Resolve

resolve

[ri-zolv]

verb (used with object), resolved, resolving.
1.

to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something)
Such a firm word. Hard. Mean, even, almost. It’s heavy, for sure. And with it, comes expectations. That if you don’t complete that which you’ve resolved to do, somehow you’ve failed. Or fallen short. I’m all for goals, and I’m ALL for hitting them, but this just sometimes sees like an awful lot of pressure.

I don’t often make them. Or if I do, I don’t tell most people about them. And my resolutions are rarely physical. I don’t resolve to eat better, lose weight, workout more, keep my room clean, etc. That’s not something to start on 1JAN. That’s something to start today. Wanna eat better? Choose an apple. Right now. Wanna lose weight? Find a class and go. Right now. Wanna keep your room clean? Get the laundry off the floor and move on. Get the idea?

But this year…after last year…I’m resolving to trust myself more, to listen to my heart, to slow down, to say no, to say yes, and to believe that I do, in fact, have it.

I’ve. Got. This.
time
“Time is what we have and how we use it is what makes or breaks us.”
I want to use my time to live. To be in nature, to get my kids into it. To turn off, tune in, tune out, unplug, plug in, get on the mountain, in the water, and everywhere in between. I want to have conversations, share ideas, inspire others, lift people up, give love and in doing that, feed MY soul.

Unrelenting Passion

best adventure ever 2273Last winter, I decided to change my life. I decided to make myself and my world something I could be extremely proud of. Something I could be happy with. Something that, when someone says to me, “you have such a great life, Katy” I can say, “yes, yes I do”.

So, Michael and I split up. I moved out. We sorted out custody, and I found a full time job that I thought would be a great fit, but soon realized, just wasn’t. I also realized, through all of this, that it wasn’t enough to just make the break. It wasn’t enough to just be on my own, bringing in a paycheck. So I started brainstorming. And networking. And running numbers. And staying connected to all that matters most to me: childbirth and early parenting, fitness, health and well-being. I decided that I needed to be working with my passions, that that was the only way I was going to be fulfilled, to live the authentic life I am aiming for. I put it out there to the universe – I asked for help (I’m not one keen on asking for help).

I went to the Fit4Mom Body Back Enhanced training on October 17th and decided that day that I had to get back to it. I wasn’t sure how, but I knew. I knew in that room full of other women whose lives had been touched by Fit4Mom that I had to become a bigger part of it. I sat next to my best friend, wearing shirts that said “she’s my unbiological sister –>” and we looked at Lisa and Farel and thought, “I can’t let this go to waste. I have something good to give people, and I’m wasting it away right now.”

The next Friday was my 35th birthday. I spent the weekend with one of my favorite people. Several of my favorite people, even though I’d only met 4 of them in person just that weekend. It again affirmed my desire to find a way to “do me”. Again, I wasn’t quite sure how…

And then the ball started rolling…a tiny snowball at first, gathering speed and strength as the week after my birthday rolled on: I was offered a part time job with benefits in Bothell (at Vertafore). I accepted. I was offered a freelance marketing position with Wrapsody. I accepted. I was offered the opportunity to take over Body Back for the SE King County Fit4Mom franchise alongside my unbiological sister. We accepted. I was able to take on more hours teaching childbirth and early parenting at Evergreen. I jumped at it. For now, at least, I will continue to teach truBarre at The Union Method. I will be able to spend every Monday and Tuesday afternoon and every other Friday afternoon with my girls.

Yes, for those of you counting, and if you count the kids, that’s 6 jobs. Some weeks it’ll be a lot. Some weeks, it won’t. But when it’s what you’re passionate about, it’s not a problem to spend hours upon hours doing it.

I think I finally found my “unrelenting passion“.

And I couldn’t be happier.

All endings, beginnings

 

In this end, this beginning, I’m happy. I’m so happy. I don’t know where this will all land. I know I still have a lot of figure out. But I’m getting to know me. I’m recognizing my peace, my confidence, my happiness. And I am, for the most part, most days, whole.

Will this happy and whole ebb and flow? Fuck, of course it will. I’m human. I expect that. But this general air of it will continue. Because it’s what I choose. It was hard at first; a conscious effort every single day. But it’s easier and easier. I don’t have to think about it each and every moment. I am not seeking joy, but finding it. It’s smacking me upside the head, punching me in the gut, and waking me up. I feel like I’m finally climbing down from the tower I’ve built, and as I come down, I’m pulling it down with me.

Allowing myself to open up – to let others in, to be vulnerable, to be brave, to have courage to make connections has been amazing. I never, ever could have fathomed the ways this has already come back to me ten-fold. Opening my heart and my mind has allowed the universe in, the joys and sorrows and overall, love. Love for others, from others. Love that can mend relationships long bent, love that allows friendships to deepen, love that allows inspiration to come in ways that it hasn’t in years.

I feel. I feel SO MUCH right now. It’s as if every.single.nerve ending is on fire. But it’s mental. It’s terrifying and exhilarating at once. And I’m loving it. It’s overwhelming, to feel so much when I’ve been so numb for so long, but it’s amazing. All day today I’ve felt this amazing, clenching, grabbing feeling in my gut. I’ve felt that endorphin rush, those chills, that hit – so hard it takes your breath away. All day. And yet, I can sit with it…it’s growing comfortable. Not in a way that I can – or will – ignore it. No, more in a way that I can live with it. I can live with this slightly unsettled feeling…because in it, there is clarity.

I have ultimate clarity. I know where I’m going, where I’m headed. I know the path I’m on. I have all these jumbled, crazy, mixed up thoughts I’m carrying with me, but it’s OK. I see them, I recognize them, I name them when I can. When one starts to drift down, I grab it, play with it, sort it out, deal with it and get it where it needs to go. It’s not a straight path. It’s not a clear path…there are rocks and rivers and overgrown bushes. And it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. But it’s mine: easy, hard, crazy, calm. And I continue, with a lucid mind, down the path.

Life Vest

Why? I did so many things over the last year in a vain attempt to make it look like I was trying to keep our marriage together. So, in the end, when this all blew up (like I knew, in the back of my mind, it would), I could say, “See! Look! I tried!!”

I’ve always believed that tattoos with/for a person other than blood family are the kiss of death. And they are. Ask anyone with someone’s name tattooed on them; chances are they’re not with that person. So I designed this infinity/ampersand. And, while I told a few people it was about me, and Michael, and the girls, I knew, in my heart of hearts, that the minute that went on my wrist, this was done.

Whatever that tattoo meant the day I designed it, today, it’s for my girls. It is forever and ever, my three little stars.

The photos I put on our wall? The wedding contract? Over the summer, when things were really bad? Maybe a reminder – to him, to myself, of what once was? Maybe just trying to make it look good. “Look! We have our wedding stuff over our bed! At 9 years, isn’t that impressive?!” Who the fuck was I trying to impress? Who really gives a shit? I sure as shit didn’t. Not by this point. Not when I was working as much as I could, going out all.the.time, training for Ragnar and a Marathon.

It was a year ago that I stopped playing with photos. I stopped taking pictures. Or, I’d take them, upload them, and leave them. I have a year of photos that haven’t been glanced at. Why? I didn’t want to see. I took them, dutifully. Well, even. But without joy. Without desire. Without wanting to see what they might show. Without wanting to admit to myself what they showed.

When he showed up to cheer me on at Ragnar, I was upset. More than upset. I’d asked him not to; explained that it was a team thing, and that I needed to be with my team. It wasn’t a family event. This wasn’t about that. This was my accomplishment, and I wanted to own it. I would celebrate with them when I got home. So, when I saw the car on the side of the road as we drove by, I was so, so angry. I couldn’t even be happy to see my kids. My sweet babies who were cheering for their mama. All I could see was a man who so desperately wanted to be a part of every.single.thing I did and couldn’t let me just be. Just have this thing for myself. I told him I was upset. But the photos at the finish line? Smiling, happy, facebook family. He asked if I wanted to leave and come home with them then. Are you fucking kidding me? No. I don’t. I want to finish this race with my TEAM. I might be done running, but my team isn’t. So I’m not.

When he voiced how much he wanted to come cheer me on at Portland, I responded with a vehement “No”. I took him aback. No. I didn’t want him there. I didn’t want MY marathon to be about how great a father and husband he was for driving three girls down there to cheer me on. For wrangling the kids while they waited. For making the effort to be there. I needed to accomplish this on my own. That marathon was mine. No, I couldn’t have done the training without the logistical support of him and the family, but even that, I made every possible effort to not disrupt the family. I ran at 4am. I showered fast, so we could move on with our days. I ate sandwiches in the car as we drove to the next birthday party, or BBQ. I tried, so hard, to keep everything else normal, while running 40+ miles almost every week for 5 months.

Gone. Always gone. Except during daylight hours when I was with the girls. The girls I resented. Because they tied me, inextricably to him. And no matter what I do, they will always bind us together. But I refuse to resent them for that. I can choose, and I opt not to.

I loved him once. Is he the love of my life? No. Is he a match? No. Is that man out there? I think so. I believe that.

fierce

vulnerable  (ˈvʌlnərəb ə l)

capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt

brave  (breɪv)

having or displaying courage, resolution, or daring; not cowardly or timid

 

I’m done. Done pretending I’m someone I’m not. Done pretending I’m happy. Done earning my Daytime Emmy for Best Actress.

I worked my ass off for that Emmy. It was exhausting. I earned it at the expense of my career (what career?), my kids, my home, my marriage. I pretended for so long, that I forgot who I was.

So I ran. And I ran and ran and ran. And after 1300 miles in one year, I had it. I had the answer.

Done. I’m done.

It took me a while to get to it though. I was safe, financially. Secure, relatively. Happy? Sometimes. I remember describing to a friend how I wasn’t always unhappy, it just seemed like it was fleeting. There were little moments of happiness, but they went as soon as they’d come, no matter how I invited them to stay. I remember saying how it felt like I just didn’t get to be happy. Like that wasn’t for me.

And then, a little bit later, I remember thinking, “wait, what the fuck? I don’t get to be happy? Nooooo.” And then I realized what it would take.

Vulnerability. Bravery. I thought I’d been those things. Well, brave, anyway. Vulnerable? Ick. Nope. Not for me. I got these walls, you see. No one can get in. No one can hurt me. I FEEL NOTHING. Emotions suck. All of them.

Which was all very un-brave of me. Very.

So one day, I got a tattoo. And then I got two more.

fierce fi(ə)rs/

(of a feeling, emotion, or action) showing a heartfelt and powerful intensity.

It’s on the back of my neck. Top of my spine. Centered.

And arrows. One on each arm. Arrows MUST be pulled back, refocused, and sent to fly. You can aim, but they’ll land where they will.

And like that, I opened myself up. I allowed myself to admit my unhappiness, and move towards changing it.

And every day, it’s a fight. And every day, it’s becoming easier. I don’t have to seek joy every day. I have joy every day. I seek greater joys.

blank space

Staring at the blank space. The blinking cursor. They’re taunting me:

“whatcha gonna write about, Katy??”

Not sure. Not entirely sure.

Over the course of the last three years I’ve realized something has gone missing. At first, I wasn’t sure what that was; wasn’t sure anything had really even been lost. Maybe I’d just misplaced ‘it’. What was ‘it’ again?

Me. It was me. I’d lost me.

And I don’t think I lost me all at once. I started building walls. I’ve been building them my whole life: to keep myself in, to keep others out. To keep those parts of myself that I wasn’t sure people would accept, could accept, hidden. I built more walls,and turrets and moats. I built an entire castle, and locked myself up in the tower. And before I knew it, I was lost. To myself, to others. We all forgot what Katy was really like, what kind of a person she was.

And then one day, very recently, I realized what I’d done. I realized I wasn’t loving living up high in that tower, safe from all the things I thought I wanted to be safe from. My life certainly looked perfect on paper, but I was trapped. Unable to escape, unable to be who I needed to be, unable to become. I needed to make myself vulnerable. I needed to be brave.

And I began tearing that tower down. Brick by brick. Stone by stone. The moat is drained, and the drawbridge into me is down. I’m choosing to let people in, choosing to allow others access to me. So long as they don’t take more than they’re given, don’t take more than I offer, we’re good.

Out with the old…

I’m still here, I swear. I’ve just been running. And mothering, partnering and friending.

Though I never said anything, my plan for 2013 was to make it EPIC. I think I did. Scratch that; I know I did.

iphone 205

a 5k, 12k, and a 15K

4 half marathons (all under 2h)

Ragnar Ultra

Portland Full Marathon

Body Back

Became a Stroller Barre instructor

And the coolest part of all? I ran a grand total of 1313.13 miles this year. Yes, it’s an amazing amount of miles, but in the end, it was all in the course of training. Which is kind of even more amazing.

What might be even crazier is that all of THAT was just fit in among my life, among parenting my sweet three girls, among the time spent with Michael, among my friendships, which continue to remain so very important in my life.

I’d be remiss to have a post without photos, especially after so long.

http://flipagram.com/f/Rqu5jJ4dcU

Twenty Fourteen – the word of the year is adapt (oneword365.com). I have goals, but they’re quieter. I have plans, but they’re more flexible. As Michael and I head into our 10th year of marriage, and our kids get older, our lives are shifting, in all good ways, and flexibility is key. I’m grateful that this wild, crazy, legendary has allowed me the insight necessary to be this flexible. I’m grateful for so many things this last year.

Afruma-IMG_0103

And, so, so excited about the what’s next.

I can. I will.

I don’t even know where to start. I’ve been struggling for days to find words to describe my workout Thursday morning, to describe the feeling I had as I finished my first round of Body Back (yes, first; yes, I’m going back for more).

squat jumps.

pushups.

reverse crunches.

bicycle crunches.

burpees.

mountain climbers.

Sure, those words work. And this week, yoga, barre, Body Back, Stroller Strides, Fit4Baby also work.

strong.

brave.

feisty.

understanding.

forgiving.

humble.

grateful.

love.

Those words work too. In yoga the other day, we were asked to set an intention for our practice. Mine was understanding. To be understanding of myself, and my limits; and of others and their limits.

As I began my workout, that I knew would be grueling, that morning, humble popped into my head. I’m humbled and grateful for what my body does for me each and everyday, for responding when I ask it to. I’m humbled that my brain listens when I tell it to STOP saying “I can’t” and start saying “Of course you can”.

I finished off Body Back 17 pounds lighter, 4″ smaller almost everywhere, standing taller, running faster, doing more pushups, situps, squats and holding a longer plank. I finished it knowing that when I want to have a class do a spiderman pushup, or a pushup to side plank, I can do that, and look damn good doing it. I can be an inspiration to others…that’s a heady feeling.

But I’m not done.

Now that I see what I’m capable of, what my body can do for me (you’d think after birthing three children, I’d have some sense of it, but it took a lot more), I want to continue to be faster and stronger. And then, I want to turn it around. I want to pay it forward, give it back. Because this feeling? It’s not mine. It has to be given…has to be shared. I’m so proud of myself and the hard work put in to get where I am. I can’t wait to take other mamas there, too.

I can. I will.

Watch me.

Exceeding expectations

I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase lately. Well, the last few days anyway. You see, in my blogging absence, I’ve been through just a few things. Namely, a major injury. A major injury that precluded me from running the Rock n Roll Half marathon. I pinched a nerve in my shoulder, resulting in a completely numb arm, for the better part of a month. Then a partially numb arm for a while, and so on. I’ve been through 4 months of physical therapy, and 4 months of not running much, and 4 months of wondering if I’d ever get back to “normal” and be able to do things that make me really happy.

And then I realized that I could. Suddenly, my arm was feeling better. Well, not suddenly, but still it felt like that. And I graduated physical therapy (got to ring a bell and everything). And I’m starting to train for a half in August. And I began Body Back. And it dawned on me that, at age 32, I’ve exceeded all expectations I ever had for myself. Now, I know that sounds kind of sad, but I think I had rather low expectations, and I had zero confidence in what I was capable of. Those who know me well might wonder at this, as I seem to be a pretty confident person, and I am, but I have always had a lot of self doubt.

I’m not a runner.

I’m not strong.

3 kids? Are you crazy? (well, yes, yes, I am.)

I’ll never be thin.

If you’d asked me 6 years ago if I’d ever thought of running a half marathon, I’d have laughed in your face. If you’d asked if I ever thought I’d have 6 pack abs, I’d have guffawed. If you’d suggested I should have three kids, I might have hit you. And thin? Well, nah. It’s just “not my body”.

But am all those things. I am a runner. I am now one of those people who can just hop on a trail or treadmill and run three miles. Like it’s no big thing. And the whole time I choke back tears because 2 years ago, this seemed impossible. I look at my stomach, after giving birth to three kids, and smile at the muscles that I can see developing. I look at my arms and shoulders and love seeing the strength I’m working so hard to build. I’m smaller than I’ve been since high school, and well, that’s fun too. I have three beautiful children who drive me entirely crazy, but I can’t imagine a life without.

At 32, I have already exceeded all expectations of myself.

What’s next? For me, the sky’s the limit. I don’t know what’s next. I want to be stronger, faster, healthier. I want to motivate more mamas to believe that they CAN be amazing, awesome, strong, and to not feel limited by genetics or your body, or your kids.

And so, in some ways, this is a bit of a love letter. To myself, to my husband (for giving me the time and encouragement to keep going), to my friends for cheering me on, and to Hilary and the Stroller Strides crew. There is seriously NO WAY I’d be here now if I’d not met you.