Our Stories

My Reflection in Her Eyes

April 10, 2017

“She did not know that this was the best thing she could have done,

and she did not know that, when she began to walk quickly

or even RUN along the paths and down the avenue,

she was stirring her slow blood and

making herself stronger by fighting with the wind.”

The Secret Garden

Have you ever seen your own (not so flattering) reflection in the actions of others…or even worse…in the actions of you very own children? I find it hardest to parent in those moments.

My 5th grade daughter was recently called out by her physical education coach because she wasn’t participating in class. She has always been an excellent athlete, so he knew something was off. Instead of being the leader of runs and the first across finish lines, she was suddenly spending more time lingering at the back with the walkers and chatting with her friends. She was coasting.

While cooking dinner that night and listening to Rylan recount her coaches words, my mind was steered suddenly inward. And as she continued to speak, I began to recognized a pattern in my own life being reflected in her P.E. troubles.

My heart sank a bit. Did I teach her to coast?

It seems my life cycle can be summed up as this:

I lead, I push, I strive, I accomplish,

and then I fall back and coast a bit. 

It’s like clockwork…I could set my watch by it…but yet somehow I’m surprised every time I find myself back AGAIN in the coasting stage. The whole cycle has always frustrated me, specifically when it comes to my relationship with food and exercise. (but that is a blog for another time) 

I am trying to not punish myself for these coasting periods, as I can now look back and see that without those days or even seasons of rest, I wouldn’t have had the energy to push in the next phase or project in my life. Coasting and rest IS good and necessary in this marathon of life, even though it does not always look good or feel comfortable.

I don’t want my daughter to punish herself either for these natural valleys in her life, but I do have some simple advice to share with her for when she finds herself back in this coasting mode again:

Rest, Don’t Quit

Sometimes when coasting…you might find yourself stuck.

“If you get tired,

learn to rest,

not to quit.”


This is such great advice for anything you are working on, because let me tell you this: Trying to restart a project, a good habit, or an exercise routine from a dead stop is like running against the wind. It’s tough!

And while the resistance can make you stronger, like it did with Mary in The Secret Garden quote below, sometimes you might forget that you are worth the fight and just give up and quit forever.

“She made herself stronger by fighting against the wind.”

So try to rest, don’t quit, and remember that YOU are worth the fight!

Your Mind Makes the Difference

Your mind is a powerful thing…and if it convinces you to stop, your race/project/healthy habit is finished. So feed your mind good, positive thoughts, and you will be back in the chase before you know it.

After 43 years of climbing back out of the same valleys, I know that the only thing that can prod me out of my coasting period is…guess what?


The magic formula that moves me out of neutral and back on track is not a complicated matrix, a pill, or a best selling book, but just one easy step:

Step 1: I must simply “make up my mind”.

How I arrive there is different each time…but once that is done, I am back in gear again and ready for the next mountain top.

Mary did this too when she went in search of The Secret Garden,

“She made up her mind to go and find it herself.”

The Secret Garden

Spoiler Alert: (And find it she did.) So get your mind back in the game and you will be back moving and shaking in no time!


Do you ever get stuck in a coast mode too? What helps you get back on track?


Learning to Love the Valleys and the Roller-coasting Days of our Lives,

FHB and Especially Me