9 Mile Run Past Defeat

Overcome That Thought

I definitely stepped outside my comfort zone yesterday.  I have been training now for a marathon for what seems forever, never really making it too public until now.  The main reason for that is simple.  How many people do we know who are always saying they are about to do something and then nothing ever manifests?  It was important to me to make sure I had put the necessary time in towards this huge event before I went around telling people what I was going to do.  I figure 5 months is more than enough time.

I have been seeing changes in my body that just come with the territory, or so I have been told.  My feet look like something out of a horror story.  From blisters to nails blackening, they are not the prettiest things to look at.  It is better for me now though, because those who know me can attest that my feet were always interesting, to say the least. :)

My usual runs consist of anywhere from four to six miles.  That was before today.  Yesterday I set out to conquer nine!  Honestly, the first six were easy, which would be understandable considering my body was used to it.  It knew how to take that distance.  The last 2 miles I found myself in a battle with my mind.

My thoughts became slow and sluggish, and I was constantly hearing this voice telling me to stop.  It was in that moment that I felt the wrath of Defeat.  Defeat is in us all.  It lives with us and waits for the time when it can creep in and take over.  I have heard this voice before and have submitted to it.  Like the time that I played ball in college and submitted to going out all the time instead of working on my dream.  There was that voice of Defeat telling me it was not going to happen anyway, so why bother.  I listened to it then, but not yesterday.

Yesterday I told defeat exactly where it could go.  I battled the last 2 miles and wound up running 9.3 miles.  I did more than I was supposed to do.  Why?  Because I wanted to prove to myself that defeat was not going to get the best of me – that my mind was strong enough to allow my body to do what it is capable of doing – to be among the elite in that moment and step into a category that tells Defeat that I am not going to quit.

The next time I run 9 miles it will not be as hard because I will know I have already done it.  I know I am going to be faced with other struggles in the weeks to come, and I am not saying that I am going to have any easier time of it in the future with the voice we call Defeat.  What I am certain of though is the way I handled defeat today, and as they say in sports, you take it one game at a time.



Running For A Change

The team here at Run The Walk is determined to make a change in the world.  Instead of just donating money or doing a function where the proceeds will go to a great cause, we decided to really Run The Walk!

We are going to run in this year’s New York City Marathon.  What better way to Run The Walk then taking on 26.2 miles of intensity that will require hours of training and more than a few packs of ice!-)

My team is pumped to be a part of something so great!  My Aunt Alicia O’Neill  heads up the marathon program cancer foundation MMRF (Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation).  Multiple myeloma is a devastating blood cancer with one of the worst survival rates of any cancer.  The MMRF is the world’s largest private funder of myeloma research, and some of the treatments that they have funded are being used to treat 30 other cancers.

My mom died of Lupus when I was 10, and the way I had to watch her wither away is still something that is hard to bear to this day.  There is not one disease out there that is worse than the other.  Every disease out can equally harm a person and the person’s family.

Run The Walk runs because we can!  It is something that will be painful to train for.  I do not enjoy running, however I am blessed to be able to run on behalf of my team and fortunate that my pain comes because of activity, and not because my body is being attacked by something I cannot control.  My pain is temporary where as those who suffer from diseases like Multiple Myeloma are plagued with pain day after day.

The MMRF is a leader in cancer research.  One disease cured is a huge step towards curing other diseases.  We have committed to raise $4,000 towards MMRF’s push towards a cure.  This is our ticket into running the marathon and achieving our goal as well.  Every dollar counts and I hope that you can help us reach our goal.  To donate click the link below.   All of your support is going to help me on those days when it is hard to move!


We run because we can!

Keep Running


Cherries Are Powerful

“The day when the doctors say  ’take 10 cherries and call me in the morning’ may not be far off”. (Newsweek Magazine)


That mentality is my job.

Hippocrates once said “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”.  It’s one of my favorite quotes.  Packs a pretty giant punch that little Hippocrates quote.  Well said Hippocrates, well said, bud. I couldn’t agree more.

On to the cherries.  Sweet, delicious, beautiful cherries…

When I think of cherries I think: Summer fruit, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-cancer, sweet, delicious, beautiful, and a fabulous and nutritious addition to every meal or beverage.

I want for you to promise me that if you are going to buy them, that you buy them organic.  Cherries are always up high on the dirty dozen list; a list released by the Environmental Working Group every year that lists the foods most contaminated by pesticides. Rule of thumb: Anything with a thin skin should, especially, always be bought organic.  That is unless pesticides are your thing, and in that case, “to each his own”.  No judgement here, BUT that’s not to say that your body isn’t  judging, and acting accordingly.

What I’d like to highlight is one of the cancer fighting agents in cherries.  It’s a flavanoid called quercetin.  Flavanoids are plant compounds with antioxidant, anticancer, and antiallergy properties. More than 4000 have been identified. Quercetin specifically has been found to be a very potent anticancer agent.  It also exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties.  If cherries are not in season and you would like to supplement with quercetin, you can find great sources at any natural market.  Remember to always buy your vitamins and supplements in “Whole Food” form.  Come to Whole Foods Market and find me!  I’ll show you all my favorites. If you can’t come into the store, let me know how you would like for me to convey the information and I’m happy to improvise.

I love to eat cherries just as they are.  However, my Grandma used to make a sweet treat with cherries that will blow your mind:  Plain thick style yogurt topped with ripe bing cherries (cut in half) and honey, finished with sprinkled brown sugar over the top.  It’s to die for. And don’t ruin it with yogurt that’s not organic! That’s an order.

Go get some cherries while they’re still in season! That’s another order.

Nicole Schutz. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over and out.

Peace By Piece

No Time Off For These Campers

Alexis and Iona really stepped outside their comfort zone

Every time we have camp it never fails, the boys have a tendency to out number the girls.  With more boys to choose from, we have a tendency to see more boys shine during the camp itself.  The Espanola camp was not one of those times.  Alexis and Iona are both in a league of their own when it comes to shining.

Alexis came to camp very quiet.  The first couple of hours of camp I could see her intensity during the drills, but rarely heard her voice when it came time to call out a specific thing they had to do.  There was a particular moment when Alexis was asked to work on her lay up form, so that she could maximize on every attempt.  As coach Jared worked with her, she became very frustrated.  Coach tried to calm her down, and she explained, “I just want to be better, I want to get better”!  She began working on the drill again, until finally it came time for the campers to get water.  Instead of getting water though, Alexis continued working on the drill, and from the looks of it, she was going at a faster pace each time to make sure she could maximize on the time she had remaining.  When a ball would get away, she sprinted to get the ball and returned back into the formation so that she didn’t waste time.

She came into the camp quiet, but by day two, as new campers showed up, during the breaks she would take the three new girls off to one of the baskets and show them what they missed the day before.  She was the leader of the group, no doubt, and she got the girls understanding the concept of getting the most out of every situation.  She never wasted her time.  When most of the campers were playing during the breaks, she took that time to work on what she knew she needed.  In most camps Alexis would stand out alone, but this camp featured someone very similar to her.

Iona came into camp unable to really do much with the basketball.  What I mean by that is, although she was able to dribble and get the ball up towards the rim, she did not possess the proper form to better her chances for success with the game.  She was a very alert kid, however, and always made sure to be one of the first ones to the drill, and was rarely the first one to stop.  She responded quickly when asked, and she never took breaks from what the campers were doing.  Many times, kids will stop and want to drink water in the middle of a drill, or want to go to the bathroom, but not Iona, she never stopped.

By day two, the player that came in without the ability to keep a low stance with a consistent dribble was no more.  Iona, in just one day of hard work had improved so much that her shot had the right form, and she no longer just threw the ball up praying for it to go in.  She looked like she had an idea of where it was going.  I am not saying she was a great shooter, lord knows she still needed work, but I am saying she was able to get her foundation set so that she could now practice on becoming a great shooter.  What impressed me so much about Iona, is her ability ask a question.  She always asked a question, and them applied the answer in her drill.  She understood that those that ask will find, and she saw people with answers.  She didn’t just let those answers leave town without a giving her some kind of knowledge.

Both Iona and Alexis are great examples of what running the walk is all about.  Both stepped outside their comfort zone with the readiness to get better.  Both understood that it was not just a drill they were learning, but rather they applied the drill to their game and were able to link the purpose very quickly.  Both of these girls made the people around them better, either by vocally explaining or physically doing the drill.  They were the example for many to look at, and at the end of the two days, both girls increased on their game dramatically.

We are looking forward to seeing both of you girls go far in life!  Thank you for running the walk, you made the camp so much better for us and for those around you.  Keep Running!