Nearly two years ago I wrote a post entitled 101 Things. It represented 101 Things in my life up until that point: love, life, fears, dreams, motherhood – all of it. But life has changed a lot in the past two years. I’m surrounded by an empty ring ringer, a new job, new apartment, new man and busy, busy life. How do I make sense of it to myself? How do I catch you up on it? I write. Since my thoughts these days don’t seem to want to sit still long enough to engross myself in a creative tale I’ve decided to create another 100 things, 2017 edition. Here we go….
1. I’m left-handed- crap, that was on the first list.
2. I’m a natural redhead – crappity crap, that was on the first list too. Well, I’m still a natural redhead. I think I’m on a roll, should I keep replicating?
3. One day my boyfriend asked me if I plan on dying my hair when it goes gray. I suddenly had the urge to smack him. We don’t talk about those things, son.
4. I’m 32 years old and I have a boyfriend. When I talk about him to friends and family I’m pretty sure I sound like I’m 16.
5. My boyfriend is soooo dreamy….
6. …when he cuts his hair!! Instead of cutting his hair at a barber shop like a NORMAL man he takes medical sheers and shaves his head every three months. Sigh.
7. He doesn’t own real clothes- only race t-shirts. Every shirt represents a different memory from his past, a piece of who he was at the time of the race and how he became who he is today. Those silly shirts are my window into his world.
8. I am dating a man who has over 800 race t-shirts and only one blue button down dress shirt. Wow, my life really has changed.
9. Dear God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
10. He’s a damn good doctor, an amazing runner, a pretty good cyclist and he swims to survive.
11. He has ran over 100 marathons, completed over 20 full Ironman races in his lifetime.
12. Last year I coached him to break a 20 year running PR for his half marathon when he ran a 1:14:30 (barf, that’s just soooo fast).
13. Did I mention that I love him?
14. At least once a day he stops what he’s doing, looks deep into my eyes and the spinning world comes to a screeching halt. We ignore the world around us and smile back at each other like two teenagers who are too nervous to make the first move.
15. Chris makes me feel worthy of being loved.
16. In my previous life I used to subconsciously rub my engagement ring and wedding band with my left thumb when I was feeling anxious. For some reason the repetitive behavior mollified my distress.
17. At times I catch myself rubbing my left thumb against the base of my empty ring finger. A brief moment of sadness emerges each time I realize what I’m doing; my rings, my husband and so many pieces of the life I thought I was going to live are gone.
18. I am no longer a wife.
19. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about being divorced.
20. Even though I have a loving boyfriend who lives in CT and family in Jersey I often feel very alone.
21. I moved out of my house on Friday December 4th, 2015 a date that will now forever be burned into my brain as an end to what was and a new beginning for what will be.
22. When you leave a house for an apartment you can’t help but feel like you’re going backwards in life.
23. I often repeat to myself: Life isn’t linear to help me accept that the apartment and the divorce aren’t a step back, but rather just a step in a new, different direction.
24. It’s sad to write the words, but I am 100% confident that separating from my husband was the right decision.
25. One day I want to get remarried.
26. I still can’t envision a wedding.
27. Once upon a time ago I had a wedding, a dress, pretty flowers, bridesmaids, vows….
28. It’s hard to explain, but part of me doesn’t feel like I deserve another wedding. A part of me feels afraid… I’m just not ready.
29. One day I hope to be ready, but not yet. Right now I am happy sharing my love with another and feeling loved in return.
30. Thinking of the unknown in the future always make me feel anxious. Today is about all I can handle right now. Today is a good day.
31. My parents, sister and brother all live in New Jersey… which might as well be Uzbekistan when you’re a single mom who is working two jobs and training for a marathon.
32. I miss my family.
33. I see them about three times a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas and our family beach vacation at the Jersey shore.
34. My thoughts have been so full of to-do lists from both jobs that I actually managed to forget the family Christmas gifts when I visited in December.
35. All of the gifts are still sitting in my closet.
36. They represent my two secret shames: I am an incredibly forgetful person and I hate going to the post office. HATE WITH A CAPITAL L for LOATHING. Ain’t got no time for waiting in lines.
37. I am a people person who seek out solitude and quiet spaces.
38. There is an 94.7% likelihood that my family will open their Christmas presents when I see them in July at the beach.
39. Oh Jesus. I just realized that I’m THAT Aunt.
40. Yes, mam. I’m the aunt who gives you Christmas presents in July, who sometimes forgets to add the eggs to the cookie batter and has a weird phobia of lines at the post-office.
41. But I do run marathons, sing Taylor Swift at the top of my lungs in the car and have a secret passion for playing Jenga. Do I get some points for that??
42. Now, EAT THE CRAPPY COOKIES KIDS!!!
43. Apparently I’m also the girlfriend who brings her cat to her BF’s in CT for the weekend.
44. WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MEEEEEE?
45. I just realized that I actually like my cat. THIS WASN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!!!
46. STOP LOOKING AT ME! I’M HIDEOUS!!
47. I have a strange sense of humor. I laugh at my own jokes far too often for it to be healthy.
48. I do not take myself seriously.
49. But I do take life way too seriously.
50. I love to sing and dance.
51. I’m pretty sure my relationship is successful because we sing and dance together while making dinner- nothing romantic, more like goofy top 40 hits and teenager stuff that makes you think you can rap while jumping up and down in a completely asinine manner.
52. I still sing Lillian a lullaby every night before bed. It’s my favorite part of our nightly routine <3
53. Dogs. I grew up a dog person and once upon a marriage ago I had a plan of having different dogs at different times in my life. The list went something like this: a Labrador in my 30′s, a St. Bernard in my 40′s, a Mastiff in my 50′s, a Corgi in my 60′s and a Basset Hound in my 70′s.
54. I REALLY like dogs. I just don’t have one right now.
55. Dogs are REALLY dirty, have tons of energy AND they need to be played with outside- even in the winter.
56. It’s cold outside in the winter. Hmmm, maybe I won’t get another dog…
57. I’m pretty sure this aversion to cold left over PTSD symptomology from running the 2015 Boston Marathon in tank and shorts in 35 degrees and downpour for over three hours.
58. I’m currently training for my fifth marathon, the Boston Marathon. How did that happen??
59. The Boston Marathon will be held on Monday April 17th.
60. EARTH TO MY MOM, I REPEAT: THE BOSTON MARATHON WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY APRIL 17TH.
61. That’s the day after Easter.
62. No mom, sadly I can’t attend Easter dinner in Jersey.
63. Sorry Jesus, I gots places to be and 26.2 miles to run. FRENCH OUT.
64. I was raised in the Catholic faith, but I don’t know what I believe in now.
65. I do, however believe in running….
66. …And Charleston Heston!! Oooooh yea, I’d pray to that.
67. It’s true, I have a strange affinity for Moses in The Ten Commandments. So much so that many moons ago I bought the DVD.
68. Yes, I’m well aware that’s creepy. Don’t take me too seriously, I surely don’t.
69. I know my lack of faith pains my mother, so I try not to talk about it too often.
70. While growing up my dad always made it seem like running was the solution to all of your problems, or maybe that you could solve all of your problems while running. Either way, life is better when you run. Period.
71. In the past month I legally changed my name back to my maiden name, Kassandra French.
72. I can’t explain why, but I just had to…. it wasn’t my name to have anymore.
73. Last summer I took off from serious, structured training. I ran when I wanted, how far I wanted and how fast (or slow) I wanted. I didn’t get faster at running, but I smiled a lot that summer.
74. In November I thought I’d be ready to truly focus and train hard so I reached out to my old coach from The Run Formula, Beth Shutt.
75. Last week Beth and I decided to part ways.
76. I thought I was ready to train hard again, but I guess I’m not. I feel like I’m training. I’m running workouts. I’m running HARD. But Beth and I have different views on following a training plan. I accept that at this point in my life I need more flexibility than Beth’s approach to coaching is allowing.
77. Leaving Beth was a HUGE personal decision for me and it left me in tears for most of last week.
78. I have started to ponder whether or not it’s healthy for me to give SO MUCH of myself to running. Maybe by easing up the reigns a wee bit with running I’ll have more energy to give to my relationship.
79. I believe and now truly accept that marriage is a living entity that needs to be nourished if you want it to survive. Like a plant that you water daily a successful relationship needs to be tended to or it’s leaves will wilt, it’s soil will dry up and the roots will become shrunken, fragile and just plain vulnerable to wear and tear.
80. Hindsight is a bitch, bitches.
81. If easing up on running and letting go of that sub-3 goal is a step to ensuring a happy, successful relationship for the rest of my life then sign me up.
82. To be clear- I’M STILL GOING TO RUN 50+ miles. I’M STILL GOING TO RACE. AND I’M STILL GOING TO KICK ASS ON THE ROAD 7 DAYS A WEEK. But if my guy wants to run 12 miles together and the plan says 11, then I’m running 12 with my man meat.
83. I am beginning to believe that flexibility and consistency are key facets of successfully integrating running into your life, for the rest of your life.
84. I like having a training plan. But a coach? As I’m building my counseling career and giving so much to my own athletes I need running to take on a subtly more flexible role in my life. Right now I can’t be coached- and as a running coach myself that is a tough pill for me to swallow.
85. Chris and I have a pattern of exposing ourselves to near death experiences while running. It’s fun and romantic in a morbidly masochistic type-of-way.
86. Last summer I
made him strongly encouraged him to run 20 miles with me in 90 degree temps with some nasty humidity. He was being an idiot a gentleman and held my water while running but refused to drink any himself (only to have some half way through at 10 miles). Long story short-he nearly died when I outkicked him at the end. MUAHHAHAHAHA!
87. On Christmas eve we ran 16 miles in 35 degree temperatures and complete downpour. Two hours in cold, wet rain. We got in the car and immediately stripped out of the sopping wet clothes into unders. I PROMISE YOU: IT’S NOT ROMANTIC WHEN YOUR SKIN IS A PURPLISH SHADE OF BLUE AND YOUR HANDS ARE CONVULSING FROM HYPOTHERMIA.
88. These experiences have made me a more confident, stronger runner in unsettling conditions, and yet I’m fairly certain they have chipped away bits and pieces of Chris’ soul. Meh, it was worth it .
89. I am currently watching the entire series of Grays Anatomy from start to finish on Netflix. Season 3 episode 15 here we come.
90. I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing this for my relationship. I need to be able to say big medical words every now and then to stop the man in his tracks: aspirate, intibate and… SHE’S SEPTIC! GET HER DOWN TO THE OR STAT!
91. I have approximately 15 one on one run coaching athletes from all over the country. I LOVE MY ATHLETES. They are my friends and my family.
92. Running is personal so coaching is personal. I see it as my job to take a earnest interest in you, your passions and work with you to achieve your goals.
93. My athletes are comprised of people I met in college, high school, the running store and many readers who have reached out to me because of the blog. Different ages, paces and experience levels- I 100% love the supportive network we have created together.
94. I often fantasize about creating a run coaching business in which I coach athletes and also meet with them 1-2x a month to discuss factors that are impacting their running: life stress, sleep, relationships, anxiety and even teach them visualization techniques to prepare for races.
95. In my day job I’m a psychotherapist a local counseling agency in Quincy called The Door is Open Counseling Center.
96. I have approximately 40 (or so) clients on my caseload.
97. I know my counseling clients better than my coworkers.
98. I often wonder if I’m doing a good job at my job, but it seems oddly self-serving to ask…
99. I often fantasize about starting a private clinical practice where I provide therapy outside, while walking. Exercise is correlated to reduced levels of anxiety and depression, so why aren’t we incorporating it into the treatment/treatment plan more frequently?
100. One of my strengths and best skills is interpreting how my clients feel and sitting with that feeling for that moment. I am not afraid to ask the hard questions. I’m not afraid to feel the intense feelings. It’s part of my job to feel so much.
101. Not gonna lie, by the end of the week I am kinda sick of feelings.
102. Thank [Charleston Heston] for weekend long runs! .
If you’ve made it to the end then thanks for reading along. I realize that some of these points may seem sad but I promise you, I’m not sad: I’m human. Counseling others makes me realize that as people we just want to love and be loved. Also, we want to feel heard and be seen. I am loved, feel heard and am surely seen in my life. That being said I can feel alone without being lonely. My feelings are passing states in my life, fleeting moments that come and go. Life is full of hope, opportunity and LMFAO lyrics because guys- I’ve got passion in my pants and I ain’t afraid to show it…
Life just feels busy right now- good busy, but busy nonetheless. I hope to keep posting as much as I can when I can. In the meantime you can be sure of one thing: I’m out there running and training! 65 miles this week with an appearance at the Colchester Half Marathon for a training run and an 18 miler long run with the bf that left the legs completely shredded. Now ladies and gentlemen it’s time to watch Epidode 3 of Stranger Things … while it’s still light out!!
Never Stop Running <3