Savannah Follow Friday I

This “Follow Friday” was pretty hard. There are a ton of really cool people in Savannah. Runners, creatives, professionals, hosts, and everything in between can be found in the beautiful Lowcountry. Because I live here, I am blessed to know a lot of them.

So, I have decided this will be “Part I” of who knows how many Savannah Follow Fridays there will be.

FF

And, I appreciate that everyone doesn’t love “the Twitter.” I do. But I will make sure you can find these folks in other places. Fair enough? Great!

Jillian Stafford (JillyStaff) on TwitterJillian Stafford (@JillyStaff) I am truly in love with my life. But, if there was another life I could experience, Jill’s would be up there. Strong, passionate, sensitive, creative – awesome in all the ways I am not. Jill brings a whole lot of cool to Savannah. Mother of Savannah Tweet Up, (@savtweetup), Jill is the life of the party, the calmer of spirits, the encourager of souls, and the creator of influence.

Sandy Traub (sandytraub) on TwitterSandy Traub (@SandyTraub) If you need to know anything about, from, going on, happening around Savannah, just ask Sandy. A sister in the love of pink, this lady never fails to recognize a call for help, connection, or interest. Founder and CMO of Spatior Storyline Marketing, Sandy is everything that is right about social media, marketing, and telling a story.

Eat It and Like It (eatitandlikeit) on TwitterEat It and Like It (@eatitandlikeit) There is a lot great about Savannah. Our food is one of them. Jesse Blanco, helps keep all of us on top of the yums around town. “Some people see our show as a guide to local restaurants in Savannah. Others see it as a must have foodie resource. Some use it for recipes. What we are actually (in our view) is simple. Something different than you see on all the cooking/travel shows out there.”

Connect Savannah (ConnectSavannah) on TwitterConnect Savannah (@ConnectSavannah) Coolest newsprint in Savannah. This weekly publication offers a fresh perspective to all things Savannah. They also happen to run More Than Miles every other week (which makes me a bit biased, but hey, whatever). If you needed any other motivation, they also have best writer in town, Jessica Lebos (@TypeItLoud) (okay, she is my friend, yes, BUT that is NOT biased – chica ROCKS!).

Gnate The Gnat (gnatethegnat) on TwitterGnate the Gnat (@GnatetheGnat) More than a mascot, Gnate is a Savannah Icon! The face of  Your Savannah Sand Gnats (@GnatsBaseball), Gnate makes all other varieties of noseeums more bearable.  Gnate has so much cool that he even makes me forget that the Sand Gnats MLB team is not the Atlanta Braves (no, I do not feel compelled to acknowledge the actual team – I love Gnate, that’s gonna have to be enough). Do you have any idea how much cool THAT takes???

Visit Savannah (VisitSavannah) on TwitterVisit Savannah (@VisitSavannah) Don’t let the “Official Convention and Visitors Bureau” tag fool you. They do not mean “official” like cream colored walls, navy pants suit, high rolled bun official. All day, every day, all over the Savannah Lowcounty area, this is the one stop source of what is going on. Not finding what you need to know? Tweet them. They answer back and they are ALWAYS RIGHT!!

 

That is NOT what I said

**From the archives ~ originally published April 27, 2011

Life in the home has been complicated by this tank top.

Ok, maybe not this EXACT tank top…but I own one a lot like it.

Ok, maybe it isn’t just this tank top…

Maybe it is this innocent looking creature…

MorganDo not let her fool you…her ways are not for the faint of heart. At 4, she is good, real good. I can only imagine where we are going to find ourselves

Example ~

Morgan: Momma, can we have macaroni and cheese for dinner?
Me: No baby, I am making mashed potatoes.
Morgan: (utter outburst of screams and tears) You mean you are never going to feed me ever again?!?!

Umm…not what I said…

Example ~

Me: Morgan, please take your thumb out of your mouth.
Morgan: But Momma, my body says I have to…
Me: Morgan, I know it is a hard habit to break, but you are gonna mess up your teeth.
Morgan: (another outburst as in previous example) You mean you are gonna knock my teeth out and cut my thumb off!?!

Ummm…no?

And finally (but not only) ~ The Tank Top ~

Daycare: April, I hate to bother you but Morgan says you have a shirt that upsets her. She is in tears.
Me: Really, I can’t imagine what that could be.
Daycare: Well, I don’t believe you own a shirt that says that.
Me: Says what?
Daycare: Well, Morgan says you own a shirt that says (wait for it….)
“I hate my daughter”

Ummm…no….again….thanks….

Sunday Set Up, Going Big, and “Turn Around Tuesday”

My MySpace Profile Picture. Seriously.

So I bought a book…and it is a good one. And I debated whether or not to even share it with you. Not because of you, but more because of me. The title is very, very telling. And sometimes being very telling is a bit scary. But I jump ahead of myself. Let me do this in order and I will be as quick as I can…

I started blogging on MySpace. Yes, MySpace. Then on April 3, 2007, I started a little newsletter called “Turn Around Tuesday.” Later that same year, I converted aprilgroves.com from a static, then traditional site, to WordPress. (Don’t bother going there….it will just bring you back here.)

I love to write.

I also love to pay the bills.

But don’t get worried and fly away. I am not morphing all our conversations in “ShamWow” dailies. Stay with me.

In July 2007, I moved the little newsletter to Constant Contact. One of the best decisions I ever made, by the way. Here is the text from that Turn Around Tuesday.

“The highest courage is to dare to appear to be what one is”
– John Lancaster Spalding
Bishop (1840-1916)

Transparency. In today’s world, this item is becoming more and more important. With the soaring popularity of Web 2.0 interactions such as MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn, it is possible for people to become whom ever they choose – and we would be none the wiser.

It can be tempting to assume a persona that is not truly our own. Many times, we feel under equipped, over shadowed, and unappreciated. In order to move around these feelings, our voice becomes unauthentic.

However, this manner of practice seldom works and never lasts long. The good news is, you don’t need it all. Your family, friends, associates, and clients deal with you because they trust and depend on you. This is a huge responsibility and requires dedication and hard work. Don’t make it harder by attempting to upkeep a facade.

The uniqueness of ourselves is the thing that makes us wonderful. The display of that is a step on the road to greatness!

41AX4HYVGOL._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_I still believe that. So I am telling you about the book I bought.

As many of you know, I have a day job that I love. I also moonlight as a writer. I love that as well. I would like to do more of it. I am doing more of it. I hope you will hang out with me and let me know what you think.

So, back to the book. Create You Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino talks about leveraging blogs, networks, and your life to become a more successful writer. Even as long as I have been involved in writing and blogging, this book has me looking at it different.

So, we are going big and not even thinking about going home. But remember, no “ShamWow”. Seriously. And I need your help.

tumblr_m2qf8vUiqT1rttse6o1_400I am doing a few things…

  • Many of the product links will be affiliate. That will not change my honesty. If you think something I bought will work for you, please consider clicking through here.
  • I am hoping to guest blog on other sites and you will soon see some guests here. If there is somebody you would like to see in the TTSW feed, let me know!
  • I am relaunching Turn Around Tuesday. We will see how that fits into my current life. It may get a name and/or format change. Who knows? But your feedback is appreciated.
  • There is a giveaway this week!! Hoping to do more of those too!

And I am certain there is more stuff going on…but quite frankly, that is enough for this one thought. I need a long run now (but that will have to wait for my trip to the chiropractor!)

 

**PhotoCredit

BroTips
Diana Daley

Fitness Follow Friday

These are a few of my favorite things

I used to do a pretty neat Follow Friday. Now I know that #FF is Twitter of old and I hardly see it anymore. But I think that is more because folks did it in a wildly unsexy way. Just a litnay of “you need to”s with very little thought or information. It began to feel shallow…we hate shallow.

So let’s talk about @aprilgroves Follow Friday favorites in a semi deep way…

Lowcountry Ultras

This follow is the exception to the “this list is in no particular order” rule. @LCUltra is ALWAYS at the top of my list. The community and culture provided by this ultra running organization has been, for me, life changing. Overstated? No. Two years ago I started running. A year and a half ago I met @LCUltras and volunteered at an event. Eight months ago, I became an Ultra Runner. Four weeks ago I ran 50 miles. Life. Changing.

Madeline

I love it when Twitter meets “in real life.” The Army gave @foodfitandfam to me recently and I am amazingly grateful for her. She keeps me encouraged about a good many things. If I had known her when I was a younger women, new wife, and new mommy, I would be a better person today. She is a level headed encouragement and a wealth of practical information.

Meat Free Athlete

When I cut out animal products in November, it was an unexpected change. I was training for my first ultra event and recovering from an injury. I began to devour sources of information on how to move through this life change in a way that was supportable in my training. @MeatFreeAthlete is an awesome resource for all things vegan in a way that helped me to learn how to become a plant powered athlete.

Fleet Feet Savannah

This is my local nod. @FleetFeetSavGA is more than just a supporter of the local running community – they are propellers as well. This organization’s effect on the growth and expansion of the availability of races in our beautiful city cannot be overstated. They have some pretty kick ass runner staff too.

Rich Roll

richroll (richroll) on TwitterThis guy blows my brain regularly. He moved my thinking from systems and control to intrinsic and self aware. Recovering addict and recovering attorney, @richroll took a chance on his life and is living his dream. He won me over the day he talked about struggle to live his life on his terms. Where would the car repair bill from? What would his family do? What if it didn’t work? But he reminded me that we never make decisions out of fear. Oh, and his plant based fitness stuff is pretty awesome too!

Lindsay L., RD

This registered dietitian’s blog is a giant resource. Fun and fresh, @LeanGrnBeanBlog has a little bit of everything. Her weekly “Bean Bytes” is a go to for me. Every Monday you can find a great round up of the latest and the greatest around the web. From recipes to inspiration, workouts to slow downs, it’s all there.

Check them out, tell me what you think, and feel free to suggest the next round for next week!

 

 

Cross Contamination

Mar2013ChauhanOne of my favorite laundry folding techniques is to watched Chopped during the process. I really don’t mind the mounds of laundry my family produces if I get to watch Ted Allen dole out judgments on amazingly random basket ingredients. Let Maneet Chauhan or Geoffrey Zakarian be on the panel that day – so much the better.

While watching this particular episode, a chef nicked her finger. Nothing major, only a little, yet constant, blood. She attempted, then removed, the bandage. She said it hindered her ability to work. She then proceeded to hand toss her salad.

I knew the judges weren’t going to eat that. Regardless of how delicious it looked, regardless that most of the basket ingredients were in that salad, regardless that the rest of the plate suggested the salad was a masterpiece…they were not going to eat it. It had been contaminated.

She got chopped.

Let me go on record as saying that I truly appreciate passionate, engaged, and principled people. Too many in our society have checked out and fail to require resources that allow them to make informed decisions.

That being said, many are hand tossing salads with bloody fingers.

This is not a new thing – correlating unrelated topics as if they somehow had some type of obvious symbiotic relationship when they actually do not.

But it smacked me in the head the other day while listening to Rich Roll’s podcast (still one of my favorites, by the way).

Rich’s guest was nutritionist and dietitian Andy Bellatti MS, RD. The topic, more or less, was real food and the education that is lacking in the nutrition industry. What I heard Andy say, among a host of other brilliant ideas, was that a major hindrance to the education movement was the inability of differing groups to come together as a conglomerate to flex some collective power (total paraphrase).

I see this all the time. Ethical vegans have issues with dietary vegans who blast the paleos who insist the veggies have small brains. Vegetarians are perceived as fence riders who are really more or less glorified hipsters who just discovered that PBR is, in fact, one of the best beers ever. GMO Labelers assume capitalists could care less about the plight and breastfeeders swear that formula moms are intentionally killing their children. And let’s not even start on the vaccination fronts.

Separate-2Coca Cola has none of these problems. Neither does Duncan Hines. Or McDonald’s.

Andy is on to something. Rich agrees. So do I.

And then Rich mentions gun legislation. Huh? That’s weird. But, years in the Navy has taught me message filtering so, whatever. But then he does it again. Andy seems to not notice. But I notice. And I am betting a bunch of other folks did too. The topic has just gained the characteristic that everyone just agreed was killing the message to begin with – cross contaminated.

Then there is an excellent post promoting the currently hot “Strong is the new Skinny” mantra. The post is fresh, irreverent, and all the things I love about passionate writing. And then she decided to calls particular politicians “stupid twit.” Cross contaminated.

Today I was introduced to some amazingly informative videos about corporate tactics in the food industry. I also learned that most of the problems are caused by the brainwashing perpetrated by the right wing. In addition, if the nanny state was what we needed, then that probably wasn’t a terrible thing – government involvement wasn’t all bad.

Nevermind this is the same government that makes formula feeding more lucrative than breast feeding, mandates government control of childhood vaccinations, creates the black market for raw milk, and a host of other ideas that usually produce ire.

Completely cross contaminated.

The definition of communication includes this beautiful nugget

a technique for expressing ideas effectively

We are not communicating effectively when we cross contaminate. We are not, I dare say, communicating at all.

Let’s take this and see if I can make up some fictitious examples

Food labeling is imperative in our society. Knowing where food comes from and whether or not the food we are buying is genetically modified is a consumer right and should be required by the food manufacturers. We don’t believe in killing our children in the womb. Shouldn’t we be informed on how we are caring for them once they are out.

Sugary drinks are a detriment to the health of our nation. They cause a myriad of health problems and produce increase health costs. You are smart enough to protect your home with a firearm from unwelcome intruders. Doesn’t it make sense to protect it from artificial sweeteners?

Yeah, it doesn’t sound any better the last dozen or so times I have heard it done either.

You now know that I have a love for Chopped and a distaste for contamination. I intentionally did not discuss my thoughts on vaccination, raw milk, babies, abortion, guns, or sugar. I can do that in a whole other blog post. Or a different video. Or podcast. Or article.

Please, allow me to introduce myself and assure you I am not alone. I am self educated and self aware. I am free thinking and ever growing. I am not lumpable. I agree with a variety of people on a variety of things. I disagree with some of those same people on different things. I want to learn so that I can become a better steward. I want to understand differing ideas so that I do not become arrogant and close minded. But if my greens are continually tossed with bloody fingers, I simply cannot consume it and we both lose.

 

**Picture Credits

Why I Run…

For whatever reason, this question has come up a few times in the last couple of weeks from a couple of different angles.

Masumi, a runner who blows my brain on a regular basis, seems to be his usual contemplative self.

Why do you run?….was curious….three reasons why you run please in no specific order….I’ll comment on mine later….no doubt we all have some of the same reasons….and also some contrast….carpe diem

Then there is Carey, owner and Ultimate Badass Warrior of Daughtry ATA Martial Arts.

I have a lot of FB friends who run. I don’t see what is so great about running… it seems boring and tedious to me… (then again, I like to punch and kick stuff) but there has to be more to it for so many of you to do it. So, I’d love to know why you enjoy it, why you do it…? I’ll tag as many as I can recall, but I know there are more of you… I’d love to take a look into your world… because you have me curious. Would you please share? 😀

Did you notice that little smiley thing at the end? She put that there because she just knows she talked smack about my sport. Which I love. And then tagged me in the post. But I will overlook it because she really doesn’t mean it. And I love her. And she can kick my ass.

The answer is kinda hard and it took me a while to chew through it. Truth is, I still don’t think I have the answer yet. More specifically, I don’t think I will ever have the answer. It, unlike the finish line, is a constantly moving, sentient being with its own existence. Sounds a little woowoo, I know. Distance running is a little woowoo.

I started running because it was the simplest thing I could do. Upright? Check! Ready? Check! Go? Check! That’s all it takes. If anyone tells you any different, they are selling something. Or trying to squash something. Or trying to pretend to be something.

I have, at the moment of this writing, narrowed it down to three things as requested by Masumi. And no, they are not three things I mentioned in response to his original facebook post

  1. Shoes
  2. Beer
  3. Zombies

Not necessarily in that order…while important…however, of course I jest.

I run for…Runner’s Ass

Seriously. This is a condition that directly counteracts another condition known as “I was born a long time ago and I have a ton kids” Ass. I was working on the latter. I prefer the former.

In all seriousness (even though I said “seriously” just now when I was being less than serious), running reminds me that my body wants to be strong. Whether it is or not is a choice I make. Daily. My body wants to be healthy, capable, prepared, ready. My body wants to channel Gus from that Kevin Costner baseball movie. Not Bull Durham – the other one.

The boys are all here for you. We’ll back you up, we’ll be there, because, Billy, we don’t stink right now. We’re the best team in baseball, right now, right this minute, because of you. You’re the reason. We’re not gonna screw that up. We’re gonna be awesome for you right now. Just throw.

So I just run.

I run for…Runner’s Spirit

This is not to be confused with its sister condition, Runner’s Brain. I wanted to clarify this distinction as many folks outside of the running community – especially outside of the ultra running community – regularly doubt the idea that we have one. Throw in the fact that you are training for a 50 miler, in Beaufort, in July – all doubt ceases.

There is something about running distance. Something about working your body that hard for that long. Something about being alone with yourself in that state for extended, regular periods of time.

It is damn near impossible not to eventually have the “Am I a good person?” question come up in your head. Any runner who says different…well, I think that’s just not likely.

This question is usually accompanied by…am I good enough… am I strong enough…have I earned it…was I wrong…did I do it right…can I do it again…interestingly enough, the subject of these questions are hardly ever about running.

If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.
~Chris McDougall, Born to Run

I run for…Runner’s Family

This trait is multifaceted.

First, there is the DNA family. Few things are cooler than watching your husband beam with pride when he tells your last race story. Or your 6 year old finishing her first 5k and the 15 year old her first mud run. Or your rockstar sister calling asking for running advice. Or your Pops considering it for himself. Or your sister in law showing more heart and determination than she thought she was ever capable of. Seeing these things and knowing you had a small hand is rewarding to say the least.

Then there are the support folks. The poster board makers, the crowd cheerers, the road liners. There are the aid station folks. God bless the aid station folks. Being able to see unselfish behavior that strives to do nothing more than raise up and support the ability of another. Yeah, that’s living.

Then there is my mileage family. Those folks that will get up at dark to go with, bring the Fizz when you forgot, cry with you when you are injured, console you when you are down, kick your ass when it is time to get back up, drive for hours just to race with you, wait at the finish line to cheer you on when they themselves are so tired they just want a bath. I believe being around greatness is a key to being a better person…these folks make me a better person.

So, for today…I am going to go for a run…and that’s kinda why.

Post Script ~ before the baseball gods descend on my calves during my run, yes, I know that the movie is called For the Love of the Game. It is, in fact, one of my all time favorite movies. But that didn’t feel nearly as funny…

My Fairy GodPops

I’ve been thinking for a while about moving the old posts from My Beautiful Chaos over here to kind of consolidate my writing. Not because the two purposes are the same – they aren’t. But I am so disorganized in this regard that there is no one real place I keep everything I have written (stupid, I know).

But if you are friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen that my Pop’s 60th birthday was yesterday. That’s kind of a cool day. Then, in a completely unrelated circumstance, San Diego Keller Williams Realtor Jeff Kayle posted this ~

Real men know how to sew.

And, well, the signs don’t get any clearer than that…from April 2007, here is what I had to say.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I absolutely love getting dressed up and going out. However, as you can imagine, with four kids, it happens very rarely (read “never”). There is that time when the stars are aligned and the moon is producing the right gravitational pull, this opportunity presents itself.

It was to be an awards banquet on the beach. I wasn’t getting any awards, but who cares! I was getting an incredible dress (no more maternity clothes!), great shoes, and an appointment at the nail salon.

Get ready. Well, almost ready. Mark’s dressed, my hair and makeup are done. As an experienced Mommy, I know to wait and get dressed at Mom’s house. She’s watching the kids and I am sure I will get some kind of kid goo on me in the process of getting over there.

Ok, honey. Zip me up. Damn! Is that the zipper in your hand? Yep. What do you do about that? You don’t go. My heart breaks. My wonderful husband works on that zipper for 20 minutes. We were already running late and I am incredibly disappointed. He is really sorry. It’s not his fault. These things happen. Doesn’t change it. I go in the pool room with Mom and Dad to fix a drink and sulk.

I hear my Dad say, “If she wants to go, then she’s going.” He gets up and leaves the room. Mom and I look at each other. “He’s going to fix that dress. I hope you’re ready,” she says.

Dad can fix anything, but I am not getting excited. We are already late and my heart has already been broken once.

Half hour later, Dad comes out with the dress. He pulled stitches, reran the zipper, and stitched it back up! My dress was fixed. “Go get ready,” he tells me. Mom zips me up this time as Mark doesn’t want to tempt fate.

There I am, ready to go. Amazing! I walk out of the room and there is my Dad, beaming. Mark and I gather our stuff and walk out the front door.

Ready to hear about the great time I had? On the front porch, I stop my beloved and tell him I don’t want to go. He is obviously confused. I explain that my men had rallied around me and my crushed expectations; Mark, with his warmth and compassion, and my Dad, with his determination and a sewing kit. There was nothing more I wanted to do than stay here, in this house, and be with them.

Those who know, know that I put my husband first in all things, but I am still a Daddy’s girl. What an awesome Daddy he is. I wonder if he knows how special he makes me feel. He should – I must have told him a thousand times that night, and that was only half the times I thought it.

5415_1028152764184_3587419_n

Liberation

“If you’re drivin’ down the road and you look over and see a truck in the middle of a field, you know what happened.. Liberation.” – Jase

Duck DynastyI freely admit with pride that “Duck Dynasty” is my favorite show on TV. And Jase is my favorite personality (it is a pretty close call between him and his daddy though). As fate would have it, this quote came at about the same time as this post by Amanda from Run to the Finish.

And, as life is oft to do, it clicked and there it was.

My 2013 word. LIBERATION.

Now if you are not a “Duck Dynasty” fan, first, that’s just weird. If you aren’t acquainted with the background of the above quote, let me see if I can sum it up quickly.

The Robertson family have accumulated quite a bit of wealth through Willie (son) creating a million dollar business out of Phil’s (dad) duck call (which was already doing really well). Phil is serious backwoods, salt of the earth, pioneer man. He is very mindful of the “yuppiefication” of his children and grandchildren. Willie is probably the biggest offender. A $100/hole bet between Willie and Jase (brother) leads to Jase discovering the plethora of bullfrogs at the country club golf course. Jase decides a group needs to go catch those bullfrogs after dark, however country club security disagrees. Phil makes off safely with the bullfrogs, Willie has to come pick the rest of the crew from security. Willie is not happy. His reaction brings criticism of his qualification to wear the beard. Having had enough of the ribbing, Willie pulls off into a field and proceeds to get some mud on the tires.

“If you’re drivin’ down the road and you look over and see a truck in the middle of a field, you know what happened.. Liberation.” – Jase

2012, if I had to be honest, was full of a bunch of backseat riding. There was a ton of metaphorical “no, I am not going frog gigging today.” All too often I would be afraid of the country club security. Seriously? I mean really, I can run faster and my gun is bigger.

  • Liberation ~ the act of liberating…the state of being liberated
  • Liberating ~ to set at liberty
  • Liberty ~ the quality or state of being free, the power to do as one pleases, of choice, freedom from physical restraint, arbitrary or despotic control, the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges

Hell yeah.

mudThere is a lot of power for me in that idea. And understand, “liberation” does not equal “reckless.” But it does encourage a bit of confidence in one’s decision to make more “to hell with the box” choices. It begs the opportunity to harness the big ideas and ride the wave of possibility for a while. It shuns the notion of reserved and safe. It downplays the need for subtle. It urges the bright pink toe shoes and 100 mile races. It pokes in the side for large professional accomplishment. It shouts to the roof tops “HELL YEAH!”

For far too long I have been concerned about the whispers of the unknown masses taking personal inventory of my journey. They aren’t there. I have long been convinced that there is a group of commentators working my choices over in the press box. They are obviously not. However, if they are, pop tall ~ I am about to take 2013 in a way that makes Clowney’s Outback Bowl hit look like a preschool game of “Red Rover.”

“If you’re drivin’ down the road and you look over and see a truck in the middle of a field, you know what happened.. Liberation.” – Jase

Teed Up for 2013

There is a ton of anticipation for 2013. Ok, so there was a lot of anticipation for 2012 that didn’t quite bust the bubble it was supposed to.

But there is a difference…and I am feeling totally teed up.

Personally, Professionally…Privately, Publicly…Awesomesauce!

Trying to make this idea flow, inspiration comes from a very typical source ~ my smart as hell friends. Madeline wrote this amazing post. Then I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with her (aka we went on a run together). It took me more time to get my heart rate up than it did to realize she is a wonderful person. I love it when that happens with my blogger buddies.

So, because I like her so much, I am stealing it 🙂 The answers to these questions form my tee box…and I am super ready to swing away 🙂

1. Best Race Experience 

My blog – I am picking 2. CrimeStoppers Azalea Run 10k and the Color Vibe 5k.

I picked up 2 notable running buddies this year. My beautiful sister in law and my amazing 6 year old.

Melissa and I started working out together early this year. By some manner of deception, I convinced her to start running with me. By May, she was hooked and agreed to her first race, CrimeStoppers Azalea Run 10k – no baby steps for her 🙂 Now Melissa routinely leaves me in the fetal position crying in the gym. On the open road however, she struggles with temperature regulation and hydration balance. What she doesn’t struggle with is heart.

That 6.2 miles was not the easiest thing she had ever done. It was a cake walk for me. She ran the better race. She accomplished the bigger thing. She was the better runner.

Mel and April and EmilyWatching her do what she did inspired me to not be a wuss. There is no improvement, no heart, no accomplishment in doing that which is easy.

2013 has been given the inspiration and the example to go big.

Being with her reminded me that go fast, go hard, go best does not always equal winning. Sometimes being that team player is the best thing you can do. How appreciative I am of Taryn, Madeline, Tony, Dan, and my other runner family members who turn off their bionic abilities and pretend to be mortal for me so that I can get better.

2013 is the year of community of helping hands.

My last race of the year was one for the books. My Turtle (her nickname bestowed far before we realized she was a runner) ran her first 5k! She ran that race with an average pace of 12:57/mile. And it was fun!

PorgieI have loved being a mommy at every single stage of the journey. And I really love babies. But I don’t have any babies any more. That milestone was crossed when I sat on the kitchen floor and cried when the baby lost her first tooth (which caused Porgie to cry because she had made mommy sad – it was not my finest moment).

But my children are becoming (far too quickly) people. They have interests and abilities and talents. They can be involved in very real ways.

2013 is the year that I commit to seeing my children with better vision and involve myself more fully into thriving – not just surviving.

2. Best Run

Marathon2012 was the year of my first marathon. I was supremely nervous. The training was going great until I fractured my right heel. Then I got nervous…really nervous. Then the demons started lurking in my head. Could I really even do it? Am I really a runner? What was I thinking getting into this running business anyway? Well meaning folks didn’t help very much. There was a lot of “consolation” and interestingly worded “I told you so”s. I don’t count it against anyone’s character. Most folks really were trying to be helpful and concerned. They didn’t realize that they were feeding the witch that was already in my head.

As race day got closer, I couldn’t help but remember what it looked like the year before. I resolved to run the race. I figured I could to it in under 5 hours. After my first run back, I settled on a goal time of 4:30. After my last long training run, my mind dared to toy with a sub 4 hour time.

I finished 3:59:43. 7th overall from Richmond Hill. The 1st 31324 woman across the finish line.

2013 is the year of confidence and self esteem.

3. Best new piece of gear

On Valentine’s Day my husband bought me the Breville Juice Fountain. What? That doesn’t sound like running gear to you? I assert that it absolutely is. This piece of kitchen equipment is the symbol of my commitment to take better care of this body God has given me. There have been some monumental changes in my approach to health. Those changes have positively enhanced every single area of my life, not the least of which is being a better runner.

2013 is the year of follow through. Great changes are only effective if they become habit, not fad.

4. Best running advice you received

“Honey, you seem a little irritable. Maybe you should go for a run.” ~ Love, The Husband

2013 is the year of remembering my spirit and nurturing my heart.

5. Most inspirational runner

I am going to admit, there is a laundry list I could put here. The running community that I have had the privilege of being involved with includes some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Along with those already mentioned here, I also have come into the amazing presence of

  • Tim Waz, the ultimate cool kid who takes the time to make everyone else feel like the cool kid too
  • Victoria Hickling, who I am convinced doesn’t even know the meaning of the phrase “negative thought”
  • Dawn Baker, embodies the word “tenacity” and single-handedly made me the coolest big sister. Ever.
  • Gary Davis who has the keenest ability to place encouragement in the perfect way, at the perfect time

And I could continue…for quite some time.

And as long as I went, I would come back to Sandra. An unexpected blessing in my life, Sandra opened a natural running store, Georgia Game Changers, right here in my little town. The store would be freaking awesome just because of its inventory. But its owner makes it exceptional. If ever an individual could be described as coming from contribution, it would be Sandra. A lot of folks will say it’s not about the money. Sandra is one of the few times I believe it.

2013 is the year of professional focus. Good business changes lives.

6.  If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Teed Up

🙂

Getting Grip on Goals with Gratitude

gratitudeYou like what I did up there with that title I know.

This list was supposed to be done in response to Thursday’s Elf 4 Health Challenge. There were a lot of neat little “Thankful Thursday” posts.

So now it is Friday, I am late and missed the Thursday catchy title day. And by being late, I feel the need to amp up the idea to justify why I couldn’t just bang out 20 things yesterday.

And so I have.

December 26 – December 31 are six of my most favorite days of the year. Christmas (music) is over and we can all relax. New Years Eve is coming up and that is fun. And a whole, new, blank, exciting calendar is waiting to be unwrapped.

Awesome.

These six days are simply perfect for reflection and projection. Until you hit a brain block and freeze up.

Fortunately for me, I have super smart friends. Myers Barnes posted a great video on goal setting yesterday. There is a ton of cool in this video. This quote broke open the freeze ~

Success is driving ambition with a written goal…I can’t actually give you driving ambition but what I can do is give you the plan. So I will give you the plan if you supply the driving ambition.

It clicked.

Reflection and projection work so well together because gratitude writes its own goals.

Let me put it another way ~ the things I am thankful for create my driving ambition. If I can articulate those things that I am appreciative of in 2012, I can channel ambition into a written goal set with a plan for 2013.

I now worked the process ~

  • I sat down and identified 10 aspects of my person (professional and personal) that makes the main of who I am (yes, I did 10 on purpose because it made 20 easy)
  • I wrote down two things I am thankful for in each category
  • I correlated those two 2012 gratitude with two 2013 goals

Faith

Gratitude ~ for a grace and a love from a God who knew me before conception
Goal ~ spend quality and intentional time in study and prayer

Gratitude ~ for the women in my church who consistently encourage, motivate, and make me smile
Goal ~ to be a productive member in my parish to pass on what they have done for me to others

Mark and April Wife

Gratitude ~ for a husband who loves me totally, flaws and all
Goal ~ to return that love not because he does, but because I do

Gratitude ~ a husband to strives everyday to be the man God has called him to be
Goal ~ to be the kind of wife that God has called me to be

Mother

Gratitude ~ the gift of motherhood
Goal ~ to grow in patience, wisdom, and time management to give them the best in me

Gratitude ~ for daughters who are different, strong, smart, gifted, talented, interesting and amazing
Goal ~ to strive to create an environment that nurtures, promotes, and allows for their ability to grow and expand

Sister, Friend, Family

Gratitude ~ for those family and like family folks who continue to be such a blessing to me
Goal ~ to be more available as an ear, a shoulder, a companion and to be more mindful of the needs of others

Gratitude ~ for those friends and families who sacrifice so much to keep us safe
Goal ~ to be more prayerful and attentive to the needs of those who stand the watch at home while loved ones stand the watch elsewhere

Home

Gratitude ~ a house rich with love and history
Goal ~ to be a better steward of that home

Gratitude ~ to have a home at all
Goal ~ look for ways to help others who are struggling with the basic needs in life

Citizen

Gratitude ~ to live in a country where I am free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness
Goal ~ to be a better steward of my God given talents in a way that allows for the life improvement of many

Gratitude ~ to live in country where freedoms and rights are embedded in our founding
Goal ~ to respect those rights by watching that my words are respectful, my thoughts truthful, and my actions honorable

AprilHealth

Gratitude ~ for a body that is mine
Goal ~ to treat my cells as the prized possession they are with better choices in fuel, function, and fun

Gratitude ~ for my runner family
Goal ~ to strive for my personal greatness on the tracks, roads, and trails while encouraging others to do the same

Writer

Gratitude ~ to be able to put nouns and verbs together in such a way that touches people
Goal ~ to be mindful that words heal or hurt depending on the deliverer and the responsibility to be genuine is a great one

Gratitude ~ to be able to convey thoughts that allow me to keep my own mind clear
Goal ~ to respect that writing is more than a hobby and to keep it as priority for a number of reasons

Real Estate Professional

Gratitude ~ to belong to a community of people who strive to conduct business in an honorable and community enhancing way
Goal ~ to contribute to this organization to my fullest capacity with character and quality as mission one

Gratitude ~ my expanded network of professionals who epitomize coming from contribution
Goal ~ to remember that a rising ship carries all higher and that my responsible contribution to the curation is important

Now that step 1 is complete…I leave you to work on step 2…curious what that is? It’s up there in the video 🙂