"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Monday, December 29, 2014


Strong Willed

Yeah, I would say I contain a portion of these. I have many ingredients for disaster in my make up. I am my own worst enemy. I think it is fair to say that when managed that these character traits are also great traits for perseverance. WHEN MANAGED!

I am a pistol, no question about it. I have a handful of haters. Most of us do. You would be surprised by those that are in the Hater Club. I have days that I care, too much. But for the most part God realigns my focus back to him. He usually always brings someone around me to remind me I am LOVED, I am not the Antichrist. That I am not then Enemy.

"It's PRIDE F**#%(@  with you." Andy, back in his heathen season would say this to me. I can still hear those words as foul as they were. Those characteristic traits were a product of PRIDE when unmanaged.

"Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight." Isaiah 5:21

After a while you have to just let go. Pride like to HANG ON.
Let them talk about you. Let them Defriend you, block you or send you a letter..
Bury your PRIDE and EXAMINE YOURSELF. QUIT examining everyone else and playing the victim. I have to do MY self Inventory.
I think NOT.
I don't need to gather a team together to support the injustice directed at me. If I have a problem I go to that brother or sister, most of the time. Sometimes, I have found that it just isn't a battle that is ever going to be won. In this case, I just let it go.

God has really beat me down. He gives me a sip or water, a minute to catch my breath and he comes back at me. But it is because I am Stubborn, Strong Willed and Headstrong. He is trying to beat that PRIDE out of me.

My Running is NO DIFFERENT.
Every Run I am so thankful. It feels like the first time I ran.
I missed the vibrant blue sky and perfect day to run. Then I reminded myself..I CAN RUN, it wasn't about the weather conditions, it was about the health of my legs. That made it Perfect.

I had 30 minutes. I changed knowing the sun was setting. The sky was still clear, the air was cold and crisp. It would be dark on my way back home. I grabbed my reflective vest and a light. Quickly running through the house gather my layers I found myself getting so pumped.  I suddenly didn't care that I was squeezing my run in, I was excited for the gift to run at that moment. And oddly enough,  the conditions seemed even more perfect.

RUNNING in the Dark. I started out with my headphones in to get me juiced. But the darker it got, the more crooked the road bent, the more creeped out I got. I needed to hear everything. I needed to hear if a dog was going to make kibbles and bits out of me. Or if a funky windowless van came up from behind me. I wanted to hear if a coyote decided to get frisky with me. Then I needed to hear myself think as I devised a plan for every scenario!

5 tips for running in the DARK.
  1. Turn off the Headphones.
  2. Wear Reflective wear.
  3. Take your phone with you, I get lost in the daylight, the nighttime gets really confusing!
  4. Run Against Traffic
Distance: 3 miles of awesomeness

At the end of the Day, I am the same as I was in the beginning..A nothing. My righteousness is of filthy rags. I have failed you, I have failed myself and I will do it again. Not because I want to, just because I have far far from arrived. But this stubburn, strong willed nothing will try to be better with each breath.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Running Backwards

Isaiah 43:18-19
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)

January:139 Miles
No races

February: 163 Miles
No races

March: 213 Miles
No Races

April: 128 Miles
Boston Marathon 3:30:49
May: 107 Miles
HA5K 23:27
Run Thru The Shores 25:13
Anniversary run.

No Races/Injured

No Races/Injured

The Crim 1:22:44
Quit Logging miles Injured

No Races/Didn't log miles/injured

Detroit Free Press Marathon 3:50:55
Didn't Log miles

Clarkston BackRoads Half Marathon 1:56:12


Favorite RACE: The Boston Marathon, DUH! I had to promise my family I would retire this race.
Prettiest Race: Detroit Free Press would have to be the most scenic. I didn't do any pretty runs.
Hardest Race: HA5K , I hate 5Ks, they never stop hurting.
Races I didn't run: DX2A, Merrel Down and Dirty

No PR"S for the year of 2014. I can hear Andy "Anita, you are over 40, your times are going to start dropping, your going to need to work twice as hard for the same results..."
Being injured for half the year, made 2014 less than epic. I spent a lot of my summer with a sore toosh from logging  miles on a BIKE! Looking back, I may not see any PR's but I do see a lot of miracles. I had 2 races that I should not have been able to run let alone race. I was in physical therapy for my IT Band and could not run more than 10 miles. By the GRACE of God and  excessive amounts of prayers I was able to run BOTH The Crim 10 miler and Detroit Free Press Marathon.
I am not a snobby runner, therefore, my time was not that important to me, I am a grateful runner. So grateful to watch God do a miracle in me.
"Nothing is impossible with GOD." I believe that with my whole heart. He sees my innermost being, my hearts desires..I am so humbled at the gifts he has given me.
* I have had so many injuries, I have beat my head against the wall wondering what my purpose with running is. But God keeps that flame burning, that passion that burns deep inside me. I get so excited to see what God is going to do next. Who I will meet, where He will take me and all the unknown adventures he gives me. Running is more than physical work, like anything that you are passionate for. You work hard. You pray harder, You never quit. No excuses.

Running Backwards: Collision  
We headed to the Gym, the boys and I, after church and breakfast. The lucky number 7 was in my head.
The boys went to the courts and I went to the track. I came up behind a guy and let him set my pace. As I closed in on my first mile, I was happy to see I was running a 8 minute pace.
I saw a guy running towards me on the track. In the wrong direction! The track is counter clockwise, except this older man was running clockwise. 1, 2, 3 and closing in on 4 miles he continued to pass me. We were close to the same pace as we passed one another at the same place over and over again. I wanted to high five him, or thumbs up him but he would look down and away as we passed. I wondered what he was thinking. He looked like he was running some demons out. He looked like his mind was trying to get rid of conversations and situations as he passed me over and over.
I made it my mission to look at him and try and get eye contact with him.
At the last two laps of my 4 mile run he LOOKED UP! I painted a big smile across my face and said "Great JOB." His eyes suddenly glowed. His countenance changed, he smiled back and whispered something back.

RUNDOWN: 4 miles track: 3 miles treadmill 7 total

RUNNING Backwards, 2014 was a year I ran backwards. I didn't run as many races. No epic PR's.  I barely made 1000 miles, but like this guy I saw on the track, even Backwards was still moving Forwards.


Many Miles on my bike to 7 Lakes

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Past, Present and Future

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

My hands are cracked and dry from excessive cooking and cleaning this week. Age is getting harder and harder to conceal.
I always take a glance back at my Christmas's growing up and chuckle. I never felt like I was shafted. I grew up with some special Christmas's and some unspeakable Christmas's.
I learned how to cook a turkey very early because my mom usually ended up stressed out, locking herself in her bedroom.
We had many Christmas's that we were the "Help a Family" kids. I remember one Christmas we had boxes filled to the ceiling, I had never seen anything like that. I was about 13 or 14. Shaking to see the contents, my sister and I began tearing into the boxes. The Salvation Army must have donated to families in need too. We had boxes and boxes of used clothing. I wasn't upset, although, a little confused, my mother had money, she just didn't manage it outside of the bottle. One year, mom was sober and it was sweet. She bought my sister and I both leather coats that year. I loved that coat.
This was my leather coat, I loved that coat. Check out the pegged jeans! We did it first in the 90's!
 I loved seeing my mother smile as we opened it even more. As hard as many Christmases were, as hard as life was growing up with an alcoholic, as dysfunctional as life may have even been had she lived, SHE was my mother. And I know she loved me, she loved all of us. She lived a hard life, but she loved me. And I miss her every day and every Christmas.
Blurry, But this was my mom all dressed up for Christmas, a good Christmas.

Christmas this year was sweet. My family lets me do some crazy shenanigans. My boys are now 15 and 12. This year I wanted to make homemade Christmas ornaments. Austin, my oldest and I butt heads often. But he is very perceptive to my heart. Austin started to argue about our "Family Time Project" but seeing my excitement changed his mind. He then became my biggest asset for getting the rest of the family on board.
Christmas Eve was very sweet. I hosted it like a crazy person. We had over 20 people eating, sharing and playing games.
Families are full of personalities. I am a handful for many people, I know because I am a handful for myself. I was grateful we all laughed and loved one another.
Christmas day was smooth. Andy always writes me a Christmas letter. And he has a year of material that is worded to the perfect CRY RESPONSE.
I love fine jewelry, but I never ask for it. I am just not in a season of life that I feel like we should spend that kind of money.
This year Andy bought me a beautiful pendant. It was purple. For Ariel. I try to stay strong, not talk about her, I hardly blog about her, afraid I am upsetting or offending people. But I am such a mess, I lost it at work this week in front of a client. One look at the sparkling purple gemstone,  I could feel the lump in my throat, my stomach turned and my eyes flooded with tears. It was just beautiful, like her.
Mom and Dad came over for breakfast and the tear fest started again. There are only a few people in this world other than my immediate family that truly know how much Ariel meant to me. She was my everything, my girl, a huge part of my world. Mom, is one of those people. Mom bought me a beautiful birthday card (My birthday was on the 20th, we didn't get to see them). She shared a very special story about the gift that she purchased me inside the card. The gift was a Alex and Ani bracelet that said "Aunt". The bracelet, with moms words were enough to put me back into tears.
It was a sweet day.
Christmas future. This was the first time I have ever had an emotional moment over Christmas. We sat together around the tree. My boys are getting older, the tree lights were flickering, pine needles were an inch thick everywhere, the boys were taking turns reading the Christmas story and life was moving forward. I wanted to yell, "STOP", "PAUSE" and "Slow Down". Where did all the time go?? I always want them around me, making my morning coffee and snuggled up on the couch to read about the birth of Jesus. I didn't want this moment to end.

Maybe next year my family will fill my stocking with Kleenex and antidepressants! I am not sure why it was such a weepy day. It was a perfect day with all the tears, all the laughs and all the Shenanigans.
I hope your Christmas was wonderful. In all the chaos of Christmas, take time to Pause. Take a moment to reflect, give thanks and remove any ill feelings that will sabotage the beauty of the birth of Christ.

Ephesians 4:2-3 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Gifts are a token we give one another to show our love. The wise men gave gifts to show honor an praise to Jesus. Gifts are nice, but the real gift is your presence in love to one another. To remove all bitterness, wrath, resentments and love one another.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bring It Aretha!

"Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is Meaningless."
Ecc 1:2
With the  holidays going and coming we are faced with many issues.  Most of us have swept them under the rug, danced around or all together avoided them over the last several months. I continue to hear statements like:
"The Holidays so stressful."
"I just wish it would come and go."
"I just want to stay home, or go away."
How do we find JOY in the midst of so many battles? We have expectations, we have hang-ups with others, we have bitterness that we have not worked on and in it all we get so confused on what we should or should not be doing.
December is not my favorite month, but in the tears, I have also found great laughter and JOY.
Some day's it is a lot of work, other days it comes easy.
Most of us do not like confrontation with others, let alone ourselves.  
Today, mom and I were cleaning Maw Maws house. Moms made the statement "Anita, what am I going to be like when I get older? I am getting so honest...."
I laughed because mom has. I love it. We get in so many snickeredy little debates. But again, I love that she does not agree with me, I love that she shares her own thoughts and ideas. "Anita, I think I got that from you." She continued with laughter.
I love that she feels she can be honest with me and know that I love her even if we do not see eye to eye.
We have learned that we don't have to share the same thoughts, ideas, or concerns. We have learned that by stuffing down our hurts or hang-ups that does not solve anything.
Pick Your Battle
If you are angry or bitter, most likely you have stuffed yourself with years of garbage and are fat on resentments.
It is really difficult to communicate properly in this condition.
We have to first conquer ourselves, fighting the battle that is raging within us.
At this point, we will discover what other battles we should fight, how to be victorious and what battles no longer need to be fought, that are MEANINGLESS.
It is all in the Approach.
Let Love Lead
When I step off the platform of The Anita Show, I can see how miniscule I am. How Meaningless many of my battles are.
When I see HIS purpose for me is greater than my purposes, many of my battles dissolve. When I let my LOVE for HIM become greater than my battles, I can find JOY.
Meaningless, that's what many things become. Love for Him reminds me to love like Him.
When LOVE leads I am reminded that "I" am even Meaningless. It's Not The Anita Show.

The last few days have gone like this:
Sunday- Played HOOKIE from Everything! Took the Boys to Frankenmuth

Lacey called and we ran a new loop, a perfect 7 mile loop. I ran half naked in shorts that morning! It was 45 degrees out!


Wednesday-TODAY! I hit the gym. 30 minutes of weights and stretching. The track was calling my name for an easy mile. But I saw a regular, an older guy running just a few feet in front of me. I quietly came in behind him. That mile turned into 3 fun miles. I found myself dancing on the track to Aretha Franklin.."Yeah Baby!" "I aint gonna do you wrong..." "Just a, Just a, Just a..."
I was running and pulling out the guns dancing on the track. I felt my shoulders shimmy and a big ole grin painted on my face as I was running in my own party.
I am sure I had a few giggling, but I was having so much fun I really didn't care!
"OHHH your kisses are sweeting than honey... RESPECT..."


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Find Your Fight.

This has been the week from the bad place. A week that has sucked the life out of me. A week of stomach aches and hypersensitive nerves. This has been the week of hurt, disappointment, confusion and pressure.
The week of sleepless nights, tear stained pillows and raw emotions.

I have had these break through moments that I actually told myself, "One Day you will Laugh at this."
I even found myself laughing over some of my secret issues.
The laughter is enough to soften the blow, however, reality sets in to remind me of how hard parenting is.

I see the faces of those who chatter in my ears, I read the words that create pressures even on this 40 year old. I feel confusion grow inside me, insecurity knocks at the door and even creeps through the cracks.

I know that I need to run. I need to sweat, I need to work it out of me.

I found myself shadow boxing in the corner of the gym. I tightened my grip on the weights in my hands watching the veins bulge across my shoulders.
Jab, jab, uppercut, dip, dive..

After 45 minutes I came down to the track. Red faced and sore, I did a mile cool down, walking.

I could still feel my body shaking from the inside out.
I headed to the treadmill.
I hit the incline and started running. The incline continued to increase. So did the sweat and my pulse. The chatter began slowing to a whisper...

Then I heard the voices of defeat..
"Slow down, your at a 9.0 incline, just walk."
"H@!#  NO!!" I shouted.
Ephesians 6:12
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Don't Quit...There is NO other OPTION. You Fight like hell. There is something out there you should be fighting for. And You better figure it out before its too late.
Maybe its your marriage, maybe its you children, maybe its your health.
We are in a CONSTANT battle just on a interpersonal level.
This world is broken and a mess. You better quit making excuses for it and your reaction to it. You better learn to fight to be set apart, fight to do the right thing in the wrong situations, fight to have integrity, honesty or just fight to stay true to yourself. Make NO MISTAKE if you are just chillin out eating Bon Bons you are a easy target for a life of apathy and regret.

"GOD help me, I cant QUIT". It truly is in my weakest state, my most vulnerable condition, that I am so humbled, on my knees in emptiness begging God to provide me of my inadequacies.

Psalm 31:24 "Be Strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!"

I felt the vomit churning in my belly, my chest was heaving as I tried to figure out when that last interval would be finished. It was the longest interval in the history of intervals.
Determined I dug in with everything I had and everything I begged for. I could see the situations I was struggling with being applied as I persevered.
Failure is NOT an Option.
I'm not gonna quit.
I will go to my grave fighting. I will fight clean and I will fight dirty...But I will Fight.. The Enemy doesn't play fair.

I will fight, I will fight for my children and I will NEVER quit.
Let them chatter, it doesn't matter what other people do or say.

Just when I thought I saw my life flash before me the treadmill began to decline. Relief. Air. Victory.
It was finished. I fought, I never quit, I never compromised.
I Thanked God.

It's Simple:
Find YOUR Fight.
And Never GIVE UP.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Dear Mother..

Every Day Its You I See
You nose, your chin or even the smile that I see,
Are just a couple of the similarities between you and me.
Whether it is the good or bad or the old or new,
Everyday goes by, when I do the things you would do.
I can not deny what has been done between you and I.
All my feelings and emotions I can not lie.
Your trip so far in heaven, but you could never leave me.
For everyday in the mirror it's my mother that I see.

Anita Cook
April 4th 93'
Today, is the 22nd year since my mother passed away. It sounds so simple put in those words. It was far from simple. It was agonizing and horrific. No 18 year old should ever have to make the choice to have their mother taken off life support.
I discovered my folder full of poems that I used to write. I have always used writing as an expression of my heart. It is my way of trying to make sense from senselessness.
So the Christmas tree is up, but I feel empty. The lights are sparking but it still feels dark. There is beauty but I feel broken.
It is just a day. Or maybe it is the month. I ran, it didn't help. I prayed, it comforted. You gotta just keep on keeping on.
Dear Mom..
Your so far away when I hold your hand,
Its not really you beside me I stand.
Dear Mother, where is it that you really lay?
Has God now taken my mother away?
Did you feel the pain that science had injected?
Or were you so far away that you were not affected?
Were those your eyes that sometimes opened when I spoke?
I asked for a miracle, I sign is what I hoped.
Can you hear the love I speak to you faithfully?
Can you feel my tears I cry to you gratefully?
Do you know I am there when I don't speak a word?
Or when I reminisce am I being heard?
Dear Mother, walk your children in the right direction,
Lead us to the roads of a mothers satisfaction.
Know that each step we take your love leads,
And all our dreams and goals must proceed.
Dear Mother, please hear us, touch us, please know we love you.
Dear Mother, forgive us, hold us, don't forget we love you.
Dear Mother, strengthen us, pick us up when we weaken,
And know that everyday its our Mothers Love that we are seeking.
Nov10-Dec 10th
I started this as my mother lay in a coma at St Joes Hospital. I finished this and read it at my mothers funeral with my sister and brother beside me.
Never Forget to Remember,

Runners Gift List Ideas 2014

Gifts for the RUNNER you LOVE!

25 Running Gifts with links for all Runners and those who Support their favorite Runner. 

All Runners

  1. Metro Park Pass (Car sticker)
  2. Subscription to Running Magazine (Runners World)
  3. Garmin or Running watch with GPS
  4. Apple Nano:8gb 149$
  5. Socks
  6. Running Journal/Devotional/Training book
  7. Order picks from a recent race
  8. Medal Holder/ Bib Holder (GoneForARun)
  9. Registration for a Race
  10. Road ID

Half Marathoners/Marathoners
  1. Fuel Belt/ Running belt with pouch
  2. Fan Faces (Spiritline)
  3. Armwarmers/ gloves
  4. Foam Roller (Trigger Point)
  5. H2O bottles, hand held

Stocking Stuffers
  1. Sunblock
  2. Epson Salt
  3. Chomps/Chews
  4. Shoe Pouch for keys/credit card
  5. Chapstick
Some great sites that have discounted running shoes, accessories and clothing.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Remember to Never Forget.

I had many great intentions today. No matter what store or what isle I have been shopping in, I can not seem to find "MORE Time", I have found Thyme, but it is useless to me.

I was able to get my run in. Danielle and I met Hillary out at Indian Springs this morning.  Hillary runs at Indian Springs almost every morning. She asked me if we could meet for a run out there.
We had so much fun.

The day was an emotional day. As high as I was from running,I struggled with some memories. I intentionally tried to do everything to stay positive and joyful.

As I drove down the back roads towards home I could feel the memories burn in my heart. The people that I miss so very much.
This time of year is the hardest time of year for me. My mother died this week and my grandma and I shared Christmas birthdays.

As dark as life was growing up, when my mother laughed, everyone laughed. She could fill a room with joy. I came to a deep thought today. As the tears gently warmed my cheeks, thinking about that amazing matriarch my grandma and almost hearing my mothers laugh,  I wondered why I was still so sad.
It was the dark times, the scary nights, the hard seasons of life that brings a simple smile into perspective. A light laugh, a glittering eye, a warm touch were all so precious. They were like a bright sunny sky in January in Michigan.
I miss them so very much.
I loved every little special moment. I miss those moments. I wish I could just visit my grandma and listen to her tell me stories of her dancing. Or wait for hours as my mother got ready to go for a simple walk. I wish I could hear my grandma tell me how we were both Christmas babies.

I wanted to write my Christmas favorites list. But I needed to remember to never forget.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A week in Review!

I haven't written in 1WEEK!
I am not thinking that anyone was out there chomping at the bit to read my daily ramblings.
Nothing like I was doing as I was trying to get my husband registered for the Bayshore Half marathon. My fingers were shaking as I tried to type and talk to Lacey sitting next to me. As fast as I loaded all the information into the computer my phone was beeping with notifications. I was receiving pictures and text messages from friends who had ALREADY gotten their confirmation back. I barely had Andy's shirt size loaded. I laughed as my fingers shook. Lacey was there to run after we registered and by the looks of my hands shaking I needed to let off some bent up energy!
Confirmation, confirmation, confirmation!
We were all IN! Danielle text me and was confirmed to run the full. And Kay from CC, text me that she was all confirmed to run the half too!
2015 has 2 races on it:

  1. Rock CF : Sunday March 29th
  2. Bayshore Marathon: May 23rd
As for the last week:
Good News: I can still fit into my britches!
Bad News I think I ate pie every night before bed.

Good news: Terri brought me my first Sweet Potato pie.
Bad news: I didn't want to share it!

Good News: My first Pie Day at the new house went off like clock work. We had such a riot!
Bad News: LAST minute location change for Thanksgiving moved to MY HOUSE.

Good News: Thanksgiving at my house holding almost 30 people went off without a HITCH.
Bad News...There wasn't any!
MORE good news, Thanksgiving was so easy I was able to meet Melissa and Lacey for a trail run before the overload of calories and characters!

Good News: Aunt Lois received word that she is CLINICALLY in REMISSION! Praise God!

Good News: Jeff quit being a wuss and came back to the gym! He hasn't done anything but eat Little Debbies cookies the last 7 months since Boston!
I let that knucklehead talk me into a spin class today. I felt like that rowdy kid in class that laughs at everything. The more I sweat, the more the instructor said to "UP your gears". I looked at Jeff as he just made fun of me. I considered crying because no one would notice from all the sweat dripping. I decided that would take up too much energy that I needed. I kept looking out the window to see if they're were any  EMT's on standby for the newbies.  I couldn't go all soft because the instructor kept calling out the newbies. I was only 1 of 3, and for some reason he ONLY remembered MY NAME. "Come On NITA, your a runner, Up on your bike and sprint." I could hear Old Jeff laughing at me.
I had several names I wanted to call him but I was laughing nervously. The mirror in front of me convicted me to be nice to Jeff..in public anyway!

Good News: Andy has not ran in months either. He did however, get very excited when I informed him that I was able to register him before the Half Marathon CLOSED.

A little Piece of ME:
I am keeping my miles down. Because November and December are so busy, I have found it almost easier to follow a very flexible plan. I am not taking myself or my schedule too serious.
The more ridged my expectations are on myself and on others the more disappointed I find myself. I find myself disappointed in myself when I can not make the expectations I had set forth on. I also find myself disappointed in others when they fall short of expectations that I have put on them. When I release the reigns of control and just show up with a good attitude any disturbance just becomes a small blip on the radar.
When I choose to put more effort on managing my attitude rather than my actions or others actions, that is when I find myself most effective! Having a Good attitude often brings good actions!

Don't take yourself so seriously. Life is FULL of unexpected circumstances. The only thing you can completely control is YOUR RESPONSE to it. If you harvest a good attitude you will always have an abundance of JOY, PEACE and LOVE.