Thursday, April 26, 2012

Running the Distance

Life is all about love, laughter, surprises, and disappointments.  When life smacks you with disappointing news, you can choose to be angry or choose to turn it into opportunity.  All day I had anxiously awaited the arrival of GOOD NEWS.  When I confirmed that my dream of running the ING New York City Marathon was not going to happen, I wanted to let the tears flow.  It sounds silly, I know.  I'm even a little embarrassed to admit how much I wanted to be "IN."  Who the heck prays every night for months on end to be accepted into a race where you pay entirely too much money for an entrance fee and then shed blood, sweat and tears to run 26.2 miles, only to cross a finish line and receive a medal that will end up collecting dust?
However, you have to understand the MAGIC of this marathon.  It is simply amazing how the magic unfolds and changes your very being.  To run the ING New York City Marathon was simply one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I had not been able to properly train because LIFE kept happening.  My longest run in the previous 12 months was only 13.1.  I knew I wanted more than anything to cross that finish line but wasn't quite so sure if that was going to happen.
I traveled to NYC and knew I could defer in person.  When one of my forever friends, heard my idea of deferment, she quickly put that idea to shame and told me to just go out there and DO IT.  I couldn't travel all the way to NYC and then not run the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!  Once I walked through those expo doors, my decision was made.  I would do everything I could, to cross that finish line.
And I did!  One of the most unbelievable parts of this marathon was that I didn't even realize I was running 26.2 until Mile 15.  The crowds were out of this world.  Everywhere you looked, for miles on end, there were crazy fans yelling encouraging words to complete strangers.  I have never given so many high fives in a race before.  I had the time of my life!  I met complete strangers who become friends because of the stories we shared on why we were running.  It was a celebration of the human spirit overcoming obstacles and achieving goals, that had once upon a time ago, seemed unimaginable.  I wanted to experience it all over again.  I really, really did.  But today that dream came to a crashing end.
I tried not to dwell on it.  I thought about how thankful I was for the gift that I CAN RUN.  However, I knew I needed a replacement goal, to keep me striving to be the best runner that I can be.  I have secretly imagined running an ultra marathon.  I have only voiced this dream to a few people who understand the significance of such a race.  When I accidently spoke out loud while imagining how I could make this dream happen, my husband's response was "those people are crazy." 
I made a conscious decison very quickly and turned my disappointment into opportunity.  This year, I have decided I will run two marathons and a 50 Miler!  On October 13th, I will run the Rockway Beach marathon in New York, as a sponsored WhyMarathon Team Ambassador, then the Marine Corp Marathon on October 28th and finally, the JFK 50 Miler on November 17th.  If I can cross the finish line for all three races, I will achieve not one but two dreams.  I will have run an ultra marathon AND I can apply for Marathon Maniac status.  It will be more blood, sweat and tears than I can ever imagine but I want to push myself into unknown territory and aspire to achieve this new goal.  I know the majority of those who know me will be in agreement with my husband and will wonder why a person would subject themself to such torture?
"Some may ask why I am running such long distances. There are reasons. During the ultras I come to a point where my body is almost dead. My mind has to take leadership. When it is very hard there is a war going on between the body and the mind. If my body wins, I will have to give up; if my mind wins, I will continue. At that time I feel that I stay outside of my body. It is as if I see my body in front of me; my mind commands and my body follows. This is a very special feeling, which I like very much. . . It is a very beautiful feeling and the only time I experience my personality separate from my body, as two different things."  ~ Yiannis Kouros quote     
I am excited to begin this new journey in my life and the possibilty of opening myself up again to the magic and wonderment of turning a dream into reality...


Monday, April 23, 2012

I have a dream...

I have a dream...

A dream of of kindness filling up the world.  A dream where greed disappears.  A dream where selfishness is exchanged for all good for mankind.  A dream where ugliness is destroyed and all things beautiful flourish.  A dream of harmony.  A dream of peace and love. 
Why is this world so difficult to create?  In the the headlines today I read about how a nation wants to destroy it's neighbor.  I wanted to vomit.
I can't understand all of this smashing that is going on.  Crashing in all around the universe.  This is why I look forward to meteor showers.  My escape from the world.
If it was this simple, would our lives be riddled with boredom and simplicity?  Instead we are challenged by the black snake that gives us no warning when it wants to rear its ugly head.  Each day we have to be mindful of how our actions affect each other.  It is a simple concept but so many of us, simply forget.  We are rushing out the door to get our kids to school before the tardy bell or to work, before the boss gets in.
Just STOP.  Step back.  Think about it.  How can the scenerio be changed?  Especially if your kids are watching you.
Every single moment we are teaching our kids how to interact with their world.  What kind of adult kid do you want sitting at your Thanksgiving table?  One that has been launched into the world with a caring heart, a thankful attitude or one of greediness and full of entitlement?
My challenge to you is when you wake up, be thankful for the gift of today and embrace your very being, step out into the world fully conscious of every word or action and how it affects others.  You might be delighted how the world reacts and with an element of surprise, minus the gift bow, you will relish the moments when the gifts of your kindness, are delivered back to you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A little bit about this "Twingles Mom"

I am a twingles mom.  A mom, to 9 year old boy/girl twins and a 6 year old daughter, living in the suburbs of Northern Virginia.  I also call myself mom to a yellow lab, our first furry baby who is 14 years old and battling arthritis and Cushing's Disease.  I am also a wife, married for so many years, that I've forgotten how long.  We met in college as Hokies, then dated five years before getting hitched.  My hubby had to make sure that I was the stuff that fairy tales are made of.  I can only remember our wedding anniversary because we adopted our furry baby, the summer before we celebrated our first year of marriage.  I have hopes, dreams, and aspirations to do big things besides living life in suburbia.  I ignore the fact that my birthday is creeping up on me and screaming "you are too old for these types of thoughts to be floating in your head!  You should be thinking about how you are going to strategically get rid of those ten laundry piles and planning your meals for the week instead!" 

I am very good at ignoring the negative thoughts.  So good actually, I tell myself that I can do these crazy things, like run a marathon.  And then run another 26.2.  And another...My goal this year is to be inducted into the "Marathon Maniac's" club.  I have to thank my fellow WhyMarathon Team Ambassadors for this idea.  I thought I was a nutty until I met them.  There are twenty plus WM Team Ambassadors and each one of us has a passion to RUN.  Their stories are inspiring and only make me want to run faster and better and farther.  One day a 50K race will be in my future.  To read their stories, visit  Some of us are still working on the WM Team Ambassador paperwork (like me) and aren't official on the webpage yet!  I'll be sure to post when my "WhyMarathon" story is published on the webpage!  Some of my friends say I inspire them to run or to focus on being the best they can be.   I have a hunch that their significant others probably do not like me so much because of the ridiculous amount of hours a runner has to put into training in order to consider themselves an endurance athlete.

So about those crazy things I tell mysef I can do.  A life coach would say those are POSITIVE thoughts entering my brain.  I even tell myself such things as go after your dream job, even though you have never been employed as a fundraiser.  My parents paid good money for my Master's degree in Social Work.  My speciality is crisis therapy and grieving.  For ten years I devoted myself to working at a local Level One hospital in the Emergency Department.  I have put in many hours of overnight shifts and weekend mornings, helping the families of trauma patients, piece life back together, after their world came apart in one instant.  As I became more skilled, I soon realized it is not the words you say but it is the mere fact that you are present and letting the family grieve and just BE.  And now here I am, three months into a complete career change, working for an organization I feel passionately about, The March of Dimes. 

I have been a guest blogger for for almost two years now!  My blog is posted right now on their website: "Confessions of a Trauma Social Worker."  Check it out: 
I also have the official title of Herndon Family Balance Examiner at the

But tonight, I write past the midnight hour, my very first official blog, for the world.  I'll be honest.  I'm a little terrified.  I am totally, completely, utterly, exposing myself.  But heck, I'm adventurous like that, so I hope you will join me on my blogging journey. I have always wanted to write since I was a little girl in pigtails.  I've been writing short stories, poetry, journal entries, ever since I learned cursive.  I now have two novels in the works.  Writing is my way of dealing with the world.  Analyzing, twisting, spinning, until the words jump out of my soul.  And then I discovered running two years ago.  How blessed I am that I have not one, but two outlets to figure out what this thing called "life" is all about.  All the money I save from not having to go to therapy, I donate it to my March for Babies family team.

I am passionate about my life, compassionate for those less fortunate, gravitate towards helping others find a path to healing, believe in kindness, friendship and love, and participating in fabulously fun activities with friends and family.  I have a weakness for sunsets, rainbows, and full moons.  I am a Taurus and very connected to the Earth and the vast sky above.

Oh!  And my friends think I am LUCKY because I win a lot of stuff.  Just not the mega millions lottery, even though I bought ten tickets in VA and five in DC!  I should have saved my money for a cute running top.

Since I am new to this blogging thing, please be patient!  Feel free to give me suggestions on how to make this more fun for you!  (I am wondering how I post pictures?) And I'd love to hear blogging suggestions!  So let's give it a whirl and see what happens!  And if you want come along for the ride, hit the button that says "subscribe."  I'd be super appreciative!