Making It Happen or Making Excuses?

Meditations in Motion

I did a five-mile run through town this week. My hubby Bill and two friends accompanied me. This may not sound remarkable but, trust me, it was. It was the first time I actually ran (as opposed to working out on the elliptical trainer) in a month and the first time I ran pain-free since last July.

I don’t want to say this too loudly for fear that I will jinx it, but the stretches and exercises given to me by an amazing orthopedist seem to be working. The injury that plagued me for over a year and a half appears to finally be on the mend.

When only Bill and I run together we can be rather quiet. We tend to save up our conversations for times when we are still, like at the breakfast table or while riding in the car. The guys we ran with are talkers, though. They have a hundred running stories, all of them hilarious, and a hundred more jokes. It felt as though we were laughing for the entire run.

I wasn’t ready to turn around and head back to our starting point, but rational thinking prevailed and we limited our run to five miles. In my warped view, if five miles are good, 10 miles would be even better. Too much of a good thing doesn’t exist. Of course, that philosophy could have contributed to my injury in the first place.

Meditations in Motion

The run reminded me of the reasons I first began running many years ago when my children were little. I can recall coming home from a run, often the only 30 minutes of alone-time I had all day, and the feelings of strength and accomplishment those early runs engendered.

Running helped me to grow up, to become a better person. It helped to still the jitters inside of me and calm my high-strung nature.

It wasn’t always easy getting out for a run in those days, I was busy with three little boys and a full-time teaching job that always seemed to spill over into the evenings and weekends.

Running was (and is) a priority, though, so I carved time for it out of my hectic schedule and guarded those precious 30 minutes like they were gold. That is one of the ways running helped me to grow up – I made it happen rather than making excuses.

Meditations in MotionThere are always reasons for not doing what our hearts tell us to do. We are busy, we are tired, we fear failure, we fear success, we are resistant to change, we wait for the perfect moment, which never comes along. All of those reasons can be true, but none of them are valid.

There is only one reason to follow our hearts – ourselves. I owe it to me to be the best version of myself I can possibly be.

I had an acronym that I used when I taught high school – MSH, which stands for Make Stuff Happen. (I may have cleaned up that saying a little bit for use with teenagers.) Yes, you are responsible for your own life, you are responsible for living up to your own expectations. Of course, when I used that abbreviation in school, it was followed by “I’m going to help you.

In order to MSH, we need to surround ourselves with good people, people who believe in us and will help us get where we need to be. In my life, the person who does that best is my hubby.

Meditations in Motion

I am usually a big picture person. Bill is the nuts and bolts guy who helps me figure out how to make my crazy ideas come to fruition. By now, when the words “I have an idea” come out of my mouth, Bill knows he better take a deep breath and steel himself for whatever is going to come next. Of course, I reciprocate. I want him to follow his dreams too.

If you want to MSH you also have to pay attention, to be present in the moment, not scrolling your Facebook feed or playing Candy Crush. I have had some wonderful experiences because I took the chance and just showed up.

Last year a friend invited Bill and me to run a trail half marathon with her. It was at a time when my injury was kind of iffy; I wasn’t sure whether I could run 13.1 trail miles without pain. I hadn’t seen the friend in a while, though and really wanted to spend time with her. The race turned out to be one of my favorites. It was a beautiful spring day, the trail was perfect, my hamstring behaved, and, best of all, I got to spend the day outdoors with Bill and my friend. Just because I showed up.

To MSH you must have the self-confidence to be able to fail and the humility to know you can’t do it alone. Oh, when you take chances you will fail; that is assured. I always used to share that with my students when they were doing their original lab projects.

The important thing is what happens after you fail. Some of the most valuable lessons occur after we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and wonder where we went wrong. That’s often when the “Aha!” moment occurs.

Meditations in MotionHumility helps us to fail gracefully, honestly. It reminds us that all light is reflected Light and that no person is an island. Humility is what allows us to be grateful for our failures because not only do they teach us important lessons, they tend to sweep away our accumulated hubris.

We are made to live boldly, unafraid, not cowering in the corner, scared to move in any direction and making excuses. Just as it says in 2 Timothy: “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.Where can that spirit of power, love, and self-discipline take you? What can you do to MSH today?


I am linking up with Shank You Very Much for Dream Team and Global Blogging, Mary-andering Creatively for LMM, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, Hooks and Dragons for Mix It Up, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Coach Debbie Runs Β for the Coaches’ Corner, Char at Trekking Thru, Kooky Runner for Tuesday Topics, Meghan Weyerbacher for Tea and Word, Mary Geisen Tell His Story, Bethere2day for Wordless Wednesday on a Tuesday, Deb’s Random Writings for Keeping It Real, Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Morgan’s Milieu for Post, Comment, Love, and My Random Musings for Anything Goes.
















  1. I really enjoyed your post! First, running 5 miles without stopping is an accomplishment period! I used to run and was thrilled when I ran my first 10k without stopping. I had not done it before and was never able to do it again. Next, I like the MSH acronym. Finally, I agree, just putting yourself out there can have unexpected outcomes whether it is good or bad, we learn something from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is something I definitely struggle with, and it doesn’t help that much of my family is or has become very cautious too. It’s kind of something I’m struggling with at the present moment in fact!

    You are absolutely correct that some of my best opportunities have come from fearing failure & doing it anyway — including racing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Normally I would ignore an ache or pain. But with this new injury, I almost immediately sought the help of a chiro who specializes in ART.

    I want to do all my upcoming races. I want to run my first marathon.


    I love this.

    We rest when we’re dead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are smart to take care of this injury now! I love the “We rest when we’re dead” philosophy. I used to run a race that went uphill, right by a cemetery. Thinking that gave me the incentive to keep on running!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading your reasons for both beginning and continuing to run was like seeing my thoughts reflected in the text before me. That 30+ minutes is all for me. I used to run alone because I craved solitude after long days of teaching and coming home to toddlers. Now my kids are growing and I work in an office so I find I enjoy running with people. I love your acrynom, MSH. I will use that when I feel unmotivated.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so very thrilled for you. This is no small thing. What a great feeling to get back to running after a long break. You did it. You MSH. My favorite part of your post is about failing. “The important thing is what happens after you fail.” When you have fallen what will you do? It is such an important question because if you live big, you will fall.
    I think you might like this poem called, Refusal

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Woot! Woot! I know how you feel! I haven’t run since November, and have run very little since a horrible ankle sprain last April. I finally got out on Sunday and ran two miles. Now my shins hurt :). But no excuses (just better stretching), I’m going out again today!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I need to get back to the MSH mentality. I’ve been making too many excuses for not running lately. It’s been hard for me to get back into a routine post marathon. I literally just lost all desire to run for a while. I’m getting back to it now but it’s still tough to get into a routine.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So true – sometimes we just have to get rid of the excuses and make it happen! And I love how you and your husband complement each other in doing this – we really need both the “big picture” idea people and the detail people to make thing happen and, as you say, having the humility to let go of our fear of failure and have a go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy, I cannot tell you how much relief I feel from being able to run without pain. Thank you so much for your very kind comment! Good luck with the spring track season!


  9. Congratulations on your healing and running again. I know how hard it is “not to be able to run”, which in itself should be enough motivation for me to MSH and not have an excuse. I wrote that tip down in my journal and although I do not need motivation today, I know that I will again sometime in the future. Enjoy your run!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First of all, I’m so glad you’re finally seeing light at the end of your injury tunnel. And that you’re being smart about your running comeback (you are aren’t you? πŸ™‚ ). I love this post so much. I’d like to show it to my clients who want to do things like lose weight or get fit, but instead find excuses why they can’t do the things that are necessary to make it happen. It’s frustrating as a trainer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Debbie, me too! It has been a long haul. I am TRYING to be smart about the comeback, but smart is not my strong suit πŸ™‚ I can imagine your frustrations. I had similar feelings when I taught school, but I was dealing with kids, not adults!


  11. What you said about running helping you grow up really resonated with me. I stopped making excuses for everything when I committed to running. My work ethic changed dramatically. I stopped just showing up and started applying myself. My husband was helpful with that because he has an incredible work ethic. No excuses. Just do it. I figure if I can get up and out for a run, then everything else is easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on your accomplishments. Impressive! And I can’t for the life of me understand how people can talk and laugh while running. πŸ™‚ My favorite thought is this, “MSH, which stands for Make Stuff Happen.” So good!

    I’m your neighbor this week at #teaandtheword. Shared on Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow! Go you for being such a committed runner! Although I’m not much for pounding the pavement, I value your points here. There’s always a reason NOT to. Thanks for the reminder to make stuff happen.

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  14. It is so great that you were be able to get back out there and run! You are an encouragement to me with your MSH acronym. We need to keep trying, pushing forward, doing the next thing! I never thought of it that way, but you are right, ” failures are just training for the next success!” Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Congrats on your first full run; it must have been so nice to get back out there and to feel the pain finally receding. All too often (when it comes to exercise) I am definitely in the make excuses category but I am trying to be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Boy, oh boy, is this a good one! Such a great reminder and a great way to live. So many times I hear myself say, “I wish I could (fill in the blank)” and my husband will say, “well, why can’t you?” And then here comes the list of excuses. This is so something that I need to work on.

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Amy! I wrote about it because I can relate. I think the older I get, the fewer times I am tempted t make excuses. The age of my kids (all adults now) has a lot to do with it too! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the chance to share!


  17. Hubster also has to deal with what I call the ‘fallout’ of my ideas. I think big and then wander around lost while trying to make it happen. Then Hubster has to turn my shoulders and push me gently to get me moving. And great news on the injury mending, you’ve been struggling so hard with getting yourself back to 100% – the runner in you wants to move! #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  18. MSH is simple but effective. Thank you for spurring us on. My son follows something similar: Go, Do, Try. Also simple and effective. I love this line about humility —-> Humility helps us to fail gracefully, honestly. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Make Stuff Happen is a great philosophy. We have to imagine, dream and work hard to make a difference to our lives and not wait passively for life to happen to us. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s a wonderful philosophy. We should not passively wait for life to happen. We sometimes need to make things happen! Thanks for the opportunity to share.


  20. I pray that your hip is on the mend! I know it must have been wonderful to have proof that the sacrifices you’ve been making to heal is working. Plus, you got to enjoy a run without pain in so long – Yay! I like the MSH. It really is true in so many instances, and I’ve lived most of my life by it. I’ve realized over the last year that I have to be careful with making my focus all about me and my striving, instead of leaning on, relying on, and being guided by the Spirit. But that doesn’t mean it’s ok to make excuses and float through life. Nope, like you said, we have to stop talking about it, praying about it, and get out there are do our part. For me, it’s a fine line. Lol!! As always, I love your post. Thanks for sharing with us at #LiveLifeWell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree – it is a fine line between striving too hard and not living up to our God-given potential. We need guidance in that direction! Glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for the chance to share.


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