Victory is Taken

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2014 by activerunner

“Never be passive. Victories happen when you take charge of the game. You can’t win by playing not to lose.”
-Karen Kingsbury
I would consider myself a more passive kind of human being.  To protect myself from getting hurt, I tend to play it safe. I shy away from conflict and avoid “stepping on the toes of others.”  In other words, I hold back.  Yet, when playing basketball or running a race I am the exact opposite. I will do everything within in my power to win.  I am aggressive and will bruise every toe in the game if it means satisfaction with my performance.  I give it my all.  Although that may come off as a little extreme in real life scenarios, I don’t believe that playing it safe leads to anything Satisfying.

Don’t get me wrong, having a safety net can be useful.   It’s something nice and cushy to land on.  But knowing it’ll always be there to break your fall, makes falling that much easier.  The net becomes an excuse about why you can’t go the distance.  It just sits there waiting to be landed on, which must mean the distance is too far.  But without the net the jump becomes more real, more rewarding, and more devastating all at the same time.   You take that jump, and I guarantee  you’ll go so much farther because there is nothing to catch you, there is nothing holding you back.

So now that the safety nets are down and you are going the distance, you have to deal with people.  Sometimes you have to get dirty. That statement has been a hard lesson for me to learn. But playing nice isn’t always the best way to handle certain situations. I am all for respecting others and being kind, but people have a tendency to get in the way. They’ll use your weaknesses to make them feel superior. They’ll judge, use, and abuse you, and they’ll try to keep you from moving towards the goal. Those people need to be shown exactly where you stand and that you will not back down… even if it means crushing a toe or two. Toe stepping beats walking on eggshells any day.

Being more passive than I’d prefer, I’d like to change.  But, Change is hard.  there is, however, something everyone should know. I have my own personal opinions, goals, and experiences and I have the right to be respected as do you. I have lived my life, and have over come obstacles.  I have succeeded, and have also failed.  I’ve used safety nets and always landed softly, excusing myself for whatever reason I could think up.  But I am not satisfied with that.  I’d rather give everything I have despite the judgments and thoughts of others and lose, than to land safely on my excuses.  In life everybody is required to go up against themselves and others and everybody wants to win. But winning cannot be done unless it is taken. So take it!  Take that jump, take that shot, take the opportunity.  Do not resort to prevent defense, allowing others to stop you from even trying for a goal.  You can’t win this way.  The best case scenario ends in a tie and tie’s aren’t good enough.  So change your mind set, move forward, and take your victory.  Only then will you get some satisfaction.

Advertisements

Here or There

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 4, 2013 by activerunner

I walk onto the field, the court, the track.

A ball in my hands, at my feet. 

I run the race, the street, the trail.

The path laid out in front of me. 

There…. is where i belong, 

Where I know what to do,

Where everything comes naturally.

 

Here, I wander aimlessly.

The paths splitting in different directions.

Which way should i go? 

Which race, which street, which trail?

Which hoop should I shoot for? 

There, I see one hoop, one path, one direction.

Here, I see many and I don’t know what to do…  

Steps Towards Recovery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2013 by activerunner

Being ill or injured sucks.  I think all serious injuries, whether a broken arm to a broken heart, affect the mind more than the actual physical body.  I’m still anemic and although I have felt progression towards recovery, I’m not progressing fast enough.  The thing with Anemia is that it’s not an injury or illness that people can see, it’s in my blood.  So, when I go out for a run, in my mind, there is no reason why I can’t do what I have always been able to.  Yet, I’m slow and can’t go as far.  It’s annoying.

I hold high expectations for my self and often think that I should be “this” and  should have accomplished “that” by now, despite my illness, injury, or weakness.  Why am I not where I should be?  You’ll drive yourself crazy thinking like this because you make yourself into a constant disappointment.  Life is progressive.  And we have all made significant progress.  But every once in a while, weakness, injury, or illness slow us down.   all you can do is work through it a step at a time.  Even if hope of recovery is slim or down right impossible. Even if baby steps are all that’s manageable.  Those steps may be considered small to the healthy and uninjured, but they may be the most difficult steps ever taken.   Pushing forward through difficulty defines progress and without progress, healing cannot take place.

So yes injuries, illnesses, and weaknesses are difficult and you should be annoyed by them.  But, by forcing yourself forward, progress will be made.  I can honestly say I am making progress,  with anemia anyway, even though my grandma can probably run faster than me right now.  but I will pass her up, eventually, as long as I don’t quit.  There is no reason why I can’t do what I have always been able to. I can overcome difficulty.

Perception

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2013 by activerunner

An individual’s personal perception of life is unlike anyone else’s.  This individual has her own way of looking at and seeing things.  She has her own opinions, attitudes, and challenges and may go through the same challenges as others, but will perceive and react differently.  A life enveloping catastrophe to her, may be a mere bump in the road to another.  Her attitude towards specific occurences becomes self fulfilling.

variances in opinion are all due to perception.  Those who don’t see running as something worthwhile are obviously not looking at it through my eyes.  But challenges can influence and change perception.   I have recently been diagnosed with Anemia, making running difficult and not so pleasant.  Anemia is a condition in which there is not enough iron in the blood.  Iron is important because It produces healthy red blood cells in the body, which transport oxygen to organs.  Because running is an aerobic exercise, oxygen is kind of important. I mean, oxygen is kind of important period!  So, because of this health problem I have had to force myself to finish workouts that would otherwise be relatively simple.

My perception of running has changed.  I despise pushing myself through pain that I shouldn’t feel during a short, simple run.  I get angry at myself, feeling that I should be at a certain level, but am falling short.  So I didn’t run today.  I did nothing, unless you count mowing the lawn as a workout.  Instead I read a book called Unbroken, which actually helped me see more clearly.  I read all morning long about Louie Zamperini, who was infact a runner, a world record runner to be exact, and a WWII survivor.  He was drafted into the war, and became a B-24 Air Force Bomber.  But he, along with his crew crashed in the ocean.  Only three members of the crew survived the crash and were forced to wait for days on a raft, in the Ocean, for rescue.  Louie was among those three.  The two other men with him were Mac and Phil.

Louie, while starving and drifting in the Ocean, remembered an article about a survivor in their same situation.  The article had reported that the crew members who didn’t survive went insane from dehydration and had wild hallucinations. So Louie and Phil decided they needed to keep their minds sharp.  So, they quizzed each other and discussed memories, life events, and the future.  They taught one another lyrics to songs and did everything they could to keep their minds in tact.  Mac, however did not participate much and many times went through mini freak out sessions.

“though all three men faced the same hardship, their differing perceptions of it appeared to be shaping their fates.  Louie and Phil’s hope displaced their fear and inspired them to work toward their survival, and each success renewed their physical and emotional vigor.  mac’s resignation seemed to paralyze him, and the less he participated in their efforts to survive, the more he slipped.  though he did the least, as the days passed, it was he who faded the most.  Louie and Phil’s optimism, and Mac’s hopelessness, were becoming self-fulfilling.”

That quote was taken from the book, Unbroken.  It illustrates how critical perception is, and not just with running.  Those who preceive pain as a moment to overcome, overcome and look back at a bump in the road.  Others let pain follow them, allowing it to envelope their lives.  Envelopment is hard to get away from.

Chasing Shadows

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 14, 2013 by activerunner

It’s no big surprise when people tell me how much they hate running.   Back in the day, I despised it and am now  realizing why!  I didn’t have any incentive to run in high school.   I was pushed into cross-country because my comp soccer team fell apart.  So, going from chasing a ball to chasing my own shadow miles upon miles  in the blistering heat, seemed extremely pointless.  I was naturally fast but didn’t want or have any reason to work hard.  It wasn’t until my teammate beat me in a meet, that I actually became inspired to work harder.  That became my incentive.  A hated workout can completely change when there is something of value to work towards and documentation to show progress.

 This is sad, but I absolutely cannot run without my iPod.  If I go without, it’s as if my run didn’t count.  It is my sense of accomplishment.  It is what pushes me beyond my limits.  It is what keeps track of my progress.  I know some people enjoy stepping away from their electronics to go for a nice easy jog and enjoy nature.  Although I do enjoy running trails and seeing nature, I am not motivated by it, at all.  I’m movtivated by accomplishment and improvement.   I need my iPod to tell me my pace after each mile, I need it to play upbeat music, and I need it to document my run… on facebook, (I enjoy getting likes okay? And it holds me accountable.)

Point is, I have something that keeps my motivation.  Even if it is as stupid as posting a run on Facebook.  This app allows me to look back at every single run I’ve logged.  I can compare my first run of the year, to my run today.  I can see the distances I’ve covered and how many calories I’ve burned, what I’ve accomplished and what I need to improve upon.  Seeing your work documented, posted, or written down gives it meaning and becomes something you can build upon.  Without an incentive as well as documented progress, there is nothing to work on and nowhere to work from.  You are  simply chasing a shadow, an excruciatingly pointless way to spend your time.  But, let me know if you catch it.

 running-shadow

Mom

Posted in Off on a Tangent with tags , on May 12, 2013 by activerunner

Happy Mothers day!  This is a day to celebrate mothers and all they do for their families.  Although I do not think one day a year is quite enough in retrospect to all they do and have to put up with.  So, I am dedicating my blog today to my mom!  She is an amazing person, the kind I hope to be one day.  

    While preparing dinner for mom this mothers day, we started discussing all the things mom has done for us over the years.  Of course, we are not really the complimenting type, we are more the tease and make fun, kind of people. So naturally, we begin reminding mom of all the mistakes she made with us kids.  Like the time she forgot Vandes at Layton Elementary as a little boy.  Or when she allowed Ashley, a little Ginger, to steer the four wheeler, which ended up crashing into a side bank, only to topple over and smash mom’s leg. We don’t let Ashley steer anymore. 

But honestly we couldn’t think of many more mistakes.  Mom is very nearly perfect.  She is so patient and kind.  She loves us even when we don’t deserve it and she loves us all the same… so she claims… although we have our theories about who her favorite child is.  She never yells or gets upset even when she has the right too!  She does however have a special talent for making us feel guilty.  When asked to do something, us kids sometimes moan and groan.  Mom responds to our groaning with an “I’ll just do it!”  Only then do we all say… “No!! mom don’t.  I’ll do it, I’ll do it!”  A very effective tactic on her part.  

All joking aside, my mom is amazing.  She is the essence of cool and could totally beat me up, she only does P90X and Insanity every day!  I even think she could take my brother Vandes.  Sorry Vandes, it’s true.  She is a major health nut and has amazing self control when it comes to food.  I grew up watching her take care of her self physically and can honestly say she has been my inspiration in following suit.  She is very giving of herself, her time, and her possessions.  I know I can always rely on her to be there and help me with anything.  I don’t know anyone more honest than my mom.  Dad, however, likes to joke and play tricks, but us kids have learned real quick that if we just ask mom, she’ll tell us the truth.  Nice try dad!  

I could go on and on about my mom.  One thing for sure is, I would not be half the person I am today with out her.  Her influence has been immeasurable in my life.  I hope to be the kind of mother to my own kids that she has been to me!  that is…. if I ever get married.  Thanks for everything Mom.  I love you.

Run for a Cause

Posted in Races, Training with tags , on April 24, 2013 by activerunner

Why do you run?  I run for me.  I run to improve my fitness and health.  I run to look good.  I run to relieve stress and boredom.   I run to feel accomplished.  I run so I can eat dessert.  I run for me.  Just me, and nobody else!   It’s time that changed.  Compare running to life, and you’ll find a lot of similarities.   Lately, charity has been a lot on my mind.  If your whole world revolves around yourself, you aren’t living, and I can guarantee you aren’t happy.  However, it seems when you do things for others you are actually doing a lot more for yourself.   Kind of Ironic that the best thing for you is doing for others.  “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

I’m not great at giving of myself.  There is a lot of room for improvement in this area.  I’m not good at speaking comforting words to strangers, or striking up friendly conversations with people I don’t know.  I’m not good at volunteering or putting myself in uncomfortable situations.  But don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can.  Running is something I can do.   I’m  good at putting in miles everyday.  But, simply being good isn’t useful to anyone. 

 “Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful.”  ~Author Unknown

nikegroupgoals

I had never thought to use running as a tool to make a difference.  I now see I can use it to do just that.  There are a lot of charity runing/walking events out there, so sign up.  That way, you are running for a purpose, one that exceeds the perameters of self improvement.  There is also an App I have recently discovered called Charity Miles.  This App is awesome!  I’m excited to use it.   All you do is pick a charity listed on the app and go, donating all your miles to that specific charity.  Runners and walkers can earn 25 cents per mile, bikers earn 10 cents per mile.  The app will track the mileage for you.  You then share your run on facebook or twitter to help that charity receive donations.  They want you to do this for awareness purposes, and to inspire others to do the same. 

“Nobody walks for charity in secret. It’s something you do to make a statement and to raise awareness.  When you’re done, we hope you will share on Facebook and Twitter. That has a very valuable market value.”Charity Miles

You can do anything to make a difference, it doesn’t have to be running.  The key is to make a statement.  Find something you can do, something you are good at, and use it for good.  There is no point in keeping it all for yourself.    Running is something I do anyway, but now I run for a cause.  Why do you run?