Mar 12, 2015 - Running    3 Comments

The Glass Slipper Challenge

It was a chilly Florida morning at 3 am when I awoke for the Enchanted 10K. My friend Sara would be running with me both days – my teammate in it for the long haul. We huddled with 10,000 of our new friends, and oodles of mylar space-blankets, waiting for the release. We overcompensated for the cold and wore many layers. I was dressed as Rapunzel and was able to use my hair as a scarf for a little added warmth! Bonus!

rapunzel scarf hair

The Enchanted 10K was just that – enchanted! It was a delightful course winding through EPCOT and the Boardwalk. It was a perfect length to be challenging, but not exhausting. And we had fun with it. Sara and I ran intervals and enjoyed the race. We laughed as we passed mounds of scarves, hats, gloves, and jackets which our fellow runners had tossed as they warmed up. It was a relaxing warm up – in all ways! Warm up in temperature. Warm up in mileage. And Warm up mentally for me for the Princess Half the next day. 

enchanted 10K

It was an even earlier morning on Sunday when my alarm blared at 2:30 am and I let out a giggle of protest at my plans for the day. Getting up at 2:30 am to run a very long way! What was I thinking?! Sara and I spent the majority of the day after the Enchanted 10K stretching, icing, massaging, and ambulating in preparation for the next morning. We dressed in our costumes as Sully and Boo from Monsters Inc. And got ready for the challenge of the day.

sully and boo

 

Sara and I started strong, keeping to our planned pacing and enjoying the sights along the way. I love Main Street where scads of people gather to cheer on everyone. Yes, they likely have a specific runner in mind, but they also joyfully holler for us all. I remembered one cheerleader, Peggy Sue, in this very spot last year with her famous sign, “Hello, Perfect stranger, I’m proud of you.” and I got a little misty eyed. We turn right and jogged through Tomorrowland before running directly through Cinderella’s Castle. Just behind the castle, cast members were positioned handing out tissues. I snagged one assuming it was a prop for the photo op. I would gingerly dab the corner of my eye and try to get a good photo, but as I ran through the castle and caught a glimpse of everyone coming down Main Street, I actually needed the tissue to wipe a tear from my eyes! That was my magical moment this year.

castle run

Miles 8-10 are always my most difficult. I’ve been running a long time, feel spent, and still have a long way to go. Sara was hitting her wall as well. We slowed down, but stayed together. We were going to pull each other through this race. We were delighted to be surprised by a few friends at the 9 mile marker. It was perfect! We were in need of something delightful and seeing two familiar faces was just the thing. We trudged through the last four miles before reaching the Finish line, where the real magic happens. I set a record (for my longest ever half marathon time!), got ice for my irritable knee and proceeded to eat all the calories available!

ice knee run

Hardware follows Hard work. Amen. I wanted something tangible to show for my effort. Not just my effort over the past two days, or my mental stamina to keep going, but my effort throughout the entire training program. I earned my Glass Slipper medals and my Coast to Coast challenge (as I did the Star Wars Half as well– and wrote about it!) I have medals to show for my months of late nights and early mornings spent with just me and the road. These mean more to me than one day of competition. They represent all the ways I’ve “channeled Michael Jordan” over the years! I began running 30 seconds at a time and have slowly worked my way up to half marathons and combination challenges. They hang in my room, silently squelching my self-doubt. They are powerful. They are beautiful. They are heavy!

medals glass slipper challenge

Mar 9, 2015 - Running    No Comments

Channeling Michael Jordan

A week before the Glass Slipper challenge (a 19.3 mile race over two days!), I wasn’t excited, I was sick.

(I’ll spare you the details, but just know, it was gross!)

I’m not sure what bothered me most: the inability to ever maintain the correct temperature to blanket ratio for more than a minute, the incredible amount of tissue boxes that I consume in my snot-filled state, the hazy, drooped eye lids which only give me a partial view of the world, or the lack of productivity.

sick, ill, snot, kleenex

I know, I’m ridiculous! I was ill. I’m allowed to have a cold! But I sat, blew my nose, drank my tea, cleared my throat and thought of all the things I should have been doing. My mind raced saying, “I should be running one last training run. I should be stretching. I should be packing my bag to ensure the correct calorie intake for the races.”

But I couldn’t do any of that right then. I sat, dwelling on the miles I had to run shortly. I was nervous. I had been training for months. I had been looking forward to this challenge for months! I needed to find some endurance somewhere deep inside of me. I sent a bemoaning text to my friend about my viral state and anxiety about my upcoming physical exertion and she wrote back, “Channel Michael Jordan.”

I knew what she meant. Michael Jordan’s performance during game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals is the stuff of legends. He woke up at 3 am the morning of the game with the flu. It’s almost all the commentators talked about throughout the game. The look in his eyes. The way he walked out hanging his head. And his incredible MVP-earning performance throughout the game. He found his drive deep down inside. He had endurance he didn’t realize. He relied on his training and his teammates to make it through.

And I did the same thing!

 

IMG_3258

These races became about something bigger to me. It was about finishing, not timing. It was about proving myself wrong and finding strength and energy I didn’t realize I had. I earned my Glass Slipper. I earned my medals. I earned a nap! Maybe I’ll go channel Rip Van Winkle instead of Michael Jordan for a while…

Where do you find energy when you need it most?

 

Mar 7, 2015 - Health, Running, speaking, travel    No Comments

Internal Daylight Savings

No, I’m not dead.

No, I haven’t decided to live off the grid.

No, I haven’t eloped.

February was just a blur. 

IMG_3398sick, ill, snot, kleenexenchanted 10K

Traveling, speaking, multiple illnesses, and a twenty-mile race can make a month very tight and very exhausting. I feel like I am just now able to process all that happened in February. Like my mind is living a month behind my body. It’s a new kind of internal daylight savings!

But I’m hoping to spring forward in more ways than one tonight. I want to align my clocks, watches, and internal system to live in the present. Yes, I need to think about my blur of a month, but I also need to live where I am. I don’t want to live life solely through my rear view mirror. I think back and muse, “Wow, I led a women’s retreat. I spoke for four hours about the Sabbath one month ago this weekend. Was that real?” I ponder such questions because the distance between my thoughts and my presence can keep me from enjoying what’s going on right in front of me. Maybe you feel the same. Nostalgic for what was and never fully enjoying what is. I am seeking to enjoy life past, present, and future. Remember good times, enjoy today, plan for the future. That’s my new daylight savings plan – enjoy the sunshine wherever it shines!

How do you train yourself to enjoy today and not worry about tomorrow or long for yesterday?

Feb 17, 2015 - Health    2 Comments

Sick and Ticked!

I’m sick. I just have a cold. Typical symptoms: cough, stuffiness, watery eyes, fatigue. But I’m ticked about it! I don’t have time to be sick! I have stuff to do. I have things to catch up on after speaking at a women’s retreat about Sabbath Rest! I have a half marathon this upcoming weekend! Couldn’t we reschedule the stuffy nose timing, God?

sick, ill, snot, kleenex

The irony is not lost on me. 

I spent all of last weekend telling a lovely group of women that they were not responsible for their own salvation. That they could rest. More than that, telling them that God designed us to need rhythms of rest and work.

But I don’t like my current rhythm. I’d rather be working. I have stuff to do. I’ve said it before and it is true again today. Sickness is used in my life to remind me that it’s not all up to me. When I am sick, I can still trust that the world will go on. Because I am not responsible for upholding the world and keeping it running. (Though I often live as if I am!) God is in control. I am not. My job right now is to blow my nose, drink hot tea, and take naps to fight off whatever virus has taken up residence in my lymph nodes. That’s it. That is what I need to check off my to do list today. Rest, be still, recover. And trust that God has everything else under control.

Instead of being sick and ticked, I will strive to be sick and trusting. It will be good training for all the times that I’m not ill, but still want to trust!

 

God repeatedly uses illness in my life to remind me of this truth. What has He used in your life?

 

Feb 16, 2015 - My Story, speaking, Writing    1 Comment

Seeking Rest for my Soul

I hear voices.

Well, one in particular. It whispers to me that it is unsatisfied with my work, my efforts, my productivity, and my choices. It tells me lies. It tells me that I have to do more and be more. That I have to earn rest and that work is always more important than rest.

Do you hear a similar voice inside your head that tells you to do more and to be more?

I shared my voice with these ladies last weekend at the Hays Hills Baptist Church Women’s Retreat and they understood. They didn’t scoff at my voice. They were acquainted with this voice and its lying words too well already. We don’t know how to rest well, or be still as a society. We might have periods of inactivity, but our minds, hearts, and souls continue to churn.

hays hills womens retreat

 

We fought for rest together. We fought for truth together. We fought for Sabbath together.

I’ve been thinking about Sabbath and rest for years and I was thrilled to share my research and thoughts with an audience. It was a huge boost to my confidence. I wrote these words with my friend and editor, Abby, and we were finally able to share them. Our gifts of writing and communication were recognized and encouraged. It was amazing to me that people were taking notes on my words. That they were asking me questions as if I was the expert. I giggled in glee that someone chose my words to write on her mug!

mug worry future

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Hays Hills Baptist Church for being so welcoming of me and for encouraging me through your questions and thoughts throughout the weekend. Thank you also to Aaron and Lindsay Kahler who were instrumental in getting me invited to speak in the first place. To the retreat planning committee who took care of every detail so that I just had to show up and talk! To Abby who has weekly picked apart this text with me word by word to make it the best it could possibly be! And a huge thank you to everyone who knew I was speaking and was praying for me back home. I felt incredibly encouraged and blessed this past weekend. Thank you for being a part of this adventure.

come to me and i will give you rest

Feb 11, 2015 - My Story, Running    3 Comments

Run Your Buns Off! And Write Your Thumbs Off?

That title will make sense — I promise!

star wars half

I ran the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon last month and had a delightful time. I set a personal record and cheered my good friend through the finish line.

AND as if that wasn’t enough– I got published! I submitted my article to a website called RunningAtDisney.com and was accepted. Running At Disney is a wonderful website (and not just because of the RAD acronym it creates.) It’s a place where normal people, not just Olympic runners can share their experiences and cheer one another on through each magical mile. It is a place where

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my experience on multiple platforms. Click HERE to read more!

Or copy and paste this URL: http://runningatdisney.com/2015/02/11/run-your-buns-off-at-the-star-wars-half-marathon/

california adventure disney

Feb 4, 2015 - Humor    No Comments

Just for Laughs

I had no idea this was a trend! Sometimes I feel wide-eyed like this in life. Glad to know I have some traveling companions in the tunnel of life. Take heart, there is light at the end of every tunnel.

I hope it makes you smile as well!

Jan 24, 2015 - Devotional, My Story    1 Comment

My Empty Shelf

I have one empty space in my room.

Just one.

empty shelf symbol borders boundaries

I am a natural Tetris player and I swear I can fit more in any given space than the average human. So, needless to say, I have a ton of stuff. It’s all neatly put away, tightly packed, and sometimes vacuum sealed! After cleaning up and putting away the Christmas explosion of decorations, I left one shelf unadorned. It is not because I didn’t have anything that could go there. No, this decision was purposeful. I wanted a daily reminder that my life needs borders and boundaries. I’ve discussed this in a previous post. I learned from Leviticus that margins in gleaning and in life are incredibly important. I have the tendency to fill my time and space to capacity. Truly, I fill it past capacity! If I have something cancel on a Saturday evening, I often have two alternatives which can easily slide into the newly opened space.

My life is full  of both good things and responsibilities. It can seem as though it is filled to capacity with no room for change or chance or imperfection.

I’m giving myself one empty shelf as a symbol.

I long for margins in the midst of expectations and for breathing room to be able to enjoy where I am. My empty shelf will help with that. I won’t fill my life, time, and schedule to capacity. I will leave space for the unexpected and delightful.

What about you? How can your space help define your life?

Jan 18, 2015 - Uncategorized    6 Comments

Race Day!

I’m trying for a personal goal at my half marathon this morning. As this posts, I’m in the starting chute, stretched and ready to go. Often along the course, there will be little motivational posters set up to give the runners a boost. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Blisters are just Braille for awesome.

2. I like to run in the morning, before my brain is fully awake to stop me!

3. Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.

4. You’re running better than the government.

5. Life is short. Running makes it seem longer.

May this be true today! 13.1 miles…Here I go!running morgan freeman narration

Jan 13, 2015 - Writing    No Comments

Seeing the Story

I’m a writer.

I learn this about myself more every day. I compose prose in the car on my way to work and think about more powerful synonyms for common words when I’m running. Words are my friends and continual companions.

But even more important than my thesaurus, are my eyes. I long to notice what others ignore in life. I want to have sharp vision and a soft heart. I want to see the story.

I had this moment while walking to work last week. I work at a large hospital and have to park half a mile away and cross train tracks to the main building. It’s quite exciting every morning, especially depending on the train schedule! The other day as I was still bleary-eyed in the early morning hours noticed this on the train tracks:

sock on train tracks

If you can’t see it well. It is a neon pink and green ankle sock crunched down beside the train tracks.

I saw it, strolled past, giggled, and returned to take this image while thinking, “How in the world did this happen?” I wanted to know the back story. Immediately my mind began concocting possibilities.

Was this the left over of a modern-day Cinderella production where the heroine loses a brightly colored sock instead of a glass slipper?

Is this the evidence of a new semaphore system with colored socks instead of flags?

Was someone running away from a masked man who was in hot pursuit? Perhaps her feet were pumping in rhythms faster than her heart rate. When she heard the distant train whistle. Pushing through the aching and protesting muscles, she gritted her teeth and pushed herself faster than she thought possible. The guard arms began to flash and lower. She yearned for oxygen. Just a bit further. She dove, stretched out, diving in front of the speeding locomotive and simultaneously catching her right foot on the asphalt loosing both sock and shoe in the process, but also giving her self some much-needed separation from the cloaked pursuer. And leaving me a small clue to her whereabouts.

Or perhaps it just fell out of someone’s gym bag as she was headed to work just as I was.

The answer doesn’t matter. The ability to see and create the story does!

What do you think happened? What story could you create with this small prompt?

 

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