LDRICHEL   46,087
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Look What You Did!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This day was...a day. I am completely and totally emotionally depleted as I write this. It started last night actually. Our company is having our once per year project managers' face to face meeting. Lucky for me, it's here in Bloomington so I don't have to travel for it. But, since it's here and since I am the Executive Director's right-hand woman, the mantle of hostess falls to us. My boss got stuck in Austin, TX last week because her husband had a medical emergency and was still in the hospital down there. So, here I am (a nobody, really) left to welcome these project managers in and show them a great time.

We had a team dinner last night and it was lovely. Ate WAY too much. Drank WAY too much. It's easy to do when everything is on the company's dime. You know, I've still not learned how to balance food in this specific realm. If I am not paying for it, I will stuff myself...even if I KNOW I'm going over on calories and I'm not hungry. But it's like, "Why WOULDN'T I order wine and dessert if it's FREE?" I have GOT to get this under control before my next business trip - because, at the end of my next business trip, is a flight home to Indy and a half marathon the very next morning. I can't be messing around with food that week.

Of course, what I'm insinuating is that I also ate horribly all day today too. UGH! I feel SO gross!!!

In addition to the food issues today, I am completely beat...I mean, thinking all day really takes it out of ya. Being totally serious here. Strategizing and focusing and taking notes and trying to understand tech speak for 8 hours is just exhausting.

But it's not just that. If I could get real and just admit something...I am so new to this whole "professionalism" thing. I feel SO out of place. I thought I was doing pretty well for most of the day today. But, upon leaving the meeting, I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of not being good enough. Like I'm just SO out of my league here and what am I DOING thinking I can fit into this world? I look back on the entire day and I see the things that I said and think, "Oh, Leah...why did you SAY that? It must have come off as SO unprofessional or obnoxious! What a terrible way to represent the Foundation." I keep trying to learn and I keep messing up. Will I ever get the hang of this?

On top of the feelings of professional failure, my co-worker was upset with me because I didn't help support her more during our presentation on a daily company blog. I honestly don't know what I did wrong, but I could tell she was pretty angry.

And in the back of my mind, I'm dealing with all the other emotions from this other issue that I'm going through...the death of a special relationship, which I'm thoroughly grieving at all times underneath everything else in my life that's going on.

I got in my car and wanted to break into tears. In fact, I'm so completely wiped out right now, I will literally be going to bed as soon as I finish this blog. It is 7:33pm.

But, here's the thing...normally, I check my blog comments here on SparkPeople on a pretty regular basis as they are coming in. Today, I couldn't do that...obviously. Can you imagine the shock when I saw that my blog from yesterday already had 237 comments? Or that the comments on my Tears & Texting on the Trail blog have risen to 417?! First, I felt overwhelmed. I thought, "I just can't possibly put the energy into reading all of these tonight." But then I realized...I'll just get FURTHER behind if I don't do it now!

Do you know what happened when I started reading the 20 or so pages of comments that I'd missed? Comments from YOU wonderful and beautiful people? Some of you comment every single day. I know your face! I do! Or I know your avatar...like it's a familiar friend. I know more of you than you might realize. People constantly tell me that they are shocked I recognize them when I add them as friends or comment on their wall or whatever. You guys...I'm not a celeb. I'm just a chick who runs. LOL. Of course I know you! I know you all!

And this is all I have to say about that. I hear all the time...ALL the time..."you don't know what your blog meant to me today. If you only knew how many people you touch...etc etc etc."

Well, it's time to turn that back around on you.

If you only knew what your comments do for me (not just collectively but individually).

If you only knew that I read every single one.

If you only knew that your Spark Goodies and the notes that go with them make me cry tears of joy.

If you only knew how much energy reading your words gave me tonight, when I felt like less than nothing.

If you only knew how beautiful and powerful you are...and that you can do all that I blog about and more...you CAN.

If you only knew how unworthy of your attention I sometimes feel...and how badly I wish I could respond to every single comment and message.

If you only knew how many times I read what you write and think to myself, "I wish we could meet in real life and hang out."

God, if you only knew...

Some of you read my blog every single day. Some of you see me as some sort of lifeline.

But...if you all only knew...that you are my lifeline. You are what keeps me going. I would have given up. I would have gone back to my lazy life. I would have given in to depression. But....YOU kept me alive. Quite literally.

YOU saved ME. And you just keep doing it every single day. And I love you for it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUTERSPACE 2/13/2013 4:41PM

    Awwww, how wonderful that so many people can do such a wonderful thing for you. Really touching!!

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KHALIA2 9/26/2012 9:06PM

  You spoke from your heart. A very inspiring and heartfelt blog.

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ASDOBBER 7/26/2012 9:05AM

    The best advice I ever got in my professional career was pretend as if you belong exactly where you are. When it comes down to it, everyone started where you are now. The more you take part in these sorts of activities the more your confidence will build. Find a power outfit or power shoes. The first time I met with an executive team I wore my power shoes. I was nervous as all get out but every time I looked at my shoes I got a surge of confidence. You will find your groove. And before you know it you will laugh at yourself thinking you didn't belong.

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HEIDIE6 7/25/2012 11:46AM

  So inspiring! Thank you so much! I hope you have a wonderful day! gail emoticon

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TEACHEROF4TH 7/25/2012 1:36AM

    Thank you for sharing from your heart. Transparency in writing is a rarity, and your heart shined through your words. Thank you.

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DRAMAJLN 7/25/2012 12:22AM

    You should also know there are many people out there (like me) who read blogs often, but don't always comment. Is there a tracker that shows you how many "hits" your blog has? That would be quite eye-opening.

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SANDY-TOES 7/24/2012 8:48PM

    Again.... you touched me. Please remember life is a 2 way street, when you extend your hand out to help someone up, the other hand must also extend to be helped up, which in turn, eventually, the one who reached up to grab the extended hand, in turn, extends their hand to help another up...
We all help each other "up".
Only you can let others make you feel any "certain" way, don't give others that much power.

Stay positive - Stay Strong and focus on obtaining your goals!
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Regina.

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ELLENBERRY 7/24/2012 2:20PM

    You are truly amazing! emoticon

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SMIDGE1971 7/24/2012 2:09PM

  Great blog! I think most of us have had days like this where you think you're doing and saying the right things and then when you reflect on the day you feel like you said or did the wrong things. Don't be so hard on yourself. It sounds like you did what you were supposed to do and the goals of the foundation were reached by the end of the meeting. Remember, we are all our worse critics and we always see the negatives that other people really don't see in us. Stay positive and remember that you can only do your best and that is always good enough.

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DEBK0923 7/24/2012 1:34PM

    great job, good work, and a wonderful blog

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EFFRAYECHILDE 7/24/2012 11:21AM

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PMFISH 7/23/2012 11:09PM

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CHERYLSBUTT 7/23/2012 10:29PM

    Work on giving yourself what you give to others!
Good night!

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BANDMOM2012 7/23/2012 6:32PM

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TWREDHOT 7/23/2012 1:14PM

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MOMOSG 7/23/2012 10:34AM

    You are amazing and I am awestruck that you can put your emotions out there like that. You are motivating in so many ways. Keep going, keep trying and stop thinking you aren't worthy or out of your league. You are special and amazing just the way you are. Anyone who can't see that it blind!

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YWAIT0609 7/23/2012 2:34AM

    great post again. i understand what u feel about the job. i start a new one today (monday). u are good enough bc my DADDY, your DADDY said so. dont forget it.

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TRACYZABELLE 7/23/2012 12:10AM

    I like to inspire people as I get inspired by them-- one hand washes the other! emoticon

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ROJAKHAN 7/22/2012 1:55PM

    emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 7/22/2012 12:41PM

    This is the first time I have read one of your blogs, but I feel like we are already friends! I have been a road warrier, and know the lure of company paid food and drink! And I know the feelings that I am really not as professional as others, and that I am really a fraud...

I have left that corporate world (5 years now!) and work in a whole different environment, but I still battle weight, feelings of self worth, and getting that exercise done. I am envious of your running - I have tried, but my hips and knees decided it wasn't going to work for me... But I plan to try again, now that I am stronger... I want to run a 5K before I turn 60!

thanks for sharing yourself!

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PROVERBS31JULIA 7/22/2012 1:21AM

    Hi Leah -
Ha! So you inspire me more than I inspire you. Neeneer! neener! emoticon

I'd write more bit a) im supposed to be asleep and b) it takes forever to type on iphone... Especially when tears of joy, laughter, shame, and/or allergies make my eyes blurrier than they already are!

Hugs,
Julia

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LITTLEROX20 7/21/2012 10:27PM

    Thanks for acknowledging our acknowledgments! emoticon

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ISABELLE31 7/21/2012 4:34PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's awesome how there's a boomerang effect for warm fuzzies. I hope today is better for you and that you do realize how fabulous you are in the midst of everything. :)

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GBAUM0432 7/21/2012 4:23PM

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TERID816 7/21/2012 2:15PM

    Leah, I read your blog every day since I found you on SparkPeople. Your honesty and willingness to share so much of yourself is what draws me (and I'm sure others) to your blogs. Some of us don't have your gift for putting those feelings into words, even though we too have those same feelings. Sorry for your day, but glad we SparkFriends can give back a little of what you share! emoticon

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JERICHO1991 7/21/2012 1:29PM

    I hope you are feeling as good as I do after reading your blog. Thank you.

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LILSPARKIE85 7/21/2012 12:50PM

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KELLIGIRL523 7/21/2012 11:21AM

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WILDFLOWER521 7/21/2012 10:59AM

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FLYINGB16 7/21/2012 10:43AM

    I have been where you are as far as feeling "not good enough" in a professional environment. I decided to fake it till I make it and almost two years later there is not one person in my office that intimidates me. They all breath air just like me. It's very liberating. I also no longer allow people to dump on me. This took years of work but I did it. If i screw up or don't meet someone's expectations I ask why, and how DID they want it done so I can do better the next time. I don't take it personally. it's a learning opportunity and I go with it.

Now for the food...

The folks at my office eat all the time. My team especially (we are chained to our desks 9-10 hours a day) has the most impressive take out menu collection I have ever seen. I don't join them. I pack every day. I refuse to give in to peer pressure when it comes to food. When they go out I don't eat crap just because they do. Yesterday morning a team member was like....Hardee's will make you feel sooooooo much better....I was like...I don't think so. Thirty minutes later they are all complaining about heartburn and I am laughing. They all ordered out for lunch and then thirty minutes after eating they all said...god I am so stuffed I feel sick...
I am sorry they feel bad but I laugh on the inside because they do this to themselves everyday but "I am the weird one that packs lunch and snacks everyday". Yep...I embrace my weirdness...they can have the heartburn, indigestion and tight clothing.
Food pushers are always a challenge and work stress can make us want to eat. I just try to stay focused on my goals and keep a fully stocked snack drawer and lunchbox everyday.

You can do it!

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FITFOODIE806 7/21/2012 9:05AM

    Isn't spark remarkable? The more you putinto it, the more you get. I have done so much more than I ever thought I could(think, marathon!) because of spark. Reading other people's blogs, getting crazy ideas in my head, and then getting the encouragement and motivation to actually do it. All from spark!
I'm so glad you appreciate it the way you do. I appreciate YOU! And you do deserve all 400+ comments.

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 7/21/2012 8:56AM

    Sounds like "a day".............but you ended it on such a positive note. You read about what you mean to people.................. what your words do for people, and in return, you gave back to everyone by writing this blog. THAT's what this journey is all about...............

Happy Saturday!

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COLETTEISGREAT 7/21/2012 7:21AM

    Your words are always so eloquent and honest. Thank you for being my lifeline, and glad to contribute to your lifeline.

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ANNE007 7/21/2012 4:21AM

    Great blog! It originally caught my eye because you mentioned Bloomington. Hello from Indy! I hope you're feeling much better by today. I'm sure you did a great job hosting your coworkers but I agree...Spark People are wonderful people!

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JRM54100 7/21/2012 2:23AM

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BLUEJEAN99 7/21/2012 1:39AM

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GRAMMAP1 7/20/2012 11:39PM

    I really don't blog often, but I read bunches. I am older and my sucesses are few and I really want to share success, not failure. I am sure that you will be able to share some inspiration again very soon. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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4RASCALS 7/20/2012 10:41PM

    I'm sure you did a excellent job. We are our own worst critic. Your such a inspiration to us, don't see you failing at anything.
. emoticon

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MONTREAL12 7/20/2012 10:00PM

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BAKERBARBARA 7/20/2012 9:37PM

    Energizer Bunny is right...I don't always comment because my mind goes blank when I get to the comment section. Greeting cards really stress me out!!

Your blogs are always well-written and interesting! Keep it up!!

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MOM-MOM8 7/20/2012 9:28PM

    emoticon You had a very busy day with way to many things to juggle! Our famous insecurities show up just when we do not need them. I am sure you did a great job of hostess. Do we say things that in hind sight we think about and are sure should have been said better? Of coarse! We just need to learn from it and move forward. I had a co-worker years ago who had a favorite saying "Fake it til you make it!" I have found that it works. Put a smile on and do your best, and most times we do just fine until we analyze the day and find areas that only we can find to bring us down. Have a great week end! You deserve it. emoticon

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THISISGREAT2 7/20/2012 9:06PM

  Thank you!! I have been out of commission with SP now for a month letting myself go. I am so emotional right now reading your blog. I also have feelings running deep with emotions from losses that I have been unable to express openly. I have been having a very hard time becoming focused to start thinking on what I need to do to feel better and eating irrational. But I want to thank you for reminding me what I need to start focusing on again. I will try. emoticon

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DIANESAV1 7/20/2012 9:03PM

    I'm sure you must have done just great today. We are our worst critics and the more you do them the more confident you will be. Thank you for sharing.

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BENNYTINNY 7/20/2012 8:57PM

    This is the first time that I've read your blog; it's no secret why you are so special.

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STUFFNEARTABOR 7/20/2012 8:42PM

    emoticon

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KIPPER15 7/20/2012 8:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Hang in there, we all have times we feel inadequate. Just imagine them all naked.. LOL

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KALLIE1958AR 7/20/2012 7:49PM

    emoticonWe all have those days .. Hang in there ...

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SANDYLH1 7/20/2012 7:42PM

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GOULDSGRANITE 7/20/2012 7:14PM

    I feel that I can say, your company and everyone that works there, is very lucky to have YOU! You can build your skills because of your fabulous attitude. Most probably, the other professionals around you are not working to improve and build up EVERY area of their life, as you are! Every step, more confidence, one day at a time.
How great you realized how poorly you ate at work. Can you believe now doing that without having any remorse and disgust? I can't! Just to think, I ate without any of those thoughts for over 50 years! Yuck.
I was just thinking yesterday, how important all of my Spark friends are. It is so wonderful to hear you comment about SP friends! Working most only with my 90 year young aunt at home everyday, it is very enriching to know that I can help you! You all certainly help me everyday! Share the SPark!
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POSITIVELY_EB 7/20/2012 7:07PM

    I am one of the ones that reads your blogs every day - but I don't comment because I figure I have nothing extra to add to what's already been said. But I'm sure there are lots of others like me!

You are a sweetheart for sharing with us the good AND the bad!

HUGS!
Beverly

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Running's All The Rage

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

So you've heard about revenge sex, right? How about rage running? Yeah, I didn't think so...because I believe a friend of mine just invented the term this morning. Haha.

So, it's no secret I've been going through the wringer with some stuff in my personal life right now. This morning, it occurred to me that I truly feel I've suffered a loss - a part of myself feels like it's been taken away. This is not the good kind of loss (loss of pounds). As with any loss, there is a grieving process.

I'm sure we've all heard this...that there are Seven Stages of Grief:

1. Shock & Denial - yep, done that (all last week)
2. Pain & Guilt - did you SEE my blog, "Tears & Texting on the Trail"????
3. Anger & Bargaining - apparently, I'm there right now
4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness - oh goodie! I can't wait for that!!!
5. The Upward Turn - phew
6. Reconstruction & Working Through (aka Acceptance)

Well, that's lovely. And I'm sure my sarcastic tone is coming from my place of anger.

Anyway...this morning, I had NO desire to run. Just wanted to mope, you know? But, and I'm gonna be totally honest, I've got this competition thing going with SANDIEGOJOHN and I wanted to catch up with him in mileage MORE than I wanted to sit around and pout. Haha.

Walked out the door and, I kid you not, it felt like 90% humidity. UGH! Oh well...a quick two miles, eh?

You know...anger is a new fuel for running for me. I draw on a lot of emotions to fuel my runs. In the past, I've used:

emoticon joy
emoticon sexual tension
emoticon pure determination
emoticon sadness
emoticon pride

But this was a first for me. Can I just tell you I was FLYING. Knowing my distance was relatively short helped a bit...but I was clocking a 12:49 pace (which is much faster than my previous 13:20 pace).

The only thing I have to say about a rage run is this...don't forget to stay loose. I had to remind myself a couple times to relax my shoulders and fists. Yes, form is still important, no matter what is going on in your head. Keep it in the back of your mind. Or the front...whatever you want.

When I got home, that humidity had seriously whipped me. SO. MUCH. SWEAT. Literally had to strip to my underclothes the second I walked in the door. Here's a photo, so you can be grossed out completely. (And, by the way, if this makes the SparkMail and is featured blog and this disgusting photo is plastered for all to see, I will die of embarrassment. Just sayin'.)





There you have it, friends. No matter what you've got boiling inside...get out there and run. You'll feel better. I promise.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUTERSPACE 2/13/2013 4:31PM

    Good for you!! You really ARE strong!

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KHALIA2 10/1/2012 1:25AM

  Great Job! emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 9/10/2012 7:03PM

    Haha! You made the SparkMail! {giggle!}

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ANDYLIN90 8/30/2012 1:37AM

    Hey, I think you look great!

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SPSPSP1 8/26/2012 3:44AM

    Good for you for using a constructive outlet for your anger!

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LZIKES 8/17/2012 8:26PM

  So true! I've used the same kind of thinking, and it works!

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LISA_FRAME 8/15/2012 6:50PM

  Good post!

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CHANGINGHORSES 7/24/2012 8:17PM

    YES! Get out there and RUN! Run for your life!

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SMIDGE1971 7/24/2012 1:41PM

  Good for you!! I find that when I'm upset about something I usually run harder and longer than I normally would. Definitely works some of the anger out of you.

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DEBK0923 7/24/2012 1:21PM

    I think this is a great idea, clears the mind, gets rid of rage stressors and it's healthy too. great blog

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TRAINER_T 7/24/2012 12:33PM

    emoticon

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SPECIALGURL7 7/23/2012 5:32PM

    Looks as if it definitely was a good run. Got rid of a lot of stuff!!!

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AMATTLIN 7/23/2012 2:14PM

    Alright got any advice for getting my butt out of bed and running...I dont have the rage but know how you feel because I use my runs as a think, sort and etc...


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EFFRAYECHILDE 7/23/2012 7:47AM

    Thanks for sharing. I might try Rage Running some day.

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KRISTA48439 7/22/2012 11:53PM

  I've never done a rage run (although it sounds great - I'm just probably never going to be able to run, at my age). But I planted a garden in rage last year, and that garden did grow! Maybe I transferred some of my excess emotion to it. It certainly transferred some very needed peace and grace back to me later that summer. What goes around, comes around, so true!

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ROXYZMOM 7/22/2012 5:12PM

    Wow! That was terrific - I can imagine running anger off you as I read your blog!
You left it in the dust! Good for you!

PS Don't be embarassed! Your picture drew the whole thing together! You earned that sweat!!

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JOANNHUNT 7/22/2012 4:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Thank You. You inspire me with your blogs and determination. emoticon emoticon

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BLNBIKERIN1 7/21/2012 10:45PM

  I can relate to that! Too bad My joints aren't permitting me to run like that anymore. Miss it a lot...
Just Glad you could find some victory and satisfaction to your rather discouraging private state.
Have a great weekend!

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DBCLARINET 7/21/2012 9:28PM

    This made me smile, because about a month or so ago, I wrote a blog about "rangry" -- running angry. It gives me a way to burn up my frustration and leave me alone with my thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

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ELLIPSISDREAM 7/21/2012 1:12PM

    As I ease into running (still in the walk/jog stage) this article was truly inspirational. I am guilty of letting my emotions derail my workouts, and this showed me I can use those emotions instead of letting them work against me. Thank you much- I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future. emoticon

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JANDAH 7/21/2012 12:13AM

    I cant wait to Rage Run... I am too heavy now and it scares me. Dont want to hurt myself.. I have been pushing myself swimming and walking and treadmilling. I'll let you know when I put in my first Rage Run! Great blog... emoticon

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LINDA! 7/20/2012 10:00PM

    Great blog. I think this is a great photo. It shows a woman that is very much alive and healthy!

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KIPPER15 7/20/2012 8:30PM

    emoticon far better than road rage and much more productive!!

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GUCCI9300 7/20/2012 7:34PM

    Thank you for sharing!!! Good for you!!! emoticon

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HAPPYKITTYNZ 7/20/2012 3:54PM

    hmm. i left a comment on here yesterday but it's not here..
oh well! I'll say it again..
I've done revenge cycling before, after an unfair messy break up! biked as hard as i could as long as i could until i ran out of steam.. took me like an hour and a half to walk home cos i was exhausted hahaha :) it was wonderful
p.s. Anger can be very useful when channeled constructively into exercise, Good job on that.. and Way to go!! emoticon

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LORBILENKIN 7/20/2012 3:37PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GBAUM0432 7/20/2012 1:55PM

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MEVILL 7/20/2012 1:42PM

    Rage running is SO in! Though I prefer to crank up the incline on the treadmill since I'm still working up to the running thing...one day at a time. My treadmill time is my sanity time...I take it out on the belt and leave it there...always feeling better in the end.

Thanks for sharing!

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SANDUR123 7/20/2012 1:18PM

  Thank you for your blog!!! My past two weeks you have just summed up in your blog. Instead if rage running I rage walk. I can walk 10KM in an hour and a half (which is a good time for me) I park my car and walk a trail, I have no choice but to walk back to my car no matter how far I can push myself to walk. I get the Endorphins pumping (which help me to feel better, they alleviate my physical pain) I ground my frustrations (which alleviate my mental anguish, and generally stops the tears of frustration) into the pavement with each step. I tell you if I could go and hit the heavy bag, I would have shoulders and arms that could rip a man in half. I can't (which is related to my physical pain) so i walk. I find walking extremely cathartic- which I bet is how you feel about rage running too!!!

Have a great week!!!



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SPARKFRAN514 7/20/2012 11:39AM

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EMMIELANE 7/20/2012 11:24AM

    Girl, you crack me up! Rage Running!! I LOVE it!!

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TANRAZZ 7/20/2012 11:17AM

    I'm glad you didn't die of embarrassment! One of the reasons I clicked over to read your blog when I usually skip them because of lack of time was because of your photo--that alone is inspiring! I love to sweat and have not been doing enough of it lately. At least, not enough of the right kind of sweating. Agree with the cruddy humidity!

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CSCESMITH 7/20/2012 11:16AM

  Alot can be said for emotional walking, jogging, and running! I do it, too. Big hugs & lots of support for your final stages! Hang in there.

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MOMOSG 7/20/2012 10:24AM

    Good for you to use the exercise to help blow off some steam. It sure beats taking it out on yourself or someone else.

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LYNCHD05 7/20/2012 10:01AM

    once again you got right to the point! Love the picture and looks like the rage has disappeared! Another good reason to exercise.

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BOBADNESS9379 7/20/2012 9:31AM

    I wish that I had half the determination that you do!!! You're amazing! Great job!

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SFREY217 7/20/2012 8:50AM

    Thanks for the new inspiration ! Hopefully I can put it to good use !

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SABBYBRU 7/20/2012 8:38AM

    I love running away the rage. I've done it for years, and these days, living in a relatively safe area, there is not an argument with hubby that can't be talked out rationally after we've both gone on a long midnight run (this starting by him following me to keep me safe, since I insisted on running mid-fight, no matter what the time).

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NYMORNINGGLORY 7/20/2012 7:54AM

    I'm just back from being away for almost 3 weeks and am going to recommit to C25K and running - thanks for the reminder to just get out there and do it - it's soooo easy to talk my way out of even trying. We'll see how this goes!

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PASKALINI 7/20/2012 7:50AM

    HAHAHAHAHA I love it sweaty picture and all!!! Way to get out there and find a healthy outlet for your anger!

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LUKENEMISAUNT 7/20/2012 7:13AM

  Great Blog!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 7/20/2012 6:30AM

    I have rage walked/ jogged a few times in my life. It gets those feel good endorphins going to counteract the stress.

Comment edited on: 7/20/2012 6:32:29 AM

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DORAL33178 7/19/2012 11:57PM

    Running is another form of therapy....I think about how I have or I am handling certain situations and then when I don't want to think anymore, I enjoy the scenery.

Happy training emoticon

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MOGENEO 7/19/2012 11:52PM

    that is a great post! and funny too!


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REENIE131 7/19/2012 11:26PM

    I hula hoop anger away. I was angry-hooping one day and one of my students walked in....she could tell right away this wasn't my usual style....LOL. She said something along the lines of "Wow..who got you all worked up?" I was surprised it was that obvious.

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CYPATAYLOR2 7/19/2012 11:19PM

  emoticon

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COOKI3123 7/19/2012 11:18PM

    Super Blog...thanks for sharing! emoticon

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JNOR0925 7/19/2012 11:10PM

    Great blog! emoticon

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TEACHEROF4TH 7/19/2012 10:52PM

    Good for you! You always inspire and motivate me! Thank you for your transparency and humor. Keep your great effort going!
hugs,
Debbie

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WENDENANNIE 7/19/2012 10:31PM

    You are awesome Girl!!!

Hugs all around! Wendy emoticon

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Running Buddies

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Well, so far it seems that my ankle simply wanted to MOVE more! Pssshhh.

Woke up this morning at 5am because I wanted to get some great quiet time in and have a cup of coffee before my run. It's been 4 days since I've run and I was both excited and scared. I figured, I'd either wimp out in the first mile with ankle pain or it would be like the return of a dear old friend. I'm sure my nervousness was compounded by the fact that I was about to run a pretty long distance (5 miles) with a running partner (and no music!) I've only run with a partner ONE other time and that was a quick 3.1.

If you've been with me since my first days, you might remember my running buddy, Sarah. I met her on the trail...we used to pass each other a couple times every day and her smile was so bright and she seemed so friendly that I finally got up the nerve to pass her a note saying hello. (I made sure to tell her that I was not hitting on her. Haha.)

After that, we met for coffee to geek out about running and that hour flew by way too fast. We've been Facebook stalking each other a bit and it turns out we are both running the Fort4Fitness in September (my first 10k, her first half marathon) and we're also both running the Indianapolis Half Marathon in October. Small, small running world.

Here she is...isn't she prettttty?



I totally stole this photo off of her Facebook. So, if my blogs stop coming, you will know it's because she sued me for copyright and I am rotting away in jail. But, between you and me, I doubt that will happen...it wouldn't help her training any, let's put it that way.

So...guess what? This morning we went 5.31 miles in 1 hr 13 mins!!! (Put this up against my usual 3.1 mile time of 43 minutes. Are you understanding what a BIG DEAL this is to me???!)

We talked the entire time and, the more we chat, the more I see that we are really in the same boat. She just started running last Fall and has lost about the same amount of weight that I have lost. It was so refreshing to be able to just talk to someone who completely "gets" what I'm doing and knows how everything feels and understands my lingo and my obsession.

We saw FIVE deer....from a distance of, I don't know...10 feet??? I had no ankle pain at all. It was the best run I've ever had...and that's not an exaggeration. Also, it's the fastest I've ever continuously run. And I felt amazing afterwards and still do. It was EXACTLY what I needed after my super stressful day yesterday! I took a cool shower afterwards, which was DIVINE.

If you're a beginning runner and you worry about running with a partner, I'm telling you...try it. The miles seem to fly by. Before this, I had read over and over that I should try it and I was still skeptical...but it really is fun. So...go for it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VBA2009 4/3/2013 1:13PM

    emoticon

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SHALISA_B 2/7/2013 10:56PM

    Wow! I am so inspired by you! I wish I had a running buddy, but not having one isn't an excuse not to run! :)

Keep up the awesome work!

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KHALIA2 10/5/2012 12:38AM

  emoticon emoticon

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SPSPSP1 8/26/2012 3:52AM

    Congratulations! It's great that you have a friend, but I hope you asked for permission to use her photo.

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MRSLAURALEE 8/24/2012 9:51AM

    emoticon

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FRABBIT 8/23/2012 12:07PM

  Inspiring and you are lucky to have met Sarah. When I had a running buddy I did so much better - the accountability is key.

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LISA_FRAME 8/15/2012 7:12PM

  great post!

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NANCYSINATRA 7/28/2012 9:57AM

    great job

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VIMVIGOR 7/27/2012 3:02AM

  Good for you, great post. Cheryl emoticon

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PMFISH 7/24/2012 2:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 7/24/2012 1:51AM

    emoticon emoticon

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WHITEANGEL4 7/23/2012 10:19PM

    emoticon The companionship makes things easier when you just relax with the company

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DEBK0923 7/23/2012 11:10AM

    good job, great blog

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MOM-MOM8 7/21/2012 5:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIANNEMT 7/20/2012 6:57PM

    I have tried running with a partner--hubby! First he was way too fast and now he is too slow for me! So we run at the same time but not together!

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JIBBIE49 7/20/2012 5:41PM

    emoticonWhat an honor to have your blog featured in the Spark Mail. Sparks claims that the mail is read by one and a half million readers, so you are a GREAT inspiration to many today. emoticon

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KENZYE 7/20/2012 11:13AM

    Congrats!

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ASHOAF1 7/20/2012 9:21AM

  Congratulations! Having someone to run with and talk to seems to make the miles just fly by!! Glad you found someone to run with!! Good Luck on your running goals!

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SFREY217 7/20/2012 9:06AM

    Some days it is great to have company of your run..... And some days I just need to reflect only aloneness. Thanks for the post.

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YULLABELLE 7/20/2012 8:50AM

    Having someone with you does help pass the time. emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 7/20/2012 8:38AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SGILBER6 7/20/2012 7:57AM

    That's so cool how you met your running buddy! I may try running with my fiancee thanks to your suggestion. I think it would be great quality time. It's so inspiring to read about your progress in running!

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1954MARG 7/20/2012 6:47AM

  Keep up the good work.

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LOGOULD 7/20/2012 6:19AM

    Oh, YES, running buddies ARE THE BEST!!! You just can't have enough!

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CRAZYANN71 7/20/2012 5:32AM

    emoticon emoticon keep up the good work


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BLUEJEAN99 7/20/2012 1:28AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEACHEROF4TH 7/19/2012 10:58PM

    Thank you for your encouragement! Loved your positive attitude!

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SUSIEMT 7/19/2012 8:28PM

    Way to go!

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PHSOUTHCARO 7/19/2012 7:24PM

  Thanks for giving me the courage to get a running partner. I need one. :)

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HIGHNOON 7/19/2012 6:35PM

  emoticon emoticon

emoticon

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JIBBIE49 7/19/2012 5:51PM

    emoticonSo wonderful to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail, which Sparks says goes out to one and a half million readers. You are an inspiration today. emoticon

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NWFL59 7/19/2012 5:49PM

    That was very inspiring to read. So glad you found an exercise/running buddy and are clicking so well. Keep up the good work! Good luck on your upcoming races! emoticon

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NIGHTOCUPS 7/19/2012 5:06PM

    That's great! Keep it up!

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CORINA-MOMOF4 7/19/2012 4:26PM

    congrats!!! I just completed my first half marathon in June! And now I'm training for my first full (in Oct) So happy that you found a good running buddy!


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THEEASYKILL30 7/19/2012 1:27PM

    Your blog does it... I seriously need to get a running buddy too! I haven't run over 5 miles yet. 5 seems to be kind of my wall right now. You're doing great! 5.31 miles in 1:13 is fantastic!

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1STICKBLUES 7/19/2012 12:52PM

    5.31 miles in 1 hr 13 mins, AWESOME!!!!

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ANGELBABIES2 7/19/2012 12:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GBAUM0432 7/19/2012 11:31AM

  emoticon

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1954MARG 7/19/2012 11:25AM

  Sounds like fun.

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EDELWEISS33 7/19/2012 11:01AM

    awesome! my friend that just recovered from surgery says you can be up and running in a few weeks if you are healthy. I am working on it and my surgery was 2 years ago.

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JESSICAMARIE12 7/19/2012 10:53AM

    That is so inspirational!! I can't wait for the day that I can run continuously for 30 minutes, much less complete 5 miles in a little over an hour!! That is so awesome, and you SHOULD feel great about yourself!!!! Great Job!!!

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CLIMBERS_ROCK 7/19/2012 9:18AM

    emoticon

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PYNETREE 7/19/2012 8:40AM

    So glad you RAN into each other! Wishing you both Strength and Speed! emoticon emoticon

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SPINNER520 7/19/2012 7:47AM

    Used to like running alone for quality "think" time but now often run with a partner & find the time & miles pass very quickly!


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SPEEDY143 7/19/2012 2:57AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LILLI56 7/19/2012 1:06AM

    I need one of those . . .a running buddy, I thought that my hubby would be my walking buddy, but he just goes to the park and sits on a bench while I walk. I then tried my son, and well, I just can't keep up with him. Could be that I am almost 30 years older and out of shape and he is 30 and in great shape.

Comment edited on: 7/19/2012 1:07:23 AM

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JSCHARF 7/19/2012 12:05AM

    So nice to hear and inspirational!

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CICELY360 7/19/2012 12:01AM

  Good blog

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LANAHAUTH21 7/18/2012 11:31PM

  I am glad for you.

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LIMIG2 7/18/2012 11:18PM

    Wow very good!

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Tears & Texting on the Trail

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This morning...simply put...my heart was heavy. I can't give you details, but I can tell you most assuredly that I carried a broken heart into church with me and I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. The issues weighing me down are complicated and confusing and, even though the situation is a consequence of my own actions and choices, it doesn't make the pain less violent.

To add injury to insult, I had some pretty bad ankle pain yesterday and missed my long run. The first long run I've missed...ever. Added to the emotional distress I was under, my self-confidence was at about zero. I literally had an all-out temper tantrum this morning...and it wasn't pretty. If there were EVER a time that I NEEDED to take a run, it was this morning.

My husband, seeing that I was a hot mess, said, "Leah, you need to go run." But...my ankle! His response: "You live with an EMT. Put on your ankle brace, go out and bring your cell phone and call me to pick you up if your ankle is hurting."

Well, I couldn't, in good conscience, run on my ankle after the way it was feeling yesterday so I compromised and decided to do the same length of my long run, but walk it easily instead. And that's what I did.

If you've been doing this healthy lifestyle thing for awhile, you might know what I mean when I say that exercise isn't just good for your body and a way to keep your weight in check. It is also extremely cleansing for the soul.

Today, I ditched the iPod and went out solo with a water bottle, my cell phone and my mess of thoughts. I have to be honest...I'd forgotten how nice it is to just walk sometimes. One of the best parts of walking is that I can text while I do it. It sounds silly...but when I'm out on the trail, I get some pretty deep thoughts. I've said before that I write all my blogs in my head while I'm on a run and that is true (you think I didn't weave this entry together in my head over the past two hours?) I text my key thoughts to my "inner circle" to get their reactions and to make sure I've got a record for later. It helps me process. You know...a lot of texts make it into my blogs. Now you know my secret.

The first mile, I cried. I sobbed. I just let it all out. No one was around. No one saw. I could just release.

Then...the tears stopped. And I just walked for awhile.

Mile 2: I was ready to have a little talk with God about everything. Out there on that trail, I laid it all out for Him. This is how I feel about such and such, God. This is where I feel betrayed...here is where I made a bad choice and did my own thing anyway...and, by the way, I'm SO sorry about that, God! I know this particular action didn't make You happy, but it made me happy and that was more important than You and, geez, I brought this on myself. I just want to feel this...I just want to be this certain way...I want my life to be like this. Can you understand that, God? And on and on it went....complete and total baring of my soul. Raw and real.

TEXT #1: "You know what's beautiful about Jesus? He doesn't hold our shi*t in front of us and rub our nose in it. He just forgives it and lets go and says, 'Move along now. My love for you never changed. Let's keep going." I can't understand that kind of mercy, but it soothes a broken heart more than you can imagine.

Mile 3: After the deluge of MY thoughts and feelings...silence. Just listening. And looking around...and really seeing where I was.



I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Is that...is that...THE SHIRE?" haha. Yeah...it sure is.

But, seriously, as my body moved and I began to sweat and breathe deeper, I actually looked up and saw the sky and somewhere along the way, it hit me that my little problems are so small in the greater scheme of things. There is SO much more to my life than these issues I'm dealing with. And I realized, "My gosh, it's a BEAUTIFUL day today!"



TEXT #2: I'm stronger than all this emotional mess...I lean on a Power that's bigger than my own feeble heart. The darkest moments in my life come when I say, "no thanks" to that Power.

The remaining 2.5 miles were spent just thinking about all the good things that I have. And, would you believe I came home feeling healed and whole? The situation hasn't changed, friends. My outlook on my life has. And it all came about because I made a choice to go out and move my body.

Exercise isn't a "magic pill" but there certainly is some magic in it.

I suppose it's only fitting to end this one with one of the greatest quotes from The Lord of the Rings. I swear, this could have been my friend and I texting this morning. Replace Frodo with "Leah" and Sam with "Inner Circle Friend".

FRODO: I can't do this, Sam.

SAM: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

FRODO: What are we holding onto, Sam?

SAM: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHALISA_B 2/7/2013 10:47PM

    This was such an amazing blog. I think that somehow, I read it on the perfect day. emoticon emoticon

With a heart like yours, you can do anything.

Keep searching for your inner peace.

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JOANNHUNT 12/21/2012 9:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHUM48 10/24/2012 4:34PM

    Jesus love us! Thank you Jesus! And thank you Jesus for listening to our hearts and knowing us better than we know ourselves!

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IT-IS-WHATITIS 8/7/2012 11:42PM

    Wow! THANKS for this incredible blog! I REALLY needed the reminder! Really enjoyed reading it! Thanks!

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ILOVEROSES 8/3/2012 1:44PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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GINIEMIE 8/3/2012 10:33AM

    I do the same thing, but in the pool. I alternate swimming face down and on my back. On my back I marvel at the sky, the birds etc. Face down I just muse or think of what is on my heart. I know this is a great moment of communing with God. Thanks for your post.
emoticon emoticon

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LIFE-FAITH 7/31/2012 9:04AM

    emoticon I completely understand about the walk and working things out in your head and the "magic" of exercise helping us view the world in a different light. Keep on keeping on! Great blog! Jean

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NANCYSINATRA 7/29/2012 12:52PM

    I call walking releasing my happy endorphins. totally get it.

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TAZZITUDE 7/28/2012 10:27AM

  thanks for sharing that it was so inspiring and a wonderful reminder that sometimes we have to stop and smell the roses, we take so much for granted when the little things mean more than anything . emoticon emoticon

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BITA13 7/26/2012 9:55AM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharig this. I really needed it. emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 7/24/2012 1:58AM

    emoticon

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DWAN1969 7/23/2012 8:20PM

    emoticon I loved reading your blog and I can't help but feel like we are kindred spirits in a way...the last few years have been extremely tough (small business owner in a really bad economy)...in the midst of all the turmoil, hopelessness, faithlessness and so on...I decided to start running. Training and running for 5ks and 10ks and last fall I did my first 1/2 marathon, another 1/2 marathon this past spring and now training for my first full marathon...I say all that to say: me and God have had a lot of serious conversations while I am out on those training runs...I saw "me and God" because I really do feel like he talks to me when I am spending that one on one time with me, the pavement and God...and I have has some down right screaming/crying/sobbing fests all along the way, too...I am sure people have been passing me as they drive by and have wondered if they should call the crazy police because I get so animated and look a hot mess by the time I get all wound up...But you know...I always make it back home feeling more encouraged, stronger and with the knowledge that God is always there for me...even when I am at my lowest...

But not all of my runs end up being the emotional, blubbering "what are you thinking, God?" types of runs...Sometimes I go out and the sunrise or sunsets will be especially spectacular...or I will see amazing storm clouds, rainbows and sometimes double rainbows...whenever I see those amazing things I think, rather selfishly (probably)...that God did that just for me...just to put a smile on my face...just to remind me that he is still here... :)

Two of my most favorite song/lyrics are Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns and Storm by Lifehouse....I have many others but these two songs' lyrics really speak to me and remind me that in the end God is in control even if I make a mess of things and in the end He will work all things out for the good...I don't know what your struggles are but know that you are not alone...and if you ever need to have an anonymous chat...I am here...

I'm sorry that this ended up being so long of a comment...but I found it encouraging to know that someone else has those "come to Jesus" moments out on the trails just like I do...thanks for sharing!

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K_RENEE 7/23/2012 11:29AM

    emoticon
great blog! thank you so much for sharing. very inspiring.

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NELLIEH1 7/23/2012 9:08AM

    Thanks for being real, Leah, and for reminding us it is always to GOD we must turn. So glad your time with Him crying out, like David in Psalms brought healing. Great you followed your husband's suggestion that you go out into the shire. Hugs. emoticon

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LINDAF49 7/22/2012 9:06PM

    Well done ... God, you, and that sweet husband that knew what was best and encouraged until you dit it!!! Thanks for sharing


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OBIONE686 7/21/2012 7:19PM

    Sometimes I think I live in the Shire, too--the wilderness is gorgeous. And I feel happier in the world God made than anywhere else. I'm glad you found peace out there.

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ANSWRGAL 7/21/2012 1:56PM

  Thanks so much for sharing. Slowing down to listen to Him is so important! Appreciate the reminder!

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JADEDLADYK1 7/21/2012 1:04PM

    God's love for us and the beauty in our lives (if only we can open our hearts to see it) always puts this back into perspective ... thank you for sharing your journey.

- and, oh, the high wisdom of Sam! :0)

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MOCNVW23 7/21/2012 1:02PM

    Thanks for sharing trust in God and trust in yourself. We all have had seasons in our lives and have to live with our actions. But we also learn from them. emoticon on emoticon and hope that the ankle is feeling better. And you are right walking and exercise alone is great for our souls. For me my walks are a stress release, I always feel like a new person after a good walk. Take care and remember you always have friends here standing behind you.
MIssy

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CHERYLSBUTT 7/21/2012 12:04PM

    Trust God and trust the God in you!

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LINDA! 7/20/2012 10:02PM

    emoticon

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PMFISH 7/20/2012 7:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Thanks for sharing!

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DESERTFLOWERG 7/20/2012 12:26PM

    Lovely blog.

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CHANGE_4_ME 7/20/2012 11:56AM

    Great blog...that could have been ripped from a page in my life. Hang in there. We all have those seasons in our lives. We make our choices, suffer or relish in the consequences and move on. God is always there for us to lean on, even when we forget who He/She is...He/She knows who we are and is constantly working on keeping our life path worthy of travel.

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LEANMEAN2 7/20/2012 6:54AM

    Thanks for sharing

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LOGOULD 7/20/2012 6:25AM

    Thanks for being so real and honest and sharing your story with us.

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AMM0512 7/20/2012 1:36AM

    Thank you for taking the time to write this post. Sometimes we all need reminding that God is their and listening, even when we feel alone.

I wish you the best working through whatever is weighing on you. Good luck!

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67YKCEB 7/19/2012 9:23PM

    well said

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KWWILSON 7/19/2012 9:19PM

    Thank you for sharing. It's always a nice reminder

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EFFIEANNIE 7/19/2012 7:54PM

    Thanks for sharing something very personal to you and may this be an inspiration and comfort to others.

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PICKIE98 7/19/2012 6:21PM

    You are right.. I always think: There was only one job opening for God, and I didn't get it!!!
We may not always get what we WANT, but we will ALWAYS get what we need.
Using our body and mind ,makes us appreciate them more... Glad you got it..


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NWFL59 7/19/2012 6:03PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JIBBIE49 7/19/2012 5:52PM

    emoticonSo wonderful to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail, which Sparks says goes out to one and a half million readers. You are an inspiration today. emoticon

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NANAMOM652009 7/19/2012 5:42PM

    What an awesome blog. I am so glad that you knew to turn to the Lord. When we find outself in a mess, it is usually because we did it our way Not the way God had planned. God Bless You emoticon

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NEWKATHYNOW 7/19/2012 5:18PM

    Isn't faith in the love of God a wonderful calming thing? Thank you for sharing this with us all.

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2BOYSMEMA 7/19/2012 12:53PM

    Great is our God and greatly to be praised.....your blog is a wonderful reminder of the unchanging love that our Lord and Saviour has for us. Thank you for sharing this precious time with us.

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VOLLEYGIRL77 7/19/2012 12:29PM

    Keep the faith! God will get you through anything!

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NWLIFESRC 7/19/2012 12:21PM

    Yup

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BONIFIANT 7/19/2012 12:21PM

    What would we do without a Father God who cares about our deepest feelings and forgives so lovingly!? I hope you truly know Him personally. Your blog has inspired me.

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JELLYBELLY221 7/19/2012 11:14AM

    How wonderful for you. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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GOODLOOKIN69 7/19/2012 10:19AM

    There is good in the world despite how things look and the horrible things we hear and see. Thanks for sharing-I loved reading this and hope that your days are getting easier and that the sun shines on you (but not the humidity!:) emoticon

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ANDRAYAYA 7/19/2012 9:59AM

    emoticon

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CMERUN29 7/19/2012 9:38AM

    What a beautiful blog. Thanks so much for sharing.

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CLIMBERS_ROCK 7/19/2012 9:16AM

    emoticon

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BURGES1 7/19/2012 9:12AM

  You have inspired me to keep on keeping on knowing God will never abandon us.

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REDROSEMARIE 7/19/2012 8:36AM

    Your blog is heart wrenching. Please accept my prayers asking that you find forgiveness and lighten your burden. No one deserves to feel so badly. You have a fantastic attitude and faith that will help you through.
emoticon

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TINY67 7/19/2012 8:07AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BESSHAILE 7/19/2012 6:24AM

    Oh honey - it's as if you took me along with you. Thank you. and yes. Aren't you so glad God's right there for you all the time and he NEVER says "I told you so".

Hugs hugs hugs

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HEALTHYSLIM2 7/19/2012 4:13AM

    What an awesome blog.
Sorry to hear you are having a tough time. Hope the process you are going through will not take you too long, and that you'll remember to keep leaning on Jesus as you go.
Take care!
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GRAMMAP1 7/19/2012 1:12AM

    The forgiveness of God and the emotional healing is as refreshing as the walk you experienced. We are willful beings and He knows we are mostly dust and water. Some glorious day we will be like Him! emoticon emoticon

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This One's For You, Alli!

Friday, July 13, 2012

I remember the night we met like it was yesterday. I was young, just 18 years old...a freshman at Purdue University and I hadn't really connected with a group of friends yet. I'd tagged along with some girls from the floor of my dorm to a party at a friend's apartment. She was breathtakingly beautiful. She was a junior and a member of the Purdue Women's Water Polo team.



She had a ton of friends at this party, but she sat and talked to me. I was so insecure. How could a girl like THIS actually care about some dorky freshman like ME? But, she asked me questions and really listened to my answers. It was clear that she wanted to know me. Not just because she was a leader of the club, but because she had a loving heart.

Over the next 2 years, Allison took me under her wing and mentored me, led a Bible study, prayed with me, allowed me to be completely honest with her and challenged me to become a better version of myself and to dive deeper into my faith. I looked up to her in a way I can't describe to you. There was a joy and a peace in her spirit that I've never found in another person since.

I remember the horrible phone call in 2001. I had graduated from Purdue by then and was making a decent living in Chicago, when my best friend called with the news that there had been an accident. Allison had been on the beach, having fun with a group of students and dived into a wave headfirst. The ensuing days were a nightmare for all of us that loved her...there was the initial worry that she wouldn't make it, then the frightening news that she was paralyzed from the neck down, prayers for complete healing and a firm answer of "no" from God on those prayers.

Floundering faith...tears of sadness...dreams washed away with that one ferocious wave.

But all of us should have known that Allison wasn't one to stay down. She had her dark time and moved past it. She came back...with style. From that point, our lives took diverging paths.

Allison fought through rehab and learned how to live in her new state.
I lived it up in Chicago, completely self-centered and pretty much gave myself whatever my heart desired.

Allison joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ and continued to impact students' lives in a positive way.
I got married and had three little ones. All the while, I ate my feelings and abused my body with excessive food.

Allison found an amazing man and they got married.
My health declined to the point that I could not care for my family the way they deserved to be cared for.

Allison became active in wheelchair sports.
I became depressed and gave up on myself.



Through every adversity, Allison has been an inspiration. I'm sure there are many that find her inspirational because of her accident (and rightly so), but I must tell you...she was always this way. There was never a time when she was NOT an inspiration to me. And she continues to be one.

Why do I tell you this story about this beautiful and amazing woman??? Because, when I had my accident, Allison and I were finally on parallel paths...for a few months at least. My family had to purchase a new bed so I could sleep in the living room because I couldn't go upstairs with 5 broken bones. I was wheelchair-bound for at least a month and it's difficult to maneuver a wheelchair with a broken leg AND broken arm on the same side of your body. The most mundane, everyday things were impossible for me. The day I couldn't put my hair in a ponytail or, frankly, wipe my own behind in the bathroom, was a real eye opener for me. For me to compare my accident to what Allison has been through would be blasphemy. But...in some small and tiny way, I was able to get a taste of a COUPLE of the difficulties that she deals with on a daily basis.

This is why, when I run...it is not just an exercise routine for me. It is a life-giving activity. I saw this photo awhile back and thought of what I have come through...and, yes, thought of Allison:



In light of this deep gratitude I feel for running, I would like to dedicate my first half marathon to Allison - one of the brightest lights that's ever graced my life. When I take to that course in October, it will be her spirit that pulls me through those 13.1 miles. And I can't wait to see those beautiful eyes smiling at me when I cross that finish line.



Allison's take on life - in her own words (taken from her FB page):

"Had a diving accident in '01 that left me paralyzed and on a journey I would never take back. It's hard, don't get me wrong. I miss the simplicity of life...things I used to take for granted...like typing with all fingers!...and am sad from time to time when I can't do something I really miss doing. Yet, in the midst of all that, I have sooooo much to be thankful for. I pray that I would live for what I can DO, not for what I can't and think on what I have, not what I lack. I pray that God would use me far more than I could imagine...that I'd live a thankful life and maybe help others who hurt along the way. There is hope. Through Jesus Christ we have access to the Father and in the Father, we have life...true life. Life that will one day give me a new body. Life where they'll be no more pain, no more struggles, no more sin. Life that we can experience even NOW. I pray you know this life and if not, please ask me about it, cuz it was meant for you too!"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POPEYETHETURTLE 2/16/2013 1:44AM

    When we catch a splinter in a finger we should give praise to God. We have been given a challenge by Him and need to work to overcome it.

If we break a finger, we need to praise God and ask Him to use us fully.

If we break an arm, we overcome those challenges and ask God to grace us with bigger challenges.

He never gives us more than we can handle, it just seems that way sometimes. Whatever our condition in life, we must remember that this is the body the Lord has given us and that WE need to use it fully in His praise.

Don't ever get to the point where there is nothing further you can do. If you get close, simply ask God to use you in whatever way He sees fit. He will find something for you to do, just look around and find it.

Your friend and mentor is someone I would be Blessed to meet. I know she was a blessing to you - and you to her.

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SUTERSPACE 2/11/2013 7:38AM

    I am so deeply touched. Thank you!

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JOANNHUNT 12/26/2012 5:20PM

    emoticon for Allison's story. She is amazing. God Bless her. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHUM48 10/13/2012 2:10PM

    God bless you for your story and inspiration! God bless you for being you!

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AMARILYNH 10/11/2012 7:14PM

    I'm so glad you directed us back to this blog - what an amazing friend!! emoticon emoticon

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SENIORSWIMMER 10/11/2012 2:06PM

    Wow. What a story.

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FALLON841 9/17/2012 8:28AM

    Thank you so much for sharing.

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MYBABYGIRLS 8/29/2012 3:14PM

    Awesome, wonderful story. Thank you so much for posting!

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FRABBIT 8/23/2012 11:56AM

  Inspiring post.


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LISA_FRAME 8/21/2012 7:48PM

  Great post

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TEAPOT57 8/19/2012 6:30PM

    You are truly a inspiration thanks so much for posting this Blog.

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KADYSMOM11 8/8/2012 1:40PM

    what a wonderful testimony to your friend! emoticon

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TORTILLAFLATS 8/8/2012 12:31PM

    Awesome show of God's faithfulness to us, His children and what it means to be held by Him through tough times. Thank you for sharing this amazing Blog,

Gail

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MYRNA929 8/6/2012 5:11PM

    What a wonderful testimony and inspiration. Don't stop, keep finding ways to be motivated. May God bless you and also Allison

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MERRYMARY42 7/31/2012 6:07PM

    Thanks You for writing this story, it is truly amazing.

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ROSIE777 7/31/2012 12:33PM

    Amazing story thank you so much for sharing it with us. emoticon

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SPECIALGURL7 7/26/2012 3:23PM

    Wonderful. Allison has touched so many on her own, but through this blog you have allowed her to touch even more through you. Thank you.

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ANNEBURNELL 7/24/2012 7:54AM

    Beautiful.... tahnk you so much for sharing your incredible story.

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K_RENEE 7/23/2012 11:56AM

    emoticon This is beautiful! Congratulations to you and to Allison!!!

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 7/22/2012 11:38AM

    Tears are running down my face. What a beautiful blog. thank you so much for posting it.

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BUFFALOKAY 7/20/2012 2:26PM

    Thanks for sharing this blog. Everyone needs to be grateful for those who inspire them.

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MARYELLEN301 7/20/2012 8:52AM

    I choose not to run, but I know I could if I changed my mind. This blog has great impact. Makes me feel like a slacker and inspires me to get off my butt! Thanks for sharing.

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PLCSPC 7/19/2012 4:20PM

  WOW!!! Brought me to tears!! Very moving. Thank You for sharing that.

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DEARTOMYHEART 7/19/2012 12:39PM

  WOW! What a powerful blog. Thanks to both of you. God use us in so many different ways. Today through a blog. How many is that..? God bless both of you. emoticon

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1GROVES2 7/19/2012 11:38AM

    Wow! What an amzing story and what amazing women! Thanks for sharing, both of you Amazing Women!
God Is Good All The Time!

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MICHELLERI 7/19/2012 9:51AM

    Thank you. Great blog.

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BOXERSOFTIE 7/19/2012 1:01AM

  Please tell Allison that God used her today.

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NOTSPEEDY 7/18/2012 9:04PM

    God is with us not only through our good days but our darkest days also. Enjoy your running to the max.

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NELLIEBLUE 7/18/2012 5:00PM

    Thanks, great blog.

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JOANIEBLESSER 7/18/2012 1:49PM

    Very encouraging blog. Thank you, and thank you, too, Alli!

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JOYCECAIN 7/18/2012 12:22PM

    I want to thank you for this. I am so happy for everyone who can run, because I walk with a cane and I can't. But I am thrilled to all my friends who have that ability. You take care of yourself, and I am as close as a sparkmail if ever needed. Love

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SKYBLUE21 7/18/2012 12:09PM

    thanks

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FELINELOVER 7/18/2012 10:30AM

    I am not one to follow Blogs, and occasionally I will read a featured Blog. That said, this is the best I have ever read. Very touching and inspirational.

It is in HIM that we live, move, and have our being.

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CAROLYNJ18 7/18/2012 10:21AM

  What a wonderful powerful blog. I was just feeling sorry for myself this morning over something compared to this very small.

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TATINE 7/17/2012 9:03PM

    Thank you

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JUDYAASH 7/17/2012 5:04PM

    emoticon

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EMMIELANE 7/17/2012 3:04PM

    Wow! What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing the intimate details of your early college years and some of the struggles and adversity that you still overcome; but more importantly, thank you for sharing the story of Alli, for it touched me in ways that cannot be described and I am a better person for having read it and believed in it and the power of faith and God that she shares and lives.

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PRESBESS 7/17/2012 1:16PM

    I say "right on Alli"! Praise God!
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Comment edited on: 7/17/2012 1:16:49 PM

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HHB4181 7/17/2012 12:46PM

    Wow.... what a great blog.
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STAYCXL-NOMORE 7/17/2012 11:24AM

    Great Blog , very powerful message !! Thanks for sharing :)
Stayc

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CINDYBEL 7/17/2012 9:59AM

    emoticonfor sharing. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how much we have and how easily it can be lost. Through faith in Christ he uses our losses to better ourselves and others.

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FDIXIE 7/17/2012 8:54AM

    What an inspiring story. You have made my day better. Thank you so much for sharing.

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DB6864 7/17/2012 8:20AM

  So inspirational, we take so much for granted.

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KMILLER83 7/17/2012 12:54AM

  What an inspiration the two of you are! Thanks!

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MAREANNIE 7/17/2012 12:49AM

    How blessed you are to have Allison in your life. Thank you for sharing.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 7/16/2012 7:13PM

    Thank you for sharing your story of friendship and inspiration.



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GBAUM0432 7/16/2012 5:03PM

  emoticon

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BAMAJAM 7/16/2012 4:44PM

  What a fabulous story of grit and tenacity--- a story about TWO special women!
Your friendship is indeed a treasure. The statement about faith in God is powerful-- and no matter what struggles may occur, His loving grace is our strength. Your story gives me great inspiration, and great gratitude for blessings..,

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STEADFASTNSEE 7/16/2012 3:59PM

  Hope she watches you do it! You'll BOTH be inspired! emoticon emoticon

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CICI510 7/16/2012 3:40PM

    What an amazing story! Thank you SO much for sharing this!

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