#TheRunningWriter QOTD

Break the cycle.

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Whenever I see or hear this phrase I picture a hamster running in one of those wheel things.

How does he stop going round and round in that thing? He gets going so fast, how does he stop? And dizziness….

We can get into a nasty wheel like that in life, too. You might come from a home where parents abused you in some fashion, or they were addicts of some sort.

Maybe your parents, and their parents before them, didn’t talk. Held everything in until they exploded, and it was an ugly explosion.

Or food issues. That’s a big one. Getting shamed because of overeating, being overweight. Or your family dealt with issues by eating, so you didn’t have any role model to develop coping skills.

Whatever wheel you were thrown on because of family issues, it’s a strong wheel. And valid. I’m not disregarding what you faced growing up. It formed a strong grip around your mind, heart and soul.

But you can break the cycle. You can crack through the negative ways your family showed you how to cope so the next generation doesn’t have to face that same spinning wheel.

But how? Something that seems engrained in your heart and mind, that’s tough to break.

How does the hamster get off that wheel? By slowing down first. When that nasty engrained response rears its ugly head in your life, stop. Think of it like a mental fire spreading on your skin, and what do you do if you’re on fire? Stop, drop and roll!

Get counseling. Get an accountability partner. Get a mentor.

Do whatever you have to do, because getting off that wheel will help you find peace. And that peace will ripple into other areas of your life: Relationships. Work. Health.

Break the cycle, my friends. You can do it!!!

#TheRunningWriter QOTD

Rest is a weapon.

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As an athlete, rest is a huge part of staying injury free. But it’s the hardest thing for me to do.

Sometimes it feels weird to be sitting on the couch, vegging out, instead of running.

Resting my body is vitally important because I could overdo it and tweak a muscle. If I tweak a muscle, I can’t run for a long while. And that leads to losing fitness, eventually setting me back longer.

But if I work in a week of rest in my training schedule, it makes me strong. I still run a little, but I work in a couple rest days. And by rest, I mean no running!

That protects my muscles, my overall health, which allows me to get stronger in the end.

It applies to life in general, too. Work, school, sports, meetings…we fill nearly every minute of every day with activities.

It’s almost as if we have to get sick, like catch the flu or a cold, to stop us, to give us permission to slow down. Like our body finally says it’s had enough and knocks us on our butts.

But if we work rest into all aspects of our lives—not just athletics—we will stay healthier. And not just physically, mentally, too. I find I get grumpy if I’m run down. Short tempered. And a little negative.

What’s rest look like in your world?

#TheRunningWriter QOTD

Bring on the can’t…

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When someone tells me I can’t do something or that something is very difficult, it often makes me want to try it and do it!

Are you like that, too?

I don’t think anyone likes to be told what they can’t do. I get that. I mean, in undergrad, my advisor told me it wasn’t likely I’d get into grad school.

Right then I was like, “Watch me.”

I graduated undergrad with honors and completed my masters degree after that. Sure. It took my third application to grad school to get accepted, but I got in and completed it!

Same with running. I was told that running a full marathon might be difficult because of my body structure and how it’s kind of prone to injury.

I wasn’t officially told I couldn’t do one, but I sure didn’t hear, “Yes! You should do one.”

Well, not only did I run that marathon, I moved on to running two 50k and a 50-mile races.

Each “can’t” listed above was exactly what I needed to hear to motivate me. Almost like the person telling me these things knew it’d make me do them. Reverse psychology, maybe?

Hey. I’m ok with that.

So, what can’t are you guys going do?

#TheRunningWriter QOTD

It starts with one.

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Lots of things in life feel too big to change.

It might be giving food or money to a homeless person or shelter. We might think our few dollars or few hours of serving won’t make a dent in the huge problem.

Or maybe you’re looking at getting to a healthy weight and think you’ll never make it because there’s so much weight to lose.

If you’re in massive debt, the bills and dollar amounts are so high you think you can’t ever get out of it.

It starts with one.

One step. One dollar. One pound. One…. just think about that one thing.

Don’t look beyond it at all. Don’t look at the end. Just that one step.

I had major surgery that left me couch-bound for six weeks. I couldn’t walk to the mailbox at the end of my street without someone holding me steady and stopping for breaks to catch my breath. And now I run ultra marathons.

It started with one step.

I never thought I’d get a book published, let alone have the title of New York Times & USA Today best seller after my name. But it started with one story idea. That one novel. That one step onto a writers group. That one risk.

I won’t lie, that first step is scary. But that’s ok. You can take it. You’re strong.

What’s your one?