Friday, December 31, 2010

The long goodbye

I woke up early today... there was a lot to do before my final farewell to this year's quest.

I began the day by running with a friend, who challenged me to be better than my best this year and proved to me that anyone can overcome, anyone can survive, and thrive if they choose. It turned out to be the perfect start to this special day. I see where my quest has brought me personally, and brought others too. And that is a gift I never expected.

I immediately took to the streets after my early jog to do my strongest run. I ran eight miles, full speed, no timer, no gear, just me. I ran a mile for each week of chemo I endured and in doing so, I took back what was mine. My feet flew through the winds and rain, and I never noticed the difference. I just kept on my way, as life tends to do. I made it home winded, drenched, and worn for the wear, but I made it home.

The rest of today I have spent reviewing my progress, my weaknesses and my strengths. In this year I fixed a marriage I was too busy to know was breaking. I closed the doors to one time dream that weighed me down. I found my heart, forgave myself, let go, and moved on.  I ran 684 miles this year. I went on a quest and found the end, only to realize it is the beginning.

I am here, I am whole, and I endure. And I can simply say, I have everything.

Here's to tomorrow.

In complete,


Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Have you ever actually paid attention to how we are directed to be less active, eat terribly, and become an overweight nation? In the last ten minutes, I have seen nine ads for food on TV. Not one of those ads were for healthy food. Six ads were for fast food, showing nutritionally void, high calorie, high fat foods: a chili cheese extra long hot dog, a family eating double cheeseburgers and fries, a talking hat pushing double chocolate milkshakes,  a "healthy" sandwich shop's cheese covered meatball sub, a big bucket of fried chicken, and finally a large stuffed crust three topping (all meat) pizza.

Of the other three, one showed a large family sitting down at a restaurant sharing pasta and breadsticks, then pans to a close up of the deep fried meat on layers of noodles, as a white cream sauce drenches the entire plate. Another showed cans of soup, promoting their low calorie and low fat benefits. I went ahead and looked up the nutritional facts of the soup shown on the ad... one half of the can, which is the size of my hand, is one serving. In that one serving there is over three times the daily recommended amount of sodium. On the ingredient list for this fresh soup, there are double the number of chemical compounds compared to vegetables. And to top it all off, it's second listed ingredient, right after beef broth, is high fructose corn syrup. The final ad showed something entirely different, a weight loss company that delvers food to your door. There isn't room in this blog to even go there....

So why is it this way? I know, but do you? Have you thought about it?

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the endless, mindless circle of overeating, under educating, increased laziness of who we've become, as an entire nation. We eat ourselves sick, drug ourselves well, and repeat the process until we've killed everything that is alive about this life. Kids grow up eating the shit served to them at school, and at home... scratch that, in their car.  They want junk because we allow it. They choose to lay around because we let them. The overeat, under nourish, under develop and over stimulate because that is the example we have set.

Every time I check out at the store, I send a message. Every time I turn off the TV, I send a message. Every time I speak up and speak out in front of my kids, I send a message. Every pound I lose, everyday I get up, every time I sweat, I send a message.

Join me.

Change this.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter morning

There is little in this life that will ever compare to the beauty of a winter morning run. It's the few rare days where the world stays sleeping a little longer, and the sun isn't needed for a glorious morning sky. In these mornings, I find dark pathways alive with the festive lights and their reflection in the patches of snow. The eerie sound of silence is no longer alarming, but peaceful as the morning wrestles in. The streets are empty; the roads are clear. It's the one time of year that I thrive without the music pushing me on. This sweaty quest warms me as I run, and the harder I push the better it feels...

After 6 miles this morning, I remember how it feels to be alive. I got to stand in my children's doorway and watch them sleep. I got to come home to my husband who didn't hurry off to work. I got to enjoy an hour of peaceful existence... and I recognize the moment.

I know this sweaty quest has taken me down more winding roads than ever could have imagined. But I've found what I was looking for, and I keep looking everyday so it never again becomes lost.

In love,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The *itch is back!

I'm back and if you've been sitting on your ass this whole time, you better slouch down a little lower to make certain I can't find you. You don't need me to get you out the door, do it your damn self. I am not your excuse; I'm not even my own. I have no empathy, born without it... hide people. Truly, hide.

Today, I did with full resistance the treadclimber for 30 minutes at my 100% mhr. Everyday I focused on today and how great it would feel to come back. I may have been knocked down and buried deep; I never gave up. I never looked for an excuse. And most importantly, once again, I showed up.

So get up. Suck it up. Suck it in and move forward. Your limits are just that, yours... yours to create and yours to destroy. Tomorrow I'll do more. Everyday I'll do more because this IS life.

Your excuse just officially got slammed. Set your alarm.

In sweat,


Thursday, December 16, 2010


Tomorrow is the last treatment. Today is my birthday. Yesterday was my record breaking cardio since starting treatement.

This is my 33rd year. I have a new goal.

In spired,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dog Days

I am up. I am on my feet. Two days after treatment and I actually feel... well, good! Hit an awesome run this morning, feeling like Rocky running up the stairs. And the crowd cheers...

It's almost done; this is nearly over. Just two more treatments, then back to health, work, and running everyday! I miss this so much. I miss feeling good. It is such a simple gift, that never gets appreciated. That winter cold is not worth whining about, neither is your headache. Good enough should be considered great. Perspective people. Simple perspective.

I've been miserable for the last six weeks. I've hated, I've  pitied, I've even died a little, but am so lucky to find more life at the end once again. That misery can eat your soul. I'm strong enough to have survived it, to dig out from that living grave. And I'm smart enough to appreciate it, and let it go.

 As for the next two Fridays, I will feel good enough. And for today, let's just call it great.

The dog days are over, the dog days are done...

In daylight,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sharp roots

It's been hard to lift my fingers to a keyboard, to put words into a sentence, or even just have a simple coherent thought. I have, for just a moment, found a short glimpse of myself. As I am waiting for my next treatment, which thankfully is the first of the final four, I find a million coherent thoughts running through my weakened mind and my fingers are shaking trying to keep on task here. I have not been able to run, but on most days have beeb able to take a short walk. This morning I decided to go for a brief run in the cold just to own my own existence again, even if for just a minute. I ran about 2 miles on sheer will, and a final mile on the deep, sharp roots of anger. I wasn't fast, but I was there. I made it home only to crawl to the stairs for a good cry against the spindles... and my breathe became mine again.

In haling,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When I'm not looking

People are funny. As I run by, music blasting in my ears, I see each of you as a character in a movie. I don't know you from Adam. I know about you only what I see when I'm there looking. I am a stranger to you, so you don't mind. Your p.j.'s are fine, hair all a mess. No worries about your dated glasses, worn slippers, or morning rant at the dog. I love getting a little glimpse of what surrounds me. A little window into the world that exists outside my own. I start to realize, as I run past, that I am also a character to them. That girl that runs this street everyday. Hair all a mess, worn running shoes, the morning rant at her ipod....

As I reach the country roads, there's a lot less to see. The view is great, don't get me wrong, but there isn't the challenge of knowing who someone is when I'm not looking.

I loved running past the young man who entered his car, suitcase in hand, only after a long hug with his sleepy wife.  And the smiling old woman's as she picked up todays news stories from her drive...

Then there's the man too busy to wave goodbye, too rushed to see his wife and kids patiently waiting at the door, hoping for even the simplest acknowledgement. I keep running as the expensive cars drive by, with an isolated driver who must be the busiest person in the world. Always fixing their reflection, too involved to see the stop sign. As I approach the bigger homes, the less people I see. The houses always seem empty, no lights, no toys, no mess. I'm not sure anyone actually lives there. I'm not sure if anyone would call them home...

I think about all these people I pass through the streets. I think of how they are to each other: their families, their neighbors, to themselves. What makes some love themselves enough to brave the morning light with dated glasses, worn slippers, and hair all a mess? And others love each other so deeply as to hold that hug a little longer, to let that tear fall, even for the shortest goodbyes.  And if that life is an option, why do some seem so miserable?

It is no family unless the respect is enough to show that love to strangers. And when the one's you know aren't looking, does the ring stay on the finger? Is it too loose and slips into a pocket? Or is it around a tacky gold necklace where those who are looking can't see it from where they've sunk to? I watch too many slip away from their homes and onto the street as different people. I have a birds eye view in running. I am nearly invisible to you, but over time I get to know who you are by your reflection when no one's looking... In these moments, I can also see my own, and find peace in the glimpses I leave.

We are what we do. Our reflections show who we are to others, show us what they see when we aren't looking. I don't just say the words and hide. I don't have different faces for everyday. My ring stays on, as do the beads on my wrist, as does my smile. I pin my heart on my sleeve for everyone to see. My sweaty footprints are consistent, even if not always at the same stride.  I know one day I may not be on this street looking. I may not be here to be seen. I just hope the glimpses I leave can be inspiring... beautiful, messy moments of living.

And, sir, put that ring back on... the reflection from your neck is blinding from up here.

In view,

Heavy Footprints

As I ran down the street this morning, I thought hard about lifting one foot and placing it in front of the other. It is starting over everyday. I fight harder. I have to, even knowing that tomorrow will be the same battle. I do this with a certainty that, in the end, I will be restored, healthy, and able to step on the ten mile trail like this eight weeks never happened. But, of course, there is no guarantee. I can't be promised by anyone that the easy run will ever again exist. I can't tangibly feel the runners high that floats through that future. I can't feel the loving embrace of the wind or that ever present strength of my heartbeat as I push the limits of what my body knows. I suppose this is what defines faith. Anyone of us could substitute a Deity of choice into this. For all our differences, all our religious judgements, we are all taught to have faith.

I have faith in my feet. I have faith in week nine.

In heavy footprints,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All you can take.

Then you stand.

In running shoes,


Friday, October 29, 2010

I lie

It's quite a sucker punch. Meds are in and I'm out for 24-48 hours. I am getting plenty of practice for both menopause and the flu. Amazed at how much more my body can handle when my mind decides it has to...

Bets on my running return? Sunday or Monday? Of course my money's for Saturday night...

So I lie,

In bed, a big improvement from the bathroom,


Thursday, October 28, 2010

It'll be okay

Sometimes the simplest words can heal us. I have been searching for the right words, well, for nearly a week. Words strong enough to heal physical pains and restore emotions long since drained. I've been writing and running as I could, but not sharing. I apologize to so many of you for that selfishness. I have needed some time for my own thoughts to gather, for my own strength to grow. I ran, and I run, and I will run again tomorrow and it will continue to save me. When the words can't leave my head, my feet can clear a path.

I am coming to terms with the simplest fact that I won the battle, but not yet the war. I have treatments to go through, some surgeries up ahead, and long drawn out fight with my lymphatic system. And now that I'm done letting it beat me, I am prepared to beat it. I am grateful for what running has given me. I am grateful for the one arm that is still typing today, the strong pain tolerance I have developed from the sharp rocks on the road, the simplest serenity of my meditation, the unending love of soul mates, and the unhinged power of a run that finally allows my words to flow onto the page.

It'll be okay. Everyone has told me this, over and over again, and now I'm telling you. I know... It seems  hollow at first.  I even cry that it's not, and that we don't know, and that it is so very unfair. It'll be okay. It'll be okay. It'll all be alright. I just want to scream.... But after a few days, those words start to fill with love and I start to resent them less. A few more days and the words begin to fill with hope, even faith, and I crave that reassurance. And finally, like today, those words begin overflowing; they become unending. And once that happens, I realize I am lost without them. It may not seem like much, but it is the job of the people that love us to tell us it'll be okay. It's so very important, even in the moment we may hate you for it.

It's all that is needed in the end of the day, and even in the end of the journey. Simply the compassion to  know that it's okay, and the bravery to remind us... reminding us until we are so drenched by the thought that we become it.

It'll be okay. I'll do this again. This time, I enter stronger and healthier in every other way. This time, with a doctor who understands that reducing my miles is rest. And that rest is only for the weary, not necessarily the tired. This time, enduring with the power of hundreds of people running with me, running for me, and running beside me.

Thanks to my fancy new shoes, my duct taped old ones, my favorite new doctor, my cranky old doctor,  my painfully chilly fall mornings on the road, and the snowbound runs ahead, I am telling the statistics to suck it. I'm not afraid. I'm better than the anger. And I'm back.

Sunrise-run suckers... catch me if you can.

In sheer will,


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pooh and Piglet

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart... I’ll always be with you.-- Winnie the Pooh

I spent a lot of time considering this post. I had an enlightening last 24 hours, to say the least. I may have gone even gone a little crazy for a bit, but I'm pulling back up nicely. I ran this morning to try and clear my head. My heart still laid heavy at my feet as I tried to pull myself down the street. You see, for the past five years, I have tried finding a specific card that was sent to me when I was in my freshman year of college. I had known, even at eighteen, that this card was very special and that I should keep it close. And for the past five years, I have tried to remember what the card said.

I received many letters and cards at the time. The internet was still very new so we still actually wrote letters to our friends. I thought about so many of these letters when I ran today and eventually, my steps got lighter as my heart began to drop some heavy weights. As I hit mile 7, I realized that my superglue and duct tape job on my shoes was not going to hold up much longer. I quickly focused my thoughts and dried my tears. I let the wind absorb and heal me, then headed home.

Last night I had found that letter, just by accident, as I found my oldest son's baby book. All packed tightly in a box that had been moved with my parents. I'm certain from their old house to their new, with a brief stop in a storage center for the past year. I had thought I was emptying old college books, financial ledgers, and junk, so when I came across the baby book, I was a little overwhelmed. As I flipped through the pages, I, of course, became a little teary eyed at the footprints, the little pictures, and the letters written to my son when he was only weeks old. As I put the book up onto my bookshelves, a long lost card fell from the back of the book.

The card simply showed Piglet and Pooh on the front, holding hands and walking through the woods. Piglet was looking up to Pooh, asking a question. My heart dropped as I opened the card, hoping. 

The simple inscribed answer seems, as if it was everything, then and now. To see John's handwriting again, as if he had just sent me the letter from his small room at the Naval Academy, as if I could write him back and hope to get it to the mailbox at the end of my hall before noon... as if he were right here, helping me get through another day, as he had done for so many years. 

I have found what I needed, when I actually needed it. If for even one second I have ever doubted that life brings you what you need.... If I have ever doubted that some people are just more than us... If I ever doubted that my friend was as much as I remember him to be... 

I am humbled and restored.

The strength to do, the strength to fight, to believe I can beat something than seems so much bigger than me. The belief that I can, and I will... 
My journey has never been from me, but from those who made me, and showed me, and loved me. So much of me now is because of John. He never doubted me, always believed in me, and gave me so much more than I could ever repay. So I pay it forward, that simple love and respect and friendship. That simple peace in the company of true grace. And I write him back, with as much excitement as a scared teen finding a piece of home. And I let him know:

I'm okay. I am surviving on my own here. I've made great new friends here, and even found a great love. You're words inspire me and get me through the tough times. I miss you more than you could ever know. I didn't appreciate how special our friendship was until you went away. I know you are happy there, being everything you were meant to be. I just wished it was somewhere closer to me. I hope it's everything you'd known it could be. I hope, more than anything, that you can feel my love from so far away. Remember when we held hands and prayed before we left? How you'd asked for God to protect me, and for me to know that I always have you and for our friendship to be forever? I remember your voice, and your hands, and our tears. It was so hard to say goodbye to you, but I knew that you'd always follow your dreams. And you still inspire me to follow mine. And when I can't find my way home, I know you'll find me.

I miss you and love you, my best friend. You are more than you know, stronger than you ever were, and as smart as you thought.


In tears,

Friday, October 15, 2010

A long time running

I actually killed my shoe... the sole pulled off as I approached my second mile this morning, in the dark, in the cold.

So I have now done my first 3 mile barefoot run.

What's left of my shoes is lying beside a lamp post a few miles down the road. I'll pick them up in a little while so they may have their proper hero's burial. I will miss my trusted friends. The have taken me safely through hundreds of miles and suffered through my toughest times. They've comforted me through good and bad, hot and cold. But, as with all good things, their run has come to an end.

Barefoot running wasn't so bad. I learned a little about my running stride that I hadn't noticed before and I was able to find my pain tolerance for cold, sharp rocks. I even forgot about the pain of my half closed windpipe from my swollen thyroid... so barefoot running has it's benefits. Just maybe it'll be better served when it's warmer than 50 degrees.

I am stronger than I thought, tougher than I imagined, and more resilient than I've ever been. And once again, I have a great experience to use when any one of you thinks that you want to slow down or quit cause it hurts.

Just try to find an excuse....

In warm socks,


Monday, October 11, 2010

Maddest Hopes

So many of you wonderful readers have sent me messages over the past week, letting me know that you are running! Your best wishes are greatly appreciated and my unnerved spirit goes with you on your runs... And I am still yelling for you to do more.

I received a stronger treatment today, which will mean that by tomorrow morning I will be able to do some light running. It is what gets me through the misery of the rest of this %^&*. I am becoming more patient with today's work bringing tomorrow's reward. Of course, I am still fighting the anger. I am angry at my own body for not giving my soul health. I am angry at the world for not using their health; I feel as if it is wasted on people who do not acknowledge or achieve it. I am even angry somedays at the sunrise for rising without my sweaty footsteps, and the sunset for taunting me with fiery displays that burn through even the most tightly closed blinds. I am even angry at my sweet doctor, for not have the answer that I want.

But... I move forward. I move on to brighter thoughts, such as tomorrow, where I'll wake with the smallest lump in my throat, not from the mass that hinders me, but from the happy tears that well as I lace my filthy, mile-ridden shoes. I have those days of hope that remind me that it won't be this hard forever. I try to keep patience for my body to continue healing enough for surgery, hopefully before this month ends. I have hope that because this journey has brought me to this stronger, it will see me through this with grace.

I'll be running the sunrise tomorrow. Will you?

In hope,

Friday, October 8, 2010

I ran.

Shhhh... I just ran 6 miles. A little help from my understanding Doc and off I went. Just don't tell the mean Doc. Oh wait, he reads this. I wore my heart rate monitor. I slowed my pace. A little fluid drained and some steroids.... thanks Doc! I know it's just a temporary fix, but it saves my life in more ways than you know!


In each moment,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yes I Can

Jack is my inspiration. I cannot run for a little while longer. But no matter what, I have inspired my children to run. Not only to run, but to do what they thought they could not. Jack doesn't even think about himself as a sick kid in anyway. He doesn't care that he is severely hypoglycemic. He just is a runner. One that breaks his own PR every week. One that doesn't care who finishes ahead of him, only that he finishes. Jack never thinks "I can't". He knows he can and he does. And he does because he saw me do. I set that fire and I lead with my actions and words. This is a place I have never been happier to lead.

With my body keeping me on rest, I know I will lead again soon and that gets me through. I know that my "I can" is that I can heal. I can survive this. And I can get back to the streets soon, running with Jack again. I may not be around as much the next few weeks as they schedule surgeries and possibly more chemo, but I'll be here as much as I can. And when I can't, Jack will be leading as I have taught him. Reminding you that you have no excuses... we can, you can.

In health,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pieces of me

I am scared. I don't share that much. I like to be funny or strong, but not scared. However, I have not been able to run for the last few days since my neck has swollen severely and my windpipe is being squeezed from the mass. This could be many things, but as a survivor, I know what it is. I will go in on Monday to have more tests. I will sit quietly in the chair and wait my turn for the MRI. I will keep my composure as I sit for the lab tech to take ten vials of blood. And then I will go home, smile at my kids and go about the next few days, just having a cold, and keeping my head up. But I will be terrified. I will be filled with tears sitting just beneath that same mass, both stuck somewhere they should not be. Sometime, in the middle of the night, I will get up and cry myself to sleep on the floor, where no one can hear and everyone can be okay. This is just how it is. And it makes me okay to do it this way.

Don't worry. I am not alone in this. I am never alone. But sometimes, in some places in your life, no one can go with you and nothing can make it better. Time will pass and I will find myself on the other end, able to breathe one way or another. I will be back on the streets running and training and this will all be behind me. But I know that too many others have been here, and will be here, to not share it with you.

 It is okay for me to be afraid. You don't need to fix it for me or even say it'll be okay. Just let me breathe, wherever it is that I find air. Be the best kind of friend to me by honoring your own health and treating your body with grace and simple kindness.  Love me without fear and without sadness. I am alive and will keep living everyday until I do not, and that is no different than you. And most importantly, do not empathize, or sympathize, with my situation. Just let me draw strength on your shoulder when I cannot stand straight, and use my own two legs until I start to lean.

As for tonight, well, I couldn't go for a run as I would have liked. However, I was able to take both of my sons, my brother, and my husband to see my favorite band. My kids now love them just as much as I do. I never thought I'd get to share that with them. No, not because I'd be dead you morbid freaks, but because the band broke up long ago. But fate and karma being as it is, the band is back and the timing was perfect for my boys to get to share this concert with me, on this never ending weekend.

I don't know what will come of all this; I just know that all is in order, all has come full circle now. My kids have been given a piece of me through this band. A piece of me that couldn't be seen any other way. My husband and I have more love than I've ever thought could exist, and I am so very happy. Some things are this small, and this simple, and this perfect. And when I'm on the floor, on the operating table, back in the chemo room, or back running the streets, I'll have NWS back on my ipod, giving me my happy place... flooding memories of everything good in my life, past and present. And those memories are what let me know that whatever it may be, I can handle the future.

In strength, love, and happiness,


Friday, October 1, 2010

I live, here

I run. And I run. And I run.
And I can't begin to find where it was that I used to exist. I no longer see that life, that person, that place.

I see my kids laughing more. I see my husband loving more. I see colors brighten the morning sky and fantastic amber sunsets close the day. And I run. And I am where I have meant to be all along.

I am, here. I have nothing to bring with me. I have everything I never knew I had and nothing that I thought I needed. I inhale. I exhale. And I live, here.

In my skin,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Amazing Race

My original goal for this journey was to run a 5k every weekend this year, either in a race or on my own. Well, I have met that goal so far, and even blown it out of the water. I run a minimum 5k distance at least five days a week. That is something I wasn't expecting. The other goal was to write on this blog everyday during this journey and share my triumphs and struggles. Well, as we all know, that goal has only been partially met. I have written, everyday, even on those days that said vacation or sick, and on the days where nothing appears, especially lately. The days of silence are not because I've been slacking, or even uninspired. I have learned on this journey that some things are just for me. I have my own growing to do too and all of my struggles don't belong to the world. It is okay to carry a few on my own.  But I still write, and maybe some of them will be shared. As writing, and reading, is simply a way for people to feel less alone.

However, this past week has been hard for me to write. I am so overwhelmed by the training schedule that my first thoughts are to post "Don't ever, ever want to do a marathon or train for one". Yes, I have written this title many times this week. And subsequently erased it. I find myself completely torn between the added stress of the schedule looming ahead and the joy of pushing myself to accomplish such a feat. It is amazing to be in the moment of a long run and feel that exhaustion start to set in, only to realize you have to double this in a few more weeks. Yes, amazing is the world. A word defined as to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder. A word with synonyms such as astound, stun, and dumfound. Yes, dumfound is also the word.

It amazes me that I have chosen this journey. It amazes me how much love I have found along the way. And it amazes me that I am still standing, stronger than ever, and still wanting more.

In the amazing race,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Do good work

Do good work.

That always follows me throughout each day. In my run, in raising my kids, in being a wife, in writing, in training, it whispers in the back of my mind. Do good work. It is simple. It is precise. It is complete.

I run farther than ever before. I am a better Mom, a more loving wife, an employed writer, and a motivating trainer. I remember this every time that whisper changes, every time it pushes me out the door and onto the street. I remember that doing good work has given me a great life. And when it suffers a little to do the good, it makes the reward even sweeter.

In happiness,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Marathon baby

I'm running a marathon in a little over ten weeks. Amazing how far this journey has brought me, and how much farther I will go. I have found myself on the roads of my town and now it's time to discover what else  can be discovered on the road to Vegas.

In training,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Negativity has no place in your life. You do not fail by being overweight. You do not fail by missing your goal. You fail only if you fail to change the attitude that got you there. You will succeed once you understand your successes.

Yep. That is all.

In happiness,

Monday, September 20, 2010


As I ran up the middle of the street on that long hill, all I could think about was how incredibly free I am. Right at that moment, in the dark early morning hours, nothing binds me, nothing controls me, and nothing needs me. I am all at once able to be one simple breath, one simple quiet step that no one hears. My thoughts are my own; my direction is my own; where I've been, and where I am going, matters only to me.

I am free.

In happiness,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hollowed Grace

4:30 am start. 13 miles. Pace training and speed drills.

Then my day began, which in itself was a workout. It is nearly 9 pm and this is the first time I have sat, and had peace. The pain in my legs has numbed as I passed the fatigue level and have moved on to hollowness.

Nothing hurts now, nothing is even sore. I am just outside myself looking in, so feeling would be impossible. I am sure when I do feel again, I'll be proud of my day. Despite reaching a level of exhaustion that consumes your entire body and leaves you empty to your core, I did accomplish happiness before this extreme. At this moment, I think I've been enlightened, understanding that this lack of emotion is the peace in life. The happiness before the crash, the crash before the peace. The exhaustion of all that you are, rewarded by transcendent rest.

Again I find the run reflecting life, teaching what I never knew I'd needed to learn. Again, I am thankful for the gift. I am appreciative of the grace.

In peace,


Thursday, September 16, 2010


I was a little bit inspired today before my run. For some reason, I decided to run to Sarah Brightman. Yes, run to opera music. Un-freakin-believable!

I did this run in the middle of the afternoon. The sun was shining, a cold front had blown through and the light wind was keeping me comfortable as I floated through the town. The kids were playing at recess and their laughter was barely seeping into the songs. I could nearly touch the memories of my life. This was the easiest run of my life, as if it were a gift to me for all my struggles. The weight I have lost didn't just come from my waistline. I am happy. My life is a good life. My struggles can't stop me. I can fly.

Nope. No drugs. Just a runner.

In flight,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bad Idea

I actually ran and kickboxed my way into exhaustion. My enlightened thought today is to not run and kickbox in the same day.

Oh yeah, and I went completely vegan a few weeks ago. Best choice I've made all year. My body is alive from this change! Down to my core is just... well, awake!

Love it!

In rest,

Monday, September 13, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being Green

The freshness of a fall morning just fills your spirit. The same morning sunrise comes later and later, and I have more time in my run to feel wrapped in stars. Don't be jealous of this feeling, just get up and find out for yourself. You can, you have time, and you are able.

It is easy to put this off. It is easy to hit the snooze. It's easy to just hit the shower and get on with the day. It's easy to think about it, even talk about it. It's easy to miss day, or two, or three weeks. It's easy to find excuses...

Is there anything easy in your life that has ever made a difference? Is there anything easy that was worth having?

I personally prefer a challenge.

In love,

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Lightening Thief

Why must it rain with lightening? Why not just the rain? We're already wet, worn down and bare skinned. It seems as if the pain of the cold rain on hot skin just isn't enough to test our resolve. There always has to be more. The rain is beautiful alone. It is challenging and invigorating. It brings us to life. The lightening, on the other hand, is just too shocking, too jolting, too much.  It frightens every inch of us...

 We can navigate the rain. The lightening is what kills us... yet we have to keep going.

In side,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'll go first.

With everything going on in the world right now, especially regarding religion, I couldn't help but focus on it today in my run. Running is a very spiritual event, whether you're praying for world peace or for lightening to strike you down in the pain of those last miles, it's a simple, spiritual event.

Deep into thought, I cannot help but wonder when it was that man became God. When did man become the judge, the creator, the leader, and the all? I must have missed that day, skipping church again I guess.

I don't know much about the world. I haven't traveled the globe or even studied it much. I'm one of those people that lives where they're born forever, with family and friends I've never known life without. But, in my tiny space on this earth, I know for certain a few simple things. I know the world is round. I know the sky is above me and a hardened earth is at my feet. That the sun shines on each of us;  the stars dance for any of us that slow our gait to see. I know the air I breathe is shared, freely, with people of all races, colors, ethnicities, and religions.

 I know that there is a difference between race, color, ethnicity and religions. And I know that right and wrong was long ago confused with self-efficacy.

In my space of peace, my space where exhausted legs rhythmically pound the pavement of roads less traveled, I understand. I simply feel.

Empathy, acceptance, and grace abide out here. I do not know who provides this calming grace; I do not know where it comes from.  I do know that it exists within me and I am better for it. I am more humane from it.

What else I don't know is which man-written, man-edited, man-created religious book is correct, or if they all are in the simplest way. I do know that religion, in it's foundation, no matter which one is taught or learned, exists in it's simplest terms to make the most people feel less alone.

Can we be any farther from that purpose, that common thread of acceptance? Someone has to be forgiving. Someone has to be honorable, accepting, and loving. Someone has to make a path of forgiveness that truly does what is so hard. Until we find grace enough to lead without judgement, without hate, without motive beyond peace, this will never end.

I am just one person, one American, one runner. I am not the views of the few, nor the masses. I am just a person that loves you, whatever you believe. I believe in you no matter what you love. I respect your freedom, your religious beliefs, your history and your future. I do this regardless of your thoughts of me. I do this regardless of your choices. It is not always easy, and it is not always fair. I choose to believe in what is innately right. And I may be alone in that, as alone as I am on this road... but wouldn't it be nice if we all were to err on that side.

I'll go first.

In front,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I ran.

I survived!

The spirit is so much stronger than the body. It's all in what you think you can do.

Go get it done. Go run. Go be whatever it is you want to be. Quit finding excuses, quit bitching, and go do it. Yes, you.

Suck it Doc! I'm alive and running.

In health,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I feel better. I will run tomorrow morning. 

If it kills me, well.... it won't. 

In determination,


Monday, September 6, 2010


Less sick.. might be back tomorrow!

In recovery,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sick people suck

I'll trade. Give me the pain of the final hill. Give me heat, humidity, blisters, take a toenail...

Anything but this miserable virus. I can function, but I can't LIVE... I hate sick people. Really. And when I'm sick, stay out of my way... I can fight cancer, but I'm losing terribly to this cold. I know how to fix it:

Let me run! Let me run! Let me run!

In protest,


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Big Enough

I have the drive. I have the desire. I don't have the health. I've been banned from the road for a few days. My maintenance drugs aren't as affective in fighting when I get a cold... and apparently my cold loves the weakened immune system and is headed straight for my lungs. So my Doctor has set some non-negotiable rules for the next few days. I'll play nice and follow the rules, for now.

I just ask this of you. Go for a run for me. You have the ability to go out there, step onto that asphalt and find who you are.... feel that wind beneath your feet, the crisp fall air in your lungs. Start a new addiction. Feel what it is to be alive. Step outside of your glass shelters and exist in the moment. Appreciate your health and feed it, fuel it. Is there really an excuse big enough to keep you from this? Is there any excuse big enough to waste the gift?

In recovery,

Happy Birthday, late as always

So my writing has been a little stalled the last few days... I have a problem with too much emotion shutting down my brain. John's birthday just passed and it fills my thoughts so completely that it's hard to find one to focus on...

Somewhere in that space between awake and dreaming, last night, we went for a run. I had a good talk and learned a little more about myself from it. When I woke to go for my run in reality, I was torn to stay in my dream and have more time with my friend, or step out into the empty morning, standing on my own two feet.

I kept his memory with me and focused on how proud he would be of me... standing on my own, happy. And when I started to miss him, I started to cry. And when it hurt to bad to cry and run... I stopped crying. I kept going. I kept running through every obstacle, every distraction, and every pain. One thing I know for certain, is that John taught me how to do that many years ago... and that it changed my life.

I will never find a friend that could replace him. I could never find another friend that loved as unconditionally, or gave of themselves so freely. A friend that continues to move me, and change me, even after he's gone. Finding someone to believe in you that much....well, it simply defines you.

In spired,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goodnight Sweetheart

I run tomorrow morning. 4:30 am - 6:30 am. If you never hear from me again, it was very nice knowing you. I haven't ran for two hours straight, at a pace below 11 min/mile.... well, ever.

So I'm going to bed. Think of something clever and inspiring for me this time!

In preparation,

Monday, August 30, 2010

And I thought it was me teaching him...

My son, Jack, went to his first Cross Country practice today. He has a bad cold and is on Benadryl. Last week, on Monday, he had his first blood sugar episode of the school year... on day two. He hasn't had the best health the past two weeks, but he went anyway. No question. No conversation. He wanted to go and didn't once ask to skip it. He finished the practice, worn down to the bone. He finished third from last, as he told me as soon as he entered the car, disappointment all over his face... I couldn't have been more proud. He showed up. He ran his ass off. And he didn't whine. He didn't go to the coaches and give excuses or ask for special treatment, or an easier day. He pushed harder than I've ever known anyone to push. He finished a hard hour and a half practice, no excuses. He did this with a body that isn't on board lately, and a fuel system in that body that doesn't burn as it should.

My son is amazing. He truly is amazing.

I reminded him that he wasn't 77th out of 80, but that he was 77th out of 400 kids in the school that were invited to try out today and...320 of them didn't even have the guts to show up. And tomorrow I'm certain his number will get better, as more and more won't have the determination to step out there again and push their way to the finish line, along with his own body adjusting to the work and taking him to his goal. I never excused any part of the effort for him. And he never did for himself... he just packed his bag for tomorrows practice and smiled.

In pride,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sometimes, it's everything.

I believe I can.

In training,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Forever Young

It is hard to be aging so quickly. Of course, we all are, but in each of those 365 days, someone somewhere must be clipping hours while we sleep and laughing at our naivety... I feel it on my long runs like this morning. I use the streets as a therapist, working through the days dilemmas, getting back to good. And I realize that, despite my effort, I won't always be here, in this age and health. I won't always be able to jump out of bed at crazy early hours and steal the secrets of life from the fog. My body won't always be thankful for the miles of wear and tear that my mind demands. I appreciate every moment I get to do this. Even when it hurts, when I suck for air, in the end it is always a feeling of unwavering respect for the beating.

Today is my Grandmother's birthday. She would have been... I don't even know anymore. I remember her as clearly as if I saw her yesterday, but as I ran, I realized that every year the amount of memories fade.  Today is also the day my parents start moving out after a year in our home. I know this will probably be the last time my parents and I will live in the same house, at least with youth on our side. I am lucky to have had them here, in good health, able to enjoy time together. I head for a final morning shower to steal the hot water from my Dad's sleepy routine. And one last chance to go to the door and say, "Mom?", knowing she isn't awake, but innocently getting her up to keep me company at breakfast.

I miss my Grandmother and celebrate her today by sharing stories of her craziness with my kids. And I'll miss these few moments of youth I could reclaim with my parents. Although time has not been as graceful to my body, it has given me a beautiful grace to I appreciate this age in my life, where everything, and everyone, is good.

In this moment,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A pretty cool thing

Two miles at at 10 min pace... on benadryl. It's like running in quicksand.

That's dedication. ANd it only happened because:
1) I touched mold and it destroyed my allergy barriers
2) My son asked me to take him on a run to practice for Cross Country

Since I don't trust my mental clarity after that, I'll just say my kids are awesome and I am so thankful for the training that prepared me to handle this day. To be there for my kids, when they need it, that's what matters.
To push beyond, and live to tell, that's a pretty cool thing (In my most elaborate words!).

In a haze,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The EX factor

I bet some of you jumped on her just to make sure it's not about you...

Luckily for you, this is in regards to the biggest X. It comes on strong. It stays... long past it's welcome. Kinda like some others...

It's hard to balance the nutrition, the cardio, the weights, the family, the time, the work, the friends... but we do. I do. Sometimes I get exhausted. And I always come back. I owe it to myself to not let ME fall to the end of the daily tasks. I owe it to myself to find time for what I love in everyday.

With all the ex's in my life, this one is the only one that continues to bring me down. When you just can't stand anymore, Army Crawl.

In bed,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My sleepy eyes.

Morning always comes. No matter what happened today, no matter what time I go to bed. No matter what temperature, what month, what season. It shows up... it starts me over again. I may have ran around the world twice today, but when it comes down to it, what happens tomorrow matters just as much. When morning comes, it brings no memory of today. No bonus points, no carryover, no extension. The only thing I can do today is make tomorrow easier. It will come, the morning sun will rise, and I will once again have to choose...  and my sleepy eyes will open.

In health,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Size matters most

If you have been lucky enough to be slender all your life, then you may not be as lucky as you think. I used to think I would never, ever let myself be overweight. NOT POSSIBLE! I judged all those Moms out there that had trouble getting into their MiniVan and wore elastic waist pants... okay, elastic waists may be asking for it a bit, but anyway... I would never be them. Just like some of you think. Not that I'm saying you will be overweight someday, I'm just saying it isn't what you think. There are many ways and many reasons obesity is an epidemic in this country. Some comes from pure laziness, some does not. But if you've never had to work for a healthy body, be it skinny or not, then you can never appreciate your gift. You may think you do, but it isn't the same.

To be able to push a body that resists you, to be able to fight your own DNA, your own weaknesses, in public... and lose time and time again. You build character. Depression and heartache too, but character. When you've given everything you have to just get to the starting line, you never lose again. The weight loss becomes a gain of self. Last place is the first time to cross the line. The daily mile is ultimate success. Walking past the bakery becomes heroic. Standing up to a lifetime of wrong and choosing better, comes from a deep rooted courage. Working out, overweight, in a room full of toothpicks, is the ultimate bravery. And every moment of it is aware, intentional, and powerful.

I may have thought I'd never be there, but I was... to an extent I am. But my slipping into a size 12 is the sexiest thing in the world. And still your nightmare.

In the new jeans without laying down,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Running never fails...

The road is patient, the night is kind.
It does not envy.
My power is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
I am not self-seeking, nor easily angered.
I keep no more record of wrongdoings.
I do not delight in the epic failures,
But rejoice in my determined effort.
A night sky always protects, trusts, hopes, and preserves.
There is nothing I cannot face;
There is no limit to my faith, hope, and endurance.
In a word, the running high doesn't last forever:
Nor the pain, fatigue, or speed;
But the greatest gift of the run is a life I love.

In love,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What about me

If you've made a promise to someone, you hold to it. What kind of a man does not honor his word?

If you've committed to someone, you hold to it. You didn't have to commit, it was your choice.

If you've mastered an art, use it. You don't waste a gift.

If you have a job to do, do it. Twenty other people are outside your door waiting for their chance.

If you offer to help, follow through.
If you believe it to be, then it is.
If you want it to be, then make it happen.

If you'd never think of ignoring, abusing, wasting, cheating, hurting, or abandoning someone else, then give yourself the same respect.

Pay attention to what your body needs.
Take care of yourself.
Believe in yourself.
Stay with it.
Get the job done.

In focus,

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I'm going to be who I set out to be. It isn't easy to stay on the right road. It isn't easy to take a stand, to be different. But I am no longer doing what's easy... I am doing what is necessary.

Our family, my family, has horrible eating habits. I've grown up with overweight parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents... I have struggled with my weight for 10 years. I feel too often that I am alone in this. I've been down this road so many times. I just can't keep living this weigh (yes, weigh).. I'm breaking free of the cage of this body. It's my choice, for me. I'm handling my responsibility. I'm strong enough to do this. And I am... but I still feel it's not enough.

I sat at a family dinner tonight. I loved it, don't get me wrong. Twenty five of us at a restaurant. Food and stories and laughter and love... just the most beautiful time. The deep fried foods passed up and down the table; the mounding desserts after excessive dinners. Courses of food for everyone and portions large enough for ten for each individual. And it was hard. This is what we do. It's how we celebrate; it's how we mourn. It's how we slowly kill ourselves in indulgence. To mention the danger, the disgust, the wrong in this, would be to hang your own noose. I'm certain that writing this now will piss of some people I love to the point that this week will be miserable. This year could be miserable, all because I think it needs to be said and what I say, in this world, is unspeakable.

Being silent is laying my finger on the trigger. It's time to change. It's time to go down this road together. I was able to enjoy tonight, with a small salad and baked potato. A few bites of the indulgences but of reasonable foods, in reasonable amounts. And it was enough. The family is filling. The food wasn't necessary, but it is a part of us, and the enjoyment of sharing a meal would be deeply missed. Just a change in the foods we share, and the amounts we consume. A change in the push to eat as a way of expressing our love for each other and the acceptance of the food no longer representing an acceptance of that love.

So I am hanging my own noose and saying what we don't say: this is enough. We are enough. Please.

In firing range,

Friday, August 13, 2010

My morning run

I run so early in the morning that the sun doesn't even come up by the time I finish. It is darkness, but a fresh new darkness sweetened by the morning dew and lifting the fog of the past. It is a beautiful time, although lonely and terrifying. My own resilience is all I have to keep me going, to keep on the path. I suffer through the fog that remains, as it takes a piece of each labored breath. It clouds the road ahead of me and I trust each step in strength, believing the road will rise to meet me, knowing my steps are solid. The sweetness of the dew cools my sweaty brow, it lessens the furrow and eases the earned lines on my face. A sweet, fresh chill of the new day renews my drive, hydrates my soul. I push through the darkness, through the heat, through the fatigue. I do not rest. I do not stay. Each morning I face the darkness so I may live in the each day in the light.

In strength,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm not afraid

I'm not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that, you're not alone
Holla if you feel that you've been down the same road

Yeah, It's been a ride...
I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one
Now some of you might still be in that place
If you're trying to get out, just follow me
I'll get you there 

In spired,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mirror mirror on the wall...

How much of ourselves would we change if we were walking/ running/ eating/ talking in front of a mirror all day long? What if we were televised to our friends and family all day long? How about to a gorgeous stranger?

Enough said.

Just be better, people.

In the mirror,

One more day

I'm still on vacation, since Thursday. Today is our last day. And I have managed to work out and run every day so far....

until today.

I am up. I am going. I am going. I am going.

I can do this.

In Chicago,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You give me reason to live

I get to run with my husband again!!! He is finally back after ACL surgery and I am finally able to run with him, the whole distance. Some people have movie night, some couples cook... I have a wonderful man who loves to run as much as I do. Our special days involve a trip to three running stores checking out shoes. I am so glad we're back on track with the stresses of the last few months. I am so glad, that no matter where our paths lead us, they keep coming back together. It's better to run on that wide path side by side... it's easier to breathe with him around.

In happiness,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Where there's a will

Ha ha! 4 miles before the sunrise the morning. Only 68 degrees, no humidity. Love my sleep, but love my cool breeze run on a heat warning day even better!!

Suck it midwest misery. This world owes me a break, at least I can have my run. Try and break me down some more. I'll find a way. 110 heat index? Bring it. 2 am sounds perfect.

In the nightlife,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ebb tide

My attention span is short, not that I need ADHD drugs or anything. I just have this unstoppable desire to discover and try and, well, be. Change is good. New is exciting. Different is better. I love being this way, but it tends to sometimes leave a trail of chaos behind me. I do feel badly for the young men that ever thought to love me. I only found one man in my life to ever love enough to stay. And perhaps his secret was to never let on all the way as to how much he has me figured out... and how much he challenges me in return. I do feel badly for the employers that I would stay forever. My jobs change by the months, at most the year, never by the decade. With the exception of training or coaching, everything else has short lifespans in between. Running is my best way to express my desire to be free, and to change. Every step changes me inside and out. I have transformed a dozen times on these streets, and who I am is not entirely discovered yet. I look forward to many more changes, new adventures, and the thrill of the unknown. My attention span has found something to steady it's pace, something to remain after every blink. I love my children, my husband, and my running. I do see them in all that I do. Everything else comes and goes with the tide of my mind.

I don't know what I want tomorrow to bring; I only know I want to be open to it.

In focus,

Remember the Name

I ran in the heat. I pushed and pushed and pushed just to get three miles. And when I hit the three, I only had a half mile left on the route. The original plan was to go twice, but I was simply grateful for getting through once. But as I approached my house, Remember the Name came on my ipod - which I hadn't even worn on a run in a month! And I was inspired. I was re-energized. I was better. I remembered suddenly why I do this and what it is that gives me the strength. If you don't have the song, get it. Put it as your Push song... Around the route I went, twice. I'm no quitter... sometimes I just need to be reminded.

Thanks for the push "shuffle" ipod Gods...

In heat exhaustion,

Friday, July 30, 2010

Public Enemy

I see people eating and it makes me ill. Like the guy on the stupid Activia commercial, with his fat face filled with yogurt, telling us how good it is. Shut up man! You have food in your mouth. I see people in a restaurant scratch their heads, faces, asses, whatever and proceed to pick up their food with the same nasty hands, scarfing down their scalp flakes with their deep fried chicken fingers. And then there are the slurpers, the guzzlers, the chipmunks, the chompers, and the smackers. I am going to get up one day and smack you! What the hell is wrong with you people?!

So world, for those of us with compulsive issues as we may or may not admit to having, please stop eating your dandruff and sharing the noise of your food with us. Close your mouths, breathe between bites, chew before swallowing and speaking, and please, pretty pretty pretty please, stop gorging yourselves into a catatonic state and teaching your children to do the same.

It's not a thyroid problem. It's you.

In health,

Thursday, July 29, 2010


What do you do when the world weighs more than your shoulders can hold? How can you breathe? How do you not get crushed under the weight? Where is the bottom so you can start climbing up? There has to be a happy ending. There has to be a way up. There must be a reason...

You have to believe.

In hoping,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

All these things are not as small as you are.

Amazing sunrise this morning. My love of running couldn't be stronger right now. No struggles, no worries, no pains. I just get to enjoy it.  I have an amazing group of people surrounding me, encouraging me, and pushing me forward. The best thing I ever did was make the hard choices, go through the hard times, and get to here. I cut the fat, in more places than just my waistline. I am blessed to be here, but it shouldn't be so significant that I have this. Everyone should have this. I did not fall into this situation. I made changes. Changes in me and changes in who I let in my life. I cut out the excess baggage and let the Cling-ons find other victims to suck the life out of...

If the people around you can't support you, can't be kind to you, encouraging, happy for you... get new friends. Get a new family while you're at it. You can choose your family. If you're surrounded by negative people that bring you down, cut them out of your life in every way possible. If you accomplish something you are excited about and they put it down, realize that no matter what they say, they're not just joking, they're a pain in the ass that you don't need. These people are toxic.  It is very freeing to stop the negatives, stop the drama, and stop the excuses. All the small things these people do add up to big loses for you. Take your power back.

It's not easy, but change never is...

In happiness,

Saturday, July 24, 2010

When you lose it all, baby, you're not lost.

Sometimes, life is so hard there are no words left. There is no energy to lift you from the couch and no air to fill your lungs. Somehow you continue to breathe, no matter how painful. And somehow, eventually, you find the energy to move. You find words to comfort you and move forward. When you can't go anymore, and you can't give anymore, step outside yourself. Stand up. Breathe in. Put on your shoes and run. One of two things will happen, you will find the strength to go further or you will find the strength to get back home. Either way, happiness will find you again. 

In strength,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I am the bad girl today. I am the Mom who said no, I am the wife who had no patience or understanding, and the friend who didn't pick up the phone. I ran today, too, so this was me in my better place. I can't imagine how terrible it would be for those around me if I had not gone ahead with my run this morning. I'll find balance one day, just not today. Problem one left me broke, problem two left me completely overwhelmed, problem three left me alone, and problem four hurt my pride. Luckily for me, I know deep down that none of it matters in the long run and it's not the end of the world. Just another day, just happened to not be a good one. At least it all happened in one day, so tomorrow will be better, or at least I'll be better prepared.

Next time baby, I'll be... bulletproof.

In a vest,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I get knocked down...

It isn't easy to stay motivated. Some days I'm climbing mountains before I even get out the door. I think life has kicked me in the face a few too many times today and I'm starting to bruise a little. But... I'm a fighter and I don't get knocked down without thinking of how to get up as I'm falling.

I know the beauty is in the journey, and all that other sappy crap I try to focus on... but these days suck. They just do. They suck. The heat kills my progress, but at least I'm still running. I keep finding reasons to procrastinate on everything, but I get most of it done by the end of the day. The sun will come out tomorrow, despite tonights storms, and I will be okay again.

Suck it life... you can keep throwing punches, but I'll never stop getting up.

Here's to another good fight.

In the trenches,

Monday, July 19, 2010

I found it.

Fourteen miles. 9:30 pace, 94 degrees. 86% humidity.

I found cannot on the corner of Seven Hills and Shoreline Rd. 

That is a long walk home. Bring on the rain.

In limits,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I want to fail.

"Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do than what one can." Lin Yutang

I have discovered all sorts of things that I can do. I can pull myself up. I can push myself out. I can lift the weight of the world off my shoulders. In doing this, I've also discovered that I push just enough until I have the slightest amount of success, then I move on and call it a success. I have proven I can run faster; I've proven that I can run farther. I can push hard and get to where I want to be now. 

However, I have yet to run faster and farther to the point that I cannot. I need to feel that place of being, to exist in the "cannot". That is when I will truly be able to see the truth of what I can. That is the level that has been missing, and the drive that has been lost. The "cannot" is the guts and the glory.

Tomorrow morning I will go until I find "cannot". I doubt it will be found at the end of the rainbow, but it will be somewhere beautiful.

In searching,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Deep thoughts

Holy $)!^ it's hot...

That's how deep my thoughts went on todays run.

If you're on this journey with me: HYDRATE!

In sweatiness,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Peace in the quiet

I made a bracelet. I know, you are all amazed. I am actually pretty amazed at myself. It isn't any bracelet; it is a meditation bracelet. In the correct manner of making this spiritual piece, you are to sit in a quiet space and meditate on the different aspects of life that each bead represents. If you know me at all, you must know that sitting and quiet are two things on my "needs improvement" list since grade school. I am spending this year working on those "needs improvement" areas, so this is a big step. I am surprised of how much this little act has changed my daily life. From the day I made it, I have been better. Simply better.

When I made the bracelet, after fighting my own chaotic thoughts stressing about how to get the string threaded , I focused and I was calm; I felt peaceful and relaxed. The bracelet has three stones in it. The red stone for a reflection on love, all of the love in my life. The love of the world, of nature, of my own family, of my husband. The next bead in the series was black, for loss and emptiness and it's value in my life. The loss of people, feelings, youth, innocence, and all else that is not longer. The final bead is a sandalwood bead, with a calming scent, bringing goodness and health. It is the vitality in everything around me. It is the life force that fills you as you breathe in.. it is finding your way home.

Each of the beads went onto a string methodically, with a pattern only my soul new how to place. Where I had great amounts of love I also needed to string the loss. As in life, so often they come side by side. I thought carefully as I placed each bead, reflecting on their meaning for my life specifically. I held each bead between two fingers and held tightly through each thought. I remembered things long lost and dreamed of things to come. It was a beautiful piece of my life, with strings extending from the closure looped through as to never end.

I wear this bracelet everyday. I have it as a reminder of what matters, for peaceful guidance through the day. It reminds me of the wholeness I felt when sitting quietly making it. It reminds me of the journey I am on and the path I have taken. It reminds me to be better to myself, and to others, as it all comes back to us in the end. It reminds me to live, and make the choices that lead to a satisfied life.

I am finding peace in the quiet.

In the silence,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I am happy here

14 miles! I can't believe it was just 6 months ago that I was learning to run even two blocks. I wanted to be able to run a 5k, which is now just my warm up. I am so excited to be sharing this with my clients now. It is a bit exhausting, as you can tell by the lack of personal blogging lately, but, I am finding balance. Even managed a short vacation with my family.

I have started a LOSE IT ALL Challenge for my clients and anyone else who wants to lose weight and get motivated. As always with me, it is a life changing program that digs deeper than the surface fat. I dare someone to tell me there are no issues laying beneath their surface of fat. This program is cheap, you earn money back when reaching goals, and it is simple. Best of all, I am participating. I still have about 40 lbs to lose and haven't worked as hard on it as I should. And now I am!

So... the challenge today is to put it out there to friends and family and strangers and let them know that I am on a path of change... and it won't ever go back to what it was. I have been on this path since the beginning of the year, but this is even bigger.

You don't have to join me on these changes. I am choosing healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle because I am saying NO to more disease, misery, fat, sadness, depression, and all other problems that I have created for myself by my lifestyle habits. I won't be joining you for dinner out, or grabbing a bite because it's convenient... I won't be celebrating with food, drinks, or dessert. If you make a fantastic fatty meal, I respectfully decline joining in. I have a goal, I have dreams to fulfill and all of those require me to make better choices. I have to say no to you so I can say yes to the rest of my life.

I will be happy to join you for a walk in the park, or a healthy meal at home. I'll even join you for a glass of water at your celebration. I so love all of you for your understanding and support. You don't have to get on this boat with me, but please don't push me overboard or hold me on the docks with you.

I am happy here. And that has been a long time coming.

In the boat,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vacation weeks


And yes I'm running. Just simply running.

Be back next week!

In happiness,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


When you've push hard enough, you'll know.
If you're not sure, keep going.

In simplicity,

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I get knocked down...

Sorry my friends. I'm not feeling so hot. It's been a pretty poor weak health wise. I am having some anemia issues, but on am my way back up. It's already improved enough that I can focus on the keyboard long enough to type.  Can't keep a strong woman down! Anyhow, tomorrow morning it's back to running now with plenty of iron and B12 to get me through. I appreciate even more the strength of my body and our power to do great thing with the right nutrition and good health.

Off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of vitamins.

In supplements,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Fathers Shoes

My Fathers Shoes

I remember one summer night when my Dad and I were playing in our living room. I was probably eight or so; we were living in a small house and looking back now I realize we were probably what I would consider poor, financially anyway. We had been outside all evening, my brother and I, playing with the kids of the neighborhood. My Dad finally came home just as dusk hit, and we had to go in. I remember the smell of oil and dirt filling the living room, and a soft scent of cherry cigar. You see, my Dad is an HVAC man, working all hours of the day and night for as far back as I can remember. When we did get to spend time together, he was always teasing and goofing around. This particular night he was chewing one of the tips of his cherry cigars, and began pretending to choke on it. I had to save his life, as I had done so many times. Only this time, when I saved him, my Dad looked right at me and grinned with a smile I'll remember for all my life. I saw how tired he was... for the first time, I saw how much of himself he'd given to make us happy. And he smiled and giggled, when completely exhausted, and gave another hour of his long day to make me feel important, loved, and special. I can never feel sad, or mad, about how I was raised. I never feel I could have had it better if... I had a great childhood. I was the richest kid in the world.

My Dad still works every day and night. He can't turn down a job in case they'll need the funds... "they" meaning anyone he knows that needs a helping hand. He gets paid in homemade apple pie, broken old TV's, bad checks, and kittens... even doing the work only to be paid "when you can".
My fathers shoes are still covered in oil and dirt, with soles worn through long before their time. He's my work ethic, my helping hands, my belief in others... he's my blue eyes, my laugh, and my dreams. He's my strength in hard times and my unwavering faith in my family. I could never walk a day in his shoes; I'm not strong enough. I don't know anyone who is...

In happiness,

Friday, June 18, 2010

A love story

I am ran 10 miles this morning. Got to see the sunrise, a few good friends I passed along the way... the world was peaceful except for the runners. I had time to reflect a little today, to think a bit deeper than usual. The funny thing is, the only thing I could think about today was my husband. I tried to think about what I needed to do this weekend, where I am in my training, all the things cluttering my mind because I have done so little this week in regards to my school and businesses... but I just kept wandering off. 

It was fantastic though, to get to remember the little things long forgotten about when we met. The little moments that happen when you fall in love. I got to have an "in flight" movie this morning, staring the greatest love story ever told. :) I am handing over the controls to my running thoughts again to let my mind do what it needs to do. My best runs happen when I am not in control.

In happiness,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Goodnight moon.

Goodnight moon. Your glow infused the night sky and guided my feet through the dark streets this hot night. You've earned a sweet rest. Goodnight stars. Your subtle shine reminded me to keep pushing through, that my efforts may be small but they help me shine in the dreariness of it all. Goodnight my million fireflies. You brought me through the miles with comforting thoughts of home. Goodnight sweet summer air. You nearly suffocated me and I hope a cool breeze comes through and kills you.

In the shower,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stand and Deliver

If I hold you up, you sink back down. If I pull you up, you fall back down. If I lift you up, your saddness buckles your knees and you drop right back down. I will never be strong enough; I am not a foundation to be stood on... so if I'm gone will you even try to get up again? I run and I run and I run.... but no matter how far, I still carry you with me. Put your feet down, and stand up on your own. Don't do it for me. Don't do it for anyone else. Don't do it because of anything else. Do it for you. Do it everyday. You have plenty to stand for...

In strength,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm loving it

Why in the world do I live in the midwest humidity? It's June, and I was drenched after mile .5 (yes, period is in the correct place).

This is going to be a long summer!

I did it anyway. Shin pain, hip pain, sweat in the eyes pain, and it's all worth it. 10 miles in the last 24 hours. Now there's a statement that deserves a good tag line.

In the pool,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Do what comes naturally

So while I'm hurting, I decided to add another soccer league to my weekly schedule. You know why? Because I love to play...

Isn't great when life can be that simple? You find what you love, and you do it.

We give up such loves as we age. We forget how we loved to run, how we ran down the street to meet our friends, ran around the playground, chased boys (or girls), ran the bases, or towards the ball just because it was there. All of us, at some time, loved to run. We didn't think of it as a chore; it wasn't hard. We didn't consider the why in it, we just did it. Running is natural for our bodies and it connects us to the happiness in life. Naturally we are made to move. Make your body happy again. You can. It is that simple. Your body will adapt, and life will fill your lungs once more. Imagine breathing in so purely, as you did as a child, and feeling that laughter once again in your soul.

Let go, and let it run.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

I hurt my self today... to see if I still feel.

I hurt. Every inch of my body is sore. I went through a few weeks of self pity, and exhaustion, but since none of you remembered to call me out on it, I pushed my own ass out the door and got going again. Sometimes, you have to remember that your goals are ultimately your responsibility; and more times, I have to be reminded of that. I can't rely on anyone else to get my goals done. It is time for me to dust off the mounding pity and get moving again, everyday. This is day four of running this week, day three of weights, and day one of soccer. I have dropped the five pounds that snuck back on and I am back on the wagon. And I am aching. Aching to do more and aching from doing too much.

In happiness,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Silent serenity

At some point I'd like to know what it is like to be silent. The debt, the jobs, the problems, the worries, the kids, the parents, the relationships, the anger, the responsibilities, the anxieties, the pain, to all be silent. Someone close to me asked when all this will stop, The drama, the emergencies, the hardness... when will it stop. When will it be okay to wake up and just be. I know one day it will be silent. I know one day I will wake up and everything will be done. And I know that by the end of that day, something else will begin. Only from that day on, I'll choose to let go more and take on less. I won't fight the world everywhere it's wrong. I won't take on their pain. I won't ignore my own. I am working towards that day of calm. I understand now, when people ask me how I do it all, when I didn't understand how they don't... I understand that they choose silence, and I didn't know there was a choice. I don't need silence forever, just as an option for the day.

I'll find the balance I need. I'll silence the crowds in my head as my feet hit the ground. I'll find my peace in a run. 

In silence,