Life Lessons

They always seem to come when you least expect them too. But if you are open and able to subconsciously pay attention to all that’s happening around you, you find that life is teaching some big lessons (sometimes they are a repeat) in small ways.

This morning, my family participated in the JK5K. This was a local 5K put together by a grieving family. They lost their almost 6th grade son last year in a tragic accident- it is his birthday today.  Our community answered the cry of their aching hearts with an abundance of love and support. Almost 500 people were in attendance today to embrace this family and celebrate Jacob’s life.

Liam, my 10 year old, asked what happened to Jacob. Mama D knew the story well and shared it with Liam. In that moment, I saw his face completely change. Moments earlier he was complaining of being too hot and too bored so he wanted to go home to play video games. His usual pompous flair was softened and he fell silent. It was a moment he was ready to receive a simple and important life lesson:

Take nothing for granted. 

I told him we have to be thankful for each moment we spend together, each day we have alive, and each person we have in our life.  Without making eye contact, he nodded his head in acknowledgement.  Another lesson quickly followed:

Choose hope. 

Everyone had an amazing time.  Mama D and I walked the 1 mile fun run with Wyatt while Liam ran it.  Wyatt very quickly decided his legs hurt and he had to be carried, but wouldn’t accept a piggyback because that hurt his belly. Sigh. I think we wound up doing about .4 miles total as we quickly turned around and went back.

Lots of our friends participated and did really well.

Since I didn’t run and because I was properly inspired by the energy this morning, Charlotte and I decided to go for a bike ride to help me train for the upcoming triathlon. The plan was to ride 11-12 and then run 2.  We headed over to the Schulkill River Trail by Valley Forge again.

As we were whizzing into about mile 5 I realized that 14 years ago this day I was a week overdue with Charlotte and I was terrified. As a 22 year old newlywed, I didn’t know what was about to happen when this tiny little baby girl decided to come into the world.  The past 14 years flashed before my eyes as we rode and I re-learned another lesson:

Always choose the difficult path. 

It’s scary, mysterious, and always humbling.  That’s why it’s so worth it. 14 years later here I am with this beautiful young lady; my #1 supporter and my daughter.

My final lesson I learned was on our way home after the rain started really coming down (we nixed the 2 mile run).

You’ll never miss your partner’s hand when giving a high five if you always look at their elbow. 

Mind. Blown.  This is one reason why it’s great to have a teenager.

So today I am thankful for the time we spent together as a family. I’m thankful that my children are sensitive souls that are behind me every step of the way. I am thankful for really amazing friends. I’m thankful for the opportunities that today brought to us. I’m thankful to keep moving forward!

-Mama K

When It Doesn’t Even Feel Like Training


Trail10There comes a point in time when you finally turn the corner from dreading workouts or runs to looking forward to it for days because it becomes the time you need and want most during the week.  I find myself now waiting all week in excited anticipation for our Sunday morning trail runs that have become our “thing”.  10 women this morning (we were even missing a few) went out and braved the rocks and the roots, the hills and potential spills.  I’ve been saying for a while now that our mornings at CrossFit have been our happy hour, which is true.  But these hour+ long trail runs in the middle of the woods with women that can keep you laughing for days is like going on vacation.

We sweat. We groan.  We huff and we puff.  We trip.  We try to sprint up hills.  We tip toe in dangerous places.  Our hamstrings scream at us. There’s nothing pretty or glorious about it except…

We tell stories. We giggle.  We stop and take pictures. We share problems and brainstorm ideas. We enjoy the journey.  We conquer fears.  We step outside of our comfort zones.  We leave the woods feeling renewed and dangerously awesome.

In my opinion, this is the nirvana of training. The feeling that you could go on forever (well maybe not forever) because your energy comes from each other.  Perfect happiness. There is no suffering even though your quads are angry. There is no recognition of self, just a sense of being a part of a tribe where each member is an integral part of the connection and the run.

trail 16

I’m thankful for each of these women that I train with. I’m thankful for the way they push me into growth week in and week out. I’m thankful we keep moving forward.

-Mama K

If preparation is the key to success, then….

Will I be completely unsuccessful in our upcoming events??? 

I’m trying. I really am. I wake up twice a week to go to the box but lately that’s about it. And then I have a wake up call. An activity filled weekend of lake swimming, paddle boarding, trail running, and hanging out with the kids has left me thinking “self, you are never going to make it through this triathlon and the Ragnar Trail race.”  Poor sleep (staying up too late watching Investigation Discovery), poor hydration (too much coffee and definitely not enough water), and poor diet consisting of takeout and kid leftovers has left me feeling sluggish and really ill equipped for these events. 

Take this morning’s 3 mile trail run. I loved it. I really loved it.  I loved being out in nature, high-fiving low branches, and stumbling over rocks and roots as I got lost in a few meandering thoughts. But it sucked. It shouldn’t have qualified as a run because I really just tiptoed and tripped, and photographed my way on the path. 

I felt slow and could barely keep my breath steady. I know our busy day yesterday and interrupted sleep with potty breaks and lost blankies contributed to this #craprun but I just feel like I should’ve been better than what I did especially after all that we’ve been doing the past few weeks. Oh, right. I forgot. I’ve only been running an average of 4 miles a week and barely making it to CrossFit twice. Swimming and biking have been non-existent from my “training”. 

So there I had it. Alone with my ragged breath and slips and slides, I remembered why this morning was so difficult but I also remembered why I don’t need to feel nervous or completely unprepared for these upcoming events.  Because these “things” that we do are for fun.  I register purely to go on a new crazy adventure with my friends….. 

And I can’t forget that I am strong. I am very able. I have build up enough mental fortitude to be able to have days and weeks like this and accept them. Accept them and know that my body is still capable of figuring out a way, any way, to make it across the finish line. Equally as important, I’ve gone through enough experiences that I can diagnose the problems and make adjustments.  While I don’t take any of that for granted, I am thankful for the understanding that each crappy run, each awesome run, and everything in between teaches me something. 

So I made a conscious choice (again- it’s almost a daily decision) to let go and give myself permission to enjoy the trail and those moments any way I wanted to.  I knew I’d learn a new lesson or an old lesson would repeat itself, which it did – I need more water in my life; hydrate better and smarter. 

But more of this kind of water too. :) 

Keep moving forward, 

-Mama K 

 Let It Happen


Track night was a blessing tonight.  After the Mamas logged between 3-5 miles, stretched, and chatted there were moments of honest sharing.  Sharing of goals, sharing of not feeling worthy, sharing gratitude, and sharing in each other’s fellowship.  But the most gratifying thing that happened tonight was the opportunity to see the weaving of the friendship cords.  Our fears and joys and experiences are all braided into a beautifully strong sling that supports each one of us.  We left agreeing on the mantra for the upcoming week: Just let it happen.  Meaning, let go.  Let go of the fear, let go of the anxiety, let go of the doubt and let the days unfold as they are written to do so.  Step out in faith. Step out knowing that we’ve got each other and we’ve got this perfectly designed net ready to catch us if we fall while we are in flight.  

We’re in this together.  

We have to just let it happen…this crazy thing called life.  

Keep moving forward,

-Mama K