Race Report: Just a few of the encouraging words you had for me

I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words of encouragement, your blog comments, e-mails, tweets and Facebook posts kept me going in Napa. Here are just a few of them.
  • You are rocking your own world. You have been faced with more challenges than anyone I know, yet you still keep a positive attitude AND find time to help others in their goals! The thing that amazes me is your honesty. You get frustrated, and you let us know. And you get over it and move on to the next thing. You have been kicking butt for CCFA and taking names, all while going through your own struggles. Well, that finish line is waiting for you. I know in my heart you’ve earned it no matter what happens out there.
  • Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, “Always do what you are afraid to do.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • I am so proud of you for what you have already done. I know you are thinking about Napa as a milestone, but I have already seen enough to know that you can do it. I hope you feel the same confidence in where you are in your training. One of my favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” To me, it’s a two sided quote. If a person is saying one thing but doing another, their actions will negate whatever image they are trying to verbally portray (this is an “all talk, no action” kind of thing). If a person is doing great things, they can lead by example… no words are necessary. You are doing an AMAZING job at the latter interpretation. You are doing so many great things Amy, and are an inspiration to others to want to become better versions of themselves. As you cross that starting line in Napa, do so knowing that all of us back home are cheering for you and sending all the positive vibes we can muster. And, as you cross the finish line (whether it’s in less than 4 hours or more than 8 hours)… soak it all in. Because you’ll never forget that feeling of accomplishment.
  • The only quote I can think of is from the Simpsons when Mr. Burns had a softball team prior to the last game.  I hope you find this inspiring: “So I want you to remember some inspiring words that someone else might have told you over the course of your lives, and go out there and win!”
  • My favorite inspirational phrase to repeat when races get tough is, “Pain is temporary.” When you feel like you don’t want to go on, just think of how great it will feel to cross the finish line, and all the people you have inspired and helped along the way. The race will be over soon but the accomplishment will last a lifetime.
  • What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. You can do this! And sometime in the future when you’re on a bus being carted to your first full marathon, you’re going to think back on this day and remember how nervous/scared/anxious you were and KNOW that you got thru it!  There’s going to be a lot going on around you. The big races have a different vibe and when you finally settle in to your pace, you’re already going to be a few miles in. When you’re surrounded by that many people (3000! its sold out!), in an new place, you have a lot of things to distract you from the butterflies. Enjoy the runners around you, listen to their chatter at first (before you plug in), take in the scenery and try to just enjoy the experience. Don’t worry about your time. You don’t want to walk away from this and not really remember all the things you just saw because you were concentrating so much on your time. Enjoy it. You will finish. You can do this. You’ve already done it, if not all at one outing, in a couple together. When the pack breaks up, you’ll be at mile 2 or 3. You’re still going to have lots of people around you. Feed on their energy and just walk. Just walk. You’ll get to the end soon enough. Think of other, harder things you’ve done for 4 hours…like moving (sucky) or house cleaning (sucky). This is so completely on the other spectrum – you’re in FRIGGIN WINE COUNTRY! You’re with people who have a common goal. You’re raising money for a cause you believe in. You’ve worked hard to get here! Look how much you’ve accomplished so far. You. Can. Do. This. And we’ll be waiting for your pics with that beautiful smile when you come thru on the other side!
  • Here are some classic quotes from running writer and speaker John Bingham: “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” “It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination.” “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” “As an athlete, when you least expect it, you may find yourself standing on the threshold of an accomplishment so monumental that it strikes fear into your soul. You must stand ready, at any moment, to face the unknown. You must be ready to walk boldly thru the wall of uncertainty.” “For me, like so many others, running is the answer. Out on the road it is just you, the pavement, and your will.” “What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.”
  • Remember:  “I can do everything through HIM who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13  and Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” All I can say is, “Thank you!” from the bottom of my COLON!

Mermaid or Whale?

I know, I know. Those lame e-mail forwards, right?! Well, this one found its way to my inbox and I knew I had to share it with you all. I don’t know who wrote this anecdote (and I searched Google for like 20 minutes), so if you do know, please let me know.

Recently, in a large French city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tanned woman appeared in the window of a gym.

It said: “This summer do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?

A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins, stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.

They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don’t exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex?  Therefore they don’t have kids either. Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.

PS: We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a coffee with my friends. With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.  So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, “Good gosh, look how smart I am!”

Perhaps this is where the term “smartass” came from?