Category Archives: Inspiration

So you say you “CAN’T” do it….

…..and I say “Bullshit!”

See…that is the beauty…you actually CAN!  You just have to do it…you just have to take that first step.  And guess what…that first step isn’t what you think it is…BUT it is THE most important so listen closely…

The first step is to tell yourself that you can do whatever you want!  And then BELIEVE IT!

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Whatever the goal is…you can do it!  But sitting there telling yourself that you can’t do it…or you shouldn’t do it…or you don’t have time for it…it won’t do anything but prove those crazy thoughts right!  Instead of focusing on what you think you can’t do…start focusing on what you CAN do!

And then GO DO IT!!

 Just start…it doesn’t have to be extreme…if your goal is to eat more healthy…start by changing one meal a day…if finishing a 5K race is your goal…start by walking to the end of the block…if happiness is your goal…start by choosing happiness.  Do this for 30 days….I promise…if you keep showing up for 30 full days…you will have made a huge change to yourself as a person.  30 days is all you need to change a habit.   Choose one….conquer it…and then choose another…and then conquer it…only YOU have the ability to change and be who you want to be…who you were meant to be before you listened to what you thought the world wanted you to be.

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What’s the worst that could happen??

Happiness and contentment and satisfaction are just beyond your comfort zone!

Push past it!

Let’s get our MO’Cowbell on!! **Giveaway**

** We have a Winner!!!  Gail Akeman  was our winner!  I will be contacting you shortly!! **

Gail is midwestlady01 on Twitter and you since she is a fellow blogger…go check out her page at Midwest Lady Thoughts

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Everyone know what time it is??!!!  (this is where I yell into my mini megaphone)

That’s right!!  It’s time to get your butts out there and sign up for MO’Cowbell!!!

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As you all know…this is my one and only true love…Well…true RACE love!!  MO’Cowbell holds a very special place in my heart as it was my very first ever Half-Marathon!  I’m also a MO’Bassador for this lovely race gem and I love spreading the word about how awesome it really is!  

Listen…I know what you are thinking…”It’s just a race Jenn!”…..Which I kindly respond with….”Get the heck out of here….It’s the most KICKASS race around!”

Wanna know why??  I will give you 10 reasons…in no specific order of importance because they are ALL important 🙂

  1. You get to run through some beautiful scenery (Fronteir Park, Historic Main Street, New Town, Katy Trail).  You can view all the course maps here.
  2. You get to experience a race that has the best hometown feel to it with tons of clanging cowbells and screaming fans (If you aren’t a runner, you can always come cheer us on along the way – Don’t forget your funny race signs!!)
  3. Our race is USATF Certified so you can use it as a Boston Qualifier for all you people who dream of sporting that blue and yellow!  #BostonStrong
  4. You can meet the coolest…most hip…most in shape race mascot that you will ever have the chance to meet!  Who wouldn’t want a selfie with a cow that has six-pack abs and goes by the name of Chuck?!  I’ll tell you who…Everyone would want one!!
  5. You could ring the HUGE 100-lb Finisher Bell….Come on!  You know you wanna!!
  6. You can say that you accomplished something amazing!!  (We seriously have a race for everyone!  5K, Half-Marathon Relay (2-person), Half-Marathon, and Full-Marathon)
  7. It’s literally one of the flattest races around!  Yes…there is one killer hill but you are amazing and I know you got this!!  That hill has nothing on you!!!!  Woot Woot!! 
  8. You would get to run with me…come find me and I will keep you laughing along the way with my witty remarks and my positive motivation!  But seriously…come find me…I would love to have a few running buddies along the way…memories in the making when you have friends to run with!
  9. We have one heck of a Fitness Ex’MO!!  We always have an awesome time at packet and race shirt pickup!  Plus…there are always a ton of fun vendors that you can check out!  Clothes…running products…massage/chiropractic care…nutrition…and soooooo much more!
  10. This race gives back to our community is so many ways!  One of those ways is by donating part of our proceeds each year to a local charity.  This year, the proceeds will benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County.  This is one of the oldest youth serving organization in St. Charles and surrounding counties.  

So what do you think?  Are you intrigued?  Wanna know more?!  Comment below with any questions you might have or can’t find on the website and I would be more than happy to help answer those questions.

Ready to sign up??  Go here!!  

Prices go up at the end of August so get signed up soon!!  

Wanna score some awesome MO’Cowbell race swag?  

Use my MO’Bassador race code (code = JENWCB16)

Also…since this IS my FAVORITE race around…I’ve decided to do a little giveaway for a MO’Cowbell Swag Bag full of goodies!!! (Prize includes:  MO’Cowbell Cooler, MO’Cowbell Race bags, MO’Cowbell race shirts, Cowbell Uncorked Frisbees, MO’Cowbell bells, Sweatpink shoelaces, Skratch hydration mix, RX Bars, RoadID band and much more!!!)  

 

You can gain entries by doing the following:  

  1. Share this blog post on Facebook (comment below letting me know you did).
  2. Share this blog post on Twitter with the following verbiage “I need MO’Cowbell!” http://www.mocowbellrun.com #gotthefever #mocowbellrun #livelearnloverun #racechat”  (comment below letting me know you did)
  3. Comment below telling me you favorite race distance and why!

PLEASE NOTE:  Each comment gains you an entry!

I will pick a winner on September 9th at 11:00 pm (CST)

Trifecta of talent!

Our neighbor (and one of my daughter’s best friend) is constantly impressing me with her talent and her zest for life and her passion for being a star one day!  And I know she will do it!  It’s not often that you meet a kid her age who already knows exactly what she wants and where she is headed!

Yesterday, her mom shared this video and be the end of the day, it has 1,100 views which made these girls ecstatic!  So I shared it also and now this morning…1,628!  Let’s make these girls day and share their awesome talent!  Who know’s…maybe we will see them on Ellen one day 😉

Practice grace with yourself…

As I sit here after working out and feeling very discouraged…I find myself doing the exact opposite of what I always preach…and that is not comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle.  It’s a hard thing when we know that we are capable of more but just aren’t back there yet.

Maybe something in life has made you have to step back and take a break or maybe you just got burnt out. For me, it was taking three months off to recover from a surgery.  I went from running half marathons to barely being able to run a ONE mile.

Whatever it is…we have to try and remember that this is only one little speck of our life…your stamina will come back…the squats won’t always hurt…you won’t always be winded…just keep pushing to do YOUR best and remember to practice a little grace with yourself…don’t be so hard on yourself and know that this is your best right NOW!

Half Training and I Run 4 Riley (IR4)

I’ve been slowly getting back to running after the holidays…and the wicked “sickness” that I caught from my kiddos or hubby or some giving person.  All I know is that it knocked me down for 4 days and it’s taken me at least two weeks to completely feel like myself.  I spent ALOT of time sleeping and laying in bed…I didn’t get to run…but I did crochet the heck out of some stuff.  Finished like three projects…including an awesome bag that I will probably keep for myself 😉

In regards to running, I have all kinds of fun stuff to tell you…let’s start off with my nifty new watch for the nerd inside me.  I got the newest Nike+ Sportwatch in this awesome neon yellow color! I LOVE it!!!!!  Check it out!

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I love all the extra options that my old watch didn’t have such as GPS (powered by TomTom) and also the fact that it shows way more stats which is great!

My second bit of news is that I’ve recently started training…okay…I was actually supposed to start training on the 30th of December.  Because of said sickness mentioned above…it’s safe to say that it didn’t happen.  So two weeks late, I’m training and loving it.  Well, I’m not necessarily loving the aching hips and the exhaustion that comes with training but I’m loving the running.  Why am I training?  What am I training for?

I’m proud to say that I’ve signed up for the Relay and Run for 21 on March 23!  I’m super excited because this will be my first Half-Marathon that I’m running for my IR4 buddy Riley!  This race means something special to me because the race partially benefits the Down Syndrome Association of St. Louis and my Riley was blessed with Down Syndrome.

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I can’t wait to share this whole experience with her…I just know that I will get to see lots of these smiles along the way…I thank her for her always being an inspiration to me!!  YOU ROCK RILEY!!

My third bit of news is that I completed the I Run 4 my Buddy! Virtual Race and will be taking our medals to the engraver to add the finishing touches this week!  I am super excited to send her medal to her!  She is going to absolutely love it!!

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Stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway for The Color Run!!!!  Woot Woot!!!

 

Do you use a watch of some sort to track your runs? Which one?

What is YOUR inspiration to run (or your fitness of choice)?

 

 

I Run 4….Riley! Who will you run for ?!

I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of something big…something amazing…something inspirational…something I want and need to tell you all about!!  Recently I came across a website dedicated to matching runners up with Special Needs children who then in turn run for that child.  It is called I Run 4 (IR4)This group “allows runners to find a whole new sense of purpose in their running while sharing who they are running for and bringing awareness to diseases and disabilities of all types“.  I was amazed at the stories I saw and knew in my heart that I wanted to be a part of this also!  I signed up and after about 6-7 weeks, I was matched with the most amazing little girl named Riley.  She is an inspiration to me like no other!  Meet Riley….

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I asked Riley’s mom if she would want to guest post here on my blog also to tell her side of it all and she was more than happy to put something together to share with you.  Here is her story…

For those of you who follow this blog, you know that Jennifer is a runner, something I am definitely not..LOL. Quite frankly I’ve always thought that people who run for fun were just plain crazy. Until my recent commitment to Herbalife and Fit Camps, you’d only find me running if something was after me. HAHA! That being said. I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed by those crazy people who run for fun… and here’s why!

I was introduced to a group called I Run 4 Michael by a friend of mine who had recently signed up as a runner. She encouraged me to sign my daughter Riley up for the program, hoping they would be matched. So I went to the website (http://whoirun4.com) and signed her up. . Some of you may not be familiar with IR4, so here’s a little background… A man named Tim, who loves to run became friends with Michael, who has Down Syndrome as well as bilateral hip dysplasia. Michael was unable to run and told Tim “You can run for me anytime”. This planted a seed that started this wonderful organization. Runners are matched with children with special needs, and they run for them.

Not long after signing up, we were notified of our match…Jennifer.  We have connected through Facebook and Riley gets so excited to see new messages and photos from Jennifer.  We also send messages and pics from Riley to help keep Jennifer inspired to run the extra mile. The I Run 4 group on Facebook is big, it is so awesome to see all of the people running in honor of those who can’t.

I have shared our IR4 story with many of my friends who have in turn signed up their children. This year at our annual Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness, Riley carried a sign that said “I walk for Jennifer because she runs for me” and had the Buddy Walk and IR4 logos on it. It was really special, Riley was so proud of her sign!

Riley is 8 years old and has Down Syndrome, she is smart, funny, and super sassy, and she loves making new friends. I think that is the best part of the I Run 4 organization, the friendships! If you are a runner, I’d like to encourage you to join this wonderful group. You never know the impact you could have on a child. It makes my Riley so happy to know that Jennifer is thinking of her and running for her. I would like to take this opportunity to tell Jennifer “Thank You” for allowing me to guest blog on her site, and for running for Riley. You honor and inspire her, and that means the world to me! We are so excited to get to know you better!  Keep running! ~Alena

Soooooo…how awesome is all that?!  I just love the feeling I get from being a part of this special family and being a part of something so huge and inspirational!  I encourage all of you to go to the I Run 4 website and just check it out.  Maybe you will be inclined to sign up and share your love of running with someone who may not be able to experience it the same way you can…and maybe you wont…but I do promise that you will at least be touched by these stories and these families.

I also encourage all of you that read this to pass it on to your friends.  The waiting list of runners who are eager to be matched with a special needs child has grown large…over 1000 and growing!  If you know a child who would love to become an inspiration to one of our runners…please go and sign them up!  You won’t regret it….I promise that!

I leave you with this amazing video that was put together recently to help spread the word about I Run 4 and to show others what we are all about 🙂

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Special Spaces: A charity that touches your heart!

It’s August already?! Say what?!

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I cannot believe how fast the months are flying by! I’m not ready for school to start…I’m not ready for summer to end….I’m just ready for time to slow down a little…ya know?  However, it is Friday and that makes me happy….as does this picture…Enjoy!

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First off, let me start off by saying that yesterday was me and the hubby’s 4TH Wedding Anniversary! We have some bad times and just as many good times! I love him more today than yesterday and can’t wait to spend many more years driving him crazy adoring him…oh who am I kidding…driving him crazy with a little adoration thrown in 🙂  We spent our evening hanging out over dinner at Lewis & Clark’s in St. Charles, MO.  Man, I love that place!  Sooo yummy! They did not disappoint this time either…I had the Mahi Mahi, baked potato (w/salsa) and a dinner salad (sorry…no pictures )…okay!…I also had a very fudge-y, chocolate-y, heavenly brownie that I got to bring home and scarf down later.  It didn’t last long after I arrived home 😉

My amazing hubby and I - August 1, 2009

My amazing hubby and I – August 1, 2009

Now on to the major reason for this blog today. I want to tell you guys about something amazing!!!

Last Saturday, I did something that I’ve never done before! I went to…and ran in…a race…ALL BY MYSELF!!!  For me, that is huge! I’m a very shy (dare I say…anxiety-filled) person who constantly worries what others are thinking about me. (Constant thoughts running through my head… “Are they looking at me?” “Oh crap…is there something on me?” “Why are they staring at me?…oh…never mind…they are looking for the bathrooms” “They are probably wondering why I’m alone!” “Oh no…they are talking about me…they must think I’m weird”) It is truly a stressful way to be but it’s who I am and I can only try to push past my insecurities.

Any way…the thought of going by myself and not knowing anyone there was a bit freighting and stressful to say the least.

BUT…..

I DID IT!!!! And I’m extremely glad that I did!!

And I’m glad for a few reasons. One…because conquering one’s fears is one of the best feelings there is. And Two…because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten to be a part of something amazing!

I ran in the 1st Annual Running for Rooms 5K that benefits Special Spaces. Special Spaces is a non-profit organization that has one simple mission and that is to “create dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses. A place that only the child can dream or imagine while addressing their medical needs”.

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Special Spaces was founded in July 2004 and as of today has created over 90 dream bedrooms. The St. Louis chapter was started in 2011 and they have been able to complete 10 rooms (check one of them out here) and they currently have 9 children on their waiting list.  One room usually costs around $2,500 to complete so any help that they receive is greatly appreciated!  Every little bit helps!!!  Do you wanna help?

There are many ways that you can help out:
Volunteer: Special Spaces is always looking for volunteers to help with room renovations & fundraising in the St. Louis and surrounding communities.
Donate: Your generosity allows them to create beautiful dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses at no cost to the families.
Sponsorship: They welcome individual, group, and corporate sponsorships to provide finances, materials and services to renovate these special bedrooms.
Smile: Every Special Spaces Project has the same reaction, lots of great SMILES from our children, their families and our volunteers.

I encourage everyone to just go to their website and see what they are all about! I know for sure that my family and I will be volunteering our time very soon! I definitely want to get involved in the race planning for next year!  And I would love to be a part of one (or more) of their room builds….Seeing the smiles on these kiddos faces would be the coolest thing ever!

The race this year and most likely in the future was held at Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville, MO. The weather was amazing for once and there was a slight breeze…you can’t beat that!! With 114 participants overall between the 5K and the 1-mile walk, this race ended up with a great group of people. The support and camaraderie that was in the air was refreshing and a feeling like no other!

Me & Lacy Gambill (race director & co-director at Special Spaces.

Me & Lacy Gambill (race director & co-director at Special Spaces.

The course was a bit more hilly than I’m used to training on but the views were beautiful and the course was great! And something else that was cool….finishing the 5K in 28:04!!! That was way better than I was thinking my time would be and was very happy with how I felt during and after!

Question(s) of the day:

Do you have a charity that you believe in? What is it?

How do you feel about racing alone? Yay or Nay?

What is one thing you are doing this weekend?