Tag Archives: lessons

You Can’t Undo the Past

Hunter had a cross country meet Wednesday afternoon and it didn’t go quite the way he was hoping it would – after the race he was not happy with himself.

As a mom (and runner) it is hard to see him so upset and down on himself  over a race that didn’t go according to his plan.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 8.58.27 PM

Tuesday after school and throughout the evening Hunter was talking about how difficult the course was going to be for the race Wednesday (they ran it last year).  I told him to quit psyching himself out.Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 9.01.33 PM

When I got to the park for the meet, Hunter seemed in good spirits.  I watched the 7th girls, 7th boys, 8th girls and then it was time for Hunter’s race – 8th boys.

7th grade did 1 mile and 8th ran 2 miles (they did the same loop 2x).

Hunter started off slower than he has been running (behind boys he has been beating this year).  I ran to a few places to cheer for Hunter and the others.  When they started the 2nd loop I told Hunter it was time to start going.

The last time I saw him was a little less than 1/2 a mile from the end and then with about 200m to go – both times I told him to pick it up.

He ended up getting passed in the final few steps when he is normally the one passing others.

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Hunter was not happy so I gave him some time to gather himself but once we got in the car to drive home (over an hour) we talked some about the race and his attitude.

He said he wouldn’t be able to stop beating himself up over how poorly he ran.  I asked him if he had been struggling while running.  NOPE.  He was worried about the hills and how difficult the course was so he wasn’t running his hardest.

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I asked him if being so hard on himself would change the outcome of the race.  NOPE!

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I told him that this was one of those things he just had to chalk up to lessons learned and move on.

He learned that he is much stronger than he thinks and he shouldn’t doubt is strength (or me when I tell him to go!!!).

We talked about the meet on Friday (crazy that they race just 2 days later but….) and the fact that it is a much flatter easier course so he can go out and run the way he knows he is capable of.

Mostly I told him that we can’t live in the past – we have to keep moving forward and not let past mistakes slow us down.

Hopefully Hunter is able to put a bad (it wasn’t really bad except in his mind) race behind him and move on!!

Do you beat yourself up for days or just take the lessons and move on?

Happy Friday!!


Lessons Learned from my Biggest Role Model

OK – this feels wrong to start a post and not begin with my 44 but I’m going to try.  On the weekend I will share the entire week of Daily 44s.

Mema's 80th birthday party
Mema’s 80th birthday party

For most of my life I was super blessed with the best role model any girl could ever wish for – my grandma (Mema). 

this is how my grandparents posed most of the time
this is how my grandparents “posed” most of the time

My grandmother taught me early on how much fun shopping was.  She was an expert shopper!  During all of that shopping she showed compassion to many people.  No one was ever “beneath” Mema – she treated everyone equally and fairly!!

spring 1998
spring 1998

Mema believed that a woman should always be “put together” and that meant – dressed nicely, hair done and LIPSTICK.  I have probably let her down in this area a lot – I love to be in workout wear and often skip makeup all together!!

even when she lost her sight she still looked at Poppa
even when she lost her sight she still looked at Poppa

Mema was very SOCIAL!!!  She would talk to anyone and everyone about the most personal things.  Many times I remember thinking that the lady at the Bealls counter or the cashier at the Chinese restaurant  didn’t need to know quite so much about me but….

Poppa's 94th birthday
Poppa’s 94th birthday

Mema taught me how to be a “worker.”  I spent many summers with my grandparents and I worked!  I helped in the garden, did chores around the house and worked in the kitchen.  Mema cooked like Paula Deen before anyone knew who Paula Deen was.  If a little butter was good, a lot of butter was better!!!  There was never a bad dish at my grandmothers!!

Even though we worked hard, we also rested.  Every day after lunch we all would find a nice spot and nap (them) or read (me) for 30 minutes – I loved that time!


My grandparents together taught me what true love is.  I don’t think I ever heard either one of them say a cross word at or about the other.  I know they didn’t always agree about things but they knew what was important – LOVE!!!

May 25, 1996 a few special words right before my wedding
May 25, 1996
a few special words right before my wedding

Mema always had time for her family.  I think that family was truly the most important thing in her world and we always knew it!!!  I talked to Mema at least once a week from the time I went to college until the very end of her life.


Mema loved her great grandkids.  I know that even though she understood why we lived in Kansas, she always hated that we were so far away.  I hope that my boys had enough time with Mema and Poppa to know how very special they both were!!!

Mema couldn't see much by this time but she was still studying Hunter!!
Mema couldn’t see much by this time but she was still studying Hunter!!

Mema taught me that you didn’t have to be musical to appreciate good music.  I think I got my musical ability from her (none!!) but I still love to listen to music.  She would have loved hearing the boys play their instruments!!

listening even when she couldn't see
listening even when she couldn’t see

In the last few years of her life, Mema taught me so many lessons!!  She taught me that no matter how hard life becomes and no matter what comes your way, you just have to stay strong in your faith.  

I feel sure that Mema was making sure Poppa was "eating right" (her way!)
I feel sure that Mema was making sure Poppa was “eating right” (her way!)

I think that Mema is the one who taught me the art of making sure that people do things the “right” way!!!  She was good at convincing Poppa to eat certain things or not eat them.  I think really it all just goes back to the complete love they had for each other!!

Mema and Poppa loved to travel and went to many places and many different countries over the years.  Even with traveling though, Mema taught me that home was always the best place to be.  I still feel that way!!

this picture was after Mema had bypass surgery - I went down for a week to help take care of her
this picture was after Mema had bypass surgery – I went down for a week to help take care of her

Losing her sight was hard!!  (She had macular degeneration.)  I know that it frustrated her to not be able to see her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.  Yet, she rarely complained.  In fact, I don’t think I ever really heard her complain even during the last 2 years when I know that she was unhappy because she wanted to be home with Poppa instead of in a nursing home.

always joy!!

always joy!!

I remember watching Mema open a gift and be able to figure out what it was even without seeing it!!!


Even in the nursing home, Mema tried to show her family a good time.  It wasn’t quite the entertaining that she used to do.  That is another thing she taught me – how to be a good host.  She was an incredible hostess and nothing made her happier than having a large group of friends and/or family to feed and entertain!!

January 2011
January 2011
Mema & Poppa with Aunt Jackie
Mema & Poppa with Aunt Jackie
the last good visit I had with Mema
the last good visit I had with Mema

I was fortunate to have Mema in my life as many years as I did.  I was 41 when she died.  (February 6, 2011)  Thankfully, I was able to go down in late January of 2011 and then I went down again in early February.


I spent the last 2 days and nights of Mema’s life with her and held her hand when she took her very last breath.  I applied some of the lessons she had taught me over the years and just let her know how very much I loved her and always would!!!

2001 (Sam & Stacy's wedding)
2001 (Sam & Stacy’s wedding)

I have missed my grandma every day for just over 3 years.  Today would have been her 88th birthday!!!  Happy Birthday, Mema – I will always love you!!!

I hope that at the end of my life I can look back and be able to know that I made Mema proud!!!

Who is your biggest role model?
What lessons did you learn from them?

Happy Monday!!


Lessons Learned from a Group of Middle School Boys

Today’s 44 was a great way to work your hip flexors and butt while getting a  triceps workout.

In the tricep dip position on the floor, pull one knee in to your chest – 

extend leg and dip
extend leg and dip

After doing 44 with one leg, it is necessary to switch legs and repeat (DUH!)!!  The downside is your arms don’t get any break!!!  88 total dips!

ready on side 2
ready on side 2
extend and dip
extend and dip

So, Chris actually took the pictures for me last night (see the fuzzy socks?) but I did the 44 this morning.  However, the first time through I did them wrong – I was just reclining on my elbows and thinking it was a super easy move.  When I uploaded my pictures I realized my mistake so I had to do them all (both sides) again – my butt and hip flexors really got a workout!!!

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 8.04.06 AMI know lots of people who would rather spend hours with a group of  little kids than middle school kids.  However in my previous life (before kids so 15 years ago) I was a middle school science teacher and a coach (volleyball, basketball and track).

I love the 11-14 year old range of kids – they are still on the cusp of wanting to please adults but also needing to venture off – very teachable!!!

And – they are also capable of teaching us (adults) many things if we are willing to be receptive to them.

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 8.05.15 AMYesterday while “enjoying” my time in a gym surrounded by adolescents (mostly boys!), I observed several things that I thought were worth sharing.

A little background on the tournament – this was a varsity level tournament so it was mostly 8th graders and many of these boys have been wrestling on club teams for 5-7 years.  (Hunter was 1 of only a few 7th graders from our school who went.)

1.  One of the boys on our team lost his 2nd match and was upset.  As an 8th grader (13 or 14 years old) it is so hard to let anyone see you cry – he was trying to fight it and brush off the tears so no one would notice.  Another one of the 8th grade boys was sitting close to him on the bleachers.   He didn’t say a word – just slid over and put his arm around him for just a second before moving back to his spot.

I thought it was the kindest gesture he could have made!  He showed he cared but he didn’t make a big deal about it.  Most importantly – he didn’t make the other kid feel bad for the tears!!!

Hunter getting ready to start
Hunter getting ready to start

2.  When Hunter lost (rather quickly because he got pinned) in his 2nd match, his opponent took the time to talk to him for several minutes.  This was a boy from another school who had never met Hunter.  On the way home I asked Hunter what they were talking about.  He said the boy was offering up a couple of pointers and things for Hunter to try in future matches.

Wow!!  That kid could have made fun of Hunter for getting pinned so quickly but instead he was kind and offered up some help!!!

waiting for his turn
waiting for his turn

3.  Team support is alive and well!!!  Hunter could have left anytime after his 2nd match because he was done for the day.  However, he wanted to stay and watch his teammates – and these boys really did watch and cheer on the other guys from their team!

Even though wrestling isn’t my favorite, I’m all about supporting your team, so we stayed and watched (well, I watched when someone from our school was up but mostly read my Nook!).

4.  I was a litte worried about how Hunter would react after his 2nd match – he actually got pinned in both of his matches yesterday.  However, he was completely fine when he came over and sat down.  At first I thought his attitude was kind of lax and that he should at least be a little upset.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that he knew going in that he was going to be up against boys who were older and had been competing much longer than he has (just over a month for him!) and that the day would be a great learning experience for him – he went in planning to do his best and to learn as much as he could during the whole experience.

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 8.33.07 AMHunter didn’t win any matches yesterday but he still came out a winner because of his attitude and willingness to learn!!

So, the next time you’re surrounded by a group of loud, noisy (maybe stinky) pre-teens and teens, remember – they have plenty to teach you if you let them!!!

Favorite age group to be around – babies, preschooler, elementary kids, middle school, high school, college or adults – What is your pick?

Happy Sunday!


Lessons Learned on my Run Around the Lake

Today for my 43 I did a power move!  Super fun (and hard)!  This past week, Cranky Fitness and Fitknitchick both had posts about the benefits of power moves.  I love power moves but probably don’t do them as often as I should.

So, today I used my 14″ step to do box jumps.  I jumped up onto the step and then

14" double step (the Transfirmer)
14″ double step (the Transfirmer)

stepped off.  I did all 43 quickly so I could get my heart rate up (soaring!!).

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhgwmIgWnSU’]

I’m really trying to be smart as I start running again.  I decided that as much as I love my treadmill and running on it, I have a tendency to run too hard on it.Treadmill

I think the reason I never get bored on it is because I constantly play little games with the time and speed.  When I try and just set an easy pace to run – I get BORED.  The other day I decided that much as I hate running outside in the cold, I would try it.

Good news?  I got to go shopping for some winter running gear!!!Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 7.32.28 AM

Had a very successful trip!  Plus, I got an armband for my iPhone 5 so I could have some music!!!  All set!  This morning after my 43 and downing about 32oz of water I headed out.  A quick stretch:

stretching my calves/achillesAgain with the pissed-off look (blame it on the sun in my eyes!)
stretching my calves/achilles
Again with the pissed-off look (blame it on the sun in my eyes!)
here I go...
here I go…

And I’m off.  The route I like around the lake (which I haven’t run since summer – thanks hip!) is just over 5.5 miles.  I started my watch because I’m anal and even when I’m not planning to run hard I have to know my time!  Here are a few of the things I learned today:

  1. HILLS SUCK!!!  (my 1.5 incline is not the same as the hills around the lake!)
  2. My breathing is off (and loud!)
  3. It is hard to sing while running – plus I probably looked and sounded like a complete dork (Oh, well – normal!)
  4. The sand on the streets (from the last snow) is slippery!!!
  5. The sand when going downhill is dangerous!!!  (thankfully no falls – would have been very unhappy to get a rip in my new gear!!!)
  6. I walked 2x for a total of 7 minutes and I’m going to be fine with that today!
  7. I’m an idiot and was running sub-8 minute pace (explains the breathing and walking bit) – I’m supposed to be taking it easy!!!
  8. If I hadn’t stopped and walked when I did the first time, I would have missed this:

    This isn’t actually a picture I took (far too much trouble to get my phone out of the band) but a lady backing out of her driveway stopped and pointed out a bald eagle sitting on the lake!  It was so very awesome!  I wish it would have flown so I could see the wing-span but neat to see it sitting, too!

  9. My little gloves are perfect for the constant running of my nose caused by the cold.
  10. The sweat from running makes you really cold when you finish the run and walk an easy cool-down.
  11. I’m going to continue to run outside (even in the winter) but unlike some of the true die-hard winter runners it has to be at least 32 for me!  (I’m a wimp and totally OK with that!!!)
  12. Over-all I enjoyed my run around the lake this morning (even though I still love my treadmill!!!).

Happy Saturday!!!