Posts Tagged ‘one girl’s life’

Good morning! Hey – I’m still alive!  Isn’t that great?!

At least I am until the coffee runs out anyway. Then Zzzzzz…

I’ve been traveling – not something I get to do as often as I’d like – and my body is catching up with the time changes SLOWLY. My sleep is meandering its way back to reasonable, while my wake up time is on normal schedule. OUCH!

My suitcases, while unpacked, still need put away.

My laptop, which made it through our trip safely, but almost completely unused (I swear, I did not use a real computer for 12 whole days – AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!), promptly died on arrival of our plane into the gate. I’m not even joking. On the plane, fine. At home the next morning, you know, when I wanted to log on and load up all our vacation photos, the thing wouldn’t even boot up. Apparently it’s still on California time too. So anyway, whole new laptop and all new photo editing software had to be purchased on short notice. (Total first world problem, I know.)

There are literally a THOUSAND photographs to edit.  And that doesn’t include the projects I had pending BEFORE we left.

But friends, vacation was absolutely INCREDIBLE! Might be the best one I’ve ever taken – every day something new, something fun, something beautiful. Good people, good food, fantastic weather. Seeing things in reality that surpassed my best imagining. Getting to spend some serious downtime with the husband. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

So, stories and pictures to come from that as I make it through the stack.

Between naps.

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Well hey. Welcome to Monday #2,012. Not Monday 2012, because there were 52 of those, which would be confusing. Rather, it’s Monday #2,012 in this girl’s life.  Yes, I’m still counting because weird numbers girl, that’s me.

It was a pretty decent weekend, started off with a Reds game on Friday night. A friend offered me a can’t-refuse deal on a couple of tickets and frankly, the husband & I, we needed a date night. So off we go! It also happened to be a Fireworks Friday, and a Star Wars weekend, and a Reds Social Media Night, AND a raffle night where the Reds wives/girlfriends made of baskets of  THEIR favorite things (rather than roster-dude’s) to raffle off in benefit to a local women’s shelter/cause.

And don’t you know, I won this HUGE basket of goodies put together by JJ Hoover’s girlfriend, Megan-Kate! HOW COOL IS THAT? First off, winning goodies is cool all by itself, even if it’s just a box of tic tacs, but also, I think pretty highly of how JJ conducts himself around the Twitter machine and like him as a player. Even more cool than that? (and JJ, this is probably where you should cover your ears…no eyes…no ears…you know what I mean) From what I can tell on twitter, Megan-Kate has my dream job. She works at the zoo. With animals. And SHHHHH! It is entirely possible that I think her job is cooler than pitching. Really, SHHHHHHHHH!

What seems like a lifetime ago, I worked at the zoo too. Mainly just with taking tickets at the front gate and camel rides, but when I got into college there was a whole season of working in horticulture that I still count as being my favorite job of all the jobs I’ve had. I got sweaty and dirty and stinky like a champ helping put in some of  the Jungle Trails landscaping, but I also slept amazingly well the entire time. I LOVED being at the zoo every day even it meant shoveling a lot of mulch and I still think it is one of my favorite places in this entire city, maybe even more than the ballpark (sorry GABP). I can sit and watch Red Pandas for days, and now that I’ve gotten into the photography thing, it’s been on my to-do list to take my camera and see what I can learn about photographing animals. The more connected I get to the garden and the animals in my life, the more I wish I would’ve stuck with that type of work. When I retire, I plan to go wander around the zoo until they realize I’m not an exhibit and stop feeding me.

Winning a basket full of things from the Zoo and the Reds – was a pretty sweet thing to happen.  Then I got it home and started to unpack it – and here’s the final awesome thing – when my husband saw all the things that were in the basket, and then later when I told a friend what was in it – they were both a bit in shock. Mainly because if someone were to custom make a basket full of all the things that I like most, it would be that basket. Red wine, coffee, things for my dogs, Reds things (including a JJ-signed ball!), Zoo things – there was even a Zoo shirt that was exactly something I would have picked out for myself and the right size. HOW COOL IS THAT? It’s kinda uncanny too, but SERIOUSLY COOL!

It included a stuffed Okapi – which is the animal you see in the pic. I like Okapis.  Probably because everyone gets them wrong – except for people who work at zoos. I knew what it was as soon as I saw it, but Eric, he never worked at a zoo. Okapis are like when you have one of those last names that no one gets right – even when it seems like it’s spelled pretty simple, but no one ever pronounces it right. I have one of those. It’s the white/black stripes that get mispronounced. Okapis aren’t in the zebra family, but people think zebra-mating went awry and poof – there’s an okapi. Me and the okapis – no one gets our geneology right.

There was even a book in the basket regarding meditation – which you know has been on my mind & in my writing lately – and flower seeds, including one for mallow. Which I’ve been looking for as an already started plant at the nursery and have not been able to find. Never dawned on me to get seeds (so I wasn’t the best horticulture employee…)

Then the topper, because when you’re around on social media, it’s nice to meet the people you tweet with – when I put my raffle ticket in the basket, I got to meet Megan-Kate and her dog Brewner. REALLY NICE LADY!!!  I always like it when you think people are nice and then you actually meet them and it turns out they’re nice. Makes the world so much better. Also, Brewner – true definition of “gentle giant”. Amazingly relaxed in a chaotic environment and much bigger than his twitter photographs. (Some day, Fred. Some day you will be that well behaved.)

JJ put it on twitter this morning that today is Megan-Kate’s birthday, and that everyone should blow up her phone with good wishes. I thought to myself, Cynthia, you could do that – or you could write her a birthday card. When you work hard on something and make it a thoughtful present, it’s a gift to know that the person who was on the receiving end really appreciates the work that you put into it. Megan-Kate, your basket was a very thoughtful present, and it ended up in the hands of someone who really appreciates all the things that went into it. It was a joy to meet you and Brewner. Thank you & I hope you have a great birthday! 

(Also, where’d you get the strawberry licorice?! That is GOOD!)

Monday #2010

Posted: 04/21/2014 in Uncategorized
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Two weeks ago, for whatever bizarre reason, I decided to calculate the number of Mondays I’ve survived. Sometimes I need to put a number on things. Now I can’t not keep counting them.

If each Monday weighed a pound, I’ve survived, literally, a ton of Mondays.

That’s 48,240 hours of Monday.

2,894,400 minutes of Monday.

173,664,000 seconds of Monday. Wait, 173,664,001 seconds…173,664,002 seconds…

Friends, that’ll make ya feel a little old. BUT – it does make one more measly little Monday seem a little easier to get through.

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It’s Easter, and like an Easter morning should be, the sky is blue, the birds are singing and the ground will be dry enough for a muck-free egg hunt later in the morning. I have a couple breakfast casseroles in the fridge. They go in the oven in about 40 minutes before they’ll get carted over to the East side of town – one’s a bacon & egg casserole, the other is an egg & cheese. I’ll make a Greek topping to go on the side of that one. If you like Greek omelets, you’ll LOVE that casserole. I think. I haven’t tried making it that way before, but seriously – how wrong can you go with feta & sun-dried tomatoes dumped on top of anything?

I make the casseroles or the appetizers, sometimes the side dishes. Not the desserts. When I make the desserts, things like this happen:

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Pretty cute, huh? Some little bunny peeps all encircled in an egg-shaped rice krispie treat. A piece of licorice wrapped around the waist with jelly beans to finish off the little bunny-in-a-basket theme.  As someone who sucks at baking, but had been tasked with dessert, I thought these were GENIUS! GENIUS, I tell ya.

Until it occurs to you that the peeps are marshmallow, and marshmallow is the binding agent in rice-krispie treats, and that red licorice wrap looks like blood – and that it’s almost as if the bunny peeps are being melted into the krispie-egg in a bloody medieval Easter massacre.

In case you were wondering, screaming murdered bunny peeps sound kind of like pissed off baby birds once you imagine what they sound like and then you can’t get that out of your head, much less eat the gooey goodness.  But then it’s a rice-krispie treat and that’s one of your favorite things, so you do have to eat just one.

You feel a little guilty about it, but still, you do have to eat one – or two.

Then every Easter, you think the fact that your a peep-bunny murderer while you crave rice-krispie treats.  So you make the casseroles. To keep yourself from murdering more peeps.

Casseroles prevent peep murder. It’s a fact, y’all.

 

 

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Well Friends, Run the Bluegrass is over til next year and after a little break, it’s time to adjust my focus for the Summer on to other endeavors.

In addition to my regular yoga teaching gig, I’ve sent out a few feelers with an idea I have for some other yoga ideas. I have a few more to research and send out. So there’s that. I had a friend reach out to me today about setting up a class at another studio. So there’s that too. And I’m feeling a renewed sense of focus on promoting the yoga business. Figuring out how to make it work.

But to be honest peeps – 2014 has been a MAJOR suckfest so far.

  • My car was totalled and had to be replaced unexpectedly
  • The puppy broke her leg
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  • Then she had to have her “girl” surgery – which while not unexpected, is unpleasant
  • The knee thing – which could just be an irritated “plica” or it could be a torn meniscus (will xray or MRI if the cortisone shot doesn’t work)
  • And also, as part of the knee thing, my kneecap is now tracking completely wrong
  • Woke up 3 weeks ago with an entrapped nerve in my shoulder that has had me in intense pain. It’s better, but I still can’t feel 3 of my fingers very well.

That’s just the highlights. IT HAS BEEN A VERY. SHITTY. SPRING. with a few good things interspersed – like RTB was a good weekend.

And every good thing has had a backhanded dark side. Like when we picked up the dogs from boarding for RTB (a good thing), both dogs had some funky eye gunk and the puppy had a gash in her leg. Or a friend who doesn’t have a car needed me to drop off some spare yoga mats to her for a class she was hosting. I dropped them off, and my car battery died right in front of her house. Since she doesn’t have a car to jump me, I had to call in help from a sick husband. No good deed goes unpunished. Or at least that’s the way its felt lately. It’s like being pecked to death by ducks.

I’m sick of it. Soul sick of it. Heart sick of it. Mind sick of it. SICK. I’m sick of being injured and not being able to do the things I like to do. I’m sick of feeling like I’ve got a dark cloud over my head. Today I woke up feeling sick of feeling sick of it. The Universe has been using me as a punching bag lately, and I was trying to roll with it, but not so much anymore. Sometimes when you keep getting punched – you need to hit back.

YOU PUNCH THE FUCKING UNIVERSE IN THE THROAT. 

You get your head back in the game and you say out loud ‘ENOUGH’.  I AM GOING TO GET HEALTHY. I am going to figure out this knee thing and get my ass to putting in the miles again. I am going to heal this shoulder. I am going to make progress on the yoga business in the direction I want it to go. I am going to start getting some photos together and try to work up a show. The setbacks are going to stop and the ducks are going to find another target.

A few days ago, I started repeating to myself “I am not a fragile creature.” In any given day, I am a force of nature, but I feel like I forgot that for a moment. No more. I am NOT a fragile creature. Where the mind leads, action follows.

Then I started with sending out into the world requests for more yoga work – the kind of work I want, on my terms. I have a plan.

A few little things to mail I’ve been procrastinating on – I knocked that shit out and got it in the mail. Procrastination is bad mojo. It’s like sending the universe a postcard that you don’t really want what you say you want.  No more of that.

Then I went to the kickboxing gym again. I haven’t been there in months and having a bum knee & shoulder makes that a questionable idea at best. But as I said to my favorite trainer there, “when you feel broken, you go back to the last place you felt really strong and you start over“.  I haven’t felt really strong since I haven’t been kickboxing or lifting at that gym the way I need to. At the boxing studio, I feel strong.  And ya know what? It went better than I expected. I finished with 300 straight punches that I didn’t even know I had in me when I walked in the door.  Ya know what else, my knee didn’t bother me ( & with all the pivoting in kickboxing, it should) and my shoulder feels a little better already.

Attitude is important.  My attitude has been gradually falling away from positive and I could feel it. But today, I dialed it right on up to 100% BADASS and the Universe WILL pay attention. I AM NOT A FRAGILE CREATURE.

 

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Another pic from the Run the Bluegrass course. If I remember correctly this sign is harbinger of a nice downhill slope that continues for just a bit. The sign is just before or at the crest, and far enough after the rolling part of the run has started that you realize you’ve started really working. Though not nearly the first downhill on the course, it’s the first one for which you feel truly grateful. The sense of charging the course like a bull starts to temper back and listen to that little voice that says maybe you oughtta pay a little more attention to your pace, you aren’t even at the hardest parts yet, you need to slow down a little and breathe more. Always breathe more.

I have a *thing* about birds and so I like this sign, and I like the birds on the mailbox, and I like that the birds are yellow. I have a *thing* about yellow too.

It feels balmy outside this morning at 60-degrees. And it is raining. Dark.  It smells like Spring rain outside and the picture above comes to mind. It was taken in October, but sometimes rain does a funny thing where it can make an October day smell like March. Being a human barometer, storm systems coming in often give me a headache and I went to bed last night with a doozy of one. Once the rain starts, the headache usually fades, so I am glad that it started raining overnight, and I am glad that my headache is gone though I am still very drowsy and fighting a case of the crankypants. No reason for it. Just woke up that way.

Eric tells me that it will be 30-degrees & snowing before I leave work today.

This has been the most confusing set of seasons I can ever recall.

Last night, I tried doing laps at the track with no jacket or sleeves – some bare skin showing to the sunshine. Today, I put on wool socks and was wishing I hadn’t left my gloves in my car – no time to get them before carpool shows up. The clothing feels too warm right now and I am trying not to sweat before I spend the day in my cube. A girl can’t stink up the joint like that.

The internet connection at the house is moving PAINFULLY slow. A relatively recent development, and I am lucky that Eric already knows what the problem is and it doesn’t seem difficult to fix – or he doesn’t make it sound difficult. I was hoping to get this post up & another thing or two done before my ride shows up, but nothing on my computer is cooperating.

The dogs are still tussling too – when I need them to settle down before Fred goes into her crate for the day. I hate to crate her when she’s in a high-energy phase. It just seems mean. I don’t think I would like that very much if I were in her place.  Between the computer and the dogs and the need for gloves and wool socks, I can feel myself getting irked. Also, I need a haircut.

Wednesday is not. being. cooperative.

It would be a good time to stop and remember to breathe, but there’s no time for that.  Nor will there be any and within another 30 minutes I find myself telling myself to stop looking at an email that has simultaneously irritated me and creeped me the hell out. Impressive. Crankypants doesn’t get creeped out easily. I have a list of tasks – and I tell myself to dive right on in – get the first thing done and I’ll feel better.

Except that those yellow little songbirds are still tugging at me – they have no tolerance for Crankypants. And they were the first thing on my list of things that aren’t on my list which I still want to get done. I want to look at the unwritten list first. The written one will make far more sense after I take care of the unwritten one.

It’s a good time to remember to breathe.

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Another shot from the Run the Bluegrass route. On my drive around the course last Fall, somewhere between Blackstone Farm and the turn onto Redd, it started raining *HARD* and as my wipers struggled to keep up, there was this tobacco barn that caught my attention. The water sheeting over my windshield with that in the view reminded me of an impressionist painting, though I don’t think Monet spent much time painting tobacco barns.

Once again, I’m waking up to the world covered in ice – which is what brought this photo to mind – even though it is rain in the picture, the ice sheets outside look just the same over everything. They are cold and vicious, but somehow still so beautiful.

I have a white-knuckle grip on the idea that at some time today, I WILL get 6 miles done. I NEED to get 6 miles in however they happen, walking, hiking, running – however. This is my mantra. But it’s a side point –

I was in yoga teacher training over the weekend (for the 500-hour program). These weekends we spend 20+ hours in the studio from Friday-Sunday, usually with some new, some review and one specialized topic. LOTS of movement practice and LOTS of meditation. As part of our weekend, our Saturdays start at 8:00am – IN SILENCE. It’s an unspoken agreement that even if you see each other in the parking lot coming in, you don’t speak – we do 25 minutes of Yin practice which is self-guided – and then for the next 50 minutes we “sit Zazen”. The interpretation of this is that we sit as still as we can, in a seated position – facing a wall – for 50 minutes with the idea of achieving a stillness, as much mentally as physically. It’s a discipline. I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners.  On Sundays, we explore different other methods of meditation & breathing, but our Saturdays are dedicated to Zazen. My yogi brain understands the discipline of Zazen and does find a benefit from it most days – but to my runner’s brain –

THIS IS INSANE.

And is as wont to happen in a weekend where you spend 20 hours with the same group of people, a lively discussion about meditation broke out between myself, my Buddhist friend & colleague (who leads the meditation) and another trainee/teacher who struggles with the meditation but is giving it her best shot (as am I, though I don’t really struggle with it beyond the discomfort in my legs that I have to ignore).

First off, I’m going to tell you – and I say this with full love in my heart for their beliefs – if you’ve ever debated a well-versed Buddhist on anything, I feel like I should just give you a hug right now and we should call this post done. Seriously –

THERE NEEDS TO BE A SUPPORT GROUP FOR THAT.

It’s very frustrating to debate with someone who ends with “all these things we do aren’t really meaningful anyway because we’re all dying and that’s okay because we never really existed anyway”. I paraphrase. But you see my point? HOW CAN YOU ARGUE WITH THAT?  So anyway –

There was this discussion which left me with two big ponderances which I’d like to pose to you. I’m posting them on FB & Twitter also in the spirit of gathering a variety of thoughts on the topic –

First – WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MEDITATION? One of the things that has become apparent to me is that there is a gap in understanding about what practitioners of meditation experience or expect to experience from their discipline (a function of expectation) and what others perceive as the purpose of meditation (a function of perception).

Second – DO YOU HAVE TO SIT STILL TO MEDITATE? I’m sure you can guess that this is the bigger hotbed topic.

So, I’m interested in your thoughts. There is no right or wrong answer since meditation is unique to the individual. And I’m still interested in your thoughts even if you don’t meditate – what do you think it’s about? what do you think people who meditate are trying to achieve? I’d love to hear you comments.

Friends, if you follow along on twitter or Facebook, you know it’s been an inconvenient weekend. I’m really focusing and honing in on that word – inconvenient. And I’m going to take a diversionary moment from our regularly scheduled programming  just to talk about a thing.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, I woke up to Eric getting out of bed to let the puppy out. The other dog and I were all snuggled up and warm and I was grateful that he was making the trek with her out to the cold. Especially since I was so dog-tired I hadn’t even heard her fuss.  But then I realized I had to pee anyway – and hurried to get that done before he came back with her. You see, if Fred saw me, she’d get excited and then none of us would get back to sleep. It was some time between 2-3AM. I wanted to get back to sleep. And somewhere in my sleep haze, I thought I heard Eric talking with someone really loud outside – but that couldn’t be right, because who would he be talking too?

When I ventured downstairs, I walked into a darkened room where my outside door was standing wide open. Fred saw me and started running in and out and in a flash, I was creeped the hell out. This wasn’t right. Eric would never leave that door flapping around in the cold/dark and where is he anyway? We live near a University and sometimes bad things happen. Then I recalled the loud talking and thought to myself –

“I think I’m about to find my husband dead on the lawn.  I should probably put some shoes on.” 

Because your brain doesn’t work quite right when you wake up that way. And you really aren’t even awake anyway. But you’re wanting to go confront whatever is going on in the world – get your husband’s back –  in your pjs – but most definitely with shoes on. It’s at that point, I hear the gate and Eric’s voice acknowledging me, and I start breathing again. He tells me that some fool just hit my car and fled the scene. He didn’t see it, but our neighbor did – that’s who he was talking with – and that is probably what woke the puppy up.  *sigh*

Friends, the car is pretty bad. Like, had to be towed away on a flat bed  because it’s undriveable, bad. The past 48 hours have involved 3AM police reports, multiple insurance phone calls (luckily, I have great insurance), multiple car rental phone calls, lots of discussions about our theoretical options depending on whether the adjuster decides the car should be totaled or fixed, a shout out to social media in hopes of finding the mercedes that damaged me (he/she left pieces behind), and so many people telling me how ANGRY I should be.

So here’s the thing – I’m not angry.

Inconvenienced, yes. Frustrated, yes – more by the car rental place than the accident. Disappointed, certainly – that someone would do this and drive off abandoning their responsibility. I have a strong belief about the karma of property damage. Worried that I’m going to have to go car shopping when I really hadn’t planned on that right now – yup. I really, really like my car. It wasn’t a luxury car, but it was still pretty nice, and it was mine and all paid off.

But angry? Not so much.

It’s not because of the earthy, crunchy yoga stereotype thing. I do get angry. Maybe it has a little to do with thinking your husband might be dead for a minute really puts things into perspective. Or that a friend of mine was in an AWFUL accident a few weeks ago and miraculously walked away with bruises/scratches – that tends to lend some perspective as well. But mostly because I don’t think this is the sort of thing to waste my anger on. There are lots of things to be angry about – children being mistreated, the lack of resources/support for our veterans returning home, that people are irresponsible with their animals, etc. Those things deserve anger – in its use as a motivator to take productive action.

Getting angry because my personal vehicle was damaged by a reckless person, and after it was towed away they couldn’t get me a substitute vehicle fast enough to please me does not make me a productive person – it makes me a douche-nozzle. Stomping around, sulking and pouting is not really DOING ANYTHING.  Anger gets confused with productivity. Anger is not productive. It wastes time and energy and makes everyone else around you miserable with you.

I have found a useful tool when I am confronted by situations that would/should make me angry – I ask myself how I want to be remembered when this situation has passed. The only way to be remembered that way is to begin acting in that manner now – and I let that guide me. I do not want to be remembered by my husband as an angry person who sulked and shouted into the phone all weekend. I want to be the person who took care of the details, got the ball rolling on fixing the problem and then used the small amount of time we get together to enjoy myself. I choose not to be the angry person. I choose to be the productive person. I choose to be the grateful person.  Wait. Grateful?

Grateful. I am lucky.  First, and most importantly, as far as I know – no one was hurt. I assume the driver of the other car was not because they were well enough to drive away.  I am grateful that this happened while the car was parked without Eric or I or the dogs anywhere near it. Next, I can afford to have my own car – among other things. I have insurance, and we have a second vehicle. When phone calls got frustrating – we took a break to go out to eat, and then we went to the grocery store and re-stocked all our supplies. Because that needed done and we can do that. There are MANY, MANY people that cannot say any of those things. I am VERY grateful for my privilege and my good health that lets me commit to hard work to provide for my home. Eric & I are not wealthy people, but we have more than we need.

Do I forfeit my right or ability to be upset about this crappy thing happening because I have worked hard and can afford these things? No. I don’t believe that. Again, I’m frustrated and sad. I really thought reaching out to the 1000+ connections that we hit via social media that we’d yield some fruit on tracking down the car that did this – but nothing so far. I’m a little steamed that it was a mercedes that hit me and drove off  – which even used was probably worth a lot more than my car. But I do believe it’s better for me to spend my time acknowledging that this will pass, and that when it is over, I do not want to be the angry person. 

I am not angry. I am inconvenienced. That is different. It’s important to know the difference.

It is 4:37am and I have come to realize I am out of coffee. Well – *almost* out of coffee.

And I have concocted some – thing – to drink in it’s stead out of the few precious remaining coffee grounds, and other ingredients.

It is NOT. GOOD.

*shudder*

I have had to chase ONE of my slippers up and down the stairs twice already.

And found myself standing out in the side yard – in only one slipper and my bathrobe – asking a whirring ball of fur – ‘have you peed yet?’ – repeatedly.

Friends, I think Wednesday is mad at me. And it’s my turn to drive carpool to the office.

Got 3 posts sitting  in draft to get y’all up to speed with the latelies –  but need a bit more caffeine in my world first.

And I should probably find my slipper.

It is last Wednesday. I was sore, basically from head to toe. I smelled very bad. And as I settled my tired, grumpy ass into a bar stool at the Mexican restaurant where I have met Eric, I ordered a SMALL Negro Modelo and the chicken tacos when what I really want is covered in melted cheese and salty sauce with loads of rice. I want a beer as big as my head to pair next to it.

I had just finished 6.7 miles of semi-rolling hills and pushed myself pretty damn hard through the entire route. I am proud of this run. I did my work. A pack I am normally behind, I had stayed in the midst of or even a block in front of for most of this run. But now I hurt. That deep bone, achy kind of hurt where my core is tense and my body tries to tell me I’m almost 40. I tell it “what-the-fuck-ever”. Because I’m grumpy. I cuss more when I’m grumpy. Did I mention that I’m sore?

*sigh*

“Change Day” has sucked.  It has been almost carb-less (except for the small beer & soft taco shells). It has tasted like salads without cheese or creamy dressing. Smaller portions. My stomach actually growled at one point because I was timing my meals. (First world problem, fo’ sho!) Ugh. Then, there was this run when all I wanted to do on getting home from work was sit on the couch. But nope – off to running group. Because the whole point of “Change Day” is not doing anything fun or yummy not doing the things that make me fat. It’s choosing chicken tacos instead of cheesy enchiladas and getting my ass out running instead of collapsing on the couch.

It’s about telling yourself to stop being lazy. Making easy, lazy choices. It’s day one of your kick-in-the-fat-pants realization that you’ve been slacking, a rut is looming and that if you don’t snap out of it, you’re going to get stuck in it.

“Change Day” is all Susannah’s fault.

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This face – not so innocent as it looks!

Susannah is one of my fellow ambassadors – and it’s her that I was out running with when I realized a Change Day REALLY NEEDED TO HAPPEN. As part of the weekend in Lexington, and for the fun of watching us groan with hangovers, Eric & Rachel have organized a run the morning AFTER our distillery tours. The plan laid out in front of us is 7-miles on the Run the Bluegrass course. Unfortunately, my hangover says 4-miles is a better choice.

Or at least I wish it was just my hangover. That’s easy enough to fix.

After going out a little too fast on the first 3/4 miles (@10:10), Susannah & I slow it down together and decide to let the rest of the pack move along ahead of us.  It’s a good chance to get to know her. If I’m being perfectly honest, when we first got settled into our little group, I wasn’t so sure about her. You see, Susannah is Southern. And though I’m raised Ohio nice, I was born Chicago badass. Everyone born in Chicago secretly feels like they’ve got a little Capone in their veins. It’s why we have a reputation for taking no crap. However, a little secret about Chicago badass DNA – the only thing that scares the hell out of it…Southern women. Shhhh! A Southern woman walks into a room and we want to jump up on a stool and shriek like we just saw a mouse. We have no idea what to do with y’all.  Exactly how does one respond to “Kiss my grits!”?

No really, I need to know. I always thought that was just some made up thing on a TV show, but they really do say that! I heard it!

So Susannah, I’m trying to figure her out and getting a whole lot of nowhere. Are we going to be friends? Are we going to be stinky-side-eye-ers? It’s unclear. It’s not until drinks on the tour bus are being passed and I watch Susannah keep passing them right on past her that my head really cocks to one side and I get even more confused. Does she not drink? ‘Cause I’m okay with that if she doesn’t – but then where are all the solo cups going? All those other people seem to have cups and yet, I’m still passing cups of booze* to her…she is like the black hole of yellow solo cups. Then, IT comes out. Double-insulated with a big orange ‘T’ for Tennessee Volunteers – Susannah brought her own cup on the tour party bus – her own REALLY BIG cup! It’s then that I know.

She and I – we’re gonna get along just fine.

What I still don’t know – where all the solo cups went. Seriously Susannah, where did all the cups go?!

It’s over getting to know Susannah on this run, talking horses and scenery and injuries and life,  that it becomes apparent to me that I haven’t been doing my work. I feel fat and sluggish. That is NOT easy to fix. And of course because Susannah is running with me when I figure this out, it’s all her fault. Running Rule #1:  Run is sucking? It’s  your running buddy’s fault.

Wait, what? That’s not your rule #1. Hmmm. You should try it. It’s a good rule.

The route is just as hard as I remember it. I end up introducing Susannah to 3:1 Galloways.  We finish around 5.5 miles because I didn’t pay attention when I reset my watch for the intervals, but the overage justified walking a gratuitous portion at the end and I feel like I’ve been beaten up. Susannah must have been pounding on me a little when I wasn’t looking. You know how those Southern women are.

Friends, it has been a REALLY FUN Summer. In that way that fun means lots of beers and ballpark food, grill outs, the patio at Oakley Pub. I have been eating like crap! I’ve been skipping runs to go do other fun things.  When I have been running, I’ve been chilling out – enjoying it – hanging back. Nothing wrong with that at all except that I’ve let go of most of the speed gains I worked so hard for last year. I’ve been putting in my work sporadically and then wondering why I’ve got niggling aches and pains and things aren’t going the way I want to during harder routes.

The Run the Bluegrass route is a reality check. It’s time to get a plan. The eating needs cleaned up. There will be no kissing any cheesy grits. The weight-training, it must come back. My body loves it even if it feels like a punishment to my soul sometimes. I do like being able to do a solid set of push-ups. There need to be working runs in addition to fun runs – speedwork, hill repeats. Consistent work with the trainer and at the boxing studio to anchor in the heavy core work. And Yoga, of course. There is always time for yoga.

Most importantly, my head has got to get back in the game. I’ve been mentally lolly-gagging. Time to re-focus. While I work on getting the plan details worked out, there’s Change Day. Good choices do not need to wait on a solid plan. You just start making them. This is last Wednesday –  the day that all the crap going in my mouth and all the crappy excuses coming out of my mouth STOP. The day 6.7 miles of HARD work gets done. And the day that kicks off my doing better, working harder.

Thank you Susannah.

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*sometimes not booze. I swear she’s not a lush.