Friday, November 30, 2007

day 2?

I did not have to move my bracelet yesterday. I did great without complaining, criticizing or gossiping.

I actually got up this morning thinking "did I do it, or did I just forget to move my bracelet?". I am very aware of when I mess up and am usually changing hands before anyone even knows I messed up. So after replaying the day in my head, I just accepted that I made it a day!

I was feeling very good after my successful day - then it happened. Konan and I were talking and he said something and I shot back with a blazing comment that was without a doubt, HILARIOUS, but unfortunately it was critical. Before I knew it, it was just shooting out of my mouth. He didn't even have to say anything before I realized I blew it. I was bummed. It was 5pm and we were leaving for the day and I lost it...

Day 2 quickly became day 1 AGAIN!!! This is more difficult than I thought it would be. I thought I was a very positive person (I still think I am) but I didn't realize all the critical statements I make. Others don't hear my comments unless I want them to but once again it is stupid to attempt to deceive yourself.

My point: Even if you do good one day, that doesn't mean you have arrived. You still have to try. Don't get cocky. You are not "the man" just because you did good one day.

I am pretty excited about moving on to day 1 tomorrow... AGAIN!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

my bad

I screwed up again today.

There is a man we know who is a good ol' country boy. The funny thing is that he cannot say "Konan". He always says "Kowan" (ko-win). I think it is absolutely hysterical. He says it with a country twang and it is just down right funny.

Today, Konan was talking about him and I put on my best country twang and said "aw Kowan"... then I realized, I was trying to be funny at the expense of someone else. I moved my bracelet and was frustrated at myself. I was doing so good. Oh well, day one starts again tomorrow.

My point: be honest enough with yourself and hold yourself to a higher standard than others do. It may take you longer to finish the 21 day challenge but you will be a lot more positive in the long run. If you deceive yourself into not moving the bracelet, the change is not real change, it is a lie.

If it keeps going like this, I will be on day one forever. So what, I will still beat you!!! - yes I moved it again. The day starts over in about an hour...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

is it wrong if it's true?

Ok, so I moved my bracelet today. I was making a comment about how I wanted to do something so I wasn't like this other place and then it hit me - THAT WAS NEGATIVE!!!

I was tearing someone else down to build myself up. I could've easily justified it by saying "that wasn't wrong, it is true". Just because its true doesn't mean it is ok to say.

Let's face it, most negative comments or insults hurt because there may be some truth laced in it. The truth is that most "true" comments you make about others is probably "true" about you too. We tend to notice things in others that we also do - but we refuse to acknowledge it.

So now, I am not just dealing with the comment, but my heart and motive behind it. I am sure I can explain it in a way to make it appear that I was not criticizing, complaining or gossiping but what good would that do? I would just be lying to myself and then I wouldn't like myself. Self-deception is a slippery slope to nothing good.

My point: you know your heart. You can justify, make excuses or explain it any way you want to but the bottom line is that you know your heart behind the comment. If you are lying to yourself - you are worse off than those who are being honest and trying to change.

Don't add lying to the fact that you are a jerk. What?!!! Ok, I moved my bracelet again!

Tomorrow is day one... again

Monday, November 26, 2007

complaint free

Day one and counting...

I am taking the complaint free challenge. I am wearing a purple bracelet that reminds me to think before I speak. Every time I complain, gossip or criticize I have to move the bracelet to the other arm. The goal is to go 21 days without moving the bracelet. It takes the average person 4 - 8 months to accomplish this.

I am on day one. I actually made it today without having to move it. I just didn't speak...

This is amazing. I am blown away that just because I am wearing a bracelet and there is a challenge issued, I am less negative. WOW!!! What if everyone actually thought before they spoke. This world would be - well, "complaint free". Can you imagine a world where you didn't have to hear bickering, moaning and groaning.

I am finding that I am less tolerant of when others complain now but the kicker is that I can't say anything about it. If I point out that another person is complaining, I have to move my bracelet. The goal is to focus on what you can change - YOU!!!

My point: It isn't my job to get others not to complain. It is my responsibility to keep myself from being negative. It is my mouth that I am to control. If I could keep others from complaining and being negative - believe me, I would but that is YOUR job. For the love of all that is pure and good - Do your job!!!

I may slip up (I will tell you when I do) but the goal is to keep trying.

Get a bracelet and stop griping!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

the thinker

You can't think your way into a new way of behaving but you can behave your way into a new way of thinking.

Early on in my marathon training, it was "something I had to do". I like running but I didn't like having to run. I liked doing it for recreation and relieving stress and getting in better shape. When you want to do it - it is totally different than having to do it.

There were days I just wanted to sit in a bean bag, play video games and eat cheetos but if I wanted to run a marathon, I HAD to get my butt out of bed and go run. The Sunday naps became cross training day, until...
I remember one day that I actually looked forward to running or biking. I couldn't wait to get outside and run or allow the wind to flow through my thick silky smooth hair. What happened? Why the change?

I behaved my way into a new way of thinking. I loved the feeling of accomplishment and the feeling after I was finished training that day. I felt so stinkin' good and that feeling and the benefits of exercise became an addiction. I absolutely loved it. It was like I crossed the threshold of having to - to needing to.

I am sure there are things we have to do but don't necessarily enjoy. That doesn't mean we have to dread them or simply endure them. What if we had a different outlook or started trying to make it fun. Stop focusing on the negative and focusing on the positive. You may actually begin to enjoy it. You may behave your way into a new way of thinking.

My point: Trying to change your mind before changing your behavior is harder than changing your behavior first. When you do something and see the benefits, your mind will follow closely. You can't just "think" - you must do

You can't think your way into a new way of behaving but you can behave your way into a new way of thinking. Give it a try - you may just enjoy life more...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

there IS such a thing as a stupid question

I went to the gym with Konan this morning. Did you catch that part where I said I went to the gym? So anyway, Konan gave me a one day pass to check it out. Of course I had to fill out a card and I was pretty sure I was going to have to tell them I was considering joining the gym.

When I got there the person working the desk asked me if I wanted to workout before talking to her about possible membership options. I said "yes". She then told me that "we don't normally allow you to work out first"... wait a minute - THEN WHY DID YOU ASK?!!!

Whoever said there was no such thing as a dumb question was an idiot. They probably asked so many stupid questions that he/she just started saying that to make themselves feel better.

I remember going to a restaurant and the "server" (whatever, it is still a waitress) asked me if I wanted that with coleslaw (or some side dish, I don't even remember). I said "yes" only to hear her inform me that they don't have coleslaw... Then that was a stupid question.

While I am on a tangent, here is another doozy of a stupid question: "Pardon me, can I interrupt?" - I always want to say "YOU JUST DID!!!"

Another good one is after you ask someone something they say "you want me to be honest?". "No you goof, I want you to keep lying to me!!!"

But without a doubt here is my all time favorite... "can I ask you a question?" - do you see the humor in this question. I typically reply "you mean another one?". I usually get a confused look back from them and I then walk away. If you don't get my attempt at humor then I don't want to hear your question anyway.

My point: There is such a thing as a stupid question and stupid people. I know I have asked stupid questions before and I will again, sometimes I do it on purpose just to see the reaction I will get. When you ask a stupid question, don't get mad at the person if they give a stupid answer.

If there is only one acceptable answer, don't give me a choice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I don't FEEL like it

Life is full of doing things we "don't feel like doing".

I will echo the wise words of my dad when I would say "I didn't feel like it" after I didn't do something I was told to do.

Actually I will give you the G-rated version. He used to say: "TOUGH @^%#, do you think I feel like having to tell you over and over, would you rather feel the belt across your @#$". My dad was an amazing motivator.

I can still hear those words laced in love. I truly believe my dad was teaching me this lesson because he knew that if we always did what we feel like doing, or never did what we didn't feel like doing, this life would be awful. People wouldn't show up for work, everyone would be obese, we would live in pig pens and everyone would stink. Let's be honest, the only reason boys start taking baths is so the girls will like them.

I didn't always feel like getting up early and training. I didn't always feel like eating the healthier stuff because my body needed fuel to burn. I never did feel like running when my feet were killing me. I didn't feel like sleeping in a brace that looked like a moon boot so I could put pressure on my foot in the morning... I think you get the picture.

I had to decide that even when I didn't feel like training, I would do it anyway. If I waited until I felt like it, I would be sitting here blogging about why I didn't finish the marathon.

My point: You need to do it even when you don't feel like it. You can't think your way to a new way of behaving but you can behave your way to a new way of thinking (that is a great statement, you need to write that one down). If you always wait until you feel like it, you are probably a great excuse maker and a miserable human.

Sometimes all we need is a little motivation. Let me know if you want me to give my dad your phone number. I am pretty sure he would be willing to call ya. If not, have fun making your lame excuses.

Thanks dad, without your guidance as a kid, I wouldn't have had the discipline to do a marathon.

I am not sure why I used the picture on this post, I guess I just felt like it. You gotta admit, it is a pretty good toe jump...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

have a plan

After you circle the date on the calendar, you need a plan. If you have no plan, chances are pretty good that you won't accomplish your goal.

You have to pick a plan that you trust. There were many marathon training programs out there but I picked one that would get me in shape to finish. I didn't set out with an aggressive time goal because I wasn't even sure I could finish it.

I got a "beginners" plan and decided to stick to it. I am glad I did this early in the training because when people find out you have a goal, they all have some advice on the best way to accomplish it. I am not saying that is bad, but if you listen to ALL of it, you will be so confused that it would not be beneficial at all.

I had people telling me to eat certain things and others telling me to stay away from them. I had people telling me I had to run a ton of miles right from the beginning while others said small incremental steps were the key.

I had to have a plan I trusted and I had to stick to it. I may have tried things that were advised but they served as modifications to the original plan. Many of the suggestions were great and I implemented many of them, but again, they were in addition to my base plan.

My point: you cannot have a "plan B" without a "plan A". There can be no modifications if there is nothing to modify. If you don't have a plan, others will give you one but you probably won't end up where you want to be. Plans are good. People who don't like to plan are normally unorganized, their life is typically chaotic and they probably don't accomplish much.

Did that hurt? Don't get mad at me if you are unorganized, you are the one that won't admit it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Megan's window

I am going to pause from my marathon lessons to pay respect to my baby girl.

Megan Renae was born on Nov 8th 2004 and died Nov 12th 2004. Here is a picture of her in her favorite place, her mommy's arms.

Megan was a miracle. We were told that if she were born alive, she would not live longer than a couple hours. Along with other birth defects, she had a very serious heart defect. When Megan was born we found out that she had a lot more wrong than they originally even thought. She was a miracle because she ended up living 4 days.

The doctors told us that we needed to get our family members in and out - say hello and goodbye. I can't even begin to tell you how hard this was. I wish I could've taken all the pain instead of watching them in pain. After our families were gone, Deni and I locked ourselves in a room with Megan. Her heart nearly quit several but she just wasn't ready to go. I guess she wanted to stick around with mommy and daddy for a while longer.

I remember taking her over to the window everyday and telling her about what I see. I would tell her about all the things going on outside. It was our special trip from the bed all the way over to the window (about 6 ft.) We had big plans for the next day, we were going to take a walk down the hall and see the fish tank. Unfortunately we never made that trip.

We had all kinds of names picked out when we found out it was a baby girl. We decided on Megan because it meant "strong and able". Megan was definitely strong and able.

I remember holding my baby girl and telling her that "you are broke and daddy can't fix you". Talk about feeling helpless.

My point: sometimes life flat out stinks. I choose to celebrate my daughters life and allow it to make me a better person. I am a better human being because of Megan Renae.

"I love you little girl"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

the power of a circle

It is just another day unless you circle it. There is something about putting a circle around a day that makes it special. When you put a circle around a day - it's now a goal.

If you say you are going to do something but you don't have a plan, chances are you won't accomplish it and you are just fooling yourself.

When people tell me they are going to lose weight, I ask them "what is your plan?". In other words, how do you plan on accomplishing what you say you are going to do. If they hem haw around or give a general vague answer, I know they are doomed. There is no way they will do it because there is no plan.

When I first said I was going to run a marathon, I didn't really know if I would really run it. It was just a day way off in the future, it made for good conversation but chances were pretty good that it may not happen. It was something that sounded good but I had no idea how I was going to run 26.2 miles. I needed a plan. I needed a deadline - a date circled.

When I decided that I was definitely going to do it, I circled the date on my calendar. Then it became a reality - a goal. Now I needed to make it happen. I got a training plan and put it on the refrigerator. I put it there so I would HAVE to see it everyday. It was a reminder of what I was working for. It was a way to keep the focus and to remind myself not to eat certain things.

My point: It's not a goal unless it's circled. If you don't circle it, you won't accomplish it. The reason you don't circle it is because you don't want to admit you failed when that day passes. Be bold enough to set a goal, circle it and accomplish it. Without a deadline, it won't happen

What is something you are working for. Circle a day you want to accomplish it by. Leave me a comment and I will ask you about it.

If you really want accountability - blog about it and have people ask you how you are doing.

Monday, November 5, 2007

lessons learned

I appreciate all the calls, emails and conversations about me running the Columbus marathon. Actually the only call I got was from my dad (he was returning my call), not sure I got any emails and the only actual conversation I had was with Tim Smelcer (thanks Tim)... I digress.

Even though there was limited (actually no) interest in the marathon, this is my blog and I am going to use this space to tell some of the lessons I learned while on this marathon journey.

The first lesson is that "there is a lesson in everything". Entering the blogosphere has caused me to look at life in a little different way. I now find myself saying "that's a blog" or "that would make a good blog". When people say they would blog but they don't know what they would blog about, I tell them to blog about their life and opinions. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode (doesn't everything). The one where Jerry & George were pitching the idea to NBC for their TV show and they said it is about "nothing". For instance what did you do today... there is an episode or blog.

My point: Life is very interesting and full of lessons if you are looking through the lens of learning. Take time out of your day to ask "what lesson is there in this?", then pass it on. When you quit learning you stop growing.

Start your blog and let me know so I can read it. Don't think it has to be profound or something dynamic - it doesn't, I prove that with every post. Live, learn and post!!!