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. 

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 

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 

Dark Roman Wine, and Awakenings in the Shower

Source Unknown

I always seem to do my best thinking either in the shower or as I am just about to fall asleep. There’s something about the water beating down on me and the close, warm, slightly darkened quarters that prompts deep moments of reflection. It is in these moments that I have made life-altering, soul-changing realizations.

While taking a quiet moment this morning, listening to Snow Patrol’s Dark Roman Wine, I suddenly heard a small, almost childlike voice in my head repeating the lyrics back to me, like a mantra for the day ahead: I will hang on the hook of your splendor, As the night rolls us up in its arms, And the square of your thumbs and your fingers, Is the blanket of sky that’s so warm…An incredible song by Snow Patrol, to be sure, and a beautiful message to start the day.

Listening to the arrangement below, from Royal Albert Hall in 2009, with it’s haunting organ accompanied to Gary Lightbody`s electrifying voice, I can’t help but close my eyes. As the song builds (The wind shakes the branches above us, And the cars shake the ground at our backs, But the dark roman wine in our bloodstreams, Makes the cold just a word, just a sound…), free of a heavily drummed climax, it rather drifts peacefully towards its end.

It was during my shower “meditation” this morning, that I made a not-so-sudden realization. Everything I have done thus far in my life has been to please (in one form or another) someone else; a parent, teacher, co-worker, employer, friend, boyfriend, etc. And, as a result, I have often felt inadequate, not good enough, and that I was in competition with those around me.

This was not my realization.

What I came to realize is this: The more time I spend alone with myself – in silence – the more I KNOW not only that I am good enough for the world around me, but that I am actually a force of positive energy for the universe!

Just over a year ago, I was overwrought with anxiety and stresses, I couldn’t stand to be alone with myself in a room without the TV on or music playing. I was so trapped within myself, I didn’t know up from down, left from right. Going through the motions of daily life, I was spiraling, content with mediocrity. And then the bottom fell out. My relationship ended suddenly, and I was alone again. I had two choices: (ONE) Live the victim “why does everything always happen to me?”  -OR- (TWO) Grieve, accept the cards I was dealt, and try to move on.

I chose TWO

Pulling yourself up is never an easy task, it’s sometimes more overwhelming than the fall. When I got up (and it was a slooooooooooooooowwwwwwww, and still on-going process), I felt more like me than ever before. I’ve embraced my spirituality. Some days I talk to God, others I talk to myself through meditation. Every day is an opportunity for learning. I am learning how to be on my own, and how to do big, exciting, sometimes scary things on my own, embracing the life I was given.

Writing this post to you now, I am surrounded by the gentle humming of my computer, the clicking of my fingers on the keyboard, my own breath, the imaginary sound of my laundry tumbling in dryer next door, and I am filled with peace.

I am alone in my own company and it is peaceful.

Peace and Love to you all,
Mandixoxox 

What’s Inspiring Me, Right Now – February

Inspiration is all around me. Always. From the sights and sounds of my neighbourhood to the walls of my apartment, and infinity of cyberspace. Music is a constant inspiration and motivating force in my life, in a previous post, I provided a list of albums currently in my iPod, now I’d like to share with you five nearly random things that have inspired and motivated me so far in 2012:

His Holiness The Dalai Lama (http://www.facebook.com/DalaiLama)
I subscribe to his Twitter, Google+ and Facebook feeds, which are ripe with heartwarming quotes and pictures that will really make you think. A recent post reads:
 “Education and knowledge by themselves do not bring inner peace to individuals, families or the society in which they live. But education combined with warmheartedness, a sense of concern for the well-being of others, has much more positive results. If you have a great deal of knowledge, but you’re governed by negative emotions, then you tend to use your knowledge in negative ways. Therefore, while you are learning, don’t forget the importance of warmheartedness.”

Kandee Johnson (http://www.facebook.com/kandeethemakeupartist)
Makeup artist, Craftsperson, Blogger, Vlogger, Mom, and Cheerleader to all, Kandee puts a smile on my face every day. Whether through her makeup and hair tutorials, craft videos, or just with an “I believe in you” status update, Kandee aims to reach out to everyone and add a little beauty to every one’s day.
Follow her on Facebook (link above), her “mommy” blog (http://www.kandeej.com), her beauty and craft blog (http://www.kandeeland.com/), or on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/kandeejohnson?feature=watch)

Encouragement
Perhaps it’s silly for a word to make the list. It’s more than just a word, though, it’s an fantastic support system of friends, family, and neighbours who have gotten me from where I was to where I am. And, where I am today, is writing to all of you! It’s probably a little crass to just assume these people know who they are, so I will take a short moment in a future post to give each of them a little shout out.

Getting Physical
I’ve never been in amazing shape, and that’s suited me just fine – to a point.
In May 2011, I participated in the Bluenose Marathon 10K. I finished just shy of 2 hours (!!) I would have to say that I was probably in the worst shape of my life then, physically and emotionally. After several setbacks between May 2011 and January 2012, I’ve recommitted myself to getting, and staying more active. With the help of my cousin, Sheldon, I started The Biggest Loser Boot Camp (http://www.thebiggestloser.info/the-biggest-loser-workout.html), as well as skating and swimming regularly – all in preparation for Bluenose 2012, where I am hoping to shave at least 60 minutes from my finish time.

Doctor Who (http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw)
Yes, the sci-fi BBC show originally from the 1960’s is a major source of inspiration to me! I have been watching the current incarnation of The Doctor (which began airing in 2005) since August. There is something whimsical about the story in general: a man with no name, and a face that changes, travelling through time and space saving the universe from infinite beings and almost always without weapons. I’ve always had a fascination with the night sky, and all the things up there – all the possibilities. It truly puts life into perspective.

What’s inspiring you right now? Tell me in the comments below

Peace and Love to you all,
Mandixoxox