Lend a Helping Hoof Campain - and Hey, Where's The Head Heifer Been, Anyway?

I apologize.

This one is long overdue, heifers.

You've noticed my absence, some of you, on social media - my twitter has been on Auto-Pilot for the most part - my facebook group has been wondering "WTF" as in Where's The Freakin' Head Heifer?

I'm here. I'm struggling. I've been held up by some amazing wonderful friends, and some anonymous ones too, during a pretty serious time of change/despair/emotion/etc. This has been the hardest chapter in my life. I've not shared, except maybe privately with a few of you who've reached out to me personally noticing something was 'off.'

What's the deal? You all deserve honesty. You deserve transparency. You deserve to hear it from me.

I came home from Nepal, and after a 20 year marriage that unfortunately was not working, I asked my husband for a divorce.

That was fun. The fallout was fun. The ongoing emotional roller coaster, the uncertainty, the change in everything from where we'd been living, to the 4 kids, to everything - ALL CHANGED.

Overnight.

It's personal. It's been devastating on many levels and cleansing on those same levels. In order to maintain a sense of decorum and dignity and respect, I will not expound on that.

WHY AM I SHARING THIS WITH YOU?

First, I'm sharing because I'm a pretty private person.  I know you're all shaking your heads. You've read about my childhood trauma - my sexual abuse - the childhood neglect and the fallout from all of those. But you read about then WELL AFTER they happened. Well after I had recovered and moved on.

I'm not one to openly share personal dirty laundry on the HeiferHood page until the lessons have been learned, the details sorted out, and the movement is in a forward, peaceful motion. Peace in every step.

That's why I'm starting this LEND A HELPING HOOF CAMPAIGN.

During my time of need over the last two months - no matter WHAT that need was  ... many of you reached out to me in different ways - some sent dinner to my new house, some sent Amazon gift cards for toilet paper, some sent shampoo for my girls. SO MANY of you reached out, with any little or big gesture, to say I'M HERE, I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

Those gestures made a huge difference to me. They still do.  So here's the thing.

It's time to crawl out from under my rock, rejoin the land of the living, and start making a difference in the lives of everyone around me, the HeiferHood, who has in many ways held me up over the last few months.

Each month, we are going to ask for you to NOMINATE A HEIFER IN NEED. In the spirit of Run, Heifer, Run... we are paying some heiferLove forward.

Who can you nominate? Anyone. Do you know a single mom or dad in need? Someone who is going through a rough patch in life and is in need of a gentle helping hand up? A teacher whose classroom needs supplies for underprivileged children? A grandma who is raising her grandkids for various reasons? Someone with ongoing health issues who just needs a helping hoof?

Our ENTIRE HeiferHood community was founded on and is based on the idea of helping each other. There is NO better way to LEND A HELPING HOOF than to let someone know you care, others care, and they're not alone. I know this now from personal experience.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:

Each month we will raffle off a donated prize. This month's prize is AAAAHMAZING - details below. You can purchase raffle tickets HERE. One ticket buys you one chance to win, two tickets buys you two chances, etc.. and there are some bigger chances to win as well.

We will choose a winner at the end of each month after HUGELY OBNOXIOUSLY PROMOTING THIS campaign all over social media (and we encourage you to do the same, because it just feels GOOD to lend a helping hoof to someone in need).

The winner will be chosen by a committee  made up of fellow heifers.  The funds from purchased raffle tickets will be sent to the heifer chosen by our committee.  The prize will then be raffled off between everyone who purchased tickets.

This month's amazing prize was donated last year by Rock Your Messages. It's a beautiful sterling silver chain necklace with the message "INSPIRE."

 

 

 

 

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Click HERE to donate and LEND A HELPING HOOF. You will be entered into the raffle to win this amazing necklace -and the proceeds will be sent to this month's heifer in need.

This month's heifer asked to remain anonymous - her story is one of tragedy after losing her husband unexpectedly, and trying to now support her children on limited funds and no access to health care, etc. She has taken on two part time jobs to bring in some money but has no healthcare for her kids - and is struggling to pay her electricity, etc.

She has asked to remain anonymous but is a frequent contributing member of our HeiferHood community in the facebook group ... she's not been too public about her situation but after she reached out to me - I knew we had our first Heifer-In-Waiting.

Please, purchase a raffle ticket for your chance to win this beautiful necklace, and LEND A HELPING HOOF.

If you'd like to nominate someone for the next campaign or you're a vendor who'd like to donate a raffle prize, send that info over to me at melissa@runheiferrun.com.

TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Thank you ALL for the support you've shown ME during this transitional time in my life  - it's time to pay it forward and show the world what the HeiferHood is capable of... love, respect, and lending a helping hoof.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AND LEND A HELPING HOOF!

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COROS PACE MULTI SPORT WATCH - Product Review

REVIEW: COROS PACE Multisport Watch

Disclaimer: I received a COROS PACE GPS Multisport Watch to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

HEIFERS! It's been a hot minute since I've written a product review ... guess what time it is?? No. Not tool time. (Am I dating myself?: Tim the Tool Man Taylor...yeah, ok, let's move along.... I'm old, just say it)

I was super excited, having just completed a triathlon (read about it HERE) with not even so much as a fitbit. The horror. I know, you're all anxiously looking for the EXIT BLOG button right now. But wait...there's more....

Phew, you're still here. Keep reading. No really. I like good blog stats.

I was really excited when I opened the package and found this really awesome watch. Now, peeps. I never had a garmin scharmin, I Never had a super cool Ironman thingy watch. I'm just a heifer. Trying to finish a triathlon (unsuccessfully, I may add, LOL).... so this thing... this watch gave me STREET CRED I tell you. Here's a few of my photos ... it does some seriously cool stuff. 

I will leave the technical details to the website (HERE) and just tell you some of the cooler features that I thought were neato-burrito (why oh why does everything have to be about food?) 

First, let's start with the band. Not only does it come in a few colors - but hello super comfortable watch-band! Where have you been all my life? There are a billion and 15 holes from which to choose (ok slight exaggeration). For someone with an evidently hard wrist size to fit properly, this was a big deal. So yeah - bonus points, Coros, bonus points.

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Next up let's talk about directionally challenged athletes (read: ME). I could not find my way out of a paper bag if I tried. No, really, it'd be difficult. Help. It's very dark in here and I am craving tacos. Someone help me. 

COROS to the rescue. See below. This bad-boy (or girl, really) tells me exactly which way I'm facing, going, pointing - it was so much fun really that I Stood there walking in circles just to try and throw it off.  Guess what? It was accurate. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Coros, I think I might wanna put a ring on it and make it official. I may love you.

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Finally, let's talk about battery life. Um.... this thing lasts for 14 years before needing a charge. Another slight exaggeration. I wore it for days upon days --- and it lasted about 6-7 days before needing a charge. That's some serious power on your wrist, heifers.

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Technically speaking - this is a great multi sport watch for any triathlete or fitness enthusiast.  The website touts:

Accurate Elevation Readings

We know the importance of data accuracy, that's why the PACE features a barometric altimeter.  Unlike most smartwatches which use GPS to measure elevation changes, our barometer will use the Earth's atmospheric pressure to determine your altitude.

This is crucial for cyclists and trail runners who need accurate elevation points while making those double-digit grade climbs.

For working out - especially running - what I like about this watch is you can select from indoor, outdoor, triathlon, etc.... It's got great functionality and appears to keep extremely accurate data. It syncs well with Strava, which of course is a must for most athletes. #StravaOrBust ... or something.

With the app, you get tons of feedback - calories burned, heart rate, you can look back at your previous workout history, etc.

It's got two hooves way up from this heifer - The watch currently retails for $299.99 and is available through Amazon.

Follow Coros on social media:

Twitter: @CorosGlobal
Instagram: @CorosGlobal

 

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The White Rabbit: A Guest Post By Brett

Heifers! He's back again with his next blog post - welcome Brett back for his latest post...

THE WHITE RABBIT

This week’s been tough. What am I saying; the last month has been tough. Without going into too much detail, I have an overbearing, highly critical, unpredictable boss. Needless to say this doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, which in my case is education.

I think it’s fair to say my self esteem has taken a battering and I’ve noticed the anxiety sweats have started to return. They are my tell. I used to fear them and honestly even now I don’t like them but I do understand them and that, in many ways, is enough.

But they are back and they need to be listened to, they need to be acknowledged and they need to be respected for they are a sign that something clearly isn’t right.

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For a very long time now I’ve pondered at what point did something inside me ‘snap'. As Trinity whispered to Neo, ‘It’s the question that drives us’. She was right. Over time the questions we ask (and are asked) change and change itself is perhaps one true constant.

It’s hard to describe what searching for the answer to ‘the tipping point’ question has been like. Imagine a run where you never seem to quite hit your stride. Or leaving the house thinking you’ve forgotten something or waking up with that niggling feeling in the back of your head.

Imagine that, all the time. Why has it been an important question? Because, try as I might, I still fear going to that dark place in my mind and perhaps understanding what got me there in the first place is a way of preventing a repeat performance.

Is this about control?

Perhaps, but control and self presentation are surely bedfellows to a degree.

If you read any book on how the mind deals with trauma you will inevitably come to a ‘window of amnesia’. If you suppress a memory, research is suggesting that you are interfering with the brains natural mechanisms with one side effect being other memories will also be suppressed.

In my experience suppressing anything can only lead to one inevitable conclusion – stress. Things have a way of bubbling to the surface although how they appear may lead to confusion and anxiety with no logical reason in play. The initial reason having been suppressed.

‘You take the red pill – you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes’.

I took the red pill.

Until now, my blog has been relatively hidden with no visibility on my LinkedIn or Facebook account. With a new found confidence and a deep routed desire to be congruent I decided to truly go live.

My intention hasn’t ever been to gather followers but to reach out to as many people as possible with a simple message; you are not alone, it’s okay to share. With a few clicks it was done. Such is the beauty and savagely crystallising simplicity of online media.  

I’m not sure if it was coincidence or my profile flagging a change but my LinkedIn account received a small spike in views. One in particular caught my eye. I decided to drop them a line, which quickly turned into a lengthy paragraph and in turn an apology. They had inadvertently witnessed the ‘tipping point’ and the mêlée that followed of my withdrawal from society in all its clinically unforgiving efficiency.

I never expected a reply. But a reply I got. And, perhaps not surprisingly given their incredibly kind nature my apology was accepted.

I felt a sense of relief that cannot be explained. Not because I feared ridicule, far from it, but because I had acknowledged what had happened and in doing so had unknowingly unlocked a hitherto closed door.

At the time I had absolutely no idea how far I had gone. I had no idea I’d hit the tipping point (or what it would mean to me) or indeed how much I would try over the coming months to suppress it. It bubbled up but always as anger, resentment, frustration and fear, all laced with an ever growing level of anxiety that would become crippling.  Not once was I able to accept or understanding. Not until therapy.

However, therapy only went so far. Wonderful and enlightening as it was I started down a path that I still tread. A path that has led me to where I am now; a realisation.

I’ve stopped chasing the PB, because the PB was never mine.

Like many, for me, running has become so much more than a pastime. The act of running has aided my mental health in so, so many ways. However it was also a mirror image of the very lifestyle I now see as fundamentally flawed.

Yes I ran for the pure pleasure of running, to connect with nature, for the solitude, for the peace but some of my motivation, until recently, has been about the speed, the distance, in short – the PB.

Running in France (Runknown in France) made me acutely aware of the sheer pleasure in just running. Thank you oh lack of gps.

Strip away all the paraphernalia and running is: verb (used without object), ran, run, running. 1. to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground. If ever there was a tattoo to have (albeit a very long one), this is it.

If we ignore the legal definition of madness the commonly held definition is: ‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ 

I realise now my career, in many respects, was built on a ‘need’ to push for the promotion, which came with the higher salary, and the company car, and the expense account.... for this would lead to happiness. This is what society dictates (behold the high lord consumerism) and this is certainly what I was told. A high salary equals security and security equals self reliance and self reliance equals safety.

“I am a rock, I am an island.”

Yes, I had progressed in so many ways because I was running for me. But, there was still a large part of me where the programming was still intact and still churning through the eternal loop of constructs and algorithms that would only ever lead to one inevitable conclusion – unhappiness.  I was chasing something, some ideal that was never my own.

My running was following the same trajectory as my career. But why wouldn’t it when I was doing the same thing – but expecting a different result.

Like Neo it was time to follow the white rabbit.

As my career hits a crossroads with my current contract drawing to a close I have no fear. Instead, I am excited.

I am stepping out of the game – or stepping into the real game.

The last time I was in the game THAT’S when everything truly went south. THAT’S the realisation. I honestly have no idea what my career holds going forward. That’s not to say I don’t have plans, or a direction in mind but having nothing concrete fills me with excitement.

Running mirrors life.

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We get runs that go well, we get runs that we find tough, and we get runs that hurt. By not chasing a PB that’s not to say I won’t push as hard as I can on some runs or I won’t train hard but I will run because I want to. Period. The PB goal was never mine.

My blogs usually flow. That is to say I start a blog and before I realise it, it’s written. I can see the words and paragraphs in my mind’s eye all fitting together often with twists and turns but always drawing to a neat conclusion symbiotically with my thought process.

This blog has been different because this blog has been a free flow of process which has been the niggling thought at the back of my head for so long.

How do all these threads fit together? How did I end up falling apart? The recent revelation that unlocked the door has been both enlightening and ‘calming’. THAT niggle has stopped but I have realised that I may never know all the answers because everything is incomprehensibly interconnected. The question of my mental health will probably still leave me feeling pensive but I know now that I am in the driving seat.

I’ve stepped out of the game.

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‘Welcome, to the real world.’

ABOUT BRETT: Brett is a father, a teacher, a runner. He completed his first triathlon at the tender age of 17 and has gone on to run every distance from sprint mile to marathon and aims to complete his first ultra marathon in 2018 at the not so tender age of 47. 

He is open about his battle with mental health and since hitting rock bottom 8 years ago has been on what he would describe as being a life changing journey ever since. He is a firm believer that through sharing and support anything is possible and that above all else we must strive to de-stigmatise mental health. 


You can follow Brett on Twitter HERE.

 

 

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