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ON TODAY’S SHOW:
Are you a sidelines cheerleader – a light bringer – or a fraud detector?
In every interaction, we have the chance to decide if we are going to bring light and encouragement or judgement and darkness. Let’s test this out, just for a week. What it would be like to speak light into everyone around us for seven days?
Let’s try it. I dare ya.
be a light bringer transcript:
Welcome to finding finish lines. I’m your host, Sally Bulavko. Oh, and I am so grateful that you’re here.
Thank you for joining me. If this is your first time. Finding finish lines is a place where active women can find inspiration and hear from other women who are out there doing the big things. And maybe consider the ways that you might want to step next.
What’s the next thing on your agenda? What little piece of information can you take away from other women who were doing it that you might want to incorporate into your own life?
Also, I hope that while you’re here, you find a little bit of reassurance that you’re on the right path, that what you’re doing is exactly right. That who you are is beautiful, that you have value, that you are loved, that you are important and that you are worth whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish.
If you have been here for a little while and have not shared our podcast with your friends or family who might also be interested in a little bit of inspiration, guys, I would love it if you would do that. I would appreciate it so much, and I hope that they would also appreciate it. Those of us who are into podcasts were always looking for new ones, and there is nothing wrong with having a full library. Next time you hop in the car, you’ll have multiple choices, and hopefully they’ll all be good ones. So I would be honored if finding finish lines could be in the libraries of your friends and family as well if it has brought you some sort of peace.
Finally, if you have not left a review and you are an iTunes user, please just take one second and leave a quick review. Um, it helps other people find the show, and also it makes me a better host. If you are being honest about what you like or don’t like, then I know what you guys want for me, and then I feel like I’m not just a single woman here, talking into a microphone, screaming into the abyss and hoping it screams back.
So if you could leave a review, I would love it.
Or if you have any suggestions about the show or suggestions for guests topics, things that you’d like me to completely redesign from top to bottom, just email me Sally@ findingfinishlines. com. Or you can always leave a comment on the blog post that has the transcript of the episode. Which, I guess, is another thing: if you did not know that all episodes are transcribed and posted to the blog, that is another way that you can consume the information from the fantastic guests that we have and some of the storytelling that we do. I would love to see you there.
Eyes on your own plate
All right, guys. So today I wanted to talk to you a little bit about something that Meredith Atwood said to me in our interview several episodes back. I’ll, um, put a link to that show in the show notes, in case you want to check it out.
Meredith Atwood is of Swim Bike Mom fame. She kind of was my triathlon hero for a long time.
As soon as I mentioned to a friend that I was thinking about making the jump from marathons to triathlon, and I had no idea what I was doing, she referred me to swimbikemom.com. I went there and I learned everything there was to know, including the fact that I could do it, thatjust average women can toe the line at a triathlon.
So that’s how I learned of Meredith Atwood. And over the years she has brought me so much peace. I feel like she just gives it with the realness, and come on, we can all appreciate that!
So I was so excited when she offered to come on the show several episodes ago and share with us her upcoming book, The Year of No Nonsense, which, by the way, is out and it’s so good, and I recommend that everyone read it. But one thing that she said that stuck with me and has been kind of rolling around in my brain for the last couple of months is when she said “Eyes on your own plate.”
Now for her, she was using that, like in the diet context in that sometimes we can be pretty judgmental about what other people are eating right. She gave the example of these two women who were fighting over the bread basket. Not that they wanted to eat it, but that they wanted it to go back as soon as the bread basket was brought to their table. They both were, like, instantly trying to send it back, because presumably they weren’t eating bread and didn’t wanna have it in front of them. And we were talking a little bit about how, what do we know? Maybe they were gluten free. Maybe eating the bread would have made them physically sick. Or who knows what the issue is about it.
Or, you know, sometimes when you see those nasty jokes on the Internet about people rolling through the McDonald’s line and ordering like a massive cheeseburger or whatever and a diet Coke and ha ha ha, can’t we just make all these jokes about their diet decisions? Right? And what Meredith said was, “Keep your eyes on your own plate.”
You know, whatever you’re eating, that’s what you can worry about.
Don’t worry about what I’m eating. Don’t worry about what’s going into my body. I can handle me. I can handle my kids. I can handle my family. And I don’t need your input, Thank you very much.
Shameless plug for plant-based diet 🙂
So keep your eyes on your own plate has been something that I have just kind of kept in mind, especially as I’ve been on this new plant based diet kind of thing.
As I’ve gone back to being a vegetarian and moving towards being vegan, I know that vegans can get some kind of a reputation for being a little pushy. And I can feel that in my own self sometimes. So I just try to remind myself, Sally, keep your eyes on your own plate.
Bottle fraud is a thing?
And then something came up just this week that made me really think girl, just keep your eyes on your own plate. And let me tell you this story. As many of you know, I am a mother of two daughters, So I have 3rd grader and I have 4th grader because they are 13 months apart. Thank you, Jesus.
So my fourth grader can be a little bit quiet. My third grader is sassy, but my fourth grader can be very quiet. She’s a bit of a tomboy, and she’s just Ah, happy, simple kid. She’s not really interested in some of those topics that are starting to interest girls of her age, right?
So lately I have started to get the tiniest little glimpse that we might be moving into Tween-hood, for example. Brands are maybe starting to matter, and truthfully, I don’t think they’re mattering to her. But they matter to those girls that are around her that she would either liketo have accept her or at the very least, keep their eyes on their own plate and stop trying to make fun of her in front of her class.
So what happened just the other day is that she came home from school and she was a little quiet. And, you know, we moms of the Tween set are starting to adjust to kiddos that don’t come home and want to tell us every detail of their day and it stinks. I’m gonna tell you I don’t like it.
But she was being a little quiet, and after some time she shared with me that she would really like a Hydro Flask. Water bottle.
Now, for anybody who isn’t in this scene, that is just like the regular old stainless steel water bottle that we see all over the place. Except you got to get this name brand one. Right? So you might have heard of Yeti or, uh, Klean Canteen was the 1st one I had years ago. But a Hydro Flask has become very cool among this set of girls that refer to themselves as VSCO girls.
Now, that’s essentially the instagram version of the hippies that we once were. But it’s not like a genuine hippie movement. It’s not one of, like peace and love. It’s like, Look at me wearing these particular things and saying these particular words, Aren’t I so enlightened? I’m Visco girl!
(Okay, I’m gonna try to present that with slightly less judgment going forward because I feel that judgment welling up in me, and I need to do better than that.) But that is really how I’m gonna describe it, because that’s how I understand it.
So among the Visco girls set one of the hallmarks of being on the In crowd. Um, is this goofy water bottle called a Hydro Flask, that particular brand, with a bunch of stickers on it. So if you’ve got one of those than check, check your moving towards VSCO girl acceptance.
Now, this is not one of those things that has ever mattered to my daughter before. She was perfectly happy with her water bottle that we got at REI I at the beginning of the year that when you bought it, they pulled trash from the ocean. Who knows if it’s true, but but that is their marketing schtick for the type of bottle that she got and she was excited about it.
But like I said, being a VSCO girl isn’t really about being a hippie or improving the world. It’s about having the look.
So she tells me that she would really like a Hydro Flask branded water bottle, and that as of the next day, she would be the only girl in her class that did not have one of these water bottles. That there was one other girl, as of right now, that did not have that brand but would be getting it that evening. So by the next day in class, if she showed up with her regular water bottle (And yes, guys, I recognize how ridiculous this is I’m just telling you the story from 4th graders perspective) that if she showed up in class the next day, she would be on the outside.
And who the heck wants that, right?
None of us want that. We don’t want that at 35. We don’t want that at 72 we definitely don’t want it at nine.
So because my heart can’t handle my little baby being on the outside we went directly to Dick Sports. We looked at the Hydro Flask options. She picked out her color, we paid way too much for a water bottle, and we left.
And my little nug was so proud of her new purchase that she filled it up like three times. She washed it very deliberately and it slept in her bed with her. When I found her in the morning, it was right next to her. It went to the bathroom sink while she brushed her teeth. It was on the kitchen table at breakfast, and it was not even in her backpack. When we walk to school, she had to hold it because we wanted to make sure, and by we I mean, her wanted to make sure that everybody knew that she was not on the outside.
She was fully in that group. She had, a Hydro flask.
And then once she got into her classroom, the same girls that she was trying to appease with this purchase called her out in front of the whole class to declare that her Hydro Flask was a fake. Yep, that it was a fake.
I want to just take a second and imagine being nine years old in a world where you think a that there are counterfeiters making water bottles, which I learned after that there are. Come on, guys. Can we be less ridiculous? But that there were counterfeiters making Hydro flask water bottles also that they believed that hers was fake.
And then the kicker for me is that they believed that they had a right to declare it fake and share that information with everyone.
Now, I’m gonna tell you that my quiet daughter had no idea how to react. Just no idea. She went in that day on level 10 and at that moment she was brought down to a zero. No energy, no idea how to react.
So when I asked her what she did, she said she just stayed quiet.
And that afternoon I noticed that the water bottle went on the kitchen counter and she went upstairs. And then when she went outside, she didn’t bring it. And I noticed when she ate dinner, she drank from a regular cup. She was disgusted by that water bottle.
And I told her, “My nugget, your bottle is not fake. You were with me at Dicks last night. You picked it out. You saw me by it. How could it possibly be fake?”
And she told me there was something going on with the inside of the bottle that the girls wanted to expose. I don’t even know.
So I told her. “Listen, obviously those girls were rude. If they come at you again today, give him a ‘Your mama’ and move on. Because we’re not gonna deal with that trash. Who cares what they think? Who cares?” Right.
But it turns out, my friends, that’s who cares. The answer to who cares is my sweet daughter, because in the second day, as she brought this back and I thought. “Well, she’s completely prepared. She knows what the attack was. Obviously, they’re not going to keep that going for a second day. Everything should be good.”
Well, I pick her up at the end of the day and she’s crying. Why is she crying? Because those girls told her that her bottle was fake.
They had her open it in front of a bigger the kids, and they declared that it was fake because it didn’t have the threading for the lid on the inside. And there’s had the threading for the lid on the inside. So since theirs is legitimate, obviously, hers is fake.
My sweet daughter came home, and after a little bit of a chat, she confessed to me that she believed I bought her a fake bottle and that I was lying!
My daughter believed these other girls, who have been nothing but unkind to her for the entire school year over me, the person who has proven to her over and over and over and over that I’d never lie and that I’d always be there.
We do this to ourselves
And here’s the thing. It blew me away for a second, and then I realized it kind of makes sense because we do this to ourselves.
Ah, I do have a way to tie in a water bottle story.
We do this to ourselves. Friends. How often do we achieve something that we’re very proud of and then somebody comes along, has some nasty little comment or a sideays glance or some nasty thing on social media or we hear a rumor and all of a sudden were questioning our achievements?
“Did I really do that? Or if I did do it wasn’t really any good. Do I have any right to be proud of it?”
How easily are we torn directly off our path by just some little thing that somebody else does some small outside force that feels so be it right.
We can be light bringers
And you know what? We have the power to take that authority that we know that other people sometimes have in our lives and wield it in our own lives for other people.
Do you hear me?
We can recognize that power.
We can no longer allow it to have dominion in our lives, and then we can use that power to influence other people in a positive way.
Let me tell you a story that’s the opposite of the “Hydro Flask water bottle fiasco of 2020 in the fourth grade class.”
Disney princess half marathon weekend
And that is that last weekend, I was so excited to take off to Florida for Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. You all know I love some. runDisney. I love it. I can’t get enough.
Are their races is ridiculously overpriced?
Why, yes they are.
Are you then required to pay too much to stay in the hotel room and probably too much for theme park tickets and dining and all of those things?
And do I still think it’s worth every single overpriced penny? Yes, because because you see things that those rigs is that you don’t see anywhere else, and I I feel like they restore my faith in humanity.
So this particular weekend Princess Half Marathon has a 5k, a 10K, and 1/2 marathon. Now, one thing that I have learned about the 5K at the’s Disney races is that there is an excellent opportunity for those of us who have maybe been in the running community a while to introduce somebody who never believed that they would ever be part of that community to a race environment because it’s not that hard to convince somebody to run around Epcot World showcase.
And that’s basically the course of most of their 5ks. They start in the Epcot parking lot. They do a little bit of backstage kind of stuff, which is always cool, and then you enter in run world showcase and, ah, in years where there isn’t construction in “Wall-Cot”…ahem…Epcot, you can exit underneath Spaceship Earth, and it’s a really good experience, and this year was no different.
The 5k was again going to be a fantastic course because Princess Half Marathon weekend is so inviting to women in particular. It really just is one of those opportunities where you just see women digging in and proving to themselves that they are ballers.
They’re just so cool. I love it. I love the 5K in particular.
time to cheer!
And the 5k, after registration fees, is over $100. And for me, at this stage this year, with my race calendar, I was not prepared to spend $100 on 5k, but what I’m always prepared to do is be on the sidelines. Cheer in my head off.
So that was my plan. Is that, um since I was gonna be running the 10k and the half marathon, I would wake up one of my sisters and drag her out to the 5k starting line with me. Just to, go generally berserk and cheer on everybody who is about to round that corner to their finish line of their very first or maybe second or 3rd 5K at Walt Disney World Resort, which is very special.
Now, let me tell you about the extra wrinkle in the 5K this year, and that was that it was freezing!. It was so cold. So end of February in Florida should be brisk, maybe, but definitely not what we had this week.
It was like in the thirties, and it was also raining at some points, raining fairly steadily and others just drisley.
But it was disgusting. It was so gross.
And because it was so cold and rainy, I made a game day decision not to go before the race and hang out in the corrals with my people but to show up just after a corral started going off so that I could go right to the finish line and be cheering from there. I definitely did not want to get sick and be out there for like, three hours.
So we showed up.
And for anybody who has been to one of these races, you’ll know that Disney sets up several like sets of bleachers just before and after the finish line of their race weekends. And people can pay to have primo bleacher seating. Or if they can have the free seating kind of after the finish line, if they would like.
And we showed up and let me tell you, the bleachers were empty, there were maybe a couple of people in them. But they were so focused on staying warm, the I did not hear a single cow bell. I didn’t hear any clapping.
The only noise that was happening around that finish line when we showed up was the announcer. And to make matters worse, the announcer was saying no need to run through the finish line because they, in their infinite genius, had placed the finish line in a place that was a dip in the pavement and there was a puddle and they were concerned about people falling!
So here are these people who are potentially doing their 1st 5K or maybe their first major 5K, and they’re being told by the announcer, the only voice their hearing, to walk through the finish.
Oh, my friends, Not great, Not great at all.
So we get there and we start laughing like, “What is talking about?” And we decided not to sit on the bleachers because we didn’t pay for the mega bleachers.
And so we walked down as far as the fencing would allow us to get around the final corner coming up to the finish line, and we walked up to the… we went a belly up to the rail like it’s a concert so I could see all the rock stars who were running through the finish line.
There were a couple of people out there and not a single person was cheering!
The sun hadn’t come up and it was cold, that’s for sure. But that is an environment that can get contagious, right? Everyone just kind of standing around grumpily, looking out for what I would imagine would be there people who are running they looked like they were all forced to be there.
It was not great.
So my sister Sarah and I looked at each other. We busted out are cowbells, and went to town cheering on the runners.
Now, at this point, it’s the, um, the first runners coming in. So these are people who most likely ran the entire thing. Um, maybe they’re also running the other events. You know, it was early in this start line experience, and as we were out there cheering people on.
“You’re awesome! You did it!”
The people around us left! They genuinely left. They were not interested in our noise and our tomfoolery, they were out, except for one other woman that I wish I had caught her name, who was holding up a sign that she was from the Harry Potter running club. And that cracked me up because, you know, we were at Disney World and Harry Potter’s down at Universal. But, hey, I like it all. Makes my nerdy brands all the time. So we looked like we were part of her her crew.
And for the next about hour and 1/2 we were just out there cheer in like crazy people. And here’s what I was discovering, and I’ve known this from previous races, too, but I just felt it in such a big way this weekend, is that people who are coming around that finish line who were digging so deep after hours of being freezing cold… we’re talking about cold into the spirit cold because it is just wet cold… You all know that that is no good. No bueno.
So they’re coming around. Up until this point, there have not been people out cheering for them, and they see these two people out of nowhere, losing their minds. We were so excited for every single person coming around that corner.
You’re about to finish your race right? And of course, some people couldn’t care less.
But for some, and this is the important part for me, for some, they would look up and make eye contact with me, which, by the way, if you’re running a race and you want the people on the sidelines to go berserk, make eye contact, cheer back point at them whatever, whatever you got to do, because I would lose my mind for these people who got this little glimpse of light, just a little one, and then you would see them just take off.
It was like they found that extra energy within them.
And even though the announcer was saying Slow it down, slow it down, it was like they couldn’t be held back. They could not be held back.
Someone was there.
Someone was proud of them.
Someone was cheering in the cold rain for them, and that’s what I want. I wanted every single person who was coming through that finish line to know that I was proud of them, specifically off the whole crew generally, but of them, specifically at that moment for what they had just accomplished
And you could see it. You could see the people who needed that. You could see who felt it. You could see who it lit on fire in my goodness, that is going to stick with me until the next race.
That’s why cheering for a race is so great because you have the opportunity to speak directly into someone’s spirit when you come alongside them and you cheer them on.
Now we’re talking about a 5K. We’re talking about a particularly expensive 5k in an expensive place. We’re talking about a privileged experience, for sure.
bring the light anywhere
But let me tell you what we have the opportunity to be that sidelined cheerleader in every single space where you put your feet today, tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, there will be an opportunity for you to speak life into the people around you in any place that your life is bringing you. Ah-Nee-Place.
Okay, so when I talk about “Keep your eyes on your own plate,” I want you to know that what I mean by that is I want you to release everyone around you from your judgment because you’re important, my friend. But you are not so important that you have the place to pull people down.
And here’s the thing. People around us right now are so conditioned, so susceptible to those dark magic words to the pull down. We’re always looking for that.
Next time that someone is going to speak into us, something that is unhelpful, something that will confirm the ways that we are not enough. I feel like because maybe of the Internet or just just the way that society can be Sometimes we’re always waiting for it. We’re always putting on the facade like we’re just, you know, we’re just waiting for it and that we’re ready to handle whatever you’re going to pour in.
And that’s easy.
My friends speaking that way into people to pull them down to accuse them of their fraud, that is low hanging fruit. Anyone can do that. Anyone can do that.
People with no self awareness can do that.
People who are miserable could do that.
Anyone can pull the people around them down.
That takes no special talent that takes no self discipline.
If you want to be special, if you want to make a difference. If you want to be someone that people remember, if you wanna be a light bringer, fire starter, then speak positivity into the people around you.
Be a cheerleader.
You have this authority.
It’s what makes you special.
If you have things in your life that are bringing you healing, if you are moving your body, if you are finding ways of releasing that judgment or that tension or that darkness that sometimes is easily in our spirits. If you are getting rid of that and replacing it with light, then share it.
Do that for other people.
Be a light bringer.
Shout out somebody’s new water bottle. Tell him it’s great.
Be on the sidelines, cheering for complete strangers.
At a bare minimum. don’t be the person who’s calling somebody out.
Don’t be trying to make everybody feel like a fraud.
Don’t be so concerned that what you have isn’t good enough that you need to deflect the attention onto somebody else. There’s no need for that. It doesn’t make you feel special. It doesn’t make them feel special. We got no place for that.
So let me ask you going forward into this weekend and into next week and beyond. But let’s start small, Which are you gonna be?
Are you gonna be the water bottle validator or you’re gonna be the sideline cheerleader?
Which one will you be?
What specific steps are you going to take to be sure that you are that person?
How are you gonna guard your tongue?
the one week challenge
My friends, I challenge you to take one week and in your one week if you find yourself coming up with whatever words would tear down the people around you that you swallow them just for one week and replace them with something positive, even for the person who is so hard to find something positive about.
I’m a human being to I get this concept, but especially for those people who are E G. R’s, as our pastor calls them, Extra Grace Required, especially for those people.
Find something to cheer for.
Shout them out.
Check your judgment, my friends. Just check it.
Just see how it feels to jump into that skin for a little bit. To be the cheerleader to keep your eyes on your own plate.
Let me know how it goes for you hit me up in the D. Ms on Facebook or Instagram. (And by the way, that feels so ridiculous to say. I don’t think I’m going to say that in the future. I hear other broadcasters say it. It’s it doesn’t feel genuine to me.)
So instead, send me a message in Facebook or Instagram send me an email Sally@findingfinishlines.com, post in the comments on the blog for this post if you want.
Somehow let me know that you have made the commitment to be a light bringer, to keep your eyes on your own plate, to not worry about anybody else’s water bottle, to cheer on from the sidelines, let me know how that goes.
Let me know who in your life brings that light right back to you.
Let me know what relationships are healedl just from a couple of days of being deliberate about it.
I want to know. I want to hear it. I want to know that we are making a difference. Don’t keep that information from me. Share it with me.
Okay. All right, guys, that’s it for this week. Thank you for sticking around. I got to tell you, we were originally gonna be a Wednesday publishing show, and I’m feeling like Fridays are my day, so I’m being a little bit flexible with myself, and I hope that you guys are comfortable with this kind of flexy time that we’re in right now.
As I figure out, really, what is the best publishing schedule for this show? I’m feeling like it’s gonna be Friday afternoons, my friends.
So check us out on Friday afternoons or, if you just hit, subscribe in whatever your podcast player is. The latest episode will always be waiting for you in the library. So that is the easiest way, as I figure out which day we’re gonna be releasing that you always have the latest episode.
If you feel like you have people in your life that need to trade in their water bottle judgment for some sidelines cheering, go ahead and post this.
Share it on your social media.
Tell your friends about it and let’s see what kind of a revolution we can have.
Let’s see if we can get sidelined cheering, going on in real life in our actual communities every day of the week. I believe we can.
It starts with us.
Alright friends, Thank you so much for joining me. I will see you around on social media or wherever we hang out in real life would be excellent.
That’s all for this week until next time my friends carry on women of valor
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