I Will Beat Her

316017_4200182861719_1861147339_n

I saw this yesterday on my cycling group page and fell in love with this.

I am totally putting this one on my bathroom mirror!

I’ve heard it said many times that performing artists are basically needy and insecure. I’d laugh, but it’s kinda true at least for me. I’m an approval junkie for sure. I also want to be fit and healthy again. I get really frustrated at times by how long that is taking me. I’m not rolling with set backs as well I used to either. My husband is a great encourager in that regard. He keeps me from giving up, which is a good thing.

My husband, son and I tried to go cycling last night. I’ll admit I really didn’t want to. I’d been to the doctors in the morning to talk about my neuropathy in my left leg and was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the possible causes, cures et al. I don’t yet know the full extent of what is going on with my leg and part of me is afraid to ride. I’ll see a specialist in the next week or so and have and EMG performed to test the nerve functions in my left ankle and foot. Hopefully that will provide some answers. I don’t have diabetes, we know that, and I’ve learned that peripheral neuropathy can also a sign of hypothyroidism and blood work will be coming up after the EMG. To add to the fun mix the middle finger on my left hand is now spontaneously twitching. I could very well simply have a pinched nerve in my back. I’ll know more in a couple of weeks, no point obsessing at this time. Not that logic like that stops me, you know?

I can ride, doc said so. I just shouldn’t ride alone, which I’m not. I always feel better after I ride. I just need to do it more often.

I ran out of excuses last night and recognized that look that communicates he’s run out of patience and conceded to ride with him. If I’m going to make him drink green smoothies and try vegan dishes, I darn well better hit the trails.

We finally get to the trail head only to discover our bikes were trying to copulate. His pedal was somehow stuck on my water bottle holder and nothing we did could untangle them and we had to go home and find a screw driver in order to separate the bikes. Amused is not the word I would choose to describe our mutual state of mind when we got home.

We’ll be getting a bike rack for the back of the pick up this week.

All that’s wrong really is I’m afraid. Old fears have no place in my world today. They still show up and it’s my job to silence them.

I’ve genuinely overweight for the first time in my life. This has been an eye opening experience, let me tell you. The assumptions, and prejudices that come with that are astounding. On one hand I enjoy not being hit on anymore and I do enjoy being taken more seriously on an intellectual level (both are bonuses to me) on other hand I don’t enjoy the whole stigma that comes with it. Not to mention the impact it’s had on my own self esteem or my health. My looks used to be very important to me. Not that I was ever vain or shallow, I just worked hard to look my best. I’ve really had to reassess how I see myself. I didn’t get this way because I gave up, truth is I landed here through fad dieting, bulimia, and probably menopause. I can change most of that.

 I’ll write more about that later. suffice to say, deep down there is this little girl who is afraid of failing yet again. She does like to show up once in a while and I’m not going to let her win. I will beat her, after all, no one knows her like I do. And that is a good thing.

Ambulance on Stand By? — On Deck Route 66 Marathon

320362_479224935424341_664089366_nAwesome moments in history — In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29. [Wiki] /

This woman is amazing!

I’m not even going to do her justice here. Talk about resolve. An official tried to forcibly remove her from the race and other men stepped in to protect her and she was able to finish the race. You can read her online bio HERE

Anyone who has the wherewithal to finish a marathon has my utmost respect, male or female, but do be the first woman ever to run in one and do it like she did, is priceless in my book.

I do not presently have my sights on running a full marathon. Heck, I’m lucky to run down the block without throwing up. I do however want to climb Pikes Peak in Colorado on my 50th birthday (in 2015) and that is going to take some training.

Why Pikes Peak? Because action trumps self pity every day.

The book “Don’t Let Me Go: What My Daughter Taught Me About the Journey Every Parent Must Make” by David Pierce planted this seed of mine back in 2009. It’s about his mountain climbing adventures with his daughter. I almost didn’t read the book because I hate father daughter everything. In a moment of personal bravery, I decided to get over myself and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. They climbed quite a few mountains and ran a lot of races together. I can almost bet if his daughter was the one being attacked in a marathon, he’d be the first man to protect her. I’m a little envious to be honest.

While Don’t Let Me Go opened a desire for adventure it also opened a wound. Bits and pieces of self-pity starting seeping into my veins. Not all at once mind you, just a little here and a little there. I ignored it for a long time and went on my own adventures like horseback riding through the jungles of Belize in 2011 (wicked cool!) and swimming with sharks in Cancun with my husband and boys in 2012 (and amazingly awesome) as well as snorkeling a barrier reef that same year. I love going on adventures with my guys and I hope we get to do many more as the years go by.

Even so, I could not shake the “oh how I wish I had a father to do things with while I was growing up.” bug of a monster in the back of my brain. Self-Pity is a horrible, nasty, terrible disease that lies and festers if you don’t kick it in the butt as soon as it surfaces. I finally had to face it and call it out for what it is — a self absorbed, egotistical, useless waste of time, breath, and energy.

I don’t have a father. There is nothing I can do about that. That is reality. I have a birth father, but that’s not the same thing.

It.

is

what

it

is.

I know, I’m 47 and I have “daddy issues” so sue me. Deep down, I believe a lot of women do. That’ s not always as easy as I can make it sound. Books have been written on it and I’m not going to bore you here. I’m just adding this because for some  reason self-pity told me I could never climb Pikes Peak.

My brain is bad neighborhood and I cannot go there alone most days so I finally I decided to talk this out with a friend of mine. She’s ruthless mind you which is why I talk to her only when I’m ready.

“Let me get this straight. You want to climb Pikes Peak because of a book you read, but you can’t because you don’t have a dad and your husband’s knees are too bad to join you? Well that sounds ridiculous.  Call a friend to go with you and climb the stupid mountain. Don’t call me because I have arthritis, but I’m sure there is at least one other crazy person in Tulsa who will travel with you.”

Sure enough I mentioned my desire while at a friend’s house and one of the gals at the table said she’d driven UP the mountain but had never climbed it, she’d love to go with me.

Huhn.

And there you have it. On August 27, 2015 – my 50th birthday, I Deana will summit Pikes Peak – without using the train, or a four-wheeler. I will do it the old-fashioned way – hiking up and I will be doing it with friends.

I have some hurdles to get over before attempting to climb this mountain. It’s a two-day climb I have some physical issues that need to be addressed. My son’s doctor was correct, parent’s of special needs kids do great taking care of their kids, but are lousy at taking care of themselves. My youngest is now grown, seizure free (because of the right meds)  functioning as an adult with a job, a car, and is going to college. I can relax. I get to take care of me now. That’s a good thing. I can either feel lost and un-needed (and that does come up some days) or I can remind myself that I am needed, by me, to take care of me because no one else can do that quite like I can.

1. I’m way out of shape — 50+ pounds out of shape.

2. My right ankle cannot tolerate long distance walking and PP is a lot of walking. (I shattered it as a kid and it’s pretty messed up today)

3. My left foot likes to go to sleep randomly, without warning. – no clue why and yes my doc is looking into it.

4. I’ve never been to Colorado. I have no idea if I can handle the altitude.

I have to start somewhere and the best place to start is where my feet are.

How do I start? by planning smaller steps, acknowledging my obstacles and planning ways to overcome those. — (I learned all this from Storyline by the way.)

Baby Steps:

  1. I will be in cycling events, starting with 25 miles this June and culminating with the MS-150 in 2014. (my base mileage is still at 10-15. I need to bring it up a lot)
  2. I will participate in 5k’s. Walking at first and eventually running in those. – I’ll be posting these events on my side bar for accountability.
  3. I will (Big Gulp) participate in the Route 66 half marathon this November. I signed up yesterday. This to me is a big hairy audacious deal. I make fun of marathon runners. Who knows maybe I’ll like it so much that I actually want to run in the full one next year.  Don’t laugh, it could happen. I swam with sharks last year — anything’s possible. And I’m told they have medics on stand-by just in case, so it’s all good.

I’m not in a holding pattern between being a Mom and waiting to be a Grandma — I’m a woman. I have a story to write. I have my story to live.

BE BOLD

BE BRAVE

DARE TO LIVE

Quote: On Fear – C. Joybell C.

I haven’t posted a fear quote in a while. I love this.

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C.

I’m presently working on my first novel, it’s exciting and emotionally exhausting all at the same time. I have a 50,000 word goal for November. That’s a lot of words. I feel like I’m bleeding. In order for me to understand my heroine, I catch myself trying to understand me. That has not been an easy task.

I found this other quote by C JoyBell today that helps with direction:

The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.

Another great thought:

“Don’t think about making life better for other people who don’t even deserve you, rather, focus on making your life the best, for yourself and those who love you.”

As an aside, I am far more self absorbed than people give me credit. I do not have time to read everything on the web. If any of my posts feel like I’m in your living room reporting on your life, I’m not. I get that a lot. We’re all in the same boat.  Just keep swimmin’ girlfriend. 

The Shaky Life of the Nearly Courageous

“You are afraid to admit that you need me if I don’t feel the same way.” – The Proposal, Alternate Ending. (Can be seen on Youtube)

I am one of those people who jumps ahead to the last chapter of a book in order to decide if it is worth reading. I like to make sure the story has a happy ending before I invest my time. Ruins it for me in all honesty and I’m learning I can’t do that with life, even though I try.

I love the movie The Proposal.  I wanted to be that woman when I grew up. Not the needy one, but the one who had it all together and ran the world or at least a major corporation. Yep, never happened. Didn’t stop me from wanting it though. I can still remember being 22 and riding the train in Chicago wearing a navy blue pinstripe suit and reading the Wall Street Journal looking down on the people my age sitting around me in jeans and sneakers wondering when they were going to start being adults. I wasn’t an adult, I was a terrified kid living on my own in a big city for the first time, playing dress up and hoping no one noticed. Truth is, if it hadn’t been for the two people I let befriend me, I’m not sure how I would have survived. Even though I didn’t fully realize it myself, I needed them I just didn’t trust them enough to tell them that.

Everyone has trust issues of some kind, it’s just that some of us are better at hiding them than others. Mine happen to be glaringly obvious. If I’m not trying to read your mind and tell you what I think you want to hear, I’m being cute, trying to make you laugh, shaking like a leaf, or running for the hills. I used to think I had the whole world fooled until a friend pointed them out a few years ago. I am not amused, I mean it’s bad enough that I have trust issues, do they have to be so obvious?

Going from a mommy/garden blogger to a woman who writes about over coming fear, while still shaking in my boots, is an interesting journey. I’d rather learn in a closet, and then show the world how brilliant I am than learn in front of an audience. The only thing worse than my glaringly obvious trust issues is my pride.

Will you really like me and the things I’m doing if you know I am terrified every step of the way? That is a legitimate question for a recovering approval junkie like myself. That’s where my pride really takes a kick in the proverbial teeth. In the final assessment, I just want to be liked, by everyone, all the time even if it kills us both. Talk about an unrealistic expectation. I don’t even like myself all the time.

My journey as a Christian writer has had more starts, stops, skinned knees and bruised pride than I ever expected when I started back in 2002. My original post-children plans back then included being a deaconess or a women’s ministry leader, and when that didn’t turn out the way I expected I found myself doing a lot of soul-searching and sifting through a junk yard of need. I erroneously believed that if I could prove I belong than I can stop apologizing for breathing air. If I prove I belong, I can stop being afraid. That’s a lie by the way. The only way I can stop being afraid is to do the things that scare me the most.

I threw out everything, including my original blog during my soul-searching snit fit and started over from scratch.  No great loss I assure you. My original writings are nothing more than a mask. They are things I thought people would want to hear; 12 steps to this seven steps to that. You know the drill: How to be a better Christian, how to be a better wife, how to keep pretending.  Then I started reading books by people like Donald Miller and Anne Lamott and I discovered a whole new world. I discovered Christians who were willing to be transparent without apologizing. Their courage fueled mine. Granted, my original transparency contained more of what is wrong with my tradition and this world as I see it today than anything else, but it was a start.

I no longer cared if you liked me or not, I just wanted to be heard. Know anybody like that? People like that are really difficult to be around for too long.  One of my comedy friends remembers my porcupine self back then. I had a bite as she says.  I was sarcastic and nasty and ready to pick a fight with anyone and I picked a lot of fights. And if I wasn’t picking fights, I was stirring pots.  Once I started meeting people who loved me back instead of fighting with me, I really freaked out. Anger is a voice that I used for too long. Anger is also a mask for fear, did you know that?

“The hardest thing about loving someone is having the courage to let them love you back.” – The Wedding Date

Masks can be admired, but never fully loved.  Rather than covering up my fears with anger or over achieving, I decided to start owning them and writing about them. I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about life and start over. Learning something new is awkward and challenging to say the least. I had to learn how to admit I need someone without being sure they felt the same way. I also had to find the courage to start letting people love me back. I’m not fully there yet, but I’m working on it.

Instead of passing on conferences that intimidated me, I started attending them. Instead of distancing myself from the people there, or faking my way through it to prove I belong, I owned my fears out loud and jumped in and risked letting myself be known. “I’m here and I’m terrified, but I’m here.” I did an open mic at a comedy conference and told a room full of professional comics, I’m scared to death but let’s do this. At which point I started hyperventilating and had to start over. I will admit that weirded people out a bit at first but then someone whispered in my ear later that night, “I’m scared too, nice to meet you.” and I made a new friend.

I used to believe people would think less of me if they knew how afraid I really was, then I realized that I’m not the only one who is afraid. Whether we admit it or not, there is something out there that scares all of us a little and that’s okay. Maybe that’s why my readership picked up so much once I started admitting, “I’m scared too, nice to meet you.”

Life lived under the covers of your bed isn’t life and it isn’t living. Don’t just write in a way that scares you a little, live in a way that scares you a little even if your fears and trust issues are so glaringly obvious that you have to shake. Even if your pride makes you want to run for the hills, hold fast. Shake until you stop shaking, close your eyes and breathe.

“You are safe. Let go of the past and remember what a wonderful woman you are.” Also from The Wedding Date (Hands down my favorite scene of the whole movie).