Monday, April 30, 2012


Color Me Rad was so much fun.
I don't know if I can officially count this as one of my four races this year
as there were so many people, color, and chaos that it was impossible to run with full speed.

They don't time the race and we had to stop at every color station so I have no idea what my time really was. We did it in about 40 minutes, but there is no way I am counting that.
I had so much fun running with my sister.
She's a fitness guru and she ran circles around me,
but we had so much fun.

I was also glad to be joined by LG's cousin Grant and his wife Catherine.
We had a great time.

Beware to future race runners.
They should really rename the race to
Become an Avatar Race.

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Race #2

The whole family participated in a 5k together.

I would say it was our first, but LG did one last year with all the girls.
Caroline didn't join us this time.
We got a sitter.
It was a great time
and we appreciated the chance to have some family fun
while exercising AND helping raise money for the kids school.

Have I ever told you how much I love my man?
Thanks LG for supporting me in my crazy adventures.

It was a small race,
but Abigail was 14th overall.
If she would have passed one female
she would have won a top 3 prize.
Funny she doesn't really "run" persay,
but soccer really is a great sport for overall athleticism.
Next year Abigail's goal will be to beat Ms. Shepherd
who was 2 minutes faster than her.

I was happy with my time.
That is almost a two minute improvement 
from my first race in January.
I'll take it!
Little Miss Sophia came in 6 places behind me.
At the beginning of the race she was sticking right with me,
I thought she would beat me,
but all my training brought me in 5 minutes ahead of her.

LG was the best dad and stayed with Bella the whole way.
At the end I ran back to them
and offered to carry Bella up the hill
but LG said "NO WAY ALICE -
She has to finish by herself."
What a smart dad.

This is what we all looked like at the finish.
Go Gold family.

Go here for official race results.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Risk of Marriage

After playing an intense game of Risk with my hubby and kids last week, I had an epiphany. During the game, Abigail (my 12 year old) and I were trying to kill each other off. We were fighting for Australia and both of our armies were scarce.

Before my daughter's next turn came around (where she would have surely destroyed me for good) my husband swooped in from Asia. He killed every last one of Abigail's guys (winning the game). I was saved. He was my knight in shining armor. Even though the game was over, hours later, I couldn't let go of the satisfaction that I felt at being rescued by my man. I was figuratively living in peace in Australia with no enemies in sight.

I thought of the significance of having a man who would come to my rescue. This silly little thing meant a lot to me. I am just a romantic waiting to be wooed, what can I say?

Marriage is a risk that we all should take. It's a risk because we can't guarantee that our spouse will always be loyal to us. I have experienced the joy of fierce loyalty in my marriage as well as the complete devastation of having a spouse who is selfish. (Haven't we all?) I choose the joy. Because no one is perfect, all spouses are sure to experience both.

I wonder what would happen in the world if we all could keep the perspective of fighting for one another instead of against one another? Surely world peace has to start in our own homes and neighborhoods.

I can't speak for all women or men, but in my own marriage, I know that my husband and I are both much happier when I let him be my knight in shining armor. That requires two things: 1-he has to put me first and 2-I have to let him.

And yes, that goes the other way around. The only way we wives can truly be there for our husbands is if we put them first. That is the miracle of marriage. When you take two people who are fiercely loyal to the other you create a symbiotic and powerful union where two people feel completely safe and perfectly loved.

In the real game of Risk, however, you don't have to kill off your kids. (Well, maybe just for a couple hours a week of alone time.) It is risky to let someone love you. It's a risk that has to be taken for one's ultimate happiness. It's a risk that has to be made over and over again, especially when it didn't pan out the first time, especially in marriage.

The beauty of marriage is that over two lifetimes, two people choose to risk their happiness on each other over and over again. There will be heartache, but over time, the heartaches will be minuscule and the love and loyalty will win, as long as we keep risking everything for one another.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Loving my body.

I feel very uncomfortable being called inspiring when it comes to my body. My mind, my faith, my writing, even my family...they can be inspiring, but not my body.

Why is that? Because I have a horrible self image. I believe myself to be a fat girl. I have always been the biggest of my three sisters. I have been teased as a child, adolescent, and adult because of my weight.

So I got a message from a friend the other day. She has been following me on facebook. She knows I started running again and she wanted me to know that I am her hero and that I am inspiring. It makes me cringe to write those words in reference to my body, even though I have read her encouragement at least ten times.

She wants to know how to start. She is sick of being over-weight. I feel 176% unqualified to answer her. In fact, I don't really know what her answer is. I don't even have full confidence that I can keep helping myself in this regard. Every day is a battle for me. I truly believe I have a less severe form of food addiction and every day I am still battling it. I don't have all the answers for me yet, how in the world can I help someone else?

I have been on a self-discovery journey for a few years now. It started with just getting to know my past and my emotions and has advanced to making changes. My body is a place that I needed to change. I don't know if anyone can heal physically without first the emotional healing.

I can't even describe my whole journey. I am inadequate to express the process. So, I don't know what to tell you. I wish I had the magic words to motivate you. I wish I had the magic words to make Oreos less appealing also. That would help me out a lot.

However, I do have three tips.

Number one. Get real. What is really going on with you? Why do you loathe yourself? I promise you that inward there is some self hatred. That was what made the final decision for me to start exercising. I really made it a matter of prayer about how I could change. My answer wasn't anything I expected. My answer from God was a question. "Alice, why can't you love yourself like I love you?" When I started really pondering that question I felt empowered. The master of the Universe loves me. He loves me even when I don't love me. Shouldn't I love myself as well as he loves me? And isn't the way that I am treating the temple he gave me a huge indication of how poorly I am doing in the love department? If you really don't know how to do this for yourself, I highly recommend using the 12 steps in your own life. The LDS church puts out a great manual, and the steps can be used by anyone to apply the atonement in their life and make lasting changes. The fourth step is a really great tool at getting to know yourself. Years ago, I became acquainted with the 12 steps for my codependency, but I truly believe that the principles I have learned there have been greatly beneficial with my body image also.

Number two. Just start. One step at a time. After I had my spiritual awakening (which I am still in the middle of - still figuring out) I made a promise to myself that I would get started. I've done all the calorie counting many times in my life, so this time I wanted to focus more on getting strong. I decided to go back to where I was when I felt strongest. It was back when I was 17 and running every day. I decided that I would once again matter how hard it was to get there. I set a goal. I could barely run a lap. I decided that in two months time I could at LEAST do a 5k, even if I had to walk it. I would try my hardest to run it, but I would walk it if I had to. No matter what, I was going to do it. And I did it. I ran the whole thing. It only took me two months to get in shape enough to run a 5k. I surprised myself. I was way stronger than I thought I was. In the process, I got to see the me that God loves. All along the only thing keeping me from doing it was myself.

Three. Get real again. Don't set yourself up for failure. Everyone says that a person should exercise first thing in the morning. I would always fail because I am NOT a morning person. Figure out how to make exercise doable for you. It has truly become a break for me. I like exercising in the afternoon. I decided my older kids could watch their baby sister after school two times a week for an hour. It's the least they could do for me when I do so much for them. (Again I had to love myself enough to believe this to really be true - all part of the journey) A lot of the time the baby is napping and it isn't a big deal. I only run three times a week. On Saturday my husband does baby duty. It has been working just fine for me for 6 months. 6 months. Wow, I didn't realize it had been that long. I kind of feel proud of myself. See! See, how I just wrote "kind of: ?Downplaying!  That is what I do when it comes to my body. So excuse me while I say, "I am damn proud of myself." I hope the Lord will forgive me for taking up the d word for a bit. It helps me get through to myself.

So I guess my answer is this. It's a journey. An old Latin saying is "know thyself." Knowing thyself is a journey that everyone should take. It's scary. It's actually totally debilitating for a lot of us, but it is so worth it. Because really, you are amazing. You are loved by the Supreme Creator, the Father of all. He wants you to love yourself like he loves you. The only way you can love yourself is to figure out how you don't love yourself and change. The change starts in your mind.

So, I like to sing to myself when I get unmotivated. You're gonna love me. Sometimes I just have to fake myself out. I have to tell myself that I am going to love me on the days that I know I don't. Here's your soundtrack. Get started. You won't regret it.

The best thing about being at the bottom is that it gives you more reason to be pleased with yourself. Other people are worried about getting to that 8 minute mile mark. I am fighting against nobody but the couch. If I get off the couch I win. When you have neglected yourself for so long, the only way to go is up and out. Every time you get on the treadmill you feel like a rockstar. It's totally awesome. I want that feeling for you. I have only lost 20 pounds. I mean I have lost 20 pounds!!! Amazing. See how that works. It's all in the mind.