First off, I know it has been a while since I last posted.
Second, this post has no images. (Shame on me.)
Third, it’s kind of a stream of consciousness that has not much to do with running, fashion, hiking, or physical activity in general. Nope.
It’s 11:55pm on a Thursday night. I can’t sleep. I actually haven’t been able to sleep well for the last few weeks. I’ve been freelance writing and waiting tables to support myself since the end of July and have found that on the nights that I work a dinner shift, I’m often too wired to go to bed at a normal time. Unfortunately, this has also spilled over into other days of the week. So… here I am. Awake at a time when, in my past life, I’d have normally been asleep for 2-3 hours by now.
Girls on the Run
I volunteered to coach Girls on the Run for the first time this fall. I’ve known many women to coach back home, in New Hampshire, and always thought the program seemed great. While kids have it easy in so many ways (information at their fingertips, digital everything), I also think they have it so hard. Growing up in the age of social media, third graders with cell phones… eeeeeek.
My school just completed week 3 of 10. The girls, grades 3-5, are getting a little less wild, a little less likely to push the boundaries now that they know we (the coaches) aren’t going to put up with their shit.
C’mon, ladies… every single practice, one of you claims to have asthma (I’ve checked her paperwork, she doesn’t), then everyone starts complaining about asthma (no one has asthma) and everyone’s sitting on the benches instead of walking or running laps. Get up off the bench and get moving. Walk if you have to. But you’re never going to survive the end-of-season 5K if you keep stopping like this. There won’t be benches to sit on at the 5K. Just walk!
See… I don’t spend a lot of time around kiddos. I’m an only child. By age 10 I moved away from younger cousins. I didn’t babysit much. I don’t really know how to interact with kids, so I interact with them like they’re adults. I think they deserve that… too many adults baby-talk and coddle kids, and I just don’t think that’s necessary.
But as we get deeper into the program, I’m realizing I’m woefully unprepared to handle the things I wasn’t expecting – absentee parents, attention span issues, serious confidence issues. The program is supposed to help with that last thing, but sometimes these girls show up unwilling to listen or participate. I keep asking them to let go of whatever’s bugging them and enjoy the hour and a half they have to be free and have fun.
I don’t know how much of it is real and how much of it is just attention-seeking behavior, but watching a scowling girl be unwilling to participate, and then seeing her crack a smile for the first time when her mom drives up and their sweet doggo is hanging out of the backseat window… I don’t know how to help other than to keep showing up.
I’m committed to this season, but I don’t know if I’m going to keep showing up after this. It has become mentally and emotionally draining.
Have I ever mentioned that I’m an empath? Probably not. It’s not something that usually comes up in a blog about races, tutu tutorials, and hiking.
As an empath, I tend to soak in the emotions of those around me. It’s not intentional. It’s just something I do. I try to shed it as soon as I can, but sometimes, like tonight, it’s hard to do.
Since the end of July I have relied on waiting tables and freelance writing to support myself. This is the first time in the 12 years, since graduating from college, that I haven’t had a full-time job with benefits.
this. is. not. fun.
I am not cut out to be a hustler. I can hustle, as in moving quickly and with purpose. But hustling, juggling multiple and often competing responsibilities that are meant to provide me with income to pay my bills… I’m not a fan. I’m basically running a small business, but I have zero desire to be a business owner. I make a much better employee. In exchange for a set schedule, salary, and other benefits, I am more than happy to show up and do the work.
Job hunting in Colorado has been difficult. I realized this week that I have now applied for over 100 jobs in six months. I’ve had two interviews. Those are some pretty crummy odds. One of those interviews progressed to providing references, but it wasn’t in the industry I moved here to join, so I panicked and backed out. Respectfully, of course.
As I gained distance from the interview, which was an excellent experience, I realized I wasn’t ready to give up on my dream of being a marketing coordinator/copywriter in the outdoor recreation industry. I really want to work for a neat apparel, footwear, or gear brand. I personally got and continue to get so much from having an active, outdoor lifestyle. I want to influence others like me to take the first step and have a similar experience. I want to influence people who are already out there to elevate their experience with the right gear. And, in exchange, I want full-time salary, benefits, and a normal schedule so that I have time to go play outside again. I haven’t had much time for that lately, and it makes me incredibly sad. I didn’t move here to work and sleep (or NOT sleep).
Also, I’ll take a brief moment to dig into the healthcare marketplace here in Colorado. It’s EXPENSIVE. I barely make enough to scrape by… I have to borrow from savings to pay my bills. It blows my mind that I only qualify for a $138 subsidy… and when I start a second part-time job at a retail store (yup… waiting tables, sales associate, AND writing) I will no longer quality for that subsidy because I’ll be “making too much money.”
Speaking of playing outside… since moving to Colorado I feel like I’ve covered a lot of ground. I went camping twice – first at Colorado National Monument, second at Great Sand Dunes National Park (see featured image at the top of this post for a gorgeous sunset at the Dunes). I have a tent, but I realized that the back of my car has plenty of room if I fold the seats down, so all I need is something comfy to sleep on.
I stopped running for a bit so I could acclimate to the elevation and then made it half way through the C25K program before I said, “Fuck this!” and started running my old 3:1 intervals again. I’m registered for the Hot Chocolate 5K in Denver in a little over a week. I haven’t been running much because my body constantly aches from working in a restaurant, but I’ll be there on race morning anyway.
I bought a mountain bike! I mostly ride it on the paved trails near my house… which are LOVELY, btw. There are some rail trails back home, but they’re nothing compared to the trails in the Denver area. I’ve also been biking on a few unpaved trails in Boulder, and I’m looking forward to exploring the MTB park they have. I’m kind of hoping it’s a slightly less wild, more controlled environment where I can get a bit more comfortable with my bike.
So… that’s all. Four and a half months condensed into 1,300 words in the middle of the night.
And I’m still not tired…