You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose….

I can hardly believe that it’s already been a month into the semester, yet at the same time, I can’t believe it’s only been a month into the semester! With it being the last semester of college before I graduate, I am absolutely inundated with daily readings for most of my classes, researches, synopsis, papers, and also working on writing for the college paper. I’ve posted a link to my recent article about “Weighing the Myth of the Freshman 15” where I talk about how to avoid weight fluctuation during significant life changes and creating a healthy, active, and balanced lifestyle.

Weighing the Myth of the Freshman 15

I also realized that I never announced what the hints led up to for my surprise last summer extravaganza with Luke! For those of you who don’t remember the hints they included
– Bikes
– DIY (pinterest may or may not be involved, though it didn’t spark my idea for this one!)
– Enjoying one of the last nice summer evenings
– Ants would ruin this
– I would prefer that it “wasn’t hot” while we were partaking in this

I had planned a DO IT YOURSELF date where we road our BIKES during one of the LAST NICE SUMMER EVENINGS to have a self-made PICNIC with homemade sandwiches…….while watching Some Like It Hot outside on an inflatable screen at the Botanical Gardens. It was such a beautiful evening and the most perfect way to spend one of the last lovely summer evenings.

Since then, I’ve been trying to make it through the semester in one piece and take everything one day at a time with a highly organized day planner and an abundance of hot yoga.

The morning started off, well, to say that it started off to a great start would be slightly exaggerating. But it didn’t start off terrible. I had set my alarm to wake up before the sun came up so that I could enjoy the beautiful sunrises over the Boise Foothills during my long run. I’ve decided that I’m going to start working on crossing a few things off of my bucket list and it’s about time I finally put myself up to training for a half marathon. So today I was shooting for a 9 mile run with a new play list I had made for myself. The alarm went off, I lazily set it for another half hour later. Then realized, “Gen, you’re being lazy and procrastinating. Get out of bed, and get your tush out the door and on the road!” and allowed myself three minutes instead before rolling out of bed and grabbing my pile of running attire.

I try to lay everything out the evening before when I know I want to wake up early to get a work out in. I lay out everything from my running shorts, top, head warmer, ponytail and bobby pins, headphones and Ipod, and a sock in each running shoe (I was not going to allow any excuses for why I not making it out the door. At 7:00 am it’s amazing the reasons one manages to come up to get out of being up early. Just the thought of having to unroll my socks and decide what foot they should go on??? Nope, too much work, I’m going back to bed. That’s why I lay one in each shoe). I’ll also prepare whatever pre-workout meal I want to have before heading out the door. Today I had made rolled oats the evening before with a mixture of

2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup frozen berries

and my own homemade oat concoction which consists of flax seed, wheat germ, and 5-grain rolled oats.

This is a great mixture because it’s a high source of energy with enough carbs to fuel my body back up in the morning plus it is full of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Bonus, it tastes pretty fantastic! I laced up my shoes, slid my headphones into my ears, and started up my new playlist, eager to begin my run. But no music came on.

Dun Dun Dun, I make it sound as if it’s the end of the world right? I’m one of those runners who can not, and I repeat, CAN NOT as in am incapable of placing one foot in front of the other at a quick pace and stay at a good rhythm to run for an extended period of time without music. I have a slight case of asthma so no matter how good of shape I’m in, at times I still have a difficult time grasping for air which can make for a not so enjoyable sound effect if it isn’t covered up by some noise such as music.  Highly organized old me had forgotten to make sure my Ipod was charged the night before. So I decided to go to my back up plan and take my lunky heavy incredibly undependable cell phone and listen to Pandora stations instead. So off I tried again.

I was about a mile and a half in, getting to a pretty good pace and feeling good. Remember how I mentioned my phone wasn’t the most reliable? Well, my phone decided at that moment to shut off. I rolled through the decisions in my mind, I could turn around and see if my Ipod had recharged enough to get the rest of my run in. But then who knows if I would actually make it back out the door. Or I could prove to myself that I actually am capable of running to utter silence. I decided to rise to the challenge and see what it felt like to run in silence.

In order to find silence, I had to run out by Cartwright road, a couple miles past where I was right then. The road itself was long and windy and followed the rolling of the foothills. There wasn’t a whole lot of traffic which made for a very peaceful run. I figured I probably wouldn’t last long since the most I have ever ran by myself with no music was maybe a couple of miles or so. But I was shocked at how enjoyable it was. I would even go as far to say that it was one of the best runs I’ve had.

The sun was just beginning to peak up over the foothills making a warm, orange and pink glow. There were cattails along the edge of the road where the sun would peak out from between them and a refreshing sweet smell mixed with a shocking pumpkin spice aroma. Maybe it was because I was suddenly craving my roommates delicious pumpkin seed muffins. I began noticing little things that I never took the time to look at when I had music playing and I realized that the silence and absence of civilization made me want to soak it all in.

As the sun came up over the hills, I enjoyed the warm glow on my skin and soon the pain in my calves had started to become nonexistent which hadn’t happened in an incredibly long time. I also noticed my mind was much more clear and my breathing patterns were surprisingly relaxed given the fact that I had been running up and down steep hills.

That was when I thought to myself  “What would happen if we all took just an hour away from our electronics each day?” No phones, no computers, no music. Just time to be at peace with everything around us. Would we be more relaxed? Would the cliche of being appreciative for the simple things in life actually occur on a daily basis? Would people be more genuine, more sincere, more likely to be friendly and kind to one another instead of rushed from one thing to the next?

I had no idea what time it was or how long I had been running. But given the fact that the sun and completely risen above the hills and my belly was starting to rumble from hunger I decided it was time to make my way back. About a mile from home I decided to check to see if my phone would turn on so I could just check the time. It did, and it decided to even play music finally. Go figure! But I think the universe was trying to send me a sign this morning that I needed that time to myself to really just have silence around me. When I had made it home, I decided to see just how far I had made it that day, and to my surprise it was longest stretch I had ever consistently ran in my life. A whopping 10.5 miles, and all to silence. I guess it just goes to show that we truly are the only ones that set limits for ourselves and when we remove those limits, we are capable of more than we imagined.

So instead of just setting 3 goals today. I am going to also challenge YOU to set aside 30 minutes to an hour of silence. Go read a book, take a run or a bike ride, maybe even get some journal time in. Whatever you feel you need to do or wherever you feel you need to go to be able to reflect on what’s going on in your life.

Happy Thursday everyone and I hope you have a beautiful rest of your week!

Much love and hugs!



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