Thursday, October 31, 2013

Team S.J.G.R. Thursday Huddle #18: RUN TELL DAT.


When I went to my primary doctor for my annual check up recently she asked me an interesting question.

"What are your goals for the next year? That is, health-related goals?"

Okay. I have to admit that I'm kind of glad that she clarified that question since it probably wouldn't have meant very much to her to hear about how I am determined to keep my home tidier and empty out the junk drawers. (Which, depending on which day it is, could totally be a major health-related hazard.)

But I digress.

The point is that my doctor--and many others like her--recognize the importance of getting the patient as involved as possible in their own outcomes. Goal-setting is a big part of that. And so. She asked me about any goals that I might have and I just sort of sat there with this puzzled look on my face because I wanted to give a solid answer.

Crazy, I know. (It's the lifelong medical student in me, I suppose.) I guess I was thinking about things like setting a quit smoking date or losing like ten pounds and felt like since I didn't really have a goal like that, I was drawing a blank. And since she saw that, she clarified once again.

"The goal can be anything related to your health. Anything that you haven't done but hope to attain and that you wish to work toward."

I still wasn't sure this counted but I went ahead and shared about the Army Ten Miler. "Well. I registered for the Army Ten Miler in Washington D.C. That's coming up in October. I'm not sure if this fits what you're asking."

"Have you ever run a ten mile race?" she asked.

"Never. I'm a new runner, actually."

And smiled big and nodded hard. Then she typed my goal straight into her electronic medical record. "That's great! What are you doing to prepare?"

And so I explained my training program. I told her about my supportive friends and this whole world of runner girls that I'd come to know better. And then I mentioned the part about being inspired by Deanna and how this whole idea of heart health, in a way, is something I do to honor her as well as try to prolong my life. The look on her face told me that she didn't know. She didn't know about my sissy leaving us.

"I didn't know, Kim. I'm so, so sorry." And when I looked at my doctor I could tell that she meant that. She touched my hand and didn't say much more at first. I told her what happened and she was thoughtful and empathic and understanding. I cried a little and that was okay, too.

"So what is the date for the 10 miler?" she asked.

"October 20."

"Maybe you can get some kind of neat shirt or something. I can't wait to hear how it goes. Any other goals?"

"I did sign up for another 10 miler here in Atlanta that happens to be the following week. If I feel good on the first one, I am going to go for that one, too. But since I had the stress fracture before I want to listen to my body."

"That's awesome, Kimberly," she responded again. "Just take your time and don't over do it. You should be fine based on what I see here." And that went into my record, too.

Well. As you know, I did that Army 10 miler. And you know what? Last weekend, I was out there with quite a few of our other Team S.J.G.R. people running the Atlanta 10 miler that following week. I felt strong and proud at the end. I loved that I had set a goal -- wait, GOALS -- and achieved them. It was really encouraging.

And you know? Something about putting it into the atmosphere by writing about that first goal on this blog and even telling my doctor motivated me more. It put my feet to the fire because now I knew someone would ask. "How was your race? How is the training coming along?" And no, it wasn't a goal to fit into skinny jeans or to blow somebody's mind at homecoming. We know that that isn't really sustainable and it also makes us do crazy things to get there like trying liquid-only diets or other extreme things that don't feel logical while we're doing them. This goal was different. It was something that I was doing for my heart as well as my overall mental health. And something that I knew would make me feel connected even more to my sister. . . if that even makes sense.

I don't know.

I just thought of something. Saying those goals out loud put them into the universe. And we all know that there is truly something significant about that. What I just thought of is that it goes for our positive goals and affirmations as well as those negative ones. You've heard me say it here before:

"Leave the hating to the professionals."

Saying negative things about yourself or your ability to attain your best life can become a self-fulfilled prophecy. Uttering that you just "can't" ever quit smoking or that you just "give up" on whatever it is you're doing or trying is a sure fire way to make that the case. And guess what? When you take a deep breath, quiet that little voice and decide to dream big and out loud, it ignites something inside of you.

And others.

And others! You inspire people. You motivate them. No, not just by weight loss. But by achievements. Intestinal fortitude. Stick-with-itness. Does that make sense?

Here is my next goal for myself: 

Yep. I put it on my vision board and, as of Tuesday, have officially registered to run 13.1 miles on Thanksgiving morning. Talk about earning your turkey and dressing! Dude. I am more than slightly terrified of the thought but also extremely excited about knowing that this goal awaits me. I may have told you guys but when I first started running, I originally wanted to run a half marathon in Deanna's memory. I had set my sights on the Chicago Women's Half in June 2013 because the proceeds went to the American Heart Association. But then I had that fibular stress fracture which set me back bigtime and that? Man, that was super discouraging. 

But I had some goals in mind. A goal to run. A goal to challenge my body and give a gift to my cardiovascular health by tackling some yet unattainable distance. So once I healed, I started back at it. Slow at first. And kind to myself the entire way. I reworked my goals. I picked something meaningful and realistic. And then I said it out loud.

Sure did.

What I don't think I said was that a lot of these goals were things I wanted to achieve in 2013. This is a significant calendar year for us. 2013 is the centennial of our sorority, and Deanna would have celebrated all year long. So getting this done in 2013 is huge for me. 

And is just the beginning. 

You know what else? November 15 will mark one year since Deanna made her heavenly transition. And instead of focusing my energy on that, I will think about how many of you are doing things for your hearts and your minds and your lives. And how much Deanna would have loved having that kind of impact. Just the thought of how many people she has touched who never met her in person is so comforting and it somehow feels. . . .I don't know. . . divine in a sense. 


So that's it. I've made it public so now it's on. My eyes are set firmly on that prize. I will complete a half marathon in 2013. That is my goal. Put out into the universe. I will train my body so that I can run strong for 13.1 miles in November of 2013. Every pant and every hill will be a celebration of my heart, my life and my love for my unforgettable sister. It will also serve to remind me of what we can do when we make up our minds. And for this one? All 13.1 will be for her. Which in the end, is for me, too.

And you know what? I think I will do something similar every August (Deanna's birth month) and every November (Deanna's transition month) from here forward as long as my body allows. Yes. That is my GOAL. And you can feel free to ask me about it to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Okay. So what are your goals? I want to hear them. Put them in the atmosphere. Share it here. Tell it. Say it. Own it. And then? Do it. 

And after you have? Set new ones. Dream bigger. Reach higher. And even if it scares the hell out of you--don't keep it to yourself. Don't. It is not "a jinx" to put it out there. Or any other ridiculous thing that stops you from owning your loftiest goals. Yeah, I said it. So tell somebody. Say it out loud.

Or like the kids in the neighborhood used to say: 


Which for those of you who aren't from around the way means "I DON'T CARE WHO YOU TELL! GO TELL EVERYBODY WHAT I SAID!"

Or better yet, as the Grady elders say:


Which is kind of a more biblical way to say RUN TELL DAT. (Hmmm. Now that I think of it, "run tell dat" usually preceded somebody getting into a fist fight after the school bell rang so I take that part back.)

Uhh yeah.

Wait. What was my point again?

Always the Deanna mile--the last one.

Oh yeah. Goals. Set them. Tell them. Do them. It's good for your hearts. Figuratively and literally.

That's all I got. What you got? What's your goals? Big or small. Come on. You GOT this. You DO. So go ahead. Go tell it on the mountain, people. And while you're at it--once you've told 'em, tell them this:  



Happy Thursday. The realness don't stop--even on Trick o' Treat Day.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . .y'all don't know nothing 'bout no Mahalia Jackson! Don't nobody tell it on the mountain like Mahalia. Shooooot.

and this is sure to get your feet stomping and your hands clapping. . .Run and Tell That!



  1. This post makes me so happy! I love seeing people fall in love with running. I have a feeling one of these days you might be doing the big 26.2 :) Once the running bug catches it is legit. Congrats on your big finishes!! Im sure Deanna is looking down on each one and smilin' big :)

    1. Confession: I can't fully see the point of running 26.2 miles in one day. Ha ha ha. Maybe that perspective will change. But yes, I am hyped about a half and EVEN MORE hyped about your little bun in your oven, Andrea! CONGRATULATIONS, MAMA!!!!

  2. Yay!!!!! Running! Running! Running! Congrats on your last 2 10-milers. The 13.1 should be a piece of cake after those! I promise.

  3. I have a couple of fitness goals for next year. They are to run a 10K in under 42 minutes and to run a marathon in under 4 hours again (its been a while). I've got to do the planning to figure out which ones fit in my schedule.

    By the way, it was nice finally meeting you at the hospital last week. I will be doing the Atlanta Half Marathon also. I hope that your training goes well!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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