Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Lighten Up

Wow! Time flies. I feel like this week zoomed on by and now I’m facing deadlines for DPT school and there is absolutely no time to waste. In light of how stressful the holidays (and school deadlines!) can be, let us take a moment to Lighten Up.

Exhibit A:

Gobble, gobble!

That is me, dressed in my turkey costume for the 1st annual lululemon athletica 5K Turkey Trot. I may not look much like a turkey, but my costume was made with love, feathers and ridiculous amount of silliness. As “race director” (man, oh man do I use that term loosely!), I could have shown up in my chic luluelmon attire and raced with my fellow trotters around Central Park without having people stare at me, wondering what the tall girl in the feathers was doing in a cardboard box ringing a cowbell. That would have been fine.

I went the other way because it’s a Turkey Trot! Lighten Up! Have some fun, don’t race for time, let the box slow you down and stop when people ask why you’re dressed that way to tell them that, yes, a grown woman is still free to dress like a turkey when she feels the spirit move her. Lighten Up. It’s not all serious.

Exhibit B:

An amazing view from behind. Feathers!

There are soooooo many very serious things in life that we really cannot make light of. Trust me, I am experiencing some of them right now. Some situations are just so crappy and hard and unfair that you want to scream and cry throw a tantrum all at the same time. And sometimes I do just that. (sorry, JB)

But the other stuff, the stuff that really isn’t that deep, that’s where we need to Lighten Up. Do a Jingle Bell Run for fun and wear bells on your shoes. Dress as Santa for the Santa Claus Shuffle. Rent an Elvis suit for the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon/Half-Marathon in Vegas this weekend. Wear a funny hat and sunglasses with the year “2012” on them for the Midnight Run. Lighten Up.

Last week, before our trip to Florida, I had to check in with Dr. Boz. He decided he didn’t like what was going on and blah, blah, blah, ordered newer, stronger meds for me and pumped me full of IV drugs to help me feel better.

What's this brown stuff going into my arm?

In between giving me the rundown on  my not-so-awesome-but-they’re-going-to-get-the-job-done drugs, we actually spent the majority of the time during my appointment swapping holiday Outlaw stories and chatting about how a good kitchen set-up makes it so much easier to cook Thanksgiving dinner. See? Lighten Up. Yes, moon face is probably on the horizon for me as we taper the ‘roids, but it’s not the end of the world! There are drugs on the way to helping me kick this flare-up and start off the New Year on a good health note! So, Lighten Up!

Lighten up! Take a funny picture and send it to your husband to make him laugh at work while you tell him all about your doctor’s visit. (See above)

Lighten Up! Run for fun instead of for time.

Lighten Up! Have a sense of humor about yourself.

Lighten Up! Don’t try so hard to tell everyone how sainted you are.

Lighten Up! Let that less-than-flattering picture on Facebook stay up as a testament to how much fun you have and how confident you are.

Lighten Up! Fall over in yoga class (or in the privacy of your own home gym) and laugh.

Lighten Up! Quit criticizing everyone else’s everything.

Lighten Up! Life is hard for you to be wound so tightly all the time.

I can be an uptight ninny sometimes, so I love the moments in life that remind me to Lighten Up. Like the Turkey Trot or my doctor and I comparing Thanksgiving cooking styles as he drugs me up. I love the people in my world who remind me to Lighten Up. Those moments when I truly Lighten Up make being here much better than being there. And that’s what BTATs are all about.

Lighten Up, friends.

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: The Do-Over

Happy BTAT, everyone!

I don’t golf. I have tried. I hate it (sorry golf-lovers, it’s just not for me). My people are not a golfing people. Anyway, there is only one thing I love about golfing: the Mulligan. There are conflicting reports of where this time-honored tradition came from, but the long of the short of it is that a Mulligan is a Do-Over.

I’m a big fan of the Do-Over.

I love the idea that I can change my mind. And I do. Often. I mean, hellooooo? I am back in school in my thirties so that I can earn a degree in physical therapy and I am a good ten years plus older than everyone else in the room. Little late to the game? Sure. Better late than never, though. Big-time Do-Over.

I love having the freedom to try, screw up and try again. There was a great article in the New York Times recently that highlighted one principle’s theory that children need to learn that failure is ok and that it teaches them strength of character, a trait often missing in children and adults who have never ever failed. I can’t say that I love the feeling of failing, but when I try again and succeed, that success is so much more celebrated.

I love that forgiveness is in abundance in my life. I forget things, especially now that I have school brain, and the amazing people in my world are so incredibly forgiving when I completely flake out. Thanks for the endless amounts of Do-Overs, everyone!

I love that if I suck at something, I can always try again. I have the Philly Marathon in 5 weeks and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous. Running during my first serious colitis flare-up in New Jersey last May was such a terrible experience for me that I’m nervous Philly will be more of the same. I thought Jersey would be my PR and it was anything but. I guess the only way to wipe the slate clean is to attempt a Do-Over. Thankfully, Dr. Boz and I have a plan in place and new drugs doing there thing well in advance so that this attempt to PR Do-Over will be a successful one. If not, there’s always next spring. But isn’t it great that one crappy (haha! great pun) race doesn’t define my entire running career? Love it!

Whenever I think of Do-Overs, I think of City Slickers when Mitch (Billy Crystal) and Ed (Bruno Kirby, oh RIP) console Phil (Daniel Stern) by telling him that, although he married a monster and slept with the check-out girl at his father-in-law’s store, he can still have a Do-Over, just like when they were kids. Awwww. He just has to do it for himself. I love that. I couldn’t find that scene, but here’s another gem (PS. Did you know that’s the very hot Jake Gyllenhaal playing Billy Crystal’s son?!):

Anyway, life kind of is just one big Do-Over, if you think about it. We are constantly changing, or wanting to change, who we are, what we look like, how people see us. If you want to redefine yourself, your life DO IT. Don’t wait. Don’t care what people will say. Go with your gut.

And that’s why life is so much better than the alternative, because of the Do-Over. Hooray for a fresh start.

Now go out and run!

Have you had a life Do-Over? Where did it take you?