Thursday, March 28, 2013


So it came, my 31st birthday. And while I woke up feeling this pain of "ARGHHHHHH AM I REALLY THIS OLD!!!" I forced myself to get out of bed and face the world. As I stood in the bathroom brushing my teeth, I began analyzing everything I could see. DO I HAVE WRINKLES?!!?! OR WHITE HAIRS??!?! ARE MY NON-EXISTENT BOOBS SAGGING ALREADY?!!?? DO MY ARMS JIGGLE WHEN I WAVE???? The faces and stances I took and analyzed while I brushed my teeth were in the millions, but the more melodramatic things I did, the more I actually couldn't help but start giggling uncontrollably. OMG, WAS I REALLY DOING THIS? WAS I REALLY THINKING THAT 31 WAS THE NEW 51? It was insane, but when I finally caught my breath after giggling so much, I realized that 31 was / is pretty amazing.

I mean at 1, I could barely talk and was pretty much a blob that moved from adult to adult being cooed at. At 11 I was chubby, nerdy and awkward beyond belief. At 21, i was starting to get cute, but was so lost and confused with who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go. And now at 31, I can talk more than I ever could, I have lost that final 15 and can wear things that my 11 year old self dreamed of, and best of all I have been found - I know who I am, where I want to go and what I want to be. Amazing, simply amazing. 31 is a number that was meant to make feel grateful beyond belief.

And so in random me style as usual, I set out on a little path to spread the love I was feeling inside. It all started with a birthday tradition I started years ago that I had taken a hiatus from,  I hosted a birthday brunch, where i cooked a full spread for my closest and most favoritest besties. Candied bacon, scrambled eggs, gluten free muffins (that most spit out, lol), fruits, mimosa's, cupcakes, and candies filled my apartment as people arrived. And it was once everyone was fed, that i took out this mini carrying case and began explaining what and how I was feeling and what mini activity I wanted everyone to partake in.

My mission -To spread happiness / joy / smiles / love / etc
My method - Writing notes / cards / letters / etc full of positivity and spreading them around the city

So I opened my carrying case that exploded with pens, stickers, cards, paper and envelopes and everyone got writing. And it was amazing. Not one person looked at me like I had gone absolutely mental. Instead people begged to write more as they spread around my apartment looking for quite spaces to write. IT WAS SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL.

And once we were done, the fun began. With jackets, hats, boots all on and with letters in hand we left my apartment in search of little pockets and places within the city we could leave our notes and well wishes. From grocery carts, to people's bags, to park benches, to flower pots and news stands, all the letters were released and all the joy was spread :)

And soo if any of you are lucky enough to come across one of these notes, I ask you to pay it forward. Take 5 minutes to write a random note to someone else, and leave it to be found. I know that it could sound absolutely mental. But the truth is until you try it, you really have no idea how addicting it is to spread all that love.

At 31 I have learnt that life is a circle (insert cheesey lion king song, and that love is what keeps it going round and round and round. So what do you have to lose by spreading some of it? Because we all know that in the end it all comes back to us :)

And with that I leave you all with one of my most favorite passages.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Happy Easter Y'all!

Up next - The Running Shoe Diaries goes INTERNATIONAL!!!!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

TO THIS DAY...I still have my inner child tell me TO GET MY SHIT TOGETHER!!

I’m not the only kid
who grew up this way
surrounded by people who used to say
that rhyme about sticks and stones
as if broken bones
hurt more than the names we got called
and we got called them all
so we grew up believing no one
would ever fall in love with us
that we’d be lonely forever
that we’d never meet someone
to make us feel like the sun
was something they built for us
in their tool shed
so broken heart strings bled the blues
as we tried to empty ourselves
so we would feel nothing
don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone
that an ingrown life
is something surgeons can cut away
that there’s no way for it to metastasize
Growing up wasn't easy let's face it. And while many of us can put on a facade and giggle about the days on the playground, school yard and class room where we got picked on, tormented and belittled, we know deep down that some of those very words that were used still sit deep inside, harboring our greatest fears and anxieties. These are things we never talk about as we get older, these are the things that 20 years later, still make us question who we are when we look in the mirror, these are the things that even on some of our bestest days make us feel more insecure than our 10 year old selves.
Why? Why can't we let those things go? Why can't we look in the mirror and fully wave goodbye to those times and see our worth staring back in front of us? WHY IS IT SO HARD?
Is it because we can't help but look in the mirror and see that 10 year old version of ourselves staring back at us? Or is it because the names, the phrases, the everythings in between still echo in our heads and hearts creating doubts in those moments in our lives where we think "HOLY SHIT, I GOT EVERYTHING I DREAMED OF AND MORE?
No matter when it is that these insecurities step in did you ever stop and think, "what did I do when I was 10, 12 or 16 when I was being tormented, or made to feel like I was worthless?" I know what I did, I cried over and over and over again and then I got up, looked at myself in the mirror and told myself to get my shit together. And then I went out and lived life like those dark moments never existed. I was fearless, literally. Aiming for the top, no matter what those around me thought. I didn't care that I was a chubby, nerdy, weirdly dressed adolescent, I knew I was going to become something fabulous one day and that I would show all of those people that doubted me.
And then what. WELL I BECAME SOMETHING FABULOUS, DUH! LOL, but even in all my fabulousness, I still get caught up. I look in the mirror and see that chubby, weirdly dressed little girl and wonder if they were right and if I am really all I have cracked myself up to be. Like most of you, that may not admit it out loud, I still harbor those same fears and anxieties that Shane Koyczan's spoken word poem - To This Day - addresses.
The difference is that now when I get overwhelmed and caught up in those insecurities, I look in the mirror and have my 10 year old self stare right back at me, and tell me to GET MY SHIT TOGETHER, BECAUSE I AM FABULOUS AND WORTH IT.
So you see sometimes we just have to listen to our inner child and realize that life is too damn short to live in fear of what could, when we should just be enjoying the greatness of what is :)

Have a watch, a reminisce, a cry, a whatever you need and THEN GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER :)


- Til next time


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Staying motivated, WHO / WHAT IS YOUR DRIVING FORCE?


I had a list of things I wanted to write about and then yesterday morning in the midst of being a hot, sweaty and uncoordinated mess during a fitness class I haven't done in years that list got mentally thrown out. I have no idea how and what point it happened considering I was too busy trying to figure out when I was supposed to jab, hook and jump kick and then put it all together miraculously, but it did. And instead that list was replaced with this idea of motivation. I watched the very pregnant teacher put 100000% into her class and her husband (who stood next to me), push his way through every single move she screamed out. And through all the chaos they seemed to just keep looking over at each other smiling. I knew based on those smiles that I caught in between the sweat droplets stinging my eyes that  they were what kept each other motivated. Motivated to keep going and not give up, motivated to look absolutely ridiculous in attempting to stay coordinated and motivated to continue challenging each other regardless of how painful the outcome could be. 

And all these thoughts of motivation got me thinking. Remember when we were kids and we were motivated by all those little rewards we could get - the stickers from our teachers, the candies / money / gifts from our parents, the good old posting of the test on the fridge, and so on? I giggled to myself thinking about the little things that got me so pumped to do things when I was a kid and then started to trail off thinking about what it was or has been that has got me going since all those little rewards faded away. DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT KEEPS YOU GOING STILL? 

As I started to think about the things that have motivated me through out all these years I realized that with the times they have changed. I mean in high school, while I was motivated by my own desire to do well, i knew not wanting to let my parents down kept me going with my studies and I knew that my desire to be considered pretty or popular kept me experimenting with my looks and attempting to get fit. In university I was driven again by my parents, but more so by my desire for self-discovery. I knew university was a chance to really reinvent myself and start becoming the woman I wanted to be. I was surrounded by a million new faces, which to me meant a million new opportunities to really find out what inspired me. 

And just as it was coming to an end I entered the workforce, where the idea's of being pretty or popular or the top of the class seemed to fade away and instead get replaced by this thought of racing ahead in my career, which over those first few years never seemed to be as motivating as the failures I kept experiencing with my accounting exams. This desire I had to prove to myself that I was capable of passing and succeeding is really what kept me going. And 3 years after when it was all done, I did become overwhelmed with this thought of - WOW I REALLY CAN DO THIS S&** AND I COULD BECOME REALLY SUCCESSFUL. And then it happened, I was hit by the motivation to just continue to succeed, to get ahead in my career and not at all costs but at the cost of isolating myself from a lot of the world so that I could live safely in my own bubble and do what I needed and wanted to do. 

Now in light of what you all in cyber space could be thinking. The real reason for the isolation bubble, was because I have always felt really different from the norm. I am completely random, goofy, nerdy, outgoing, quite, crazy, silly, insecure at times, yet confident, serious, scared, fun, sure of myself, caring and big-hearted all at once. The truth is I have never felt like I fit into that single crowd or box. You know like the ones we had in high school - the cool kids, the dancers, the athletes, and so on. I have always felt like I'm square trying to fit into a circle. So it was always easier to really stay motivated by my 50 shades of personality, rather than try to fit into a box and be motivated by others. 

And then that all changed. And I was lucky enough to come face to face with a person that for the first time, really got me (shockingly and surprisingly). And likely because they too had about 50 shades of personality that are like mine all over the place, lol. Regardless it was refreshing to finally be surrounded by someone who I felt comfortable enough to be all 50 shades of me around, especially knowing that I too served as a breath of fresh air by being different. And so I realized that those multiple faces and hats that I continue to wear are what make me uniquely me :) And so that isolation bubble changed. And now the motivation I have comes from a place that I can't even put into words. All I can say is that watching a very pregnant fitness instructor and her big and tall south African husband yesterday made me remember what keeps me smiling and motivated every day and in every sappy sense of the world it continues to be simply beautiful, worth it and life changing for me. 

SO I ASK AGAIN, WHAT GETS YOU MOTIVATED? AND WHO / WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO DREAM WITH YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN AS YOU LIVE A LIFE YOU NEVER IMAGINED POSSIBLE? Think about it and then make sure you hold onto things for dear life. Because no matter what the days may bring - good, bad, ugly, ups, downs, situations you think are far beyond your control - your motivation will always help you get through it! 

Happy Sunday and week ahead :)