Team Momentum

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A few weeks ago, I shared my OneWord365 for the year and promised I’d explain more about how I’m very slowly training for a very slow half-marathon… and now it’s almost three weeks later and I’m finally getting around to it.  But I am getting around to it so there’s that at least.

So let’s start at the beginning.

Remember last year at this time that I couldn’t really even walk.

And then last April I started physical therapy and by May I was able to do almost anything I put my mind.

Even so, I was incredibly tired after doing many of those things.  I work long days, I spend much of my time sitting, bending, and lifting – all which are things that will probably always bother my back – and I was growing increasingly frustrated that I still wasn’t feeling like myself.  And also that I had gained quite a bit of weight but that wasn’t really motivating me to do anything about it.

Fast forward to August.  My dad’s company was sponsoring an event in Green Bay for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and I was invited to attend because they had some extra tickets.  Long story long… I found amazing inspiration that evening.

I met this incredible little girl and her mom.  A little girl whose life cannot be easy.  Who has struggled through way more than I can even imagine.  And yet, she had this positive energy that I couldn’t help but fall in love with.  Her smile literally melted my heart.  You can learn more about Reagan on her Facebook page.  I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her too.

I was outbid on an auction item featuring a picture Reagan created so I asked her after the event what I needed to do in order for her to create something special for me.  She said she’d do it for a hug.  I of course gave her the biggest hug I could but promised her mom I’d make a donation as well.

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That was the first I heard of Team Momentum.

Team Momentum is a group of people who train together for races all over the United States, dedicating each mile and every dollar raised to advance advances MDA’s mission to assist families with health care services and day-to-day support, fund research breakthroughs worldwide, and fight back against dozens of life-threatening muscle diseases.

After making a gift to support Reagan’s mom’s marathon last fall, I started thinking this crazy thought that maybe I could do a half-marathon.  I mean, I had learned by this point that all the walking in the world wasn’t tiring my back.  So maybe, even though I have never really run at all in my life and I have never been what you would call an athlete, maybe… I could run.

I said this out loud for the first time last fall to a girl I met who works for MDA.  And she told me the story of her half-marathon with Reagan’s mom last year… how at mile 12 she didn’t think she could finish and was reminded that she was doing this in honor of all of those people who will never be able to run their own half-marathon.  I believe her exact words were “the last mile was the easiest I’ve ever run.”

After hearing that, I knew I was in.  I’ve been running for almost 8 weeks now a few nights a week.  And I’m still slow.  And it’s still terrible.  And my body hurts in places I didn’t actually know existed.  But I’m doing it.

I’ve already realized I’ll never be ready to run the half by May but I won’t let that stop my momentum.  Yesterday, I signed up to run the 10K portion of the Chicago 13.1 as part of Team Momentum.  And next year, I already know I’ll do the half-marathon.

I promise this won’t become a running blog but I do plan to talk about my training and inspiration moving forward just like I talk about so many other things that are important to me.

Because momentum is more than just my word of the year.  It’s so much bigger than that and I am already so inspired to be a small part of that family.

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P.S. I also promise I won’t constantly ask for money through my blog but if you want to support my training and MDA at all, feel free to check out my personal fundraising page.  Part of this run is a commitment to raise at least $500 to support the MDA.  I mean it when I say that every little bit helps!

Turning Stability into Momentum #OneWord365

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It wasn’t all that long ago that I finally shared my #OneWord365 for 2015.  If you missed that post or aren’t familiar with the One Word concept, you can check out my post about it here or visit their website here.

After remembering to focus on my word – Stability – for the end of the year, I felt so much more grounded.  My house feels more and more like home – if that’s possible – everyday and I truly can’t imagine living anywhere else.  My job is going well – probably better than well if I’m allowed to brag for a bit – and I love the organization I work for.  I’m physically doing better than I’ve done in ages (even if the extra pounds I packed on while completely out of commission last year are starting to get to me).

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good.

But when I decided to choose my word for 2016, I didn’t want it to be anything about standing still.  Truth be told, I’m a little bored.

Isn’t that sad that when life is going great, I get a little bored with it?

It’s time to push myself forward in a way that I haven’t done in a long time.  I’m not good at not having goals.  I’ve always been going to school or looking for a new job or seeking a promotion or (in the case of last year) working to just getting upright again.

As I finished up 2015, I realized it was time to set some new goals for myself and move myself forward. So that’s what my word is all about this year.

MOMENTUM

I want to use the successes I’ve found in recent years to move myself forward.  Instead of resting and just enjoying the success, I’ll use it to propel myself into the bigger and better thing I feel is just around the corner.

Last year I bought a house?  This year, I’ll complete some of the projects that I dreamed of the first time I stepped foot in the door.

Last year I achieved some big goals at work?  This year I’ll work to refine those goals and work smarter, not harder.

Last year I started literally walking again?  This year I’m very slowly training for a very slow half-marathon.  (There’s more to the story that I’ll share soon but it deserves it’s own blog post… so stay tuned!)

So how about you… if you could choose one word to live and breathe for the year, what would you choose?

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On Wishes, Hopes, and Prayers

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The last few days have been a string of bad luck for me.  All of the things that went wrong were more of a nuisance than a catastrophe but still.  It’s been getting pretty frustrating.

My morning started out with more nuisances after another so I figured I was in for a long day.  I knew it would be a long day in terms of hours – I started my work day 1.5 hours before most of my coworkers came in and finished with an evening meeting 2.5 hours from home – but I prepared myself for an emotional taxing day too.

So as I was driving home tonight after my 16 hour work day, I was relieved to have a solid hour of just me and the open road.  It had been raining all day but it had started to dry up.  The roads were clear, even though the sky was still cloudy.  One of my bad lucks was my phone dying on Saturday so I couldn’t make any calls or listen to any of my beloved podcasts.  I popped in my favorite driving CD – one that keeps my mind just occupied enough – and was reveling in the open road.  I was literally just alone with my thoughts.

As I drove, I felt the stress of the last few weeks melting away.  While today was incredibly long, it was also incredibly rewarding as most of my longest days of work are.

I simply breathed in and out, and sang along mindlessly to a song that always lifts my spirits.  And then I saw a shooting star.

So naturally I did what all responsible adults do when they see a shooting star.  I made a wish.

I wish that I could always feel this happy and inspired.

And I smiled to myself at the silly wish I had just made.  When a mile down the road I saw another shooting star, I made another wish since I knew that first one was unrealistic.

I hope that I can always remember this sense of contentment in order to keep myself grounded.

Another mile down the road, I saw the third shooting star.  And this time, I thought…

I pray that those I love can also experience this joy I’ve only recently discovered

Three years ago when I moved to Marshfield, I was experiencing my highest highs.  A year and half later, I experienced perhaps my lowest low.  Now, I find myself in that middle ground I’ve never before been comfortable with.  That sincere contentment where I don’t have to be running from or toward anything and am happy with simply standing still for a while.

As I made my third wish, the sky opened up.  I only had about ten miles left in my drive and in those ten miles I saw another nine shooting stars.

I drove and wished, hoped, and prayed out loud for the rest of my drive.

So tonight I share my wishes, hopes and prayers with you.  Because I sincerely mean that third one.  I dream that all of you can find a life that makes you feel comfortable, that inspires you, that allows you to simply be.

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