The Believe Journal…we believe it! Q & A with co-founder Róisín McGettigan-Dumas

Sharing your story and asking others about their’s is something we believe is a great way to get inspired. If you’re like us, there’s few things we love more then chatting with ladies who have created a life they love. We are honored to speak with Róisín McGettigan-Dumas, runner (Olympian!), mother, and co-founder of the Believe Journal. is excited to partner with this inspiring training tool for 2016. We look forward to sharing this journal with you and how it can be used as a resource in your training. Besides a place to hold you accountable to your goals and training, this journal shares tips for beginners, workouts, inspiring quotes, and many essays that leave you excited to leap out the door for your run.

Recently we spoke with Róisín to learn more about her journey and how and what led her create such an incredible tool for all levels of athletes. Who is Róisín McGettigan-Dumas?

Róisín: Basically I’m a runner + psychology geek 🙂 I’m an irish Olympian (steeplechase finalist in Beijing 2008) and European bronze medallist, and have lived in Providence RI since I attended college at PC. I have a masters in counseling and I’m a certified sports psychology consultant. I’ve two little girls (4 + 1.5 yrs)
SIB: What inspired you to start running?
R: I was an active kid and loved all sports. I guess I was one of the fastest in my neighborhood, so I joined a little running club as a kid. I fell in love with running in the beautiful places we would go to run in Wicklow Ireland. We had beaches, sand dunes, trails and fields. Then as a pre-teen I was inspired by watching Irish female athletes winning races on tv. Ireland is a small nation, so when someone wins a European or World Championship, the whole country tunes in and supports them. Those irish athletes ignited something inside of me and I know then I wanted ready to run in the Olympics… Only about 15 years later, I achieved that dream. I don’t race competitively any more but I’m still inspired by great athletes and still love to run.

 SIB: How has being a runner shaped you as a person?

R: As a kid I was labelled “the runner” which I made me uncomfortable because I wanted people to see me beyond my running ability. Thankfully I had great friends who did that. Nowadays I don’t mind the label, as I’m more than happy to profess my love of running and it’s benefits to anyone who’ll listen 🙂 Running is a lens through which I experience the world and I always seem to circle everything back to “thats just like with running.”. Running although it’s has a rap as a solitary activity- I find the opposite it true, running connects me to my body and my physical energy. It connects me with my friends, my local community and the global running community. It connects me with my natural environment no matter where I am, hail, rain or shine, every day. One of the most exciting boons I experience from running is it allows me to tap into wellsprings of creativity and inspiration. I honestly don’t think I’d be the same person without running.
I love discovering the research that backs up all the benefits I’ve experienced personally from running running- it boost people’s biological, psychological, emotional, social, neurologic health and well beging.. And competing really develops character as it forces people to dig deep, ward off negativity, develop resilience and reach new levels of ability and fitness. As they say, if you could put the benefits of vigorous exercise (ie. running) into a pill form, it would be the world’s best selling wonder drug.

 SIB: What is your proudest accomplishments (one in running, and one in life)?

R: In running, my proudest accomplishment was learning to overcome the doubts and self-sabotage that had of affected my performances in important races. The feeling of self-mastering is so gratifying and empowering. I’ve learned that true success is not about extrinsic and external rewards and honors, but that sweet delicious life affirming satisfaction you gain from progress and reaching new levels of ability and skill (no matter what level you are at). Once I learned to fixate on the process and incremental progress and flip the fear of the big stage, I ended up having my best performances ie. make world and Olympic finals and win a medal at European championships.
In life, there’s no doubt that becoming a mother has been the most profound and beautiful experiences of my life and I’m grateful for my two daughters every single day.. They help me keep things in perspective, all the while their presence motivates me more than ever to not squander my time, talent, and creativity to fear and self-doubt.

 SIB: If you could go for a run with anyone on the planet dead or alive, who would it be?
R: I love running with my good friend Mary Cullen (Irish record holder + european medallist), I’m not sure if it’s the banter, Mary’s stride, or her ceaseless energy and irrepressible passion for running, but when she’s around and we meet for a run I just want to run and run and never stop.
I’ve retired from competitive running, but I still get to live vicariously through and enjoy runs (easy for them, not easy for me) with the elite group of my sistersinsport that live in Providence- Olympians Molly Huddle and Kim Smith to name just a few.

SIB: What inspired you to create this Believe journal and how did the concept evolve?

R: 5 years ago, Lauren Fleshman and her husband Jesse spent some time in my hometown of Wicklow Ireland around my wedding. We had a great time hanging out. Afterwards Lauren contacted my husband Myles (graphic designer) and I about an idea she had for some tshirts. We joined forces and between the two of us we wanted to teach people about sports psychology so created these intricate floral designs with hidden mantras. I was just back from the most awe-inspiring trip to tropical Costa Rica and was going through a “flower period” 🙂 Both lauren and I illustrated about 12 designs in total and I thought, wow, it would be cool to make our own training journal as a training journal was something I had began using as a teenager and continued to use as professional runner. It was the one running item beside my running shoes that I could not live without. So we got to work and self-published The Believe I Am Training Journal. We sold out of the first 1000 copy in a couple of weeks. And next 2,000 in a couple of months. That’s when I decided to pitch the training journal to our now current publisher Velopress. Luckily, they loved what we had created, and wanted us to be fully involved in the the next rendition – they wanted it to be more sporty and include some essays, i.e. less flowers. With our education background and experiences, it wasn’t hard for us to find the content to include in the monthly essays-. what was hard was how to distill all the essential information down into a couple of pages per topic.

SIB: Why did you choose the name “Believe”?
R: Lauren and I both felt that when we performed our best, we weren’t just physically prepared, but most importantly we were mentally prepared too. Everyone knows about the physical training piece, but we felt there was a dearth of information sharing about how to mentally and emotionally prepare for performances. It was as if only the world best athletes were privy to this information, and we wanted to share the “secrets” that even top athletes have doubts, negative thinking and fears. That’s why we chose Believe, because we know how powerful our beliefs can be. Belief isn’t necessarily something you are born with (although some people certainly seem to be), but it is practiced and earned. And most importantly what you believe affects your behavior, and ultimately your destiny. We encourage people to be more mindful of their thoughts and beliefs, so they don’t defeat themselves before they even start the journey towards their goals.
SIB: What is your favorite part of the Believe journal?
R: I put as much thought and energy as I could into every inch of that journal. I’m really proud of how it turned out and I really enjoy using it (am I allowed to say that about something I co-created ?) I feel it’s really 1/2 journal, 1/2 workbook. I like all the goal setting and prompt questions that force you to think through things and reflect and put an answer in the box/ spaces. Developing self-awareness can really empower you to change things that aren’t working and set yourself up to thrive.

SIB: Why do you feel this journal is such a great tool for all levels of runners from beginners to competitive runners?
R: There are so many benefits of journaling- writing down what you did in a day actually gives you a little boost of feel good hormones which spurs motivation to do the activity again. Which of course is the hard part for beginners, how to keep going when the novelly wears off .By writing down the training and starting to see improvements, it will really encourage newbies to keep going and hopefully catch the running bug for life!
For competitive runners if they keep a journal for a chunk of time they’ll soon begin to see patterns- times and conditions that lead to improvements, fluctuations in energy levels due to life events and body cycles, and they’ll learn what’s too much training (and what’s too little). By reflecting on good and bad performances an athlete can learn what factors help them succeed and which ones don’t. This gives the competitive athlete a blueprint so they can replicate successes and avoid mistakes, and it empowers them to make helpful decisions in the future.

SIB: What is your greatest running advice for recreational runners?
R: Find a running group that you can meet up with at least once per week. Try to use the group to help you push a little harder by doing some intervals or speedwork and finish up with core work and stretching, the stuff you want to skip when you’re alone. Having those couple of days set into your weekly routine makes it so much easier to fill in the rest of the week with runs that you use to check in with your body and fit in when you can. If you can’t find a group, start your own (I did,

 R: What is your greatest life advice for women?
Quit the negative self talk and the guilt. Every woman I know seems to feel guilty about something- guilty for working, guilty for not working, guilty for exercising, guilty for not exercising, guilty for not spending time with family, guilty for not enough time for your passions, and on and on. We all do it, but it’s time we stop and let ourselves off the hook, and embrace our shortcomings and realize we are enough as we are, and know that our best effort is good enough.

Thanks Ro, for the inspiration and for all you do for gals on the run! The Believe Journal will be available through registration starting Oct. 29th!


Simple, delicious, whole food, yummy fall loaf

It’s still very warm in California, but I’m celebrating fall with some baking. I have a hard time following recipes for a lot of reasons ( I like coloring outside the lines and I rarely have that certain ingredient on hand….I’m a spontaneous baker) and like to make food with as many unprocessed items as possible because for me, it feels best in my body. So I checked out my fridge and cupboard and this is what I came up with…it turned out insanely tasty!

2 cups of Almonds

1 zucchini

1 carrot

1 banana

6 dates

1 egg

1/2 cup of coconut oil

Real Salt and cinnamon to taste

Bake time: 40- 50 minutes

Blend almonds in food processor until it turns into a flour. Grate carrots and zucchini. Melt coconut oil. Un-pit the dates if they aren’t already. Add coconut oil, grated carrots and zucchini and 1 egg into food processor with the now almond flour and mix until fully blended. Add banana and keep mixing. Add in 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of salt (add more if you think it needs it!)

Grease loaf pan ( I used butter). Bake for 40-50 min or until baked all the way through.

Let it cool ( I know, it smells so good it’s almost worth burning your mouth). Serve as breakfast or snack. Super yum (and kids love it too)!

Walk inside your story or hustle for your worthiness

“Either you walk inside your story and own it or walk outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”- Brene Brown

Whoa. That’s some good stuff right there. Did anybody read that quote and not reflect upon your life? Talk about putting a mirror in front of you. This quote is the good stuff, the real talk, the place where inspiration to live more fully, more honestly…to live your truth, lies.

For some reason or another we walk around like we aren’t all going or have gone through the same thing. Insecurities and exhaustion, every single one of us has been there; heck, we are there. But we grab our coffee and put on our best shoes and keep on trucking.

Some of my favorite things to do is lay my life on the table. Just put it out there, “____________ these are the things I’m struggling with, oh yea, and my laundry is out of control and my windshield is cracked.” I love my life, I love my job, but this this is not perfect, this is my story. It’s messy, it’s sweaty, it’s hard work, and to me it’s beautiful.

I can guarantee you that lady with the killer outfit in front of you, yea that one wearing white pants and you’re wondering how the heck she’s kept them so white or the lady with the matching running outfit that’s out the door for her run every morning at 5am, both of those ladies have gone through or is going through similar thoughts that you are or have. Obviously all of our backgrounds and responsibilities differ, but there’s much more cross over than we let others believe.

This quote above spoke to me because it reminds me that it’s ok to have all these fears and worries, it’s ok to talk about them, and it’s ok to keep thriving forward and showing up with your best attitude despite them. That’s what walking ( or running 🙂 ) in your own shoes and owning your story is all about.

It’s those that try to stay in this box and refuse to show their weakness, those are the ones who are working hard to not let them show. Either that or they are robots. Perfection is exhausting. You spend too much time trying to keep everything together that you forget the beauty of falling apart. You often don’t try new things in fear of failing and showing your imperfections.

Some of the most inspiring people I know are the ones that fall the hardest. They fall because they keep pushing the boundaries, doing new things despite the outcome. To them falling is part of life. They try, sometimes they fall, they grow, they get back up, they keep going.

For some people entering a race is the scariest thing. They worry they will get last or won’t be able to finish. For others it’s moving somewhere new or changing jobs or leaving a bad relationship or meeting new people.

For me it’s public speaking. It scares the shit out of me every time. So I keep putting myself in these situations where I have to do it. It doesn’t always go well, but I always survive and I know with practice, one day it won’t be so scary.

Fail, fall, and have the courage to get back up. Repeat.

Everybody does it.

Live your truth.

Beauty Mark: Rebecca Zamolo

Name: Rebecca Zamolo
Hometown: Martinez, Calfornia
Job: YouTube
My name is Rebecca Zamolo and I am an actress/YouTuber in Los Angeles. I am a former UCSB Track & Field/ Cross Country Runner who was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis after I graduated. This past September I had my colon removed and wore an ostomy bag for 9 months. Now I rock an internal JPOUCH and use my story to help spread IBD Awareness. I love awkward moments and making people laugh.
How long ago did you start running? My last year in High School
What inspired you to start running? I quit gymnastics and my mom told me I had to do something. I had always enjoyed running so I decided to run Track. I started out doing the 200m which is hilarious because they thought since I was a gymnast I would be fast, but it wasn’t the case at all. I begged them to let me run the mile (I had never run a mile since I never had to do P.E.due to my gymnastics training) and so my first mile time was 6:10. After that he let me train distance.
What has been your biggest recent challenge in running? When I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis- that became my biggest challenge as I would have to stop at least 4 times in my hour run to use a bathroom. I had constant pain and even bleeding. Running in places that weren’t near a bathroom gave me anxiety. It was the most frustrating thing to go from running at an elite level, to hardly being able to run for more then 10 min at a time.
Who are the top 3 most inspiring women in your life?
Lisa Becker- Has had an Ostomy Bag for over 10yrs and started a company called Ostomy Secrets which is underwear for people with Ostomies. She has used her disease to help others and is one of the most positive women I know.
Nastia Luikin- She has transitioned her work ethic in sports into a successful career. I love how she presents herself.
Amy Paffrath- My friend and host of VH1’S Dating Naked ran a half marathon with me after never running more than a couple miles in her life just to support me. I was truly honored and impressed with her determination.
What’s your favorite piece of running gear?
My asics shoes. They go everywhere with me.
How has your relationship with running changed over the years? Before I was diagnosed with IBD, I took running for granted. I complained about the days I had to run more then I wanted to, or if I had a hard workout. After being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, then having my colon removed and wearing an ostomy- I am so grateful to be able to run. Running is a gift. When I was competing in college I never realized how lucky I was to be able to do it. Today, I am so thankful to be able to run without pain.
In one word, how does running make you feel?
What’s your next goal in running?
Since I have had 3 surgeries in the last 9 months, I’m trying to just enjoy being able to run without pain and adjust to life with my JPOUCH. I’d love to run another half marathon like I did when I had an Ostomy Bag.
Learn more about her journey:

A heavy heart makes it hard to run…

Last week, a young girl, Gwendolyn Strong from the Santa Barbara passed away from spinal muscular atrophy. That was hard to swallow.

Early this week, Santa Cruz the founding ground for our event series, was struck with a devastating loss of a little girl. I have found myself obsessing over the details, wanting to help, trying to make sense of it all. Overwhelming anger and sadness, are a few of the emotions I can actually articulate, but the feeling of the loss of this little girl is not one of which I can put into words. I didn’t know her. As far as I am aware, I don’t know someone that knows her. But what I do know is little girls and boys like her. I know the life she deserved to have. As I sit with these emotions, distracted from the work day, I continue to ponder where we go from here.

Days I feel loss for words are days I find it most important to move. No, me sweating today won’t change this horrific situation. It won’t comfort the parents of this sweet girl. But I’m hoping it will bring me a sense of peace that I can share with those I encounter. I’m hoping it will give me energy to help those who need help. Today I will strap on my running shoes and as sweat drips down my face, tears may as well. May my steps honor the loss of a innocent girl and send strength to those mourning. May my miles pay respect to this loss. My hope is, that by the end of my run I will feel stronger and more hopeful for the world. A heavy dose of endorphins for this heavy heart.

The community outreach and support that surround this unimaginable case, is something to hold onto. My mom always told me that there are more good people in the world than there are bad people. I try to go through my life expecting people to want love, joy, and the best for others. Some call this way of thinking naive, fake, privileged, too optimistic. But to live another way to me, it doesn’t make sense. I have been fortunate and I am incredibly grateful to have had a safe, healthy upbringing and supportive family;  I am aware that this makes it easier to look at the world in a positive way. But instead of drawing fear from this situation, which has been my initial thoughts, I want to outpour love. Love for all families involved, for those who put hours and energy working on this case, for strangers who volunteered and got involved, and for the rest of world. More love is needed everywhere, today and everyday.

Girlfriends Weekend Guide to Santa Barbara!

I make a point to plan trips once a year with girlfriends and my mom and sister, mostly because… it’s amazing. Hanging out, sleeping in, sweating, laughing, catching up with no distractions. Sign. Me. Up. Why not plan your girls trip around a race in a location that fosters fun?!

Are you coming to’s 5k and 10k September 20th 2015 with some girlfriends or mom/sister? Check out our tips to a killer weekend in one of our favorite places!

1. Where to stay?

Really love the Goodland Hotel ( newly updated hotel with a fun 50’s Palm Springs/ Retro California vibe. * we will be posting a code for room discounts on our website and social media pages in the next week or so, so don’t book just yet!)

Another really great option if you have a group? AirBnB! There’s some GREAT deals (cheaper than a hotel when split a few ways) plus then you get the added bonus of a little more space and kitchen if you feel like cooking.

 Where to eat?

Breakfast: Insanely delicious and tons of variety of acai bowls you can find at Backyard Bowls (multiple locations in town). Are you looking for the Sex in the City breakfast brunch vibe? You gotta hit up Jeannines Bakery for beautiful lattes and delicious scrambles or pastries. Their Montecito location is especially our favorite. Great family place? Mesa Cafe is a big hit for brunch and everyone will find something they love.

Lunch: My favorite lunch place in town for lunch ( or dinner) is Natural Cafe ( I’m also biased because I worked here in college). Salads galore, hearty soups, healthy sandwiches, healthy spin on mexican food, pasta…everyone’s happy. ( a few locations in town) Looking to lunch on the water? We love Boathouse of Henry’s Beach. Grab some food then stroll on the beach! Craving a lighter more refreshing option?  Pop into any of the many Blenders smoothie locations all over town.

DInner: Great family style Italian? Palazzio’s – don’t say I didn’t warn you about the garlic balls served at each table. Looking for a hip place to eat with amazing food? Make your reservation now at The Lark ( but seriously, make a reservation you’ll need one!) Seafood lovers must go to Enterprise Fish Company. Great atmosphere, tasty and light dishes. Love fresh mexican food? Los Agaves  and Carlitos (on state street) won’t do you wrong.

What to do? Calling all foodies, check out Santa Barbara Public Market. Handcrafted and sustainable food shops, coffee, cheese, ice cream, cupcakes, and more! Gorgeous hikes! Santa Barbara is known for it’s wine ocean, but the hills are beautiful! Check out the best length for you with a plethora of hike options here. Shop.Go to State Street! You can stroll up and down the outdoor mall street and check out local shops as well as Lole, Nordstroms, Lululemon, Anthropology, Old Navy, and lots more! Wine and Beer. Check out the Funk Zone; an area now designated for all these great local places in one area. Easy to walk from winery to winery on the Urban Wine Trail. Rent Bikes, run, walk, stroll along the ocean front bike path on Cabrillo Start your day with some great sweat and positive energy! Check out a Jenny Schatzle Program work out! Drive inland to wine country. There’s so many options here, this is a good place to start. Stand Up Paddle boarding! Santa Barbara’s water is so beautiful. Cruise the coast on water. Beaches (Butterfly beach), beaches ( Miramar beach), beaches ( Henry’s Beach)… We hope this gets you started on some ideas to plan your weekend! Looking forward to seeing you all on race morning!

girlfriends Santa Barbara

( photo credit: UCSB)

Meet June’s Beauty Mark…


Name: Jasmin

Age: 30

Hometown: Watsonville, CA

Job: EHR Application Analyst

Thinking back to the different times I attempted to run, I can see now why I couldn’t stick with it. Going back to my memories of running as I was growing up all I can recall are not so pleasant memories. Memories of embarrassment, humiliation, feelings of not being old enough, good enough, fast enough or thin enough. However, all those feelings started melting away a few years ago. My second pregnancy not only brought along twin boys but also over 100lbs of weight gain. I knew I had to lose weight and a lot of it. It was not healthy for me to be at the weight I was plus I wanted to set a good example for my very observant 6 year old daughter. One step at a time on the treadmill. One brave moment at a time running out on the street. One adventure trip at a time going out on trails. I fell in love with running. Running became not only a good way for me to lose a significant amount of weight but it also supplied much needed time I yearned for reflection. Personal time for prayer with each step, with each jump over a root, with each drop of sweat of my face. I was I am grateful for the time out there on the road, on the trail or even on the treadmill. I now understand that running is a gift not everyone has but we can share. Years ago I would not have been able to appreciate the gift running is and the peace that comes with it. So, I am thankful for those “not so pleasant” memories because they make my running adventures so much more amazing and memorable.

How long ago did you start running? 3 ½ years ago

What inspired you to start running? My Pastor ran his first 10k when he was about 60. I had just delivered my HUGE twin boys 4 months before and had many, many pounds to loose. I thought if my pastor can run a 10k I can run more than 1 mile.

What has been your biggest recent challenge in running? Speed, I am fearful of failing. When it comes to running my goals up until this year were to finish the run or finish the race. Time didn’t matter. Really, I was just too scared to be pushed out of my comfort zone and have the possibility to fail. That is until this year’s Santa Cruz Beautiful. Three years ago I said I wanted to run a 10k under an hour. beautiful 2015 was my first attempt at that goal. Several good runs with some awesome fast ladies, a running streak that started January 1st of 2015 and the big man upstairs guiding my steps. My time for the 10k was under an hour. Not once in all my races have I teared up like I did after getting the email notification with my official time. It was AWESOME!

Who are the top 3 most inspiring women in your life? I have many ladies that I find very inspiring.

  • The ladies in the Watsonville chapter of Moms Run This Town are all amazing. They all have their own story, own experience, own awesomeness that rubs off on anyone they encounter. They’ve thought me to pick up my pace and how to get up when I am down.
  • Ladies from my church family that have a hunger for God and his word but are also some hardcore ladies running 50k races and shredding single track on their mountain bike. I look at them and know you can be a wife, mother, sister and employee while also serving others with a grateful heart then go out and rock some trails.
  • One particular sister in God Vivien taught me how to pray in all situations no matter how big or how small. That has been one of the biggest impacts in my running…prayer while running.
  • Last my sister Esme, who when I was younger I aspired to run like she did. One of my goals when I started running was to be able to run a race with her. That goal was met twice! The first was a half marathon in 2013 the second was Santa Cruz 2014.

What’s your favorite piece of running gear? My race shirts. Each one has a story, each one has been earned.

How has your pace and running distance changed since you started? When I started running 3 ½ years ago I would run a mile in 15 minutes…on a treadmill. At that point I was too embarrassed to have people see me running. I would be out of breath and dripping sweat thankful that the mile was over really not a pretty sight. Now, my fastest mile is around 8:40. The longest distance I covered was a 50k August 2014.

In one word, how does running make you feel? BLESSED

What’s your next goal in running? 50 miler



Our mission at is to bring people together for the greater good of their health, self love, and confidence.  Life can be a roller coaster, challenging, or just plain hard; but we believe it’s possible to make it better. Moving our bodies together, supporting one another in our journey, and doing more things that make us happy is something worth making time for. We believe that finding grounding space in our bodies through movement is important and paves the way for more inner peace. We believe more inner peace, leads to more outer peace…and vice versa.

And so we are doing just that. Dream Catchers is a boutique event we are hosting this summer in both Capitola and Santa Barbara. Like our races, this event is open to all levels and promises a good time. Maybe you can do a handstand, maybe you have never tried yoga before; everyone is welcome. Like our races, you will get some great swag. Each participant will receive an official event sweatshirt. Unlike our races, this event is an all inclusive 2 hour event with ocean side yoga with great music, guided mediation, activity, and a delicious cup of coffee or tea. We encourage those who are interested to show up early for a complimentary 3 mile group run/walk/skip or jog with our friend Mary of Train with Mary.

As described by Terri J. Andrews of “Living by the Dream”, Dream Catchers are objects which “only good dreams would be allowed to filter through… Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day.” Good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.

We believe moving your body and mind can be a dream catcher. We believe with practice you can let bad pass through you …or sit with it awhile and then let it go. We believe in holding on to the dreams, the goals, the love, and the good.

Registration for this event ( both in Capitola and Santa Barbara) opens June 1st . The cost for the event is $49/person and includes event sweatshirt. Capitola’s event takes place on Saturday July 11th 8am-10am and Santa Barbara’s event takes place Saturday August 29th 9am-11am.

Registration will take place on our website by clicking the black “Dream Catcher” tab.

dream catcher

Amazing lives are not limited

You know when you read a quote and you believe in it so strongly you feel that it was actually written for you. You’re like, “yes, exactly”. You smile, you repeat it in your head.

That just happened to me.

“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” Oprah (Of course she said that. Oprah knows what’s up.)

I’m a big time dream believer. I love the idea that if you can dream it, you can do it. I love vision boards, positive affirmations, and fortune cookies. Some may call me an eternal optimist. But what I also believe in is hard work. In the trenches, early mornings, late nights, sometimes doing work that you don’t want to do, but you know it’s part of your path and it will get you to the next step…even if you’re not sure what that next step is.  Whether you’re in school working towards your dream career, raising a child, in a job you don’t love but you know it’s getting you closer to finding a field you fit in, searching for your life purpose, or doing whatever it takes to pay the bills on time. Most of us have been there. And when we’re in it some days we can’t see very far ahead. That’s where faith comes in. I’m not necessarily talking faith in terms of a religious sense, but in a sense of strong belief that there is a beautiful direction(s) for your life. “Faith” as it’s defined “as belief, confidence or trust in a person, object, religion, idea or view despite the absence of proof.” We must all walk, run or crawl through learning experiences, get credentials, learn lessons, put ourselves in new situations, and grow to get to a place we’ve always wanted to be; physically, emotionally, spiritually. In your career, your family, your personal life, and in your own internal happiness.

“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.”

This quote found me this morning and I still can’t seem to get it out of my head. I have worked some hard jobs, some jobs that many may not have taken because of their ego or not wanting to make certain sacrifices. To be honest, there was a while there where I wasn’t sure where I was going. But I knew that working hard was the first way to get there. So I practiced this ethic. Working hard at jobs that weren’t right for me, but I was going to be the best while I was there. During this time, I sacrificed a lot of things including self care. I managed to squeeze in early morning or late night runs, because I knew this would at least give me some peace of mind; moving my body in a way I loved. I promised myself that one day, self care would be part of my daily work.

I began to write things down, things I wanted in my life, the way my dream schedule would look; kind like a literary vision board. Before things began to fall in place, things fell apart both professionally and in my personal life. But I held on; doing what I had to do.

Leaps of faith, chances, hard work, early mornings, late nights have all lead to a beautiful life. My life looks similar to the one wrote. The one I ordered from the universe about 6 years ago. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with hardships or stress, it’s still full of life’s challenges. I have many more dreams and journeys ahead of me. But I get run everyday, my career is my biggest passion, I have a family I love, a place I always dreamed of calling home, and a lifestyle that allows me to do many things I love. I am forever grateful for the knowledge and acceptance that we have the power to create the life we want to live, even though it may take time to get there.

Here’s one of the most powerful things I’ve learned, amazing lives are not limited to a certain few, they are available for all of us. Your dream life is possible, but it takes hard work getting there. But you aren’t here to cruise through life, you’re here to squeeze out every last drop of the good stuff.

“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.”

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