Thursday, February 09, 2006

Success Card #6

Clear your mind of can't.
~ Samuel Johnson

Okay, I admit I'm way behind the eight-ball when it comes to posting my success quotes. And this quote is quite appropos. I simply couldn't face getting back on here. All I could think was, "I can't, I can't, I can't." I was too physically tired, too emotionally exhausted, too blasted busy, just plain too worn out. There are times when can't is appropriate. We simply can't be in two places at one time.

But what I think this quote is referring to is the limitations that we place upon ourselves. Many people say, "I can't run." I ask, "Why not?" Usually it's because people say they either have "bad knees" or they are "too heavy." I can understand the bad knees part. Having run with a knee injury, I understand. But it isn't that we can't run, it's that we choose not to because, let's face it, running with bad knees is PAINFUL and may cause even greater injury. But too heavy? Uh, running will help take care of that.

Then I hear others say, "I can't swim." Again, I ask, "Why not?" Some folks are honest and admit they have issues with the water. They can't swim because of a self-imposed limitation: their fear of the water. Others say things like, "I just sink." Well, that's why they invented drills. To teach you to stay on top of the water. Frankly, we would all sink at some point if we didn't learn to float or tread water. In both cases, it a matter of choice. We either choose not to deal with the pain or we choose not to deal with our fear.

But back to the quote at hand. Removing can't from your mind. It brings back to me another quote, again on my sidebar: Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, either way, you are going to be right. If you tell yourself you can't do something enough times, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. You will be right. You cannot do that thing, because you have already said you can't, and you will then make the choices in your life to prove yourself right. You set yourself up for failure.

The same goes with telling yourself you can. This is clearly a case of "where there's a will, there's a way." If you go into a thing telling yourself you can do it, you set yourself up for success. There is always the chance that you won't succeed, but at least you don't defeat yourself before you ever get started.

Which is why this is so appropos for me right now. I did a 2 hour run on Saturday. Alone. In the wind. And the cold. I had to climb over a tree that had fallen across the trail. Later in the run, when I was already tired and felt beat to death by the wind and cold and my own dehydration, I was chased by a dog and almost tripped on some (rusty) barbed wire. It was the hardest run I've done in a long time. I wasn't fast. In fact, I was downright slow, even for pokey old me. I just felt beat to death.

On Sunday, I met a group of folks for a bike ride. It was 25 degrees at my house when I started out. I felt good starting out, but as the ride progressed, my legs got tired. I had no oomph left in them. I began to despair and I started to wonder why in the world I ever signed up for another Ironman. What in the world made me think I could do something so monumental. Who did I think I was kidding? Even as these thoughts entered my head, I knew if I didn't stop them, I would never succeed.

Fortunately, my coach called me shortly after these thoughts began. I shared them with her and she confirmed that we all have these thoughts, but that it was still early in the game and I still had time to be successful at IMC. It was some much needed encouragement.

None of us is immune to thoughts of self-doubt. I think what we need to focus on, or at least what I need to do, is to remember that they are just thoughts and that they will pass. As long as I continue with my training, as outlined by my coach, I'm confident that I will get better at both my cycling and my running and I will succeed. And for me, success, at least in this case, is merely crossing the finish line at IMC before midnight.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

New Blogger in Town

Check her out. We have a new blogger back-of-the-pack. She's a terrific gal and I enjoy running and conversing with her very much. I think she is going to be a wonderful addition to the blogging community.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Guilty Normalcy

***C A U T I O N***
The photos in this post may be disturbing. Furthermore, clicking on the photos will bring up a huge file. Do so only at your own peril.


Life is returning to normal. Not really, but I try to pretend it is. I get up. I eat. I put in my least as best I can. I go to bed. But the task in front of my siblings and I is daunting, to say the least.

Mother left a will. It was understood by all the siblings (one boy, three girls), that the middle sister was the executor. Except the only will we have found is 15 years old and named her long deceased sister as the executor with the baby sister as the back up. Oh, Lordy! While Mom named some items, specifically, that were to be left to certain individuals, it by no means covers all of her assets. All she says is that the rest of her estate, such as it is, should be divided equally, whatever that means, between her living children (this is another story and one filled with much consternation--I'll leave my family squabblings out of here...for now).

I've already mentioned how my mother was a hoarder. But in the last year or two, it got really bad. I needed her consent to be able to do anything (regarding cleaning up), and as much as I tried, was unable to obtain it. She kept insisting on being allowed to give it a shot herself. However, she had gotten to the point where she didn't even throw out the garbage. What trash she had would rest on counters or on the floor. We found a bag of groceries with eggs that had never been put in the refrigerator.

Here are a couple of "before" pictures of the kitchen. And here is one where you can almost see the floor. My husband is doing what he can to soak the floor prior to scrubbing it. All of us are wearing these tyvek suits and gloves to protect our bodies and clothing from the foulness.

What disturbs me more, though, is that my sisters, at least so far, seem more concerned with cleaning up the mess of her house, than they do with submitting her obituary or even planning her memorial.


We have made much progress since the above post with the clearing out of my mother's home. The carpet, at least the worst parts of it, have been ripped up. Some parts of the sub-flooring will require replacing.

I'll be having a huge garage sale. Wanna come? Mom had this habit (goes with the hoarding) of buying things brand new because she could get a good deal on them, not because she needed them. Or she would have some thought of giving an item to one of her kids and/or grandkids and then it just never happened. My sisters aren't interested in most of the stuff and they aren't interested in setting up the sale, so that will be left to me. They have told me I can keep whatever proceeds I get from it. If it's a lot of money, I'll split it with them as they are entitled to a quarter of the estate, just like I am. And "a lot of money" is a relative term. I will take into account how much time I invested in the project as that is not an inexpensive commodity in itself, especially since I still need to train.

And training. That is something I've almost given up on this week. I was doing okay the week just after my mom passed away, but I'm not doing so good this week. I'm just grateful it's a "rest" week, which means reduced volume if not reduced intensity. Fortunately, it is still early in the season, and I have plenty of time to get back to "normal," whatever that is.

So, just a few more pictures for your amusement (it's a little like watching a train wreck--while it makes you ill, you can't help but watch).

I have one of the 20 yard dumpster that is almost full.
And pictures of inside the house as we box things up and move them around, trying to decide what to do with them.
One of my lovely daughter (isn't she beautiful?) as she is cleaning the bathroom and smiled in spite of not being too thrilled with her mother taking her picture just then.
And then there is a picture of the freezer that was discovered frozen solidly shut. It took 3 days of sitting outside, unplugged, to become unfrozen around the edges. But look at it inside. I think my mother must have been very afraid of "running out" of something or of possibly "going hungry." I don't know what made her think she had to do this. I believe she was a very sick, sick woman and I can only be grateful that she is no longer suffering.