Fit For A Mom

My ramblings of balancing my passions… fitness, family, & entrepreneurship.

To Everything there is a Season… May 19, 2010

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Life. Death. Running. What is the connection between the three?

Death makes you stop in your tracks. Literally for the one who has experienced it, however, I am referring to those who are remain after it has swept by. One minute everything is under control and in a matter of hours, chaos. April 1 started seemingly usual as I returned emails and phone calls. I distinctly remember that I was planning on going for a run that day but was extremely busy and could not find the time to squeeze in something, anything. It was then that I found myself catching up on school work (I am an MBA student) and the phone call came. My dad indicated that my grandma was going into surgery. Ironic, since I just called the hospital and left a message with her roommate who mentioned she was getting tests performed. I asked her to call her granddaughter and she asked which one. I responded, “her only one.”

My grandma was just admitted into the hospital a couple of days before and was planning on being released on Good Friday. My dad gave no reason that this was anything to be worried about. I would soon find out that he truly did not have any indication of the events that were to come. I hung up the phone, said a short prayer and continued my reading. I had an ominous feeling that I could not place. Within the hour, dad called back, his voice stricken with panic. He said that it is more serious than originally thought. Can you go and pick up your mother from work? Sure I said, trying to hide my fear. As I am on my way to go pick up my mother from work, the following words flash across my phone: “If you want to see your grandma, get here as soon as you can” – Dad

This was all he needed to say. For me that meant that everything is going wrong and her time is limited. Calling my neighbors to watch my children, we arrive at the hospital. The old cliché is true that you can never be prepared for when you see a loved one lying there. Shortly after, she opened her eyes and through her pain communicated that she was “at peace.” More importantly she knew we were there. Several hours passed and her breathing became more and more labored. My dad and aunt, her two children are holding her hands. The clock is ticking and it took all that I had not to get up and scream thinking that we are just waiting for death to come. The chaplain walks in and she starts quoting Pslam 23. It was at that very moment that the angels came for her. Ironic that her passing would come in the holiest of times for someone who was deeply religious; the day before Good Friday or Maundy Thursday.

After a long night, I come home. My children are sleeping and my husband is out of town, unable to catch a flight till the next day. My mind wonders. I feel like I am in a dream and that so much has happened in one day, or has it really? Everything is foggy. Logically I know that she was 88 and lived a good life, but the pain and guilt are real. I was suppose to have lunch with her today so that she could see her great-grandson and now she is gone. Why did I reschedule? What made me think that having the landscapers come over was more important? I am wrenched with guilt. Guilt that I reschueled. Guilt that I have not seen her since Christmas. I would call, but “things” came up and I never made a visit. I had every intention but what are intentions good for now?

After a fitful sleep, I take my children to school and before getting work done, I go for a run. It is the only thing that I can think to do. Truthfully, I wanted to lace up my shoes at 2 o’clock in the morning, but realized that it was not a smart idea to run the risk of having the police at my house because I went AWOL. Running is truly my therapy. It is what clears my head and in this instance, made me feel. Feel my breath. Feel my muscles burning and aching. Feel my feet rhythmically striking the ground. Feel my heart beating out of my chest. I needed to feel the pain to make me realize that I am alive. Over the next couple of months, I continue to run, a lot. I am not able to eek out much writing but I am feeling more and more “at peace.” In a different way, I now see what my grandma was referring to. We all have our own journeys to take, albeit some shorter and some longer. Make every moment count so that when the road ends you are “at peace.” I know I will as I continue to run, write, and love this life.

To everything there is a season
And a time for every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die – The Byrds

And the angels have come for her…Rest in Peace Jeanette Dallas.
Till we meet again!

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What Do You Want To Do Before You Die? March 1, 2010

I was out on my last long run of 10 miles today before my Disney Princess Half Marathon and was in the zone. Truthfully, it was because the wind was blowing so hard and I was miserably cold so I had to get my mind off of it. Among random work things such as how to further build clients and gain additional projects, I started to think of all of the fun stuff that I have done in my life. Again, I am positive that this was because of my current wind-blown state, but I went with it. I then started to think of “my list.” This list of mine which is purely in my head, is all of the things that I want to do before I leave this earth. I have thought over and over that I should write this down, but have never done so until now. With that being said, this list is not comprehensive and is a living and breathing document that forever evolves. Who knows, maybe my ambitions or goals will be different when I am 50. I am certain they will. I hope that by that time, I can check off most of the following and compose a new list.

I am always telling others to live to the fullest. I know it sounds cliche but it is true on so many levels. The real tragedy is that most go through a lifetime of “what ifs, I should haves and I wish I coulds.” I am not perfect and at times struggle with this myself, but I am cognizant of it. I strive everyday to keep in the moment and gosh, I feel that sometimes that is all we can do.

My emergency tag on my running shoe has the quote, “never waste the gift” on it. I practice what I preach. Below is a partial list of things and events that are important to me. They are not in a particular order and who knows, some may be important to you too. Although, I am sure your list will be different, as it should be. But the question is, have you started yours?

1. Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary with my husband
2. Go to a deserted island
3. Skydive
4. Have a wildly successful company
5. Write a book (one at the very least) and get it published
6. Run the Boston Marathon (and Big Sur just because it is beautiful and I am always having Cali withdrawals)
7. Become a triathlete
8. Take a “girl” trip with each of my daughters
9. Visit the Great Wall (Check. Will take place in Oct. 2011)
10. Backpack and tour Europe
11. Start a nonprofit
12. Travel down under (can you tell that I love to travel?)
13. Help bring a future grandchild into the world
14. See the northern lights
15. Travel to Fiji
16. See my kids graduate from college
17. Travel to all 50 states (well on my way with that one)
18. Leave a lasting legacy
19. Own a beach house
20. Always remember where I came from and where I am headed
21. To always have a close relationship with my children and for that to deepen as they grown older.

 

We Are The World 25 Years Later… February 15, 2010

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As an avid Olympics fan, I was anxiously anticipating the debut of the remix of “We are the World.” Twenty-five years ago when the original was created, I was 8 years old. I distinctly remember the video and the pictures of Africa. They scared me and I knew in my child mind that I was lucky to be living here in the United States.

Fast forward back to real time. After watching the preview and then racing to You Tube to find the entire song, I sat and watched. I watched numerous times because the meaning of the song is entreanched in societal issues that are so prevalent of our time, even 25 years later. Quite frankly it also has a good beat. My girls were ecstatic because they knew majority of the artists and were dancing around our living room to it. They were partial to the hip-hop section and Justin Bieber. Still I wonder, after the song was finished recording, what else would those artists do? What now? Did it really resonate with them?  I am sure for some it truly did and still for others it was just another publicity event.

Bottom line is that I thought the song was great, although I am partial to the original. I showed my girls the 1985 version and they laughed thinking the artists “looked funny.”  Kids, huh? I really feel old. Most importantly, I think the impact on the greater good was right on target. It is up to all of us to help one another. We are good people at heart and that is the beauty of the human race.

What are your thoughts on the video?

 

Work For YOUR Dreams, Not Someone Else’s…So Is The Entrepreneur Life January 20, 2010

I can remember the turning point so vividly in my mind.  A friend of mine recommended this book titled, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.  I had heard of it before and decided that I’d give it a read.  Little did I know that it truly would be life changing? Now do not get me wrong here, I know that term is used lightly by many gurus, however, in this case it did create a spark.  A spark somewhere deep down that I never knew existed and quite frankly, did not know how to act on it.

So as most people do, I put the thought out of my head and moved on.  Want to know what the thought was? Working for me.  Initially, it was not for the financial freedom, although I have learned that it is not a bad thing and that with financial freedom comes a great responsibility. Most importantly to give back what has been given to you. No, for me it was two-fold.  One, the flexibility of working for myself and raising my children and two, giving 120% for me.  On the surface that sounds selfish, but let me explain that it is just the opposite.  If I could divert that energy into something that I’m passionate about then I could create my own “wealth”, both freedom and financial.  Only at that stage would I be able to contribute even more good, by giving back MORE good to those who I connect with. That is what it is all about.

I read that book in 2005.  Time passed and those thoughts kept creeping back in my head over and over. I would wake up thinking about it, find myself researching and reading everything that had to do with entrepreneurship. I wanted to surround myself with others like me. Working for someone else just did not make sense anymore. I was consumed by my thoughts.  There were times I wondered what was wrong with me. I then knew that someday I would own my own business. It only took a lay off in the corporate world four years later, to give me the push to really do it.  That was last year.  Ironically, I always thought that if I was ever “laid off” I’d have the time to devote to starting something. I guess now I have to prove it.  Strange how the universe and higher power works.

Currently, I own two brand new businesses.  One is a marketing consulting business which focuses on strategy, communication and social media presence for the wellness and small business sectors.  The other is that I am a distributor for Juice Plus which is a whole-food supplement that has over a 15 year research proven history of excellence.  My passion lies within words and wellness….what better way to meld the two? Oh, I am also working on a book as well regarding overcoming tremendous personal obstacles, but that is for another day and time 🙂

I do not intend to sound “cocky”. I am just the opposite, humble.  What suits me best is “driven”. This is me and I am content, at least for a short time.  I always strive for excellence and I have to remind myself to push past my fears and be patient, it will happen.  The attributes of faith, family, tenacity and pushing my limits (guess the last two are essentially the same, huh?) have proved me well in the past.  So, it is those that I rely on now.  I want to leave a legacy and be the best example that I can be to my children now and in the future. I do not want to leave this earth and be known for mediocracy.

Keep the spark alive and do all you can to ignite it.

 

25 Ways To Wellness… November 2, 2009

Because of my wellness background, I am always asked various questions and sought out for advice. I try to provide the best wisdom possible and below is a synopsis of 25 snippets of advice. I do not know everything, but I do hope you enjoy reading a few of my “tips”….

Keep a positive attitude * Stop smoking if you haven’t already * Be active in some fashion every day * Control your stress * Maintain close, personal relationships * Resolve conflicts peacefully * Practice gratitude * Eat fruit for dessert * Make it a habit to have at least one vegetable with every meal * Buy organic when possible * Drink water throughout the day * Avoid secondhand smoke * Celebrate life * Love yourself * Pay it forward * Take time for you, everyday * Eat foods closest to nature * Make healthy and active living a family virtue * Be passionate about what you do * Ask yourself, “What kind of life do I really want?” * If you have children, tell them you love them * Step outside your comfort zone * Go vegetarian once a week * Get outside * LIVE!

 

Running With Ghosts and Goblins…and a Yellow M&M October 30, 2009

Last Sunday I ran a 10K which was very exciting for multiple reasons.  One, to race is always a challenge, but this was so laid back that it was a nice breather. Two, this was unique in that it was a Halloween theme.   After having lived all over the country, my husband and I decided to move back closer to family and lucky for me my dad is a runner too. Six weeks before the race, I called him up and after thoroughly convincing him that he wouldn’t have to wear any kind of “costume” he agreed.  That morning as he sat down in the seat, I was thinking, “Why, am I doing this? I am going to freeze!”  I have to fill you in with the fact that we moved from Southern California and back to where there are now seasons, four distinct ones to be exact.  Driving down the road I summon up the courage to look at the temperature reading on the dashboard of my Jeep.  It screams back at me with that bright green hue 38 degrees.  Seriously. 

We arrive and find a place to park and head on up to the start line.  Before taking our place, we stand in line to use the infamous race port-a-potty.  This is one of the situations in my life (next to the monthly thing) that I wish I was a man.  I proceed to pull down and pull up all of my layers while trying to feel what I am supposed to feel.  You get the idea.  Ms. SoCal girl forgot her gloves, or should I say it did not cross my mind to bring them.  Rest assured that it was the first thing on my mind in that bathroom and I was kicking myself  for my hands being red and frozen.

After stumbling out the door I reach the facet where water comes out via the foot pump.  So here I am pumping this make-shift sink with my foot and anxious to get the 5 million germs off of my hands, when at that moment, the water hits my hands and it is ICE COLD.  Why again would I have thought that it would have been warm since it was probably sitting out all night?  After peeling off the layer of ice (of course I am exaggerating, but darn it that’s what it felt like) on my hands, I looked at my watch and realized it was almost time. 

We take our place. The gun goes off and the race begins.  I start running and slowly I began to notice all of the costumes and the original reason that I was excited.  I became intrigued by what I saw and made it a game to take notice of all the varieties of costumes.  Witches, ghosts and goblins were the norm, however there were a few that stood out in my mind;  The Jedi knight, the jockey with the horse actually attached to him, JFK, a fly with huge wings which clearly affected his equilibrium.  Unless, he was just drunk which I would have had to be to wear that awful contraption! Of course I cannot forget the yellow M&M.  He stood out in my mind the most because that was my favorite color as a child and M&M’s were so yummy.  Who am I kidding?  They still are!

The M&M Runner

After I locked my eyes on him, I started to feel sorry for the poor guy.  His running form was all over and he was sweating, a lot.  But, there was a smile on his face.  Not to mention a smile on mine and many others.  After a couple of miles I began to warm up and enjoyed the sights and sounds.  MJ would have been proud that “Thriller” was played on almost every street corner and that the crowd was having just as much fun as the runners, if not more.  With 2 miles left, my competitiveness started to kick in and I set my eyes on the witch in front of me.  Just as I was about to pass her, she veered off to the side.  It was then that I realized that little voices were saying, “Mommy, mommy, we are so proud of you”.  I turned to see two little girls around three and six hugging their mom.  I had to rub my eyes to clearly see.  It was then that I was brought back to my original state of mind.  Take it slow and enjoy the ride, er run.

 

Happy Halloween Mr. M&M guy and everyone!

 

Candy as a reward? October 19, 2009

Halloween is just around the corner and the abundance of candy has made me once again think about how my daughter randomly has it in the bottom of her backpack. The wrappers were the first clue and then I would start to find pieces that she had yet to eat. Three weeks into the school year, I had enough. I ask her “where in the world are you getting this from? Her reply, “my teacher”.  What?  Why would your teacher give you candy I ask?  In her matter-of-fact six year old tone, she says, “Well mom, because our class was good”.   Hmm….because they were good.  Before saying anything further and risk looking like the crazy momma, I tell her to finish her homework. 

My mind becomes flooded with various thoughts such as: Why does our society have this love affair with food? Why are we teaching our children that there is a cause and effect relationship with behavior and food?  Finally, why as a healthy mom do I not have any control or say over what is going into my child’s mouth?  Now keep in mind, I am all for occasionally taking my kids to the ice cream shop or giving them a piece of candy.  I like ice cream just as much as the next mom.  However, the key is “occasionally”.  Furthermore, I as a parent, should be the one that has a voice in what I allow my child to eat.  Now, I do expect that when she is at school there will be the occasional birthday treat or holiday party treat, but a treat just because she was “good?” I would suspect that it would be just as easy for a teacher to provide “trinkets” as “treats”.  Those can easily be bought at a dollar store and used as rewards for the children that are good in class.

This issue filters in to another, which is the alarming obesity rates in this country and how are children are exhibiting chronic disease symptoms which normally would not present itself till adulthood.  Those such as high blood pressure and diabetes are becoming commonplace, when even 20 years ago were unheard of in a 10-year-old. 

Having a wellness background as a consultant, trainer and co-founder of an active living organization, I know I am biased.  So tell me teachers, is there an alternative way to giving candy based on a child’s good behavior? I think there is. Communities, parents, as well as schools are all an integral part of tackling this obesity issue.  We have an ethical responsibility to our children and their future to make sure that we give them the best start possible. As a wellness consultant, I have made an appointment with the principle to see how I can assist with making changes.  Small changes turn into big changes and you have to start somewhere. Rather than pulling out the candy from the backpack, I would be overjoyed to pull out a flower plastic ring instead!