Month: March 2014

An Ending and a New Beginning

This morning the alarm went off and I reached over and grabbed my phone to get an update on the world. Checked the weather, news, Facebook, Twitter, email and Googled nonessential information. Then I laid there thinking about getting up to work out. This is how many mornings go and before I know the window of opportunity for working out slams shut and my day starts.

This morning was a bit different as I saw the email from Two Writing Teachers. I thought… I found the time to write everyday for the last 30 days I CAN find the time and motivation to get myself up to workout. So I rolled out of bed and started my newest challenge.

My 31 day writing challenge is now being shifted over to a month long fitness challenge of getting myself to work out every day without fail. So many of the reasons that I have overcome this month with writing also apply to working out. No more being too tired, too busy, too overwhelmed etc. I have learned I just need to carve out the time to exercise just like I carved out the time to write.

These last 30 days have meant so much to me as a writer and a teacher. I have struggled and agonized over my writing but managed to pull off a post every day. I now feel more like a writer than I ever have before. I have shared my experiences with my students so when I am coaching them about writing troubles they know I have been there. I look forward to seeing where my writing life heads next.

Thank you to all of the people who had a part in organizing this challenge. It has been so meaningful to me and I hope to get some of my colleagues involved next year. Thank you to all of you who took the time to leave a comment. Each comment made me feel special and I appreciated knowing my writing was being read. Thank you to all the slicers… I loved reading your words and ideas. It certainly has been an inspiring month.

I will see you all on Tuesdays! Happy writing!


Warrior Dash Wardrobe Malfunction

This slice came to mind earlier in the week after another slicer’s story about a wardrobe malfunction. Nothing more cerebral would come to my mind this evening so I am going to have to go for it…

I am hardly a warrior and my running is far from dashing but how could I resist a day of fun with friends from school and the chance to crawl through mud and jump over fire??? As we arrived at the base of the mountain hosting the event crowds of people of all ages and fitness levels made their way to the start.

As this is a race that is run in waves we could already see people covered in mud. We asked about the course and heard several choice words about the steepness of the course.   I thought, Uh oh! We are really going to be running up a mountain. I had secretly been hoping they would just set up the course around the woods at the base of the mountain.

Our team of seven lined up at the start. My good friend Trish was at my side. Trish is a good sport and when we do a race together she sticks with me despite my slow pace. The others were much faster and made their way to the front of the pack.

The horns blared, the flames shot up and we were launched up the mountain. The course immediately went up and up. I was demoralized in about 100 yards. I pushed on and had to keep walking and running. Trish waited for me at the top and the race moved along. Running when we were going down the mountain and walking/jogging when we were heading up.

The obstacles were nice diversions from the struggle of running up and down a mountain. About half way through we were jumping over a series of wooden barricades when I heard a pop. I knew it wasn’t a body part so I kept going. As I cleared the last barricade and started running I knew I was in serious trouble. The pop was an important piece on the strap of my sport bra giving way… I don’t have a physique that allows me to run without this important piece of running equipment.

I caught up to where Trish was waiting and broke the news to her. We went to the edge of the trail and the woods so I could survey the damage. There would be no tying the pieces together… not enough strap. We had a good laugh about my predicament before we began to think about problem solving.

First aid wasn’t an option as we were in the middle of a trail and there weren’t any other official looking people around. Mulling it over for a few minutes I had the idea of taking a safety pin from my bib and using it to pin the strap back together. This was easier said than done as the fabric I was trying to get the pin through was rather thick. Finally, I got it pinned back together and off we went.

I made it about 10 feet when I felt the lone safety pin give way and stab me in the shoulder. We had to stop again… this time we decided to use all non-essential safety pins between the two of us and pin the strap back together. It took the two of us 20 minutes to wrestle with the safety pins and strap to complete the operation. This was a bonding experience like no other.

I tentatively started off again and everything held. Trish and I made our way through the rest of the course without incident. Trish and I have run several other races together since but the Warrior Dash certainly set the standard for a wild adventure.

A few warriors at the end of the race.  I am in the middle and Trish is the cleanish one... not sure how she did that.

A few warriors at the end of the race. I am in the middle and Trish is the cleanish one in the white shirt… not sure how she did that.

Movie Torture

I love going to the movies but we are so busy we don’t get to go very often. We have a small independent movie theatre near us that we love to go to. The theatre seats maybe 100 people, has couches in the front and the pre movie loop features local businesses. The latest movie,The Grand Budapest Hotel, looked amusing. We enjoy the off beat, quirky movies that play there.

I had seen on Facebook that they sold out last night so my husband picked the tickets up early. We arrived early so we could get a seat. It went downhill from there…

I noticed the theatre was about ten degrees too warm so it was stuffy. I peeled off a few layers and tried to adjust. When I returned to my seat after getting snacks I noticed a group of people sat in front of us. When I got resettled I was assailed by a heavy perfume smell which was trying to cover up an even more unpleasant smell. I was wishing my cold would come back. I tried breathing through my mouth but I couldn’t escape it.

As more people arrived the theatre became packed. Each time someone climbed over us we had to resettle. I felt like Elaine from a Seinfeld episode screaming inside my head to “Get me OUT”. But, we stuck it out. I held at hope that the movie would be so good that it would transport me to a better place.

It didn’t… other people laughed and I just couldn’t find it funny. I appreciated that creativity in the set design and the acting but just couldn’t get into it. I am pretty open-minded but I had a really hard time with this movie. I noticed my husband nodding off next to me. A sure sign of a good movie is if he lasts through the whole thing. I don’t think he made it 20 minutes before dozing off.

My feet were going numb in my shoes, my hip was starting to hurt. Whenever one of the people moved in front of us a new whiff of the smell would come our way.

When the movie ended I dove out the door for a breath of fresh cool air. Aaahhh… We survived.