Be Brave. Be Strong. Be Happy. Be Free. Be You. Be About Now.

I had the first of three races in seven days yesterday. That 10k was the most challenging yet of all the races I’ve run lately. As I was traversing through the lush, rolling hills on the vineyards dirt roads (some sections with loose dirt) and trails I couldn’t help but think about how priceless being yourself is. There are times in my life I failed majorly to listen to my inner voice, and allowed the opinions and perspectives of others to guide my thoughts and actions. More than ever I am grateful to have had those experiences. Each one has made me realize the past is not today, it will never be. I am not perfect (I’ve never claimed to be). I have made cowardly, shameful, hurtful, purely selfish choices. I am here, now, and I am not those mistakes. I am not my struggles.

Being yourself is worth it. I love being busy loving those people who love me and allowing that love to invade my heart and mind. I am truly grateful for the tender, patient way I am loved by the people in my life. They have loved me even when I felt I wasn’t very loveable.

I love who I am. I love the balance and peace being honest, truthful and fearless has given me. I love where I come from. I love the way I think. I love the way I trust. I love the way I love. I love the now. I know who I am. *BIG smile*

With love, gratitude, joy and deep respect,

-J

Shoe check - these babies have got to get me through another 10k & Half-Marathon back to back next weekend.

Shoe check – these babies have to get me through another 10k & Half-Marathon back to back next weekend.

 

Fueled by the power, love, joy & kindness of a peaceful heart.

Fueled by the power, love, joy & kindness of a peaceful heart.

 

Run Through the Vineyards - April 26, 2014 (preparing to run not cheer)

Run Through the Vineyards – April 26, 2014 (preparing to run not cheer)

Reignited by running – Passion for life…focusing on what can be, rather than what is not

Diva Half Marathon - Dec. 8th, 2013

Diva Half Marathon – Dec. 8th, 2013

Race Results 12_8_2013

Race Results 12_8_2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I tackled one mile at a time until I reached 13.1. However, half-marathons, marathons, and any other road race doesn’t simply end at the finish line. The goal setting and persistence it takes to run and finish a race is something that remains with me in my everyday life. I’ve have a greater sense of clarity and trust myself because I run.

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Before the race

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Me and my baby girl before the race

At one point after mile 10 during today’s half marathon I was suddenly overcome with emotion. All that I have gone through and accomplished these last couple of months finally hit me – I am surviving because I am strong, I am kind, I am grateful, I am Diné and I have the blood of my ancestors running through my veins. The same mental characteristics needed to run and not give up are the same characteristics needed in life. I’ve learned life is like running – you get out of it what you put into it. I had filled my life with fear. I had flooded my life with doubt. As a result that is exactly what I was getting back – fear and doubt. Being honest about my fears then facing them down, acknowledging then divorcing my doubts  has reignited my toughness, my creativity, and my generosity. I have reignited faith in myself and the ability to dream on a grander scale.

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At the finish and feeling great! 12-08-2013

All smiles after the race 12-08-2013

All smiles after the race 12-08-2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I run, I will myself to be the best I can be. The courage and endurance that it takes to get through a long run has seeped into my life in every way. I am able to motivate myself when I am down. I am able to endure difficult times with resiliency, and kindness. I have learned to take the measure of myself, and no longer allow others to define who I am.

I am Diné…and will always be Diné!

I am a daughter…and will always be a daughter!

I am a grandaughter…and will always be a granddaughter!

I am a niece…and will always be a niece!

I am a mama…and will always be a mama!

I am a sister…and will always be a sister!

I am an auntie…and will always be an auntie!

I am a friend…and will always be a friend!

I am a student…and will always be a student!

I am a teacher…and will always be a teacher!

I am a runner…and will always be a runner!

Wishing you all love with all of my being,

-J

Love and light 12-8-2013

Love and light 12-8-2013

Running…yielding to life. Running…having focus, pose, patience & peace during the tough moments.

I was in the 4th grade when I ran my first timed mile. I loved it!

I was in Mrs. Poorthunder’s class that year. Mrs. Poorthunder also happened to be the teacher who taught me how to fancy dance for pow wows.

Even in the 4th grade when I ran my first mile I got something from it. I got a little taste of peace.

I have so many close family members who turn to alcohol & drugs to deal with stress, setbacks, and heartache. I just run. There is something about lacing up my running shoes and pounding the pavement day in and day out. It is reliable. Running clears my mind of all the things I cannot control. Lately running has been the perfect outlet for the hurt I’ve felt. I’ve pounded the pavement in tears, pushing myself to take that hill, allowing the anger to build up from inside and then releasing the rage & pain with each forefoot strike. Running has done so much for me. For two hours out of each day running affords me the clarity, stillness, quiet and focus that I first tasted in the 4th grade.

I know I’m getting into the best shape of my life right now. I feel stronger physically, mentally and emotionally after every run. I can’t wait to get home and lace up my runners. The more running I do, the more marathons, half-marathons, and shorter distances I do the more I realize that I am not just running for myself. I’m running for the members of my family, loved ones and friends who cannot. I run because I am fortunate to have found a way to deal with life’s hardships. I have found a way to allow anger, sorrow, and hate to be balanced with peace, joy and  love. On the days I am feeling alone and sorry for myself and want to do nothing but sleep, I think about my family, friends and loved ones. I think about where they would be if they could understand and know they have a choice. I know they would tell me to keep moving. That it will all turn out okay. So I get out of the funk, lace up my runners and get my butt out the door.

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Before the start of the 2013 Long Beach Half Marathon 10-13-2013

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The sun coming up as we wait for the 7:30am start time of the 2013 Long Beach Half Marathon 10-13-2013

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Seeing the full marathoners off at 6am

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The 2013 Long Beach Half Marathon Medal

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My 2013 Long Beach Half Marathon Bib and medal. The real prize is the peace and clarity I had while running alone.