welcoming summer

By the end of the week I will have logged 20 miles on the treadmill at the gym.  I ALWAYS prefer to run outside, but this week it has been tough for me to swing that.  My husband leaves for work early and comes home late.  My kids have been complaining of the heat and are refusing to hop in “Big Orange” (as we affectionately call our awesome running stroller) this week.  I guess I don’t blame them, temps have been in or close to the 90s much of this week, but really how hard is it for them to sit in a stroller with nice cold drinks, snacks and a great view of nature all around?!?  I do NOT want to push them when they’re cranky though.  That is a sure-fire way to ruin my run and maybe my whole day.  So on weeks like this I’m happy to be able to take my runs indoors instead.  That is what I’ve done most of this week and I imagine I will be doing that quite a lot this summer.

I’m so grateful for my gym membership.  Our gym has a fun place for the kids to play and let all their energy out while I’m doing the same on the ‘mill.  It’s guilt-free solo time for me and the childcare is included in my membership (which is soo reasonable at just $70/month for the whole family).  So even though I would rather be outside for my runs I don’t complain about the treadmill because sometimes it rescues me from insanity.  Sometimes even when the weather is nice I choose to go to the gym for my run because I just need to be alone and to have a break from my kids…It’s a trade-off and an option I’m grateful to have.

Preschool is just about over for my kids (Will has 2 days left, Abby one more week) and I’m really going to miss my free time 3 afternoons a week.  I’m trying to focus on the positive though and am starting to look forward to our summer routine.  To adjust.  I was daydreaming about it yesterday.  I imagine us waking up and easing into our days at home until it is time to head to the gym (or run outside if everyone is cool with that).  I’ll pack lunches and swim stuff and after my run we’ll head straight to the pool if it’s not raining.  I am a believer in routines.  I operate better with them and I think my kids do too.  I also believe just as strongly in flexibility but if I don’t set out a plan for myself, a basic idea of what I’m hoping to accomplish, things can really just fall apart.  So I’m telling my kids now that this summer we will start our days with Mommy’s run, either outside or at the gym.  They seem ok with that, so far anyway.

I can’t believe it is Memorial Day weekend already.  Where did the time go!?  It has been a wonderful school year for my family.  Will is finishing his first year as a “junior preschooler” and will head to 3-day preschool in the fall.  He is so excited.  Abby is finishing her second year at LANK and moves on to Kindergarten in the fall.  I have never seen a child with a heart so proud and filled with anticipation.  It is so amazing to see.  They both have grown so much this year…I can’t believe it.  They are not the only ones who have grown, though…I have done my fair share of growing as well.  I ran two marathons and lots of other races this school year, became a Certified Running Coach, and (still unofficial at this point) Pilates teacher and also delved deeply into my creative side taking painting classes and starting my own business making my art (more on this later).  I have taken some giant leaps this year and while it was scary in so many ways, it was all worth it.

I feel like the summer is a time of celebration for all of us and will enjoy seeing my children continue to grow and learn more about themselves and the world around them.  I will also continue to open my heart to the possibilities of what my role in this world can be.  When I’m running I’m able to go to this place inside of myself where I can let go of the clutter inside my brain and see straight to my heart…really FEEL what is going on inside.  This time of reflection and replenishment is something I cannot imagine living my life without.  Running is an essential part of who I am.  It’s part of what makes me, me. Whether I am running on my favorite trails outside or at the gym on the treadmill, I AM RUNNING and that is what is important.

Happy Friday and Happy Summer!!

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