Friday, March 30, 2012

Tutu spirit

I have come to a place in my life and my running that speed is no longer an issue. I have accepted my turtle status with gratitude and grace. Running, to me, is about so much more than the time on the clock. My training runs are my work. They provide me with the tools necessary for race day. The provide a solid foundation from which I can build a better, stronger body. Race days are a different story....they are my play!
The whole process of racing from choosing the race to who is running with me to the weather are fun for me. It is sheer play. I used to line up all serious about getting a PR or beating the person next to racing is about so much more. I enjoy the whole experience. I try to find a costume that fits the theme of the race and wear it to the delight of other runners. My goal? Make them smile! I watch other runner's as I move through the course, commenting on shirts or giving advice to less experienced runners that seem to be having trouble. Oh...and I play! I sing out loud, I dance, I run and have fun! Oh and don't forget the bling! I love to run for bling!
This attitude adjustment has come from my Girls on the Run. Running is fun for them. They love to run and beg to get out and see what they can accomplish. For them there is nothing too difficult, no pace to fast or too slow....they are all about fun! The sheer joy expressed feeds my soul. They encourage one another, assist one another and keep each other smiling. This is what running is supposed to least to me.
I ran my first race in a tutu last weekend and the feelings were I had while running were amazing. I felt like a powerful princess. My goal is to give back to my girls what they give me. They give me the gift of play as well as so many other gifts. I want to give them the gift of feeling like that powerful princess. Therefore, We began something a few weeks ago called the tutu spirit award. Each time we meet the girl that exhibits the most of what GOTR stands for gets to wear the tutu as we run. Some of what we look for are:
It is in this spirit that I choose to live my life. I may not have a visible tutu every day but the spirit is there. Tutu spirit lives in my heart to be shared every day. Peace.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Each day is filled with small moments that can turn your life one way or other. Moments that can change your attitude and your outlook. Moments that can stop you in your tracks.

Today I had one of those "stop you in your tracks" moments. I was having a really bad morning. It seemed as though nothing could go right. Too much to do and not enough time. No one was moving out of beds and towards the door. My children were not cooperating and my reaction to their behavior was not one of my better parenting moments.
Arriving at school just compounded the problems as now there were a whole new set of issues, parents and emails that required my attention. As I flew through the first hour of the day, all I could think of was all that needed to be done and how I was not really at my best....too scattered and frustrated.

The bell rang and the students began to enter....21 human beings with plenty of their own baggage arriving in my classroom. Time to focus on them and end my pity/anger/frustration party.

One of my students walked over to me and handed me a bright pink (my favorite color) agitate rock and a note. I slowed long enough to thank her and moved on to the next issue at hand (a forgotten lunch). A few minutes later I had a moment to stop and open the stopped me dead in my tracks. It was a reminder of why I get up and come to work each day....for kids like this. It was a reminder of why I love teaching so much. It was a reminder of what is important. A simple note from a child with unimaginable power.

Never underestimate the power of your actions; with one small gesture you can change a persons life. God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some positive way. Look for God in others and leave them smiling by your actions of kindness. One moment is all it takes.......

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


The written word is so very powerful. Words in general are very powerful....spoken or written. We can build up or break down with just a few simple words.
Today is one of my favorite days of the year as a teacher. Yes, sure I love the first day and last days of school but this day is special. It is Incredible Kid Day. It is a day set aside to let the kids in your life know how special they are to you. There are no gifts....just the gift of the written word. I ask parents to write each student a letter. Some letters are very or 2 sentences. Some are long...several pages. Some are typed. Some are handwritten. Each letter is as unique as the author. The students are unaware that the parents have written the letters until the day they receive them. It is a beautiful thing to watch the students open the letters and read the words written by the most important people in their lives.
I teach students that are just entering the tween/teen years. It is the beginning of a difficult and exciting time of growth for both parents and children. This letter allows parents to say things to their child that they often do not express. It is a tangible reminder of how much the children are loved and appreciated.
I take time each year to write letters to my own children. This is no easy task. My kids are so deserving that I want to give them the best letter possible. Carving out the time to produce the perfect letter is difficult but not impossible.
So, take time from your day to not just tell the young people in your life that they are special. Put your pen to paper or your fingers to the keyboard and write a letter. The emotions and thoughts you share are priceless.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Choices and mistakes.

We all make them....choices. Sometimes the result is good and sometimes not so much. Sometimes our choices lead to a mistake. We all make mistakes on occasion. It is inevitable. Mistakes are an important part of life. Wouldn't it be nice if life had a delete button? Backspace button? Unfortunately this is not the case. Mistakes are an important part of process of learning and growth.
Do we choose to apologize for the mistake from the heart and learn from it? Or do we apologize because we know we should, still feeling like we are not wrong? Do we apologize and move forward? Do we apologize and remain self righteous or angry?
When we are the victim do we accept the apology? Do we ignore the guilty party, not allowing an apology? Do we forgive and move on? Do we forgive and remain resentful and angry?
I have been on both sides of the fence as the offender and victim. Neither place is easy. You can only do what you feel is right and hope for the best. We as humans need to have empathy for the other person involved and see past our anger, disappointment, embarrassment, and resentment.
Everyone makes mistakes, it is what we do after the mistake has been made that matters. How will you handle the next situation in which you are wronged? How will you handle your next mistake? Will you choose to learn and to grow......

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sole Sisters

Running has given me many gifts .....the greatest of which are my sole sisters. I have 2 groups of running sisters that I adore. One group started off as 'imaginary' friends (as my husband calls them) from an Internet group. The other women are from my local running group. I run with my "in real life" group once a week or more. I was hesitant to write this post as I do not want to offend, upset or leave anyone out. I also want to be able to give these women the honor and proper credit they deserve. I could write a full post about each of them but will limit myself. They are all so very special to me and I love them so very much.
All of these women are unique. They all make me want to be a better runner, mother, friend and human being. Allow me to introduce these fabulous ladies. They are a unique group...
Bella'sMom- Wow! This chick is a force to me reckoned with is so many ways. She is a great single mom to a stunning daughter. She is super fast and more fun than a barrel of monkeys. She is the greatest roomie a girl could ask for. I am in awe of her ability to know what she wants and not take shit from anyone.
Freckle'sMom - She is my running momma. She spoils me rotten and teaches me about faith and culture. She allows me the freedom to be myself. Our bond was fast and deep. She Is such a wonderful model of a mother and I long to be like her. The gifts she gives me are priceless.
CopMom- She is the Thelma to my Louise. She is a cop but is often surprised by her own strength and self confidence. She is a single mom to two fantastic little boys who will grow into wonderful men with her guidance It is a joy to watch her reaction to her own accomplishments. She is stronger than she knows.
BoysMom - She is Super mom. She is a wonderful wife and mother who raises a house full of boys in a seemingly effortless fashion. She fits her workouts into her busy schedule and has a husband whose knowledge of reality tv is astounding. She also provides some of the best popcorn to all lucky enough to call her friend.
Olive'sMom- the "heart" of us all. She brought many of us together a long time ago and it is no surprise that she volunteers for the Red Cross organizing blood drives. Her sense of adventure is outweighed only by her sense of humor. She is a rockstar mom to two successful young women. I want to be like her when I grow up!
BigBoysMom - another mom of all boys but hers are tweens and teens. She is the quiet, thoughtful one. Her faith is deep, as is her competitive spirit Her family is her pride and joy. I long to be fast and fit like her!
Duke'sMom- she is my pace group leader and coach. She taught me to run with the group and how to see the upside of every run. We have developed a rather "push me/pull me" relationship when we run. One of us pushing and the other is pulling. I have watched her relationship with her man grow and develop into something beautiful and wonderful. She is a constant source of inspiration and is now a member of my family.
Payton'sMom - she is my pride and joy. Watching her set and accomplish her running goals brings a fullness to my heart like no other. She started out with a goal, accomplished it, set another, accomplished it .... Like the energizer bunny she just keeps going and going. This year I will watch her train for and run her first marathon. I can't wait to see her cross the finish line.
BanditGirl- she joined us last year to train for the marathon. It was fun to watch her constantly surprise herself with her accomplishments. I think one of the best moments was watching her finish her first 20 miler. She was so jubilant and joyful! She is now an addict and will be running another marathon in a week or so! Knowing that she is a grad of the same high school my daughters attend ..... Well I know my girls will go on to great things.... Just like her!
Each one has a special place in my heart and soul. They are more than friends...they are my Sole Sisters. Peace.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Running fever

Do you have Running fever?
Running Fever is described generally as an irrational urge to run any distance from a block to miles and miles. Onset may be sudden, or may occur after a long and gradual incubation period. Couch to 5K can most likely lead to running fever. Symptoms may include signs of insanity, a sudden increase in levels of technical fabric the wardrobe; a change in sleeping patterns (such as waking up before the sun to run); hoarding of energy gels; and over spending on such items as shoes, shirts, hats and GPS watches.
Running Fever is transmitted in any number of ways. Most commonly, newbies pick it up from a friend or relative. It can be transmitted through the air, as a runner talks about her adventures. It can also be transmitted virally, like when a runner views one of those motivational images on Facebook. In rare cases, a runner can catch running Fever simply by touching a runner's finisher's medal.
There is no known treatment for Running Fever. It might go into remission for a time but it rears its head time and time again. Once you have it, you are stuck with it! Sufferers can minimize symptoms by entering, training for, and finishing a race of any distance. This may result in blisters, stiffness, body aches, and confusion -- all signs that the body is ridding itself of the toxic poisons of couch potato sickness.
Running fever is a disease of the mind and body but, in the long run, benefits both. Peace.

Family dinner

This is NOT what dinner looks like in my house!
In some families, family dinner together is a nightly occurrence. Dinner together was the norm for me growing up.

Dinner in our home is usually just the kids and mom trying to eat before the next person has to leave for some activity. When Dad works nights, dinner with all of us together and without the interruption of sports, practices, games, social obligations is a sighting of the Yeti.
Last night was one of those rare nights when we were all home and having dinner together. We eat at the dining room table and the menu is never fancy. We are a meat, potatoes and veggies family.

The conversation can take as many turns as a Indy 500 driver. There is much to talk about and catch up on when dad is off only 2 nights a week. Add the diverse age ranges and interests of my children and we wind up with whiplash from the conversational changes in direction.

It is one of my great joys to sit in awe of a loud, raucous dinner table filled to capacity. There is never a dull moment nor a quiet one as everyone fights to have their voice heard and their opinion recognized. There are arguments, and disagreements but mostly there are laughs.....lots and lots of laughs. I learn so much about my children and their friends during these dinners. I learn a lot about myself as well as I am often the butt of some of the jokes. I have learned to let it go and laugh. I am honored that my kids are comfortable enough to joke and tease me about my habits. This often leads me to change but also lets me know what they notice and feel is important Taking these comments less seriously has allowed me to laugh right with my kids and often times changes my behavior.
The frustrations of the week fade away as a sit with my family taking in all the love. Family dinner is common in many families but not mine so I never take one moment for granted. Peace.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why I run...

I run for many reasons but a constant source of inspiration comes from my Girls on the Run.

Today is the start of a new season. Another new opportunity to change the lives of those girls that participate in the program. It is my privledge to see the growth and transformation of these girls as the season progresses. I feel honored that these girls allow me to go on this journey with them. We have such fun together. I learn new things each time we are together...about them and about myself. I feel so blessed to have my girls and Girls on the Run in my life Peace..

Friday, March 2, 2012

Running is....

Running is about SO much more than just running.
Kristen Armstrong

Running is really about so much more than just running. It is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other. It is about more than just racking up the miles and burning off the calories. 

 Running is one of my best friends.  The road is a good listener  Just like my friends, we can talk every day sometimes several times a day. I can lace up my shoes and run every day sometimes several times a day. I can rely on my friends to be there for me even if we have not gotten together or talked for a while. Running is the same shoes are always there...waiting for me.  We can just be comfortable  in the quiet or rock out to some good music together. Running allows me to lose myself and find myself all over again.  I can solve all the worlds problems .... Or none at all..... Not every run is easy and effortless.

Just like friendships, sometimes it takes work to make it work. It is not all sunshine and roses but with every obstacle  comes new understanding.  I can go it alone or a group outing because my friends all get along.  It is good to know that I have such a steadfast friend on which to depend.....because running is about so much more than just running. Peace.