Saturday, April 29, 2023

My Very Strong Body

 This morning, I ran, almost literally ran, a 5k. I walked a little on the hills and I also wanted to stay with Genevieve. Phoebe started out with us but switched to walking with a friend (tiny brag: last year Phoebe ran the entire thing at age 6 with a patient kindergarten teacher as her buddy, even placing 6th in her age group!). 

This is the farthest I have ever run; I usually run a little over a mile in about 10 minutes, usually about twice a week. I am extremely proud of my strong body and mind for accomplishing this personal best! I kept checking in with myself as I ran, and I felt good and strong the whole way - not even that ragged breath, painful lung feeling that I loathe and try to avoid with running. 

My husband pointed out that in cycling, you can add up your weekly miles, double that, and be confident that you can ride that for a longer ride. So I see now how my dogged jogs for the last five years, really not increasing in speed or distance, have created this strength in me. 

Another thing: when I had my first baby, I went down into post-partum depression. I was blindsided and confused. By the time I figured out what was going on and started to climb out of the hole, I felt terribly betrayed by my body. One of my big healing steps was saying this out loud to a therapist, who gently led me to talk to my body, speaking truth and love. 

I have continued to grow in my love for my body beyond what she looks like - is she well-rested, well-fed, and strong? Today was a milestone in that radical self-love. I am definitely in perimenopause now with a whole cluster of symptoms a few months back: hot flashes, mood swings, dry mouth, achy joints, flesh blanket descending on my middle, and my period a skittish, random guest. So I am even more astonished and grateful for my body's endurance today.  I will continue to jog in astonishment and self-love!

A thrifty note: the tee shirt I am wearing is from 2019. I always decline a new one with the registration. Too many branded, logo, advertising tee shirts in the thrift stores for me to contribute to that waste. So I keep wearing my race tee on repeat, even mending the holes that the bunny nibbled in it when someone who shall not be named borrowed my shirt.  

Monday, April 3, 2023

A Long-Suffering Beret and a Wild Hat

I had this silvery-green wool yarn from a local shop, so not cheap. I knitted a beret. The band was much too loose, so I carefully handsewed a little knit headband inside. I wore it last winter, as in, the winter of 21-22. Great color, not a great fit. I wanted it to be a classic shape, the band not too tight or too loose, and a simple decrease. 

 I decided to undo the whole beret and knit it again with a different pattern. I did. It was a eensy-weensy beret. I almost gave up and gave it to Phoebe, but no, I took the dumb thing apart again. Now the yarn was so crinkled that I soaked it in cool water as a skein and laid it out to dry. I used the original pattern with different needles. Still NOT RIGHT. Now I read patterns very carefully, furiously, and doubtfully and finally finally finally, after knitting and re-knitting this beret over the course of the winter, I made a lovely beret that I like! The wool yarn was resilient and wonderful through this laborious process - thank you sheep, shearer, and spinner. 
Photos of me by *Phoebe*!

In a much shorter process, Phoebe and I realized one cold morning just before her bus arrived that she did not have a beanie. I was delighted to solve this problem with my stash. I had seen and noted a local artisan who knitted hats from different weights and kinds of yarn. Like yarn patchwork! Using the little bits! Phoebe was game for a wild hat, and it was SO much fun. Some of the yarn in my stash comes from balls I let my children choose at the creative reuse store as a treat for coming along. That explains this weird pink chenille yarn that becomes excellent next to the other colors and wool. There's also one little strand of eyelash yarn in there, too, making a great texture. I am definitely making more wild hats.