Songs of the post: “Invisible,” by U2; “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams


After eight hours of sitting at work, off my feet and near a heat source, my socks were still waterlogged enough that I could wring them out. My hiking shoes felt like the 10-pound bricks I had taken off as soon as I got to my desk.
This is going to suck, I thought to myself as I got ready to head out to a meeting a little over a mile away.
I let it suck, complaining about the many reasons why I wasn’t in a warm car, how my 2-year-old shoes were slipping on the ice that was slush eight hours ago. I was wearing paper-thin dress pants over running gear and I was still freezing my legs off.
As I wandered off the park trail and back into civilization, I remembered why we decided one car was enough, where my old shoes have taken me, and how I wasn’t as cold as I thought I was.
A group of about five college students, all men, were pushing a car off some ice that built up on the side of a narrow, neighborhood street. As they finished, some of them walked past me as I almost fell and reached out to brace me.

There I was, some mountain mama who they don’t know, and instantly they wanted to help. Moments like that are exactly why I walk to almost everywhere I need to get to.

It also temporarily restored my faith in humanity. The past few weeks, I’ve been diligently, to the point of being obsessive, cleaning our house as we hired a new babysitter.

We’ve had a very spotty track record with sitters. We’ve run from pagan, to very religious, to the steady to the unhinged. I didn’t want to have a messy house that would scare her off.

My husband was of the whatever happens, happens approach. He did his usual training while I convinced myself that I was training by trying to shovel our sidewalk or wiping down the walls.

In the end, she’s stayed, my house is still a mess, and I was very on edge. I let the perfectionist take over. And all it did was make me feel miserable and forget everything I’ve been working hard on during the past few months.

Shortly after I almost fell, I came upon the same car. This time it has gotten stuck on the ice on a hill. I wondered what it was doing on the hill: maybe the driver hit ice and slid into the spot. Then I saw a white SUV make it’s way down the street. After it finished its decent, the formerly stuck car got up stuck and went on to its destination.

In my fanatic weeks of housecleaning, I was like that stuck car. I needed a push to get back on track.

That night I did some yoga and the following day I did more, along with a circuit exercise drill that I made up with the help my my 3-year-old.

The next day, I drank my last beer for what I hope will be a long time to cap off a day that included a visit to the gym, cleaning and spending time with my kids.

I’m back on track and I’m aiming for my prize. Unfortunately, the trail half-marathon I hoped to do was cancelled due to a lack of interest. So I’m heading back to the Darter Dash 5k trail run in April. The kids and I will watch my husband race the next day in the Athens half-marathon.

If I can bounce back from stupidity, anyone can. Just remember how far you’ve come and how much closer you are to your goal than you were before. You are more than people see. Go show them how wrong they are.

On a side note, I am helping the creators of a new website gather data on healthy options in Appalachia. If you have a favorite place to eat, exercise, etc., let me know. I’ll do a review and see if we can get it on the site. I’ll post more on this as I start working with the team more.