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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rebel With a Cause

"Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being." -- Albert Camus

I think I will have to add a fifth "R" to my blog:  Ranting, Rambling, Rebuilding, Running and Rebelling.  I am embracing my inner rebellious, misunderstood "angst-ridden" teenager.

And, you know what?  I kinda like it.

Did you know that I have an intense desire for independence and freedom?

Well, I do.

In other words, I don't like being told what to do.  Never have.

My mom tells me the story of when I was a little toddler, curious about everything I could get my hands on.  I picked something up to closely examine it.  It must have been something breakable or "non kid friendly", because she grabbed it out of my hands with a firm, admonishing "NO!".  Apparently, this was not enough of a deterrent and I tried to reclaim what I thought was mine.  This resulted in another loud, resounding "NO", however, this time, it was followed by a little slap on my hand.  I gasped while pulling my hand close to my body.  Then, while maintaining steady eye contact with my mother...

I tried to pick it up again.

Slow learner?  Perhaps.

I prefer to think of it as being fearless enough to go after what I want regardless of what anyone else does or thinks (even if it IS my mother).

Fast forward 38ish years and, well, not much has changed.  Oh sure, I went through my teen/adolescent years wanting to please others and wasn't 100% secure in who I was or what I wanted, which did influence some of my decision making.  But, at my core, I've always wanted FREEDOM:  the freedom to make up my own mind and do what feels best in all areas of life.

One day, I woke up and I realized:  I'm tired of RULES. I'm tired of SHOULDS.  I'm tired of GOALS.  I'm tired of STANDARDS.

Simply stated, I have had enough.  I don't want to follow the latest crazes.  I don't care about blending in.

I am tired of the bandwagon of the week.  I am tired of the "EXPERTS". 


I just want to BE. 

More being.  Less doing.  I want to be happy.

That's it.  That is where my "aspirations" begin and end.

For the first time in my life I know with absolute certainty that I don't have anything to prove to anyone. 

And all of that is SO okay.

It's high time that we all learned how to trust ourselves.  What other people think we should do is no longer going to cut it.  They are not us.  We must take the time to go within.  We must be willing to be alone with ourselves in the quiet and stillness.  Then, and only then, we will hear our inner voice (aka: your intuition).  Take the time to be with yourself.  Take the time to find out what rings your bell, what floats your boat, what works.  Don't let Dr. So and So on that daytime talk show tell you how to live your life. 


If you're like me and you're tired of hearing all of the chatter about how we should eat, what we should watch, who we should talk to and what we should do for exercise, do yourself a favor:  try channeling YOUR inner James Dean.  Because you have one too.

Want to get the most out of life?  It's quite simple.

Do what you want.  Ask yourself what that is.  Listen for the answer.  Then, do what feels best.

“Originality is the best form of rebellion.” -- Mike Sasso

Monday, November 12, 2012

Who Are You?

  “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” -- Mark Twain
 Here's a tip:  Learn to live authentically. Be you!

Get to know yourself! What do you want? What do you like? What makes you feel alive? What rings your bell, so to speak?

It's amazing how many people CANNOT answer those questions off the cuff because they have spent their ENTIRE LIVES doing what they thought they "were supposed to" or "should do". We were taught from childhood to put other people before ourselves. That we shouldn't be "selfish". As a result, we've lost touch with who we really are. We don't even trust ourselves half the time. We pay more attention to the advice of other people instead of our own intuition.

How screwy IS THAT? Who could possibly know you better than, well...YOU???

In addition to figuring out what feels best, let's make peace with the fact that we are meant to evolve. We are not "static". What worked for us last week, last month or last year just might not do it for us today or tomorrow.

For example...

I have been a "runner" for about 10 years now.  It's obviously been a HUGE part of my life (it's the 4th "R" in my blog title, after all).  Here's a shocking statement:  I haven't run a step for the past week. Am I sick? No. Injured? No. Too busy, maybe? Uh Uh. I spent the whole morning and early part of the afternoon in my pj's, for Pete's Sake. And it's a beautiful day here in New England. I can't even use inclement weather as an excuse.

It's just not "ringing my bell" right now. The thought of it doesn't feel good. I'd rather go for long walks, sit in contemplation/meditation, engage in yoga or do body weight strength training exercises like push ups, planks and lunges. That's what feels best right now. That's what I want to do.

So, I'm doing it. No guilt, no shame, no regret. Yes, I have been known and defined as a "runner" by many people. They think of running and they think of me. But, that's not all of me. That's only a fragment of who I am. I don't lose myself because I cease to engage in an activity. I'm still me.

Maybe I'll get the desire to run again. And maybe I won't. Truly, it doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that I'm paying attention to and doing what feels best.

May I suggest that you consider doing the same? 
But, only if it feels best. 
Don't just take my word for it. :-)
“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.”  -- Jerry Gillies

Thursday, October 4, 2012

For Mom

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness." -- Honoré de Balzac

Shhhhhhh, don't show this to my mother.  It'll make her cry.  (She's such a softie)

But, it is high time that I recognized the woman who carried me in her belly for nine months (or maybe a little more than that; punctuality wasn't my strong suit).

Several months ago, I blogged about the emergence of my sibling, Howard (Like Sands Through the Hourglass).  It has been a happy revelation for all of us.  When I shared my story about him, I didn't really delve too much into the details.  Basically, I shared that he was given up for adoption because my mother was a single woman in the 1960's who couldn't shoulder the responsibility of caring for a child.

Notice I didn't say "shouldn't" or "wouldn't".  I say "couldn't" because I believe she had no choice in the matter.  Little did I know back then, that my mother was part of a group of women who surrendered their babies between 1945-1973; a group that is 1.5 million strong, in fact.

The book "The Girls Who Went Away" by Ann Kessler, chronicles this period in history.  It was the postwar economic boom that essentially created the middle class.  Image was everything and the thought of losing social status because your child was unmarried and pregnant was just unthinkable (sad, but true).

I haven't read the book yet, although I have been looking at the website and reading the description and reviews.  Each one I read gives me a deeper understanding of what it must have been like for my mother who was indeed one of the "girls who went away".  She was sent off to a home for unwed mothers to have her baby alone.

What makes this even more of a poignant tale is that the woman who sent my mother away (my grandmother, obviously) is now 93 and in the throes of Alzheimer's.  My mother has spent the last month or so on the east coast (she lives in AZ) organizing her affairs and helping her transition to an Assisted Living Facility.  To say that I am proud of her for stepping up and taking responsibility doesn't even begin to cover it.  Now, don't misunderstand me here; I advocate forgiveness.  I don't believe there is anything to be gained in holding a grudge.  However, considering what happened between the two of them, I  wouldn't fault her for any lingering resentment that she may harbor.  But, she's stepping up and taking care of business like a champ.  Truly inspiring.

My mother and I have had our ups and downs through the years.  We didn't always see eye to eye; hardly ever, in fact.  I thought she was a victim and she thought I was strong willed and critical (we were probably both right).  I didn't always appreciate her as often as I could have.  However, I never questioned her love for me or my brothers.  This experience has shown me a new side of her:  strong, capable, fearless.

Perhaps it's not new at all.  It may have been there all along and I just didn't have the maturity to see it.

Maybe it's the wisdom that accompanies getting older or maybe we're just both adapting to each other.

I'm not sure.  And, truly, it doesn't really matter.

Today, I dedicate my blog space to my mother.  You have my respect and admiration.

I am proud.  And I love you.

"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." --Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Thought of the Day

Happy Tuesday, friends.  I'm still working out this inconsistent blogging thing.  I'll get there.  :-)

I HAVE been writing, sort of.

I posted this in my Team Cyndi Lou/AdvoCare Facebook group earlier today.  I thought that the blog would also be a good place for it.  Here is Cyndi's Thought of the Day:

Tough Love. Sometimes we need it.
About 5 years ago, I had a defining moment. Without going into too much detail, I had struggled with a personal issue for most of my life. I just didn't see a way out of or around it. I was doing the best I could, however, I was still not who or where I wanted to be. This issue had impacted my quality of life for sometime. As we know, what affects us also affects the ones we love and live with.

This had become a recurring source of frustration for my husband and me. To his credit, he is pretty laid back about things, but even he had a breaking point. After having an emotionally charged discussion about it, again, he looked at me and said, "Honey, I love you, but I can't fix this for you. This is something you'll have to do yourself."

And finally, at that moment, the light bulb went on. Brightly. I realized that it was no one's responsibility but my OWN and no matter what had transpired in my life up to that point, I had the ability and the power to alter my course.

So I did. Just like that. Thanks to my husband's tough love, my eyes were opened. It was like a huge splash of cold water in my face. I woke up. And I got to work.

I'm all for loving people through things, and I'm all for being kind and compassionate. But sometimes, we all need to get a cold avalanche of water in the face.

Here's yours: WAKE UP! GET OVER IT!! Take responsibility! Stop blaming people! Grow up!

Put the big boy/girl pants on and just DO whatever it is you have been wanting to do. No more excuses. No more wishing. No more hoping.

Take control of your own life. It's time.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Good, The Better And The Best

"No matter how old you get, if you can keep the desire to be creative, you're keeping the man-child alive." -- John Cassavetes

(or in my case "woman-child")

It's been a while since I checked in with the 4 R's.  I like the idea of posting every day or, at the very least, every week.  Putting it into practice, however, seems to be another issue altogether.  Perhaps it'll just take some time for the idea to catch up to the actual habit of doing it.

Or maybe it won't.  Time will tell.

I've been happily traveling along life's trail since my last post at the end of April.

I've gone to a Red Sox game at Fenway park, celebrated a dear friend's 40th birthday in May, as well as my own 11 year wedding anniversary to my best friend. 

I've gone to graduation parties, holiday weekend parties and lots of physical therapy for da feet.  :-)

On June 1st, I was both honored and privileged to be a bridesmaid (bridesmatron just sounds too stuffy) for my southern belle pal, Sarah, as she exchanged vows with her sweetheart.

Perhaps one of the most life altering events that transpired since my last entry was meeting my brother, Howard, face to face (check out "Like Sands Through the Hourglass" for the scoop on that one).  As soon as we hugged, I felt connected.  Not only was he incredibly awesome, but his wife and son, Julian, are top notch as well.  It took a little getting used to, but now it feels natural to say that I have TWO brothers instead of ONE. 

Such a blessing.

I have been successfully growing my AdvoCare business, which makes me very happy.  When I first got involved last June, I had no idea it would explode like it has and I couldn't be more thrilled.  In fact, I pinned Silver in May, which is the first level of leadership!  Not only am I looking and feeling better than ever, but I'm making $1500-$2000/month on a part-time basis.  Thanks to the support of my sponsor and the belief in my distributors, I expect that number to double by the end of the year.  We are changing lives and it feels amazing.

The racing drought is OVAH too...sorta.

Cyndi Lou finally shook the dust off and ran a 5K at the end of June.  The Plaistow Old Home Day 5K was my very first race (June 2003).  It is the only event I have NOT missed since I first started doing races.  It wasn't the fastest time ever done by these two feet, but it was good enough to earn a 1st place trophy in the F40-49 division.  But, the best part of all was that the day was shared by friends, particularly my husband, who opted to run too.

Memories.  I love making them. 

I'm still honoring my "365 days of Thanksgiving" commitment that I made last September.  Today is day 301.  Time flies when you are appreciating things.

Usually, my blog entries consist of humorous anecdotes, stories or life lessons.  I experience something in life and feel led to write about it, in the hopes that it will reach someone out there that may need to hear it.  This one, instead, is more like cramming two and a half months of activity into several paragraphs.  It doesn't necessarily have a "beginning, middle and end" or a moral to take away.

I just wanted to share my joy.  I have lots of it these days.  :-)

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”-- Mark Twain

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Follow Your Feel Good

"If you're happy, if you're feeling good, then nothing else matters." -- Robin Wright Penn

One of the things I have been focusing on these days is "following my feel good".  In the past, I have been many things:  a disordered eater, a know it all, slightly overweight, critical, judgmental, rigid in my thinking, a people pleaser and, perhaps, other labels that escape me at the moment.  All of these tendencies and behaviors shaped me to a certain degree and brought me to where I am today.

Which doesn't have to be a bad thing.


I ignore good, old fashioned common sense (which isn't so "common", but I digress). 

For example...

After I ran the Chicago Marathon last fall, I noticed that my feet were sore.  Well, that's not exactly an earth shattering revelation.  I DID, in fact, run 26.2 miles without stopping.  That will definitely put some wear and tear on your little piggies.

But, then I felt it the next day.  And occasionally during the following week.  And then, the following month. 

Pretty soon, I noticed that my heels were sore first thing in the morning when I got out of bed.  Then, I felt them running downhill, sort of "slapping against" the inside of my running shoes.  Then, I started noticing it was there more than it wasn't.

So, I marched myself into the podiatrists office last November.  He gave me a prescription for Naproxen, an anti-inflammatory.  I took them intermittently and noticed a slight amount of relief.  However, once I stopped taking them, I noticed the sensation returning, which tells me it was a temporary fix at best.

In the past, I would run through aches, pains and discomfort whenever possible.  I felt bound to my sense of duty.  After all, I was always training for SOMETHING, whether it be a 5K or a marathon.  There was always something on the calendar for me to do.  What is the old expression???  Oh yeah:  one person's discipline is another person's compulsion.  I guess I was a *little* compulsive about my training.

However, since the Chicago Marathon has come and gone (10/9/11), there's been nothing on my calendar to train for.  I finally registered for a couple of races, yes, but those aren't until October of 2012.  But, because I felt bound to my sense of duty, I ran 35-50 miles per week all winter and into the spring.

That is, until this week.

I realized that I just have not been enjoying myself out there.  I haven't been looking forward to running.  It almost feels like being in a good relationship gone slightly sour.  In fact, the mere thought of it tends to exhaust me.  Why would I want to put my shoes on and run when my feet hurt???  Between my feet and the unrelenting wind, there really hasn't been much incentive for me to go out and pound the pavement.

To some, this may seem like an admission of Cyndi Lou being lazy and unmotivated.  To me, this is a HUGE sign of growth and maturity.


Because I am focusing on FOLLOWING MY FEEL GOOD!!!!  When I insist on engaging in activities and behaviors that fly in the face of this philosophy, I am not honoring my body or my spirit!  I am just...punishing myself.  And, for what?

For speed?
For conditioning?
For weight loss???

First of all, I know about and believe in muscle memory.  If I take a week, a month or even a few months off to recuperate and rest, I'll be able to retrain better and faster than a newbie just learning the sport.  Secondly, I'm just not all that concerned about my weight anymore.  I feel and look better (feet being the exception, here) at 40 than I ever have.  Between whatever exercise I have been doing (weight training, spinning, walking), eating delicious, healthy food most of the time and my AdvoCare supplements, I'm at the top of my game, physically.   

This is a HUGE breakthrough for me.  I'm coming to terms with the need for rest and I feel secure and strong in the skin that I'm in.  Now that I have worked this out in my head, I know I need to take the proper care of myself.  A very good friend of mine is a physical therapist and I told her about my sore feet over dinner.  She told me that would be easy enough to fix in 6-8 visits.  All I need to do is get a referral from my primary care physician and, voila.  I'm on the road to recovery.  It doesn't matter how long it takes.  Running will always be there.  Life is too short to do something unless you're 100% happy doing it.

I will no longer settle for less.

I love this new attitude of mine.  I love feeling free and unencumbered by cognitive distortions and false premises.  I love being able to differentiate between WANTING to do something and feeling like you HAVE TO or SHOULD.  

This fit and fabulous 40 year old will certainly choose the former over the latter.

"Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out." -- Michael Burke


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...

Anyone that has ever had a penchant for daytime soap operas (a dying genre, but that's neither here nor there) probably remembers the opening to the longtime serial drama "Days of our Lives", which has been on the air since 1965.  A soap opera is defined as "an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers, as sponsors and producers.  The main characteristics that define soap operas are "an emphasis on family life, personal relationships, sexual dramas, emotional and moral conflicts; some coverage of topical issues; set in familiar domestic interiors with only occasional excursions into new locations." (Courtesy of Wikipedia).

Most of the time "real life" often pales in comparison.  People are born, go to school, get a job, get married and have children.  There are some variations here and there, but you get the idea.  Because of this, many people would tune in and live vicariously through the adventures, trials and tribulations of their favorite characters.  Kind of like an "escape from reality", so to speak. 

And then, there are those few occasions when you experience something completely out of the ordinary, something, dare I say it, "soap opera-esque" (I'm inventing new words again). 

Such an occasion has recently presented itself. 

But, before "the big reveal", a little background.

When I was a teenager, wearing eyeliner that was too heavy and skirts that were too short, my mom sat me down to have a talk (no not "the talk"...been there, done that).  She shared with me her struggles growing up that culminated in two pregnancies when she was a very young adult.  It was a difficult time in her life, where she felt alone, disconnected and unloved.  To make a long story short, she gave birth to both of those children and put them up for adoption.  At the time, it was the most responsible decision she could make as she was in no position to care for them herself.  This was the early 1960's.  She was a single woman who didn't have the means to support one child, let alone two.  When she told me that story, I remember starting to cry, because I could imagine how painful it was for her.  I am sure it wasn't easy for her to share that, but I believe she did, because she wanted more for me.  She knew I wanted attention and love, much like she did.  However, she also knew that the trashy clothes and the porn star makeup was NOT the right way to go about getting it.

Fast forward to March 25, 2012. 
My phone rings. 
It's my mother.  

We have small talk for a minute or so.  Then, she says that there are couple of things she thought she should talk to me about.  My knee jerk reaction was to say, "please tell me you're not getting married again!", to which she, thankfully, replied, "no" and even offered up a chuckle or two.  It was then that she told me one of the children she had, a boy, found her.  He did a little searching on google, found her email address and sent her a note.  They ended up speaking on the telephone and connecting on facebook. 

It took me by surprise, not because I didn't know about it, but because, in that moment, things changed.  For years, I had known that my mother had two children out of wedlock and, somewhere out there, I had half-siblings.  But now, one of them had a name.  And a face.  And a family. 

It was a lot to take in.  I'm sure it shook my mother up a bit too, but in a good way.  After all these years, she gets to revisit that part of her life and change her story.  She gets to take the benefit of her experience and maturity and reconnect with her biological child.  It's not that she has to "make up for lost time" or "right a wrong".  She just gets a second chance.  We all are deserving and worthy of those, aren't we?

I, for one, am happy for her and for him.  It's made me think an awful lot about my own relationship to my family.  I'm not one for regrets, because no matter how much guilt or regret you may feel, it does nothing to change the course of history.  But, it certainly has caused me to ponder my perspective, which tells me that, perhaps, my perspective needed a little changing.  I've always known who I was and where I came from and have taken that gift for granted.  My half-brother went many years without that information. 

Since hearing the news, I've decided to reach out to the newest, yet oldest, member of my family.  It's still very new and there will be a huge adjustment period for everyone involved (his family, my mother, my brother), but I'm optimistic.  I don't know what the future holds, but I'm okay with that.  I'm okay with taking it one day at a time.

Like sands through the hourglass, so are days of our lives.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My own March Madness

"Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama." -- John Lennon

It's March 13, 2012.

This time last year, I was in full steam ahead training mode for the 2011 Boston Marathon.  My long run was up to about 18 miles.

I was also a blogging fool, having composed four posts each in the months of January and February and three up to this date in March.

Back to the present day:  my longest run of 2012 is a mere 13.1 miles and I've only blogged three times.  This entry serves as my fourth.

What the French, Toast?

Well, for the first time in several years, I am not registered for a spring marathon which feels...very odd.  After going around and around this numerous times in my brain, I've decided it's best that I just focus on building a strong base.  Sure, I can jump into a 26.2 miler in April or May, but to what end?  I already know I can "do it".  It's not like I have anything to prove.  When I do commit to something, I like to be as prepared as possible, so I know I'll perform at a very high level.  That matters to me.  I won't half ass a marathon.

I can always do other stuff.

Perhaps, I'll run some shorter races with greater frequency, since I'm not married to a training schedule at the moment.  Plus, the spring countdown has been reduced to T minus 7 days, which means more daylight and warmer temperatures.  These conditions make running longer and more often much more palatable.

That explains the some of the madness.  What's up with the blogging?

Maybe this is just a simple case of cause and effect.  Since I'm not really "training", I don't have a lot of running stories to tell or, more importantly, I don't deem them newsworthy enough to share.  I have been running 4-6 days a week since the first of the year, but I haven't really had a clear purpose.  Some days, I got out there out of habit.  Other days, I went for the pure joy of the movement.  Even though this isn't strictly a "running blog", the subject does dominate.

Having said that, I've decided it's time to do SOMETHING.  I signed up for the Hartford 1/2 Marathon, which takes place on 10/13/12.  I'll be revisiting the site of my first and only DNF in a 26.2 mile race.  However, I have no fear.  Those demons were quieted long ago.  Some new and fun friends who live in CT will be running.  It will be a first for a couple of them and I'm excited to be a part of this experience.  You always get a renewed sense of enthusiasm when you share a race with a newbie.

In addition, I registered for the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in upstate NY.  I blame Ted (I can never say no to him).  The race is on 10/7/12...which JUST so happens to be six days prior to the Hartford Half.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Conventional wisdom would suggest that this is not the "smartest thing" in the world to do, but, sometimes, you've just gotta throw caution to the wind and say "f**k it". 

That's exactly what I'm going to do.

Sometimes, you have to go to extremes in order to find your balance. 
Sometimes, you have to have a little madness to recapture your sanity.

"Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting." -- John Russell


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fascination of the Abomination

"But it kills me, this fascination with celebrities' personal lives." -- Calista Flockhart

I wasn't going to do it.

I said I wouldn't go there.

Well, I say lots of things.

At the risk of beating a dead horse (pun not really intended), the passing of Whitney Houston, 48, has stirred up a lot of chatter.  The news came over the wire sometime on Saturday.  In mere minutes, my facebook news feed turned into a virtual shrine to Whitney, complete with youtube clips, RIP postings emphasizing the "tragic nature" of her passing and reminiscing about how much people loved her songs. 

I was not a fan of Whitney, personally or professionally, so I didn't participate in any of this stuff.  My only reference to her passing was the following day, where I asked if people would use it as an incentive to live more meaningfully.  The one fb status update from my friend, Kris, was what sort of spawned this idea of mine to blog about it.  She was "super curious" to know why so many people who, up until her untimely demise, had never posted a "video, comment, mention, or indication of caring" are posting RIP messages and videos all over the place.  I chuckled and replied, "because people are fascinated with dead celebrities".

Don't believe me?  iTunes has her rendition of "I Will Always Love You" as #3 in the top ten singles listing, which appears on the soundtrack of "The Bodyguard", a movie in which she co-starred with Kevin Costner.

In 1992.

Twenty years ago.

See what I mean?  We're like rubbernecking motorists who slow down at a traffic accident, creating miles of gridlock behind us, hoping to catch a glimpse of...of what?  Blood?  Decapitation??  

We talk of the "tragedy" of "all that talent going to waste".  We bemoan the fact that another impressionable young lady (her daughter, Bobbi Kristina) lost her mother too soon.  And then, we actually get ANGRY!  Yes, I said it...angry!  How dare they be less than perfect??  How dare they fall prey to the issues that hundreds and thousands of regular folks deal with on a daily basis???

No wonder they crumble.  No wonder they fall from grace.  They will never be able to live up to our expectations because our expectations are unrealistic.  They are flesh, blood and bone, just like we are.  We get pissed off because we're the ones who want someone to worship.  When our idols fall short, we become disenchanted.

People who crave the spotlight, like celebrities, derive a great deal of their self-worth from their adoring public.  When the applause stops, or album/ticket sales drop off, it's very debilitating to their self-concept.  Our love affairs with the so called "beautiful people" are so conditional and superficial.  

Who was Whitney Houston?

I didn't know the woman personally.  But, my guess?

She was a daughter, wife, and mother who loved to sing.  She had fortune, fame, and experienced the pitfalls of both.  She never learned how to be complete.  She never learned how to fully love and accept herself for who she was.  She defined herself by the the gold/platinum records, the movie roles, the concert sales and the famous musician husband.

All of that and it STILL wasn't enough, was it?

What can we learn?

That we are all just people.  We all put our pants on one leg at a time.  It just so happens that some of us get to buy some REALLY expensive pants because of our gifts, talents or standing in life.

Money.  Fame.  Celebrity.  

Those things do not make you immune from the need to love yourself.  

"I try to keep a balance. I actually believe that children want normal parents, they don't want celebrities or important parents or anything different from all the other parents. " -- Linda Hamilton


Friday, January 27, 2012

Cyndi Lou, Cyndi Lou, Wherefore Art Thou?

"It is good to feel lost... because it proves you have a navigational sense of where "Home" is.  You know that a place that feels like being found exists.  And maybe your current location isn't that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it." -- Erika Harris

Today is January 27, 2012.

This is only my SECOND blog entry of the year.

I was going through my email the other day clicking on links to other people's blogs (of all things).

And then, it occurred to me the other day that I couldn't remember the last time I blogged.  
Weird, right?  I mean, I was on a ROLL.  What happened to my rambling?  No rants or rebuilding??

And the running!  Oh, what of the RUNNING???

Well, there's been a little bit of everything thrown in there, but perhaps not as much as I'm accustomed to.  I figured I'd end the three week blogging layoff by exploring "the 4 R's" that comprise my blog's title and exploring how I feel about each one.

Here goes...


I'm pretty sure I still do my fair share of that, as I've been told that I could talk a dog off a meat wagon.  But, as I go through life and traverse the road to personal growth, I've learned the importance of saying LESS and listening MORE.  This does not come easy for me as I like to "blah, blah, blah".  I love to be the center of attention and I love to flex my "know it all muscles" whenever possible (I know that sounds pretty arrogant, but it's true).  However, this expression has come to mind lately:  God gave you TWO ears and ONE mouth, which means you should listen twice as much as you talk.  Hmmmmm.  Makes sense, doesn't it?  I mean, I wonder, just how much good stuff have I been missing out on because I don't want to shut my yap?  I suppose the beauty of blogging is that it's like my one woman show, right?  My own personal monologue?  If I have TWO ears, ONE mouth, and TEN fingers, well, then, the sky's the limit!!!  Blog on, Cyndi Lou.


Defined:  To speak or write in an angry manner; rave.  To utter or express with violence or extravagance.  A speech or piece of writing that incites anger or violence.


I think the only word of value there would be "extravagance".  I don't like to think of myself as "chronically" angry, and I certainly don't want to incite anger or violence in my blog.  I think the world is angry enough without me adding to it.  But, perhaps, it's possible to keep the rants "playful"; you know, "rant and rave" about...oh, happy stuff.  I can rave, utter and express with extravagance.  I believe Abraham-Hicks calls that a "Rampage of Appreciation".  Yeah.  That sounds good.  Maybe I can rant like THAT.


That's a process that is just ongoing, or at least it should be.  I worked for a trucking company in my first year of college and my most vivid memory was something my boss at the time said to me:  when you're green, you're growing; when you're ripe, you rot.  Quite the picture, eh?  Pretty powerful statement, isn't it?  Will we ever come to completion?  Will we see all of our hopes and dreams come to fruition, never daring to hope and dream again???  I suppose that, if and when that happens, that would mean we would transition out of this time space reality once and for all.  You're never going to get it done and you can't get it wrong (also a tasty Abraham-Hicks nugget).  Just when you manifest one of your desires, you'll feel another one pop up almost instantly.  We're not meant to stand still; to be static and unchanging.  There will always be breaking down and building up to do.  At least while we draw breath.

In 2011, I ran over 2,300 miles.  It was a personal best for me.  I ended up averaging +/- 45 miles per week.  I tend to be a creature of habit.  Once I get into a routine, I feel duty bound to it.  I assume a sense of responsibility to adhere to the schedule.  I have been doing two marathons a year since 2008.  My life has been repeated cycles of train for 20-24 weeks and then rest/recover for 4-6 weeks.  Lather, rinse and repeat.  Since I ran the Chicago Marathon, I've been sorta winging it.  I did that half-hearted bid to train for Honolulu, but it didn't "feel right", so I abandoned ship.  Since then, I've allowed life to just "happen".  If I have an opportunity to go away for a romantic weekend with my husband, I go...even if it means missing out on a Sunday morning run.  If I have an opportunity to attend an out of state conference (i.e. AdvoCare Success School), I go...even if it means not running for two days in a row.  In the past, these things would have me unbearably rattled.  Now, they just...are what they are.  Running will always be there and I believe in my heart that I will always love and have a passion for it.  But, maybe, I need to add a 5th "R" to my blog:  RELAXING.  When I decided to stop resisting the flow of life and live more "moment to moment", something shifted in my personality.  I feel the old "all or nothing/perfectionist" part of me has been minimized considerably.  I think I like it.
To sum it all up, maybe I don't rant, ramble, rebuild and run like I used to, but maybe I'm just learning how to rant, ramble, rebuild and run better.  Maybe I'm not as "lost" or "disconnected" from who I think I am at all.  

Maybe I just haven't finished shedding my skin yet.

"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." -- Henry David Thoreau

Friday, January 6, 2012

Random Acts of Rambling

The next time you come in contact with an angry person, picture them not as cantankerous, ornery or mean.  Instead, see them as the frightened child they really are.  That way, you will feel only compassion towards them, as opposed to becoming defensive.  Anger originates from fear, and 99.9% of the time, that fear has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, but EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THEM.

I wasn't supposed to be a healthy, strong athlete.  At age 20, I was a cigarette smoker who didn't exercise and was toting around more weight than I needed.  Isn't it nice to know that we aren't "supposed" to be anything forever?  We get to choose all day, every day; minute by minute, moment by moment.  I am not ashamed of who I was and where I came from.  I am just very proud of who and where I now am.

The beauty of forgiving and loving someone?  It doesn't have to be reciprocated for you to benefit from it.  I had a personal relationship come to a screeching halt recently.  At first, I got angry and tried the old "talk to the hand/screw you" routine.  And then, I got real.  I decided I was hurt.  Not only was I hurt, but it was okay that I be hurt.  When you lose something or someone important, the only thing to do is grieve.  So, I grieved the loss of my friend.  I felt the sadness.  I let myself go through all of that.  I have since forgiven.  I continue to forgive everyday, because I choose to.  And I will love.  Even if I am not loved back.

Tis the season to be busy...fa la la la la la laaaaaa.  I work in the fitness industry and "tourist season" is in full swing.  We sort of joke about it since it's the same situation every year:  people come in droves only to leave the same way weeks, or days, later.  I love what I do and I'm thankful that I'm in the position to help people.  I can help you with an exercise plan.  I can help you find healthy food to eat.  I can help you find ways to take better care of yourself.  But, I can't fix YOU.  I can't fix the deep seated anxiety, fear, or self-loathing.  Only YOU can do that.  Only YOU can fix what is broken.  Until that happens, my hands are tied.

Today is my first early shift back to work.  I have been enjoying sleeping as long as I want, without having to set the alarm.  I have had lots of animosity towards the 6-2ish shifts that I am scheduled for.  I prefer waking up when my body says it's time and doing my run/workout before I start my day.  In times past, I *probably* took it out on the members a teeny, weeny bit, without meaning to (i.e. what the f**k is wrong with you???  Why can't you sleep until a decent hour like a normal person?!?!?) But, it is as it should be, and this is when I am needed to be here.  So, my cell alarm rang at 4:49 a.m. (what can I say?  I'm quirky).  I hit snooze once, then got up, dressed, brushed my teeth, splashed water on my face, made my spark and left the house between 5:10-5:15.  I got here 10 minutes before opening and had plenty of time to get myself settled.  As I began to settle in, I noticed something:  I felt light, calm and relaxed.  I was...happy.  I have been in a good mood all day.  This has been an unexpected blessing.  Maybe I should just start expecting blessings more often. 

Quote of the Day:

"May the sun shine, all day long, everything go right, and nothing wrong.  May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true!" -- Irish Blessing