6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


"A Mighty flame followeth a tiny Spark"

Dante Alighieri

I have been thinking a lot about SPARK lately.. What is SPARK you ask? My SPARK is that internal flame which gives me the drive to achieve more and feel great while doing it. This SPARK has taken me more places that I could have ever imagined. SPARK and Self Motivation go hand-in-hand but are very different. You can be motivated even if your SPARK is out. The challenge we have as Runners (Triathletes, Joggers, Walkers, Moms, Dads, Career Folk, etc).. is to know what forces are working against our SPARK and the ways that we can IGNITE THE SPARK.
  • Running SPARK Killers:
Weight gain
Moving to a new place
Schedule changes
Personal Life issues
Negative people
Post Race Blues
Bad Weather
Poor performance

Wow that is quite the list... It is amazing that we ever have SPARK... The trick is to seek out those things/people/places which light your SPARK.

  • Tall Mom's Running SPARK Lighters:
New Runner's Excitement
Fun Gear
New places to Run
Training for a Race
Pacing a friend
Nice Weather
Rain- yep I am PNW folks!!
Reading Blogs
Emails from Followers :)
Movies about Running
Looking at pictures of past races
The perfect quote

That is my short list, I know there are many more, like Chocolate and Coffee ;p In the Winter months you may feel that your SPARK is hidden under a pile of snow, but I assure you it is still there and only YOU have the power to light it.

"If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature." Bruce Barton

"The more you achieve, the more interest it should spark to go further, because there's so much - and I don't mean monetarily and I don't mean in society. This whole experience of living is so rich!" Susan Powter

"I think it's imperative to follow your heart and choose a profession you're passionate about, and if you haven't found that "spark" yet, if you're not sure what you want to do with your lives - be persistent until you do." Steve Kerr

"Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark." Henri Frederic Amiel

"I saw as a teacher how, if you take that spark of learning that those children have, and you ignite it, you can take a child from any background to a lifetime of creativity and accomplishment." Paul Wellstone

"Laughter is the Spark of the sole."

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
Albert Schweitzer

Special thanks to Zoe HERE and Amy for helping me
find my
SPARK on a rainy Sunday morning in Orting.

Speaking of SPARK Valentines day is Monday.... and I just added some SPARK to my Valentine's Wardrobe.... Thanks to Katye HERE for the Brooks Gear and Amy HERE for the Sale Running Skirt. Can you guess what I will be wearing on my weekend Run??

"The spark divine dwells in thee:
let it grow.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • What do you do to ignite your SPARK?



Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm a new follower from Colorado. :) I'm a runner and I just recently started blogging more.

What I did to ignite my spark? I cut out the negative people (in this case, just one person) who tried to make me feel like I couldn't attain my running goals!

I thought this was a good "friend" of mine, but they were trying to let their negative, insecurities try and drag me down! Not fun! It was shocking to see EVERYONE I know tell me that this person was not good. That they were trying to hold me back so they could feel good about themselves. I didn't even see it until everyone I knew started saying that it was obvious!

Best way that I ignite my spark now? I surround myself with POSITIVE people! :)

Emz said...


too. awesome.

These days it seems my spark is coming from "signing-up" for events. ;)

Carla said...

Justagirlwholovestorun: Amen to what you said! I recently came to a painful realization about a certain "friend" in my life too, and the negativity extended way beyond running/fitness. It's freeing to let that go.

Thanks, TallMom, for yet another great post! These days I am igniting my spark by going out of my comfort zone (joining a group, wearing something I wouldn't have worn in the past, etc.).

TNTcoach Ken said...

I read Tall Mom on the Run for my SPARK! LOL............ it does help

Denise said...

oooh, me likey the new running tee!!!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

First of all, your messages light a Spark in me. I think you embody what it means to "Pay it Forward" with running and life. Truly.

Personally, a new running route or a sunny day is one of the easiest and ost effctive "sparks" for me,but nothing compares to the support found from bloggy buddies and real life ones!!

Big smiles to you today!!

Unknown said...

LOVE the shirt. Glad you are sharing your spark with the rest of us today!

Carlee said...

Love this post; I use this quote with my students.

"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire" -- W.B. Yeats

Your post reminded me of this.

Marlene said...

OH what a cute outfit... that will make you SPARKle for sure. :)

I love your list of spark-lighters!

Anonymous said...

you are going to look great! when you loose the spark think about all the people you inspire! remember all the ladies that have gotten past their fear and tried running because of your positive energy!

Anonymous said...

you are going to look great! when you loose the spark think about all the people you inspire! remember all the ladies that have gotten past their fear and tried running because of your positive energy!

5 Miles Past Empty said...

Pretty sure you just listed everything that has the ability to take my spark. What lights my spark is sporadic and random these days....remembering the good old days helps me along with thinking of all my running buddies sparking it up out there somewhere. =) Great post, again, Mel!! You have a gift, you know?

PS I have the same running skirt! LOVE IT!!!

Kate Geisen said...

Great outfit! You have the cutest running clothes.

My spark-stealer...lack of sleep.

I get a spark from reading all the inspiration in other peoples' blogs, mentally checking off those boxes on my training log, seeing my progress, and hearing the supportive comments I get from real-life and blog friends.

Marci said...

Fellow bloggers and training friends give me the best spark (and sometimes chocolate!!)

Carrie @ Confessions of a Dietitian said...

I love that first quote!

I'm still in the new runner spark group. I'm getting better each run (at least I'm pretending I am) so that makes me even more motivated. Music is also huge for me. I love all the blogs that motivate me : )

Carly said...

I think I need to relight my spark!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

I watch Ironman videos or get people to tell me "Kurt, you're crazy." I've grown to very much enjoy being unique and a little 'beyond sanity.' I thrive on it.

Unknown said...

my goodness, that is a cute running outfit!! Thanks for this, I think I'm realizing I'm missing that 'spark' lately. What lights it for me...racing, in turn--seeing my race times improve, nailing a training run, seeing others reach their goals, sharing the love of running with others...

SupermomE13 said...

CUTE outfit!! :)
I have a pretty strong flame lately in regards to running, but when I need a spark I find that reading running blogs (even my own, LOL), thinking about races I have accomplished, etc. really gets it going. Sometimes just putting the shoes on and starting a run is enough because I always feel SO much better after a run.

Unknown said...

LOVING the skirt ... and this post. Super inspiring!

Winks & Smiles,