Category Archives: Reasons

Motivation Monday – Letter to My Future Self

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I’m not feeling too sore today!  Big encouragement considering the miles logged yesterday.  I’m treating today as a break from running but I’ve already taken a Spin class at school to keep the muscles moving, and am hoping for a yoga and stretching session tonight!

Write a Letter to Yourself

In November I collaborated with fellow blogger and running pupil Sharon (check out her blog Midlife Moments) on a creative writing project.  We thought it would be clever to write letters to ourselves – she to her past 25 year old self, and me to my future 50 year old self.  I’ve been trying to come up with a creative and running-related way to share them with you and I think I figured it out on that 19 miler yesterday!

Sometimes it’s hard to think of the benefits your efforts today can provide for you beyond this day, this week, even this year.

Today, I encourage you to take that first step towards health and fitness (even if it’s just lacing up your shoes to think about gettin’ a sweat going!) and think about yourself in 25 years.  If you continue on the path you’re on, will you have the kind of lifestyle that you want?  I know for me and my knees, these marathons need to be few and far between 🙂

Stay tuned to read Sharon’s letter to herself 25 years ago but for today, here’s my letter – I always love to hear your thoughts, and please share with me what you’d write to yourself in 25 years!

November, 2012

Dearest Jessica,

If you are reading this, congratulations!   You have made it to “mid-life.”  Your 25 year-old self is very curious about what your life is like as she sits here in a coffee shop in Austin, Texas with the path ahead of her completely open.  The possibilities and uncertainty are exhilarating and terrifying.  These past three months we have never felt so alone, confused, free or lost in our short life.  Don’t forget these days, they are shaping the person you are right now, and they were tough for you.  Fun, but tough (remember that when you encounter girls in their mid-twenties.  You may be looking at them thinking you know how to do it, but try to remember how confused and isolated by possibility you felt at this time in your life).  Give them a smile or words of encouragement because they are looking at you to show them they can make it.  And not only make it to 50 but thrive.

I hope you’ve learned how to chop an onion.

I’m sure you’re possibly feeling old and maybe even a little senile but stop that.  You’ve had 25 additional years of life, a privilege denied to many.  I imagine the past 25 years have had some incredible celebrations and accomplishments.  Perhaps you’ve completed the goals I have for you at this moment in our life – to run a half-marathon in every state (we’re sittin’ pretty at 9 states right now), to write a book (not sure about what yet, but you’ve recently had a pretty fantastic love story you’d like to share) and to own your own business (preferably some sort of fitness facility – currently we’re exploring options).  If you have, I’m so proud of you and know that the discipline and hard work I’m developing right now are key to that success.   Additionally, I hope if you’ve completed those three goals, you’ve set new ones.  Never stop growing, learning, creating, exploring or moving.  Continue running around the world since you’ve conquered the country.  Open another location of your business.  Write a sequel.  I believe, and refuse to be told that it’s only because I’m naive and young, that we can do anything in this life, and we will do great things together.

You’re never too old to call mama, swing on a swingset.  Or go dancing.

Call them!

But also, I know there’s probably a chance you got lost along the way.  Life happens and these next 25 years will be tough.  Chances are you’ve lost momsie or popsicle.  If you haven’t, call them today.  Call them now.  Maybe you injured yourself and had to give up running.  Maybe you had to fight through cancer and your business dreams were put on hold.  Maybe you moved away from Austin.  And moved again.  You always had sort of a wanderlusting spirit.  There’s a chance we never settled down long enough to start that business.  Maybe your prince charming never showed up to help you finish the story.  You are strong though, and a fighter.  Don’t give up, and remember, you’re the boss.

You’re never too young to start a savings account.

Or maybe you lassoed a cowboy and he talked you into having children.  Don’t lose your dreams in them.  If you did get married, go give your husband a big kiss – he’s a brave man for wanting to share your life with you – it’s a big one.  But he’s also lucky to have you and I hope you don’t settle for anything less than what you learned about love this past summer from the man you’ll never forget (and who knows, maybe it’s him).  Just remember, you believe in a great love story.  And you are the author.

Music moves you.

But enough about him, we are working hard now to be content with us – a battle that I’m certain will follow and haunt us through the next 25 years.  I’m sure 50 comes with its own set of self-doubt, beauty issues and comparison traps.  Embrace your gray.  Some of the most beautiful women in your young life have long, silver hair.  Keep getting your nails done.  We never were big on makeup, don’t start now – your smile is free and easy to put on.  Keep buying sexy underwear.  Even if there’s no one in your life to appreciate it but you.  It’s amazing the confidence that comes from matching black lace under jeans and a tee shirt.

Never stop learning. 

Keep the girls close

Your girlfriends have always been more important to you than the boys.  Maybe there’s a special boy who has your heart now but don’t ever forget your girlfriends.  I hope, like your mother and several mentors before you, you make time to reunite with just the girls every year or two.  In some place exotic – taking time to do silly girly things like braid each others hair, talk about your husbands, boyfriends and lovers, dreams and fears and struggles, painting nails and eating chocolate along the way.

Don’t forget you like to climb to the tops of things (literally and metaphorically) – the view is always worth the 558 or 931 steps.

I’m an old soul so I’m fairly certain you and I will get along just fine.  At this young age I’ve already made friends with several women who have served as role models to demonstrate that it’s not a boring life just because you hit 5-0.  Remember these relationships – you have many excellent female role models in your life – your mama, the entrepreneurs you met in your 20s, and brilliantly fearless friends.  You can travel, you can love – yourself and your life and all those in it.

Release the fear.

Have you been to Spain yet?

If you’re feeling lost, come back to the free-spirited girl that’s writing you this letter.  Don’t let the world harden you.  Step away from the technology that I’m sadly sure is even more a part of daily routine.  Write a letter.  Set a coffee date with a friend.  Remember that we know the best path for ourself; trust it.  Remember that our family (friends included) is the most important thing in this life.  And remember to love yourself.  I am certain the next 25 years will be ripe with successes and failures.  Disappointments and big surprises.  Adventures and pleasures in the simple everyday life.  Find a porch swing, put your cowgirl boots on, ask someone to dance and kick some ass.

Almost 25 years ago….what’s up for the next 25?!

But no matter what, I know you’ve spread your love and grace to many in the past 25 years, and I hope the same for the next 25.  I’m looking forward to creating you.  And when in doubt, remember what Daddy (and Nike for that matter) said when he was 57 – “Just do it”.

Love,

Jess

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Congrats, My Virtual Runners!

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I have compiled the photos of people who ran either the last day of 2012 or the first day of 2013 (or both!)

Monday, December 31, 2012

I did not take a picture but yours truly squeezed in a 5k on the treadmill right before the party started!

My lovely friend Kalli donned earwarmers and gloves for a neighborhood run through Memphis!  She’s training for the 2013 St. Jude Half – right Kalli?!

Get it girl!

Get it girl!

My dad and his group braved the snow and 31 degrees for a 6.5 K (according to one of their European runners) in Zionsville, Indiana (my hometown).

No excuses from the boys!

No excuses from the boys!

Good friends Linda and Randy did their 5k trot around Lake Keowee in Salem, South Carolina.

Linda and Randy in SC!

Memphis friends Jen (training for New Orleans Mardi Gras Half), Becca and Amanda (whom I’ve never met!) also braved the cold for a 5 miler on the Greenline!

Scarves and headbands...must be chilly!

Scarves and headbands…must be chilly!

January 1, 2013

I received this photo from Cynthia Donovan (from Colorado!) who ran her first 5k “in a while”, and she said it was muddy, and I believe her!

Gotta love the mud runs

Gotta love the mud runs

This group from YogaFest in Collierville, TN did 5 miles!

Prize for the biggest group!

Gretchen (just getting back into running) said this about her run on Facebook “I did the walk/run method by blocks not minutes. I would walk 2 blocks then run two blocks. I got a little tired by the end so the ending numbers went like this…14 blocks run/18 blocks walked…32 blocks total. I am pleased since this is only my 4th outing in 12 years. :-0)”

Gretchen gets back!

Gretchen gets back!

The Memphis girls got back out there on Tuesday!

2 days in a row!

2 days in a row!

A bigger group in Zionsville running off the New Year’s Eve tequila shots!  Still snowy!  (Pops you look a little sleepy….Not pictured: 2 pups).

Yea Boys!  24 degrees...feels like 14!

Yea Boys! 24 degrees…feels like 14!

Close by in Indianapolis, a friend from high school, Ashley, ran 3.5 miles!  She’s training for the 2013 Indy Mini (a great race by the way!)

Worked up a sweat!

Worked up a sweat!

Another Memphis runner, and blogging friend, Sharon, took her girl Ashok for a 5 miler!  She’s training for the February Austin Livestrong Half Marathon.

Sharon and Ashok, in Memphis!

And then there was me!  I did a hilly 5k on the treadmill here in Mexico!

Sweaty treadmill time!

Sweaty treadmill time!

Thank you to all the boys and girls and dogs who participated – I wish you happy trails (warmer and drier ones too!) and many healthy miles in 2013.  Stay in touch with your training!

Celebrate my 1,000 miles with me!

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On Tuesday of this past week, I hit 1,000 miles running for the year!  I set that goal 343 days before achieving it, on New Years Day 2012.  It seems a daunting goal but really the only things you need are determination, consistency and commitment (and a few pairs of running shoes…).  All things that come from within you.  It was certainly not a goal I could cram in the last 3 months of the year so required my commitment to running to last throughout the year.  Through the cold months of January and February.  The rainy season of March and April.  Moving month of May.  Summer school in June and July.  Moving again in August and the heat and humidity of Texas.  School in September and socializing in October.  The holidays of November and December.  Bad runs, good runs, injuries, fatigue, sweat, intervals, skipped runs, Mississippi, Oklahoma, California, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Mexico.  .25 miles to 15 miles.

So what now?  I was hoping to take the rest of the year off but then I remembered this big looming task of running 26.2 miles in the February Austin Livestrong Marathon.  Two years ago, after a horrible second marathon experience in Memphis, I swore I would never run another one.  I was defeated.  Slowly, as time passed, “never” turned to “one more” – you can’t end a marathon career on a bad experience.  I took some time to focus on half marathons and speed, running my half marathon PR at last year’s St. Jude Half Marathon, also in Memphis.

I’m currently located in Austin, Texas, working on a Sports Science and Nutrition masters at UT.  “One more” turned into “am currently training for” just a few weeks ago when several classmates put some pressure on to run the Austin Full Marathon in February.  But if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it for a good cause.

In the past I’ve always supported St. Jude, my then hometown children’s research hospital.  This time around I’d like to support a new cause, in the heart of the city I currently live.

LIVESTRONG serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against this disease that is now the world’s leading cause of death. LIVESTRONG has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer around the world.

Support LiveSTRONG with me!

The money I raise will go to support programs and services, which inspire and empower people affected by cancer. If you or someone you know is diagnosed, these resources will help face the challenges of cancer, head on, and live life on your own terms. LIVESTRONG.org/GetHelp

I’ll be celebrating today by cashing in a birthday gift certificate on a much needed massage this afternoon.  You can celebrate my accomplishment this year with me today by donating a small amount to this champion cause.  Click here for my fundraising page.  My goal is to raise $500 for the charity.  You’ll be supporting my continued training (and trust me, I need all the help I can get, the hills here are brutal) and those affected by cancer. I know we all have been.  Thank you!!