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

Posts tagged ‘Trust’

Unclenched: A Marriage Lesson

I don’t like to brag, but I’m pretty sure I learned everything I need to know about marriage on the flight home from our honeymoon. 
It’s not exactly news that flying is not my favorite. Early in our relationship, I shared with Adonis that I looked forward to flying with him because I would be able to hold his hand when I got scared. Would you believe that he didn’t commit that to memory for use a year and a half later? Ugh, maybe I made a mistake…

I kid. I know it’s unreasonable to expect someone to remember everything that I find to be important, even as attentive as he is. And thus we come to –

Lesson One:  You will have to repeat yourself. 

Before I become frustrated, I need to remember the “plank in my own eye.” How often must I be reminded of things by colleagues, friends, and parents? And I GUESS I don’t have a 💯 track record of remembering everything Adonis tells me. I guess. 

Would you believe that all it took for Adonis to be supportive was saying “Hey, I don’t like this!” Just like that, he was working to distract me on our journey to our new life together. 

Our pilot had warned us from the beginning of the flight that the weather as we approached our destination would worsen. Read: that means I won’t have to say anything to Adonis and he will just know that I am frightened when I give the look. Right? 

Lesson Two: Don’t expect him to read your mind. 

Evidently, my looking at him and holding his hand doesn’t mean “I’m freaking out!” in every context. Who. Knew. The first time I felt any turbulence, I reached for his hand and looked at him. He smiled and looked out of the window.  “Babe. It’s bumpy,” I said. “If I take your hand in flight it’s not about love, but fear.” He laughed and reassured me that we were fine. 

There were few moments where our flight was perfectly smooth. It made it difficult for me to – well, unclench. You know what I mean. Each time I would take a full breath, I realized exactly how tense I was. We never experienced the scary drop or anything, but there were too many bumps for me to relax. I looked over at my husband, who was perfectly chill, watching Creed. How could he not feel what I’m feeling?  I thought.

Lesson Three: You did not marry your carbon copy. He’s not going to see things the way you do. 

I tried to be brave; to not reach for his hand as often as I felt compelled to do so. 

Lesson Four: You’re married now. You can’t pretend that you don’t need anyone anymore – the jig is up. Really. Up.

As the plane was landing, I saw that it was quite cloudy. I grimaced. “Okay. This is going to be bad,” said Adonis. He grabbed my hand. 

Lesson Five: You are likely to see eye to eye where it really counts.

We were finally below the clouds. I kissed my husband and looked down, where I saw the city of Orlando below. I finally felt comfortable enough to smile – the last 5 minutes of the flight. I spent an hour and 45 minutes fairly miserable because I dislike the bumps. 

Lesson Six: If you unclench just long enough, perhaps you will find the beauty – maybe even humor – in life’s turbulent moments. 

Here’s to a long life of enjoying the ride, no matter what it brings. 


Shoutout Series: Coachie!

I had to be in the right place to write appropriately for my triathlon coach. If I had tried to write this as my “A” race approached, the post probably would have been filled with hate-filled language regarding her plan for me. That being said, there aren’t too many people in the world who inspire me to have a t-shirt made just for them:


Because of Coachie, I was able to roll up on the Athlete Village at my first half-ironman with confidence. Let me tell y’all – that is no small feat.

You see, I knew of Coachie’s existence long before she knew me. I actually was getting some swimming help from a friend in summer of 2013 when my friend observed her coaching someone else. We spoke briefly at the time, but that was that. Later that summer, one of the trainers at the gym recommended her to me. Finally, that guy who picked me up in the pool said I should check out her services. Months later, I went to one of her evil spin classes. She’s just so charming about it that you almost forget about the pain in your legs. Almost. In the nine months that I’ve trained with her, I have gone from surviving sprint races to feeling great at the half-iron distance. As impossible as whatever is on my training plan may seem, Coachie helps me not just to physically accomplish it but also to mentally wrap my brain around it.

Here’s the thing: Coachie is a great athlete. But that’s not a really big deal. Anyone can put time in and become proficient at something, given her level of dedication. It is her ability – and willingness – to share her knowledge with others in the style of delivery they need in order to thrive that make Coachie amazing to me. If I am not understanding something, she will show me again and again without ever making me feel small. When I do get it, she will share my excitement. She is one of the few people in the whole world with whom I feel I can be vulnerable, which I believe is incredibly difficult for adults to do with one another.

When she is not doing the nearly impossible job of coaching me (or other more capable but less witty clients), she is kicking ass at being a teacher, mother, and wife. She is going to roll her eyes when she reads this, but one time in one of her emails she wrote “my friend” and I geeked out. “Ahhhh! She called me friend! She must think I’m cool!” It’s easy for me to put Coachie on a pedestal because she never puts herself on one. I look up to her because while she walks with the confidence of an Ironman, she also knows she has room to grow. That balance is freaking incredible.

To Coachie – I’m embarrassed you make me gush like this! Thank you for helping Lady J do it.


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.


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.


Welp, That’s It. I’m Certifiable.


I’m thankful that I haven’t reached the level of insanity as the above sentiment has. That doesn’t mean I don’t regularly give it a damn good try.

Something I’ve noticed about myself over many years is that I tend to work best under pressure. Without a well defined goal closely in front of me, I am usually not motivated. I procrastinate like a professional. I’m that person who turned in papers due at 5 PM at 4:59:58. (Don’t want to cut it too close). If you ask me to do something without a deadline or without specified guidelines, it’s probably not getting done.

Meanwhile, I’m coping with this injury and getting back into the shape I know I can be in, and then it occurred to me:

What if I gained 10 pounds on purpose?

I am infinitely more focused than I was a week ago. Now I have something to work toward. Before, my race was a million miles away (it still is, by the way) and I am surrounded by end of the school year festivities. Am I so undisciplined that the idea of responsibly maintaining my weight is not enough to keep me motivated?


Also, when I posted on Facebook that I am staging my comeback, I got several likes. Guess who took that to mean her friends think she’s fat. And they let me walk the streets.

Why am I not sponsored yet? Beginning Triathlete Problems: Race Report, Part I

The Finish

After I had gotten my medal and water, I walked over to the board to check my time.


Only 2 minutes less than St. Anthony’s.

“But Lady J,” you ask. “Doesn’t that mean you got a PR? Why aren’t you TURNTUP?”

Here’s the thing. There were two distances – the half-iron and the international. My swim was significantly shorter in this race – by 500m. The half-iron athletes swam two laps and the international athletes swam one. My swim pace was slightly faster than previously, but that had to mean that I had regressed on land. A LOT.

I give myself this – I am proud to say that my first reaction wasn’t to say that triathlon isn’t for me. I was thinking, “Okay, gotta regroup, gotta spend more time on my feet, perhaps I wasn’t mentally prepared for the run. If that doesn’t work, then I quit.” LOL!

However, it wasn’t the time alone that I allowed to screw with my head. I am pretty in tune with my body and know when I am feeling great and can push more or when I need to slow down in order to survive. I thought I had been doing well on the bike course but it actually took me 8 minutes longer than it had at St. Anthony’s! What the hell?! I had been looking forward to triumphant blogging and Facebook posts and I didn’t earn them. Anger. Depression.

I must give shoutouts to 3M, The Running Mentor, and Coachie. I trust them enough to allow them to listen to me moan about how the sky is falling, and they were encouraging me to put things into perspective. “The humidity!” “The course!” “Your body!” It’s not a one to one comparison, apparently. “Are you proud of me?” I sheepishly asked. Of course they said yes, but you’d have to be a complete asshole not to say yes. Come on. I KNOW that finishing is winning but I just was not feeling it.

Then I got the email.


LOOK! The bike course was 4 miles longer than standard! And the run was a bit longer too! Soooooo my bike pace was actually faster than it had been a month ago over a longer distance. CHAAAAAAAMP! And the run was long in the blazing sun. How could I be mad. Tee hee.

Next goal: really internalizing that even if the distances had been the same, or shorter, I still had reason to smile at the finish line. Timeline: before I’m dead.


See Joan Trust!

I’ve spoken what I feel is extensively on my issues with trusting people enough to be vulnerable around them, but for a quick wrap-up on my feelings regarding training with others, here you go. I hate when people see how imperfect I am. Shows you that I’m not too bright because even the babies at work know their music teacher is far from perfect. “You can’t find your phone/marker/microphone/pen AGAIN?” They love me anyway. But I digress, most likely without having applied that lesson here…

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may have gathered that I’m a pretty genuine person. I strive to be a woman of integrity and dishonesty makes me extremely uncomfortable. I also am a fairly busy person (though I don’t say that to show off! More on that later too!) who carefully plans her days to maximize productivity. My charm lends itself to frequent invites for company, which, alas, I “must” turn down because I have plans. How sad must that make this introvert! 😉 Tee hee.

What I’m saying here is that when I make plans with people, I’ve got to trust you with me, essentially. But the trust required to train with someone else is more than a simple social trust that you won’t be an asshole anything less than a complete delight. I’ve got to trust that when you see me as a work in progress, you won’t belittle me. As performance oriented as I am, that’s a huge leap for me. It’s the equivalent of allowing someone to watch me practice my Chopin before my recital. Ridiculous.


I was ridiculous today. With Three. Other. People.

OMG I had so much fun! We were like, riding our bikes and the weather was so beautiful and I was talking and catching up with friends and getting to know them better and butterflies and rainbows and uni…

You get it. Now, for the part that really rocked my world –

I ran my fastest mile today.

I’m pretty sure there’s something to be learned from today’s experience but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

She Said Yes! Oh wait, I’m a commitment-phobe. Dammit! Race Report

I can’t write about how this race went before I write about another. Last month at a 10k in Sarasota, I saw her at the finish. “I know that chick! She trains with my boot camp.” I went up to her and said hi and we started talking about running and upcoming plans. Not surprisingly, as my boot camp coach is a professional arm twister, she and I were doing the same race and distance in a month. I hesitated, then I decided to just go for it.

“Can I run it with you? Will you help me PR?”

I told her my 10k time, my previous 8k time, and you guessed it, she said yes! “We’re gonna have to run about a 9:45 min/mile to do it,” she says. “Okay!” I replied cheerily. We parted ways and I skipped off to my car. Birds were chirping and all that cliche crap.

What. Did. I. Just. Do.

If that reaction surprises you, read this. Also, this. If you’re already familiar with my neuroses, please continue.

Not gonna lie – it was nice wondering if I would make it to the finish line of St. Anthony’s. It gave me less time to worry about potentially disappointing someone or looking like a fool. Life > Ego every time. Since that race ended like this,


my ego took center stage.

Race day arrives and now I am nervous for an entirely different reason. I saw her in the parking lot almost as soon as I arrived. “Hi!” We walked together toward our tent where we met about 180 of our closest friends. She asked me if I was excited and I pretended. Y’all already know, hah! I confessed that I was nervous, but she said I would be great. “You don’t know me!” I thought to myself. Onward.

The Start

“Okay God. We’re not racing for that long today – just one leg. Imma need you for about 50 minutes and then – well, Imma need you for other stuff after that but let’s just get through this first. Amen.”

“Joanie.” She brought me out of my intense thought/panic/prayer. “You look nervous.” “I know!” I replied. “I don’t want to disappoint you!” “Me? Forget about me – what about you?” I knew she was right. “Okay. But what happens on the course stays on the course,” I answered.

The Race

I started my watch as I crossed the timing mat. I decided then that I wasn’t going to look at my watch unless it was screaming at me that my heart rate was too high. I trusted her to lead me to my goal. “Joan. You can’t punk out. Just keep her close and you’ll be good.” And keep her close, I did.

Then they came. The hills.

I had done the 5k course of Miles For Moffitt last year but I had not remembered it being quite so hilly. I just remember being 10 pounds lighter than I had been for my first 5k and just prancing through the 3.1 miles to my first PR that wasn’t from a virgin distance. Good times. But daaaaaaaamn I was feeling it today! “Joan you ain’t no punk! It will be over in uh. 3 miles. Then 2 miles. This is just 20 more minutes of your life.” Meanwhile, she’s telling me I’m doing great. We had agreed to walk through the water stops and every time I saw one – even from a distance – I felt relieved. I would take even a *tiny* bit of respite. I wish I were kidding, but I even thought to myself, “if I don’t PR I’m gonna be mad that I can’t blog about it! Keep. Going.”

We arrive at mile 4 and I think okay, almost there. I got ticked off by a volunteer who gave the most lame yay I’ve ever heard in my life. “Your ass is just standing there. Do better,” I thought. Saw the C.W. Young building and my mind drifted briefly to District 13. “I want to win this race! Focus!” “Is that the last turn ahead?” I asked. “It sure is!” She said cheerily. “Then we finish!”

The Finish

Tired as I was, I smiled and tried to look triumphant for the finish line paparazzi. I saw the time on the official race clock and raised a brow. I was unsure of the gap between my gun time as my chip time. We crossed and I gave her a hug. “Did we make it?”

“Not quite,” she replied.

I couldn’t help feeling a *little* bummed. I ran the hardest I could, after all.

But Wait! I ran the hardest I could. The music teacher was already changing her tune when she spoke. “So yeah, I didn’t want to tell you, but that was a really hard race to try to PR on. Not only is it relatively hilly but it starts late, so it is really humid. Plus, the course was a little long.” She showed me her Garmin, and indeed, it was a tad long. Examination of my own showed an even longer distance than hers.

Do I wish I PR’d? It would have been nice. Am I upset? Hell no! I feel great! Real talk? I won before I even started just for asking for help with a goal. I did my best in less than ideal conditions and with less than ideal nutrition (party on, birthday girl). Moreover, it turned out my thankfulness was returned! She told me she would have been tempted to run much more slowly than she could had I not asked her.

I guess I’m saying that the business regarding believing in yourself and taking risks that I spend 50+ hours a week sharing with students is true. Who. Knew. 😉

Thank you, Christine, for a wonderful day! I’m glad you were the first – I hope we can do it again, and I actually mean it! Yay!


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