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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THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Quaker State 400 preview

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week, the NASCAR cup series heads to Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400. Built in 2001, this track is a 1.5 mile tri-oval with a dog-leg on the front stretch. The most dangerous part of the track has to be turn three as the corner is flat compared to the other three corners that are banked. This has been a major point of contingency for these drivers as most of the cautions end up being there. Look for turn three to be a hot spot come Sunday. Last year, both the Busch brothers finished 1-2 in one of the most exciting finishes of the season so there will be a lot of hype for this race to live up to.

Last week at Indy, as we all expected the race was a crazy one. Over the course of the race's 160 laps, we saw many horrific accidents including a scary pit road accident involving Corey Lajoe, Ryan Blaney, Justin Allgier, Ryan Preece and others. The wreck started when everyone got stacked up entering the pits and the calamity was on from there. During the wreck Brennan Poole struck Rear Tire Changer Zach Price as he was trying to avoid the wrecking cars in front of him. After the incident fans and media alike all held their breath as they awaited news on his condition. But when the camera panned to him being loaded into the ambulance, there was a huge sigh of relief as he gave everyone a thumbs up signifying he was okay. Another scary moment was both Erik Jones and Alex Bowman's vicious crashes. Both cars had tire failures that sent their cars directly into the wall. Fortunately both drivers were okay but their days were over.

In the end, tire wear would end up claiming one more victim as it took out Denny Hamlin as well. With seven laps to go, the four-time winner this season was in prime position to get his fifth victory until his right front tire blew out, sending him hard into the turn 2 wall. This mishap handed the win to his main rival in the championship, Kevin Harvick, as he went on to claim his third Brickyard 400 victory and fourth win of the year. When it was all over, many questioned why there were so many tire failures and if new owner Roger Penske would make an effort to possibly widen the pit-road after the massive accident on Sunday.

Needless to say, there are a lot of questions on what will be different at Indy in 2021. When I talked to spotter Freddie Kraft on Tuesday, he gave a lot of good insights on both topics. When it came to the tire failures, he talked about how the increasing corner speeds at the racetrack has put a lot of pressure on these Goodyear tires which eventually led to them coming apart. As far as Pit-Road and what they can do to fix that, he talked about how it is difficult to make changes to a track that is so historical. Which makes sense, but he followed this up by saying that maybe it would be wise to give up a little history and move the wall over and make it wider. It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does in the coming months.

On Friday, Associated Press journalist Jenna Fryer revealed a bombshell announcement that 7-time champion and NASCAR's biggest name Jimmie Johnson, had tested positive for coronavirus. As everyone knows, the world is going through the worst pandemic it's ever faced in this lifetime. With the sport coming back and racing again, it was only a matter of time until one of the drivers came down with it. Unfortunately it had to be NASCAR's most recognizable driver. Thankfully, Jimmie made a full recovery and was cleared to return this weekend at Kentucky. This was a big scare for everyone in the NASCAR world, but I have to give a lot of credit to Johnson for being as forthright as he was about his diagnosis with everyone who he works with. It will be good to have Jimmie back on Sunday.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Kyle Busch. While this season has been a disappointment for the defending champion, Kentucky would be a great place for him to turn it around. Ever since the cup series has started going there, Kyle has always been in contention to win. In fact, he won the first cup series race that was run at this track back in 2011. In his nine starts there, Kyle has finished outside the top ten only once and even then he finished 12th, back in 2016. Last season it appeared that Kyle was on his way to a third victory at this track, but he came up one spot short to his brother Kurt in a fantastic last lap duel. After a late race restart this weekend though, I see Kyle redeeming himself and capturing his first victory of 2020. Look for Kyle to get back on track come Sunday.


All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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