Archive for motivation – Page 2

face the fear

by: Emily Boecking

Blank. Sheet. Of. Paper.  Yes, paper, not laptop, or desktop monitor, or tablet device.  After dropping my laptop one too many times, any sort of word processing software no longer exists on that 200 GB of memory, and I really haven’t had the patience to schedule an appointment with an Apple Genius (or Apple Not So Genius) to remedy the situation.  This lack of sufficient computer capabilities is one of the many excuses I have used to put off writing this article; including, but not limited to: I don’t have time, I’m too tired, writing requires thinking and I’ve already done too much of that today, I have several movies in my Netflix queue to catch up on… you get the idea.  So here I am.  Blank. Sheet. Of. Paper. 

I usually think of myself as the “go getter” type—someone decently good at making “To Do” lists, and then knocking out the tasks relatively quickly.  But this one task, to write a simple article on what it means for me to “face the fear”, stayed on my “To Do” list week after week.  I finally had to ask myself why I kept finding so many excuses, as lame as they were, for procrastinating on this particular undertaking.  Finally I had to admit that my excuses served no purpose other than to distract me from facing my fear of writing this article.  What was so intimidating about this article? 

Hell, it was my idea to write the article anyways.  Although it is a topic I feel passionately about, I realized I was scared that I might not really have anything of merit to say about the subject.  I couldn’t even fathom how to approach the article.  Maybe I could make the piece anecdotal … possibly relay some examples of obstacles or issues in my life I feared and how I worked through them, whether successfully, or not so successfully.  And yes, I could see where that approach could have some value. Honestly though, if that were the course of action to take there had to be someone grossly more qualified than myself to lead such a discussion. 

Sure, I’ve been through some stuff, and had my shit, but how does that make me different than anyone else?  Plus, as much as I like to put on a tough exterior, I honestly don’t think I’d make it through the entire article claiming that I am “Fearless.”  Heck, I couldn’t even sit down to write an article about fear because fear was the very thing inhibiting me (suck it irony).  And taking the opposite approach of composing a confessional of how much some shit scares me didn’t sound like too much fun either (I for dang sure didn’t want to reveal all of my gross insecurities to the general public).  So. Blank. Sheet. Of. Paper.  We meet again. 

And alas, as much as I would like to say the inspiration as to how to give some substance, and content to this matter struck me with a lightning bolt of epiphany, it did not.  Rather, I had to make a truce with the endeavor.  Knowing I couldn’t speak as any so called expert on “how to face the fear”, nor could I portray a self-flagellation of all my fears and woes, I could, however, engage in a discussion in regards to our collective challenges as to how we handle fear, and how we can find the strength from within to face it.

So here it goes …

If we ask ourselves how many of our fears are based on reality, and how many are based on our perception of reality, what would the ratio be?  Would we be able to say that 99% of our fears are reality based?  50%?  Or maybe a mere 1%?  If we are honest, most of us would probably confess that the majority of our fears are based on what we perceive reality to be, rather than what it actually is. 

An Alcoholics Anonymous adage states that FEAR is an acronym for the following:  False Evidence Appearing Real.  As various situations and stimuli arise in our lives, our natural human instinct is to relate the current circumstances we find ourselves in to prior experiences.  Since life happens on its own terms, which are often not in accordance with our own terms, many experiences have outcomes that may be, in our minds, less than we had hoped for, or perhaps an outcome we associate with failure.  And with that association of failure arises emotions that we’d rather just not feel again, or deal with.  Maybe the feelings that are conjured up are just a little uncomfortable.  Maybe they are a lot of uncomfortable.  Or maybe somewhere in between.  Regardless of where that feeling falls on our “uncomfortable” barometer, the bottom line is, given a choice, we’d rather avoid that uncomfortable feeling and just not go there again.

And yes, we have all read the motivational books and heard the inspirational quotes that instruct us that we can’t hope for anything more out of life other than status quo if we approach life from a stand point of avoidance of failure and uncomfortable feelings.  Once such quote on the subject can be found in Theodore Roosevelt’s The Strenuous Life speech,

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

But stuff comes up in life.  Maybe it’s a time to just branch out a little from our comfort zone, or maybe it’s a time where we are asked to really step up to the plate.  And if that stuff, whether it be big or small, invokes that deja vu of some “who, what, where, when or why” from our past that we really didn’t like, our natural reaction is to respond, “Nope.  Been there.  Done that.  Not going there again.” 

But here is the real reality of the situation: we have NOT been there before.  We have NOT done that.  Of course we are not going there again, because we can’t.  Maybe something similar to the situation we currently find ourselves has happened before, hence our protective instincts flair up.  We get scared and have an impulse to respond out of fear.  And in those moments, I personally often find myself having a little internal conversation in regards to Mr. Roosevelt’s quote:  “Yea, Teddy got it right on it being better to ‘dare mighty things’, but today I’d rather be content to be in that ‘gray twilight’ area.  I may not know victory, but I’ll go with not rolling the dice and instead be able to eliminate that suffering thing from the agenda today.” 

And some days, this is response is OK.  We don’t need to wage war with the world everyday by any means.

Yes, we all have major and minor life crises that we are faced with– relationships, careers, the economy, natural disasters, crime, etc. – but none of them are going to be confronted and defeated within a single day. 

Looking outward at the external battles raging in our lives may not be where we are called to direct our energy.  Rather than outward, maybe the direction to look is inward, at the internal battles we face.  And many of those battles are merely incarnations of fear.  Exactly how facing these fears will look like for everyone, I can’t necessarily speak to, but it might take the form of asking ourselves questions such as:  ” What things, both good and bad, am I avoiding because of my fears?”  “Where am I selling myself short because of what my fears tell me I can and can’t do?”  “Where am I selling others short because of this?”

Fear loses its power over us when we let go of the outcome.  When our days are no longer governed by our expectation of what we think can happen or will happen or should happen,  all of the “what if” scenarios that fear played out in our minds fall by the wayside, and we can instead be fully present.  And when we are fully present, we are able to take action from a place of personal strength and power.  Whereas before we would have resorted to simply reacting to challenges out of fear, we can now empower ourselves to act mindfully and purposefully in any given set of circumstances when we let go of the power fear had over us. 

So maybe today we dare that mighty thing anyways, and maybe we risk a measure of defeat, but we also open ourselves up to experiencing a measure of victory.  And whether it’s victory, defeat, or everything in between – isn’t it all experience?  And isn’t experience what life is made of?  Maybe today we take that chance at facing our fear, knowing that if failure does happen, we can still handle it. 

Face the fear… and do it anyways…

i know what you did last night…

Editor’s Note:  Our Norman Director Laura Mullins decided to gather a group and run a part of the coast to coast relay “ONE Run for Boston” – a way to raise awareness and funds for the victims of the bombing at last year’s Boston Marathon.  Here’s author Kim Frakes account of the hilarious relay leg that started at 2:30am at The Road Rash Saloon.  You can’t make this stuff up.  Read on:  

i know what you did last night

 Saturday, March 29, 2014

Do you? If you’re my facebook friend you’ve gotten a sneak peek. Yes, I am one crazy old mama.

Let me fill you in. There is a torch being carried from California to Boston and it runs day and night, round the clock, by crazy people like me and 5 of my newest friends. And it was, by far, one of the coolest things I’ve ever done as a runner. Check out www.onerunforboston.com and you can even see it live on a gps map!

So last night I went to bed at 9:45 pm. And I woke up at 11:35 pm. We met at a Starbucks in Norman and hopped in the car together, all six of us, filled with anticipation and lots of snacks and water in the trunk.

And then we drove. It took a couple hours to get out into rural western Oklahoma. And let me tell you, when someone says you can see the stars better out in the country, they are speaking truth, people. It was amazingly and frighteningly DARK out there.

We found our ending point here:

Oh yes, we did. I don’t think we could have found a better named bar on the face of the planet. Right?!

Anyway, the girls needed to use the potty by this time, so we all thought, Hey! Let’s go in!

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Last call was about to occur. It was, after all, 1:30 in the morning.

But as we entered, you could literally hear crickets chirping. It fell silent upon our entry and EVERY head turned our direction. I will admit, I was scared. I wanted nothing more at that moment than to blend into the woodwork and disappear but we were wearing running clothes in neon colors. And so there was pretty much NO CHANCE OF THAT HAPPENING. Luckily I was surrounded by some ballsy women. And they forged a path straight for the bathroom. Past the people playing pool and smoking so heavily that my lungs went into a fit. Past the plastic tables used during the week for their famous buffet. Straight for the one hole bathroom. And then a REAL friendly old lady came over and stated, rudely, that she was going to need to see every one of our IDs if we were going tostay there. Eek! I left mine in the car! I’ll go get it!

So off I went and there I stayed. Well a few minutes later I was beginning to wonder if the girls were coming, so I walked over and looked in the window. They were sitting at a table drinking a beer! Talking to the locals! They were having a grand ol’ time!

Soon they all filed out (it WAS last call, after all) with a whole new set of friends. It seemed that while I sat in my car with Jerry, the girls were inside making new friends. It’s a very friendly set out there in the boonies. After the shock wears off from seeing strangers enter their beloved space, they are happy to share the love! And buy you a beer!

Not long later, we were zipping down the two lane highway that we were about to run. We got to our hand off point and met our previous runner, a lady, by herself, with a dog. SHE HAD RUN FOR 10 MILES ALONE IN THE PITCH BLACK, PEOPLE. WOW. So we strapped on our headlamps and took off! Torch in hand.

Apparently Brenda runs with full on makeup at 2:30 am. Who knew.

This is Laura, our fearless leader, taking the torch from the amazing lady who ran alone with her dog.

When we took off, we made a plan to have someone drive the car of every leg. Who drove depended on who wasn’t running that part. I ran the first two miles, then drove a few miles, jumped back on for a mile, and then drove some more. I hopped out and ran the last mile as well. But three of our runners ran the whole 12 miles, because THEY ARE THAT AWESOME. Way to go Laura, Tara, and Jerry! You are my heroes.

Sometimes when I was alone in the car for a mile (10 minutes), I wore my headlamp on low and read my book. Yep, that’s how I roll.

And then on one of my stops I spotted this.

Hey, I love Jesus! And I love living in the bible belt, but I will admit to being shocked that you can apparently spend public dollars to erect a sign like that in small town Oklahoma. Who. Knew.

Well, a few miles later, we were done! Just like that.

And Laura handed it off to a man and a lady. And off went the torch, on it’s way to Boston.


Coolest running experience. Ever.

 

 

tips for a happy summer

by: team runhers

Hey hey!  It’s time for the summer solstice.  Summer is a chance to build some fabulous summer memories.  What is your favorite summer memory?  What is the happiest summer you’ve had?  So, what does the summer of 2013 have in store for you? 

It’s important to take some time to care for ourselves – and to cultivate happiness.  Breathe deep and remember those feelings you felt when you were really happy.  We need to keep on the path of learning how to create more of those moments.  Happiness is, in our opinion, one of the leading indicators in quality of life.  When you have a general sense of happiness, everything you do seems better – including rolling out of bed before sunrise to get a run in before it gets too hot!  Workloads seem lighter; problems seem much more solvable or manageable.  And at times, smiling at the world just seems like the thing to do!  As the old saying goes … smile, it’ll make your friends/family wonder what you’ve been up to!  This quote gives a great perspective, “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.”  ~Engelbreight

Knowing when and how to unplug is also becoming an issue for us.  We are mostly ‘connected’ in some way to our technology, and we need to find time to turn it off, shut it down and disconnect.  This helps us to connect elsewhere, whether it is nature or just to focus on quality time with a loved one or friend.  When you disconnect for a while, the world will keep spinning while you are unplugged and connected to something perhaps even more meaningful.   The old saying, “Wherever you are, be all there” is still a timeless piece of wisdom!

We’ve been researching happiness, and what can be done to create and cultivate more of it!  We’ll be sharing much of what we are learning in our quest to provide you with as much happy and healthy as we can!   Our search has taken us to Australia, where we found the Happiness Institute!  Here are 10 tips from them on ways to cultivate happiness.  Please pursue happy and healthy with all your might!

  1. Imagine a positive vision of the future – one in which you’re living a great, fulfilling, active and flourishing life
  2. Imagine your best possible self – a “you” that’s firing on all cylinders, a living and breathing version of you at your absolute best
  3. Start living as though you’re at your best and your life is great – schedule positive and inspiring activities into your life right now
  4. Plan, also, activities that require a degree of effort and mastery– although pleasure is important, so too is the satisfaction we get from working hard to achieve meaningful goals
  5. Be mindful about what you say to yourself – watch out for and “stomp” on ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) whilst also developing and cultivating realistic, optimistic thoughts
  6. Build confidence and self-efficacy – try new and exciting activities to build your confidence and believe that you can achieve what you want to achieve
  7. Focus more on strengths and stop trying to fix weaknesses – start to think more about what you have, your positive attributes and qualities
  8. Positively redefine your relationship with food and activity – find a way, anyway, to think positively and helpfully about healthy eating and exercise; where possible, for example, make what you want to do fun!
  9. Build positive and supportive relationships – enlist the support of family and friends; find a “Happiness Buddy” or someone to walk with you along the way
  10. Build positivity by practicing appreciation and gratitude – spend time each and every day thinking about all the good things in you, in your life and in the world around you

one girl with courage is a revolution

Thank you so much for helping us bring the global movement to educate girls and change the world home to Oklahoma City with the sold out screening of the Girl Rising film.  Girl Rising spotlighted the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances.  The hers projects/runhers, 10×10 and its partners are working to change minds, lives and policy.  Together we have the power to create equality for girls and change the world.  Our purpose here at runhers is to help as many women and girls as possible find their version of a healthy and happy life.

One girl with courage is a revolution.  We think all girls should be in an environment where they can dream a big dream, play safely with joy and develop a lifelong curiosity and love of learning.  The reality is that is only true for some.  We can send ripples of change with small actions – and we all can do something to connect more girls with opportunities to build the future they want.  Big change starts small.  The first step toward success is simple: pass it on. We know that educating girls will change the world.  The more people who share that message – through social networks, at the dinner table, in boardrooms, in rural villages – the more support we build.

All over the globe, violence and discrimination against women and girls violates their human rights and severely compromises girls’ health, education and the opportunity to build a better future.  Gender inequalities and biases pervade cultures worldwide, preventing women and girls from fully realizing their rights to reproductive health and equality.  We must do better.  If one girl with courage is a revolution – then what is hundreds of millions of women and girls moving with the mission of equality, safety and the freedom to choose the path they want to follow?  Each of us has the power to change this, one girl at a time.  Please consider donating some time or resources to the cause.

We are considering holding a summit regarding girls and the barriers to education/healthy living, along with possibly another screening of Girl Rising in OKC or with one of our other groups in Enid, Lawton or Tulsa.   If you or your organization is interested in partnering, please let us know.

We have also included some information and links for your reference.  Thank you again for supporting this important film screening.

10 Facts about Girls Education

Around the world, girls face barriers to education that boys do not.  But educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation.  These statistics offer insights on those barriers and also illustrate the lasting impact education has on girls, families, communities and nations around the world.

  1.  66 million girls are out of school globally. (UNESCO)
  2. There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school.(Education First)
  3. A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5. (UNESCO)
  4. Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send theirchildren to school. (UNICEF)
  5. In a single year, an estimated 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence. (UNIFEM) [50% of sexual assaults in the world victimize girls under the age of 15 (UNFPA).]
  6. 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year. That’s 38 thousand today – or 13 girls in the last 30 seconds. (UNFPA)
  7. The #1 cause of death for girls 15-19 is childbirth. (World HealthOrganization)
  8. Girls with 8 years of education are 4 times less likely to be married as children. (National Academies Press)
  9. A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult.(The World Bank)
  10. If India enrolled 1% more girls in secondary school, their GDP would rise by $5.5 billion. (CIA World Factbook) (Global Campaign for Education and RESULTS Education Fund)

The Importance of Education locally (Oklahoma)

Currently, Oklahoma is ranked the 2nd worst state in the nation for women and girls, based on a number of factors including access to education, access to healthcare, domestic violence, female incarceration, human trafficking, and more.  Food insecurity is another issue that plays significantly into the education system.  An incredible amount of imagination and new designs will be necessary to significantly impact how our children grow up in the state of Oklahoma.  Many organizations will be needed to work in the estuary region where many children do not get the support they really need.  A new model of collaboration is needed, and a real sense of urgency needs to be adopted.

Here is a report of “Overall Child Well Being in Oklahoma” compiled by oica.org

http://oica.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/OICA-2012-Oklahoma-KIDS-COUNT-Data.pdf

Please take a minute to learn more about the film, the film makers and the cause.

Girl Rising Links and FAQ’s:

 

 

running: the mind games!

Sara McCauley

The Mental Game

“Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.”  ~ John Bingham

I have touched on this subject before and you will hear me say it constantly: attitude affects how we live and view our everyday life.  Whether it’s running a race, going to work, or just doing something we really don’t want to do, a proper mental attitude can always overcome a negative perspective.

We are all guilty of telling ourselves we aren’t good enough to win, we are not fast enough to run or our work place is the worst place on earth.  It is easier to make up excuses or find the negative in a situation than it is to take it for what it is and make the best out of it.  Being prepared mentally is the only factor that we do have complete control over.

Too often we allow a negative mental approach to affect the result we desire.  It is too easy to say you can’t do it before the day begins, but having a positive frame of mind will enhance your chances of success. We’ve heard it and we all have said it before “I’m tired, I didn’t get enough sleep, this run is going to suck, etc.”  Right out of the gates we have already set ourselves up for failure and given an excuse to not run well.

The weather for your race could be cold and wet, sunny and hot or absolutely perfect.  You may feel great the morning of or you might feel horrible.  Your alarm didn’t go off or you didn’t have time to do everything you wanted to do. There are lots of outside factors that can affect your run. Your perspective and outlook will determine how you deal with those factors. No matter what life throws your way, keep a positive attitude, improvise and tell yourself that you will have FUN either way.

Goals

You have come a long way since making the decision to cross over to the dark side and become one of those “crazy runners”.  This is no easy task to take on.  You had to wake up early, run instead of going to happy hour, and felt pain in places you never thought was possible. But all the hard work will soon pay off.

People run for many reasons. Whether your goal is to finish your first race, set a new personal record, or just to have fun, it is good to set a goal for yourself.  People who set goals are more likely to succeed than those who do not. You can make lots of small goals to complete along the way, or one large goal. Either way, being realistic and specific on what your goal is will help greatly in accomplishing it. 

We all know that life can throw you a curve ball and it’s hard to prepare for the unknown, so have back up plans.  The temperature for the Boston Marathon this year had record breaking heat which meant a lot of people had to reevaluate their goals in order to successfully complete the race in a healthy manner.  If it rains the morning of, instead of going for a PR, maybe you set a new goal to: not walk, or take the time to look around and appreciate everything around you.

Motivation

Motivation is a funny thing. There are many reasons behind why someone does something. We all are “motivated” by different things.  Some people need music jamming in their ears while some just need to see someone running in front of them so they know they aren’t alone.

During a race, you are running for a long time. There is a lot of time to feel many different emotions: excitement, happiness, soreness, sadness or even boredom. However, there are many motivational tactics that you can use to keep you upbeat and pushing through at your weakest moment. Know what motivates you and keep that in mind when you feel like you just can’t keep going.

Keep your head up and look around at all the people around the course.  Take a second to read the signs they are holding up. Some are pretty funny and can put a smile on your face or remind you that you are stronger than you think. Write down quotes or mantras before the race and remind yourself over and over of those when you need them the most.

No matter what your “motivation” is, just keep moving.  Also, let us not forget the meaning behind the race and why it exists. That in itself is motivation.  You are capable of running/walking and finishing because you trained for it!   The race is just the celebration of all your hard work!

Running Buddies

Having a running partner is a great thing. It gives you someone to train with, talk to when you run, and makes the entire running experience that much better!  But keep in mind, just because you run together during training, doesn’t mean you have to stay together during the race.

You may have different paces and stayed together during training to motivate each other.  However, you may have different goals for the actual race.  Know and talk to each other about the other’s expectations, goals, as well as what you want to achieve – so you are prepared and your feelings aren’t hurt if you have to part ways on the course.  Maybe you start off together to keep a level pace then break off at some point during the race.  Either way, do not be afraid to discuss it beforehand with your partner so you don’t have any misunderstandings.

Note:  All of the information I give is basically guidelines and experience based – you have to find your own ‘pace’ with running.  Some of this may help, some may not.  That’s the beauty of runhers, you take what you need!  Above all though, have fun and enjoy the journey!  This is what you worked so hard for!  Enjoy the day, the moment and the celebration!  ~ Sara