I Need My Nature

If you knew me back in the day, you would have never pictured me running a half marathon.  I guess having kids and feeling like a blob motivates you more than ever.  I am writing this because I just ran my 12th half marathon.  ( did I mention this is my first run back in a year after foot surgery) I am sticking to the half because a full is for complete insane people who want to punish their body.  I never really care to chase 26.2 miles.  After all, who is dumb enough to say, out loud of course, “Oh, heck man, I’m all kinds of crazy into beating the hell out of myself for 18 weeks straight in hopes I don’t kill myself on race day.”  Plus, who doesn’t love losing toenails and giving up sleeping on Saturday mornings?…however, I decided to hop on the half marathon training bus…..When I did this, my life was a disaster.

For me this past year, running isn’t about pounding pavement and racking up the miles.  Running has been my vehicle to heal.  Over all my training weeks and a sh*t load of breakdowns, I found my inner voice.  Or should I say I actually listened to what my voice had been telling me for a long time.  Running also helped me make decisions, find my heart and somewhat my sanity.  I was reconnecting with myself on every run.  I had a major foot surgery last August, so after a good 9 months of NO running, this was a major goal for me.  I was done with the indoor bikes and cycling classes.  I needed my nature.  I had a lot going on in this little head of mine.

Watching the sunrise on early morning runs takes your breath away….well what breath you have left at the moment because you decided to hop in with a group that runs 1 minute faster than you and your dying…but you can’t tell them because we are all runners.  WHEW….That sentence took my breath away.  But really, it allows you to see the beauty of nature and the beauty of life that we too often allow to pass by.  Running has really given me a new perspective at all levels. I have also learned that when you come back from a major injury you are not at the level you were before.  It takes time, something I am horrible at.  I am always ready to dive right back in.  My 42-year-old body, felt 42 for the first time.

However, all the pain and the thoughts of not being in shape go away when you step outside for a run.  It is very solitary and I enjoy every minute of it. While you are sleeping. Cozy. Warm. In bed. Sigh……

I have to say that after running, a day off messes with my head.  It throws my mind in a fit.  My body needs the break, but my mind needs the positive thoughts that nature does to it.   I do not like rest days, but I try my best to.

The bonus of running….  I found my purpose.  A lot of people thought I was crazy at first.  I quit a 19 year, great paying, stable, tenure teaching job.  I am a teacher and always will be a teacher….But I will not get bullied, have my character and integrity ruined by an incompetent bullying principal.  Ever meet that person that thinks they are all that because they are your boss and they can get away with it?  That was my nightmare for two years after seventeen amazing years.  We won’t talk about my retirement, who needs that anyway?  However, we will talk about those runs where I listened to my voice.

While running one day, my inner voice was having a conversation….  “I am going to start my own business.  I want to be a life coach and take my program “Live In Confidence” to middle schools and businesses.  I want to work with people to make life better.”  Guess what?  I am certified, I have started my own business, I am building my speaking program and I am all kinds of terrified…But onward I go…That jackas* that bullied me, simply made me see that life could be much better.  I put my wings on and I am flying.  And of course still running.

All in all, this past year has been amazing.  It was a strong reminder to: Be grateful, stay present, set your life up the way you want to, leap off a cliff.  Love every single second of the time you have on this planet.  Oh, and maybe train better for my next half.

I’m in….

How about you?

<aContinue reading “I Need My Nature”

Who Says Girls Can’t Play Football?

IMG_3238 (2)

By: Becky Shaffer

Julia Taylor-Worthington Wolves

1939, the year my Mom was born, history was also being made. Not that my Mom isn’t history, but we are talking about girls playing football. Luverne “Toad Wise kicked six extra points for the Escambia County (Alabama) High School football team. In 1943, Annes Risner of New Castle High School in Indiana had two point-after-touchdown attempts for the football team. Unfortunately, she missed them both. In November of 1947, Post-World War II era, the first girl known to have played high school football was Frankie Groves of Stinnett High School in Texas played in an entire game versus Groom High School. Soon after the game, Texas high school sports ruling body banned girls from playing high school football—a band that would not be lifted until 1993.
In 1973, history was made and Title IX passed allowing girls to play in all sports that are offered for boys. This led to many girls playing football. Today we have very few brave girls playing boys football, the stigma keeps many away and the attitude of “football is a boys sport” detours girls as well.
I am featuring a young lady by the name of Julia Taylor this week. She is a classmate of my son Hayden, but most importantly, she is one of Hayden’s teammates on his football team. I admire her as a mom from the stands as a 7th grade girl, playing football with the boys and more than anything, I admire these young men for how they have accepted Julia as one of them. It has never mattered to them that Julia is a girl. Now in 8th grade, Julia returns for year two and below is her story, told from her:
“I get asked why I play football a lot. The reason I play football is because to me football is truly the only sport I feel so strongly about. My friends always ask me after practice what we did and I tell them the sprints we ran, the drills and stations which seem to shock them because they think it is so much running and exercise. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely a lot of running, but it doesn’t feel like it because I want to do it. I want to do all of the running to get better, because it’s for the sport I love.
I used to play soccer and I quit in 7th grade. I didn’t realize I could really love a sport as much as I do with football. In the soccer season I just didn’t feel like I wanted to get better and put in effort to practice at home. But when I went to football it was a different story. I will go home and stretch, do ladders, lift weights, practice catching, you name it and I probably did it. I wish more girls would play football, not because I don’t want to be the only one who plays. I could care less being the only girl. It’s because football gets labeled as a sport for guys only, but it really isn’t. Girls can play the sport as well as guys or even better. It’s just because everyone thinks of it as a guy sport that girls who want to try don’t because they think its “not popular” or “weird” because you are the only girl. But it is the complete opposite. Being the only girl is perfectly fine and if you want to do something no matter if it’s a sport or not, do it because if you are passionate about what it is, it shouldn’t even matter about who else does it. All of my teammates and coaches treat me like family and I feel right at home. I love them like brothers. Most importantly, I have the parents support in the stands and I have the support of my own family. It is 2015 and I am setting a trend in Worthington, Ohio. Bring it on, I am a girl who plays football and I am courageous, brave and loving every minute of it”.

Biggest Move

Since making the BIGGEST move of my life….leaving a 19 year teaching career, I have heard the most amazing, courageous stories of others who have left their job for the same reason. BULLYING!! We often relate this bullying word to grade school or Middle and High School, but maybe I was blind and never really thought it could happen in a work place…. until it happened to me. Being the strong minded woman I am, I didn’t put up with much, but I still went through the depression, the self-esteem and questioning myself as a teacher. This work place bully by my boss, the leader of kids and staff was not supposed to do this. It was beyond my comprehension and I allowed two years of my life to suffer. I have to say, I went through emotions like one does a death.  Like anyone, I had to dig deep for life tools to feel ok.

The day I pushed send to my resignation letter, I felt I just buried someone I loved. NOT THE BULLY silly, but my career. I knew I had to make a change, I knew I was too good of a teacher, and person, and I know my character and integrity were beyond the words of a coward.

I cried, I didn’t sleep and I hit that little bit of depression. Today, I passed that emotional roller coaster (Thank God) ….I am at a “high” because the bad always turns into good. It is how we think and how we overcome these hurdles in life. Today, I want to write a thank you letter to my bully. I want to thank him for allowing me to first experience this, as I can now help others. I want to also thank him for pushing me to follow a life-long dream that I would have never done in the stability and comfort of my career. Today, I know those 19 years gave me the means to move on and to be a Life/Youth Coach and to use my life experiences and my success to help others. I am excited to say, I am in week two of my Life Coaching training and my webpage is almost built. I have been fortunate because I have the most positive people around me who push me, let me know how proud they are and support me in all I do. If you have a story, I would love to share it on my page and even my blog. I can change names as well so you are not known. We are all in this together and these experiences only make us stronger.  Email me your story at Liveinconfidence@gmail.com .  You don’t have to use your real name and if you do, please indicate so I can change it.

%d bloggers like this: