Two Things Tuesday

IMG_9158

1. I finally wrote another memoir piece. And I’m really happy with it.

mogul.png

This piece has sort of been a long time in the making, the different parts floating around in a non-cohesive jumble for quite some time before I was ready to tackle them head-on and harness them into something worth sharing with the world. I so desperately want to write things that I believe in whole-heartedly; that speak to the essence of who I am; that I can stand behind 100% as defining pieces of my story that I desire to get out just so. I want to believe in what I write, and let others see pieces of me as I’m ready to release them. I want my memoirs to be written from the soul.

I’m happy to be able to say that I believe this one is a part of that unfolding.

How I captioned this on IG:

FullSizeRender.jpg

Thanks in advance if you read me, friends. Means more than you can know. ❤

2. I had a stellar, glorious weekend of running! It was GORGEOUS here finally, and I felt so so good, so I just listened to my body and let it keep going as long as it desired…which turned into a total of 20 wonderful miles along the West Side/Hudson River. I ran 12 on Saturday and felt so good on Sunday that I thought, “a 20 mile weekend sounds lovely,” and 8 miles later, I’d hit my goal.FullSizeRender

Dontcha just love when that happens? And what was so nice about these back-t0-back long runs was that they didn’t feel hard. I felt great and happy and enjoyed every single moment of them (and even ran again this morning without any pain or soreness, woot!). God knew I needed a weekend like that.

& then I got a little bit reflective after those runs were done and started thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to set goals like that and meet them, and how good it feels when you just feel good. I know you know what I mean! As runners, we experience the ups and downs and joys and trials and euphoric runs and miserable runs and everything in-between. I don’t know about you, but I’m a firm believer in riding out those highs while they’re here and reflecting on how thankful I am for all that I’ve been given.

FullSizeRender.jpg

So today, I am happy. & that feels like enough.

Hope you had wonderful weekends, friends!

Tell me a weekend highlight!
Anyone have a glorious run/race/workout?

New Memoir Piece

as many of you know, writing is my passion. long before i fell in love with running, i always loved to paint my world with the magic of words. it’s where my heart finds its true joy; what sets my soul afire. it’s where i struggle with the truest way to let the world see just who i really am.

ag.jpg
i love blogging, but even more, i love writing memoirs & poetry & creative pieces. i need that means of release of self; that freedom to dig deep and put my very soul into words as best as i can in that moment.

and what i have to give, may it always be enough.

what sparked this post: i published a new piece last night on MOGUL: What Moving to a Different Place Can Teach You. every time i finish a new memoir-style piece, i feel like a weight has been lifted; like a part of myself that wanted release finally found it. i think we all need something in our life that gives us this feeling.

please take the time to read me if you have a moment (and the desire to!), and let me know what you think (either by commenting there or here).

thanks, friends. ❤

What Running 26.2 Miles Teaches You

i posted this earlier today on MOGUL as well, a women’s site for which i am a contributing writer. check out that site if you’re interested and i’d love if you follow me! 🙂

on Sunday, October 11th, 2015, i woke up before the sun rose and knew immediately, without a shadow of a doubt, that it was a great day to do a hard thing.

i was instantly relieved & excited by the acknowledgment that i felt so good about this choice. this was a decision born of months of preparation and also the imminent glory of that morning, and both were necessary to carry out this enormous act. i could have woken up and said to myself, “sure, i thought i was ready for this — but i just don’t want to.” it wouldn’t have mattered, then, if i’d put in the necessary work; it wouldn’t have mattered how many amazing people were rooting for me; it wouldn’t have mattered if i’d paid the entry fee & affixed my bib to my favorite running shirt & laid out all my race-day prep & prayed for fresh legs. that would have all still occurred regardless of how i’d felt going to bed, and yet if i’d woken up at 6am and decided it wasn’t a good day for a hard thing, none of that would have mattered. my life would have still kept going, difficult thing or no difficult thing, and i’d have been okay.

but not the same. no, if i hadn’t done this hard thing, i would certainly not have been the same.

but as it turns out, i did choose to tackle the seemingly-insurmountable beast, and it changed my life & rocked me to my core in the most beautiful way imaginable. if i hadn’t woken up knowing what a good day it was for such a hard thing, i would have missed out on one of the most magical, epic experiences of my entire life, and i wouldn’t have had four hours and 26.2 miles to wrestle with myself on that Sunday morning. i wouldn’t have had that great thing occur — that covetable, magnificent, blood-sweat-&-tears thing that cost me so very much of myself and brought me to places within my being that showed me how very much i still have to learn about the person i’m continually becoming and how amazing it is to be the proud possessor of a human spirit that refuses to accept the fact that in this life, there just might be limitations.

because on that day, i did a really, really hard thing — and nobody can take those four hours away from me. they are forever mine; i fought for those with every ounce of skin & sinews belonging to me. with every footfall, i imprinted my signature in rubber along the long & lovely trail. i was here. & i was here. & oh yeah – i was here, too. i was grit & smiles, sweat & wings, pain & joy. i was suddenly everything i’d ever hoped i’d become.

what you learn about yourself when you run a marathon is that you can do amazing things. you learn that you have a mind and a body that can work together to astound you; that you’re capable of deciding to take on something most people think is impossible – that you once thought was impossible – and that you can discipline your body to carry out that decision. you learn that you are a fighter; that you can push yourself past boundaries of comfort & pain & fatigue & weather patterns and hover on the edge of sanity til you realize you rather like it there, suspended between earth and sky, walking a tightrope of something akin to mania or euphoria when you think about the ways you’ve pushed yourself in the pursuit of a dream worth losing sleep & social life & toenails over. you groan through the aches and celebrate the highs and become more in tune with your body than you ever have before, and you begin to love yourself immeasurably for what you can accomplish entirely on your own.

you learn that anything in life truly worth fighting for – anything you’re desperate to have tucked beneath your skin, written on the tablet of your life, bursting forth from the pages of your story – will require nothing less than total commitment and the utmost self-belief. you learn that all those hours of early morning pavement pounding, of Friday nights devoted to early bedtimes and the anticipation of tomorrow’s long run taking priority over all else, of muscles so sore and tight you often wondered how you’d ever make it through another run, of tunnel vision rendering you one-dimensional in your pursuit of this beast and turning all of your conversations back to your training as you’re suddenly unable to recall a time when you once had other things to occupy your interest and time, are all part of a journey that will leave you forever changed in every soul-gripping way imaginable.

and at the very core of this lies the overwhelming sense of gratitude you begin to wear like a second skin. gratitude for legs strong enough to carry you across those relentless miles; gratitude for a life that allows you the freedom and time to devote yourself to something so all-encompassing; gratitude for all of the people who love you enough to support you through this and champion your efforts. mostly, you’re awash with gratitude for your very youness; for being healthy & strong & determined & able to carry out this dream; to do something so very hard entirely on your own, armed with nothing but a feverish desire to overcome all obstacles in this dogged pursuit of self.

what training for a marathon really teaches you is how to become the very best version of you. it’s as gloriously simple as that. it’s as heart-wrenchingly difficult as that.

i don’t believe it’s possible to accurately capture in words that specific, all-encompassing feeling of elation that overwhelmed me when i rounded the final corner and saw the finish line of my marathon ahead of me. so much crowds into that moment that if i could just freeze it and dissect it, i’d be able to name all of the individual parts that contribute to the overwhelming sense of euphoria that brought tears to my eyes as a grin stretched across my face and my arms had no choice but to fly high above my head — but in that moment, all i felt was so much. so much.

it’s the sense of accomplishment in yourself, of having done this hard, hard thing — this nearly-impossible thing that really is ever-so-possible after all — entirely on your own.

it’s the physical representation of the goal, that banner stretching high, the words marking your final steps. it’s hearing your name over the microphone as you step across the finish line.

it’s the cheers & excitement of the crowds, seeing your parents & best friends’ faces beaming through, feeling their love & pride shining forth at you. all for you.

in that moment, it honestly feels like the whole world just loves you. like you understand what it means to sit atop a cloud and look back at earth & transcend it all, floating high amidst the bluest blue, untouchable, unbreakable, infinite.

in that moment, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are exactly who you were meant to be; exactly who you want to be. you are oh-so-human, with good days and bad, with heartaches & joys, with disappointments & love — you carry the whole world inside of you, & as you cross that finish line after a 26.2 mile journey to the center of your core and back, you can feel it all.

you are one person among many, but you are so very much you.

& suddenly, you know that will always be enough.

Thinking out Loud

i’m joining Running with Spoon’s weekly Thursday Thinking out Loud linkup this week, where we basically just spill our random thoughts and discover little fun (& crazy) facts about each others’ lives. considering how much i love random conversations, i really should be linking up to this more often!

Thinking-Out-Loud1. i’ve taken up a new writing role!  i’m now a contributing writer for MOGUL, “an award-winning technology platform for women worldwide, connecting users to trending content, including stories, jobs, and products that are personalized to their interests. MOGUL is ultimately democratizing information for women worldwide by enabling users to connect, exchange such information, and access knowledge” (taken from their website). basically, i can write articles or pieces on any topic i choose, and use this platform to connect with other female writers while having a global platform for my work. stoked about this! follow me: Shawna Marie. so far, i have two pieces up, but i’m hoping this helps keep me accountable to writing more of my personal/creative stuff (which is where my heart really lies).

mogul
2. spin class. woof. i took one last night at Equinox, which is an incredible gym that i wish i could justify paying for each month — but since i don’t at the moment, i took advantage of a friend’s guest pass and attended his favorite spin class with him — and it took me all of three minutes to remember how much i dislike spin. i mean, i like the idea of it, and i love the music, and the teacher was awwwesommmee and i sort of wanted to be her — but the reality is that i struggle for those entire 45 minutes and pretty much feel like i could die at any time. everything i love about running is reversed in spin: outdoors vs. indoors, individual vs. group, forward motion vs. stationary, so much sweat you can’t see — it’s just nahhhht for me. i get the whole “cross training is good for you” thing, but spin kills me, and my knee aches the entire time from all the repetitive motion. fail.

3. music. i heard a song during spin last night that i loooooved and told myself i had to remember so i could download it later — and i can’t remember how it goes. at all. this drives me crazzzzyyy and has been on my mind nonstop since then. if i’m going to suffer through a spin class, i should at least be able to get new music out of it. i’m honestly considering emailing the spin instructor (b/c she gave me her email in case i wanted to try a class at the SoHo location, but let’s be honest, i’d be happier with new music than a spin class) and asking her for last night’s playlist. okay, so that actually just happened right after i wrote that. let’s hope she gets back to me! i neeeeed this song.

4. yoga. i’m finalllly going to yoga tonight!! i went last year with one of my bestest friends to OM Factory and really enjoyed the class — and never went back, despite continually asserting my need for more yoga, whoops. better late than never, right? oh, and an admission: i think i’m just as stoked to have a real reason to wear my amazing birthday gift from said yogi best friend as i am to actually take a yoga class:

FullSizeRenderobsessed. OmShanti leggings are where it’s at.

5. week of workouts: switching it up. i’m having the most varied workout week, which i’m really happy about (minus the misery that is spin class). i did an hour of strength/kettlebells/abs yesterday morning, then the spin class last night, and then a 5-mile run this morning (which felt way better than i’d anticipated given an angry calf i’ve been nursing all week), and now yoga tonight. sorta feeling pretty amazing about that lineup of two 2-a-days in a row.

6. surprises are amazing. so i just took a break and went to lunch in the middle of writing this post, and came back to an email from the lovely spin teacher with my song in it!! gahhhh this day just keeps getting better and better.

image1
7. hilarious marketing. my corner wine shop killed it with the signage last night.

alk
i went in right after spin class and bought two bottles just to support their use of creative marketing. (well and because, WINE.) nice job, guys. sold.

8. every girl needs this. its-a-girl-thing-33-photos-1
in a world where it can be so easy to give into negativity and insecurities and focus on what’s “wrong” with our bodies or our lives, we need to surround ourselves by reminders of how amazing we really are. i want to buy this for every single one of my friends — and put one by my bed, too. imagine starting and ending your day with such a pick-me-up?

or another similar option, from Etsy:

il_570xN.776619731_lehgi’m into this. i think these will make great presents!

9. this is awesome…

its-a-girl-thing-33-photos-27
10. & so is this.

tumblr_nj6jumpoZN1svbpheo1_500

cheers to almost Friday, friends!

Tell me something random from your week?
Best workout you’ve had this week?
Fave pair of yoga pants?