April 24, 2011 2 comments

I realize that, once again, I have been remiss in my blogging duties.  I wish I had a better reason than school, training, and life getting in the way.  The truth is that when I sit down to write I am tired and, while I have plenty to write about, I have found myself without the right words.  That’s not to say that I don’t have the beginnings of posts nor ideas for others.  I have a nice list of things to write about including reviews for my Avia shoes, my First Endurance products I’ve been using for the past month, as well as race reports for Cowtown, the St. Patty’s Tri, the Rock and Roll Dallas Half, and the Lonestar 70.3.  Needless to say, I will be working on getting those out over the next couple weeks.  The bonus is that I have a final on Thursday that I’m somewhat unprepared for, so blogging will provide a much needed distraction from my studying 🙂

So today is Easter, Resurrection Sunday, or Zombie Jesus Day depending on your proclivities.

I have been reflecting on its meaning with particular interest this year.  The idea of resurrection has a new significance to me given the events of the last year.  It’s a hard thing, seeing something die.  Especially when it is something that was the most important part of your life for a third of your life.  It’s even harder in some regards to truly let go and let it be over.  The promise of new birth, of new beginnings, of resurrection, provides hope though.  The belief that things can be made new, that we can be made whole from our broken-ness, is the glory of Easter.  While looking forward can bring trepidation (and can be a distraction when you let it prevent you from living in the present), the hope and promise of being alive again means that the future is exhilarating as well.

I think it’s safe to say that the past few months have been both the most challenging and the most growing of my life.  A simple look at my tweets over that time shows how up and down they have been.  While some may not enjoy the “whiny” or “negative” tweets, I don’t apologize for them.  I am who I am and I have good and bad days.  I’m not going to be fake, even through twitter.  If I’m sad and am tweeting, you’ll know.

Sorry for the digression.  The point is that where am I now is worlds apart from where I at this point last year.  I was in a walking coma.  I was here, but save for a few small areas in my life, I wasn’t really here.  I was focused on physical health, but ignored mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

The craziest thing about that is that my spirituality, my faith, was and is one of the most important things about me.  I let myself get lost in the pain and darkness that I was experiencing and thought that cutting myself off from my faith would make it easier for me.  It took what is one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever gone through to wake me up, to pull me out of my coma, to bring me back to life.  And in the process of the past few months, I am myself again (or actually more myself since it has forced me to work on many deeper issues in my life/past).  I am, for the first time in a long time, holistically healthy.  I am finding myself whole again.  And it’s translating into every aspect of my life.  My training is going better than ever.  I am content.  I am enjoying life again.  There is still sadness and difficult days, but as a whole I am healing/healthy.  It’s a process of course, but it’s one that no longer seems as onerous as it once did.

I tweeted this morning that the fullness of grace in the resurrection is that sin and death were overcome.  The resurrection shows that there is no place so dark or person so lost that life and love can’t reach them.

So if you are in a darker place or in a broken place or feel like you are dead or dying, I hope for resurrection for you.

I hope for wholeness for you.

For strength.

For life.

Happy Easter 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized

Not Dead

April 22, 2011 1 comment

I’m not dead, I promise!  School is finishing up with finals next week so I’m sure I will be back to blogging regularly in lieu of actual studying 🙂

In the meantime, here is a little preview of what I will be doing to my final next week!

Categories: Uncategorized

Where Eagles Dare

March 21, 2011 3 comments

I am in a bit of a nostalgic mood tonight (as I often get when I’m procrastinating), and I came across this video from 2007.  This was when I lived in Jordan and this was my ode to the seniors that I taught.  Enjoy!

Categories: Uncategorized

Cancer Sucks

March 21, 2011 2 comments

Is it enough to say that?

Is it enough to feel physically ill when I see someone suffering from cancer, to admire the strength that keeps them fighting a sometime losing battle?

Is it enough to be angry and feel every protective urge I have fire when I see or hear about someone fighting?

Almost three years ago I lost arguably the most important person in my life to cancer.  In just over a month it will be three years exactly.  I am still dealing with the pain of that loss, and I still have many days where I wish he were here for me to talk to.  That loss was so personal, so devastating, and it changed me.  My grandpa was one of the greatest men I have ever known, and losing him to cancer made personal that which I already knew: cancer sucks.  That’s a mild epithet which doesn’t convey the degree of anger I feel toward cancer.  Not solely because it took my grandpa, but because I absolutely hate seeing others suffer.

When I took my first steps as a triathlon rookie (just a year and a half ago) I did so with Team in Training.  The fighter in me, the optimist, knew that there was a way to combine passion with purpose, to let my health endeavors be a fuel to advance worthy causes.  It’s that same optimism that refuses to admit impotency.  I’m not angry because I couldn’t save grandpa.  I’m not angry at God for taking grandpa.  I don’t have blame in my heart, only a firm belief that the strongest part of who we are is who we are together.

In the cloud of the past year, I lost a little of that focus.  Fortunately, I am surrounded by men and women for whom giving is the fundamental aspect of their character.  My “cloud” is filled with people who are raising money for various causes, TNT included, and I can’t go 30 minutes without seeing someone somewhere tweet or update facebook about what they are doing to help.  Team Trakkers and the Rev3 races are partnered with The Ulman Cancer Fund, which is dedicated to helping young adults with cancer.  I wish I could share with you the conversations that have gone around the team, but suffice it to say that I am humbled every time I think about being counted among the men and women on this team.

With that spirit, with the loss of grandpa, and the knowledge that we are strong enough to make a difference, I have decided it is time to step back in the ring.  This year I have joined Swim Across America.  I am raising money to support cancer research by swimming.  A group of us here in Dallas will be swimming at White Rock Lake on June 11.  I have committed to raising $500 dollars.  If you can give, I would certainly appreciate it.  $500 is my minimum, but I would love to raise more.  If you would like to give, you can do so here.

Cancer sucks, but I believe and will continue to believe that it’s not as strong as us.

Categories: Uncategorized

“These are the ABCs of me, baby!”

March 1, 2011 5 comments
So this has been floating around the interwebs, and I figure, why not?  An easy, light post for today 🙂
Don’t forget to give me suggestions for my new bike’s name!
A~Age: 29 until September 24

B~ Bed Size: Queen size mattress and box springs, but no frame as yet

C~Chore you hate: Traditionally? Cleaning up dog poop! Without dogs, cleaning up the mail.

D~Dogs: Had two, one Newfoundland (Leila) and one Tibetan Mastiff (Aslan). Now sort of do, but not really.

E~Essential Start your Day Item: Music

F~Favorite Color: Blue 

G~Gold or Silver: Got to be Silver unless we’re talking about me competing in the Olympics (for either triathlon or curling), then it’s Gold all the way!

H~Height: 6′ even

I~Instruments you play: Play the guitar and sing. Played the viola for 5 years during my mis-spent youth 🙂

J~Job Title: Director of Awesome . . . or law student and Educator at lululemon athletica

K~Kids: None, but someday 🙂

L~Live: Don’t mess with Texas!

M~Mom’s Name: Patricia

N~Nicknames: Mike . . . nothing really exciting or original 

O~Overnight Hospital Stays: I was born premature so I spent some time in the NICU.  Had a bilateral femur rotation when I was 9 and spent a few weeks in the hospital then too

P~Pet Peeve: Grammar/spelling mistakes (they’re/their/there, your/you’re, etc.).

Q~Quote from a Movie: “Whoa! Big gulps, huh? . . .  Well, see ya later!”

R~Right or Left Handed: Right 

S~Siblings: One sister who is 2.5 years younger than me

T~Time you wake up: 5:00 am on swim days, 6:30-7 on non-swim days

U~Underwear: Boxer Briefs

V~Vegetable you Dislike: Olives! Have tried to like them, but just can’t do it!

W~What Makes You Late: Death! I am chronically early and always have been.  If I’m not five minutes early, start worrying.  If I’m late, you better send out the search party.

X~X-rays You’ve had Done: legs, lungs, shoulders – none recently though
Y~Yummy Food you Make: I make some mean paleo pancakes 🙂
Z~Zoo Animal Favorite: Pandas or Snow Leopards
Categories: Uncategorized

Bike Naming Time!

February 28, 2011 6 comments

Wow, it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted anything.  School is entering the crazy time and training is starting to amp up (not to mention that I’m 2/3 of the way through the Crossfit/Paleo Challenge), but that’s no excuse 🙂  A lot has happened, including a race, so there will be a few post coming over the next few days, but for now, I have some exciting (for me) news!

This arrived on Friday!

Words can’t really express how stoked I was to get my new bike!  I’ve been seeing all these posts from teammates with pictures of their bikes and was excited for them but absolutely jealous.  Now I get to be in the club.  She’s a Kestrel 4000 and gorgeous 🙂  Thanks to Kestrel and Steven Harad for supplying Team Trakkers with these awesome rides!

I immediately took her to Richardson Bike Mart, one of my favorite bike shops here in the area, to see if they could get her put together.  They were great and even though they were crazy busy yesterday, I had an email this morning stating that she was built and ready to go!  So in I went at lunch to get her initial fit.

As you can see, I already have the speedfil and a rear cage on her.  I can’t wait to take her for a few loops around White Rock tomorrow!

So I’m going to take a cue from Andree here.  I want to give her a name, but I need some help!  For the next 48 hours I would like y’all to leave suggestions for names.  She is a she, so that will narrow the names down some.  I also think that names should have meaning, so bear that in mind.

So there you go!  I will narrow the suggestions down to my favorite 3 or so and then create a poll and we will vote on the one.  I want her named before my first tri of the season, which is a week from Sunday.  And maybe, just maybe, there might be some EFS Liquid Shots from First Endurance for the winner! 🙂

This week I will be reviewing Foggle, one of the new products to which I was introduced, Ultragen from First Endurance, and write up a race recap of the Cowtown Half which I ran yesterday!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Categories: Team Trakkers

L is for . . .

February 14, 2011 6 comments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’m an incurable optimist, an unabashed romantic.  It’s a push back, I think, from the fact that my dad was such a cynic and pessimist.  This is true despite, or maybe because, of the experiences of the past couple years.  But more on that in a minute.

So here we are on the one day of the year where we celebrate love, celebrate the “us-ness” of life.  While I am certainly sad to no longer be a part of an “us,” I refuse to let that sadness turn in to bitterness at the happiness of others.  I find it a bit infantile when people push against Valentines and use their singleness as a reason to attack others’ happiness.  Why not be happy for them?  I get that it’s hard to see others happy when you aren’t, or that they have something you don’t.  Trust me, I am acutely aware of that, especially this year.  I just refuse to let my own pain become a reason that I can’t celebrate for others.

On the other hand, I get a little sad when I hear coupled people say that Valentine’s is just another day and we should show love all year ’round.  While I absolutely agree with that statement (and the same is true for what other major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas stand for), why can’t we take a day to be particularly romantic and celebrate each other?  We do that on birthdays.  We say that this is a special day for them when the argument could be made that we should celebrate their existence every day of the year (which, again, is true).  I say take the day and go overboard!

I am, unfortunately, a cautionary tale. I let that part of me that is romantic and wants to go overboard die, or at least atrophy.  I stopped doing those things that, in my heart, I love to do.  I was afraid.  I was afraid that I would be rejected or laughed at, when the truth was even a few more little gestures could have changed the course of my life.  While I can’t go back, I can and have learned from that.  I won’t ever be perfect, but I will love robustly.  I will love earnestly and passionately.  I will make the big and small gestures that shows that woman I love (when I find her) that she is the most important person in my life.

So I guess the caution to all you couples out there is to go big!  Be jackasses (to quote Serendipity)!  Even though you hopefully show him/her that you love them every day, celebrate today!  Celebrate being together! Celebrate the life you live and share with one another!

To the rest of you singles out there, relax 🙂 Don’t be bitter.  Be happy for where you are and what you have.  Don’t hate on those who have someone.  All that is going to do is increase the bitterness and become a cancer inside of you.

In other news, I am 14 days through the challenge and have kept it updated here.  I also bit the bullet and signed up for both the Cowtown Half Marathon and the Rock and Roll Dallas Half Marathon.  I will already be doing long runs those days, so I thought why not get a medal and a shirt for it 🙂 And finally, I had a slip from UPS on my door when I got home from Crossfit tonight so I think my shoes might finally be here!  I sure hope so.  I’m patient, but man it’s been hard staying that way 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!


Categories: Uncategorized