Monthly Archives: December 2011

NYE…

Well hello world ! I’m back from Holiday…

I feel that when I put it like that… ” back from Holiday” I sound fancy.  Do I sound fancy ?

This is going to be short and sweet because in true holiday fashion …I am Sick ! EVERY Christmas Holiday I manage to get sick…never fails.  Luckily I was NOT sick when I went home to Ohio…so I feel lucky.

The visit home was super great, but went by way too quickly like it always does.  Getting home more often this year is on the top of my New Years Resolution list.  Crazy to think that this will be the first list that won’t have ” lose a ton of weight” as # 1.   I think the last time that my list didn’t include that as # 1 was back in 1988 when I was 8 . ( I really don’t know if I was 8 in 1988, I’m way too lazy to do the math this morning. )

Anyway… I’m looking forward to relaxing at home this evening and not venturing out into the hustle and drunken bustle of New years night.  I’m going to get this body better and maybe visit the gym tomorrow to say a ” how do ya do?” before my official training starts.

ok kids….carry on…

 

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Going on Holiday…

Heading back home to Ohio for a long holiday weekend.  I hope to come back with some good words and maybe even some current pics.

Until then…talk amongst yourselves….

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Haunting..

A friend just recently said to me… ” I never wanted an easy life, just a brave death.”  I can’t stop digging at those words.   They rang in my ears as I passed the plane crash site on the highway this a.m.  I had just seen the pictures of the family lost in the paper moments before.  I never expected tears to well in my eyes just from the quick glimpse as I traveled on….

I was just posting this pic as that moment came to me….they started as being unrelated…

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Filling my Void…

Ever been an addict ? Have an addiction that consumes you? Fantasize about your next moment that you can get your fix ?  Addictions are real, they are haunting.  I’m not so self-absorbed to know that there are much worse addictions to have than the one I had with food. But an addiction it was.  All consuming is not an exaggeration.   Being embarrassingly honest here is not easy.  But I write this for me, not for you.

Food had always been ….well….everything to me.  It’s what I used to celebrate.  It’s what I used to comfort.  It’s what I used to have fun.  I’ve typed and erased this next line at least 10 times….ugh, but here it is.  It was the first thing I would think about when waking up.  I don’t know where this battle came from, but it has had it’s grips on me tight!

I have a memory of being young and food being my comfort even back then.  I was home alone at night with my brother and my parents were out.  He was upstairs sleeping without a care in the world. I was down on the couch, scared..hearing every creaky noise in that old house. On the couch I had a blanket pulled up over my head.  I remember thinking…the only thing in the world that will get me through this…..are the left over sausages from dinner.  This is a true story.  Who thinks like this ? I jumped up and ran to the kitchen and took the cold little breakfast sausages that were still in the pan.  Back under the blanket I went…nibbling on those sausages like they had super powers to protect me from any intruder that would show up.

I’m guessing that this is how other addictions manifest themselves too.  A constant battle.  The moments that were always associated  with food…which in my case…were all the moments but sleeping….now seem a bit more empty.

I’m writing all of this out of a realization I had the other day.

As of lately all I do is think, dream and talk of crazy trail races.  Big plans of training and booking dates to look forward to.  My partner looks at me and says ” I just don’t get it. So you are paying money to run a distance that you’ve ALREADY accomplished?”

” Why?”

I have some reasons that I would list.  I like the comradery of the races.  Something to work towards. Meeting new people. The competition against myself. Bla, Bla, Bla…!

It wasn’t until the other night when the computer was put down and I jumped up to get a snack did it start setting in.  First…I just ate, I’m not hungry. 2nd – I have a tiny stomach, of course I’m not fuckin hungry.  3rd- I’ve never needed to be hungry in the past to eat. 4th. I still had my snack.  And 5th.  Holy Shit!! I’ve been doing this every night !!

Pick the computer back up and look for another race!!

Nothing makes me feel more alive than running on a trail. When I’m done…I can take on the world.  The planning, training and everything that leads up to that day is all part of it.  And….it keeps me busy, keeps me focused.  When I’m engaged in the whole process, I have no time to think about the absence of something that was such a huge part of my life.

If we take away something that is such a huge part of us, and don’t replace it ….we are left feeling empty.  What a horrible feeling.

Did I just self analyze myself ??? Ahhhh….a smile to my face.  Damn…I really am amazing!

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Abandoned Memories …

Taken 2010 ....In Ohio. Getting ready to go home this weekend...

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A step up on 2012…

I’m here playing around with my 2012 calendar and trying to get ready for the New Year.  Wanting to make the most of everything that I have control over. As I was doing this I opened up my computer and started reflecting back on all of the other New Years and grand resolutions that always seemed to fall short.  And usually they fell short very fast.  I would always say ( like most of us, I’m sure ) Jan 1st is THE DAY! It’s when I’m going to start becoming the person I want to be.

I feel so good that for the first time in ….well…ummm…FOREVER..I’ve broken the cycle.  I’m not waiting…haven’t been waiting for the New Year.  I’ve already begun working on where I want to be and damn it feels good.   Following is an email that I sent out Jan 1st 2009 to a group of friends who had expressed wanting to accomplish certain things in their lives.  It was interesting to re-read and see how far I’ve come and the distance that I still need to go.

Always have a plan, and believe in it. Nothing happens by accident.”


Day #1 of the new us! How exciting is this journey going to be of becoming the people that we want to be?? I feel different this time around, and actually feel energized about the possibilities.  As this New Year approached, I started off by saying “I’m not going to tell anyone my goals for the New Year…I’m just going to do it.”  That seemed like such a safe, smart thing to do…because if I failed…nobody would ever have to know I failed.  I really am a sneaky genius! I set myself up for failure before even beginning…..

 

NOT AGAIN!…NOT ANOTHER YEAR of the same old empty promises to ourselves. So instead of keeping my goals to myself…I shout them out across this mass mailing. Because life is just too damn short to waste another year of half ass tries. So please help me and support me and I will do the same for you.  A friend said “ I just want my life to be BALANCED…I just want to be WELL.”  She wasn’t sure if it made sense to me.  It made more sense to me then she could have ever known. Because I don’t feel “well”.  I have felt OFF-Balance for longer than I can remember, and I know that my physical health is just the beginning.  I think that all of our individual goals are the little steps that we are climbing to reach that over all “Balanced Life”.  So whatever our goals are..Losing weight,  being more patient, leaving a bad relationship, we owe it to ourselves to start working on that goal TODAY! Life is just too short to put it off any longer…….

We have the goal in our heads…how are we going to achieve it? Because it sure in the hell isn’t going to happen by itself.  If we don’t have a plan and work that plan it will just be another day, another week, another year of not being the person we want to be. 

** I have my January 2012- mapped out with the official beginning of my training …for my ultimate goal of completing a 50k trail race this year.  And I’m more pumped than ever !! 

Have you thought about how you are going to get to where you want to go ?? 

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Resisting the Self-Improvement Urge

Borrowed from Leo at Zen Habits….

One of the driving forces of my life for many years was the need to improve myself. It’s one of the driving forces for people who read my work as well.

It’s an incredibly pervasive urge: we are always trying to improve, and if we’re not, that’s something we should improve.

It’s everywhere. Where does this urge come from? It’s embedded in our culture — in the U.S. from Benjamin Franklin to the early entrepreneurial titans, everyone is trying to better themselves. It goes deeper, to ancient Western ideals of the perfect well-rounded person. But it flourished in the 20th century, from Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill to Stephen Covey. And now it’s in full bloom, with blogs. And yes, I’m part of this movement.

So what’s the problem? You could say it’s great that people are constantly trying to improve themselves, but where does it end? When is anyone ever content with who they are? We are taught that we are not good enough yet, that we must improve, and so … we always feel a little inadequate.

This is true no matter how much you’ve accomplished. You might have achieved a thousand goals, but do you have defined abs? Are your boobs big and bouncy? Do you have perfect skin? Have you read every classic in literature? Do you know fine wines, fine art, and every great musician from classical to jazz to punk to rock? Do you have success as an entrepreneur, as a writer? Can you speak several languages, and have you traveled the world? Do you own fewer than 100 things, or a small house? Are you a fast runner, and have you run a 100 miler? Can you Crossfit, or lift 1,000 pounds in the Big Three lifts? Do you have the perfect home, and can you cook gourmet meals? Are you the perfect parent, or have perfect work-life balance? Can you do yoga, meditate, juggle and do magic? Do you brew the perfect cup of coffee, or tea, or beer? Can you recite Shelly, Shakespeare, Homer? Are you good at picking up women, are you the perfect friend, the perfect lover, a romantic husband, a wife who meets her husband’s needs, a master craftsman, a hacker and a programmer, a knitter or sewer, a home-repair expert, knowledgeable in investing and real estate, do you know the perfect system for goals and use the perfect to-do software, is your phone as nice as his, or your bag as nice as hers, do you have cute boots or a manly shave? Are you debt free, or car free or gluten free? Do you give to charity or volunteer at shelters or build schools for Africa? Is your TV as large as mine, or your penis?

Are you adequate? Are you confident of that?

We are never adequate, never perfect, never self-confident, never good enough, never comfortable with ourselves, never satisfied, never there, never content.

And it becomes the reason we buy self-help products, fitness products, gadgets to make us cooler, nicer clothes, nicer cars and homes, nicer bags and boots, plastic surgery and drugs, courses and classes and coaches and retreats. It will never stop, because we will never be good enough.

We must improve. We must read every self-improvement book. When we read a blog, we must try that method, because it will make us better. When we read someone else’s account of his achievements, his goal system, his entrepreneurial lifestyle, her yoga routine, her journaling method, her reading list, we must try it. We will always read what others are doing, in case it will help us get better. We will always try what others are doing, try every diet and every system, because it helped them get better, so maybe it will help us too. Soon, we will find the ultimate solutions, soon we will get there. No, that hasn’t happened yet, but maybe this year will be the year.

Maybe 2012 will be the year we reach perfection.

Or maybe it will never stop, until we die, and that’s a part of life — life is a constant striving for improvement, and we’d hate to ever stop wanting to improve, because that means we’re dead, right? Even if that means that as we die, we wonder if we could have been better, and our last thought is, “Am I adequate as a person?” Even if that means we are never happy with ourselves, at least we are striving to be happy with ourselves, right?

What if instead, we learned to be happy with ourselves?

What would happen?

Would we stop striving to improve? Would that be horrible, if we were just content and didn’t need to better ourselves every minute of every week? Would we be lazy slobs, or would we instead be happy, and in being happy do things that make us happy rather than make us better? And in being happy, perhaps we would show others how to be happy? And crazy as it might sound, maybe we’d start a little mini-revolution of happiness, so that people wouldn’t feel so inadequate, or need to spend every dime on products, or spend all their time on self-improvement.

A revolution of contentment.

Think of how this might simplify your life. Think of how many self-improvement books you read, or listen to in the car. Think of how many products you buy to make yourself better. Think of how many things you read online, in the hopes of being better. Think of how many things you do because you feel inadequate. Think of how much time this would free up, how much mental energy.

Realize that you are already perfect. You are there. You can breathe a sigh of relief.

The urge to improve yourself will come up again. Watch it, like a funny little clown trying to tease your soul, but don’t let your soul feel worse for the teasing. Don’t let yourself react to this little clown, nor feel the pain of his attack. Let him do his dance, say his funny things, and then go away.

Quash the urge to improve, to be better. It only makes you feel inadequate.

And then explore the world of contentment. It’s a place of wonderment.

‘Contentment is the greatest treasure.’ ~Lao Tzu

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The Liebster Blog Award !

I’m not exactly sure what the Liebster Blog Award is…..but how exciting to be nominated, awarded…whatever. Not only was it a surprise …but how awesome that it was from one of my favorite bloggers !! Bittercharm you are amazingly talented… so glad we stumbled upon each other!

Now…I’m not even sure where to start!! I have no speech prepared, my awards banquet gown is at the cleaners….ahhhhhhhh….this honor might actually be stressing me out!! What if the Awards Ceremony is televised ??? Does the committee pay for a limo to pick me up? Do I need to schedule that?

o.k….breathe…just breathe… Let me flip back over to Bittercharm’s site and see again what I need to do. Kinda shitty that I have been awarded this honor and I have to do work.  

I was super close to just copying and pasting Bittercharm’s whole Liebster Post….but with not really knowing all of the rules, I didn’t want to take any chances of being disqualified.  Soooo…I’m only borrowing her research, since we both had no clue about this prestigious award.

“Liebster” is a German word, literally translating to being favorite or beloved.

So here are the rules as I understand them :

1. Must thank the presenter.=  See bolded text above. & THANK YOU BITTERCHARM ( I am taking NO chances of being nixed from this by any technicalities)

2. Link back to the presenter. = >>>> Bittercharm > One of my favorite Reads.  Can’t wait for my signed copy when she writes her first novel! 

3. Copy the award in your blog. = already done…but I will do it again, because I’m an over achiever like that!

4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed.

MY LIST : 

1.) To Be Frank :  An honest account from a girl living her life.  She’s super crafty and  such a great writer!!

2.) Finding My Happy Pace :  A fellow runner who has great wit ! I check in on her everyday.

3.) Learning Patience:   An all around great blog.  Transplanted from Texas to Trinidad, she’s living the life I dream of.  I love reading about her new life with running, great recipes and the simplified life that I envy.

4.) Mike’s Look at Life : A man’s words, thoughts and feelings with awesome pictures.  So Glad that Bittercharm from Reflections  turned me onto him.  I think that Bittercharm has already nominated him, but hell…who can’t use some more love?!?

5.) Endurancegal: Another runner chick that I love to read ! She has lots of great thoughts….she must’ve known I’ve been struggling with the winter ( that hasn’t even really begun yet! ) because she recently just did a post on Winter Tips for running.  She does a great job!

6.) Reflections :  Bittercharm really has the most amazing talent.  She has quickly become my must read for everyday.  I’m still trying to gather if her deep darkness is from imagination or experience, but either way it keeps me coming back.

So it seems I’ve broken the rules and nominated 6 of my favorite bloggers instead of 5.  I guess all of my ceremony stress is now unwarranted.  Oh well… If I had the chance to go back and change it..I wouldn’t.  I would still nominate all of them again !

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Running MY race…

 

Yesterday was my 10 Mile trail race.  Absolutely Awesome !!

I’m realizing that when I get bouts of laziness, being unmotivated….that a trail run might just cure everything.  Nothing gets me more pumped up or excited than a run in the woods.  It’s  adrenalin times 100 !

The day was perfect for a run.  After getting signed in I got to talk with some other runners.  The NJ Tail Series has an event in May called 3 days at the Fair.  It’s basically an endurance event.  You can sign up for a 6, 12, 24, 48, or 72 hour race.  The course is a one mile loop around the Fair Grounds.  Though running around like a hamster in an endless wheel does not really spark my interest too much….seeing how far I can push myself does! I was talking with the race director and asked him his thoughts on 3 Days at the Fair for a beginner.  He said he thinks it’s an awesome race for a beginner.  It’s nothing more than a mental endurance race against yourself.  You don’t have to be fast.  The race has an open kitchen, stocked with aide and hot foods that you pass every lap.  You can also set up a tent right on the side of the race course.  If you want to stop and nap for a bit and continue running you are able.  It’s all about seeing how many miles you can rack up in the set time.  I’m thinking this would be a perfect addition to my training for the 50k to see how I do with being on my feet moving for so many hours.  I’m pretty set on the 24 hour event.  Getting pysched that my 2012 race calendar is starting to work itself out.  I know it’s only 2 races so far…but it’s a start.  Love it !

So back to the race…

Of course the first part is always the hardest for me.  Doubts creep in and my body is like… ” ughhhh, REALLY? WHY are we doing THIS?!?! ”   But then my body catches up with my mind and never seems to let me down.  A bit after 3 miles I’m warmed up and feeling great.   I met a runner.. Mike…before the race.  He had overheard me talking about 3-DATF and asked if I was going to do it?  It seemed that we both were on the same running level.  He had done 2 half marathons, but never a full, and yesterday was his second official trail race.  I ended up running his heels for the first half of the race.  He kept me honest with his pace and it forced me to push myself.  Only got off the trail twice. Ha ! The first time it was 3 of us running together…and we got of course for a good distance.  Maybe 3/4 of a mile.  After we got back on track…we came to a good technical downhill.  Crazy how the downhills put light a fire under my ass.  The momentum gets me moving and I feel like I’m some professional trail runner.  Weaving back and forth on the trail, dancing on rocks all the way down.  Nothing makes me feel more alive ! It was at this point where I broke away from Mike and the other guy.  Though I was running like a mad woman, I could feel that my legs were getting tired and my ankles getting sloppy.  I had to remind myself to pick up my feet and be extra cautious where I stepped.  There were several downed trees that you had to climb over and some good muddy patches.  Though I was careful to work my way around the big mud patches, mostly in fear of sliding and falling on my ass….the small water streams I went barreling through full steam ! God..it was awesome!  Wet shoes, socks and all !

As I ran this race,  from the moment I felt my body warm up and kick into gear I was consciously thinking about this… ” Running my own Race.”  At the beginning of the race, I started at the back …like I always do.  Anyone who might have been in back of me quickly passed me.  I stayed true to me and did what felt comfortable.  I didn’t blow everything I had in those first miles and it paid off in the second half.  Many of the guys that went flying by me in the beginning were walking along the side as I passed them later on.   I know it’s hard for the ego to be at the back…to be last.  But for me, for this body it’s what works.  Once the body warms up and gets in sync with your mind…it all clicks.  They discuss the goal and somehow it gets achieved.

There are a couple of winter races and though it’s hard to think about the cold ( as I can’t feel my fingers in this damn coffee shop right now!! ) I know that like all the rest…they will keep me motivated and pushing forward.

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Don’t stop this train…

Signs, Signs...everywhere signs....

In my line of work I deal with mostly men.  One of my clients (<<< as I was typing this..I wonder If “clients” sparked your interest to my profession. OR is that just MY crazy mind?? ) Anyway… my most favorite client called yesterday.  He’s actually one of my most favorite all around people to talk to.  He’s a typical Northern Jersey guy.  Gold chain, accent , a bit rough around the edges…straight shooter type of guy.  Love him.

” Hey John ! How are things? ”

” Good ….busy…but good.  I don’t know Hol.. it just seems as I’m getting older there is less time for things that I want to do.  I’m not doing more of something different, new…yet there seems to be no time.”

The conversation didn’t turn into the old cliché’ chat about when you grow older time flies by so much faster.  It was more than that….hit home a bit more.  He continued…

” I’m always rushing around to get things done…to be ready for ..something…..to prepare for something.”  When I get done with this or that….then I can do x, y and z .”

” But I’m realizing….that this is it.  Right now…these moments are LIFE.  That later on….there will be other things to deal with, more work to be done.  Will I still be waiting to do those things that I want to do? ”

Crazy how this conversation has been playing in my mind the past two days.  I get what John was saying…feeling.  I do the same thing.  That when things get rolling, I’m really going to give it my all.  I’m going to try this, do that or go here.

All of the stuff that we are going to do “SOMEDAY”….all of those “some days” are TODAY….and yesterdays nothing but missed opportunities. By the time we realize that THIS IS it….this is life…these are the moments that we have been waiting for …the ride has already been moving.  And it’s picking up speed….faster and faster with each moment…

So grateful for moments, people…and conversations like the one with John.

TODAY is the day that we have been waiting for….Today is the day that you start living the life you’ve always wanted to live.

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