Beauty of The Skyhomish River

Early crisp clear mornings, when summer starts to fade into autumn and all around nature is still waiting for the sun to rise. These are the moments I live for, the moments when the quiet sound of nature waking up for a new day. Here near the shore of the river is where life takes a pause, a breath, and a reflection.

Funny how in the constant movement of our lives, we forget to bring ourselves back to a peaceful state. A state of peace we search for in our busy lives, but never seem to find within ourselves. The state of peace for me has always been fishing. It does not matter if I caught anything or not. It is more about being in the present moment of peace within nature-within the energy of flowing water.

With the autumn season, the stillness of a crisp mornings and evenings along the Skyhomish River only magnifies how beautiful nature is if choose to pause for a moment in time to soak it all in.

A beautiful morning on a river bank…..

Skyhomish River-Monroe WA

Note To Self| Rejection or Redirection

It all started with complete utter shock in the break room full of people too busy to notice the shock of the words my boss just uttered. Public was this place out in the open for anyone to hear, vulnerable, exposed and emotions creeping to the surface of my “stiff British upper lip” face. Rejection screamed at me from all directions, something I felt for a few months leading up to this point, but now hard to ignore at the moment. I had been a contractor for this company for six n’ half months, yet as my boss kept explaining about why I was not going to converted to permanent employee in the near future, felt rejection with each excuse slapping me across the face. But the rejection didn’t ended there. Over the next month the wound kept being opened further by learning the contract I was on would not be extended and then the company turning around and hire another contractor to take my place was an insult to injury. Truth is, if I was still in my twenties I would be messed up for days over this, yet at thirty-something, rejection has become another redirection, painful, but a redirection.

Why does rejection hurt so much?

A question we ask ourselves when we are sitting on the floor eating ice cream out of the container feeling shitty and out of control. The hurt is deep-I won’t deny that- it hurts because deep down it hits us where we are the most vulnerable, our brain’s emotional intelligence side. It hits our soul like a sucker punch. Its as if the something or someone is taking our power away from us, and you are battling them to keep it.

To give more perspective of how rejection has hurt me so much, this is the following rejections have had an impact on my life.

  • Rejected from my three top choice universities I wanted to attend. I applied to University of Washington six times before giving up.
  • Rejected from the company I eventually contracted at five times before being accepted as a contractor, and then rejected one last time.
  • Rejected from many job openings I had applied to, and interviewed from various companies and labs.
  • Rejected from guys I have dated, friends, family, etc. for various reasons.

Now looking back I can safely say each rejection turned out to be a redirection.

What if rejection really is a redirection?

Lysa Terkeurst’s book Uninvited, Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely, talks about how rejection at times can be you being set apart instead of set aside.

To be set aside is to be rejected. To be set apart is to be given an assignment that requires preparation.

Lysa Terkeurst

When confronted with rejection, I now think of it as redirection to something much better then what I was rejected for. Being set apart means redirection. Being set apart allows you to take back control and the power for you to move on from the rejection.

How does rejection turn into redirection?

This is how we take back control from something or someone that was never meant to have it in the first place and redirect ourselves in another direction.

One rejection is not a projection of future failures.

Nor is several for the matter. Each rejection does not project what the future holds for you. If you keep thinking with each rejection you are a failure, you are giving away your power to create the life you want to live. Failures as redirections as well.

Rejection doesn’t label you.

Rejection enables you to adjust and move on. Label you put on yourself determines the outlook you have in life. You can be realist and see rejection as a natural part of life, and adjust according. Or you can pessimistic view of things where you see life through the lens of rejection and putting negative labels on one’s self. As a scientist, I have seen countless other scientists with a pessimistic view of things. This view only compounds the hurt from inside and out. By replacing the labels we put on ourselves when rejected, we have positive outcome in the rejection.

This could be an invitation to live in expectation of something else.

The job you where rejected from opened the door to the job position you never expected you would love. The relationship that ended lead you to rediscovering yourself and in the process lead you to the person you will spend the rest of your life with. I can go on. Disappointments today will lead you to places you never could have dream of.

There is some element of protection wrapped in every rejection.

You may think how can rejection be protecting me? Some times the protection is to protect you from further pain down the road. Rejection as a road block keeping you from driving into danger. Embrace it.

There is much more to you than the part that was rejected.

This maybe cliche, but every time someone/or you judges someone you reveal a part of themselves/ yourself that needs healing. The age old truth is people peck the juiciest fruit because they cannot be the juiciest fruit.

What one person sees as your liability, another might see as a wonderful asset.

Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer.

Unknown

People’s judgement of you reflects their insecurities and they care more about themselves. The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away. Walking away is rejection, but it is a response to another person’s rejection by allowing you to step forward towards those who know your worth, sees your worth, and treats you as an asset.

Short term setback is not a permanent condition.

The come back is always stronger than the setback. ALWAYS.

Don’t let this destroy you.

Never give someone or something power over you enough to destroy you. You may feel destroyed, but you are not. If a gallon of ice cream is your shield, let it be the shield. If you need to cry, scream, or get away do it. Rejection is painful, it hurts, it takes a lot out of you, but one thing is, rejection does not physically or mentally kill you. Really it gives you the sword to deliver the fetal blows.

Let this breaking actually be the making of you.

The breaking of you allows the good things to some into your life to make you stronger before the break. Telling my boss I was bowing out of the company gracefully after failed internal interviews with other hiring managers at the company, it allowed me to rebuild and move forward to a better position.

Use this rejection in good ways to make you stronger and take your further.

After my meeting with my boss I had the courage to let myself be set apart instead of set aside. I had for a long time gone up against a wall that would not give, and crashing into it I became stronger to move on from a company that repeatedly rejected me as I worked there. When I almost submitted a resume for another position outside the group I was in, I was reminded of Carrie Underwood’s song Wasted.

For one split second she almost turned around, but that would be like pouring rain drops back into a cloud, so she took another step and said I see away out, I’m gonna take it.

Carrie Underwood (Song: Wasted)

Bowing out gracefully is taking a step towards the the way out, and rejection allows you to take the steps forward instead back into what hurts.

For all the rejections above I have had, these are the redirected outcomes:

  • I ended up going to a small university and graduated a year -half earlier.
  • Became FTE at more than one company
  • Worked at some unexpected companies in biotech and been a part of some life changing treatments in cancer.
  • Went to some amazing places and met people I never expected.

Truth is, I need to be reminded with every rejection is a redirection towards something much better. Note to self: rejection is another redirection.

Commit To Being Healthy| 200 Days of Becoming Healthy Version of Me

At the beginning of the year I had this goal about my health and fitness. It first started as a diet goal of being on Whole30 for at least 90 days. Turns out instead of being on a “diet,” I refocused on being committed to being healthy for 200 days leading up to the Refuse To Abuse 5k. Now after 200 days of this goal, I thought it was time for an update and overview of how I felt throughout the whole process. No, I haven’t loss the weight I thought by the end. In fact, I’ve gained some, but I think it’s important to share what I’m going through so others who are going through similar things can feel encouraged to keep striving toward their goal. First- I will not be sharing comparison pictures because as one blogger pointed out, a picture does not do justice to how a person feels about their results. To base how healthy a person is by how they look you will miss the real important aspect of being healthy is. Second- I am still continuing on this goal for the rest of the year, just not documenting it every month from this point onward. Third- it is never too late to start being committed to being healthy! Just start today! Okay lets get on with the recap!

Recap

The two-hundred days of this goal started January 2nd to July 20th.

How Was I Successful?

I finished the 5K in 45 minutes! Also I have a better understanding of the definition of being healthy is for me. Even if I did not loose weight I had planned to, I was still successful in figuring out what healthy lifestyle moving forward in my thirties.

Finished my 5K and added this new bling to my collection!

What Didn’t Go So Well?

Having accesses to unhealthy food at work. There was always temptations flouting around at work when it came to food. It seemed there was always some catered event, leftover pizza in the break room and the office candy bowl. I know if a fact I’m a stress eater, and anything chocolate is my weakness. The first 90 days on the Whole30 was brutal when Kit-Kats are staring at you and all you want is to eat all the Kit-Kats by the end of a stressful day. Also the food truck rotation didn’t help much either when someone in the office kept stealing your lunch ( who steals salad?).

What Could I Have Done Differently?

We all wish stress could magically disappear when we are trying to improve our health. If I could go back over the last 200 days, I would change how I managed all the stress. In a few of the posts on this goal I noticed there was a pattern of stress needing to be dealt with. I could have added more self-care time to my week to manage all the stress from a job that was too demanding at times (boss emails you Saturday night about work the following week!). Also working more on the mental health side of the equation than just the physical side. I focused more on the physical aspect than the inner mental aspect which could have contribute to unnecessary food issues.

How Do I Feeling?

Runner’s high is one hell of a feeling! I feel better about myself for completing this one goal of committed to being healthier version of myself for 200 days. I feel whole lot better physically and mentally than I have in a long time. There is this optimism present in my life right now even when current issues with stress from major events happening while doing this. The Whole30 is known for the non-scale victories of clearer thinking and more optimistic outlook after being on it for more than thirty days. Its like a runner’s high!

What Motivated Me?

Motivated by crossing the finish line at a 5K is what motivated me to do this. After all it had been a few years since I ran my first (and probably only) half-marathon. Taking up running again after a few years off had it’s challenges, and training for a 5K was a good starting point to get healthy again. Another factor motivating me was the fact I had for some time had an unhealthy relationship with food and yo-yo dieting kept me in a cycle of self-hating which took a form of doing Whole30s at the beginning of the year only to fall off the healthy train after completing them. By combining the two, it helped me stay on track.

Non Scale Victories

  • Falling asleep more easily and staying asleep.
  • Healthier gums and whiter teeth (Dentist noticed this at my last check up).
  • More optimistic, laugh more, and more outgoing in social situations.
  • Recover more effectively from exercise.
  • Outside more often.
  • Need less caffeine to get me up in the morning.
  • Healthier relationship with food.
  • Hit a new personal best in running and in healthy eating.
  • Fewer blemishes, longer stronger nails and thicker hair.
  • Less bloating after eating.
  • Became more consistent in moving and exercise throughout the day.
  • Drank more water throughout the day.
  • Improved performance at work.

Need To Improve On- Non Scale Victories

  • Not using food as: comfort, reward or as stress management.
  • Handle stress and anxiety better.
  • Improvement in mental health.
  • More defined muscle tone and leaner appearance.
  • Not getting cranky when I haven’t eaten in awhile.
  • Longer mile hikes without legs giving out.

I Give Myself 4/5   Stars

As you can see, even after seven months in on my goal I still have some improvements to make. Being committed to being a healthy version of myself takes time, patience and constant improvement daily to stay healthy. As I said above, this goal is not done with me crossing the finish line of my 5K, but keep striving to improve further until the end of the year. One thing I have learned is being healthy is a lifestyle change that you have to make an effort to make changes on the daily. Being committed to being healthy is one large goal with many mini goals needed to reach the target goal. Either way, diet alone does not get you there, but a combination of diet, exercise, and self-care helps to get there in the end. To all my reader who followed along, thank you for the support as I document this journey to crossing the finish line at Refuse to Abuse 5K!

Cheers to a well done goal!

Blog Posts In This Series:

30 Days Whole30 60 Days Whole30 90 Days Becoming Healthy 120 Days Becoming Health 150 Days Becoming Healthy 180 Days Becoming Healthy 20 Days Before Race Day

Running The Bases| Refuse To Abuse 5K

What does a person do on a beautiful sunny morning in Seattle? They get up early to run 3.1 miles around a baseball stadium. This past Saturday I participated in Refuse to Abuse 5k at T-Mobile Park. The race benefited the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), a non-profit that seeks to end domestic violence through advocacy and action for social change. This advocacy towards ending domestic violence is close to my heart since I am a survivor of dating violence and as of today eight years later, I am thriving in a life I could never have imagine if I didn’t get out of that relationship. For a few years I have wanted to participate in this run, but it was not until this past March I could finally do it. Yes I did the whole thing by myself with my mom at the finish line cheering me on.

Sooo… I got up at an early hour to make my way to T-Mobile Park for the fun 5K race. For the past few months I have been training for this moment, and the day had come to see if it worked.

I started out some how in the section where all the walkers were instead of the joggers. By the end of the 3.1 miles I came into the finish line running my hear out. YEP!

I did do mostly power walking through most of the course, but there were times where I jogged a bit to make up for lost time. At one point I jogged-more like ride jogged- down the ramps from the top deck to the players tunnel. A part of the course ran through areas normally restricted to to the public like the tunnels below the stadium where all the player locker rooms, Mariner offices and operations are all located. I even saw people handling player uniforms before the game that night!

I did same most of my energy for running across the warning track towards the third base line where the finish line was. I think some people where a little muffed by my full on speed past them, but who cares I wanted to run the bases from home plate to third ( I know backwards!). Just having your name announced as you cross the finish line like done at the beginning of a game was to awesome for words.

I’m the one in the background!

After coming across the line, I strolled towards the bullpens to collect my prize, a medal to commemorate what I had just done. Having my mom waiting to cheer me after finishing was my “grand slam” and me finishing was my “home run” after all those years of healing.

Runner’s high was real!!!

I finished my 5K at 45 minutes and 10 seconds! A little bit slower than my last, but this time I stopped to take it all in.

Seeing T-Mobile Park all lit up by morning sunshine so early in the morning is a breath taking sight to behold, and as one person has said to me, magical-majestic. Time truly holds still in that moment.

Seats At First Base| Night At A Mariner’s Game

Weekend of July 20th was a very busy weekend not only for the Refuse to Abuse Mariner’s Care 5K, but the weekend where all baseball fans turn their attention to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame inductees. This year the Mariner’s own Edgar Martinez was inducted into the class of 2019. For both Saturday and Sunday the Mariners celebrated this monument milestone with Funko Pop heads of Martinez, replicate plaques and a live streaming of the event to all fans in the ballpark before the afternoon game on Sunday. Oh how exciting to be a part of history-baseball history.

The game on July 20th was against the LA Angles (yep saw them in June) and this was the night to celebrate not only getting a free collectable Funko Pop of Martinez, but to celebrate all the hard work leading up to me crossing the finish line earlier in the day at the Refuse to Abuse 5K (more on it later this week). Originally I was going to go with a friend, but the friend ended up bailing on me last two weeks before show time. In the end I found someone else to go with me in the end. Hence my Dad enjoying a beer, Mariner dog and watching baseball live in action.

The Funko Pop up figuring was handed out to the first 20,000 fans entering the stadium. At one point while walking to our seats, a guy bought (yes bought) one of the Funko Pops off us for $20. I still cannot believe that happened to us! Apparently theses Funkos’ will be worth some money on the eBay market once Edgar Martinez is established in the hall of fame.

Edgar Martinez

Our seats this time were the best! I had picked them out back in May after the discount tickets were available from Refuse to Abuse 5K. The seats were along the first base line, and had a great view of the action. Throughout the game, there were so many foul balls flying into our section and at one point a person in the first row did get hit pretty hard by a foul ball. The kicker, those where my original seats before Ticketmaster timed me out for taking so long to pay! I could have ended up with a ball!!

There were a good few people who were Angles fans sitting near us. At one point there were some crazy comments going on around us over one of the players on the Angles team. Mike Trout is the name. At one point a few of the Mariner’s fans started to call him “salmon” as if something funny. There were three Angles fans with jerseys with Mike Trout’s name on them sitting in front of us.

There were a lot of crazy moments in the game, and a few moments where you could not believe you just witnessed some funny thing a player did. I have always loved baseball when it is not being serious all the time, but has some humor to it. I even got to see my favorite third baseman Kyle Seager. Man I love baseball pants!

At the beginning of the 9th inning, it was time to start making our way home before the large crowds started. At this point the game was a tie with 2-2 since 4th inning. When I got home, the score had changed to 2-6 with the Angles beating the Mariners. At least the game was good and not watching a team loose without a fight.

As you read this, by the beginning of the coming week, another Mariner player will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe one day the Mariners will make it to the World Series. There is always next year!

Commit to Being Healthy| 20 Days Before Race Day

WOW! Today is the day after seven months working towards my 5K goal of being healthy! Twenty days before the race has always the critical crunch time were habits could slip or go extreme. I decided to caution on the side of not over doing it, but still keeping a watch on diet leading up to the morning of the fun run.

Here is the twenty day recap before race day…

How was I successful?

After all the celebrating the 4th of July with an all American BBQ, it kept the rest of the days in check with adding a little more fruits and veggies at all meals. The food trucks at work did not call to me at all, but the awesome chicken salad did! The weather here in Seattle has been interesting again. Some days it has been overcast, and other days it is sunny. Even on the overcast days, I still was able to get out and exercise.

What didn’t go so well?

During the last twenty days there has been some stress of moving to a new job (more coming on this transition later). Seems like most of the past months I have been dealing with stress in general. At some point by the end of the year I may finally get a handle on the job stress. Stay tune for that!

how I am feeling?

Feeling I can finish strong in the 5K! Feel I still have some improvements to make as I continue with my healthy habits.

How I kept motivated?

Motivation over the last twenty days came more from the fact I will be running around the ballpark and get to see a baseball game after completing the fun run. Also what motivated me is I get to support a cause close to my heart and have fun doing it at the same time.

I give myself 4/5 stars