H-Town Run Tourist

Make your own mantra: How to turn your insecurities into your inspiration

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

Can I be honest with you? I'm going to be honest. I had taken a break from running to set up Houston Tourism Gym. True, I did a lot of walking to get my routes for my tours, but for me that is not enough exercise. Then, there was the beer, then the burgers, then the beer, then more beer. So guess what I gained weight.

Wait a second. Before you judge, I don't know if you have ever opened a business, but it is a lot. A lot of times you are alone, you take a lot of risks. You have questions occupying your bandwidth that never end. You are on a shoestring budget and you have to make a lot of sacrifices and mistakes. All the while trying to find your why so that you can teach it to others, but will they even get it. And so the questions start again.

My point is...it was time to get back to basics. So, I took a run or maybe it was a walk. It was a walk/run. During which, all of my insecurities for my sins came out. Because, I know my pattern and the fact that I love food and beverage, I have done this before. The walk back home turned into the run back to who I am. But it is a lot of work on the way.

I know I am not the only one so, I turned that morning's stinkin thinkin into inspiration. This is the brain workout that it took. I am going to share with you the three mantras I gleaned from it.

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Mantra #1

The alarm goes off. I reach for my phone to turn it off. I had set 3 snooze settings. I look at the phone. 6AM. What was I thinking? That is when the thinking began. I don't want to get up. I really don't. It might be cold. Is it raining? Maybe it's raining. What did I say I was going to do today? What day is it even? Then, I remembered I promised myself that I would go for a run.

Stop right there. You can't be a punk. Say that again. I promised my myself that I would go for a run in Terry Hershey Park remember? All those wonderful trees. That park never disappoints. Whatever wonderful thing that will happen today will definitely not happen in your bed. But you have to get up to see it.

Mantra: Something really amazing is going to happen today, but you have to get out of bed to see it.

Mantra #2

So, I get out of bed, take a quick shower, and put on my clothes. On the short drive from my apartment to the parking lot, I'm giving myself a pep talk to remember to do my best. And that no matter how much I may want to stop, I can't stop. I can slow down, but I can't stop.

Mantra: I can slow down, but whatever I do, I can't stop.

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Mantra #3

So, I get started. At first, I'm pumped. I can slow down, but I can't stop. I tell myself over and over again. Then the wonderful, rolling hills of Terry Hershey start coming at me and because I'm so deconditioned, I get winded. How embarrassing. Remember when you ran like a gazelle in Istanbul. You even ran sick. You have run 26.2 with hurt feet and diarrhea. This hill is nothing.

Then I thought of the lonely times, the rejection, the uncertainty that comes with starting your own business. How many times you have to fail. How many people you were not there for. How many associates you had to cut ties with because they no longer aligned with who you are becoming. That took a lot of strength. ALOT OF STRENGTH! At times, it felt almost superhuman strength was needed. That is it! All this time, I was cultivating STRENGTH. You know what I will do? I'll lend just some of that strength to my body today.

Mantra: Today, I'll take the strength that I have earned and lend it to my body!

Alot of times, if we look inside, we have the answer within us. Do not be afraid to speak nicely to yourself with understanding and intention. You are the only one who really knows you. Finish the conversation with yourself and you will find your inspiration.

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This is a tasty burger. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

If a person isn't a real Houstonian until they have favorite places for staple foods like burgers and Tex-Mex, then Astros pitcher Justin Verlander has officially embraced his new home.

In an interview that occurred during the Thursday, August 11 broadcast of the Astros game against the Texas Rangers, YouTube announcer Scott Braun asked Verlander if he found any food in Houston that he couldn't get in Detroit.

"I like Nancy's Hustle's burger," the pitching ace replied.

Indeed, what's not to like? The Nancy's burger — a double patty cheeseburger with chopped onions, pickles, and aioli on a housemade brioche English muffin — has been a staple since the restaurant opened in late 2017. Here it is, as captured by Houston food influencer Abbas Dhanani.

Beyond its deliciousness, Verlander's affection for the burger makes a certain amount of logistical sense. The EaDo restaurant is only about a mile from Minute Maid Park, and it stays open until 11 pm, making it a perfect post-game treat.

Nancy's co-owner Sean Jensen tells CultureMap that he and chef-owner Jason Vaughan consider Verlander and his wife, supermodel Kate Upton, to be regulars. "They have always been supporters and super nice when they visit," he writes in an email.

Continue on CultureMap to learn more.

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