Who are you competing with?

Just the other day, I was listening to a podcast while getting ready and I felt overcome with anxiety.  I couldn’t quite pinpoint the source of my worry.  I was listening to totally inspirational stuff.  The woman’s voice coming from my phone was glowing with excitement at the adversity she had overcome only to lead her to the absolute top position in her company…also my company. Then, boom.  It hit me.  I felt like I was in competition with her.  This feeling has plagued me since I joined.  I was always wondering why other coaches had too many messages to answer, while I was fighting to get people just to respond back to me.  Once again, that feeling of I’m just not good enough had crept back in.  The enemy.  He hates us.  He knows full well what gets to each one of us and he feeds into it. I stopped, looked in the mirror, and thought, “I have never been good at competing with others, but I am great at competing with myself.”  I have always been an athlete, but one who fights to better herself every day.  Any time it came to racing another person to a goal, I froze and failed. I was competitive cheerleader through high school and college.  Long-distance, 2-time marathon, runner in my mid-20s.  To a short-lived Cross-fit stint between my two marathons. Oh yeah.  I can compete with myself.  That’s what I have always done.  And you know what?  I can beat myself, every single time.  I know that truth in my heart.  I learned new stunts and routines.  I beat my fastest running times.  I lifted more weight and more reps.  I. Can. Beat. Myself.  And I am the only one standing in the way of myself.

God has not give me a spirit of timidity but one of power and love and self-discipline.

I will not let the enemy keep me from my dreams, because that’s what he does my friends.  Did you know that?  If you are feeling not ready, apprehensive, nervous, that’s because something BIG is about to happen.  You just have to decide, are you ready to fight for it?

identity

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I have always had something to find my identity in, but I think that is true of most people.

When I was a young girl in school, I was smart.

When I got into high school and college I was a cheerleader. I told everyone that.

My last semester in college I started dating this guy so I was his girlfriend for 4 1/2 years.

After we broke up, I started running. Then, I was a runner. I found myself telling people so and it was a fact most people knew about me for my adult life.

Then, the unexpected happened. I was injured training for a marathon and never really healed. I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t hang out with those friends anymore because they were doing something that I could no longer do -> run.

I struggled in trying to find my place in this world. I suddenly didn’t know where I belonged anymore.

I had been back in church for a year or two at this point so I was slowly but surely starting to recognize the gospel. So in the past 2-3 years I have found my true identity.

And, that brings me to yesterday I was sitting in church listening to the message when I had to write my ideas down.

I don’t ever have to wonder who I am or where I belong anymore, because I know that I am His and He is mine.

identity

That is where my identity lies from now till forever, in the love of Christ. I don’t ever have to wander this world alone again. I am saved by grace through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.  {Ephesians 2:8}

What about you?  Where do you find your identity?

Core of Christmas

If you follow me on Instagram, you have more than likely noticed my latest posts.  In December, I decided to start the #CoreOfChristmas challenge.  I absolutely love everything about Christmas, from the music to the lights on the tree to the excuses to get together with more people I love.  With so many people running around trying to “get things done” and buy gifts, I really wanted to just focus on Jesus for this season.  After all,  that’s what it’s all about, so in comes the “core” of Christmas.

I decided to combine my love for Jesus with my love of fitness.  We will be doing a different core exercise every day and meditating on a verse to keep us in the present.

coc

I have teamed up with my lifelong friend, Courtney, as well as friends I met through faith and fitness in social media, Tiffany and Bobbi.  I’m hoping you will join us!  Did I mention there are PRIZES??  Oh, yes, we will be drawing names on the 12th and 24th of December.

Here is a look at the past few days!

Day 1: elbow plank & Proverbs 31:17

plank plank2

Day 2: bicycle crunches & Psalm 139:14

bicycle

Day 3: superman & John 16:33

superman

Day 4….check us out on Instagram!  Can’t wait to see you join in on the Community we are forming.

 

things i miss about running

So, I think, I am retired from running.  I know all you runners are gasping at this and trust me, it’s not an easy thing for me to say.  I have actually been considering it for a while now.  Ever since I injured another part of my body while my torn hamstring was healing.  Don’t worry, these were not my only injuries ever as a runner.

Truth is, running is hard.  It takes a lot out of your body, especially long-distance running, which was my preferred method.  I’m sad.  There are so many things I will miss.

things i miss

  1. Exploring the city on foot
  2. The feeling of accomplishment as I top a hill
  3. Crossing a finish line
  4. Being one with nature
  5. Seeing how far and fast I could go
  6. Jamming to my playlist
  7. Making up a new playlist
  8. Runner’s High
  9. Reflection
  10. Running in a summer rain

Some of these things I can experience by walking around or hiking.  I plan on doing a lot of hiking now.  That is something I never would have done before because I was so concerned about getting my run in, but now, I have all the time in the world.  It’s kind of weird to think that.  I started running when I was 26 and I am retiring 5 years later.  I don’t want to, but my body does.  I have to listen to my body.  It’s not worth not being able to walk when I am older.

Have you had to hang up your running shoes?  What would you miss if you did?

why I quit the gym

For a little time last year, I was a member of a gym.  I joined for the pool.  I was training for a marathon and had gotten injured.  I needed a pool to continue my endurance training.
Did a pool keep me at my current fitness level? No.  Did a building full of equipment keep me at peak fitness?  No.  Did I enjoy my time at the gym?  Again.  No.
why i quit
So, let’s go through the reasons why working out at home is the bomb.

1.  Money – The gym was costing me too much money. I was paying $50 a month and not getting anything for it.  Yeah, I had access to all these machines and weights but I didn’t know how to use them.  I didn’t have a plan.  I wasn’t motivated.  There was no end in sight.

-With my home workouts, I have a plan.  I know what workout to do and when.  I have personal access to some of the nation’s top trainers.  Why on earth would I hire a trainer here?

2.  Time – The gym is 20 minutes away from home and not on my way home from work. That’s 40 minutes of my day wasted.  In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!”  Oh, and to top it off, the gym closed at 5pm on the weekends.  What tha??  I mean, I don’t know about y’all but sometimes I need to go later in the day.

– I can workout at home, anytime I want, and save 40 minutes a day!  That adds up when you work a full-time job, a part-time job, and are trying to start your own business.

3. Support – I was intimidated to use the machines and free weights. All of the cardio machines faced the weight area. I was always so paranoid that everyone behind me was criticizing my form while I was lifting or on the machines.

-Well, in my own home, no one can see what the heck I’m doing.  I can dance around when my favorite song comes on and no one would know.  Plus, I have all my online friends to encourage me.

balogo

So, in short, I am very, very happy I quit the gym.  Not only am I in better shape, but I am happier and have more money.  🙂  And that’s always a good thing.

What about you?  Are you a gym-goer?

What do you like about it?  What don’t you like?

 

4.

what am i running from?

If you grew up in church, or even just in the South, you know the story of Jonah and the big fish.  All I remember is Jonah being swallowed but by a giant fish and living in his belly for a while before getting out.  Until recently, I had thought he fell off the ship.  I guess they soften things for kids, because he was actually thrown off…because he asked to be.  Yep, cast overboard of his own decision.

Doesn't this look sweet?
Doesn’t this look sweet?

Why?  Let’s go back to the beginning.  Jonah was commanded by God to go to Nineveh and preach, but guess what?  Jonah didn’t want to do that.  Nope.  He ran away from God!  What was he thinking?  Can you actually do that?  Instead of going to Nineveh(Middle East), he jumped on a ship heading the opposite direction to Tarshish(present day Spain).

jonah_map
click for source

Then, a giant storm came and Jonah asked to be “cast off” because he knew that this raging storm had come.  The rest is history, he was swallowed by a fish and then later spat out after promising he would make good on what was asked of him.

So this got me thinking.  God is not just going to let me just run away.  No.  He is going to pursue me with his relentless, passionate, absolutely overwhelming love.  (Who doesn’t want to be pursued??)

I self-sabotage.  I think I know what is the right thing for me.  I try to control my life.  What a crazy thought.  What have I been running from?  Where have I been afraid to go that I was being called?

There are things I have put off and put off.  I have, in my humanness, avoided what I knew I should or should not be doing.  Honestly, I just didn’t trust that I was capable of what he was asking of me.  So, maybe all that struggle, all that heartache, all the trying to control was me in the belly of the fish.  God was waiting for me to surface, waiting for me to let go,  waiting for me to give in and do what he has put me here to do.

What have you run from?

How did God bring you back to where he wants you?

running from

time to heal

Today, I finally started physical therapy for the nagging knee injury that started way back in January.  No, not this January, last January, as in 2013.  Yep.  I’m a procrastinator.  The honest to goodness truth is I thought I could just rest it out.  Take a break from running and it would be no more, but it just so happened I was in the middle of marathon training.  I did rest it from running.  I did the whole aqua jogging thing.  I rode the bike for hours at the gym.  You know what I didn’t do?  Strength train.  That’s the one thing I held back from my body while tearing it down to run 26.2.

healing

Back to physical therapy, from my MRI scan last month I learned that I had a medial hamstring strain and a posterior capsular sprain.  So, basically, I’ve had a pulled hamstring for over a year.  It has never healed because I haven’t properly taken care of it or had it treated.

I was so happy leaving that place because the doctor was so nice and she understood what I told her when I explained, “the back of my knee feels like a rubber band pulled taunt that gets plucked when I run.”  I have no other way to explain the feeling but that’s what it was.  She asked me a few questions about it and I was confident that she just knew.

I can’t express the relief that I am feeling right now.  I am not getting my hopes up yet.  It was only my first session and I’m not running yet, but it’s coming!  I cannot wait.  Spring is here.  I’m ready to run.

And, there’s this…maybe I need more time at the ocean 😉

salt water heals