Decisions

The Night I Simply Showed Up

I feel the breath of 70 on my neck, which makes maintaining muscle tone more crucial than ever. To reach that goal, I walk, swim and have a consistent water aerobics routine.

One day, as I thought about my upcoming evening at our community pool, I realized that the joy of being in the water was gone. I worried about losing levels of fitness if I didn’t maintain and attempt to increase both my laps and my water aerobics’ repetitions. I kept mental track of every exercise—until that night.

When I stepped into the pool that night, I knew that lowering my standard to simply showing up would prevent me from dropping out.

I didn’t count repetitions. I skipped routines, knowing I could incorporate them another pool day. I realized that—if I was to continue—I needed the relaxation of being in the pool as much or more than the physical exercise.

Has lowering standards kept you from giving up?

Decisions, Homeschooling, Parenting

Showing Up

Races are unpredictable. Even after consistent training, sometimes, a runner’s best long-run strategy is dropping out. (See here) Other times, their best strategy is simply showing up.

2021 Colorado Half-Marathon Start Line

Whether I was running the parenting marathon or the homeschooling marathon or the care-giving marathon, there were days when showing up at the start line was the best I could do.

Elite runner Des Linden made history at the 2018 Boston Marathon by showing up—and continuing to show up—mile after mile. Des told another American runner that although she had started, she would probably drop out. It wasn’t her day. Des offered to block the wind—or anything else—to help Shalane Flanagan win.

The icy weather was epic. Given the forecast, race organizers increased their medical assistance along the route. For 26.2 miles, Des showed up until she broke the tape at the finish line—the first American to win the women’s Boston Marathon in 33 years.

I might not have broken a race tape on the days I simply showed up, but I like to think I made a difference.

Which is the best strategy for your current race? Showing up or dropping out?

Decisions, Homeschooling, Parenting

Thinking About Dropping Out?

Failing at something doesn’t make one a failure. It means you are learning.

Molly Siedel 2020 Olympic Bronze Medalist

September, October, and November are busy months for distance runners, including my husband. Not only does he run—while I wait at the finish line—but he also follows the stories of elite runners, which means I follow their stories.

Finish Line Reunion

If we can’t watch a race, we eagerly await its results. Sometimes, the results are disappointing and bring questions.

Why didn’t Galen Rupp finish the 2018 Boston Marathon?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish … due to having problems breathing and hypothermia … I am hopeful to race again.

Galen Rupp statement

Rupp won the 2018 Prague Marathon a month later.

Why didn’t Molly Seidel finish the 2022 Boston Marathon?

I gave it my all and it wasn’t good enough…. (mile) 16 it was clear there was no way I could keep running without really injuring myself … I can’t wait to eventually finish this dream.

Molly Seidel Instagram

Given the commitment and training that distance running requires, I admire runners who accept unforeseen events, and then, press on.

Overwhelmed? Injured? Dropping out to race another day?

Decisions, Family, Friendship

I Only Need One

I’d been wronged. Or misunderstood. I was frustrated with someone and wanted advice with an opportunity to complain as a side dish. In response, I sought solace among people I trusted.

However, when everything was resolved, we couldn’t move on in a satisfactory way. Why? I had given people information that they shouldn’t have. Therefore, some confidants were not willing or ready to forgive the offender.  

At times, we need Someone to understand our plight. Along the way, I learned that Someone was not the members of my Bible study. Someone was not the members of my book club. Someone was not my friends. Someone was not my neighbors. Someone was not my extended family. Someone was One.

During one hurtful situation, my friend Jacqueline summarized this principle with a quote her mother taught her: Least said, soonest mended.

I learned to pick carefully—not a person who would wallow with me—but someone with perspective and wisdom about the situation I faced.

Like a surgeon, friends cut you in order to heal you. 

Reverend Tim Keller, Pastor and Author

Have you been blessed with a trusted One?

Decisions, Homeschooling

Considering Homeschooling? Why?

During school shutdowns due to Covid-19, articles about the disruption to families’ lives abounded. Newscasts reported students falling behind.

Why? Each year, parents happily homeschool millions of children, and those families not only survive but also thrive.*

Although it should be obvious that homeschooling only works if you want to homeschool, along the way I learned that some parents miss that truth.

Before Covid-19, I met homeschoolers who pressured themselves or felt pressured by others to homeschool. One family homeschooled out of fear. Those parents were miserable. The children were barely surviving. Thankfully, the parents eventually chose other options.

Years later, I met families who successfully homeschooled some of their children but not all. Circumstances varied as to why certain children did not want to be homeschooled or why parents did not want to homeschool certain children. All thrived with their tailor-made options.

Just as I married because I wanted to marry—not due to pressure or fear—I needed to homeschool because I wanted to homeschool—which carried me through many challenges.

Considering homeschooling this year? Why?

*U.S. Department of Education estimated 1.69 million students were homeschooled in 2016.