Coming to a Gym Near You…

I’M AFAA CERTIFIED!!!!

I’ve been waiting and waiting…and waiting for these results for what feels like an eternity! I know that my presenter told us it would be about 4-6 weeks, but I always assume they overestimate these things and when it got to be mid-way through week four this week, I started to  doubt that I’d passed the practical portion of the exam–I was almost positive I had passed the written portion.  Then last night, I just had a feeling that it was the day.  I was in class until 7pm, so I texted my sister and asked her to please get the mail, but not to tell me if anything came. When I walked in the door after class, I noticed the envelope sitting on the table. I ran over to the table, sat down, and ripped it open to see what was inside. All I read was the “Congratulations!” on the letter and I threw it down and screamed/cried/laughed and every emotion in between! Everything I’ve been feeling for the past months and weeks came flooding out of me like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

All night I could not stop smiling and staring at my certificate. I DID IT!

What this means to me is something I’ve tried to put into words so many time, yet I fail every time.  All I know is right now I’m on top of the world and I don’t see myself coming down anytime soon. I have never wanted anything so badly, and I have achieved it.  These few months have led me to amazing new people and experiences, and deepened my passion for fitness, both for myself and for others.  I am so excited to be a part of the AFAA family–one that has already welcomed me with open arms in the past 24 hours! I am even more excited to start planning my classes and get out there to help others realize that fitness truly can be for everyone and that they can make their lives however they want.

So to everyone out there who has a dream and is not sure they have “what it takes” to make it happen.  I’m here to tell you you do. Fight for it, and when it’s yours, rejoice in that moment. There is no better feeling.

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Frustration

Lost: Motivation.

If found, please return to Molly ASAP.

Just a quick post tonight because, quite honestly, I need way more sleep than I’m about to get. Finished classes tonight! (For a week) then summer class starts, but it’s only 2 nights a week for 5 weeks so that’s pretty much a win.

I just need to vent. Or something. I’ve completely lost motivation lately on anything physical related, and even though I know it’s normal, it’s scaring me a little. And by lost motivation I really mean haven’t done one little thing in a little over two weeks. Granted I’ve had a crazy intense few weeks with school, figuring out classes for summer, and my dog almost dying (he didn’t though, he’s home safe with us!). But those all just feel like excuses to me at this point. I always feel like when I get to the point where I recognize my lack of motivation I should be ready to jump back in, but I’m just not.

And the only thing I can think is, if all these things are so important to me (walking, PT, everything) how do I so easily blow them off for week. It’s frustrating. It’s upsetting. Yet, I don’t know quite how to get back. I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party here. I just don’t really get it.

Do any of my other followers have this issue with PT or other such things? What do you do?

A lesson in getting out of my own way

It’s been a little bit since I wrote an exercise and PT related post about myself so, I figured, why not tonight? My love/hate relationship with anything having to do with exercise has always stemmed from the inconsistency I tend to often see in my abilities as a person with CP. Some days I’m extremely tight, some days I’m only slightly tight. There is no loose in my vocabulary lately, due to taking the better part of sophomore-senior year of college off in the PT department. Some days, the task I worked on yesterday that I accomplished with ease seems completely foreign and not possible. I know that everyone faces day to day challenges, especially in exercise settings, but when you’re working toward such a huge goal, you look for those consistences to prove you’re doing something right and they don’t always come. Until now.

Tonight I was talking a friend who’s currently studying abroad for the semester in Cork, Ireland. We were catching up on random pieces of eachother’s lives, when she said something that struck me so much I really needed to make it a part of a post. “You know what I’ve come to realize? Life’s not that hard. And it’s not that complicated.” At first I laughed. But then I thought, “you know, I think I agree with that”.

I’ve been consistently working on exercise and things at home for 3 weeks. 3 weeks and 1 day to be exact.  While it was an adjustment at first, it hasn’t really been that hard. Life isn’t that hard or that complicated. All it’s taken is a little planning (I’ve spent about 2 hours a day so far working), a little determination, and some journaling to keep myself on track.

I’m really proud of myself and, while I don’t try to think about seeing any results as a sort of denfense mechanism for not being let down, I have a PT appointment on Monday and I’d love to see if any of the things I’ve been working on are helping when I have a real session (it’s hard for me to gauge at home).

I think it’s all about knowing when to get out of your own way and just go for something. Put the effort in, call it yours, and go get it. For me, that time has come. It came a few weeks ago when I was sent that Crossfit article and video that I blogged about a few posts back. It was my “wake up call”; that somehow I got stuck on exist, rather than live when it comes to my goals, that there was so much I could do (no matter how small to start), and most importantly, that this is not a lost cause. There is hope. And there is proof, in an amazing women named Marissa, that this can happen! (Please take the time to click the link above and go watch the video if you haven’t. It might change you, too.)

I’m stepping out of my own way and knowing at the end of the day…no matter what happens, I did all I could on that day. That’s what I’m feeling 3 weeks in anyway, and this feeling seems long-lasting.

In the end, life isn’t that hard, or that complicated. Thanks Joce! 🙂

10 for 2010, 11 for 2011

I’m currently sitting on my bedroom floor marveling at the amount of wonderful things (read: things I don’t need and clothes that don’t fit) that are packed up to go to Goodwill, along with a huge garbage bag full of garbage.

I, quite randomly, chose yesterday and today to clean out my room, and I mean my ENTIRE room; 2 dressers, closet, desk, junk drawer, and window cabinet. It’s taken me all day yesterday and today, it’s done!

This cleaning rampage came on the heels of last night spin class. It was a “best of 2010” theme with some of the top hits from this year, and 2010 inspired drills. The last drill of the class was 20 20-second sprints with 10 second breaks in between. 10 seconds doesn’t sound like a lot of break time and, let me tell you, it’s even quicker when you’re on the bike. The goal of these sprints was to start with everything from 2010 on sprint #1 and, by the time we got to sprint #20, to leave all the negative baggage and have a mindset to carry with us into 2011. It definitely was worth all the pain! I tired to pick one specific “thing” from 2010 to shred for each 20 seconds and honestly felt lighter by the time we hit 20.  I got inspired to make my room and all my belongings a little lighter, too.

There will be no resolutions for me this year. I’m usually the girl who makes a lengthy list and ends up beating herself up far too much for not accomplishing or “getting around to them”. Well, except blogging!! That was one of mine last year, and I’ve stuick to it! And thanks for sticking with me!

This year, it’s living, loving, and believing every dream and every goal.

So, as I close out 2010 with a bit more cleaning and celebrations with my family, here’s 10 things I did in 2010 and 11 I hope to do in 2011.

10 for 2010:

(in no particular order)

  1. Graduated from college
  2. Wrote a 65 page thesis
  3. Competed in 3 5Ks
  4. Took a vacation to Disney
  5. Grew deeper in my Faith
  6. Got a job
  7. Had some amazing times with amazing college friends
  8. Started this blog! (and really took pride in it!)
  9. Gave up my walker!! (mostly)
  10. Started truly believing in everything I’m setting out to accomplish

11 for 2011:

(again, no order)

  1. Travel, either alone or with a friend
  2. Compete in at least 2 more 5Ks than those already on my schedule
  3. Get my license
  4. Meet Prince Charming…a girl can dream can’t she?!
  5. Ride a bike, a real one, not a spin bike!
  6. Become even more passionate about my blog
  7. Read some good books
  8. See a professional bike race (see #1)
  9. Grow deeper in my Faith
  10. KEEP truly believing in everything I’m setting out to accomplish
  11. The big W. (see #10 and almost every other blog post I’ve written)

What are some of the things you’re hoping to do in 2011?

Happy New Year Everyone! Be safe and enjoy!

Blast from the past…kindof

Heart racing, breaths deepening, everything surrounding you gets fuzzy.

I can’t quite explain what it feels like. The room around you fades to grey and all you know is yourself.

Nothing else matters, nothing else is present. Just you and your work.

Sometimes it’s the ones most hard on you that know just when you need that extra push. Or yell. That reminder to keep moving. The clock is against you. They will not hesitate to tell you that.

Faster, harder, stronger. It’s the only way. Or someone else is going to beat you to your glory.

You’ve worked too hard for that to happen. Show it off.

So things have been rough. Everyone screws up. The only important part is that moment you reach the end.

That moment when you look into someone’s eyes and you connect. Realizing that for the first time,

YOU see what everyone has seen in you for so long now.

One set of words echoes in my head. “Did we learn something tonight? That you really can do this?”

It’s really simple. Almost too much so. But those 2 sentences mean the world to you when you are on the receiving end.

And for the first time in your life, you are ready to thank yourself. Not just them.

Because you did it.

Every step, every word, every heartbeat, every drip of sweat. It was all you. There was no more fear, no more hesitation. You went for it and you took it.

As you start to come into focus again and your surroundings reappear, it is in the moment when your eyes connect with someone else’s in the room that you see how truly awesome what you’ve just done is.

This is something I wrote a while ago (maybe almost 2-3 years), yet when I was reading it I was amazed at how true it rings for my life right now and for the 5ks. Sorry, I know, shut up about this topic already!! But I can’t. 🙂 This seems to kindof capture the feeling I have when I’m out there on the course, why I do it, and what it feels like at the end. You see, as I’m heading off to Boston, I’ll leave you with a little problem to ponder that I’m facing. It’s not really a problem, but still.

I don’t just want to walk or run 5ks. I want to be good at them. Really good. Finishing with the pack kind of good. Something definitely changed inside of me this last race!!

My next 30 days

I should be writing a paper right now, but my brain stopped functioning academically about 2 hours ago, so that’s out of the question. I still cannot stop thinking about the 5k last weekend, which got me thinking about my next one. No, it’s not scheduled yet, I’ll report it here first (or close to first) as soon as I decide.

What I was thinking about more is this deal I made the night of the Columbia Road Race with a friend.  We both have goals and things that we need to go after and give ourselves a shot at; something neither of us have really been committing to, because the motivation isn’t always easy to find.  We decided starting last Monday all that was going to change.  I couldn’t move for the first two days, so my goals were strictly stretching, and then on the third day, I did a quarter mile run. At running pace. I’m not just calling it a run for dramatic purposes. 🙂 Then, I quit. The pattern continues.

Tonight I started thinking about committment and accountability. I am currently accountable to myself and someone else because of this deal, but is that enough? It’s going to have to be. I’ve kept up with so many other things before, I can’t let whatever mental block is going on with me stop this. Let’s look back….I have barely used my walker since April 23rd. That all started on a 30 day “dare”! Why can’t that happen again? 

So I started again today.  I decided to keep myself even more accountable, I’m going to make this a 30 days of blogging too. My own little version of 30 days of truth that’s so popular here in the blog world. Some days I may post about what I worked on for the day, some days it may be something completely unrelated–who knows!! I just figured it’d be fun! 

Either way, I’m itching to do another race before it gets too cold, and I’ve got to get going!! 🙂 I’ve officially caught the endurance bug.

Thanks for checking in again! I appreciate it!

but Freedom can never be found behind those walls

…so just let ’em fall, just let ’em fall.

Well, here we are! The official “Camp Care 5k Recap”. As I’m sitting in bed, still trying to stretch parts of my body I didn’t even know existed before yesterday, I’m still in a state of shock and awe over how amazing yesterday was. I’m going to try and walk (no pun intended) you through as much as I can, but I’ll just say upfront that there is not much I remember after seeing the mile 3 sign, except praying my body would keep moving until I saw the timing truck and the finish line!

We arrived at the race about an hour early; plenty of time to get checked in, stretch, and let the nerves really start to build up! My sister had decided to come run the race with us (with jogging stroller and 14 month old in tow!) and my mom, aunt, and uncle came to see us off at the start. I met up with Dan and a few other friends that were running the race and it was nice to stand around laughing for a little bit before we had to part ways until the finish line. We were all standing around and out comes the video camera and Dan asks me what my goal time was. Something I had picked out in my head, but wasn’t planning on sharing at all!  I looked away for the camera for a minute, then thought of that saying “if you don’t declare your goals, they’re nothing but thoughts.  Armed with fear and anxiety, I declared 1 hour and 45 minutes as my goal.  I completed this race in 2:11:33 last year, so this seemed good to me. Plus, that meant an average of about 32 minute mile, so I figured I could try for it.  On this course, there is a .3 mile walk to the official start, so about 10 minutes before start time, I decided I’d had enough standing around worrying and stressing–it was time to go!

Heading down to the start line I had all sorts of thoughts circling around my head. What if things go wrong? Should I really be doing this? Again? Why, exactly, am I here? Why is it SO cold? Wow. That old guy’s shorts are REALLY short! But most importantly, the last thought I really remember thinking was I belong here. I belong on this start line, with these people. I sent up a quick prayer to the Loving Father to watch over me and all of my friends running the race, that we’d be safe and injury free, and that He’d show me my way if I started to lose my thoughts or feel like I was losing Him, over the next few hours. My aunt came through the crowd of runners to give me one more good luck hug before we started and my sister and I waved good luck to each other from afar. I decided to move up a little closer to the start line so I would waste too much unnecessary energy, and saw Dan one more time. We exchanged a “have a good race boss” and that was that.

I went into the day telling myself I was going to take things slow, save up my energy, and just focus on finishing, but as soon as that gun went off pure adrenaline was coursing through my body.  I don’t know if it was that I was in the middle of a pack of actual runners, or that I was just so nervous I had to go, but I took off running. Literally. I really wanted to stay with people as long as I could, and that’s what I was going to try to do. I kept up a running pace for maybe a half mile, then decide it was time to back off a bit and just focus again on the end goal.  I also was going to try to only stop every mile if possible. So far everything was working out. We got to the mile 1 time check at 28:21; 4 minutes faster than my target time and 5 minutes faster that the previous year! I was ecstatic! 🙂

All I really wanted was the time check at mile 1. I was feeling good and didn’t think that stopping for a real break was necessary yet. Half a mile later, we were reaching the main road of Rt. 66 with traffic speeding by us (luckily there was a wide shoulder) and the hellish 1.5ish mile hill up ahead. It was a good place to stop, take in some water, and mentally prepare myself for what was to come. This hill and I have a history, a very long, angry history. It’s slow, but painful. Yet I’ve now learned it looks much worse than it actually is. Last year on this hill, I cried. A lot! I was mentally and emotionally defeated before I was even halfway to the top. I stopped at least 10 times. This year, I took off head down, and was determined to push through. About a quarter mile up the hill, I saw my sister running toward me, having finished the race and come back to make sure I was okay. I have never been more excited to see a member of my own flesh and blood. Just having her there gave me a little more energy to keep going. Fast forward to about half mile left, and I see a white hat coming over the top of the hill, running toward us. I had to wait until I saw something more than just a hat, but I knew it was Dan. In that moment, I’m pretty sure I started crying. Only for a second though, because my energy needed to be on the pavement beneath me. I was not expecting this at all. I knew he was going to finish with an amazing time, and expected him to be waiting at the finish with everyone else if anything. I was doing fine, it wasn’t that I needed rescuing, but we have a unique friendship in that we know what makes each other tick, what buttons to push, and just what to say to motivate each other in a time of need, whether it’s through pissing one another off or lending a heartfelt comment (in my case, it’s usually the first that works best!); something that’s innate within the both of us, and makes us both thank God we were luck to find each other as friends, and I knew I’d need that in this last leg of the race. And I was right. I did need it.

FINALLY, we saw the stoplight indicating we were on the downhill and almost ready to turn onto the little over half mile finishing straight (which was straight, but definitely not quite flat). My sister turned to me and said “Okay, Molly when you get here you can’t stop, you just have to finish” and I was going to try my hardest. My steps were getting slower at that point, looking back now, I think it was definitely a bit more mental, knowing I was at the end and wanting so badly to be done, but more on that later. Really the only thing I remember from that point on was all my friends and family around me telling me I could do it, to keep going, Dan telling me to keep turning over each step, and the State Trooper in the car behind us blasting Hey, Soul Sister. Yeah Train! When I saw the timing truck and the owner of Crossroads/director of Camp Care at the finish line, adrenaline kicked in again. I managed to squeak out one little run/sprint to the end and crossed the line with the biggest smile and sigh of relief known to man.

I heard the timing company report my time of 1:54:16 and, while I couldn’t be happier I beat last year’s time by 17 minutes! I couldn’t help but think I was only 8 minutes off of my goal time and thought of spots where I could have pushed myself harder. Part of this comes down to my training, or lack thereof, and how that would most definitely help my times and endurance. I tend not to train as formally as I should or could, solely because I don’t take the time to modify training plans to my needs or don’t think that it matters since I’m not an elite runner.  The thing is though, it does matter, because I do go out to these races looking for my own PB times. Personal Bests. The other half of this is the mental component. As I blogged about prior to the race, I tend to shut things off mentally before I even give myself a chance physically because I believe I know how it is going to go. I was much better about not doing that as much this race, but old habits die hard and it definitely hindered me a bit!

One more piece of this 5k puzzle. The title of this post and opening line come from another track off of Matthew West’s new album The Story of Your Life entitled “The Healing Has Begun”. It’s all about carrying the weight of the world and your struggles on your shoulders and finally realizing that you don’t have to do that. That there is someone else who holds the key to your freedom from those weights and those struggles, and sometimes you just have to let your walls fall down to find Him. It really hit me during and after the race yesterday, that I am starting to embrace that Freedom. In ways both large and small, the walls are slowly coming down, and I’m committing myself to believing, working, and fighting until my battle is won; whichever way I find most important and for however long it takes. Maybe I’m not running full 5ks right now, but I’m going to start training as soon as I can feel my legs again. It may take a year, it may take more, for me to reach my goals…but yesterday I was led to a key that unlocked a door to one more way to Freedom in my life.

Thank you all for supporting me through this race. On Twitter, on the blog, phone calls, e-mails, and prayers. I felt every bit of it! I’ll try to post some pictures and videos soon! They’re being temperamental right now. Happy running, walking, or whatever it is gives you your Freedom!

New Year, New You?

Happy New Year! Here we go again with the ramblings of Molly.
This year was the first New Year’s Eve that I’ve spent away from my family, away from the busy and over crowded restaurant my parent’s own, and away from, well, anything familiar and comfortable. Instead, I stood still in a sea of people at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with two of my best friends and a drink in hand. And as I stood there watching the most spectacular fireworks display I’ve ever seen, I was at peace. I stood and reflected on 2009 as I always do, but for the first time in many years I wasn’t fast forwarding and planning out the future of 2010. As I dialed back in to everything around me and listened to the DJ music in the background, it was not Auld Lange Syne that was playing (which is fabulous because I’ve never really liked that song). First the DJ played Let It Be by The Beatles, then Dream On by Aerosmith. Yes, this was ridiculously ironic, but I just laughed to myself and enjoyed the first new moments of 2010 unfolding before me.
Ever since I was little, I’ve been the girl with the big dreams, and New Year’s Resolutions were no exception. Well all my friends thought cleaning their room every week was a good choice, I chose things like staying on top on my exercise program that I’ve had to deal with all my life. I didn’t believe in small goals, or small dreams for that matter. Life didn’t stop just because the calendar year changed over. Even knowing this I continued to make lengthy resolutions (last year’s four being two pages long) and continued to not follow through on them. I would get extremely annoyed with myself looking at this as quitting or becoming lazy because I didn’t want to do the work. While that was sometimes, unfortunately, the case, this New Year’s Eve taught me something more.
I wasn’t quitting or becoming lazy, but I was doing something with no purpose, no reason, no drive. Life doesn’t stop just because the calendar year has changed over. It never will. So what I learned this year was this: everything you want to do, you should want to do year round. If you don’t, change it. Getting stuck in a pattern of dread it pointless. I learned that I need to let things be and continue to dream regardless of what I may encounter in trying to achieve those dreams. And lastly, I’ve learned that it’s not New Year, New You. It’s about being who you are and matching that up with who you want to be. You don’t have to change everything, or anything for that matter, for that to happen.
So, what’s my New Year’s Resolution this year? Well, I don’t believe in them anymore. I believe you should always have goals and coming up with them on January 1st makes them no more special. I believe in giving yourself second, third, and fourth–an infinite number of chances–so that is what I entend to do.
This year and everyday for the rest of my life, it is my goal to just be. It is my goal to live life and do all that I can, without fear.
You should try it! 🙂