Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Dressing up for Halloween when I was a kid was the best! For the most of my childhood I was one of 3 things for Halloween: Strawberry Shortcake, Annie or Rainbow Brite. Then of course there was the occasional cheerleader, bride or flapper. This photo above was taken when I was in kindergarten. I love it. There's the Cinderella, The Cute Bug, A witch, pumpkin and then the Strawberry-blond girl in a random dress. My mom says that I came out the morning of the Halloween party in a dress, pink lipstick and tons of her blue eye shadow. When she asked me what I was I simply said, “Don’t be silly mommy, I’m a supermodel”. Duh. Of course I was.

I’ve been told that I was quite the sassy and precocious child (shocking), always talking to everyone and making up my own rules to things. The other story that my mom loves to tell about that Halloween is when she got a call from my teacher informing her that I had misbehaved and caused some of the other kids to not follow the rules. Seeing as how I was usually the golden child (ask my brother) my mom was a touch confused. My teacher went on to explain to my mother something like this:

“…today we had a Halloween game on the playground where the students worked on listening and following rules. The game, called witches goblins and ghosts, requires that the children wander around while listening to festive music and then when the music stops they must run to the which, goblin, or ghost corner, then the last one to make it to a corner must sit out. Well, Jennifer decided that she wanted to make her own corner because she did not like witches, goblins or ghosts. She said that she did not have to follow those rules because her mommy did not like witches, goblins or ghosts either. Instead she insisted that there be a mermaid and princess corner. Once she insisted this happen several of the other children agreed and would only go into this corner. Jennifer is usually a great student, but she really needs to work on listening and following the rules better.”


To which my mother replied something to the effect of:


“Thank you so much for your call and I will certainly talk to Jenn about listening and being respectful of the rules, but don’t you think that if you had the chance to decide between being a witch/goblin/ghost or being a princess/mermaid that you would choose the latter?”


Yay for my mom! I am sure there was some sort of teachable moment that happened that night at dinner when we all sat around the table (I am most certain that I still had my supermodel costume on). But whenever I hear this story or see photos like this, I can’t help but laugh at the thought of a 5 year-old Jenn leading a mermaid/princess revolt in the Halloween listening and following rules game. Hilarious!


What about you? What is your favorite you-as-a-kid-halloween-story?

Hope your weekend is full of excessive amounts of candy, supermodel dresses, tons of blue eye shadow, mermaids and princesses!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

So, what's the payoff?

One of the things that I have grown to love is the journey that is me and my bipolar-ness. This journey is not bipolar specific, in fact we are all on our own journey, mine just happens to be a bipolar one. I feel like many people don’t take time to be present in the process and miss out on the rewards come with being present. My personal journey is cyclical, in that every time I battle something big and come out on the other side, I take some time to mellow out and enjoy that victory, but then out of nowhere something new sneaks up on me and all of a sudden I’m on the defense again. These internal conflicts have become less intense as time has gone and of course it depends on the subject matter, but I find that when I am faced with something that I have been fighting for so long there comes a time when I am just ready to get over it and do what ever it takes to be done and move on. Its like once I have moved through all the emotions surrounding the conflict all I want it to logically address the situation and make changes.

That is where I am now with my struggles around productivity, lack of focus and follow through. I have mentioned this many times (here, here, here and here). It has been something that I have fought in some capacity since my early teens. Clearly I have been able to wrangle it in, or else I would not have a job or friends or be functional. But the amount of time and energy that it takes to stay on track is astounding and even with all that effort; there are times when things still fall through the cracks. It is beyond exhausting. About 6 months ago I was at my quarterly crazy doctor appointment and something came up that took her back (which was a touch concerning, after all, she does see crazy people all day long, what could possibly surprise her?) and she started asking questions:

"…Do you have trouble focusing? [yes] Do you have trouble finishing projects? [meh, yes!] Do you put things in piles? [yes, damn those bloody piles!!] Is it difficult for you do get through your day and stay on task? [meeeeeh, yes.] Do you always find yourself putting things off and then pulling it off at the last minute [OMG, get out of my brain!!!!!]..."

The questions went on and the “yeses” and “mehs” kept coming. Well, turns out that ADD is not just for mis-behaved six year old boys any more, its for the the bipolars too!!!! YAAAAY!! Seriously, ADD?? Really? Another acronym? Another thing to read about? Another medication to decide on? Please, make it stop! We spent the rest of our time discussing options. I learned that there are 2 new-ish medications that can treat ADD in someone who is also Bipolar because they are non-stimulants (the traditional ADD medications have the tendency to make someone with is bipolar become manic, and that’s no good.).

So I went home with a trial medication packet and immediately ordered the two books she suggested Delivered from Distraction, by Edward Hallowell, MD and Women with ADD, by Sari Solden. (Side note: each are over 350 pages, small type, no pictures – really? Me and my possible ADD are supposed to “focus” and “follow through” in getting this read??) (Side note to the side note: both are actually really good reads and super informative and I did manage to work them out, despite lack of photos). The more I read, the more encouraged I became. Some studies show that as many as 60% of those with Bipolar are also ADD. Could it be possible that even the aforementioned behaviors are linked to my brain chemistry and it is not that I just don’t have it together? Could I actually take some meds that would help that? Suddenly I got giddy, imagining a time where I could actually rule my own little world and do jazz hands just cuz they are fabulous – I certainly would no longer need them to distract from the things that may have fallen through the huge cracks that are caused by my lack of focus. How bout that, jazz hands for fun – BRING ON THE MEDS!!!

I ended up reading and reading more and more and trying both medications over a 6 month period, neither of which really worked. Such a huge disappointment!!! The disappointment was mostly rooted in the fact that I was so quick and hopeful that, the meds would do the trick. I really longed for it to be an easy way out. Just this one time and then I would be ready to go back to all the hard work and growth and blah blah blah…but that is just not how it works.

I had another appointment with Dr. John (aka, my crazy doctor) last week and had to tell her that the second medication we tried did not work and that I had stopped taking it. We talked about what my specific struggles are and I decided that trying a more traditional medication that would risk mania was not worth it. It has become increasing clear to me that I do really well in situations where I can have an outside perspective to point out some practical ways to actually change my behaviors. I am the type that needs that external accountability in order to change habits and relearn things that I have ingrained into my identity until now. Usually I would consider going to see my old therapist for a few sessions, but in this case all the emotions are separated from the behaviors. The only way I am going to address the frustration and anxiety is to literally DO SOMETHING about the situation, I have done plenty of talking about it, its time for doing.

Yesterday I had my fist appointment with a life coach. She her counseling background includes working with adults who are ADD and bipolar and I am working with her to get my ACTION on! She is great, I am really excited about our coming sessions. Yesterday we talked about my cycle of productivity (or lack of) and how it is that I manage to pull it off every time. After I was giving her the 100th example of this, she asked. “So, what’s the payoff? What do you get from this cycle of behavior? There has to be a reason that you continue to do it the way you do.” This totally ninja'ed my brain and really made me think. I am not a stupid person and therefore would not make myself miserable on purpose, so what is the deal? What’s the payoff? What am I getting out of behaving in this way? And how can I get those same things by behaving differently? So much to think about….I already feel my thought patterns changing…now its time to translate that into action.

How about you? What are some patterns of behavior (big or small) that you have struggled to change? Ask yourself, “What’s the payoff?” If you are anything like me, you just might have a little light go off in your brain and start looking at those things differently. Or you might just have an answer and that is helpful too. Or you might just think I am crazy that’s fine too.

Either way, I hope you have the happiest Saturday!!!

Oh, and ps - check out my new “about me button and page”. I’ve been working on some blog design stuff and some new features…so stay tuned!!! Oh, Oh and pps – if you are interested in reading more about Bipolar or ADD, you can do so here and here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thankful on Paper.


I have a million billion reasons and people to be thankful for…seriously, we all do! I have written a lot on the blog about my friends and family and how there is no way that I could be where I am without them! For realsies, if it takes everyone else a village, then it takes me 2 LARGE villages and let me tell you, I have been blessed above and beyond in that department!!

So when the lovely Mrs. No. 17 (who, BTW, is a big part of my villages) asked if I would be a part of Thankful on Paper, I had to say YES! What a wonderful idea!! I feel like all we hear everywhere right now is negative negative negative (Hello, election ads?? Need I say more?!). I say that it is up to YOU and ME to bring some positiveness into our little parts of the world!

It is easy to participate, the details are below!! And even if you do not have a blog, you could participate on your facebook or via mass email or tell stories or just spread thankfulness by participating on Wednesdays!!!

The deets from Mrs. No. 17 herself:

*The 4 Wednesdays (beginning on Nov 3rd), leading up to Thanksgiving, I'm going to write one person and tell them I am thankful for them and why. I will send it to them them that day (or drop it off at their house) and hopefully express to them how much I care for them and how grateful I am that they are in my life. I would love you to do the same.

*The 4 Thursdays (beginning on Nov 4th), leading up to Thanksgiving, I will write a simple blog post about who I wrote to and why. On those Thursdays, I would love for you to join me and write a post. I will link to each of your blogs on that Thursday so that others can visit your site and be inspired. (I am potentially going to do a LINKY, but might just do it myself as well, not sure). If the person is someone you would like to keep private, that is also fine. You can opt out that week or write a general post keeping it private, but sharing some sentiment of Thankfulness.

Doesn't this sound like the greatest??? It will be fun – I'm in!! How about you?? Comment and tell me that you are in, pretty please???

Monday, October 25, 2010

Magic Little Pill


When I was first diagnosed as bipolar (recap HERE), my biggest concern (aside from the fact that I was officially CUCKOO) was that I would have to take medication for the foreseeable future. The only drug that I had ever heard of treating bipolar was Lithium and everything that I had heard about it made me think that for sure it would make me a fat zombie shell of what I once was. The idea of this TERRIFIED me. Jenn Lafferty = a bubbly, fun, fabulous, jazz hands, sassy pants good time. And if it were to come down to a choice, I was pretty sure that I would suck it up and live in ‘crazy town’ everyday over ‘fat-zombie-shell-of-what-I-once-was’ town.

Thankfully I took a moment to stop being a drama queen (yes it can happen), reminded myself that it was not longer 1952 and got on my google machine to see what the dealio was. Turns out, there have been a lot of advances in crazy drugs (and, it just so happens that, Lithium does work just fine for many people). So I printed out stacks and stacks of research (sorry trees) and was off to meet my new psychiatrist. It was important to me that I see someone who would be open to my questions, open to exploring alternative treatments and willing to discuss (even if at length) my options. My doctor’s first experience with me started out something like this:

“…so-you-see-I-have-totally-accepted-the-fact-that-I-am-crazy-it’s-not-surprising-really-and-honestly-I-really-think-that-crazy-is-my-super-power-I-just-need-to-figure-out-how-to-use-that-power-for-good-rather-than-madness-its-kinda-like-right-now-my-crazy-is-a-great-dane-dragging-me-down-the-street-and-what-I-really-need-is-an-adorable-little-chihuahua-with-a-bedazzled-collar-that-I-can-carry-around-in-a-louis-vuitton-bag-but-not-like-in-a-trashy-Paris-Hilton-kinda-way-but-in-a-super-cute-and-sophisticated-kinda-way-that’s-easy-enough-righ-so-what-I-did-was-read-all-this-stuff-on-google-and-I-have-printed-it-out-for-you-to-see-here-the-idea-of-taking-something-that-makes-me-fat-and-boring-is-super-depressing-and-I-have-the-depression-thing-down-so-no-reason-to-go-that-route-hahahahaha-and-then-there-are-these-other-drugs-that-come-with-a-whole-other-host-of-side-effects-and-that-is-no-fun-so-here-we-go-I-have-used-a-separate-color-highlighter-for-each-side-effect-and-made-a-chart-listing-what-I-am-willing-to-deal-with-from-highest-to-lowest-and-then-I-used-smiley-and-sad-faces-in-some-places-cuz-sometimes-that-is-just-how-I-roll-crazy-I-know-but-you-knew-that-already-hahahaha...”


I continued to wildly gesticulate and go on and on and then I finally took a breath, at which time, she took that opportunity to looked up from her notes to offer up her suggestion as to what medication I should start with. We opted for one that was fairly new in the treatment of bipolar and took 8 weeks to be effective, but it had few side effects and that was a huge plus for me (and besides, I am all about being a trendsetter).

As I attempted to gracefully dive into the pool of crazy pills, I felt really strongly about not just taking drugs and carrying on my merry way. If I was going to accept this whole thing, then I needed to DO something about it – my life – as a whole. So I quit drinking (which is an legendary story for another time), changed my diet, started exercising, being in bed by 10 and reading a TON about other lifestyle changes that I could make to help me live a balanced life.


The other really hard part about deciding to go on medication was navigating everyone’s opinion on the situation (in case you are wondering, EVERYONE has an opinion). At the time, I was still fragile and it really mattered to me what people thought. One person would tell me that their uncle took a certain medication and is a rockstar and I was positive that I was making the right decision. Then the next day I would talk with someone who’s belief was that all medication is poison and really I should be strong enough to do it naturally, next thing you know I am googling herbs and witch doctor potions. Meh! What does a crazy girl do?!?! Well, I had to accept the fact that it was my life and it really does not matter what people think. They are not the ones who get so depressed that they sleep 18 hours a day and cry the other 6 or who get so manic that they stay up for weeks at time drinking and shopping (not an exaggeration and not as fun as it sounds). It has almost been 6 years since I made the choice to go on medication and honestly it has changed my life. I am not suggesting that going on medication is the only thing to do…I am saying that it was the right thing to do for me.


Not to say that taking this one pill twice a day makes everything magically ok. I am of the belief that my behavior was 50% brain chemistry and 50% habits that I developed as a means of survival. SO just because the chemistry part is addressed that does not mean that the habits disappear (much to my unhappiness!). This is something that I struggle with even to this day. Of course, things have gotten better, but there are still times (many, many times) that I find myself in the same situation thinking, “Really Jennifer Ann? We have not worked through this yet?”

But that is the beauty of life: it’s a process. So on days that I get frustrated with myself, I have started taking a moment to be thankful that I am on a medication that works, that I have an incredible doctor who is brilliant and open, that I have supportive friends and family and that God has given me another day. And that my friends, is magical!

[End note: I have decided that I am writing the drug company that makes my crazy pills to request that they start to make them gold and glittery (how fabulous would that be??), in the mean time, I am perfecting shinny liquid red lips!]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pablove

So I have mentioned Pablove a few times on this here blog. The Pablove Foundation is named after an amazing little boy named Pablo who touched the lives of everyone he met and actually he made an indelible mark on thousands of people who never actually met him. Each of those people read his story and followed his brave fight against cancer. Entry after entry they fell in love with Pablo and his family, prayed for him, cried for him, laughed out loud at his zany phrases or super cool outfits…all these things conveyed on the Pablog by his papa Jeff, momma Jo Ann and big brother Grady. How do I know this you ask? Well I was one of those people, and AVID follower of the Pablog.

I met Pablo’s papa, Jeff in the giraffe elevator at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles one night after I had been volunteering for CoachArt. He asked me what CoachArt was and then told me about Pablo. I found the blog and foundation website that night when I went home and I was hooked. I will never forget the day that I read the “No more Fighting” post – I have tears in my eyes as I type this, that is how real and fresh it is in my mind. Pablo was six years and six days old when he left this life. His memorial was PACKED with people, this little boy’s light shined SO bright and changed SO many people, all in six years and six days.

Pablo’s life and fight and the story of his family changed my life. It was a big part of my move into the non-profit world. It challenged me to be the change that I want to see in the world and I am eternally grateful for their courage and willingness to share their story! Every day I see Pablo’s smile up on my cork-board at work (as evidenced below) and that sweet moppy hair and bow tie remind me why I come to work every day!


In honor of Pablo’s fight and so many others, Jeff and his team embark on a massive bike tour each year to raise awareness and much-needed funds for pediatric cancer. Pablove Across America is in its last 2 days and they are SO close to their fund raising goal. I ask that you take a moment and read this post that Jeff out up today (I have included it below so that you can just read it here). It is the eloquent voice of a papa who lost his son to cancer and an explanation of how he has chosen to deal with it. It is truly inspiring!!!


If you can, please donate and help Jeff make his goal. Even if it is a dollar or 5 bucks, every bit counts. And if you click on the link and it says that they made their goal, donate anyway because every penny goes to an amazing organization that will help fund research that will save the lives of so many amazing kids like Pablo. Well if you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I could go on and on (as I often do) about Pablo and his amazing family, but I will stop now and let Jeff do the rest of the talking…

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Posted on the Pablog today:


Help Me Help Cancer Kids. I Must Hit 100% For Pablove Across America



Everyone has their motivations. Everyone is, more or less, rolling toward some goal, some place, some eventual end. That's the great promise of human life, isn't it?

My motivation, my goal, my place, my end is a little boy named Pablo. That's him in the photo up there.

Jo Ann carried this little being in her womb for nine months. The creature inside her was named Pablo when he was born into this world, on Saturday June 21 2003. I was excited to be a papa. I had no idea what I was in store for. The boy who was my son, this Pablo character, was so much more than I ever dreamed.

Even before he could speak or walk Pablo shined so much light on us, we'd have trouble going to sleep at night. He was the greatest little brother to Grady. He was the greatest son to me and Jo Ann. He was fun and funny. He spoke Spanish before he spoke English. For a time, we had to speak certain words in Spanish in order to communicate effectively with him. 'Beso. Aqui. Mano. Zapato.' As he got older, Pablo invented a new fashion style for himself every few weeks. You remember: green frog rain boots, suits, bow ties, pirate style, prison style, and all manner of cycling caps, including, as evidenced in this photo, his Mike and the Bike cap and matching socks.


I could write about Pablo until the Pablove Across America peloton reaches Solvang this afternoon. It really comes down to three words: Pablo was Pablo. That simple. It still is, really. Anyone who ever met Pablo knows this. If you never met Pablo, trust me. I wouldn't mischaracterize facts about my son. Even a year after his passing, the little dude abides.

Jo Ann, Grady and I love him so much that sometimes nothing in our lives makes sense. It gets hard to love someone you can't hold in your arms. There's nothing harder in the human experience than losing your little brother. Nothing that will shatter you more than a being you carried in your womb passing away before you. And after a long, protracted battle in a f***ing hospital. Nothing.

I had many, many dreams for my son. For a start, I never wanted him to be hungry, or to go to bed sad or alone. You always want a better life for your child than you had growing up. If there's any bit of the American dream left, that's it. At least for me it was.

Funny, until I wrote those words, I'd never imagined all this 'dream' stuff. Looking at my words in the paragraph above, I'd add one other item to that list: I never wanted my son to suffer through cancer treatment. I never wanted to navigate my arms through I.V. tubes as I held him in my arms at night. I never wanted to see Jo Ann so sad she could crumble. Never. And the invitation to the cancer family must have gotten lost in the mail. Cos, suddenly, there we were. And we never got to leave. There is no exit for me and Jo Ann. We are here, always. We accept this. We have no choice.

Having no choice is one of the great motivators I've found in life. When it comes to our work with The Pablove Foundation our experience and our loss fuels the whole operation. No matter how hard I push myself on the bike, it's a comedy compared to what Pablo went through and 10,000 other kids go through every day. At least I have words for my suffering. Pablo was only five. He couldn't tell us what he was going though emotionally, psychologically, cosmically. When I focus on this, I could do damage to any wall, anywhere, in any room I am in while contemplating it. I hate that cancer made my son suffer. I do not understand it.

My motivation on the bike is to contribute—greatly—to pediatric cancer research, and to aid children and families who are where Pablo, Jo Ann, Grady and I have been.

It's that simple.

If you want to join this fight, help me bridge the gap between 84% and 110%.

Please click here and make a contribution to my Pablove Across America fundraising page.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my friends!! Be sure to follow Pablog and like Pablove on facebook!! Be inspired! Be the change you want to see in the world!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

2 hours, 56 minutes & 46 seconds (and a post that is equally as long)

So it’s been 4 weeks since I completed my very first triathlon. And for some reason it has taken me 4 weeks to write about it. Weird. But we all know I am weird, so no reason to go into that…instead here are the sweaty and red-faced details (plus a few photos as proof)!

The swim - .5 miles: I was in the 12th wave to start the swim which was the 30-34 age group, which had dark green swim caps (Hello, could they have picked a color that looked any more like the dark cold ocean that I could potentially be floating face down in? Meh! What happened to hot pink??). As I walked to get in line with all the other crazies that do this kind of thing willingly, I heard my name and I was so thrilled to see my dad’s wife Susan!!! They drove over 2 hours to come cheer me on – they are amazing!! I lined up on the beach with thousands of others waiting for my time to run at the sound of the start gun. As the group before me went, I knew that I had 5 minutes….5 minutes before I had to swim a half mile in the 58 degree ocean. U2’s beautiful day was blaring over the speakers (of course, because my life has a soundtrack, duh), the gun goes off, I start running, enter water…I dive under the first wave and come up to another that crashes in my face, causing me to inhale a large amount of salt water, at which time I begin to cough and then FREAK OUT! It is freezing, there are people every where, I am being kicked, I can barely see the final buoy, my lungs are burning, the first 2 life guards I pass ask me if I am ok – at this point I realize that I am froggie swimming and breathing as if I am in a Lamaze class and I have only been in the ocean for about 3 minutes, this is not a good sign...

The long and the not-so-short of it is that I froggie swam the entire way (as in: I did not put my face in the water once), my breathing sounded like I was birthing triplets and every single lifeguard that I passed looked at me with concerned eyes (2 of which I had to stop and make friends with due to a stabbing pain in my side that I did not anticipate). But I made it. I survived the swim. As I exited the ocean, I caught the eye of a lifeguard and with out thinking yelled “ OMG, I CANT BELIEVE THAT I JUST DID THAT!” and he yelled back, “I can, you look great!” and pulled the zipper on my wetsuit for me. What a peach.


This is me stumbling up the beach to the transition area. Just so you know, wetsuits are the least flattering piece of clothing that anyone could wear. Ever. Seriously, I saw Teri Hatcher in hers and she looked like a cow – ok, maybe more like a starving cow in India, but a cow nonetheless.

Total Swim time: 29:19

Transition #1: My first transition was 8 minutes and 42 seconds. Which in the triathlon world may as well have been 8 hours and 42 minutes. Who even knows what I was doing for that long…Tai Chi? Mani/pedi? Getting my palm read? I mean, honestly?!?! Clearly, I was delirious, but I managed to get out of my wet suit, sand off my feet, socks, tennis shoes, Pablove helmet on – grabbed my bike and off I went…

The Bike - 18 miles: Some might say that once the swim is done, the rest is easy. In many ways this is true, mostly in the way that you cannot die an awful death of drowning on a bike. That being said there is a mount and dismount situation involved and that proved to be yet another source of anxiety for me. Lets be honest, not one wants to be the girl who gets on the bike and then crashes before even moving, thus causing others to crash….oh the anxiety!!! Due to this I took my sweet time getting on (and off) the bike. The good part of this is that I got to see my wonderful boss cheering me on right at the bike start (she, too, got up really early and drove forever away Malibu to come cheer me on…I am a lucky lady to have so much love and support!!) – so that was a nice boost of encouragement as I got started.

So, before this ride I had only been on a bike 4 times in over 15 years (all of which happened in the 2 weeks leading up to the race), but 2 of those 4 times were on the course that I was about to ride and there was some comfort in that. The first few miles were hard…I was still feeling really beat down by the swim and questioning if I would actually finish. But as I got in my groove and thought about why I was there and the cause I raised money for (which was $1,000 for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, seriously, my friends and family are amazing!! Thank you!!!) and the pain and trials that those families endure, I felt strong. After all, I was wearing my team Pablove helmet and with that comes and extra dose of “I can do anything!!!” [Side note: read more about Pablove here and here, more on this subject later.]



Here are 2 photos of my hardcore biking in action! I was sharp and focused during the first 9 miles out and the 9 miles back I was just thrilled that I was heading ‘home’. I kept telling myself that all I had to do was get off the bike and then run and then BRUNCH….mmmmmmm, brunch! And yes, that is me smiling for the photo. I may have been sweaty, but that does not mean I won’t pose for a photo. Obvs.

Total Bike time: 1:22:44

Transition #2: As I ran my bike back into the transition area, I see that my love had already finished the race and he was waiting by my stuff to give me a pre-run kiss and cheer me on as shimmied on my way. Drop the bike off, grab my bib number, one energy gummy, sip of water and a quick kiss, 2 minutes and 29 seconds…then I was off…


The Run - 4 miles: I was quite pleased with the fact that I actually started the run actually running. As I left the transition area I saw my sweet cousin and her friend cheering me on (I’m so LOVED) and that was the best! Quickly my legs reminded me that I had just in fact, ridden a bike for 18 miles and they were angry. At this point I decide that my best option was to do intervals: run as long as I can and then jog-walk for a minute and repeat. I won’t lie, the first 2 miles were the longest 2 miles of my life. It was never-ending. People kept passing me on the way back and saying “Hang in there! You are almost there!” and all I could think was “LIES!! You say that because you are almost done!”, but instead I smiled and exhaled something like “Thanks!! You too! Good job!!”


The third mile was bearable because at least I was headed in the direction of brunch and the last mile was in slow motion. I kept closing my eyes and telling myself to keep it together (as seen here) and soon enough I could hear the crowd, the end was near and I could not stop now….

Total Run time: 53:11


The Finish: The clapping and cheering gradually became louder, and I began to run faster (lets be honest, everyone loves a strong sprint in the end) and finally I crossed the finish line. I did it. And I was still standing.


It was a blurr – chest heaving, water, medal, give the timing chip back, photographer, pose, hand on hip (hey, a girl has to be aware of her best angle, even while gasping for breath), ecstatic smile, see D, he snaps another photo, big sweaty hug, cry a little, Dad and Susan, cousin and friend, OMG! I DID IT!!! I FINISHED!

Now, where are we eating brunch?!?!?!

*End note: This past weekend, I finished my second triathlon. The swim was shorter, but equally awful. The rest was fun. I am ready for a break now and I get to cheer my love on in his first half-ironman next month. My last one for the year will be in December. All I can say about that is the swim is in a heated pool. I couldn’t say no.*

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where I need to be.


Hello there! I know that it has been for ever and ever and ever and ever....my apologies. I saw this today in a feature from a few days ago on Blessed Little Nest. It is a print from Love Sugar. In addition to being the cutest thing ever (hello, red head...I'm in LOVE), it is exactly what I needed to read today: You are where you need to be.

I have been quite overwhelmed lately (hence the lack of writing) and this reminds me to stop and take a breath. I am where I need to be. I choose to be present and learn from that place.

We have lots and lots to catch up on, including a long over due post about my triathlon...

In the mean time, stop by Love Sugar's esty shop -- I could seriously buy one of each, they are SO delightful! And take a moment today to remind yourself that you are where you need to be. Happy Monday!