LDRICHEL   49,821
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Let's Get Real, Shall We?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Well, it seems I have your attention right now. And, because of that, there are some thoughts I'd like to share with all of you that are deeply personal...things I have not shared with even my closest SparkFriends up until now. I hope you don't mind if we go a little deeper and a little darker today, but I promise we'll come out in the light.

The reason I want to do this is because there is such a momentum with my blogs right now and, I suppose, with my life in general. I fear that you will think that I am doing all of this on sheer willpower. And that you will become discouraged if you can't seem to muster the willpower to make lasting changes in your own health. I want you to know that this burst of energy that I've been seeing is not based on willpower (more explanation in a bit). I'm beyond thrilled that I can encourage and motivate so many of you, but I've been hearing murmurings from discouraged friends. And I have taken them to heart.

The most touching was from a dear friend from high school. She wrote:

"I'm inspired by your dedication to your new, healthy lifestyle. I'm jealous that I'm struggling to get there myself. I'm happy that you're accomplishing such amazing things and loving your life! I'm angry that I'm struggling to get there myself. I'm delighted that you look and feel amazing! I'm disappointed that I'm struggling to get there myself. Oh, did I mention that I'm struggling?

I wish I could find out what is wrong in my head. I still can't stop making poor choices when it comes to food and I really struggle physically to complete any kind of workout. I'm extremely angry at myself for letting my health get to this point and I'm frustrated that I keep bouncing back and forth between healthy and non-healthy choices.

I just want to tell you that I truly admire you for continually making healthy choices and I pray that I will get there someday, that I will have the strength to overcome my food addiction, that I will have the strength to stop pitying myself."

Oh, honey...I see you! And I so relate to what you are saying. I want to share my darkest moments...those times that have led me to this point. And, it truly is a journey. And guess what? This might be where you are right now...and you have only good things to look forward to in your health journey, my friend.

Let me start by admitting that I grew up in a family of addiction. My parents (and all subsequent step-parents) were all drug addicts. In addition, my mother was bi-polar and I grew up as the oldest of 5. As children, we saw horrific things that no child should see, at the hands of domestic abuse. We were never physically abused, but we were most certainly emotionally and verbally abused. But, I had to hold it together because I was the protector. Frankly, I'm shocked that I never developed an addiction to any substance like marijuana or tobacco or alcohol. I firmly believe the hand of God has been on my life since I was a child.

However, this does not mean I haven't struggled with addiction. I have been addicted to more benign things: Coca-Cola, fast food, Facebook. Looking at this list almost makes me laugh...except that any kind of addiction results in too much time spent on that thing...and it damages relationships. And that is not funny.

That being said, I do honestly feel that my genetic propensity toward addiction is partly why I have seen success in my diet and exercise program this time. I suppose I have, if you will, traded addictions. Talk about taking lemons and making lemonade! Health is not a terrible addiction to have.

Still, this is why I am SO focused on listening to my body. Because, if it gets out of hand, it could lead to injuries, obsession, eating disorders. I'm not naive enough to think that I'm immune to the possibility of these things. But I'm being smart about all of it...and paying attention and staying alert. The moment it becomes an unhealthy obsession is the moment I will need to take a step back and re-evaluate some things.

I've talked about my roller skating accident a bit - usually from a positive standpoint (thank God I can walk, etc.) But I haven't really shared the defining moments from that experience...that really do fuel what I'm doing today. In fact, I haven't shared this with anyone.

When the accident occurred, I was in a crowded roller rink with plenty of little kids watching. My sister and I were doing great...she was teaching me some T-stops in the middle of the rink. It can only be described as a freak accident. In less than a second, I was on the floor, holding my shattered elbow bone so it wouldn't come out of my skin and unable to move because my wrist and ankle were also broken. The time spent waiting for the ambulance felt like an hour. I knew that every kid in that place was watching in horror...and their moms were thinking, "My kid will NEVER go roller skating again!" I tried not to scream because I didn't want to scare them, but it's a lot of pain for a person to bear at once.

Luckily, I have had 3 kids naturally. I'll tell you what...pregnancy breathing is a lifesaver and really got me through that wait for the ambulance. The other thing that got me through was my sister's voice. She just kept talking to me and I didn't let her stop. Her voice carried me through that entire night. I refused to open my eyes, because I didn't want to see the damage...for fear I'd go hysterical. So, my eyes were shut for hours. (I hope that I can be that voice that carries some of you through your darkness.)

Still, I was thinking, "It's just a broken arm. I'll go back to work on Monday and I'll be embarrassed but it'll heal and I'll still try out for derby in July." Cut to the emergency room, where it felt like we had to wait FOREVER to see an orthopedic surgeon. X-rays, a million nurses, lights and voices. Still...my sister's voice through every moment. I remember I had finally calmed down (probably drugs) and gotten the pain under control. I was OK. Then, the nurse came out and said, "Leah, I need to talk to you. You need to know that this is bad. Real bad. Your recovery will be long. You will need a lot of help when you get home." You guys, I knew at that point that I had 5 broken bones, but I just hadn't thought about what that meant. As she was talking, I completely lost it. I mourned the fact that I wouldn't be going back to work for weeks (turned into 3 months) and that I would be a huge burden on my family and friends. I hate to be a burden.

Surgery was successful. Recovery in the hospital...well, it was so rough. Ok, maybe I lied a bit earlier about no drug addictions. If I could get an IV of Dilaudid for use at anytime, I would be ALL over that. That stuff was FANTASTIC. And, man, I sure did need it. Most of the time, I had friends and family there to keep me company. But at night, people went home. I don't know why I woke up every single night at 4am. Like clockwork. But I did.

And one night...I woke up...and wasn't prepared for this thought to hit me: "Your roller derby career is over before it even began." This was a huge moment for me. I had been hardcore training and working out for 3 months prior - 6 days a week - and had lost 15 lbs. I WANTED this. When I realized that there wasn't any hope for it, my soul mourned its loss. I really was hysterical. ALL that work...all those 5am workouts...all that pain...for what? Nothing. I was SO upset, I was sobbing to the point of hyperventilating and my body was shaking. The nurse ran in and I tried to explain but I couldn't. All I could do was cry. She thought I was in pain physically, but I wasn't. It was a deep soul pain. Thank God for her...she brought a warmed blanket and it really helped to calm me. And I drifted off to sleep.

I've already shared in a previous blog about the recovery physically. It was long and difficult. But emotionally, I shut down. I slipped into my normal depression (thanks for passing that on, Ma) and I distinctly remember telling myself one day, "I will never be able to do anything fun again. I will never be able to play a sport. Forget skiing. I can't run. I can barely walk. I can't even do softball. There is nothing I can do physically anymore. For the rest of my life."

Look...I know it's hard sometimes to see successes all over SparkPeople. While they are motivating and so encouraging, they can also feel like a knife just stabbing you in the heart. But, if you are feeling that way right now, I'm here to tell you...we have ALL been there. You aren't alone. And you CAN push through it. Personally, I needed some help in the form of medication. There is no shame in that...it really helped me and got me to a point where I was positive enough to be able to think, "You know...maybe I could walk a bit."

You're not alone. You can do this. You REALLY can. Just don't give up. Just keep going. Please keep going.

I watched a video blog this morning and literally got the chills because this guy (one of my favorites on SparkPeople) was talking to exactly this issue of feeling discouraged. I know it's 8 minutes long, but you guys...if you are discouraged, I promise this will encourage you. You really should check it out.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal.asp?id=JOHNTJ1


All that to say...I'm not doing this from willpower alone. I'm doing this from a place of pain, where I endured quite a lot of emotional turmoil and gained some strength from going through the dark places. Your struggles can and will be used to fuel your future successes.

When I cross that finish line tomorrow, it will be a victory in the face of my accident. It will signify that I am no longer defined by my past or my limitations.

I know we hear this a lot, but it's the truth...if I can do this, so can you. And we can do this together.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIDOSHA 6/3/2012 10:31AM

    Thank you!

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MANILUS 6/3/2012 8:29AM

    Very inspirational! You are correct in the past trauma fueling the present success. I have many traumas that have made me out to be the strong willed survivor I am today. So nice to hear a story that I can relate to. Run girl, run!!!

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SERASARA 5/28/2012 10:10AM

  emoticon emoticon

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TREATL 5/28/2012 12:16AM

    A very inspiring blog! Thank you!...and Happy Memorial Day! emoticon

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JSCHARF 5/28/2012 12:10AM

    Thanks for providing me inspiration when I needed it the most...

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KPETSCHE 5/27/2012 11:43PM

    Wow, thanks for being so open and sharing your story with us. A person just doesn't realize what someone has gone through until they hear "the real story" behind the story. You have overcome so much already. Keep up your great work.

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KSM1634 5/27/2012 11:16PM

    Thank you for sharing. This blog is right on the money for me and where I am in my getting healthy journey. It is funny how we can here the same message from many sources. Just this morning the Pastor was speaking on how dissatisfaction can be your inspiration for change

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JULIA1154 5/27/2012 10:50PM

  Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful blog.

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LOLAJO54 5/27/2012 9:19PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MISHBLEZ 5/27/2012 8:29PM

    Amen, my father was bipolar; not an easy life at all. In fact, mine sounds quite similar. Good for you and all the positive steps you're taking to turn lemons into lemonade. Thank you for sharing.

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JUDYLY 5/27/2012 8:24PM

  A heart felt thank- you

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CHICAT63 5/27/2012 6:36PM

    Thank you for sharing, as you can see by the responses we are here to support you. My ex-husband was bi-polar had both alcohol and prescription addictions, unfortunately he past away at the age of 43 (only 3 years). Always look forward and not back....Hugs, Josée

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 5/27/2012 3:57PM

    Thank you for sharing....

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ANDYLIN90 5/27/2012 1:38PM

    This blog is so full of insightful truths. It certainly confirms we all have our dark moments and times of discouragement, but what is so important is we can get through them, accept our losses and go on. Weight loss, weight management will always be a work in progress for me. This blog was inspiring to me; thanks for posting!

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MSROZZIE 5/27/2012 12:07PM

    What incite, with your drive, determination and positive mental attitude you are already a success. Liked your honesty and openness. Keep the FAITH! emoticon emoticon

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HONEYPOT319 5/27/2012 11:04AM

    Thank you for sharing your pain and your victory overcoming it! I can relate to a lot of your story. I definitely substituted addictions the last time I lost 40 lbs I substituted exercise and healthy snacks for my tobacco addiction. It worked for about a year. Then through my own emotional turmoil and dealing with my husband's diagnosis of terminal cancer, I switched back to my original addiction. :( I have just recently realized that when my Pooh Bear's time here on earth is over, I will still be here, still morbidly overweight and addicted but without him here to support me. I made a change! I am going to do this! For me! I deserve it! I still struggle with depression about his cancer, I still struggle with my addiction to tobacco, but I have made permanent changes to my lifestyle and way of eating that will benefit me in the long run! Thanks again for sharing your story. :)

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BAKERBARBARA 5/27/2012 10:43AM

    Amazing story!!! Thank you for sharing it!!!

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TERRIPAL1 5/27/2012 10:28AM

    Thanks for sharing, beautiful blog and I will check out the vlog too!
So happy for you that you're in a great place now, and I loved the what you said about "health being an addition" that's a great way to think!

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CRINKLYMONKEY 5/27/2012 9:45AM

    Awesome! Thank you for shairng that. Yes it is hard when all you see are success and you feel like why can everyone else do it but not me. emoticon I am glad that you told us that it all has not been easy for you and that you have your dark moments as well.


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LINDA7668 5/27/2012 9:34AM

    Thank you so much! Although I am losing the weight and getting healthier every day, I still doubt myself. I've never felt that I've had the willpower to do this and always expected to be fat for the rest of my life. I feel better seeing that someone else has lacked willpower at some point.
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BLOOMING52 5/27/2012 7:56AM

    Thank you.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/27/2012 7:51AM

    You sound like are doing the weight loss the "Inside Out" way...the way it needs to be done if it is going to last.

I too have no will power this time around, only desire and intent. It is so much less intense and "brutal" this time around and so much easier due to inspiring stories like you!

No jealously from me, only appreciation, because I know I CAN have what you have!

Keep reminding me of that! Keep sharing!

-M

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KIPPER15 5/27/2012 6:46AM

    Thank you for a great blog, very personal and very honest. It always helps to know that we are not alone in our problems and set backs. emoticon

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BESSHAILE 5/27/2012 6:10AM

    wow

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DMANN104 5/27/2012 2:10AM

    emoticon Great blog! I have been really enjoying reading your blogs - keep up the good work! emoticon

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PRAIRIECROCUS 5/27/2012 1:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon for posting !

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LIBRARYBELL1 5/27/2012 12:24AM

    Thank you for sharing your story. The things you say mean a lot to all of us. It just all makes sense. I'm sorry that you went through such pain in your childhood and with your accident. I'm glad you're better now. And thank goodness you are breaking the cycle and not passing on the abuse to your children. That's a huge thing that you are doing in your life. Anyway...thank you for sharing.

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LOGOULD 5/26/2012 11:11PM

    Thanks for being so real and raw and vulnerable and letting us all know that its okay to not be 100% cheery sunshine all the time. We can still muddle through and one day we'll be the victors. Best wishes tomorrow - can't wait to read the report!

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GARDENSTAR 5/26/2012 7:26PM

    great blog. There are days I need to see stories like that.

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BLESSEDBEING 5/26/2012 7:09PM

    Thank you for such a powerful blog. The trauma I'm recovering from is very different--childhood sexual abuse that occurred decades ago, but has fueled PTSD into middle age. It doesn't really matter that the challenges are different. Choosing to make changes in thinking and behavior that lead to greater health and wholeness is what we are all here to do.

I applaud your successes and your willingness to share your experiences. I wish you continued success and joy on your journey.

Blessed Be, Amanda emoticon

PS: You might enjoy my Be a Warrior blog.

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PCASEY7 5/26/2012 6:35PM

    Great blog, keep up the great writing!

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MYSTERY-LADY1 5/26/2012 6:18PM

    emoticon

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HEARTS116 5/26/2012 6:14PM

    emoticon
Great blog!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 5/26/2012 5:56PM

    Good blog.

I can relate to whole injury issue. Mine is nowhere as bad as your injury. I flipped a 4-wheeler onto my leg about a month ago and am still healing. No broken bones. But, no intense cardio until all the bruising on my leg is gone. So, I "walk it out" in pool.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 5/26/2012 5:07PM

    Your accident story made me tear up! Through our struggles we do one of two things: fall deeper downwards or emerge stronger than we ever thought we could be. Congrats for emerging as a fighter!

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JIBBIE49 5/26/2012 4:54PM

    emoticonWhat a star, being featured again in the SPark Mail.

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MRSWEEKS01 5/26/2012 2:29PM

    Hey girl!

We are friends on Facebook, in the weight loss group....

I just have to say that you gave me a HUGE shot in the arm today - - - and it was exactly what I needed! Your journey has brought you to where you are today - celebrate it and know that there is nothing you can't achieve!

Here's to many more 5k's and your time will only get BETTER!

Gina emoticon

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CICELY360 5/26/2012 2:06PM

  I enjoy your blogs.

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MOMMY445 5/26/2012 1:32PM

    thanks for sharing such an amazing blog!

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CLAYARTIST 5/26/2012 1:31PM

  emoticon

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JSLATE2K 5/26/2012 1:07PM

    Funny how we sometimes get just what we need. This week, I've been lamenting the fact that I have to lay off some of my favorite cardio activity for awhile as a result of a leg injury. Nothing anywhere near as serious as what you went through, although I've been through something very similar over 2 decades ago.

It put my relatively minor injury into perspective. It's something that will heal in a few weeks - not months - and a Spark Friend sent me a link to exercises for people with mobility limitations to help me keep going while it heals. It even includes a seated cardio workout.

How lucky am I that someone pointed me in the right direction the moment I needed it? And how blessed am I that this post was here the moment I was feeling my lowest? Heck, I lost 2 pounds this week, in spite of my leg - I have no room to squawk!

Thanks for writing just what I needed, when I needed it.

~John

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LIVELYGIRL2 5/26/2012 12:16PM

  Wow, this is what makes others see that they too can change and transformed to new beginnings.You have guts to share ....we thank you. emoticon emoticon

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MIMIDOT 5/26/2012 11:42AM

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. I needed to read it today. You're the best! Good luck!

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PYTPUTT07 5/26/2012 11:21AM

    Thank you for your honesty...it takes a lot of courage to be so honest!

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TONYVAND1 5/26/2012 10:57AM

  Thanks for sharing and all the best

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GRAMPIAN 5/26/2012 10:54AM

  Thank you for this. Good luck with the race. emoticon

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NSTARSMITH 5/26/2012 10:22AM

    Yeah, pain and darkness and the trudge through them toward the faintest glimmer of light ahead - been there, done that. Maybe will again someday - who knows what life holds? God willing, I will grow through it all whatever comes! You are an inspiration! Thank you for blogging about your terrible and wonderful trial and comeback!

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NEWMOM20121 5/26/2012 8:41AM

    Thank you so much for sharing. Wonderful

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BIRDLSLAURIE 5/26/2012 8:24AM

    Thanks for sharing on such a personal level. Yes, we can do it!

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SPARKLISE 5/26/2012 8:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

When The Virtual Becomes Reality

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You know, I've found myself spending a lot more time on this site over the past few weeks.

When I first started, I would do the basics every day - log my food and exercise, and get as many points as I could and that would be that. I never even bothered to check out the Friend Feed and I rarely read anyone's blog posts. It was pretty much a bare bones approach to SparkPeople. It's not that I didn't think everyone on here was nice or I didn't enjoy adding SparkFriends. I did. I had a couple SparkFriends that I recognized because they frequented my Team message boards, but not too many. It's just that it didn't seem REAL. It was a virtual world with a bunch of people I'd never met and probably never would and this virtual world wasn't part of MY world.

But then things took a super sharp turn. I recall a few weeks ago deciding to just browse through the Friend Feed because I had received some SparkGoodies and sweet messages from a couple people I didn't know. Went through and liked a few statuses...checked out a couple blogs and left some comments. And it was kind of fun. I mean, I'm a self-proclaimed Facebook addict, so I know how this all goes. But still...I thought, "I'm already addicted to FB and Twitter...do I really want ANOTHER social media site? This is why I am not on LinkedIn yet or Tumblr. Can't manage them all!"

Then came what I like to call "the explosion". There was that blog post about my first run of a distance of 5k. I am not sure what it was that was so popular about that one, but I suddenly had an inbox blowing up with comments and gifts and kind words. I have received 390 comments on this one blog entry! As this was my first experience like this, I felt so touched and I vowed to write a personal note to every single person that commented on this blog. Well, I made that commitment when there were about 85 comments. Haha. I believe I managed about 300 return comments. But, man...things started taking off and once I was awarded "Motivator", I could no longer keep up. However, through that crazy few days, I managed to add about 150 SparkFriends (and continue to add each day).

In response to that blog, I realized that all of you are so very REAL and so many people are in need of encouragement and inspiration and most of us are all in the same boat, no matter where we live or what our circumstances in life may be.

I have been up to date on my Friend Feed for the past week. I don't miss a post!!! Yes, I see you all out there! I like any status where someone spins 20 or more. I like ALL statuses of people receiving fitness minute awards and any status that shows someone has worked out or feels great about their health. It's just a "like"...but I see it as a little bit of encouragement that I can give to my friends here on SparkPeople...an "atta girl/atta boy...keep on keepin on!" if you will. I really do read every blog that comes across my Friend Feed now. Don't always comment, but if it resonates with me, I certainly will. I wasn't too involved in my Teams before, but now I am finding new friends there every day as well.

And what has happened as a result of one decision to read through a Friend Feed? I can't even explain it to you. Somehow, this melee of random virtual profiles has transformed into living, breathing, phone talking, text messaging, Facebook friending, struggle sharing, motivation giving, REAL LIFE frienships in MY real world! A divide has been crossed and, somehow, this community is REAL now!

It is the motivation I receive from all my SparkFriends that keeps me positive and keeps me writing these blogs. It's incredibly circular the way this works! I truly believe that, without you, I would not have the motivation that I have or be able to provide any motivation at all.

Thank you so much for being true friends. For being there for me and allowing me to be there for you. Now...Spark on, friends!!! It's a beautiful day!!! I'll catch you on the Friend Feed, eh?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIA1154 5/26/2012 11:03PM

  You sound like a very thoughtful and generous person. I'm so glad to have "met" you on SP.

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ONEATATIME3 5/26/2012 6:03PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WEARINGTHIN 5/26/2012 4:09PM

    I joined over a year ago, but didn't really get active with Spark until March, and started my new food plan on March 30th. I haven't been commenting on blogs. This might be my first one. I am glad you have had success in connecting with people, and hope somehow all of this has contributed to your weight loss and fitness efforts. Glenn

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KIPPER15 5/26/2012 3:22PM

    emoticon

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 5/26/2012 12:57PM

    I've been slowly doing that too. Keep up the great work!

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CAROLZ1967 5/26/2012 9:57AM

    I slowly started doing more and more on here too & love it all. Like you, I used it mainly for logging and points at first. The way I started making actual "friends" was actually through trying to earn more points, by "commenting on blogs". And my comments led to return comments and then becoming spark friends! And like you, I then discovered the joy of the "friend feed" and also use it to keep tabs on what they are up to and reading their blogs. I love it all! :-)

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SUNRISE14 5/26/2012 6:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon appreciate you on this site and on the GOD ANSWERS PRAYER TEAM ! emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 5/26/2012 4:11AM

    emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 5/25/2012 11:24PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REENIE131 5/25/2012 10:16PM

    Isn't it amazing how people you've never met can become so important to you?

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SANDYLH1 5/25/2012 7:43PM

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SERASARA 5/25/2012 6:10PM

  emoticon emoticon

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MYSTERY-LADY1 5/25/2012 5:43PM

    emoticon

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PCASEY7 5/25/2012 4:57PM

    Great blog! I'm starting to feel that way myself and getting more involved and we'll see where that takes me.

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KRYSTALLA 5/25/2012 2:57PM

    Great blog, keep up the great work. emoticon

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HYATTI1 5/25/2012 2:35PM

    emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 5/25/2012 2:25PM

    emoticon

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TERRIJ7 5/25/2012 12:11PM

    I agree! I don't do Twitter or Pinterest, but enjoy time on FB every day. My spark teams and the friends I've made there are as real as many I have in real life. Congrats on becoming "Motivator"

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CICELY360 5/25/2012 10:54AM

  Good blog.

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MARJORIEWRIGHT 5/25/2012 10:49AM

    emoticon

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REGILIEH 5/25/2012 10:05AM

    TY!

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TATTER3 5/25/2012 9:39AM

    The interest you show to others and the time you take to give of yourself is what makes you the star that you are!!! Keep Sparkin'!!!Good job!

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SJKENT1 5/25/2012 9:35AM

    Lifelines... yes!

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BIRDLSLAURIE 5/25/2012 9:33AM

    Sometimes this may be like a lifeline for some who are trying so hard to achieve a goal and it is nice to think that someone cares enough to reach out even if it is "just a like". Thank you for caring.

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TANYA602 5/25/2012 9:19AM

    I feel your sentiments exactly! The same thing clicked with me about a month ago when I discovered I was more interested in the SP friend feeds and points and tracking than I was in what was happening on FB. As I read more and more success stories, I am more and more able to tell myself that I, too, can lose the weight, get my health back on track, and that it will take time and hard work.
Congratulations on your rock star success! You ARE a true motivator!
Have a great weekend!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 5/25/2012 8:33AM

    SP is awesome. I am getting into logging on about 5 days out of week . When first, it was only 1 to 3 times. Soon, I hope it will be every day.

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FARIS71 5/25/2012 8:25AM

    I will have to investigate this friend feed. I'm not to savvy on here yet.

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BERI03 5/25/2012 6:46AM

    emoticon I am also getting into the commenting and Friend Feed checking and I love it!

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GRAMPIAN 5/25/2012 6:25AM

  Inspiring. emoticon

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FRESKA 5/25/2012 5:59AM

    sounds great! i dont know how so many people SEEN your blog!? i feel invisible on here! lol or maybe i'm just not that interesting. lol emoticon
maybe i need to join a different team or two? i'll pour my little heart out (well for me to share this stuff is personal, maybe not terribly emotional or something) anyway and then i'm waiting.. and crickets.. crickets.. and i'm like ok. ?? maybe i'm just a dud at this blog stuff. lol
but thankfully a few friends like you do check in and see that i'm sharing and progressing. and it means a lot to me! SO emoticon BACK emoticon :) and i do remember that . suddenly your friend list was like 20 something. then the next time i looked it blew up! lol i was like WHOA! miss popularity is here!! emoticon
congrats on your blog of the day awards too! You are doing amazing!
Enjoy that race tomorrow! post a pic or two! emoticon emoticon

emoticon

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NCSUE0514 5/25/2012 5:41AM

    I'm beginning to struggle a bit, so I'm javascript:void(0);trying to become ore involved in SP

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SUSANK16 5/25/2012 5:26AM

  virtual life is interesting, isn't it?

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AWOOD1973 5/25/2012 5:23AM

    I find myself getting on here, just to see what you have blogged about for the day! Thank you for keeping us motivated and inspired with your writings! They are awesome! emoticon

Have a fabulous holiday weekend and good luck with your race! :)
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/25/2012 5:29:05 AM

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LIZALOT 5/25/2012 5:12AM

    Wow! you're impressive, you really are! I don't interact much, and rarely keep up with all the friend feed info, but you're right, it's a wonderful experience. I must use your inspiration to take a more active part. I don't always comment on what I do either - like the half hour heavy digging in full sun yesterday, for instance.

You are a real motivator, I'll just have to keep on keepin' on!

Hugs

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COURTNEYO5 5/25/2012 4:58AM

    Spark is pretty awesome..I find myself going on everyday and usually learning atleast one or two new things!! emoticon

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JIBBIE49 5/25/2012 2:06AM

    WOW, once again you're featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor.

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FRANCES-AGAPE 5/24/2012 7:05PM

    The WONDERFUL comraderie
is what makes SP emoticon

emoticon

emoticon WE can do it!

BLESSINGS!

emoticon emoticon


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MARATHONDAD 5/24/2012 2:58PM

    it is like a huge family with so much support. I love Spark alot and have made many great friends. Would love to run with lots of them if I could

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LILLITO 5/24/2012 2:22PM

    it does get 'addicting', doesn't it?

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LINDAKAY228 5/24/2012 1:22PM

    My friends online have become so real to me too. It's amazing the support. One is on her way driving now from southern California to where I am in New Mexico to spend a few days with me and visit my area. We've met before face to face but looking so forward because we have found we have so much in common. I can't say enough about my SP friends! Glad you've found the relationships here too!

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RAMONAFLOWERZ 5/24/2012 12:30PM

    honestly, its the friendships i am forging here that are keeping me going on my plan... i have wanted to give up so many times and i've come close - but then a sweet friend will send a message, leave a goodie, a pat on the back and i'm back at it again... sometimes you just need more than just the people around you in real life, you know?

thank you for being such a positive friend!

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SCOTTPILGRIM 5/24/2012 11:43AM

    Glad to have you! Keep it up!

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CALLIKIA 5/24/2012 11:33AM

    I'm with Jeremy. Make sure you balance what you need for yourself with what you feel you should give. I was like you in the beginning and thought I'd reply to everyone all the time, but after a while that just got to be too much and it was taking away from time that I was needing to spend on me and what I needed to make the changes and adjustments in my healthy life. That being said, isn't it nice to start to build a core group of people you can count on to encourage, support, and even just recognize you when you fly by? I think the community aspect is the thing that sets SP apart from a lot of other "weight loss help sites" out there.

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 5/24/2012 11:02AM

    I am glad you went from my Spark Friend to my Real Friend.
Virtual Leah was cool, but Real Leah ROCKS!!!
emoticon
Luv you, my Sexy Spark Sista!!

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JEREMY723 5/24/2012 11:00AM

    Don't overdo things and stress or wear yourself out. It's ok not to respond, to take time for yourself, etc. Just be careful to not wear yourself out:)

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DANILYNNG 5/24/2012 10:56AM

    I go through and comment on any weight losses, positive exercise comments, fitness minute milestones - I figure, I love it when somebody notices that I lost 1 pound, why wouldn't they? Besides, I'm going to be meeting some of my Spark buddies... I decided to run a race in Indianapolis, for some loony tune reason! emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Don't Worry, Mom...I'm ALIVE!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Well, I've been sitting here rubbing my eyes and trying to figure this blog out for a little while now. Usually, I create my entire blog in my head during my morning run. But, today I was focused on the run and nothing else.

I had heard there was a 5k/10k coming up here in my town on Saturday, but had dismissed it because, you know, MY first 5k isn't until July 28th. However, I received an e-mail yesterday from a personal trainer friend from church (she actually led the "Made To Crave" study that I was in that started me on this whole healthy lifestyle) and she is giving a presentation on health after the race and wanted to know if I'd come watch. Suddenly, the idea that I'd so quickly tossed aside a week ago began to turn itself over in my head.

I thought, "Of course I'll go see Julie speak and support her." If I'm going to be there, I might as well go a bit earlier and see all the race day festivities. And, if I'm going to do that, I might as well run the race, seeing as it's the same length that I've been running with no trouble in my training runs for the past couple weeks. And, you know, I probably won't run the entire race. I'll probably walk some of it, but I know for a fact I can finish in under an hour...which isn't bad for a chick who broke 5 bones just two years ago. This could be a really big victory for me. And it would be some good experience for future races. And, I mean...it's right in my backyard. I don't have to drive anywhere or get up super early. Ohhhhhh.....ok...."REGISTER". Done.

I've done my due diligence and research and tapered my run this morning down to just 2 miles (man, that felt short!) And tomorrow will be a complete rest day...healthy eating, to bed as early as possible. Friday, a short 20 minute run with some speed bursts. As good of sleep as I can get on Friday, then it's Race Day. Through all of this, I will be hydrating like a monster because the high on Saturday will be 94 degrees, sunny and 0% chance of rain. I don't expect it to be too bad when the race starts at 9:30am and, luckily, it's just a short 3.1. Nevertheless, I am already hydrating.

I texted my family last night (mom, stepdad, sisters) to tell them what I had so flippantly decided to do. My mom was quite worried, but we ended up having a great chat after that and I guess I can share some of that...perhaps it will give you some insight into what this sport means to me now. Perhaps it will resonate wtih you...or remind you of another activity in your own life that brings you just as much joy. Plus, I love to be nosy and read other people's texts. Haha.

MOM:
Are you conditioned for the run? Remember to hydrate well before, during and after the run. Please take it easy and at a realistic pace! The goal is to "finish the race", not be the first to finish. To meet your goal, you will need to run a mile in 15 minutes.

ME:
Mom. I am conditioned. I've been running for a month under a certified personal trainer's guidance. I am laser focused on my injuries and listening to my body cues now. I run a 5k as my normal practice short run. It's not that hard. I am training for a half marathon next May. I normally run 5k in 43 minutes and usually don't push too hard. But if I don't get 40, who cares? I will have finished a 5k in under an hour just 2 years after a devastating accident. That will be sweet victory.

MOM:
Well, I guess I need say no more. I did not know you were training. I am so proud of you and, judging from what you have shared with me, your goal is attainable.

ME:
You're a cute mommy to worry. :) My body has completely transformed in the past 4 weeks. I can feel it. And see it. I feel like a brand new person. Confident, beautiful and completely EMPOWERED. It's amazing! I've never been more happy in my entire life. I am literally GLOWING.

MOM:
No more antidepressants. :) Sometimes depression is chemical, hormonal and/or environmental with life stressors. Sometimes all it takes is a little help getting to the normal level and then one can learn to cope and manage the depression without meds. You don't have to live with the generational baggage anymore.

ME:
Yeah. Running has released a lot of emotions. It has almost changed me emotionally and spiritually more than it has physically. I didn't expect that. I never want to get up and do it, but the second I get outside and that 6am burst of dawn hits my lungs...it's instant energy. I work a lot of things out in my head while I'm running.

MOM:
I'm so proud of you.

ME:
I cannot believe I'm a runner and pretty much on my way to becoming an athlete in a sport. It's crazy! I never thought this would be possible at my weight and with my past injuries...but these excuses were just smokescreens and not real. They were lies, based on FEAR.

{Aaaand...scene.}

Whatever it is that fulfills you the way running does me, I hope you find it. And I hope you do it for the rest of your life. There's just nothing more thrilling than feeling truly alive...and I wish for that for every one of you.

If there's any way I can help you, you guys know how to find me.

emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIDOSHA 10/23/2012 5:33PM

    emoticon

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ELSCO55 6/4/2012 11:14PM

    Great

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CTUPTON 5/28/2012 10:59AM

    emoticon Wow! Chris

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AMURDOCK68 5/28/2012 9:53AM

    Great blog post. Thank you sharing. I will have to look on ahead and see how your run went. :)

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HYATTI1 5/27/2012 3:09AM

    emoticon

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REENIE131 5/26/2012 10:47PM

    awesome!

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PRAYINGSUZIE 5/26/2012 1:40PM

    Good luck! You are very brave to do a race!

Suzie

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IBECCA 5/26/2012 1:23AM

    I am proud for you!

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MAMAWALMART 5/26/2012 12:53AM

    emoticon

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EBEAMS 5/25/2012 11:06PM

    I love running too ... Congrats on deciding to just go for it! That is AWESOME!

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KIPPER15 5/25/2012 9:34PM

    Wow, good luck on your race. emoticon emoticon

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HHB4181 5/25/2012 9:21PM

    emoticon
best of luck on your race!

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JULIA1154 5/25/2012 6:37PM

  Your mom sounds terrific. I hope you know how lucky you are to have her.

Enjoy your run!!

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JKPONYGIRL 5/25/2012 6:13PM

    wow - thanks for sharing that conversation.
you'll do GREAT tomorrow!
emoticon

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ONEATATIME3 5/25/2012 3:48PM

  Good Luck with your5k emoticon

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KATELOSS2009 5/25/2012 3:37PM

    moms never stop worrying... LOL... you did a great job of rationally explaining why you were going to be ok, which probably helped her a LOT.

and WAY TO GO on getting into the 5k so much earlier than planned!! you rock!!!

emoticon

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JEANNINEMM68 5/25/2012 2:35PM

    I am sure that you will do great Good Luck!

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MANILUS 5/25/2012 12:54PM

    Zumba is my passion! Sounds like a great conversation with mom. I am so happy for you!!!!

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GRRARRGH 5/25/2012 11:33AM

    Good Luck!!!

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GOING-STRONG 5/25/2012 11:27AM

    I took up running last year after walking for several years. Boy, I sure do wish I had started earlier as running has so many positives. Good luck on the 5k. I ran my first Half in April and it was challenging but doable. For sure I will be doing more. Right now I'm thinking the Rock n Roll Vegas in December. You get to run down the Strip at night! Might as well have fun with this stuff! Spark on!

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LIVEINZEN 5/25/2012 9:56AM

    What a wonderful and inspiring post. I can feel the energy and the joy emanating from your words and it lifted me up just by reading.

With your can do approach there will be nothing stopping you.

WTG!

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GROWNINOP 5/25/2012 9:29AM

  Good luck!

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KITKABOO 5/25/2012 7:46AM

    You continue to inspire me, such a positive outlook.

Such amazing achievements emoticon

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CAROLZ1967 5/25/2012 7:18AM

    I love running and how it makes me feel too! I prefer to run outside like you but with 3 young kids and wanting to do my workouts (week days) while they SLEEP, I alternate btwn my treadmill and elliptical. But on wkends & hubby's vacation days (home in early AM), I get a longer run outside & cherish it. I have had knee problems so I am very careful and do some walking too, to prevent another injury. But I'd LOVE to try a Half Marathon. Your blog is making me want to try....can't hurt right?! I mean, if I'm careful...just stop training for it if my knee starts to act up. So thanks for your motivational blog! I felt like I was right there with you and your mom and feeling the same way. :-) I'm very happy for you. You should be very proud of yourself!

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THISTIMEMYWAY 5/25/2012 7:03AM

    Thank you for sharing! You are doing so well! I am happy for you that it has helped decrease the depression. Whenever I run, my head is so clear during the day. It's an amazing feeling! emoticon emoticon

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SUNRISE14 5/25/2012 6:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAURANCE 5/25/2012 6:55AM

  Good for you! You inspire us to get out there and do our exercise. And for those of us who cannot run (doctor said No after I had my knee replacement), there is vigorous walking.

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SDORTON2 5/25/2012 6:47AM

  I have been thinking I really need to start running. This is encouraging. emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 5/25/2012 1:21AM

    What a great blog. I love that you love running so much and that running has so many unexpected benefits for you! emoticon

I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

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MARYJEANSL 5/24/2012 10:58PM

  Have fun on your run! Best of luck!

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KBRADFORD88 5/24/2012 10:17PM

    Sorry I missed this blog before I posted my crazy status reply. You will do awesome. I know it.

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LOGOULD 5/24/2012 9:46PM

    You're going to do emoticon

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CICELY360 5/24/2012 9:45PM

  Good blog

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ELIZABETH160 5/24/2012 8:40PM

    Awesome! I have been bitten with the running bug, but it is really hard on my knees so I am taking things slow for not, just doing a little every time I am on the treadmill. But you're doing really well, and it's good that your mom supports you! Has the personal trainer helped a lot? I have been thinking about finding someone, but I'm wary... Hoping that I will get a lot out of it if I'm spending so much money!

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SERASARA 5/24/2012 8:21PM

  emoticon emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 5/24/2012 1:51PM

  Good for you emoticon emoticon

Run on bye, I wish I could watch.

You have accomplished quit alot in such a short period. I mean, walking, running, blogging, starting a group and goal. I am amazed, aren't you Sparkers? emoticon

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SATCHMO99 5/24/2012 1:11PM

    Your mom's proud of you, we're proud of you, but MOST importantly, YOU are proud of you!

Running always helps me shift my depressive thoughts. At my lowest point I went out the door crying, started to run, stopped crying, whenever I stopped running i started crying again, so I kept running for twice my normal distance. Strangely enough, I wasn't crying when I walked back in the door :-)

xx

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MAMALOVEBUG 5/24/2012 11:30AM

    Thanks for sharing this and best of luck on your race!!!!

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LINROSIE 5/24/2012 11:17AM

    emoticon

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DMANN104 5/24/2012 11:10AM

    emoticon

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EUEK098 5/24/2012 10:42AM

    emoticon you signed up for an earlier race, better now than later i say, let us know how you, and please please stay hydrated.

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SHOAPIE 5/24/2012 10:37AM

    emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 5/24/2012 10:10AM

    Way to go, girl.

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MIMIDOT 5/24/2012 9:42AM

    You can do it! Thank you for the great blog. You're lucky to have such a caring and understanding Mom.

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VOLLEYGIRL77 5/24/2012 9:41AM

    Good luck!! And it's great you have a supportive mother!

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REBOFKELDON 5/24/2012 9:30AM

  seize the moment emoticon

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PICKLEDBEETS 5/24/2012 9:07AM

    Great conversation. Your mom sounds awesome! Keep up the good work.

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CLAYARTIST 5/24/2012 8:31AM

  emoticon

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STEADFASTNSEE 5/24/2012 8:29AM

  Proud of your accomplishments! HUGS

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 5/24/2012 8:23AM

    YOU GO GIRL!!! I agree with ON2VICORY........you are just gonna "rawk" this race!

Hard work!

Dedication!

NO EXCUSES!!


emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

A Beginning Runner's Experiment: Naked Running

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ohhhh yeah...THAT got your attention, didn't it??? Haha.

This past weekend, I was privileged to speak with one of SparkPeople's GREATS in the sport of running - ABSOLUTZER0. I am not gonna lie - one hour on the phone with this guy is probably the equivalent of several books' worth of race prep/running knowledge! What a great gift he gave me! We just geeked out about running and had a wonderful time doing it.

One of the subjects we talked about was "naked running", which is running without music or a Garmin or any other type of gadgetry. Runners vary in their preferences...some absolutely rely on an mp3 player and others don't.

ABSOLUTZER0 is a purist, if you will. He runs to the sound of his own heartbeat and his feet on the pavement - for a couple reasons. First, he enjoys interacting with people - other runners on the course and also the crowd. Second, without music to distract him or drown everything out, he is better able to focus on his body's cues and what is going on inside him and around him while he runs.

In light of a blog I recently read where WONDERWOMAN shared that she went to turn on her ipod at the Green Bay Cellcom Half Marathon this weekend and found that it was dead, I decided to give this naked running a try this morning. Call it a beginning runner's experiment.

Frankly, I LOOOOVE my music. I have determined that I don't necessarily use the beat of my music to pace my run...my pace stays pretty steady...but it does keep me moving and awake and helps me break the run up a bit. So, I really wondered if this would be awful. However, I refused to allow negative self-talk in and to be open-minded and give it everything I had.

The run started off well, but I will admit...I was tired today. My body was just worn out. So, I knew that would affect my overall performance. I had a decent interval at the start of the run, but walked most of the first half after that.

In addition, I had a pretty off day nutritionally yesterday. I definitely learned this morning that it is NOT good for me, personally, to try to run the day after I have had almost no vegetables. I didn't eat crap or anything...I mean, it was just all protein and complex carbs. Still stayed in my calorie range...but no leafy greens. What a lesson!!!

Oh, friends...let's just say this. There is one thing that I said I will NEVER EVER do...but this morning, I had to submit to the fact that I will need to handle this issue as I delve into longer runs. The dreaded and disgusting...port o potty. So disturbing for me! Halway through my run, I faced this fear. And, as any good runner knows, it's best to get these things out of the way during training and not have the first experience with it be during a real race. This is unpleasant, but it is the nature of our sport. At some point, we'll have to visit this dark chamber of putrid death.

I'm pretty sure I gagged for a quarter of a mile after that. BUT...any sadness I felt at a loss of music was FAR outweighed by my joy of running in the fresh, summer morning air.

In all seriousness, this naked running was not a terrible experience at all. I definitely did learn about my breathing patterns, which was interesting. And there were plenty of great sounds from nature itself to keep me entertained the entire 3 miles. I mean...have you heard these BIRDS??? They rock!

Final verdict: I'll probably stick with my tunes and my interval timer, because they give me pleasure but I've also decided to work some naked runs into my training schedule at regular intervals - if only to know how my body feels to not rely on interval times and Lady Gaga at varying distances. I feel versatility in training is important, because you just never know what's going to go down on race day.

On a side note, I had mentioned previously that there was a smiling lady about my age that I keep passing every time I run. We have that little "runners' connection" and are always happy to see each other...although we are always running in opposite directions and we've never met. This morning, before I left the house, I penned a quick note:

"Hey lady,

I don't know your story, but you should know that you're beautiful!
And I'm proud of you for running!

[Insert Leah contact info here]"

Well, as usual, we passed around the same spot that we always do and she said, "Good morning!" And I could actually hear her today because I didn't have my earbuds in! I proclaimed, "I have a note for you!" and passed it to her.

On the way back, we passed again and she introduced herself. Sarah. Yay! A new running friend!!! She said she usually runs alone, but if I wanted to run with her, we could go together sometime.

Which brings me to a future blog:
A Beginning Runner's Experiment: Running With A Partner.

Stay tuned, folks!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIDOSHA 10/27/2012 4:45PM

    emoticon

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DENNETJ 6/5/2012 4:12AM

    what an awesome idea to meet a new running friend. Way to go

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DOTTY7267 6/1/2012 12:28PM

    I love your posts! emoticon

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KIPPER15 5/24/2012 9:20PM

    naked running caught my eye, I naked walk and bike and love it.

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SERASARA 5/24/2012 8:49PM

  emoticon emoticon

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CHICAT63 5/24/2012 4:34PM

    Love the term "Naked Running" lol....I love my tunes and have difficulty running with them. However, some races you are not allowed to have music or only one earbud. I am doing a "Tri-A-Triatlhon" on August 4 with one of my nieces we were disheartned to find out no music on the bike part and only one earbud on the run part. We both said if we could breath we could sing all our way to the finish line. Needless to say I have been training without music so I have been naked biking and running !!!!

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JSLATE2K 5/24/2012 1:26PM

    I'm with you - I like my tunes, especially since I live in the desert; anything to distract me from my hot, dry - sometimes ugly - surroundings. I forgot to charge my mp3 player recently, however, and found myself without tunes. It was eerily quiet, but since I seem to always have noise of some type around me, it was actually a welcome change. I too might consider working in some days without it. Interesting article - I hadn't really given it any thought until I read this.

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PEACOCK15 5/24/2012 1:09PM

    I emoticon the term naked running! As I still consider myself a beginner runner, I too feared the dreaded "portable toilet" and had to face it race day. However, I did start as a "naked runner". It was what I considered my ME time. Away from the work, husband, daughter, dog, cat, etc.... Then because of my love of music I started using either my pod or my phone for quite awhile, but felt like I would lose my form and be singing more. I live in a remote neighborhood so I don't have the pleasure of bumping into any other runners while I'm out, but my sister and I do quite a bit together. I love that you are sharing you experiences and kudos to you for giving Sarah a new connection too!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 5/24/2012 12:34PM

  hahaha... naked running. I haven't referred to it as that. I also run without tunes. I find it refreshing to hear everything around me. I did start running with music to get me going but the last 4 years I run without and enjoy it. I hope you try and it works for you.

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KOPSBABY 5/24/2012 12:30PM

    Good blog. I've started to do a little jogging on my treadmill. I'll walk for 1 minute then jog for 2 or 3. It's a start.

Keep up the good work

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BRANDI.FEY 5/24/2012 12:16PM

    What an interesting experience, I might have to try it. (I'm pretty dependent on my music and Garmin, too.) Congrats on making a new friend. Sounds awesome!

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JOYCECAIN 5/24/2012 12:14PM

    SILLY ME, I THOUGHT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT RUNNING NAKED. SORRY. I WOULD THINK RUNNING TO MUSIC, THAT YOU WOULD GO TO THE BEAT OF THE MUSIC. SINCE I AM UNABLE TO RUN, I CAN ONLY GUESS. BUT I WALK 10 MILES A WEEK, JUST ME, NO MUSIC. emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 5/24/2012 12:01PM

    Usually if I'm running in town I like my music but once in a while run without it. If I'm out on the trails around here, which we have a lot of outside of town living on the edge of a forest, I don't like to listen to anything but the sound of nature and peace and quiet around me. I've done some 5k's with music and some without. There are definitely advantages either way. I'm not going to be a purist anytime soon (or ever) but I don't need my music all the time either. There are times when just the sounds around you are enough music.

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TODAYIAM 5/24/2012 12:00PM

    last summer was my first running experience.. I have 5 children and they run with me (well the little one rides her bike) but because of that I have to run without music to keep an eye on them.. they are pretty good with staying right behind me in our little ducklings line. I would love to try and run with a little music but i'm afraid that I wouldn't hear if one of the kids had to stop.. Congrats on the running and the blogs are great,,Thank you!!

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GRRARRGH 5/24/2012 10:56AM

    What a great experiment - Congrats!!

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CECE0330 5/24/2012 10:02AM

    I ALWAYS used to run with my music, but now I only do for the really long runs (10+ miles). I find I'm still battling myself on those long runs, and music helps when I'm running for such a long time. I can totally relate to the port-a-potty fear....I was DREADING having to stop during my half marathon last Sunday, but fortunately it didn't happen (this time!)

I hope you like running with a partner as much as I do! I was extremely hesitant at first, but I found almost instantly that I was getting better at pacing myself, breathing (because we were carrying on conversations) and we seem to compliment each other well, when I'm having a bad day, she pulls me through and vice versa.

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EJENKINSB 5/24/2012 9:54AM

    I have to say that I almost depend on my music each morning. An upbeat tempo is all that keeps my feet moving some days! That being said, I'll have to try naked running. I don't know that I could commit to it for an extended period of time, but I think doing it once a week would probably be a nice break. Great job!

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WILEE323 5/24/2012 9:29AM

    The only time I ever listen to music while running is at the gym on the treadmill. I'm always "naked" on my outdoor runs...for several reasons. I like listening to my footsteps, breathing, the birds, wind, etc. It's also a safety thing. But most of all, it frees my brain to flow with thoughts and ideas. I solve many of the worlds' problems while running!!

Whatever gets and keeps us running is what counts!!

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CAROLCRC 5/24/2012 8:13AM

    My friends and I call it ZEN running... I make sure to do it at least once every week or two - helps me remember why I enjoy running rather than focusing on pace/goals/pressure.

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KATHYGOULDSMITH 5/24/2012 6:06AM

    I have only just started to train for a 5k, but I don't know if I could run without my music. I feel it keeps me going, motivated or whatever. Maybe if I get better, faster and more accustomed to the running I will try it. I am proud of you!

KG

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SHOES17 5/23/2012 11:16PM

    I cant seem to run with music. I know the time is coming that I am going to have to try it. A lot of the 5ks I look at require naked running. I will stay tuned as running is one my favorite changes in my life! Amazing blog TYTY emoticon emoticon

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POOH_BEAR_69 5/23/2012 9:21PM

    Such a great idea to have the note ready to pass ahead of time. emoticon

Best wishes on your training and future runs! emoticon emoticon

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LOGOULD 5/23/2012 9:00PM

    You are going to LOVE your next experiment. I am hooked...almost too much. It is easy to run naked when you are running with a buddy. It slso forces you to train at an appropriate level, where you can converse, but only in short sentences. Even if there is NO dialog going on, it's awesome just to have someone along "for the ride"!

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MYSTERY-LADY1 5/23/2012 8:07PM

    emoticon

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WENDENANNIE 5/23/2012 4:22PM

    Very cool! I think I would prefer the "naked running" myself.......I love nature and people and it would give me the opportunity to pay more attention to what my body is telling me. However....I haven't started running yet...thought about it, but am a little embarrassed to get get out and do it....I still weigh 240 and even though I've been cleared for exercise by my doc I'm not sure what he'd think of running at my weight and age.(55) I can just imagine running in my senior park where I live with my big butt flopping down the road! Am really not even sure where to start....any suggestions?

Hugs, Wendy emoticon

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ASHLEYGAULT 5/23/2012 4:19PM

    What a fantastic experiment! I must admit that I enjoy naked running much more than when I have music for the same reasons as ABSOLUTZERo - I definitely feel more in tune with my body that way. Can't wait to see how your next experiment works out!!

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-CORAL- 5/23/2012 3:02PM

    I never run with music. I like the sound of nature. Also for some reason when I run with music, I feel like it's harder to breathe. Like my nose is plugged because my ears are plugged. Totally psychological but that's what it feels like for me.

Comment edited on: 5/23/2012 3:02:56 PM

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LOISDESK 5/23/2012 2:45PM

    I love running to my music too. I don't have a Garmin or anything yet, but I like Runkeeper on my android phone. I love the detailed info it gives me after my run. So, maybe I'll try to add a "naked" run in there once in awhile, but like you, I'd have to say my norm will most likely be with my phone & music.

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AMEHHH87 5/23/2012 2:20PM

    I've always ran "naked", however, this a great blog! :) Congrats!

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3RDTIMECHARM11 5/23/2012 2:14PM

    I run "naked"! i didn't know that it is better because i never tried running with music. Many times i have thought of adding music but i always felt it would disconnect me from my running.


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JIBBIE49 5/23/2012 1:20PM

    emoticonWonderful to see you featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor. You certainly are a inspiration to others. emoticon

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REGILIEH 5/23/2012 12:30PM

    WTG!!!!

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GOOSIEMOON 5/23/2012 12:29PM

    Great post! You are an inspiration!

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CICELY360 5/23/2012 11:44AM

  Good blog.

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BUTTERFLY-1976 5/23/2012 11:43AM

    Great blog.

I'm the same as PASKALINI..if I run without music everything hurts (not in an injuy way) & my brain tells me I'm tired & can't do this.



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BIRDLSLAURIE 5/23/2012 11:35AM

    Now I'm going to have to give naked running/walking a try. The thought does make me feel a little anxious but we shall see...Thank you!

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FOREVERFITCHICK 5/23/2012 11:34AM

    Always enjoy your blogs......especially as I step outside my comfort zone into this "running" world! I've always said this is somthing I'm NOT but we shall see........

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JOEYKTTN 5/23/2012 11:26AM

    What a sweet note! I bet you totally made her day :)

I have to have my music & c25k interval thingie right now, but the idea of soaking in my surroundings while I'm running is interesting & appealing. Will have to try it when I grow up into a *real* runner :)

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TERRIJ7 5/23/2012 11:11AM

    I'm a walker, not a runner, but I enjoyed your blog very much! I always walk "naked" on a forested back road in the mountains and the sounds of the wildlife is wonderful. I wanted to try to use some music and intervals but haven't been able to figure out how to load them onto my MP3 player yet~

I know what you mean about the dungeon of fetid death, but my emergencies have to be attended to behind a tree! As long as it's secluded, I think I prefer the tree!

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SPIRITEDFILLY 5/23/2012 11:04AM

    emoticon

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HEARTS116 5/23/2012 11:02AM

    Thanks for sharing! Great blog!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/23/2012 10:41AM

    Great blog! I am envious of your hour with ABSOLUTEZER0, that had to be great; he is a wealth of knowledge and experience about running. I started out running with music, but I have found such joy in running "naked" when I'm outside that I rarely bother with it now out there. On the treadmill, of course, it is almost a necessity to distract me, but there is so much to see and hear outside that it's not needed there. And I agree, facing the dreaded porta potty in training rather than a race for the first time is a good thing; they are not fun but I'm glad they are available for those times they are needed!

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APPLEGREENGIRL 5/23/2012 10:17AM

  Really enjoyed this blog - and I'm not a runner...yet!

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NEWMOM20121 5/23/2012 10:06AM

    Great blog. I also need the music right now. I hope in the future that I can run without it, but for now I need tunes. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

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TONYVAND1 5/23/2012 9:59AM

  emoticon

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PRAIRIECROCUS 5/23/2012 9:52AM

    I enjoyed this blog !

emoticon for sharing !
I'm glad that you have a running partner, now !

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MYLADY4 5/23/2012 9:51AM

    Yep, run with so many gadgets that it would be good to go without once.

Oh, and I AGREE so whole heartedly with you about the porta potty, they are discusting. We go to a music festival and our group gets a porta potty for our campsite so I know who all goes in it but I just can't. That's why I have an RV with my OWN bathroom.

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SJKENT1 5/23/2012 9:50AM

    Good for you! and a new friend as a bonus for your stepping -or should I say running - out of the box.

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VOLLEYGIRL77 5/23/2012 9:49AM

    That's awesome! I hope your running buddy helps push you even more!

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PASKALINI 5/23/2012 9:39AM

    this was a great blog thanks for sharing. I have found that somehow running hurts way more when I don't have music. Not in an I'm injured type way more in a I have nothing but my brain to occupy me and my brain says my legs are tired when my legs say we're still ok but my brain wins because my brain isn't bouncing along to the music. I still try to run sans ipod but sometimes I just can't get my "good run" in with out it.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Coach Nicole Is Tricky

Monday, May 21, 2012

You know something? That Coach Nicole is tricky! Let me just explain to you how this crafty woman lured me (a self-proclaimed exercise hater) into a seemingly innocent little challenge that has turned into one of the best things that has ever happened to me: The Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge.

Imagine this...here comes an e-mail with a sweet little lady (Nicole) on it that says, "Hey lazy Leah! Join our super simple and easy challenge that only lasts for 4 very short weeks and you could win $300! ALL you have to do is a really tiny 10-minute video every day and add at least 10 minutes of cardio (preferably 30) to your schedule three times a week. EASY!" (Ok, ok...I paraphrased that).

So, of course, I thought, "Wellll....aren't you the cutest little thing? I am quite certain I am able to do 10 measly minutes a day and sometimes 20 minutes (with cardio). Yeah, this sounds simple enough. I'M IN!"

Week 1: OH MY GOSH...HOW LONG IS THIS VIDEO?! Coach Nicole, my body won't stretch that way! But...cardio wasn't bad. Actually...30 mins three times a week is pretty easy. No probs there.

Week 2: I hate these videos...but...they are only 10 minutes. Just do it, Leah...and you'll feel better afterwards. Cardio is making me feel AMAAAZING! Ramping it up now to 60 minute workouts thrice a week.

Week 3: Wow...halfway point is over already? Cool. Hey, these videos are getting easier. And I have muscle in my arm! Cardio is the best thing that's ever happened to me and I don't even WANT to take two rest days. MAKE YOURSELF REST, LEAH!

And that brings us to today...the second day of Week 4. I had just finished my standard daily video (Pilates...which I DESPISED the first week, but I gotta tell ya...I am actually seeing abs forming and it is shocking. So...I kinda like it now...even though it's still torture). I also added a 20-minute full body resistance band workout. Body feels awesome. My running is taking off like crazy...about ready to kick my long run on Sundays up to a 5-miler.

And, as I was getting ready for work, it was like everything about this challenge hit me all at once:

I am getting abs.
I have lost 5 lbs in 3 weeks.
My body feels so...tight and strong. No more flabby mess.
I have so much energy.
I love running.
My stomach is smaller.
I can get through those Bootcamp videos really easily now.
I don't want to stop after the Challenge ends.
I couldn't care less if I win $300.
I am ONE run away from 1,000 monthly fitness minutes - this has never happened.
This is the first time I've ever looked in the mirror and noticed a change in my body.

With alllll these thoughts swishing in my head...I not only thought, "WHO IS THIS PERSON THAT I'M LOOKING AT IN THE MIRROR???" I realized...that Coach Nicole...she's a tricky little saint. And I LOVE her.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUTERSPACE 1/22/2013 12:43PM

    LOL. You have to love Nicole and her innocent (?) challenges!! You also have to love the changes they inflict on the body. It is GREAT.

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TRISHMO1 6/16/2012 10:42PM

  I love Nicole as well, she cuts through all the rubbish that is out there in the fitness world and tells it like it really is emoticon

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MARYMO22 6/11/2012 5:02AM

    you have just inspired me to stick with the bootcamp - I've started it and failed so many times - but I need to do this

Thanks x

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MCJULIEO 6/8/2012 1:25PM

    Well put!

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SPECIALGURL7 6/8/2012 12:57PM

    You go gurl!

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LIZSPRINGSTEEN 6/7/2012 11:34PM

    I wanna get that video! Thanks for posting this blog!

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RBUCKLEY2 6/7/2012 9:53AM

    emoticon

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NHEMBERGER 6/7/2012 8:30AM

    emoticon

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STEPHLOKI 6/7/2012 5:23AM

    Great Job! Both to you and Coach Nicole... ;)

You are up to 5mile runs already? That's what I call progress! Go Girl

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CPATRICK9 6/6/2012 10:47PM

    emoticon

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MARYJOVINCENT 6/6/2012 9:53PM

    Great Job. Funny way to put it. Coach Nicole is amazing.

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SUSIEMT 6/6/2012 9:33PM

    Woo Hoo!! Good for you! Keep up the good job!

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IMSOOZEEQ 6/6/2012 2:10PM

    LOL So true about Coach Nicole! I just started and today I did a kickboxing video. Ok so let's just say I think it should be renamed the kick butt video!!! I loved it!

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SHELL22222 6/6/2012 1:48PM

    Way to go! And I agree about Coach Nicole. One of her challenges got me exercising and it's wonderful! emoticon

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TMOORE073 6/6/2012 12:27PM

    Great Job! emoticon

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APPLEGREENGIRL 6/6/2012 11:53AM

  Loved your blog! Thanks for posting :)

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EKSB32702 6/6/2012 11:45AM

  Congrats! Keep up the good work!

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1SUNSHINEGIRL 6/6/2012 11:09AM

    Great job!

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ANGIEINTRAINING 6/6/2012 10:21AM

    emoticon

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ELSEEBEE 6/6/2012 9:20AM

    emoticon

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DOKERALLEN 6/6/2012 8:45AM

    emoticon

Weigh to go, Leah, and I really enjoyed this blog! I can so relate! That cute little Nicole makes things look so simple....and how can 10 minutes be so LONG! lol! Keep up the great work!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 6/6/2012 8:45AM

    emoticon

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PYNETREE 6/6/2012 8:42AM

    YOU are doing it! Congrats! Keep it up!



emoticon Look at you Go ! emoticon

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JERZRN 6/6/2012 8:08AM

    emoticon

Great blog!!!

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QUASIOR 6/6/2012 3:22AM

    emoticon

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POPSY190 6/6/2012 2:49AM

    I agree with everything you've written here - these challenges are brilliant for keeping you exercising.

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MOMFAN 6/6/2012 2:25AM

    emoticon

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JESSZZ123 5/27/2012 9:40PM

    You're doing great! Keep it up!

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WRITINGDIVA1 5/26/2012 1:57PM

    Cool! My inspiration to get started. Thank you.

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MISSLISA1973 5/26/2012 5:22AM

    emoticon

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SERASARA 5/25/2012 6:00PM

  emoticon emoticon

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KRYSTALLA 5/25/2012 3:19PM

    emoticon

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EMILYDOODLE 5/25/2012 1:52PM

  that is absolutely great. great blog

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SOCDIRECTOR 5/25/2012 1:40PM

    GREAT blog post!
emoticon

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AMURDOCK68 5/25/2012 8:22AM

    I really enjoyed reading your description of your Boot Camp challenge. Best wishes on your fitness journey.

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RMASON67 5/25/2012 6:57AM

    emoticon

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SLFGOLF 5/25/2012 1:00AM

    It's amazing how this works isn't it! This is so awesome!

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NOTGIVINGUP49 5/24/2012 10:26PM

    emoticonKeep on movin!

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KATEM200 5/24/2012 9:41PM

  Great work! Keep it up. And I agree about the pilates video. I always feel it the next day when I stretch. I'm doing the challenge too, and I've found that it got me through a slight injury. I could have used one little pulled muscle as an excuse to turn into a couch potato. But Coach Nicole's videos keep me from being sidelined completely. I had to modify some of the moves as needed to avoid making the injury worse, but overall it's been great motivation.

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LOGOULD 5/24/2012 9:31PM

    emoticonThat's the one - just one step at a time - then another and another and THEN LOOK AT HOW FAR YOU'VE COME! emoticon

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JIBBIE49 5/24/2012 8:40PM

    emoticonWOW, you are a STAR. Love seeing you featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor!!! emoticon

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MYSTERY-LADY1 5/24/2012 7:46PM

    emoticon

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CARESINGS 5/24/2012 5:27PM

    Fantastic! Thanks for posting!

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NORASPAT 5/24/2012 5:21PM

    Yes you now know it Coach Nicole is tricky. I took a couple of days to learn the grapevine.

Even more days just to coordinate the hands and feet in the kick boxing video.

Now I just punch the air if it's right it is but if it's wrong even I dont know. Just so long as I swing that jab for the tricky lady. Pat in Maine. emoticon
This is my LAST WEEK TOO. emoticon emoticon

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 5/24/2012 5:14PM

    yup, she is ours! emoticon and we sure love her!

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DMANN104 5/24/2012 12:11PM

    emoticon It's amazing how those little things can add up to something so amazing (weight loss, inches gone & more energy!). Keep at it!

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LINDA! 5/24/2012 12:01PM

    emoticon

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DEARTOMYHEART 5/24/2012 11:55AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TAYGRL 5/24/2012 10:59AM

    emoticon

nope, that's it--just emoticon

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TODAYIAM 5/24/2012 10:23AM

    Very cute and interesting way of putting it.. Congrats on making it this far!

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