15 Things Running Has Taught Me

IMG_4473It’s been nearly two years since I ventured into the world of running, but only recently that I’ve started to think of myself as a runner. In this time, I have learned:

1. If you look cute when you leave the house, great. If you look just as cute when you get home, you’re doing it wrong. 

2. Sweat is fat crying. Sweat hard, sweat often.

3. Listen to your body. Not that little voice in your head that tells you to slow down, or go home. Listen to your breath, FEEL your heartbeat. Fancy heart rate monitors are great, they’re also expensive and unnecessary. 

4. In your playlist, no song is stupid if it keeps you moving.

5. It’s okay to walk.

6. Learn to block out distractions. 

7. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Pain =Progress 

8. Don’t ever smell any of your clothing after a run. Trust me.

9. Don’t carry water or Gatorade if you’re not going to drink it.

10. Not everyone appreciates my rendition of “Sexy and I Know it,” especially at 5am.

11. Everything bounces and wiggles. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Get used to it.

12. Long sleeves make great tissues.

13. Protein. Protein. Protein.

14. Good form is better than being fast.

15. If you’re seeking perfection, you’ve picked the wrong sport. There will always be someone stronger and faster. Compete against yourself, not those around you. 

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A Pledge

I pledge allegiance to my mind, my body and my soul;
To take care of myself,
To  live, laugh and love.
To accept the things I cannot change, 
And to change the things I can.

I pledge to start right here, right now;
To make myself a priority,

To take my place in this beautiful Universe,
To act, and react, in a way that makes ME proud.

THIS is my pledge

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Something to Think About…

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become…habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny!
What we think, we become.

— Margaret Thatcher

 

 

 

Tough Love

Take a step back. 
Fucking look at yourself.
You are human.
You are beautiful.
You are so beautiful.
And you can be anything.
You can be everything.

Do not hate everyone because someone broke your heart, or because your parents split up, your best friend betrayed you, your father hit you, the kid down the street called you fat/ugly/stupid/worthless.
Do not concern yourself with things you cannot control.

Cry when you need to but, let go when it’s time.
Don’t hang on to painful memories just because you’re too afraid to forget.
Let go of things that are in the past.
Forget things that aren’t worth remembering.

Stop taking things for granted.
Stop taking life for granted.
Live for something.
Live for yourself!

Fall in love.
Fall out of love.
Fall in love.
Fall out of love.
Do this over and over until you know what it really is to love someone.

Question things.
Tell people how you really feel.
Sleep under the stars.

Create.
Imagine.
Inspire.

Share something wonderful.
Meet new people.
Make someone’s day.
Follow your dreams.

Live your life to its full potential.
Just live, dammit!
Let go of all the horrible things in your life and fucking live!!

And one day, when you’re old, look back with no regrets.

 

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Fire and Gasoline

“We’re like fire and gasoline, I’m no good for you, you’re no good for me…”     — Chris Young

I stumbled,  happily, upon what follows in, of all places, my Facebook Newsfeed, with thanks to I Am Somebody. Bestselling author Karen Salmonsohn shares her views of relationships, breakups and moving on. This resonated with me, having been through a tough breakup myself and having a dear friend currently going through one. 

This is further proof that the Universe speaks to those who are ready to listen.

He appeared to be my ideal match. Then again, matches have been known to burn people. And this man burned me—badly. Interesting, isn’t it, the dangerous language we use to describe the very people we love? We say they’re our “match” or a “flame.” We label them as “smoking hot.” We revel in the “fiery desire” they inspire and the “burning passion” they create.

A happy love relationship has even been called a “friendship caught on fire.”

Why do we have so many fire metaphors in relation to love?

Then there’s the ultimate fire/love commonality: both have the power to drastically, speedily destroy a once seemingly solid foundation. For example, a three-story house can be burned to a crisp in a few fiery hours as a result of an innocent waffle being placed in a bread-only toaster. I relate. Thanks to my ex, I was that house, and my heart was that waffle.

As a self-help book author, I’ve written about the importance of seeking meaning during times of crisis. I’ve raved about the emotional benefits of believing everything happens for a reason—then consciously choosing to locate that reason. I must confess, after the great pain my ex caused me, I was finding this hard to do.

I’m sharing this with you now to let you know that if you’ve recently undergone a difficult break up, I know how challenging it can feel. I know how at first you may become convinced that the best way to protect your breaking heart is to put the permanent brakes on. But I’m here to remind you: please do not wallow in negative emotions for too long.
I believe you can never fail in life or love. You just produce results. It’s up to you how you interpret those results. There are no failed relationships, because every person in your life has a lesson to teach.

When someone leaves you, it’s important to release him/her. And know it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It just means that their part in your story is over. Your story will go on.

Instead of stressing over the loss of this person, you must face forward, happy in the knowledge that the empty space they’re leaving behind is clearing up space for someone far more right for you—someone you’ll now be far wiser at recognizing that they’re far more right! In many ways, pain is your evolutionary buddy. Pain prompts you to wake up from your autopilot slumber and be more alert to which are the best circumstances and best people to aim yourself toward for ultimate joy. Often, the only way to experience major insightful breakthroughs is via break ups.

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

A meditation

“I will be generous with my love today. I will sprinkle compliments and uplifting words everywhere I go. I will do this knowing that my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater.”

Steve Maraboli 

An Influential March

March.
In like a lion, out like a lamb? In like a lamb, out like a lion?
The dreariest of months (in my opinion), inconsistencies of the weather alone are enough to break my heart. Grey skies, grey clouds, grey lawns, grey, grey, grey. One nice day, three snow days, two with rain; Spring so close by I can taste it, smell it, feel it in your bones! Only 31 (sometimes miserable) days until April.  

Here are four things that have influenced, inspired or kept me busy this past March:

Peace Flash (www.facebook.com/PeaceFlash)
I have always described myself as a quasi-hippie, a “moderate granola type,” toting my peace sign, and make-love-not-war attitude. So much so, that I can sometimes be heard telling others I was born in the wrong decade. The 60’s missed me, and I missed the 60’s!
Peace Flash pops up in my Facebook news feed about as often as I need a reality check (it’s not always about you, Mandi), reminding me that through sharing my personal peace, I can influence the daily lives of others. 

Soul Pancake (http://soulpancake.com/ & http://www.facebook.com/soulpancake)
Soul Pancake is a social media outlet for big thinkers, not unlike myself. It is a place to go where you can explore (and encourage others to as well) what it means to be human. Everyone has an inner philosopher, and Soul Pancake is the perfect place to explore that facet of yourself. 

Tracks by Linds (http://tracksbylinds.com/)
Former co-worker, traveller, fellow blogger, and friend, Lindsey writes all about her adventures “galavanting” with her husband-to-be for his medical school rotations across North America. Her posts are well written, thought provoking, and insightful. Not to mention the Sunday music recommendations! It was at Lindsey’s suggestion that I (finally) put my fingers to keyboard here at WordPress, and share my thoughts with the world. 

Running (https://outofsightonmymind.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/why-i-ran-from-my-troubles-today/)
There’s something both masochistic and zen about going for a run. Time alone with your thoughts, headphones on, the outside world melts away. At the  same time, it’s pure torture!!  Propelling your body forward as fast as you can, for as long as you can. The aches and pains of joints and muscles. And the cold, let’s not forget about the cold!

So why do I do it? To put it simply, I run because I can. I’m not terribly good at it. That bothers me, and so  I run to improve my form. It just so happens that as a side effect, it improves my health.

With 46 days left until the Bluenose Marathon, I am averaging a 9.5 minute kilometer (3.5 minutes above my ideal goal). I’ve had some setbacks with shin splints and knee pain since I began training in January, I’m still doing a combination walk/run during my 3 training runs each week, but I am still confident that not only will I finish again this year, I will be able to improve my finish time from 2011.

What’s kept you going this March?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox 

Who Can Save Love?

Who can save Love?
(Author unknown)

Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings lived; happiness, sadness, knowledge, and all the others, including love. One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the island was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. So all the feelings prepared their boats to leave. Love was the only one that stayed. She wanted to preserve the island paradise until the last possible moment.

When the island was almost totally under, Love decided it was time to leave. She began looking for someone to ask for help. Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat. Love asked, “Richness, Can I come with you on your boat?” Richness answered, ” I’m sorry, but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere.”

Then Love decided to ask Vanity for help who was passing in a beautiful vessel. Love cried out, “Vanity, help me please.” “I can’t help you,” Vanity said, “You are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat.”

Next, Love saw Sadness passing by. Love said, “Sadness, please let me go with you.” Sadness answered, “Love, I’m sorry, but, I just need to be alone now.”

Then, Love saw Happiness. Love cried out, ” Happiness, please take me with you.” But Happiness was so overjoyed, that he didn’t hear Love calling to him.

Love began to cry. Then, she heard a voice say, “Come Love, I will take you with me.” It was an elder.

Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that she forgot to ask the elder his name. When they arrived on land the elder went on his way. Love realized how much she owed the elder.

Love then found Knowledge and asked, “Who was it that helped me?”

“It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “But why did Time help me when no one else would?” Love asked.

Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.”

I came upon this story quite by accident in mid-spring 2011. My relationship was in turmoil and I, as most everyone of my generation now does, turned to Google for help. As I eagerly typed How to save my relationship into the search box, I prayed that a magic answer would greet me. 

While what I got may not have been an answer, per se, it was indeed a message. Something that stuck with me over the course of the next year while the relationship ended and I struggled to heal myself. The message is clear: only time is capable of understanding how great love is

They say that time heals all wounds. That couldn’t be more untrue. Yes, time will heal a broken bone, or a papercut, but how exactly does time heal a broken heart? It can’t. If it did, we wouldn’t have poets like Elizabeth Barreett Browning How do I love thee, let me count the ways. Shakespeare would not have written sonnet after sonnet to his lost love. Romeo and Juliet would never have been star crossed lovers, they would have lived happily ever after. Even Beethoven wrote letters to his Immortal Beloved Oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.

It is not the time that heals our wounded pride or our broken hearts, it’s what we do with that time. Browning wrote poetry; Shakespeare wrote plays, sonnets, and changed theater; Beethoven composed some of the most beautiful pieces of music. So, while time may not be able to heal, it is able to understand, to provide the answers needed in order to move on to bigger and better things, to give us perspective. Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox