Open Yourself Up to God

Last night on my way home from speed work with BRRC, I was listening to the Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Radio.  One of my favorite shows was on, The Busted Halo Show. They were playing Fr Steven Bell’s homily from Ash Wednesday.  Several points from his homily struck me.  One of them was the statement that we should “open ourselves up to God.” (In fact, I actually called in to the show for the What did I say in the homily contest as I was so touched by it.  I ended up winning tickets to see the movie “Son of God.”)

I found myself thinking how can I open myself up to God as a part of my fitness practice.  What can I do to be more aware of God as I run during this Lenten season?  During Lent, most people think about giving up something but the truth is you get as much as you give up.  You give up something to make room for more of a focus on God’s will.  In thinking about how to open up to God while running, I came up with the following ideas:

  • Give up the headphones.  Run at least one run without music.  Take the time to listen to your surroundings.  Listen to the sounds around you both man-made and natural.  Tune in to God’s world.
  • Forget the GPS and/or a set path. Run one run just for the feel of it. Go as far as you can.  See how far your body can take you without worrying about a specific distance.  Be amazed by what your body is capable of and thank God that you can run every step of the way.
  • Choose a memory verse or prayer to recite as you run.  One of my favorite bloggers Mile Posts has 26.2 Bible Verses for Running and Racing.  You could choose one of these or all to recite while you run.

Do you have any other ideas?  How will you open yourself up to God as you run this week? Have you given something up for Lent?

Being a Hysterrunner is What’s Beautiful

Last night as I have for most Tuesday nights of the past year, I ran with Twilight Tuesday’s Baltimore Black Girls Run group.  After the run, I led our brief ab workout which we started doing in May.  When I was cleared to go back to doing core work in March, I could barely do 10 crunches.  They were brutal.  When I planked with my husband in Brooklyn the week before the Cherry Blossom, my abs were sore for days.  Now I can do several types of crunches in sets of 1 minute several times a week.  I also can get through Bikram yoga and other core work in ways I wasn’t able to before.  I may not have a flat stomach or be an elite runner, but I truly can say that I have grown as a hysterrunner.  I have embraced the mantra of NO UTERUS, NO PROBLEM and it’s been beautiful learning about myself in this way.

Last night, I was reminded that there are other hysterrunners out there and others who one day may be hysterrunners or hysteryogis or anything.  You never know when someone may need to hear your story or in this case, my story.

One of the newbies to our group joined us last night.  She has been training for the BWC using the Couch to 5K and attending their sessions.  She made it through 2.5 miles with us in 35 minutes.  It was the furthest she had gone.  She then stayed for the ab work.  When we were done, she mentioned that she was so glad that she had come out because she had begun to get discouraged with her progress.  I shared my story with her which prompted her to tell hers.  She has had some health scares, including a hysterectomy in 2011.  She then proceeded to say that some days she feels as if her body belongs to an 80 year old woman.  Dawn & I talked with her at length about how with exercise and proper nutrition she can begin to feel better.  She was so happy to have found a group of supportive women that she almost cried.  I was glad that she was able to feel supported and hope she returns.

You see when I realized that my hysterectomy was inevitable, I searched for information about fitness and exercise post-hysterectomy.  I barely found anything.  I decided to start this blog because I knew there were others like me who needed to hear that it was possible to become fit and come back to your best self even if you weren’t the fittest chick before surgery.  It is my hope that my little blog can reach someone and support them in the way that meeting the newbie last night and sharing my story in person did.  I am still on this journey and I invite you to continue to join me.  I know that I am what’s beautiful.  I thank Under Armour for reminding women of that with their challenges.  But I also know that there are so many other women who are not a part of the Under Armour women community who need to be reminded that they are what’s beautiful.  For my hysterrunners out there, remember…

No uterus, no problem!

No uterus, no problem!

What A Difference A Year Makes…

Today is National Running Day 2013!

natl running day

Last year, after my high blood pressure scare, I was cleared to run on May 30th.  My first run with Black Girls Run was the next day – June 1, 2012.  It was a celebration run as BGR: Baltimore was celebrating its one-year anniversary with a fun run hosted by Charm City Run.  It also coincided with National Running Day.  I was just excited to be running again.  I did my first 3 miles using the Galloway method that day.  Two weeks later I ran my first 5K at the Baltimore Women’s Classic.

Today, I ran just under 3 miles in less than 40 minutes which after the year I’ve had is incredible.  I may have been sidelined by health issues but I have come back.  Throughout my recovery, running has been key.  Whether I run 1/4 mile or 13.1, I am a runner.  Running has helped me to stay sane despite my health challenges and to become healthier in the process.  I am several pounds lighter and my HBP is under control.

2013-06-05 21.58.09

The pic on the left is from 6/1/2012; on the right is from 6/5/2013.

To celebrate National Running Day, besides my run, I registered for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia.  Last year, I would have never thought anything longer than a 5K was possible for myself.  This year, I have already run 6 races out of my #13in2013 goal, including 2 10-milers and 2 half marathons.

RnR half natl running day

I am truly proud of how far I have come.  I am looking forward to continuing to become that fit chick!  I love being a hysterrunner!

Did you go for a run for National Running Day?  How has your running progressed in the last year?  Share your responses in the comments.

Faith & Fitness Friday–Psalm 121

I woke up this morning with this Scripture on my mind.  This video has some beautiful images coupled with the reading and music.  The images all reminded me of my word for the year – SERENE.  I would love to run in any of these locations.  Remember whether the hills you encounter are physical or mental, you do not have to tackle them alone.

Psalm 121–I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help…

Faith & Fitness Friday

Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1

As I prepare for my first big race ever, this Scripture phrase is becoming more and more of a friend to me.

My hysterectomy and the events leading up to it and recovering from it was a race which I have already endured.  I know that running a foot race is possible.  I know that God has strengthened me in every way to prepare me for this race.  I just need to put my training – physical, mental, and spiritual – into practice.

Good luck to everyone running races this weekend! No matter what kind.

Three things I LOVE!

Of course, I love myself first. If I didn’t, then nothing else would matter. It is because I love myself that I am aware of the three things I love the most.

Family– My husband and my son truly are my heart.  I focus on getting better every day so that I can be the best I can be for them.

20120704100902

I come from a decent sized family.  Talking to any of them – my parents, sisters, brother, cousins, etc – is usually a joy and a blessing that I don’t take for granted.

Faith – I can do everything through my God who strengthens me.  Battling back from my hysterectomy has taken a lot of faith that I would heal.  Daily prayer and going to Mass regularly helps me to remain connected to God.  I hope that sharing “Faith & Fitness Fridays” with you helps you to connect as well.

Fitness – I may not be an elite athlete.  But, I truly love becoming that FIT CHICK.  Whether I am running, doing Water Aerobics, or shaking it in a Zumba class, I love pushing my limits and getting physically back to the way I used to be.  I have been enjoying this journey back to fitness and look forward to the next stage.  Speaking about running…

loverunning

The guys over at the runchat have asked this week for us to post things you love about running.  So to elaborate on one of my 3 things I love, here are the things I love about being a HYSTERRUNNER!

  • I can run! It doesn’t have to be fast or far.  But, I can do it.  I have come back from 0 miles/week to just under 20!
  • It has helped me recover.  Being in decent shape because of running helped me to manage pain better immediately after my surgery.  Getting back to running post-surgery has helped me get my body back.  Slowly but surely!
  • I don’t need much equipment to do it.  A good sportsbra & my Sauconys are all I need.  Of course, being that I run mostly outdoors, I have invested in some tech gear/cold gear/etc.  But I can just get out there and run – anywhere, anytime, anyhow!
  • It’s the one thing I have TOTAL CONTROL OVER!!!  My body still has its issues.  I don’t always know when I wake up if my incisions will twitch or if I will have swelly belly and not be able to fit in what I thought I could wear to work that day.  But I do know that if I get out and run even a little bit, I feel better mentally and spiritually which is better for both my FAMILY and my FAITH.
  • I love the running community.  The online community helped me to focus when I was lying in bed recovering and could barely walk much less run.  My Black Girls Run group encourages me and pushes me to run even when I am not sure what my capabilities are.  My Road Runners Crew is always there with tips, tricks, etc.  My offline running friends are always there with personal support.

So there you have it – the Three Things I love combined with what I love about running! How’s that for a Valentine’s Day!

runners_valentine_card_i_heart_love_running-p137917693705586184bfmxk_400http://www.zazzle.com

Faith & Fitness Friday

“I ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, a sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened. The triumph cannot be had without the struggle.” Wilma Rudolph

I love this quote from Wilma Rudolph.  Her story is so inspiring.  If she could become a champion after overcoming polio.  I can achieve my goals post-hysterectomy. (The lovely ladies at Oiselle have this quote on a shirt which I love to wear.  Check them out!)

This week the awesome Erika at Black Girls Guide to Weight Loss’ Friday Five is dedicated to Five Original Fit Chicks Who Deserve Your Praise, including Rudolph.

 

Faith and Fitness Friday

“If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl.  But whatever you do, keep moving.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Remembrance

My word/motto for 2013

Serene

 

The awesome blogger and runner rUnladylike posed this question – What word do you want to define your 2013? Our family has decided that our motto would be “All is serene in 2013.”  When I thought about it, I want that to be my defining word as well.

Serene means calm, peaceful, and untroubled.  With all of the medical issues that I had last year as well as those with others in my extended family, 2012 was anything but serene.  We are aiming to approach our challenges this year with serenity.

When I run, especially when I run long, I enjoy the calm, peace and serenity I feel from being in nature.  The picture above was taken in a place called Serenity Lake.  It reminds me of a few of the places where I have run.  In fact, I started and ended my 6 mile run last weekend next to one of my favorite lakes.  It looks sort of like this one in the spring and summer months.

I intend to approach my challenges this year as serene as possible.  Hopefully, I won’t end up yelling like George Costanza – SERENITY NOW!!! LOL!

Have you chosen a word to define you this year?  Does your family aim to live by a motto?

 

 

Faith & Fitness Friday – January 4, 2013

For many, this is the month for making plans – exercise more, spend time with family, get rich.  No matter what you plan, remember…

gods-plans

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15th, 2013
Aiming for a PR!