last several miles, I couldn’t help but question my willpower and inner strength. I didn’t push through the pain. When my body told me to stop, I listened. I had spent 18 weeks training my body and preparing it to cover 26.2 miles in less than 4 hours, and all I could feel was disappointment — a pain that endured much longer than the aches I experienced on the […]

Be the passenger

It started with a yellow letter addressed to me and my husband. “Thank you for your continued residency at (address),” the letter began. It then went on to inform us that our current lease was ending on June 1, and because they require a 60-day written notice, we needed to notify our landlord no later than April 1 of our intentions to stay or leave. The plan was always to leave. My husband would find a job as an assistant professor, graduate in the spring, and we would move to a new location to begin the next chapter of our […]

Trust yourself

It’s 5 p.m. on a Saturday and I’m in the middle of running 48 laps around the indoor track at the gym. It’s an easy run that I don’t have to think much about, but given the fact that my last run was outside in shorts and a t-shirt (who knew it could get into the 60s in February — in Wisconsin?!) having to run in circles inside is quickly becoming a bore. So I do what normally works when I feel my mental focus fading on a run: think about the race I’m training for. As I start picturing […]

Take care of your vessel

It’s Saturday morning. My head hurts a little from the very little sleep I’m running on but here I am, lying on my yoga mat with some 200 other people inside the Milwaukee Art Museum. “Now let your knees fall to the right side,” says the yoga instructor. In unison we come to this slight variation of the fetal position. I place my hands on my heart and close my eyes. Our 75-minute session is winding down and I’m ready to let the poses and stretches I just put my body through soak in. I breathe. As the yoga instructor […]

What would they do?

You registered for a marathon, but now you don’t feel like getting your long run in. You said this was the year you were finally going to eat healthy and get in a gym routine, but now you just want to order a pizza (and eat the entire thing in one sitting). You promised you’d pay off your debt and watch your spending so you wouldn’t have to worry about paying rent, but now your friends are going shopping and you could really use a new pair of boots. You’ve put aside time every day to work on that side […]

What would life look like?

I look at the clock. It’s after 10 p.m., the time I’d promise myself I’d be in bed by. The alarm I had set for 9:30 p.m. had already gone off and, as I had done every time before, I turned it off and went right back to what I was working on. Which in this case is skimming through web pages for workouts to try. I finally close my laptop and head to the bathroom to shower, feeling disappointed and frustrated with myself. All I did when I got home from work was make dinner, set up my new […]

Why New Year’s Matters

I don’t subscribe to the idea that January 1st is just another day. I don’t believe that the New Year is a trivial holiday. In fact, I think the transition from one year to the next can be one of the most significant times we experience every 12 months. Why? Because it reminds us that time only moves in one direction. Another year has passed and when I reflect on those 12 months, I have mixed emotions. 2016 was not my favorite year. My cat died suddenly in July. I failed to run a sub-4 marathon time in Chicago. I chickened […]

The Sound of Silence

What do you do when you put something out there, wait for a response and… Silence. No one is commenting. No one is sharing. You’re not even sure if anyone is even reading. You’ve cast your light out into the world, hoping it would draw somewhere near, but there’s not a soul in sight. What do you do? That’s the situation I’m facing in my writing and social media channels. I put something out there. I think I’m going to get a response. And all I hear are crickets. It’s disheartening and discouraging. But it’s also incredibly freeing. I recently […]

Never Give Up, Never Lose Hope

Get up. It was 11:15 p.m. on a Wednesday night and I was attempting to fall asleep. But my eyes would not shut. I stared up at the ceiling and heard my intuition say it again. Get up. About 15 minutes prior to this moment my husband had turned off the TV. His beloved Chicago Cubs had blown their lead in Game 7 of the World Series and he couldn’t stand to possibly see them lose in the bottom of the ninth. I had been hiding in the bedroom since the bottom of the 8th inning, as I couldn’t stand […]

Failure & Success

My last post, “It’s Not All for Nothing,” was “oddly prophetic,” my husband told me. Indeed, because I did not achieve my sub-4 marathon goal time, nor did I even PR. At first my failure did not bother me. I still crossed the finish line smiling because I loved the marathon. There were moments on the course where I looked up at the skyline and thought “Wow, this is it, I am running the Chicago Marathon.” I was surrounded by runners and spectators the entire 26 miles. And perhaps the biggest thrill was getting that medal and knowing I had […]