Tasty Kake is th Fat Mans Crack Dealer

Since I have crossed over to the side of the (almost) skinny bitch, I have discovered many inherent evils. I will admit my guilty pleasure is International Delights creamer. It takes up near all the calorie budget of my daily breakfast. Oh sure, I could give it up and drink black coffee but I don’t smoke or drink so…yea, its my vice.

However. I am being hounded by the man. I have discovered why there is such an obesity problem in this country. It’s not Little Debbie or Sara Lee. No, its not even Hershey’s, Mars, or M&M’s. I can even tell you it’s not super sized, over fried, fast food. No. Tasty Kake is this country’s demon. With 700 calorie iced honey buns, it is way too easy to eat a whole days calorie intake in one sitting. Every single one of their carefully made snacks are juat what the brand says.

Dollar general sells these tiny snack cakes called “candy cakes.” Two of these heaven in a confections are 190 calories. And guess what? They are the size of a freaking half dollar! Who only eats two!? Oh. Sure. Tease yourself and have just two. The rest will call you like evil trolls under the bridge. What’s worse, by the time you down the fourth one,  you are ready to upchuck from calorie, sugar, and flavor overload.

I say we boycott the man and never buy Tasty Kake again. Yea, right. You would have a revolt of the masses huh? Remember the epidemic the whole Blue Bell fiasco caused? I’m just here to plant the seed of an idea, my friend. How you take and run with it is your business.

**Micaa sits in the corner…rocking….fighting, until tomorrow so she can eat her last two candy cakes….while they rattle in the box and giggle at her maniacally…**   h…e…l…p.

What do YOU think?

The trees spoke to me today

I have been delirious with fever since Wednesday. I swear if I cough one more time, my head will explode. As I check my temperature and it remains steady at 102.5, I sit up to write this.

This afternoon,  I went out to the driveway. I had been sleeping more in the past two days then I probably do in a week. I needed air. It was all I could do to meander to the corner of the house and collapse at the edge of the driveway.  Typically, I will cross my arms, lean on the house and count the cars that ride by. Today was different. Fighting a fever makes you cold natured despite the 70 degree weather outside.

I pulled my arms into my shirt and instead glared at the junkyard in the woods across the street. Alternating between that and watching three ants become confused every time the wind blew, I heard something.

Often I will see Cal with a content look on his face, gazing happily into the blowing leaves of the trees. This is his thing and I never tried to understand. Today I did. Every time I turned away, they would become louder. They were telling me to listen.  For a moment, despite my fever… I was at peace.

What do YOU think?

The Breaking of the Beam

Stephen King had it right.

In the writing of the Dark Tower Series, he foretold of the destruction of man via people using their minds to break the beams that hold our worlds together. He wrote about a group of people in a desolate wasteland who went to “work” every day by gathering in a room and concentrating on one thing or another all the while their mental activity is chipping away at reality and causing the erosion of society. This story started in the machinations of this author’s mind long ago.

Translate that into today’s world, this is exactly what is happening. While you sit there, staring into the device that you are using to read this blog post, you are using your mental faculties to chip away at the beam of reality. All the while, the world around you is falling into chaos and disarray. You sit there, for hours on end, focusing on this little gadget. From an uninformed, third party, point of view, it appears that you are just staring at an inanimate object. The world forgotten. Like abandoned homes and buildings, the more attention you pay to the gadget in your hand, the more cracked, disregarded, and uninhabited your life becomes. We, as a society, are essentially breaking the beams to our own realities and letting technology take over. In the stories I mentioned here, there is a mechanical being that controls a thing or two. In our life, it is the cell phones and the computers and tablets that are taking over.The Positronics of the modern age.

It is not to say that this can be reversed. It can. It truly can. However, it is going to take more than one voice to make it so. Even as I sit here and write to you about the startling reality that is going on around us, I am feeding into the chaos and disarray as I compose my message to you.

For all the naysayers that disagree, I urge you to ponder this: How hard is it for you to leave your gadget alone for 24 hours. What about 48 hours? Three days?  It is nearly impossible for anyone to admit that they can do this without worrying about what they are missing or what they are going to come back to.

Tell me, what do YOU think?

#transformationTuesday: Evolution

Ever just sat back and reflected upon how far you have come and how much different of a person you are today compared to a year ago? Sometimes the stories can be amazing.  They can make you happy, cry, or even confused. Mine is all of those emotions wrapped up in a cozy tortilla. Here is my #transformationTuesday: Evolution story. I know I am early but I am EXCITED to tell my story. After all, it will be a year on, yes, Tuesday 04.26.2016.

Last year, I found myself in the most miserable of places. The only happiness I could find was in a plate of food. I was a flavor hog and I constantly was shovelling in every thing that tasted good. Short lived, flavor only lasts until you lick the plate clean. Then it is gone. Not a happy or healthy way to live. I was lazy. I barely had any clothes that fit. My family didn’t want to be seen with me and (thankfully) there were not many pictures of me. To be honest, I just remember existing. The winds of change were blowing. I just didn’t know it yet.

Those winds began to blow when the treadmill was moved from the livingroom to the bedroom. Now, the reasoning for the move was Cal had rearranged the livingroom and it made sense to just move it out of the way. I was not a big fan of the full length mirror so, putting the treadmill folded up, in front of it was no problem. No problem at all. After that, there were other indoor projects that were being done. Most were done while I was working. The house looked great. Somewhere, in the midst of all that productive activity, a picture was taken. That picture had the treadmill in the background. The same day I found that horrid picture, someone called me a fat, disgusting, bitch and told me my family was miserable with me AND that I should just kill myself. Well folks, that was my breaking point.

I opened up the treadmill and I started walking. It was April 26, 2015. I announced to our wellness manager at work that I needed to turn over a new leaf and get healthy. In our wellness community at work, people were full of advice and suggestions. I read each and every one. I was 208+ a size 18 and hated myself more than I ever have in my life. Out of all the support, I chose a few suggestions and moved forward. I didn’t want to look back. I downloaded MyFitnessPal and set some easy goals and I started walking. I didn’ t make any drastic changes. I wanted to start and keep good habits. I learned a lot the first few months. I don’t have to eat to be happy. It felt better to walk when I was upset.  I learned some things with less calories taste just as good as an entire bag of cookies. Those things were more filling and I ate less of them. I learned that lazy days suck and I feel bad if I missed a day of walking. I was starting to feel better and clothes we not shrinking anymore.

The wellness community started a points challenge. I participated, worked hard, and came in 5th place. Not only had I included physical activity and curbed an enormous empty calorie intake, I unconsciously made other changes that were not so hard. I started drinking more water. I added Pilates to my daily routine. I found a plethora of ways to eat fruits and veggies that were filling and yummy. The most amazing part?? My family was supporting me and pushed me when they noticed I missed a workout or grabbed a soda instead of water. By August, I had lost almost thirty pounds and was fitting into a size 14. To celebrate, we took a trip to New York City and walked our azzes off! It was amazing! It was great! My family was not ashamed of me. We took pictures. I had the time of my life.

I started trying to run a few minutes every walk after that trip. I began to consciously make healthier meals and could turn down candy, chips, and other junk to the shock of my husband. In January, I decided to participate in my first 5k. I had 3 months to get ready. The rules were to finish in one hour. My goal was to complete in 45 minutes. After all, I could powerwalk 3.1 miles in 50 minutes. Challenge accepted. March 5, 2016…race day. To my delight, Cal ran it with me. I must say, he is pretty sexy sporting a pair of running pants. Ah, but I digress. Guess what? We ran across the finish line, hand in hand, at 39 minutes 42 seconds. Yessss! We plan on running another in October.

Recently, I have been adding weight lifting workouts to change up a bit from Pilates. I just recently reached a 4% weight loss goal by joining a dietbet and winning! Finally, this morning, I added a body sculpting workout app so I can rotate the three types of workouts throughout the week. In the health world, there are “macros” in your diet and I have started keeping up with that. So many changes evolved me into a happier, healthier, more fit person than I was a year ago.

I am now at 170. I wear a size 10. My initial goal was to lose sixty pounds in a year. I made it past the halfway point of that goal so I am not a failure. My new goal is to have abs for the first time in my life and to lose about 25-30 more. I can do it. I have proven myself already. Yes. The treadmill still remains open.

Keep at it, folks. You can do it. If I could…you can!

What do YOU think??

Book excerpt: Anastasia’s Diaries (language warning)

I am well on my way to getting as close as possible to the way I want to look. I have always had self-esteem issues but, for the first time in my life, I am almost okay with what I see in the mirror. Almost. Still, there are more days than not where I scream at my relfection and demand to know “Why it is not perfect? Who is this ragmuffin looking back at me? Why is it not better? Why can I not be rail thin fast enough and why….why did you ever let things get like this?” Of course there is no answer. It’s a reflection. A passing image that is fleeting  and…temporary?

Today is one of those days. I had a bad (calorie) day yesterday. My reward? Well, it’s nearly noon and I am proud to say I have yet to eat breakfast and I am not dying to eat. Small victories.

While sitting here playing my phone puzzles, I had come to an understanding. (I guess my puzzle games are not as mind numbing as I would like…ah, but I digress.) For some reason, I started thinking about skinny bitches in magazines. They all look so happy. So beautiful. So thin. So perfect. I then thought about random stories where young girls would loose their chit because they could never match up to the magazine standard. Their frustrations so raw that it is murderous. Sad. Really. But not. I feel that. Not so much at the magazine standard. But the pretty…seemingly perfect….skinny bitch that walked right past you. The skinny blitch everyone loves. Popular, makes good money, is happy, has it all. Even the fleeting glance from your own eyes wishing you could feel that good about yourself and look the part too.

I know there will always be people who look better than me. Prettier. Skinnier. Happier. I still want to trip those people. Skin up your perfect knees blitch. Thia way, a random stranger thinks you were on your knees for other, not so perfect things. Come here. I wanna scratch your face so I can be better than you. Leave my mark so you will remember us common folk. Make you…not so perfect…not so beautiful.

Eh. We all have dreams. Until then. I will be satisfied at screaming at my imperfect reflection and finding some new mind numbing puzzle game to make me forget. To forget the rage I feel inside. To keep it locked up. Away from the perfectly, imperfect world.

Butter Fried Chicken

Today is the first day of quite an unexpected vacation. I didn’t realize I had vacation time to use and had to schedule it before April or lose it. Well. Thanks to my amazing supervisor, it all came together at the last minute. Here is what happened before 11:30 am this morning. Oh. And I will get to butter fried chicken in a minute.

I started the day with Cal awake before the kids. Made me happy because he is not normally awake before sunrise. If he is, it generally means he has yet to go to sleep. So, he got the kids awake and ready with me. I was looking forward to this morning because it meant I was going to be able to walk Numba 8 to the bus stop. This is one of the little things I miss so much now that I start work the second he walks out the door. This made my whole day. It’s the little things that matter. I am glad I am able to do things like this with the kids. While it may not seem much, it means more to the kids than parents often realize. It was a good feeling to wave him goodbye to start his day. I think it started both of our days off right. Cal’s too, because he always goes with us. He wants to make sure we are safe and that is important. Cal is a good man. A loving husband and father that is always watching out for his family. I love him so much.

After the sun came up, Cal went to work and I went and did an hour at the local community center. I swear that place always needs volunteers. After that, it was feeling marvellous outside and I decided to take the dogs for a walk. Initially, I was going to take our usual route. At the last minute, I changed my mind and headed off toward the beach. Puppy had never seen the ocean and I wanted to walk up the beach at least once during this week. Now was as good as ever.

After the mile trek there, we made a vee line to the water. With it being spring, there were quite a few people on the sand despite the fact it was a tad chilly for frolicking in the waste of the city. … … … Uh…did I say that out loud?? I meant the surf. So we walked south all the way to the inlet. About twoish miles.  Along the way I noted people looking for shells, discussing interesting rocks, making sand castles, and getting excited over spotting dolpins out in the ocean. Yes. Pure joy as the dolphins broke water in between the pier and the oily, smoky, machinery laying underground pipes to send the city runoff further out to sea. Side note here: if you look at an arial view of our coastline, the water from the beach to about a half mile out is brownish. Mind you, it has not always been this way. All that vomit color is decades of runoff from our city streets. Fertilizer and chemicals from our lawns, dog waste, oil and gas from leaky cars, chemical decomposition of garbage, and even a few drunk pissings or two all come together and are directed to the sea. Yet we still run to places like this and play in it. I think of all this as I pass under the fishing pier and pass the dolphin watching family jump up and down with excitement. Yay. Yay. Don’t forget when you can no longer see BLUE ocean from your lovely spot there, visitor. I see you ignore steely, polluted progress in your glee. Ignorant. I used to be that way.

Coming out on the other side of the pier, me and my pack continue our walk. The puppy seems to handle this new environment well. I stop. For one fleeting moment I felt calm. I had a moment of “Oh. I love the beach. It feels great to be here and to be able to walk along the sandy shore.” After that moment I felt sick. Disgusted at how I could have ever loved a place such as this. Sure, the sound of the ocean is amazing. But this place. This here. It has put a fear into me that will never leave. We have a very high rate for human trafficking here. How could I have ever believed that it was okay to raise children here. Grey hairs have begun to frame my face because every time one of our children walk out the front door, if Cal or I is not with them, they are in danger. And this is the beloved beach? The water is forever polluted. Over the past few years, I have not been able to put my feet in the surf or risk swelling up like a tic. Doctor says its an allergy to ocean water. No. Its allergy to pollution.

I still am in search of the place where the ground will not vibrate under my feet. Ah, but I digress…

Where is the beloved beach. Its made a chicken out of me. Scared of people. Scared of processed foods. Scared of the ocean. Here I am in the south. Here I am; disgusted and afraid. I am still me. I am still real. Butter. Butter is real. Ah, yes. That’s me. Butter fried chicken. My thought as I stare off into the murky water of the city’s main inlet to the ocean. Ick.

Come on dogs. Let’s go home. We about face. Thinking the same thoughts in reverse as we make our way back up the beach to rest after our walk.

Heh. Butter fried chicken. That’s me.

What do YOU think?

Your Phone Was Made By Slaves: A Primer on the Secret Economy

On the new triangle trade, and the surprising connection between modern slavery and ecological disaster.

Source: Your Phone Was Made By Slaves: A Primer on the Secret Economy

Modern Rules Promote Selective Breeding

As a child, I remember being told that I could grow up to be anything I wanted to be. Like a great majority of people in this world, the life I live now is certainly not one that I would tout as what I envisioned my life to be as a 7 year old growing up in a Seattle suburb. Still, the message we give to our very young children is the same. Maybe it is worded differently but still the underlying theme remains. “You can be anything you want to be, you just have to work hard and get an education!” As our children get older, and wiser, they are reminded that they have to get a college education and have to maintain a good citizen persona. While that may not have been the case when my generation was young, it is something that is required to make your mark in this country and possibly, the world. To further confuse the children, we have instilled this “feel good” mentality that cushions them from the horrors of real life. Making mistakes is not acceptable. If you do, the consequences follow you until your deathbed. I have also noticed it is also who you know. More of a caste system instead of a democracy. There is all this talk about racial equality and avoidance of discrimination. However, it begins when we add on the “so long as you gets…” and “so long as you do’s…”This, ultimately, is where the selection process begins.

Not only does this selection process begin with a mistake, it can have lasting ramifications on other members of your family. In a family with more than one child, the impressions of the younger children are based upon former experiences with the older children. Not only does this happen in schools, it happens in the community as well. If an older child was known for their carelessness and callous behavior, it is expected of the children coming after them. Those within the same family are believed to behave in the same manner. After all, are we not all a product of our environment? I would like to think that people are their own persons and are not directly influenced by the behavior of an older sibling. Especially if that sibling is known for making mistakes. Parent’s who are keen on this concept spend years undoing “damage” done by an older child who chose a path that went against society just to ensure that the younger child (who wants to take a different lifestyle) can become accepted and attempt to gain the respect of the people in the community and the staff of the schools and organizations that they wish to belong in. Further, it is a lesson the younger child has to learn. They need to know that they will be constantly compared to the “troublemaker sibling” and they have to take a multitude of extra steps just to prove they are not like their sister or brother. Even for the child who comes along after a doctor or lawyer, if that child wishes to work in a fast food establishment for their career, they have to show that they are not the same person as their lucrative sibling and should not be compared to them. Sadly, this is the way it is.

Further, if this child  happens to be the child who makes a mistake, they are marked for life because of that mistake. They can go to great lengths to get a criminal record sealed or expunged, but if there is that one thing, even if they were truly innocent, it will haunt them for the rest of their lives. They can move, or never get into trouble again. Still, 20 or 30 years from now, they will face a lifetime of disappointment and regret because of it. Further, if the trouble is something that is not directly related to a specific thing, it will have unintended consequences.

Let me get to the point here.

Humans have babies. The babies grow and end up going to school. In our feel good era, there is a great demand for 100% participation in the school life of the children by the parents. Constantly, letters are sent home stating that “it is our goal to have 100% parent participation this year, your child’s success depends on it!” However, you have to go through a background check in order to be present on school grounds or participate in an activity with your child. Should you have one black mark on your record from 20 years ago, you are out of luck. The teachers are only told that you are not allowed to be there and they create their own uninformed opinion of what it must be like to live in your home as you are a criminal. The few that are allowed to participate are given “cards” to show that they have been selected and are “good people.” Those children who are without their parents on Parents Breakfast Day are often chastised by the other children and have to be told by their parents that “Mommy or Daddy can’t make it, I am so sorry.”  Not only does this create a rift in the relationship with the child and his peers, it creates unnecessary resentment between the child and his parents. The parent may have took a car for a joyride when they were in college. However, because of that one discretion, they have a felony charge on their record and are marked for life. This mistake has nothing to do with their skills as a parent no does it make them a danger to be around the children. Now, if it was something as serious as a murder charge then, yes, I understand not wanting that person to be around a class of thirty children on a field trip. However, a felony is a felony and nobody cares what it was or the circumstances surrounding it.

Not only does this create bad feelings for the child and the parent. It marks the child. Now they are known as the child of a criminal and are treated differently by the staff and are marked as someone who will amount to nothing. Not only has this made it more difficult for the child to achieve their dreams of being a “somebody.” It has likely crushed it because teachers do favors for children they know will prosper. They form biased opinions on things outside of grades and effort and instill this feel good mentality into the children and any child who does not conform and learn to become a sheeple is written off and harassed in a manner that makes them not want to succeed but to quit the race altogether.

Any child who is perceived as abrasive against the normally of society is considered a threat and every attempt is made to extinguish their flame. That flame that was lit not so long ago with the phrase “You can be whatever you want to be.” The awe of the world and the bright look in their eyes eventually becomes clouded over as they blend into the fabric of a society that says it appreciates differences but still experts everyone to be the same.

No, I am not saying to go out and rob a bank. I am just saying that the expectations of our country have greyed and the American Dream is merely some faded words that were written in a textbook by someone who wants to protect others feelings and leaves out details that are shocking or hurtful. What ever happened to telling the story like it is? What ever happened to saying “no” sometimes? Whatever happened to you have to try harder to get an award on awards day next time around? Get up, shake it off, and put a bandage on it. I’ll tell you what happened. We wrap them up in bubble wrap and don’t let them experience their bumps and bruises on their own. Let a child fall off a bike and scrape their face on the sidewalk. The parent suffers because they are abusing their child for letting them live. The child learns nothing but how to live in a bubble.

Wonder how so many American’s get missing when they go hiking up the Appalachian Trail or travel to a third world country? Because of lack of experience and growing up in a feel good world where the select few, who adhere to the grey normalcy of society are running the show.

Whatever. Maybe you deserve to go missing. At least I know I will not be one of the first to go should the world decide to start over and technology fails us all. Here is what I have to say about that:

TAKE A SALT TABLET!

Myrtle Beach Marathon: My Bojangles 5K Experience

Friday, March 4, 2016 was one of the longest, most exhilarating days of the year so far. Per my usual, I had to work that day. However, it was also the day that Cal and I ran our first ever 5K marathon. Mind you, I was all hyped about it back in October when I decided to run it. Cal had said he would too. I was apprehensive about that but I figured he would be able to. After all, he was an athlete in high school. It was a while back but not THAT many years ago.

Ah, but I digress. When I woke up before my alarm, I went to let the dogs out in the cold, biting rain. It was only 4:30 in the morning. I had checked the weather the night before and it was only a ten percent chance of rain for the day. Still, hopeful, I asked for a greater power to not let it rain during the race. After going about my normal morning routine, I went to work. I was afforded a longer lunch  after working my butt off trying to get in as many hours as I could. Cal and I used that time to get some new running shoes and a nifty pair of running pants for Cal. He opted for the fashionable “Oh My Quad” statement down the leg. He refused to try them on prior to getting ready so, I patiently waited. I must say, he looked pretty sexy in his running pants and marathon shirt!

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I promptly clocked out at 4PM EST and went about getting ready for the evening. Start time for the race was at 7PM sharp. From 4 to 6, I swear it was the longest 2 hours of my life! I was full of anxiety and excitement. This was something I had never done before and if you told me at 208 pounds, this time last year, that I was going to be doing this, I would have laughed at you. Six PM came, and we got in the car and left. I anticipated many people already at the starting gate as we lived less than 2 miles away. Also, they were wrapping up the kids one mile Fun Run prior to our race. We parked our car at the halfway point. There was not anywhere to park at the finish line because it was blocked off. We decided it was a good warmup to walk along the path of the race from the car to the starting line. With the temperature being close to 50 (on the lower side,) it was nice to get the blood warmed up on the way to the start. There were people everywhere. At my last check, there were 957 people registered to run the 5K. That may not seem like much. When you SEE that many people and their families and cheer leaders, it is a whole different feel.

We arrived at the starting area at about 6:35. It was cold. It was getting dark. Darkness meant we didn’t have the advantage of the sun to keep the temperature up. Time was drawing nearer. I didn’t know what to expect. I watched the people around me. There were people jogging around, jumping, stretching, and others were just standing there, trying to be warm. Cal and I opted to do some stretching and just movement to keep warm. Personally, I didn’t want to burn off any more energy than necessary and I still wanted to prevent injury by stretching out. Too many times had I just jumped out of bed and hopped on ole Tready to my disadvantage. When an exercise fanatic tells you to stretch, it is for good reason! Trust me.  I noticed people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. There were some who were obvious career runners. Still, there were others that I remember thinking “Wow, will they be able to keep up with ME?” There was even a little old man who looked to be about 70. I was beginning to feel better about my own situation. You see, in January, I was training nearly every day and could do the 5K distance running and walking in about 47 minutes. I know that it is different on a treadmill and my personal goal was 1. to complete the thing and 2. to get in in under 15 minutes. The rules say you have to complete it in under an hour to be considered a finisher. 45 minutes meant I could walk/run and still average about 13-15 minutes per mile. No sweat! Right?

At about ten minutes to start, there were 4 guys who came out waving signs. These were the pace runners. Cal and I had discussed it. We didn’t want to be at the very back nor did we want to be so far up in the pack that we were discouraged by people passing us. We opted to stand just behind the 11 minute pacer. There were many people behind us. In my estimation at least 150. I felt we had chosen a great starting point. I began to listen to the excited conversation around me. Some were asking questions and hypothesizing about how it was going to be. Like me, I assumed this was their first run. One lady was sick and was hoping just to make it to the end without vomiting. Others were talking about past experiences.  Yet others, who had ran before, were asking how this particular race was done. Was that the starting line? What is the route? (Here I thought, “Well JEEZ lady! The stupid map was ONLINE!” I am from Indiana! Where are you from? How long is this race? The conversations were everywhere but you could feel the excitement in the air. I was fiddling with my phone at 6:59 trying to get my runners app started and failed to hear the start. I only knew we had started as the masses around me began to move forward in a sluggish, fluid motion. One lady standing near me had already mentioned that it was going to be slow to start.

Quickly, I clicked my phone off and began the walk like jog that I was going to use to pace myself. Cal was right by my side. To begin with, it was slow enough so we could talk. We discussed other runners, that the coolness wasn’t so bad, how great it was that there was a small decline at the start and how it would be cool if the whole thing was like that. It was nice to share this experience with the love of my life. In the first 3 minutes of that run, I was proud of Cal and glad that he wanted to be here with me. I wanted to hug him and show him my grateful face. That made me want to push on. I made a mental note to keep that thought filed away for when it began to get hard for me.

While running, every now and then, my phone would talk to me. I had successfully started my runners app and it gave me periodic updates as the race wore on. The first updated I received was at the 5 minute mark. To my surprise, I had ran the first full five minutes of the race. On ole Tready, I was lucky to get in 3 minutes before I had to slow back down to a walk. Anything beyond that was HARD. I slowed down to a speed walk shortly after the update to catch my breath. At this point there were people I could keep my eye on and try to stay a few paces ahead of them. Unfortunately, the 11 minute pacer guy was long out of my site. Cal was still right there with me. Here I was mentally kicking myself in the buns because I had slacked off in my training at the end of January and picked up some bad habits again. I had become lazy. In the days prior to the race, I was fearful I would fail in my goal. But here I was, running, with the man of my dreams. At this point, I still wanted to finish in under 45 minutes. However, just finishing would work for me. Cal had not trained at all. I wanted to run the whole thing with him by my side, but I knew he would be close. Whether it be in front of me or behind me, we would not be too far apart.

I told him I had to run.

I received my 2nd update at 1.05 miles and my pace was 12minutes 51 seconds. Not bad. Not bad at all. He waved me on and said he would catch me. He did. A few yards after that, I took off again. This time, I was focused and I was pacing myself. I had figured out a handful of people that I wanted to stay ahead of. In my mind, this would enable me to finish the race and NOT be the last one in. Somehow in all of that focus, Cal must have been pretty focused too. He passed me and neither of us even knew it! It was my turn to pass him and I blew a raspberry in his direction. He later caught up to me and asked me where in the world did I come from? In our focus, we missed passing each other on that second mile. We giggled about it and trekked on. We talked about the things we noticed about the other runners as we came up on the end of the 2nd mile. There was one man we thought to be struggling that both of us happened to notice. He was sweaty, and breathing like a stalker. He was just chugging along.

Later, in one of my singular times, I happened upon the lady with the stomach bug. She was talking to her friend and they were wondering how far they had come. My third update came in at 1.94 miles with my pace at 12 minutes 56 seconds. Apparently, I had slowed a bit. I told the stomach bug lady she just hit 2 miles and that made her happy and she sped up a bit. I passed them and came out of the circle that took me to the last leg of the race. The home stretch. Cal had caught up to me again and we had found that little old man. He was about 5’4″ had on ear buds and a look of determination. While it looked like he was walk running, he just zipped on by a whole bunch of is. I told Cal “Look at him go! I want to be like him when I grow up!” Cal just laughed at me. On the last leg, we passed an ambulance, were allowed to run through one of the most busiest intersections in the city (the same one where our station wagon was totaled by a van, a few years back,) and turned into the ball field. They had the entrance to the ball field corralled. I felt like a cow going to slaughter when in there. It was lit up so bright. I said aloud “Run to the light!”

In the corrals, we passed Mr. Stalker breather. It was the last few yards of the race. As we passed him, Cal and I gave him some encouragement that was greeted with a smile. As we rounded the last of the corrals and heading into the official finish area, Cal grabbed my hand and we ran under the finish line in less than 40 minutes. That was the sweetest thing every. My heart nearly exploded because I was so loved! I not only had my own personal cheer person! He was right there WITH me and not on the sidelines like so many others had. He didn’t run this to run it. He ran this to support me in the most intimate and personal way possible. To do it by my side. He later told me that he didn’t want me to face this experience alone that he wanted to be a part of it with me. Folks, THAT is what marriage is all about! I was proud of him as I watched the digital finishing clock as we ran underneath it. There were still people behind us. Lots of them. We finished the race.

I couldn’t believe it.

We not only made it in under 45 minutes, we did it in under 40!  AND TOGETHER!

What a great feeling that was. I am still reeling from it. After we received our finishers medals, we went to the statistics kiosk. On the way there, we happened upon Mr. 70. I told Cal I had to have my picture taken with him. I ran up to the old guy and asked if I could have my picture taken with him as he inspired me. He told me his name was Dave and obliged. He even asked for one on his phone. 🙂

All in all, it was a great experience. I am reeling from achieving and surpassing my goals. I am exceptionally proud of Cal for doing the same. He was great for sticking in there with me and I know he is just as proud of his own achievement as I am mine. Here are our unofficial finishing stats that we received from the Kiosk.

Me                 Cal

Division Rank:  463                   462

Gender Rank:     233                   230

Div Age Rank:      34                    24

Race time:          35:51.5               35.51.2   (<—-THIS only happened because they scanned his number first then mine. I am still a little salty about that. I am now known as “slow poke.” It is in all good fun. I can take a little jab about it here and there. We know what happened.)

Checking on the official numbers this morning; of the 999 participants, 848 finished. Wow. There were people who didn’t finish and lots of people who finished long after we had reached our car. I don’t feel so bad. I plan on running another 5k in the future. It was pretty fun. There is one in October, not sure about that yet. We will see. We will see…

What do YOU think?

 

 

Morning Motivation

I wrote this for work. It is outside my normal writing for work but it applied just the same. I found it to be something that is truly…me.

Standing in front of the mirror this morning, motivation gone, I began pondering what exactly it is that motivates me to get up and fight that horrible traffic at 4 a.m. six days a week. Luckily, I had gotten far as getting dressed and brushing my teeth. Once you hit a certain point in your working career, some things come automatic. Or do they? What keeps us going every day and what is it that really makes us get up and live the day to its fullest. Is the adage, Carpe Diem really about seizing the day or is it the motivation behind it what makes everything worth going for?

In our careers, work becomes work when it is no longer something you love. You have to make a change or things will become dry, monotonous, excessively stale. Don’t get me wrong, a little stale never hurt anyone. It is that staleness that some people have that makes them function in society that is impatient with the flightiness of finding joy in a squirrel bouncing from tree to tree. Everyone needs stale sometimes. It allows them to breathe. What happens beyond that welcome breath is what’s important. Embrace the stale and move on. Even if it something as mundane as taking a different commute to work. Let me explain. Personally, I have a routine which I go through every single morning. Same old, same old. It’s nothing fancy however, when there is an interruption in that routine, I tend to get grouchy. This is especially true before coffee (aka B.C.) This is not to say that it ruins my day but I find comfort in the staleness of my mornings.

Today, I decided to live a little.

Actually, I don’t believe it to be a choice I consciously made, it just happened and I am having a better day because of it. I sat down and watched thirty minutes of a movie I had never seen before. The TV was on when I woke and it was already playing. I became interested and came to my senses thirty minutes later and had to rush about to get my day started. No, I didn’t finish the movie but it was exhilarating to do something different for a change. While the rest of my day involves work and what I do for a living, that small change this morning gave me motivation and a fresh look on the day. Yes, this is not a normal blurb from this page. But, it is insight into the mind of a WAH Professional. All too often, those of us who work from home find ourselves recluse, riddled with bad habits, and with the feeling of a hamster in its wheel. We have to make a conscious effort to break out of the mundane and make life happen for us. This can be a downside of working from home but, it does not have to be.

For those of you trying to live the “Carpe Diem” and to break out of the mundane, here are some tips to aid you in making a small change in your day to get things going with even a slight fresh perspective. Event he smallest of things, can make all the difference. Who is going to judge you if you decide to wear a three piece suit to work and you work at home. Just one time wearing something like that can give you the confidence boost you need. Back to the tips. Here we go:

1. Ignore the snooze button. No, I don’t mean to keep on sleeping. Those who use the snooze button often have several alarms set to ensure they get motivated. Why not live life on the edge and get up the FIRST time? It could make the difference in your day. Who knows, you may end up being less tired because of it.

2. Find something to look forward to later in the day. Even if it is getting your usual Starbucks coffee or walking out to the end of the driveway for the paper. If you are looking forward to it, it can motivate you to get up and going. If you are like me, even looking forward to work is enough.

3. Music is your friend. I know many people who listen to music while they get ready. I have observed a family member once, they feel more confident in their appearance when they are jamming to their favorite tunes while they are getting ready for their day. Compared to non music days, they are so much more chipper as they start out the day. This can set the tone for a good day!

4. Drink water. I find that I do better throughout the day if I drink at least one 8 oz glass of water before I do anything first thing in the morning. I eat better, I feel better, and I tend to make better eating choices. Water has so many benefits and it is good for you. Why not start the day out right?

5. Feeling mundane?  Set a daily list of goals for you to accomplish before you go to bed. While you may not get all of them done, there is a sense of accomplishment in knowing that you have checked some, if not most (or all,) of them off before you end the day. This goes hand in hand with giving you something to look forward to. Seize the day, folks. Seize the day.

These things can translate in becoming motivated for your work day or job search as well. I will probably go back to the same old, same old tomorrow. Who knows, I may even try something as little as drinking coffee out of my favorite tea glass. Now THAT is living on the edge!

What do YOU think?

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