with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
Funny story. Turns out I needed to drive four hours, meet my best friend from childhood at a god-forsaken hotel in the Twilight Zone of Pennsylvania, don purple workout gear, and dive belly-first into mud.
There was more, of course. I also needed to run 3.1 miles through hay bales and rocks and swampy bits and tires and over an 8-foot-high wall and a 35-foot-high cargo net. That was part of it.
Physics lesson: What goes up does not necessarily come down, at least, not right away. It’s scary at the top, when your legs and arms have turned to jelly.
I did eventually get down. And we crossed the finish line, in respectable time. And that’s when I realized, Oh, I needed to do that. I didn’t know it, but that’s exactly what I needed to do this year.
Do you know what I’m saying?
I am saying I needed to do these things. Not because they were useful things to do. Not because doing those things would earn me a place on the Olympic Mud Running Team (although I would be a champ), or cold hard cash, or random fame, or a reality TV show. Not because it would really do much of anything particularly sensible. In fact, it cost money to register, it cost money to get there, it cost money to stay there, it cost money to eat there, and it cost money to buy gas to get back home, in worse shape than I was in before I went there to do those odd things. This is kind of silly, viewed in one light.
But here I am, an achey few days later, my bruises blossoming like fat cornflowers, blackberries, blueberries, and I am marveling that a January whim should have turned into a May need, now fulfilled.
My best friend and I, we discussed this over Domino’s pizza and cheesy bread on her bed at the hotel, post-run. This was the least half-assed thing we’d done since natural childbirth, we agreed. And this, well, we had a choice that we had to go looking for in the first place: a 5k obstacle course mud run.
I am saying it’s been a long time since I set a concrete goal—with a partner, no less—and made a plan that actually, well…worked. A simple plan, that paid off. We signed up, we ran-lurched weekly, in different cities, and hot damn, we ran the race and took on every obstacle. I am saying we got the job done. It’s no marathon, not even a half-marathon, but it was ours. We owned it and let it own us, for the afternoon. There’s something to that surrender, giving in to something you’re not sure at all that you can manage. We didn’t need to impress anyone. We managed to impress ourselves. Good stuff.
Here’s another thing I didn’t know I needed to do until I listened to my quietest inner voice and went to a writer’s retreat in Ohio in early February with a bunch of kick-ass women, all strangers to me until we met. That same sensation—twice in a year that’s not even half over—of yes, yes, exactly, my intuition was spot-on, this is EXACTLY what I needed…well, it’s been a good year so far, 2012.
I’m on a roll. But it makes me wonder what your quietest voice might be telling you to do, these days.
So tell me. What do you not know yet that you need to do this year?
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