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Posts tagged ‘kindness’

The World is What we Create

I’ve been struggling with what to write about today. It’s been a few days since I posted and I’ve had a hard coming up with something of value to say. That was until earlier today. And it has absolutely nothing to do with running and only a small percentage to do with my injury.

This morning I woke up and decided to check the news. It’s not something I normally do, primarily because I don’t want to let negativity into my mind. If I don’t have negative thoughts of the world then I can’t spread negative thoughts to the world. At least that is my opinion. When I first checked the local news, I read about a series of shootings in Myrtle Beach. Then I checked CNN and learned for the first time about the mass shootings in California. My heart became heavier and heavier as I read through the tragic events of Friday night. As I drove to the grocery store, I cried just thinking about all of the pain and sadness that exists in our world. Why are some people so angry? So sad? So mean?

Then I came home and checked the mail.

When I opened the mail, I had a very interesting envelope and I wasn’t quite sure who it was from. Inside of the envelope there was another envelope and a card. The envelope was covered in inspirational quotes and as I read every single word, I was completely overwhelmed. Not only did every single word on that envelope speak to my heart, but the fact that a friend who I haven’t seen or talked to in a few years, had taken the time to do something so kind, reminded me that the world is good. Then I started thinking about all of the other people who had reached out to me during this hard time, people who I don’t see or talk to that often. Just last week I received an extremely kind and heart warming card from my former dance teacher. It was totally unexpected but it made me so happy. Then I realized that because these people had done something so kind for me, I wanted to share that feeling of happiness with others. I want to do more good because of them. I want to take the compassion and kindness that has been shown to me and pay it forward. Then I had another thought relating back to earlier in the day… the world is what we create. 

 

How awesome is this??

How awesome is this??

I believe in energies. I believe some people emit positive energies and some people emit negative energies. I also believe that our world is a balance, yin and yang. However, if our only thoughts are negative, if we stop believing in the good of people and humanity, if we talk badly about our neighbor, if we can’t have compassion for the stranger on the street, if we can’t slow down long enough to realize we are all human beings who want to belong and to be loved, then we are creating a world with little hope. That is our doing. But if we can have compassion for all, do a random act of kindness for the stranger down the street, spread a little love, and start filling our head with good thoughts, then we are creating a world full of hope. That also, is our doing.

I choose to believe in goodness. I choose to believe that humanity is good and the world is full of hope. This morning, as I was struggling to comprehend what happened Friday night, a letter from a person who I haven’t seen in years, reminded me that kindness exists all around us. That is a reminder we all need.

Let’s create a better world. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. What the mind believes is what will come to pass. Believe in something better for humanity.

Thank you to everyone who has shown me so much love and support during this past month. I am forever grateful for your kindness and I will do my best to pass it along.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Tracie

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Helping Others

I don’t really consider myself a selfish person. However, when it comes to my running, nothing will interfere with my workout time. Well, almost nothing…

Wednesday my sister called to remind me of the charity day at her school that I had volunteered to help with on Saturday morning. What time did I need to be there? 8:00 am and it is a 45 minute drive away. My first thought was holy cow, when am I going to run my 14 miles? It would be too hot to run during the afternoon and Sunday morning I was hosting a baby shower. Saturday morning really was my only chance to get in my miles.

Of course I told her I would be there because it was the right thing to do. She is my sister and she always does so much for me. However, I was really stressing out. (One of the few things I ever stress about.) After thinking about it for a day, I realized that I could still run, if I got up really early. And as Thich Nhat Hanh (my new favorite Buddhist monk) puts it, you should always put others before yourself. I got over my selfishness and then sent out an email to recruit a few more volunteers. My plan would be to get up by4am be out running by 5am. I’d run as far as I could and be headed to the event by 7:10am.

At the event, I had way more fun than I was expecting. I had two of the cutest 5th graders follow be around and help me with whatever I needed. One of them asked if I’d stay and play with her after we were finished, which I thought was really sweet. There was a 1 mile fun run that I ran with the kids. The 6th grade girl who won, crossed the finish line with her mom in a time of 6:58. She was awesome! There was face painting, tug of war, a dunking booth, and my personal favorite… a basketball shoot out.

When I was younger, basketball was my absolute favorite sport to play. Then I stopped growing and gave up on my basketball dreams. Here was my chance to relive my childhood. My task was to shoot 30 free throws and whoever made the most, won. I was the only female in the adult group but I was oh so excited to play. After rebounding for Alissa, a middle school basketball player, and Matt a varsity basketball player, it was my turn. Turns out I’m a 50% free throw shooter (15 out of 30) which I thought was pretty decent since I haven’t touched a ball in 10+ years. I didn’t win but I still had a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll play a little more ball this summer.

The lesson I learned from this weekend is that running doesn’t have to be my life. There are so many other things that I enjoy such as working with cute little 5th graders, cheering on students to their fastest mile, face painting, and playing basketball. More importantly, I learned that putting others before myself is an opportunity for a new experience. And I can always get in my miles… I just might have to run really early and in the dark.

 

A fun Saturday helping out the kids. I couldn't do the face painting but I didn't mind having my arm painted. :)

A fun Saturday helping out the kids. I couldn’t do the face painting but I didn’t mind having my arm painted. 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update:  I ran a total of 40 miles last week. Unfortunately I didn’t get in 14 miles Saturday morning because I didn’t have the time. But I didn’t let it stress me out. However, I will say I thoroughly enjoyed running at 5am in the dark. It’s so peaceful.

Back on My Feet

This morning while out for my Christmas Eve run, I took notice of something that although I see quite often, was particuarly clear today. It seemed to me (and maybe it was just because nobody else was out on the streets), that there were more homeless people in the streets than a normal Monday morning. It was sad but I made a point to smile and greet everyone I saw. During my runs through Raleigh I often times see the same homeless people and I wonder what might happen if I stopped and started a conversation. What if I took time to learn someone else’s story? All of these thoughts this morning reminded me of an awesome nonprofit that we ran a race for a few years ago… Back on My Feet.

Founded by Anne Mahlum in 2007, Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.   The organization does not provide food nor shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership.

Every July Back on My Feet sponsors the 20in24 Challenge. It is a 24 hour event that includes relay races of different distances as well as an ultra marathon. It takes place in Philadelphia and is basically an 8.4 mile loop around a park. In 2010, I particpated in the Gold Level Relay Challenge. As a team, our goal was to run 126 miles, 25.2 miles per person. We actually came in second place and it was by far the most fun I’ve ever had at a race. We always talk about doing it again but schedules never seem to work out or we can’t get enough people. Personally, I would like to compete in the Platinum Level Challenge which means each person runs 33.6 miles for a total of 168 miles, and all in under 24 hours.

Back on My Feet is a great organization that uses running as a tool to empower people. As a teacher, I believe in empowerment as a tool to create a better life for oneself. I was greatly reminded of that this morning.

Anyone care to join me in July?

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: This may sound weird, but I ran a beautiful six miles this morning. There were hardly any cars on the street and very few people out and about. I felt great but tried not to push the pace. Since I didn’t take my day off yesterday and I have a speed workout tomorrow, I wanted to make sure I felt rested. Stats are here.

The Impact of Kindness

Tonight’s blog isn’t about running. It can’t be…

Today was probably the most difficult day I have ever experienced as a teacher. Today an entire student body mourned the loss of one of their own, Hogan Teem. Hogan has been the light of my homeroom for the past three years and I am fortunate enough to have seen his smiling face every single morning with this amazing girlfriend. I’m having a hard time coming up with something running related to write about so instead, I want to take a moment to remind myself and to remind the world how kindness trumps all, even in a world that can often seem so evil. Read more

Shoes4Africa

The run club that I started back in May is about three things. First, a healthy lifestyle. Second, empowering women and third, acts of kindess. As the holidays approach, it is a reminder for me to find more ways to incorporate running with doing good in the world. After watching the documentary Run.. last Friday, I wanted to ways to give the gift of running to others. But how? The answer… shoes. I have so many old running shoes, why not donate them to someone whose life might be changed? Read more

Kip Keino and the Kenyan Community

I just spent the last 47 minutes watching perhaps one of the most inspiring documentaires I’ve ever seen – at least in my opinion. Being that today is Friday, I went to YouTube in search of some motivational videos. Apparently YouTube is already two steps ahead of me and recommended the documentary Run… Read more

96 Years Old and Still Running

A few weeks ago after a visit with my grandparents, I wrote that tragic accidents aside, I was going to live to be 100 (and a healthy 100 year old at that). I don’t know if I’ll still be running at that age, but I’d like to think so. Heck, if the running gods permit, I’ll be like this lady – 96 and running.

Competitor:

The Indian woman, who was born before World War 1 ended, is taking part in Aritel Delhi Half Marathon on September 30. According to an article posted on The Asian Age Web site, Kaur decided to give running a shot thanks in part to her 75-year-old son, Gurdev Singh, who lives in Canada, and is also a runner. (She started running when she was 90).

When I first read the article (and the many others reporting about Mann Kaur), it seemed to me that she was running the entire half marathon. I spent quite a while trying to find her finishing time, but instead saw this video which made it a little clearer. She ran 4 kilometers of the half marathon – which is still an amazing accomplishment. And in addition to participating in the half marathon, she also holds the gold medal in the 100 and 200 meter events from the World Masters Championships. Mann Kaur reminds me of a point Chris McDougall made in his video – women become better runners as they get older and the distance increases. Kudos to Mann Kaur!!

Photo Source: Competitor

 

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

And I would like to leave you with a random quote for the day: “I expect to pass through this world but once, any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now, let me not defer it, nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”   Be nice to a stranger tomorrow 🙂 

A Run through Raleigh, NC

Today’s blog post is a little different than normal.  I mentioned on Friday that I would be writing a post for A Good Run, featuring some cool places in Raleigh, NC.  Well today is the day I get to show off my fabulous city.  Check it out here.  It was impossible to include all the people I am thankful for along the various stops.  But I do want the following people to know that I am extremely grateful to have you in my life: Mom, Dad, Toni, Mario, Heidi, my grandparents, all of my other family members, my Run Inspired. chicas, my favorite neighbors – Alysha, Geoff, Susan, Daryl, Amie, and Brian, the Diaz family, Sara, Amber, my restaurant club chicas, my students, my blogosphere friends, my Google+ friends,  and the list could go on forever.  Thank you all for keeping me motivated and  inspired.

Thank you to all the fabulous people in my life!!
And yes, I realize the letters aren’t exactly straight – I tried my best though!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

And make sure you go read the blog!!