I’ve written this post many times — in my head at least three time, twice in Wordpess and a few times in my dreams. But really nothing felt right this week. Until I sat and stared at the ceiling for a little over an hour.

The popcorn-spotted ceiling was blank, no cool poster or signs. I was at the dentist’s office — the first time since about a month before my first marathon. Geez, that was about three years ago. Well, at least its not as bad as that 20-year break between sixth grade and 2015.

This month, I set the goal of doing 100 miles. The incentive was the Taji100, a virtual event that raises money for Team Red, White and Blue. Some days, I logged six miles, sometimes one or two. But eventually, I made it 100 miles. That’s impressive in my book, since I average about 60 or so depending on the training session.

The virtual badge for finishing the Taji 100, 100 miles in 28 days.

Toward the end though, my competitive side was apparent, as I got mad that I was so, so far behind. It actually wasn’t that bad, but it just seemed bad at the time. I was a jerk for a few days.

Then as I sat in the dentist’s chair and marveled at the ceiling, I began to think. I thought about how many more miles I had left to go. I worked on a plan.

I also thought about a recent email I received from my online gym. I broke up with my gym in January. Nerd Fitness’ Rising Heroes is a great program. It gave me the tools I need to succeed. But it relies on member interacting to create the support many people, including myself, need during their fitness process.

I know I didn’t use the social components at my disposal enough. But when you join groups of people who are enthusiast for a little while, and then they slowly stop communicating, you question why you’re still there. As an introvert, I didn’t want to get the ball rolling again.

Despite the recent email’s attempt to note how I had failed to achieve my resolutions, I am doing pretty well. In fact, doing other things that work for me, like the Taji100 challenge and finding a Facebook group of people who get it and maybe even understand me (The FatGirlRunning group by Mirna Valerio), have brought me more success than what I had with Nerd Fitness. I found the support that I was lacking before “firing” my online gym.

During the dentist appointment, I got some news I knew was coming — it was why I was there — but still hit me hard. Except for giving birth, I’ve never been a hospital patient or undergone surgery for 41 years. I get to have some minor surgery soon. Yeah for me. I’m being sarcastic.

So, no events in the immediate future for me.

Besides listening to Mountain Papa give a speech, the Mountain kids and I learned about the fish at the Edenton National Fish Hatchery. Here is the worker holding an alligator that was rescued after someone sold it illegally.
After my dentist appointment, I felt like I messed up yet again. But after doing a few things with my kids, I put those feelings aside. I decided to do something I wanted to do — play video games without the kids watching. After everyone went to bed, I had a wine party with Princess Leia on Battlefront II, a shooter game I can’t play but love to try to play. Leia did what she always does, wax on poetically about hope and how important it was to keep going against the Empire. I felt empowered to be her for an hour or so and ready to fight again.

The Empire I fight is laziness and apathy. So, after sitting in my workout clothes for a while, I got up — “F*** this,” I said to my dogs — and went outside for a walk. I walked the last miles in my challenge. I freaking did it. That walk felt horrible at first, but after a while, it was the best walk I’ve ever been on.

That’s me during my last walk for the final six miles of the challenge.
During those six miles, I had the chance sort stuff out.

The surgery was needed. Maybe the problem is what caused some other issues. This wasn’t going to be so bad, just like getting those last few challenge miles in.

The dentist also took my blood pressure, which was off for me, higher than usual. I really hope it was the latte that I had before my visit that caused it, but I’m not taking any chances. Time to be a bit more proactive now that I’m not under the spell of the cold and flu germs.

And I accept that I’m a big, curvy woman. I know I pretty much always have been. But this recent weight-gain made me feel out of sorts, even when I was happy. During my time as an athlete, I’ve hear many disparaging comments about heavier-set people. As a person who recent gained weight and is struggling to be OK with where I am in the process, it fuels emotions that hurt my well-being and those who live with me.

But at the dentist’s office, one of the workers stopped by to see me.

“You’re that runner,” she said after introducing herself. “You run by my house all the time. I just had to say hi to you in person.”

Yes, yes I am that runner. And a mom, adventurer, writer, wife, daughter, worker in a dying industry. Her comment, along with the other positive things I’ve been reading recently, just made my day.

The dentist’s office is a magical place. They look into your mouth with those fancy X-rays and clean them special tools. If you can tune out the sounds, you can focus on what’s important to you. After you get a chance to do that, there may be someone who assures you that you’re going in the right direction. That may lead to an extraordinary adventure.

Be safe and have fun.