Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Hi, I am a long distance runner

2017 started with a new job for me; same company but new position and last week I found myself in a conference room with 20 new faces.  I felt "new", like the new kid in school that just moved from Wisconsin.  And even though I am very happy with what has happened with my career (For HE who promised is faithful....) and I like my new boss and manager I still felt like the newbie - and that's when I was asked to introduce myself 😔

Ya know; sometimes I think about how I would introduce myself to strangers and it always sounds so much cooler in my head - I would tell them how I got my unique name, I would tell how I have backpacked into Israel, rode Camels in Jordan, swan with sharks, been married 13 years, have a little boy and I would tell them of the grace I have been given so freely and about that time in high school I snuck onto the Our Lady Peace tour bus with Leah.  In my head I can quite easily make myself seem cooler than I did last week in a room full of new colleagues. 

So I said the basics - I said I have been with the company for 8 years, have done this, this and this job, blah, blah blah and I was just about to say something "cool" about myself but I actually stopped and said nothing else. 

And you know what I was going to say?

I was going to say I was a long distance runner - when my new manager asked me to tell the team about myself that is what I thought of first and it was on the tip of my tongue when I shut my mouth instead.

Because after 5 years of running, more 5k and 10k runs than I can count, 6 Half Marathons and 1 32km reduced Marathon I still don't consider myself a runner. (trust me even as I type this I know how silly it sounds)

I have been thinking about that since last week and am surprised that after all these years and all the KM's I still struggle to consider myself a "real" runner.  Because I have allowed society/friends/social media dictate to me what a real runner is.  I had decided in my mind that I can only be a "real" runner if I qualify for Boston; run negative splits, pace an 8 minute mile and win races.

Well friends; chances are none of those things will happen - and I will be humbled in surprise if I successfully cross the finish line of the Cincinnati Marathon this May.  But that shouldn't allow me to discount myself as a non runner - especially when I am the only one telling myself that lie.  So I decided I needed to pull up my (compression) socks and stop acting like a non-runner.  I need to stop downplaying the hard work I put into training and stop disbelieving in myself as a runner.

And that, is when God sent me a friendly push - it was no bouncy ball this time.  It came in the form of an email......and a sponsorship.

Nuun ; the #1 selling sports drink tab - and my go-to recovery drink after a long run- offered me a position as one of their Nuun Ambassador athletes.  Well, let me tell you - THIS makes me feel like a runner, THIS makes me feel like an athlete and it was the most perfectly God-timed encouragement and I start increasing my long runs in preparation for the Cincinnati Marathon.

When I started running my trainer told me it would be 80% mental and I remember thinking she had to be wrong; how could something so physical like long distance running actually be a mental challenge as well?!?! Boy, was I wrong - the mental aspect of running is by far the biggest challenge for me, and as you can clearly tell by this blog I have to work hard to maintain a strong mentality with my training.

So now I move forward, into training for a Marathon and Two Half Marathon's this year, into a new team at work and a new Team of Nuun Athletes.

Here's to 2017.



I gave up New Years Resoultions in exchange for New Years SOULutions about two years ago. 

Ann Voskamp offers a really wonderful free printable that allows you to make resolutions for your SOUL - resolutions that will help better yourself from the Inside Out without having to count calories, or steps or quit that thing you have been wrestling with for years. 

And though I do have specific running goals (see previous post) - these are the goals that truly will take the most work and the most focus for me this year!


Monday, 12 September 2016

This is what 33 looks like....

I turned 33 on Friday.

And with a new year comes a new list - with a twist.

I have done my "Things to do while I am..." list for about 7 years now, each birthday making a list of goals to accomplish before the next year.  Some years I have accomplished it all, other years I haven't even come close (which is what happens when one of those items is to train for and run a full marathon!).

But my heart feels different this year; and I don't feel like I need the same type of list.  I feel like I have done so much, I have seen so much and experienced so much - I feel like my lists are becoming hollow and I fear my heart is as well.  We can so easily become numbed by what this world is offering us and what this world is destroying all at the same time.

I read the news a lot, like a whole lot.  I could tell you more about current world conflicts than I could tell you about what happening in my community.  Sometimes the darkness of what is happening in this world every day can seem so overwhelming, it is hard to know what to do, or who to help, or how to help. 

But one thing I do know; is that I want more.

I want more human connection and less social media.  I want more authenticity and less disguises.  I want to speak truth more than I hide truth.  I want to challenge and be challenged.  I want to be constantly amazed by grace, instead of living as if I deserve any of what I have.  I want to see my neighbours the way Jesus see's them and I want to show them the same life I Can't Believe I have been blessed with.

I don't need another list of trips to take, possession's to gain or knowledge to gain.  Instead I want to spend this year being kind when it's not expected or asked for and let stretch marks spread across my heart and soul.  I want more life.

So this year I made a different list; one Tuesday in July with a house full of people and bowls full of soup I was telling a friend about my annual birthday lists and how I just didn't feel the same way about making my list this year.  She then told me how a friend of hers did a list similar to mine, but with a twist.  A twist that brings joy to your soul, in a way that no first class flight will do.  A twist that will challenge me financially, spiritually, emotionally and occasionally physically ;)

I was instantly on board with the idea, and so I present to you my "33" list.....

33 Acts of Kindness
(to be completed by 9/9/17)

1.       Send a care package
2.       Shovel a stranger's driveway
3.       Send flowers
4.       Leave a “Confidence sticky note”
5.       Make someone a homemade gift
6.       Bring muffins to a neighbour
7.       Let someone ahead of you in line
8.       Send a card anonymously in the mail
9.       Bring cold drinks to city worker's in the summer
10.   Donate canned food
11.   Compliment someone in customer service to their manager
12.   Leave an encouraging note
13.   Share a treat, when you want to keep it all
14.   Buy groceries for a stranger
15.   Make a mini spa for a tired friend
16.   Include a personal compliment in an email instead of your regular signature
17.   Leave a coupon next to the product in a store
18.   Pick up trash in a neighbourhood
19.   Bring flowers to a gravestone
20.   Pay for the person behind you in line
21.   Bring treats to public service workers on Christmas
22.   Chocolate – enough said.
23.   Deliver dinner to someone without a vehicle
24.   Compliment a parent who needs it
25.   Leave a used book with a note where someone will find it and enjoy it
26.   Share your story to encourage someone; even if you're scared to
27.   Cut someone’s grass
28.   Send a thank-you card
29.   Offer a free evening of babysitting to friends with kids
30.   Leave quarter's in a candy machine
31.   Donate to the women’s shelter
32.   Pay for a strangers meal at a restaurant
33.   Compliment a stranger

I want more this year, I think we were all meant for more.  We were meant for more than just passing each other by without looking at who a person really is and without seeing real need.  Jim Elliot once said, "The 39th street bus is as much a mission field as Africa ever was." and I pray I can live that this upcoming year with authenticity and kindness in my heart.  I want to remember that I am placed in the job I have, the neighbourhood I live in and at the church I attend not by chance, but with a plan in place.

Here's to 33 years old.....


PS - Also complete the Cincinnati Marathon ;)


32 things to do while I am 32

1.       Eat Thai food at an authentic Thai restaurant

2.       Make homemade dill pickles    - done, many batches in fact

3.        Do a Zumba class

4.        Read a book a month - Yes, however the intent of this was to be novels, most turned out to be picture books

5.        Take my vitamins every day - Everyday so far!

6.        Watch the entire “Lost” series - Done - and confused.

7.        Learn to change a car tire

8.        Attend a concert

9.        Read Revelations

10.    Visit a different country - "There's a girl waiting for me down in Mexico..."

11.    Write an article that gets published

12.    Eat a French macaroon - it was delicious!

13.    Visit Parliament -   We drove past, twice; so I am crossing it off ;)

14.    Get my legs waxed

15.    Shoot a handgun

16.    Don’t read any celebrity gossip for the entire year - Haven't read any so far!

17.    Catch a large mouth bass

18.    Run/Walk 32km a month - 32km for Sept,Oct and Nov completed!

19.    Send snail mail to a friend every month - Yes! Did you get your letter?

20.    Volunteer

21.    Go to a MLB game

22.    Eat dinner at a restaurant alone

23.    Swim in all 5 of the Great Lakes - I will definitely have to wait a few more months before starting this one!

24.    Complete the “1000 gifts app”

25.    Blog every month - Check!

26.    It’s a surprise!!! - Run a marathon, check!

27.    Cook great tasting ribs - Yes, in a crockpot!

28.    Plant a tree

29.   Fly first class

30.    Watch “Legends of the Fall”

31.   Find a good lipstick color

32.   Visit Joanne