Thursday, June 30, 2011


This past week, my Mom, Jack and dear friend, Pilar, all asked me if I was truly happy.  I had talked about moving to new places, shared nerves about the girls and Makenzie's medical conditions, stress about time management, and didn't feel like "me".  Normally, I am a positive optimist by nature. I see the glass half full, feel invigorated by laughter and twinkling eyes, have no shame in dancing like a fool and enjoy time doing a bazillion things and nothing at all. But, I really wasn't feeling like me.

A big part... my left ankle has been injured. While I know I have to get knee surgery in the late Fall, after racing the See Jane Run 5K, I was set to come in first and got a cramp at mile 1.7 and overcompensated with my left calf.  I pushed to come in 2nd, but later in the day felt a bit of pain.  First it was shin splints, then it shifted to severe pain shooting up and down my leg.  I am not one to stop and hold back, especially when my job is to inspire and motivate my clients to keep moving daily.  It is not in my nature to step back, and I've had to.  I took one week off. Then I ran 7 miles in Carmel on my brother's wedding day, and it got worse.  So I took another two weeks off.  While spinning and swimming rock, they don't replace the runner's high  for me.  They don't give me the depleted feeling that I have at the end of an intense run...and I crave that feeling at least a few times each week to thrive! So without running, holding back with teaching by not doing as many plyometrics, and attempting to keep my Erin Spirit up, I guess it had dwindled more than I realized.

And yesterday, I had an epiphany as I was writing.  While therapeutic and scary I realized a few things:

Love how this captures all of us thinking "Oh E, you are our Ramona!"
1. I have been beyond scared that something will happen to Makenzie and/or Emerson again, but want to keep Bug and Monkey feeling as normal as possible. I don't want Makenzie to feel she can't do things, but am beyond scared that if she does something and gets hurt again, we are in severe trouble that I can't control.

2. With the determination to keep life fun for my girls, I have put my own personal needs off. I haven't spent time with my friends because the only time away from my girls I spend training/teaching PFPDX or training myself.  I am scared that if I go away something can happen to Makenzie.  The first time I went away without my kids for myself to play, to Portland for 2 days, Makenzie got horribly sick and I rushed her to Children's Hospital upon getting home. She didn't recognize me resulting from the severe dehydration and multi organ failure, and I am fearful something could happen if I were to go away again.

3. I need to focus on my own Triathlon racing again, which is what makes me feel like me ME and haven't been able to because of injury.  That is tough for me mentally because I am feeling an age thing coming on. As if I don't do some things in the next few years I will lose my "younger window".  I need to focus on myself and what makes me happy, realizing that age is just a number.

4. I have a feeling of missing my own independence.  With moving back to the Bay Area, I realized I think of it as a feeling of failure that we didn't make it away on our own. It is not true- we didn't live in the Bay Area for about 7 years.  But with moving back I miss the sense of independence of living on our own, and having our own city to identify with.  I miss my core group of friends who I saw every day and talked on the phone with all the time.  I miss having "my" people to go running with all the time; having them close by to go to Kennedy School with. I miss the bonds my children had with kids they knew since they could first remember.  Here my closest lifelong friends are 30-45 minutes away and I don't see them how I want to regularly. I have lovely friends in Alameda, but it will take time to nurture and grow those friendships. I am determined to do so beyond measure.

5. I thrive on owning my own business and helping other women(and their daughters) with their self esteem through athletics.  I love presenting at workshops, doing the tv fitness segments, writing fitness articles, and being involved on all aspects of media in fitness.  The nerves from realizations 1 & 2 have held me back a bit on moving and progressing forward again with pursuing media-fitness pieces again.  

So NOW- I am making changes. I am finding new goals, have outreached to some of my newer girlfriends, and will set some dates to see my lifelong friends in the next weeks.  While being a naturally social person, I don't socialize as much as people think I do.  I am running around with the kids all the time and tend to forget to pay attention to me. I worry if I don't focus just on them, if I lose them, I won't remember everything.  That is what scares me so much.  I can't just take off and leave them with sitters to see friends because I get scared.  I was gone, and never am, when Makenzie got sick and she didn't recognize me when I saw her.  That has stayed with me on deep levels which I hadn't realized until recently.  I worry if anything happens again it will always be with me, but after identifying these feelings maybe I can work on it more.  I even feel guilty at nighttime, when I am tired of whining and washing dishes to "escape for a few minutes", and Jack is reading stories to them. I feel I should be right there cuddling before bed.  I feel that having almost lost them both I need to cherish each moment we have together on another level. Which I do, but I want to embrace and cherish the moments more deeply.

This is where it gets interesting.  I know life is not easy for everyone. I know we have it easier than most. We have a roof over our heads, have loving family and friends, have our bodies and have been given the gift of seconds chances.  I would love to feel in my innermost core more peaceful all the time; that is what I am striving for. It's why I take longer to go to and from places; riding my bike to pick up Emerson, stopping at places along the way home, unexpected trips to random parks or to the beach to play in the sand and read books. It is how come I try to add extra time to doing errands so the girls can explore and I can take time to answer the endless question of "why".  I truly want that peaceful and content feeling to be with me daily, and for my kids to embrace and feel those elements of peacefulness too. I want to feel content and good about me, my family and my life I am living.  Often I do. BUT, often I also feel I should be doing more than I am and be appreciating on a deeper level all that life has allowed me to experience.  Have you ever experienced that too?  

I began a Happy List Sunday morning when running.   I am adding to it daily, and making sure to embrace all the happies I see.  I will add to the happies on this blog, and encourage you to create your own happy list. Even doing it makes you smile and feel a bit happier. 

As I was finishing up my Happy List I decided to pop into Books Inc. and meander around. Guess what I found....a book called The Happiness Project.  No joke- I was holding some fun beach reads, looked down and my jaw dropped.  I couldn't believe my eyes and called Jack right away to share the "sign" of what I would be doing next.  Supportive and incredible as he is, Jack said to get the book and tell him all about it.  I am only on page 25, but have already enjoyed the notion of focusing on different elements each month.  Similar to how I do an annual Fitness Challenge from February-May for my clients- to help them focus on their health, fitness, and wellness. This will be a year of focusing on different elements of making those aspects of my life happier, embracing each moment to "be" in the moment, and enjoying everyone around me for their various strengths, personalities, quirks and love that I cherish.

My own Happiness Project will highlight each month with a new goal.  And to start- July is Foundations.  I am going to truly start my own year's project in August, and July will outline how I can embrace the foundations for my own unique happiest state. Do you want to join me?  How are you truly Happy each day?  Are you relishing each moment to it's fullest potential, or do you feel it's to much to contemplate? Just curious.  

One of my own happies is swimming with my girls, so I will hop off and do just that.  What I gratefully enjoy, and keep doing that again and again...
Happiness list -  June 26- 2011
Loving and feeling proud of myself- stems to feeling good about all else
holding hands with Jack when walking down the street
Emerson laughter
Makenzie's eye twinkle and nose freckles
Being free to just play with the girls
Swimming in the pool and underwater tea parties
Eating outside
Riding with girls singing on their bikes
The beach and sand in toes
Achieving an athletic goal
Feeling organized
Makenzie reading to Emerson
Jack playing soccer
Watching Jack and E play soccer
Bare feet
Sunshine filled day and run
Hearing my best friend's voices on the phone

Sweat inducing depleting workout
No clutter
Feeling on top of finances
Robbie remembering to say "secret code" and both of us laughing
Writing cards and actually getting them in the mail
Cuddling with the girls
Lean abs
Wearing sundresses
being lame doing the running man and how people respond with laughter
Writing inspiring articles
Helping women feel confident

No drinking in the week= better morning workouts and teaching
Read books every day
Clean house
Running trails
Running with jack
Racing well and confidently
Tyler being smart assy and "on" and making me laugh so I fall over
Laughing so my body aches
Making my meals
Farmers market and eating strawberries while wandering through
Being updated
My old bike ride date nights with Grandma Betty hearing stories
Overnight adventures
Wine tasting with friends
Kissing for hours
Dare nights with good conversations
watching dad and mom with the girls
Working out with Tyler
talking to Grammer
Receiving cards in the mail
Painting for hours in sunshine
Reading a book in a hammock
Hearing client success stories
Helping Clients "break through" their challenges and go farther than they thought
Seeing Makenzie ride her bike on two wheels for the first time
Seeing Emerson sing and dance all the time- just in her own world
Bo's smart ass comments
Watching my girls with my best friends kids adoring each other
Huevos Rancheros
Fresh cut flowers
Manicured nails lasting more than one day

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Running Day!

Run run run run!!!  It is a great day, National Running Day, did you get your miles in?  I love that a day is dedicated to encourage everyone to lace up and run.  Even if you never have run down your block, go for it today!  It is your day to move and have fun doing so.  Learn that your body is made to be active, not sitting at a desk.
Have fun and count how many runners you see today.  Emerson and I did just that and counted 15 runners.  We had a great 5.5 mile run and literally within 5 minutes of putting away the jogger, it started to pour rain like Noah needed water for his Arc!  Have fun, get your miles in, and remember, you don't melt in the rain when you run! 

Cheers and Happy Running!!!