Circa 2013: My FIRST 1/2 Marathon Race Medal from the DRC Half (Nov 2013). This medal was 13 HALF marathons and one FULL marathon ago. It all ended in May 2015 after a visit from a sports doctor revealed I had CMP (Chondromalacia Patella) which simply means over my 20+ years of constant exercise and 18months of marathon running, I managed to wear down the cartilage in both knees (mostly my right knee) causing excruciating pain if overused. Anti-inflammatory medication is necessary and can takes weeks to heal. I retired my running shoes three days before my 44th birthday.


I was depressed for a couple of months knowing that which I had grown to love, I could no longer do. The air in my lungs on those cold morning runs alone. My thoughts free floating and as light as my stride. Yep. Those days are gone, but the memories remain. I accomplished some tremendous goals while running although I didn’t accomplish them all. One goal I set was to run a half marathon in all 50 states. At the time of my retirement, I had only run in three (TX, OK, IL) however all three were in an 18 month period. Wow. I accumulated all those medals in a year and a half! One of my BIGGEST accomplishments as a runner was running a full marathon (26.2mi) within 6mos of beginning my running career. That was a goal I set for myself. I ran two 5K races four half marathon races and went straight for a full marathon. Some asked me how did I do it when some people train for months at a time. I just knew I could do it. The race itself took me 5 hours to complete, but making good time was not my goal. FINISHING was. Running pushed me to set and achieve goals I never thought I would or could do. This spoke volumes in my life then and now. I can do what I set my mind to… AND YOU CAN TOO! I may not be an active runner anymore, but running will always be in me and a part of me.

 ~The Financial Hack ©2015


With me trying to adjust to this new “work schedule” of mine, I had no intention of actually writing any posts this week, but I felt compelled to do so today… This will be one of my “Each One Teach One” postings, and I’ll use football, (yep football) as an example. Now c’mon. Did you expect anything different?

I wrote a few weeks ago about Madden Mobile, a FREE mobile app in a previous posting. Feel free to read about it here:

Now some of you may be thinking: Why on earth is a forty-something year old female wasting her time playing video games? I don’t consider myself a “gamer,” but I do play video games to decompress and unwind. And, also because they’re fun, but I digress. What does Madden Mobile have to do with teamwork? Allow me to extrapolate (Oooo an SAT word, lol).

One great aspect about Madden Mobile, is you can connect with people across the country by joining a league. You can request to join a league, a league can scout you (as in my case,) or you can even start your own. Still, what does that have to do with teamwork you may be asking… EVERYTHING!!! I could have continued to play alone but there are advantages to playing in a league. Comradery is what I enjoy the most. You can chat with other league members and/or give the team encouragement via the league chat board. We played rival teams, and we played each other for fun. We were a team… or so I thought.  Our teamwork photo at the moment looks something like this:



All this time I’ve been playing with this particular league, I thought we were all working together, winning as a team, and for a time, it felt as though we were a team… Until we started losing. Once we started losing, it seems as though collectively, “the team” had completely given up on the vision. The vision to win.

Playing football is similar to playing chess. The object is to win obviously, however, there is an objective even greater than the win itself: Outsmarting your opponent by anticipating their next play and stopping them from advancing. In Madden, I get more of a rush from outsmarting my opponents by switching up plays than scoring actual touchdowns.

Football requires TEAMWORK for a reason. Where one team member may be weak in a particular area, another team member may be stronger and can pick up the slack. In a case where it’s obvious your team might lose, YOU DON’T GIVE UP. THAT’S WHEN YOU COME TOGETHER AS A TEAM AND FIGHT HARDER!!! And you fight until the clock says zero. You don’t stop playing with 4:52 seconds left in the 3rd quarter because the score is 35-0. You use that deficit as your motivation to try harder. It upsets me when I see people giving up because they’re losing. That’s life. Don’t get mad, pick up your marbles and go home because you’re not winning. KEEP PLAYING! It can only develop you and make you better. And if you lose, the next time you face an opponent, you’ll be ready. Don’t doubt yourself and turn away because you’re facing an opponent you DON’T BELIEVE you can defeat. You won’t know until you try. I can’t tell you how many opponents on the field/obstacles in life I thought would get the best of me, but I refused to give up.  When you give up, not only are you disappointed in yourself because you’re losing/lost, but you’ve disappointed those teammates/the people that believed in the vision, the win, and refused to give up in spite of an anticipated loss. I have more respect for a fellow team member who tried but didn’t score, than a person who quit before the game/fight was over. This could be the fight to win in your finances, marriage/relationships, the workplace, your organization, or even in your church. As a team, in order to claim victory, you must work together and never give up!

If a team worked together as one single solitary unit as opposed to the “every man for himself” attitude, just imagine what could be accomplished. Your teamwork photo would probably look more like this:



Remember, “There is no “I” in team.”

That cliche’ will NEVER get old… At least not to me.

~The Financial Hack ©2015