Running After Hurricane Sandy

Goals are never reached easily,

When you sit down and think about all the things that could possibly go wrong during the day, rarely do we think about Mother Nature bringing something major into our problems.  It seems that we tend to take the things like blue sky and an easy breeze for granted.

Here I am sitting, watching this chaos go on all over the east coast and I can’t believe that I am only days away from being there to see the aftermath.  The marathon is Sunday, and although this has been a huge storm that has brought an abundance of problems, I have received word that the run will go on.

It is safe to say that the marathon I envisioned running will be a lot different than the one I actually run.  Prior to this, there was an expectation of over 47,000 runners and over 2 million spectators throughout the race.  With flooding and people’s wellbeing at risk, my question is how many runners will still show up to run?  And how many people are actually going to be spectators at an event at a time like this?

We started this mission in April with a goal of helping those who are unable to run on their own.  With the circumstances standing as they are now, we have another mission.

We all have a tendency to look for the perfect opportunity to start something.  We all have the belief that we need to wait until exactly the right time.  With the storm in full effect tonight, it is clear that the time is not perfect for anyone to go and run in the New York Marathon.  As a matter of fact, it could be dangerous traveling to an unfamiliar place that may not have electricity.

But we have come so far, and if the New York City Marathon is going to go on, then we will be there, ready to finish what we set out to accomplish in April.

We Run Because We Can!

Elijah

We Did It!!

#WeRunCauseWeCan                                             #RunTheWalk

Thanks to great friends and support from so many participants in this past weekends event, I am happy to say that we have officially punched our ticket to run in the NYC marathon. All the training has been intense, and it has been great having my team there every step of the way!

This past weekend we had over 150 participants run in our first 5k/10k.  It was a success in more than just numbers.  During the race, I was able to connect with people from all walks of life.  Some of the participants were cancer survivors themselves and hearing their stories only made our mission that much more meaningful.

Dating back to just a couple of weeks ago, our chances of attaining our $4,000 goal was looking slim to none.  We were at $1,190, and had no idea what kind of numbers we were going to get at our event.  I will say that G Garza was the man with the plan on this one.  He was able to gather his community of Rancho Viejo and get them on board with our vision and purpose.  G would not have been able to do this alone.  A Special thanks to the Rancho Viejo Community and all of the workers that provided assistance to make this event a success.  Natalie Sales, the country club and resort fitness director, was the person who really helped solidify everything!  Natalie I cannot thank you enough for everything you did, without you and Rancho Viejo’s help, the event wouldn’t be possible.

I am in still in amazement that we raised $2,915 on the event considering we only had four weeks to prepare.  I am happy to say that we have raised $4,105!

My team has been behind me from the start and we are now about to run in NYC.

To everyone that has donated, I want to thank you for helping us get to our goal.  For those of you who participated in our event this past weekend, you have no idea how much you did by showing up and supporting our cause.

We Run Because We Can!

Elijah

3 Weeks Till The Big Day

Over The Hump With Training

Yesterday I finished my last LONG run (20 miles!)  in preparation for the NYC Marathon on November 4. It was hard, but nothing like fighting cancer.   By mile 15 my joints hurt and all I could think about was the pain that these patients must be in at all times throughout the day.  I can’t believe in 3 weeks I will be running 26.2 through the streets of NYC!

I really feel blessed to get the opportunity to be running as a charity runner for  the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).   I am running for the MMRF because they are recognized as a  leader in cancer research and budget 90% of every dollar raised to research.  In fact the MMRF is rated in the top 1% of all non-profits by Charity Navigator!

The team and I have made a commitment to raise a minimum of $4000 for the MMRF. We have managed to raise $1080 so far, and with only 3 weeks left we know we have a ways to go, but don’t doubt for a second that we will get there.  Thank you to everyone who has already donated, and for those who would still like to donate,  we would appreciate your support with a tax deductible donation.

You can support me here:  http://www.active.com/donate/2012mmrfNYC/RunTheWalk  Donations of any size are appreciated!

Until next time,

Keep Running

Elijah

Outside Comfort Zones Are Now The New Comfort

I am five weeks away from the big day.  So far I have managed to knock out two half marathon distances and even step out into the 16 mile range.  The best thing that has come out of all of this happened today.

Today, for the first time I no longer felt like a person who is just training for a marathon, but rather, I felt like a runner.

I owned my 12 mile run today.  I ran each mile at an eight minute pace and it was amazing to feel my feet just take over.  During the run I kept thinking to myself that this feeling sure was different from when I first started out on this mission in April. That feeling of barely being able to accomplish a four mile run is something far removed from my psyche

My team and I started out on this mission aiming to accomplish two major goals.

The first goal was to demonstrate what it means to really Run The Walk and do more than what is asked.  Many companies are willing to donate towards a great cause, and like them, we wanted to do the same.  But in order to Run The Walk we had to do more, so we made sure that we would not only raise money and awareness, but we would actually sacrifice our time and body towards the cause itself.

The second goal was to demonstrate how hard it might be at first to do something outside of our comfort zone, but with time that task will become second nature.  We wanted to make a point that although we may not be good at the task at first, that should not discourage anyone from going after that task .  The only thing needed is to put in work!

As I said before, today I am no longer a person doing something outside of my comfort zone, because it is now comfortable for me to go for a run.  My biggest task is yet to come, as next week I have a 20 mile run.  I know it is going to be tough, but the support that everyone has given me up now is something that keeps me going strong.  Thank you for supporting and running with me!

If you have not donated but want to help us Run The Walk for a cause, here is the link.  For those who have already donated, we thank you so much! We are almost at $1,000 with our goal being $4,000.  We will get there!  Until next time,

http://www.active.com/donate/2012mmrfNYC/RunTheWalk

Keep Running!!

Elijah

 

My Pain Is Temporary

 

I woke up Sunday morning thinking to myself, I am going to kill this run.  I knew that since I had done the 9 miles last week, that doing 11 was definitely within reach.  I did the first 9 with a solid pace, and just as I had suspected, I slowed down towards the end.  Still, I can say that I owned that 11 for the day.

The true test that day was not the 11 miles, however.  When we returned home from visiting my grandma who had fallen ill, we were caught by surprise.  Our plumbing system was a wreck.  Without going into detail, let’s just say there were things in the front yard and showers that should have been in a sewage pipe.  And that wasn’t the worse part of it, the toilet flooded our living room carpet and dining room as well.  Since it had happened so late into the night, the following day was when we could get people out to check out the damage.  Since it was all sewage water, our house now has to be totally remodeled in the areas that were affected.

Yesterday I was supposed to run 4 miles.  With everything going on I could have easily formed the excuse that I had to get everything handled and the run was just going to have to not happen.  The thought crossed my mind after I had called the demolition crew, the appraiser, and the insurance company.  I was swamped with things that needed to get taken care of, and these were all tasks that were not on my typical to-do list.  I still was required to make sure our newborn was taken care of and drop my other daughter off and pick her up from school.

I also needed to do things for our business and wanted to make sure that I could take care of anything my wife needed, considering she was about to come home to a totally demolished house.

I was so close to chalking it up and letting my excuse win, when it hit me…. People who battle Multiple Myeloma Cancer are not able to take the day off from their suffering.  They can’t call in or use the excuse that they are too overwhelmed to handle it.  Here I was using an excuse to get away from my temporary pain.  We said we were going to train and run a marathon, and to cut corners on that would mean we were not running for the cause at all.

So as I laced my shoes and hit the door, I knew that the 4 miles I was about to put in was going to be over soon.  My pain of seeing the house demolished would pass upon its remodeling.  Our family having to stay in a hotel until the early renovation phases are finished would soon end.  Everything I face that feels difficult in my life right now is all temporary.  My pain is temporary.

To donate towards the cause please go to:  http://www.active.com/donate/2012mmrfNYC/RunTheWalk

We Run Because We Can

Elijah

 

Character Check!

Carlos started camp off with a bang,

Before camp started, watching Carlos dunk with every ounce of energy he had was pretty entertaining.  Keep in mind that the basket was a 7 foot goal, but when watching Carlos’ intensity you knew that he was giving it all that he had.  It was to no surprise that he brought that same intensity when camp started.

Most kids, at the start of any camp, are timid and still trying to figure out what things are going to be like.  Not Carlos.  From the start he went above and beyond what was asked of him.  Prior to coach G asking the campers to repeat what he was doing (so that the campers would better understand the movements) Carlos was repeating it.  He did it in such a manner that it was evident that he cared about one thing, and one thing only, and that was to get better.

Throughout the rest of day one, during our breaks Carlos was still attempting dunks on the 7 foot goal.  But sure enough, when camp ended, while he was waiting around for his ride, he started working on the techniques he learned during the day; on the regulation rim!

Day two brought new campers into our life.  And it was because of kids like Carlos that we didn’t miss a beat.  The new campers understood what was asked of them because Carlos was not cutting one single corner.  I asked Carlos why he went so hard?  His response was so simple, “because I want to learn coach”.  Somewhere in his mind he has linked hard work with learning, but he has also linked fun with doing both because he was definitely one of the hardest workers, but he never wanted to stop.  When he found out camp was almost over he replied, “Oh come on, I want to learn more”.

Carlos, you ran the walk at camp and we hope you take that same mentality you had at camp and use it everyday towards everything in life.  We expect huge things from you in the future,  Keep Running!

Perseverance Attains Goals

With everything we do, perseverance is key if we want to attain our ultimate goal.

Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I witnessed a lot of moments that I now look back on and thank God for the ability to persevere.  Before I go any further, let me stop and say that I am not going to exaggerate the reality of my past, but I am going to paint a picture to help you understand what I mean by needing perseverance to overcome.

In 7th grade I attended a private Catholic school.  The decision was based on a discussion I had with my mom before she passed away.  The public schools at that time in Santa Fe were not known for the academics, and St. Mikes had a better rate of sending kids to college.

Coming into my 7th grade year I had the feeling that I was going to be a star on the court.  I was far from right.  The coaching staff at St. Mikes was not a fan of my style of play. St. Mikes was a 7-12 school, and the Varsity coach had the coaches for each lower level handpick players to suit his own wishes.

Throughout my middle school and 9th grade seasons, I averaged one to two minutes a game.  It came to an all-time worst when, during my sophomore year, I found myself being blamed for a game we lost even though I was only in the game for 42 seconds.  I was trying everything I could to play the way that the coaching staff liked, but I enjoyed playing the game fast and loved getting up and down the court, and they wanted a slow-down game.  Finally, Coach Bob Romero, who was my Junior Varsity coach, let me have it in a locker room after a loss.  He expressed that my style of play was for the boys’ club league and that I might as well quit now because I would never be a Varsity player.  The butt-chewing trickled into the next day when I had a 2-hour practice dedicated to me.  He kept going over what it takes to be a Varsity player, and what skills I lacked to become that player.  He had all of the players hold a basketball and finished the 2-hour session with this, “THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT.”

I finished out the season, often crying with thoughts of quitting.  But the thing I kept coming back to in my mind was that phrase, “The ball is in your court.”  Coach Romero was wrong about so much, but he was so accurate with that comment.

I had the control to do something about all of this.  If they didn’t play me, I was the one who had to make it obvious that I should be out there.  My choice was: I could see all of this as a huge obstacle, impossible to get over, or I could see the obstacle for what it was, a minor detour in the road to success.  All I could do was focus on being the best me.

I became addicted to working out, and although I made huge improvements to my game, my junior year found me on JV yet again and on the bench for Varsity.  By the middle of the season I had moved up to just Varsity, but still found myself playing 1-3 minutes a game.  I had worked so hard, and yet nothing seemed to be working.  Then finally, something happened.

We played a game leading to the district semi-final.  The point guard, who was playing ahead of me, came down with an injury during the last part of the game.  It forced the coaches to play me the rest of the game.  We won that game, but there was serious doubt for the next game to come.  In our previous match-up with the team we would be playing, we had lost by 36.  However, the second time we met them, I wound up hitting the last-minute free throws to win the game.

The time finally allowed for the opportunity, and I seized it.  My senior year, with a whole new coaching staff intact, was amazing.  We wound up winning a state title, I was named all-state first team, and I received a scholarship to play college basketball.

It took a long time to reap the reward of my hard work.  All the countless hours of gym time and endless hours of focus finally paid off.  Imagine if I would have quit when Coach Romero said to, or even before that when I was the last one coming off the bench to play the scrap minutes in blowout games.

Without perseverance, our dreams would never manifest because we would be dissuaded every time someone said to quit.  Every time a bump in the road occurred, we would put a stop to it all.  When you want something bad enough, you go after it.  The question is: Do you have the perseverance to climb the mountain that may be on your path to success?

Our next topic is planning.  Perseverance is a great tool to have, but without the plan the chance of success is limited.

Until Next Time,

Keep Running

Priorities Equal Success

Priorities are key to a solid foundation.

When I sit back and think of my years as a collegiate athlete, I remember all of the great times I had.  Those great times that are in my thoughts are also the same times that caused my ultimate goal to dwindle.

I was a player who wanted to play professionally.  I never wanted anything more than that, or so that is what I kept telling myself.  But the fact of the matter is that my everyday rituals were not matching up with my dreams I wanted to achieve.

For example, often I chose to hang with a girl over working on my weaknesses.  Or I hit the party on a Thursday night instead of watching film to better my knowledge of my game and what I needed to work on.  You see, I was just going through life wishing.  I never really put my 100% towards my dream of playing professionally because my priorities were not aligned with my goals.

If you were to make a list of the top 3 things I focused on while in college, it would go as follows:

  1. Girls
  2. Hanging with the guys
  3. Working on my game

Sadly, school work wasn’t even in my top three.  And for over 2 years after my college career was over, it was a struggle to figure out what it was that I wanted to do.  There is no coincidence in that.

How can we expect to reach our goal without putting in the necessary work towards it, each and every day?  The fact that we dream big is not enough.  The work is where the rubber meets the road.  If you look at my priorities as a player you will probably guess what I got pretty good at by the end of my college life.  I was excellent at socializing and being the guy who could get the girls.  I don’t say that to brag, but rather to illustrate that the top priorities will manifest for you in due time.  I even got a couple of offers to play overseas and in Mexico, but nothing that was worth it.  Imagine if my number 3 priority was my number 1??

Take a minute to think about what it is you want, and put that on the left side of a piece of paper.  Now on the right side of the paper put the top 5 things it would take to achieve those goals.  On a separate piece of paper put the top 5 things that you focus on currently.  Chances are if you have not reached your goal those two lists of priorities are not going to match up.

When I talk with people about working out, the first thing they tell me is that they do not have the time to work out.  The honest answer to this is if you want it, you will do it.  Whatever are your top priorities you will do.  When I weighed 210 lbs. as a college coach, my priorities involved recruiting players, breaking down films, and helping run practices.  Working out was not on my list.  When I was fed up with how I felt, working out took the top spot on my list of priorities – and guess what?  I found time!  You make time for the things you want to do.  Working out is not fun for most people, and because that lack of fun exists in their minds, they rationalize with the excuse of “I can’t find time.”

The day of achieving your goal is made real by clearly identifying and steadfastly sticking to your priorities.  In the next topic we will focus on Perseverance.  No one said it is going to be easy to accomplish your dreams.

Until Next Time

Keep Running

The P’s To Success

Success: The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted

When making choices in life one tends to look for what will bring the most success.  When the public eye witnesses someone’s success, the assumption is often made that the success occurred over night, not realizing that the accomplishment was harder to attain than it looked.  I believe that a person needs a roadmap to success . . . the following p’s can guide you down that road.

Prayer:  Praying is important.  It allows a time for reflection and appreciation for the things that have already been received.  It also allows for the seeds to be planted, and a thankful spirit opens many doors in the world.  Religion plays a key role on the journey to success.  Denomination does not matter, what matters is your faith.  Faith is universal.

Persevere:  Success in life neither happens quickly, nor easily.  Those who succeed have had plenty of times in their lives in which they were presented situations which tested their ability to push through and overcome.  Without perseverance a person is liable to quit at the first sign of trouble.

Plan:  Without a proper agenda at hand a thought is simply that, just a thought.  If there is no plan to follow through on the idea or thought, action is never taken, thus allowing for a perfectly good seed to never be planted.

Power: The ability to own oneself allows for power from within.  If you are able to control yourself and the actions you take, you will truly be empowered to accomplish your goals.

Purpose:  Everyone has a purpose in life.  When a person discovers that purpose, it opens a gate of unstoppable force.  The abilities are endless and the answer is never no!

Priority:  Learning to structure one’s life and setting the proper values on everything is key.  Not having a good knowledge of what is really important can lead to a downfall or to never getting off the ground in the first place. A lack of values creates a cloudiness of mind and spirit and hinders all ability to see the big picture.

Proportion:  It is not necessarily what you do that hurts, it is the amount in which it is done.  Too much of anything is not good.  Recognizing the downside of excess and partaking wisely in life’s temptations builds a will power and results in self-discipline.

Positive:  Attitude is crucial.  So many times people make a mountain out of an ant hill, never giving themselves the opportunity to see beyond a temporary difficulty or setback.  Positive thinking allows solutions to be processed and can make a mountain look like a fun hike.

Passionate:  Without passion in life there is nothing there to drive a person.   A love for a specific goal enables someone to look past tough obstacles and handle adversity on the way to becoming successful.

Patience:  Nothing happens overnight. It takes time for a plan to fully blossom.  Exercising patience is not easy; however, waiting enables the planted seeds to sprout, the potential opportunities to occur.

Perception: Things happen on an everyday basis that can change your life.  It is not the wind that changes our direction, but rather the way we set sail.  How we see the situation is what determines our decisions on what to do next.

Better Outcome Brings The Money

When activities and outcomes are better, the money is sure to follow.

It took me a while to really understand this concept.  The way we react to celebrities and sports stars makes it pretty hard to “live simple.”  We see what they have, what they drive and where they live, and because we aspire to be like them we can’t help but want to have what they have.  If we are going to get it, we will definitely need to make money.

We make the mistake of trying to make a lot of money first and focus on the purpose later.  If you look at people who have really made a lot of money, they did it differently.  They stuck with their purpose, stayed focused, and the money followed.

A perfect example of this is Steve Jobs with Apple.  He single-handedly revolutionized the world with his creative inventions and innovative designs.  And if you look at his history you will see he did not set out to make millions first, but rather he wanted to be on the front end of design and technology.  It was that purpose that drove him day after day to do more.  It was his intense burning desire to be the leader of innovation that had him take the chances he did to get to where he landed.  If he had focused primarily on money, the first sign of losing money or his first opportunity to gain a decent amount in a merger would have prevented him from the successful course he in fact took.

Look at Mark Zuckerberg as another example.  He changed the way we talk to people all over the world.  His creation of Facebook didn’t start out as a plan to make millions and even billions of dollars.  Everything stemmed from a purpose that he had.  The countless hours of design and even more hours of learning would have ended way before a million dollars if that was all that was driving him.  He stayed the course with his purpose and even today is constantly working on improving Facebook.  For him it goes beyond the money.

These are just two examples, but if you take most of the people in the world who are making money, they are in alignment with their purposes in life.  Their work is something that has so much meaning to them that if you took the money away they would still be doing the task.  When you do things really well, people gravitate to you.  Money is no different.  Do your job well, and watch the money gravitate towards you.

Next topic covers priorities.  How can we create our purpose without locking in our priorities?

Until Next Time

Keep Running!