Scary stuff, do it in spite of. It could be the best thing that ever happened to you.

I have had to do many scary things over the years that I never thought I could do at the time.  I have found that after I did these scary things, that originally I did not think I could do, I later felt a great sense of confidence, pride, and happiness after I was able to do it.  It amazes me that I was able to do them. It is a priceless feeling to successfully tackle the seemingly impossible or scary things in life.  These experiences provide a priceless life long feeling of accomplishment and a feeling that you can overcome other obstacles and fears.  Many times they can lead you on to do other great challenges that you may never have even thought about before.  I went on to do many great things such as triathlon and ultra-running challenges that I never would have done if I had not done these other extremely challenging things.  We never know what the future will be, but it always makes sense and ties together eventually it seems.

One time,  I remember I had to treat my water. I have a well, and I had to treat it with chlorine.  I took the heavy, almost impossible to move, cement lid off of the well. I then noticed that I would have to climb down inside of the well to be able pour the bleach where it needed to go.  There was only one problem, there were lots of big black spiders everywhere on the walls of the well in the ground.  After what seemed like a very long time  of being paralyzed by sheer fear of the sight of all those big black spiders, I then was able to get a hold of myself a bit.  I did not know what to do, I only knew that I had to try to figure it out.  I tried to figure out if there was another way to get the bleach where it needed to go without me getting inside the well. As much as I tried, every idea I had still involved me getting inside the well to at least fasten some sort of a funnel or hose and made me realize that no matter what I needed to go inside that well.  With my newfound realization came a more calm feeling, because I was able to contemplate any possible solutions and concluded there was only one way.  Therefore, ultimately my strong sense of responsibility played the largest role here because it gave me the courage I needed to do this seemingly impossible task. I knew I needed to do this for my family.  We needed to be able to use and drink our water. I was a single mother of 2 young kids at the time and there was no one else to help me.  I knew I had no choice but to do it.   All of a sudden, something came over me, I had the courage and I got down inside the well.  As fast as I could I did what I needed to do, then quickly I got back out of the well filled with big black spiders. Afterwards, I ran around like a crazy person, flailing my body every which way to try to get any spiders off of me that may have gotten on me.  It must have been a site to see, me running around and shaking my body, I’m sure it would have made for a great Americas Funny Home video if the moment had been captured.

Ever since that day, I love the great confidence and pride I enjoy from that experience.  My bravery and sense of responsibility gave me the ability to go beyond what I ever thought I could that day. It led me to be able to do many other brave and courageous things, not only for my family, but in life in general.  It has made me a better person. Our experiences can shape us in fascinating ways that we never may have imagined.   I encourage all of you to get out of your comfort zone.

A wise woman used to say,  “Do one thing every day that scares you”, Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted as saying that.  There are many different kinds of being scared, it doesn’t always have to include spiders or the like.  It could be talking to someone, trying something new or difficult, or it could be something more extreme such as diving off of a steep cliff for the first time in your life.  Every single day we should have this frame of mind, to go out and live our lives and do it afraid if necessary.  Life is meant to be lived.  A life filled with thrills is even better.  You must be willing to do things, in spite of the obstacles or fears.  It is the ‘in spite of’ that can make it one your best experiences many times.  Break out of your comfort zone to feel fit forever. #feelfitforever

I am stromg capab;e and resourceful

Best advice for what to do with your stinky wet exercise clothes

You just had a great, sweat-drenched workout. Your body feels great, but what will you do with your stinky wet clothes? If you leave them in the laundry until you are ready to do your next laundry load, the smell may last and set in the clothes forever, or worse yet damage other clothes. You don’t have to do an entire load of laundry each day you workout, or do a separate hand wash each time either.  I have a much better way to handle this job.  I love when I find out easy ways to get things done daily.  I especially love when it comes out even better than it would have if I did it the old way. My advice on how to handle your sweaty workout clothes is to shower with them. After you take your sweaty workout clothes off, place them on the floor of the shower. Do not wear them in the shower,  but put them in the shower with you.  They will get super clean and fresh and all you have to do at the end of the shower is wring them out, then hang to dry. Just put them on the floor of the shower and as you clean your hair and body, your clothes will get nice and clean too.
I think I may see a few raised eyebrows out there in disbelief or perhaps perplexed, wondering if this is a good idea or if it works. I know I was a bit skeptical years ago when a friend told me he did this and it worked like a charm. I can tell you that it really does work great. Try it. You’ve got nothing to lose. You could gain a lot, a lot of extra time and money from doing 2 things at once.Try new things, be creative and be open to change to feel fit forever.  #feelfitforever

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My thirst for Adventure began with an old metal lunchbox

I have had a thirst for adventure all my life since I was a very little girl. One of my earliest childhood memories confirms I have always loved adventure and it all started with a little metal lunchbox. I’m told that as a little girl of only 1 to 2 years old, I decided on my own, that I would not give anyone a kiss unless I had some in my trusty lunchbox. Of course, I never did have kisses ready , so I said I needed to go get some in the woods with my lunchbox. We lived surrounded by woods when I was a little girl. I was in my glory. I loved it. I believe now that my young mind came up with the idea of needing to go get more kisses in my lunchbox because I had a constant need to be in the woods exploring. I remember always being in a constant state of amazement. I loved it so much. To me, the woods were a place filled with beauty and wonder that was never ending.
As I look back on this memory now as I am almost 50 years old, it confirms this even more, my love of nature and being fully immersed in it as much as possible.  I love listening to my Mom telling me stories of when I was a very little girl, and how I would just go off on my own for hours. This was a daily occurence I’m told, and many times neighbors would bring me back home saying they found me miles from home, yet with my face smiling from ear to ear. Yes, I was surely in my glory. This love of adventure is part of who I am, deep inside, even if now as an adult I don’t get to go on adventures nearly as often, the love is still part of who I am.
My Mom glows as she describes every detail of how exciting it has been to be my mother over the years. I love listening to her tell me all the many wonderful memories and watching her face full of love for me.  One example is how I used to carry my lunch box almost every where I went, from about age 1 year old forward.  Much like the one pictured here below, it was a metal lunch box, of the Peanuts cartoon.

What makes my ‘use’ of the lunch box very different than anything I’ve ever heard of before, is that I used it to ‘store’ kisses.  If someone would come up to me and ask me for a kiss, we always had many visitors of Aunts and Uncles etc , I would then say, that I have to check to see if I have any left in my lunch box first.  Usually, I would not find any kisses in the lunch box, after carefully checking the lunchbox. Then I would hurry along and say I have to go get some more kisses.  I would run out the door with my lunch box into the woods to go ‘fill’ my lunch box with more kisses.
Now as I look back on this memory, it seems like an awesome plan to get out in the woods as much as possible, to explore, which sure seemed to be my passion at the time.  It was a very clever idea for anyone, but especially a very young child.  My subconscious likely figured a way for me to do what I love, exploring in the woods. By harvesting kisses as much as possible I was able to do that .
I absolutely love this memory.  It confirms my still very real need, for adventure, nature and exploring has, it has always been a part of who I am.
I think we really can learn a lot about ourselves sometimes when we look back, and in doing so it helps us to look forward.

Many times, I was found deep in the woods exploring.  It was as if I was in my element when in the woods. I loved the woods.  I loved nature.  I loved exploring. I loved all the insects and animals. I loved looking closely at everything, all the plants, trees, bugs, everything. I seemed to have no fear.

Ah, to be young and naive.  Age teaches us many things, one of which is that it’s a good idea to be cautious of some things, especially in nature.  Poison ivy, some snakes, etc.  But back then, I felt invincible.  I am told I used to roll around in poison ivy and never got it back then, but now that is not the case.  I can still remember the feeling now of being free in the woods. I can feel the excitement, the joy, the peacefulness.  I can feel the air. I can see the sky above me, so high above me, as I was so much smaller then, I felt the massiveness differently than now. I can hear the noises of nature and the occasional passing plane or helicopter and the quiet that is no longer in this now more developed area. I can smell the smells of nature, the glorious wonderful fresh smells of the woods. It’s as if I’m there again sometimes, whenever I want to be.  It’s a great place your imagination and your memories.  Hold them dear to your heart always to feel fit forever.  Even better is to go out and make more great memories with more great adventures to feel fit forever. #feelfitforever
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TAPER Before the big RACE

Many times, people hate the taper before the race, but if you do it right, it’s likely you will embrace it.  Meaning that if you follow a great training plan, listen to your body and work as hard as you can during the weeks leading up to the taper, then once the taper comes, you will enjoy the much needed break.  You will dream of the big race day coming and know you’ve worked hard for it and that this taper is just the final step in preparation of it.  But that’s not to say the taper is all fun and games. After all we just spent months training much more vigorously.  We are used to a full training schedule and we are not used to having all this free time on our hands.  It can be unsettling if you allow it to get the best of you.  As an athlete you are likely a type ‘A’ personality and enjoy a much more active and fast paced life than the more relaxed laid back life.   You are also likely very good at focusing on your goal, and knowing that this taper will significantly help you towards your goal.  If we work this new found freedom correctly, we can focus on enjoying it and embracing it.  This will surely make race day, our ultimate goal, much better.

A taper, for those who may not know what it is, is a period of time before race day, that we do not train nearly as hard as we have been training, in both our intensity and time spent training.  They are reduced depending on your individual needs .  This period can be anywhere from 1 week before the race, or 3 weeks before the race.  There are a few variables that determine taper time, including how many miles the race is, how experienced you are and your individual needs and preferences.  Some people may taper 2 weeks before a marathon, some may run a marathon every weekend and only taper a couple of weeks for a 100 mile race distance.  It’s all very individual.  Also, not everyone does what is best for their needs, despite knowing better.

The taper is to reduce risk of injury and refresh your muscles so that they’ll be at their best come race day.  Some are driven more by running itself, and not their health.  Some may feel like they just don’t need the break or maybe one as long as they should take.  Not taking the much needed break, they convince themselves that they don’t need it for whatever reason.  A good thing to keep in mind is that most runner’s will be injured at some point in time.  It is a good idea to make sure we do all we can to lesson the risk of injury.  The main thing is that you listen to your body and do what it needs no matter what you feel like doing.  Give it the rest it needs, so that it can be its best on race day.  Don’t be fixated on instant gratification. Focus on your long term goals to feel fit forever.  #feelfitforever 20160602_124614