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Leeward Counseling


I have a hard time going from Sunday to Monday.

You think I’m kidding. Sadly I’m not. I absolutely love my job as an mental health therapist but there is something magical about making my own schedule on Sundays. The waking up when I want to, running as long (or short) as I feel and napping in my bathrobe for however long my heart desires. Ahhh, Sundays are just plain perfection. But Mondays? Well first there’s the sounding of the alarm, the packing of the lunches, the wearing of the heels and lipstick, the doing of the hair and the being someone on time. Not to mention the work part. Monday’s make me feel like an adult who has to pay bills and be responsible. Yuck. So yea, I have a a hard time going from Sunday’s to Mondays.

The tricky bit is that life is full of transitions that are a lot harder than those experienced within one circadian rhythm.





The raising of said child.


Developing a career.

Paying for the child’s college.

The list goes on.

Finding yourself. Pursing your passions. These feats are full of life transitions and I’m in the midst of a huge one. About a month and a half ago I left my clinician job at The Door is Open Counseling to work full time at a burgeoning counseling center called Leeward Counseling. The lead clinician, owner and operator Courtney Culnane is inspirational as she has true vision of creating a warm, welcoming environment for staff and clients alike. Courtney is working around my schedule with Lillian AND my running schedule so much so that I don’t start till noon two days a week so I can run longer and I am able to be done by 4:45 on the weeks I have my mini-me at home. The trade off is that on the weeks I don’t have Lillian I work till 8 pm Monday through Thursdays and I work every other Saturday. I am honored to be part of this team and have officially hit the ground running.

What does this transition to Leeward mean to me and my life? It means that right now my focus is very much dedicated to building my career towards a financially stable life for Lilly and me. At my last company I was working about 3/4 time averaging seeing 20-22 clients a week and now I’m working towards seeing about 35 clients a week. It’s a lot more and it’s a huge change for me to be out of my home 5-6 days a week. But I love what I do and it rarely feels like work when I’m there.

I am utterly determined to own my own home. I yearn to have four walls that I can call my own and create a little nest for Lillian and myself and hopefully a puppy baby at some point. We don’t need much, but I need this. I need to do this own my own. Heck, I am doing this on my own.

I’m juggling a lot these days: Lillian, Leeward, run coaching, my own running, my online sports psychology post-graduate certificate program (two classes down! four to go!!) and I manage to squeeze in a date here and there to keep things spicy. Most days I’m up at 5 am or earlier and most nights I’m passed out before 9 pm. There have definitely been nights that I put Lilly down at 8:15 pm and head straight to bed. It’s true I really do love sleep but I also feel like I’m working hard to set up an amazing life for Lillian and myself. At least I hope so. I’ll get there, I know I will. I have to. Every time a client cancels, Lillian gets sick and I have to take a day off  or I have a really bad date (silly but true) I force myself to say, “You’ll figure it out. You always do. Keep pushing forwards.” It’s hard doing this alone.

Meet Gertie. She comes to work with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays and makes me and my clients happy… plus her mom and dad are happy cause they don’t have to pay for a dog walker. See, everyone wins 🙂

It’s a lot. Too much? Maybe. I don’t know. I’ll find out I’m sure. I guess that’s how transitions work- we go through them and slowly decide if it’s working for us or not. Then we work to refine our decisions towards a happier life. I’ve definitely had some ups and downs over the past few months and I’ve made some big decisions about my running and life that I think will help set me up for a solid fall:

*I’m not going to run a fall marathon. (sadness I know) I need to focus on building my strength and speed at shorter distances. So I decided to….

* Go to A Healthy Balance in Quincy/Hanover  2 times a week to stay on top of my personal training. I have tried to go to the gym on my own annnnnnnd- I just don’t. I’m lazy. I’m not inspired. I cut corners. But not at A Healthy Balance. At AHB Alicia, a certified personal trainer creates custom, individualized training plans. Every day I show up is different. The best part is that I’m getting personal training, but it’s at a lower cost. Instead of paying $60 or more for an hour of personal training there are always 6-7 other athletes in the gym (doing their own individual routines made for them by Alicia) so we are essentially splitting the fee (wahoo).

*Run a few fall half marathons: Ipswich Half in early Nov. and Frosty Half Marathon in December. My goal for these: feel strong and have fun!! Life has been all over the place and so has my running. I’ve been getting in the miles over the past few months, but have only just started integrating speedwork and tempos back into the mix. I want to feel pep and strength in my steps and that will come from speedwork during the week and I am planning to incorporate some trails on the weekends.

*Focus my energy on gaining my sports psychology certificate. I have already completed two out of six courses for the certificate. In Performance Enhancement I learned a lot a lot about the roles of goal setting, self-talk/confidence, motivation, focus, imagery and team cohesion play in athletic performance. My next course (Performance Enhancement B) started last week and during the course I will create my own binder of activities to bring with me to sport teams, athletes and runners alike who want to enhance their mental approach to their sport. Down the line I want to work closely with runners, athletes and local teams to supplement my clinical job and that begins with this certificate. As tired as I get at night or as sick as I get of working on the weekends- this is my passion and very much so my livelihood. I am determined to pour my heart and soul into my work. The fall marathon can be put on hold- well, this time around anyhow. 🙂

*And of course focus on building my new career at Leeward. I feel fully present, committed and passionate about working with this company. I have already met so many amazing families and new clients across the South Shore I am utterly thrilled to be a part of this company and the work they are doing within our community..

The time for vacations, buying my own home and heck, buying a puppy will come. I absolutely want these things, especially the puppy. I want to be able to have four walls to call my own and paint Lillian’s room with her. I want to be able to have my very own puppy to run free with on the trails or take Lillian on a vacation. But honestly, I’m not really there yet in life. I have to swallow my pride a little while saying it, but I’m not. Not yet at least. I know where I want to be, but I’m also happy with the life I’m living. Don’t get me wrong- boys are boneheads most days, work definitely gets stressful, sometimes I eat too many peanut butter cups/trailmix/all the ice cream and I feel gross for several days. Yup, I have those moments a lot too– but I know that when I close my eyes and it’s just me and my thoughts, that I’m doing ok. I’m on the path I want to be on and I’m going to be alright.

The past year hasn’t been easy, but I know it’s worth it.

Can’t stop, won’t stop.


*Ok, so I’m also excited for Boston Bound next spring :)*


2 Responses

  1. Brad Gates

    Hi Lonerunner!!

    Did you sign up for Boston?

    All the best

    Mystery Dude

    • thelonerunner

      Mystery dude – I did!! Life has been SO CRAZY with a new job, new house, class, coaching and the mini that I sadly haven’t made time to write. I miss it! I did run tho- and it was a blast.

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