Running Hills & Heart Conditioning

4 mile run in Dollar Bay Michigan

Running hills is hard.

At the bottom of the hill, I dig my feet in and my legs start to burn as I climb up. My lungs fill with fire and I think my heart will pound out of my chest. It hurts and sometimes I have to walk it.

Then I look up and I’m almost to the top where I know I’ll surely find some relief. At the top my muscles loosen up, my breath evens out, and my heart beats steady because it has been made a little bit stronger.

The run down is easy, I just go with the slope. It’s never hard to just slide down back to the bottom, is it? The bottom is where you choose to stay or meet your next hill and start all over again.

Running hills is a lot like life.

Life is hard when we are trudging up from the bottoms of our battles. We dig our feet in and forget we aren’t climbing alone.

We forget that relief is at the top if we would just lift our eyes up. It was nailed to a cross and pierced for our heart’s sake.

Once we find Him though, we aren’t signing up for smooth roads. We still slip down fast as we go along with the flow of the world.

It’s so easy to just go along with everyone else, darn it.

But we’ve got a hope this time, a confidence that comes from a heart conditioned.

We can take our hills and ups and downs now because He’s put a new beat in our chests.

Running hills is hard.

Life is hard.

Condition your heart.

A conditioned heart is strong.

I am weak.

He is strong.

Wednesday Workout 7-11

Every other Wednesday I have a morning meeting at work which means I have to wake up at 4:15 am if I want a morning workout. Gross right? Usually, I do a quick run because I know how long it will take me and I don’t even have to think about it, but I also really love to do work out videos, because also, I don’t even have to think about it.

I want to share a few of my favorite videos with you.  I do have several Go-To’s because I know they work when I need a quick fix here and there.  Those are Beachbody’s Hammer & Chisel and Body Beast. (Sagi makes me laugh, look him up)  These videos require weights, challenge you to lift a little heavier each time, and they’re around 40 minutes.  If I want to see a little more definition here and there, I do these.

Another option is Fitness Blender.  Fitness Blender is a FREE website and they have so many different videos to choose from.  You go to and pick your desired workout duration, number of calories you want to burn, type of workout, and level of intensity. I like this site if I’m looking for something new to try.  I get bored with workouts quick, and if they’re boring I’m not motivated to do them at all.

Both Beachbody and Fitness Blender offer nutrition plans to pair with workout schedules.  When I was first starting this was really helpful because I ate very poorly!    I’ve tried a few of Beachbody’s nutrition plans, but they just haven’t worked long term for me in my season of being a busy working mother of 2 babies that has a sweet tooth.  But even though these plans weren’t really for me, they were a starting point to show me that what I’m eating has much more of an effect on me physically, mentally, and emotionally than exercise ever will. I haven’t tried Fitness Blender’s nutrition plans, but I’m sure they’re very similar.

Today’s workout was a 3.5-mile run, and I will probably lift some weights tonight when the kids go to sleep…probably.

Wednesday Eating- I’ve been intermittent fasting every day and being really good, but today I was just really hungry for breakfast so I totally ate a McDonald’s egg and cheese biscuit when they made Charlie’s order wrong.  (Charlie would eat bacon cheese biscuits every single day if I let her!)  Lunch was grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, and hot sauce, and dinner will be something on the grill and more broccoli or a salad.  I also snacked on a rice crispy treat and some almonds, and I drank a ton of water.

Morning run views. I’ll wake up for this.

My Songs

Part of taking a break from social media was to work more on the music I’ve been writing and making it into songs to record. I’ve been writing songs and poems for a long time, but haven’t given them much of chance to be heard or shared at all.

Here are two of my recent songs.  Maybe I’ll be brave and share videos for you to hear them later…Maybe.


Sometimes you just get lead to places that ain’t so fun to go.
They take you back to lovely faces, of people you used to know.
It’s those times you wished you turned the wheel and headed the other way.
But then something deep inside you said toughen up and stay.
So I stayed, and now here I am.
And I won’t look back and see the hurt that made me run the other way.
I will only see the beauty in this place that begs me, stay.
Here’s my heart, can you feel it beating all too fast.
Because I’m back here in this place and I’m staring at your face.
Hoping this moment will never pass.
Sometimes you’re far from who you’ve been.
And that’s just who you should be.
Sometimes you find that holding on is the thing that sets you free.
It’s those times your heart takes over and fights your pride just to stay.
You could leave here now heartbroken but forever lose your way.
So I stay, and now here I am.
And I won’t look back and see the hurt that made me run the other way.
I will choose to see the beauty in this place that lets me stay.
Here’s my heart, can you feel it beating all too fast.
Because I’m back here in this place.  I’m staring at your face.
Thank God for the things that lead us back.

Pick Me Up

You tell me go home and you tell me don’t call.
But now I’m all alone and without you, I fall.
Can’t you see all my pieces scattered all around?
Because without you I’m useless, yeah I just keep breaking down.
No, I can’t do this anymore.
I’ve gotta get up off this floor.
Oh, won’t you come and pick me up?
You said that I should just change, that I’m not what you want.
But baby, we’re all the same, I can’t be something I’m not.
And maybe I’ve got some secrets written on my heart.
And maybe it’s all our secrets that make us just who we are.
I’m not gonna do this anymore.
I’ll get myself up off this floor
Oh, don’t you come and pick me up.
I thought I could just trust you, and I could give you my heart.
But I was wrong yet again, I should have seen from the start.
You took piece after piece of me, all for yourself.
You took all of the best of me and put it high on your shelf.
You’re not gonna do this anymore.
No, I’m stronger than before.
Oh, don’t you come and pick me up.

The Experiment

I love social media and how it connects us. I love staying in touch with old friends and building relationships with new ones. But I want to do it face to face right now, not in my pajamas watching Impractical Jokers on the couch.

I want to sit at tables and grab hands. I want to open my front door with arms open for a hug. I want to take walks and talk about hard things. I want to hear people laugh and wipe my silly happy tears as I laugh along with them. I want to see hearts beating and watch lives change.

I love to look at your pictures, laugh at your memes, and read what you have to say, but right now I think I’m supposed to do a little more than scroll through peoples lives.

I feel called to go out and meet you where you are, show love, have faith, hold you up, let you hold me, mend heart’s, and keep digging deeper into my dream.

I continuously feel lead to do things that God knows I think are scary. I’m shy and quiet and am most comfortable with my own thoughts and my own voice. But still, he says go do this, Brooke. I’ll be right here with you and I’m not giving you another choice.

I’m going to take some time for people, some time to write and sing. It’s going to be really good.

So goodbye social media, just for a little while. God’s got an experiment for me. I think he wants me to make people smile.

You can still catch my blog on Facebook, WordPress automatically posts my published posts!

Wednesday Workout

Happy Independence Day!

It’s a holiday and even though we may have the day off work, we typically have a full day of fun, family, food, and fireworks leaving little time for a workout.

I have three tips for holiday workouts.

1. Wake up and workout.

Just get it done right away!

And make it something simple that you don’t have to think about. On holidays I tell myself 3 miles or 30 minutes. So I either run three miles or do a 30 minute video.

It gets your day started off with a good mindset, gets you going, and then you have the rest of your day to relax and have fun!

2. Eat the yummy food!

But eat smarter, and drink LOTS of water.

I still eat the burgers and brats and dips and all the good things, but I pass on the chips because I know I can’t just eat a few, and I pass on the buns! Instead I eat veggies with the dip and wrap my burgers in lettuce.

And I sub water for all the drinks, usually flavored with grape crystal light because that’s my weakness.

3. Don’t beat yourself up!

So what if your workout isn’t great or doesn’t happen. Maybe you indulge in a little too much food. Recognize it and work harder tomorrow!

My workout today was a 3 mile run and a quick set of 25 push-ups, 50 crunches, and 1 minute planks on each side.

This picture isn’t from today, but I didn’t wear red white or blue this morning…oops!

Broken Down

I went to a concert with some girlfriends last weekend. I’d kind of been having just a blah week, a blah month maybe? Constantly overthinking, overestimating, overstepping, just all over the place and I was over it. The musician we had come to see was at the very end. The aftershow of course and after feeling old and melting for two hours in the Illinois summer heat, I felt I’d once again overestimated my endurance and tolerance for late nights and drunk girls.

But we stayed to hear Jordan Davis and I’m glad he broke it down for me.

He put down the electricity and told the guys in the band to have a seat for a minute. He picked up his acoustic guitar and began to play music that he’d grown up listening to. He played and felt and dealt, and it was broken down to just his voice and his heart laid out.

I love this broken down place and should go there more often.

Words sound so much prettier pouring out of our lips when they’re untouched by anything other than our hearts.

When we lay down our noise and clamor in exchange for the beats in our chest and the songs we’ve been singing our whole lives, that’s beautiful and that’s broken down.

People won’t always know the words to sing along to our song. They may get unsteady because they’ve never heard it. And sometimes our broken down places will not be met with open hearts and kind faces. But we sing anyway, without the lies and drums they think we need in hopes that one day they’ll hear us for who we are. Maybe then they’ll get it.

So with our hands shaking and our faces blushing red. We just might find we never needed the accompaniment, just our raw voices poured out instead.

Only then can we get broken down to the grit of who we are. A brokenness that will help us focus less on where we’re going, and to wholly embrace and live right where we are.

Maybe you think I’m foolish for sharing feelings for all to see. But maybe my broken down feelings are helping someone other than me.