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I remember when my friends started calling me fat, when girls would poke @ my "cute" gut and when I walked into Old Navy to buy a pair of jeans (size 34) because I was 30lbs overweight -- my denim no longer fit & I was determined to not invest in clothes in a size I didn't want to be.

With running & becoming a #vegetarian I've maintained a comfortable weight, but after seeing photos of my (baby) gut in my tri suit from Sept, I set a goal to revisit my 2006 pledge weight (shoutout to the frat '06) and feel comfortable in my tri suit; today I touched that goal.

I'll probably delete this post soon, but wanted to share in hopes of motivating someone who is on a personal #fitness journey or too scared to start.

Run Gear

I know, I know... You want to run, but you, like myself, are a gearaholic. You don't have the budget to purchase new fitness gear & I completely understand. 

I've purchased one pair of running shoes since my move to LA, which is driving me crazy, and cycling the same 4 pair of running shoes in rotation is fiscally responsible, yet not as fun.  

2 years old & still getting miles.  

2 years old & still getting miles.  

If you're looking for discount sneakers then Amazon or sneaker outlets can get you started, however, as you grow into the sport, you'll want to purchase choose for performance & not price. The $60 you save upfront will cost your knees, shins, etc. so I always encourage friends to hit a running store & get a run analysis to make sure the shoes they have or looking to purchase works best for their feet. 

Where the real savings comes in is on the gear. Since I run with NRC & use the Nike Running app I feel immense pressure to always be laced in Nike, however, Nike doesn't send me boxes of new running gear so I'm forced to 'Keep Up with the Jones' while not breaking the bank. 

The key to affordable run gear is to look for running gear EVERYWHERE.

1. Over Christmas Break the fam & I hit a Nike Outlet and I stockpiled on gear. Since I  buy gear that I plan to wear forever, I stick to one color palette that easily be mixed and matched with newer, older and unbranded gear.  I also like to stop in my local thrift shops to snag unused Marathon tech gear. 

All Black. All cheap.  

All Black. All cheap.  

2. If it has no label that's no problem. I shop for gear in Ross, Marshalls & TJ Maxx and search for performance gear that has no logo or labels. These pieces can be mixed and matched with my Nike gear. 

3. Dollar store tights. Yes, the Nike tights are MUCH better, however, dollar store tights get me through laundry weeks & runs around the block. With a Nike shirt & Nike shoes on, the tights might as well be Nike too. 

$2.99 tights

$2.99 tights

4. Kids department. Won't work for everyone, but when I'm at my goal weight it works for me. This is why I've never wanted to be tall.

Tech Hoodie from the Kid's department.  

Tech Hoodie from the Kid's department.  

It's important to remember that none of this matters. If vanity helps you perform better than these tips will help, but what's important is that you get up & get running!

"NO, I HAVE TO SAVE MONEY!" (repeat x365)

For the past 10 years I've been digging myself in and out of debt and in 2016 I have to save money...  Something I'm always ashamed to say publicly, but something I have to get comfortable with. Since signing up for my credit card at 18  so I could receive a free t-shirt, I've been saying "Yes" & have been paying for it ever since.

Since the free t-shirt, I've used credit to go on trips, to fund my move to New York at 21, to purchase laptops, phones & cameras & so I could always say "Yes;" "Yes" to the unplanned trips, "Yes" to the  dinners, and "Yes" to many the baby showers & weddings that happen once you enter into your late 20s. 

I've realized that I have been getting into debt because I've been ashamed to say "NO;" to myself and others.  I've rarely said "No, I can't afford dinner," "No, I can't vacation," and "NO, I won't buy XXXX today, I'll wait."   Saying "NO" opened myself up for self-judgement, criticism and embarrassment; by saying "NO" I assumed that others would say "Oh, Byron can't afford to do anything!" because that's how I internally view myself.

As I gear up my 30th birthday in 11 months, I want to have a down payment on a home, a hefty savings account and as least debt as possible. I'm ready to be amongst the responsible people who only buy what they can afford, cook more at home to save money, and save up for vacations vs. paying them off later.

In 2016 don't invite me to dinner, don't ask me to go out, and don't ask me to drinks so I can invite you over to dinner & drinks in 2017.

'...It’s time to start liking who the fuck you are.'

Thanks to a friend, I read this feature on Leslie Jones on The New Yorker.  The story is filled with quotes, but one stood out to me.  

“I stopped only doing black clubs. I stopped doing what I call ‘nigger nights’—the Chocolate Sundays, the Mo’ Better Mondays. I knew how to relate to that audience, and I was winning where I was, but I wasn’t moving forward.”

This pretty much summed up my desire to do more than work with Black companies.  I'm great at being Black and love my people, but being an expert in something that comes natural, left little room for me to grow. 

 

Light

Yesterday
I lost my light
The happenings around me affected the energy within me
Today
I took it back


I'm far from perfect
My desire for happiness and bliss is often met with with my internal battle of cynicism and doubt
It's unfortunate that they have to share the same space
Daily, I struggle
Daily, I search
Daily, I'm tried and allowed to the opportunity to try again

I've learned to step away
I've learned what to say in situations
and the routines required to realign my thoughts & emotions
but, I fail
I fail at not letting the actions of others affect me
I fail at saying no
I fail at remembering that others actions are sometimes minor issues that are illuminated because of my own internal conflicts

It's time to stop wasting time, blaming my circumstances & holding others responsible
It's time to take responsiblity, own my light and become the person I want to BE

 

Dream

Every morning my girlfriend asks "how'd you sleep?" My answer is always the same.

 "I always sleep good."  I wake up naturally each morning before 6am with a clear head & full bowels.

I don't have nightmares. I don't toss & turn, nor do I get thirsty during the middle of the night. I also don't dream and this is how I prefer it.  According to VICE & Google because I'm a stoner, I don't have REM sleep, therefore, I don't dream about anything (literally, not meraphorically.) 

I simply close my eyes, open them up and start the day.  

My dreams return during holidays & family vacations; my annual unplanned, but always necessary detox, but after a few (unnecessary) dreams I get excited about them ending.

Who needs REM sleep year around anyway?