Archive for motivation

Stubborn

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 19, 2014 by activerunner

Running has been the best teacher I’ve ever had.  I do a lot of thinking when out running the streets, and It has taught me a lot about myself.  I realized today, while out for a jog, that I am pretty stubborn in certain aspects of my life while pretty passive in others.  Both those words have very negative connotations to them.  I hate that the word stubborn is looked at as such a negative.  I mean, when looking up synonyms for the word you find, Uncompromising, difficult, contrary, and even pigheaded.  But in my mind being stubborn is actually a positive, when in the right context.  It can become empowering. Running is obviously an important topic to me.  I have a blog dedicated to it.  But running, to me, is a lot more than just a way to stay in shape.  It is what keeps me mentally, emotionally and physically strong and healthy.  I am very adamant about this belief and I show it.  I go running almost every day.  Even when I don’t want to, even when it hurts.  I do this because I have made up my mind to do so, and there isn’t anything that will change my mind about it.  Not even my own laziness.  Stubborn. I’m talking about making up your mind to accomplish something.  But for once I’m not talking about running, I’m talking about life.  I’m sure each and every person has an ideal of what they want to become.  It’s right there, deep down inside of you.  What do you want in life? What kind of person do you want to be?  What do you want to accomplish?  You can see it.  But the world gets in the way.  You find excuses, reasons to let those ideals pass by.  You put fear in control, you start thinking it’s too hard and settle for something easier or for something beneath your standard.  But running races has taught me that sometimes I have to look deep down within myself and reach for the reasons that keep me going and then make up my mind about them.  That is what helps me finish the race at the time I set for myself, that is what keeps me from settling for a slower pace, even when the race is painful, even when the race is hard. There are certain standards that I want to uphold as a person and as a member of my church.  There are things I want to accomplish; I want to be happy and successful, I want a good strong relationship with God, I want to be kind and encouraging, I want to be a great teacher and acquire the gift of persuading truth and motivating action, I want to get married and have kids, I want to be a good wife and mother, but mostly I want to be consistent.  To uphold high standards  even with all the so called”reasons” to settle for less.  Being a Pigheaded, Uncompromising Stubborn is imperative in this context. life is a race

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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

A Losing Season

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 28, 2012 by activerunner

Losing is not necessarily a bad thing.  Losing provides a chance to learn how to fix weaknesses and become better.  There is always a loser in every sport you play.  But when its you who is constantly losing… that can’t be a good thing. Involvement in a losing season is tough.  You lose a lot more than just a game, when you lose every game of the season.

I’m coaching basketball this year, well I’m assisting, and we have not won once.  we’ve lost every game by more than twenty points.  It’s pretty sad.  I’m not used to losing so much and I see the toll it takes on the girls.  The girls think they suck at basketball, which is probably not too far from reality to be perfectly honest.  But I still think you can learn something from a losing season.  You learn more about yourself and how you handle losing.
I watch these girls and their reactions to loss.  There are a few girls whom are just working to improve.  they love basketball and want to play, that’s it.  But the majority of the girls are frustrated, have no motivation, don’t care, and many have quit!  We’ve had ten girls quit this season.  We don’t have a sophomore team, we barely have a JV team.  And they all quit because they didn’t think we were going to win games.
 Mind set contributes significantly to a losing season as well as a winning season.  These girls don’t care enough to win.  They don’t even care enough to play. I honestly believe that any team can win games, if only a few, when they have the will.  Even if they are the most uncoordinated, un-athletic team out there.   “If there is a will, there is a Way!” Right?  The will is what makes teams work.  It’s what drives them.  It’s what makes them improve.  But you’ve got to have the right attitude and be able to handle the losses and use them for motivation.
Yes… losing sucks, and I always get a little upset.  That may an understatement because I absolutely hate losing.  But losing can be a good thing if you don’t let it become acceptable.  My team is beginning to accept losing.  They have fallen into a trap and are no longer trying to break free.  When teams or individuals start feeling comfortable with losing, that is when the  loss becomes more than a loss.  It becomes demoralizing.  Those who don’t accept losing believe they are winners.  Those who accept losing believe they are losers.  And with that mind set, you’ll never learn to win.

Sense of Pride

Posted in Races with tags , , , on September 8, 2012 by activerunner

So we had our second meet for cross country this passed wednesday and I was shocked by what I saw.  The girls JV race was first, and that is what all four of our girls run.  We have four girls, twenty one boys… good odds for the girls I guess.  Anyway, while watching the girls race I saw more than one girl from our team as well as from others stop in the middle of the race and start walking!!  Am I the only one that finds this appalling? This was the city/county meet!  We are not at a swimming pool.  Run, Don’t walk!!  Where is their sense of pride?

I don’t know about other people but for me walking in a timed race is not an option.  This is a race and it is only three miles!  I mean official practices have been ongoing for two weeks now.  What is the point of all that running in practice if you have nothing to show for it at the race?  I’m sorry if i sound harsh, but cross country runners should be able to run the entire three miles without stopping.  If they can’t they are obviously walking and slacking off in practice.  This definitely gives meaning to the words,”You play how you practice.”  Or in this case, “you walk how you don’t run….”  It made sense in my head.  I don’t know why anyone would want to run cross-country if they were just planning to walk during a meet.

The real shocker was not that girls were walking in the middle of the race, but that they would walk the finsihing stretch of the race! They were walking the last hundred!  The finish line is so close, it’s within sight, and not to mention where all the fans are sitting.  (and when I say fans I mean the 5 parents in the stands)  That is just embarrassing.  Are you that out of shape that you can’t run accross the finsih line?  Come on girls you are giving us a bad name.  I hate it when guys think they can say things like, “you run like a girl.”  But now I see why they feel they can say it.  Now, I know not all girls are this way.  There were girls who ran in this meet in under twenty minutes, which is faster than a lot of the guys times, but still I hardly ever see the guys walking in a race.  I guess you could say guys are naturally more prideful than us girls.  🙂

I blame it on a lot of things.  First of all a lot of kids today are out of shape and lazy and this includes the boys.  I can see a huge difference in the athletic ability of kids from when I was in high school to now, and high school was not that long ago for me.  They just don’t want to put the work in, and cross country requires a lot of hard work and I mean a lot.  Second, they don’t have a competitive drive.  I find comparing the boys races to the girls quit funny.  The boys have a lot more of a competitive edge.  There is always more than one elbow thrown in a boys long distance race.  I see boys cutting each other off, tripping one another,  and every once in a while a fight will break out in the middle of the course.  The girls, however, run a completely different kind of race.  They cheer for the people passing them up.   “Here, go ahead and pass me…no you pass me…no you!”  Now if someone passes you in a race, sure encourage them.  Thats great.  But are you going to let someone pass you with out a fight?  Not that kind of fight boys.  Obviously throwing elbows is not a good thing, but you should run to keep your standing.  You should run to win.  

Third, they have no sense of pride, no sense of accomplishment.  They don’t want it and I can see it in their eyes.  The race is to test your limits, to test your strength.  It’s supposed to be hard!  Don’t you want to show your team, your coach, your fans, and most importantly yourself what you can do?  Don’t you want to run a personal best?  If the answer is no, then I don’t know how you find motivation to run in the first place.  If the answer is yes, then it should be more than a walking effort.  Now I had a lot of the same characteristics of these girls in high school.  I didn’t like the hard work.  I was lazy, but I did have an extremely large competitive drive, still do.  When running a meet I wanted to pass people and I wanted to beat the one girl on Layton High’s team that was faster than me.  She’d beat me In every meet up to our last invite, which i finally passed her up.  That was my fastest race as well as my last.  After that I quit.  I honestly wish I was more like I am now, then.  But I can say, however, that I never walked in a race.  I had way too much pride for that.

Running Slump

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 28, 2012 by activerunner

for the passed few weeks I have been sick. Sick of running that is. I tried to run yesterday and after two miles that seemed to go on and on, I quit and didn’t care. I don’t even have the desire to run now or ever, which is strange for me. I think I can officially say I’m in a running slump! It happens to the best of us. The key is to realize you will eventually get out, but what do you do help speed the process?

Well, yesterday instead of running I went and played basketball with the boys. Basically when playing against guys the game becomes a series of runs up and down the court without touching the ball anyway. Guys struggle with the concept of passing especially to a girl. They don’t however show any hesitation to throw up a three even after they have air balled it the last five times. So it was as if I was running a distance run, just more stops than usual and no ball in sight. But that isn’t the point. (sorry i went off on a tangent there…) the point is I didn’t feel like I was running, but I was! I am still staying active. You are not going to get out of a slump by doing nothing. That can only cause one to sink further in until hope to climb out is slim.

So first thing you can do is try running different routes. I’m guilty of running the same route every day or I’ll run my route backwards… from finish to start. Although, literally running backwards would definitely help spice up a run.

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Anyway, I am always running around in my neighborhood and don’t usually stray too far. I think finding a route where there is more to see than just houses and cars would be beneficial. Distractions are always welcome when running. Trail running is something I’ve always wanted to get into. Different trails provide different sights, smells, challenges. And I’m sure it won’t become as monotonous as some other runs especially if there are hills involved.

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Music is a must for me when running. I created a playlist a long, long, long time ago and still listen to those same songs while out for a jog. This may be one of my problems, I’m sick of my music! Music can motivate runners to do amazing things, but if you don’t like the songs your focus turns to pain, boredom, or whatever and you question why you are running in the first place.

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Running games can help make running more fun. I recently bought an app on my I-pod called Zombies, Run! Image It basically puts you as the main character of a story in which you go on missions to out run zombies and gather supplies for your camp in order to survive the Zombie apocalypse. You can hear the Zombies in your head phones as well as the operator who checks in with you every so often. You can put your music with the story while you run and the operator will chime in between songs. Beware not to let the Zombies catch you… you lose points this way. This game is a good tool in getting runners to run faster! My only complaint is I can’t seem to get my GPS to work on it, so it doesn’t track my runs. Another game you can play is runners tag on the Nike Running App. ImageYou go for a run and it automatically logs your miles. Then you tag a friend who becomes It. Tough break. Your friend then must run faster or more miles than you in order to tag you back. Winner is the last one with the fastest time or most miles. A battle of pride is always a great tool for motivation.

Last suggestion for getting out of the hole. Try taking a break and doing something else for a while. you can’t feel guilty if you are still staying active. you should however feel tremendous guilt if you are letting your slump keep you from getting out there. Pick up a new healthy habit for a while. There are millions of things you can do to get exercise so that is not an excuse! take a break from running and do yoga, zumba, Cross-fit, go hiking, biking, swimming, roller blading, mountain climbing, or all the above instead. You have my approval. I know as much as anyone that running can get old.

Life is a Race

Posted in Races with tags , , , on May 11, 2012 by activerunner

 Life is a race…

its about the good miles and the bad miles.

Its about going up hill and down hill.

It’s about being ahead and being behind.

It’s about falling, and getting back up.

It’s about doing what you hate, and doing what you love.

It’s about learning strengths and learning weaknesses.

It’s about fast paces and slow paces.

It’s about feeling pain and feeling  joy.

It’s about winning.

It’s about losing.

Its about reaching your destination.

Its about finishing stronger than when you started.

Life is a race…. Endure.

The Coaches Perspective

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 11, 2012 by activerunner

We had a meet at Fremont High school today.  If you look at some of my runners times you will see that a lot of them did not improve… they got slower.  This is about the time in the season when runners become more lethargic than usual.  They start slacking off, skipping practices, swinging on swings and playing on the playground instead of running in the park like they are supposed too!  Yes, I caught some of my runners doing just that.  How old are they?  At least when I was their age I had enough respect to hide my laziness from the coach!  If you are going to slack off don’t do so in plain sight.  Of course when they saw me coming towards them, they ran away quick enough to get their heart rates pumping.  Now I know how my high school track coach felt when I was one of these… so called runners.  Its a totally different view from the coaches perspective, if only these kids could see it.

Everything is just sooooo much more dramatic when you are in high school.  You hear the track workout for the day and think you may not survive!  The sun actually comes out for once and you think you may get heat stroke in seventy degree weather. You get shin splints and you are permanently injured for the rest of the season!  Shin splints are not at the top of the serious injury list guys.

I do have a good handful of runners that work their tails off.  And you can tell who they are because they are the ones that improve their times every week, or at least come relatively close.  The difference is like night and day.  These kids shine and rise above the rest.  These kinds of kids make coaching worth while because these are the kids that are actually coach-able.  A coach can only do so much.  I can try and encourage,motivate, and inspire runners, and many times it works.  But performance is ultimately up to the individual.  It’s called self motivation.  If a runner is not motivated to improve, coaching is not going to do much good.  Once a runner has that motivation and desire to become better, that is when he or she looks to the coach for help.

And that is what I’m here for!  I love coaching, I love seeing athletes improve and reach their goals.  I love all the runners even the ones that slack off here and there.  Hey, I used to be one of them… so I probably shouldn’t be too hard on them.  But I find it refreshing to see young athletes with a desire to work hard and become better.  They definitely have a head start, which can greatly contribute to winning a race.

I want to thank all my coaches who were there pushing me to become better.  I may not have appreciated it back then, but I definitely do now.  It’s about time I gained a little perspective.