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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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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Life is Complicated

Life is complicated but I am tough and I will not let that said life get in my way of accomplishing my goals and dreams of being the best me I can be and inspiring others.

But we can say the last few days have been emotional and challenging. Sometimes life throws you challenges that cause you to really dig deep and search for what really is important, what your true calling is, what you were meant to do here on earth, and listening for what will challenge you and fullfil you. We are also continually faced with discovering whom we can trust and whom we are used by. Whom we are appreciated by and whom we are betrayed by.

I have always said it is animals that we can always trust. For they have a special unconditional love. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a pet. I know that sounds crazy coming from someone that at one time had horses, cats, dogs, etc. It is a time like this that a pet would be appreciated. But it is also a time like this that without a pet, I turn to family and friends. I am grateful that I have had good conversation with my parents over the last few days and I am headed to Wisconsin next week to spend 6 days with my best friend. This vacation could not come at a better time.

The last 6 months have been a challenge. I have been faced with the reality of medical uncertainty and the fear of pulmonary embolisms. Thankfully they are breaking up and I am recovering, however we still don’t have many answers. In addition, a lesson I have learned to keenly in the last 48 hours is not to be to quick to trust someone whom you think is a friend. I will leave you with a vague but important lesson that I hope you can learn and remember; it’s ok to put up a protective barrier of sorts when it protects your heart from being hurt.

I have overcome much adversity, and like the comebacks of the past; this comeback will be great with success and advancement!

God's Blessings

Babysteps and forward progress

Hey guys, a little update. Some good news yesterday when I got my INR checked (a blood clotting factor) and it was within a more appropriate range. So back on Monday (yes in 3 days) to have it checked again. But for the next 3 days I don’t have to give myself 2 x day shots and will just be on daily blood thinners orally. So progress.

Also on Tuesday night spent several hours in the ER (a little scare with coughing up blood and chest pain) but the good news is that they did another CT scan of my lungs and it showed the clots are starting to dissolve. More good news.

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As for activity I have walked every day this week and incorporated some :30-:90 jogs into each of the walks. Each day gets a little easier I think and today legs were a little tired. Yesterday I started back at Endurance Rehab with some stretching and will start doing some core and strength work this coming week. It will be a process but I feel ready and with the support of Endurance, friends, and coaches…. I will come back stronger.

It’s weird that it is as much mental right now as physical. Being able to trust the body and not being afraid. Being able to trust the Dr. when he says it’s ok to run. I want to run as much as anyone knows but every time I do I am just a little bit scared, especially when I feel that chest tightness (which Dr. says is to be expected and is normal for now). It’s about learning to trust my body. Not something easy to do after what has happened. But hopefully it will get easier.

HOWEVER, I am excited for what the future holds. What will I be blogging about 3 months from now, 6 months from now, a year, or 2? Who knows… I hope to be back training and racing. Being more active in the running events and traveling a bit more too. I hope that the book is continuing it’s journey and moving closer to being published. I hope to be doing a bit more motivational speaking and inspiring others, and helping other athletes accomplish their goals and dreams.

In the meantime I will continue to live each day to the fullest, being grateful for what I do have and searching for the perfect wave in the vast ocean of life. 😉

CVD

Why I Love Running

I’ve been working on this post for awhile and today seems like a good day to go “live” LOL.

Running is good for you. Yes, it keeps you fit, healthy, reduces cardiac disease risk, improves blood pressure, strengthens bone density, blah, blah, blah… All of that is great but running provides me and many others so much more.

Running is simple. Put on a good pair of shoes (or not) and go. Put one foot in front of the other and repeat. Go right, or left, on trails, or street. So many simple options. You can go the same way every day or explore new routes and your surroundings. You don’t need extensive equipment and you don’t need fancy clothes. Just run.

Running also builds confidence. Confidence that you can achieve more than you once thought or imagined. I remember as an equestrian I started running to stay in shape. At first, a mile, was an eternal distance thought impossible. I would tell myself, if you can do this you can do anything. Ha… looking back that makes me laugh. Confidence comes and goes and running has many times helped build what was lost.

Running provides stability and control. When life seems a bit out of control, a run will usually put things back together for me. When I seem to be pulled in a few to many directions, a simple run places me back to the center where I am most happy. When I feel I have lost control of what I never had control of or never will, a easy run gives me something to grasp.

Running calms. There are times when fear takes over. Believe it or not, fear is one of my greatest challenges. I sometimes fear that my body won’t be able to accomplish what my mind believes is possible. However, more times than not, it only takes a run to convince it otherwise. I must learn to trust the run and my body and not let fear limit my goals.

Running is what I love about running. You can just go out and be who you are. Running doesn’t hold grudges nor is it prejudice. Anyone I see out there is of equal importance and of equal significance. Whether it is your first run or your hundredth run, we are of equals when out there running.

For me running provides serenity, in a somewhat chaotic life, it provides peace and comfort. Running gives me hope for greater accomplishments in both life and sport. Running provides unconditional friendship and support. Running allows me time to communicate with my Higher Power’s and running provides confidence in that I am able to overcome the inclines ahead. Running is simple, running is fulfilling, and if you can’t figure out an answer while running….well, there might not be one.

Thanks to the sport of running, I am here smiling today. For without running, things might be different. 🙂

PS…. in running you don’t get flat tires either 😉

Inspiration for the day!

Life isn’t always a breeze. Some days take more strength and courage to get through, other days fly by with ease. Sometimes doubt creeps in at times of little strength but that is when it is crucial to believe in yourself and your accomplishments on whatever level they lay.

So go accomplish your goals and should you fall short, don’t give up, simply try your hardest and know there will come a day that the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place.

We are not given more than we can handle…some days it just feels like it.

Stay tough, smile, give back to others, and you will be surrounded in a bright light of healing and happiness.