Archive for December, 2011

Giving a Mile

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , on December 21, 2011 by afuntanilla

One day last week, I found myself out of my normal coming home routine. My errands after work took me in a different direction and I ended up coming home from the opposite direction I usually do. And it was now dark. I was tired and ready to go home.

I was backed up at a stoplight and to my left, I noticed a young woman and little girl. They were attempting to cross the street, not at the cross walk, but in the middle. I was just watching them and hoping they would make it ok. THe young woman was carrying about 3 bags of groceries, plus a suitcase and she had her little girl. I kept watching and they made it across the street to the nearby bus stop, which i figured that was where they were headed. All within a matter of 1-3 minutes, I watched her and wondered what her life was like and where she was going. I thought, “maybe i should offer her a ride. no, don’t. that’s kinda weird. Is it? No, offer her a ride. What’s gonna happen? She doesn’t look like a killer.”

As they were at the bus stop, my car line began to move and i quickly turned into the nearest driveway. I hopped out and said,
“hey, how far you going?”
Her reply: “just down to the InTown Motel”
“ok, i know where that is. Can i give you a lift? Looks like you got a lot going on there.”
Smiling, she said, “yeah, thanks. We just missed the bus.”

I put the groceries in the trunk and her and little girl (almost 3 yrs old) got into front seat. I asked the little girl if she was ready for Christmas and Santa. Smiling big, she said, ‘yes.”

About a mile or so up the road, I pulled into the Motel and noticed the sign that says, “$149 per week.” Made me think even more about her life and such. A young gal and her tot just coming back “home” with hands full of groceries….

They got out of the car and thanked me.

***I don’t share this story for virtual “pats on the back”. I share this story because I hope to inspire and motivate all of us to notice. To notice the other people around us. We all get so consumed by our own lives…not a bad thing and we all do it. Part of being human. But, there are so many opportunities out there that if we noticed, we could make a big difference doing a small thing. Would it have been a big deal for her to wait for the bus and ride bus a mile down the road? No. But, it was the fact that I noticed and cared enough about another human being. Whether someone is struggling or not, it’s always such a wonderful thing for someone to SEE YOU and to CARE. I think we can all do more. be more. to our fellow human beings.

I don’t know

Posted in random with tags , on December 18, 2011 by afuntanilla

Perhaps one of the easiest cop outs of all time is “I don’t know”. Makes me think of different situations when we, as people, “use” this line.
Do you love so and so? I don’t know
What do you want to eat tonight? I don’t know
What do you to do with your life? I don’t know
Should I leave this relationship? I don’t know
Should I get a pet? I don’t know
You get the picture…

Do we know the answers and are simply afraid and before we even know it, we say those 3 small words…3 small words that can sometimes trap you for days, years, a lifetime, even.
Obviously, deciding what to have for dinner is much easier than some other big life decisions. But, I do believe that many times, we use the “I don’t knows” as a cop out for making decisions and “going” for it. It’s easier. It’s a lot safer. And there is nothing wrong with either safety or ease…just important to stay conscious about why we sometimes are unable to make decisions. Fear can grab a hold of you and squeeze pretty tightly if you let it. Fear can mask itself as deep confusion, if you let it linger long enough.
Sometimes we are afraid to say what we want, out loud, to ourselves, to another person, to the world. We get hesitant and cautious. Sometimes, those are good signs,too, and definitely need to be paid attention to…but how do you know the difference?
Ah hell, I don’t know….

Running Renaissance

Posted in motivation, photos, random, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2011 by afuntanilla

Not sure why or how, but lately it sure seems I am experiencing a running renaissance. This may come as a surprise to some of you. So, let’s look at what renaissance means: A renewal of life, vigor, interest.

As you might recall, I had such a tough summer of training. No need to go into any further details since it has all been already documented here.

The Fall rolled around and I felt I barely made it to SF for the half marathon on my birthday in Sept. Then, I thought….I am going to rest. Just chill and take a break from the running for a while. Well, what is “awhile”?

In my mind, I thought I would try to not run at all for about a month. Well, that didn’t happen. I just couldn’t sit still. Plus, the Fall is such an awesome time to be outside. The temperatures cool, the humidity falls away and becomes nonexistent. How could I not want to be running in this weather?? And, I feel that FALL running sorta adds it’s own natural/organic inspiration. The scenery, the environment completely changes and it’s such a natural time of reflection and contemplation. The air seems fresher, cleaner and like I can breathe deeper. So, I’ve been taking deeper breaths as I am rounding the corners and crunching on leaves and feeling the Fall air on my arms, face, fingers.

I feel my legs moving more swiftly as I tackle the hills of the Atlanta neighborhoods. My legs feel lighter, my entire body feels lighter, even weightless at times. I face the hills and I am running up them with a quickness that has surprised me. I am getting to the tops with less effort than I remember from the past. Most of my runs have all beeen with negative splits, which feels awesome! Where has all this come from?
I’m sure part of it is the volume has come way down! Today, for the first time ever, I thought back to the summer training and do believe I ran a bunch of junk miles. JUNK MILES = miles just to get in miles thinking I needed more when in fact I didn’t. An important lesson.
I didnt know it then, but I can recognize it now and apply this to my future training.
Perhaps part of this “renaissance” I am experiencing is also due to the break in a specific goal or a specific race in mind. I think I needed the break from that kind of self inflicted pressure. Looking back to the first 6 months of the year as I tried to break 2 hours in the half marathon distance….I put a lot of pressure on myself to accomplish it. Came close, but failed. Then, immediately afterwards, signed up for the full marathon and summer training. More pressure. In the midst of all this self inflicted pressure was also dramatic changes in my work life that came with real external pressure. I think it all just got to me. Now, for the record, let me clarify: I actually like pressure. Like the challenge of it. However, like everything in life, there is a limit and I definitely bumped up against mine. And obviously, I like goals and setting them, etc…. I just needed a break from them since I had a specific running goal for about 9 months.

So, since my last race in Sept, I have been running, but without any specific goal. As of today, there is no race on my calendar. In the last month or so, I have not gone any distance over 6 miles. The coolest part about all this is that I am running FASTER without much extra effort. In fact, I feel like I have NOT focused on effort much at all. Just going out running…I have felt loose, free, light and my mind feels quieter while on the roads.

So, yes. I feel a renewal. See ya on the roads. Lace ’em up!