Thank God for Internet. I stumbled upon this video a while ago, finding myself saying yeap, yeap, yeap and more yeaps as I watch the vid went on. Though some are just exaggerations of the nature, I bet you can call yourself a runner if you agree with more than 20 of these items:
1. You have chafing in strange, unimaginable places
2. All of your socks are either stained or torn
3. You use the phrase “10 mile” and “easy run” in the same breath
4. You can eat your weight in pasta
5. You spend more money on training clothes than school clothes
6. Your Saturday mornings for the rest of your life are RUINED
7. You often foam at the mouth
8. (If you’re a guy) You try to impress girls by saying you’re a faster finisher
9. You consider school/work a break between runs
10. You own spandex in more than one color
I know, I know – judging from the headline, call me girly-girl all you want.
In my defense, I’m a jobless twenty-something girl who doesn’t have everything all figured out yet in life (and this is a totally different topic, something I might frequently touch upon in the near future).
After all, I’ve only achieved one out of the five milestones sociologists consider as becoming an adult: Completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying, and having a child.
Equipped with our tech-savviness, multitasking skills, innovative ideas, and a “fresher” perspective, modern society perceives Millennials as the new breed that will replace Gens X and Y in the workforce. Other twenty-somethings go back to their hometowns after college and live in their parents’ backyard, falling behind from the employed population.
That would be me.
I’m scared, and I’m confused about the future. But I know one thing’s for sure: I am not alone.
Being alone in this changing times is frightening, especially when you feel like no one understands your situation and there’s no one to talk to about this dilemma. I myself have experienced suicidal episodes during my junior year in college. Just the thought of life after graduation frightened me so much that I considered ending my life was the only solution.
Happiness in itself is readily attainable, but as human beings, I believe each one of us has our own unique life purpose to live by, and therefore hold the responsibility to ensue the purpose. Some will die for love, while others will suffer for the welfare of others.
But before I get too philosophical about the nuts of bolts of living the twenty-something life, or just life, let me stop and say that in a few scrolls away, I’ll be sharing with you my inspiration to keep moving forward no matter what life brings me ahead – good music.
Music moves people. Good music moves people to do positive actions. Katy Perry wrote Firework for a reason. She wanted to inspire the people who are labelled by society as “different”, or “weird”, or “disabled”, to never give up in spite of rejects. She dedicated the music video to the It Gets Better Project, a national movement in America responsible for suicide prevention and encouraging self-esteem within the LGBT community.
I’ll let Katy Perry herself explain the purpose of her song, courtesy of MTV:
“People are coming back and almost adopting it as their own anthem, and it’s hard, I think, to write an anthem that’s not cheesy. And I hope that this could be something in that category. I hope this could be one of those things where it’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to put my fist up and feel proud and feel strong.’
So I guess the following songs are my anthems?
What I know is that these tunes give me a sense of power. That I still matter. That for as long as I’m still alive, God still has a plan for me, an important job for me to do.
Some of these I’ve listened for more than a decade, while others are top-charters from recent times. Some you might recognize because they’re featured on my fitness journal, others you might hear them when you were way younger – that is, if you’re a fellow ’90s kid.
For every song on this list, I plucked the most meaningful words and phrases from the lyrics. Aside from my weekly Power Words, I always find myself mutter these phrases under my breath whenever I need an extra oomph to push forward during my runs.
My hope is for you, whether you’re a twenty-something, thirty-something, or just someone who needs a power tune-up, to get inspired by these anthems and share your life’s meaning by living out your purpose … starting today.
Enjoy the tunes!
1. Spice Girls – Stop
Slow it down, read the sign,
so you know just where you are going
2. Hoku – Perfect Day
People say They say that it’s just a phase They tell me to act my age … Well I am.
3. Lea Salonga – Reflection
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?
4. Girls’ Generation – Stay Girls
wanna be wanna be 素敵な gonna be gonna be 大人に なれるように居たい でも …
I wonder … how much I have changed? I can’t see it myself, but Have I become closer to the person that I long to become?
Wanna be, wanna be, I want Gonna be, gonna be, to become A wonderful woman, however …
5. Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)
It’s time to be a big girl now And big girls don’t cry
6. Britney Spears – Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman
But if you look at me closely You will see it in my eyes This girl will always find her way
7. Celine Dion – Because You Love Me
You gave me faith ’cause You believe I’m everything I am Because You love me
8. Pink – F**kin Perfect
You’re so mean when you talk
About yourself, you are wrong
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead
9. Avril Lavigne – My World
And think to myself, Where do I belong forever, In whose arms, the time and place?
10. Michelle Branch – You Set Me Free
There’s a will There’s a way Sometimes words just can’t explain This is real I’m afraid I guess this time there’s just no hiding, fighting
11. Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway
Maybe I don’t know where they’ll take me but Gotta keep moving on, moving on Fly away, breakaway …
12. Katy Perry – Firework
Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
13. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston – When You Believe
A small but still, resilient voice Says hope is very near
14. The Voice Within – Christina Aguilera
You’ll make it You’ll make it Just don’t go forsaking yourself
15. Only Hope – Mandy Moore
When it feels like my dreams are so far Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again
16. Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance
My heart is really close to this song. So, … I included every word from the lyrics.
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger May you never take one single breath for granted God forbid love ever leave you empty handed I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance … I hope you dance
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance Never settle for the path of least resistance Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’ Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’ Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance … I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)
Consider today who you are and what you’re worth.
Do you want to look back to this day and wonder where all the moments have gone?
Here on The Classics, I curate timeless texts that continually inspire my writing and, at the same time, provide perspective to the meaning of life. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a failure turns about, When he might have won had he stuck it out; Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than, It seems to a faint and faltering man, Often the struggler has given up, When he might have captured the victor’s cup, And he learned too late when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out – The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far, So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
OMG! And that does not even include the distance I will cover tomorrow morning!!
For the sake of convenience (and tomorrow I won’t have to babble about how I enjoyed my run :p), I’ll just include the 3.1 miles now to see my progress:
Week 1: 1.52 mi
Week 2: 3.79 mi
Week 3: 5.86 mi Week 4: 6.93 mi Week 5: 13.28 mi Week 6: 7.34 mi Week 7: 7.54 mi Week 8: 9.79 mi Week 9: 10.31 mi Week 10: 18.03 mi
OMG!!! That’s quite a lot (I know it’s annoying when I say OMG! But … OMG!!!). I’m so happy with the progressive success!!!
In any case, I’ll set my target mileage for next week right now:
I want to run 11 milesnext week, and I will do it.
I know I will have to recover after a sudden raise in my weekly mileage from the previous week, pretty much like how i recovered after my 10k race on Week 5. So that’s why I’ll just keep the bar low for my goal next week.
In other news…
My daddy was back in the country this past Tuesday after a business trip.
He brought back home FIFTEEN live crabs! He knows how much I love seafood, particularly fleshy, oozy, juicy crabs.
I’m really grateful for that – knowing my father knows me well, even though he doesn’t know anything about my day-to-day life. #WhatMadeMyDay
These are just my portion. We still have lots of it back in the kitchen, and they’re ALIVE!
Speaking of family, I mentioned I was planning a fancy dinner this weekend, i.e. for my mom, dad, Stanley, and me to dine together.
Turns out my mother will not be able to make it.
So we rescheduled for next week.
In the meantime, I won’t say anything more. What I can say is, as long as I remain adamant about what I’m going to do and what I’m not going to do in the working life, I believe all the broken pieces can finally come together.
The satisfaction of reaching a goal, by itself, fills my heart and mind and soul with contentment.
Okay that just sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
As usual, let’s take a quick recap on my weekly progress:
Week 1: 1.52 mi
Week 2: 3.79 mi
Week 3: 5.86 mi Week 4: 6.93 mi Week 5: 13.28 mi Week 6: 7.34 mi Week 7: 7.54 mi Week 8: 9.79 mi Week 9: 10.31 mi
As I will be running 3.1 miles for the Jakarta Race next Sunday, I’m including those miles in my mileage goal for the coming week:
I want to run 10.5 miles next week, and I will do it.
People constantly ask why I’m so serious and competitive about running when I’m only a recreational runner. Even Stanley is now motivated to get serious about his performance and improve his health when he used to always say, “Baby, why are you so serious? It’s just running.”
Well, to me nothing is just something, especially when you enjoy doing it, when you’re passionate about it, when you feel it rewards you so much that you feel responsible to protect it from those who disagree with your stance.
There is no one reason for why I keep myself disciplined by using my running life as a vehicle to improve other aspects of my life – my daily habits, my work ethics, my relationships. It’s just the way it is – the further, faster, and longer I run, the more I’m motivated by the activity itself – the learning process itself – rather than the end-goals.
With a sound mind comes a sound body. Every obstacle along the way gets easier to endure as my mental and physical stamina just keeps building up.
That’s the magic of running long and running strong.
Get your old shoes out, now. Tie those laces and storm out of the door. Spend some time for yourself, sweat a little bit more, and you’ll come back with the best feeling you’ve ever had in a long, long time.
This post is just one of those self-affirming words I tell myself to improve my current state, sort of a motivation I give myself but hopefully it motivates you to take a step further too.
I’m bringing down my GOALS & DREAMS and CHALLENGES pages starting from today. They will still be up, but I will no longer edit or update them. I will put down the link to these pages from my main menu, but you are still able to view them from several internal links throughout my site.
Also, I’m done with my mileage this week. This means I’ve ran a total of:
3.51 + 3.51 + 2.77 = 9.79 miles
As usual, let’s review my weekly progress so far:
Week 1: 1.52 mi
Week 2: 3.79 mi
Week 3: 5.86 mi Week 4: 6.93 mi Week 5: 13.28 mi Week 6: 7.34 mi Week 7: 7.54 mi Week 8: 9.79 mi
Great improvement, better stamina. I am actually still able to make a good run today, but life planning takes a lot of time indeed :) So I skipped my workout today. Here’s my target for the coming week:
My target mileage this week is 10 miles.
When I set up for such little improvement last week, I ended up doing so much more. Let’s see how I’ll do in the coming week, now that I’m setting an attainable yet equally challenging goal.
Why am I doing all this?
Allow me to explain.
Basically, I don’t want my goals in life to be superficial anymore. I think the world doesn’t need to know what you’re up to, and you don’t need to tell them in order to have the motivation to achieve them. I once learned that what you practice in private comes through in public, and so far good results are slowly coming through in my life, after all the things I’m practicing in private.
Also, plans change. They always do. There’s a reason why deals are best made on written paper. All parties involved can always refer back to their stated agreement if they need to clarify their deals or to re-negotiate offerings. That’s because words are materialized, and the only thing that’s left to do is to execute what’s been said on paper.
In this case, things have not been materialized. It looks to me more and more like a to-do list if I continue to keep it public, instead of executing my intentions to bring up the quality of my life. Just as any business requires a solid marketing plan for long-term success, when it’s too strategic and you’re too attached on the written words, your goals start to become the actual profits from your total revenue instead of the simple joy to be able to make a living with your passion.
It’s also a personal life, that’s the key word. That means it should stay just like that – personal. I don’t want to encourage you and the rest of my readers to fulfill everybody else’s expectations of yourself, because I believe what each and every one of us must do is the exact opposite: Makeyour own expectations to fulfill your dreams. This is the essence of why I no longer want to keep a public list of things to do before I die.
I want to be able to learn how to:
trust my own intuition and
tell between the things I truly want and things I just want to satisfy another person’s expectations.
Both of these are the two things most people find difficult to do, and I hope all the contents I produce from now on collectively reflects the principles I will keep on practicing in private.
Let’s be in it for the long haul.
As you go your own journey, always keep Aristotle’s words in mind:
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
8 – 6.2 – 1.57 – 0.51 = -0.28 mi to go until Wednesday, 19 September 2012
I wasn’t expecting I can run a whole 1.8 miles within one workout.
I have to be wise about finding a balance between under-training and over-training… Technically, I haven’t reached my weekly goal today.
I have a plan to visit the gym again on Friday with Stanley, but tomorrow, I’m not sure whether I will have the time. I’m not quite sure either about Saturday.
What’s for sure is that I will minimize my contact with the treadmill in terms of cardiovascular exercise as of today, i.e. I will head over to the stationary bike or the elliptical machine instead in the days to come. I don’t want to overtrain the muscles I keep using for running, as I’m afraid that those same muscles will get really fatigue by Sunday. I will only allow my body to run on the treadmill 2 miles at maximum before this Sunday.
My target now is to achieve at least a 9’56” pace this Sunday, as I was a 9’57” on my 10k race in 2012. Just 60 seconds faster is still an improvement for me.
I am just happy that Stanley is wise enough to prevent injuries this Sunday, and that I really enjoy working out with my own boyfriend :) It’s a really intimate activity… yet competitive at the same time.
In case you need a tiny push to endure just a little bit longer, here’s a quick video of Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan talking about their own difficulties in getting through the distance. Even pro-athletes have the same problems as we normal civilians do.