Ruin is the Road to Transformation- RUN

13.1


All my runners out there you know this number.  The mile count for a half marathon.  Of which I have now done twice.  Perhaps you’ve run so many you’ve lost count, or you have just begun training towards your first 5K with your sights set on the miles ahead.  Where ever you are, be proud of where you are and excited for where you will go.

Me, a runner?  Tell me that a few years ago and I would have laughed in your face.  I was perfectly happy on the elliptical for my cardio and running the occasional 5K that took the better part of an hour to complete.  I didn’t love running… if anything it hurt my body like crazy and I couldn’t breath.

Ok, yes- in college I started to run more, like outside for distances greater then 2 miles, with the proper shoes and with a group of people.  My times weren’t anything special and I was worn out by the activity.  Skip ahead to my move to NYC and I was trying very hard to maintain my miles.  But city running and summer heat made me put on the breaks.  Fast forward to moving in with the boyfriend, running at the gym increased as we both joined Planet Fitness but try to run outside with someone who’s legs are twice as long and I was left in the dust.  Losing self respect and self confidence, my running shoes say the dark of my closet.


Wait, what??  Now I have 2 half marathon medals hanging on my wall?  When did this happen?

Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and set out to accomplish something just for you.  Starting on New Years Eve and the Midnight Run, I committed to myself to do things just for me this year.  To set new goals and reach them.  To challenge myself, through running.  And I signed up for 2 half marathons.  3 weeks apart.

First, I ran the MORE SHAPE Women’s Half in Central Park.   This race marked so much for me.  One year to the date that I was thrown out of my home and relationship.  One year of not giving up or giving in.  Once year of hard work and job promotions.  One year of being totally alone and OK with that.  3.5 years sense my dad passed from cancer. Like 6 years sense graduating high school.  Almost 2 years sense graduating college and moving to NYC.

295432_191289840_XLarge  (home stretch, feeling great!)

Let me tell you, 13.1 miles gives you a lot of time to think!  But finishing better then I had predicted for myself, and 2:24:20, at that finish line all I could think about what how amazing this experience was and how much I wanted more water.

295432_191040708_XLargeIMG_3485    (crossed the the start line about 10 minutes after the race began)

But crossing that line to cheers, cause everyone is cheering everyone on- that’s when it’s all worth it.  The medal isn’t bad either!!

IMG_3487 (no works, only happy smiles)… (water?)

Then I ran the Brooklyn Half.  Yes, I trekked to Brooklyn (from Inwood) to set out on another 13.1 mile adventure that included airport security, 5 miles run in pouring rain, and a new PR- shaving off 3 minutes and crossing the finish line at 2:21:03.  OH, and another medal!

IMG_3992   (very happy but cold, wet and sweaty… aka, socially unacceptable, LOL!)

I’ve also made some amazing friends alone the way.  People in my neighborhood, other runners new to the distance, and people to compare compressions shorts with.

My amazing beautiful awesome roommates have been there for me at the finish line every time and thanks to live tracking, friends and family who can’t make it to Central Park, and certainly not Brooklyn have been able to be a part of the experience.


“Ruin is the road to transformation” ~ Eat Pray Love

Had I not fallen so far, felt like I lost so much, and desperately not wanted to give in and leave… I never would have decided to conquer a half marathon, much less 2.  I wanted, no needed, to be a part of something. I needed to do something that only I could control… that i had to hold myself accountable too (training), and that wasn’t FOR anyone else but me.  I didn’t run these races or set expectations to show off for anyone but myself and honestly, I didn’t care what others thought or if anyone else even cared.

IMG_3988  (had to get a shot mid race!)

I can see now now far I’ve come.  I have found out things about myself that only surface when you have a lot of alone time with yourself.  I’m stronger physically (well yes) but also mentally and emotionally.  And that feels really amazing.


Long runs are about over now for the summer, but training never stops and there are more courses to conquer and medals to accept!

lovealways, Christiane

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Emaciated

verb ema·ci·ate \i-ˈmā-shē-ˌāt\
ema·ci·at·edema·ci·at·ing
Definition of EMACIATE

intransitive verb
: to waste away physically
transitive verb
1
: to cause to lose flesh so as to become very thin <cattle emaciated by illness>
2
: to make feeble


What a word.  Emaciate.  Sad and sinister at the same time.  The definition above from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

This word found its way into my life well before I understood it, in the opening lines of an emotionally charged summer theater work.  It wasn’t my line, I just heard it.  It was my scene, I didn’t understand it.

It’s amazing, the power of words.  How words spoken or read can stay with you, reminding you of good, bad, happy, or sad times.  Words can stink or pull at heart-strings and words can guide or uplift, inspire and destroy.

Emaciated

It wasn’t until very recently that I saw this word come to life.  In a picture.  Tall skinny body, always on the thin side but that was once commanding and muscular now gaunt.  Hollow face set apart by protruding cheek bones, no longer rosy.  Deep set eyes that once sparkled with nerve and adventure from under a distinguished brow line, now encircled by darkness.  Ghostly.

Can you see this face?  I see it clear as day.  It haunts and hurts.


Is it possible to feel emaciated?  Cause I think I have before.  Maybe it’s other feeling that drive it and you fall away, into the shadows of yourself wasting away.  Becoming consumed with what went wrong and how you should have done thing differently to avoid this place.

You sink further.
And further still till you are riddled with memories and words and images that you can’t let go of.
Until you do.
Until you decide you won’t let yourself be eaten by the darkness that is this fear and anger.  You find a way.  Me?  I run.  I run long and hard and I don’t look back.
At least I didn’t.  Back to the power of words?  One text.  A few words.  One text from one name and that Pandoras box you locked and hid under a floor board under your bed opens and all those shadows come bursting forth with fury a thousand times stronger then before.  Angered for being overcome by the present and powerful thoughts and actions.
I fell.
I fell back into that dark place.  So easily.  Like returning to an addiction, it takes control so much faster the second time.  How easy it is to fall back.
Then you become feeble, handicapped, emaciated.  Because your feelings consume you.  You forget to take care of yourself.  You don’t sleep.  Can’t eat.  Can you get out of this shadowy abyss again?

A picture is worth a thousand words.  That’s a powerful picture if one little word can pack such a punch.

One powerful words perfectly wraps up one image and it scares me.
What has happened to that charming face and powerful being?
What will happen to me the next time those shadows re-emerge from the dark?

I told you it’d be thought provoking…

lovealways, Christiane

A Mild Monday Morning

That’s what it is here in New York today.  The humidity and threat of summer already beginning to make itself known.  But for now it’s still that special breed of morning cool, dew, and light.

And it’s just 10am.

Are you sick, Christiane?  Why… how are you still home at 10 on a Monday?

Yes, I ask myself that occasionally, as I’m sure others do.  But gone are the days of waking up at 5:30am to commute to work, ping-pong between jobs, and finally arrive back home around 11pm just to collapse on the bed and to it all over again a few hours later.

That’s right, I’ve gotten a new job… well more like I’ve climbed up a rung or so on the proverbial ladder.   I’ve been with this company 2 years June and stuck it out (even when it seemed like the end) so a promotion came with open arms.  That’s not to say it’s all fun and games.  It’s a total retraining, relearning, re-strategizing process.

I work in sales.  No, not retail so much anymore.  Not hospitality,  although my Southern charm has come in hand way to many times.  Sales.  Membership sales.  Sales of an intangible practice at lofty prices.

Sure, I can talk about the value and benefits all day long.  I can put you in the right class again and again and know you are enjoying it.  But then comes asking.  Asking for or assuming the sale.  It’s not like selling a pair of shorts– OK, these fit and they look good.  I need shorts, cause it’s warming up and all.  Great, I’ll buy these shorts.  I know they are what I want and I know I will have immediate use for them.

It’s not exactly the same process for a membership.  “Would you like to continue your practice with us?”  Sure, maybe I would… but I’m traveling and what if I get hurt and can’t take class or I get busy with work and never make it in for the classes I want.  I’m sure I will enjoy it, but I want to come 3 times a week and I know I won’t be able to any time soon…  Wait, it’s now much?  Will I be coming enough to justify spending that?

I hear it every day.  Smiles and Southern flair only get you so far.  And that’s where my biggest challenge lies…  in the new uncharted unknown.

I’ve also found myself so much more immersed in the business… the numbers game or a large company.  The stat reports and corresponding percentages are suddenly something I check and actively participate in every day.

So why am I writing about this as I sip my coffee and procrastinate putting on stretchy pants and a blouse for work?  1.  Because I thought my fabulous blog community should be made away that I have a new position and will probably be writing more about it.  and 2. Because of the newest book i picked up the other day for summer reading.

While browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble on 80 something and Broadway I picked up my usual- the latest edition of Women’s Running, another book on the cosmos, Origins by Neil DeGras Tyson, a book recently turned major motion picture that was recommended by a good friend, Wild, and then I found myself in the Business Management section.  Here I was drawn to a book bearing the Starbucks logo– Onward; How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, by the company CEO Howard Schultz.

I don’t know what it was about the book or the moment, but I had to have it.  Will it unlock some hidden secret about working in a corporate company?  Maybe… I have no idea.  All I know is I haven’t been able to put it down.  My train commute is now something to look forward to rather then hold off on a long as possible.

While I’m not very far into it yet, a section of Onward stuck with me and I will leave you with it.

lovealways, Christiane

“There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust.  But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing in the right and best thing to do.  We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.”

May this be better

Oh dear blog readers.   Yup, here I go writing again.  But this time I make no promises to write everyday or about all that I do.  Clearly, my personal goal to try and live in the moment and my full time busy work schedule takes away from my time to sit quietly in bed and write long posts.

Instead, as I near my 2 year New York-iversary, I’ve decided to post at least once a week… and for a while I have a feeling there will be a lot of catching up on past events.

Oh there are so many things I want to share.  But as I am chillin in the living room with a nice Riesling, take-out, and Mulan (oh, and 2 silly cats), I can’t write it all now.

So I’ll let you know what I want to share with you in the days to come: HALF MARATHON!!  like I ran one and it was amazing.  Job promotion… and ALL the things that come with that… ugh.  City adventures, new friends, and new goals.  I’m sure there will be some personal venting and all that good stuff, but all in due time.

This is what I will leave you with— April 19th (Yes, also the same day of my first Half Marathon) marked 1 year to that date that I have been living, deciding, and surviving on my own.  Never knowing where you will be sleeping tomorrow night makes having a safe, cozy, beautiful home so much more amazing.  I can see how much I have grown in that time and where I haven’t.  But mostly to never give up on and stay true to yourself.

<3always, Christiane