Archive for August, 2013

So peeps, if you follow me on twitter, then last night you probably saw me post this in #Runchat*:

“My #Runchat brag: I do open calls for anyone needing encouraging words, then I deliver them. If u need encouragement, I’m your girl!”

The organizers asked us to post something about ourselves that made us proud of who we are and this is what I wrote.

It’s okay internet. You already knew I was weird.

It’s a strange thing, to put out an open call to all the world – or as much of it as you’ve reached – and say – “do you need someone to cheer for you? do you need a kind push? someone in your corner? someone to tell you ‘you CAN do this!’?”  I think as we get older, we assume that people who commit to hard goals already have all the confidence they need – they no longer need the clapping and wild cheering that energizes children.  I also think we get less able to ask for what we need in terms of that clapping and wild cheering – we are ‘supposed’ to have the fortitude within ourselves to complete the tasks we’ve trained for. Fierce. independent. Strong. Warriors.

And yet – as friends get ready for the racing season – and several I know are doing Ironman competitions, first half-marathons, first marathons, tenth marathons – I hear the stomach butterflies begin to emerge. People posting about checking and re-checking transition lists, worrying about oversleeping starts, the ohmygodIdidn’tpackthechamoiscream! dreams.  We are warrior grown-ups with very serious goals.  But sometimes, we still feel like the first day of kindergarten inside.

Sometimes we still need to hear from someone else “It’s going to be okay. You got this. You’re ready!”.

A few weeks ago, I was in a great mood going into a weekend – and I threw it to the world Twitter – “Who needs encouragement today? I have encouragement to spare.” or something like that (I don’t even want to read my own Twitter feed that far back to quote it.)  – but anyway – I got a single response.  Someone I did not know.  They gave me a date and a race – even gave me a bib# for athlete tracking – and I made a mental note to follow-through on giving encouraging words. 

Friends, it was pretty cool!

I sent a message 2 days before, the day before – then through the race as I followed along on athlete-tracker. 

What did it cost me? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ‘cept a few minutes of my time. 

What did it give that athlete? Well, only they really know. But I’m going to say, I know what being in a long hard run feels like, and sometimes, the encouragement of someone – even a stranger – can be huge. Knowing someone somewhere is rooting for you – it makes a difference.

I’ve done this same thing again a few times now – cast a net into the interweb asking who needs a kindness from a stranger. Sometimes I get nothing, sometimes someone reaches back and says ME! I DO!  I have yet to regret asking if anyone needs a cheerleader.

I did it again this past weekend and got a single response again – someone doing an Ironman on Sunday. Coincidentally, I knew a few other people doing that race – tracking one more just made it that much more fun for me (even more interesting – this Twitter connection ended up finishing right around the same time as a running buddy of mine – I bet they crossed paths in the race a bunch and didn’t even know it!).  A message the day before, a few messages through the race. I knew she wouldn’t see them until after she was finished, but so what? It still feels good to know someone was pulling for you when you were challenging yourself. Even if you don’t find out until the next day.

So what’s my point in all this?

Everyone needs encouragement to accomplish something.  And for everyone, encouragement is free to give. 

You just have to be willing to reach out your hand in either direction and go for a high-five.  So reach out peeps – put your hands out there – use the internet for something good – and help each other go get the dreams.

________________________

* This Twitter thing on Sunday nights called #Runchat, wherein 2 of our beloved running Tweeters (twits? I kid, I kid!) ask five questions related to running and runner-twits from all over the world post out their 140-character answers.  It goes on for all of 20-25 minutes and I think it is FANTASTIC! Not only have I gained followers of my own from it, but I’ve found some really good people to follow as well. It’s like a giant running community HIGH-FIVE to close out the week and start on the next one. Seriously – if you’re on Twitter – check it out.

image

Trust of good friends and risk-taking and skill-testing and

hoping no one falls on your head.

 

image

You start like this, and then you turn like this, move your leg this way…except in the air

image

I love curiosity when I see it.

That irresistible urge – when we see something we don’t quite understand –

to linger and stare. As children do.

To try to figure out the architecture of it. See how it works.  To ask

Whatchya doin?

Friends, *whew*! I have been a busy girl!

Lots of things going on! All good and fun and happy.  All of which make it a bit of difficult to sit down and write – so this is going to be a piecemeal kind of quickie (you’re welcome), but some of the things that are going on are pretty cool and I should probably get them all shared with you.

First – since thanks to the Reds Social Media night on 8/9 (which was really fun and I have some things I want to write about that SOON (before I forget them)), I’ve made a LOT more Twitter friends that are Reds fans, I want to tell you that I’ll be there this upcoming Sunday 8/25 – which happens to be Cincinnati Ballet’s Day at the ballpark.

Baseball, ballet and the opportunity to take photos of both? SWOON! I am SO THERE! 

If someone handed me an egg sandwich and a German Shepherd puppy, I just don’t think I could get any happier.  It’s like all of my favorite things in one big stadium-sized basket!  Cincinnati Ballet has a day at the ballpark to benefit their CincyDance! program. From the Reds website:

“…[CincyDance!] program which brings dance and arts education to schools and community centers. This program provides free ballet classes and scholarships to young people with no previous formal dance training. Cincinnati Ballet aspires to take a long-term approach to exposing children from a wide range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds to ballet, and to give them the chance to learn both the discipline and the joy of dance in a safe, structured and supportive environment.”

You can get discounted tickets to the game by using the promo code BALLET on the Reds ticket website. It’s like you’d be watching baseball for a good cause y’all!  So GO!

And if you’re at the game –  I’ll be there solo – give me a tweet (twit?) at @swlikeablegirl to say hi.

I’ll also be at the ballpark  Friday night 8/23, but that’s kind of a date night with the husband…and then I’m also celebrating my birthday at the game on 9/3 (Cardinals series!!) and heading out there with the in-laws on 9/4.

Peeps – it has been raining Reds tickets in my world this week, and I am totally okay with that.

Speaking of the ballet – it’s almost September again, which means as baseball season starts to wind down, dance season starts.  The Kaplan New Works Series will be firing up again mid-September and it looks like it’s going to be AMAZING! Ballet to Johnny Cash. Really, do I need to say more? Okay, how about I say Patric Palkens is the guy in the promo/ad with the tattoo on his stomach – remember when I wrote about him?  GO!

Been taking photos at Final Friday Acro Yoga again – posted another album and got an amazing response to the pics! YAY! Still building my confidence with putting photos out into the world. This one in particular got an amazing response:

image

For me personally, I see a lot of joy in that photo – everyone looks happy – and the thought that that’s what people are responding to makes me really happy. Taking the picture brings me joy.

Getting the 5:30AM yoga class off the ground has been SLOOOOOW! Way slower than I thought it would be, but I’m tremendously lucky that my friends (the studio owners) are being really supportive and are trying to help me figure out how to make it work.  I think I’ll have some changes coming up mid-September on the approach and we’ll see what that does with getting more yogis in my door.  In some ways, the slow start has been good because it’s given me an opportunity to work out the kinks in my teaching style as a newbie with a much smaller audience.  So, that’s less embarrassing than I think it would be. I’ve got another friend opening up her own studio in October and we’re working on my picking up a few classes there, so that will increase my teaching opportunities as well.  AND – the 500-hour training program kicked off last weekend – so there’s that kind of busy coming my way too. Yikes! Who knew there would be so much homework in yoga class?!

I’m registered for the Hudy 14k on September 21st.  I did that one 2-years ago – the 7k – and let’s just say there were some extremely awkward technical difficulties (*cough* forgot to put down the 7k turnaround markers then ran out of lots of things*cough*). It will be interesting to revisit that in year 3 and see the changes they’ve made. 

I think I have another race before that though – a friend is on the Board of the ZERO Prostate Cancer Race scheduled for Sept 7th that I’d like to go support – Cancer is a scary mean bitch – and I say that knowing full well I just cussed. Unfortunately that’s also the day that I’m throwing a paint party at my house AND the weekend I promised I’d go cheer some friends on at the Rev3 70.3 in Cleveland.  Holy calendar confusion!  We’ll see how that all works out.

I’ve got some more even than that to add in – some cool running stuff, a change-up (again) in the training plan, an update on the shoulder injury – but “quickie” turned into 900+ words already – so I’m going to save them up for later.  I’ve got a few more photos from Final Friday Acro Yoga that I’ll be putting up in the meantime – feedback encouraged!

Keep the peace! And give me a holler if you make that 8/25 Reds game! (Please!)

I wrote a comment on another blog (if you don’t follow Cultfit you should) that I wanted to share over here too – mainly because this is something I need reminded of once in awhile.  So this post is kind of like a little post-it to my future self reminding me to be nice to me. What?

I’ve noticed – with myself – that when I WAS really hard on myself about every. little. thing. – it was because I had no discernment. I expected perfection from myself in everything. And because it was hard for me to love imperfect things, I was afraid that I could not be loved if I was imperfect. Thus the drive to perfection…and crazytown…and bitchytown…and unhappytown. When I started recognizing that there were imperfect things that I loved – that someone else could make a mistake and I could still love them – that these LOVEABLE HUMAN BEINGS are not perfect and yet still so lovely – I started letting myself be imperfect. Even embracing it. Wrapping my arms around all the foibles and flaws that make me uniquely me – including the ways that I completely screw things up sometimes. And in the absence of abhorring all the imperfection – the gap in negative space – came discernment. There are some things you should be really hard on yourself about. And you should say you’re sorry and do your best to make the aftermath peaceful – and then forgive yourself – because you’ve done all you can do. But these really important things that you should be hard on yourself about get lost in cacophony if you’re really hard on yourself about everything.

Pick your battles with yourself as you would a good friend. Forgive yourself as you would your child. For both of these things are within us and should be turned towards us.

image

The above is a shot of one curve in my office trail. I had about 15 minutes to get outside on my lunch (what lunch?) today so I didn’t get a run in, but went out for a quick walk. It is absolutely stunning outside and a good day to run the trail.

Except that I’m not convinced I can get a sports bra on & off without some help – and that would just be awkward in the office locker room…yikes! And pumping my arms on the hills & stairs – probably not a good idea.

The shoulder thing – it’s still bothering me. A LOT. And I’ve hit the point of cranky with it. I am used to the general aches & soreness that go with being an athlete. But this is a different kind of thing.

I’m not sleeping well because I can’t sleep on that side or roll over much at all without a jabbing pain waking me up. It hurts to do the stupidest, most mundane of tasks – like putting on a shirt, drying my hands on a towel, brushing my teeth.  And while I (just barely) managed to get a sports bra on and go for a run yesterday –  I got 4 slow miles in + a mile walking cooldown – I had to ask Eric to help me get the thing off when I headed for the shower. Also, I could feel it twinging when I ran – though moreso when I was walking.

And it’s only just a tiny bit better than it was the day after I did it. A tiny bit. Admittedly, it’s not even a full week yet, but OHMYGOD THIS IS FRUSTRATING! I am perturbed.

*sigh*

Dear shoulder, do you hear me?! I said *SIGH*.

Every day I’m shufflin’ …which is why I fall on my ass and go BOOM!

Not BOOM! like YEAH! AWESOME! but BOOM! as in HOLY F* THAT HURTS!!!

Just to be clear.

Aikido didn’t go so well last night. Again. Peeps – this is a thing that actually might kill me.  So far, in 6 weeks, I’ve managed to jam up both shoulders, jam my wrist, and get my big toe bent back painfully.  Last night, I decided to try and move a little faster in some of the roll practice – apparently forgetting everything I ever learned about it in the process. Peeps, I swear – the unpleasant crunching sound that came from my shoulder sounded like it called me dumbass! I swear it did!

And that was my good shoulder. Which isn’t so good right now. OUCH!!  This one’s gonna take a few days or 10 to get back to good.  *sigh*

And OH MY GOD! DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO GET A SPORTS BRA OFF WHEN YOU CAN’T REALLY MOVE ONE ARM A WHOLE LOT?

It’s hard. It involves grimacing. But you power through because the only thought worse than the pain is the thought that you’re about to have to call your husband to come help you get your sports bra off. No man should have to witness such a process.  *sigh*

HOWEVER – this whole fact that I can’t move my left arm so great didn’t stop me from registering for Run the Bluegrass this morning.  Early registration opened today and the race is capped on size limit. I wanted in and BAM! Registration done. So what if I can’t move my arm, I can run 13.1 miles – right?  Okay, the race is next Spring and I’m pretty sure the shoulder will be okay by then, but still – nothing like a humiliating painful injury to make you go register for an endurance race. What? Sure, why not.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I might be able to knock out some mileage later today – if I can figure out how to get a sports bra on without using my arms…