Wordless Wednesday (Secret Santa Edition)

I am excited to share a little holiday joy with a fellow member of Daily Mile!
My recipient is getting:
A light for their bike (or themselves)!
Some snacks to stay fortified!
Some protection for their skin while ultra running!
It’s so much fun sharing the joy of fitness and the fun of the holidays!
Happy Holidays, Secret Daily Mile Friend – your goodies are on their way!
PS – I love being a member of DailyMile – it is a fabulous support for my fitness activities and I have met some super-cool people along the way! Find out more at http://www.dailymile.com/!

No Visible Means of Support

Yesterday, the family and I returned from St. George Island.  Our extended family vacations there every year.  Last year and this year, we were in a house called A Blue Heron (which is not blue):

Wayne and Wayne left on Saturday for the entire Saturday-to-Saturday stay.  Tenley and I arrived on Wednesday because I had work obligations and she had dance class.  It took me from 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday until around 3 p.m. on Thursday to wind down enough to feel vacation-y.  This sight helped:

One of the biggest stories of the week has to do with my adorable 15-month-old niece, Peyton, who was apparently very content each day floating around the pool in her Princess float (Peyton, sadly, went back to Charleston before Tenley and I made it to St. George).  So content that everyone had come to assume that, except for occasions when she would list to one side or another, she was “good to go.”  That worked out fine until the strap broke between her legs.  Fortunately, the strap malfunction occurred when she was right by her dad; she was silent as she began to slip below the water.  This story reminded me of Tenley’s 6th birthday party, which was held at Mary’s pool in Thomasville.  Because I was so worried about liability and a private pool, I had hired a lifeguard to keep watch on everyone.  After the party, the lifeguard was released to get dressed.  When I returned to the pool area, I saw my 3 year old son being fished out of the pool by his father!  He had been in a floatie, and had tried to reach for a flower/sponge thing that had been one of the favors.  He fell out of the float and started sinking while his dad and his aunt were talking a foot away.  Hm.  So ironic since I had hired a lifeguard!  All’s well that ends well in both stories, but Peyton’s experience did make me think about the “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning” link I have been seeing on many Facebook accounts recently.

The other thing that I would like to celebrate about my few days away is the ability to exercise each day, without a multitude of other things bearing down on me.  When I run before work, I know I have to get home (quickly), get ready, possibly get children going, and get my head into workday mode.  When I run after work, I am usually thinking about how much there still is to do between finishing my run and bed.  When I go to intervals, it is a rush to get there and there are errands to run immediately afterwards.  Vacation afforded me the opportunity for two runs (one HOT and the other in the rain, pre-dawn) and a walk along the beach right at water level, which felt great on my heel.  I listened to some inspirational and funny podcasts, including Speaking of  Faith’s podcast about yoga as meditation in action, which resonated with me for several reasons, including its references to learning to be present by accepting the negativity that we so often try to resist and, on a completely different note, Matt’s RunDiggerRun episode where he talks about running the Marine Corps 17.75K race (17.75K because the Corps was established in 1775).  I especially chuckled at the signs along the route, such as:  You Are Not Almost There!  Don’t we runners feel that way anyhow during a run?  Might as well see it in black and white (or USMC scarlet and gold?). 
One more thing on the exercise topic.  I want to sing the praises of Daily Mile.  Even though I was drug kicking and screaming into one more thing that I have to have a log on and password for, I can’t say enough about the motivating effect of knowing that my DM friends are expecting me to post a run, walk, cycle, commute, or …. SOMETHING!  They do a better job with their logo than I do, but here’s the DM logo I created on the sands of St. George Island.  Give them a try if you need some additional support. 

I suppose the theme of this blog ended up being support.  Support of those podcasters out there who give us things to think about; support of our fellow runners/athletes who understand that we all need an extra “you can do it” from time to time, and the most important support of all, Princess Support (phew!). 
What kind of support have you recently found especially helpful?  I’d love to hear about it!
In the meantime, I’ll “run” into you next week, readers.

A Little Kid Imagination

Perhaps it is folly to try to blog in the midst of a vacation trip, after two mai tais.  But I have a commitment to myself (and you) to write once a week so here goes.  A few observations from an unexpected trip to the “happiest place on earth.”
1.  It is an amazing treat to get to spend time with friends from middle school (we are here to visit Wayne’s friend, Meleah, who has been his friend since middle school).  And to see her children (her daughter and teammates are down from Michigan for a volleyball tournament) and my children (and niece) make new connections.  At first our girls and the Michigan girls didn’t mingle.  Somehow the novelty of hearing Elizabeth’s and Tenley’s southern accents was the catalyst for interaction and next thing I knew, everyone was in the pool together. 
2.  Although it is a hit and miss experience, it is nice to shake up the fitness routine by figuring out a way to keep it going on the road.  (It is also a huge motivator to know I need to keep reporting in to Daily Mile.)  I had a bland experience at the Wingate Inn “fitness center,” a sweaty but great run through the adjoining corporate park, two challenging stationary bike workouts here at the Regal Sun Resort, and a hot, sweaty, but invigorating run along Lake Buena Vista Blvd, including a discovery of a little diversion through an “island walk.” 
3.  It is a weird dichotomy to be reading a book called, “You’re Not the Boss of Me — Brat-Proofing your 4-12 year old child” when you are at a place where pretty much every interaction has to do with spending money on something child-centric, making a family decision about where to eat amongst differing desires, or seeing young children in all-out tantrum mode.  Although I often feel that I am behind the eight ball on this, it was rewarding to see Wayne Kevin get to spend a day at EPCOT for “free,” having spent a day in January sharing oobleck with the children of the Springfield Housing Project for his Disney Day of service. 
3.  It is mindbending to see your children grow up.  When Wayne Kevin and I were at Ridemakerz, he chose stickers to decorate the car(s) he had just built.  When the stickers didn’t look that great on the car, I said, “well, you can use them on your notebooks next year” (he will be entering 6th grade).  He gave me that look – the one I have become accustomed to raising a rising 9th grader.  I said, “Oh, too little kid for you, huh?”  The comment that floored me was this:
But I still have a little kid imagination.
May you always.
I will “run” into you next week, readers!