Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Finish Line

My year started off with the "I WILL" statement which followed by doing my best to achieve things in my life that had purpose, inspired others, and made ME feel good. Well I am so excited to share that I finally did it....I finished my first half marathon with a time of 2hr 22minutes!! I started Training with my big sister  3 months ago with the hope I would finish in 3 hrs. This run did not come easy to me. 5 weeks ago I was diagnosed wiht a stress fracture in my lower leg which prevented me from my last 5 weeks of training. It was not until the week before I decided to try and run to see if I would be able to complete my mission. I decided I felt really good and was going to go for it! The race started off great. I was running with my sister and a couple other people including two coworkers. They all carried on and I continued to run my pace. Before I knew it they were all gone into the crowd of people. Running alone gave me time to listen to my thoughts and enjoy my run as much as possible. It was not until the 16k mark that I realized my back was starting to hurt, my hips felt like they were seizing up and my quads had bricks on them. I found myself walking a fair bit but then fighting with my inner voice to continue running. I just kept telling myself " I can do this" " I can do this". I tried to tell myself that this was not only for me but for all those who I have meet this far on my journey that can not do this. It was an internal battle that seemed to continue on the whole race. It was around the 19k mark just after trying to run/walk over the burrard street bridge I felt like walking. It was at the marking that I noticed all the people standing on the side lines cheering. I decided if I started to walk I would look silly since I was so close to the finish....SO I continued to run. That last bit seemed like forever. When I ran pasted the Arthritis Society cheering swad it gave me the extra boost I needed to finish. When I hit the 21k marker I could see the finish line just ahead.........Gosh even writting about it makes me get emotional. It was a momment in my life that no one can ever take away, that I will ever forget, that will stay with me forever. I felt my eyes tear up as I saw the one  but myself knows what I have been through, how far I have come, and how much this meant to me. Such a sweet success. I was so excited to have that medal placed around my neck to show that I completed this part of my journey. I completed for me, for my dear friend who passed and for those who could not complete it.

The only limitations are the ones we put on ourselves. I want to send a special thank you out to my sister for all the support and strength on this journey. I hit most of my running milestones with her by my side and I am so grateful that I had her to help train me. I can not wait for the day when we can finish together!!! She is such a motivating source in my life and I am not sure if she knows how much she truly has helped me. I rememeber watching her on her first half marathon. I was there at the finish and I saw how emotional and excited she was. I remember thinking I want to run.....I want to do that. I want to feel that. I am so grateful I got the experiance it. I want to run with her. So thank you Amber for helpin me reach this amazing high. One last note..........To the first specialist I had who said I wouldn't run......I would like to say to you...........HA........ I sure showed you! Anything is possible with determination, persistance, and support.

Love Half Marathoner Erin Milliard
Offical time 2:22 Place in my age group 273 out of I think 500

Friday, June 8, 2012

Creating Happiness

Our focus determines our feelings.......Doing good things truly helps us feel happy. Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being that can be characterized by pleasant and positive emotions. Ever notice how much quicker your day can be when you are happy....or how many things you retain when you are happy?? I have read that when you focus your time, energy, and attention on positive objectives, thoughts and actions it really is easy to create happiness. If you google creating happiness you will find this list.

1. Giving
2. Relating
3. Exercising
4. Appreciating
5. Try Out
6. Direction
7. Resilience
8. Emotion
9. Acceptance
10. Goals

I am glad I have this list because it has been helping me and reminding me of what I think should be important in my life. One of my previous posts was about my "I WILL" attitude. So far this year I have been doing pretty good with it. I am challenging myself more and I have made goals for myself. I would never tell anyone what to do to feel happy but since I really struggle with the heavy side of arthritis and the emotion part I need to make sure I stay focused on all the good things in my life. I feel my experiences can help others so if you are struggling with finding your happiness then try to go through these words and apply them to your life. Here is a couple ways I have applied them to my life. 1.Giving  I like to give back by donating my time and fundraising for my cause which is my arthritis. I feel by taking part in activities that support the cause truly makes me feel like I have a voice and that I am really helping.  2.Relating I have made an effort to relate, show compassion and share stories not only with all of you but with others who in turn help me be a better, happier me. 3.Exercising I strongly believe that when you take the time out to take care of your body it helps your soul!! I am a huge believer in staying active. When you exercise it helps release a good amount of daily stress, negative thoughts, and makes you feel awesome. 5.Try Out This is a tough one for me...I recently started group singing lessons. I was so afraid but I always loved to sing and I just shy'd away from it because I was scared I was not good anymore. I am proud to say that because I gave it a try I feel so much happier!! I think when you try new things out or bring back things that used to make you happy it brings a bit excitement into our lives and there is nothing wrong with feeling excitement!!! 6. Direction I believe that it is important to have direction in life although I can not speak of this one to much because I am still very unsure of which direction my life is heading but I promise I am working on it. 7. Resilience Be resilient I keeping going, I try to bounce back anytime I start to feel down. I although my moment of tears if I need to and then I bounce back. I am learning that being resilient is very important in my life. 8. Emotion Wow this one I have a hard time explaining but I think everyday emotions are what makes up our day. So many ddifferent things can happen in a day so I say "roll with it" the good the bad and the ugly emotions take them in, take what you want from them and toss out the bad ones! 9.Acceptance I am  very good at this with everything in my life except for my Arthritis I still have not accepted that it will rule my life or that it will never go away and I think that's a good thing!! 10. Goals Well this one is so very important. For me at this time I choose physical goals. These physical goals are helping me feel better and be stronger. I do have other goals in my life but for now it is the goal of finishing a task ie:running a half marathon, and singing in front of an audience. In the big picture some may think these are petty goals but in my mind they are very strong building blocks for future goals.

You do not have to follow the words exactly but yet try and apply them where you can. Being happy is a great feeling. I hope this post will help some of you along your journey to creating happiness!!!

The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.

Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The path

I took some time off of posting after the passing of my dear friend Trish Moffatt. I wanted to give a bit of time before I posted this to really process my experience with letting go. I want to share with you that alot has been going on the past 2 months and I am doing fine. Most important is I am hanging in there. I am not sure where to begin but we can start with my trip to Kamloops to say goodbye.

First off I want to express that most people I did not tell that Trish committed suicide, It was not the drugs that killed her but ultimately the arthritis and living with the pain killed her. I want to be raw and honest so here it goes..... Kamloops is beautiful, HOT, and completely lovely. Making this trip was very hard to do but I felt I needed to have some closure in order to move forward. I was nervous all day about the trip but I knew it was important to me and important for me to understand. As we drove into Kamloops we decided to stop off at the Starbucks to get direction to the bridge.......when I walked through the doors of the Starbuck to my amazement one of my dear friends and her husband  where sitting there having a coffee with their new son. This was a first time meeting with her son and I was so very thrilled!! I think some higher power was working on turning my day into something that could be really positive. It was meant to be. I was suppose to stop by Kelowna on our way home from the okanagon but as it turned out I was so lucky to run into them as a reminder of how precious life is. We then said our goodbyes and ventured to the bridge. As Roger and I were driving we went right over the bridge without even noticing until all the sudden I said I think that was the bridge. We pulled over on the highway and took a look back. Yes it was the Bridge, but not the vision I had in my head. I felt panic, sadness, I was clearly overwhelmed. I think I told Roger just to keep driving about 3 times. Roger then decided to take a back road to the hiking trail on the side of the road that would lead me to the bridge without being in danger of the highway. When we drove through the residential area I was sad....I was scared and I knew I had to say goodbye. We parked and Roger, Hutch and I followed a beautiful trail to a look out of the bridge. I believe I took her last steps on this trail.....When we reached the lookout I was not prepared at all for the image that I saw. It's funny when some one tells you a bridge the first thing I thought was water and a huge bridge....kinda like Lions Gate. This was nothing like that. It was a deep steep creek bridge. Below was no water........I looked down to see how deep and was so unbelievable overwhelmed I could barely think about saying goodbye. I can tell you that I understand now that Trish was clearly not in the right mind set at all. After a couple minutes I asked Roger to give me a couple minutes. I found a trail that led directly to the side of the bridge and a mesh fence. I walked down a very dusty dirty trail beside the busy highway......once I reached the bottom I was right beside the railing. The mesh fence had a huge hole cut out of it with a tremendous drop. I place a beautiful bouquet of flowers there and I stood there for what seemed eternity. I said everything I wanted to say but was unable to say goodbye. As I walked up the trail back to the top of the hill I stood there for a couple minutes and took in the view and decided that it was time to go. I felt a sense of relief and a sense that in my own way I could move forward. As I was walking a big beautiful Magpie bird followed the whole back down the trail.....Once we got in the car the Magpie who had been resting on a wire flew away.....Out of that whole experience I can not help but think that The bird was watching me the whole time.

I am still grieving and probably will never fully understand but I was able to let go a bit and am moving forward with the mission of spreading the words that Trish is not able to anymore. I know she would want me to be the best I can be and to continue spreading awareness about a disease that kills. I was diagnosed with a stress fracture a couple weeks back and clearly have had to put the running on hold. Although disappointing I am now just starting to feel better. I am determined to run my half marathon that I worked so hard to train for. I also dedicated my run in memory of her. She always wanted me to join JIM (Joints In Motion) and finishing this half marathon not only for myself but for her would be truly overwhelming. I can not think of a better way to honor her. I am trying to raise money for The Arthritis Society and am hoping I can get my followers to forward thew link below to everyone they know. Copy and paste the link below and hopefully we can raise alot of money together.

xxoo Erin