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What's Your Word? ...

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By Kristina Swenson (kristinaswenson.wixite.com)

Words have always been important to me. English was one of my favorite classes all through elementary school and became my strongest subject by the time I reached high school. A minimum word count has never been a problem for me. Rather, I usually struggle to keep something under a maximum word count. My phone is full of short, random words and phrases that someone, somewhere said that stuck with me, and I have a book full of quotes I keep nearby in case I hear something profound I want to remember later. One of my love languages is words of affirmation, and I love it when I just get to sit and share words with a friend.

I could give you example after example of how much I love words but as you read this blog post I wrote about words I really like you probably get the idea ... 

We all have that one word or mantra that we use to get us going. The word(s) come to us in times of success, in times of failure, in times of happiness, and in times of sadness. It's that phrase that we repeat over and over to ourselves when we need to refocus and come back to who we are and what we stand for. For my mom, her go-to mantra is "make it happen". If you were to step inside my house, you'd find it...

painted on a canvas in the kitchen, printed on a decal stuck to my bathroom mirror, and stamped on a metal bangle or necklace she wears everyday. I love this phrase because it's a good reminder that no matter how tough or impossible a situation may seem, there's always a way.

For the past few years, I've worn my word around my neck. It was a simple black cord looped around a silver washer with the word BREAKAWAY stamped into it. I loved it. The word came from a really special mentor and friend of mine, Tony Schiller. He once defined his philosophy behind the word to me in this way: Break-a-way, n. To do something in a different way from what is usual or expected. I grasped onto this concept instantly. I thought that this was it - I found the entire meaning of my life in one word. It quickly became more than just a word to me: it became a lifestyle. I constantly sought moments in which I could breakaway from the norm that was set before me. In class, a breakaway became that paper that my English professor used as an example for the next semester and in racing, a breakaway became a first place finish.  READ MORE

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