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I admit it, I am burned out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It is so difficult to admit this but I am suffering burnout. My life is in burnout mode and it isnt my training that is doing it.

It is my life.

I had a long talk with my trainer today and she basically confronted me in a caring manner because she is concerned. Since the fall of last year she has noticed a gradual downward spiral. She sees it in my countenance, the fact that I am always late, for every good focused session, there are 5 or 6 sessions where i am just going through the motions.

She is right

Things in my life are slowly killing me and I am not coping well at all. I havent gained or lost which is a good thing but I have lost my drive in every area. I used to be always wanting to learn, an avid reader, loved the outdoors etc... not any more. If I read more than a page, i fall asleep. i am always tired. There are those around me in my job that have energy to live life and do things and such. they work the same night shifts, endure the same 12hr weekends, and so on.

It is so hard to admit this. I have to find a solution. I been doing this for 3 years and the first 2 years I was gung ho working the same crappy schedule, slogging around in the same mud, enduring the same cold, breathing in the same dust, working the shifts and I lost weight, i was zealous.

to be honest, I feel cold in my soul, alone, and I can honestly see why men drink. sometimes that is all they know..

I am not going backwards which is a good thing but I am in a bad place and need to move on. I'm not fishing for sympathy or anything but I feel that getting this out there will actually help me. whether i get 1 comment or 1000 makes no difference.

Even a straw feels like a burden. I feel like i am dangerously close to ''jettison mode" where I dump any and every non-essential responsibility just to lift some of this crushing weight in my heart. that means all extra curricular activities, Sparkteam leadership, everything.

this is not the answer but I feel cornered.

I am trying to find someone in my shoes that has done it to talk to.

If you work rotating shifts, have been mentally exhausted and have hit the wall but pulled through, send me a SP mail, I want to hear from you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PWAYLA 5/15/2011 3:09PM

    I've been there....and here's the best advice I can offer. Two things really -- first and foremost, find time to take a completely objective (well, to the extent that you can -- and if you can't ask a trusted friend or relative) look at what's causing the burnout. Is it the work hours or is that a sympton of a larger issue. I wouldn't rule out mild depression, which could be brought on by any number of things and/or a combination of more than one. If you can isolate the cause(s) you can work to mitigate them. The second piece of advice -- and this worked really well for me -- is to take a break from analyzing your feelings or seeking and coast -- just for a little while. In my case, I found I was adding undue stress and burnout just from over-analyzing why I didn't feel great all the time. It was o.k. to asckowledge that I was in a rut and to take a breather from trying to figure it out and solve it. Does this make sense? Email me if you want to chat, and best of luck.

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CSDOWNING 5/12/2011 9:36AM

    I haven't worked rotating shifts in a very long time - but I can certainly remember the constant fatigue. Maybe you should try some contemplative time where you figure out the one or two things that are most important to you, and which contribute most to your well-being (mentally, spriritually). Then figure out the one or two things you can do to keep those flames alive. Sometimes for me, I find it's just overload, and all I need to do is pull back and re-focus.

Of course, the other commenters could be right also - maybe a trip to the doc is in order. You've made some amazine physical changes, and there might be something going on that a) you don't know about, and b) need attention.


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BURTON79B 5/9/2011 2:20PM

    Im always only a mile or two away! I work the same crappy hours! Get ahold of me if u need to chat...maybe we can go for a bike ride or something!
Im hoping your accomplishments on the 10 k helped with alittle! And it sounds like u were having a good weekend all the way around! Keep me posted friend! Ill be thinking of ya!

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LIVESTRONG2010 5/4/2011 9:32PM

    I am kind of going through something like this. I am coming off the best year of my life as far as completing every event I set out to do last year and now I can't find the energy to get started again.

With this being said I haven't been to the gym in over five months, only put about 60 miles on my bike this year and I get seem to get back on track. I was laid-off from my job and had two very good friends walk away. Which in turns has made it where I feel what's the point.

I have stepped back and I am trying but I'm not training for anthing right now. When I do get out and walk it's just a walk and I so hope to get back on the bike and make it to the gym because I need that in my life.

Not sure if this will help but I will put you in my prayers. Stay strong my friend!

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BRERRABBIT1 5/3/2011 12:39PM

    :)) Push away the bad thoughts; pull up the good thoughts!
**LeanPeace: Save the Muscles!!! --GRACEFULIFE's Page**

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MINNA72 5/3/2011 3:49AM

    I am so sorry to hear this, Robert. Burnout is not only a burden you carry, but it also a real physical danger for you. You need to see a doctor. And possibly make some life changes. It isn't about "mixing it up" and what-not, not if it is, in fact, burnout, but about getting the help you need at this point in your life. This kind of thing happens to a lot of people, it is not a failure on your part, or a weakness, I hope you know that.

Gentle hugs from me.

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IMSMILEY88 5/2/2011 10:04PM

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear of your struggles! My first thought was to ask if you'd seen a doctor. Maybe there is something wrong physically? As far as working out, maybe you could try something totally different in your workouts? I've never done shift work so I can't help you there.

You are such an encouragement to so many SPers...me included! So, I'm so glad yo spoke up! I'll pray for you! I think that's the best help can give you!

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    I think I would get a complete physical and then if you get a clean bill of health - mix up your workouts - find a new thing to try - hiking, biking - don't train persay just enjoy being active for a while - sometimes I think we all demand to much of ourselves with training training training.

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PATTILYNN224 5/2/2011 12:42PM

    Maybe think about seeing a physician. I went thru the same thing and have finally found out that I am lacking B12. A simple solution has given me a bit of my spark back.

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KAREN_NY 5/1/2011 9:20PM

I don't know what to say, either...but I'm on my way out of a burned out mental state, heading toward the light, and keeping in mind 2 things.
1. I don't have time or money for a vacation, but once a week I set aside 3 hours that are entirely free of any kind of "work." No office work, no errands, no housecleaning. And these are waking hours. :) I doubted this suggestion at first, but it really helped.
2. Someone said to me recently, "I like to see you in the morning, before the worries of the day are etched on your face." It gave me a remarkably tangible awareness of what's been happening to me for the last 2 months.

Hang in there, baby!

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WANNABFIT34 4/30/2011 11:50PM

    I work nights I do feel your pain, one thing that helped me was going out and finding something fun to do fitness-wise, take the pressure off and go play for your workout.

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LORIAPO 4/30/2011 12:27PM

    I hope this soon lifts for you.
Perhaps taking a break will help, but I wouldn't give up all that is fun for you; because you need something that you can continue to look forward to.
I haven't done shiftwork, but when I was much younger I worked the 'graveyard' shift. After about a year; I couldn't do it anymore. It was the winter that did it because of so many less hours of daylight and when I woke up; it would be dark already.
Could any of this have to do with something lacking nutritionally? Even if we eat well, it is easy not to get everything we need. For starters, could you be low on Vitamin D? Maybe your doctor can get you back on the right page.
Just last night, while at the grocery store I ended up going through the greeting card, magazine & book aisle. I had no intention of buying a book; but this one caught my eye and glancing through it, I decided that after I was done with it; I would share it and it would be worth the buy. The name of it is 'Eat Your Way To Happiness' by Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D. I don't normally purchase books; would rather check them out at the library; but sometimes my CFS can turn my normal optimism off & whatever 'weapon' I can find to stay positive helps. Maybe I won't learn anything new; but even if it's just one thing, I figure it will be worth the buy.
I hope you find the support and help you need.

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DUKELETO 4/29/2011 11:52PM

    I wish I knew what to say, but I don't. You have done an amazing job. Maybe its time for some "you" time. Do you have a vacation planned?

I'm sorry I'm not much help, but did want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as you work to overcome this.

You can do it.

My Best Wishes...

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CANNIE50 4/29/2011 10:56PM

    Minutes before I read your blog, I was admitting to myself how burned out I feel. I am irritable at the least provocation, have to talk myself into exercise many times, resent anyone asking anything of me because I feel like I am constantly doing things for other people, I can barely summon up patience in traffic, even my dog annoys me. My job has odd hours and I am constantly on call and the pay is non-existent. I am a full-time mother, homemaker, and volunteer. I want the best for my family and am feeling less and less capable of giving them that. I did not mean to go on about me - I just was touched by your very honest blog. I like what other posters have pointed out - have you vacationed? have you been screened for depression? have you been factoring rest in as a component that is equally important to nutrition and exercise? Perhaps you are quite simply exhausted and nothing cures exhaustion like rest, rest, and more rest. I wish you all the best. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOGOULD 4/29/2011 10:18PM

    I'm not in the exact same position as you, but my job does have a VERY "different schedule. Some days I'm up at 4:30 to get to work at 6Am and other days I'm just getting home from work at 11PM.....add to that leading a womens group once a week and serving on the lighting team for church every two to three weeks - with a 3 hour practice and a six hour commitment on Sunday plus helping to take care of my sister and the house and sometimes it feels like I am treading water and just going through the motions to stay afloat.

Be kind to yourself myfriend....you have come so far and achieved so much..,,,and it has required an amazing amount of stamina and resolve. Just the fact that you are not falling backwards is a testimony to your fortitude.

Sometimes, I find that no matter how much I want to keep going full speed ahead, I need to slow down and evaluate what is most important. Regroup, rest, recoup and soon I find I have the energy o press on to the next goal. Maybe now is that time that you need o step back for a short break - not to quit - just a hiatus for a week or two to give yourself tie to regain your focus. When was your last vacation (and I do mean a vacation....not just ime off work, but time for you to do NOTHING particularly productive or goal related)???

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DAD2GETFIT 4/29/2011 9:21PM

    Shift work is tough. I did that for a few years and it really made a mess of my sleep schedule and had I done it much longer would have created a real health problem for me as well. As a matter of fact it took me two years after going back to a regular day shift to feel like I was getting enough sleep again.

Later I was diagnosed with apnea which also disrupted my sleep pattern. The episodes generally weren't enough to wake me up but enough to keep me from getting into deep restful sleep. It made me tired all the time and cranky, but it had come on so gradually that I didn't really notice it at the time.

If you suspect either of these situations may be effecting you, consider talking to your doctor. There are methods they can suggest for dealing with shift work and if apnea is the case I can tell you that getting treatment is one of the best things I ever did (even if my wife practically had to hit me over the head to get me to go to the first appointment).

Just hang in there. We're pulling for you.

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GETHEALTHY135 4/29/2011 5:16PM

    I have not worked a swing shift, but my prior job got unbearable, rotten people, rotten company, rotten management etc. . It changed me into a mean unhappy person that I did not want to be. I was a slave for the money. Eventually I had to quit before I broke down or hit someone. My point is don't be a slave to the money. think about walking away and put your heart and soul into finding a job that will make you happy. Sound like you are depressed and may want to consoder talking to a professional, believe me it helps... let me know if you need any support...everthing will be alright

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STEPHM-ARATHON 4/29/2011 5:06PM

    I have never worked a night shift and I don't know what your job situation is like, but maybe you can shake things up outside of work. You've been on a weight-loss/maintenance journey for multiple years? And you've had the same trainer since at least fall of last year? May be time to try some new things. It gets rough doing this over multiple years. That first year is great and fun and exciting, but then it gets old. It becomes your lifestyle but it's work to maintain it. I find switching up my routine about every 3 months helps. Take on a new form of exercise. A sport. Whatever, just don't keep doing the same things over and over...that's what leads to burnout! Good luck.

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RELIVE 4/29/2011 3:28PM

    Just follow the path that you believe is the key to your own salvation. A job is never worth one's soul, and in losing patience for things you once use to enjoy you're also losing a piece of yourself. I wish you the best, and I hope whatever decision you wish to make leads you to being a happy and healthy person.


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TURTLERASKIN 4/29/2011 2:21PM

    I reached that point over a year ago, where I simply couldn't continue at my job anymore. I felt like it was crushing me, like it was squeezing every bit of life out of me. I did everything to avoid the eventual outcome: I drank, I spent lots of money on things I didn't need but hoped would make me happy, I cut back on everything I could to get rid of some responsibilities so I could breathe again, I was mean and cruel to friends and family...

Then it came to me that the problem was my job, not me. I quit, and while there have been some things I miss about it, I'm a completely different and better person for it.

I don't know what you can do to get past the burnout, but I'll be thinking of you.

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DETERMINED_SOUL 4/29/2011 2:09PM

    You are a strong, determined gentelman. I have faith that you will find a way through this. However you decide to accomplish finding your way, I know you will make the right/best choices. emoticon

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PONTIACGIRL71 4/29/2011 1:22PM

    Remember that you're learning new ways to cope with life, that in itself is an adjustment. Your old crutch (food) is no longer your outlet. I don't have any advice aside from what others have noted but your self awareness puts you ahead of the game.

We all recognize that you're human and that you can't be every thing to every one, so remember to be as kind and patient with yourself as you are to all your sparkfriends. You may have to postpone some of your goals just to keep your head above water and take some pressure off.

Continue to vent and share and blog. You're so inspiring to us that we want to be able to help you when we can.

Focus on and saviour how far you've come. You WILL get through this.

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MOMMINATOR 4/29/2011 12:10PM

    I have no words of brilliance for you, my friend. I wish I did.

Sorry you are weary to the core. I agree with Mom2Piper that it wouldn't hurt to visit the Dr. For those of us who have experienced the dark days of depression it feels much like you have described.

Take care or yourself. Know you are not alone.


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KKINNEA 4/29/2011 11:35AM

    I hope you can find a way to resolve your issues without dropping Spark and your healthy habits. I have different burdens from yours, but still burdens, and I jealously guard my health habits and drop other things.

You will find a way - I just know it!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 4/29/2011 9:40AM

    Working a night shift is very hard on the body and your mind. I have never done this but do have a sister that does. It is draining on her. She was gung ho about it the first year but now has hit the wall and is actually not wanting to work anymore.

So I do see the effects. I hope you can lighten your load or figure something out.


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    Wow, reading this was like reading my own jounaling and thoughts these past couple of weeks. Hang in there, we're going to get through this.

I've been taking a night or two a week (I don't work nights, but I do have very long days), and getting extra sleep. I'm trying hard to keep my diet good.

I agree with some of the other comments that you ought to see a doctor to rule out any physical reasons for this funk.

And keep posting. It's clear that there are a lot of people who care about your progress.

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MBSHAZZER 4/29/2011 9:13AM

    Robert, I am so sorry you are having a tough time. I can totally understand where you are at right now... I am often burned out. I never get enough sleep (OK, to be fair, I *need* 9 hours and 7.5 is what usually happens, which I know would be heaven for most folks), I work long hours at a job that I hate where I am not appreciated, I have a lot of stress and pressure from my partner b/c he is semi-retired and resents all of the time I spend at work and most mornings, when that alarm goes off, all I want to do is hit snooze!

I don't really have any suggestions for you, other than to take time off if you can. You don't have to go anywhere or do anything - sometimes, just taking a break, mentally and physically is enough to clear your mind and renew your vigor.

At any rate, we are all here and supporting you!


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MIZZSB 4/29/2011 2:50AM

    take care! my thoughts are with you!

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NEWHORIZONSR4ME 4/28/2011 10:56PM

    Just two weeks ago I was feeling a bit like you are. I did what you did. I asked for guidance and help. My SP friends responded, and I was able to find my spark again and the strength to carry on. I agree with one poster who encouraged you to remind yourself of what is important to you, and focus on that for now. Make sure, absolutely sure, you are consistently getting enough rest too. It is so easy to short-change ourselves and it is destructive. I'm confident you will find a solution. Don't be upset with yourself. You are only human, and you've come a long, long way. It's okay to refocus for a while and give yourself TLC.

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BLESSED2BEME 4/28/2011 10:55PM

    I think a visit to your doctor is in order. Depression is my first thought or a medical condition which is making you feel exhausted. I have often wondered if you train too hard but I'm no expert on that. I do know what depression feels like though and professional help is the best avenue if you are feeling cornered.

Hope you don't mind if I add you to my prayers!

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SOCKITTOME 4/28/2011 10:42PM

    Sounding kind of like depression...definitely see someone and get some help. Perhaps talking to someone, perhaps an antidepressant for a while, perhaps both. If rotating shifts at work is the main culprit, is there another job you can do? I was a night-shift nurse for a number of years, but I'm a night owl by nature and thrived on the 3-11 and 11-7 hours, so I did them full-time (evenings for the first several years, mids for the last several). And because I liked those odd hours I didn't have to rotate.

Hang in there, and keep working toward a solution. You WILL get through this.

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REEKU731 4/28/2011 9:35PM

    My friend - I've been there, done that. Worked crappy shifts for a high pressure job I hated just for the paycheck, lost all passion for anything I used to care about, started stressing and freaking out over EVERYTHING, lost my ability to have patience (I snapped at the stupidest little things), ended up regularly fighting with my boyfriend (now husband - don't know how he put up with me!), stopped reading & learning (two of my FAV things!), sat around and watched crappy TV, slept all the time, ate when it was convenient (and not always healthy) and wasn't motivated to be healthy. I know what you feel like. Its not a happy place. We can talk more and I can help you through this.

For me, it was about finding something to light a fire under my a$$ to realize that sometimes life just needs a re-charge and that it might not always come automatically - that maybe I was the one that needed to push it in the direction I felt it should go. Sometimes its about reminding yourself that life isn't always about going through the motions - its about experiencing the moments in between that make it worth living. I'm here for you - and like I mentioned, I've been there. I'm happy to share my experiences with you and help you through this. You have been an amazing SparkFriend to me and I only hope I can offer you a fraction of the positivity and support you have provided to me! I adore you my friend and we can work through this!

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ALEXSDAD 4/28/2011 9:10PM

  Bob, You have used so much of your personal strength to help and encourage others that your own cup is empty. Take time for BOB to recharge. Focus on the things that make you happy. Don't carry a burdensome load with you...dump it....now! Develop and stick with your personal priorities all in due course.


We will not abandon you Bob. Enjoy your life through your new found abilities and freedom.

Rest. You have earned the Love of many SP's-We will always be here with you. emoticon

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YESKATIECAN 4/28/2011 8:51PM

    I don't have the right words or a proper answer for you, but I want you to know your not alone. Many people feel the same way. I went through something siminlar during the early winter. Perhaps see if your employer offers therapy sessions via an EAP program?

Don't stop and dont give up no matter what. You have been through so much this far, and there are things out there for you! Perhaps changing jobs or asking for a better steady shift may work also? Is there anyway you get away for a few days to recharge the batteries?

Hang in there my friend. emoticon emoticon

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THIRDXACHARM 4/28/2011 8:51PM

    Victory ... this blog makes me sad because I've read your blogs for awhile and they're always "up" and talking about your amazing accomplishments. I'm sorry that you're in a bad place right now. This too shall pass ...

I can't empathize with the rotating shifts or the job you do but I CAN relate to work stress and being emotionally drained and often times depressed because of "life".

But, we can't give up. Keep going! Don't stop because you have done amazing! Go back and read some of your previous blogs because they certainly have motivated me.

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CM_GARDNER78 4/28/2011 8:46PM

    Oh gosh- I have been there! There is ALWAYS so much to do...so many things that require our attention. I don't have an answer...I think the answer for everyone is different! I can honestly say - you mentioned dropping extra curriculars - that's what I had to do. As impossible as it is for me to say NO sometimes, that's exactly what I needed to do. I backed away and dropped different tasks. I pared it down to the bare minimum: family, household, work, and health. And I worked out my schedule around those things, until I felt confident in being able to add additional things back in. Also, one HUGE thing that was plaguing me was anxiety. It got so bad, I thought I was dying half the time. I spent all the time feeling like crap, not caring about anything, etc. My doctor first gave me some meds to fix it immediately, and then put me on a daily medication. I have felt SO much better since I have been taking it...it's been 2 1/2 months now. Even if you didn't want to go on an anti-anxiety med or anything like that, it may help to see your doc so they can check your blood and other things to make sure you don't have any medical issues that could contribute to you feeling the way you do. See your doctor! Feel free to message me if you want. I don't know if it helps to know you're not alone. But, you're not!
~ Christa

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TYKXBOY 4/28/2011 7:34PM

    Robert, I'm not in the same position, but I know the feeling and I wish I had answers for you. Take from this what you will.

I am a husband, a father, a home owner, and a worker of two jobs: one a full-time contractor, the other an one-the-side consultant. I don't seem to have enough time to be all of these. It's like trying to hold too many balls in my hands: They don't all fit and when I try to pick one up, another one falls out.

During the day I am at work for 9 hours. When I get home I am a husband and father. When the baby goes to bed, I work my second job. I wake up early to get my exercise in. When I have a spare moment, I try to work on the house. What suffers? Usually my house work and my sleep - which makes *everything* suffer.

My contract ends in just over two years. I don't have another one lined up, yet. The dread of this hangs over my head during all my waking hours and sucks a little positive energy out of everything I do. I worry about my jobs, my child, my wife, my house, my sleep, my sanity.

And through all this are all my life commitments. Family, friends, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, and other things to plan and take part in. Frankly, I am not sure how anything would get done if it weren't for my wife.

My wife tells me I need to get out more, go spend time with friends, pick up the hobbies that I'm abandoned, etc, etc, but I don't have time to have friends, or hobbies or to go out and spend time alone because I know there are too many responsibilities that I have to do back at home that will suffer if I leave to take time to myself.

Compared to many, many people, I'm blessed. But, I am exhausted and very tired. I wish it would get easier, but the more I think about it, the more I just tell myself, "That's life," and, "It doesn't ever get easy."

If you find any answers on how to keep from turning to drinking or giving up all hope, please let me know. I'm struggling, too. Other than coming home to my wife and daughter, it's the races that keep me motivated. And sometimes I consider giving up my running so I can focus on other things. But, it's the running that has boosted my confidence and my health and fixed a lot of other problems I've had (back pain, overweight, etc), so I know that if I ditch that then the void will be filled with worse things.

I know this isn't comforting, and I'm sorry if I'm venting, too. But, sometimes when go gung ho into things with all our energy, we are bound to lose steam at some point. It's our inner strength, character, determination, and faith that gets us through these times to when the pressure lets up and/or our energy waxes again.

Life is tough, and it always will be, and no one makes it out of it alive. But, being strong through the tough times doesn't mean you're not leaning on the support of others. When get through, you will look back and you will see at least two sets of footprints in the sand.

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KDYLOSE 4/28/2011 7:33PM

    My husband was working rotating shifts and it was just killing him. He finally got on a straight second shift and the difference in him is like night and day.

Here's another thought. Many of us were overeating in the first place as a way to self-medicate. Maybe there are underlying issues you need to address. Maybe now that the newness and excitement of your lifestyle change has worn off, those issues are surfacing.

Or maybe it's the rotating shifts and you're just freakin' exhausted.

Comment edited on: 4/28/2011 7:38:36 PM

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CARROT143 4/28/2011 7:28PM

    My brother from another mother, you know my heart aches for you. I realize you are in a dark place and although I'm also in a dark place too I'm reaching out through the abyss to wave hello...send you any bit of warmth I can muster. Sunnier days are coming Robert...and you are loved. I've been meaning to remind you of that. I am sorry. You really do need to shed all nonessentials. Counseling is a good option. But pick someone you trust, maybe "shop" around. Please consider bringing your family in on it. You know how to reach me and I'm no counselor, but my ear is happy to hear you. Besides it always makes me feel better. You always make me feel better. Its my turn to return the favor.

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KAMAPERRY 4/28/2011 7:26PM

    I wish I knew what to say. You are smart to blog about it. Looks like you are getting alot of support. I do know when I was going thru my bad time, a counselor really helped. Praying for you, my friend. emoticon emoticon

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ADKONKLE 4/28/2011 7:08PM


The spiral you are speaking of is familiar to me also. You know what you need to do, but life gets the better of you. Making drastic changes to correct the problem seems like the last thing you want to have to do.

I think you share a common thread with so many people. We feel that we can't move on and get stuck. Sometimes just getting through the day with work is hard enough.

If you read this, do not respond. In fact I think you owe it to yourself to get some needed encouragement without trying to reply to everyone. I think you have a lot of people rooting for Robert and in time will come through this hard patch.

I wish I had the whole answer for you, but I struggle with many of the same feelings and am a work in progress.

Best Wishes

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MISSFITOKSANA 4/28/2011 7:00PM

    Robert we need to talk ... your blog touched my heart. I FEEL the same way.

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MUSICMAKER4GOD 4/28/2011 6:06PM

I know I have tons to lose, but there was a time when I didn't. My dad died, I had prayed that he would die. He was abusive and mean, and though I loved him, I didn't want him to hurt anyone anymore. When he died I felt like I lost it mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. I used to love to exercise, I loved moving more than eating. After my dad died, all I wanted to do was bury my pain in food and that is what I did. I ate myself up from 110 lbs to 195lbs in less then a year. I hated myself, I hated everything about myself. I was tired and I just did not care any more about anything. I had to get away from everything and the food was not solving my problems, the food was making it worst.

I went on a six day retreat. I went up to the mountains by myself. I took clothes and toiletries, a blank notebook, a pencil, my bible, a small amount of food and lots of water. I wrote in my journal, read my bible, walk miles and miles, prayed and slept so many wonderful hours. Each morning I would get up, I felt better and better. I would pour my heart out in words on a blank page and with each word I would feel better.

I needed to get everything that had been buried in my soul and my heart out, I needed to purge my heart of all these negative feelings. My internal emotions were boiling over and overwhelming me at every level. I had to let go of all the old feelings, positive and negative and just live in the moment. The positive feelings kept me feeling like I had accomplished something, so if I didn't accomplish anything else I still felt ok, so I had to let them go. The negative feelings kept me tied down to how bad I had acted or performed in the past and kept me from moving forward. I had to let them go.

I would sit outside and watch a sunset or get up really early and watch a sunrise. I would find beauty in the solitude of the mountains. I had to learn to love myself for who I was, no matter what.

After coming back home, I still had to work through my lingering problems, but they didn't overwhelm me anymore. My problems were manageable once again. I really believe the reason I feel apart was because I was tired. I needed to just allow myself the freedom to be. Be by myself and do what I wanted for myself and not have to worry about anyone else.

I don't know if this will help you, but it helped me out of my funk and helped me to get back on with my life. I need to do that again. I need to learn to just allow myself to be.

Robert, allow yourself just to be. For two or three days, if it is possible to get away and just enjoy where you are at and just allow yourself to be. Just be.

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/28/2011 6:06PM

    Truthfully, when I saw the title I hoped you would have an answer...sorry you are going through this. I wish I had answers. I'm a stubborn type and always just kind of slog through those times when I am feeling the same way you are now. It's like slogging through a pile of gray and then gradually the sun starts to shine again. It does sound like your job is taking a toll on your health. As mentioned it is a frequently occurring problem with shift work. Only you know the entire situation and only you can decide on the final solution, but know too that you are NEVER alone, not for one moment. Spark is always here and I'm sure your closest friends will be open to additional means of contact if asked. The only cure I know for the funks is to sign up for a new race-lol!! It saved me the year I turned 40 and it has helped in the last couple of weeks as I've battled my own issues. Sorry, but that's the only solution I've got :). Best wishes and hope that the funk clears quickly.

Comment edited on: 4/28/2011 6:07:19 PM

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/28/2011 5:55PM

    I'm sorry you're feeling this way and I wish I could offer some advice. I can only send bigs hugs and positive thoughts. I really hope someone who's been through this contacts you.

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PVILLAGO 4/28/2011 5:43PM

  So sorry to read your blog... Not everyone who works shifts like you can handle them. It appears to me from your blog that you are suffering from depression due to the shift work. Some people can work split shifts, swing shifts, night shifts with no problem but the majority of people can not. It is hard to get your body to rest and work with no stable shift work and as we get older it gets harder. Those who can't handle it suffer from depression, illnesses etc. is there anyway you can get a permanent shift without the shift work? I bet that would help. If you could work a normal shift you could go to bed at the same time and up at the same time which would help too. Take Care and try to gather your wits and your strength...

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COOKWITHME65 4/28/2011 5:41PM

    The "I feel cold in my soul" hit home with me. I too at times feel mentally exhausted. Yesterday I couldn't stop crying. It took all I had to do the dishes, 1 load of laundry and make dinner. Just a bad day I guess. I find that the days that are overcast or raining I don't do well on. I prefer the sunshine. Wish I had more to offer you at this time. It wouldn't hurt to talk with your Dr. about this. You could be going through a mild depression or something.


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Training advice for first 5k

Friday, April 22, 2011

I get asked this alot too, training for your first 5K, what to do, what worked for me etc...

This is a re-print from December 09, 2009. If it wasnt for the fact that someone commented on it, i would have never remembered that this existed. here it is.......

I can only pass on what has worked for me and there is not a one size fits all approach to all of this BUT.... I have found the following ideas to be helpful and these are some things that I have learned along the way. I am also assuming that those reading this are in reasonable physical health. If you are working through some medical issues, you had better not go outside of your doctors advice.

Preparing for your fist run..

1) Know that at whatever fitness stage you are at, it IS possible. Sounds so simple but most of us including myself, have come from a place of such emotional defeatism that it is hard to develop the mindset necessary to complete what seems now like an impossibility. Its hard to visualize yourself crossing the finish line of a 3.1 mile run when you almost die after 1 mile but it is something that can be worked up to. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, NO YOU ARE NOT CRAZY, YOU CAN DO THIS! All it takes is one victory like this and you will know that anything is possible with enough work and training. your weight loss resolve will experience new highs as your self confidence surges.

2) TRAIN,TRAIN,TRAIN.... You have to WANT this. It's pretty hard to build up your endurance in between the commercials, the coffee clique gatherings, soap operas, Internet drama and other mindless wastes of time. FOCUS. Someone who is busier than you, older than you, and flabbier than you is out there running right now, dont let them be the only one out there setting a good example. You have to carve out a time to put #1 in the #1 slot, no exceptions. This will not fall out the sky and hit you on the head. Success is never uninvited. Consistent effort is never unrewarded.

3) Be realistic in your expectations and honest with yourself.......What I mean by realistic that is dont expect to go from a couch potato to athlete in 8 weeks. What I mean by honest with yourself is you KNOW if you are pushing yourself enough or are just plain unwilling to leave your comfort zone. You want to push yourself so that you are forcing yourself to grow but realistic enough not to go crazy and push too hard or develop the mindset that if I cant run 2 miles after 4 weeks of training then I just cant do it. Listen to your body honestly. This takes time. You have to be able to discern between your body needing to back off and simple static from a body that has hung out the do not disturb sign on its comfort zone. Failure to do so will result in either injury from pushing too hard or failure to develop the necessary endurance required to complete a 5K run due to not challenging yourself to go outside the box. LISTEN AND TUNE IN!

4) Music. Sounds simple but I have found that listening to music is a serious training aid in distracting the mind and assisting in the mental endurance necessary to complete the run. plus it is really enjoyable.

5) Intervals.. One of the most powerful tools in the runners toolbox in my opinion. NO ONE off the couch starts out jogging a mile. When I first got started I jogged a whopping 2/10ths of a mile before almost hyperventilating. I would then get my heart rate down below 1000 BPM (just kidding but it did feel like that) by walking until I was back in control again then jog a little more and repeat the process. By doing this, your endurance slowly adapts to meet the new demand and you will eventually find that you can go farther before having to stop. I dont follow a chart or program to go for so many minutes a day for so many days. thats a little too mechanical for me. I go until my body says uncle, then give it all the TLC and recovery it needs, then do it all over again. I let my body dictate how long I should go. If the C25K program says I should go 30 minutes today and I am not capable and cannot meet the programs expectation, I feel like I dont measure up, not a good thing for those of us that struggle with self-esteem issues. If I can exceed what the program requires if I pushed myself and went outside the box, then I am depriving myself if I don't. Let your body dictate how long you should go just so long as you obey RULE#3. Even if you walk as much or even more than you jog, DO IT. It all adds up to developing the mental as well as the physical endurance needed to finish the 3.1 miles. It will come in time.

6) Keep it fun this is crucial if you want to succeed. I found that my habit of exercise and running started when I started creating pleasurable associations in my mind with exercise/running. All of my experiences with exercise was always something I had to do and hated every minute of it. A necessary evil. Now when I jog, I found a place that it really nice to go and I would take it all in, the scenery, the sights and sounds. pace was not important, that would come later. instead, i was associating jogging with a relaxing, fun thing to do and the rest was history. The goal was to make it a habit. If I hate it, there is no way it will be a habit in my life. Sorta how I would feel about an ice water enema. If you love it, you will stay in the saddle.

7) There is no sin in walking I had unrealistic expectations like " If I dont run all of this, I wont run any of it" or "If I walk once, I cant say I ran it at all". I have read where those running a marathon would strategically insert walks into their route so as to not burn out and save their strength for a strong finish. In my case, I speed-walked about 3/10ths of a mile, does that take away from the other 5.9 or so miles I DID run? of course not. Give yourself permission to walk when needed, take the pressure off. Your strength and endurance will come in time.

8) Don't Keep Your Desire Open Ended. What I mean by that is pick a date and commit to it. Be reasonable as to when to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to train BUT don't put it so far out there that you can easily put it off. Also, tell your friends, family, co-workers, what ever you have to do to create a sense of obligation so you cant hide. It is easier to blow something off when no one is expecting you to do it. Create the expectancy, then go for it.

9) Thou Shalt Rest. One of the biggest mistakes I have made while training was doing too much too quickly. It is too easy to get so intense about getting ready that you can overtrain. This can lead to injuries. Also, this can also result in poor performance due to a lack of recovery time. When I first started running, I would get done and would feel like I have just been run over by the pain train and would feel it the next day. If I tried to workout the next day, I would be drained and could not do as well. Shoot for working out every other day. After over five months of increasingly tougher workouts, I can jog five miles and shake it off like nothing happened after about a couple hours but it took a while to get to that point. You deserve a break today, take it and come back the next day ready to burn it down again.

10) Thou Shalt Remember Thy Accomplishments. One of the biggest issues I dealt with not seeing the forest because there are too many trees in the way. Keep a Woo Hoo Journal so that you can look at and acknowledge your progress. You know, something like "dear diary, today i ran one half mile. I cant believe I actually made it that far. i have never done that before." well not quite the dear diary stuff but you get the point. Give yourself credit, acknowledge it, embrace the change, that you are getting better at it and more fit with each passing week even though the scale didnt budge.

If you notice, 99% of the tips I gave had to do with attitude, mental endurance, or encouraging oneself. That is so much of what it is all about. You are mentally defeated long before the body is really ready to give out. The rest is simply P.U.S.H - Press Until Something Happens. It is so much simple repetition. Get out there and keep jogging until you CAN jog. You cant cram your way into your first run, it is totally by consistent effort. Unless you have a physical problem or severe disability, you're packing all the gear to make your first run a reality. The rest is simply building up yourself until you are ready over time. So much of my battle was in between the ears. Get out there and give it your best! You CAN do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JERSEYTAURUS 1/29/2012 6:01AM

    Wow, what a great blog post! Very informative and inspiring. I'm glad resting was included in this - I needed to give myself permission and you just did. Thanks for reposting!

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THEIS58 5/10/2011 8:31AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NURSELAUREN 5/5/2011 12:34AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KNEYRUS 5/1/2011 12:58PM

    Thank you for this! I started walking/jogging only a week ago and feel so accomplished because today I walked for 3.25mi in 68min (I also jogged at 5.0 for 1 min at the time).
I am going to do a 5k in 3 weeks and I haven't yet decided if I'll walk or walk and jog it, but I am definitely doing it!

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GREYFLOWER 4/30/2011 12:51PM

    Very good advice! I'm actually training for my very 1st 5k now.... I'm using the C25K schedule, but have repeated or slowed down as needed and I'm so excited... We can do it!


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CM_GARDNER78 4/26/2011 1:11PM

    I love this blog! I was just coming here to say hi and see how you're doing, when I saw this blog! It is wonderful advice...especially for a girl that hasn't run in AGES and seriously doubts her abilities to even do it anymore! I CAN do it! You told me so! emoticon

Hope you're doing well.

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ABB698 4/26/2011 1:41AM

    emoticonfor this! You are a true inspiration!

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ALEXSDAD 4/23/2011 6:33PM

  This is helpful! Thank You- Congrats on getting a blog Award...You REALLY deserve it! Paul

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BOSOXGYRL33 4/23/2011 11:52AM

    Thank you so much for this post! It helps so much with my blog I just posted. You are such an inspiration for me.


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DAVEYSHADOW 4/23/2011 6:48AM

    Thanks for this I have 8 days until my first real 5k, my number and timingchip came in the post on Thursday so I now know it is real! Aiming for just below 30 mins! The Virtual 5k team has also been great for this but I loke your focus on the mental side emoticon

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TOUGHENUFF 4/22/2011 11:13PM

    Great Blog! I've been doing 5ks since November 2010, but I WALK the whole thing (at a decent pace) I'm never last, but pretty close! LOL! I'm doing my next one 5/15/11 and may do the walk, jog for 30 seconds, walk, walk, walk, jog for 30 seconds...

Thanks for the tips!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 4/22/2011 11:09PM

    Thank you for reposting this blog. It is just plain common sense that you did a great job breaking down. Your blog would definitely give me insight as to what to expect and how to train for a 5k. The only thing I would add to it is to "fuel the body". I notice when I do not eat a balanced meal (enough of carbs, protein, fat and calories) it shows in my workout the next day.

Knowledge is power.

Daphne emoticon

P.S. Wow, I had to come back and say that it seems like you wrote this blog yesterday. The insight you had over a year ago is amazing. Blog on!!!!!!

Comment edited on: 4/22/2011 11:59:21 PM

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LOGOULD 4/22/2011 10:52PM

    Thanks so much for reposting this....I'm passing it along to a couple of new runners that I'm trying to encouorage. There's some really great, sage advice there my friend!!!!

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-PAULA 4/22/2011 10:39PM

    Thanks for reposting this great advice.

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ELAINEROSE5 4/22/2011 7:41PM

    I was excited to see this blog because I am getting ready for my first 5K in one week. I have been following a lot of the things you mentioned to get myself ready for this.

Any advice on how to train for the week before the 5K? Do what I normally do?? Should I rest a certain number of days before the race??


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RUNNERGIRL60 4/22/2011 6:37PM

    I signed up for my first 5k and im trying interval training and im so tired and sore. Its only been 5 days of training! This list is great and what I needed to keep going. I have copied it and posted if so I can see it daily! Thanks!!!!!!

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    GREAT Blog! "Someone busier than you, older than you and flabbier than you is out there running" - Whoa, what a wake up call!! Thanks for posting this again, you've helped inspire me.

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    Thanks for the great advice - and just in time - my first 5km is next weekend!

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SARAWALKS 4/22/2011 5:29PM

    This is terrific, Robert! I just did my first 5K and certainly could not have done it without doing much of what you mention here. The fun factor and the music factor were especially important for me, along with the program that Spark mapped out for us. I'm looking forward to working a couple of 5Ks into my regular weekly exercise routine because I really enjoyed it.
to all who have not done this yet, Robert is right, emoticon

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TYKXBOY 4/22/2011 4:53PM

    It is ALL attitude. If you want to you will, if you don't you won't. Great post!

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DRB13_1 4/22/2011 4:26PM

    I especially liked how you mentioned you pushed yourself at your own pace - I agree that any effort is worth trying for those who are beginning, and I know I have not pushed myself as much as I could (the 30 minute workout when I could have done 45...) Great tips! emoticon

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SALLY_MANDER 4/22/2011 4:08PM

    Excellent advice - thank you!

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KKINNEA 4/22/2011 4:03PM

    This says it all - thanks for this!!

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BLESSED2BEME 4/22/2011 3:45PM

    I totally understand this now that I have the "mindset" to move forward, allow myself to not feel defeated by walking and use the interval training that C25K teaches.


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MELP06 4/22/2011 3:30PM

    This is an awesome blog! Thank you! I never thought that I would want to be a runner, but I do! These are great tips, I am working on them right now! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EVER-HOPEFUL 4/22/2011 3:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JEANNETTE59 4/22/2011 2:46PM


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KAMAPERRY 4/22/2011 2:46PM

    Awesomely wonderful advice!!! And "Sorta how I would feel about an ice water enema. If you love it, you will stay in the saddle"
Really says it all! Way to go, Robert! emoticon

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Staying focused..what it takes...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I get asked this alot so i wanted to put it out there in hopes that it will help someone. I have alot of people ask me "have you ever been able to see yourself at your goal weight?" or " when you started, did you ever see yourself losing over 100 lbs?"

The answer to both of those questions in NO. When I first started, my goals were so huge it was almost impossible to wrap my head around them. When you are almost 400 lbs and have never lost more than 20 lbs ever, it is really tough to envision yourself doing that.

Same thing with goal weight. It has been three years to get this far and even after losing over 100 lbs, it is STILL hard to envision losing the remaining 50-60 lbs.

what I do...

rather than get freaked out about how far I have to go, I simply focus on what is right in front of me RIGHT NOW, not some obscure someday accomplishment. So long as it remains "out there", it is hard to get a sense of urgency or a sense of importance in your daily decisions.

For example, like me, if you have 60 lbs to lose, i cant really see 60 lbs but anyone can lose a pound...anyone. I focus on losing the pound. What can I do this day, this meal, this workout to make my 1 lb weight loss a reality? I have to lose 1 lb before I lose 5 or 10. focusing on 1 lb brings it right down to the here and now because you know it doesnt take much to lose a pound and you also know it doesnt take much to mess that up either.

Dont worry about the 60, concentrate on the 1.

You dont lose 60 lbs, you lose 1 lb 60 times.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FATHINSN 4/30/2011 2:18AM

    You ended the blog with a bang - "You dont lose 60 lbs, you lose 1 lb 60 times." Totally agree!

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SULLIV 4/28/2011 2:29PM

  Thanks so much for the great advice! I really needed this today as I've been getting really frustrated losing 1lb per week. It seems so slow considering what my target weight is. But you're right - you have to lose 1lb before you can lose 10, 50 or 100.
Thanks!! emoticon

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KATHY_NATURELVR 4/26/2011 11:28AM

    Love the philosophy :)

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EGR2BEME 4/25/2011 10:13PM

    Thank you so much!

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EGR2BEME 4/25/2011 10:12PM

    Thank you so much!

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EUPHMUSIC 4/25/2011 12:50PM

    Thanks for the reminder. So true, so true.

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CHANGE4THEBEST 4/25/2011 5:42AM

Thank you for your encouraging words of wisdom. Its so true, just keep focused on the here and now. Don't worry about the total weight loss your aiming for, chip away at the pounds, they will soon add up!

Congratualtions for your terrific weight loss, you look great and an inspiration to many. Keep up the good work emoticon emoticon

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PAXAPUNCH 4/24/2011 4:21PM

    Thanks for sharing that way of thinking. I am going to give it a try. So heres to 1lb....a deficit of 3,500 calories.


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RUNMELLY 4/24/2011 4:37AM

    I like that! You lose 1 lb 60 times...makes it seems so much more attainable! Great words of advice!

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KATNANA3 4/23/2011 9:19PM

    emoticon Great advice and very timely for me!

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THEIS58 4/23/2011 7:32AM

    Great post! Thank you. Much-needed wisdom today. emoticon

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ALICIAT32 4/23/2011 12:35AM

    good advice

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KLONG8 4/23/2011 12:30AM

    Oh, this is exactly what I need to hear today. I'm making poor choices that keep me from losing that one pound...or keep it off when I lose it. I'm going to try that focus - what can I do RIGHT NOW to take off that one pound. I think it will help!

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MOMMYSLIMMER 4/23/2011 12:24AM

  Really puts things right in line thanks

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NOTHIN2IT 4/23/2011 12:16AM

    Thank you! I have been falling into the same trap of feeling overwhelmed with all the weight I have to Lose. You have helped me put it back into perspective. I CAN lose 1lb at a time! emoticon emoticon

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NOTHIN2IT 4/23/2011 12:12AM

    Thank you! I have been falling into the same trap of feeling overwhelmed with all the weight I have to Lose. You have helped me put it back into perspective. I CAN lose 1lb at a time! emoticon emoticon

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LIZABETT 4/23/2011 12:07AM

    emoticon for an inspiring blog. You break our weight loss journey into little pieces that we can all pick up. emoticon on your weight loss of 100 pounds. emoticon No question that those last 50-60 will melt away. Please continue to motivate us in every way you can. emoticon

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LATVIAN_SANDY 4/22/2011 11:38PM

    emoticonThis was emoticon

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HSMOM2FOUR 4/22/2011 11:17PM

    Great post! Thanks!

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JPR-ARTIST 4/22/2011 11:14PM

    Right on!!!
one pound at a time, with blinders on if neccessary!
No road is too long if it is taken one step at a time.

Comment edited on: 4/22/2011 11:15:18 PM

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FATHINSN 4/22/2011 8:56PM

    The last sentence made me smile :) Don't expect to lose the total weight in one go, it's better to give it time so that (in my opinion), we will get much ever-lasting result than getting those losses pounds back!

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MELLYBEANS0919 4/22/2011 7:16PM

    Thank you!

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RUNNERGIRL60 4/22/2011 6:51PM

    I can do this 1 lb at a time!!! Thanks it puts it in line!

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RUNNERGIRL60 4/22/2011 6:14PM

    I can do this 1 lb at a time!!! Thanks it puts it in line!

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BRANDI.FEY 4/22/2011 5:35PM

    What a great way to look at it!

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STELA731 4/22/2011 4:21PM

    I have about 20 lbs to lose and am now concentrating on running my first half marathon in 1 week. I'm already starting to think what crash diet I'm going to go on to lose 20 lbs in 2 months. Thanks for the reality check! I think I'll just work on 1 lb at a time and if I can multiply that by 20 in 2 months, great. If not, I'll try to take your advice!

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SLIMTHICK2 4/22/2011 3:55PM

    Good blog, great way to look at this journey. All the best to you. emoticon

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LRROLL1968 4/22/2011 3:35PM

  1 lb, 60 times. I can do that! Thank you for putting it into perspective!

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CIVIAV 4/22/2011 3:24PM

    So great to hear it and remember that's what I am doing so my plan works. Yeah Sparkers!

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BEATLEBREATH 4/22/2011 2:42PM

    Loved this, thanks for posting!

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MOMMAMURY 4/22/2011 1:30PM

    thank you. emoticon

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BETHJ423 4/22/2011 1:19PM

    some great advice, thank you!
Congratulations on your success so far.

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SHELLSPARKLES89 4/22/2011 1:15PM

    1 pound 60 times...... so simple, but it clicked!!! Thanks! emoticon

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THEGOODSTUFF24 4/22/2011 12:40PM

    That's great advice! I love your attitude and your insights! Thank you so much.

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BRIGET66 4/22/2011 12:39PM

    I loved that last line. It's oh so true but most of us never see it like that.
Thanks for the reminder...You inspired me today! emoticon

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    Great advice - loved the blog! -Shanna emoticon

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MCJULIEO 4/22/2011 10:39AM

    Baby steps, baby steps...
We can DO THIS!!!

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EMPTRS 4/22/2011 10:29AM

    LOVE your attitude!

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MCHILSTR 4/22/2011 10:27AM

  I started this journey at 223 pounds - I'm 5'3", so the highest healthy weight is 140 lbs. I couldn't imagine losing 83 pounds, 37% of my body weight, and had no real memory of what I looked and felt like at 140 lbs. I'm now at 188 lbs, and am envisioning 185 lbs, the 180 lbs, etc....

I focus on doing what I know I need to do - for the rest of my life. Consistently exercising, making smart choices one at a time, embrassing my new lifestyle.

I will lose 1 lb 48 times! emoticon

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MACEWOMAN 4/22/2011 10:15AM


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LAURIE-RN 4/22/2011 8:09AM

    t is overwhelming when you focus on the end goal instead of the journey. Your advice is sound. Thank you for sharing!


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CHRISS1225 4/22/2011 6:37AM

    Awesome way to put it. It's basically getting the momentum going, then once you've got that, the rest falls into place, one pound at a time!

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MISTYLEE410 4/22/2011 2:24AM

    This def helps me keep things in check!! I always think of the big picture/goal weight and not the steps it takes to get there. Thanks again for giving me this advice today!! One pound at a time!! I GOT IT!!

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BGENDER 4/21/2011 5:17PM

    I love your blog. Thank you

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LIVESTRONG2010 4/21/2011 4:05PM

    Great blog and and even better way of looking at that one pound! Thanks for sharing because with me it's been all on nothing.

Stay strong and best of luck on the rest of your journey emoticon

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MADZOE 4/21/2011 1:08AM

    Love this blog. I too have tried to adopt this attitude. I have to say going into my third year of SP this is working much better.

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KSTARANNE 4/20/2011 11:36PM

    So true, thank you so much for sharing this with us

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BURTON79B 4/20/2011 8:14PM

    Amen! I wanted to be at a certain weight for this race saturday and I set that goal about a month ago...it was to lose 7 pounds...hit it yesterday!!! The small goals are more realistic to work on...but still good to work towards a long term also!
And...now that I've hit that I will pick a new date and goal to work towards! Hmmmmm....big bay relay is next month....

Comment edited on: 4/20/2011 8:15:34 PM

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JEANNETTE59 4/20/2011 5:19PM


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-PAULA 4/20/2011 5:10PM

    Amazing, I hadn't thought of it like that. So now I have a goal to lose 1 pound at a time.

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Huge Surprise In The Mail today...

Monday, April 18, 2011

I was totally blown away today. I dont ever get presents, especially out of the blue, from someone whom I only know through SP. I dont hardly ever get anything from my friends i know in person..so I dont expect it either.

This totally blindsided me.

The scenario was perfect for the surprise. I had ordered 3 running books from amazon. 2 were from Jeff Galloway, Marathon and Galloway's Book On Running. The third is Marathoning For Mortals by John Bingham ("The Penguin") All books are very highly rated. I am a big fan of Jeff Galloway for his realistic approach to training following a run/walk method, the man himself is an olympic runner so I would imagine his credentials speak for themselves. I never really stated that I was a big fan, I just simply would refer new runners to his website just to get a proper viewpoint that you dont have to run till you drop, you run/walk to build up your endurance. I am a big opponent of this silly mentality that states " If I didnt run all of it, I didnt run any of it" or the mindset that makes walking a running "sin", to be repented of at the finish line or lamented on their blog as if they had some major failure... poppycock!

Anyway, I get this book, and I am expecting something in the mail anyway because the Marathoning For Mortals has not arrived yet. I open the package and ?????? I didnt order this??? Uh Oh, someone messed up my order...UGH!!

I look at it again and open it up. there is a card and a sticker inside. I read the card and it is a note of appreciation from one of the co-leaders of the Half Marathon team. Then that is when I noticed the signature inside the book. Then it clicked. He got me an autographed copy of Mental Training For Runners and it was signed by Jeff Galloway himself!

I was blown away.

Then it all fell in to place. The co-leader (Absolutezero) had asked me for my address because he was going to a major race and wanted to send me a post card...cool! no prob. That would have been cool enough for me but this totally took me by surprise.

This gift has some serious meaning to me because he thought enough of me to get it in the first place, went through the hassle of shipping it, stood in line to get it signed by Jeff Galloway himself...just for me.

I really treasure this book and the thought behind it. It was a total surprise from a running friend who i consider a superior when it comes to fitness and running.

The card read-
"Robert- Thanks for being so awesome! You are such an inspiration. i am thrilled to co-lead the HM team with you. We are helping so many to reach their goals. here is a sticker to remind you to just GO!. also, i knew how much you like Jeff Galloway, so i picked this up for you at the expo. Enjoy! Woo Hoo!" Nick..

Nick- this gift means the world to me because of your thoughtfulness.

I am going to go for a run today because I am pumped. It is cold, I'm tired, its been a long week full of yucky 12 hr shifts and harsh working conditions... but now, i feel like it is worth it........

Thank you so much....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KKESSLER055 5/13/2011 6:00PM

  What a great surprise! Who doesn't love mail!

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APHRODITE2GO 4/29/2011 3:58PM

    What a pleasant suprise! Such thought behinded as well emoticon

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PAMNANGEL 4/26/2011 9:15PM

    How thoughtful!

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    I love getting surprises in the mail. :) lucky duck!

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KATHY_NATURELVR 4/26/2011 11:20AM

    How SWEET!! I love it and it brought tears to my eyes too!

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LUNADRAGON 4/25/2011 10:46PM

    This is a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing. You received a great gift!

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FINDINGMAGGIE 4/25/2011 10:14AM

    Acts of random kindness like this are just beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!

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BTWCOACH 4/22/2011 10:13AM

    I have the privelge of knowing Nicholas too!!! He is an awesome young man!
Good luck to you on your journey!!!

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FITWITHIN 4/21/2011 8:35AM

    What a great gift.

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EDWINA172 4/20/2011 10:58PM

    Wow! OK, I love the Galloway method. That is how I did my half marathon last year! I was sprinting to the end when other runners were crawling. Awesome way to train!
What a nice gift from a friend. You deserve it.

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SLEEPYDEAN 4/20/2011 6:17PM

    Awww what a very cool surprise.

Nick inspires me with his awesome athleticism (and his envious race schedule) and you are definitely an example of how to overcome all of life's roadblocks to make things happen! (Can't wait to read about your upcoming races.)


Thanks for being great leaders for 13.1!

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-PAULA 4/20/2011 5:03PM

    What a wonderful surprise to get that special gift from a SP friend! This blog brought tears to my eyes. I'm a Jeff Galloway follower too, reading "Training Programs" right now. Thanks, your blog has been very motivating.

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SALLY_MANDER 4/20/2011 1:05PM

    Oh, Robert, this brings tears to my eyes. What an incredible person Nick must be to do this for you; but what an amazing person you are that he felt you deserved this gift! What a beautiful gesture. Enjoy your gift.

This . . . THIS is what SP is all about, IMO.

P.S. - I LOVE Jeff Galloway and his training methods! His 5/10k running book is what got me started again after a 10year hiatus.


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ELAINEROSE5 4/20/2011 10:58AM

    I'm not a very skilled runner and am so glad that there are others that believe that I can still call myself a runner! How cool to have a friend like that!

You must be someone he really appreciates!


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NEWHORIZONSR4ME 4/20/2011 10:30AM

    I believe you deserve this moment and all that happened Robert. You are a huge asset to SP and have made a difference in many lives. You are real and your compassion for your fellow Sparkers comes through. Enjoy the moment and then get out there and train!

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OFITSER 4/20/2011 10:24AM

    So many things to comment... where to start? With how awesome YOU are to inspire such a great and thoughtful present from a SF? How awesome SF's can be? How inspirational you and Nick are to co-lead a team like HM? How I personally aspire to be able to do that some day? Congrats on all levels and thank you for sharing!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 4/20/2011 9:28AM

    What a wonderful gesture! emoticon

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EVER-HOPEFUL 4/20/2011 9:12AM

    it is great isnīt it this site and the people on it .i am also in contact with several people on here away from spark even though they are living in america and australia and i am in germany.it is also amazing how near we get to someone we have never meet and who are so far away.nick obviously thought you were worth the effort and you know what you are worth the effort,lol.

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DARKTHOR 4/20/2011 2:12AM

    I think the Galloway method makes a lot of sense. I haven't read his book(s), but I have read articles about it. I've tried to adopt run/walk into my runs and used it on my last 5K. I ended up finishing faster than when I ran the entire way, but to be fair I was in better shape so I might have improved my time anyway. I do know that I felt a lot better.

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MAGGIE805 4/19/2011 6:31PM

    Nope. Nowhere in the rules does it say that you can't walk part of the way during a race. I have been stuggling with that whole concept and I almost pulled out of my first 10k because I knew I wouldn't be able to run the whole thing. I'm glad I didn't and was relieved to find others that walked it too. It has taken a lot of pressure off and have been able to enjoy running more.

Sparkfriends are the best and happy reading. :)

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MBSHAZZER 4/19/2011 5:05PM

    OMG, that is awesome! I knew there was a reason why I liked Nick so much!


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MUSCLEADDICT32 4/19/2011 12:56PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DAVEYSHADOW 4/19/2011 11:02AM


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HAPPYSOUL91 4/19/2011 10:37AM

    What a great treat

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BURTON79B 4/19/2011 10:14AM

    That is amazing!!! As if your experience here hasn't been life altering enough...to know the people out here care that much is truely inspiring to keep on going...to make these new friends...to be an inspiration along with being inspired!! This story truely touched me!!!

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WONDERWOMAN 4/19/2011 9:37AM

    Too Cool! A great gift for a great guy!

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SWAZY33 4/19/2011 9:06AM

    Such a beautiful gesture!
Talk about a motivational boost! emoticon

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REEKU731 4/19/2011 8:14AM

    Absolutezero is a fabulous person - I adore all his support as well (even though I'm not a member of the HM team!)

Enjoy your gift!! What an amazing surprise!!!


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JETERSGAL729 4/19/2011 3:13AM

    Wow that is so awesome!! :) That Nick is a great guy!! :)

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MIZZSB 4/19/2011 2:40AM

    WOW Robert.. that is so awesome!
There are still great people out there!

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    How nice! :-)

Enjoy your book.

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CAMROLA 4/18/2011 11:43PM

    Another example of the countless ways this collective group of "strangers" makes us feel more connected, to ourselves, our goals, and a larger community.

Thanks for sharing--reminded me of why I keep coming back, and why that matters.

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ABB698 4/18/2011 11:16PM

    How emoticon! What a nice surprise that you will treasure forever! emoticon

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GARDENQE2 4/18/2011 10:04PM


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WONDERJUL 4/18/2011 9:30PM

    What an awesome surprise! I am sure you had an even better run today because of his thoughtfulness!

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LUNATIFF 4/18/2011 8:59PM

    That's really awesome! Thanks for sharing this wonderful gift with us!

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JERSEYFLOWER 4/18/2011 8:57PM

    That is so incredibly sweet!

Hey, I knew his name looked familiar. Just visited his page. He was the random runner who took the time to send me an awesome SparkGoodie to congratulate me on my first 5k! H

Comment edited on: 4/18/2011 9:00:27 PM

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DAD2GETFIT 4/18/2011 8:37PM

    Very Cool!

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DARLENEK04 4/18/2011 8:36PM

  Of course you are thrilled. What a special and thoughtful gift.

Keep on keeping on.............


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IMIN2GENES 4/18/2011 8:26PM

    What a thoughtful and special gift! You SO deserve it! Thanks for sharing your story. This just confirms for me what an awesome place SP is!

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CYNTHIAMINUS40 4/18/2011 8:15PM

    Awesome!!!! Nice people rule!!!!

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LOGOULD 4/18/2011 8:10PM

    Spark friends are the AWESOME - Running friends are the BEST - RUNNING SPARK FRIENDS ARE PRICELESS!!!

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YESKATIECAN 4/18/2011 8:02PM

    Robert thats awesome! How great it must have felt. You deserve it my friend! Absolutezer0 is an awesome friend to you and his thoughtfulness is pretty awesome!

Yay for you both!!!

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MIQUEY73 4/18/2011 8:00PM


That is awesome!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 4/18/2011 7:49PM

    Congrats on your surprise. You will find a lot of those guys, some of the pro athletes are real human being. Last summer I purchased a book by the former Danish pro-triathlete Torbjorn Sindballe. (He had to retire for medical reasons). I emailed him, and promptly got a very personal response from him. With assistance of my sister in Denmark, I obtained a personally signed copy with well wishes for my 'tri career'. His countryman Rasmus Henning is just as personable.

As for Nick - what an awesome friend you are.

Robert - enjoy the book.

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ELISEL 4/18/2011 7:48PM

    That's awesome!! I love surprises.

BTW, Marthoning for Mortals is a great book.

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TYKXBOY 4/18/2011 7:47PM

    That is awesome! This is why I LOVE SparkPeople. Friends taking care of friends, even if we've never actually met! You guys both rock!

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TJHIERS 4/18/2011 7:36PM

    Wonderful surprise ! you deserve it !

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/18/2011 7:17PM

    That is an awesome surprise! Thanks for sharing!

Comment edited on: 4/18/2011 7:17:54 PM

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FRECKS96 4/18/2011 7:10PM

    Awesome Surprise!!! I emoticon SP!!

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Didnt race this weekend.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I wasn't able to run the Norway Classic 10K. The weather took a turn for the extreme in yuck! I have never cancelled a run because of weather until now, but no hard feelings, this was a no brainer. Slow, sleet, ice and freezing spray/rain. It was far too risky in my book to travel the hour and a half to the race, run some gnarly hills, risk getting sick, flipping my truck or slipping and falling from poor footing.

As many of you know, I have not had had any short supply of problems and with the half marathon being less than 30 days away, I cant risk a problem now. There will be another 10K on May 7th. It should be decent by then.

The worse part of all of this was that I needed to go to work if I wasnt going to use my personal day for the race, I wasnt going to waste it. Unfortunately, I had a 12 hr shift scheduled that day and it was all outside work out in the intense weather working the high voltage lineman's crew, hanging a high voltage feed to a new substation site. Were drilling a new area as part of the mine pit expansion and this had to be done before we could move the equipment in place. Needless to say, it was a gruelling 12 hrs and I was frozen to the bone and needed a serious hot shower, and sack time.

I just wish Spring would come back so I can get some more outdoor long runs in before the half. wish me luck and some cooperative weather.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WONDERWOMAN 4/19/2011 9:36AM

    Yeeessssshhhhh....maybe I won't come home. This weather HAS to stop. I hear another smaller one coming in tonight. I'll be there in a week, we need to meet up sometime.
I wanted to run the MGHS one, but I'm working that day. emoticon Unfortunately, the little bit I do "work" occurs mostly on weekends in the spring/summer, creating more conflict for racing than I would like. But we'll get in sync sometime and hit another race together.

Have a great day, Robert!

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GINA180847 4/18/2011 4:36PM

    Good for you not to risk it. But work sounds like it was an endurance ordeal as well. Still better than flipping the truck. Where we are returning to at the end of this month the weather is like that and we were so lucky to be here in southern Baha to avoid it all. We are going home to sell our house and move here permanently. Who needs those winters? When you are young it can be fun but not in my 60s and upwards. Take care and soon you'll be back running like a hound dog.

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RUNNER4LIFE08 4/18/2011 3:03PM

    I have had to do this and it sucked. I was very upset about missing the race but like you, I didn't want to risk it. Sounds like you made a good call! And there is always another race.

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LORSI2000 4/18/2011 12:23PM

    It sure has been one LONG winter here in Minneapolis as well!
Hang in there and you will prevail next race!
Have a great week!

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CBAILEYC 4/18/2011 11:39AM

    Sorry about the 10K, but yep, that Half outranks it just a bit. Sounds like a righteous call to me.
We're finally getting sunshine here, so I'll gladly share and send some your way!

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HAPPYSOUL91 4/18/2011 10:37AM

    Ugh, the weather has been terrible for you. You were very smart not to risk flipping the truck or flipping yourself.

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SARAWALKS 4/18/2011 10:11AM

    Oh wow, sorry you didn't get to run...but it sounds like you made a good call. We don't appreciate you line guys enough - what you go through to help us get that electric power we all depend on. emoticon emoticon

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ROCKY227 4/18/2011 9:19AM

    Sounds like you made a good call. You've got to keep an eye on the weather! Sounds like it was beyond grueling at work. Being a lineman is tough enough without having to add weather!

Take care of your self! Looking forward to hearing about your next race!

BTW: I made the mistake of taking time off this winter. Your smiling face and progress has helped inspire me back to my 3x a week runs! Thank you!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/18/2011 9:08AM

    Sorry to hear about your race, but better to be safe than sorry. I'm with you and wanting warmer weather, I'm so tired of this stuff!

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IMIN2GENES 4/18/2011 8:31AM

    So sorry! We had pretty sucky weather here too! I absolutely agree with your decision not to go. Not really worth the risk.

I'll send some warm happy thoughts your way. Hopefully you'll see better weather soon!

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HALFFAST 4/18/2011 8:05AM

    I agree that you made the right choice, and I am also SO READY for spring!

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REEKU731 4/18/2011 8:04AM

    Boo - sorry to hear about the weather, but it sounds like you made a good call. I'd have done the same thing! There's no point in risking your health and safety to run in the snow & yuck! And I agree - Spring just needs to get here (and stay!) - I'm tired of these cold spells that we've been getting weekly!

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BOSOXGYRL33 4/18/2011 8:03AM

    I would say good call on not racing in those kind of conditions. Just not worth the risk right now. Your health and safety need to come first.


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JLITT62 4/18/2011 7:50AM

    Sorry the weather kept you away, but discretion is the better part of valor. I'm with you on wishing we had some glorious spring weather already! Deserve it after this winter!

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KAREN_NY 4/18/2011 7:32AM

    There's wisdom in those priorities! Rock the day,

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FRECKS96 4/18/2011 7:18AM

    Good Luck! I know exactly how you're feeling with the weather, it's been a long winter.

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LOGOULD 4/18/2011 6:41AM

    Really wise choice, Robert! And, spring is coming, so I've been told. Not today though. We're looking forward to one to three inches of snow! Yuck! Back to the treadmill :0(

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THENEWLISA2011 4/18/2011 6:34AM

    What a great choice! May 7 should see good weather, and even though you had to be out in the cold anyway, there is a big difference between being in a basket haning line and looking for footing every step you take.
I hope you got to enjoy a long, hot shower and that this week is blessed! emoticon emoticon emoticonTake care, my friend!

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MINNA72 4/18/2011 5:43AM

    Sorry about the weather and change of plans. Sounds like no fun at all.

Sending some warmth and emoticon your way!

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DAVEYSHADOW 4/18/2011 3:25AM

    emoticon Here's some sun to warm you up. Great idea to not risk yourself on the run and think of the big picture!

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CHELAGETSFIT 4/18/2011 2:50AM

    I hope spring comes around for you very soon. Good call on canceling this run. You'll be grateful you did come your half marathon. =)

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BLESSED2BEME 4/18/2011 1:10AM

    Very wise decision in my book!

We need better weather too...the clinging of winter this year is getting very, very old! Lets do a Spring dance and kick winter to the curb!

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ABB698 4/18/2011 12:34AM

    Taking care of yourself is what matters! Hang in there! emoticon

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SALLY_MANDER 4/18/2011 12:05AM

    Good decision not to travel in that weather. And I think Spring could make a permanent appearance anytime now! Maybe you just weren't supposed to take part in this one; save your strength for the HM I know you're going to rock!

I had to bail on my 10k today too: a bad commercial vehicle accident closed the only route to the small town where the race was being held. I drove 2-1/2 hours, found out the road was closed and I wasn't going to get through in time to race, so turned around and drove home.

Guess it's just been that kind of day for us, Robert. But we'll be that much more ready for the next race!

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/18/2011 12:04AM

    Very wise decision to not do the race in that kind of weather--is spring EVER going to arrive and stay?! I have no doubt you'll be fine for your HM; take good care of yourself!

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MRSCRITTERS 4/17/2011 11:58PM

    I think that was a wise decision to not race, we dont want you sick again.
Hope the weather is a bit better tomorrow

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DRB13_1 4/17/2011 11:43PM

    Good decision not to race in the weather, and your work installing power lines will be much appreciated by the people who benefit in the future...all the best for your HM.

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KAMAPERRY 4/17/2011 10:36PM

    Wise decision. You are saving yourself to win that race!

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BECOMESTRONGER 4/17/2011 10:22PM

    Being in Michigan like you, I'm hating this weather! It just keeps getting colder and colder. I want Spring so I can get out and run too. I love my treadmill, but I love being unrestricted and free outdoors. emoticon

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SOCKITTOME 4/17/2011 10:07PM

    I'm with you on the weather -- so ready for some serious spring and it's still hit and miss. Hope you get good weather and better luck soon!!!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 4/17/2011 9:55PM

    Robert - I think you will be fine for your half marathon. Your ongoing training will have you prepared for it. You may not set the world record, but do you really care, as long as you cross the finish line - healthy.

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THECRAZYMANGO 4/17/2011 9:47PM

    Even with Mother Nature confused, I know you WILL do great at your race!

Because you ARE a warrior!!! emoticon

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