Archive for strength

Softly Speaking

Posted in motivation, photos, random, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by afuntanilla

Sitting in the oversized chair in this quaint, cozy asian-style inspired decorated room…I look out one of the windows and my eyes are dancing at the sight….
The mountain just over yonder is caked with snow. The Ashland, Oregon area was blessed with snow last night. Not a lot, but enough to make the mountain beautiful, to soften the sounds and to add an element of reflection.

I need this. This time to just be. This moment. Who are we without reflection?
I need this wintry weather to help ground and still me. The me inside. To help dim the inner chatter and truly SEE and GET this significant time of my life. (but, isn’t it all significant?!)

I see that I have been brave and will continue to need to be to pursue my dreams. I see that I took big leaps of faith in myself. I GET that this time can also be a scary one. Scary > Exciting > Scary > Exciting > Two sides of the same coin.

I left a nest where I was challenged, but perhaps more protected than challenged. I allowed myself to be held back…and held back I was. Sometimes, we need protection in order to grow. We need a big warm coat to keep us warm before we get comfortable enough to shed the cloth, feel a bit of a chill, and keep moving forward.

With so many situations in our lives, there comes a point where the situation, the relationship, etc…NO LONGER SERVES YOU. These are the crucial moments in ones life, I think. To pay attention to those signals, those signs…that give you that gut feeling that the time has come. Time for you to “go”. Time to be bigger. Time for change. Sometimes, it might be radical change. Radical Change > Radical Growth. If you miss those opportunities and stay in situations that no longer serve you, I believe that is the most damage to ones SELF can occur. Ones soul and spirit might suffer dramatically if one stays beyond the time “limit.” And I think we know that inside, don’t we… When we stay too long? Inside, we know. Even then, it’s so important not to judge ourselves, but to approach ourselves with compassion, gentleness, love. We all have those moments.

I have been on some skinny branches and I think I might be venturing out onto some even skinner branches….YIKES! But, I am ready. It doesn’t mean I am not scared…because I AM SCARED. But, my drive and my desire is stronger than my fear.

And when I was being protected, I felt like I had to claw, scratch and scream sometimes to be heard. Even then, it was sometimes not enough. I don’t want that experience anymore. I don’t need to fight so hard to be heard. My independence will give me that…

We are all on our own road…with all the potholes, smoothness, wide and narrow stretches. We are all driving at different speeds, with different levels of comfort as we try to get to where we are going. Compassion.

And yet, some things are universal to us all. Life sometimes asks things of you. Your soul & spirit will ask, often DEMAND, things of you. And we have all these things inside us. We just need to step up.
When the time is needed, I hope we all can be
Brave, driven, dedicated, visionary, courageous, humble, gracious and determined.

Your strength lies within you. Believe it.

Onward.

A part of me

Posted in random with tags , , , , , , on February 16, 2012 by afuntanilla

Everything is familiar. Everything is new. I am new. I am not the same. I am the same. Same in my core. ANGIE. I am the same. I am different. I grew. I grew up. I got big.

On Wednesday, February 1st, I made my final cross country drive into the SF Bay Area. I passed town after town and recalled some memories of the places I had passed. I noticed how some places hadn’t changed at all and others, drastically so. Some needed, some not. Needed.

I knew when I woke up where I wanted to go first. Where I NEEDED to go. First.
I had to go see a couple of crazy ladies and say hello.
Mom and grandma. I hadn’t been to see them in quite a while. Grandma died in 2000, but I was not able to get her name on the stone for a long time, so this was my first time seeing the stone with her name added. I walked around, found their spot, stood there, and smiled while tears welled in my eyes.
I instinctively raised my arms wide and said these words: “I’m back. I grew up. I got big. I got bigger.”
The sun was shining on my cheeks and I felt comforted. In the sea of the departed, beauty surrounded and engulfed me. I felt tall. Taller.
I smiled and squated so I could lean over and try to clear some debris from the headstone. My fingers brushing on and over the perfect etchings of their names, dates of birth. Death. Every letter so perfectly aligned. Neat. Tidy. Exact. So un-like life. Ironic.
I sat with the wonderful quiet that falls over Holy Sepulchure and gazed in silence. Then, I stood up and looked at my loved ones. “I want you to know I have people in my life who love and care about me. And I am ok. I think you would be proud of me. The person I have become.”
I left a piece of me, for them, and slowy walked away. Feeling full.

reflections, stats, & the Olympic Rings

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by afuntanilla

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.”–unknown

For the 2nd race in a row, I was surprised with my finish time. As I mentioned in last post, the Birmingham Half-Marathon finish time of 2:01:55 was my 2nd best ever. Only time I was faster was by 12 seconds in 1999, in my first 1st Half-Marathon. Why was I surprised by my result. Well, my longest run since my last marathon in October was only 9 miles. I took it easy after the SF Marathon; resting in November and slowly getting miles in during December. I cranked it up in January & into February. Still, having my longest run only be 9 miles gave me room to manage expectations. Honestly, if I had finished anywhere under 2:05, I was gonna be happy. So, the question begs to be asked; why? what do i attribute it to?

For one, I think I am a smarter runner. I think I know my body well enough to tune in and pay attention to how it feels and then go with it. I think I am better at knowing how much I can push and for how long. Secondly, i believe my overall fitness is better. I’ve been doing a good amount of strength training and I do feel stronger, more fit. I guess I’ve been running races steadily for just over 10 years and I guess that’s a good amount of time to get to know your body and especially know it during a race environment. There are some days when you have it and definitely days when you don’t and I have been on both sides and no doubt, i will be on them time and time again.

Racing is fun. Not that I’m actually racing against anyone except myself and the clock. But, it’s the test. For weeks, for months, you train. You get out the door when you don’t want to. You run in the freezing cold when you’d rather sleep in. You get on the treadmill when you are dog-ass tired. Race day is when I feel free. I feel self-inflicted pressure, but I also feel free. Not sure if that makes sense, but it does to me. It’s like play. Race day is play day. I sure am looking forward to my next play day; March 21st. LA Marathon. I will be challenged, for sure.

The only stat I really have from my half-marathon is this:

Finished #60 out of 289 women aged 35-39. I’m happy with this. It’s better than last year. Moving up. yay.

My 1st run this morning was 10.5 miles. I ran from my house, zig-zag through Ansley, Midtown & Downtown and underneath the Olympic Rings near the Atlanta Braves baseball stadium. If you recall, the Olympics were in Atlanta in 1996. I was not a resident then, but I did make my first trip here 2 months before the games began. The city was buzzing. It was very exciting to see and feel the energy of the people. As I ran under the rings I remembered that when I was a little girl, I dreamt of going to the Olympics as a sprinter. It was really fun to have that dream.

I will never stand on an Olympic podium. And, that is ok. When I run, and when I race, and when i cross that finish line that sometimes seems to take forever, a little bit of an Olympian lives in me. And it lives in you too. Believe in yourself and all that you want to do, in all that you want to accomplish. Stay dedicated. Stay determined. Be your own hero. Make it happen.

Cheers!

Feb 21: 1st run=10.5 miles – outside, 2nd run = 2.5 miles treadmill

Feb 20: 3.0 miles outside

Feb 18: 3.5 miles treadmill

Feb 17: 3.67 miles outside