How to be a runner in only 20 easy steps

  1. The night before, set out all your gear.  Your gear makes you feel good.  Gear = street cred, yo.  You ARE a runner. Pictured: headlamp that makes you feel like a cave spelunker, very expensive wireless headphones that you thought would make your life so awesome, but really just make your ears sweat, polar watch that constantly beeps at you to tell you you’re not going QUITE fast enough to make your heart beat where you want it to, and reflective vest so as to not get run over.


2.Get up at some ungodly hour. You know, one where you need reflective gear in order to not fall and break your face.  Look at yourself disapprovingly in the mirror because you seriously look like a dork.


3. Get your shoes on. Realize you’re kinda glad it’s dark, because your pajamas are also ridiculous.  Maybe add normal looking exercise pants to my “To Buy” list.


4. Get your podcast ready to go. Do I want a true crime one? No, because I’m running in the dark and that’s when people get kidnapped. Do I want This American Life? No. They always make me cry. Decide actually to listen to music today, Hamilton is where it’s at.

5. Step outside. Oh my gosh, I think. It is so BEAUTIFUL at 5:00 a.m. Here I am, out here alone, just me and my thoughts, and the open road. Why do I not do this every day?  Seriously? Everyone should do this. I am so smart to do this.

6. Begin by warming up. You have to get your legs ready, you know. I think…oh, a 5 minute warmup walk should take me to the top of that hill at the end of this road.

7. Ok, 6 minute warm up walk, just to get me around the corner. It makes more sense to start at an intersection, and I don’t think STARTING at the top of a hill is a great idea.

8. Allright, here we go. This is what its all about time to start running. Since I’m just a beginner again, I think I’ll run until that house with the little free library in front of it.

9. Actually, it might be more reasonable just to go to that first tree, and then I’ll take my walking break. I don’t want to hurt myself since I’m just starting.

10. Slow down to a walk once you reach the tree. Immediately pretend like you were just stopping to look at something and start running again, because you see “that guy.”  “That guy” is the guy who was just beginning to run 3 years ago, the first (or maybe second time) you were beginning to run. Look at him go now! If I wouldn’t have quit, I could be running like that. Dang, he got so skinny!  How nice for him. Man. I can’t let him see me walking. Pick it up, pick it up.

11. Ok, he’s around the corner. You can walk now.

12. Turn the corner, and immediately get splashed in the face by a sprinkler. Step in a puddle. Yell to yourself, “SERIOUSLY PEOPLE NOBODY NEEDS YOU TO WATER YOUR GRASS ANYMORE ITS PRACTICALLY WINTER AND ITS GONNA DIE ANYWAY AND NOW IM WET AND I HATE WET!”

13. Alright time to run. But, maybe I should wait until I dry off a little? I don’t want to slip. Well, I better run. I’ll stop at the Moore’s this time. Well, once I get past, so if they look out, they’ll see that I’m running and think, “Oh, wow, look how athletic Christy is.”

14. Stop before the Moore’s.  Tell yourself: They’re sleeping anyway. My heart’s at a good rate to stop, I think. Don’t want to overdo it. Plus I’m not exactly breathing right now.

15. Allright, walk a little bit. Oh my gosh. That house has SO many cupboards. What do they have that they need so many cupboards? I wonder if its illegal to glance into people’s houses as I run by. I’m really just looking at the cabinets. Well, and maybe to see if it’s messy. And I don’t look in houses of people I know. People should shut their blinds.

16. Christy. Time to run. You’ve got this. 10 seconds in, you eat a bug. How do I manage to eat a bug EVERY TIME? Spit all over the sidewalk. See someone walk by and pretending you’re coughing. Get going.

17. Run

18. This is really not my sport. I am mentally weak.

18. I probably should be doing yoga. Wait. That probably won’t work either.

19. Ok, I’m walking. You know what? Walking is better than not being out here at all!  It’s better than if I were asleep! I AM PROUD TO BE WALKING. WALKING WITH PRIDE OVER HERE. WATCH ME WALK WITH MY HEAD HELD HIGH.

20. Man, I am an awesome runner. Mission Accomplished.


Right from Wrong


This weekend, I was at a children’s museum, watching my kids play, and I overheard a conversation by a couple sitting next to me. The lady was telling her husband about a 17-year-old (I think in her family?) that had died in a car accident, a roll over.

I heard her say, “I mean, how stupid can you be? Slow down!  It’s that easy. All these ridiculously stupid young kids, just wasting their lives because they don’t give a crap about anything. Do you think he thought about his mom when he was going 90 miles an hour down a country road? Honestly, it’s clear that his parents never taught him right from wrong.”

I just…you guys. I really cannot believe people think this way. I really cannot believe that people think a mistake a child makes is always a direct result of the parenting they received. That when a mom or dad looks away for a minute and something bad happens, that it was ALL THEIR FAULT.

Should that kid have been driving 90 miles per hour?

Duh.  Of course not. I mean, hello.

But we have this habit of jumping straight to the conclusion mistake makers are BAD people. We think, “Oh, my kids would NEVER do that.” We write horrible comments on the internet, “Where were the parents? Doesn’t anyone know how to parent anymore?”

I think if you asked my loved ones about me, they would tell you that I am SO careful. That I’m TOO careful. Maybe even that I am obsessed with doing the “right thing.” I’ve seen tragedy and loss, and so I over compensate for that. When I was in high school, my friends had me sit on my hands so they could teach me to swear, otherwise I’d cover my mouth and laugh after I said the word.

I didn’t drink (I still don’t). I think I puffed one or two cherry swisher sweets in a parking lot in high school. I’ve always done everything in the right order-work hard, put in the effort, good things will come.

I have a wonderful mother who loved me, parents who gave me a curfew and were very strict. I worked 2 jobs through high school and got straight As and got scholarships and admission into a Big 10 university.

And…guess what?

I’ve been in a car that was going 100 miles per hour. More than once.

When I think about it, when I close my eyes and picture that happening, dread completely takes over me. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have done something so absolutely risky?

100 miles per hour, in a convertible, down a very bumpy and twisty country road AT NIGHT. I could have been this kid. I could be the dead one, but I’m not. I’m here because most of the time we (luckily) live through our mistakes. I had a crush on a boy and I let him drive me home going 100 miles per hour, even though I was terrified out of my mind. And I can tell you that no amount of “good parenting” would have stopped me from doing that. I was young, I was not thinking, and I didn’t see a way out. I certainly wasn’t thinking, “Oh, Christy, if you crash, think of how sad your mom will be.”

I’m certainly not saying that we don’t need to learn to be good parents, or talk with our kids about risks. That matters. Of course it does.

But if someone like me, someone who ALWAYS followed the rules, can get herself into a situation like that, I just figure-anyone can. We are HUMAN. We make mistakes. Some little, some big. It’s how we learn. I’m ready to stop blaming and stop judging. When something terrible happens, we are sad. We comfort who needs it. We love each other and learn from each other and we stick together, because what other choice do we have?

And, also, I’m pretty sure I should just stop reading internet article comments forever and ever. That might help, too. xo





Do’s and Don’ts of Adulthood


In this life, there are things that I KNOW I’m supposed to do.  For example:

*Learn from the past


*Call your mom

*Dance like no one’s watching


and things you’re NOT supposed to do:

*Hold grudges

*Worry about the future

*Eat too much cheese

*Cross your eyes (because if someone slaps you on the back, they’ll stay that way!)


I know these things rationally, and yet I mostly don’t listen to them (I mean, I dance a lot, but I could certainly call my mom more and cross my eyes less). Recently, I’ve had a dance with that good ‘ol “Ohmygosh I can’t believe I did that and I really think I’m a terrible human being who doesn’t deserve anything good.”

As I grow older, as I experience more, as I navigate through life, I am just SO ashamed of the way I’ve acted in the past. It’s funny because I can forgive people, but I have the worst time forgiving myself. I over-analyze myself on a daily basis. Things I said, things I did, when I laughed when I shouldn’t have, when I snapped at someone who didn’t deserve it, when I ate something I shouldn’t have and broke my diet.

I’ve tried to figure out why I do this. My first guess is because when I was little I was told my one of my parents that everything I did was wrong. I was constantly crouched down, ready for the attack. That “fight-or-flight” feeling has stayed with me all these years later, even though I don’t have to feel afraid like that anymore.

Now, though, I need to figure out how to forgive myself!  I have this list of things, I could list it here right now, that I cringe about whenever I think of them (Quitting a job in a bad way, dating the wrong guy, losing friendships, not trying hard enough with certain relationships, that time in 4th grade I permed JUST my bangs). For most things, I think I’ve made amends, but sometimes I haven’t gotten the chance. I’m the person that seeks redemption. I like “closure” (I”m not sure that’s really a thing, but I do like to have at least some sort of finality). I need to have a chance to explain what happened. For example, when I was REALLY in the depths of grieving the twins, I started randomly unfriending EVERYONE who was pregnant or who had a baby the age(ish) of the twins, or had twins, or was a twin, or said the word twin…you get the picture. I just went crazy, deleting them all from my social media. Of course, I regret that now, because some of them were my actual friends and I just hated them for their fertility, and it’s embarrassing to try to “re-friend” them and have to admit it was just my jealousy.

A coworker of mine who was a good friend randomly ghosted me about 5 years ago. Unfriended me from Facebook, took my number out of her phone, and if I ran into her anywhere, was cold AS ICE. I, to this day, have no idea what I did or what I said.  I actually don’t have any mutual friends as she does, so I know I couldn’t have said something mean about her (I actually know I’ve never said anything mean about her in my life), I just…I don’t know. Anyway, it STILL BUGS ME. Could I have handled it differently? Could I have done something better?

This is where I say, “Uh, Christy? You are not the person who needs to make amends here. It’s her! She tossed you aside without a second glance and never explained anything to you!” And, still, who can’t I forgive? Myself.

Peace is something I’m really trying hard to achieve. Stress-free living, if you will. Forgiving myself. Trying not to dwell in the past (I mean, it really is time to let go of the awkward speech I gave in 6th grade running for student council and pointing at my class every 30 seconds saying “Let ME help YOU!” Shudder.

What do you do to forgive yourself? Do you believe in regrets?