The Joy of Running

I started running when I was at least in Junior High School. It was largely due to me having “them running legs” as everyone called them. I was tall and skinny and at least looked like I had the potential to be athletic. I joined a local team and they trained me. I fell in love! I found myself running for sport and I enjoyed it. Fast forward to now. I picked up running again in the last 2 years to help maintain my weight but running became much more!

In “The Joy of Running” arranged by Jackie Corley it breaks down a runner’s heartbeat. As an adult with a family my reason for running has changed. The “Joy” of running isn’t just for weight maintenance anymore. If that was the case I would have fallen off a long time ago. Joy in running is beyond the moment when the happiness falls. Happiness in running wains in about the first 3 miles. The pain of running kicks in you need Joy pushing behind you. During my 4 am wake up calls where I’m alone and no one to push; Joy kicks in.

I love when David Bedford says:

Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge.

He’s referring to life in this quote. “The Joy of Running” breaks down how running affects a person’s whole being. Unlike my junior high running has a more intimate meaning. I talk to God and go over my life when my feet hit the ground. I take on life’s stressors when I hit the ground. I take on all of my inconsistencies when I hit the ground!

Monte Davis says:

Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also there are hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.

I practice self-care and self preservation on the ground when I run every single time. There’s not one time when something has been on my heart or mind that running hasn’t allowed me to figure it out or give me peace that it can’t be worked out.

“The Joy of Running” is a runner’s reminder of remember your why. I dedicate to leaving this book by my bed. It’s usually where a runner’s biggest struggle comes from. If I wake up and get up even if my time is slow or my miles low; I showed up for myself and “The Joy of Running” pushed my spirit to hear herself!

I highly recommend this book and if you or someone you love stresses a desire to run-gift them this book! It’s a collection of love letters as I call tjem to a runner’s soul! A runner would understand and align themselves back to the “Joy” and their why!

To get your own copy you can get it here!

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Monday Motivation: Petty Bettys

You may experience a Petty Betty in all kinds of areas like work and home. They come out of the woodwork to try your patience. Do not let them take you off your course. They tend to be super draining and always taking. They take your time, money, energy, and sometimes focus if you give it to them.

I would love to say press pass them like it’s always easy and any hardship with a Petty Betty is all in your mind and something you are putting too much of an emphasis on and it isn’t serious. However the truth is they are too much. They are taxing and they do weigh on you. For example you get up to go to work and every time you clock in if not sooner Petty Betty is waiting in the wings of the door with a gambit of negativity. You feel like you’re playing Mortal Combat mentally with her or a Petty Bob daily. The smile you once had in the parking lot is gone. The prayer that willed you into the building feels in vain.

However trust me Petty Betty and Petty Bob are all around. They actually help to make you better in dealing with difficult situations. I know some as soon as a Petty Betty encounter is longer than they imagined they want to leave a job, a relationship, a new business, etc.

If you run from a Petty Betty every time something happens you might as well sleep in running shoes. Be direct with a Petty Betty. Sometimes that’s enough for them to get the message. You can’t be passive aggressive with a Petty Betty and expect results. They thrive off your low balling behavior. If you keep pretending it’s all good, what would be their incentive to leave you alone?

Take this Monday to get clarity on what you are willing to tolerate and what you aren’t. Put checks and balances where you need them. Be definitive when you speak and clear in your actions. Don’t find yourself wanting what Petty Betty or Bob has but not wanting to deal with them. Make the lines clear. If they are just coworkers stop inviting them around your home and giving false sense of acceptance when you don’t want to deal with them. Don’t use them as a work buddy when you plan on talking about them to the other coworker later down the line. Stop playing the fence with Petty Betty and Bob in real life and they will stop playing Jenga with your emotions and life in return!

Have a great Monday and nip foolishness in the bud! Be clear when you speak and deal with those in your life. It makes a world of difference!

Monday Motivation: Gather Yourself

So today I did my normal wake up in a great mode. Put on music. Wake the kids with love and a healthy dose of sarcasm while declaring a great day.  All of my intentions were in the right place, but the way life is set up….

close up of drink served on white surface

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I really almost took a mental health day. The type of day when you say oh well and you get into the bed and act like the day isn’t in full swing. These days are super necessary when you really need them. However with all that I had on my plate I had to take a few minutes to gather myself. Stop and pray, control my mouth, retract my thoughts….and still the day went left. I would love to tell you that the day just got better but it hasn’t… fully.  Will it? I am not sure it matters. It wasn’t in the gathering of myself that was going to make the day great, it was just in the press. When you attempt to keep your mind clear and your heart pure it seems as if life will just cooperate.  That  is false advertisement. Things go left and that is what it does.  We live another moment to change our perspective and make things right!

woman standing by closed shutter door

Photo by Thiago Matos on Pexels.com

Today and any other day I am still responsible for my thought patterns and my responses no matter what is going on around me. That little nugget is for those who say well my day sucks so I…. SO you what? You can spew negativity onto the world due to your disposition? NOPE. SO you can make those around you miserable? NOPE. SO you can go to work dumping your nasty attitude on others? NOPE.  You are supposed to remain in control of you at all times even when the traffic is backed up, your coffee was made with milk instead of almond work, and you get to work almost an hour late like I did. You have to remain in control with the ones in your home push indirectly their issues onto you. You have to gather yourself. I didn’t have to gather my words this morning in my house because I got to a corner, prayed, and realigned myself.  I know we all have bad Mondays but that Monday blues can be worked out. You can gather and reset in the midst of total chaos.

So if your day looks like mine did-there is hope. It doesn’t mean that gathering yourself will bring bountiful blessings in that immediate moment but you also don’t have to bring chaos to those around you until your day levels out.  Will it level out? Eventually but you can either delay that blessing with bad attitudes, bad responses, and spewing negativity on others while you wait without pressing. Press because that’s what adults do. Press because you owe it to yourself to not waste another minute on this Earth in a negative mindset. You owe yourself all the love and peace you can surround with!

I can happily report that the coffee chain that messed up my order refunded me almost double what I paid….the day is picking up and I hope yours is too! Lets do this Monday!

Mother’s Day: Miscarriage, Loss of a child, and Infertility

Again I say that Mother’s Day doesn’t always bring these cookie cutter images that television and marketing companies want you to believe. It’s a place of grief for so many women and men all around the world.

When a woman conceives or attempts to conceive, there’s very little ways to do it without your heart becoming attached. With that in mind there are large amounts of women who mourn the day because it’s a reminder of what they desire (d) and can’t have. It’s a place of pain that can’t be measured. With all of the cards, flowers, and joy that should be given to women I want to recognize the women who aren’t in the celebratory spirit.

Are you pregnant?

It’s down right rude to ask a woman of whom you do not share an intimate space if or when she is ready to conceive. That conversation needs to be when and if she is ready to ever have it. Our culture has no boundaries on other women and their uteruses. It needs to be reminded that some women endure a heartache that they haven’t or may never be able to share. Asking her when and if, may inflict a level of pain that she may want to keep private.

Infertility

She may also have suffered a miscarriage and those wounds no matter how long ago it may have been are always fresh and sometimes gets reopen on days like Mother’s Day. You mourn all over again what your child would be and it’s hard. It’s debilitating to have to keep reliving the pain. We need to do a better job of acknowledging this and being sensitive. Your comments matter. Saying things like “just try again” or “it will happen in its time” may not always be received well. There are women that no matter what just can’t hold life and it’s the one thing that we all feel is reserved for women to “naturally” do yet it doesn’t always come so easily!

Miscarriage

Hearing your baby’s heartbeat is the most scared part of pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if you’re high risk or not; anytime you’re able to hear it, you hold that sound dear to your heart. There are many women who may or may not initially wanted to be a mother but once life has entered inside of you, a real mom will want to protect that life. Not hearing your child’s heartbeat is one of the most devastating events a woman can experience. It signals that even through no fault of your own, life has stopped. The process following that silence is grueling. We don’t speak about what a woman goes through emotionally, mentally, or physically but it’s life changing. It’s real and it can cut a woman to her core.

Loss of a Child

There are women who unfortunately either through miscarriage, still birth, death of a child or late pregnancy miscarriage experience the greatest loss known. Not knowing how to deal with those feelings have sent many women into a tailspin. It takes love, patience, sometimes medication, therapy and some of the most amazing support systems to get through. Outsiders are the first to put a time stamp on this level of grief when it’s no one’s time frame to control. You will forever remember and never forget.

Regardless of where you as a woman or the woman in your life fits, please understand that these are delicate topics that deserve reference during this time. Please be patient with yourself if you fit the above categories. Know that even if you feel you should be passed a point in your healing that healing is up and down and constant. Some days are better than others. If you need help it’s okay to receive it. If you’re struggling it’s okay as well. You don’t have to have it altogether. Just know that I for one understand! I sent you love! I send you peace!

Closing a chapter….

This has been a great weekend for me. I was really able to get a lot done that was on my plate. In the midst of all of that I got word that my childhood pastor had passed away. I really hadn’t formulated any emotions as of yet. Either it will come or it won’t. What I can say is regardless of how things happened it can’t stop the fact that the chapter has to close.

I’ve fought mentally and emotionally as I crossed into adulthood about what my childhood church family has meant. I remember being super angry at times about it. At the time while I was a kid, in my mind was the best place ever. Always super involved. In the choir, on the usher board, on other ministries. It served the purpose for my life at the time. I would never be able to go on record and say that it wasn’t the best place for what I needed even at points in it I wanted things to be different. It was the challenge for me that pushed me into adulthood.

I wouldn’t have met some of the best people in my life had I not been in the church. I wouldn’t have had some of the greatest memories of some of the best times like going on church trips or retreats. All of my time wasn’t bad. Not all of my memories come from a place of disagreement! I had fun. I was sheltered.

So I’ve closed the door to being a member at the church. That season is done. However now is the time to really close the chapter of all that comes with the passing of my childhood pastor! I’ve gained a lot of knowledge of who I am even as an adult! It shapes who I allow to pastor me now, what I will allow from church members and who I want to be as an example to my kids.

I’ve been extremely vocal in the past however none of that matters. I hope that my childhood pastor’s family is comforted. I pray them peace to all the members who remain and the ones that were there during my time and before who at the height of his tenure have the same type of memories that I have.

Closing chapters may be hard to do. However we all have to be able to do what’s best for us. Seasonal relationships matter and you can take the focus off of negativity to propel you into a great future!

I’m super grateful that I don’t feel with his passing that there were things left unsaid. I’m glad that at his passing I don’t feel a void or bitterness. I am happy for the beautiful times. I have no bitterness in my spirit and I try to live my life like that daily. I can close the chapter in peace and with the same peace release that back into my life.

~Pastor Albert Andrew Belton~

I’ve said this once and I’ll say it a thousand times even in difficult times we have to look at the good and focus on that alone!

Words Do Matter; You Matter More

So while at an event in my hometown I had someone say something to me about my weight. Now you all know I had documented my journey and that when I was over 200 pounds very little had comments about my weight and at that time I was way over where I needed to be. It was devastating. Now I am at weight goal and tightening up and I am still getting comments about my weight.  I was taken back if I am honest. I talked to my husband and he was like “keep it in perspective some folks aint seen you since you were a kid. You’re a grown ass woman with an amazing body and 3 kids, stay the course!”  Can we just clone him?  He made me feel like the beautiful woman who I am.

This is the conclusion I have come to. A lot of folks will only see you at what they last remember. I went to college a size 0 and came back a size 4 that was an issue. Had a baby and was a size 6 and now I am holding at a size 8 and sometimes 10 depending on how the pants are cut. Issue.

I am not here to worry about what other people’s eyes see me as. I am perfect at the size that I am. I am not in competition to be at high school weight. I was unhealthy to be honest. I ate what I wanted, rarely went to the doctors and the only saving grace was a high metabolism and sports. Skinny isn’t always healthy.  I know folks smaller than me with high blood pressure and a whole gambit of health complications.

What I know is from head to toe I am finally in the best shape of my life and I can run and do 6 or more races a year. I can keep and outrun my kids and run up and down a flight of steps without losing my breath. I eat as well as I can and work out 2-3 usually more a week. I am fine!  I am enough!

There is a woman who is struggling right now with a lot of whispers and you may not be as confident as I feel or feel like you’re not. You are just enough. You are enough even in the state that you are. Its one of the things I felt I needed to say. I need to release it. I had a family member say oh you sure are hippy meaning curvy. I am supposed to be. Newsflash, I have regular amazing sex and I have 3 kids. They didn’t know when I had the athletic build in high school I used to want to have a curve. Now I have them and they are here to stay. I looked like a boy body shape and folks would either like it or have an issue.  So to the curves and the butt that I now have, please stay. We are going to tone up these next couple of months but we ain’t dropping you!

Do not let anything stop you from being your best version of you.  Trust me you can change your body, but be the best version of yourself inner and outer and trust me you will always shine in darkness.

What if you aren’t at the place you need to be and someone does make a negative but true comment?  Remember when the lady asked me how far along I was and if I was having a boy? Devastating. I cried. I was hurt. I made up in my mind that I wouldn’t allow myself to get to that point.  To prevent that I only keep my size clothes in my drawers. I don’t wear baggy clothes. They actually let you look bigger FYI.  Wearing form figuring clothes helps hold you accountable. I didn’t say tight, I said form-fitting or figure flattering clothes. The other day I found a size 14 pant in my closet, tried it on and it was drowning on me. I gave them away.  I keep myself accountable by weighing myself weekly just like I did when I was going to Weight Watchers meeting. It’s important for me to stay the course. So when that comment was made through the help of my husband and getting on the scale to see what was going on, I was fine. I knew it was a comparison of what they remember me from my past. I am still at goal weight. I am in training season for these runs. I can’t let words distract me. If I do I might not be able to get through my vigorous races ahead.  I got to keep running forward.

One of my favorite songs by Kirk Franklin, Imagine Me:

Imagine Me

Weekly Recap: Friday February 8, 2019

Blog Life

So this past week has been a great one. I was able to attend the preview for Theatre Week here in Philadelphia. Remember theatre week started yesterday, February 7 and will end February 17th! So take some time if you’re in the area to attend one of the shows. Tickets are free, to $30 so definitely affordable.  Also Valentine’s Day is the next week so we are going to be throwing back a few blogs within the week and not just on Thursday. So with that said make sure you are following me on Facebook so you don’t miss anything as well as we are having a blog fresh a day. Thank you to everyone who has been following the blog! We are definitely growing.  Tonight I will be attending the American Premiere of Box Clever by Monsay Whitney. I will be at this year’s Be Free II that is being held at Saxby’s on Sunday night.  There is time to register.  There will be speakers telling their stories and providing inspiration. There will also be cold and hot drinks and small snacks provided by Saxby’s! Register, Be Free II

One final announcement, all participants of the Women’s history blogs for next month your interview is due today!  Thank you so much and ladies let’s shine but especially during our month!

Fit Life

I have been sick this week but still managed to hit 10k and usually more steps in a day as well as do my 3 days of working out this week. I think that in my mind I know April is around the corner. So that is what is helping me to eat a lot better and getting my rest. I haven’t even been able due to being sick to enjoy a few adult drinks. So whatever is motivating you to show up for yourself-keep it up!  Also this week I won a giveway given by Phillyfoodgal included was snacks by Rind Snacks which is a company that specilizes in dried fruit snacks. The snacks are amazing. Follow my Instagram to see me reveal them.

Kid Life

My kids have been doing super well. I have been doing their love notes a day on their door. They have been loving the notes. I love finding ways to show them love everyday and during love month I usually do more outward manifestations. My kids are real jewels. When I was sick, they worked together to make sure I could sleep.  I am glad they are the age that they can assist.  Also shout out to my oldest for being selected for the Girl Scouts regional choir! My youngest will be 5 next week and my son is killing it in his soccer games! I am really blessed!

Personal Life

This week has been about timing. It has been about taking it easy and resting my body in-between eating right and working out. I am grateful for getting sick because it allowed me to slow down a bit. This week has been challenging me to show up to blog events and I had to take a time out. I will be back in gear today for a play which I will blog for Saturday. However early in the week I had to decline a few invitations which hurt but it was necessary. Working, working out, mom and wife duties is a lot. Blogging is a joy but I can’t go to them all. I am grateful for every opportunity. I also look forward to increasing a few more therapy sessions. As my birthday comes in May I always make sure that I am okay by attending more therapy. It’s always important for me as my schedule becomes more jammed to take care of my inside self. I want to encourage others to do the same!