Mindful Thinking

Mindset and mindfulness.

What exactly does it mean?

anissa runI believe it has to do with being present in the moment. Wearing the hat for the job at hand. I think the most successful people are able to switch between their different rolls/hats very efficiently….. I wear many different hats. I’m a wife, I’m a mother, I’m a daughter, I’m a coach, I’m a shoe salesman, I’m a runner, and honestly the list could go on and on and on and on and on. I have many tasks and roles to fill each day. Most of us have many tasks and roles.

As my time and priorities have changed since bringing Augie into this world. I have tried to become more aware of my mindset and mindfulness in each situation and role at which I’m called to perform. I try my best to not be distracted by my other roles, thoughts and distractions. It’s not always easy to be in the moment. Especially in this new age where distractions are just fingertips away.

LAuren and AnissaRunning has always been the fire burning inside me. And it will always be that way. It’s what I love Very very much. It is my passion. It’s what I believe I’m supposed to do. However like I said earlier my priorities have changed or shifted. I have a child who definitely takes precedence over most situations. So with that being said when I have two hours a day to use to run or to go to the gym or train in order to reach my personal goals. I have to try very hard to shift my mind to be truly focused on the task at hand. Which is running. Or training. I trust that the people caring for Augie are taking care of him and there’s nothing I can do when I’m not with him. What I can do and what I have control over, which in this particular example would be my training.

Prior to Augie I could literally at a drop of a hat go for a run or to the gym. I didn’t have IMG_20180401_154834958_HDR.jpgtime limits or restrictions. That is no longer my lifestyle. I can’t wish for things to be easier because wishing doesn’t get you anywhere. What I can do; I can be present in each moment. I can be mindful of each situation. And I can complete each task at hand. So when I have my two hours a day to run and train to prepare for my Olympic trials standard. That is where my focus is. I concentrate only on what I have control over. I run. I run when it’s anissa and moomtime to run,I’m a mother when it’s time to mother, I’m a wife when I need to be a wife. It’s not the easiest balance. Those of you who wear all these similar hats can relate. I’m definitely not a professional when it comes to being mindful. However, if I know being mindful is important in my success as a mother, wife, and as an athlete, Etc. Keeping “mindfulness” in the back of my mind is going to be the key to becoming the best version of myself. It is just going to take a little bit of effort.

#Fitmom, According to Amy

I use the hashtag #fitmom in a lot of my Instagram posts. Rather than amplify the insurmountable pressure women experience to *do it all,* I want to build women up.

My interpretation of being “fit” is that I want to do activities that I enjoy and that help me be the best version of myself — for my own happiness and for the happiness of my family. If I need a good amount of physical activity each week (or every day) to feel good about myself, that isn’t about comparing myself to other people. That’s about being active, experiencing those exercise-induced endorphins, and being a stronger person because of it.

Personal moment here… I have been treated for a bit of depression in my past. Luckily I was able to catch the signs amy 2and get myself into therapy within a few months and stay proactive about it (ha, as much as you can when you’re talking about depression). I have several close family members who struggle with depression every day, so I had a good idea of what could happen if I let things slip any further out of my control. Anyway, I bring this up to illustrate how exercise plays into my treatment. It was incredibly helpful for me to be able to speak to a mental health professional about my concerns and to come to a plan for keeping my mood balanced. For me, this plan includes goal setting, exercise, and a lot of compassion for myself when I mess up. Running is my anti-depressant right now.

amy 1Pole dancing surprisingly does wonders for my self esteem. When I’m feeling self-conscious about my thighs, my stomach, or any other area, an hour of pole will bring my mood back up. It’s hard not to lift yourself out of a funk when you are literally lifting yourself up! I gain such an appreciation for how my body works when I practice coordinated spins, climbs, and inversions on the pole.

In a similar vein, when I go for a run first thing in the morning, it’s hard to let anything else throughout the day bring me down. I’ve already done something for myself that is productive, good for me, and fun! It helps me find the energy to get through everything else being a stay-at-home mom brings. (I have some opinions about that term, but I’ll get to that later.) Plus, just like with poleamy 3 dancing, it’s hard to feel down about myself when I am able to physically conquer the goals I set out for myself.

 

A #fitmom doesn’t have to be an athlete. She can be a mom who picks up her kid when they cry, a mom who is strong enough to be the emotional backbone of her family, a mom who juggles her own self-care with the needs of her kids. I am a #fitmom, and I invite other moms to identify their strengths and fitness too.

 

 

 

Running Your Strengths

For the past 17 years I have been told:

  1.       Your hips are too weak, you need to do X,Y,Z.
  2.       Your calves are not strong enough, you need to do X,Y,Z.
  3.       Your upper body is super weak, you need to do X,Y,Z.

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Honestly the list could go on forever. These statements came from some of the best coaches, sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, and many more professionals within the running industry. All these statements are in fact true and I did and still need to do all the workouts, exercises, pre and post rehab routines which were given to me. However, it can be a little depressing being told all the areas you need to work on in order to run faster, stay injury free, and so forth. It gets to a point where you are constantly managing all of your weaknesses. It is definitely important and vital to work on all your weaknesses. By strengthening the areas of weakness, you become so much stronger physically and mentally. When you finally conquer your weaknesses, you are that much closer to your goals. My advice is to not let your weaknesses overshadow your strengths. Your strengths are the reasons you truly made it this far!

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With this in mind I have been telling myself to–work on your weaknesses but DO NOT forget your strengths. I have noticed with this mindset I feel more confident and excited to put in the work. Don’t get me wrong, I always love putting in the work, it’s just easier now.

So how have I fused this mindset with my own running endeavors? I went back through my old training journals and reminisced in my past. I needed to rediscover my strength and included it in my training. What is it that made me “good/love” running? After a little bit of research… I remembered. The workouts which showed my strengths were aerobic threshold runs. Simpler term: marathon- half marathon paced runs. Knowing my strength, I have focused on making sure I run one of these workouts every 7-10 days. Having something to look forward to every week makes it so much easier to do the hard stuff and the little things which I need to power my weaknesses.  

Go make a list of your strengths and do not forget to include them into your week!

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Training for those moments when your feet never touch the ground.

In running we read and listen to so many scientific studies, magazine article, and podcasts which are trying to discover the secret to faster running. When it comes to studying running economy, ground contact time plays an important role in one’s ability to set personal bests and even world bests. Ground contact time is a relatively scientific term in the running realm which is defined as the amount of time your foot is in contact with the ground while running. Typically, as your pace increases your ground contact time decrease. When you take a moment to really think about how long your foot is in contact with the ground per stride, it only makes sense, the shorter the contact time= the faster you run.

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Is the secret to running fast that simple?
Possibly. I am no scientist but it makes sense. What I do know based on my own personal experiences, when you have those moments in training runs, workouts, races, and even life, where you literally feel as if you are flying, your ground contact time is probably pretty quick. However, I am certain it goes much deeper than science. I believe those moments of soaring come from something so much greater. Your next question may be:

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So how do we fly?
We persevere. No matter what life hands us. It is our jobs to put in the work so we can have those moments where our feet never touch the ground.
As Peter Pan once said, “Think happy thoughts and you will fly.”
Let the Training Begin!relay-race-competition-stadium-sport.jpg