thriveon

The Detour

“I used to have all these plans and think ‘Ah, I have my whole life figured out’,

but then I realized no matter how much I plan: life happens!

So I find myself living day to day trying to do my best, 

embracing every moment as a learning opportunity

and chance to get to know myself a little more.”
– Q’orianka Kilcher

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I’m guessing that after reading the title of this post, most of you have figured out the direction this is going.  No, I’m not pregnant.  Yes, I am temporarily out of commission.  It’s kind of a bummer, but I was really ready for a break anyway.  Besides, another week and change and I’ll be back to running, swimming, and cycling (on the trainer at least…)

Let me start by saying that I DID NOT over do it at the REV3.  I one hundred percent went easy that day and did not push myself.  I may be a glutton for punishment, but I’m not stupid (ok, not most of the time… at least when it comes to injury prevention anyway).  I knew I was in new territory, so I raced according to my goal- which was simply to finish.  I went slow and enjoyed the experience.  When I crossed the finish, I still had plenty of juice left in my legs.  I felt strong and knew I could have covered more mileage if I had to.  This was not particularly surprising considering I had actually trained for a half.

It was a nice feeling to cross a finish not completely spent for a change.  I didn’t want to end up sick or dehydrated so I was careful to get plenty of calories and liquid out on the course.  In all honestly, it was probably the best I had ever felt at the completion of a race.  

The hubs and our friend (who both biked out to meet me) made it home well ahead of me due to the post race traffic and had already ordered lunch when I arrived.  I still felt great after eating and showering.  It wasn’t until a few hours later after dinner that I started to feel really crummy.  At first, I thought I was simply getting a migraine from being out in the sun all day.  I tried taking a nap, but woke up overwhelming nausea and epigastic pain.  All I could think was “This is not going to be good”.  I sent the hubs to get some zofran hoping I could avoid a trip to the emergency room, but taste of the tabs almost sent me running back to the bathroom all over again.  I decided that if this is what morning sickness is like then there’s probably a good reason I’m not pregnant yet.

When the pain and nausea had not improved an hour later I finally broke down and had the hubs bring me to the hospital.  I gave the surgical team a heads up that I was headed in and pretty sure my gallbladder would need to come out.  I did have luck on my side in that the surgeon oncall that night was one the best that I work with. (Thank God for small favors!) 

As it turned out, I was right.  My gallbladder was the culprit and needed to go.  This was no great shock to me.  However, I was struck by whatImage a coincidence it was that my gallbladder attack happened only hours after completing my first tri.  Here I had worked my butt off over 10 months and managed to make it through the whole race feeling strong before my symptoms started.  That was an epic #WIN in my book! What’s more, had I not downgraded to the Olympic course, I would have raced on Sunday instead and would have missed out all together!  

Obviously I considered this the universe at work in my favor as repayment for every ounce of good karma in my life.  Can you even imagine how devastated I would have been to have invested all that time and energy only to miss out on my big chance?  It’s just too depressing to even think about.  I am so beyond grateful for whatever triathlon guardian angel hooked me up on this one.  I am forever in your debt!  

As far as the surgery itself, it may strike you as funny, but I was less nervous in pre-op than I was gearing up for the race!  With the timing of how I got sick and who the surgeon was on call, I just felt like the universe was looking out for me and it was going to be okay.  I can’t even describe the sensation, but I was completely at ease.  There was not even a little part of me that was worried going in.  In fact, I felt incredibly lucky to not only know exactly what was going to happen, but all the staff taking care of me as well. 

It’s hard to be scared when you are surrounded by people who know you and care about your well being.  Every person (ok almost every, but the Emergency Room was legitimately getting slammed so I have to cut them some slack) was so kind and caring throughout my stay.  I really feel blessed to receive the care I did.

The only part I was disappointed about was that I missed volunteering at the REV3 half and my niece’s first birthday.  I guess life happens though.  All I can do at this point is be grateful for everything that went right and just roll with it.  Luckily, my sister was ok with throwing another party for my niece with just immediate family this weekend.  Plus, now that I won’t be able to race in the Griskus Olympic, I should be able to volunteer that course instead.  In terms of taking time off from training, I feel like I have been handling it pretty well.  For one thing, it’s given me a chance to catch up on other things I’ve been neglecting… like writing. 😉  It’s also given me an excuse to slow down for a change.

So that is my story about my slight detour on the path to 70.3… and eventually 140.6.  Luckily I still have my whole life to get there!

#KeepDreaming #ThriveOn

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The Mystery Illness

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

-Christopher Reeve
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Last night I started to get sick again…  Not as back as last time with shaking chills and the whole nine yards, but I can’t seem to keep much in my system. It’s been great in terms of weight loss for Fit Challenge; however, I was not really aiming to lose any weight and this wouldn’t be my preferred method of going about it.  

Speaking of which, Adam and I both had weigh ins again and I am holding steady at exactly 139.2 (for two weeks now- the difference between last week and the week before being that I didn’t work out before hand so I probably weigh even less).  Adam is still under 200. Our challenge was to hold a wall sit for a cumulative time of 15 minutes with two attempts per day (just like the plank challenge).  It took us three days, but we completed the challenge without any issue… per usual.

However, feeling less than stellar and not being able to tolerate much in the way of food has really been hampering my workouts in general recently.  The other day I tried to run, but after 2 miles I was feeling sick and called it quits.  I did still manage to run 15 miles total for the week and got in a over a mile of swimming before the dreaded illness set in.  As far as cycling, I missed spinning on Saturday because the hubs realized when we got there that he forgot his shorts, so those miles were a fail.  In his defense, he did offer to wait for me while I went to class without him, but I didn’t think it’d be particularly fair or fun to go without him.

We also did two workouts with the trainer, and one was pull ups, chin ups, and close grip pull ups (can you picture me brimming with glee as you read this? If not, you don’t read this blog regularly enough… ) with rows, lat pull downs, and back extensions in between.  We used the bands as an assist, which made me feel totally badass (in spite of feeling crummy)… especially now that I only need the green one to do 10 in a row! 🙂  Pull ups, I will OWN you this year!

As far as still being sick, all I can think is it’s a combination of things: being run down from swapping back and forth between regular and night shifts, the stress of being promoted to manager, the dog drama and having to re-home Ellie, my parents having to sell their house and move… the list goes on and on.  Taking all that into consideration, I guess I am actually doing pretty well. 😉

So given all of that and the fact that I was feeling like garbage again this morning, I came home from my session with the trainer and Imagesigned up for another 50K trail ultra in April.  Why?  Well first, who wouldn’t be inspired to go run 30+ miles on brutal trails when they have these kinds of inspirational posters?  Second, I feel like I’ve plateaued and finishing another ultra will help me get back on track to feeling accomplished again.  

Furthermore, my race goals for this year all involved triathlon, but if there’s a chance I may be pregnant it makes it hard to register.  I am not stable on my bike, so that is the one thing I do not want to be doing in a race while pregnant.  The ultra, on the other hand, I think I could handle.  Especially since it’s not that far away and it’s a loop course so I’d have plenty of opportunity to drop out if I needed to for any reason.  Finally, I have already done one, so I know I can do it.  Plus, I have been training consistently since the last one.  If anything, I’m in better shape now.

I suppose that is all my big news for today: still sick and signed up for another ultra…  Totally seems like those two should go hand in hand.  As far as the mystery illness, I am just going to have to find ways to try and relax without exerting myself too much… like blogging and plotting Thriver World Domination. 😉  To me, it’s just another obstacle to work through, and it may be that I just need to start incorporating low intensity weeks into my training schedule.  For now, I’m doing my best to chill out and not worry about it.  After all, I think I have enough on my plate. 

#thriveon

 

 

Cha-Cha-Changes

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.

For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

-Margaret Mead
 
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You may have noticed that the blog (and Facebook page… and Twitter) are looking a bit different these days.  As it turns out, spending a few days too sick to move off the couch gave me a chance to give my social media presence a much needed facelift.  At some point I’d like to have a more professional and unified logo; but for now, I think I did a pretty good job on my own (if I do say so myself… and I do 😉 ).  It’s all part of my master plan for global Thriver domination.  Step 1: personalize social media, Step 2: expand social media presence, Step 3: network with other kick ass peeps, Step 4: write and publish book, Step 5: Thriver Global Domination.   
 
Sounds easy, right?  Okay, but in all seriousness I do want to want to achieve most of those things.  Doing all of them would be nice too. 😉  Why?  Because the more I expand, the more people I can reach.  That means not only having the potential opportunity to inspire and empower other people to achieve their dreams, but also inspiring and empowering other victims of violence.  One of the main reasons I started this blog was to offer hope to those survivors of abuse who still hadn’t found their way back to dreaming and aspiring for a better life.  I also wanted to show the masses that abuse can happen to anyone, and so can a meaningful and fulfilling life after abuse.  This is my outlet to prove that enduring and surviving abuse is nothing anyone should be ashamed of… EVER.  Rather, it should serve as a badge of honor as a testament to just how tough we are as a population.  We didn’t crumble or succumb.  We picked up the pieces and rebuilt our lives after surviving mental and physical warfare.  Who has the ability to wound you better than someone who has a grip on your heart?  No one, that’s who.  Yet, we survived, we endured, and we are here to support each other.
 
I am be one person, but I am someone, and that someone is determined to bring about change.  I may not be able to do much, but IImage can do something.  Maybe my reach will never be global.  Maybe #thrive on will never catch on.  However, if I can impact just a few lives, even a handful, and then they are able to reach a few more people… you can see how far a ripple effect can reach.  As much as I would love to inspire every person on this earth to go chase their dreams and educate every individual on the planet about the dangers and impact of domestic violence, I could settle for even a few.
 
Sometimes I wonder if anyone out there actually reads the content I put into my posts, or whether people just like posts based on the photos.  Then every once in a while I will catch a Facebook post or (more recently) a retweet, and there is a part of me that’s surprised (while my heart sings and does a little happy dance in my chest).  Then again, that is the goal, right? To reach people.  All I can do is hope… and work, and continue to pour my heart and soul into this blog… and then hope some more that somewhere it is making a difference for someone. 😉
 
In an effort to expand my empire reach, I have actually started to learn how to use my Twitter account @RunningThriver.  You may have noticed my fancy new Twitter widget…  I also have started an Instragram account, but am still a LOONNNG way off from getting the hang of using it.  I did manage my first post tonight… it was a picture of my dinner.  Uber exciting, right?  I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have kids to embarrass with my lack of tech savviness yet. 😉 
 
I also applied to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador because sweat and pink sounds like a perfect combination to me.  I also think the fact that they are all about kicking ass and supporting and empowering women is pretty groovy too.  Oh, and a bunch of my Toughie Sistas at Tough Chik are doing it, so that’s enough proof for me that they must be pretty darn awesome.  I’m pretty sure they need to accept me too because I already did a post on rejection… just sayin.  
 
ImageLastly, I recently got an email from Run Inspired (LOVE their website… Running, Inspirational Stories… I am soooo sold!) that said something to the effect of “YOU ARE INSPIRING!” (I’m paraphrasing).  Apparently, this love affair is mutual, and I was invited to fill out a questionaire for their site.  Take that Fitfluential! Someone else thinks I’m inspiring, so there! jk  Joking aside, I will keep you all posted on how that goes.
 
In the meantime, I would like to invite you all to share your thriver stories.  I want to start sharing some on the blog and eventually want to start a permanent page for them.  You can include your name and pictures if you wish or write anonymously.  You can even include links back to your own pages.  What I want is to build a Thriving community here.  You don’t necessarily have to be a survivor of abuse.  Anyone choosing to thrive instead of just surviving life is welcome. 🙂
 
You can submit your story to runningthriver@gmail.com.
 
Survivors of abuse can learn more about Susan Omilian’s  “My Avenging Angel Workshops” and how to become a Thriver here.
 
#thriveon

A(n Epic) Day of Rejection

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”

-Bo Bennett
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Every once in a while you just have one of those epically bad days where everything culminates at once.  Yesterday was one of those for me.  It started with being ridiculously sick the past few days; so sick in fact, that I was living on jello and gatorade for days and too weak to walk more than 10 feet.  I missed one day of work but could not find anyone to cover my night shift.  Thus, I headed in for a night of call totally depleted and still not well enough to tolerate solid food.

I made it through the shift ok.  I even had an opportunity to make a difference for a few people (something I never take for granted).  Then I ended up staying in the hospital post call because I had a meeting in the afternoon (and decided it was be safer to sleep after a 15 hour shift than drive straight home anyway).  After a 3ish hour nap, I woke to an email that the person who was interested in adopting Ellie (my bully who needs to be re-homed) was now backing out.  This was a huge blow because it was the umpteenth time this had happened.  Each time it’s an emotional roller coaster:  We get excited for Ellie and sad at the same time, hopeful for some resolution and closure- only to have the other party get cold feet at the last minute.  I feel like I am dating these people, as if I am continually getting lead on and then dumped.  And the excuse is always the same: after careful consideration, I’m [we’re} just not ready.  It’s the dating equivalent of “It’s not you it’s me”.  All I can do is tell myself that it will all work out eventually, but it’s a hard thing to remember when you are overtired and run down.

ImageIt was on the heels of this news that I got my rejection letter from Fitfluential.  Apparently I am just not “influential” enough for them.  I will say that while I may not have a strong Twitter, Facebook, or Intsagram presence, I do actually have a good amount of blog traffic and easily meet their criteria in that department.  In fact, my blog following has been regularly and steadily expanding.  So here is what I have to say about their rejection: They will be sorry when I’m famous!  That’s right folks.  I didn’t cry over this one.   Cry over losing another home for Ellie, yes.  Cry over someone failing to appreciate how driven, fabulous, and unique I am- um no.  They can get in line with everyone else who has failed to appreciate my awesomeness. 😉

In all seriousness though, I’ve come to a point in my life where personal rejection isn’t much of a blip on my radar.  I have become immune to it, if you will.  People have underestimated me and told me I wasn’t good enough my whole life.  My most epic day of rejection, for example, was when I applied to PA school the first time (yes it took me two application cycles to get in!), and I got my rejection letter from Yale on my birthday.  Yup, nice timing guys!  A few hours later someone shot a window out of my car while it was parked int he driveway.  Happy Birthday to me! That was an epically bad day.  However, a year later they were eating their words and offering me a spot.

Why? Because I am resilient.  Because once I set my heart on something, I don’t give up.

I am surprised that anyone could read or look at this blog and not pick that up about me, but I am not offended.  I am accustomed to being overlooked.  Given the flood of applications they likely receive, it’s probably easy to get caught up in the numbers over the value of the content.  Not to say that people with larger followings don’t have amazing content, but I think it is probably easy for someone like me without a huge Twitter or Intsagram following to get lost in the shuffle so to speak. I will say that Fitfluential is missing out because I have a lot to offer! lol  On the Imagebright side, I don’t need for them to believe in me to believe in myself.  Luckily, my self worth doesn’t come from external sources.  I learned I long time ago to rely on myself for that.

While most people out there take rejection as a bad thing, I find it to be a great motivator.  Go ahead and tell me I can’t or I’m not good enough for something and watch how hard I’ll push to prove you wrong.  I truly believe that if  you don’t have people looking at you like you have three heads, calling you crazy, or telling you your goals are impossible then you aren’t dreaming big enough.  Every person who has ever called me nuts or told me I wasn’t good enough has done me a favor because they are the people who motivated me to work that much harder.  Image

There is no one on this earth who has the right or ability to decide for you what you can and cannot accomplish in your life.  Once you appreciate that, what does rejection really matter? Is it still a bummer? Sure.  Should it ruin your day.  Absolutely not.  If you know who you are, what you want, and what you are capable of, then what do you care what anyone else thinks?

In case you hadn’t guessed, the point of this post was not to be a poor me session.  Rather, it’s chance to illustrate that bad days happen, rejection happens, but how we deal with it is a choice.  I will always choose growth.  I will keep my head up and keep truckin’.

Before I leave this earth, I will have created a Thriver Movement.

#thriveon