Easter Best {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}

I ditched my long run this weekend due to knee soreness.

Not a lot… but enough to make me very cautious. Taking a few days now when I need it means I hopefully won’t be out for months like last year. Frustrating, but necessary. That’s what I keep telling myself.

DIY Pallet Desk {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}Aside from not running, I had a fabulous weekend! Best part: starting a DIY pallet desk project with Jon. We’re using our tax refund to replace Jon’s 7+–year–old computer, so obviously, a new computer means a new desk. I’m excited and we love working on projects like this.

We also got dressed up for Easter and I made my great–grandmother’s coffee cake – seriously the best recipe ever. My family doesn’t make anything else.

Easter Best {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}

Great-grandma's Coffee Cake {PilotingPaperAirplanes.com}

The last few days felt like a stop–and–smell–the–roses weekend and today’s motivation reflects that. Always need a reminder to slow down, right?


Did you do anything exciting for Easter?
How about DIY projects – anyone built a desk or table before?

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#Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

Today’s Monday Motivation is a little different. I write mostly about health and running, obviously, but a big part of my life is really focusing on “full–being well–being.” All the work I do becoming a stronger and better runner means little if I’m not also taking care of myself emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Yesterday’s sermon was about forgiveness, which happens to be something on my mind lately. There are always hurts that we each need to forgive, and don’t we all know there are plenty of things for which we need to ask forgiveness.

But I want to talk about forgiving ourselves. In the health blogging world there are many many post about falling off the wagon, guilt for a slacking weekend, etc. Body image and self-confidence play a big role in that sinking feeling after we “blew it.”

I have three words for this guilt: Let. It. Go.

Plain and simple. Take a deep breath, consciously forgive yourself, and start fresh. Not matter how committed we are, life will always always always get in the way sometimes. Work, school, kids, travel… all sorts of stresses and distractions derail our meal planning or workout schedules, and that is OK. Say it with me: It’s OK. Working out and eating right can take a lot of time and effort, and we all know the importance of taking care of ourselves – but there are other things just as, or more, important.

In many way, this journey to healthier life is a journey to freedom, so give yourself the gift of freedom by letting go of that guilt. Your shoulders will thank you.

That’s my soap box for the day. 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

Unravelling The Year Ahead 2013 Susannah Conway

I’ve gone through this Unravelling The Year Ahead 2013 workbook and it has been a cathartic experience. It spends some time reviewing 2012, and then really breaks down the coming year.

Unravelling The Year Ahead 2013 Susannah Conway

Photo credit: Susannah Conway, susannahconway.com

It’s pretty personal – not just outward goals, like job advancement and such, but inward goals, like letting go of things, forgiveness, etc. Because of that, I won’t share a lot from my workbook, but I do want to write out a few things. And encourage you do spent a little time on this yourself. *hint hint*

Let’s start with my top achievements in 2012:

  • Getting married! Obviously.
  • Launching my blog in June.
  • Starting our business, dot.Dalton. Still working on the website, so the launch is not official yet, but we have already done a few projects, so we’re on our way.
  • Gaining a better understanding of what my body needs regarding health and fitness.

On to some challenges in 2012:

  • Wedding was by FAR the biggest. The planning, the extreme financial stress, the family drama, etc. I am so glad that event is over. I keep telling myself that when we get farther away from the stress of that event, I’ll be able to look back and enjoy the photos and memories much more. I think we’re still effected by too much of the negative to fully appreciate the fun and excitement of the day.
  • Finances. We have been stretched beyond our means for six months. It’s not just wedding, it’s holiday travel (out-of-state from both families who rarely visit us), it’s our closest friends being in another city (again, who rarely come here). It’s paying extra on school debt because we really want that gone. It’s staying in an apartment that works fine, but is not ideal, because it’s inexpensive. It’s not being able to go out on dates or to see movies because we have to pay for things like a wedding and the holidays.I feel like I’m complaining a lot on this one, but the reality is that finances has been a big stress for us… and it often feels like the people closest to us don’t really get that. The first step toward healing is understanding the problem, right? This workbook has helped me realize how much hurt has come from this whole finances issue, so now I can work on releasing that stress and hurt.
  • Job. There are many great things I can say about my job. There are also the hard things I can say. (I’m pretty sure everyone has troubled things at work, regardless how good the job is). All I will say here is that there have enough frustrations to put this on my challenges list. I’m still growing and learning the best way to deal with things.

Describe 2012 in 3 words:

  • Change | Growth | Challenge

My 2012 conclusion?

  • There have been a ton of great things this year. I got married, and if we got back 13 months, I also graduated with my master’s degree! I started this blog that has grown so much in just six months; we’re launching a business; my running has gotten much more serious and I’ve improved a lot.I have also realized that 2012 is marred by quite a bit of stress, and I am SO ready to move on from this year! Time to peace out start fresh in 2013!

My word to “live by” in 2013:

  • Possibility.
  • Four more words to support “Possibility:”
    • Strength | Explore | Forgiveness | Stability

2013 in “threes.” There are more sets than these here, but I don’t want to give too much away. I want you to explore this workbook yourself too.

  • 3 things I positively love about myself: self–confidence, physical strength, protectiveness.
  • 3 things about myself I’m ready to let go of: emotional “blocking,” comparison, guilt.
  • 3 passions to explore more: running, blogging, ebooks and design (Ok, four things).
  • 3 ways to better connect with loved one: write more cards, be better at regular calls, visits? (this is a hard one, since most people don’t live in the same city, but we can try).

My favorite question from this workbook:

  • What is your secret wish for 2013?
    • I wrote something pretty bold…. but it’s a secret. Not for the blog.

My favorite activity from the workbook:

  • Writing a letter to myself from myself three years in the future. Three years is long enough to make a big difference on my goals, but still close enough for some of the challenges to be relevant. This was really interesting to write. (Also not for the blog. 🙂 )

As I said, this workbook is really really good, and I strongly encourage you to go through it yourself. I did it in two sittings, but you could easily do it in one. It probably takes 1 – 2 hours to complete. Print it out, make some coffee or tea, put on some nice background music, and go through it.

I know I discovered a lot about how I felt about 2012; it definitely surprised me how much stress and hurt I truly carry from the year. I now also feel like I’m ready to begin 2013! I’ve begun to address things from the past year, and I have goals for the coming year. This workbook is a cathartic and energizing experience. Don’t miss out!

I’ve gotten some flak here on Piloting Paper Airplanes for not talking about my faith enough. Or at all.

Which seems strange, as this is a fitness blog. I have written a total of 6 posts that touch on faith/politics/social issues. Six. My health and fitness journey is, quite simply, just the part of my life I talk about in this forum.

Faith is incredibly personal. That journey can be very powerful, but can also hurt a lot. For me, this blog is not the place to discuss my faith. But fair enough. My faith is an important part of my life, so it is due some reflection of its own.

{Pause. I’m being summoned to dance.}

Did I mention our super coolest friend ever Josiah is in town this weekend? The only thing we’re missing is his even more rad wife Kristin. Sadly, she had work this weekend. *sad face*

Anyway, where was I?

A couple of weeks ago I was in the middle of a run and had a totally random thought come to mind as I was struggling up a hill:

I can do all things through Christ.

*insert mental roll of the eyes*

But wait a second, I told myself. Let’s think about this.

I run this body.

I fuel this body well – or not so well, like today – to do what I ask of it.

I run faster and farther; I run push myself in workouts; I improve.

So I am able to do this because of the choices I make with my body.

But still….

God gave me this body.

Even if my daily decisions effect what I can do, I am still able to do it because of this body I was gifted. I guess I can do all things through Christ then.  *insert moment of epiphany*

Welp, thanks God. That’s pretty awesome.

There will be good runs and bad runs. Days I feel great, and days I just don’t. There will be weeks I gain some weight and weeks I lose it. There are days I make good decisions that take care of this body, and days that I just don’t care.

But still…

This is a life I have been blessed with. This is a body (as much as I struggle with it) that I have been given and cherish. This is a life and body that was meant for more than just my personal goals.

It is a gift that I do not take lightly.

To follow yesterday’s Beyoncé video – which if you didn’t watch, go back right now and do so – I decided to post some of my favorite inspirational pieces.

The World Humanitarian Day song did its work on me. I’ve been wanting to become a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer, but Jon and I decided that this summer was a bad time to start. The plan was to get involved once we got back. I’ve forgotten about it until watching the video yesterday. “And know that I meant something in somebody’s life.” I asked myself what can I do in my small space in this world. My first step was to start the application process to be a Big Sister yesterday.

I’m a huge fan of inspiration boards, posting quotes around the house, in my wallet, goals on my mirror, etc. I put up fitness encouragement, quotes about courage, motivation to push me out of my comfort zone, reminders to be help me be a better person, and more. These motivate me so much. I encourage each of you to learn the power of putting these tangible reminders around you.

Here are a few of my current favorites: (Each one links to the image on my Pinterest board)

when did we forget this?

dig it


encourage instead

Dr. Seuss

live it

no one is


Do you put up quotes or pictures to motivate you?
What are you favorite types?