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Body, Mind & Soul…the REAL Triathlon workout

Posted in ACTS, cancer, half ironman, health & fitness, ironman, Mom, rgv, rio grande valley, Running, team in training, texas, training for my first half ironman, triathlon, triathlon training, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2017 by runmyssierun

I started this blog to share candid experiences of my personal journey with cancer and how I used marathons and triathlons as my soap box for awareness and a toolbox for fundraising. What I didn’t expect coming was the impact both would have inside of me… my soul.

So let’s talk first about FAILURE. Sure I entered my first marathon thinking that if I could show God how much I was sacrificing and how hard I was pushing myself to run TWENTY SIX POINT TWO miles that He would spare my Momma’s life and cure her cancer and all would be back to normal. Well, that didn’t work out the way I planned, huh?

Three full marathons, seven half marathons, thirteen triathlons, lost count of all the 5ks and 10ks and still… three DNFs

FAILURE

I was made fun of. I could have stayed quiet about it all and avoided the whole thing and the humiliation that came with it but I gave myself rules from the beginning and I did my best to stick to them:

No complaining. I had no right since I knew Momma had gone through so much – cancer treatment, surgeries, expenses, the loss of her sister and the loss of her only son. I had no right to complain.

Momma and her crown before her surgery

Be vulnerable and honest. If I was going to put it out there, I was going to go all out so that others could connect, understand, share, help and get the conversation and ultimately the movement of human compassion started.

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Never ever give up. This was the most difficult. Since I was never an athlete, it was hard for me to gauge the difference between soreness and injury. Not allowing myself to heal correctly and pushing myself because of my determination was the perfect combination for muscle injury.  When all the progress I made was thrown out the window because of my stubborn stupidity, it was humiliating and humbling to find myself right back at square one… overweight and out of shape.

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Oh but not all was failure. I did something pretty amazing. I did something that so many people never thought I could do… including myself. I accomplished physical feats that few attempt because of fear of failure. I accomplished getting a community to give of themselves for others so that a dollar here and a thousand dollars there could help someone in need… and we never even had to know who that person was. It was only important that they got a chance to live longer, happier, and healthier even if just for a moment. I accomplished a conversation that continues today… and important one. One that changed the way we treat, cure and charge for those services. I was a part of it. I did not sit on the sidelines of life. I was a part of this movement. It was just a little bit but it was MY bit and although it may not have been much, it gave me purpose, helped others and showed my children the example that my mother showed me.

 

The entire journey, I referenced God and angels and miracles and “signs” on a daily basis but something was missing. A connection was still missing… no no no… correction…

The connection was always there… I was just too blind to see it.

I knew what I needed to do. I always knew. I think all of you did, too. So this weekend it happened.

I attended the same retreat that my mother attended that set her soul on fire and strengthened her faith like no other I’ve ever met. That hand sign I throw at races was the hand sign she threw at me when she returned from her retreat. It means “I love you” in American sign language. It was an ACTS retreat and although I didn’t not attend it at the Shrine the way she did, I was able to attend it at my home church with the Priest that raised me and 71 other women whom were all strangely and purposefully meant to be with me this weekend.

Crossing the finish line of my first full marathon, witnessing my son graduate and choose to serve his country, giving birth, marrying the love of my life, winning my first crown, experiencing my first kiss… these life moments now have a new addition to my collection of favorite life memories. ACTS is officially a part of this collection.

The journey that this blog is based on began in 2011. But this week marks my true beginning. I now have all three “sports” in my line up and fully intend to workout each – MIND BODY & SOUL – to become the ultimate triathlete, the one He always intended for me to become.

And now, most importantly of all… I have mentioned “I” a whole bunch in this post. None of it was done alone by just “I”.  From the very, very beginning there was my FAMILY, there was our team of DOCTORS AND MEDICAL STAFF, there was TEAM IN TRAINING and THE LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY and THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, there was the incredibly long list of SPONSORS, DONORS and VOLUNTEERS, there were numerous RUN GROUPS, COACHES, and TEAMMATES, CO-WORKERS, and seriously freaking awesome FRIENDS who joined me, there were my SONS and my HUSBAND and my FATHER who joined me in training or 5ks or followed me at my 2nd full marathon or helped throw orange paint at the Color Dash, and then there were 71 SISTERS IN CHRIST and HIM who never left my side… ever.

I’ve said it from the beginning… this was never just about me. This has always been about something much bigger… way bigger than just me.

As each phase in this journey has evolved, peaked and molded my life, I have seen the world of cancer change, my personal health change and that of my community, too, and ultimately the love of my family, friends and yes, my spirituality change immensely.

And for all of this… I thank you. So here I go again…a little quieter, a bit more purposeful and a whole lot stronger.  I invite you to join me if you are also ready to get over that fear, too.

 

 

Stranger stories

Posted in cancer, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by runmyssierun

Last night a young man and his wife asked if I was “Missy B”. They shook my hand, hugged me and asked for a picture with me. “I’ve been following your Instagram and blog for years” he said.

Both he and his wife had lost loved ones to cancer. They spoke to me about their stories and how they had followed my story for hope and inspiration. They renewed my passion and sense of purpose.

Not too long ago, my family and I went bowling and a woman whom I’ve never met did the exact same thing.

I have to admit, it gets a little scary when a complete stranger comes up to you out of the blue and asks if you are you. I’m certainly not a celebrity because occurrences like this don’t happen EVERY single day.. but often enough to know that I must be on guard, observant, cautious yet caring, compassionate and true to my promise.

So many of us struggle with hardships. It’s difficult to speak about them. One of the things I have learned from this is that once you get over that first step of difficulty – you know, admitting it – letting others know that this is a tough thing you’re going through. It releases you from it. Saying it allows you to let it out, let it go. And it gives permission to others in pain to do so, too. This little blog of mine has given me that power and permission to let others let go of their pain, struggles and suffering.

Whether it is about cancer, achieving a goal that was once thought of as impossible, proving yourself to others or yourself, becoming healthy, fit, happy or just simply becoming a better, kinder person… if you have found a connection here through my silly journey, then that brings me great joy. We all go through ups and downs and although I truly believe in my heart of hearts that any one person can get through it by themselves, trust me when I say, it’s so much better when you have support of others who sincerely understand and help you and others through it. Together we are a stronger, kinder and more effective force.

There are many, many more stories out here. We all need to hear them, feel them and do something about them. TOGETHER. Tell your story. We can all help each other and sometimes when we least expect it.

 

Certain things are likely

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by runmyssierun

1554534_10153676217425068_1042486816_nIt was the last weekend of 2011 and I had recently finished my first 5k (at the Fiesta marathon) and right between Christmas and New Years… the perfect time to give up on your fitness routine because of all the parties and temptation and seriously… resolutions start AFTER December 31st, right???

Wrong

This resolution was to be life changing for me at that time and even though I didn’t know anyone running that morning at Bill Schupp park, I knew I owed it to myself and to Sissy to get in as many training races as possible… so I did it.

And I ran it.

And ran it again the last weekend in 2012.

And ran it again this last weekend in 2013… today. But this time it was with my two boys. THAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY YEAR!!! To know that I’ve made so many sacrifices these last two years, so many lifestyle changes and so many positive impacts by staying true to myself and my running fitness goals that it impacted the lives of my sons… by their choice.

You have no idea how gratifying it is so see this come full circle.

Sissy certainly knew what she was doing. Three years ago, had you told me that my boys and I would be running races for “fun”… I would have laughed hysterically in your face!!!

I do love the new “me” that I’ve fought to become again… again? Yes, again. I am slowly becoming the woman I was a long time ago and was reminded of that just last night when my old friends from high school all came together to celebrate Billy’s wedding.  If you are familiar with 80’s movies, you know who Molly Ringwald is. Well, there was a part of me in every character that Molly played. I refer back to Molly a lot because in high school, my friends were the real breakfast club. And I was Molly.

Of all the characters that she played, I was probably most like Andie Walsh.

I still love the classic Karmann Ghia, shop at thrift stores, sketch designs and am surrounded by music (although not a music store in my real life unless you consider iTunes as the modern day music store) and I’m least like Claire Standish because although I did win my city’s local crown, I was hardly a princess. I don’t think I could do the lipstick trick (I never tried) but I could do the cherry stem trick 😉 and I still swoon over the dark haired bad boy. What is probably MOST predictable is that I married a guy who honestly really did look like Jake Ryan. I’ve been coloring my hair for so long that you’d never even know that my real hair color is copper red!!!

xavmys

I’m rambling

So anyways as my old Breakfast Club reunited (sans a few members) the talk and the realization of who I used to be and who I was becoming were quite similar. THANK GOD!

In my teens and early twenties, I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to. I conquered all! There were no limits. In my late twenties, thirties and early forties, I felt like I could do nothing right.

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Each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

My Breakfast Club friends – life long friends – helped make me feel like I could do anything. And I hope that I don’t diminish how special they are to me by saying this next part because NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY BE AS WONDERFUL FRIENDS AS THEY WERE TO ME AT THAT TIME but now I feel like through all these run groups, team in training, Maniacs, cyclepaths, etc….  is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

When the original Breakfast Club was together, we were unstoppable. We could change the world if we wanted to in 72 hours. We never realized what we had at the time.

Now, I have a new Breakfast Club. The members are all so very different from each other. Some of us still tear each other apart with misunderstandings and gossip. (Not like my original Breakfast Club) But some of us… some of us are pretty dang awesome. And I’ll bet if given the chance, they could change the world in 72 hours if they wanted to.

I am so glad that I am part of this motley gang of misfit fitness fanatics. I am so glad that I have the family that I do. I am so glad that I was raised by the family that I had. I am so glad that my Breakfast Club reunited and remembered who I was and who Sissy wanted me to be again.

The great thing about Andie, Samantha and Claire is that all those characters went through some crazy drama, she had a few trusteds that she vented with (Yes, I have a “Duckie”, too), but with the help of her friends and the love of her family and a little bit of creativity… she gave up something that was dear to her and gave it to the handsome bad boy

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she transformed the humble gifts that were given to her and creatively combined them all so that she could show the world that they did not break her, and she showed up to the big event and showed them..

In the end, Molly always got the kiss and the storybook happily ever after ending… and that’s where I hope I am now. Sometimes I feel like my whole life has been written by John Hughes. Sometimes, I wish it was.

2014… it’s time to get it right. I know my goals. I know how to get them. It’s not going to be the trite “New year/New me” lingo here… I want the old me back again. So here we go!!! With the help of my friends and family…

WHAT’S HAPPENING HOT STUFF?????

Don't you forget about me. (*Rodney Perez)

Don’t you forget about me. (*Rodney Perez)

To my Duckie…

Taking it back old school so that I can move forward.

If only

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2013 by runmyssierun

If… If only.

I spent this Thanksgiving holiday weekend with my family, the little that is left of it. I didn’t really get to spend a lot of time with friends. Many have moved away. Many have moved on. Many did the Turkey Trot that I have yet to do!!!

Yep, you read that right. I didn’t run the Turkey Trot. Why? You ask.

Because the Turkey Trot is a family tradition. And Thanksgiving is a family tradition.

But my family doesn’t run. My family eats. So Thanksgiving dinner is OUR tradition and I’m all that is left with the recipes and I am all that is left to keep the tradition alive for my children to remember when they are adults. Otherwise, it’d be Luby’s take out on tray tables in the living room watching the Dallas Cowboys play football. (Sorry if I offend some of you who do this but my Momma held our dinners to a whole different standard)

I know this is completely contradictory of all the healthy practices I’ve entertained these last two years, all the blogs I follow and requote and probably everything you want to hear… but it’s true.

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I cooked for twelve. Only five sat at the table. There is significance in that. It was a feast. I ran out of butter. I spent all day barefoot and in the kitchen. For the first time EVER (while taking basting breaks from the turkey)… I took the time to do my hair and make up because Momma said that lipstick was very important. I used the white and gold china dishes. I used the white linen napkins and carefully rolled each of them up by hand and placed them by the edge of each setting.

I messed up her mushroom rice casserole. I should have added another french onion soup. Because it wasn’t perfect, I couldn’t eat it.

I spent the whole day cleaning, cooking and then cleaning everything up again. By myself. I didn’t complain. It was what my Momma did for years before… and she looked forward to it. How women do this and then get up at 4 a.m. to go shopping the next day exhausted and with this little bit of sleep is beyond me. Well, no wonder we have the chaos at Walmarts like we do on Black Friday!!!

I was able to run my 20 miles on Wednesday before. My time wasn’t great but better than the time before and I did it without injury or pain and was able to sing on key to much of my playlist!!! Best of all… it was such a BEAUTIFUL day!!! It was probably THE MOST PERFECT DAY FOR RUNNING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF ME RUNNING!!!

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So not running on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday… was ok with me.

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I was able to decorate the house for the kids and put up the Christmas tree. I’m crazy afraid of heights so I didn’t put up the lights around the house outside… but I’m still pondering if I can do it.  My favorite little local candy shops also sent me little notes and special discounts so I was able to get some Christmas shopping done, too.

My favorite part of the weekend was Saturday night. The house was quiet and I had just finished the tree and I found the bouquet of mistletoe in the box of decorations. I frantically searched for the step ladder and quickly hung it up in the entryway. I don’t think the boys know the meaning of mistletoe. I couldn’t help but reminisce and keep the memory there as long as I could. I must have stood there under the mistletoe for an hour staring at it.

Under the Mistletoe! XL

I remember clearly how my Dad would hang the mistletoe above the door so that he could sneak a kiss from Momma every time she entered the house.  My parents made Christmas really special to Donny and me. I feel bad for those who don’t understand and will never feel what I do at this time of year.

I wonder if I’ve been able to do the same for my children.

I hope that when my children grow up, they have sweet warm loving memories of holidays and not just visiting loved ones in hospitals for them to cherish.

I’ve failed a lot in my life but this… this is where I pray I don’t. I can’t. I don’t want to fail them.

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Say what you want

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2013 by runmyssierun

I spent all of my early adult life in pageants and training for them and training others for them as well. I was pretty good at it. I won a good share of them and taught others how to win, too. We called each other the “Rhinestone Mafia”. We are a great group of women.

My forte was interview. One question that came up over and over again by judges in personal interview and on stage interview (which usually meant the final question) was “Do you regret anything in your life?

Pageant coaches have always told me to NEVER say I regretted anything in my life to judges.

But honestly, I do have regrets.

I regret not learning to speak Spanish fluently and often.

I regret not paying attention in school as much as I should have.

I regret not asking what Sissy’s favorite color was or what flavor of ice cream she liked most.

I regret not putting my foot down and taking Donny to LaHa.

I regret not speaking up for myself to bullies throughout my life.

I regret all the time I spent watching TV (except for MTV when it showed videos)

I regret not telling the people that I love that I loved them. I regret not taking that chance to hug them or making that opportunity come around. I regret not saying what I wanted to because I was too scared of what they would think of me.

I regret a lot of the choices I’ve made. I’m paying the price for them now.

I regret not spending all those last moments with the ones I loved.

Say what you want. Say what you need. Say it all to me, to them, to yourself… but say it. Let it out. Let them know.

I’ve conquered so many of my fears these last two years and it’s such a shame that I got to realize the biggest fear of mine was the fear of not being loved back.

Crossing the finish line taught me so many things. It got me out of my stagnant comfort zone. It took me past my fears. It made me re-evaluate myself, my true self. I have many regrets.

I just told them to a judge (you)

A big no-no in pageantry.

But guess what? I was once told by someone that this world is made up of women who are either princesses or queens. I think I just realized I’m on the queen list. I have regrets. I have fears. I still can’t say everything that I want to… but I’ll try harder.

I don’t want to regret any more.

Momma after her fall IMG_4235 the last family photo with Donny MD Anderson Cancer Center IMG_4293 stained glass angel Momma and her crown before her surgery Momma getting skinny Momma made tuna casserole the day after 9 tumors were removed from her brain IMG_4301 IMG_4302 IMG_4305

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