That time I fell in love with baseball.

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I’ve always considered myself a tomboy.

The Mary-Kate Olsen to my sisters Ashley Olsen.

High five if you get that reference.

I liked running around and getting dirty outside.

I also loved sports, and still do.

I get super into March Madness and love college football.

O-H-I-O.

And fantasy football has filled the last 5 NFL seasons for me.

But nothing gets me quite as excited as baseball.

I never played baseball growing up, and didn’t really care for it either.

I thought it was so boring.

I would just cheer for the dodgers because my dad did.

It made the most sense.

My parents took us to Dodger Stadium when I was 16 and I thought it was so cool.

They were playing the Giants, their rival.

Yelling at Barry Bonds from the third baseline with all of the drunk fans around me. I learned to hate him so fast.

It was so much fun.

I was intrigued. 

Flash forward to the summer of 2009.

I was bored and stumbled across an ESPN magazine that belonged to my dad.

There was an article that featured new players for that season.

I found a new dodger player, Clayton Kershaw.

There were some baseball stats that meant absolutely nothing to me, followed by some fun facts that got my attention.

He was asked “if we turned on your iPod what song would you have listened to last” and he answered with Taylor Swift.

Like what?!

A baseball player who liked Taylor Swift.

SIGN ME UP.

I started watching with my dad to see this Clayton Kershaw in action.

Turns out he was a pitcher, and that pitchers don’t play every game.

I was determined to watch him, and since I had no idea when he would be starting, I would just end up watching the games anyways.

What I thought were boring games, turned out to be a test of my patience.

I learned to appreciate the strategy behind every decision and pitch.

I would ask my dad as many questions as I could.

And I still do.

Because I know there’s still so much to learn.

I filled my summer that year with baseball, and every summer after that.

So many hours were spent on the couch next to my dad, learning about different players.

Next thing I knew I was forming all of these superstitions that mimicked his.

I fell in love with not only the sport, but the act of watching it with my dad.

Picking his brain for everything that he knew about Baseball, and listening to his stories about watching it when he was younger.

I was obsessed.

I bought shirts, hats, phone cases, anything that was dodger blue I was all over.

My dad even gave me a couple of his old shirts that I love dearly.

I started memorizing their schedule and getting excited for upcoming games.

People wouldn’t believe me when I said I loved the dodgers.

In college someone actually called me out and said to name more than 4 players on the team.

It blew his mind when I busted out the entire starting roster.

I was so passionate about the team, so much that I learned to loved the sport in general.

There’s just something about a sport that’s played from April to October, and can take hours to finish.

And there’s nothing like getting free baseball when games go into extra innings.

I can hear Vin Scully now.

I’ll never forget how mad I was when I missed Clayton’s home run on opening day of  2013.

Or that same year when they lost the NLCS to the cardinals. I just sat there and cried.

I wanted it so bad.

Not for me, but for my dad.

Coming to learn and love Dodger baseball with him brought me so much closer to him, closer than we already were.

In July of 2016 Jason and I went to a Dodger game in LA.

I was so excited before the trip, because Clayton was supposed to pitch the day our game was.

I got a sports center alert to my phone saying he had been ruled out for the game,the day before due to a shoulder injury that would eventually take him out for most of the remaining season.

I was heartbroken.

All I’ve ever wanted was to see him pitch in person.

To lighten the blow, we decided to do something special before the game.

We took a pregame tour of the facility and it blew my mind.

We even got to walk behind home plate while the players were warming up.

I actually heard Yasiel Puig as he joked around with other players.

The game was on a Friday night, and on Fridays during the season they have Friday Night Fireworks. Where fans could go onto the field to watch fireworks.

I GOT TO GO ON THE FIELD.

At one point I just kind of stood there in complete shock.

I only wished my dad was there with me.

But I know that one day, we’ll get to experience it together.

This October was an emotional roller coaster to say the least.

I jumped up and down as hard as I could when Justin Turner hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th against the Cubs to win the game.

And the absolute joy that I felt when we made it to the World Series.

To complete silence when we lost.

I got harassed a little here and there, but it didn’t bug me.

I was just sad.

It took quite a bit to get over it honestly, like a bad breakup.

That brings us to today.

168 days until I get to see them play again.

My whole family will be going up to Seattle to see them play the Mariners.

Which doesn’t happen often.

I’m so incredibly excited.

Maybe Clayton will start?

Who knows, but the possibility excites me.

Since 2009 I have become such a huge baseball fan.

 I have Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and my dad to thank for that.

I’ve made it my life goal to see a game at every one of the 30 MLB stadiums.

So far I’ve been to Safeco Field to watch the mariners, the Oakland Alameda Coliseum to see the A’s, Dodger Stadium to watch my boys in blue, and Yankee Stadium.

That one was special.

To see a night game in New York against the Red Sox’s.

I loved every minute of it.

As you can see, my love for baseball has grown throughout the years.

From the 16 year girl who was in awe of Dodger Stadium.

To the girl who will find any way possible to listen to her game while running around at a cross country meet.

To say that I love it is an understatement.

Go Dodgers!!

That time I ran a marathon.

The Boston Marathon Bombings really upset me.

I remember watching it happen on TV and being completely shocked.

How could someone hurt something that I loved so much.

I couldn’t imagine training for so long only to have it ruined by a careless and heartless act.

I really wanted to do something to honor everyone involved in that horrific event.

I remember texting my sister telling her that we had to do something.

We brought up our local marathon, the Portland Marathon in October.

We thought it was crazy.

The furthest we had ever run up until that point was probably 15 miles, how on earth could we do 26.2.

But that didn’t matter.

We wanted to do whatever we could to honor everyone involved at Boston.

So we did it.

We clicked “register” and signed up for our first marathon just 5 months later.

The training started.

It was gradual and then took off.

I got help from an awesome teammate of mine in College, who wrote me a training plan that I religiously followed.

We realized what our end goal was going to be right away.

We wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

The qualifying time for women our age is a 3 hour a 35 minute marathon.

We were going to do it.

We were so freakin excited.

After months of training, training, and more training.

Some of the longest and most challenging months of my life.

The day had come.

God I was so scared.

It was such a scary thing, 26.2 miles, but I knew if I had my sister by my side, I would be okay.

My running partner since birth was going to be with me today and all was fine.

We got up probably around 3:30 or 4 in the morning since we lived about an hour away from the race start.

I remember the butterflies in my stomach on the drive up, hell I can feel them even now four and a half years later.

Listening to my drake playlist over and over again.

Trying to pump myself up for the challenge ahead.

When I got a text from my best friend.

“Give me speed, give me strength, let me fly.”

It reminded me of all of the people I had met along the way.

The support system I had driving up with me to stand around for hours just to watch me run.

We got up to Portland and found our starting area, and most importantly the bathrooms.

My family took pictures as Janelle and I sat and waited.

I remember saying our goodbyes to our parents and my husband, who was just my boyfriend at the time, as the race neared.

It was all starting to feel so real.

Before the race a voice came over the speakers and said that we were going to have a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings along with a tribute.

And next thing we know, Sweet Caroline played through the streets of Portland.

A song sang during Boston Red Soxs games.

My heart was so happy.

Everyone around us sang along, hand in hand with each other.

But that wasn’t the best part.

They were trying to play the national anthem when something went wrong with the speakers, so they suggested we all sing it out loud.

I had never heard anything more beautiful.

Singing the national anthem with strangers who were spread through the city, all with the same goals.

Who were all running for something bigger than ourselves.

It was something that I’ll never forget.

Next thing I knew, the gun was off.

In typical Megan and Janelle fashion, we got out quick.

We had to get into a good spot and get into a good rhythm.

I was surprised with how good I felt.

Step by step.

Mile after Mile.

I felt strong.

We came up along a group of runners who cheered us on and asked if were were twins.

We answered in sync, like we always did.

He called us the “wonder twins” and as silly as that sounds it motivated us that much more.

We felt empowered and strong, because we were.

We were running a marathon.

I remember even seeing my family a couple of times and hearing them shout our names. It reminded me why I was doing this.

For the people that I loved.

And those who lost theirs that last April.

We just kept running, right next to each other, up until the half way mark.

I had written my paces on my arm in sharpie, to make sure I could hit that 3:35 Boston Marathon qualifying time.

I was feeling great, and we were ahead of pace as we approached the arch of balloons letting us know we were at mile 13.

Janelle wasn’t feeling great, and I was.

I kept trying to walk her through getting rid of her side ache and for the most part it was working.

She could tell I was feeling better than she was, so she let me go.

She told me to leave, that she was fine and if I could do it, to go.

We squeezed each others hand and I was off to do the rest by myself.

I still felt good.

I was hitting my paces and breathing just fine.

Until I approached the St. Johns Bridge.

I had been warned about this bridge.

But nothing could have prepared me for it.

The hill leading up to it was huge.

I could barely pick up my legs.

I was trying and trying, giving it everything I had.

I remember someone coming up behind me and telling me to follow him up the hill.

I tried.

Once I got to the top I had a little more energy.

I was told by that after you get over the bridge, that the rest of the course is a gradual downhill.

I wanted that downhill so bad.

I was feeling better.

Getting my stride back.

One foot in front of the other.

That’s what I kept telling myself.

The streets of Portland were flooded with fans.

Pom Poms, huge signs, and voices louder than you could imagine.

It was so encouraging.

Until mile 24.

At mile 24 my vision started to get blurry.

I felt like I couldn’t see my feet hit the ground.

Like I was moving but I wasn’t.

If that makes any sense.

Looking at my watch I noticed that my pace was starting to slip just a little.

I couldn’t have that.

I had one goal, and I was going to achieve that goal.

Janelle passed me at mile 25 as we crossed the Broadway Bridge.

She told me good job.

I tried to mutter “you too” but just a bunch of sounds came out of my mouth.

I was slowly losing it.

I was so close though.

So close that I could hear the crowd at the finish line.

The finish line that I wanted so badly.

I turned onto Naito Parkway, which meant that I only had about a half mile or so left.

And then it happened.

I fell.

Maybe I wasn’t picking my feet up or something.

But I fell.

Right on my knees in front of everyone watching.

I remember this sweet woman in a pink shirt stopped and grabbed me as she called for the medics.

People in white shirts came running from the sidewalk.

My knee was cut up pretty badly and they wanted to take me off the course.

I told them no.

That I had to finish.

I was only two minutes away from finishing and I needed to finish.

They let me go, and the sweet woman in the pink shirt agreed to run right next to me as we finished, in case I fell again.

I turned the corner to the finish.

And don’t remember anything after that.

Except getting placed down on a bed under a medical tent.

I woke up to an IV getting stuck in my arm.

I freaked out.

Instantly I looked down around my neck searching for my finishers medal.

I found it.

Thank god.

I had finished.

But I didn’t know how.

I blacked out and didn’t remember any of it as I took that final turn.

I had been training my butt off all spring and summer for this race.

But I didn’t remember finishing.

I looked back at pictures of other people finishing.

There were smiles, and hands tossed in the air with the look of pure joy on their faces.

Whereas I, from what I heard from my family, crossed the finish line with a blank stare on my face and instantly dropped.

I found pictures of myself in a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk.

I still ran an amazing time.

I ran a 3:42:59.

I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 8 minutes.

That was it.

Do you know how it feels to want something so bad.

To the point where it’s all you think about?

That you consume your life with it.

To get so close to finishing and not even remembering it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly proud of myself, and always be.

To be a 23 year old and miss qualifying for the Boston Marathon by only 8 minutes during your first ever marathon?

But I didn’t get my moment.

I didn’t cross the finish line feeling like I was on top of the world.

I didn’t have that moment that I can look back at and remember with pure happiness.

I don’t remember it.

It’s almost like I left it unfinished.

I’m surprised sitting here today, four and a half years later.

It still gets to me.

Crying as I write these words down for everyone to see.

To see that I wanted something so bad and was so close to getting it.

That I blacked out at the end and don’t even remember finishing.

Some people would use that to quit.

Some people would take that moment and never do it again.

They would be embarrassed or say that it wasn’t meant to be.

They would be discouraged.

But not me.

I’ll always have that drive.

That motivation that one day I will remember finishing a marathon.

That I still have so many years to reach my goal.

There will always be this fire under me, reminding me of what I still have to do.

I was and still am so incredibly proud of myself.

I know that one day, I’ll do it.

I’ll run those 26.2 miles and have my moment.

I’ll cross the finish line with the biggest smile imaginable.

And I’ll do it.

One day.

Just watch.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

I like to chase things.

It’s true.

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I like to chase things.

I realized this on my run this morning.

I had stopped for a minute to catch my breath and another runner came running up by me.

I decided to give him a few seconds to get a head start.

And in my head it was a race.

I pushed myself a little more, to try and get him.

I had no idea who he was or why he was running.

But for this moment, he was my motivation.

You see, I’m easily motivated by chasing people or things.

If I have this goal that I can see, I want to do everything in my power to get it.

When I was younger and running club track, I use to get so excited by medals or t shirts.

If the top finishers of a race got a medal or t shirt I would push myself harder than I thought I could, just to get that prize.

Things.

They give me a reason to try hard, something to try and obtain.

Growing up I had this built in competition.

Even though I can only count on one hand how many times I’ve beaten her head to head, she’s my motivation.

Most of the time I don’t beat her.

And that’s ok.

I would be in the middle of the race and I could see her in front of me.

It would help me keep my eyes up and focused.

I wanted nothing more than to get her.

People.

Giving me someone to chase down, a reason to push myself.

I realized on my run today that I am easily motivated by people or things.

By the art of chasing them down.

Pushing myself harder than imaginable to try and get them.

It’s a challenge.

And I love that.

Maybe that’s why I love running.

It’s a challenge every time.

Even when you’re running by yourself, if you come up on some innocent runners, try to pass them.

It might sound mean, but it’s not intended to be.

It’s just a form of motivation.

In anything you do, it’s important to find something that motivates you.

A person, thing, or goal, anything that will make you want to push yourself that much more.

Motivation is key if you want to get anything done.

It’s that simple.

If you want to lose 10 pounds but have zero motivation to go to the gym or start eating healthy, it just won’t happen.

That might be harsh but it won’t.

It’s so important to find one thing that motivates you, just one thing to get yourself that much closer to your goal.

For me, it’s people or things.

Something that can get me instant satisfaction.

That’s how I am, I have to get things instantly.

Zero patience.

But I’m working on that. 

It’ll be different for everyone.

Free t shirts and passing people motivates me when it comes to running but it might not do the trick for you.

That’s when you need to sit and think.

What do I want from this?

What will make me run that much faster?

What is my goal?

It can be something so simple as you just want to be better.

That’s how I see it.

Pushing myself to catch people or things, will make me better in the end.

If I pushed myself to get top three in a race so that I could get a medal, I usually ran a fast time.

If I focused on beating my sister in a race but didn’t end up catching her, I usually still had a great race because I focused on moving up and running faster.

Find that thing that motivates you.

Or if you know what it is, embrace it.

I realized on my run today that I love chasing people.

I love actually having something in front of me to try and get.

A person.

A thing.

Something that pushes me that much harder.

That ignites the fire inside of me.

A breakthrough

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It’s been almost three years since I’ve ran a race.

I’ve run so much in my life.

I’ve ran almost every event in Track.

I’ve ran so many 5k’s, 10k’s, and a few half marathons.

I’ve even done a marathon.

That was all up until May of 2015.

My life consisted of running non stop for thirteen years.

Then I took a break.

I got married, was pregnant, and had a newborn.

It was a three year time period where I ran a few times here and there but not consistently.

And that was my problem.

Consistency.

I wasn’t running consistently.

This summer I decided to change that.

I started running a little.

A mile or two turned into three or four.

Then four four turned into five or six.

Next thing I know it’s November and I’m hitting 8:30 miles.

When I first ran after having Ian I was at about 10 minutes for a mile.

Which isn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t what I wanted for myself.

For someone who could go under five minutes in her prime, it was discouraging.

Being able to crack an 8:30 mile made me feel on top of the world.

Then it was eight minutes per mile.

And 7:40 after that once for a three mile run.

That was the only run where I went under eight minutes miles for a whole run.

I decided to sign up for the 10k today back in November.

It was a race I’ve done probably six or seven times before.

It was a flat course, fun, and I got a shirt out of it.

I love getting shirts from races.

I’m not going to lie, I was super nervous.

I had set a goal of running under 50 minutes, because if I stuck to eight minute miles I allowed myself a little bit of wiggle room to slow down if needed.

When setting goals I like to make it achievable and realistic, because that’s who I am.

I kept telling Jason my hard to reach goal, was to place top three in my age group.

I was going to be bummed if I didn’t’ honestly.

But Jason kept telling me “this is your own race, worry about yourself.”

And right before the race I was talking to my mom, I told her that there were some quick people out there, her response?

“You’re doing this for you.”

And I was.

It was for me.

I was the one training for the past few months.

The one who realized that her knees weren’t as strong as they used to be.

The one who had just had a kid fifteen months ago.

This was for me.

I got to do it alongside two of my favorite athletes I coach, that made it so enjoyable.

It was their first 10k and introducing them to that race was so fun.

When the race started I took off, in typical Megan fashion, a little faster than I wanted.

In my defense however, I wanted to get ahead of the pack.

Once I felt good I decided to stay at the pace I was at.

I felt okay.

And I was so excited.

I told myself to treat it like two separate three miles runs.

Out three miles, and back three miles.

Honestly the first two miles were the hardest.

I realized that I was running 7:16 pace and had to stick to it.

But that’s the thing.

I could.

And I was.

I was out there running faster than I had planned, and it was crazy to me.

That I was doing it.

Each mile I just kept talking to myself.

That’s it Megan.

One more mile down.

You’re almost there.

Don’t slow down you’ve got this.

I’ve ran that course so many times, so much that I knew when the finish was coming.

I knew when there was only a mile left.

I could feel my body wanting to slow down, but I wasn’t going to let it.

I turned the corner and I could see the finish line, but that wasn’t the best part.

I heard my mom, my dad, my sister, and Jason.

Cheering for me like they’ve always done.

As I was passing them feeling stronger than ever I heard Jason say, “go mommy” for Ian.

That’s when it hit me.

I’m running this race as a mom.

I’m running 7:30 mile pace as a mom to this amazing baby.

It was such a great feeling.

Realizing that my body could make this beautiful baby and then turn around and run 7:30 minute miles just 15 months later.

I was so proud of myself.

So stinkin proud.

After I crossed the finish line I took my participation medal with so much pride.

Normally they’re just a medal, but this one is probably one of my favorites.

A local runner that I’ve known since I started running came up to me and told me that it was good to have me back.

And I was.

Back to my old running self.

And it felt amazing.

I crushed both of my goals.

I ran a 47:15 and got first place in my age group.

Something I’m so incredibly proud of.

And the coolest thing?

I went back and compared my times to what I ran back in 2014 and 2015. Back when I felt like I was in great shape and working harder than I was now. I was so close to those times and paces.

2014.2015.2018.

2014 I finished with a 45:26 and 7:21 mile pace.

2015 I ran a 46:39 with a 7:31 mile pace.

2018, three years later after having a baby, 47:15 and a 7:37 minute mile pace.

I’m not normally super cocky, but I’m a badass.

The end.

I cheated.

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Share your inner most secret. Something you’ve never told anyone before.

I cheated.

I know I know.

It’s awful to cheat.

It was so hard for me to think of a secret that I’ve never told anyone.

Because I tell at least my sister everything.

Well clearly not everything.

I was ten and in the fourth grade.

I sucked at Math (and still do) and we had to take our fifth grade math placement test.

I sat by this super smart girl and cheated off of her test. I just stared right at her paper and copied her answers.

Don’t worry karma got me, I was placed in a math class higher than I should have been in and struggled.

PHEW.

That felt great to get off my chest.

Wait..

Did you think I cheated on someone by the title?

You must not know me that well.

I saw this list last Monday and have been thinking about a big secret that I’ve never told anyone.

This was the first and only one that came to mind.

First off, I don’t keep secrets.

Not because of some moral reason.

I just can’t keep them.

As I said above I always go running to Janelle.

I’ve kept a few secrets in my life, but only long enough to wait until the person finds out themselves because I can’t keep them in.

Second, I’m not really a rebel.

I don’t do things that I want to hide from anyone.

A few weeks ago I remember telling someone that my way of rebelling is going five miles over the speed limit.

Seriously.

I can see my sister laughing right now reading this because it’s true about both of us.

We follow the rules.

We didn’t really do anything terrible growing up.

And we always asked permission before going out or doing things.

We just prefer to follow the rules.

Some people get a sense of thrill from rebelling or doing something there not supposed to.

I really do love following rules.

It’s just who I am.

The fact that this is my biggest secret that I’ve never told anyone should tell you right there.

I’m the person that always says please and thank you.

Holds the door open for people.

Thinks rules were made to be followed.

Gets a weird joy out of cleaning.

And rebels by going five miles over the speed limit.

Not that anything’s wrong with people who do whatever they want or live these awesome carefree lives.

My brother is one of those people, and I envy him.

I love how he can just have this idea and act on it.

I physically can’t do that.

I would love to but I can’t.

It’s so funny how siblings can be similar but completely different.

But it’s true.

Janelle and I follow the rules and my brother makes his own.

And that’s fine.

It’s why my biggest life secret is that I cheated on a test in 4th grade.

And I’m perfectly ok with that.

I’m who I am.

Hi my names Megan and my biggest life secret is that I cheated on my math test in fourth grade.

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Tattoos.

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Do you have any tattoos? If so what are they and do they have any meaning?

When I was twenty I wanted a tattoo soooo bad.

Lots of o’s to really emphasize how bad I wanted one.

I remember exactly what it was.

I wanted the word “Strength” on the top of my foot.

You can laugh.

Looking back I realize it wasn’t the most original idea I’ve ever had.

I went to Vegas for the first time that year and I swore that I was going to get it done there.

My dad said I should wait until I really knew if that’s what I wanted.

So despite my eagerness to get one, I waited.

That and it would have been 200 dollars in Vegas.

Nah I’m good.

That November my grandpa passed away.

Right before my sister and I left with our team to the National Cross Country meet.

I remember calling my grandma before we left and she told me to remember what my grandpa always told us, to run like the wind.

And I had never been so sure of something in my life.

That was going to be my first tattoo.

I waited till after that cross country and track season.

So I could give it time to heal and not have to run with it right away.

I remember no one actually thought I was going to get it done.

They kept saying “oh yeah sure you’re going to get a tattoo.”

And I was totally sure of myself until I sat down in the chair.

My calf muscle kept twitching.

No matter what I did it kept twitching.

Janelle was right there to capture the moment and take pictures of my grabbing my leg as tight as I could to get it to stop.

It will always be my favorite.

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I actually got my second and third tattoos at the same time.

I don’t know why I needed to.

Well actually, yes I do, my parents call it “tunnel vision.”

And in my eyes these tattoos went together and they needed to be done at the same time.

I had this card from my mom and dad.

They couldn’t make it to our last cross country meet in college so they left a card in our bags without us knowing.

It was the best thing, and so incredibly thoughtful.

Since they knew that they couldn’t be there, they wanted to be with us any way they could.

And my parents always went to our meets, they only missed them if they had to.

I loved the card and loved what my parents wrote.

I had the idea to take lines from the card and turn them into tattoos.

I obviously had to put one on my rib cage, again, not completely sure why, but it was a few lines and fit best there.

I thought of getting the second one across my leg because I had never seen a tattoo there and loved the idea. It’s my favorite place on my body that I have a tattoo and a close second to my foot tattoo.

The one on my ribs is the line from my mom.

“I want to thank you for taking us with you on this awesome ride, I love you, mom.”

That leaves my dad’s on my leg.

“I am so proud to have you as my daughter, I love you, dad.”

I got both of them in their handwriting as well.

After I found out that I was pregnant with Ian I knew I wanted the day he was born tattooed on me.

I had always wanted a small tattoo on my wrist, but it had to be special to me.

Something I could see every day.

Something that would remind me every day how wonderful my life is.

Something that I could look at and instantly smile.

My little boo’s birthday.

I think I got it only two weeks after he was born, but because I was itching for another tattoo when I was pregnant and you obviously can’t get a tattoo when you’re pregnant.

So I needed to get it the moment I had time.

There I am again with that tunnel vision, dang.

I love looking down and seeing a reminder that no matter what’s going on in life, I have Ian smiling and loving me no matter what.

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My most recent tattoo I got in March.

I really wanted a design, since all I had up until this point were words or letters.

And when I got Ian’s birthday tattooed they did a test run in purple and I loved it, so I knew I wanted color.

I had thought of getting a flower, an Iris to be more specific.

Because it’s the flower for the month of February, the month that Janelle and I were born.

That’s when the idea started escalating.

I looked up the flower for the month of October, a marigold, an Orange one to be specific. I loved the brightness of it and since October is the month for Jason and Ian’s birthday I jumped on that.

I then looked up the September birth flower for my parents birthdays and found this pretty flower, an aster.

I decided to get this one in pink because I already has a purple iris.

Finally I looked up the month of April which is a sweet pea, basically a glorified daisy, for my little brothers birthday.

I gathered all of the google images and gave it to the tattoo artist and asked him to create a little bouquet.

A bouquet of the flowers for everyone who was important to me.

It hurt.

Besides the one on my ribs which was the WORST.

This one wasn’t fun, if I’m going to be honest.

However, it was over quickly and I even gave the artist a little bit of creative freedom to add stuff here and there. I loved the finish product.

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Tattoos are so fun to me.

Addicting, but fun.

I love looking at other peoples tattoos as well, hearing why they got them.

The story behind them, or just the spontaneous idea to get it.

For me, their a way to permanently mark what’s important to you.

A constant reminder of what you love in life.

What makes you the person you are.

What fuels your fire.

I just love tattoos.

My most treasured possession.

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What is your most treasured possession and why?

I was so excited about today’s writing prompt.

I knew instantly what I wanted to write about.

A story that I just love and I hope you will too.

When I was really little there was this ring.

It was a mood ring that was shaped like a pearl, on the most beautiful band.

I had one and my sister had one.

We were told that they were from my grandpa and we weren’t allowed to touch them.

He picked them up for us while driving across the country in his truck.

I remember staring at them in awe in my mom’s jewelry box waiting for the day I could wear it.

I remember thinking that it must have been the most valuable piece of jewelry.

Our parents wouldn’t let us have them because we were so small and it wouldn’t fit our fingers, they also didn’t want us to lose them.

I don’t blame them.

I forgot about the rings as I got older, until the day my grandpa passed away, in November of 2010.

We were at the house later that day and the rings came to mind.

I didn’t have anything from my grandpa, except the ring.

I asked my mom if I could have it and of course she said yes.

I ran to the room with my sister and we each picked ours out.

Of course, as fate was to have it, they fit perfectly.

I hardly ever took that thing off.

They never really changed moods, since they had been locked in a jewelry box for so many years. Mine had this beautiful hue of green, blue, pink and yellow. It’s almost as if it had always been those colors.

Around the pearl shaped stone was this woven design that held it up, along with four little pegs and a silver band.

I had never seen anything like it and received compliments everywhere I went.

Flash forward to February of 2011.

I was in Seattle at our usual Travelodge hotel with my track team from Western Oregon for a meet at the University of Washington.

My friends and I were going to go out to the U Village for dinner and for some reason I decided to leave my ring behind.

I must have taken it off for our afternoon run, because that was usually the only time I would take it off.

The next morning we were packing for the meet and I realized I didn’t have my ring.

I left it on the bedside table the night before and it was gone.

I looked everywhere panicking.

I tore apart my bed along with Janelle’s, looked under them and behind every piece of furniture.

It was gone.

The only thing I had from my grandpa.

Janelle was gone when I realized that I had lost it.

I didn’t tell her.

I didn’t tell anyone.

I was so ashamed and couldn’t handle the thought of telling anyone that I had lost it.

I called the hotel a few times to check and see if they had seen it by chance, nothing.

I was so upset with myself for a while.

Eventually I gave myself a break, and come to the conclusion that I would never see my ring again.

In November of 2012 I was scrolling through Etsy, shopping for rings just because.

No real reason, I just wanted to find a cute ring because it was the trend to wear lots of rings.

Then I saw it.

My ring.

It wasn’t a duplicate.

It wasn’t similar.

It was my ring.

I grabbed my debit card and purchased it for 21 dollars and 95 cents.

Right after I bought it I messaged the shop, asking where they found such a beautiful ring.

The woman’s shop was located in Spokane Washington, just four hours from the location where I lost my ring.

She said it was a vintage mood ring that a woman brought in a few months ago.

I couldn’t believe it.

It had to have been my ring.

Someone had to have found it at the hotel and kept it for some time. They must have sold it to this shop in Spokane.

It was my ring.

Believe it or not but this was my ring.

I told my parents and sister about the ring. How I had lost it a year ago in Seattle and how I found it on Etsy, they couldn’t believe it. They all knew it was the ring.

My ring.

I wore it right away and refused to take it off.

Eventually I did.

It sat right by my bed safe and away from danger.

I had it as I walked down the aisle at my wedding as my something old.

And now, it’s starting to show its age.

The band has cracked at the bottom and I can’t wear it anymore.

I’ve looked into getting it fixed but I’m afraid that something might happen to it and make it worse.

No matter what though, it’s my ring.

My ring that my grandpa gave to me when I was little.

That on the saddest day of my life, fit perfectly when I put it on after so many years of admiring it.

That I lost in Seattle.

And found its way back to me a year later.

I love it dearly and it’s by far my most treasured possession.

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