Run the hill is a phrase I use when things get hard. Run the hill is focus. Run the hill is determination. Run the hill is tenacity, strength and endurance. Running the hill is the thing you have to do to become a better runner.
On a long stretch of highway you can see the hill, ahead in the distance waiting for your arrival. There are certain things you must do as you approach it. You must unclench your fists and relax your shoulders. You must straighten your back and expand your chest. You must raise your head. Most importantly, you must turn up your music.
As you begin the ascent, you must find a point just ahead of you to become your mini goal. It may be a crack in the road, a sign or a post, a tree or a flower. All you aim for is that next little goal. It is very important not to look, glance at, or focus on the top of the hill, it is overwhelming.
You must stay focused on your mini goal until you pass it and then hone in on the next crack, tree, post or flower until again you must select a new one.
As your music keeps your pace, as your eyes look forward, as your chest expands to receive oxygen and your head is held up to supply that oxygen, you begin to realize you are running the hill. Little by little, breath by breath, one leg and then the other stepping up, up, up. You are running the hill.
Those things in life which are the hardest to do are the things we must do. They make us stronger, more patient, compassionate, they improve us.
They give us the experiences in life which require focus, determination, tenacity and perseverance.
Doing hard things helps us to grow. At times those hard things may seem overwhelming and so you set a mini-goal.
Perhaps solving one problem at a time, improving a fault little by little, mending a relationship, gaining knowledge, overcoming pain, hurt, anger, depression or addiction. One hour at a time, one day at a time, one lesson at a time, one achievement at a time.
When you reach the crest of a hill and you know within a minute you are will be at the top, you must push with that one last burst of energy that is hidden deep inside of you, but is always there.
For a brief second, just an instant, you are able to see the view from the top of the hill. The view is glorious, spectacular, breath taking and not because of what you may see, but because of what you feel ~ your moment of triumph.
You will feel your strength, your determination, tenacity and endurance, all of the those characteristics that helped get you to the top of the hill.
Then, you begin to run, down, down. No longer is a mini goal needed. Your breath begins to relax, no need to concentrate on the song to keep pace.
For a moment you have a repose, a rest from the intensity of pushing yourself, from doing something physically and mentally challenging.
Even though you know that there will always be another hill, you immerse yourself in the glory of running without effort. You feel light, you are floating, you are free from the burden of climbing the hill and all you can do is look in wonder and gratitude at what is around you.
You feel like you can fly.
Becoming a stronger you.
We cannot avoid running the hill, we must run it when it is there before us. We must not be discouraged if it not our best run, or our strongest, or fastest or our most successful. Running the hill will be different every time, because all hills are different. The constant lies in us and the tools we use from experience, to make the run bearable, to finish. Remember that each time you run the hill, you become a stronger you.
Run the hill, run the hill, run the hill. It is what I repeat over and over in my mind as I make the climb, both in running and in life.
Some people have asked if they can send me a gift — are you freakin’ kidding me? Of course you can. Gifts are always welcome and greatly appreciated. New gifts will support: 1) Kiva 2) Me getting out to see my family 3) New paintings 4) You! Because you are awesome. Choose between: She’s funny $10 She’s freakin’ hilarious $20 She’s inspired me $50 Just for fun. $100.00 USD I’ll have what she’s having $500 I’ll drink the koolaid $1,000 Thanks!
One day, I took two of my students to the center of town shopping. They would hand me t~shirts to try on. I would hold up a shirt and get the teenage big eyed face lights up yes, or the opposite eye rolled absolute no.
One day, I brought my two boys with me on a theater trip to the town center together with my class. The Italian professor gave me huge compliments. My boys deserved them. They behaved so well, just smiled, had fun and were part of the group. I particularly remember watching the theater performance from the box in the balcony. I had gone up there with my two boys to rest because there was a red velvet couch.
Slowly but surely my students spotted me, and came to keep me company. In the end there were nine of us in the box and my boys on their laps. My boys sat forward with their arms crossed, chin on their arms watching the entire theater performance. It was magical. ´¯`»¸¸.·☆
We have five more days together before we part ways. It this what it means to be a mom, wife and teacher?
It’s like when you shut your eyes, then you open them and see your kids are grown. Time flies so fast. We want to capture it and hold onto it. Especially the kids. I want to hold on to every smile they make.
They are so happy go lucky, true boys boyz. Yesterday was a big day for us in growth. My littlest found his balance on his new bike.
I watched him learn with a happy heart. He got the glow in his eye and looked at me with big smiles as he propelled himself forward wabbly and all.
Students to me: Prof, where are you going?
Me: To get something for my son’s birthday.
Them: But you said that yesterday.
Me: For my kids every day is their birthday.
We cross the street and we are in the middle of the most beautiful Italian countryside and orchards. It makes my heart stop. I try to capture it with words but it’s bigger than me. Sort of like driving with rows of seedlings.
Violet sunset sky going down across golden hay.
It seems ridiculous to even attempt to describe the beauty. Take a cool deep breath and close your eyes. You can feel the cool air in your lungs and the warm embracing sun over head. Coolish in the shade.
Nature’s beauty restores our souls.
I’ve been running lately a big more than usual. Last night, my boys were invited to come with me. They out ran me ~ boy are they fast. It was so cute though running side by side with my six year old, him looking up at me smiling. It truly warms my heart. My big guy going off ahead ’til the farm house.
Dinner ready, table set when I come home. Hot bath. No bubbles today.
I try to catch the beauty with words but we all know it’s futile. Still, if I close my eyes I can see and breathe the fresh air and know it’s all good, it’s all beautiful, pretty, sweet, and for us to behold.
If you look really closely you can see me walking in the background.
My husband is impressed by the fact that I worked with Tom Cruise in a film in 1980 called Losin’ It with Shelly Wintors before Tom made Taps when he was still unknown.
Not only did my husband ask me to buy the dvd, he took out all of the connector cables from the garage so we could watch me up close on our wide screen TV.
When Tom and I met on set, he told me that a friend had got sick so they called him in as a last minute actor, that it was his lucky break.
He told me he had recently moved to New York to get into acting. The film we made was his first film although it was probably his worst film ever. It was a really bad movie.
On our paycheck stubs the production company was called Tijuana Summer. Ha!
I think I was 16 and he was 18.
I was called through an agency for a film that was being shot in the valley and my mom said I could miss school and work. I met Tom on set because we were a bunch of kids hanging out from 6a to 6p. We later became friends while he was in Los Angeles for seven days and hung out.
He told me he had quit high school to act and his name wasn’t Tom. He told me I could call him by his real name, Mapathor or his stage name, however I wanted.
He is really nice and down to earth, we hung out in his trailer too. Wikipedia says his real name is Thomas, but he introduced himself as another name, trying to remember.
Even my two kids were pointing: Look there’s mom.
My girlfriends in high school can attest to this, although I continue to have a hard time believing the story myself!
I’m going to get the video up of it so you can see it and laugh with me and if you’d like. I will take a picture of my diary I wrote on the day we met by request.
Tom and I worked five days together.
Usually, when I tell my Tom Cruise story people are surprised.Now unfortunately, I think the kids in school like other actors too although I’m convinced Tom Cruise has a fan or two out there.
There’s no doubt in my small mind however he is incredibly talented. If you caught him in Steal Magnolia’s I think you just might agree.
The first thing my kids taught me about being a mom was that I knew absolutely nothing about being a mom.
First thing I learned when they were born was that they are separate from me. I felt so close and attached to them that I was surprised that when I touched them I couldn’t feel it. I was surprised that I couldn’t feel if they were cold or not so I had to learn to touch their little ears and noses to see what their body temperatures were.
My kids taught me patience when I didn’t want to be patient. They taught me I had no other option but to sit and hold them.
They taught me to laugh and be silly. They taught me wonder.
They absolutely taught me what it’s like to be a kid to relive my childhood through kids eyes. Like when we watched Peter Pan. I could watch that forever. I relate to Wendy. I love the part about the fairies, the magic, the choice to believe that something is there.
My kids have taught me the silliest lessons. I love them with all of my heart. They have taught me unconditional love and warmth. They have taught me about my limits too. I was surprised to see how with my kids how many times I was willing to go past my limits.
I think lately the thing they have taught me the most is how important it is to take care of myself first. I have found that by giving as mothers do we allow ourselves unjustly to become second, so I have learnt that in order to save a ship, the person driving it, must be the healthiest.
Hi guys, welcome back. Good to see you. New visitors, welcome, join, comment. Grab a cup of fresh brewed blog copy. Sugar? Milk? Beuller?
Today I’m talking about what makes a good blog based on scientific evidence also known as my opinion. OK OK, I’ll throw in some scientific evidence.
Here are the 13 best blogs who have gotten my blogging bum in gear and motivate me to be a better blogger. Try saying that 10 times fast.
1. BJ at Tiny Island This blogger lives in Singapore. She has a nice style of writing. I go back to her blog because not only is has she become a blogger friend, she has great information on living in Singapore. I feel like I’m travelling without leaving my home when I visit her blog.
2. Ducks @ Counting Ducks If you haven’t read about Peter, my friend from blogging who is so creative, then now is your chance. Pter tells awesome stories that will have you laugh and cry, such a talented writer, so creative. You’ll love his blog.
3. Michelle @ Bleeding Expresso The Godmother of blogs. I kiss her ring. Based in southern Italy, when I got the nod from Michelle my visitor hits soared. Her blog is FULL of useful information, wit, charm and pictures. She captures the spirit of Italy way better than I can. But best of all, she’s got a goat. Actually three goats. I’m telling you I have yet to see a cuter goat.
4. Matt @ ma.tt This cool blogger who designs blog platforms likes to play jazz in his free time. DID YOU HEAR ME? He’s young, talented, traveling the world and has provided half of the world with a FREE place to write your words. We bow down to our youth.
5. Chris @ The Art of Non-Conformity This guy is AMAZING. I admire him. I came across his blog when doing research for my ebook Zero to Blog and saw the fantastic headline 279 days to overnight success. His ebook is FREE and downloadable now.
Chris’s mission is to travel the world and share his stories. Let’s see if he will dominate the world with his World Domination Manifesto. I found his blog absolutely packed with valuable information – for bloggers, travelers, doers and dreamers. Not only THAT, he’s making this world better place. Five star blogger.
6. Anne @ Anne on Lifehttp://anneonlife.com/ – This lovely mom gets an A in my book for being excellent. She does it all, the mom, the blog, the math, the homework, giving her kids the jeep, but what I love about Anne is NOT only did she go back to continue her education in the later part of her life, she got outstanding grades. When she commented on my list of 7 killer buzz words, she got me to snicker when she wrote:
I love ‘hiney’. Uh, that didn’t come out right.
7. Barbara @ Blogging without a blog I can NOT emphasize enough how much I love clicking and going back to Barbara’s blogging without a blog. She and I have similar tastes in books and motivators such as Wayne Dyer, Byron Katie and Tony Robbins. Written in a classroom like setting, when you click over to Barbara’s blog you a guaranteed to learn something new every time.
7. Pam @ bored cook Good recipes, good stories and a good blogger. She’s actually gets you cooking delicious food. I love her stories about being young and visiting Italy hoping to bet pinched in the bum.
8. Linda @ Lindaloumac This nice English lady moved to Italy after she raised her lovely girls. She keeps us up on her adventures at her blog. She’s also an avid reader and shares tons of information and book links.
9. Katie and Krystyne @ Tres Chic – Two newly graduated high school students embark on their journey to France to study abroad for four months. Read about their adventures and share their journey.
10. Dr. B @ Dr. Tom Bibey Blue Grass Physician I love love love love going back to read Dr. B’s blog. His visitors are like his patients and he takes good care of us all. His mom was an English teacher and his best friend passed away. He keeps his soul alive telling us what it is like to grow up in a small town where you get to the local diner by turning left at the oak.
Plus, he does it with grace, beauty, dignity and love for his wife and family.
There was not a whit of culture or refinement in me or my brothers. We were just wild sunburned boys who ran all day and stayed covered in red clay dust.
11. Jeff R @ The Anti ignorance Blog
This young fellow is discovering the world through his words. He’s not bothered by visitors or by growth. He’s just writing. Isn’t wonderful that we have the opportunity to read about what our youth think? Give him a visit and let him know we aren’t all bad.
One of the perks of coaching our 13 year-old son, Jack’s soccer team is getting to know the parents of our team members. Disclaimer: Joe does the coaching, I do the Starbucks run and cheering. One of the families we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know is Vince and Denise Brigantino. As a thank you gift for coaching (and cheering), they gave us a lovely bottle of their family grown Cabernet Sauvignon. We uncorked it tonight, let it breath for about an hour, and served it with Baked Ziti – yum!
When Julie writes you enjoy the northern California lifestyle along with her.
Thanks for joining me. Leave a comment. It’s how we little blog writers get paid. : )
There are a bunch of fleas put in a jar. They keep jumping super high. In fact, fleas can jump 60 times their height! The fleas are now in the jar jumping so high so high.
Then someone comes along and puts a cap on the jar. Bump bump bump. The fleas hit their heads. Ouch. They change their behavior and say in a tiny flea voice I will only jump as high as this lid. Ouch ouch ouch.
Then someone comes along and opens the jar. What do you think happens? Do the fleas jump super high or do they jump just as high as the lid?
Unfortunately they only jump slightly lower than lid. You know why? They learned they couldn’t jump any higher.
The point of the story is that we are all little fleas that can jump 60 times our height.
You can jump higher.
Please don’t let ANYONE ever tell you that you can’t do something that benefits yourself, humanity, your team or someone you love.
Even better do something for an enemy. Forgive them.
More Peeps?! WT~@#?
Tell me when you want me stop talking about this but I have a good number of visitors here. I think that’s unbelievable.
I just don’t know when I am going to get used to thinking I’m talking to more than my husband or children. Still it just floors me. I googled the question How many people visit your blog?
I keep getting referred back to one site and I found an interesting chart saying they get 20,000 visitors per week. I’m not buying it. Maybe they are. I just don’t know of any personally.
I am sure somewhere someone is. If so be brave, come forward, leave a comment. One guy said he got like I don’t know 250 per week when he wrote an iphone review. Probably.
Cough cough cough bull…bull. bologna.
Welcome new readers. I hope you become a regular visitor.
The bottom line is I am completely satisfied with the positive feedback I am getting and the steady increase in visitors. Thank you.
Do you like email? I don’t like it so much.
What do you think about the box that reads: If you are new you might want to consider adding me onto your email subscription? I wish someone would explain that to me. I personally don’t like email so much.
I do all of my communicating between my friends on facebook. What am I going to do with a HUGE list of emails? Sell them to marketers? No. Why? So they can send me junk mail that I trash?
I’m not going there. Am I wrong in thinking if someone wants to see what I am up to they can go to my site or drop me a line? People know how to bookmark, don’t they? Argh.
The first week I was blogging I added myself as a subscribe to my newsfeed by email button. I kept getting letters from myself and it was awful.
Reach for the moon. If you don’t make it at least your are somewhere amongst the stars.
It’s been a good ride. I’ve had some good years and some difficult. The way I say it is that my life has been a bit of a ride uphill, sort of like going up a ski lift, and from now on out, I’m expecting to slalom down softly.
I don’t think I’ve learned too much along the way. In fact, the more I know, the more I realise the less I know. But there some things I wish I knew when I were younger. Here they are.
What my current self would have told my younger self.
The friends I made when I was young are going to be the same friends I have now. I didn’t know that. I’ve made quite a few friends a long the way but I truly count my closest friends on one hand, okay two. I met them when I was in University, and even a couple in high school and I consider them to know me better than anyone in the world.
That growing up where I did was awesome.
I didn’t realize it at the time but I am now realizing how lucky I was to have grown up in Southern California. When I left it, I was quite certainly ready to move on. But somethings remain. Things like having to have studied at some of the best schools, the privilege to have gone to University in Silicon Valley and riding my bike to and from campus, the privilege of meeting my best friend there.
I realize now that I was privileged to have things like having a swimming pool, tennis court, baseball and football field around my high school. These are all things I took for granted.
I believe that striving towards excellence in academics and sports were the two most important decisive factors on who I believe I am as an adult. My father told me a little competition is good for you.
My friends and I all started on the swim team around eight years old. I swam all through high school. J9, can you still smell the chlorine and remember how red our eyes would get? I was also a huge fan of my brother playing baseball and basketball and spent a lot of time cheering for him.
One of my favorite parts of high school was taking the stats for the Junior Varsity and Varsity basketball team. I knew more about free throws, rebounds, three point shots and assists than the players themselves. I am speaking strictly from a statistical perspective. Scouts would come and ask me who was the best and I could rattle off averages.
My little awards sit in a jewelry box. Little remnants of honors and achievements.
Other things I wish I knew.
That one day I would have decided to move to Europe. If I can think of one riveting moment in my life it was the day I decided I wanted to live abroad. It wasn’t actually a moment but a progression of choices that paved my path. I feel so blessed to have lived in both Europe and USA. What a fantastic education. Moreover was the choice to be able to go back and forth, not at a whim, but as parter of a bigger plan.
There is no other place I’d rather be than right here right now.
I didn’t know
That my children would speak Italian. I never thought I would have Italian speaking children. It’s quite adorable actually. They speak English well too. Believe me, I insist ~ not all of the time, but a lot of the time.
I think the ONE most important things I have learned as an adult is the capacity to give. For some reason as a child I just felt like I wanted material objects. Maybe I felt this way in order to compensate for the attention I felt I needed but didn’t get. I don’t know.
Now I just want to give. I heard so many times the more you give the more you receive but I think I didn’t believe it. It’s true.
I learned to trust the Lord. It’s not an easy road to give in to His will. In fact, it’s quite a daily struggle but I have learned He does provide, is a loving father and has given me more than I feel I deserve. For that I am truly thankful.