At least once per day I receive a note or text that says,

“Your life is SO Glamorous!”

I just landed in Paris. It is the most glamorous city.

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I signed a new modeling contract – I can leave at any time and they can kick me to the curb if I decide to eat all the hazelnut chocolate filled croissants in Paris. And I might.

(insert desperate plea for you to hire me for your next marketing or ad campaign here. I’m not getting any younger…)

So today we’re going to discuss my Oh So Glamorous Life.

My flight to France was 7 hours so the first thing I did was take a hefty dose of melatonin so I could sleep. (It might have been NyQuil but whatever.) Then I saw they had some really good movies that I haven’t seen and 6.5 hours later I was exhausted and drugged  but my adrenaline was pumping faster than a turbine because I had just watched every single new release in the “action/adventure” section. My legs were stiff from inactivity, I didn’t have a drop of makeup/moisturizer/illuminating glow on my face, my hair was in a bun (or was before the seat compressed it into a rat’s nest) and my deodorant expired an hour ago.

Truth is, there are days and times when my life IS quite amazing. I’m in Europe for crap sake. That’s pretty glamorous. I get fawned over for hours with hair and makeup. I get to wear beautiful clothes and carry Gucci and Prada accessories that I DIDN’T HAVE TO PAY FOR. I get to meet incredibly talented photographers from all over the world that inspire me with their art and talent. I have worked with some magnificently beautiful human beings. I’ve met up-and-coming designers who design clothes that, one day,  you might wear. I have a portfolio of lovely photos that I’ll have forever. (You can follow my musings on Instagram @KathyCamp1.)

HOWEVER, IN BETWEEN, my life can SUCK ASS. Let me break it down for you.

1. I still have to interview for jobs. Yes, everyone knows what I look like. But you still have to go on “calls” and see if the designer or rep likes the way you look for their clothes or their campaign. It’s a competition against incredibly beautiful people. I face rejection daily. Yes, daily.

2. I am 5’10”. I have to maintain a size 0-2 with measurements of 34-24-34. At 40 years old, that’s defying most laws of gravity.  I work out a LOT. (This is an exercise and edification blog after all.) I spend a solid hour every morning thinking about what I need to do – cardio, lifting, yoga, Pilates or a combo of them – and then where in my day it’s going to fit in. Currently I’m in a dress with a sports bra on because I know the second I get home from a meeting, I need to do a 40 minute HIIT workout (Fitness Blender on YouTube is my go-to) and then get a quick jog in before the rain comes. Because oh yeah I’m in Europe and today it’s sunny but tomorrow it may snow because God is punishing me for something I did in the 8th grade.

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3. When I’m not working out or thinking about working out or planning to work out or stressing about working out, I’m thinking about eating. I think about food 400x a day. I practice intermittent fasting which is not for the weak. I don’t eat between 8pm and 2pm the following day. Why? Because I’m a masochist and I like pain. No, because there are health benefits to fasting and it means I have a smaller window to eat which naturally limits my calories. I follow the KETO diet. But I don’t really like meat, I’m super sensitive to dairy and I have to watch my nut/seed caloric load so I’m kind of Vegan-esque Keto which is really hard and not really a thing. I eat a lot of cauliflower, spinach, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olives, nuts and seeds. (Last week I was so stressed out I ate half a jar of sunflower seed butter with a spoon.) Winning.

So when I’m not thinking about exercising, I’m thinking about food. I don’t have it all figured out. And what works for me may not work for you – you have to find what balances out your particular issues and hormones. And we all have issues.

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I use an app called Cronometer where I track every single thing I eat and drink. You will see supermodels in magazines tell you they eat whatever they want. They preach moderation. It’s just not true. Or it is and by “moderation” they mean they weighed their one sugar-free breath mint for the day.

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Last week I flew to New York. Since you now know I obsess about food, I can’t possibly eat airplane food.

HOW WOULD I TRACK MY MACROS? HOW DO I ENTER “MYSTERY MEAT” IN MY APP? IS THAT SAUCE? IS IT OIL? COCONUT? GRASS FED GHEE? RAPESEED OIL FROM RAPE FIELDS OF EUROPE? WHATS A RAPE FIELD AND WHY CAN’T THEY RENAME THAT BY NOW?

I had two planes and a total 18 hour trip in front of me so the evening before I prepared my food for the day. Since I was going across multiple time zones, I didn’t worry about an eating window and just portioned out enough to eat every few hours. I knew I’d sleep a little but mostly I’d be watching an endless loop of movies since I’m too cheap to have cable. And as you know, screen time leads to snack time so I needed to be prepared.

I measured and prepackaged in clear zip lock baggies 8 individual servings of: cucumber and celery sliced and portioned, pumpkin seeds, pecans and turkey pepperoni. (I know it’s processed but dude – airplane.)

Upon entering the mighty United States Of America, my country of birth, the Stars and Stripes that raised me under the banner of freedom, I passed through security…

and was immediately detained by a United States Department of Agriculture Customs Officer. 

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“Brunhilda”, as we will lovingly refer to her, was not a chipper woman. Standing roughly 5 feet tall in both directions, she had seen better days. Her hair was in a bun so tight her eyelids struggled to blink. She smelled of day old cigarettes and pork rinds. For the record, I love pork rinds. This was more “ode to swine anus” and she lacked a basic understanding of personal boundaries.

My passport was confiscated and put into a clear pouch with a green border.  This is apparently important because the color of your pouch will dictate what level of threat you are or how far up the body cavity they will search. I was assigned multiple tax-paid handlers. One was for my luggage that was pulled off my connecting plane for inspection and another to stay beside me at all times as apparently I looked like some sort of soccer mom flight risk in my yoga pants and knock off pashmina.

I was taken to a secured room where my belongings and my body were carefully inspected as if I might be hiding Russian spy codes between my fallopian tubes. While touching places that haven’t been touched since the doctor pulled me from the womb, “Brunhilda” informed me that I was a new breed of terrorist – the kind that brings foreign agriculture into our beloved homeland. The kind that can spread disease and introduce pests and germs to the New World.

Apparently, I hadn’t finished off the last bag of pre measured and sliced cucumbers. And now said cucumbers and I were the suspects of potential mass agricultural and human genocide.

In the holding cell next to me (ok it was a room but stay with me) was a tiny, elderly hispanic woman who had a half eaten apple from Spain. She was crying and shaking in fear. I gave her a raised hand in compassionate understanding.

Solidarity, Eve. Solidarity.

Two hours and a missed connection to New York, my half eaten zip lock bag of sliced cucumbers were ceremoniously dropped into a garbage can of other food soccer moms and yogis have tried to sneak into the country in the relentless pursuit of health.

Eventually, I made it to New York.

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I haven’t eaten a cucumber since.

Body searches aside, my day-to-day life is not all that glamorous. It’s full of stress and emails and meetings and kettle bells and rejection and fake eye lashes.

How we carry ourselves through the stress, the bouts of self-doubt, fear, anxiety, failure, success, and half-glued eyelashes is what people see.

I had someone call me narcissistic recently. And not in love. (Is that ever said in love?) Here’s the truth – we all need a streak of self love. I get told on a daily basis that I’m too fat, my feet are too big, I’m too old, that I need botox or a thread lift, definitely a breast lift, or this and that. Every Single Day. It can be exhausting but the way I look doesn’t define me. And it shouldn’t define you. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. No matter where you are in your personal journey – and we’re all on a journey – you have to first know and believe that you were made perfect for a purpose. Perfect just as you are right now – not when you were in college or where you want to be next year – right now in this moment as you read these words you are beautifully made in the image of God. May that be a freedom for you, as it is for me. 

Glamour is appearance, not lifestyle. And inner joy – the kind that radiates from your soul – is more beautiful than any physical thing could ever be.

Hold your head up high. Pull your shoulders back. Let your light shine.

Live your most glamorous life.

Cucumbers optional.

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and Run to Win.

 

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R.P.P. The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection. We have all known it at some point in our lives. As someone who gets paid to be photographed, it’s a hollow pursuit for cellulite cream, wrinkle erasers and frizz free hair.

Since I’ve started this blog, the most asked questions I get from both friends and followers is about my health and beauty routine. (Sometimes they ask about exercise but, considering this is a running blog, that’s fairly obvious.) I haven’t had any botox or fillers or injectables yet. Yet. (For the record, I don’t get paid to advertise these things and I bought them at my favorite store – the drug store – like everyone else. Suck it, Kardashians.)

1. I run. Some days I lift. Sometimes I do work out videos on youtube. I tried Cross fit… once….

I just ran. It was fine. Nothing special happened. It was a beautiful day, an easy jog. Sometimes it just matters that it gets done.

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2. I wash my face with L’oreal Revitalift cleanser. When I travel, I wash my face with hand soap because anything is better than sleeping in makeup. Hey, 20 year old with perfect skin – time is a bitch. Start now. Your 40 year old self will thank you.

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3. I slather on a heavy amount of Bio Oil. That’s right – the stuff for scars. I’m currently using the generic CVS brand because it was on sale. Deep, thought provoking stuff, I know.

4. I use Lancome Genifique. It’s really, freaking expensive but the entire line is worth it. They have an eye cream that is sublime but i’m currently out of it. “Dear Lancome…”

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That’s it. I don’t wear foundation unless a professional make up artist comes and paints the crap on me for three or four laborious hours. I always wear mascara and when I’m in Florida, sunscreen. Ultimately, and I mean this with all sincerity, it doesn’t matter what you do on the outside if you neglect what’s on the inside. That means your health and your heart. Learn what to feed your body for peak performance (life is a race and we’re running to win!) and what to feed your heart (faith, family, friends, etc.)

Now for the inside. First, I know you’ve read about “A” list, 20 year old models like Gigi and Bella eating McDonalds and pizza. That’s because they’re fetuses. All models know that, after 30, every calorie counts. Do you think Cindy or Elle eat pizza and fast food? No. They count every single calorie and they practice calorie restriction. I was at a shoot recently where the food table was carrot sticks and Marlboro lights. I’m not kidding. Models will go to all sorts of extremes to fit into society imposed images and a Gucci sample size 0.

Victoria’s little Secret is out – those girls haven’t eaten in fourteen years.

Here’ the big one that has changed my body in a real, healthy way:

I gave up all sugar. (That includes wine and most alcohol, too. But not you, Titos. Not you.)

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I follow a strict Ketogenic diet and I aim to drink an insane amount of water.

My modeling agency said I needed to lose weight before fashion week. I had to do some serious evaluating. This is my journey and “everything in moderation” doesn’t work for me because I’m an emotional eater. I had to separate my emotional response to food. It’s been a long process that won’t ever end. Being thin enough for sample size clothes is necessary for me to be in this business. Being a healthy weight is necessary for me to live a healthy life. I’m trying to find the balance.

When I was a child, my mother would bake. All The Time. (she still does!) She’s a fantastic baker. She’d show love by feeding half the Corps of Cadets her blueberry muffins. Pancakes. Birthday cake! Who doesn’t love birthday cake?! Brownies on your promotion, donuts on casual Friday. I had to remove the emotional component from food. Would your birthday be any less, err, sweet if you celebrated with a juicy steak? Or what if you didn’t use food to celebrate at all! What if your gift to yourself was a long hike in the woods? Take a mini vacation or try rock climbing. Would it make the accomplishment or milestone any less enjoyable?

Would removing food from a celebration make it less celebratory?

Think about that.

Some people are naturally lean. I am not one of those people. When I remove the emotional component to food, I can actually focus on my long term health goals. Food becomes a source of energy – of fuel – not of joy or comfort.

I’ve been thinking about my long-term goals. I’m traveling a lot between Europe and USA and that causes immense stress. I’m trying to support my aging parents, run races for my dad and for Parkinson’s disease, work from home, manage a long-distance relationship and care for a six year old child every day, wherever I go. Sometimes I really want to just eat the cake. Eat the bowl of pasta. Eat the bag of chips. Drink the box of wine. But I’d rather wear the skinny jeans, run AND FINISH the road race. I’d rather eat to live.

Sometimes (a lot lately) my stress causes me to create this unrealistic fantasy world where everything is fine and great and I don’t need to take time for self care. Read that sentence again because I know you do that, too. We focus on our kids or our job or our love lives or material things and stop doing the hard self work that ultimately brings peace.

AND WE ALL NEED SOME FREAKING PEACE THESE DAYS.

Whatever you do on the outside, what matters most is what we do on the inside. Beauty fades. Your soul is eternal. Trust that the Creator who made you can heal and sustain you.

For me, that means having friends and loved ones snap me out of my “fantasy fog” back to reality where things aren’t all high heels and cocktails and that’s ok! It means admitting when you need help. It means developing a prayer life that goes beyond a meal blessing and becomes a running dialog with God. It means mentally emptying your giant bucket of responsibility and only putting back in the things that are essential for that day. It means removing yourself emotionally from other people. This is a big one for me. Never search for other people to validate you – to make you feel loved, accepted, worthy. You have to get that from the deep well within you. Know your worth.

Inner peace is beautiful. Confidence through accomplishment is beautiful. Self love is beautiful. Self acceptance is beautiful. Knowing you are fearfully and wonderfully made is, indeed, beautiful.

NOW GO BE BEAUTIFUL.

and Run to Win.

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All the things that truly matter, beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace arise from beyond the mind.”  ~Eckhart Tolle

 

 

 

 

 

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3 races, 3 states, 40 hours. MS/AL/LA

Alabama — 6pm on a Saturday

Holly and I left Mississippi and drove a few hours to Orange Beach, Alabama. A few hours in the car after a road race running OVER A BRIDGE means sore, aching hips. (I was equipped with sturdy birthing hips which feel neither particularly sturdy nor benefitted me much during childbirth – an experience I will never blog about because there are some mental images you can’t unsee.) Anyway, running/driving/running/driving is not a good combo.

I needed a night race to fit 3 races in my tight schedule so it was a theme race – a party race – a glow-in-the-dark-80’s-themed race. The kind of race where they give prizes for the best vintage Bananarama t-shirt and hose you down with hot pink fabric softener. gag.

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But it was fun. Everyone had fun. EXERCISE CAN BE FUN! And even when it isn’t, it helps you feel better about yourself and that’s fun.

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I recently had the incredible privilege of speaking to a group of women about the need and benefits of self care. Self care isn’t just taking time to read and reflect or taking a girls trip to Vegas. (though those things are important.) Self care is making time every day to break a sweat – to better your physical self so you can be better for those around you. It’s especially important for moms with school aged kids. Moms are so busy taking care of everyone else we forget to care for ourselves. Breaking a sweat every single day is crucial to self care and do you know what the byproduct of self care is? SELF WORTH. And we can all use a little more of that. So go for a walk. Do some squats. I challenged my ladies to do 10 sit ups, 10 push ups and 10 squats every day for 90 days. You don’t need equipment or much time but the benefits are more than physical because you’re investing in your physical well being.

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Find things you enjoy doing. Break out that old Jane Fonda tape. Or do my favorite Carmen Electra Fit to Strip. Walk the dog twice. Grab a friend who makes you laugh and go for a hike with them.

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Life is meant to be FUN! It’s too short to be perpetually pissed off all the time. So go ahead and have the second bottle err glass of wine. (as I will after Lent. by the way – i think i’m still in detox…) Eat the second or third square of dark chocolate.  Dance in your underwear. Laugh. And run to win.  Tomorrow – New Orleans.

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Valdosta, Georgia.

8am on a Saturday.

I drove 5 hours into the night so I didn’t get to fully appreciate the Florida to Georgia highway. In the morning I was able to view it in all its glory. Here’s the highlight:

Billboards. So many billboards. In a 5 mile stretch you can buy a gun, sell a gun, buy another gun, buy a rack for your gun, a holster for your gun and a gun for your gun. You can buy a bible, borrow a bible, share a bible or read a bible with someone who will also sell you a gun. And you can do it all over brunch at the Cracker Barrel – home to a manufactured nostalgia of a South that none of us ever knew.

The race itself was held at Valdosta State University. A few notes about the race: It was one of the first races where there was free coffee BEFORE the race when you’re standing around cold and anxious wondering if you’ve left enough time to flush it all out. Brilliant.

The course meandered down neighborhood streets lined with magnificent, towering pine trees and graceful ranch homes with large porches for sipping iced tea on a cool southern evening. Or shoot a gun. Toss up.

Around mile 2 a woman came up next to me and just stayed by my side. I’m not sure if she saw me change pace a little in the warming southern sun or if she just needed someone to run with. We ran together the last mile, matching each others pace until we sprinted through the finish line. I was thankful for her camaraderie. I welcomed her companionship. It made me wonder if I was doing enough to be welcoming to those around me.

On the ride home I went 9 miles out of the way to go to the Georgia Welcome Center. (I wanted a picture with a peach.)

It was closed. The Welcome Center was CLOSED.

It made me think about my actions during this season of Lent. Am I welcoming or am I closed? Do I come along people and be an encourager like my running partner? Am I leading a life thats all about me or includes service to others, open 24 hours a day? How can I encourage YOU to run to win?

Back on highway 75 I started seeing huge billboards advertising Florida:images-1.jpg

This is Florida.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

Open 24 hours a day.

Free Orange Juice!

Everybody is included. Always welcome, always open. 

Be like Florida.

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I am not Catholic. Sacrificing for our faith wasn’t a part of our Easter time rituals. (Be clear – there were plenty of pro-faith sacrificing we did. Stay tuned for my “Dress as your favorite Wise Man or Shepherd” Halloween post.)

I remember there were a few years my father gave up his beloved daily pot of black coffee for tea. Those were not happy years.

This year, in the interest of being stronger, faster, thinner err healthier, I’ve decided to give up alcohol.

You can now ice skate in hell.

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What is Lent really all about? Andrew Boyd from the Orthodox Church talks about the parallel between athletes and religion – about engaging during the season of Lent. Being intentional in our actions.

“Now, an athlete who can run for miles and has perfectly toned muscles has a great beginning, but that is not the end of the story.  Go into any gym across the country, and you can find countless people who fit the bill of having great cardiovascular ability and strong muscles.  What distinguishes a star athlete from a dedicated fitness buff is athletic skill.  A baseball player can hit home runs; a football player can catch the ball and run through a field of defenders; a dancer can weightlessly glide across the floor and leap through the air.  At the end of the day, an athlete actually plays the game, and for a Christian, almsgiving is “playing the game.”  Christ commands us to love the Lord your God, and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt 22:39)  Almsgiving is a concrete act of love for the neighbor.  When we give alms we offer ourselves to those in need.  This does not have to be exotic and dramatic, like giving your college savings to an African mission.  It can be as simple as taking someone out to lunch.  Even better, taking someone out to lunch who does not have much money and who does not have many friends.  It could mean giving an hour of your time to visit an elderly shut-in.  It could also mean volunteering as a mentor for a young person.  It could also mean giving money to the poor.  Almsgiving is the way that Christians do the will of God in concrete terms; showing mercy and compassion to real people who are in real need.  Fundamentally, we do this because Christ did the same thing for us.  He gave Himself for our salvation, and in following Christ we give ourselves for the service of others.”

I will use the season of Lent as a reminder to be more intentional. Don’t just sacrifice to fit into your Easter pastels. Sacrifice as an exercise. 

I’m going to be more intentional about relationships. I’m going to reach out to more people and be an encourager.

Harder than that, I’m going to give up wine.

If you don’t hear from me in the next 40 days, look for me in Napa. Vegas. Virginia wine country, the cupboard of some old ladies house sipping blackberry brandy circa 1984.

You’ve been warned.

In the meantime, lets be kinder. Gentler. Slow to anger, quick to forgive. Intentional in our actions. Because it’s Lent. Everyone is hungry and pissed off.

Cheers!

As a skier, I love the cold.

As a runner, I hate the cold.

So, I have a treadmill. I believe it was invented by the world’s most boring human being who neither runs nor has a soul.

Today, with frost covering the ground, I decided to tap into my inner Jane Fonda and do a workout video. Since I’m not the yoga-pants-to-brunch-soccer-mom type, I chose Carmen Electra’s Fit to Strip. Yes, that’s right. And let me tell you – there is a reason strippers have amazing bodies. You try to suspend yourself upside down one handed from a inanimate object. My abs are so sore it hurts to sneeze.

I won’t be finding employment swinging from the rafters anytime soon but I feel good having started off my day breaking a sweat.

Routine is boring but necessary. Brushing our teeth, daily chores, working out has to be automatic. So often routine turns into rut. Our marriages get stale, our exercise routines get mundane. Our jobs become monotonous. I’m not Oprah (nor am I Carmen Electra, obviously) so I don’t have any great advice for avoiding the rut. However, I am mindful of it.

We need to change it up. Do something different at work. Be an encourager. Take the stairs. Park farther away from work. When you take a bathroom break, do a few squats. Tomorrow, do a few more. Meditate. Pray. Let God be a part of the routine.

Most mornings, my father recites by memory Psalm 90 from The Message. (I have not memorized a bible verse since the 7th grade.) He recites it every morning – the entire thing. (I can’t remember where I placed my grocery list 10 seconds after I wrote it.) But verses 12 & 17 apply.

12 Oh! Teach us to live well!
    Teach us to live wisely and well!

17 And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
    confirming the work that we do.
    Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

Psalm 90:12 & 17 (read the entire verse here.)

Lets strive to live well. Shake off the rut with me. Get up and Run to Win. 

If all else fails, hop on the pole. (Just don’t blog about it. People will judge you…)

October 10, 2014 I made a commitment to run for a year.

I am not a self motivated person. I don’t wake up every morning and say, “TODAY IS A NEW DAY LETS DO GREAT THINGS!” In fact, I dislike those people immensely. I’m more of a “CRAP. I have 7 minutes to walk the dog, feed my kid, shower, dress and get out the door…..” So when I decided to run a road race every weekend for 1 year, (52 consecutive races for the mathematically challenged) no one believed I could do it. But I did.

I ran for my Dad who has Parkinsons and all those struggling with the stuff life throws at us, for myself, for all the unmotivated, underachieving, yoga pants wearing, backwards baseball cap, flip flops in winter, kid in pajamas because i-don’t-care people out there.

My dad’s motto – my mantra this past year – comes from 1 Corinthians 9:24. Its applicable regardless of your beliefs or where you are on your faith journey:

“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win.” 1 Cor 9:24

Now what?

The end of 1 Corinthians 9 talks about what to do next:

“I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.”

This is my road map for this next adventure.

I will keep running. Keep spreading the word about Parkinson’s so those who are being diagnosed at 60 or 40 or 25 know it’s ok – there’s hope. Maybe it’s something else. Cancer. Heart disease. A broken bone. A broken heart. My father tells a story from when he was Dean of Gordon Conwell Seminary. An international student came in distraught. His mother had died back in his home country. He needed someone to moan and wail with him as was his mourning tradition. “My mother was my rock. My spiritual well. Who will pray for me now?” I think about that exchange. About having someone that you can count on – someone that you know has your back. Someone who carries your burden, comes along side and will pray for you. The road has become my sanctuary – my quiet place to meditate, to reflect, to pray.

I can’t stop now. I’m going to keep running. And, because I want to keep connected to you, i’m going to run with you – in your state – in all 50 states over the next year +. (that plus sign is incredibly important. I have a job and a toddler – there is no way I can run in all 50 states in 1 year unless someone fantastically wealthy wants to bankroll me for a while – in which case, CALL ME!)

Plus, lets be real. I look fantastic in a cocktail dress. How else will North Dakota get to appreciate these glutes?

Dust off your shoes because i’m coming for you – i’m coming to run or walk or celebrate or moan and wail or pray or cheer or just high five you in your state.

Be excited! (and possibly afraid. I actually know where a lot of you live and I lack boundaries…)

1 Corinthians 9:24-27The Message (MSG)

24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

We are all on a journey. This blog is about My journey.

Exercise and Edification.

Run to Win.