Ode to My Running Shoes

Oh hey there, old friends.

It’s nice to see you finally out in the world instead of on the back shelf of the closet gathering dust and getting ignored.

You’ve been there for years, but you still look pretty. You don’t have a single hole or scuff, you’re not worn down or fraying. You’re pretty because you’re basically still brand-new. I bought you when I thought we could do it. When I thought I could learn to love to run (or even walk), when I thought having something pretty and expensive to wear while dripping sweat would make a difference. That was years ago. I’ve changed.

I know people usually replace you after a while. But those people have respected your purpose and let you live up to your potential. I haven’t done that. And for that, I’m sorry. But, I’m also still glad I have you. Because now I’m ready.

Take heart. I wasn’t always a person that neglected my shoes. Before you I wore down pairs of Crossfit shoes and Olympic lifting shoes and minimalist shoes and even (yes) a pair of running shoes. I used to pack my bag every morning and after work I’d run or row or lift heavy things or jump on boxes or with a rope or climb a rope or pull up or swing on bars. I used to want to do these things. And I used to do them pretty well.

And then I found out I was going to be a mom. I wanted to protect that little baby so much that I slowed down. I still wore out the shoes and did the runs and jumped stepped up on the boxes. But when it was 100 degrees outside and I couldn’t even see my shoes under my giant belly, I sat down and I rested. When our beautiful girl came into the world, my body was at her disposal for another year. I gave her life but I also gave her my time and nourishment. For this, I’ll never be sorry.

In the midst of growing a family and learning a new role, I lost control of how to balance my work and my family and I put the bag and the shoes and the jump rope away. One day, I realized that my body had completely changed. All of a sudden, things were not where they were supposed to be. It was like my whole midsection had been cut up and rearranged. My clothes fit weird. I needed lots of carbs to keep up with hungry babies, so I ate. I was too tired from that new-parent haze to move much, so I didn’t. So I bought bigger clothes and I wore lots of yoga pants (but not really ever to actual yoga). And while my heart was happy to watch my babies grow and learn, my body was whispering, hey, remember me? Take care of me too. I’ve only just begun to listen again.

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You, dear shoes, were purchased sometime in between new baby number one and new baby number two. And I might have tried a couple times. But, let’s be real, you got shoved in the back of the closet further and further until I basically forgot you were there.

Now, pregnancies are done and nursing is done, and my body is mine again, and it’s the only one I have. I can’t afford to spend the time or money on an expensive place to train, with all the fancy equipment and coaches and peer pressure camaraderie. And while I miss those days, for me, for now, they are over.

But you, dear shoes. You are a special gift. You show me that all I need is to get up and out the door. You show me that I don’t need all the equipment or the heavy weights. You show me that all I need is me. You are not fancy, but all by yourself, you can carry my feet, however fast or slow. You can get my heart rate up and remind me what it feels like to sweat and to breathe through the suck and the heat and the muscles that are screaming because it’s like they’ve never been used. You can take me far from the comfort of my home but also you can bring me back to it again.

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Thank you for patiently waiting for me to find you again. I can’t promise you’ll see the sun every single day. I can’t promise that we will go super fast or far together. I can’t promise to keep you out of the water or the dirt or away from sticky toddler hands or slobbery dog teeth. What I can promise is that you’ll not find yourself back in the dark forgotten corner of the closet again. I’m sure in time you’ll be worn out like the others but for now, I’m so glad you’re mine.

Love, Me

Currently Finished Reading:

img_7602Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. This book is 100% responsible for my all-of-a-sudden interest in my health and my body. But it’s also responsible for my hustle to finish the book I’m writing, to get it edited and submitted to potential agents. And it’s responsible for me getting back to the second book that I started but put away because I got discouraged from hearing “no” more than a few times. Whatever your dream is, Rachel Hollis will tell you to go get it. Whatever your excuses are, she will tell you to forget them. I love it when I read a book at exactly the right time, when I really need it. And for me, this book was exactly what I needed.

img_7601Far From the Tree by Robin Benway. This Young Adult contemporary novel is just so lovely. From the start, I got swept up in the story, loved the characters, and cared deeply about what happened to them. The three main characters are biological siblings who are just meeting for the first time in their teens. I loved how they slowly opened up to one another, sharing their secrets and their pain, and learned what it meant to be a family. The novel is so timely as well, addressing issues like teen pregnancy, adoption, foster care, anger, LGBT issues, divorce, addiction. It won a National Book Award and I’m not surprised one single bit. I loved it.

Currently Eating: 

img_7326In an effort to clean up my eating, I’m going to have to cool it with the baking for a little bit. And yes, I know it’s kind of dumb to give you a soup recipe in the middle of the freakin’ hottest summer in the history of ever, but if you ever have an upset tummy or just crave some good solid nutrients, this soup is perfect. Just turn on some ceiling fans and maybe take a cold shower before you eat it. Ha.

“Kitchen Sink” Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 cups of good quality chicken bone broth, homemade or store bought with clean ingredients
  • half an onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP butter (my fave is Kerrygold)
  • veggies- this is why I called it “kitchen sink” soup, you can literally use whatever veggies you have. My favorites? Carrots, green beans, cabbage, kale, peas
  • cooked chicken, cubed (I used a rotisserie chicken for this, both white and dark meat)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • other herbs you like, I usually use a little dill

Directions:

  1. Heat butter in dutch oven or stock pot.
  2. Cook onions (and carrots or other root veggies if you use them) until soft. Sauté other veggies (but not kale) until jsut warmed through.
  3. Dump in broth, chicken, salt and pepper and other seasonings you like.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. If you want to use kale, throw it in for about 5-8 minutes at the end, just enough time for it to wilt.

Thanks for reading and until next time, peace and love from my household to yours.

Katie

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