Wanted By All But ONE…

Often times when I’m out on my longer runs I witness seemingly happy families and couples–old and young.  They’re in the parks celebrating, playing, walking and enjoying life together.  Early on in my running journey this used to gnaw at … Continue reading

My Passion Project–My Purpose & Myself

Biggest and most challenging project I’ll likely ever take on–myself.  *SIGH* Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad sigh nor is that a complaint.  I’m a worthy project to spend that kind of time and effort on.  Easy is … Continue reading

Life isn’t perfect…

I’m sitting in the office alone–by choice actually and it’s kind of nice–18 floors above the bustling city streets below me.  It’s a typical San Francisco summer day–sunny but cool and the fog isn’t far from the Bay.  It hasn’t felt much like a Friday to me and maybe it’s my Eeyore like feeling that I’ve had since yesterday afternoon.  Transitions often have this effect on me and I’ve just learned to ride the wave.    I will still often try and seek out peace but it usually finds me once I sit down and just be.  Sure enough, here I am writing and I can do so now…peace is here, I can feel it.  Feels kind of like one of my Mom’s hugs–I miss those.

I may not blog here as regularly as others, but I do write every morning on my BART ride in to The City.  They are raw words of wisdom on one page.  I write off the cuff and without coffee in me.  I’ve noticed they’ve become less about me and more about the lessons I’ve learned by living my life.  Not sure who my inner self plans to pass this on to but it’s like I’m writing this to pass it on.  “Keep smiling…Love unconditionally….Be true to you…”  All like I’m writing to someone else, speaking generally yet specifically about myself/life.  I don’t even remember what I wrote about this morning.  But this evening I feel like there’s something more on my mind.  Bear with me…

I had a friend probe me about what’s going on….why this change or shift that I’m going through.  That conversation made me realize that it’s not one thing, person or situation that has this shift/change occurring.  It’s not dependent on anything other then myself.  My self finally realizing that I need to live my life for me.  Make time for me.  Be healthy for me.  Run for me.  Smile and be happy because of me.   Love me.

I’m a giver.  I give of myself before making sure my basic needs are met often times.  I make sure everyone else is happy and taken care of before I make sure I am.  I’m ok with this.  But I recognize a giver has a greater challenge.  We can be givers but we need to be more conscious of balance.  A giver will burn out if the output is more then the input.  Simple things can be energizing for me–a smile, compliment, a hug, a just because…

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Welcome to my life…I started this almost a month ago and never finished it!  The month between July 31 and August 31 has been a challenge and evolving period for me the last eight years of my life.  I’ve learned to only expect the unexpected.  I’m an avid planner and think ahead kinda gal but this month, I usually throw caution to the wind and go with the flow.  I’m a live in the moment, day by day kind of creature these 30 days.  Why such the 180* switch?

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Let me try this for a third time–it’s a charm right?  We’re on the brink of the holidays and I’m still trying to figure out where 2016 has gone!  I know many have been inundated and saturated with politics this year, but for me 2016 was a lot more then that.  This year I became a caretaker again, I’ve paved a new career path, I moved on from a six year relationship, i’ve come into my own through happiness and so much more.

For those who weren’t aware, last Fall I began the search for my next career step. It was a whirlwind two weeks of back to back interviews, calls and research.  I finally had a few days to myself with friends and I was planning to use it to clear my mind and make my decision.  While I was in Philadelphia preparing to run RnRPhilly, I was standing on a random street corner downtown and I received the call.  My Dad called to advise me that he was going to need a heart valve replacement.  Time froze and the busy downtown street suddenly had an eerie silence.  It was like I was taken back to the day I was sitting on the couch at my parent’s house and my Mom told us she was diagnosed with cancer.  So many emotions and no idea how to handle them.  I braced myself against my friend and listened to every word my Dad said.  Now a year later, he’s not only doing well he’s doing better then expected.  Don’t get me wrong, this hasn’t been an easy journey to get here.  There were a number of doctors visits, pre-ops, nervous pacing in the hospital, sleepless nights, early mornings, etc.  But I’d do it all over again to make sure he would thrive.  I’m grateful for the journey and the outcome!

For a moment, at the beginning of all that, I thought I was going to have to postpone my next career move but I landed at a place that was supportive of my situation and worked with me to make it through.  To that point, this (is it still new a year in?) new position has brought a lot into my life.  I’ve experienced the expected “ups and downs” of working life, but I’ve chosen to grow from it instead of let it get me down.  I’m not perfect, I’ll make mistakes but I will learn from them.  I’ve met some impressive and amazing people–young bright minds, wiser older ones, and many more.  I’ve also met the one who makes me happier.  Yes, happier–I make me happy, he makes me happier.  I’ll get into that later but it’s because of work that we even crossed paths (I literally mean that).  Doing what I do, choose to do, can have it’s moments–moments when I feel like I’m trying to manage a tornado, hurricane and blizzard all at the same time.  But then there’s those moments when the storm clears and the sunlight of gratitude shines.  Makes doing what I do worth it to me.  I’m a “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger” kind of girl and I live it.

As my life was starting to settle back into being my own again, I had a moment hiking in my favorite local spot.  Well more then a moment, I was hiking for about three hours and then it happened…the tears just started streaming down my face.  I knew, I knew the feeling I felt but I didn’t know how to handle it yet.  I finally went home not because of a distance or time goal was met but because I finally felt what I needed to feel that day.  I didn’t have the answer(s) yet but I didn’t need it.  I allowed that feeling to develop and evolve for almost three month before I finally knew and had the words I needed in order to express it.  Then it was over.

Some planned travel helped transition me into my new found independence.  I guess I’d been independent for a while though being that we were in a long distance relationship.  The trips were new, eye opening and awe inspiring!  The first two being international and two places I’d never been before–Canada and Hong Kong!!  My trip to Canada was to Vancouver specifically.  Four days in this beautiful city to run and yoga was the best thing I could do for myself at that point in time!  I’ll be back for sure!  Hong Kong was to witness my BFF Stef and her (now) husband Rob wed!!  I’d never been to Asia at all so this was a first on so many levels!  Seeing their love and that of their closest friends and family reminded me what life is really all about.  Venturing off to explore on my own renewed that love in myself!  Finally (and maybe not so adventurous) I went back to LA for the first time since leaving my last job.  This trip, while simple, allowed me to really let go of anything I was holding on to from that and move on.  It also reminded me of how far I’ve come in my journey as I completed my 30th half marathon there thanks (in large part) to Rock N Roll and the amazing people I’ve met through running their races–many of which I saw while running there!!

I’ve done this–life–on my own before, as an introvert it doesn’t bother me.  So I was prepared to do it again.  In the process of tidying up to do so, he crossed my path–well I think I technically crossed his.  He tells our story of how we met so well even I get lost in it like I’m watching some made for TV movie–LOL!  We’ve taken it one day at a time but I feel like I’ve known him for years.  Two so different yet so very similar in many ways.  Our difference compliment each other and our similarities blend.  As I said before he makes me happier.  I am my own happy–it’s not dependent on another.  I’m grateful for him.

So here we are…a year later from when this all started to unravel on me.  Progress?  ABSOLUTELY!! Better for it?  No argument there!  Lighter?  In one sense, yes–another, no LOL.  But this is life…it isn’t perfect, it (often) doesn’t go “my way”, sometimes it’s not fair (or at least feels like it) and there’s plenty of challenges that are faced along the way.  But you know what?  It’s ALWAYS worth it!  Life isn’t perfect, but it’s always…ALWAYS worth it.  If I knew then what I know now, I’d do it all over again.  I may have some bumps and bruises but I survived and more importantly I’ve thrived from what I’ve experienced and I plan to keep doing so.  Life isn’t perfect but I’m beyond GRATEFUL for every moment of it that I get to experience!

Facing the Facts…In the Mirror

Well excuse me while I clean up and dust around here….Spring cleaning, right?!?

Life is full of transitions…seasons change, people get married, people have babies, we change careers, people move their homes, etc.  Some of life’s transitions are less visible though.  We often feel them before we actually realize and recognize that they’re upon us.  I recently read that we naturally (or subconsciously) have major transitions about every seven years.  [Momentary pause while I count out with my fingers and toes how many years old I am…. :)]  Hmm, if this theory is accurate that would mean I’m going through my fifth life transition cycle this year (I’ll wait while you do the math).  To be honest, I could feel it creeping up on me earlier this year.  It’s not so sneaky anymore, that or I’m getting wiser with these years.

One thing I did today–likely influenced by my need/want to “shake the dust off” of things in my life–really shook me tonight.  For more then a week I’ve been wanting to make my hair shorter then it’s been.  I do this sometimes, so it’s nothing new.  But this time I went really short– I have only had it this short once before in my life and that was because I took a risk on a “stylist” I shouldn’t have.  I watched her snip snip snip away my hair over the course of the hour it took her.  I was comfortable and yet a little anxious about it.  She blow dried it, straightened it out a bit to tame my fly-aways and we were done.  I must have been either shocked or expressionless because she asked me if I liked it more then once.  I quickly responded yes, thanked her, paid/tipped her and then was on my merry way.  I didn’t wander around the stores or take peaks at myself in the mirrors along the way, I just left.  I was just as abrupt getting in my car and driving back home.  I never once really took a look at myself again after I left the salon.  Dad commented shortly after I got to his house for dinner, but not in a shocking way–it was quite a boring evening to be honest.

When I got home, showered and blow dried my hair (yes, I know I just got it done but anyone who goes that short knows there’s no way to get rid of those little tiny stray clippings without showering) then it hit me!!  Right then and there, in my bathroom, I lost it…I just balled my eyes out for a good 30 minutes, by myself (thankfully because it was one of those moments I likely wouldn’t have been able to articulate what it was that I was feeling).  I wouldn’t even know who to tell if I did have someone.  Why? Well, because tonight in that mirror, starring back at me was my Mom.  I didn’t cry because I was regretting the decision to cut my hair short or even that she cut it a bit shorter then what I actually initially wanted.  I was crying because I haven’t physically seen my Mom in almost eight years.  Yet tonight, here she was starring back at me.  I know, I’ve heard it over the years of how I look so much like her–both my sister and I do.  But this was too eerily similar.  This was not one of those passing comments–one which I spent most of my younger years dreading/loathing/defending against but recently embraced and would say “thank you” in response.   This was beyond “I see the resemblance” and more “I’m looking at a ghost.”

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her.  I know that there’s things I do that are very much like her and her way of doing things.  I embrace that and I love that I’m able to keep that part of her alive.  But tonight I felt like I can’t see certain people out of concern that I’ll upset them.  Somehow through all that–more importantly–tonight reminded me that no matter how great of an accomplishment I may achieve in my life she will never be there physically to celebrate it with me.  No matter how much weight I lose and healthy I become, no matter how many races I run, no matter how great of a job or money I make, no matter where I live, no matter who I marry, etc.

Sounds like I’m giving up, huh…?  Quite the contrary.  I say and realize all that to say this…  Today I actually finally start to live my life for me.  Not for the praise or promise of a parents’ love/admiration.  I’m not ashamed to admit that a small part of me has held on to that belief from my childhood.  I’m human.  I guess the best way to say this–because it’s how she always used to say it to us (“so you have a real job now….you have a real place to live…etc.”)–today I live a real life!  I wake up tomorrow for me!  I’m passionate about a career that I chose and love!  I’ll run because I can and love to (ok to be honest that may wait until Tuesday since I’m still trying to shake this cold)! But you get the point now.  I started writing this blog through tears, but I had to start in order to get here.  It’s a liberating feeling…which I didn’t really recognize that I was bound by until recently.

One more point and realization I’ve had over the years… I do recognize that many of the accomplishments, people I’ve met, relationships I’ve nurtured, and experiences I’ve had would likely not have happened without her passing.  As hard as that sometimes is to say without tears, I know in my heart that’s a blessing and that’s one signed, sealed and delivered personally by her.

So stay tuned…we’ll see how this lives out together!

[No more tears…just one hell of a deep/long sigh, thankfully a less congested one…]

 

“At the end of your feelings is nothing…”

I heard this quote in a YouTube this week and this video sparked something in me that’s needed a good kick in the pants–kind of like my Mom used to do for me (and my Dad too)! It’s harder when you have to be the one to motivate yourself.  Growing up I didn’t have alarm clock (or phones) waking me up–or even if when I did–I always had a parent/guardian there to make sure I physically got out of bed, got dressed and got my day started even when I didn’t feel like it.  She was my weather lady–“c’mon get up, it’s a beautiful day out, don’t waste it in here!”  She was my stylist–as much as one can be when I wore a uniform Monday through Friday!  She told me “I can” even when I felt like “I can’t.”  She was my barometer in life.  When she left us too soon–even though it was years since she was my wake up call–I’d somehow lost my way.  I felt like I was lost, I felt like I wasn’t capable to move on without her.  I felt like I’d lost my best friend and moving on wouldn’t be worth it without her.

Then I started to take steps to live again–I got active and walked daily, I started eating better, I went back to school (something we’d talked about me doing for years), and I started to live again!  I started to feel like I could do this on my own.  I graduated with my Masters, I got a job again after being unemployed for almost two years, I’d shed 170lbs, I let go of those who were holding me back and not supporting me in my efforts to be the best me.  I felt like I had figured it out, how to live without her.

The rest of the quote is this:

“At the end of your feelings is nothing, but at the end of every principle is promise.  Behind your little feelings it might be absolutely nothing, but behind every principle there is a promise.  And some of you in your life, the reason you’re not at your goal right now is because you’re all about your feelings.    You’re all on your feelings–you don’t feel like waking up.  So what, who does?  Every day you say no to your dreams you may be pushing your stuff back six months, a year…”

There were (and still are) days when I don’t feel like getting up.  But those days are much fewer then they were seven years ago, 6 years ago, and even 5 years ago.  I get up every day because I realize I physically can.  I had to start small and give myself the goal to get up every day I wake up, because I can and I vividly remember the many days that she couldn’t  I’ll never forget the first time my boyfriend asked why I couldn’t just sleep in and relax and do nothing.  I never realized that I wasn’t.  But then I told him.  I felt like when I wouldn’t get up, I was wasting the blessing I was given by waking up that day.  All I have and am guaranteed is right now.  If that meant that I could get up go about my morning then head out to run and get hit my a bus, well then dang it I was going to make the most of it.  I’d go out knowing that I got up and tried.  Which leads me to this feeling…

I came to learn that living that way wasn’t living for myself but for others–in particular my Mom.  So I hit my next “slump” of how do I live for me.  This is what I’ve been trying to figure out for the last two years.  Sounds like a long time but time has seem to fly by since the first time I realized this.

Here’s what I’ve come to realize….feelings are powerful.  They can be powerful for and against your efforts.  As said in the quote above, you can feel like you don’t want to get out of bed–hinders you.  Or you can feel empowered by achieving a goal you set–helps you.  But the “nothing” part that’s mentioned.  That’s what caught me and stopped me.  After a feeling passes there is nothing.  Sometimes they are fleeting and go as quickly as they came.  But a principle…what is a principle?  I looked it up:

“a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.”

That’s powerful!  That’s long lasting!  That will impact and be sustainable in life.  It’s not a reaction (note the definition of feeling in the link provided), it’s a foundation!

So now what?  Stop feeling?  No, that’s not the point here.  I’m choosing to work to focus on the principle more than the feeling.  A principle is truth, a feeling is opinion.  I’d even venture to say that my intuition/gut is more principle than feeling.  I’m choosing to let go of what holds me back–fear, uncertainty, feeling like an outcast/awkward one, not feeling good enough, being the victim, etc.  These hold me back, they keep me from achieving my dreams.  Every day I think about them and feel what that was like to be that person once, I postpone my dreams for who knows how long.  Then often I turn around and complain about why things aren’t happening in my life–sooner, faster, at all.  I’ve talked about getting out of my own way but I couldn’t until I really realized and understood what that meant.  Holding on to these feelings was what kept me in the way of myself.  Now’s the time.  Now is the time to let them go and really move on. It’s time.  These four walls have sheltered me for 8+ years and now I’m breaking them down and starting fresh and new.

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The coming posts won’t be about food or weight-loss or even health.  I’m planning on writing about what’s been holding me back all these years–physical/sexual abuse, morbid obesity, failure/drop out, being cheated on, being unemployed/broke, being the outcast kid, and losing a parent “young”–and how it’s going to help me achieve my dreams!  It’s time, it’s time to write and to write about IT.   I’ve been holding on to feelings to make them last but that’s the wrong idea.  Good memories will never be lost and principles last, not feelings.  It’s time to let the feelings go and move on.  All signs I’m seeing are reinforcing this!

Thank you!

Here’s the link to the video I spoke about–so grateful it found me:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=26U_seo0a1g

Shedding the Layers….

I’ve subconsciously had the realization–more than once–along this journey, that a lot of my physical weight is from emotional weight that I’ve been holding onto and carrying through the years.  When I shed my weight initially (170 lbs) I faced a lot of things from my past–from physically being taken advantage of to self-doubt directly related to my intelligence.  There were things that I didn’t even realize that they had affected me until they were resurfacing.

Since hitting me physical best in 2013 I’ve struggled at managing my weight and endurance.  A lot of it connects back to mental/emotional choices versus physical/nutritional choices–you can still binge eat on healthy food.  I’ve put on a significant amount since that time.  Worked super hard for about year to stay as close as I could to that “magic” number but it literally consumed me–I felt like I was going to lose relationships and career opportunities if I didn’t just stop my fight with this, it was turning unhealthy.  Maintenance is my hard part.  Why?  170 pounds loss sounds like quite a challenge right?  It was, but learning, understanding and managing why I got to that point is the root of it.  I could easily get back to that point if I just gave up on myself–giving up consists of small continuous choices that compound on themselves until all control feels lost.  I didn’t want to do that again.  I know the work I’ve put in to get here and my achy knees today remind me of my alternative.

So about two weeks ago I wrote about and realized that I needed to take my motivation back!  To do so I’d have to make it a regular/continuous effort to make sure I didn’t take on and bury emotions like I used to.  I thought that it was mostly pertaining to the death of my Mom but I’m realizing it’s more than that.  I had a dream this passed weekend that really shocked me.  It was already after having fully woken up and during my nodding back off–usually those aren’t deep sleeps but I had a vivid dream so this time it was!  I had an elder of my family–who past away a while ago–appear before me, hug me and tell me “I’m sorry”.  They proceeded to speak to me in their native language, which at the time I could understand fluently but lost all memory of when I woke up.  I thought I’d laid our issues to rest when we laid them to their eternal rest but apparently I was wrong.  I woke up instantly and felt a huge weight lifted off of me.

That was Saturday, after getting out of work I decided I needed to take care of me and make the day full of “Me Time”.  I ended up going on a long run that afternoon.  I had no idea where I’d end up just knew I had to get out and go.  I changed out of my work clothes, into my running clothes and walked out my door.  Running/jogging/walking is very therapeutic for me–I wish my thoughts would instantly end up posting themselves into a blog, I get profound stuff while I’m out there!  I was so deep in my thoughts that I was nearly almost to my Mom’s gravesite.  I guess subconsciously I knew where I needed to go.  I stood in front of her plaque and just stared at it.  The body that brought me so much comfort for 25 years was kept from me by a marble slab.  I could feel the hot tears consume my eyes then roll down my sweaty/make-up melted face until I buried my face in my hands.  I wasn’t mad at her, I was hurt….hurt that she gave up.  I remember pushing her in a wheelchair through the hospital hallways one day after PT and whispering to her not to give up that we needed her.  Less than a week later she came home and a couple of nights later she took her last breathes in front of us.  At time all I said was “I love you and it’s ok…we’ll be ok” but there’s been many times that I haven’t felt that way.  I left that hurt there….I wiped my face, felt the peace consume me and continued on foot.

Today I had another “aha moment” while walking to my parent’s house.  I was born and raised in the same house in which my Dad still lives and my Mom died in.  We live at the end of a cul-de-sac which made for a tight-knit neighborhood.  There were no shenanigans that were going to happen while our parents weren’t around; someone on the block was always home and didn’t have a problem letting our parents know if we were acting out.  That block was and still is my “village.”–they helped raise me.  Growing up I’d want to make them proud of me almost as much as I wanted to make my parents proud of me.  Luckily, I don’t live far from any of them so I’m always (and always will be thanks to my hard-working parents) able to go back.  Like last night when we had an impromptu potluck BBQ dinner.  No celebration or reason, just did it because we could.  During the summers growing up we all pretty much lived outside and dined together.  Last night my Dad made an observation/comment that the group of us women at the end of the table were sitting there conversing like a bunch of sisters.  That made me smile, it was comforting to think of us like that.  Now that everyone is grown up, our relationship have evolved into that.   I’m digressing…Today, I had a good day.  I was productive, had minimal down times and I even made my bed–but that’s probably because I knew Katie would be stopping by and that’s her pet peeve–but I still felt something lurking.  So instead of driving I decided to lace up and take a walk to do some errands.

Walking to my Dad’s I ended up giving myself a pep talk–started of kinda like a whisper then full booming voice.  “I am enough. I am able.  I am good enough!  I have accomplished a lot. I have done more than what many others can even begin to think of doing. I need to be proud of me as much as–and MORE than–I am proud of those I love.  I earned my Bachelor’s degree.  I successfully completed my Masters–do you know how small that percentage is?!? I have lost and kept off 150 lbs!  I have completed almost 20 half marathons–since 2012!  The more accomplishments I kept adding in my head the more I was realizing how much I personally/singly have done–how small the percentage kept getting as I kept adding.  I’m unique, I am valuable…I am still here so I have a purpose to live out to better this world and myself.  It may sound silly but I needed this–I was and often am quick to focus on what I don’t know and/or have versus what I DO!  I know (and am grateful for) how blessed I am.

Towards the end of my pep talk a thought rushed in like a bull in a China shop and I could feel my heart clench and my eyes wandering for the answer.  Growing up I have SO many wonderful memories, but there’s one that I don’t tend to revisit often because it’s dark.  At thirteen I became very depressed; I remember shutting out my parents and crying constantly in my room.  I’d thought about how to end it….all of it.  I tried to plan it but I couldn’t picture the end, my end.  I “joke” that I was too much of a wuss to experience pain so it had to be something that would be painless–I couldn’t come up with anything.  So I’m still here, gratefully.  But the root reason for that happening at that time is I’d felt like I lost the one person who “got me”.  They were the one person (other than my parents/family) that I’d know since we were in diapers…and just like that, they left me.  There’s a story there but it’s not mine to tell.  It wasn’t quite “all of a sudden” but at 13 it felt that way to me.  This person got labelled a problem/trouble maker in time but to start they were my tree climbing buddy, my make mud pies together person, my dig holes in the backyard to see what we could find.  Then they weren’t–ripped from my side and not allowed to communicate or say goodbye to me.  At 13 I couldn’t understand the “why” and “how” of it even though my parents tried to explain.  I didn’t even think anything was really that wrong until their violent side was direct toward me, which left me even more perplexed and hurt–literally and figuratively.  On my walk today I realized I’d been holding on to this….I held onto that hurt for almost 20 years.  That was the root of my “everyone ends up leaving me” feeling.  My brain gets the whole concept of people come in and out of your life but my heart has always struggled with the concept.  In holding onto this grudge I’ve ended up pushing people out of my life before they get the chance to leave me–I always expect the “other shoe to fall.”  It wasn’t going to but my thoughts which turned to actions lead to that happening.  I don’t blame anyone, I simply know why now and have now let it go.  I don’t need to continue to carry that, believe that, or live that.  I forgave myself.

Moving forward this has to become a regular practice.  Just like showering is a daily routine self-care and reflection is going to become one of mine.  Maybe it will be while I’m out on a run, lifting weights, in hot yoga, or just lying around.  Practice makes progress….

I create my success from within.


“Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on.”  — Marlon Wayans

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Seeing Clearly Now…

How about an update to this crazy no sugar thing I committed myself to?!

There’s a foggy haze that’s been lifted and I feel like I have something substantial to actually write about.  So during this “sugar detox” I’ve found some spiritual clarifty and practices.  I’ve gotten back to and better at meditating, I actually went out and tried hot yoga (thanks to my WeightWatchers friend Lula and my BFF Katie for the nudge), and I realized just how foggy I’d been operatering these last few months.

During my rebirth of my meditation practice, I came across this excerpt and felt the need to share.

The Final Obstacle Is Us

“The greater the crisis it seems, the swifter the evolution.”
~Elizabeth Gilbert
There has never been a better moment in human history than right now to be a woman. Nobody in the history of womankind ever had a better chance to manifest her own life than the modern woman … right now.

 Then why do we still battle the lingering doubts and prejudices in our own minds that convince us we are not worthy—not good enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not brave enough?

Why are we holding ourselves back from greatness?

It’s from a Deepak Chopra daily reflection that I did a while back.  In cleaning out my inbox (yes, I do stuff like that) I came across it again and re-read it.  This speaks so much truth to me.  This whole process is really revealing how much I’ve been holding myself back.  I don’t sit here wallowing in regret about it, on the contrary!  I’m actually grateful for my new found clarity!  I didn’t know I was walking around in a fog.  I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing out on by being in that state of being.  I was more like a zombie then human.  I’d wake up, eat, work some, eat, want to nap (sometimes did), work a bit more, eat, and then sleep again.  It sounds depressing just reading that as I type it out!  To have a day like that, not a big deal in my book.  But to have every day like that, is NOT good!  But I wasn’t aware enough to realize that that is what I was doing.

It’s no wondering I wasn’t happy with myself.  It’s no wonder I put on 15 lbs over my goal weight–note that’s over my goal weight, that’s not based on the lowest I got down to.  Yes, I’m human and until I become superhuman or really accept and deal with my faults I’ll always fight this battle.  But with where I’m at now I feel like I’m in a place where I can do that.  Accepting you’re imperfections is easier said then done.  Actually, it’s almost as challenging to admit my imperfections–step one I guess.

We all “know” we aren’t perfection but who actually talks about it?  And why is it so hard to talk about anyways.  I just saw in the news how we are creating narciscistic kids but what about ourselves.  We start a petition because we don’t think it’s ok that Facebook has an emoji that allows someone to admit that they are feeling fat?  Why?  Who cares if that’s how they feel?  I feel fat sometimes–usually it’s when I’ve over indulged on food.  No we are being censored on admitting our feelings?  And the other thing…with this recent “International Womens Day” (do guys even get a day?) when did this start and why?  It’s like the feminist’s (uh oh, I’m going on a rant and I’m sure I’m going to get comments/emails about this but too bad it’s my blog I can say what I want) own Valentine’s Day!  Why do we need ONE day to celebrate ourselves as women?  Why do we need one day to “come together” and celebrate the amazing women in this world?  Why isn’t that happening every day?  Oh I know, because the other 364 days a year we are sitting in front of our screens and judging each other.  I’ve seen “plus sized” models go through fat shaming and celebration all in the same day.  I’ve seen thin women get praised for eating indulgently in public and shamed in the same day.  I’ve seen a self empowered corporate excecutive female get praised and criticized all in the same day for being a career minded female who also wants to be a mom.  What are we doing to each other?  Are we so unhappy with ourselves that we have to bring down each other too?  This does go back to my original point about admiting and accepting our own imperfections.  In today’s society you can’t be too thin or too fat because there’s going to be a group that comes together and bashes you for it.  BE YOU!  WORRY ABOUT YOU!  I don’t mean that in a selfish, self centered way but in a Michael Jackson “take a look in the mirror” way.

We are holding ourselves back and each other by living the way we are.  Let a kid get a gift they didn’t ask for on a list so they learn humility and gratitude.  Let a student fail at a problem so they can learn how to get it right on their own.  Let a baby fall while learning to walk so they learn how to get back up and try again.  Let a woman, man, girl, boy, etc. learn to pave their own path so that they may reap the reward for achieving their goal.  There’s always a reaction for every action we take–they may be unintended but it’s going to happen none the less.  What’s the better option–“Bandaid” the problem or find a solution?  I prefer the solution, personally!

So that’s why I’m sitting here in bed (at 915pm PT) and I’m ok with that.  Label me the old lady who’s in bed before some kids are.  I don’t care.  I know that I need sleep in order to function well and with this jump ahead an hour, “performing well” isn’t where I’m at yet.  I know I’m a littler bitter that I don’t wake up at 6am to daylight anymore because of daylight savins.  But the whole government isn’t going to change that just to please me–nor they should!  Plus, I’ll adjust and get there.  I’ll be happy when the weather starts to warm and I can go for an evening run after work outside because it’s brighter later now.  I’m just a little immature about it at the moment–I’ll get over–I learned that lesson young too and I’m better for it!

So what’s this rant (yep, I’ll admit that) have to do with inner reflection, imperfection, and appreciation?  We are all individuals part of a greater piece/system.  My place in this world effects others who come in contact with me–physically or socially.  I know that if I’m not offering my best self through taking care of myself first, i’m weakening the system as a whole.  So yes, some times I just suck it up and get up and do what I have to because the world isn’t going to stop revolving if I don’t want to get out of bed.  Plus, being in that state isn’t going to make me feel any better.  Getting up is hard sometimes, but it’s for the best in the long run.

I’m seeing clearly now that taking care of myself–first and foremost–allows the system as a whole to be better.  It allows me to offer my best self to those I love and care for.  I’m not an immortal superhero who can do everything, all the time, forever.  I’m perfectly imperfection me.  What I can’t do well, someone else can and I’m good to delegate to them.  I was put on this earth for a reason and I’ll work at vocation versus trying to fulfill other’s!

Be ok and accepting of who you are and why you are who you are.  Accept your imperfections as openly as you accept your assets–they all make up who you entirely are anyways.  I’ll share this one last bit with you.  Someone in my WeightWatchers meeting this week said something so simple and yet so profound.  She was going on a cruise and worried about making the healthy choices with the all you can eat options.  A friend told her to just enjoy herself AND (this is the part I love) to let enough be enough!

Pre Race “Cold Feet”–Am I the ONLY One?

Many times, especially when I first started out, I’d get to be a “ball of nerves” pre race day.  Often times it’d keep me from getting decent sleep the night before, my stomach would be in knots the morning of, I’d jump out in the beginning of the race and go too fast for my normal pace, etc.!  Am I the only one?!?

I’ve come to learn that running is just like many other things in life, it’s something we practice and the more we practice we not only get better at it but we also get more comfortable doing it.  I’m at a point now where I can feel my pace/stride and that’s an achievement for me but I still get some of those nerves/cold feet!  It wouldn’t bother me so much if it didn’t also trigger some negative thoughts. 😦  Am I the only one?

I can often catch myself in these moments and consciously work to correct my negative thoughts into positive ones.  Or I’ll pause and reflect on my past and realize that there was also a time when running wasn’t something I was capable of doing because of my weight and mindset.  These help me in the moment but now I wonder if these nerves are something I’ll always have or if it’s possible for me to overcome them.  I’m running my first half of 2014–wait, maybe that’s part of my problem….maybe I’m keeping myself this way by always focusing on the “first” part of this.  Instead shift my focus to I’ve run this race before, I’ve run 13.1 miles nine times before this and I’ve run 10+ miles many times in addition to that!  Focus on adding more miles to my life and enjoying the view instead of focusing on the speed in which I get from point A to point B. 

I keep running (and the longer distances) because I enjoy the “runners high”–I let go of all the things “weighing me down” and just enjoy being in the moment; it’s like meditating.  So I don’t know why I get so wrapped up in the “can I do this” pre race nerves!  Maybe this blog will help me release that and the more I practice releasing it, it will eventually cease to exists.

Thoughts…feedback…advice…?

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Food Musts for your RnRSF ‘Runcation’

All right, we are less than a week away from our race day and it’s time to talk fun!  Most of the runners I know train hard and play equally so!  This is why our races give you free beer at the finish line–**ahem** ALL the Rock n Roll series! So have you planned your non-run related outings while you are in San Francisco this weekend?  Where are you eating post 13.1?

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But seriously, I don’t run to eat (like the illustration) I eat to enhance my running. I’m also a foodie and I enjoy indulgent food even more now since I’ve started running.  Why? Well it’s taught me that while I’m training I need to fuel my body to support my performance–healthy, clean and natural food. Being that many runners (myself included) are always in a state of training, race weekends tend to be my runcations (race vacations) and I allow myself at least one indulgent meal.  If the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll is going to be a “runcation” for you, I’d like to point you in the direction of some must eat spots while you are here!

Breakfast/Brunch:

Louis’ Cafe is actually just north of our race route along the Great Highway. It has a scenic view of the Pacific Ocean and tasty all American food with some local specialties–like their Dungeons crab Benedict! Note they are a cash only location so hit the ATM before you go!

Just for You Cafe is well off our race route but still a tasty detour! Its authentic Southern fare is a hidden gem in SF’s Dog Patch neighborhood—if Chicory coffee and fluffy beignets are your thing then you don’t want to miss this place!

The Ramp is the place to see and be seen in SF. Just south of AT&T park (Home of the SF Giants) this hidden shack-like eatery is mostly patio seating with a full bar. If it’s sunny, then expect a long wait to get a table!  But they have some good brunch cocktails to hold you over while you wait!

Blue Bottle is some of the best coffee you’ll find in The City. They have their own store front in the Ferry Building and a number of other SF locations. It’s bold, smooth and good to the last drop! We start early so this may be a good stop post 13.1!

SF Ferry Building Farmers Market is bustling on any Saturday especially if the weather cooperates! You are smart if you get out there early but there’s still plenty to see if you are looking forward to sleep in at least one of your mornings. My recommendation is to do a walk through first–it’s a big spread that starts in front of the building, wraps around the right side and takes over the back area behind the building. Vendors vary from produce, fresh proteins, sweets, and local eateries! One of my favorites is the lavender lemonade from Happy Girl Kitchen, it’s refreshing and sure to quench your thirst! 4505 Meats usually has some unique and tasty breakfast options while the oyster po’boy from (add their bacon, or eat the bacon on the side) Hayes Street Grill (they are usually right across from Happy Girl)!

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Lunch:

Pier 23 is a long-time “fixture” along the SF water front.  Just north of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero sits a small one level building with plenty of patio seating where you can enjoy our SF sunshine!  They have an awesome crab sandwich and a full bar with tasty brunch drinks as well!  The old time photo of the cowgirls in nothing but their hats and boots is also located here. 😉

Plouf is my new favorite French spot! It’s located on Beldin Lane which is lined with eateries along the border of the Financial District and Chinatown. You definitely have to try their tar tar starter and share one of their many versions of their mussels–ask for extra bread, you won’t want any of that sauce to go to waste!

La Corneta is the south of the border stop you can’t miss!  Running 13.1 miles can work up an appetite, their super burrito will satisfy any size hunger you walk in with!  My favorite is their steak and shrimp burrito–surf and turf baby, and go supreme!  Perfect to fill you up after a long run!  They have a number of locations in the Bay Area including the Glen Park neighborhood in SF.

Gott’s may be one of the more expensive burger joints you visit but it’s pays off in taste, creativity and quality!  I often try to order something different any time I go. Their original location (originally called Taylor’s) has been a staple up in wine country where it’s drive-up and picnic style seating only. During any time of the year you go, it’s always busy!  That alone should tell you how good this place is. Lucky for us, they opened up a location in the Ferry Building not too long ago!  Try any kind of burger and you can’t really go wrong–ahi tuna, Texas, etc! Their milkshakes are tasty too–too bad they don’t have an “adult” style shake on their regular menu. Just look for the big red G!

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Snacks/Sweet Treats  :

DeLise is a sweet heaven on earth! This hidden gem is located just a few blocks from Pier 39 on Bay Street (@ Powell). Her menu has some staples but also some great seasonal items like the miso rice crispy treat, Peking duck scones, chocolate stout ice cream, etc! If you have a sweet tooth, you MUST stop here!

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Liguria Bakery is the heart of North Beach (the Italian neighborhood of SF). So while you are waiting in line at Mama’s for breakfast or  zig zagging your way down Lombard Street, swing by Liguria (on the corner of Stockton and Filbert Sts.) but don’t look for their sign they don’t have one!  They are the original owners–as they say the ovens don’t move but you’d wish they did after tasting their focaccia!  They are closed Sundays/Mondays and when they run out of product (and they WILL) they close their doors for the rest of the day, so your best to get there early!  Don’t underestimate their plain focaccia, it’s my favorite, as is their pizza!

La Boulange isn’t exactly an old staple to SF and yes some of their products can be found in your local Starbucks but one item in particular can only be found at their stores!  They chocolate hazelnut croissant is AMAZING!! No, it’s not a Nutella filled croissant, they purée the hazelnuts and combine it with chocolate in a buttery flaky croissant, get it toasted! They have tasty coffee too!

Mitchell’s is another “worth the wait” SF eatery!  Take a number and peruse their menu of good ol’ and unique flavors–Mexican chocolate to grasshopper pie (kinda like those minty cookies those girls sell once a year). Perfect for any weather we get in SF!

Dinner:

Coqueta is one reservation you better make now!  Spanish tapas are a big thing as of late and Croqueta serves them up in a rustic yet upscale setting. Start with some of their small plates and then finish with some sangria and family style paella! But seriously, make your reservation now!  It’s still “shiny and new” for us here and so everyone wants to go!

Cha Cha Cha set in the SF’s Mission District and one of the neighborhood staples!  It’s another tapas style menu (small plates) so it’s fun setting to fill your table with lots of tasty treats!  Everyone will advise you to try their plantains and they are right!  Go for it!  And then if you feel bad for eating any of it, just dance it off!

Lark Creek shouldn’t be counted out just because it’s located in the Westfield Center.  It is your place for steak—always a nice post run treat–and don’t overlook their seafood entrees!  One of SF’s staples is the Dungness crab and LC serves it up in style!  Lastly, PLEASE do yourself a favor and save room for dessert; specifically the chocolate creamux! It light and rich all at the same time, take it in with a bit of the salted caramel sauce a crunchy crumble that accompanies it and you’ll thank me for that little bite of heaven on earth!

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Bars with Food

Mikkeller is a great gastro pub hidden on the outskirts of Union Square and not far at all from our finish line! Their beer menu is longer than their food menu but the food they do have, they do it well!  Go ahead and try their bacon wrapped pups (it’s protein 🙂 )! But when in Rome…so go for their wings platter as well!  My advice would be to walk or cab it there so you can enjoy more than one of their beers that they have on tap–by the way, it’s all on tap!

Giordano Bros is Pittsburgh in SF’s little Italy! Who needs sides though when those Burghs put it all in one sando! Your first thought may be “fries in my sandwich?!” But don’t knock it til you try it!  You can get just about any kind of meat you want–steak, turkey, sausage, pastrami, etc., but the rest remains the same! Beer is good and so are their wings.  Small joint but enough TVs to show any sports event you could want! Fun staff too–they also have a location in the Mission District.

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There’s no way you’ll leave San Francisco hungry with this guide! And no regrets, you just ran 13.1 miles!

 

I am here to Rock ‘n’ Blog!!!

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Some of you may have guessed it already, but I’m here to make it official tonight with the reveal of my announcement of #RunWithDre!

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Last April I ran my first Rock n Roll Series Half Marathon in San Francisco; ironically it was also my first hometown half!  It was a great memory (and PR) made that foggy Sunday!  Tonight I’m grateful and excited to announce that I’ll be back again this April to run AND blog for this event!

If your 2014 Bucket or To Do list includes getting health(ier), getting fit, running a half marathon, challenging yourself, having fun and/or simply to take a trip to San Francisco then I’m PERSONALLY inviting you to #RunWithDre this April 6 through the scenic streets of San Francisco and even over the Golden Gate Bridge!!

Some of my most favorite running memories are those I’ve run with friends, family, and fellow bloggers (so don’t worry, you won’t be going at this alone)!  If you’ve never been to San Francisco–have no fear–I’ll be blogging with some travel and site seeing tips!  If you haven’t run much lately or at all, I’m (and many other RnR bloggers) are here to help with that too!

The first step is up to YOU–register before it sells out!  Last year RnRSF sold out by mid January (lucky for you, we still have some spots left)!  To entice you, I also have a promo code you can use– RUNWITHDRE (Valid for $10 off the Half Marathon registration fee)!!  There’s a limited number of registrations that the code is good for and it will expire, so sign up to #RunWithDre TODAY!!

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Oh, one last thing…you know those #TweepUps we are always posting about, we’ll have one of those too (in addition to all the race expo, running, and post race concert fun…did I mention there’s a free beer, of course for the 21 and up?!) for you to look forward to!

Now GO!!

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