Hi there. I'm Joe Allen. And this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce unlock, an unstoppable mindset, build unbreakable courage, and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week. I will bring ideas, methods, and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit fierce and unstoppable.
(00:34): Hey there, gang. Welcome to find your fears so glad that you are here with me as we dive into a brand new episode, and I'm gonna be honest with you. These last few weeks have been totally insane. They have been filled with so much good and you know, these blessed moments, but let me tell you, there were times that I felt like I was in survival mode and I'm sure so many of you can relate as we've been going in every direction and the days are flying by. And so for me to even think about putting together a podcast series was just one more thing on my plate. So for the next few weeks, we're gonna talk about whatever the Lord has placed in my heart. For me to share with you in this moment, no rhyme or reason and hopes to propel you into what God is asking you to do, to inspire you to flip any script that needs to be, uh, shifted, and to give you the motivation and the tools to take action, to unleash all that untapped potential that I know you have and what the world needs.
(01:27): And so let's peel back some layers today and get you reflecting on your own faith journey. As we talk about when things are tough and when we're going through the hard seasons. But before we go any further today, I have to say that I love that you are here listening in and spending time with us. So honored that I get to be a part of your day. I just know that you are also amazing and I have to thank you for your love and support as always. I appreciate your feedback, your reviews, and I love that you share this podcast and the set free message with your friends and family. And so if you could keep on doing that, that would be pretty incredible because you are helping this movement as it helps reach more women and it impacts more lives. And that is certainly what life is all about.
(02:06): So I cannot thank you enough. Okay. So let's dive in. Are you guys ready? I know I am. Okay. So two days ago, I just completed an Ironman 70.3 in Roanoke, Virginia, it's in the blue Ridge mountains. Totally phenomenal. It was an epic day. And to kind of explain what that is. It started with a 1.2 mile swim in gorgeous, clear water. Uh, it was in a reservoir mountains were surrounding the water. I mean, it was just so surreal. It was, it was absolutely, uh, gorgeous. And then it was followed up by a 56 mile bike, uh, and then a half marathon, 13.1 miles to finish that final leg. Uh, and so, you know, add those all together and then it becomes a 70.3 mile event. And I gotta tell you, it was tough. I mean, it was hard. Uh, the commitment in itself was a challenge.
(03:05): Uh, and to give you a little bit of a backstory on that, and I, and I encourage you to hang with me here because, you know, I will always circle back around to how this applies to you, even if an Ironman is not on your bucket list, but this is a race that I had signed up for back in 2019, when I was, uh, fired up in shape from just completing a race, uh, another, uh, 70.3, that was in Muncy Indiana. And of course, uh, 2020 hit. And it was canceled as I was already 13 weeks into my training cycle. Uh, and we had the option to defer to 2021. And so that's exactly what I did. And I got back to training and, uh, I usually train about 26 to 27 weeks for an event like this. Uh, that's just kind of how my mind works.
(03:56): That's what I feel that my body needs, uh, just to get that CR uh, solid base and to prevent some injuries. So I, I got back to training. I, once again, hit the 13th week, uh, into my training cycle and I got pretty overwhelmed in life. Uh, my book, uh, set free was coming out, um, a lot of things going on with the family, Rob and the greenhouse. There was just a lot of stuff going on and I felt that it was best for me to take a pause and, uh, just kind of let my entry go and, and lapse. Okay. But for whatever reason, two days before the race, uh, in 2021 Ironman sent another email and gave us the option to defer again. And, uh, so I kind of laughed a little bit and I'm like, oh my gosh, this is never ending.
(04:39): Uh, and so I took the opportunity and it basically bought me another year and allowed me some time to decide whether or not I was going to com uh, you know, give it a go or, or compete or not in 2022. And so last fall in 20 21, 27 weeks out from the race, I had mapped out my game plan. Um, I was fired up. I was ready, uh, to go and day one, uh, of training kicked off. But by day three, I had, uh, tested positive for COVID go figure. And, uh, it actually hit me pretty hard. I had, uh, 15 straight days of a fever, lost a bunch of weight and, uh, felt like death and, uh, was pretty weak, uh, afterward. And it knocked me down for about four weeks, felt the after effects, uh, for even a, a little bit longer than that.
(05:31): So as you can guess, that recovery was, uh, very slow. And, and of course I felt like I was behind and, you know, in my training schedule and for type a personality, I didn't feel that I was going to be ready when, uh, a month of training was like wiped out and gone. And so I came up with a long line of justified excuses. Uh, so you know, the college graduation, a high school graduation, I even hopped back into, uh, coaching junior high track. So that had started, uh, I was planning a retreat in glacier, a mission trip in Alaska. I mean, so there was a lot of things going on, completely justified. Uh, my days were full. Uh, so I basically kind of gave up on the mission once again, uh, just because it seemed like it made a lot of sense, and I felt that that was the best choice at that time.
(06:19): Now get this, because this is, uh, a critical part of life. The people that you surround yourself with guys, um, you gotta find a tribe, you gotta find a sisterhood, you gotta find people that love and support you. And so I gotta ask you the people that you surround yourself with, do they hop, uh, in, on the pity party that you're having with you, or do they call you out and do they lift you up with encouragement and support and truth and love, you know, do they help you get out of any funk that you might be in or any type of negative or, or thinking or any type of sabotage mindset and do they challenge you to become better? And if you can answer, yes, I am like thrilled for you. If you cannot answer yes to that, we need to find you a new tribe.
(07:07): And I hope you guys can find that here in the just breed, but I'm thankful for my tribe. And two fellow Ironman friends, women who have never missed a be unstoppable retreat, uh, they both texted me not as sure if they understand the impact of both their texts in that given time, but they encouraged me to get back in the game to do the race, to soak up the scenery, to get back to training, to, you know, just, you know, not let the experience pass you by because they were telling me about how amazing this opportunity and this course was. And, you know, they kind of mentioned in there that, you know, Hey girl, you know, you don't have to go out and crush it with a PR. I mean, you know, that it is possible for you to get training here again and enjoy and conquer this race.
(07:51): And so here's the thing at this time, there was only 14 weeks of training left. And so I didn't think 23, 24 weeks was enough, uh, for me, let alone 14, but something clicked. I flipped the script and I began and I committed, but I gotta be honest with you. It was hard. The timing of everything, the training sessions, you know, scheduling those around your family, life's events, you know, the discipline to stick and stay to a plan, uh, yet having, you know, the flexibility at the same time and being able to adjust when needed, because you know, of course we all know the best planned plans. Don't always work out the way they think they will, or that we think they will being present. And in the moment was hard, especially when the trap of being in survival mode, you know, was set and, and it's, and it's ready for you to just kind of like, you know, take you back in and hold you back, being outside of your comfort zone guys, it's hard.
(08:50): And you know, that's not even talk about race day. I mean, let's, let's talk about that. That's hard too, right? Being SW over by, you know, these massive men getting kicked, you know, in the face as you are swimming, uh, right alongside 2,500 athletes biking up Hills, not to mention there was this one, five mile hill to be exact that even had its own name. Um, it was called the claw and that's exactly what we were all doing. We were clawing and climbing our way, um, up this hill, that actually is a mountain that had a 4,300 foot elevation gain in just five miles. And of course, that was smack dab in the middle of the 56 mile course. And then you have the run, right where you take one step at a time to move forward with everything you have left. Guys, it's hard.
(09:41): But let me tell you what hard brings you. And I know you are probably thinking, why would anyone wanna do that? You know, I'm not signing up for a race like that. Why would I pay good money to experience hard times and pain? And I totally get it, but here is some truth. Life will do that to us, no matter what life will throw us hard times daily. And that's my point, my Ironman journey correlates to everyday life. You don't have to swim, bike and run to experience, you know, the rollercoaster ride of what life throws at us, but my heart and your heart, our hard seasons. I mean, it's part of the journey. It's inevitable. You will have days where you will feel like you were drowning. You will have days where the mountain seems like it's not moving. And the climb is impossible.
(10:29): And you will have days where you don't feel like one more step forward is going to get you anywhere. But those hard times, the challenging moments, the painful and trying seasons of life, whatever they may be for you right now, guys, it's gonna be worth it. They will all be used for the good, we will learn who we are. We will learn what we are made of during those moments. The hard seasons will lead you to some of your best and glorious days to moments of perseverance, to resilience, to endurance. They will lead you to a new perspective and views that we can't even imagine. And when I conquered the claw, let me tell you about that view on blue Ridge Parkway, overlooking the valley. Wow, guys, just, wow. I can't even explain it a moment where I soaked it all in where I exhaled fully and then remembered just how blessed I truly was.
(11:25): And the best part guys, we will learn to lean on the one, the only one who will get us through everything we will see, we will feel we will trust, and we will stand on our God and all his strength, his power, and his love that we can do all things through him. But what do we do when we're in the midst of it, whether we intentionally choose the hard path or when the hard gets dumped on us and, and blindsides us, what do we do? What do we do when relationships are broken? When you get released from a job, or when you're hit with an illness or disease, you lose someone when gas is over $5 a gallon, and you're struggling to get the bills paid when you're trying to lose the weight again. And again, maybe you're trying to move on from the past or when you're hurt or betrayed.
(12:10): How do you get through, what do you do within the during portion? And that trying leg of the race? Rob took a video of me running at mile six during the blue Ridge. And he asked me what tips do I have for the audience? He was acting like he had a vlog, uh, going on. And he had, he had it recording. Now, of course he was joking and trying to make me laugh. As you know, he was, you know, filming his fake little TV show, but all I could think of, you know, to say was, keep going, just keep going. And of course it led my mind to other things. And, and here's what I can tell you. I can share with you that you need to stay positive, that you need to get creative, that we need to learn from the difficult times we can change it up, that we grow, you know, through what you go through, to know what you are grateful for, to focus on only what you can control to realize that you have come a long way or to build up your community and sisterhood support to be kind to yourself and to forgive you, your others, whatever may be needed.
(13:14): I can tell you all those things, but sometimes it's what not to do during hard situations and seasons to press forward stronger. And with this greater understanding and respect for life, we have to learn to cope well with hard times, regardless of what you're struggling with. Maybe it's that major tragedy or a minor personal battle odds are. We may need to stop doing a few things and to flip the script. Okay? And so here's, what's on my heart. I'm gonna share with you, get your journal out, get a pen, start joting things down and take some notes. Number one, I feel that we need to stop hiding from the truth. Most people at the first sign of distress would rather deny the hard truth than face it, but the truth doesn't just, you know, go away. It doesn't just cease to exist when it's ignored.
(14:03): Or on the flip side, we tend to embellish what really is going on. We over exaggerate face the facts, guys, we simply can't get away from truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next. Yes, the truth is gonna set us free. But at first we, it may make us uneasy for a bit. It may make us uncomfortable or may, it may make us upset. So we have to take our hard and we need to face it. We also need to stop white knuckling to the wish of a pain-free life pain and hard seasons are a part of life, right? The pain of moving on forward, graduating, taking the next step, walking away from the familiar and into the unknown. There's this sharp growing pain of trial and error of failing. As we learn the best way forward. There's this immense dizzying pain of life slapping you in the face.
(14:52): When everything you thought you knew wasn't true, or everything that you had planned for it all falls through, or maybe it's the aches and pains of success when we actually get what we hope for. But then we realize that it's not quite what we envisioned. And then from time to time, there are these warm tingling pains that we feel when we realize that we are standing in a moment of sweet perfection, a priceless, instant of achievement or happiness or joy, which we know cannot possibly last, even though so many of us forget pain and hard times hard seasons is actually a good thing. It means that we're breathing. It means that we're trying. It means that we're interacting with these endless possibilities in this world. It's all the things that God wants and has us go through because it's all part of the bigger plan, his plan.
(15:41): We also need to stop revisiting the past over and over in our mind. How many of you guys have done that? Right? Sadly, people all over the world are continuously telling their one dramatic story and how their entire life has turned into getting over this one event from the past. Now every day of their lives are more about something that no longer exists rather than the real life experiences waiting for them in the present guys. Yes, we are products of the past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it. We become a prisoner when we cling to what no longer exists. And if we're brave enough to say goodbye, life's gonna reward us with a new hello. And it may be hard, but we have to let go. We have to realize that the past is like this foreign country where maybe they do things differently there, and they have nothing to do with your right now.
(16:32): We gotta stop holding on to who we were before the storm guys storms are gonna blow in and blow out hard times are exactly like strong storms that will blow against us. And it's not just that these storms hold you back from places you might go. I mean, they also tear away from you all, but the essential parts of your ego that can't be torn. So that afterward you see yourself as you really are, and not merely as you might like to be. Ultimately, we realize we are here to endure these storms, to sacrifice our time and to risk our heart, that we're here to be bruised by life. And when it happens that, you know, we are hurt or betrayed or rejected, I mean, we need to let ourselves just kind of sit back quietly, pray with our eyes closed and remember all the good times when we've been blessed with and all the sweetness that we've tasted and everything that we've learned in the, in the process and the journey and what an amazing gift to live life is because if we don't ever struggle, we would never grow.
(17:30): We have to let go of who we were so we could become who we are and who we've been created to be. And then within these depths of the strongest and darkest storms that we discover all that God has created us to be, I love it. I'm getting kind of fired up. We're gonna keep going here. We gotta stop worrying or thinking a situation into something worse than it is, right? What worries us, masters, us and needless worry and negative thinking will never lead to positive change, but a positive attitude and a little action can change everything. It's a game changer. So if you don't like something, guys change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. And going through the hard is something that we can't stop from happening. But being miserable is always our choice. No matter how bad things are.
(18:18): I mean, we can always make things worse. Negative thinking creates negative results, positive thinking creates positive results. Period. We go over and over, uh, again with this, when it comes to our kids and our family, that the only limits toward the possibilities in life tomorrow are the butts we use today. Things always turn out best for people who make the best out of the way. Things turn out is how we respond. And it kind of re you know, leads into, you know, this next one here, you know, we gotta stop acting like it's, you know, not okay to smile. We have to smile. Guys, show your teeth. It's contagious. And sometimes a little silliness is all. We need to get a better perspective of life's greatest challenges. And without the guilt silliness or laughter or genuine smile is this carefree. And yes, it sounds, you know, crazy, but it's often misunderstood.
(19:09): It's the key of happiness, smile your way through life's twists and turns. And when life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, I encourage you to show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. And when you do that, you're gonna see why. And of course stop giving in and giving up. As soon as the going gets tough, all things are difficult before they are easy. And the roughest roads often lead to the top. That claw, we climbed our way to the very top into this breathtaking awe inspiring view of the blue Ridge mountains. There are simply no easy roads to anywhere worth going, which is why we must endure the discomfort. Do what is right for your future. Not what is easy. Now, my dad always said, pay me now or pay me later, which do you choose? And I know as, as we grow older, that many of life supposed rules are actually really made to be broken.
(20:05): Even when times are tough, we have to be bold enough to live on our terms and never ever apologize for it. We need to go against the grain, refuse to conform to this world, especially when it doesn't feel right. And we need to take the road less traveled instead of the well worn path. Guys laugh in the face of adversity, as best as we can. And we need to leap before we look fear too deeply in the eyes and get sucked in. We've gotta dance as though everyone is watching without giving a care in the world to what they may think of you. I love it. And of course, we need to stubbornly refuse to give up and give in. We also need to stop wanting to have all the answers. We have to accept the feeling of not knowing exactly where you're going and train yourself to love and appreciate the sensation of freedom.
(20:49): God is the only one that has and knows the master plan. He has the answers, every single one of them. It is only when we are suspended in the air with no destination in sight that we force our wings to fully open so we can fly. And as we saw around, we still may not know where we're traveling to, but that's not. What's important. What's important is the opening of our wings. We may not know where we're going, but we know that so long as our wings are spread, the wins of our creator will carry us forward. And then we need to stop obsessing ourself with negative news for every prominent, newscaster, who, how about how bleak and unjust life is. There are thousands of other people behind the scenes working tirelessly to make a positive difference in the world for every disheartening crisis that is breathlessly reported.
(21:40): There are thousands of real meaningful success stories that don't get the attention they deserve. They're not on the news. That's not what you're gonna hear, but know that they're happening. They have an, an enormous positive ripple effect on humanity. And so we gotta try not to obsess ourselves with negative news, especially when we're in the midst of hard times. When we're faced with negative news, we need to learn from it and use the knowledge to work our way eagerly toward a brighter tomorrow. Today's a choice guys today. Choose grace over impatience laughter over worry, beauty over negativity. Life does get better and better when you choose to make it. So what can you add to the list of what not to do when going through hard times, what will you choose to do? What will you choose not to do? How will you choose to respond when faced with a mountain?
(22:25): How will you conquer the claw, the climb, the trying time? How will you flip the script? All I know is that every hard time in my life, God has been there with me through it all through thick and thin and, and has given the strength and the courage to keep going, to build a testimony, to prepare me for something bigger and better than I can even imagine. What and how is he preparing you through this hard season of yours? Right now? Think about it, reflect on it and get with me as I wanna hear your thoughts. If you're wanting more fire in your day, there is so much for you to do so. You can follow me on Instagram. Now, get copy of my books, set free on Amazon, join us in fit and fierce. So the flip, the script one on one nutrition coaching and the next retreat.
(23:07): I know we just, uh, returned from, uh, an amazing few days spent at glacier and we are now heading to Alaska, the Dolly sod's wilderness for a 30 mile backpacking mission and St. Thomas this fall. And we've been all over the place on epic adventures and we want you to join us. And so step outside your comfort zone, be sure to go to Jill Allen, coaching.com for all updates and join the just brief Facebook group. We would love to connect with you heads up on the next episode, we are talking about starting a new chapter in your life. So be sure to pop back in next week. Thanks so much for joining us today. And I pray that we filled your heart with joy. And if you could let us know before hopping off here today, that would be incredible. Subscribe, share this episode, link on your social media. If you felt encouraged or inspired, as we all know someone that can benefit. And I would love it. If you would give some feedback and a review as well, talk with you next time. Be fit, be fierce, be unstoppable. See ya.
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