"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, November 24, 2014

Warm Fuzzies

The day had to be executed perfectly in order for me to check everything off my list of errands.
Drop off Austin at 7am, drop off Alec at 7:30 and point the wheels to the gym.

The temperature left me very confused. It was great weather to run outside. Back and forth I pondered, all the while driving towards Grand Blanc to the health club.

I walked into the gym to see a friend of mine holding her smoothie cup in a awkward position. Apparently, she had sprung a leak, leaving a trail of smoothie throughout the gym.
This was the beginning of my Monday. Laughing at some
one else's misfortune. I actually thanked "Beth" for the laugh and she even joined me in the morning giggles.

That must have left an impression on my jawline. From that moment on, I had a smile attached to my face all day. If I had a dollar for every double take I received from smiling at people, I would have my Christmas fund accounted for.

Smiles are so contagious. They even feel good when you don't feel good. My smile even widened when people noticed I was smiling at them. They probably thought I was a creeper, my grin was so cheesy.
I even winked at a couple people when they felt obligated to smile back.

Yes, traffic is getting bad.
Yes, people are a little on edge.
Parking lots are like a war zone, emotions are tense, people are hustling around, the weather is funky and the kids are coming home...
SMILE!
I loved it when people smiled back at me. Maybe they thought I was a weirdo, maybe they felt sorry for my unshowered pathetic looking self..whatever the case, I received A LOT of smiles today.

The Rundown:

At the gym I was chatty Kathy. I practiced eye contact, I chatted with ladies in the locker room and I encouraged some others working out.
"God Bless YOU" one woman told me. I just love that this woman has the courage to share those 3 words. She is Middle Eastern. She is always so kind, today she even offered me her lotion when I went into the dry sauna. I politely declined but was overcome with warm fuzzies.

*35 minutes of weights and stretching.
*25 minutes of biking
*15 minutes Cold Plunge
Rushing out the door unto the next thing on my list!

Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays steal your Joy. Be someone else's Joy, Share a smile!

Anita

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Running Inventory

As I ran past her, she looked up at me. Her face was blotchy and tear stained. Her short dark hair was tussled as her eyes met mine. I shared a smile with her, we both knew she was crying.
I have had many of those runs. The runs you keep your head down and stain the cement for miles.

Today, was not that run. My thoughts on the run...

INVENTORY.
As I ran, I had a checklist that I was going through.
  1. Don't cross your arms
  2. Shoulders back
  3. Don't heal strike
  4. Run with your core
  5. Pick up your legs
  6. Look up
  7. Breath
  8. Relax
  9. On your toes up the hill
I would keep myself in check, going over my list multiple times.

As I trained my body for my run, I was to reminded to check my personal inventory as well.
I went through my actions, both that day and throughout the week. I reviewed my relationships and my responses to different circumstances.
The Check List started.

"My Righteousness is of Filthy Rags."
As I ran, I reminded myself I am nothing.  I don't DESERVE anything. Everything I have is a blessing from God that I don't deserve. How could I get mad at God for ANYTHING when he gave me more than I deserved which is really nothing.

Even in my inventory, my mind turned over. I have had a lot of circumstances that I have walked away from. I have had some nasty things said about me, as we all have. There has been times I want to defend myself. I want to give my side of the story. I know the things that are being said and done and it is terrible the ways things are reported.
But in my miles I had peace. I just let all that go. It is so peaceful.
You don't have to defend yourself. You don't have to share your side of the story. It is always good to be so confident in your actions or lack of action that you don't look back. And that confidence comes from PEACE, and that Peace comes from doing the right thing.
You don't have to go to every argument you are invited to.
If you don't get in the sand box then you never get dirty. Let others throw dirt at you, just walk away.

The next time you are doing a training run, or training at the gym,  do a little self inventory in your personal life as well.

  • Check Yourself (NOT OTHERS)
  • Review Your Actions
  • Remember to be Kind
  • Recover with Forgiveness
  • Let it go..
RUNDOWN:



Distance: 7.01
Pace: 8.07
~ My knee felt great, I had about a mile that I  knew it was there. That means I had 6 miles that it felt great! EASY math.
I did 3 miles on sidewalks (more math) 4 miles of back roads. All this totaled to 1 MUD RUN full of FUN!

WHO WANTS A BRAND NEW PAIR of SIZE 7.5 HOKAS????
For Thanksgiving I am giving them away. You have to Subscribe to my blog and Like my Facebook Page for DETAILS. It is a EASY Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Anita

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holding it back.

"Don't Cry, Don't Cry...Good Grief, blink, blink it back. Whatever you do, look down. Act like you are wiping sweat off your face. Breath, Blink....Hurry, Get to the lockers, Anita."

"My Wish For you.." I was just getting off the Dreadmill after a satisfying 6 mile interval run when this song melted my heart. Ariel. This song always reminded me of when she graduated. This song was very popular.
"I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow..." The music took my breath away.
"Oh God...Where is this coming from. It was such a good work out. I have the world in the palm of my hands. Why are you crushing the walls against me. Your crushing me with these emotions. Please God, Please, take this away."

 I wanted to feel strong. I wanted to feel in control. Its one thing to loose it in the shelter of your home. But whatever you do, You have to keep it together in public.

In hiding I write. Dear God I miss her, I miss her so much. Thanksgiving, like every day is just not the same with out her. I need her. I need her so bad. I need her beside me. I need that big smile. I would give anything for her long and detailed stories.

I am Thankful for every moment with her.

As the Holidays approach, many of you have lost someone that you love. This time of year, you feel the sting so much harder. It will be hard. Days will feel incomplete and unfinished.
But take each day and find something you are grateful for.
I am grateful for the lunch dates, the conversations, the tears, the movies and all the things that she did that made me a better person.
I am Grateful God gave me her. Every moment is such a treasure to me.
I am Grateful that I know she is in Heaven.

That's all I have. Its been an emotional day~


I got caught in some nasty weather, but I stayed out of the ditch!
__________________________________________________________

Emotional days make me want to cook!

Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Recipe HERE
I made a couple changes: I added a 1/3 cup more Pumpkin puree, I added Flax seeds, and instead of chocolate chips I did raisins.
It would have stayed "Healthy" until I added Icing!


I Booked My first HOTEL for 2015 Bayshore in Traverse City. Now I have to get in!
I had my computer up and my phone up with different screen shots. I was trying to locate the closest hotel with the best price. If you are looking for a hotel, just ask me. I have spent hours researching. I have all the prices, locations and reviews!


Anita



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Snow Stoned

Life has been crazy. "MOM" has been the most popular word my ears have endured the last few weeks.
"Mom, Can you..."
"Mom, Will you..."
"Mom, Did you..."
"Mom, Can I..."
Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom...
And in the end, it is my favorite word to hear. MOM.

Running as a whole is winding down. Alec started basketball a couple weeks ago.  Austin has been at basketball tryouts all week. Basketball is his true baby.
I had to wait all day to find out if he made the team.....
He tried to stay cool about it, HE MADE IT! I was stoked.

So I am this families solo runner. My miles are nothing to write home about. I am just keeping those legs familiar with the comfort of my Brooks.
I have ran a little here and a little there. Each time I run I want to Go!
Last Thursday, Danielle and I ran our traditional 8 miler. It was the perfect progressive run. We started out at 8:45 and ended at a sub 8 minute mile.
Sunday, Austin and I went to the gym. almost 4 hours later and I only ran 1 MILE! I did weights,the bike, cold plunge, hot tub, hot shower and a great blow dry! Blow drying my hair must have burned at least 1000 calories!
Monday, was a whole different kind of work out..I remodeled the bathroom. I pulled up my big girl pants. I secretly bought paint and took the afternoon to update the bathroom.
Layer 1: Procompression Socks

Winter decided it was coming at us like a machine. The more it snowed, the more I wrote off the idea of running. More wind, more accidents, the more it sounded better to NOT run.
I texted Lacy about 1:30. We were going to run in the morning, only I never heard from her.
~"No running this morning it's horrible out!!Did you venture outside for a run today?'
-"R u kidding me no way
~"Lol!! I'm going back and forth.Mostly back about it!"
Then there was a PAUSE......
-"I'm still debating for a quick little run before I get the kids in a bit"
~Call me
Lacey Showing off her new winter purchase...I WANT These!!! I considered running her down a back road and stealing them! Check them out here "The Nomad Pant"

Next thing I knew, I was hunting down all my winter running clothes!

Greatest Base Layer: Mizuno, moisture wicking and heats body

I think I laughed for the first 2 miles. We only ran 3.6! The snow was wet and cold. The wind blasted my face off. So, I just had to laugh even harder. I was snow stoned. Lacey had to yell at me, as I went back and forth on the road. "ANITA, Pick a side of the road you are going to run on!"
I was laughing so hard at how crazy it was I wasn't really paying attention.
I saw "Claudia" coming home with her little guy out there. She has the greatest accent. This made me laugh too. I believe she is French Canadian. She rolled down her window, I invited her to join us, She laughed at me.
Layer 2:Nike thermal
I was so afraid of slipping. School was letting out and the parents were driving their kids home at the same time we were trudging through the slushy snow. I think half of my laughter was visualizing my arms wailing through the air in front of one of Alec's classmates. He would be mortified if his friends told him at school the next day that they saw his mom wipe out in the snow.
As we were making a turn a car rolled down their windows. I was trying to make the curve on two feet when I looked up and saw "Ken". This made me laugh too. How did he recognize me? I was covered in black. literally from head to toe!
Sheba like to attack GLOVES...I look like a running ninja!

I don't know what was in that snow this afternoon. All I knew was, as cold as it was, as slow as we ran, it was so stinking fun.

ALSO. A big SHOUT OUT to Amber for Subscribing to my blog! Hope to hear more from you!

Who Else Ran in the Snow Today? How did you do?

Anita

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom..Yeah Right

I am wiped out. My brain is not capable of much thought this evening.  This is the first time I have sat down all day. 8 trips back and forth to the boys school.
I am looking forward to going into the "Nothing Box."
For me "The Nothing Box" is catching up on Word With Friends and a couple games of Hearts.

My wise words off the top of my head! Here is my Top 5 favorite Quotes.

  1. You Don't have to go to Every Argument Your Invited to.
  2. Don't Let it Rent Space in your Head.
  3. Less=More
  4. Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys
  5. Denial is not a River In EGYPT.

Anita

Here's a little laugh, my son was hiding and videoing me!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pulling in the Reigns

Psalm 34:19
         "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all."
 
 
 
2.5 Weeks until Thanksgiving
2.5 Weeks until Black Friday
6 weeks until Christmas
7 weeks until I do another race
 
 
This year did not go down in the books the way I had it written it. 2014 was going to be the year that I brought my speed up. God had different plans for me. It doesn't do any good to go kicking and screaming. And marinating in pity is pointless to.
 
I have been more than blessed with my running this year. I didn't "race" but only 2 races, The Pot-O-Gold and Boston. Running is more than racing for me, it is also running and sharing the love of running both on the course and in training. It makes my heart skip a beat to be able to run with the injury I battled with after Boston. My big hitters were The Crim, Detroit Freepress Marathon, and Clarkston Backroads.
My average went way down this year, if I really was a snob about that it would matter to me. But I am just grateful. So Grateful.
 
So for 7 weeks, I will reign it in. Funny thing I tell people I am not going to be running for the next few weeks and I get 2 responses:
  1. High Fives, "Yeah! Good for you." This response leads to 2 thoughts: 1. "Yeah, I am proud of you or 2. "YEAH, I hope you get slow and fat!"
  2. Apprehensive...Like I am lying, "Who are you fooling Nita...."
I know that 2015, I am going to need to Grit it OUT to get back into it. 41 years old, I am going to need to work harder than ever to just MAINTAIN!
 
God knows my physical afflictions. He hears my heart, he listens to my prayers, I have been so blessed to have him pour so many blessings on me.
 I hear him too.
"Anita, Be Still...Let me heal you, let me strengthen you body and your mind. Come to me in prayer, seek me, trust me, Glorify me in your afflictions. When you are weak, I am Strong."
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
AFFLICTIONS. This is such a hard time of year. This is the time of year the Crazy Train runs OVERTIME.
Stay OFF.
People get a little loopy. They hurt and they hurt you. We have these expectations that can not be met and we develop resentments. We create scenarios, we enable because we want the perfect holiday, we want everyone to get along.
We step in where we shouldn't and find ourselves that quick on the Crazy Train. All our good intentions flushed down the toilet.
The Elephant in the room becomes part of the family room d├ęcor. We react on Fear. Rehearsing every "Wouldve, Could've and Should've." Then top it off with "If Only, and "What If" and wonder why we can't sleep at night!
GOD HELP US!
 
It Hurts. It hurts when we can't FIX everything. It Hurts more when we do all the work and nothing changes.
Don't take the ticket on the Crazy Train. Wave them through in LOVE and just the train go by.
 
 
Are You all done Racing for the Year?
Anyone else out there pulling the reigns on their running for a few weeks? If So, What are your thoughts????
 
Has Anyone had the Crazy Train stop at their residence yet??
 
Anita

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Clarkston Backroads Half 2014






This was the second year of this race. They changed the route from really, really hilly to just really hilly!
The weather was the same as last year,  drab, dreary and gray skied.

I love that the race started at 9:30am .

I had a car pool at my house at 8:15 for Joan, Javon and Jama..The J gang!
Joan was running, I was pacing her for a 1:55 half marathon.
Javon was our photographer and our support.
Jama was running with someone elses's bib. They asked Jama not to mess up their average, so she had to finish the half marathon at 1:50.
Holly Road Runners

I Love Clarkston. I have worked in Clarkston almost 20 years at Glitz Salon. I wanted to just have fun and try to get Joan a PR.

The runners this year were lined up inside Independence Oaks. Their appeared to be less runners than last year. I heard a lot of whispering about the cost of the race this year. However, the brutal course last year may have scared off  a lot of runners.

I loved the park setting. Even with the course being difficult it is so pretty.
Joan and Sue

Some Kind of CRAZY...
It was very difficult to pace the first few miles with all the hills, trails and terrain changes. When my body started getting into the groove I heard someone yell my name. I turned my head to see a gal I had noticed before the race. I had been trying to place her but couldn't. Now SHE was calling me!
"Susan Collins".
My head almost spun off its axis! "What! NO way!"
Susan told me she lives in Phoenix, Arizona and  here visiting her father for his 80th birthday!
I looked to my right at Joan , "Joan, I went to high school with her over 20 years ago!"
Then she even said she reads my blog! That really had me laughing. Oh, the readers that read my crazy ramblings with all my sloppy writing skills. One never knows!
It is always so fun to see how God is going to show up with some crazy twist to my runs and races.

The three of us ran together for a few miles. I am so loud and obnoxious. I shout, scream, high five, and cheer all the runners on.
I use mantra like
"UP UP UP!"
"That's It, GET UP IT!"
"You got this, COME on Joan, STAY with me!"
"GOOD Morning Clarkston!"
"No Regrets, that's it!"

We had a turn around point, at this place we could see all the runners in front of us and behind us.
Passing other runners in this way pumps me up. The extrovert in me explodes into "THE REALLY Obnoxious Runner."
I saw "Rebecca B" from Dailymile, Amy S. from church, Christina and Jama.
This was breathtaking, they were Arabian horses running back and forth against the fence line.

At mile 9, Joan was beginning to dance with the devil. Pain was presenting himself in a very real way. I knew I was going to really have to push her and encourage her. But what I didn't know was how many people I would be encouraging around me. I don't have a mute button, and my volume button doesn't work very good. Being shy isn't part of my character, neither is caring what people think. I don't get embarrassed that easy.
If I believe you can do something, If I believe you are not struggling with yourself rather the voices of defeat, you can better bet I am going to be loud, I am going to SCREAM louder than the voices in your head,  I want YOU to listen to ME, I want you to HEAR ME. I want you to BELIEVE in the words that I pour over you. I will fight with everything I have to help you and I will NOT be shy about it!

We ran near a guy doing the race with intervals. He was great. We were always within 50 feet of him. He left us and we never caught him, he was always in eyesight though.

"Just a 5K left JOAN, Stay with me" I would pull out the craziest techniques to get her to stay on pace. "10 seconds Joan, Get RIGHT HERE, 10 Seconds.." I would start counting down, pointing to the side of me, "5,4,3,2,1, That's it Great Job." And there she was back in the saddle again.
Up the hills, I would start to loose her. "Give me to the tree, Stay with me, then we will walk."
I knew it was better for her to walk for 5 seconds then to slow down and never catch back up. I could see it in her face, She was in the hurt locker.  A few feet in front of her I looked back  "Down the HILL,  turn em over, close this gap Joan, pick it up on the down hill."

The last mile and a half were all hills. I was getting so frustrated for Joan. I didn't want her to give up. I counted minutes back to her, distance left for her, I gave her everything I could think of.  As she was pulling deep physically, I was pulling all the punches and wishing I could just take her pain.

We made that last turn, there was the finish. I could hear her feet pick it up. She was all IN now! The spectators were awesome. They were full of energy, probably doing whatever it took to stay warm!

After I crossed the finish line I turned around to catch Joan. With the biggest smile of pride, I opened my arms up and just held her. I choked back the tears, but I was so proud of her. She pushed herself to her limits, she never gave up and I was just in love with her GRIT.
1:56:12
Sue C, From High school, I haven't seen in over 20 years!!

The Union served up some of their famous Mac and Cheese.  Coffee, hot cocoa and beer. The post race goodies were awesome, Muscle Milk, Kind bars, bananas, water, crackers and plenty more.
Joan,Jama, Erin and I

Javon and I

The volunteers were very friendly, They had to be because the course was so tough!
I liked the design of the shirtS and medal a lot. Bling is always important!

Another great Race, Grateful for all the runners I was with today. I met some amazing new people, blessed to see some old faces, and Thankful for all my running friends I was with today.

GREAT JOB to Erin, Jama, My sweet Joan, Christina R, Rebecca, Dawn M,. and Amy S!
Thankful to God for my Legs to run with and my Lungs to Cheer with!

Anyone out there run this race? What did I leave out?


Anita

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Phil 4:13

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

This is one of the most popular scriptures for endurance and strength.

As a runner, I have clung to Gods promises, truths and encouragement to help me in my running and life.

I will share what this particular scripture means to me:

"I can do ALL things THROUGH Christ who Strengthens me."
Life is HARD. Dealing with circumstances, people and even ourselves is a daily battle. There are moments in my armor that weakness seeps in the cracks. That moment when the battle looks lost, or the fight doesn't appear worth it. Pain is saturating every facet of my being. I Want to QUIT. It is at this point that I am reminded 2 things"
  1. It is not about ME.
  2. The fight is not fought until I have invited Christ to fight it for me.
Many battles have nothing to do with us, it is when we take it personal what is not personally ours, that the mission begins to fail. When I remove MYSELF from the equation and look at the situation through Gods eyewear is when I see better what needs to be fought or not.
Number 2, is a hard one to try and convince people of. It is all in how you believe. I know that I am not going into ANY battle alone. "Greater is HE who is in me..." I know with HIM on my side I can do ALL things. I know that when I am "weak he is STRONG". I know He will provide me with the strength that I do not have.
 When I am depleted he is refueling me.
 When I am confused he gives me vision.
 When I am afraid he gives me confidence.
 I am fearfully and wonderfully made but for me to do ALL things I still need him to give me that miraculous power, that unexplained Strength.

This verse reminds me to not quit. I am reminded that God already saw the Victory in ME.
 He wants me to Trust HIM. He wants me to Believe in HIM. He wants me to Seek him for those goals and always give HIM the Glory.
Glory to Glory.

I get excited to seek Him in my running. God has brought me some incredible victories in my short running career. I give him the GLORY in it ALL. Even in adversity  I am reminded that IT all comes from HIM. When life is good it is easy to go to him in Praise, but are you still faithful when you are dealt with adversity? He gives and takes away. 
God was giving me victory after victory in my running.  Then the injuries came. After multiple surgeries and many lonely days I felt like Job questioning HIM. Depression set in and I wanted to quit. But I didn't want to quit. God never blew my flame out. I knew He was not finished with me or my running. When he takes away it is even MORE important to remember "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHEN ME."

Do you just use this scripture when you set goals? When life presents hardships do you seek this same verse or do you question God in your trials?

Anita

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesdays Wisdom: Pick your Passion

I thought about Aunt Lois today as the gym. Last week, Aunt Lo made a comment about one of my past posts.  She had commented that I should give more eye contact and "Chit Chat, if only a little".
I would have gotten a golden star today! Every time, I gave eye contact it sparked conversations! This ran me behind and turned my 5 miler into 2 miles.

I spoke to the assistant coach at Grand Blanc today.
He reminded me of a little runner Wisdom.

You Can't have it ALL.
Pick Your Passion.
For those who might not know this, I HATE 5K's. Just as I get comfortable the race is over. I hardly have enough time to think. My lungs are blowing out of my chest, my breathing is labored, I actually feel like I am in labor and everything hurts right from the get go. My pores open up, my skin starts itching and my mind goes berserk to where I can hardly even think.
So, I do not train to run fast for a 5K. The work that is required to run a victorious 5K is never in my training plan.
I love long distance. I like longer runs. I put all my eggs in that basket. I train long distance. I run 800 meter repeats with a specific goal time, I run tempo runs, hills and different training runs to achieve my marathon distance goals.

But the two distances are so different. The training for a half marathon VS a marathon is even different. Pick Your Passion. Trying to achieve success in both distances is very difficult.

If I am training for a marathon, I will still run 5 and 10K's. I will still run them with everything I have, However; I will not be disappointed in my time. I know that race is a training tool for my marathon. I didn't TRAIN for that distance, I used that distance to train for my longer distance.

If you are training to run faster shorter distances, you have to slow down your longer distances and add more short fast runs, more tempo training runs and adjust your training to a smaller distance. It is more effective to put your efforts into training with focus and goals.

2015 is right around the corner. Now is a great time to give some thought to what you want your running season to look like.
  1. Tune in on where you want your training to direct you.
  2. Check out the race schedule around you for 2015.
  3. Review your races and times for this year.
  4. Pick your passion.
  5. Partner up, Find a partner with similar goals that will hold you accountable.
  6. HAVE FUN, don't be so serious that you forget your love for running.
  7. If you struggle to have fun, PACE someone, And help them with their goal. It is always better to give then receive.

"When you catch a glimpse of your potential, that's when passion is born." Zig Zigler

Love to hear your goals for 2015!

Anita



Monday, November 3, 2014

A little Piece of ME: Tough as Nails

Sometimes, to some people, I come off tough as nails. I can see the expression in peoples face when I say things like "That is not an excuse to behave like that." or "OK, bad things happen, I get that, but you don't respond to bad things by being bad yourself."
I have dozens of little things I say, different mantras for not enabling bad behavior from bad circumstances.
Most of the bad circumstances we deal with as adults are from choices we have made or not made. We will still encounter pain in our life that we did NOT sign up for, I understand that very well. Many of us do.

Growing up I couldn't make choices for myself. I counted on my mom to make those choices. Her choices were bad. I trusted my mom to care for me, protect me, guide me, teach me. When she was sober she could do all that. But even that never lasted.
Yes, I am a tough cookie. I had to be. I have serious trust issues. How can you trust anyone when you can't even trust the only person who is supposed to care for you.
I remember being so young, kindergarten maybe even first grade. We lived in a roach infested duplex in Pontiac. I remember my grandma came to see us. My mom was passed out, and I was up on the counters trying to pour my own cereal. There was broken glass from something all over.
Next thing I remember, I was in foster home separated from my mom and my siblings.
As I grew up. I tried to trust my mom. She had nasty boyfriends, we lived in nasty places and she hung out with nasty friends.
The older I got the more I saw other families. This comparison only lead me to understand that I didn't want to live the life I had been dealt with. I began to notice how dysfunctional my family was. Not that my family was without love, but that it didn't frame Love in a healthy function.

Living a better life, requires accepting your past without resentments. It is using your past as a tool to gage and direct you into a better future. I know my mother loved me. We had special moments. It is sad that the hardships in our life will blot out the good memories if we are not careful.
I decided long long ago that I was going to fight all of HELL to overcome my past. I needed to break the generational dysfunction that many around me were caught up in. I didn't want to live around the fighting, the drugs, the alcohol and the chaos that birthed me. Unless you have lived as a child in that HELL you have no idea what damage it does to your heart and mind.
It is a constant battle to overcome. I often make light of it, or turn it into a joke. But it really is not funny.
Just because I choose not to cater to bad decisions does not make me a bad guy. I camped for a few years in the land of Self Destruction. I actually fit in quite well. That is one place everyone will accept you.
In the process of wanting to be loved and accepted I have had to discover as an adult it doesn't matter if people love or accept you. It is none of your business what others think of you.

"Bad Company corrupts good character". It takes courage to let go of relationships that are hurting you. You will never know your full potential if you continue to hold onto relationships that are not edifying you.
It was not that hard to disconnect from my family. Because most of my family was so caught up in addiction they actually walked away from me. They made it easy for me to be honest.
The hardest choice I ever made is when I packed my bags at 18 and moved out. My mom was sitting on the porch sober. "Please Anita, please, you don't have to leave, I am sorry."
There are so many days those words haunt me, even 20 years later.
"What if I stayed?"
"Would she still be alive?"
"Could I have made a difference?"
4 months later, I would visit her in a coma in the hospital, where she never woke up.

I have to live with my past, but my past doesn't define me. My circumstances do not decorate me. I have found it is easier to love people from a distance. I choose to set up healthy boundaries, not to keep them out, but to keep me in a healthy place that I can be most effective to God and my family.
I have to look at myself everyday in the mirror. I see my childhood out of the corner of my eye. I see the destruction, the pain, the hurt and I am reminded to PERSEVERE.

I sat last night with the most beautiful teenage girls to discuss PAIN. I desperately tried to convince them that pain is inevitable, it is how you react to it that takes courage. Every reaction to pain and hurt you make now will effect you later. But don't give up. There is something Amazing God has for you. He is light where there is darkness. He gives beauty where there is ugliness. He gives hope to the hopelessness. He makes beauty from ashes.

I told the girls, How did a NOBODY like me, a nothing, a little trailer park girl, beaten, broken and useless have the opportunity to sit with these amazing girls???? Not by repeating the choices that I was birthed from!
Having the Courage to make a New Path with the Hope that God would direct me and protect me.

Tough as Nails? No, not at all. It is tough not being wishy washy. But to protect myself, my family and my future you too should be tough.
"God Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I CAN
And the WISDOM to know the DIFFERENCE."
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I did a few to many squats yesterday. I felt like I had ran a marathon! Austin and I went to the gym.
I focused on abs and legs. While my legs were applesauce as I headed towards the track. 3 miles was the magic number. My legs felt like they had weights on them, made from bubble gum. They were heavy and awkward.
I had made yesterday a leg day knowing that I was going to  bike with Lacy today.
I will leave you with a chuckle.
Lacy is the one I was with when we ran into the FLOCK of Eagles...which turned out to actually be vultures.
WOLF!

COYOTE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today, we came up upon a WOLF!!!  However, after a couple phone calls with DNR and the park, I am sorry to say it was not a WOLF...rather a Coyote. Coyote is exciting enough but I am sure GLAD I didn't blab about seeing a WOLF like I did the EAGLES!
COYOTE
 
Anita