#GRIT – Q&A with Susan Langeland


dsc_1480Interview with Susan Langeland

FF Crew + FF Blog Contributor + runner & triathlete

Want to pick up Susan’s GRIT tank?  Get it here!

Where do you live?
I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

How long have you been a Fellow Flower?
I fell in love with Fellow Flowers in 2012.  I have been a FF Crew member for 2 years.  I’ve met so many amazing people through Fellow Flowers.  Some of these people are right here in my local community but so many more are across the country.  I am amazed and thankful for all of the connections I have made both directly and virtually through Fellow Flowers.

Where/how did you find out about Fellow Flowers?
I found Fellow Flowers at the 2012 Grand Rapids Marathon, my first marathon.  I didn’t buy a flower at the expo.  I wasn’t sure.  I loved their messages, but would I really put a flower in my hair while I run?  The next day, I finished my marathon and my mindset completely changed.  I earned that new title of marathoner and those flowers meant so much more to me after the race.  Let’s just say, I have a few (okay a lot!!!) of Fellow Flowers items now!

What is one goal you are chasing right now?
My goal for this year was a non-running goal.  I committed to getting healthy.  While I run regularly and trained for triathlons this past summer, I finally admitted that I cannot outrun my diet.  This year, it was time to focus on my health. This wasn’t merely a weight-loss goal, but a goal to get stronger which will allow me to do more activities with less risk of re-injury. I had back surgery 2 years ago.  This injury may have impacted me personally, but it also took a toll on my family.  Let me be completely honest. If I have a physical outlet, I am a happier person! When I don’t have it, I’m not as much fun!!!

What’s one word to describe you in this moment:
I am in the midst of a few new challenges both physically and personally.  I am excited for new adventures, to be more involved in my community and to push myself further out of my comfort zone.  It takes determination to believe you will accomplish new things!

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What is your current go-to flower?
I have 3.

My very first flower was blue.  Some days, I need a reminder that my run, whatever it was, is enough.

I have used red with cycling and training for my tri’s this summer.  There were times when I was in complete new territory and doubt crept in.  With my red flower, I remember I am truly strong enough to do what I set my mind to do.

Lastly, I love my orange flower!   There are so many people I have connected with over the years through Fellow Flowers and running.  I have a great tribe and it’s awesome that through my orange flower, they can all be with me in the moment when I need them the most.

What is one thing that has required GRIT right now in your life?
I love to run.  I love to exercise.  BUT committing to nutritional goals within a 12 week challenge that requires me to get up at 4:20am 4-5 times a week because that is the best time I can get my workout in, takes some serious GRIT.  I am just finishing week 1.  You know when you start something new and everything hurts…I mean it hurts to stand up straight and breathe! Yeah, that is where I have been this week, but GRIT got me through each painful step because I know each week will get easier and it will all be worth it!

Favorite quote that inspires you?

Strength to endure

Self-talk happens. Sometimes it can be positive, but on a hot and humid run, during a long ride on my bike, during mile 20 of a marathon, those comments are rarely positive for me.  “Strength to endure” is more of a mantra that I use in the moment of whatever that challenge may be.  It gets me through.

Any people in your corner who are inspiring you on your journey?
There are so many people that inspire me daily!  It seems to happen somehow like it should, I get just what I need at the time I need it.  It could be a text from someone letting me know they got their miles in and is encouraging me to get my workout done when my bed is feeling awfully cozy! It could be a post on social media that reminds me of what is important that day or that someone rocked their event.  It could be an event I am at where stories are shared that I connect to.  I find if I am able to stop for a moment,  step back and take it all in, there are inspiring people all around me.



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