Running and Whataburger

My order at Whataburger **every freaking time** is as follows:

Number 13 (with buffalo sauce), diet Coke, spicy ketchup and an extra piece of the Texas toast.

This is what COVID has done to me.

Quick question: why don’t they sell that toast to us, the general public?! I would pick up a loaf every single week, with no denying. I’d pull right up to the window, be given the worst customer service imaginable, followed by a 45 minute wait just to get my hands on that bread.

Follow up question: why DO they consistently have the worst ever customer service?? It’s literally the antithesis of Chick-Fil-A. But even though I know I’ll be waiting a lifetime for it, that number 13 calls my name and I don’t really even care.

Let me rewind a moment. Pre-COVID I was exercising 5-6 days a week, eating like a health nut and was just in general so disciplined and killing it on the daily.

COVID hit and for a few months I was still #slaying. Running a 5K a day in the neighborhood, drinking those Fab 4 smoothies and getting all the greens and fiber and protein and healthy fats. Thank you, Kelly LeVeque.

Then one day I just didn’t anymore. It got hot, because well…. TEXAS. That was one of my first excuses and can we just say that it’s a legitimate excuse. I cannot handle running in 500 degree heat. Once you add the mosquitoes gnawing away at your flesh and the fact you can’t breathe for the love of humidity, I’m just done.

After that, laziness crept in and the number 13 took control. I got to the point of lethargy and complacency. All the work I did to wear these bad boys to Cher way back when (March, to be exact) was gone in a puff of smoke.

I put both pictures in here because I need you to see how stinking cute and shockingly healthy I was. #humble

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I realized I was back at the point where I wasn’t comfortable in my clothes and I was too tired to play with the boys and I was eating like crap and I was unmotivated to do the hard work to be healthy.

I knew what I NEEDED to do. I knew what worked for me in the past, but quite frankly, I simply had no motivation to do it.

This is when it’s good to have good people speaking into your life.

I was leading an online women’s lunchtime small group. The women in the group, y’all. They were so inspiring to me and we got real with each other extremely fast. (Vulnerability is my love language, btw)

We were studying the fabulous Bob Goff’s new book, “Dream Big”. Every week we “dreamt big” together. Every week I said, “I need to start writing again. But I have some weird block where I just can’t get around to it. I mean, COVID, yeah?”

Every week. Same story, different week.

The very last week my friend Tameka spoke up and challenged me in the best possible way. When you go deep with other people and really get to know one another you earn the right to be heard. Tameka looked straight at my little zoom box on the screen and said, “Stephanie you’ve been talking for weeks. And you keep using COVID as an excuse. Well, that’s an excuse the entire world is using. Stop and just write already.”

**insert this emoji face 😳 here**

Incidentally, this is my go to emoji. It’s also been brought to my attention that I use this face in real life quite regularly, which brings me much joy.

I’m SO STINKING GLAD Tameka didn’t mince words and just told me what I needed to hear. I took her seriously, because she was right!! I was making excuses and being lazy and I finally perked up and decided I was NOT going to allow 2020 to continue to rob me of my drive, my health and my goals.

News flash: if you’re like me and waiting for life to go back; it’s not. Life post-COVID (whenever that is!!!) is NOT going to be the way it was. Too much has happened. The “new normal” will be just that. New. It reminds me of what Lewis Carrol so brilliantly penned in Alice in Wonderland, “I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

So what are we going to do? Continue to flounder and use 2020 as an excuse? Or woman up, end this tea party and put in the hard work to be the best version of ourselves?

Thank GOD for Tameka and thank GOD that she said the hard thing. I’m trying to do my part by paying her wisdom forward to all of you. The whole world is going through all of this. Stop using excuses. No matter how legit they seem.

I don’t know what it is for you. I don’t know what you need to do to get some normalcy for yourself. I don’t know what lights a fire under you to be the best version of yourself, but for me it’s running.

Running challenges me. I really stink at it. And I don’t think I’ve improved very much. I’ve run several 5Ks, a couple 10Ks and 15Ks, and 2 half marathons. You may be tempted to be impressed by that. But I promise you that if I can complete those races, you sure as heck can too.

When I say I’m a slow runner, I mean it. I’m usually at the back of the pack, finishing either dead last or very close to it. But I don’t care even one little bit. I work hard to be the crappiest runner in every race I’ve entered. I put in the hours to train and it takes every bit of resolve I possibly have to complete the darn things.

Running stretches me unlike anything I’ve ever done. When I’m not running, the rest of the things in my life tend to start dropping off. I know these things, but I’ve been ignoring them.

Again, enter friends 🙂

My friend Niki and I are the #badmoms that some of you judge. Not only are we okay with it, we kind of love us for it. I’m about to go down a rabbit hole and you’re going to be happy that I did.

We’re the ones that will bring gluten-ridden store bought treats to events, when the Pinterest moms (God love you) bring the homemade organic snacks, wrapped in individual bags, tied with color-coordinated tulle.

Side note: if that’s you, please keep doing it. If that’s what makes your heart sing, by all means, craft away!!! That attention to loving on the kiddos is beautiful.

We are also the moms that brought cleats for our kids to wear to the final soccer practice of the season, when very clearly it stated in the team text that they needed regular sneaks, due to the fact we would be inside the gym. #whenyoudontreadtheentiretext 😳 again.

I could continue with ways we’re hilarious, but I would like to say that we really nailed our weeks to bring team snacks. I MUST give us a shout out for that one. The bar was set high by the other moms on the team (who were EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM PINTEREST MOMS). I asked Niki what she was going to bring when it was her week to which she responded, “um, a bag of cuties??” 🙂 God love this woman.

We rose to the occasion by doing the individual baggies. I would like the record to show I had my bags pre-assembled the afternoon before of the game. That’s crazy early for me. Don’t worry that I used bags from my “Gift Bag Closet”, which every woman has, just so you know.

I sent this to Niki with the text: This one can be Frank’s.

This was free advertising for “Artefactz” in Granbury. I’m sure the kid’s mom that got that one was like, huhhhhhhhhh…..? Who knows! Maybe next time their family visits Historic Granbury they will drop into Artefactz and find some wonderful treasure.

I digress.

Niki is amazing and if you don’t have a Niki in your life that you can laugh endlessly about stupid crap with, all the while making you a better person, you should go find a Niki 🙂

This is me, Niki and baby Rory. Her two year old took my phone and took this picture, along with about 35 photos of his dad. The next morning I was going through my camera roll and I sent a text to Niki that said, “I have SO MANY PICTURES of your husband on my phone.”

You can’t make this stuff up, people.

Niki and I decided we want to be healthy and awesome again, so we text each other every day whether or not we’ve worked out. Last night we chose fatty, unhealthy lattes and Little Debbie snacks over running. This morning we texted the confirmation pics of completing our day’s run from the app we both downloaded.

Point of all of this, you ask?

First of all, let’s stop beating ourselves up when we “fall off the wagon”. I was feeling really dumb that after all the races I’ve completed I had to start from square one on this running app. But why? What’s important when you fall off the horse is that you get back on. Not talk about getting back on, but actually doing it. Yes, for several months now I have been doing really crappy. But not today. I have really awesome friends that won’t allow that.

I also have really awesome friends who I can text and say, “pumpkin spice latte meant more than a two mile run today.” And that’s just gotta be ok too.

I hope your 2020 has been happy and healthy and you’ve stayed disciplined and done things that make your souls happy. I really hope that. But if you’re like me, maybe you’ve eaten one too many Number 13’s. Or maybe it’s something different, like you’ve been drinking a little too much alcohol, because now you’re a homeschool parent and you didn’t forsee that wrench in your plans. Or maybe you feel extremely lonely and you’re finding yourself spiraling downhill fast. I don’t know what it is for you, but I do know that reaching out and being real with your people is super valuable.

Here’s to health. Whether it’s physical, spiritual, emotional or some combination of those. May we seek out healthy friendships and be honest and vulnerable with our people.

You’ve got this. Cheers.

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