Hi there.

How are you? I watched the Boston Marathon yesterday while working and couldn’t help but tear up watching Meb cross the finish line at his final competitive Boston Marathon. He’s an amazing athlete but more than that he displays such grace and is an inspiration to so many. meb-final-boston

Watching the marathon also made me teary eyed because it reminded me how lost I feel without running and especially the structure of training for races. I’m working really hard at keeping myself positive and keeping things in perspective especially this week….tomorrow will mark 18 years since I lost my husband to cancer. I always get very reflective during this time of the year.

18 1/2 years since this photo. I can only smile but still feel sadness when I think of all the things he never got to do in life having it end so early.

18 1/2 years since this photo. I can only smile at the memories but still feel sadness when I think of all the things he never got to do in his short life.

And I can’t help but to think about the journey my life took from April 19, 1999 to today. I had 2 choices when going through such a traumatic experience. I could let it swallow me and withdraw from life or I could work really hard every day to do my “grief work” to help myself heal. I chose the latter and while I had plenty of pity parties along the way I truly made an effort each and every day to live fully.

So in the midst of this toe injury I’m starting to connect those dots (again!). I have 2 choices right? Well I want to do whatever I can each day to help myself heal.

I was feeling a lot of improvement with the toe last week and then this weekend I had a setback and it felt more achy and uncomfortable but today it’s starting to bounce back a little. Another reminder that the healing process isn’t linear. There will be ups and downs but if I continue to do the work and rest and ice and massage and strengthen I’m on the right path.

I have that tendency to spiral when I don’t see progress fast enough and this injury is just another opportunity to build mental toughness and to get better at handling this kind of stuff. Really, if you look at it from the perspective that any setback or bad time in your life is an opportunity to build mental toughness your ahead of the game. Like looking at a glass half full right?

I rode my bike again this weekend while Mr. SOTSS ran and it was awesome. bike-daffodils12 miles for me and 10 for him. teamsternwellWhile I don’t feel like biking replaces how running makes me feel it definitely helps. And knowing that I’m making an effort to be active rather than sitting on the sofa all day sulking means I’m doing my “work”.bike-imposter

We drove out to Long Island to his Dad’s for Easter this weekend and spent some time at the beach with the dogs before the festivities began. smile-sallyboy-dogIt almost didn’t happen because Mr. SOTSS had some really bad poison ivy and after a few days of some major discomfort we decided to go to an urgent care facility to see if he could get some stronger meds. Unfortunately since it was Easter Sunday, they were the only location open around town making them so crowded that we bailed. Mr. SOTSS didn’t want to sacrifice the time slot we had set aside to take the dogs to the beach and decided he’d just suck it up and deal with the poison ivy discomfort for now. I don’t know if I could have done the same. sternwell eastbeach

Good catch Chester!

Good catch Chester!

What opportunities do you use to build mental toughness?

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full kind of person?

Anyone else dealing with an injury or other setback?


  1. I am thinking about you during this reflective time. Losing someone we love is never, ever easy and even though years go by the pain often crops and you realize the pain cuts as deep as the love. I am sorry your foot is still not fully healed. My left foot/ankle is also being a jerk right now. I was treated for tendonitis in the fall and apparently it wasn’t fully healed. I had an MRI done at the end of the year just to check to see if everything was OK. The radiologist and 2 doctors assured me all was OK. I went back to my original doctor (which I should have done to begin with) and found out I had some split tears in my tendons. So, in an ankle brace again (I don’t love it but it’s helping so I do kind of like it) and will start prolotherapy this week. I have been cycling and swimming and doing some walking (I am encouraged to walk but the brace messes up my gait a bit so my back isn’t totally thrilled). Anyway, you are so right…progress is not linear. Injuries do build mental toughness! Hang in there. Hope you are back to running soon.

    • Thanks so much Susan. Oh boy the ankle brace! I had one of those in 2014 after dealing with some of my own tendonitis. Tendons are so slow to heal. Hang in there too!

  2. Great shot of the pup catching the ball! I can never get action shots like that.
    Yes, I’m going through an injury set back right now also. I hurt my back the end of February and have not been able to participate in any of my favorite sports since then.
    I have a dysfunctional vertebrae 😮
    I’ve just started long walks, swimming, and light weights. I still can’t bike or run. However, I am enjoying the walks.
    Hang in there!

  3. I admire your tenacity through this injury and through your past struggles. We are all facing some type of challenge and we can either let it break us or let it strengthen us. You have clearly chosen the later and are a great role model in showing us the way. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us and may you continue to grow and thrive through the adversity!

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