Team Victorious …

Tonight I get to spend time with some of my Team Victorious teammates who are in town for the Run Disney Series. We are a large worldwide group who came together a few years ago and won a Nike Plus challenge that guaranteed us entry into the Nike Women’s Marathon. We were strangers then but now, over time, many of us have become so close we feel like family. Mere words can’t express how thankful I am for our team captain’s vision, how happy I am to share my life with these amazing people, and how grateful I am for them allowing me to share in theirs.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get to hang out with the people who inspire you most!!!

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I never thought I could do that …

Before I started racing I never used to track my miles. I just … ran. I usually ran about 3 miles based on the distance I knew from tracking it in my car. It never seemed important to me to know specific mileage or my pace. I was just so thankful to be running.

I have written before about how my early running years were cut short by a freak accident that I was in the day before I was supposed to start training for my high school track team. I was left with a compression fracture of my L1 vertebrae, a back brace, numbness in my extremities and a whole lotta pain. I was told no running or strenuous exercise for two years … TWO YEARS! Nowadays they would have let me run much sooner than that. But it was, what it was … and I listened. I’ll get more into the details of the accident one day, just not today.

Anyway, at 15 years old, instead of wearing my high school colors I was placed in Adaptive PE where my biggest claim to fame was learning how to juggle scarves … yes … scarves. Needless to say, it was a rough two years.

When I was finally released to exercise again, I never looked back. I was a crazy working out queen for years. I tried to run again but it hurt … a lot. I’d run off and on at the gym, maybe a little outside once I got pregnant with Sidney, but nothing consistent. Then one day about 9 years ago as I was wogging at a little park just south of our home in Ventura County, I decided to give running a try … again. And well, 9 years later, I’m a mileage and pace tracking runner with a dream of one day qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

… which brings me to my point today. This morning, just about 2 years and 4 months after I started using the Nike+ running app I reached BLACK LEVEL.

Black level … what’s that?!?!

Black level was the highest mileage level the Nike running app had when I started tracking my miles with them. The app has different color levels based on the mileage you run. It’s just one of the things the app does to keep runners motivated. It may seem a little silly to some, but let me tell you, it really did motivate me! Now mind you, I had already logged quite a few miles running in the years previous to this, but I remember thinking … WOW, BLACK LEVEL IS CRAZY MILES!

3,107 crazy miles to be exact … or 5,000 kilometers.

Either way, it seemed impossible to me back in 2012 … but I kept running anyway. Mile after mile passed. Race after race. Then, at the beginning of this year I realized that one day soon I was actually going to do what I once believed was impossible … and that day was today.

Wow … just wow.

There are so many people I need to thank for helping me achieve this running milestone. My family and friends, my running mentors and my Team Victorious teammates. There were a whole lotta people behind this one … and I am so grateful for their love, encouragement and support. Because let’s face it, one cannot live a life beyond their wildest dreams … without some pretty wonderful people standing by their side.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you did something you never thought you could do!!!

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Roar …

My H-Crew goes back to school next Tuesday … BIG SIGH. Yes, I am one of THOSE parents who actually gets sad at even the thought of them returning to school. And now … the reality of it all, is here.

I promise myself every year that I WILL NOT get upset, but I can’t help it. I love my kids and our time together always makes me happy … well … when they aren’t driving me nutso, HA!

I was doing pretty good this year, trying to get caught up in their excitement of going back to school. The busyness of registration, booster meetings and school shopping helped. Aside from few more purchases they are ready to start the new school year. So, today I set aside to finish up back to school chores. I finished washing the rest of their new school clothes. I labeled backpacks and gym clothes. I looked up some new recipes for easy weeknight dinners and got cookie requests. I always start the year off baking a batch of cookies each week for them to put in their lunches. And I basically prepared our house for the craziness that will begin in just 6 days.

… and that’s when it all started to make me … sad. The actual moment that pushed me over from excited to sad was when I was hanging up Reese’s new shirt that we bought for her to wear on the first day of school. On it, is just one word. But it embodies everything I want for them this school year … and life.

I want them to grab life by the collar and loudly and boldly proclaim:

I AM NOT EVER GIVING UP!

I WILL NEVER BE BROKEN OR BECOME BITTER!

…and NOTHING AND NO ONE WILL EVER STOP ME FROM MAKING MY DREAMS COME TRUE!

… yeah … it was at that moment when I got a little sad … but it was also the same moment when I became completely fired up to see them conquer their worlds.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you ROAR!!!

Standing by your word …

I would like to believe that when someone initially makes a promise to do something, they have every intention of doing what they said. Of course, this assumes that the person making the promise has their heart and head in the right place to make such a commitment to someone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive enough to think that promises are never be broken. I know that they are. Many, for good reason. But what about the promise that is broken for not so good a reason? Sadly, this happens too. I suppose it speaks to one’s integrity and loyalty or lack there of. Because let’s face it, no one with a sincere and faithful heart would break a promise for a bad reason.

Perhaps social media is to blame (here I go again). Words are so easily thrown out there. Whether it’s a Tweet, a Share or a whatever, many people don’t care if they lie or stretch their truths. It’s just words on a computer screen, right?!?!

No … it’s NOT just words on a computer screen. Where I come from and what I teach my H-Crew is that words are all you have. And putting your words into ACTION is what defines you. Whether people are watching or not, if you say something, in my opinion, you better be living those words. Being consistent in you words and actions means something! Promises mean something. And if we are going to evolve along with our computerized electronic world then we need to keep it real. Really REAL. In every aspect of life. Even sitting in front of a computer screen. Mean what you say, say what you mean and LIVE IT with integrity. Boom. It’s just that simple.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you stand by your word!!!

Toddlerhood and preparing for war …

Having had four children (and a Master’s Degree in Social Work) I consider myself a professional in raising children. I have survived both educational and “in-field” experience in parenting several times over. My resume, if I were to submit one for employment as a mother, would be stellar. Someone would definitely give me the job.

No matter how many times over I have experienced it, however, there is one area of my “profession” that I find to be the most, shall we say, challenging … TODDLERHOOD. Reese, although she will be 5 years old in just about a week, is truly more like a 2-3 in many aspects of her development. Don’t get me wrong, intellectually she is doing very well. Her coping and expressive language are where some of her significant delays can be found. I’m OK with it, she will get there on her own time. But this has allowed me to take an even longer stroll through, what I like to call THE TODDLER NEGOTIATIONS, than I did with my other three children.

The TNs are not for the faint of heart. They are a difficult area of practice and require the ability to constantly incorporate new methods of survival (and you must have the patience of a saint).

Toddlers will try to break you. Literally. They will throw things at your head with amazing accuracy (helmets may be required). Some kick and hit … Chuck Norris style. They yell at you. Some can scream so loudly (at home or in public, they really don’t care where) it’s disorienting and mind numbing. They spit. That spray kind of spit that has a pretty wide range. They lick (or bite) things … and you … for absolutely no reason at all. They will do just about anything to get their little points across.

And we, as their parents (and the responsible parties for what happens when they actually go into the world as adult humans) must do our best to stand our ground when it’s needed. We must also learn to pick and choose the right battles. We need to know when to be firm and when we should give in to their demands. We have to be willing to keep coming back for more and accept that they can (and will) defeat us (daily). They will reduce us to sweating, slurring shreds of flesh. They may even make us cry.

But we need to keep at it. We must consider rearing them as our primary mission in life and the reason we exist (and we must develop the skills of the world’s top hostage negotiators)! Too much is at stake. Our Earth is going to one day be in the hands of our licking and biting toddlers people! And the only thing I can promise you (with all of my profound knowledge and expertise) is that the days ahead WILL BE DIFFICULT.

… like today with my Ree at Target. Where she was screaming. Throwing shoes. Stuffing my cart full of mechanical pencils (?!?!?!) Running a muck. Oh and licking things … can’t forget the licking. Who the heck am I kidding … god help us all!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel prepared for war!!!

Not hungry …

Day #2 no appetite. I think I had a funky reaction to some bread I ate. Verging on food poisoning but was just feeling queasy. Now I have no appetite. NONE. The only thing that remotely sounded and tasted good were the pumpkin cinnamon rolls I made this morning. This has happened to me before. Many times actually and for what my doctor believes are various reasons. Migraines, reactions to acetaminophen and ibuprofen (I would make a horrible drug addict), and stress. I guess the usual, and not so usual, suspects. Sometimes it lasts a few days, sometimes a few weeks. When I was on anti-inflammatories for my ankle last year it lasted a month! I have been pretty happy since I haven’t lost my appetite nearly as frequently as it used to. Of course I did now … just 14 days away from 26.2 number six … BIG SIGH …

Well, I hope you all had a day where you were hungry!!!