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

Posts tagged ‘Relationships’

Ενθρανστο.

At this moment, we are waiting in a hotel lobby for a taxi to the airport. I just got off of a video call with my parents, who were happy to see me. It seemed as though we hadn’t been video calling all along through the last two weeks that Adonis and I have been in Greece. In fact, they seemed a bit nervous, and I believe it’s for the same reason that I have butterflies in my stomach.

Ζωή είναι ένψρανστη. Life is fragile.

As terrible as my reading of Greek is, I have much more control over that than I have over much else, from whether our cab makes it on time to the safety of our 31 hours of travel time back to our blessed home. I was both taken aback and appreciative yesterday as we went on our last ferry ride to see one of the crew members do a sign of the cross as we left the port. I assume that he makes that journey several times a week, but it didn’t appear that he took his lack of control for granted. The blue waters of the Aegean offer life for many but can pose a great threat as well. The brilliant minds who have made it possible for us to travel 5,764 miles within 31 hours cannot offer us a guarantee of a safe return.

If you are reading this, I ask that you pray for a safe journey for Adonis and I, who happens to be handling his nervousness by pacing around the lobby. Yes, I understand air travel is statistically very safe, and I expect to be in my bed tomorrow evening, but life is fragile. I thank God for this amazing trip, which I will be writing about more in a days (yes, I did find a race here), and ask for His continued protection on our journey home. Also, for some self-control at duty free. Amen.

I Gots To Be On Fleek: Wedding Day Report, Part I 

Like you don’t already know how the happiest day of my life had to begin. 

  
N.B. How like Sex and the City. I get married and reveal my love’s actual name. 

Mommy had to come with me. On other days, she may have fought me, but I milked that “I’m the bride, you should do what I want” business for all it was worth. All I wanted was a little run! 

Let it be known to all that I am a traditional girl – Adonis and I could not see each until our wedding, but I knew we would be safe at that early hour. Mom and I strolled down the hallway past their room with confidence toward the beach. When we returned, I had Mom scan the hallway before we walked back to the room. I called Lil One from our room to see where Adonis was, after having made clear that I got to eat breakfast first. What? I just ran. Gimme a break. 

I enjoyed my last meal before my fabulous nuclear family grew. Will I still fit into my dress? God only knew. But there was unlimited bacon. Lightning could strike and I might not even get married. Eat up. 

  
After another phone call, I went up to the room to finish (read: start) writing cards for my parents, my soon-to-be stepdaughters, and husband minus 3 hours. I choked back tears as I wrote thank you cards to my amazing parents. What could I possibly say that could do justice to their efforts to serve God whilst raising me? I did the best I could considering my impending deadline – makeup appointment at 9 am! 

Mommy and I met Rasheena at the spa, who asked me what kind of look I was going for. “I’m not trying to look like a clown. Natural, please!” I was thankful that it only took 30 minutes to go from completely natural…

  
…to wedding day natural.

  
Some flowers in my hair…

   
 
I was pleased. This is happening!! 

After Mom and I carefully snuck back into our room, I got into what logically comes next, of course. My heart rate monitor. I had The Big One help me into my corset – responsible almost stepchild was ready with plenty of time to spare, thankfully. Didn’t want Mom to fuss at the fact that I wanted to measure my heart rate as I change my life! Am I so gauche as to wear my Garmin with a wedding dress? 

I found a way, and here it is –

  
This island girl is many things. Gauche ain’t one. Zoom in on my right hand, y’all. Crystal Garmin in full effect. I was going to measure the steps it took to change my life. Believe it. 

At 10:45, Mom, The Big One, and I went downstairs to our meeting place. Adonis was supposed to be already waiting for me at the altar. I stepped off of the elevator and looked toward the lobby and THERE. HE. WAS. I sprinted in the opposite direction around a corner, much to the chagrin of my mother, who was holding my train. It had turned out that they were looking for my Dad, who was hanging out with the pastor at the gazebo, hah! 

The wedding coordinator united us with Lil One and the 5 of us walked to where I was to emerge. Tired of waiting, I amused myself by playing ‘Here Comes the Bride’ on the keyboard of GarageBand, immediately followed by the theme from Jeopardy. The point came where I was “alone,” but I never really felt alone as I noticed guests of the hotel staring, or those who would pass me would wish me luck or compliment me. The bride took it in stride. 

The Garmin is turned on. Showtime. 

  

Being Shown What’s Weak: Pre-Nuptial Report, Part I 

  
We are no longer counting months, weeks, or days. My name will be hyphenated in a matter of HOURS. I’ve already been chastened by each of my parents about ways they think I can be a better wife to Adonis. Yikes. 

Though I hate being reminded of places where I need work, I am thankful that I will never be too old for my parents to rebuke me. I am confident that I will be continually redirected on a path that will bring God glory. Moreover, it feels good to know that they support our union – Lord knows that if they did not, they would be telling me to run instead of helping me to do better. 

Over the past month, I have feared many things. Have I made the right decision? Will I lose myself? Am I good enough? These kinds of questions have haunted me in many contexts in the past but of course, never so intensely as it’s been. They are another marker of a consistent pattern of a lack of faith, both in God and in myself. I’ve expressed to Adonis that my greatest fear is being critical toward him the way I am critical toward myself. It frightens me that even though I can pinpoint the way in which I am most likely to chip away at our relationship, I find myself being critical in ways that he simply does not deserve. I am making the same mistake with Adonis that I’ve made with myself for so many years – not looking at him through God’s eyes. 

Tonight is the last night that I will put my single self to sleep. With her, I hope I can retire my tendency to focus on the wrong things. A lot of people are pretty bloody negative, especially about marriage and relationships. It is my fervent prayer that I will no longer be conformed to this world but be transformed by the continual renewing of my mind. May I not resist the prodding of the Holy Spirit. It is only through Him that I have any hope of being good to him. 😎

The During The Race Report

The race started 2 minutes ago, and I’m not sure how it’s going. 

“Lady J,” you say. “I have so many questions.” Hit me. 

1. I know you aren’t obsessed with fast finish times, but um – isn’t blogging during a race unorthodox, even for you? 

Yes. 

2. So – isn’t this slowing you down? And how could you not know how your race is going? 

Breaking news: the race is going well! Check out my Superman! 

 That’s right, y’all. Adonis is running the first half of our ten mile relay! Just like I tell my babies – I need you to read carefully. I never said I started the race. He seemed to be in good spirits a mile and change into the race. 

In about half an hour, Captain America (that’s me!) will take over for the second half. I’m nervous because my left Achilles is really bugging me today AND I’m getting a wish fulfilled today! When I first started running, I wished to myself that I would do a relay with the man I was going to marry and he would be waiting for me at the finish line, just like he will be at the altar! So I’ve got all kinds of mariposas in my tummy as I wait for him. 

*puts phone away to finish blogging later* 

Mommy got a picture of me waiting to high five Superman…

  
and the exchange! 

  
Off I went! 

My goal was to maintain an 11 minute mile pace. I set my watch to yell at me if I went outside 10:30 or 11:30. I also monitored my HR, as I was hoping that it wouldn’t skyrocket as it had during the 10k last month. I now know my cussing threshold is 180, so I was trying to keep everything at 175 or below. I walked through the water stops and that seemed to help. 

I am pleased to report that I finished maintaining a 10:58 pace and my max HR was 180! My average was 169, which was down from 176 for an 11:44 10k pace just a month ago! I suppose there was no cussing on this course because by the time I hit 180 I could see the finish line, where Adonis was waiting for me…

  
By the way, he’s still a jackass. He has run exactly two times in the last month, has never run more than a 5k until today, and it took him just 5 more minutes than I did to finish his leg. I suppose I shall let him off the hook since he helped to fulfill his sappy fiancée’s dreams the way he usually does! Jerk. 💞

How to Shed That Stubborn Weight for Good

I don’t want particularly want to go wedding dress shopping. 

If someone else had told me she felt similarly just a year ago, I probably would have thought she had cold feet or was choosing to marry the wrong person. Now that my warm feet are in the shoes, I understand that it is not necessarily the case. What kind of woman doesn’t like shopping? For clothes? For “her big day?”

The kind for whom this experience is less a chance to be a princess for a day than a massive reality check. 

I won’t dwell on how I feel about my body at the moment, but I will say that I wish there were a wedding pantsuit place. Just for an additional option. Shopping for a wedding dress, for me, is about two fundamental truths with which I must come to terms:

1. I’m going to die.

Hopefully, not before I marry the man that my imagination couldn’t have dreamed up. I’m not making it out of this relationship alive. While that thought may seem morbid, it’s dawned on me that this is probably the only thing in my life that I will ever do once. I buy a wedding dress and this phase of my life is done. I get married and I’m never doing it again. Married or single, each breath brings us closer to our last, but I’m not fooled by overpriced fabric. I know what this means. I’m thankful that I will have Adonis by my side, who, incidentally, takes my breath away. How are we going to live to make it count? How will our lives together impact the world around us for the greater good? Which brings me to – 

2. Being excited about my doing something everyone else is doing is bizarre. 

Every time I hear someone say “your big day” I throw up in my mouth a little. I hope our wedding day is incredibly special, and yes, certainly more fun than some of the weddings I’ve attended. No offense, married friends, but while this single girl was praying for your success as a couple she was also taking notes if she got bored! 😜 But I digress. How could I possibly feel special when there are entire industries dedicated to all the superficial crap of a wedding? Y’all ain’t been waiting on me. I am happy to do my part to contribute to our capitalist economy, but calm the hell down. 95% of women experience this before age 55. I’m just not gonna get TURNTUP over something anybody can do – and usually does. It’s a dress.

Being engaged has been interesting. Suddenly, people who seemed distant appear closer. I thought that this was simply another case of like attracting like, but I wonder if we all are just seeking human connections. How can you get married and not think about how inextricably interconnected we all are? I only crave authentic connections. “Lady J. Don’t even bother with a mermaid dress. You won’t be able to dance.” is valuable information. But I also want, “Lady J, don’t go to bed angry. As long as it is in your power, be at peace with those around you. Especially with that good-looking hubs.” And I NEED “Lady J, we might not be Adonis but we still need you” from my friends. Maybe some of the women whom I thought were just using me a placeholder until they found a man were just overwhelmed introverts, like me. We need each other. 

Before I become a wife, I must embrace my need for others, which is antithetical to a society that seems to make getting married “all about you.” Not only to love them, but to be loved by them. Fighting the power makes losing that last 10 pounds seem easy. Hopefully that burns calories, too. 

  

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! 



Lady J, You are (registered for) an Ironman!

266 days to figure out why the hell I signed up for this business. Probably should know before I get to the starting line. This list should grow often.

1. I’m not disciplined enough to stay healthy without a goal that doesn’t terrify me. Two years ago, the idea of losing 10 pounds and doing a 5k did the trick. Clearly I’ve had to up the meds.

2. I’m not promised anything in the future. I’ve got my health right now. May as well go big with it.

3. I’ve witnessed how it’s made other people around me stronger.

4. I get to grow with and toward some really amazing people.

5. Some annoying people will test me and that will help me become stronger as well.

6. I am curious to see how good of a swimmer, cyclist, and runner live in me. By following Coachie’s plan I will get to see all of those things.

7. I will have to ask for so much help. Anything that forces me to my knees is good for my proud ass.

8. I can eat a lot of food!

9. I am told I am stronger than I think.

10. It is highly likely that in 2016 my focus will change from becoming an Ironman to becoming an Ironmom. That’s pretty much the realest ish ever.

11. I am not usually a quitter.

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Lady J’s Christmas Reflections: The “J” is for Jerk.

Christmas The way Christmas is often celebrated sucks.

I had to word that carefully. As a Christian, the marking of the Savior’s birth is a pretty big deal. I have no desire to be blasphemous or flippant about it. It’s merely that all of the hoopla surrounding the observance – for me – doesn’t serve the purpose of celebrating His
birth. Forget about the supposed commercialism of the holiday and how some are up in arms about “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas.” “Oh, woe is me, a store is trying to sell more things!” That’s kind of the religion of business, no? I’m talking about familyism. And friendism. It’s y’all who ruined Christmas.

Let me tell you how.

A quick look through my previous posts will illustrate that I am fairly adept at expressing thankfulness for the blessings in my life throughout the year. Yes, of course there are times for me personally that make me reflect upon these blessings more than others, but it is definitely more often than the last 6 weeks of the year. So all you jokers come along, “Hey, it’s the holidays! I miss you. Let’s grab food/drink/swim/bike/run/whatever.” I am not in some black hole, inaccessible the first 10 months of the year – unless Coachie has me there, but even then I still get phone reception there. I get a little time to relax from work and all of a sudden because the Savior is born you want to blow up my phone. Quite frankly, if it is important for me to talk to or spend time with you around this time, I would have done so on stupid October 3. I’m not saying I’m above losing touch with important people. I’m just saying that I’m probably better at staying in touch than you are. 🙂

Then I hear the still, small voice.

“Hey Joan. I came because people are imperfect.”

I then am forced to take the time to reflect upon my own imperfections. Indeed, I am a thoughtful person, and one of the things I hate most is wronging someone unknowingly because it reminds me that I cannot be in control all of the time, even when I think I am. As good as I am at expressing my gratitude throughout the year, I will never be perfect.

I pray that in years to come, I am able to find both the solitude I need to strengthen my relationship with Christ and with others. Love is patient, wrote the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. I’ve got a long way to go.

Merry Christmas!

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Like, I totally have to get over my boyfriend.

Get over (v):

To accept and embrace his presence in my life while completely quieting any foolish voice in my head.

Read more about the voices below –

To know me since my late twenties is to know someone who has been extremely focused. Focused on growth in my career. Focused on being a pianist. Eventually focused on triathlon. But it’s pretty much been the Joan Show. I thought it was a hell of a show. Wit, an interesting cast of supporting characters, enough drama to keep it interesting. What else could I need? This show could go on forever. One superstar is sufficient.

But The Lord be like “Heavenly Heh Heh Heh. Imma throw you something you weren’t expecting.” I was expecting to go out on a date or two with some joker and enjoy a night out that wasn’t related to work or triathlon. I was NOT expecting to meet someone who would draw me to my knees and praise God for His grace and blessings. I was expecting to be able to continue my life as it had been going, which was great, and now I cannot, which is bloody fantastic.

It’s also fantastically hard to admit it as well as articulate it.

I’ve always struggled with asking for help. I don’t even know which blog post to which I can link because I’m fairly sure all of them are variations on the theme of “I’m uncomfortable being vulnerable.” Now there is this amazing person who says I may call him mine who makes me want to share everything. You people are going to be so happy for me because you love me and it’s terrifying. What if I mess it up? What if he messes up and I have to kill him? What if I regret typing the previous sentence in case I actually do have to kill him?

Worst part? I am much happier dealing with these hypotheticals because it means he is here with me. He is worth it to me to work to conquer my stupid fears and ego. Because I…luu…luuu…shiiiiiiit I LOVE him. He has become way too important for me to screw up something beautiful because of my foolish pride. Everyone close to me sees how much happier I have been, and though this is a post about humility I will say am PROUD to say that I was already quite happy. I can admit that indeed, I am much happier and want to stay that way.

So I’m trying not to freak out. Because, this:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭25-34‬ NIV)

I can totes hear Christ being like, “Lady J don’t worry ’bout yo’ man, neitha. I got him. I gotchu. I should be first in y’all lives anyway. Stop trippin.” In Aramaic, of course.

Ugh. All these songs on the radio are personal for me now. He’s got me wondering what’s harder; a full Ironman or childbirth. His fine Greek ass is like feta – it makes everything betta. I used to wonder what would go through the minds of chicks who didn’t seem to be able to do anything without their boyfriend or husband present. Maybe some of them (not gonna lie, some of you are probably weak) are both strong and humble enough to understand that it’s okay to need someone to do things.

Damn. I know I’m pretty neat but this dude. He’s neat as hell. Got me tryna do even better when I thought I was doing a pretty good job. Well-played, Lord. Well-played.

Also – thank you, Lord. Again. And again. I’ve been tithing but I know you won’t mind if I put “Adonis” in the memo on the checks.

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Thanksgiving, Day 5

This music teacher is loath to toot her own horn, but looking over past entries in my blog reveals that I am pretty thankful throughout the year! I am using some of today’s post to highlight people about whom I’ve previously written. These people regularly challenge me to be the best Lady J I can be. Consider this somewhat of a “greatest hits” kind of entry. 🙂

1. Zoe. That is, Zoe Jane Volkswagen. You don’t realize the stress you put your car under until you try to make your legs/bicycle do the same thing.

2. Red FREAKING Rocket.

3. Regularity. I won’t elaborate.

4. The Sexiest Ironman Ever.

5. Proactiv Plus. My skin is so clear now; it seriously has been a Godsend! I don’t break out like I’m 15 anymore.

6. Give the patience and excellence in coaching award to this chick. Now.

7. My stupid battery life on my stupid phone. Legit first world problem here, but waiting until my contract is up to upgrade is proving to be a serious lesson in patience. Clearly, it’s a lesson I must need.

8. This woman is all up in my life and thus my blog. For reals.

9. My not so great eyesight. I remember when I was at piano camp in high school and we had communal bathrooms – I could take my glasses off and it’s like the germs weren’t even there!

10. Nothing less than a 10 for Lady J. Heh.

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