It's A Journey!

Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

The Bottom Line

One of the things I like about being in my position having come from a weight problem, depression, eating issues and lack of motivation is my ability to speak from experience.  It’s one thing to try and make someone feel better by telling them that they will get there but it’s entirely another to look them in the eye and tell them with complete conviction that only they can reach their goals through making a change.  Telling someone that they have to change their habits and be motivated and determined and focused.  Assuring them with the tone of my voice that it can in fact be done but they have to WANT to do it.  I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it till I die, unless you are in a wheelchair, dying or dead, where there’s a will there’s a way.  Blind people have run marathons, people without limbs compete in all kinds of sports, fat people lose hundreds of pounds without surgery and why?  Because they have sheer determination and will power to do what it takes to get it done.  It’s funny how having experience changes how you say something to someone looking for advice.  Not having experience makes you want to tiptoe around feelings and impressions.  Having experience waives all that because you know how to get it done because you’ve done it and you didn’t accept excuses from yourself and you’re not about to accept them from anyone else.   The bottom line advice is Just Go Do It!  Period.  I did it and so can you!  What are you waiting for?


Running, Dancing at Symphony Hall & A Bucket List

Today I feel like Cinderella reflecting on her wonderful evening at the Ball!  Last night I went to a show at Symphony Hall!  I have never been there and was in sheer awe at every detail of the building’s exterior, the interior and the hall itself.  The doors were leather with brass riveted fastenings, the details adorning the walls and ceilings and staircases alike were amazing.  The rugs were brilliant and royal and soft as I walked on them.  The front doors all open wide under the lit overhang which sat beneath the majestic flags that hung high near the roofline were welcoming and the staff with smiles on their faces stood at every door welcoming guests and assisting us to our seats.  It was absolutely the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in in my life.  As I sat in that brilliant hall in my seat watching just an incredible show I had something pop into my head that will be on my bucket list for sure.  I want to dance in Symphony Hall!  If I had my way, I would have been brave enough to try it, waiting for everyone to leave but that isn’t really feasible without some serious strings.  It’s actually more like a pipe dream from a combination of chick flicks out there that I’ve seen so many times.  In my fantasy the lights would be low, the tables and chairs would be cleared, the POPs would have stayed in their seats playing a dancing tune and my love would have led me to the middle of the floor for a dance while the Symphony Hall staff looked on thinking how lovely we looked.

Back to reality.  Things like that only happen in the movies but wouldn’t it be so wonderful if it actually happened? I think so and I plan on finding a way to indeed Dance at Symphony Hall!   EEJANAIKA (Japanese for What The Hell) you might be thinking.  Is this even related to Running?  The answer is actually yes!  This blog is mostly associated with running and fitness but it is also associated with having goals and being brave and being motivated which is more where this particular blog fits in.  I owe this bucket list addition to running in fact.   It is because of running that I feel like I can actually have a dream about dancing at Symphony Hall.  I am in shape now and I can dance and I now also feel comfortable in pretty clothes and flowy dresses that aren’t boxy that show off my much better shape.  Running has given me the confidence to even think that I would want to or could do that, a gift that just keeps on giving! Running has made me brave enough to have a bucket list and feel worthy of believing that I can do these things.  Running has given me a believe that I can and should experience amazing things.  I love running and all that it brings me…friends, happiness, confidence, strength, tenacity, motivation, memories and an updated bucket list!

PS: Someday I WILL dance at Symphony Hall, twirling round and round in a flowy dress and pretty dancing shoes to the music of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.   The lights down low glowing off the gold frosted walls of two tiers of balconies, caressing and flowing over ornately crafted walls and a ceiling that are intricately and delicately designed to catch and release light, memories and dreams.








Lucy, Paul, Running & Life

I finished the book “When Breath Becomes Air” last night which was written by Paul Kalanithi.  Paul wrote this book because he found out he had terminal cancer and he wanted to document his journey as he faced his own mortality.  He wrote his journey from brilliant Neurosurgeon to Cancer patient.  Paul was quite interested in diving into looking death in the eyes and analyzing what death means and looking at it as a process instead of running away from it.  It is an honest book that I don’t know as if I could have written in the midst of suffering  from Cancer and watching myself wither from health to having people on my death watch just waiting for me to pass to move on.  It’s a good read and something that will not leave my mind.  You should read it.  THIS Ted talk by Lucy Kalanithi is what prompted me to read the book.

I thought about Paul this morning as I headed out to run and I thought about Lucy his widow and Cady his infant daughter who most likely won’t remember her father except in the things her family and her mother share with her.  I thought about my own life and thought about how I read and cried through this book and as my legs carried me over my three miles I confirmed with myself that if I face this same kind of decision in my life, I do NOT want to spend time chasing time if the outcome is sure to be finality.  I would rather spend my time simply talking to my family, and running,  having cookouts and creating memories and laughter than living in a hospital bed.  Everyone dies we just don’t know when we’ll die or how.  Why worry about it?  Every day and moment should be lived to the best of our ability being the best people we can be don’t you think?

I run because I want to be more healthy.  I want to be more healthy because I want to live as long of a life free from canes or adult diapers and medications as I can.  I started off running to run away from life’s problems.  I ran to save myself from deep dark places that the anti-depression commercials talk about.  I ran not to look forward but to not look back.  Things are much better now for me and I am probably the happiest I’ve ever been since getting married.  I now appreciate meaning in life and the joys that my family brings me, especially my children as they head into adulthood.  I now run to be able to have as many tomorrows as I can and to “experience” every day rather than just living every day.  Lucy and Paul “experienced” life and looked at life in a really analytical way both in life and through and during death.  Running saved me and has taught me to really appreciate and experience most everything.  Running has become the glue that keeps me sane, lets me analyze things so I can better understand them more like Paul and Lucy do.  Running lets me reflect on things that have happened and what my takeaways are a lot like Lucy and Paul did as they applied the lessons they were learning through their difficult journey through Paul’s illness.

It’s books like this that make me a better human who appreciates the important things in life over skimming through each day blindly, and it’s running that has allowed me to take all those moments and push them forward to tomorrow and the next days to come.  Life, like running has good days and bad, joy and pain, frustrations and memories, positives and negatives. We should know what we want from both, have goals for both, give mindful thought to the moments and milestones that we experience during both.



My Running Friends

Today as I was on my regular run I decided to run slower than my body probably would have taken off without direction.  I ran slower because one of my running friends asked me if I ever run slow.  Well the answer to that is yes but lately it’s no.  So being funny or at least trying to I purposely ran close to a 10 minute mile for the 3 that I put up today.  I told her it was for her and it amused her which was my intent.  I have to say that I love my running friends because they keep me realistic, super motivated and brave.  Without them I would run too fast all the time, would not vary my workouts and would be way too hard on myself.  My friends encourage me and cheer for me when I do something successful and they never poo-poo even the small success’.  My friends always have a story of something I have not yet and may not experience that teaches me what to look for and how to handle those things.  My friends have prepared me for bad runs because they have been there.  My running friends are the people who are now my friends who I love talking to, running with and have a lot in common.  They are my confidants, my voices of reason and my cheerleaders.  My friends sign up for races because I get all excited about running them and they don’t mind when I send them stupid meme’s in the middle of the day just because I thought they were funny.  They are my voice of reason and they pretty much just accept me for who I am, quirks and all!  I thought about them as I ran today and was just thankful to have them to share my running life in part.  They are funny, crazy, tolerant, understanding, encouraging, brave, bold, daring and so many other words that inspire me every day.  Some I have known longer than others but each of them is just as important to me and all for very different reasons under the same umbrella.

So here’s a cheer to my running friends who are my extended family and deserve a thank you for keeping me going every day.  I love each of you for all that you are to me and for listening to my incessant ramblings that always are about fitness and having fun.  You are good sports and I’m happy to call you my friends!

Do you have people that share in your passion?



Running Like A Cheetah!

Either I’m getting better at running faster or I’m just in better shape.  Either way, I have been able to pull off a few miles under 9:00 which I haven’t seen in a LOOOOOONG time.  I feel awesome just because I always do when I’m running but this last week I feel fast like a cheetah hitting sub 9’s.  I imaging, knowing it’s just in my head, that the drivers that pass turn their head to look at me and think to themselves “wow, look at that girl go!”  It’s probably more like “hey she’s running funny.  Is she ok?” I have what my kids refer to as the BRENNA WOBBLE.  Yep I am a category!  That’s ok, I think it’s cute that they have a name for it.  They can actually pick me out of a crowd of many many people just by the way I move.  It amuses me.

Maybe hitting those times (8:53 mile 4 today) is because in the back of my mind I want it more and more.  I think about improved times during every run and try to get at least one mile that skirts the nine minute mark.  I think once you set your mind to something it just happens.  I’m not one for excuses, in fact I hate people that just find one for everything.  When I hear “I can’t” and I know that you in fact CAN but just don’t want to it makes me insane!  Just who I am.  What will be interesting to see is what some speed workouts do for hitting those marks.  We’ll see.

What are some goals you’ve been surprised that you hit?  Did it drive you to set bigger goals or keep pushing to hit it consistently?


A Real Life Fairy Tale

Once Upon A Time there was a girl….

who would not clear the fog from the mirror after her shower for shame of seeing what she had allowed herself to turn into.  Once upon a time there was a girl who wasn’t on speaking terms with her scale for shame of seeing digital confirmation of the disgrace she had become.  Once upon a time the evil demon known as self loathing extended it’s shriveled poisonous apple and told the girl to take a bite.  Evil wrapped her in it’s arms tightly and sucked the life right out of her beautiful happy sky blue eyes and nearly extinguished the life from her body.  The girl refused to be compliant and fade away into the bleak cold darkness of depression … She said “No I won’t stay here with you!” She laced up her running shoes, turned away and never looked back.

Running literally saved my life.  There are so many things that I get and have learned from running about life and myself.  One of my favorite things about the rewards of running is my self image.  I love the way I feel in my clothes, without clothes and how my focus in every day tasks is no longer fighting the feeling of being disgusted with myself but of how proud I feel of the way I look.  I love wanting to order a bikini at an age when I should feel like covering that shit up.  I love that I want to wear sexy things instead of wearing grandma underwear like I used to.  I love actually feeling ok eating ice cream because I know it won’t have time to move into my hips making my flesh hurt because I can feel all the fat under there.  Don’t get me wrong, I have fat but not enough to make me feel like I belong on the clearance rack at the dollar store any more.  I love that other people tell me that I look good.  That’s one of my favorite things especially when another guy tells me that.  It’s like confirmation that my husband isn’t lying to me.  He of all people wouldn’t lie to me but it’s nice to hear it once in a while from another guy.  I love wanting to buy more workout clothes because I like feeling attractive in poly / spandex that used to be worn only to mask the fact that I was growing out of my old jeans.  When someone overweight tell you that their “jeggins” are just so comfy, more than likely it’s more closely related to the fact that they have outgrown their pants.  Trust me, I WAS that person and used to love that jeans were being made from super stretchy material.  It meant that my size 10 would stretch out over my size 12-14 body and I could perpetuate the lie that I was telling myself about still fitting into my 10’s and it wasn’t that bad.  What a ruse that was!  I love looking for a super sexy holiday dress to wear to the company party because knowing I’m 48 (almost but not yet! LOL) and able to pull off a strappy fitted number with stiletto’s makes me giggle to myself.  It’s hard work but it’s the most rewarding, addicting and motivating thing that I’ve ever done for myself and I love the benefits I reap every day.  I love looking in the mirror at my face in the mirror because the girl that looks back at me now is who was buried deep inside all along.  She’s the face of strength and love, determination and bravery, happiness and laughter and I just love her so much!  I hated running when I took those first horrible steps on the track with my son that June day in 2011.  I hated it so much but my hatred for it drove me to love it just as much.  It turned me from an ugly Nanny McPhee type appearance to a much more attractive person at the end of the story.  Running might not be your thing but you should have a “thing” that gets you out there moving and staying healthy working off stress and pounds and whatever shit burgers that life tries to hand you.  All you have to do is start and if you stick with it I promise you will grow to love it just like I did. The benefits will become something you can’t live without.  You can do it because there’s strength in your soul that just needs to be dusted off.   What’s your real life fairy tale?


Because I Can That’s Why!

So, all month this month I’ve watched my miles inch up closer and closer to 100.  Now, I’ve run 100 miles in a month before but it’s been a really long time since I’ve come within 25 miles of that.  life is busy and I haven’t been running as much as I have been diversifying my workout these days.  I do what I can on a regular basis to stay healthy.  My VA trip helped because I got a lot of miles in that week and in fact because of the way the calendar in one of my running apps works, I actually thought I was going to hit 100 about 10 days ago.  My bad for not paying attention but I’m glad I didn’t because it made me set the goal to reach 100 miles in April.  Even when I realized I was further away from it than I originally believed I still wanted it!  I wanted it bad and I pretty much reach the goals I want with very few exceptions.  I realized on the 24th that I was still more than 13 miles away from the 100 but I can do that in 6 days easily.  As we all know, life is busy and this time of the year I’m painting sets for the Raynwater Players spring production just about every night and weekend.  That takes away one end of my day which I was using for extra workouts.  I don’t like running more than 3 days or so without giving my legs a break and doing Tabata or using my bike.  Night by night my opportunity to hit 100 was dwindling.  I can’t forego Tabata because as I found out with a 2 week near void of Tabata, weakness creeps back in quickly.  On Friday after my 4 miles I was down to about 11 miles needed to achieve the goal.  I knew if I put up 6 both weekend days I could make it with ease.  Saturday 6 didn’t happen so I put up 3 which forced me to do 8 today.  Now I haven’t run anything over 5.5 in two weeks.  I hate jumping in and doing lots more miles than where my routine finds me at the moment.  I just feel like it’s begging for injury and I definitely don’t want to be injured because not running would be really bad for my psyche and well, my progress at staying as fit and trim as possible. Anyway, as Genie said I don’t like doing it:

But I set out today knowing I had to do it because I wanted the 100.  Off I went on a beautiful day running a pace that felt actually slower than it turned out to be.  I tried to just enjoy the day remembering that todays run was simply about putting up miles and not about speed.  My legs protested a teeny tiny bit in the beginning because they were tired from yesterdays up and down at my son’s car wash fundraiser but they didn’t complain long or hard.  They must have known that I wanted 100 badly and they carried me the whole way home finishing 8 to make just over 100 miles for the month.  Funny how something you’ve done before can be so rewarding when you want it so much.  So I did it!  I ran 100 miles this month and I am one happy camper!  I don’t know if I’ll have  goal for May or not.  I haven’t had a monthly goal like this one before but it was fun trying to achieve it so perhaps I’ll have a new monthly goal going forward.  Who knows.  You’ll just have to keep reading to find out what happens.  What goals have you set for yourself?  Tell me in the comments and please share this blog with friends.


Tag Cloud