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Komen 5k – Mixed Emotions

22 Oct

Group

Third Organized 5k run for 2013 – complete!

I had so much fun! I loved people watching. Several caused an eruption of laughter…..maybe that is why my time sucked….It was my worst time for a 5k to date.

What I’ve learned over the last few months is:

1) Cut yourself some slack. Just because you are running your 3rd organized run of the year, it doesn’t mean it has to be your BEST run of the year. Who really cares?

2) I’ve allowed myself to venture into other exercise options….Hot Yoga to be exact. It kicks my ass. It leaves me sweaty and exhausted…and I love it. Because of this, my running has taken a back seat…my time reflected that. I’m pretty positive that no one cares…and if you are doing what fills your spirit, that is even better.

3) Sometimes you just have to go with it…and smell the roses…and watch the crazy people dressed up for your entertainment.

4) Anything faster than my walk time is a run. Period.

I had the opportunity to run with my friend Deb, her sisters, and friends. They are all A.MAZ.ING. My friend Deb is a cancer warrior and survivor. She did so with the most positive attitude you could imagine. I’m in awe of her to this day. I’m not sure she realizes what an inspiration she is to those who are lucky enough to call her a friend.

I also ran in honor of my friend B who lost her battle with a female cancer just a few weeks ago. She was only 38, two children, married to her only real boyfriend, with whom she started dating in middle school. Ladies, if it is a removable part, REMOVE IT! She is my second friend in less than 5 years to battle and lose this fight. REMOVE IT, then fight like hell! B fought like hell…she fought, and fought, for years she fought…. She was heavy on my heart and mind during this 5k. What a beautiful light, extinguished way to early. Prayers go out to her family.

It was a hard run..hard day, for sure.

Heavy heart. Heavy thighs. Open eyes. Doing my part to find a cure.
and desperately hoping I was able to breath it all in….

Love and peace

5k 1

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5k 2

group after

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Move like a butterfly, sting like a bee

30 Sep

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Oprah’s Life Class is one of my favorite, favorite shows. I can’t begin to tell you the number of ‘ah-ha’ moments I have experienced in my PJ’s watching t.v.. However, I tend to let the shows pile up on my dvr until I’m emotionally ready. Sometimes, I just don’t want to face the music, confront a fear, recall the past, examine my warts and all the ugly that resides just beneath my skin that only I can hear, see or feel. I’m really good at stuffing all that junk away, disguising it with sarcasm and a smile….But there are times that I’m brave and willing to slip on my amour in the name of growth.

Last weekend I watched Brene Brown on Life Class. She is a researcher, publishing and speaking on shame, vulnerability and living wholeheartedly. Yes, wholehearted living…that is the word, the definition of what I’m longing for. In short, the theory is that because of shame we build walls to deflect how vulnerable we are. Yet, we are not able to live wholeheartedly if we are not vulnerable. The essence of wholehearted living is putting your WHOLE self out there for relationships, for experiencing the unknown, for building creativity…none of these things, she rations, can happen if you are not vulnerable. I’ve bought the book….it is on my to-do list.

What I’m currently focused on is the idea of shame. There is a TED talk where Brene does a remarkable job outlining shame…check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0

Where does shame come from? Why does it linger in our hearts, around our minds, whispering in our ears? Why don’t we talk about it with our friends? It is almost as if we are ashamed of shame….I’m not prepared to answer all the questions about shame or even claim I’m an expert…Maybe Brene Brown can do that for you. What I will tell you is that once the veil of shame was lifted, there was a realization that shame is rampant. It can start at a young age from our well-meaning, loving parents, when they say those little phrases for behavior modifications…”Boys don’t cry.” “Good girls don’t wine.”..and if you do, you are bad…you are shamed. After a life time of hearing you don’t fit in here, you can’t do this, you shouldn’t do that, why can’t you be quieter, why can’t you express yourself more…trying to be someone we are not. The layers of shame are so deep we don’t even recognize it as shame, but as a way of life…It leaves us battered, worn out, changed, lonely, and fearful.

Over the last month or so, my younger son has been wearing tall knee socks —with shorts. I love his individuality and I encourage it. He now has three different pairs of superman socks (one complete with a cape), along with several other solid colors. He is fortunate to go to a very small school where the children are more like family than just a school. When asked why he wears them he replies “That is just the way I roll.” When asked where he purchased them, he replies “Awesome.com”. This makes me smile broadly. I’m super proud of him for stepping out and being his own ‘man’.

Today I took him to a doctor’s appointment at a new office. As we were walking up, a lady squishes up her face while lifting her brows and with disgust in her voice says, “boy, what is with you and those socks??”….

Um, do I know you??

Before I could evaluate what was happening, I saw my son’s face fall, his eyes down at his feet…I thought OH NO YOU DON’T…you will NOT SHAME him for his socks…

…Because he defines coolness differently than you…because what he wears is out of the norm and makes YOU uncomfortable…

Want to see me go from zero to crazy?? Mess with my children! I squared off, looked her right in the eyes, and with a curt smile I put her shame back where it belonged. On her shoulders. I did so politely and with out saying a negative word. But under no uncertain terms, she knew she had crossed a line. As we walked away, I reached across my son’s shoulders, giving him a slight squeeze… “You are so super cool.” I said, “Man, I love those socks.” He smiled that big toothy grin, eyes dancing.

We adverted the shame slinging today, barely…but we did it.

When you know better, you do better.

Runner?

29 Sep

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For the record, I consider anything faster than my walking pace, a run…

So, I’m not really a runner. My body isn’t made for it. I hurt when I run. My calves tighten instantly like stretched rubber bands ready to pop. The arches of my feet scream and my hips ache. I’ve been attempting to run for about two years now, and within the first half mile, these pains return and stay with me until I finally succumb. Yet, I keep lacing up my kicks, enthusiastically thinking this time will be different. It never is.

This morning I started my run feeling good, better than average. My aches returned a few minutes in. I pushed them out of my mind, bouncing to the beat of the music. At some point it hit me that the familiar voice of the runkeeper ap lady had not come on yet…I must be doing better than I thought! She is programed to tell me my pace and mileage every 5 minutes. I kept pushing. I hit the end of a street, which I know from experience is about a mile…still the ap lady had not come through my ear buds. I looked down. DAMN. I must have hit the pause button…six seconds into my run. I had no idea how fast I ran…and instantly I wanted to quit.

I thought to myself, are you running because you want something to measure? If you are not able to measure it, does it make it worthless? This is a common thread in my life right now…something I’m working on…You see, I like numbers. Numbers are safe. They are constant, reliable. 2+2 is always four. I love the exactness, the perfection of math. If done correctly, you are always right. No, I thought, that isn’t why I run. Although I do love logging a run into runkeeper.

So why am I running, torturing my body for what seems like a minimal amount of calorie burn? It isn’t the only exercise I do. I take a weightlifting and dance classes at the gym. I work in a 90 minute hot yoga class weekly. Running is battle, a true war between my mind and my body. For the next 2 miles I allowed myself to contemplate this.

Where I live we have awesome trails that wind around the various neighborhoods and provide views of the lake. This is where I run. Even though I have music blaring in my ears, it is my escape from the noise. Sometimes while running my mind goes completely blank, sometimes it solves problems, sometimes my focus is the music and at other times it is my screaming tendons. In the spring I’m reminded to soak up the world around me as the smell of honey suckles blooming fill the air. In the fall, the changing of the leaves tug at my heart signaling what I already know, life is short. The gators in the lake reinforce that fear is always looming right under the surface. The blue herring is both a symbol of strength and calmness as he effortlessly plucks fish from the lake. The wild flowers sprinkled along the trail show the artistic work of God’s hand. I deeply breath it in, while pounding the pavement, replacing the negative energy I’ve inadvertently consumed during the week with the simplicity of nature.

I run to see the world through a micro lens. For me, it isn’t just about the stats (how fast, how far, how much). It is about the silent exploration, the anticipation of what will unfold on the trail. I may never be a great runner. I’m not even sure that it matters to me. Through this process, I realized there is freedom in being a pseudo runner. More important to me is the desire to explore, to witness life from a new perspective, to be open to what is around the corner, to absorb, to allow it to change me for the better. Running is so much more than the act itself. For these reasons, I will fight through the pain, battling my own body, against all odds.. pushing..sweating…to log another mile…and gain another ounce of clarity.

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Dirty Girl Run

15 Sep

Dirty girl

I am self proclaimed girly girl. I adore things that shimmer and shine, make-up and heels. When I was younger, people would use the term ‘girly girl’ as if it was carried some sort of negative connotation. In their tone, you sensed that being a tom boy made you a stronger, smarter, more desirable woman. In my old age I’ve realized that is simply ridiculous. Women come in all shapes and sizes, all levels of estrogen. One is not worth more or less because of their desire for pretty things, or for that matter, the lack of . Truth be told, there are still women today that use that same tone as they critique my shoes, or clothes or whatever they choose to voice. My response? I laugh, flip my hair and hope my tiara blinds them before I walk away. The only time I think it may be better to be a man is when I have to use the porta potty. Standing could be an asset….

This weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with a fantastic group of women to play in the mud. HUH? Yep, it was a 5k with 10 obstacles. The goal was to get as muddy as possible and laugh. We met and exceed the goal! When I agreed to do the run I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t be able to complete the course. Scared of what it would entail. Scared of mud in awkward places…In the end I decided to give it a go. What the heck, right?

I’ve reached the age where life is comfortable. The down side is this also comes the risk of becoming stagnant. If I don’t branch out, I’m apt to be stuck in the same comfortable, pink silk lined box that I’m used to. Yes, it is pretty and soft in there. However after a while, even the prettiest of things can become mundane. I’m ready to discover what I can do. I’m putting fear in its place. In a cardboard box of its own, tightly wrapped in duct tape, placing it on a high shelf that can not be easily reached. Win, loose or draw, I’m going for it.

A few months ago, I ran the Color Me Rad 5k run with some of these same ladies. We ran while they pelted us with colored cornstarch. And we laughed….I laughed so much that I had purple teeth at the end. We are now planning our next run and I can’t wait! We didn’t start 2013 with a running goal or a plan to have a running team. Some how it ended up that way. In fact, we are not true runners…At least I’m not. I keep trying but I stink at it. I secretly hope one day I’ll magically wake up a runner. Yet, by the time this year is over, we will have at least 3 organized 5ks under our belt. It is funny how quickly your world can expand, if you are open to change and allow yourself the freedom to try.

color me rad

Reflecting on the weekend, I am simply amazed that I have such wonderful women in my life that are willing shed their comfortable Saturday for a day in the mud. We supported each other, clapped and cheered. We laughed and giggled and whooo-hooo’ed. In a world where people are so critical of each other, (especially women) it was nice to spend the day with those that had no other objective but to have fun.

Feeling blessed!

Well, that is a bummer…

4 Sep

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Today my car visor broke. You know that thing with the mirror on the back that when pulled down also blocks the sun? My car is only a couple of years old. This shouldn’t have happened, but it did….Tore right off in my hand as I was fighting to put it back in it’s holder. The thing is, I don’t want to tell my husband. No, I’m not scared. He is the nicest, kindest man. However, he tends to point out the obvious. While it may be true, it ticks me off.

Over the weekend, he drove the car and also fought with the visor. Irritated, he said I use it to much. Well, uh.. yeah…it has a mirror…I’m a girl. I have lips and teeth that I need to check before getting out of the car…DAILY. I don’t apologize for that..Oh, and I also use it to block the sun as I can never find my sun glasses. One of the reasons I refuse to buy ‘nice’ glasses…I toss them around the car, around my purse, around the house. Most of the time I’m dodging a scratch on the lens directly in my line of vision to see the car in front of me…its a rough life. Point is, I do use the visor. I’m not sure that I use it “to much”. Isn’t that what it is for? What is too much?

If I tell him I broke the visor, he will say that I need a car with bumpers. He would be right. I hate that. I’m not a BAD driver. I haven’t been in accident in over 11 years (knock on wood). Truth be told though, over the years I’ve backed into several poles, mailboxes, other parked cars..the list could go on, but I’ll save the gritty details to protect myself and prevent his list from getting longer. I don’t know why stuff just jumps out in front of me. (Maybe the scratch on my sunglasses is preventing me from seeing properly???) He swears the car has more scratches on it than it used to…honestly, it is possible…I don’t really notice. Once, while dropping my son off at school, I ran into a curb. This caused a tire to flatten in 30 seconds..and caused me to say a few naughty words. That was a bummer because we apparently use expensive hi-profile tires, not like the $57 tires on my old Honda Civic. The Hubster fussed, as much as he fusses anyway. I of course said it was a micro tap and tires really should have more ‘life’ to them. Either way, we were out a pretty penny. Since I manage our accounts, it upset me more than him…I think.

As I’m typing this blog and contemplating how I will tell him, my husband finds his way to the passenger side of my car looking for something. (There is some strange power in the universe that doesn’t let me get a way with a thing! I swear to goodness this is true!) Turns out I left the newly destroyed visor on the seat. He returns saying, “So you decided to just rip the visor right off, huh?”

Damn…

We all need a little encouragement from time to time…

18 Aug

f736ec5077fd99d25a9c7b39c1b0d42fMy Pinterest notifications are going off like crazy! I pinned the quote above to my quote board 29 weeks ago (according to Pinterest). To date, it has been repinned 567 times….I can tell you from the frequency of my notifications, the majority has been in the last week.  So it begs the question. Why?

This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Joel and Victoria Osteen speak.  Joel is a pastor of one of the largest churches in America. I follow several pastors, depending on my mood and where I’m at spiritually. However, Joel has not been been a favorite of mine. In fact, I thought he was to “happy” for me.  He is always smiling, smiling, smiling.  From what I saw on t.v., I just couldn’t relate. When the tickets went on sale, I went ahead and shelled out the cash. Why? One, because I wanted to see what I was missing.  Maybe watching the message in person provided a different perspective.  And two, because I love to watch the mannerisms of great speakers regardless if I hold the same beliefs.

The event was titled “A Night of Hope”.  I read in the paper that it was a sold out event. The coliseum seats 13,000+! The overall message from everyone who spoke, including Joel’s mother, was one of encouragement.  To give a brief synopsis, the evening revolved around the following themes:

  1. God is greater than your problems.  Go to him (pray) for what you need.
  2. Don’t focus on yesterday. It is long gone. Look Forward.
  3. Forgive yourself. You can’t move ahead if you are always looking behind. Put down your baggage.
  4. You have all you need to be the person God created you to be and fulfill your destiny.

Joel’s critics say he teaches to much on prosperity and is a “dessert” preacher.  Meaning, he doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of scripture. Based on my perspective of the event, I can’t disagree.  Although everything he talked about DID line up with scripture, for me, it felt like he just skimmed the surface.  However, if you look at how often he fills a church of 5,000, filled this coliseum of 13,000, has followers all over the world receiving daily devotions, is a number one best selling author, (and the list goes on) his message  must be needed and WANTED.

As I was thinking about this and the overall experience, my Pinterest notifications were hitting my mailbox faster than I could delete them.  I realized Joel’s message and this pin, went together hand in hand.  We’ve all done things that in hindsight, we wished we could do-over. People move, change jobs, or schools, every day looking for a fresh start. The message at the Night of Hope gave those who wanted it, the encouragement to start again right where they are, forgetting what is behind and focusing on what lays ahead. This pin, sums up the same  message in a very short quote. “I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” Clearly there is a thirst for this message.

So what can we do?

Be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Understand that you are not, nor could ever be, perfect. Speak nicely to yourself. You are listening.  Learn to forgive yourself. Learn to love you for who you are. Be okay with your flaws. Be positive. There are enough negative things in the world. Don’t add to it.   Make small changes today to move you toward your goals. Celebrate your progress. If you slip up today, start again tomorrow. You are strong enough to be the person you want to be.  We only have one life to live. Make it count.

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Some rules should be broken….

14 Aug

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I love to read about behavior. It has always fascinated me. I love to dig into the real reasons people are the way they are.  I am intrigued at how two people with the same type of experience can choose entirely different routes based on how they interpret the event in question.  When you dissect a particular behavior, there is often a moment in time in  which a person made a rule, or an agreement, with themselves on how to move forward. For example, how many times as a child did you think, “When I grow up I’ll NEVER do ___” (fill in the blank here)…I’ll never drink. I’ll never publicly embarrass my children. I’ll never spank. I’ll never depend on anyone…the list could be anything. They are the rules you live by. They guide your future decisions and behavior.

I’ve been reading recently about a theory of how we interpret God based on our childhood experiences.  If you came from a home where there was little time for play or your parents were workaholics, you may feel that God is to big, to busy for your problems.  After all, he is the creator of the universe and tad bit on his plate…. If your parents were demanding, harsh, critical, you may feel that God is the same, punishing you for actions that do not line up to what you view as ‘good’.  If something doesn’t go your way, you instantly think God must be punishing you.  The problem is, our parents & grandparents are all human. They make mistakes. Lord knows that parenting is the hardest job on earth.  If we take one memory and affix that to the face of God, we are setting ourselves up for a life time of confusion and condemnation.

We started attending a non-denominational church a few years ago. Pastor Mike has a way of breaking down the Bible in ways that leave me utterly dumbfounded. In service, I often have those ‘light bulb’ moments and past events of my life suddenly fit into place. I find their meaning and/or purpose. One such time was when  Pastor Mike told the story of a little girl on the side of the pool. She is about three years old, still learning to swim.  Her dad is in the pool, chest deep. He calls to her, “Jump. Jump to me.” The little girl is scared. She doesn’t quite know if her daddy will catch her.  She thinks he will…but she knows it is deep and she knows she can’t swim well.  “Jump” he calls.  “I promise I’ll catch you. I’ll be right here. Trust me.” He continues to call to her, to plead with her to just try it once.  After much thought and twisting, the little girl takes a leap and lands, with a big splash, in her daddy’s arms.  He hugs her tight with a big smile and says, “see, I promise that I’ll always catch you!” It was then Pastor Mike broke down the lesson…He said, God is your heavenly father. He wants you to jump to him, to trust him. To let him help you swim through life.  How much does it break your heart when your child doesn’t trust you to catch them? To trust you not to let them fall or get hurt? How much do you think it breaks God’s heart when you do the same to him?

Light. Bulb. Moment.

So my question to you is, how do you see God? What unspoken rules or boundaries do you place on him? The truth is, if you really evaluate your belief system, you will see that you not only apply these rules, walls, or strongholds with God, you do the same with other relationships as well.  The rules you made, whether consciously or subconsciously, govern what you accept or reject.  They determine your future decisions.  Pieces and parts leak out and effect all of your relationships. Do you need to reevaluate those rules?  Where did they come from? What do they mean? Are they holding you back or moving you forward?  I’m on a mission to live my life to the fullest. To do so, you must breathe truth in those dark corners, sweep out the cobwebs  and have the strength to start again.  Forward progress. It is my goal.

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