Archive for April, 2015

“You suck!” and other constructive criticism that is always offered

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2015 by runmyssierun

FIRST OFF, I WANT TO APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE THAT I HAVE EVER HURT IN MY LIFE INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY. People change and have a bad habit of not telling each other that we’ve changed. I am not perfect and I know I’ve hurt some people before. I do try very hard not to but I am human and mess up from time to time. So, if I’ve hurt you and apologized for it, know that I am genuine. If I’ve hurt you and didn’t realize I did, I am so very sorry. If I apologized, and you never forgave me… I’m still sorry. No need to come back into my life if you feel it is unnecessary/uncomfortable. Maybe God meant for us to go different directions.

This entry is rather long and has been in draft mode since about the middle of 2014… I took a lot of time with this one. It has little to do with ridding the world of cancer or how to run a marathon or train for a triathlon… but it has the most critical ingredient for doing everything in your life to the best of your ability.


I remember Momma telling me that she was grateful for some of the things that cancer made her aware of. She said it taught her what was really important in life. It taught her how to say “NO” to the things that were not priority. It taught her about faith, family and friends. It taught her about the importance of forgiveness.

Not too long ago, I did a little experiment in forgiveness. Remembering her words, I asked for forgiveness from those whom I thought I had wronged for one reason or another. I’ll be honest, many of the times, I had no clue what it was that I did that made them hate me so much but I thought it was the right thing to do in this journey of mine in order to continue forward.

The responses from them were shocking but I had prepared myself for anything so I knew whatever it was that came back to me, I would take to heart and use it to make myself better. Just like in pageants, I went into it knowing I was giving these people the opportunity to judge me and hoping that I could use their feedback to make me a better person.

I straight up asked for forgiveness for anything that I had done wrong to them and asked them to tell me what it was that I did so that I could correct it.  Weird thing was that… NOT ONE of them said I had done anything wrong to them. They said they just didn’t like me any more. They liked me when I was sad and when things in my life were falling apart but once I found happiness and conquered my struggles, they no longer saw a reason to befriend me.

I was listening to satellite radio not too long ago… it was the morning mash up on Sirius with Taylor Swift. What she said was brilliant about the masses criticizing her. They had asked her if she took all the criticism that was given to her seriously. Taylor responded in the exact same way that  I did. If the criticism came from someone credible with valuable critiques, she did her best to make those suggested changes. However she noticed that some of the criticizers said things mostly because they saw something in her that scared them, intimidated them or came from an angry foundation within that person.

Swift knows that she can’t please everyone, no matter how many records she sells or awards she wins.

“When you do what I do, which is you put yourself out there for a lot of people to say whatever they want, there’s a million different opinions,” she told E! News. “I get that, no matter what, you’re going to be criticized for something.”

But, according to Swift, there’s a difference between criticism and hate.

“But I also get that there are different kinds of ways to criticize someone. There’s constructive criticism, there’s professional criticism — and then there’s just being mean” she said. “And there’s a line that you cross when you just start to attack everything about a person.”

Very true, Taylor!

As I searched on for ways to deal with this type of behavior, I kept finding that silence is the best way to handle it. “You can’t change people who don’t think what they’re doing is wrong,” I was told.

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People don’t come with warning labels tattooed on their foreheads that tell you they are currently struggling with anger issues, or are in their manic stage of being bipolar or are in the deep ruins of depression, addiction or… whatever it is that they are dealing with. Humans are strange beings and complicated. We have a tendency to think that all other beings think the way we do individually and many times – most of the time – it really isn’t the case.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that people who have even the slightest bit of a chemical imbalance or mental instability can be easily knocked into a place of anxiety, irritability, anger and other mood swings simply by taking wrong dosages of prescribed drugs, self medicating, too much pre-workout shakes or coffee. I happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when someone who was tackling this problem went through their swing.

Although it hurt tremendously when I was a recipient of the anger outlash, I also know that their actions came from a deep place that I was never a part of and I simply unintentionally ignited a trigger for them to react the way they did. They will never apologize to me because in their mind, they think they have done nothing wrong or behaved inappropriately. Examining my own behavior, I try to ask/answer to myself if I was in a state of unhealthy emotion and maybe taken their behavior to a completely exaggerated level because I was sad, agitated, sleepy, exhausted, etc. and this could be something that was all concocted in my head. Saying hateful things to another when in a state of anger is no excuse but realizing that when at least one of the parties involved was a little bit off that day, it makes it easier for me to deal with and forgive… and offer even more friendship.

I get hate mail occasionally and can now take a step back and recognize that the people who are saying these things – the really bad things (granted some of my haters have reason to dislike me and I respect that) have had quite a bit of history with their temper and saying some pretty nasty things without apology.

So when I saw a friend of mine torn to shreds by cyber bullies, I picked her up with some pretty vicious quotes that were offered to me as to give her some perspective on how cyber bullies work. I think she appreciated it and giggled when I told her, “My haters are the coolest haters in the world! We must have yours meet up with mine so they can have coffee and discuss further.”

I also mentioned that my haters had a habit of “unfriending” me on facebook but follow me on other social media…

*now, I don’t talk about my day job here – I’m an interwebby nerd aka Social Media Manager, a PR and Marketing manager that specializes in internet technology – so I can see a lot of stuff that most cannot on the net on a regular day to day basis. It’s my job to do so.

So I can see that they view all the stuff I post on other sites. I am pretty active on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. and this blog. If you’re a follower or friend, It’s pretty easy to see what I’m doing, how I’m feeling, how my training is coming along, etc. because I’m pretty candid.  But there are also certain sites that I use for my work clients in addition to my personal stuff  (i.e. for their visual graphics, quotes, gifs and other cool stuff that I repost on client sites).

I shared with my beat up cyberbullied friend that when my haters become unmanageable, I will jump onto pinterest or another frequented site and start posting about Jeffery Dahmer. They seem to settle down after that and keep a distance. Heh! Wouldn’t you??? (Ok, that’s a joke and I really don’t do that – but am guilty of posting some pretty funny tongue in cheek stuff that they would understand and get them embarrassed enough to stop their gossiping)

My point being is that if you know someone is being unreasonable and going over the line with gossip about you, it’s ok for you to feel hurt but don’t let it keep you down. Some people are mean. That’s it. They’re just plain ol’ mean. Some people are mean all the time. Some people are mean when they’re triggered by certain memories, certain foods, certain chemicals… but most of the time, their meanness has nothing to do with the person they take it out on.

If you find yourself being a target of people like this, please know that their behavior is rarely because of you as a person. But take care of yourself, shelter yourself and your emotions and don’t let their hate make you like them.

It was then that I saw Cassey Ho stand up for herself against the hate remarks. She wasn’t silent and she did it in an awesome way!!!

That’s when I knew I had to do the same… not just for me but for anyone else who has been told

YOU SUCK

You’re too fat to run a marathon

You’re too slow

Why do you even bother to run a marathon if you can’t finish in “x” hours?

You aren’t embarrassed when people see you like that in spandex? I would be!

Honey, you need to do more squats.

You should work on your core more.

Don’t you think you’re too old for this?

If you collected all the money you spent on races and triathlons, you could have paid a plastic surgeon to do a hell of a better job on you.

You’re just in a midlife crisis looking for attention.

After all those races that you do, you should be in better shape.

and then there’s the gossip said behind my back…

She’s so fake

She lies about her pace time

(and then there’s the gossip too mean to even post here… because I’d hate for my children to find out about that and shame on those gossipers who never thought about that or worse… don’t really care about how their words affect people other than just me)

When people say things like this about my body and me – personally, it hurts me. And honestly, I think they intend to do that. But what takes me over the edge completely is when they talk about the reason I do this.

One of THE most hurtful hate mails I have ever received. It was hurtful because she made me feel like all I've done, all that my teammates have done, all that the survivors that have been by my side all along, doesn't matter. And worse, that they don't care to get better.

One of THE most hurtful hate mails I have ever received. It was hurtful because she made me feel like all I’ve done, all that my teammates have done, all that the survivors that have been by my side all along, doesn’t matter. And worse, that they don’t care to get better.

Making a mockery of the money that I have raised, the events I’ve participated in, the organizations I’ve supported is low enough… but saying that these people “don’t really want to fight cancer” is preposterous.

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My TNT Super Heros!!! Christa Emig and Eric Cooper (*I tweeted this pic to MK who I later sneaked up on the next day)

My TNT Super Heros!!! Christa Emig and Eric Cooper (*I tweeted this pic to MK who I later sneaked up on the next day)

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David Mendez, 52, beloved son, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend entered into eternal rest on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at his residence in Arroyo City, Texas, surrounded by his loving family after a valiant battle against lymphoma.  A native and lifetime resident of Brownsville, David was well-known not only in Brownsville but across the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Texas due to his talents as an architect. David was a partner with Gomez, Mendez, and Saenz, a distinguished architectural firm known throughout the Valley and State. David’s name can be found all across the Valley and State on the countless schools and buildings that he worked on. David was proud to have served as the President of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. David’s accomplishments and community involvement are too numerous to mention as he was quite active not only in Brownsville but throughout Cameron County serving on different boards. In his spare time, David was an avid outdoorsman whose passion was fishing, which is why he drove in from Arroyo City where he lived every day. That passion for fishing, led him to establish the Hooked for Life Kids Gone Fishing Foundation several years ago. David strongly believed in the proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  David was deeply loved and will be profoundly missed not only by his family and friends but by all those who were fortunate to have known him. David was preceded in death by his loving mother, Esperanza Hinojosa Mendez; a brother, Roberto Mendez, Jr.; and a nephew, Nicolas “Nico” Benavides. Left behind to eternally treasure their memories of him is his father, Roberto C. Mendez; the daughters that were his pride and joy, Erica (Jamie Figueroa) Mendez and Ashley (Andres Guerrero) Mendez; the granddaughter that was the apple of his eye, Natalie Hope Guerrero; his sisters and brother, Margie (Felipe) Beltran, Yvette (Juan) Rey, Monica (Rudy) Buitureira, Cesar (Nancy) Mendez, and Yolanda (Rafael) Leal. David will also be missed by his nieces and nephews, Bobby Beltran, Miguel Rey, Rico (Amy) Benavidez, Vanessa Beltran, Monique Rey, Alejandra Mendez, Brianna Buitureira, Carolina Mendez, Bianca Buitureira, and Cesar Daniel Mendez; two great-nephews, Brandon Rico and Bradley Benavidez; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members.  Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. today, Wednesday, January 22, 2014, and continue through 4:00 p.m. Visitation will resume at 5:00 p.m. and continue through 9:00 p.m. with the recitation of the holy rosary scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 555 West St. Francis St., Brownsville. The Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at St. Joseph’s. All services will conclude after the Mass and in accordance with David’s wishes, cremation will follow. David’s favorite color was yellow. The family respectfully requests that you wear something in any shade of yellow to the services.  Rene Capistran, Rudy Gomez, Joey Lopez, Dr. Ruben M. Torres Jr., M.D., Joe Touchet, and Manny Vasquez are honored to be serving as David’s pallbearers. David’s brother, Cesar; his brothers-in-law, Felipe, Juan, and Rudy along with Roan Gomez, Isaac Ochoa, Rolando Borrayo, Johnny Rodriguez, Dr. Nolan Perez, Manny Vela, and the Hooked for Life Executive and Advisory Boards will serve as honorary pallbearers.  In lieu of flowers and in keeping with David’s passion for fishing, memorial gifts in David’s name may be made to the foundation he started: Hooked for Life, 1800 E. Van Buren Street, Brownsville, Texas 78520.

David Mendez, 52, beloved son, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend entered into eternal rest on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at his residence in Arroyo City, Texas, surrounded by his loving family after a valiant battle against lymphoma.
A native and lifetime resident of Brownsville, David was well-known not only in Brownsville but across the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Texas due to his talents as an architect. David was a partner with Gomez, Mendez, and Saenz, a distinguished architectural firm known throughout the Valley and State. David’s name can be found all across the Valley and State on the countless schools and buildings that he worked on. David was proud to have served as the President of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
David’s accomplishments and community involvement are too numerous to mention as he was quite active not only in Brownsville but throughout Cameron County serving on different boards. In his spare time, David was an avid outdoorsman whose passion was fishing, which is why he drove in from Arroyo City where he lived every day. That passion for fishing, led him to establish the Hooked for Life Kids Gone Fishing Foundation several years ago. David strongly believed in the proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
David was deeply loved and will be profoundly missed not only by his family and friends but by all those who were fortunate to have known him.
David was preceded in death by his loving mother, Esperanza Hinojosa Mendez; a brother, Roberto Mendez, Jr.; and a nephew, Nicolas “Nico” Benavides.
Left behind to eternally treasure their memories of him is his father, Roberto C. Mendez; the daughters that were his pride and joy, Erica (Jamie Figueroa) Mendez and Ashley (Andres Guerrero) Mendez; the granddaughter that was the apple of his eye, Natalie Hope Guerrero; his sisters and brother, Margie (Felipe) Beltran, Yvette (Juan) Rey, Monica (Rudy) Buitureira, Cesar (Nancy) Mendez, and Yolanda (Rafael) Leal. David will also be missed by his nieces and nephews, Bobby Beltran, Miguel Rey, Rico (Amy) Benavidez, Vanessa Beltran, Monique Rey, Alejandra Mendez, Brianna Buitureira, Carolina Mendez, Bianca Buitureira, and Cesar Daniel Mendez; two great-nephews, Brandon Rico and Bradley Benavidez; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members.
Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. today, Wednesday, January 22, 2014, and continue through 4:00 p.m. Visitation will resume at 5:00 p.m. and continue through 9:00 p.m. with the recitation of the holy rosary scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 555 West St. Francis St., Brownsville. The Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at St. Joseph’s. All services will conclude after the Mass and in accordance with David’s wishes, cremation will follow. David’s favorite color was yellow. The family respectfully requests that you wear something in any shade of yellow to the services.
Rene Capistran, Rudy Gomez, Joey Lopez, Dr. Ruben M. Torres Jr., M.D., Joe Touchet, and Manny Vasquez are honored to be serving as David’s pallbearers. David’s brother, Cesar; his brothers-in-law, Felipe, Juan, and Rudy along with Roan Gomez, Isaac Ochoa, Rolando Borrayo, Johnny Rodriguez, Dr. Nolan Perez, Manny Vela, and the Hooked for Life Executive and Advisory Boards will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers and in keeping with David’s passion for fishing, memorial gifts in David’s name may be made to the foundation he started: Hooked for Life, 1800 E. Van Buren Street, Brownsville, Texas 78520.

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Sissy

Sissy

Yes, that hurts. I’ve gotten to know each of these and many many, too many others who are also “fighting cancer” and I can tell you from the deepest part of my heart… they aren’t faking it. They’re fighting it … or they fought it with all they had.

After asking these people who hurt me, why they did the things they did… one REALLY surprised me saying that if I’m willing to put myself out there, I’m automatically giving the public permission to judge me. (*in a way, I get this, but what I don’t get is the next thing she said) She considered herself a really good friend of mine because by telling me that she and a few others had been talking behind my back and  mocking me, that I should not let it bother me because eventually it would make me a better person.

What the…???? Ya, now you see.

So when this same group of people continue to speak non-sense of me with ill intent and others come to me to let me know, I have a hard time saying in a nice way that some of these people are a bit off their rocker. I am better able to cope with gossipers, haters, bullies and word vomit from the peanut gallery. But it still hurts.

I enter as many events that I possibly can. Yes, there have been a lot of them. More than most people do for a cause. I do events and fundraise/participate in global, national, state, regional, community, local organizations and non-profits and individual fundraisers for friends of mine or family members/friends of friends.

I do this because I want to help with the things that my mother identified gaps in: helping local people who have a need and are coping with cancer, helping the caretakers of those people, making sure that everyone has access to affordable treatment, finding a cure and finding the cause.

I help local AND national/worldwide funds because, lets face it… there are no medical or science labs that are located in the Valley that can find the cure or find the cause.

The majority of my participation in events has been with LLS because it was Sissy’s last request for me to run for her. She had a blood cancer, the type of cancer that LLS specializes in. I’ve also participated and helped with many, many others.

Now, I know what I’ve done and why I do this. Clearly, this bully didn’t and she has her own perception of me. I was told a long time ago to just not defend myself or try to reason with her because

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So now, today, I am in awe of the way that Cassey Ho gracefully made her point. She changed herself to fit what the haters wanted but then SHE wasn’t happy inside. If I change myself to become what my haters tell me to become like, then I won’t be fulfilling the promise that I made in the first place. And we all know, it won’t make them happy. They’ll just find something else or someone else to be complaining about. Happy people just don’t say things like this at all.

Oh… and P.S. I don’t post and blog for attention. I’m in MARKETING, PR AND ADVERTISING. This is my field of occupation. I know better than to think I’ll get my story heard by those who need it if I just keep my head down and mouth shut. I’m not spilling my guts about my races to brag or compete against YOU. It’s to share my experiences so that I keep it from eating me up inside, start the conversation so that we all learn together from each other, grow as a healthy population towards a world without cancer.

Oh.. and another P.S. the next time that girl with acrylic nails, frosted highlights and three feet of mac lip stick and a maxed out credit card filled with botox tells you that I’m “fake”, just smile at her and remember the picture posted above.

Ok… the last P.S…. don’t let the haters get the best of you either. Ok? You’re better than that.

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Penny Saved

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2015 by runmyssierun

Stories of inspiration.

I’m not a basketball fan… but now I’ve become a huge Penny Hardaway fan.

Sadly Desmond Merriweather passed away last February. May his soul find peace and his legacy live on.

Good job Penny & Dez

*Thanks to my RGV Colonoscopy Assistance Program fellow Board member, Alex Farias, for sharing this story. I would have never known.

The Shape of my Heart – Valvular Heart disease and April’s Heartaches

Posted in Running with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2015 by runmyssierun

This April, like the many Aprils before this, has been notoriously and expectedly damaging to my heart. I don’t know why so many bad things happen to me in April but it does. However, because I am now aware of April’s intentions, I find myself more prepared to deal with it so that I can shelter my heart from more damage. Well… at least I’d like to think that I protect my heart. Sometimes there’s just no way to shield yourself from the pain that hurts your heart.

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April is the time of year when seasons change and Spring arrives. It is a new beginning.

April 8th was the day that we lost my mother to cancer.

April 11th was the day that we lost my brother.

April 17th was the day that Eddie Arguelles was hit and killed on his bicycle by an intoxicated driver.

April was when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred. I could go on and on about death and heartache… but here’s the truth about April. It’s when bad things happen that the opportunity to make good things happen from them arise. Events like this can either make you or break you. It’s your choice.

Now, don’t get me wrong, misunderstand my words or try to turn this whole thing around. The pain of the loss from all these mentioned above is still agonizing. I don’t want you to think that it’s all ok now. Because it’s not. I doubt it ever will be ok. That pain will always be there.

However, watching the way Monette gracefully and eloquently handled the one year anniversary of the loss of her husband, Eddie Arguelles, was so inspirational and uplifting. I have so much yet to learn!!! My mother died on Easter Sunday and I haven’t been able to keep a dry eye even thinking about an Easter Egg hunt. This woman bravely goes out on a celebratory 5am morning bike ride along the route that took her husbands life. She was able to hold her head up high and celebrate his life in the way that he loved to spend his life doing… cycling. It’s times like this that make me question my strength and courage and validate to myself that I still have so much more to do, to grow, to achieve.

It was an emotional day as the UTPA family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of Eduardo “Eddie” Arguelles. This picture montage video was created in loving memory of Eddie. He will truly be missed by all whose lives he touched and everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him.

Posted by UTPA – Division of Information Technology on Friday, April 25, 2014

Considering all that was happening, it was understandable that there was a lot of emotional drama that not only I had to live with but many of my other family members and friends dealt with as well. Too many of these issues interfered with my training and state of mind. For now and until some of these personal matters become better managed, I am stepping down and out of all of the events I had prepared to do. There is no way that I can properly train for the big events I had hoped for. I’m not quitting… I just know better than to risk my body and health for the ego of the finish line. My time will come. I’ll see the sign when it’s ready.

It has been hard to train on my own. I am not the self-motivating type… in fact, I’m pretty self-defeating. I’ve written several times about the mean voice in my head… she’s actually worse in person. I’ve had to edit much of the language here in the blog that she actually says to me. and quite honestly, just between me and you… I think she really needs a life. 😉

I am very much a goal oriented person. I see a finish line and I work myself towards it. But in this case, today, there is no more finish line. The ironman I was looking forward to is no longer there. I won’t be attending CapTexTri for family reasons. And it’s just too late to sign up for other races without proper training… so I’m basically just going through the motions.

But isn’t that the goal?

Tada!!! Helllloooooooo!!!

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sigh So, I’m having a hard time dealing with not going for that gold star on my head, not having accomplished something and putting a check mark by it to note that it’s done. What I’m working at is never ending… and I’m having a hard time adjusting my thought process around it for proper motivation. This is my struggle today.

I need to find it in my heart. Last thing I want to do is quit on myself after all this hard work has been done, with or without the support I’ve had thus far.

So in my search for motivation, I figured I needed to start with my heart. If I can’t find motivation in my heart.. then were else would it be??? Coincidentally, a symposium was being held by my running guru and a group of cardiologists that are experienced marathon runners. There it is!!! Answers to my heart 🙂

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I attended the meeting, late of course, and stood in the back of the room listening in awe to those doctors who ran the courses all over the world that filled my bucket list. They gave advice that, for the most part, I had already been following.

Dr. Paul Manoharan and me as he gave me my  cardiology exam results. Yes, that IS his happy face :)

Dr. Paul Manoharan and me as he gave me my cardiology exam results. Yes, that IS his happy face 🙂

Prior to taking my initial first steps towards my marathon journey, I went to Dr. Manoharan – my cardiologist who also worked with my baby brother, Donny Cardenas, and knew better than most other doctors about my family history and my personality when it came to accomplishing a goal. After several exams, stress tests and even went so far as to offer me the option to choose the dye that my brother sold to him (my brother was his pharma rep for this product), he discovered that my heart had a malformed valve.

My grandmother and grandfather on my father’s side both died of heart disease. My grandmother had this same heart defect. My father and my brother have/had heart disease. My brother died of it. My father is living with it.

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Dr. Manoharan carefully went over all the pros and cons of this genetic oddity with me and after all the discussion, we decided that I would continue cautiously while he monitored me closely and often. After the first year of running, he removed the cholesterol medication I was on. After the second year, he was sarcastic (his normal self – whew! – that’s a good sign) and I think pretty stunned that I stuck with it and kept improving. Now into my third year, I’m curious as to what his numbers show.

So… long story longer… and getting to my point: Your body doesn’t have to be perfect to do amazing things. You can have things wrong with your body and still do some pretty neat things you thought you never could. I did. However, you do have to be brave enough to ask the right questions and do all the right tests to know all the right answers about your body. You have to communicate correctly with your doctor, not just once in your life or once a year – because your body isn’t what it was 10 years ago, 10 months ago, 10 days ago. You aren’t supposed to be the same. You change and change often. It’s knowing if you are changing for the better or for the worse that’s important.

Know what’s in your heart. And know what’s in your heart.

Now, go run and set up that appointment with your docs.

Abigail Smith

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 26, 2015 by runmyssierun

Before passing away from her cancer, Abigail Smith left behind a message that’s so inspiring, it might just make you break down. It made me. Her faith was unshakable and reminded me of my mother’s.

Did I tell you that Momma loved the Beatles? It was a google search for a Beatles mashup that led me to Abigail’s story.

The song is actually really nice, too. Not sure Momma would have listened to it over again but I know in my heart that she would have been moved as much as I was and would have immediately searched for Abigail just as I did.

Let it be.

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Cattle Baron’s Ball Shocking Honoree

Posted in cancer, Mom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2015 by runmyssierun

A short while ago, I got a message via facebook to meet over coffee from a good friend. While sipping coffee at Starbucks, she ever so gracefully mentioned honoring my mother and I at this year’s Cattle Baron’s Ball. I’ll admit, I was stunned and didn’t know what to say or do other than keep the coffee from spurting out of my mouth and onto her impeccably styled self and just nodding my head up and down.

Cattle Baron's Ball Trifold Yep, that's my family in there.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Trifold
Yep, that’s my family in there.

A few years ago, when Momma was first diagnosed with cancer, she was named REALTOR OF THE YEAR by her fellow Realtors and members of the Greater McAllen Association of Realtors.  I remember her hanging her head low shortly after accepting the award and shared a rare moment of doubt with me.

“They feel sorry for me because I have cancer. That’s why they voted for me,” said whispered to me.

“Momma, this wasn’t pity. We all admire you. Not everything is about cancer.”

She forced a smile on her face and gave me a hug. I knew I did an awful job of convincing her that it wasn’t pity. I wish I could go back in time and tell her something else… something eloquent, profound and full of wisdom, poetic and strong enough to have made her believe what I saw and admired in her.

Oh how hindsight is so 20/20!!! How I would do things differently if given the chance.

Momma was an officer for GMAR (Greater McAllen Association of Realtors) for several years and was President elect the year that she was diagnosed with cancer. No one told her to – but she removed herself from the position to tend to her treatments. She was never the type of person to not give %110 and she thought that her treatment away at MD Anderson would diminish her effectiveness as a leader for this organization that she loved so much.

She did an awesome job of teaching me by example to never half-ass something important to you. You do it %110 or don’t do it at all until you’re ready.

What Momma either forgot or didn’t realize at the time was that this group of Realtors, friends and co-workers had all admired and trusted her enough to make her their leader even before cancer was in the picture. And I failed to remind her of that fact.

Dad, Momma, me and hubby at the Greater McAllen Association of Realtors (GMAR) Realtor of the Year awards

Dad, Momma, me and hubby at the Greater McAllen Association of Realtors (GMAR) Realtor of the Year awards

She was Realtor of the year, Rotarian of the year, Woman of the year (and many others)… and in the back of her mind, I think she doubted whether she deserved all these incredible awards by merit or if they were given to her by cancer pity. And I think I did a terrible job of convincing her of her true worth and value to her community. I should have done more when I had the time to do so.

So now here we are in present day and I find myself in a similar situation and guilty of feeling undeserving of this honor.  See, I’ve never HAD cancer. I live a healthy life. I don’t suffer the effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgical removals of organs and body parts. I don’t have to miss work or family time because I’m away at hospitals being poked and prodded for experimental treatments. I don’t have to schedule Real Estate open houses and viewing appointments around the times I know I’ll be vomiting. I just have to run or swim or ride a bike. That’s all. Why does that make me so special? I’m really the under achiever of the family.

I mean… I’m not even one of those amazing athletes that qualifies for Boston. Or Kona. Or… anything worth qualifying for.

They should have picked someone else for this award. And cancer should have taken me instead.

Yes, this is how I truly feel.

BUT… these last few years really have changed my outlook and I refuse to let myself mope around in my dramatic pity parties. Regardless of how I feel on the inside, these last few years and experiences have taught me that although honors AND criticisms are directed towards me, much of them have little to do with me. I was chosen for this because of the love I have for my mother, the admiration I have for her and all that she went through and all that she did when she could. I made a promise to raise awareness and funds for a disease that I am not stricken with and being noted for it. I made a promise to do my best to take care of the health that I was blessed with and not take it for granted and I don’t do it alone, I am led, pushed and followed by countless others….

So in essence, who is really being honored here is not me but my mother, my family, my friends, my community, my teammates, my supporters, donors, sponsors and especially the victims of cancer, their families and caregivers who know all too well what it is that my Mother saw and desperately wanted to remedy.  Little actually has to do with me and so much has to do with everyone else.

I bow down to you, the deserving – the ones who have loudly and silently confided, cried, comforted and competed with me. I bow down to you, the fighters, the lovers, the haters, the cheerleaders, the sick and the healthy… for YOU are the ones that I’ve always wanted never to endure what we did. It was her wish and it is my promise. And neither of us are quitters.

I will accept this honor on my mother’s behalf and bow to you… because we are all deserving to live in a world without cancer.

For more information about the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball this year on September 19th at the Boggus Ford Event Center in Pharr, TX, would like to attend and/or sponsor it, please call the RGV ACS at (956) 682-8329. Once they update and finalize the website, I’ll post a link here.

Sometimes (1)

Tell me again why you can’t do it?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2015 by runmyssierun
This is the image that pops into my mind every time someone tells me they have bad knees and can't run.

This is the image that pops into my mind every time someone tells me they have bad knees and can’t run.

“You should come run with me,” I say.

“I wish I could but…(insert your excuse here)”

Late night prayers on the Jogging trail

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2015 by runmyssierun

I’ve talked before about dog runners and cat runners… (dog runners run in packs and cat runners run solo and independently) Since, leaving the Team in Training triathlon team in February, I haven’t had any organized group workouts. Finding the motivation to go out there and do the scheduled workout has been a personal struggle. I don’t get those encouraging, motivating texts to get my butt out of my warm spot I’ve snuggled into at 3:45 a.m. anymore. Its so much harder doing this solo.

And now it seems that my morning workouts will change to evening workouts because of hubby’s crossfit class at 5:30am.  The struggle to be consistent is always challenged by the struggle to be adaptable to any and all situations.  In March, I had noted all the morning classes around and group runs/rides that I could join. I even got super excited because there’s a new SURFING class at 5:30 that would help me focus on my core and upper body so that I can empower my weak swim stroke.

My first #surfset class  at Contempo Fitness Studio - LOVED IT

My first #surfset class at Contempo Fitness Studio – LOVED IT

I found myself quickly scrambling to adjust my calendar of workouts to see who was doing what in the evenings… checking open pool times, costs, memberships, group rides, distances, speeds, sags, etc…. and then it happened. My freak out session came. I cracked. That thought again…

WHY AM I DOING THIS???? It’s too much. Just quit it all. Do something that doesn’t take so much time. Do something that’s not so hard. There’s tons of other stuff you can do to help. Besides, you need to be here for (son) when he does his homework and to do laundry, sweep up the dog fur, take the dogs out, (insert a million other excuses that will clearly make the world come to a screeching halt because I didn’t do this or that… and that lasts for about three hours of conversation in my head while I desperately try to convince myself that it was ok to quit)

uh oh…

You read that last word in parenthesis, right? Yep, that’s all it took to wake up that mean voice in my head.

Have you ever felt someone roll their eyes at you? Have you ever felt someone snicker and sneer at you even they knew you knew they were doing it? Has that other person ever been your inner you? I swear the Inner Myssie is so sick and tired of me now. Her patience is wearing thin.

Anyways… long story longer…

I had it out with myself – again – as always – and got out there to do anything… anything… just to get out and move and get clarity back where it needed to be the first chance that life gave me…. later that night. Much later.

I love how a simple little jog takes my mind to where my heart is. I had a pretty messed up month and as each week passed, things seemed to be getting worse. It was as if this big dark cloud was following me around CONSTANTLY!!!

It was late. 9:30p.m. I usually don’t run in the dark at night here in this border town that has been infiltrated with illegal activity for a while now (and some pretty scary stuff happening on the running trails to women on this trail). This evening, though, I was determined – almost in a rebellious driven determination – to get a run in. No head lamp. No reflective or light vest. No mace. No gun. No taser. No garmin. No runkeeper. No NikeRun. Nothing but me and my iPhone with none of my playlists that took years to build (in my bad luck, my iPhone died… taking all my running playlists with it – my songs got backed up but not the playlists).

*DO NOT EVER DO THIS!!! NEVER EVER EVER RUN LIKE I DID. I LUCKED OUT BECAUSE I HAVE AWESOME GUARDIAN ANGELS…. ok, proceed onto the rest of the story…

So there I was in the dim shadows of the Bicentennial Street Running Trail right smack in the middle of my pity party about about a mile and a half into my run when I see him…. the first split second is a freak-out session… He’s sitting down about 200 yards ahead of me on a bench by one of the metal planet informational sculptures along the trail, his head in this hands, elbows propped on his knees and looking down and I’m running towards him… but this wasn’t what I first focused in on… the first thing I focused on from the distance were his shoes. They were brand spanking new blinged out Clorox white leather court shoes… like for tennis.

*Runners don’t wear court shoes on a running trail.

Clearly this young man – approximately mid-20’s – was not a runner. Immediately the runner snob in me takes a mental note: this man does not belong here. And then the Myssie that I like about me pops out…

“He’s here for clarity. The same clarity you are seeking.” I said to myself.

“Look at him. Can’t you see? He’s praying. He’s asking for guidance, seeking answers, wanting help.”

I ran to the northernmost trail and looped my way back South again. I’ll bet a good 20-30 minutes had passed. There he was still. On the bench, hands clasped holding his head against his knees… praying.

Yes, yes, I could see that now. This trail is not just for people running marathons. This trail is the path that all people take to seek clarity, answers and the way to their own happiness. Some of us run this trail. Some of us walk this trail. Some of us ride this trail.

But we all are here in search of that thing that makes us happy, whole, productive, appreciated and loved.

We all have our reasons. They may all be different but none more important than any other. We all have our reasons.

I prayed for him that night for the rest of my run.

This month is tough for a lot of us. It marks the anniversary of the death of my Mother, my baby brother and the one year hit-and-run death of Eddie Arguelles.  Friends and family organized a petition to establish an alert system similar to the current Amber Alert but designed for hit and run drivers. The news media has promoted it and we need just a few more signatures to make this possible. Please help us with your signature and share amongst your friends so that they can share and be more aware and unafraid of calling in any suspicious cars with fresh dents or witness a hit and run.

Sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/sergio-munoz-juan-hinojosa-texas-hit-and-run-alert-system?recruiter=268720761&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-reason_msg&fb_ref=Default

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