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

 

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.

ME 1, DEFEAT 0.

KEEP RUNNING

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!

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

We run because we can!

Keep Running

Elijah

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)

I LOVE THAT!

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!

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!

Cantaloupe. The High Volume Food

 

I chose cantaloupe as todays nutrition gem because I had one a few days ago and it. was. de-lic-ious.  Not that I didn’t already know that  but they are now in season and they are juicy and refreshing!

Besides being absolutely delicious, cantaloupes are, of course, good for a few other reasons:  Think weight management, lower blood pressure and potassium/vitamin A powerhouse.

Cantaloupe a high volume food.  This means that it is a food with high volume and low calories (a lot of water and fiber).  Fabulous for anybody trying to lose or manage weight because the food will fill you up and be good for you, while not sky rocketing your calorie count. An entire large melon has about 275 calories and 90% of it is water.

It is rich in potassium and vitamin A, which makes it a key component for keeping healthy blood pressure, and supporting your vision and immune system.  One cup of cantaloupe has a whopping 427 mg of potassium, and 3,000 mcg of beta-carotene, a carotenoid which your body converts into vitamin A.  In addition to being a great antioxidant, beta carotene (vitamin A) protects against cellular damage, which means that it has the power to fight some forms of cancer and also plays a role in protecting against heart disease; Cancer and heart disease being two of the top killers in our country.

It makes great juice and is super easy to blend.  Try blending it with watermelon and then finishing with sparkling water, a splash of fresh lemon and a hint of grated or juiced ginger.  Perfect summer cooler! And SUPER healthy. (Just read that recipe in a book I have).  I’m going to make a batch soon. I will probably add mint.  YUM.

I love to eat cantaloupe just as it is.  If I want to sweeten it, I’ll drizzle a little raw honey over it.  Yummy with a little shake of cinnamon too.  It’s great for the summertime because of it’s water content; stellar for keeping hydrated! Hydration equals delicious, dewey, shiny skin.  Who doesn’t want that?!  And because it’s high volume, low caloric content, it is going to be great for keeping in shape, so you can show off your hot summer bod!  Delicious dewey skin…Hot summer bod… Yes, please!

You are what you eat.

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

Peace By Piece

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