Are you ok?

Posted in come back, empowerment, Mom, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 24, 2021 by runmyssierun

I credit my mother with super hero vision powers. She saw me. She could see through my words. She could see through my actions. She saw me when I couldn’t see what was right in front of me and when I was still trying to see who I was inside.

When I was in 6th grade, she got me a Judy Blume diary. She encouraged me to write down my feelings and express myself. It was difficult and took a while to catch on but deep down I knew it helped me.

I come from a family, a region and a culture that is predominantly Hispanic, stereotypically machismo and in my mother’s eyes had clearly hurt her daughter (and I feel had hurt my mother even more harshly). She and I were both raised in a culture where women were submissive, were unworthy of valued opinions, used for sexual entertainment, reproduction and daily maid services. she was a child of the 60’s — where the sexual revolution and women’s rights were promoted. I was a child of the 80’s — where latchkey GenX kids were left by themselves with highly processed foods, pop rocks, lawn jarts, Saturday morning cartoons and MTV because both parents either worked and were never home or were divorced and never home and forced their children to live out of a duffle bag as they jumped from house to house for visitation rights or were forced to live with grandparents until one parent could get their act together. My mother’s super hero 20/20 vision could see the conflicting messages both our generations were served in the world we were both raised in. Teaching me to journal was her way of empowering me with a voice to express my innermost feelings, something I think she may have struggled with herself as a child.

When I was a teenager, I endured chronic sexual trauma – this verbiage was carefully chosen to use, deleted and then reinserted again because I feel the words are both shockingly harsh and yet scientifically sterile and numbing (all feelings that correlate perfectly to the experience). The guilt and shame that came from it was nothing compared to the feelings I had later, after I had the courage to speak up and tell the two most trusted people in my life about it and then get blamed for it. So I locked it up inside of me. My mom saw me. She saw through me. I think deep down inside she knew something was terribly wrong so she arranged for me to speak to a psychiatrist. The term codependent entered my head and never left after that.

I remember a book shoved towards the bottom of our hall closet. It was called “Men who hate women and the women who love them”. My mom read tons of books daily… all of them Harlequin romance novels. So this book stood out even though she tried to hide it. All her other books were on a built in book shelf in her bedroom. But this one was hidden. And told me she struggled in the same ways I did. Did she recognize this in me in my early years? Did she see how I was always trying to impress my parents? Did she see how defeated I was when I never seemed to impress my father? Did she see the hurt in my eyes as I saw how bored, annoyed and agitated he was having to watch my ballet performance or piano recitals? I think she did. I think she recognized her own younger self in me as well. I wish I had remembered this sooner.

Your brain protects you as you try to heal from hurt by blocking certain memories until you’re able to deal with them. I feel stronger now, ten years later and now am remembering more and more. I wake up more often with bad dreams now but vividly remember them and I think this is my head telling my heart that I’m ready to deal. Memories of my mom encouraging me to write it all down and seek help – still in a family and society that keeps secrets – is making me feel like she’s giving me permission to push beyond cultural stigma. The really awesome thing about this is that if I talk about seeking ways to improve my mental health and being ok with it may empower someone else reading this to do the same. Are you ok? Because if you’re not, it’s ok to ask for help to become ok. Sometimes we can’t do it all by ourselves. Having a picture perfect Instagram or a to die for bikini body or fabulously waxed sports car isn’t all that if your mental health is mush. Priorities baby. Are you ok?

I’m Crypt Keeper Old This Week and Never Felt So Young!

Posted in come back, diet, empowerment, health & fitness, rgv, rio grande valley, Uncategorized, weightloss with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2021 by runmyssierun

So who was it that tried to convince me that 50 was old and no longer sexy?

Who decided that grey hair was unattractive and we needed to dye our hair all the time and damage it even more?

What bozo tried to convince us that we need plastic filled faces to eliminate wrinkles so we can hide the years of happiness carved into our eyes and stop us from smiling genuinely?

Who said Boomers can’t do what they used to? Because I’ve become better as each decade has passed.

This week I enter the 51st year of my life… and I’m not hiding it, lying about my age or what I choose to do in it.

You can diet, starve, gorge, exercise, couch potato like a pro, you can knit a pot holder at Burning Man, kick back as many drinks as you want (so long as it’s lactose free), and hold any opinion you want because it’s backed by personal experience so long as you’re a Gen Xer surviving. We are the children of Boomers and hippies. We are the parents of Millennials. If you’re in your 50’s you can do what you want. I’m doing what I want… and I really don’t care what YOU think about it.

I really don’t care if you think I’m fat or slow or weak or old or ugly. I feel pity for you if you don’t recognize my value and just focus on totally unimportant characteristics. I really don’t care if you think my political views are wrong. I voted. End of story. Move on. I’ll turn up the volume to my car stereo and sing melody, harmony and back up vocals to Bohemian Rhapsody. I don’t care because you are not Simon Cowell. I’ve learned that every criticism you have of me tells me soooooo much about you. That’s wisdom right there. I’m liking it but it’s a double edged sword.

I’m pretty happy where I am in my own skin. I am amazed at the sudden wisdom and insight I have now… especially gained over this year. I remember as a kid opening up Cracker Jack boxes hoping I would finally get the ex ray glasses so I could see through things and be prepared for everything hiding out to get me. I now marvel in enlightenment as I can now see right through people… but now see how empty, sad, unfulfilled, envious, ignorant, codependent, narcissistic, materialistic, angry, neglected, rejected and confused they are… and I want to give my glasses back. I’ve been there. I was in each of those phases and didn’t enjoy them one bit. But I made it look good to others and convinced myself that it was a good thing for me to be like that.

But it’s true. With age comes wisdom and when you know better, you do better.

AND HONESTLY I CANNOT WAIT TO GROW YOUNGER NOW. I’m 51. Fifty freaking one!!!!

My baby brother lived to the age of 38. My grandmother and namesake lived to be 45. How incredibly blessed am I to have these days that they were never able to.

I cried when I turned 30 because I thought I was old. I laughed when I turned 50 because I realized my life is just now becoming my own!

I’m crypt keeper old and never felt this young!

How to go on when COVID has stolen all that you love

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 1, 2021 by runmyssierun

A few years ago I endured the loss of three close immediate family members within 12 months. It was a rarity to lose so many loved ones in a short period of time. I found solace and healing in writing this blog, turning to God and running for a cause that would benefit others, strangers I would likely never meet.

2020 brought to us the wrath of COVID and what was once a rarity is now far too common. If you’ve read this far because of the title of this blog, my heart goes out to you. Unfortunately there is no one size fits all band-aid for this kind of pain – but I can share with you what worked for me and help guide you to tomorrow. You are not alone.

It gets better. Trust me.

Fa La La La flop 2020

Posted in training for my first half ironman on November 23, 2020 by runmyssierun

It’s not the same. It never will be. It was never supposed to be. But I don’t think it was meant to be THIS different this year.

https://images.app.goo.gl/aMEpWdzHZvhe14cz7

I’m struggling with holiday season this year. 2020 is a $h!t show. Let’s just call it as it is. I don’t cuss but there really isn’t a better way to describe it. Over the last few years, the deaths of loved ones and the deployment of my son and husband not being here have gotten me used to holidays being… different empty meaningless lackluster and without tradition. I’ve always gone out of my way to convince myself and others to find the silver lining of it all and be grateful. I’ve always been good at that but now in hindsight, I see that I’ve set up my youngest son to expect big ticket items without family sitting on the living room floor, singing Christmas carols by the piano, eating tamales and sipping hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows on top and dressed in our Sunday best for midnight Mass. I feel I’ve failed him. I feel 2020 isn’t going to give me a chance to fix this.

Divorce and death and step-family and quarantine don’t seem to work well as ingredients to a happy festive holiday celebration. And as I look around, I don’t think anyone else has the playbook with the answer guide to what we should do to make it work.

So, here I go… trying to figure it all out.

I’m going to begin a GRATITUDE journal. There’s no room for a pity party in these times. That’s not what days like these are supposed to be. My youngest is 17 and this is likely one of his last Thanksgivings and Christmas’ here at home with me. I need to make it special and can’t do this by myself. I need your help. How are you making it meaningful for you and yours?

Lessons runners learn when they can’t run

Posted in training for my first half ironman on October 29, 2020 by runmyssierun

2020 sure has screwed up a lot of plans for us huh? 2020 is the year I turn 50 and for the last 8 years I was telling myself that I’d do a full Ironman when I turned 50. Little Miss Rona laughed at me and said “hold my beer”… *poof*

What do you do when the world is smack dab in the middle of a pandemic, am confined to my home for quarantine and the big Five-Oh rolls around? Nothing. That’s what. All races canceled. And who’s there to help you? Carbs. Yes, carbs…. y’all, I’ve become a flabalanche of regrets!!! And now I must pay the price for my bad judgement. 😩

Ohhhhh but it’s not all bad. I’ve become more aware of my bad habits. I’ve learned how my body reacts to stress. I’ve learned there’s ALWAYS a way to get to your goal, it just may not be the way you originally planned it to be or at the time you wanted it at. I’ve grown my respect for those who have the tenacity to endure. I’ve learned there’s more like me out here in the world that struggle in all the ways I do and in even more ways than I could ever understand. We fall and we get up again.

But getting up again at 50 is sooooo much harder than getting up at 40!!! Thank goodness I still have my sense of humor and have allowed myself grace.

Remembering my daily workouts helped me with my business and my spiritual and mental health. Just like doing your sprints, fartleks and long runs on different days of the week for months, you must put in your trainings and workouts for work and emotional well being. I learned to time block and schedule activities for my business just as if I was training for a marathon. On one day I would dedicate a certain number of hours to focus on computer inputs, the filing, the processing, the customer communication, the continuing education, etc. On another, I would focus on showings, listings or marketing my properties. For those “long run” days, I’d fit in as much as I could watching pace and form correcting as much as I could about myself so I could do more and better the next time. And I scheduled rest day, too. Marathoning taught me how to be a better entrepreneur and my life, my clients, my bank account and my family have welcomed the benefits of it.

Same pattern of behavior went towards my spiritual and emotional practices. All my friends, family, clients and fellow Realtors know that at 7:00 EVERY day, I am praying. At first I hesitated telling anyone that I was unavailable for them because of prayer but I have yet to get a response that lacked support and understanding. In fact, many of them have asked that I keep them in prayer for a special intention.

Unfortunately, the lack of training and the sudden splurge in excess carbohydrates have reeked havoc on my booty and belly and endurance. I knew what I had to do. Quarantine opened my eyes to a lot of things I took for granted and things I needed to prioritize. My health and family got immediately pushed up and I had to make changes ASAP. I began remodeling my home to accommodate these changes.

I terminated and removed ALL excess expenditures including my family’s multiple gym memberships. I used those savings and bought used equipment and converted one bedroom into my home gym. And y’all know me by now… When I decide to do something, I go 110%. It has EVERYTHING so there’s no excuses.

My home gym on a budget

I make time for peace now just like I do my workouts. Go outside, escape from the news, stress, people, disconnect from social media. I have become so close to nature now that I’ve been called Snow White by my friends. I’m even applying for a permit to officially be able to rehabilitate birds. And this is probably one of the most surprising things I’ve learned over this short period of non-running time…

These are the 33 baby birds rescued after Hurricane Hanna blew through

I’ve rescued and released about 50 birds to date but one stands out. I named him Nemo because he has a gimpy wing. A kind stranger dropped him off at my home after he was attacked by a dog. Half of his right wing was bitten off and all of his tail was gone. But his will to live was something to marvel at. As each day passed, he grew stronger and calmer around me. His feathers are growing back and he looks at that perch 6 inches above him the same way I look at the finish line from mile 22. So close! So close yet so far away!!! When I first received him, I didn’t think he would fly again much less live the next day. Today, one month later, I think he’s on his way to prove me wrong. And I hope he does!!!

I hesitate on saying I’ll never run competitively again. Nemo reminded me that the word never is just as useless in my vocabulary as impossible. I do have another goal though. Few know about it… but just like the perching bar six inches above Nemo, I’m staring right at it and once I make the decision to do something…..

The independent scared heart

Posted in training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2020 by runmyssierun

The inability to receive support from others is a trauma response.

Your “I don’t need anyone, I’ll just do it all myself” conditioning is a survival tactic. You needed it to shield your tender heart from abuse, neglect, betrayal, and disappointment from those who could not or would not be there for you.

From the parent who was absent by choice or by the circumstance of working three jobs to feed and house you.

From the lovers who offered sexual intimacy but didn’t offer a safe haven that honored your heart.

From the friendships that always took more than they gave.

From all the situations when someone told you “we’re in this together” then abandoned you, leaving you to pick up the pieces when isht got real, leaving you to handle your part and their part, too.

From the lies. The betrayals.

You learned along the way that you just couldn’t really trust people. Or that you could trust people, but only up to a certain point.

Ultra-independence is a trust issue.

You learned: if I don’t put myself in a situation where I rely on someone, I won’t have to be disappointed when they don’t show up for me, or when they drop the ball… because they will always drop the ball sooner or later, right?

You may even have been intentionally taught this protection strategy by generations of hurt women who came before you. #generationaltrauma #ancestraltrauma

Ultra-independence is a preemptive strike against heartbreak.

So, you don’t trust anyone.

And you don’t trust yourself, either, to choose people.

To trust is to hope, to trust is vulnerability.

“Never again,” you vowed.

But no matter how you dress it up and display it proudly to make it seem like this level of independence is what you always wanted to be, in truth it’s your wounded, scarred, broken heart behind a protective brick wall.

Impenetrable. Nothing gets in. No hurt gets in. But no love gets in either.

Fortresses and armor are for those in battle, or who believe the battle is coming.

It’s trauma response.

The good news is trauma that is acknowledged is trauma that can be healed.

You are worthy of having support.
You are worthy of having true partnership.
You are worthy of love.
You are worthy of having your heart held.
You are worthy to be adored.
You are worthy to be cherished.

You are worthy to have someone say, “You rest. I got this.” And actually deliver on that promise.

You are worthy to receive.
You are worthy to receive.
You are worthy to receive.
You are worthy.
Worthy, sis.
You are worthy.

You don’t have to earn it.
You don’t have to prove it.
You don’t have to bargain for it.
You don’t have to beg for it.

You are worthy.
Worthy.

Simply because you exist.

I love you.

.
Credit: Original image by Rising Woman, reposted from The Womb Sauna. Commentary by moi, Jamila White (FB: @inspiredjamila, IG: @inspired.jamila)

These are a few of my favorite things

Posted in training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2019 by runmyssierun

barajas family thanksgiving

I love that one of my most vivid memories about Christmas as a child is an old plastic ball of fake mistletoe hanging from the hallway entry of my childhood home and seeing my parents kiss under it every single time they passed underneath. Now as an adult, my husband does the same maybe not EVERY time we pass underneath it but for sure that first night when I decorate our house and to pass that memory on to my children makes my heart smile.

I love that Christmas carols get played the day after Halloween. Yes, I’m that girl.

I love that I came from a small, close knit family that always spent holidays together. I don’t remember much of my father’s side of the family during holidays after my grandfather remarried and what I do remember, quite honestly, I don’t want to repeat as a memory for my children to be burdened with so I focus on the good parts of our family for them. I hope that the cycle of dysfunction diminishes as much as it can in my generation. I realize now that I cannot change the past but I can help change the future. I love that my children see this in me and my actions.  I also love that my mother always wanted a large family but was unable to. Because of that, she welcomed, and taught me to eagerly welcome all friends into our humble homes as family when they needed a stable, loving family to go to.

I love receiving Christmas cards… I’m talking the old fashioned hand written card with home made cookies attached in a holiday themed tin can or red ribboned baggie and hand delivered kind of cards.  These cards come with big old hugs from the giver and a story of what has happened since we last saw each other that can last for about an hour.

 

I love the smell of Christmas. Pine trees and cinnamon and orange and apple and clove… lots and lots of clove and tons of food in the oven! A hodgepodge of scrumptious scents swirled together with laughter and love and the sound of classic carols softly playing in the background (my favorite is the Christmas Song), laughing, glasses clinking and thick fuzzy warm blankets wrapped around everyone on couches in the living room with the fire crackling in the fire place as we sip coffee and nibble on tortillas rolled up with cajeta and/or chicken and cheese or pork tamales with ketchup on top.

I love crisp winter-ish mornings with a fresh brewed cup of coffee and by cup I really mean the entire pot! Y’all know I’m not exaggerating on this one. Sitting in the back porch as the sun rises and the birds sing and squirrels greet me for their daily seeds in over-sized pajamas, fuzzy toe socks and furry blankets is the bomb!!! I used to always rush rush rush and be late anywhere and everywhere. Taking the time to ENJOY and cherish the little things that create joy around us had been forgotten… until now.

I love that I now prioritize praying the Divine Mercy in the morning and realizing that 18 minutes a day praying for someone else comes back to me 24/7.

I love that we can use only the light of the Christmas tree and candles for a month.

I love that the winter cold gives us the excuse to hug each other and it’s ok.

I love that our winter really isn’t winter at all but more of a warm Autumn so we get occasional cool fronts and don’t have to shovel snow in the mornings before school or work. I love that we’re an hour and twenty minutes away from the beach and can still enjoy it on Christmas day.

I love that my greatest most cherished gifts don’t have designer labels, or price tags, or gift receipts, or wrapping paper. I love that I am not impressed with stuff but by experiences and time with those whom I cherish most.

I love that even though I have reached the entry level of family matriarch-ness and the family that I once knew is no longer the way I remember it, I still have photos and video to share with future generations of the life we used to have. I know that although my children may not cherish them immediately, when they reach my age or their children or grandchildren may have questions and be curious about their family history. I know I have a responsibility to tell my family’s story as accurately and as fully as possible because it is a great one. Digitizing and scanning for duplication (so that the originals stay in as pristine condition as possible) for them is one of my greatest gifts to them as it was receiving them from my grandparents and mother who took incredible care of them for me.

I love that my boys and I can spend all day playing board games or any variation of Mario games and be totally content.

IMG_5517

I love that by realizing all this… I get to sleep in on Black Friday and have no issue with it one single bit. Y’all go right ahead and fight over that 10% discount of that thing you’re getting yourself in debt for trying to impress that person you don’t really care that much about and quite honestly wouldn’t lift a finger getting you out of the debt your got yourself into.  I seriously have to shake my head at those who spend the night in tents trying to be the first in line when they open the doors. Y’all go right ahead. 20 years from now, will that gift be heirloomed to your grandchildren?

 

 

Forever Cinderella now

Posted in training for my first half ironman on November 17, 2019 by runmyssierun

Turn the page

Posted in training for my first half ironman on November 12, 2019 by runmyssierun

I was asked why I haven’t updated my blog in a while…

And then I wondered how to tell them that this part was none of their business… in a nice way, of course.

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

The Journey to Healing

Posted in cancer, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2019 by runmyssierun

IMG_3603Eight years ago yesterday, I began my journey healing from the after effects of cancer by running and strengthening my relationship with God. Many have followed my candid documentary of it through my blog (www.runmyssierun.com), social media posts and/or joined me on the jogging trail or in the church at mass, Catholic Daughters, or ACTs. I remember someone telling me when Donny died that time heals. They said it again six months later when Sissy died. And again six months after that when Momma died. Although I understand, appreciate and am grateful for them trying to console me but I’m still not sure it’s TIME that has helped heal me. What I do know is that what helped ME was a phenomenal group of genuine, loving people who care surrounded me and encouraged me to find healthy outlets for my emotions. I took up running to heal my body (not to become a professional athlete – I have to make that clear for a certain group of people who follow). I felt it was better to take out my anger on the pavement than on the loved ones closest to me. I sought out the light of God in all that I did and if I did not see Him there, I dropped it from my life. By doing both, my eyes and heart were exposed to things I had not seen before: how cancer affects so many of us, too many of us, how God is there always and too many times it’s us that are not, and when you go through things that you don’t understand and are truly horrific, its because He is having you connect the dots, become stronger and wiser so that when they ARE connected, you KNOW and BLAM! – it hits you and it all makes sense. Eight years of this and the dots are finally connecting for me. I’ve met so many wonderful people, learned so much about cancer, how far science and medicine has come, how many gaps are still left to bridge and how possible we can make the impossible happen if we all work together for a greater cause. Thank you Lord for the hardships that you carried me through, thank you Momma for the prayers you devoted to me, thank you Sissy for saving my life with your last wish, thank you to my running coaches, mentors, teams, sponsors and fellow runners who encouraged me to not quit and push harder, thank you to my family, my sons and my husband for supporting me through those heart shattering moments that lasted years and in some ways still continue, thank you to my sisters in Christ who continuously pray for me and everyone who has been and will be touched by cancer, thank you to my fellow Realtors® who have now stepped up and in to this next phase of mine, just as my Momma did – still not ready to fill her shoes but certainly am ready to follow the footsteps she proudly trekked.

So with that, a few weeks ago, a fellow Realtor and cycling amigo rounded up a few of us who run and ride and a challenge was set forth: we were all to run 1000 mile (collectively) during the month of October and some of the businesses that we work with in the industry would match $1 per mile that we run and donate the money to the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer & Hematology Clinic. We created a facebook group and a Strava group to encourage/motivate each other and log our miles together. As of today, 4 days into October, we already have approximately 350 miles in to our goal! As Realtors®, we stereo typically lead very unhealthy, high stress lives. Most of us spend too much time in our cars driving rather than walking, running or cycling. We eat whatever is convenient and cheap so highly processed, high calorie fast food is the norm or skipping meals and binge eating/drinking late in the day is common. It didn’t take long for our little group to explode and offer hope and encouragement to our other members. We have 5ks on our calendar every weekend in October. Tomorrow’s Chacha Run in Edinburg will be our first.

But I had a dilemma. All these years, I was known for running in ORANGE because it was my Momma’s favorite color. The Chacha run and most October Breast Cancer awareness runs use the color PINK to signify and bring awareness to the issue. Long story short – I have nothing in pink to run in and wear tomorrow.

TODAY one of my best friends surprised me with THIS and all I could give her back were a flood of happy tears and big bear hugs. She took the time, effort and creativity to design and create this and have it made custom for me in time for this race tomorrow. ISN’T SHE AWESOME!?!?!? I know I am blessed not because I’m feeling all high and mighty but just the opposite – I’m humbled and unworthy of all the greatness bestowed upon me. I am blessed because through all of this loss, hardship, heartbreak, family destruction and cracks in the foundation of what I thought was me was God’s light shining through and connecting these dots, these moments, experiences and strangers who quickly became solid life long best friends is the healing. Thank you Irene Becerra Thompson and every one at Pescador Fishing Apparel! Y’all caught me by surprise today and love you all so much for it! I will proudly wear pink tomorrow for #mimismiles and to those who run beside me, I hope you feel the breeze from the wings of the angels around me. I hope that in the steps we all take tomorrow, today, this month, we are able to make a difference in the lives of the children fighting cancer in our community. My heart is smiling today!!!

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