A Tribute To Good Friends

What is friendship?

Words like compassion, companionship, understanding, safety, support come immediately to my mind. Everyone will have a different definition and not every friend will fulfill every quality at every step of the way. Some of our friends may never do any of these things for us, yet we still call them friends. Maybe because we embody one of these qualities, or something else that friend needs, for them. After all, there are givers and takers in every relationship, a balance to be maintained.

There is also a difference between a friend, and a good friend. I would rather have one good friend than a cluster of “ordinary” friends.

Here is why:

  • A good friend is devoted, accessible, and always has your heart in her thoughts, through the triumphs and the challenges.
  • A good friend is dependable. He is the one you can call, text, or email any time and know that he will come through for you, whether you are just checking in or are having a crisis.
  • A good friend will find a way to at least be there by your side, cheering you on or making sense of the chaos.
  • A good friend is timeless. You can pick up where you left off, whether after 3 days or 3 months, and it always feels like coming home.
  • A good friend can make you laugh when all you want to do is cry; a good friend can also make you cry so that after the tears subside you can see the light.

I came across a quote that I think encompasses it all perfectly:

“Friendship is the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful, friendly hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping and, with a breath of comfort, blow the rest away.” ~ A Life for a Life by Dinah Mulock Craik, 1859 found athttp://www.xenodochy.org/ex/quotes/friendship.html.

I am blessed to have several good friends who have lifted me up through many struggles and cheered me through many victories. I can only aspire to be as good of a friend to them, to hold their hands, in any way they need.

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Passion For Running Part 5: Good Equipment

Every sport requires specialized equipment. Running is no exception; however, the requirements are substantially fewer, and consequently less expensive, than what you might see for other sports.
For example, think about all the equipment one needs to cycle. Not only that, but the decisions that go into deciding which equipment to buy. Road bike or off-road? Clip pedals or cage pedals? Helmet or no helmet? T-shirt or tech shirt? Gloves or no gloves? Night cycling or day cycling? I could go on and on. Each of those decisions results in a separate purchase and possibly greater expense.

On the flipside, there is swimming. While I do swim about once a week, I am definitely not what you would call an enthusiast. I have my swimsuit, moldable ear plugs, and goggles. Period. And my equipment is simply basic, and inexpensive. However, when I shopped for this equipment, I could see how a swimming enthusiast might get carried away with purchasing super expensive supplies, like $25 techno ear plugs instead of the $5 moldable ones and $30 goggles instead of the $15 version.

Other sports with high price tags for equipment are golf, horseback riding, skiing, baseball, football.

Thankfully for us, the running enthusiasts, the equipment needs are rather basic.

I would say the most important element of equipment~the one on which you want to spend as much as you can~is the shoes. Shoes provide both cushion and support for your feet and legs. Not enough support, and your whole body could be affected, from your knees to your hips to your spine.

Every athletic shoe manufacturer carries a multitude of styles to fit every need, and usually in a range of prices. In fact, there are so many styles that I get overwhelmed and rely instead on the friendly staff at my local Luke’s Locker. I wear Saucony now, but don’t ask me which style. Last year I wore Basics, and, way back in the dark ages of my college years, I ran in Adidas and Reebok court shoes. I don’t even think there were shoes made specifically for running. If something like it existed, I didn’t know about it. No wonder I suffered such horrible shin splints back then.

As you can see, it helps to do your own research and find a quality running supply store with staff whom you can trust. Furthermore, as with any purchase, more money spent does not necessarily equal better quality. The $100 Saucony shoe that works for me might not be the right one for someone else who runs better in the $60 Adidas.

Depending on how many miles and on what type of surface you are running, you can expect to replace your shoes at least twice a year. I can always tell when mine need to be replaced by gauging my shin, knee, and hip pain. Plus, it helps to focus on when it starts to feel like I am running with pancakes strapped to my feet.

And, aaahhh, to run in a brand new pair of sneakers. So light, so airy. Who wouldn’t want to perpetuate that comfort?

There are other items that you might want to consider:

  • Good quality socks that not only help cushion your feet but also absorb moisture efficiently.
  • Lightweight clothing, preferably tech tops of some sort, which will absorb moisture regardless of the temperature in which you run. The benefits of this for cold weather running are obvious~cold gear is a must~but running in a heavy, wet, sweaty t-shirt in 85 degrees is never comfortable. For all the men reading this: I will always envy your ability to run shirtless (and don’t mind me if I stare at you as you run past)!
  • A reusable water bottle, along with some way to carry it. This is a personal preference. I prefer to hold my bottle in my hand. Some prefer fuel belts, others a waist pouch. Pick what works best for you.
  • A ball cap works well to keep sun out of your eyes and to absorb moisture.
  • Sunglasses. I can’t run without mine, even on cloudy days. I think is it part of my running persona.
  • Sunscreen. No other explanation needed.
  • Headlamp, flashlight, or other luminary devices if you run at night. Don’t be that runner who gets hit in the crosswalk because the driver coming from behind the hedges couldn’t see your approach.

If you are intent on growing your passion for running, as with any sport, invest in the necessary equipment for comfort and control. You will not enjoy anything if you are practicing it with missing, ill-fitting, or worn equipment. Take care of your body by supporting it with what it needs to do its job. It will then take care of you.

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

Thoughts From April

~ 4.1.2013
“I say goodbye to weakness, so long to the regret, and now I know that I’m alive.” ~ Diamond Eyes by Shinedown

~ 4.2.2013
Love is more about mutual wanting and being wanted than about needing or being needed. Need, spoken or silent, seeps desperation and whispers “OK, you’ll do.” Want is deliberation and thoughtfulness and screams “I choose you.”

~ 4.3.2013
“Take a lesson from a (wo)man who’s seen both sides. I make the best of the worst and it hurts, but it gets me by.” ~ Better Days by Saliva

~ 4.4.2013
“Except for the good Lord up above, I answer to no one.” ~ Answer to No One by Colt Ford

~ 4.8.2013
Even when people say they get you, they probably don’t get it enough to be able to apply it during the rough times. Chalk it in the column labeled “Things You Have to Live With.”

~ 4.9.2013
I forget, often, that it’s not always all about me.

~ 4.10.2013
The concept of “All good things must come to an end” has ruined it for the rest of us. I would much prefer to live in the fog of bliss and happiness than to have to think that the happy feeling will go away some day.

~ 4.11.2013
If you tell me only what I need to know, you can expect back from me only what I think I need to give you. Chances are that’s not enough.

~ 4.12.2013
Happy feelings are always there. Only the faces and places change. ~ as paraphrased from a comment by my good friend, Paul D. Thanks, Paul, for the insight!

~ 4.13.2013
“And if you let me inside…on and on I’ve got nothing to hide.” ~ All My Life by the Foo Fighters

~ 4.15.2013
Sadly, Memory Lane eventually becomes dark and dingy.

~ 4.16.2013
Damn it if it ain’t always those bitter hearts that rain on the parade.

~ 4.17.2013
“‘Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.” ~ Uncle John’s Band by The Grateful Dead

~ 4.18.2013
“I don’t need to fight to prove I’m right. I don’t need to be forgiven.” Baba O’Riley by The Who

~ 4.23.2013
If you put your all into every relationship, no time spent loving someone is wasted time.

~ 4.25.2013
There are some days where survival is only possible because of the perfect blend of indifference, loud headbanger music, and constant activity.

~ 4.26.2013
“I’m not afraid to die. I’m not afraid to live. And when I’m flat on my back I hope to feel like I did.” Kite by U2

~ 4.30.2013
“Wherever you look, it’s always the same. So many people playing the same game. Didn’t imagine it would end up here. Now that it’s faded, it all feels so clear.” So Clear by Junip

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Of Goals and Ruts

I have no problems setting a goal.

I usually don’t have problems maintaining progress toward my goal, either. I can maintain focus on a goal for long periods of time.

I talk about it. I insert its necessities and requirements into the line items of my day. I blog about it. It becomes part of my definition of me. Sometimes, it even becomes part of my friends’ definition of me.

While that feels good and inspirational, it can be a burden. Especially when I don’t achieve my goal.

Because, now and then…I get sidetracked. I hit a rut where the goal is jilted out of first place on my list.

It’s not that the goal ceases to pervade my thoughts. I know the goal and the path to get to it. To some extent, it continues to reside in my subconscious. There it is most often cloaked in guilt and excuses. As each day passes, another forgotten promise accompanies the jilted goal out the door. And, like clockwork, each day they both return, smiles and hope, with another chance for me to take up their cause once again.

Each time this happens, I don’t realize it until it is too late. Too late for me to pick it up again from where I left off. Instead, I have to start all over. And each time it happens I think back and wonder how it happened.

Did other things take precedence?

Or did I get lazy?

Maybe it was only the meandering quality of the journey I am on that led me down a different path?

Usually, it’s a mix of all of these.

To get back on track, I need inspiration. Something new. A breath of fresh air.

A new friend, a new need, a new view into another reality where I can see the advantages of what might have been if I had carried my goal to the end.

Basically, I need a kick in the ass.

And then I begin again and hope to either see the goal to the end this time or get a little bit further next time before I succumb to the forces that drag my attention and energy away.

It’s a good thing that I believe every day to truly be a new day.  That belief shares the podium with a forward looking mentality that keeps me from looking back over my shoulder and beating myself up for shortfalls and lack of success.

Hope.

Without that hope, of another chance to make a difference, I might never get back on track, might never get out of the rut, to gain momentum, to move forward again to achieve better and brighter things.

© 2010-2013 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.