Monday, May 23, 2016

Stretching Her Wings

My Mother in Law Jill loves to tell the story of the time she drove Bob all the way from Illinois to Colorado for College.  Bob wanted to go literally across the country in pursuit of his education so she mustered her courage, drove him out, dropped him off and cried herself through Nebraska as she headed home.  At one point during her drive home she called her Father (Bob's Grandpa) and without skipping a beat he said to her, "Jill, you raised that boy to be confident, bold, adventurous and independent.  Why are you crying now that he is?"

Its a poignant story to me and really hit home a couple of weeks ago.  Bob and I have absolutely decided to raise our girls to be independent and bold women.  We talk all of the time about how we want them one day to leap from our nest and fly without question.  We want them to step into opportunities and walk through doors of potential.  We want them to make good choices and live boldly.........

My girlfriend Bridgit called me a couple weeks ago on a Friday.  She and her family were going to go camping up in ShowLow with some other awesome people.  Kids were going.......and we were all invited.  Unfortunately I had 2 dates with friends that I couldn't cancel, but Bridgit asked, "Would Lily like to go?"  

Um, no I thought.....she's never been camping.....she's only ever gone for an overnight with Grandparents.......its 3 hours away.......for 2 nights.  No......she wouldn't want to go.

Then it hit me.....Maybe you should ASK HER, and actually let her have some say in this. So I did and with a skip, a leap and a squeal she said, YES.  Actually she said yes like 50 times while running around the house dancing and packing her stuff. 

I will admit, I was both stunned.......and incredibly proud.  What a brave and bold thing for my Lily to do.  Bob and I spent the day making sure she understood that she was going by herself and that we were not going to be there.  We went over and over how it was a long drive away and she couldn't just pop back home.  We told her it was camping and that we still wouldn't be there. (You see how much we repeated ourselves)  To all of this she replied with, "Well, if I have to sleep on the ground I need to remember my pillow," and "Can I bring my blanket Mom?"

We took her over to Bridgit's house and dropped her for her weekend.  Lily didn't hesitate, she didn't waver once.  She wanted to go on an adventure.....

And I found myself in tears on the car ride home........... I kept waiting to see her realize the enormity of her decision, I kept thinking I was going to have to hold a nervous kid and convince her of her strength, but I didn't....not once.  She half hugged me, said "Bye Mom!"  got in that big truck with her friend and went camping. She had a blast and everyone who was there loved her.  She swam in the lake, went exploring, played and slept in a big camper (a fact to which she talks non stop about!).  It was a big weekend and she LOVED it! 

I shed my tears and then let the smile of pride well up in my spirit.  She is strong and bold and brave and mighty.  She is adventurous and is going to chase what excites her.  Someday, when she leaps from our nest she will fly........

and I will be ever so thankful that I never clipped her wings.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Journey to IRONMAN: That Quote

Well, its official, 6 more months until that IRONMAN start line.  I'm a day late this time.....I remembered last night when I was in bed.....nearly asleep.  I think I chose wisely. :)  The months are just ebbing away in a constant routine of Sleep, Train, Eat, Mother, Wife, Eat, Sleep.

This month I wanted to do a little follow up on everything that has been going on with my diet, Heart Rate training and IRONMAN prep.  For the past few weeks this quote has been ruminating in my mind......

I have changed my whole perspective on food, fueling and training.  I am quite literally doing things I have never done before and finding a happier, wholer, stronger me.'s it going?

4 weeks ago I made some big changes, 1.  I cut out 80% of my carbs, all of my grains (except Quinoa) and 95% of processed sugar (I still love me some super dark chocolate). 2. I dramatically increased the amount of good fat I eat (Ever had bulletproof coffee? You should!) with coconut oil, grass fed butter, avocados, eggs, nuts and nut butters and 3.  Taken all the intensity out of my workouts.  For the first 2 weeks I literally was running (if you can call it that) at about a 12 minute pace.  Riding a bike has been slow and steady.  It all has been slow and steady.

I won't lie, for the first 2 weeks I struggled a lot.  It has been very difficult to feel like I am "loosing" my speed and fitness.  I was frustrated and discouraged. I am so very thankful for my coach Dawn and my dear friend Bridgit.  Dawn has been the most incredible source of encouragement and belief.  I called her during those weeks and amidst my struggles and unease her resounding confidence in me was unwavering, "Bethany, calm down, you are going to have an amazing IRONMAN.  You are a strong athlete. I have no doubts in your ability.  This is only gonna make you stronger."  That confidence and Bridgit's nutrition advice and love of Costco has been the motivation and catalyst for digging in and doing this!

And its working......BIG TIME

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing I feel.  I now track my macros (ie proportion of carbs, fat and protein).  I work to cycle my carb intake between 50g and 175g daily.  I can easily finish a 3 hour bike ride on no fuel (body is learning how to burn fat....eeee!)  and everything about my body feels AMAZING. I never thought I would give up bread, grains, sugar, lattes, pasta and my belief that I "need carbs," and feel so so SO good! I don't have cravings and I am never Hangry (so hungry I'm angry) and I just feel lighter and brighter.  

I am getting stronger too.  I have really noticed it in the water.  I used to jump in the pool or the lake and my heart rate would jump up very quickly.  I used to have a hard time getting my breath and breathing organized and settled.  Now I am cool as a cucumber and absolutely LOVE my swimming.  I feel confident, competent and like I could go forever.  My cycling and running has also seen dramatic improvement.  No, I'm still not fast, but I'm steady, consistent and able to go and go and go. 

I am doing things I have never done in pursuit of a dream.

I can....and I will