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Fighting for it, from start to finish

October 7, 2016

“Mama, we had our Panda Powwow today.”
“You did?!” Did you get a new life skill to work on?”
“Yup.”
“Cool, what is it?”
“I can’t remember.”
“No?”
“It starts with a p … It’s a long word …”
“Persistence?”
“Noooo …”
“Patience?”
“Noooo …”
“Hmm. And it starts with a p?”
“Yeah. It’s like, when something is really, really hard. But, like, you just keep trying to do it anyway. And then you, like, win over it. Because you just kept on trying. Like, you know, even when nobody thought you could do it.”

Perseverance.

When we set goals, the intent is always to persevere. And sometimes we do, and sometimes we don’t (because sometimes, you won’t). Last Saturday I successfully ran my second half marathon, and I was humbled and reminded yet again that our bodies can do amazing things when we will them to.

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The entire race journey is really an exercise in body awareness and mental manipulation. It is perhaps the only true exception to the widely accepted definition of insanity. You show up and repeat the same action, day after day, mile after mile, hour after hour, song after song, and expect different outcomes. But it doesn’t make you crazy. Just optimistic. Because in this case you actually do get a mixed bag of results depending on the day, the weather, the wind, the blisters. My 8-mile training run was as painful for my pride as it was for my knees and lungs. I ached psychologically, physically, spiritually, from the second my sneakers hit the pavement until we turned the final corner. Just 4 weeks later, I completed a 10-mile run with a full minute shaved off my splits and a damn-near cocky disposition. Running is the most unpredictable game you can play with yourself. Strategy is for suckers.

And yet, I keep dealing myself in. I am not a great runner. I aspire to be, of course, but I am not great. I will never break the tape. In fact, the tape and streamers have been swept up and taken to the dumpster 5 blocks away by the time I finish. But I still come to the party. Better yet, I bring a guest. If you’ve been hanging in here for awhile you might remember my bud Britni who ran with me last year. That was until we had to part dramatically around mile 10 and I finished ‘er out with a 70-year-old stranger.

This year Britni went and got herself in the family way, but one of my ride-or-dies for the last 18 years, Jackie, signed up. Jackie, much like me, much like Britni, was not a runner when she checked the boxes to enter the race. It was a leap of faith. It was a declaration of an intent to persevere. It was brave, and she was brave for doing it. What possessed her? I think the same thing that possesses most people who sign up for these things. It’s a temporary self-improvement project. It’s purpose. Plus, don’t we all just want a win once in awhile?

For 12 weeks, starting in July, every Sunday I met either Jackie or my embarrassingly swifter friend Jill for the week’s long run. While the training schedule was exactly the same, something felt different this year. I don’t think I had what I would categorize as “a good run” until the very last training run the Monday before the race.

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“Man, do you feel older this year?” Jill asked during week 3.
“Ya know, I do.” I said.

You guys, i wish I were being facetious. At the ripe age of 33, my hips, ankles, knees and back screamed at me for 12 straight weeks to, for the love of all that is holy, stop hammering them into the ground and dragging them up small hills that felt like Mount Kilimanjaro. I guess I just never found my groove this go-around. But Jackie did, and then she lost it, and then she found it again. And I was so, so proud.

There is a rare joy that comes with watching someone else uncover a soul-changing strength that was just lurking in the caverns of their being, completely untapped. While I think most of us have that grit, not everyone chooses to go looking for it. Or to push themselves to that point where you either discover it or abandon the pursuit of it. Turns out, I get my jollies watching others push themselves to this uncomfortable, magnificent place. I mean, I like to do it myself as well, but moreso it’s the watching others.

Glennon Doyle Melton has a term for these discovery missions, and life in general. She calls them, “brutiful”. Because certain moments of every day are brutal. And certain moments of every day are beautiful. Life is brutiful. Running is brutiful.

There were stretches of country roads where it was just me, Jackie, God and the sunset. Beautiful. There were gradual inclines that hit just as a side stitch settled in. Brutal. High fiving one of my dearest friends after 2 hours of uninterrupted conversation and a new personal best; Beautiful. Chaffed armpits and chin acne; Brutal. See how that works. It’s the good with the bad. The tightrope stretched between triumph and adversity. Any challenge worth taking is one peppered with trials because, let’s face it, perseverance is a prize that doesn’t come cheap.

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On the day of the race, my sweet Jackie felt good. Really good. The temperature was ideal. The crowd and spectators were supportive. All the pieces were in place for a spectacular morning. But I had lead legs. I don’t know why. Why do these things ever happen? Not enough training. Too much training. The fact that I had peanut butter toast instead of dippy eggs. Who knows. But my limbs felt like cinder blocks from mile 3 on.

I’m always amazed at the master-slave relationship between the mind and the body. If you will it, they will run. Confession: The only things that fueled me to the finish line on that October morning were my persistent best friend, stupid pride and a ravenous desire for Chipotle.

“Get outta your head,” Jackie urged. “You’ve got this, Court.”
[me, panting]
“C’mon girl. We’re finishing this thing together. I can’t do it without you.”
[more panting] “Uh huh.”
“I can tell you’re in your head. C’mon Court!”
“Jac, I love you, but this won’t make me go any faster.”
[both panting]

I so badly wanted her well-intentioned pep talk to be the magic pill that broke up the cement encasing my extremities and my state of mind, but sadly it just wasn’t that kind of day for this old mare. It’s so frustrating when your expectation for yourself and your actual ability can’t find a way to communicate and compromise.

But just as tortoises do, I slowly, steadily finished the race. I think that’s a big part of the bargaining I’ve learned to do with myself. I accept that I will finish, but I also have to accept that I won’t be doing it quickly. Once I resign myself to the reality that I will eventually get where I’m going and I won’t, in fact, die getting there, I’m usually OK with hangin’ in. But speed is nonnegotiable. My body just takes it off the table. Covering the distance will have to be enough.

When the finish line was in sight, my homegirl sprinted it in. “Get that for yourself,” I thought. My pace stayed lukewarm but amazingly, I finished the race 4 minutes faster than I did last year. Jill blew her goal out of the water and came in well under 2 hours. I see a full marathon in that mama’s future.

The punctuation mark to these things is always the post-race picture. It’s over. You did it. You can throw your arms over each other’s shoulders, rehash the brutiful moments and smile the truest smile. Because that smile is relief spilling out of you. Relief that you did it. Relief that they did it. Relief that no one got hurt. Relief that all that time away from your family wasn’t for nothing. Relief that rest is a car ride away.

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Then there’s the babies. Ahhh, the babies. As a mother to three little impressionable girls (Jill and Jackie are also mothers of three), the pain of lost toenails and runner’s knee and stubborn chaffing dissolves when I see their genuinely ecstatic little faces. The runners enter a baseball stadium at the end of this race, and Hank stood above the entryway into the outfield, so when I made that turn to bring it home, my tiny tribe was standing right above me. They screamed from their toes and squeezed excitedly onto the fence railings. “Go Mama!” That sound rained down on me and, combined with the sight of the end, triggered the most organic emotional release. My hot tears carved jagged trails through my salt-crusted cheeks and the peace of validation hugged my heart. My poor training runs and lackluster performance washed away because it was obvious they didn’t care. In their eyes, I had won the whole damn thing.

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And after all of it was over – After they asked to wear my medal. After I admired their homemade sign. After I promised I’d help them practice so they, too, could become a runner. – I bent down, scooped up the littlest one, put her on my hip and started the long walk back to the car. The glory is great, but it doesn’t have the longest lifespan. I could feel it fading already. The lesson, however … the lesson will last. All the good ones do.

Perseverance.
“steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc.,especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.”

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Try that with Matt No. 1: Random Acts of Kindness

August 23, 2016

Try that with Matt

My brother is a strong presence – in my life, in other people’s lives, in his work life, with his friends, with his kids, with my kids – he’s a big dude with a big heart and a loud voice. As I’ve grown older, and he’s gotten older, and major changes have rolled ashore and back out into the great big ocean again, our relationship has evolved. At some point my memories of him as the broad behemoth who wrapped blankets over my head and farted on me as I struggled and screamed under the smothering conditions, eroded a bit and I actually started seeing him as more of a friend. Being grownups isn’t necessarily the most comfortable hat for either of us to wear, and I think there’s a comfort in keeping someone so close who reminds you of your more-distant-than-you’d-like past as a dumb kid, but also supports you as an adult.

Siblings

Anyway, after our stint on the Appalachian Trail back in April, and the series of blog posts that followed, I think a passion for this platform began sprouting deep inside my big brother. He was more interested in the topics (this post in particular) and we started chatting a lot about adulting topics like happiness and contentment and satisfying the urge to explore and stretch yourself.

From these conversations, an idea was born. We would choose one challenge every month and try something we’d never tried before. We would dwell in the enticing space outside of our comfort zones at least once every 30 days. Some of our ideas are physically demanding, others are mentally demanding, but all are new to us in some capacity.

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August was the inaugural month for the “Try that with Matt” series, and we agreed to kick things off with something that had been on both of our minds: positivity. We challenged each other to pull off 10 random acts of kindness (RAOK) in 10 days. There were no hard and fast rules. Just two handfuls of happiness distributed as we saw fit.

If you didn’t see this video, you should. She inspired us. My friend Kelly has done my hair for years. She never tells me what I owe her and I always give her what I think is fair, and she thinks is too much. One day she told me she took the money from my last hair appointment and donated it, anonymously, to a mother in need from “two mothers who wanted to help”. THAT inspired me. That same friend took her two children a few times every week throughout the summer to a local facility to be peers for a severely autistic classmate of her son. Now THAT is what you teach your kids. THAT is the example you set. THAT inspires me. So many people are sheepishly, quietly trying to change this world, or at least make it a little happier, one day and one deed at a time. It isn’t all bad. It isn’t all violence and loss. We wanted to be a part of that movement.

Here’s how it shaped up …

MATT
*Written by Matt.

BOUQUET 2

Act No. 1. Special delivery.
The kids and I took flowers out to my mom. They were super pumped. My daughter picked them out, in Gram’s favorite color, of course. Mom was so surprised and happy we stopped out. I swear, the kids were just as excited as she was. It made me feel good, like I was doing something right, seeing them so hype about making someone else’s day. They helped with most of my acts of kindness.

Act No. 2. Bought fundraiser tickets.
Young guy, little older than my son, was out selling fundraiser tickets for his traveling soccer team. I had watched him and noticed the little guy hadn’t been very successful. He was a shy kid, so we made conversation and purchased some tickets and wished him luck on the season.

Act No. 3. Stopped to help.
A guy ran out of gas right by our neighborhood. Amazing how many people went around him and didn’t think twice. I jumped out of my truck, offered to push his car to the closest parking lot or run down and get gas for him. He assured me he was fine, his wife was in route to save the day. (Perhaps some other superwoman …) I think a lot of times we assume help is coming for people, but we should all be inclined to at least check and make sure.

Act No. 4. Moved mattresses.
I helped a friend pick up some mattresses. They didn’t have access to a truck and needed a hand so I tossed my hat in the ring and said I would take care of it. Life is busy for everyone, especially if you have young active kids. If you have the resources and someone else doesn’t, it never hurts to give a bit of your time. In this case, someone needed a box truck and I just so happen to have one, albeit one that tried to kill me years ago on a trip back from Iowa, but we’ve worked out the kinks and it was nice to help a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile.

Act No. 5. Treated a stranger.
Kids and I went for a frozen treat one Friday night and we decided to pay for the person behind us. As the gentlemen drove past with I will assume his wife and kid, he gave us a thumbs up out the window as we patiently waited to destroy a few milkshakes ourselves. We gave a wave and a thumbs up in return and I said hopefully that made his day and he does something nice for someone else. Kids thought he probably would because he was happy.

Act No. 6. Cashed in a good deed.
Back to school shopping was in full swing and I had already taken a day and tackled Kohl’s with the kids and cashed in some Kohl’s cash (free money, what!?) Well, a few days after we crushed it a coworker was heading out with her two princesses and Kohls was one of their stops. I had a 30 percent coupon and, like a boss, active Kohl’s cash burning a hole in my wallet. I passed them on so she could tear it up with her girls. We all know kids are costly and every little bit counts. This person kills it as a coworker and always does stuff for others. It felt good to put a smile on her face.

Act No. 7. Went for a wash.
Took the car through the carwash and paid for the person behind us (or to the side, or God knows where because the place was stupid packed). The kid that took my card was all about it though and you like to think that when you do a RAOK like this the people caught in the middle get some enjoyment as well and makes them think of doing something nice.

Act No. 8. Turned over the keys.
Kid was selling a car and couldn’t get rid of it and I like to buy and sell some things, so I gave him some green for his beater and the plan was to get it flipped. Later that day I was talking to another buddy and told him about my latest purchase and he was telling me about a guy that he knew that was having a run of bad luck and trying to get on his feet. The guy had a couple of kids, he was a hard worker, made mistakes as a kid that had cost him a good stretch of his freedom … I agreed to sell my buddy the car for what I paid and he was going to surprise this guy and give it to him so he had wheels for he and his kids. That was a no brainier and shows you there is so much good in the world; good, loving people. But all we focus on as humans is negative bullshit. The news is crap. Why not report 28 minutes on all of the positive stuff that happens daily and save the last 2 minutes for the sad, selfish bullshit instead of vice versa.

Act No. 9. Dogwatch.
Took care of Desperately Seeking Superwoman’s dog for the weekend. Yeah, I counted it. Made me feel good for a minute until I went to let the dog out and they had no chips in the pantry. Stay stocked up Biscuits!

Act No. 10. Meal on me.
Picked up a tab at dinner for a random patron and asked the waiter to have them pay it forward. He was all about it and the kids just sat and smiled. It just feels good to do something for someone that isn’t expecting it and you don’t get to see the reaction. You just hope they in turn do something good for someone else.

****

COURTNEY

LoveLetter

Act No. 1. Love letter.
I’m obsessed with the site,The World Needs More Love Letters. I logged on, picked the story that tugged the most violently at my heartstrings (a 13-year-old boy who was wondering why God chose for him to live through a tough illness in this case) and pulled out stationery. Stationery. When was the last time you used stationery to write words to pick up another soul? I did on that day. And I put an actual stamp on it and put it in the actual mailbox.

Act No. 2. Donuts for all.
Let’s be real. For men and women in the workforce, donuts on Friday are like a sitz bath after a 32-hour labor and delivery. Candy after a trip to the dentist. I like to sit them somewhere and see how long it takes for someone to find them. Who will open the brown box? Who will be most excited? Great social experiment all around.

Act No. 3. Sympathetic ear.
I stumbled upon a coworker in the midst of an emotional meltdown. I’d never met this particular coworker in person before, but it became very clear, very quickly, that this woman was in need of a good cry. Do you know why it was so easy for me to recognize this scenario? Because I have been in that seat, fighting those tiny burning needles behind my eyelids and sensing a trail of tear-induced snot marching it’s way out of my nasal canal. I have been there! Who hasn’t? Sometimes the shit hits the fan and you can’t get a win to save your life and you just need someone to give you permission to open up the dam and let it out. I don’t think it was an accident I ended up in her office.

Act No. 3. Garden goodie.
My niece loves zucchini bread. I baked up two loaves for her to enjoy. It took no more than an hour to do and I even threw in an extra loaf for my crew.

Act No. 4. Passed along some pages.
I have a girlfriend who I adore to no end. She’s been working through some major life stuff for a few months now. I logged on and had a copy of Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein sent to her doorstep with a note, “A bit of inspiration for a girl who inspires me.” A great book is best shared with those who really need it.

Act No. 5. Blog crush kudos.
I understand, as a writer, how humbling a creative profession can be at times. You put things out into the world and sometimes get tough criticism back or, worse yet, hear nothing at all. It’s brutal and totally self-inflicted. So, I took some time to email a few of my favorite bloggers, who I don’t think have a huge following just yet, to let them know how much their words mean to me.

Act No. 6. Spread good luck.
Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck. You’ve heard it. I took two handfuls of pennies and flung them about in high-traffic areas.

Act No. 7. Pat on the back.
One of my favorite people on the planet is my college roommate Ashlie. She recently adopted two children and, I tell ya, watching her parent them brings more joy than watching myself masterfully manipulate my own little turkeys into doing something good. She’s good at it. Like really, crazy, stupid good at it. So I told her she was. I don’t praise my mommy friends enough from the trenches.

Act No. 8. Lunch for the lady.
Hank’s folks stopped by around dinner time so I packed up some leftovers for his mom to take for lunch the next day. She’s been a nurse for more than 30 years and gives so much of herself to strangers. Caregivers often focus so much on others they neglect themselves. It made me feel good knowing she had one less thing to worry about the next day.

Act No. 9. Make the hole.
This was likely the girls’ favorite good deed. On Thursday nights, the main road to our neighborhood is a traffic jam due due to food truck event that takes place at a popular intersection. As it started to break loose a bit and we were going to get moving, a firetruck, parked in the station, flipped it’s lights on. I slammed on my brakes to let them out right in front of us. The girls cheered in celebration of this one. I told them it was an honor to help heroes.

Act No. 10. Take a timeout.
I have a buddy at the gym. He’s likely in his late 70s and a bit difficult to understand some times. He knows my workout schedule. On Mondays I stay home and do yoga. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I run. On Wednesdays and Fridays, I do weights. He knows this. If I’m missing one day, he checks in with me the next. I always humor him with brief chatter. But during this challenge, I planted my feet, looked him in the eyes and spent a good 10 minutes working through children and grandchildren, recent vacations and his work life. We pass by hundreds of people every day. How many do we really see? That day I saw him.

We learned that it is possible to be competitive over good deeds; as we would occasionally compare our handy work. We also confirmed something that wasn’t exactly surprising. I like to plan things, while Matt is more of a freestyler. I had sat down and brainstormed a few things I really wanted to do over the 10 days. They were things I’d already had in mind and this was the perfect excuse to pull the trigger. Also, I would defer to emotional expressions of love and respect, while Matt’s go-to was lessening someone else’s burden in some way. There was no wrong, it was all right.

It crosses all of our minds more times than we realize to do good – to take something from someone’s full hands, or pick up the check or stop and listen … really listen. What woke me up was just how easy it was to actually do it. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or plan ahead. Just allow the time to comfort someone in need. Be human when someone needs it most. Be the hugger. Be the listener. Be the voice of compassion. Join the army of men, women and children spreading love in this world. Random or otherwise, let’s make kindness routine.

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Tonight, I’m cleaning out my pantry

January 4, 2016

Tune in today to see if she can … prep for a dietary turnaround. 

It’s the night before my third round (fourth attempt) of Whole30 and I gotta say, I love this time in a cleanse. When the food is prepped and the week of recipes is planned and I don’t quite want to rip the heads off of everyone around me yet. It’s a beautiful time of optimism and lofty aspirations and dreams of white t-shirts and stretchy skinny jeans. But, with the impending denial that any incredibly restrictive scenario brings, comes a bit of lashing out. For me, that lashing out comes with an impressive caloric tally and a healthy dose of remorse and humiliation.

Eating

Here, in no particular order, are my confessions on my Whole30 Eve:

  • I ate a ginormous bowl of Lucky Charms in a shameless attempt to polish off my non-compliant cashew milk. “Don’t look at me,” I told my husband, as I sorted through sugary horseshoes in an embarrassing sea of purple milk.

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  • While cleaning out the pantry, I found a box of chocolate graham crackers that expired in July 2012. Where do these things live for all those years? Like, I look in there … typically daily. And I haven’t noticed them hanging out, just, expiring. Where were those chocolate graham crackers hiding?
  • In the psychological battle between eating the holiday candy and throwing it in the garbage where it belongs, I opted for eating, on average, 5 haystacks and 7 peanut clusters every day for the last 5 days. Kind of gross, right? Also hid the rest for a post-Whole30 treat. (This is what they call “setting yourself up for future failure.”)

NutClusters

  • I came down with an insane cold-type thing on New Year’s Eve. I lost my voice, which stopped coming from the general area of my glands which were so sore and swollen I thought you could visibly see their abnormal heft. I had the spins and just a severe case of the “blechs”. None of these afflictions could stop me from cramming in a buffet of bad choices (mostly dairy) as the ball dropped, Arby’s and a sausage roll on Saturday and ruebens today. These were accompanied, of course, by the aforementioned haystacks and clusters, a fact that could be attributed to my slow recovery.
  • I watched in awe as my lovely husband, who is going to accompany me about 90% percent of the time on this particular Whole30 journey, cleared an entire bag of jalepeno kettle chips in 48 hours LIKE A BOSS.

OK, I think we’re all good here. You good? I’m good. Let’s do this Whole30 thing!

Until next time … 

 

 

 

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The big reveal

December 31, 2015

Goal

For a goal junkie like me, it shouldn’t come as a shock when I, right here on this blog with tens of dozens of followers, officially declare my unyielding love for New Year’s resolutions. I am, after all, an aspiring optimist. I embrace the idea that, even though I haven’t been able to pull something off for the past 365 days (or 33 years … whatever), the changing out of the calendar, as cued up by Jenny McCarthy of Singled Out fame, will somehow bring about the strength and willpower and skill necessary to finally climb that mountain … give up those sugary snacks … pump up that flat tire.

“This is it! This is the year,” I proclaim every January 2 (January 1 would just be unrealistic, cocky and disrespectful to the due process my hangover demands). And I mean it, too. I go into it guns blazing, ready to fight the good fight in the battle of habit vs. headway. I print off lists and pencil in reminders and attack the first month with all the gusto of a potential Bachelor suitor at her first cocktail party. Eye on the prize. Forward ever. Backward never.

In the spirit of the aforementioned optimism, I’m going to drop this particular line of commentary off right here and gloss over the point in the year when the wheels inevitably fall off the wagon and I find myself in a parking lot eating Ritz crackers dipped in chocolate and drinking gas station cappuccino listening to the new Adele CD, working through all the feels. Yeah, I think we’ll just stop there and move on to the goal portion of this post.

First, let’s journey back in time.

Resolutions for 2014
1) I want to practice mindfulness/meditation.
2) Have a fit pregnancy.
3) I want to find a passion project, something that isn’t tied to work that encourages me to stretch as a writer again.
4) I want to play more with the girls.
5) Move forward with our dream of backpacking.
6) Try to stay positive at work.
7) Stop living by a schedule!
8) After this baby gets here, it’s time to get IN THE BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE.
9) No more yelling.
10) I want to start celebrating other people more and making them feel special

Resolutions for 2015
1. Meditate (10-20 5 days a week)
2. Run the half in September
3. Backpack at least twice
4. Kick sugar addiction
5. Write something more than subject lines.
6. Quit. F-ing. Smoking.

So, being generous, I’d say I’m 4 for 16. The numbers could be stronger, I’ll admit. I’ve checked off some important ones – the cigs and the half – and I’ve thrown a few into this year’s group for a third consecutive round. Who knows, maybe this really will be their year. (Meditation, I’m lookin’ at you, kid.)  After a great deal of deliberation, and with some input from the peanut gallery, here is the big reveal – my list for the year ahead. This is it. I’m really doing it. Forward ever. Backward never.

Resolutions16

Feel free to share your own resolutions or give me unsolicited but helpful advice regarding any of mine. Anything goes!

 

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#inkedforlife

December 29, 2015

Tune in today to see if she can … get a tattoo. (Yes, you read that right.)

I don’t know how many times I asked myself how I got there  … wearing a cardigan backwards, negotiating the benefits of unbearable vs. extremely uncomfortable pain, as framed skeleton faces looked on in disapproval. I remember the playful banter and hypothetical happiness, but I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, some 3 months ago, somewhere between mojitos and margaritas, when it was confirmed that we would, indeed, get matching tattoos on this fateful day in late December. But here we were, 5 high school friends getting fresh ink on an otherwise mundane Wednesday. I came straight from work. I mean, I was wearing opaque tights for crying out loud. Who gets a tattoo wearing tights?

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The shock some of you might be experiencing upon hearing that I went through with this is not lost on me. In fact, no one was likely more shocked than I, the tattooee, was. I am, after all, a mother of 3. And in my 30s. And a complete pansy ass. I have diapers and smashed goldfish crackers in my purse and I can sing the theme song from Jake and the Neverland Pirates like a baby-lovin’ boss. I take melatonin and tuck myself in at 9. I have a Pinterest board dedicated solely to Crockpot meals and I can’t remember the last time I was up past 2 a.m. when it wasn’t related to a baby’s fever, diarrhea or teeth. All of this would suggest I’m not a prime candidate for getting marked for life. But I guess, in a lot of ways, all of this was the argument for why I did it.

My hesitations – and there were many – were tied more to the actual act and placement. I mean, it’s gonna hurt, that’s a given. And I’m not particularly fond of self-inflicted agony. But also, how will I explain it to the girls when they see it? And shouldn’t I get something that symbolizes my family first, if I’m going to do this at all?

The design our group agreed on, arrows crossing, is a Native American symbol of friendship, representing the meeting of two different souls. That was the easy part. The bonds I feel with the great women in my life mean enough to me that I knew I’d never regret wearing a reminder of that love. So, about 2 weeks ago, I started mulling over the mark by having Hank draw different arrows on me in different places I was considering; my hip, my ankle, my wrist (a close second for the perfect spot) and my side, right under my armpit.

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I must have had that poor man draw 50 pseudo tattoos on me. “Yeah … but smaller maybe.” “Do you think that looks trashy?” “Is that too noticeable?” “My fat is eating it there.” Always the patient onlooker and supportive spouse, he kept his criticisms to himself (and I’m sure he had a few he could have shared), and erased and replaced arrow after arrow, until finally I arrived at a spot, design and size I felt comfortable with.

The day of the appointments, still not 100 percent convinced I was in, I told myself I’d know what to do when I got there. Surely, your instinct kicks in in a situation like this, right? It was 2 days before Christmas and the Midwest was blanketed in thunderstorm warnings. I thought it might be a sign. In fact I mentioned that more than a few times to my friend Jackie when she picked me up from work. “It’s not a sign!” she urged. “You’re freaking out.”

And I was. When we walked into the tattoo parlor (a sentence I never thought I would write) I was relieved out how nice it was, but the tidiness was no match for my nervous stomach and rapid, racing pulse. I couldn’t stop peeing and pacing. My cool cucumber buddies, all of whom already had tattoos, were also sweaty and super chatty. ,Not a good sign. If I were to walk in cold of the street and assess the situation, I would deduct the group was recently exposed to an abundance of gases or 5 seconds away from meeting Sarah Jessica Parker (because people, I imagine, get ridiculously giddy before meeting Miss Carrie Bradshaw). We did not have our shit together.


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Naturally, I was last of the five. I stood like a first-time dad in a delivery room, watching as they tightened their mouths and clenched their teeth, covered their eyes with their forearms and lied out loud, buzz after buzz. “It’s not that bad.” they’d say. “It’s an annoying pain.” Let me ask you a question, dear reader, does an “annoying pain” sound like something made up but tolerable to you? It did to me. They were selling crap and I was buying manure by the bucketful.

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This is your badass move, Courtney, I told myself. You only get so many opportunities in your life to do the unexpected and make this kind of memory. Tomorrow is never promised. Get out of your head and live this moment. No regrets. No second guessing. Go grab this experience by the balls.

After sharing the illustration I unearthed in my exhaustive Pinterest explorations, I was told the artist wasn’t super comfortable making it as small as I’d envisioned (“The size of a nickel?”). He mocked up an alternative and I agreed. First blow to my plan and psyche. I walked over to the table like a death row inmate who’d just finished her fried chicken. The second blow came swiftly and shortly after I pointed to the spot where I wanted my arrows, a spot still red from my husband’s practice sketches. “Can I tell you something?” the nice man with the needle gun asked. “Oh gosh, what?” I said. “I only say this because I know this is your first tattoo and I can tell you’re a little nervous, but that spot right there is going to be pretty brutal. The farther down you go, the more tolerable it is.” He didn’t say painless, mind you, just more tolerable. So, we moved ‘er on down.

I assumed the position on the table and, sensing my sobering realization of the reality of my impending pricks, was joined by my friend Jackie, a nurse and all-around outstanding individual. This is a woman who has birthed 3 babies herself, stopped people from bleeding out and seen patients in their final moments on earth. She’s powerful stuff, is what I’m saying. And thank God she is because, in this instance, mama needed a life coach. She crouched down next to my face, held both my hands and talked me through it. “Acknowledge the pain. Now let it go. Acknowledge the pain. Now let it go. You are OK. You are going to be OK.”

“I’m going to do one line,” the artist said, “and then we’ll see how you feel.” A sweet gesture, but I didn’t come for a line, man. I think it’s kind of like peeing your pants. Once you start, you’re pretty much all in, even though it totally sucks. You’re getting a mark whether you finish it out or not.

The peanut gallery SnapChatted and verbally high-fived me for several seconds before … well … something terrible happened. I started to cry. In my defense, it really freaking hurt. Like getting stabbed with an epidural needle in your ribs for a stupid amount of time. And, like Jackie said on the drive home, “I think it was an emotional release, too. I mean, you were so nervous.” Whatever the cause, it was a release of epic proportions. It could not be denied that there, on a paper-covered massage table in a tattoo parlor on the outskirts of downtown, I, Courtney, aspiring bad mother shut your mouth, sobbed all over my rebel moment. Possibly my one shot at being a badass, and I drowned the whole thing in salty, sticky, mascara dripped tears, and the entire room got really uncomfortably quiet.

From the tip of the first arrow to the final stroke of a feather, homeboy had me wrapped up in about 3 minutes flat. Everyone erupted in over-compensating support, declaring how proud of me they were as I used a tough paper towel to rub off streams of mascara from my upper cheek. None of it was what I pictured; the tattoo, the pain, my ability to hold it together. But it was done. I had a tattoo. I even got a bent, broken tip to forever remind me that I jumped but fought through it.  If I hadn’t seen a picture of the thing and felt a bit of a pin cushion tingle (what I would accurately describe as an “annoying pain”), I wouldn’t have believed it.

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We paid the guys in time for them to, I’m confident, go meet their buddies to recall the side-splitting tale of the suburban housewife who just an hour ago cried on their table getting a one-color, three-minute arrow tattoo. They probably slapped their full-sleeved forearms on the table and wiped away tears of laughter with fingers intricately dressed in cursive letters and celtic symbols. But alas, who gives a shit, right? We too went for drinks. Shots all around with the clever caption, “First the ink, and now we clink!” And then, sitting there, I felt a little bit of the badass I’d imagined.

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After 5 days of living with it, I’ve decided I really love my tattoo, and I think we’re going to get along just fine. The reactions have been pretty stellar, I must say. “What possessed you?!” my mom gasped with tears in her eyes. “I can think of so many other things to get …” my sister snickered. My dad just laughed nervously and walked away. Pretty positive otherwise. The kids haven’t noticed it yet, but when they do, I’ll just tell them that Mommy and her friends got matching pictures, and I’ll hope that someday they have friends who are as crazy and lovable and loyal as the ones I’ve managed to pick up along the way. And when the day comes when they ask if they can get one just like me, I’ll be sure to tell them, in great detail, what an “annoying pain” it really was.

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Until next time … Badass, out! 

 

Tune in Today, Wellness

Join me: Fit 2 Feast

October 16, 2015

Tune in today to see if she can … convince you to take a 30-day challenge. 

Remember the other night when I was all … I’m on an adrenaline crash … and … gosh, I really need a goal … and all that noise? Well, be careful what you ask for, because when you ask, sometimes you receive. My pal Hollie, over at Muscles & Munchkins, was ready and waiting with a butt-kicking, badass, 30-day workout bonanza, and I’m already reaching for the arnica.

The details are below. If you’re interested in doing this thang with me, reach out to Hol and she’ll get you all squared away. All you need is free weights and a half hour a day. Just don’t get more points than me and don’t come cryin’ when your pants are too saggy come turkey day. Knowing this girl, it’s going to be a little Kayla-ish, a little Tone It Up-esque and for sure a solid month of sweat and surprises. Saddle up!  

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Fit2FeastVirtualChallenge

I am excited to announce that I will host one last virtual fitness challenge for 2015! That is right, this is the last one of the year: FIT 2 FEAST. Don’t wait for the new year, do it now; feel confident this holiday season and make fitness a priority.

Wherever you are on this journey, I will meet you there: encourage you, and provide tips and tricks to healthier lifestyle. My fitness challenges are where this happens. I have successfully run six groups and they keep getting better. The participants are loving the encouragement and community the groups provide.

Here is what one of my participants had to say:

“I just want to thank you!!! For motivating me and showing me that I can actually do it! I’ve never been one to be able to work out and it has forever changed me…so thank you!!”

“I am stronger than I have ever been and you provide so much knowledge and encouragement. Let’s do another one!”

This 30 day challenge will be just what you need to feel confident for Thanksgiving and beyond. You will have a head start on your new year. 30 days of workout challenges, nutrition tips and being a part of an encouraging FIT TRIBE!

This group starts on Monday, October 26th. There is a $25 registration fee and the WINNER will receive a cash prize.

Have more questions or want to join? Email me:hollie@musclesandmunchkins.com

Let’s get fit,
Hollie

Tune in Today

Run this for me

September 28, 2015

Update: Tune in today to see if she can … run her first half marathon.

The short of it is, I finished the race. I ran 13.1 miles with thousands of my closest strangers. The long of it is, it was probably the hardest physical feat I’ve ever accomplished in my life. Tougher than child birth, you ask? Oh, 100 percent. See, with labor, once that little human is in the chute, you can’t just opt out of the process. With running a race, you have to will yourself to keep going, knowing with every step that you could technically just step to the sidewalk, ask an onlooker for a ride to the nearest bar and call it a day. I mean, you really could. They’re just standing there. Not that I considered it or anything …

I woke up early, around 6, and had a super-safe piece of whole wheat toast with almond butter and honey. I did some quick yoga, changed and drove south to Britni’s house so her husband could drop us off. I walked in to find Libby, a dear, sweet friend and former coworker, standing in Britni’s kitchen. I knew she was driving up from Indy, but wasn’t expecting to see her before the race. That was the first time I cried on race day.

I’m not sure what it is about getting up early and standing around with a thousand recently hatched, abnormally fast-fluttering butterflies in your stomach that makes you have to pee so much, but porta-pots were all I could think about before we started. We found my girl Jill (who I also trained with) and she also seemed severely nervous, which made me feel better about my churning stomach. She’d been here before, more than a couple times. We opted to leave Jill and her friend Cassie in Corral F and go find “our people” in one a little further – and slower – down the line. Boom! The cannon fired a shot through the crisp, softly lit sky and the crowd started to shuffle and trot toward the start line. This was really happening.

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The first 4 miles were uneventful. The weather was glorious for a run, the other folks at our pace were pleasant and we just kept our rhythm and moved along. Our first surprise came around mile 6. Hank’s mom and sister, Natalie, were there with her adorable little family. She had sent a package with an exciting assortment of running snacks and said she wouldn’t be able to make it. But it turns out, they made the 2 hour drive just for the occasion only to turn around and drive back. Again, the tears.

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Somewhere around mile 8 we saw our road crew: Britni’s husband and mom, Libby and another dear friend and former coworker, Ashley. Libby, a wispy blonde bottle of spirit and support and a runner herself, ran along with us for a bit in her cute little flats to take our vitals. “How are you feeling? What have you eaten? You look great! Great pace!” We parted and Britni admitted she was about 5 strides from peeing her pants, just in time for a porta-pot. We took a pitstop, drank some Gatorade and ate some magic jelly beans. This is where things took a turn.

As soon as we started back up, I could hear that familiar constriction in Britni’s chest. Her eyes got a little wide. We’d been here before … the wheezing breath, the drainage, the cough. Her upper respiratory infection had given her a reprieve for almost 9 miles, but now, here it was, in spite of her double dose of Sudafed that made her, admittedly, just a little geeked up. I would liken that mile after her chest tightened up to the first hour of a baby giraffe’s life. She would try to jog, only to have her body refuse. We’ll call it 4 or 5 times she tried to just push through. Way more than I would have. Between labored intakes she said, “I need you to leave and go run this. Run it for me.” It was, without a doubt, our Saving Private Ryan moment. It was dramatic and emotional and so out of character for the two of us it just makes it all the better. So, somewhere just before mile 10, two became one.

I saw Libby and the crew shortly after we split and probably a bit over-excitedly instructed her husband to take her inhaler back to her. In retrospect, I might have induced a bit more panic in regard to her condition than what was necessary. My emotions were just so heightened and I felt so awful for her, and, to be honest, awful for me and the wheels just seemed to be falling off the wagon. This isn’t how I saw this thing ending. Libby came running up beside me. “You OK? It’s going to be OK. It’s just a 5k now. She was scared she’d hold you back. She knew this might happen. You got this. OK? You got this.” This was the third time I cried.

Now, it was just me, a sore knee (I tweaked in when I turned back to point to the corner where I’d abandoned Britni) and 3.1 long ass miles. This is where the mental aspect of this sport fascinates me. I started by telling myself, “OK, Courtney, act like you’re just starting now. You have fresh legs and you’re just out for a short 3 mile training run. You can do this. You can do this.” But with no music or sidekick and dwindling energy, my body was entering into negotiations with my brain. My legs put quitting on the table for consideration. My mind considered it. My lungs countered with walking for a bit, just to get through. My mind considered it. It was a game of table tennis that went on for the entirety of my time alone. In the end, my mind took guardianship over my body, ruling it too weak and therefore temporarily insane, and thus, deemed its plea bargains inadmissible.

I came down the final street before you enter into the baseball stadium and round to home plate for the epic finish. I had fumes left in the gas tank, but fumes are all you need at the point, I suppose. I looked up as I came into the out field and saw Spike and Hank. I heard the girls’ sweet little voices yelling, “Go, Mama!” I cried for a fourth time. I heard Jill and her family willing me on to the end. And then it was over. I had done it. Jill had come in under 2 hours, I clocked in at 2:28 and Britni was a mere 10 minutes behind me.

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As my group of girlfriends, some I hadn’t trained with at all (mainly because they are stupid fast) and some I had a bit, came together with salt crystallizing on our faces and offensive odors and the biggest smiles you could imagine, I felt consumed by joy. I think that’s part of how running gets ya. It’s an individual sport where, really, all of the contestants just want to see you finish. For those toward the front of the pack, there’s more of a competition to it, sure, but for the vast majority, it’s a competition against yourself and everyone on the road with you is fighting the same battle and rooting for everyone in front of and behind them. The camaraderie is like a drug.

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You realize, too, that everyone has a story. I was matched stride for stride by a gentleman in his late 70s on those last 2 miles. The only difference was he was man enough to take a beer shot, when I couldn’t even begin to stomach it. “If I puke, I’ll know what I did!” he chuckled as we shuffled on. I saw a young man with his military pack and boots, a firefighter in his gear, and spoke with a woman who told me she dedicates every mile she logs to a young woman, who was a stranger to her just a year ago, who is battling a terminal disease.

Today, I took the girls for a walk around the loop behind our house. It’s just under .5 mile. I can’t help but think of how I started out, last spring, begging my body to make it around that loop twice without having to stop. That was just about 5 months ago. I’m going to say the thing you’re not supposed to say here, but I am so gosh dang, holy crap, unbelievably proud of myself. In a life where it’s easiest to be self deprecating and always want more from yourself, for once I am insanely impressed with and proud of myself for putting in the hours and the pain and seeing this bucket list item of mine all the way through to the finish line. I ran 13.1 miles. The strength of the mind’s will to prevail and the body’s ability to follow is amazing.

I’m thankful to every stranger who stood along that course and cheered me on. Unbelievably grateful to the family and friends who made a special trip on their Saturday morning just to see me accomplish this goal. It didn’t have to mean anything to anyone else but me, but it did and that fills my heart with gratitude and humility in a capacity I’ve never known. I’m thankful to my brother, who not only ran 7.5 miles with me in the dark with very little warning, but also helped with my kids so I could keep training while Hank was out of town. I’m thankful to Jill and Britni for the companionship, encouragement, inspiration and friendship every step of the way, even if that meant asking each other repeatedly whose stupid idea this was to begin with. But most of all, I’m immensely grateful for my husband who had to make sacrifices these past 3 months and stand aside while I continued to complain about self-inflicted pain, exhaustion and fear. He never made me feel guilty or like I was a bad mother for chasing this dream down for myself.

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Before we left the stadium after the race, Spike said, “Mama, did you win?”
“I sure did,” I said. “You want to wear my medal?”
“Mama, I’m so proud of you.”
“Thank you, baby. That means the world to me.”

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And I realized how much she’d been watching and the weight of that responsibility. It was one more shot of validation and, at least for the day, I did feel like Superwoman. At least to her.

Until next time …

Tune in Today, Wellness

Tying up my training tales

September 22, 2015
Update: Tune in today to see if she can … train for a half marathon.
Yesterday was beautiful in the midwest. It was one of those Sundays where you can feel summer dancing with fall, and it’s warm enough for short sleeves but smells like burning leaves. It also happened to be our last long training run (let the angels sing).

This journey, while not completely over yet, has gone remarkably fast. Not while I was doing the actual running per se, but in hindsight. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my mind and my body. I’ve learned a little bit about what the human spirit begs for when it’s clinging to exhaustion. I’ve learned that a solid playlist and hidden frozen water bottle at a halfway point can be the difference between thrill and defeat. I’ve learned that I can usually predict, within the first mile of a long run, if the coming hours will be hell or happy. And mostly I’ve learned that this sport is completely unpredictable and really, fantastically freaking hard.

Here is a look back at the best and the worst of my long runs.
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I realize this sounds a little crazy considering the miles we logged, but our 5 mile run was brutal and maybe the hardest of them all. Britni and I worked through a route that ran the perimeter of my neighborhood and then through it. Problem was, it was 89 degrees with no breeze and the roads were black asphalt. I had to walk twice and made an early prediction we would never make it to the actual race.
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Six was fairly uneventful. The sun was blazing by 10 am, so  I ran 4 of it outside alone and then topped ‘er off with 2 miles on the treadmill while I treated myself to Mean Girls. This was also the day I realized I could never train for a half marathon on a treadmill because I obsessed over watching the distance tick by. When it came to machinery, there’d be none for Gretchen Wieners. That was the only training run I did on the treadmill.
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If I could bottle a run and drink it every time I had to tap into some wicked cardio, it would be that 7 mile run. It was a cooler summer evening, we played music out loud and hid waters at our halfway point. Nothing felt like it was breaking or grinding or seizing, and I finally felt like we had this thing on lock. Look how happy we were …
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Every victory we claimed the week before vanished on our 8 mile route. With all the best intentions, Britni mapped out a course on her side of town. Started off great, looping around a pretty private lake. But then, there was something neither of us saw coming: The steepest, longest, most unforgiving beast of a hill I’ve ever encountered on foot. At least when I wasn’t intentionally scaling an epic mountain. It was about 4 miles into the run and was a true spirt breaker. From Everest on, we were quiet, breathy and barely hanging on. That was a long run. Hot and long.
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So, I have this friend, and she’s a very dear friend, but we’ve always given each other a hard time. We’re brutally honest and sarcastic and used to literally wrestle each other (not in a sorority girl pillow fight kind of way, but like a, we once tried to make each other eat cat food by shoving it into each other’s mouths kind of way) after we each downed a bottle of wine watching a full season of Sex and the City. Friendships are complex, man. Anyway, Britni was on vacay and we’d been wanting to run together, so Jill came over to my neck of the woods to knock out 9 miles. It was a run I was dreading and I was, it’s fair to say, a little worked up. I had a route, I had waters, I had a plan. I always have a plan, she was quick to remind me. And she wasn’t feeling the route, a point which she was also very quick to remind me of … and remind me … and remind me … and remind me, until we finally veered off my trail and onto hers. Needless to say, about 2.5 miles in, we had to take a 5-minute break from speaking to each other so we didn’t wrestle on someone’s front lawn. The silent treatment is much more suitable for two grown ass mothers of three. After our brief reprieve, we took care of business and the run turned out pretty great, actually. (She’ll know after she reads this, but I actually run the route I discovered at her unyielding insistence every time I go to that trail now. Damn it, I love it.)
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I hit 9 again the following week just to be sure. Britni was still on vacation and Jill and I hadn’t decided if we liked our running partnership after our first pass at it, so I found myself in a bit of a bind. It was surely going to be dark by the end of my run, so I preferred not to hit it alone. When I signed up for the half, my big brother offered to join me on a long run if I ever needed someone. Well, I needed someone. Matt is a great runner and has done several half marathons, but he hadn’t been training for this one. The big guy held in with me until almost 8 miles, gem that he is. There was no warning to his white flag, really. He just planted his feet, told me he could most likely see me if I got into trouble, and he’d meet me at the car. Thanks, bra.
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Jill and I made up just in time for the 10 mile run. She, of course, didn’t tell me until about an hour before that her bud Cassie would be joining us. Cassie is, of course, a marathon runner who is, of course, much faster than, of course, me. But anything beats pounding 10 miles of pavement by yourself. Around mile 5 I realized I might die. Around mile 8 I started sending up the silent prayers to get through it. Somewhere in the dark of night we crossed an invisible finish line and it felt so dang good to check off a box with double digits on my training schedule. Hell, i still can’t believe i did it.
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With Britni back in the game, we decided to tackle 10 again the following weekend. She mentioned she’d been battling an upper respiratory thing, but was feeling much better. We started at our usual pace; comfortable as a pair of fleece pants and an undershirt. I noticed she was sniffling. Then we stopped a few times so she could blow her nose. Then she stopped talking. Then her face got really red. You guys, I thought I was going to lose her, permanently. Not to be dramatic, but … oh. my. lanta.  My girl did not look good. We split for a bit, but that tough cookie kept at it to clock 9 miles. Not too shabby for a gal in respiratory distress.

Six days, an inhaler and lots of fluids later, we decided to swing for the stars and try an 11 miler before the race. A bright sun cut through the early autumn breeze to make it just warm enough for the face sweat to strike hard. I made the comment shortly in that it didn’t feel like it would be a great run. And it wasn’t. My knees hurt and ole Britni was gasping before we hit the third mile. With her tight lungs and my old stems, we somehow managed to log about 9 miles and that was that. It was a bold attempt. But it wasn’t pretty.

So, here we are. Just 4 days till the big race and we left things frustrated and fragile. At this point, there are a lot of eggs in the adrenaline basket. Let’s hope there’s enough to carry us at least, we’ll call it the last 4 miles.

A few final thoughts on training.
Cons:
Breakouts! My skin hasn’t been this bad since I was 15.
Sore knees, hips and calves. I feel like an old, retired rodeo clown.
The schedule is such a monster time sucker. It’s like … what do my kids look like again?
I’m so dang hungry. I want to eat all of the things.

Pros:
I’ve found so many great songs building my playlists. (Best thing about running in the dark of night is I can mouth the words and no one can see me.)

I never felt a runner’s high necessarily, but I do get a sweet endorphin buzz about 30 minutes after I finish a significant run. Hey, it’s free and legal, folks!
The time I’ve gotten with Britni, Jill, my brother and even myself, is such a rare treat for this over scheduled mama. No complaints about the company (except Jill, just that one time).

Until Saturday … 

Tune in Today, Wellness

Collecting dough from DietBet

September 7, 2015

Update: Tune in today to see if she can … take her DietBet to the bank.

The emotional roller coaster that was the game of DietBet ended on Tuesday with a touch-and-go finale. On Monday, I was .8 of a pound over, and by the next morning, I was 1 pound below my goal. I’m sure I dropped the weight by stressing it straight off my body, but that’s neither here nor there.

I received the text with my “code word” on my drive to work, so a sweet coworker brought in her scale so I could hammer down my final number. It felt a little like the start of a super-secret Weight Watchers meeting in a back alley. (I look so short and shiny in this picture. Like a toddler who rubbed coconut oil all over her face. What the …)

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The process is much like a first date. You submit your results pics and then they have to be “accepted” by the DietBet referees or officials or whatever title you give to a bunch of interns who sit around in a room all day evaluating photos of either delighted or defeated human beings standing on scales. Body Shot Surveyors? Anyway, you have to patiently delay gorging on your frozen Snickers in anticipation of their reply. Do they need to see you again? Are they good with what you put out there? It’s an agonizing holding period.

Finally, the response:

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The next stage was one of extremely exaggerated and unrealistic speculation. How much was I going to take from the pot? A “splurge” would indicate something of great value … like treating myself to a new dress, or fancy dinner with friends, or a car. I mean, what if I won like $20,000, you guys?! This is both a testament to my ability to sensationalize mediocre events and also my grossly disappointing mathematical intelligence.

On Friday, this one came:

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Which, as my husband so Hankly put it, makes sense when you figure about 50% of the contestants made their Bet. Math is stupid.

Final thoughts … I’d do it again. Sure I would. It was fun and my pants were slightly baggier by the end and these days, I count that as something to celebrate. I did it by maintaining my workout regimen and tracking calories. I then toasted both my victory and my buns with a sloppy butterburger that blew the whole point of the competition right out of the water. Maintain, Courtney … Main-freaking-tain.

Thoughts from the peanut gallery:

“Originally, I thought it was hugely motivating, because hello, money. but then I thought that the small amount of weight would come off easily after having a baby and I kind of forgot about it. Plus you don’t know how much money you’re going to get, what if you just get your $30 back and that’s it? Fast forward to the end of the challenge, I still have a pound to go and I’m spending the entire morning peeing and pumping milk so I can hit my weight. I would do it again, but only when I’m really ready to overhaul the diet and exercise regimen.” – Nissa

“Fuck. That. Shit. I say this because I just wasn’t ready. Looking for one to start on Tuesday. I like beer.” – Kathy
(Editor’s note: In addition to beer, Kathy, like Shazzer from Bridget Jones’ Diary, likes to say fuck a lot.)

Until next time … 

Tune in Today

DietBet: The end is near

August 27, 2015

Tune in today to see if she can … drop enough weight to win that DietBet.

As you might recall, a few weeks back, drunk on optimism and grasping at baby weight straws, I signed up for a Chris Powell DietBet. Thirty dollars in, drop 4 percent of my body weight … bing! bang! boom! I get my $30 back and split the rest of the pot with all the other lucky suckers.

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Except, losing 6 pounds is kind of hard. I have been on an emotional roller coaster with dips and peaks and plummets. I’m up, I’m down, I’m bloated, I’m starving. I’ve been within 2 pounds of declaring victory, and within 6 pounds of blowing the whole thing.

I have to track calories and I have to work my ass off; that’s the long and the short of it. But if I’m being real with myself, I’m feeling seriously cheated. Do you know I ran 9 miles the other day? I, who have only run 4 miles max in my prior life, ran that 4 miles, then did it again, then tacked on 1 more mile just to show off. (It was actually part of the training plan and I thought I was going to suffocate mid stride.) Now, in my mind, that equals at least a 10-pound weight loss … no? What’s a girl gotta do to drop some LBs, man?

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The clock is dwindling down and I have less than a week. So, if you have any drop-a-handful-of-pounds-without-hurting-your-body pointers, I’m all ears. Please and thank you.

Help me, before next time …