What Does Champion Mean?

Raw effort. Muscles, tendons, ligaments. Lungs working. Heart pumping. Shoes that cover your feet, or go without and run along the ocean or in the soft grass. The rawness of running creates a perfect beauty that makes the movement human’s natural progression.

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The world constantly turns over more need for gadgetry. Sports are evolving into lifestyles where investments the size of mortgages and college tuitions are everywhere. What does it leave us I ask? Where do we stand after it’s over? When the wind blows are you listening to what it is saying or blocking out what you don’t want to hear. Are we living in a state of denial?


I question if we have lost the meaning and reason behind our first steps. Why did you take that first run? What was it like the very first time you ever bought a pair of running shoes? Why did you buy them, what inspired you?


And that first bike ride. I mean all the way back to that very special day the training wheels were taken off your bike. Do you remember when that trusting parent or friend let go of the broomstick that stuck up from your bike and you rode away to the cheers of everyone behind you. Now that my friends, is natural progression. There was not much concern of how much money your bike cost or what components it housed.


And what about that first time you got in the pool? Maybe the first time you made it from one end to the other. And then talked about it for the next week.


I am frustrated that so many today have lost the joy and seem to only be looking for the next way to place higher, go faster, win more; and they look outside of their soul. They say, “there has to be something I can find, I can have, I need”.


My friends, you need to look inside. That is often the answer.

There is something about running. I often don’t even like referring to it as a sport only because to me it is something more raw and beautiful. You can’t buy shoes to make you run faster, clothes to make you lighter and more aero-dynamic, or something to carry you over hills and mountains. It is just you. You have to confront yourself, face your fears, understand your goals, enjoy every step you take for each step is a wonderful gift, and be blessed that we have so much to explore within ourselves internally and externally, with just using what we have. That my friends is what makes a champion inside and out.


A Little About Me (and Blue Cheese dressing)

Recently read an interview and figured I would answer the same questions as a way to reflect…

What inspires you? Those that overcome adversity with a positive attitude.

What is your greatest fear? Disappointing others and not giving my best effort.

Favorite song? Walk by the Foo Fighters or Take The Power Back by Rage Against the Machine

Who is your hero? My Grandpa Don; best friend, role model, teacher, and partner in crime when sneaking Grandma’s fresh baked goodies. We lost him when I was 15.

Proudest moment of your life? Running a 3:16 marathon and qualifying for the Boston Marathon less than 6 months after major spine surgery when most said I would never run again.

Favorite movie? Soul Surfer

If you were to start a business what would it be? Coaching kids and helping them with their self image and adopting an active and healthy lifestyle. Being a role model.

Biggest mistake you’ve made? Not moving to Arizona sooner

Favorite book? God on the Starting Line… a book about Faith, Running, and Believing

Describe yourself in 5 words? Determined, Focused, Optimistic, Friendly, Passionate

Running is…? where I find myself.

What annoys you about running/runners? People that take running for granted.

How many pairs of wearable running shoes do you have to choose from each day? 23 pairs… and that doesn’t count the retired ones that I just wear around 😉

—- On a different note, dinner was especially yummy tonight. Salad and a couple glasses of Pinot Grigio

Salad: organic arugula, shredded carrots, diced sweet bell pepper, crumbled goat cheese, wasabi peas, craisins, grape tomatoes, with blue cheese dressing.


Re-discovered Passion

Today I re-discovered how much I love the bike. So many mixed feelings about the bike over the last 2 years plus. Two good friends killed, accident after accident where cyclists were hit and sometimes left BUT I read something this week from an old training journal. It said “get back on the bike, remember your roots and never forget your guardian angels”… I thought about it the whole week… thinking.. “Cristin, you have courage to do what others thought never possible, why are you so afraid to get back on the bike?” After many hours of thought I had no good answer. LOL

So this AM I pumped the tires back up on the single speed (only bike I still have) and decided to go for a ride. I wanted to go alone, it was just going to be me testing the waters. It was a BLAST!!!!!

I had so much fun, it felt totally normal, almost like I had never been away from the bike and I smiled the entire way. It was absolutely both exciting and even brought those happy tears knowing who was watching from above and knowing that they saw me smiling ear to ear.

I was shooting for a nice easy 40 mile ride. Well, 20 miles in I hit some metal and it punctured my back tire. Had to call Dad as the tire was shot and I didn’t have what I needed to repair it. Dad came to pick me up (his only comment was “why don’t you ride closer to our house next time” as I was about a 30 min drive from where they live”). He brought me a fresh hot mug of coffee and we laughed all the way back.

While it wasn’t the ride I had planned, in a lot of ways it was more meaningful and I am soon off to the bike shop to get a new tire so that I can be back on the bike in the next day or two.

“We never know where we will be taken on the journey, but life has lots of surprises” … Happy Holiday Weekend!

(pic taken back when I was riding in WI)