Impermanence.

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I usually post story times on Thursdays.

And I want to keep doing that.

But yesterday was different.

So naturally I had to write about it.

It wasn’t the best day.

And it wasn’t the worst day ever.

It just wasn’t great.

And in typical Megan fashion, I took things personally.

When in reality it wasn’t on me.

I was pretty bummed out all day.

You know how those days go?

You spill your coffee.

Get a rude email at work.

Someone says something mean to you.

You run into traffic.

All of the small things that can add up make everything seem worse than it actually is.

That’s how yesterday went.

And most of this week for that matter.

I was super frustrated.

I feel like I’m a good person for the most part.

I use my turning signal, hold the door open for people, and I don’t do anything illegal.

The one “bad” habit I have is drinking too much coffee.

That or swearing as much as I do.

But that’s it.

I’ve always believed in Karma.

Because I had to give myself that reassurance that people who did bad things would have bad things happen to them in return.

It just made me feel better.

With that being said, I get frustrated when bad things happen to good people.

It doesn’t make sense.

Are you supposed to learn some giant life lesson?

Is it going to direct you down this new magical path in life.

Is it all a part of something bigger than we can possibly understand.

I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how all of these bad things were happening to me, small, but bad nonetheless.

What about Karma?

Wasn’t it supposed to help me out?

Didn’t it have my back?

As much as I tried to figure out why these bad things were happening to me, I just couldn’t find an answer

I did however, found a solution to it yesterday.

A temporary fix if you will.

I came across this word that was new to me.

Impermanence.

I saw the word described in a paragraph.

Life is always changing and I drift easily through those changes, good and bad. As I drift through hard times, I can take comfort in knowing that I will leave them behind. As I drift away from good times I can take comfort in knowing that more will come my way. 

It’s beautiful really.

Life is always changing, we have no control over it.

And we have to accept that.

Good things will happen, and bad things will happen.

But they’ll always be happening.

As we experience those hard times we should take comfort.

Comfort in knowing that eventually you will leave them behind.

And most importantly in my opinion, that as the good times come and go, you can take comfort in knowing that more are going to come.

I think that’s harder than going through the bad times.

Watching the good times go.

Graduating from college.

Watching your children move out.

Sending your best friend off to move across the Country.

It’s still hard.

Seeing something that you’ve loved so much change and becoming different.

Taking comfort that you once knew, with something that was a constant in your life, and watching it change.

Wondering if things will ever be the same.

But knowing that no matter what, more good things will come your way.

I took this yesterday and really let it sit with me.

In the peak of my bad day, this hit me so incredibly hard.

And hits me even more as I write this now, reflecting on it all.

I told myself over and over again.

I will eventually leave these bad days behind.

And it helped, believe it or not.

Saying this over and over again made the negative thoughts escape.

I think if you believe in something so much, you can create it.

Even if it’s just a thought.

If you believe in something enough, it’ll happen.

The bad days will be left behind.

And those good days that you love so much, will too be left behind.

But they’ll be back.

Just different.

This gave me comfort yesterday.

Comfort when I was having a bad day.

And I hope that it can help you as well.

That no matter what might be going wrong, big or small, that it will be left behind.

That it’ll be just a memory.

Something that happened to you.

But that you can take comfort in knowing that it’s gone.

And because of it, you’re stronger the next time around.

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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.

 

That time I started to believe in myself.

Let’s go back to 2008 shall we?

I was 18 and about to compete in my 3000 meter run at the district track meet.

Ya see..I was fast.

My freshman year in high school I was one of the fastest freshman in our district, not to mention one of the fastest overall for distance running in my town.

Sophomore year I surprised myself.

I got second at our district meet in the 3000 when I came in ranked in the bottom half of the top ten.

I got to go to the state track meet as a sophomore which was a big deal.

Junior year I was awful.

I’m just going to say it.

I went from running an 11:02 in the 3000 to an 11:37 the very next year, from 2nd place to 7th at the district meet in one years time.

I wasn’t myself.

I spent most of my time with someone who told me I wasn’t that good.

That my sister was better than me.

That track was a waste of time.

That I wasn’t going to go to college for it so why try.

I started to believe all of those things.

I made excuses.

I gave up.

I didn’t believe in myself.

But lets not dwell too much on that, that person isn’t worth any more words on this post.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2007 when I got rid of that person in my life and decided to get myself back.

I looked forward to every single practice.

I was motivated to be better.

I had a hard cross country season in the fall but arguably my best throughout my four years.

I worked my butt off to get back to where I was at the end of my sophomore year.

Back to when I was excited.

Eager.

Fierce.

I wanted nothing more than to find this girl and get her back.

To show her that she was the fire she needed to spark this desire to be better.

That winter was full of training, and so was the spring,  leading up to my last season of running for my high school.

I felt like I wanted it more than anyone.

That I had something to prove.

To show girls who laughed at me the previous year that I was back and better than ever.

Every 3000 meter race I had run that season was faster than any 3000 I ran the year before.

I would sit on the bus on the way to meets and close my eyes.

Picturing the exact moment where I threw my hands up in success after my win.

I could see the headlines, Everetts wins district title.

That’s how bad I wanted it.

I loved getting pumped up before meets, that’s when I discovered my love for rap music.

Lil’ Wayne to be exact.

I would completely zone out and lose myself in the music.

Never show it on the outside.

It became a ritual I would end up using the rest of my racing career.

I would look at myself in the mirror and repeat out loud, it’s mine, I can do it.

I had so much confidence as we neared the end of that track season, until the day finally came.

The day I dreamed about.

The district meet.

I was coming into the meet ranked third I believe, maybe second in the 3000.

My event.

There were three of us who were competing for that title, the rest of the pack was about 15-20 seconds behind us.

I remember shaking when I was putting on my bib number.

Not because I was nervous.

But because I wanted it.

So bad.

I stood on the starting line, my foot twitching like it always did.

I was ready to go.

Then the gun went off.

I ended up getting out to a quick start with one of the girls, we left the other one, and that was the last we saw of her.

We ran the first two laps of the seven and a half lap race toe to toe, and I had no intentions of letting her go.

It wasn’t until the 5th lap when we passed the crowd.

I knew there wasn’t much of the race left and one of us had to make a move.

I whispered to her, let’s do this, and we were off.

We were running faster than I ever thought possible.

Next thing I know it’s the final lap and I have the lead.

I can hear my family cheering.

My mom.

My dad.

My sister.

Everyone was screaming as loud as they could.

I was on the last 100 meter stretch.

I could hear my friends in the stands cheering.

I pushed myself as hard as I possibly could.

And in that moment I had it.

I threw my hands up over my head in complete disbelief.

It was mine.

That moment that I had dreamed of was mine.

I ran over to my sister and gave her the biggest hug imaginable.

I ran a 10:48 and won the district title, I was off to the state meet for a second time.

10:48 was almost a whole minute faster than the year before, and quite the improvement from seventh place.

I’ll never forget how happy I was in that moment.

What I had been working for all season, all four years of high school, was here.

It’s so crazy to me how you can manifest something so much that it becomes attainable.

That if you want something so badly, along with some hard work, you can achieve it.

That’s what I did that year.

I wanted it.

More than anything.

I thought about it.

Dreamed about it.

Pictured it.

That moment was all I thought about and it was mine.

That day I decided to believe in myself changed everything.

It allowed me to see my full potential.

To see that I was worth it.

That I could literally do anything that I wanted to do.

I can honestly say that was the moment.

The moment that I realized what I could do.

The moment I truly started to believe in myself.