Friday, March 2, 2012

Words to Live By

We may be identical twins, sharing a body type, hair & eye color, metabolism, ridiculous sized calf muscles, and currently a love for running, but that's where the similarities end. Don't get me wrong, we are probably more alike than different, but here's a list of things that come to mind:
  1. Jessica is the studious one. I am the meathead.
  2. I am a "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" kinda gal. Jessica has been planning each minute since we left the womb.
  3. Jessica worries that everything won't be done perfectly. I rarely worry if nothing ever gets done.
  4. I would rather run 3 miles as fast as possible. Jessica would rather run for 12 hours straight. 
  5. Jessica is an great Marine Corps officer, willing to sacrifice (in many opinions) too much to ensure she accomplishes the mission. When I was a Marine, I used to skip out early and go surfing.
Ok, you get my drift, right? Well, Jessica is currently serving as a company commander for a Radio Battalion deployed in Afghanistan. She struggles to find time to devote to maintaining her personal relationships with those "left behind" while keeping her focus on the mission/Marines at hand. That stresses her out. She doesn't have time to run as much as she would like to. That stresses her out too. So recently she emailed me and our two best friends (yeah, we have that in common) with her new mantra:
Knowing my sister as I do, I realize that this will be a struggle for her to live up to. Jessica is a perfectionist. But as we've gotten older, she's mellowed a bit and I'm so thrilled that she found this great mantra to guide her through the next few months, or years. I have no doubt that she has this posted either next to her rack or by her computer as a constant reminder to slow down and just trust. 

When I received the aforementioned email, the closest thing I had to a mantra was "Enjoy Being" as you read earlier here. I headed out on a run Wednesday morning and was feeling pretty sluggish. I decided right then and there to develop my own mantra, something to get me through those rough spots of a run when I want to walk. Here it is:
Run - because you should.
Don't complain - because you can. 

Let me break it down. "Run - because you should." Run can be replaced with workout, eat healthy, cross train, etc. Basically, we should make an effort to modify our behavior in positive ways that result in healthier beings. For instance - I should run because I want my daughter to grow up with a good example on how to be healthy and strong. And the "Don't complain - because you can." What I mean by this is something that's prevalent within the fitness community already. Be grateful that you have legs and muscles that allow you to carry your body over the pavement in a smooth stride. As a member of a military community, I frequently see amputees, and it's a stark reminder to quit whining when my legs are sore or get tired. Our running club's (Stroller Warriors) leader's son was recently diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). He is two and walks only with the help of a walker. But he gives 100% during his physical therapy and keeps such a positive attitude about his "magic shoes," that it makes me think twice before complaining to his mom about our current workout. So because I am ABLE to run, I really have no right to complain. It's a decision I made for myself. I've always been one of those people who sees my situation and says, "Well, it could be worse." Not everyone is like that. My husband couldn't be more opposite. Do what works for you. This mantra got me through 4 miles when I really didn't even want to be running. 

What words inspire you? 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Things I Like About Me

Today I'm linking up with Just.Be.Enough to share with you a few Things I Like About Me (I'll make my sister - the other half of this blog - do the same when her schedule allows). One of our fellow FitFluential Ambassadors, Elena, posted this a couple days ago and I absolutely fell in love with it! The timing was unique in that I am currently reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and I highlighted this quote to share with you all:

"As you get older, though, through trial and error you learn to get what you need, and throw out what should be discarded. And you start to recognize (or be resigned to the fact) that since your faults and deficiencies are well nigh infinite, you'd best figure out your good points and learn to get by with what you have." 

In a society filled with people cataloguing their own and everyone else's flaws on a daily basis, we should, for our mental health and well-being, take the time to really appreciate the things we like about ourselves. Make a list without any self deprecating humor or wishful speak; only use words that build you up. Here's my list:

  1. I am content with life as it is. I enjoy the moment. My right foot is tattooed with the words "Enjoy Being." People are constantly asking me, "Enjoy being what?" I respond, "Just being." I can find the best in any situation.
  2. I am not afraid to admit when I'm wrong. I am human. I make mistakes. It's just that easy. So admitting it just makes sense.
  3. I have an athletic build. I am tall. I have a strong physique. I can throw a football or rock a sun salutation. I have embraced my body and am learning to love it.
  4. I believe in helping others. I will go out of my way to help my friends. If I think a cause is worthwhile, I will support it. I think more people should be like this. People helping people is one of the primary ways we differ from animals.
  5. I have hair people always compliment. I do not dye, curl, blow dry, straighten, etc., my hair. It's thick and strong. Whenever I have 10 extra inches, I chop it off and donate it. It's good hair:)
  6. I am strangely good at word games. You know those games where they jumble the letters and you have to unscramble them to form the longest word? I can typically glance at those letters and tell you the word. It drives my mother-in-law crazy.
  7. I am a runner. I have jokingly called myself "not a runner, just a jogger" on this very same blog. I suppose I used to be a recreational jogger when I was a Marine. I didn't like it; therefore, I only did it when I had to. Now, I'm a whole new woman! I am a stroller pushing, mid-foot striking, full on runner. And I love every mile of it!
So there you have it, an entirely positive post about me. I urge you to link up with Just.Be.Enough and share your thoughts about yourself. Thanks for reading mine. 

And with that said, I repeat:


Monday, February 27, 2012

Live From Afghanistan...

One Month Off…   
Greetings from the desert!  I wish I was able to stay more active in the blogosphere, but things are so busy out here and the Wi-Fi connection isn’t always very reliable.  Due to the current schedule that I follow, I haven’t really had time to squeeze in a daily run like I do when I’m back stateside.  Instead, I’ve taken to going to what we’ve nicknamed the “Prison Gym”.  Essentially we’ve got very resourceful Marines who have acquired some workout equipment and put it here in our compound.  We have a lot of free weights, several straight bars for bench/squat/etc, and some newly arrived cable machines! 
I’ve been doing mostly strength training, lifting weights between 5 and 6 times a week.  I don’t ever have a plan, but I have a workout partner who creates our schedule!  One of my goals when I got here was to be able to do 10 pull-ups.  When we first arrived I was unable to even eke out ONE…but now I’m up to SEVEN!  So, there are positives to weight training!
However, my running, which provides me peace of mind, solitude, and sanity, has sadly fallen to the wayside.  On Saturday, for the first time in almost a month, I got back out on the road.  We did a three-mile run with 2 min jog, 15-second sprint.  It was tough, but mostly because my cardio has gone out the window! 
It was a welcome feeling to be back in my Inov8’s and on the road.  Sometimes you just don’t know how much you need something until it’s missing from your life!