Ring like clear day wedding bells
Were we the belly of the beast or the sword that fell…we’ll never tell
Ring like crazy, ring like hell
Turn me back into that wild haired gale
Ring like silver, ring like gold
Turn these diamonds straight back into coal
~Gregory Alan Isakov, The Stable Song
I used to sign my posts, Never Give Up. It was something I chose when I first started My Fit Family back in 2013. I had started training for my first ultra marathon, a 50 miler, and as runner, I love mantras—I chose it, knowing the words Give Up would be tempting to do—when the hard settled in, when the newness and excitement of the training wore off—when it started feeling like a burden rather than an adventure. I would have to push beyond that and continue training and during the race, continue running when everything hurt and I felt like dying (ultra runners can be a bit dramatic) and wanted to say—enough! I give up! Seeing it every time I signed a blog post was the reminder I would give to myself—Never Give Up.
Other mantras I used for my 100 mile race while I began training in 2015 were: I didn’t come this far, just to come this far and I Belong. I’d say it during those incredibly hard long runs—where I’d run for 4 or more hours on a Saturday and then wake up the next day only to repeat that—when my body was begging for rest. I’d remind myself how far I had come and what a waste it would be to let it all slip away and quit. I’d remind myself that I Belonged—wherever I chose to be—running, at the race, training at the gym—my worth wasn’t any less than any other person’s on this Earth—no greater and no less.
As we enter into 2017, I have chosen new mantras and a new signature for my blog posts: With Love. While some people will be choosing New Year’s Resolutions or Goals, for those who are anti-resolutions (I fall into the ‘set some goals’ camp—sometimes I achieve them…sometimes I don’t–and deep down I know goals is just another word for resolutions)–I’ve decided to take a different approach.
This year I’ve decided to fill my heart With Love. Love for running, love for my family, love for my Faith, love for writing, love for trying new things, love for chasing goals—all the same things I have always loved to do but without having to give up things or cut things out of my life.
My Facebook newsfeed is filled with articles, businesses, challenges from friends—saying now is the time to give up sweets, carbs, cut out the sugar, cut out the negative people, give up your breakfast or lunch and replace your food with a shake, drink less coffee, watch less TV, eat less…and perhaps that is what is right for you–eliminating, cutting things out, giving up things. But I’m going to take a different path. The one that feels right for me.
And that means more love.
It means I won’t cut anything out. My beloved french fries are here to stay. So is my occasional diet coke. And my coffee–oh my coffee, it’s not going anywhere. I won’t cut out TV–because it isn’t on all day–just a show in the evening.
But the more that I add in love and do things With Love—the more room I have for all those things that are GOOD for my soul. Getting outside and feeling the healing effects of nature, writing my heart out, trying Yoga (again), letting the miles pass under my feet as I meet with God at the place He chose just for me–running, listening to music, watching my children grow, reading more, learning new things, listening and doing what God leads to me to do–no matter how scary it is, eating food that is good for my body but also allowing myself to enjoy the foods that health ‘experts’ insist you shouldn’t be eating because food is fuel and shouldn’t comfort–I will shun that advice and eat my fries and broccoli too–I like both!
Filling my heart with love pushes out the things that shouldn’t be there—negative self talk, too much junk food, negative thoughts, anger, frustration, clutter, wasted time, the people that don’t belong.
And in its place is all love.
So I begin this New Year with New Mantras— Blame Nobody and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me -Phil 4:13, and I’ll keep an old one that has served me in more than running but in the deepest throes of depression: I didn’t come this far, just to come this far.
And of course how will I purposefully choose to live each day I’m given: With Love.
Happy New Year.