Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on October 2, 2017

in The Rest of Life

I had a post ready to publish for today, but sharing about my goals for the month hours after yet another deadly shooting in our country felt like white noise. While this isn’t a political blog, this is an issue that impacts all of us. These thoughts are heavy on my heart and I’d be remiss if I didn’t use what influence I have with this space to say something. I’ve seen lots of posts on social media today from well-intentioned people sending their thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the Las Vegas shooting. It happens after every tragedy, but I’m calling a spade a spade. That’s a start, but it is well beyond time for action. Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. If that offends you, I’m not sorry. We have to do more.

I still vividly remember watching events unfold in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings. I was in high school at the time, horrified such a thing could happen. In fact, it almost did happen at my high school months later. Fortunately, someone saw the gun in my classmate’s backpack and reported it before he could do anything. Yet, in 1999, a mass shooting was an anomaly. But now, it’s almost commonplace: Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, and the list goes on and on. Today is the 275th day of 2017 and Las Vegas was the 273rd mass shooting of the year. Our press secretary says “now is not the time to talk about gun control.” I wholeheartedly disagree. Today, more than ever, is the time not to just talk, but take action.

Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough(image)

We must use our voices and speak up, loud and clear. Let the powers that be in Washington DC know that we’ve had enough and that it’s time for change. Here’s some tangible ways you can take action today:

I think the most urgent priority is to contact your elected officials and encourage them to do more in the areas of gun laws and mental health. If you don’t know who those people are, look them up here. If you feel like your one voice won’t make a difference, I understand. But, the power of our collective voices is strong.

If you don’t know what to talk about when you call, there are two pro-gun bills in the Hose that could pass this week. One of the bills would roll back restrictions on gun silencers, amongst other concerns. This story from a Virginia Tech survivor is a prime example of why silencers should not be legal. The other bill would “allow people to carry concealed weapons in any state if it is allowed in the state where they live.”

If you feel intimidated about the thought of calling, I understand. It is perfectly acceptable to write a script of what you want to say. To make it feel even easier, call after business hours and leave a voicemail. If you’re not comfortable calling, use Reistbot to deliver messages or send an email.

Here are some great tips on how to be heard by your elected officials. Although the piece is targeted to college students, it is useful to us all.

On a broader scale, you can donate blood. Obviously, it won’t directly help in Las Vegas, but it can make a difference in your area. I also encourage everyone to go through training in CPR/AED/first aid so you can help others in an emergency. You can find a RedCross class in your area. I completed the training as part of my personal training requirements and it’s really easy! Most of the work is online along with a couple hour in person class.

While the events in Las Vegas are rightfully at the forefront of our minds, there are still other places in need. The first that comes to mind is Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria left the country in shambles. Huffington Post compiled a list of places you can donate. Personally, I donated to this specific GoFundMe effort started by a friend of a friend.

If you have other thoughts on how to use your voice, please leave a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Feeling the Grief

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on September 22, 2017

in The Rest of Life

My last post was seven weeks ago. It’s not that I haven’t had things to say for almost two months. If anything, I’ve had too much to say, but I simply couldn’t find the words. Over the last couple of months, I thought about shutting down my whole blog because it all felt too overwhelming. I didn’t know what I wanted this space to be anymore and I didn’t think I’d ever have the words again.

But, I’m finally ready to at least try and find them. Because writing is cathartic, especially in this space that is such a special part of my life. So, I’m settling in with my coffee and letting the words flow, as best as I can. This is a post about honesty and authenticity, about trying to explain the last couple of months. It’s not really an explanation for anyone other than myself because I don’t owe these words to anyone but to myself. So, this is in hopes that I can just write to make some sense of the messy thoughts in my head and my heart.

In truth, I don’t quite know what I’ve felt the last couple of months. Maybe the more accurate way to look at things is that I haven’t felt much of anything. That fire in my soul died down to flickering embers. I think I felt a little empty and a lot lost. I know much of it goes back to my grandma’s death this spring. We never had a funeral or a memorial service, so I never got that closure. But, more than anything, I jumped right back into my “normal” life after she died because I needed the security that my routines provided.

Death is hard work, both for the dying and for the living. It had been a long few weeks watching her slowly slip away. I made more trips home over the course of that month than I have in probably the last two years combined. I missed a week of work those first days she was in Hospice. The next week I was working all day and driving to my hometown every night to see my grandma. I never knew if it would be for the last time. For almost two weeks, the amazing Hospice staff was in disbelief that she was still hanging on to life. We were all hanging on my a thread. It was exhausting in every possible sense of the word.

So, when she died, I needed normal. That same night, just a few hours after I said goodbye one final time to a woman who meant the world to me, I went to see a friend’s band play. I needed normal, but I also knew I wouldn’t be okay sitting alone in my apartment. I realize now that decision started me down a path of avoidance, of denial. If I just went on with my life, maybe she wasn’t really gone. But, as much as I couldn’t bring myself to admit it, she was gone. And, it’s in the last couple of months that I began not only to process that, but to truly accept it and let myself grieve.

Since April 9, I felt a bit lost, even if I didn’t see that unfolding. Having lost sight of the bigger picture, and really of myself, I was going through the motions and not really doing the things that bring me joy. Life felt a bit like an out of body experience, where I could see myself existing, but not really living. It was an unspeakable grief that broke me to my core. My grandma had finished her hard work of dying, but I wasn’t willing or ready to do the hard work of grieving.

And so, that grief built up deep inside me. In recent weeks, I’ve finally given myself the grace to feel and to process everything. I didn’t have the words to say what I was feeling, so I kept it all in. I knew I was feeling some of the deepest sense of heartache and loss. But, I didn’t know how to express it. So, I kept it all to myself and at the Summit of Greatness welcome party last week, it all became too much. In the midst of the crowd, I had a massive anxiety attack. I drove to Columbus on a Wednesday morning and was back in Michigan that same night. I just couldn’t be there. It had nothing to do with the event itself, but the party was the moment that pushed me over the edge.

Perhaps not the healthiest way to work through it all, it was the journey I needed to take because it got me to the other side. Over the last few months, I lost sight of myself. While I know that the hard work isn’t over, I’m rediscovering not only who I am, but who I want to be. And, I’m ready to come alive again.

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5 Reasons to Join a StepBet

07.26.2017

I am always on the lookout for ways to incentivize my health and fitness. I might be a health coach and personal trainer, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love a little extra motivation! One of the recent things I’m obsessed with is betting on myself with StepBet games. The majority of the games are a $40 […]

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5 Podcasts to Listen to While Running

07.25.2017

For years, I listened only to music while I was working out. I curated some killer running playlists. I can crush a finely tuned balance of driving rock beats and energizing pop ear candy. I’ve listened to podcasts in my day-to-day life for a couple years now. However, it’s only in the last six months […]

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It’s Okay Not to Stay Healthy This Holiday

05.26.2017

It’s the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, so my feeds are chock full of posts like “Healthy Recipes for Your Holiday Barbecue!” Without fail, this happens at every single holiday. Heck, it doesn’t even need to be a holiday! I get sick of reading posts every March about how to make a healthy shamrock shake. […]

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Race Recap: River Bank Run 25k

05.16.2017

After the half marathon in Nashville, I felt very undecided about how to approach the River Bank Run. I registered for the 25k several months ago, maybe as early as January. When I finished the half marathon two weeks prior, I really didn’t know if I’d be able to repeat that distance plus another 2.4 […]

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Race Recap: Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon

05.03.2017

A year ago, I registered for the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon. At the time, I was running less than ten miles a week at most. Apparently, I had high hopes for a comeback because I registered with an expected finish time of 2:15, a PR. Fast forward to now and those high hopes […]

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Goodbye, Gram

04.12.2017

We plan, God laughs, right? Or, so the saying goes. In so many ways, 2017 was off to an amazing start. I spent most days with a big smile on my face, feeling over the moon happy about my life. A month ago, I wrote a post catching up on life. I shared that I […]

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Whole 30: Final Thoughts

02.15.2017

I (sort of) did it! I survived my first Whole30 challenge! Previous posts: I’m Doing the Vegetarian Whole 30, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4. Technically, I didn’t finish Whole30 because I added grains back into my diet the last week. But, I was at the point that my overall health and well-being was suffering, so […]

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Whole30 Update: Week 4

02.07.2017

As I write this, I’m on my last day of Whole30! I (kind of) made it to the end! I’ll do a full recap next week of my overall thoughts and feelings. If you’ve got any Whole30 related questions, leave a comment and I’ll touch those. But first, let’s talk about last week, shall we? […]

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