from my heart to yours : running

Running... the word alone makes me cringe but I've been running for the last month and I'm hooked, totally hooked. I never understood how people enjoyed running... those people are crazy, right... but a few weeks ago I had a major break through, I moved past my mental road block of, "but I'm too tired." I found the enjoyment of pushing my body further and further each day, and it's become a part of my morning ritual and it's seriously changed my days for the better. Sometimes I wake up dreading running, getting dressed to go out and putting my shoes on is half the battle sometimes, but then I hit the road, take a deep breath of fresh air and it's time for me, not time to think about laundry, groceries, emails, bills, dinner, work... the list goes on. My mind is constantly on... running a marathon of it's own and I've been craving a way to just clear it. When I run I feel like I'm in charge again rather than trying to keep up with the world around me. World, it's your turn, try to catch me.

So why am I writing about this here? Well, my hope is to let you in on this super secret because I really thought those runners were crazy. A neighbor and friend of mine decided to start running a few years ago. We were hanging out on New Year's Eve and he proclaimed that his new year's resolution was to run a 50 mile race, this coming from a guy who said himself that he wasn't a runner. Sure enough we'd see him returning from runs daily as our days were just beginning. He put his mind to it and made it happen. He'd run from our neighborhood in Lafayette into Boulder and up a mountain on the weekends to train for his race... madness, right? He ran that 50 miles race, he did it! The next New Year's we found ourselves sitting around the same kitchen counter enjoying a mixture of drinks and laughs, congratulating him on accomplishing his resolution... and again he made a new resolution. He was going to run a 100 miles race. At this point I thought, this guy is crazy! He went on to his first 100 mile race and at mile 80 he had to stop due to an injury, an accomplishment on it's own. This last week, he completed his first 100 mile race faster than planned and in great spirits. We cheered from our neighborhood and wrote in chalk across this driveway, "Ryan rocked the Leadville 100," for him to see when he returned home. Watching someone attempt something so insane, so unfathomable, so freaking amazing... has been a huge inspiration. Not necessarily the idea of running but watching a friend throw himself into a goal and make it happen is a great dose of inspiration.

There are times in the middle of my run where my mind tries to take over, it tells me, "you're tired, just stop, it's okay," but then I think about my friends who run. Those friends that wake up bright and early and run for miles. One of my senior high school clients is a cross country runner and she told me that it doesn't matter how fast I go, just to finish. I stopped caring about how fast I was going and just focused on how far I could get. I would set the goal when I started and wouldn't stop until I reached that goal, often surprising myself and going past that goal just because I could. My point in all of this is that I'm the key. I'm the only one standing in my way, the only one telling me that I'm tired... my body can handle it, my mind can handle it, I just have to get out of my own way.

Running has changed my life in the last month. Now that is crazy to say, I know. But I found that I am stronger mentally and physically than I think I am, it's helped me harness a new power that I didn't know I had. It's me time, it makes me a better mother, wife, photographer and person. My heart feels wide open when I'm out there on my own.

That new skip in my step, the ability to breath deeper and live fuller... is due to 4 little miles. 4 little miles that look like a mountain from bed but are the greatest gift to me. If you're not a runner either and you're thinking... this girl is crazy... believe me I get it! But I hope that this little story encourages you to try something new...something that you think is crazy or that scares you. When I find something wonderful and amazing I can't help but share it with my girlfriends and in the last few years my readers have become like girlfriends, so here I am sharing a little secret. You're stronger than you think, you have everything you need inside of you to accomplish your goals and with god on your side, you're unstoppable. Go out there, make things happen and shake it up. The world is ready for you!

Love and Light,

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