Charity Miles

what’s the reason you run?imagesCM

for me, it’s purely the challenge of literally physically fighting my body.  exercise has always made my Crohn’s worse for some reason (nothing about this makes sense to me).  obviously, throughout this whole training period, it will be a challenge. i face a hard road trying to train consistently while having flares.  i know it will be difficult; it has so far! there are days when i am just too exhausted to do anything than what i absolutely need to after work & there are days that i am just too sick to test the waters. i know where most port-o-pottys are on my routes, but there have been times i get to that destination & they’re gone!! nightmare.

about 7 months ago i begin using an free app called “Charity Miles“. it took about 15 seconds to download to my phone & is literally the easiest app to use.  when i run, i click on the app & it gives me an option of what exercise i am doing that day; walking, running or biking.  it then gives me a choice of which charity i would like to donate money towards for every mile i do that day.  i think in total there may be a choice of 15 charities now, including CCFA (Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America). whats better than running to raise money to find a cure? ill tell you: nothing.  using this app is the only thing i can do some days to make me feel like there is an end in site. not only am i getting stronger, im raising money & giving back to an organization full of people that changed my life.  not often are you able to give back to the people that give you the most, but this is one way i feel i am able to do this. each mile i run, Charity Miles donates $0.25. do you know how fast this adds up?? (a marathoner would raise $6.55 for running a marathon!)

i think its great that Charity Miles gives athletes so many options where they would like to donate to: Feeding America, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, and so many others. i have no idea how they are able to do this, but it’s wonderful. and it gives me hope.

a few months ago, i was asked to give my story to Charity Miles so they could feature it in their “Spotlight On:” Series.  its a wonderful series of individual’s stories who face physical challenges yet decide to compete in fitness events such as half & full marathons, triathlons, etc.  some of these stories will have you crying, some will have you absolutely laughing, but all will make you grateful.  this opportunity has given me hope that im doing this all for a reason. #purpleproject is getting attention for the right reasons: awareness, raising funds and how exactly i am choosing to do it.  i cant wait to share the final result with you (will be published & featured on the national website/Facebook page).

if you get a chance, please make sure to check out how easy & user-friendly this app is.  it’s GPS enabled and lets you share how many miles you walk, run or bike on your social media.  since i began using this, several of my (awesome) friends have started to use this as well.  some of them are friends who participate in triathlons & marathons, how awesome is that?! all those miles.  for us!!

#everymilematters

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living in the moment

many years ago before i graduated college, i remember sitting down and filling out some things that i would love to do before i “kick the bucket”.  but how would your life be summarized if those opportunities never came knocking.. if your life ended today?  does a thrilling event like bungee-jumping or skydiving really make you a better person? are you living for today?

many of us focus too much about what our futures will be as opposed to living for the moment.  im guilty of it!  so how can we live more in the moment?

1) take time to appreciate the small things that people do for one another.

too often we take for granted the small gesture our friends and coworkers do for one another.  how often are we recognizing each other and saying “thank you”??  not only does it make you feel as though your small existence matters in the large scheme of things, but makes you feel appreciated! who doesnt like knowing they are appreciated for a job well done?  how often do you tell your friends how much you appreciate their friendship? or a coworkers support? if youre lucky enough, you may have a coworker who is a great friend! tell them. if you see someone do something nice for someone else please do one of two things: A) give them recognition.  there is nothing worse than extending your heart and going out of your way to do something kind for someone and have them blow you off. B) pass it on.  negative attitudes are contagious, but so are positive ones! maybe it’s a grand gesture of the car in front of you paying for your coffee & you doing the same for the next car.. maybe its making a meal for someone who has been going through a difficult time.  let them know you are there for support. maybe its a please & thank you to someone you normally dont go out of your way to talk to.  appreciate the small things.

2) leave the phone alone.

theres no greater distraction at our disposal in our world today than what technology offers.  there is also nothing ruder than to be at a dinner with a friend and be glued to facebook the whole time.  and foursquare will survive if you dont check in to every place you go.  the only thing you show others when youre on the phone or browsing the web is that you have no respect for them or their time and obviously you think you have somewhere better to be.  dont be rude!  put it on silent or leave it at home.

3) do one thing at a time; slowly & attentively.

if you’re not giving your undivided attention to one task at a time, you’ll likely lose interest in it quickly and not do the job very well.  to im way guilty of this as i have a job that requires me to have attention on many things at once.  try not to get distracted.  don’t feel rude if you need to tell someone “id like to give this my full attention later, are you willing to find time to talk with me later so i can complete this task before we tackle this issue?” delegate or do less. split up the chores and the work you put upon yourself.  it may be harder for a person that has the “if you want something done, you must do it yourself” attitude, but if we take some of the pressure off ourselves and help each other with the load, we’ll realize life is easier in teams.  its so easy to get distracted in our world, but if we do things slow and thorough, we will be more pleased with our results.

4) keep up physical appearance.

whether it be your working space or wearing nice clothes to work, keep things organized.  there is nothing worse than someone coming in for an interview looking disheveled and upkept.  if they dont care about their own physical appearance, they may not care about much.  if you keep your workspace around you cleaned up, you will be more organized emotionally.

5) reflect.

at the end of the day, its so easy to unwind and watch the first thing that pops up on tv or to dive into social media and see what everyone else is up to. maybe its in prayer, maybe its writing, maybe its listening to music.  how often are we taking the time to ourselves and reflecting on our own lives?

6) help others help themselves.

much like #1 mentioned above, one of the most important things we can do for one another is be there.  offer encouragement.. after all, you may be the only one to provide them that boost of self-esteem.  if you see someone struggling with something such as their self-esteem, encourage them with a little bit of praise.  a compliment may be the first step.  be attentive to others and make them aware youre watching and listening by giving them some positive feedback. “you really seem to have a lot of patience, something i’m trying to work on lately.  what do you suggest i do about ___?” is an open conversation starter.  others will feel your genuine concern and care by you wanting them to know their opinion. we all want to know we have the support of others and this is a great way to let someone they have yours.

7) be silly.

enjoy life! if i didnt have humor in my life living with the type of illness i had, id be lost – physically, mentally, emotionally. its important that were able to unwind in a healthy way and what better than humor?  being able to laugh at yourself is important.  i probably fall up or down a set of stairs at least twice a day.  my big thing is also walking in to glass doors.  there isnt a store in green bay that i havent literally walked in to.. being able to laugh at myself makes life a whole lot easier. breathe.. if you arent laughing at yourself, everyone else is without you!