Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Horse

 We all know the saying, Get back on the horse that bucked you, and most of us, if not all of us, have fallen off one or more horses in our time. I can vouch for a couple horses of my own. The vegetarian horse, which I successfully stayed on for three years, ending half way through my pregnancy when I began craving steak sauce. The no sugar horse, which usually lasts anywhere between 1-3 days. Grandma Jane says that stuff is addicting. I totally believe her. There's the no smoking horse which I easily gave up the moment I found out I was pregnant with Lola. And finally, the I'm going to start running horse. I have been back on this variety of horse for two weeks now, ending last week in a six day stretch of continuous runs. I've never felt better. I'm hoping to stay mounted to the horse that once bucked me and hope to ride it all the way into the sunset.

For me, the past two weeks of runs have been a chance to clear my head. It has become a chance for me to think about my life and the people in it. It has given me an uplifting perspective as a whole, helping me to push through moments of pain, periods of breathlessness, and the times my mind tries hard to convince my body to turn around and head home.

Lola has been the best little pal through this new agenda.Getting motivated after a long day of mothering can be really difficult at times. Luckily for me, Little Chicken is an outdoors kinda girl. So escaping for some fresh air is the perfect opportunity to raise the good ol' heart rate and burn a couple extra calories along the way. We play I Spy throughout the run, keeping her busy and on the look out for the next bus, balloon, orange tree, or specific colored car. After a few days of making this early evening jog part of our routine, I'm amazed at how easily my breath and stride have come back.
We end our run at the park where Lola is able to let off some built up frustration from sitting strapped into the jogger while pushed by a winded mama. Like most park visits, she jets towards the swings and waits with a sweet smile accompanied by the big browns that plead, will you please push me, mama?
Once she's in, she waits to be blasted off, anticipating the weightlessness from the initial drop, her little eyes clenched tightly as the passing cold air brushes along her face. She shouts, "More! More!", pushing her higher and higher, her feet kicking up to touch the closest of clouds.

As soon as the slightest indications of motion sickness kick in, I pluck Little Chicken out. She runs around scanning for the perfect spot to play with these little guys. They graze on wood chips, every Target dollar section toy horse's favorite treat.
Well hello there, little fellow.
Lola let's me know she's ready to go as she waits patiently by the fence. I settle her into the stroller once again. We head towards our favorite spot for frozen yogurt as I think of all the tasty variations and combination in flavors and toppings. After sampling a few, we decide on apple pie and vanilla with organic granola. Yum!
Her horse tried to get in on the action. Sneaky little guy.
I know that every day won't be like the motivating ones I've had. I'm sure that I will have a plethora of ones where I have to force myself to get through it. That's normal. But I hope that in the process I learn more about my strengths and weaknesses as a woman, a mother, and a human.  

Fall seven times, stand up eight.  ~Japanese Proverb

If I fall off this horse again, it's okay. The most important thing is that I continue to push myself and remain positive. I am so thankful that my family is so supportive about this new ambition of mine. It makes this phase of staying on the horse easy. Here's to week three and hopefully a couple extra miles!
Which horse have you fallen off lately?

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