How Not to Injure Yourself When Running: From an Okayish Runner Who Has a Love/Hate Relationship with it.

One of the biggest injuries a runner can have is their mindset. 😲

Negative thoughts will slow you down just as much as a physical ailment. Running is a sport of mind and body. 💪🏽💙

Performance anxiety will halt the potential you have. Ever “freaked” out before a race or practice? 😖😭

Unsupportive words to yourself will slow you down. Get out of your head. 😶

Unsupportive words and lack of encouragement from teammates (or running group) never wins. 🚫🏆

Seeing and using your strengths during practice and encouraging teammates is what makes champions. (Not all of you will have the same strengths, and that’s okay. Using different a strengths together builds a team). 🎽

While running tell yourself something you can improve at, but also two strengths. Share this with teammates who can hold you accountable and give you encouragement. Bonus: ask them to answer these questions about you. 🙇🏼💁🏼👋🏻👌🏻👂🏻

Listen to your coach and tell them your goals and thoughts ( negative and positive). 👂🏻👈🏻👨🏻

Your coach is smart. If they say easy run then complete this task. If they say race speed then give it your all. Not listening to what your coach says during training will produce injury. You don’t have to be perfect and go all out in everything you do. (Unrealistic) ✌🏻️👂🏻

Listen to your body. Once I had a friend who was cross training with yoga. “I’m fit; I can go further”. They tore a hamstring. 😖 It’s important to be realistic. Yoga is not racing. It’s to stretch and give your body a chance to recover from actual training. 🚣🏻🏊🏻🏋🏽🚴🏿

Be realistic when you are pushing yourself. Don’t go over that limit. Again, listen to your coach. Ask, “How can I increase my speed”. They may have a workout they recommend you do on your own (it may look different for different people.) You have to practice at it. Not being realistic will produce nothing lasting. It doesn’t have a foundation to stand on. 👟🙇🏼💁🏼👨🏻

Your running will suffer if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing.
It’s important to have fun while training. Some practices you won’t enjoy 👀, but remind yourself three reasons why you love the sport during these tough times. ✌🏻️👊🏽🤘🏻💙🤗

Positive mindset can not be achieved on your own. 👥 You have to communicate with other people about training and the negative thoughts you may have. 🗣 Before you can encourage others you must be encouraging yourself. ☝🏻
Remember your strengths and 2 positive things. Also, One thing you can work on. Share this with teammates. Ask them what they see in you. 👀
It is important to be physically training in the manner that your coach asks you to. 👤Everyone has different strengths, and areas they need to work on. 💪🏽Putting this together makes a successful team.


“The Farewell Tour”

Recently I had to give 2 speeches. One was to the members at my internship and the other was to the students at the Wesley Foundation at ETSU. If you know me then you probably know public speaking is not my forte, but I got a lot of practice in this semester during field. Since I had to give speeches I decided to nickname this week and last week “The Farewell Tour.” My good friends could not make it to the Wesley this week, so I decided to blog it for them instead. No worries… We said our goodbyes on Saturday. 😉

To the members:

Thanks for letting me be apart of your recovery journey.

To the Wesley:

Celina and I had a lot of classes together, so she keep asking me to come to the Wesley. I had previously been to other ministries on campus, but could not really find one where I felt totally secure. I was over it, and I was ready to give up.

Ends up I kept coming to the Wesley after the first night. It gave me a place to worship for about a year, and I always felt welcomed. I met my closest buds here. They’ve always had great advice, and helped me in so many ways. Shout out to Olivia who listened to my panic attacks about school. Also, Shauna you are the best friend a person could ask for. You can make me laugh no matter the situation, and you have a loving heart. Yes, I am outing you. Shana will do whatever is needed for her friends, and is a caring person. She has said “I only do one nice thing a year.” That is not the case at all. She helped take care of Gibbs when I was busy at my internship, and she did it for free. Now that is a bud.

I wouldn’t have these relationships without the Wesley foundation, and I truly am thankful for these relationships.

To the Wesley and the Members:

“Recovery is a Journey”

Recovery is a journey that I have been on too. At one time in my life I failed algebra, I missed graduating by honors in high school by a point, and I thought I was a failure. My senior year of high school I thought it would be silly to apply to college, because I was sure that “I would just fail out.” It was suggested to me in high school by staff that I just graduate with a certificate of completion instead of a high school diploma, because they weren’t sure if I could pass my foreign language classes since I was dyslexic.

Also, I remember being called out of class one day to come take a skills assessment and job assessment test. This random person giving the test was determined to get me out of the computer room having a path set before me. I took the test. It gave a list of things I could possibly get a certificate in or a trade in. I flatly told the guy that “I didn’t want to do a trade”. I stated I didn’t want to do any of this but thanks. He, being passionate job, asked me what I wanted to do. I responded that maybe I wanted to be a nurse and go to ETSU. He said, “Great, what about a being a nurses aid.” I said, “No, I don’t want to do that.” “Well it’s just maybe a university isn’t the right path of you”, He said. Then he proceeded to go through a list and name every trade he could think of (including roofing). None of those trades were strengths or skills that I had. After I wore him out with my stubbornness I left that day feeling defeated, and that poor guy who was “helping” probably did too.

My support system outside of the school encouraged me to go to a university if that is what I wanted to do. My mom was always my advocate. She always helped since she had her masters and Ed.S. in education. She printed out my application to apply to ETSU, and basically tied me to the chair next to her and made me fill it out. A couple of months later I got accepted, and like many things in my life I was the last one to know. At this point I was still sacred with the idea of attending ETSU. I still needed to get my ACT score up in order to test out of some developmental classes. I took my ACT again on the Saturday morning of my senior prom, and was still jet lagged from a spring break trip to China. I basically remember opening the booklet, and saying screw it. I tested out of developmental English at ETSU, because my score was high enough. However, math is another story.

My freshman year at ETSU was an emotional roller coaster. I had no earthly idea what I really wanted to major in deep inside. I remember thinking nursing, OT, and what the heck was a social work major? The only thing I excelled at my freshman year was my history classes. Also, I felt the need to overcompensate in every English class I took because of being diagnosed with dyslexia. I visited the tutoring center often, and I am pretty sure they dreaded seeing my face every time I walked in. It was hard to get my syntax and thoughts to flow, so the tutors didn’t even know what I was trying to write half the time. Obviously, this got better with time.

I cried a lot too during my time in college. My anxiety and depression were uncontrollable compared to now. It was often something I didn’t want to admit I had, because I though another diagnosis of something wasn’t going to help me but stigmatize me even more. One summer during college I worked at a pharmacy as a tech, and I took an online A&P course. I gave up! The anxiety and depression were too much. I finally got medication and a therapist, and that help tremendously.

When I went back to school after that summer I found myself wondering to Lyle House (social work building) on campus. I had an appointment with the dean to talk about social work and my possible future in it. She set me up so I could graduate on time. I declared my major in social work and a minor in psychology. I took intro to social work the following semester, and I never looked back. A couple semesters later I was officially accepted into the program, and finally declared a BSW student in the program.

Fast-forward and it is spring semester of my senior year. I’m an intern at a psychosocial recovery center, I am graduating cum laude, and got invited to the university’s Honors Convocation. Also, I got initiated into Phi Alpha and Phi Gamma Mu (two honors societies). As I write this it is weird to think and truly accept that I am graduating from ETSU this Saturday, but it is true and not just a dream. I’m currently finding myself applying for BSW jobs, and I can’t wait to finally have the title. I am finally happy and secure in what I doing in my life, and that has truly been a journey. In recovery I have found things I love like my dog Gibbs who I jog with, social work, and myself. I found out that failure isn’t fatal when you are on a journey of growth and recovery.

To the Wesley:

Philippians 4:8-9

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

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Social Media and Drawing the Line

How am I feeling? Social Media

         In June 2015 I decided to delete all my social media. Here’s the shocker: I don’t miss it. I don’t even want to log back in to my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. To be honest, I don’t even know the passwords to log back in. I’d have to create new accounts if I even wanted to get back on social media.

Last fall I had to log in after one of my accounts was hacked by the one of those fake ads. Someone had to text me to tell me. I logged in to fix it, and I changed the password. I don’t even know what the password is. It was late one night, and I was annoyed that it had even happened.

When I went back in to change the password, I scrolled through a bit. I thought it was weird in a way. It seems I was pretty dedicated to my SM (social media).

My Experience with Deleting my Social Media

         Some people tell me that they would fear they would miss out if they did not have social media of some sort. I can understand this statement. Businesses, churches, and sports updates all use social media, and it is a convenient way to stay current.

Also, I admit sometimes I have no idea what my friends are talking about because it all goes back to what someone posted on social media. Leaving social media has caused me to make some gains though. What I am actually missing out on is probably just gossip, opinions, or drama anyway. If I want news about what’s going on in the world I actually go to reputable news websites. I have to text people and we plan things to do in person. That way we can catch up. I actually have to use Google and call businesses if I have a question.

Deleting your Social Media is a way to get attention.

It could be. However, like many things in life, it depends on the person. I have heard that some people choose to delete their page just to see how many people will actually miss them. Then they create a fake account and follow the same people. That’s not why I deleted mine. I’m in daily or weekly contact with people who matter most to me. Get this: I actually see them in person. #hipster

A friend told me she deleted her social media because it made her feel too self-important. I agree with that statement because I can relate to that. Also, I compared myself to others in an unhealthy manner and have noticed that I am less judgmental without social media. I am not perfect, but less judgmental.

I need to delete my social media because I use it to procrastinate. I hear this from members at my internship and my friends who still have social media all the time. It is actually the reason I choose to write this post. The question I get asked most often is what do you do with your time?

Honestly, different things. For a while I watched NCIS all the time on Netflix right after I deleted it. Then I returned to school in the fall and spring, so I had homework and school responsibilities. Over winter break I read four books, and I’m still working on number five. I plan on finishing it this summer. Also, I journal, color, and draw to help me relax. I play with my dog, Gibbs. I go to the Wesley. I play the mandolin and go to lessons. Over spring break I read “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. When the weather is warmer, I hike, kayak, and spend time outside meditating. These are all self-caring activities for me to help reduce stress in my life.

Today is a prime example of accomplishing something productive. My mom texted me and asked me to do some chores since I was home on spring break. I would have been distracted my social media until two in the afternoon if I still had my accounts. Instead I read the news, cleaned, and got ready for my day.

I believe it is important to not be too hard on yourself. If you do choose to delete social media, you’ll probably find another guilty pleasure to fill in the time. For me that was binge watching Netflix. Now, not so much. Some things just take time. So relax and slowly build up toward your goal.

WHY and HOW?

I told one of my close friends that I was going to research social media and dependence. She encouraged me to do it, and asked a question along the lines of how can I not to be addicted to SM. I told her I wanted to be more confident and find some research first to support the action steps I developed. Of course, I knew the easiest way to display what I found would be WordPress, so I am expecting to be dinged for posting an article about social media on social media. Considering how long this post took to do, I don’t find this becoming a problem area for me. This post is not here to make anyone feel guilty. It’s here to help you consider if you are using SM in a positive manner.

The Research

I searched for Social Media and Addiction and peer reviewed scholarly articles. I got 1,073 results. I used articles from the last ten years that were most relevant to questions people were asking me to research. Here is what I found:

  1. Left to Their Own Devices: College Students’ “Guilty Pleasure” Media Use and Time Management

(This was the first of 5 articles I chose and each will be discussed with the main points.)

This article discusses the concern of college students having more free time than they did before they came to college. Also, it points out that most of this new free time is unsupervised by adults. The article is held to the question are college age students neglecting their academic endeavors due to leisure media use.

-“Research shows that leisure media can affect students’ scholastic performance”(Panek, 2014).

-Key terms and ideas in this article are delayed gratification, self -control, and environment.

– The article defines guilty pleasures as “activities that one consciously values more than school work”

-The article states that guilty pleasure is linked to “immediate pleasure over long-term benefits.” This means that the person is seeking the “smaller instant rewards.”

-The article defines willpower. Willpower is “to not give into media use.”

-Hoch & Loewenstein Findings: 1. Reducing desire by using willpower 2. The environment can be seen as temping and increasing desire (i.e. Alone in dorm room with laptop)

-“Constant presence of tempting media options make it difficult for individuals who are in low self control to resist these options” (Panek, 2014).

– College students (especially freshmen) can be seen as a more at risk population due to the more flexible, less rigid, and more free time schedule college can offer. Ex. They aren’t going to school from 8-3 then on to sports or band practice, etc.

– “Internet addiction is regarded as a behavioral-impulse control disorder in which to alleviate feelings of emotional tension” (Panek, 2014).

-Media addiction prevents achievement of long-term goals.

-A survey was given online to university students, and they answered 13 statements. The scale was 1=Not at all like me to 5=Just like me. The results found that “College students self-control is negatively associated with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014). Also, “college students guilt about media use is positively associated with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014). The study did not find that “the amount of time college students spent on school work had a negative association with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014).

– “The study provides support for the claim that students who are low in self-control are apt to spend more time using leisure media and feel guilty about it” (Panek, 2014).



Compared to the other study this study’s participants were also college age students. The results were found through three scales. The Facebook addiction scale, subjective happiness scale, and subjective vitality scale were the methods used to find the results.

– “Problematic use of internet-based social networking sites like FB may be a significant factor influencing subjective happiness” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– “FB addiction can be described as unable to control and limit the amount of time one spends on activities on FB” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– “Severe depression, social dysfunction, anxiety, and insomnia were predictors of FB addiction” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– Uysal et al., 2013, hypothesis was “ The relationship between subjective happiness and subjective vitality is mediated by FB addiction.”

– “The results indicated the FB addiction could partly explain the relationship between subjective vitality and subjective happiness” (Uysal et al., 2013).


  1. Association between Facebook Dependence and Poor Sleep Quality: A Study in a Sample of Undergraduate Students in Peru

– Like the other studies previously stated the participants in this study are also undergraduate college students. The results will most likely not be a huge shock. The study concluded, “that there is a relationship between FB dependence and poor quality of sleep” (Alonso et al., 2013). “More than half the students reported poor sleep quality, and the study found that strategies to moderate the use of social network and to improve sleep quality in this population are needed” (Alonso et al., 2013).


– The behavioral results of this study found that “women presented stronger addiction-like symptoms then men” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– Also, the study questions if addiction is the best term that can be used for this presenting problem. The results showed that the “amygdala-striatal (impulsive) brain system was positively related to ones FB “addiction” scale score” (Tunel, et al., 2014). “However, the prefrontal cortex (inhibitor) brain system showed no association” (Tunel, et al., 2014). According to the article this shows that it is similar to other addictions since the amygdala-striatal is hyper active, but the prefrontal cortex is not found to be hypo active. “Since FB “addiction” does not have a hypo active prefrontal cortex it also differs from other addictions, such as using illicit substances” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– “The findings imply that individuals who present low-medium levels of addiction like symptoms in relation to FB have an imbalance between their amygdala- striatal and prefrontal cortex” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– The imbalance can be managed by restoring homeostasis between the two systems, and the article states can be achieved through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Tunel, et al., 2014).

  1. A Unique Problem or the Manifestation of a Preexisting Disorder? The Mediating Role of Problematic Internet Use in the Relationships Between Psychosocial Problems and Functional Impairment

– PIU=Problematic Internet Use

– “The finding reveal that psychosocial problems, such as social anxiety, and depression, can initiate cognitive preoccupation too and uncontrolled uses of the internet” (Tokunaga, 2014).

– “PIU is an important pathway to the development of vocational and socially anxious, lonely, or depressed individuals” (Tokunaga, 2014). In other words PIU is not a sole cause to the development of vocational and socially anxious, lonely, or depressed individuals.

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Panek, E. (2013). Left to their own devices: College students’ ‘guilty pleasure’ media use and time management. Communication Research, 44(4), 383-400. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Tokunaga, R. S. (2012). A Unique Problem or the Manifestation of a Preexisting Disorder? The Mediating Role of Problematic Internet Use in the Relationships Between Psychosocial Problems and Functional Impairment. Communication Research, 41(4), 531-560.


Turel, O., He, Q., Xue, G., Xiao, L., & Bechara, A. (2014). Examination Of Neural Systems Sub-Serving Facebook “Addiction”. Psychological Reports, 115(3), 675-695. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Uysal, R., Satici, S. A., & Akin, A. (2013). Mediating Effect Of Facebook ® Addiction On The Relationship Between Subjective Vitality And Subjective Happiness. Psychological Reports, 113(3), 948-953. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Wolniczak, Isabella ; Cáceres-Delaguila, José Alonso ; Palma-Ardiles, Gabriela ; Arroyo, Karen J ; Solís-Visscher, Rodrigo ; Paredes-Yauri, Stephania ; Mego-Aquije, Karina ; Bernabe-Ortiz, Antonio ; Schuelke, Markus [2013]. Association between Facebook Dependence and Poor Sleep Quality: A Study in a Sample of Undergraduate Students in Peru. PLoS ONE,8(3), n.p. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


A Week in Review

A Week in Review

Things I prayed for:

-My thoughts and prayers go out to the people harmed at the airport and station in Brussels

-My thoughts and prayers go out to President Obama since he is in Cuba working on US and Cuban relations

-I pray that the Cuban and American baseball players stay safe during there game on Tuesday

Things I am thankful for:

  • I’m thankful that the Lady Vols made it to the sweet 16 and the elite 8. I never would have thought it.
  • I am thankful for hearing back from a company who is interested in interviewing me for a social work position (please, let me be in your thoughts and prayers)
  • I’m thankful for this past weekend and Easter celebrations.

Things to aid in recovery:

  • My mom sent me this email on Friday. It is about a sister who wants the world to know that suicide and depression is a real thing that people struggle with. Many people and families suffer from battles with depression and mental health challenges that leads to suicide. The article/video noted that major depression is one of the top reasons people draw disability.
    • Link:
  • I found this link today! What a great recovery story and an amazing woman!
    • Link:



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-I took this picture in 2009 at Pat’s 1,000 win game.