Adventures in Utopia

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Utopia: An ideal place or state, any visionary system of political or social perfection

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Over the 4th of July holiday, Jordan and I ventured over to New Harmony, a small community that began as an experiment in utopia. Today it is a quaint little town full of cute houses, antique stores, and history on almost every corner.  Jordan knows me well and suggested we grab our bikes and head over there for the day. He had found an ice cream store he wanted to go to and well, I am always up for an adventure, even if it’s just down the road.  We got to New Harmony right as a golf cart parade was starting to kick off celebrating the 4th and walked through the visitor’s center which is the one building that so does not fit in the spirit of New Harmony.  It’s big, white, and modern, but offered some replicas of what New Harmony used to look like which fascinated me. Every house had a garden and it made me wonder what life must have been like. I imagine it was a lot simpler and peaceful.

We grabbed our bikes and rode around the little town stopping at the roofless church (a historic site), the granary, and the labyrinth. It was a perfect morning for a bike ride and the town was pretty quiet after the parade so we had the roads mostly to ourselves.  After an hour or so of riding, we grabbed lunch at the cutest little store. It is called Vintage Harmony and I HIGHLY recommend it. They only serve wraps and ice cream, but really, what more do you need?  The food was excellent!  We finished our lunch and walked through several antique stores. I even got a lesson in playing the dulcimer. We finished the day with ice cream from the same little shop we ate lunch. They make their own from scratch and it was some of the best ice cream I have ever had!

After our little adventure in New Harmony, I realized how much I enjoy history and traveling, even if the trip is less than an hour.  It seems everyone in New Harmony had time to say hello, tell you their story, or teach you to play an instrument.  I think despite the failure of the utopia, a strong sense of community has rooted itself in New Harmony.  I was also reminded of how much I love Jordan.  We rarely get a day off together and it was so nice to be able to spend the day laughing, chatting, and spending time together.

It was a perfect day and a wonderful reminder of how much I love the simplicity of life.  I came back re-focused, refreshed, and relaxed.  It was an ideal day and something I need to do more often in this busy life.

Have you taken an adventure in utopia lately?  I promise you it will be worth it!

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A New Chapter Begins…

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And it all started with one tiny word- YES.

 

Life has been a bit crazy lately and a minor mishap caused my blog to get lost in cyberspace for a few weeks, but I am back and excited to announce the newest adventure I am embarking on.

 

Planning a wedding.

 

Yep. The man of my dreams proposed to me Saturday.  It was a complete surprise.  Since everyone has asked and because I don’t want to forget, here is the story..

He invited me over for dinner which is not uncommon on a Saturday night. I had been running errands all day and had loaded up my car with boxes to move. I am moving in with a friend for the time being to save some money so I have been slowly packing and moving some stuff to Jordan’s house.  I got there and he said he had flowers for me out back. As we are in the middle of landscaping, I did not think twice about it and figured he bought some more flowers for the yard.  We walked around back and in big silver letters, he had cut out “Will you marry me?” and put them around the pond. Of course, I started crying and he said something about me being the girls of his dreams, got down on one knee, and popped the question.  I said yes of course and we spent the rest of the night calling friends and family.  (He did get me flowers too!) 

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I am so excited and thankful for Jordan and the adventure of starting a new life together.  I will also be back to blogging now that my blog is up and running again!

Global Leadership Summit 2012 Recap

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Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.- Anthony J. D’Angelo
While most people may spend their vacations on the beach, I took two of my vacation days and spent them at a leadership conference. In fact, throughout the past few years most of my vacations have been used to attend conferences. A long time ago I developed a love for learning and since my church is a host site for the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit I decided to go this year. Let me assure you, it was worth every bit of the two days I took off work. The amount of knowledge I gained was invaluable and massive, but I am going to share just a few key takeaways I found from what seemed like drinking leadership information from a fire hydrant.
 
Each speaker of the conference had a very impressive resume, but one thing struck me as I listened to the stories of huge mountains they have moved-each of them started from humble beginnings. None of them woke up to fame; they worked hard each and every day to attain the positions of great leadership they all held. As Jim Collins put it, they developed a 20 mile march. They put into place strict discipline which allowed them to slowly, 20 miles at a time, grow and mature into leaders who have changed the world, shaped culture, business, politics, and even inner city Harlem.   I have pages and pages of notes and lists of books I want to read, but for now I will keep it simple and short. We were challenged to come with 3×5-three things to takeaway by 5:00pm the second day of the conference. I will share with you my 3×5 and write more in future posts.
 
Jim Collins talked about Roald Amundsen’s trek to the South Pole and how he got there by consistently marching 20 miles a day-whether the weather was good or bad. His discussion led to my first takeaway.
 
Takeaway #1: Develop a 20 mile march in my own life. One of my favorite new terms came from Jim Collins-SMaC: specific, methodical, and consistent.  In everything I do, I can apply SMaC. Thus, over the past few weeks I have been working on my 20 mile march. Slowly, but surely I have been working on small steps to consistently press on to a dream of mine that at times seems impossible. Those days when I feel like giving up, I remind myself-20 mile march.
 
Pranitha Timothy was one of my favorite speakers from the two-day conference. While each speaker was excellent in their own way, Pranitha is the Director of Aftercare in India for IJM and passionate about a cause that is very near and dear to my heart-the rescue and restoration of slaves. A brain tumor survivor with a raspy voice, she captured the attention of everyone in the room-so much so you could have heard a pin drop. Her message of God’s goodness resonated with me and gave me the sentence I have clung to over the past few weeks.
 
 
Takeaway #2:  God is faithful to His call on your life, even when it seems impossible under current circumstances. Even when no one believes you. Even when the dream seems too big. Even when you are ready to give up.
 
The last item that stood out to me and became the last of my 3×5 was from Pastor Craig Groeschel.  If you have never listened to him, you are missing out! During the summit, he spoke on bridging the generation gap within the church. I appreciated his humor and honesty. I also felt that he communicated very clearly how essential each generation is to the church.
 
Takeaway #3: Get a mentor. And learn to think like they think. Read the books they read. I really liked this point because I think too often we overlook the value of learning from someone else.
 
 
To be honest, the conference was great and I learned so much, but my favorite part of the two-day event was the time spent getting to know those in leadership at my church. The conversations I had motivated, inspired, and pushed me to think about my dreams as goals to reach not far-off wishful thinking. I came away with a renewed hope in the church when it functions as the body of Chris and with a thankfulness for where I am and what I am doing.  As I look forward to next year, I hope that the spark that started will have action behind and next year’s summit will be another push-off to greater things.

It Starts Today

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Your life. It starts today.

 

Simple enough statement. But super complicated meaning. Society has twisted this statement and I believe uses it as a marketing ploy to keep us unhappy or at least to keep us from being content. To keep us always wanting more. Think about the messages communicated daily.

 

Life starts when you graduate highschool. OR graduate college. OR get your first real job. OR get married. OR have kids. OR retire.

 

It’s always starting when you reach the next big milestone.

 

This idea has been driving me crazy lately. For several reasons, but namely because the following is a conversation I seem to have almost daily.

 

“Are you married?”

 

No.

 

“Are you dating anyone?”

 

No.

 

“Why not?”

 

To which  I sometimes respond I don’t know or I don’t want to or good question or sometimes I mutter under my breath all sorts of mean things. Depends on my mood and how my day has been going.

 

I realize those are seemingly innocent and well-meaning questions. Probably 1/3 of them come from kids who assume that because I am older than they are, I should be married. 🙂 I do not doubt that most people who ask them are simply trying to make conversation or trying to figure out what is going on in my life. But most often they come across as judgements. They are statements declaring or reminding me that according to most of the world, my life has not begun yet because I am 25, single, and not sure what I want to do with my life. I am getting a Master’s degree I may never use. I  have yet to work at job that requires my college degree. I have traveled to several parts of the world, explored unknown places, made friends with people I just met, made friends that have changed my life, challenged myself on every turn, and usually keep a schedule that would make most people go crazy.   And yet, so often I feel like to most people my life is seemingly inconsequential because there is no ring on my finger. Ok, ok, I realize this is an exaggeration, but stick with me because I am making a point.

 

 

See, I am afraid we often do not realize what we are communicating when we talk or ask questions or create programs. We have bought into society’s mentality that life happens around “big” moments. Which is does. Those moments are very important. But they are not all-important. They are just that-moments. And those moments come and go and leave us waiting for the next one while wondering what is going on with people who have yet to hit those milestone moments. Sometimes they leave us discontent and wondering what is wrong with us. Why am I still single? Why did I never finish college? Why don’t I have my dream job? Why haven’t I had kids yet? What is wrong with me? To which I would respond:

 

NOTHING!

 

Repeat that. NOTHING.  See, we have to break the cycle. We have to smash the mold that says life begins at a certain point. Because some of us will never get married. And some of us will never graduate college. And some of us will never have kids. But all of us have an innate desire to live a life that has meaning and purpose and focus. So live that life.

 

Today I bought a shovel and seeds because I am going to plant a garden. I am working on homework for a Master’s degree that I love. I am studying for a test I have to take for my job. I get up every morning and work out with a group of people older, wiser, and wealthier than I will probably ever be. I am teaching myself how to cook. I am starting a side business to educate my community on the horrors of human trafficking. I am throwing off and giving up on the notion that life doesn’t begin until some point in the future. Honestly, I did this a long time ago. But it was much easier to live this out on my tiny island. It’s been much harder in southern Indiana where the normal age to get married is like 21 or something crazy like that. And it’s been much harder when well-meaning people seem to, perhaps unintentionally, discount me because I am single.

 

Surely I am not the only person who feels this way. So start today and determine to do something radical, different, and unique to you. I have used the last three years of my life to travel, grow, overcome fears, and experience new things. I am always taking on new challenges. So find a challenge. Read the blog of a guy like Joel Runyon. Make a goal that 30 days from now you will have lived to the fullest. You will have tackled a new challenge, done some spring cleaning, or just stopped complaining. Let’s commit to be content, satisfied, life-loving people who break the mold that life starts at some specific point in the future. Let’s start today appreciating each other for who we are and where we are. Each stage in life is unique and exciting so live each one up and know that the next “big” thing will come at the exact right moment, and not a second sooner. So stop waiting for it and start living.

 

I am. Will you?

 

 

“Excuses Make You Suck”

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Last week, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Jason Selk speak. He is the author of the book 10-Minute Toughness and perhaps most notably around this area, the Director of Mental Training for the St. Louis Cardinals.  His hour-long talk was one of the most straight-forward, down-to-earth messages I have heard in a while and the exact message I believe everyone needs to hear at this time of year. Heading into mid-January, how are your goals and resolutions for the year holding up? Have you already forgotten them? I hope not, but in case you are waning, here is a bit of motivation to keep you moving.

 

Dr. Selk’s talk was entitled “The Heart of a Champion.” The key message was having courage to believe in yourself when the chops are down. It’s easy to believe in yourself when things are going well, but he talked about being the type of person that is prepared and ready for the tough moment. To do this, “one must know that they always finish what they set out to do.” How many times have you set a goal only to not finish it? What are you telling yourself when that happens?  We must become the type of people who always finish what we start.  But how do you do this? By starting small, focusing on the process, and choosing to attack the things you can control. Dr. Selk’s inspiration comes from wrestling great, Dan Gable.  Gable’s wrestling record was 182-1 and included an Olympic medal. Dr. Selk sat down and interviewed him and came up with three steps for creating the discipline in your life that you need to become the type of person that always finishes what they set out to finish.

 

Step 1: Choose carefully what you decide to accomplish.  You do not have to set the bar extremely high. If you aren’t a runner, start with a 5k, not a marathon. Start with getting up early one day a week if you aren’t a morning person. Read 5 minutes extra a day. Choose a goal carefully that is doable.

 

Step 2: Always finish-no excuses.  No matter what happens, finish the goal. Cross the finish line. Crawl out of bed. Stay up 5 more minutes.

 

Step 3: If you come up short, find the nearest mirror and say, “I’m sorry, there are no excuses, this will never happen again.” Don’t make an excuse. Just admit you came up short and determine to never let it happen again.

 

As Dr. Selk so aptly quoted, “Excuses make you suck.” They are the antithesis to success. Do not let them become part of your vocabulary. Apologize without excuses. Finish your goals. Admit you came up short, but don’t excuse it. Because we can all be people who do what we say we will do.

 

One of the ways he talked about this being attainable is by focusing on process goals. Make sure that you are doing daily the things needed to get you to your ultimate goal. Dan Gable wanted to be the best. So he made sure that he practiced harder, longer, smarter, and with more intensity than his opponents. He knew when he stepped up for a match that he was as prepared as he would ever be. He had made sure his process would secure his success.

Another thing Dr. Selk pointed out was that as human beings, we are goal striving, not goal achieving. Sure its great to finish the race, but the process is where the real enjoyment comes. Be the type of person that finishes what they started and learns to set small goals to enjoy the process along the way. Stop making excuses. Because we can all be runners or morning people or readers or better at our job or have stronger relationships. We just have to set goals and do them. We have to get up and stop making excuses or saying “we can’t do it.”

 

If you want more information, pick up Dr. Selk’s book 10-Minute Toughness. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him and am going to use 2012 as a year to practice ridding my vocabulary of excuses. Perhaps it would be a good exercise for all of us.

Quarter of a Century

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Happy 25th Birthday to Me!

 

I am pretty excited.

 

25.

 

Sounds so grown up. I can now rent a car, I have officially entered my mid-twenties, and have enough experience under my belt to at least have somewhat of a voice and opinion. I am three years out of college and getting ready to go back. I have had an amazing year and am excited for what is coming next. Life is always an adventure with me!

 

I love birthdays. I have never ever dreaded getting one year older. I know, that may catch up with me someday, but for now I am excited about what year 25 will bring. Year 24 year was pretty amazing. I began it in Saipan, traveled to Bali, Australia, and Japan, completed a triathlon, watched my little brother get married, started a new job, and got accepted to a Master’s program. And that is only a small, small sampling of year 24.  

 

It seemed only natural to blog on this day.  As I thought long and hard about what to write I came up with a few ideas, but overall I realized that I am so blessed and thankful for my life, its hard to narrow it down. It’s been an amazing 25 years and while I could easily come up with 25 things to write about, I am not a fan of long lists and I am guessing you aren’t either. So I narrowed it down to five things I have learned in my 25 years of life. That’s an easy multiple of 25. Five is only a penny in the bucket of all the life lessons I have learned, but hopefully I can keep your attention for long enough to stick through the five. I will even count them down, although they are not really in any particular order.

5. After 25 years, my parents still know best. While they have become my best friends and have definitely let me grow up, I now  listen to their advice with an open ear. I have finally realized that they may be wiser than I cared to think and they might know a little bit more than I do. (tough lesson to learn)  I am pretty sure I am only where I am today because of them and I am so thankful for their support and love, even when I chose not to listen to them.

4. After five college major changes, three drastically different jobs, traveling the world, and a lot of researching, I finally found a path. I won’t go so far to say I know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I will say that I have a direction, a focus, and a passion that I plan to pursue until I can no longer. It starts with going back to school. Where it will finish, only God knows. I believe it really started when as a fourth grader I decided to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. (If you have not read it, I can assure it is not fourth grade level reading material)  My mom may be able to tell you it started earlier than that. All I know is the fight against slavery has been inside of me since that day. What that will look like in terms of the future, I have no idea. All I know is that I cannot squelch it and the number of people enslaved is higher than it has ever been in history so there is a need for people passionate once again about the abolishment of slavery.

3. Life is all about being present where you are. This was a hard lesson to learn. In fact, I did not learn it until last year. Most of my life I was always looking forward to the next step, the next thing, the next whatever. Moving across the world to a very small island left me no choice but to be where I was. There was no leaving and no sense in being miserable-hello, aside from the cockroaches and mosquitoes, it was pretty close to paradise. So I dug in, made friends, got involved, coached, traveled, and made memories I will have forever.  I made a decision as I said good-bye to Saipan that I was going to live where I was. God doesn’t put us places without purpose so wherever that is, I am going to be all there for however long I am there.

2. Experiences > Stuff.  Enough said.

1. Friendships, if worth maintaining, will take work. But the value of a close friend cannot be put into words. E-mail, call, Skype, laugh, and learn together. Find friends that enjoy what you enjoy, share your heart, and at the end of the day, love you for exactly who you are-quirks and all!

 

I have no idea what year 25 will bring, but I can assure it, life will be anything but boring! I am already starting a list of things to accomplish and I am so excited about the year! For now though, I am going to enjoy my triple shot, venti Peppermint Mocha (free from Starbucks) and enjoy the day.

Feed My Starving Children

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You know you have found a soul sister when your idea of something fun to do on a Friday night is dump food into bags for two hours. But that is exactly what my friend Leah and I did for two hours last Friday night. Amid laughter, music, and lots of chatting, I realized that this was exactly what my soul needed. A break from the media and life to focus on a project way bigger than myself and with an organization I have a very personal connection to.

 

Rewind a few months.  Leah asked me if I wanted to go to a packing party for this organization called Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). I immediately said yes, perhaps way more enthusiastically than was to be expected. You see, back in 2009, I spent two months in a tiny country in Africa called Swaziland.  While I was there, we had the opportunity to distribute some of the food that was packed and shipped from… Feed My Starving Children. I am not really sure how we got connected, but I remember the look on the faces when we arrived

with the food. We actually tasted it and its pretty good compared to some of the other food the kids go to eat. Not that starving kids are picky, but the food is packed full of nutrients and they have made a very conscious effort to create something that is culturally acceptable no matter where they ship it. And if you can do all that and still make it taste decent, it’s an added bonus. Ever since that summer, I have just held a special place in my heart for FMSC. Thus, I was ecstatic to be on this end as well.

 

Friday night we headed out to a local church to be involved in what FMSC calls “Packing Parties.” They have them all over the country and they are usually two-day events broken down into two-hour shifts in which volunteers go and pack the food into boxes to be shipped. Our goal was to pack boxes that would be sent to organizations in Haiti. The food helps alleviate some of the costs of running orphanages and care points for kids around the world. It’s a pretty elaborate process, but so much fun.  After a short film and instructions on wearing hair nets, we went down to the gym and were given even more instructions on the actual process. Leah and I decided to jump on filling the bags with the food. They are made up of four ingredients -chicken, veggies, soy, and rice.  We laughed so hard, jammed out to some music, and had a blast despite ending the night with sore hands and backs.

 

It left me incredibly thankful for the experiences I have had. Yes, anyone can be involved in packing the food, but to have an actual connection made the night more than just a fun thing to do. It was a reminder of my time spent in Africa and a reminder of how thankful I am for the blessings and opportunities I have been given. It also reminded me of how thankful I am for Leah and her friendship-it takes a special friend to find filling plastic bags with food for two hours an enjoyable experience. Her laughter, acceptance, and understanding of me is something I cherish. She is one of those rare friends that can finish a sentence, complete a thought, and read a mind. And after all that, she still likes me!  Beyond that, it was so amazing to be part of this side of the organization.  Overall, we(the group of people there)  packed enough boxes of food to feed 121 kids for an entire year.  In two hours.  That’s 121 less kids that will be hungry. I think I can give up two hours for that.

 

What about you? It’s that time of year..any special service projects you are part of? Any organizations that you have a connection to?

And The Winner Is…

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Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog. I enjoyed reading them! I found a random number generator online, inputed all the entries in an Excel Doc, and choose a random number that corresponded to an entry. (Tried to make it official)

 

Anyways.. after all that the winner was:

 

ELIZABETH ZIKMUND!

 

Her comment was:

JK Rowling, I am a big Harry Potter nerd and would love to speak to JK Rowling. She is such an amazing writer, I’d love to pick her brain!
CS Lewis. I have read so many of his books and a biography written by his stepson. I would love to hear his story in his own words. He wrote amazing books and went through some really hard things.

Congrats Girl!! And thanks everyone else for entering! (I still think you all should read the book eventually..)

Happy Reading!

 

Start Something That Matters: a Review and a Chance to Win

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“Love your work, work for what you love, and change the world–All at the same time.” -Opening quote from Start Something That Matters written by Founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie.

 

Little excites me more than a good book. I can get lost in the story, the characters, and the imagery the author weaves throughout the pages. And while Start Something That Matters is not as much of a story as it is a guidebook, I fell in love with the book from the first page. I had to be careful where I read it as so many of the stories told by author and founder, Blake Mycoskie brought me to tears. Perhaps I am a little overly sensitive, but there is just something about reading page after page of ordinary people achieving extraordinary things that is inspiring and emotion-provoking. My initial review of the book-finish reading my post and then go buy yourself a copy. It’s worth it. No matter what you do, no matter where you work, or what dreams you have, the practical principles in the book are worth the cost of the book. And you will be giving a book to child somewhere else, so what other reason do you need? Well, in case that was not convincing enough, I will give you a few more reasons I think you should snag yourself a copy.

 

First, the stories. Maybe you know a little about how TOMS was founded, but my passion for TOMS was increased after reading Blake’s side of the story. And how about the stories behind how Method brand products, Falling Whistles, or charity:water started?  Most often we get this idea in our head that these organizations were founded by super-heroes and that there is nothing that I, an average person, can do. Not true. Those companies were all started by average people with dreams beyond the status quo. The stories were inspiring. As was the challenge-find your story. And in keeping with the practical side of the book, there are steps laid out on how to do just that. How do you find your story? Your message in the midst of the many out there? How do you distinguish your idea as a movement, as a mission, as something other people should become a part of? Those are just some of the things addressed in the first several chapters of the book.

Second, the challenge. I love how Mycoskie refuses to sugar coat things. He does not simply write an inspiring book that is full of all the successes and positives. He digs deep and challenges you to face the fears and shares the mistakes and failures that came at the beginning. He shares his own fear and insecurity as well as that of many other business leaders. The book takes you on a journey and does not leave you with the impression that it will be easy or smooth, but with the impression that it is possible. That I believe is a much better outcome.  When I finished the last page, I had the confidence to believe I could pursue something that matters. I also had a clear picture of the reality of the challenges that would be ahead and the courage I would need to push through the fear and the feelings of failure.

Lastly, the resources. I believe most of us are under the impression that we must have an enormous amount of capital and resources to start something. Mycoskie challenges this idea by explaining how carefully they conserved resources and giving very practical ideas of ways to save money at the beginning. In addition, there are pages of free or nearly resources available to everyone starting out. I had not heard of most of the items on the list and highlighted and book marked the pages to continually come back to. The book is full of advice and strategies from other entrepreneurs that added value to the practicality of the book.

Overall, I would highly recommend the book. Even if you do not ever plan on starting your own company, the tools in the book are easily applied to whatever you are doing. I think the value of the book is that not only does it tell a story, but it inspires its readers to tell their stories. And not just to tell your story, but to practically turn that story into something bigger, something that matters. It’s a book you close out not only feeling inspired, but feeling equipped to start. That in my opinion makes it an excellent read.

 

Now its your turn. I want you to read it. And I am going to make it easy for you because I have a brand new copy of the book to give away!  I will even cover the shipping! All you have to do is simply comment on this post an answer to the following question:

If you could listen to anyone’s story of how they got where they are, who would it be and why? 

I will tell you my answer. It would be Tom Davis, founder of Children’s Hope Chest because I admire what he has done for the orphan and the widow around the world, and he works closely with Swaziland-a country near to my heart.

Now its your turn. I will give you guys until December 2nd, 2011 at midnight to answer and then I will pick a winner.  After that, I expect the rest of you to get your own copy of the book and read it! Good Luck!

 

 

13.1…

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…miles.

 

Yep, that’s right. 

 

 I ran 13.1 miles.

 

And I did it 1:56.

 

Let me tell you, there are few times in my life I have been so proud. I woke up at 4:30am Sunday morning after 9 weeks of training. The day was finally here. I have sacrificed a lot the last couple months to train for this. And I was a little nervous, but as I lined up with all the other runners, I was just excited. Yes, excited about getting ready to run 13.1 miles. Another reinforcement of the fact that I am not your average person. Most people get excited about football games; me, I get excited about running long distances. I felt so good the entire race. My knees didn’t hurt and I kept up the pace I wanted to, in fact, I was consistently ahead. I finished my 5k, 10k, and 15k all faster than I thought I would. When I saw that finishing the entire thing in under 2 hours was a reality, I pushed myself all the more harder. I came into mile 11 tired, but thankfully I found a runner to pace myself with and was determined not to let her beat me. As I came down the final stretch, I sprinted to the finish, and then just about collapsed. See, I always begin my races with the goal of crossing the finish line with nothing left and this time I definitely succeeded in my endeavor. It was an incredible feeling.  The biggest confidence boost you can imagine. I did it. I just ran 13.1 miles. Not only did I run it, I killed it. For a first-timer, to finish in under 2 hours, well, that’s all  I could have asked for.

 

What they fail to tell you is that the next 24 hours are brutal. I didn’t sleep a wink last night because every time I moved, I woke up due to the throbbing in my legs and everyone at work has been laughing at me as I hobble around due to muscles that are in major rebellion. I plan to spend the evening with ice on them and attempting to climb as few stairs as possible as this event brings tears to my eyes. Literally. I also will figure out a way to ensure this sort of pain does not happen again. At least not quite to this extent.

 

However, as usual, the pain is not enough to keep me from putting myself  through this type of torture again.  Next thing on the agenda is another half in April and then straight on into a marathon training program. Yep, I am crazy. Or maybe just a junkie for that feeling of accomplishment after you cross the finish line. But I figure one of these days it will come in handy. Perhaps someday I will even find someone who thinks of  it as an endearing quality.