Thoughts from my therapy runย 

So… 4 days ago I turned 35. Thirty. five. That means I am 5 years into my thirties. Like I’m edging closer to 40 every day. Before I Get to why this is a big deal… I have to show you how I celebrated my birthday  

 A run, a cupcake and some time with the boyfriend. All around a really great day. Anyways.. Moving on… 

Truth of the matter is I think it’s kinda bugging me a little. Making my brain a little foggy and making wearing my “crabby pants” way to easy these days. Sometimes I just stare off into space. Some days the whole “Choosing Joy” thing  just isn’t that easy. However tonight on my run I think I worked some things out. Weird as it sounds I think I’m having a “midlife crisis” if you will. Here’s the deal. Growing up you have this picture of what your life will be when you “grow up”… Right?!? My picture included a house, a husband, twins a dog and a job as a teacher. I even “knew” who this husband was supposed to be for years and years. Of course I was way to young to “know” this.. Not to mention that he was totally wrong for me…but that’s beside the point. Back to the picture… It of course had a deadline. I was thinking 30 would be when this would all fall in place. Ummm.. About that… 

 

Lake George. tonights therapy


 I am 35. I have….an apartment, no husband, no kids, a fat….lazy diabetic cat… And a job as a bill collector. Sometimes it seems like my siblings got everything that I wanted.. You see I am the oldest of 5 kids. One of my sisters has the twins I always wanted (plus another adorable little boy) . One of them is running a daycare (that was actually what I went to college for), my other sister is married and has a dog! and my brother has 2 adorable children. People that I graduated with have teenagers!!!  Those are the facts. My life isn’t what I thought it would be. I am not the person I thought I would “grow up” to be…and everyone “seems” to have what I wanted. Or thought I wanted….. 

Here is the conclusion I came to when I was running tonight. I am freakin blessed. I have a great life and I need to out on my big girl panties and realize  it. Here is the deal. I don’t have a house (I did at one point, that’s another story) …but I love my apartment! I don’t have a husband….but I do have a pretty terrific boyfriend. I do not have any kids… But I do have 4 awesome nephews and one amazing niece. I have a little bestie and a littlest bestie whom I lobe very much. I have the two girls I baby sat for almost their entire lives. I have cousins, and cousins kids and church kids and….. You get the point. God has placed a ton of kids in my life to have influence on. And as far the at the cat thing goes: IMG_3712 

  I kinda like him. I have gotten to travel and see so many things that I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to do!!  And the job thing… Some days a it really sucks. Some days it really stresses me out. Some days it makes me want to start drinking (I don’t drink, never have)… On the other hand some days it’s exciting and fun… And I honestly feel like I am changing people’s lives for the better. And then I realize I can afford things like vacations ( I really like vacation!!) and insulin for my diabetic cat…and shoes, running shoes!! And… Well, you get the point…. because of my job… It makes it not so bad. 

Bottom line from tonight’s 5 mile therapy run was this. No, I am not living the life imagined I would be when I was little. But I have a pretty freaking amazing life. I just needed a little wake up call to realize it. I have people around me who love me (even when I am unlovable) and that is what really matters. Thinking that what God had figured out for My life was a little (okay… Maybe A lOT) better than what I thought. And I may be 35… But I refuse to grow up. Cuz that in an option. I am, and will always be, just a big kid. And I kinda like the person I am becoming. As far as the rest of my life goes…. We shall see. Life is an adventure and I’m excited to see what’s in store. 

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What’s standing in your way?!?!ย 

What/ who is standing in the way of your dreams? You have goals… Dreams… Plans right?! What is standing in your way. 

Two things happened today that started me thinking. First a conversation with a guy at work about who your biggest competition is. For me it’s always been me. My biggest competition and the biggest thing standing in the way is me. Not having faith in myself. My Abilities. Just not believing it me. Strange wonderful things happen when you get get out of your own way. 
The second thing was I just tried to go workout and there was people in the workout room. Using the machine I wanted. Hmmm. Who’s standing in my way now? Trick question? Why am I letting them stop me from doing the things that get me closer to my goals? Is it just an easy way out of doing what I know I should be? Using it as a sign to take the night off? Silly right? There are people in your life that will standing your way. Whether they know it or not, whether intentional or not.  This isn’t just about working out. It’s about life. Pursuing your dreams. Achieving your goals. Go out there and get it. Don’t let anyone (even YOU) stand in your way. Time to go workout…. Maybe ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

As the sun sets….

As the sun sets….

Let me set the scene for you. I have been a little cranky recently. I am trying to chose joy… But there has been an internal battle waging inside of me. Why… You might ask. Well… Because I just turned 34. Big deal? Well it kinda was… And let me tell you why. But first I have to show you what I did to mourn not being 33 any more… I mean… celebrate turning 34.  

 This was the view… 

 that was my course. So fun! 

Celebrating. Tonya-style. On my birthday eve I ran 6.24 miles (my birthday is 6/24/81) get it?!? Okay. So as the sun set (literally as I was running, the sun was setting, it was beautiful and symbolic) on my last day being 33 I was working through some of the reasons why this birthday seemed to be bothering me so much. 
I think I figured it out: first of all, both of my parents claimed they would always be 33. Was both of their favorite ages. So 33 always seemed like an “old” age to me. Like that’s how old parents are, and parents are old. I don’t want to be old. I also figured that I would sort of have life figured out by now. A house. A family. A dream job. A car that doesn’t need work done. As I look around it seems everyone is living the things I had been dreaming about, the life I thought I should have… And thought I wanted to have by 33.  Not only that but I started thinking about Jesus. It is believe that Jesus lived to be about 33. He did so much… And inspired so many. Made such a difference in his time on earth. What have I done? Who have I inspired? How have I made a difference. These are the things I was pondering for 6.24 miles. As the sun was setting on 33. 

Let me tell you this. The crankiness of the recent days… Melted away after a few miles. And by the end I felt a thousand times better. Here is the conclusion I came to. I don’t have it all figured out and… That’s okay!!! I don’t have the family that imagined (husband, twins and cute dog) but I do have a family that I love more than anything in the world. As far as kids go… I’ve got the greatest niece and adorable nephews ever! I don’t have the job I dreamed of when I was growing up… But have a pretty great job that is making me into a better person… And allowing me to live a pretty great life. I believe I’m not where I totally should be… But I’m having a pretty great time. There are people in my life that I love and that love me. I’m healthy and overall pretty freaking happy. I try to make a difference in people lives (hopefully positive) that I am around. I can’t be Jesus… But I can work with what I have been given. I believe we all have a purpose.. Even me. And I’m okay with not quite knowing what that is at 34. The plan as I embark on 34?!? Be awesome. Keep being me (cuz everyone else is taken). Continue to figure out who “me” really is. And have a fantastic time doing it. Not going to compare my life to the life I thought it would be (or someone else’s life) And be excited about what my life is. 

Life is too short to be cranky (sometimes I forget). Let’s live life to the fullest…. Live your life. Possibly Make a difference in someone’s life. K?!? 

Dream bigger

Dream bigger

So this month there has been a reoccurring theme in my life. And this is the message: DREAM BIG.  Apparently I am not dreaming big enough. Apparently I need to have bigger goals than getting a new pair of running shoes ๐Ÿ˜‰ so it’s really got me thinking. What are my dreams? What do I want to do with my life?!? Who do I want to be?

 You know…. we ask kids all the time when they are growing up what they want to be when they grow up. Kids have big dreams! I had big dreams when I was a kid! Like I tell people all the time…. I NEVER dreamt of being a bill collector… That’s for sure! When do we stop dreaming and become satisfied with how things are? Since when is it okay to live in the comfort zone? 
I don’t know what my future holds and I’m not sure what my goals, dreams and aspirations really even are at this point… But I am inspired to start thinking about them. Dreaming. And dreaming big! My challenge is for you to do the same! It’s not to late.  
I feel like I can’t post a blog without some photos…. So here are some pictures from today’s run. Enjoy! Be blessed!  

     

Old Gloryย 

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ until next time… Make good choices and make yourself proud. 

Earth day 5k.

I have to take a moment to recognize the epicness that was Friday night in TonyaLand. First I have to start by telling you that this particular 5k is one of my favorite runs of the year. Many different reasons A) it was my very first official 5k that I ever did. b) the course is beautiful c) the atmosphere is energizing d) it takes place at the college I graduated at. I look forward to this run for months. This year I even picked out my running clothes the night before (yep, I’m THAT girl). So Friday comes and the weather couldn’t be more perfect. Making me super gitty. Sunny and warm! I had a hard time sitting at work that day (who am I kidding I have a hard time sitting at work most days!)

As the start time approaches I start getting sick to my stomach. Nerves. Butterflies. Whatever. I thought I was gonna puke. It was awesome. If your not a runner this next part will make me sound even more crazy. But the thoughts that go through my head when I am running are ALL over the place. Thoughts of quitting, walking, fainting, breathing, hyperventilating, tripping, maybe even dying (yes I can be a little over dramatic) are frequent.
Running is so much of a mental sport. Have to keep calming myself down and telling myself to shut up. Reminding myself I can do it. One foot in front of the other… Just keep running… You know. The believe tattoo comes in handy in these times.
I had huge goals for myself. I wanted to finish right around 25 minutes. I also wanted to try and keep pace with Al. Who is Al you say? Well he is Celeste’s husband. Who is this Celeste you ask… Well she is my inspiration. My friend. My mentor… My accountability partner. Between Al, Celeste and I, we are running a combined 2015 miles this year. Team ACT! IMG_2984.JPG Al is a rock star runner. Also an inspiration. He has beat me every single run we have ever been at together. Every one. Well… I’ve kinda increased my running and my weight training… and I guess it’s paying off. I do have to thank him because I passed him… And then he caught up and passed me… Which made me run faster… And also said something encouraging to me when I was passing him. Quitting was not an option! Bottom line I finished in 25:16. Even better I took 3rd in my age group out of 139 girls my age. Even more motivating is the girl who finished first in my age group finished 86 seconds faster than me…. Oh the possibilities. If I keep training and working hard… The sky’s the limit!

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I should mention that the girl who finished first in my age groups last name is FAST… I mean really… How are you supposed to compete with that?!? So I did a little comparing me to… Well me…. Conclusion= I am not quite who I want to be… But I for sure am not who I used to be. I am really my biggest computation and sometimes just need to get out if my own way. Friday I kicked chubby Tonya’s butt. Overcame my own doubts and pushed myself beyond my preconceived notions of my inabilities. I let go of “I can’t”… And wondered if I could. I gave it my all.
My weight loss journey started in 2001. Hit a plateau and was conned/ tricked/ dragged… Somehow convinced to start running. And now I can’t stop. But here is a fun little side by side of my first earth day and Fridays run:

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Bottom line. The little things you do day in and out great big changes!

And how does the girl who comes in 3rd in her age group on Friday night celebrate? By going out for a 10k run on Saturday afternoon of course. I was just going to go out for a “little, slow recovery run” and well 6.2 miles later… Again the weather was perfect! I ran my old neighborhood. Where I started this whole running thing. Crazy how much easier it is now. They say one day your workout will be your warm up. Never before have I believed that. Here is a photo from that run….

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Yes I ran up that spiral ramp. So much fun!
And as if this blog wasn’t long enough I need to brag on my boyfriend for just a minute. Speaking of inspirational. This guy has pretty much lost as much as I weigh. No joke! He is NOT a runner…. And probably will never be one. And that is okay! However he knows how much I love it and humored me and did the Earth Day run with me. He did so with a smile and all ๐Ÿ˜‰ it meant so much to me that he would do that for me. He refuses to recognize how far he’s come so I have to do it for him. Here is an adorable after photo of us….

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You just never know who you are inspiring with your life. Be the person you want to be. Don’t quit. Keep smiling and choose joy. That’s all for now… Until next time… Make good choices.

Let’s talk about success

Talk about a roller coaster ride of a week. I have been challenged in more ways than once. I have been pushed outside of my comfort zone and scrutinized by myself and others. I have pushed myself to the limit. And let me tell you something… it hasn’t been easy. And like I have said before I like easy. However, this week I have even given a glimpse of what is possible if I continue to allow myself to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and try new things. I have seen what can happen if I don’t settle for just doing an okay job. What my future looks like if I embrace changing the way I do things and let go of what I have always known. I have had a light bulb moment if you will. I am beginning to realize that I am worth investing in.

One day I was running on the treadmill at the hotel and was face to face with myself and I decided I do NOT want to have to look Myself in the face and say “you had an amazing opportunity and you wasted it.”

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I know it’s not a great photo…. But you get the idea.

I want to succeed. And I know it sounds silly but I’ve never really had a goal of succeeding. I just kinda do my thing. And live my happy little life. I want to build a future that I am proud of. I want to say I earned it and it was my skill and ability that got me there. I want to own my success in life. I want to apply myself and see what happens. I want to be as proud of my career as I am of my weight loss. I want my eyes to light up when people as how my job is going. I met people this week that transformed their lives working at the company I’m working for. They are happy to go to work. They struggle with taking time off because they want to be at work. They want to be successful and they are!! Big time! This week I stopped and asked myself if I am just working for a paycheck or am I working for my future. The answer is I am building a future. Let’s be realistic… It’s not gonna come without some challenges, some stress… Some tears, a lot of freaking hard work… I’m going to have to continue to strive to be better… Continue to push myself and continue to grow and learn and try new things. But I am starting to realize its gonna be worth it. I promise. I don’t know what challenges you are facing right now…. But don’t quit. Don’t give up. You are worth investing in and you are worth success. The sky is the limit….

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What does success look like to you?!? And what are you doing to make it happen? You got this!!!