Enjoy Each Mile

Today is 10 years since I graduated from West Point.  The last 10 years feel as though they flew by.  I can so clearly remember being back at West Point.  But at the same time, being back at school seems like a lifetime ago.  I’m always amazed at how it can feel like that.

graduation

Graduation and Commissioning Day (May 30, 2003)

My four years at West Point were where some of my best memories were made and where some amazing friendships began.

west point

Lauren, Liz, Paula, Annie, Katy, and I – Ring Weekend (Aug 2002)

Looking back, life seemed SO easy then.  Yes, we had a pretty heavy course-load, extracurricular activities and the occasional room inspection that would take us hours to get ready for (truth be told though, I loved having a spotless room =) ).  But, that was really all we had to concern ourselves with.  No little ones to look after, no cooking, no bills.  We were in college, enjoying our freedom, and making cherished memories with one another.

The best part, for me, was that my girlfriends and I were all together.  I was in the same company (and roommates) with my girlfriend, Lauren, for the last three years.  I lived with Annie during our freshmen year.  But, we were never more than 1/4 mile of each other.  Meeting for dinner, tv watching, and girl talk was an almost daily occurrence.

Graduation came and we all went into different branches, different posts or different deployment cycles.  10 years later and we are literally scattered across the US – Washington (state), San Francisco, Georgia, NYC, Tennessee, Minnesota, Wisconsin, DC – all with families, booming careers, and lives of our own.  I don’t get to see these girls much except for the occasional wedding, baby shower, or attempt at a mini-reunion.  I miss being all together, all the time.

west point4 west piont3

But the whole time I was there, I never realized how good life was. I was always looking ahead.  Always looking forward to what was next for me – graduation, time in the Army, civilian life.  And I never  allowed myself to live in the moment and enjoy what I had right in front of me.

west point

In a lot of ways, the same can be said for running and training.  How many times have you been SO focused on a race or a goal that was months away that you weren’t enjoying the run you were on?  Or the mile you were running because you were so worried about the  miles at the end of the run?  Do you imagine being able to press fast forward on life to get you through the tough part?

During my deployment running, I constantly imagined how it would be to run back in the US that I never thought about the running I was doing. 

During my pregnant-running, I was always thinking about how great it was going to be post-baby that I never really enjoyed running as a pregnant woman.  

During my postpartum running, I would dream of how it would feel months down the road when I was back to my pre-pregnancy speed and shape.

Even now, 8 months postpartum, I fantasize about how wonderful it will be when I am no longer breastfeeding and having to deal with nursing or pumping.

I’ll probably look back and wish I could run pregnant again {even for a day} when I’m 50.  And I know I will miss nursing 10 years down the road.

Truth is, I frequently imagine how much easier life will be in a few years when both boys are in school and I have a bit more freedom during the day.  Life is hectic and I find myself envious of moms with older children.  Training, blogging, cleaning the house will all be 100x easier.  I’m working on enjoying what’s in front of me.  THESE are the good old days.   These are the days that my husband and I will reminisce about 30 years down the road when we are old and sitting in our rocking chairs.

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I’m working on savoring each moment, each run, each mile I set out to tackle.  Regardless of how hard it is or how much better the future may appear, I know I will look back on it and wish I had enjoyed what I was going through.

Have you had a big college reunion yet?  

Do you find yourself wishing to press the fast forward button with life? 

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    23 thoughts on “Enjoy Each Mile

    1. Pingback: Friday Round-Up: Seizing the Moment

    2. Way to post somethign that I called myself out on this morning… I was having a pretty crappy run and realized that I was spending almost all of it worrying about how I was going to make it through 26 miles of feeling like this come 4 more months down the road. I told myself to quit and just enjoy every step of today’s run.
      I have my 10 yr HS reunion this year – time flew by… but I don’t have any desire to go. I know all I need to know about my classmates via FB and I wasn’t really a fan of HS or the enironment so I am A-ok skipping it! Plus, they want to do it the same week as MCM. :)
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    3. i love your old pics, such great memories! and you are creating more memories right now! i so agree. Let’s focus on this MILE, this LIFE MOMENT

    4. I really love this post Michele. Such a beautiful reminder. I know that I definitely do this a lot – look ahead towards the future so much so that I don’t savor the time now. I’m getting better especially since my boys are starting to get older and I can see them growing so quickly. Good luck on Saturday!!
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..The HaircutMy Profile

    5. You are so right about life, running, all of it. But yea, life was SO MUCH EASIER back then. Ten years ago this Sunday, I’ll be married 10 years and while Peter was deployed in Iraq then, it was still an easier time than right now – at least for me.

    6. I like the quote. I do wish someone would tell me that these are the good old days. I think we are all living in them at every moment and I think there are things about each stage of our lives that we will miss in the next. But I think there are also things about each stage that could possibly also be better than the previous as well. I miss having all of my girlfriends together too. I went to school in Atlanta and my best friends from college live in LA, DC, NYC, Nashville, Chicago, Seattle, and then me in Tampa. It would be nice to be able to see them more.
      meghan recently posted..Out in the open waterMy Profile

    7. Loved this post – many times over the course of my life I have wished for the next part instead of enjoying the part I’m living.
      I can finally say that at 43, for the most part I’m loving every day!!!
      Great reminder – and, I love the tie-in between running and living!!
      Km recently posted..Vein Stripping: Five Weeks LaterMy Profile

    8. Pingback: Why I’m Not Running a Marathon This Year | Marathons and Macarons

    9. Awesome post! Thank you for your perspective! I am 37 weeks pregnant and on my run this morning, all I could think about was how great it is going to be to be to my normal pace after the baby comes. When I should be enjoying the run, the miles that I am doing now. Enjoying my ever so changing body and the fact that I am healthy to run this late in pregnancy.
      Thanks again, you’re great!

    10. Awesome. Thanks for hitting the spot. I definitely am constantly wishing for the next step. Wanting my boys to be a little older, wanting my race to be tomorrow, etc. You are right though, I need to just savor and enjoy the time I’m in right now. Thanks!
      Kiley @ DailyVitaminF recently posted..Easily Inspired – tv editionMy Profile

    11. Love this. All so true- in college I was also busy thinking about how much I wanted to be done with school, even though they were some of the best years of my life. Ever since Marshall as born though, I try really hard to focus on enjoying each phase with him. It’s already going by way too fast. I’m sooo looking forward to hearing about your tri this weekend…. I’m a few weeks behind you on the first open water swim, glad you are going first, then I can use your pointers for navigating the open water!! :)

    12. Thanks for this incredible post! It really resonates with me, especially the parts about running while pregnant, postpartum, and nursing. I just weaned my youngest, and while I don’t miss pumping & scheduling workouts around feedings, I already miss the tender, quiet moments. Our little ones grow up so fast, and I’m constantly amazed at how quickly the time flies.

      I’m trying to live in the present, but sometimes it’s really hard. Thanks for the reminder!
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    13. Congrats on a big anniversary–such an accomplishment!

      I think I used to live life that way. Now that my kids are both in school, though, I want to press the pause button. It just hit me the other day that I only have six more years with my son here…how can I stop that from happening?! I get sad all the time thinking of how quickly my time with my children is going. Life goes SO fast. We really do need to try to savor each moment.
      misszippy1 recently posted..Not the best BQ oddsMy Profile

    14. Fabulous post! So well said….kinda had me tearing up :). I am enjoying beautiful runs on our Florida vacation ( super hot…but beautiful). I have my 1st half next sat!!!

    15. I do this all the time, and end up looking back and wondering why I didn’t enjoy myself more. It’s something I will continue to work on, especially when it comes to my time with friends and family. Thank you for sharing!
      Ashley @ OurPersonalRecords recently posted..Thankful ThursdayMy Profile

    16. The past few years (since they seem to be flying by) i have tried very hard to practice “living in the moment”. It’s a challenging practice, but I think it promotes a sense of contentment and I never liked willing time away…
      Have a GREAT TRI on Saturday!!!! :)