Sunday, September 27, 2009

DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER

In writing this blog, please understand that I have no intention of forcing my own political views upon the reader.  The following are facts. This blog was inspired by the book I am currently reading by Andy Andrews called "Island of Saints". My only intention in writting this is to reveal truth with the hopes that it would stimulate thought and personal reflection.
So please...DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER!
In 1787 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh noticed a continuing pattern in the advance and decline of the world's democracies.  He stated then that a democracy would continue to exist until such a time that the voters discover that they can literally vote themsevles gifts from the public treasury.  From the moment the revelation is made, the majority proceeds to vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury.  The final result is that every democracy finally collapses due to loose fiscal policy.  That collapse is always followed by a dictatorship.
Tyler charted the ages of the world's greates civilizations from the beginning of history...an average existence of about two hundred years. (FYI: the U.S. has been in existence 233 years).  Every single time, these nations progressed through the following sequence : 
  • From bondage to spiritual faith
  • From spiritual faith to great courage
  • From courage to liberty
  • From liberty to abundance
  • From abundance to complacency
  • From complacency to apathy
  • From apathy to dependence
  • And finally from dependence back into bondage.
I believe that I know where we are as a nation in this sequence.  I also believe that our own individual lives cycle in this sequence as well.  So I ask you as the reader to ponder on this :  
Where do you think we, as a nation, fall into this squence; and what part or role do you play in where we are at today, individually and as a nation?
While it is true that history repeats itself.  Knowing this cycle and having the courage to live and act responsibly as individuals and a nation can also begin a new cycle. Knowledge =Enlightenment=Power.

Namaste.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

RUNNING WITH WOMEN

Yesterday morning I ran 23 miles with my running group. I sat that afternoon, nursing my sore muscles and basking in the glow of accomplishing this feat. Outside our open windows the grey skies let go a sweet melancholy rain which caused me to reflect upon how this all began...
I signed up for the Bass Pro Marathon training group last year with one single goal in mind : To train for a marathon and to do it in a way to keep me from getting injured. What I didn't expect was that the benefits of this group would be beyond just running and finishing a marathon. They were, to put it mildly,much greater, richer and deeper than I ever imagined.
I joined the Springfield MO Galloway training goup last may in 2008. I nervously showed up to run on a warm and humid morning at 6:00am with a lot of apprehension. Besides running with my husband, I had always ran alone and was somewhat of a 'lone runner' and enjoyed my quiet time. So needless to say I thought that I would give it a try and if I didn't like it then I gave myself permission to drop out and continue to run on my own. 
So I started my run with the group, and after running with these women for several weeks I found that I was developing relationships. I quickly discovered that I was running with witty, interesting, well-read, creative, compassionate, professional, beautiful and authentic women. While we ran we chatted about the latest books we had read and soon started sharing books, we talked about our children, husbands, work, dogs and lended ears to personal problems. As each one of our feet hit the pavement and sweat dripped from our brows we rhythmically pounded out ideas, solutions, projects and new goals.
My husband has come to understand and appreciate the wholeness that I feel after I have sweated with these women for hours on end on Saturday mornings.  He knows it makes me a better wife,mother, employee,nurse and artist. In short,he gladly gives up our precious time together so I can be a better person. 
This is the second year that I have ran with this group. We have had new women join and as a result our group becomes even more interesting and rich as these new ladies bring a different and fresh perspective to enrich our lives.
As a group, our ultimate goal is to cross the finish line to obtain the coveted 'Bass Pro Fish Medal' and to proudly display the 26.2 sticker on our Vehicles. But ultimately each one of us will leave the group with an unexpected cohesiveness.  One that can only come with striving together for months, sweating and encouraging each other as our runs became longer and more difficult.  When we cross that finish line in November there will be a bittersweet sensation. One: of knowing that each one of us has accomplished a life goal and two: it marks the end of our regular group runs at 6:00am until next Spring.
The Bass Pro Marathon will be ran on November 1st at 7:00am. But we will walk away that day, with our medals around our necks,changed forever. For I know that our running group has made each one of us realize and appreciate that some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay awhile, make footprints on our hearts and we are never,ever the same.


Nov. 2008 Right Before the Bass Pro Marathon

       Nov. 2008 -During The Marathon                           

After the Marathon w/the Coveted 'Fish Medal'



Monday, September 14, 2009

MY SECRET ENERGY DRINK ;)

Here is a great tasting recipe that I make and drink in the mornings before work and especially before long runs. I believe it helps me with endurance and keeps me from cramping up during long runs.
Try it, let me know what you think.

  • 11 Oz pure coconut water
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 T Maca (herb from health food store)
  • 1 T Bee Pollen
  • 1 T freshly ground flax seed
  • 1 banana
Blend with blender and enjoy.
Just a little note - sometimes when I run out of coconut water I use soy milk for my morning protein shakes. But if I'm doing a long run, I always use coconut water! Also, fill your fuel belt with just pure coconut water instead of sports drinks - It works great and taste much better!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

TUCK AND ROLL

Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action there is equal and opposite reaction. This law applies to every situation in life. As long as you are alive on this earth you will experience multiple ups and an downs or highs and lows. THIS IS NORMAL. I was disappointed to discover that the older I got, life did not get any easier and that I was not immune to this law. This Universal law applies to everyone and will occur perpetually until the day we die – DANG IT!! Cause I was really looking forward to kicking back and enjoying a free ride.


2009 has been a particularly peculiar year for Mike and me. Our year started off very strangely. Here are just a few examples of events that have occurred. It started on Jan 1 with the death of a family member and has been on roller coaster ever since. The last two months have been particularly hellacious, to put it mildly. The string of peculiar events started in June with an unfortunate and sad episode with my close family.

The next week, while just completing a very enjoyable bike ride with my dear friend Denise, I walked into the house to find the phone ringing. On the other end my 17 year old son, Hayden states, “Mom, I’m in the ambulance, meet me at the hospital.” Needless to say, electrical currents shot out every pore of my body. Just a note to parents reading this, if your child is in the ambulance and is the one telling you to ‘CALM DOWN’, then chances are pretty good that it’s not a life and death situation. But still, on the mom stress scale, a phone call like this rates an 11. My precious son had slipped in the creek and was unfortunate enough to have caught his fall with his right hand which was smartly impaled into a very large and jagged piece of glass. This sounds like a minor incident, but this incident entailed 4 ½ hours of surgery at 1:00 am with a plastic surgeon to repair 6 severed ligaments and nerves. Hayden currently has no use of his right hand or feeling of his ring finger and will have to go to physical therapy two times a week for a whole year, not to mention that he may have to endure surgeries throughout his life to remove scar tissue to keep the function of his hand.

The very next week I had a freak “health” occurrence happen that is going to require surgery. (no insurance on me).
The next week my husband unexpectedly and suddenly lost his job (nothing to do with him or his job performance). This was not only financially devastating but emotionally devastating for me for I was pursuing my dream of becoming a full time artist but was not bringing in enough money on a regular basis to sustain us.

We have also had other “incidences” that have happened but they would be hurtful to other people if I mentioned them so I will not include them in this blog. Just a little funny at this point. My husband just happens to walk by and asks, “Whacha doin?” “Writing a blog,” I say. To which he replied, “Uh Oh…DO NOT make any more of my family members mad!” I got a good chuckle, for that has never been my intention, but…you know how that goes.
Needless to say, all these events had put tremendous financial stress on us. Mike and I knew that as bleak as things looked at the moment, that this too shall pass. I also knew, however, that while we were waiting on this season to pass, that it was a time to “tuck and roll”. Tuck and roll is a term I learned from horseback riding when I was 9 or 10 years of age. I was taught that if you fall off of a horse, you simply tuck and roll. Tucking helps protect your core, but most importantly the key is to keep your head from sounding like a coconut when it hits the ground= not good. The goal is to also help keep your appendages from snapping like a toothpick = also not good. Rolling helps combat Newton’s second law which states The relationship between an object's mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector. In other words, you want to roll as opposed to an abrupt SPLAT. You get the jest of it.

So in these times, when you find yourself unexpectedly and suddenly falling…tuck and roll. Oh, and just a note, it also helps to have a good friend or friends who know you, and despite that, still love you, with whom you can vent your woes too. This can be very therapeutic. Thank you to my priceless friends, (you know who you are).
Another little side note that I want to throw in. Listen for answers and pay attention to words or phrases that will catch your attention. For instance, the other day, I was in another room while my husband was flipping through channels on the TV. An old man was telling a younger man, “find fulfillment in everything that you do.” I knew that was a phrase that I needed to grab a hold of. So pay attention. I believe words of encouragement can come at just the right time even through haphazardly flipping TV channels.
An update on our current situation: Mike is now working in my studio in Branson. He is doing quite well. He also has done a few abstract paintings, which is a whole new area for him. He is growing and discovering new things about life and himself. Mike losing his job forced me to get out and get a job. As an RN we felt this would be the most feasible. This lead me into an opportunity of working at a specialty hospital as a Case Manager. The pay and benefits are excellent, I’m working with wonderful and talented people, but most importantly it has put me in a position of truly making a difference in peoples lives. I have found fulfillment in everything that I do.
My sad and unfortunate family situation will get resolved and we will be stronger as a family because of it.
As for my health occurrence, surgery is scheduled for next month and as it turns out, it is quite affordable and things will turn out just fine.
Where my 17 year old son is concerned, he graduates high school next year. He has dreams of becoming a doctor. He says that this experience not only afforded him the opportunity for a cool profile pic of him in the ambulance, but it has helped him with compassion towards other people, and as a result he believes that he will be a better doctor because of it. God has certainly blessed me with two awesome sons and two awesome step children.
So our season has passed for now. We are on the up swing. But I do know this for sure…as long as we are alive and kicking we will have more tuck and roll seasons. Our valleys will serve to make us wiser and more interesting, for everyone who is interesting has a past.
Many blessings to you.