Make A ‘Run’ For It!!

So here is the story…

For over a year and a half, I have been running around a lake (suburbanites will call it a pond) in effort to improve my health, lose weight and work towards a goal of competing in a 5K. I remember the first time I ran (more like walked) it for the first time. I huffed and puffed and while I didn’t blow any house in, I almost did myself in!

 

Over time, things began to change. I began to walk faster, building up steam and soon began to run sections of the lake. Earlier this year, I extended the distances I ran considerably and felt the pain for pushing myself further than ‘normal’. For several months, I pushed through this resistance and found myself getting stronger and more durable.

With this durability, I ran my first 5K this past Spring and had passed yet another milestone that I set for myself. I also had the blessing of doing this with my oldest son, Lynden, which made the icing on my cake!

With my first 5K complete, I continued to run and growth myself. It was always my goal to get my physical stamina to the level that one day I would be able to run, not just parts of the lake, but ALL OF IT!!!

Well…..

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Last Wednesday was upon me and I was gearing up for my second 5K. I drove out to Red Hill State Park and began my distance walk to warm up before my run. I took off like normal, planning nothing out the ordinary. But as I came to the point on my coarse that I would stop and walk, something impacted me to push forward! I just kept going!!!

I reached the top of the first steep incline and it was here that my mind began working to make me stop. It began saying things like, “You can’t run all of this!” “Your not strong enough!” I began to see images in my head of catching my breath, walking and pushing myself too hard. I even, for one second began to slow down to stop.

Then I thought of running the entire lake and how great it would feel to reach my car after I was finished! I saw how good it would feel and that was all I needed to keep going. You know what? My mind began saying things like, “Well, you can go halfway but that’s all you can handle!” Would you believe me when I tell you that I blew right past the halfway marker and just kept going? Because that is exactly what I did!

Before I knew it, I realized that I was feeling overworked, I was feeling inspired. The truth is, I realized that I was enjoying this and while my body felt the resistance, it felt NO pain! Now I was back to the first steep incline and coming down it with joy. I continued across the straightaway that covered the damn and it was here that my mind made one last ditch effort to stop me, saying I had gone far enough to be happy. Ha! Far from it!

Then I saw my SUV, BOOM, I was driving to the finish (no pun intended)! I reached my car and the moment I touched the fender I jumped for joy with excitement. The reward felt just like I imaged it would and I notched off a achievement months before I thought I could have done it, proving we all have more inside us then we realize and it is only upon pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone that we actually discover what we are made of.

Now two days later, I was at the lake again. A day before my second 5K, I thought of an old saying that says, “You did it once, not let’s see you do it again!” Challenge excepted! I not only ran the entire lake again but in a minute faster than two days earlier! I was ready for this 5K!

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The following day Lynden and I woke up and drove down to Mt. Carmel, Illinois. We parked just down the street from the library where the race began and signed in. We pinned our numbers and awaited the time to begin. Soon we lined up and as the shot fired, our second 5K was underway!

With the first 5K I walked a short distance twice so I could catch my breath and came in ahead of my son. This time we both improved as I ran the entire coarse and Lynden finished two minutes ahead of me! That’s growth and improvement in its truest form!

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I could not be more excited with this achievement and want you to know that there is no difference between my possibilities and yours! Get out there today and make a run for it! You’ll be glad you did!

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Ending The School Year With A Bang!

With the school year now to an end, I could not have had a better finish to the month of May than I did this year!

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I returned to St. Joseph Catholic School in Olney, Illinois and delivered every copy of Barney & Lexi: Lost In Lawrenceville to the students who did not get their’s at my presentation. We actually ran out, a first for me!!

I was surprised with a handmade card that looked just like the cover of Barney & Lexi and I always say this but it means the world to me, these gifts are priceless! I handed out the books to the students and fulfilled my promise. I always make a promise to myself before leaving a school that I keep my word, give value and inspire as many as possible. For the students of St. Joseph, I know I did just that!!

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I left Olney, Illinois and headed south for Mt. Carmel, Illinois where I was returning to one of my first schools! Formerly known as N.I.C.E, now known as Mt. Carmel Elementary School has so much character within its walls and still holds a dear place in my heart!

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The students packed in and away we went. I always feel incredible as I watch the kids laugh and excited over Barney & Lexi! They follow every word I say and at times become so silent you could hear a pin drop. I love the participation we share with one another and feel a great sense of pride in knowing that I help make a child’s life for creative by showing them that an adult does not have to settle for a boring life!

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I signed over thirty copies of B&L after the presentation and made the students day by making sure that every one of them got a bookmark regardless if they purchased a book. Sells are great and in the end we have to make income from our efforts but when you can give value to someone, you will always find things to come back around!

I said farewell to Mt.  Carmel Middle School and was asked to return for a third year! Boom! I LOVE IT!! And so I end an extraordinary school year schedule, pushing my comfort zone and impacting lives! If I died right now, I would die knowing I was making a difference! Wishing you a great day ahead.       Levi 🙂

Ft. Wayne

What an incredible trip to Ft. Wayne, Indiana this week!

I arrived on Monday evening and spend time visiting with old friends from high school and catching up on current life events. I was staying just done the interstate from their home at a very comfortable Extended Stay America hotel. With a kind staff, clean room and comfortable bed, I had a great nights sleep before my presentations.

I arrived at Canterbury School and from the moment I entered the building, I knew that this school was unique. Colorful, cheerful and mindful of every student in it’s Pre-K thru 12 curriculum. This school did not feel like a school but rather a magical destination for higher learning. (Yes I do feel there is a difference between the two.)

The staff was some of the kindest I have ever been blessed to engage with! It would be impossible not to feel the love and care for not only the students but for everyone at the book fair.

When the time came to present my back-to-back presentations, I went all in and hooked the students in the amazing world of creativity and left them even more excited to peruse all of the titles on hand for purchase and reading. I was asked to bring twelve copies of Barney & Lexi and only two remained as I prepared to leave.

As I left I was asked if I could return today and do an impromptu presentation and I would have been all over this opportunity had it not been that I had to return to work today! The event organizer, Beth, who is amazing, requested my work for next years book fair and I am most grateful to return for that!

A bonus was meeting a district representative for Barnes & Noble who asked if I ever did book tours before taking a bookmark and business card and asking if he could pass my information along to a few others withing the company.

As I am now back home in southern Illinois, I am so very grateful for the opportunity to bring value to others, engage with some incredible people and discover gifts and blessing all along the way. What ever you are dreaming about, STOP DREAMING AND GO DO IT! You will be so glad you did!!

Next Presentation!

In 16 hours I will be heading to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for my second author event within a week! I will be traveling to Canterbury School for a back-to-back set for the Canterbury Book Fair. This is going to be an amazing event and photos will follow the days events!

Until then, allow me to share the amazing time spent in Flora, Illinois at Flora Elementary School! This was a great day spent with some amazing students and super staff! The day was all about value!

FES Presentation!

Today, I traveled to Flora, Illinois and met the students and staff of Flora Elementary School. Barney & Lexi were on hand and met the students as we put on an great presentation and gave value to others.

I look forward to coming to your school!!!

Changes Are Coming!

With the addition of my speaking events a year ago I am planning an overhaul of 1 Imaginary Fox that will go from the ground up, including the name!!! I’m looking forward to serving the young and old and need a site that provides both!! under-construction-sign_1021-51

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