#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. 

Dreams do come true

Time to blog… It’s been quite awhile since I posted a blog. Several reasons. Technology hasn’t been my friend. Been… Let’s say a little stressed out and a little busy. But I do have to take a moment and talk about the good things that have been going on. Take a quite trip back a few weeks when my boyfriend posed an interesting question. The bottom line was how fast could I run a mile. I don’t really run just a mile anymore. I like to run 5 miles when I go out for a run. So I set out to answer the question. I went to a local track and ran a mile: here is what happened…  

The girl who could barley finish a mile in 14 minutes in high school (yes… I know that was a long time ago… But still). I must admit I was pretty dang proud of this. I don’t brag on myself much… But when I started running just like 4 years ago I couldn’t run even a mile. I literally couldn’t run like 30 seconds… So I am going to be proud of this. So there 😉 full disclosure I didn’t stop after this mile. I ran another 2. But not as fast. Second mile was 8:22 and the third mile 7:25. I am actually more proud of being able to knock out that third mile at that speed. 

Bottom line. Do NOT give up. And when your tired… Just keep going. It’s worth it. I promise. 

Up next. A little weekend road trip I have been dreaming about since I learned it exsisted. A little background. I am a Minnesota girl who loves the Green Bay Packers, it’s a long story and I get A LOT of crap about it… But it’s all good. I stand by my team. However I have never been to Lambeau Field. I discovered last year that they do a 5k where you actually run iN Lambeau field! Of course I wanted to go. Somehow I conned my non-runner, Eagles fan Boyfriend to go on an adventure to Green Bay, Wisconsin. (It wasn’t really all that hard and I think he enjoyed it just a little)  

 
For me…The experience was more than I dreamed it would be. Just being there was incredible. But the run was so well organized and FUN! Not going to lie I got a little emotional entering the players tunnel and as I made the lap around the field. The coolest part of the whole run was seeing myself on the jumbotron as we ran around the inside of Lambeau!  I couldn’t get a photo of me on the screen without really affecting my time (yeah.. I’m a little competitive now, and no it wasn’t my fastest…I didn’t expect it to be)… But here is a photo of me at Lambeau with the Jumbotron in the background. Soooooo cool!  

 

Was a beautiful day/trip that I will never forget! 

They say you know your a runner when you plan trips around running… Well I guess I’m a runner. What a great way to see the sights. Wonder were our next running adventure will be….. 

Here are a few more photos from our trip… And of course technology is still fighting me and I can’t get all the photos I really want on here… But whatever.   

  

Seems only fitting to go to titletown brewing company! I had a delicious cream soda! 

  

We wanted to go to the hall of fame.. But it was closed… So took a photo of the giant Lombardi trophy! 

  

I am a cheese head and I know it…. 

  

Pre run selfie… 

  

The finish line… Aka… The end zone! 
   

So yeah.. Pursue your dreams people! You never know what might be possible!  Surround yourself with supportive people and never give up. Ever! 

Running changed my life.

Okay… So of you know me this next sentence is going to be a “duh Tonya” sentence, but it needs to be said: I am a runner. I used to say I am “kind of a runner” but when you run 100 miles in January 2015 you have to drop the *kind of.* I get into a lot of conversations about running. Why? Cuz it’s my passion and I will talk your ear off about it if you let me. I didn’t also have a desire to run. It was more like a hatred actually. I am pretty sure I once tried to convince a gym teacher that I couldn’t run cuz my legs died and gone to heaven. (Sixth grade, mr. rentz) anyways…

Things have changed. And running has changed my life. It has made me more confident in a lot of areas of my life. It has made me fall in love… With me. Running gives me time to think and ponder about the meaning of life.
I’ve seen parts of this city and other cities that I would have never seen without running. It challenges me. Through running I have also discovered that I am a bit competitive and this is a great outlet for that (even if my competition is usually myself.) I have more running clothes than regular clothes. I have done more 5ks than I can count. Also done a few 10ks and a few other ran runs. I’ve been called crazy more times then I can count… Ps crazy is my favorite compliment cuz I think I’m crazy too.

Well here is what happened tonight. It was a beautiful March day In Minnesota so I took the opportunity to run outside! After running in circles pretty much all winter at the gym (I don’t wanna know how many laps I’ve done on that track!) it felt amazing to run outside. The goal today was to run 5 miles (my favorite distance). As I started out I felt like I was kinda cruising along so I checked my pace. Uh it was showing me between a 7 and 7 1/2 minute mile. Wait what?!?! Back up.., my normal pace is about a 9:30 minute mile. So my goal quickly shifted to “I wonder how fast I can run a 5k…. Well… All I can say I wish someone was on the beaver island trail to snap a picture when I pushed stop on my Nike plus app…

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I was so shocked that I had to snap a photo… There is no way I just did that. The feeling I had was indescribable. I was so freaking proud of that time. The time I a putting in at the gym is really paying off. When I was first conned into training for a 5k (yes I was kicking and screaming) I would have never pictured me A) doing it and B) enjoying it and C) having it change my life.

My encouragement to you would be… Try something you thought you hated or something that kinda pushes you outside of your comfort zone… You might find it changes your life. You might surprise yourself. You might just inspire someone. It doesn’t have to be running. Make it yours. Find something your passionate about and do it. Be you. Be proud of things you thought you would never be able to do! You get one life…. run with it (okay… I had to be a little Punny)

Oh and just so you know I kinda had to get back home… So I figured i should do another 5k. Second one not as fast (actually felt like a nice easy pace… Still was way faster than I EVER thought I would be able to do).

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I could keep going on… And if you ever wanna talk about running.. I’m your girl! But I will stop for now…. And to those of you that know me… I probably won’t shut up about this particular run for quite sometime. Consider yourself warned. 😉

Scrap camp 2015

Just wanted to write a little blog about scrap camp. I get a lot of crap for going on a scrap booking retreat but I don’t care. I love being crafty and putting my bazillions of dollars worth of scrapbook stuff to good use. Here is what happened this weekend however. I failed. In more ways then one. I failed at being prepared and organized. I forgot super important things at home. I failed at making good food choices… My social butterflyism got in the way of even pretending to be productive . I failed at scrap camp. But it just proves a few things. I guess I am a human being… And I am not perfect. The good news is you don’t have to be prefect to have a good time. I slept it. I took naps. I went for a walk one day and a run the next. The good news is that weekends like this don’t define me. I am back on track starting… Well… Let’s be honest… Probably tomorrow. The intention of this weekend was to make scrapbook pages about running… Well I did a few. And I will share them here. Hope you enjoy the digital journey through my lack of scrap camp productivity. Ps. One thing I did NOT fail at was running 100 miles in Janurary. Nailed it! 103.5 miles to be exact! 568.5 miles left to run in 2015. Totally got this! Will keep you posted!

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The little pull tab, pulls out my January run calendar. Awesome!

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There you have it! That’s pathetic compared to what I know I can do… But it was fun. So that’s a win! Until next time… Make it a great day!

Merry Christmas

Soooo. In true Tonya fashion, I had my own little way of celebrating this Christmas day. I celebrated my 33rd birthday by running 6 miles because 3+3=6. I Celebrated hitting my 81lb weight loss goal by running 8.1 miles. So, today I figured I had to come up with some way of celebrating this lovely MN Christmas day. The only thing I could possibly think of was to go for a run. We celebrate as a family on Christmas Eve, So I was on my own for today (which I am quite enjoying actually). So I knew I wanted to go for a run. I didn’t however know how far I should run. It was actually really decent running weather for being December 25th in MinneSNOWta (it’s actually Minne-lackof-Snow-ta this December. So I took advantage. Here is the conclusion I came to was to run 3.16 miles. Why 3.16 you ask. Well seems appropriate for Christmas day. Christmas to me is more than gifts and lights and food and family. It is the day that a little baby came to earth to save us. A baby born in a manger… into the mess of the world to eventually die for our sins. Heaven’s perfect gift. What does that have to do with 3.16 Tonya?!? John 3:16 For God so loved the world He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Christmas is when God did that for us. You and Me. That is Christmas to me. A baby, born in a manger. I hope you take a moment today and… well always.. to believe. Believe in the magic of Christmas.  Believe in yourself. Believe in the good. Merry Christmas!!! Be blessed…and even better be a blessing!

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Find a way

Okay. So I went for a run today… And you know what happens when I run?!? I think. Today’s thought was just as the title states. Find a way. Going to preface this by saying first of all that I am not perfect and can be one of the best excuse makers I know. And second of all the irony that it is taking for me to write this makes me giggle. My internet is down at home so I am literally sitting in he Starbucks at Target writing this. Know why?!?! Cuz I found a way 😉

Let me set up the run for you… It was a cold, drizzly 37 degree day in Minnesota. I really just wanted to run and I wanted to be outside. Cold and drizzly are two of my go to excuses for not running. Today I found a way and enjoyed every minute! Will upload the pictures I took when I find a way to do that lol.

So here is goes. I have heard this quote a billion times:

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Think about it. It’s true in all areas of life. Today I was thinking about busting my own excuses. Making excuses is NOT going to get me any closer to my goals. But first I need to recognize the difference between an excuse and a reason. Sometimes I am so good as justifying my excuses I have myself believing they are reasons. Sometimes I need someone to point out he difference once in awhile. But at the end of the day I realize that I am the one responsible for my own destiny.

Being a weight watchers leader I have heard all sorts of excuses as well as my own.
Healthy eating is too expensive
I work 4 jobs… How do you want me to focus on eating right and working out (oh…wait that one is mine)
Holidays
Vacations
You don’t know my situation
I can’t workout
I don’t like to workout
I don’t know what to eat
I don’t know how much to eat
I don’t like fruits and vegetables
It’s just to hard
I have failed in the past
I just can’t
Enter your excuse here….

Here is the bottoms line. FIND A WAY
Figure it out. Find something you like to do… And do it. Start somewhere. Little changes make a big difference. You need help?!?! ASK! Ask me… Ask someone. Google it. If it’s important you will find a way. Is it easy… NO. Is it worth it…. Yes. The answer is yes.

I felt like this message was so important that I’m sitting at target to make sure you got it before I forgot it. I found a way…and so can you! We got this! Make good choices!

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