Faith and Fitness with Marsha Apsley

Helping Women Live Fit and Free

Revisiting 2016 Goals and Gearing Up for the Final Push

Did you set any goals for 2016?  Here we are at the last quarter of the year.  How are you doing?  Have you given up on,  or maybe even forgotten, what your goals were for the year?  


The last quarter of the year can get tough.  It’s a busy time.  There are so many activities and holidays.  Weather changes.  If you’re looking at fitness goals, you might think that it’s no use to start now, because there are too many parties and sweets coming our way.  You won’t be able to say no to the extra meals and goodies.  You may think the weather will impact your ability to get outside and move, so why try to stay active?  If you’re in business, you may think that no one is spending money on your products right now.  They’re too busy buying Christmas presents for everyone else.  

But I would say that this is the time to really make a difference.  It’s a time to focus in even more on your health and fitness.  It’s a time to keep the momentum going with your  business.  If you just sign off for this quarter that is a lot of time wasted.  You don’t want to get to January in the hole or with an extra 10 pounds to lose.  

Review your goals and get ready for the final push. #runmyrace Click To Tweet

I went back to the goals I shared right here in this space at the beginning of the year.  I thought I’d take a little inventory and let you know how I’m doing.  I can tell you right now I had not planned on this knee injury, so that’s going to have some impact on my goals.  But here we go…..

 Plans for 2016:

  • Hoosier Half Marathon – April 9, 2016 – Completed
  • 500 Festival Mini Marathon – May 7, 2016 – Completed
  • Michelob Ultra Half Marathon, Chicago – May 22, 2016 – This is with Team Momentum.  It’s a fundraiser for the MDA Foundation.  In all my distance running, I’ve never run for a cause.  I’m looking forward to shifting my focus for this event – Completed
  • Monumental Half Marathon – November 5, 2016 – Signed up but not very optimistic about this.  Might have to switch to 5K
  • Santa Hustle Half Marathon – December 2016 – Still signed up and cautiously optimistic
  • Bike outside at least once each month – Biking outside A TON every month!  
  • Short intense strength sessions and get stronger – Doing this
  • Yoga 2-3 times per week – Doing this
  • Have my favorite meal of the day every day this year – I’ve shifted my nutrition due to some stomach issues.  Listening to my body and being a good detective
  • Grow my online reach and empower women to be fit and free – Finishing up with some awesome ladies for September and getting ready to start the October coaching group.  I love coaching women!
  • #runmyrace – Everyday!
  • Keep my eyes on my own paper – It’s a practice, but I’m committed to it
  • Keep a running journal – Well, it’s become more of a workout journal, but yes I’m tracking my daily workouts and how I’m feeling.  It’s fun!


Having shared all of this, I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of setting goals, especially as it relates to numbers.  I know myself, and I can get too caught up in all that and only think of the number or end result and not the process.  My knee injury has really tested me in this area.  I’ve had to make adjustments.  My plan was to get my half marathon back under 2 hours by doing extra speed training this summer.  Well, that certainly didn’t happen.  I hadn’t figured in all the cycling, so I didn’t even set goals as it related to cycling.  But that’s okay. 

The list above gives me some focus for my year.  I like to look at it as just staying organized.  I feel the same with goals as I do with the way you eat.  I want to eat on Saturday the same way I eat on Monday.  Meaning, I don’t white knuckle my way through the week and then free-for-all on the weekend.  Just the same, I want to live in October and November the way I’ll live in January.  I don’t want to lose momentum or commitment to my intentions and focus and then feel like I need to do this huge revamp of my life in January.

What’s now?

So here we go into the final quarter of 2016.  Are you ready?  If you’re not so sure, reach out to me.  I’m here to help.  I have a coaching group starting October 1st.  The gals who are signed up are ready to learn how to manage the sweet tooth and continue on the journey of faith and fitness.  Will you join us?

Tell me…..

How are you doing on your goals for 2016?

Are there any you need to adjust or a new one you need to make for the last quarter of the year?

RUN: Reviewing My Word of the Year

  Run.  This word has become more to me than something I do every morning or with my friends a few times a week.  It has been my theme and my motivation and how I’m focusing my life this year.  Let me explain….

Run ~ My 2016 Word

Last year was the first time I came up with my word for the year.  It seems that this is pretty common.  People will have a word or phrase that sets their intention or focus for the year.  I could definitely look back and see themes in my life over the years.  Certain years, I could probably identify by a word or phrase.  

2015 Word

But last year I got intentional with this idea of a word myself.  After some reflection and prayer and searching scripture, I found my word for 2015.  Beneficial.  This would be my word and my verse would be I Corinthians 10:23, “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial”.

Not only would this be in regards to what I put INTO my mouth but this would also have an impact on what came OUT of my mouth, my words and even my actions.  While I was not perfect (just ask my family!  lol!), I had a focus.  I had an intention.  I had something by which to measure my words, my actions, the foods I chose, my schedule, etc.  Everything came back to this one word and whether or not it was beneficial for me, for my family, for those around me.  I kept the word and verse on a note card where I could see it, pray it, reflect on it every day of 2015.  It’s still part of my daily quiet time this year.  Such a powerful verse.  

2016 Word

Then came 2016.  I thought a lot and reflected for some time about what my word for the year would be.  I would jot down words as one came to me.  I’d read a scripture that jumped out at me.  I wrote it down and the word associated with it.  Finally I decided on my word.  It was something I kept coming back to and a verse that has kept coming up.  It was the word I felt the Lord laid on my heart and one that I felt He intended for me this year…..


Even at the time it was so much more than the physical activity I love to do.  (If you know me at all or just know me through social media, you know I’m a runner!)  Even though I do identify myself as a #runner or #runnermom this has little to do with my exercise of choice.  And now looking back, it was a good thing it wasn’t about the physical activity, because, as many of you know, I haven’t run much since May due to a knee injury that has me revamping my entire running schedule, but more of that later.  

Sure I set some fitness goals.  At the beginning of the year, I wanted to get my half marathon time back under 2 hours (my fall halfs took me a few minutes over that).  But this was about Hebrews 12:1.  And it’s still about Hebrews 12:1.  It’s about “laying aside the weight and sin” meaning to let go of the things that distract and hold me back.  And then “run with endurance the race set before us” which is telling me to run MY race.  Basically, I want to keep my head down and GO in the direction He’s leading.  Additionally I want to run this race like it tells me to in I Corinthians 9:24 in a way to obtain the prize.  I want to RUN where He’s taking me with my best efforts, with His strength.  

Run: A review of my word for 2016. #runmyrace Click To Tweet

So in 2016 I’ve been running MY race.  The race HE has set before me.  It’s how and why I started using the hashtag #runmyrace  At the end of 2016, I want to look back and know that I trained hard and ran wherever He told me to go and finished strong.

 So, how is my “run” going?

  • Like I mentioned, my knee went on strike after the Chicago half marathon in May.  What I thought was going to be a short season of backing off the run and adding more cycling has turned into a long run layoff and a lot more cycling with the news that my running may never look the same again.  I have some arthritis and a bit of damage in my knees that may not allow me to bounce back to running as I knew it.  But this hasn’t stopped me from exercising and finding alternatives to get my cardio fix!  I haven’t sulked and had a pity party.  I have to listen to my body and honor it.  
  • I’ve been growing my online business.  But I have had to really focus on the message God has called me to share and not get caught up with comparison of how other entrepreneurs do it.  Yes, the blogging and online space can be very supportive and helpful, but I know my tendencies.  Just as I struggled with comparing myself to others in regards to outward appearance, I can also fall into that trap of comparing my business and calling with others.  So I have to be extremely careful in this space to be true to what I’ve been called to do and not try to keep up with others who may be going a different pace in this biz than I am.  
  • I’m a mom.  Parenting is tough sometimes (ok, all the time!).  It’s easy to get distracted by what other parents and kids are doing.  I have to focus on my son and ask God to help me parent my child according to his unique traits and needs.

This can be applied in all areas of life.  These are a few examples of how I’m running my race.


I invite you to join me in using #runmyrace  Are you ready to focus on the path/plan He has for you?  Are you committed to keeping your eyes on your own paper and doing life in a way that honors who you are and the stage where you are and the pace you need to go?  


Tell me….

Will  you use #runmyrace

What are you focusing on to finish out 2016 strong?

Did you choose a word, theme, or verse for 2016?  If so, what is it?

Do you need support and accountability?  Are you ready to put your head down and focus in and honor your unique life?  I have a coaching group beginning October 1st that is all about working from the inside out.  You see, hundreds and sometimes thousands, of people line up at the starting line of a race, but not everyone wears the same shoes or tank top.  They don’t all drink the same amount of water or fuel the same way.  We’re in this race together, to cheer each other on, but also to respect each other’s pace.  I hope you’ll consider joining us for October.  Sign up for my email to get the best deal!  If you have questions, please email me.  I’d love to set up a call with you!

Happy Birthday to Me! Reflecting on Turning Another Year Older

I turn 44 tomorrow.  I survived the big 4-0 a few years ago.  Life didn’t stop.  In fact, it wasn’t until I turned 40 that much of my life started making sense.

birthday reflections

I want to take some time today to reflect a little, because let’s face it, aren’t you supposed to reflect a bit as you get older?  I imagine teenagers don’t reflect much.  They’re busy planning their futures.  But when you start hitting those “middle age” ages, you start to reflect.  (Or you should anyway!)  

Without going into my entire history, let’s just say that I struggled a lot growing up with feelings of insecurity, low self-esteem, etc.  I thought I was fat and that nobody would ever love me.  Fast forward through years of struggle and tears, a failed marriage, and too many diets to count, I read “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst when I was about to turn 40.   In one section she referred to Moses and how God told him, “You have circled this mountain long enough.  Now turn north.”  

Lightbulb moment!  Moses and the Israelites had wandered 40 years in the desert.  I had been wandering for 40 years among gimmicks and quick fixes and failed attempts at loving the body I was in and accepting the love of the Savior I had received when I was a nine-year-old girl.  It was time!  

Happy Birthday to Me! Reflections of a 44 year old. #birthday Click To Tweet

So, now 4 years later how am I doing?  Did I turn north?  If so, what changed?  

I can answer with total honesty and conviction that yes indeed I turned north.  It really was a turning point and a wake up call.  Do I get it right all the time?  No.  But I’m going in the new direction God pointed me.  He has given me some clarity on those 40 years.  I was learning a lot during that time, but I didn’t know it.  I now see how He can turn something that was such a struggle and seemingly negative situation into something that He can use.  

Last year, I stepped into this online space and began to share how I came to know freedom in this area of health and fitness.  Because that is the key.  It’s freedom.  I was in bondage so much of my life.  Bondage to a reflection in the mirror.  Bondage to a number on a scale.  Bondage to everything I thought beautiful and lovely was supposed to be and look like. I spent years seeking freedom. I knew there had to be a better way.  

And so finally, I turned north and in that direction was freedom.  I began to understand that I was fearfully and wonderfully made.  I accepted the love my Savior had for me.  The same God I had given my life to at 9 years old, but I had not let Him take over this area of my life.  Sure I had prayed and cried to Him over and over again, but I still held onto that one area of my life…..until I finally let go.  

So what have I learned?

  • I can live fit AND free.  You can live fit AND free.  Fitness isn’t defined by a certain number or found in a bottle or a program.  It’s not a certain image we have in our heads or see on a magazine cover.  Fitness is you honoring your unique body by caring for it like a temple. 

  • Christ died so that you and I may live in freedom.  Any day spent in bondage to anything is not His plan or His will for our life. He’s ready to set you free.  

  • I am loved.  You are loved.  Every night I say to Ethan (I’ve said it since he was a baby), “Mommy loves you and Jesus loves you.”  I want him to know he is loved.  

  • I am a gift.  You are a gift.  We have been given something unique to share with the world around us.  It may be a small world, or we may have a big stage.  But no matter where you are today, you have something to give.  


Tell me….

What is one life lesson you’ve learned so far?

Have you read a book that has had a big impact on you?

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