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

Posts tagged ‘engagement’

Fully Engaged, Fully Free

The June 17 Charleston Massacre has moved me in many ways. I have been moved to prayer. I have been moved to anger. Perhaps most interestingly, I have been moved to remind my fiancé of something that is still, apparently, a big freaking deal.

I am black.

Now, it’s not as though this something of which he was unaware; in fact, I believe he possesses a hyper-awareness of this as we are out and about. He’ll tell me that he notices people looking at us when we are together. While I choose to pretend that it’s simply because we are unbelievably good-looking, I know that I’ve just developed an immunity to such looks, which are on the spectrum from curiosity to hatred. When you live life as a racial minority, being weird is normal. Adonis is choosing to join the club by marriage.

When you eat chocolate, you manage your calories. When you marry chocolate, however, there is a lot more to manage. Are you prepared to be the father of a black son? It is my desire that any child that God gives us will embrace all parts of their heritage – Greek, Jamaican, African, American. The reality will be that if I have a son walking home from school, the ‘Tyrone’ part of his heritage will be seen, not the ‘Onassis.’ What are we doing as a couple, as Hyphenated-Americans, as good citizens who profess to love Jesus – to make this less scary?

Yesterday, the two of us were buying fireworks and we saw someone wearing a hat with two flags. One was the American flag, and why wouldn’t someone be wearing his country’s flag on the day the country’s Independence is celebrated? The other was the flag of a country that attacked the United States, the irony of which I’m sure was missed by the bearer. I stared at him as he proudly spoke of his rights to be able to wear what he wants because this is his MURKA. I was ready to leave before I realized he didn’t work there but was simply a blessed patron. How remarkable it must be to wear something that represents hatred and freely walk about while Jamal Onassis will have to be reminded that he’s taking his life into his own hands when he wears a hoodie and keeps his hands in his pockets.

In the meantime, I am happy that the most important freedom is not in the hands of anyone who perceives me, the choice of my fiancé, or our babies. Surely that fool at the fireworks stand is shackled by ignorance – at best. I am free in Christ and am thankful that no one can take that away from me. God help us figure out a way to engage the culture so future mothers don’t have to heave a mournful sigh at the thought of buying her son a sweater.


Who am I?

The Last 8 Months of My Life

By Lady J 

  1. Completed a Half-Ironman
  2. Signed up for a Full Ironman
  3. Met a Full Man
  4. Agreed to marry the Full Man
  5. Decided not to do the Full Ironman

I’ve also gone to work but that’s not really cogent here. 

I really am at peace with the decision not to race long distances for now, but something happened yesterday that I am not proud of. At. All. 

I couldn’t find my Garmin. 

I look at my engagement ring all the time and I smile, knowing how very different my life and outlook were just a short time ago. But – but…this. Not being able to find my triathlon watch may not be a mortal sin, but it’s definitely a venial one. My relationship with training is injured. Well – so am I, although I like to pretend that I am not. As I frantically looked for my watch, I realized that the last time I remembered running was at my last race two weeks prior. That’s freaking ridiculous. Yes, I have been making it to boot camp and eating fairly well (until a few days ago – it’s birthday season aaaaand PMS), but surely not training as I once did. While it is kind of nice working out no more than once a day, I should be uploading stats on training more than once a month. For serious. 

I even feel a little guilty for 2 of the last race reports! It’s like…it’s like I care about Adonis more than I do my watch. I did find it, by the way. It had just dropped from my nightstand and was between it and my bed. Though it may sound weird, I wasn’t only relieved because I didn’t lose a REALLY expensive watch. It means that I haven’t lost myself, which is something I’ve (perhaps irrationally) feared could happen if I got married. 

I am 100% happy that my life is 100% different. The transition is just scary sometimes. I am looking forward to learning how not to flip out when I have to adjust to new circumstances. I must admit I am not really looking forward to figuring out exactly how I’m going to do my next triathlon (holy crap it has been 8 months), but I will need some help. I’m not the greatest with balance or trust, qualities I’m pretty sure Mrs. Lady J will need to lean upon heavily. 

Here’s to not getting fat while making that happen. 


April Fool: Part II of II

Training for any triathlon is no joke. Heh. See what I did there? 

I’m pretty predictable. It’s generally not hard to figure out how I’m going to react to something. I tend to be a very cyclical person – in fact, I think one of the reasons I am drawn to education as a career choice is its seasons. That being said – I have a short term memory problem. This means that, although my actions almost always make sense in retrospect, I temporarily confuse myself when I do something I didn’t plan on doing or the reverse. 

So I’m not doing either of my big ass races this year. 

I don’t feel I have to justify this choice to anyone, but I want my reasoning officially recorded for myself for posterity, when I am (very predictably) apt to beat myself up for making this call: 

1. My body is angry. 

I am currently seeking physical therapy for my Achilles heel, trapezius muscle, and wrist. I kinda need all of those working well to train, especially for such long distances. Why blow them out at #damnnearthirty when I have (Lord willing) so much ahead of me?

2. The financial expense. 

I’m trying to prioritize. Gel, bike maintenance, tri clothes, Coachie – they all cost money. I am not convinced that that is where a significant part of my income should be going at the moment. 

3. Adonis. 

He rocks because he did not try to influence my decision either way; in fact, he asks me often if I am sure I am okay with this. I feel this time in our relationship is especially critical and my schedule is crazy enough as it is without adding additional training time on top of it. Becoming an Ironman is not more important to me than being a good partner, and I don’t feel I am able to balance the two at the moment. 

4. I’m a hobby tramp. 

A couple of people articulated something about me recently. This chick, Function, was taking in the news of my engagement. “Wow. You’re so noncommittal.” And it’s true. I can only deal with so much discipline in one area. I’d rather taste a little of everything. Then Coachie reminded me that I love life, perhaps more than I love triathlon. I enjoy racing, but I’m tired. I can only commit to so much. 

So yes, I do think it’s foolish to think that I, Joan, could handle an upcoming wedding and training for either Ironman 70.3 or Ironman at the same time. I need room to breathe or I freak out. Already I feel better knowing a weight has been lifted. The plan was to make a shift to shorter distance races next year – now I am simply moving up the plan. And you know what? Sometimes it takes more courage to say “no” rather than “yes.” I know what my limits are. Some are meant to be pushed, but some limits also keep us safe from harm. 

I am curious to see how the year plays out. Will I continue to grow as an athlete? Will I enter races as I say I intend to? Will I be fat? You know. The important stuff. Anyhow, I am happy I will have some time to reflect on these things and be the best Joan of all trades I can be. 

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