Nobody cares if you're not a good dancer. Just get up and dance. The same holds true for racing. Whether first or last, we all cross that same finish line. Just get out there and run.
- Dean Karnazes

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time To Blog Again & Get Some Stuff Off My Chest

I've been in California for a few months now, and it's time to get back to blogging because I know you're all dying to know what I have to say. Oh yeah, did you notice the name change? I figured this name was a lot more fitting. Also, have you “liked” my FB page? If not, here’s a link for you.

So, a Facebook friend shared a link from a 13.1 sticker hater. Have you seen this article? Alright, so this person thinks that putting a 13.1 sticker on your car makes a “big, arrogant butthole”; I’ll be honest, I am going to own my butthole status. For me, the 13.1 emblazoned everything is not to brag but it’s completely for me. It’s a reminder that there was a time when the thought of finishing any race was laughable, a time when I didn’t think that I was capable of even completing a feat like half marathon. Am I proud of my half marathon finishes? Absolutely, who wouldn’t be, my feet have covered the 13.1 race distance nine times. There’s going to be a day that my body will not let me do anything like that anymore but the pride of knowing that I have done some pretty badass things will last a lifetime. So, to the author of the article, the stickers aren’t about you, shocking, I know, you’ll get over it.

In the words of Miss Taylor Swift, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Awesome and By The Way, I'm Fat Too

So, the internet has been abuzz over this little Facebook post shared by various outlets, and a lot of people called the post inspirational and awesome and full of unicorns and rainbow farts. You get where I'm going with this is. Then, The Anti-Jared posted this rebuttal, which I originally really liked but the more I read it the more I saw some hateful things written in there too. Now, you lucky readers get my take on the whole debacle. So, grab a beverage of your choice (mine is the teavana mint tea from Starbucks in case you were curious), and get comfortable.

I got the general message behind the original post, I really do, but I personally find that people can be a little condescending when it comes to cheering on the fat folks running or working out. It may be my own issues, but my blog, my views, and that's just how I feel about this. I know that many people are coming from a genuine place, and it's easy to differentiate the assholes from the genuinely awesome people; I'm not a total hateful ass wipe. This post felt a little back handed to me, and as a general rule, you probably shouldn't try to pretend you know what a person is thinking. When I am running, there are all kinds of things going through my head but I can assure you that my weight is one of the last things I think about. I am usually thinking about not dying, not getting swept during a race, sparkly unicorns, how I am never signing up for a race again, then minutes later, I am thinking about the next million races I want to do. The point being, that you don't get to pretend to know what I am thinking, unless you know me, then you know about the unicorns and what not. Another thing, is that you don't know my story, it's just as simple as that. I have been on a roller coaster ride with my weight for sometime and working on making a better life for myself and my family for some years.

So, the general idea that I want to get across is that I only want your encouragement because I'm AWESOME, not because I am fat. Seriously, I have done some pretty kick ass things in the last few years, and I have more incredible things to come. I sometimes have a hard time seeing all the things that I have accomplished, and again, that's my issue. Back to the point, I am not looking for a pity cheer or a pity high five, you can keep those. What I do love and try to give everyone is a genuine show of support because we are awesome and because we are doing awesome things. If you see me at a race, cheer for me because this is my ___th race, not because I am fat and bringing up the tail end. Give me a high five because you know that I am out there doing what some people think is impossible. Respect me because I have finished NINE half marathons, and countless other races, not because I am fat and doing it. Yes, I am fat, and I may always be fat, but I am pretty freaking awesome too! Go out there and be awesome too!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Give Kids The World Tour and Run GKTW Team Dinner

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Let me start off by telling you that I will not be posting pictures of the Village. Let me explain, I promise I have some pretty good reasons.  I have flip flopped about posting pictures of the Village but I have decided not to because if any future visitors find this blog, I would prefer that they be surprised by this incredible place, plus, I think that any pictures that I may have taken would not do the Village justice.

The Friday before the Enchanted 10K, we had our volunteer opportunity and team dinner at Give Kids The World. GKTW had a bus pick up the crew who wanted to volunteer before the dinner, and for the majority of us, it would be the first time we would be meeting after months of conversing online. It was interesting to hear everyone's story and why they chose to run for GKTW, some were GKTW alumni, some knew someone or had a family member who had visited GKTW, others wanted to raise money for a wonderful charity while having the ability to run as well, there were even two teenage girls who were running their first half marathon and wanted to raise money while they were at it. Quick side note, I wish I had started at their age before my body started revolting every time I do something quasi active.

As soon as I stepped off the bus, I knew the place was something very special and I wish I had the words to adequately describe it. It's not just the aesthetics of the Village, it's the people, the atmosphere at GKTW that is magical, and it's easy to see that incredible things are happening there.

We were put to work at the Village, helping to stuff pillows that are given to the Wish kids as part of a little ceremony. I don't mean to brag but my group totally killed it with the pillow stuffing, our pillows are extra magical. While there, the team got to know each other a little better, shared some stories and some laughs. One of the employees at GKTW showed us some LARGE binders they have made of the thank you letters that the children and families have written to the Gift Fairy, who leaves gifts daily, not just for the Wish child but for their siblings too. It may have made me well up just a little.

From our volunteering, we moved on to our team dinner where we were welcomed by Mayor Clayton and Ms. Merry. The dinner was followed by the awards, an event that was moving; the team consisted of some pretty incredible people. One of our team members (a GKTW alum family member) was actually on both of the inaugural Run GKTW teams, he originally raised $6000 for the Marathon weekend in January, then he proceeded to raise another $3000 in the span of 8 days, so he could be a part of the Princess weekend. It was hard not to be inspired by not just my fellow team mates but the atmosphere on the Avenue of Angels before the Pirates and Princess party. Before we were sent off on our tour of the Village, we had to partake in a tradition of dancing the "Cupid Shuffle", it's hard not to smile when you're doing the "Cupid Shuffle"....true story.

This good looking group is the Princess Weekend team! I'm in the back row as per usual.

The parts of the Village which we were fortunate enough to see, were incredible. When I tell you that this place is magic, I promise you that I am not exaggerating. Just about anything a kid would want to do is available to them, think fishing, mini golf, a little arcade, playground and the list goes on.

Lots of tears were shed, before during and after the visit, and it was great to experience what makes Give Kids The World such a special place, and such a great charity to fundraise for.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Darn You Paleo!

Five weeks ago, I started a challenge at Crossfit called "The Game". This was a points based game where you would earn points for eating 100% paleo everyday, exercising at least 10 minutes a day, drinking half of your body weight in ounces everyday, doing at least 10 minutes of mobility a day, sleeping at least seven hours a night, taking fish oil supplements daily, and finally communicating with your team and one opponent per day. So, if you have been reading my ramblings for a long time, you might remember that I love these types of competitions. The only difference is that this time, I made a very concerted effort to not go to crazy town, I don't mean to toot my own horn but for those of you have seen me do these competitions know that this is HUGE. I did NOT become the Mayor of Crazy Town!!! As much as I love getting insanely competitive, the side of me that comes out is not a pretty one and not one that I want my family to deal with again.

Photo source 

Now about "The Game", it started with a baseline WOD was a 15 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) which consisted of a 200m run, 10 burpees, 20 ab mat sit ups and 30 squats.  The day of the baseline I got 2 rounds, and 27 reps (the run does not count towards the rep count). It wasn't great but it was a starting point, and we all have to start somewhere. I love AMRAP workouts because I am guaranteed to not be the last person finished, a huge feat in my world.

We then had to eat 100% paleo for 5 weeks, accruing fines and losing points for any infractions. What this means no grains, sugar, dairy, legumes and no happiness. The first few days of the challenge were tough, I am sure that the headaches and discomfort I felt were unreal; detoxing from sugar and junk was a LOT harder than I thought it would be. Needless to say, for the first week or so, I was a ray of freaking sunshine, and a total joy to be around. I also may or may not have cried when I drank my first cup of black coffee, I'm telling you the detoxing was ROUGH. I obviously survived, so it wasn't all gloom and doom, and as soon as I started feeling better, the plan was a lot easier to get through. I'll be honest, it was tough at first because it required more planning than I cared for but after a while, it became part of daily life. Things like going out to lunch with friends have required a little more planning but it has all been fairly workable. The biggest obstacle was planning for the trip to Disney for the Princess Half Marathon weekend, but even that was workable. I only went off plan a few times, and even then it wasn't all awful. Plus, darn it if I didn't feel great after the initial crappy sugar detox. I think that feeling as well as I did was a surprise because I was sort of hoping that I wouldn't feel as well as I have been and that I could just write off the paleo lifestyle. Damn it paleo, you proved me wrong!

So, the challenge is now over and my team didn't win, but it's not the end of the world, although I sulked like a baby on Friday night. I didn't go to Crazy Town during the challenge but I still suck at losing and to be honest I was disappointed in myself a little for not having done better overall. I will say that when we did "The Game" WOD, I did manage to get a complete 3 rounds and finished on the run portion, and that is less than a week after the 19.3 mile Glass Slipper Challenge. After the WOD, I had promised to take Bella to eat pizza, because she's had to eat paleo-ish through out this challenge. I'll be honest, because my team lost and I was being a whiney baby, I ate way more pizza than necessary on Friday night, and it made me feel like crap. That crappy feeling did not stop me from eating crap on Saturday too, and now, I am feeling like garbage. It's like a hangover without the alcohol consumption, this is NO FUN at all. I guess there is something to this paleo lifestyle, and I'll be sticking with it because I like the way I feel on it. The only thing I need to work on now, is keeping my portions under control, because sadly, you cannot eat all the things all of the time. DARN YOU PALEO!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's The Final Countdown!

Nothing says it quite as poignantly as the hit "The Final Countdown", it is less than a week until I go to Disney World and complete the Glass Slipper Challenge. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it, but I am also a little nervous but I am usually a little nervous before my half marathons. I know I will finish and be fine, but I can't help but be just a little nervous, 19.3 miles over two days is nothing to scoff at. More importantly, I want to make sure that I make the rest of the Give Kids The World team (aka- The Dots) proud. Now to drink another glass of water and get to bed, the only problem is that this is kind of how I am feeling....

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Things You Learn While Fundraising

If somehow you happened to miss that I was doing some fundraising, I have been raising money for Give Kids The World. They are a wish-fulfilling retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The children and their families are treated a weeklong, fantasy vacations in Central Florida, complete with accommodations in the Village's whimsical villas, transportation, attraction tickets, meals and much more, all of this is at no cost to the families. It allows the families to spend precious time together, and the children a chance to smile, laugh and forget about doctors and hospitals. 

I am running the Glass Slipper challenge at the Disney Princess Half Marathon for Give Kids The World. My goal was to raise $3000 for this incredible organization so that they can keep fulfilling the wishes of these deserving children and their families. When I signed up, I did it because a friend and fellow blogger stayed at the village during her daughter's Wish trip. I also was fortunate enough to meet the incredible Bartlinski family on my last visit to Disney World, who shared the story of their beautiful angel Teresa and whom had stayed at the Village for Teresa's Wish trip. I wanted to help Give Kids The World fulfill the wishes of more deserving children. Little did I know that fundraising would teach me a whole lot more. 

Things I learned while fundraising (in bullet points because I like those things)

  • Let's start with the obvious, fundraising is HARD WORK. I knew it would be difficult but had no idea just how much would go into raising every single dollar. 
  • I learned a lot about Give Kids The World, their history, their work and about some of the families who have stayed at GKTW. 
  • I will definitely be taking the family to volunteer on future visits to Disney World. 
  • Running is often a selfish endeavor, and running for Give Kids The World really does make the miles mean a whole lot more. 
  • It served as a reminder that everyone you meet has a story and some are carrying worries, pains and sadness you may never know about. 
  • It also served as a reminder that the world does not revolve around me and my problems.
  • Not every fundraiser is going to pan out the way you planned, case in point, my gift wrapping fundraiser. I sat at Books-A-Million for hours and only raised $14, it was disappointing and heart breaking.
  • Not every person you know will donate to your cause, I know this seems obvious but somehow this one surprised me. 
  • To expand on the previous point, not everyone you know will care or understand about the charity you are fundraising for. Again, seems obvious but it too surprised me, I guess I am really naive. 
  • All that said, some people will really surprise you in both good and bad ways. People who you would never in a million years expect to help you out, and people who you were sure would help, simply don't. 
  • I learned about putting myself out there, asking for help with fundraising was definitely out of my comfort zone.
  • If you choose to fundraise, it's important to make it known. Get ready to share your story with everyone, even the lady in front of you in line at the checkout.
  • I wasn't even kidding about the checkout lady, I really did tell a lady at the supermarket. 
  • Most importantly, I learned about the impact that Give Kids The World has on the children and families who stay there. An impact goes beyond the week they spend at the Village. Check out the story GMA did on Give Kids The World, and watch the videos (don't forget your tissues in case you are allergic to feelings like I am). GMA Give Kids The World Story.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Thought Running Was Supposed To Improve Your Mood

So, I was in a bit of a mood today and feeling sort of disappointed in some people in my life, and I had some miles on my schedule for today. It made sense to go and "run it out", it doesn't always make everything better but it usually helps. Today, NOT SO MUCH! The more I ran, the angrier I got. I was angry at the people who disappointed me, I was angry at myself for being hung up on it, and a little angry that my knee was giving me a little trouble (I hurt it on Monday being less than graceful at CrossFit). This pretty much sums up how I felt after the run....

Don't worry, it's not all gloom and doom. I did have an incredible time teaching my Zumba class tonight, and I finally got my endorphin fix. I managed to "dance it out", thank goodness!

By the way, tomorrow I'll post about my newest adventures into Crazy Town! I missed that place, and it missed me.
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