Who do you run with?

We all have someone in our life whether it is family, friends or co-workers who contribute to our days.  I’ve heard the following words spoken many times from various leaders and found it to be true.

“Most stories we tell about our life will start or end with…  I had these friends_______.”

I am fortunate to have a job I love in coaching others to their goals in health and fitness.  Others really matter in my work but they also matter even more in my life outside of that.  This week my family and friends started a 90 day Fit for Fall Group Challenge.  I committed to those joining me to journal daily and share weekly what I do from the foods I eat, workouts I complete and schedule I keep.  One of my favorite quotes reads, “Every next level of life requires a different version of you.”  Guess what, only I can show up for the level of life I want to live.  No one can do it for me but having others to do it with me helps. Even more important is who are they? Just as every next level requires a different version of me, it requires me to have others that are doing the same. As a coach people might think what I teach comes easy but I have off days.  I hope by sharing what I have learned from others to help me you see anything is possible for you  too.  If you are reading this and are on this journey with us I hope you take time to ask yourself this, what next level do you want to accomplish over the next 90 days and who are you running with on the way there?

As promised, I am sharing mine with how I plan to accomplish them.  For the sake of this particular 90-day journey, the goals I share will be centered around health and wellness.  I believe my health life filters into everything I do as a wife, mom, friend and anyone I get to serve daily so I want to feel my best.  When I achieved a place of better health years ago I understood how powerful that statement was and still is today.  I am better equipped for what each day brings when I am not walking around sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Now that I feel what feeling good feels like, going back to that place is not an option physically.  Don’t get me wrong, I still make imperfect choices but I am quickly reminded of who I was before and how I felt then and now. I didn’t know how bad I felt until I knew how feeling good feels. I have watched this happen in those I get to coach too.  Our bodies become our best coach which has been what drives me back to the plan I follow now and the me I am because of it.  I hope you see no matter how long you’ve been on your journey the YOU that shows up every day can get better and better.  I hope you take time to notice the little things you start to see in you that are more like the person you want to be.  And know, you don’t have to do it alone.  Find those doing the things you want to do, being the kind of person you want to become and learn from them.  No matter what your past and it’s event make you think, others matter just as much as working out, the foods we eat and supplements we take when striving for the next level of life we want to achieve. Yes, I get to talk goals and plans but I am more confident with each person I meet that this job was purposely assigned to me because most days the message I get to speak needs to be played on repeat for me.

What is the next level you want to reach?  Why do you want to reach it?  No matter where you are or the next level you choose, I hope you enjoy the journey on the way.  I hope you take in the view, takes notes for your future self and adjust where you need to so you to can finish well.  For me I can tell you with 100% certainty I am great with how I feel physically.  I am confident in the plan I follow to keep it that way.   There was a time in my life I was not.  It drove the initial change.  That story is for another day:)  I am writing this because of my promise to a group of friends I coach to share the goals I have set for me for them to see I do what I ask of them too.

Bare with my analogies, I need all the help I can to motivate myself so relating goals to something I enjoy helps me;)  I don’t know about you but I’ve always set goals.  However, I admit I’ve not always understood how to manage them and still maintain balance with the things outside of them.  To be even more gut-level honest, understanding “how to” has not made it less of a struggle most days.  Over the next 90 days, I have health and strength goals physically but my biggest goal is to work on what I do in the middle of this 90-day “race”.  Working out is a hobby of mine, running was part it at one time now I workout to the beep of a clock in weight lifting and cardio.  You will hear me use it as an analogy a lot.  I think life in every area is like a workout.  As I was thinking about my goals for the next 90 days and what I needed them to look like, I was nudged with this thought… What if I worked as hard in other important areas like relationships, my career, serving others in my community and my church as I did in my workout?  What if I showed up to each person and situation with a “I will do my best” attitude like I do in the gym?  Your goals will be differenct from mine and your analogies too.  I am certain you are most likely great in the area I will focus on most so if you chose to keep reading;) <insert> in YOUR #1 area you would like to see a different version of you. That goal for me is to work on my “software” which is my mind and spirit.  I am a connective learner.  Not sure that is a learning type but it is for me.  If only the younger me would have caught on to how I learn sooner I might not have made so many silly mistakes.<sigh>

A connective learner by my definition is taking the sum of my life events(good and not so good) and breaking them down into their own “training sprints” for race day.  If I have coached you, I have said, “The end result you want is a marathon” but what you do from start to finish requires training.  All of us could most likely run a marathon without training but it would be a very tough race to run that way.  I don’t know about you but I have ran a marathon before and let’s just say it was tough with training. Truth is, I did not follow my training program for it.  Running it was not my goal really.  The thought of saying I ran 26.2 miles sounded like a cool accomplishment to me but a “cool accomplishment is never a good reason to jump on the bandwagon and ride out for 26.2 miles, lol.  To help make that statement make sense, I ran it because it sounded fun at the time when my husband and a few friends asked if I wanted to do it with them. While others matter, you cannot do something solely for others nor use their goals as yours.  You might make it to the finish line but lose part of your belief in what you can do when you want too.  I have found the key to me doing well is finding something I want to see for me and finding those that are doing THAT thing.  Now those are people I can train with for the RACE that is mine too.  Training in my thing and with those doing it is where my mind is opened to belief in what I can do little by little.  You will see I connect a lot of things as most women do.  For the most part they are unrelated events in time, moments, days or years but still, I connect them.  I try to learn and grow from them. My husband loves this about me, my words not his, lol.  I have to  be careful with the things I connect and how I let them affect my current situation.  I have a choice… I can use it for good in personal, spiritual and physical growth of myself and hopefully give others hope in their situations.  But I am aware I can use it for not so good if I keep records of wrongs or bring stuff from one situation into another it had no connection too.

Here are my goals and things that have helped me before and what I am refocusing now.

I will work on my software:  Not computer software;) but my internal software(mind, heart, presence, spiritual) fitness.  My mind is a valuable tool in anything I do especially my health and fitness journey.  I have learned my mind will give out on me long before my body does in working towards goals.  I will read things that feed my mind and point me towards the version of me needed to reach my next level.  I will have others around me that remind me of where I am going and be my mirror on days mine has become foggy making it hard to see the me I set out to be.  I will read every AthleteWord of the day sent to me for 5 minutes in the morning and throughout my day.  Why? Because it directs me to scripture and what it takes to become who I want to be and sets my mind toward a good start. You could probably assume from the above that I believe a big part of my health, wellness and fitness journey is my thought life.  I believe small goals add up to big goals.  I don’t know about you but as a mom to 3 boys, two in middle school, need I say more:), my mornings can go sideways really fast and so can my attitude.  Setting my mind on gratitude usually puts my attitude in a better place before the inevitable chaos takes my quiet morning hostage in our routine for school.  What I do in the limited quiet moments I make for myself is as important to me as a clean, disinfected pair of contacts to start each day and a good warm up to my workout.

Speaking of vision, I love visuals and could share a few funny photos of my boys creating chaos;) but I will save them for their wedding day and share this one instead.  I found it a few weeks ago and have saved it for when I need a good laugh in the middle of the craziness that breaks out almost every time we try to go somewhere.  It pretty much sums up our life, just different scenarios, however, there was a time these things really happened too, lol.  I am sure most parents can relate:)


Hope that made you laugh as it did me or think back to a time that was your life and made you smile with fun memories.  Annnddd back to my goals:)

Here are a few of the texts I have received from AthleteWord I mentioned above as my reading that helps me focus on gratitude as my attitude.  They come from a community I follow on social media, Faith Rx’d.  I saved this one on my phone from last year to reference when I start a new challenge or season.  I have committed to this one along with the one for that day as well.  It says, “AthleteWord: Champions STAY MOTIVATED by saying “THANK-YOU!” They realize they are UNDESERVING of the opportunity to compete. Read 1 Chronicles 17.  It is no coincidence that today’s text from them happened to read, “AthleteWord:  Great CONFIDENCE comes from KNOWING where you are HEADED and HOW you get there.  Read 1 John 5.”  Which leads me to my next point.

I will wake up seeing each day as new.  Waking up with a fresh start each day and moment that follows is as important as the clean contact lenses I put on every morning so I can physically see today. I would never sleep in or reuse yesterday’s dusty and dirty contacts so why reuse yesterday’s dusty and dirty events to cloud the new day I was given.  In the rare case I have, my vision was unclear, my eyes became irritated and guess what.. so did I.  However, I have learned it doesn’t guarantee my vision stays clear because it starts that way.  As the clock ticks in the middle of the day a lot can happen to cloud my vision.  To help bring a fresh pair of eyes into every situation and person in my day I am committing to pacing, stopping to breathe and will wipe away any sweat that gets in my eye making it hard to see who and what is in front of me now.

I will be intentional about how I think about things and people in each part of my day: I am guilty of bringing an attitude from one situation to the next with me when it should have stayed where and with whom I left it.  It has left me unavailable for those I come in contact with next and not completely present.  Often those have been my boys and husband or friends.  I have regrets looking back as most people do.  I have learned I can either face the pain of regret now, grow from it and work on reacting different or face the pain of regret later for not doing so and staying the same.  The latter one leaves a bigger mess to clean up then the first and sometimes we lose the chance to make it better later.  I am committing myself to take 5 minutes in the morning to start my day and again throughout the day before each place and person in it.  I want to show up well for them with a clear vision.  When I don’t take time to refocus I am reactive and not always in a good way.  If you are reading this and you are part of my days over the next 90 days, you have my permission to remind me should I show up with an attitude:)

I will work towards balance understanding it will probably not ever be perfectly balanced but it can be VERY unbalanced.  Obviously, from what you have read so far, I have come to believe our health journeys are more than upgrading our hardware(physical body).  I  heard a speaker talk about research in 3 areas when finding out what it takes to be healthy and balanced.  Balanced is a word I over think a lot and often worry about my life not being that way.  I am learning especially with the addition of our 3 boys;) that balance is unrealistic in most situations.  However, knowing what it takes, recognizing areas that are taking more time and energy than others.  Then, making adjustments in time and energy they need verses time and energy they get, helps me balance life better than the alternative in not knowing or doing.  The speaker I mentioned above explained a balanced life using a “Triangle”.  Whether you are married or single it still fits.  A triangle as we know it is a shape that brings 3 points together by equal sides.  I don’t know about you but hearing that had me like, “Really”!?!  So 3 sides which is an unequal number but sides fit together equally and are equal in length?!?!   Sounds really hard to draw and make happen to me.  However, I guess he drove the point home in a way my connective brain understands and led me to the conclusion that, yep, balance in real life is really hard y’all!! Making each area of life I am called in fit perfectly in a triangle rarely, if ever happens.  It is more about working to live what you know to be good and right in your life which happens after you learn and know how to get there. It’s the knowing that keeps us trying and going.  At our house my motto is, “When things are hard do them hard, when things are easy do them easy but not doing anything is not an option if you have been told what, how and why it is asked of you or if you have committed to someone or something.  You finish no matter hard or easy.”  For me I have found I get better and better every day in working towards balance as I adjust to what I know I can have when I don’t like what I see.  In case you could benefit by knowing what the 3 sides of the triangle are in working toward a balanced life he spoke of I will share them with you as they were shared with me.  A Healthy Hardware(physical body), Software(mind, heart, spirit) and others(those we run or do life with, our people or person).  We rarely have all 3 points of the triangle connected that it takes to arrive at a balanced life which is why we really never get to arrive.  I don’t know about you but that made me feel better.  What I do know is things change, I change, people change, life’s variables change… how I react to them is what matters.  I have to remind myself of that fact daily and situational.  I only I, I repeat(for my own ears;)) only I can determine how I react to them.  Again, I don’t know about you but that makes me feel a little better knowing I get a say so in how my story ends no matter what happened after it started.  Everyone is imperfect, everyone fights their own battles but how we choose to react in the middle of it all is what sets us up for the life we once lived or dreamed we could live.  When you know what 3 parts make up the big picture, you learn how to notice them and their affect on you as you face them in your day.  I can’t tell you I have always applied what I know to be good and right but I can tell you that I have not been able to un-see or un-learn it.  That alone sets my focus differently than before.  What I choose to do in the situations and people that fill my days is up to me. However, no matter what I choose, I can’t un-see or un-learn the difference doing it right has made in me when I tried.

I will work to quiet the noise.  Confession-One of the biggest challenges for me is to stop the noise and find gratitude for the opportunities that I cannot control like what happens with my kids I am called to “manage” the lives and schedules of, others I come in contact with daily and every other moving variable or person that is part of my days.  I more often than I like to admit get locked into focusing on the chaos which can bring emotions of frustration and feeling overwhelmed.  I don’t know about you but emotions like that have taken me places I didn’t intend to go and have found me saying things I should not have said.  Setting myself up each day and doing it before and after each moment helps me check the emotion and focus I am bringing with me so I see the person not the past.  I have set two alarms for the next 90 days to remind me of why I started, where I want to go and what’s the best possible  outcome in the scenarios that come at me throughout the day.  Focusing on the outcome I want not my current situation reminds me of that person’s or thing’s value to me outside of that current moment.

To wrap it up.. Starting my day with quotes, scripture, reading my personal goals and giving myself 5 minutes of quiet reflection time doesn’t guarantee a smooth start but it does set up a better probability that my reaction to whatever the day brings a more pleasant me shows up. Waking up and rushing into my day without time to focus my attitude rarely brings the best version of me.  I find my reaction in between, or as my story often goes, in the MIDDLE of___, is more patient, gracious and able to see each situation more clearly when I give myself time to do those things that set me up for each “beep of the clock” to start.  I will remember that the things I have could be the miracle someone else is praying for and do my best to not take them for granted.  I will also remember that only I can change my circumstance, the free will to do that is up to me.  I will be mindful of those I run with and who influence my thought life holding tight to an army of friends and family that are imperfect and flawless like me but see their own imperfections and flaws as I do and have a desire to change the things they know need to change even if it involves a painful look inside and out to make them better.  I will put on a fresh set of lenses for each day I am given which I know everyone around me can tolerate better than the person that shows up with an irritated, cloudy view.

What are your goals?  Here are mine the main including one I discussed above in short form;)

Being present goals:

Over the next 90 days I choose to take it day by day.  I will focus on what I can do and not what I can’t or others won’t.  I will refocus for whatever and whoever my day brings in each moment.

Being present goals:

Physical Goals:

To do 50 wall balls unbroken with a 14lb ball.  Which means I will listen to my Coach and friend, Jenna Larson of Peak Human Performance, best gym and coach on the planet in my opinion.  Did I mention I hate wall balls and they have owned me long enough! 🙂

Nutrition Goals:

To stick with my current plan and log my foods again for accountability to the team I am leading over the next 90 days to their goals.  I will drink a gallon or more in water daily because that has been slacking a little.

And I can’t leave you without this awesome, handsome visual I see every day!  These cuties, my own Superhero Protection Squad, are my WHY for showing up and being present, not just for them but so they see me “walk my talks” with those I coach and each person we come in contact with in life.  I have always documented my life in journals but to write publicly, not my comfort zone by the way but the promise I made will hold me to a new level of accountability.



MY CHALLENGE TO YOU:  Do this with me for your goals over the next 90 days.  Take 5 minutes sometime today to close your eyes and not ask for anything or for anyone to be something they are not being for YOU.  Instead think of 10 things you are grateful for in that uncontrollable moment or in the parts of your day that are going well and those that are not.  Set an alarm to do it every 2 hours or before each new situation or person.  Then write them down (I love to carry a journal for this purpose) or text them to yourself.  This can be done at a desk, in a parking lot, in the gym, on a walk, in the middle of the kids going crazy.  When you feel it is hard to breathe and calm your mind, pull up that text to yourself or journal entry to yourself and read them again.  Being still, quiet and redirecting our focus can reverse the story we are telling ourselves in the chaos and let us see the things we do have and remind us of the other person’s value aside from how we feel in the moment we are in.  Grateful for each one of you on this journey with us. Grateful Hearts Make Healthy Hearts and Bodies❤

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