Getting back to running and exercising

Motivated to start running again

One of my first posts on this blog was about me running and completing a marathon. This accomplishment still ranks high in my life and I will never forget the emotions I felt when I crossed that finish line. If you are a runner you understand what I’m saying; to give up of your time in preparation for such a challenge, in that moment of closing in on your goal the whole world stops and there is this burst of adrenaline that makes your body move beyond anything you could ever imagine. Feeling tired won’t stop you. The pain won’t stop. Completing the marathon becomes an inner ambition that clings to your soul.

No one expresses this feeling better than Dean Karnazes in his book “The Ultra Marathon Man”. Dean shares of this love for running and how it become his personal moment of reflection. Running reset his life on a course that brought him joy and a few accolades. If you love running or find peace in the simple act of journeying by foot, this book is a must read. It will motivate you to get up and get moving. It has done that to me.

Since that marathon day I have yet to enter on another race. I remember setting my eyes on the Ironman and felling invincible. Beyond naive, my thoughts were simply unrealistic. Especially since I didn’t keep up with the training regiment. And recently I’ve thought of that marathon day and have questioned it: What was it for? What did it mean? Instead of being the final day of a challenge that day become the first day of a life transformed. When you achieve a goal it’s normal to pause and recognize what you have accomplished. I think I’ve paused for too long.

I’ve continued running but I know I can do more; more days of running and longer distances. I’ve been to the gym and done my fair share of muscle building exercises but I know I haven’t done enough. Challenging oneself is important in the process of living a life motivated. It also helps that I have a supporting and encouraging family that motivates me to find a new challenge.

This post is a memo to myself: get back to running and exercising. There is a challenge out there waiting for me.

As part of the vision for 2motive8, be on the lookout for more posts with the category #MotivateHealthyLiving.

What healthy living challenges are awaiting you? Share in the comments. I would love to start a conversation about it.

Four blessings

20120507-054358.jpg

It’s been four weeks since the last time I blogged. Much has been on my mind as I experienced life through holidays, special family moments and time with friends. These have definitely been four weeks of much meditation that have reminded me of the importance of recognizing life’s blessings.

These life events, occurrences and simple moments in time, show us the true meaning of a successful life. The things we should be measured by but that we take for granted. A life more often fulfilled in the most simple of actions. I lived through these reminders in the last four weeks. Not just about my blessings but also my real goals in life – to be a man after God’s own heart, a husband, a father, a friend, and a hard worker that shows integrity in each action.

This will be my most personal post to date. However, I believe these reminders to be applicable for anyone. A motivational reminder on how we should at our life. From most recent to my first week, here we go…

You live a good life
I just had a family member visit me from Portugal. Her stories of a frustrating society caught in the middle of an identity crisis hurst most because of the ties I have with this country I call my own. I feel American but there is still much of me that is internally Portuguese. The beautiful beaches, the historical monuments and the always present sense of pride, all fill my memory and reoccurring thoughts from time to time.

Much like many European countries, Portugal is in the middle of an economic crisis that has impacted the majority of its population. If you’ve heard of the issues impacting Greece and Spain, just change the scenery and that is Portugal’s reality. Her stories were a constant reminder of how my reality was better. But that wasn’t the final reminder.

I also got to learn about the life changing stories of the Watoto church in Uganda. A ministry aimed at raising the next generation of African leaders in a nation affected by war, poverty and AIDS. The majority of children at the Watoto church are orphans cared by women who are being given a second chance in life. New families created in an environment of love and hope that are changing their country. Their mission is inspiring and their impact real.

So how does this link to your current situation? Are you frustrated with your job? Do you wish you had bigger home? Maybe you want a better car? How about… (you fill in the blank) You see, chances are if you are reading this blog post you belong to the 1% of the world population that can consider yourself rich and living with more resources than the majority of the world around us. It does change your attitude when you recognize the blessing of a simple resource as having access to the Internet.

For more information on Watoto, please visit their website at http://www.watoto.com

You are alive
This one sounds simple and it is – If you are breathing you are alive! That is also true for anyone currently battling a terminal illness. Like the old adage, “we’re all going to eventually die.” Well then, take advantage of every single moment to live it up. Spend time with family and friends, don’t stress about work, don’t worry about money, etc. It’s actually easier said than done, but still an undeniable truth that only the sense of death can remind us. This truth is more about life than death though. You can ask my friend Ryan Woods.

I met Ryan in 2001 as he served as a missionary to my church in Lisbon, Portugal. My memories of him were always of someone real, someone that truly cared for you no matter what others thought or said. His was a sense of truly loving people. Not for their potential or what they could achieve, but for who they were in the here and now moment.

I saw Ryan again this time last year. He was in North Carolina because of school and we got to chat and reconnect as he shared about his experience starting a new church in downtown Vancouver, Washington. What happened next has been both sad and amazing. Ryan was a month later diagnosed with a cancer on his spinal cord which has since changed his body but has not broken his spirit. This month his doctor told him he has 3-6 months to live.

The most inspiring part of his story is his ability to recognize both sadness and blessings during this time. His love for God and people remains. His acceptance of how his life story is being written is amazing. Ryan and his family have reminded of how indeed life can be frustrating, but the way you choose to live it is much more important. This blog post is a lot about how Ryan has reminded me to live life.

For more information on Ryan’s story, please visit http://www.grassrootsconspiracy.com/blog

Family matters most
Isn’t this the truth! Nothing is more relaxing to me than sharing memories of family events or looking at pictures with my bride and our children. It fills my heart to overflow. These memories were all too real when Courtney and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. We spent a full day together while the grandparents took care of the children. We were reminded of our dating days in Portugal and how we’ve been blessed through the years with a beautiful family inside and out.

You see I guess I’m different than most people. Growing up my first real dream was not to actually be a professional sports star or have this amazing job in the corporate world. No. My first real dream was to have a family – a beautiful wife and amazing children by my side. Looking back at the times when I would consciencly think of the dream, it’s amazing to look around and recognize that it is here. But like many of us, we dream other dreams and our attention focuses on other things. Our weeding anniversary was a reminder of what indeed matters most.

This reality is far greater than just marriage. Whether it’s your family or friends who are closest, you know what I’m talking about. I hope you have the opportunity today to live out this truth and spend some quality time with your family and friends. Take the time to enjoy the blessing of connecting with others and do life together.

Recognizing who you are living for
I can’t separate this truth. It is just who I am. The biggest blessing is straight forward – I have a maker who loves me beyond compare and who gave his only son to die for me. This is an intrinsic part of all my posts because it’s an important part of who I am. Nothing makes it more real than Easter.

As a Christ follower I have experienced life in an amazing way. No words can express how much I’m grateful for His Salvation and the fact that he rescued me from a life of mediocrity to a life of fulfillment beyond compare. But I want more, to make a difference with my family, with my friends, at work, in my community. I want others to experience this everlasting truth of a meaningful life in Jesus.

His truth is available to all at http://www.bible.com.

If you live in Raleigh, NC I invite you to visit Hope Community Church. For more information you can visit http://www.gethope.net.

Conquering the Marathon

It’s been two weeks since the last time I posted, but my desire to live life motivated and motivate others continues. So what better way to do it than to share a story of my own.

Setting a goal and reaching it is about discipline. But it’s also about persistence and motivation!

Six months ago I had just completed my longest run in a 10k Mud Run. It was demanding, disgusting, and fun – all those adjectives in one packed day! After that run a friend of mine invited me to join him and another friend of ours for a Marathon. He said it would be a bigger challenge but that I was physically up for it. Without yet knowing the full distance (I still get confused between my Km and Miles), I said yes and never looked back. I got a training schedule that would slowly increase my running distance over a four month period, and the next time my friend and I met he was surprise to find out I had taken it serious. Fast forward to last Sunday and I can proudly say I’ve completed my first Marathon. It will go down as one of the best memories of my life. 5 hours and 20 minutes of continuous running just to complete the coveted 26.2 miles!

Looking back at all those days of training – short and long runs alike – all it took was discipline, persistence and motivation. I had set a goal and I was committed to achieving it. These three words explain my commitment to keep pressing on. They are also key to reaching other goals in life as I learned a lot from this experience.

Discipline – Once I had decided to run a marathon I recognized that I needed training. Even though I knew I couldn’t always keep up with the regimented schedule of weekday long runs (due to work and family), I still committed to exercising during the week and having long runs during the weekend. I never missed one of those weekend runs. Whether I felt good or not, rain or shine, I got out on the road and kept running. There were days that I doubted myself and my ability to run these long distances. I remember thinking that I needed to keep going and stick to the plan. It paid off on the day of the marathon! Discipline is about planning the work and working the plan.

Perseverance – Those training days were hard! Seriously, after a long work week the last thing I wanted was a physical push to my body. But I kept going. Even when other friends had better plans than to spend time running. Even when there was something interesting on TV. Even when my body preferred some lighter workout. Even when… (you fill in the blank). On the day of the marathon I remember my friends words of wisdom, “one foot in front of the other.” That is all you need to keep pushing through; to persevere and run a marathon!

Motivation – During those long weekend runs, there was one thing that kept me motivated. It was the same thing that kept me motivated during the day of the marathon – my family and friends! Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment, but I was only made aware of this when my wife and children would wait for me in anticipation during those long training runs. I remember the words of encouragement: “you did great,” “that was quick,” or “you will conquer that marathon!” Those words played in my head over and over during the day of the marathon.

Additionally, my friends and I kept encouraging each other every week. Our running was always a topic of conversation when we would meet. We were together through each of the 26.2 miles. They were there during the hardest time of the run. The last 6 miles were particularly difficult for me. I wanted to just stop and walk. I remember my friends saying “do not stop now,” “don’t walk, keep running,” or “we’re going to finish strong!” That continuous support was key for me.

Completing the marathon was a huge accomplishment. I will remember the day, but also the training and the support that helped me through each mile. A great example for other areas of my life.

20120325-065834.jpg
My friends Jason, Derek and myself.

Welcome to 2M8!

Welcome to 2Motive8! A new blog that was fueled by my desire to motivate and encourage others to achieve their full life potential. The creation of 2Motive8 is about doing what I’ve encouraged others to do: take action towards achieving your goals. My goal is that I can use this blog as a platform to showcase this gift to passionately communicate encouragement to others, and start a movement that links encouragement in our families and communities.

Why 2M8?
In my quest for meaning I thought about the true sense of motivation and how it has impacted me. I’ve always recognized potential in family and friends, and my life has provided many opportunities to showcase this amazing gift of encouragement in its simple and most powerful form. You see, true encouragement is fueled by something greater, even more powerful: LOVE. This simple ingredient can be both realistic and insane, but it’s the most pure form of belief that can change the world. Jesus talked about it and most importantly personified it. May we use love as an ingredient to help us connect with ourselves and others.

The number 2 is symbolic to the one who writes and the one who reads it; the one who reads it and the one who shares it; the one who reaches their goals and sees someone who wants to achieve theirs. The number 2 is about the relationship. It’s about sharing the love; sharing the motivation.

The word motive comes from the goals we all want to achieve. The Merrier-Webster dictionary describes motive as

something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act.

This is the call to action.

The number 8 is a reference to the number of steps I’ve identified in the need to achieve goals. I thought about these as I’ve related to people and the below have been common steps in my motivational interactions:
1. Be You!
2. Unveil your real potential from within.
3. Connecting with others.
4. Set a vision.
5. Raise awareness.
6. Be disciplined.
7. Have the right attitude.
8. Take action!

Additionally, I will post on 8 categories of motivation:

Motivating Good Thoughts – #MotivatingGoodThoughts
Motivating Meaningful Work – #MotivatingMeaningfulWork
Motivating Strong Communities – #MotivatingStrongCommunities
Motivating Joyful Families – #MotivatingJoyfulFamilies
Motivating Healthy Living – #MotivatingHealthyLiving
Motivating Inspirational Moments – #MotivatingInspirationalMoments
Motivating Soundtrack – #MotivatingSoundtrack
Motivating Leadership – #MotivatingLeadership

May this be inspirational as I share from within… I hope you do the same!