Adventures in Imperfection

Miles Away and Free Fallin’

It would have been easier to stay inside. Chain my legs to the desk and motor on.

It would have been normal or even acceptable to complain about the falling temperatures and how the 1-2 inches of snow were wreaking havoc with my plan to run outside. I run year-round, all-weather, but fifteen degrees makes even an obsessed dedicated runner pause to scrap for sanity.

I was already whining to myself about having to run on the treadmill, so when I looked down at my snow boots sitting in the closet, Mother Nature didn’t have to twist my arm too hard.

Running Shoes
Running shoes disguised as snow boots

The mind started to work its magic.

Why not run outside?

These boots would work. They are cushy and comfortable and sooooo warm. 

In fact…

Why not run on my favorite trail?

Cleve could come, too! He is so ready for some outdoor time. 

I pulled on my snow boots, slapped on an ugly hat, and Dane’s camo hunting coat and neck cover.

crazylady
15 degrees? SO WHAT!!!

Two minutes in, my breathing found it’s rhythm as my legs eased into a stride that was easy, unlabored, and liberating. Who was this runner and what did she do with my signature limp and sluggish trek?

This feels like it could be my best run EVER!

John Mayer filled my ears with his rendition of Free Fallin’ just as the cedars lining the trail started to shed their lacy skirts of snow from that morning’s accumulation. So many times, I stopped and tried to video the snow blowing from the boughs, but Mother Nature was too quick and the breeze paused each time I pulled up the camera to capture it. Like she was messing with me, whispering, “You can’t catch me, silly girl!”

sunshine

Kisma once wrote, “I wish my eyes could take pictures,” and in that moment, I could feel her wish. A camera couldn’t have caught my serenity and peace of being on that lonesome trail with one of my best buddies.

The words started to flow through my head, and suddenly I couldn’t finish fast enough so that I could get words on paper.

But, wait a minute. Why rush the magic? Did I need to write it down to prove that it had happened? Can’t I just stay in this space and enjoy the moment? Just stay here, now?

I opted to stay in the moment. I relished the perspiration trickling down my back (turns out three layers was one too many). I pulled down the neck warmer so that I could drink in the air and feel the circulation in my nostrils.

You want to change your perspective? Change your scenery.

Prior to the run, I had been slaving at my desk, feeling a bit whiny and woe is me. By simply changing my scenery, and my perspective – I changed my mood.

landontrail

My friend, Kristen wrote about her Word  for the Year (Perspective) earlier this week and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. She and I exchanged some giggles on Instagram how we accidentally interchanged the words perspective and perception. As I ran with heart-filled gratitude, I settled on the notion that personal perceptions indeed color our perspective.

marcusspeaks
An oldie (2K years?) but a goody by Marcus Aurelius.

I started this week perhaps like many of us did – with a bit of a holiday hangover and a crawl to get back into some sort of schedule that may or not include resolutions that we will (or won’t) break in a few weeks. My perception of the day was that it was too cold to run and that I had too much to do. Then perspective crept in with each snowy step and changed my perception…

I feel like I can be productive now.

Doesn’t that make me a better employee?

Wasn’t it fun to play in the snow? Didn’t this feel like an adventure?

Can you see how happy your pooch is? Won’t he sleep better tonight?

Aren’t you so blessed to have legs to carry you on another run?

As I finished my run, a quiet and beautiful song danced into my ear buds. One might hear sadness, but with new perspective, I listened with changed ears.

I came undone on the 101 when the night got cold
You know, I’d never make this trip alone
Your bright eyes came to mind With every star on 66
Well maybe there’s no outrunning this

Cause, there’s a highway that I ain’t found,
Where your memory won’t break me down.
Somewhere east of the Mississippi,
South of the Mason Dixon,
And just outside of nothing left to lose.
And miles away from missing you.

Miles Away – Krysta Nick

My husband and I have been talking A LOT about the fact that in less than two years we are going to be empty-nesters. Tanna and Dane each graduate one day apart and will fly the coop at the same time. I’ll admit it, I’m already thinking ahead and missing them. Each time I had listened to this song in the past, my heart ached and moaned and my brain joined the pity party.

Why not enjoy the now? Why not feel grateful that they belong to me for this short time? Why not free fall for a moment and let their scents fill my nostrils and muddy shoe prints remind me to stay with them for as long as they are here?

By the time I returned home, my monkey mind was miles away from the place it had started. Will I always have the discipline to change my perspective/change my mood? Probably not. But we can only do this one day at time, one step at a time. Capture what we can and be grateful for having done so.

******

Hey! Wanna join me in something fun? Do you have Instagram? Do you love nature trails? If so, please share them with me! Simply tag your photo with the hashtag #52weeks52trails. I plan to post my trail discoveries all year, and want to see yours, too.

65 thoughts on “Miles Away and Free Fallin’

  1. You are awesome! I love that you just bundled up and went running. Your pics are so pretty. I might pass for the next couple days on doing anything outside, as it’s icy and -5 outside right now. When my son did a x-country run at 5 degrees last week, it took him a while to warm up afterward. So I’m not even giving -5 a chance to kill me. Weekend should get us back into 20’s and normal temps for winter. Negatives are just plain wrong, I think. But I will say that it is gorgeous outside on this clear winter day. I will enjoy the scenery from inside though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not only are negative temperatures wrong…they are MEAN! Ever been to Fargo, ND in January. Yep. You know what I’m talking about.
      Seeing your smiling face here always makes me smile. Keep warm and keep looking out that window – you don’t have to even go outside to appreciate the scenery. Love you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this…particularly the reminder to not get ahead of myself.
    I also PARTICULARLY enjoyed the reminder that I am not an insane woman and running in that snow! YIKES! I’d never leave the house, but then I am CA born and bred.
    I will be watching for you and your trail running buddies over the next 52 weeks. If I knew how to do yoga selfies I might try that, but….no.

    Now get warm!
    xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you are CA born and bred – it helps widen my Midwestern perspective šŸ™‚ As for those yoga selfies, you KNOW I would love to see you do that – most of my Instagram feed are of yogis I don’t know. Imagine how happy I’d be to see my friend in a pose (hint! hint!). Who said that the #52weeks52trails had to be a literal trail – I think a virtual path counts, too. xoxoxo
      (thank you for inspiring me)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep! I saw it right away šŸ™‚ I’m gonna collage and compile everyone’s pics as we go. At least that’s the plan šŸ™‚
        Ps: for your next pic, you only need one # #52weeks52trails. I know you’ll have a next picture ā¤ļø

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  3. I like the look of your run a lot better than the one I just finished on the treadmill.

    Perception and perspective are just about everything. On a good day, we manage our perceptions and get the perspective right šŸ™‚

    Love your #52weeks52trails. See you on Instagram šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY! See you on Instagram, too! I look forward to seeing where you go. I try to escape to somewhere else if I have run on the treadmill–having pics from my friends will give me some new brain photos to run through šŸ™‚ I hope you’ve had a great week, Joanne!!

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  4. All the hearts to you fellow sojourner ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ I so wish we could run trails together, but love your Insta inspiration. I'll have to get back out on that trail (er, the hill I trespass on) to get a shot. I love the view…although yesterday I was suspicious of a guy in a truck parked on the road I had to exit…turns out he was secretly (?) scarfing down a Big Mac or two. That gave me pause as I jogged on. Strange.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someday, I have a feeling that you and I WILL run a trail or two together – please go slow.
      I love that you trespass. I have the penchant to do the same and have been lucky. But you sound as aware as I am in those situations and watch surroundings. I have encountered more than one soul chomping on a Big Mac. I would absolutely love it if you tagged your runs to the Instagram collection – any trail, any time, any place. I love that we are friends šŸ™‚

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  5. I can’t tell you the number of times I wished I could take a picture with my eyes. What is it that I have this insane compulsion to freeze a moment that speaks to me? Perhaps to share it. Thanks so much for bringing us along on your run and your day. Yes, change your scenery and change your perspective. Absolutely. Thinking about perspective and perception, I’d have to say that perception has been my word for the past six years. Changing me through changes in perception – and that’s changing everything. Absolutely everything except the core of who I am -which stands like an oak. (Now you’ve gone and inspired me again).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Giggle. There is something about when I read your writing that gets a different flow going in me. I love it! Just spewed it out. I’ll post it after my current one gets a few days under its belt.

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  6. You are much more disciplined than I will ever be. I do not run.. I will walk sometimes but you will not catch me out in cold weather unless i HAVE to. But kudos to you my dear. I admire you commitment!
    I too wish I could take pictures with my eyes. There have been so many wonderful things I have seen that I would like to go back and look at. The memory doesn’t always do it justice. Rock on my dear rock on!!~ ā¤

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      1. You are the one who rocks, my dear! I think of all the things you do that I can’t or don’t (so so many) – we each inspire each other with our differences and perspectives – you certainly do so for me ā¤ļø

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Michelle, this is such an awesome post. It’s full of reflection, wonderful perspective and motivation. We should all find time to do something fun in the snow. Seriously! Love and blessings to you and yours in this New Year!! xoxo Joanne

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  8. I love this and perspective is such a great word. Can’t wait until I can get back out on the road running. We are a year and a half from the empty nest – which is somewhat scary. I realize I am writing in a shotgun format. Followed you on Instagram… don’t be boring. Snow in Georgia. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I so, SO admire your persistence, never mind perspective or perception – you are incredible and I love how determined you are to DO THE THINGS, and then stay open to all else that may follow. I feel as though you see the world through eyes open to anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What amazing and kind things to say, Lizzi! The run the other day definitely sent me the feeling of some ‘universal shift.’ I have something I’m going to send you. It just popped into my head. I’ll let you know when I get it into the mail. Xoxoxo

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  10. You explained perfectly how I feel about taking pictures. What I picture in my mind is almost always different than how the photo actually turns out. I admire your pictures on Instagram. One of my favorites. Plus, Kansas….:)

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  11. I’m glad you got out there, it was good for you to do just that instead of just thinking about it. I love running in this weather, even if I do look like a complete lunatic in doing so. I really don’t care. All I know is the great sense of accomplishment and the peace of mind I feel when I finish,

    Good stuff Mama!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love running in this weather, too. In fact, I prefer it to the 100 degree 80% humidity stuff that shows up in July. Regarding looking like a lunatic – sometimes I like really mismatching my attire just to see how maniacal I can appear. My husband loves that šŸ˜‰

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  12. But you’ll still love them Michelle, the trails and your children.
    The hardest part of an empty nester, is they used to fill their lives with the mayhem that was children. Now it is just them, and they finally get to look at their own hearts and wishes…but not having done it for so long…it can be frightening.
    But this journey is asking of that love…to you. You have your jogging (even with the icicles across your nose šŸ˜€ ), but truly you are now being asked to find what ‘your’ heart truly wants. You now need to peek over that wall and find you. What is it within that you have always wanted to do? What always brings a smile and that glow within each time you think of it?
    Enjoy the journey, forget the destination….just like your jogging, just enjoy the cool breeze across your face and in your hair, and ‘feel’ the exhilaration as you find an un-trodden path and the challenge in your heart šŸ˜€
    Enjoy the journey Michelle…it has been waiting…unconditionally šŸ˜€

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  13. When I saw the boots photo on IG, I thought the running might be more metaphorical, i.e. Running free in the wooded snow. I also figured you are the one who could turn running in snow boots into a thing. With you, I feel like anything is possible and, moreover, doable. Love what you say about changing the scenery for a new outlook. It’s relatively easy to do in this way (so why don’t I do it more, huh?). I also relate to the line about wanting to take pictures with our eyes. But maybe if we could we wouldn’t feel the need to see it raw. Love this post, and thanks for the mention! ā¤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Why don’t I do it more?” I hear you!! Sometimes it just takes getting over the hump of making yourself do it, right? You are so good to me and so supportive. Just so you know, YOU inspired this ā£ļø

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  14. I love running in snow. And cold. I have a pair of trail running shoes I use in the winter for the snowy or icy runs. There is something badass about doing that. Then again, legs are worked harder and I require more epsom salts than normal.

    As for enjoying the moment, I think we spoke of this. Many times I want to stop and snap pictures (like tonight), but I just kept huffing away. I will sometime stop for a moment, breathe in the moment and keep going. I am trying to do that in other aspects of my life – not everything needs to be documented (having said that, I am a Twitter beast still). Self-containment is something I wrote about a while back, and that is exactly what you are describing. There is humility in it.

    Empty nesters??? You guys are too young for that! I have to admit to wanting to be there, but I know I will look back at these days and miss them.

    Great post!

    Paul

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    1. I have absolutely loved watching your running journey. I would love to run with you, but know that you’d leave me in the dust. DUDE! You are FAST!! But, if I know you, not so fast that you miss the scenery and thank God for those legs that carry you from one training run to the next. I see an e-mail in my inbox that you have a new post, too. I am so glad you’re back. I can’t wait to read your next one.
      Michelle

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  15. I am an empty nester, and it does change your life. My kids and grandkids are not far away so I’m like a giant pest always trying to get together with them. Having said that, I am finding more time to find myself again. Amazingly, my job is turning the corner and I’m actually becoming a full time writer. So what I’m trying to say is that all we can do is live one day at a time. Fill it with fun and dreams and laundry…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Claudia! I doubt that you’re “like a giant” pest – maybe more like a hummingbird…fluttering and flying in at moment’s notice (or, maybe that’s me!)
      Congratulations on turning the corner to being a full-time writer. Hearing your story gives me hope, too. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Where can I find your latest work??

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  16. Oh that trail run looks AMAZING – I am so jealous!! I’m not really a runner. but hiking in snow (not too much ice!) and cross country skiing are two of my favourite things to do – something about the combination of fresh, chilly air and exercise just makes my brain go zing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Swoon…cross country skiing…I have so longed to try that. I love downhill skiing, but feel like I’d be more suited to the cross country version.
      There’s just something about the quiet and calm of the snow.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I’m heading over to check out your site, too!
      Have a great day!
      Michelle

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is AMAZINGNESS – especially if you’re a runner, you’ll love it. Incredibly peaceful, and simultaneously exhausting in a great way šŸ˜‰ Thank you so much, welcome!!

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