Liar Liar Brain's On Fire

Posted in i live life now blog

Oh the week where Lance Armstrong came out of the closet Probably the most widely talked about discussion going around right now and yet it all seems so unnecessary.

In the end our life is determined by what we know deep down in our hearts about who we are and what we have done in this life right or wrong, honest or untruthful it is your cross to bear and your problem to live in your own head with. What does it truly matter if he announces to Oprah that he lied all these years? The people who knew he was lying knew that he was and he himself knew so beyond that now why should be invest so much time and energy into something so contrived? 

There is a purpose behind his huge confession and it will be ego or monetary based as that is how he has lived his whole life. You can't deny that Livestrong is a credible organization but without a doubt their momentum gain was from his name being the figure-head. But if we remove him the from the equation it is still an organization that is dedicated to supporting, providing and helping people touched by cancer. It is too bad that it may have a hit because of someone's selfishness and arrogance.

Doping exists; personally I think we are naive to think that these athletes can do some of these feats without it and in the end if their desire to win is stronger than the abuse their body will take from using these substances that facilitate their win. There is a reason that there is bodybuilding and "natural" bodybuilding competitions because the liquid competitive edge exists in all facets of life whether we are talking about horse shows or human races there is always someone willing to take everything to the edge. You must decide if your own mind and health is willing to go to that edge to gain fame and notoriety even if in your own mind or small town let alone the world.

In the end judgement has to come from Mr. Armstrong on himself and where he sits in his own mind when he looks in the mirror in the morning. For many it doesn't bother them to push the limits of life into negative karma. The ripple effect is never more pronounced than when you are viewed by the world as the golden boy. Deep down I always wanted to believe he did beat cancer and attained amazing athletic feats but there was always that voice that said "How can he compete against all those who are doping and not winning?".

Whether doping on a world stage or simply cheating to get ahead in life we all have choices to make and stand by them. When making a decision always ask yourself if you had to stand up in a room full of family and friends would you be able to hold your head up  high and announce it out loud without reservations the choice you are making. Perhaps the choices I have made sometimes make my life a little harder but in the end I sleep well, feel at peace and would make the same choices again. But, we all have our own choices at one point in time in life that I'm sure we would change somewhat. That is the point of life choosing, reaping the reward and altering our choice the next time if need be.

Most importantly can you say to yourself without reservation the choice you are making is something you are proud of to put on repeat in your brain for the rest of your life.

Life is a balancing act of choices as well as a ripple effect through our lives as well as others around us. This is where compassion and kindness again reign supreme. If we act kind towards ourselves and show compassion to others our choices are nearly always true.

Myself I can't imagine the pressure the people in the public eye must feel to keep up with appearances. It's no wonder their choices are skewed...100 milion dollars is a lot of wealth to gain from lying.

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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That's Just About Right

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Seeking, searching, looking for the next best thing is what we have been programmed to do. Buy a car the model and shape changes the next year making you feel as though you need to keep up. Companies are so sly now at continually pushing us towards the newest greatest thing that we get rid of perfectly good stuff to keep our egos intact and look the part that we should.

The air is changing, the world has to change, we as humans have to change. We are ready to donate half way across the world but are too busy to help our own neighbor or the lady who is struggling getting her groceries to the car. 

I struggle with this constantly wanting and not wanting. I enjoy nice things as much as the next person every time I think I am satisfied I see something else that I think would be even better the trick is to acknowledge that it is all mirage thinking that if we get that next "thing" it will be "the one". This is where people get themselves into trouble in their life in every facet of it. There has to be something better...over there, after buying this, once I have that.

That's just about right. Our fear and need for perfectionism is turning our society into hungry empty souls. Try the next diet, newest workout machine, new partner, new friends you name it we trade it in so quickly your head spins and you personally become more miserable with each perceived failure. Whose definition of success or happiness is it anyways? We keep waiting to hear confirmation from others we hardly care about to tell us how nice our stuff is or how we look good. 

All diets work, all types of workouts work but not in 30 days or sporadically when you feel like it. Life is about constantly being vigilant in daily choices, mindful choices.

All people have goodness in them and desire compassion and kindness shown towards them. Smile at someone, it is rare that they don't smile back or are impacted by it for the rest of the day; you remember that person that shone light on you for that moment. 

Life is in this moment, now right now. Not when you feel it's just about right. Happiness is right here if you want it. Choose it or keep pushing it aside for something shiny you are chasing across the desert...oh right that's called a mirage it's not real. There will not be some lightning strike from the sky that strikes you and proclaims you to be happy and ready to live life. People who work so hard all their life to attain what they think they needed to have the perfect life can no longer relax or enjoy what they have worked so hard for, so then tell me what the point is?

Half of you reading this will not even get to enjoy your retirement due to health or situations you cannot even perceive at this moment or you will continue to work because that is all you know and feel fulfillment from. If your work is your passion and you love it then I applaud you for it but not many of us are that lucky. Even my career which I love, some days it is hard to get out the door.

Chasing the dragon is what drug addicts search for "that rush of wonder the first time they do their drug" seems we are chasing a dragon of our own with materialistic ownership but the truth is we don't own our stuff it owns us. The more we own the deeper we get in and feel the need to do better, have more and live less.

It is hard to imagine that we can just "be" and exist happily with so much external garbage pushing on us in the form of worrying if we will be able to afford a new truck because we "need" one.

What do we need? What do you need to be happy in life? What don't you need to be happy in life? There's many a person in their fancy house alone, unhappy and miserable that looks so "perfect" to the outside world of judgement and perfection. Yet, inside they are slowly dying a little everyday to keep up appearances.

Now unless we're talking about running shoes, new running shoes ALWAYS make you feel good and faster....you can never have too many running shoes!

Happiness is scary because it is your definition of it and many of us can't define happiness for ourselves, we keep waiting for someone else to sell it to us or tell us what it is.

Outside in nature is where I feel most content and if it's with people I love it makes it "perfect" oh right, perfect doesn't really exist but we will call it peaceful instead.

Peace.

I Live Life Now, (a little more peacefully every day)

Lisa Stocking

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Quietly Living

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The gratitude and deep feeling of happiness I have had over the last nine days has been overwhelming. To put it into words may nearly ruin it but I will attempt to.

Over the past nine days my family and I have hiked Red Rock Canyon, hiked/climbed The Valley Of Fire, watched the Bellagio water show (always amazing), visited the Hoover Dam, drove Route 66, hit a snow storm in the mountains, driven through many National/State Parks, sat at night in a hot tub staring at the stars, nearly blew off the top rim of the Grand Canyon, visited a ancient Castle built into a cliff bank by natives, ran in the desert, hang glided with the birds and we have many days left of adventures left.

The best adventures have been the cheapest, for a $10 entry fee in The Valley Of Fire we were there from 10 am-5:30 pm and no one really wanted to leave even then. We hiked, rock climbed, ate, slept, read, played and enjoyed hours in this park. No matter what mankind tries to re-create with architecture the true master is nature and our ability to actually move and enjoy it is so important. 

This time has been a time of healing and of spending time away from real life for a bit until the rat race returns but it definitely makes you question why do we keep running on the treadmill of life? To buy another fancy car or a bigger house and yet we keep missing moments that are pivotal in creating a life fulfilled in your soul.

I am thankful to have support that allows us to take these trips and enjoy life in this way. Beyond thankful it brings me to tears thinking about my life and what is ahead good or bad I am thankful for it all.

"It is not the quantity of life but the quality. When you begin to realize you don't have too much time to live you focus on what is most important."

Sogyal Rinpoche

Enjoy your life with quality whether you travel near or far there are always moments in life waiting to be created by your own doing and choices. 

Yes, I still believe that you need to take care of yourself and honor your body by looking after it with fitness and making choices daily that can support a higher quality of life. A little moderation in everything is the key. One apple is good a whole bag not so much. 

There will be a return to regular writing and workouts soon but for now I am just enjoying quality of life.

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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Flip The Page

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Flip the page, heck throw out the whole calendar guess what it is a blank slate! An empty box ready to be filled with memories and experiences. I am already so very excited for 2013 and looking back over 2012 it was an incredibly hard year but also a great year. Here are just a few experiences I had:

  1. Ran in an amazing cactus filled trail run in Arizona (even managed 3rd place!)
  2. Ran my fastest 5 km ever!
  3. Learned how to snowboard (still learning)
  4. Played hockey in Las Vegas 
  5. Visited Kartchner Caverns (WOW!!)
  6. Hiked in Red Rock Canyon
  7. Ran in an Xterra trail race in Las Vegas
  8. Hiked the Berg Lake Trail with my family
  9. Hiked in Nordegg with my husband (awesome!)
  10. Watched a good friend run 141 km DNF but won my admiration instead! Wow!
  11. Ran 58 km with a great friend to finish the 125 km Canadian Death Race as a two woman team.
  12. Spent time with one of the most important people in my life
  13. Made an entire evening in five inch heels (more impressive than an ultra run let me tell you!)
  14. Pedal biked to the bar for a friend's birthday (that's a first usually we run!)
  15. Never stopped living even when I wanted to crawl in a hole and die.....

Guess what? I plan for 2013 to be just as good and the key word was PLAN!!! Not watch, pout, sulk and complain about why nothing great is happening in my life YOU create it.

Being strong has really contributed so much to my enjoyment of life, the other day we played shinny for two hours with my family and friends something four years ago I couldn't have done unless I was in winter boots. It was one of those postcard moments of Canadian winter. As well as something the kids will remember for their entire life.

Flip the page, live with the excitement of a three year old seeing things in the world for the first time because most likely you've been looking through skewed glasses that didn't quite give you the full view of all the glory around you. Happy New Day! 

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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Pumpkin Muffins

Posted in i live life now blog

1 cup oatmeal or almond flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

3 egg whites

1/3 cup agave or honey

1 cup of pure pumpkin canned

½ cup fat free greek yogurt or cottage cheese blended

2 scoops vanilla whey protein

Mix dry ingredients, mix wet together. Gently fold wet ingredients into the dry until just mixed. Pour into a sprayed 8 x 8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. Cut into 8 pieces!

This can also be made into 12-16 muffins (15 minutes bake time) or else a 9 X 5 loaf pan (45 minutes cook time). 

Varations: Add dark choc chips, pecans etc.

Fill muffin tin 1/3 full place a cube of cream cheese and then 1/3 more batter for a filled muffin!

 

Backpedaling Ahead

Posted in i live life now blog

Self-induced suffering is something you become good at when you workout to a certain threshold where you question your sanity and whether you should continue forward or what the purpose is of this pain. Pain. Suffering. It really all makes you want to workout doesn't it? But have you considered that you WILL face pain and suffering at some point in time and instead of fighting it you should learn to relish it and even draw it into your life.

If you have not yet I urge you to read The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying it is a book of compassion and kindness; not Buddhism. There is reference in it to draw upon your own God or spiritual belief if you have one and if you don't to simply focus on a light, golden and radiating in your life. When I state you should draw suffering into your life I mean it from a selfless point of view that you wish to take on the world's suffering. If you read the book you may start to understand what the meaning behind suffering is. 

Suffering if you stop focusing on your own pain and wish for all the world's suffering to enter you so you may take away the pain of others is a mind game that focuses your attention on compassion and healing towards ALL beings of the world. Breathe in their pain and send out positive energy towards them, suddenly your own pain begins to dissipate with it. There are stories of people healing themselves by helping focus on others suffering instead of their own and the deep desire to heal that pain which in turn helps their own problems.

The New Year is upon us and as fast as I want to kick 2012 out the door there is a need to grasp at it slightly because at midnight on Jan 31, 2012 when the clock kicks over into 2013 I will have officially left a piece of my life forever in this year...my mom. Hard to do but a necessary evil unless I plan to stay stuck in my own life. As fast as I can move forward backpedaling is a great analogy. 

It seems right now there is a lot of suffering for everyone with health, specifically cancer and it is not going to end anytime soon. So now what? Do we just sit down and cry wish for an answer? OR do we continue to care, nurture and contribute to the world as a whole instead of just one "self-important" person looking out for number one. Are we not all beings who want love, purpose and contribution to the world around us? Of course, perhaps if we viewed others from now on in the same light as all needing the basics of life there may be a little less suffering.

When I look back over 2012 I have learnt that suffering does contain a purpose, a message and most of all hope. As difficult as it seemed to watch I know that I am altered forever for the better and to not be is to fail the suffering I watched and let it go to waste. When you feel hopeless and lost try thinking about the suffering of others and how you could even just send positive energy out to them, now all of a sudden you have purpose, love and contribution and all you had to do was think it.

Workouts have taught me to suffer in a good way. There is honestly no way I would have made it through 2012 without fitness that I know for sure. The suffering from fitness makes the pain in your heart go away for a bit as well as make you realize how much more you are capable of. Why do I run crazy races in mountains longer than a marathon? Because, just when you want to quit and you don't, when you want to cry in the dark lay down and go to sleep there is always a little voice still urging you ahead. That voice if you listen to it can carry you to a higher place than you ever thought possible and toward something you will always be proud of. Suffering can lead to greatness.

Suffering as much as I thought it to be pointless really had a point after all...or so I believe but then again. Those who believe they can do anything are probably right; and so are those who believe they can't. Funny, our whole life is lived in our head, yet we do absolutely everything possible to ignore, react or be distracted away from it to not feel or think. I invite you to take 2013 as a time to use your mind to find your own truth about who you are and what you can do! 

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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Ha Ha Ha (Ho Ho Ho)

Posted in i live life now blog

What do you do when someone is purposely being belligerent to you? And is expecting a rise out of you? You have one of two choices: Laugh or snap! (ha or ho)

It is so easy to just let your emotions take over and take on that person's poison into your body instead of seeing it for what it is....their problem. Taking this road is so hard it takes a four wheel drive truck to get over the hump of climbing up the higher hill but the views from the top are so worth it. 

Walking around the stores yesterday buying groceries to head into hibernation for the next week in this -30/40C weather so many people had this important arrogance to them it made me smile, which in turn makes then off guard that someone is smiling in a store. Made me think of Exuberant Live's Blog yesterday!

Our lives are based on attachment and assumption and so many problems stem from this it is too long to list but the important part is that you start to become aware of these moments and even though you may fall victim to the quick temper of reaction you can always start new again. For many others they will not allow you that redo to repair what has happened but it is always there if you are willing to humble yourself enough to let the ego go and honestly mean what you say when you apologize or change your actions.

Maybe our assumptions are sometimes based on the idea against our own bodies and beliefs without realizing it. Thinking you can't do this or that because....whatever the list of reasons is. But you can if you start at step one and work your way up through the appropriate stages as you are ready! No one just runs a marathon (some may) but most usually start with a 5km event then move to 10 km, a half marathon and then a marathon. A process that allows you to gain confidence in each moment.

I can remember when I thought I would never ever ever do a half marathon let alone a ultra, time and commitment allowed it to happen as it was meant to unfold and if you listen to your body it will tell you when the change is too much too fast or if the activity you are attempting just isn't for you! LISTEN to it!! But try to discover when it is your mind trying to quit instead of your body, our bodies are marvels and when supported by a mind that is full of courage and determination anything is possible!

Thank you to all my clients and participants over the past 8 years (Wow!) for teaching me as much as I have shared with you regarding fitness and life. I look forward to returning as I grow even more in the years ahead and continuing to challenge you as well as myself in our sessions or classes!

 

Wishing you an adventurous, exciting year ahead and the feeling from the season whether you celebrate Christmas or not that fills your soul to the brim with compassion, kindness, friendship and happiness!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

2013??? It's your story to write...what will it be?

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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DONE!

Posted in i live life now blog

DONE! We feel such joy when we are done one thing and then expect to sit on our heels and not understand why more piles up to do. The problem is when you think you are done the world is in constant flux or change so if you can understand you are never really done then it gets a lot easier....

Imagine when you lose weight and you're at your "goal" you're never really DONE! Many have asked why I still workout when I am "skinny" and I struggle to answer this because if you ask this question there is no way you can understand my answer. There are many solutions out there to lose weight but many lull you into the maintenance phase where you can coast. The problem with coasting is that then small problems creep up again; it's Suzy's birthday at work and one piece of cake won't hurt and if you forget that extra workout this week what harm can it do?

The reason I still exercise is because a) It's cheap therapy b) It is now a habit c) My body and mind craves the release d) Life is an adventure I enjoy being strong and ready for! e) For those interested in purely esthetic purposes my jeans fit the same ALL the time!

I don't exercise solely for the purpose of keeping myself "skinny", that is near sighted and a sure path to failure and I'm not talking about muscular failure from a hard workout either. But failure once again of the promise you made to yourself that you weren't going to eat this or you planned to workout six days a week. Why not add something to your food repertoire instead of removing, just make it a healthy new addition? Six days a week? Are you an Olympic athlete? Maybe consider starting with three and then add on as you can while your fitness improves and your time management becomes better. Yes, you may double your benefits by going to six days a week right off the bat but since when does anyone go from zero to six times the amount of anything in a healthy way? YOU DON'T. 

Unless you are just working towards the dreaded lose weight quick for an event and then coast mentality...have you considered yet that every time you lose/gain you are making it harder to lose the next time and easier to gain following that? It is an evil cycle to fall into unless your mind changes to not view workouts as a quick fix in themselves but a life long gift of using your body to it's fullest capacity each day, week, month and year!

Please do me a favor and start exercising today! Not tomorrow, not Monday, not January 1st! TODAY! DONE!!! Just like that the decision to move forward starts now.

Reflecting back on the above principle it doesn't have to be an hour on the treadmill how about a 10 minute walk if you've been sedentary for a while? Seems you're 10 minutes up on exercise compared to last week that's a ten-fold improvement. Create micro-steps of change that are achievable!!! 

Instead of jumping on the New Year's Resolution band wagon create your own change each day and now! 

If you plan to be DONE for life after you hit your goal we can predict with accuracy where you will be in a year, on the path back  into the black hole of health problems. Change, move forward and never accept being DONE! That is how the turkey is out of the oven at Christmas time not how you should view your fitness and health.

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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Release Me

Posted in i live life now blog

Today started out with an urge to write but without direction, as I moved through the morning in pain I just cannot imagine how some people live everyday in pain. Although mine is physical for many people it is mental.

With regards to the shootings in Connecticut I realized this morning that my kids still weren't aware it had happened and that I should talk to them about it before they got on the bus and heard it from others. Everyone talks about not perpetuating the story yet all you hear is people talk about it and watch it. You cannot fail to recognize that it happened but as with many fearful situations we create more of the fear by carrying on and on with it.

It is the same as when you tell your kids to not be scared when they go to the dentist...why tell them they don't have to be scared? They didn't know it was an option until you brought it up. Really, the dentist just cleans your teeth and checks them so why is this so scary. Does everyone have a root canal everyday? By now your kids are wondering why they shouldn't be scared and then start to worry about the whole situation.

My version of the story this morning was the truth, a young man walked in a school and shot children as well as his own mother. My kids couldn't understand why someone would do that. My answer: "Not everyone knows in their own heart and mind that they can be okay and that they are okay therefore they do bad things to others because they feel so bad inside."  Whether this is caused by mental illness or the continued propaganda of our society to have this, get that and buy more they are all factors into why so many people are unhappy in life we can't find the forest for the trees.

So, how is your forest? Or have you found it yet?

Under our tree this year we have few gifts but many blessings, we are travelling soon to enjoy life as it is meant to be seen; in person and up close. Yes, we are lucky to travel together but in the same breathe I didn't buy our kids expensive gifts so it is a choice to spend our money differently than the norm. And our children understand clearly why there isn't many gifts under the tree they are very excited to get away and see new things!

My body for whatever reason perhaps stress, has been in so much pain the last few days I could cry, literally everything everywhere hurts. To roll over in bed last night was a torture test of it's own, maybe the past year is accumulating in my body now and releasing it all. Instead of lying in bed feeling sorry for myself today in pain I will get a few to do items caught up and then workout. Yes, workout even in pain. 

When you understand that your best is different day to day you take each day as a new one and use that potential to it's best. So, my best today may be just a slow bike ride that barely raises my heart rate but will lift my spirit instead. We continue to think of workouts as an attack on our bodies against the body fat war but sometimes you need to remember to nurture it as well. I am all for intensity don't get me wrong, the feeling on Friday when my legs nearly gave out was awesome but that was my best on Friday, today...not so much.

Pain is a reminder that the body or mind is out of balance, if it hurts to roll over in bed or you can't stop being angry something is out of whack and needs to be centered again. This week my focus will be getting the body back in balance since it has been out of balance for so long it's not sure how to handle the transition back to normalcy. Sitting in a hospital for months on end definitely didn't help it at all but my soul feels full from the experience so in the end we realize life is a trade off. Calm mind, erratic body.

What is your focus for this week? Frantic holiday preparations? Tedious decorating? Busy wrapping? Write down what you want to accomplish this week or what direction you want to take.

Enjoy it all if that is your enjoyment...

Loved walking out with the kids the other day to get a tree and saw how amazing all the fence posts looked with the perfect ball of snow on top! Beautiful. Stop and see the beauty around you this week.

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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I Won't Let Go

Posted in i live life now blog

Perhaps if you understood my last year you could possibly begin to grasp the title of this article...but it is a different context than what you may believe. I won't let go...hell no.

I remember driving to an appointment at the Cross Cancer with my mom and on the radio came Rascal Flats I Won't Let Go listening to her sing it was utterly throat closing and tear jerkingly hard. There was no doubt she was singing it to me and to herself as though it was an anthem to keep pushing the two of us forward, together.

Becoming stuck in the past and hard times is what leads to a dead end in life for most; being overwhelmed by memories that aren't pleasant can cause many to become frozen in time. Although still raw my mom is gone, it isn't even possible it seems to write it down. All the final arrangements have been taken care of and carried out but it is still not real, this takes time and far longer than you can imagine to really sink in. Give it a minimum of a year to even grasp the enormity of what has happened is what I believe.

Missing her isn't an option it's like cutting off part of your body but it doesn't mean my whole body is broken or that my life is over. I think this is the easiest pity party to fall into that one event has to devastate your whole life and paralyze you to the point of stopping living life yourself.

I will go to pick up the phone and call, that will be hard. I will want to tell her something about my day or ask about a recipe, that will be hard. What would be really hard is sitting in my chair crying day in and day out about what I have lost instead of living what I have been given.

Amazing parents who shared their life with me and showed me how to live a good life. It will take a little time but I will be back at the game of life and enjoying all the world has to offer again. I do believe though people rush to distract themselves from the magnitude of what has happened and ignore the signs that they need to heal from an event such as this.

I am going to take a couple months to organize my life again and switch from caregiver mode to life mode. Heal what has been broken and come out stronger that I promise. So please be patient and let time take care of what may be. February will see the return of in-person fitness classes and personal training. Writing will be sporadic and what I feel I need to share with everyone.

In the meantime please express gratitude for your life, enjoy the world around you and live life now!

And I won't let go of life, that would be the biggest tragedy of all...

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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Picture This...

Posted in i live life now blog

I am a firm believer that if I asked you what you got for gifts each year for the last five years you can't remember them all maybe one or two but if I asked you what memories you created by living you could recite many (if you have been living life).

Even faced with unimaginable circumstances I ask my mom what she remembers and she says I picture myself healthy running in the park for my birthday. On her 53rd birthday she ran 10 km! An amazing feat if you knew her previous fitness level only a few years prior. This is what she remembers laying in bed, not what someone bought for her or what she has at home. She talks about swimming in the ocean or walking on the beach, in person life experiences so ironically why do we keep accumulating "stuff" instead of memories? 

Work another shift to afford more stuff instead of working to afford memories is where we get confused. Or not working extra and making memories with what you already have. I look around me and the abundance is overwhelming, everything I need or want is available and now that I really look I want for nothing. Christmas presents? There is nothing physically to hold or touch that I want, travel or adventure is something that interests me not a new "thing" I have to find somewhere to store later in the plethora of too much already.

I would much rather take my family skiing or do something fun. They will look back on that when they age, not the toy they broke after day two and threw in the corner. We as a society keep thinking if we buy and give then we are a good person, it makes us feel good to give but maybe we keep giving the wrong things? 

This Christmas I challenge you to give a lot but as little as possible physically. Many families are starting to walk away from Christmas and the pressure it holds of getting the right gift, spending enough, getting out of debt and spoiled people who are mad when they don't get the gift they wanted. I used to be one of those...I can still remember being livid at my husband for buying me a gift our first Christmas together that wasn't ideal because I was so screwed up in my thinking I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I just saw a tree I hated instead of the beauty of the whole forest of giving.

Picture this...a day of few gifts and many memories. Not false gifts bought to placate broken relationships but strong bonds built back together as a family enjoying life. I have always said I would prefer nothing on Valentine's Day and enjoy another 364 days of the year happy, instead of someone sucking up on one day spoiling me with overpriced gifts that mean nothing when the rest of the year is misery. 

My most cherished Christmas present was a pair of snowshoes...yes, snowshoes. I love them and still use them to this day! A gift that can make memories through the rest of life. Yes, memories still cost money but instead of throwing money at something Made In China we could put it into memories made at home.

My daughter still remembers this day and I can't wait to go tobogganing again, it is a fun way to enjoy winter. 

Let's try to stop filling gaps in with stuff and fill it in with life! And the easiest way to do that is to stay fit and healthy all of your life so you can go off on an adventure whenever you want and enjoy it!

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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