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. 

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

 

 

 

The Problem With Dating: The First Date

You spend minutes, sometimes hours, preparing yourself: perfect hair, flawless makeup, a cute outfit.
Sometimes, you meet him there. Other times, if you’re lucky (and feel comfortable enough), he picks you up.
You’re nervous, awkward, and you want to make a knockout first impression.

I’m talking, of course, about the first date. That almost always awkward get-to-know-you event that occurs somewhere before dating, and after merely talking.
And I do mean awkward.
In this age of internet everything, a first ‘date’ is usually something simple like a walk on the waterfront, coffee at [insert coffee shop of choice here], or a drink (one!) at a local pub. Someplace to have a chat and get to know each other.
So rarely, these days, does the word ‘date’ imply anything in the traditional sense: dinner and/or a movie, for example.

Some say chivalry is dead, others say it’s on a time-out.
Either way, dating can be an absolute nightmare.

When the first meeting isn’t so successful, it’s easy enough to predict where things are headed: Nowheresville!
Perhaps he was too forward: “So, after this should we go to your place or mine?” ; Maybe he exaggerated his height in his online profile: He told you he was 5’11” but, when you arrived at the pub in your lucky heels, your 5’2″ (5’5″ in those heels) frame towered over him; Or maybe he turned out to be a nearly middle-aged pot head happy to work a dead end job for the rest of his days.
(All examples from my own personal dating archives)

No matter what goes wrong, it’s fairly easy to escape a bad first date. 
Us women usually have a system – I know I do. It generally goes a little something like this: 
If you don’t hear from me by X time, call me with an emergency. Make it sound real.
And so, the bad date ends. 

But what about when it’s a good (or great, or wonderful) evening?
Those of us with a “system” in place, sneak off to the bathroom to call off the dogs (I’m having a wonderful time, he’s sweet/nice/cute/etc, I’ll check in later), keep our phones stashed WAY out of reach, and enjoy the evening. 

This is where The Problem comes into play.
You’ve have a wonderful time, he’s held your hand/kissed you goodnight/etc (*wink wink*), you feel as though you’ve made a connection with this person. You like him. Or at least you like him enough to want to see him again.

But you’ve got NO idea if he’s on the same page!

It’s 2012, we do absolutely everything electronically now, with little to no time wasted, and there is STILL a waiting period to find out if there will be a second date.
Every text message, email, voicemail, all of it subject to what-does-this-mean scrutiny:
He could have meant this, but what if he meant that
What do I say? What do I do?

Sound familiar??

Generally, the period between date number 1 and the request for date number 2 is more nerve wrenching than those pre-date jitters. We play it cool on the outside, but inside (and to our girlfriends), we are a mess!
Why is it so hard for men to date without playing The Game?
Who decided that a 3-day waiting period was standard protocol? We’re not buying a gun! 

Most girls (and I say ‘most’ because there are notable exceptions) are not looking for a life-long commitment, at least not off the first date. 
We want him to know we  had a lovely time and would like to see him again. And, more importantly, we want to know we made a good enough first impression that he will want to see us again too. 

Simple right?

So why do we make things so complicated?

As a now 30-something single woman, who’s spent HOURS agonizing over every moment of the first date (every look, every touch, every gesture), and dissecting every syllable after, here is my advice to all the men out there: 

KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
If you like us and want to see us again, tell us. If it’s not jiving with you, that’s cool too.
As long as you’re honest and upfront about what it is you want, expect and are looking for in a potential relationship, no good woman will fault you for it.

And to all you women out there (myself included) who spend sooooo much time wondering what to do/say:
RELAX!
So what if he doesn’t like you enough to see you again.
Life goes on. And rest assured, there is someone out there who is dying to spend some time with you

Besides, you are far too beautiful and fabulous to spend your life worrying, right?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls

So often I am led to the most interesting places in my internet meanderings. I am always pleasantly surprised when I come across something completely on accident, and it has a way of speaking to me. The article below is no exception. What follows is a short compilation of the many things I, personally, want to remind young girls of every day. Most I was taught when I was growing up, some I learned (and am still learning) along the way – especially number 10!  

Big thanks to Kate for sharing. Please visit her blog Lily Pads at: www.kateelizabethconner.com and show her your love.

Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls 
Written by Kate Conner 

1. If you choose to wear shirts that show off your boobs, you will attract boys. To be more specific, you will attract the kind of boys that like to look down girls’ shirts. If you want to date a guy who likes to look at other girls’ boobs and chase skirts, then great job; keep it up. If you don’t want to date a guy who ogles at the breasts of other women, then maybe you should stop offering your own breasts up for the ogling. All attention is not equal. You think you want attention, but you don’t. You want respect. All attention is not equal.

2. Don’t go to the tanning bed. You’ll thank me when you go to your high school reunion and you look like you’ve been airbrushed and then photoshopped compared to the tanning bed train wrecks formerly known as classmates – well, at least next to the ones that haven’t died from skin cancer.

3. When you talk about your friends “anonymously” on Facebook, we know exactly who you’re talking about. People are smarter than you think they are. Stop posting passive-aggressive statuses about the myriad of ways your friends disappoint you.

4. Newsflash: the number of times you say “I hate drama” is a pretty good indicator of how much you love drama. Non-dramatic people don’t feel the need to discuss all the drama they didn’t start and aren’t involved in.

5. “Follow your heart” is probably the worst advice ever.

6. Never let a man make you feel weak or inferior because you are an emotional being. Emotion is good; it is nothing to be ashamed of. Emotion makes us better – so long as it remains in it’s proper place: subject to truth and reason.

7. Smoking is not cool.

8. Stop saying things like, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.” First of all, that’s not true. And second of all, if it is true, you need a perspective shift. Your reputation matters – greatly. You should care what people think of you.

9. Don’t play coy or stupid or helpless to get attention. Don’t pretend something is too heavy so that a boy will carry it for you. Don’t play dumb to stroke someone’s ego. Don’t bat your eyelashes in exchange for attention and expect to be taken seriously, ever. You can’t have it both ways. Either you show the world that you have a brain and passions and skills, or you don’t. There are no damsels in distress managing corporations, running countries, or managing households. The minute you start batting eyelashes, eyelashes is all you’ve got.

10. You are beautiful. You are enough. The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough. You are not thin enough. You are not tan enough. You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough. Your teeth are not white enough. Your legs are not long enough. Your clothes are not stylish enough. You are not educated enough. You don’t have enough experience. You are not creative enough.

There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.

You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it.

You were created for a purpose, exactly so. You have innate value. You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored. There has never been, and there will never be another you. Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world. They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.

You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.

What would you like to tell teenage girls?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Forgiveness

Skimming through today’s Metro paper this morning at work, I came across this small, for lack of a better word, blurb in I don’t even know what section:

Forgiveness for You and Others
Written by Natasha Dern,
Host of The Buddha Lounge Radio Show

 Have you ever felt that someone did something to you, something that hurt you so badly that you could never forgive them? Of course you have. There isn’t a single person on this planet who hasn’t suffered the inappropriate and careless actions of another.

In refusing to forgive old hurts, you live with them in the present.

A part of you may wonder, How can I ever forgive what they did to me? Just remember, forgiveness of the person does not imply permission to abuse or hurt you again but about restoring your own sense of well being and peace.

Lacing up my running shoes for another after work walk (I’m “resting” from running), the word still resonated with me, echoing through my crowded mind. Forgiveness. For-give-ness.

While never much of a issue for me in theory or in practice, the sometimes not so simple act of forgiving those who  have trespassed against me has, on more than one occasion, left me with the bitter taste of resentment filling my mouth. I can recall several instances where I’ve been wronged or hurt by the actions of another, given my forgiveness freely, only to have those hurtful, sour-tasting, resentful feelings creep up again later. Perhaps when feeling jealous, envious or even spiteful of that individuals’ interaction with another “Well how come you won’t/never/can’t/etc **insert insignificant thing to be sour over here** with me?”

By holding a grudge I’ve made a conscious decision to live with my sour feelings. 

We all get screwed over. That’s a fact. 

Oprah and The Color Purple taught me in my childhood that forgiveness isn’t extending an olive branch and then throwing the who-did-what-to-whom back out into the universe at a time that’s convenient for me. The act of forgiveness is letting all those wretched feelings out, and not allowing them to stew into resentments. 

As Miss Celie in The Color Purple puts it, so emphatically:

Everything you’ve done to me, already done to you

Those that have done me wrong don’t need me to forgive them and tell them everything is going to be okay. They have to live their life knowing that they’ve hurt someone or done some wrong. And, if they can live with it, really live, without being torn up by guilt. Then, why should I allow their bad behaviour to affect my life?

 

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

What, I Wondered

I often wonder which moments in my life are fixed, unmovable moments. Moments that shape the way I am, and who I will become. Moments, that if changed, would alter significantly my place in this world… Would I still be me? 
Would we, you and I, have existed? 
Would we still? 
How would my life, and yours, have changed, would the world be the same if I’d gone right instead of left?

These are the types of thoughts that haunt me as I go about daily life.

Is this the moment? Is this? What about now? 

When did I become who I am today, and when will I change into who I will be tomorrow?
If given the chance, which moments would I relive, redo, or omit altogether? 

Would I dare take the chance?
We’ve all seen that episode of The Simpson’s where Homer get’s zapped back in time “Oh how I wish. I wish, I wish I had not squished that fish,” only to return to find Springfield was not as he had left it.

And, we all have days where we wish we could go back to a younger version of ourselves and give them a little wisdom.

What words of wisdom would you share with your younger self?

Days where we feel like we’re lesser versions of what we should be. Days where, if given the opportunity, we would make those alterations for ourselves. Days where the sheer thought of our younger selves, sends us into a tailspin, Why did I do this? Why did I choose that? Why? Why? Why? Until we get so caught up in what might have been, that we forget what IS.

My advice?
Life every day as though you’re teaching someone else a lesson. Every moment is an opportunity to learn, to make ourselves into that better person we hope and pray we’ll magically become. Take it. Be conscious of your thoughts and actions. Be influential. Be great.

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox 

T.G.I.Disappointed

With James Taylor’s How Sweet it is (to be loved by you) playing in my ears, the full extent of my disappointment set in. A mere 14 minutes into my evening run, and I could not take another step. The obstacle this time? Not the anticipated icy sidewalks, not the blistering cold, but my body. A pain so excruciating in my shins. It paled in comparison to the dark cloud washing now over me.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.     — Bill Cosby  

Do I want to fail?
That question floats on an endless loop in my head, even as I scream my reply: NOOOOO! I DOOOOOOOOOON’T!

I’ve become all too familiar with the concept of failure and disappointment in my twenty nine years. School, relationship, roommate, relationship, roommate, job, relationship. It seems life is an ceaseless series of failures and disappointments designed to test our character and resolve. 

Have I let any one of my previous failures or disappointments define my life? 
No

So what makes this one different?

Is there a discriminate difference between disappointments of the mind and failures of the body? Are the two mutually exclusive? Can we overcome one without acknowledging the existence of the other? 

The answer, quite simply, is no

Our minds see no difference in physical or physiological reasons not to carry on. Those that cannot walk don’t do so because they don’t want to – they can’t.
In order to overcome such mind/body barriers we must recognize that we are human, and that failures or disappointments are just another opportunity to learn, grow, and do better next time. 

If I am to meet with a disappointment, the sooner I know it, the more of life I shall have to wear it off.     — Thomas Jefferson

How will I mend my bruised pride?
A warm bath, ice for my shins, hot chocolate, and a prayer of thanks for all successes of the day. I’l
l try again on Monday 

Peace and Love
Mandixoxox 

Things I Have Learned

I found this on someone else’s website, completely by random, and related to each of the 27 points. In fact, several of them were the partial inspiration for my writing this blog. I’ve re-written some of them, omitted the ones that didn’t apply to me, and added one or two of my own.
I hope that each of you reading this will take some of these simple life lessons along with you as you go along on your life’s journey.

1. The first pancake always turns out badly.
2. You don’t have to get along with everyone, or make everyone like you.
3. Love makes you stupid.
4. You always have at least 2 choices, even if you don’t like your choices.
5. Sometimes even women need to learn to MTFU.
6. Most people operate out of selfish motivations.
7. It’s rarely about you.
8. Soda is evil.
9. It’s okay to break the rules, as long as you are good enough not to get caught, and you aren’t hurting anyone.
10. “Be kinder than necessary ’cause everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”
11. There’s three sides to every story- yours, mine, and the truth.
12. Time doesn’t heal anything– it’s what you do with that time.
13. Complaining and blaming other people doesn’t help anything, and makes you miserable company.
14. Everything in your life is your responsibility.
15. You train people how to treat you.
16. There’s always hope.
17. You can always be grateful for something.
18. If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t trying hard enough.

19. You never really become an adult. You just get more responsibility, and become wiser.
20. Showing emotion is not a sign of weakness. Knowing when it is appropriate is a skill.
21. Google can answer everything!
22. Being silly is one of my favorite qualities in a person.
23. Honesty is always the easiest route. Even if it’s not in the short term.
24. You should never stop learning, or trying to be a better person.
25. Worrying is useless, unless it motivates you to take action.
26. When people show you who they are, believe them, and believe IN them.
27. Love as though it’s the most important thing in life, because love IS the most important thing.
28. Chocolate is an adequate substitution for nearly everything.
29. Listen to your parents, even if it irritates you to no end. They are almost always right, and they will never say “I told you so”
30.  IN LIFE, THERE IS ONLY FEAR AND LOVE. ONE OF THEM IS WAY MORE FUN.

What are some things you have learned?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox 

Advice From Somewhere

I found this list entitled Advice From Somewhere (my apologies to the original author, I do not remember where I came across it), over the summer. In the midst of setback after setback, I was having trouble existing. I found that many of the advice’s on the list were things I tried very hard to life by already. I was raised in the religion of be nice to others, and don’t talk with your mouth full. I believe in love. And I believe, still, that love conquers all. 

ONE.Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO.Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
THREE.Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR.When you say, “I love you,” mean it.
FIVE.When you say, “I’m sorry,” look the person in the eye.
SIX.Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
SEVEN.Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT.Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
NINE.Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
TEN.In disagreements, fight fairly. Please No name calling.
ELEVEN.Don’t judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE.Speak slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN.When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”
FOURTEEN.Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
FIFTEEN.Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN.When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
SEVENTEEN.Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN.Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN.When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY.Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
TWENTYONE.Spend some time alone.

Twenty one simple truths about life. 

What are some advice’s you would pass on?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox