Shake it off and step up

It’s ridiculously late right now. At least when I was planning to get “a good night’s sleep” and go to bed three hours ago. There was something I wanted to share here first. Look out for a new, deeply strong and honest post for me in the next day or so, but for now, I have to share this story from Jen’s blog–my cousin though not by blood, friend, and honestly, my God-given gift. The author is unknown, but the story is incredibly powerful and something that hit me in exactly the right spot in my heart this morning…

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had an old mule. The mule fell into a deep dry well and began to cry loudly. Hearing his mule cry, the farmer came over and assessed the situation. The well was deep and the mule was heavy. He knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to lift the animal out.

Because the mule was old and the well was dry, the farmer decided to bury the animal in the well. In this way he could solve two problems: put the old mule out of his misery and have his well filled.

He called upon his neighbors to help him and they agreed to help. To work they went. Shovel full of dirt after shovel full of dirt began to fall on the mule’s back. He became hysterical. Then all of a sudden an idea came to the mule. Each time they would throw a shovel full of dirt on his back he could shake it off and step up. Shovel full after shovel full, the mule would shake it off and step up. Now exhausted and dirty, but quite alive, the mule stepped over the top of the well and walked through the crowd.

A great attitude. A great way to approach life. Shake it off and step up. Too often we hold on to what has happened to us.

We hold on to it for a week, a month, even years. We cannot shake it loose from our memory. It eats away at us and steals our joy, happiness and peace of mind. The past hurt can create feelings of bitterness, resentment, anger and revenge.

We keep allowing these emotions to be thrown on our backs and if we do nothing, we will be buried deep in the well. Walls will be built in our relationships. We will avoid each other and the cold war begins.

But, we have a choice: keep it inside and embrace the hurt or shake it off and step up. Give it a try. Shake it off and step up. Words that have been said or actions that have been done, shake it off and step up. Let it go. Whatever it is: a rude comment, a past mistake, being ignored, we can stew over it all week. It occupies us all the time.

Too often we nurse hurts, we keep them alive inside and go over them time and time again; not only stewing from them, but now chewing them over and over until it gets us sick. Too often we rehearse hurts, tell everyone what has happened to us.

The cure is to accept what has happened, try to make sense out of it, learn from it, then shake it off and step up. When you let it go you feel free and you are no longer buried in the well. Once you are on your feet again you can take some action. You decide where you want to grow in life, the direction you want your life to take. You decide whether you will allow the hurt to make you a bitter or a better person. Learn from it. Emerge stronger.

Aimee Mullins and Her 12 Pairs of Legs

Because this made my day, and because everyone needs to hear this message:

“…It is no longer a conversation about overcoming deficiency. It’s a conversation about potential. I think that if we want to discover the full potential in our humanity, we need to celebrate those heartbreaking strengths and those glorious disabilities that we all have. It is our humanity and all the potential within it that makes us beautiful…”

Make A Difference Monday

A fellow blogger I’ve often talked about, Sarah, occasionally writes “Make A Difference Monday” posts. From what I’ve seen, these posts are generally about some cause, organization, or individual that is doing something to…make a difference! 🙂

An event near and dear to my heart is coming up, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve often blogged about what Spinning means to me and how something as “simple”–though the class itself is anything but–as a group exercise class, completely changed my life almost 4 years ago. For those of you that have never read it, please read my post about Spinning here.

Four years ago, the gym I belong to started a charity event called Pedal for a Purpose. The event was a 5 hour spin-athon to benefit various causes important to both the members/staff of the gym, as well as the pediatric physical therapy clinic it is joined with. The first year: Spinal muscular Atrophy (SMA) CT Chapter. The second year: United Cerebral Palsy CT Chapter (and yes, I cried my way through the entire day for so many reasons I don’t have the energy to get into tonight). The Third Year: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation CT Chapter.

This year: National Multiple Sclerosis Society CT Chapter/Team Jenifer. I don’t know that I would normally publish something like this on the blog, but with this cause I really could not pass up the opportunity. Not only is this cause so important for because of the number of people diagnosed with MS in the state (and country), but Team Jenifer honors one of our own.

Jen is one of the gym members I first met when I joined and also one of the Spin instructors. She also happens to be diagnosed with MS. Jen is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, and her and I instantly connected because of what our passion for spinning truly means to us as people who have a little extra challenge to overcome getting on the bike everyday. She inspires me in more ways than I can even begin to express, and I am so honored to be riding for her (and more importantly WITH her!!) for this event! In fact, she is so loved by all of us, that they had to add an extra hour in to make sure everyone got a chance to ride! She has already made a huge difference in my life, and continues to make a difference in the lives of all she meets, befriends, and rides with! Jen is someone who constantly reminds us of the importance of HOPE and the strength of the human spirit.

Riders get sponsorships for each minute they are on the bike (rides are 50 minutes in length) and all money raised goes to the CT chapter as well as Team Jenifer! As I’ve said, for more reasons than one, this event is so close to my heart and I couldn’t help but share with all of you who have also become close to my heart.

Pedal for a Purpose will take place on Sunday, March 27, 2011 from 8am-4pm.

If you’d like more info on this event, how to get involved, or how to donate please visit: Team Jenifer, Cheshire Fitness for Women, or contact me via comments and I will e-mail you back!

Thanks for your continued support everyone! 🙂

Extraordinary Moments

Reblogged from my friend Jocelyn’s Tumblr account…


1. A baby is taking it’s first few steps without falling.

2. Two people somewhere in the world, are falling in love.

3. Somewhere, someone is admiring a breathtaking sunrise, and somewhere else, a surreal sunset.

4. A soldier of sorts is diligently fighting the fight so you don’t have to

5. Someone who suffered from a severe injury last year is back on their feet.

6. A small group of people are building something that will soon make the impossible possible.

7. Somewhere on Earth a double rainbow is stretched from one end of the horizon to the other.

8. One of the next Billboard-chart-topping musical artists is patiently rehearsing in her garage.

9. A piece of literature is being written that will eventually change your perspective on life.

10. A friend is helping a friend rise above thoughts of suicide.

11. People of various religious backgrounds are in temples, churches, mosques and other places of worship praying, wholeheartedly, for world peace.

12. An elderly couple is celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

13. Two best friends are laughing so hard that they aren’t even making any noise.

14. A firefighter is running into a burning building to rescue a perfect stranger.

15. Someone in your hometown genuinely wants to be your friend.

16. A new mom is lying in a hospital bed and holding her baby twins for the very first time.

17. Someone is taking a shower and singing happily at the top of their lungs.

18. There is someone out there who smiles when they think of a specific moment they once shared with you.

19. An alcoholic just celebrated one full year of sobriety.

20. Volunteers in major cities all over the world are working at homeless shelters caring for those who are less fortunate than themselves.

21. A high school athlete just broke their own personal record.

22. Two teenagers just received their very first kiss ever from each other.

23. Someone is hugging a friend who desperately needs it.

24. Someone just placed their spare change in the charity collection cup at the grocery store.

25. A small group of friends are sitting around a table sharing funny stories and cheerfully reminiscing about the good old days.

26. Honest people are working for various government entities to help protect your basic human rights and civil liberties.

27. An emergency room surgeon is in the middle of saving his patient’s life.

28. Someone is holding the door open for the person behind them.

29. Someone out there is missing you and looking forward to your next visit.

30. We are reminded that extraordinary things happen to ordinary people, and that there is beauty and wonder in everyday life

Photo Credit:

A fighting chance

As you might be able to tell by some of my recent posts, I’ve been at a bit of a loss for topics I guess you could say.  I’ve been so busy with trying to get projects and papers done while also making sure I stay on top of my committment to exercise, etc. that I blogged about a few posts back.  I think that’s somewhat bogging down my brain and slowing down my creative juices.  Hopefully they’ll be back and fully functioning by next week, because I’ll have a lot to blog about by then! Well, I hope I will anyway. Monday starts off with a Crossroads appointment, Master’s grant interview, and maybe even a spin class?! Like I said, hopefully lots to blog about.

For today though, I have something really awesome to share!! I don’t know how many people out there are familiar with Kyle Maynard, but Kyle is Mixed Martial Arts Fighter and CrossFit Gym owner (we all know how much Molly loves CrossFit 🙂 ). Oh yeah, he’s also a congential quad amputee. Yep, no arms and legs. Yep, I said MMA Fighter. Intrigued? I was too. This guy is AMAZING! When I first heard about his story I was completely shocked at what he has done with his life and how he’s completely turned it into such an amazing gift to share with others.

 The reason I’m blogging about this today is because on Monday, November 8th at 7pm E.T. ESPN 2 will be airing an hour-long documentary called “A Fighting Chance”, chronicling Kyle’s quest to be the first amputee MMA fighter to compete against another able-bodied fighter. My DVR is already set. I’m sure it’s going to be awesome.

This is a video trailer for the documentary with a little glimpse into Kyle’s life.

Amazing video to share

A friend sent me this site today and I want to share it with all of you.

It’s called “Best Way Out” and they have an extremely moving and inspirational video that plays off of the saying, “the best way out is through”. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. It’s definitely something we could all use to hear…daily! 🙂

Best Way Out

Music Monday!

I PROMISE I will update on the 5k today, after I sleep for a few hours. It was so amazing! I really wanted to post my Music Monday post a little early though, because these two songs really got me through the insanely hilly part of today (for 1.5 miles, NUTS!). The first isn’t the actually song I had, it was an original mix with about 6 other songs from a friend of mine, but for posting purposes, this works! 🙂

Belinda Carlisle-Heaven Is A Place On Earth (Remix)

The second is from Matthew West’s new Album The Story of Your Life and is absolutely amazing! I kept singing in in my head all the way to mile 3.2! I’m pretty sure the title speaks for itself! 🙂

Matthew West-Survivors

Enjoy, and see you in a few hours for the race report!

New Take On Welcome to Holland

I don’t have time to write a full post tonight, as I am just heading to bed to get a full night’s sleep before the Camp Care 5k tomorrow, but I wanted to share another blogger’s post with you in case you haven’t seen it!

Dana, over at Uncommon Sense wrote a wonderful post in response to the “Welcome to Holland” essay about what it is like to have a child with special needs entitled, “Amsterdam International. I was really floored by this and wanted to share it with my readers. I guess you could say it touches on all things Welcome to Holland does not. I hope you enjoy it!

Okay, off to stretch and rest up for the excitement tomorrow! Thanks for all your support! 🙂