Having Faith

Faith, having it during the brightest times and keeping it close during the times when you question your courage and strength.

It has been quite a year; bilateral pulmonary embolism and 2 neuro surgeries … but I choose to look forward and not in the rearview mirror.

I have been taught courage, more than I thought I could be taught and more than I thought anyone could have. I was forced to step out of my comfort zone. A comfort zone I was completely uncomfortable with and still am. I heard something on Rich Roll’s podcast yesterday that made so much sense to me. At times many endurance athletes find the physical discomfort of their sport much easier to quiet than the emotional discomfort they are facing. That can’t be more true. It is this noise in our heads that forces us to think deeper than we want at times, makes us look at our future and examine our past. It causes us to analyze our relationships and dig deep to discover the type of energy transmitting from those relationships. There is much dialogue but, it is often silent.

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I could never express how blessed I am for the people God has put into my life over the last year. So many friendships that I know will grow and the good times have only begun. Without Faith, I have no doubt I would not be where I am today. The last few weeks have been filled with many hours of soul-searching and decision making. One must ask of themselves what they want to accomplish and what it will take; it is then they must do whatever it takes. I know now, I have the courage and with Christ, all things are possible.

I hope I can help many of you to remember that despite any and all adversity; you must find that inner courage and strength. I know that it is often much more internal than external. Take a walk, get out of the house, read a book, call your best friend. It is NOT going to always be easy. Life is not easy. But don’t be like me and isolate yourself, I am working on not doing so much of that and pretending that I can do all things. Count on those that care for you.

It is how we see the picture and not how it is drawn. See it in a positive light! 

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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.

Relentless Forward Progress

Wow, where does the time go? It’s been a couple weeks since I have written a blog, life as been crazy. A lot of exciting things in the makings and sometimes I wonder if my head is screwed on straight half the time. Just the other day I searched for my sunglasses for 30 minutes only to finally look in the mirror and realize they were on top of my head. At that point all I could do was laugh. …. (2 shoes mis-matched, variety is good) LOL, j/k

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Tonight I taught a stretching clinic to a great group at Sole Sports in Glendale. What troopers as they went through the exercises despite 100+ degree temps. I think they were surprised that flexibility work can really blend in strength and balance as well. More bonus for the buck 😉

I had a great talk with the Barrow Foundation this week. A couple new events in the making for the non profit. Exciting. So a special cause close to my heart. If interested in donating to spinal cord and neurological research and treatment at Barrows (click here). Whether a dollar or more, every penny helps and can change lives! Please help if you can.

I am also on board with the best all natural non-toxic nutritional company in the world. Their products are helping me realize my full potential without putting anything toxic in my body. Their plant based gluten free lactose free meal replacement shake is a lifesaver, among so many of their other products. I couldn’t be happier and so look forward to getting all my friends and family introduced to these products as well. WITHOUT YOUR HEALTH YOU HAVE NOTHING! For more info on Isagenix check out my site here  or the Isagenix website. Any questions shoot me an email at ultimatestamina@gmail.com

I am also so excited for what the future holds in many different areas; professionally and in sport. With FAITH, COURAGE, PERSEVERANCE, AND DETERMINATION… ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

Updates Abound

Well it’s long over do for an update on the blog. Life has been busy.

I had a wonderful trip to WI the last week of June to see my best friend Chrissy and her family. It was relaxing and so fun to hang out, go to the pool, play tennis, and just chill with friends.

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Then back to AZ and the triple digit temps plus training. Training has been going really well and is progressing. I am currently just working on building up a base with miles and a lot of strength & core work supplemented with some additional mileage on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill and cycling. All in all I am feeling really good, a bit tired at times, sore at others, but it is all part of the process.

 

 

 

 

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(photo of Brooks Ghost 6)… found at Sole Sports Running

I am so incredibly grateful to be back out training no matter what my body gives me, and I am taking it week by week. I do have some races on the schedule. A few 5K’s in Sept, a 10K and Half in Oct, a Half in Nov., and plan to run Tucson Marathon on Dec 8th. Very excited!!! I plan to head to Flagstaff a few times between now and then to get in some runs up in cooler temps until we start to see the temps drop down here in the valley.

I also am working hard on organizing some fundraising campaigns for my book. Yes, most know I am writing a book. A book about courage, perseverance, determination, and overcoming adversity. This is not just about running but about what it takes when you are faced with steep mountains most think are impassable. It is a book about coming back to life physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I am so grateful and excited for what the future has in store and I am really excited to share my journey with all of you!

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In my spare time “haha” when not (working at Sole Sports, training, writing, coaching, and working on some other new entrepreneurial endeavors with my non-profit) I have a new goal for myself. Read more!!!!! New goal, “take the time to read two to three pleasure books a month” … I even went and got a library card. (Thanks Jen!). I don’t think I had been in a library since college, and that was 14 years ago. CRAZY!!!!

 

Well, that is all for now. Hope everyone is having a FANTASTIC SUMMER!!! Live each day to the fullest and take NOTHING for granted. 😉

Cristin

 

 

Live Your Life

I rarely show frustration towards others on this blog. I try to keep that to myself. But today I am frustrated towards people who seem to think they understand circumstances that they are for the most part clueless about.

Not just in my life (but yes is mine as well) it seems that others have it figured out and are not opposed to expressing their opinions both in front of and behind the back of those in question. I have seen this over and over, and it frustrates me.

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In addition, those that make judgements are often so completely uninformed of the entire situation that it simply makes things so much worse and so much more painful in the long run.

I firmly believe in the fact that we must live our life to be who we are and love what we do. We must to be kind to others and always a friend to those that are supporting of us and caring for us. We must try to trust those that are there during the scariest of times and during times of joy.

My entire life I have lived to worry about pleasing others, trusting others, and doing what I felt was best for others. As I get older and deal with adversity I am learning a bit more about living life and the emotions that go with it. Happiness, courage, determination, perseverance, and anger. This past 6 months has been pretty crazy and the next 6 months will be about enjoying the journey back …. living life just the way I WANT TO. LIVING each day to the fullest; with friends, socializing with friends, running, biking, swimming, eating sushi, drinking java, sipping wine on the patio, reading out in the AZ sun by the pool, etc…

I’m done living for others and it’s time to live for my Higher Power and for myself. It’s MY life and no one get’s to take that away from me, it’s been way to hard of a fight and I am not willing to let anyone get in the way of my dreams and goals.

More shots and higher doses of meds

I have always promised to be 100% honest and have always been on this blog and will always be. I won’t sugar coat my feelings so here you go. I am scared.

Another Dr. appointment today at Mayo revealed that the current dosage of blood thinners are not thinning my blood appropriately so on higher dosage of blood thinners and continuing the 2 x daily Lovenox shots.

I am not really good at talking about being scared, I am a lot better at being optimistic and positive, I am much more comfortable with a smile. Lately though that has been hard but it’s still there. I am repeatedly told but many, “you are lucky to be here”.  That sounds surreal to me. How can this and that be possible? I have so many questions and many at this point can’t be answered.

The future will include tests to try to find out why once I am on the blood thinners a bit longer. I will continue to take one day at a time cause right now that is all I can do.

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It was AWESOME to be back at work today at Sole Sports and around my work family, such a great group of amazing friends.

I have another Dr. appt. on Thursday at Mayo to monitor blood levels again and see where clotting indicators are. I just hope I can help others see that you CAN’T take ANYTHING for granted. Here I am, a distance runner and was diagnosed with blood clots in my lungs one year after running the Boston Marathon. I ran 2 days before being diagnosed and thought the chest pains and shortness of breath had to be stress and side effects of headache meds. PLEASE, listen to your body.

I will continue with daily walks until I get the ok to add some easy running into the equation and might hop on the single speed when the timing feels right. As of today I am still getting chest pain and shortness of breath with normal daily activity which the Dr. says is normal with the size of the clots and claims it will be a long frustrating process but I am alive and that is what matters. So with perseverance and courage I will continue to put one foot in front of the other. Forward progress. 😉

 

Pulmonary Embolisms …. Seriously???

Well, in a lot of ways the nightmare seems to continue but I am blessed that this was caught. The Dr. claimed I was a ticking time bomb for a stroke. It was discovered on April 16th that I have multiple large blood clots in both lungs (bilateral pulmonary embolisms). There was a medication interaction that caused me to be taken to Mayo via ambulance which lead to multiple tests including a CT scan of my lungs. This was shocking and scary. Unbelievable as I ran the Boston Marathon a year ago almost to the day but since then it seems I have had a multitude of health issues mostly headaches and neurological issues.

The Dr.’s at Mayo seem to think the clots have been there for awhile due their size and magnitude and could be a huge contributing factor to the headaches as I am not getting enough oxygen to my brain and lungs. I am on blood thinners and seeing Dr.’s to get my blood checked every 3-4 days currently and will be seeing them frequently as they have termed this “high risk” and “red flagged”.

I won’t lie, I am SCARED. I thought I was scared with all the back issues and I was, but when a Dr. looks at you as says this is a life threatening issue and you are one lucky girl that this was caught. Life gets put into perspective again like no other. This whole experience is surreal. I kinda feel like I am watching a movie (nightmare) of my life from the outside. Yet I have the feelings of fear. But I will remain courageous and optimistic. I will too get through this and come out on the other side stronger.

Serena Williams (the tennis player) went through the same thing (blood clots in the lungs) and she also was told she might not make it… she is back playing tennis at a competitive level. So that  goes to show. It is possible. It will be a process but I have a team of great Dr.’s that are on top of this and the support of so many amazing friends and my Faith.

This To Shall Pass & One Day At A Time … are 2 phrases that are helping me get through the fear. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!!!!