I am a Capricorn. Capricorns are an Earth sign. I need to feel grounded in the earth which I think is why I love my plants and gardening so much. I also think that is why I like running. My feet hitting the pavement with each footfall is my connection to the Earth.
There are also places on the Earth that ground me. One of those places in the Chicago Lakefront Trail. During the height of my “high conflict” divorce (the PC way of saying super nasty, craptastic divorce from an abusive narcissist), I found solace and comfort in my long bike rides along the Lakefront. I would head out in the morning with my bike, some water and a book. I would ride for 10 miles, take a break to read and people watch, then ride the 10 miles back to my car. It was an escape from the pressures of life where no one could find me for a while.
Once we got Lucky, I started taking him down there to run with me. We would run 5-7 miles together along the Lake and take a rest in the shade before coming home. He was living his best life and I could take a break!
Last year, when Covid took over, our trips to the lakefront ended. We stuck close to home and found new paths around the neighborhood but it was not the same. I felt out of sorts.
Last night, as I was falling asleep, I thought about the lakefront. I thought about heading back there for a run. I planned it in my head as I drifted off. When I got up this morning, I almost talked myself out of it. I dilly dallied and found things to do rather than getting dressed and going for a run. Then I took a look outside and the sun was coming up. I could see the skyline and feel the pull of the trail. So I leashed up the dog and got in the car.
We drove down to our “spot” and parked. I tried to pay but the box was broken and the app said it was “free” today. Score! With my water bottle on my waist, I turned on my “lakefront playlist” and we headed off for our run.
I took in everything….every sight, sound and smell! I noticed all that had changed since our last visit. I took pictures both in my head and with my phone!
I am not going to lie and say that this was a perfect run….it was not. I have not run a lot since I broke my arm (nerves!) so there was some walking, some crying and some cursing….but I loved every minute of it!
The small signs along the way were not lost on me….. no traffic, making the greenlights in Irving, the open parking spot, “free” parking, the sailboat named “Namaste”, the phonecall from my kids as I ran, the homeless woman who asked me to stop so she could pet Lucky (she lost her dog “a while back” and missed him), the little girl who shouted, “Hey! I love Girls on the Run” (I was wearing my GOTR shirt….and forgot I had it on until she shouted at me!)…..the list goes on and on. I am a firm believer in signs and angels….and today they were out in full force, letting me know that this was exactly where I needed to be as well as what my heart and soul needed.
Over a year ago, I took that last run for granted and today vowed never to let that happen again. I will not take the glorious views of the city and lake for granted ever again.
Today was a reminder to trust my instincts and take chances. Today was a reminder what grounds me. Today was a reminder of how far I have come, the moments and things I cherish as well as how much I have left to accomplish in this world.
My motto is #forwardisapace and I will always move forward. I move forward with my feet firmly grounded on the Earth, my heart full of love, and my soul full of peace.


2021 Pay-It-Forward:
The first five people to connect with me will receive from me, sometime within the calendar year, a handwritten note, perhaps with a gift attached. There will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me.
Let’s all pay it forward this year!
Pay it forward!!
Let’s connect!! Peace, #tutulady #forwardisapace


Day 14 of 30 
I run with my best buddy every day. The bonus of races being virtual now is that he can run them all with me!! 
Race sponsors that spoil running buddies are what I am so grateful for today! 

#30daysofthanks #thirtydaysofthanks #gratitude #grateful #virtualraces #runningbuddies #adoptdontshop #spoiled #luckydog   #sheleavesalittlesparkle #watchmommawork #forwardisapace #tutulady 


After school today, I headed out for my run. It was overcast and I was hoping to beat the rain. About a half mile from home, it started to sprinkle a bit. I turned to head home and stepped right into a puddle! While I was busy cursing my stupidity, I felt my other foot get wet….yup stepped in another puddle. The curse words were flowing ….I can string them together better than any sailor! Then I just started to laugh…..I could not get any more wet (ok, I could and did) but at this point, it was not really raining hard…just an annoying cold, raw drizzle so I started to walk. I pulled out my phone and changed my playlist. I switched from my running playlist to a playlist of classical female composers (listen here) and started walking. I needed to slow it down.
As I walked, I started to look around. I realized that the streets were empty and quiet. The rain had chased everyone indoors. I could smell fireplaces burning, dinners cooking, wet leaves and the rain. I could hear the raindrops hitting my jacket. I watched my happy, muddy, wet dog proudly carry his ball.
I live for a run on a cool, crisp, sunny fall day. It is one of my favorite things in the world. But running (or walking) in the rain on a cold raw fall day has its own endearing qualities. The colors of the fall trees against grey skies seem to be so much more rich and vibrant. The freedom of not having to avoid other people. The peace of being alone with your thoughts. I love it all!
As I walked, I thought about how a simple shift in mindset can change so much. I started off wet and cold and wanted to head home. But I ‘turned that frown upside down.’ Not in a “Pollyanna” way but in a real world “It can’t get anymore wet” way. I chose to make the best of the situation.
Take the opportunity to change your perspective. See the upside. Find the silver lining. Life is not always good but there is good in every day.