Tuesday, April 21, 2015


So my post was going to be a simple post on my half-marathon recap. 
But, since Sunday & crossing that finish line, I have had a lot of thoughts. 
A lot of emotions have gone through me. 
A lot of looking back. 
But, even more looking forward.
Look at this picture: 
In 2013 I started running again after recovering from shoulder surgery. I had to start all over from zero. But, I was already registered for a half-marathon for that October after having to defer my 2012 registration because of surgery. 

I hated running.
Like every ounce of me hated it. 
I had to work all the way back up to being able to run one mile after having to sit with very limited movement for 6 months. I struggled & I wanted to quit.
But, I knew I had a goal so I kept trying. 
I ran my half-marathon. I was weak. I was slow. I was overweight. I compared myself to every runner that passed me on the course. I compared my time & said I was too slow to be called a "real runner." I told myself I didn't look like a "real runner," I didn't have a runner's body.

However, I rode my high from the race. I was proud that I had done it & as I said "when is the next run?" after the race, I still did not love the run; but I loved the race atmosphere. 

What was holding myself back was that I was weak - mentally. I didn't give myself credit, I compared & I knocked myself down.

But, that girl took a single step forward from a standstill. That alone takes strength. She continued to take a million baby steps in a forward direction. Every step she took fueled her momentum. Her momentum kept her rolling giving her the determination & the strength to create healthy habits, to break up with her negative habits, and to stay consistent with the choices she made on a daily basis. Staying consistent no matter how much that girl wanted to give up is what has kept the momentum moving; this is what has allowed her to grow as much as she has.

Fast-forward to this weekend:
During the race on Sunday, I thought about how much I truly love the run. I thought about how strong I felt mentally & physically. I thought about how much pride I had in myself to keep pushing myself, to keep putting myself out there with chances to fail. 

I felt amazing during the race (until mile 12 I started to lose some steam). My Nike watch was not tracking distance so I shut that off which was the best thing for me because I could not look at it & stress over how slow or fast I was going. All I could do was listen to my body. I enjoyed every mile; the fans, the fun signs, the other runners. 

I ran much of the race with a lady I will never forget; being in her space while running inspired me. I was not sure her age, but I searched her bib number after the race to find she was older than I thought at 74 years old. I followed right behind her for a few miles thinking "I want to be like her when I grow up." We ran side-by-side almost for awhile & eventually I lost her. I waited near the finish line hoping to see her & I truly wanted to give her a hug & tell her she inspired me greatly, but somehow I missed her. One of my favorite parts about races is the inspiration you can find - I absolutely love it. 

My best friend who also once said she could never run a half-marathon & was told over her years she could not be active due to asthma was also inspiring. This girl has made an incredible transformation in the past year & she finished her first half on Sunday despite seven miles of incredible knee pain. Even with the pain, she has now registered for the 25k in three weeks. She once said "I can't do that" & know she says "I can." 


The woman I see today is one who no longer wants to be like anyone else or look like anyone; she simply just wants to be the best self she can be. Her self-confidence is strong & she feels strong as she rides her momentum still taking a million baby steps in a forward direction. She may not have a "runner's body," but she has a runners heart & that is all you need.

Until Next Time~

Friday, April 17, 2015

I Share.

I share...
I share my successes & I share my failures...because from watching others I have become inspired. 
I have learned from others. 
I  have seen that what is impossible can be possible. 
I have gotten amazing recipes, tips or ideas from others sharing I wouldn't have thought of.
I share knowing many probably criticize or laugh or roll their eyes.
I share knowing that many will say "who cares." 
I share my moments of strength. 
I share my moments of weakness.

I share despite knowing it causes some to talk negatively or to criticize or even judge.

I share because I know what it's like to feel stuck.
I share because I remember how it felt when I was thought I was a failure. 
I share because I want others to look at me & say "I can do that too." 
I share because if one person puts on their tennis shoes today & moves a little more, than my heart is full.

I once hid my blog, hid my words from anyone I knew. I was never willing to put myself out there & share my thoughts, my fears, my feelings. 

If you read back, way back, on my blog you will see many, many times of feeling stuck; of feeling like a failure; of talking to myself like a bully. 

Today I even read an old post that shocked me & reminded me of how far I have traveled, this is what I wrote:
 "this week was the first time in a super long time that I didn't want to vomit when I looked in the mirror." 

Truly, I never want anyone, ever, to look in the mirror & feel that way. I hate the way I used to view myself. I hate the way I used to treat myself. I am not sure what led me to go down that road, but it is a part of my journey. A part of my journey I will never travel back down.

I share. 
But I do not share to hear comments about myself. 
I do not share for attention.
I share because I hope someone looks & says "I can do it too." 
I share because if one person wakes up tomorrow morning & says "today I am going to try to run one mile," my day has been made.
I share in hopes someone finds some inspiration.
I share hoping that someone sets a new goal today for themselves.
I share to show we can truly do anything we set our minds & our hearts to: whether the goal is health related, job promotion, or paying off debt. 

My sharing does not have to be for you. Maybe you find me annoying. Maybe you roll your eyes. Maybe you judge me. 

But, that is okay. I am confident in me. I am proud of my story: my failures & my successes. 

I share because this week I received the following messages:

I'm registering to run my first half marathon today! It's in Chicago, July 19th! You have totally inspired me! THANK YOU! 

Just signed up for a 5k! I'll need your help :)  about to look up training guides.

 I still can't thank you enough for how inspiring you are! I have began running and found your post to want to run under 10:30 a mile so close to home.  I never thought I could do that and I am getting so so close!!! 

Can you help me train for a half this fall? I really want to do this goal. 

You are inspiring!  I desperately need to take that step. I need to feel good about myself again.
^^this last one since messaging me earlier this week has gone for 2 walks...a single step forward, I am SO proud^^

I share because God gave us all the ability to change someone's life.
I share because if just one person decides they are ready to take that first step forward, my heart is full. 
I share because I care, because I want to watch everyone use their magic & reach their goals. 
I share because I don't want anyone to feel or think the way I once did. 
I share because I want everyone living their best life & living with intention; life is too short to do anything less.

Until Next Time~

Friday, April 10, 2015

There Was A Time

There was a time for many, many years that I measured myself against all the wrong things. I used all the wrong measuring sticks.

I walked into a room & measured myself against all the other women in the room.

I wish my legs were as thin as hers.
I wish my hair was as gorgeous as hers.
Why can't I be as thin as her?
She is so beautiful; wish I looked like her. 
I am so fat standing next to her.

Then, I would have this conversation with myself: 
I wonder what they think when they look at.
I should have wore something that hid me more. 
Can they tell I want to go hide in a hole? 

With all these thoughts going on inside my head, I was miserable. I stood there & thought about how much I did not like myself. I beat myself up. I tore myself up. I stayed on the sidelines afraid to draw too much attention.

All these thoughts came after the process of getting ready. Do you know that feeling of looking at your closet searching for something to wear & knowing that half of your closet is too small? You feed yourself full of thoughts that you might as well get rid of it all; you will never be able to wear it again. 

One day I looked into the mirror & realized I was a horrible bully & the only person I was a bully to was myself. 

I was not measuring myself with the right measuring sticks. I was not measuring the type of person I was. I was not measuring myself by the giving heart I had or the success in life I had.

The battle is real; the struggle is there. The world we live in is full of comparing who we are, what size we wear, the car we drive, the job we hold, or the house we live in to our neighbors on both sides.

I used to lose this battle daily. Now, most days I win this battle. I remind myself daily, in everything I do, that comparison is the thief of joy. I now walk into a room & am confident in the person I am that I do not feel the need to measure up to anyone & I no longer wonder how I am being judged. I am comfortable in my own skin & like who I am.

 My first step was becoming my own best friend, my own biggest fan. I accepted that I was not perfect & never would be. I had to train my brain to talk to myself like I would a friend. When I started this, my days were different. I finally started to see that I was enough & no longer allowed anyone to make me feel like I was less. I walked into a room looking around thinking "she's beautiful, but so am I."

Put away those measuring sticks, my friends. Burn them up; you are beautiful just the way you are. Be YOU & live YOUR best life!

Until Next Time~

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I Have This Friend...

I have this friend....who has become my rock in the past year. She has supported me, encouraged me, picked me up off the group, laughed with me, hugged me & has loved me despite my many mistakes or flaws. She recently has found her magic by stepping out of her comfort zone last summer & has been such an inspiration to me & many out because this girl could kick your butt! This friend has sent me countless random texts with funny jokes or simple words of encouragement on some dark days, always reminding me she was there for me. She is a true giver & has treated me like I am a member of her family. I am blessed by this friendship & so thankful for her being my rock. 

I have this friend....who from miles away has been an inspiration to me & a reminder that my future can be beautiful. She is such a wonderful mama & wife & successful at her career! We are both out chasing each other on our runs weekly; always keeping the other moving forward! This is that friendship where you can go years without seeing each other but the strength of the friendship never diminishes. 

I have this friend....who a few years ago, just like me, decided to put on a pair of tennis shoes & try running. I warned her she might fall in love. She has had to fight through injuries that have sidelined her as well as other life events that sidetrack us. But, with every fall, she always gets back up & fights again. She is that friend who "gets" my love for running & understands the importance of it. She knows the level of crazy I can feel when I miss my runs or knows the peace I can find out there. We both know that no matter how hard times are, one foot goes in front of the other! I think I had tears of pride for her when she recently crushed a 5k at her fastest PR yet!

I have this friend....who reached out to me months ago knowing something was "off" with me. She listened to me, gave me advice & led me to the Bible with just the right scriptures when I needed them. She has encouraged me in my faith, guided me, been an inspiration for me. Another one with simple texts that just say "praying for you today, friend." Nothing more, simple words that warmed my heart & in return I would thank God for giving me friends like her. 

I have these circle....who believe in the same things, with values the same. But, more importantly, they are all friends that are thinkers & doers. They all inspire me in different ways, but they push me to grow. They continually push me out of my comfort zone. They do not judge me for my mistakes or failures; they accept me & love me just for who I am. 

My circle has changed; I did not realize how many would not want to be in my next chapter which hurts. But, I truly believe you need to surround yourself with those who you want to be like: the doers, the believers, the inspirations. People who do things, not people wishing they were or comparing to another. People who just want to be who they are supposed to be & not try to be like anyone else. People who love you regardless of how many mistakes you made, despite your imperfections, & will listen even when you do not want to talk. 

I am blessed; blessed with many wonderful friendships that have carried me through my dark days & will be there to dance in the sunshine. 

Until Next Time~

Saturday, April 4, 2015

One Choice

It does not matter if you are running against the wind, or moving with it;
It does not matter if you are struggling uphill or coasting downhill;
It does not matter if the sun is shining bright on your face or if the storm clouds are rolling in.

Life gives you just one choice.

You must keep putting one foot in front of the other.

If you choose to stop life just passes you by.

If you quit, you are not really living.

If you move backwards, you are missing the beauty of today. 

To live your best life, whether the forward motion is slow or fast, all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. 

And always believe in the beauty of what is to come. 

Until Next Time~

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I Found My Secret!

Lately, I have missed many, many workouts. Sick kids, crazy schedules & way behind from missing so much work - yes, excuses you could call them.

(So I need to go back to my "NO EXCUSES" way of life!)

During this time period of me missing, I have been lacking energy, I've been overwhelmingly stressed out, I have been stuck in a negative way of thinking. I have not been me. 

Yesterday I left work with the weather being a gorgeous sunny 60 degree in Michigan. I rushed to pick up my girls & we arrived home to change our clothes & all get outside. I ran our neighborhood while the girls played basketball & rode bikes along my side. 

I told myself that this quick block of time was about me. Just me. I forced myself to let go of the stuff I left on my desk at work. I forgot about the piles around my house.

I allowed myself to get lost in my music; in the words, in the beat.

It was perfect.
It was needed.

When I was done, I felt energized all over again; I felt the stress leave my shoulders. 

More importantly, when I crawled into bed last night, I gave myself a pat on the back for a job well done. Because. Because I got a few things accomplished throughout the day. Because I tried my best.

Guess what happened next? I woke up at 4:04 a.m., exactly thirty minutes before my alarm was to begin yelling for my morning workout. I woke up feeling positive & ready to tackle my day.

Guess what came next? You are right: a solid four mile run along with squats, some plank work & a heck of a session with my foam roller (that is a love/hate relationship there!). 
Chase Infinite tank reads: "She who never surrenders is unstoppable"

More importantly, I was ready to tackle my day today. I am moving putting one foot in front of the other with a smile as I tackle those items on my desk at work, soon I'll be tackling my coaching duties this afternoon followed by some house tasks this evening. 

Simply because I took time for me. I gave myself the gift of self-care; of my relaxation time. Because I felt accomplished this morning before 6 a.m. Because working out fuels my mind in a positively strong way.

Because that early morning time where my house is quiet & still is a gift to me. It is a time where I only have to answer to myself. There is no one else to demand anything from me. It is simply just about me.

This is my secret. To stay positive, to stay strong, to keep moving forward, to keep being me, to stay sane: be active!

Until Next Time~

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Not What I Meant!

The other day I wrote a post about how I felt I had failed my challenge of loving & embracing my busy. 

I was not saying that I failed as a mom. I was not implying that I was a failure.

Just simply that I did not reach the goal I had set.
Sunday night I let it all hit me. The weight of my responsibilities, the length of that list that never gets finished. It just hit me. I felt behind in every aspect of my life.

I am not ashamed to admit I crawled into bed feeling it all & had tears in my eyes feeling like it was hopeless. I am not afraid to admit how overwhelmed I was feeling at that moment. I will admit I don't have it all together. 

The best part is, that I know I am not alone. I know I wasn't the only mom who crawled into bed on Sunday night thinking about the tasks she did not complete & thinking about the busy week ahead feeling incredibly overwhelmed & weighed down.

I am in a great adjustment period in my life right now & I am searching for the best balance for my girls and me. I am going to fail several more times before I reach a better balance. But, that is okay because every time I fail, I learn something. Every time I lose, I come back stronger & smarter. Every time I get knocked down, I always come back up swinging. 
We all have our own battles behind our closed doors that no one else sees. Our tears that we hide, our failures we are ashamed of, our struggles that make us want to curl up in a ball & say "I quit." None of us are alone, but we feel we are. If we open up & take a chance on someone, we might find a friend who feels the exact same way we do; just by sharing here I have found some great new sources of support & encouragement.

For me, I will keep putting that one foot in front of the other trying to find a balance. We are all different & the things others may not see as important actually set my brain & stress load on fire. I am a person that cannot handle dirty dishes in the sink or a dishwasher waiting to be emptied; piles of folded laundry just waiting to make their way back into drawers; clutter on the kitchen counter of mail or school papers waiting to be flipped through. Those items, the clutter & the half-finished jobs, make my mind a cluttered mess which stresses me out even more to begin with. This is the way I am wired & I cannot change it. Some people may relax by playing candy crush or catching up on their DVR; my "me" time is my workouts & when I don't get those in this mama can go all sorts of crazy; it is my unwind time.

So, no, I am not failing as a mom & my girls are always my priority, but what I am trying to do daily is to challenge myself to look at things differently; to accept things I cannot change; to grow in my relationships; to love my busy life; to find a balance taking care of everyone around me & my responsibilities; but also taking the time to take care of me too: mentally, physically & emotionally. 

I am living my life with intent & trying my best to not live simply going through the motions.  I am growing & changing; I am creating myself by living with intention & loving my imperfection.

Until Next Time~