Running Lessons: Planning

The school year is upon us and our family schedules are changing.

During vacation months, I enjoy the time with my kids but simultaneously want more order and structure. So, the end of the summer is generally both sad and exciting for me. See, the fall quickly provides that structure in which I thrive, but it also creates an empty house.

As my family heads back to school, my daily company becomes Willow our black lab. I see clients on weekends and attend classes for my doctoral program in the evening, making my schedule opposite to that of my people.

Wellness will require some planning. Less sugar for healthy bodies, warm potted meals due to less produce and prep-time, and supporting immune systems and spirits with warm scents of Young Living Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Ginger, and Thieves. Even when I’m gone I can leave these investments for my family.

Running during this season is a perfect reminder for how to adapt.

The trees lead by example and remind me to change gracefully, conserve energy, and shed unnecessary attachments. The cooler temps remind me to add useful layers and purpose to connect with others to stay warm. Rising heat in the afternoons, remind me that the summer will be back sooner than I expect.

Time.

Next week, I will begin taking later morning runs and eating earlier dinners. Both will be alone, as I we all complete another semester.

I am preparing my heart for this gift. I know it’s exactly what we need. Still, I am grieving another summer, another year with my small but growing boy and the young lady who is no longer little. Meanwhile, celebrating and still missing the oldest whose away at college. I know time can’t stand still, but I wonder if has to go so fast?

Gratitude and praise.

Here’s to another school year. May it bring friendships, knowledge, health, opportunities for service and a gentle practice of training through change.

How are you preparing for fall?

Running Lessons: A snake…

Remember the snake fear that came to mind at my 5:00 am alarm last week? Well, that became a reality during yesterday’s 5-mile long run. So in defense of the psychological immune system, it does know things. However, the moral of this story up front is, I survived.

Snakes are a real possibility when you run on a trail in North Texas. This one was of the rat snake variety (according to a biker who passed it when we did) and was long enough to stretch the width of our paved trail.

It was harmless.

Still, I think I stopped breathing for a minute or two following the sighting. Which, in my defense, could have been deadly.

But, it was not.

One of my big fears came to be yesterday and it wasn’t that bad. As I finished my run, with improved pace time, I couldn’t help but think about how this relates to most of the fears that have held me back in life. Maybe you too?

I literally have the word Courage tattooed on my arm and have spent the last several years perfecting the art of “doing it scared”.

I took my first yoga class, because I heard it could be helpful in practicing bravery. (It is!) I discovered essential oils to help support my emotions and overcome other fears. Hiking has become an effort in intentional adventure and running has helped tremendously too.

As a therapist and coach, I work with others to help them overcome the scary and live a life they love. As a student, I study resilience and the power of mind. I guess you could say I’ve learned to leverage this challenge of mine and use it to add value to my life and that of others.

What I continue to discover is that fear is indeed a liar or an exaggerator at best. Rotten things do happen but most of the time they don’t. Leaning into difficult experiences builds strength for that which lies ahead.

Running trails and life have unexpected challenges, but I wonder, if we don’t take those trails, how can we truly know our fullest potential? I still hesitate. I will probably always need to breathe through scary moments. It’s my wiring, but it is no longer my cage.

Today, my challenge was a friendly snake, and I’m happy to report I lived to write about it.

What would you do today if you knew you would succeed? I say go for it! I can’t wait to hear about your success.

Be well,

Franchesca

Running Lessons- Fear is a Liar

The alarm went off at 5:45 am to signal our first weekday early morning training run.

Mercy.

Immediately, the psychological immune system kicked into high gear and reminded me of every scary thing that might occur if I proceeded with this run.

Wild dogs.

Coyotes.

Snakes.

An then,

It’s still dark.

You can run later.

Where are you shoes anyway?

Maybe you need more rest…

Here’s the thing, I have run in this neighborhood (a suburb in a farming community) for over 5 years. And, I am still here to tell about it.

Well-meaning, the psychological immune system is meant to keep us safe. It has real value when real danger is present. Still, mine can be a bit neurotic at times. It’s a struggle and action is the only cure.

Up, oiled, and out the door I went. And nope, I didn’t die!

I also caught a sunrise which I like to believe is a special gift for the brave who wander outdoors on purpose before the rest of the world is awake. Bonus.

Today, I encourage us both to put fear in its place and live boldly in freedom and victory.

What will you do today that scares you just a little?

Have an amazing day! Be of good courage.

Gallup Strengths Finder

One of the many interests that I squeeze on my insta-bio is Gallup Coach.

Gallup is an organization that researched the characteristics, traits, or tendencies, that make up people. Gallup calls these elements talents. From research, they’ve discovered that understanding personal talents and growing them into strengths makes a positive difference in performances.

Gallup identified 34 talent themes and once assessed, an individual can see how their talents line up. This knowledge creates awareness. Strengths coaching can produce a personalized performance strategy.

Regardless of the talent themes, each person can develop strengths and improve his/her life simply by doing what they were uniquely designed to do. I coach people of all ages beginning as young as 10 years old.

This coaching design has a valuable impact on work, goal-setting, family-life, parenting, academics, and relationships. In addition, it is great for students, teachers, ministry groups, teams, and businesses.

This type of personal development can make life more meaningful and fulfilling, because clients understand how they best function and then strategize to make contributions to the world around them in a unique and natural way.

The other title on my insta-bio is professional counselor. More specifically, I am a solution-focused counselor who relies on the client to be the expert regarding his/her life. As an SF counselor, I’m simply a guide who helps the client discover what is going well and how to do more of that in life to see improvements. This practice is similar to strengths-based coaching, as it focuses on what people do well instead of working on what they do not.

Perspective changes things!

Personally, Strengths Finder helped me determine how I wanted to spend my life. I don’t live within conventional roles for my professional life any longer. Instead, with my Gallup Strengths Coach, I work to develop a life that makes sense for me and my unique design. Now, my life and insta-bio are full of things I am passionate about and can make a living doing!

Do you live a life you love? How did you make that happen?

If not yet, I would love to help you take the next step! Let’s connect.