The World Through My Shoes is my look at living this incredible gift God has given us. As a busy wife, mother and daughter I relish the alone time I receive on my early morning runs. It is in the stillness of those predawn mornings where I often am inspired. Thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


The envelope was beautiful and it was addressed to me.  I glance at the return address and it does not register with me.  Leaving the mailbox, I walk back towards the house while balancing my bag, purse and the day's mail.  To complicate things I grab the two bags of groceries out of my car and then precariously open the back door.

I set everything down on the counters and gladly take the hugs my sons give me.  The focus now is turned to the putting away of groceries, the making of dinner and homework.  The beautiful envelope lay on the corner of the counter, seemingly forgotten amongst all the whirling activity around it.

Not until after the dinner dishes are cleaned and tomorrow's lunches are packed, do I get a quiet moment to open the envelope.  I break the seal and find a card just as beautiful as the envelope it came in.  This is stationery.  What is this about?

I open the card to find every square inch covered in handwritten words.  It is a card written to me; thanking me.  Tracy is a wife and a mother of two active boys.  As the boys grow, motherly duties happily took over and her personal time was put on hold. 

Until the day she became inspired.

Tracy is now taking back her fitness and working hard toward the goals she has set for herself this year, which include participating in a very tough obstacle course race as well as run her first marathon.  Her handwritten note thanked me for writing my blog and giving her the inspiration to try.  This is where the tears clouded my vision and it becomes difficult to continue reading.

The last few weeks I have read Tracy's note several times as I am still in wonder over such incredibly kind words.  When I laced up my $10 sneakers in 2003 and ran around the block for the first time since high school, I never dreamed that I would be an inspiration to anybody.  My vision of myself has always been simply a wife and mom who runs just to feel good about herself.  And then one day you get a handwritten note telling you that is enough to inspire someone else.

My wish for all of you to take away from this post is this - be who you are and live with passion in your life.  Others are watching and maybe one day someone will tell you your actions have inspired them.  And through teary eyes, you thank God as you realize it is they, who have in turn, inspired you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grey Flannel

Grey Flannel.  The early morning darkness didn't conceal what I could not see.  The sky looked like a large, solid sheet of grey flannel.  Rain so fine it fell as a mist; tree tops outlined as though one was peering through a whisper thin fog.  Taking one last sip from my water bottle, I set it on the concrete bench nestled in the corner of the patio.  I hit the start button on my Garmin.

As I am recovering from a sprained ankle, I take it easy and start with a brisk walk.  Leaving the cul-de-sac, I make my way onto one of only two roads into our neighborhood.  The morning is quiet.  I hear a raccoon scamper up a large pine tree, in which it conceals the visitor with it's massive branches.  I begin to run for a distance.  My ankle feels good.

A neighbor passes me on their way to work.  Although in the darkness I can not see him, I know he is smiling and waving as he drives by so I do the same; his headlights lighting up my refelctive jacket making me stick out in stark contrast to my surroundings. 

I walk for a short distance before continuing my run allowing my ankle to warm up.  The misty rain is thicker now as I run along the roadside.  There is a spot on my foot that is making me very aware of its presence.  For three weeks I convinced myself it was sore from the sprain, but now I am looking at the reality it could be more.

I struggle with calling the orthopedic doctor.

Nearing the turn around I slow again to a walk.  Nature is quiet and I try to get my head to be the same.  Too many thoughts, too many questions, too much nagging going on in my foot.  I turn it over to God.

The road that takes me home is colored black from the rain.  The neighborhood begins to waken; kitchen lights glow lending proof the day is beginning for some.    My run ends and I stop my watch.  I stand for a moment on the back patio, listening to the quiet, and feeling the rain.  The misty rain feels soft against my skin, just like the softness of a grey flannel sheet.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rest In Peace Mad Woman

The Mad Woman is dead; may she rest in peace and never come back to haunt me. 

I, with unabandoned excitment, went for a run this morning!  Actually, it was more of a walk/run/walk/run and it felt great.  The alarm rang and in an instant I was out of the bed and putting on my running clothes.  Within minutes, I was out the door and testing the strength in my ankle.

Thus, the Mad Woman had to die.  With each gentle step I took, I was digging her grave deeper and deeper.  With the ability of being able to run returning, I am no longer feeling like a mad woman with pent up energy wanting to pull out my hair.

Running helps me sleep better. 
Running helps me feel better. 
Running gives me energy. 
Running keeps me sane. 

This is why I have missed it so.  My sanity comes in the form of shoe laces being tied at 5 a.m.  This morning my walk/run took place in the rain, but I didn't care.  I was out there and I was running.

Now to work on that Ankle Dictator.  I am hoping to carve his name next; underneath that of the Mad Woman's.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Diary of Mad Woman : Part 3 ~ Bald With Flippers

I'm bald; as in baby-butt-smooth bald.  I should be anyway.  Actually, it's a miracle I'm not.  Running has been my stress reliever since I started it in 2004. Entering into day 16 of no running, it's remarkable and noteworthy that I have not yet pulled out all my hair.

Someone buy me a stocking cap just in case.

My husband and I will be spending the weekend in Seattle.  His work is throwing a company-wide party celebrating their Centennial year in business.  Normally one to love a good hob-knobbing, this one struck a chord of anxiety within me.  How in the world does one wear party attire and not wear heels?  The Ankle Dictator smirks at me.

The human population calls the appendages at the bottom of their legs "feet".  I, on the other hand, call mine flippers.  God blessed me with a very wide foot which is an incredible advantage when it comes to scuba diving.  I don't scuba dive.  

The high heeled shoes I do find are relatively comfortable on my flippers; however, throw in a sprained ankle and no designer creates shoes that wide.  My running shoes (which I'm fortunate enough to be able to wear to my job while being injured) will somehow not cut it with party attire.

Such are my life contemplations this week while being injured.  Normally I'd run to solve this world-coming-to-an-end problem,  but we all know that's as possible as me getting my swollen left flipper into a high heeled shoe.  Enter in the pulling out of my hair.

If you are at The Westin in downtown Seattle on Saturday night look for me.  I'll be the woman in party attire, wearing a stocking cap and running shoes. 

And I'll look hot.