Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cheap Bathroom Organization

This is the short story of how I turned this mess:

Into this:

With just $3.00!!! 

Amazing, right? I'm so mad at myself that I haven't done this earlier. I've just looked on in frustration at my messy, unorganized bathroom. 

All I did was go to Dollar Tree and buy a few baskets.  I got two of the large blue baskets you see on the bottom for $1.00 each and the smaller "drawer organizers" were 3 for $1.00!! 

I had the command hooks so you may have to spend a bit more for those, but less than $5.00. 

Voila!  There you have it. No more frustrating mornings getting ready. I know where everything is now and it's all not going to fall over if I reach into the back (which may have happened a few times). 

Are you a good organizer? 
What are your secrets?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Get Financially Fit with a Budget

So, it has been on my heart to offer this "class" for some time now...and I have been petrified to put it out there.  I mean, telling people what to do with their money is pretty intimidating, but that's not really what I'm doing.  Rather, I am offering to help.  (I'm not even going to look at your money, actually.)

Here's the thing: I am a math NERD.  I heart spreadsheets!  I mean, seriously, I love them.  I love seeing a zero balance at the bottom.  That is success for an accountant (which I used to be)...but I know that's not the case for most people.  Most people don't like math and I know when I don't like something I will avoid doing it at all costs.

If I can help out one person with this, I am happy.  :)  I can only hope someone will kindly help me out with something I don't care to much for, like cleaning and/or organizing my home...not my forte.

We will be setting up budgets.  Budgets that work for our lives.  Budgets that make our money work for us. We will have "homework" each day so that we stay on track.

Sound like something that you would like to take part of?  If so, you may go here to apply!

Can't wait to get started!  I'm looking for life-changing results!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

So fresh and so clean!

This summer has been crazy!! I am a teacher so my summers are go-go-go since I don't get that luxury August through May.  I have been to 4 different vacation spots all in the month of June.

I started in Edisto Island to Charleston.  Then, I came home for a few days.  After some resting and working, I headed for Vegas to a conference.  It was my first visit there and it was a whirlwind.  I took a red-eye home and left later that day to meet my parents in Cosby, TN at a campground.  Needless to say, I haven't had the best eating habits lately.  That is why I'm so excited to start this 3 day refresh. 

I going to be eating a vegan diet with a few supplements for the next couple of days to get rid of all the toxins and junk.  I'm feeling fluffy and I'm ready for it to be gone.  I'm ready to clean out my system.  I made a sample meal plan HERE.

For some reason, I can't get my google doc to publish as an image, even though I downloaded it as a PDF. If any techies out there could help me, I'd be grateful!

Anyway, I'm excited to feel fresh and clean after these three days are up.  I've done a 10 day detox before but it had a little bit more leeway (as in, I could eat meat).  This should be interesting, eating a purely vegan diet for these few days.  I love my cheese!  If you want to join me, let me know!  The more, the merrier!

P.S. Here is the overview of what is required on the plan.  (For Snack 2, one can have a vegetable and healthy fat OR raw juice)

Have you ever done a refresh, detox, or cleanse?
How did it go?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Story - Part I

I wasn't always this fun-loving, fitness fanatic I am today.  It took a long time and a lot of soul-searching to get here but, alas, here I am.  Praise God that He led me here!  So, I would like to share my story with you....

When I was 24, seven years ago, I was working as a bank teller after working in public accounting for 6 months after graduation and decided that cubicle life was not for me.

I was also in a long-term relationship and had been for over 2 years.  I was determined to marry this boy.  We had a very tumultuous and toxic relationship.

You're probably wondering why I stayed.  I ask myself that so often.  Truth is, I was afraid of being alone. He had broken me and I didn't think that I could put the pieces back together to make it on my own.  My confidence was gone and I thought that no one else would possibly ever want me, so I begged him to marry me.  When he refused and told me that he was never getting married, I cried out to God, asking him what was so wrong with me.  I didn't understand why I wasn't good enough, but it turns out, he was the one who wasn't good enough, and God knew that all along.

So about Christmas time that year, I saw a photo of myself and I was horrified at how I looked.  See, I had been a very active child playing sports growing up.  I was even a cheerleader in college until I was 21, therefore I had never struggled with my weight because I was always on the go.

But, now.  Now, I had forgotten to take care of myself, either that, or I just didn't care.  I wasn't working out.  I was eating what ever he was eating, which was rarely, if ever, healthy.  Honestly, when I don't feel great about myself, I don't work out or take care of myself.  I didn't feel like I was worth it or deserved to feel good and happy, but luckily, I was working with a girl at the time in a bank.  She was on her own journey to getting fit and she helped get me motivated.

Because I was on the very tight budget of being a bank teller and couldn't afford a gym membership, I started working out at home with various DVDs.  Then, I got brave and decided I wanted to start running.  I began setting my alarm for 5:45 two mornings a week, so that I could run the 1.5 mile route around our house.

This soon became a habit of mine but the runs got longer and longer, until I decided to finally run a 5K.  That 5K nearly killed me.  I couldn't believe it had been that hard.  I thought I could just go out there and wing it.  Wrong.  But almost exactly 2 years later I ran a full marathon.  That's 26.2 miles for anyone out there who doesn't know.

But, before I even ran that 5K, I knew that there was something I must do first, and that was leave that nightmare that I had been living.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done...but I did it with the help of a few friends and lot of courage.  After I had started feeling my heart really beat in my chest, I knew what it was to really live and I wasn't ready to let that slip away.  I realized that I was worth something.  I had a lot to offer to myself and ...possibly to others.

I was in school.  I was getting my masters degree to teach elementary school.  Soon, I would be certified to teach any grade from Kindergarten to sixth grade.  I was so excited and thought, what a great job that would be!  I would get to hang out with kids every day.  Lead their little hearts to live lives they could never have imagined before entering my classroom.  (Little did I know back then...but I digress.  More on that later.)

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How Do I Pack All My Stuff in a Carry-On??

So it seems, recently, I have become somewhat of a frequent flyer and so I decided (after purchasing my plane ticket and seeing the extra charge to check baggage) to make all my stuff for 5 days in Vegas fit into one carry-on!  Here was the method to my madness:

First, I laid all my clothes out on my bed.  I stacked items to roll.  I'm sure you have all heard of rolling your clothes to fit more.  Well, I had too, so that's what I did...burrito style!  

I saw somewhere to fold in the sleeves so that the roll is more uniform.  After this, I folded the shirts in half lengthwise and made my shirt burrito.

This dress is going to be tricky, as it is chiffon material (from Forever 21) and not the most sturdy of fabrics.

I staggered the waistbands of my pants so that there wouldn't be a big bunch in the pant burrito.

Here I snapped a pic of folding the tanks lengthwise.  I'm a visual learner so I like to see, not just read.

 Here is the first layer.  

On top of my burritos, I stacked the sports bras and swimsuits and stuffed a couple of small purses in the side.

Saw this nifty idea on Pinterest!  Put your necklace through a straw to keep it from getting tangled in your bag.

I'm keeping my quart bag of liquids in the front pocket of my luggage to keep it easily accessible for security.

I'm also packing food for my trip.  So, I have 10 Shakeology packets, 2 blender bottles, 5 Quest bars, and 5 Kind bars.

First, I had all the bars in quart baggies.  Then, I thought, why not utilize this space inside the bottle.  They fit perfectly. Yay!

Here is a visual of the rest of my progression in packing the carry-on.

Clothes-wise, here is what all I packed, in addition to the food and personal items:
  • 8 tanks
  • 3 tees
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 4 dresses
  • 6 sports bras
  • 6 pairs of shorts
  • 3 swimsuits and 1 extra top
  • undies and socks in inside zipper 
I should mention that I am going to a fitness conference with Beachbody, if you're wondering what's up with all the workout apparel.  I, sincerely, hope this helps you pack your bag to go on your next adventure!

What is your secret to packing?
Are you an over-packer?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Enter to WIN a FREE PiYo workout!!!

I am so excited for this giveaway!!!!  PiYo is my absolute favorite class ever and now, Chalene Johnson went and made a whole series of DVDs for it!!  What What!!

Just in case you don't know what this is.  I've included the video and a few info cards for you to see!

How would you like to WIN a FREE PiYo Workout??  See rules below!

Here are the rules:
1)Share this post on facebook or twitter!
2)Comment here, telling me you shared and why
3)Fill out the form below

Must do ALL 3 to be entered!!! Good luck!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

How I Stay Healthy as a First Grade Teacher

Drinks like a dessert, nourishes like a salad!

Shakeology really is the most nutritious meal of the day!

Ok, let's just be honest here.  I did NOT want to pay for Shakeology when I first heard about it.  It was way too expensive for me (or so I thought).  I didn't need a supplement to lose weight.  I have never been "overweight" but just needed a little toning up.

I didn't see how a shake could do that for me.  This was for other people, who had a lot of weight to lose.

I can't begin to tell you how WRONG I was.  I started Shakeology when I started coaching.  I figured I would have to try it for myself before I would even think of suggesting it to someone else.  I wasn't going to share a product that I did not 100% believe in.  So I did.  And here's my story:

I started Shakeo November 2013 along with T25 program.  I didn't really change anything about my eating habits (even though, I should have).  Here's what happened:  my hair started growing like crazy, I became... ahem.."regular", I dropped belly fat that needed to be gone, and I was healthy as a horse...until my supply ran out.

See, I am a first-grade teacher.  Therefore, I am perpetually sick.  Colds, sniffles, strep, you name it.  I have had it in the past two years.  I ran out of my supply in January.  So I quickly, ordered some more but in the 5 days it took for me to get it, yep, you guessed it.  I got sick.  Sinus infection.  Gross.  All of a sudden, it became clear to me, that the shakes have been keeping my immune system boosted with all of those vitamins, antioxidants, and superfoods.  FINALLY!!!  Something to keep me from the ever apparent snotty nose of a six-year-old.  (Sorry to be so graphic but it's true.)

I was always that kid.  You know, the token sick kid on movies and kid's TV shows, who talked funny because of a constant stuffed up nose.  As I got older, I think it got better but I was still always sick.  Seriously, just ask my sister.  She used to make fun of me.  She thought I was making it up or being dramatic when I didn't join them for dinner because of some illness or another.

In short, even if none of the other reasons were there, I would still drink Shakeology for it's health benefits.  In my 31 years, I have yet to find something all-natural that would keep me in peak health all year.

If you would like more information on Shakeology, you can click here.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Liebster Award

So, I have been nominated by two awesome bloggers (Smitha from Running with SD Mom and Kristen from Good'N Good for Ya) for the Liebster Award.


The Liebster Award is an online award by bloggers for bloggers to help bring attention to new and upcoming bloggers, typically those with 200 followers or less.

Here's how it works:
1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.
2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees.
5. You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees.

It is such an honor to be nominated but with the school year coming to an end, I haven't had time to even acknowledge or start writing this.  Ahhh! BUT, now that we are down to only 1.5 days, I feel my mind freeing up and the words are coming.  So here we go:

Smitha asked:

1. What is your favorite distance to run?
I would have to say 5 miles.  It's just enough to get to that runners' high relaxation but not so much that I'm spent for the rest of the day.
2. What is your absolute favorite running song right now?  Well, since I haven't been running too much (due to this darn hamstring), I wouldn't say I've been running to too many songs but I do really enjoy anything by Iggy right now.  "I'm so fancyyyy".  It just gets me moving.
3. Besides running, what's your favorite sport/fitness activity?
I'm going to go with PiYo, since I was just certified to start teaching the class.  I am obsessed with the flexibility and balance training it provides to complement so many sports.  I also enjoy Crossfit, every now and then too.  The community of the gym is like no other.  This is also where I feel strong!
4. What is your favorite piece of clothing (running)?
I love my lululemon running tights!  I know there has been controversy with the company but I love those tights.
5. What kind of shoes do you race in?
I love short training runs or races in my Newton's.  I now wear the Distance U but started out in a Gravity.  These shoes really retrained by legs for a more efficient running stride.  For longer distances,  I am searching right now.  I had always worn Brooks Ravenna but the newer editions are being as kind to my feet as they were in the past.  Any suggestions?
6. What is your favorite race to date?
Hands down, Big Sur International Marathon.  If you are a current reader, you have read my recap of that. If not, I have linked it.
7. What is your dream race?
Before, I would have told you Big Sur, but I ran that last year.  Now, I am just spending my time healing and not too intent on running any certain race.  Of course, I would love to run Boston, but with my times, I'm not sure that will ever happen...legitimately.  Ooo but, The Disney Tower of Tower 10 miler would be fun!
8. Who is your fitness inspiration?
Kara Goucher.  She is one classy lady and a fierce competitor.
9. Do you run solo or with BRFs?
Solo.  My BRFs run much faster than we travel to races together but hardly ever run together.  I like to run alone, though.  It allows me to listen to my body and run the pace I am feeling for the day.
10. Why did you start a blog?
That answer lies here. :)

Now for Kristen's questions:

1. What is your favorite type of workout?
Well, honestly, it depends on what day it is.  I love running, working out at home with DVDs (T25, P90X3, 21 Day Fix), and CrossFit.  I also just started teaching PiYo which is a great complement to all of these workouts because it focuses on strength, flexibility, and balance.
2. What is your current favorite “guilty pleasure” song?
I always have a "guilty pleasure" song - I'm that girl.  As of right now, I love "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea.
3. How do you find/make time to work out?
I make working out a priority.  I have some flexibility with my schedule, but usually it falls after work.  That way I can sweat out all of my frustrations of the day.
4. What is your favorite post that you’ve written?
what am i running from? was really an eye-opener for me.  I feel like the gates just opened and I could see where and why I have struggled my whole life.
5. When do you usually write your posts?
I used to write them after long runs...or just runs in general.  Lately, I haven't been able to run so much.  I don't have a writing schedule.  I write when I'm inspired.  I would say when I have time but even if I don't have time, I will write if I have something to say.
6. What is one fitness related purchase/expense you’ve made that was totally worth it?
My workout DVDs.  There were days this winter when I could not get out of the house because of the snow, but I could still workout because I had those.  I'm sure there will also be times this summer that I don't want to be outside running.  They will come in handy then too!
7. What is one fitness related purchase/expense you’ve made that totally wasn’t worth it?
Two summers ago, I thought I was going to be a triathlete.  I bought a road bike.  I did one I can't sell that bike.    
8. Favorite clean eats?
I love any kind of fruit!!  Vegetables are still growing on me, since I have begun this healthy eating lifestyle, but I will eat blackberries any day!
9. Favorite food treats?
My favorite "cheat" would have to be cheesecake.  I LOVE cheesecake.
10. I don’t know… One random fact about yourself!
I'm only 5 feet tall!

Now, I will nominate these ladies!
Joy from The Well-Watered Garden

Beth from Running in the Word

Sara from Sara's Running

Montana at Pretty Lil' Mudder

Alicia at Fitness by Alicia

Rachel at Running on Happy

Nikki at Empress Niwi

Casey at CSW Fitness

Farrah at Fairy Burger

Kinda Zennish

Ladies, here are my questions for you:

1. What is your favorite way to sweat?
2. What song always gets you going?
3. How do you make it work?
4. What is your mission in writing a blog?
5. Does your faith play a part in any of your fitness/health journey?
6. Morning person or night owl?
7. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
8. How did you get started on your fitness journey?
9. If you could buy one thing (fitness-related) and money was no object, what would it be?
10. What do you wish you could un-buy?

I'm so excited to see what your answers will be and so glad that I can share the award with you!

Keep Shining!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Wonderful


Ok, I'm joining a blog link-up with Lynda from fitnessmomwinecountry and How My World Runs this week.  We are sharing some of our favorites of all things.  I've never done a link-up like this before so this is something new for me.

Here goes:

Right now, and always, I'm loving Yogi hot tea.  I'm trying to cut down on my caffeine/coffee intake so the tea is a great replacement for now.  I love Yogi because it comes with so many different flavor for specific needs.  Here are all the ones I have now....someone may have a problem...


One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp has turned my life around.  She has taught me how to love and live life fully right where I am.  Not looking for the next thing or a change to make me happy, but seeing the good in every situation.  I know what you're thinking, and, yes, there is good in every situation.  I was a bitter Betty before reading this book and now I try to see the Light and shine it where ever I go.  Of course, I still struggle with bitterness, jealously, and disappointment, like we all do, but I'd like to think I'm getting over it more quickly now that I am letting gratitude run my life.  I have counted and named almost 100 gifts.  I will make it to 1000!


So, I think that's all I'll share for this week.  I'll be sure and have some more "wonderfulz" #yeswithaz stored up for the next link up in 2 weeks!  Be sure to check out all of these awesome blogs!

What's your favorite this week?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

why I quit the gym

For a little time last year, I was a member of a gym.  I joined for the pool.  I was training for a marathon and had gotten injured.  I needed a pool to continue my endurance training.

Did a pool keep me at my current fitness level? No.  Did a building full of equipment keep me at peak fitness?  No.  Did I enjoy my time at the gym?  Again.  No.

why i quit

So, let's go through the reasons why working out at home is the bomb.

1.  Money - The gym was costing me too much money. I was paying $50 a month and not getting anything for it.  Yeah, I had access to all these machines and weights but I didn't know how to use them.  I didn't have a plan.  I wasn't motivated.  There was no end in sight.

-With my home workouts, I have a plan.  I know what workout to do and when.  I have personal access to some of the nation's top trainers.  Why on earth would I hire a trainer here?

2.  Time - The gym is 20 minutes away from home and not on my way home from work. That's 40 minutes of my day wasted.  In the words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for dat!"  Oh, and to top it off, the gym closed at 5pm on the weekends.  What tha??  I mean, I don't know about y'all but sometimes I need to go later in the day.

- I can workout at home, anytime I want, and save 40 minutes a day!  That adds up when you work a full-time job, a part-time job, and are trying to start your own business.

3. Support - I was intimidated to use the machines and free weights. All of the cardio machines faced the weight area. I was always so paranoid that everyone behind me was criticizing my form while I was lifting or on the machines.

-Well, in my own home, no one can see what the heck I'm doing.  I can dance around when my favorite song comes on and no one would know.  Plus, I have all my online friends to encourage me.


So, in short, I am very, very happy I quit the gym.  Not only am I in better shape, but I am happier and have more money.  :)  And that's always a good thing.

What about you?  Are you a gym-goer?

What do you like about it?  What don't you like?



Sunday, April 6, 2014

gettin' fixed

So much has happened since I last wrote, I'm not sure I will be able to fit it all in one blog.  Here goes with thing numero uno: I started the 21 Day Fix.

I will admit it has been hard, downright difficult at times, but definitely doable with a little planning and restraint/willpower.  Let me start over by telling you exactly what it is I'm doing.

The Fix is a 21 day program. (Duh!)  Each day there is a different workout to do, but that's not all there is with this thing.  It also keeps up with nutrition...uhh, what?!  That is my downfall every time I try to get really fit.  I'm not too proud to admit it.  Even though I would like to think I have it all under control sometimes, I don't.

I love working out!  It's a passion of mine.  Okay, maybe that's taking it a bit far, but I do enjoy it (usually).  As most of you know I've run and trained for half and marathons.  Those take a lot of discipline to do all the workouts, but never once did I restrict what I was eating while training for those.

Now that I am a coach, I've decided I need to take my eating habits more seriously and in consideration, especially when I'm trying to help others eat more healthily.  I talked about this on my Lifestyle Accountability podcast. (Which will be featured this Saturday, April 12th.  Eek!)

So I started this new plan where I eat so many of each type of food a day.  It comes with these handy-dandy little containers, colored for a certain food group.  Here's the breakdown -> Purple - fruits, Green - veggies, Red - protein, Yellow - carbs, Blue - fats/cheese, Orange - oils/dressings.  Of course, they get smaller and you are allowed different amounts of each one depending on your caloric goal.  I am in the 1200-1499 calorie range for now.  I will probably up that when I go back to P90X3 and Combat workouts and running.


I spent my Sunday evening cooking and prepping.  I baked chicken with Mrs. Dash and "fried" lean ground turkey on the stove top with taco-like spices.  I made about a 1.5 lbs of chicken and 1.25 lbs of turkey.  Keep in mind that I am only cooking for myself.  I also proportioned out some salads for lunch with spinach and cherry tomatoes.  That way I had ready-made meals and didn't resort to the drive-thru, as is my fall back. Here is what a typical day looked like for me.  I am a creature of habit so I stuck with the same meals quite a bit.


Breakfast:  Vanilla Shakeology, Almond Milk, PB2

AM Snack: Almonds, Jicama

Lunch: Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, Chicken, and Blueberries

PM Snack: Pear

Dinner: Turkey Tacos with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

Yep, I am Plain Jane, but, it works for me!  I got in all my nutrients and I felt great, even after my workouts.  I can't wait see my final results at the end of the 21 days.  Only 14 more to go!

P.S. If you would like to know more about this plan, leave your email below or go to the contact me page.  I'll get back to you asap! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Guess what?!  I've been cleared to run 1 mile!!! I am ecstatic but something inside me is saying, "Don't get too excited have tried this before."  And I have, but it didn't last.  I thought I was ready but I wasn' least, I wasn't ready to run 5 miles, like the overzealous idiot I was.  Soooo, I'm running 1.  That's what my physical therapist told me to do and that's what I'll do.  I'm following the rules.  Trusting the process.  I want to get better.


I know I have gone on and on about this whole process, and trust me, I'm as ready as you are for it to be over.  I just want to run.  Yes, I love my new workouts, and I will never again have running as my only activity.  I firmly believe that strength training, as well as yoga and Pilates, all have a place in my workout regimen, however, I want to run.

There's just something about being outside under the big blue sky that gives me such a relief.  Ah!  Putting one foot in front of the other.  Seeing how far my legs will dare to take me.  Pushing it just one more minute, one more mile.  Not wanting, but at the same time, desperately wanting, for it to be over.

Running doesn't feel good when you're doing it.  Any of y'all who think it's supposed to feel good, I'm sorry, you've been mislead.  Your legs and lungs ache, begging you to stop...but you don't.  That's what feels so good.  The accomplishment when it is over.  The view from the top of the hill.  The complete exhaustion.  The cool breeze on your sweaty skin.  The view of the sunset.  The reflection.  Oh, yes, the reflection.  Reflecting on what you just did.  And, it's not always a proud reflection.  I have no romanticisms about that.  I remember the bad runs just as well as the good ones.  Yet, still, you remember and you press on.

What is your favorite part of running?

How do you stay strong when you have to take a break?


Friday, March 21, 2014

what am i running from?

If you grew up in church, or even just in the South, you know the story of Jonah and the big fish.  All I remember is Jonah being swallowed but by a giant fish and living in his belly for a while before getting out.  Until recently, I had thought he fell off the ship.  I guess they soften things for kids, because he was actually thrown off...because he asked to be.  Yep, cast overboard of his own decision.

[caption id="attachment_495" align="aligncenter" width="205"]Doesn't this look sweet? Doesn't this look sweet?[/caption]

Why?  Let's go back to the beginning.  Jonah was commanded by God to go to Nineveh and preach, but guess what?  Jonah didn't want to do that.  Nope.  He ran away from God!  What was he thinking?  Can you actually do that?  Instead of going to Nineveh(Middle East), he jumped on a ship heading the opposite direction to Tarshish(present day Spain).

[caption id="attachment_496" align="aligncenter" width="300"]jonah_map click for source[/caption]

Then, a giant storm came and Jonah asked to be "cast off" because he knew that this raging storm had come.  The rest is history, he was swallowed by a fish and then later spat out after promising he would make good on what was asked of him.

So this got me thinking.  God is not just going to let me just run away.  No.  He is going to pursue me with his relentless, passionate, absolutely overwhelming love.  (Who doesn't want to be pursued??)

I self-sabotage.  I think I know what is the right thing for me.  I try to control my life.  What a crazy thought.  What have I been running from?  Where have I been afraid to go that I was being called?

There are things I have put off and put off.  I have, in my humanness, avoided what I knew I should or should not be doing.  Honestly, I just didn't trust that I was capable of what he was asking of me.  So, maybe all that struggle, all that heartache, all the trying to control was me in the belly of the fish.  God was waiting for me to surface, waiting for me to let go,  waiting for me to give in and do what he has put me here to do.

What have you run from?

How did God bring you back to where he wants you?

running from

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

time to heal

Today, I finally started physical therapy for the nagging knee injury that started way back in January.  No, not this January, last January, as in 2013.  Yep.  I'm a procrastinator.  The honest to goodness truth is I thought I could just rest it out.  Take a break from running and it would be no more, but it just so happened I was in the middle of marathon training.  I did rest it from running.  I did the whole aqua jogging thing.  I rode the bike for hours at the gym.  You know what I didn't do?  Strength train.  That's the one thing I held back from my body while tearing it down to run 26.2.


Back to physical therapy, from my MRI scan last month I learned that I had a medial hamstring strain and a posterior capsular sprain.  So, basically, I've had a pulled hamstring for over a year.  It has never healed because I haven't properly taken care of it or had it treated.

I was so happy leaving that place because the doctor was so nice and she understood what I told her when I explained, "the back of my knee feels like a rubber band pulled taunt that gets plucked when I run."  I have no other way to explain the feeling but that's what it was.  She asked me a few questions about it and I was confident that she just knew.

I can't express the relief that I am feeling right now.  I am not getting my hopes up yet.  It was only my first session and I'm not running yet, but it's coming!  I cannot wait.  Spring is here.  I'm ready to run.

And, there's this...maybe I need more time at the ocean ;)

salt water heals

Sunday, March 16, 2014

when you win an entry but can't use it

As you may or may not know, I won a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon back in October.  I was ecstatic.  I never win anything.  Then, two weeks later I won a book for promoting a Twitter #runchat with Compassion International.  Wha?  Two in a row?  Where's my lotto ticket?  But, I digress.

The Blue Ridge Marathon is slated "America's Toughest Road Marathon".  "Road" is included in there because there are trail runs that are surely tougher.  Trail runners are tough....annndd I'm getting off topic again.  Anyway,  I was excited.  I was injured at the time but thought for certain, I would be a complete runner by April.

Of course it was going to be hard, but I had just completed Big Sur International Marathon, which is just as tough in its own right.  It's amazing how a human can transcend the body in such an experience.


Big Sur was the most beautiful race I had ever run, or even come close to running for that fact.  Crashing waves over the cliffs on one side, the rise of mountains covered in evergreens on the other.  This was as close to heaven as I had ever been.

Getting back to Blue Ridge.  It is to take place in Roanoke, VA, on none other than, the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Gorgeous, in its own right, the Parkway is a popular site for east coasters seeking beauty in the spring and fall.

But, here's the kicker.  I'm still injured.  Yep, that's right.  It's 5 months later and I still can't run over 4 miles without feeling like I was hit by a truck.  (Hence, the MRI post.)  There is no way it is possible for me to get ready in a month and a half for a marathon...or even a half. Sad times. So what do I do?

What would you do?

Have you ever had to back out of a race?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

just breathe...

Have you ever just exhaled and not realized you've been holding your breath? You know the feeling.  You reach a point of contentment that you didn't feel was possible at this stage in your life.  You didn't realize you had been holding it in, stressed out, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well, I took that giant exhale when my plane landed.  I'm at the shore.  The place I feel most at home.  The place I feel closest to God.  The place that soothes my soul.

I knew that I was stressed.  I knew I needed a break.

But today, this week, I feel calm.  I feel relaxed.  I feel...eucharisteo.  (This is a reference from one thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.  It's enriching my giving thanks.)


The sound of the waves.  The feel of the breeze on my skin.  The sunset after a long hot day.  The feel of the sand between my toes.  The smell of the salt in the water.  These are all the reasons I am pulled to the beach.  I am compelled.  I am complete.

Where do you go to relax?

How do you find the calm?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oh, and don't move AT ALL



Yes, my friends this is what it sounds like inside of a MRI scan.  I only had to be in there for 14 minutes but that was long enough.

The technician handed me ear plugs as I laid down.  The machine was already making a noise.  I didn't think I really needed the ear plugs for that.  I could handle it.  After all, I am a first grade teacher.

He told me that would hear a lot of banging and not to move AT ALL.  Well, ok then.  (Truthfully, my knee started aching about halfway through.  I think I was holding my breath because I didn't want to do this again.)

All week I had been fine.  "I'm not nervous about the MRI," I told co-workers and friends.  "I am more nervous about the results and what's to come," I said.  This is a girl who spent the majority of her teens in tanning beds.  (I know, I know.  I don't go anymore but I did during 2000-2001 prom season.)  Surely, it couldn't be any worse than that.  I mean, a tanning bed actually closes over you.

Ok, here's the truth.  That noise was scary.  Not in the way that I felt like I was going to be harmed scary, but in the way that haunted houses are scary.  You know that nothing's actually going to happen to you but there's still a healthy fear there.

Not only was I in this tiny enclosed space, but it was so loud.  Literally, my head is throbbing right now, but inside there I was not hurting.  I was nervous.  Irrational anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks.

I just started praying and praising.  Worship over worry, right?  I'm thankful to be healthy, to have an able body, even if I can't run right now.  It will come, all at the right time.  I could be battling much scarier things than a bum knee.  I know that and do not want to take that for granted.  I'm grateful the overabundance of people who care about me and share a common thread in my life.  I'm overwhelmed by the love I feel that I desire to share what I can with others so that they may make their lives shine brighter.  As the name states, I live with an overwhelmed heart and for that I express gratitude.  So, no matter what that scan reveals, I know that I have enough.


 Have you ever had an MRI or a scarier scan?

What has your worse injury been?  How did you overcome it?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

keep my eyes above the waves

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

Grace.  fear.  failure.  These words so often go hand in hand for me.  I know that what I can do is nothing.  What Grace can do is everything.  If it wasn't for Grace, who knows where I'd be now or what I'd be doing.  But, God, He takes care of me but yet sometimes I still doubt, I still fear, I still wonder.

Crazy things happen every day.  Nothing ever completely out of hand happens to me.  Sometimes I fear that I'm living a life of too much comfort.  That I can't be that dependent on God because I don't need him.  I hear the words to this song and I know that I just need to take that leap.  I'm ready to free fall with Him into this life that I would love to live but is such a "risk".  Can I really do this?  Is it a calling or is it a selfish endeavor?  How do I know?  Well, I know because this is something that I could never ever do on my own.  This is beyond me.  Out of my hands.  Out of my control.  Spirit lead me...

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Take a moment and worship.  You'll be better for it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow Day Circuit

Yay for a snow day!! It's true teachers get just as excited about snow days as kids do! If you aren't able to get out or need a change up of routine here's a fun but challenging workout. Let me know how you like it!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What is she talking about?

What is this blog all about? Is it about faith? Is it about fitness? Is it about whatever I feel like talking about?

I'm not sure. Yes. Yes. and Yes.

The truth is I'm a little all over the place and I know it. Maybe that's why not too many people follow my blog. I haven't found my "niche"...but do I really have to focus on just one thing?

I have found that when I try to write on things that are not personal or meaningful to me, I come across insincere and that's just not me. I am passionate to the core.

I'm committed to Jesus and I have faith in him in all things; therefore, I write a lot about my focus on faith. I'm also committed to fitness/working out. I believe making my body strong enriches my life, as it would yours as well. Then sometimes, I just throw in my random thoughts...which normally circle back around to either faith or fitness.  I have noticed that people who read and write fitness blogs don't talk about their faith, as authors of faith-based blogs don't really talk about fitness.  Am I doing a boo-boo here?  Should I pick just one thing to focus on?  You tell me.  I want your constructive criticism.


So, I guess what I'm saying here is: What would you like to see more of? What can I write about that you would like to read? I'm not here to bore you. I'm here to share my life with you.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

wet pants in church

This morning I was driving to church with my friend, when I decided I wanted to take a picture of this MLK graffiti on a building downtown for tomorrow.  I don't know why but it seemed important to me.  We were at a red light so I wasn't doing this while moving.  So, I zoom in to get a good pic of this:


Pretty cool, right?  Well, I thought so until the light turned green immediately and I hit the gas.  As I did, my coffee between my legs spilled almost completely in my lap.  Ahhhh!! It was hot.  It was wet.  I was mad...and embarrassed.  I did not want to go into church like that.  My pants were wet!  People were going to think I peed on myself, which is irrational, but anyway.  This was my thought process.

I realized I had fretted about what to wear to church that morning as I often do.  I was actually going to wear a t-shirt with a cardigan but I thought it wasn't "nice" enough, like I wasn't giving enough reverence to God or something, so I wore a sweater instead.

I was being silly.  I went inside and I praised Him.  I had to get over myself and laugh about it.  God doesn't care about what I'm wearing when I worship.

Interestingly enough, the sermon was about making ourselves weak so that we may reveal our brokenness  and others will grow to know Him.  Oh, how I was blessed by today's sermon and worship.  Y'all know I love me some worshipping!

I am so glad I didn't go home because of the wet pants.  I would have missed this:
"We love You, Lord.  We worship You.  You alone are God.  You alone are good." and seeing hands raised in praise as I, too, was overcome with joy of Our Father.

savior king

Monday, January 13, 2014

this little light of mine

I'm sure many of you have been touched by the story of Taylor Scout Smith, especially if you live in my area. I know I have.  This girl, in death, has become the most amazing witness of God's love, reaching people that she may have never met.  The letter that she wrote to herself to be opened in 2023 was not one of a typical 12-year-old. Little did she know that God would call her home in less than a year after writing that letter.

In the letter, she talked about college and making sure she graduated high school, but she also talked about her relationship with God (a part left out by a lot of the media).  She wanted to make sure that she had  been praying, worshipping, reading the Bible, and serving the Lord.  Why?  Well, as Taylor says..."He was mocked, beaten, and crucified for you!  A sinless man who never did you or any other person any wrong!"  Wow!  How much wisdom for such a young person.  I know that at 12, I was nowhere near this in tune with what Jesus really did for us.

Another thing, I have been deeply affected by is how accepting of God's will her parents have been.  Her father said, in an interview with WJHL, "If it's God's time, it's God's time, and he loved her more than we could ever love her. So much so that he said 'come on.'" Smith said. "A lot of people are probably wondering why it's so easy for a father whose just lost his daughter to say something like that, to not curse God, to not hate God, the only thing I can say is that right now it's easy for me to trust God because my baby girl trusted him."
"He loved her more than we could ever love her."  (So often we forget this.)

Although, I'd met Taylor, briefly, while teaching for a semester at a school she attended a few years ago, I didn't know her, but just from reading and hearing the words she wrote I'm amazed.  Amazed to know this story.  Amazed to know His story.  Amazed to see such truth poured out from this beautiful, young girl.

I'm so encouraged to live God's will for my life, as I hope you are too.  A few days ago I was driving down the road, with Hosanna playing on the radio, when I received a text.  When I stopped at a red light I looked at my phone to read the message.  The message was about something I had intently been praying on.  I just heard God say, "Here you go."  Then, there in my car, I sobbed grateful tears.  I just knew that I was in the right place for me.  This is where God wants me.  I know it's going to be tough at times, but as Taylor said, He did so much for me.  Why could I not go through a little suffering so that His Light may shine brighter?  Isn't that why we're here?

Here is a link to Taylor's full story, get out the tissues if you watch the video:

Tell me, how has her story affected you?

Has there been someone in your life who has encouraged you?

Have you every had a moment of clarity like this?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Do you want to run a 5k?

My 3 year anniversary of blogging my running adventures, and eventually life adventures, is coming up on January 16th. It seems crazy to me all that has happened in that time and how I have changed.

I had just started training for my 2nd half marathon. It was a daunting task for me considering I had only given myself 6 weeks to train and it seemed so long ago that I had trained for my first one the previous year for 4 months.  I felt inspired on that first long run to document my run and share it with others...if they cared to read it.

That inspiration, though it has waned, at times, is burning brightly.  I love to encourage others to experience the freedom and just boost of life that exercise gives me.

Running is not for everyone and that's ok.  (If you are looking for something else to feel great,  I have other challenge groups as well, that don't include running.  Contact Me to get on board!)

However, if you do want to start running but don't know where or how, or maybe you just need some extra motivation from a support group, I got you.  I want to help you.  We will start with a 5k :)

Here's how I see the group going.  YOU will be my launch group so we may have to make some adjustments along the way but you can get the gist of it.

  • We will start training at the end of January/first of February (5-6 weeks of training)

  • We will meet each Saturday or Sunday for a group workout/run/stretching

  • You will run 2-3 more times during the week on your own (or with run buds!)

  • Private Facebook group to share and motivate one another (& meet new people!)

  • Run "Joggin for the Noggin" on March 8th to benefit The Crumley House (Click here to learn more.)

  • Free of cost, except for your registration to the race.

joggin for the noggin

Disclaimer:  I am not a running coach or a personal trainer.  I am just a person who wants to help you live your best life.  Please do not take my advice as you would a professional's.  I started on my own without any professionals and I made it through a few races.  ;)

I look forward to starting this adventure with you!!  If you're ready to sign up, go to Contact Me and enter your info.

Have you ever organized a run group on your own?

What were your biggest challenges?

Why do you want to run a 5k?



Friday, January 3, 2014

dreams with deadlines

Let's all take a moment to talk about goals. Yes, goals. Do you have them?  Do you push for them?

Are they S.M.A.R.T. goals?

I just found out what S.M.A.R.T. goals are.  And I think it's a genius concept!  So I am sharing my discovery with you.  (Disclaimer:  I did not come up with this.)


Ok, now let's break it down...

SPECIFIC For example, "lose weight" is too vague.  How much weight do you want to lose?  When are you going to start?  What program will you be following?

MEASURABLE There must be a logical system for measuring your goal.  (See above weight loss goal.)  Since I'm a first grade teacher, I can help you out with measurement.  ;)  Time, pounds, height, miles, etc.  How will you know when your goal is accomplished?

ATTAINABLE You need to be willing and able to make that happen.  For example, you probably couldn't, nor should you, lose 100 lbs. in 1 month.  Not. Gonna. Happen.  You have to be realistic.  I am not going to make $100,000 this month.  Of course, I would love to.  It fits the first two parameters, but it is not attainable...unless I win the lottery(!).

RELEVANT You have to choose goals that matter to YOU.  If it doesn't matter to you, why would it be your goal?

TIME-BOUND You must set a target date to reach your goal.  Making a commitment to a deadline helps focus.  Goals are just dreams with deadlines!  This is one of the main reasons I need a plan for my fitness.  When I have no plan, I make no progress.  Deadlines make things happen.

dreams deadlines

I'd love to know - what are your dreams with deadlines?

Have you been "smart" about setting them?