How bad do you want it? That was the question I had to ask myself a couple of months ago. I qualified for the Spartan North America National Championship age group race in West Virginia and I knew I "had" to compete! I also knew it would be a challenge.I am not talking about the race itself, I was wondering/worrying how I would navigate to and from the race. When I travel, I always travel with someone and that someone, always books the plane tickets, books the hotel and arranges the rental car, basically all I do is show up! ( yes I am that person) So It began, I signed up for the West Virginia race, booked my airline tickets, booked the hotel,(feeling very proud of myself) and then started asking friends and family to accompany me, but even with my huge family and my vast number of friends. (insert sarcasm) everyone was busy! This became a challenge. Anyone who knows me knows I am directionally challenged and that means walking and driving. I cannot tell you how many races I have turned the wrong direction, ran extra or just plain got lost. Reading signs and driving in new places is even worse,it sends me into a panic. I would rather run 100 miles in the freezing cold or speak in front of the stadium full of people then rent a car and follow signs in and out of the airport.
( insert panic)
So I did what any sensible girl would do, I put out requests on the Spartan Facebook page, asking for a ride to my hotel, the race and back to the airport. I finally received one response from a man who was flying in from Denver for the race and he said he would be more than happy to give me a ride from the airport to my hotel, from my hotel to the race but he could not give me a ride back to the airport Sunday as he was racing again. Well, tickle me pink. I had a plan . I would take a ride with a spartan stranger to and from the race and then somehow hitchhike /find a way back to the airport on Sunday morning. From what I understand there’s not much Uber service in the mountains of West Virginia, an hour and a half from the airport.
My plan might have worked until..... my sister saw my communication on Facebook and she thought I was crazy for accepting a ride from a stranger. I replied that Spartan racers are some of the nicest people in the world! Then I told her if you are all so concerned maybe one of my 6 siblings should offer to go with me! ( insert guilt trip)!! So how bad did I want to compete in this race? Bad enough to make it happen at any cost! I often make excuses in life, but I realize they are just that "excuses". Now I ask myself, "How bad do I want it?"
Today, right now, ask yourself what you want and what fears and obstacles are you willing to tackle to get it!
Full disclosure: My sisters basically guilted my fiancée into traveling with me to the Spartan Race, but....., I happen to meet the man who offered me a ride while we were waiting on the start line. (he appeared safe) AROO
"Feel the Rush"
My parents are celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary today! Since I am the worst at sending cards I decided to proclaim their secrets to a strong, happy, healthy, humorous marriage. This is also a test to see if they read my blog!!
#1. My parents always put God first. We prayed before meals, went to church on Sundays and Holy Days. I doubt it was easy preparing 7 children for church and making us behave, but they did it with a little help from above!
#2 They put their relationship second. As long as I can remember my parents had a date night every Saturday night, even if meant one of us had to go without shoes. (ok exaggeration) They knew to love each other was key to being loving parents.
#3 Selflessness. I can honestly say my parents were never selfish. They did not have time to worry about their wants, they put their energy into raising 7 children and still today being loving attentive grandparents and great grandparents.
#4 Communication and honesty are key. Just recently my mom told my dad he should not be outdoors with his shirt off as it was not fair to the neighbors. Now that's tough love!
#5 Arguments. A strong marriage has to have disagreements. My parents still argue daily,
#6 Persistence. Never stop trying in a marriage. My dad still argues with my mom even though 95% of the time she wins. My mom just reminded me the other day about having the phone number to the bar memorized years ago. He was late for supper and she kept calling. True love!
#7 Value relationships over money, power, and material things. My parents have old friends, young friends, left and right friends! Basically, my parents accept everyone.
I know I failed to make a top 10 list for my parent's successful marriage but 7 is such a powerful number and fitting for them. They have 7 children, God rested on the 7th day, and mom and dad did too! 7 is a lucky number and my parents like to gamble. There are 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, my parents attend daily Mass and are continually blessed. There are 7 basic musical notes...oh wait my parents can't sing. I better stop before I stretch the truth!
Happy Anniversary to an amazing couple!
"Feel the Rush"
As a nutrition coach, I was once told not to label food as good or bad. Food is whatever we choose it to be. Some people may say cake is bad, but in all honesty, most of us enjoy cake while celebrating special events! Many would label spinach as good, but for some, it could cause gut issues or gag reflect:) With this knowledge, I realized being picked up for speeding on the interstate this holiday weekend was however I chose to perceive it. Staying with a positive mindset I chose "good" for many reasons.
1. I was blessed with the opportunity to communicate with my family. Countless members informed me that driving 86 mph is asking for a ticket. My brother in law (my insurance agent) also sent me a beautiful sermon about speeding on Snapchat! I am grateful for their "better late than never advice".
2. Not only did I get a speeding ticket, but I also received a "2 for 1". My license apparently still had my old address from 3 or 4 years ago, OOPS! I have 30 days to get a new one and present it to an officer to sign. I am currently on the lookout for officers!
3 Fear of the DMV. I am happy to say I have conquered my fear of waiting in line for hours upon hours at the DMV!
4. I had the opportunity to prove myself right. (love when that happens). I preach constantly that kids will not change behaviors without consequences attached to their actions. I guess this holds true for adults too!
5. I am happy to say I am currently driving like an old lady, safe, slow and annoying everyone around me.
6. l enjoy analyzing behaviors, this was the perfect opportunity for me to ask myself why I was traveling so fast. I decided I must drive like I run. I don't like following people in a race unless I am using them to draft! I like to be with the front runners if at all possible and then just settle in with the flow of the race. Silly reason/ excuse I know, but it is the best I could come up with besides the fact I hate driving.
Finally, as you enjoy the summer remember you are in charge of creating positive experiences from life events. I send you this lesson free of charge! A big shout out to the officer for allowing me to pay $124.00 and an hour of my time at the DMV for this valuable lesson. By the way, I know anything free is usually not appreciated.
"Feel the Rush
It's that time of year when we look back, embracing the joys, reliving the sorrows and giving gratitude for another year to get it right! Looking back at the many books I have read, podcasts I have consumed and my personal experiences with health and wellness; I have decided the following list works! This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration!
Top10 list for 2018!
#10 Intermittent Fasting- it's pretty simple; try to fast for at least 12 hours a day. If your last meal was at 8 p.m., your next calories consumed should not be before 8 a.m. This gives the digestive system a much-needed break.
#9 Eliminate Sugar-this is simple, but difficult. Sugar causes inflammation and has no nutrient value, it is addictive and causes cravings. (tough love)
#8 Stay Hydrated-start each morning with a glass of water and sip on H2O throughout the day.
#7Eat Real Food-save the processed, prepackaged food for emergencies, like when you may starve to death. FYI (the human body can survive for 21 days without food!)
#6 Lift Weights-pick up something heavy every day. Use a weight, your own body weight or borrow a small child!
#5 Sleep-your body needs the time to repair and recover. Don't be a hero with baggy eyes!
#4 Quiet- spend some time each day in prayer, meditation, or just silence.
#3 Collect Relationships- not things
#2 Be You- it is tempting to want to be like others, but God created each person with purpose!
#1 It's your life-.........................
"It's my life, it's now or never, I ain't gonna live forever, I just want to live while I'm alive" Bon Jovi may have got it right!
Happy New Year!
"Feel the Rush"
When it rains it pours. No, I am not talking about Nebraska football. Early July I tripped on a wire in the street and banged up my knee. I quit running but continued Crossfit. Then early August out of nowhere I had a pain in my foot only to find out I have a stress fracture. What's a gal to do? What any sane girl would do. I had a pity party? But then......
I picked up the book, "Believe It, My Journey of Success Failure and Overcoming the Odds", by Nick Foles. Nick was reminded by his chaplain to look for ways to have a positive impact on his teammates when he wasn't starting. His "gracious response in the midst of challenging times would be a testimony to others". He also says, "I think we learn more about ourselves and God when we are at our weakest." Now I don't know about you, but being weak is not something I strive for.
After reading his story I was inspired to find the silver lining in my injury. I have big goals for my next Spartan race so why not work on my weaknesses. I hired a coach at Crossfit to help me with upper body competition skills. I need to swing like a monkey, climb ropes like Tarzan, walk along walls and walk on water! (Ok, not walk on water) I also focused on creative lesson plans and spending more time with friends and family.
I realized when one door closes there is always another door waiting to be opened. What's stopping you from reaching your goals? Are you facing adversity in life? Don't be afraid to ask for help and pray for guidance. Need more time in your day? Get rid of the things that don't feed you. Learn to say no. Is someone you love suffering? Feel the joy in the act of compassion and prayer. I promise there is always a gift in trials, we just have to open the door to opportunities to serve others and ourselves with love.
I challenge you to take the excuses you have been making about why you can't do something and turn it into an opportunity. Take the challenges in life and turn them into victories.
Side Note: My sister has been known to tell her husband, "The window is closed." when he arrives home too late. He obviously lost his "window of opportunity".
Don't miss yours!
Feel the Rush
Did you know GOAT (greatest of all time) has been added to the dictionary? Some of the names associated with the definition will not surprise you. Micheal Jordan, Micheal Phelps, Serena Williams, and LeBron James are all mentioned, but Tom Brady is mentioned 2 to 4 times more frequently than any of the other athletes. Phelps has 23 Olympic gold medals so he seems like a top contender. Tom Brady has 5 Super Bowl rings, the only person to have 5 from the same team. They both seem pretty great to me.
So how does one measure greatness? One must have the ability, accomplishments, acknowledgment or authority (people want to listen to what you have to say). You may be thinking if you could be GOAT in something....anything life would be grand. Well not so fast.
An interview with Tom Brady after his third Super Bowl win (and he had only signed a 60 million dollar contract ) revealed he felt like there was something greater for him, he said there had to be more than this. Micheal Phelps in 2014 almost took his own life, he had his second DUI and some not so flattering pictures surfaced. Luckily he checked in for rehab. Afterward, he said he had an identity crisis. He believed his ability gave him his identity, he believed his accomplishments gave him his worth.
These days we are all competing for greatness, be it athletic ability, status, salary, super mom, ... you name it. Students are also trying to be the greatest, it may be making the starting line up, having the highest GPA, or the captain of the debate team. Be careful of the "identity crisis". "If I win, I am a winner, lose, then I'm a loser. What happens when we are no longer doing the thing that made us great?
The answer, don't confuse what you "can do" with "who you are." As we all strive to be the best at what we do (and doing our best is exactly what we should do). Remember what you can do is not nearly important as to who you are. Your character matters most!
Who is the real GOAT? Jesus Christ is the greatest of all time. Not because of what He does but because of who He is. Fr. Mike Schmitz so elegantly reminds us of the year, we celebrate 2018 because of His birthday. Jesus is not the greatest of all time because of what He did, it is because of who He is. Want a shot at the title? When the calendar year revolves around the day you were born......?
"Feel the Rush"
As an athlete, I like to think I am mentally tough, but a few recent events had me doubting my toughness. So I decided to take a deeper dive into mental toughness. According to Jason Selk, the director of mental training for the St Louis Cardinals, mental toughness is "the ability to stay focused on solutions in the face of diversity".
I recently spent a week in Orlando Florida on a family vacation. As much as I love family, the theme parks, concrete, long lines and sweating 24/7(just standing still) challenged my mental toughness. I tried positive self-talk and breathing while in line, but with the noise, heat and the waiting, and waiting and waiting..well you get the picture. I was failing. Also earlier in July I tripped over a wire in the street and banged up my knee pretty good. I needed to give it a couple weeks to heal but instead chose to run the Lincoln Mile and do some light running here and there. I was not tough enough to stay off of it.
During my research, I learned mental toughness is for everyone 12 years of age and older. Yes, you! It has to be developed as it is not natural, so don't feel bad if you are lacking. Research shows athletes out tough the rest because they train mentally, as we all should add mental toughness training to our daily schedule. No sweat required! Here are a few tips to help us all be mental giants!
1. Breathe- When we need to perform at our best our brain knows it. Immediately our heart rate goes up, which disables the brain. We go into fight or flight. Control the breath, control the heart, control the mind. Breathe in for 6, hold for 2, exhale for 7. Practice centering your breath to perform.
2. Self Image- "A person will not outperform or underperform their self-image for long." Talk in a positive focused manner to yourself. Never say negative words about yourself even if you are joking. Create an identity statement. It does not have to be true....yet!
3. Focus on the process- John Wooden says to not look at the scoreboard, but focus on the process. What can we do now? The score will take care of itself. The human mind can only fully focus on one thing at a time. Focusing on the problems or the goal is not beneficial.
4. Write it down- Research says you are 9 times more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Write the goal and the process to get there.
Finally, "problem-centric thought" is the definition of mental weakness. Stop focusing on what you don't have enough of. When you have a negative thought, ask yourself one question. "What is the one thing I can do to make it better?", not solve right now, but better. Shift your mind to solution focused. As I am injured I am focusing on stretching, icing, nutrition, and learning. If I were to find myself back in Orlando tomorrow in long lines on the pavement surrounded by noise and people....well no sense in living in a fantasy world!
Control your mind, control your destiny! Get healthy, get tough!
Feel the Rush
I attended my nephew's wedding this past weekend and it got me thinking. Love was all around. The love was not just for the bride and groom, but as you can see from above, my niece Emilia was feeling the love with the groom.
Love is healthy. As a health and wellness coach, I constantly advise people on what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, why and often whom to eat with. But we all know that true health is much more than food. It begins with relationships. Research says people who have never been married are 58% more likely to die than married people. (definitely not a reason to marry though). "Hey babe, wanna marry me and live longer?"
So who, what, where, why, when and how should you love? Consider this the short course.
Who?-" Love the one your with", as the song goes by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Be present and enjoy the one your with. Even if the grass is greener on the other side....that green grass is probably high maintenance!
What?- Love people, not things. More important, love the experiences you create together.
Why?- Well for starters, the greatest commandment is "Love your neighbor as yourself", if that is not enough reason. Love releases endorphins, creates calm, relieves pain and reduces stress.
When?- Love always. As Sister Angelica once said. "You don't have to like everyone,(some people are just not easy to like) but we are called to love everyone always." not an exact quote but pretty darn close.
Where?- Love starts at home. Sometimes we tend to show the least kindness to those we actually love the most. Lead by example.
How?-Love with your whole heart. Don't hold back. To love completely is a reward in itself, wanting nothing in return.
Finally on a lighter note. During the wedding, the priest told a story about his parents. He said when his parents would fight his mom would pull him aside and say, "Don't worry sweety, divorce is not an option for me and your father...but murder is"! What is love without a sense of humor?
"Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile."
— Franklin P. Jones
"Feel the Rush"
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. What do you want your life to look like? The amazing thing is the choice is yours. I have spent many years of my life being passive, allowing things to happen to me. How many of us are spectators in our own lives? I know I was for years. I watched my energy decrease. I was tired, bloated, and had brain fog. Most days I woke up only to look forward to my next nap.Then I began an active quest for energy, peace and joy! I can honestly say it was a long journey, which I am still on. I am no longer looking for the magic pill! Magic hacks....yes! At 51 I feel more energetic than I have in years. If I were to give everyone the top 3 things to allow you to live your life with energy, peace and joy...