Looking ahead

This year has marked a major return to running for me. In January, I completed my first marathon in three years. It was actually my slowest time ever — the heat and humidity definitely got to me — but my run at the Houston Marathon this year wasn’t about time. Instead, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do another marathon. Will I do another? Most likely. But hopefully, the weather will be much cooler in 2018!

Last month, I had the privilege of running the Texas Independence Relay. The 200-mile event — in which teams of runners pay homage to Texas’ fight for independence from Mexico — stretches from the small town of Gonzales, Texas, and ends at the San Jacinto monument. Relays are a blast, but bring their own unique challenges, such as running through the night, trying not to stiffen up between legs, and attempting to sleep in a van. I ran once again on Team #2222 — Too Slow to Win, Too Dumb to Quit. The team and its name are a good fit for me. I’m definitely not fast enough to win, but refuse to give up.

I’m continuing to strengthen myself, not only with running, but with a boot camp a friend got me involved in. I’ve also done some trail running this spring — it’s fun going off-road, even if you’re not in a jeep. Despite the setbacks I’ve suffered, I’m determined to keep going. I’m not as fast as I would like to be, but hopefully, that will come in time.

I’m also grappling with a setback in my professional life — a layoff in January. It’s not how I would have preferred to start 2017. So I’m starting over with my career, scanning job ads and looking ahead to new possibilities. Just like my running, I’m having to reinvent myself. It is both exciting and frightening, trying to see what’s on the horizon. But whatever obstacles may come my way on the running trails or the job search trail, I’m not quitting.


March Madness

I was driving home from work last week, and I was suddenly struck by how green and full the trees were that line Barker-Cypress. It seemed like they were still bare just a week before. And after so many gray days, the sun is finally showing its face again.

It’s March 29, it’s suddenly glorious spring, and I couldn’t even tell you where the month went! This month, work and work-related travel dominated my thoughts and time. While I did continue to work out with my trainer as much as I could — and I even ran a couple of days this week — I feel like I regressed in my journey to getting back in shape and assessing my overall life. I didn’t go to yoga at all, I didn’t make any progress on cleaning up my diet. I even got sidetracked with my reading list for the book challenge! I suddenly decided I wanted to read the Divergent series (I’d watched the first on cable and liked it and was planning to see the second move in the theater). I also blew my Christmas gift card money on books for a new book club I’m participating in, plus the latest book in a favorite series.

March has always been a hectic month at work, since we have extra projects to tackle in preparation for a major industry conference in Houston in early May. I had trouble with some of the projects. I did get a couple of new work experiences under my belt, but overall, I felt a lot of frustration in this area due to delays and time out of the office.

I don’t follow college basketball closely, but it’s March Madness now, when college teams face off on the courts. It definitely felt like March Madness off the basketball court and in my life! I thought it was a combination of work stress and pollen (which unfortunately accompanies all the greenery and flowers that I love). I also thought it was just me, but I learned recently that March is typically a very tumultuous time for people. This is how it was explained to me: We get by through the fall and winter because of non-stop holidays, and we’re okay in the early part of the new year because of it’s still so fresh, and we’re riding the good feelings from the holidays still. But reality slams us in March –there’s no major holidays to distract us, many of us have broken our new year’s resolutions, and the winter weather and the emerging spring and pollen it stirs means we’re lacking in the Vitamin D department, plus battling allergies, in some cases. I even learned recently that the level of suicides peaks in March, for these reasons (don’t worry, I’m fine and coping well).

I’ve been bad about blogging lately, but after realizing how crazy the month is making me, I decided I wanted to get back on track with keeping back in shape. I also realized that I want this blog to be a part of that journey.

Right now, my goal is to continue strength training and building up my running miles. My plan is to sign up for the 2016 Houston Marathon and start training in July. As part of this goal, I plan to get back into yoga to help with stretching and flexibility.

I also have been looking at new sources to aid in my ongoing recovery. I tried out a new massage therapist, and plan to start getting deep tissue massages once a month. I also tried out a cryopsa, where you stand in a deep freeze for two minutes. It’s supposed to be good for recovery. I need to do a little more research into it and decide if the time and money would be worth paying some more visits for deep freeze.

In short, I’m feeling sniffly from pollen, chunky from a lack of major running, and in serious withdrawal from training for an event. I’m definitely itching for new hardware! But after a crazy month, I’m hoping to get back on track to meet my goal!

Standing Taller

My personal trainer did an assessment on Friday, and my hard work in the gym is paying off! My left hip only drops slightly now when I do one legged squats, my core strength is improving and my upper body is getting stronger as well.

When I first started the training sessions, my posture was not what should it be. Slowly over time, my lifestyle of sitting in the car, sitting at a desk and sitting at home had become more rounded and my back muscles had become weaker. I already had read about how too much sitting can cause your hip flexors and hamstrings to tighten and glute muscles to weaken  (and I’ve had issues with these as well). In fact, sitting has been described as the new smoking in terms of negative health effects, even for runners.

My sessions with the trainer have really opened my eyes not only to my body’s weaknesses, but my lack of balance and coordination. We’re not just doing crunches or squats — everything has an extra twist or complexity to make it difficult. I’m not only training my muscles, but my brain and its communications with different muscles. I’m amazed now that I ran all the marathons I did. I’m amazed sometimes that I’m even able to walk at all, let alone stand! Somewhere along the way, the communication between my brain and certain muscles has broken down, for various reasons. I can see parallels now to how communication can breakdown partnerships, including marriages and friendships, or companies, causing the people or entities involved to stop functioning as they did.

I see the strength training now as a means of rebuilding connections, not just building muscles. My posture when I’m walking around is MUCH better. I feel taller now — when I’m sitting and walking. My posture is even better when I’m doing lunges. I still have work to do, but I feel that I am on the right course.

I’m sure you’re going to ask — are you running yet? Well, I’m planning another test run this afternoon or tomorrow. I did a test run last Saturday, and was still dealing with some tightness in my right calf. I got some work done on it and have been foam rolling and stretching, which is helping. Hopefully, I’ll have some good news to report from my next run.

Overall, the recovery has taken longer than I planned. But I realize now that, mentally, I also wasn’t ready to run. I think I was a little bit afraid — I didn’t feel like I could trust my body to do what I used to. And I wanted to first try and correct some of the issues that might have caused all the problems I’ve had before I jumped back in. I have put a race on the calendar, however — a local 5K later this spring. It’s a short race, but I thought it might help to have something to work towards.

I’ve also been enjoying yoga much more than I thought I would. On Friday, I stopped at Target on the way home from work and bought an actual yoga mat. I’ve been using a generic exercise mat, but noticed my hands and feet would slip at times. I decided to invest in a yoga mat before I tear the other one up. I went to a fantastic yoga class last Thursday, where I do some moves I didn’t even know existed, and wouldn’t have thought I could accomplish. I don’t think I’ll ever be limber enough to tie myself in a knot (or put my ankles behind my shoulders), but I am feeling better. It wasn’t running, but for the first time in a while, I felt that same sense of achievement that I had after completing a tough track workout or a 20-mile run. It felt good to be confident in my body’s abilities again.

So, I can say I have been busy exercising, but not running yet. But between the strength training and yoga, I’ve been busy! But I’ve been thinking about the trails in George Bush park, and about friends who are training for spring races (I was envious of one friend who’s signed up for a spring marathon, but since it’s right before a major industry conference for work, I couldn’t go anyway). I’m looking forward to hopefully joining them soon.

Down But Not Out

I don’t know if it was the weather, or withdrawal from being off work between Christmas and New Year’s but I was feeling low. In addition to the weakness in my left IT band and right calf, the lack of sunshine made me extremely cranky. All I’ve wanted to do is sleep. It’s too bad we can’t hibernate (or less to do so we can sleep more) in the winter, like bears do. My stomach has been strange (probably from all the chocolate and sugar plums dancing around the work breakroom), and I had a huge megazit on my chin. On Friday, my nose was so stuffy I almost couldn’t breathe. I took a rest day from training and managed to avoid getting a full-blown cold. But I may not be so lucky next time if the cold, damp weather continues.

I also made the mistake of weighing myself one day last week — I thought I heard the
scale gasp! I spent most of that Thursday in a cloud of depression because of that. Being out for the surgery and the usual holiday goodies have caught up with me. So it’s back to watching the calories. I’m going to try out an app to track them, and see how it compares with Weight Watchers.

I went back to my doctor today to discuss some concerns I had about why my calf and IT are still giving me issues. I did get a shot in my left hip, which hopefully should help the IT band. It turns out that I should have been icing — for some reason, I just haven’t been doing it. The doctor also suggested trying some other stretches for the calf.

She did remind me that what I’ve been going through is normal following the type of surgery I’ve had. I am getting stronger thanks to the personal training, but I’m still weaker on my left side due to the left nerve that was giving me grief. It was comforting to talk with her — she has been through back surgery and abdominal surgery, and could sympathize with my frustrations over wanting to heal faster.

Luckily, I’m able to continue with the training, but will need to stay off the bosu ball for a while. My trainer has had me stand on the curved side of it while doing upper body weight exercises.

I decided to take the advice of friends on Facebook, and enrolled in unlimited yoga at a local studio this month. I’m going to try it out and see if it can help. I plan to make the most of my time there while I decide if I want to continue with it through 2015.

I know I said last time that I hadn’t blogged much because of work and the holidays. It was true that I was busy. But I also think I was in a funk. I was scared that I would never get back to normal, that I would never get in the shape I want to be in. I worried that maybe I was being foolish (and that maybe everyone out there thought I was crazy). I was pretty down for a while. But after realizing that I need to make some adjustments to my recovery regime, I’m feeling down, but I’m thinking that I’m not out of the race either.


Out of Hibernation (and into the New Year)

It’s been some time since my last blog. I came back from my trip to Amsterdam to a busy November and December. Between end-of-year deadlines at work, Christmas shopping and my sessions with my trainer (among other things), my schedule seemed practically non-stop. This blog ended up being a casualty of my limited time.

I have been making some great progress with my personal training sessions. I’m being pushed in ways I hadn’t been pushed physically before, and while it’s been a challenge, I feel like it is starting to pay off. I feel stronger, and I’ve noticed that my posture is better. I’ve been doing planks as part of my strength training regime, and I noticed today that I can hold the planks longer. Getting in cardio has been somewhat of a challenge due to time and energy. I’m still not quite where I want to be with running — in fact, I’ve been dealing with some Achilles and plantars fascitis, plus trying to tame an IT band that has a mind of its own. I’m doing what I can, though.

Given that it’s a new year, I’ve been thinking over the goals I want to achieve this year — the priority goal, obviously, is to get back in shape and be ready to train for the Houston Marathon when the new season of Katy Fit starts this July. This weekend, I’ve been examining other personal goals for 2015 that I would like to tackle, such as saving more money, making time to write and play music for fun and to read (I’m doing another book challenge that started New Year’s Day, so this should help with the latter goal).

I did get to take some time off between Christmas and New Year’s, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I felt like an animal in hibernation! I did need it, though it felt strange to be doing so little after being so busy. Even though the sun was actually out today, I slept late and was slow to wake up this Sunday. But I’m ready to come back out of hibernation and tackle the new challenges of a new year, including new opportunities at work and my ongoing efforts to regain my physical strength.

To achieve my goals, I’m stealing an idea from a friend. She wrote down her goals for last year in a notebook, which she would revisit periodically to see whether she was on track with those goals. I’m planning to do this — hopefully, I can stay on track as well.

Whatever your goals are in 2015, I wish you the best of luck in achieving them!

Regaining Balance

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my husband and family (and definitely ate more than I should). But it’s back to reality tomorrow, which includes a lunchtime session with my trainer.

Since I’m coming back from major surgery, I thought it might be a good idea to work out with a trainer for a while. My hope is to regain strength and correct some of the issues that I’ve been dealing with. That way, I’m in a better starting place as I slowly work my way back into running.

It’s definitely been a great challenge! I’ve enjoyed working with my trainer, Maria (who also is a former co-worker who works full-time now as a trainer). In the beginning, we focused on corrective exercises. This past week was the first full week of strength training.

I can tell definitely I need it. It’s not just about working out one set of muscles at a time — it’s about focusing on core and glutes, and keeping my knees from going inward, as they are prone to do, as well as keeping my shoulder back and maintaining good posture. All the exercises incorporate multiple things, so it’s actually a mental workout too. The lunchtime workouts also are a great way to break up the day. It’s better than eating in the breakroom or walking around Target!

In the past, I did core and some strength training, but if I was running short on time, the core and strength work would usually be cut short, if I got to it at all. I feel the training is definitely taking it to a new level, one that surely will pay off in the long run.

By the time the sessions are done, my legs are burning, my pulse is racing, and my arms aching. But it’s a good kind of tired. At times, when I’m stepping up and down or doing lunges, my legs feel wobbly. The image that comes to mind at those times is that of a newborn foal, who’s just taking their first few steps on their own. The foal is unstable at first, but as it gains strength and balance, it’s soon able to walk and then gallop on its own.

That image is appropriate — I feel like I’m reentering again the world of running of physical activity, and regaining the balance I need to go the distance. I’m learning to work out all over again, and I’m hoping for a smooth path to achieving my goal of running and training for races again.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m doing much better, and I’m aware and grateful of all the blessings I have. One of those blessings has been to run marathons, and I’m hoping to be blessed again and able to train for the Houston Marathon in 2016.

Now, I just need to work on the food part!


Sorry for missing last week! Things have been busy here. Work is busy and will remain so until mid-December, and I’ve started working out with a trainer at lunch three days a week. I’ll blog more about that later, but I wanted to talk about my Amsterdam trip and share some photos with you.

After a nine-hour flight on KLM, I arrived in Amsterdam at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 26. The sun had not even come up yet as I picked up my luggage and went through customs. Even though I had to wait a bit, the airport shuttle had dropped me at my hotel before 9 a.m. My room wasn’t ready, but the hotel staff agreed to store my luggage so I could get a jumpstart on seeing Amsterdam.

On the advice of the staff, I headed directly to the one thing I always planned to see if I visited Amsterdam — the Secret Annex where Anne Frank hid with her family from the Nazis during World War II. One of my colleagues thought it was really depressing that I decided to see it, and I do agree with his point of view. But after studying her diary in school and seeing countless versions of the play about her family’s time in hiding, I felt like I had to go.

The Secret Annex — hidden in a back apartment in the building that housed her father’s business — is no longer secret. In fact, hundreds of thousands of visitors line up to walk through the tiny set of rooms where she hid for two years. I showed up at 9 a.m. when they opened, and was greeted by a line already wrapped around the block.


I did have a nice conversation with a man who was in town attending the same work conference as me. He also is a marathoner, so we talked about races we had done. His daughter, in her 20s, had taken the train over from Germany to visit him, and we had a nice chat about all the food you can buy in Europe versus home (and what you can’t get in Europe, like brown sugar, a real problem if you want to bake using an American recipe). Apparently, her dad brings brown sugar — and other food items — over in large quantities when he visits.

The conversation helped the wait go faster, and soon I was buying my ticket to see the building where Anne, her family, the Van Pels (another family that hid with them, known as the Van Daans in the diary) and a dentist named Fritz Pfeffer (called Albert Dussel in Anne’s diary) hid for two years. As Jews, they were subject to persecution by the Nazis in occupied Holland. By the end of World War II, most of the Jews in Holland had been deported to and perished in Hitler’s death camps, and were among the six million Jews who were murdered in Hitler’s plan to eradicate Jews from Europe.


The outside of the building has been remodeled, but the nearby church that would chime the hour (Anne references it in her diary) are still there. The building is located on a charming canal, with house boats and quaint row houses. I’ve included a couple of pictures below.



Having read the diary, I knew that the rooms they hid in were small, but you don’t appreciate how cramped the space was until you see it in person. Walking around the floor, I could hear boards creak, so I fully understood why they couldn’t move around during the day (or run water) because the workmen in the warehouse below would definitely have heard them. Seeing the room that Anne shared with Fritz Pfeffer (her movie star and photo collection still decorates the walls), I found it hard to imagine myself sleeping in the small bed that was in there, night after night, and writing in a diary, day after day, hoping to persevere and stay out of the Nazis clutches until Holland was liberated. The size of the room they shared would equal a luxurious walk-in closet of a modern home today.

Inside, it was just as crowded with tourists from every nation, listening to multiple audio translations of the tour. We snaked through the house, winding through until we finally came upon the bookcase that hid the door. I had to duck my head while I stepped up into the Secret Annex, like Anne had done so many year ago. I felt like I was squeezing into a closet, and the feeling of claustrophobia would only get worse.

I could hear people starting to comment on how tight it was inside, and this was only after 20 or 30 minutes. At one point, I was on the stairs going from the first floor of the Secret Annex to the second, and the smallness of the place got to me. The staircase I was standing on was really more of a ladder, and very steep. The fact that I hadn’t slept at all on the flight suddenly hit me, and I felt tired and boxed in. But I steeled myself, thinking, If Anne and the other occupants of the Secret Annex did this for two years, you can do this for an hour. So I climbed on.

The rooms were small, gray, and dimly lit in some corners. For two years, the Franks and the daughter slept in what was also doubled as a living room. Upstairs, the Van Pels’ bedroom also doubled as the kitchen. I got to see Peter’s small room, and the ladder leading to the attic where they could climb up and get some sunshine. I could imagine them tiptoeing around during the day, trying to cook meals with an ever-dwindling food supply, and trying to keep the fact that they were getting on each other’s nerves from undoing them.

Because Anne and her diary are so famous, I realized that, to me, they almost seemed larger than life. But then I saw something in the Secret Annex that changed that. In one corner of a room, the Franks had measured their daughters’ height on the wall to track their growth. Seeing the markings, I noted that both of them would have been shorter than me if we were to have somehow met.

In that moment, I could suddenly see them not as these famous people, but ordinary people that I might see on the street. People with hopes, fears, insecurities, annoying habits, and moments of imperfection. Two teenage sisters who didn’t always get along, but eventually grew close. The older sister, Margot, who was quiet and studious, and Anne, the boisterous, opinionated younger one who always was being told she should be more like Margot. Two fragile human beings who would succumb to typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, not realizing that their father had been liberated by the Russians in Auschwitz and was still alive.


Another friend one commented that she thought Anne Frank was a spoiled brat. I could see that, and she probably did have her bratty moments. But her time in the Secret Annex forced her to grow up, and in the process, resulted in a diary that remains a well-regarded work today. Like a diamond that results from the great pressure placed on coal, Anne created a masterpiece, and fulfilled her wish to go on living after her death.

Many people may have thought her a silly girl who wouldn’t amount to much, but people can surprise you. I think her father was very surprised — he later said that, after reading her diary, he realized he hadn’t known his daughter. It makes me wonder sometimes how well we really know people, or even how well we really know ourselves.

Studying the Holocaust in school often made me think about how I would have reacted if I had lived in occupied Europe before and during World War II — would I have stood up and tried to help those being persecuted, or would I have looked the other way? After touring the Secret Annex and revisiting Anne’s tragic history, I realize that I have not and probably would never be tested to this limit. All I can hope is that I would be able to choose what was right to do, and not what was easy.

I still remember her famous line — how in spite of everything, she really believed people were good at heart. I wonder how Anne felt when she was in the camps and faced with its horrors, and if she still believed what she had written. Even today, I think about this line and the terrible things that are happening (particularly ISIS), and it can be easy to lose hope in humanity. But by losing our hope, we’re only giving what groups like ISIS want and the Nazis wanted — to fill our hearts with fear and minds with the idea that only certain types of people or races are worthy of life. Despite our flaws and faults, if we start judging and treating people the way that these groups did, then we will ultimately lose in the marathon of life.

Are people really good at heart? I would like to think so. And ultimately, I think we need to believe in the good of humanity to keep going.

Back to Basics

Sorry for my absence! I left last weekend for a work trip to Amsterdam. From the time I arrived early Sunday morning in Amsterdam to when I reached my driveway Thursday evening, I was busy, and ended up not having time to blog. I did take pictures, which I will share along with some my experiences on the trip. I have been sluggish all weekend — I think I’m still not over the jet lag, but hopefully, I’ll be feeling back to normal when I go to work tomorrow.

But the biggest news is that I had a successful test run on Saturday. Granted, I only ran two very slow miles, but it was the best two miles ever. The weather was perfect for it — temperatures in the 40s, low humidity, sunny with no clouds. It felt great to be out on the trails again! I can definitely tell that I’m out of shape, and it will take time to get back to the shape I was in at Houston. I know I’ll have to be patient, but it can’t come soon enough!

My plan is to slowly ramp up the miles. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make the Houston half-marathon in January, but I will find another race this spring if Houston doesn’t work out. I’ve been reading about friends and people I know who have run the Marine Corps Marathon, the New York Marathon and other races in the past few weeks, and it’s making me itch to train for something. Maybe I’ll look at doing a triathlon this spring, I’m not sure. But I’m excited at the prospect of being able to sign up for a race and to actually do the race.

As part of my back to basics approach, I’m also going to start working out with a trainer tomorrow. We’ll meet three times a week for the next two and a half months. I’m also going to start watching what I eat, which might be tricky, given that we’re entering the holiday season when even more candy and sweets are available than usual. But if not now, then when?

Knowing I’ve been feeling down about not being able to train, my husband emailed me this article this morning. I thought the article not only gave some great advice, but had some great travel photos (I would definitely love to run in some of these spots). He always knows how to cheer me up.

Life in the Slow Lane

There’s not much new to report today. I go for my second follow up with the surgeon tomorrow, and I’ve got a busy week ahead as I get ready for my trip to Amsterdam (and I plan to take lots of photos, which I will share here). That quote from the Austin Powers movie (I think it was Goldmember) keeps running through my head about two things Austin’s father can’t stand — people who are insensitive to other cultures and the Dutch! I’m eager to see Amsterdam and what it has to offer, and maybe a few windmills. Maybe I’ll bring back some wooden shoes.

I got a letter from my insurance company about the astronomical bill I received last week. Apparently, the provider appealed their decision not to pay. I’m just hoping it doesn’t fall on me!

Since I haven’t been able to run, I’ve been going for walks in the evenings. There’s a walking path on our side of the townhome complex, and the evenings have actually been nice enough to spend outdoors. I never realized how many lizards we have! I haven’t talked much with the neighbors, but have noticed the same folks walking in the evenings, some with their dogs. A friend said I needed a dog to walk, and the idea appeals to me. But we really don’t have the room, and are not home enough. I would probably need to hire a dogsitter if I went that route.

Anyway, I’m eager to see what the surgeon has to say tomorrow, and to find out how much longer I’ll be doing the physical therapy exercises. I do need to ask him for a referral for some further treatment — my left IT band and hip flexor are bothering me, and I think I may have plantar’s. I think they are related to the back — I may have been compensating in other areas. So there will be more physical therapy exercises at home, and likely some more waiting. Just hopefully not too much more waiting! I’m ready to get out of the slow lane.

Stormy Weather

The stormy afternoon weather matches my mood perfectly today.

Before my surgery, I was told that I had met my deductible for the year, that all I would have to pay was a $300 deposit fee with the surgeon. After that, I didn’t hear anything else about any other bills. Since the surgery, I haven’t had a co-pay for other medical-related visits. I even got a nice refund back from the center that did my shot and through which I was doing a different round of physical therapy from the one now. I thought I was in the clear.

Yesterday, I received a letter that dispelled that notion. Apparently, the bill is from the anethesiologist (I’m guessing that’s it — it doesn’t really come out and say it). When I saw the amount, I did a double take, almost stopped breathing, and nearly dropped the letter. It’s not like we have sacks of money laying around (and who does, except Scrooge McDuck). The amount is way more than what’s in my savings account.

I enclosed a letter with the receipt in the return envelope, saying that there must be a mistake and referring them to my insurance company. My husband told me I shouldn’t worry about it, but I can’t help it! My fear is that it’s not a mistake, and of course, how on earth would I get the money? By robbing Scrooge McDuck?

I think the real reason it’s bothering me so much is that I’ve been wondering if the surgery was worth it. When will I be able to run again? Am I hoping for something that’s not to be? I’ve been stretching and doing my physical therapy exercises, and biding my time, waiting for that moment that I’ll feel fabulous again. I know that I’ve always tried to put on a brave face, especially for this blog. I want it to be about running and the positive steps I’m making to get back to running, not a never-ending pity party! But it’s hard to be brave all the time. And I’m thinking that the improvements will come gradually, not in one shining moment, like clouds suddenly parting in the sky. The changes may occur so subtly, they may not fully register.

Saturday mornings are still strange to me, with no long runs. I’ve been missing my running group, and missing out on a habit that has become a lifestyle to me. I find myself floundering at times. I have attempted to distract myself with things, but I’m still feeling the void left by not running. Yet it would be too easy to let myself get mired in the muck. So I persevere on, still stretching, still doing my exercises on the ball, and still waiting.

I’m also keyed up today because I’m doing the opening and closing remarks for a work event Tuesday morning. Now, I did volunteer for this, and I think it will be something that will benefit my career at my company. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I spent Saturday at my parents, rehearsing my speech, and going over YouTube videos to gather tips for public speaking. I feel like I’m prepared, though I do plan to run through it a few more times before Tuesday.

So I’ve got a lot on my mind, which has created for my stormy mood on a stormy day. But hopefully, the clouds will disappear soon.