Today was harder. To say I had a rough day would be a lie. I had a fine day, boysies were good and we got in lots of snuggling and kisses and hugs and loves, etc etc. But I had a rough self image day. I was mad at myself for not going running and frustrated with the fact that I never complete goals for myself. What a joke I am making myself. This evening it accumulated and boysies were upset because it's humid and hot which lead to me attempting to get Deo to bed and failing. That was the cherry. Typically I can manage to settle Deo down in the evenings, but I think between him knowing his brothers weren't in bed and my obvious self doubt, he was upset and uncomfortable and probably hot and sticky. I'll go ahead and be honest, after Enzo came upstairs to help me with Deo? I went into my room, closed the shutters, curled into a ball on my bed and cried. It was a mixture of frustrations. Not being at home here in Italy, not having my own space, not being able to help Deo get to sleep, not feeling connected to friends from around the world, not feeling at home where I grew up, not having run in the morning - I was just full to the brim of reasons I was a complete failure and why I might as well just melt into the sheets.
I didn't. I stop crying for just a moment and looked around at the room in the dark. I never close my shutters. The room is different in the dark, unfriendly. Hollow. Empty. With the light from even the small window, it is alive. I am alive. And that's when it hit me, I'm an idiot. I can sit here and feel sorry for my stupid self or I can get up and go outside and run in the fading sunlight. I chose a run, light, life.
Maybe you don't know much about who I used to be, and I won't bore you with the tale, but that decisive moment is pretty damn impressive for me. I didn't even hesitate. I realized what a small minded fool I was being and immediately changed it. I could do something about the way I felt so I did. Self pity is overated. And only bugs lie in the dark.
Now, on the first part of my run I was still spouting anger, hostility, and self pity. And then... well, first I should explain my route. First we have the drive. There is a small amount of flat or slight incline, maybe a quarter mile. Then you have the rest of the drive which is maybe an 85 degree angle? For about 100 yards? It's fantastical, I swear ((by the way, the flat of the drive is also only about 100 yards - I had a misthought)). From there I run past the bar and horse boy's land, the church, and the sheep. It's flatish with only a couple small dips and ups for probably 2 miles. Probably a little less. I go past the pretty dog and the cute house with the dead cactus and the chickens Otto eats, then I descend for a little over 100 yards past the beautiful house and then right back up for another hundred yards to where the pavement ends. This is where I kind of lose track of how far the distance is. It's a beautiful road out on the ridge where you can see miles and miles of Tuscany. It is just breath taking. By far the most beautiful part of the run. This is where I let it all go. All the bad I had been feeling just melted with the sun. I took deep breaths and just let go and pounded myself into the dust. This was also the point I realized something about myself. That mile of my run is the most beautiful and calming and unbelievable part, but it's not the part I long for. Not the piece I get the most joy or reward from. From there I descend probably another mile ((once the pavement ends, my approximations are really just that, I have no idea how far it is really)). Then I turn left and follow the flat of the valley for maybe 3 miles? Then I reach the hill. It's about a mile up. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but it's insane. Then I have to continue on home for maybe another 1/2 mile. The top of the hill makes me smile, which probably means I'm clinically insane. But for me, the best part of the run is not the last quarter mile when I am sprinting in, despite sweat and pain and aches and exhaustion. The best part for me is when I get through the gate into our parking drive and know I did it. I ran that whole 7ish miles on Tuscan hills without stopping or water breaks or anyone cheering me on or cool weather - I did it. I accomplished exactly what I set out to do and I didn't hesitate or doubt. I did it. That's the real challenge, the real success.
I am reminded this evening how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who love and support me. By Eliza and Enzo, who love me as a friend and a daughter. By Eda who adores me even if she'll never admit it. By boysies who give me unconditional love and adoration, what more could a woman want? By my wonderful parents who love and support me even if they don't understand me. My grandparents who only ever believe in me. My aunts and uncles who think I'm crazy. My cousins who know I am. Kendall, KGeiger, Samijo, KPLegend, Maddy, Topher, Wesley, Yustin, Seanathan, Maryanne, Jo, Katiebelle, Kimberry, Jennifer, Margret, Deanne, Carol, ZP, Zach, Justin, CB, Jaders, Aaron, Jak, Becca, Cristian, RR, Jesus, Will, and everyone else who tell me to go for it, no matter what. Oh and BWat and JFray and Alayna and Maggie and Coco and Nik and Frank and AaronAaron and, oh gracious just everyone! I am honestly the luckiest lady there is.
With exhaustion and love.