holding on


Death and Running to Heal


People love to run. People hate to run. I don't realize how much I love running until it's placed in front of me. 

I got sober 4.5 years ago when shit got real, when I had either two choices. Die a slow death of living as an alcoholic or get sober. You obviously know which one I chose and it saved my life. Everything I have today including my emotional and spiritual health is due to my sobriety. I went to a memorial last weekend for a friend of mine who got sober at the same time as me. About a year ago I asked her about things and why I hadn't seen her around outside of teaching yoga and she told me a story about how her new (relapsed) way of living was working for her and everything was great... Fast forward to a week ago she was taken from this disease and it hurts my hurt whenever this happens.


The memorial was beautiful and she has so many people that love her. Pastor Ryan said something that really stuck with me. It was something along the lines of "I am not here to tell you where Madeline went...I don't  know what happens once you die, I know you already know a theory or two but I do know about life. I do know that we ALL have an expiration date and we will all die, but what I do know about is how to LIVE. Everyone knows that they will die but do they know how to truly LIVE".

My friend Tiffany and I had a sunset trail-race directly following the ceremony (like 40 minutes to leave, change, and get in line at the race. It was the Bridle Trails Winter Festival Race and it was everything from 5 miles to Ultra distances. I just signed up for the 5M as I was sick all last week and hate doing loop courses. We both went from memorial to run and oh was it exactly what we needed. We were emotionally heavy after the ceremony and once we started running it was just BLISS.


Running has that way to just let you forget all the things that clog your mind...or at least work through them. I am currently getting ready to run a marathon in Bend, Oregon this coming April! The month before in March, I am joining a Run Like a Girl retreat to Costa Rica and I can hardly wait! Through my toughest times, running always helped save me. I need to continue to do it to remind me how to LIVE.....and live fully. 



recognizing our ‘fantasy self’



i struggle with trying to find purpose in life. my mind turns faster than my movement. i am impulsive. when i am having a ‘down’ day, i start to crave things. i want to buy things that i do not need to help fill up the ego of my fantasy self.

can you think of a way you feed your fantasy self? a fantasy self is the side of yourself that you see in your “goals”.

let’s see - someday i will accomplish blah blah and my future enriched self will wear this item, she will use this camera and she will definitely need such and such for the vacation she hasn’t bought yet.

she will buy that vacation - don’t worry, she’s just busy saving now.

she will keep clothes that don’t fit her because someday she will lose the weight and fantasy self can step back into those small flattering jeans - maybe.


but maybe when we reach that fantasy self, fantasy self won’t even want to wear those old fucking jeans. maybe fantasy trip to italy is no longer even in her mind and now wants a trip to greece. maybe fantasy self doesn’t need a dslr because her iphone is taking fantastic pictures - and it’s oh so compact.


what i’m getting at is this - we hold on to possessions and ways of being to support some fantasy version of who we wish to be. but we forget who we are.

right now.

i mean right at this moment.


we’re so busy thinking about the anxieties of who we want to become...maybe we should take a step back and see what’s happening at this moment. what if we focus on living one day at a time. maybe we create boundaries on our idea of fantasy self and start to truly high five our whole self, the one who we get to be every moment of right now.



that’s where i’m at right now. i recently bought a new camera on an off week which was last week. last week i was envisioning how i would feel with this specific camera. i loved it for how small and efficient it was. i obsessed about it. i watched a million youtube videos on it and when i got it, i was excited. it’s less than a week later and i want to return it because i realize how much i already love my big and heavy dslr.


our emotions are so tricky. when we are down,  we sometimes imagine how much better our day would be if fantasy self had a new item to add to our sad day....when in reality sad days pass and no amount of material possessions will cure that feeling for longer than a moment.


i’m trying to live without regret. i know that i must return this and i will feel better financially. i know that last week i was just having a down week and that it’s okay to have it. i can’t run from my feelings but i can acknowledge them.


things i am working on:


  1. return impulsive items that do not serve my reality self.
  2. when i have the chance - get out into nature, it’s free and always makes my day better.
  3. try to go to yoga 4-5 times a week and have the intention of “ground down”.
  4. spend more meaningful one on one time with my love.
  5. don’t watch the news - don’t give my opinion on the news - as i don’t believe everything the media suggests we believe in.
  6. give away all items of clothing that are either too big, too small or don’t match who i am today.
  7. ask friends and family to no longer gift me material objects but experiences instead.
  8. build savings account
  9. keep all of my clothing for my company, Choose Mountains in a storage unit. keeping work separate from home is very important for me right now.
  10. daily gratitude lists
  11. only surround myself with positive people that bring joy to my life
  12. stop worrying about what people think of me
  13. take more photographs
  14. buy replacement pieces for broken things, rather than buy entire new items, especially when things can be fixed!
  15. take workshops or classes for things i’d like to learn.


i believe we are all on different journeys and my journey may be quite different than others reading this. i think it’s great to always check in with yourself and make sure you are living and thriving within the reality of who you are today and not daydreaming of who you wish to be in the future. it’s a beautiful thing to water the grass we already stand on, then wish it looked like our neighbors lawn.


My Journey into Minimalism


Minimalism on the INSIDE

Remove anything that distracts us from the things we value most. I love that. The last three months I have had this sick obsession of being soothed by Youtube channels that promote minimalism, pinterest pins, de-cluttering books and minimalism TED Talks. 

Three months ago I sprained my ankle right before a big climb I had planned and it through me off my "I think I am invincible" beam. Since then I went into deep concern for trying to do whatever it takes to get back to running and climbing again, I started off with becoming plant based! It all started with hearing about dairy and meat naturally inflaming the body and I just wanted the opposite of all of that....obviously.

So I went vegan. I'm still vegan....and it's working. Not just in my physical body, but in my mental body as well. I feel since I have stopped eating animal products I have become lighter physically (lost 9 pounds), and mentally....in the sense that I am no longer walking around in a food fog. 

You know when you're stressed and you reach for sugary ice cream, a nice doughnut, or maybe carb and chemical pumped fast food? Yeah.... I can't do that so basically I am constantly aware of what I'm putting inside me and don't have that mental fog glaze that I used to get by the joy of covering up my feelings with food. 

Minimalism on the OUTSIDE

So you now know that I am plant based in my diet. Becoming plant based was actually quite easy for me and once I got used to it I started looking around at everything, I mean EVERYTHING in my life. It felt so soothing to have a diet that was so pure and simple that I wanted more. I took it to my home base. This coming January I am moving in with my boyfriend and started thinking about the moving process. I started things about the THINGS I own. I started thinking about the single duffel bag that I live out of all week long as I am basically already living with him.

I noticed I wash the same clothes every week and the thought of even looking at my closet gives me anxiety. So I started small. The dresser....I took out anything I haven't worn in a year and started donating bags and bags to charity.

The closet - I am a puffy jacket horder so I basically took everything out of my closet and started selling my nice items on sites like Poshmark, Offerup and Letgo. Every single time I let something go, I felt ---happier. 

What a concept.

Maybe there is this idea that whatever you hold on to that no longer serves your purpose -will basically hold you down. Keep you stressed. It all makes sense now that half my stuff is gone. I'm a yoga teacher so in class, I say this all the time in the sense that your mental thoughts and expectations of life will keep you sick if you do not let them go....and as I was cleaning my space, I realize that this can be physical mind-cluttering objects as well. 


The worst part of this process were my books. I have a slight attachment to them...I self soothe in book stores and buying books so for this situation - I had to treat it like a bandaid. In one moment I came from work, scrapped the shelves and started posting every book online in various groups offering my free books, and within a day, they had new homes....and you know what? I felt nothing but joy. I didn't even have a moment of sadness. It felt so good to just have LESS.

So now I am here...reflecting on my 3-month minimal diet and minimal living space and it brings me to energy. The energy from others....

This has been a difficult thing to notice but its very real. When your mission is to declutter everything, you notice a bit more intently if a friend seems to flake out on you a lot. Before this, I could care less but now.....its almost like a warning sign. When you hold space for your flakey friends in your day and they don't show, or don't even bother to let you know at all...it's a weird feeling. It's also crazy being a woman at 30 years old seeing this clearly for the first time this late into my life. I try to remind myself to be kind and just move on. To set stronger boundaries and sometimes the people you love, you can love from afar. Our bodies, time, goals, and values are so important. It can hurt going down this road at first- but in the end its all beauty. 

So from now on I live from Intention.

I live with strong boundaries and values.

Now, I open my heart to life without the fluffy pillow on owning shit I don't need.