Tag Archives: motivation

The journey…six years later.

**I’ve been ruminating on this post for a few days. Stops and starts. It may not flow, but it’s what’s in my brain, stream of conscious**
Six years ago, I got married. October 21, 2007.
Yet it feels *so* much longer than six years.
My life then to my life now? Is simply unrecognizable. While dates that used to bear significance to ‘that’ life used to hit me more, with time, they become duller and duller and now, just a memory of a lifetime that has passed.
But what doesn’t become dull is rejoicing in where I am today, vs. where I was then. In embracing my journey. In realizing that every step I took, every decision I made, was made with intent, and was made with empowerment and choice.
I shaped this life. Me. Nobody else. I went for what I wanted, I changed and evolved and became the me I am today for nobody else but myself.
And that is something I will cherish and embrace forever.
And it is something that is always within me, this drive for more, bigger, better. Truthfully, this drive sometimes causes me angst, unrest, and restlessness. The want for more, always and my ongoing journey towards simplifying, doing more by doing less, and being content with being perfectly imperfect.
And I circle back to my beginnings, which I define as the day I started my journey alone, independently, for the first time in my life, back in 2008, just about this time of year…which is probably why I am thinking so much about my beginnings lately. Late October has felt like the ‘bewitching’ time of year for me (and truthfully, no pun intended), conjuring up the juxtaposition between then and now and it humbles me. It brings me back to that drive, that motivation and that want for the best, always. In everything I do, every step I take, every barre n9ne class I teach, every press release I write, every action I take in all walks of life, from my marriage, to my job, to my passion (b9, of course!).
Which brings me to this…some more beautiful and striking words from Jeff Goins, a writer that strikes what I am thinking just right…in the below, and generally, in any of the blogs and articles I’ve read from him lately (see my post on the Slow Down Challenge here).
THIS.
When we embrace the journey and don’t just live for the destination, we discover a deeper life.
And this. Take a read of these…and I am pretty sure one, if not all of these, will resonate. To the next six years, beyond and further. To the journey.

10 lessons we learn from journeys

Journeys are important — both physical ones as well as figurative ones. They help remind us that we are not done yet, that life itself is a trip that we can make the most of or completely miss the point.So here are 10 brief lessons I learned from my trip. Maybe they’ll help you on whatever journey you’re taking:
  1. No journey is perfect. Take one, anyway. You will grow regardless.
  2. The destination is never quite what we expect. But without one, we wander aimlessly. So having a final arrival point is important if for no other reason than it gets you started.
  3. Only when we let go of what we think we deserve can we really enjoy what we have.
  4. Inspiration is everywhere. You just need eyes to see it. Yes, even in cornfields.
  5. The hard part isn’t getting from point A to B. It’s paying attention to what’s around you before you miss it.
  6. A journey is less meaningful when traveled alone. We need community to make the most of all experiences, even if that means finding it along the way.
  7. Art helps us process. A good book or great record not only helps pass the time; it gives language to an experience you might otherwise not be able to describe.
  8. Gratitude makes any experience better. It’s easy to want to be home or some place else but we have no control over that. Turns out all we can control is our attitude. So why not be thankful?
  9. The best journeys have a purpose. But expect to be surprised and even see that purpose change.
  10. If you accomplish nothing, see nothing, even feel nothing, take heart. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve changed. And this is reason enough to continue traveling.

13.1…my way.

Today, I ran ‘my own’ half marathon.

Almost exactly two years to the day since my first half marathon (that was, in my mind, botched).

Just over a year since my second half marathon (that proved that I am *not* a racer).

I finally proved to myself that I can run 13.1…my own way, in a time that I knew I could (yet never quite achieved in aforementioned half marathon race environments!).

It was my do-over that I have had in the back of my mind ever since that botched second attempt at a half marathon.

And I did it with no fanfare, no stated goal, nothing. (just a few quiet sherpas pushing me along – thank you ladies, you are truly, truly the best. Especially that 5:30 am text message from this one, who I love so!)

Because that’s how I roll.

Some say a goal isn’t ‘real’ until you write it down.

I call bullshit on that and say a goal is a goal no matter if it’s on paper or not.

So, I give you…13.1…my way. 

***

Up we woke, at 5:30, pitch black, but thankfully, relatively warm (57 degrees), clear skies, no rain (windswept rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, egad!).

Out the door by 6 am, and it was still dark, and honestly, that first mile in almost darkness felt so bad ass, I loved it! (though I was straining my eyes to find bunnies, since I knew it would be prime time for them!)

I probably went out a little too fast, feeling all bad ass and stuff (LOL), and after the second or third mile, I started to go into mental brain mode, but a spate of 6 bunny sightings perked me up.

I started to break the run up in my head into pieces, and just think of the next ‘spot’ along the route I’d created that I would be happy at, while chanting ‘let the run come to you’ (also a la this girl!) and ‘run the mile you’re in’ over and over in my head.

Somewhere around mile 7 or 8, I started hitting a wall. Too early, in my book, and I started to wonder if last week’s 12 mile redemption run would be my best run of this ‘secret’ training and this one would soon turn shittastic.

Well, it didn’t hit the shittastic zone, but there were a few miles in there that I was thisclose to a bit of a hissy fit. My legs felt so.tired. And I stupidly (in hindsight) wore my new replacement Brooks Ghost 4s (thinking – same shoe – shouldn’t matter that I haven’t worn them yet) and was feeling blisters forming. On. Both. Ankles.

A different fueling strategy (one Honey Stinger around the one hour mark, a Healthy Bite a la this girl around the 8 or 8.5 mile mark, and one more Honey Stinger around mile 11, with water, of course) seemed to helped, but I just kept burning out fast.

Saving grace was a bit of a walk ‘stop’ as M got two pages (did I mention he was on call last night and this morning? trooper, my sherpa, isn’t he?) and I tried to talk myself down. I was again, thisclose to hissy fit status and almost wanted to cut out the little loop add-on I added to get us to 13.1 (reasoning that 12.8 was ‘close enough’ even though I knew I’d be pissed at myself after). What did M say to that?

“We are running 13.1 miles today. If we don’t do that loop, I’d call that a fail, wouldn’t you?” <-man, does he know how to turn my mental wacked brain back on to myself, doesn’t he?!

After that tough love talk, we powered through the last of our run, two bloody heels and all, and did it. Stopped, held hands, caught our breathe and realized we did it….

In 2:18. 

My ‘secret’ goal? Anything under 2:30 and I would have been thrilled.

2:18? 

Frigin awesome.

Today, we ran a half marathon. 13.1 miles. My (our) way.

And I couldn’t (again) be more proud.

My sherpa.

This morning, as M and I were running, I mentioned that Jess saw 9 bunnies on her 20 miler and that those were her ‘sherpas’ cheering her on and he asked what I meant by ‘sherpa’ so I explained, using Heather’s great way of explaining it, and Lindsay’s! (this was a 12 bunny run this morning, btw, how awesome is that?! end bunny sidenote).

He paused and then said, “I’m your sherpa.”

And he’s right. So right. He was saying it in a lighthearted way, but he’s SO right. I never truly thought of it that way, but in every way, he is my sherpa. 

My running sherpa.

Pushing me up big hills (sometimes even literally placing his hand on the small of my back and pushing me gently up, up, up), and powering me through rolling hills (which I effing hate, btw, almost worse than big hills!) chanting ‘get up the hill, get up the hill, you can do it, you can do it’ or singing a random song lyric to distract me. (he also does this on any given run!)

Keeping my pace, rather than running ahead of me, especially when he senses I am struggling a bit (I tend to try to speed up to match his pace and that usually falters and doesn’t go well!), and falls in step behind me instead. So much so that one of our usual ‘running angels‘ remarked as we passed them at the end of our run this morning “she’s still ahead of you! she’s always ahead of you!’ to which he laughed and said ‘yes she is!’ Little do they know that he does this intentionally, for my sake, not because he is slower than me, but in that moment, it couldn’t have been more clear that he is my running sherpa.

My life sherpa.

Never have I had someone in my life that I can have a deep conversation with, about work, ethical debates, life lessons or even politics (and I hate politics!) and learn so much from someone in sometimes so few words. M is one of the most insightful, intelligent, and driven person that I know. He motivates me to challenge myself, question the status quo and do more, reach higher, and achieve. He is also someone that I can rely on for advice, support, comfort. And in the same way, I do the same for him. We support, we challenge, we motivate each other. In partnership. 

My love sherpa. 

Obviously, this goes without saying. M is the love of my life. In every way, on every level, to the deepest facets. I have never loved anyone as much as I love him. And I have never wanted to unite my life with someone more than I do with him. And every day, he does something, says something, or looks at me in a way that strikes me in just the right way to remind me of this. He is my love, my heart, my partner. My penguin.

M is…my sherpa. In every single way. 

Every single time.

Every single time I walk out of barre n9ne, I feel like I am finally starting to hit a good stride as an instructor. That I AM an instructor.

It’s been a little almost six months (!) since getting certified, and while there is a LOT more to learn, refine and develop…I just love teaching. Every single time.

Every single time, I feel that rush of adrenaline and excitement. I feel awake, alive, and refreshed (even if I may be crawling out of bed at 5:09 am – yes :09 to be exact – and wondering how on earth I’m going to be AWAKE enough to motivate, instruct and push!).

 

When I have a conversation with a 60-day challenger and see their elation over how well this program just works and how fit they are becoming and how motivated they are…it makes me proud. It keeps me motivated myself. Every single time.

And every single time, when I hear a groan, gasp or see someone shut their eyes and push through the burn, I smile. And then I push them more. 

When I look around, at my life, at my (busy) schedule, at my body, at my eats, at everything, it all comes back to barre n9ne and this lifestyle I’ve built for myself. I smile again. Every single time.

And every single time I have the opportunity, I pay it forward, my way of giving thanks, of spreading this passion, this life, this happiness. Because it truly is the balanced life I have looked for, strived for, yet never achieved the way I wanted. Until now. 

“Follow what makes you naturally curious…it will lead you to your passion and purpose.”

Expect many more pictures like this…fair-warning ;-)

On being real.

Sometimes I find it a struggle to balance being true to myself and being real. 

Like, being a good friend…but also only surrounding myself with positivity. Which sometimes makes me feel like I’m actually being a bad friend.

Like, running to run and for fun…but then stressing about how many miles I am actually doing (not as many as I’d like) and then wondering why I even *care* how many miles if I am running for fun?

Like challenging myself physically and mentally…but then feeling myself stagnate a little and wondering if I am actually challenging myself at all these days.

Like chronicalling less…but finding myself wanting to chronicle more. About M. About life. About stuff….and then meandering back to my ‘live more’ mantra.

Being real. Sometimes its harder to balance being real with being true to myself.

Because sometimes I WANT to run a race again, but then I realize I really don’t. I just get caught up in the excitement of it.

Because sometimes I WANT to just say no to certain social gatherings and stick to my ‘less is more’ mantra when it comes to friendships, but then feel compelled to say yes because I feel obligated or guilty saying no.

Because sometimes I WANT to shout from the (proverbial) rooftops about the depth of our love is becoming, with each moment, day, week, and weekend, but then want to respect those private moments we’ve shared between just us. Because I truly believe that’s where they belong.

Because sometimes I WANT to find a new physical challenge for myself…but then also love my ‘maintenance’ routine that I’m in right now and wonder why I feel compelled to find another challenge or goal. Is it necessary? Am I shying away out of fear? Or being too type A with always challenging myself with something? I just don’t know.

I’m being real…in that I feel like I am a walking oxymoron lately. Am I the only one that has internal battles like this…all the damn time?