Just Start

Sometimes we sit in our comfort zone, for long, longer than we had initially planned… that we forget people of other cultures in other countries are alive and kicking, living a life we knew nothing about:

A life rich in colours, flavours, and a kind of bustling in energy and peace simultaneously- to the extent that all of it can actually inspire us, enlighten entire hearts, and give us this needed “wake up” call to keep going and keep writing new pages of our book.

Sometimes, we get too comfortable, we slack, we slip, we tell ourselves, its ok- for the first time in your life you are slowing down, celebrate it, don’t get too ahead of yourself these few months, this year maybe even for a change.

Then, one day, a friend or family there, a gem running in your background.. invites you in- in conversation, in person, or into this sacred place, and u chat on.

Shortly after, You make that trip, You drive endlessly- to the north or to the extreme south of your country or head, you book that ticket to a journey of self-discovery,Or you grab that time chart, cease that focus, and wear your let’s-get-this ^^ done armour on.You then realise that:

1) you can find inspiration, drive, and motivation by still doing and prioritizing the things You love,

because that’s exactly how you’ll be inspired to complete the next phase of ur life: by just #starting. These are Not a distraction no matter what anybody says.

2) you are blessed to have these #gems in your life who themselves have been through a Lot, are going through a challenge or a start over, or are just about to step into an unknown future.

Even if these gems are only 1 person that you really know is there for you, then you have that gem. So why only see how many you don’t have and why forget about the 1 or 2 you actually have to Fly through life?

3) you are never alone, unless u choose to walk blindfolded through ur life…

because if you look closely, your own Life (your little circle) is giving you all the signs; it has taken you on the way :

to meet your Confirmation when you sought Doubt;

to meet your Happy Person/ place when you insisted on Sadness;

To achieve your success after you had Failed;

To be your Lesson, when you were determined to call them fatal Errors or Failure;

To meet Trust, when you had been Let down countless times,

To meet your Peace, when your soul was Agitated, Tired, Worn out;

Doubt, sadness, failure, errors, being let down, tired, and worn out are all meant to be part of life.

They are the “less greener side” that makes it “greener” on the other end- or so we think, and then we seek them to keep feeling “alive”.

Your own Life, right now, is a beautiful paradox that keeps:

Giving and taking, Adding and subtracting,those things and people you have, to keep the equation of good stuff and bad stuff up and runningto balance out your Life.

Just #start somewhere anywhere,

the rest (as in the right people, influence, things, time, dreams, and relationships) will flow because we are genuinely built to aim for more or for something new, so u Will get off that couch, that confusion.Start;

Define it and measure your milestones through it as u “live” every 1 day of your life achieving 1 little accomplishment after the other on your own self-gratification scale.


We do not always take the right decisions in our life, and we don’t have to :

because we are only humans and expecting 100% precision is just driving yourself nuts,

hence missing out on all of life which happens in between those lines.Be with that someone or don’t, take that job or miss the opportunity to do so, invest in where you think the future lies or don’t, take that trip or postpone it, chase this, or the other, … Whatever is your crossroad🚦 right now, Decide to START, and move to the next one. Countless options, people, and experiments are on their way to you regardless.Life is bigger than us, but in a really good way, that makes all the odds in your favour if u are willing to accept #change.

My people, I miss you

All my love,

Joy Oct. 12,2017 at 8.20am


Life in the shoes of a 542-slicer


542 is my running team.. for Beirut Marathon 2017; u’ve met some..

Every rum, changes our lives, like this:today’s goal was: 28km.

My lesson:

Everything seems so big and out of reach, until You break it down into pieces, and find people along the way to share it or your progress.

Maybe i was on runner’s high today. I was lucky, but these words are to remind you and me (when we miss that “high” whether to listen to our body, injury, or our coach), that:

Well, running 42km seemed like sthg entirely i m p o s s i b l e:

long, tiring, needs years of training, a no-injury history, and a dedication that we cannot afford to give in our busy daily lives.., the distance is too much even for someone fit, active, n all.

Today, maybe because i was on this high.. it felt like i “will” do it. I will do the 42km. I can and i will. So will You.

In our journey to-date, i never had that optimistic thought yet, probably u too (especially if you are now injured).

I had doubts, my knees , my health, my history… my will power, my physiology, my teammates, running buddies etc.

Yes, Everything seems so big on the outside..

But when u slice it open on the table of Life which u get to share with beautiful 542-ers eying the same goal, aim, fun, and life-changing experience, you suddenly realise:

“Look at where we are. When we had told our coaches: a 5k run? on the first day?! and for beginners like us,? is it not too much?, can we do less? We’re panicking …”


If we have 21km instead of 28km, we stand there like: 7km? piece of cake ,

Literally, right?

And when we are at 18km, we encourage our running buddy like: “we’re there!! just a 10k easy, Let’s have fun😎”

This #beirut542,

Well, it’s a bundle of life lessons as it turns out. One of which:

The next time you, like me, stand at ur own crossroads, in this Life,

Look at the intersection, the multiple exits there (we cross those multiple times on Corniche El Nahr area!), and

Pick something seemingly “big” to chase or change in ur life

(as we run, some of us pick a new pace, others pick new buddies along the way, some pick enjoyin it, smiling, an encouragement shout out, or a jump for the camera …).

Remember, nothing is out of your reach.

Evthng looks big, like 42k, but when you slice it open on the table of your current life and people surrounding you…


A 542-er, is a slicer.

He/she does not only #run,

they slice every seemingly “Big” dream into little bits of toast (like our Sundays) which make every 1 bite enjoyable,

topped with a “different” dressing,

until he/she eats their way through life, beautifully living in the “now”,

as they “run” yes, but rather slice right through, achieving 1 mini-victory after the other (like every extra 1km we run every Sunday)

PS: the toast bit is inspired by my #teamwalid who have so far shared a mad amount of foodie pics, mad i tell u, but by far most adorable, since our >10km runs .

Truly yours,

To every 542-er in Life:

We slice it! 😘🤸🏽‍♀️🍞🥇

#lifelessons #selfhelp #dreambig #commit #canDo #beirutmarathon #teamwork #buddies #marathoners #DreamersAndAchievers

Truly yours,


Oct.1,2017 at 5.05pm

Good Day, A small reminder:)

Inline image 1
A crack ..hmm,
a bad day? bad job, bad relationship, bad plan, bad marriage, bad book, a failed test perhaps, a horrible incident, a broken heart(s), hurt by people far or loved ones,
a crack.. 
giving up, losing hope, going back to that addiction, or that slacking or hiding away from things, lost, failed at it so many times .. 
a personal, social, or professional, psychological, or whatever crack, 
You’re still standing , are you not? Existing, now, here , reading this, are u not? 
As long as u take a breath, u can live ur life, really live,
because we don’t fall apart unless we  decide to Let go and stop trying, 
Try, easy, slowly, experiment first, at your own pace, take a chance, spend the money or time or pay the cost and carry the responsibility believing in ur own decisions, 
but don’t give up because … 
u are yet to meet people who will fall in love with YOU, ur vibe, your spirit, your Mind, or anything that makes YOU up.
There is only 1 YOU, and if the people in ur life so far did not see it, like may in our lives have not, then Others will – u cant give up on being u, it’s YOU so show yourself off
All my love,
Sept. 23, 2017



#beirutmarathon2017 #run #lifechanger #LifeIsaMarathon , not a race 🙂

(Wondering why my last series of posts & those to come are entitled in people’s names? Feel free to visit this: https://wegrowthroughothers.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/life-is-a-marathon-not-a-race/ )
Our Sunday 24km long-run; yes, at 18km we were supposed to be tired, but seeing the above, you start understanding the motivation we get from each other .. It’s like Magic #foreal

I Miss you my people ❤

I have a lot more people to tell you about in my marathon undertaking, especially these 2 weeks!


I had a kinda weird week to be honest, feeling a little off, a little sleepless, and a little swamped or overwhelmed with life, those have-to-dos of life that often overwhelm us till we forget to look at the bigger picture of life, the bigger purpose of why we are here – the people around us.

A piece of my mind tonight, as i cozy up in a newly-discovered little tea place, which i only discovered last week for my new thing,

Colouring 🙂 They say it’s a therapy you know? For me, doing it last Wednesday just calmed me down, it slowed down my whirlwind..of life. Loved it.

Piece of my mind tonight:

Never underestimate your existence in someone’s Life.

It takes 1 word to change someone’s day or perspective, just like it takes 1 person in one’s life to inspire, to help accomplish a work in progress, a path, a project, a dream ..

1 can be a really big number in 1 Life 😉


And here’s an example Why: Valentina

So i joined the marathon and the 542 Team this past July; one thing this really changed drastically in my life, is the use of social media.

I’m not a fan, or wasn’t until this happened.

With our every Sunday long-run,  distances become longer but photos taken of us onto the marathon association become more numerous, catching us at every angle and smile!

So, we been posting lots online, which actually multiplied the number of friend requests i received..honestly, because i also encourage lots of members not on our team on those long runs – genuinely because it keeps me going – i practically know everyone by now and it’s been contagious!

Okay  so, with this social media – stampede hehe well, i got a friend request from a certain Valentina..

(PS: i usually prefer to respect the privacy of my subjects hence i omit certain details in photos or typing).

For some reason, looking at the friend request aroused my curiosity, partly perhaps because the name was Italian (non-Lebanese) and partly because i felt something was behind this friend request, #cantexplain.

So , I messaged her, asking if we knew each other or if we had met..

She replied with her story that she is also registered in the Beirut Marathon, that she runs, etc..

We had found common grounds across borders, only because of this 1 undertaking i took on this past summer,

which at the time seemed more for personal reasons rather than being there for others; nonetheless, here we were.

We became facebook friends, but now…very good friends is more like it because well, the messages we are exchanging, the sharing of friends we are having as she meets my running buddies and teammates through our photos first and then through adding them on facebook and chatting with them herself ..have just been WOW  and #surreal.

Have a look at few thing she shared with me, those things that kick-started a genuine, beautiful friendship:

Valentina is Italian; she has had this dream for so long, and that is:

Visiting Lebanon, the land and country she’s madly in love with, and running the Beirut marathon.

She is no runner, or was not, until this year, as she explains, she went completely “crazy”-determined and planned on making her dream a reality.

She has had challenges, physical ones mostly, as she’s had to re-adjust her eating habits a lot, as well as her watch her nutrition and monitor the intake of carbs, proteins, etc..

Also, she was running alone.

Today, my people, truly it has been beyond beautiful to see her messages, her sharings, her postings, her messages, all of which just make HER and US here see,

You can make a difference in 1’s life, with the littlest to the largest things you help them in.

Our support was only online, minimal, you might add probably useless for a physical-effort which you’d expect to need to complete 28 and 30km.. and more in time.


my whole team, our idea, our runs, our photos, now include her, at heart, until she’s here in October, when we already planned team hikes and outings for her to see the beauty in Lebanon and have memories.

More so, my running buddy, up in the photo, Abbas .. he will surely have a post about him for you to read through, but for now, i must tell you:

this week, he called me over the moon.

I said what’s up, he said,

i am on cloud 9; i am walking in my hometown tonight near the sea when i started thinking how You Joy, how our team, and how Valentina have dropped into my life like in a parachute, like angels who came down just for me, to make me happier and fill my life…”

I was speechless on the end of the line.

He rocked my world. I had rocked his. Together, we also each rocked Valentina’s world. Also, Valentina rocked my world. She made me believe in bonds being formed cross border as genuinely and as beautiully. We know her now more than anything, we really do because as i am discovering, in

#Running, you have only one personality, the Real You and all those who run, are happy, they are truly giving, caring, alert to other’s abilities and needs.

And that’s just been 2 months in all this undertaking.

Cannot wait for more. Yes, runs are getting tougher, but so are our bonds and mental support, truly, has proved to be 70-75% of the run v/s 25-30% for physical readiness and fitness..


I hope this inspires you  the way it did me.

Please be safe, you re 1 person, but a whole lot in some one else’s life, your son,  daughter’s, either parents’, your friend’s, your teammate’s…

With all my love,


Sept. 16, 2017 at 9.29pm

(going to sleep early tonight for our 5am 26km run tomorrow Sunday!!)



Ghassan (Gus)


#beirutmarathon2017 our #roadto42km #togetherwekeeprunning #run

We actually met this 73 year old gentleman (orange t-shirt) this morning at 7am, yes, 73.

He had started running with us early “am”..

Overly educated, cultured, really, respect🎩: perfect american english, impeccable manners, charming, a public speaker with such a charisma.

A total stranger i admired from afar so much that i had to compliment.. so,

I stopped just in front of him, to say a genuine “BravooO” for he was truly impressive at his age…

And he replied with a warmest smile,

I have been running for the past 60 years my friend.

The first 20years, i called it the “Running Passion”,

The next 20, i called it the “Running Addiction with a touch of Madness”, and

The Last 20 years, i call them “Running with complete Madness“.

My bottomline from meeting this inspiring human:

You never start anything too late.🙏🏼

You make sure you never ever give up on pursuing things you #love because they are part of you, part of making you happy.

He moved countries, jobs, and resettled between Lebanon, Europe, and the States for the past 60 years; it could not have been easy all the time..

nonetheless, he still committed. He was dedicated, disciplined, determined.

He honoured his passion, challenged all weather and all roads he was unfamiliar with in every new country:)

#manoftheday 😌

Ps: He reminds me os this guy, my teammates shared his story a while back:

It’s never too late to fill up your life with the things that enlighten and enrich Your unique spirit and heart.


Faithfully yours,


Sept.5, 2017 at 4.53pm

#gems of #people



My beautiful people, please meet my Rita on my #542 Beirut Marathon #running Team

We had our first chat or little talk on Thursday as we completed our training.

We had total 70min of running to complete.

Follow your passion, or whatever you think you’ll love, always.

I could soo relate because her story, could have been mine if things had not changed for me the way they did to take me to where i am passionate and happy today.

Rita spent 9 years at Deloitte & Touche as Auditor.

She woke up one day, resigned within a month because she felt stuck.

She didn’t feel she was living or liking what she is SO good at.

People, colleagues..they kept asking, who head-hunted you? Tell us, tell us: you have Deloitte, 9 years …

she said, I am done with corporate life.

It took my life away from me.

No, i don’t regret it, but i wasn’t happy anymore.

I lost part of myself being in corporate, doing what i do and how i do it.

3months out today, she went to London, took a “shoe-making” workshop- yes you read right- and today she seeks employment in it here 🙂


She told me,

yes, i think i have the passion for it, i been inquiring and researching more about it here. I think i’ll love it. I want to work in it.


She wants to teach 🙂 she asked me about my experience about it.

She is so #happy she feels it, really, for a first time since the past 9 years.

#mademybadday 🙂

More about our beautiful route that day:

We took a different direction than usual to have some uphill as well;

It was our first scenic route:) , reaching the below Raouche rock by sunset!

It was epic, my first time by that route on foot, and first time i see the scenery from up, overlooking the rock, as follows.

We started on the Corniche: photo 1, up to the road overlooking the Raouche Rock: photo 2:)

If you know a little about Lebanon, you’d know it has lots of green and touristic places in the mountains. But in Beirut, the population is big, green fields or parks are not so common. So, doing this route that night, when i met Rita, really met her story exposed me to the most astounding scenery:)

Truly yours,


Sept.2, 2017 at 11.06am

Life is A Marathon..Not a Race

Life is a Marathon, Not a Race

I been wanting to tell you this for a month now. Life, work, long days got in the way.

But, because i missed you so, a piece of me is missing, and i decided ill share short posts from now on to keep you here and me with you.

On june 19, 2017 i signed up to run a 42.195km Marathon in Beirut.

Following my accident..yes, that messed up My knee and ligaments etc etc.,


Doing so, i also committed to training 3 times a week with a Team called “542”

It stands for :

5 months of training, to run


It is changing my life. In every aspect.

I am rearranging my plans with friends and family to fit my runs instead, that is how much it has transformed my life in less than a month.

I am meeting beautiful people.

My bubble is slowly forming and growing to include the most beautiful people.

It is beyond beautiful.

All those runners are just there for a challenge , or personal dedications and causes..no hidden agendas. A positivity like no other, a mass positivity!!

Our team with coach Walid is forming bonds nobody knew before or experienced. We care for each other, we look out, we are running buddies..

So, Every post from now on will be #OneStoryAtaTime about a member i met, really met and talked to, and their story:)

Oh, by the way, our team started with 120 runners, then to 115, and since, i vowed to get to know each one, and their name of course.

I think there are like 20-30 names tops i dont know i.e. Havent met and thats only because they were not showing up to the trainings for work or health or other hurdles unfortunately.

It has been marvelous, an undertaking like no other, truly really.

Tomorrow, i tell you who i met tonight and she made my bad day, truning it upside down:)

PS: always take on new undertakings, big or small.. does not matter.

With all my love ❤


Aug.31,3017 at 9.15pm