d81e9089588840e52e7f7adf3b206228

Today…I’m going to choose happiness…

This fragile life we lead is just that….FRAGILE!  

We get one….this ONE life to make the most of….to accomplish all we are capable of…

….but are you wasting it?

I know I was!  

open-your-eyes

These past 365ish days have been eye-opening to just how fragile life is…how quickly life as you know it can change….and I’m reminded daily of this very fact.  

These past 365ish days has shaken me and woke my ass up….opened my eyes so wide…I will forever need sunglasses🙂

An accumulation of bad events happening in my life a year ago made me realize just how much I was wrapped up in my own depression/misery.  Hitting rock bottom will do that to you.  (Side note:  I’ve always dealt with, since I can remember, what I now know as depression/anxiety/ADD.)

sometimes-the-bad

Up until my world was rocked….I was literally going through the motions of the day….seeing but not really seeing…there but not really there. To the outside world, you would never know…why?…because I’ve had many years of practice as a master actress of fake happiness.  In fact, I was so good…I didn’t even realize just how unhappy I was…I just took it as this is the way I’ve always been.  The reason I was unhappy??  I Have NO Clue!….that’s how depression works.  You feel the suffering but you’re not sure why and for what…if that makes sense.  But it doesn’t take away from the fact that I pushed people away and didn’t even realize it.  It doesn’t take away from the fact that I was wasting my life away by going thru the motions. 

714850

365ish days ago though…my world turned upside down and dropped me to my knees.  And it was there that I realized that most important thing that I could have EVER realized.

I needed someone to take control of my life and happiness…and the only person who could do that was ME!  After many, many weeks of soul-searching…I realized that my happiness was in my hands and my hands alone.  I had spent most of my life thinking the exact opposite.  That I needed others to make me happy…which it turns out…just doesn’t work out that great!  

0b394cbf3ce0ef3e70735a26de61ffcc

It was also around that time that I read something in a book I had recently started.  It said, “We need to learn to adapt to change but we also need to learn to tell when a situation is wrong for us and not force ourselves to fit.” – Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie.

It clicked…the final piece easily fell into place and I knew what I needed.  I needed to start living for myself…living the life I was meant for and not the one I thought everyone wanted me to live…Trust me when I say this isn’t easy for me because this totally goes against everything I believed as a chronic “people pleaser”…but I decided to stop being scared and do it anyway. 

I decided then and there that big changes were coming…I realized that everything I wanted was just right beyond my comfort zone where I had taken up residence…I realized that I needed to stop hiding and to embrace life for what it really is….A gift!  

A gift to use wisely…to not waste. I needed to stop worrying about everything and just enjoy frickin’ life! 

journey

So I did!  I took a leap at happiness….and started following my heart!  I quit a job that just wasn’t meant for ME…got “MY” dream job…started surrounding myself with happy thoughts and people…started being present to my loved ones and working diligently on those relationships…started trying the things I had convinced myself I was scared of…and just overall…started just CHOOSING happiness.  

It’s not always easy…but I’ve seen and felt the alternative. 

It’s not always easy…when my depression rears its ugly head and makes me doubt everything I know to be true. 

It’s not always easy…when my irrational thoughts are running wild and make no sense…

Its hard to rise up above it…but try anyway…It’s always worth the try!  

d81e9089588840e52e7f7adf3b206228.jpg

~ Happiness can be elusive sometimes….search it out anyway! ~ -Jennifer Whitrock

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

With all this said…I’m seriously here for ANYONE that ever needs to talk🙂

(Feel free to email me at livelearnloverun@gmail.com….ANYTIME!!! 24/7)

We are all in this together…I’ve got your back!

start-where-you-are-use-what-you-have-and-do-what-you-can-inspirational-quotes

So you say you “CAN’T” do it….

…..and I say “Bullshit!”

See…that is the beauty…you actually CAN!  You just have to do it…you just have to take that first step.  And guess what…that first step isn’t what you think it is…BUT it is THE most important so listen closely…

The first step is to tell yourself that you can do whatever you want!  And then BELIEVE IT!

96947-you-can-do-it-quotes-motivational-quote-if-you

Whatever the goal is…you can do it!  But sitting there telling yourself that you can’t do it…or you shouldn’t do it…or you don’t have time for it…it won’t do anything but prove those crazy thoughts right!  Instead of focusing on what you think you can’t do…start focusing on what you CAN do!

And then GO DO IT!!

 Just start…it doesn’t have to be extreme…if your goal is to eat more healthy…start by changing one meal a day…if finishing a 5K race is your goal…start by walking to the end of the block…if happiness is your goal…start by choosing happiness.  Do this for 30 days….I promise…if you keep showing up for 30 full days…you will have made a huge change to yourself as a person.  30 days is all you need to change a habit.   Choose one….conquer it…and then choose another…and then conquer it…only YOU have the ability to change and be who you want to be…who you were meant to be before you listened to what you thought the world wanted you to be.

start-where-you-are-use-what-you-have-and-do-what-you-can-inspirational-quotes

What’s the worst that could happen??

Happiness and contentment and satisfaction are just beyond your comfort zone!

Push past it!

Let’s get our MO’Cowbell on!! **Giveaway**

** We have a Winner!!!  Gail Akeman  was our winner!  I will be contacting you shortly!! **

Gail is midwestlady01 on Twitter and you since she is a fellow blogger…go check out her page at Midwest Lady Thoughts

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Everyone know what time it is??!!!  (this is where I yell into my mini megaphone)

That’s right!!  It’s time to get your butts out there and sign up for MO’Cowbell!!!

MOCowbell2013-021113

As you all know…this is my one and only true love…Well…true RACE love!!  MO’Cowbell holds a very special place in my heart as it was my very first ever Half-Marathon!  I’m also a MO’Bassador for this lovely race gem and I love spreading the word about how awesome it really is!  

Listen…I know what you are thinking…”It’s just a race Jenn!”…..Which I kindly respond with….”Get the heck out of here….It’s the most KICKASS race around!”

Wanna know why??  I will give you 10 reasons…in no specific order of importance because they are ALL important🙂

  1. You get to run through some beautiful scenery (Fronteir Park, Historic Main Street, New Town, Katy Trail).  You can view all the course maps here.
  2. You get to experience a race that has the best hometown feel to it with tons of clanging cowbells and screaming fans (If you aren’t a runner, you can always come cheer us on along the way – Don’t forget your funny race signs!!)
  3. Our race is USATF Certified so you can use it as a Boston Qualifier for all you people who dream of sporting that blue and yellow!  #BostonStrong
  4. You can meet the coolest…most hip…most in shape race mascot that you will ever have the chance to meet!  Who wouldn’t want a selfie with a cow that has six-pack abs and goes by the name of Chuck?!  I’ll tell you who…Everyone would want one!!
  5. You could ring the HUGE 100-lb Finisher Bell….Come on!  You know you wanna!!
  6. You can say that you accomplished something amazing!!  (We seriously have a race for everyone!  5K, Half-Marathon Relay (2-person), Half-Marathon, and Full-Marathon)
  7. It’s literally one of the flattest races around!  Yes…there is one killer hill but you are amazing and I know you got this!!  That hill has nothing on you!!!!  Woot Woot!! 
  8. You would get to run with me…come find me and I will keep you laughing along the way with my witty remarks and my positive motivation!  But seriously…come find me…I would love to have a few running buddies along the way…memories in the making when you have friends to run with!
  9. We have one heck of a Fitness Ex’MO!!  We always have an awesome time at packet and race shirt pickup!  Plus…there are always a ton of fun vendors that you can check out!  Clothes…running products…massage/chiropractic care…nutrition…and soooooo much more!
  10. This race gives back to our community is so many ways!  One of those ways is by donating part of our proceeds each year to a local charity.  This year, the proceeds will benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County.  This is one of the oldest youth serving organization in St. Charles and surrounding counties.  

So what do you think?  Are you intrigued?  Wanna know more?!  Comment below with any questions you might have or can’t find on the website and I would be more than happy to help answer those questions.

Ready to sign up??  Go here!!  

Prices go up at the end of August so get signed up soon!!  

Wanna score some awesome MO’Cowbell race swag?  

Use my MO’Bassador race code (code = JENWCB16)

Also…since this IS my FAVORITE race around…I’ve decided to do a little giveaway for a MO’Cowbell Swag Bag full of goodies!!! (Prize includes:  MO’Cowbell Cooler, MO’Cowbell Race bags, MO’Cowbell race shirts, Cowbell Uncorked Frisbees, MO’Cowbell bells, Sweatpink shoelaces, Skratch hydration mix, RX Bars, RoadID band and much more!!!)  

 

You can gain entries by doing the following:  

  1. Share this blog post on Facebook (comment below letting me know you did).
  2. Share this blog post on Twitter with the following verbiage “I need MO’Cowbell!” http://www.mocowbellrun.com #gotthefever #mocowbellrun #livelearnloverun #racechat”  (comment below letting me know you did)
  3. Comment below telling me you favorite race distance and why!

PLEASE NOTE:  Each comment gains you an entry!

I will pick a winner on September 9th at 11:00 pm (CST)

logo200-1

**Race Entry Giveaway!!**CDM Mind & Body 5K Run/Walk & Wellness Expo

First off…let me tell you a little bit about CDM Mind & Body!

logo200-1

CDM Mind & Body is a platform for all things health…and you all KNOW how much I love my health and fitness!  They are your resource for health tips, motivation, information, how-to and much more…and I’ll be honest…who DOESN’T need all that stuff in their life?!  That’s right…we all do!!

And we can all thank Cynthia Ringo for making this all happen!  This St. Louis based group was formed in 2010 by Cynthia and was sponsored by Christ Deliverance Ministry.  After becoming a full-time caregiver for her husband (who had suffered a stroke and then developed vascular dementia as a result of that stroke), maintaining a healthy lifestyle became SUPER important to her because she knew if she didn’t care for herself…she wouldn’t be able to care for him.  So…with about 15 other women from their church, she started her journey to become her healthiest while inspiring others.

Guess what happened!

That small group of women (age span from 21 to 65 including two breast cancer survivors) lost over 600 pounds collectively and counting….WOW!!!!!!!

Since then…the original group of women along with others in the community decided to take back their lives and have grown this idea into a day-long health and fitness event sponsored by CDM (Christ Deliverance Ministry – a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving the St. Louis community).

This year, on May 28th,  come and enjoy the day at with this inspirational group!  There will be something for everyone!  The event takes place at Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School in Midtown St. Louis (701 North Spring Avenue, St. Louis, MO) and includes a 5K race (1st place can snag a $500 overall prize), a fitness challenge, a healthy living seminar and many lifestyle vendors.

This is going to be a day of fun that you DON’T want to miss!  Wanna find out more?  Go here and check out the answers to all those frequently asked questions.  Or better yet…just go sign up!  It’s only $35 for the 5K and the rest of the events that day are FREE!

Here is the best part!  CDM Mind & Body is wanting to offer one of you lucky readers and a guest of your choice a FREE entry for their 5K on May 28, 2016.  A winner will be picked by May 27th.  Enter below through Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Trifecta of talent!

Our neighbor (and one of my daughter’s best friend) is constantly impressing me with her talent and her zest for life and her passion for being a star one day!  And I know she will do it!  It’s not often that you meet a kid her age who already knows exactly what she wants and where she is headed!

Yesterday, her mom shared this video and be the end of the day, it has 1,100 views which made these girls ecstatic!  So I shared it also and now this morning…1,628!  Let’s make these girls day and share their awesome talent!  Who know’s…maybe we will see them on Ellen one day😉

IMG_5997

Practice grace with yourself…

As I sit here after working out and feeling very discouraged…I find myself doing the exact opposite of what I always preach…and that is not comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle.  It’s a hard thing when we know that we are capable of more but just aren’t back there yet.

Maybe something in life has made you have to step back and take a break or maybe you just got burnt out. For me, it was taking three months off to recover from a surgery.  I went from running half marathons to barely being able to run a ONE mile.

Whatever it is…we have to try and remember that this is only one little speck of our life…your stamina will come back…the squats won’t always hurt…you won’t always be winded…just keep pushing to do YOUR best and remember to practice a little grace with yourself…don’t be so hard on yourself and know that this is your best right NOW!