Running again, finally.

I love to be able to run. I’ve always thought that running is probably one of the only things I’m good at. And by good I don’t mean elite-level good. I feel confident in my running. I feel alive. I feel unstoppable.

Unfortunately all runners know injury will come knocking on the front door someime or another. We don’t like to welcome them in the door but we do it reluctantly.

These past two weeks I’ve been dealing with a calf strain and I’m finally sort of getting over it. It’s a great relief to be able to finally run again! I had just started running again sometime back in June of this year. The reason I stopped running was because I had a knee injury that I thought was for life. I didn’t think I would ever run again so I started lifting weights attempting to get “swole”. I just wanted to stay fit somehow and since I couldn’t run I figured I’d lift.

Long story short, the cause of my recurring knee pain was that of bad shoes. All I needed was a good pair of running shoes!!! I spent a lot money trying to figure out the cause of my knee pain and I simply needed new shoes!

So here I am finally getting back to running. The passion for it has returned to me and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Injuries suck but they make you realize how much you really like to run. You miss it instantly and can’t wait to get back on your feet and start running again.

Since running again I’ve had one 5k in the summer and one 15k a few weeks ago. My next race was this coming week for the annual turkey trot in Tyler, Tx but my injury really messed up my plans to compete for the top 3 position. Last year I got 13 or 14th, can’t remember, but I told myself I’d come back stronger and I was doing just that until my calf strain. A real bummer but I’m not making excuses so I’m going to head into that race confident and with a plan-B. My plan B is to simply beat my time from last year’s race which was 18:49(?).

I can’t wait to run next week but I also can’t wait until I get some more training under my feet and eventually bump up mileage and race distances. I’d like to move up and run a marathon soon. I told myself when I was in college that I’d run one but it’s been about 6-7 years now and I still haven’t ran one! After the marathon I want to run ultras.

I just want to run man.

I’m so thankful that I can run because I know one day I won’t be able to. So I’m taking advantage of my good health and time right now while I still have them both.

Go run! Get outside!

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My current dilemma.

I know that not many people follow me or probably even read this blog site at all but that’s okay! Sometimes blogging is all about opening up and talking to yourself. And maybe along the way there will be someone who will understand where you are coming from and tag along with you.

Today is Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

I don’t know why I seem to follow the same life patterns but every year around this time the same thoughts start coming out of the shadows. If you didn’t know already, I am a teacher and coach. I teach high school Spanish and coach cross country and track. Sometimes I love my job and sometimes I very much hate it with a passion.

The reasons I hate it are because kids can really be jerks. They can be very rude and disrespectful. Before I started teaching I used to think that I would love working with young kids since I had once worked with the youth groups at church. I just knew that I would have a good time teaching and working with the younger generation. I thought wrong. If anything, the only time I really do enjoy working with young kids is when I’m coaching. I enjoy it because I actually do something I feel is benefiting someone else, in this case my student/athletes. When I’m in the classroom I get frustrated very quickly with my students. I don’t know why but I don’t think I can handle loud noises and fidgeting as much as I used to. I know it’s not entirely the kids’ fault but they sure do push your buttons and they like doing it too.

So what does this have to do with those patterns of thoughts? Okay, so around this time every year I really do want to quit my job. I get to the point where I simply just hate it. I get tired of kids and their loudness and disrespectful ways. The drama is everywhere everyday of the year and it never ends!

So yeah, I want to quit around this time of the year. The only problem is that I don’t know what I would do if I did make that decision and followed through with it. If I’m honest with myself I’d have to say that I really am a little scared of what would happen if I did. Who wouldn’t be right? But I am. I’m scared because I’m so used to the way things are right now. What job would I get? Would I be able to financially sustain myself? These thoughts and questions along with others come to my mind. It’s a very serious situation that I find myself in right now.

There are other things that I enjoy doing outside of teaching and coaching but they don’t really hold any monetary value. I like to run. I like to explore the outdoors even though I haven’t been able to do that as much as I would want to. I like to laugh a lot and I haven’t been doing much of that since I started teaching. I like to be myself. Being myself has been lost somewhere along the way of teaching. Maybe I’m being “extra” like the kids say these days. Maybe I need to grow up and act like and adult. Part of me says to just go along with the flow of the way things are going right now and accept they are they way they are just because. But the other part of me, the part of me that feels alive and happy about little things, that part wants to leave this all behind and figure out what I’m missing. I’m not saying that things are greener on the other side but I am saying that you’ll never find out what the other side is like if you never give it a try.

I have thought about simply just taking a gap year and taking some time off from teaching. I don’t want to hate it enough that I don’t want to come back at all.

What would you do in this situation? Would you leave your job behind and explore the unknown?

I do want to say that I would not make any hasty decision just based from feelings. I would definitely have ideas in mind of what I would do once I did quit teaching. I’m still at the point of figuring out what I need to do because one thing is for sure: I don’t want to keep having these same thoughts every year.

Paid off my credit card, again. 

Today I paid off my credit card debt. 

Finally!

I don’t really know where to start to explain the feeling. Right now I’m just happy that it’s finally done! The sad thing is, this is not the first time I’ve had to pay off my credit card debt. I know, disappointing. But hey, the good thing is that right now I am credit card debt-free. 

The first time I got myself tied up with piling debt on my card was really bad. My debt was right under $4,000 and it was a nightmare to say the least. I had gone from a responsible credit card owner to the other end of the credit line. 

How did this happen? 

Well, to begin, I was not working at the time this happened and also did not have ANY savings in place to back me up.

 I think not having any savings was a major key in how I got in debt. It was not having a solid plan to fall back on for when something like this could happen.  I also never had anyone tell me to save money or how to save money! I didn’t have a platform or basis on which to imitate and try to follow so that I wouldn’t fall into that pit of debt. 

Simply put, save money!! Save what you can and when you can. Don’t spend on things you know you shouldn’t. Many times  we like to spend because we feel like we “need” whatever it is, when in fact we really just want it. 

Open a savings account

Put whatever is left over after bills have been paid into your savings  and DO NOT TOUCH IT! It’s called a savings account for a reason. Taking out for emergencies is okay but only as a last resort. 

Don’t get a credit card if you are not responsible or have never had at least any kind of financial management skills. It’ll be the death of you. Don’t get me wrong, I know people who have actually done a great job of being responsible with a credit card without prior knowledge or possession of one. So just be really careful when considering one. 

This time around my debt wasn’t as large as my first time but it seemed larger in a different sense. I have become more apt at handling my finances and at saving money. That’s how I was able to payoff my debt! 

My next goal is my student loan. That loan is easily sitting under a grand and I hope to pay that off within two to three months, if all goes well. After my student loan is paid off the biggest challenge will be paying off my truck. That’s a whole different topic in itself. 

So I guess you can say  I am still continuing to tackle this new year at a great start. I am so thankful that I have been able to pay off this debt because debt is unnecessary for the most part. And it’s always because we aren’t prepared. This obstacle is liberating in so many ways. 

I want to live as free. 

This is just another way of doing that and it’s my way. Your way of living free could be very different from mine or any other person but we all have that idea of what it is for us. 

So go start whatever it is that sets you free. 

Still Going.

One of the things that I really wanted to focus on this year is to spend my time wisely. I usually have plenty of time after work to do anything really. The sad truth is that I have never been able to manage my time in a wise matter and have spent it doing meaningless things or, unfortunately, on social media.

Under that umbrella of better managing my time lie many things. One of those things is learning songs on my guitar by memory without having to use notes. I know that’s not anything revolutionary but for me, it is. It’s revolutionary because I have never really been able to memorize songs and I’ve always wanted to do that. Every time I played the guitar at church or with friends, I could not do it unless I had my notes with me. It’s actually a little embarrassing to be honest. I’ve been doing that for about 5-6 years since I learned to play guitar.

Things have changed though.

Yesterday marked the second song that I have finally gotten down by memory without using my notes and it is an AWESOME feeling! Practice is key. I did practice for a few hours until I got it down, and at times, it was frustrating but so worth it.

I think the best reward is not just simply learning the song but feeling accomplished. The feeling that you were able to do something that you didn’t think you could do before, even if it’s something small like learning a song, is a great feeling. Things like that have taught me to gain confidence that I can do anything I desire as long as I set my mind and time to it.
“Nothing worth having comes easy”. I want to live by that quote this year. I want to know that I can do the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but have always set an excuse. The biggest excuse has always been that I’ve been afraid to fail. It’s as simple as that.

 

Fear of failure will keep many of us from seeing our success. It kills our dreams.

 

Start small. Learn a song or two on the guitar. Write. Blog. Shoot pictures. Save money. Pay off debt. Just start.

 

 

Second day of the year.

It’s 2017. Right now I think the rest of the world is off to the “new year, new me” mentality and I believe it’s a great way to start off this year.

For many people, failure will be inevitable. Gyms will be packed this first, and possibly second, month with eager folks who mean good to themselves but will eventually fall back on their new year resolutions. That’s always a classic example.

It’s January 2, 2017 and I’m running thoughts through my mind about things that need to change in my life and things I have been doing good at. I’m not going to sit here and give myself a grand speech or make myself seem triumphant from the previous year(s) about how this year will be different from the last.

If I’m honest, it’s been about the same. I will admit that I am proud of ONE sole accomplishment and that is being able to stop drinking energy drinks (RedBull) for an entire year. I didn’t even crave a single one all year and I’m going to continue that lifestyle. Coffee is my desired drink right now and I can also happily say that I a now a part of the “all black” coffee. I was the type that “loved” coffee but I could not stand to drink it without cream or sugar. But thanks to a friend of mine, I was convicted to start drinking black coffee. It was difficult at first because the taste was foreign and rough to me but eventually after a couple of tries I forced myself to do it and now, I love it!

 

It’s funny how a simple thing like not drinking energy drinks for a year or starting to drink black coffee will do to you mentally. It gives you that small push that you need to believe that certain things are possible- all it takes is a valiant effort to accomplish it.

That’s exactly what I want for myself this new year. With it come new experiences, new opportunities and new memories. I want to be motivated by the small efforts which cause those accomplishments. I’m not proposing anything new this year for myself. I simply want to pursue those things that live in my mind and that I desire for in my life. Small but meaningful efforts are what I want this year. Whether those efforts are to accomplish something new in my life or to end certain things.

There are also things which hinder my drive for life and blindfold me to see my purpose. Those things can sometimes become so life threatening (in a non-lethal kind of way) that could possibly cause me to miss out on life and miss out on the joys of life. I don’t want that for myself.

 

So this year, let’s make a valiant effort to accomplish that which we desire for. Small steps will lead to great things, as long as we make those steps.