On the outside it appears as if I have it together or maybe it doesn’t and I’m fooling myself in to thinking it appears that way.

Today I do not have it together.

I have a very bad habit of looking at the BIG picture and feeling overwhelmed. The BIG picture could apply to something BIG, like how to raise a daughter who knows her own self worth and who doesn’t inherit the same issues as her mom or the BIG picture could apply to something little – say recapping my experience in Kona.

Either way the BIG picture overwhelms me.every.single.time.

The BIG picture robs me of happiness, of being present in the moment.

The BIG picture during a marathon makes me unhappy. Holy crap 26.2 miles is a long way to go. That’s farther than I drive most days. What if I hit the wall at mile 20? What if I ruin the race in the first mile by starting too fast? What if my stomach hurts? Ugh I’m only at mile 15 – you are telling me I have over 10 more to go?

When I am present in the moment I am happy. I am not overwhelmed. I run the mile I’m with and I find joy in the most mundane of things.

When I was in KONA I was happy. REALLY Happy. The happiness was oozing out of my body and was written all over my face. I have been in a mini funk since I got back and now that I am back home I have endless hours of being alone with my own thoughts.

Being a stay at home mom/work at home mom is wonderful BUT at the same time I am alone with little people whose age is in the single digits. If I do not leave my house for coffee, or the gym, or to run errands, I have no adult contact. Calling someone on the phone, or hoping online and spending time on social media talking to people I {mostly} don’t know, isn’t the same as in the interactions and random conversations you have when you work in an office. I’m certainly not complaining. After Chloe was born I literally cried every single day I was at work because I wanted to be home with her – I didn’t want someone else to raise my kids. I wanted to be there for my children the way my mom was there for me when I was little. What I AM saying – is that I understand how mentally hard it can be to be at home ALL the time and how much harder it must have been on my mom back in the day when there was no computer, no twitter, no facebook…..I don’t really ever even remember her being on the phone….I do however remember her cleaning, doing the laundry, dishes and making us take naps. Fun times.

I am coming to terms with the fact that I am alone with my thoughts far too often. The fact that I mostly run alone compounds this. I always have time to think and over think everything and by everything I mean everything. Every little conversation I’ve had, every email I’ve gotten and written back to or not written back to, every decision in life that turned out to be life altering. I OVERTHINK EVERYTHING and some times it eats me alive.

I am determined to come up with a system that allows me to fully live life. To feel the passion I feel but to also NOT overthink every little mundane detail of life.

I have a feather bracelet from Alex and Ani. When I wear it – it reminds me to not pile on – to not look at the BIG picture but to look at the picture of my life one little feather at a time.

 

So now that I have been Dorothy {over emotional per usual} downer I will move towards something positive.

Kona bit me with the triathlon bug BAD.

I literally know nothing – as in nothing. It’s frightening going from running, where I feel like I know what I am doing, to being completely out of my element. I hope though that forcing myself out of my comfort zone will help me not only grow as an athlete {I FINALLY after ten years of marathons feel like I can call myself this} but also as a person.

It sounds good on paper and in my head but I know the actual doing of it is going to be very frightening for me.

The day after my first attempt at a swim in Kona we all did it again. The night before when we were discussing our workout plans for the next day, running 6 or so to the Underpants Run followed by a little jog around town, then switching in to swim suits seemed like a great idea. My first run and swim on the same day seemed like fun.

While waiting with Megan {from Timex} for the others to come back I started to panic inside. What had I agreed to and why do I find it so easy to say no sometimes and so hard to say no other times. She asked if I was ready to swim and I flat out said it sounded like a good idea last night but that I was scared and really didn’t want to do it. She assured me I would be fine if I didn’t panic. Out of seemingly no where a homeless woman who was lying on the beach in a sleeping bag popped out of her bag. She didn’t seem all together with it – but her words and the whole moment really struck me and have stuck with me.

Don’t be afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of in life.

Be in the moment. You will never be in this moment again.

I smiled – giggled because I was a bit uncomfortable and honestly maybe I was embarrassed that age 31 I still have fears over things big and small and for me open water swimming is a BIG one. Maybe I was embarrassed that she wasn’t afraid and I was.

I told her she was right.

She again said to me – this moment in time will never happen again.

Don’t let your fears take it from you.

DCIM100GOPRO

She was right.

Fear steals moments from me, much the way letting myself get consumed with the BIG picture does.

I put on my bathing suit, my new swim cap, goggles {thanks Adam} and headed out for a swim with our little group. I didn’t go as far as they did, but I did try my best and I didn’t panic. I didn’t need to doggy paddle and I did feel like I was actually doing something that resembled swimming rather than just floundering in the water.

DCIM100GOPRO

 

I’m not sure if there is a take away from my rambling today but that moment in time really had a profound effect on me.

It wasn’t someone who was living a life of luxury that was telling me not to be afraid. It wasn’t someone who had all the opportunites in the world. It was a woman who appeared to have not very much in life yet she was happy and wasn’t afraid of anything.

DCIM100GOPRO

In another WAKE ME UP moment this morning….I was standing in line with Colton at my local coffee shop. I haven’t been going there lately because I associate it with soy lattes and want one every time I walk in – it’s been almost 200 days with out soy milk and so steering clear of things that trigger me is something I’ve been trying to do. This morning I felt a pull to go there. The main in line in front of me appeared on the outside to be perfectly healthy. The woman ringing him up asked him if he had lost a lot of weight? He seemed thinner….

He said YES but this is my normal weight. I’m probably the only person in the world who got cancer and gained 60lbs from the treatment. He said he was in what they consider partial remission. They operated on the tumor in his belly and after 4 hours decided that they could not remove it and had to close him back up. He said that cup of coffee he was having was only the second cup of coffee he has had since his entire cancer ordeal.

You could tell he wanted to share his struggle and that – that cup of coffee really meant something to him.

 

I’m not sure what I am trying to say or really what I am thinking. Only that I am alone with my thoughts and some days it’s hard not to get down on yourself for being down on yourself over such silly things. Does that make sense?

Like I said…..I’m over thinking today…..that or I’m just coming down from the most amazing incredible high that was watching Kona Ironman…..

 

Timex Sports is on:

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Comments

  1. It’s kinda funny how you are talking about getting the triathlon bug and doing more than just running.

    I got pretty serious with triathlons over the past few years only to realize that it caused me to spread myself thin over the three sports and just became overwhelming. So much more time away from my family and worrying about training led me to simply want to focus on one sport: running.

    So I’m taking a year or two off to simply focus on running and improving myself and accomplish some running goals I have yet to achieve.

  2. Wow this post really hit home for me! I am the biggest over thinker and stresser about the BIG picture! I look at everything WAY too far in advance, and recently since I found out I have a femoral stress fracture I have had no choice but to take things one day at a time. I would go insane if I didn’t – I can only focus on one minute, one hour, one workout, one day at a time. It has REALLY helped me stay in the moment and live in the moment! I have quite a ways to go, but I am getting there!

  3. Gosh you sound so much like me in this post and I love it. I am such an overthinker and I stress big time. But this is why I love running so much. I get out of my head when I’m out there and I focus on other things. I love what the homeless lady said to you and I love how it was just the right moment. I ended up getting that feather bracelet from Alex and Ani too, after you talked about it on instagram. It’s a great reminder.

  4. I really loved this post. I find myself being more of an in the moment kind of person. I used to be a huge BIG picture kind of person then I had kids. They really ground me and in a way force me to only look at today. Not to say I don’t plan and look at the Future but I have really had to reign that in. If I don’t I feel like I really miss out on the moment and what is happening now.
    I feel ya on the adult interaction. Being at home with a 3.5 year old and a 2 year old all day can be taxing. Luckily I work from home and partly out of the home so I do get interaction with adults on occasion. I also am lucky enough to have some great girls that I run with in the mornings and on the weekends. That gives me a bit of a break from all kid all day.
    After following a couple other bloggers and their Triathlon training I have really started thinking about doing a Sprint Tri to start. I am really nervous but really want to overcome that fear. I am good with the running and the biking but the swimming is a different story. I can swim but I can’t if that makes sense. Plus I am super scared of water that I can’t see through. That will be a huge challenge for me. Would love to know when you are going to do one. Would be great to support and push each other through a new challenge.

  5. When I get stuck in my own head, I remind myself that I should not be in there alone, without adult supervision. It helps every time! :o)

  6. I know this feeling all too well-not so much the stay at home part but the alone with your thoughts. While I do have a job, it’s one that is not fulfilling to me at all. Some days I don’t talk to anyone until 3pm or later. I always find myself thinking way too much and it’s always about the BIG things…what am I going to do in the future? Where should I be now? Why is everyone around me happy & successful and I’m just… here. Going through the motions everyday.

  7. Isn’t it weird how you can think you are the only one, then read a post and see that you are not alone. That is sometimes the best medicine. You probably have come down from a high and that combined with over thinking means big business. I walk in those shoes often. I am 41 and will not be the runner or triathlete that sets records and is speedy fast, not like you are Dorothy and many of the other blogs i follow. Nowadays, speed =reward. This means I have spent a lot of time over thinking and causing myself such grief because I am not in that group. To be able to get good results, you need to have a whole bunch of factors in sync. With health issues and family constraints, these issues may not resolve anytime soon for me. But, I am now past the point of caring where I fit and if I have it together. God has designed some of us to be passionate, yes this means we overthink sometimes (who am I kidding, it is a lot of the time) and yes this means our practicality, realism and uncertainty can cause us to lose joy sometimes. But it is because we haul our weight and that of many others. I apologize for the length of this but I have to include the absolute best advice I have ever got. It is from Teddy Roosevelt (not that he gave it to me personally). Look it up as the man in the arena. “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and swear and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”. I think Teddy was a over thinker who played the game. There will be ups and downs but I am in the arena and that’s all that matters. You are too Dorothy, you are too!

  8. When I have a lot on my plate, this could be at work, at home, or with running I sometimes get overwhelmed and it paralyzes me into “I can’t get anything done.” I feel unproductive, and then it swirls into I feel bad about myself because I’m being unproductive. I had 16 days out of work for the government shutdown, and it was really marvelous in a way. It was no Kona, but it was marvelous. I haven’t gone to work that many days in a row since my last maternity leave 9 years ago. I lived in those moments that I never get to enjoy. Chasing sunrises on morning runs, getting house projects done, being a SAHM for a change. I went on a trip to San Diego with my husband and it was great. Now that I’m back at work I’m really in the dumps about it, though while I was off I was worried about my job, and when I’d get back to the grind. It is HARD coming down from those mountain top experiences, I so know how you feel! So I made a list at work, and I’m chipping away at it, trying to get back into the swing of things. Trying not to be to hard on myself is also HARD! But if I can concentrate on some little things, and sort of ignore the big picture I will conquer these overwhelming feelings! You can too, just give it time. :)

  9. What an amazing, life changing experience you had (especially to face your swimming fear!) and it makes perfect sense that you would come away from it with the questions and thoughts you have now. Plus, I find there is always a funk after a big event like that! Very exciting to be bit by the triathlon bug, it’s empowering to try new things.

  10. I love the way your put your thoughts to paper. Your raw honesty is moving and inspiring. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the big picture. I have to constantly remind myself (and my husband haha) to live in the moment and enjoy the life out of that moment because, like your homeless lady friend on the beach said, you will never be in that moment again. Thanks for the ever needed reminder. Keep ’em coming!

    And good luck this weekend at MCM!

  11. Krystin C. says:

    Great post Dorothy, you are always honest and I think that is why so many people can relate to you. As moms/wives/daughters it is easy to get caught up in the BIG picture and making sure things are they way they should be. I struggle with finding the balance, my husband helps me with this.. he is more go with the flow. Yes planning for the future, teaching our children & working on a strong loving marriage are all very important but also sitting down and just laughing, making silly faces and hanging with our kids in the moment is almost more important! I love the quotes from the lady on the beach! This moment will never happen again! :)

  12. Dorothy – I always find you profound and inspirational. Please know that while you may feel alone, you are not. Many of us feel the same way. Can’t wait to hear if you wind up on the dark side of endurance sports :-)

  13. I really enjoyed reading your post. There is comfort in knowing that we all have those fears and insecurities that eat away at us and it’s completely normal. Anxiety is a powerful beast. I try to remember this when it takes over. Faith has NO Fear!

I love a good comment!

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