Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Three years ago today I stumbled upon this website. I had seen it mentioned in a running web forum on another site. Curious about Spark people, I logged in and joined. A bit overwhelmed with all that I read I did nothing for about 3 months.
Curiosity, frustration and desperation brought be back again. This time I arrived with a new grit and started exploring this amazing website. I joined teams, I put forth a plan, I moved through the suggested steps and something started to happen.
Weight did begin to move, but more importantly I started to feel better. I had a new enthusiasm, drive, enjoyment about things in general. I was preparing for my second marathon and found encouragement and support from hundreds of faceless people that became a cheering squad. I printed out their encouragements and took them with me when we traveled to Dublin for the marathon and read over the well wishes the night before the race.
I'm thankful to all of you through these past three years who have been there for me. Some are no longer a part of spark people, but their words and messages linger in my memory and I am still encouraged by their presence in my life.
What I have gotten out of SP cannot be measured as it is like water poured over a large surface. It just keeps moving and spreading and touching and soaking that which it comes in contact with. Each of you have touched and in your own way motivated and moved me. I am a better person for having encountered you. Our lives may have only brushed each others but somehow it has mattered.
I have learned more about myself and how to improve on what I have been so richly given. My health is essential to me. I strive to be even better today than I was yesterday. I am fortunate to have the ability to run and run for long distances. Something I thought I would never ever enjoy. Here I am less than 4 weeks away from marathon 6! Berlin Bound!!
To celebrate my 3 years here on Spark people I am:
1. running 6 miles as per marathon training
2. eat to my plan so to feel strong and healthy
3. phone my youngest child
4. go wild blackberry picking with our 6 yr old poodle Jessie
5. get to bed early so I can alert to begin the first day of my 4th year with SP
Saturday, August 22, 2009
It's down to 30. Thirty days. Just a month away. Where did the time go? What happened to all the planning? The air has turned from warm breeze to crispness. The days are getting shorter and seem to be closing in from both sides. Later mornings and earlier evenings. Sure sign that the summer is ebbing away.
I'm not talking of the seasons per say, I'm speaking of what is left time wise before I hit the streets in Berlin! My stomach does a flip when I think about it. My training got kicked to the curb when I fell in April. Sprained ankle that still reminds me of that walk on the hill with the dogs.
My blue "magic tape" in place and I've been hitting the miles, resting when I need to. This marathon won't be a race like the others, it will have to be a run. A run to the best of my ability. A run to enjoy the sites of a city I have yet to see. A run of 26.2 miles of memories in the making.
Run on friends, no matter what. Go forward to the best of your ability.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Can you imagine...it's waiting, just a few more steps around the corner, or over that distant hill. It's there, what you have been looking for. It's waiting to hug you, embrace you, shout your name. It's so excited because it knows just a couple more steps and you will arrive, be there, accomplished what you set out your mind, heart and spirit to attain. It's urging you on, one more step, just take another one, nearly there. It's holding it's breath, its leaning in anticipation of your approaching.
Then...it happens! You stop. Not only do you stop, you turn around, you start walking the other way. You've given up. You've traveled for so long that you are just so tired of walking and walking that you've had enough. No more forward walking no more looking and hoping and giving it that one more try.
No! No! NO! You've had enough and going forward just takes too much effort, too much time, too much of every bit of energy you have. So you give up.
By giving up you had no idea that what you were searching so long for was just a couple of footsteps ahead. It was a fingertip distance from your hands. Just a little further and you could have not only seen it, but it would have been embracing you.
So what to do? Keep walking in the opposite direction? or do you again, turn around and walk back along the well worn bit of path you have traveled before until you reach where you are going? Oh yes, there are parts on that path that you will arrive at that are not pressed down with your previous foot strikes, but that is the adventure of it all. To be somewhere you have never been. To see life with new and fresh eyes. To have energy, enthusiasm for life, friends, family.
Look a little closer down that path and beyond. There are rows and rows of supporters urging you on as well. They know that the miracle is waiting for you. Just keep going, keep believing as well. You will get there and beyond to even greater miracles awaiting!
It's time. That miracle is waiting, and you and I are going forward to its embrace!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I don't know where I heard it, but I know it was years ago; the phrase "just show up". I'm going to apply it to last night's Cancer Research UK Race For Life.
It would have been so easy for me to not participate this year due to my mending sprained ankle. However, I have a history with this event. Five years ago, I dedicated my first Race for Life to my mom's memory and her battle with Cancer. My mom died the end of August 1991 and each year since 2004 I have taken part in the RFL.
However, in my mind I was only doing it that one year, 2004, and ran/walked it as I was NOT a runner (yet). A group of women at the gym I then belonged to had publicised the event and I thought why not, and I showed up. It was the best thing I have ever done.
Just showing up is what started me on my running road. I felt so good after finishing the RFL that I decided I would do it each year in honor of my Mom and all those other people out there who have battled with Cancer.
So last night, I showed up again. I knew that I would not be able to run the distance, but I could do my part, to the best of my ability. My neighbour was with me and when it was time to divide the runners from the walkers, we hugged and she said she would be waiting for me at the end and we proceded to the different banners denoting our desired speed.
I knew she would be finished long before me, but that didn't matter. We had both shown up along with 3,000 other women of all ages, sizes, abilities, and races. We were a mass of pink smiling, laughing, sweating, and wishing each other well as we made our way around the park.
This time around, I walked briskly with a few attempts of a quicker pace. To my surprise I was making great progress and approaching the 2 mile mark, I heard my friend and her husband calling out to me and asking if I was all right. I said the ankle is ok and I planned to run across the finish line. (I've yet to walk over one!)
So rounding the final bend my friend was next to me on the path as I started my "sprint" to the finish. She encouraged me on and then peeled away as I approached the taped off finish area and crossed the line
It was a wonderful evening. My medal was put around my neck, goodie bag presented and more photos taken. My friend hugged me and said how great I did. I was thrilled that because I "Showed up" I did something that makes me feel good even today!
Life is about showing up, of getting in there and doing those day to day things that in the scheme of things might not look outstanding, but in the bigger picture of life, they are things that really matter.
Thanks for showing up today and sharing it with me.
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