Category Archives: Love – Inspire – Motivate

Sharing stories of our adventures, testimonials and community involvement.

STRONG 365

One strong year inspiring others through a shared journey. WE did it! This incredible journey would not be made WHOLE if it were traveled alone. The LOVE, the support and the encouragement to give, share, repeat has been an integral part of what inspires us to keep building a strong foundation.


Without looking in the dictionary. How do you define STRONG? Is it a feeling? Is it something you touch or hear? Can you see it? Or point to someone, stating she is strong or that he is strong? Is strength manufactured? Are we born with strength? Thinking and slowly the list of what strength could mean grows…

  • A strong prayer
  • A strong woman
  • A strong man
  • A strong love
  • A strong smile
  • A strong laugh
  • A strong personality
  • A strong leader

Being strong is defined by you. So, I am here to let you know, “YOU are strong, I am strong and together WE are STRONGer!” So let’s keep inspiring others for another 365!! Watch as we piece together a business BUT FIRST, we need a strong foundation. Below are highlights from this past year!


TIMELINE OF EVENTS:

  • January 5, 2019: Red Earth Running Company Canyon X Marathon – supporting fellow Navajo runner Harold Benally in his journey to run the Boston Marathon in Navajo Moccasins
  • January 9, 2019: Officially started marathon training, 18 week progam
  • February 14, 2019: Dizruns – podcast interview, Sasha Yazzie Is a Native On The Run With Big Goals In Her Future
  • March 5, 2019: ‘MY WHY’ Celery Juice -1st Blog Post
  • March 10, 2019: Ran our longest run of a sweet 16 miles along the Rio Grande, NM
  • March 13, 2019: ‘Gym Story 1-TRANSFORMation! Losing 45lbs and gaining confidence”-2nd Blog Post
  • March 30, 2019: Jemez Endurance Run
  • April 2, 2019: “Training thoughts into actions” -3rd Blog Post
  • April 11, 2019: Lauched 1st Bonfire campaign, “Fuel your Spirit, Native on the Run” – https://www.bonfire.com/nativeontherun/
  • May 4, 2019: Navajo Yes 36th Annual Shiprock Marathon – 1st full 26.2 miles!
  • May 24, 2019: Running Medicine Spring Opening Celebration
  • June 3, 2019: “FIRST whole 26.2 miles” – 4th Blog Post
  • August 1, 2019: “Muscles loading… please wait” -5th Blog Post
  • September 6, 2019: “Fuel your Spirit WARRIOR UP” -6th Blog Post
  • September 21, 2019: Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100 mile relay in Flagstaff, AZ
  • October 5, 2019: First Flea Market Sale at Gallup Flea Market was a success!
  • October 16, 2019: 16th Annual “Fatherhood is Leadership” National Conference with Running Medicine Director, Dr. Anthony Fleg
  • November 2, 2019: Navajo Wildland Fire 10k Challenge Run, fund raiser event to giveback to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and provided 10 Warrior Up t-shirts to the top finishers in efforts to promote awareness.
  • November 7, 2019: “Movement with Gratitude” written by Dr. Anthony Fleg, Director of Running Medicine -7th Blog Post
  • November 23, 2019: Volunteered to serve the local Tucson community warm meals for Thanksgiving.
  • November 25, 2019: Summit Gymnastics 1st Annual “Don’t Fall” Ninja Challenge in Flagstaff, AZ
  • December 6, 2019: Due date for the Ninja Warrior application Season 12!

Flea Market Sales


Travels with Running Medicine


Arizona Adventures


Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and highlights from a beautiful STRONG year! We look forward to sharing more exciting adventures! For now, enjoy and see you at our next post!

Ahe’hee (Thank you) – Sasha and Jennifer


Movement with Gratitude

Sandia Mountains through the Light

A letter of gratitude:

Running Medicine Family, my brothers and sisters in sweat and movement and prayer and beauty, a lot to be thankful for, and I wanted to put something on paper before heading to bed. As they say, 58,000 steps is a horrible thing to waste (yes, I took a pic of my Garmin to prove it!)

Well, I made it to the tram without walking, a nice 45 minute stint. 7 minutes to scarf down a sandwich, refill my water and I was off. Now, there became a philosophical conversation with myself, as some of my “running” was no faster than a walk. I felt that the commitment to run, and not walk, was more about the intention than the movement/speed. Weird to say that, but 4 hours into a run on rugged terrain and at 10,000 feet and you really can’t often tell a run from a walk based on speed or stride. But, the intention to run, even at very slow pace, was doing something real to my psyche!

Our prayer run started with a wonderful group of 12, ages 1-65. We talked about those we wanted to pray for on the run – those we have lost, marriages about to be. The sun was hiding behind the Sandias as we set off. Around 2 hours, now running by myself, I was struggling a bit. Mentally and physically fatigued, I was doing as much walking as running. A bit further 2:45 into the run, I simply said “I am not going to walk” and with this simple proclamation, something BIG changed. My mindset was flipped from a “how much longer can I do this” mode to one of positivity and confidence.

A bit further in, I wasn’t even considering walking anymore. My thoughts of how many times I would allow myself to walk without calling the effort a failure had long dissipated. I was just running, and oddly enough, I was running faster and faster. I had a feeling of complete freedom from worry, from time, from all of the limitations I can often place on myself. After uttering that simple sentence, I never walked again in the next 4 hours of the run.In fact, as this continued down the north slope of the Sandias, with Placitas in view, I reflected on the incredible joy I felt in being 100% pain-free 5+ hours into the run. But here is something even more incredible – I was in no way tired or fatigued. Yes, 3 hours more of running from the time much earlier where I was struggling to keep moving, I was now moving fast and feeling zero fatigue. I felt as if I had just started the run, but even better, even fresher than that.

Now, had someone blocked the trail and forced me to stop, sit and lie on a cot, I estimate 90 seconds as how long it would have taken me to fall asleep. So, yes, in a physical sense I was quite tired. But I was not longer a physical being. I was removed from my physical self. And if you wanted to capture the medicine of what running does to us, far deeper than “runner’s high” will ever capture, this is it. An out of shape guy who is 5 hours into a rugged mountain run at high altitude sensing zero pain, tightness, discomfort…but even more amazing, having not the slightest twinge of fatigue. That is beautiful medicine!

I ended up finishing 47 minutes faster than my previous 3 Crest Trail Prayer Runs, or 2 min/mile faster. And while this was about medicine, about prayer, I must say that there is a beautiful thing when you can see the body do amazing things in a very mathematical, stopwatch-defined kind of way. I think that running for much deeper reasons made the record mean something much deeper. I think of Dustin Martin’s recent Boston Marathon, an incredible PR…when I asked him what the key that success was, he simply said, “I ran it as a prayer run.”

I will end with one last reflection from this run today. It was an incredibly perfect day of weather. I descended the north side of the Sandias expecting full blown sun in a stretch that gives no shade. Instead, constant shade and coolness. I am about 1 minute from the finish of my 6+ hour journey and suddenly, there she is – the sun is out in full force, beating down upon me. Creator’s way of humbling me, showing me in a very real way Her Power, my smallness, and the blessings that are so present from Above to keep me protected, sustained, supported, and loved.

In love and movement,

Your brother Anthony.


TO LEARN MORE visit https://runningmedicine.org/

Follow and support Dr. Anthony Fleg’s Native Health Initiative (NHI) program in creating healthier stronger communities through movement.

Others mentioned: Boston Marathon, Dustin Martin (PR), Wings of America


Hi all – writing to you, running/walking/fitness/wellness colleagues.

Running as medicine…

Running as a spiritual, mental, emotional, cultural, and physical wellness

Running as a stress-reliever on those rough days

Running as a way to give thanks on the best days

NHI is going to start a program to promote wellness and fitness in our Native and larger ABQ community in 2016.

Courtesy of Running Medicine, portion of first email
sent 01/05/2016
Photo courtesy of Running Medicine – Albuquerque, NM

Thank you for taking the time to our read blog! If you liked our first featured guest, please let us know! This truly is a shared journey. – Sasha and Jennifer


Training thoughts into action

The WHOLE idea of marathon training…

– Native on the Run
Marathon Gear

MENTAL

Sasha’s thoughts: Thinking of doing a marathon was the easy part. In fact, I have thought about it for 15 years and attempted to put my thoughts into action 3 times. This time it is different, I am determined and after saying it, I put the plans into motion… bought the book Hanson’s First Marathon from Barnes and Nobles then started figuring out a plan. Getting past the idea that as a full-time career mom, I did not have the time but since I was already hitting the gym early in the mornings, the timing was perfect.

Planning a successful marathon

Jennifer’s thoughts: Being a novice runner, the mental challenge of turning “I can’t” into “I can” has been the transformation I’m taking hold of. Being able to wake up at 4 am and tackle the day’s workout has become a part of my mental toughness. Staying motivated and consistent was the biggest challenge that I’ve manage to mentally overcome. As the weeks and miles passed, I ended up injuring myself. Not once, but twice with shin splints and a pulled quad muscle. With 5 weeks left of training I find myself excited to jump back on the treadmill or run that long Sunday run along the Rio Grande River. Mentally, I’ve been able to keep my motivation on the upside despite the physical set backs.


PHYSICAL

Stop hitting the snooze button and run east Photo of the New Mexico Sandia Mountain Sunrise

Sasha’s thoughts: Having the discipline to not hit the snooze button and get out of bed is a daily challenge. In February, I logged the most miles ever; 189 miles to be exact with my friend Jennifer. Realizing this, I self-evaluated my body… and honestly, I was tired, especially my legs. Just last week, I encountered the physical feeling of dehydration. After a couple of my runs, I was nauseous. This was a new feeling for me. After various articles on running and nausea, I learned a new method to hydrating my body. I was back to logging my miles within several days… but my body was still feeling a bit sluggish. This made me take logging my hours of sleep more seriously.

Jennifer’s thoughts: For 19 weeks, waking up at 4am has become the normal in my daily routine in the midst of being a mother of 4. My body has slowly adjusted to the longer miles and constant motion of moving my body every morning. As I stated before the two injures have sideline me for a short time, but my body has been able to recover. With this marathon training plan, I’m constantly reminded that I need to trust the process, and I have trusted it. Today March 30th, I ran for the 1st time again in 19 days and I’m excited to feel the earth under my feet again. The training plan that I have entrusted has shown me much discipline on top of mental toughness.

Running places Photo traveling to Page, Arizona

EMOTIONAL

Sasha’s thoughts: Yes, there are times in my training I cried… there were days I thought to be crazy for taking on such a big task to do a full marathon. Mostly because various parts of my life were in pieces, and having the doubt of whether I knew what I was doing played mind games with me every day. One of those scattered pieces in my life was losing a marriage. So instead of grieving over why me, I make the daily choice to get up and run… Running has turned my tears to sweat and my loss to wins!

Jennifer’s thoughts: As I pass that 3rd mile, I’m reminded that I am doing this training for myself.  For many years I chained myself to a very toxic marriage and relationship with myself. Breaking free of punishing myself for past mistake has given the new perspective that I am able to enjoy running for me. Not only do I feel accomplished but I feel happy before, during and after I run. This training program has helped me mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. As a Navajo woman, these four elements of training have helped me become whole again. As of today I’m very proud to know that I can and will finished that 26.2 in May.

Like rivers and streams, the path we run is not always straight or narrow, aerial photo of Alaska

SPIRITUAL

Sasha’s thoughts: Though my life has its challenges, whether it is with my job, family or training… it’s eustress ‘GOOD stress’. I am learning and growing through this process. Numerous times I feel like I lose my footing but I get back up… just as my dad taught me to when I’d fallen from a horse. “I get back up!” As I move through my obstacles today, I have gained the spiritual knowledge to run with my life with God and not just during the times I feel lost. Looking past my failures, I am in constant prayer to fuel my spirit. Life gets tough but this journey is making me tougher from the inside out. I am stronger in my faith and it shows, one mile at a time.

Running is healing

Jennifer’s thoughts: Being able to run and patiently heal through this process I’ve included a lot of prayer with every run. When I’m in the zone after mile 3, I feel closer to my spiritual self as I’m passing every mile. Being able to have a conversation with God happens everyday, but he seems ever more present when I’m running. As I mature with my mental toughness and physical health, my spiritual self is being finessed as I get to run side by side with my spirit. This part of my training reminds me of my grandmothers, who were very spiritual by greeting the morning sun and ready to receive blessing for the day.


Hozho Naasha – Walk in Beauty Photo: Monument Valley

Thank you for taking time to read about our thoughts and following along our running journey. As we continue our training towards our first full marathon, we hope that in some way you will be inspired by a piece of our story of what we are sharing. More will continue to be shared, so stay posted!


Pray Strong Train Strong Finish Strong

– Native on the Run