LDRICHEL   49,075
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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.
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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.
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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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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Grit, Determination, Tenacity

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lately, I've been receiving a lot more comments on my daily blogs and I've continued to receive quite a lot of encouraging words from so many of you, as well as friends and family in my "real life" spheres. As you might imagine, there are words that begin to repeat themselves and stand out among the rest. I've learned that if a word or idea is repeated, it's probably important and worth investing some time into understanding.

There are three words that I repeatedly hear about myself and, in particular, my running these days: grit, tenacity and determination. Apparently, people admire these things. And, I'll tell you the truth...these words are music to a wannabe/prematurely injured rollergirl's ears.

Hearing these things said about me makes me want to work harder, reach further and dream bigger with my running. For that reason, I've assumed that I should be working toward getting stronger and faster and better at running. These are certainly noble goals. And a person needs goals to move forward.

But, last night, I had a moment where I stood naked before myself (intellectually, not literally) and asked myself, "Leah, what is your half marathon goal?" And was surprised to find that I didn't have a clear answer.

You see, I've always assumed my goal for my first half coming up in a few short months was to beat a certain time. I'm not trying to be an Olympian or anything. I'm a beginning runner and I get that...I was really just hoping to finish in less than 3 1/2 hours.

But something happens when you immerse yourself in running books and running magazines and running training programs and running SP teams. You start to feel very competitive...even if it's just with yourself. I am reading all about tempo runs and hill drills and pushing the body harder and faster. And I guess I got carried away with all of it.

I am notorious for advocating listening to my body, because I am coming back from EPIC injuries. So, certainly one of my foremost goals is to never get injured again. I've had quite enough hospital and P/T time for one person...enough for a lifetime actually. So, yes...I've been pushing my limits a bit...but not at the expense of my body. Yet.

Today, I was scheduled to run my first interval speed training workout. I don't know why this was making me nervous, but I was feeling uneasy. I've read you shouldn't even DO speed training until you have been running for an entire year. And I've also read you can't even hope to get faster without it. So...this is what led me to the ultimate question last night: IS my objective to just get faster?

Part of me felt compelled to say "yes" because of those three magic words. If I DON'T get faster and focus on getting better times, then aren't I just being lazy and not challenging myself? Wouldn't that be like wussing out and be the OPPOSITE of grit, determination and tenacity?

Well, what do these things even mean?

GRIT - noun - firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck

DETERMINATION - noun - the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose.

TENACITY - noun - holding or grasping firmly; forceful; stubborn or persistent; tending to stick or adhere

Last night, I allowed myself to think about the possibility of running my first half marathon purely for the enjoyment of it, with no regard for finish time. And I had to chide myself and say, "Leah...do you REALLY believe that if you run for enjoyment and finish a half marathon that anyone can accuse you of not having any grit, determination and tenacity? C'mon!"

I reached out to some friends on DailyMile and a fellow sparker (who also happens to be one of my biggest running inspriations), SANDIEGOJOHN, answered:

"When I decided to run my first marathon, my friend gave me the best advice. He said, 'If your goal is to finish the marathon, don't have another goal.' His point was that just running that distance was an amazing accomplishment and would be a shock to my body. And he was right. I ran it to experience it and that was enough. I waited until my second marathon to chase a specific time."

Then, I got one more comment that put some things into perspective for me:

"I am with John. Just enjoy it. Finishing is a great attainable goal. If it is your first you automatically PR. Set yourself up for success."

Wow. What WISE friends I have!

So, you know what I'm going to do??? I'm going to completely and totally focus on just finishing and enjoying every minute of "one of the most beautiful Autumn Marathon courses you will find anywhere. The course has been described as 'Enchanting' and 'Surreal' by participants! An amazing treat." WHY WOULD I WANT TO MISS THAT BECAUSE I'M WORKING TO NOT THROW UP???

Also, I'd like to enjoy the "fantastic post-race atmosphere. After the race, hang out in the Beautiful Park Setting of the Former Army Parade Grounds of Lawton Loop. Enjoy music, fire pits, a free post-race meal, and a magical atmosphere where people simply want to relax, catch up with new and old friends, and enjoy their accomplishment on a beautiful autumn day." As it happens, I DO have an old friend running this marathon that moved away a couple of years ago and I have missed her dearly. AND a new friend that I met on the running trail that is also running the half. WHY WOULD I WANT TO COMPROMISE SPECIAL TIME WITH THEM?

So, yeah...that's my official plan. This will change the way I train and will take a lot of pressure off. And, looking back at those definitions, I think I still fit the profile. All in all, I'm happy.

Now, let's get running!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHUM48 10/13/2012 2:07PM

    Anyone who can run, great I'm not one of them, I live vicariously through you, great job, keep the faith and keep on running!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 7/18/2012 8:30AM

    emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 7/17/2012 2:37AM

    emoticon

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MOMKAT4310 7/16/2012 5:22PM

    You have good caring friends giving you good advice. Congratulations. Enjoy the finish.

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EATVEGAN 7/15/2012 11:26PM

    This will be a wonderful accomplishment. I think you've made a very wise decision. emoticon
Janet

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MAKINANIMPACT 7/15/2012 9:42PM

    Keep it up and before y0u know it you'll be at another goal!!

Kelly

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GBAUM0432 7/15/2012 7:55PM

  emoticon

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ANGELBABIES2 7/15/2012 5:38PM

    Thank you for sharing keep spreading the spark...

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SHIRE33 7/15/2012 5:34PM

    Great blog. I'm trying to work on pace a bit now that I've been running a year, but I wanted to make sure that my goal of running for years wasn't sabotaged in the process. I really like the Jeff Galloway idea of walking for a minute on long runs from the first mile in. I have a 9-mile run scheduled for Friday, which is two miles longer than my last longest run two weeks ago. I'm not afraid of it now because the program makes me feel really good all the way through.

And isn't that what it's all about? Enjoying your runs as many years as you can, to keep burning calories, getting fitter, improving your health, (and of course, looking fabulous!)? So I love your idea of just running the race for the experience. The improvements will just keep coming all the while you are continuing to run in the days and races to come. : )



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THEATH1 7/15/2012 2:36PM

    Keep at it!

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WOLF-SPIRIT 7/14/2012 10:00PM

    emoticon

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GBAUM0432 7/14/2012 4:15PM

  emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 7/14/2012 12:58AM

    our goal right now, yours and mine, is to be able to cover the distance - i've done it before but that was five years ago. it's an incredible feeling to know you've done it! and there is absolutely nothing fun about throwing up afterwards (been there, done that), for us it's the journey! and we're going to do it, with grit, determination and tenacity! thanks for reminding me!! emoticon

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CUDDLEY51 7/13/2012 11:41PM

    An excellent decision to just enjoy the run, focus on how far you've come and be proud of your accomplishments!

And, yes, I'd say that takes grit, determination and tenacity, for sure!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAXMOMMY 7/13/2012 11:35PM

    Indeed you do fit the profile!! Just go for the finish and have fun! BTW, if you can't finish I bet it still will be more than you have done and that is an event! Who else could come out of a wheelchair and run a half marathon? You got it Grit, Determiantion & Tenacity!! You go Girl! thanks for the blog!!!

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SASSYTHING52 7/13/2012 10:50PM

    thanks for blog

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NAOLEE 7/13/2012 9:19PM

    Hi: Do everything you can and enjoy life. I just live the moment. Others have short terms and others long terms. I can't do that. For me is the moment. So, do everything you want to do if you enjoy that. emoticon

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GBAUM0432 7/13/2012 8:19PM

  emoticon

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MYSTERY-LADY1 7/13/2012 7:03PM

    emoticon

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CYPATAYLOR2 7/13/2012 6:48PM

  emoticon You will do awesome. That is a goal I have for next year. Too, busy this year. Enjoy every minute and let us know all about it emoticon

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KIPPER15 7/13/2012 6:36PM

    Go and do this and enjoy yourself. emoticon emoticon

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QUIERRA 7/13/2012 6:27PM

    Don't forget to tell everyone about it.

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NINNY165 7/13/2012 5:50PM

    Enjoy the race...it will be over before you know it. emoticon

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FIREFLY_MEDIC 7/13/2012 4:52PM

    well done

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SERASARA 7/13/2012 4:18PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 7/13/2012 3:35PM

    Thanks for an inspiring blog.

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NIGHTOCUPS 7/13/2012 3:18PM

    Good luck!

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LARKSONGRUTH 7/13/2012 3:04PM

    I really enjoyed your blog. I think that sometimes we do push our selves too hard and miss out on the accomplishment by minimalizing it's value. Good luck on your run. Your words have encouraged me today to worry more about just focusing on having grit, determinations and tenacity in working on the goals and worrying less about being an overachiever. I'm not a great lover of the process over product philosophy, but if the process is going well, the product comes along, and it improves as our process improves, right? Anyway, I need to start worrying more about my process right now, and less about what wonderful things I'm achieving and your blog made me realize that. Thank you.

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MARYJEANSL 7/13/2012 3:03PM

  Not only grit, determination, and tenacity, but also very smart! I hope you have a wonderful time and especially enjoy your time with friends on top of the running.

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IAMAGEMLOVER 7/13/2012 2:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NCSUE0514 7/13/2012 2:23PM

    Hi

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DIANNEMT 7/13/2012 2:07PM

    I ran my first 5K in December--I just wanted to finish. I ran a 2nd in May--I just wanted to beat my first time (and finish). Just run the first one--crazy person!! LOL

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PATRICIAANN46 7/13/2012 1:58PM

  That sounds like the PERFECT plan!!!!! emoticon

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GUDDIGO 7/13/2012 1:57PM

  Your GDT principle is contagious....Love your perspective...great goal....Keep on going...

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KAPELAKIN 7/13/2012 1:27PM

    Great goal, and a wise decision, I think. I've got almost a solid year in, and have just now started to play with speed work, and I'm glad I waited. Building that stamina and endurance is really the foundation for everything else, and will prevent injuries later.

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ANGELBABIES2 7/13/2012 1:18PM

    emoticon for sharing keep spreading the spark...

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LELERS 7/13/2012 12:40PM

    Love it! emoticon

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JAS9096 7/13/2012 12:28PM

    What a great view to have on completing a marathon. Everywhere else I read, it's all about finishing under a certain time...not just finishing and enjoying it! It's a great accomplishment, you are absolutely right that you should revel in it! :)

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LAURENBNJ 7/13/2012 12:25PM

    I completely agree with you! Completing the distance is a goal in itself! Most people don't do it. Most people don't even try to do it. For the second one, which you would only consider if you enjoyed your first, beating your first time is a realistic goal, too. Even if it's only by a few minutes, you still did better than last time!

When I read all of the crazy running workouts, I always wonder if I should be doing them. When I really think about it, I realize that I do add many other exercises to my running routine, though! I do a lot of cross training and strength training. We can't let suggestions bring us down - they are only there to help us improve.

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TONYVAND1 7/13/2012 12:15PM

  emoticon emoticon Thank you for sharing.

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SAINTBETH 7/13/2012 12:03PM

    Good for you!

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CAROL494 7/13/2012 12:00PM

  emoticon emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 7/13/2012 11:54AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 7/13/2012 11:36AM

    I think running for enjoyment is the best reason in the world. If you get a fantastic finish time, but don't have a GOOD TIME then what is the point? You probably wouldn't want to run another one. But if you ENJOY the experience this will probably be the first of many.

emoticon

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TERRIH8118 7/13/2012 11:33AM

    Sounds like you've made a great decision for yourself. emoticon It's seems like it would make sense to just enjoy and finish your first half, that's a big achievement by itself. Good luck on it , hang in there

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DMVILLANO 7/13/2012 11:32AM

  emoticon

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SUNGBIRD2000 7/13/2012 11:17AM

    Good luck!

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EBURGITE 7/13/2012 10:40AM

    emoticon
i look forward to hearing how it goes.

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CICELY360 7/13/2012 10:35AM

  I enjoy how your blogs take us through your journey with you, good, bad and ugly.

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GAYLE119 7/13/2012 10:26AM

    emoticon emoticon Good luck! I know you will succeed!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

What Is Sexy?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What is sexy?

Is it someone with a perfect body?



Nice eyes and smile?



Is it a well-dressed person?



Maybe it's not so shallow for you. Maybe someone who can make you laugh really gets your motor going?



Or someone who is extremely intelligent (psst: my weakness)



Or maybe sexy comes from a person just being genuinely kind?



WHAT IS SEXY? Is it sometimes one of these and sometimes another? Is it all of them put together, creating a desirable effect (gee, I hope not because I'll never be able to nail them all down! Haha.)

I was thinking about this because, with the increasing levels of health and vitality and energy that come from eating right and working out, it's bound to happen one of these days to all of us. At some point, when you least expect it...you will think to yourself, "Rawr. I feel sexy." And how do we interpret that feeling, when some of us have never ever felt that before or it's been quite a long time since the last time it happened?

I thought it would be interesting to get my friends' takes on the definition of SEXY.

(And, since this is a real scientific experiment with 4 whole respondents, I will also indicate if the reply comes from a man or a woman. You know...just so everything's SCIENTIFIC-LIKE.)

SPARKY #1 (Man): "For me, it all boils down to confidence. There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Many straddle the fence, but that comes with the territory. Just because someone is beautiful or pretty doesn't automatically make them sexy. If you're confident on the inside, it will show on the outside. You don't have to wear fancy clothes or makeup. The person makes the clothes and, although makeup may help, it only accentuates beauty. It doesn't create it."

SPARKY #2 (Woman): "Sexy is how a person conducts themselves - being independent and happy with oneself. I tend to stick with society's physical definition of sexy in my head, though, so I'm more critical or judgmental of myself. The times I feel sexy are when I do my hair and wear something that flatters my body, so I can notice that I am getting smaller. Sometimes I feel sexy after pole dancing class just cuz I'm taking new risks and putting myself out there. If I felt better about myself physically, it would probably increase my self confidence and expand my definition of sexy."

SPARKY #3 (Man): Curves and confidence!

SPARKY #4 (Woman): Sexy can be a physical trait, for sure. I think sexy is an attitude. Sexy is what you exude. Sexy is being in control. Sexy is owning everything about yourself. Sexy is confidence. Sexy is that day you get checked out at the store and you think to yourself, "You wish." Sexy is having standards. Sexy is knowing you're a catch, even on an off day. Sexy is you, plain and simple. Think sexy. Feel sexy. Be sexy.

Interesting, don't you think? I have been contemplating my answer all day now. I don't know that I could put it so succinctly, as my dear friends have done.

I guess, if I were to define it for me, I'd say sexy is in a person's heart. Yep, confidence rocks...but even moreso than that, I appreciate a tenderness toward others, an ability to love deeply and love freely, a passion (for anything!), and the freedom that comes when there is no fear in being 100% completely you around the person and vice versa. No barriers or walls...that's sexy.

What about you? How would YOU define sexy?

And a follow-up question...are you sexy? Hmmm?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VBA2009 4/1/2013 11:58AM

    emoticon Great Blog!

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KOUVALGE 10/14/2012 9:10AM

    Well, increased activity to provide you with those sexy hormones and a toned body helps in feeling sexy. Flattering outfit and light make up intensify the feeling.
But I agree with most of you:
Sexy attitude is mainly a reflection of confidence.

And YES, I do feel sexy!

emoticon

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CHUM48 10/11/2012 1:57PM

    Thanks

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LOGOULD 9/2/2012 5:14PM

    Some days I am sexier than others.....confidence is a BIG part of it.....and the self awareness (not self centeredness) to care about my health and apprearance.

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SPSPSP1 8/29/2012 2:05AM

    You and your friends have said it all...and, yes, I am. emoticon

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MYBABYGIRLS 8/28/2012 8:30PM

    sexy is as individual as each person! emoticon

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NESSA11485 8/14/2012 8:56PM

    I think sexy is all about how someone feels about themselves and how they treat other living beings.

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COOKI3123 8/11/2012 9:25PM

    Sexy is self confidence and comfortable in one's own skin! Great blog`

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VIMVIGOR 7/27/2012 12:50PM

  Obviously, "Sexy" is different things to different people. Actually for me "sexy" has little or nothing to do with SEX!!! It's magnetic, appealing, attractive, stimulating-both mentally and emotionally.It's that "I'd like to know your" feeling you get when you see or even hear someone. I still haven't pinned it down precisely but I think I'm at least in the right ballpark. I'll have to think about it some more. Cheryl emoticon

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RUMBAMEL 7/26/2012 11:13PM

    Confidence is wonderful as long as its not cocky. Do you know what I mean? I always had a distaste for the "hey baby" attitude. I got that a lot. I find integrity, manners, politeness and a man who can cook and dance very sexy.

And, no I don't find myself sexy. I find it awkward to be sexy. Occasionally, glimpses of attractiveness, but not sexy.

rumbamel

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NANCYSINATRA 7/25/2012 4:52PM

    LOL. who wouldn't feel sexy after pole dancing. Lol

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SALEX52 7/25/2012 1:02AM

    Chemistry, confidence and curiosity.

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PHSOUTHCARO 7/19/2012 9:07PM

  I loved this blog. Very well written.

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EMMIELANE 7/19/2012 10:41AM

    Jillian Michels. Period. :)

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SPINNER520 7/18/2012 9:21PM

    emoticon

Sexy is accepting yourself & others exactly how you/they are! emoticon

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JOYCECAIN 7/18/2012 12:32PM

    Sexy, to me, is the beauty from within, the joy of helping and caring for others. The movement when holding a loved one in comfort, and that silly smile when you have done something silly, something that we can all laugh at. Being confident in your life, and feeling that way.

Years ago, I saw, truly the most beautiful woman, her face, some would die for. But she was quite heavy. But her clothes, stature, mannerisms, and her smile. She was sexy. A real knockout. She noticed I was looking at her, and she said Hi! I said you are truly beautiful and she said Thank You. She said as big as she was, she made the best of her attributes. Boy did she.

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MOMOSG 7/18/2012 9:36AM

    I'd agree. The person of the heart, what's inside, that is what makes people attractive. Sure a nice looking package might grab your attention for a moment, but a beautiful personality will hold your attention for a lifetime. I've met many good looking people with not much to say for their personality. I've met many more seemingly ordinary people that become more and more attractive looking the more I get to know them.

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HEALTHYLISA 7/17/2012 10:28PM

    "Confidence is very sexy .... don't you think ?" ---Jack Palance

I love this quote and yes confidence is very sexy. I don't think you have to be the most beautiful girl or handsome man to get noticed, it is how you carry yourself and feel about yourself ..... CONFIDENCE !

I'm bringing sexy back ...getting that confidence back ! emoticon

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SPARKFRAN514 7/17/2012 7:12PM

    Never thought of sexy in any of the ways ways you bloged about and the responses i have to go back and read again i like the the idea that sexy is not always relat4d to sex. like most people would first think thank you for sharing that that sexy is not always about how you dress. Never though that confidences as being Sexy emoticon

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REMEMBER2BME 7/17/2012 3:53PM

    Confidence is sexy! This can be my downfall.

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SMIDGE1971 7/16/2012 3:07PM

  I think sexy is different for everybody. I agree that confidence is sexy, but I also find that someone who is positive and full of life is sexy too. Not to mention they have a charismatic personality that affects everybody around them.

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SCRIPTEDFLIGHT 7/16/2012 2:46AM

    As so many have mentioned confidence is definitely a huge sexiness boost. I also think that talent makes someone sexy - when a person is doing something that they are great at that is really attractive!

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CORINA-MOMOF4 7/14/2012 4:42PM

    sexy is being confident!! I am definetly SEXY!!!

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TEACHEROF4TH 7/14/2012 4:31PM

    I agree that it's confidence, plus the empowerment one feels when he or she is in control of his/her lifestyle, as in choosing to eat healthy and stay fit.

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TODAYIAM 7/14/2012 2:54PM

    Confidence is very sexy and I agree with the fact that it's not how you look but how you are!

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FLYCHRISTI 7/14/2012 1:41PM

    Confidence and smile and passion and love of life! That s sexy!

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SUNSHINEGIRL311 7/14/2012 10:33AM

  Being your self and loving who you are is sexy

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FLATROSIE 7/14/2012 10:16AM

    I find confidence and a smile both to be very sexy.

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THISISGREAT2 7/14/2012 9:37AM

  Enjoyable comments and blog!!

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BLUEJEAN99 7/14/2012 1:59AM

    smart and nice is sexy to me!

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BLNBIKERIN1 7/13/2012 11:41PM

  It's a smile on your face, a twinkle in your eyes and being ready for an adventure, a mystery you can come very close to solve, but never actually do, because there is always something more in store. it's the feeling inside that someone is out there, looking for you - JUST YOU. And it is the way you carry yourself, not cheap to get all kinds of unwanted attention, but being a respectable Lady (or Gent). Looks, appearances, clothes, accessories and make-up should solely be used to underline.
Most (honest) people are usually turned on more by what they imagine, than what they actually see.

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CHARTHESTAR 7/13/2012 7:14PM

    All of what you described is true. To me there is a difference between being 'HOT' and being 'SEXY'. Hot is someone totally fit. Add a great looks with a killer smile 'TOTALLY HOT'.
'SEXY' however is something that comes from within. It is hard to really describe. The person has to have confidence for sure. It is just a aura that they exude. Not that many people have it.
Then there is the 'sexy' of your partner- there is the chemistry between just the two of you that no one else understands. Add to that someone who you like , admire and makes you want to be a better person... is the love of your life.

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LILSPARKIE85 7/13/2012 5:04PM

    For me, being sexy means being confident, but humble. I feel sexy from time to time, but I'd like to work on feeling sexy ALL the time.

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PRESBESS 7/13/2012 1:34PM

    I've thought about the definition of "sexy" before. I started thinking about when I heard a pastor talk about it in his sermon. I think the definition is very individual. Overall, for me, it's not meaningful enough to even define.

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 7/13/2012 11:56AM

    I think SEXY is being passionate about something and confident in your ability to accomplish the task you set before yourself. There are a lot of beautiful people who are insecure and therefore do not appear SEXY. But then you see a woman who may be a few pounds overweight, but she carries herself confidently and is passionate about her purpose in life and she is SEXY!

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JENNIFERSTAM 7/13/2012 10:59AM

  Interesting blog

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GLITTERWINGS84 7/13/2012 10:56AM

    Interesting blog. I feel sexy when I am confident in myself.

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BITA13 7/13/2012 10:17AM

    I love these definitions of "sexy". IMO, sexy really is not in the way a person looks, it's how you carry yourself, it's what you inspire and I agree completely that it's in the heart. emoticon great blog!

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LEANMEAN2 7/13/2012 6:53AM

    Thanks for sharing

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FLOWERDALEJEWEL 7/13/2012 4:28AM

   

I was called sexy (albeit when I was younger) but I don't think good looks means squat to being sexy.

I've always thought that Jeff Goldblum was sexy, such a wonderful walk and such great eyes, he oozes it for me, but there you go, he probably doesn't even rate on others sexometer.

It's a feeling more than a look, at least for me.

Great question!!

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PMFISH 7/13/2012 1:35AM

    emoticon

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TERRIJ7 7/13/2012 12:38AM

    Great blog. I'm going to have to think about that for a while before I can answer.

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AWOOD1973 7/13/2012 12:09AM

    All the above! But for me... having a sense of humor about everything. Not taking life too seriously, and being able to go with the flow. Someone that can totally make me laugh, but can be serious... when they need to be. Having a heart of gold, is also sexy!!

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STINASTEW 7/12/2012 11:27PM

    I agree that sexy can be any number of traits combined, not just one, although it can be just one. & to answer the question, am I sexy? I'd have to say no, unfortunately...oh well! maybe someday! :)

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HYATTI1 7/12/2012 10:41PM

    I don't understand why it is important to put a label on the word SEXY. Why can't it just be what you are feeling at the time you are feeling it. Why can't we look beyond the box and forget the stereotype and just we happy with who we are.

Joanna

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ANASONIC 7/12/2012 10:37PM

    Verrry interesting!

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FOXFIRENDTS 7/12/2012 10:22PM

    emoticon

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TXGRANDMA 7/12/2012 10:09PM

    emoticon emoticon

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IOWADEB 7/12/2012 10:07PM

    YES!

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JAMER123 7/12/2012 9:57PM

    emoticon emoticon Thank you for a great blog!!
Sexy is what ever you wish it to be. Many traits can go into one's personality.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Not Where I'd Like To Be...But Not Where I Used To Be

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Well, I'm going to do it...I'm taking the plunge and posting a cheesy before/after picture.



Frankly, I don't see a TON of difference when I look at pics, but I can tell you right now that the person in the pic on the right is not the same woman as the one on the left.

Been considering all morning this idea of, "I'm not where I'd like to be, but I'm also not where I used to be." It's definitely true. But something else occurred to me that actually has me quite shaken up and I feel I'm on the verge of a rather significant perspective change.

The only photos I was able to find of me in my unhealthier days were ones with friends and family...and, in all of them, I appeared to be so happy. No...strike that...I WAS so happy. As I looked through photo after photo (not many of them full body shots), I was reminded of every single memory with every person in every photo. These photos are going back up to 6 years and span to just yesterday at lunch. And, since everyone loves pictures, I thought I'd give you a sampling (oldest to newest).

Warning: Some of these photos are *gasp* fat photos. But...I'm not so embarrassed anymore. I'll explain in a minute.















So, what's the big revelation? It's this: I have been so blessed, in that I have ALWAYS been loved by so many. These people have not based their affection on my weight, my health, my exercise routine or how much I inspire them. They just loved me for ME. They always have and they always will. Even when I have not loved myself.

I recently went through some hardcore counseling (I guess this is a tell-all today! haha) and discovered that my deepest heart issue throughout my entire life has always been a desire to feel loved by others. I always search for that love in the wrong places and I always feel like I don't have enough.

But today, looking through so many old photos, I realize that it's always been there. My self-hatred was blinding me to that. I feel like I've been awakened from a hazy dream...and can see what I didn't see before.

I truly believe my changing health has been a catalyst to a clearer mind and a more honest heart. Awhile back, I wondered if focusing so much on getting healthy might be narcissistic. But now I see that it's not that...it's a focus on yourself and who you truly are...so that you can slowly learn to love yourself. And, once you begin to do that...you can look back and see clearly that you have always been loved...but you pushed it away or simply didn't believe that it could be possible.

Well...at least that's how it's been for me. All in all, I'm feeling deeply grateful and blessed today. I don't know how I have been privileged to know such amazing and wonderful people in my life, but I will take them!!!! And you, SparkFriends, are a part of that now.

Thanks for the love. You know I can't get enough. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHUM48 10/11/2012 1:45PM

    Isn't it liberating when you discover the real you!

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TEEBEE44 10/8/2012 6:48PM

    Love it! Having wonderful people in your life is such an amazing blessing! I am grateful for it every single day. You have presented it so well in this blog! Thank you!

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SPSPSP1 8/29/2012 2:25AM

    Glad that you recognize that you are so blessed and aren't taking it for granted!

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SPSPSP1 8/29/2012 2:13AM

    Glad that you recognize that you are so blessed and aren't taking it for granted!

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NANCYSINATRA 7/26/2012 12:51PM

    Love it. Keep up the great work. One day at a time, one pound at a time.

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SCOTMAMA 7/18/2012 3:02PM

    Great blog! Makes you think about a lot of things that some of us just take for granted.

Good job on the pix!

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GROWNINOP 7/18/2012 10:26AM

  I loved this blog. I have hidden from the camera for years. We have family vacation pictures that you would look at and never even know that I was on the trip, too. You have reminded me that I need to appreciate what I have now while I am working toward what I want to be.

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ISABELLE31 7/17/2012 5:23PM

    This is a great post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

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KARENSU2 7/16/2012 4:54PM

  Thank you for sharing this. You radiant smile in all these pictures says so much. And . . . you look great! Keep up the good work!

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CHERWINGATE 7/16/2012 4:44PM

  Your story really touched me today and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.



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LYNETTEMOM 7/15/2012 10:05PM

    wow, this is profound food for thought.

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THEATH1 7/15/2012 2:37PM

    Success begats success!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 7/15/2012 1:23PM

    emoticon

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VARUNKLE 7/14/2012 9:19PM

  Great blog and I find it awesome when we think about the real people we are. You are loved. Keep going.

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SPARKANGEL413 7/14/2012 6:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

There should be a "You're beautiful no matter what your size" emoticon but anyway, that's my message for you! Keep doing it! You're almost there. emoticon

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DETERMINEDLOSER 7/14/2012 6:06PM

    Thanks for sharing. This is a very eye opening blog for me. emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/14/2012 6:07:19 PM

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TEACHEROF4TH 7/14/2012 4:33PM

    You are beautifully loved!

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THETROUT 7/14/2012 3:19PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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KENZYE 7/14/2012 12:07PM

    emoticon

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KWWILSON 7/14/2012 11:18AM

    emoticon

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HANAHSCLOUDY 7/14/2012 6:42AM

    Awesome!!


emoticon

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LITTLEROX20 7/14/2012 1:37AM

    emoticon

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SAVINGHANNAH 7/13/2012 6:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBK0923 7/13/2012 2:20PM

    great blog

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STINASTEW 7/13/2012 2:00PM

    That's fantastic! There are so many ppl out there with no one to support them & we're lucky to have ppl who make our lives so much better! :) You look great, btw!! :)

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GLITTERWINGS84 7/13/2012 12:35PM

    I think friendship is one of the most important things to have in life. emoticon

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JENNIFERSTAM 7/13/2012 11:03AM

  Thanks for sharing!

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TRIPLETSMOM2011 7/13/2012 10:37AM

  Hey! Is that first pic at McEachern High School? That's where I graduated from and the building in the background looks like Russell Hall. Thanks for sharing your journey to motivate others.

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JENNAAW 7/13/2012 7:04AM

    You are a lovely person; such a wonderful smile even in your "fat"pictures. I am motivated to search through loads of digital files to find a photo taken of me at my highest weight in the 180s, which was a LOT for a 5 footer. Those were the days when I could not get myself out of a bathtub.

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LEANMEAN2 7/13/2012 6:46AM

    Thanks for sharing

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ROSINVN 7/13/2012 1:59AM

    Thank you for sharing this, it was a great inspiration to me. We are all on a journey and some of what we need to shed is in our head. The change of perspective is truly inspirational. so thank you

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ANNE007 7/13/2012 12:05AM

    This is a really good post with a great message. Thank you so much! You are awesome and I did love the pictures...you definitely were happy in all of them! It's easy to see you are loved. I am so glad you feel that way, too!

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SMARGED 7/12/2012 11:55PM

    Great blog! Wonderful insights! emoticon

You do look happy and loved in those pictures! Thanks for sharing!

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STEPH-KNEE 7/12/2012 11:16PM

    You look SO great! :D

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DJSONDY1990 7/12/2012 11:13PM

  I read this and thought it was me saying it. I am extremely impressed with your insightful thoughts and positive attitude. Over and over again I get down about my weight but when I talk to other people they don't even see that as an issue for me. So many people have commented about who I am as a person, friend, family member never concentrating on my weight (as much as I do). Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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PMFISH 7/12/2012 11:12PM

    No there is not a ton of difference! Why, because you would have had to be a ton + and you never were. Maybe not at the healthy weight that you are so diligently working toward now. I think a large part is just growing up, having more of life's experiences and understand you can look at that glass have full or half empty. I know everyone here is proud of you, not only for the progress you have made, but for sharing and giving inspiration to so many when they need it.

Thanks for sharing!! emoticon emoticon

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LUCINDARW 7/12/2012 11:12PM

    You've done a great job with weight loss and emotional perception. Keep up the great work! Lucinda

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KALI1007 7/12/2012 10:54PM

    emoticon emoticon
Your getting there...one day at a time and with your goals in front. And yes I agree people who still love you at your worst and your best..well..there is nothing better then to have those true people in your life :) Congrats on how far you have come and absorbing all the love finally

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HIGHNOON 7/12/2012 10:29PM

  This post is wonderful, absolutely beautiful. emoticon emoticon emoticon


emoticon

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GERIOMOM 7/12/2012 8:52PM

  This is a great post. You are a true inspiration to me.

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LILSPARKIE85 7/12/2012 7:40PM

    emoticon

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ALIBEEBU 7/12/2012 7:30PM

  Wonderful :)

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BETHSWORLD 7/12/2012 6:53PM

    Thank you for sharing..very cool!

You are emoticon

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 7/12/2012 6:37PM

    I loved your before and after photos. You not only look thinner, but you look more confident and content. Congratulations! And your self-revelation about receiving so much unconditional love from people throughout your life was truly beautiful. I have a few people like that in my life too and today your blog made me think of them and smile. Thank you!

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NICLIZD 7/12/2012 6:01PM

    You look amazing & have SUCH a beautiful smile! I hope to get to post one of those cheesy before/after photos soon :) :)

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MUSOLF6 7/12/2012 5:41PM

    You look great emoticon emoticon

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KALLIE1958AR 7/12/2012 5:12PM

    emoticon

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WEEZERGIRL 7/12/2012 4:57PM

    You are an inspiration! Your attitude is to be commended. emoticon

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GEMINIGEM6 7/12/2012 4:47PM

    Beautiful blog. :)

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BECCA315 7/12/2012 4:45PM

    I'm proud of you! And I'm proud that you actually have photos of yourself. I don't think I have any of myself for the last ten years!!

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