​Rest Up Sweet Child

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Mid-year check-in because obviously, I don’t know how to keep up on blog posts. It’s not that I don’t care, or that I don’t want to write or have content, it’s more the act of sitting still and jotting things down. I’m still working on my Patagonia posts. (I say with a spirited eye-roll) Promise, they are coming. I promise!

It’s interesting how a turn of events can lead you right where you should be or NEED to be. My One Word for the year was RESTORATION. It’s not a word I would’ve chosen for myself. My One Word is something given to me every year when the new year rolls around. A gift. I’ve had a great year of restoration so far. So I thought.

Maybe going a million miles an hour isn’t quite “restorative” in the eyes of our Creator.

We’ve had another incredible year (half-year at this point, I suppose) of travel. Patagonia is at the forefront of course. Being able to backpack in one of the most beautiful, unrefined, mountainous parts of the world was unimaginable! As unyielding as it was, it still sparks fireworks in our minds and puts smiles on our faces when we get to share our adventure with others.

For us, that was what started this year of restoration. Being in the mountains has that impact on us like no other place. High altitude, hard work, relying solely on your own capabilities and surviving on what you’re carrying on your back for days and weeks is very soul-invigorating! It’s something that no one can understand until they’ve lived out the situation.
After we returned, we decided to train for some races. Half marathons are so fun! Although not my favorite distance, it’s a great challenge that doesn’t take up your whole life training. They easily fit into any schedule. The hubster decided he was going to start running (for real this time) and we set out training together for the Kentucky Derby Half. Needless to say, we ended up doing back-to-back-to-back halves in KY, NC, and SC, and he became a Half Fanatic! Secretly I’m working on him to become a Marathon Maniac…but… (laughs villainously) he is not seeing the light quite yet.

Fast forward to today. Restoration. Some FORCED REST is happening.
Last week after two weeks in California followed by a quickie 5-day trip to NYC I fell and hit my head. In actuality, I passed out and hit my head and didn’t remember it happening. I am so stubborn. Or passionate. Or determined. I assumed everything was fine when I woke up and had a big ‘ol unicorn horn on my noggin. After some discussion, we decided to go to the Dr who sent us to the ER. Surprisingly I think this was my first trip, which seems crazy for a family of adventure junkies! Oh…besided M’s stitches from a split head and A’s broken leg. Oops!
They sent me through the whole rigmarole. Checking for dehydration, blood tests, and a CT to be sure I was still as smart-alecky as ever.

Mission accomplished!

They gave me a great “headache cocktail” through an IV and had me rest, then sent me on my way with strict directions for (you guessed it) REST! Concussions require a “sling for your brain,” the Dr said.

Huh?

This has NOT been easy. The Dr gave me orders FIRST off, no screen time for three days: no phone, iPad, computer, Kindle, or TV. I missed the Kindle. Then I missed my friends, because moving away from the PNW, I still love my daily chats with my lovelies, which means being on the phone. The TV…eh… never a big deal in our house, It’s rarely used.
So basically I was told to lay down and do nothing.

Mission NOT accomplished! (I am sure you can see my furrowed brow and rebellious face a mile away)

HOW? I couldn’t. And I didn’t. I mean… I had an achey brain, and couldn’t see well and dizzy spells, and zero appetite,  but I just cannot lay in bed or on the couch and do… NOTHING. I couldn’t even read a regular book.

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Resting….. I tried and was terrible at it. I worked at being the best-rester I could be (yes I know that’s not a word), but it’s HARD y’all. I am in the middle of a June run streak with 4000 other streakers right now and HOW could I stop that? I couldn’t, so I focused on what I could do. I thought about those streakers that are newbies. The ones who have not only never done a streak, but some have never run or walked a mile a day for any amount of time. Ever! I considered how they felt, with sore feet, joints, legs, bodies. Tired after the mile, but determined to make it through this month and I channeled their perseverance, their dedication to this streak and took off walking. It was hard for me. Did I want to run? Absolutely! Running is like breathing to me, and it’s something I need daily! But I couldn’t. I mean, honestly, I couldn’t run if I wanted to. I did what I could, which is precisely what I’ve said to other streakers. Not everyone is running a 6-minute mile. Do what you can do.

I decided instead of sitting around in misery, I needed to have a mind shift. I am always a silver-lining girl. I am always looking for the good in every situation. How could I turn this around? What lesson was I to learn? I decided that I would be thankful that I could walk, that I could still play with my pup, could food prep, could listen to good music, could spend some time sitting in the sunshine AND since I’m walking at night, it’s allowed me to see spectacular sunsets.

I needed to be grateful for the act of resting.

In the past when I have had circumstances beyond my control that has forced rest upon me, I’ve come back stronger. Our bodies are such incredible machines and so intricate! I’m hoping for this outcome because, in the craziness of brain fog and a concussion, I signed myself up for an Ultra Marathon. A 50k. I must’ve really bumped my head! Ha!

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In reality, it’s been something I’ve been considering for a while and decided, now is the time. I went back and forth about triathlon this year and can’t find the right fit for an Ironman or HIM, so I have put that on the back burner until next season to focus on running. Lots of running!

Ok, ultramarathoners, I need your words of wisdom and sage advice going into the next few months of training. What tips and tidbits do you have for this newbie? I AM super excited to hit 31-miles of trails this coming November!

Today, it’s day 10 and I’m still… resting and allowing my body to RESTORE itself. I’ve realized over the last couple of days, this is going to be a process. There is no rushing in concussion recovery. My unicorn horn is going down and is a lovely shade of yellow. Not a shade that looks great with my skin tone, unfortunately, and I have a gorgeous set of black raccoon eyes now, but I am continuing to follow Dr’s orders and allow myself some downtime.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

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Day 7-Music

 

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Music has always been  huge part of my life.  Growing up as a teen in the 80’s I listened to it all.  Cried over broken relationships to Air Supply and Journey, rocked out to Kiss, Quiet Riot and Def Leopard, and got crazy dance skills dancing to Wham, Michael Jackson and Cindy Lauper.  What memories!

It only seemed natural that God gave me a musician to marry.  Greg and I LOVE our music.  It plays throughout our house on an almost ongoing basis in some form.  Not always loud, but in the background with the occasional (OK not so occasional) dance party!  Cooking in my kitchen requires music, and depending on what I’m preparing, the genre changes.  A little Ray Lamontagne (whom our youngest daughter has sworn herself to marry) Josh Garrels, Joe Purdy or Passenger when I’m cooking Italian, all the way to opera, playing LOUDLY while I bake pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have Painting Music when we get the urge to paint a new wall in our home, which is usually The Refreshments, (who are also A MUST on any road trip) and CCR.  Yes, even the old stuff.  Our kids grew up listening with us, and love CCR, Jonny Cash and one of our all time favorites Etta James, At Last (who I know wasn’t the original artist) but is the version we love!  At any given moment when The Nilges’ are all together under one roof, our middle daughter will bust out singing this song.  She’s amazing!  Adore! Unknown-1

A lot of my time now is filled with worship music.  I run to it; HELLO TobyMac and Newsboys, I dance to it; HELLO Mandisa, I sing it, I bathe myself in the lyrics of adoration.

My hubs, who was a rocker when we met is now playing worship.  He’s still rocking’ it’s just for a different purpose.  I cannot explain how much I delight in hearing him home all day playing his guitar.  Those sounds permeate our home and I cannot help but have a smile on my face as well as the fact that is takes all unfavorable moods out the door.  Music brought my hubby and I together, and it’s a great glue for our household.  It gives it a peace and a joy-filled space.  I will never forget the look on our friends faces a couple of years ago while on a trip to Hawaii.  We walked into a Ukelele store and Greg picked up a Uke.  The friendly, robust, Hawaiian man sitting behind the counter asked Greg to play a little with him.  Within seconds the two were playing Banana Pancakes that trailed into Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  Our friends lit up!  The happiness and smiles that donned their faces were priceless and have written themselves into my memory. Unknown-2 As you can guess, I bought Greg a ukelele that Christmas as a surprise.  The music that comes from the uke around our house, takes me right back to the islands.  Feeling sunny and ready for flip-flops!  It carries me away.  It’s happy!  Music can make such an impact.

What is your favorite type of music?

I have to run now,  and break into a dance party for one!!