I could talk about a few of the Big Choices I have made in my life…like when I decided to go to Augustana college at the very last-minute instead of going to the University of Wyoming (luckily for my future kids my grandmother was a little psychic and told me that she just knew that I needed to go to Augustana.)

Or when I made the decision, two years later, to transfer to the University of Minnesota where I would be four hours away from my boyfriend and future husband (both the same guy) and live in a big city for the first time where I didn’t really know anybody.

Or maybe I could talk about when I decided to go to California and live with my parents for 15 weeks to cover a maternity leave when my son was a toddler because I was coming loose at the seams a bit and I just needed my mom. Post-post-partum?

But I won’t pick any of those big choices. Mostly because when it came down to those real decisions, the path always ended up seeming kind of inevitable, therefore not all that difficult.

I think that the hardest choice that I have made, and continue to make most days, is more simple. And maybe incredibly lame and a testament to how not-difficult my life has been up to this point.

The hardest choice that I make is that I choose to put on my running shoes.

photo 4 (3)

And that’s the toughest part, really. Once I put on my shoes, for some reason, the running part isn’t that difficult. Except for the whole being afraid of getting eaten by a large predator thing. You should have seen me jump when a bunny bolted out of the bushes this morning. My dog was for sure laughing at me.

Some days putting on my shoes can be ridiculously easy, like if I’m meeting a friend that I can’t wait to hang out with or if it happens to be a mind-numbingly gorgeous Fall day or if I have been cooped up with kids for days because of record rain fall or something like that.

But a lot of days the act of putting on those freaking shoes is ridiculously hard (in a first-world-hard sort of way.) Like after the nights when the kids have conspired to create midnight Mardi Gras in my bedroom or on those super cold January mornings where I can see the wind blowing sideways outside my window and the idea of rolling out of my lovely warm covers sounds as horrible as watching Pawn Stars with my husband.

And sometimes I would really just like to sit on the couch like this:


Or eat crackers on the deck with this extreme porch-sitter:

But then I would miss all of this and I wouldn’t even know I was missing it and that is also very lame:

I run not only because it makes me feel good but also because sometimes making the harder choice feels weirdly good too. And it’s partially hard because it’s one that I have to keep making every day. It’s the harder choice between curling up in my warm bed or sliding my still-asleep body down onto the floor, tugging on my crappy running pants and schlepping out into the freezing morning world and risk being a big cat’s breakfast. The harder choice between going to sleep and being awake, literally and figuratively.

There is something kind of satisfying about overcoming my own self. The self that really just wants to sit on my ass while my toddler naps and drink a beer in the afternoon and watch Breaking Bad even though I have only watched one episode and so far it seems kind of creepy and sad.

Cheers to making good and hard choices.

Beer at lunch = bad. Running = good.


If this makes you happy, then you should be overjoyed to know that I’m on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and even Pinterest!

This post was brought to you by Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF). The Sentence was “The hardest choice I ever made was…” Please visit FTSF blog hop hosts:

Stephanie at Mommy for Real

Kristi From Finding Ninee

Janine from Janine’s Confessions of Mommyholic

Kate at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine

Finish the Sentence Friday

22 thoughts on “The Hardest Choice I Make….

  1. I like your choice. I wish I had that same determination to put the running shoes on, but my will is weaker than yours. Huge kudos to you for keeping at it.

    1. joellewisler says:

      Thanks Lizzi…and my will isn’t always so strong. Like right now. Gorgeous out and all I want to do is take a nap.

  2. I am so not a runner and envious of those that do it and love it. Just never been something I could get into for some reason. I do workout, don’t get me wrong, but just not a runner I suppose. I love that you are though and loved the line about putting your running shoes on. Great and seriously thank you for sharing at FTSF with us!! 🙂

    1. joellewisler says:

      Thanks for hosting! Linking up was really fun…you know after Pam from Whatevs helped me. Through every step. Twice.

  3. Jean says:

    I need to start making that hard choice again. I’ve got nothing but respect for runners. And moms who believe in self-care too 🙂

    1. joellewisler says:

      And self-care comes in many forms right? Wine with friends counts, right?

  4. findingninee says:

    I wish I loved running. It always sounds so great but in my reality, it’s so bouncy and jiggly and I’d so much rather be on an elliptical at the gym. Which I am not doing enough of these days either. Great job for choosing to put on those shoes each time. Beer at lunch = bad. 🙂

    1. joellewisler says:

      Yeah…the jiggling is never very fun. Good bra? And kudos to going to the gym-me and the elliptical are just not friends.

  5. Rich Rumple says:

    I honestly used to run 5 miles twice a day. The zone one enters after a few minutes is unbelievable … as if you’re covering thirty feet with every stride. Alas, I moved to the deep South and found the humidity and heat much too overbearing, and quit. I always ran on sidewalks, though, never in the wild. I know too much about animals to do that. Predators see something running and look at it as prey, and snakes that feel your vibrations have no time to move, so they go into a defensive bite mode. (Just what you wanted to hear, I know. Sorry!) Or, maybe that’s just an excuse I’ve told myself to keep from ever having to put on the shoes again! Hang in there! 🙂

    1. joellewisler says:

      I’ve tried to run in the humidity too, and breathing water is not my idea of a good time. And I’m hoping that the big kitties are sleeping most of the time I’m out there!

  6. Well, your dog may be laughing at you (the bunny too), but I’m not. Kudos to you for making that choice for yourself every day. I’m admittedly way too lazy, not that I could ever actually run anyhow, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be doing something else instead! 😦

    1. joellewisler says:

      I’m sure I looked completely ridiculous running from that rabbit. And thanks for reading!

  7. Stephanie Sprenger says:

    Look who’s here! It’s Joelle! I’m so glad to see you on FTSF! Hurray! I am actually struggling with the choice to put on my workout pants before I go take my daughter to her dance class. Put on workout pants to exercise while she dances= good. Sit with my laptop while she dances= bad. I hear you, mama! Great post!

    1. joellewisler says:

      Thanks for hosting Stephanie-this was so fun! And thanks again for organizing the meet-up too, it felt good to get together with other bloggers and talk about all the insanity that I can’t talk to my husband about!

  8. Wow, those are beautiful photos! I need to make a better decision about exercising. We recently quit the Y because we couldn’t justify the cost because my husband couldn’t go anymore (his office moved far from the Y) and my oldest son aged-out of childcare (we homeschool). So I need to make that decision to put on my running shoes and drag the kids out for a walk or bike ride or anything. Your post was inspiring. Thanks! 🙂

    1. joellewisler says:

      Oh good! I’m glad you are inspired. To me, it feels so much better to go outside, even if it is really fricking cold. Good luck getting out there!

  9. Girl, I hear you. Once those shoes are on there are no other decisions to be made… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve adjusted my pony tail or checked my email before putting my running shoes on!

    1. joellewisler says:

      Right? It’s like it’s not a decision anymore. But getting there….some days much tougher than others.

  10. I love that choice! I have never been a runner. In fact, I dislike most kinds of exercise. I know I need to do it for my health, but there are so many other things to choose (TV, computer, just doing nothing). Sometimes the hardest part of any choice is taking that first step – like putting on the shoes!

    1. joellewisler says:

      I think I actually dislike the idea of exercise a lot more than the actual exercise. But I usually feel so much better afterwards that if I can remember that feeling it makes putting the shoes on a little easier.

  11. Katie Dunn says:

    Thanks for this post, Joelle! It inspired me to get up for an 8am yoga class yesterday and then go for a run in the brisk morning. Hard to get out of bed, but definitely worth it.

    BUT, (if exercise/productive morning happens), beer at lunch=very good. Nap afterwards is good, too. 🙂

    1. joellewisler says:

      Wow! I don’t think I can take credit for any kind of double workout day Katie! You rock. And I am happily handing my husband over to you guys again. I love the guy but he needs to go into the office!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: