Step Out.

Ever wonder what it would feel like to step out of your comfort zone? Not to just slightly challenge yourself but to really step way out of the circle. To really change things up. Would it be scary? Would it come with some doubt? Would you question yourself? Yes. Yes. and Yes.

Would it also provide excitement? Would you wake up each day with those good butterflies curious of what the day would hold? With energy to begin the adventure. Yes. Yes. and Yes.

I have recently had some extra time to think. Time to think of how I plan to Step Out. To challenge myself and take myself to a whole different level. It will require sacrifice, courage, dedication, determination, and my never wavering faith.

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We are all different in what we choose in life to do with our days. Thankfully not many have seen or felt what I have and so moving forward I choose a path of passion, to live each day using my gifts of helping others in sport as my profession. I also use those gifts and passions to step out to find new places further outside of myself, a place I dream of and will someday be.

I hear so many talk about the “I wish I had” late in their lives. I have heard those that have had their lives cut short say to me “if only I had”. I ask you my friends to not wait because I am not going to. I have seen life and just how fragile it can be personally. I have felt the fear, the deep down fear that makes you shake and pray for another day.

So I will step out and go further, live life with positive energy flowing through me, surround myself with those that support my passion for living the “I did’s” and not the “I wish I had’s”, and “Know I can do all things through Christ who strengths me” Philippians 4:13

I have some huge goals, they will require a lot of myself. All I can give is all of myself and a lot of prayer. I am excited for what the future will hold and know that without big goals and dreams, we will never grow. I want to grow, to continue to learn; I will forever be a student. When you stop learning, you stop living. One step at a time but I will be stepping out in some big ways and that will be fun! I hope to always inspire others to do the same.

My Heavenly Father, friends and family, coach Frank, and all those who support me are my rock. It’s journey and with faith it will be a success.

My Oatmeal.com – Awesome

Recently I have had the opportunity to experience what I call a revolution (that is just how cool this is). MyOatmeal.com  is a site where you can literally custom design your oatmeal. You can choose from a number of different types of oats including steel cut, gluten free, and quick cooking; then add nuts, seeds, fruit, NATURAL flavoring, etc. I was simply blown away. Not only do these blends taste AMAZING but they are healthy and for the first time in my life I can have my gluten free oatmeal with chia and/or hemp seeds and the fruit of my choice. Life is good (no great!!!)

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So I choose 3 different blends. Did I mention you get to name your blends too!!!

Blueberry Hemp Happiness: Gluten free oats, blueberries, hemp seeds, brown cane sugar

Cristin’s Breakfast Blend: Gluten free oats, apples, walnuts, hemp seeds

Red Velvet Runner: Gluten free oats, chia seeds, crystallized cane sugar

Check check check…. you go right through the checklist online and choose what you want. Off it goes to be made, right here in AZ, and to your front door it arrives. in cute little bags. You can choose between 1, 2.25, and 4 lb bags.

All 3 blends are absolutely delicious. I am in instant love with the product, company, and concept. If I had to pick one, my favorite would be the Blueberry Hemp Happiness as it is the perfect breakfast and the hemp seeds give it a nutty favor and provide protein. The Breakfast Blend reminds me of a fall day or apple pie especially sprinkled with cinnamon and the Red Velvet Runner will be a perfect little treat before a workout.

Anyone looking for a healthy alternative to refined and sugary processed oats needs to check out MyOatmeal.com and build your perfect blend or take advantage of some of the recommended ones on the site. So grateful for this amazing company!!!!

#oatmeal #myoatmeal.com #healthyoatmeal #oatmealrecipe #iifym

Successful Surgery and Getting Stronger

A little update 5 days after cervical disc replacement surgery by the outstanding neurosurgeon Dr. Randall Porter at Barrow Neuro Institute  . Surgery went great. I was able to have the disc replacement surgery at C6/C7 and there were no surgical complications. Unfortunately I had to stay in the hospital a couple extra days due to some rough complications from the anesthesia and pain meds. However, today 5 days after surgery I am doing ok. I am wearing the cervical neck brace/collar to protect the neck and ensure that I don’t make any wrong movements. Dr. Porter told Mom and Dad that the crucial healing time is the first 3-4 weeks. Probably still 10 weeks till back running. I am scared to death that the artificial disc might not fuse properly to the bone above and below so I am doing whatever it takes. The brace sucks!!! Super uncomfortable to eat in, sleep in, get comfortable in regardless of your position. But then again so is surgery and surgery is WAY WAY worse and I can’t bear another surgery.

Not in to much pain, just taking Tylenol and a muscle relaxant. My head gets heavy after being upright for awhile and the muscles in my neck, shoulders, and back are sore but that’s about it. So pretty impressed.

I am eternally grateful for so many calls, texts, messages, etc from friends that have kept my spirits up through this all. You guys are my rock. I honestly could not have continued to stay so positive without your constant reminders of what the future will hold for me and that this is only another small mountain to climb on the way to a greater destination. Love ALL you guys!

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I am walking outside now daily. Well yesterday was the first day, since it was also the first day home from the hospital. Dad and I took a 40 minute walk around noon and then a 20 min walk around 4:00. My goal is 50+ minutes of walking each day until I can do more than walk. For now, trust me, it’s hard enough 😉

Miss you guys and can’t wait till I can drive in a couple weeks. They said 2+ weeks from surgery. I see Dr. Porter again on the 10th. So more news then!!!!

Remember, staying positive regardless of what you face as negative energy only causes you and others pain and misery. 

Can’t wait to be back out there with you all again doing what we love!!!!

Shoe Review: Newton Running Distance Elite

I have been wearing Newton Running Shoes for about 4 years and have loved them since the first run in them. In the past 4 years I have run in the Newton Gravity, Distance, and Terra Momentum (one of their earlier trail specific shoes). I was super excited to try the Distance Elite!

The Elite has the classic 4 lug system with a seamless upper. The upper is also constructed with open mesh and is fast drying, ideal for warm weather temperatures and triathletes. The lacing pattern is asymmetrical making it even more comfortable to wear without socks and for extended periods of time, even when the foot swells. The day after the shoe arrived it was time to take them out for a short run. The shoe felt very fast, light and my stride felt effortless. The power transfer from toe-off was very responsive. The shoe is firm but that is what translates to responsiveness and most often speed.

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For the majority of my runs, I prefer to not feel the shoe on my foot. I don’t like something cumbersome or to soft, which often causes my running technique to be less mechanically efficient. There is a fine line between having to much shoe and not enough and I prefer to go towards the theory of “less is more” as long as the runner is sufficiently protected for their individual needs and orthopedic considerations.

The Distance Elite has a 2mm heel- to- toe drop allowing proper natural running technique and weighs (women’s) approx. 6.2 oz.

I plan to use the Elite’s for track workout’s and as a half-marathon and marathon racing shoe as well as eventually a racing flat for Olympic Tri’s, 70.3 and eventually IM.

Newton Running once again, produced a great shoe allowing athletes to run more efficiently, with less chance of injury, and as a result faster. Thanks Newton Running !!! #HelloBetter

Register for Your Own Journey

Internal dialogue, questions, dreams, wondering, asking, listening, praying ….

I have done a lot of the above in the last couple years. I have started and stopped, re-started, trained, planned, re-written the plan, revised the plan, run through the plan, trying to defy the odds and create success. Challenges of health and set-backs stemming from a past cycling accident have challenged me to the core. The problem was that while I was trying to create success I was not fully embracing it. It was forced, it was not done with freedom but it was for all the wrong reasons.

When you want to be better at anything your mind must change, you must change as a person. You must face all your fears. With success comes being terrified and with being terrified comes growth. One should embrace fear and not run from it. We need to be as comfortable with hugging fear as we are hugging our favorite stuffed animal each night; knowing it will not ever leave us. If we are not afraid we will never grow. We must embrace fear and allow it with us on the journey.

What I have discovered is that life is not at all about the destination we will achieve. It is not about how many mph we went cycling or running or how much money we made. It isn’t about how much our car is worth verses our neighbors. It really doesn’t matter if you have $500 in your wallet and I have $5 .. What does matter is that your mind is at peace with where you stand today and where you are headed tomorrow.

When I go out with my Dad on Sunday mornings to cycle. We take the mountain bikes and head up Talus through the peaceful neighborhood looking out over the mountains and golf course. We ave 8-10mph together and we chat about the scenery and the week past and ahead. Not once do I think, “wow, on my training rides I ave 18+ mph.. I could go so much faster”. I know many would but it’s the journey, it’s not about the destination. Sometimes we have to slow way down to realize what we are missing. TODAY I DID.

Today I said, I am done caring and trying to pretend. As the best male Russian figure skater, Evgeni Plushenko, said after pulling out seconds before his Olympic skate, “I am human, I am not a robot”

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I will do my very best, compete my my highest level, my goals to race at the highest level have not changed, where that level is, only God knows. I will do my best, but I will only do what makes me happy. What I have missed is that I have not embraced or had fun in the past 3-5 years of running and cycling. I have NOW chosen to find balance, I will choose to race and train but not at the expense of cherishing each step along with my many friends in the sport. I know not every day of training and every workout will be fun and enjoyable but I run because it makes my heart beat faster, it makes me fall asleep with a smile, and wake with the same smile, it helps give purpose to my days, and has given me courage to get through some of the most terrifying moments of my life. I have chosen it’s time to care less about pleasing others and more about making sure my mind is in the right place. I am grateful for a fantastic Coach, PT, doctors, and friends. I am very excited for the fun times the future will bring and the success that will come as a result.

I am 100% physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually invested in running and what ever else God has planned for me. Blood, sweat, and tears are part of success and without it, it’s only a fake fantasy. Rich Roll has helped me realize that it is so crucial to detach from the end result, Let It Go! It’s irrelevent.

Register for YOUR journey.

Behind the scenes

Some would never know….

Nickname: Gumby, given to me by a old running coach

Childhood ambition: racehorse jockey

If I had a superpower: I’d find a way to erase the doubts those feel and and the limits they place on themselves. … oh and be able to fly so that I could go visit my best friend at anytime.

My favorite place: running along the ocean on the beach, listening to the waves

Childhood memories I miss the most: riding my horse named Rowdy, he was the best.

Joy: helping others find what makes them happy

Courage: finding strength in fighting daily adversity and pain stemming from a cycling accident in 2000

Support: what goes around comes around, so grateful.

Song: Fix You, Coldplay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4V3Mo61fJM

Most terrifying moment: Being temporarily paralyzed

Most special moment: Qualifying for the Boston Marathon with a 3:17, 7 months after spinal fusion surgery

Words I live by: Faith, Perseverance, Courage, Gratitude

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Power of a Positive Attitude

An excerpt from
The Power of Attitude
by Mac Anderson

In many ways, we’re alike; however, one little difference almost always makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude.William James, over a century ago, said, “The greatest discovery of this generation is that a human being can alter their life by altering their attitude.” I believe this with all my heart, and over the years have seen it happen countless times. What most people fail to realize is that your attitude not only impacts your happiness and your success, it also can impact the happiness and success of all the people around you…your family, your friends, and your peers at work. Attitudes truly are contagious, and from time to time we need to ask ourselves…”is mine worth catching?”

There is no way to overstate the importance of a positive attitude in your life. However, no one can underestimate the difficulty in maintaining it. It’s not easy, and it’s a very personal thing, but it can be done.

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Whether you are having a bad day, you are overwhelmed by work, frustrated by other’s actions. Do not take it out on those around you. Remember that those around you, care about you, and are on your team. If we remain a team, we are more efficient and effective. Success is the result.

Do not let other’s actions and words bring you down. When I was told I couldn’t continue running at the highest level prior to back surgery, I picked up skiing. You do what you can and you remain positive and continue smiling, because you have that ability. Channel frustration into energy for helping others and finding that place for yourself that makes you the happiest. Accomplish your goals and don’t let others stand in the way. Dream big, live bigger!!!!

Happy Thursday!

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