Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Tattoo

I got this beauty this weekend. It's been somewhat of a mantra for me this year. I couldn't be happier with it!

The Serenity Prayer

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. But God, grant me the courage not to give up on what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.”

I shared this helpful prayer with a younger friend of mine who is just not entering her quarterlife crisis. It's a crazy time for all of us, but you need to learn to thrive in chaos!

Monday, November 22, 2010

10 Years

A good friend of mine totaled his car today, thankfully both him and his passenger are fine.

I then weirdly realized that today is the 10 year anniversary of my car accident in high school. It was devastating. I had had my license for 3 months and had been making payments on a NEW CAR THAT I WORKED ALL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL TO BUY. This day back in 2000 was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We didn’t have classes, but we had mass. I usually skipped days that were just mass, but since it was my senior year I figured I would go. I was making a left to park behind my high school and was hit by a mini van. I NEVER saw the mini van. Thankfully the front of my car took the damage and me and my passenger were fine. The car wasn’t totaled, but it had A LOT OF DAMAGE. After I got it back my mom wouldn’t let me drive to HS the rest of the year. I eventually had to sell my nice “new” (aka had the whole front of the car fixed) and ended up getting an older Jeep my sophomore year of college. I loved that Jeep and only cracked a tail light on it over 5 years!

November was a shitty month this past decade. 2000 - Car Accident, 2001 - Grandma passes away, 2007 - Dad passes away.

THANKFULLY 2010 as a whole is a new slate and has been very good to me. I have high hopes for this decade. Big things are gonna happen.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rest In Peace Daddy

Missing you everyday Daddy: April 25, 1949 - November 18, 2007

My Dad was awesome. He is pretty much the reason why I am as awesome as I am. My Dad was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island in the same town I grew up in. He was the first in his family to graduate college (with a Art degree) and after being a hippie in Southern California he went back for a Masters in Education.

My Dad was an art teacher in a low income, minority school district and he LOVED IT. He spent his ENTIRE career there (33 years). After teaching for 20ish years he went on to administration. He was a middle school assistant principal for a number of years and a high school assistant principal for a number of years. They wanted him to be principal, but he didn’t want to deal with politics.

When I was in first grade my Dad started a Saturday enrichment program for K-12 students. Some of my favorite childhood memories were from that program. My Dad also piloted a night school program within the school district so people could get their HS diplomas.

My Dad was a pretty big deal in the K-12 Education world. Even after he retired he couldn’t stay away. The last year of his life he was teaching in an education certificate program at a Dallas Community College.

My Dad was great at what he did. He was loved, feared and respected. I see so much of him in myself.

I should also mention that my Dad was and probably will forever be the funniest person I ever knew. He was witty, sarcastic, smart, quick, etc. Freakin’ hilarious. I thank him for my stellar sense of humor.

We both loved the beach, margarita swirls, Broadway musicals, slot machines, Law & Order: SVU, etc.

The last 3-4 years of his life I pretty much talked to him everyday, even multiple times a day. Since he was retired he was available to talk whenever. I generally would calling him when I was walking to and from class in grad school. Even if it was just a few minutes we’d have a great chat. I can honestly say we were best friends.

When I think of my Dad the first thing that comes to mind is the laughter. It makes me sad that so many people in my life didn’t get to meet him or will never have the chance. He would have been such an awesome Grandfather, awesome.

I do still plan on dancing to “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady at my wedding. It was a song he always sang to me when I was little and we always talked about dancing to it at my wedding. I’m not quite sure who I’ll dance with, maybe my sister.

To close one of the readings at his funeral was from Ecclesistes 3:1 and I find this part so fitting:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…

Today is a time laugh and celebrate.

Love you Daddy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lovin' Life

I PROMISE major updates once I get through this week. Work is still busy and life has just been chock full of awesomeness. Plus Iam kicking off FULL MARATHON training today.

I'm honestly on top of the world right now!

Oh and today is my Freddie's 3rd birthday. Can you believe it. I love my little guy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a blog post!

Football Weekends

If you haven’t heard Auburn Football is kind of a big deal. Pretty much everyone including those living another a rock have heard of Cam Newton. I had my very own run in with Cam while he was on his scooter driving around campus. I crossed in a cross-walk in front of him and lost my cool due to sheer excitement of seeing him randomly out and about.

My sister and one of her friends came down for the Arkansas game in mid-October. I always enjoy having my sister down and it was great to have her friend Colleen visit and experience Auburn for the first time. I scored them great tickets for the game and not soon after the game started them were all about Cam. It was a great game and I’m glad my sister FINALLY got to see an Auburn victory – she has seen them lose both times previous that she had been in for games. A lot of fun was had.

One of my favorite game day experiences thus far has to have been the LSU game. We were the only 2 undefeated SEC teams and someone was going down. It was also the last game that Time, Michelle and I were going to be together at. Despite having our tickets together – we rarely had all 3 of us at a game due to various commitments. The LSU game was action packed. A lot happened in our end-zone which I love. Auburn WON and Cam Newton and Zac Etheridge came over and stood on the wall RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Like 5 rows away. RIGHT THERE. It was amazing. I was actually on ESPN

Next weekend 11/13 is our last home game against Georgia. Should be a good time. I’m hoping to make it to the Iron Bowl game in Tuscaloosa since I have opted to not go to New York for Thanksgiving and stay here for a MUCH NEEDED staycation. I have been on the go so much that I need some time to just lay low and relax.

The MAIN reason I dropped off the blogosphere was due to orientation leader selections. We had 3 straight weeks of interviews in October. We were hiring for both our freshmen camp counselors and transfer orientation leaders. We did a week of a combined first round group interview. We have over 110 camp counselor applicants and over 65 orientation leader applicants. We narrowed both pools after the first week and then did a week of individual second round camp counselor interviews followed by selections and callouts then a week of individual second round orientation leader interviews followed by selections and callouts. It was crazy, but also very rewarding.

Somewhere in the mix of things I ran a 5K sponsored by the Student Government Association. I was up way to late the night before and had drank slightly throughout the weekend. Somehow despite not being properly prepared for the race AND having my ipod die after 1 mile I set a PERSONAL RECORD of ~27min and 30seconds. A-MAZING. My goal is a 23:28 time by May when I hopefully run the Race For Hope in DC again. I’d love to have shaved 10 MINUTES off my time with a year.

So aside from my 2nd half marathon that I already blogged about I really got to enjoy the city. New Orleans was only 5.5 hours away. My friend Melissa is from Louisiana and was able to hook us up at a cool/creepy bed and breakfast in the old Garden District. Out side of the race we did a lot of walking around and riding on STREET CARS. Seriously thee street cars were so old tyme I LOVED them. There was so much to see and do. I loved the old houses – the architecture was amazing. I am fairly certain I could have looked at wrought iron balconies and other decorations all day. I also loved how arsty the city was – such talented painters and musicians.
Of course we hit up Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street. Also keep in mind I was there for HALLOWEEN – it was madness. I was a little too tired and sore for hijix. HELLO I ran a half marathon that day and was wearing GIANT shoes. I should mention that I was a drag queen for Halloween. Her name was Ikea Wonderland and she was fabulous! Oh and my good friend Jacky from college also happened to be visit a friend in New Orleans the same weekend so we got to hang out a few times which was AWESOME. I’m so glad I got to go to NOLA and I really can’t wait to go back. If you haven’t been GO. I can’t wait to fully day drink and explore cemeteries on my next visit!

I am currently in St. Louis for the annual National Orientation Directors Association Conference. I’m thrilled ot be spending time with colleagues at institutions all over the country and to see my bestie Kelly!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not my words, but great ones nonethless

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?”

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jazz Half Marathon

Work and life have been crazy, but I am going to try and update on things. They just may be out of order. Let's start with my half marathon.

Friday - hit the road at 5pm with my friend Melissa for the 5.5 hour drive to New Orleans. Stopped halfway for a quick dinner with a friend in south Alabama - I specifically picked a place I have eaten at before and get a club sandwich with a mac and cheese side because I don't want to try anything new the night before a race. Get to NOLA around 11pm. We are staying at charming/old/creepy/cute bed and breakfast in the Garden District. Settle into the room, lay out race stuff, sync my playlist to my ipod. The last thing I do before trying to fall asleep is "remove" my ipod from syncing/charging. I remove the ipod when it's safe to remove and I look to make sure the playlist was added and the charging screen is FROZEN. FROZEN. I nearly lose my shit. I'm like I can't run without music etc. I try a few things to try and make it work, then I go to the mac troubleshooting website and through a few weird toggling of buttons I get it unfrozen. So now at 1am after this near heart attack I'm supposed to fall asleep? Yeah right. I laid in back awake for at least 2 hours. Then maybe slept an hour or two before waking up at 4:30. I laid in bed until 5:45 when my alarm went off.

Saturday - Despite not really sleeping I feel pretty good. Make a peanut butter and banana sandwich thin and get ready. Thank goodness Melissa is from outside NOLA because my GPS was tweaking out trying to get to the race location. So we get to one of the race parking lots and see a TON of people there waiting to pre-pay in the lot. It's $10 despite it saying it was $4 for race people - either way I only have a twenty and no debit card. STRESS. The race is supposed to start in 20 minutes so we leave the car unpaid and Melissa says she'll get change for my $20 and pay for it after the race starts. The starting line was not organized by pace or anything. It was elite runners in the front and then a free-for-all in the back, I tried to get towards the front 1/3 of the group. It was all very cramped and there was roughly 3,500 runners.

I should also mention I executive decision to wear my compression shorts OVER my compression tights. My compression shorts have a back pocket that I needed for my gels, but I thought it'd be too chilly to not wear tights. I was nervous about trying something new for race day, but I had to roll with it.

Race starts - its PACKED. And running with men is very different than an all women's race. Men seemed pushier. I end up breaking away from the street and head toward the sidewalk with others to try and get past all the congestion. Within the first mile or two a lady next to falls over a groove in the road that I saw. I was so shocked I couldn't even react - luckily she had 2 others with her that helped her up. I then focus on the ground (let me tell you New Orleans does NOT have the best roads). I was (always am) worried about falling or twisting an ankle. The lady that fell got up and kept going, personally I don't know if I could come right back from that.

First mile I ran it 9:12 min. I was both excited and anxious. I figured my time may have been fast because I was trying to get away from people so much at the start. Mile 2 - 9:04 min. I think okay well maybe I can work up a sweat on these first few miles despite it being chilly out which hopefully will keep me from having to pee. Mile 3 - 8:54 min. I saw 8 and I was not happy. I actively trying to slow down to a 10 minute pace with in the next 2 miles. By the 10K split my time was 1:06:00ish. I was over the moon. I was like okay I'm hoping for 2:10 so now I just need to keep close to the pace I'm at and I'll even get a NEGATIVE split.

The race route was essentially run 6 miles out to Audubon park - run the park and run 6 miles back on the other side of the street. So I was feeling great UNTIL I'm in the park and the wind is blowing and some tree debris gets in my eye. So I'm like rubbing and trying to like cry it out whilst running. I should also mention I kinda felt like I had to pee at this point, but since it was later in the race as opposed to my other half when I had to pee since almost the beginning I thought I could wait it out/sweat it out. Well my stomach as a whole suddenly feels funky and I begrudgingly decide to stop at the port-a-pottys. There are 2 people waiting. Well WHOEVER THE EFF WAS IN BOTH STALLS TOOK SO DAMN LONG both people in front me leave the line. So I go in and barely pee. WTF. I'm not mentally prepared/willing to do anything else in a port-a-potty besides pee so I hope for the best.

After a 1/4 mile or so I'm out of the park and now on the loop back when I was get overcome with despair. I bathroom break took too damn long and didn't even make me feel better. I don't know what to do. I walk for 2 minutes to gather my thoughts and try and psych myself back up. Also while walking it gives me time to acknowledge how bad my feet hurt (I've been struggling with foot strain for 2 weeks). I hurt and I'm down, but I AM NOT OUT. I REFUSE TO BE.

The 6 miles back were hard for all the reasons I mentioned AND the sun was in my eyes. I spent most of the race back with my head down. I didn't want to be blinded, I wanted to focus on not tripping on shitty roads and I didn't want to see all the people passing me. I don't really look at or focus on my pace. It ranged from 11-12:30 min/mile I'm sure. The last few miles dragged. I am thankful there were so many people throughout the race cheering and acting a fool - it kept my spirits up.

The last 5K of the race was hard because I knew I wasn't going to hit or come close to my goal time. It was more of a matter of just hot far from it I was going to be. I really debated running full gusto the last few miles knowing I still wouldn't hit my goal time, but I KNEW that if I did that I would be down for the rest of the weekend. I had a choice time or enjoy my weekend. I chose my weekend and I don't regret it.

My unofficial time I kept on my ipod and paused during my bathroom break was 2:16:00ish. My official chip time was 2:19:00 (on the nose!) which put me at an average pace of 10:37 min/mile. Really it's not too shabby at all considering everything.