Friday, March 31, 2017

Be Brave (put to music)

A few weeks ago, Jeff challenged the kids to write and perform five songs about Project Becoming Our Best.  Here are two of the ones they wrote.  I'm proud of their creativity and courage.

Sometimes I wonder what is beyond the hills of limit. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’s better. It’s probably your best.
To be your best is to beat the test
To beat the test you must beat the rest
To beat the rest you get an award
But to get an award is to hit a board
Maybe it’s just an obstacle to pass to get your best!
Now I know what is beyond the hills of limit
Beyond the hills is non-existent
The hills of limit is the hills of best
Which will get shorter as you get better
Until you are the best!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Grateful again

Grateful today for: 1) 100 mile (actually 100.42 because that matters) bike ride in the books on a beautiful day today. 2) Motivation from Courtney and Debi! 3) Jeff doing his workout in the wee hours of the morning on the trainer so this newbie could gain some confidence at this distance. #begrateful #bebrave #becompassionate

Friday, March 24, 2017

Be compassionate

One of my favorite books for teaching kids about compassion is Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.  It's about sensing the feelings of those we see every day and finding a way to make them feel good about themselves.  I love the message about how you can't "fill your bucket" (make yourself feel better) by stealing from others buckets (making them feel badly) and that when you fill others' buckets, you actually fill your own too.

Compassion and kindness start with those who we see everyday.  This book provides a very concrete image to help kids understand that.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Be grateful

Great message from Henri Nouwen about being grateful: 

"Gratitude at its deepest level embraces all of life with thanksgiving: the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, the holy and the not so holy. Jesus calls us to recognize that gladness and sadness are never separate, that joy and sorrow really belong together, and that mourning and dancing are part of the same movement. That is why Jesus calls us to be grateful for every moment that we have lived and to claim our unique journey as God's way to mold our hearts to greater conformity with God's own...
I am gradually learning that the call to gratitude asks us to say, 'Everything is grace.' Whether there is suffering or joy, I can say, 'Yes, I want to live this, and I want to discover in this more fully the gift of life.'

What are you grateful for today? If we get at least two comments on this post or my last one about being brave, we'll release the long awaited songs the kids wrote and performed about Project Becoming Our Best :).

Monday, March 20, 2017

Be brave

For the next couple days our stories will be about the first of our three focus phrases, "Be Brave." Bravery came alive to me this past week as I saw two IRONMAN Texas friends train (smartly) through injuries without complaining or even talking about them. Where did you witness bravery this weekend? We'd love to have you share in the comments.
More brave moments (including our kids writing and performing songs about Project Becoming Our Best) coming as soon as at least two people comment :).

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Be Brave, Be Compassionate, Be Grateful

The 10 month period we dedicated our initial focused effort to "become our best" as a family now only has 35 days left in it!

  • 35 days to get our bodies physically ready to power through 140.6 miles
  • 35 days to raise $1367 for Little Helping Hands and Doing Good Together
  • 35 days to reflect on the memories and progress we've made on this journey
  • 35 days to refocus on the key qualities that summarize what it means to us to become our best: bravery, compassion, gratitude
So, since I've been a little lax in posting lately, I'll give a little more detail about the top and bottom bullet point.

35 days to get our bodies physically ready to power through 140.6 miles
Training has been going pretty well, although we've had to make adjustments to our proposed plan due to work issues, minor sicknesses, and, in general, to make sure we have our priorities straight.  I knew that IRONMAN training would be a lesson in how to prioritize, but I anticipated that would mean finding a way to fit everything in.  However, sometimes it's been instead about making the tough choices about what I need to not accomplish so that I can stay mentally and physically healthy.  Although that's difficult for someone with a closet Type A personality (okay, some of my friends and coworkers would say there's no closet at all), it has been a really good lesson.  And I'm very grateful to my experienced IRONMAN husband for teaching it to me.  In terms of the three disciplines, I am feeling better (dare I say mildly confident) about the swim even though I've had to make adjustments due to my work travel, pretty good about the bike (although I still haven't ridden a century outside) and strong on the run thanks to Jeff pacing me so well.  Jeff has had to make adjustments too and although his motivation isn't exactly at the level it was before his first IRONMAN, he's hanging in there and getting it done.  We have about 3 more solid weeks of training and then the lovely taper begins.

35 days to refocus on the key qualities that summarize what it means to us to become our best: bravery, compassion, gratitude

Slightly discouraged that I haven't been posting much or doing many volunteer activities with the kids recently due to the 7 hours each weekend that we dedicate to training and the extra hours of sitting around recovering, I've started reflecting on the themes of our efforts to become our best.  What does it really mean to us?  What have our activities been about?  

As I reflected, the qualities of being brave, being compassionate, and being grateful came to mind.  Each activity and/or post that have been part of Project Becoming Our Best has focused on one of these.  So as we enter the final push, our family will be putting extra focus on these three words, sharing daily stories of experiences related to them.  We'd love to also do some crowdsourcing, hearing about each of your stories too and really keeping bravery, compassion, and gratitude top of mind.  We look forward to seeing what will come of this effort and to celebrating it on race day.  Stay tuned for more :).