Monday, May 31, 2010

In memoriam

I got up early today and ran the sunrise. I ran through the silence on the streets on a holiday morning, taking with me only the memories of my friend. I remembered his sacrifice. I remembered his choice. I acknowledged my ability to run these streets freely. I do not have to cover my face; I do not have to be afraid. I do not have to ask for permission.

I do get to feel the breeze on my skin and the wind in my hair. My children can choose their futures; I can choose mine. From the route I run, to the place I live, to the people in my life, I am free to choose and free to live.

I ran past the memorial, stopped for a few minutes to stand by his name. All I could do was stand by his name... I couldn't hug him, talk to him; I couldn't lean on him to feel better.

 I couldn't be with him, but I could keep him with me.

I walked back to the street and returned to my day, the brilliant sunrise of another day given to me through their sacrifices. I ran the route back home, enjoying the noise as the rest of my neighbors began their days... a day of endless opportunities.

Thank you John, for everything. I love you forever.

In memoriam,

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yes, I did inhale.

Life is not about the breathes we take, but the moments we get the shit kicked out of us and keep breathing anyway.

In haling,

Friday, May 28, 2010


I get to see the sunrise and set everyday. Most of these days I'm running, when it comes up and then again when it goes down. And I can't decide which is more beautiful... I just know that as I walk through the day, no matter what pulls me down, I have peace when my head hits the pillow.

I can do this.

In the sun,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

When the rain comes...

This evening I took my kids for a run in the rain. The sky was bright orange and the rain was cold against the heat of the day. We took off towards the sunset in a downpour, giggling the whole way. My youngest lead the pack with his six year old energy at an all time high. The twelve year old followed behind, worrying the little one would get too close to the street. I watched from a little ways back as they discovered the amazement of the moment all on their own. They splashed and ran and wiped the raindrops from their eyes. The sunset was perfect with the steam rising from the streets in the glow. It was one of those nights you only get a few times in your life. By the end of the run, we had all stripped down to bear feet and ran through the puddles. Shoes in hand, we walked the slippery hill back home in the dark. Feeling our way through, and holding hands when we needed a little safety net, we finished the two miles soaking wet and muddy but with bright smiles gleaming in the porch light.

I took advantage of the opportunity to teach my kids that nothing is more beautiful than the world around you. I want them to remember that there isn't a TV show, or video game, or self pity moment that is big enough to drown out the beauty of this life. I want them to know that the storms can be a wonderful thing. It isn't only sunshine that brings moments worth remembering. The rain can challenge you, the storms can scare you, but never be afraid to run through it. Open your eyes, breathe in that sweet air, and take a step out into the downpour. Run in it, feel all those emotions life hands you and keep moving forward.

There is nothing more beautiful than a run in the rain on a hot summer night.
Nothing is bigger than that.

In the glow,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beauty is a beast

I do not see beauty in the same way others do. I don't have a politically correct view of everything as you may have noticed, and I don't feel everyone is beautiful just because God made them. Fate didn't deal you a good or bad hand and no prior life caused you to do look or behave in any manner in this life. The models on magazine are not what we should measure against, nor are the hookers on TV. Nope. There are ugly people in this world and too many of them fill our heads with ugliness. Now don't get me wrong, our midwest bellies and fat bulges are not beautiful either. Hygiene and health do factor in, but they don't define actual beauty. Sitting in your car at a stop light shoveling in food is not beauty. Starving yourself is not beauty. Smoking is not beautiful and mysterious, it is repulsive.  We've established my lack of filter, so if that offends you, well, you can figure you're probably on that ugly list. And it is just my opinion, although I'm right.

I have paid attention, close attention, to what it is that turns me off. I started keeping track of what makes me notice the lack of beauty in someone. And I notice every undercut chin, unshaven eyebrow, large ears, overweight, underweight... well, you get the point. I am an extremely sharp visual person. But it isn't the physical attributes that make people ugly necessarily, and it's not their personality faults either.

I only see beauty in strength. Someone that is strong, physically and emotionally, is beautiful. And beauty is something we should strive for and desire. You should not feel ashamed for wanting to be beautiful. Being beautiful does not make you vein, it makes you strong. Beauty isn't something you can claim for yourself to make you feel better. It isn't something you can take away from someone else to limit their threat to you or a relationship you aren't strong in. When there is strength in courage, confidence, love, happiness, there is beauty. Where there is strength in endurance, determination, motivation, sweat, and tears, there is beauty.

If you show your strength, you are beautiful to me...

Beauty is earned, and just as all things worth having, it isn't easy.

Earn it.

In the mirror,

Thursday, May 20, 2010


What is it that dies within us and makes us stop standing up for who we are? Is it so much rejection in the real world that we have to start rejecting ourselves? I see beautiful, strong, amazing people that apologize for everything they do. Excuses for why they aren't perfect. Putting down everything they do before others can. Do you do this? Do I? Absolutely unacceptable. I know I did this, and I know what put me in that mode. Only I found a way out and up from that dark hole; and I will never hide in it again.

I worked for a company that drug me through the mud, and continues to do so. So much so that I seriously will consider not posting this for hours. You may not even read it because I have been afraid for so long. But screw that. I didn't do anything wrong. I did nothing even remotely questionable. They hated me because I wouldn't risk my morals, my integrity, and other horrible reasons. I left three years ago. I resigned after they tried to fire me multiple times. Eventually they simply scared me off. I caved, I gave up. I never gave them what they wanted, but I did realize it wasn't worth my life. I truly believe the stress, or the crazy people, would kill me. They even threatened to do so. And somewhere in the process of all that chaos I started doubting myself. I wasn't as good anymore. My confidence was shaken. My desire was gone. I no longer lived after that, I just existed. I let myself go. I hid under layers of pain. But baby no more! I've come back somehow. I'm here. I've moved forward and even now, when they've done pissed me off again, I will not hide. This time I am confident. I know who I am. I am strong and ready to fight. I am right. I did it right. I deserved nothing they put on me. I am coming back at them full speed ahead. I run, now, have you heard? Only I no longer run away, from anything or anyone. My strength never falters. Bring it.

In the right,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Taking the long road

I see where I'm heading and I think I like it.

Change is good. Perseverance is better.

In the long haul,


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Your big behind

So you see everyone is ahead of you; already skinny, already fast, already losing... but what you don't see is what's behind you. Behind you are the people that don't run, the people still seated on their couch in the house you just passed on your morning run. The car approaching that will fight for the closest parking spot once they reach their destination. And what about those people who won't ever start. Those who giggle when you say you're a runner... those who gave you all their excuses for not trying. What about those people that started with you and have now disappeared into their own doubt. We are told to look ahead, and leave the past behind us. Somedays it's important to remember where you came from, to remember what's behind you, especially when you are working so hard to move forward. 

In the race,

Monday, May 17, 2010

What weighs me down...

I apologize for disappearing so much lately. My Uncle became seriously ill and we thought we lost him this weekend. He isn't out of the woods yet, but he is out of his coma and speaking for short periods of time as of this morning. I am so thankful for any small moments with him.

I hate to see my family suffering. And I hate even more that so much of this was brought upon ourselves. My family, although unspoken, is full of overweight and unhealthy people, including me. I am working hard to change that, but struggle daily with my relationship with food. I still have mountains to climb in my weight loss and as many of you know, when you get to losing it right, it comes off slower and slower.

I see addictions killing too many people I love. Even those still here with me, they aren't here; they are not involved in life. Their addictions consume and destroy them. It is hard for everyone around you when you are an addict of any kind, including food. I looked around the ICU and sadly saw all severely obese individuals. It is beyond an epidemic, and sadly it is killing us.

I ran a little harder today. I ate a little better. I choose not to have a beer with my husband, but instead to get my water and head to my computer to write out the worry, the pain. Instead of burying it, instead of eating it, I ran it out and set it down. I am humbled by the all consuming sadness that creates obesity. I am humbled by my own struggles, and that of my family, as we've passed it silently from generation to generation. A good long look in the mirror would certainly go a long way. We all need to stop seeing who want to be, and start being who we want to be.

The longer we wait to change, the more days that you put between you and tomorrow, the less days you have. Your chances will be up and your body will give out. Those that love you will be left with your pain. You will feed them your guilt, your shame, your compulsions, your addiction, and we will bear that cross for the rest of our lives. It may kill you, but it never dies.

I make the pain end in my generation. I am taking myself out of the chain; I am making a new future for my kids. New habits, new lifestyles, and a new ending.

On the road less traveled by,


Friday, May 14, 2010

The Entertainer

Dear People who care and any Deity reading,

       Deity's: please stop kicking me while I'm down. Yes, I will get back up and I'm certain that this is entertaining for you to watch. It's the gift that keeps on giving all year long. But the kicks keep getting harder and it's simply beginning to piss me off. You may even leave a mark.  I am respectful enough to include all of you that may exist or think you exist and I even capitalized your name. Simply find another Truman Show and let me be.

      People: please stop waiting and whining. Stop waiting for tomorrow to live your life. Stop waiting for payday to get better foods and join a gym and get a new outfit to start. Stop waiting to lose weight to do what you want. Stop skipping your life. Stop pissing me off by your lack of effort. Yes, it does revolve around me, especially when your shitty choices cause me pain. So just stop waiting and start doing. I will greatly appreciate any help you can give on this.

Otherwise, running is good. Kids are good. Weather's rainy... Nice chatting with you.

Thank you.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

I can't pull you up when I'm down there

I struggle so much. I can't tell you how to live your life any better than I can tell myself. The information is there. The knowledge is there; but, making the right choices, taking the right steps, isn't easy.

Being different is always difficult. Changing is always difficult. There are people around you, and within you, that count on your failures and unhappiness to value their own self worth. Those people suck. Support me, push me, challenge me, just don't hold me down. I'm shedding the dead weight, unpacking the baggage... so you are warned. Feel free to dump yours with me at anytime.

I ran this morning...  and I wondered why it is so hard for me to stay motivated somedays when it feels so great once I'm in the moment. After the first mile, my life looks all bright and shiny again. But I come out of the run, and someone isn't happy, and somethings are stressful,  and everyone walks on eggshells... and it isn't so bright and shiny. And it can suck away everything I just earned. I can't, and I won't, let that happen anymore. I tell you all to stand up for yourselves and focus on you; yet, I don't do that. I let others control how I feel, how my day will be, and how I will handle it. I let others bring me down, and I can't pull them up from there. I don't understand the sadness anymore. I think it is so hard to live a life unhappy, so why do it? Change it. Change what makes you unhappy. I know, it's not that simple. But at least be doing something to work towards happy... right?

So I'm bringing happy back.

In happiness,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I am not a quitter

I struggle everyday with motivation. For me, I can easily go right back into bed and sleep through the tough times that I face now. Close the curtains and bury my head. The one thing I promised I would never be is a quitter. I watch the people around me give up, all the time. They bury their heads under the blankets, close their eyes tight and shut down, bury it in a bottle, a food binge, a bitchfest, or even a handful of pills. I refuse. I refuse to let the sadness take me. I refuse to let life overwhelm all that I am...  I am not a quitter. A bed, a couch, the TV is a drug, as strong as any other. I shake it from my back, I stand up from it, and I face what ails me. I face the sadness and conquer it, everyday. And it is a battle that never ends; I am not a quitter.

In strength and salvation,

Monday, May 10, 2010


Sometimes all people need is a little hope to get them through.

Hope to someday be what you expected, hope to someday be better than now, hope to be with those you loved again.

Some things you can only hope for. No matter how much you want, wish, or try, hope is all that's left.

So save your hope for the things you need it for... and use your own ambition for the rest.

In motion,

Saturday, May 8, 2010


"You know that place in your dreams, somewhere between sleep and wake. That is where I'll wait for you. That is where I'll always love you." ~ (Peter Pan)

In my place,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Baby, you're not lost...

Tomorrow I host a race in honor of my friend I lost 8 years ago. Tomorrow is a sad day in my heart no matter what goes on. Tomorrow is a great day to run. In my head, in my run, I can spend some time with my friend where he's not lost, and neither am I. I will see his face on the shirts of a hundred runners around me, but I will feel his love in the hugs they give and smiles they share. I'll see his courage in the drips of sweat from their brows. I'll be supported by his friendship through the new friends he continues to bring me. And I'll see what he saw in me, by stepping outside myself and believing I can, and seeing what I am capable of.

Now to get to tomorrow...

In silence,

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I write.
I run.
It kicks my ass.

And I'll be coming back for more. Enlightenment requires brain energy, and I've been out of that for two days... no hateful remarks needed.

In extreme soreness,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I marched my band in...

I didn't get in my run this evening. I attended an event to support the local High School Band. I wanted desperately to get home and go run despite the late night and upcoming early morning, but I know my limits... and I'm there. Although exhausted from the long hours of this day, I am happy. Yes, simply happy and it isn't from a runner's high. It's from satisfaction.

I couldn't be excited for this evening's event. Over the past ten years, seeing my former band in disrepair was heartbreaking. For those who know of the O'Fallon High School Band, you understand my pain. The Ambassadors of our City, the pride of the town, our Band was larger than life, especially to those of us that built it. To see the size dwindle, the sound diminish, the pride crushed, it has been simply... sad.  

Tonight, I can truly say I am excited. I am proud. The band took the stage, the symphonic, the orchestra, percussion ensembles, it just went on and on... and I can say I am amazed and inspired.

The final touch, and the reason for my attendance anyway, was to see my former, now retired, Band Director take the stage and direct the young students in the final march of the evening. Of course it was sweet and touching, but I'm sure to many of those students on stage it was simply some strange old guy directing them. When he took the podium, it only signified the end of a long night. To us, young students, you were sitting in our dream seat. We too, at one time, thought it was simply the end to a long evening. We now realize that every time he stepped onto that podium for us, it was one of the best nights of our lives. The nights where we grew, and loved, and learned all in one moment. It is the moment you make music, when you are are a part of something larger than yourself, greater than the space you fill. You learn to trust, to share, to help, to be a part of a family. Not just some old guy took that podium for you tonight. An incredible teacher, leader, mentor stood before you... in taking that podium for 30 years of his life, he changed the world. I was one of a lucky few who got to study under that star, to live in the light of that sun. And my world was changed... 

Thank you, Mr. C, for changing our lives, specifically for changing mine. Thank you for all the memories of laughter, for growing our hearts and minds through music. You gave me the greatest family I could ever wish for through this band. 

And to those young students on that stage, amazing us with their talent under a new star, I hope you cherish these long nights. You'll have longer ones in your future, but few will be so sweet. 

A band is a family, no matter how old you grow or how far you roam. Family means no one is left behind, or forgotten. So welcome young siblings, to the path of Ambassadors, to the Hall of Fame, to the top of your field, you now live in the glory days of band.

In happiness,

Monday, May 3, 2010

you get what you need.

I never dreamed I'd be heavy. Who imagines they'll be that overweight Mom one day? I always did so much athletically there was no way I would even be able to gain weight, let alone be overweight. I despised obesity. I still do. I had no patience for people that were obese. Through everything I've been through, I realize it's not always up to you. I realize emotions can get the best of you. Your health does not always reflect upon your lifestyle. And sometimes it does. Regardless, if I didn't get to this point, I wouldn't  be on this journey.

I wanted to be skinny forever, always healthy, always fit. I would never let myself go.

But you can't always get what you want, you get what you need.

In training,

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quit your bitchin

So I've been a little busy, closing one business and opening another. I am so proud of my new clients that are training hard with me and choosing a better life. I am also exhausted. But, no whining. Life is good, even when it's hard I am grateful that I have one.

I also am sore as *&@%. Oh my goodness!!! I thought I sucked for air when this first started. I tried to play soccer last night, as we all know that is my favorite thing, and I was terrible. My day had started at 3 am and I had done 12 miles and trained three clients before most of you even woke up. By the time soccer came that evening, my legs were so exhausted and body so weak that when the ball came to me, I nearly fell over from it's force... a whole 2 mph! My hamstrings hurt, my heart rate was way too fast, my back and shoulders ached, it was a mess! But, lesson here people pay attention, I did not overdo and get hurt AND I did not quit. I played at the level I could; I pushed just enough as much as I could; I enjoyed the game anyway, even if I was terrible. I slept longer today and ate recovery foods. Sore is the best feeling..

There are always things that get in the way of what you want, physically and emotionally. There will always be a reason to put off what makes you happy. They'll aways be a justification in putting off what makes you healthy. If your not the best, it doesn't mean you don't do it at all. If you aren't in shape to run, how the hell do you think you are going to get there? If you are too old, too fat, too lazy, then accept where you are and learn to like it because those excuses will never let you change. You can take solace is knowing your excuses have gotten you this far and I'm sure they'll comfort you all the way to the grave. I may be lacking that filter people use to avoid hurting others feelings, but, as we all know, I don't care.

Overweight? Do something about it. Old? You're only as old as you feel. Sick? Not as sick as me, I don't want to hear it. Depressed? Turn on a light, lace up your shoes, and walk, start somewhere!

Quit your bitchin.

In great pains,