Post of Positives

Post of Positives

Our media is constantly overwhelmed with an influx of negative stories meant to instill fear in our society.  So today, amidst copious negativity, I present to you a list of positivity, a list of good in the world, and a list of hope.

  • In the past few months I have endlessly practiced skills of determination. My current aspirations require determination but I am hopeful that hard work, perseverance, and focus will assist in the achievement of my goals. Determination is the key to success.
  • I have experienced the magnitude of community engagement.  It is enlightening to see a group of individuals come together to achieve a goal.  Comprehension of the significance of our actions as cycling community members is what fuels the group to spend a Saturday afternoon in the woods.  Teamwork is quintessential for community success.  The ability to unite under one common goal is paramount.
  • I have learned that reaching out to others for guidance is invaluable.  The people who want to see you succeed and who want to help you succeed are the people that will guide you whenever you need direction.  It’s okay to ask for help, advice, guidance, etc.  Reaching out to others is not a sign of weakness; it’s merely a sign of strength fueled by the willingness to be the best version of yourself.
  • I have learned to enjoy the little things.  Turn up the music in the car, roll down the windows, watch the sunset on a Tuesday night, stop at that restaurant on Main St you’ve been wanting to go back to, go for a hike, or send some snail mail.  None of these things take significant planning. Some of these may even be spontaneous choices.  Enjoy them.  Put down the phone and enjoy the moment.  Sometimes the little things add up to bigger things – when you save 100 pennies you have $1.00. Would you rather save 100 little things in your heart’s wallet or one big thing?
  • Extend the invitation, but keep it meaningful.  Invite the people who hold a special place in your heart.  This could be at a simple family BBQ or at a wedding.  The guest book doesn’t have to be long.  What’s important is the meaningfulness of the guest book.  Each relationship we create in our lives is unique in its own way.  Are “your people” family members, lifelong friends, a significant other, a co-worker, or just an acquaintance?  It’s great to have many bonds with individuals, but it’s the meaningful ones that fit life’s greatest purpose – love.
  • I’ve learned that nobody should let anyone else control their happiness. Speak up for yourself when necessary.  Put your foot down.  Chase your ambitions.  Let go of anything holding you back from happiness.  True happiness is molded through positive interactions.  React to negative interactions.  Don’t be afraid to take a risk – speak up for your happiness.
  • Challenges are great for self-growth.  Choose a path that frightens you. Make a right turn when everyone else is turning left.  Make your own path.  Create your own self.  Challenge the strength you already have.  Push yourself past your preconceived limits.  It’s amazing what you’ll learn about yourself when you challenge your body, mind, & spirit.
  • Smile often.
  • Ask questions.
  • Be pro-active with your future.

It’s amazing what life teaches you in the most ambiguous times.  Let life create it’s own chapters.  Follow your heart.  Learn from your mistakes. Never give up on your goals.  Most importantly, do what’s right for you. Be the person you were always meant to be. 

My Running Hiatus

My Running Hiatus

The Hyner 25k was just over one month ago and ever since then my running has been off. My weekly mileage hasn’t exceeded 17 miles. Actually, it’s been a struggle for me to reach a total of 17 miles.  I took off my normal amount of time for post-race recovery and, instead of running, I started cycling more both on and off the trails to maintain some fitness.  The runs I did complete were typically 3-4 mile runs at a sluggishly slow pace. On my runs, my mind would often wander to a desire to stop running and just walk or find a bicycle to ride back to my house instead (both of which I never actually did).  As much as I wanted to take off from running and try to maintain my fitness through cross-training instead, I kept trying to go out and run in hopes that during one of these runs I would feel less sluggish. That feeling never came.  Despite the short distance of my runs, 3 miles started to feel like an eternity. I would get to my half-way turn-a-round point and think “I really have to go all the way back now??“. A few weeks before I’d completed 16 miles up and down mountains and now a 3 mile run on a flat trail became a challenge unlike Hyner View Challenge itself.  Maybe I was physically broken down from the 25k.  I know I felt unmotivated because I didn’t have anything to train; I didn’t have a race to look forward to.  I know I felt lonely on my runs because my running partners either weren’t able to run because of injury or had moved 2,000 miles away (you know who you are).  Maybe I was going through race withdrawal.  Actually…maybe I was going through mountain withdrawal.  Regardless of this list of retrospective excuses, I tried to get over these boundaries.  People told me to take more time off. I felt like I was indeed taking time off by running low and slow mileage but my body ultimately won the battle. I needed more time. I needed to stop running completely.  So this is my running hiatus.  I will probably run a few miles at tonight’s group run because I am obligated to as the shop owner’s daughter. I assure you that it won’t be fast and it won’t be strenuous in any capacity. I will ease back in to running as I prepare to start training for my fall ultra. I hope that I’ve given my body an appropriate amount of time to recoup itself. I hope that I return to running with some new found motivation. What ever the case may be, I now understand the importance of ample race recovery. Even though I didn’t run a marathon or ultra, my body was so strained by the race and the three months of training leading up to the race that it needed a break.   It needed a hiatus.
Lessons from a 1-year-ago-graduate:

Lessons from a 1-year-ago-graduate:

Approximately one year ago, I graduated from college.  Although I did not participate in the commencement ceremony, I was done with my college requirements and tossed into the adult world of searching for that “all-important” job, adjusting to the “grown-up” life, and handling financials in the form of repaying those dreaded student loans.

Here I am now, scrolling through endless posts about graduation.  Graduates are posting about their happiness for finally being done school.  Two posts down my news feed, the same person is posting about their sadness for being abducted from their college social life and all the “unforgettable late nights” they’ll be craving in a few weeks.  Oh honey, if only I can tell you what else is going to change in the next few weeks….the next few months…the next year.  Welcome to the real world that everyone has warned you about for the past 22 years of your life.

Being a college graduate is far from easy – at least my experiences this past year can vouch for that.  We think that when we graduate we need to find that one job that encompasses all that we’ve been educated for.  I can honestly tell you that unless you are the luckiest person in the entire world and all the stars have aligned in your favor, you aren’t immediately going to find that one job that fits you just right.  Honestly, it’s probably going to take you a lot longer than you think to find a job that you enjoy in every aspect.

In the past year since graduation, I’ve had 3 different jobs.  I’m on my 4th now actually.  The first two jobs had nothing to do with my college education but I worked them because I needed a source of income.  Even though my third job had potential to be related to my college degree, my mental health was struggling.  I was in an environment that thrived on people with my college education, but a position wasn’t available for me to actually use my schooling. Instead, I was sitting at a receptionist desk staring at a computer screen and saying hello/goodbye to everyone that walked by my desk.  I was put in situations in which I felt paranoid for my safety.  Through all of this and more, I resigned.

Here I am, on my fourth job since graduation.  I’m self-employed now and I help out with my family business.  I am a health coach seeking more and more clients to work with (I currently have a consistent four).  I am an aspiring occupational therapist who will be applying to graduate school this upcoming fall.  I am craving knowledge.  I am craving a better career path for myself.  I am craving opportunities to work hands-on with individuals who aspire for continued independence.  I am a limit-tester and goal-seeker.

Post-college life is by no means easy.  Yes, you don’t have to take exams on a weekly basis.  Sure, you most likely don’t have papers to write.  Of course you don’t have to sit in 90 minute lecture halls trying not to doze off.  But there’s going to be more challenges ahead of you.  These such moments might make you question your confidence.  These moments might knock you down and hold you down.  There will be other moments though that lift you up and make you feel invincible.

There will be speed bumps.  There will be walls you have to break through. There will be hard choices to make. There will be decisions that you will ponder for days only to feel like you should’ve been given a map after graduation just to understand the road called “life”.  Although it may seem that each decision you make seems to be getting harder and harder, each decision you make can be changed by making another decision. The rest of your life will be decision after decision after decision.

Never limit yourself.  Never value your worth based on the recognition you do not receive.  Never sacrifice your mental health for other people’s ignorances. Never give up your daily happiness because of a job that you force yourself to get up for day in and day out.  Never stop limiting your future.  The world we live in today is full of potential.  Don’t be afraid to take risks.  Work hard for what you want most in life and trust that everything will work out somehow, someway.

There is no clear cut definition for success.  My success will be different than your success but I assure you that success will come to you.  Success might come to you at a time that you least expect it to.  Success will always be something to strive for.  Congratulations class of 2017….remember to value your happiness, never settle for less than what you deserve, and always always ALWAYS strive for what you want the most in your life; life is too short to be unhappy, do what you like and like what you do.