I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Archive for February, 2015

The Big Picture: Race Report, Part II

You should know before continuing that I’m getting married. All right, back to racing. 

I wrote in my previous post that I was quite miserable as I was racing. Along the course, I was whining to the man who had not been my fiancé for 24 hours yet about how I wanted it to be over. He was being sickeningly positive. “I think we’re doing really well!” “We’re getting closer with every step!” You know. Annoying crap like that. I was completely absorbed in my own self-pity as I lambasted myself for not being stronger and faster.

Somewhere along the way – like, damn near the end, I remembered that I wasn’t alone. Seriously, guys. I’m…not…alone. I was overcome with guilt for not being more encouraging to the man who says he wants to grow with me and spend the rest of his life with me. It was his first race! I thought about how I would feel if I were running my first race and someone were alongside me, complaining about how much better he should be doing as I was working my hardest. I would be so sad if someone were to have flooded a day still so special to me with negative energy. 

Whoops. 

As soon as I realized what I was doing, I apologized. In apologizing, I not only corrected my attitude toward the day but also was able to see how much I accomplished by crossing the finish line. He, of course, graciously forgave me. That’s what good-looking fiancés do, I suppose. He actually wants to race with me again! 

There’s probably a life lesson somewhere in here aside from “sign up for more races.” I’ll keep you posted. Heh. See what I did there? 



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“I am over this *bleep.* Race Report, Part I 

Some races go better than others. What can I say. 

I registered for a Spartan Race back in September 2014. Since my 2013 New Year’s Resolution to do things that scare me, I’ve been doing just that. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to finish an obstacle race such as this, so I figured this was the time to prove myself wrong. Between September and February, I found me a man to race alongside me, heh heh heh. Spending Valentine’s Day with my boo in a race – what more could a Lady J ask for? 

To be able to do everything perfectly and with great ease, of course. Why are you even asking? 

24 obstacles over 4 + miles. Sigh. The penalty for not completing any of the obstacles was 30 burpees. I was (and still am) battling some bizarre shoulder and foot injury and was trying to get out of it the morning of the race, but the man told me to suck it up. It was his first race, after all. I pretended that it’s not all about me and we showed up at the starting line. Running up and down the stadium steps was the (relatively) easy part for this endurance athlete, but the climbing and the lifting and all the other random crap? 



Do not be fooled by how photogenic I can be. I fell off of this wall shortly after this picture was taken, which basically sums up how my day went. Adonis definitely had the edge over me when it came to the obstacle completion (thank God for that, who could date someone who isn’t strong?) and I was OVER being faced with weakness in my physical capability. The title of this post basically was my mantra after the first hour of the race. I climbed things. I went under things. I faced fears. I said, “screw this!” and went straight to burpees for some of the obstacles. 

I did finish, but I was so annoyed that I couldn’t really enjoy anything except the fact that it was over and now I had a cute picture to take with Adonis. That’s something, I guess. 



Mardi Gras

Does anyone else find it terribly inconvenient to go buck wild on a school night?

Buck wild: (adj) – to go to bed past 9:30 PM, perhaps in conjunction with the enjoyment of a few slices of pizza.

My dictionary isn’t the most thrilling. But I digress.

Protestant Christian that I am, this former Catholic school girl has observed Lent for many years. This season in the Christian calendar is meant to commemorate the time
Christ spent in the wilderness being tempted. The sacrifice one makes, ideally, should force a person to lean on God more. For instance, I wouldn’t give up going to the movies because I never do that. However, choosing something to sacrifice that will take the wonder working power of the Holy Spirit to do will indeed prepare my heart to observe the awesomeness that is Christ’s resurrection.

Last year, I gave up negative self-talk. I realized I couldn’t do this alone by the day after Ash Wednesday, hah! It dawned on me that not loving myself was breaking the 2nd of Christ’s commandments as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew: love your neighbor as yourself. I learned I was treating my neighbors MUCH better than I was treating myself. It was kind of nice being nice to me. Of course, human that I am, I have relapsed, but I don’t think I am quite as bad as I was before I first started. I am more forgiving of the fact that I consistently need forgiveness.

This year, I am finding that I am having trouble putting the best fuel in my body. Not necessarily because I crave crap all of the time, but because I would rather eat poorly than do the planning it takes to give myself the best. I believe it is more of my negative attitude that is problematic than the actual eating poorly. Outwardly, I may be giving up eating out and junk food, but it is really going to require that I work on my resentment toward structure in order to make this happen. I’ve often wondered how doing something good for yourself can be termed “sacrificial” if you stand to reap great benefits from doing so. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that attitudes like that are part of what nailed Christ to the cross.

I’m embracing the opportunity to grow this Lenten season – toward Christ and others as I seek strength for this challenge. At least, now that I had some cake in the teacher’s lounge. Can’t win them all.

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Folding, Tidying, and Other Foolishness

5. To put at least 15 minutes a day into housework.

Welp. I can’t say that I have actively set a timer for myself or anything. However, I have most definitely turned over a new leaf! In the first few weeks of the year, I did some major cleaning in my room – threw out several bags of things I no longer use and collected things to donate. The other half of my queen size bed is no longer haven to clothes I haven’t gotten around to putting away. When I do laundry, I am much better at immediately hanging or folding them. I think this may be the longest there has been so much walking space in my room, sadly whoa yeah!

I am finding that living a more organized life makes for less stress. When each thing has a place, I don’t have to live on the edge quite so much. Knowing that cleaning isn’t going to be some epic thing that will take all day is a huge weight off of my shoulders. Perhaps just doing a little at a time is all I need. I find myself just getting up and doing things rather than putting it off because I enjoy the clean space. It is making me want to organize my work space in my classroom as well. Whoa.

NB – I will be updating this resolution frequently, as deep cleaning will have to happen this year. It’s scary to think of how much I have accumulated in 29.75 years. I am curious to see how I will handle the planning and execution!

Other NB: I’m not sucking at this, either:

1. This one is the most important. I know whatever comes below will be executed imperfectly. I resolve to give myself the freedom to be imperfect without beating myself up.

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The Blessing of Budgeting

I wrote at the beginning of last month about my resolutions. I’m making it a point to be one of those people who actually does what she says as opposed to talking big and not delivering. Not just that, I’m going to write about it to keep myself accountable.

Today: money.

Some background information – money makes me really uncomfortable. I’ve tried budgeting many times in my twenties and given up shortly thereafter because something would come up. “Stupid sickness! Stupid nuptials!” or something else I didn’t plan for as I would have to trash my carefully crafted plan. It’s ironic – I believe my perfectionism is at the root of much of my disorganization. I can’t get it perfectly right, so why bother trying?

Apparently, I’m growing up. This time around, I have planned for things like gift giving and left a bit of space in my health and fitness budget for a stupid doctor. Creating boundaries has actually given me freedom, just like my parents always said it would, tee hee. “We tell you that you can’t go past THIS line on the driveway so you don’t have to worry about being so close to the street to get hurt while you ride your bike.” I wish they had used the bike illustration with my bank account earlier! I am much more at ease as I spend and save because of the boundaries I have set for myself. Yes, I am still adjusting, and March will look different than February, but I feel I am making strides toward being a responsible steward with what God has blessed me. Budgeting has helped me see just how much I have as opposed to feeling like I am scraping by. I know, I know – I’m slow! All of you probably figured this out like, a million years ago. Better late than never!

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Shoutout Series: Cut Short

My friend’s death humbles me. 

In general, I think death can serve as an important reality check for us all; a harsh reminder that life as we know it is indeed temporary. However, Cut Short is (yes, present tense, as I’m confident her cancer free soul is gloriously celebrating) extraordinarily special. 

Her life on earth was entirely too short, but in the years with which God blessed her and everyone who was touched by her, she made an incredible impact. I met Cut Short in college as we rushed the same music fraternity. As I looked back through some of the memorabilia I have, I feel honored to have her signature among my things. She had a heart so full of love for music and people, a sharp and silly sense of humor, and a talent brilliant enough to make even the most confident musician doubt her competence. Precocious not only in intelligence but in wisdom, her down to earth manner put even the most insecure at ease. Cut Short was evidence that the best things often come in small packages; the only challenge she seemed to have in those days was a vertical one. 

Then Leukemia. Ugh. 

I will never forget her calling me and my stepping out of a practice room to take her call while we were in grad school. She spoke with confidence that she would be able to beat it. And she did, like the champ she is. At least – the first time. Sadly, she had to undergo additional treatment last year. She still maintained her cheerful, upbeat demeanor each time we spoke, this time knowing exactly what lay ahead. 

I am sad to say that though we kept in touch via Facebook, phone, and email, I didn’t take the time to see Cut Short when I had the opportunity. I mean – she’s Cut Short. She beat odds left and right. How was I supposed to know the last opportunity I would have to see her would actually be the LAST? As I heard her battle here was ending, I reflected on how she’s touched me and desperately hope that I made that evident to her at some point. I felt guilty for occasionally envying her awesomeness. That’s just like Cut Short though – still moving people to be better without lording anything over anyone. 

At her memorial service, there was an invitation for her friends and others to be a part of the choir. I am no singer but I leapt at the opportunity. Being among those who love and miss her was both heart-wrenching and joyous. I am definitely a cryer, but I’ve learned over the years that it is difficult to both cry and perform at the same time. I had mixed emotions about the choice to sing because I knew I needed to cry for her and didn’t think I would be able to. Well – I did cry. But not too much. The privilege of singing goodbye for now for my friend allowed me not only to mourn our loss but celebrate both her life and how she continues to touch those around her. Even in her death, Cut Short helped me to see all with which I am blessed. Love. Music. Health. That’s just how she rolls. 

Cut Short. I’m sorry I didn’t come see you in July. For my own sake I hope I don’t see you too soon. But I WILL see you. Thanks for being a part of my life. 



2005 🙂 Cut Short is being awesome on the far left! 

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