I met Barbara Gederian Muckel, Director of Xcel 2 Fitness, at the Beast Bootcamp race, a local obstacle 5k, a few weeks ago after writing about her amazing program for Hometown Happenings. A program that helps to develop confidence, team mentality and grit in grade school age boys. After an instant connection I was so excited to hear there was a way I could support X2F by doing what I love! X2F has a Dream Maker opportunity where you can support the program and raise money by posting about your training for an upcoming race, and I just so happen to be training for one (well, now 2)!
Signing up to be a Dream Maker while I train for the Spartan Sprint AND the Wonder Woman Half in June allows me to help a great program in the process (and keep me accountable :)). This is a program I know my son would have loved, and brings teamwork, confidence and encouragement to our kids when they need it most!!
Follow me on my journey to the Spartan and 13.1 in support of Xcel 2 Fitness!! If your school has X2F, look into it, if your school doesn’t know about X2F, please inquire, and if you just want to support a fantastic program, please donate!! Thank you from the X2F team and ME!!
To read more about X2F and to check out the fundraiser click here: Xcel2fitness 🧡🦋
The light, the gift, the true nature of our individual being is within each of us, and I believe it is our responsibility and our mission in this life to share these truths with the world. To find these gifts within ourselves may take many attempts that can lead to success, and to failure, but in these successes and in these failures, we learn lessons that teach us understanding, love, forgiveness and how fear can send us astray. If we are blessed with these lessons and have the strength and the ability to see inward and recognize our path, we must move to the direction of this truth.
While I truly believe sharing these blessings is our purpose in this life, there are many times that walking this path is exhausting and our minds tells us to stop. I have had many moments in my life where I just couldn’t or just didn’t want to anymore. My mind would tell me it wasn’t worth it, the time and energy were just too much. I would sink into the comfortable, drown in easy and sit back and wait, hoping what I desired would come to me with little or no effort, and curse when it didn’t. I would think to myself “if this is what I’m am meant to do, why is it so hard, why do I feel pain, or heartache, or disappointment”. These are the moments that I needed to dig deep, to shut out the games my mind would play and to move forward no matter the weight of what was holding me back.
I sat at the volunteer table at Mile 22 of the Chicago Marathon last week and these thoughts of my own life journey cluttered my head. As I cheered the thousands of tired, drenched and physically and mentally drained unique individuals on to the finish line, I didn’t make the connection to my own struggles until now. I had watched the agony on the faces of those who passed and the smiles of those who understood they were almost there. I could relate, maybe not physically in the moment, but mentally on my journey.
To push through, to stay strong, to keep going no matter what mental games you are playing will get you to your true path and purpose of this life. Even when we don’t feel like it, even when the effort seems to outweigh the reward, we must push forward. We must continue to share our gifts and our light for we may not see the rewards in the moment, they will be revealed in the end.
Believe in your truth, and even when it’s difficult to keep going, keep going. Let your heart be your guide and remember how it beats when you shine the light from within.
We interrupt our usual posting for a very important message….
This subject was brought to my attention by a good friend after reading the story of Iowa college student, Mollie Tibbetts who went missing while on a run July 19th. Although any circumstance involving a missing young person is devastating and heartbreaking, being a runner with friends who are runners, this story strikes a particular chord. With the increase of stories in the news of runners being followed and/or attacked it is becoming more and more important to spread the awareness of runner/outdoor exercise safety.
I’ve learned over the years that runners are a special breed, when there are miles to get in, there is no blizzard, boiling humidity, artic blast, or life schedule that will keep them from hitting the pavement, this fact includes time of day, it doesn’t matter, even in the dark, early mornings or late nights are common, and so is going out alone.
My first safety suggestion is, if you can avoid it, please do not go out alone. There are many groups that have members of all paces. I’m part of one in my area that is free and consists of people who love to run for fun or are in training. (Ask me about it, if your interested). Do a little research and it may surprise you how many people would love to run with you. I know there are some days you just get the urge to jump out of bed and get it done, but sometimes taking a moment to make a plan with someone can make all the difference when it comes to your safety. If you can, go with a friend(s).
I understand this may not be feasible all the time, and although I thoroughly enjoy running with friends, there are times when a solo run to clear my mind is necessary. If you do choose this route, go protected and make the choice to think of safety first. Below are a few suggestions to take into consideration that I practice, but to reiterate the importance, I have also included the Safety Tips from the RRCA.
Practice Safety – 5 Tips for the Solo Runner/Cycler/Roller Blader….
1) Trust Your Instincts– Listen to your gut. If you feel like there is something off about a location or a person, DO NOT HESITATE. Leave or call the police. Even if it turns out to be nothing, you are better to be safe than sorry later. I cannot say this louder, Trust Your Gut, you are probably right!
2) Be Visible – Wear reflective clothing, a head lamp, flashing lights and bright clothing. You want to be seen, by cars and by people.
3) Change Your Route Up – It’s easy to get into a routine of a path you like to take, but it’s also easy for someone to predict where you will be as well. Change it up, keep them guessing, and keep yourself safe.
4) Tell Someone – Don’t yell out into the house that you’re going for run, tell someone your route and how long you plan to be out. It takes a second to send a text, write a note or call, that second will make a difference if you are stranded, hurt or in danger.
5) Arm Yourself with Some Type of Protection, including your phone-Bring your phone. If you need to call, you can, and if you need to be tracked you can be. Also, there are many items out there designed to protect you that are light weight, easy to carry and discrete. I, myself own pepper spray and a finger knife. There are also stun guns, key chains or noise makers. If you do not own some type of protection, please think about getting something. I’ve included links for the distributors of the products I have in the below picture. (Damsel in Defense – https://www.facebook.com/Michelle-Mack-Damsel-In-Defense-Pro-1375319369462210/) ; Go Guarded – https://goguarded.com/https://www.facebook.com/GoGuarded/)
While these are just a few tips, one of them can save your life. That statement is truly powerful, it can save your life, and your life is so very important to not just you, but so many around you, please do not take safety for granted. Practice it, run safe and come home to those who love you.
I have an exam for my psych class I need to be doing but I felt this to be just as important. It’s crazy when inspiration hits you blindly. You’re just going along in life and BAM, you feel this compelling need to do something, whether it be something as simple as clean out the closet, organize those pictures that have been sitting for years, read a good book, write a good book, start a business or go for a run.
As many of you know I am a “runner”, a lot of my friends are runners, I run trails, I run at the beach, most pictures of me online are sweaty versions of myself after a run. What you may not know is that I hate running. I would rather go to the gym for a class or sit on a spin bike for 45 minutes than run 2 miles down my street, but I am in love with the company it keeps, the outside air, and the feeling when you are done, so I continue to tie my shoes and hit the pavement, but not without some serious convincing.
Today, however, as I was brainstorming about my newest project, and feeling a little overwhelmed by what I got myself into, I felt this insanely compelling urge to go for run. This is a rare occasion, but it was such a strong feeling that as soon as I had it I grabbed my things so quickly I forgot a water. As I took my first stride, I put on my music, I picked up my head, took a deep breath and soon the chaotic thoughts began to quiet. It was freeing, it was calming, and it was just me, then BAM, the moment I allowed myself to settle into a pace, inspiration shot through me. The ideas and the reasons for everything I am doing flooded my head, in a good way. I remembered why I started this journey and I remembered why I want to share it with you. These thoughts, this inspiration, makes me want to keep reaching, keep writing and keep running.
I had a goal in mind for this run, but when I reached the turn around point, I allowed myself a breath and just kept going. Looking ahead, and listening to my body, taking a breath when I needed it, or running faster when I felt strong, I accomplished that extra mile and much quicker than I have in a very long time. The moment to run today felt right, I was compelled to tie my shoes, and because I didn’t stop to think about what all I had to do, or convince myself I was too tired, I ran, and people, it was amazing.
Life is screaming at you to live it, so when you are compelled to step out into it, don’t look down, listen to your voice, gauge your pace, take a breath when necessary, and sprint when you‘re strong. When it feels right, keep running.