Monday, March 31, 2014

The Power of 3

My mom always told me everything happens in 3's.  And the more I open my eyes and pay attention (quit laughing...I pay attention sometimes!) the more I believe this to be true.

I know there is this whole numerology/symbology/other-ology-I-don't-know-the-name-to that can speak to this more than I can, this power of 3.  I don't necessarily have a belief one way or another, but I am always open to possibilities!  

WWF Against All Odds
"Miss Priss"
Circa 1990
What is driving this post?  I came across three pictures.  Three pictures that I realized represent the times in my life I was happiest.  

If I were to get on a horse now, it would most likely hurt my heart.  A twinge of pain from the happiest time of my teen aged years.  I had the support of my family, the presence and love of my father, I found passion in a sport and discovered the drive and commitment to reach perfection (I can't tell you how many damn perfect circles or serpentines I have done, over and over and over and over and over....).  What I wouldn't GIVE to throw on that suit, enter the ring on a spunky park horse, a heart-pounding spit-fire 3-gaited or on the back of a thrilling 5-gaited! That would be an absolute dream come true.

a Cha Cha with instructor, Kevin Johnson
Christmas in Dixie, year 2000 and something
I did dance throughout high school, but I didn't really love it until I met up with instructors down in Nashville, Tennessee. Fresh in town, first time living away from home trying to "make it" on my own...
And somehow I got pretty big into country-western couples dancing; two-step, waltz, East and West coast swing....good stuff!  I competed in a Pro-Am division where I would dance with my instructor so I didn't need to find a partner.  I wasn't too shabby.  I wonder what would have happened if I did find a partner to compete in the open divisions....
I did learn I could be on my own.  Have a job, an apartment, meals that may just be cereal or a bowl of corn!  Didn't matter what it was, it was my own.
I learned that I loved to dance.  My favorites?  West coast swing and a good hustle.  Good times and even better memories!

Well, you all know where I am now.  It's been an awfully long and winding road to get here.  But once again
Marine Corps Marathon 2012
I find myself free and alive.  I'm out here, making my life my own. And once again I have joy and laughter, something I realize now that I hadn't had in a very long time. I've found courage, health, and a little wisdom.  I've found endurance, in mind and sport; across land and water. I've discovered strength and patience within myself that I didn't know was there.

I believe it is safe to say that I have entered into the third happiest phase of my life. I hope there are more, of course, but in the meantime I will cherish this one and ride this wave as far as it will take me. 

Riding.  Dancing.  Running.  Seems to be an odd trio.  But looking at these phases there is one common denominator that links all three.  Me. I was the one that made it all happen.  My success and my happiness were my own.  And that realization, my friends, has been a pleasant surprise!

Coach Sarah says a lot of great things.  This one rings in my ear every challenging moment I find myself in and I think is important to close with....

...allow yourself to feel free and appreciate how strong you are.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Words for Wednesday

words I never thought I'd hear when meeting up for a 5am swim.....

I'm feeling very aquatic this morning...

- Mr. van Voo
friend, triathlete 
and training partner 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Song for the Week

I've been struggling to find a song for the week.  On my short drive to work this morning, I heard one song and thought...dang it I'm hearing this a lot this week....


The past week or so, a common theme has popped up time and time again.  Do you keep going, keep trying, or do you give up and stand on the sidelines.  Personally speaking, I put my trust into one man who happened to not be a very good steward of it.  For months I had been struggling with the decision to shut down and put up that giant wall to keep everyone out.  I'm talking about, friends...everyone.

But to stay true to myself?  That's just not who I am.  I invite people in, because honestly what is this life if you can't share it?  I can't be afraid of failure anymore, because I'm learning that there is no such thing as failure.  I need to keep trying, keep living.  Also, I've recently seen some friends struggle with some missed goals and chipped dreams.  And some even threatened to stop, to quit.  Why, because you failed?  NO! There is no such thing as failure.  And chipped dreams only make their fulfillment even sweeter.  So keep trying, keep living.

The refrain is what resonated with me and how it is applicable to so many different aspects of our lives. So, no matter what you might be going through, emotionally, physically, I bring you an excerpt from another song by P!nk.    

P!nk, The Truth About Love (2012)

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try, and try, and try
Gotta get up and try, and try, and try
You gotta get up and try, and try, and try

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Words for Wednesday

The secret of change 
is to focus all of your energy, 
not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

- Socrates

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thoughts to Ponder

...... I think I need to take tap lessons......

and no.  I'm not kidding.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Summit's Leprechaun Loop 8K - A Night of Sheer Awesomeness

Jyl doesn't have a very
good "mean face"
I wasn't planning on racing this weekend, but a slight change in weekend plans left me open to running in Summit's Leprechaun Loop 8K.  After some prodding from a few friends and the sudden desire to punish myself for being a slacker in my training the past few days, I found myself at the registration table signing up for another Helfrich Brothers' that can always be counted on to be challenging and that may or may not make you toss your cookies.

Me and Michelle
accidentally awesome as always
YES!  Just what this girl needed!

So, I found myself lining up on an absolutely gorgeous night near the front of the pack, scared to death I'd get plowed over.

My plan?  Not really to race.  Just to run.  No goal, no worries.

Michelle's plan?  run like hell the first mile.  "don't worry, we can recover in the 2nd mile"

Sure we can, Michelle......

BTW...was your shoe really untied....or was that the recovery you promised???

I know I live in this town...but I will be honest, I had no idea where I was half the time and when I figured it out and thought I knew where we were heading, they made us go in the opposite direction. This is NOT a nice thing to do to those of us who are directionally challenged.  Surely this is the last hill, right?  So I should listen to the people saying "give it all you got!", "So close to the finish", "Go faster!".

Liars.  They are ALL LIARS!  And listen, you drill sergeant tooting on your whistle while I'm charging that hellish hill like you told me too........MEAN! (and I secretly loved you for it)
Me and "the boys" at the finish line

And I'll be honest again...8K?  WTF.  I still don't know how far that is.  They said, "don't worry about it, Hope.  Just go."

So I did.  Down the hill, up the hill, down the hill, up the hill, up the hill, up the hill.....I think you get the picture.

Hills for 39:43 minutes straight with a 7:59 pace.  Good enough for a top 10 finish in my age group out of 138 ladies.

Not too shabby for an old girl that wasn't planning on racing.

I'll take it!
And not to mention the after party.  I mean, that's why we run, right?

THIS, my friends, is what it is ALL about!
Good times!
Great friends and some speedy ladies right here folks!
I am one lucky girl!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Things I'm Learning

If you dwell in your past and consume yourself with the future, you aren't living today; in this moment.  Each one is special, some rare gifts, and not one should be missed because you weren't paying attention.

I'm getting really good at saying " longer my problem."

You don't have to abide by anyone else's timetable but your own.

Smiling is much easier now and it seems to be happening more often than not.

I watch some pretty ridiculous tv shows.  And I'm okay with that!

Gelato is good for the soul.

Banish toxic thoughts.  They are simply malignant seeds that grow;  cuts that fester and never heal.

I don't care how old you are, you will still get pimples at the worst possible times.

Haters are gonna hate.  Simple as that.  Best you can do is stay true to you.

And those rare moments when I'm able to let go of everything and not have a care in the world?  Liberating.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Song of the Week

20 degrees forced me to run inside again this morning.  One positive is; because you always need to find the positive; that through all the crap I have on my iPod (I need new music, people!) this song came on and reminded me of the first time I heard it and how much I identified with it.  I remembered how much it made me realize things about myself.

I need reminders sometimes.  We all do.

Most folks know where I started from.  For those that don't and are interested in a crash course, here is most of the story.  But the journey didn't stop in May of 2012.  It kept going to see 2 marathons, a season of sprint triathlons and it's not stopping anytime soon.  And most importantly, it continues to bring me health and happiness in body and mind.

For me, this song isn't about a person.  It is what running did for me.  It brought me back to life, it saved me from the nothing that I had become.  It woke me up.  Saved me from the dark.

It gave me life.  It gave me a voice.  It gave me courage.

I need reminders sometimes.  We all do.  And that is why I am writing and sharing these things with you.  To remind us both how far we have come and how wonderful it is that our journey has just begun.

Bring Me To Life
Evanescence, Fallen (2003)

How can you see into my eyes like open doors?
Leading you down into my core where I’ve become so numb
Without a soul my spirit's sleeping somewhere cold
Until you find it there and lead it back home

(Wake me up)
Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up)
Wake me up inside
(Save me)
Call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up)
Bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up)
Before I come undone
(Save me)
Save me from the nothing I’ve become

Now that I know what I’m without
You can't just leave me
Breathe into me and make me real
Bring me to life

(Wake me up)
Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up)
Wake me up inside
(Save me)
Call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up)
Bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up)
Before I come undone
(Save me)
Save me from the nothing I’ve become

Bring me to life
(I've been living a lie, there's nothing inside)
Bring me to life

Frozen inside without your touch
Without your love, darling
Only you are the life among the dead

All this time I can't believe I couldn't see
Kept in the dark but you were there in front of me
I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems
Got to open my eyes to everything
Without a thought, without a voice, without a soul
Don't let me die here
There must be something more
Bring me to life

(Wake me up)
Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up)
Wake me up inside
(Save me)
Call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up)
Bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up)
Before I come undone
(Save me)
Save me from the nothing I’ve become

(Bring me to life)
I’ve been living a lie, there’s nothing inside
(Bring me to life)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Song for the Week

I heard this song driving to computrainer class.  It was a little surreal.  It happened to be 70 degrees (when exactly one week prior we got hammered with a snow storm) and I had my windows down.  I looked up to the sky, one side looked menacing and the other was that beautiful Carolina blue with cotton candy clouds.  This song came on.  I turned it up and let it carry me away.

Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)
Gary Allan, Set You Free (2013)

So you're standing in the middle of the thunder and lightning
I know you're feeling like you just can't win, but you're trying
It's hard to keep on keepin' on, when you're being pushed around
Don't even know which way is up, you just keep spinning down, 'round, down…

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

So hold your head up and tell yourself that there's something more
And walk out that door,
Go find a new rose, don't be afraid of the thorns
'Cause we all have thorns
Just put your feet up to the edge, put your face in the wind
And when you fall back down, keep on rememberin'

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

It's gonna run out of pain
It's gonna run out of sting
It's gonna leave you alone
It's gonna set you free
Set you free

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

It's gonna set you free,
It's gonna run out of pain,
It's gonna set you free