Sunday, January 31, 2010

He runs beside me now...

Today just beats all days. My son, Jack (11), decided he wanted to run with me. There's not a whole lot of one on one time in a family our size and I guess Jack wanted to be with Mommy for a while. Those of you with children should appreciate every moment of their young lives because it goes so quickly and before you know it, their friends and school activities take over. Especially for young boys, Mommy time goes by the wayside. Jack's dad is the lucky one now. He and Jack can bond over video games, oreos, and a good steak. Mommy isn't into any of that. And Dads are just cool at this age. Even my husband Jeff has an easier time relating to Jack than I do. Until today, anyway... Look out gentleman, Mommy's back!

Jack and I took off on our run around 1:00 and didn't end our work out until 3:00, adding some weight lifting to the days events too. As we started to run, I explained to Jack about my goals for the year and that today is my day to run a 5k. I wanted to keep him with me as long as possible, but being more of a book reader than runner, I wasn't sure how far he could go. We headed out on a one mile route, with the YMCA being our target. Jack chatted the entire time, telling me anything and everything he could think of... I learned so much about my son in one, ten minute mile. He even asked me questions about how far I run, how to move his arms, how to breathe.. It was fantastic.

Once we headed to turn toward the Y, Jack wanted to go a little further, knowing he could make it back. He told me he felt better than he's felt in his whole life, and he felt alive. Like his brain was working again and his lungs were breathing better than ever. So down to a hilly road we went, adding another mile to the route. He ran hard the whole time, trying to figure out his cadence as he pushed along. His cheeks were glowing and his smile was bigger than I've seen in years. He chatted through this mile too. Not about video games or books, star wars, or WOW. He told me some jokes, he shared who he really is...

As we approached the Y this time, we only needed one more mile exactly to have run a 5k, and he wanted to finish the run. So into the building we ran and onto the track, counting down the laps until we reached what had now become his goal, a 5k. Twelve and a quarter laps on the outside lane, with a little less talking, and suddenly Jack understood what it means to give it your all for what you want. He even did a little extra to make sure he hadn't missed a step. After we rounded the last lap, he mentioned one other thing, that he was proud of me. He told me I was doing a good job. As much as I wanted to encourage him, he was wanting to do the same for me. My little baby had run beside me, nearly at eye level, keeping up physically and emotionally, and every bit a young man.  No longer my little boy and too big for me to carry. He just runs beside me now, where I hope he'll stay for a long time to come.

My cup runneth over...

~In happiness,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

No words..

Sometimes, there aren't enough words. There are not the right words. Sometimes, the best answers come from no words at all.

I ran without my music, without my Garmin, without anything tonight. I ran in the dark, in dark clothes, in the vast cold. I felt I needed some peace, some time to do this on my own, with no reserves. I even agreed, to myself, to not over-share my thoughts tonight, to let this run be mine. The long dark streets didn't share the same bitter cold as the nights before. The breeze was eerily warm in contrast to the freezing temperature. I even removed my mask to feel the fresh air directly on my skin. It is beautiful sometimes to be in the dark. It is simple, uncomplicated. My thoughts were as secret as the path in front of me. My soul was replenished as I saw the faded light of my porch. To be home again seemed too soon, but then, all at once, comforting. I do not know how far I ran; I am not sure of the path I took. I just know I came home.

~In happiness,

It's Friday somewhere...

Ok. So it's Saturday Central time and I missed my Friday blog. But somewhere in the world it is still Friday, so this counts. It's Jessica's fault anyway. She kept feeding me beers, which in their own right are somewhat enlightening. Like how I am enlightened to the fact that tomorrow morning, or this morning, I will not be feeling so great. After sprinting a few too many times during the game and drinking a few beers on no food, my body will not be liking me when I wake up. Replenish and survive! Gatorade and tylenol needed. (This is not medical advice, I am not a doctor, I just make my own rules). I played well tonight. I still feel the pain in my quad despite the beverages that should be numbing it. This we can blame on Tina for not attending my game (Tina is my best friend/ genius Chiropractor) and saving me from what I do to myself. So Jessica and Tina, you are my excuses tonight. Good thing I think excuses are crap.

My quad probably won't heal. I can run on it, as it is, and do no more damage. But I shouldn't sprint or kick a ball. How is it that I could say no to playing my favorite game? I can not logically justify an injury that could keep me from playing soccer. Addiction? Yes. I acknowledge and accept it. To love something this much and not be able to stop, it's an addiction. Running is getting up there for me too. It has become an addiction. And such a better addiction than TV or food, or crack so I've heard. I am finding that much of my addiction to soccer is the run. I love to push, as you may have noticed, and I can't stop. Pushing your limits is what it is all about. I can't tell you this enough. For those that are keeping track, I did get my run in this morning. I finished my mileage goal and added the evening of soccer playing as a bonus. Pushing.. always pushing. No excuses, no boundaries. Have you actively loved anything that much lately?

You know what else happened tonight? It was something amazing... okay, you won't guess it so I guess I'll just tell you. Nearing the end of my game, the ball came open approximately a quarter of the field in front of me. A woman, probably 10 years younger and on the opposing team, stood 10 feet ahead of me. She took off toward the ball. And so did I...  I sprinted. I ran my ass off, pushing harder than I have in ten years. I caught up to the girl, pressured her arm on arm, passed the ball and turned faster to recover. How the hell did I do that? How did I do that and not vomit? My body is amazing! I can't even imagine doing that 6 months ago. I couldn't run to the door and thought it was funny.

My God it is good to feel this again. To be alive, to be competitive, to be fit, and fast.. wow! I love running. It is changing me. And in every way, it is good.

Jeff says we're going to try Spinning class at 7 am. Right now I think 7 am may be spinning on all on its own for me..

~In sweatiness,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Coming up short...

I'm always running short until the last minute, and then manage to figure it out. In our soccer league, we always have two girls warming up and at the last minute we find a third and are able to play. At the shop, when we're about to close the doors for good, an unbelievable sales day will pull us through. In my life, I slacked on finding "me" time for the last ten years, then a huge medical scare kicked my ass back into gear. When I run, the last few minutes are always harder as I try to make up for lost time. Every aspect of my life comes down to last minute. I am a procrastinator, yet I manage to do more than most every day. If I were a planner, I could be asleep right now and quite possibly a millionaire. But I'm not, and I'm still poor (financially anyway!).

So, in true form, I put off my run today. It's cold. It's icy. I just feel exhausted. It's Thursday, the day when someone always calls off at the shop and I am ending three straight 18 hour days and am on my way to one more. I don't want to do anything on Thursday nights but cry, or punch something, by the time I get home. Thursdays are not my favorite days but they keep coming back anyway.

 I discovered something today... I need these Thursdays. All the other days wouldn't be as great without the bad one to measure them by (thanks for reminding me!)... My Thursday is my day to procrastinate, so I can save my week on Friday. And apparently this is a day I need to have to function at my best. When I run on Thursday evenings, I always want to quit. It always hurts. And I dig deeper on Thursdays than any other day of the week. I feel less enlightened than any other day of the week. But not this day! I am enlightened again: I don't enjoy running on Thursday nights. So guess what? I am not running on Thursdays when I work this schedule. I will run on Friday mornings instead! How genius of me. Fridays had been my night off for soccer, but that doesn't mean I can't run in the mornings. Sometimes it takes me awhile to see the obvious.. I know.

I am so hard on myself, because I am a procrastinator, that I do too much and don't leave wiggle room. When it gets this hard, I need to remember why I am running. How good it feels, how it is making me stronger, how I get more out of it than I put into it. I also need to remember that I need recovery days; they are so important. And if I am good at pulling things together last minute, why not do it for my runs too! Use my recovery days wisely... Friday mornings are my last chance to get all the miles in for the week; perfect for me to pull myself to victory last minute.

I'm off now to set my alarm and get ready to wake up running. Of course I'll put off getting my clothes together for the morning... they'll magically appear when I need them.

~In happiness,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fuel for thought...

Fuel is becoming a problem. I am a paranoid eater. Yes, paranoid. I can find ten million reasons why something is inedible. I am terrified of feeding my disease instead of my health. I am a bit of a germaphobe. Add that to my animal loving heart and I am very limited on food choices. To this point in my life, I have ignored where all food came from and ate. Just simply ate. Not anymore! And I'm not sure that's better than before...

I do not eat animal flesh because it creeps me out. I would love to be able to tell you that I am here to protect the animals and some other crap, but I actually choose to not eat meat because it is gross. I don't like it. It is part of something that was once living that probably ate its own crap, and that is gross. So, my friends, that is my logic. I also do not want to eat anything that has genetically modified ingredients. This has come about because, first of all, genetically modified, to me, sounds as if it might genetically modify me. The science behind that is simple. Every member of my disease fighting team has expressed distrust in such foods and have given me large packets full of research proving that these GMOs actually fuel cancer. Therefore, why would I eat them? My doctors do not like them, my nutritionist does not like them, my holistic doctor does not like them, my best friend and chiropractor genius does not like them... So, Sam I am, I do not like green eggs and ham, especially since they probably came from animals that were feed genetically modified corn and ate their own crap.

Now on to the germ issue, I already distrusted foods that anyone else had ever touched, including me. I do not eat leftovers. Why? Because that's gross. That is the logic. It's gross. I am a child when it comes to food, mind you. And I do know that I am crazy. So add to this distrust the food safety and sanitation course I took before opening my restaurant and presto! I now see every infraction of the food safety rules when I am out to eat, and when I eat at home. I notice everything! My poor stepson has a horrible habit of picking and scratching, all the time. This does not fit well with my psycho issues. I can not eat anything that has already been opened, and do not feed my kids anything that has already been opened, for fear of who/ what has gotten into that item. And hand washing... let's not even open that. A few germs may be good for us, but I don't do gross.

So there's all my crazy, laid out on the page for you to dissect. And my point? I need to find balance to fuel my body. Even the craziest of us needs it. Every part of my life is a struggle for balance, including food. In a country full of cheap, quick and easy food choices, and healthy food options becoming rarely obtainable, eating is hard! I can feed my soul with daily runs. I can fuel my soul with family and friends. But I give so much that somedays I run on empty. And feeding my body has become just as complicated.

How do we balance what we need... physically and emotionally... and not let the crazy get the best of us?  Balancing has never been my strong suit. I'm more of an all or nothing kind of girl. So food will continue to be my challenge for now.

Now that I think of it, I even hated the balance beam... I always fell off.

~In happiness, and hunger,


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Grace in moments...

I find my grace in moments. Moments of pure adrenaline, moments of ultimate exhaustion. I know who I am in those moments. The world in all its glory and pain is so far away when I am that deep in my head. When I don't know what to do, when I am lost, I can always find my way. I thought, for just a little while today, that maybe I wouldn't. That maybe I've used all my genius moments, all my enlightened thoughts, and now I am stuck. So instead of heading straight home at the end of the night, I decided to do some physical pushing of limits. I scrubbed, I lifted, I tossed, I sprinted. And amazingly, even with such a brief effort, I began to figure it out, to find another path. I am amazed at the gift...

 Your body can take it. Push it. Be amazing.

~In happiness,

Monday, January 25, 2010

What my Mom couldn't do..

I believe it was in 1967 when a famed race director said, "I'm not prejudiced against women, they just can't run in my race." The first advertised American "distance" race for women involved some playboy bunnies and others running a mile to advertise a women's razor in the early 70s. Women could be bunnies, but not athletes, especially not runners.  Women weren't built for running; they'd never bear children if they did. The first marathon for women didn't happen in our country until the 1970s. The Olympic sport, for women, in 1984. 

When I run, I think of this. How my mother couldn't be doing what I am now. I am only 32 years old, and my mother couldn't have been running as I am. She couldn't step out onto the pavement, feeling so alive on a sunrise run. She couldn't step out for a jog after putting us to bed. Well, she physically could... but she would have feared for her health in doing so. No children in her future. And the glares from everyone around her... not to mention that sports bras didn't even come around until the very late 1970s. How humbling it is to know that I have every opportunity to do something incredible, that feels fantastic, that keeps me healthy, that makes me happy... and that opportunity wasn't available to many women before me and isn't available to many women now.

I run now because I can. I am thankful to Roberta Gibb, Kathrine Switzer, Sara Berman, Grete Waitz, and of course, Joan Benoit. These pioneers, who not only made running "allowed," but made it fast, competitive, and interesting. I have no desire to race for speed, at least not now. But I love that I could and that many of you can.

I am enlightened today. Not through my own run, but through theirs.

~In happiness,

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't say you can't...

Don't tell me you can't. Just say what you mean. Say "I won't." That's the truth behind the excuse. Why is it that the accepted thing now is to laugh when saying "I can't run to the front door."? What's truly funny about that? Is this where we laugh in the face of fear? Where we laugh to avoid crying?  Or is this where we laugh so others with laugh with us, instead of at us...

How about we start there. Get up and run to your front door. Can't run? Walk it. Take that one out of your excuse book. Unless your body is in a full cast placed on you by a medical doctor, you can do something to start your life in activity today. Whatever casts we have plastered on ourselves can be easily removed. Just start. Make a small goal and do it. You have 24 hours every single day to find 30 minutes for yourself. Don't say you can't. I don't hate much, but I hate that word. It is a word full of loss, neglect, sadness. I choose to say I can, and choose weather or not I want to based on the repercussions of that choice. I can fly; I don't want to break my leg as I fly off the roof.  I can make a million dollars this year; I don't want to sacrifice any of the things necessary to do that. I can run a marathon; I do want to feel that pain and euphoria all in one moment. I can forgive; I want to have peace in my life. There are so many places we use "can't" as an excuse. Own your choices. You won't regret it.

I ran my 5k this morning. I passed runners of every shape and size. They did it. I did it. Now you do it. Feel this good. Stop excusing. If I could bottle this feeling, and just give you a sip, I know you'd travel the world for another. Walk, run, bike, swim... start your journey. It's Sunday, isn't that what Sundays are for?

~In happiness,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The little voice inside you...

I will run tomorrow morning, in the pouring rain. I will be cold and soaked, my shoes will take hours to dry out, and I will have to spend those hours cleaning up my wet mess once I return home. It will be hard to start and even harder to go the full 5k distance. I will want to quit the entire first mile. I will think of every excuse. My feet will ache from the wet socks. The cars passing by will drench me from every puddle. My skin will be clammy and cold as I peal the wet clothes from my weak body. Many of the streets I run will be flooded. The church goers will glare, the Cracker Barrel goers will laugh, the folks in their robes trying to figure out how to get to their Sunday paper will know I am insane. No one else will show up for the run. My kids and dogs won't even think of it. But I will go...

And I can't wait to do it. 

"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit." ~ Dr. George Sheehan

I may not always be the winner, but I can sleep sound knowing I will never again be a quitter.

Bring it!

~In happiness,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Only I know...

I pushed back tonight. I crashed through the wall full force. I played the entire soccer game, running, sprinting the field to cover both ends. Just like my life. I came off the field after playing the entire game to no accolades, no good job, no pat on the back. Just like my life. I have to learn to be enough all by myself. I have to find strength in knowing I did a good job. Not just my best, but the ability to believe that what I do is great, without anyone else telling me.

 No one else can feel the pain, the drive, the determination. No one else can understand the force of the pain as my laces touch the ball. No one else can smell the blood as I breathe in with each step. No one else can see the field from where I am, the play as I come to it, the vast sea of blue shirts coming for my ball. No one else can taste the sweat dripping from my lip, my hunger for the game. No one else can hear the sound of the stagnant air as my body breaks through its silence, the grunt of the player as the struggle escalates, the anger as I step away with the ball. No one else on that field played the game I played. Only I know my game.

So I sit on my pedestal, always wavering, hoping for the accolade, the reassurance, the attention that tells me I'm still on it. Tonight, I gladly stand on that pedestal, take a giant leap of the edge, and land my two feet on the ground. As I stand with my feet in the grass, I am happy. I never liked heights anyway.

~In happiness,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Everyday is not a triumph.

Exhaustion kicking in... My 20 hour days caught up to me in my mini run. I couldn't keep going. I have hit the wall... I know all you wonderful people want me to share with you how I tore it down, how I triumphed and you can too; no such luck today. Even your voices couldn't get my legs moving. Today, I am worn down. I am worn out. I am angry for not tearing down the wall. I am hurting from not resting enough, not eating right the past few days. Not eating the wrong foods, but not eating enough because life gets so busy. I am frustrated for not following the simple logic, the basic steps to a good day.

 Everyday is not a triumph. Triumphs involve overcoming challenges and pain. Pain comes with the push. I need strength to push past it. I, like all people, need rest, fuel, and hydration to be strong.
I am not perfect.

I am determined.

I am relentless.

Tomorrow will be better, if I do what is needed today.

Water by the bed, protein shake for the a.m., running clothes ready to go. So I am off to rest, a long nights rest...

 As long as tomorrow comes, I'll have my triumphant return and that wall will crumble at my feet.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Breathe again...

I think of a time when I was younger, thinner, sexier, healthier. I run and I think, "How did that escape me?" I remember running and feeling the pure joy of my steps. The distance never mattering and the turns offering excitement, not worry. My deepest thoughts on those runs involved my outfit for the evening out and which way to wear my hair. My body could do anything then. It could stop a room. It could conquer any obstacle, beat any challenge, push the limits of life. I miss that body. I wonder how and when it was that I let it go. I want a date, like October 24, 2005. That would make it much easier to accept, by finding blame. No matter who or what I blame for the past or for today, I chose to hide my body, to bury it under the fury of my life with fat. How do I stop doing that?

I know how to stop now. I woke up and realized something amazing. Peaking out from under my pale, lightly freckled thigh was this beautiful, sleek, strong muscle line. In that moment, I understood that my beautiful, strong body is still here! It was buried, long buried, under sadness and pain. I did that. I took that body away and now, I am bringing it back. Only I can undo the damage.

Whatever layers are covering you up, start shedding them. It was hard to bury myself that deep. It took years. And it will be just as hard to dig my way out. But I know I'm doing it with this incredibly strong body, from the inside out. It can push as hard as I need for it to get to the surface. It's time for me to breathe again.

~In happiness,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's the start that stops most people...

This morning, the fog loved me. It wrapped me deep into the warmth of my bed and so gently nudged me back under the covers as I considered starting my day. Oh, how wonderful to sleep when the fog comes. A sweet cozy dreamland...

After a long battle with the snooze button, I finally decided to wake up. Only starting my run wasn't an option anymore, starting my day took priority as my son needed to be at school in ten minutes. As many of you realize, once the day starts, the you time stops. It no longer factors into the day's plan. Running from here to there has a completely different meaning at 6 a.m as it does at 8 a.m. My physical run ended up having to be squeezed into a long day of work. I felt rushed the rest of the day. So I need to work on figuring out what it is that will get me to start tomorrow, to get up running...

Have you heard the saying,"It's the start that stops most people." I see that in my life everyday and I don't like it. I need to figure out why I let it get me.

I think the start won't stop us if we stop being most people. Most people fit into some other categories I would like to avoid. Most people will fail. Most people will quit. Most people don't care. Most people die before they try. Most people don't run marathons. Most people don't believe...

I don't want to be most people; I just want to be me.

I think the start won't stop us if, when we start, we don't stop. That makes the start become a one time battle. We can be brave enough for one start, right? Every start after the first one can be a continue, a perseverance, a relentless effort, a habit.

I don't have the energy to be brave everyday; I just have the energy for my habits.

I think the start won't stop us if we stop being afraid of the journey. A journey always changes us. Good or bad. It is always hard. There are choices. There are mistakes, wrong turns, side streets, derailments, even a crash. Journeys are exhausting; but, we take them anyway. We have faith that days will get better. We believe in ourselves enough to make the hard choices despite the pain and fear.

I don't want to be afraid; I just want to be brave.

I think the start won't stop us if we learn to see the finish. We start so many things, but how many do we complete? We exhaust ourselves in effort, only to never see the finish. We see the failures, pain, loss. We give up. But! There is always room to start again. We need to try to see the finish we want to have and find courage to go the distance.

I don't want to say it's finished; I want to go the distance.

It's the start that stops most people. Good thing I'm just me.

~In happiness,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Loving the lion...

Excuses. My life has been plagued with them. I hate them. Do you ever realize that something you hate usually reflects something you dislike about yourself? I do. I can't stand when my husband or kids sit around. You know why? Because I sat around for so long and wasted so much time. I can't stand people's excuses for anything. Guess why? Maybe because I've excused my life away. I get so angry when people drop out of college. Any ideas on that one? When people complain because they continue everyday to go to a job they hate?... I am seeing a pattern here.

I love runners. I love seeing them out in all kinds of weather, in all shapes and sizes. I love watching my kids play soccer. I love seeing the woman in the library balancing her kids homework with her own. I love entrepreneurs. I love people who are do-ers. I love goal oriented people. I love when my husband makes me laugh... I hope in turn this is because it is reflecting some things I should love about myself.

Isn't that hard to do? Love yourself. Good and bad. I am never going to be perfect. I am still going to be a bitch somedays, and I'm going to still hate some things. I'm going to have days where I don't want to run or eat well. But the goal here has to be to not let those things define my life. Not to focus on the negative. Yes, I know I used two negatives in that sentence which just shows the depth of this learning curve. Defining my life in the good, the positive, the hope.

I will not be going on a run tonight. I have an excuse, I suppose. I ran earlier today.

 Gotcha on that one! Anyway, I did do a run only about half of the time and length I had planned and had justified it with an addition plan for a run tonight. I have a lot of pains all over today and the run was really hard on me. I argued in my head about continuing with another loop or stopping at the shop. I beat myself up as soon as I stopped, despite knowing that going another loop would most likely result in an injury. The shin splints from soccer are nearly healed. The tear in my quad from soccer, not nearly healed. The run I did is enough, and I have to learn about moderation here. So why is it that we are so hard on ourselves... to the point of overtraining or quitting, starving or gorging. In these opposites, both are equally damaging. First do no harm? Maybe that should be a life oath.

So add to the list of goals, ladies and gentlemen: Balance. Even better: Balance with acceptance. Loving the good and bad, the journey as well as the finish line, the lion and the gazelle.

Good night my friends, and good morning.

~ Beth

Week 3

Week 3: Walk 3 minutes, run 3 minutes... repeat four times. Do this four days this week. That's all. A small effort with big results!

Get going!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Going home again.

Last night, I went to see a band that I have loved since I was a wide eyed freshman in high school. They were a local band that drew the energy of the world on stage. They ended a great run in 1999 and hadn't performed in the last ten years, until last night! Their incredible life force once again radiated from the stage of an intimate venue known as The Pageant. How could this small, intimate stage holding four grown men turn my life into something so overwhelming and so perfect at the same time? I had a small moment at that concert, a moment where I knew my kids were both safe and sound, my best friend was watching from the seats, my husband was at my side, and the sweetest soul I've known was alive again in the music. A shot in remembrance and honor at the bar, and the moment moved on to a celebration. I celebrated last night. I celebrated the life I had and the life I have. And the best part? I celebrated in my too cute outfit with my running shoes shining proudly beside the other women's high heeled pain. I knew I would never be able to run today if I stood and jumped for four hours in heels at the concert. I was proud to make the easy choice to slip into the same shoes that have made me feel the most comfortable in my own skin. In my tank top, jeans and running shoes, I danced and jumped stage side just as I had done ten years earlier. 

So thank you, New World Spirits, for letting me go home again... Thank you, running shoes, for letting me feel comfortable being home again, in every way.
In happiness,


Move that bus...

Move that bus...

As I dress for my event tonight, working diligently on the right make-up look and hairstyle, I keep thinking of the Extreme Makeover moment when Ty yells “Move that bus!”. I feel like I have moved that bus. I am excited to get ready tonight. I feel like a busload of fat had moved off my body, only I'm only half way there. But if wait until I'm there, until I feel like the I look good enough, I'd miss tonight. I'd miss the reunion concert of my favorite band. If I had waited until I lost weight to start running, I'd still be 47 lbs heavier. So tonight, there's no more waiting. Let's move that bus... the one parked on our ass and the one parked in our hearts.

In happiness, 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Love, live, play.

Ok.. so I had a lot of fun tonight playing soccer. We lost 3-2 in the last minutes of the game, but we played hard and had the best game of the season performance wise.. After the game we relaxed with friends and had a few drinks. Then off to The Dandy (a local Pub) to celebrate Jess's birthday. It was a good night. So good, that I have four minutes left to post this and not break my new year goal.

Three minutes: Do not give up. Even when your exhausted and its three to two, you still have to go for it. No matter how many times you lose.

Two minutes: You have to have a partner that you enjoy being with. You need to be able to enjoy an evening with others and want them to be by your side, enjoying with you. That is why my husband is so great..

One minute: Love! Live!~ Play!

In happiness,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A few deserving souls..

So, where are we at on this journey? I am at the severe shin splint part of the journey today after working 3 double shifts at the restaurant and running in the morning, feeling rushed rather than reflective. No excuses, no whining, so I am sucking it up. You thought I was going there, didn't you... I will not be held back, I will not excuse, and I will not feel sorry for myself! I can do it all. My job is mandatory, but just as high on the priority list is ME. And I am the only thing on that list that doesn't go away.

So, I am also at the "my legs are looking good" phase of the journey. I guess they can't feel good and look good yet. Those two things don't coincide at this phase of training. I am still excited and happy to run. My butt has shrunk significantly, as someone so kindly pointed out this morning. I have more control over my eating craziness too. I am a happy vegetarian, with no intension of rejoining the world of the carnivores. There is plenty to choose from and excellent sources of energy (the point of the food we eat, remember?). You don't have to join me there; it is just a good fit for me. Find a good, healthy fit for you and do it.

How is your fuel doing? Keeping hydrated? Those following along from the couch potato position, go grab a glass of water. It's important for you too!

I did get to visit one of my favorite people today, for a little while. Sitting and chatting just lifted my mood and gave me some much needed normal-ness.  I am a lucky girl getting to have beautiful people in my life. This friendship is a gift my incredible friend left me when he couldn't be here anymore. He keeps leading great people to me through some deeply rooted tracks. And great people are hard to find. When you do, hold on to them. Prioritize this... Those friendships give you everything. Take it in. If you want success in this, or anything, you need people who support you and support your goals. And I don't mean go find a BFF, or any other cheesy - false term of friendship. I want you to truly think of who you need to keep in your life because you are good for each other. I too often find people that need me to rescue them, or need me to fix them, or need me to be worse off than they are to make them feel better. Bad idea! That is how you get to where I was, not to where I am going. Know who you are and where you are in this, and bring only deserving souls with you.

I will be posting the new running schedule tomorrow for those working on the fitness goal. It will be for weeks three and four. If you've just started, the first two weeks schedule was listed earlier in the blogs.

Go walk. Go run. Go swim. Go eat well with friends!

And thanks for the support and encouragement.
My expanded lungs, smaller butt, and kick-ass legs thank you too.

What's your excuse? Go... stop reading this. Put down the electronic device and go do it!

If not for you, than for me.

Go make me proud...

In happiness,


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A beautiful grace..

Running = a gait in which at some point both feet are off the ground at the same time. 

Both feet off the ground...

 In my run now, both feet are off the ground. It took time though; I had to learn to trust in my own strength, to trust my body. I had to believe that I wouldn't get hurt and that I would land on my feet again. 

If you get a chance, take a small run and notice the arc where your feet are flying, where no part of your body is touching the earth. Run as if you are barefoot. Notice how, for even the slightest moment, you are free from what holds you down. You are defying gravity. In that arc, you have everything and nothing at the same time. Two feet off the ground... wow. That is an amazing concept. How powerful, how beautiful of a existence that is.. even if only for a second. Running can give us billions of these seconds, if we choose it.  Where else do you touch nothing, where nothing touches you? Where else do you have both feet in the clouds? 

Other than a run, I can think only of a jump allowing us to lift both feet off the ground. A jump gives a moment of power, even higher than that of a run, but it  pounds us at the end. It has a significant shock value to our core, adding this substantial force at the end, abruptly halting the experience. This harshness doesn't exist in a run. Running has a simple grace about it... soft, smooth transitions as one foot glides on the earth only to lift you back to your flight. Amazing isn't it? This euphoric experience is here for us whenever we choose. We can experience it for free at anytime, anywhere we choose. It may be hard to let both feet off the ground at first, you must have faith in yourself. It will cause some pains, as do all things worth doing, but it is worth it every step of the journey.

It is a beautiful grace, running. It is a grace I carry with me when I must place both feet back on the ground.

In happiness,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All you need is love....

I love the cold air. I love it! The hill by my house that kicks my ass each day, love it. The car that passes and forces me to hop the curb to the sidewalk when I'm already near exhaustion, love it. The song programmed in my iphone to play right when I know I'll want to quit, the same song that I promised myself I would always run to, no matter what, love it. The neighborhood dog that gets right to edge of the fence barking and growling all four times I pass him, love it. The two little kids three blocks over that  said, "Moms don't run, my Mom said so." love it. The numbness in my toes that remains for hours after my run on the cold nights, love it. The pain in my shins shooting randomly in the afternoon when my mind is anywhere but on a run, love it. The way my kids look at me when I come in from a run, as if I'm the hero, love it. The definition in my legs as I swing them out of bed in the morning, love it. Laying in bed at night reading The Non-Runners Guide to Running a Marathon knowing that I am not a Non-Runner anymore, love it. Changing my life, everyday, love it. Finding out who I am and who I can be, on my terms, in my way, on my time, I love it.

All you need is love..    (bup bup budda ba)


Monday, January 11, 2010

The courage to start...

Do you ever wonder "what if?" I certainly do. Sometimes with regret, but mostly with wonder. The "what ifs" hit you hard on a long run. I suppose it's a little soul searching, a little self discovery; maybe even a little escape. No one ever shares "what ifs". These are our own dark shadows stretching from our souls as they hit the pavement. The choices we've made make us who we are, just as much as the choices we don't. Perhaps it is simply the opportunity to choose that defines us. I find my thoughts run as fast as my feet. So my feet tend to move slower on the regrets than on the wonder. I even run into the past, into moments, when I'm at a slow pace. A chance to choose the other road for a moment. Not to choose someone else, or to choose to "not" do something, but to choose to do something. To say what should have been said, to do what should have been done, and be who I should have been. I love these moments, even the painful ones. They give me the closure I need and a little grace to pass on to the next choice. I know I don't want to have one of these regrets ever again. The regret that hasn't taught me or given me the slightest sense of grace on the other end. I love this quote about my life on the run: 

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." 
-John Bingham, running speaker and writer

I can say everyday that I had the courage to start. 

In happiness
~ Beth

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Find it on the road...

For those of you running at week two, you are so close to the other side. To having a run be easy and enjoyable- a method to a happier life, mentally and physically. It is worth the pain and frustration now. This is the new you and going back is not an option.  Think about how good it feels to be getting stronger, and feel your lean muscles that are forming. Remember, you are only a few weeks away from being able to run a mile. Remember how the cold air feels on your skin as you push through the end of each interval and how good it feels to recover. How your lungs open fully for the whole day after you're done.. And you breathe with such pride and confidence. Remember the faces of the doubters who think you can't run or put you down because they can't. Remember that you are already a runner and your body is already changing and adapting to it's new shape. It's up to you to see how far that goes. Running is something no one can ever take from you. It's solely yours. It isn't controled by your spouse, by your kids, by your money, your social status, by pain, suffering, loss, or anything else. It is something you always have. And it is the only thing you will always have...

Once your feet leave the pavement, and you alone choose to push through, take each step and each movement deliberately, for your health, for your strength of self and mind. And especially now, when it is the hardest, is when you are the most in control of your future. This is when you are the most beautiful, when you are couragous and strong, evolving mentally and physically. I want happiness for each of you, but most of all I want you to want it for yourself. And anything I can ever do to get you there, I will! But this isn't about me, it's about you finding it for you. You'll find it on the road. Listening to the sound of your chest rise and fall as your feet pound the pavement; you'll see what you're capable of.. And you'll do it.

In happiness

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Have a little faith..

With my husband out with an injury, I was on my own for my snowy run today. The temperature reached a big 9 degrees by the time I left and the wind chill helped us out to make it feel -3. The start was cold, there's no getting around it. But as your body slowly starts moving and your muscles get a kick from the increased blood flow, you start to feel like it's any other run. You don't have to go far or go fast. You just simply have to go.

I have found myself surrounded by negative thinkers lately. People that are excuse makers and justifiers. I  see these people and I know that they don't think they do. I don't think I do it. And I see myself getting into their mindset the more I'm with them. So what do you do? Cut out all the negative people? Truly think about it, who's left? I have to keep my wits about me and keep my faith in myself above all other criticisms.   When everyone else tells me I shouldn't, or can't, only I know what I can and should do. When it comes to changing my life, finding enlightenment, and physically pushing myself, I have so many people wanting to keep me where I am. Isn't that crazy? Well, It is. But I understand it. Unfortunately, I used to do that too. It is much more comfortable for you to have others failing at life right by your side. Why do we have to be so afraid of change? What do you think will happen to you? What are you afraid will happen to me? I just don't want to be where I was, and that is not a bad thing.

Here's some good uses for a negative word: Don't be afraid for me, or for you. Don't stop your life because others are afraid. Don't use their excuses as a justification for your lack of effort or for your lack of change. If someone else can't do it, too many times they will want you to not do it either. They will push the bad foods on you, or make smart comments about your diet, or how next time you'll be eating it anyway. They will tell you how dangerous it is to run, to play a sport. How they can't run or their friend got hurt and how horribly it affected their life. How about a metabolism problem?... too tired to do anything and can't lose an ounce. I take a lot of thyroid medicine each day, because my thyroid is toxic and is crushed by a mass in my neck. And it did make me feel terrible, and it did make me gain a lot of this weight but I choose to put the food in my own mouth and I choose to sit on my ass. It's my problem!  There is medicine for it though, so take it and remove the excuse! It won't fix it though, you have to put in the effort to make it work. And if your spouse won't support you, help you when you need it, support you in what you need to do, it doesn't mean you don't do it. It doesn't mean you can't do it. It means you will have to do it on your own so you can be happy. You may have to be more empathetic to why they don't. When you are happy, you can bring everyone else along with you when they are ready.

Tomorrow is Sunday. The day of the week where we say it starts. The one day where we place our hopes for the future. The one day you might have used during this past week to put all your hopes for the new you to get started on this journey. If you want to get out of your rut, get your enlightenment clothes ready tonight. Have your goals set. Shoes and all, by the end of your bed. Know what you want to get out of tomorrow and go for it. Everyday IS your life. Don't miss it. Don't wait on someone else to live it for you.

My life. My quest. My faith in myself.

~ In happiness,


Friday, January 8, 2010

Mean people suck...

I feel amazing after my sweaty quest tonight. It was no picnic either. Our soccer team played against a team that was years below us in age and levels above us in skill. 10-0 final score, and a we actually did good by keeping the score that low. Worst part, our best player was injured two minutes into the game. Best part, the other team showboated and pushed us all around and it royally ticked me off! So I had the best sweat I've had in years. I played hard. I pushed back. I had a blast. And we lost. Isn't that such a great representation of life? I think that game just summed it up. Winning isn't going to be what you think it is... not necessarily coming from the score. I enjoyed getting my ass kicked tonight. I enjoyed the struggle. I enjoyed the fight. How often do you embrace the struggle you are in? I could of quit. I could've just gotten pissed from the unfair fight and just quit. I could've done that in my fight for my health, in the fight for my business, and in the fight for my love with Jeff. Sometimes it seems the field is just too biased, too one sided, and the fight is just too hard. But you don't feel this amazing without shedding some sweat! And I love to feel like this. I feel more alive, and am more alive, because of the fight. Try to find something to embrace about your struggle. Start somewhere and fight for what you want.

Motivation: Pick your butt up off the chair, walk over to your scale, and face the facts. It doesn't go away by ignoring it. No excuses. If you want to change, you have to do it. Motivating enough? How about this.. weigh in today for me: 192

Fighting the good fight.

In happiness,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The tracks of my tears...

I cried a lot today. I am not a crier, mind you. I take a licking and keep on ticking. But this evening, I just stopped trying to hold it together for a few minutes and took a good, long cry alone in my room. You see, I'm working on actually feeling all types of emotions. Oh, of course I am the sweetest, most loving and emotional open person in the world... some of you that I have crushed know better. (Still sorry!). And I'm sure my sarcasm in this blog never gives me away... For tonight, my kids wondered where Mommy went for a while and my husband, well I'm sure he felt helpless. But he checked on me, and after a while he sat quietly listening, and when I needed to hear it most, he wrapped his arms around me and said nothing more than it sucks and that's he's here with me. I didn't need to be told everything would be okay, or that anyone is sorry. I don't need anyone else to feel sad, or bad, or sorry. I need to be allowed to feel that myself, without letting anyone else down. I do understand now that my husband is a person who makes me better, in so many ways. I have battled him on that for so long. Needing people has never been my strong suit. Notice I still have my maiden name. He has managed to stick it out with me though, and for that, he does deserve an award. What a shame that I have missed this part of my life for so long...

 My tears tonight came from missing a good friend that I lost a long time ago, that I never figured out how to mourn for in the right way. So often I feel him with me, especially when life gets too overwhelming. Even today, I know I have connected with him so intensely, through too many coincidences or "signs" as crazy people say. Telling you this puts me in the crazy category but I did say all honesty here. I am lost in this emotion, as I try to grasp it all. I don't need to elaborate on why he was on my mind, because everyday, at some point, he is.. it usually is just in a happy way. I don't dwell on this loss, but it is an impact on me and even more I am grateful for the impact of his friendship. Tonight I didn't get to go for a run, instead we had a soccer game. (Soccer is my addiction, and I always want to play. Just check my facebook status any given Sunday). Without my sanity saving run, and all these emotions pouring out of eyes through this weird wet stuff, I was in bad shape. I don't remember being on the field for most of the game. I pushed myself into focusing on the game for about two minutes of the forty I was on the field. So first, sorry teammates for not playing to my ability. And second, I should have found time to run to get my head together before playing the game. And finally, yes, I was awesome during those two minutes...

I am grasping that emotions aren't always bad. So many times I have avoided them. Running away from too much of any emotion worked well for me. Now learning to run in the emotions is my new challenge. God help everyone and everything in my path...

So tonight, here's to finding happiness in the tracks of our tears.

With love (big word there!)

~ Beth

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The difference a snow makes...

I am so happy after my run that I am unable to expand too much about my enlightenment lesson for the evening. I don't even want to think about the negative that caused me to learn a positive because life is so good tonight. I did spend the first part of my run figuring out some problems since I am pretty sure my work day ranked up with one of the worst ever, but now I am on cloud nine. Can you imagine taking a completely horrible day and changing everything with one action? Thirty minutes changed 24 hours. I just ran 2.4 miles in a snowfall, through my wonderful neighborhood, passing the homes of so many people I love, and realized that I am okay. Every time I passed a street light the snow just glistened and the world looked so pure. I have been at the bottom. Life is really hard the last few years. But I am on my way up and it is glorious. My finances are no better, my stepson still needs more compassion than I can find, and my business is still trying to find its footing. The difference is I am better.

I didn't want to go tonight. I saw the snow and decided it was too cold and dangerous. But the run called me... my legs ached a little and the thought of a run wouldn't leave my head. Rather than spend another minute feeling sorry for myself, I decided just to go. If it was too slippery then I'd just come back in. But it wasn't slippery; it isn't slippery. It wasn't too cold; it isn't too cold. It is magical out there! Pack on a few layers and head on out for a few minutes if you can. I know you won't regret it. I am pushing my body because I know it won't fail me. I won't collapse. I won't quit. I am pushing my emotions because I know I can deal with all this. I am stronger than all of this. I will be okay if I step of that ledge. I am good out in that vast openness of existence. I am good with the quietness of my own thoughts... and that is a marathon of its own.

Now I will relax here in my chair... loving the pain in my legs, the cold dampness of my hair from a well earned warm shower, and the soft comfort of my blanket my dear friend made me. Life is good. Go out there and be in it.

~ In happiness,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Did you wake up today? Not just physically out of bed, but really awake. I was asked today how I do so much. And  as you can tell by my posting times, my days can be long to fit everything in.But I spent a good ten years asleep, or at most on auto-pilot. I have plenty of energy stores left from that long hibernation to help me do more now. I surround myself with people and projects that I love and that makes doing so much very easy. I don't count on having tomorrow so I do what I can today. (And after a wonderful lunch visit with one of my favorite people, I have to add a trip to Honduras soon to my list of "to-do's"). I don't always get it all done, but I delegate really well. I appreciate my health allowing me to do so much again. Being AWAKE is a wonderful thing and that is a gift I gave myself by lacing up my shoes. And I couldn't do it without my health. As far as being awake, my own husband only made it from the bed to the couch today. Sick and worn down that's as far as he got. At least until I got home and reminded him about his goal of running at least a mile every day this year. Within the next ten minutes, he was in full gear and out the door. This is the man I love! I am so proud. He is back on the couch now, but with a little shimmer of health emerging from under his running hat. I truly believe the best thing for a cold or flu is a shower and a schedule. I know, your body needs rest and sometimes you can't.. well suck it up. And yes, my doctor friends, this is my professional opinion. As a professional sick-person avoider, I endorse this message. I have no empathy for cold and flu sick people. Yes, I am horribly cruel. We've now unearthed one of my deep dark character flaws. Sick people suck. Yes, it is an odd way for a person who has spent the last 15 years of her life being, essentially, sick. And in no way am I saying I never spend sick days on the couch myself..  I just can't stand spending a day that isn't alive. It is so great to be able to get up and run any day I choose. Nothing holds me back. No sickness holds me down. If you can run on chemo, you can run with a cold. I have two beautiful legs that move me across the pavement with such joy. How sad to waste them as a decoration on my already posh couch. This part of my life does need some enlightenment though. I need some, just a little, motherly love to share with those I love that get colds. Maybe I'll run on that in the morning. Oh how I love being involved and using every minute of each day. And more projects are ready to get started again now... I leave you with this thought by Howard Thurman “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” 

Running makes me come alive... so I'll go do it.

~ In happiness,

On target for your training?

We are now a whopping 97 readers strong, and I know of at 33 of you working on the running goal of the 5k by May... 16 of you have set a goal of walking the 5k.  The rest of you haven't made any written goals as of yet, but I hope to inspire you into a sweaty mess soon enough. One training hint I want to make certain you are doing is to hydrate. Brianna made a great point in filling her water bottle every time her kids ask for a drink. I have a bad habit of not drinking anything on the days I'm playing waitress at my shop. I make certain I'm hydrating by putting my drink in the way of something I'm using frequently.. such as the Tax chart. Sometimes it's just as simple as remembering to do it. Keep a drink of water within reach whenever possible. Feel free to post here when you do your daily goal of sweat! 4 days this week we need to be out there.. so if you're on board, this is your reminder. 

Remember to click on the FOLLOW link on the left and register to follow the blog. Some of you have had problems with this, and I will have Jeff help you with that once he's feeling a bit better..

4 days.. you can do this.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight" ~ Dave Matthews

What a night! Pitch black, just a few stars sprinkled on the skyline and not a soul in sight. I am so glad my excuses lost out to my determination tonight. I had a lot to think about on my run this evening and this time it wasn't only my own meandering thoughts I contemplated. I had other voices in my head and I believe they threw me off my pace a bit too. Don't worry. I don't converse with these voices... at least not yet. All of your voices of support pushed me tonight. Without this blog, I wouldn't have gotten up and gone for my run, I wouldn't have felt bad ether. I would have justified my lack of exertion and put it off until tomorrow, or next year. But I know you're watching, waiting to call Bullshit. And I hate to disappoint.
 On my way back in my run, I began to contemplate how alone we can be on our journey. Not physically, by any means. There are way too many people on this planet and they all drive slowly in front of me. But rather how we emotionally alienate ourselves and over time create this entirely different outward persona. Yes, you do too, just like me. One that allows us to feel better about how we are perceived by others. We hide. We all do. Who truly puts up a Facebook or Twitter status that says "I cried myself to sleep", "My partner is being an ass" or "My job is a dead end and I'm drowning"... but I know we've all felt it. I've been there. I know I've wanted someone to understand or help me feel less alone at many times in my life. But in truth, we can't share those truly lonely moments without having some level of failure attached to us; even if it is a label we attach to ourselves. Well, I'm not perfect, (shocking, I know). My life has never been perfect and some days have been so hard that getting out of bed seemed like a bad idea. But, I dealt with it on my own and put on my happy face because that is what we do, (then I put a little tally in my head under the column failure, because that is also what we do). Even with that, I still know I am not alone on my journey. There are just some things that are for us to experience and grow through on our own. I can lean on you, but my own two feet have to hold me up and get me where I'm headed.

 I had time to feel and experience so much more, and actually feel less alone, by taking a solo run on a cold, dark night tonight. And I am so grateful for it.  I take your voices with me on my run and I pull strength from them when my own voice gets too weak. You know, you just might even see me grow a bit, while shrinking my pants size. I should start charging for that magic!

Here's to being alone, with the voices in our heads.

In happiness,

***So many of you have sent me your best wishes, your goals, or just let me know you're supporting and reading. (83 of you to be exact..) I hope you will go to the side bar on this page and sign up to "follow"my blog. That way everyone can comment here and see how much support we have for each other. Remember, one of my goals is to get 2,010 people on board for some enlightenment by the end of the year.

What if I'm late?

No.. not that way. I have been trying to work and take care of my sick little guy today and still haven't gotten my run in (que tiny violin).And it's 8 degrees outside right now and I am the biggest hater of treadmills. I know, it's prejudice, and I am stereotyping all treadmills, but I hate them. Top it off that everyone in this house is sick, except me! I win! I don't know what I win, but there should be some prize. (For my fellow Arbonnne-ites reading and running along, I have been taking the Get Well Soon Supplement and no one else has... and I'm healthy!). Did I think of enough excuses yet? Well... off I go. It'll take a least a half an hour to get cold gear together and on, then a good run, and home to warm up and shower.. so whatever I learn from this little outing may be posted after midnight, which will technically make it late. So I'm posting now to make certain I get it a post on today... in case I freeze to death, todays lesson will then be don't run outside when it's 8 degrees.

Ok. I'm going. Really. Enlightenment coming soon...


Sunday, January 3, 2010

The shimmer I've missed...

My littlest son came up to me today and gave me a hug. He looked up at me and said, "Remember, I'll always be in your heart." How awesome and sweet is the mind of a child... Why do we lose that sweetness? Life gets hard, and so do our personalities. We sharpen our daggers and our tongues. Everything gets a little less shine as we grow, as do we. The miracle of it all, is a good sweat makes us shine again. Not just with sweat, but from the inside we glow. For the enlightened ones, the world starts to seem a bit brighter. The worst part of the day even has a glimmer of hope after a good sweat. This is what we crave and need to actually live each day. We all exist, but very few people choose to live everyday. The bottled sunshine achieved through a good workout is our fountain of youth. No pharmaceutical company has managed to capture this gift in a bottle. It is a gift we can only give ourselves.

The problem lies in the basics of this... we have to do it for ourselves. How often are you first in your life? I have a long list of people I put ahead of me on the long list of priorities. And I have kept these other people at the front of the line for many years. To find the time for myself? Impossible. Right? I mean, everyone needs me! How pretentious am I to think I can't be replaced and my family can't survive without me for even a twenty minute run. I keep going out on these runs, and I keep coming home to happy, healthy kids and a husband who manages to find ways to survive. I am the only person in this lifetime who is willing or able to put me first. I am the only one able to give myself the gift of an after run shimmer (not to be confused with the other after-glow, that's an entirely different blog). I must help everyone understand todays enlightenment.. we have to understand this and remember it when life gets hectic again. No matter how dark and dreary each day gets, I can make a little part shine by sweeping away the cobwebs and lacing up my shoes.

I hope you shine today!

In happiness,

Running: To start your sweaty quest

Here's the schedule I used to start running. Moving your feet at any speed faster than a walk is sufficient to begin with! I do recommend THE COMPLETE BOOK OF RUNNING FOR WOMEN by Claire Kowalchik... the book truly allows me to run again.

Week 1: Walk four minutes, run two minutes, repeat 4 times. Do this 4 days this week. (Use your rest days earlier in the increase; such as: your first run is on a Sunday, rest on Monday, run Tuesday, rest Wed, run Thursday and Friday, rest Saturday to prepare for the next time increase...).

Week 2: Walk three minutes, run three minutes, repeat 4 times. Do this 4 days this week...

Weeks 3-10 coming soon.. just focus on these two weeks for now! Make each week a goal and meet your challenge!

This schedule will be 10 weeks long and you will be able to run, at a good pace, for 30 minutes at the end.

What you eat does matter!!! Make sure you are putting food and beverages in your body that fuel your new lifestyle! The entire purpose of food is to fuel your body. Use this to your advantage.. I love protein drinks now because of how they make me feel and preform on my runs. I use the Arbonne Figure 8 chocolate protein shakes (I can order them for you at my discount if you do want to use them and are on this challenge!) because they are all natural and vegan. I stopped eating all meats after watching Food, Inc. months ago... Anyway, I also love Mix1 drinks you can find at Dierbergs.. I have great runs with those too. My husband swears by Muscle Milk. Any way you choose to fuel, be sure to fuel correctly from the very beginning. It will make the entire process easier. AND HYDRATE! Water is calorie free, fat free, and not optional if you want to get healthy.
Best book ever written for girls and women! Motivation needed? This book is why I run. Thanks Brianna for being brilliant. You can still purchase this book in our shop too.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On a clear night...

You definitely can't see forever. In my run tonight, it was hard to see much farther than two steps in front of me.  I headed out into the darkness tonight to run 3.2 miles (yes, 3.2) with about 300 other crazy people. It was 12 degrees at the start of the race and the first 2 tenths of a mile went downhill, the rest went up! A couple of spots had straight runs and few other tenths went down a bit, but overall, we went up. Sometimes to get motivated, you just have to go and do. I found a billion reasons to not do this run tonight. And instead, I went at the last minute and loved it; I actually loved every minute of pain and didn't once consider quitting. That in itself is an accomplishment for me. I can't wait to be able to run for speed. Right now I just run to finish and walk when needed. No shame in that! Just showing up and moving your legs is half the battle. I am much more sane now after a crazy day of stress.
So this morning I had to leave my simpler life of the last two weeks and get back into the real world. Instead of being a big girl and dealing with my stepson coming back home after a two week vacation, my emotions went into panic mode and I, as in my run, couldn't see father than two steps in front of me. Why is it that we just can't adjust and deal, go with the flow? Or at least why can't I? I anticipate all the things that will go wrong and get all crazy in my head! Life can be very hard with a young teenager with so many issues. So many problems for so long, and you just start to expect it on your daily schedule. This is my biggest fault. Letting my stepsons emotional issues get the best of me, instead of being helpful to him. I do love him very much. I just stopped being helpful to him a while ago. I am better than this and need to act like it! Today I just went for a ride, then started cleaning and organizing the house.. how much sense does that make? Clean the house and organize since it is one thing I can be in control of... just ignore the problems. It took until my late night 5k before I decided to even think about what was bothering me. First enlightenment of the new year: I have to deal with and find a way to live with GOOD and BAD. Yes, I know, we all know that, but how often do we act on it. For the love of my life, I can do anything. This should be high on the list of priorities. So enlightened on my run already... lots of sweat for this one! We'll see how well my learning curve does this time...

For those ready to head out on their own journey, I will post the schedule I started running with. It is much easier to get started if you read up on running form and look through Runners World or some books to get started. The schedule will be up in the morning! Want to make the change??

Here's to seeing at least the next hill!

In happiness and health!

To begin this sweaty quest...

I start this new year with a quest... a challenge for myself. I have spent the last year fighting for my health, for peace in my home, for my finances, for the survival of my business, and for my life, emotionally and physically. I have won, so far, a few of these battles. Others go on even today. I found that, in the past, the control of my life was taken out of my hands and put into that of strangers. Many times I just handed over the reigns. This year, I am on my quest for happiness, for enlightenment, and to keep control in my own hands whenever possible. This is about finding beauty in all things, for myself, for yourself, on our own terms.

This is NOT a blog about weight loss, or fitting any stereotype of beauty. It is not to promote anything I use or sell, or any of my businesses or causes. I will tell you what I like and dislike, and what I use that helps me and what I am doing, but what you use needs to be what helps you. I started this journey on September 3, 2009, the day my life was handed back to me. At 237 pounds, after five years of steroids and a multitude of other medicines and eating away my problems, I was unrecognizable to myself, inside and out. I chose then, and am choosing now, to do better. I started running again, as I had  in my early 20s, but this time I had to start with a crushing 30 seconds of running and four minutes of walking. It is horribly painful and exhausting to start running. No rose colored glasses to motivate you here. It sucked.. and suck for air I did. Yes, I know, everyone says thats where they started and now life is great.. oh yea, and you can do it! Well, it still hurts to start my runs and I have no clue whether or not you can do it. And yes, I know, you don't run, you can't run, and you were not built to be a runner. Well, I am calling bullshit and you know why. I am tired of my own excuses so I am certainly not tolerant of yours. You either want in, or you don't. So if you would like to enjoy transforming with me, come on and join in. If you would like to just enjoy and watch from the sidelines, I love that you're following along too. But wherever you are in this, there are no excuses here... and when I find some excuses, or I have days I don't want to keep moving, you can feel free to call bullshit on me.

 I started this journey at 237 lbs... I am, as of today, at 197. I have lost 40 lbs of blood, sweat, and tears. I will be losing more as I find my footing in this world; I'll find myself again under all this weight, inside and out. I am currently able to walk/ run a 5k without wanting to die, but that's about it. During my run, I consider how my life has become what it is... and where it is heading. In a long run, we can hide from everything and just be. No interruptions, no problems, just existing. I hide and bury problems and stay too busy to bother with problems in my everyday life so running makes me deal with everything. Perhaps we all hide our feelings, our problems, and our faults that take us in the wrong direction. I am putting mine out there and into the front of my head. My running is my space to no longer hide, but to acknowledge, accept, and change what I can.. all the while finding my much desired enlightenment. Finding a little direction. Finding some peace. This is the challenge for me...

 Goal #1: I am to write and share with you, everyday of 2010, and to have discovered something significant or worthwhile to say.
Goal #2: Sweat everyday. Running or otherwise, I need to be healthy again and have found my enlightenment only comes from sweat.
Goal #3: Run a half marathon in Nashville in April, and another half or full marathon in Florida at the end of the year. In doing so, I am pushing the limits of my physical and emotional being.
 Goal #4: to find at least 2,010 people by the end of this year, to share this adventure with me and for us to lose collectively at least 2,010 lbs.

So now I've made some goals, and I've shared them with you. No turning back now! I love to write and I wear my heart on my sleeve... so now I wear it on this blog. Share this with anyone you'd like, post your thoughts, and enjoy this journey with me. This sweaty quest for enlightenment might just change the world.

In happiness,

**The book in this post is the first resource I purchased and I throve on its guidance..