Warning: Acting like you’re 17 can have adverse affects on your health

So I thought I was being wimpy.

We had bought this boat to rediscover the hubs and I’s love for watersports and felt it was that time to get the kids engaged in a whole new different world at the cottage. I grew up waterskiing every weekend and couldn’t WAIT to get back out on skis. So we dropped the boat in on May Long Weekend and I braved the water temp to enjoy one of my favorite feelings of all time..the tug of the boat, the speed, jumping across wakes and going slalom…ahem…wait…did you say slalom?….Did I forget the fact that I haven’t skied in nearly 15 years…??

N and her fave part of summer. Getting thrown in the lake

As I got up on 2 skis, my arrogance  and adventurous nature of youth came careening back into my soul and I somehow forgot that I am living in a 37 year old body and instead felt like I was about 17 again. Not a problem unless that exaggerated sense of competence leads you to believe that you should drop one ski the first time out in said 15 years…so as I come sailing by the dock I think, “I can do this!!”  and promptly loosen out of one of my skis…and then promptly have one of the wickedest falls of my entire waterskiing history. 🙁

I felt a slight ache in the back of my leg but didn’t pay much heed to it until we went tubing later on…crashed (in a fun, “OMG I feel like I’m 17 again”, weeeee kind of way!) and hit the same spot on my leg.

That was May 24 and when I started out running the next week to maintain our training schedule for our next half, I just couldn’t do it. Everything about my leg felt sore and painful. I talked to my physio, went to massage and Active release therapy and nothing was fixing it. I just stopped running. Even walking or sitting in a chair was enough of a trial that I realized I had tweaked it somehow and needed to give it rest.

But here’s the problem with summer…with summer comes fun, food, drinks and parties…missing out on the exercise that counteracts all that fun gains you back the pounds shed over the last year and a bit. We all know it’s a cycle, you are either on the healthy train or you’re off and with this injury I fell off…and how! I ultimately went for an ultrasound on my leg and discovered I have torn my hamstring in two places. What does that mean? 8-12 weeks of recovery and physio to get it back in working order. I am starting to come to terms that the half I had planned is not going to happen but what I NEED to do is get back on the train.

So today I went out for my first run this morning since the week after May Long. I accomplished 2.5km…

At first I thought..2.5k? Yuck! I’m starting all over again. And then I realized..”Hey, I’m starting all over again…if that’s what it takes, that’s what I’ll do as long as I am doing!”

The other thing I realized is that part of why I haven’t been writing on the blog is because running always helped me decompress, sort out my thoughts and decide what I wanted to write about. Without that outlet, I really feel like I have been lost these past two months.

I have bought my ticket and I am getting on the train (I look at it that I was temporarily in the station). The journey feels like it will be longer this time but look forward to what’s next in the adventure.

Magnum, our friends dog getting the most out of the boat

The Summer of New Adventures

I honestly don’t know if summer could get any better. We have had the amazing good fortune of having beautiful weather, incredible friends to hang out with, a cottage to escape to and now a very cool motor boat to start our next chapter in adventures at the lake.

It didn’t start out that way. There was a significant number of times at the start of this year where when we went for a ride , it took an incredible amount of time convincing T to even get in the boat. Then it took a lot to convince him to go faster than a put put pace. My husband and I started looking at each other with a “wow, seriously? Could this be the biggest waste of money we have invested in…ever”. We weren’t sure what to do to get him comfortable with the boat (after all, this is a little man who has an auditory sensitivity to loud noises and we’re asking him to sit in a motor boat for goodness sake!)

All I can say, is that my dear husband gets the most brilliant solution award for this one. I don’t think I give him near enough props for how patient and creative he gets in working with T on challenges/resistance he faces but I am truly impressed with how he handled this one. He made sure T felt like he was in complete control. He talked through what the experience of being on a boat would feel like and then ultimately T would give a thumbs up or thumbs down depending if he felt things were getting a bit fast or not.

It took awhile as T got comfortable and once he was there, we started working on him to think about the 3 person tube we have to go on the back. Same situation, talk it through, start slow, he controls his comfort zone…That started in June and now he loves it when dad goes fast. This is so reflective on what its like every day with #Autism. If you prepare them, talk through what to expect and help them plan for the day. If you don’t give them that framework to understand, more times that not, it’s a disaster.

Just keep talking….

Next up, waterskiing…:)

Simple details can help make the world of difference in prepping a child with ASD

A much needed TIME OUT to keep in the game

Let’s be honest. June knocked the wind out of my sails.

My resolve got knocked down, my heart ached, my dukes down in the fight. This is how it started…

Part 1: An autism conference where I realized how still very far away they are from really understanding Autism, how to treat it, and really concrete ideas on managing through it. But I also felt like my heart had been given hope and crushed at the same time as we learned more about  just how much of a fight this will be in T’s growing up..Abundantly clear thanks to an endearing dialogue between The Thomas’ a mother, Sandy and her 22-year-old son, Dylan as they candidly talked about their perspectives on what it was like growing up with Autism. Bottom line..”it will break your heart, it won’t be easy, but you’ll get through…”

Part 2: A series of “showcased” events (School dance, year-end shows, school field trip) in which it became fairly obvious that people I assumed “got it” were not exactly sure how to treat or address Autism as a normal part of daily life. One instance was the school trip in which I got the impression they thought T would  “dart” …we were on a farm..I volunteered that day but instead of including the two ASD kids in with the regular group and asking us to be active observers, we were kept separate along with the other Autistic boy in class and his mother, keeping the most important challenge of Autism, socialization the missing link on that adventure. Another moment was when he was set to the side at the dance,  that “joining in” to the rest of his class would get him too excited.  The last at a year-end recital for dance (we do Tap with him cause he loves the impact), I couldn’t help but cry because he was actually doing the routine (slower-about a 5 second delay) but he was doing it, and enjoying it and we were so friggin proud! and then…he just checked out…went off to his own planet halfway into the second routine and I started crying for a different reason…I was crying because I just wanted him to come back.. to be part of the moment…to be proud of what he accomplished…to be there.

Part 3: Where we are told that the Toronto District School Board does not have enough funding to provide an SNA (Special Needs Assistant) for T (and many others) next year and that we now need to fight our way up the ladder, become the squeaky wheel, do whatever is necessary to try to facilitate support for our son in the school system.

Part 4: Friends started asking how it was going, how T was doing, how our family was doing. I struggle often talking about Autism (except ironically online) because I don’t want it to consume our life. I don’t want it to be the only thing people think of when they look at T and yet, I want it to be a comfortable piece of conversation that is shared between our friends and family. I started to say something but couldn’t get the words out without that evil lump in my throat showing up. I’m not exactly sure why I started sobbing except that my energy felt it had hit an exhaustion point and my  heart-felt that it was physically aching. I said I was worried. That I felt like I wasn’t sure we were doing enough, that I hated thinking about how hard he might have in trying to connect with people growing up, worry about him, our daughter and making sure she is fairly and evenly cared for..my husband that he’s doing ok (as much as we talk, he still has taken on the role of guardian, papa bear to us all). We have amazing friends..but I didn’t realize how amazing until we started talking and they just let me talk…and gently asked questions and reassured me that we were doing everything we could to help T and support his success.

Strength in your relationship will give you the energy you need

And this is how the month ended…My parents came to town and let us get up to the cottage on our own. I sincerely think this saved my bacon. After reading an article in the early days of ASD that quoted parents of special needs were 80% more likely to divorce, I have been a big believer that it is essential to keep your relationship strong in helping manage through Autism. This trip time gave us the chance to regroup, to reconnect, to talk, to laugh and to remember why it was we got married in the first place.

We came home stronger, moving on and ready for July..refreshed and optimistic. We will all have those roller coaster times but this part of the ride I want to stay on for a long time.

The journey through Autism isn’t always easy

Last week I attended an Autism conference by KidsAbility in Waterloo and had the privilege of listening to a very honest, heartwarming and heartbreaking dialogue between Dylan Thomas (a 22 year old U of W student with Aspergers) and his mother, each describing their point of view of what it was like growing up with Autism. The closeness of their relationship as mother and son as well as their unique perspectives gave me moments of laughing my ass off with Dylan’s straight shooter depiction of thinking of people as animals to that large lump that gets in your throat as his mom described the constant challenges they faced in navigating the school system on Dylan’s behalf.

That presentation as amazing as it was, somehow turned me into a sobbing mess on the way home, an ache in my heart that felt so heavy as I thought about the road ahead and what we might have to face as T grows up.

That was Friday and it somehow opened the floodgates for the weekend as my most amazing husband sent me off to the cottage with the girls to regroup, relax and reconnect with lovely ladies I hadn’t had a chance to catch up with for quite a while. These are beautiful friends, women that I know very well, enjoy their senses of humour, and can easily talk about anything. Yet I found myself, worn out from a fairly exhausting month of work, unable to prevent the crack in my voice and the floodgates to open when we were having a simple conversation about Autism. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t want to talk about it in case in starts to ostracize people or if I don’t like talking about it because I don’t want it to define who T is and who we are. I surprised myself by admitting that anyone who gives me that sympathetic, “I’m sorry” head tilt, I want to slap and I find myself putting the word “Autism” out there as almost a dare for anyone to react in a way that is anything different from normal.

T is doing really well right now. He is engaging in social conversation, he is doing way better at looking people in the eyes, his frustration freak outs are almost non-existent. He is doing well because we are working hard at managing a household that works for Autism. We go to Speech Path weekly, we practice at home, we work with his teachers, we know what sets him off and create plans that don’t contribute to those ugly moments.

No one ever said the road would be straight…

But he still has Autism.

He still has repetitive behaviours, over-stimulation issues, sound and texture sensitivities, communication and social challenges.

We always try to take a very positive approach to this journey but I have to admit, after a month of school field trips, volunteering in the classroom, school dance, and most recently an end of year performance where the kids go to dance, we are emotionally exhausted. Every time we go to one of these events, my heart is FULL of love for our little guy..we feel so incredibly proud of what he has achieved. But there is a part of me that is really sad…sad when he checks out into his own world in the middle of a performance, sad that kids aren’t connecting to him in school activities, sad that he is left out…sad because we can’t make a difference in those moments.

I know this just a moment in his life but its one I wish we could speed through and get to the other side.

After hearing the Thomas’ story, it seems like the road is a long one.

How Women In Biz helped me open up about Autism

I had the pleasure of attending the Women In Biz Network Conference in Toronto last week, reuniting with a number of “old” friends and meeting new ones. #WIBN has a very soft spot in my heart as it was through Women In Biz that I truly figured out Twitter and via their networking events, have met dear wonderful people who I truly count as amazing friends now.

It helped me realize how very much I am not alone in the world of solo/mom/entrepreneurship and that many of the challenges I face are very similar to what they are going through. What I love about the Women In Biz Network (perhaps because so many of us are moms) is that unlike posturing at other conferences, there is a group of highly motivated, intelligent women, willing to talk about those key challenges and brainstorm together how to help one another. What I have also found was a group of kindred spirits in moms (who are business owners/bloggers) who have children with special needs. They have been a tremendous source of encouragement, comfort, laughter and that much-needed nod of understanding when you are detailing some of the latest challenges you’ve had with the school board. Their experiences mirror my own and help me get through the moments I struggle with.

It was during one of those candid conversations, as we laughed about some of the judgemental looks we’ve gotten at the grocery store, that I realized how much we have changed habits/behaviours within our life to accommodate Autism into it. None of it is really a big deal but when you start adding it up, you realize how many changes we have made to help keep things on an even keel and keep our family strong.

A few changes..

-We haven’t eaten pasta in god knows how long. We used to get upset with T when he would gag out the spaghetti he was eating (thinking he was being overdramatic) until we discovered that texture can be a major issue for Autistic kids.

-My mother loves buying really awesome outfits for the kids but even she is starting to recognize that T just won’t wear jeans and depending on the day, really hates collared shirts (sometimes he will so there is always hope!) His favorite attire, pajamas (you can find him in them at any given time of the day) and he also can be found wearing a long sleeve shirt in the middle of a heat wave. Again as we looked further into this, jeans can feel like sandpaper to a kid with sensitivities and sometimes the long sleeve shirt is a response to his heightened reaction to stimuli. The funny thing is is how often before we better understood this, that those were a root of frustration/anger/impatient arguments in trying to get T to do what he was told.

-T goes through obsessions. First it was Thomas, then Lightning McQueen (Cars), then onto Super Mario. We are used to it. The kids at school patiently say “Yes, we know T…Super Mario and Luigi say ka-pow…as they roll their eyes cause they have heard it every day X10 for the last 2 months”, other people are not, and we see them annoyed/confused/amused by his repetitive conversations or simply stuff like “Welcome to the Thomas and Friends DVD Experience. Please press play to start the movie” We roll with the obsessions and often use it as a reward for good behaviour. Trying to fight it has proven to just not work for us.

-We have become quieter in our house. We’ve realized that yelling or loud voices is one of the worst things for him. We use a lot of non-verbal charades to help slow his brain down and get him to focus on looking at us to accomplish tasks. We also recognize that after a while when there are a lot of kids over playing that he will disappear to go play on the computer. Yes, it’s rude but it’s how he copes and we are totally ok with that.

-We work on patience (my husband and I) daily. We try more now to figure things out. See what’s not working..decide whether its T being a 6 year old boy, Autistic or both. We still have some really sad days (usually after an incident at the playground or after talking to the school board) but we know that if we don’t work together on all of this (as many reports show) we won’t make it. Bottom line.

This journey has taken us sharp left…and it is definitely an interesting adventure. Obsessions will change, behaviours will differ, life is ever-changing and we are learning as we go how to work with it. That’s Autism. A different puzzle (or piece to the puzzle) all the time.

Original source: http://www.theshirtdudes.com/monopoly-change.html

23 Years Later and I finally finished what I started..

It took 23 years to get there but I finally finished what I started.

I am pleased as punch to report that I passed my Bronze Medallion final exam yesterday and received the elusive Bronze badge and medal that I had originally started going for when I was 13 years old.

and now the question I have gotten ALL the time?

WHAT possessed you to go and sign up for a class where you are older than even the teacher by 20 years, get to hang with the 11-14 yr old/pre-pubescent, like “Oh my GOD, he’s sooooooooooooo cute” set, force yourself to accomplish endurance tests that aren’t necessary and receive a qualification that would only be good if I suddenly decided to change careers, channel by inner Baywatch star and become a lifeguard?

3 Reasons

1) Because I had quit…when I was a kid and it really has lurked in the back of my mind for this many years and I wanted to show my kids that regardless of the time it takes, it’s always worth finishing what you started.

2) Because I am continuing my quest to show my kids healthy living and next on my to do list is a Try Triathalon and the Ottawa Army Run in late September, so working towards endurance in the water fits perfectly in my training plans

3) Because I have this silly list…a plan of things I was going to scratch off before I hit 40..it’s not 40 that’s the issue (at one time, I wasn’t sure I would get past 29 with the kind of adventures I was having!) It’s the list..Of things I really want to do…to take life fully by the horns and live every day as fully as I can. I have scratched a few so far- motorcycle license, bungee jumping, zip lining, parasailing, scuba diving, surfing, Italy, Spain and as of yesterday, my Bronze Medallion.

The catch is, I have a TON more on my list and find with having kids that my nerves of steel are starting to get a lot more like rubber..torn between making smart decisions that won’t put any of us at risk, and wanting to lead by example to my children to go for the adventure, do something that scares you every day, take the bull by the horns. I want them to go after what they want. To work hard and reap the rewards. To never believe that they can’t do something. If I can get that through to them, it’s one of the most important lessons I can pass on.

I’m not sure which adventure the list will take me next but I can honestly say…its something already starting to percolate in my head.

How training,hard ass coaches and mantras helped me finish the race

We did it.

Half Marathon Start lineEven with a case of monster shin splints and a cold day of…I am proud to say I accomplished my second half marathon in a time of 2:07.

This was the first time we had trained with the Running Room in terms of the half and man! was it ever different than when we did it on our own.

On our own, we did most of our runs in the am..pushing each other to get up every one of those mornings to go forth and run. We ran into a few issues…our backs each gave out at one point in time or the other, I totally had visions of a serial killer stalking us in the park when we ran at 6am, heavy heat and humidity left us in dire need of cold showers as soon as we got back in and we compromised on distance, pace, and amount of runs per week. Our first half was in October and we finished in 2:12.

This time, we decided it was worthwhile following an official running program and training with an organized group. Our group leader was Stephen. Hard ass, no mercy..Stephen’s focus was about being supportive in that military kind of way and pushing you to get to your personal best. There was no “compromise” with him. Instead, he would drill into us that if we did not believe that we could accomplish our goals, then it was only our own heads getting in the way. Stephen is somewhere in his 60’s and just ran the Boston Marathon. If there was someone I have met recently who simply commands respect its him…and as much as he would yell at us to keep going and work hard, it was because he really wanted us to be proud of the training we did to get there.

The half we chose to do this time was filled with sweetness as the Mississauga Marathon was the very first 5k run we did last year and we were coming back to do the half.

We felt nervous but ready…a bit unsure of where our time would net out but focused on trying to run our own race. (A couple of days before we started debating heading to 12:1 or 15:1 Run/Walks…in the end, we agreed “why would we invent a new program when we have been training with 10:1 and that has suited us perfectly).We ran together to the 16k mark at which point, my running partner Jen went on ahead. I started slowing up a bit and feeling the aches of the shin splint and ankles I had been working so hard to avoid the previous 3 weeks. By 20k, I was chanting my mantra (the list of kids names I know who are managing through Autism- when I get into challenges, I keep thinking if they are expected to fight through everything they will have to, I should be able to get through a stupid run) Tired and Sore, I debated if it was worth just walking to the finish line?

And then my brilliant, most amazing, most outstanding husband did something utterly perfect. He set up our two very loud and very proud kiddos at the last km mark to get me through to the end.  It did just that. They cheered, I teared and came in to the final stretch strong and so happy to have achieved my personal best (So far!)

I thought this would be a one time shot. To scratch off my bucket list and keep heading to new adventures.

Who knew that this might actually be becoming a habit? and one that I am really starting to enjoy…:)

 

Trying to talk Teenage while crossing off my list

So here’s the scoop…

I started my Bronze Medallion at the St. James Civic Centre in Winnipeg at age 13. I have absolutely no recollection why exactly I didn’t finish the course but life somehow got in the way and I didn’t think it was a big deal to not complete.

I promptly forgot about it for the next 17 years. But like getting my motorcycle license, it was has been on a particular list in my head for years. A TO DO I wanted to complete, something in the back of my brain about the fact that I never actually finished something I started. So when my running partner and another equally fabulous friend decided that we should go for a ‘Try Triathalon’ this summer, I somehow found the perfect training ground for the endurance swim that we would have to accomplish on the Tri circuit…AND finish something I had always meant to. Killing two birds with one stone per se.

So I signed up. But what I DIDN’T think about is that I might be a little older than the average participant in the Bronze Medallion course. Hilarity ensues at what I am now affectionately calling the Social Experiment.

I showed up the first week having no idea what exactly to expect and ran into another mom at the entrance, asking the direction to the Bronze Medallion class. I sigh with relief and say “Oh, are you taking the course too? That’s great! We can be partners!” (maybe a bit too enthusiastically). She promptly looks me up and down and says “Uhhhh nooooo, I was checking for my 11 year old son” ..11? They are seriously as young as 11? You gotta be flippin kidding me!

So I walk in to the theory part of the class and it is me and 20 11-13 year olds. I go to my mat (yes,mat…cause young people can sit on mats for 1 1/2 hrs whereas us evolved really do prefer a chair) and we are subjected to 2-18 year old instructors who truly believe that yelling at us is the most effective form of teaching (Umm, yeah: intro to management course!) We then go into the pool for the next hour and a half and have to perform varying acts of self-rescue and rescue techniques. Fabulous if you have a butt who has not experienced any form of weight gain, child birth, age in general. Not so fabulous as you have to huff out of the pool as if you are climbing out of “mock” ice break incident and thinking really…how much cheek did I just show these poor kids?

I find it a challenge to relate to these young bucks. There are some seriously hilarious conversations I have been witness to, laughing to myself MANY times throughout this adventure and wishing there was someone there I could share a snicker with. My favorite conversation so far was one of a girl asking everyone in the class where their family background was from. As she went through the line, Ukrainian, Polish, Scottish, etc…she came across a guy who indicated his background was Indian and Dutch. Her response “OMG! That is sooooo sick! (Thought sick was out by now?)  I would love to be Indian but I don’t like Indian food!” COMEON! This is the future of our youth today?

I am now in my 5th week of the course and have found a camaraderie of sorts with the girls in the class…In part because of an exchange of discussing the Hunger Games (OMG! I SO think Gale is cuter !) , part because I know a lot of answers to the quizzes when we are practicing for a theory exam. I have 4 more weeks to go and then I will have completed that elusive certification. As much as I don’t get the kids in my class, it was totally worth it. I completed a 500m endurance test today as part of the qualifications and was beyond excited to NOT be the last finishing the laps. This has been a lesson in connecting with the younger generation, age discrimination, weight discrimination, staying cool in the height of an emergency and staying focused in managing through a crisis

I am particularly proud that I will be able to pass on this “completion of starting something” with my kids and only hope they can take cues from the fact that mommy will never quit unless it’s really serious. In the meantime, get out and swim…it’s seriously one of the best forms of exercise I have ever been a part of.

Here’s to the next one…

 

Injury and Inspiration-Can I make the race?

Mother Trucker!

It’s 2 weeks to race day and I have battled a week of sheer frustration. It started about 2 weeks ago. We were on a run and I began feeling a faint bit of anger in my leg as we went along. I was hoping it would be like other instances I’ve had of shin splints, where sometimes just running it out makes the world of difference. But this wasn’t so simple.

This pain has stayed and as we keep training, is becoming a persistent nag in my lower leg and ankle. I have cared for it with icing, elevation, epson salt baths, stretches, you name it. Give me something that you once heard might help shin splints and I will try ANYTHING at this point.

The kicker was this past Saturday. I had put on a compression ankle hold on my left foot which in some ways made it feel a ton better, but as we went along I could tell my right leg was taking the brunt of the run and started feeling the impact on that side as well. By the time we hit 17k, my running partner was well ahead and I just wanted it to be over. By the time I got to the end of the 18km, I asked her to look the other way and bawled like a little girl. Since then I have taken a break from running and have even given in to trying acupuncture for the first time. Good friends have suggested new shoes, others have suggested taping..I will try it all. I just want it to feel better.

I have done other training in the meantime, (swimming and biking throughout this week) but am cautiously planning on trying a run this evening. The weekend also brings a 21k practice run and I feel as nervous as a pre-teen at her first dance.

I’m really trying to focus on the positive belief that I will be ok but have had a few warning conversations from a number of friends/family about not pushing it. That you have to be careful at this point and straining it could cause much worse damage.

I hear that. But I also have an incredibly hard time giving up on something that I have been working towards. We even have a standing joke in our family that the “Powells aren’t quitters”! (Sidenote: This is something my husband actually said to me in the delivery room as I was in labour and about to go in for an Emergency C-Section and yes, I am still married to him…)

It’s true though. We don’t quit and really like to show examples of finishing what we started to our kids. I keep looking at running as a metaphor of what we are going through in working with Autism. Even though you come up to a wall, you have to keep going. If we don’t keep going, who’s going to advocate for my child? I am fighting through this with a determination I haven’t had in the past but I’m not stupid. If it gets too much, I will defer the race but I can’t help looking at so many people who overcome far greater obstacles and think “who am I to cry about a wimpy shin splint”?

If you ever want to feel truly motivated and inspired by what people can overcome…watch this clip of Team Hoyt. (Get the tissue)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64A_AJjj8M4&w=420&h=315]

Training…finding time in the midst of tired

Morning with a view of the CN tower...jussssst off in the background. You see it?

I have something like a dozen half finished posts in my drafts these days. It seems that whenever I get a chance to sit down and truly concentrate on writing a post I think is worth value, it comes at a time where my eyes are getting heavy and my body is shutting down. I’m in a constant state of craving that much sought after sleep that (these days) feels a little elusive. Its not that I stay up that late, our challenge exists between the hours of 2-6am. Hours which normal sane people would be fast asleep in deep REM mode but our children have decided in this phase of familyhood, that they are prone to  getting up and acting as if its bright and sunny daytime rather than the dark cloak of night.

Like clockwork, one of them (BING! ) is awake, chatting about all sorts of gobbledy gook, not just awake but WIDE awake which (If we don’t get to them in time) might just wake up the other one. A much worse proposition. My husband and I love to dance but this dance LEFT-RIGHT-STUMBLE TO BED-GET UP–LIE DOWN WITH KID-BACK TO OUR BED-TAG OFF-REPEAT is one that we’re not as much fans as say a good foxtrot!

You might think that we have really young kids…a baby perhaps or a toddler…ummmmm no. Our kids are 4 & 6 and seem to have been leaping in and out of this phase for their entire existence. We know they can stay in bed. All sorts of threats, negotiations, deals and more though seem to get thrown out the window as soon as they say those words that breaks the heart of every parent its been said to..”Mommy…I had a nightmare…will you cuddle with me?” Ouch! Stab me right through the heart, because whether or not they really did have a bad dream, (I had many growing up) I want to be there to help comfort them when they need it.

I am not helping the matter of being tired. As I mentioned, I actually enjoyed the accomplishment of the half marathon we did last year so much that we are doing it again. May 6th is our official race day and we are now in the high teens in terms of long runs along with other short runs/training 3-4 times a week. So I am getting my exercise and training hard for this run. We also have begun training for a Try Triathalon. This is something that a) I never in a million years entertained I would be doing and b) find monsterously more appealing than say and actual Triathalon as its more likely going to be a 500m swim, 20k bike and a 5 k run. All elements I know I can handle. Its just whether I can handle them together?

A few friends have commented recently on where I have found the time or the energy. The answer is two fold.

The time…I have a really awesome partner in a husband who has come to the brilliant conclusion that when I exercise, I am a happier person…ergo, he supports me and the training schedule I am working against (and often keeps me motivated by telling me how proud he is that I am going after a goal and sticking to it). I also try to manage runs during times that don’t impact our family as much…which is why I am getting out of my cozy warm comfy bad at 5:45am to meet up with my neighbour and get in the 7k we need to do before 7am tomorrow. Yuck!

The energy…I think since I started this I have more energy overall…I am eating healthier, I am sleeping better (when the kids don’t wake us up) and I am feeling fit. But truth be told, in the confession outlet that is this blog post, I drop the ball. I have a long overdue list of phone calls to make, emails to catch up on, taxes to be done, garage sale stuff to be organized…I can go on…

But I know for me, to stay healthy and in fighting form to tackle the constant challenges we keep getting faced with, this is what I need to do. My friends know I love them and someday we will catch up (definitely over a glass of wine), the taxes will eventually get accomplished, the garage sale stuff purged…

and emails…I don’t think anyone ever catches up on emails…like ever.