Be Better Than You Were Yesterday

As I begin to settle back into being my normal goofy self, that means I can get back into providing some inspirational tea to all of you…I know some of you have been missing it. So, I generated this quote graphic earlier in the week. It is inspired by a few things. One being I got the chance to see Jill Scott perform last week and that is always a treat because she is all about story telling and inspiring. Secondly, remembering quotes from two of my faves Oprah and the late Dr. Maya Angelou about forgiveness and the power of words. Thirdly, applying those thoughts to my everyday life. Running isn’t what I do day in and day out. Hot damn how I wish it were. Running is a part of my life. It is something that has embraced me and given me so much, so much that I can’t repay it. The best way I can repay the gift is to pay it forward. Isn’t that how much of life should operate. We want to be faster, more consistent, and stronger athletes right? What I am going to write about will help keep you focused in your everyday life and will translate into running.

At the end of the day, the only thing I want (and what I enjoy seeing in others) is to be a better person than I was the day before. What does that mean? I’m glad you asked.

Now I know I am not the first person to have said this and I know I won’t be the last. My interpretation goes something like this. Life is all about change and growth. Every day your interactions with others and your personal thought help to shape what type of person you are. Energy is neither lost or destroyed, it is transferred from one party to the next. Energy between people works the same way, it is no different than electricity. It’s science, kids. Anyway, with every interaction or energized thought/action it usually leaves behind a crumb of influence…think of it as an Internet cookie. Some are subtle, while others are giant Mrs. Fields cookie cake size. At the end of the day is it up to you what you do with these crumbs.

Some crumbs are stale, yucky, and unwanted. Think of these as harmful energy and not-so-pleasant interactions. I am staying away from using the word “negative” because sometimes in negativity comes a positive result. For the crumbs that are in the way of you achieving what you want, remove them. File them away as a memory and a lesson and continue to move forward. Don’t waste time and energy on situations you can not change or fix. You can’t save the world…so don’t try. You can have influence to spark which will hopefully create change. But keep this in mind, just because you think something should be a specific color doesn’t always make you right. Yes, that’s a metaphor.

Now good interactions and good crumbs. Keep those. They are typically endearing, things that make you smile, and bring you authentic happiness. You want to collect these and keep them. You also want to share them. A cookie (especially an Oreo double stuff’d) is no good when you can’t share the love. You want to uplift and share these interactions and this energy with the world. When you surround yourself with people that are happy and positive…this energy exchange brings amazing results. Don’t be afraid of it.

In closing, be aware of the your energy and the energy in your space. Protect the happy crumbs and share them with the world. Acknowledge, then file away harmful crumbs and move forward bringing joy to those around you. Share happiness with those who may not be. You never know who you can influence. You may not be able to change the world at large, but you may be able to create a change in someone’s world.  Be better than you were yesterday. Don’t carry grudges and drama into your new day.  No one is promised another day so use each day wisely. Stay blessed my friends.

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Focus On What’s Important In Life

The only thing constant in life is change. This is something I have learned time and time again. Nothing is ever what you think it is. Life and your personal environment is in a constant state of metamorphosis. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change keeps life interesting. If nothing ever happened or changed, then where would the excitement of living life come from?

My life the past few months have been an absolute roller coaster. There have been some deep valley lows, and some intergalactic highs. Sometimes the changes come so rapidly you don’t have time to adjust or absorb from the previous change. And let’s not forget about external influences that can certainly dictate the energy in your space. I’m a pretty busy guy. I’m not one that usually sits still for very long. So with all that life throws at me, how do I keep myself from going to the CooCooBanana house? I focus on what’s important in my life.

Drama, life changes, and unexpected events are going to happen. It’s a fact and there isn’t a thing you or I can do about it. What we can do is adjust our responses to said variables. The actions of others or other forces are powerless without the energy of our reactions/responses.

Whenever I feel myself getting down, or feel I am off balance…I try to adjust my perspective on life and course correct as quick as possible. I count my blessings. I remember that I am an able-bodied person that is blessed to be able to breath and blink my eyes on my own. On a higher level, I am able to run! Taking it a notch further, I am blessed to be able to run in amazing races around the country and have brands that stand behind me! I have a great family support system I couldn’t ask for a better one. I have a job that helps me to realize my dreams. I am healthy. I am here. When I think about all of these things, life doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Now, if you do find yourself getting down or feeling off-centered, it is important to realize what those feelings are. You need to acknowledge them, work through them, and realign your mind, body and spirit. I know this sounds easier that it is, and it certainly is a process…but it’s helped me in the past.

Why am I writing this post? Because I have found that the past few months for me have been full of interesting changes, and observations. I am sure you have your own experiences you could share, but this blog is a great way for me to get my thoughts out and reaffirm some basic principles. This blog is also here for you. So, if my thoughts help you in the slightest…well then I feel as if I have done something good.

Now, time for some meditation before bed. Stay focused on your prize.

What Moves Me!

Everybody is different. Everyone has a different motivation, training or race day ritual, or something that gives them that extra little push they need to keep going. I am no different. I know that I am an odd bird…almost a flappy bird…but I wanted to share with you what it is for me that keeps me motivated and what I focus on when the going gets a little tough.

Enjoy the Moment

Whether it is a training run, or a race…enjoy the moment! Each stride is a gift, so it’s important to remember that I am blessed to be able to participate in this activity. Staying grounded is very important.

Appreciate the Energy

Whether I am alone, with friends, or among perfect strangers there is always energy being transferred between runners and spectators. Some people are nervous, others are anxious, some are determined. I appreciate everything. I may be focused on my run, but if I can see and sense someone needs a ‘You Got This’ I give it to them. When I ran Surf City a couple weeks ago around mile 11 I took a short walk break and a lady who was running stopped and gave me some really awesome encouragement! Never met her before, and she was just so encouraging and nice! That’s what it’s about!!! Positivity and being in the zone!

Zone In On Your Prize

It may be a medal. It may be a PR. It may be reaching a goal or watching your dream come true! No matter what it is, focus in on it if you need an extra push! Some races I have a goal in mind..usually it’s for time. I do my best to maintain a consistent pace and fuel properly so I can reach that goal. Some days it doesn’t happen, and that is perfectly fine. I say to myself…Hey you missed sub 2, bring it in strong for a great 2:05! You may miss and that is okay, but having something to meet you at the finish line is ALWAYS helpful! Maybe your spouse is there with your puppy waiting and all you want is the hug! It may be the satisfaction of finishing! No matter what it is, material or not it is yours and no one can take it away from you!
No matter what it is, just always remember that running is a gift. Running and participating in this great activity is a wonderful blessing. Don’t take it for granted. The community is full of incredible people! Appreciate, praise, and encourage one another! We are all in this together as runners! Run on and be good to one another.

Turning Dreams Into Magic

I’ve never been a person for New Years resolutions, I just do my best to recognize my opportunities and do better tomorrow. Toward the last couple months of 2013, I was sorting through my mind trying to figure out how I could get the optimum result from my running. I wanted my body to look, feel, and perform stronger. I reached that first milestone when I achieved my first sub 2 half marathon in December. I wanted to be faster and more consistent.  So clearly, if you want results you need to modify training regiments.

To kick off my daily fitness goal I will be working with Katrina Elle who will get me whipped into shape through the use of Focus T25! I hope to utilize Kat as an awesome resource to stay motivated and fit! Plus, it’s always a plus when the person you are working with makes you laugh on a daily basis.

Now, today while at th airport (I’m writing this from the plane) I made the decision to reach out to my good friend Holly. Holly is also a fitness pro and an ultra marathoner. I asked if she would be interested in being my running coach, and he accepted…this made me happy 🙂 I know Holly the Squirrel Whisperer in my corner there is no reason I can’t be ready for Javalina Jundred in 2015, or even get Boston qualifying ready! Just typing this I am getting jazzed!

This is a quick post to say this…if you want something bad enough, you need to align yourself with friends, and resources to get there. The running community is filled with incredible people that are ready to help, provide tips, and offer guidance. Even a pro can learn something new. Every run teaches you something because no two are ever the same.

I look forward to kicking off these routines and partnerships when I come home from Dopey Challenge weekend! Here’s to progress and doing better!

Let’s go Further, Faster, Forever!!!!

Start Thinking About Your 2014 Goals

Can you believe that 2013 is just about finished? I know people say that a lot, but really think about it…a lot has happened this year and the year has just flown by! I am never one for a New Year’s Resolution, but what I do try to do is consider the activities and actions that are occurring in my life at any given time and evaluate how to enhance them or remove them. Given that my birthday is in 4 days, I think this is the perfect time to start to reflect and I would love to share some of those thoughts  with you.

2013 has been a spectacular year for me. You (my readers and social media followers) have embraced me and encouraged me to continue to blog and share my stories and adventures with you. For that I am grateful. I have run five marathons this year, including the Chicago Marathon…each marathon was a different experience. I have made some of the most incredible running friends a guy could ask for. I became a brand ambassador for the always awesome INKnBURN and EnergyBits brands. I will have run 16 half marathons by the time the year is over. I have traveled to Nevada, Illinois, and Florida for races. I have had a truly blessed year.

So what’s next? 2014 I want to focus on realizing my dreams. It’s about being consistent, and keeping focus on the dreams. I was to be able to run a consistent half marathon with a finishing time of 1:45. I want to run a marathon and do it with a sub 4:15 time. Given that I am really not that far off, these goals are just aggressive enough to keep me focused and challenged. I want to continue to blog and make you laugh and inspire you. When I have someone stop and tell me that I made them believe that running a marathon was possible…that makes doing this worth it. If this blog touches one person, then I have done my job. I want to focus on quality posts you want to read, I want you to share them with your friends so they can be inspired. In my next post, I will be sharing one of my favorite books of all time with you…and this post may make a bit more sense. At the end of the day, I just want to be happy. So I will do what needs to be done to ensure that continues to happen.

All in all, life is about growing, learning, and sharing. I grow everyday when I learn something new about someone/something, or even myself. I grow when I share my thoughts or experiences, through which I actually find a sense of fulfillment. So that is what I shall continue. So, what are some of your goals for the following year? What are you looking forward to most?

#PoweredByBits Chat Tonight

Tonight is the night! I am co-hosting EnergyBits #PoweredByBits chat on Twitter! The party starts at 5PM PST/ 8PM EST! Join the conversation on Twitter using #PoweredByBits! I will have plenty of Inspirational Tea to go around!

Do you want to win a prize during the chat? Enter now for your chance to win a shiny tin of EnergyBits! The winner will be announced at the end of the chat! Hope to chat with you tonight!

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Continue Through It

Training is difficult. I mean, if running a half or full marathon were easy everyone would do it, right? I will be the first to tell you my biggest problem is consistency! I know I should run further and more frequently, but I have a hard time staying focused. I have since had to take a step back and evaluate my goals, my race calendar, and my choices so that I can perform at optimal levels when race day comes. I know most of us feel that way. It is hard to stick to training programs. It is hard to see others posting about their awesome runs while life got in the way of yours…I get it and can totally relate. But let’s be honest with one another…it isn’t suppose to be easy! Training building character and builds tenacity and endurance! So, the stronger our focus and discipline is, the better our results. This also talks to the important topic of proper fuel and nutrition as well.

I am going to share with you some of the methods and ideas I have found that work for me. I am absolutely sure that none of these are new ideas that I came up with, as we as a civilized people have been studying human behavior for centuries…but that doesn’t mean I can’t try to lend a helping hand 🙂

Remember Why You Started This Journey In The First Place! 

More often that not, people just don’t wake up and start training for a half or full marathon. Usually, some form of inspiration has smacked us across the face and that ignites the inspiration to keep going. I started running to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I had no idea it would take over my life in such an enriching way. As a motivational runner/blogger, I find it is important to progress and get stronger and faster. If I am remaining stagnant and not reaching milestones or achievements…then all my hard work is for not. I can’t have that. I enjoy the work I do on this platform way to much, and awesome folks like you appreciate my words. So, I keep in mind that I want to remain healthy and continue to inspire with the highest level of positive impact possible! You may not be a blogger, but we I know you have your own personal reason for why you run. Don’t loose sight of that. You can always look back to it for comfort and energy to push you through your training run or race.

Surround & Align Yourself With Energy That Compliments Your Goals!

Energy is not lost, it is transferred from one party to the next. Energy comes through people, nature, animals, light, and anything here on Earth, really. Have you ever noticed that when you have someone in your life that brings you down whether directly or indirectly it has an effect on your mood? In order to maintain focus on your goals and dreams, it is critical that you surround yourself with people that are loving and supportive of your dreams and aspirations. I am not suggesting to cut people out of your life that may have a bad day…we all have them including me. But really be aware of the energy that is in your space. It has a huge impact on you as a person…and I want to see you win!

I hope you found these tips helpful! Share them with a friend! What are some things you do to keep you focused and motivated?