Living in my comfort zone.

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I really didn’t feel like writing today.

Not because somethings wrong.

I just thought I didn’t have anything to write about.

I was trying to think of something life changing or motivational that I could pull out of my pocket and share with anyone who reads this.

I think I was making it too complicated.

I tend to do that sometimes.

Overthink.

Obsess.

Stress.

Trying to get things done perfectly the first time around.

I’m a huge perfectionist, a type A personality, a Monica Geller if you will.

Things just need to be done the way I want them, the first time around.

Is it starting to make sense?

I thought that because nothing inspiring was going on in my life at this moment that I couldn’t write.

That’s just wrong.

I saw a quote on Instagram the other day that had me thinking.

“Nothing good comes from your comfort zone.”

Which, in a sense, is true.

If you don’t take a chance, or try something new, how do you expect to grow.

I’m all for taking chances and trying new things, they can lead to results even better than you ever imagined.

But I feel like I’m being told that if I stay comfortable I’ll never be better.

Yes, if you do everything exactly the same every single day, you’ll never change.

I feel like that’s a bit repetitive, and change every now and then is great.

But what’s wrong with being comfortable?

Is it such a bad thing?

I like being comfortable.

I like my life the way it is.

If I want to get out of my comfort zone once and a while I will, but if I like it, why do I need to change?

Every day we’re told that we need to change.

Our hair.

Our weight.

Our style.

Our workout routine.

Our diet.

That we need to be more outgoing.

That we need to take risks, chances, and live this crazy and carefree type of lifestyle.

That we can’t let anything hold us back while chasing our dreams.

But can we not have goals while living a comfortable life?

Can we not dream these big dreams while living in our comfort zone?

I call bullshit.

Being a mom, wife, daughter, sister, and working an 8 hour job every single day should’t take me out of the running for living the life I’ve imagined for myself.

I have goals.

I have dreams.

I can still accomplish those things while living a life where I find comfort in my every day routine.

I want to write a book someday, that’s my biggest goal by far.

And I can still do it if I’m comfortable.

I think sometimes you can make yourself uncomfortable.

You can change things up a bit, or even go for something bigger.

That’s okay.

But it’s also okay to return back to your comfort zone.

Having a place where you feel comfortable and at home is perfectly ok.

In a world of social media telling us to be one way or another, I feel like more often than none I’m being made to feel like I’m not normal for being normal.

That if I’m comfortable somethings wrong with me.

When, in fact, I feel like being comfortable gives me that comfort that no matter what I’m trying to do, I’ll have a place to fall back to.

I’ll always have a support system and place to call home at the end of the day.

Getting out of your comfort zone is okay, and encouraged most of the time.

But there is something good that can come out of your comfort zone, a beautiful life.

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101 thoughts while shopping at Target.

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I have a few favorite places.

That bring me so much joy and happiness.

Places where I can guarantee I’ll have a great time.

That have made memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Dodger Stadium.

Minto Brown Park.

New York City.

The Beach at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas.

My College Track.

Out of all of my favorite places there’s always one that will stand out.

One that can cure my loneliness, a broken heart, or my absolute boredom.

Target.

Yes you read that correctly.

Target will always have my heart.

I think it started freshman year in College up in Portland.

Janelle and I didn’t have our car up at school and we ran out of coffee quite often.

Since we drank more coffee than Lorelai and Rory Gilmore combined.

The Target was less than a mile away and there was a walking path that led straight to it.

It became our little place.

Fast forward to age 28 where I just go to Target because I’m bored.

#sorrynotsorry

But it’s true.

Where my fellow Target addicts at?!

I thought it would be great to document the thoughts that occur in my mind while shopping at this little slice of heaven.

Some thoughts that I’m sure many of my fellow Target connoisseurs might appreciate.

101 thoughts while shopping at Target.

  1. Did I lock my car? Wait where are my keys?
  2. Oh there they are.
  3. Car Honk
  4. Okay NOW it’s locked.
  5. Remember you only need q tips and dog food.
  6. DON’T FORGET.
  7. I know you…
  8. Hmm do I need a shopping cart or a basket.
  9. The shopping carts are all wet..a basket it is.
  10. Oh how I love the dollar spot.
  11. These little lights are 3 dollars?! Heck yeah I need battery operated lights. Thanks Target!
  12. Wait cardigans are only 20 dollars? I’ll get two!!
  13. Megan..you can’t get two black ones though..you already have a couple black ones at home..but they go with everything..
  14. Live a little..add some color to your life Megan…
  15. Gray it is!!
  16. You little frugal fiend you.
  17. These are the cutest little PJ’s!!
  18. But you sleep in sweats and old t-shirts Megan do you need PJ’s?
  19. Yes because if I have cute PJ’s I’ll wear them more often…duh.
  20. PJ’s it is!!
  21. ooooo the movie section.
  22. Such cheap little movies.
  23. Easy-A..that’s a classic! Yes Please!
  24. There’s Something About  Mary? I love that movie! Just buy it Megan, you don’t actually own it.
  25. BOOM..movie.
  26. CD’s?! No one buys CD’s anymore..silly target.
  27. But they do read!!
  28. Another Young Adult coming of age book…get in my little basket you!
  29. I should have gotten a cart.
  30. Valentine’s day candy is on sale?? I mean..I do love peanut butter cups shaped like hearts..obviously…who doesn’t.
  31. Yessssss the wine section.
  32. This Moscato is heavy though.
  33. It’ll be ok, I’ll just consider this my workout for the day.
  34. Insert arm curls with basket.
  35. Do I need more coffee?
  36. Yes!
  37. Good thing it’s by the wine.
  38. Target it’s like you had me in mind when you created your aisles.
  39. You’re the only one that gets me sometimes Target.
  40. CANDLES!!
  41. This one smells like boys cologne, we have a winner!
  42. Definitely should have gotten a cart.
  43. Okay Megan stay on course..get back to the food..
  44. But they have throw blankets!
  45. FOCUS!!
  46. Oh no the freezer section..
  47. Should have brought a sweater.
  48. Why am I always cold?
  49. Oh Ben and Jerry’s is two for six dollars?!
  50. I’ll just buy Jason some and that way I have to buy myself some.
  51. Good logic Megan.
  52. You’re so smart.
  53. Now remember Megan you needed q tips…get away from the food.
  54. Hmmm beauty products where you at girl?
  55. Oooo I love these face masks..two dollars? I’ll take 3!
  56. Where are those q tips at??
  57. I swear they hide them from me.
  58. Trying to be difficult now are we target?
  59. Why you gotta do me like that?
  60. After all we’ve been through together?!
  61. FOUND THEM.
  62. God WHY didn’t I get a basket.
  63. Almost done though, almost.
  64. Wait I’m out of mascara.
  65. I’ll just get one real quick.
  66. New spring nail polishes? Yes please!
  67. What are those over there?
  68. Five dollar coffee mugs with cute little sayings?!
  69. YESSSSSS.
  70. I’ll take two!!
  71. Keep walking Megan…we’re almost done!!
  72. At least you got your steps in today.
  73. Look at you go.
  74. Wait I’m out of post it notes..I’ll just grab a couple!
  75. Wow so many sharpie colors..I need these!!
  76. Do I need a greeting card?
  77. I mean my brothers birthday is coming up soon.
  78. Megan it’s in April.
  79. Yes but the beginning of April.
  80. You’ll be happy that you bought it now.
  81. Boom done!
  82. Now was there anything else I needed..
  83. Nope!
  84. Self check out it is!
  85. I’m way too awkward for an actual cashier.
  86. Drive safe…you too? We’re not going through that again.
  87. I’m just so efficient at this anyways.
  88. Better than any cashier honestly.
  89. 120 Dollars?!
  90. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??!!
  91. Oh well Megan…just don’t take as many trips to Target this month.
  92. Laughs out loud.
  93. At least try, okay?
  94. God I hope I don’t drop this wine.
  95. I really needed a cart about now.
  96. Target should invent little robots to carry your ridiculously heavy bags out to your car for you.
  97. Wait…where are my keys…
  98. Oh found them!!
  99. Okay let’s just get everything in here…there we go…
  100. What a good trip!!
  101. OH MY GOD I FORGOT DOG FOOD!!

That time I read a book that changed my life.

 

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I’ve talked about it several times before.

The summer of 2013.

It was a pivotal time in my life.

A time where I was lost.

And a time where I found myself.

A time where I started a new adventure.

And met the love of my life.

It was the start to finding who I really was and loving myself to the fullest.

It started with reading a book.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I didn’t really read up until that point.

Honestly I didn’t have the attention span for it.

But I had found myself in a place where I had lots of spare time and nothing to fill it with.

I decided to pick up this book that I heard was going to be a movie soon.

I had heard so many things about it and decided maybe this would be a good way to fill my time.

Little did I know that it would be the start to my road of self discovery.

Once I started reading this book I couldn’t stop.

I’ve always heard people say that when it came to reading.

They would start a book and literally not be able to put it down.

That the book was that good.

This is how this book was for me.

I would stay up late just to read.

I even took it to my job when we had down time and read.

I finished it in two days.

Which for me was huge.

The way that John Green wrote made it so easy for me to take in everything.

The tale of love and loss put my entire life into perspective.

It made me fall in love with myself and see my life from a new point of view.

A friend of mine, who was going through a difficult time, asked me to borrow it after I was finished.

He told me that it also changed his life.

He was going through a weird time and was lost himself. It gave him a brand new perspective.

We both bonded over it.

A month or so later he gave me a signed copy of it, and it’s one of my favorite things.

I made my mom read it and she loved it as well.

We went to see the movie together and I started crying at the opening credits.

The book that changed me was coming to life.

I tried reading other books by John Green, and they were really good.

But nothing got me like this book did.

I remember the night I finished it, I was at work.

I walked to the bathroom and locked myself in a stall.

I cried.

I couldn’t stop crying.

I had invested so much of myself into this book.

It hit me so hard.

From that moment on I was different.

I read more.

Smiled more.

Found joy in everything that I could.

Took more selfies.

Found the beauty in my solitude.

From that moment on I was hopeful.

Hopeful that things would turn around.

That if I started living the life that I knew I wanted things would happen.

Things would fall into place.

I can’t put my finger on my favorite line of the book, or the exact moment that I knew I was reading something special.

It was the entire thing.

All 317 pages.

The relationship between Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster gave me hope that my days would get better.

It made me take the plunge into loving myself so that I could fully love others.

I feel like books can do that to you.

They can make you forget.

They can allow you to lose yourself in something.

Giving you this idea that things will get better.

That you’ll be okay.

It feels weird to say out loud.

That a book made for young adults could change the life of a 23 year old.

But it did.

This book is something that’ll I’ll always hold near to my heart.

The book that started it all.

The reason my life took a turn for the better.

If you get a chance you should read it.

You won’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Taylor Swift Songs

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If you don’t like Taylor Swift, I want to preface this by saying sorry. I’ve written over 1500 words on my favorite Taylor songs and I have no regrets.

I was first introduced to Taylor Swift when I was a junior in High School. I was 16 and she was 16. Her songs were my life, and I related to each and every word. I was so amazed.

There was someone out there who was singing my life, the words in my head and the feelings in my heart, sung by someone my age.

I related to everything.

Every two years, in the heart of fall, she would release an album that continued to grow with me. There was always a song for every moment in my life.

If I had just gotten dumped, there was a song that could capture every teardrop I wasted crying over it.

If I met a boy who drove me crazy, that I was madly in love with the thought of them and the possibility of what could be, there was a song for that.

If I had just turned 22 and needed an anthem, there was a song for that.

Taylor just got me.

I think we all have that artist, who we can always relate to, or who makes us feel a certain way.

Taylor will always be that for me.

So I decided to write my fun day post about my top Taylor songs.

Yeah you heard me, a whole blog post about my top 10 Taylor Swift songs.

She’s a big deal.

So here it goes people, you’ve been warned.

I don’t take this stuff lightly.

  1. Picture to Burn- Taylor Swift – This song brings back one of my favorite memories growing up. I had just broken up with the boy I was dating my senior year in High School. It was a bad breakup and I quickly realized that he was such a waste of time. I was driving to school with my sister after getting coffee, while we were listening to our favorite country music radio station. The DJ’s were talking about ringtones and wanted people to call in and let them know what their ringtones were and why. Mine just so happened to be Picture to Burn, for obvious reasons. I thought it would be hilarious to call them up, and sure enough someone answered on the other end. They asked me what my ringtone was and why. The guy loved it and asked me if they could put me on the radio, my heart sunk. I was so nervous. Next thing I know I’m talking to the radio station DJ’s that I listened to every morning. I told them that my boyfriend, who was two years younger than me, left me for someone else. They proceeded to bash him and told me I deserved someone my own age. Seriously the coolest thing for a heartbroken seventeen year old.

    Favorite Line: I realized you love yourself more than you could ever love me.

  2. The Way I Loved You- Fearless – I feel like this song doesn’t get enough love with Taylor Swift fans, or swifties if you will, some of you may not even know what it is. The song compares two relationships, one is perfect and polished and everything you think you want. While the next is crazy, emotional, and exhausting. It’s that relationship that drives you insane but you love it at the same time. I liked a boy who did this to me, until the point where it wasn’t good for either of us. I remember listening to this song over and over again during that summer. Comparing this relationship to my last and replaying things in my head. To me this song shows something that’s real for a lot of people. Getting in those relationships that you know you shouldn’t be in, but for some reason you love the madness, you love how crazy it makes you and how it’s not easy.

    Favorite Line: It’s a roller coaster kind of love, and I never knew I could feel that much.

  3. Sparks Fly- Speak Now – Oh how I love this song. Honestly, it’s number one in my book. Back in the day when you downloaded music from sketchy sites I found this weird recording of Taylor Swift singing a song called Sparks Fly. I loved it, but the quality was so bad that I couldn’t hear much of what she was saying. This was super early in her career just after her first album. I would listen to it all the time. When I saw the track list for her third album a few years later I freaked out, I couldn’t believe it. The song I admired for so long was finally going to be here, in all it’s beauty. I remember playing it whenever I was crushing on someone. Thinking about everything they did that captivated me and consumed my every thought. I can still see the car dance party sessions with my sister singing our hearts out to this song.

    Favorite Line: I’m captivated by you baby like a firework show.

  4. Enchanted- Speak Now- I love this song. How she sings about the feeling of meeting someone for the first time and not knowing what to do with yourself. You feel a connection and can’t stop yourself from thinking about them late at night. It represents that fantasy of stealing glances with someone from across the other room and suddenly you’re thinking about what you might do on your first date. How your mind rushes with excitement, fear, and hope that one day this might lead to something magical.

    Favorite Line: The lingering question kept me up, 2 AM who do you love.

  5. Last Kiss – Speak Now – The Speak Now album came out fall of 2010, I was a Junior in College. I was dating someone who in the end really didn’t care. He didn’t believe in love the way I did, and he didn’t believe in us the way I did. I think I had built it up in my head to be more than it could have actually been. I wanted it to last so bad. After we broke up I would just pop in my headphones and listen to this song on repeat. Not only was it a sad song about breaking up and going on with the rest of your life without each other, but it meant more for me. It reminded me that here I was making this sad song about him. I was still thinking about him, while he wasn’t doing the same. He wasn’t heartbroken. One of the last lines of the songs says “you can plan for a change in the weather or time, but I never planned on you changing your mind.” This part always hits me so hard, how someone can just change their mind and decide that they don’t care anymore. And how, in that moment you decide, you don’t care either.

    Favorite Line: All that I know is I don’t know, how to be something you miss.

  6. All Too Well – Red – I lied when I said speak now is my favorite, this song is my favorite. I don’t care how lame it sounds,  but this song gives me goosebumps. It reminds me of fall and starting over. How love falls apart and picks itself back up. How you can be so angry and hurt from someone and want to tell them more than anything. That they hurt you, and broke you, but you remember it, you’ll never forget it and you’re stronger because of it. That they might have broken you for that second in time but you’ll be ok. That you don’t need them anymore.

    Favorite Line: And you call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest.

  7. Wonderland – 1989 – This is another song that I feel like doesn’t get enough love. It plays off of Alice In Wonderland a little and sounds almost whimsical at first. The more you listen the more you realize that it’a about a relationship that goes wrong suddenly. How at first you’re in your own little world, and suddenly you realize there are people watching, whispering, and wanting to have a say in your relationship. I’ve definitely felt like this in a relationship once, and certain people around us wanted to try and get involved in it. I remember one time specifically in College, I was dating someone for about a year and one of our “friends” told him one night that I was a terrible person and there was no reason he should be dating me. Those type of people make it hard, they make you think you can continue on in your relationship when you clearly can’t.

    Favorite Line: And we pretended it would last forever.

  8. Dancing With Our Hands Tied – Reputation – I had waited so long for this album and I loved it right away. The whole thing is mature and it doesn’t seem like Taylor’s trying too hard. Dancing with Our Hands Tied is all about being in that relationship where you’re so consumed with the person that you don’t realize everything that’s holding it back. You want nothing more than to be with them but everything else is telling you that it won’t work. How you’re with each other together in impossible circumstances. But I mainly love it because when Ian and I have dance parties, this is one of his favorites.

    Favorite Line: I’d kiss you as the lights went down, swaying as the room burnt down.

  9. New Years Day – Reputation – After all of the other songs on the reputation album, I was not ready for this one. It’s so sweet, so subtle, and captures a relationship perfectly. In the age of hookups and tinder dates it almost makes you feel not normal for being with your now husband for four and a half years, or being completely content with the relationship you’re in. How life can happen and be wonderful, with your best friend by your side. That you’re not quite sure how it’ll go but it’s worth it with someone you love by your side.

    Favorite Line: Don’t read the last page.

  10. Teardrops On My Guitar- Taylor Swift – This was the original t swift song for me. I remember listening to it in high school when I liked someone who had no idea I existed. Completely hopeless and besides myself. I feel like every girl who loves Taylor Swift had their “teardrops on my guitar” moment. When they were so madly in love with the thought of someone who they felt like they could never have.

    Favorite Line: I wonder if he knows he’s all I think about at night.

There you have it folks, 1772 words on my love for Taylor Swift and my favorite songs.

If you made it this far, you da real mvp.

I just love everything about her.

How her words are forever engraved in my mind.

I grew up right along side her and her songs.

And you bet I’ll be rocking out at her Reputation tour this May.

See you then Tswizzle.

P.S I’ve linked the songs below if you want to give them a listen.

You’re welcome.

Top 10 Taylor Swift Songs.

 

Happy Birthday Janelle.

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Happy Birthday Boo.

I honestly can’t believe we’re 28 today.

Isn’t that cool?

We’re.

I don’t know many people who can say that.

Obviously anyone with the same birthday can say that, but you get what I mean.

I’m so incredibly lucky to have gotten to spend 28 birthdays with you.

My best friend.

I could only wish that everyone could experience what it’s like to have a built in best friend from birth.

It’s pretty awesome.

I never had to question if someone would be there for me when I got my heart broken.

Or when I made a bad decision.

From starting school together, to driving to Western every day for three years.

You were there.

I’ll admit.

I was a little scared when I got married, scared because we wouldn’t be living together.

We had been roommates for 25 and a half years up to that point. The fact that you weren’t going to get up early in the morning and drink coffee while watching say yes to the dress with me was terrifying.

I had to start doing things by myself.

Obviously after college we chose different careers.

We went from working together to working separately.

We started doing our own things at about age 23, but it was still scary.

Going from having your person there 24/7 to only a couple of hours a day if we were lucky.

I’d say that we’ve done a good job figuring it out at this point.

We call each other throughout the day, and have kept our 680 day snapchat streak strong.

Because that’s who we are.

We can’t go without talking.

Even if we’re mad at each other, it doesn’t last all but a couple of hours.

I’ll admit, I’ve been mad at you.

I’ve thrown remotes and medicine balls at you, and called you a not so nice name once or twice.

There’s a reason I’m the “mean” twin.

But I’m sure you deserved it.

Just like I’ve deserved all of the tough love you’ve given me throughout the years.

There’s even been times where I wanted to shake some sense into you, but I had to learn to let you figure things out.

That was the hardest.

Last year I wanted to.

I wanted to butt in like I always did, and give you my unsolicited advice that you were so use to.

But I didn’t.

I had to let you figure it out.

And I’m so happy I did.

Watching you bloom into this amazing person, mother, girlfriend, and teacher.

You went through hell and back and came out stronger than ever.

I’m so proud of you.

When others try to break you, you fight back.

When you fall, you get right back up.

Out of all of the things, I think my favorite thing about us is running together.

Since day one of our running careers at age twelve, we’ve been side by side.

On those days where I didn’t want to run.

On my bad days and my good.

You were there.

I’ll never forget Junior year in high school when you won districts in the 800 and I ran onto the track to give you a hug.

And the next year when I won in the 3000 and you were the first one that I wanted to hug.

All the way to Junior year in college when I paced you for the first 400 of your 800 race and you qualified for Nationals.

You were usually faster than me, except for a handful of times.

And when I did beat you, I was filled with so much joy.

Not because I wanted to beat you and rub it in your face, but because you were my hero when it came to running. If I beat you, I did something amazing in my eyes.

We’ve been through numerous 5k’s, track meets, cross country races, and even a marathon together.

We’ve done it all.

You and I.

Megan and Janelle.

That’s how it’s always been.

Even though I can hear you now saying “no it’s Janelle and Megan.”

It’s always been us.

Through everything, you’ve been right there.

And I thank you.

Thank you for not making fun of me when I say something stupid.

Thank you for slowly memorizing every song from the Speak Now album by Taylor swift, until we knew every word to every song.

Thank you for running thousands of miles with me.

Thank you for bringing me dutch all of those times.

Thank you for the endless selfies, the good and the unflattering. And thank you for not taking too many screenshots of the unflattering ones.

Thank you for hours or car trips and pretty little liar viewing parties.

Thank you for being the Anna to my Elsa and everything in between.

Have the best day ever.

 

 

27 things I loved about being 27.

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If you know me at all, you’ll know that I love my birthday.

Seriously.

The countdown has been on since New Years.

I wish I could tell you it’s because of some sentimental reason.

But I just love my birthday, and I love that I get to share it with my best friend.

It’s always been one of my favorite days of the year, besides Christmas.

As you get older, some may say it looses its spark.

That once you turn 21 every birthday after that sucks.

Don’t believe them.

Each and every birthday after is what you make it.

If you don’t care about your birthday, don’t care.

But if you want to be treated like a queen put that crown on.

Its what you want it to be.

For instance, I turn 28 on Thursday.

I’m two years away from 30..don’t panic Megan..DONT PANIC.

And I think my birthday is just as special as when I was younger.

It’s your day to accept your awesomeness.

Told you I loved birthdays.

I’ve been trying to think of a birthday blog post, something to summarize how awesome my 27th year was.

Although I couldn’t tell you 27 life lessons I learned while being 27, I can definitely highlight 27 things about this year.

Seriously.

27 was a great year.

And I think you should always leave one year with positive thoughts, in hope that the next year will be just as great if not better.

So I bring you my early birthday present,

27 things that I loved about being 27.

1. That the dodgers made it to the World Series.

2. My amazing nephew Cam.

3. Deciding to dye my hair brown again.

4. My hurdle crew.

5. When I learned to let the negative people go.

6. Every single milestone that Ian hit; crawling, getting his teeth, walking, saying mama and dada. The list goes on people.

7. Realizing how capable I am.

8. Crossing another baseball stadium off of my list.

9. Ian taking his first trip to California.

10. That McKay finally got their new turf.

11. Seeing two of the kids I use to coach running in college.

12. Taking my family pictures.

13. Dressing up as the power rangers for Halloween.

14. Leaving my old job at the hospital.

15. Starting my new job at McKay.

16. Taking Ian to his first college football game, even though it was an Oregon State game.

17. Running my first race in three years and placing first in my age group.

18. Watching the people I love change for the better.

19. My dads awesome surprise birthday party.

20. Our multiple beach trip with our friends and their families.

21. Getting my new tattoo.

22. Taylor Swift releasing her new album “Reputation.”

23. Deciding to watch every episode of Will and Grace.

24. The LANY concert that I love so much.

25. Getting my nose pierced.

26. One of my hurdlers getting 5th in the 110’s at the district Track meet.

27. Finding out that New Girl got one more season.

There you have it.

Honestly I’ll admit, the last six or so we’re hard to think of. I had to look at the pictures on my phone and try to remember what happened.

But the first 20 or so just came to me, as fast as I could type them.

The things that truly made me smile this year.

And not everything has to be some sentimental life lesson about finding yourself.

It can be as easy as finding a new tv show you liked, or realizing a local coffee shop serves pumpkin lattes all year round.

The small things make up the big picture.

The memories you had.

The lessons you may have learned.

The things that made you smile.

Those are what make up your year.

I hope 28 brings me half as much joy as 27 brought me.

I hope its filled with more concerts, baseball games, and memories of my little boy.

This will be a great year, I can feel it.

That time I got nervous..

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I love running.

As you may know by now by reading my blog.

It’s a huge part of my life.

I never thought that something could even come close to it.

That once I was done running in college I’d never have that feeling again.

That nervous leg twitch on the starting line before a race.

The butterflies in my stomach.

The feeling of fire in my lungs tired from the race I just ran.

I thought it was all gone.

Until I started coaching.

Watching your athletes race is such a crazy experience.

You train with them, run with them, and put everything into what they do.

To have it all come down to a single race that you can’t help them with.

That they have to do all by themselves.

It’s so surreal.

I have the same feelings that I had when I was racing, when my kids are racing.

Now I know what my parents went through all those years.

Thinking back on the four and a half years of coaching I’ve done, cross country and track, there are two races that stand out to me.

Two races that gave me goosebumps.

Two races that made me so incredibly nervous but excited at the same time.

Two races that made me remember why I love coaching.

The first race was during the track season of 2016.

I got to coach Adolfo for 3 years.

He struggled quite a bit the first two years to really find himself.

To hit those times that he knew he could hit.

He ended up running a seasons best of 11:28 in the 3000 meter run his freshman year, and didn’t even do the event his sophomore year.

Junior year he started to show progress and ran a 10:46 in the 3000.

Yet he still wasn’t happy.

He trained all summer and had a great cross country season in the fall, all to make sure he had an even better track season.

We were at the Stayton Twilight track meet, and the 3000 was going to be run in the dark under the stadium lights.

It was the best race.

Throughout the season he had run a 10:47 and 10:23 in the 3000, he was ready for a breakthrough.

He started off the race so strong and so tough.

He kept his eyes up and on every runner in front of him, knowing what he had to do to improve.

The last 600 meters were my favorite.

Cheering so loud for him, telling him that he was having a great race.

When he approached the final 100 meters I looked up at the clock.

I remember being in shock.

He was so close to breaking 10 minutes.

I remember sprinting down to the finish line with a bunch of other kids screaming as loud as we could.

He didn’t quite break 10 minutes but he ran a 10:00.14.

He was so close.

But he was happy, and proud of himself, and I don’t think he stopped smiling.

Even thinking about it now brings back chills.

Seeing that moment in an athlete when things finally click.

When they finally believe that they can do what you’ve been telling them they could do all along.

My second favorite race was during this most recent cross country season.

Ramiro, who’s only a sophomore, had been training so hard all summer.

All of us coaches knew that he was going to have a special season.

His freshman year he ran a personal best of 19:35 in the 5k, but never broke the 20 minute mark again after that.

We could all tell that he had more in him, he just had to figure it out.

This last season was crazy for him.

He started with a 20:45 which would have been one of his faster times from the year before.

And then he got faster.

19:38.

18:41.

And of course, the one meet that I had to miss, he ran a 17:58.

Breaking the 18 minute mark is huge.

And he did it.

I talked to him on the phone after his race and told him that since I wasn’t there he had to do it again, he agreed.

The next meet he ran a 17:57.

Ramiro kept improving.

It was insane.

Watching it all click for him, and watching him get excited to race, was so much fun as a coach to see.

His last meet of the season was the district cross country meet.

He told us before the race he didn’t want to know his place or time throughout the race.

So we all cheered as loud as we could when he passed us.

He looked strong, focused, and motivated.

We realized as he passed us, that he was in a state qualifying position.

We all looked at each other in complete shock.

I remember telling everyone that I had goosebumps.

Even though he might not have finished in the position he wanted, he ended up running better than he was ranked, he finished 14th.

And he ran a 17:23, which was a personal record.

It was the coolest thing.

Watching him run.

Watching it click to him.

Watching him in control of his race.

Deciding to coach is probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Coaching gave me a purpose.

Coaching motivates me to be a better person.

Coaching is the most rewarding thing.

I can’t imagine my life without it.

So cheers to more amazing races to come.

Cheers to being so nervous that I can’t even think straight.

Man, I love coaching.