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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Yordan Alvarez provided the offense to back up more stellar pitching by the Astros as they took ALCS game 6 to advance to the 2021 World Series. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of this series in Houston then falling behind in the series 2-1 by dropping the first of three games in Boston, the Astros took over the ALCS in Games 4 and 5, sending them back to their home crowd with a chance to finish things off in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park. After another stellar performance by their pitching staff and more timely hitting, they would accomplish that mission, winning the series and moving on to the 2021 World Series.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 0

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston wins 4-2

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Houston strikes first to start tightly-contested Game 6

After a scoreless top of the first inning by Boston's offense, the Astros capitalized on a chance to be first to score in the bottom of the frame. Alex Bregman started the two-out rally, reaching base on a single against Nathan Eovaldi for the first hit of the night. Yordan Alvarez followed, delivering his sixth RBI of the series with a double to put Houston on top 1-0.

That did not spark further immediate scoring, as the one-run score held while both starting pitchers provided solid outings for their team. For Eovaldi, he was able to limit Houston to just that single run through four frames. He returned in the bottom of the fifth, facing two batters, allowing a single, and getting a strikeout to end his night.

Garcia impresses in big start

For the home team, they were recipients of another expectation-exceeding performance from one of their young arms. Only anticipated to go a handful of innings, Luis Garcia worked efficiently and effectively against Boston, keeping them scoreless and hitless through five innings. He continued in the sixth, getting two more outs before allowing a two-out triple, ending his night as Phil Maton would enter to strand the tying run. Garcia's final line: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 76 P.

With both teams dipping into their bullpens, the Astros took advantage of Boston's as Yordan Alvarez's dominance went on display once again. He led the inning off with a triple, then scored on a double-play ball to extend Houston's lead to 2-0. Kendall Graveman took over on the mound in the top of the seventh and worked himself into a big moment. He gave up a one-out walk, followed by a single, which put runners on the corners for Boston. He continued to struggle with the zone, falling behind the next batter 3-1, but was able to battle back to get the strikeout paired with a terrific throw by Martin Maldonado to cut down the runner from first trying to steal second, ending the inning and maintaining the two-run advantage.

Astros headed to the World Series

Ryne Stake was Houston's next reliever, and he put Houston three outs away by getting a 1-2-3 eighth. With Ryan Pressly warming, he watched and hoped that his offense could give him some more insurance to work with when he went to the mound in the top of the ninth. His wish would be granted, as after getting two on base, Kyle Tucker would put a major exclamation point on the night's offense, hitting a three-run opposite-field homer to the Crawford Boxes to push the lead to 5-0.

Pressly, now with the five-run lead, came on to try and start the celebration by getting the final three outs. Against the tougher part of Boston's order, he would get a 1-2-3 inning, giving the Astros the American League pennant, which along with those won in 2017 and 2019, puts them back in the World Series for the third time in five years.

Up Next: The Astros will have three days off before The Fall Classic kicks off. While Game 1 will be on Tuesday, October 26th, nothing else has yet been determined as Houston awaits to see which of the Dodgers and Braves will advance out of the NL, which will also dictate if the Astros will host or travel to World Series Game 1.

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