Issues of domestic violence are severe and deadly. Many women experience domestic violence in one form or another. This is my story and YES I know it is long but trust me it is worth a read. It took me 8 years to share my story but I thought I would be helping many women who are in dysfunctional relationships. Please know there is life after a horrible relationship; do not settle for love that makes you feel worthless and little. Well here it goes…
You can come from a loving wonderful family and still end up in a bad relationship. That is what happened to me, to describe the words 'hurt' and 'betrayed' is beyond what I endured, beyond what any victim of physical and emotional abuse endures. I thought I had met the man of my dreams; he seemed perfect. I see that there were red flags from the day one, but I chose to brush the domestic abuse signs aside, biggest mistake ever.
Before I truly begin my story, let me tell how my life was before I met the young man that changed my aspect in myself. I was 18 at that time, full of hope and great passions. I was content with life, I made friends easily and pretty much enjoyed life. I received a full scholarship at Oregon State University and took a year in a half from not dating. I had decided that I would date after I have seen a drastic change in my running and in my schooling. Every thing made sense at that time; things were going according to plan.
Until, I met the man who changed me. We instantly hit it off; he was charming and seemed very wonderful. There was just something about him, which was controlling and manipulative. My parents saw the red flags how he was jealous, possessive, and wanted to see who texted me at all times. I did not listen to my parents. Instead I wanted to date who ever I wanted. As I looked back, I wish I should have listened and not have done the opposite.
I was told by my former boyfriend to believe that every bad thing he did to me was done because it was my fault. He called me dumb, stupid, ugly and that I was lucky to be with him. I believed him; I believed that I was dumb and that I was ugly. I really felt ugly, I cried many times, thinking I was worthless and I would not be anything without him and he just laughed at me. I began to have stomachaches and headaches due to the worrying about what type of mood he would be in. I was forbidden to talk to the males in his family and if I were caught, I was accused of cheating or wanting to cheat. Many days I was sitting in his room watching him play video games, sitting there, just watching, and the horrible part of it was when he would blurt out, "Bitch it is your fault I lost.” On occasions, I would remember hearing his parents argue and I could hear his mother yell, "Do not push me". I could hear his father calling his mother derogatory and demeaning names and I realized that he was just like his father.
The domestic abuse I endured was mainly verbal, physical and constant threats. Though I did not recognize it as such at the time. If I did not answer my phone he would go mad and call me every single name under the sun. Every day I had to send him pictures of the outfits I was wearing out, so that he could deem them as modest and acceptable. If I did not obey, he would accuse me of cheating. I did whatever he said because at that time although it was wrong I felt powerless. He would tell me who to see, when to see them, and what to do. My life which was once care-free and fun completely changed. I felt like a prisoner. He would call me stupid, ugly, dumb, and curse at me for no apparent reason. I felt I was walking on egg shells. To make it worse, he would say things like 'I love the way that girl over there looks, the way her hair flows and her body is amazing' this one time, whilst we were out he said 'excuse give me a minute to look at that girl'. I was shattered inside beyond repair, I had no voice. He would say it to hurt me and be spiteful. I never felt good enough or perfect enough; he would always make me feel like I was lower than dirt on the floor. I know what a lot of you are thinking? Why stay in this relationship, well I thought maybe he would change. I also thought I wasn't good enough. And once you are lost in a domestic relationship where you are called names. You tend to believe it. You become tormented inside, emotionally!
Day by day all I had strength for was to cry, I found it hard to focus, hard to go out, hard to run, hard to pray or even have faith. My heart was bleeding. He would insult my family, friends, my running, and the way I looked. Everything I loved. What hurts me, is that he had control over my life, over everything!
Everyone around me was saying, how much I had changed. I had neither strength nor self-esteem. The more I tried to be a good girlfriend, the more he got evil. I often wondered why I never stood up and said something, but I had no energy. I was once confident and always spoke my mind. He made me feel like everything I was saying was rubbish and irrelevant. Even when I tried to speak, he would tell me 'shut up you little b***'. In all my life, I had never been called that, yet he would call me. I had no voice. No voice at all.
For the first time I remember crying badly and loudly for God to just provide an escape for the domestic abuse I was suffering. I sat in the bathroom and cried, I was tired and was losing the will to live. The following day, I remember vividly up to this day, when he thought I was cheating because he thought I was flirting with my classmate through text message. An innocent text, “ How do you think you did on your test?” This ended up being the worst day of my life. He told me he did not want to be with me because he did not understand how a guy can text me. I could not have BOYS AS FRIENDS! He then punched me so hard in the stomach. He then grabbed my neck, and said, you worthless liar and slapped me across my face. The throbbing feeling, the pain I felt. Worthless, trash, and hurt. I walked outside his home, praying and crying to God for his help, “what am I doing. I deserve so much better than him.”
I then left home, and realized God did not put me into this earth to be treated so horribly. I told my family what had happened and a few days later he was convicted of domestic violence. I didn’t love myself for years! I was scared to go out or even meet new people, because of the experience. Running, attending school, family and friends helped me to move on from the bad and see only the good in things. While all this was occurring, I can honestly say, running has helped me shape who I am today It is crazy how running can make you feel strong, confident, happy, and make you feel worth more.
But, each day and year passes, I am now stronger.I LOVE my self more to not settle for anyone who belittles me and makes me feel not worth a lot. I have advice and encouragement for anyone going through a similar story right now: there is life after abuse, and know that you deserve more.
I am currently involved in Peace Over Violence and doing hobbies I love such as running and yoga.I have learned no matter what life throws at me, to move forward, surround yourself with positive people, and know your self worth. Because you are valuable and you did not come to this earth to be ridiculed and be told what to do. You came here to experience life and love everyone freely and others loving you freely!!!! I know it is hard because you feel he is so much better than you. He isn’t darling. You are beautiful, smart, kind, caring, and amazing. You deserve so much MORE! KNOW YOUR SELF WORTH.
Keep the faith and hold your head high!
Peace Over Violence
When it comes to training, I take recovery very seriously. We are constantly pushing our bodies to the point of exhaustion we often forget about the importance of the recovery process. A wise man once told me; “your recovery days are just as important as your hard days”. There was a time in my life where I would give every ounce of energy I had for every run I did. I never wanted to run slow. As a result, I found myself constantly fatigued with low energy. The workouts that I use to complete with ease started to get harder and discomforting. Following this experience, I decided to take the wise man’s advice and try to take my recovery days seriously. I was amazed of the results that I found after a couple of weeks of running easy after the days following my hard days. I had more energy, my tempos were getting faster without having to increase the amount of effort I inputted into them, and I felt alive. If we do not allow out bodies to recuperate after we trash them how do we expect to get stronger? The reason why we workout is to break down our muscle fibers so that they can grow back stronger to handle a heavier load. Our broken down muscle fibers will never get the chance to grow back stronger if we don’t allow them to. If you are constantly working out hard, your muscle fibers may keep breaking down which can cause a smaller amount of force that muscle can produce. As you can see, recovery days are extremely important to the success of an athlete. When it comes to recovery, there are many different products and things that you can do to offer aid in recovery. Personally, I wear my Zensah Compression Sleeves or socks under my work clothes. Also I wear them in some of my easy and hard runs. Now some of you might wonder how compression aids in recovery. Some studies shows that compression can increase blood circulation which can aid in the amount of lactic acid that is removed from your tired muscles which can increase performance. Your body naturally flushes the lactic acid out of your muscles but a little help never hurt anybody. Sleeping, drinking plenty of water and eating is also very important. As an athlete, getting enough sleep is as important as your food and exercise choices. Cheating on sleep makes it hard to concentrate at work, may impair you appetite and causes irritability. A sleep debt can negatively affect your running. The more you sleep, the better your runs will result. Same goes with eating and driking plenty of water. The more I have eaten (eating clean) and drinking water, I have found how much energy I have before, during and after my runs. Since we are loosing a lot of calories and water during our runs. The sooner the better - ideally within 30 minutes after running as your body needs essential nutrients to kick start the growth and repair process after a hard training session. It is such an important assent to one’s training regime.
Here are some Key components to Remember (summary):
Big Bear, Day 1, Tuesday. 08/18/15
Ran this at the Rosebowl before we left to Big Bear.
3 x's 2 mile repeats/1 min rest
paces: 11:57, 11:55, 11:53
miles: 10 miles
NO PICTURES TAKEN DURING THE MORNING RUN..BUT KEEP STROLLING DOWN THOUGH! ;)
Day 2, Wednesday. 08/19/15
Van Dusen Rd / 73 min
30 min ab circuit
Ran near the lake / 31 min
miles: 4 miles
Double run was a success with these amazing and positive people in my life.
Day 3, Thursday. 08/20/15
Van Dusen Rd / 73 min
15x's 1 min/1 min
weight and ab circuit: 40 min
NO PHOTOS TAKEN DURING THE MORNING RUN
Day 4, Friday. 08/21/15
2N10 Trail (Skyline rd)/ 91 min
miles: 11.50 miles
30 min ab circuit and weights 20 min
NO PICTURES TAKEN ON THE MORING RUN.
Ran near lake / 37 min
miles: 5 miles
Day 5, Saturday. 08/22/15
The PCT/ 91 min
Day 6, 08/23/15
Van Dusen Rd & Holcomb Valley Trail/ 90 min
NO PHOTOS TAKEN THAT MORNING! DAY WE LEAVE BACK HOME TO LA! :)
miles total of the week= 83 miles
I had an epic time at Big Bear and hope you all enjoyed all the photos I shared.
I believe there is more to it than just running, you have to eat well, drink plenty of fluids, own the right shoes, get plenty of rest, keep your mind focus and love every bit of it. There's a lot of the little things that can make you, a stronger and faster runner. Most of these little things we often forget or neglect. I believe they are essential to becoming the best athlete you can be. Two years ago, during my last year of college at CSULA, I did not do the little things and as a result I got slower and weaker. I failed to stretch properly, I had poor eating habits and I ignored my body telling me to slow down. I did not do core workouts, pushups, spending time in the weight room, and plyometrics. I can honestly say that I even felt overweight, insecure at times, weak, unmotivated and depressed. This created me to have many ups and down and during my last track season at CSULA, there was a moment during a 10k conference race I realized everything was coming to an end and it was up to me to show not just my school but myself what I have worked for all my life. During my race, Andres (bf) loan me his watch to help me with pacing my time so that that I can ensure that I will keep my pace in order not to over do it and crash towards the end. My goal was to hit 85 seconds per lap although I did not hit the qualifying mark to make it to Nationals again, the important factor was that I knew my goal. I felt really nervous about the race because it was practically my last chance to run for college.
My last two 10,000 meter races that I ran I felt were horrible; I was about two - three minutes slower than my personal best. As I lined up next to my competitors my heart was racing and my hands were sweating like in all my other races but this time I was finally done with school work, all those papers and grades completed, now it was my time to focus. The starter said, " On your marks" as we stepped to the line and everything went silent...BOOM! The race started and according to the watch I was on pace to hit that qualifying mark... for about four laps. Slowly my pace started to decrease and my shot for making it to Nationals slowly diminished. I felt weak, I could not push myself to the level I knew I can do, I felt overweight and I felt embarrassed since I was the defending conference 10k champion. I felt like I let down my team. All of this could have been avoided if I did the little things.
Last track season was my first year competing post collegiately and now representing Skechers Performance. I began to train with a fellow runner, Rosario Casteneda. We motivated each other every morning, by waking up early and beginning our runs at 6:30am. We continued our work outs together, by running drills, plyometrics, core excercises, weight room training, and stretching the important muscles. When I felt lazy, Rosario would motivate me and vise versa. I felt confident, stronger, faster, happier, fit, lean, and alive. My race times started to get faster and closer to my personal best. After a few weeks into season, I had bounced back from a bad season and pr'd in three different events. This has to be proof that the little things do work. I've established great things in my life and that is, there is no sense to ignore your body and neglect your passion. The key words are embracing the little things, by being focus, paying attention to your health and body, staying motivated and getting motivated by others, organizing your time, and believing that all will be worth it.
Hey Everyone, sorry for the late blog post. It feels so long that I have posted. I've been busier than I had anticipated. I did not end up going to San Francisco, I got called into work. There was a crisis at my job and I'm happy that they had me on mind to help. Working full- time Behavioral Therapist plus working for an Agency called Latin Nation Live. As you see on the right side, Derius and I are working really hard. ;) haha (It was our break!) Plus training has been a big madness. As work does drain my energy. I'm happy that I am able to push myself to train everyday. It's hard to step out the door but once I'm on the door. It feels amazing. It's a rush of excitement and adrenaline. This week is the second phase of my training. FINALLY WORKOUTS! =) I had my first workout on Monday. Boy was it tough and fun. I ran 20 min easy, 20 min tempo at 6:10 pace and 20 min cool down. It's only the beginning! I am excited to get dirty and down to business. :) On Thursday worked on some speed and the other day ran recovery pace.
As for special moment, last week my twin sister graduated from Cal Poly Pomona. Finally my twin sister can train with me officially. I love training with her because we both have the urge to be competitive with each other. Of course we want the best for each other but it is so much better to have a sister who is the same pace as me! Who drives me to become better and who knows exactly when I'm going to run faster or I try to kill her by striding faster to get away from her. (It never works) lol It's like she's reading my mind. YIKES lol Here is a photo of her BELOW. Isn't she beautiful. :)
Did I ever mention that my house is under construction and has been for the last 3 months. I'm excited to finally move back in to my room, tomorrow. Father's Day. All this change. I am excited to walk into my new and changed house. My new jobs and a new coach s certainty a big change. Change is definitely good and scary at the same time. I was worried that I am not able to be successful in what ever I do. I then realized that what makes people better people/ inspiring is that they are more willing to face risk with hope. This may seem cliché, but my new rule is, I'd rather fail a hundred times in pursuit of my dream, than have never known. I want to be more willing. Willing to hope, risk, fail, dream, go, speak, do, and live. Until next time, puss puss! =)
Ok, so this journal entry is going to speak on things I experienced at Hawaii. I have learned so much about myself that I wish I knew in 2012 or even a year ago... SHOOT 6 months ago. Nope I am learning this RIGHT NOW. So here we go....
Have you ever felt overwhelmed with anxiety, fearful or tired? I know you have, because you are my friend, are human being. In my 24 year journey in this world, I would love to accomplish so much, by traveling and trying new things. I would consider myself to be a big dreamer, analytic thinker, a productive person, and go getter. Even though these characteristics can benefit me, I tend to struggle when it comes to doing nothing, (some people call it rest). Rest is a foreign concept to me because I am use to being on my feet and getting things done. I like having a routine so I am able to get things done effectively and feel accomplished when I do so. I try to do so much... and the same is true when I get out of season of hardship, I want to keep going and apply all that I have learned. So vacationing was a time for me to think about NOW ( present state of mind).
Up until this point of my life, that is exactly what I have tried to do.. is too be nothing more than happy. I live each day as if it is my last. If I had a rough season in my life, I try to learn from it and rush into a new season, hoping that I would get it right the next time! As running has helped me become a better person each season, by helping me feel free, confident, determined and strong. Running has never failed me. I put in what I get out of it. It's like being in a relationship, how beautiful is it to know that the person you know loves you and want to spend time with you? That is what value comes in. You see them as someone worth investing your time and attention. One who wants to show us how much we are loved, we ourselves fall more in love with ourselves. Running has given me that!
Did I mention, I have a twin sister, ( we are fraternal twins). I took her to Hawaii as a gift from me from graduating from Cal Poly Pomona. We are very close. She knows what I am thinking to what I am going to say. It's like she can read my mind. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, "YOU'RE TWINS." LOL
Guess who is who, without looking at the caption? :)
The locals and tourists were kind and treated my sister and I with admiration and respect. As I didn't realize before, Honolulu is a small Island and many were so excited to meet Twins. As many took pictures of my sister and I... along with all of us in the photo, with their iPhone/ camera. I had the pleasure of meeting wonderful people a long my journey. As we shared our purpose in life, our careers, motivations, fears, and happiness.. I had a deep sensation of wanting to know more. We desire to be the best version of us that we can be. And this can be a very positive thing! We want to be more kind, successful, joyful, intelligent, healthy... We want all these things. Well, in my own mind, the most appropriate course of action would be to go out and do something about all the good you want to do in your life. Up until this point of my life, I want to learn and embrace every season, hardship or success.
As I look back on this vacation, I look back at it as a "detox" or "time to myself." My whole purpose of my blog is to be so transparent and share with you all that I have learned a long with my running journey. Until next week, off to San Francisco in three weeks. :))))
It's been awhile since my last update, I have been super busy with work and life. Here is a small glimpse to my training. I took a week off to give my body some time to heal from track season. Track season was so much fun, setting new P'R's and have now I have high expectations to what types of training will be useful to me for next years to come. TWO of them, is SPEED and lots of STREGHTH! I am teaming up with a group of women this summer to work hard and get down to business. =)
My first week back to training (after a week off) has definitely been a transition... too weight training, hamstring, glutes, core, and getting my miles back up. I feel so motivated this year to run faster. I will be running some 5k/10k soon, I will keep you all posted which ones soon. I know for certain, I will be running the Long Beach, half marathon. I cannot wait to see what I can do this year! =)
Here is a picture of my break fast this morning. I now keep track on what I eat, before I would eat anything, too pizza, hamburgers, fries and so on. I have learned as a runner, I have to watch what I put inside my body. I would run every 5 min to the restrooms, because my stomach is very sensitive to specific foods. I do love my brownies and cookies so I will eat some, time to time.
The pros in having a healthy life style. Eating healthy has helped my face become more clear, oily free, and my body doesn't feel salty. I feel more confident and happier because my body is feeling fitter and strong.
My name is Sabrina Lopez and I am a twin. I reside in Los Angeles. I am honored to be sponsored by Oiselle, honey stinger, and CEP. I am blessed to promote these brand and products. As a result, become a strong, inspiring and healthy runner. My moto is to do all things with all my heart and soul. Here I plan on logging in my training, eating, adventures, relationships, and life learning experiences. Hope you enjoy :)