Half marathon: I did it!

runnerI did it! Yes! Three cheers! High-fives! And all that! I completed my first half marathon this month! I also did it in a respectable finishing time and was still able to hike around the park in the afternoon and walk down the stairs at home the next day!

The preparation definitely paid off. For instance, I didn’t question my gear too much because I just went with what I normally wore during training runs. I knew in advance that my running buddy would be going for a personal record and we wouldn’t run together much beyond the first mile, so I added music to my plan. I normally run with others and talk or just listen to nature and my surroundings if I’m by myself. But, let’s be honest here, I was afraid I’d psych myself out if I didn’t have some music for mood management and distraction. So I started listening to the music at about mile 7. I had also been using Reiki and visualization the week prior to the race, which kept me calm and positive. My mantra, “I can,” was always there as was the knowledge that I had completed the mileage already in a training run.

The race itself was wonderful, on a beautiful course along the Illinois River. We were serenaded by frogs at one point, saw several great blue herons, and I even saw a bald eagle riding the significant winds around mile 10.5. The camaraderie on the run was great. It was an out and back and the people who hadn’t made the turn yet cheered on the others. It was inspiring to see the fastest runners speeding by as we trudged through the first part of the race. Then after I made the turn people would call out my name (as it was on my race bib), give high fives or just general cheers. It was great. That must have gotten me through at least 2 miles right there.

Writing about running seems almost to be a cliché in the blogosphere. As there are so many stories out there where people draw parallels between running and other of life’s challenges. Well, it’s all true – in running and in life:

  • set a goal,
  • create a plan,
  • make a commitment,
  • get other people’s help,
  • talk about what you want to accomplish with others who will support you,
  • think positive thoughts,
  • do the things that are on the plan,
  • engage in lots of self-care,
  • do it, and
  • celebrate!

It sounds so simple, right? Does this always work?  No way. Where does it fail? Well in life, things are often not as simple as in running. There are often way more factors involved and more things that are out of your control. However, I think it’s a wonderful place to start and there is a great boost from completing what you set out to do, even if you didn’t save the world in the process. Celebrate the successes, no matter how large or small and for the rest of it: just do it!

Wishing you abundant success in running, life, and whatever your heart desires!



Reiki for Athletes at Northwood University

Northwood Basketball teamOn October 25th, I had the honor of presenting a workshop on Reiki to the men’s basketball team at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was a great opportunity to discuss the practical application of Reiki for athletes. The focus of my presentation was on how Reiki helps with relaxation and focus. In order to face a competitive event, athletes seek relaxation and require intense focus to create an atmosphere for optimal performance.

In addition to relaxation and focus, we talked about how when you are trained in Reiki and you’re in a situation where, for example, a referee makes a bad call during a game, Reiki can help. Imagine you’re on the bench and feeling angry about the call. Doing self-Reiki can bring about calm and allow you to refocus on your goals for the game.

Another example, was how Reiki can be combined with visualization to improve an athletic skill. I talked about how I use it for my erratic tennis serve. With visualization, I use Reiki to imagine a well-timed, accurate serve, and a ball toss that is in the ideal spot. All this brings about focus and a state of calm where my body and mind work in sync for the ideal outcome.

Each player who wanted to, received a sample of Reiki on his shoulders for about 5 minutes or less.  Here’s some of their feedback: one player said, “I still feel your hands on my shoulders and that was 15 minutes ago.”  A couple of them said, “I feel a pleasant tingling sensation on my shoulders.”  Some of the coaches received a sample treatment as well.

Reiki helps to facilitate mental clarity and focus. It is also an excellent way to facilitate the body’s healing process. There were a number of athletes at the workshop working with physical injuries. I explained that Reiki goes where it is needed but, during sample treatments, also placed hands on knees and the top of the head for two athletes who preferred that to address their acute injuries.

Reiki is an excellent tool for athletes to facilitate relaxation and focus. If you’re an athlete, please share your experience with Reiki in the comments below!


(I extend my gratitude to all those who coordinated the Reiki workshop  on 10/25/14 at Northwood University, Florida.)