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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Dream Big..."

I saw this quote on an athlete's bracelet... it spoke to me, so I thought I would share it with you.

"Dream big. Work hard."

Such plain and simple words that really hit me when I read them.  If only we looked at life that simply.  Dream your dreams, and work hard to achieve them, don't stop or surrender for anything.  So often I have let outside obstacles get in the way or knock me off task on the way to achieving something I dreamed of.  In gymnastics it was very black and white.  I had a goal, and I worked each day to achieve it.  Usually it was getting a new skill or combination or higher score, and my obstacles were most frequently my fear.

Now, my goals are a little more grey.  I don't have answers for everything, and taking one more turn isn't going to help me the way it used to.  But still, I wan't to live by those words, "dream big, work hard."  Even though the lines are a little hazy, and I'm not certain what lies ahead... I'm not going to stop dreaming.  I may not be sure what the hard work entails anymore, but I'll figure it out.  If I keep dreaming, eventually I'll figure it out, right?

Day 16: What are your goals?  Say them (or just one of them) out loud to yourself and write a plan of action.  How do you plan to get there?  Figure out your plan, and start working hard!

Love True-
Allison




 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Moments

"Most of our life is a series of images; they pass us by like towns on the highway.  But sometimes a moment stuns us as it happens, and we know that this instant is more than a fleeting image.  We know that this moment, every part of it... will live on forever."- Lucas Scott, One Tree Hill

I spent this past weekend enjoying a friend's special day.  Her wedding day.  It was an expression of love so magnificent; I know she will remember each and every moment as a beautiful collage depicting the love that she shares with her new husband.

As a friend, I have two separate memories.  The first is the joy that I feel for my friend, the beautiful bride, that gave her heart to her best friend.  The second, is the happiness that I felt spending the night of celebration with some of the best friends that God has offered me.  The whole day flashes past my eyes in images of smiles and love, moments that were captured either on camera or in my mind.  I am so grateful for days like that day... days that will resonate in my mind forever.



Love True,
Allison

One Tree Hill Quote- Skip to 3:05 mark =)


Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

In this crazy world of mixed up emotions and obstacle to tackle, sometimes it's just important to sit back and remember where your heart truly lies.  I've had quite a few things on my mind lately, and the only thing that has allowed me to relax here and there is to focus on my goals.  Dreams I have, that might seem completely unattainable... still bring a smile to my face when I think about achieving them.  Dreams are an essential part to our lives.  Though my dreams most often grace me at night, they are a major part of why I get out of bed in the morning, something great to live for, to work towards, to believe in.  What do you dream about?


"Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?"



This song is such a simple statement of how important dreaming is.  For any kid who has had a dream, a goal or a wish for something bigger in their life, the line "And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true," is something they could all hear a little more-- I know I could!  


Day 15: Take one step closer to achieving your dream.  No matter how far fetched or lofty it might be.  Take that step, and be proud.  


Love True-
Allison


Judy Garland- "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Change"

Even though I wrote about Taylor Swift's brilliant mind recently, I found myself needed to visit her again!  It is actually extremely appropriate considering she is playing a concert in Chicago (very near me) and I WISH I could be there tonight!

Today was such a beautiful summer day.  It was one of those days where the sun was up, the breeze was slight, and the air was a perfect 75 degrees... not at all normal for the humid Midwest!  I went for a run, like I do many weekdays, and because the day was so fantastic, I didn't want to stop!  I felt like Forrest Gump, because "I just kept runnin!" =)  When I started to get tired, it hit me like a brick wall.  Perhaps it was because I had ran almost twice as far as I normally do.  Nevertheless, I was ready to walk when a song on my iPod forbade me from it.

It was a song that is very near to my heart.  One that has spoken to me and many of my friends and former teammates about the life we spent together in college.  A song that still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.  It reminds me of a day when our formerly last place ranked Division 3 college gymnastics team showed the entire nation that we were a force to be reckoned with.  It was the day everything changed at UW-Whitewater.

We didn't get first place or anything.  We didn't even podium, but that didn't matter because we weren't supposed to be there in the first place.  A technicality allowed us to compete that day, because we were the meet hosts, we had an automatic bid.  It was such a crazy feeling, because our team had never been there before.  We felt like Celebrities, and we acted like them.  Our fans were incredible, but the arena was loud and most of the spectators were there to watch someone else.

That didn't matter to us.  We were at NATIONALS, and no one was going to bring us down.  We were there for the moment, and even though we weren't in first at the end of the meet... when we heard our names called for 4th place, the moment was OURS.

I remember feeling so grateful that day that I cried... a lot.  I had never been happier.  I was doing the one thing I had been born to do and I was standing next to some of the most incredible people I have ever known.  Nothing will ever take that feeling away.  No matter how many good days I had after that, or how many horrible days I had that followed... I can always go back and remember that day.  The nerves, the excitement, the passion and the courage we shared THAT DAY.  "The day things changed."

"And it's a sad picture, the final blow hits you
Somebody else gets what you wanted again
You know it's all the same, another time and place
Repeating history and you're getting sick of it

But I believe in whatever you do
And I'll do anything to see it through

Because these things will change, can you feel it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down
It's a revolution, the time will come for us to finally win

We'll sing hallelujah!
We'll sing hallelujah! Oh

So we've been outnumbered, raided and now cornered
It's hard to fight when the fight ain't fair
We're getting stronger now from things they never found
They might be bigger but we're faster and never scared

You can walk away and say we don't need this
But there's something in your eyes says we can beat this

'Cause these things will change, can you feel it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down
It's a revolution, the time will come for us to finally win

We'll sing hallelujah!
We'll sing hallelujah! Oh

Tonight we standed on our knees
To fight for what we worked for all these years
And the battle was long, it's the fight of our lives
Will we stand up champions tonight?

It was the night things changed, can you see it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back fell down
It's a revolution, throw your hands up, 'cause we never gave in

We'll sing hallelujah!
We sang hallelujah!
Hallelujah!"



The team dynamic has continued to change since that day.  UW-Whitewater is now the two time Conference Champions and has since improved that first national appearance 4th place finish to a 2nd place finish in 2011.  The tides have changed dramatically, though the spirit of the team has not.  They are still an incredible group of young women lead by 2 amazing coaches (that I have the great privilege of working with).  I am so proud to have been a part of this incredible family and to have experienced all of the wonderful things I have through my involvement here.  Thank you to everyone who has affected my life as a part of my UW-Whitewater Journey.  I will be forever grateful to you all!


Day 15: Think back to a moment when  you could see it all change for the better.  Be grateful for your life before, and be grateful for you life since... for every change in life is a learning process, to help us grow and love.  


Love True-
Allison



"Change" - Taylor Swift

Monday, August 8, 2011

The 3 P's

Football great, Reggie Bush recently tweeted his "3 P's" to live by:

Prayer, Patience, & Persistence

Amen, Reggie Bush!

These are great philosophies to live by!  I was so taken back by the simplicity and the honesty of this statement.  Three wonderful characteristics to posses.  

Prayer:
Pray daily.  Talk to God.  Don't be ashamed to say thank you for all you have been given, or to ask questions when you are confused about life.  I'm not going to tell you that you have to Believe... you don't.  All I'm going to tell you is that I feel like a happier and stronger version of myself when I've taken the time to share my thoughts with the Man upstairs.  

Patience:
Have it.  If you don't have it, go find it.  Patience is such a virtue to have.  So often we jump to conclusions or assume things before with a situation has time to pan out... or before a person gets a chance to explain themselves... Have patience with people, with life and with yourself.  Things don't always happen as you'd like them to, but that's not always a bad thing.  It could just be that something better needs more time to come together.  Have a little patience, and a little faith.  

Persistence:
Never give up.  It's not a feasible option for you.  What you have and what you want is worth everything.  Don't ever stop fighting for what you think you deserve.  The only failure in life is giving up, not getting up when you fall down- 

So keep praying, have a little patience and NEVER give up on yourself!

Day 14: See above statement ;-)

Love True-
Allison

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Legacy

Taylor Swift is one of my favorite artists- Sometimes it seems like she can see right into my soul.  Her songs are deep and meaningful and beautiful.  Not only do I appreciate the way her songs make me feel, I appreciate the example she sets for young girls through her words and her actions.  She is one of those celebrities that girls look up to, someone they can depend on, someone I hope to be someday.

I can't believe that I haven't blogged about Taylor yet, because there are so many of her songs that speak so loudly to me.  However, I wanted to share a quote by her that doesn't reside in one of her songs.  It is something she shared that rings true to all of her beliefs... and all of mine.

"No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind."  -Taylor Swift

This is a beautiful testament to the human condition.  When we leave this Earth, what we leave behind us is far more important than what we take with us.  I know that I want to be remembered for being a good person, for inspiring others to be good people, and for sharing as much love as I possibly can.  Life isn't always easy, but it's important to remember that it's not ALWAYS easy for anyone.  Everyone struggles and everyone needs a little help.  Offer help when you can, even if it's holding a door open or giving someone a smile.  You never know what someone is going through.

Day 14: Do something nice for someone, even if it's a stranger.  One small act of kindness can start a chain reaction.  Do as Taylor says, "be good to people." What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Love True-
Allison

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ralph Marston

"Going forward through the obstacles may indeed be difficult. Yet it is a far better path than going backwards in retreat."


I found this quote via twitter, from the Daily Motivator himself, Ralph Marston.  I am a recent follower of Mr. Marston and I am already a loyal follower of his message.  Ralph speaks a great deal about personal development, and as many of you know, that is something I strive for daily.  It's not always an easy challenge, but it's a worthwhile one.  


The daily challenges are something I share with you all as a way of encouraging you (and myself) to be the person that {WE} each want to become.  What kind of a person would I be if I wasn't willing to do the challenges myself?! 


Going through obstacles can be very difficult, and it is often our first instinct to back down, curl up and wish the situation away.  Unfortunately for those of us who like to slink back in our corners and wait for  the waters to calm... our problems are usually waiting for us no matter how long we sit waiting for the storm to pass.  


The better path to choose is going forward, through the mess.  Whatever the mess may be, it can never be worse than moving backwards.  If you are going forward, you will eventually get through it... that is a sure thing.  Never surrender to the obstacles that come your way.  Stand tall and move forward, don't stand still, don't hide in fear... Walk.  


Day 13: The next time you are feeling that an obstacle is too big to overcome, take one step forward.  One step in the right direction is one step closer to climbing right over that obstacle.  Oh, and follow @RalphMarston on twitter or check out his website!
The Daily Motivator


Love True,
Allison