Sunday, July 26, 2015

It's like this...

I think it's been two weeks today since I last ran.
I've been patiently taking it easy in an attempt to let my Achilles' tendon issue resolve itself. 
(Something about an angry run on pavement coupled with the fact that my shoes are beat)...oops.
The old me would've pushed through and stubbornly ran a crapload of miles on the beach last week (and would be paying the price now with an even worse injury, I'm sure).
Alas, I'm learning.
Learning to be patient.
Learning that rest and recovery are biggies (wait, I knew that already...I just need to actually do just that; rest & recover. Duh)...
I've been on my bike a bit and as always, riding my bike in the woods makes me happy.
And doesn't seem to aggravate the tendon issue.
A nice, solid jaunt on the trails fixes just about anything (or at least clears my head for a while; you know, making room for stuff that actually matters instead of all the crap I'm constantly worrying about).
Which brings me to...

I'm back at therapy.
It started before I went on vacation (funny timing, right?)...
I've had this sadness/flatness pulling at me for a while...I can't point to a specific cause or stressor or situation.
"It's the biochemical part of depression,"
Is what I've been told.
It's not always circumstantial.
There doesn't have to be a reason.
Therapy is weird and tiring and sometimes awkward and almost always helpful/productive.
I've said it before: No shame in my mental health game.
I'm less than proud of the kind of mom/wife/friend I am when I'm not taking care of myself...
I am fortunate to have options and support and the means to seek out help.

We are in the thick of summertime...
I love July and I'm not ready for it to end.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

(more) On Running...

Every time I've finished a running race lately, I vow to put running aside and get back on my bike.
And then another race comes up and I run again.
And again.
On the Fourth of July, I did the Good Neighbor Day 10k (same race I did the day after my mom's funeral last year)...
I feel like that one is going to be a tradition/ritual for me.
This year, I felt more like a runner as I found my way to the start and felt even more like a runner when I came through the first lap in twenty-five minutes.
I'm not chasing a particular time or result, but I'm trying to learn how to pace myself.
I'm toying with the idea of doing a half-marathon with a good friend of mine...if that's the case, I may finally tap into my husband's wisdom and cobble together an actual training plan.
Last time I formally trained for an athletic endeavor was cross...
Maybe it's time for a little structure again, I don't know.

On the flip side, I did get back on my bike this week.
I treated myself to a babysitter and enjoyed a solid ninety minutes riding in the woods.
(still got it)
Although my legs hadn't recovered from the 10k, I still climbed just fine and felt very comfortable on the trails.
It was fun to zone out and just pedal at my own pace...sometimes casually, sometimes hard.

Before springtime, I was determined to put cross back on my radar and train for racing again.
Now, I am not so sure.
Or rather, I'm pretty sure I'm not delving back into that with all my heart yet.
The beauty of this little conundrum is that my decision isn't really all that important either way...
Are you ever just so thankful that you actually like sweating/maxing out your heart rate/conquering big hills/trying to rip the competition's legs off (even when the competition is just yourself)?
I don't know what makes me this way, but I'm certainly thankful to have found happiness on two wheels/two feet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tick tick tick tick tick...

6/24/2014 (Tuesday night)
I don't know it yet, but you're going to die at the end of this week.
I saw you yesterday in the ICU at Chester County Hospital.
Your hair was in a jaunty little ponytail, blonder already from the early summer sun.
Your skin was deeply tan...I always give you shit for not protecting your skin better. 
There's an insidious, horrid infection taking over your body, but none of us know it yet.
You were cracking jokes with dad & laughing with Dr. Yoder, lamenting the awful Lactulose that you hate taking.
You sent me away, insisted we keep our plans to take the kids camping at French Creek.
Honestly, I don't feel that uneasy about it. There's no grim foreshadowing, no signs to speak of.
Dad agrees. Go.
So, I'm sitting at the campfire watching Max light marshmallows on fire and wondering if Maeve is going to sleep tonight.
I rode my bike alone on the trails earlier and willed you to get better and get home soon.
I sent you all kinds of positive juju and good vibes.
I sailed down descents I'm normally afraid of with ease because you gave me confidence that everything would be okay.
(And it is, but...)
You're going to die on Friday.
I'll be there when you take your last breath. I'll be there with dad.
We'll be there with you.
3 more days.
We can't do anything differently, we can't change the course of events and we can't ask for better care for you.
You will be transferred to Penn via chopper; this is serious.
You'll be proclaimed the sickest patient on the floor.
Your condition will just get worse and worse, but the doctors will still puzzle over every, so many doctors.
They won't give up until they have tried everything.
This is probably a little jarring, a little hard to me, I feel the same way.
It's Tuesday night and your life is really slipping away.
Tomorrow morning, I'll rush back home at dad's urging and you'll be in pretty bad shape.
You're drowsy and I think you're kind of scared.
You tell me, "I think I'm really fucked up, Kim."
I tell you it's going to be fine and thank god I utter a breezy, "love you!" as I hustle out of the ICU to get home to the kids.
(Now I feel uneasy, now I feel a sense of doom)
Is this hard to follow?
Am I jumping all over the place?
That's just how it's going to go.
The next few days are going to be hard to follow.
The next few days are going to blur together and get mixed up.
There's going to be a frantic drive in the middle of the night to Penn...and a dearth of machines and bags and wires and blips and beeps and tape and bandages and whirring and whooshing.
Not yet, though.
Right now, it's still just Tuesday night and you are still 4 minutes down the road, just a few miles south of our home...serious, yet not grave.
They haven't decided to move you to Penn yet.
I don't know you only have a few more days, the last of which you will barely open your eyes.
I don't even know what life support looks like in real life yet.
I haven't even remotely gone there in my mind yet because...
Pony tail. Laughing. Wide eyes. Cute. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Tomorrow is June 1st.
I've been dreading June...
Every day, we're getting closer & closer to the one year date since my mom died (6/27/14) and it's making me very anxious. Maybe because I can't say to myself, "this time last year we celebrated Max's last day of school/went shopping for Father's Day/tried that new restaurant etc etc etc". I don't know what it is about the one year mark, but I just don't want to get there. Makes no sense, doesn't have to. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

And it's nearly June...

Blogging has fallen waaaaay off my radar.
I've been more driven to draw/sketch than write. 
Day after day, I bust out the colored pencils and practice practice practice.
Ideally, I'd like to get into some kind of class or lessons.
You know what else has fallen waaaaay off my radar?
Riding my bike.
Lately, I run in favor of riding.
I just happen to enjoy it a lot right now,
so I run.
I keep seeking out these trail 10ks because it seems like a good distance for me. I've seen some beautiful new places and trails in the past few months thanks to these races.
And I know I've touched on it before, but I really do feel connected to my mom when I'm running.
I can't believe we're approaching the one year mark of her death.
Is it weird that I don't want it to be a whole year already since she died?
I don't know why that's hanging over my head, but grief is weird.

I've been sick with a stupid kidney infection this week and (no surprise), I just want my mom.
I just want to be like, "Here, can you take my kids for an hour so I can at least be uncomfortable in an empty, quiet house?"
I just want to be like, "Hey, mom, can you make some Queen soup for me?"
I guess I could try to make it, but it wouldn't be the same.

Maybe the tone of this post suggests I'm not doing so great, but that's just today.
I'm good ☺

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shaking things up

I turned 40 last week...
I have good feelings about my age, so there's really not much to expound upon.
If anything, I'm like, "yay! I got here, let's keep going."
Every day, every year is a gift. As long as I can keep moving & laughing, I can handle anything (I think).
I've been riding a few times a week and it feels so amazing to be back on trails, back in short sleeves, back in the saddle (literally).
I've also been running and have recently challenged myself to a few trail races (10Ks). While I'm not setting the trails on fire with my pace or anything, I'm really digging it.
I find myself thinking about my mom a lot whenever I run/"race." Running was her thing and I like to think I'm channeling my inner Mare when I want to pass someone or when I need to push harder.
All these years, I've shared so many interests & pursuits with my dad (which is awesome, don't get me wrong) and I wish my mom was here to see me embrace something she was so great at.
I mean, who really cares about you placing third in your age group?
Your mom, that's who...

I've decided no mountain bike races for me this season...none, not even "for fun", not even our team race (On the Rocks at French Creek, my fave).
Races cost money and races eat up a whole day.
I'd rather spend the cash on a babysitter and ride with my husband.
Check in with me come fall, though...
I bet I'll be gearing up for a few cross races.

What else?
My dad & I took the kids to see my brother last week.
The worst part of visiting him is when we're in the little "holding pen" (after we've checked in, before we're called back to go to the visiting room).
I always feel uneasy and anxious, thinking about the day he'll finally come through the same door carrying all his possessions, a free man. I worry about all that has transpired since his sentence commenced and I worry about all that can still transpire in the coming years.
But, then we're called back and there's Rob and all is (mostly) well.
He showed Max a few card tricks, read a book to Maeve (Brown Bear, Brown Bear), and shared a mountain of microwave popcorn with us (he's got to be the only inmate who covers a tray with napkins and dumps out THREE bags of popcorn onto it).
I always feel so mentally exhausted (not necessarily in a bad way, but it's a very emotionally taxing experience) after visiting my brother and am almost thankful for the long ride home to sort of decompress (until the kids start coming unglued about 25 miles from our exit).
So that's that...two+ years to go {sigh}.

Having said all that, I guess I'm not exactly shaking things up after all.
But, I don't know what else to call this post.
Drawing has taken the place of writing for a while now. The little bit of writing I do consists of letters to my brother and my friend, Kate, in Colorado.
When the house is quiet, I like to zone out with my colored pencils and just draw draw draw...

Shaking things up?
Not quite...