Thoughts from today’s 5k

Confession. I don’t know much about Basketball.

So yesterday at work I was trying to inspire one of my employees whom was struggling. Struggling with doubt really. Not sure he can do it. Feeling he is failing. Not sure whether or not he should keep going….

So we had a little heart to heart. I started the conversation with “Tell me a little bit about Michael Jordan.”  His eyes lit up. This guy is very passionate about sports. So he went on to tell me about all the times that Michael Jordan has failed. All the people who didn’t believe he could be successful and that he never, never, never quit. He went on and talk about how Jordan had used Rejection and Failure to fuel him to success.

Fast forward to my 5k this morning. My Hot.. HILLY… HUMID… 5k this morning. It was an amazing run to benefit kids with life threatening illnesses. Now, keep in mind I have not been running much this year. I have gained more weight than I would like to admit and just am not in “Peak Tonya performance.” So this run was extremely difficult for me.

I wanted to quit more than once. More than twice even. I stopped to walk to catch my breath (which was really hard in the humidity) and wouldn’t you know… there was a guy passing me. Not only any guy. But a guy wearing a freakin’ Michael Jordan jersey. (side note…this story would have been a thousand times cooler if it was Michael Jordan himself…. just sayin’). Meanwhile, back at the story… this guy in a Jordan jersey comes running beside me. ALL I could think about was the chat with my employee yesterday. How could I encourage someone else not to quit when I am thinking about quitting myself?!? How could I expect someone else to keep pushing through and following their dreams and pursing their goals if I was just gonna quit in the middle of a 5k?!?! I need to lead by example. I need to keep running. I would like to say that I just kept running and never looked back. But it didn’t work that way. We kept switching the lead off and on a few times. Every time he passed me I just smiled and used it as fuel to push even harder. In the end I did end up crossing the finish line before him. This story is bigger than that. This is about following your dreams. Leading by example. It’s about NEVER, NEVER, NEVER giving up.

Ps. I did find the guy at the end of the run and tell him this story and thanked him for pushing me.

You just never know who you might inspire. and you never know when someone might inspire you. I didn’t think I would be the one getting inspired from the conversation yesterday. And who knows, telling the Jordan jersey guy the story just might have inspired him as well. Pay attention to those in your circle of influence.

I’ll leave you with these thoughts from Michael Jordan himself:

MJ quote 2

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? 

What’s standing in your way?!?! 

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 😉 

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.”

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….


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

A note to my chubby self

With the recent milestone accomplishment earlier this week it has got me thinking. I conjured up a few things i would like my 221 pound self to know.
So… Here it is.

Dear Chubby Tonya,
You are about to embark on a fabulous journey. Enjoy it. It will not be easy! You will experience much difficulty… But it will be worth it. You will think about quitting a time or two or millions… But DON’T. You are worth the work it will take to get where you are going. I know you won’t believe this but you are going to do things you currently can not fathom. Don’t be scared to try them, or you will miss out! Your worth is not in what size pants you are. Currently you shop in the mens department because the 17/18 women’s pants just don’t quiet fit right. Someday you will be in a size 3/4 (and you will have to wear a belt), and be able to buy sweatshirts in the youth don’t believe me. It’s true. But pants size really doesn’t matter. It is not about be skinny but this is about being healthy and finding the you that you are meant to be. You will inspire people along the way! You will come out of your quiet shy shell and won’t be able to shut up. You will literally be a whole new person in more ways than one. This will take a LOT longer than you think it should… But you know what?!?! Time is gonna pass anyways… Do something with it. You will eventually lose 81 lbs. It’s not going to happen overnight, don’t expect it to. You didn’t wake up one day chubby. Keep moving forward. You will become a runner. I will pause while you laugh…. But it’s true. And you will go crazy when you can’t run. And when You hit that ultimate goal. . .make a new one. You can not keep peanut butter in the house, don’t lie to yourself and think you can handle it. You can’t. This is a journey, a lifestyle…. Enjoy it! Make good choices. Set small goals and celebrate the when you reach them. Believe in yourself and do put be afraid to ask for help…. You need other people around you. You want to seclude yourself….but that doesn’t work. Embrace the journey to a new you.

Your Future Self.



Shout out to my friend Celeste who send me this photo she found online. Fits my journey perfectly. LOVE IT!