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Stories of Inspiration

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2015 by runmyssierun

Inspiration surrounds each one of us every second of every day. Some of us just fail to recognize it when it’s right smack in front of our eyes because we’re so into our own little world of me, myself and I.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a lot of coaches. In fact, I consider the whole world my coach for the very reason I wrote about in the above paragraph.

I’ve learned to keep my eyes and heart open for all to inspire me. I’m not sure that I’ve always been this keen to recognizing inspiration but I’m sure much of what I has inspired me lately is because of my fascination with proving to myself and the world that anything is possible if you have PASSION AND SUPPORT.

Today, three amazing examples stood out to me…

EXAMPLE 1:  A little 11 year old boy was cyber bullied with ignorant racially motivated hate remarks… and the entire City of San Antonio, the San Antonio Spurs basketball team and celebrity star Eva Longoria came in to support him.

(this video was actually published a few months ago but I just saw it for the first time today – Amazing!!!)

Some of the racially hateful comments made by cyber bullies on social media to Sebastien de la Cruz after singing the National Anthem at a Spurs basketball game in San Antonio.

Some of the racially hateful comments made by cyber bullies on social media to Sebastien de la Cruz after singing the National Anthem at a Spurs basketball game in San Antonio.

How he reacted and responded just floored me. Grown up adults need to learn some stuff from this kid!

EXAMPLE 2: A local girl, just a few cities away from me graduated this weekend from high school. And no one let her do it alone.

Rio Hondo administrators and school board members held a special graduation ceremony for Madison Macias who is battling stage 4 brain cancer..via Marcy Martinez. Let's send her congrats and well wishes to remind her that no one fights alone.

Rio Hondo administrators and school board members held a special graduation ceremony for Madison Macias who is battling stage 4 brain cancer..via Marcy Martinez. Let’s send her congrats and well wishes to remind her that no one fights alone.

EXAMPLE 3:  While at my son’s very first piano recital tonight, I not only saw him conquer the fear of performing in public after just a couple of months of lessons but I also saw something quite extraordinary. I’m not here to brag about me, my son or any other family member – but he WAS awesome – and as much as I would love to break my promise about not talking about how wonderful my boys are… I’m not. I’m going to have YOU witness what I saw today in front of my own eyes.

I not only saw but heard these twins, a brother and a sister, marvelously master the ivories of a piano. The two had to have been about the same age as my son. Quite honestly, I don’t know their story but if you pay attention to the video, I think you’ll get it without me having to spell it out for you – it’s not obvious at first but then it’ll hit you… just as my video began to capture the other parents in the audience record this performance, I think we all recognized how special these two children are. Clearly the passion and the support is here. What touched me most was how the brother helped his sister up on the stage, adjusted her seat and then adjusted it again to get it just right for her. At the end of all the performances, awards were given out. They won BEST PIANIST OF THE YEAR. Obviously the winner was a tie between the two siblings and there is no way anyone can say one deserved it more than the other. So, to Sara and Erick Ramirez, thank you! Thank you and your parents, your family, your teachers and your piano instructor for proving to me that anything can be done and done in ways that give so much joy and happiness, too!!!

No matter what it is that YOU want to do, if you have support and passion for it… it can be done! So when you see someone who clearly has a passion for something they want to accomplish, be there for them.  Applaud them, tell them “great job!”, “Well done!” and “keep it up”.  Give them the thumbs up, the pat on the back and the encouragement that they need to get there. We all need that every once in a while.

I know I could not have done all that I have without the support that was given to me. No one does it alone.

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Pink is my favorite new color

Posted in cancer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2015 by runmyssierun

Being the only girl in my family (no sisters, no female cousins, no aunts other than through marriage or adoption), I was literally the princess of the family. And everyone knows that all princesses in fairy tales wear pink and glitter and satin ribbons and ride beautiful white horses. I was no different…. well, I didn’t have a horse but I did have a beautiful great dane named Sheba which is basically the same thing!!!  My bedroom furniture was painted pink. My bed spread, curtains, sweat pants… all pepto bismol pink.

wedding

Even my bridesmaids wore pink … and not just any shade of pink… but the shades of pink that every proper Southern Belle must have – thanks to the book/play/movie Steel Magnolias – Blush and Bashful.

blush-and-bashful

However, after marriage… all traces of pink were removed from my castle.

Pink was a girly color and as the world’s lessons pounced upon me, it was instilled in me that pink was soft and cuddly not strong and powerful. And I wanted to be strong… not weak.  And that stuck with me. I never ever wanted to be weak. I wanted to be strong. Rwarrrr!!! So no pink for me!!

But it went further than that… even listening to the singer, Pink, sing her songs annoyed me. I saw her as weak. Her songs were filled with lyrics that I felt were of dysfunctional relationships.  And I certainly didn’t want that either… so I was never a fan.

And then this happened….

http://www.eonline.com/news/645512/pink-tells-fat-shaming-twitter-trolls-she-is-not-worried-about-her-apparent-weight-gain-i-feel-beautiful

And then I connected…

Fat? Really? Pink is FAT???? Wow, I wish I could be that fat. Good lord, what has become of us? So brave and judgmental behind the power of social media.

So what was it that made me connect with her?

She went to an event to honor her friend who has cancer and people were more interested in her weight gain instead of the honor of her friend that she admired.

In the times that I have attended events in honor of my mother and wanted to honor her accomplishments or do my crazy events to raise money and/or awareness for cancer research/treatment/laws/etc… the haters didn’t pay any mind to the issue at hand… they just cared about the pictures to criticize if there was evidence of cellulite or discredit with photoshop if it was too perfect.  For a while, their comments stung. For a while, I let them get the best of me. For a while, I got over it and began to blow them off. And for this while… I understand and connect with Pink.

“So, my good and concerned peoples, please don’t worry about me. I’m not worried about me. And I’m not worried about you either,” Pink continued. “I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off. Thanks for your concern.”

pink 1

I am now a fan and cheering her on. Move away from the fat shaming and concentrate on the wonderful people who are fighting and beating cancer.

“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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Let your light shine!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by runmyssierun

“Is that you Myssie?”

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I had just gotten out of the pool and finished my run/swim brick when I saw an old friend and greeted him with a big, wet, sopping hug. It had been a few years since we had talked and caught up quickly under the beating sun by the pool.

“I was worried for you for a while. Just a few years ago you were on top of the world in Real Estate and at Rotary Club.” He beamed a huge smile when he said that.

“But then it was like the weight of the world was on your shoulders. And you bounced back. I see it every day but you probably don’t. You have touched so many people with what you have done. Don’t ever forget that.”

He went on to tell me that he’s heard of so many women who had similarly taken a back seat to their family once they reached a certain age or pivotal point in their lives. He also said that those same women saw what I was doing and challenged themselves to attempt their own similar goals regardless of their age or athletic background. His words were so validating to the laps I had just finished and the goal that swam around in my head. THANK YOU PATRICK!!!

Most of my life (with the exception of my pageantry years), I sat on the side lines in the stadium stands cheering on those I loved and taking photographs of them doing awesome physical feats. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be doing what I’m doing today. I am lucky – seriously lucky – that I entered this journey with some highly experienced athletes that had incredibly generous, patient hearts. They understood my personal goals. They respected them and never once tried to alter them. They were MY goals.

I had a goal many years ago to become Miss Texas and then Miss America. I was fixated on it. In four years, I entered 22 pageants and won or placed finalist in 20 of them. The only 2 that I didn’t place or win was Miss Texas. I was really really good at winning. I was uber competitive. So much that I became another person. I was constantly checking out the other competition, reviewing their stats and videos, finding their weakness and making that my strong point. I became that wicked evil girl that pageant reality tv shows spotlight for the drama and ratings.

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And that really wasn’t who I was but it was quickly who I was becoming. Thank goodness for Julie and Noe who both sat me down and opened my eyes about their friend they missed inside of me. Noe’s words in the courthouse parking lot will forever echo in my head… “Why are you ALWAYS comparing yourself to them?”

I aged out of pageantry, retired and hung up my heels but went on to “train” countless winners successfully with that lesson in mind. “Don’t compete against the others. Compete against yourself. Make yourself a better person.” And that’s exactly how my pageant trainees won.

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These women didn’t find a characteristic about another contestant to make fun of while saying it was all fun and games. They didn’t use passive aggressive antics to play with the minds of other contestants nor spread gossip and innuendo around the contestants. They won on their own merit… not by trying to dim the light of the others.

Your light does not shine brighter by dimming the light of others.

Long story short(er)… I understand that some people thrive on competition. I, however, DO NOT. I do not like who I become when my ruthless, competitive spirit emerges. It takes great effort to muffle that person that I did not like within myself (nor did anyone else like).  I am a goal oriented person. My focus is on MY finish line… not someone elses. My goals are measured by me, internally, by small incremental babysteps that go in one direction… FORWARD. So that when I fall, when I fail to achieve that step I was planning on, I know how to get back up and keep moving because I’ve been there already.

Larisa, my Matron of Honor, at my wedding almost 20 years ago!!!

Larisa, my Matron of Honor, at my wedding almost 20 years ago!!!

On Tuesday, I was able to put those mental blinders on my Matron of Honor, Larisa, as she ran two miles with me for the first time. She was inundated with the same fears we all have.

  • I’m too old to run this fast
  • I’m too old to run this far
  • I’m too fat to run this fast
  • I’m too fat to run this far
  • I’m too out of shape to run
  • I haven’t run since high school
  • My knees hurt
  • My ankles hurt
  • My hip hurts

I stayed by her side the entire time and put my iPhone on my arm with the speaker towards her. “Keep the pace of the music and we’ll be just fine. Pump your arms and keep your hands above your waist at all times otherwise you’ll get chorizo fingers at the end of the first mile.”

“YES!!! I do get chorizo fingers!!!” she exclaimed. That’s when the light bulb turned on and she gained faith in that I knew a little bit about what I was talking about.

“Ok, we’re going to jog from here to the light pole and then walk to the next but still keep our hands relaxed and up. You’re going to feel yourself losing your breath. That’s ok. Sing or whisper Mary had a little lamb. Trust me. I know it sounds crazy but it will get your breathing back to normal.” Ya, I think I lost her trust on that one.

I kept her stride short like the marathon shuffle and the conversation shorter so she didn’t feel pressured to talk and show the embarrassment of losing her breath to me because I know I am embarrassed to hear my own gasping breath. I needed her to finish this with strength and confidence to come back and double what she did today the following week.

Those last two light poles she hit the fastest pace she ran the whole time! She ended her two miles strong and fast and our conversation ended with the topics of glide and sports bras. SHE DID IT! SHE DID IT! And then she joined the rest of the gang for a beer. *I went home 😦

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It doesn’t matter what your limitations are. With the right people around you who understand and share and/or respect your goals, anything is possible. A few people can do this all by themselves. I am not one.

Like I said before, some people thrive off of competition. I do not. I thrive off of the positive energy and enthusiasm of those around me who also have big goals. There is a BIG difference.

If you are considered a friend of mine, please, know that I will never compete against you. If you try to force me to compete, I will either distance myself from you or let you beat me by not putting forth effort… or both. Beating you is not my goal. Beating CANCER is. 

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So to clarify, my next event is not including fundraising for a cancer organization. It is to make myself a better person inside. I am still healing and thankful that I have found a healthy outlet to do so for myself and my family. I have to do this one for myself so that I can know that I can keep moving forward. I fell off the horse at CapTexTri. This is me getting back on the saddle again. I gave my goals to my coach. In a nutshell, my goal is just to finish it.

That’s all I need to make me happy with myself again. Just finish it.

And then I’ll get back to my promise to Sissy and Momma in the right state of mind, love in my heart and surrounded by good, supportive people.

 

You’re not good enough

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by runmyssierun

Sooooo I had an interesting conversation the other day with an extremely experienced super athlete. Honest to God, I truly tried to hold my temper and sarcasm but I know it didn’t take long for my squeaky high pitched voice to mimic that of Karen Walker’s.

“Face it Myssie, you aren’t getting any younger. Your times are not going to get better. If my …. times can’t get better, then yours won’t either.” – I’ll leave their name out of it.

Ok… so maybe I am old. OK… so maybe I’m not a naturally gifted athlete. OK… so maybe my times will never get better.

What in the world makes someone think that it’s ok to squish the hope of someone else just because THEY can’t do it themselves? Their light will not shine any brighter by trying to dim someone else’s. I would NEVER tell someone that they can’t climb a mountain just because I haven’t climbed a mountain.

People like this drive me nuts! Now, I’d like to think that I’m a pretty positive and strong person but if people like this go about their day ranting to anyone gullible enough to believe just one ounce of this shhhhiii….tttuuuffffff, well then no wonder we have so many emotionally damaged people around us!!! Seriously, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all! I really don’t care if it’s true or not. I love the Rotary 4-way test:

1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Taste your words before they leave your lips.

Whether you believe it’s coincidence or another sign from my guardian angels around me.. this was the very first article that was on my Klout (p.s. have you added me as your “influencer” on the subject of triathlon and/or cancer on Klout? – please do) feed this morning when I logged in:

http://games.crossfit.com/article/keeping-fit-69-mirlene-oconnell

She’s older than I am. However, just like me… she signed up for a triathlon before even knowing how to swim! AND SHE DID IT! And so did I! And we’re OLD! She finished last in her age group last year and hopes to improve. I finished 3rd to the last in my age group and I hope to improve.

I’m going to be real… I know I will not podium this Sunday at Stanley’s Triathlon. The age group that I am in have some incredibly seasoned triathletes with surreal times. In fact, the woman who won the entire women’s category was in my age group. I believe in my heart of hearts that my time WILL improve but still will likely not be enough to medal. And, trust me, I’m ok with that. Here’s why…

For the first time in my Team in Training history, I will not be using my “Mimi” – my custom Felt bike. I rode “Neo” – the Cervelo that was donated to me recently – for the first time a few days ago and felt very fast. I rode the course on both bikes and actually felt better in Neo. I will practice mounting and dismounting the bike tomorrow afternoon but even with the practice, let’s be honest… every athlete knows better than to use ANYTHING new right before a race. This is a gamble for me. But I’m also in the mindset that I am using Stanley’s Triathlon as a practice tri for CapTexTri in May. If ever there was an opportunity to see if I can handle Neo under fire, it’s on Sunday.

I am officially one of the "gang" now, eh?  Honored but I'll always prefer the BRC. ;)

I am officially one of the “gang” now, eh? Honored but I’ll always prefer the BRC. 😉

IF I do well, I can guarantee it will be because of the time made up on the bike, the experience and training all this year, and the amazing positive encouragement from my fellow peers who will likely be cheering me on along the streets of the course. IF I don’t do well… it’s because the jerk was right. I’m too old and my time won’t ever get better. I’m not getting any younger afterall.

Ahhhhh but here’s the reality of it all… regardless of the outcome, I will continue to TRY to make myself better. Because what TRULY matters is NOT whether or not I make it onto that podium and it is NOT even about my time getting better, or keeping cadence king or having proper swim form or running chi… it’s about someone who is scared to death right this moment because they just received the news that they have cancer.

I don’t give a damn how old I am… I’m gonna fight for them.

Sarah doesn't care how old I am. She just wants to live a cancer-free life.

Sarah doesn’t care how old I am. She just wants to live a cancer-free life.

These are the Cyclepaths exactly one year ago at our very first triathlon. Only 2 of us in that photo did not participate in that triathlon because we did our first triathlon the very next day. One year later, all but 3 of us pictured there have completed at least a Half-Ironman. We are all one year older... and all their times got better.

These are the Cyclepaths exactly one year ago at our very first triathlon. Only 2 of us in that photo did not participate in that triathlon because we did our first triathlon the very next day. One year later, all but 3 of us pictured here have completed at least a Half-Ironman. We are all one year older… and all their times got better.

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