Fall Trail Running and Why It’s Breathtaking in More Than One Way

Half a mile down the paved trail the split comes and the dirt path displays on the right; the sun pierces through the holes in the canopy above, creating shadows of beauty in every direction. Crunch, crunch as my shoes stride deeper into the Chattahoochee National Forest. To my right is the faint sound of the river a hundred yards away, and all around is the whispering of the leaves talking to each other and the squirrels scurrying to bury their nuts as the cold weather will eventually encompass the beauty that surrounds you with each step.

It is so poetic, but it is also hard. The ground is uneven and hills will eventually meet you, spiders make their homes across the path as they’ve swung their webs from branch to branch. The colder and darker it gets, the harder it is to push go, and the miles you stretch are as much mental as they are physical, but the end is incredible. The moments of taking in Creation around you, of pushing yourself to new heights and depths, of gaining fresh perspective and a new sense of wonder.

The end is worth it.

However, you have to prepare, so here are a few tips of getting ready for trail running this fall:

  1. Map it out! Know where you are going and study the route – one of the last trail runs I was on the planned 5 miles suddenly became 9 miles because of getting lost in an attempt to just figure it out as we went.
    • Need a place to start – check out All Trails (web and app) for a great list of trails both near and far, hard and easy.
  2. Find your tribe. Safety, safety, safety. It’s best to find some people to hit the trails with you, however if you do decide to take it solo make sure to let at least 2 people know where you are going, how long you expect to be gone for, and always go to a populated area during
  3. Pack appropriately. Other than layering appropriately as it gets cooler – depending on where you go, trails can take a good bit longer and be a good bit harder than just hitting road miles, so your best bet is to buy a small pack that can house hydration, fuel, and a few essentials like band-aids, alcohol wipes, and pepper spray.
    • Nathan has some great options for belts and hydration vests.
  4. Don’t forget about footwear. While you might not want to spend a huge chunk on trail specific shoes, you do want shoes that will support you enough that when a root or rock tries to interfere you won’t go down. Go to a local running or outdoor store like Big Peach Running Co and talk to someone about the best options for you!
  5. Take time to stop and enjoy! As someone who just likes to go, trails bring out a different side of me, they slow me down and help me focus on the incredible details of creation around me. Snapping a few keepsake shots is one of favorite things to keep remembering my why!

Of course if you are competitive like me you might also want have a goal if you really desire to get better at trail running. If it suites your fancy check out Dirty Spokes and XTERRA trail series along with my friends at Peak Racing for races of every distance.

Overall just enjoy it, enjoy the leaves as they change color and slowly float to the ground, enjoy the crisp air as you breath with each glide across the ground, and snap some shots of your favorite moments and places.

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Jordan

 

 

Can You Love Yourself Today & the Enneagram

After choosing to forgo the Monday alarm my body woke me up a little after 6. My feet hit the floor to the excitement of the girls, ready to get their day started also. My day normally starts out with a glass of water and an apple and peanut butter, along with making sure Jon and the dogs are moving, but then I’m usually left to my own thoughts and routine. That’s where the day can go one of two ways: focusing on beauty or brokenness.

My foot got tangled up in a basket I had left outside our bathroom door and the momentary pain coursed through my toes and up my leg: frustration. The mirror caught my attention as usual as I scrubbed my teeth and all the thoughts came crashing in, I’m bloated, my ankle is stiff, there are bags under my eyes, my hair is a greasy mess – how am I going to control my food today, beginnings of anxiety from hosting a girls night and making sure everything is picture perfect – j.k. I’ll never be good enough. Loving myself and the way God made me was far from truth I was speaking over my life, and that’s a really bad way to start the week.

As an Enneagram 8w7, basically the high achieving, exciteable busybody in health we use that to help spur on others towards their goals, which took some time to understand because the descriptors of an 8 are exactly the most charming. As unhealthy we gravitate  towards the fears of being useless, helpless, or incapable, which is where I have found myself over the course of the past couple weeks. So why tell you all this?

The narrative had to change.

Every “type” of personality has their fears of never being good enough or valued or cared for. However, if you set up for a week where you are looking both outwardly and inwardly at everything you wish was different or didn’t like you won’t be able to love well. So whether you are 18 or 80, thin or plus-size, black, white or anyone else (literally if you are reading this you qualify because you are beautiful creation of an all-powerful and loving God) you have to question: can I love who God made me today? Not after I do this thing, or change that thing, but TODAY.

Here are four practical ways to help change the narrative and/or keep the perspective of just how beautiful and uniquely crafted YOU are:

  1. Speak the truths of God over your life each morning.
    • Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
    • Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of sin”

    • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”
  2. Surround yourself with people who speak truth and life into your life. One of the biggest blessings of my day is the text I get almost every morning from one of my closest friends encouraging me about who I am in Christ.
  3. Do have a focus on wellness. Do NOT obsess, but set out practical goals of how you are going to take care of yourself during the week. For example, making sure you make healthy snack choices, or are active for 30 minutes, 3x a week, or carve out space to process your week on paper or through a creative outlet. Set those goals and boundaries up ahead of time so you can engage with the week ahead to it’s fullest and your fullest potential.
  4. Serve in the community. One of the biggest blessings, and ways to get outside of your own way of thinking is to get involved with the people, neighborhoods, and organizations around you. Taking care of this world is a team effort, and there is always something that needs to be cared for!

This morning waking up my mind immediately gravitated of what was lacking instead of embracing the beauty and truth that was already there and looking forward to the potential that God had in store.

It would be foolish to think that it is just a light switch, but set a reminder for yourself throughout the week to check in! So how are you today? Do you remember the truth and freedom you sit in?

If you’ve thought about it 100x and want to take the enneagram click here: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com

 

 

 

Whole Hearted Wellness: Beyond Fitness, Nutrition, and Mental Health

Wellness is a blanket word, it totally is, but it’s still going to get used today. And maybe you are sitting there thinking – wellness is extremely overwhelming because it’s “all the things”, and that’s just the truth – and yes it totally can, but I think there can be freedom in looking at the small parts and then developing a sense of big picture.

Largely in part, thanks to our ways of thinking, we pigeon-hole wellness into meaning a good nutritional plan and fitness discipline, however that is so far from the whole story. Now, hopefully after reading a few of these blog posts you’ve begun to realize how mental health plays an impact into whole wellness as well, and as a big proponent of community that has rippled into the content, however, that still isn’t everything it encompasses.

So creativity, cleanliness, and risk-taking here we go!

As of today we are in the middle of a one-week wellness challenge that was put together over the course of the past month. It incorporates it ALL, but a few of the prompts look like this:

  • Spend 15 minutes journaling or another activity in the creative space (drawing, photographing, etc)
  • Write a letter to an old friend and actually mail it. Hello Snail Mail!
  • Watch the sun rise or set with a new vantage point.
  • Cook a new recipe that seems so complicated that there is no way, or spend some time organizing a space that you’ve been dreaming of.

So why are these things so important? In a culture were convenience + busyness rules the day, and other people’s creativity counts as your own, YOU have to create space to stretch yourself in uncomfortable ways. Whether it’s writing a long letter to say all the things you’ve wanted to say, or venturing to a trail you’ve always wanted to check out, or putting yourself out there and creating a new dish or space, we’ve got to be willing to stretch!

Broken down simply, creativity engages that God-given imagination that social media try to steal away. Cleanliness, my mom always says that cleanliness is next to godliness, I imagine very few people had anxiety from a clean and fresh space to think and be. Then take risk-taking and adventure to help gain perspective on this beautiful Earth we live on, and it doesn’t begin to look like you are juggling so many things, it’s far more about creating a lifestyle that we stop sitting behind the confines of our screens and what other people are doing and display freedom.

So yes, wellness is the compilation of fitness, nutrition, mental health, creativity, perspective, cleanliness, community, etc, but it’s not 7 different solo acts (and probably so many more), it’s a beautiful compilation of how God wanted us to use life to the fullest! Think past obligation and into fullness and purpose. It’s beautiful inside and out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things I Wish Everyone Knew about Mental Health, Fitness & Nutrition

The ongoing battle; the beauty beyond the scratches and burns, the fact that it’s going to be okay, but okay might look different than you every imagined.

This post simplifies so much of some of my previous posts and hopefully opens up the conversation for people to dialogue about how all of this correlates together. And one thing in general you will notice is the power of WORDS. I believe we always underestimate just how powerful words can be and impact us on a deep level, especially when it comes from people that we love and trust! We are so thankful you are on this journey with us and encouraging us to keep fighting –

  1. Don’t just assume because we are thin we are at peace with where our body is. *Going to go out on a limb here and say that a good bit of the time this is NOT the case.
  2. Using the words “you are so thin” can be really dangerous – maybe we are, but that doesn’t mean that’s a good thing. Words are powerful!
  3. We want you to talk to us and ask questions! It might get a little frustrating, but it’s ALWAYS better to keep dialogue open with close friends and family.
  4. Sometimes talking about food and buffet lines cause anxiety, it’s a place of complete isolation and where we usually need the most company – change the topic and/or engage us in something completely different.
  5. Please don’t make comments like: just eat lots of cupcakes and donuts or you can basically eat whatever you want. It might sound like a joke, but it can be a manipulative mind-game.

Bonus content: Healthy eating does NOT always mean vegetarian/vegan as some people seem to think – it just means keep well-rounded nutrition at the forefront: plenty of fruits and veggies, an emphasis on whole foods, etc.

So let this be a conversation starter. Ask questions, get vulnerable, and take note on some of these ideas that haven’t even crossed your mind.

If you have any questions email me or find me on instagram jordan@fuelingherforward.com or fuelingherforward