Tom Petty

Phil says if you didn’t know me and scrolled through my playlist on iTunes, you would swear it belonged to a serial killer. I have everything from Metallica to MercyMe. You won’t find any southern gospel or blue grass, but anything else is in there.  (I’m loving JOHNNYSWIM these days.)

Tom Petty is at the top of my play list.  One of his songs is called “Change of Heart.” You push just a little too far,  You make it just a little too hard, There’s been a change of heart.  I feel you, Tom. I’m feeling the same way these days.

Everyday I am reminded how much most people do not like change. In my job, change is constant. New technology comes out daily, I’m always looking for the best products to make my students as successful as possible and keep us moving forward. If you ever fall behind in technology it takes a long, long time and a lot of money to catch back up.

Another change that is staring me in the face  these days is time. I’m close to celebrating a milestone (or is it millstone) birthday. And I’ll just tell you, I’m not dealing with it well. I have never cared about my age… until now. I have never understood why some people get so worked up about that number…until now. I always wondered why my mother cried all day on her 40th birthday…until now.

My 40s have been great. There have been some lows, like my dad and mother in law passing away. But Phil and I have been healthy, we still laugh with and at each other and enjoy each other’s company, most of the time.  I started running in my 40s and feel better than I did in my 30s. But 50? Wth? How did I get here?

I decided a few weeks ago I needed to change up my running.  I read all these blogs, follow all these people on Instagram and they are running 100 miles a day, lifting 1000 pounds, doing crazy yoga poses and 30 minute planks…and here in Arkansas, I’m shuffling down my gravel road and throwing my 20 pound kettlebell through the wall.  It didn’t click with me that these people are 1/2 my age.

I have goals, and I have big plans for myself. Every time I start working toward them, I tend to go overboard. When I start mapping out my strategies, I plan like I’m 30. My body will go along with that for about 2 weeks, then it’s like “Girl, what are you thinking? You aren’t 30 anymore.” Then things literally start breaking down.

I have been increasing my weekly mileage. To do this, I have started running a different route. Instead of my out and backs to Dan and Beth’s, I have been running to town or the farm just to change things up. There are some pretty steep hills along the way. This is the same route I was taking  when I developed shin splints. One thing  Dr. Marlin told me was running down hill was harder on you than running uphill. I forgot that until last week when the shin splint showed back up.

I came home thoroughly disgusted with myself. I had to limp home. I told Phil, I was done. No more running, I wasn’t made to run, I was wasting my time. His reply, “Well, ok, if that’s what you want to do. Seems kind of sad to have come this far and quit. Maybe you should do things in moderation. What does it matter how fast you go or many miles you run if you aren’t enjoying it?”  He’s pretty smart sometimes.

Instead of taking the hilliest route 4 times a week, I’m going to shoot for twice. The other 2-3 runs will be the less hilly route. If that doesn’t work, I’ll take my shoes to town, and run the track at school after work.  Fuuny thing though, since we had that conversation, I have had my fastest runs all year. I’m more relaxed and just running for the sheer joy of it.

Change is going to come. We can either embrace it, learn from it, and continue to grow or dig our heels in stay where we are or fall behind. I’m going to keep moving forward, accept being 30 20, and turn up Tom Petty.

Run happy.

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