Hi! And if you're here, first of all, THANK YOU!

Second, I'm no longer posting here, but at my new home: YourKickAssLife.com

So, please go and visit! And remember: "Life's a garden, dig it!' -Joe Dirt

I did it because I was scared

In my last couple of posts I’ve mentioned that I’m training for a sprint triathlon. I’m doing it because as a runner, this will be a challenge and the fact that I always thought it was ballsy to say the least to swim in open water. Growing up in southern California, I’ve played in the ocean countless times, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I became afraid of the open ocean. How does that make sense? I’m not too sure.

First things first, let me tell you about my pool drain phobia. Just typing those words makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I had a boyfriend in high school who thought it would be funny to try to drag me down by my ankle to get close to it. He didn’t like it when he got kicked in the nuts. (Hey, it wasn’t totally on purpose. I’m not responsible for flailing arms and legs when I’m freaking out). I don’t do Jacuzzis. When I do laps in the pool, I CANNOT swim in the lane that goes directly over the drains. And if there is no one else in the pool, I won’t go in. Even if the only other person is a 95 year old Asian lady bouncing around on her noodle, I feel safe. I mean, if the drain monster is going to get me, at least she can go get help.

As I’ve been training in the pool, the drain thing has gotten a bit easier to deal with. It stays put, so I’m happy. On Sunday, I signed up for a swim clinic for beginners. I was so sick with anxiety, in the days leading up to it I almost vomited twice. Two days before the clinic, this was my Facebook status:

Less than 48 hours until I do my first ever open water swim, a practice before my first triathlon in October. Thinking about it makes me want to vomit and I can't breathe. But, I'm doing it anyway. Bobbie Vrastil-Solomon, I apologize now for any drama I bring.

After I posted it I suddenly realized I had a choice in the matter. It wasn't really me who was scared. My gremlin had been shouting in my ear, "Who do you think you are, competing in a triathlon? You'll probably come in dead last!" Therefore it was easier for me to just be scared. So I declared I would leave my gremlin at home and bring my badass self to the swim. Done!

However, on the drive there I almost turned around and went home. My gremlin said, "That's really cute, that thing you said about leaving me at home. The open ocean is scary, mean and there's no side of the pool to hold onto when you choke on filthy polluted water and the piranha come to feast on you." Nice, isn't she? But, then I got to thinking.  No, really. I DO have a choice here. I have a choice to be scared. It's a mind game. Plain and simple. Not to mention I was creating all the drama surrounding being scared. Drama feeds on drama. I don't care if it's about a pool drain, or a bad relationship, throwing gasoline on a fire called drama is just going to get you more....you guess it! DRAMA!

So, I went. I wasn't exactly choreographing synchronized swimming routines and I avoided the buoys with all the crustaceans on them (gross and scary). And it helped that Bobbie was a great coach and hey- there were even other scared people there too. So, I didn't feel like a total weenie. And here we are. Alive!

Moral of the story:

  • You have a choice to feel whatever you feel. Good or bad. 
  • The drama you create will feed on itself and become more. 
  • If you face your fear with support, I can guarantee it won't be as bad as you (or your gremlin) has made it out to be. 
  • Pool drains are still scary. 

The Worst Mother in the World

This blog is supposed to be all about empowering women, to lead their best lives. I try my best to make the best out of everything, to put a positive spin on things, to talk about my struggles and how I overcame them. It brings me great joy to know that someone reading might take my words and have a little hope.

But, this post isn't about that.

I recently told my coach that motherhood has forced me to dig to the deepest parts of me to find the most patience I have. I have dug, and dug and dug. And there isn't any left. I'm all out. I have hit slammed into a wall recently and am wondering when the "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" statement will be flung at me like monkeys throwing poo at the zoo. Which by the way, I don't even want to get into complaining about how much poop I've been dealing with on a literal standpoint in this house.

So, what is this post about? Well, I understand that you, reading this, are not the complaint department. But, I'd like to confess that my gremlin has got the best of me lately. And she's hit be below the belt, right in the uterus. She's laughing hysterically and pointing and saying,

You are the worst mother in the world. 

In the world of, "Keep it together, lady. Don't let them see you sweat, or cry, or fly off the handle," it's next to impossible for me. When my 3 year old son gets in my face and screams, "NOOOOOOOO!" at the top of his lungs I think, "Does this child hate me? This beautiful boy that has my heart in his hands?" And when my 11 month old daughter clings to me and cries when I drop her off at daycare for the 4 hours that she will be away from me 3 times a week, I think, "For pete's sake, she's still nursing! How could I leave her?" 

You are the worst mother in the world.

I mean really, it's the only possible explanation. 

I don't think I ever knew pain until I experienced mommy guilt. No one tells you before you have kids that it's a package deal. No one tells you that the pain of mommy guilt will wreck you from the inside out. I spent all that time before I had kids with my head in the clouds thinking motherhood is about hearts and rainbows. 


You are the worst mother in the world.

I type all these words and think, "You know there are people out there that can't have kids. That would give their right arm to have them, all of it, guilt and all." 

So, yet again, 

You are the worst mother in the world.

But, I'm human. And I'm having a really, really hard time. 

One of my favorite scenes from the movie, "Forrest Gump", Forrest is running when a reporter approaches him. Forrest runs through dog shit: 
Reporter: Man! You just ran through a big pile of dog shit! 
Forrest: It happens. 
Reporter: What? Shit? 
Forrest: Sometimes......

Letter to my former self

I'm a big fan of writing letters to myself. Last year I wrote a letter to my body, which was a major healing marker for me. I also wrote a letter to my skinny jeans, which I finally got rid of. And about a month ago I wrote a letter to my former self.

It's a letter to the girl I was about 10 years ago. I've come so far from that girl- in ways I was feeling ashamed of her. Of me. And it was biting me in the ass. I was separating myself now from her which was robbing me of valuable love and learning. I soon realized I wasn't "walking the talk" of giving the advice to never apologize for who you are inside. Back then, I was exactly where I needed to be. 


Dear Me, 

I owe you an apology. A big one. 

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of growth. And it’s good, but I’ve made a mistake along the way. See, I’ve been looking around inside my heart, learning from the past and have come a long way. 

But, you already know that. 

You’ve been here all along, cheering me on. The mistake I’ve made is by being ashamed of you. Looking back, I think about who you were, the mistakes you made, the ways you used to cope....and I push you away. I pretend you don’t exist. 

And recently you told me you were pissed about that. And sad too. So, I’m sorry. I really am. That was pretty shitty of me. So, I ask for your forgiveness. I understand that you were doing the best you could, with what you had, at that time. And it wasn’t a lot, I know. You coped the best way you knew how. After all, back then you wanted the same thing you do now: 


So, I plan to look at you differently from now on. With an open heart. Without harsh judgement. I might be wiser now, but no better. 


Photo credit

Hello, recovery. Nice to meet you.

I want to preface this blog post with a quick update. Obviously my posts are few and far between lately. One main reason is that I'm having a website built and this blog will move over to it. My creative energy has gone to that, plus two very small children that are now both mobile. So, between potty training, hovering, chasing, beach/park going, training for a triathlon, life coaching certification, getting up at 5:30 am with my son....I'm just spent. Lots of ideas to write that swarm through my head, but never get to this blog. So, there you have it.


Triathlon training. Wow. It's something I never thought I would do. It's something I never thought I could do. As I write this, I'm in week 5 of training, with about 8 more to go. I'm not a strong swimmer, so that is a challenge. I also have a fear of open water swimming, plus training in a pool is challenging because of a really raging drain phobia (shut up) so mentally, that's been....interesting. But the biggest challenge of all is this:

In the last 2 weeks I've noticed my body is changing. And a few other people have noticed too. So what? Well, this is the first time I've started a new (and temporary) exercise program for fun (did I really just say that?) rather than to be a certain body type. And also the first time I've done it and been this far into recovery from disordered eating and exercise.

Now, I know what's happened from a physiological standpoint (science nerd alert). I've switched up my workouts from just running to running, swimming and cycling. Plus, bumped up my usual 3 times per week to 5 times per week. I've also been hungrier and eat more.

That's it.

But, the victory is accepting the body changes for what they are. Just changes. Formerly I would have seen the changes and become obsessed by them. Worked out more, ate less. But now, I let it go. At first I braced myself for the reaction I would have. Like someone closing their eyes waiting for an oncoming collision. And waited, and waited. But, they didn't come. I opened one eye, then the other and took a breath. And I let in the new feelings.

So this is what it's like to be recovered. 

This victory is a big giant step. I guess I lived for so many years on the other side, part of me thought that if I did get to a place where I lost some weight, or toned up, I would come crashing back down. Being fully recovered is still somewhat new territory, and my gremlin gets a wee bit terrorized there.

I know it's all a work in progress. All of it, my whole life. Will I fall down, get triggered, make a step back here and there? Probably. And that's okay.

Old Memories

So, I'm training for a triathlon. A sprint distance, nothing crazy. Since I've been recovered from disordered eating and exercise, I've kept my love of running, but one thing has changed; I only run outside. I don't think this was a completely conscious choice, but since I've had kids, I have to bring them running, and I can't exactly push them on the treadmill in their stroller, and I've discovered I really love to run outside.

On Sunday I went to the gym for the first time in a long time. I did an easy swim, quickly changed and got on the treadmill. Plugged my ipod in, pushed all the buttons and started running.

And all the memories came back. Like a Mack truck.

The smell of the gym, the people there, the sound of the treadmill. The digital time ticking, telling me how much time has elapsed, how many miles I have run, and of coarse, how many calories I have burned. I would race the clock to see if I could make a certain distance before the time got there. Or, I would run until I burned x amount of imaginary calories. I wonder if that ever made my happy.

On Sunday I ran for only 20 minutes, but in that time I thought about how I used to be when I was on the treadmill. Thinking obsessing about calories, wondering how much more distance I could take, hoping my legs wouldn't buckle out from under me. Trying to ignore the hungry feeling in my stomach. And on and on. And thinking.....that was normal.

After the 20 minutes was up, I stopped. The old me would have pushed on for another 20 or 30 minutes, just to...I don't know. Prove something.

In times like that, when I see my old ghost, I take note of how far I've come. I'm sad for a moment. Thinking of how happy I thought I was. Then happy, taking note of how "grown up" I feel now. Exercising to be fit. Huh. Now, that makes me happy. I'm sure of it.

Life. Changing. Experience.

On Twitter yesterday I was tweeting innocently away and stumbled across a blog post. I read it, smiled, read a particular line, kept reading and heard the sound of breaks screeching in my mind. I backtracked. This line practically knocked me over:

"I encourage you not to wait for that life changing experience."

Had someone told me that on this day exactly 10 years ago I would have blinked and said, "Um, okay, thanks" and went about my business. Went about my business of being scared. Scared of who I really was. Terrified of "what if". What if I really was great? No, I mean really, really great. The thought terrified me. Little parts of me would try to sneak out but were quickly squashed by my gremlin voice. Or I would literally be told by some one to shut up. And I would. But my gut would say, "Tell them to fuck off."

In 2006 I had that life changing experience. My world fell apart in 10 seconds. Standing in Barnes and Noble I shook so hard when I hung up the phone I probably looked like I was having a seizure. Life. Changing. Experience. My future sighed with relief and said thank you, although I didn't know it at the time.

So, I also encourage you to not wait for that life changing experience. Because I did. Or if you do, that's okay too. Hopefully you'll have an equally dramatic story to tell that makes people's jaws drop like I do. But, please, don't wait for it. Seize your opportunity to live. Your future is waiting for you. Patiently.