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Weakness is a Choice

weakness is a choiceWhere we are now is normally a result of our own actions and our own choices. Sure, there are some things that we can’t control – yet we still can control our reaction to even those things. 

We all have the same amount of time in the day. We may fill it up with work, facebook, kids, pets, church, TV, sleep, eating, etc…but we ultimately get to decide how we spend a lot of our time even if some of our time is not negotiable.

We ALL are busy. We all are pulled in a million different directions. One thing I’ve learned is I can ALLOW people, work, money, bills, stress, etc to pull me off track from what is important to me or I can stick to my guns and determine my own steps. 

When I say I did NOT want to run the morning I tweeted this quote out online Saturday, I meant it! I had precious family coming into town and knew I would be pressing it to run, shower, clean or do whatever needed to be done in time for their arrival. Plus, I was plain tired. I had already done 8 cardios so far that week and could have EASILY justified skipping a day. BUT (Biiiiiiiiiigggggg BUT) if I skipped it, it would have really been out of pure laziness and lame excuses. 

Running with your dogI didn’t have a ton of time, but I had enough time. I might have been tired, but I had the energy. My joints felt good, my body was feeling good. The whether was nice and Marley LOVES running with me so I can kill 2 birds with one stone – we both get exercise.

Steve got up and was doing his cardio. I honestly had no really good excuse NOT to – AND I knew good and well I’d feel horrible if I didn’t. Even though it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, it’s important to do the things that make you feel good and proud.

When it boils down to it, I had the choice. Run now, be proud later. Run now, be strong later, Run now, be thinner later, Run now, be guilt-free later. Run now, be a little closer to your goal later. Run now and live out the rest of the day in control, on track, focused, healthy and happy.

Next time you are tempted to be weak, remember you have the choice to be STRONG!!

Can You Go the Distance?

second windWikipedia explains the Second Wind as “a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is too out of breath and tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion. The feeling may be similar to that of a “runner’s high“, the most obvious difference being that the runner’s high occurs after the race is over. Some scientists believe the second wind to be a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Others claim second winds are due to endorphin production, while still others believe it to be purely psychological.” 

It really doesn’t matter where our second wind comes from, what matters is knowing it will come. Whether we are talking about fitness or life, sadly, many people never get to experience the second wind because they give up too soon. No one ever said weight loss would be easy. No one says that life is easy, so why are we so surprised when things get tough? If we plan to run a marathon, we know it’s going to be a long grueling haul. Weight loss is a marathon of sorts. So is marriage, our career, raising kids, and maintaining friendships. They all require a certain intense level of commitment – a commitment to the finish.

finish lineIf you plan to do a race, you plan to finish. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, the goal is to cross the finish line. Sadly, many people give up on their goals, hopes and dreams as soon as things get tough. I want to encourage you today, you WILL get a second wind – but you don’t get a second wind before the pain sets in. You don’t get a second wind before you run out of breath, or before your body shuts down. No! You get a second wind AFTER you begin to feel defeated. AFTER you’ve been on a plateau for too long. AFTER you’ve cried and started to doubt if you could “do this”. AFTER your mind starts turning on you. The second wind DOES come, but it doesn’t come when things are going smooth. It comes right when you need it the most …in the very last possible hour.

Test Yourself. Don’t miss your second wind because you choose not run long enough in your first one. Train hard. The more you reach the point of needing a second wind, the less doubt you will have that the second wind will come because you’ve experienced it before. However, if you quit every time something gets hard, you won’t have the past experiences to encourage you in your next race.

Never Give Up.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Even the Slowest & Weakest Can Still Finish: 4 Steps to Success

slow, small, weak still finishI think we’d be in a much better place if we didn’t focus on where we were but, instead, focused on where were are going. We tend to obsess over what we are NOT, and forget who we ARE, and who we are BECOMING.

I’m not a fast runner, but I run. I am not super strong, but I lift. I am getting faster, and I am getting stronger. Unfortunately, most of us are very impatient. We want to get the the “finish lines” of life in one big step, but that is unrealistic. We rarely get anywhere in life in one step. Everything great takes time. But, what separates the success stories from the failures is not really how strong or fast someone is, but whether they persevere.

runningAlthough I am not suggesting you become complacent and not care about your overall performance, what I am suggesting is that you don’t focus so much on your performance that you forget your accomplishments. Each run you complete, each day you show up to the gym, every calorie you count, and every ounce you lose is an accomplishment.

Whatever you are working toward, You Can Finish This!

Think of where you were once, at your worst. Now think of where you are now. Lastly, think about where you are headed if you continue to press on toward your goals. THAT’s who you are – who you are, is who you are becoming.

finish

Your Finish Line

Here are 4 steps to reaching your finish line.

1. Choose Your Race: Someone who has never run before rarely signs up for a marathon. Most people don’t just “show up” without a little planning. With fitness, “choosing your race” means choosing your goal. This can also mean choosing a gym, a class, a diet or trainer. Before you even take your first step, you have to make some important choices first.

2. Map Your Route: Before a runner starts, they have to know where to go – and so do you. Make sure you know the route to your finish line very well so you can stay on course. Choose some friends to “run with”. Having a workout partner, trainer or a group of people at work working on the same goals can help you from straying or losing focus.

3. Check Points: Create a few small goals and a few moderate goals to help encourage you, as well as make sure you stay on track.  Check points can be small weight loss goals, performance based goals, or health improvements like improved resting heart rate or cholesterol levels.

4. Finish Line: Make sure you have main goal, or set of goals, and post them where you can see them every day. Can you imagine running a race with no visible finish line? Make sure your “black and white checkered flag” can be easily seen every moment along your journey. Out of site, means out of mind.

 

Fitness Motivation: The Hardest Step is the 1st Step

front doorIn my opinion, the actual run (or workout) is not the hardest part. It’s getting there. It’s putting your workout clothes on, and stepping away from the computer, kids, and responsibilities to START your workout.

Once I’m “there” (whether on the road or in the gym), I love it – but it’s like there is an invisible forcefield at the front door that makes it so challenging to step through that door and transform into the fit girl I love to be.

May the Force Be With You

runner startlineFor some people, there is an evil forcefield that seems to block them from going to the gym. It comes in the form of work, kids, laziness, fear, embarrassment, procrastination, guilt and many other forms.

BUT, once you have made a commitment to show up, the forcefield is broken. The same way Snow White could be woken from the curse with the most simple task, with true love’s kiss, YOU can break the curse by an equally simple task. You just have to show up.

Don’t Think So Much

gym excusesI think we overcomplicate things. We spend too much time worrying about what we are going to do when we get there, what we are going to wear, what our kids are going to think when we stick them in day care, what we have to cook for dinner, how we will squeeze it all in, what we are going to look like when we are floundering around the gym as a newbie, or how we are going to feel – embarrassed, fat, weak or out of shape.

Some people even think they need to lose weight BEFORE they go to the gym! That’s like trying to get well before going to the doctor. All these silly thoughts do is allow that forcefield to go up.

Just Show Up

GO TO THE GYMIt’s time to tear down the walls of intimidation, fear, laziness, and excuses – and just focus on one thing: Show Up. Day after day, just keep showing up. Once your feet hit the pavement, it’s golden. Once your body walks through the gym doors, you are set. The rest is easy! Most people would agree that they enjoy the feeling they get when they workout, they just have a hard time with the “starting” part.

Commit.
Start.
Do.
Succeed!

I love to run but...

The shoes in this pictures are the Reebok DMX Sky.  They are really cool shoes that use air as cushion. I’ve been having ankle issues and I wore these yesterday and had the first day in several days with no pain. So, if you need extra support and like extra cushion, I’d definitely give these shoes a try. Very cool kicks.

Reebok-DMX-Sky

 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Motivation For Runners

You need to run BUT

IMG_1963When it comes to exercise, why do we even think twice about whether we should do it or not? Because we allow ourselves to fixate on how we feel NOW. Whether it’s how we feel physically, or how we feel emotionally, we let those feelings determine our actions. Yet, if we were to just focus on how we feel when we are FINISHED, I believe our actions would change drastically.

If you have a goal, let all your actions (what you eat, what you do, what you sacrifice) all be to get you one step closer to that goal. I think our problem is we do too much thinking, and too little doing. Next time you think about whether you should workout or not, you are waisting precious time pondering the inevitable – so just do it! You know it has to get done eventually if you want to reach your goal.

Don’t just Live, #LiveWithFire

Your Turn:

What gets you out the door?
How do you stay motivated to keep running when you, and everything around you, fights you every step of the way?

Shoes in the mantra pic: RealFlex Fusion RT

Shoes in the pic of me running:  This is when I was testing the DMX Sky on the (Right Foot only) and comparing it to another style. Click here to read more – Fitness Motivation: The Hardest Step is the 1st Step.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Want To Be Fit? Act Like It!

“If you really care, act like it”

dieterHave you ever heard that before? This holds true for even more than just feelings. This is a principle that applies also to fitness. If you want to be fit, act like it.

If you want to be a runner, act like it. If you want to lose weight, act like it. That really is all that is required to become what you want to become. Being the person you want to be requires acting like the person you want to become. And even if you don’t look like that person YET, you will – as long as you keep acting like it.

You Got This

You Got This!

runningSomeone recently asked me how to become a runner. My answer was “start running”. Of course I don’t expect them to run 3 miles straight, but they have to TRY. A new runner runs as long as their body is physically capable. Then they will have to walk and catch their breath. Then they’ll go right back to running as long as they can until they have to walk again. Basically, they are interval training – rotating high-intensity running with low-intensity walking. The more they do it, the less they’ll walk and the more they’ll run. Before they know it, they are running non-stop.

When did they become a runner? In my eyes, they became a runner the minute they started trying. A runner practices running. It doesn’t matter how good they are at it. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow they are. A runner is someone who dedicates time to run. That’s it.

lifting weightsThe same goes with a weight-lifter or a fitness enthusiast. There is no minimum requirement of how much you have to lift or how often you have to go to the gym. You are more fit the moment you begin to make fitness a part of your life. To me, fitness is a verb, not a noun. It’s a work in progress. It doesn’t matter how much body fat you have right now, it doesn’t matter how much muscle you have. It doesn’t matter how weak or out of shape you feel. What matters is you act like what you want to become. You keep showing up. You keep running, lifting weights, doing yoga, training, practicing, becoming…

If you act fit, you will BE fit. Plain and simple. Starting acting like who you want to be today. Be proud of who you are NOW – because you know who you are becoming!

A Bad Run is Better than No Run

tough runnerThis past Sunday, Steve and I woke up early to run before church. I already knew this was not going to be an easy run. I had a killer leg workout Friday and my legs were SO tight and sore. Even still, I had no idea just how bad it was going to be.

We laced up our tennies, I set my RunKeeper app and we hit the pavement. This chick in the pic (right) is what I wanted to look like running. I wanted to be tough, powerful, fast but I couldn’t have felt more wimpy, weak and slow. It was literally a stretch just to swing one leg in front of the other. My hamstrings were so tight, I felt like I had bungie chords attached to my butt preventing my legs from functioning.

slow runnerImmediately, Steve’s pace was already about 2 times faster than my body wanted to go. Maybe my breathing wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t spending all my breath complaining with every step. I fully expected to loosen up and start getting in the zone – but “the zone” never came.

2 Miles in, finally Steve had enough of my pathetic moaning and told me to basically quit complaining and suck it up. I had nothing nice to say, so you guessed it, I said nothing at all. He’d ask me a question and I just said nothing. I knew if I opened my mouth it wouldn’t be pretty so I just brewed with each step infuriated at my body’s poor performance.

turtle and rabbitOur pace was steady averaging 6mph/10-minute miles. This was not supposed to feel like 7 minute miles, but it did. Then Steve had the nerve to tell me to sprint. #%@&^! That’s great, I can barely run already and now you want me to sprint?  #%@&^PERFECT#%@&^! Again, since I had nothing nice to say, I just took off sprinting and left him in the dust. I wasn’t mad at steve, I was irritated with my body. I just wanted to punch myself.

My hamstrings felt like I was doing straight-leg dead lifts with every step. My calves were on FIRE and my heart was pounding out of my chest like I had just finished 100 burpees. What the HECK?! Ugh!

Reebok RealflexThen, after the torture was over and as I stood there with Steve, sweaty, exhausted and discouraged, I realized even a bad run is better than no run.

We focus on our ability (or lack of) so much we forget about our ability to just do it. Even a 12-minute mile is a great mile. Sure, we’ll have those frustrating days when we are tempted to feel like failures, but we need to focus on our successes – like showing up.

So what if you didn’t have a new PR. So what if you feel like a fat cow. So what if you had to walk part of the way, or you tripped and fell during your 10K (yes, Robin, I read your facebook post! ha!). It doesn’t matter. You laced up, you hit the pavement and you finished. That, my friend, is what fitness is all about.

Today’s Motivation

A Bad Run is Better Than No Run

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Failure Isn’t The End – It Could Be the Beginning

 

 

It’s so easy to look at one failure as the end but for many, it is the beginning. We learn from our mistakes. We get knocked down, and we get back up again – stronger, faster, better.

Fitness Motivation: Reason to Keep Running

If we rely on the way we feel in the moment, we will fail. However, if we focus on the way we feel because of what we choose to do right in that moment, we will succeed.

I don’t really always like the feeling of running. Sometimes my runs are amazing  – when the temperature is just right, the breeze if blowing against me, the sun is out but not beating down on me, and when all the stars are all aligned (kidding). Sure, I have good days, but most days, I’m just putting in the time. I’m doing it because I know I need it.

Although my runs make me feel good, somehow I still have the tendency to procrastinate. And when I do run, although I make the most of it and “enjoy” it as much as one can, there is still a part of me that wants to fight every step. When this happens, I think of my mantra below. I think about what running is doing for my body at that very moment. I think about how I feel afterwards. I think about how the discipline shapes me and grows me. And when I think of all of the benefits, I can actually say I enjoy running – not because I love the feeling of running, but because it makes me love the feeling of living. 🙂

Today’s shoe of choice: The New Reebok Realflex

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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