Hey, Stranger

Yesterday it was sunny and then it rained and then the sun came out and then it rained and then when the sun decided to come out for a third time I decided to go for a run.

It’s been months since I went for a run outside but today something inside of me told me I would feel better after a run so rather than ignoring that something inside of me, I listened.

Shortly into my run I unconsciously started relating my journey through grief thus far to running.

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I seem to have misplaced my iPod shuffle that I typically use when I workout so I grabbed the old iPod Touch I bought to fill with Stephen’s iTunes library. It has 7,317 songs on it which is still only a portion of his music collection.

I love to listen to Stephen’s music because in a way it makes me feel closer to him knowing I’m getting lost in the same songs he used to get lost in.

The first mile of any run is usually the most difficult for me. But almost immediately following that mile I settle in, find my stride (which resembles that of a duck), and my breathing becomes rhythmic. Yesterday was nothing out of the ordinary.

A good run in my opinion is one where I can get lost in my thoughts, like I’m invisible inside myself just observing the world around me. It’s very healing to get lost in a world while giving it all of your attention at the same time. (If that makes any sense?)

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The song Ocean by John Butler Trio came on during my run and after a while I began to wonder when it would end. I checked just to see and the song lasts for 12 minutes and 28 seconds. Stephen would have a 12+ minute song with no words on his iPod so I wasn’t surprised. 

But it was the perfect song for my thoughts at that moment so I put it on repeat. (More like I listened to it about 2 and 1/2 more times.)

There are parts of every run of mine where I get a boost of motivation and my pace speeds up, I’m full of adrenaline and nothing can slow me down. At other times, I’m running so slow I might as well be walking – actually I’d probably be moving faster if I were walking. I get angry on some runs and curse every time my feet meet the ground and push off it again. On others, I swear I close my eyes, tilt my head to the sun, and smile because it feels so incredible.

Regardless, I keep moving.

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Running isn’t always easy, in fact, it can be very uncomfortable. But that’s the point.

You slow down, you speed up, you run in circles, over hills, down hills, and on straight-away flats. You might trip or even fall down. Sometimes all you want to do it stop and that’s ok.

 

But you can’t give up.

I can’t give up.

 

You can stop to catch your breath, tie your shoe, take a drink of water, or in my case burp lunch which didn’t have time to fully digest.

Yesterday (aside from the burping), I stopped to take a moment and enjoy a beautiful view that made me thankful for the presence – something to be so, so thankful for. After my brief stop, I felt like there was a new breeze in my face and wind at my back. It felt good to start my run again.

Usually, I never let myself stop but I’m really glad I did yesterday. I think it’s important to let yourself know that it’s ok and almost necessary at times to stop for a moment. You know your body and its limits better than anyone else and believe it or not, that little voice inside of you that’s quietly telling you to do something usually knows what’s best. Whether you’re running or just living, taking a moment to let yourself breathe and just be thankful for the beauty of presence can be the perfect boost of motivation to never give up.

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Running is about constantly pushing yourself past your level of comfort in order to find a new one.

As humans we are constantly changing. In fact, the struggle to survive is an effort to constantly cope with change and in order to be able to cope with change we must learn. Learning is a change in behavior due to experiences and change and learning can be very uncomfortable. But just like with running, once we push ourselves past one comfort level we find a new one and  with that new comfort level we become stronger. 

I’m in the process of learning to cope with such a drastic change in my life and it still feels too impossible to be real. But know that I am not giving up regardless of how I may appear to an observer. I am still moving and whether I realize it or not I am a little stronger with every passing day.

 

I had a completely different post drafted that I had planned on posting in place of this but this one seemed to fit better. The purpose of this post is to let those who might be wondering know that I haven’t given up on blogging. However, I hope you all can understand that I am a different person now and HNC will be different also, but for the better.

I have some product reviews, possibly a giveaway, and plenty of recaps up my sleeve for you all so get ready.

Lots of love,

Claire

#kindawesome

Hello hello everyone!

How’s everyone’s week been so far? Hopefully good especially since tomorrow is Fridayyy, woohoo weekend!

Today I’d like to let you guys in on a really neat project KIND Snacks has going on called Do The KIND Thing.

 

Do the KIND Thing Projects 

  • Do the KIND Thing: Projects is a new program from KIND Healthy Snacks that is crowdsourcing socially impactful project ideas that are aimed at making the world a little kinder.
  • Each month, people can vote with acts of kindness on the idea(s) that most inspire them. At the end of the month, KIND will support the winning project with $10,000.
  • We currently have over 85 project submissions for the month of November, which you can check out HERE.

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It’s pretty darn awesome that a brand is not only dedicated to making healthy AND tasty snacks but also supports one project every month with $10,000.

If you have a project then propose it to Do The KIND Thing or browse through all the amazing project submissions on KIND’s site and support your favorite with a kind act.

Have an awesome day! :)

KIND Snacks sent me samples pictured in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed on HNC are and always will be my own. 

Missing You Always

Happy Monday everyone!

Lately, I’ve seriously put blogging on the back burner. School, work, friends, and mainly laziness are to blame. Today, however, is a new day and I’d like to end my back burning streak.

But before I move on like nothing has happened during my blogging hiatus, I feel the need to share with you a very tragic loss that myself and many others have recently suffered.

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For those of you who are no stranger to HNC, you can probably recognize Stephen, otherwise known as “The Boyfriend”. Stephen left this world on October 18, 2013 and with him he took a piece of me.

Over the years I’ve watched many close friends experience great losses but was blessed to be strangers with tragedy until now.

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It’s unfortunate what you realize when someone is gone…

And in many ways it’s fortunate the life lessons you take from those realizations.

The relationship I was lucky enough to share with Stephen was so much deeper than just being able to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. He knew me better than anyone else and still wanted to get to know me further. He was truly my very best friend and the closest person to me so far in my lifetime.

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Stephen was a friend to many. He was so caring, loving, and thoughtful. He was too smart for his own good. He was outgoing and musically gifted. Self conscious and sometimes shy yet he made me feel more confident than ever before. Stephen was inspiring and motivating. He was excellent at arguing and a pretty good asshole at times. He was ticklish beyond words. Had a fetish with Q-tips and cleaned his ears an unhealthy amount. He loved the beach and had a odd obsession with Colorado. He scuba dived, sky dived, drove from Alabama to Colorado, and even rode an elephant. He was an amazing, perfect person with the most beautiful heart.

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I think about you all the time, everyday. Everywhere I look I see you. Everything around me makes me remember times spent with you. I miss your laugh so much it hurts. At times I doubt my ability to handle the pain of missing you and question whether or not time really does heal.

Even though I’d do absolutely anything in my power to bring you back I find comfort knowing you’re in a better place than all of us on earth. I know you’ve found peace and your only emotion is happy. We used to laugh at how cheesy it was that our “song” in junior high was Your Guardian Angel by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus but now I think the irony is beautiful.

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I am beyond thankful for all the precious memories I was so fortunate to share with you. The good times and the bad times, I wouldn’t trade one second I spent with you for anything in the world. You’ve taught me so much already and I know you’d want the best for me and everyone else. Thank you for being every bit of you. I will always love you.

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Until we meet again. Missing you always.

Fully Ready for Fall

Hiya!

This past weekend I headed home with a few of my favorite people to visit a few more of my favorite people. Camping, football, and a lot of chillaxin’ was involved.

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I brought my camera on our camping trip so that’s where the pictures are coming from today. There’s nothing better than a good candid shot. Am I right?

Anyone have an Eno hammock?

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They’re pretty neat little gadgets.

Here’s a glimpse at my paparazzi skills… :D

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(Corey is an L.L. Bean model by the way.)

Good people, good times. Nothing like it.

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Ohhh check dat fyyyuuuhhh. ;)

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After camping last weekend I am fully ready for fall to roll in. It’s my favorite season by far and I’m itching to bust out my boots and cozy sweaters, whip up batches of chili, and watch the colors change while sitting on my balcony. Ahhh…

Anything fun planned for the upcoming weekend?

I’ll leave you with this happy picture and happy quote. Wishing everyone a great rest of the week!

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“Whatever creates or increases happiness or some part of happiness, we ought to do; whatever destroys or hampers happiness, or gives rise to its opposite, we ought not to do.”
- Aristotle

She's baaack!

(She meaning me.)

Hey there!

So…uh…long time no blog, right? There should be an inside HNC joke about how many posts have a title pertaining to my being alive or back from blogging hiatuses.

Many of you might have started to come to the conclusion that I lost interest, gave up all together, or maybe even fell off the face of the world.

The latter is true…the face of the blog world, to be exact. (I haven’t even had the time to read blogs!)

Well, I’m here to let my people know that the hiatus is OVER!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since my yesteryears of high school (it wasn’t thaaat long ago, I know), back when a consistent schedule was practically given to you, it’s that you’ve gotta be on your toes 24/7 because your plans will change. Adaptability is the name of the game, y’all.

Anyways, I’m gonna share a few pictures of what I’ve been up to since the last time we spoke and maybe throw in a few food pictures since this is a health food blog after all.

What I’ve been up to:

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That might seem like a lot but it is just a glimmer in comparison of everything else I’ve been doing lately. I should probably have added a few pictures of my school work since that has stolen a huge chunk of my time yet again…I’m in class right now, by the way. ;)

These pictures in a nutshell: Hanging out with some of my favorite Scottsboro natives, Color Run, my best friend in the whole wide world came for a weekend, and Baton Rouge adventures. Maybe I’ll get around to filling in the blanks later but for now this will have do.

 

What I’ve been watching:

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DEXTER! My roommates and I are hooked on this show. I know we’re a little behind on the trend but hey, now we get to enjoy it well past its end. Speaking of the end, we will all cry.

 

How I’ve been sweating:

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(^^^Picture from a walk, not run, but generic prescription viagra you get the point.)

It’s been the usual and a lot of whatever I have time for. TurboFire and some weights at home are always quick and easy options.

A few of my pledge sisters and I are running the RnR NOLA in February (!!!) so I’ve been going on plenty of runs as well. Who else is scary excited for fall running weather?! *Hand raised* Fall and spring are my FAVORITE times of the year to run.

 

What I’ve been eating:

All of these picture belong to my Canon at home and like I said, I’m in class! But I did find this food pic on my phone. ;)

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I shall see you shortly, take care.

:D