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

Posts tagged ‘Friendship’

Shoutout Series: Four Foot Fabulous

  
I was trying to come up with what picture would be ideal for this shoutout. She’s like Wonder Woman in every way, but she’s short. I googled “Short Wonder Woman,” and this is what they gave me. 

Four Foot Fabulous is on her way to completing her first Ironman at this very moment. I could stop writing right now, right? What more do you really need to say about someone who has the will to overcome – well, everything, really. The Ironwoman of the moment (Lord willing! Minus a few hours or so) happens to be bringing her forth her zeal for life in this particular way. 

FFF (N.B. –  also the musical notation for very, very loud, which is fitting) makes my heart happy. She’s a brilliant risk-taker who does anything she sets her mind to. Her big heart can usually be found on her sleeve, she has occasionally lamented, but I think this is my favorite thing about her. Nobody keeps it realer than Four Foot Fabulous. She allows herself to express her ups and downs very honestly and, in my opinion, this puts her in the best position to motivate others, which she does frequently. 

I told FFF yesterday that it really is a privilege to call her friend. She has a pretty big fan club, indeed. I look up (down?) to her so much that I wonder why she would keep me in the loop. Don’t get it twisted, y’all. Heart of gold nonwithstanding, FFF is simply too F for riff-raff. This woman makes you feel as good as you are just by being herself. What could be more fabulous than that? 

Go get your finish line and well-deserved title, my dear FFF. Don’t forget Lil Ole Lady J! 

PS: FFF, Imma put you on blast right here because I’m not classy like you. You told me you expected to be running Mile 17 of your marathon around 10 PM and as of right now you’re ahead of schedule. That’s very inconsiderate. Love you anyway!

Shoutout Series: Adonis.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that the life of Lady J falls fairly neatly into a few categories which often (if not always) interrelate: Music, Teaching, Triathlon, and Faith. All up in there are the people who make my world brighter. Ya girl has a very fulfilling life. I gots me Jesus, Beethoven, bricks, and a career that is only improving. Plus, I’m fine as hell. I am no ingrate – it would seem unfair to ask for more than I have.

And then…Adonis.

Giggles. Fluttering of eyelashes. Goofy ass smile. You guessed it – Adonis is the man in my life.

Typing that is freaking WEIRD. I had adjusted quite well to being fabulous and single. At 29, I’ve seen friends marry and divorce and think, man, imma just swim bike run teach and call it a day. Moreover, I don’t think it’s cute when otherwise intelligent and educated women go batshit over the prospect of being paired up with anything in pants. Ain’t nobody got time for all that. I’ve got a world to conquer and there’s no way in hell some joker is going to ruin all I have going for me. I’ve got Jesus and Daddy – I’m good on men, thanks. Therefore, I can only assume that the presence of Adonis in my life means that God is HILARIOUS.

Man, has this man got my attention. Busy introvert that I am, I make time to connect with my loved ones via Facebook or text and am not generally bothered that I don’t see them often. Adonis, however? I could see him every day. And it’s not even because he’s ridiculously handsome. Just like that, I have a new friend who wants to help me be my best.

It drives me NUTS that though he’s been in my life for such a short time, I would miss the hell out of his fine Greek ass if he weren’t there anymore. He brings me laughter, support, and the sweetest cuddles a Lady J could ask for. There’s nothing that I can’t discuss with him, which is incredibly freeing. Get this – I think his (proverbial) balls are bigger than mine – and my ovaries are freaking huge. You read my blog and you see how big I do it.

So, Lord. I suppose it’s possible that I could be doing it even bigger with someone amazing like Adonis at my side. Only You know why you’ve allowed him into my life. *giggles* I know what I hope the reason is! In the meantime, I am thankful for the time we are having together. How novel it is to be simultaneously delighted and humbled.

Tee hee. My Adonis. It is my hope and prayer that you are around helping Lady J do it for a long, long time.

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Shoutout Series: Golden Throat

How God’s wonders never cease – my golden throated friend is a humble soprano. That’s like a little person playing center for a basketball team, or like a snowy day in Miami. It just doesn’t make sense. But Golden Throat makes it happen every day.

I met my dear Golden Throat 11 years ago at THE Florida State University. She was working on her Master’s when lil Lady J was working on her Bachelor’s and trying not to lose her damn mind. What a blessing it was in the madness of that environment to have someone like her praying for me and with me. Not unlike her boldness on the concert stage, she loves and witnesses for Christ unapologetically. How rare it is to have a true friend who practices the gentle rebuke of Galatians 6:

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

Not that Lady J ever sins, of course. But if it were to happen, I know Golden Throat would be on it like a champ.

It sucks, because I haven’t had the privilege of her face to face company since her lovely wedding in June 2009. No matter where life has taken us, I am confident that my sweet sister in Christ will always be in my life.

To Golden Throat. Thanks for helping Lady J to do it.

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Shoutout Series: Prima!

Pree-muh. Spanish for “Best female cousin on the planet.” If you go to a Spanish-speaking country, however, a native speaker may tell you it just means “female cousin.” You and I know the truth.

My Prima is the daughter of my Daddy’s younger brother. We didn’t grow up in the same city and would only see each other on family holidays. She is 5 (and change) years my senior and it wasn’t until I was a teenager and she was one of those big college graduate people that we became besties. Y’all know. Chatting on AIM and ery’thang on the daily. We’s old.

It has been wonderful having my Prima to grow with and look up to. She’s much better than an older sister – I get an awesome auntie thrown in and no need to share my own amazing mother! Prima has been there to guide me through many of life’s rites of passage and helped me to become a stronger woman.

It’s awesome because while we have similar character, our temperaments are quite different. I’m the nice one, quite frankly. We can’t ever grow apart because I need her too much! Plus, she trains for Brazilian jiu-jitsu and I’m sure I will need her to kick someone’s ass for me in case I can’t outrun him/her.

To my Prima Fabulosa. I’m glad you are my family! Thanks for helping Lady J to do it.

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Shoutout Series: 3M

Heh. Bet you weren’t expecting this! You know Lady J loves to surprise people, tee hee.

To everyone else aside from 3M – the reason she likely wasn’t expecting this is because she was actually the first person to whom I dedicated a blog post. Long before I made the Shoutout Series an official thing, I felt the need to share with the world what a big deal she is.

Since I wrote about 3M 5 months ago, I’ve been honored to become even closer to her. As I take time this week to count my many blessings, I reflect upon on how she blesses me each day with her presence in my life. There’s not one day that goes by that she doesn’t inspire me to be a better person. She is one of my favorite people with whom to laugh – especially about my many frailties. There aren’t too many people in the world with whom I am comfortable being vulnerable, but I have a 3M in front of whom I can be my imperfect self.

To 3M – thanks for helping Lady J to do it. Not sure how I made it the first 28 without you. ❤️❤️❤️

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Shoutout Series: The Relay Team

So there was this one time I got picked up at the gym by this guy in the hot tub. Pretty sweet, eh? I started talking to him because he had an M-dot tattoo with several dates on it and I had just finished my first triathlon. He was very warm (perhaps it was just the tub) and enthusiastic as he spoke about racing. He not only encouraged me to join a local triathlon club of which he is part but also offered many words of wisdom without being a jerk about it. Que raro.

Well. I did it. Unbeknownst to me, I was in correspondence with his wife about joining. “Hey. Did you meet him in the pool?” she asked. “That’s how I married him!” Tee hee. They’re fun.

The two faithful of The Relay Team have been so kind and thoughtful as I’ve embarked upon my tribaby journey. Both experienced triathletes, they have offered me their company, advice, and support as I’ve accomplished things I’ve never thought possible.

Introvert that I am, it’s rare that I train with the group. However, the two of The Relay Team are as genuine as they are strong and – quite frankly, I love seeing them in any context. They inspire me to keep going even when I want to quit.

To The Relay Team. Thanks for helping Lady J do it.

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Shoutout Series: Peanut Butter and Jelly

So y’all thought I was just going to be shouting out triathletes. There’s more to life than triathlon, you know. I’ve heard.

Peanut Butter and Jelly. Only a fool would try to separate a classic pair like this. I will admit that I once went through a phase when I just ate sandwiches with peanut butter. When I grew weary of peanut butter, I used only jelly. On a whim (because I’m so spontaneous), I put them together again one day. I haven’t looked back since.

There is no metaphor in there. I speak of the actual sandwiches with such passion because that’s how I love them. However – my friends – Peanut Butter and Jelly (the women) I love even more. Prior to writing this post
and titling it as such, I wanted to text them and get their feelings on the sandwich before I named them. I am grateful that there is no subject that is too intense or too mundane to bring to my wonderful friends. They immediately replied with shared enthusiasm about this sandwich staple and gave their thoughts about flavors, textures, and ratios.

My girls. They have known each other since their early childhood and I was blessed to meet them in 1998. For half of my life, I’ve been able to talk to them about all that has been important to me. From studying for tests, applying to college and boys then to work, triathlon, and boys now, Peanut Butter and Jelly have always been there for me. I am grateful that our friendship grows as we grow and have no doubt that wherever life takes us, we will always be there to witness one another’s greatness.

To Peanut Butter and Jelly – thanks for being delicious, and thanks for helping Lady J do it.

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Shoutout Series: The Mentor

The only thing I hate more than writing with a deadline is writing about someone so grand that I don’t think my words can do my admiration, respect, and love for her justice. Here goes nothin’!

I met The Mentor during my last year of college in 2005; we are members of the same music fraternity. However, it wasn’t until we were catching up in early 2012 that it really dawned on me how much fitness is a part of her life. I just knew she was a badass. When I vented to her that I was displeased with my weight gain and that I wanted to work out in the mornings before school, she vowed to text me each morning at 5:30. “Get your ass up! Go do something!”

As sporadic as my working out was at that time, she was faithful to her word. Regardless of how committed I was to myself, The Mentor was committed to me. No matter what I told her, she always cheered me on and I knew I could expect a text early the next day. “Get your ass up!”

When I finally started getting my ass up at regular intervals in 2013, The Mentor was still there to cheer me on. After successfully completing a 21 day workout program, I was looking for something new to try. She suggested I find a Couch to 5k plan and sign up for a race that corresponded with the plan so I wouldn’t back out.

My marathon running, triathlete friend would squeal with me as I reported being able to run 5 minutes without stopping on the treadmill. Soon after, she was just as excited when I ran outside for 20 minutes without stopping. After 8 weeks, she shrieked with me as I crossed my first finish line. This was followed by “Sign your ass up for a 10k!” And I did.

She has continued to encourage me through my first duathlon, triathlon, half-marathon, and now, my first half-ironman. I will forever be grateful for her friendship. There is nothing that I could say or do that can adequately express how thankful I am for The Mentor in my life. Because she is as committed to her own training as she is to those she loves, tomorrow she is going to crush her FULL ironman in Maryland. I say with great certainty that I cannot imagine having the courage to accomplish what I have these past two years without her in my life.

To The Mentor. Thanks for helping Lady J do it.

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NB: I wish I had her butt.

Running Relationships Ragged. Running, Relationships Ragged. Running Relationship’s Ragged! Dammit.

I. Running Relationships Ragged

I’m basically a 5 year old child. Don’t let the full time job and post-pubescent body fool you – you’re dealing with a kid. Anything is fun until I HAVE to do it. From cleaning to practicing music to training for triathlon, once you put a requirement on it the fun is zapped out. I have 43 days to this stupid race and I can’t help but wonder if I would enjoy time on my feet, bike, and in the water more if I didn’t have this over my head like a bloody anvil. I told Coachie that getting my training plan for the first time was like getting a ring on it and I. Am. A. Commitment. Phobe. I suppose I am making progress because while I’m not sure that I will finish, I’m sure I’ll live to see dinner time on September 28. Lord willing. 🙂 I wasn’t comfortable saying that just a short time ago. I will think twice about signing up for a race where the peak of my training coincides with the most stressful part of my year – the beginning of school. When do I typically find my groove? End of September. When is the race? End of September. Whoops! I find myself not wanting to teach or train and I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that’s stress talking. I – may have bitten off more than I can chew, and that’s a damn shame when it doesn’t taste good…

II. Running, Relationships Ragged

I deal with stress in what some may say is an unhealthy manner – the more help I need, the less likely I am to ask for it. I’m naturally introverted and don’t trust people easily. When I am stressed, I am liable to cut off even my close ones. If you need something from me, I’m happy to give to you, but no way in hell will I give you an opportunity to help me. 1. That would require me to be vulnerable and 2. You could mess up and why risk my kicking you out of the circle? Ignorance is bliss among friends, right? 3M has been putting up with my gloom all week. How tiring it must be to call me friend when not everything is going perfectly. I see evidence of my fallibility as soon as I get out of bed (not in the mirror though, heyyyyyy), and yet I still try to hide my imperfections from people whom I believe love me. It wears on me emotionally and I’m sure it must on them too. So – my bad. Probs not gonna change anytime soon though; let’s get drinks.

III. Running Relationship’s Ragged

Oh, running. My first love. Remember those good old days when I was a beginner and with every step I saw unicorns and rainbows? All the progress we used to make together? I guess all that is OVER because I feel as though I’m regressing. I’m not able to run as fast as I did last year (yeah yeah I’m trying to balance running with two other sports now but don’t bother me with all these facts) and it sucks. Every time I go for a run I’m like, “remember when I was young and spry? Sigh.” It is difficult to know which part of me to listen to – the part that says, “hey, don’t do that speedwork because your foot hurts,” or “you know you’re a punk and hate doing things you have to do! Suck it up!” Both of those are true and poor running is caught in the middle.

Dammit

What hasn’t changed from awaiting my first 70.3 vs my first Olympic is the fact that I’m going to show up because I know how pissed I will be if I don’t try. All this perseverance and hope is really a drain, guys.

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The Importance of Hydration: Pre-Race Report

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Water is kind of a big deal. We’re made of it. The world is made of it. Yet it is often a fight to force ourselves to consume enough of it to keep us healthy – unless, of course, you are a student looking for an excuse to get out of the classroom. My babies can’t get enough water. I’ve found that the earlier I begin drinking water during the day, the easier it is for me to drink it. Moreover, the more I drink it, the more I appreciate it.

There are some times I crave water more than others, however. Water is never so good to me as it is while I am running. Of course, because life is HILARIOUS, it’s also not particularly convenient to drink while running. I hate carrying anything with me as I run, though I know that if I don’t, the results will be ugly. Then I will curse both water and running and a vicious cycle can occur if I don’t choose to simply HTFU.

The more I need something, the more I tend to resent it. So it has been with my relationship with running since I last had a race. That run was brutal. I was secretly glad for my overuse injury as it gave me a valid excuse to take a break from running. I used the elliptical for a few weeks as a sad, sad substitution. I returned to running with some resignation. “Do I remember how to do this? Why am I doing this? IT. IS. SO. HOT.” I was able to force myself through one 10 mile run prior to leaving for Chicago, which I’m positive I wouldn’t have done had I not had this race and wanted to feel halfway good about it.

Then I saw her.

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Ooh, baby. The starting line. I cannot see a starting line of a running race without my eyes brimming with tears. I was filled with joy as I remembered why I love to run. I love the chance to show myself what I am capable of when I do my best. I love to surprise myself. I love that I have an imperfect body that can do perfect things like run 13.1 miles! The starting line is just that – a chance to begin again and to give thanks for the gifts of life and health.

It frightens me how easily I can forget this. A little pain, a bit of discomfort – can cause us to take so much for granted. When we don’t hydrate properly, it is too simple to think that maybe we just don’t need it like we once thought. Suddenly, we are reminded by fatigue that this is not an option. Likewise, when we take the time to count our blessings, we realize that this too is something we should do regularly. We can then remember why it is we need something or even someone in our lives, and hopefully do our best to nurture it.

I guess what I’m saying is that you should hug your running shoes while you have the chance.

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