Because I Can!

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The cold, dry air was burning my wet, dripping nose. The birds were starting to sing their morning songs. That weird lighting on the streets from the combination of the suns glow starting to shine and the street lights glow. I went for a 4 mile run this morning at 5:30am. I was determined to get out there and get back into running early mornings! I woke up and though, “I’m going to be skinny!”

Well, by the time I got about three-quarters of a mile my nose was running like Niagara Falls, my lungs were burning worse than my calves were, and I felt like my heart was in my throat. I was no longer determined and I just ran back home. My 4 mile run that used to be an easy warm up in the early morning was actually a mile and a half run in hell for me today. When I got home, I looked right at the shiny, red face in the mirror and thought to myself, what a disappointment! I beat myself up over it and then told my best friend about how down I felt.

She reminded me of why I’m even a runner to begin with! I run because I can. In high school I hated running! I hated running with a passion. You couldn’t even pay me to run without a soccer ball or softball around. To run track or cross country was such a miserable idea to me! Then, from age 18 to 20 I found myself having trouble with running. This trouble was no longer mental, it was physical this time around. If I tried to run, I’d get so light headed and weak and then pass out. I couldn’t even sing out loud in my car driving to school anymore without the fear of exhausting myself.

After a few times of passing out while hiking with my dog, Jolie, I decided to finally tell someone and get help. After many, many different doctors offices and seeing different specialist, I finally had the right medical tests done. Sitting in a cardiologists office, I was finally diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White. It was the answer to my many prayers and questions. I scheduled myself for surgery to fix the problem immediately.

16 Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice” – that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
Hebrews 13:16 MSG

So today was just a rough morning. I’m about to go for a two mile jog (good or bad, doesn’t matter) and then sing my little lungs out on my way to work tonight!! Tomorrow morning I’ll give it another shot! Hope things go better!

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Not-So-Far, So Good

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I know it’s only the fourteenth day into the new year, but week two of fifty-two has gone great! This year is looking good so far! I’m sticking to my fasting diet, working out everyday, and last two Mondays I’ve taken food for the homeless with me on my run with my friends running team. I’ve gone from being the worlds bottomless pit for food to a vegan, practically! Working out everyday is already kind of my normal so that hasn’t been much of a challenge. But carrying 20+ extra pounds on my back while running through LA was interesting.

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I’m half way through with my fast and already feeling stronger in my faith. This fast has really helped me clear away all distractions from my sight and really see what God wants me to do! I am much more confident that I am living the life He has set for me! This bumpy road of a path is bearable knowing He’s the one paving the way! I’m making clearer decisions and feeling good about them. Doing this fast, I’ve learned a lot about myself! Things like how much I love seafood, and cheese with my fruit! Ha! No, but really. I can already feel the stronger relationship I’ve built with God these past 10 days have been glorious!

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:14-17

I’ve also realized that my journey isn’t about me. I was put on this earth to love others. I have stuck with it and fed the homeless on my last two Monday night runs through Los Angeles. The team is running through Hollywood this month and it been quite beautiful! To see someone struggle during these runs isn’t something that makes you proud to be doing better, but something that slows you down so you can run with them, lift their spirits, and encourage your teammates to continue pushing! Runners do it for me and I’ve done it for them.

Although it’s only been two weeks into the new year, I’ve already grown this far, and have learned so much! I hope I have inspired more people to live their life with healthier habits and also let The Lord live through them! We can all help ourselves while helping others!

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They Keep It Run Hundred

Every Monday I see my friend Jessi and she asks me the same thing, “are you working tonight?” And for the first time in a long time, I said no. With my new free Monday night, I joined her with her community running team. This is a group that runs the streets of LA at night. Even when it’s freezing cold, they still show up and run. While running all I could see was steam clouds all around our heads from everyone’s breaths.

I am so glad I joined her last night! It was such a wonderful experience! This running group was full of so much energy, and the artistic experience was so satisfying! Every week they run to a different artistic mural, sculpture, building and such! It’s so intriguing to learn about the local up and coming artists and really see what their personally putting out there!

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While out running the streets, I learned a few things about running at night that I don’t think I would have ever guessed without experiencing this specific run myself. The first thing I learned was, how beautiful the city of Los Angeles is. When I think LA, I think of crazy people in the streets of Hollywood, tall buildings, and crowded highways. With the help of Eric and BlackListLA, I saw the art in the streets. I witnessed the power of positivity and self expressions! It was amazing!

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The second thing I learned was the person wearing too much Bengay was actually a genius! When we arrived at the Disney Concert Hall to get ready to start our run I noticed a few people were completely surrounded by the aroma of minty tingly-ness. While I passed certain sour smelling corners of the route, I realized the over powering smell of Bengay or Icy Hot would have been much nicer. Plus, my muscles probably would not have any objections.

The third thing I learned actually left me with a new goal for 2015. I learned that headlamps aren’t just good for spotting cracks in the concrete, but also for spotting homeless people sleeping in the way. As sad as it was, it’s the truth. We were running through downtown Los Angeles where the population of homeless is very high. The streets are lined with tents and what looks like piled up blankets. These are their homes, and as much as the group does run through the area, they are still very respectable of them.

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Proverbs 14:31

I enjoyed joining them so much that for now on, if I’m not working on Monday nights, I’ll join her and the rest of her crazy running team! I plan to show up with plenty of Bengay lathered on, warm clothes, and a backpack full of food for the people we run past. It’s one thing to feel sorry for all the children in other countries who don’t have food, but how about feeding the people in our own backyards when we can. So for now on, I will bring food, not just in my car, but along with me when I run with BlackListLA!

I Thought You Said Rum…

So I belong to a community running team. We are like a big family and we spend a lot of time together. We have a big holiday party at a banquet hall where we all dress up red carpet style, eat, drink, and play music and photo slide shows! It’s a wonderful time to get together, catch up, and meet each others crazy other halves!


Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

Well, as great as it all is, I work weekends and didn’t make it this year. So instead, I went to the morning after PreChristmas Hike! It was put together by one of our wonderful members for the runners, like me, who couldn’t attend. I got my invitation and the picture was people with Rumchata, Santa hats, and clearly photoshopped male models hanging out with extremely large Christmas ornaments. Well, looked fun to me! I RSVPed and signed up to bring two dozen tamales!

I’m not much of a morning person, so it was really hard to get up at the crack of dawn knowing how cold it was going to be outside. One of my running buddies picked me up at 6:30 in the morning and drove us to the base of the mountain! It was a freezing cold morning but I had my large insulated bag of hot tamales keeping my ass warm! We arrived at our meeting spot and I just saw a bunch of friends dressed up so silly! Other than all the red and green, they had high pattern socks, silly hats, and one even wore a fake Santa mustache and beard! They also all had their backpacks, water bottles, and garmin watches ready! Yup, this was for reals… we are really hiking a few miles today! All in all, it was a fantastic time!

Note to self: run and rum are two very different things!

We hiked to the top and set up all the goods on two tables. Let me tell you, for being an of health freak runners, today must have been carb day! There was food galore! Oh, and there was rum… Lots of rum! Lots of alcohol actually! Drinking at 8 in the morning was a fun experience, but not as fun as the adventure getting back down the mountain. Hahaha! Well, one of our members announced she had to use the bathroom so was going to take a short cut. Five other runners and I followed her. Her screaming bladder must have fogged her mind… “I think I made a wrong turn guys…” Oh it was wonderful! A bunch of intoxicated people dressed up like Christmas hallmark fools are now scaling down the side of the mountain! It was definitely a sight to see! Everyone worked together and made the full hike alive and not injured! Just another wild outdoor experience with my running family!

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#empowerothersbeauty

Just like everyone else and their moms, I have a Facebook, too. Well, the other day I was scrolling through my news feed to see what looks like a new version of a dumb chain letter kind of thing. It was called “The Sexy Challenge” and it consisted of 5 ridiculous selfies of a person and a message saying that those are the 5 pictures that make them feel sexy. Then they tagged a handful of people, challenging them to do the same. I looked at it and immediately thought, Great! I hope I don’t get tagged in this stupid thing!

Fast forward a couple days and bam! Facebook notification says I’ve been tagged in my sisters post. I look and it says “…I challenge you to take the beautiful and strong challenge.” At first I rolled my eyes, but then my boredom got the best of me and I opened it. Looked at her 5 pictures and saw 5 beautiful photos of her and her progress in weight loss. She’s not covered in make up nor was she acting provocative. There wasn’t even a filter on the slide. Then, I saw her hashtag “#EmpowerOthersBeauty” and I got it! These pictures made her feel both beautiful and strong, while inspiring me and those 17 other people who “liked” the post. !

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25

I went ahead and made my post of 5 pictures and tagged a handful of people that were either in those picture with me, and/or those who can easily inspire others! It was wonderful! A few of the people I tagged completed their challenge and it was absolutely heart touching to see their collage and read their comments. So many people are inspired by others. It was beautiful, and it wasn’t photoshop at all!

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Nerve-Wracking First Words

So we’ve all been in the position of meeting new people and feeling the heart-racing fear of making a good first impression. Do I hug the person or do I shake their hand? I know I’m a big hugger, but what if they aren’t? Really, it depends who you’re meeting, because let’s be honest here, there’s a time and a place for everything!

If I’m interviewing for a new volunteer program, for a job, or even meeting someone new classmates, I will be the first to stick my hand out and pray the other person knows I’m gesturing for a handshake! With that being said, I’ve experienced the floating-hand look that quickly turns into “oh, what is this on the back of my hand?” Now, if it is a dates’ family member, or someone special that I really want to impress and coax into liking me, I always try for a hug. So here’s to you, social media! *cyber hug*

Maybe it’s just me, but I want to know everything about the people I just meet. What do they do? Why do they do that? Who supports them in these decisions, whether it be in a positive way or negative. What do they believe and live by? What are they thinking right now? Do they know that when I was in forth grade my art project won first prize at the Los Angeles County Fair? Do they think that’s impressive? Maybe I should tell them, because if it were me, I’d want to know! …well guess what? There’s a time and a place.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

So in this place (my blog) we’re going to take our time! I’m just going to write, and you will slowly get to know me! Through comments, I’ll get to know you, and our relationships will be able to actually thrive! I think it’s more fun to put things together anyways, don’t you?