Running Is The Mostest

In college I wrote a paper about how living in the suburbs made you fat.  In the study it stated that people in the suburbs weren't fat because they didn't exercise.  In fact they exercised the same amount at those located elsewhere.  The problem was that it was the only exercise they were getting.  People living in the city were able to access their day to day errands by foot.  They didn't have to get in the car to go a mile down the road to the shopping center.
People in suburbs usually don't choose to drive to be lazy however.  They have to because most of these "neighborhoods" are only able to access stores via a major road that isn't very pedestrian friendly. This caused an increase in motor vehicle/bike/walker accidents involving those who tried to access said shopping centers without cars.
Here in lies my problem.  There are occasional areas where they have put in side walks and crosswalks.  Even if I felt like the drivers were able to drive and look out for pedestrians, which I don't,  it is to dang hot to walk anywhere, especially with children.  So, I am forced to actually exercise.
I don't like it.  I prefer to work to get exercise.  I would rather be outside hauling dirt then inside doing p90x.  Put me in front of an exercise video and I will tell you every government secret I know.  I hate, hate, hate counting reps, learning different "moves", or having to go do something so specific that it serves no other purpose in my day.  I'm a multi tasker.  Exercising just to exercise?  gross.
I have one exception of course.  Running.  Some days I hate it.  I hate that I have to get up early and the guilt I feel if I don't run as far or as fast as last time.  So I guess I am multi tasking.  I am running and having a therapy session.
If I had a house it wouldn't be as bad.  There would be plenty of yard/house work to do.  I would love every minute of it.  I genuinely love to work.  Exercising not so much.
So...running is the most I will do.


Sometimes You Just Gotta Yell And Scream!!

When I was little we used to listen to an album called The Safety Kids.  The basically taught kids safety tips through songs sung by club of kids teaching each other said rules.  We listened to it all the time!

It taught kids how to trust their gut, how to get help and knowing your personal information like address and phone number.
Sadly creeps have gotten creepier.  Some stuff should probably be added.  My family still sings my favorite track which is Sometimes You Just Gotta Yell And Scream!!  It's a classic.  end of part 4.

We spend so much time telling kids to be polite and respectful.  We often forget to tell them it's better to be safe then polite and they can walk away from ANYONE if they feel uncomfortable.

Also, strangers aren't always creepy.  Most of the people who do things inappropriate to your child  is someone they know and aren't initially suspicious of.  You have a cousin who only wants to play with the kids and not really hang out with adults?  keep and eye on them.  A teacher who thinks your child is very gifted and offers special attention or help?  Ask what they would recommended and do it yourself.  An adult giving your child random gifts?  Not cool.
Kids need to know that ANYONE could hurt them.  Not to say EVERYONE will hurt them but they need to know were the lines are and that if someone comes near enough that they feel "weird" inside they should leave and tell a trusted adult IMMEDIATELY.  It doesn't matter if the person is a friend or not.  Creeps play on children's compassion.  They ask them to please not tell because they could get in trouble and they thought they were friends. Make sure your child knows that a friend that asks them to keep a secret  from their parents is NOT a real friend.

Also a tip I found that had never occurred to me before was to teach your kids the correct name for their genitals.  This is because creeps aren't going to talk to you kid about their vagina or penis.  It ups the suspicious factor  and they don't want to do that.  That way if your kid starts calling her vagina a cupcake then you know some thing's up.

One Saturday morning when when Isa was little (4 or 5ish) Josh was being amazing and had gotten up this her so I could sleep in I woke up to a conversation that I hoped was a dream.  We were living in a small studio apartment so the living room was about 5 feet from my bed.  Here is what I heard.

Isa: Daddy do you know why this doll is dirty?

Josh: No, why?

Isa:  Because blank put her in my underwear.

The silence felt like it lasted forever.  I lay frozen in my bed unable to move.   Josh, played it cool like a pro.  One of the most important things to do if you child comes to you with something is to NOT FREAK OUT.  Hard I know, but you need to make sure your child knows they did the right thing by telling you and if you freak out they will know they upset you and are less likely to tell you if it happens again.

Josh:  Really?  That sounds weird.  Why did they do that? Was anyone else there?

By playing it cool he was able to put Isa at ease so she felt comfortable answering all our questions.  Let's be honest, we would all have a million questions to ask our kid if they said that.

After further investigation and consulting her pediatrician we determined that nothing traumatic had happened.  Thank goodness.  I hated thinking not only that someone we knew might have been capable of doing something like that but that I had let it happen.  I felt helpless.  I realized that I couldn't totally protect her and that sucked.  Now I make sure to help her be prepared to handle and hopefully avoid future situations.  Kids need to know not only how to get out of bad situations but how to avoid them.  I would rather have a cautious kid then a dead one.  Educate yourselves so you can educate them.


The Secret Society Of Southern Runners

I am trying to run again.  I started about 2 weeks before we left for NC and was able to run 5 days a week while we were there.  It was beyond therapeutic for me.  Just beautiful.  My go to running album is The Avett Brothers Live Vol 3 which is just darn depressing to run to on pavement surrounded by buildings.  I wasn't able to get the emotional release I was used to running in TX.  It just plan stunk.
The first time I ran in NC I almost cried.  It was almost a giddy cry.  It just felt so good.  It didn't feel like there were weights on my feet or like I was running in quick sand.  My body just knew what to do.

My first run in NC

My parents live on a mountain.  This meant that if I ran down I had to run back up to get home.  I didn't mind.  I even drove down into town to run on my old route once and is was HORRIBLE.  I missed the hills. 
This is the bottom 1/3 of the big hill back up to the house.   When I took this picture I was surprised at how un-steep it seemed compared to how it felt.  I'll just say, it's bigger in person.

This was my all time FAVORITE run while I was home.  It was like a monsoon.  I could barely see and I kept inhaling water, but it was magical.  There is just something about running in a total downpour that unburdens my soul.  I wish I could do it every day.

There is a beautiful trail run around an old manor on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It's actually the retirement home Tom Hanks is in at the beginning and the end of The Green Mile.  Almost endless carriage trails to keep you busy.  Some of those trails are darn challenging.  If you run from the pond to the manor house you are going uphill the whole way.  And then again of you go to the fire tower.  So you can get pretty tired and worn out.

Another thing that I think made a huge difference in my TX vs my NC runs were the people.  I try not to run alone where I am not going to be near other people for safety/paranoia reasons.  In TX pretty much everyone seems to hate being outside.  Well,  maybe it just seems that way because if you run past someone in TX they don't usually look at you.  If they do, it's a glare.
In NC runners are having fun.  When they see another runner coming they light up.  They look at you with a big smile and greet you.  Like they are saying "it's great to see you again!".  Seriously I get less enthusiastic greetings from people I consider friends.
 I tried to pay attention to whether or not the super happy people were runners or if it was just a southern thing.  Overall the people outside were generally happier in NC then TX  but the runners were WAY happier.  Walkers would look up and half smile and nod but the runners look up, smile, wave and say Hi! like we were long lost friends.  Maybe we are.  Maybe there was a special runners preexistence.  Where we all got to run in the cool mountain air to our hearts content.

After getting back to TX and starting up my runs again I just want to cry.  But not a happy giddy cry.  More like a pitiful whimper.  Like my body is saying "No! Please not this again!"  I don't blame it.  I miss the lift of my running buddies too.