The Law Of The Garbage Truck


Today is garbage day in our neighborhood and when I saw the garbage truck it reminded me of a story I heard awhile ago. It’s called “The Law Of The Garbage Truck.” I’m not sure who wrote it, but it goes something like this …

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us!

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, really friendly. So I asked, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!” This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage (frustration, anger, and disappointment, etc.). As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you.

Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so… love the people who treat you right & pray for the ones who don’t. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Remember, it’s not about you. Keep your lid on tight and have a blessed, garbage-free day.

Full Circle

It’s been just about 2 years since I blew out my knee during Open WOD 13.4 of the CrossFit Open. Two years … seems like just yesterday and yet, a LONG time ago, when I look back. Looking back in some sense is still painful, yet very liberating at the same time.

2013 was a year of such inner turmoil for me. It took me to a very, very dark and lonely place and brought out a side of me that was not pretty at all. So many things happened that year that caused me to really reflect on everything that was happening in my life, and brought out some emotions that only seemed to throw salt into my very physical, emotional, spiritual wounds. I literally hated life, and was pissed at God for “letting” these things happen to me when I was just minding my own business.

Sometimes things need to happen in order to bring you to a better place than where you are.
Sometimes things need to happen in order to bring you to a better place than where you are.

2014 was better. I was healing physically. Mentally was another story and I could hardly get it together. As a result, l let go of myself and kind of really DGAF. Mentally, I was somewhat depressed.  Spiritually, I was still slightly bitter at God. I very envious of those around me who were flourishing. I was flourishing and improving also, but not at the rate of speed as I would have liked. But a lot of good things happened in 2014 also that started to wake me up and took me on a spiritual journey that I wasn’t expecting, and brought me to a point where I could forgive myself and truly – TRULY – move forward and finally begin to heal myself physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Here’s what I can tell you … I know that everything that happened in 2013 (and A LOT happened) had to happen in order for me to get to where I am today. I can tell you that had blowing out my knee not happened, or my daughter’s illness, my own illness, my “forced” job change – had none of it not happened, I would NOT be the person that I am today.

In 2014, I was I was introduced to many key people who have brought me to where I am today. These people reminded me of WHO I am. They reminded me that “what” I do – nurse, athlete, mother, etc. – is only just that – what I do, not WHO I am. What happened in 2014 was that I began to awaken … I began to “see” and “understand.” I mean, I knew before, but I had buried myself pretty deep underneath the layers that I choose to show to people.

Macchu Picchu, Peru!
Macchu Picchu, Peru!
Maui, Hawaii!
Maui, Hawaii!

In 2014, I began the process of shedding these layers. How? I read a lot, and I only read positive books that uplifted me and really stimulated my brain to think. I wrote a lot. I’m pretty sure I filled three Moleskine Journals with my inner most thoughts and feelings, and laid a few demons to rest. I sought out spiritual guidance from one of my oldest friend’s and spiritual mentor, and from a newer spiritual guide which whom I was introduced to. I attended a couple seminars and classes that opened my eyes and reminded me of who I was, who I am becoming, and what I need to be doing. I wrote a lot of forgiveness letters to people who I didn’t realize were weighing me down and holding me back. I distanced myself from and stopped associating with those who have never or don’t resonate with me or add any value to my life.  My beloved mother-in-law, Kathy, passed away from an ugly illness, and it reminded me of my own mortality, and how life is too short to be wasting it worrying about inconsequential things. My family and I went to Maui, Hawaii – kind of “home” for me as I grew up on Oahu, but had not been back for an extended period of time. I got sent to Peru for an amazing adventure by my husband to check off one of my bucket list items! I decided to look for the good in EVERY situation because there IS good in every situation. And one of the best things ever, is that I had made a unsuspecting bond with a few new friends with whom I have formed a true spiritual connection with! Because of this meeting, I am now opened more spiritually than I have been in the past which I find resonates with me on a vibration that is truly AMAZING!

2532015 is now here and I am looking at it with totally different set of eyes. It is new beginning and it has already started off in a truly positive light. I booked a trip to New York, courtesy of my husband, to study a form of healing that I have had an interest in. I am in the process of deciding whether to return to school and obtain a Master’s degree or to study something totally different. The goals that I have set for myself as a CrossFitter appear too low as I have already began to accomplish some of them and it’s only the middle of January!!!

Before all this happened, I truly felt as if I were drowning ...
Before all this happened, I truly felt as if I were drowning …

037What do I know now that I didn’t know in 2013 or even part of 2014? Well, I’ve always been one who has tried hard to keep looking on the bright side, but when all these things were happening all at once and just bombarded me, it was hard to keep my head up and come out of the fetal position I had placed myself in as a form of protection. What I know, is that had not all these things happened, I would not have prayed as much as I have. What I know is that I would not be as motivated to heal myself and prove the naysayers wrong. What I know is that I may not have started to awaken my sleeping self and begin this process of transformation and healing. What I know is that where I was once truly ego centered, I know that I function more from a place within myself that is more spiritually connected and heart centered. What I know is that I awaken with more joy and less worry. What I know is that I am a better version of myself. What I know is that I am focused on different things. What I know is that I have restructured my thinking, reworded my goals and intentions, and have aligned myself to be open to ALL of the great things that Spirit has in store for me. What I know is that my present situation is never my final destination, I know that the best is yet to come. What I know now is that my life’s path is now more in tune to what I had once envisioned it would be. What I know is that I am deeply grateful for everything that has happened to get me to this place where I am today. What I know is that I am highly favored, greatly blessed, and deeply loved.

That is a little of what I know.

The answer to all pain and suffering lies in the pain and suffering itself.
The answer to all pain and suffering lies in the pain and suffering itself.

I have finally come around to full circle …

There is a difference between being buried and being planted ... Just ask a seed.
There is a difference between being buried and being planted … Just ask a seed.

Stay tuned for what’s coming. I’m about to blow my own mind! Happy 2015!!!

Back To Business

“Until your knees finally hit the floor you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is NOT when your life is over. It’s when your life begins.” Marianne Williamson

112It’s the last day of July … What? 2014 is more than half over already! More importantly than that though, this last day of July marks an anniversary of sorts for me. You may recall that last July 2013, I was hospitalized for severe – read SEVERE – rhabdomyloysis right when I was just coming back and recovering from knee surgery. Other things had happened last July also that I don’t care to talk about on here, but, yeah, July 2013 was quite possibly one of the worst months of my life. Well, it was just a disheartening month. Alas … Fast FORWARD to today, July 31, 2014.  What can I say? I SURVIVED. I made it.  I picked myself up out of that dark, dark abyss, and crawled, clawed, cried, and fought my way out. I could’ve just laid there and let it overcome me, and I will admit that I thought about that for a minute, and off and on at various times, but only for a short time. Every time, I would just take that needed break, take that huge, deep breath, brush myself off, and start all over.

253Starting over is hard. It’s not fun. It’s hard to pretend you’re okay and go about your business. I seriously wanted to die. There have been many tears shed from my eyes this last year, but it’s okay. Alex Tan said that some times our eyes need to be washed out by our tears once in awhile, so that we can see life with a clearer view again. I believe this to be true as my thoughts and my visions would get cloudy at times and I would complain that I didn’t have a clue as to what to do, that I couldn’t “see” where I was going.

"I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match." ~ Mia Hamm
“I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.” ~ Mia Hamm

The hardest part of this whole process for me was learning to let go.  Letting go of expectations. Letting go of who I was. Letting go of things that I let define who I was. Letting go of trying to do everything by myself. Asking for help. It was just something that I didn’t do, and that I still have trouble doing. Letting my ego take a back seat. Learning to trust.

I’ve had to close my eyes and just focus on me and not so much on every thing that was happening around me. I used to look around and compare myself to everyone. I believed that they had it better than I did – prettier, faster, stronger, richer, yada yada. Here’s the truth … There will ALWAYS be someone better, faster, stronger, prettier, richer, etc. than the person that we are. I understand that, but it still didn’t stop me from comparing myself. These days, like I said, I just close my eyes and will myself back into myself, and remind myself that I’m okay and to just be still. The other truth is is that my life is AMAZING. I have a great family, a good job, I’m healthy, I have money in my pockets, I am educated, I am a lot of things. I’m okay, and my life is a very blessed and amazing life.

069It’s been back to business for me. Baby steps. I’ve worked hard since that fateful month in 2013. I no longer reside in that abyss, nor do I let my thoughts dwell there. I’m back to training at CrossFit 209 Sport with my faithful, amazing trainer, Gabe Subry, and all of my friends who motivate and encourage me every day. I’m not quite back to where I was, but I’m close. My weights are close to where I was prior to my injury, and I am able to do unassisted pull-ups again. Remember when I got rhabdo, I really messed up my right bicep, but Gabe has been able to help me rehab that along with my knee. The only thing I have trouble with is box jumps because sometimes my left knee buckles when I land. My job is stable. My family is in good health and are all doing well.

My newest tattoo that I got while on vacation in Maui.
My newest tattoo that I got while on vacation in Maui.

I’ve learned a lot. I have learned so much in this past year. So … although it was a rough year, I’ve overcome it. I know that there will be other hard times to overcome, but I have learned that out of bad can come good … Ex Malo Bonum. I believe that life is good, that it’s about mindset and perspective. I believe that we can lay down and just let life pass us by and feel sorry for ourselves – I’ve been there and done that, trust me. Or we can choose to get up and keep moving regardless of how small the steps we take are. Choose the latter because no matter how small the baby steps are that you take to get you out of your abyss, you will be that much farther away from where you were, and, before you know it, you’ll take a glance back and realize that you can barely remember that you were once there.

Let’s get out there! Time to get back to business. Stay strong. Be as positive as you can. Smile.

5/13 Going in for knee surgery.
5/13 Going in for knee surgery.
Rhabdo Row in the ER getting liters and liters of Normal Saline boluses to help combat my SEVERE Rhabdo!
7/13 Rhabdo Row in the ER getting liters and liters of Normal Saline boluses to help combat my SEVERE Rhabdo!
7/14 Today! Livin' the life!
7/14 Today! Livin’ the life!
7/14 in Maui - Back to Business!
7/14 in Maui – Back to Business!

It’s All On YOU!

What's It Gonna Be?

We all want it to some degree … some MORE than others. Some just dream about it, while others are out there working hard to get it. Some try and take shortcuts believing that this gadget, or this new diet fad is gonna work for them this time. Let me tell you though, that it’s NOT. The only thing that’s gonna get you that body that you desire is pure HARD WORK. Eighty percent is eating “right,” and the other twenty percent is working out hard. I don’t just mean a leisurely stroll, nor do I mean working out until you puke your guts out. I just mean, getting a good sweat on. Cardio and resistance training. Find something that you love, that you enjoy, that makes YOU happy! Hate running? What about riding a bike or dancing? Don’t like lifting weights? Try resistance bands or TRX! Just move!

I’m tired of watching people around me slack. They talk about “wanting to lose weight and getting into shape.” They talk A LOT. But talk is cheap. Talking only works your jaw and tongue muscles. All I can do is encourage, and try to guide in the right direction … but they have to want it more than to just talk about it. They have to put forth the effort or else I’m just wasting my breath. They have to want it for themselves.

I’m not “perfect,” but I work hard at maintaining and improving what I have. I’m in that gym or hittin’ that pavement 5-6 days of the week. Some call me OCD, but I know that if I didn’t … I’d be “soft” and my heart and entire body would suffer. I’m over 40 and I function and look so much BETTER than some, okay, most who are younger than I am.

There is no magic get skinny pill. There is no magic diet. There is no magic exercise gadget. Sorry, but there’s not. There is only YOU. You and your decision to make your life better. It’s not going to be easy. There will be days of frustration. You will hurt in places you didn’t think you had muscles. But think of that end result … A better, healthier, stronger, fitter YOU.

I know and understand that I am supposed to be encouraging and motivating.  Do it, or don’t. That decision is all YOURS. I’m not going to force you. I’ll ask you to come run with me. I’ll invite you to come to the gym with me. But if I keep hearing your excuses, trust me … I won’t ask or invite anymore. I’ll just wait until you’re my patient … no, I’m kidding, I won’t. I’ll keep encouraging (I may roll my eyes a little), I’ll just know to not waste too much of my breath and to save it for someone who actually cares. I know, I’m hardcore. I know, I can be “mean” and sound somewhat “demeaning,” but trust me … I don’t mean to sound like that, it’s said with love and respect. It just comes out sounding more like a Drill Sargent, than all “lovey dovey.” That’s just how I roll.

So … What’s it gonna be? You in? Or do you keep doing what you’re doing which isn’t exactly working for you? The choice is YOURS and yours alone. But whatever you decide, be happy with what you choose. If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you will ALWAYS get what you’ve always gotten. In order for changes to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to do the work. It WON’T be easy, but trust me … it WILL be worth it. The only thing standing in your way is YOU.

With that … I’m done and I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’ll leave you with one of my FAVORITE videos inspiring motivation … Enjoy. Make good choices, and have a great day!!!

Update:  I realize that this blog may seem a little harsh.  I should be kinder to those individuals that want to do better, but yet do nothing, right?  My husband says that I’m somewhat demeaning.  Well, all I can say is that I know that I’m not exactly the nicest person.  I know that I can be brash, harsh, hard … BUT … I am also hardest on myself when it comes to stuff like this.  I am the best person at kickin’ my own ass and beating myself up.  Being nice only gets you so far.  I’m an ER Nurse, for gosh sake.  I am one of the FIRST persons that sees first hand what all this nonsense does to people who make excuses.  Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes … I’ve seen my share of “stuff,” and believe me, it is NOT pretty and I will admit that I don’t like to touch fat!!!  Our society is a society of wanting quick fixes and easy way outs.  There aren’t any!  NONE!  So … what you do with your body is your choice.  I’m just saying that it’s easier to put in the 30 mins to an hour 5 times a week, than it is to have a hospital stay that may render you bed bound for a LONG period of time.  Okay … I’ll get off my soap box again.

So Spoiled That I Stink

I’m not going to lie. I’m spoiled. Very spoiled. Some say so spoiled that I stink.

I wasn’t always this way, seriously. I was and still am a very independent woman. I work hard. I am smart. I do a lot of things for myself. I just happen to be fortunate enough to have a husband who loves and cherishes me . . . A LOT.

Let’s define spolied. Checking it says that spoiled is a verb. In one definition, it says that to spoil is “to become bad, or unfit for use, as food or other perishable substances; become tainted or putrid: Milk spoils if not refrigerated.” Um … yeah … that’s not the right kind of spoiled. In another definition, to spoil is “to damage severely or to harm (something), especially with reference to its excellence, value, usefulness, etc.: The water stain spoiled the painiting. Drought spoiled the corn crop.” Or better yet … definition number three … “to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of (someone) by unwise treatment, excessive indulgence, etc.: to spoil a child by pampering him.” Hmmmm … definition number three would be the most likely be the one to define the type of spoiled that I am, except, really, “to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of someone?” Hahaha! I’m by far NOT impaired, damaged, nor is my character or nature harmed because of the treatment that I receive. Or am I?

I don’t believe that I’m so spoiled that my functioning is hampered. I do believe and will admit that I am spoiled to an extent. But … BUT … I blame my husband for that. Seriously, if you ask him, he will tell you that he does it out of love. All I have to do is ask or mention it and I will find it done or given to me. I’m serious when I say that on the days that I have to work, all I have to do is wake up. My kids are cared for, dinner is made, whatever I need is done.  He knows what I need, can complete my thoughts and sentences.  Some say that he’s whipped … whatever. If I had to do something, I could. My husband will tell you that he enjoys doing things for me, and I believe him.

Many people ask me how I am able to do the things that I do … workout excessively, work the hours that I do, run different races, etc., etc. Well, for one, my husband is my biggest supporter. You can find him at all of my events and doing whatever it takes to help me succeed. Secondly, my kids are not “little,” they may be young, but not little. Even if they were, even when they were, it really made no difference they came to the events or we found someone to watch them while we were away. Let it be known that my husband was the one who tricked talked me into running my very first full marathon. He is not only my biggest supporter, he is my biggest fan, loudest cheerleader, the best S.A.G. person. He will ride his bike beside me as I run for miles and miles. All this WITHOUT whining complaints. Oh … and if you’re sarcastic enough, you will find a car in your driveway for your birthday, complete with a BIG red bow!  Well, maybe you won’t, but I did … =)

He never gets enough credit. He deserves much more props than he gets. So … to my husband, Chris, THANK YOU! Thank you for allowing me to do what I need to do. Thank you for letting me go to the gym – for knowing that I need to get there or I’d go nuts.  Thank you for taking such great care of all of us, especially the kiddos. You are a great father and husband. Thank you for driving the “Party Bus” in which you graciously pick up my friends and take us to our various runs. Thank you for running when I sign you up for crazy races. Thank you for always looking out for us – finding events, taking the kids to their various practices and games.  Thank you for being our biggest fan, our greatest source of support.  Thank you for taking time off of work. I could never thank you enough for all that you do for us.  For your unselfishness, your undying devotion, your true love for us … There are not enough words, not enough thank yous, to express how grateful I am to have you in my life. You all have to know how much this man does not just for me, but for all of us – Me, Sam, Nate, Noah, Grace, his mom, and even his friends (the ones that he cares about anyway).

Call me spoiled. I really don’t care. It’s something that I am proud to be. I am very blessed to be in the position that I am. My life is better because of Chris.

Chris ... The Culprit. Ultimate Husband & Father. Spoiler.

Together, Let’s Kick Some A$$!!!

I Believe That We All CAN!!!

I heard her talking about me.  She was telling Jeanne, one of the owners of AMAA/Stockton Karate, “I didn’t know who she was, but she was right next to me and she was so encouraging.”  She was a new student at AMAA and Jeanne told her that my name was Row.  Hearing that made my spirits soar high.  She was working out right beside me, and I saw the look of, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!” written all over her face more than once during our 45 minute workout.  All I told her was that she was doing a great job, to just keep moving, and that she could do it.  Easy.  Nothing to it, just a few words of encouragement.  She had heard me, so my words were not of wasted breath.  Whew!

You CAN, and You WILL ...

I’m one of “those” people … you know one of those obnoxious people who yell in a group exercise class.  It’s even worse if I know your name because I will call you out!  Why?  Because I know how it feels to need encouragement.  I know how it feels to be dead tired, but then to hear someone tell you that you can do it, it allows you to put forth that much more effort to get the work done.  So, yes … If I see you “struggling” in class, I will let you know that you CAN do it, that you only have so many more minutes left.  If I see you in a race, regardless if I know you or not, I will tell you that you’re doing a great job, because you ARE.

Seriously … just by you being in class or running in a race, you ARE doing a fabulous job because you could very well be doing absolutely nothing.  You have won half the battle by choosing to get out and move, and I will commend you for it and help you any way that I can.

Honestly though, I encourage others because it helps me.  I hear myself tell others that they can do it … If I’m telling you

Hear me?

that you can, and I don’t, then it makes me look like an ass  a hypocrite, right?   I can’t look like that.  I refuse to look like that.  When I hear myself give others encouragement and motivation, then I believe it myself and it allows my mind to cancel out what my body is telling it to do which most times is, “Shut the eff up and stop already!”  You see, I believe that your body will do whatever your mind tells it to do even if it’s tired.  I know because I have tricked my body countless times.  I have learned that I can do so much more than what I believe that I can.  It seriously is all in your head …

Others have done it for me … given me encouragement and motivation when I have needed it most.  Some have never met me, others have been spectators with great signs on a marathon course, and some have been my friends training with me … it has helped me every time, and gotten me through to the end.  Because of this, I pay it forward by encouraging others.  Yes, true motivation has to come from your heart, you have to want it, but it never hurts to have a little help from your friends.  So I don’t care if I am the loudest, or the most obnoxious in class … I get heard, people hear me, and they get’er done!  Helping others helps me.  Helping you helps me.  Watching you succeed helps me, it motivates me, it encourages ME …  We have to help each others get thru and push thru … Let’s do it!

How Exactly Did I End Up Here Again?

It happens to me more often than not … I wake up and I ask myself, “Now, how exactly did I end up here again?”

It’s not a bad thing.  I just believe that time flies by me so quickly most days that I don’t have much time to recover from one day to the next.  I see the days turn into weeks, which turn into months, then into years.  I look into the eyes of my children and wonder since when did I start having to look up to see them, when did they get old enough to be teenagers in high school or college?  I look in the mirror and realize with horror that I’ve aged – a new wrinkle here, a few more grey hairs there … Wow!

Other times, wonder how I got here because I know that although I am healthy and strong in body and know that I could probably live forever, my mind has not always been as strong and has wavered in the past.  There was a time when I didn’t care and just wanted to die.  If you don’t know my story, and you’ve just come on board on the Row. Boat, you wouldn’t know that part of my life, and you don’t really need to know that part of me.  I’m pretty open about it if you ask me though, and I’ll tell you that my first suicidal attempt was at the age of 8, believe it or not.  Yes, you read that correctly, it’s not a typo … I did type in the number 8 … EIGHT.  I know, it’s selfish of me to have even entertained the thought when so many people want nothing more than to live, or to even have just a little piece of what I have been so lucky to have been blessed with.

Looking at me now, you can’t tell; you would never know.  My life is perfectly normal, and I am happy.  Truly happy.  I’m married to a really great guy who knows all of my little quirks and idiosyncrasies and still loves me unconditionally.  He is the love of my life.   I can honestly say that he has been my lifesaver, my bouy. Together we have weathered some crazy storms, and in no way is our relationship “perfect.”  We understand that no relationship is ever perfect, and we have worked hard to keep our relationship intact.  We understand no relationship is 50/50 … sometimes is 60/40, 80/20, or even 90/10 …  We have four kiddos that we’ve raised together.  Trust me, they’re not perfect, easy children, but they are respectful, good, beautiful human beings.  They’re all good kids, and we wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Outside of my little family, I have a great career as a Registered Nurse in an ER.  I have not one, but two Bachelor of Science Degrees – one in Business, the other in Nursing.  I am an athlete:  I have a Black Belt in Krav Maga; I’ve run marathons, and half marathons; I’ve taught Kickboxing.  I’m an avid reader (I have my own library that my husband jokes is a bonfire waiting to happen).  I am so much more than what I let others “see.”

It was a conversation with my middle son today, that sparked me to seek the answer to the question.  It was he that reminded me that it would be difficulty for me to fail.  When questioned further as to why he thought that, he told me that, “It’s not in you, Mom.  You’re not one of those people who would want that for yourself.  You would make sure that that never happened to you – and it has never happened to you, and I know that it will never happen to you because you wouldn’t let it.  It would be really hard for you to fail because you would find a way to make it work, or make it happen.”  For my child to see that about me, makes my heart soar to know that I have had that kind of an impression on him.  It’s funny how I can’t see it myself – so many people have pointed it out to me – my tenacity, my perserverance, my resilience.  I am amazed that my child could spot it and call me on it at his age of barely 15.

So … I ask again … How exactly did I end up here again?  Am I deserving of all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me?  My answer is a resounding, “YES!”   I can tell you exactly how I ended up where I am, and let me tell you that luck has had absolutely nothing to do with where or who I am today.  It’s been a struggle for me to believe that I am a “deserving” individual.   As I was reminded by my son, I am here because I made a decision at some point in my life to make it work, make it happen, to have a great life.  I believe that wholeheartedly.   Therefore … I am here.  I am alive.  I am happy.  My life is good.  My life is truly better than most and I have absolutely NO reason to complain.  I know that my life could be worse and for that I am thankful that it is not.

The Power of a GREAT Workout

I’ve always known it.  As a child, I loved running, riding my bicycle, climbing, jumping, playing sports, and doing just about anything physical.  It is inbred, ingrained, so natural and deep within me.  My “need” for physical exertion has always … ALWAYS been a huge part of who I am, and of who I have always been. Without that physical exertion, I am not me.  I am lethargic, become depressed, cranky, moody … that person that NO ONE cares to be around.  It is the reason my family lets me do what I need to do … because they know that, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

There IS power in a great workout.  I have always known this.  It is as if I am able to purge all of my pain, frustrations, and what-nots out through my pores via my sweat, and through all the grunts and groans of my physical exertion … leaving it all on the floor, so to speak. I am able to transcend while working out. I know … I can see you rolling your eyes now, but it’s true. I’ve done it on more than one occasion … I am able to get myself into such a state, into that zone, where I am there, yet I’m not. I love that. Absolutely LOVE that feeling!

Exercise is my drug of choice.  It is my religion, my sanctuary.  It is my outlet and it fuels me.  I am happiest and most relaxed after a great workout. They say that exercise is for those that cannot handle drugs or alcohol. I believe that wholeheartedly.  I crave the endorphin rush – that is the BEST high, and I wish that everyone loved that kind of healthy high versus highs or the blunting of their emotions and pain obtained via illegal substances or by alcohol.  I believe that the world would be a much better, and a much happier place.

It’s so disheartening to me that so many individuals don’t take the time to get a good workout in.  Thirty minutes is all that it would take.  It saddens me, no, let me be honest, it infuriates me when I hear excuse after excuse as to why one can’t or doesn’t workout.  I don’t understand our society – when did we stop being active?  When did people become so sedentary? Getting older doesn’t mean that you can’t be fit. Having children doesn’t mean that you have stop being active and become a fat mom or dad. It’s the time to be the example for your child!  People are so quick to blame MacDonald’s … Ummm … Hello?  I don’t believe MacDonald’s was physically force feeding anyone! Take responsibility for your own health, people! Face it and get real!  It’s never too late! Never. Small changes made consistently can make BIG differences.

While at my Physical Therapy appointment today, something my therapist had posted on his bulletin board, caught my eye.  I was so inspired by what I read, that I took a photograph of it so that I could remember what it said. In it’s entirety, I have it here for you to peruse.

Written by former NFL Washington Redskins Coach, George Allen, may it motivate and inspire you as it has me.

What Is A Workout?

A workout is 25 percent PERSPIRATION and 75 percent DETERMINATION.  Stated another way, it is one part physical exertion and three parts self-discipline.  Doing it is easy once you get started.

A workout makes you better today than you were yesterday.  It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind, and toughens the spirit.  When you workout regularly, your problems diminish and your confidence grows.

A workout is a personal triumph over laziness and procrastination.  It is the badge of a WINNER — the mark of an organized, goal oriented person who has taken charge of his or her destiny.

A workout is a wise use of time and an INVESTMENT in excellence.  It is a way of preparing for life’s challenges and proving to yourself that you have what it takes to do what is necessary.

A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to OPPORTUNITY and SUCCESS.  Hidden inside each of us is an extraordinary force.  Physical and mental fitness are the triggers that can release it.

A workout is a form of REBIRTH.  When you finish a workout, you don’t simply feel better, YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF!

So … Who’s ready to come workout with Row.??? NO EXCUSES!!! Let’s goooooo …

Me? Inspiring? Really?

Run RowRow Run

As defined by, Inspiring is a verb that means:  To fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence.  To influence or impel.  To produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.).

I have never really considered or seen myself as an inspiring individual.  I look in the mirror and I see someone who’s “plain” and “average.”  Not really two words that would describe someone who is inspiring, so it seems a little puzzling to me that so many would see me as “inspiring.”  When I hear people tell me this, I have to look a little harder in the mirror to attempt to see what they see that I have such difficulty seeing.  Hearing it makes me so uncomfortable.

It would be different if it was just one individual who said something, but when it’s several, I really have to stop and wonder, “What is it that makes ME, average, Plain Jane Row., inspiring?  Are they serious?”

When I told to my friend, Suzanne, that I was frustrated with my less than stellar performance at NWM, she was quick to remind me that, “Not only did you run for the third year in a row, but you motivated me, my sister Judy and Cory to start running as well.  That’s quite an accomplishment.  You are our rock, stop beating yourself up.”  I was so blown away and floored by her comment that I cried!  (I never cry.)  It was that powerful.  Up until that very moment,  I did not realize that I had that much of an impact of anyone.

Then I started thinking.  Then I *really* began listening … and I heard  …

“I wish I had your motivation, Row Row!” From my friend Mandy S.

“You are my idol,” says my friend Kelly S.

“If you stop running, I will be sad because I will never get to run with you. Plus you are a rockstar!!!” This is from my friend Victoria.

“Row, you have no idea that you are the one that motivated me to start running again.  Meanwhile, 11 lbs lighter? I’m feeling great! Thanks. YOU made me make myself better.”  This is from my friend Mikey M., who trains in Krav Maga with me, and works out with me at the dojo we belong to.

My friend and my FAVORITE trainer, Scott, calls me, “Badass!”

My friend, Janice, told me that she loves my FaceBook pics because she said that, “Your pics embody the picture of fitness and happiness.  It’s a great mix!”

Melissa, an old co-worker, was feeling out of sorts.  I had inspired her to run and even purchase a bike, but life got in the way and she fell off the band wagon.  When I saw her at C.I.M., she told me that our friend Cory looked awesome and that she was jealous because she knew, “It’s all you, Row.  Your enthusiasm for running and working out rubs off on everyone.  You do that to people.”

Memri, one of my old workout buddies, called me out of the blue one afternoon and told me that she wants ME to help her train for a half marathon.  Me.  She told me that I was the only one she knew who was consistent and that would actually help her.

And my beautiful friend, Cory, she told me yesterday that she is ready to run a FULL marathon and asked if I would train with her!  What?  Yep … so we are planning to run CIM next year!  Wow!

There’s more out there, and every one of them makes me feel good, they make me feel proud, and I smile.  I never

Age Group WINNER!!! Wolf Pack Events - Fall Showdown Half 2010.

knew that I needed to hear these things about me.   The thing is, though, is that I am not anyone special, so far from extraordinary.  I am your average, everyday woman.  I am a mother, wife, Registered Nurse, runner, gym rat.  I have not discovered the cure for some God awful disease.  I have a tendency to be whiny, needy, bitchy, moody.   I have not won any awards for being the fastest.  Oh, wait, I take that back … I have won a race for my age group once and that was truly a great feeling!  But otherwise I don’t see myself as anything special.  I am just someone doing what I love.  I work hard, and I play hard.

When I hear people tell me that I have motivated or inspired them, it makes me feel proud that I was able to do that for them.  I believe that life and some of the things that we do are difficult and that we could all use a little help to get through and to work a little harder, move a little faster, etc.  I’m the obnoxious one in cardio or spin class that will yell out a little motivation from across the room.  I do it for my kids when they’re out on the baseball field – just to wake them up a little, or to get them to refocus.  What happens is that I only tell people what I would want to hear for myself:  “Focus!”  “You can do it.”   “You’re doing a great job.” “You’re lookin’ good.”  “You’re awesome.”  “Com’mon, you got this.”  “Come run with me.”  “Dig deep.”  “Breathe it out.”  Whatever it takes to keep someone going, I will do my best to get them to come with me because I know how it feels, and because it helps me get through it also.    To be honest, hearing that I have done something to help another makes me want to do it more often, and it makes me want to work harder.   It’s nice to know that people notice and pay attention.  It’s nice to know that I can make people feel good about themselves.   I do my best to see the good, positive side of everything and every person.  I believe that we can get thru things better when we have someone beside us rooting for us, and helping us along the way.

I have always believed that I just do what I love, and I want others to do the same.  It’s amazing that by just me, being me I have been able to light a spark in someone.  I will continue to do so – to yell out motivation to anyone and everyone.  Why?  Because I know what it feels like to need a lift.  Because it is a very AMAZING feeling to see a poster with your name on it, while the person who made it cheers you and shouts encouragement as you run past!  Because I know what it feels like to feel as if you can’t do one more push-up/jump squat/burpee/mile or whatever, then I hear someone tell me that I can … and all of a sudden I CAN do MORE than I ever believed that I could at that moment.  Because my Coach @speedysasquatch reminds me that, “I CAN!”  Because as I have said, I believe that paying it forward not only helps that who I am trying to help, but it helps me, too, and God knows that we could all use a little help from each other!  Oh … and it makes me feel a little bit like a superhero in disguise … MiniRowRow  in stealth mode – sans cape and cool colorful spandex clothing!

My Signature "Shaka" @ CIM Relay!

We CAN do this.  Together we can get through whatever it is we are trying to get through!  I will do whatever I can to help you, to remind you that, “You’ve. Got. This!”  Let’s goooooo … !!!