Restore Me

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What a year it has been! I spent the last year with BE ruminating in my mind. That was my word for 2018. I am so not into New Year’s resolutions. Never have been. But what I DO, is pray. Pray for a WORD, a word to focus on and to set me on fire. To fix my heart on intentions, meaning, and hope. Don’t get me wrong, though, I am not bashing on resolutions, and I think they work for many. I think sometimes we get so off course during a year that giving yourself a resolution is incredible! It creates a fierceness in you: a determined heart and a purpose. I am, however, about goals. The type that allows growth but is not over-reaching and unattainable, so that you set yourself up for failure. Pliable goals that move and flow over the year. Some quick and some that are going to require some hard work. Maybe repairing a relationship, running a 5k, picking up an old project you were frustrated with or picking up a discarded passion that you allowed to fall away for whatever reason.

Last year was the year of “BE,” and I have been put to the test. Two thousand eighteen was an unbelievable year! In 2017 we had decided to sell off, donate, bless others with our excess and pack up and move out of the country. We dedicated to a full year. The year brought so much growth, challenge, joy, change, and transformation to both G and I. It was pretty magical, and we learned a lot. We learned that things are indeed never in our control. Something that sometimes both of us struggle with, obviously, because we continue to be challenged on this. We were blessed in a multitude of ways that we never imagined. We learned to BE more present and trust more. We learned that being comfortable and BE-ing comfortable means entirely two different things. We learned to BE more gracious and more thankful. We learned that to BE content doesn’t mean materially or always easy. We learned to BE more patient and to navigate problems without allowing annoyance to slip it’s ugly fingers in.

Going into this year as I nestled down my heart to await my word, I was excited! I was also exhausted and frustrated. We knew the time G and I had spent apart due to his career was not working well. Although living abroad, he had a lot of travel to the States. More than we anticipated. We knew that my complete retreat from racing and triathlon was not working. Coming off of several years of constant competition and endorphins to “hammocking” was not feeding my soul and my inner fire.
I prayed for a few months for my word, and just like always, in the early, dark hours of the morning while lying in bed, it was there on my heart.

Restoration.

res·to·ra·tion
/ˌrestəˈrāSH(ə)n/Submit
noun
1.
the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.
synonyms: repair, repairing, fixing, mending, refurbishment, reconditioning, rehabilitation, rebuilding, reconstruction, overhaul, redevelopment, renovation; informal rehab
“the restoration of derelict housing.”

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This is always the part of the story that gets me excited because I never know where these words will lead. I always look forward to the transformation that they bring each year. I love that it gives me something to focus on and center myself on. Pray about and REALLY listen.

Restoration/Restore can mean a million different things. We do know we both love living abroad. We both agree that we are still dedicated to that. We are both wild-gypsy souls with an unquenchable amount of wild and wanderlust. We know that beyond the shadow of a doubt had we not decided to move, we would’ve regretted it later on. We are still happy we leaped when a lot of people would instead remain comfortable in their box. We know that no matter what, we will usually always take the road less traveled. We will never take things for granted and never say no to an opportunity. We won’t “live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” Travel, seeing other countries, visiting places in your own country, meeting people, exploring, eating foods that are questionable (HAHA) smelling, tasting and feeling the pulse of new areas, we think, intensifies the richness of your life. You realize how small you are on this vast globe. You learn a lot about adaptation and resilience. You learn there are a million paths to happiness, and none of them look the same.

img_3408So we start over. A new year. A new word. A further purpose. A fresh new love. New expectations and possibilities. New promises to lean in to. New vistas. With a renewed sense of wonder and curiosity and a fully open heart for RESTORATION, whatever that is going to look like. Ready to flip the flow (thanks Pastor Steven) Laying everything down for an inspired and passionate start line with a fresh eagerness and inquisitiveness for two thousand nineteen.

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Mumblings of a Crazy Person-Ironman Boulder Training

Seven weeks out from Ironman Boulder.  Training is getting…fun? Enjoyable?  Entertaining?  Monotonous? Insane?  Yep…there it is!!

hill-seekerI’m going to give you a little peek into my mind while out on my training ride today.  The ride was only 24-miles with a series of hill repeats thrown in on Fernan saddle, which is about a 6% grade, all timed, so that my legs had just enough time to “turn on” before I’d turn to swoosh back down at 34mph.…nothing to get too crazy about.

Fernan was quiet….2 cars today.  I rode from town, and out around the lake taking in its gorgeous beauty.  I have to say, that view…never gets old.  I love the winding switch backs and the smooth pavement out to the gun range, where the hill starts.  It’s serene.  Peaceful even.  I was nice and warmed up by the time I got there.  Ready to attack those hill repeats!

First repeat….this is feeling pretty easy.  I look over the hill to the gun range and take a notice to who’s out there…a dad with 2 young kids, an older, graying, gentleman and his wife.  He looks like he’s teaching her to shoot.  “Keep it aimed out towards the target, Mama” I think….OK, I’m started to get warm with my jacket on..that will need to be peeled off when I turn around.  Hmmm…is that a bone?  Yep!  That looks like an ulna.  Cat?  Dog?  Coyote?  Oh…theres a pelvis.  WOW!  Yes there are wild animals out here! Check the time…

Down…turn around….Kids and Dad still there.  Wife and husband still there.  She still hasn’t taken a shot.  There are the bones. “That’s gotta be a femur.”  I continue to climb.  A Dairy Queen straw…and the cup.  A Blizzard.  man, why do people litter.  So rude!  On this climb, of course, I start my self-talk.  Last time I made it to point X..this time, I have to make it a little further.  I’m timing 7-minute hill repeats. I am BY FAR my own worst critic.  Not the self-hating, self-punishing type of critic…but the kind of critic that gives myself pep-talks that motivate, makes me work harder, makes me pick up my cadence, sweat a little harder.  I will never work harder than when I am racing myself.  There is something that boils up inside of me, that makes me want to go the extra mile, go a little harder.  It’s me..against ME!  Last time I made it to the snag, this time I blew right by her.  Snagatha Christy!

Down, turn around.  Dad and kids are loading up to go home….the older couple…she’s ready to fire, gun held up..he’s out fixing the target.  Oh man…that doesn’t look good.  I say a prayer.  The bones…man, what’s the story with those bones?  And why? are they in the road?  There’s the DQ straw…oh man! a Blizzard sounds so good right now.  Does it though?  I haven’t had a Blizzard in years!  Honestly 2001 was the last Blizzard I had.  But this little gem, laying on the side of the road….perfection!  Pink toothbrush..Oh that’s new.  How does a toothbrush find its way to the side of the road?  Was it tossed from a car?  Fell out from someone’s belongings on the way to a camping trip?  Hmmm that would make for a weekend of bad-breath.  Was that a couch cushion?  There’s that big, beautiful snag…See Ya Later! Snag!

Down, turn around.  It’s like a slow dance.  Slow it down, turn around, repeat.  The older couple…granny is poppin’ em off like lightning now.  Yeah!!  She’s got it!  It quiets as I head up the hill.  Bones, check.  Blizzard straw, check. pink toothbrush, check.  Yes, that IS a couch cushion, check.  Snag….hmmm there you are you broken and gnarly piece of tree….”were you struck by lightning?”  I think my legs were just struck by lightning.  Dear Paula, you decided to sign up for yet another Ironman….this is part of the pain.  Hit it girl!  I giggle to myself.  It is so quiet now.  No cars, no fire arms, no bikes, no wind….silence.  Me and my breath.  My toosh hurts….(this is another blog-post that needs to be written)  Oh my BUTT!! “Do I have my pepper spray in my Bento box?  Sooo quiet.  And beautiful.  The mountain and trees are magnificent under the sunshine.  I am always so in awe of this place we call home.  I feel blessed.  31525_20130124_125818_good_morning_quotes_06

Down.  And up.  Grams & Gramps have left the range now, seemingly satisfied with her firearm prowess.  It’s just me.  Last repeat.  Last time to make it outstanding.  I am dying to stand up….coach says, “keep the climb in the saddle.”  Make this strong and remarkable Paula….again, being my own worst judge.  Don’t think about the fire starting to escape through your muscles, and burning through your shorts.  This makes me think of the Fantastic Four and the Human Torch…my legs could quite possibly catch fire!  Think of how you’ll feel if you give up now.  Finish this last repeat like a boss.  Do not look for your distractions on the ground.  Look up.  See the snag?  She’s waving you by.  She knows that she was a one-time deal and that you would never stop at her again.  The sound of my breathing is a great sound.  It reminds me how alive I am.  It reminds me that my lungs are strong and healthy.  Capable and competent.  My mind drifts….”your great grace..”  I am WAY past my first attempt of this climb.  Past my second and third attempt.  It feels GREAT to continue up.  Further than the last.  A silent prayer escapes my lips….”Thank you for this.” photo

Time!!!

Look at that yellow mushroom!!!

I am WAY further up the hill!!  Nice work Lady!!  Take a selfie!

“Get your butt home before whatever drug those bones to the road, comes out for a visit.”

Looking Up

Picture taken on Fernan

Just LOOK what I may have missed…(Fernan Lake)

Trying my hardest at least once a month to catch up on here. It’s easy, when I’m not so busy, or when I’m willing to sit into the wee hours of the night (ahem morning) writing.

Ironman training is definitely in full swing now.  I shouldn’t say <now> it has been.   It’s exciting and tiring, and time-consuming. It’s also a reminder that I need to put into perspective that which is important.

It’s a constant challenge for anyone when training for a long endurance event. The demanding workouts; literally HOURS in the saddle, or pounding the pavement; added on top of an already full schedule of husband, kid, church, study time, reading, social time with friends, planning events…you name it. Oh, and a little down time thrown in there…

I have people ask me all the time, how it all seems to work. How do I squeeze it all in? HA… I have friends that train, have husbands and families AND a full-time job! HOW DO THEY DO THAT?

I can’t sweat the small stuff!  photo

It’s very simple for me…when I keep my priorities in check; God, husband, family …When things get out of whack…well, life gets “out of whack,” and  I am quickly reminded into which well I need to be dropping my bucket.

Last week, was a big week. First century ride (100 miles) for this training season, 4-miles of swimming, and 27 miles of running! Things are getting fun now! It all went well albeit my mind making a valiant attempt to sabotage me. Didn’t work! Thank you Jesus for my peace of mind. That long 100-mile ride and the long 15-mile run I did alone. The ride went excellent! I did a little (ok A LOT) of talking with God and myself.

Too much looking at this….

Too much looking at this….

Here I am, getting frustrated and God shows me how beautiful the mountains and lakes are, if I took a second to look up. Me: getting tired and God reminding me of the strong, capable, body He has given me. Me: sweating and hot, and God reminding me how much I had prayed for sunshine when it was cold and miserable. In the last 10 miles of that 100-mile ride…. I finally understood….it’s not about me! Life throws up all sorts of challenges.  Change your perspective.  …LOOK UP

….and not enough looking at this.

….and not enough looking at this.

I was nervous about the run.  Having done 13-miles the week prior that was a complete disaster, I was a little uneasy and unsure. A little caveat: this is why it’s SO important to work with your nutrition early on.

I poured over nutrition all week. Deciding to make a change to something new is SCARY! It is hit or miss and can cost you a great training day like last week and in some cases, it can cost you a race day. It’s hard to change a good thing. But, (BUT) things change. Our bodies change. Nutrition changes with new science and technology. So I went out again with the same nutrition I used the week prior. I understood that last weeks run needed to be let go of. It was a bad day. I was under calories for what I needed, and that’s that! A new day, a new start…. With music in my ears, giving me a new perspective and reminding me of WHO has given me my strength, the run… was quick, easy and flawless.

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I am so grateful that there is a re-start button.  I am thankful for a God that allows that! -A new day will dawn on us from above because our God is loving and merciful.  Luke 1:78

He gives me promises for my life that I need to worry over nothing.

photoWhat can I do with Him?  He doesn’t promise a few things..He promises ALL THINGS.

I simply need to look up!