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

Archive for March, 2015

Character Flaw 

I don’t see the point in making sacrifices unless I’m going to be, like, totally HAWT. 

It turns out that I’m not crazy for not liking what I’ve been seeing in the mirror. I tried to be kind to myself in my previous post regarding staying within a reasonable range of my weight loss, but the fact is I’m displeased. I weigh 15 pounds more than my lowest weight and I don’t like how I look OR feel. I finally donated all my big(ger) Joan clothes and the only reason I don’t regret it is because someone with much greater need is now using them. If you don’t believe that things are getting out of hand, look at what the girls did last week: 



Yeah. Bras aren’t supposed to do that. In guess it was begging for dear life and the girls busted free. RIP dear titty holder-backer – by the way, you don’t really realize how much you rely on a bra until you pop out of one in the middle of your workday. But I digress. 

I’ve not been eating out (except for that one time). I’ve been meeting my calorie goal set by Blonde Oprah the vast majority of the time. Coachie says I’m training well. What do I have to show for it since I started this year? 

ONE. LOST. POUND. 

Meanwhile, I feel like I have no life. I miss smaller races. I miss smaller Joan. I know, I know. “You weren’t training for the same distances last year!” I also was a lot happier with my progress. What’s the point of going a million miles in the water/on the bike/on my feet if I’m going to be a fatso finisher? It is hard to be proud of what I’m doing if I hate while I feel as I’m doing it and don’t feel good in my clothes the other 10 hours of the day that I’m not training. 

I either need to reevaluate my goals for this year or just be happy that I won’t be spending any money on race photos. 

Two Years and Counting



Today is my 2nd raceaversary, which means it’s my 1st bloggerversary!

I write often about how racing has changed my life, but starting a blog has also had a significant impact on me. You’ll note the tagline of my blog: 

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

I have a way of underestimating both the quality and quantity of things I do. Even when I acknowledge them, it is often with reluctance or shame. If I’m capable of so much, what am I doing with myself at this very moment? 

Writing has helped me have moments of delight I would not have allowed myself before. Since my last raceaversary, I have:

  • Finished my first and second Olympic distance triathlon 
  • Finished my first Ironman 70.3
  • Raced my first (and second) races in another state 
  • Raced my first race in another country 
  • Completed my first (and probably last) obstacle race 
  • Gave my first solo recital in 9 years
  • Maintained my weight within a healthy range 
  • Gotten boo’ed up 

That’s a lot of stuff. A lot of good stuff for which I am very thankful. There is nothing on that list I could have accomplished without the grace of God and the love and support of family and friends. My parents, Blonde Oprah, Coachie, The Mentor, 3M, Adonis – things seem to keep coming back to the relationships that give me strength and inspire me to be the best Lady J that I can be. 

If you’re reading this, you are likely a part of my life, and I want you to know that I think of you and (try to, I forget sometimes!) diligently pray for your awesomeness. Thank you for being you! 



It’s always the Mother’s fault: Lenten Tribulation

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.

“Hey, Mom,” I used to query, shamefully not too long ago. “I didn’t ask to be here, right?” “No, you didn’t,” she would reply. “Your father and I wanted to have you.” “So!” I said triumphantly. “If I do anything wrong, it’s YOUR fault, because I would not have done it had you not had me.” She would shake her head at me and I would laugh maniacally. I mean, it makes sense! I couldn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink if I didn’t exist to put them there! 

Of course, even then I understood such passing of the buck was terribly evasive. My conscience is generally as tender as my mind is sharp. I truly believe one of the reasons I don’t handle criticism very well is because I am constantly raking myself over coals. By the time another person tells me something that needs work, I’ve probably told myself the same a million times. If I make a bad decision, I likely know it is a bad one, ‘wretched Lady J that I am.’

I like to think I am spending the time between now and getting my glorified body (just think of how fast I’ll be able to run in Heaven!) becoming more like Christ – minimizing the bad decisions as much as humanly possible. This sanctification business is no joke, y’all. The Holy Spirit has a LOT of work to do in my life. Today’s shortcoming: how I treat my body. In an effort to do better for myself, I’ve given up eating out for Lent. It’s not just about eating better (though important) or even saving money (races aren’t free) but what’s required for me in order to not eat out.

I’ve got to plan. And I hate that. 

I could wax eloquently here about why I think this is the case, but I’m basically your garden variety, boundary hating sinner. I’ve had to adjust my bedtime. Cook more. Plan my shopping. I have met a fair amount of success, for I feel better physically and am learning valuable things about planning, not to mention praying for patience

Then there was the Mother. 

Not my dear mother. A mother. A longtime friend! She’s moving to Italy for a few years and I will not see her unless I see her tonight. We love to eat. Naturally, she suggests we meet for a meal. Dilemma. 

I agreed because of my initial reaction. I didn’t think, ooooo, opportunity to cheat! It was more like, hmm, should I really do this? I wasn’t looking forward to it, aside from seeing her. Moreover, I didn’t care to make her seeing me extra work for her, though I don’t think she and her family would have minded. I  am not out to make some point on how great a Lenter I am. 

My burger didn’t have enough cheese. 

I told my own mother about it later and she teased me. “What kind of sacrifice is that?! How can you say you are committed?” I’m sure she knew I had already asked myself that but couldn’t resist. You know how moms are. I don’t feel great physically or mentally, nor do I feel good about going back to real life tomorrow. I might if I felt healthier or skinnier but right now it’s as though eating out doesn’t really make a difference. My shirt didn’t look that great at 6 PM. It doesn’t look so hot at 9:50. What did I lose? I suppose that misses the point, though. Discipline is discipline and I know that even if I were to gain a billion pounds between now and Easter, I would have done so doing the right thing and committing to do better for my body. 

Not even the sweet potato fries I had earlier are as sweet as God’s grace.



Coachie on Crack

There was more to this conversation, but this is the part that got my attention – 

Me: Why am I slower than I used to be?! 

Coachie: Blah blah insert reasonable scientific answer oh and you’re a year older…sorry! 

I want to make sure I’m understanding correctly. My age is supposed to have some effect on my physical output? No. Way. 

Up to this point, I had been pretty excited for my birthday. I even have a countdown on my phone! I am thankful for the life with which God has blessed me. My twenties have been a big deal – I’ve finished my formal schooling, started my career, become slightly less insecure, am becoming more physically fit, and finally get to stop kissing frogs. I am starting to see just how blessed I am. Bring on the years, baby. Then Coachie drops this bombshell on me. “You’re another year older…sorry!” Black isn’t supposed to crack at ALL, much less so early (Lord willing!) on life’s timeline. I’m confused. 

I went to my computer and started looking at pictures of myself from my early twenties. “My word,” I thought to myself. “I DO have cracks!” I look in the mirror and see lines that weren’t once there, not to mention a gray or two that has appeared since 2005. “I’ve been thinking to myself that I just keep getting better and here’s all this…aging. Yikes.” 

If I am being honest with myself, I still believe that’s the case. I AM getting better. The cracks in my black are evidence that growth always comes with a cost, whether it be time, money, or gray hair. I suppose I could have stayed inside away from the sun, or not taken the risks I have. My life is that much richer because of my choices. 

That being said – I have since upped my moisturizer game. 



The Sinternet

I do enjoy word play. Heh. 

Social media is an interesting beast. I’ve seen it bring out the best in people. I’ve seen it bring out the worst in people. I believe that it’s merely a means to an end – kind people were kind before social media and jerks were jerks before as well. King Solomon wrote in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there’s nothing new under the sun. Technology simply allows us either to practice virtue or sin more efficiently. 

That being said – I went dark. I deactivated my Facebook profile almost 2 months ago. I realized quickly just how much time I spent on it. I don’t think I was making the best use of my time and feel now that I have been using my time more wisely, in general. 

But – the friends. 

Word on the street is that my presence is missed. Don’t misunderstand – this is not meant to be a “I’m awesome, people enjoy the Internet less without me” post. My first reaction to this is my typical, knee-jerk response. “People do what they want.” If you want someone, you find a way to get her. You call her or text her if you have her number. You ask someone who may know her better for contact information. Not hard. I still live on earth, y’all. 

Clearly the in Lady J is for “judgey”, no? 

I really do believe the above, and it’s been made evident by the people to whom I’m still speaking regularly. Going dark really enables a person to prioritize her relationships. I long for authenticity and value depth over breadth. If I give of myself to you, I want to give the best I am able. It is easier for me to do so with fewer distractions. Facebook is loud, even with minimal use. 

It is interesting to hear how other people describe me. Most of the descriptions are on point. I value my alone time. I am reluctant to commit to anything that’s not related to a fine Greek man. These things, in and of themselves, I do not believe are bad. However, anything can be made bad if handled improperly. What if something I write makes one person’s day better? Wasn’t that worth my time to spread love? Can I honestly say that my alone time is worth more than that? Am I purposely choosing to be less of the neighbor God wants me to be by going dark?

I am not sure. 

I do know that the areas of my life where I am personally most prone to sin have to do with my vulnerability. I try to hide it, and the fewer people that can see into my life, the fewer people know me and the safer I am. 

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭10‬ NIV)

Paul says I’m doing it wrong. That’s probably worth noting. 

At the end of the day, I just want to be loved and accepted, like everyone else does. Shouldn’t I be actively loving and accepting as many people as possible? Can’t social media be a means to this end? How do I balance giving and receiving love with maintaining my own sanity? 



On Sucking and Vacuums 

I had the privilege of reconnecting with a friend from college recently. God is still using my girl Cut Short to touch my life and grow closer to Him; Mom2ECR is pictured between me and Cut Short, who is on the far left. 

After posting the above picture, I was inspired to see what was up with Mom2ECR. After catching up a bit, I shared my blog with her and was pleasantly surprised to learn she is keeping a blog herself. Something she wrote really resonated with me: 

Therefore, for Lent, I have decided to focus on the pursuit of something rather than the giving up something. Not that I will not be giving things up, but rather that I will keep the purpose of why I am fasting in mind. 

You should totes check out her blog to find out what precedes “therefore.” 

Lent is funny. Religion, generally speaking, is funny. I have often said that everyone is religious in his or her own way; the only difference in how or what we choose to worship. It is very easy to go through any tradition somewhat mindlessly, and religion is fraught with opportunities for ignorance. Some people dismiss religion for this reason, but I believe that the bad things about it are often systemic because people suck, not because religion does.

I say this to say that in my experience, the idea of giving up something for Lent can be very superficial. “I give up Coke!” Okay, maybe you don’t have Coke for 40 days. Your pancreas is grateful, I’m sure. But then what? The day after Easter you go back to life as it was? I don’t say that to minimize the effort that it took to fast from something for that time, especially if it was difficult. I don’t believe it’s my place to judge any fellow Christian for what, if, or how they choose to give up something, but what is the real point of doing so in the first place? If you are giving up something that is bad for you, shouldn’t logic dictate you probably shouldn’t be doing it the other 325 days of the year? 

That’s just it, though. We do suck at both doing things that are bad for us OR not doing things that are good for us. Like the Apostle Paul writes here: 

For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (‭Romans‬ ‭7‬:‭19‬ NIV)

I think this catches everything, from how we treat our neighbor to what we choose to put in our body. We don’t just get to give up the Coke if we want to fast successfully. There must be something in place with which to replace it. Does Diet Coke count? Well, only the person fasting knows if that’s moving them toward Christ or not. I do know that nature abhors a vacuum. It is pretty difficult, if not impossible, to give up something without replacing it with something else. If I say that I’m going to give up being a jerk to my neighbor, I need to figure out how I’m going to treat my neighbor better. I can say with great confidence that the God I serve would not be pleased if I settled for indifference toward my neighbor as opposed to active malice. 

Paul writes earlier in his epistle to the Romans that all have fallen short of God’s glory. I fall short every day. It is impossible for me to lament on the state of humanity without first lamenting on my own state. Then I have to be careful not to be proud of my humility! This Christian walk business is no joke. I am thankful that my sanctification is a process and that Christ chose to die for me despite knowing what I am capable of. The Holy Spirit is working in me to remove my suck, but not without replacing it with the contrasting good quality. 

He’s pretty busy. 



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