#TheRunningWriter QOTD

Listen to pain’s advice.


Yep. Pain can talk. Maybe not verbally, but it can smack you around good—so pay attention.

With athletics, pain can be pretty blunt. A mega injury that takes you out of the game for a while. Or it can be more sneaky. Nagging aches and pains that linger.

The key is to stop and listen to, look at, and feel the pain. What is it telling you?

Maybe you’re not resting enough. Pushing it too hard. Not eating properly. Not training wisely.

Overall just pushing yourself too hard.

Along with my running world, I listen to my pain in the writing world, too. Literally using my sadness or physical pain and throwing it into a story or character sometimes. But also, I listen to the pain of my mistakes and disappointments.

Like repeated rejections from editors or readers. What’s it telling me? How can I use those experiences to better my writing? To grow as a person and as a writer.

I also consider my overall journey as a writer/athlete. Am I on the right path? Doing what God wants me to be doing through my adventures?

I’ve had to answer some of those questions before and make major changes, both in my writing and athletic worlds.

It’s scary, yes, but once you get back on track, things tend fall into place. Your goals and successes might be delayed as a consequence of getting so far off track, but that’s ok. I’ll be wiser for it. Stronger. And, ultimately I will use that to help someone else.

What’s your pain telling you?

#TheRunningWriter QOTD

Tame the tongue.


Have you ever said something to someone and the devastating look in their eyes plows right into you? The wave of guilt churning your stomach. The sinking feeling in your chest weighing you down?

**Raises hand**

Whether we say them face-to-face or type them online, words are so, so, so impactful. I don’t think we can ever grasp the power they have. And that power can be used for good and evil. To lift up or destroy. To encourage or berate.

How are you going to use your words today?

#TheRunningWriter QOTD

Find the light.


All-encompassing darkness is overwhelming. Disorienting you so absolutely, you can stumble and fall if you’re not careful.

When I get up in the middle of the night, and it’s totally dark, I have to stand still and search for a flicker of light to orient myself.

Same with trail running. When I’m out there in the pitch black, with only my little headlamp for light, I have to stay focused on what that light is shining on so I stay oriented.

Sure. I stumble sometimes, but I mostly stay upright.

When tough times are crowding in around you, and it feels like you’re lost in the dark, look for the light. Even the smallest flicker can help you see the path out of the darkness.

If you need to, shuffle toward it. Heck, crawl if you have to. You’re strong and capable, whatever you need to do, get to it.

There’s nothing more scary than feeling alone in the dark. It can lead to desperate decisions. But the thing is, you’re not alone. You are loved. You are needed. You are strong.

#TheRunningWriter QOTD

Prepare for doubt attacks.


I’ve been asked several times how I stop the doubt and negative self talk.

I think one thing that helps is knowing that I’ll never stop it completely. It’ll come back from time to time.

But knowing that is half the battle.

I wish self-doubt and negative talk could disappear forever, but I’m not perfect. Life is not perfect. It’ll throw things at me that’ll trigger my negative chatter.

So I have to prepare. That way, when it hits me, I am ready.

One thing I do when it hits is to try and reverse it. If I’m thinking I am undertrained for a race. I go over all the training I HAVE done and tell myself that I am strong. I’ve done the training. I can do this.

If I have a bad eating day (cookies, chips, chocolate, etc), I remind myself that it was just one day. I am not perfect. My training will not be ruined by that one day. I will win tomorrow.

It’s so easy to slide into all-or-none, very black-and-white thinking, “I failed today so I’m just gonna give up.” Or “It’s useless, I’m not strong enough.”

Instead try this, “I didn’t win today. But I will win tomorrow.” And to strengthen that, have an accountability person you can have check in with the following day. Or a partner you’re going to check in with daily.

It’s not weak to have help. I do. I’m not perfect, and knowing someone will ask me helps keep me on task.

What do you need to do to prepare for the next doubt attack?