Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015... It's About Stepping Out

This morning I started my year doing something with one of my favorite men in my life, with a group of people that have been in my life for almost as long as he has been alive!  As with everything that I do with these people, I had so much fun.  What was it?  A New Year's day tradition...  Meet up and watch a movie in our pajamas.  Who was it with?  The Angels for the Cure.  Who the heck is that?!?!?!  I'm glad you asked!

Way back in 2007, I was finally getting into the groove of being a single mom and going through a "self-discovery" stage, so to speak.  I heard about this thing called "The Breast Cancer 3 Day" on the radio.  My mother and aunt had survived their battles with cancer.  I also had learned that another aunt had survived a humiliating round of breast cancer many decades back.  I had completed local 5K's, but this was so much more...  Sixty miles, three days...  More importantly, raising $2,300.  Yes, each participant must raise this amount.  The journey ahead was a long one, but the fight that my loved ones faced was paled in comparison.  

I was lucky enough to meet the team captain of Angels for the Cure!  I'm not exactly sure HOW it happened, but a higher power had something to do with it.  Debby is a great captain and has a huge passion for this cause.  Her motivation and drive is enough to keep us all motivated throughout the year.  I walked in 2008 with Angels for the Cure.  In 2009, I was a Crew member, but still as a member of the AFTC team.  In 2010, I had surgery on my foot a few weeks prior to the event and was a Walker Stalker...  I just went out and cheered on my teammates.   With 2011 came more issues with my feet, so I was unable to walk.  Then, I changed careers.  I still supported my AFTC team and cheered them on.  However, I was not able to participate in the 3 Day.  The friendships that this event creates are unbreakable.  There is something about this event that creates bonds that cannot be described.

Fast forward to 2014.  A year ago, I was told that I carry one of the breast cancer genes (there are two types).  Okay.  I get myself regularly checked, so I just go twice a year now instead of once.  No big deal.  Then, my middle school best friend has ankle surgery and gets diagnosed with breast cancer.  WHAT????  She is having a hard time...  Financially, physically, medically.  To top it off, her sister was also diagnosed with this horrible disease!  I did what I knew to do...  Started talking...  Raise awareness.  One of the gyms I work at hosted a PINK OUT! event at all of their locations.  Hopefully that will be an annual event.  I was asked to lead the 3 Day walkers in a Zumba warm-up.  Wow!  I was so honored!  After back and forth, I decided to chop off over eleven inches of hair and donate it.  What else did I do?  I vented to my Angels.  I know that they are always there and they would be willing to understand my frustration.  They helped out like I knew they would.

I loved being with these ladies this morning.  It was great for us all to see one another's kids and just be silly with each other.  I am joining them again this year as a Walker...  Training walks, fanny packs, blisters, pink tents.  And raising money!  Such a lofty goal, $2,300, but please help me reach my goal by donating ( Do you have a Kroger reward card?  You can link up your card to help our team when you shop!  Just ask me how.  

2015 is going to be a GREAT year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ADIOS 2013

Oops....  It has been over a year since I have visited my blog, and I am here to shut the door and say "farewell" on 2013.  I am writing this post cuddled in my bed, covered in blankets, slathered in layers (sweatshirt, robe and a jacket).  Apparently, I'm ending 2013 ill and not ringing in the New Year with friends as we had planned only hours ago.  This does give me the great opportunity to write this post.

The year 2013 had some good times.  We were blessed with births this year - my great-nephew Dante and a child that is a blessing daily, Easton.  Familial relationships were mended and continue to grow.  We've had a proposal and a wedding to look forward to in the upcoming months.  I have created some new friendships, bonds, that I cherish and only hope they feel the same.  My son continues to amaze his teachers with his wit and wisdom.  He is also into a new sport that makes our heart smile while we watch him.

However, I am eager to shut the door on 2013.  There were too many people that were lost this year.  Too many family and friends with the same sadness upon their face.  There were too many times that I came so close to being one of those people, when it came to my own daughter.  I'm glad that that fear is no longer heavy on my shoulders and I can put that in the past.  My cousin's health scare.  Professional discouragements.  Injury.  "Close friendships" that disintegrated.  And so many more that I could name, but would have to "call out" specific friends and family.

The point is, I am ready to shut 2013 close and put a lock on it.  Still have the memories, but not have to relive them. 

If you want to be part of my 2014, practice honesty with me.  Whether professional or personal.  That's how to maintain our relationship.  As for me, I will be what you need (as long as it does not interfere with my family or local or federal laws).  I will continue to improve myself in 2014, professionally, mentally and physically.  I will improve myself as a wife and mother.  I will be a better person.  These are not resolutions.  These are promises to myself.

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S 2014!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spotlight on Captain Awesome

Today was the big day! I checked the race website last night so that KISA and I could lay out our plans for Race Day. We set our alarms for 5:45am and 6:00am to make a race that started at 7:00am. We were rushing around to get our race rest only to wake up after what seemed to be five minutes after we fell asleep. Captain Awesome said it best, "That was the shortest night ever." He is so wise beyond his five years... We got our pre-race bagels and headed out the door.

We arrived at Custer Road United Methodist Church and noticed that it was pretty... Ummmm... What's the word? Oh, yeah. Empty. We went inside the church and were promptly asked if we needed assistance. I said, "We are here for the Fun Run. The website said the it was from 7:00 - 8:15." I was informed that I misread as registration was from 7:00 - 8:15 and the Fun Run started at 8, which makes sense. Why would a one mile run/walk last 75 minutes? So what do you do when you are over an hour early with a rambunctious five year old? Entertain him as best as possible. Luckily the staff at CRUMC were very considerate and overly helpful in making sure that our hour plus was as comfortable as possible.

I won't bore you with all of the details. Let me just say. Captain was... AWESOME!!! He absolutely killed it on this race. I was able to keep up with him for about 1/10th of a mile before he began to pull away from me. Every time he turned a corner, he would stop and look for me. I would yell, "Captain Awesome, keep going". At 3/4 of a mile, I mad an emergency call.

Gasping for air, I immediately gave KISA instructions, "Keep you (huff) eyes open (puff). He's (gasp, huff, puff) smoking me." KISA would later say that it was the funniest phone call he's ever received.

My precious little boy crossed the line 45 seconds (KISA says it was at least a full minute) before me. When I crossed the finish line, he was there to give me a high five.

I decided to interview my little man to get his insight on his experience. I hope you enjoy:

Mommy: How did you feel when we were at the start line of the race?

CA: Happy because it was my first race.

Mommy: When you were running and turned around and didn't see mommy, how did you feel?

CA: Sad. Actually still happy. I meant that.

Mommy: So, you weren't scared when you didn't see mommy?

CA: Nopity*, nopity, nope.

Mommy: When we went on training runs, you always wanted to rest, but during this race, you ran the whole thing. How did you do it?

CA: Because I just wanted to ruuuuun.

Mommy: What was your favorite part about running the race?


Mommy: What did you not like about the race?

CA: Nothing. I liked everything, everything, everything.

Mommy: How did you feel about running faster than mommy and a lot of other people older than you?

CA: Happy

Mommy: You got a really cool hand painted medal at the race. What are you going to do with it?

CA: Wear it all the time.

Mommy: Why do you like it so much?

CA: Because I earned it.

Mommy: Are you going to run another race?

CA: Nopity, nopity, nope.

*Please give me some leniency on how to spell the words of a five year old.

The next day, Captain Awesome woke up with sore legs. Ahhhh... Now that is a sign of a good run!
**Again, a big shout out to our hosts, Custer Road United Methodist Church. We ran the Esperanza 5K serving Juntos Servimos. The Esperanza 5K Race is in support of the work of Dr. Nancy Rodriguez and Larry Cox at Casa Bugambilia near Matamoros, Mexico. Casa Bugambilia shelters ill and abandoned persons until they can be reunited with their families. It is a center for diabetes prevention and treatment. It provides medical care and physical therapy to people without access to quality health care. Casa Bugambilia advances the education of children through preschool learning readiness classes, tutoring and education enrichment. The 2012 Esperanza 5K Race raised over $44,000 for the people in need in Matamoros, Mexico**

Monday, February 27, 2012


Today I put on my running necklace with the above words on it. I strapped on my Garmin heart rate monitor, laced up my running shoes and put out the perfect BondiBand for my run. I picked out my purple band with a turtle that says "wanna race?" as it matched perfectly with my purple t-shirt; which also had a turtle on it with the words, "I am running" across the front. The advice of those that came before me rang in my ears.

"Nice and easy." "Don't want to re-injure yourself." "Slow and steady wins the race." I was more than curious as to how this run was going to play out. The only plan I had when I reached the door was to finish. I would jog. I would walk. I would listen to my body... Er, my feet.

I took one last look at my necklace... I would definitely be doing a lot of praying during the next X amount of miles or minutes I could survive. I walked out of the door and felt the fresh air. It was sixty four degrees with a light breeze. Knowing that I was going to be in this weather RUNNING, put a smile on my face. I began to lift my feet to start my run, "OUCH"! I had gone back to boot camp this morning. I lost track of how many squats I did. This was going to be tough. Just having enough strength to lift my legs was taking so much effort. I laughed out loud (luckily there were neighbors outside) and thought "this is going to be 'fun'". I felt as though I was shuffling, and not the "Everyday We're Shufflin'" type of shuffling. The "are my feet even getting off the ground?" type of shuffling. I had to do something because if these darn feet didn't get up, I would be tripping FOR SURE! I made it to the corner of our subdivision and decided I needed a plan. Yes, Captain Obvious at your service yet again!

I shot for one minute running, two minutes recovery. That was boring so I then decided I was going to run until I couldn't and then take a minute to recover. After a mile, I gave myself two minutes to recover. I had to stop a few times to stretch and limped just a tad, but I FINISHED! I did two miles. Two real miles... If I am going to get specific, which I am, it was 2.02 miles.

I learned three things during this run:

1. Two miles is too far for my foot at this time.
2. Limit the squats when I am planning on running on the same day.
3. I realized just how much I missed running in our neighborhood.

Today's mileage: 2.02
Total time: 32:21
Average pace: 16:01 (hey, at least I was out there)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Excuses Are Like....

It's been a while since I last blogged. The last time I blogged was about my weight loss. That was November 2010. A lot has happened since then. I completed my first half-marathon, got less than five pounds away from "goal weight", became a certified personal trainer (which made me so freaking happy), began training with the company that helped me to lose all of my weight and strengthen myself.

The past year plus also brought some emotional downs. I had to stop training professionally (with the company I mentioned above), I had a number of health problems which I felt that I couldn't share with all my friends, loved ones and former employer. That made me stop training and made me an emotional mess... Let me stop and say... I allowed myself to react negatively. I had spent the middle of November through the first of January in bed. I couldn't drive, I couldn't balance, I couldn't do basic things. I allowed myself to be sad and forget about all of my training.

I am not happy. I will allow myself to be happy again. I got released from my orthopedic surgeon yesterday and was even given a cortisone shot to keep my other foot pain at bay. My other medical issue is under control. I am looking forward. I am learning self-control and attempting not to hit the fast forward button so that I don't agitate any of my injuries.

I've allowed so many excuses turn me into a person that I don't like. I am writing this as I watch my recording of The Biggest Loser (and eating pizza). This season is about "No Excuses" and overcoming the common weight gain excuses. Some of the excuses include:

I'll start tomorrow, I have no self-control, I don't know how to cook healthy, I feel too lazy, I don't have enough time, I'm a food addict, I'm an emotional eater, I have a serious injury, I don't have a gym membership or I just don't care.

How many of these have you said? How many times have you said, "Enough is enough"? I still picture myself as woman that was over 211 pounds. This is a person I don't want to be again. You have to "start now" so that tomorrow you will be a day ahead of your goals. Lack of self-control will get you in a place that doesn't bring happiness. Start with one "vice" at a time and focus on that for a week. The next week, start with something new. There are a ton of recipes and magazines that will teach you how to "eat clean". Pick one up and actually try the recipes. Exercise gives you more energy, which gets rid of the feelings of laziness and fatigue. Thirty minutes a day is enough to change your life and your health. YOU CAN FIND 30 minutes a day. Find another outlet for your emotions... Running, crocheting, yoga, Zumba. If you must, find a professional to help you get through your food issues. You can even find food addict groups. Don't believe me? Google it! You don't need a gym membership to exercise. You can exercise with your body weight, in the comfort of your living room. Grab a big whiff of fresh air and go for a run/walk/jog.

"I have a serious injury." I used this as my excuse for a long time. Even though I couldn't use my foot, I could have done some strength training, ab work, etc. Instead I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and put me in a place that I don't want to be. See, I DO care. I do care and I care enough to do something about it.

***This is my first post in a while. It is not well thought out. It is not full of insight or well constructed sentences or paragraphs. It is an outpouring of the scary place that is know as my brain.***

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why Weight?

It's that time again, people. You just finished eating the last of the Halloween candy and are starting to salivate over the Thanksgiving menu. You will load up you plate and go back for seconds as your stomach is screaming, "No more!" Then, there are the Christmas parties that begin the first weekend in December. Not to mention the frantic Christmas shopping. You are so rushed, you just grab something quick in the food court. Finally, Christmas arrives and it is a replay of Thanksgiving. As you are laying sprawled out on your couch, unbuttoning your pants, you begin hating yourself. You start listing your New Year's resolutions in your mind. If you are super motivated, you write them down. "January 1st brings a brand new me!"

I have to ask. Why are you waiting?

Last year, I began my 30+ pound weight loss the day after Thanksgiving. I got up on Black Friday and didn't hit the sales - I hit the gym. That feeling, in a deserted gym, brought on such pride that it was almost sinful. I felt liberated. I was liberated from that woman that sat on the couch depressed about the person she had become... The unhealthy, clinically overweight, lazy individual. It was time to ditch the excuses and do something... NOW. For me, that "now" was after a gluttonous Thanksgiving.

What is keeping you from taking action now? Why are you going to wait until the New Year? Think about how far ahead schedule you will be if you start now? Don't be one of those people that says, "I'm going to do as much damage to myself through the holidays and start fresh on January 1st." DON'T BE THAT PERSON. Do not disrespect yourself enough to allow that to be your plan of action.

There are so many things you can do for yourself this holiday season. Decide to place smaller servings on your plate. To help you with this, switch your dinner plate for a lunch or salad plate. Take a walk around the neighborhood after the holiday meals. During your holiday shopping, put some healthy snacks in your purse to fend off the desire to hit that food court. Sip on water while you are looking for that perfect gift for Aunt Susie and you won't get into that hunger mode.

I am not only writing this for my readers, but for myself, too. This injury has had a bigger effect on me than I would like to admit. The cookies, the sodas, the hours of television watching are slowly morphing me into that woman I never wanted in my home again. So, I am taking action once again. I am starting NOW. When I sit down with my family on Thanksgiving, I will thank God for my health, my family and friends. I will also thank Him for giving me the strength to make this change. Will you be able to do the same?

My journey (please excuse the cheesy drill team pose):

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10 Reasons Why I'm Glad It's Fall

As previously stated, there won't be much to blog about since I'll be unable to train. I went over to Mama's Losin It and took a gander at her writing prompts. Prompt #565: 10 Reasons You're Glad It's Fall. On this chilly, rainy, dark day, I thought, "perfect".

1. Sweaters: I am constantly cold. It will be the dead of Summer and I will have the heater on in my office as I am wrapped up in my sweater or blanket. With the temperatures dropping, it is time to bring out the sweaters. Even though I'm constantly cold, I will take cold weather over hot weather any day. You can always add layers to get warmer, but there are only so many items you can take off to get cooler - and not land yourself in jail.

2. Boots: They go with skirts, pants, jeans, slacks, dresses - and yes - some braver, trendier individuals even wear them with shorts. You might be able to get away with boots during Spring and Summer, but you have no worries when its Fall. Suede or leather, all is well in Fall. You can totally change the look of an outfit with the addition of some great boots.

3. Blankets: You can also include Snuggies in this category. There is something about the warmth of an inhabited blanket. It is so toasty and welcoming that you cannot tear yourself out of its embrace. Whether it partners you reading a good book, or drinking a hot cup of tea, it tops off the evening of sheer perfection.

4. Family Gatherings: Thanksgiving is one of my favorite family holidays. Fall marks the time that you get to see those family members that you typically don't get to see everyday. Fall means my father's house is busy and loud. It means that we are closer to the even bigger holiday - Christmas!

5. Comfort Foods: Tortilla soups, baked breads, various creamy soups, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce. This is a list of foods that make me all warm and fuzzy inside. These foods don't really mix well with other seasons (maybe with the exception of the cranberry sauce). They fit perfectly with Fall.

6. Texas Weather: The only thing consistent about Texas weather is the inconsistency. Texas Fall does not bring extremities one way or the other. You get the dark, stormy weather. You get the windy but sunny. You get heat. It provides variety and keeps one from getting burned out by any one season offering.

7. Fire: With the temperatures dropping beginning in Fall, it is time to bring out the firewood and poker and start up a fire in the fireplace or fire pit. Watching the fire speak - with its crackle, pop and spark - is riveting. I can stare at a burning fire for hours... Well, maybe not HOURS. The fireplace is usually reserved for couple's movie night. The fire pit is an invitation for friends to gather and chat around the fire. Either way, it is utter enjoyment.

8. Tights/Leggings: Fall means that my razor gets some much needed time off. There is nothing worse than trying to shave when it is cold. Why bother? I don't want to be subjected to wearing only pants due to my disdain for shaving during the cold Fall mornings. Tights and leggings come to the rescue during this season. I can throw on either under a dress, skirt or tunic and look fashionable. The days that I do decide to wear pants, I can pull on a pair of tights under my trousers and add a little bit of warmth throughout the day.

9. Hot drinks: I'm not a big fan of coffee style drinks. My hot drinks of choice are tea and cocoa. Those are two types of drinks that you typically don't see consumed much during the warmer months... On this side of the pond, that is. I can enjoy my hot tea and not be uncomfortable. And thanks to a friend's suggestion, my peppermint tea fits right in during this particular season.

10. Lists: Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a list maker. It helps my organization and OCD tendencies. Fall brings me to a time of the year where I can wave my List-Making Freak Flag high in the sky. I make Christmas gift lists, Christmas card lists, home improvement lists - and most importantly - New Year organizational projects. Woo hoo!!! I start making my list of organization boxes and containers so I can hit the sales at the beginning of the year and beat those whose New Year's resolution is to "clear the cutter".