Breathtaking fall afternooon run

Lucy and I have taken way too much time off from running these last few weeks, due to my parents coming into town (we went hiking instead) and Jason and I moving into our new home. Plus, it has been nonstop raining for the last I don’t know how many days making it difficult to go anywhere.

Today is the first day I can look out my office window and see Bays Mountain. I hope the sun stays for a little while!

With the blessing of the blue sky, I laced up my running shoes, hoping the path would not be flooded, and we headed to our favorite place, the Kingsport Greenbelt.

I felt myself calm down as we pulled into the parking lot. The stress of work got the best of me the last couple of days. I could feel myself needing to be outdoors and releasing some of that negative energy. Yes, running + being outdoors is the best therapy.

My sweet little Lucy was beyond excited when we arrived in her favorite parking lot. Of course, I could not get my stuff together fast enough for this little squirt. Eager was definitely an understatment. With all the rain, it’s been very hard getting her outside for any kind of exercise.

Our drive to this area of the Greenbelt is much further than where we used to live, but I love this stretch of the path.

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I will definitely have to do some research and see if there is a closer portion of the Greenbelt to where we live now. But until then, I have no problem making the drive.

20141013_123449Although the path was wet in some areas, it was not flooded at all. Last summer around the 4th of July Jason and I walked the path, which was completely under water in some sections.

As we ran our 2.32 miles, we moved to the music of leaves crunching. Lucy was not a fan of the extra noise, but I loved the crunching, as the wind brushed over our faces keeping us cool.

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We stopped mid-way, so I could give Lucy a little rest. Her pace was slowing tremendously and I didn’t want to over heat her since the temperatures were in the high 70s.

I of course didn’t mind the stop . . . it gave me a chance to take pictures of the scenery I was admiring as we ran the path.

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The current of the water was moving at a steady pace today and much higher than usual.

20141013_125508Last year, I spent this time of the year running on a treadmill at the gym. Wow, never again will I run indoors during the fall. The weather is perfect and the colors that surrounded us played a part with calming me down and encouraging me to enjoy every step we took.

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I think Lucy enjoyed the stop too. Every time the wind picked up, leaves of every shape, size and color started spinning to the ground at different speeds, which kept Lucy’s attention for quite some time.

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I hope the weather will allow us to run for the rest of the week. I know better, running has to be a part of my life. Without it I feel lost, without it, working from home becomes too much. I need that outlet to escape from my office for an hour or so.

A little sunshine

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Today started on a rough note . . .

A very frustrating Monday morning . . .

It didn’t improve until Jason called after I sent him numerous texts about what happened.

Im so glad he called on his break instead of sending me a text in return. The sound of his voice did it, that calming tone slowly calmed me down.

After he listened to what happened, he reassured me that everything was going to be okay. He told me to not worry. No matter how upset I may be, his voice and tone always brings me back down to where the stress and frustrations disappear,  well subside.

Once I finished writing an article about a meeting I attended this morning, Lucy and I walked outside. Often times being outdoors gives me the right dose of fresh air that I need to turn my attitude around.

What we saw brightened my day. One of the five sunflowers my neighbor planted was in bloom. Best part was a bee decided to make an appearance in my picture.

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The face of this sunflower instantly made me smile. It’s such a happy looking flower.

Today, after we experienced some tornado warnings in NE Tennessee in the Kingsport area yesterday, the sunflower was soaking up all the sun it could.

When phone calls were finished and interviews were set in stone for the rest of the week, I dressed in my running gear, and headed to the gym.

What happened next still has me smiling. On Friday, Jason and I went hiking and I unfortunately had a good fall, which has left me extremely sore. The bruise seems to grow in size every day, which only leaves the area very tender. With a sore leg, I decided to take a few days off from exercising.

I climbed onto the treadmill, put my earphones on and got in the zone. That zone that clarifies everything.

I ran my fastest 2-mile run, yes I knocked off another 3 seconds. The first mile was hard, but the second mile my leg loosened and it became a little easier.

For such a rough start, my day continued to improve.

My childhood friend called me out of the blue tonight. When her face covered my screen my heart filled with joy. It’s been a really long time since we connected, a really long time since we talked. It was great to hear her voice.

It just goes to show once your attitude and mood changes, the “sun” will shine once again.

My best little buddy

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Yesterday was a rough day, which I know Lucy picked up on because she made me smile every chance she had. If she wasn’t doing something silly, she was curling up on my lap or giving me kisses.

The companionship that this seven-month old puppy has shown me in the last four months blows my mind. Lucy is always close by, or always within distance where she can see me, which gives me an incredible amount of comfort.

Even while we are sleeping, Lucy is curled against me completely under the covers. When I roll and move, she rolls and moves with me until she is touching me in some shape or form. I thought her sleeping with us would get old, but feeling her there yet again brings another level of comfort.

My favorite time spent with her is during our morning runs. I love running while also giving her the opportunity to exercise.

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This morning we only ran 2.22 miles, which is shorter than we normally do. Ever since we began running together we typically stop between 1.10 to 1.50 miles, all depending on her. Today when we found our bench of choice, she jumped up waiting for me to sit before crawling on my lap.

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After a few minutes she starting whimpering.  I think our midway breaks might soon be over. Lucy’s strength and endurance has certainly grown.

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I am so happy I have included running outdoors into my exercise routine. I often times get bored at a gym, doing the same routine . . . adding an outdoor run a few times a week keeps it entertaining, especially with an exercise buddy.

Although Lucy goes through her awful puppy days, she is a blessing. She has shown me so much joy, a joy I didn’t realize was missing.

I couldn’t have asked for a better puppy to have adopted us.

Mood changer

Last night was a perfect ending to a frustrating day . . .

The perfect ending was because of this man who has my best interest at heart all the time. It’s truly a beautiful feeling, an overwhelming feeling, to know and feel how much someone cares and loves you.

Every day Jason shows me that he is the right man for me. He’s my present and future, he’s my everything. I look into our future and I see us growing old together in a beautiful life that we create for one another.

Yesterday when Jason got home from work he sensed there was something wrong, which started a conversation that allowed me to let out my frustrations. As the conversation continued I started to feel a little better.

This man is my rock, my sounding board, my clear skies when I see gray, my strength when I struggle with my own . . .  well he’s just the very best part of me.

When he told me to go for a run and let go of those frustrations, it once again showed how well he knows me.

I was determined to change my attitude. So, as I walked into the gym — by this hour it was too hot outside and I didn’t want to overheat both Lucy, my puppy, and I — my determination set in. I got onto the treadmill and turned on Pandora . . . I was ready.

It’s this time, this me time, that I was able to clarify my thoughts and put them back in order once again. I get discouraged when my thoughts get out of whack, when the frustration builds, because it puts me in funk. As I refocused, I started feeling better.

It’s true running is the best therapy for me. There’s something about exercising and pushing myself that lifts my mood and makes the worries go away. The best part about this run yesterday was I beat my run from the day before by 14 seconds. That felt incredible.

It seems when my frustration is at its peak, my performance is as well.

When I left the gym I felt like a new person. I walked through the door with a smile on my face because all my worries were left at the treadmill. This of course put Jason in a good mood because we feed off of each other’s energy. When he knows I’m feeling good, his smile is beautiful.

The laughter and good times filled our house once again and continued throughout the night. Even Lucy joined in on our fun as she played with Jason and went crazy running around the living room.

Our crazy little home is all I need . . . especially with Jason by my side.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is let things go and let them be. I struggle with this from time to time.

It’s truly a blessing that I have the opportunity to work out of my home and make my own hours while contributing my work to numerous newspaper and magazine publications. With that said, it’s a struggle to find the equal balance of time in and out of my office. I often find out that I need a break from writing after I reached my breaking point.

This morning started off a little rough, but with the right attitude . . .

I put on my running gear, ready to take Lucy and I to the Greenbelt for a morning run, but those plans drastically changed. I hope by the end of the day I can go for my run, hopefully that run will be with Lucy.

Me time

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I’m finally returning to my routine, which means my days are filled with a little me time.

This past month, well more than a month, has been a little tricky for me to get away and go to the gym.

Once you get yourself into a routine, one that you truly enjoy, it’s a hard habit to break. Because of my healthy “habit,” if you will, I had to put more focus on it again.

So far it’s been a success . . . . 

For the past three days I made myself a priority and headed to my favorite place and got some running, weight training and either the elliptical or bike riding into my slotted “me time.”

My me time has been put on the back burner because of Lucy.

This is where my guilt comes into play. I know she’s a dog, but it breaks my heart knowing she has such a hard time of being alone.

She’s starting to pick up on my routine. She knows when I put my running shoes on and grab my purse it means she’s staying home.

When I take her out one last time before I leave she doesn’t go, but follows me and constantly tries to get my attention. Today she began shaking outside, one of her favorite places to be.

Yesterday and today she started to run out of our bedroom when I sit on the bed close to her crate. She knows.

I’ve done everything possible to help her conquer this fear, but so far nothing is working.

When I finally get her to come to me at the foot of the bed,  she’s shaking like a leaf. It breaks my heart that this poor puppy has such anxiety when she knows I’m leaving.

I try and console her before putting her in her crate, but it doesnt help, the crying begins as soon as I walk out of the room.

I put a few treats in her Kong, hoping that would keep her busy, but of course she’s not interested because she’s watching me leave. (When I returned I found all three treats in her crate out of her Kong not. She loves these treats. I was shocked.)

With that said, leaving and getting in my workout has done wonders for my mood today and yesterday. Today I ran my fastest mile in a long time. It felt good to pick up my speed. I also rode a longer distance in the same 30-minute bike ride I typically do.

I left the gym with a huge smile on my face. I walked out a new person ready for my day. I absolutely love the therapy a good workout provides for me.

I love having a gym membership. I love walking through the doors, putting my ear phones in and going about my workout with no interruptions.

Yes, going to the gym on a regular basis was something missing out of my equation. A very important missing factor.

Now the challenge is getting Lucy to enjoy that small fraction of time away from me, while I indulge in a little me time.

Clarity

Life sometimes can throw you curve balls and send you on a winding road that is hard to navigate.

The outcome of your destination is completely up to you.

Things for me have been a little stressful lately and it’s been somewhat of a struggle to juggle everything.

It hit me hard yesterday. It became crystal clear that something needs to change when I went to the gym to relieve some stress and I walked out the door not feeling any better. This was an eye opener. The gym is my get away,  my piece of mind, my clarity.

My thoughts were muddy, a little scattered.

I came home and started working and was pleasantly interrupted by a phone call. My mom was calling.

As soon as we started talking, I let it all out. It’s amazing how much I really needed to get stuff off my chest. That’s the beauty of talking to mom. Everything is revealed, everything is laid out on the table. My shoulders became a little less tense and a smile and laughter filled the room.

Two-hours later we finally said our goodbyes.

This conversation of course made me miss family. We are going on 13 months since leaving Florida.

When I moved to Arizona, I was able to visit home at least every six months. At the end of every semester at Arizona State University, I was packing my bags and heading to the airport.

Things are different now.

The difference is, I haven’t had that overwhelming urge to leave, to get away from the life I am now leading.

That just goes to show I’m in a much better scenerio, a much better relationship now. I havent wanted to flee . . .

For the first time in my life, my home is where the love of my life is. My home is where Jason and I are.

I still want to head back to Fort Myers, not to go “home,” but to visit friends and family. I hope we can make a trip back south soon.

After mom and I hung up, I started to work again. Although I felt better, my thoughts were still a little scattered.

So, I put Lucy’s collar on and we headed to the Kingsport Greenbelt. We both obviously needed to be outdoors.

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As Lucy led the way, it became easier to get a hold of my thoughts. I began to smile as her trot became a full run.

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My life changed pretty drastically after we adopted this little pup in April. She has had such an impact on my life.

It’s true there really is a special connection with a dog.

I absolutely love having her with me all day, but my life has changed.

My routine . . . .

My gym time has been cut back immensely because of her fear and anxiety of being alone. We still haven’t conquered her “okay” of being in a crate while I’m gone. So, I have a hard time leaving her home alone.

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While we were out on our walk, well run a good portion of the time, Lucy made me smile. I became carefree, living in the moment. Her excitment for the  outdoors, well it was a breath of fresh air. The breath I needed.

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After more than two-miles we decided to head back home.

Those thoughts that I thought were sorted out became jumbled again. As Jason and I talked later that night, well rather early this morning, it all came out again. He has a way of making me look at things in a new light. He makes me dig deep and calls me out when I give him an answer he knows not to be the full truth. We got down to the nitty gritty, the solution of what has been hanging over my head. That solution of course didn’t come without a bag full of emotions.

We finally made our way upstairs.

This man means the absolute world to me. The love, unconditional love he has shown me, takes my breath away. He loves me regardless of my faults. He loves me for me. It’s apparent he will do anything and everything in his power to make sure I’m okay. To make me smile, laugh and get the most out of this life we are sharing.

I woke up smiling this morning. I have refocused my energy and thoughts,  thanks to my mom, my forever companion Lucy and Jason.

My mom starts to break down my walls as best as she can over the phone, while Jason jumps in her spot and  completely destroys them.

I am grateful that I have two such wonderful, caring, loving people in my life. Jason and mom work as a team without even knowing it to get me to better grounds.

So as the new day unfolds,  Lucy and I are going to part ways for a few hours while I take another shot at the gym today. Yesterday I bought her a kong to help keep her busy while I’m away. I hope it works.

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Laughter

Today was really needed, past due if you will.

Jason has been working nonstop and I seem to always have something to write or edit. Our schedules have been busy with only a little bit of time to spend together. That time is usually at the end of the day when we are both exhausted.

So, today was Jason’s first day off since we drove to Maryland for my nephews birthday party. After doing an interview early this afternoon for work, Jason asked if I wanted to go out to lunch. It’s been a long time since we treated ourselves. A long time since it was just the two of us out and about enjoying each others company.

As soon as we sat down at our old favorite place, one we frequented often in Fort Myers for a drink, wings or a burger, the laughter instantly began. Our waitress was laughing with us. That’s the thing about Jason you never know what he’s going to say.  I won’t lie, sometimes my jaw drops before the laughter begins.

I love how Jason makes me laugh. How he keeps a smile on my face. The mood is always light, always stress free, which is something I need from time to time.

This is the first time we have visited this restaurant of ours in Kingsport. After our experience, I’m sure we will return.

Today reminded me why I have grown to love having nothing planned ahead of time. Yes, I have grown to love this quality about him. I’m a planner, so it was hard to get used to.

Yesterday while I was at the gym he called and asked if I wanted to go hiking. This of course was not in the plans, and, my first reaction was no thank you. He chose to make plans to go hiking the day I worked out my legs and did the elliptical, ran and rode the bike.

My decision of course changed.

The hike was quite honestly difficult once we started because of the intensity of my workout. Because of this it was the first hike I got cranky. My frustration got the best of me because the soreness was already starting. But it got us out of the house and out in the woods. Out in the cool, often times really cold temperatures with Lucy by our side.
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I’m glad we went. I’m glad we got to see one of our favorite waterfalls once again. Laurel Falls.
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Throughout our lunch today we were both laughing. Old memories were brought up and new memories were made. It’s moments like these I treasure the most. It’s the simplest of gestures.  The smile,  the touch, the kindness that speaks volumes to me. It’s Jason knowing when we need to go out to lunch and have some time together.

The best part is the laughter continued when we got home. I love having Jason home for this reason. Our home comes alive, it comes alive with laughter and good times.

I cherish what we have together. I don’t know what I would do without him. He truly is my life, such an important part of my life. The best thing that ever happened to me.

I’m so glad we got to spend quality time together. Days like today rejuvenate me for what the week has in store for me.

I truly found the best man for me. He’s a keeper for sure.

Thankful

Some thoughts that struck me while exercising today . . .

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Do you ever wake up thinking you have a beautiful life? That the life you lead is because of the confidence you have in yourself to make it happen?

I’m not sure if these thoughts have bombarded me because I had a conversation with someone from my past, or if I’m just reflecting on how far I’ve come because I’m experiencing the daily change in new life right outside the window.

The life of nature, if you think about it, goes through some drastic changes before new life is born. That new life of spring, and the warm temperatures that also grace this season, has spoken to me.

I really cannot put into words the feelings that take over me when I spot that new flower presenting itself on a tree or on the ground for that matter. After seeing the trees bare for so many months, its eye-catching for sure.

Today, while I was out taking pictures, I heard lawn mowers running and the smell of new cut grass filled the air. This alone made me smile. Do you know how long it has been since hearing those sounds or smelling that fragrance?

Yeah, is all I have to say.

Reflection . . .

The best part of that conversation earlier this week, is it made me smile, instead of making me dwell on the life I decided to leave behind. It’s amazing how much your life can blossom when you have the right people in your life. Without support from my closest family and friends, those mountains that blocked my path seemed unbearable. With their constant encourgement, the mountains turned into little, tiny hills, bumps for that matter. It was easy to catch a glimpse of the other side of the hurdle and continue along this path of my life.

IMG_1434What I took as genuine happiness about how far I have come from this individual kind of left me speechless. I know it shouldn’t have because he was so encouraging when he was a big part of my life. Even as discussions were had about another person of my past, the feelings that used to consume me no longer did. The only feeling that grabbed a hold of me was sadness. The same conversation that was had almost five years ago, was the same tune I heard that day. It’s a shame when someone can’t or does not want to find the new light at the end of the tunnel to carry on and see the new beauty that presents itself.

Life is precious, you have to make the most out of everything. This of course can be hard on occassion. The daily stresses of life sometimes gets the best of me.

The statement below I found one day is very true.

“Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.”

I have found myself getting better at this every day.

New beauty . . .

IMG_1429New beauty is constantly presenting itself, if not in nature, in the daily happenings of my own life.

So, why not leave the worry behind, the unneeded stress, when you are in charge of your own happiness?

That one day struck me, it was time to grab a hold of that happiness and be in charge once again.

A huge turning point for me was moving back home to Fort Myers to be close to family and friends. The unconditional love and support often times took my breath away. I will never forget those days. I will never forget how my dad was my strength, how he carried me through one of the hardest times of my life.

The second best thing was rekindling that relationship with my first love.

I will never forget that conversation that started on Facebook almost five years ago after more than a decade of time passing by.

Strength . . .

That word can mean so many different things. I often find my thoughts turning to this word as I’m out in nature admiring its beauty. The more time we spend outdoors, as well as my time I spend at the gym, constantly reminds me just how strong I have become.

IMG_1423I have discovered a strength I did not know existed almost five years ago. I owe that discovery to my family and Jason.

Jason constantly pushes me, which I am so incredibly grateful for. He pushes me in every aspect of life. Every aspect in life.

When we are out hiking and an obstacle presents itself along our path, he pushes me forward, often times giving me words of encouragement, as I battle with the “I can’t do that” kind of thinking.

I have also found a strength inside as we continue this adventure in our new home state. Things, I won’t lie, were really rocky when we first arrived. I was an emotional mess for a few months, until I found my own footing. Found the confidence I needed in the new life we created for ourselves.

This morning as I chatted back and forth with my really good friend back in Florida through text messages, I was flooded with the thoughts of accomplishments. She asked how many papers I now contribute for . . . eight in Arizona, four in Florida and one in Tennessee.

Who say’s you can’t accomplish something when you have faith in yourself?

After telling her this information, my mouth kind of dropped open. I knew I contributed to quite a few, but until I wrote them all down, I guess I forgot the extent.

Independence . . .

IMG_1421I was taught to take care of myself through the years I was growing up. My parents raised all of their children to be independent, which I will forever be grateful for.

Unfortunately, sometimes through the course of life, you lose site of that “independence.” You believe life can only be fulfilled with that one person next to you.

Although I cannot look into my future and not see Jason there by my side, it doesn’t take away my independence. We built this relationship on us both being independent, but sharing a life with each other.

Through the course of last year and into this year, I have found that independence. My contribution to all these publications provides me with the independence I need.

You see . . . some of these things leave such an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. Often times it leaves me breathless, but in a good way, when I think about the beautiful life I have created and absolutely love living.

The outdoors . . .

Growing up, my brothers, sisters and I, spent a lot of time outdoors. It was just how we were raised. So, it really isn’t a mystery that I still love being outdoors as an adult.

I’m just thankful I have a new found love and appreciation for everything around me. When we moved to Tennessee, I had a feeling I would appreciate my surroundings a little more. Indeed, I have.

Jason and I have run into many people who have lived here their whole lives and not seen half of the places we have in the last year. Being with Jason has shed a light on exploring new places. I couldn’t imagine not exploring. I never want to take where we live for granted, especially when it provides so many great getaways only miles down the road.

So on that note, here are a few more pictures I took today while out and about. The pictures above are also pictures I took today of the simple beauties that surround me.

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Deep in thought

Tonight I decided to give myself some time off from work after I turned in another article, which has left me deep in thought about life in general.

This afternoon when I went to the gym I had a good conversation with Julian about yesterday’s blog. He made me smile because he reminded me just how fortunate I am as an independent, freelance writer, to have as much work as I do. This of course led to the “double-edged sword” conversation. I am beyond happy that I have as much work as I do, enough work to help pay our bills, but often times it leaves me with little “me time.” 

But this is my career, my livelihood, so I’m always taking on as much work as possible, to further my career. I fall in love with what I do a little more everyday. I absolutely love the world of journalism. I love when more article ideas are pitched my way, for the simple fact that it’s another story for me to tell.

So this is where the conflict falls, how do I have that happy medium . . .

I know that happy medium comes when I have some downtime, which I have granted myself these last three days at the gym. I really don’t know how to put into words how this time at the gym makes me feel. As soon I walk through the door and put my headphones in I stop thinking about the work that lies before me and start thinking about what goals I hope to beat that day.Today that success was on the bike, when the end of workout results appeared before me. Today I pedaled the most miles yet in a 30-minute period. That made me feel great!

Life is about pushing yourself, so you can constantly discover what you are capable of doing, which also reveals many new passions of what you may enjoy doing.

I proved to myself that I could work three jobs, something I always said I could not do beforehand. Jason and I had plenty of conversations before we moved about me getting a second job . . . my reply was always no, I don’t have enough time. How did I go from working only one to three? Faith, faith that I can do it, while having a great support system standing beside me.

This hike definitely showed me what I was capable of doing . . . which revealed an incredible view.

Over the summer Jason and went hiking at least once a week. Some of those hikes were rather difficult, this one especially. Jason helped me overcome my fears . . . which revealed this incredible view.

As all this floods my thoughts, I started scrolling through photographs, which always trigger such precious memories and moments. Those photographs stored in my phone gave me a visual of the life Jason and I shared in Fort Myers, as well as our journey here in Tennessee. I won’t lie these are great memories to have.

I have such a beautiful life, a life that I love!

Before Jason entered my life more than four years ago, my life really didn’t have too much adventure, true adventures that helped me grow as a person. As I sit here thinking of some of the obstacles I have overcome, some personal battles that weighed me down for quite some time, I am grateful for those adventures. Those moments at times pulled me out of my comfort zone, which ended up showing me just what I was capable of doing.

It’s funny when those moments hit you, when that reflection happens. Sometimes it is so out of the blue that it makes you smile.

To think I have been fortunate enough to know this man for 17 years is pretty incredible. My first true love, my high school sweetheart has repeatedly shown me why I fell for him all those years ago. Even through the years that we did not talk, he still entered my thoughts from time to time.

Before Jason clocked in for work tonight he accidentally dialed my cell, which was a good surprise, even if he left only 45-minutes before that call. Sometimes I don’t know how much I need to hear his voice until I get that surprise phone call.

Although life can become stressful some times more often than not, it’s up to me to keep that ball rolling and find ways to make it through while still smiling. This week definitely tried my strength . . . but I made it through with that “me time” and some help from Jason!

Here’s to a stress free, productive week of writing!

I know better

I have found that going to the gym has unfortunately been placed on the back burner these past few weeks.  Although going a minimum of three days is still better than none at all, I would rather go five or six times a week. This is what I’m used to, this is what keeps the stress levels down.

When I worked out with my mom in Fort Myers, my day started off at the gym, yep bright and early at 6 a.m. It’s hard to find excuses of not going when you go first thing in the morning. There was no, “I’m too tired,” at the end of the work day.

Although I work from home and make my own schedule, I’m still struggling with putting my work down for a couple of hours to go to the gym. That struggle comes when I look at my white board and see the amount of articles that are due.

I, of course know better. I know that if I do not make time for myself, I become stressed, which has a domino affect on my writing.

I’ve been waking up and going straight to my desk to start working, which I have found turns into a day without going to the gym. I get caught up in writing, editing, interviews and waiting for call backs that my day gets away from me.

I know better, days like this is when I need the gym the most.

The worst part about this is I am a member of a 24-hour gym, so I could really go at any time. With that said, when I put in a full day in my office, my brain becomes so drained that it makes the rest of my body tired as well. It’s sad, but I would rather walk downstairs and unwind in front of the TV, instead of lacing up my running shoes and hitting the gym.

On Wednesday, I started working around 8:30 a.m. The light in my office was not turned off until 7:45 that night. It was a productive day to say the least. I turned in five articles (three to one publication and one each to the other publications I work for), as well as many hours worth of editing for sections I am responsible for doing. My stress level was pretty high that day as I worked towards meeting my deadlines.

I was beyond tired …

Jason of course helped with that stress. He would pop in every once in a while, sometimes bringing yummy treats to brighten my mood. I would also walk downstairs and sit on the couch with him for 5 or 10 minutes to pull myself together again.

My stress level tends to grow, as the need to walk away from my desk and take a break rises. That day, going to the gym would have been helpful, but I couldn’t tear myself away for the fear I wouldn’t meet my deadlines.

So, Thursday I had Jason make sure I was really awake when he said goodbye before heading to work. Although it was hard to get out of bed, leave my warm covers behind, I did it and left the house before 8 that morning. It felt fantastic to start my day off on the right foot, a morning at the gym. I love starting my day off with a run, some weight training and other cardio training.

My spirits tend to stay high when I have that physical exercise in my day.

The best part about all of this was when I arrived back home there was a message waiting on our phone from Jason. He was checking up on me to make sure I did wake up and go to the gym.

It’s always helpful when you get the encouragement you need to get back into your rhythm again.

So, today I continued that trend and started on the right note again. I was out the door a little before 8 this morning. I was on my way to the gym.

I ran 1.5 miles and did more than 6 miles on the bike before ending my workout. On my way home I stopped at the grocery store to replenish my smoothie supplies, as well as grab ingredients for dinner. Today my smoothie was a mix of frozen strawberries, mangos and pineapples with a fresh banana and kiwi with orange juice. It was absolutely delicious, a wonderful treat after a great workout.

I am determined to keep myself on track, yep that means go to the gym first thing in the morning before I sit down at my desk.

When I finally made it to my desk this morning, my stress level remained low as I kept in stride and turned in article after article to my editors. I was also able to connect with some sources to finish three more articles that are due this coming week, articles I was worried I would not be able to finish. So, when Jason leaves for work tomorrow, I will put in those few hours to finish those articles and turn them in, so I can start next week on a clean slate. This of course will happen after another trip to the gym.

Hopefully then on Sunday I can take a day off, the first since the last Sunday of January.

Exercise is an incredible outlet, one that I am so thankful I found all those years ago.