Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Girls

Today is Aubrey and Ellie's birthday. Three years ago they were born. I can't wrap my brain around it actually. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday and sometimes it seems almost like it never happened.

It is a little confusing to trying to figure out how to celebrate their birthday. I pondered making cupcakes for them or lighting a candle, but for some reason I decided to keep the celebration in my heart this year.

I have spent the day remembering things; their little faces, how they smelled, their skinny little chicken legs. Sometimes I worry that I am forgetting details. Time has made some of the memories fuzzy. But most memories are as vivid as the moment they occurred. I know those memories will never leave me, not as long as I live.

This morning I put on the necklace my sister Rebecca gave me with their initials on it and I find myself rubbing the little charms between my thumb and first finger for comfort. My mind seems to be only on them today.

I called my dad to make sure that some flowers were put on their headstone since I am not close enough to do it myself. Of course, my dad was one step ahead of me. He sent me a picture of their birthday bouquet and looking at it made me both happy and very sad at the same time. I have yet to get used to seeing my girls' names in stone.

I don't know what else to say. I miss my girls and I miss the life we would have had together. Today especially.

Happy Birthday my sweet darlings. Mommy loves you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mud Run at Camp Pendleton

So, me and my gals ran in the annual Mud Run at Camp Pendleton on Saturday. It was a 10K with obstacles and yes, you guessed it, MUD. Lots and lots of mud. But it was A BLAST. Compared to the Tough Mudder it was cake. The weather was perfect, the people friendly, and the course was tons of fun. It felt so good to get out and run. We pushed ourselves, ran the entire time, conquered all the hills, and got covered in mud. I will definitely do this race again!

On a personal note it was especially wonderful for me because it restored some of the confidence I lost after not finishing the Tough Mudder. It also put into perspective just how tough the Tough Mudder really was. If I can offer any advice to those of you considering conquering a Tough Mudder it would be this: get a few "easier" races under your belt first. Do some mud runs and warrior dashes and things of that nature before you take on a Tough Mudder. It will only boost your confidence and increase your chances of success.

Here is a picture for you! I can't say enough about how proud I am of my girls! They killed it. I was so impressed by them and honored to call them my friends.

Laurie, me, Melissa, and Kasey post Mud Run

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tough Mudder After Thoughts

The Perseverance Project Post:

If any of you follow my blog Waiting for Morning you have probably read by now that I didn't finish the Tough Mudder.

To make a long story short the cold and wet became too much for me and I called it a day at mile 5.5. A few hours under warm blankets and some dry clothes made me good as new except for my wounded pride.

It really bothers me that I didn't finish.

It has been a few weeks now and I've spent a lot of time mulling this over in my mind. The whole point of this blog, of my life, is to persevere...so you can imagine that this isn't sitting well with me. But at the same time, there is something to be said about taking on something that could very well be too much. Only pursuing what we are certain to succeed at doesn't build character. It is the risk involved, the very real potential of failure, that makes succeeding-persevering-a triumph. Nothing is accomplished in playing it safe...

Which is all well and good when, despite the odds, the goal is met. Then you can have a party and pat yourself on the back and feel super good about all the hard work you put in because, well, it all paid off.

But what about when it doesn't? What about FAILURE?

I don't like FAILURE. Mostly I don't like it because I don't like the feeling that accompanies it. Failure feels like the moment just before you throw up, that really sick feeling accompanied by complete panic-you know exactly what I mean. But unlike being sick, failure lingers. It sticks with you. Well, it sticks with me.

The fact of the matter is, I did not meet my goal. I set out to finish the Tough Mudder and I didn't. That disappoints me. But...

Lets keep it in perspective. The Tough Mudder was a HUGE goal for me. From the beginning I worried it was over my head. And although I trained very hard for it, I knew it wasn't hard enough. Life prevented me from being where I knew I needed to be. And that happens sometimes. I am not one of those in shape even when I'm out of shape type of people. Being a mom and wife and running my tea company took its toll on me. I did my best with the time I had, but at the end of the day my limited time was NOT enough. Unfortunately this is real life and that is what happens in real life-we are not always as ready as we need to be.

These are not excuses though, just facts. I didn't succeed at the Tough Mudder YET-but the experience was not lost on me. I learned TONS about myself. I learned that I like belly crawling though mud and gravel. I learned that, through will power alone, I can submerge myself in ice cold water. I also learned that I know when enough is enough. I know my limits and I know when to call it a day. Sometimes it is better to live to fight another day.

The single benefit of failure is that I will use the experience to succeed at my next Tough Mudder. Yes-I am not finished. I said that I would finish the entire thing and I will. I wasn't successful two weeks ago but that doesn't mean I just throw my hands up. It means that I get even MORE ready and I try AGAIN until I succeed.

Because that is what perseverance is-never giving up.

Failure is only failure if we let it stop us. Failure becomes power if we let it motivate us.
And trust me. I am feeling pretty motivated right now.

Here is my last thought...as I climbed up the mountain in Snow Valley two weeks ago surrounded by other Tough Mudders along side my wonderful teammates (and friends) I thought about my girls. I was cold (ridiculously cold) and wet and really starting to doubt my ability to make it to the end. Mentally I was struggling as much as I was struggling physically. I felt overwhelmed-the altitude, the cold, the wet, the incline, the distance-it all seemed beyond my capabilities. But so did losing my girls three years ago. Grief is a tough mountain to climb too. I never thought I'd survive it.

Yet here I am.

The Tough Mudder was TOUGH. Super tough. But hands down, grief was (is) tougher. And I had to be carried down the mountain of grief more than once before I finally made it to the top. I broke down countless time convinced I just couldn't go another step. But I refused to give up. I had failures. I had set backs. I faced things I didn't even know I'd be facing-things I wasn't ready for. But I didn't let it stop me. I let the failure teach me how to succeed the next time around and I tried as many times as I need to...

I'll be stronger the next time I step on that mountain, any mountain.

So I guess it wasn't as much of a failure as it was a set back. And in the scheme of things, it was a privilege to be "set back"- I am stronger for it.

I'll keep you posted on my next Tough Mudder adventure. I will earn that orange head band soon enough.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tough Mudder Results

Kasey, Jacqueline, me and Melissa Pre-mudder

It has been a week since Tough Mudder So Cal. I had to let the dust settle before I posted about it because well...

I didn't cross the finish line.

Four hours, ten obstacles, and 5.5 miles up the mountain the cold became too much for me. The combination of 45 degree water and wind sent be back down the mountain hypothermic and exhausted. After a few hours under warm blankets I was as good as new-well almost- except for a few bumps and scrapes and a bit of a bruised ego.

The rest of my team made it (Kasey, Melissa, and Jacqueline-best teammates ever). They pushed through the cold, the wet, and the hours of literal mountain climbing to earn their orange headbands. And trust me, they did earn them.

The day wasn't all bad though. There were definite highlights. I found out that I actually enjoy belly-crawling through water, mud and gravel and I did better than I thought I'd do on the monkey bars. Kasey gets the monkey bar award of the day though. We watched her dominate until some random girl popped up out of the water below and knocked her off three bars before the end. We couldn't believe it! She was so close. For me though, the best moments of the whole day was our amazing display of teamwork as we carried a very heavy, very large log up and back down a very steep hill. It was a good moment for us.

I also learned a lot about myself. I learned that failure isn't always failure. I took a huge giant step outside of my comfort zone to even attempt a Tough Mudder. I think it is important to try things that we might not succeed at. If we only do what we know we can do then we won't grow or be strengthened. And for me, this chapter is not closed. I will try again. I'm not done. I won't be satisfied until I cross the finish line and get that orange headband too.

I will however learn from my mistakes. I will dress better, fuel better, and be in better cardiovascular condition. Isn't that life though. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we thought we were ready for only to discover we weren't. But that doesn't mean we just throw in the towel. It means that we have to get more ready, try harder, and, no matter how may tries it takes, finish.

I'll keep you posted on my next Tough Mudder adventure. I am thinking NorCal in September or Texas in October. In the meantime here are a few pictures of the day.

Jacqueline


Kasey


Me and Melissa


Melissa, Jacqueline, T-Rex, me, and Kasey Post-Mudder

 
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