Sunday, May 29, 2016

i'm broken...


"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." ~ Phil 1:6



I saw this on the rev well fb page and it just spoke to me 
...like a whisper in my ear from God Himself.

i'm broken.
physically, mentally, spiritually.
(aren't we all?)

this body is frail. this body is failing me. 
this body is the only body i'll have in this broken world.
but this body is not my forever body.

one day, all things will be made new...
even this body. 

one day, i won't have to worry about sprains or strains 
or curves in my spine.

one day...

but today is not that day. 
today i am feeling the pain of this frail body.

i wish i could go to sleep tonight and know that when i wake up tomorrow 
everything will be back to 'normal.'
i wish i knew that tomorrow or the next day, i'd be able to run again.
but i don't.
and it's driving me crazy! 

it's only been a week, but it feels like a month!
a week without physical activity. 
a week of moving slowly and purposefully so as not to cause any more pain.
a week of falling off my plan to achieve goals that i set for myself months ago.
a week of being weak.



i don't know the 'whys' or the 'whens' or the 'what-ifs'
maybe i'm not supposed to know right now. 
perhaps when i look back at this time, i'll see the bigger picture. 
maybe not. 

i do know one thing...
my God knows. and i have to trust that He knows best.
He's not done with me yet. this is my life interrupted,
that's all.

He has so much more in store for me. 
His plans are greater than my plans.
He is doing things in my life i've yet to see!
immeasurably more than i could ever imagine!

all i need to do is trust in Him and wait it out. 
wait out the pain...until the healing is complete.



Saturday, May 28, 2016

bonefrog is what bonefrog does...

my first ever obstacle course race just had to be the Navy Seals bonefrog. 
Charlemont, Mass 5/21/16

my buddy Tracy. she talked me into it! i blame her.
just kidding! :)
it's probably a good idea that i signed up for the 5k sprint and not the longer runs. 

was it worth it? i'll tell ya later.
i have been doing HIIT, weight lifting, running, 5K races, and other various exercise routines for about 4 years now. i thought this would be no different from anything else i've done before. 

it started out that way anyhow. 

the ascent

going up?

half way up thunder mountain
night crawler obstacle



















the obstacles were challenging, yes. most of them were getting over walls, which were either solid or mesh straps, or wooden beams, etc. climbing thunder mountain was exhausting. especially the last half...almost straight up. of course, you had to come back down said mountain. i think going up was a lot easier! almost got run over by a boulder. no shit. 


at the top!
31 burpees for 31 fallen heroes. 
when you were done, you had to yell, 
"the only day harder than yesterday is today!"
BOO-YAH!


1st phase wall

2nd obstacle


after climbing the mountain

Tracy ringing the bell. i skipped this one.





































other obstacles were running (or walking in my case) up a hill and back down with a metal ammo locker on your back, 
pulling a weighted sack up ten or more feet and lowering it back down 
(don't drop it!), 
climbing a rope ten feet to ring a bell, 
swinging on handles from one end to another 
(don't ask me how far cuz i skipped that one...which cost me 25 push-ups--no problem), 
pulling yourself along a rope that stretched out over a pond of freezing cold water where the only thing out of the water was your hands and head. 
brrrrrrrr. 
up and over and under and up and over and under a series of walls in the mud, you just got filthy; then wading through waist (in my case chest) deep water and climbing over buoys in that water to the other side of the pond 
only to climb over another stone wall and run through a snow making machine! 
then monkey bars so freakin high, i couldn't even jump to reach them...
so i skipped that one too. that cost me 25 squats with a 35 pound sand bag on my back. 
which was really nothing. 

then came the log obstacle. 

this was the best picture i could find on the internet.

just looking at this now, i'm thinking the same thing i thought when i first came upon it. no problem right? i can do that. but i'm also just 5ft tall. and the drop from that top log...well, that's what got me.
this was the third to last obstacle. we were nearing the end. as i watched everyone before me go over, i planned my attack. i'd stay on the right side and use those braces to get me from one log up to the next. easy peasy. until i got to the top and saw no way down except to jump. 
well, this 5ft nothing body of mine wasn't about to just jump. i knew it was too high for me to do that. so i thought if i could just hang down and drop, i'd be ok. 

then i slipped. because after everyone before me had gone through the water, mud and more water obstacles, the logs were wet and muddy. and slippery. so....yeah. 

down i went. i really tried to land on my feet, but my left knee buckled upon impact and my legs went out from under me. and wham! i came right down on my right SI joint. i could feel it right up back and down my leg. i thought i'd never walk again. took my breath away. 

my friend Sarah helped me up. i thought if i could just get up, i could walk it off. after i stood up and caught my breath, i started to walk slowly towards the next obstacle. my left knee started feeling better already. but my back....well not so much. 

i skipped the last two obstacles. even 'rang out' and said i quit. i didn't deserve any medals. i could never be a Navy Seal. but i hobbled my way to the finish line with half of my team and collected an "i finished" medal. i felt like a fraud. the Navy Seals that actually go through a whole lot more training and torture than any obstacle course can dish out deserve the medals. holy moly! 

hobbling over the finish line

i got cleaned up and changed. hit the med tent for some NSAIDS and ice. then came the long 2 hour ride home...in a car....sitting. i think that made my back a whole lot worse. but i had to get home right?

that night i spent a few hours in the ER. X-rays revealed nothing was broken or fractured. which is a good thing. but what then? most likely a strained ligament or sprained muscle. or both. or more. who knows. i'm still in pain a week later. can't even bend over to tie my shoes. i guess i really did a number on myself. having scoliosis doesn't help any either. 

i'm sure i will heal, eventually. my pride is hurt a little too. but i'll answer the question above...was it worth it? 

i say heck yeah! i probably should've trained for this race. and perhaps started out with an easier course before tackling the bonefrog. but i challenged myself. i challenged my limits. and for me, that's a win. 



Saturday, May 7, 2016

no.

the word no has been on my mind recently.
how can such a small word have such a BIG impact?


it's usually one of the first words we hear and say as littles, and one that we learn quickly.
no! don't touch that! no! don't go there! no! don't say that! no! you can't have that! some toddlers go head on into a full blown tantrum when they hear the word no.

as we get older, we become afraid of saying the word no. especially to people we love. we know the feeling we get when we hear the word no. but why should those feelings towards the word no be so negative. sometimes no means safety. or 'you can't handle that right now.' or 'i love you.'
the very definition of the word is itself, negative.

but we love to say yes. especially when it comes to pleasing others. yes, i will do that. yes, i will go there. yes, i can fix that. yes, i will ______ (fill in the blank).

i used to be a yes person. i'd say yes to most anything because i didn't want to disappoint someone.
i would over schedule myself and become stressed out trying to keep up with it all...rather than just say 'no, i can't do that right now.' or 'i need some time to think about it before i commit.' or 'that kind of commitment is too much for me at this time in my life.'

it's ok to say no.
let me repeat that...it's OK to say no.
in fact, it's healthy to say no. it's kinder to say no. it really is.
if you cannot say yes to something with passion and commitment right away, you most likely need to say no. or "i'll think about it." but chances are, the answer will be no.
don't say yes just because it's what you think the other person needs/wants to hear. you cannot please everyone. you cannot be everything to everybody and still be you. a healthy you.
and by saying no, you open the door for someone else to say yes!

so learn to say the word no. before you have to say it.
practice saying it right now. out loud.
sound it out...go ahead. i'm listening. nnnnnnnn ooooooooooo. nnnn ooooo. no.
see? you CAN say no! congratulations!

now go try it out in the real world!
you got this!










the stain on my shirt...

a few days ago, as i was listening to Air-1 radio, they started talking about the stain on your shirt.
i forgot what they were talking about originally, but that statement stuck in my head.

i got to thinking about the many shirts i had with stains on them. i tried to wash the stain out. i tried to scrub it out. i even tried to soak and pre-treat the stain out. but it never quite went away. there was always a faint remnant of the stain on my shirt.

little children are oblivious to the stains on their shirts. they don't really care if they go out and have a stain or two. they wear it like any other garment. so innocent and care-free. isn't that the way we should be?

isn't that the way it is with our sins? we try and try to wash them away, but never quite come close to getting those stains out. you know why? because we are trying to do it with our own strength, with our own will, with our own selfish pride. we just cannot do it alone.

but i've come to know Christ and i am not alone. through Him, all stains are washed away. all sins are forgiven and remembered no more. we are white as snow in His eyes.

i love that.


Friday, April 29, 2016

wonderfully made...

i have been asked why i work out the way i do. why i do those "crazy exercises." why why why.

well, why not? why not use the body i was given? i spent too many years in a state of fatigue and unhealthiness. struggling for breath just walking up a flight of stairs. feeling the pressure in my middle as i bent over to tie my shoes. just feeling crappy in general.

why do i work out? two reasons mostly.
  1. because i can: right now my body is able and my mind is willing. i may not always be able to move this way, or jump rope, or run, or even walk. so while i still have the ability, i will move my body in a way that challenges me. it keeps me fit in mind, body and spirit. 
  1. exercise is a means of worship: God gave me this body as a vessel for His spirit. a temple if you will. if i let this temple go into disrepair due to my own slothfulness or laziness, i am not being a good steward of what was graciously given to me. i have my health and a working body. there are too many people that are not as blessed. so shame on me if i do NOT live a healthier lifestyle while i am still able. 
my scoliosis slows me down. i sometimes have to modify my exercise or skip the jumping because it jams my vertebrae, and then the pain sets in. i see my chiropractor regularly to stave off the inevitable continuing curvature of my spine and compacting of my disc space. but i will continue to exercise and do what i can for as long as i can. it's such a blessing and a privilege.

we will all grow old. we will all age. time gets everyone. time is undefeated. our earthly bodies were not meant to last forever. they will break down. they will quit on us. but until that time, i will push through the hard. i will push past the discomfort. there's something glorious waiting there beyond it! we have to enjoy this life...this adventure! and for me, there's enjoyment in the hard work.


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14


Sunday, April 10, 2016

the year i walked a 5k...

The Bacon Hill Bonanza Road Race has been my first race of the season for the past 3 years. this year was no different... until, that is, i strained a ligament in my back.

i had signed up for the race as usual prior to my injury and hoped beyond hope that i'd be ok to run when the race came around. unfortunately, my chiropractor advised against running. although i was disappointed, i could feel for myself that i wasn't quite ready to pound the pavement just yet. so i decided that since i paid already, and my son Stephen was running, i'd go and just walk it.

i was excited to see so many friends and Challenge by Choice peeps there. being a part of something bigger than myself is always a joy to me...and supporting the local community and hanging with friends are very soul-lifting activities for me!

i have to say, i didn't experience the pre-race jitters i usually have. perhaps it was because i knew i'd be walking and it wouldn't really matter how fast i was going. but i still felt so far out of my comfort zone.

when we were lining up, i hung toward the back of the pack, Stephen was up front. normally we'd start together. this year, he hung with his friends...as it should be. the horn blew and the pack started running. i began walking not too fast, not too slow. i never walked a 5k, so my pace was not consistent. as i watched the pack get further and further away, i felt the urge to run. it was very difficult for me NOT to run. i picked up my walking pace and caught up to one of my CBC buddies. we took that race course on, walking our way up and over the gentle hills.

i love to encourage people. running or even walking a race is a good way to be a part of a community and encourage people along the way. some runners turn up their music and just go! i usually have music in my ears as well. but this day, i chose not to. instead, i shouted and waved to people as they passed me in the opposite direction. hoping i'd encourage them to keep on keepin' on! it was great!

around mile 2+, my hip flexors started to hurt. i never felt that while running. i suppose i was using a few different muscle groups. but just like while running, you try to push through the pain and keep going to the finish line. i made it across that finish line...just over 49 minutes later. it felt good.




i love this sport because it's you against you. but it's also a community sport. even though each runner is running their own race, they are all doing it together...as a unit. we all know what the other is feeling...and wether you're walking or running, it's hard. it's hard for everyone. we have to choose our 'hard' every day! this day i chose to move. and i'm very grateful for a body that can still move!




Saturday, February 27, 2016

a little breakfast inspiration...



i've shared these images before. i used to be ashamed to show people how i looked back then. but more importantly, i was ashamed of how i felt. even though i looked happy, i was struggling with a lot of insecurity and self-hate.

so i was driving home this morning from a breakfast date with an awesome sister in Christ, and something hits me! no, not literally!
i was inspired to write this blog post.

we were talking about weight loss (among other things...many other things), and how it's a journey. it's extremely personal and different for everyone. it's not just about what you look like on the outside...not just a number on the scale...not just the size of your clothing.

no one wakes up one morning and decides that they want to be obese, or overweight, or unhealthy. no one wants to become so ugly on the inside that they feel the need to stuff their emotions waaaaay down inside themselves with food. but it happens. and it happens over time...slowly...painfully. then one day you wake up literally sick and tired. you're so broken that you can't even reach those deep, inner emotions anymore that got you to this point to begin with. you cannot seem to get to the point of loving yourself again enough to take a step in the right direction, let alone take a whole journey to wellness and self-love. your self-esteem and self-worth are so low they seem almost nonexistent. you stay there because you're afraid or comfortable, or just feeling stuck. or perhaps you feel useless and think it's pointless because who cares anyway.


please please please! wake up and KNOW that you are loved! there ARE people who care! there ARE people who love you and want you around and actually need you to be around! they need you to be healthy inside and out, not only for them but for yourself!

getting healthy is literally a journey. it doesn't happen in an instant or overnight or even in a month. it takes time. it's a journey that only you can decide to take. it'a a journey that takes you inward...deep inside of your heart and soul. and THEN takes you back out again to your body. because any weight loss program, any diet, or "fix" is only temporary. you have to learn how to love yourself again and enough to WANT to be healthy. you have to learn to own your emotions...control them so they don't control you...to deal with them without the comfort of the food. you need to let go of the stuff that feeds those emotions. take back your life and feel worthy of a healthy, strong body, mind and spirit. because YOU ARE WORTHY!

this life we are living...this road that we're on...this journey...is never ending while we are still alive. if you've hit a dead end, you don't just stop living. you go on living. but are you going to set up camp at that dead end street? i say no! turn around! go back! take another road! if there's a fork in the road...take it! move!

there will be many hills on that road. many ups and downs. but hills make us stronger. and when we get over that hill, we can coast a while and rest until that next hill. there will be many turns on that road. some are long, sweeping curves...and we can see what's coming. but some curves are sharp, switchbacks and it's difficult to navigate...difficult to see what's coming. so we take it slow...we have courage and faith to persevere...until we make it to that next straight away. it will come. but first you have to WANT to go on that journey...and want to do it for YOU!

if God so loved the world, so loved you, that He sent His only Son to die for you, how dare you NOT love yourself! who are you to not love someone who God loves that much?! no. the answer lies within you...it's that still, small voice that tells you, 'you are loved...you are worthy...you are needed...and you are here for a reason.' you are here because He has a plan for your life. and He needs you to be the best you to carry out that plan.

choose to be a healthier you...choose to be the BEST you! choose this journey called life.


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