Value of Process

This weekend Laurel and I got together to bang out a business plan for our partnership.  Early last week my ontological coach asked me is there value in process?  She noticed as I explained to her that things were flowing as organized as I would like that I tend to want to gift wrap things.  In other words, I’m not prepared to introduce something to the world until it’s absolutely perfect.  In my mind this means crisp, clean folds accompanied by a beautiful multi-colored bow.  If in the process of wrapping the present I miss a step, it’s as if the failure to follow the chronological process I set forth for wrapping a present, dooms the end result.  But really, in doing this, I’m forcing myself to miss the true value of the process.

Laurel and I met for about 2 hours, in which time we only managed to fully complete 2 parts of our 6 part business plan, but I made an effort to notice the value in the process vice the completion and perfection of the gift wrap.  The process was enlightening.  This is what I learned:

We are both fearful of the possibility of failure however, if you never try, you can never fail.  And what really is failure…it’s relative

We are in two different places in our lives, but we still manage to understand each other

We collaborate, we respect each other, and we enjoy each other’s company and complimentary ideas

Sometimes it’s fun to be messy and just throw down thoughts, in fact this is when the biggest ideas are born.  Gift wrapping is only the outside and you know what they say, don’t read a book by its cover.

Even if you wrap whatever you give the world in recycled newspaper, the world only really cares what’s on the inside,  don’t we all just throw away (or preferably recycle) the wrapping?

Dictionary.com defines process as: a series of actions or steps to achieve an end

But we all know process is SO MUCH MORE than that.

Run on sisters

Collena

Lean In

As Laurel and I set out on this journey together as friends, bloggers, and business partners I look to other entrepeneurs for inspiration.  This week we were able to speak to a woman who partnered with her husband to form a business that epitomized a lifestyle change.  Midwest Coasting LLC is a company founded on the ideals of living life fully, purposefully, and taking every opportunity to… reel it in.  They are now venturing into retail to spread their lifestyle and get the word out that you can indeed choose to  live a balanced, blessed, and purposeful life.  Check them out at midwestcoasting.com. 

We all live in a rat race of a world and those of you out there with the experience of having young children in your life know, living life to it’s fullist is a delicate balance between organization and letting loose.  Founder and Chief Simplifier of Midwest Coasting, Tania Maschhoff was happy to tell us about the founding of her company, what it meant to her, and the challenges they have faced along the way.  She shared with us what she has learned, offering us the opportunity not to have to make the same mistakes.  I’m sure we will make plenty of our own along the way, and I look forward to the day Laurel and I receive an email or a phone call from an entrepreneur looking to learn from the road we have trodden.  I’ll grab that opportunity, take hold, and pour out lessons learned so others may have the opportunity to start a business making their own mistakes and learning their own lessons.   Thank you Tania for your wisdom and your time.

I received inspiration this week from one other women in leadership, Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and author of the book Lean In.  My dear friend Ms. Marsia Geldert-Murphey introduced me to a great internet source where Ms. Sandberg gave a 15 minute TedTalk on why we have too few women leaders.  I encourage you to visit this link and listen for yourself as well as take in any other talks you find of interest.  It’s completely free! 

http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl sandberg why we have too few women leaders.html

In this TedTalk Ms. Sandberg pointed out that as women we must “sit at the table”, we must lean in to reach the top.  I’m not a feminist and although I do somewhat believe in the glass ceiling I in no way believe that we as women cannot bust through it.  What I do believe is that we have to do that by leaning in.  We have to ensure we foster the connections, obtain the education, and perfect the skills to be effective leaders despite the what society still believes and the data still shows should be the female norm.  Thank you Ms. Sandberg for your enlightening talk and for inspiring me to chase my dreams of being not only an awesome mom, but also keeping my feet on the gas pedal toward my own successful future.

Run on sisters.  

Love,

Collena 

 

Tips for New Runners

Great tips from Rather Be Runnin’

Rather Be Runnin'

Hello everyone and Happy day!

I just finished going through a lot of my old blog posts, in hopes that I would get some inspiration for a new one…

Although I am still having writers block, I came across a number of super awesome ones would be good ones to recycle.

So here, without further adieu, are…

GREAT tips for New Runners (and a good reminder for the Old Farts).

  1. Invest in the right pair of running shoes.
    Find out what kind of pronator you are: Neutral Pronator, Under Pronator or Over Pronator and go buy a GOOD pair of shoes based upon that knowledge. When I trained for my first marathon, I bought Brooks Ariels, which are $150 and are the clunkiest, most unattractive shoes on the planet… but they are great for extremely long distances. and for my severe over pronation.
  2. Go for distance, not for time.
    Chill out…

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Twetebird Headbands

I have long hair.  I started growing it out over a year ago in support of an old friend whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 15.  I thought it would be great to donate to Locks of Love and help others that are in need.  If you have long hair and run you know how difficult it is to keep that hair back!  A blogger I’m following spoke about the company Twetebird, who makes headbands, so I thought I would give them a try.

Head band

My pink camouflage headband!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Army female vet wouldn’t go for the pink camouflage headband?  It fits well, can be adjusted and it doesn’t slip.  They have a wonderful variety of choices.  If you’re interested visit Twetebird.com.

Happy running.

Mileage Stats 21- 27 Apr

The weather this week was rainy and cold.  I was still able to get some good mileage in.  Starting to focus more on my walking.  Total miles logged = 15.98.  Total walking = 12.78.

Hope everyone is having a great week and keep on running.

 

The Four Pillars

Ask anyone what moves them, they will give you varying answers, but chances are that you can summarize all of them into 4 basic “pillars” as I will call them. People generally venture to live, love, learn, and leave a legacy. So I ask you today:

What is your purpose?
Are you purpose driven?
Are you moved on a daily basis by the 4 basic pillars?

Often times I think about this as I run or briskly stroll. The brisk strolls come in when I’m trying to keep up with my 4 year old on his bike in front of me while pulling my 2 year old behind in the wagon making every effort not to run over my own heels with the wagon wheels as my leash untrained dog pulls me to and fro. I have ventured lately to be fully present in what I am doing not thinking of all daily tasks I have yet to complete or daydreaming of the future. Rather just being. It’s fun to just be. It’s actually rather enlightening. You notice more of “the good stuff”.

Take for instance my recent stroll, I noticed that at each driveway my son would stop, look back at me, and wait for me to assert that it’s okay to cross. I never noticed this before nor did I give thought to how responsible that was of a 4 year old boy. This time I noticed so much so that I was able to fulfill one of his 4 basic pillars. His need to learn. This activity gave me the time to explain why I told him to stop at the driveways, what he needs to do to proceed (look both ways and ensure no one is backing out of their garage or pulling into their driveway) and how we can teach his little brother these same precautions. Wow, how great right? I in turn fulfilled 2 need pillars, living and loving.

Sometimes the easiest way to find your purpose is to take out a few minutes of your day and write down events that have changed you. The points in which you realized this world isn’t a safe place and made you switch from just living everyday in a playground of a world to driving fence posts.

To help you get started I’ll share: The event that changed my way of thinking was the Flood of 1993. I was 9 and I the switch began to occur when people started talking of the flood, the fears arose as I shoveled bag after bag of sand and they were carted off to a levee that was protecting our town from the rising waters of the Mississippi. At that point I didn’t appreciate the greatness of the river, nor did I understand what this levee was doing for us, the fear became greater when one late night in the command post several men decided they would give “one last ditch effort” to protecting the town. They came back several hours later stating it was too risky as they bagged the water continued to come through…the full change came on the very next early August morning when I awoke to see news footage of water rushing through our town and homes fully submerged by the raging Mississippi. So what was a 9 year old to take from this life changing event?

I could have taken a lot of things from it, one that the world wasn’t safe, but the other thing I took from it was the greatest gift of all. The event tempered and honed me for a greater purpose. The event called forth my greatness. As a warrior for spirit I realize now that tragic event gave me this purpose: Enriching Lives, Inspiring, and Making Something from Nothing. I was so touched by the love and support poured out by others for our small little town and by the will of the people to build anew that all of this overshadowed the tragic reality that my home, the place where I rooted my beginnings was gone.

Run on sisters and live presently for a greater purpose.

Love,

Collena

50 Mile MS Challenge Walk

This is why I run, walk, and bike.

Getting closer to the MS 50 Mile Challenge Walk here in St. Louis, MO.  I asked my friend Jen Mason, who has Multiple Sclerosis, if she wouldn’t mind blogging about her experience and share with others.  I’m still $400.00 short of my goal, so if you would like to sponsor me, please go to this link:

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Challenge/MOSChallengeWalkEvents?px=11943326&pg=personal&fr_id=19466

Enjoy and keep on moving….

Jen & Greta. MS 50 Mile Walk. Individuals that wore orange shirts have MS.

A few weeks ago my dear friend, Laurel, contacted me to tell me that she heard about this walk that raises money for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.  After a few minutes I realized that she meant the 50 mile walk!!  Three days, fifty miles, closer to a cure!!  I shared with her that I had walked that walk in Baltimore, MD about 8 years ago, and it was the most rewarding personal goal I had accomplished.  Next thing I know Laurel is signed up and ready to walk and raise awareness for me and others who suffer with Multiple Sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system; the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. This means the immune system incorrectly attacks the person’s healthy tissue.

Hanging in there!

MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may be permanent or may come and go.

Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it. MS is not considered a fatal disease as the vast majority of people with it live a normal life-span. But they may struggle to live as productively as they desire, often facing increasing limitations.

My case started in my early teens. I began to have bad headaches, unexplained pain, some dizziness that was always diagnosed as an inner ear infection and tingling in my hands and feet.  It seemed that any issue I was having was always brushed off because nothing would last long enough for a doctor to really witness.  Doctors would always tell me that it was probably a virus or a muscle pull.  Finally, at the age of 33 I had a doctor who listened to me and didn’t think I was crazy.  She referred me to a neurologist for the headaches and the numbness, but before I could get into see him I had a slight accident at home.  I had hit my head and had to go to the ER for concussion like symptoms.  They did a CT scan to make sure there wasn’t any bleeding. I was sent home with the results that I did have a concussion and they found a lesion on my brain.  So, needless to say my neurology appointment was moved up to the next day. The neurologist reassured me that it was NOT brain cancer. That I was suffering from migraine headaches and the white lesion could have been there since I was born. The doctor sent me home with a prescription for migraine medicine and told me to follow up with him in 6 months.  Happy to hear that it was just migraines and not brain cancer this busy mom of three young kids was too busy to worry about going back to talk about my headaches.

Now three months later my husband has deployed with the Navy and I am starting to have some issues with numbness in my right leg and my vision was changing.  I had a hard time making things out that were in front of me. This lasted for three days then it was gone. Vision was fine and my leg felt normal.  I had an appointment with my PCP in a couple of weeks so I figured I would talk to her about it then.  Well, she sends me right back to the neurologist.  I explained the symptoms to him and he sends me for a MRI.  The results come back saying that I had 4 new white lesions that were active.  So in those few months I went from 1 to 5 lesions.  He orders a spinal tap, and explains that over 90% of people with MS have oligoclonal bands in their cerebrospinal fluid (CFS). While increased immunoglobulin in the CSF and oligoclonal bands are seen in many other brain and spinal cord conditions, their presence is often useful in helping to establish a diagnosis of MS.  After nine months from the first day I saw the neurologist I was diagnosed with MS.  Unfortunately, there is not a simple test to see if someone has MS.  It’s a combination of your medical history, MRI, and spinal tap.  Some people wait years for a diagnosis.

Since being diagnosed I have had 4 very bad flare-ups, and several small flare-ups.   I have many lesions on my brain (doc stopped counting after 30). I have been on 4 different disease-modifying drugs.  The first three were in shot form that I would have to give to myself.  These drugs are not a cure for the disease!  If they are successful, these drugs could slow down the progression of the disease by as much as 33%.  Example, if you have an average of three MS flare ups in a year and the medicine works for you, it could decrease your flare ups to only two.  I am now on a new medicine that is in pill form, thank goodness, and on average can slow the disease by 51%!

Individuals that wore beige shirts walked, but don’t have MS.

Just twenty years ago these disease-modifying drugs didn’t exist.  Doctors could only treat the symptoms caused by MS.  Now there are ten disease-modifying drugs on the market. Five of those ten are new to the market in the past 7 years.

After 10 years I thank God everyday that I am still walking.  I can’t walk the 50 mile walk, but I am walking!

I will never be able to thank you enough, Laurel, for raising awareness for my cause.  You are the definition of a forever friend!!  Oh, after your feet are feeling better and your toenails grow back, the pedicures are on me!!  I love you, Laurel!!!

Jen Mason