Next Up!

Rock climbing

Sometimes I write entire posts in the blissful space between falling asleep and dreaming. Often there’s an internal struggle: should I get up to actually type these words or will I remember them the next day? The answer is always the same. I fall asleep, then spend the next morning attempting to re-create what my sleepy mind so eloquently said in monologue. Never fails.

In this short space of unemployment, rest and relaxation have helped with creativity. Or forced it. Whichever. I’ve tried some new recipes. Decorated and rearranged a whole bedroom. Cleaned a bunch of sh*t. And finished an art project. Not bad for a self-proclaimed non creative person. I’m doing pretty well!

Semi-return to Keto

I also worked out almost daily. Built some muscle. Gained a few necessary lbs. And took walks outdoors with the soothing sounds of nature and angry birds. I’ve made appointments, attended appointments, and considered joining a yoga studio. I’m zen in my short-lived creativeness! Minus those pissed off birds.

There’s something to be said for time on your hands. Nowhere to be; no time clock to punch. Waiting on others can be a lesson in futility. Or a blessing in disguise!

Now let me see what that weightless class is all about. Suspending myself from the ceiling via a sex swing-looking contraption sounds like so much fun. Gotta go!

___________________________

I ask you –

How often do you find yourself with extra time on your hands?

Bet you also wish you remembered some of the greatest things thought of before falling asleep, right?

Cookies: favorite kind?

Looking Out From the Throne, I Now See…

It looks different for everyone

In response to a few questions and comments I received about a prior post when I referred to “mental, physical, and spiritual growth”, I’d like to provide some clarification.

There are two topics I have stayed away from on Running on Fumes: politics and religion. My goal is to never exclude someone based on any kind of discriminatory trait. Never. No way. No how. Not acceptable. Ever.

Now that I’ve said all these things, I want to reiterate to my readers my support of whatever you decide to live, be, and believe. Have at it. As long as it doesn’t hurt you or others, do your thing. And I’ll do mine.

In figuring out the track my life is on, I decided to consult with a really amazing group of people I spend time with approximately once a week. My church “friends”. Clearly we don’t know each other outside of that establishment, but they smile and laugh with me so I think we’re pretty steady now. Then they invited me to a small group titled “Freedom”. Freedom? From what? I am free. I fought for freedom. Why do I need to attend such a group?

Iconic

Unbeknownst to me, it has become exactly what I need when I need it. I’m not only learning about myself but also my belief system. Double win. For more than a decade, the self-titled version of me would be agnostic. It’s not the same as atheism, look it up. I believed there was a God, or even multiple gods, but science prevailed and the ultimate decision making was up to us mortals. I didn’t need to believe in a higher power because I was the ruler and controller of my life, good or bad.

The Holy City, Wichita Mountains

Adult enough to admit it, I now understand I have major control issues, am a rule maker, and envisioned God as a throne-perched ruler who judges us above mentioned mortals with a condescending eye. How wrong I was. “We are blessed to bless others.” And to give of our time, money, and self is the ultimate worship.

The Holy City, Wichita Mountains

___________________________

I ask you –

What is your belief system?

Have your spiritual views changed over time? Perhaps multiple times?

What mantra do you live by?

We Have a Winner!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Typically I have several ongoing posts in varying stages of completion. It’s rare I feel compelled to hurriedly write a post for quick upload. And I like to protect mine and my family’s privacy so events and things reported here are most likely at least a week behind.

But today I have something important to share! On Monday, I received an email stating I was one of 30 first prize winners in a contest hosted by Brooks – a well-known running shoe and apparel company headquartered in Seatle, Washington. I love their brand and run in their shoes, specifically the Adrenaline GTS. Huge fan, if you can’t tell.

These are but a few

My first thought was I’ve been spammed because who actually ever wins these contests? No one I know. I verified the email came from the company Brooks was using to distribute prizes, completed the information, and refused to believe it could be true. Later, I browsed the Brooks website to see if anything substantial had been posted. Ask and ye shall receive.

I found my submission complete with photo I had uploaded for the 20 Year Drop contest. I may have screamed out loud, saved 40+ screenshots of the page, and called my parents. Does this mean I’m famous?!

Screenshot 1 of a lot

So what’s the prize, you ask? Only something incredible! I won a free pair of Adrenaline GTS shoes every year for the next 20 years. 20 years!!! I’ll be almost 54 years old then. I hope I’m still running at that age. Running my mouth, definitely. Running on fumes, absolutely!

A huge thank you to Brooks for creating a shoe literally designed for PR’s, as well as a contest with real people who can win. I never knew such a thing existed.

Unbelievable as this story is, because of course that’s how most of my life has been, credit be to the perfect one watching over me. Everything in my life has changed since I accepted that my spiritual health is even more important than I ever believed. Another bullet point in my testimony.


I ask you –

Have you ever won a contest? If not, know anyone who has?

Does this mean I need to play the lottery?

Share a story of spiritual life!

And we shall call her –

Betty. Betty White, of course. Why are you not laughing with me? I am a competent, mature woman in her early 30’s, a patient and loyal mother – what better time in my life to name an inanimate object?! Ok, so you could probably list a million other times, but why start all that?

New whip

She’s a beautiful hunk of steel! The only way she could be better is if she was actually made of steel. Of the tank persuasion preferably.

She drives smoothly and gets a whole 35.5 mpg. I’ll take it! In fact, I drove the 3 hours home with 1/4 tank of gas. Winning! I’m slowly becoming more comfortable driving again. It’s much worse in stop/go situations, like traffic, and in any weather conditions that aren’t full sun and dry roads. So basically a lot of the time. I’m testing some cognitive techniques – will update soon. Many people I’ve spoken to state the accident may have been taken so hard by me because I’ve never before been the driver in an accident and I was already dealing with the daily stress of driving long distances. Either way, it can be overcome.

Chauffeur, not pictured

So I will love her and clean her and call her Betty. And she will patiently chauffeur me and my mini human around until, one day in the far far far far (are you getting the point?) future, her wheels fall off. Then I will be sad.

_______________________________________

I ask you –

When was the last time you purchased a car/truck/van/tank?

Have you ever named your vehicle?

Do most people expect to keep a vehicle for the life of the vehicle? Unrealistic?

Snow Day! (but not for all of us) + Other News

Lake effect

As you can guess by now, the drive impacts many portions of my life, including work. So with personal things going on plus the chance for copious amounts of snow and ice, the decision was made for me to work from home. Good thing, too, because the Texas weather dictated a few hours of ice before the snow which makes driving obviously treacherous. As I stared out the kitchen window from the safe and warm confines of today’s workplace, i.e. my kitchen table, I hear children playing while the snow pelts the lake behind my house. It’s definitely beautiful, but I’m lucky to not have to be out in it.

Unfortunately for my co-workers, the snow in my part of Texas did not share its presence with them. A mere 2 hours away, all they’ve received is rain and above-freezing temperatures. Sucks for them. Sort of. This precarious balance of weather, work, and life brings me to my other news.

Do they make seat warmers for outdoor furniture?

I have resigned from my position within Anytime Fitness. The drive and the toll it has taken on my mental well-being came to a point I can no longer handle. I’m fairly certain if not for the car accident a few weeks ago, I would still be making the commute. To be clear, I love my career in fitness, especially with Anytime Fitness. The opportunities I have been presented overwhelm my heart and soul. The stories I’ve been blessed to hear, the incredible people I’ve met, and the generous work of my owners and their family will not be forgotten. This journey in fitness will continue for me and them but in separate capacities. These past 9 months have been incredible.

Do people still use pencils?

So what will I do now? I’m not fully certain at this point. Not drive? There are some other career passions on the horizon for me, I’m sure. I will regain the confidence necessary to drive in all weather conditions. And I will never take for granted the relatively simple task of traversing the roadways with other drivers. Also, I will continue blogging, right here, same time as always. These posts have become a sort of therapy for me – many emotions have splayed across these pages. I try to share the obvious, the not so obvious, and the deeper parts of myself in hopes I can reach others who may be struggling, too.

Thanks to each one of you, I believe life is a series of stepping stones. Some are slippery and covered in mud; others are a brilliant square of marbled beauty.

________________

I ask you –

Do you play in the snow or stay inside?

How much hot cocoa is enough?

Tell me your career passions. Entrepreneurs?

Season of Sickness

Seems I had it coming. It was bound to happen. Your body can only stand being coughed on so many times before it becomes overwhelmed and can’t fight all the germs it comes into contact with. Everyone in our family has had whatever this is on an alternating basis for weeks. From yucky, runny noses to the open-mouthed, deep in the chest cough my mini human shares so willingly with me. Ewwww. It’s just no wonder!

Needy child, not pictured

But being the stubborn woman I am, I fought it tooth and nail. And with a minuscule amount of DayQuil because I fall asleep after taking anything. There was a full 24 hours where my voice toggled between a pubescent boy and a frog’s croak. I think everyone around me enjoyed this immensely. Blessed silence! And I had the most insane dreams – that’s for another day.

It seems we’ve all survived. The parents are cured, the husband isn’t milking it for all it’s worth anymore, and the munchkin only wants medicine if it includes honey. Me? Oh, I’m fine. A mother’s work is never done. All I got was a poor pitiful look and the request for more snacks. I swear I could be on my death bed and someone would still find me to ask for a da*n snack! I continued to tip-toe around the house careful not to disturb anyone’s slumber (because…sick), go to work, and field a litany of phone calls (sans voice). Where’s my celebratory snack?!?!

For the love of all that’s holy, please just wash your hands

With this world succumbing to the flu, coronavirus, and everything else, the simplest task does the most to prevent illness. Wanna guess what it is? Wash your hands. That’s all there is to it. Wash your hands. Every time I shake someone’s hand or touch a piece of equipment, the amount of grossness I encounter disgusts me. Surprisingly your skin doesn’t wash off. So if that’s your excuse not to wash your hands, consider this myth debunked. Wash your hands, please! Use soap and scrub under your fingernails and between your fingers. Sing happy birthday to yourself. Just do it!

End of this PSA. Lastly, don’t drink bleach, you idiots. Why are we still having to tell people not to do this? Morons.

______________________

I ask you –

Do you skip washing your hands? – please don’t tell me if you do; I’m already appalled

Did you know hand sanitizer does not double as hand washing? – wash your da*n hands!

Tell me the other stupid things you’ve seen/heard suggested to prevent illness.

How to be Brave and Courageous!

Don’t ask me. I have zero ideas how to accomplish this.

But I know someone who tells me how brave I am each time we visit. She reminds me I can do hard things, how growth is obtainable, and that finding myself may mean a loss of others who don’t want to see me succeed. It stings. Take it from me: I’m no expert at this life stuff. I tend to find people who need rescuing and when they’ve gotten what they needed they disappear. And it sucks.

There’s this life cycle we transcend which may last for days, weeks, months. It’s possible to become complacent or unaware, even unwilling, to make a change. I’m absolutely, one hundred percent willing and aware. But one person’s timeline doth not a decision make. Humor makes me more approachable, or so I’m told. Back to bravery and courage though. Doing hard things looks different for every human. We’re not immune to life. There is no fast pass or skipping ahead in line. These so-called “hard things” arrive in our life in many forms. The patterns of gray and shades of black and white can be discernible to those looking in, but not necessarily the one with the microscope. Best be careful what instructions are given.

My spirit animal

My mini and I read a book titled Be Brave, Little Tiger by Margaret Wise Brown. It has a fun, catchy song the little tiger sings to entice himself to be brave. I often overhear Munchkin singing it to herself; truth be told, I catch myself humming along randomly, too. But it’s hard to be convincing when all you have is a children’s song as the soundtrack to something much more in depth. Bravery and courage are abstract. So how do I coach my internal narrative through a complicated process like this?

First, I write notes to myself. Second, I put them in all the places. Lastly, I close my eyes and repeat these words as many times as it takes to FEEL them. If you don’t have a cheerleader or your inner coach is a bit on the negative side or maybe your coach ditched you for greener pastures, be louder than anything standing in your way.

Sticky notes of all colors

Go forth and BE BRAVE!

___________________

I ask you –

Is there a childhood book that stands out in your mind as a favorite? – anything Amelia Bedelia

Do you consider someone in your life to be overly brave and courageous?

Advice for anyone seeking bravery and courage. Suggestions are welcomed.

There is nothing noble in not asking for help, pt 1

You don’t get extra credit by not asking for help. Profound! I wish I had lived by this many years ago – when I thought it was the right thing to do to always do it on my own, never asking for help, always anxious and frustrated I couldn’t get it all done.

I felt like a failure. Today I stand, errr sit? perch?, before you and tell you it’s ok to ask for help. More than this, it’s imperative you ask for help. Be it by seeking a coach, a trainer, a loved one, a therapist, whatever and whoever. Just ask for help.

More and more, I notice the prevalence of our human nature to refuse help. If it’s enough for my young mini-me to ask for help, then why is it wrong of me to do the same? We encourage the generations after us to seek help for their problems – yet we rarely follow our own advice. Why is this?

The inside is like a well seasoned pot – or a cup you’d find on the mess decks

Even though the aforementioned mini-me is a self-proclaimed EXPERT at everything, there is zero expectation to live up to the hype. But not beating ourselves up is much more difficult. I know I’m right.

Day after day, night after night, I confess the many benefits of personal training. I tell my story and listen to theirs. And I remind them I didn’t find my own wellness until I sought help. Ultimately, you never know what you can do until you ask. As a member is always telling me, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” And I know asking for help doesn’t make me weak.

_______________

I ask you –

Do you have a problem asking for help?

Often times, help is free. The only cost is commitment. What is your barrier to asking?

Have you ever asked for help for something huge in your life?

Behold! + Danger Signs

Alas, the suck has continued. Who knew. Perhaps I counted myself lucky a few too many times before because after the past few days, I should reconsider.

As bruises are now appearing and the aftermath awaits in my garage for professional attention, my 20/20 (jokes) vision has shown me, once again, I ignored all the signs. 1) when it took almost 5 hours for me to get home the night before due to road closures attributed to flooding. 2) when the roads were progressively getting worse and the forecast called for inches of snow and ice. 3) and finally – when it was too late.

As my car began spin 1 of 3, I not only felt but saw the relationship some of my choices have in common with the out of control feeling I was experiencing. I repeated out loud for the universe to hear me “We’re ok” as my car slammed against and finally bounced off the hard objects it encountered. Ice and snow are so beautiful from the safe confines of a warm home. Not so much when your car decides to ice skate. Eventually I ended up facing the wrong direction in the middle of a major highway; my car, a guardrail, and another car being the only casualties. Seems I go all in. In essence, ‘this is why’ doing the right thing isn’t always right! (I won’t be including wreckage photos for those of you who love that stuff. It makes my heart sad.)

I make light of the situation in the only way I know how: with loads of humor. Truthfully, it was a scary a** experience and one I never hope to repeat. I’m incredibly thankful my mini-me wasn’t with me and no one was hurt. The vehicle I love so much can be replaced, but our lives cannot. Perhaps this was just another example of priorities and how every attempt to get mine together doesn’t pay off immediately. It does eventually, though, right? RIGHT? It would be too simple to say I was distracted, I was driving too fast, etc. but I was doing everything right. Sometimes when you’re doing everything right, your car decides to go left. As I sobbed my heart out the next day – first day shock is for real – the fixer in me appeared. For once, I didn’t try to establish a boundary and back away from that tendency because taking action is my way of coping. I came up with a plan. I was ready to attack! Now…we wait. What do you mean insurance adjusters need time off?! The waiting game is my demise.

How can I translate this to the fitness industry and the swarm of New Years resolutionists I encounter? No se. Maybe all I can say is you will experience setbacks and tribulations. There will be days, even weeks, where nothing is going right. You’ll sob your eyes out in an empty parking lot while wondering why is everything going so wrong. You’ll wish for things that may never come. And then you’ll limp your way home, feeling sorry for yourself, and make a new game plan. Because that’s what we do. And…we’re ok.

__________________

I ask you –

Power of 3? Or is that only for bad luck?

Anyone else want a dose of this suck? It’s free!

Might be in the business of searching for a new car. Suggestions are always welcomed.

Risky Business: Growth

Could it be so easy?

I’ve been thinking about all the ways life has changed for me since this time last year. Occasionally reflection can prove beneficial so I took a trip down memory lane. Short of sounding like a pessimistic, ungrateful child, some things have been incredibly difficult while others have seen marginal improvement. I’ve completed a few very hard things, watched some people walk out of my life, and continued on a journey of growth. I’m reasonably certain no one close to me reads this anymore which is both saddening and self-fulfilling.

Prior to a bunch of different events, I believed counting on others was what came naturally to us as humans and everyone needed a solid group of people to hold this role for them. Not to sound jaded now, but I believe I was wrong. Incredibly wrong. As my circle has essentially diminished, I find myself with even more time to think. 4 hours a day wasn’t enough apparently. My dreams are overcome with scenarios that never played out or words I should’ve said. But I don’t live life with regrets. However, if this is my time for growth, I didn’t expect it to all come so quickly. A little warning would have been nice!

Perhaps we all get stuck in a bucket of suck. Made up that terminology all by myself. There was some infamous person who coined the phrase “embrace the suck”. No thanks, buddy, I won’t be embracing it, but I will let it roll over me like the lesson I’m assuming it is supposed to be. What kind of lesson is suck though? Wallowing in self-pity did nothing to help so I’m on to Plan B, C, D or whatever letter I eventually end up at. As hard as it is to connect to people, you would think the more the merrier. Guess not.

The moral of the story is sometimes your journey may truly suck, but it’s not over. The end.

Life of a butterfly

Kidding. The end is nigh but not just yet. Maybe I’m the worst advice giver in the world – truthfully, I’m waiting for an advice giver to arrive in my life and bring forth wisdom. Move over, I’m going to take up a lot of space. It amazes me the reliance we place on others and how their disappearance can be felt so intensely. If karma exists, you win. In the mean time, I’ll spend my days seeking growth. And you should do the same.

______________________

I ask you –

Is karma real? How do you know?

Embrace the suck – best advice or just dumb?

Tell me what growth looks like for you.