Tag: Peace

Choices.

Life is about choices.

Where we are now is a sum of the choices we have made during our lifetime. The good, the bad, the stupid and even the mundane. But, they’ve been our choices — decided upon for various reasons.

I’ve learned over the years that choices aren’t easily classified. Sure there are good and bad choices, but I also like to look at the easy and difficult as well. But, life is defined these choices we make. Some on a daily basis, others when the necessity arises.

But, ultimately, the choice of direction, selection and action is in our hands — no one else’s hands. When you grasp that reality — it’s life changing. You literally are the master of your own fate.

Eight years ago today — I made a choice.

I made a choice to live — to wake up. I made the decision to be actor in the story of my life and no longer a background extra. Yet — it wasn’t this grand choice I made heralded by trumpet carrying angels and light of inspiration. I didn’t just want a change in my life, I needed one.

Today, eight years ago, I didn’t know where to start. I just knew I needed to start somewhere. I was tired of false starts and redos, so I embraced my imperfection. I didn’t fully see the end from the beginning and it took a lot of faith for me to take those initial steps — but, I took those steps.

I chose to wake up and be present. I chose to be optimistic and to find the best in others — especially myself. I chose to be the author of my story — a story with infinite possibilities of new chapters. No one else was going to write my story.

With these new choices, did change come overnight? No. Far from it. But, it began the process where I had the faith in myself to make better choices in my habits, health, diet, exercise and overall life.

I started my focus on my weight, because that was the easiest thing to tackle first. It was the most obvious needed change from a physical and emotional point of view. Weighing over 400lbs. impacts you in many areas of your life.

When I started having success with the scale, I soon realized that the joy I experienced was fleeting. As great as I felt physically — that did little for the person that I was inside. I knew that I also needed to eventually work on him as well.

And, that was a fight I delayed for as long as I could. But, I knew that when I made the choice to live a better life — that this would eventually have to happen. So, I focused on me — emotionally, socially and spiritually.

This was the hardest part of my journey. It’s not easy looking inward. That’s why dealing with the outward was so much easier. But, I started addressing things in my life that I had neglected.

The change was hard. Especially when you realized the pain you had to go through in order to get to the joy, peace and calm you wanted. But, as difficult as that realization can be, it can also be a driving force behind the daily choices you make.

My change and transformation inward wasn’t overnight and in many instances — is a change that is still ongoing. But, I feel when I made the choice to be a runner, that transformation was expedited.

I found that desired joy, peace and calmness much faster and often. I found a confidence in myself that went unrealized for over 30 years. And, I found a community of likewise people that could relate with me on many levels — physical, spiritual, emotional and social.

I felt at home.

The choices I’ve made as a runner are many, but the root of it all lays in the decision to make my ambitious goal of running 180 races over 13.1 miles before age 40. I made this goal at age 30 shortly after I ran my first half marathon. I made it because I wanted running to be a part of who I was and to see where it would take me.

And, like many journeys — I never quite expected the journey to go as it has up to now. By the end of the day, today, I will have finished my 169th race, that leaves me with just 11 races to my goal — that’s three years earlier than expected.

The early attainment of that goal has a lot to do with how running has changed my life. I have embraced the love of the unknown adventure — and each race has been an adventure. Whether it’s been a new distance, pursuit of a new goal or a race met with a “que sera, sera” attitude due to unforeseen circumstances.

Many of these adventures have led me to some of my most cherished friendships. Along with adventures that are too numerous to count and moments that will never be forgotten.

Whether it was running a half marathon in blue jeans in support of my Mom’s battle with cancer, running alongside Jill for her first marathon or running with wingless angels during the last five miles of my first 50 miler — those memories will never be forgotten, along with many, many others. I wish I could list them all here.

I don’t just feel lucky, I feel blessed, for the many people in my life. They’ve made my affair with running the life changing journey it has been in my life. And, I thank God for them all.

Often when I find myself pondering about this journey and the places I’ve been and people I’ve met — I go back to the beginning to that moment, when I made the simple choice. A choice to wake up and live. Who would have expected that choice to lead me to now? Eight years ago … not me.

But, here I am.

And, the great thing about my journey, is that you can take a similar journey too.

The choice is yours.


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Monday, Monday so good to me …

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AWESOME WEEKEND! I had my first canyon run down Big Cottonwood over the weekend. Ate some nachos. Took some things to the dump. Heck, I even got myself a Slurpee. So, yeah, it was an awesome weekend.

I’ve been in need of a good long canyon run for quite a while. And, by quite a while I mean, like, last October(ish)? I think it was the Haunted Half in Provo that I last ran DOWN a canyon. So, it’s definitely been a need for quite a while.

Besides needing a good canyon run, I’ve also needed a good non-solo run. Most of my training runs as of late have been solo — and as much as I love running, I won’t lie, I’m a social runner as well. It’s one reason why I love racing, especially sweeping courses. I need somewhat of a balance.

Being in a likewise situation my friend Jill and I decided we needed to make a canyon friend down happen. It wasn’t simply a hope or wish — it was something that needed to happen. So we made it happen.

And, we had our usual blast!

We met up at the mouth of the canyon at 6am (well, 6:15, I was late) and then Mark drove us 10 miles (actually 10.5 miles — he over shot) up the canyon. We weren’t going for speed, we weren’t going for a certain speed — we were going for effort, socializing and for the fun of running. And, it was very much all of that. Something we both needed.

And, it worked out for us because we avoided the rain (and snow) that some of our other running friends encountered. So it was perfect. Just a great time. It was something I needed to launch myself forward into the racing season.

Since Provo City is basically NEXT week — the plan this week to taper some. The plan is to still do a couple three miles run mid-week along with my workouts, but my long run on Saturday will be about 4-5 miles — and pretty easy. Don’t know if that’s necessarily needed, but I am playing by my training schedule rules.

Gotta be smart, right?

But, I am excited about the couple of weeks ahead — it’s hard to believe this is the last week of April. Time is flying by fast and I want to make sure it doesn’t pass me by — I need to make sure I hit the milestones and training plans I’ve set for myself.

Right now — I’m on track. It’s just staying the course.

Have a great week! Keep running! YEAH RUNNING!!! 


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On Saturday night my friend Dave and I went to The Nacho House here in North Salt Lake. I won’t go into much detail here — I am going to be blogging about it a bit later this week. But, they were pretty good — something you’d expect from a place with nacho in its’ name.

They had a number of options for nachos — cheese nachos, chicken nachos, steak nachos, supreme nachos, shrimp nachos and fajita nachos (chicken or beef). It was a tough decision, but I chose to go with the steak fajita nachos for a couple reasons.

One, I try to taste the best nacho dish on the menu and, two, I try to avoid the chicken. Not because I don’t like chicken, but it’s kind of overplayed and if not prepared right — can be rather boring. But, that’s a post for another day.

Anyways, make sure to check my blog, Nacho Búsqueda, to read the review later this week, along with my other samplings. Including my Costa Vida and Cafe Rio head to head battle from a couple weeks ago.

NACHOOOOOOOOOOOOOS!!!


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If you missed the newest episode of the Runcast, you’re missing out on a good episode. A really GOOD episode. We’re talking a little bit about Boston, a little bit about marathon training and a whole lot about Jorge’s heart attack.

If you haven’t given it a listen yet, do so here …


PHATGRAMS

Jill and I encountered some what of a headwind running down the canyon. #holdontoyourhats #running #runutah

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

We have come to make offerings to the seagull gods of Bountiful. #acceptouroffer #dumpyland

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

These are nacho socks. #nachosocks #mysocks

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

I’m under attack by cuteness. #babytrex #prouduncle

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on


2016miles

RUNNING MILES

102.4 miles (17.5 miles for week)

RACE MILES

38.6 miles (no race during week)

WALKING MILES

499.75 miles (36.35 miles for week)

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

640.75 miles (53.85 total miles for week)

MILES TO GOAL

2026.25 miles


FALLING IN LOVE WITH K-POP

Recently, I’ve been introduced to K-Pop — Korean Pop. And, I won’t lie, I’m kinda obsessed. It’s music lyrics I really don’t understand — but it’s catchy, feel good and just fun. It’s the kind of music you would have heard in the early-2000s.

Here’s a little sampling of some good K-Pop songs …


Daily Shorts.fw

  • Okay, I love this Runners World article about stair climbing — I’ve done quite a bit, but could definitely do more. It’s not like it hard to do at my house. I have a flight of stairs that are perfect for it. But, any stairs or uphill running in my opinion is beneficial and a focus of mine as of late.
  • It’s hard to believe that chocolate chip cookies were only invented back in the 1930s isn’t it? Seems like they’ve been ingrained in our American culture forever.
  • I won’t lie — I never was a huge fan of Prince. It’s not that I hated his music, I just never really cared for it or got into it. But, it’s hard to ignore his contributions to music and his presence will be missed. This little ditty I found of 10 unknown — or not well known — facts is pretty interesting. Worth the read.
  • Oh gosh, Mean Girls is one of those movies that I could watch over and over again. So I can totally relate to all of this.
  • If you’re looking for a fun Disney quiz — this one from BuzzFeed is a pretty fun one. Just try to guess the movie from one line of dialogue from the script.
  • While searching the nether regions of the internet, I found this ditty about Life — the famous board game, most of us have probably planned at least once in our lives. Anyways — I had no idea it was over 150 years old? Wow.
  • Wow — what a touching tribute. Yet, another great example of how running can help heal wounds.
  • I love me some jelly beans — so most of these recipes look way good.
  • Gadgets are getting cooler and cooler — and it seems like everything is starting include some sort of phone charging component. Like this phone charging coffee mug. Pretty impressive, eh?
  • I love Utah politics — that’s why I try to stay out it.
  • Here are a couple other stories coming from the Boston Marathon that was ran last Monday — read them here and here.
  • I love the latest column by local columnist Robert Kirby in regards to the recent brouhaha at BYU regarding the Honor Code and rape victims. Worth the read.

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Running for those that can’t run away

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DEEP BREATH. Exhale. What a past week. No, what a weekend. I’ve been so inspired, determined and in awe of seeing so many people come together for one cause.

Having been intently focused on putting together our fundraiser for Operation Underground Rescue — O.U.R. — it’s opened my eyes to a social ill that many think stopped over 150 years with the end of slavery here in America. But, human slavery still exists today. And, believe it or not, there are more slaves today (27 million) than there were here in America when slavery was legal — that’s a total from when slavery was introduced to the it’s end.

That’s a jarring realization. And, something that really isn’t talked about. But, it’s a problem that also includes over 2 million children — almost all as sex slaves. All appalling realities.

This past weekend was very much a bittersweet success. It was amazing and joyous to see SO many people within my community come together to fight child sex slavery. We had Tim Ballard — the founder of O.U.R. there along with Ed Smart and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. It was amazing!

We are within $5,000-$10,000 of our goal — which I know we’ll hit before the end of the year. We had a couple checks come in after the event ended and we have a few people donating matching funds for a few events happening this month.

It’s just been amazing to watch. I am very much overcome with emotion because of the nature of what we’re fighting and doing for these kids living in hell.

And, that’s why it’s bittersweet for me. All of that success we had this weekend with the fundraising gala and the 5K — it’s not enough. I’m VERY grateful for what we’ve been able to raise because that will help fund three missions to rescue kids.

But, it’s not all the kids.

The goal isn’t to save some kids — it’s to save all kids. And, that’s why I’ve felt a sense of anxiety to get involved, raise awareness, fundraise and do whatever I can. The two million kids trapped in slavery today — need me — need us!

I can’t think of a better motivating force and call to action?

And, this fundraiser isn’t it with my involvement. There’s so much more to be done, said and raised. The message of O.U.R. needs to be heard. The silent prayers of these two million children need to be heard. I have to be a part of that.

The weekend was such a great success. Not only did we raise nearly $60-$65,000 for O.U.R., but personally — I won a couple auction items I am excited about. One, I got a lifetime membership to my gym, Ignite Fitness. Very stoked about that actually. Jason offered five lifetime memberships for a $1,000 donation — he too has heard the call about what O.U.R. is all about.

Amazing.

Then I also won a banana picture. It was only $7, but OH MAN — wasn’t it perfect for me! I am now looking for somewhere to hang it. My Mom has already vetoed above the fireplace — she suggested the bathroom or basement? Either way it’s art perfection!

The 5K was a lot of fun too — Jorge and I ran it. And, it was tough. Much tougher than what you’d think a 5K to be. The one thing I forget about Bountiful is our hills. I know that’s hard to forget considering that I live on a hill, but the course was anything but flat.

The first couple of miles were pretty much at an uphill slant. But, I powered through it. I mainly wanted to see how fast I could go. I wasn’t anticipating a PR or anything — but, I finished in 37 minutes. Not bad, not good (to my standards), but it’s a good starting point.

I’ve signed up for a couple of 5Ks between January and March to go along with my half marathon training. I really want to get my 5K base faster and I thought that would be an excellent way to do it.

And, my legs are still pretty sore from the race — even two days later. That means two things — I pushed it good and I need to be in better shape. And, I’m working on that.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to this upcoming week. I should get A LOT more sleep this week. I averaged about four hours of sleep from Wednesday to Friday night — blah! And, my run streak did end — HAHAHAHA — at a week. So I am going to pick it up again. Well, either pick it up or go in another direction. I am not sure yet? More on that later.

I am also working on my 2016 goals and the 2015 Joshby Awards will be coming out later this week and early next week. Those will be a lot of fun.

Oh, and I am also running The Bakers Dozen Half Marathon in Hurricane this Saturday! That’s going to be a lot of fun. A LOT OF FUN!

Anyways, have a great week — and as always — HAPPY RUNNING! 


O.U.R. BOUNTIFUL RESCUE

One of the many projects that I was involved in for the O.U.R. Fundraising Gala was putting together a video of the number of fundraising efforts, etc. that our team and community did leading up to the evening.

It was quite the project. Just getting a mass of pictures from everyone was a feat in it’s own right. But, putting it together to not just make sense, but move people and let them experience some of the feelings our team has had putting the fundraiser together was quite a larger feat.

Really, and quite honestly, I relied on inspiration. I can communicate my feelings, but how do you do it for a whole group? That’s tough. But, I felt like I did a good job. I got comments from my family and others about the video — so I hope it inspired and moved others to action.

Anyways — give it a play.

Then you have come join us for our next fundraiser!


RUNCAST USA — EPISODE ONE

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We’re back! And, rebranded! The Utah Runcast is officially now Runcast USA! We were going to make the move to the new PodBash network in January 2016 with the other shows, but we got a jump start to NOW! This change includes our own iTunes feed, individual page at PodBash.com as well as our own website at RuncastUSA.com. Lot’s of fun stuff coming your way in 2016 with the podcast and more. So make sure you stay tuned in!

So for this episode Jorge joins us and explains why he didn’t show up for the last show. Let’s just say — the Mrs. isn’t so happy. We have a special guest — and first female on the Runcast — Shaylee Hurst from Runtastic Events. She shares with us a little bit about what she does with Runtastic along with how she got faster this past year.

GREAT INSIGHT!

Plus, we babble on about our goals, my 50K, Jorge’s injury and Jim’s marathon plan. It’s all good stuff. Catch it all here …

CLICK HERE FOR EPISODE


WEEKENDGRAMS

I am my family’s selfie stick. #thisishowiearnmykeep #ourrescue #ourbountifulrescue

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

What is this … a salad for ants?! 🐜🐜🐜🐜 #funsizesalad @costavida A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

This was one productive night at the auction. #bananapicture #itsgoinginmybathroom A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

After running 5Ks I always wish I had kept count of how many of them I’ve ran. Though I don’t know the number, this one will be memorable. Not because I PR’d or anything like that. But, because of what it was for — we were literally running for those that can’t run away. Child sex trafficking is the most disgusting of all our social ills. To take away a child’s freedom and innocence is beyond disgusting and wrong. To be able to support a race like this @ourrescue 5K and know the funds go right to stopping the child sex trade — makes me feel blessed and like an abolitionist. It’s time to break the chain — please support @ourrescue and their mission to rescue kids and reunite them to their families. #ourrescue #5K #running #utah #runutah #rununited #breakthechains #our A photo posted by Running180™ (@running180) on

Oh, he looks cold & hungry. Someone should draw him a hot bath and feed him some garlic and butter. #lobsterlove A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

The Asian Gift Shop in South Towne is basically tailor made for me. #catseverywhere

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

Christmastime is upon us! Tonight we’re making bakkles! Our special Norwegian cookies! #norwegianchristmas

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

The Kiddles taste tested the bakkles — and — they’re a winner! #norwegianchristmas

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on


MONTHLY MILEAGE UPDATE 2015

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 259.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 504.55 miles
2015 Race Miles – 467.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 1231.6 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  101.65 miles
August  110.2 miles
September – 115.69 miles
October – 164.7 miles
November – 148.95 miles
December – 24.6 miles

MONDAY’S MOTIVATION

Remembering the extraordinary life of my Grandma Kaye

kAYEPeople come into our lives in many different ways. Most come and go, others stay for a while before eventually leaving and then there are those that make a lasting footprint in your life. One that doesn’t go away over time, nor at parting. It’s an eternal footprint made into the fiber of who you are as an individual.

These are individuals of great impact. Ones that see a far greater future than you can comprehend and will encourage you towards that vision. They are often your biggest fans and can see talent within you that is often hidden from your view. And, because of this, they are counted as your dearest and closet friends. One’s that are deeply loved and held on a mantle of respect and admiration.

For me, this is my Grandma Kaye.

Nene'sBirthday 160After battling illness and pneumonia for about a month my Grandma passed away tonight. It was a beautiful moment. My parents, sisters and I were able to be there by her side as she passed. Words cannot describe the joyous somber feeling present in that room. From our end the end of life was passing, but one could just imagine the wondrous reunion she was experiencing with her parents, siblings and her dear husband. I won’t lie, I felt a tad envious.

Tears were shed as she passed, but it wasn’t tears of sorrow. The tears flowed from gratitude and appreciation for her. Not just for who she was, but for what she meant to each of us individually. I couldn’t muster a goodbye, because I knew I would see her once again. My lips simply flowed with simple “thank yous” and “I love yous” that couldn’t accurately described what my heart felt. It was simply one of the most tender, purest and spiritual moments I’ve experienced in my life.

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The positive and loving footprint that my Grandma made in my life cannot be understated. She was always there for me. Always. When my Mom refused to pick me up from school because I was “SICK” (meaning, I just simply wanted to go home), I knew I could call my Grandma to come pick me up, no matter what my Mom told her. My ‘sick days’ from school usually consisted of watching Nickelodeon while eating ice cream and cookies.

My Grandma and I had a special bond throughout my life. When my Grandpa passed away in 1996 that relationship really went much deeper than just a Grandmother-Grandson relationship, it was a true friendship. While she still lived in her house I would visit nearly every Saturday to help with things around the house (ie-cleaning, lawn care, etc.) but most of the time was spent talking and eating lunch. She would make me a ham and cheese sandwich with a side of dill pickles and a glass of Dole juice and while I ate she would sit and peel an apple as we talked.

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Our conversations covered pretty much everything. If we weren’t solving the world’s problems we were complaining about the promiscuity rampant in the media. No matter where that topic took our conversation it always seemed that Britney Spears’ belly button always got brought up somehow. I can’t tell you how much my Grandma hated seeing people’s belly buttons on TV.

That relationship bonded further as we wrote letters, notes and lengthy humorous birthday cards. We both would exchange cards with someone or something mooning the recipient. It’s just how we did business. Even our gifts held more symbolism of our friendship than they with a price. For birthdays and Christmas I would get either a jar of pickles or band-aids (because she was always concerned about my bloody nipples). Then, I would usually give her the unexpected. One year it was an abstract portrait of me as a lamp, another year I got her a wrestling championship belt (she loves wrestling), another year I bought her a soccer ball, shin guards and soccer shorts. And, this past year I got her, her own cat shirt.

She was spoiled.

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But, the one thing about my Grandma that I will always remember, aside from the fun, laughs and talks is her encouraging personality. She constantly was telling me to pursue my dreams, how much she loved my writing and ability to write from the heart, she told even last week I need to be a journalist when I grow up. That attitude and personality was heavily leaned upon at times in my life. When I was at my heaviest and a VERY unhappy person, she was probably one of very few that could reach me. She encouraged me to be better and that helped give me the courage to act on that.

Even when I started running she would always ask about my races and how my runs went. And, though she really didn’t understand running, she embraced it because she saw the joy it brought into my life. Plus, she always wanted to steal all of my colorful yellow or orange shoes because of how bright and vibrant they were.

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She really had this gift for making people around her feel good about themselves. It was something that rubbed off onto my Dad and I tried and still try to emulate. Whether she was volunteering on a committee with the Boy Scouts, PTA or community church she touched many, many lives. She even tutored a young man named Tommy Monson in business while at West High. Though she always stayed true to her Greek Orthodox religion she never missed “little Tommy Monson” talk during LDS General Conference. She would muse how such a quiet and shy young man became President of the Mormon Church.

There are countless little stories like these throughout her life. I could probably fill pages of similar stories. She was a special generation that saw a lot of hardship with the Great Depression and WWII among other things. And, because of that she always understood what mattered the most. It was family. It was relationships. It was people. It was God. It was the gift of life.

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I hope that I can emulate many of her great qualities. She set a bar and standard that is pretty high. But, more than anything I feel like one of the luckiest grandkids around, because I can say with confidence that my Grandma was also my best friend. And, to me that means the world.

Love you Grandma! Always have, always will.