Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New experiences

Like usual, this past weekend was a busy one for my family. It started with me picking up an extra shift (we had someone leave which left several holes) to work on Friday. I only agreed to work as long as I could be off a bit early to make it to the high school basketball game where Riley was playing in the pep band (middle and high school playing together). I got home and didn't even turn off the car. As the rest of the family was coming out to get in, I was taking all of my stuff inside. We hustled off to the game only to wait about a half hour longer than expected to hear them play. We watched part of the game before we headed out to grab some dinner.

~This is where I would normally insert a great photo of Ry playing in the pep band. But there was a mom fail moment and I didn't get a picture~

Saturday started with watching Aidan play basketball. I have to admit that it is really tough to watch 1st/2nd graders. There are so many different skill levels and they are all over the place during the game. I definitely respect those coaches and wouldn't want that job! They have their work cut out for them! Aidan seems to be having fun and that is what matters at this point!

After the game we headed to my best friends house near the Dells. Her daughter turned 14 on Friday and we were going to help celebrate! We hung out, had a wonderful meal, enjoyed some cake and then headed out to the main event of the celebration... roller skating!

 It has been a loooong time since I have roller skated... like since high school. Back in the day we use to go all the time but I haven't really done it since. Yes, I have roller bladed and really enjoy that but it is different.
 It took a little bit to get use to it again but before I knew it I was back in the groove and it felt like old times! Just like riding a bike! (it appeared that Tim was in the same boat- although he did fall several times and I only took one big digger!)

Riley has gone to our local rink a few times over the past years for parties and for field trips etc. but I guess he usually gets roller blades and that wasn't an option at this rink. Like usual he caught on pretty quickly. He took some falls but did great and had fun with Tresajo and her friends.

Now, Isaac and Aidan have not really experience roller skating before and it was very clear. I like to say that they looked a bit like newborn baby giraffes learning how to walk for the first time. I am serious! Can you picture it... legs going every which way? That is exactly what they looked like! Isaac was brave and took on the challenge head on. He took lots of spills but got right back up and pushed through. By the end he was doing pretty good. Aidan wasn't so sure. It took lots more coaxing to get him out there. Little by little (holding my hand and the wall) he got more steady on his feet. But it took "Aunt" Julie to really get him going. There were skating buddies! She finally got him out there going around and around without holding the wall. She was still holding his hand basically pulling him around but, after his initial reaction to the idea of skating, I will count that as a win!

Skating buddies
In the end, I think everyone had a great time! It was so much fun to experience this as a family and with our best friends.

The birthday girl and all of the kids
Once the skating rink closed we headed for home because I had and event to attend the next day and Tim and the boys were going out ice fishing with a friend of his from work. It was a late night but we were happy to do it to make it work to celebrate with TJ.

Sunday I attended a local Declare It Day (a Fellow Flowers event) event, "a day for women to speak from their souls, listen to the whispers of possibility, crush excuses and boldly and proudly declare a goal for the year ahead"- Fellow Flowers. You can read the history of Declare It Day here.

In past years there was a featured color or meaning. This year they decided to change it up. The following is from the National Declare It Day Event page and summarizes 2016 Declare It Day.

FEEL the power, excitement and connection of declaring your goal and saying your dream out loud with thousands of other strong brave women from around the world. Step in to instant accountability, fun and celebration and reminders that we are not alone in the journey of becoming the best version of ourselves. 

But unlike years past, this year, Declare It Day has no featured colors or meanings… it’s just about you.
Yes. You heard us right. Who are we to determine and drive your journey? If there is one thing we’ve learned this past year it’s that only YOU know what’s best for YOU… period.
Does your goal make you a better you?
2016 is about your story. Your journey. Your reasons.
No distractions, no glitz, no glamour.
Goals aren’t wishy-washy maybe someday ideas. Goals are action, and when done intentionally, they challenge your greatest fears and ignite your dreams.
This goal, dream or new of living will not be handed to you simply because you want it… your willingness do the work must come from within.
You’ve gotta earn it.

Goals are initiative, grit and will. Goals are getting up early and staying up late to get it done. Goals are fueling your body, soul and spirit properly so you can push through the moments when you will want to quit. Goals are walking away from people who make you feel small and insignificant, and deciding to surround yourself with people who believe in you. Goals are doing the work when no one is watching.
Goals are about giving a shit. Being your own kind of badass. Fighting for what you love. Taking a stand for the life you want and the person you know you are meant to be.
Just you and a goal.
Just you and a desire to be better and stronger. Just you and a long overdue fight with your perceived limits.
Decide what you want to be… and go be it. Put in the work and be stronger than your excuses. Quit hiding. Embrace discomfort. Turn your dial to action and get started.
You can, and you WILL.
Declare It Day 2016 is not about colors, Mel + Tori or anything else. It is about YOU.
Your goal doesn’t need to be grand, big or bold. It needs to tell your story – where you are RIGHT NOW. Maybe it’s declaring something to the world or simply making a promise to yourself.
Make it yours. Make it what you need. Make it about finding the answer, or simply asking the question. Make it about getting lost… make it about finally feeling found. 
Make 2016 about stepping into the best version of you. This year, it’s personal. xo
With gratitude,
Mel + Tori

Photo by Dallas Fitch

Declare It Day was actually Saturday with events being held all over the country but the one nearest to me that was hosted by a couple of local FFCrew ladies was held on Sunday. The thought of driving alone to Winona, MN (only 30 minutes) to attend an event where I didn't really know anyone (other than the two crew ladies that I only met once) made me super nervous (um, can you say introvert?!?). I am not the type to approach people and just introduce myself or strike up a conversation. I am more of a keep to myself person in situations like this but I decided that I needed to step out of my comfort zone and go to this event. After reading the above message I knew that I NEEDED to go! I knew it would be hard and a bit uncomfortable (and it definitely was) but it was also sooooo worth it! What a great event!! A room filled with wonderful ladies that all felt empowered - not intimidated- to set goals with meaning and substance. For several the why behind the goal was just as important as the goal itself. This was a space for all of these amazing ladies to be heard, validated, and celebrated and it was such an inspiring and empowering thing to witness and be a part of.

Photo by Dallas Fitch

Photo by Dallas Fitch

Photo by Dallas Fitch

Photo by Dallas Fitch

Photo by Dallas Fitch
We talked about our obstacles and excuses but we also talked about ways to overcome them. We talked about having celebration circles and girl squads. We talked about our whys and then we spent time writing our declarations.

I have known this was coming for several weeks and have been thinking long and hard about what to declare but I was still struggling.

I have done the goal of running a 5k. I have done the goal of running a half marathon. I have even done the goal of running a full marathon. I mixed it up one year with the goal of doing a triathlon. I didn't know what I wanted to set as a goal for this year. I know this isn't the year to train for a marathon. We are already planning to do a half marathon... that is happening so I don't need to set that as a goal. After the past couple of years of rocky training schedules, I don't feel like I am in a place to get the goal of a PR at any distance. I think you get my point... I was stuck!

Prior to leaving for the event I texted my best friend asking for her help and she said I should do consistency and staying positive. My response to that was "how do I measure that". SMART goals have been drilled into me and looking back at it that was what was hanging me up. Then I remembered the last part of that above message from Mel and Tori-

Your goal doesn’t need to be grand, big or bold. It needs to tell your story – where you are RIGHT NOW. Maybe it’s declaring something to the world or simply making a promise to yourself.
Make it yours. Make it what you need. Make it about finding the answer, or simply asking the question. Make it about getting lost… make it about finally feeling found. 
Make 2016 about stepping into the best version of you. This year, it’s personal. xo

Here is what I ended up declaring:

I CAN & I Will: Step out of my comfort zone! I can and I will change my habits to be more consistent in my running/strength training/cross training/eating habits so that I can be the athlete that I want to be and lose 20 pounds in the process.

I AM... ready and able. I am stronger than my excuses and believe that I CAN do it!

I KNOW... it will take hard work and dedication but I also know that I can do it!

I am happy with this declaration but I think it still needs work to really get the feelings that I want into it. The consistency doesn't only get me back to being the athlete I want to be, it also gets me back to being ME! Finding myself again. Over the past few years when I have lacked the consistency I haven't felt like myself. I haven't had confidence or felt that I was worthy. Over the past couple of months I have started to get this all back and it is coming back because I am back to running more, strength training more and taking time to do the things I love and I am focusing on MY journey! Now I need to be consistent and continue to make positive changes by stepping out of my comfort zone and continuing to ask myself hard questions. It is time to figure out what is next for me. Is it time to go back to school? Maybe that is something to investigate/explore this year. Maybe that will lead me to my 2017 DID goal. I don't know... but this year I intend to figure out who I am and where I am going to be the best me.

 I took my first step in fulfilling my declaration of stepping out of my comfort zone right after writing it. They asked for volunteers to read theirs out loud and even though I wasn't completely confident in what I had written I found myself volunteering to read mine. You know what? Nobody laughed at me and I didn't die! I was validated and supported!

I was also rewarded with getting to pick a prize from the basket. I selected the Black Flower and the I promise magnet. The black flower is not a flower that I feel I AM but one that I ASPIRE to BE! I love the 'idea' of the black flower.

My prize
I will admit that it was uncomfortable going into an event where it felt like so many of the ladies knew each other and already had connections. There were moments where I felt like an outsider but there were so many moments that I also felt supported and empowered. Next year I will bring my 'tribe' with me or maybe I will host my own DID event for my 'tribe' because it was an amazing day and I can't wait to share that experience with others!

Winona, MN DID

 The information and declaration form are still available if you would like to join me in making a declaration for 2016.

My new wallpaper on my phone

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