Wednesday, October 5, 2016


It's been a bit since I posted and this is a bit long but I plan to blog more often and to make them shorter in the future!

Many of us use Facebook and Instagram to showcase life. Some of it's real and some isn't. I believe that for every great picture, there are at least 10-15 that were awful. That's the Altman Family reality so I don't believe for one minute that your kids really sit on your lap on the porch/beach/dock/dinner table and smile easily for the camera. If they do then you need to call me and give me all your secrets. And even then, I don't think I'll believe you.

I've had a good amount of time to scroll Facebook/Instagram and it's given me a chance to think about real life and what I've been doing and what's in the future.

My time for reflection stemmed from a "be careful what you wish for" scenario, I was literally just crying sometime over the weekend (maybe when I washing vomit filled sheets or trying to get the smell out of the house) that I just wanted 5 minutes....5 minutes to do nothing. 5 minutes to sit and not have a child tackle me or ask me for food. 5 minutes to stop looking at emails and stop planning and organizing and doing. Just 5 minutes.....

I got 5 minutes alright. Not exactly the way I wanted or how I planned but that's real life.

It's been a wild few days. I'm recovering from some monster sickness that may have been the flu or may have been a bug. I suppose it could have been strep since Jackson had it but honestly we'll never know a diagnosis.

I didn't go to the doctor. Why you ask? There was no time until I was super sick and by then, I just couldn't bear to get up to go and I probably couldn't have driven myself.

I was too busy being super mom and caring for two sick boys, trying to keep up with the laundry (mission not accomplished), work, more work, and cook and still do my usual life stuff. In my head, if I didn't keep going and do it all then the world would end and I'd be a failure at life.

So, by mid-day on Monday, I couldn't get off the sofa. Literally - I couldn't stand up. I haven't been that kind of sick since 2009.

That's my life this week and before that, I've been in a funk.

I *thought* I might be on the mend and healing when I sprained my ankle in early August. It's still sore and a bit swollen at times. I now well aware that there will be no half marathon for me in December. There may never be another half marathon. My body doesn't seem to hold up anymore. And truthfully, I'm over trying and trying again only to be hurt and disappointed.

For weeks and maybe until today, I saw this as a failure at life and possibly even at my job. But now, I see it as an opportunity to try new things. Certainly a little more yoga in my life would be beneficial and maybe I'll finally stop by Terri Durbin's and grab a SUP to try out. I'll still run. I'll always run as long as my legs and hips will let me. But, I no longer plan to keep track of workouts and think about races. For now - at least - I'm going to focus on being the healthiest version of me.

See, in my head, I've been stuck on the fact that if I'm to lead a running organization then I have to be a great runner and log miles and care about times. But I don't. I haven't in a long time. Altman cares about his miles and times and races and I appreciate that and I respect that, but I could care less about my own. I felt that way before I got pregnant with Karson and I've basically been forcing myself for over 3 years to find my way back to training and racing with no progress.

I don't have to be a stellar runner to be the ED for KTC. I do have to know how to operate a nonprofit and manage all the pieces and parts of a large organization and I do my best and I think that most days I do it well. Being a recreational runner is totally fine. That's real life - learning to understand where you are and how to be happy.

I create these situations a lot. I'm my own worst critic and I always have been. I didn't come from parents who gave me unconditional positive reinforcement and sometimes I paint a "Norman Rockwell" in my head (you know...the perfect picture/scenario/outcome) and get into a funk when I don't meet my own expectations for life.

That's life and who I have been.

I've done this as a wife, mother, friend, employee and in all situations. But, it stops now.

I'll be 40 in a couple of weeks and with all this time to reflect, I'm looking ahead.

I'm going to do my best as a wife. After more than 14 years together (I think - I had to count on my fingers so I may be off a year), Altman is still my favorite. I would never trade a date night with him for anyone else. He's still my first thought in the morning and when things go well or go terribly. I'll make mistakes but I want nothing more than for him to be happy.

I'm going to do my best as a mom. I screw that up daily but so far, they are both still alive so that has to count for something. It's a marathon and not a sprint - for them as individuals and for us as a family. Those two boys are my heart and soul and I'll make them mad and there will be days (maybe weeks) when we aren't friends but the goal is to teach them to be responsible humans. I'll continue to screw up daily but I think we'll be okay. (Fingers crossed and few prayers would be appreciated just in case.)

I'm blessed with some amazing friends. Luckily the ones that have stuck with me all these years understand that I'm going to screw up. Go back to the whole parental thing but I wasn't really taught how to be a good friend. I've learned from others over the years and I do my best. I've had to distance myself from some friends over the years and I've had others distance themselves from me. That's just life. We grow and become different people and sometimes friendships aren't meant to last a lifetime. But, my goal is to do my best and see where it leads with the sweet humans that I call friend right now.

I have great jobs. My work with KTC is hard and is ever-changing and evolving. This is not the same job I had in 2009 and definitely not the same job I came back to in 2014. It's more complex and much harder. But, we're doing so much more and making a mark for health and well-being in this community. I'm also lucky to still do some consulting work with nonprofits. Both are fulfilling and rewarding. That said, I'm going to screw up. I don't have all of the answers and sometimes my choices aren't the most popular. That's life. I do the best I can and I make decisions on information that I have and sometimes it will be popular and sometimes I'll get hate mail.

At the end of the day, this is life. It's real. It's messy and ugly and hard but also beautiful and fun and full of love and laughter. There are tears. Lots of tears. It's not that perfect profile pic on Facebook (that was it's 4th attempt by the way) but it's wild and challenging and I wouldn't trade it.

Finally, I'm looking forward to 40. The 30's were so much better than my 20's so I can only imagine what the next decade will bring. I hope you'll come along with me and see where it leads.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Changing My Mind Set

Steroids will really mess with you. For me, they keep me up all night. It's worth the trade off so that my face doesn't feel like someone is pounding it with a 2 x 4 and it allows me time while everyone is asleep to think and be still. I am grateful for the steroids and grateful to have time to continue to think about how to best take care of myself.

Over the last several months, I've been slowly making some changes. The changes resulted from waking up several times last year and feeling overwhelmed by my schedule. Each day, I'd look at the next day and realize that there was literally no time. For anything. I would get the kids and Jason out to school, workout, shower, and head out the door for meetings. Lots of meetings. Lots of work and community service meetings. Then, I'd head home and make dinner and go through bedtime routines. By the time we get Karson to bed then it's time for us to go to bed.

People would say, "You are amazing. I don't know how you do it all."

But I wasn't doing it all. Where was time to read a book? Shop? Decorate the new house? Just simply sit on my porch and have a cup of coffee? No time for any of those.

I'm beyond blessed. I have been given opportunities that I never dreamed of having when I was a child. I would love to do it "all" but that's just not feasible. I have two kiddos and a husband. I don't plan to really ever retire so there's plenty of time for all of the "extras" because life is a marathon and not a sprint.

Going back, I couldn't just drop all of my commitments and stop working. That isn't me. I had committed and would remain committed 100% until the end of the time I had promised.

I found ways to start pulling myself out of projects and literally just started saying to no to anything not already on my plate.

It's hard to do because even though people say they understand, I am not sure they do and I always feel like they are judging when you can't/won't help them.

I always ask if I am helping or hindering. If I can't give you help and make a difference then I need you to offer my seat at the table to someone who can. I'm not in a place where I just want my name on a board list. I want to be helpful.

I implemented "No Meeting Monday" and have set some self-imposed parameters for all things in my life. That's helped me be way more efficient and to roll with things when life doesn't go as planned (such as a week in quarantine with the plague).

I've also whittled down the community service list. I have only a few organizations that I serve but I do that with 100% of my heart and soul.

All of these things created more time for the boys and being able to enjoy them as they grow.

But there's one thing that has been nagging at me and I've not been able to find peace.

Most of the time, when someone introduces me, they give some professional and personal background and then they tell everyone around us that I'm a runner. "She's a runner. She runs marathons." In fact, I my LK superlative was Most Athletic (or something similar).

Since Karson was born, that's just not true. I won't lie, for me, it was much easier to do all the things when I had just one child. But after the second was born, I've never been able to get into a routine. A newborn plus a toddler is hard work. Just when I thought I was on a roll, I fell down our stairs. The fall down the stairs left me bruised for weeks and in great pain. Then I began experiencing the hip problems. Last year was a health and wellness disaster.

I used to use the hashtag #fitmomma with photos. I've always been proud to be the lady who could manage kids, husband, work, life, and staying fit. But it's hard to stay fit when you're always hurt (and stressed and tired).

I'm taking a new approach. I've changed my mind set. Instead of #fitmomma, I'll be using #healthymom in the future because it's not just about how many miles I can run or how fast I ran my last half marathon. It's not about how many yoga classes I take in a week. It's not just about how much weight I could lift or if I can hold a plank for 5 minutes. Health is so much more - it's physical, mental, and emotional.

I've addressed the emotional and mental health aspects. I'm not nearly as anxious or rundown as I was two years ago. And adding a disclaimer here, I did have a young son who doesn't care for sleep. During that pregnancy and for the first two years of his life, we just didn't sleep. At all. But now that he's sleeping, so am I. I could get up at 4 am for a workout before the kids get up but I deserve the extra time in bed and I am going to enjoy every single minute of it.

Physical health is very, very important to me.  hope to be able to run long distances again but right now is not the time. I hope to be able to teach yoga regularly again. At this moment in life, I simply don't have enough hours in my week. And honestly, I don't want to do it. It takes the right frame of mind to train for long distance runs or teach classes and I'm not there. And that's okay.

For today and the foreseeable future, I'd rather run a few days a week and work on building strength and stability in my hips and core so that I can maybe run a marathon down the road or get back to teaching.

And I know that the schedule I've laid out is a good one and should have me in good shape within a couple of months. And that would be great.

But overall, at the end of the day, I want to focus on overall health and not just one component. So, this #healthymom is signing off and continuing to rest so that she gets well sooner than later.

See you on the roads!