Monday, January 26, 2015

Lessons learned from half-marathon training

Three years ago, Jessie convinced me to run the Surf City Half-Marathon.

I've never been much of a runner. Running is one of those activities that I pretty much hate. Like cycling, and swimming, and pretty much any sport that includes eye-hand coordination.
But because Jessie can talk me into nearly anything, I agreed.

Thanks to the Nike app, I was able to see my snail's pace morph into something faster. Eventually I was running six, eight, and even ten mile distances. Which honestly wasn't fun at all, but when I finished those long runs, I felt like a champion for 3.5 seconds before I collapsed onto the La-Z-boy.

Before the race day, Jessie and I met in Huntington Beach to run part of the race route in preparation. By this point, I was feeling confident. We ran together for six miles, and the whole time I was chirping positive encouragement...ya know, because that's what friends do.

At the top of mile seven, Jessie fell behind. So I jogged in place and shouted out encouraging words as she shuffled up the hill. When she finally reached my side, I fell into place beside her. The sun heated our backs while we ran along the beach, drawing in the salty air. It was perfect. And actually kind of fun for running.
That is, until she said, "go ahead of me."
I refused. Friends don't let friends sweat it out alone.
"No, really," she insisted. "Run on without me."
"But why? We can run together. This is so much fun. And you're doing sooooooo good." I grinned at her. I might have done a jumping jack with the unusual amount of energy that was zipping through me.
Jessie jerked her chin towards me, making her blonde pony tail snap behind her like a whip. If I remember right, I think she growled. "Get out of my face!"

I think I stumbled. Maybe jogged in place for a bit. Maybe frowned. I know for certain that I argued with her. She didn't know what she was saying. She didn't want me to leave, right?
I was wrong. She did, in fact, want me to go. Apparently my exuberance was too much for geriatric-running-Jessie.

At first I was angry. I wanted to tackle her to the ground. But I didn't because I learned a lesson from Jessie that day.
The thing of it is--see post below for proper grammar usage--Jessie needed me to leave so she could focus and finish the long, hard run. Despite that I was putting out some pretty awesome and positive and over-abundant vibes, she just needed some quiet to think and pull her thoughts together...and make a plan to finish the last few miles.

I get why she needed her space. The lesson is that sometimes we all need a break. Sometimes we need to step back from all the noise so we can clear our thoughts and focus.

I took a break from Facebook a couple weeks ago and I loved the break. I loved the silence. It's nice not knowing what annoyed my neighbor at Walmart, or which friend of mine is now selling oils that will undoubtedly change my life, or who is my perfect celebrity match.

My January advice for reaching your goals, is to take some time for yourself. Pull back for a bit and see if you like the quiet.  It's time for you to say:

"Get out of my face." 
Take your break, and get the clarity that you need. 

That's all for now, folks. Britta and Bubba will see you out. They're two friends of mine who don't seem to understand a thing I'm saying when I try to use the advice above.

Love, erin


Monday, January 12, 2015

Be the BEST

When my oldest son was in kindergarten, his teacher, Mrs. Saizon, taught the class this phrase:
To be the best that I can be the choice will always be up to me.

Every morning the kids would sit on the mat at the front of the classroom and recite those words.My chubby-cheeked 6-year-old stumbled over the sentence. But I thought it was clever and cute.

Now those words have become a motto for our family. Before my kids walk out the door in the morning, they call out the same phrase Mrs. Siazon taught to my oldest son. It’s a reminder to them…to me. To us all. That we are what we choose to be.

Today was kind of a rough day in the Summerill house--on the tail end of a rough weekend. It was one of those crap-shoot cluster of days that we all have now and then. Even though it was Monday morning, I felt utterly unprepared. I kind of wanted to lie in bed and do nothing. Ever feel that way?

I heard my oldest stirring downstairs, getting ready while I hibernated in my dark bedroom cave. I considered how I’d feel if I missed his morning send off statement. And then I sort of felt like a piece of crap.

Clothes on and teeth brushed, I barely made it in time to hug him before his junior high carpool came. Yeah, I’m up for mom of the year award. I know.

The horn honked.
Then my boy was running to the door. “Bye, Mom.”
“I love you,” I shouted, making up for my slow morning.

He looked back. “Luvyouto,” he mumbled, surprising me. Then he added. “To be the best that I can be the choice will always be up to me.”

His words helped me get up and get going today. They reminded me that every day I have a choice to be successful. To be the best. It’s always a choice.

It's Your choice.

Be the best that you can be.
luv, erin

Monday, January 05, 2015

The Thing of it Is

There was a man in my neighborhood who proudly wore a graying mullet and started every other sentence with the phrase "The thing of it is...". 

I never actually knew what It was, but somehow his ramblings sort of made sense. And that folks is what I hope you get from this blog post--sense for the new year. 

I'm not much for writing new year's goals. The thing of it is, I stopped a few years ago because I never actually completed most of my resolutions. Why start something you won't finish, right? I was in a bad mood slump. I was a negative Nancy.

My crazy-arse bestie, Jessie convinced me to cut up a few magazines and then paste the remnants on a board. A vision board, she called it. (Cue Yoda voice)
I took the board home, shoved it in my closet just above my wall of shoes. Every now and then I looked at it and saw my meshed list. If anyone else came across it they'd probably think it was really silly. But I never threw it away. It was a daily reminder of where I wanted to be. Of where I could be if I kept moving forward a little bit at a time.

Over the last year, half of what I pasted on that board happened.

1. I had a successful photography year, having traveled to 7 different states to capture wedding and family photography. 

2. My first non-fiction photography book was released in December!!! Check it out! CLICKOLOGIE

3. I signed with mega-awesome literary agent, Josh Adams. 

4. I've been healthy and happy since slipping my dad the old kidney. 

5. My kids are perfect in every way and they never fight or stink....ok, so this is a bit of a stretch.

THE THING OF IT IS I'm here to testify, ya'll, that cut-and-paste wishes really do come true. For 2015 you should pull out all your old and new magazines and start cutting away. Paste those pics down to a board or a box or a wall or a door and start visualizing your way to success and happiness. Everything we do starts with our thoughts. Positive thoughts move us forward. What you want to happen can happen. 

If anything, my message is to be positive. 
Always know how much you can accomplish and you WILL accomplish. 
Everything else will follow.