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Sunday, July 28, 2013

How Forever Feels



There’s a Kenny Chesney song that has a line in it, “I wanna know how forever feels.”  Though it is a relatively silly song (with a good message), I do, in fact, long to have that life long satisfaction of loving.  Knowing that you have spent the better part of your life with someone who chose you to love unconditionally, someone who could not live their life without you, someone who gives your life incredible depth and meaning.  Oh how wonderful that would be. 

My Grandparents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this weekend.  It was truly wonderful to see how happy they were.  While attending a special church mass just for them, the priest referred to them as “the wedding couple” which of course, made everyone giddy.  They cut a cake together as they did 60 years ago, surrounded by the product of their love- all of their children and grandchildren. 

When I look at my grandparents, I can only pray that their love radiates down to all of their kids and grandkids.  That their dedication to one another and years spent loving each other (and all of us) is good luck and great karma for the rest of us!  Granted, I know we all make our own luck in life… but perhaps their good example will rub off, because, “I wanna know how forever feels.” J

And though I know that 60 years isn't exactly forever, it can be considered an amazing lifetime!

Congrats on 60 blissful years, Grandma and Grandpa Annala!  All my love~

Love True,
Allison

Saturday, July 20, 2013

75 miles

I did it.  I accomplished my goal.  75 miles in 30 days.  Completed on day 30... 13.5 miles to end my journey.  I don't think I can accurately describe what I felt today as I started my 13 mile run.  Terrified is a good word for it.  But I put one foot in front of the other and started on the longest run of my life thus far.  Yes... I had to walk.  Yes... I had to take breaks.  Yes... I am in pain; But I finished.  I accomplished my goal.  And that is worth more to me than any fear or pain I may have gone through.

I wondered about halfway through this journey, "Why am I running?"  "Am I running away from something?" "Am I running to forget something?"  "Am I running to find something?"

The answer I came up with was, yes... a little bit of all those things were true.

At 26, after yet another failed relationship attempt, and 10 hour days in the gym... I needed something to refocus my attention.

Running was the answer.  If I spent 30-60 minutes a day running... that was 30-60 minutes a day where my mind could wander, where my heart was whole, where I was just me.

I had no one to answer to, no one to fake a smile for, and no one to put above myself when I was running.  It was fantastic.

The first two weeks of my journey were amazing.  I pushed myself farther than I ever thought I could go.  Running 10 miles or more ahead of pace to reach my goal, I felt in control, accomplished and proud.  However, as the weeks rolled by, and real life caught up with me, I realized how hard it is to keep a promise to myself.  Especially when I was trying to keep promises to others.  Slap on a trip to Tennessee and an extreme heat advisory and BAM... we're at day 30 with 13.5 miles left.  Oops.

Today was one of the hardest physical tests I've put myself through in my lifetime.  As a college athlete, I've spent many days wondering if I could actually accomplish the goals I set for myself.  There were days when the pain was so bad that I thought I could never finish the task in front of me.  Today was one of those days.  Having not run in about a week and a half... I struggled severely after about 3.5 miles.  (my normal run)-- I felt an enormous amount of pain in my right calf... that did not go away.   I made it through 10 miles, mixing running with some walking here and there.  I felt like a complete failure when after 2 hours I had not completed my 13 miles.  But, after 24 years of gymnastics, I feel like I know my body pretty well... and I knew it was time for a break.  I got myself some Gatorade and some ice for my calf and took about an hour break.  I then re-dedicated myself to my mission and completed the final 3 miles of my 75 mile challenge.

Words cannot explain how much pride I felt when I finished that last mile.  I am still not sure what I was running from or towards, but I am pretty sure that I will continue running until I figure it out.  Granted... it may not be this week... as I believe I have severely strained a muscle in my right leg (LOL), I will continue to run.  It will always be my "Me time," my time to connect with my inner self, and my time to let all of my inhibitions go free.

I hope everyone has an outlet like this for themselves.  Something that allows them to reach deep within themselves and discover their true self.  A challenge is always a great way to discover what you're made of.  I never would have thought at this time in my life I was capable of accomplishing this feat in one day... "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

Go ahead.  Test your limits.  Believe in yourself, and do great things... for yourself.  

Love True,
Allison

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Angry

Hello Friends!
I hope you are all doing well, and have been finding some time to enjoy yourselves this summer!  I've been busier than ever working, exercising and celebrating various loved ones' birthdays, engagements, weddings, etc.  Trying to keep everything organized this summer has proven to be quite the challenge.  I've had several moments where I selfishly wondered, "What the hell has happened to summer?!"  But 'summer break' no longer has the same meaning as it once did, and as I am well acquainted with the REAL WORLD... I still maintain that childish desire to sleep in and go to the pool.  (I have yet to do either of those things in the face of these 90 degree days we've been having).

Anyway... in an attempt to relax before my life gets even crazier I decided to spend the evening watching incredibly inspirational TV (extreme makeover: weight loss edition and America's Got Talent).  I was moved to tears multiple times this evening and was just about to write an inspirational blog about transformation... (cue plug about my 30 day challenge status)... when I found this.

Public Shaming

Now... no inspirational feelings remain, no self confidence is instilled, and I am just downright MAD.  Who in their right mind gave any of those horrible people the right to say those things.  How would they feel if someone said that about their sister, mother, daughter or friend.  You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!!?!?!?  Someone please tell me that this is a joke! (Albeit, a terrible joke... but nonetheless, I wish it were a joke).  There is nothing righteous about what happened here.  Demeaning an athlete, someone who worked her entire life to accomplish a dream, simply because you wanted a more "aesthetically pleasing" person to win... that's inhumane, it's disgusting, and it's morally wrong.  I honestly cannot put into words how angry I am right now.  She is better than you... than all of you, and not because she won Wimbledon... but because she had the fearlessness to pursue a dream, and she achieved it- it has nothing to do with how beautiful she is, or how much she weighs or how much she eats.  It has everything to do with how hard she worked and her level of character.  I hope she has more self confidence than the people who had the carelessness to tear her down.  Clearly, they all have a little hate in their hearts that stems from something deeper than being fixated on the tennis match in front of them.  And for them... and their weakened hearts... I will say a prayer.  Congratulations, Marion Bertoli... on a Dream come True!

Love True, People...

Allison