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reSTART

What have you had to give up? As adults, life gets in the way of our own passions and interests. An extensive work project comes up, someone gets sick, we have a new baby, a worldwide pandemic shuts down access to activities. No matter the reason, it’s disheartening to put aside the things that bring you joy and release to manage the priorities of the day.  

I have been an athlete my whole life; I wasn’t a stand-out, but sports and competing were some of my joys. I took up running in adulthood to fulfill that drive. I reveled in the ability to build stamina, increase my pace, push my limits. I found joy in progressing from 5K runs, to 15K, to Warrior Dash, to sprint triathlon, to a half marathon. A few years ago I injured my knee during a workout class. Now in my 40’s, healing seemed to be taking forever. I was anxious to return to running. I would rest, ice, and then when I felt better, I tried to run again. I would complete a mile and then have to stop because of pain. It took two years of cortisone shots, physical therapy, and ongoing rehab to return to some sort of normal. I started to build back up my running routine. At first, all I could do was a slow mile. I felt deflated at this achievement because it was so far from what I used to be able to do. I was so focused on what I used to do, that I didn’t appreciate what I could still do. I felt that if I couldn’t achieve the level I had in the past, maybe it wasn’t worth it. I was tired of starting over again and again. 

Slowly, my knee was able to support me on longer runs; one mile turned to two, then three, then four pain-free miles. My pace began to drop; first by 10 seconds per mile, then 30, then a minute. As I improved, I realized I may never fully return to where I was 10 years ago and pre-injury. I could either be disappointed in what I could no longer do, or be grateful for what I could still manage. I could frame this period as having to start over again or think of it as a reSTART. With a reSTART all I had to do was START. It didn’t matter where I was in the process or what my end result was, I just had to START. I could be thankful for what I could still do and find joy in that. I was the only one who cared how far or how fast I could run, I was my own worst critic. Once I began telling myself to just reSTART and see what I could do, the joy returned, no matter what my pace or distance said I achieved that day. I remembered how I had to reSTART after the birth of my two children. I remembered how I would reSTART after a long winter of indoor workouts. I vowed that no matter how successful I was, if I could reSTART I was winning.

What have you had to give up? If you could reSTART again, what would you choose? Would you revisit a prior passion for art, playing a musical instrument, or being more active? What would you reSTART if you knew that just the process of reSTARTing was the measure of success? No matter how long it’s been, or how many times you’ve tried in the past, today, reSTART.

Time

Time A fine Line here a few Grays there the Mind ensconced in a failing ship A dirge played by every Joint Hope and Dreams endlessly tumbling out of reach as Responsibilities tangle under the surface Opportunities sink in the muck The inverse between  Youth and  Value still clinging to what we once were TheContinue reading “Time”

Dream Big

I’m going to be published in the New York Times. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself as I finish off a submission piece for their Solver Stories feature. I like to dream big. And why not? I have a story I believe fits their mission. I know the odds are small. I know thereContinue reading “Dream Big”

What is Success?

As I work towards finishing my first draft of a full novel, I’ve been thinking about what happens next, beyond the editing and revisions, the submissions and rejections. Will my creation ever see the light of day? If it does, will anyone enjoy it? Will I make any money off my time and hard work?Continue reading “What is Success?”

The Note

Helen, I’m sorry for your loss. Ed meant the world to everyone he met. I’ll miss seeing the two of you on your morning walks together. I’m sure you will find comfort in your many memories over the past 43 years together. I still remember the first night I met Ed. It was at theContinue reading “The Note”

Give Up or Do Better

I recently went through a bit of a crisis of confidence and motivation. A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend a writing workshop through a wonderful organization. I did not expect to be selected when I submitted my writing sample months ago and was pleasantly surprised to be accepted. After attendingContinue reading “Give Up or Do Better”

Happy Birthday

The flowered apron had been handed down along with the family recipe book for generations. Catherine flipped through the pages as one would a photo album. Instead of seeing the faces of the matriarchs that had come before, she could recreate in her mind special occasions with the smell of corn pudding, the flavors ofContinue reading “Happy Birthday”

At What Cost

There has been a lot of talk about Simone Biles and her journey of late. Most of the people I follow and connect with have come out fully supporting her and her decisions. They support her right to make her own decisions about her body and health. It makes me happy that the people I’veContinue reading “At What Cost”

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