Uphill Battles

by Julia London on February 15, 2012

We all face them.  Some people fall down as they are going uphill and never get back up.  Some people surge right to the top as if there was no hill at all.  I root for the  first group to get up and keep going.  The second group just pisses me off with their ability, which other people might call “jealousy” or “envy.”  Whatever.

Forgive me for talking about my half marathon AGAIN, but it’s only been three days, and I am still very proud of the fact that I did it, more than I would be, I think, if the weather had been nice, as it’s supposed to be in Florida this time of year.  Unfortunately, an arctic front blew in–and I mean blew in a manner that reminded me of my childhood spent on the plains of West Texas.  I have never been so miserably cold in my life.  And why would I subject myself to it?  Because we had paid to come to Florida and run in this race.  Because I had trained for three months to run that race.  I even made Julie Kenner go home one night so I could get up at dawn and run!  I was determined to run but I honestly didn’t know if I could finish.  I told myself that attempting it was important, and really, if I didn’t finish, the weather was a legitimate excuse.

I plodded along, frigid mile after frigid mile, and I realized around mile 10 that I was going to make it!  But then came mile 12. Mile 12–the last mile before the 13.1 mile finish line–was up a bridge that spanned water, and into that arctic wind.  I mean UP.  In training, they teach you to shorten your stride and use the same effort when you come to hills.  My effort at that point was just trying to put one foot in front of the other, which I did, one miserable step at a time.  No one was more surprised than me when I not only finished the race, but I set a personal best for that distance.

In THE REVENGE OF LORD EBERLIN, Lily Boudine has learned that out of the blue she inherited an estate and a title.  But the estate is losing money left and right, and like in Downton Abbey, the servants depend on her estate for their livelihood.  From page one, Lily is facing an Uphill Battle.  She doesn’t know how to conquer the hill, she has not trained for three months.  She only knows that falling down is not an option because too many people are depending on her.  She only knows that she has to keep moving forward, step by bitty step, treading carefully around a man who is hellbent on ruining her for revenge.  But she keeps going, and when she gets to the top of that hill, she can see the finish line.  She knows she has to go the distance.  Which she does.  And she definitely gets her prize (check out her neck).

I am so excited that Lily and I both conquered our hills.  It feels really good to go up and over.  Tell us about a hill you’ve had to climb with little bitty steps and tears streaming down your face as you cursed the people shouting “You can do it!”  Or just tell us about a hill you’ve climbed in your life.  

The Revenge of Lord Eberlin is on sale 2/21!  If you haven’t read Year of Living Scandalously, now is your chance–$5.99 for print and $3.99 for ebook.  Read those and look forward to The Seduction of Lady X on March 27! 

Want to know more about the series, The Secret of Hadley Green?  Be sure and check out my new Hadley Green Scrapbook to see scenes behind the books.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark vaughan February 18, 2012 at 8:08 am

It is not for children. Someday is now, sister!


Sunnymay February 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

You must be so proud to finish the race you started. I tried to run a few years ago and petered out fast since the first leg was up a hill with a 45 degree incline. Then realized that I’m more of a walker who can increase the pace for short intervals to change it up a bit so my body doesn’t get into a rut or ditch.


Kathleen O'Reilly February 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Yay, Julia! Very proud of the half marathon and I think you deserve at least two more blog posts on it. :) I think uphill battles are a part of life, and I think some people have more uphills than others, and then for some people it’s just downhill all the way.

I think the hill story that sticks out most is when me and the mister were first married and I was no bike rider, and we were riding up hill on a MOUNTAIN in Georgia (or at least it felt like it at the time). He kept on telling me the silliest thing, “Olympic bike champion, Kathleen O’Reilly pedalling at this last leg…” I still remember that and laugh about it because he’s not a guy to spout silly things.. but we made it up the hill. And just two days ago, the family signed up for Bike NY, 40 miles through four boroughs (it could be all five, I forget)… If I live through it, I’ll blog about it. :)


VB February 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

You go, girl! You MUST blog about it.


Julia London Julia London February 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Excellent!! how cool, Kathleen! You definitely must blog.


Sherri Browning Erwin Sherri Browning Erwin February 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm

So fun! Can’t wait to read about it. :)


Kathleen O'Reilly Kathleen O'Reilly February 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Will do! Thanks, all.


Dee Davis Dee Davis February 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

You guys all make me proud!!! Glad to call you friends! (And VB I’m packing as we speak :) )


Ti Colluney February 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

So many thoughts go through my head when I think ‘uphill battles.’ Probably the biggest was getting married and moving to another country. I met my husband online, and we were friends for many years before we became an ‘item.’ Friendly banter a few times a week online became daily which became phone calls several times a week. We met for the first time Thanksgiving 2005 when he flew over. The minute I met him I knew. I just knew. He proposed and we married February 2006. (6 years soon!) I was a bit unsure if I wanted to move to the UK so he flew me over in May and I fell in love with the countryside. I knew then I would be ok. It took until October for the paperwork to come through.
My family thought I was crazy. My dad and sister came to my wedding but my mom refused to. And that hurt. Still hurts. She drove my daughter and me to the airport though which was very hard. My daughter, who of course is my world, absolutely loves it here. She is 13 now and is taking after my love of history. It has taken my family some time to accept my choice in mine and Victoria’s life, and though we all regret the distance they know we are both happy and they have all come to appreciate and love my husband. My mother even came to visit us here in England and fulfilled a lifetime dream of seeing London. It still is in small ways uphill battles in many varied ways. Explaining to people I am not from Canada. I have a very southern accent and for some reason they believe I am a Canook. Understanding the accents here. Coming to grips with the taxation and politics. And missing grape jam and pizza combos.
As for your marathon, running that length is amazing to me. Kudos to you, Whine Sis, for achieving your goal! Cuz there ain’t a arctic hare’s right hind leg in hell I would ever be able to run that far. Not without the fear of black eyes. And collapsed lungs!


VB February 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Great story, Ti. That hill took a lot of courage. I am so happy for you that it all worked out so well. Especially happy that your mom and family came around.


Julia London Julia London February 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Ti, what a cool story. Next time I’m in London, I am bringing you some grape jam. And thank you!


Sherri Browning Erwin Sherri Browning Erwin February 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Grape jam? I’ve had grape jelly, but I don’t think I’ve had grape jam. I must be missing out! Will look for it.


Ti Colluney February 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Jam Jelly doesn’t matter as long as it is grape lol!! Julia that is awful sweet of you!


Sherri Browning Erwin Sherri Browning Erwin February 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Smuckers does make grape jam. I looked it up. Not sure what makes it different than grape jelly, but I would miss it, too. :) Not a big fan of marmalade. Though lemon curd is quite nice.


VB February 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

I guess one of my largest uphill battles was going through my divorce. By the time of my separation, I was suddenly back in my home town and wondering how I was going to raise my infant son on my own. I was a mess. A physical, emotional, psychological mess. It took a lot of prayer, a lot of support from family and friends, a lot of tears and a lot of time. But, I did it. And while it is not the ideal situation for my son to grow up without his father, and goodness knows I am not a perfect mother, I am truly blessed.
At the top of my hill, I discovered I was much stronger than I ever imagined. I recaptured the joy and laughter that had been missing for so long. I experienced that unimaginable, limitless love that I have for my son and he has for me.

Sorry. Got a little corny there at the end. :-)


Sherri Browning Erwin Sherri Browning Erwin February 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

Aww. Corny is good. I like corny, sappy, sweet things. You are strong. I feel like we need a group chorus of I’m Every Woman now.


Julia London Julia London February 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

Kudos to you, VB. That was a tough, tough climb. You were amazing!!!


VB February 15, 2012 at 9:07 am

I’m so proud of you, Julia. To be mentally prepared for the mild Florida weather, only to be hit with the Iditarod Marathon, makes you a hero in my book.


Julia London Julia London February 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

Aw, thanks, VB! You have faced some uphill battles, too. Belt tests with no sleep!


Jacquie D'Alessandro Jacquie D'Alessandro February 15, 2012 at 9:06 am

I’m so proud of you, Julia! What an awesome accomplishment. It both inspires me and makes me feel like a slug. I agree that every book is an Uphill Battle. Which is why every time I type “the end” I burst into tears. The relief for having reached the end just overwhelms me.
And now I’m going to put on my sneakers and get some exercise!


Julia London Julia London February 15, 2012 at 9:15 am

Thanks, Jacquie! It makes me want to get back out there, too. In a much warmer clime.


Julie Kenner/J.K. Beck/J. Kenner Julie February 15, 2012 at 9:03 am

I’m so incredibly proud of you! I’m staring down a new mountain, too. A couple of new proposals (and full books) I’m working on. It’s like standing at the base and wondering what the most scenic route up is!


Julia London Julia London February 15, 2012 at 9:15 am

That is a perfect way to put it. What’s the quickest, yet prettiest way to the top, LOL? And won’t someone else od the driving and let me go along for the ride this time?


Sherri Browning Erwin Sherri Browning Erwin February 15, 2012 at 8:32 am

Every time I write a new proposal, it feels like there’s a new mountain to climb to see it through all the steps to publication. I’ve climbed that mountain and I will keep on climbing again, even when the terrain is rocky and conditions get scary and there are obvious obstacles along the way. Yeah! That’s my self-motivating pep talk for the day. Back to work.


Julia London Julia London February 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

Isn’t that the truth? Every book is like that–from the first idea to the finished product, a huge slog uphill in an arctic wind, LOL


Sherri Browning Erwin Sherri Browning Erwin February 15, 2012 at 8:30 am

Ooh look at you with the fancy colored fonts. I’m looking at her neck, but it’s hard to focus with that big wall of hunkytown behind her. :)

So proud of you for making that finish line, and improving your time. It’s hard when it’s cold. Also hard when it’s super hot. And I know you run in both! When I would be making excuses. I hope I can stop making excuses and stick with the running program I just started.


Julia London Julia London February 15, 2012 at 8:51 am

Go Sherri Go!! If I can do it, you can do it!


VB February 15, 2012 at 9:02 am

ROFL. “Big wall of hunkytown.” Won’t you take me to…Hunkytown? Won’t you take me to…Hunkytown?


Sherri Browning Erwin Sherri Browning Erwin February 15, 2012 at 9:54 am

I’m all packed and ready to go, VB. :)


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