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What I Learned Going Up The Hill

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sometimes life presents you with an opportunity to learn a lesson you hadn’t set out to learn and that lesson becomes more powerful and poignant to you than anything else. As I trudged up Cochran Hill Saturday morning all I was really concerned about was getting to the top of it. I didn’t care about my form or how I looked I just wanted to reach the summit and then I could collect myself and savor my victory. Since then I have had a chance to think about what really happened on that hill and it was a moment that I believe will change how I think forever.

Between the bottom and the top of that hill was a lot of hard work. There were a few fleeting seconds where I convinced myself it would be easy to pull off to the side and rest. Who would know? There weren’t any people around. I could lean on a tree and catch my breath and then come charging through the finish line. I heard Brandy Reed’s voice. She was one of my very first fitness instructors in May when I was taking my Ab-Blast class. When I would not flatten my planks out she’d lean over and say “The only person you are cheating John is yourself!” I could have pulled over. I didn’t. I kept moving. I had a goal and it was in reach.

When I started the C25K program back in May, my legs ached every time I ran. Running for ninety seconds took away my breath. I felt running a true 5K was years not months away. I had a tooth pulled and had to stop training for ten days. I twisted my knee one morning and had to stop running for five days. I had to repeat weeks one through five.

I never noticed myself getting stronger or quicker or having more endurance. I just kept working. I just kept pushing and when it came to be crunch time Saturday morning I brushed those “quitting thoughts” away and I reached my goal because there was no other alternative. I am a winner.

After we got home I went to the gym yesterday to do some light strength training. When I finish this blog I am going to run two miles. It’s what I do. Success is part of me and as I reflected on all of that the best thing I can come up with is that life is a lot of very hard work and when you take a short cut or cheat or circumvent the system, you lose. It’s like Brandy Reed said, “You aren’t cheatin’ the world John. You’re cheatin’ yourself.”

Sometimes I don’t chart all of my food. I know I’m probably the only person at Spark that ever does that! I work real hard to get myself into nutritional shape and then, when no one is around, I sneak a cookie but it’s okay because if I don’t write it down I didn’t eat it, right? I put a lot of hard work into balancing my diet, especially with all my travel. I learned going up that hill on Saturday that I can do anything I choose to do if I put enough effort and work into it.
Diets don’t work. There is no magic. There is a lot of dull and gray days and all the emoticons and goodies and mails don’t do much to change the landscape. It’s the stuff we don’t like to talk about because who is going to come to a web site that espouses gloom and doom?

The day comes though, when you are climbing your own Cochran Hill that you start to realize it’s the hard work that’s pushing you forward and all of those gray days were worth it. You realize there will be more of them. You know that you will have setbacks but you also come to the realization that no one can stop you from reaching your goals if you work hard enough at doing so. You realize that you can run steeper hills if you indeed have to.

The gray days become more bearable because of who you hang around with. Left to my own devices I doubt I would have stuck through all of this. Those of you who love me and accept me as I am are part of a huge network of positive people in my life who challenge me daily and share my same successful notion of life. Without those people I might slip back into mediocrity. You can be worth all the tea in China and you can believe in yourself till the cows come home but until you look to the right and then the left and you get the good old thumbs up from the people sweating next to you then something is missing. We are always alone in our struggles but we are never alone. It’s the eternal conundrum.

Now, what hill do you climb today? Let me know, I’ll give ya the thumbs up

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEMINE1 7/12/2014 5:39PM

    emoticon and you can keep do it again! emoticon

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NASFKAB 7/8/2014 1:08AM

  such a thought provoking blog thanks for sharing your feelings

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LYNMEINDERS 7/7/2014 6:06PM

    Brilliant blog John....don't know how I missed it first time around....

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MANILUS 5/8/2012 8:32PM

    I searched through all the blogs to find this one you just referred to, some really good thoughts in here. Best of all: you CAN do anything you set your mind to!

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 5/7/2012 10:42AM

    Love this blog! Read your other one and wanted to hear your thoughts on this one as well. You're only cheating yourself...exactly. :)

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REJ7777 9/28/2010 10:13AM

    Great reality check!

I had to laugh out loud when I read: " I sneak a cookie but it’s okay because if I don’t write it down I didn’t eat it, right?" emoticon Were you looking over my shoulder when I didn't write down the cookie I ate? As you said, I'm only cheating myself.

Have a Sparking day! emoticon

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KLEONIKI 9/28/2010 5:13AM

    Lovely as always!
A mere pleasure reading it!
Like a much desired rain in a dry soil for me!
Take care dear fellow and keep on inspiring us!
K. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 9/27/2010 8:29PM

    Love this blog John!! My hill today was dealing with a work situation. I stuck to my food plan and even though it's getting late and I still have things to do, I'm going out for my walk. That's my hill today. Thanks for helping me and many other climb up it! emoticon

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ZURDTA- 9/27/2010 1:51PM

    I am thinking about running in January - certain that I will strong enough by then (over coming several injuries) and YOU are my main inspiration. Of course I got to do it yet! BUT I never thought running was an option - I have never run, ever and I thought I couldn't. BUT you did it... I may not do it as well, but I figure I can try!

Thank you.

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WALKAWAY 9/27/2010 12:30PM

    emoticonblog John. I'm printing this out and putting it my journal. Thanks for being a great inspiration. emoticon

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JOSH20101 9/27/2010 12:04PM

    John you are an inspiration to me

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/27/2010 11:42AM

    I'm facing a stressful week but I'm planning ahead and not letting it throw me. I have to make do the best I can and do damage control.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 9/27/2010 10:12AM

  John I have missed reading your blogs.. the inspiration, the truth that you bring to us..but most of all I love the fact that you are willing to share yourself and let us see you at your is there that we find ourselves...

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YOGINI_JACKIE 9/27/2010 10:09AM

    John, as always, amazing blog. You continue to be my inspiration. Keep climbing those hills!

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/27/2010 10:04AM

    You are right, John. It is the hard work that pushes us forward, and it's the people we hang out with who challenge us to not give up. Thanks for being one of my network of positive people!


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WISEONE68 9/27/2010 9:22AM

    I needed this blog today! Your "Hill" story is what I am facing today. Getting back on track after a long "absence". Boy, is it hard! I have been sick for three-four weeks now...I am convinced it is that fact that I have not been eating right and exercising since vacation! When I exercise and eat right, I may get sick--but, I recover quickly.
Oh sure, my back hurts, I am tired, etc. I have every excuse in the book...but, I am only cheating myself!!!! Truer words I have not found on this site!!!!!
thanks, dear Friend, for your insight, your strength, and endurance. It will get YOU far!!!! Be well, happy and safe!!


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SANDYK4BAMA 9/27/2010 9:19AM

    PS, I'm going to print this now, because sometimes on those gray days, I really need to hear this (or read it), but in my mind I can hear you telling me this.

Yesterday my family and I did the Chattanooga Komen Race for the Cure, and while we only walked it, there were a LOT of hills, !steep hills!, and I had the same thoughts as you, just cut thru that road -- no one will know, cut out that piece of the race, it'll be okay, but I didn't, and I felt better for it at the end, because I knew I did the whole thing.

I thought about you often on that walk, thought of you the day before RUNNING every one of the steps I was taking, and I am in such awe! I am so sore from just walking that walk, and I can't even comprehend how one could run it. But run it I will, and it may take me years to get there, or like you I may do one within this year or early next year, but if you can do it, I can do it. And if I sprain something, I'll take a break, then get back after it. If I need a tooth pulled and they make me sit for awhile, I'll do that too, but I'll get back after it. I can, John, I know I can. I know it because YOU did it!! YOU DID IT!!! Words cannot express the gratitude or the heart-felt overwhelming love I feel for you for making those tiny steps into something great! You give me hope and inspiration! Thank you John...thank you for persevering and giving me H-O-P-E. I run low alot on that.

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ANEPANALIPTI 9/27/2010 9:18AM

    You have put sparkpeople into a nutshell. I moved to Greece last year for university and as first semester ended and I was facing my first finals (IN GREEK!) I panicked (literally the day I reached my lowest weight, 57 pounds down), retreated, and fell into my own darkest shadow. I kept trying to get back up, but something was always missing. And it was the community of spark! Now I'm back, lost 10 pounds of the 35 I had regained, and feeling so much better!

We dont have anything to hide. We're not bad people because we are/were overweight/obese. We can be fit and healthy individuals. And when we believe we're worth it, and are willing to put the work into OURSELVES, we get it.

emoticon here's YOUR thumbs up John!!!! You inspire me!!!


Comment edited on: 9/27/2010 9:18:39 AM

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SANDYK4BAMA 9/27/2010 9:12AM

    JOHNTJ1 - My Hero!


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DOLLBABE56 9/27/2010 8:51AM

    You are so right. Everyone as the own ups and downs. Hopefully more ups than downs. I am learning to accept and move on. Not to dwell on my mistakes, i.e.: making and eating 3 helpings of blackberry cobbler (and not the low fat kind) last night. I knew before I made it that this would happen. Did it anyway. Okay, so I put in my food tracker and I moved on. It doesn't matter, it's in the past. Oh, and BTW, the cobbler is now in the trash can. lol

Today I will start Week 6 of C25K. Since it has decided to finally rain, I will use the treadmill again. I'd better do this this morning and resist going back to bed. Yeah, treadmill wins.

Thanks for the blog, John.

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STORMTMB 9/27/2010 8:23AM

    Great blog, John.

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My First 5K: How It Went (With Pictures)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Now a bit of the back story, LOL

When we arrived at the park there was a full Gospel Choir entertaining(?) prior to the race. They were pretty good but after awhile, the closer it got to the race, they started to get on my nerves due to the fact that for some reason, according to the race organizers, the portable toilet people didn't deliver the portable toilets. My personal trainer told me to make sure I hydrated myself well before the race. I did. So without going into further detail, I was a little jumpy until I saw other runners taking advantage of the thick woods. Enough said.

I went all the way to the back of the pack and mentally prepared myself. There were runners with dogs back there. They sniffed me, a lot, LOL. The race started and all went well.

I had to stop, briefly, once. My left shoe came untied.

When I crossed the finish line and turned around my granddaughter ran and jumped into my arms.

While I was running Joan purchased raffle tickets. We won a huge basket, mostly full of things we gave our gran daughter. I kept the free pair of running socks.

The main thing is I really enjoyed myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 10/7/2010 12:24PM

    emoticon emoticon

I am so proud of you!!!

You are awesome, my friend!

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DELPHYNE 9/28/2010 10:16AM

    I dropped by to see how your first 5K went. I'm glad to hear it was a great day!! Way to go!

emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 9/28/2010 9:47AM

    emoticon emoticon You did it!!! emoticon emoticon

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KLEONIKI 9/28/2010 5:07AM

The only thing i am jealous of is this running of your grand daughter onto you after the race...
I believe one of your best pictures!

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JUST_TRI_IT 9/27/2010 5:25PM

    WOOHOO!!! Way to go John :)

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KSGROTHE 9/27/2010 2:48PM

    emoticon on finishing your first 5K and conquering the big hill at the end!

I love the two blogs you did and the pictures! When's your next race? emoticon

Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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DEE797 9/27/2010 2:06PM

    Congratulations! Glad you had such a nice experience. Love the pics.

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KANSASROSE67 9/27/2010 2:02PM

    Ran my first 5K this weekend too. What a feeling! Congats!

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WEIGHTOSUCCESS 9/27/2010 12:16PM

    You look awesome and you did a great job!!! emoticon So happy for you

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LUVMYK9S 9/27/2010 12:11PM


Wow! You look GREAT and so happy!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 9/27/2010 11:10AM

    I am so proud of you! emoticon

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RAINYFRIDAY 9/27/2010 10:56AM

    Way to go!! Congrats :)

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SMOCKON 9/27/2010 10:44AM

    VICTORY! You did it! I love the photo of you with your granddaughter. You will need to live a very long life so you can help her father fend off the boys. emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 9/27/2010 10:26AM

    Sitting here this morning with a HUGE grin on my face...I am so happy for you!!! emoticon

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HLPRATT 9/27/2010 9:19AM

    Way to go John!!

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SANDYK4BAMA 9/27/2010 9:08AM

Yea John!!!! YOU DID IT!!! You're are so awesome! You give HOPE to us all!!! So so so so very PROUD of you!!! YEA YEA YEA!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAHUNO2 9/27/2010 8:42AM

    I am so glad you enjoyed it!! You are an inspiration!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I wish I could run- I keep trying but I don't trust my knees.

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DOLLBABE56 9/27/2010 8:18AM

    You did buddy! And it looks like you had a beautiful day to enjoy too. You look great - and soooo happy. Congratulations!

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BSAGE47 9/27/2010 8:15AM

    Hurray! Great job John. You are an inspiration. It was not long ago that you just finished your first 5k. Now your racing. Great job!!!

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OBXFIREGUY 9/27/2010 7:56AM

    Awesome job! Now you have a PR to beat!

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PRINCESSNURSE 9/27/2010 7:30AM

    emoticon So, when is your NEXT race?

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WALKNLOVE 9/27/2010 6:40AM

    AWESOME JOHN! SO PROUD OF YOU! GREAT JOB! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JURI62 9/27/2010 6:07AM


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ANEPANALIPTI 9/27/2010 3:44AM

    That all sounds so GREAT! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!! :D

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ELYMWX 9/27/2010 1:31AM

    Look at that smile!

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MKPRINCESS007 9/27/2010 1:25AM

    Way to go, my friend! Nothing feels better than a dream come true and a goal achieved! Right? Isn't that what we always say?

Love the pics, love the story! You rock!

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RJFERRARO315 9/26/2010 11:51PM

    emoticon I just ran my 1st 5K last Sunday. What a great feeling. I can't believe about the portapotties?! (We call them honeybuckets locally.)

emoticon Before long you'll be doing half marathons or marathons.

Take care,Rebecca

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DUTCHIEKIWI 9/26/2010 10:53PM

    Good stuff John!!! This really motivates me... I want to run with a number on my chest too! Not too sure about lot's of dogs sniffin me... ;0)

Well done!!

You should be soooooo proud!!


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TRISH2229 9/26/2010 10:32PM

    Congrats John! Such an accomplishment! Just think a year ago you probably would not have considered running a race. Today you were a running machine! emoticon I say that's progress!

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WALKAWAY 9/26/2010 10:13PM

    emoticonWay to go.

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JENNY-BEANS 9/26/2010 9:57PM

    Congratulations on your first 5k! Awesome job!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 9/26/2010 8:34PM

    Love the photo blog, it really helps tell the story. You look so happy! Way to go John.

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    ROFLMBO!! Maybe the next time they will get the porta potties there. You are looking good!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/26/2010 8:23PM

    I think the smiles say it all--well done!

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NJMATTICE 9/26/2010 8:20PM

    Thanks for the photo journal! You did take us all along!

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APIRLRAIN888 9/26/2010 8:17PM

    awesome! i just rann my first today too

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STORMTMB 9/26/2010 8:11PM

    Congrats, John!

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BANKER-CHUCK 9/26/2010 7:36PM

    Good for you getting in your 1st 5K. I ran my 1st last August. Glad to get it under my belt. Looking to do another one next month if my training goes OK. I ran a 5K today, on the treadmill, with my only audience Law and Order on TV.

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RUNNER_4_LIFE 9/26/2010 7:29PM

    Yeah! Congrats on your first 5k!

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My First 5K: How It Went (Huge Smile here)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lest I forget I want to begin by thanking everyone who gave me advice on how to approach running my first 5K. I can tell you for sure every bit of it came in handy at different points in my run.

The race was run at Cherokee park in Louisville. The race course itself was beautiful as it wound through the park and could be classified as rolling hills. The race began on Cochran Hill and then funneled down into the park itself. Cochran Hill is an extremely steep slope that reminded me of a snakes body the way it was laid out. It twisted and it turned and I kept looking for the brakes because I was having a really hard time slowing down!! When I reached the bottom, approximately one half mile I realized this race was a loop and in order to finish it my last half mile would be going back up the hill.


This is where I recalled advice some of you had given me. “Ninety percent of running is in your head.” I slowed down a bit. I realized that if I was going to have enough gas to get back up that hill I was going to have to alter my pace just a bit. The rest of the course was relatively uneventful. There were two moderate hills and again I recalled some advice from you guys that said “Run the race you trained to run.” So I did.

The music I run to help me keep a good pace and when I reached a mile and two miles my splits were right about where I wanted them to be. There was a segment of the race that went through a heavily wooded area that was so breath taking and for about a half mile I disengaged my mind and just enjoyed the beauty.

I came over a rise. There was a tent and a group of people pointing to take a hard right. “You got about one half mile and it’s all up hill.

They weren’t kidding.

This is where I stuck my hand in my pocket and squeezed the paper I had with the names of people I was running for. It was lonely, it was desolate and there was not a soul in sight and I kept moving up the hill. Somewhere in trying to regulate my stride and my breathing the thought crossed my mind that if I could get up this hill and finish this race I could do anything I set my mind to doing.

I started running May 8 and I had a few injuries along the way, a pulled tooth and the nagging thought I was too old to do this. I’m glad no one was around because out loud I said “I’ll be damned!! You’re gonna finish this.” About that time I saw the two tents on either side of the course over the last rise.

I saw people and more people and all I kept saying to myself was “run the race you trained to run.” I didn’t sprint, didn’t slow down I ran at an even pace and crossed the finish line at 46:11. I jogged and then walked probably another fifty yards till my breath came back.

I did it.

Later on the person who coordinated the race told me her boss ran it and is normally a sub twenty minute runner. She finished in just under thirty minutes. The organizer laughed when she said. “My boss told me if we ran it here next year I was fired.”

If you’ve run before you know I can’t type or speak any adequate words to express how I felt finishing for the first time in an actual race. They were all good feelings and the easiest one to describe was this enormous sense of satisfaction that my hard work paid off.

“If I can do this, I can do anything I choose.”

My personal trainer called me before the race and gave me a bit of a “calm down” talk which was just full of a lot of common sense. It was much appreciated.

After I cooled down and walked back towards the finish line my granddaughter ran to me and jumped in my arms.

That was pretty cool

Thanks again for all your encouragement and support.

I’ll blog more a bit later and I’ll include some pictures.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEACHING1ST 9/28/2010 6:49AM

    I'm so proud of you, John, and glad to see your 'report' of how things went. Great job!


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KLEONIKI 9/28/2010 5:03AM

    You are my hero! Congrats!
Like that stuff with the paper with names in your pocket!
I will steal it with your permission!

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LUVMYK9S 9/27/2010 12:06PM

    emoticon emoticon
You still must be feeling the rush and elation of this accomplishment! Excellent job!

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JOSH20101 9/27/2010 11:59AM

    Well done!

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ZURDTA- 9/27/2010 2:52AM

    emoticon you did it!!!!

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    You did it, John, and I knew you would. Congratulations on officially being a real runner.

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DIASTER 9/26/2010 7:03PM

  What an exciting journey you have taken us all on, from the first time you got off the couch to this fantastic accomplishment. Good job and thank you for including all of us in the good times as well as the not so great. We can all join you in the thrill of compleating the first of many runs. WOW!!!!!

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TNTEACHER2 9/26/2010 6:45PM

    Wow! You did very well, John. But I did not doubt you would do it. Congratulations. Marcy

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DEE797 9/26/2010 6:36PM

    emoticon John! CONGRATS on running your race! WOOHOO!

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HONORINGGOD 9/26/2010 6:33PM

    woohoo emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 9/26/2010 6:20PM

    So excellent John! What an accomplishment, not that I had any doubt you could do it! emoticon

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TKRINER 9/26/2010 6:13PM

    Good job!! emoticon

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RYANDEJONGHE 9/26/2010 5:37PM

    Hey, that is awesome. I'm training for my first 5k (well, since about 20 years) and this has helped. Thanks for sharing about the hill, because this 5k will have a big hill that I'm nervous about.

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ELYMWX 9/26/2010 4:57PM

    Well done, John!

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GEINAHG0757 9/26/2010 4:24PM

    Awesome accomplishment!!! You are totally correct, most of running is mental. Like that old saying goes, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." What a way to dig deep and find your inner strength on a very hilly course.

emoticon DID it!!!

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NJMATTICE 9/26/2010 4:12PM

    Woo Hoo, John. You are awe inspiring! I look forward to reports of more and more spectacular feats!

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JUSTFOXXY 9/26/2010 4:06PM

    Wonderful, wonderful John. I also ran a 5K this morning and yet your blog inspires me to continue in spite of the nagging thoughts that my high school glory days are over.

You are amazing and I am glad you enjoyed your race.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PRINCESSNURSE 9/26/2010 3:45PM

    I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT and now you know it too! Isn't accomplishing something you once thought was impossible to do the most empowering thing EVER???? Way to go John--you are an inspiration to me emoticon

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JANEXA 9/26/2010 3:40PM

    emoticon, John! Congratulations for persevering! Hugs, Janet

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PAMATX 9/26/2010 3:39PM

    Awesome accomplishment. Beautiful blog. This part really touched me:

"This is where I stuck my hand in my pocket and squeezed the paper I had with the names of people I was running for. It was lonely, it was desolate and there was not a soul in sight and I kept moving up the hill. Somewhere in trying to regulate my stride and my breathing the thought crossed my mind that if I could get up this hill and finish this race I could do anything I set my mind to doing."

You are a super star!

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STORMTMB 9/26/2010 3:38PM

    Congrats, John! Yes, you can do whatever you set your mind to do.

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DOLLBABE56 9/26/2010 3:26PM


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GETFIT2LIVE 9/26/2010 3:20PM

    Way to go, John! That is awesome!!

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HEART4HOME 9/26/2010 3:15PM

    AWESOME JOHN!!!!!! I am so proud of you. I would love to run a 5k and reading this blog inspires me. Blessings to you.

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AKATUJE 9/26/2010 3:14PM

    Congratulations on your run!!! You did great!!!!!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 9/26/2010 3:12PM

    Love you what you said to yourself ... “I’ll be damned!! You’re gonna finish this.” I understand completely! You did an amazing job. What a gift you gave to yourself.

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BTINTERNET 9/26/2010 3:03PM

    Excellent! Glad it went so well! And yes, you *can* do anything! emoticon

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ROOTIHAUSMAN 9/26/2010 3:00PM

    Congratulations on your accomplishment!!! emoticon emoticon

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"....And It All Comes Down To You."

Friday, September 24, 2010

We lost a friend this week. TRAINOF4 passed away after battling illness for some time. I wanted to pause before I started blogging to mention that and to honor her and her life.

If you follow my travels you know I live five minutes from my gym. That gives me a real advantage when I run because I can walk up there, warm up on an elliptical or a treadmill, stretch out my quads a bit and run. Usually I plan it that my run ends up at my front door.

Yesterday was my last run before my 5K on Saturday. The race course is full of hills and well I have run up and down a few I haven’t really had to face them that often. I picked a course yesterday of 2.1 miles that was basically a small roller coaster. Before I go any further a big shout out to my unofficial running coach, Paul, who is also my son and to my personal trainer Jen. Paul told me that if I ever wanted to be a serious runner I needed to learn to run from my core rather than my legs. As I went up and down these hills yesterday I was glad Jen had spent so much time helping me begin to develop those muscles. As I approached a hill I would shorten my stride and push from my core and while it took a bit getting used to I was able to get up and down. (Between you and I it was a minor amazement!!!) I finished my run and felt good. My recovery time was great and I had a wonderful day.

I write all this to preface the fact that this run almost didn’t happen. As I left the house and warmed up my heart and soul wasn’t in this simply because I was getting ready to do something I had never done before. Rather than being scared I decided I’d make excuses.

“Maybe all of this comes too soon.”

“You’re not a kid anymore.”

“You should be getting ready for work!!!”

I got on the elliptical and put my IPod on shuffle because the best way to describe my mood was apathetic. I just didn’t care. Halfway through my warm up I started listening to an old Fleetwood Mac song, Gypsy. There is a bit of a break in the song where Stevie Nicks sings”…..And it all comes down to you.”

I stopped before I walked out the gym door and I thought, “Yeah it does.” It all comes down to me. You can have all the support, encouragement, love and training in the universe, but it all comes down to you. No one runs that hill but you. So I did and I enjoyed it and I am ready.
This weekend marks my passage from someone who runs to a runner. I am not sure where this adventure takes me but I do know it’s entirely up to me whether I get there or not.
You will be with me tomorrow, in spirit, because you are part of an amazing group of people who encouraged me to do something I never thought I would be able to do.

I’ll try to update tomorrow but most likely it will be Sunday. We are driving to Louisville this evening and I’m not taking my computer.

Have a great Friday

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    So sorry about your friend, John. At my age I have lost too many.

I love the song Gypsy!

I assume that by now you are now officially a runner. No surprise to me as you always have had it in you waiting to come out. emoticon

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JUSTFOXXY 9/25/2010 6:36PM

    emoticon John! emoticon

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MARCYNA 9/25/2010 9:09AM

    Wow... Incredibly,, old songs give you new impulse and it's as if you had heard them for the first time.
And I just love Fleetwood Mac - 'Dreams' is one of my fav ever emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/25/2010 9:15:49 AM

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DANCING4UJESUS 9/25/2010 9:05AM

    Good Luck John! Yes its up to you but remember you are not running it alone. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens you. Peace to you brother and God Bless. emoticon emoticon

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BSAGE47 9/24/2010 8:00PM

    Good luck, John. You can do it!!

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    Good luck on your race tomorrow.. can't wait to read your blog. I know your going to kick butt emoticon

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GOLFCHICK2-0 9/24/2010 6:28PM

    Have a wonderful time!! Enjoy your transition from one who runs to Runner. I'm thinking about breaking into those ranks as well. Let's just see how the knees handle it!! A little something to think about...

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KLEONIKI 9/24/2010 5:18PM

    you dear friend have a great, the best possible Friday!
Good luck!

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MKPRINCESS007 9/24/2010 4:51PM

    You can do this! I know you will! You are reaching for the stars, and I know you will be amazing!

Wishing you the best of luck!

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DEE797 9/24/2010 2:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KSGROTHE 9/24/2010 2:43PM

    I love how you learned to run from your core on yesterday's run! I've been working on consciously engaging my abs while I walk, and it's a bit of a challenge to focus on your core.

Good luck on tomorrow's 5K! emoticon

- Karen

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HONORINGGOD 9/24/2010 2:35PM

    a wise man once said "i'm proud of you &your worth it "your that man .thank you enjoy your journey.

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SANDYK4BAMA 9/24/2010 12:32PM

    I'm so PROUD of you! I think I've told you before, but you are one of MY HEROs!! I can't wait to hear what you thought about the 5K. Someday, maybe someday, I too can run a 5K. Sunday is the Chattanooga Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and I'm going to walk in that, with my family, but boy, I'd LOVE, Love, LOVE to be able to run it.

Go John Go!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/24/2010 12:46:18 PM

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BUGGYS 9/24/2010 12:26PM

    We will all be cheering you on and you will do awesome in the are an inspiration and love hearing your blogs every day!

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/24/2010 11:36AM

    Have a wonderful race tomorrow. Take time to breathe in the excitement and energy of your fellow runners, but just focus on running your own race at your own pace. You're ready; you're more than ready. One of my favorite quotes about running is this: The difference between a runner and a jogger is an entry blank. You are a runner, my friend; I look forward to hearing the race report on Sunday!

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AKATUJE 9/24/2010 11:06AM

    Thank you John for these words.

Best wishes for your 5K. emoticon!!! God bless you, and may it be another amazing experience for you.

Will look forward to the picture of you in the Tshirt

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MYRNACARRIER 9/24/2010 10:57AM

    Oh, you are giving me so much inspiration. In the past I have run 10Ks, three times in fact. That was five years ago before I had my illness, cancer, and now I am cnsidering training for a 10K in April. You are such a great motivator and so helpful to all of us on our journeys to better health. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUDIL62 9/24/2010 10:54AM

    You are right, we will be there cheering you on. You can do it! Think of the sense of accomplishment you will have when you finish!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 9/24/2010 10:44AM

    "You can have all the support, encouragement, love and training in the universe, but it all comes down to you."
Thank you for sharing that powerful quote! It's now posted on my inspiration board and I hope it does for me what it did for you!
Good luck in your 5K on Saturday!
Stay positive!

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LOOKY-LOU 9/24/2010 10:38AM

    Can't wait to hear how it all goes. Good luck Buddy!

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STORMTMB 9/24/2010 10:20AM

    We're rooting you on John. Can't wait to hear all about it! Be sure to have fun and enjoy your accomplishment!

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WINNERINKY 9/24/2010 10:12AM

    Good luck on your run!

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KATRIONAH 9/24/2010 10:04AM

    Go John.....can't wait to hear about your race. YOU can do it! Share your smile today, Karen emoticon

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NJMATTICE 9/24/2010 9:36AM

    Go John! I look forward to the report. I am sure that it well be a great one.

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BTINTERNET 9/24/2010 9:36AM

    We'll be with you the whole way! Good luck, light feet!

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HDHAWK 9/24/2010 9:17AM

    I'll be thinking of you tomorrow when you're doing your first 5k. What an accomplishment it will be! emoticon

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JPRICE217 9/24/2010 9:12AM

    emoticon5k here you come. I am not even ready to start running yet. But you are and doing geat.

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DOLLBABE56 9/24/2010 9:06AM

    I'll be there with you in spirit! Keep on runnin'!!! emoticon

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Job Interviewing Part 2: Creating Value

Thursday, September 23, 2010


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTFOXXY 9/30/2010 7:54PM

    emoticon for these two blogs. I am not looking for work, but I am constantly looking for ways to prove myself relevant. I will be reevaluating my resume and my productivity.


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ANEPANALIPTI 9/27/2010 9:12AM

    I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog. You. are. awesome. THANK YOU! :-) :-) :-)

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 9/24/2010 8:41AM

    To me, having the ability to value yourself is not only helpful in my spark journey, but necessary. TY for posting these. My best friend got laid off and has been diligently looking for work but is not having much success. I am sending her these links. I think she will find them very helpful.

Thank you for this beautiful gift, John!

Good luck tomorrow!


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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/24/2010 6:32AM

    Great blog. Straight shooting, love it. I love your story about upstate NY... you are wise! Living in upstate was miserable :)

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MARCYNA 9/24/2010 4:49AM

    I'm sure this video blog is helping so many people, including me.
Now I am thinking about how to create value in my own life. I'm quite tired of being considered worthless in my workplace.
Love and know I appreciate all this emoticon emoticon

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DANCING4UJESUS 9/23/2010 6:31PM

    Thanks john. I'm glad that you do like helping people and I feel blessed that you took the time out to share with us. I will be able to take this advice and use it in the future. Have a great day emoticon emoticon

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KATRIONAH 9/23/2010 2:13PM

    I thank you for both blogs. Couldn't come at a better time for my family. In fact, I had my son listen. Lots of good advice. And, being you are an interviewer , it helps understand what goes on in these cases better. FOR this I thank you.

AND...yes, my friend John, YOU are good at helping people. It is your gift. Your talents are helping me and others in ways you probably can't imagine. I appreciate it. I hope you have a wonderful day.....Karen emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 9/23/2010 1:18PM

    Thanks for this! I would love one about public speaking, either for larger groups, or even presenting a compelling case to a small audience. That's my selfish wish list if you're taking requests :)

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SMOCKON 9/23/2010 12:16PM

    I'm not looking for a job at the moment, but these last two blogs are making me think about my value as a person, mother, wife, and employee. This is important for me right now because I think my inability to see myself as "good" at any of those things is contributing to my overeating and general level of anxiety. Thanks, John!

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SHEENADEE 9/23/2010 12:13PM

I found you by seeing that a Spark friend had posted to your blog (thanks Dollbabe56). I found your video advice very relevant and very helpful. Thanks.

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DOLLBABE56 9/23/2010 11:31AM

    These past two blogs couldn't have come at a better time for me. Thanks John, I believe this focus is going to help.

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