Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Miles of Clarity

I am on day 11 of my running streak.  Runnersworld challenged their readers to go on a running streak, running a minimum of 1 mile/day, every day between memorial day and the 4th of July.  Yesterday I ran my furthest so far in the streak at 5 miles.  It was great.  I haven’t ran that far since Norm’s run back early in December.  Since then, I’ve been getting in miles but it’s all been low mileage.  Running on the treadmill and then trying to fit runs in between a million different things… sometimes it is difficult to make yourself go long. 

But what great joy it is when you do go long!  “Long” of course is relative, but when you’ve been running at or below 3 miles, 5 fits.  I had forgotten the release and the peace I feel when out on a long one.  A run where I’m not tracking time or even thinking about time.  I’m not thinking about what I need to do and why I need to hurry and get back home.  A run where my mind is free to run wild along with the rest of my body.  My mind is always going, so it’s great to give it a place where it can go unrestricted.

I can’t help but hear Norm when I’m out running.  It doesn’t matter the distance or who I’m with.  I hear his voice in my head the most during those times.  Over the years, we spent lots of time running together and he was always the first person I shared a running goal or accomplishment with.  He is the one I know would most understand my excitement about those types of things and my desire to get out there.  

I’ve not written a lot in the past six months, and the more I thought about it last night, the more I realized the variety of reasons.  Yes, I’ve been busy.  But who isn’t?  Generally I write so much about things that I’m processing or currently thinking on and I’m doing that all of the time, so I should always have much to write about.  And I’ve had a lot going on.  I’ve had spiritual disappointments and growth.  I’ve had renewed passions and dreams.  I’ve had multiple relationship challenges and growth.  I’ve become a semi-vegetarian and found a new (and fun) challenge of cooking.  In my internship I’ve dealt with insecurity and then a new found confidence.  There is so much more, under and within the layers.  But I realized that for the past six months, though I’ve processed that and more, it’s all been in the background.  It’s all been a little cloudy, there and recognizable, but not as touchable or reachable as is usual for me.  

When something so unexpected and major happens, I believe it’s really mentally difficult for someone to see anything else totally clear.  In addition to that, nothing else seems like it is that big of a deal.  Our priorities are put into perspective and we realize that much of what we concern ourselves with doesn’t really matter.  Some of it does, but our daily struggles become very small when compared to something so huge.

We all know that death is a part of life… and if you have Christian beliefs, that death is a part of the fall of mankind.  That we have renewed life in Christ and that we will rise again with Him.  So, spiritually and theologically, it doesn’t seem like death should leave such an imprint on our lives… but it does.  Because even though we know the outcome, we are left behind in the mean time.  In the blink of an eye, our entire lives change and they change forever.  There is nothing we can do to change it back.  We know in those first few horrible weeks, that we will be happy again and that our life will give us a new normal in time, but it’s never the same as it was.  And I don’t know about you in your experience of loss, but I’d say generally we don’t want the new normal.  We don’t want that to happen because that means our lives have kept going… something I think everyone struggles with after the death of a loved one.  So we mourn the loss of not only a person, but a life with that person and a life that was in part shaped by that person.  We all shape one another’s lives in someway.  At the time of someones death, our memories with that person become set.  We won’t have more holiday stories to remember, more runs or races to plan to attend, more ongoing jokes, etc.  All of those things come to a halt, and we have what we’ve accumulated so far with that individual.  We have that go to on with, and somehow have to find a way to make some sort of peace with that.  

I can hear someone telling me now that we are never without our loved ones after they are gone.  And I believe that.  Our lives do go on, whether we want them to or not, but we carry with us pieces of that person.  But it doesn’t take everything else away; it doesn’t fix everything.  That’s just part of it.  It’s just part of the process, part of the life cycle, part of our journey.  We’ll go through this multiple times in our lives… and I don’t think it gets easier, but we become more aware of what it entails… of what to expect.  

I think it’s beautiful how God can bring clarity and how God can work through things with us.  I think it’s wondrous that He knows all whats going on within our hearts when we may not understand.  

Romans 26b-27 “…for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deepfor words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

All of this from a 5 mile run?  Yes, that and from insight from Him above.  Beautiful clarity, peace, release, thoughtfulness, joy and gratefulness.  All the more reason to keep on running! 

 

 

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Keep going!

My computer is going into the red, battery-wise, but I wanted to write a quick post.  I just got in from a wonderful run, and wanted to write about it some.  Writing on here is not always convenient because I don’t have internet access at home, but that is just one reason to be thankful for having to drive into town to go running; I can kill two birds with one stone.

It’s cold today, 29 degrees, and running in the cold has always been a challenge for me.  I’d rather run in the heat to the cold any day… but I’m finding ways this winter to stay warm and make it actually pretty comfortable.  I bought some ear muffs (did you just flashback to the 90’s?) and they do a perfect job at keeping the cold air out of my ears and all the warm air in!

I set out to do 2-3 miles and ended up going 3/4 of a mile longer!  Lost in thought, I looked up from the pavement and realized I had passed my turn around mark and still felt okay, so just kept going.  I had to go a different way today off my normal in town route because traffic was bad and the sidewalks were awful, so I took a detour.  It wasn’t until I was about half way through my “detour” when I realized I used to run that road with Norm back in junior high.  I couldn’t help but go back to those days.  So many of those runs I begged to stop, and he said, just to that light pole, just to that tree, just to that bush, and on we went.  By the time we reached that next spot, I felt okay and had a new goal in mind.  It’s a great way to keep going when out on a run, or on any exercise regimen.  Are you trying to lose weight? Set small goals and continue to set them, all along the way while chasing after that bigger goal.  It makes it so much more attainable.  Life hard right now? School stressing you out? Are your kids at rough ages?  Keep going, don’t give up, you’ll get there!  And just like when finishing that long, hard run, you’ll feel a sense of pleasure, pride, fulfillment, knowing you didn’t quit.

I have a friend who has tried to get more active and lose weight for a couple of years now and has openly struggled with it.  As of late, she ran/walked her first 5k and has two more scheduled for the year that I know of.  What a great example of moving forward, pushing on, even when it’s been difficult.

Well, my computer is down to 3%, and I have many more posts I could write about, but wanted to put something out there since it’s been so long! Go get bundled up and take a jog! You won’t regret it! 🙂

Inner Conflict: Runner Wins

Hello readers! It’s been a while since I last posted in this blog… mostly because it’s been a while since I’ve done much public writing at all. I am getting back into my regular blogging schedule, but still easing into it too.
I just recently downloaded this cool WordPress app onto my phone so I can blog even when I don’t have my computer near, so long as I’m willing to use the little keypad my phone provides for me.
I’m still running, though now it takes real effort because the temperatures are dropping. My ears get cold, every run in the fall and winter and then they ache. I ought to start wearing a headband over them, at least on the days it’s not cold enough for a beanie.
Today was one of those perfect running days. Fall, mid fifties, not too sunny and not too cloudy… And yet when I got off work all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and take a nap. I didn’t get to sleep as soon as I would have liked, and so went the debate in my inner-self. So what did I do? I decided to compromise and rest for an hour or so and then head out. It made it more difficult to get myself out the door, I admit, but I think it made the run more enjoyable too. I could have easily stayed home; I could list pages of things I need to do around the house that could keep me in. In the midst of the conflicting voices in my head, I reminded myself of a few things:
1. It’s Thanksgiving week- meaning Thursday I will eat an exceptional amount of food, much of it containing lots of “bad for me” things! I intend on getting my fill on any pumpkin pie that presents itself to me… Or pumpkin roll… Or chicken noodles… Or corn pudding… Or green bean casserole. Need I continue on any other reason running today was a necessity?
2. My schedule will be thrown off this week. I’m thankful for the short work week, but that means less time that I “could” run if I planned to.
3. It’s Monday. I knew if I started my week with a run I’d be more likely to keep the miles going throughout the week. One thing I’ve found important is realizing what keeps you going and what doesn’t. Some people need others to run with, some need the gym and a treadmill to get any miles in through the winter. I realized today, I need to start my week with a run.
4. I always come back to the quote that stuck with me more than any other running quote- you never feel disappointed that you ran after a run. You never wish you hadn’t ran when it’s done (with injuries excluded). No matter how easy or hard of a run it was, we as runners almost always feel good afterwards. And we should. Feel good, feel proud, feel ready for whatever’s next!

So, not only do I feel great after following through, but the run itself was great… And I ran it at a faster time than I have in a while. So hey, I would’ve really missed out had I given in to laziness and the warm covers and stayed home!

Go get out for a run! It won’t take all day, planning it, thinking about it, dreading it, talking yourself through the conflict of to go or not to go, that will probably take longer than just doing it. You’ll feel 10x better about yourself when you’re done!

Now, excuse me while I eat my salad and prepare to eat a yummy pizza when my dear husband gets home!

No Socks and Green Tea

How is everyone doing?  I’m pretty thrilled it’s Friday, and that in just over two hours I will be off work and free for a couple of days!  I have to remind myself about every other day that my job is the perfect temporary job, because it is nothing even close to what I would like to be doing.  And now that it’s summer and warm outside, it’s even worse!  I sit at my desk and stare into a window that is a ways from my desk (across the hall, through someone else’s cubicle) and wish I could enjoy the sunny days!  I’ve enjoyed the summer in Indiana so far.  I was only in Arizona for two summers, but in those two summers I quickly adapted to the zero to low humidity, dry heat and so I wondered what it would be like to come back to the muggy midwest.  Well, I was right, it is very muggy… but it has not been too bad.  The worst parts are allergies, trying to sleep at night, and some runs.  But all of those things are getting better too, so maybe by the end of the summer I will have fully converted back to a humidity embracing Indiana dweller.

The other day I planned to meet Dustin after work to go running, and forgot my socks.  It’s no surprise really, because I’m always forgetting something, and lately it seems to be socks.  He says it’s probably because I wear flip-flops everywhere else, and don’t have to wear socks all day at work… but I think he’s just envious that I have a free foot wear policy and he doesn’t. Anyway, the new shoes are supposed to be good for running sockless in too… and I thought what better time to give it a try.  I will not be doing it again, probably in any pair of shoe.  I have run sockless in my NB Minimus 10 trail shoes before too… and didn’t enjoy it that much.  I love the idea of running with no socks, because it’s so freeing.  But I’ve come to the conclusion that you must have a certain type of foot to actually enjoy it.  Or maybe the enjoyment comes after your feet have adjusted and you are past the blistering stage…. but I don’t think it’s worth it.  I’m going to keep wearing socks.

For several years now I have tried to eat healthy foods, and have continued to increase my vegetable intake and lessen my grains and processed foods in my diet.  As mentioned before, I sort of back-slid some on that when moving back to Indiana.  As of late though (the last month) I have been back to my old ways, for the most part, and better even in other ways. I have found new foods to try and am trying to be especially conscious about putting “clean” foods into my body.

One new thing: I have started drinking at least two cups of green tea a day, with no sugar or honey in it.  I remember when Lipton started selling their iced green tea and diet green tea and everyone was all about it… I tried it and thought it was disgusting.  On my first trip to China, I drank some there and actually liked it.  Then for years, I didn’t try it again because I didn’t think it was worth gradually getting myself to like it.  There are a lot of health benefits though, and so I decided this past winter that it is well worth the time and getting used to it.  It has so many antioxidants,

Some of the benefits are:

  • Cancer fighting
  • Fights heart disease
  • Has been shown to lower cholesterol
  • Burns fat
  • Prevents diabetes
  • Prevents strokes
  • Delays dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Protects against osteoporosis
  • Fights against tooth decay
  • Increases weight loss
  • Helps your skin- fights wrinkles and signs of aging

And those are only some of the benefits! See, totally worth it!

I just recently read that a person really needs 4-5 cups a day in order to get all the benefits… and as I said earlier, I have been shooting for two cups.  They are large cups, so I think I could round it up to three, but five would be pushing it.  So I am going to be more intentional about making sure I’m getting plenty, and since I went from zero to 2-3 cups a day, surely I can up it another 2!

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/the-best-tea-for-you

Since running with Dustin, I have increased my speed on our runs which makes me feel less in shape because I can’t go as long without having to take a walk break… but knowing that I would normally just go slower is encouraging because it means I’m gradually building my speed without fully realizing it.  I like to think we meet somewhere in the middle… I’m getting an extra work out by picking up the speed and he’s getting time to work on his stride and form.  Two birds, one arrow!

I have one more run to get in this weekend… and hopefully one round of tennis! Get active this weekend, and drink some green tea! 🙂

Also, let it be known that I am aware that the title of this blog is “Run Free” and yet I talk about other things besides running (i.e., tennis, golf, eating healthy, random thoughts) but my main way of staying active and in shape is running and has been for several years.  So running is sort of like a back bone for me… which has gradually increased my interest in all these other areas too.  So, it does all go together, but I guess I consider this more of a being healthy blog, than just running (hey, better to be balanced than focused only on one thing anyway, right).

 

 

 

 

Keeping it Healthy

Last week,I went on my first run in my new shoes and absolutely loved them.  They feel different from my NB Minimus Trail shoes for a variety of reasons.  For one thing, they are road shoes, and so even though they are both minimalist shoes, they have a different feel.  The road shoes seem to have more cushioning (for the pavement) and yet the heel to toe drop is lower (4mm instead of 10mm).  I went for 3.5 miles, and enjoyed how the shoes fit, felt and worked throughout.

I have been very intentional the last week or so to make sure I am eating a normal amount of vegetables and fruits throughout the day.  By normal, I mean my  normal which is more than the average person.  When I lived in Phoenix, I rarely ate with other people and when I did, I had probably spent the rest of the day eating by myself, so I could make sure I got in the amount I needed.  I could make sure that at least 90% of my diet was good, whole and healthy foods which gave me freedom in the other 10%.  I have heard that is a good goal in general, rather than counting calories, or having cheat days when you are eating healthy, to instead be sure that 90% of your regular diet is healthy and leaving the other 10% for those things we love but don’t love our bodies back how we wish they did!

This past weekend I did not get any runs in, but I did get to hit the tennis ball around for a while.  Am hoping to run tonight after work so long as it’s not raining too much.  I forgot my socks, so will be running sockless (luckily, the shoes are made to be used either with or without socks).  I am never a big fan of Mondays.  I don’t think the weekend is long enough, just as soon as I am starting to feel partially rested, Monday morning is here and the week starts over again.  The last few months, it’s seemed like every week I had so much going on and so I haven’t had a lot of time to just enjoy hanging out, relaxing, etc. It’s so much better than it was this spring though, so I can’t complain!

I saw this list on pinterest and thought it was great and wanted to share a few things off of it:

http://www.lululemon.com/about/manifesto#

1.  Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.

2.  Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

3.  Stress is related to 99% of all illness.

4.  That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.

5.  SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.

6.  Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.

What are you doing to live a healthy life today (mentally, physically, spiritually, relationally- all and any part of your life)?

I’m aiming to be disciplined in my reading and writing times, exercise, eating healthy and drinking lots of water.  In addition to that, since I’ve had medical insurance I’ve been trying to take care of any appointments that I have needed in the past.  Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment to get two cavities filled; I got set up with a family physician (first time), so I will remain disciplined throughout my life to have regular check-ups (so many illnesses are preventable or can be caught early as we age if we are getting our regular check-ups).  Preventative measures!  I’m also attempting to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night- I haven’t every night, but I feel 100% better when I get 8-9 hours as opposed to the 6-7 that I may get after filling my time with too many other things.

Until next time… Keep on keeping it healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Shoes

It’s been a while… but I’ve been here.

Last post was a recap of the Indy 500 5K.

Since that time, I haven’t done as much running as I’d like, but I have done a broad mixture of other sports. I have run some (got in one trail run which I loved- first ever besides when running on the mountains in Phoenix), hit some golf balls on the range and played some tennis.

I was sick starting a week before the Indy500 run, and for the next three weeks! The following weekend, I was in a wedding in Chicago, so spent the weekend up there and by the end of that weekend, I was coughing so much, that I was very concerned I may ruin the wedding by hacking throughout the ceremony (luckily, I didn’t cough even once- all thanks to the cough drops that I shoved in my mouth while walking down the aisle). I am pretty sure whatever I had was at least bordering bronchitis or pneumonia based on the fact that I gave a friend the same sickness, and she was diagnosed with pneumonia. I took the long road on recovering, no doctor, just OTC meds and rest. One week after the wedding, I was exceptionally better and now I am completely over it, and am just left with my allergies (Hooray)! All this considered and life in general, I have taken it pretty easy when it comes to my activities.

A while back I wrote about possible shoes I was looking into for my next pair. Well, even after all the researching and trying on, I didn’t get any of those. This past weekend, Dustin and I went to a shoe store to get him some flip-flops, and instead found a great deal on new running shoes for us both- buy one get one half off, plus their price was already low. We both got the New Balance 730-

  (The shoe on the left is the men’s and is dark blue with lime green accent and the shoe on the right is the women’s and is light gray with neon yellow and bright blue accents)

Though it’s hard to tell from the pictures, this is a minimalist shoe at the fraction of the cost of the shoes I was going to buy (probably would have paid for the Vibram soles on the other). New Balance has been in the game for a long time (since 1934, according to Wikipedia). It has a 4mm heel to toe drop (which is lower than the NB Minimus trail shoes I run on now) and weighs 5.4 oz (for the women’s) and 7.3 oz (for the mens). The top feels very airy, and breathes easily, plus the toe is wide, which is nice for a natural feel.

I will be running in them for the first time tonight, and hope to like them. We got both pairs together for less than the price of either shoe that we were both looking at. There are mixed reviews, but most of what I found was positive, and I heard they are re-releasing these shoes next season at a higher price.

Here is a review: http://www.runblogger.com/2012/02/new-balance-730-update-25-solid-miles.html

I’m excited summer weather is here to stay for warm runs. I’m excited to get in some miles on my new shoes. I’m excited to continue progressing in tennis (I used to play a lot, but it’s been a couple of years until this spring). I’m excited to continue learning the how-to on golf, and to get to the point that I can actually play instead of just hitting balls at the range. I’m also hoping to learn to ski this year, or attempt to learn it again, and am excited about that (and a little nervous).

My nieces have started running with my sister in preparation for the Color Run in July and so far it has been pretty funny to hear about. One was ready to go, until they actually started running and then she complained. The other was disappointed when she found out that running three miles took longer than three minutes (she assumed because it takes a minute to drive a mile, that it would be the same to run it), and now she’s having no problems when she goes out to do her runs with her mom, sister and brother. I’m excited to share their first race with them, whether they are happy or complaining come race day (but hopefully, they will have gotten over all of their complaints)! 🙂

Until next time!

Indy500 Festival 5K Recap

Back at the office today after a great race weekend and settling in for a busy week ahead!

Last fall, several people in my family decided to run either the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon or the Indy 500 5K (both races on the same day).  As spring progressed this year, a few of the people signed up couldn’t make it and so others stepped in to fill their spots.  Saturday morning my cousin’s Levi and Ashley, Dustin and I all woke early and met downtown Indianapolis to start the 5K.  3/4 of us had originally planned to do the half, but as I posted before stepped back to the 5K.  It was a great run and a totally different experience than I have had before when doing the half.  The 5K runners start an hour before those running the half and so early in the run, we got to run alongside the wheel chair race too.  If you haven’t seen them go, you should check them out sometime.  It was a rough morning getting up so early, but the weather was perfect for the run, bringing some literal and figurative sunshine into our day! 🙂

I told Dustin that we would have to weave around other runners, and he took my statement very serious- clearing the path and darting around all the slower runners or walkers and leaving us in his dust in the first half mile.  Ashley and I decided to split up and she would run with Levi and I would catch up with Dustin and run it out with him.  So that was how the rest of the race went.  We weren’t running it for time or a PR or anything… so my time of 31:27 was okay with me.  The half is definitely a more exciting run… but I know I made the right decision for myself in doing the other this year!

   

The first three pictures posted are pre-run and the fourth is afterwards…  As much as anyone loves running the race, relaxing afterwards is always a favorite part!

As some of you may remember, I was really excited to get to the runners expo Friday night, and of course it lived up to its potential, minus one thing: I was most looking forward to trying on New Balance’s newest minimus shoe with a 0 heel-t0-toe drop (check them out at http://www.shopnewbalance.com/women/shoes/running/training/WR00CR) and was disappointed to find when I got to the NB booth, that they didn’t have them.  They redeemed themselves though, thanks to a great NB sales associate who let me try on her personal pair, which she had only run in one time.  They just happen to be the right size; it worked out perfectly.  I wish I knew her name so I could give her a public thank you… but this will have to suffice.

I have to look at one more shoe, and then make the final decision between those two in a month or so.

Take a look at my headband I have on in the pictures from this weekend; I got my first one of these two years ago at my first runners expo in Indy, and absolutely love it.  It actually stays on and keeps my hair back throughout my runs.  This year they were buy 4 get 1 one free, so I got 5. 😉

This week will be a busy one- I have to cover 40 hours at work in 4 days because I’m taking Friday off for a wedding I’m in this weekend in Chicago and I am finishing my last few days of a class (hopefully my last one).  So I plan to get in a few runs to keep it regular but nothing too intense.  I’m looking forward to next week on when I can work on continuing building up my base mileage and enjoying my runs.  Also, I get to start pushing my nieces to start running in preparation of the Color Run in July!

One last exciting note: another friend told me today that they wanted to start running.  I LOVE when people decide to start.  It’s SUCH a healthy activity- physically and mentally.

Until next time!

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In Between Everything

The past week has been a busy one with my class coming to an end.  I managed to get in a few runs this week and will be doing the 5K at the Indy 500 Festival tomorrow, bright and early.  I love the runners expo… if you haven’t ever been to one, and you run, you are definitely missing out.  All of the major running companies are there with their new stuff, and lots of great people to learn from.  It’s like a candy store, for runners.  I’m also really looking forward to tomorrow because my cousins are going to be running the 5K with Dustin and me.  It will be the first time I have done the 5K instead of the half, but I’m looking forward to having a new experience.

Earlier this week, Dustin got new shoes- Merrell Road Gloves.   

They are a minimalist style (0 drop), and he made me completely jealous when he got them!  I am due a new pair of shoes, but am waiting a few weeks before making the purchase.  Also, I’m still deciding between the NB minimus or the Merrell Dash Gloves for women.  I think they are pretty similar to each other, and I am really pleased with the NB Minimus, but it’s worth exploring the other pair too.  I’m hoping to get some good info on both pairs tonight at the expo, or at least try them both on!

On another note, I’m a little bit worried that I won’t feel up to par tomorrow during the run.  I must have caught a cold in the last couple of days, and am fighting that off still.  Another reason that it’s good I’m doing the 5K this year instead of the half- I know I can push through 3.1 miles even sick, not sure I could do it on 13.1 miles.

I’m looking forward to finishing my class in a week and being able to continue to up my miles a little bit for my base for the summer.  I love running in the summer, for the same reasons people hate it.  It gets hot, and sometimes that’s uncomfortable, but I love it.  I love it because I feel so refreshed afterwards and I like that I don’t start cold.  I like the warmth on my skin when the sun is out.  I like the clear skies in the summer nights, when on a night run.  I like the simplicity of running in warm weather- more heat=less layers needed.  I also like it that I won’t be up against 115 degree weather like I have been the past two summers- Phoenix summers aren’t the best to run in… and even though humidity has already hit me hard and will continue to, at least the temperatures aren’t at dangerous levels to even go for a walk outside!

I love how running connects us with other individuals and often is a start to a friendship.  I work with a girl who I started talking to because she was talking about some upcoming races.  Now she has joined our team for the Indy Color Run this July, and today asked to add me on FB.  Sounds silly maybe, but since being back in Indiana, I’ve thought it would be nice to build some new connections and relationships and because of time mostly have been limited in doing so.  Plus as most of you know, it’s a lot harder to do once you aren’t in a school atmosphere where you are seeing the same people every single day and who are living the same life.  Because even though as adults we work with people every day, we all have different lives and different priorities.  I have a few friends in this area who I have known for a long time, and it’s not that I’m lessening those.  But we all grow and change over time, and so it’s normal to get to know new people who we share commonalities with now, as our lives continue and to still keep those close who have always been.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but another exciting thing coming up to do with the Indy Color Run is that it will be both of my nieces’ first race.  Mia is 10 and Brynna 9; I am so excited to share the experience with them and to help get them ready.  I expect there to be challenges along the way, but to be a part of exposing a new thing to them is something I am so thankful to be able to do.  They may love it or hate it… but they’ll have done it, either way.

 (Me and Mia at our Easter celebration this year)  (And Brynna at our other Easter get together)

This is just a minor clip on some happenings in my world of running…. Will post pics soon of pre and post run tomorrow!!!

 

 

Women: A Check on Self-Image

When first starting this post, I wasn’t sure which blog to post it in.  One of my blogs usually is pretty spiritually focused and the other is focused on physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices.  This entry could apply to either one… but since our faith, walk with God, convictions, etc. should be integrated through every single area and crevice of our lives…. I’m going to post it in the latter.

As the cold weather is on its way out and the temperatures are rising… what are women doing?  Looking at that bikini or summer clothing, wondering how they are going to get “there” from where they are now?  We all know that in America, women are pushed to reach an unrealistic standard- one that most of the women in the pictures who seem to have reached that standard, have had photo edits and touch-ups to make them look how we see them (Imagine how  that is going to help a person’s self-image issues).  As Christians, we know that what we look like is not what makes us who we are.  We “know” that people are beautiful not because they are a size 2 or because they look like someone in a magazine… and yet how many of us allow unhealthy and unbiblical thoughts to enter into our minds about our bodies, our identities, etc.

It’s my guess that most of us as Christian women could probably all give similar speeches about living healthy and taking care of ourselves (instead of either being lazy and not doing anything to take care of ourselves or being obsessive and taking up unhealthy attitudes, or ways of looking how we want to look).  The sad thing is that we maybe could give these speeches and we “know” these things… and yet so often we haven’t really surrendered that false and worldly view.  So many are still holding tight to this message, so tight that it may seem that it is just a part of who we are or our personalities or priorities- instead of a dark and clever control in our lives.

I’m really proud to say that I know several women who strive to live healthy lives.  Everyone has things about themselves that they wish they could change- if we could photo-shop the way we look every day, I’m sure we would all change something.  But I’m fortunate to know many women who don’t allow these thoughts to get out of hand and they truly do take them captive; “…we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5b).  I’m also really glad to see more and more people teaching healthy lifestyles, both in the Christian world and secular.  It’s great to see educational programs teaching kids at an early age to eat healthy and be active and to see parenting classes focused in that direction.

The other messages are still being communicated though, as strong as ever.  What makes me really sad is that I look around me and I see so many women who are so affected by the messages that are put out by the world.  Again, being healthy should be a priority, so don’t take this the wrong way.  I’m not saying to keep sitting on the couch every day, remaining stagnant and eating that bag of potato chips.  What I am saying is that it’s all about a balance.  How in the world can you live your life when you are so focused on what you look like?  How in the world can you claim your identity in Christ, if you cannot get past the identity you have given yourself based on what you look like and every single physical “flaw” you find?  What sort of example do you think you are being to a younger generation of girls who are struggling more than ever before with self-image and identity issues?  People are watching you.

It’s just such a vicious cycle.  We can’t help others until we help ourselves.  We can’t expect to be able to continue living with all the weeds in our lives that are choking us and still proclaim a good message and represent something holy and pure.

“… do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?  Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4b)

We are all going to have struggles and it’s likely that if you are a woman, you will always have some sort of struggle in this area.  If not, consider yourself lucky.  Thankfully, it’s not our struggles or lack of struggles that separate us from the world, but what we do with those struggles.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Romans 12:2

This post isn’t to make you feel bad about thoughts that you feel are out of your control… but to challenge you to consider whether they are thoughts you should allow to take up space in your life?  And maybe it has always and will always be a struggle in your life… maybe that is one of your thorns in life.  That isn’t a reason to let it control any piece of you.  You are created by the only and most high God; you are made pure and holy through Him.  If it’s a problem that’s bigger than you can handle on your own, include some other Christ following women in your struggle with you.  Get some accountability.  If it’s creating self-loathing or other deeply rooted or destructive feelings in you, maybe you should consider talking to a counselor about it.  It’s not weak to deal with your issues, it’s weaker to not deal with them.  We are in this process of sanctification throughout our entire lives while in this world… we need one another in that process too.  Don’t remain stagnant or accept something in your heart, mind or life that isn’t of God.

Quote

“It’s easier to stay in shape than it is to get back into shape, so I try and keep everything on an even keel.”

I read this on a blog I just started reading today and thought it was just great.  I don’t know who said it originally, but here is the link to the blogger:

http://skinnyrunner.com/

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