Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Part of History and Healing

Today, I was a part of history and healing. There is a young lady named Lauren Book-Lim who suffered years of sexual abuse as a child at the hand of her nanny. Years later, she began to talk about the abuse in order to bring healing not only to herself but to others. In the process she started an organization called "Lauren's Kids" (www.laurenskids.org)

In order to bring awareness to the horrific act of sexual abuse, and to pave the way for healing and restoration...she embarked on a journey. For the last 18 days, ending today, she trekked across the state of Florida starting in Aventura, and ending in Tallahassee at the state's capitol.

For the final mile and a half, advocacy groups, politicians and individuals marched from Governor's Square mall, down Apalachee Parkway to the capitol. I was a part of this. My only desire (at least that's the way it started) was to show my support to a complete stranger who showed courage, commitment, and compassion.

As I walked, I knew that somewhere in front of this 'sea' of blue shirts, was a 25 year old young lady, whom I had never met but felt somehow connected. As I walked, I thought about my own journey. Having suffered from abuse myself, I began to realize with each step i took, how over the course of my life...I had turned from victim to survivor.

There are moments when the effects of abuse still haunt me, the greatest of which is fear. Fear of trusting, fear of loving, fear of losing. Today, as I journeyed onward, each step trampled one of my biggest fears: the fear of doing. For me, and I hope many others, today marked a milestone on the journey of healing.

To Lauren: I can't even imagine how hard this journey has been for you. Thank you for your courage, and willingness to go beyond to make a difference. I know that many lives have been changed because of your journey...I am one of them.

To Everyone: Sometimes our journeys require us to traverse places that are dark and uncomfortable. But rest assured...darkness only lasts the night. Joy comes in the morning. If you have every been a victim of ANY kind of abuse...IT'S OK TO TALK ABOUT IT!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Finding Your Passion (part 2)

As I was laying in bed last night, I got to thinking that the title for yesterday's entry was related only by what was in my head. I would NEVER ask someone to dive into my brain. That is a very scarey place. So...let me clarify.

If our journey for weight loss and/or overall health is based ONLY on finding a cute bathing suit, or even becoming more shapely (or muscular for the men out there), then the posibility of the effects not being long lasting are increased. Bathing suits are only vaulable for a season, and with time, shape and muscles are much less important. These things, though not necessarily wrong, are temporal.

However, if many of our reasons for this journey are set outside of ourselves: to inspire others, to teach other people, and above all to honor the Lord...those things are infinite; they transcend time, leaving a legacy. These things are eternal.

For me, this journey is for both self-centered, and non-self centered. I don't mean "self-centered" in a negative way. I simply mean that the reasons and goals are centered around me: being able to move without pain, to not be held captive to old habits, to have more energy, etc. Non-self centered: To encourage and inspire other people, to show that Jesus died that we could live an abundant life and being slave to unhealthy habits and decisions isn't it.

I've been a musician most of my life. Through singing, I have provided entertainment value to many. I've received awards, commendations and standing ovations. And to be totally honest, those things were nice...for that moment. But for someone to say to me "Thank you for inspiring me," - There is nothing that tops that. For a friend to say, "Thank you for being committed to me..." - it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Clothes, brand name shoes, fancy cars are nice...for the moment. But to change someone's life, that, my friend, lasts a lifetime.

So, find your passion. What is it that you could talk about for hours, and that gets you so excited you can barely contain yourself? "Find your passion and make it your profession, and you'll never work again" - Janice Rockett

Lets run together with perseverance this race that is marked, and throw off everything that holds us back...EVERYTHING!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finding your Passion

I had a comment on my last blog post asking how my weight loss journey was going and if I had any advice for those who may be struggling.

So...let me just put myself out there. A few weeks ago, I had a really rough weigh in where I not only gained 3.5 lbs, I also gained 3.5 inches. It was frustrating, dissapointing and embarrasing. Things were going so well, and then I hit a 2-week slump where I decided not to care about anything that had to do with health and fitness. On top of this, I got into a huge argument with my trainer.

Then I decided to change my workouts a little bit. I wanted to be able to incorporate yoga and now that it's getting warmer, I wanted to be able to go riding in the mornings. The past 2 weekends I've gone to the park and been biking, and then practiced TaeKwonDo at lakeside. Since then, I've take the 3.5 pounds/inches.

Last Wednesday, I received my black belt. At that moment, something in my heart and mind changed. I knew that I had accomplished a huge milestone, and it put me one step closer to be reaching my dream.

So, here is my advice to you, and to me: Find your passion, because it's that passion that can really help drive and motivate us to make good decisions. For me, when I'm running, or biking...I just imagine what my school will look like and it reminds me why I'm doing what I'm going.

Also, having a good support system is crucial. Whether it be a personal trainer, church community, or a small group of friends. Encouragement is SO important.

Getting on a weight loss program like Weight Watchers is a good idea. Being accountable to a group of people and a scale does help.

But the biggest piece of advice I could give ANYONE, is this...Don't measure success only by the number of pounds or inches you've lost. There are so many others things that make us successful: running for an extra 30 secs, holding an isomentric for 20 extra secs, doing more reps of an activity than you originally set out to do, how your clothes are fitting and how your body is feeling are usually better indicators of true success.

The fact that I can do traditional push-ups now, and run 1.5 miles are better mile markers on my journey than the pounds and inches. I never thought I'd have EVER been able to do those 2 things.

I hope this helps a little. Please don't feel like you are alone, because you aren't. If you need anything anything, you can email me at hebrews.ch12v1@gmail.com.

Let us all run with perserverance this race set before us and throw off everything that holds us back!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Black Belt

No doubt last night was exciting and emotional. Last night, after 18 months of hard work, I received my Black Belt. What a journey!?! and it's only just begun.

In late August of 2008, I walked into the Tallahassee TaeKwonDo Academy with a dream. This dream is to one day become a full-time academy owner. But there are steps that must take place before the dream can happen. Last night was the start.

In mid-September, I tested for yellow belt. It was then that my friend, Georgia, and I made the committment to acheive Black Belt together. I wanted to honor that committment at whatever cost. Through her knee surgery, and my pain...through doubt, fatigue, frustration, and the slight desire to give up sometimes...last night was the fruition of that committment. We made Black Belt together.

There were a couple of time when my committment to Georgia was challenged, and I had to make a decision in my heart of whether or not I would honor it, regardless of the cost. Some thought that my decision was foolish, but I refused to waiver. It was too important to me.

Whoever said that overweight people can't do sports is a liar!!! I'm living proof! Don't get me wrong, there were many precautions to take, and conversations with doctors and instructors that should be taken. However, it is possible.

Many changes have taken place since I started in TaeKwonDo. I've learned a lot about myself. But none more important than this: becoming a black belt is very significant. It marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another. But a Black belt without character is worthless. Without the constant practice of honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-contol, courage, community, strength, humility and knowledge...the belt becomes nothing more than an accessory.

To be in a position where people look to you for guidance and inspiration is incredibly humbling. I hope that when I have my testing/demonstration for my 6th degree Master (many years down the road) - that I will remember this moment...this journey. To always be mindful of the struggles along the way, the encouragement needed to keep going. That for me, it's not about the belt color, or how many gold bars there are...we all started from the beginning, and over time with committment, we can acheive whatever goals we've set.

I never want my belt to be just an accessory. I want to live a life worth of the calling. I will continue to run with perseverance this race marked out for me, and to throw off EVERYTHING that holds me back.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The "zone"

I've been on vacation for the last several days, but that doesn't mean that working out is put on the back burner. The first day I was here, I ran 1 mile. It was the first time...ever! But let me be VERY honest...I wanted to quit half way through. Everything was burning, I couldn't get a deep breath, and my loving brother (who was supposed to be running with me)...well, lets just say he made it home before I did. Now, let me tell you WHY I didn't stop running...a moment of vanity on my part. I wanted to be able to tell the entire facebook world, that I had indeed run a mile, and I didn't want it to be a lie. So, I kept going.

On Saturday, my brother and I went biking at a local park that has a great, paved sidewalk to walk/run/bike around its perimeter. 1 lap = 1.75 miles. He and I did 4 laps, but not continuously. Sunday, He and I went to that same park and pumped out 2 continuous laps, twice for a total of 7 miles.

But today...this morning I ran another mile non-stop. This time it wasn't because of a status update, or even this blog (which I thought about a lot while I was pounding the pavement). No, this one was to see if I could put myself in "the zone". That place for walkers/joggers/runners where it's just you and the road; where everything fades dramatically in the distance. I think I got there a few times, for a few seconds each; but each time some pain would bring me back to reality.

Today, I do not understand when people say, "I need to clear my head. I'm going for a run." I could barely muster up the thought process to put one foot in front of the other, let alone have long drawn out converstations with myself.

Does this mean I won't run again. Nah! There is a sense of accomplishment when I say that I just ran a mile. But I don't think that at this stage in my developement, that I would ever say I need to go running to clear my head. Perhaps someone could give me some advice on how to get into and stay in "the zone".

Despite the lack of zoneness...let us, you and I, run with perserverance, this race marked out for us, and throw off everything that so easily holds us down.