Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Newest Race Craze.. or not.

People are really into multi-dimensional races these days. Triathlons, Spartan races, Color runs.. everywhere you look there is a new way to run a race.  I get that this is fun for people.. interesting to train for, and a way to keep things fresh while competing.

These people have clearly never tried to run with three kids, one in a jogger, two on bikes, on any given week night.

Because if they had, I assure you, they would be happy to run 15k straight, with only your music and thoughts to distract you. 

Last night we took all three kids while we went for a run.  Here is a brief rundown of what’s sure to never catch on as an actual sport. 

The Brittany 5K.

-First 0-5 minutes:

“Do you have the baby?”


“Ok let’s go!”

“Wait.. where’s Belle?”

“I don’t know.. BELLLLLEEE”

Belle comes running from neighbor’s backyard.

“Ok get your helmet on, we are going for a run.”

“Can I ride my plastic trike”

“NO!! Get your helmet and get on your real bike.  Wait.. where’s Ben now??!”


Appears from behind the truck, already on his bike, ready to go.

“Ok let’s go”

“I think Grady pooped…”

5-7 mins:

Changing diaper

7-10 mins:

Running going well.  We are half way down the street when I realize Grady has slid down in the jogger.  Quick pause-half run while I sort him out and Mike pushes the stroller.

Now Belle got distracted and we almost rear end her.  She thinks this is hilarious and keeps zig-zagging in front of us and stopping to look at all the beautiful flowers (dandelions).

10-15 mins:

Damn it.  I can hear it and I hope the kids don’t notice.  

They do.

Ice cream truck.

Whining, speeding up and slowing down at intervals to tell us what bad parents we are.  I’m tempted to point out the super chubby people and tell them that’s why we aren't stopping but instead keep my nasty inner thoughts to myself and tell them we have snacks at home.

Whining continues and the anger builds and the kids keep cutting us off at random intervals.  I'm now yell/gasping at them to quit it.

15-20 mins:

Man down.  Belle can’t navigate corners well and has done a header into the stop sign post.  There are tears, and a lot of “You’re fines” and she’s back up and riding......  Super.  Slow.

People drinking beer while moving have left their giant truck on the sidewalk.  Detour.  


Belle refuses to turn while pedaling now and is off, and walking.  

I'm pleased to be stopped and super sweaty in front of people drinking beer with my daughter and her princess bike, sparkly clothes and streamers while gently prodding the slow poke forward.

20-25 mins:

Ben’s turn.  A trench he didn't see as he was making faces at Grady in the jogger. He's quick to hop up and ride away towards Mike, the jogger and Grady.  Belle is back up on her bike and we are back on pace again.  

Meanwhile Grady is blowing snot bubbles that are so alarming people are stopping to point it out.  Kids are getting a good laugh.  He’s also sliding down again.  He doesn't care, he’s out with the family living life full of boogers.

Another little girl is so entranced by Grady and his bubbles she falls directly on our path requiring parental assistance.  Detour #2.


Can see home.  Belle has totally pooped out and I decide to leave her behind since we are almost there. 

Getting up a little momentum when our horrible neighbors sick their dog on me. 

Ok they aren’t horrible at all, actually they are wonderful.  But Zena did come flying out giving me a perfect opportunity to stop and pet her, thus giving up entirely and ending my run in front of their house. 

Cool Down:

We went inside to stretch and Mike bossed me while I was doing squats trying to fix my ‘technique”.

I told him “I watch a lot of videos Mike.  I think I know what I’m doing”.  

He gives me the “I’m smarter than you about this look” and I give in only because he has a degree in working out. 

Or, what he calls, “Kinesiology”. 

But after the run we just had, the whining, that stupid ice cream truck song that is on loop in my head, I end with clever and mature line that always comes out of my mouth when working out together:

“Whatever.  You’re not the boss of me.”

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Dirty Little Secret

I have a new title. 

Unofficial, of course. 

But it’s “Mentor to the Newly Anxious”. 

I mean, there isn’t like a club, or a group.  Well I guess there actually is.. I’ve just never attended formal meetings. 

Anyways, let me go back a bit.

See us, those with the anxious nerves that are palpable in almost any environment, can attest to the fact that we tend to get a little ahead of ourselves. 

My good friend in currently in the grips of newfound anxiety.  I went to visit her yesterday to find her in pajamas, hair disheveled in the most nutty professor type way, in the full blown grips of repeated, and progressive, anxiety attacks.

It’s really awful.  And I know if you have ever spent any time in this state, you are currently nodding your head in agreement, that the very first time this hits you, it is suffocating.

But, I’ve been there.  I’ve been in her pajamas (well not really IN her actual pajamas.  That’s a little kinky and this isn’t THAT kind of blog).

 I’ve sat where she sits contemplating just when I turned from a rational human being into a psycho.

Because, that’s how you feel. 

My favorite part about the journey is the anxiety attacks about having anxiety.  It’s really stupid and as a normal person going through it you can recognize the pure ridiculousness of what is going on. 

Alas… you can not control it and before you know it you are muttering “I’m not crazy” like’s it your god damned mantra.  And let me be the first to tell you, walking around talking aloud saying, “I’m not crazy” is about the fastest way for people to become convinced you are indeed, crazy.

What I told her, like I’m about to tell you all, is that it’s so much more common than you think.  And either I befriend a ton of weirdos, (jury is definitely out on this one), or every smart, passionate, interesting woman I have ever met can you tell you about the time they suffered anxiety.

You see, anxiety does not befall the boring women.  At least in my non-educated, completely unscientific approach.

Anxiety seems to hit the women I most want to talk to.  The most I want to get to know, the most I want to drink too much wine with on a Wednesday afternoon.  It’s the women who are larger than life, intelligent as f*ck , and who can break down some super complicated, really interesting shit. (I went to University to write a sentence as eloquent as that one)

Also, we are not the duds of society, like we all think when this happens to us.  Another hallmark of these kick ass women is that you would never know this cursed mental lapse befalls them.  Forget hyper-ventilating and breathing into bags.  That’s for amateurs and drama queens. 

The girls I know keep on getting crap done while far to close to a psychotic ledge.  These girls are not the type to call it in or stop charging forward.  They are the ones who care the most, aim to be the best, and never give themselves a chance to coast.

So this brings me back to where I started.  I now find myself reassuring the other afflicted girls with these words:

You will get past it.
It will be ok.
You can do this.
You are not a sucky person or a failure.
It get’s better.
If you lose weight during this process you suck.  I’m an emotional eater.

And then I come home, have a minor anxious blip, and confess to my husband that I have myself on high alert for the possibility of anxiety making her heinous reappearance.  After all, there is nothing more anxious than talking to someone about your anxiety.

And then I hear words from my husband that remind me why he is the ying to my yang.  My lyrics to a melody.  My super expensive wine to super expensive cheese.

“You do not have to be the best at everything.  No one said you have to be the best mother, the prettiest, the smartest, the funniest, the most intelligent, the best writer and the best housewife.  You tell yourself that’s what you need to be.  Quit it.  You are the best to us.”

I know.. right.

I’m trying.  Life, after all, is about learning how to take things moment by moment. 

As I’m typing this I am thinking about at least half a dozen household tasks I need to accomplish by bedtime.

Peace girls.. and it does get better.  xo

My way of unwinding.  Good food.. and Maui.  Mental Health dictates I visit once a year.  :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Horse Show

I’ll admit it.. lately my head hasn't quite been in the game.

It’s horse show season.

My first time leaving my family behind.  2007, Minnesota, Old Horse

A time of year that turns a normally very responsible, very rational person into a lunatic.  Wandering around the house hungry (from whichever quick results diet they happen to be on at that moment.. why do show clothes shrink every winter??), mumbling about farriers, vet wrap, supplements, tack, boots that won’t fit,  Spanx, and should I be setting up a frozen semen shipment for my mare or should I find local fresh cooled semen?

A time of year when a loving wife and mother of three disappears out to ‘the barn’ unable to be reached  (cell coverage is bad at all barns.  No matter if there is a tower in the middle of the arena.  It’s a mystery but you cannot reach anyone by phone) neglecting house work, proper meals, and narrowly getting home in time to pick her eldest up at the bus.  More than once these neglected husbands come home to an empty house, wondering where their family has gone.  Most know to first check where the riding gear is housed.. as its presence will answer all questions.

All before this same loving wife, and mother, abandons her children for a week or MORE at a time, hops on a plane, or in a truck,  in the name of horse show.  She makes the trek to go practice with a new horse, show the new horse, go shopping for another new horse, goes to watch her old horse, or goes to catch ride a totally different horse.  

Down in Walla Walla practicing with new horse...

Showing New Horse in Oregon
Monroe Washington before Grady was born..

Oklahoma (one of the times.....) this time watching Aunt's horse win World Championship

You get the idea......

We, who hate long drives and packing will gladly sit in a truck and trailer for 17 hours packed to the brim, and be happy. Happy to be chasing down a dream that’s been playing in our hearts since we were little girls sitting in the middle of a pasture, letting broodmares and babies sniff us and watching them play.  Hoping that one day we would trot in the arena on the most beautiful of all horses to the call of the trumpet, and the crowd cheering.

Anyways, I won’t say this happens to me, but I also won’t cast any judgment on those it does afflict. 

What I will say is that every time Garth Brooks’ song “Rodeo” comes on the iPod or radio, Mike looks at me and smirks that this song could easily be tweaked to reflect what a horse show husband goes through.

So, here it is.  Garth Brooks next hit, aptly entitled “Horse Show” set to the tune of the already hugely successful “Rodeo”.

Her eyes are cold and restless,
Her wounds are almost healed,
And he’d give half of Texas,
To change the way she feels.
Well he knows her love's in Tulsa
And he knows she's gonna go
Well, it ain't no man, in flesh and blood
It's that damned old horse show.

Well, it's Spanx and wine
It's carts and lines
It's the roar of the trainer’s crowd
It's the gate as it closes
The red in the roses
She'll win the next go 'round
It's boots and chaps
It's cowboy hats
It's tuxs and cutbacks
It's the bits and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing horse show.

He does his best to hold her
When her love comes to call
But her need for it controls a girl
And his back's against the wall
And it's "So long babe, I'll see ya."
When it's time for her to go
You know the husband wants his cowgirl
Like she wants her horseshow

Well, it's Spanx and wine
It's carts and lines
It's the roar of the trainer’s crowd
It's the gate as it closes
The red in the roses
She'll win the next go 'round
It's boots and chaps
It's cowboy hats
It's tuxs and cutbacks
It's the bits and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing horse show.

It'll drive a cowgirl crazy
It'll drive the girl insane
And she'll sell off everything she owns
Just to pay to play the game
And a broken home and some broken bones
Is all she'll have to show
For all the years that she spent chasin'
This dream they call horse show.

Well, it's Spanx and wine
It's carts and lines
It's the roar of the trainer’s crowd
It's the gate as it closes
The red in the roses
She'll win the next go 'round
It's boots and chaps
It's cowboy hats
It's tuxs and cutbacks
It's the bits and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing horse show.

It's the mares and the studs
It's in a girl’s blood

And they call the thing horse show.


Before I sign off.. here's a link to the video which is far more gritty and, well dirtier than my version.