Sunday, October 05, 2014
So 3 weeks from today is half marathon #4 for me. I will be running through the streets of Los Angeles alongside my amazing daughter. This will be an interesting run as the training for it has been not as solid as I wished it could have been, but living in the desert region and dealing with the blazing hot temps throughout the summer seems to interrupt things for me. For example, this weekend has been 104...and it's October...not pleasant. So I'm not expecting any miraculous PR's for this one, rather I'm using it for a good training run to prep me for the Las Vegas half I'm running about 3 weeks after Los Angeles.
I've been looking forward to this latter part of the year for quite some time now. I'm fortunate enough to be able to do some traveling around the country, visiting with loved ones and a few run-cations, too. My running goals are to complete the Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego Holiday Half Marathons. By completing all 3 of these runs, I achieve the honor of becoming a "Half Fanatic"...it's the little things in life that make it all worth it :)
To all of my Spark friends, I thank you so much for the support you've shown me through these times of change. It's the wise words and encouragement I've received from all of my friends and family that has made my recent transition into one that I have learned tremendous lessons in. Spark is such an amazing place, filled with such wonderful people. I'm truly blessed with you all. Thank you again!
Time to run...
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
I talk so much about change, I think I automatically bring it towards me. Drives me crazy at times. But as I've learned, life is one big cycle of change. Either fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride, or pray for mercy. Change has been a huge part of my life over a year now. Anyone who's followed me knows, I was involved in a long distance relationship for 3 1/2 years. The past year was one of extreme change. Heartbreaking change at that. How tough is it to watch a loved one change and feel so helpless to help. Then to see the choices being made out of the desperate acts because of other poor choices. Oy, it's a struggle. But that's all part of the deal. Now it's at the point of either being angry over things and letting it fester and stunt any growth in life, or do the right thing...forgive.
We are all human. We all make our mistakes. We all make poor choices only to regret them later on in life. We all want happiness. We all want to feel loved and cared for. The question is: how far are you willing to go to do what's needed to be done for the other?
Our story is one that is very interesting. From the way we first met, to the way we "physically" first met, to the way we organized our day to make it "feel" the best we could. We put so much work into "us" that most of the time, we didn't even miss each other...until we truly thought about it. We both lived in a state of denial that what we had was enough, until times got rocky. The rockiness began to shatter the closeness. The shattering caused the insecurity. The "us" that we built for over 3 years, started collapsing...and here we are.
I have the choice to choose anger. Or I have the choice to choose the right way to feel. I was given an incredibly unique situation that was beautiful, loving, caring, exciting and adventurous for 3 1/2 years. I can either take those beautiful memories and throw them away over the anger of how it came to a halt, or I can frame them like I have in my home, and know that God trusted me with a situation that was so unique that he knew only myself and my love could handle it. God and I are going to have a nice talk once I get there, by the way ;)
How far are we willing to go to do what's needed for the other? In this situation, distance was the biggest obstacle. Money, lack of it, caused the biggest turmoil. Over 20,000 miles were crossed to make a relationship work. It's not that the love wasn't there...it was. The "extra" stuff caused the demise. So in looking over the "normal" reasons for a relationship coming to an end as the way you know it, this one was far from "normal." You tell me just how difficult it is to do the right thing and say goodbye to the man you loved with all of your heart, because you knew it was for his own good. That's where we're starting from. And oh the knife in the heart hurts more than anything I've ever felt, BUT...
I'll let a bit of time go by before I finish that thought. For now, life has moved forward and as I turn around to see where I've been, I see love ... all forms of love in ways I never thought I would ever experience.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
As the weekend winds down, I'm at my routine ritual of looking over my past week and doing what I do...analyzing it. Yes, I do make myself crazy sometimes with my analytical thinking, but I am what I am. Take me or leave me...I'm a thinker by nature.
I ran and walked over 20 miles this weekend. I'm training for my 4th half marathon which is at the end of October, so that's mainly why there were so many miles this weekend. The thought of "settling" came over me during my last 3 miler this evening. I've often thought about what is the point of "settling" for something. Whether it is in a career choice, relationships, food, or whatever the object being "settled" for may be. Why do we do it? When something we love becomes hard to obtain, what makes us turn from it and choose an option that is "easier" for us to have?
I'm not a person who does this. I'm not necessarily competitive with others. When I'm racing I'm competing with myself...and even that is on the "sort of" level of competing. I race and hope to get to the finish line standing on my feet. I usually run alongside my daughter and look at these amazing times with her as a memory that is being made that she can hopefully share with her own children one day, as well as remember the fun we shared together. That makes it so special to me, and hopefully to her, too.
When I think over the areas of my life that I could have possibly "settled" for less than what I deserved, it brings out an anger in me. I don't like it. Anger and me are not friends. When I feel it, I become something that isn't myself. Thankfully, there aren't many instances where this occurs, but there are instances that I see where I know it's happened and it makes me wonder that same question. Why do we settle? What makes us want less than what we deserve? The first answer I come up with is it's "easier." It's easier to go with something that doesn't force you to be all that you are capable of being. It's easier to be alongside someone who "yeses" you to the point that you don't have to step up and do anything...because that person doesn't require it of you. It's easier to live in a state of denial than own up to your own potential and make the changes that are needed.
I've never had anyone in my life who has forced me to look at my reality and not allowed me to take the "easy" way out of things. I've had to do that myself. For whatever the reason, that 3 miler tonight made me think about what my life would be like if I had had someone in my life that allowed me to be...oh, I don't know, just the least I could be. I thought about what kind of disservice that would be doing to me, if I wasn't expected to step up and be the best I could possibly be. No one is perfect. I am absolutely sure that I am not perfect, not by a long shot. But...if I was surrounded by a partner that didn't care whether I was stepping up to the ability that they knew I had, how would that make me feel? For me, at the point I am in life right now, that would make me feel simply unloved. I realize there are many different levels that we as adults grow through. My level is much different than others and maybe this kind of thing wouldn't even bother someone else. But to me, it's insulting. When I know for a fact what I am capable of, then doing less than that is just plain not right. Do I expect too much of myself? Some can argue that yes, maybe I do. Maybe I need to "lighten" up, but then I ask who is going to suffer from this? My answer is: Everyone involved.
Yes, it was quite the 3 miler tonight. I have to shake my head sometimes and roll my eyes at the depth of where my thinking goes...but it was heavy on my mind so I knew it needed some thinking about. I'm glad I did. I'm glad I took the time to think over it, because it placed a few things into their proper places. If you love someone, you don't insult them by thinking they are less than what they are. You help them rise up and become what they should be. Whether they accept the help or not is all on them...but you're the one who has to live with the fact that you either did nothing, or tried something...and that's all you can do.
Friday, September 26, 2014
What was your reason for coming to Spark? This was a question that I came up with this week due to a very odd, incredibly vivid dream I had earlier in the week. I'll never forget this dream. It had a simple statement in it that led me to wake up abruptly, yet it was stamped into my head in a way to where I was forced to really think about what it meant. The words "When we all fell" were displayed for me when I wanted an answer to an issue in my life that I never seem to get answered straight. It made a lot of sense to me, which I was very grateful for. But it took me to a different place of thought...
Change can happen at any given moment. I like to bring change into my life just because I enjoy trying new things. Forced change isn't my favorite thing to ride through in life, but it is necessary at times. For me when I'm forced to change, the myriad of emotions I have to go through are confusing, empowering, sad, encouraging, etc...having to deal with the many different feelings can be rough. But I've found it all comes down to my perspective. The meaning of "when we all fell" to me symbolized the moment that a very important piece of my life changed. It felt like a part of me was literally cut off. But as I continue on my journey, learning my lessons, I can stop and look back and see that to grow even further, there was no other way. I had to "fall" so I could grow.
I thought about what brought me to Spark. I came to Spark in 2012. During a time in my life when I was rebuilding things, because I had "fallen" back then, too. Spark brought a change to my life that was much needed. It provided fabulous, supportive new friends. It provided a wonderful outlet to write out my thoughts. It helped direct me to an even healthier life than I already had. If each of us thinks back to when we first came to Spark, we would probably have some pretty interesting and inspiring stories to read about.
"When we all fell" will forever be embedded in my thoughts because it's a very special meaning to me. What happens when you fall? You get back up and you get the choice of which direction you will take your life. My direction is towards growth, strength and happiness. Time to run....
Sunday, September 21, 2014
I've been an avid runner for about 6 years now. I originally began this running journey as a way to lose some weight, to get me outside a bit more often and to try and conquer something that I had attempted many times in the past, but always quit wondering why I started in the first place. Running was hard. It placed a lot of pressure on my chest and legs. Back in the day I really didn't care for how I felt while running, so I would quit and go to the gym to do something that didn't feel quite so abnormal.
Over the years I learned to accept that this feeling is what my body will go through when I do this particular exercise. Every run comes with the same feeling in my chest, my legs grow tired, I sometimes have the thought of why I'm even out there doing this. The change that's taken place is that I've learned what all of these feelings actually do for my life. They force me into the moment. They bring out issues that are causing any joy to be stuck somewhere inside. Running is my therapy...in a way. When I bottle things up, the run is 100% consistent on getting it out. I love that.
When I get into the frame of mind that asks the question as to whether it gets easier, I always say no. I'm usually around mile 8 when this question drifts into my thoughts, and I will normally take a short walk break to think that thought through clearly. Does this ever get easier? No, it doesn't...but I get better at it. I get better at making the discomfort work for me in the way I need it to work. Proof is in the mileage for me. I used to ask that same question at mile 2. You can't argue with it. It's progress for me and looking for an "easy" way to make my runs better just isn't going to happen. It's all of my effort, or I won't progress like I desire to.
To me life works the same way. It doesn't necessarily get easier, rather I become wiser. I learn how to either make the discomfort better or see through true eyes why it's not. Life requires your full effort and focus on all kinds of things. Health, diet, exercise, career, love, parenting, car problems, what's for dinner...etc, etc. Being able to focus on everything we need to attend to during the day can be very challenging. If there is any nugget of wisdom I have learned, it's that if I'm not giving my full effort to my own life, then there is a feeling of dissatisfaction. Confusion. A sort of sadness about me that doesn't get resolved until I am doing what my life demands that I do...take care of it. We all owe it to ourselves to be living our truths. We all deserve to be living our dreams. We all must accept that getting to our dreams takes time and our full efforts. If we are not willing to give our full efforts, be shady in our commitments to them, treat them like they are not important...that's exactly what they will become to you. Not important.
If you're finding that your dreams are being put on the back burner, I suggest you take a look at why they are there. Life is what you make it. We are all responsible for where we are at exactly every moment of the day. If we point a finger at another, we have to realize the other four fingers are pointing back at ourselves. Majority rules. Be protective over your dreams. They belong to you. This is your life, you get one shot at making it how you want it to be. Are there obstacles along the way? You bet there are. Will others try to disrupt your dreams? You bet they will. But at the end of the day, we are the ones that allow others to take from us. Love your life enough to not let that happen. If others want to step up and do what is needed to be part of your dreams, then be thankful you have someone who loves you enough to do that with you. They are gems that need to be appreciated and loved.
It does get easier, but not in the way we want it to. We become wiser, matured, evolved...but we are still going to ask that question throughout life. Will this get easier? Let's hope not. Let's hope we fill our lives up with goals and dreams and just continue to grow up.
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