Team Victorious …

Tonight I get to spend time with some of my Team Victorious teammates who are in town for the Run Disney Series. We are a large worldwide group who came together a few years ago and won a Nike Plus challenge that guaranteed us entry into the Nike Women’s Marathon. We were strangers then but now, over time, many of us have become so close we feel like family. Mere words can’t express how thankful I am for our team captain’s vision, how happy I am to share my life with these amazing people, and how grateful I am for them allowing me to share in theirs.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get to hang out with the people who inspire you most!!!

I never thought I could do that …

Before I started racing I never used to track my miles. I just … ran. I usually ran about 3 miles based on the distance I knew from tracking it in my car. It never seemed important to me to know specific mileage or my pace. I was just so thankful to be running.

I have written before about how my early running years were cut short by a freak accident that I was in the day before I was supposed to start training for my high school track team. I was left with a compression fracture of my L1 vertebrae, a back brace, numbness in my extremities and a whole lotta pain. I was told no running or strenuous exercise for two years … TWO YEARS! Nowadays they would have let me run much sooner than that. But it was, what it was … and I listened. I’ll get more into the details of the accident one day, just not today.

Anyway, at 15 years old, instead of wearing my high school colors I was placed in Adaptive PE where my biggest claim to fame was learning how to juggle scarves … yes … scarves. Needless to say, it was a rough two years.

When I was finally released to exercise again, I never looked back. I was a crazy working out queen for years. I tried to run again but it hurt … a lot. I’d run off and on at the gym, maybe a little outside once I got pregnant with Sidney, but nothing consistent. Then one day about 9 years ago as I was wogging at a little park just south of our home in Ventura County, I decided to give running a try … again. And well, 9 years later, I’m a mileage and pace tracking runner with a dream of one day qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

… which brings me to my point today. This morning, just about 2 years and 4 months after I started using the Nike+ running app I reached BLACK LEVEL.

Black level … what’s that?!?!

Black level was the highest mileage level the Nike running app had when I started tracking my miles with them. The app has different color levels based on the mileage you run. It’s just one of the things the app does to keep runners motivated. It may seem a little silly to some, but let me tell you, it really did motivate me! Now mind you, I had already logged quite a few miles running in the years previous to this, but I remember thinking … WOW, BLACK LEVEL IS CRAZY MILES!

3,107 crazy miles to be exact … or 5,000 kilometers.

Either way, it seemed impossible to me back in 2012 … but I kept running anyway. Mile after mile passed. Race after race. Then, at the beginning of this year I realized that one day soon I was actually going to do what I once believed was impossible … and that day was today.

Wow … just wow.

There are so many people I need to thank for helping me achieve this running milestone. My family and friends, my running mentors and my Team Victorious teammates. There were a whole lotta people behind this one … and I am so grateful for their love, encouragement and support. Because let’s face it, one cannot live a life beyond their wildest dreams … without some pretty wonderful people standing by their side.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you did something you never thought you could do!!!

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Roar …

My H-Crew goes back to school next Tuesday … BIG SIGH. Yes, I am one of THOSE parents who actually gets sad at even the thought of them returning to school. And now … the reality of it all, is here.

I promise myself every year that I WILL NOT get upset, but I can’t help it. I love my kids and our time together always makes me happy … well … when they aren’t driving me nutso, HA!

I was doing pretty good this year, trying to get caught up in their excitement of going back to school. The busyness of registration, booster meetings and school shopping helped. Aside from few more purchases they are ready to start the new school year. So, today I set aside to finish up back to school chores. I finished washing the rest of their new school clothes. I labeled backpacks and gym clothes. I looked up some new recipes for easy weeknight dinners and got cookie requests. I always start the year off baking a batch of cookies each week for them to put in their lunches. And I basically prepared our house for the craziness that will begin in just 6 days.

… and that’s when it all started to make me … sad. The actual moment that pushed me over from excited to sad was when I was hanging up Reese’s new shirt that we bought for her to wear on the first day of school. On it, is just one word. But it embodies everything I want for them this school year … and life.

I want them to grab life by the collar and loudly and boldly proclaim:

I AM NOT EVER GIVING UP!

I WILL NEVER BE BROKEN OR BECOME BITTER!

…and NOTHING AND NO ONE WILL EVER STOP ME FROM MAKING MY DREAMS COME TRUE!

… yeah … it was at that moment when I got a little sad … but it was also the same moment when I became completely fired up to see them conquer their worlds.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you ROAR!!!

Standing by your word …

I would like to believe that when someone initially makes a promise to do something, they have every intention of doing what they said. Of course, this assumes that the person making the promise has their heart and head in the right place to make such a commitment to someone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive enough to think that promises are never be broken. I know that they are. Many, for good reason. But what about the promise that is broken for not so good a reason? Sadly, this happens too. I suppose it speaks to one’s integrity and loyalty or lack there of. Because let’s face it, no one with a sincere and faithful heart would break a promise for a bad reason.

Perhaps social media is to blame (here I go again). Words are so easily thrown out there. Whether it’s a Tweet, a Share or a whatever, many people don’t care if they lie or stretch their truths. It’s just words on a computer screen, right?!?!

No … it’s NOT just words on a computer screen. Where I come from and what I teach my H-Crew is that words are all you have. And putting your words into ACTION is what defines you. Whether people are watching or not, if you say something, in my opinion, you better be living those words. Being consistent in you words and actions means something! Promises mean something. And if we are going to evolve along with our computerized electronic world then we need to keep it real. Really REAL. In every aspect of life. Even sitting in front of a computer screen. Mean what you say, say what you mean and LIVE IT with integrity. Boom. It’s just that simple.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you stand by your word!!!

Toddlerhood and preparing for war …

Having had four children (and a Master’s Degree in Social Work) I consider myself a professional in raising children. I have survived both educational and “in-field” experience in parenting several times over. My resume, if I were to submit one for employment as a mother, would be stellar. Someone would definitely give me the job.

No matter how many times over I have experienced it, however, there is one area of my “profession” that I find to be the most, shall we say, challenging … TODDLERHOOD. Reese, although she will be 5 years old in just about a week, is truly more like a 2-3 in many aspects of her development. Don’t get me wrong, intellectually she is doing very well. Her coping and expressive language are where some of her significant delays can be found. I’m OK with it, she will get there on her own time. But this has allowed me to take an even longer stroll through, what I like to call THE TODDLER NEGOTIATIONS, than I did with my other three children.

The TNs are not for the faint of heart. They are a difficult area of practice and require the ability to constantly incorporate new methods of survival (and you must have the patience of a saint).

Toddlers will try to break you. Literally. They will throw things at your head with amazing accuracy (helmets may be required). Some kick and hit … Chuck Norris style. They yell at you. Some can scream so loudly (at home or in public, they really don’t care where) it’s disorienting and mind numbing. They spit. That spray kind of spit that has a pretty wide range. They lick (or bite) things … and you … for absolutely no reason at all. They will do just about anything to get their little points across.

And we, as their parents (and the responsible parties for what happens when they actually go into the world as adult humans) must do our best to stand our ground when it’s needed. We must also learn to pick and choose the right battles. We need to know when to be firm and when we should give in to their demands. We have to be willing to keep coming back for more and accept that they can (and will) defeat us (daily). They will reduce us to sweating, slurring shreds of flesh. They may even make us cry.

But we need to keep at it. We must consider rearing them as our primary mission in life and the reason we exist (and we must develop the skills of the world’s top hostage negotiators)! Too much is at stake. Our Earth is going to one day be in the hands of our licking and biting toddlers people! And the only thing I can promise you (with all of my profound knowledge and expertise) is that the days ahead WILL BE DIFFICULT.

… like today with my Ree at Target. Where she was screaming. Throwing shoes. Stuffing my cart full of mechanical pencils (?!?!?!) Running a muck. Oh and licking things … can’t forget the licking. Who the heck am I kidding … god help us all!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel prepared for war!!!

Not hungry …

Day #2 no appetite. I think I had a funky reaction to some bread I ate. Verging on food poisoning but was just feeling queasy. Now I have no appetite. NONE. The only thing that remotely sounded and tasted good were the pumpkin cinnamon rolls I made this morning. This has happened to me before. Many times actually and for what my doctor believes are various reasons. Migraines, reactions to acetaminophen and ibuprofen (I would make a horrible drug addict), and stress. I guess the usual, and not so usual, suspects. Sometimes it lasts a few days, sometimes a few weeks. When I was on anti-inflammatories for my ankle last year it lasted a month! I have been pretty happy since I haven’t lost my appetite nearly as frequently as it used to. Of course I did now … just 14 days away from 26.2 number six … BIG SIGH …

Well, I hope you all had a day where you were hungry!!!

I got by with a little help from my friends …

Peace of mind. Some days you have it. Some day you don’t. Today I didn’t.

Not. At. All.

But if you are lucky, like me, life gives you friends who help you laugh your way into finding it again. Yeah … I’ve got those kind of friends. Boy oh boy, do I love them. And I am so very grateful to walk through life with them.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you got by with a little help from your friends!!!

My COLD and STINKY road that was paved with good intentions …

THEY say, “All roads are paved with good intentions.” First off, who are THEY … and why to THEY always have so much to say? OK, never mind, I really don’t care, HA!

Anyway, this quote insinuates that our outcomes may be far off our original goal of doing good. Not necessarily by our own choice but often by happenstance. Well, I’m not sure about everyone else, but my intensions are usually for good … and no matter how hard I try things do not always go as planned … like my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this morning. All I can say, is that I am thankful Sid and Libs stopped videoing before the real craziness began.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and in the spinal cord. It is a progressive disease, that sadly, results in death. As a social worker (and a human being), I am down right tickled by the response the ASLA has received because of this simple, yet ingenious, idea to bring about awareness for ALS. I am so happy for them and anyone who has been affected by ALS. My hope is that they reach their goal to “Create a world without ALS”.

Last night I was “nominated” to participate in the challenge by my cousin’s husband. So I had 24 hours to complete my ice bucket challenge and nominate others to do the same. Sadly, California is in a terrible drought so I really thought long and hard about how to do this. I wanted to participate and do my part but also didn’t want to be wasteful with water. So I devised a plan. Since I LOATHE being cold I decided I would go to yoga class then come home (hot and gross) and do the challenge on the deadest part of our front lawn. We haven’t done much to water our lawn lately, other than the few moments our sprinklers still turn on in the early morning hours. The heat has been pretty intense and we often need to water more frequently to keep the grass green, but with the drought, dead grass is fine by me. After I was “ice bucket-ed” I planned to take a super QUICK shower to clean up afterwards. Everyone wins … or so I thought.

The plan was that Sidney would shoot the video and G3 would have the honor of dumping the water over my head. He added extra ice right before just to make sure it was cold enough … lovely. Libs would also shoot video just in case something went wrong with Sid’s video … because I wasn’t doing it again. Then I would run into the shower only having to be cold for just a few moments.

Well here is how it really went down. Reese decided she wanted to wander around the front yard as all of this was going on and not stay next to Sid like we had hoped. My fear was that she would accidentally get splashed with the cold water. She seemed to be staying out of our splash zone so we preceded.

I was drenched with the coldest water on earth, my dead lawn was watered and awareness about ALS would be brought to my little worlds on both Facebook and WordPress. It felt great!

THEN that whole road paved with good intentions took a turn for the worse. Everyone stopped shooting video and we started to wrap things up outside so I could run into the house to take my warm shower. As I got to the front door with Reese I smelt something unpleasant.

Poop.

Not, “Oh poop!” It was actual POOP.

To my horror, not only did Reese step in dog poop, but so did Sid. Neither of them realized this until we were all standing in the entry way of our house … where I almost had a heart attack!

Since we have lived in this house there has NEVER been dog poop on our lawn. NEVER. But of course, TODAY, the day I have racked my brain to secure bringing awareness to a great cause without being wasteful or harmful to our environment … a FREAKIN dog poops on our lawn. AND not ONE, but TWO, of my kids step in it, track it all the way up our walk and into our house.

SO MUCH FOR SAVING WATER TODAY PEOPLE!

Oh and that QUICK shower of mine … was LONGER THAN EVER. You critics out there can try taking a fast shower after enduring the ice bucket challenge and cleaning up POOP for 30 minutes all while wearing the soaking wet clothes you took the challenge in!

If I am fined … so be it. I’ll find the dog’s owner and make them pay it.

Good intentions … yep … and HUFF!!!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t cold and stinky!!!

A good thing coming to an end …

This week has been all about getting my H-Crew ready to go back to school. Shopping, registering for classes, meetings and about a BAZILLION other things. It’s all very exciting for them and that makes me happy. But the stark reality that usually hits me this time of year is slowly creeping in.

Summer is almost over.

Yes, I am one of THOSE moms who actually loves being with her kids, HA! Plus we had a particularly nice summer this year. Thankfully we have been gifted with many wonderful summers, but this one has to be up there on the list of fun ones.

Anyway … I guess I’m just a little sad.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you didn’t want a good thing to end!!!