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Running Away

When I was in the 6th grade I had an amazing math teacher, Mr. Joseph.  He was fun, made class interesting, and was the junior high cross country coach.  I had so much fun in his class that I signed up for Cross Country right away when I could as a rising 7th grader.  I was so excited when conditioning started…running was like magic to me, but I couldn’t understand why.  Once we got a few weeks into practice though, I could see that the older kids were pros.  It was intimidating.  I dropped out.

Fast forward to spring of that same year and tryouts for track came up.  I knew there was something about running but still couldn’t put my finger on it so I went out for track.  That was my fit.  I could ease my way through the miles of conditioning, and when race days came…I was a sprinter.  100M, 200M, 4×1, 4×2.  It was great!  The running also kept me in good shape for dance and soccer.  Of course at that age, I didn’t realize how beneficial it all was to me.

Track, soccer and dance kept me going through high school.  It’s just what I did.  Then I graduated and everything stopped.   No more running, no more days upon days of dance, no more soccer.  Needless to say, the lack of physical activity caught up with me VERY quickly.  I would have given anything to have only gained the freshman fifteen.   I was living at home, going to school, working, and performing in plays…very little time to even consider taking care of myself.  

The summer before my freshman year though, I started jogging up to my BFF’s house

Shannon in 5k

Shannon and her husband in a 5k

and back.  It was then that I started to understand what running did for me.  I could actually feel the stress drain from my body when I was running.  It was like therapy.  It felt good to work up a sweat.  It felt good when I was done.  I was so relaxed and happy.

As the years have gone by, running has remained my major form of therapy.  Through ups and downs, marriage, children, and changes in jobs, everything…running has always been there for me.  I never actually realized how apparent it was until we were out of town for a dance competition last year, my mom, my little one and me and I brought my running shoes to the hotel.  I hoped in the treadmill while mini me was swimming with friends and Mimi was watching her in the pool.  I could see her too since the treadmill faced out into the pool area.  Someone said something to my mom, and her response was “she has just always been a runner.”

I am not one of those lucky peeps with a “runner’s body.”  I am not long and lean, but I am strong and healthy.  I have done some races and am continuing to challenge myself with more, and adding on to the distance.  I look forward to my runs.  I can tell when things are getting bad and I need to lace up.  When I need to just run away from it all and find my happy place.  My zone.    My husband started running with me when we were first dating and has kept on going.  He isn’t as interested in the longer runs, but does the 3-5 miles with me when he can.  Even my eight year old is training for our first family 5K.

I hope I can always do this.  That I am always healthy and strong enough to lace up and keep moving.  That is why I keep going.  That is why I HAVE to keep going.  This is for me.  I can run with people or just have my time for me, and I always end up better on the other side, running away from the stress of everyday life.

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January: The Month Of Recovery For Me & My Child Suffering From Anxiety

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At one point I counted all the shots and holes made in my arms and stomach…but I lost count.

 

January 1st was not a fun day for me.  In fact, the last several months have been pretty painful.  Hindsight – I am realizing that I was really sick and after a week of being in the hospital more than I was home (and having surgery), I am ready to redo this entire start of the year.  This wasn’t a good start for one specific kiddo of mine either…because his momma that is his constant person who is always there and knows when his anxiety and OCD is getting bad…well, I wasn’t around.

I shared pics and a lot of info about my “fun” time on my Facebook page and even wrote an article (that probably is a bit TMI) over on Y105FM.com (you can find it here).  To put it bluntly, I had a gallbladder that was described as “chronic”, “diseased”, “necrosis”, and “full of gallstones”.  I have since learned that necrosis means that my gallbladder was dying, or basically had a bunch of dead tissue and wasn’t really working.  I can tell you that it felt like it wasn’t working and that someone was stabbing me in the side nonstop…for days…even with really powerful pain meds going 24/7.

We’ve had a brand new year of basically recovering:

  • Me…I’m recovering from surgery and every day doing better.  I get wiped out pretty fast which ticks me off, because I am not a very patient person and have 1,000 things to do, but I am learning.
  • My kid…all this hospital stuff and me not being home triggered him.  I can spot the warning signs pretty fast now and the red flags with his OCD and sleep patterns, the sayings that he has that lets me know “Hey mom, I’m not doing so well.”.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to see those and the downward spiral started.  Once I got home, I saw how bad things were and what I missed.

We are in the middle of big decisions for him and it is like we are at crossroads…and as a parent, it is hard to know what the right decision truly is.  I want that map that shows me what steps to take next so I don’t fail as a mom for him.

Today, I am on the hunt for more resources and advocates for my kid.  People that can stand with me in support and people that I trust that know more about how to help kids suffering from anxiety and OCD.

Has your child suffered from anxiety or OCD?  What resources have you used?  I’d love to hear about them!  Send me a message on my Facebook page (click here) or DM me on Instagram.

  • Jessica

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FREE Workout Calendar – January 2019

2019 is officially here!  What are you going to do today that will get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?

One thing that I need to get back in the habit of doing is writing down my workouts.  I’ve been hopping on my spin bike and getting some boxing workouts in but I haven’t been great at writing everything down.

It is just a little goal for myself but getting back to writing my workouts down is something that I want to accomplish in January.  This will help me plan out my time and make it a priority but also will help me see my progress.

I’ve got a binder ready and created a calendar for January that I will be using.  You can use it too!  Just click to get the pdf – January 2019 Workout Planner

Monthly Workout Planner

What do you use to track your workouts?  I’d love to hear it!  Send me a message on my Facebook page (click here) or DM me on Instagram.

  • Jessica

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So Tell Me What You Want What You Really, Really Want

goals 2019The big day is almost here.  1/1/xxxx.  You know how I know?  Everything on social media is talking about losing weight or offering all sorts of amazing planners that are sure to make your goals happen this year.  Is it getting you excited or are you ready to throw in the towel before the year has started?

This is the time when it seems ideal to reset our goals and try again because the calendar resets.  Most likely though, if the goal isn’t coming from the gut and the person isn’t motivated and getting a bit nervous about their goal, all those tactics might just be a waste of a click or money.

So, what is it that you really, really want?  If the Spice Girls can ask that question and make a video, I’m pretty sure you can take a few hours to shut off your phone, unplug a bit to remove all the ads that are popping up on all your devices and see what your gut is saying right now.

What is it that you really want to be doing this year or want to work on that is a positive change for your life?

Maybe this list of “8 Things That Change Your Life In One Year” from Lifehack will help:

  1. Stop complaining and appreciate how lucky you are every day.
  2. Embrace loneliness and reinvent yourself in the process.
  3. Say goodbye to the people that don’t bring positive energy into your life.
  4. Turn off the TV and set Internet controls.
  5. Pick one skill you want to cultivate and put all your effort into developing it.
  6. Commit to the goals you set and never look back.
  7. Sweat every day to boost your mood.
  8. Fail forward.  Learn from every mistake you make.

What goal are you thinking might be perfect for 2019?  I’d love to hear it!  Send me a message on my Facebook page (click here) or DM me on Instagram.

  • Jessica

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Top 5 Workout Songs For December

Copy of It's Time

When it comes to exercise and getting that workout in, it is an absolute must for me to have music.  In other words, forgetting my headphones is not an option.

I put together my favorite songs for December and what I have downloaded and waiting for me in my workout playlist.

1. Little Drummer Boy by For King & Country.  Not only is this Christmas themed but it is absolutely amazing.  The beat of that drum is great for a cycling workout and a pretty good pace to try to keep up with.  If you need more of a challenge, just turn that knob of resistance a bit to the right…it will get you there.

2.  Zero by Imagine Dragons:  I’ve heard this a few times on a pretty amazing radio station where some friends of mine work 😉 – 106.9 KROC – but also heard it when I saw “Wreck It Ralph 2” in the theater.  This song is great for some sprints or jumps.  You gotta feel it and that rhythm to get the jumps down but if you can’t feel that, just go all out on speed during the chorus.  Let the verse be your recovery and just slow it down a tad so you can catch your breath.

3.  Desperate Man by Eric Church.  This is under the “country” category but really, it reminds me a bit of something older and with a whole lot of soul.  You will want to sing along.

4.  High Hopes by Panic! at the Disco.  This is a song that will get you in a great mood really fast but could also keep you smiling during a fast hill climb on a bike or as you are on a treadmill.  The pace stays fast but has a great chorus.  If you are looking for a tip, use that part right around the 2 minute mark to take a quick recovery and then use the momentum in the song and beat to hit the top of that hill.

5.  Roots by Imagine Dragons.  I know I already included this band but could seriously include a bunch more of their songs.  This one though…I could put on repeat and just blare out.  Actually, I have done that.

What’s your favorite workout song right now?  I’d love to hear it!  Send me a message on my Facebook page (click here) or DM me on Instagram.

If you are looking for some Christmas songs to listen to right now, listen with me from 10 am until 2 pm on Y105FM!  I also go country from 12 pm – 6 pm on 103.1 KFILSo much free stuff on those websites too…just check out the “Win Stuff” tabs!

  • Jessica

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Who Says You Can’t Dance And Fly On A Bike?!

It's TimeI’ve been known to make my cycling classes move.  Not just to build strength in specific muscle groups but also to help them just relax and feel the songs.  That’s how I like to ride…by feeling the music, the beat, the rhythm, and having fun.

While I was having fun on the bike today (and working very hard with Ally Love at Peloton), I had a little bit of a non-scale victory.

What is that? That right there is something exciting that doesn’t involve a scale. 😊  It is a goal that you have had in your head that shows progress or success in some way but has nothing to do with what the scale is telling you.

Today, for me, that is a little thing called speed.

If you ever took one of my classes, I called it “flying” and is an amazing thing on a bike.

Outside on my road bike, I’ve gone almost 40mph down a hill and that scared the crap out of me. I don’t recommend that unless you are ok with falling and hurting yourself very badly because, at that speed, your chances are high.

Give me a flat road or span like the Douglas Trail in Rochester and just let me go.  Once I get away from people, I love going 15 to 21 mph on a flat road with my road bike… because you are really flying.  And sometimes eating bugs if you leave your mouth open.  True story.

I’ve struggled to get my speed back though. It takes time, a lot of work, and baby steps. It can also be frustrating when you hear the goal number announced by the instructor but you just aren’t strong enough to get there.

I’ve got the education.  I completely understand that it takes time.  I know what muscles have to get stronger together to make that happen.  I’ve shared with many people that it is ok, you just do your best and listen to your body.  Over time and with hard work you will get there.

Today, I got there. 120 for my speed on my indoor cycling bike! I felt it…and it felt awesome.  I had to do a little dance…you can see it here. if it doesn’t show up below for you  🙂

What is one non-scale victory that you’ve had lately?  I’d love to hear it.  Send me a message on my Facebook page (click here) or DM me on Instagram.

  • Jessica

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Real & Raw: I suck at cooking

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Yes.  I do.  I suck at cooking.

I’ve tried to follow directions to a “T” and it just doesn’t matter.  Somehow, someway, the meal never looks like the photos that I see on Pinterest.

I even made a sweet potato yesterday in the oven and something ended up burning in my oven.  It was covered in foil so I have no idea what exactly happened, but one of my kiddos came over to me and said, “Is there a reason why it smells like something is burning?”.

A gadget that has been sitting on my counter for a good year is finally getting a good testing.  You may have one of these.  A lot of America has one of these.  I am also learning that a lot of America is too afraid to even use it.  If you haven’t guessed what this is already…it is an Instant Pot.

The search was on this afternoon for a recipe that would work for the fam.  I needed fast, easy, and it had to be with frozen chicken breasts (because that is about all our freezer has right now).

Sweetandsavorymeals.com has a great one that really spells out what to do, how to do it, along with a few options to make boring chicken better.  You can find that link here: Sweetandsavorymeals.com chicken breast recipe.

I’ll share what I did with the chicken in a sec but because I was cooking, there was a little hiccup.  The Instant Pot is supposed to get pressurized and start the countdown after so much time (which I don’t know what that is exactly).  Well, mine starting billowing steam out of the sides and the vent.  A little Google search diagnosed that my seal wasn’t tight enough.  After I opened it all back up, pushed the seal back in place, we did a take 2 of the entire meal.  This is also the point where I realized the boys in the house wouldn’t have time to eat before they rushed out so ham & cheese sandwiches for them.  But I popped them in the oven to class it up and melt the cheese a bit.

Eventually, everything did what it was supposed to do and I had chicken that cooked

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Shredded chicken that was savory & delicious!

great in the Instant Pot.  I took a few extra minutes to shred it before I put it in the fridge for some extra meals later this week.

One recipe down and my confidence is slowing building on this interesting contraption that has been sitting on my counter – almost barely used – for a year.

What recipe should I try next?  You can send it to me on my Facebook page (click here) or DM me on Instagram.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll get to it right away but I will do my best to try it out.

We’ve got a few recipes that are mom approved and kid tested too!  Check out our list at this link – Recipes from The Journey

-Jessica

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REAL & RAW: what’s the deal with the eye rolls?

img_20181113_185710_038This month, I decided to just get real and raw and share some of the real-life moments that are going on…that are messy, real, and probably aren’t showing up on the popular Instagram feeds.

Here’s my current situation though…to help you see where I’m coming from today:

  • I’m currently running on 3 hours of sleep due to my IBS triggered by healthy food…again…and just letting me toss and turn for hours last night.  I eat healthy and I get sick.  It is so frustrating and right now I’m just ticked off that I get sick from eating vegetables.
  • My middle kid is making pies for Thanksgiving and asking me what words like “simmer” means.  It is a fruit pie, which I can’t really eat most fruits either…I get sick from those too.  #LoveIBS said no one ever.
  • My dog is a dork – again – and decided to destroy the only carpet left on our main floor that was not in the plans on getting replaced anytime soon.  He did write me a little sorry note…so that was nice.
  • I’ve got a few other Real & Raw moments that I’ve shared on Facebook and Instagram too.

In all those real moments that are going on right this second, I’m also still in pain a bit Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 8.59.31 PMfrom some of the latest eye rolls that I got from my kiddo.  Overall, they are really good kids, but sometimes…their words and eye rolls sting ya…right in the heart and gut.

Because I am their mom, I’ve reminded and communicated to my children that I had HORRIBLE labors with them and housed their very big but little bodies past the allotted time by over a week.  They were all over 9 1/2 pounds and over 21 inches long too.  I put up with all of that for each one so they deserve to treat me nicely.

Yeah…my kids don’t care about any of that and apparently, I’ve used the labor bit too many times already.

There is a bright side to all of this (which sometimes I have to really hunt and search to find…but it is there!).  The moments when we don’t have eye rolls or cranky attitudes, those are the moments when I sneak in a little hug from them, smile at them, grab a selfie with them, see if they want to play a card game, or even text a fun little gif to them.

If I learn how to treasure the moments with the eye rolls, I’ll let you know.  Right now though, that’s all I’ve got.

I’ve got more real and raw stuff coming so follow along with me on Facebook and Instagram

-Jessica

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Real And Raw

I’ve decided that November is a month where it is time to just be real and raw.  Here’s why…

The Raw.  My heart has been hurting for many people that I know and love.  I don’t have enough space or even permission to share all of what I’ve been listening to and feeling but what I do know and what I can share is that there is a lot going on out there in this world…and a lot of painful things.

Side note:  If you think I’m talking about you, please know that I have had countless e-mails, voicemails, text messages, in-person meetings, and gatherings…so don’t think that this is a message targeted at your pain or story.  No names or specific stories are shared here and won’t be without permission.

Back to the raw:  Those moments that hurt our hearts and tear down our trust are something that I have seen a lot of in my life – some that are of my own doing – some that aren’t – some things that I will probably never have explanations for.  I can say though that I’ve learned from many of those moments and each has a story but they have also given me a way to listen with empathy and compassion.  I’ve needed every single one of those moments in my life to just get through all of the rawness that I’ve heard these past 30 days.

I might have a job on the radio and talk in a microphone each day, but I probably listen to people more than I talk.  *Notice I didn’t say judge…because that isn’t what is going on.*  I just listen.  And I listen to every word.  Talking.  Sharing.  Feeling.  Those aren’t easy to do but no one should ever have to carry the hurt and pain they are going through on their own shoulders.  Finding a person who will listen is so important.  If you don’t have “your person”, I challenge you to find someone.

Am I perfect at doing all that myself?  Oh, goodness, no.  I am an expert at throwing those walls up and protecting myself from feeling…but I’m working on that and am getting better at it.  Some of you have even seen my mascara run down my face lately.

Tonight, I was going through some songs while I was stretching and doing some planks (which are one of my least favorite things ever…so songs must distract me!).  This song by For King And Country hit me as my stomach was on fire after plank number 2 and it just was the most perfect song after these pretty real and raw days.

I’ve got more real and raw stuff coming.  I’ll warn you…some of it is stuff you didn’t know about me.   The messy, yucky stuff that no one really wants to talk about even though it is happening to everyone…yep, we will go there too.

Follow along – bring your friends too – and we can get real and raw together.

-Jessica

Thanks for being part of The Journey!  Take a sec and follow our blog so you don’t miss our posts coming up.  You can also find us at the following places:

 

If Someone Asks You To Coffee…Do It

What were you doing one year ago today?

I am pretty fierce and strong when it comes to the valleys in my life but I will say, this year, it was tough to be strong.  I’m not sure if I got hit with so many valleys that God was trying to let me know to look up instead of fighting so much on my own but I do know that something changed.

I used to look back at the hard moments and tough days with hurt and a bunch of sadness and anger.  I have a right to my feelings, we all do, but in order to move forward and climb the hill out of the valley, I had to change the lens that I was looking through.

My lens today: in the left eye I’ve got gratitude and in my right, it is positivityJessicaontheradio

These two new views, which I had but were covered in some cobwebs for a bit, have given me a chance to reflect and notice what amazingness has happened as a result of some tough moments.

So I ask again…what were you doing one year ago?

For me, on one of the days that was a huge low…it was also the start of a climb (and it had coffee!).

It was my last day at a job that I loved.  I was only showing up at work to put my items in a box.  No one told me what to do that last day, where to turn in my keys, where to leave all of the paperwork and files.  Actually, no one really spoke to me about anything for a month so it was almost like I really wasn’t there already.  I was just told that when I go, I can’t tell anyone goodbye or that I was leaving.  As someone who has “relational” as part of their being…that was like ripping off my fingernails with each item I put in my box.

Before that moment though, I had an impromptu invite to meet someone for coffee.  I don’t remember the coffee but I do remember where I sat, and all the feelings of that day.  Check out the video to see what happened at that little meeting…

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Enjoy today and thank you for being here at The Journey!  🙂

-Jessica

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The Two Words We Should All Say More

I was left with some torn emotions today…but it all boils down to one thing…appreciation.

Everyone wants to be told “thank you” and sometimes that isn’t even with words, but time, gifts, hugs…whatever makes your endorphins kick in from that moment of “thanks”.

The reason why I was so torn is that I am watching a lot of people I know struggle in situations where appreciation just doesn’t exist, or maybe it isn’t enough for them.  They are hurting.  They are sharing that pain on social media or they are taking it out on others and being pretty negative.

Truth: we all could use a little bit more appreciation.  Me too.  There are some days I go on with all the #momlife stuff and never hear a “thanks” for just being mom.  Other days I am well aware that a simple “thanks” out of my own mouth would have gone far for someone.

We can change all this and in fact, you might make a huge difference in someone’s life with a simple word that takes less than 2 seconds to say: “Thank You”

Take a moment today to do this today:

  1. Say “thank you” to someone.  This could be the person that held a door open for you, someone who said you look nice today, a co-worker that helped make something amazing happen today, or even your kids for sitting at the table nicely while you eat supper.
  2. Figure out how you like to be told “thanks”.  Is it with gifts, words, time, or something else?  (the only thing with this one…just know that others may not know this about you so still be thankful if you just get a “thanks” even if you get a candy bar instead)

Enjoy today and thank you for being here at The Journey!  🙂

-Jessica

Thanks for being part of The Journey!  Take a sec and follow our blog so you don’t miss our posts coming up.  You can also find us at the following places: