Monday, December 19, 2011

Faith, Hope and Strength

While I was dreadmilling it today (thanks to Mother Nature and her 25mph winds) I popped in my new go-to, in place of music, Another Mother Runner podcast.  In case your not aware of Another Mother Runner, its the blog site for Sarah and Dimity who co-wrote the amazing, "Get-off-your-arse-we-are-all-busy-moms" book "Run Like a Mother".  They do podcasts where they talk about all kinds of mommy/running related stuff.  I just discovered the podcasts last week and listened to one on my last run, loved I went back and downloaded all the rest I had missed from iTunes and now I have listening/pretend conversation for when I am stuck on the dreadmill.

The podcast today struck me because of the part where they talked about mantras.  What keeps you going?  What drives you when you really want to lay down and die? And no, keeping going because you live on a desolate road and no one will come long for hours to pick up your exhausted body and take you home is not a mantra.

This really struck me because I, like all of us, have a mantra but me, being, well, me...took it a step to far farther and had mine permanently inked on the back of my neck.  Definitely one of those 21-years-old-good-idea-at-the-time moments.

The Cliff Notes version of my mantra is I was going through a bad break up with my high school sweet heart whom I had been with for 5 years, was engaged to for 5 weeks and ended it.  We were at that cross road where you have to do something, either get engaged and take the next step or break it off.  Obviously since we are both happily married to other people, we made the right choice. 

Anyway, after a few months of minor depression (broken heart and loneliness) my BFF Lindsey said something about finally getting back to myself and asked what finally clicked and I said Faith that I made the right decision, Hope that things get better soon and the Strength to make it to the other side. 

There is it was..Faith. Hope. Strength.

So in the infinite wisdom of 21 years, I made the decision I wanted that statement inked forever in my skin.  Why my neck, not sure...seemed cool at the time.  In retrospect, aka, job where professionalism does not include visible tattoos, not the most well thought plan.

Here is the really interesting part.....I made the appointment to get the tattoo but received a phone call prior that the tattoo artist was sick and would need to reschedule.  So I did....for September 11, 2001.

I will never forget sitting in that artist chair, having Faith, Hope and Strength tattooed into my neck on the day that our country was under attack from an unknown enemy.  The artist, like the rest of the country, was in shock and said that my tattoo, my mantra, was what was going to hold our country together.  If every would have Faith, Hope and Strength, we would be OK.

I don't know if the whole country fell for that and I'm fairly certain the tattoo guy in Bay City Michigan didn't get the memo to everyone, but I know for me, I held on that statement. 

And I have continued to.  During my unexpected pregnancy, my failed relationships, my long distance love with my now-husband, who was my rock and support 1100 and 2 time zones away for 16 months.  My complicated pregnancy and resulting premature delivery of my middle child and his stay in the NICU.  I found myself repeating Faith, Hope, Strength over and over.

Trying to hit 10 miles for the first time or 3.5 on the dreadmill.  Hoping to get my horse around the first barrel and still be sitting on his back.  I said it over and over to the point, where I don't even think about saying just pops into my head.

It made me wonder what is your mantra?  What keeps you pushing up the hills and on the dreadmill?  Do you have one?  According to Dimity and Sarah (who are mother runner goddesses in my world) it can be one word or a phrase, it can be a picture...something that sticks in your head and gives you that second (third, fourth, 100th) wind just when you need it.   

If you don't have one, I (in all my 32 years of infinite wisdom) suggest you get one or three.  Find something to hold on to, regardless of what you are doing.  I don't recommend getting it inked into your skin but put it on a piece of paper and hang it on your mirror, or print off the picture and stick it on the back of the door so its the last thing you see as you walk out.  Something to hold on to.....its been the difference for me more times then I can count.

This is hanging on the side of my fridge, so its the last thing I see before I walk out the door.


  1. Love your mantra! And I love the sign you have on your fridge!! I need a mantra...

  2. Love the fridge note too! I don't really have a mantra per se, but there's a LOT of positive self talk going on on most of my runs :) !

  3. I think we are soulmates :) LOL!!! We have A LOT in common!!