Just Breathe

Okay… So this week/ month has been a WEE bit crazy. I’ll spare you the details because it doesn’t matter. But today I went out for a run. I decided to run until I wasn’t “crabby” anymore. I don’t know if crabby really is even the word. Just feeling off.  Everyone and everything has just been rubbing me the wrong way (even myself) and no one can say or do anything that sits right. I don’t know why. But is was really starting to get to me. My whole “choose Joy” thing was way more difficult than it should have been. SO.. I do what I do and I ran.  Here are the stats of that run…

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I needed this run more than I even knew. And of course I got to thinking. That’s what happens when I run. I started thinking about breathing. Cuz, well it gets really hard to breathe sometimes when you are running. You know what else? Sometimes it gets hard to breathe in Life. I think that is what was happening. I was starting to feel a lot of pressure and a lot of anxiety. So many things happen that you can’t control. So many things in your brain that you can’t process and you can’t express and start to feel the pressure of life. In my line of work I deal with people daily, who the pressure of life got to be too much. Something happened and their world came crashing down and they crumbed.  Really life boils down to how you handle the pressure. Not only that but it’s a matter of perspective. How are you seeing this situation and what CAN you control!?! A wise person told me that life is really made up of 85% things you can’t control and 15% of things you can. Focus on the 15%. Sometimes that’s REALLY hard for me. It’s way easy for me to focus and dwell on the 85. What I need to do is control what I CAN control. The 15%.

So, what I did in the middle of my run was sat on a bench, turned off my music and took some deep breaths. I let everything that was bothering me, go. I Let everything that I couldn’t control, go. I thought about just how lucky I am for everything good in my life. I told my self to not be so freaking hard on myself (yes, it’s a conversation I have with myself a lot)… and I reminded myself that everything will be okay. And that even the stuff that I can NOT control, God can. He’s got this!!  I sat there for what seemed like a long time, It probably wasn’t that long because I really wanted to be running, and just breathed. Here was were I was sitting. So peaceful, so relaxing.

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I think sometimes we just get so caught up in the busyness of life that it’s hard to just breathe in and breathe out. And then we get to a point where we are feeling suffocated and don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we aren’t breathing. So I encourage you to JUST BREATHE.

After my moment at the fountain, I continued my run. I had like 2 more miles until I got home. I spend some of that time thinking about the pressure of life. I don’t really know how to explain it but there is just this pressure. Being an adult is hard sometimes.. that’s all I can say. However, here it was came to be about pressure. I stole these things from Pintrest because I certainly couldn’t have said it better:

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There is a song that I absolutely love by Hawk Nelson called Diamonds. The message is simply that God is making Diamonds out of us… but we don’t get to be diamonds without the pressure associated with it.

So, today I decided to embrace the pressure. Change my perspective and view it as a refining process. Continue to remind myself to not be so freaking hard on myself. And on top of it all I need to quit taking the “Funk” I’m in out on my poor boyfriend. I’m so lucky that he “gets” some of this and is super forgiving. However, he certainly does NOT deserve to take the brunt of my crankiness. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to communicate what I’m thinking and feeling….but until then… I run! Okay, who am I kidding… Even if by some miracle I ever figured it out (and I’d probably be rich if I did) I would still run!

Shine bright like a diamond.

Be YOU.

Choose Joy

BREATHE

 

 

 

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Are we too comfortable?!? 

 

This was actually written 3 months ago. it’s still relevant and it just never published for some odd reason. so here it is now!

I haven’t written a blog in quite a while. But the thing is now that I’m back to running outside I have more space to think. So be prepared. I don’t know what exactly I’m supposed to exactly right about tonight… But sometimes it’s just therapy for me to sit and write.

So… This run inspired thought is about your comfort zone. I’m pretty sure I’ve touched on this before but here is what happened. I had a memory pop up on Facebook that was my fastest 5k time ever. That was two years ago. I don’t come near running that fast anymore. Why?!? I got comfortable. I stopped pushing myself and did what was easy. Boo. I hate that. I don’t want to be the girl that just settles for easy. And, per usual in my life… This running experience was illustrated at work as well. I got approached by someone who sees potential in me… Called me out about not pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Had me imagining the possibility of what just might be on the other side. What if I tried something I have never tried before? What if I did something a little bit different?!? We talked about What it could potentially mean for me and my life. Exciting stuff. Scary stuff…. But what if I don’t try?!

Also… I did something totally outside of my comfort zone just recently. I agreed to start a running small group through my church. I don’t know what I was thinking. Oh, yes I do… It was God… Tapping me on the shoulder for oh, a few years. Thinking though…. What do I have to lose. Something beautiful could come of it. Someone could be inspired. Relationships could be formed… Who knows. But who am I do stop it? Not going to lie… I’m getting a little excited about this now. I’ll keep you posted!

So.. I hit up PINTREST for some thoughts on this… I’ll leave you with these:

Redefining success

So…I’ve struggled with writing this blog for months. MONTHS! And I think I’ve got a good idea why. Success is something I don’t feel qualified to talk about. And I’ll tell you why in just a second, but first I just have to say it’s because if those very things I just might be perfectly qualified to write this blog. Here’s the thing. I fail. A lot. 

I fail at maintaining a positive attitude (choosing joy if you will). 

I fail at being the kind of friend/ daughter/ sister/ auntie/ cousin/ coworker/ employee  (You get the idea) that I would like to be. 

I fail at being a good girlfriend (I take out a lot of my attitude and issues on my wonderful, loving, and very understanding boyfriend). 

I fail at returning phone calls (sorry grandma!) 

I fail at doing stuff. I have a lot of great ideas and fail at following through. 

I fail at making good choices… I try… But that dang sweet tooth!!! And that emotion eating thing. And onion rings. 

I fail at my job… More than I would care to admit. 

I fail at keeping track of my checkbook (thank God for my mother) 

I fail at reading my Bible regularly. 

I fail at being in the moment sometimes. 

I can’t even manage to take a ONE a day vitamin for crying out loud. 

When I was growing up I always figured that by 35 I would be married. Have a houseful (more like 2 kids) a house and a dog. I would be working as a kindergarten teacher and loving life. Well… Life had other plans. There is NO freaking way that 17 years as a bill collector (well… Some of those were customer service years) was something I thought of. Ever! But does that mean I’m not successful? I don’t hit my “goal” at work every month. But does that make me a failure? Am I trying new things? Am I going outside my comfort zone?  Am I changing lives? How’s my attitude? I think these are the things that should be defining my work succes. It’s hard…..VERY hard to see that in the moment, but sometimes I need to step back and realize it. 

What I realized when thinking about this whole thing is that sometimes your definition changes over time. When I started my weight loss journey I viewed success as me fitting in a size 10 jeans. No lie. However…. Today if I had to buy a size 10 I would be disappointed in myself. Not because there is ANYTHING wrong with being a size 10, but because I am currently like a size 3-4. And me going back to a 10 at this point would really show I had given Up.   This isn’t about pants size… It’s about how perspective changes as time passes and goals are hit or things change.  On a related topic when I started thinking about wanting to run, I wanted to 30 seconds, yes SECONDS!  Without feeling like I was going to die. Now, I run 5 miles for fun. Things change, the definition has to change at some point.  

I guess I say all this to pose a question. What does success look like to you? How do you define success? I asked this question on my Facebook and had several conversations with people about it. I got lot of interesting answers. Some very specific summed up as results define success. A lot of people said they define success by how happy they are. Some people responded that it’s the seeds you plant and the legacy that you leave behind that really defines success. 

I guess what I’m learning is that it’s the daily things that add up to success. I’m still trying to figure this all out. I’m not perfect. And you know what?!?! . I’m going to keep failing. Maybe success is not letting that failure define me. Maybe it’s not letting failure keep me from keeping on trying. Maybe it’s getting back up once I’ve been knocked down. Idiot really know the answer…. 

What are your thoughts? 

#11forJacob 

I thought about going so many directions with this blog. On one hand I am at a loss for words. And on another hand I have so much to say. 

This is a story that…. As a kid growing up in central Minnesota in the 80’s…drastically rocked our world and changed our childhood. It’s a story about a young, outgoing, friendly 11 year old kid…. Whose smile apparently lit up a room. This is a story about a horrific tragedy of him being taken. Kidnapped. One night in October almost 27 years ago. In a little bitty town in central Minnesota (far to close to home). This is the story about a legacy and a mothers love. And actually it’s not just a story.  

You see this happened. Jacob Wetterling (who I never knew) was kidnapped. For 27 years it was a mystery what happened to Jacob. 27 years we looked for answers. 27 years we searched and searched. We finally have answers. And however horrific those answers are… They are answers. But I don’t want to talk about that. 

This past Saturday I was supposed to run a 10k. I decided instead to run an 11k and dedicate it to Jacob. (11 was his favorite number).  

 To be honest this run sucked. And when I got to thinking about it. I think it sucked for a reason. You see… When Jacob disappeared a lot of things changed. One of those things was the life of his mother. And every time I wanted to quit on Saturday my thoughts went to Patty Wetterling. His mom. Having an abducted son was something I think she never dreamed would happen. Who would?!? Here is what I find so freaking amazing. She has taken what could have been the demise of her, what she could have easily gotten angry at the world for and turned it into good. Within months of the abductionshe created a foundation for missing and exploited children. Has even beenan advocate for sexual abuse. And continued to look for her son. I read somewhere that there was over 50,000 tips coming in on his whereabouts and turning up nothing!! 

It made me stop and think. What would have I done? How long would have I searched? Where does that strength come from?

On this run, I wanted to stop. A.Lot! More than usual. Every time I wanted  I thought “Patty Wetterling never quit, I can’t either.” That’s true in running and in life. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it is freaking hard. But we don’t quit. We don’t stop. We can’t. What happens if we stop? We’re do we go? What gets accomplished? 

These are some of the things I’ve learned by watching Patty’s life the last almost 27  years:

HOPE. From the beginning it was always all about keeping Jacobs Hope alive. Jacob would have graduated from the high school I attended, the year I was a freshman.   

 

This was in the page where his senior picture should have been. HOPE. We had all signed a giant poster that hung in the high school that said Jacobs Hope. You have to have HOPE. 

Faith. She believed that Jacob was alive. She was living as if Jacob was out there somewhere just waiting to be found. And lived life as he was. Continung to remember each birthday. FAITH.

Preserverence. Her continued fight. Even she the path was long and dark and lonely….she persevered. She didn’t quit. PERSERVERANCE. 

Commitment. Her endless commitment to not only Jacob, but protecting children and raising awareness. Her commitment to the community and her family. COMMITMENT.

Strength. All along she has been a source of strength. Most surprising is the way she handled the news of “that night” after nearly 27 years of searching for answers. This was her statement to the news media following the court appearance:  

 All I have to say is wow. This women wow’s me. And that’s a list I can get behind. Eat ice cream, giggle, pray, create joy… I’m in!  STRENGTH.

Love. I am not a mother. I have experienced a mothers love, cuz my mom is pretty freakin awesome… But wow. The love. Not only for her child, but other children. It’s inspiring. That’s all I have to say. LOVE.

And as far as Jacob goes. I can imagine how proud he would be of his mother. And he, himself left quite a legacy. Made quite an impact! This one is for them: 

  
One more way they choose to do good in the face of pain and tragedy is a list of 11 things we should do. Let’s make the world a better place.  I mean, how much better would this world be if we did these simple things?!? 

 
I have never met Patty and I really don’t know how someone you have never met can touch you so deeply…but Patty Wetterling has really inspired me. 

I did what?!?! 

So… I have been meaning to write this little blog for a few months now. However.. A few things have stood in my way. Mostly myself. I wanted to take a moment to brag on myself a little.. But haven’t been feeling worthy of the bragging. However… Just recently I have been told that I am too hard on myself… So I’m taking a moment to reflect.. And yes maybe brag a little. Just know what your getting into. But first I’ll start with the reason I haven’t been feeling worthy. I have been feeling really squishy (like a busted can of biscuits maybe) since the holidays. I blame cupcakes, my onion ring addiction and well.. All around not good choices sometimes. I feel like I preach “make good choices” and while I really do pretty well overall… I could be doing better. But you know what… I am a human. Not perfect. At all…and guess what. That’s okay. (That part was for me… And I’m going to type it again cuz I don’t believe it sometimes) IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE PERFECT. it’s okay to have some frosting… And maybe a little bit more… Sometimes. It’s okay to skip a workout or two. Your body, soul, spirit needs a break. Rest is okay. Rest…. Something I honestly need to work on. I have a hard time sitting still sometimes. It’s true. But I can’t be so hard on myself. My pants still fit and I’m happy= I win!! 

So…. Here is where I brag a little. Last year I set out to run 672 miles. Yes, the girl who refused to run the mile in high school…. Set out to run 672 miles in 2015. Just in case you are wondering that was about 56 miles per month. I am not going to lie… I was nervous that I bit of more than I could chew. I started off strong in January (I ran 100 miles in that month alone)… Truth be told i think I broke myself that month. And then I had to step it up… Was quite a roller coaster of a year. I can’t lie. Not all of the runs were enjoyable. Sometimes I ran because I “had to get my miles in” here is how my year looked she. It came to miles: 

  Now.. I bet your saying to yourself. Umm. Tonya, that’s more than 672 miles. Yup! I pushed it a little. 681 made more sense because 81 is kind of my number. 81 is my “ultimate weight lose goal” and.. Well I was born in 1981. So.. I pushed a little harder and made it happen. Therefore, I have to be proud of me. I made a goal and I crushed it!! I ran further than I’d ever ran before… I ran faster than I had ever done before. I pushed myself further than I thought possible. So.. Bottom line. I’m freaking pumped that I actually did it. 

Okay… Moving on. Here is why I continue this healthy living journey. It’s because of random messages I occasionally get like this: (I hope she doesn’t mind… I tried to take out any personally identifying info) but I’m really proud of her and it inspires me to continue doing what I do. Here’s the message:  
      

The word pregnant is missing. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. This is from someone that I admire dearly. And I can’t explain how proud I am of her courage and strength!  Bottom line… I have to keep on keeping on! And when I beat myself up.. That’s not helpful to me or people who are looking to me to be an example. It’s really not helpful. So.. Instead.. Let’s celebrate our successes. Live a little and be kind. Be kind … Even to ourselves. K?!?! 
  

Blessed to be a blessing

12-6-2015

So. Here’s the deal. I was having some trouble getting into the holiday spirit. And I think I know why. First off it’s becoming way more commercialize than I care for. I think we are way far from the meaning of the whole season. And I think the other part about it is the stigma and the rules and pressure about gift giving. It’s stressful. I gave up getting gifts for people years ago…. But I really love being generous. This creates a struggle. I like giving without expectation of getting something in return. So when God laid this idea in my heart I was excited. A recent sermon at church sparked this idea as well. We have been talking about how blessed we are and not only that it our blessings in life usually come through other people. Bottom line is I am blessed to be a blessing. So. God laid a plan on my heart. Send a handwritten card and a small gift card to 25 people. One person everyday from December 1st to Christmas. He is coming up with who shall be the recipient of this blessing. I am just being the vessel. I did freak out a little at one point because I didn’t know how I was going to afford it. Even a small gift card for each adds up. God heard my concern and said “don’t worry child, I got this.” So… I have embarked on this journey. No turning back. Trusting God. Being a light. Spreading joy. 

1-28-2016

So… I did it! Well… God did. I just obeyed. Truth is… I felt more fulfillment at the end of this holiday season than I ever had. First off all I have to say when God says “I’ve got this”… Trust him. I ended up getting the money to cover this and then some. (Won an award). And it turns out I heard story after story of how my “blessing” came at just the right time and touched the recipient. The note encouraged and made people smile. I send a couple of gift cards to be passed on to someone else. I sent one to a lady I barely knows but she inspires my mom. I ended up seeing her at a store and she said it meant a lot to her.

 I took three of my nephews (the twins are 6 and the little one is 4) out to buy toys for tots so they could get in on being a blessing too. They loved it. We talked about how spoiled.. I mean blessed…. They are and how not all kids are that lucky. They were excited to be a blessing.  
 They did it with an attitude of expecting nothing in return. It was a blessing to me too see! I honestly wanted to just keep blessing people. 

One of the coolest parts of this whole thing was how it inspired the boyfriend. I had told him I didn’t want a Christmas gift (being 100% serious… I am not one of “those girls” who just says they don’t want anything and then gets mad about not getting something). So what he did instead was give me a very sweet card with a check to be donated to the charity of my choice. Once again allowing me to be a blessing. Blessed to be a blessing… Not only at Christmas… But all the year through. 

Published 2-14-16 

Because I was having WordPress issues 😦 better late than never right?!? 

Old Glory 

So many thoughts to share I just don’t know where to start. I think I will start with a story. Saturday May 16 was the Old Glory run in cold spring. another 5k!!!! Was I nervous for a full 24 hours before the run. Seems silly right?!?! I get knots in my stomach and everything. So I decided to call Friday a rest day. Apparent rest day in TonyaLand = a beautiful 5 mile walk with the boyfriend.  

 Fitbit said I had 21,680 steps total on Friday. So much for a rest day. The morning of the run I was even more nervous. Oh, I should mention I was dealing with some pain in my inner thigh area…. I think most of all was the pressure I was putting on myself to do well. Apparently I’m a tidge competitive. I wanted to beat my PR. Then the pressure got to be too much and decided to take the “just have fun” advice of the boyfriend. When the run started something came over me and I just ran my little heart out. I got to about one mile and was making a good time so I decided to keep pushing. Thought I was going to die right around mile 2… But I just kept going. As I rounded the last corner I said “not me strength but yours God, I can not finish this on my own” and just kept going. As I approached the finish line there was this little 9 year old girl was right in front of me and everyone was cheering for her. I used that energy to push me across the finish line. I used to run out of steam right at the finishe line… I don’t so much do that anymore. In case you are wonder she beat me by 2 seconds!  I was (well I still kind of am) in disbelief of my time. I figured I would finish in about 25 minutes. My official time…. 23:36. Yep… Not a typo! Nailed it!! In a rare 5k moment I didn’t take a selfie… But I did make this to commemorate my achievement: 

  Here is a little perspective for you… In junior and senior high school we had to finish the mile in like 14 minutes and that was a struggle!!! No lie! That one whole minute faster than the iRock run that was just 2 weeks earlier! 
Here is my historical old glory times:  

 I’d say I have come a long ways. Not gonna lie. I can’t help but be proud of that! 
Wanna know what else is awesome?!?! My friend Celeste CRUSHED her best time too! Her husband and I were thinking she would come in right around the 30 minute mark and we’re super impressed when we saw her flying towards the finish line and crossing it at 27:43!!! Al rocked it as he always does! They both inspire me more than they will ever know! Here is a super cool photo of us:  
  Here are the lessons I learned: do not under estimate yourself. You are stronger than you think you are. And push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You are capable of more than you think you are. And you never know who you are helping/ inspiring. Don’t try and be someone else…  But be the best you that you can be! Life begins outside of your comfort zone. And there is the whole progress not perfection thing too. I’m still not where I wanna be but I’m definitely not where I once was.  I never thought I would be this crazy obsessed runner girl I have kinda become but I am kinda liking her 😉 until next time… Make good choices and make yourself proud.