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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Thirstin' To Run

As I approach my first half marathon my training is in full effect! In fact, I completed my first 10 miler this past week-end. I must say, I was proud of myself, I had never ran 10 miles in my life. I am not a runner, though I consider myself to be in great physical condition, running is just too....boring, too...mental for me. So, I guess it's natural to have questioned myself a hundred times as to why I would choose to run ANY race.

Why did I chose to run 13.1 miles anyway? Why would I deliberately decide to tackle a challenge I really had no passion for? Well, here is the answer: It's in Disney World, and it's the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Hello! Yep, I can totally run around in Disney World. I must say, the idea of running this race was nothing short of a personal epiphany. As I drove home from teaching a kick-boxing class this past May, I begin to tell myself I needed a new challenge, a goal, something that needed training and preparation. For some reason I was restless about finding this said challenge. Then, at a red light, it happened, "I should run the princess"! I didn't know when it was, or any of the details surrounding the event, I just knew that was what I should do. As soon as I got home, I was on the computer looking for information. I came across the promotional video and I was done! That video had cemented in me the desire to run this race. I was so excited I felt like I could have ran it right then! I call my sister, fill her in, send her the link for the video, and insist we do this thing! She's in! Now, how to sell my husband? First, he says no....then, decides it's a matter of me going to Disney without him...ha ha...truth comes out. Finally, I sell him on it, and at the end of the day....the whole family, plus my sister, will be Disney bound!

So, the months go by and with five weeks to go I finally start actually running, seven weeks after my proposed training schedule advises I start. EEK! It has been hard trying to fit in my runs with teaching my group fitness classes five days a week. I do get a work-out, but I am so conditioned for them they barley make a dent in trying to train for a half-marathon. You must condition for that too! As of now, I still only fit in two runs a week. And I confess, I am a bit stressed about the whole thing. I am so competitive, but I don't want to miss out on all the on course activities because I am worried about my time. I must get pictures with the characters slated to be at every mile! I guess that's where the training comes in!

I have had a few more epiphany's in the process. 1) I run like I teach my classes. 2) My husband and I should go alone and run the Wine & Dine in October. 3) I actually LIKE running, it's not sooo boring. 4) I feel fantastic- maybe it's the endorphins talking?

With that, there are some other confessions too! I would be lying if I didn't say I know exactly where the trees and bush's are that hide me (for a quick break), and I would be lying if I didn't say I was hoping that light up ahead would turn green (again, quick break). And lastly, I would be lying if I didn't say; I am so excited to gain the personal statisfaction of accomplishing my self-imposed new challenge in the "Happiest Place on Earth"!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th Blessing of Christmas

Well, my ambition got the best of me. I really had plans to flip the script the 12 days prior to Christmas with my 12 Blessings of Christmas. But, here I am a week into the new year and still trying to get it done. So, lets consider the positive, I am nothing if not determined to finish what I started. Even if it's a wee bit late.

The Blessing of Giving
Don't you just love to watch the look on peoples faces when they open a gift from you? There is nothing more gratifying than finding that perfect gift. Even the anticipation of waiting to give it is part of the fun. And have you noticed the gifts you are the most excited to give also get the most attention in the wrapping? For that moment you become the bearer of happiness, the bearer of joy, the bearer of excitement! Not only that, but what about the happiness, joy, and excitement you receive as the giver? Well, that is the blessing of Giving. Giving by it's very nature is the offering of yourself. It can be in the form of a gift, a favor, a task, a service, or even a smile. So give freely of yourself and the gift will be yours!

Here is an interesting tid-bit from Germany, since my lineage suggests I am three-quarters German ;) German history indicates children received Christ-bundles as gifts. They usually included things such as: a coin, a toy, a tasty treat, an article of clothing and a small stick as a reminder toward good behavior. Hum.... in the South we call those switches!

The Blessing of Family
You will never hear the phrase "going home" as much as you do at Christmas. To "go home" for Christmas is to go home to family. For many it's a natural rite to journey back to the comfort and joy that awaits them. It's a natural urge we satisfy in returning to our roots-an urge to celebrate the passing of time. We once were the children passing out the gifts, running a muck, without a care in the world. Now, we are the adults, making the food, wrapping the gifts, trying to maintain the images we have in our minds of how things "used" to be. So, let those little ones run through the house, a cookie in each hand, with rosy cheeks, and twinkling eyes. For it will all but be gone before you know it.

The Blessing of Peace
Christmas eve has finally arrived, along with the magic that transcends into the dawn of Christmas Day. All the preparations of this Yuletide path of been completed and now it's time for an shift in attitude. It's time to give your heart over to the blessing of Peace! Take time now from hassle and haste, time from trouble and worries, and time from everyday tasks that numb you to the miracle of your very existence. This is a time of celebrating the birth of Jesus- and the birth of you! Let it be a day of gentle thoughts, considerate voice, and patience. Let it be a day of Worship, family, and contentment. Let it be a day of peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

The Blessing of Hope
Now that Christmas is winding down, we begin to focus our sights on another bright occasion poised just ahead. A time of new opportunity awaits, and with it comes new Hope. Fresh from the spiritual enrichment of Christmas, there is no better time to prepare ourselves for the journey of a new year. It's a time of taking inventory of the past year and "resolving" to do better in the next. We have a heart full of Faith and confidence in ourselves and others and in the future that lies before us.
                                                      Tomorrow stands before us now
                                                        What will the New Year bring?
                                                      It brings the song that's in our hearts
                                                         And the tune we choose to sing.
                                                                                  - T.J Mills
A little black-eyed peas couldn't hurt either!