Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Once again, I sit down to rewrite a post that was already written. My husband and I were talking after dinner, sharing a glass of wine. I told him a story about my run today.

I was running in the park. I approached a lady who was texting on her phone, oblivious to anything around her. She had a little dog on a leash, which was fully extended. She didn't see me coming, but the dog did. Teeth showing, growling, he charged at me. Given the chance, I'm pretty sure he would have ripped my leg off. She looked up as I cried out, "your dog!". She didn't know what to do and I made a wide berth around her. Over my music, I heard her say "sorry". I just gave her "the look".

You know the look. If you've been a runner for any length of time, you've thrown that look at cars who blow stop signs. At cyclists who ride a little too close for comfort. And at clueless dog owners.

The look that says: "what are you thinking?"

As I ran past the dog walker, I kept thinking to myself, what is the point? Either you walk the dog or you text. You can't do both, right?

I guess you can, but what are you trying to accomplish?

What Do You Want to Accomplish?


This post really isn't about the dog. That's a whole other post.

I started thinking about how we've become this crazy, multitasking society.

I do it too. When I run, I'm always thinking about my daily photo. Looking for the perfect shot. Thinking about the perfect yoga pose. Thinking about my next blog post. Even today, I kept thinking about what I was going to write, not really focused on the run.

Last week, I was updating my phone to iOS 10. The update was taking forever and I wanted to run.

How could I run without my phone? What could I do? No picture of my run? No music?

My iPhone in the charger, I pulled out the waterproof iPod shuffle I bought for my pool running and ran with that. Running old school.

There was no daily runfie. It felt weird, but oddly, I was ok with it.

I thought about before having an iPhone, how I used to "just" run. While there was always music, there wasn't the post-run selfie. I didn't post my runs or my yoga poses to Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media channel. There was no blog.

So today, on my 54th anniversary of my trip around the sun, I think about where I'm at, running-wise and where I want to be. What do I want to accomplish? What do I want to accomplish with my running? With my social media? With this blog?

There's so much FOMO, so much competition in the running/yoga/social media world. I'm starting to pull back a little bit on the challenges. I did my bucket list race. I've connected with some amazing people. Left some behind. While I'm still running, now I get to run for fun. I'm getting back to where I started. I feel pretty good.

I've done everything, running-wise, that I wanted to do, except for running Boston. I don't know if that's attainable for me anymore. I ask myself, do I even want to do it? Sure, it would be nice. But do I want to push myself that hard again?

What do I want to accomplish?

At this point in my running life, in my fitness life, what I really want to accomplish is to show that age is just a number. I want people to stop judging me because of my age. I want to do a handstand, away from the wall. I want to do a pull-up. I want to run a 7-minute mile. Maybe become a yoga teacher.

Now it's all about having fun and enjoying the ride. There will be more races, for sure. I'm not done chasing those miles. I'm still going to indulge my love for travel. Destination races fit nicely into that plan.

We only get one trip on this crazy planet and we need to make the most of it. Through my blog, I want to inspire everyone to live life on their terms. I want everyone to realize that I am not my age. That my age is just a number. I refuse to be defined by that number.

That's what I want to accomplish. As long as you are along for the ride, I'll keep sharing my journey.

What do you hope to accomplish? Now? In a year from now? In your lifetime?

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. Today's word is accomplish. Check out everyone else's take on this word!



81 comments :

  1. Yesssssss.
    This is the gift of aging for me. At 47 each time I begin to careen toward feeling frantic and sliding into multitasking I ask myself: how do you want to be remembered?

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  2. Haha!! I just started listening to a book called Age is Just a Number (so laughed when I saw the same phrase in your post). It's Dara Torres' (Olympic swimmer who made her 4th Olympic team at age 41 in Beijing and won silver in the 50 free, missing gold by 0.01) memoir.

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    1. It's on my to-read list! I'm all over this.

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  3. You are already doing that with your marathon-running, handstanding, badassing self! Seriously, you inspire! Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thank you! I'm kind of liking this old age be damned niche that I'm in!

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  4. Happy Birthday, Dear Running Friend!! I kind of drew a blank on this word. Yes, I have many accomplishments that I'm proud of, but most people know what those things are: my kids, running marathon(s) and ultra(s), starting (and growing) my blog. Yadda yadda yadda. I agree with you...age is just a number. I'm astounded at the number of former classmates (from both of my high schools) who are (sadly) looking their age.....I'm determined to fight that aging stuff. Glad I have a fab tribe of gals along with me ;-)

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    1. Seriously, I feel the same way about so many of my non-running peers. I'm all about crushing expectations.

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  5. Happy birthday! I hope you have a great day.

    What do I want to accomplish with my life? Right now, I want to take better care of myself than my parents did so that I can still be vital and healthy at their age, God willing, because things out of our control do happen in life.

    And I REALLY want to inspire my husband to live better. He is on the same path my parents walked. They are driving him insane, yet he is going down that road (and yesterday was his birthday).

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    1. Oh, don't even get me started on my husband's health. It really frustrates me to no end...

      Happy birthday to Mr. Judy!

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  6. Happy Birthday Wendy! If you want to prove age is just a number and doesn't hold you back from anything, I think you have already proved that! :)

    As a new smartphone owner, I have been on it A LOT. It is FUN. I'm going a little crazy now, but I have an idea for October. I'm going to try to have some "no phone zones". I want to get back to how I was (waaaaay back to three weeks ago haha) when I only had a flip phone.) I think one way I can do this is turn the sound off on my phone. Right now I hear a ding EVERY time I get ANY type of notification. And my instinct is to CHECK. Now, I was like that with my flip phone too, when I heard a ding, I checked right away. But I didn't get lots of dings because all it dinged was a txt msg.

    I don't run with my phone at all. I used to run with my flip phone when I needed to be on call in case Paul had an emergency. But his symptoms have diminished so much that I stopped taking my phone. My podcasts are on my mp3 player and I just take that. I am not one for mid run pictures but I do try to take something after my run for my workout recaps. Normally just my sweaty face or a Garmin shot. I have been seriously lacking on pics for my workout recaps, and I know those are boring to begin with, so I am going to try to get better at including pictures!

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    1. I keep my phone on silent 90% of the time. It vibrates so I know when there's a message or a new email, but it's much less distracting than the beep. I do like to run with my phone for safety reasons, plus I like to look for interesting places for my pics. But it is a little distracting...

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  7. Birthdays are a perfect time to evaluate our journey, to reflect on what we've accomplish thus far and what lies ahead.

    Even though my 64th birthday is not for several weeks, I've been the process of re-thinking and have once again, this time I think for good, ceased my running journey. The bad runs and stress have this year far outpaced (sorry, can't help the pun) the good ones. My journey continues, but in a different way, with walking and yoga, and of course my daily stretching which is paramount for me. It has to be fun and it has not been. I've been hanging on by my fingernails for months, I have to admit mostly because of letting go of being in the band of sister runners.

    I can't do handstand, but I did (easily) achieve an unassisted and unsupported shoulder stand at yoga class. And that made me very happy.

    Happy Birthday, my friend. No matter what, we are connected and you will always inspire me.

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    1. There used to be a woman in my neighborhood who ran--I'd see her all the time and we'd greet each other. Over time, I noticed her running more slowly until one day I saw her walking. I stopped to ask her if she was ok. She told me she was 70 and it was just too much for her. I guess we all have to recognize when it's time...

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    2. I got more years than I thought. I planned a one-and-done 5K. Not 70 but yes, it's become too much. It's really tough, harder than you can imagine, to let go. But I'm never go back to the couch!

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  8. I really don't fret too much about thinking up the next best photo opp or blog post (I've been known to write letters to the editor about things that annoy me. In my head, of course. ��). I love the way my mind works while I run, how I can solve problems or think of great things to write about (if only I could remember them when I'm done!). I'm an almost 60 year old runner, still out there, hopefully inspiring a few other 60+ runners while I'm at it. That works for me!

    I find it more concerning that society (and I'm guilty of it too sometimes) seems to be so focused on our phones and our social media that we don't pay attention to each other anymore. How many times we see a group of friends together, but each one is only paying attention to their phone. That is sad and disturbing.

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    1. I do that same thing--writing letters in my head! LOL! And yes, you are one of my favorite inspirations. Keep it coming!

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  9. We have become a crazy multi tasking world where we have a hard time focusing on getting one thing done. The dog story-ugh some woman almost knocked me off my bike w her leash. BTW I can totally see you as a yoga teacher

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    1. I don't know--I think I'm too type A to teach yoga. But maybe it would help me let go a little bit!

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  10. Great post, Wendy. I needed to read that today. I often feel like that lady with her phone and her dog but more along the lines of not fully plugging into any one thing but rather trying so hard to keep a dozen balls in the air. I have so much shit to do, so many things to deal with, it's UNREAL. And so I try to do them all, but I end up making a bigger mess. I need to choose one thing at a time and focus on it, get it done and then move to the next thing.

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    1. I'm getting ready to leave on a weekend trip with my sister and I'm trying to decide--do I take a few days off blogging? Or do I prepare posts in advance? I should skip it and be ALL IN for our trip. But I'm so connected and it's hard to let it go!

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  11. Happy Birthday!! I am right with you on that whole age is just a number thing; pet peeve is when friends of mine (even younger friends) will say "I'm old" as an excuse for not doing something. Do it, or don't - but don't be putting an age limit on things!

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    1. Society does that for us, right? I hate how media/advertisers try to put us into little boxes. Baby boomers, millenials, gen X...enough already.

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  12. Happy Birthday Wendy! I'm completely with you on that age is just a number. You certainly don't look your age, and you've accomplished quite a lot, much more than people your age have. Keep reaching for the stars and celebrating all that you have, and will, accomplish in your lifetime.

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  13. Happy, happy, happy birthday, Wendy! Love the lessons you drive home in this post. I've made a really conscious effort to avoid using my phone when I'm in the social company of other people. However, most people don't care. Life is too short, indeed, and making interactions meaningful is a lost art, in my opinion.

    I think you'd make a fantastic yoga teacher and I KNOW you can run a 7-minute mile, do a handstand away from the wall, and a pull-up! No doubt about it.

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  14. Happy Birthday Wendy!

    You are right, we are going crazy with multitasking! I find myself taking selfies when I don't feel like it, just so I can post something on Instagram... it's at those moments that I tell myself, forget it! I don't need another sweaty selfie to prove that I just ran and put the phone away.

    A yoga teacher sounds very interesting! I would love to hear your journey on becoming a yoga instructor!!

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    1. I'm still going to do my daily yoga selfies...for now! But I'm sure done with multiple postings. When does it become all about the picture and not about getting the work done?

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  15. I can't help but wonder if society and social media in particular is reaching a tipping point. When is enough enough? I'm all for beautiful pis but how many runfies/selfies do we need? I find myself unplugging more and more and caring less and less. I've got nothing to prove. Accomplish? I've got lots more traveling to do. Cheers to the birthday girl!

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    1. I'm with you on the traveling. Hoping we can have some fun running adventures together! Guess we'll see how our first one goes in December, right?

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  16. Happy birthday Wendy! Like you, I am at a place where i've accomplished what I want to accomplish running wise. You hit the nail on the he'd when you talked about multitasking on our cell phones. I think in this day in age where people are posting and documenting their every move it makes me wonder if they are really even enjoying what they are doing or if they are just doing it so they can take a pic and post it???

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    1. Sometimes it seems that way, even when I'm running. I lose focus and start to look for the place for my selfie. They say awareness is the first step--so now I'm going to focus more on my running. The pix will come but only after I've had my run.

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  17. Happy Birthday to you, Wendy! I love the idea of taking a moment to figure out what YOU want to accomplish (and you have some really fabulous goals). I feel it is very easy to get sucked into other peoples' goals. I know for me...I don't care about running a marathon (or even a half), I don't care about my time. I want to be the healthiest that I can and do the things that bring me joy (running, swimming, cycling and weight training) and have fun and not be injured. I want to listen to my body and just be a good example of health and living with passion. We never really know how long we have and I have lost some loved ones that were far too young, so I just want to make sure I live each day from my heart.

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    1. I think realizing how precious life is and that we only get one trip through this thing (altho some may argue with me on that) makes me want to make the most of every day. Especially now that I am getting older. I joke that I don't feel my age, but I am aware that there is only so much more time for me to do the things I want to do.

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  18. Happy Birthday!!!

    Love this post. I'll get to that, but first, I'm a dog owner and dog walker and have walked and played WWF or texted if it's more of a time for them to smell everything, sometimes they are into their walk and want to trot along so that's what we do. Irresponsible dog owners make me crazy, they give us all bad names!! Anyhow, that's my two cents.

    What I LOVE about this is the fact you are thinking about our multitasking society. I think we miss out on so much if we are trying to grab that perfect selfie or picture or being plugged in on a run. Since my shelving I haven't used the iPod on a run, because I didn't run for two months. Now that I'm back, I still haven't used it, I think I'll leave it to gather dust and focus on how I'm feeling on the run or incesently repeating: run the mile you are in run the mile you are in, or taking in the beauty of the routes I run. It doesn't change, yet it does change, and it never seems to get boring.

    Excellent Post! I'm glad I found you!

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    1. The routes don't change but the scenery does with the seasons. You are right. It never gets boring!

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  19. Wow, this post really made me think! I've officially been injured for a year now, and it has been devastating at times. I miss running so bad, but I'm realizing that I can still do it if I totally change up my idea of running. I think what I want to accomplish is I want to get my body back to injury-free mode, and to try new sports. I loved learning how to swim in order to finish my first tri last year, and I think doing a sport where running is only a small part of it will help me return to running in a healthy way! It sounds like you've got a good plan too. Happy birthday!

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    1. After having multiple injuries and stress fractures over the last couple of years it was definitely time to change it up. Glad to have found my CrossFit coach who keeps me running. Yep. The 2 can co-exist peacefully.

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  20. I just posted something along these general lines too. I guess I'm just a little tired mentally of always having to have a new major goal in front of me when really I just want this life of fitness to be a natural life-style. I see so many of us (yes me included) who have smaller audiences with our blogs just disappear when we hit a certain goal because we struggle with what the next big thing should be. Like you said, it's not about not having goals but putting goals in an appropriate place of importance. BTW I love the idea of becoming a yoga teacher. I'd like to eventually teach fitness classes too but that's something I haven't focused on too much yet.

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    1. After I ran Big Sur, I felt kind of lost--what do you do after you reach a big goal like that? Now I feel that I've gotten back on track. I'm enjoying where I'm at right now.

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  21. If running with an iPod is "old school", what is running with no headphones called? Happy Birthday! Your current BQ time is 4:10:00 since you'll be a year older for the 2018 race! You can do it, it's only 7 minutes faster than your PR (only 16 seconds faster per mile)!

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    1. I knew I could count on you to give me the data I needed...Let's see how I feel in the spring! Who knows? Maybe I will go for it! Maybe.

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  22. Love this! Great post. I just turned 44 yesterday and on tomorrow's blog I'm reviewing my word for the year which is "run" but in the context of running MY race, not feeding into what everyone else is doing. Like you pointed out about FOMO and everything on social media, etc. Totally with you on this stuff!

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    1. It's hard not to play along with all the folks on social media--everyone's running ultras now and I'm like whaaaat?

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  23. Happy birthday!

    Some runs are just too good to stop for a picture. If I'm in the zone, the picture doesn't matter. Other days I'll use taking a picture as an excuse to take a break ;)

    My #1 goal when I started running was getting healthy. If I keep accomplishing that everyday anything else is a bonus.

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    1. I think I'm subliminally "taking a break" for those selfies!

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  24. Happy Birthday! This is a great reminder-we have become a crazy multitasking society.We see it everyday when we drive or when we are just out in society. It's insane.

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    1. People just can't be without their devices. My biggest pet peeve is when I'm in a room with a patient and they answer the phone. Like we say about texting and driving.."it can wait".

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  25. It's so easy to get caught up in all the "pressure" that social media brings to the activities that used to "just be." Re-evaluating your goals and what you want to accomplish is a really good piece of advice to stay fresh and take a step back from the crazy! Great post, and happy birthday!

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    1. For me that pressure comes in the form of "ultras". All the "cool kids" are doing them... Stepping away...

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  26. Happy birthday! That's amazing that you have accomplished all of your running goals (less Boston). It can be hard to separate your own goals from the goals you THINK you should have. I've had to learn this the hard way a few times, but if you do figure that out, I think that's one of the keys to happiness! Well done you and seriously badass hand stand!

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    1. Now if I could do it away from the wall, I'd have that goal completed too!

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  27. They it's your birthday...gonna have a good time! (Yes, there is always a song at the ready!)

    Apparently, I still run old school. LOL. But yes, pics at the end most days. I think you would be an outstanding yoga teacher! Seriously.


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    1. They SAY it's your birthday...

      Jeez

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    2. I kind of liked the way you said it the first time... :p

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  28. All fantastic goals... the whole social media "runfie" thing is interesting. I've been taking less and less of those, because it really does take up time that I could be actually running, so my instagram only has the runfie here and there. I've also been thinking about what do I want to do after NYC marathon. I'm not putting another marathon on my list right after. I want to explore more exercise classes and I, too, want to hone my yoga and upside down skills... Happy happy birthday! My goal for 54 will be to be more like Wendy..I've got about 10.5 years to catch up!

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    1. I think the yoga selfies are so much prettier to look at--I'll still do those, with the occasional runfie sprinkled in.

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  29. I don't like to run without my phone for safety reasons, but I don't feel like it distracts me from running. Sometimes I will listen to a podcast, but my headphones broke a few weeks ago so I haven't even been using it for that.
    I think these are all important thing to remember and keep in mind especially when we get caught up in the craziness of the day to day. Hope you had a great birthday!

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    1. I have yet to start listening to podcasts. Do you find that they distract you too much from the run?

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  30. I hope you had a great birthday!

    For my walks I roam downtown with my phone both for safety and to know when I need to head back to work. Pictures only are taken when I spot something that catches my eye.

    As for accomplishments I want to attracting my first paying clients.

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    1. Clients, as in personal training? I guess it takes time to get that going.

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  31. I love this!! I want to be in that mindset eventually, right now I just want to get through my current goal to do a marathon. Not sure I'll even be able to do that. And after that, I just don't know, other than to just stay healthy and happy and be able to run, however far/long I want to. Happy Birthday!

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    1. You have to say you CAN do it! And you will!

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  32. Happy Birthday Wendy! Look at that handstand! I def have FOMO but I have been getting better about social media. Def needed this reminder today!!

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  33. love this post. All the time I say, what in the world did we ever do without our phones and the internet?! I hear ya on the fomo, its outta control and the pressure of trying to keep up on social media can be suffocating. I swear some of these people must have a team of people doing it for them...or maybe they live a life of leisure? I dunno, its like magic. I try to focus on the positive and just do the best i can. I have met alot of amazing people online, yourself included :)

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    1. That's my exact thought--I am so happy about all the awesome people I've connected with. I've learned a lot about social media over the last couple of years, and I"m going to do it my way...

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  34. Happy birthday, Wendy!

    I think our list of accomplishment goals is ever-changing. It's something that will never be static, but that's a good thing. We can grow and develop and evolve, and we are always going to be able to accomplish things. That being said, I'm a crazy multitasker - it's just the way I function (but I promise that the pugs are under control - they're not interested in running things anyway, unless it's running bacon LOL!).

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    1. I am a crazy multitasker too...I think a lot of us are. Being working moms we are always juggling a ton of balls in the air. It's survival!

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  35. Beautiful post, Wendy! I hope you had a super happy birthday!

    You're so right. I've only had my iPhone for about 4 years and I've noticed that it's definitely had an impact on my impatient, multi-tasking tendencies. There is so much joy to be experienced in the moment though, so I'm trying to pay more attention to that!

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    1. I like what you said about experiencing joy in the moment. I sure want to work on becoming more mindful. It's not easy in our over connected world!

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  36. A very happy birthday to you! I will be 55 next month, and I've never felt better. I seriously have to stop and think when someone asks my age--that's probably been the case for 20 years. I don't purposely ignore it...I just never think about it. Definitely just a number!

    As for the music, when I started running just 3 years ago, I always had music in my ears. But then at that first marathon in 2013, the buds were in my ears but the music was off before the start of the race so I could hear the announcements. I got so caught up in the race, I never turned the music on, but I ran the whole thing with the buds in my ears! Since that time, I have never once run with music. There's just too much around me to enjoy--especially during the Chicago Marathon. The sights and sounds of the city are part of the magic.

    I generally don't even turn the radio on in the car for my 45+ minute drive to work. I use the silence to just THINK!

    Not exactly sure WHAT I'm trying to accomplish here...I am hoping since I am so late to the sport that my hips and joints haven't taken a beating for the past 20 or 30 years and I can continue to run at least until I'm 70! Right now I have the BQ time of an 80 year old woman. I need to either pick up the pace or plan to run into my 80s if I'm ever going to accomplish that goal!

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    1. I ran with music my last 2 Chicago marathons. The crowds are great but they are so overwhelming and it felt good to shut them out and listen to the tunes I trained with all summer. Now Big Sur, there was no listening to music. The scenery was more than enough.

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  37. This is a really beautiful post and the ability to step back and look at a situation with new perspective is extremely important. I think you are accomplishing what you want to accomplish- I don't think of you as someone who is a certain age, but rather someone who's fit, intelligent, inquisitive, and creative. Also- that dog scenario really angers me.

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    1. I agree with you--I am accomplishing what I want right now. That is staying fit, running, getting strong, and connecting with other runners. The races and anything else is just the icing on the cake!

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  38. great post Wendy! I know we all think about all those same things. It is a lot to juggle, is it worth it, am I making a difference? Making a difference is important to me and I am ok with doing that one person at a time :)

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  39. Oh hell yes!!! I'm right there with you on the age thing and, I've let go of a lot of what I "should" do on the blog and social media. I want to write what I want to write about and, if I have no posts to anything in a day, I'm ok with that too. It has to revolve around ME not the other way around!

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  40. Happy belated birthday! I like to think that like you, I am not defined by my age (I turn 59 in mid-November)...

    I enjoyed your take on our Wednesday Word. Thanks for linking up, Wendy!

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  41. I'm along for your ride Wendy! You have a gift fir writing and inspiring that's for sure!!

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  42. I love your goals and those are mine as well! Would love to be able to do 2 unassisted pullups this year and a handstand. Once the marathon is over I cant wait to get back into the gym and into yoga.

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