Run with heart.

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Running is and was everything to me.

Running has taught me so many lessons that no one else can teach me.

Running made me feel strong when I felt like I was at my worst.

Running gave me the courage to go for my craziest dreams.

Running helped me figure out what I was going to do with my life.

I have so many stories from my running career. That time Janelle and I almost missed the bus at our first out of state cross country meet..or that time we thought a cat was following us to our hotel room when it turned out to be a skunk.

This story is one of my favorites.

My freshman year cross country season was one of my best. I thought I was doing everything right, I thought I knew everything there was about running. I was running the best times in my life, beating my sister (sorry Janelle) and I was the number one girl on my team. I had it all.

It was our team dinner the night before we were going to leave for our conference meet. My coach thought of this idea to have giant pieces of paper with all of our names on them and have each other write something encouraging on it.
You know the usual stuff..

“Girl you’re so fast, go out there and kill it this weekend!”

“Make us proud!”

“Go out there and get to nationals!”

All of these encouraging words made me feel better than I already was.

Then I saw it, in the bottom corner of my paper..

“You’re a fast runner but you need more heart.”

I was pissed.

Seriously.

So incredibly pissed.

Someone vandalized my paper with this ridiculous claim that I had no heart.
It haunted me, it was all I could think about during the 4 hour drive to Seattle the next day.

I have heart! I love running! I love my family! How dare someone say that I didn’t have heart!

It was anonymous too. No one would claim responsibility for this insanity.
I looked around at all of my teammates furious at the thought that it could be any one of them. Instead of trying to understand the message I spent the entire bus ride wondering who would insult me like that.

It didn’t hit me like some things do.

It took quite a bit of internal dialogue to solve this one.

I started thinking of my favorite race in high school when I won the 3000 at my district meet. The feeling of pure joy that I felt at that very moment.

I started thinking of my awesome teammates that I missed so much.

I started thinking about my parents and how they spent the night driving to Seattle just to watch me run, and all of the time and money they put into me chasing my dream.

The joy I feel while running, my friends, my family, those were some of the reasons I ran.

Those were the reasons that I got up early in the morning to run ten miles, the reasons I pushed myself in races even though I felt like death.

Those things filled my heart and helped push me.

I was supposed to run for those things, I was supposed to take those things and let them fuel the fire inside of me and push me to go further.

Heart.

I have told so many of my athletes to “run with heart.”

I know that it’s reached one person in specifically.

She draws a heart on her hand between her index finger and thumb, exactly where I use to draw mine.

Sophomore year at Western I was in a slump in running, I didn’t have the fire like I use to. I remember on the way back from a meet my anonymous piece of advice and I knew what I was missing.

Heart.

I was forgetting those things I loved. The people that helped me with my dreams, the feeling I got after a huge PR, the goals I had as a twelve year old deciding to run track for the first time.

I took out a sharpie and drew that heart on my hand, right where I could see it. That way whenever I needed to I could look down and remind myself to remember why I do it.
Remember everything that running has put into my heart and use that to push myself towards what I wanted.

That could be said about so many things though, not just running.

Work can get so incredibly draining, and you could feel like quitting..but how hard did you work to get that job? How hard did you study in school? You earned that. Go to work every day with that drive you had when you were applying for jobs left and right.

School can get tough, especially at the end of the year. It’s hard to find any motivation to even go to class. But did you seriously waste so many years of waking up before the sun came up to quit? All of those sleepless nights working on never ending homework assignments just to stop trying and float by through the end of the year?

Life gets tough. We all have those days where all we want to do is sleep and forget about whatever might be troubling us at that moment in time. But we can’t. We can’t sit there and just skate through life not making the best out of every day. We have to put passion in everything, because you get what you put into things. We can’t stop trying because we feel bad. We have to remember every moment like this in the past and how we battled through it stronger than the first time.

We have to have heart.

We have to remember why we started.

Who pushed us to do more.

Who gave us what we needed to go for our dreams.

We have to remember what we wanted growing up. 

Everything that you have.

Everything saved up stays in your heart, and you use it to go for the unknown. You use it to fuel your fire.

So give everything that you do in life heart. Never just give anything you do in life the bare minimum, you’re selling yourself short.

Instead, do great things.

Push till you can’t anymore and dream those dreams that seem out of this world.

Live with purpose.

Love with passion.

Run with heart.

Follow your passion.

passion

I sit here staring at my computer screen just typing and deleting.

Typing and deleting.

Typing..

And deleting.

I love this blog I have created. It is so special to me and I cherish it. It’s my little corner of the world where I can say exactly how I am feeling and get it out for others to see if they desire to do so. I guess you could say that over the last couple of months I have become very passionate about it. I put a lot of thought about what I want to write and how I want it to be absolutely perfect. Sometimes I will type half of a story and go and delete it because it doesn’t work.

Somethings not clicking, it doesn’t sound like it did in my head.

Sometimes I just stare.

I have all of these beautiful thoughts in my head and I can’t get them out on the screen the way I imagined it.

I am a perfectionist. Yeah, I am a big perfectionist and if I am going to do something I am going to give it 100 percent of pure awesomeness or it’s not worth it. If I am passionate about it, I’m going to make sure that I give it the love and hard work that it deserves to go out into the world and strive.

I am passionate about a few things in life; my family, my son, running, and writing.

Some things just come natural, like my family. I don’t even need to think twice before I tell you how much I love my family and how I would do anything for them. How if you do anything to hurt any one of them you better hope you don’t run into me. I might be small but I am mighty. My dad taught me that, he taught me that I can do anything I want. He taught me how to be confident and fierce and how to really appreciate the Dodgers and good BBQ. Every time I am stressed or nervous I put Whitney Houston’s “I wanna dance with somebody” on repeat and it works wonders on my spirit. My mom helps me remember how to laugh at myself and how to help others and fight for what I want but how to be amazingly kind about it.

My brother and sister are the best. Seriously. I could write 10,000 words on why my sister is. She has been by my side for almost 27 years minus those first 10 minutes where she was just chillin and I hadn’t made my debut yet. Janelle taught me how to be brave, how to be kind, how to love others, and she taught me to love coffee. I will be grateful for that one forever. My brother forgave me for being annoying when I was younger, which that alone deserves a gold star. He puts all of himself in everything he does and when he wants something he does whatever is needed to go and get it. I look up to him.

My husband is my better half. Seriously. He has patience when I don’t, he gives others the benefit of the doubt when I want to jump to conclusions. He encourages me to do things when I would rather sit there and hesitate. He helped me make an amazing little boy who’s curiosity amazes me. Who smiles at anything and who has so much strength. He’s strong, loving, and everything I have ever wanted.

I love running, I have been doing it since I was 12. More than half of my life has been spent running around in circles in the rain, sun, snow, and mud. Running has shaped me into the person I am today. Running was there when I was having a bad day and would listen to my problems, running would forgive me if I forgot to run the day before or if I didn’t do so well in a workout. Running helped me believe in myself and helped me realize I can do wonderful things, like run 26.2 miles or run a five minute mile, or run side by side with some amazing people. Running gave me the courage to do the impossible.

I have always enjoyed writing. I would write song lyrics when I was in middle school and I thought they were so cool. If I was feeling any sort of way I could always put it down on paper. However, I didn’t see the real beauty of it. To me, it was just something I had to do in school or something that would never lead to a high paying job or lots of money and success so why spend my time doing it? It wasn’t until college when I had to take a creative writing class that I realized how much I really enjoyed it. I could be creative and express anything I wanted to with a pen and paper..or in this case my finger tips and a computer keyboard..and tell others any message I wanted to. I think that’s why  I love it so much, because I can tell someone anything I want. I can give advice, share memories, or tell stories and share my experiences with others. I can do so much with just my mind and a keyboard.

I am so passionate about all of these things. So incredibly passionate. I don’t think you get to pick your passions though, I think they come to you. You can’t pick your family, you’re born into it and in my case I got the best one there is. You can’t help who you fall in love with, sometimes they’re the same height as you and have the loudest and best laugh in the world, but you love them and they love you.  I never chose running, it was suggested to me by my parents and I fell in love with it on day one, and writing just came to me. I don’t believe you can find your passion, I believe they come to you. Sometimes they are things, sometimes they are actions, and sometimes they are people. Sometimes they slap you in the face and sometimes they take a while to truly appreciate.

Your passions make you who you are.

They push you in the directions of your dreams and help you realize your true potential.

I hope your passion finds you, and when it does I hope you put everything into it.

Let your passions fuel your fire.