Fearlessly.

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Fearlessly.

It’s a word right?

Well the little red line telling me I’ve made a spelling error isn’t there so I’m making the executive decision that its a word.

You might have heard the word fearless before, in a Taylor Swift song or on a girls Instagram caption. According to google fearless is defined as

a lack of fear.

I’m going to call googles bluff on this one. I think it’s almost impossible for someone to not have a single fear. I won’t say it’s completely impossible, but its borderline impossible. Everyone is afraid of something.

To me, the word fearless has a different meaning. I think being fearless is living in spite of the things that you fear. Fearless is knowing what you’re afraid of and doing it anyways. If you’re terrified of spiders but you squish that giant spider on the wall, you’re fearless.

It’s a small example but its still showing that someone was fearless.

Think about it.

If someone’s afraid of spiders and they kill it, they just did something they were afraid of.

If you can’t swim but you jump in the deep end because you want nothing more than to know how to swim.

You sign up for a marathon even though you’ve never ran more than 14 miles in your life and you can’t fathom doing another 12.

You’ve gotten your heart broken so many times but you decide to take a chance and text this incredibly cute guy because you can’t stop thinking about him.

All examples of being living in spite of your fears.

You aren’t being completely fearless, you are doing something fearlessly.

You are recognizing that something scares you, that it holds you back from getting what you want out of life. You realize that yes, you have a fear but it’s not stronger than you. That you are so much more than what you’re  afraid of. You take a deep breath and do it, whatever it is, and you do it fearlessly. As if in that moment in time, your fear doesn’t exist.

I write encouraging note cards for my athletes before every race, there first meet is tomorrow and I found myself using one word many times.

Fearless.

That’s how I got to this blog post. I started thinking about that word and what I was telling my kids to do. I was telling them to be fearless.

I was telling them that even though they might be nervous for their first meet to not let that hold them back. To run fast even though this was their first time doing this event, or run as if you’re the fastest person out there even though according to paper you might not be. Fearless.

I have grown to love this word so much and everything associated with it. To be fearless you must have confidence, strength, bravery, and heart. Everything that is important in life, especially when you’re a runner.

I can think of one time in particular when I was fearless. I was sixteen and I was running my second distract track meet for the 3000 against some big competition. I believe I came in ranked 8th or so. It must have been 85 degrees outside, it was the first event of the day and there I was, a little 100 pound scared to death high school sophomore, standing next to sixteen other girls.

I was scared. I felt like there was so much pressure but I ran. I honestly can’t remember much except the fact that I just kept running. I remember having this feeling every time I passed another girl.

There goes another one.

This feels so good.

I have to keep passing people.

Next thing I know I sprint through the finish line seven and a half laps later completely dead. My teammate came over to the fence and asked me if I knew what I just did. Obviously I had no idea I just kept running and passing people. She yelled at me “You took second place!! You’re going to State!” I was so insanely happy and I just remember it clicking.

I was afraid that I was going to fail, but something clicked inside me. Something told me, who cares if you fail, go out there and run as if you can’t fail.

Yes, everything in my life I can relate back to running.

But it’s one of my favorite examples of living fearlessly.

I believe we all have fears, but if we simply go through life letting those fears take control of us we will always be stuck.

We will never find out what more we are capable of if were afraid to try anything.

We will never see our true potential.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

This quote sums it up perfectly.

Whatever passion you have in life, whatever sets your soul on fire and consumes you, do anything you can to pursue that. Yes, it might be terrifying and might seem impossible but that’s the fear talking. Sometimes we let the fear of the unknown over power our ability to make our dreams come true.

The thing I’m afraid of most in life, is failing.

But I continue to live my life fearlessly in spite of it. I continue to try and grow in pursuit of the things I desire most in life.

If we all just stopped trying once we got scared no one would be able to do anything truly amazing.

So live in spite of those fears.

Live fearlessly.

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Cheers to 2017

makeithappen

I have always been fascinated with New Years Eve, maybe not the holiday specifically but the idea of a fresh start. I loved ending the year with the best intentions on making the next year better than the last. Just the thought of a brand new year..an opportunity to do things differently..a chance to do something new..and a time to make goals…I love it. In the past I have made resolutions like everyone else..

Be healthier.

Exercise more.

Eat less junk food.

All health and fitness related because I figured that’s what a resolution was supposed to be. They were all resolutions that I wouldn’t stick to for more than a month or so and I was back to chugging a soda and sitting on the couch instead of going for a run.

This year I wanted to make better resolutions. Things that I could control more, and things that would better me in some way or were a reflection of my goals in life. I’ve been brainstorming my resolutions for a few months now and I am pretty happy with them. All things that I believe at this time next year I will look back on and be able to check them off as completed. Despite what I may believe sometimes, I am clearly not perfect. I know some things won’t get completed..and that’s what 2018 is for. There will always be an opportunity for more resolutions.

  1. I want to sing in the car more. Not because I want to show the car next to me that I can turn into Drake in the blink of an eye..or that I know the lyrics to almost any song..but because singing in the car makes me happy. When I sing in the car I don’t yell at cars for being stupid or get super impatient right away. I used to sing in the car with my sister every day when we commuted to school for 30 minutes. It was the highlight of my day and I will always cherish it. I believe that if I sing in the car more it will give me a little bit of joy each day.
  2. I don’t want to overthink and obsess over things. This one will be the hardest by far, and I am aware of that. I think that is half of the battle, knowing what my hardest resolution will be. I tend to overthink almost every situation in life and obsess over every little detail. When in reality that takes me away from living a better life. I spend so much time obsessing over things that I don’t have time to do anything else. I know this will make me happier and give me more time in the day to do other things.
  3. Put my phone down while eating. I didn’t realize this would be a resolution until I was eating dinner with my husband the other night at home. I looked up from my phone and noticed that we were both eating dinner and staring at our phones instead of enjoying our food and each others company. Eating is a time when you can really sit and enjoy your meal and your company, whether it’s with yourself or another person. Sitting by myself eating gives me 10 minutes of peace and quiet and 10 minutes of eating dinner with my husband gives us an opportunity to talk about our days or plans for the weekend. Disconnecting for those few minutes won’t kill me.
  4. I want to keep writing. This was so hard for me to even begin doing. Writing what’s going on in my mind and putting it out for other people to see and judge. It may seem small to others but it was a huge step for me and one that I am super proud of. I am so proud of what my little corner of the internet has become and I don’t want to stop doing it in 2017.
  5. I want to stop striving for others approval. I worry what others think of me a lot. People’s opinions are pointless, if they like me awesome! If they don’t, I shouldn’t have to sit there and worry how to fix it and how to live up to their standards. Once again, something that may be easy for others but is hard for me. I always go back to a great piece of advice my best friend gave me, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
  6. I want to go to another Major League Baseball game. Only a few people know my lifetime goal, and that is to go to every major league baseball stadium, buy a hat, and watch a game. It’s a goal that gets me to travel more, and explore cities I might not originally go to. I also fell in love with the sport of baseball and the history of it thanks to my dad. Each stadium has so many stories attached to it and I would love to explore every one. So far I have been to three. Dodger stadium my one true love, Oakland Coliseum to watch my husbands favorite team the A’s, and Yankee Stadium with my husband on our honeymoon to watch the Yankees play the Red Soxs under the lights. I don’t care what game I see, I just want to add one more to my list and collect more hats.
  7. I want to learn that I can’t control everything. This goal kind of goes with goals number 2 and 5. I try so hard to control every little thing and get upset when I can’t. I guess I just feel more comfortable when I know what’s going on, and I think the best way of knowing what’s going on is being able to control everything. I guess I need to get more comfortable with chaos and letting things just happen. Having a newborn will help that, and it already has.
  8. I want to go to a concert. I love going to concerts, even though I have only been to a few I love going to them. From my first concert at 11 (thanks for suffering through O-TOWN with us dad) to the Hunter Hayes concert my husband took me to this last summer. They were all so much fun. Going along with my last goal of enjoying the chaos, I think concerts give you just that. Lots of people, loud music that you love, and everyone just dancing and not caring what anyone else is doing. I love the carefree attitude that comes along with going to concerts and I would love to be able to enjoy that for a night.
  9. Dance more. Again, this goes with my previous goal. Let me first say that in no way can I dance, at all, I’m like the drunk uncle at a wedding dancing to Party in the U.S.A. I just love being able to dance along to your favorite song while cleaning the house or cooking dinner. I used to do it all the time and it made me feel as if I had no other worry in the world and I would love to do it more.
  10. Run more. Running is by far my favorite thing ever, next to my family. I have been running competitively since I was 12. Running after college has been one of the harder things I have had to figure out in life and I am still trying to figure it out. It was pretty hard trying to run while I was pregnant. I would get so discouraged because I wasn’t running the paces I did before and it was frustrating. I need to do it more. It is my way to let things go, be by myself, and push myself to do more.

I hope 2017 brings me half of the joy that 2016 brought me. I hope I can reach most if not all of my goals and if I don’t I hope I have the opportunity to tackle them the year after. I hope it’s full of lots of smiles and love from my little boy, adventures with my amazing husband and family, and a new Taylor Swift album.

Keep Sparkling.

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I feel good.

Seriously..I feel really good.

Such a simple statement for most people, but it’s not that easy for me. Confidence does not come natural. I am not the type of person that wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and thinks “damn I look gooooood.” I don’t do that. I mean I have, on occasion. This isn’t meant to be depressing or anything, trust me, it’s just something that I know isn’t my strong spot.

It likes to come in waves. Different parts of my life or different moments I feel completely untouchable, I walk into situations feeling like Beyonce. Other times I am constantly second guessing myself or comparing myself to every other person in the room.

I can tell you exactly when I started to second guess myself too, I was 17. It was the summer before my senior year in high school and I had just got done visiting with a college coach who wanted my sister and I to run for his team. I told my boyfriend at the time how excited I was and how this was such a great opportunity. You know what his response was?

“You know the only reason he wants you is because your sister is fast? You two are a package deal, you just come with her.”

Yup.

I know what a winner.

I got out of that about a month later, but because of that moment I got in this habit of second guessing myself. Was I good enough? Was I fast enough? Was I pretty enough?  Was I smart enough? Getting out of that relationship and focusing more on running helped me a lot. I was 18, I felt invincible and I was running the fastest times of my life. I started listening to Lil’ Wayne before races and rapping along, in my eyes no one could catch me and even come close to my awesomeness.

That feeling lasted through my first semester of college, it was the first time in my life that I was the best at something. It was amazing. It started to disappear when I transferred to a bigger college. I knew no one except my sister and everyone already had established friendships and relationships. And sometimes I felt dumb for trying to push myself during workouts, I remember hearing that some girls made fun of me for doing so well during a specific workout. I was told they were just bashing me and saying how dumb it was that I ran so hard, they questioned what I was trying to prove. I let that get to me.

Mistake #1.

I thought, “maybe I shouldn’t push the pace that hard today, don’t want anyone to be upset about it.”

I ACTUALLY THOUGHT THAT..SERIOUSLY MEGAN. Looking back at it I don’t believe it myself.

You really are your own worst enemy sometimes. It wasn’t until a couple of years later and some good friends by my side that encouraged me to do my best and not care what anyone else says that I realized how good I was and actually started running hard. I held myself back from my one true passion in life because some people thought it was uncool. Don’t worry, moral of that story is I finished college running the fastest times of my life and let go of those negative people.

That’s the biggest part of being confident and happy in my opinion. Let go of the people who hold you back. The people who tell you that you aren’t good enough, who don’t share your goals and who don’t see a purpose to the crazy beautiful dreams you have.

They’re stupid, let them go, seriously do it. You will feel so much better.

I started really surrounding myself with the people who thought I was as amazing as I use to. My sister, my parents, my best friend, and my husband. I also coach high school athletes. If you ever want to feel good about yourself get into coaching. Those kids are always excited to see me, well I like to think they are. They hug me when they haven’t seen me in a day, and appreciate me for being upfront and tough. I love them for that.

If you want to do something that might be crazy but you are incredibly passionate about it, and anyone in your life questions you, get rid of them. You should always surround yourself with people who love you and support you no matter what. I am so lucky and blessed to have that support.

I think that’s why I am in such good place in life, finally. I have the best support system who I wouldn’t trade for anything. I realized today how good I felt, after my workout. I look great for having a baby two months ago, I have a college degree that I worked my butt off for, I have a great job, a beautiful baby, husband, and the best family ever. All of it makes me confident and gives me the faith that I really can do anything.

That’s the key to it all.

If you have anyone in your life that makes you feel insignificant or small get rid of them. Anyone who questions your dreams or passions doesn’t deserve to have you in their life. Sometimes that lesson takes 21 years to learn but when you realize it, it feels amazing.