Dream Awakened

July 2021 was filled with highs and lows. The highs were during our family vacation in Arizona. We got to experience the red rocks in Sedona and a few different canyons. It was a time I had dedicated to restorative rest – not physically, but mentally and emotionally.

One of the fun things I did was hike the Grand Canyon with my daughter. It was a hot time of year to be in Arizona, and while we should have started our hike at sunrise, we were on vacation, so we failed to take the heat as seriously as we should have.

We the airstream we booked through Airbnb in Flagstaff and headed towards the canyons. The night before I researched the different trailheads to find the right one for us. Based on my research, I picked the Bright Angel Trailhead.

Alisha and I had initially planned to hike down 1.5 miles to the first stop, which would mean a 3-mile round trip – totally doable for both of us.

In the beginning, our excitement was high. There were tons of other hikers, people riding donkeys, and incredible views. Although it was hot, it wasn’t unbearable. By the time we got to the planned turnaround point, we were both feeling really good and didn’t feel we would be challenged enough if we went back, so we decided to keep going. Our next stop would be at about 3 miles. We would stop to replenish our water and take a rest.

What we didn’t realize is that the heat gets worse the further you go down into the canyon, and even the downhill would start to feel uncomfortable.

A few times we considered turning around early, but we could see the rest stop as we continued our hike down the canyon. It seemed close but felt far. Having it in sight though helped us push through and get there. We also needed the much-needed water and rest.

When we finally arrived, there was a family taking refuge and rest under the shelter. The shade was much appreciated.

Behind us in this picture, you can see the well that was there. We filled my hydration pack, and Alisha’s water bottle, wet our heads and faces, soaked my hat, and then rested under the shelter for about 20 minutes.

We were all smiles as we ventured our way back up the canyon. Only 3 miles to the top…

ONLY!!! There was no only here.

By this point is was around noon. The sun was hot.

I had brought some snacks, and we had water, but none of that made this hike any easier.

Our hike up was a lot longer than the trek down…obviously. Every once in a while, we would find a shady spot and sit for a bit. Much like what you can see in this picture to the left (in front of Alisha).

Every once in a while we would see an animal and would stop to take pictures. Up ahead in this picture you’ll be able to see a goat.

By the time we could the trailhead, it motivated us to keep moving, slow but steady. There was a huge sense of relief when we made it to the top. We survived!!! It was iffy there for a while.

There were moments where I hit “the wall”, much like in a marathon. This was only 6 miles, but the effort it took to complete was equal to a marathon. It took a lot of mental energy and determination for us to finish. Emotions and exhaustion were high, but so was our determination to complete this. It would give us much-deserved bragging rights – we hiked the Grand Canyon in July when the heat was high.

Driving back to the airstream in an airconditioned car felt like paradise. Well, I wasn’t driving, my husband was – which made it even better.

I was experiencing the euphoria of this adventure. So much so that it awakened my dream of long-distance events. If I could do what I just did, with training, I could run a marathon again.

And that’s how my endurance running and hiking dreams were awakened.

Just a couple weeks later I came down with a bad case of the COVID Delta Variant. It was horrible. Weakened and in pain, it felt like death was near. I was in bed for about 5 days, but after that, I felt the lingering effects that vicious virus had on my body. Going through this only encouraged me even more. Health became my priority. I would do my best to never allow this kind of compromise to my immune system. While I know it’s contagious, my body should have been able to combat the virus more than it did. I did research on how to best recover from COVID and built myself back up.

It was November when I was at a point where I could begin running again.

I was now ready to begin making my dreams a reality.

Marathon training began… but first would come a half – or maybe 2.

In the next post I’ll continue to share my story to my double half (2 half’s in 1 week)

A Small Step in the Right Direction

I missed the Gate River Run BUT I have a half coming up in a couple weeks. Before you know it, the intense Florida heat will be here day and night, so we are back to our pre-winter morning schedule. That means I’ll have time to get a run in before the heat of the day becomes too intense.

I ran 3 miles on this cool morning with a smile on my face because I knew I would be happy come lunch time that I already got my run in.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to work on your health, but man, it’s so hard to start, right? I feel you. So, let’s start one step at a time. What’s one small thing you can add to your routine that would lead you in the right direction?

#healthylifestyle #motivation #runner #runnersofinstagram #runnerslife #5k #floridaliving

Journey to Marathon 11

It’s been 8 years since I ran a marathon. After getting my certification as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, running fell to the side as I focused on weight training and HIIT. I lost a lot of weight, was in the best shape of my life, and helped others achieve their health goals.

Life happened and I went through a couple of rough years, but fitness and coaching others became my lifeline. When moving to a place I had always dreamed up became a possibility, I took it. Thankfully, eventually, things in my life turned around and I was the happiest I had ever been in my life – even when the same stinky things were still there. I share that in my book, The Journey, in case you want to learn how that happened. But, fitness fell to the side as I was living my best life. I was enjoying this newfound peace, joy, and love in my life. I didn’t need fitness to feel better about myself and I didn’t need it as an outlet anymore.

Over the last 5 years I have experienced what it feels like to live in peace, joy, and love – no matter the circumstance. I am living a spiritually and emotionally healthy life. Physically, however, things seemed to get out of control. Suddenly, I noticed a shift in my confidence and the thoughts I had about myself. I struggled to get back into it all, but the negative emotions tied to fitness were a very real thing that I had to face.

I’ll be honest. I’ve been trying to get back into it for about 2 years. On and off, and with a severe shoulder injury, I just keep going. I had my ups and downs. My starts and stops. The word yo-yo comes to mind. Can anyone relate? But, I would eventually have enough and start something to get me going.

I’ve been learning a lot about neuroscience and psychology these last 6 months. It was in June that I made a drastic change with how I was going to live my life. It was no longer going to be about what I do, but who I am. All my goals shifted from what I wanted to do to who I wanted to be. Wow! I’ve sure gotten a lot done since June, even though it wasn’t my focus.

So, here I am, at the end of the year where I finally learned that who I am matters more than what I do. I’ve experienced so much healing in my heart, mind, and soul – and, it’s led me to this place where the things I once loved that were tainted by pain, betrayal, and bitterness, are healed and I can find the joy and pleasure in them again.

Dreams that had died because they were choked by lies and deceit have been resurrected.

Running is not something I do, it’s who I am. I am a runner. It is a gift God gave me. I know not everyone will understand, but that’s okay. I know this to be true. It is fact. It’s reality. So, to close off the year, I made a choice to nurture the dream that was brought back to life.

I’m training for marathon #11. While I’m not sure which one I’ll do, I’m starting all over again and I’m giving myself a year to prepare. Building up to a half this spring and planning to run a full next winter. This is where I will journal my #journeytomarathon11.

This weekend I completed my first 5k race. I may be starting over, but I’m smarter and stronger this time. I’m retraining how to run by focusing on my form and posture. There’s a long way to go until I reach the speed I left off at, but that’s not what this is about. This journey is about dreams becoming reality.

Do you have dreams that died, but you find yourself visiting the grave because you miss it so much? I’m here to tell you that you may think that dream is dead and past its time, but the fact you keep visiting it tells me that there’s still life in that dream. Dig up that grave. You’ll find your dream is alive and kicking.

Together, let’s make our dreams a reality.