Monday, June 23, 2008

The Philippines

I have been spending the past four months coaching and training in Subic Bay, the Philippines.
My contracted work is up and I am moving back to Florida. This is an excerpt from what I wrote on the Team TBB Forum:
These kids don't all have laptops and ipods
There are no extravagent gifts at the birthday parties- not even cake-
Prayers are always saidAs is please and thank you
Social graces might be a little rough- life out on the provinces is differentSome of these kids did not grow up eating with forks and spoons...
What did I learn here in the Philippines?
That it is possible to have nothing and everything at the same time.
That my heart could break and burst with joy at the same time...
Subic Bay wasn't a reality show - it was real life:
Kids washing the only two pairs of shorts they have by hand every day
And hoping it doesn't rain so that the laundry will dry.
Waste not. Want not.
Everyone shares.
They think of others and do their best and dream big.
They inspire others as you guys inspire them. You all inspired me.
I learned alot here in the Philippines. About myself. About others. About coaching. About life.
I will count my blessings...and there are too many to count.
Thank you friends-Team TBB, Melvin, Brett, Grand Seasons,SBMA,the Du and Tri group.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Be Not Afraid

Sometimes you meet people or hear something and you know it is going to have an impact on your life. This past Christmas I went to Catholic mass in a hotel in South Africa . I got lost on the way was very late. I was upset that I was going to miss the homily because I had a feeling that I was going to learn something very important and useful. Well, I got to mass and it was almost over but the priest decided that he wanted to go over two important points. First, that people should learn how to relax...that being a perfect blade of grass doesn't mean that you stick straight up all of the time. Sometimes that perfect blade of grass needs to bend in the breeze or push around a rock. That perfect blade of grass always reaches for the light but it doesn't have to stick straight up all of the time to do that. "Relax and go with the flow", the priest said.
The second point the priest mentioned was to not be afraid. Jesus doesn't want you to be afraid. God mentions not being afraid 365 times in the Bible- once for every day of the year.
Think about that - my how practice would change if you were never afraid. Never afraid of dying during a hard set, never afraid of someone beating you...What if you had no fear in racing and you were always free to do your best everyday?
That mass changed my life.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Joy to the World!

I am really proud of myself. This past weekend I ran my farthest ever and tried my hardest and now I have a new best time. I did my second ever half marathon...for those of you that don't know me very well, this is no small accomplishment for such a sprinter. In college I ran anything from the 800meter to 5k...I've only ran a handfull of times over 9 miles and my first attempt at this event was a complete disaster. I figured since I could run a strong eight miles - what's 13? I learned the hard way. I went out way too fast (6:30 pace) and then proceeded to add thirty seconds a mile until the finish. That comes out to 12:30 on the last mile. Ow!
This time around I vowed to race smart. It was a glorious Sunday morning and I managed to keep the brakes on for the first mile...7:45, then ran 8:00 - 8:05 on the next 8 miles. For some reason at mile 9 I thought it was mile 10 and was not really happy to hear, "Only four more miles to go!" At about 9.5 miles the monkey with a piano jumped on my back and next thing I know I ran an 8:45. Uh-oh. I decided to stop at mile 10 to drink some Gatorade and figure out what to do. I devised a great plan...see, I know my body and when it comes to slogging on in a distance run I tend to get slower and slower and I figured if I just kept running straight for three miles I might add 12 minutes in the last three miles and I really wanted to break 1:50. So I came up with a brilliant idea. Run hard for a mile then stop and take a mini break at the water station x3. So that's what I did. And guess what?! It worked!
1:48:46. YES!!!!
I am so happy. I stayed positive the entire run...this is something I have been working on in practice. So many thoughts run through my head while I am out on a long run. I try to focus on things that can be controlled (form, breathing) and happy happiest thought is that my sister is getting married in a few days (I'm her Maid of Honor) and I'm going to be with my family for Christmas! My heart is bursting with joy.
God is sooo good. This half marathon experience taught me how important it is to stay positive and to dig deep when the going gets tough.
1:48:46. Yay!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sharing your Gifts

"Little Drummer Boy"

"Come they told me, parum pum pum pum,
A new born King to see, parum pa pum pum,
Our finest gifts we bring, parum pa pum pum,
To lay before the King, pa rum pa pum pum.
Rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum,
When we come.

Little baby, parum pa pum pum,
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pa pum pum,
I have no gifts to bring, pa rum pa pum pum,
That's fit to give the King, parum pa pum pum,
Rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum.
Shall I play for you, parum pa pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, parum pa pum pum,
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pa pum pum,
I played my best for Him, pa rum pa pum pum,
Rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum,
Me and my drum."

During this past Thanksgiving week, I have thought alot about those two words. Thanks and Giving. I am so thankful for what God has given me. Everyone has something special from God, be it sports, accounting, parenting, smiling, teaching...These special talents are gifts and gifts are meant for giving. Sharing your God given talents, big or small, pleases Him.
This song fills my heart with joy. It makes me want to get out there and swim and bike and run my best for Him.
Hope to see you out there:)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Live your best life.

Live life to the fullest.

Every day is a precious gift from God.

Be thankful.
Be kind.
Be honest.

Go after things with all of your heart.
Believe in yourself. Have faith in others. Have faith in the Lord.

I'm not gonna's been a hard year. I unexpectedly lost my "dream" job-a job I put everything into. I gave it all of my time and effort. I stopped training and quit racing so I could be better at my job. I lost my soul in the process but I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing.
But God has different plans for me. I don't know what exactly they are but I have learned alot about myself and others during this process. I know God wants me to be happy and to have a positive and uplifting affect on others...I can feel His hand on my head gently guiding me in the right direction.
I am working hard on doing all kinds of things right(training, eating, hydrating, stretching...)and building strong healthy relationships. I am living my best life right now. Are you?