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Let It Ride

LetItRide

You can have a “Lily Pulitzer” day planner and write everything down; you can have 6 different colored highlighters and have the same number about of colored index cards; have them all color coded with a legend to follow so that everything is organized; and then (!!!) you can have a curve ball thrown at you.  Internal Dialogue (ID), “Well, there goes that appointment I made.”  “Well, let me get out my ‘White-Out’ and mark that out so I can replace it with the new ‘to-do’ item.”  You undergo a “re-rack” as I call it; you reevaluate, you adapt.  You get the picture.

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So, what do you do when life throws you that curve ball?  Do you stand there with your glove on, bent over looking between your legs to see exactly where the heck that ball went since you didn’t catch it?  Do you have ‘cat like reflexes’ and catch it and stand up and throw it back to the pitcher and say, “Yeah, I just did that.  Don’t hate the player, hate the game?”  Do you ‘Let It Ride?’

My normal, ‘Ninja Turtle’ (NT) self would absolutely have cat-like reflexes and catch that ball, kiss it, throw it back to the pitcher and then tell the pitcher to keep ’em comin’-I got this.  I guess in the last few days I have had to realize that NT has a few other facets-and I have had to evoke NT’s attitude and apply it to ‘every day life’ outside of triathlon-within which Ninja Speedy Turtle was born.

There are times in life where you can’t be the typical “NT,” you can’t be the typical “Martha Stewart,” you can’t write it all down and color code it and expect it to pan out that way. Why?  Because. That’s all I got.  Because. Heck, I dunno; call 1-800-WHY-MENOW and ask. <yikes>

The three of you reading this know that I absolutely believe in a Higher Power; I absolutely believe in God, Jesus; and, I believe that He is my Savior and from Him all my blessings flow. I also am on the quest for Peace this year through Him.  Peace isn’t the absence of troubles in life; rather, Peace is the presence of God in your life in the midst of your troubles.

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If you have read any of my past posts you know I have a 24-hour pity party rule, right?  I give myself 24 hours to ride that pity train, waller in the “woe is me” business and then it is time to grab myself by the boot straps (or big girl panties-whatever trips your trigger to say) and then put one foot in front of the other and move forward; doesn’t have to be at the speed of light-you JUST. HAVE. TO. GO. FORWARD.  What can you do for yourself or anyone else if you are staying in the back, in the past, in the dark and dreary place?  Answer?  NADA!  You are making withdrawals, not deposits-check yourself!

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Life threw me a curve ball, I have 2 choices.  I can let it define me, OR (!!!) I can let it refine me.  I can play it conservative and write it all down and highlight it, color code it, and alphabetize it, or I can “Let It Ride.”

Friends, I have to “Let It Ride.”  I have put all my chips in with the big Man upstairs, I am confident that in Him I will receive out of my “bet” what I am supposed to receive and then some.  Rich-it’s a relative word, isn’t it?

I am “rich.”  I have a family that is wonderful; I have friends that I can’t even begin to thank or say enough about-they make my life so much more colorful than I ever imagined; I am employed and so grateful for this; and, I have an unshakable faith in Him. so, why not “Let It Ride?”  What do I have to lose? Nothing.  But I have everything to gain.

So, I put my “A” race goal on the gambling table-I am “Letting That Ride” this year.  I will support my friends and teammates that continue on the Ironman Augusta 70.3 race; I will swim; I will bike; I will run…and guess what?  I will “Let it Ride” and come out the winner time and time again.  Because, if He has me who can be against me?  I just won’t be there to “toe the start line” in person but I will be there in spirit!

ALS sucks.  I won’t sugarcoat it.  It is part of my journey in life?  Yes, x2, and I don’t know why.  Perhaps God thinks I am strong enough to handle being a ‘sherpa’ twice?  He has faith in me; I have faith in Him.  So, together, with Him, myself and the race participant with the most awesome bib number ever “Razorback Turtle” we will (run) this race with endurance; because, that’s how we roll.  And, without a doubt, we will “Let It Ride.”  Time to pull up a chair to the table at the casino and place your bets…

For all of my MTR teammates; my Turtles; and friends -I will see you in the pool, on the street riding bikes, and on the road running-let’s you get all trained to kick some Augusta ARSE!  GAME ON!

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Lose? Win? Good Enough?

My friend, let’s call her “SB” says “hey, you want to go to Kohl’s?  I will come get you.”  My answer, reluctantly, “sure, I need to go; I need some actual clothes that aren’t workout clothes to wear and a friend of mine had a really cute skort on she got from there”

SB and I have been friends a LOOONNNNGGG time and SB KNOWS I hate to shop. I hated to shop when I was 81 pounds heavier.  I hate to shop now; probably even more so.  Lose weight, everything will be better, right?  WRONG.  New set of issues.

We arrive at Kohl’s, she leads me through the ladies’ clothes area saying “oh, this is CUTE, you need to get this” KNOWING it is out of my comfort zone and KNOWING I hate shopping and KNOWING I can’t pair together a pair of pants and a shirt to save my life.  Shopping is like; well, I would rather gouge my eyeballs out than go shopping.  New job says “hey you can wear scrubs!” And I am all, “HECK YES! Winning! I can ride my bike to work and wear scrubs and not have to wear real clothes to be a peoples?  Sign me up.”

Dressing room for Becky be like:

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I digress; we go in to the dressing room, SB gets me situated in a dressing room and then it begins. (See the dressing room saga-earlier post if you need more vivid details on what this saga entails for me).  SB says to me, “do you have the nice black, dress Capri pants on yet?”  I reply; “yes *sigh* hold on a second.” I open the door and SB says to me “SUPER CUTE!” And I point out to SB that the waist is too big, but the inseam is not, and I have to have that size in order to make the proper fit with the inseam.  Therefore, leaving the waist way too big.  It is like this with every pair of pants I own; hard to find a pair that fits. SB says, “have you thought about having surgery to remove some of the excess skin?”  Have I?  Absolutely.  Would it make me 100% happy?  Well no.  The struggle is real.

SB says to me, “well, you are going to have to pay to have things altered now I guess.”  *double sigh* *eye roll* and whatever else I could muster up.

I HATE SHOPPING.  You lose weight; do you win?  Are you good enough?  Struggle.  And then-you remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  But does that help me right then and there in the dressing room?  It HAS to; or I will drive myself nuts.

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I guess, through all of my struggles, I have won and come out stronger. I have finally realized that I could go have surgery, I could go have botox (approaching 40, stay outside a lot, have wrinkled skin on my face) or… I can choose to be okay with it.  You see, I have the choice.  Very simple; you choose to hate it, or you choose to love it; love YOU.  There is no amount of botox, designer clothes, surgery, shots, fad diets that will work.  It didn’t break overnight, it won’t get fixed over night. It is a daily progressive process; one step at a time. You will fall; and guess what?  You get back UP!  Every.  Single.  Time.  And, you realize that beauty is in the eyes of God and YOURSELF.

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I started my journey to a better me 4 years ago-I have never regretted it not once.  What I didn’t account for was the journey my soul/heart would take on the inside.  I have found a closer relationship to Christ; a deep friendship wtih so many; acceptance by so many; the ability to finally be around like-minded individuals who make life easier, happier, and more blessed; the ability to give back and never forget where I have come from.  I could go on and on.  It is by His grace that I am who I am and where I am in life.  And, I have lost.  And I have won.  I will continue to do both; by His grace.

I am good enough.  Are you?  OF COURSE you are.

Don’t be a ‘grinch’, don’t be a ‘Becky in the dressing room,” be YOU.  And, never settle.  Just keep going forward and keep your eye on the prize.

Standing on the Side of the Road

The race entry had been paid; the training had been done; the reservations for a house to rent have been completed; I have gone over my race needs list at LEAST 5 times; May 8th arrives and my family (and friends) is packed, in the car, and ready to roll out.  We have 500 miles until we reach my race destination spot of Panama City Beach, FL.  YAY!  It is RACE time; it is BEACH time!  The road trip was was quite uneventful until, with only about 2 more hours to go, LGC decides the Subway sandwich she had eaten about 30 minutes prior didn’t agree with the motion of the car.  ICK.  GAK.  And, her backseat friend, Elyse, was mortified while LGC just sat there, after the fact (car still in motion) paralyzed in her Subway sandwich she was unfortunate enough to see again.  *oops*  

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The unloading commences, Stacey and I head to the grocery store to get the necessities and then we all head to the beach.  As I sat in my chair looking at the ocean I had a little concern, as it looked very “choppy” if you will, but I thought “hmm..tomorrow is a new day, all will be fine.”  All is well!  After all, we are in FLORIDA, right?!  WooHoo!  The next picture says it all; “Life was Good That Day” to quote Zac Brown Band… “toes in the water–“

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The next morning comes (Friday morning-day before the race) and we head to the beach after breakfast. HOLY WIND BATMAN! REALLY?  Upon walking over the bridge to the sand/ocean the FIRST thing I see is the ocean and its very mean breakers/waves at that point. Um, this didn’t change over night like I had thought it would/had prayed for.  We get our chairs situated, kids immediately get in the water; HOWEVER, very cautious as the rip current is carrying them down the beach at an amazing rate.

I had previously organized an “open water” ocean swim with some of my triathlon team friends and husband for this day.  After sitting in my chair for about 30-45 minutes, watching the ocean, the current, the kids entering the water and then exiting the water about 100 yards down the beach in a time span of a mere 2 minutes I commenced to enter FREAK OUT mode.  Ain’t nobody got time to go out and swim in that mess.  Susan, who had traveled from Memphis with her husband Scott and son Connor for a small vacation, said “yeah, I brought my wet suit but I am thinkin’ no on the swim.”  Eling finally arrives (so good to see her-she has to do this race with me tomorrow; finally someone who can relate with me!!) with her husband Don and she says the same thing.  THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS IN YOUR CRIB I do not have to do this today.  BUT-please little baby Jesus in your crib with the straw and the cows and the 3 men that brought you some presents-don’t let it be this way in the morning; race morning.  GAK! Then, the RED flag comes out and I want to grab a beer and put down the water that I had been religiously drinking to hydrate for the race tomorrow.  Beer makes everything better right?  No.  Just no. (I didn’t drink the beer).  I did, however, get to watch Susan help Connor build amazing sand dinosaurs.  🙂

Later this afternoon I make all my hydration, mixing everything in bottles JUST right; put this all in the fridge so I can easily grab it in the wee hours or the early morning.  Then it is EXPO time!  Eling and Don come pick John and I up and off we go to the Expo-lots of neat stuff there, even got a shirt that says “Swim, Bike, Run, Be Fabulous” on it with a tiara.  Because, well, I am.  🙂  The mandatory bike check-in was not for another hour so Eling and Don take John and I back home.  Eling and I had tossed around the idea of riding our bikes to the check in, because it really wasn’t that far, but decided against it.  John loaded up my bike, I took off my cateye, my bento box (so I could load it with nutrition when I got him later on) and takes me to bike check in.  I see Erin and Rachel there; check my bike, make sure it is in a smaller gear for easy take off, and say night-night and tell Becca (my bike) I will see her bright and early in the a.m.

Carbo loading has to commence and we get the kids and head to the Mellow Mushroom.  I had the same pizza I had, had last year before my first 70.3 I did (Ironman 70.3 Augusta GA) and I had 2 beers-per the normal regime. The Holy Shiitake Pie! We return home and I head to bed for the fighting of sleep that always happens the night before.  Hubster even slept on the couch to give me the entire bed thinking I would sleep more sound.  Sleep sound before the night of a race?  Ha!

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YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

4:30 a.m.- RISE and SHINE!  It is RACE DAY!  I take Baxter out for a walk, step out the door quietly as to not disturb all the others and the first thing I hear is the sound of the ocean-the SAME sound it has made for the last 2 days and I immediately got a sick feeling pit in my stomach. I don’t walk over and look-because I just can’t.  Baxter does his business and back to the house we go. I have my morning coffee, my normal pre-race breakfast meal, I load all of my nutrition in my transition bag, go over my transition bag items at least 3 times to make sure I haven’t left anything out, grab my Garmin (canNOT leave the house without it) and hit the road with my chauffeur, the hubster.  Roads are already blocked off so Hubster has to drop me off and I walk about 0.5 miles to transition.  I am somewhat nervous, but okay, and then I see that Eling has racked her bike right next to mine-YAY!  Speedy Turtles TOGETHER!  I start unloading, meticulously placing all items I need in all the correct places (OCD is pure hell I tell you) and here she comes-Queen Speedy Turtle (QST)!  We give big hugs to one another, go on about our business and then IT’S TIME-it is time to put on our wet suits, grab our goggles and go face the music.  LAWD have MERCY!

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To the beach we go; I am paying careful attention en route to the beach for the showers that they told us would be there to rinse the sand off of ourselves as well as taking in other details and then SHAZAM there is the ocean (like it was going to go away over night?!-I am dumbass).  I find some of my TRI team members, we smile for photo ops, each one of us say how crazy this is, one of us, Michelle, said “yeah, I lied, this sounded like a good idea months ago.”  Ha!

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Anyway, here I stand, shoulder to shoulder, with Eling.  Hubsters (both mine and Don, Eling’s husband) are right there with us, outside the chute.  The National Anthem is played, I pray (per my normal routine) and I turn again and face the water; still shoulder to shoulder with QST in my wet suit, swim cap; goggles are on and I am listening to the race director who is up on a ladder speaking. What was he saying?  I can’t remember. Why, why can’t you remember Becky?  WELL I WILL TELL YOU WHY-I am looking at Navy SEALS in kayaks who are there for swimmer support who can’t get past the breakers, I am looking at jet ski’s that are up on their ass end and can’t get past the breakers, I am looking at the last buoy (OHMYGAWDTHATISSOFARAWAY) but I can’t see it, in its entirety because it is BOBBING UP AND DOWN so dern much and this is where I summon Sweet Baby J, His Dad and all who are holy to guide me, help me, and let me get through this; myself and all other race participants.  Keep in my the race director is still talking (wha wha wha) and I am still praying, silently crying in my goggles (already fogging up-DAMMIT-and had just been treated with de-fog) and all of a sudden I see my Hubs make the sign like he is chopping his neck off.  WHAT?  What in the fresh hell?  WHAT?? GO. AWAY!  And then I hear it “After talking with the Bay County Sheriff’s office and rescue personnel, we have made the determination that we are going to cancel the swim this morning due to safety concerns. We apologize, but right now due to safety concerns with the Gulf of Mexico we are canceling the swim for everyone’s safety.  There will be a time trial start from the beach to transition.”  OHMYWORD -for that second I didn’t know whether to cry, be excited, pee on myself (I had to go-yes-HYDRATED) or be mad because the mileage of the race just went down 1.2 miles; the 70.3 was no longer true.

Okay-HERE WE GO!  Time trial start to transition (they will release one athlete every 3 seconds); 1/4 mile run from the water’s edge through the sand, to our bike in transition.  I get to transition, Hubster there rooting me on, QST is right behind me, get shoes on, helmet, glasses, the mandatory Hoo Ha Ride Glide (yes, true name, great product), and take my bike out to the “mount line.” Mounted and I’m off!  Man, it felt GREAT!  There was a little breeze, somewhat of a tailwind, and I am getting situated, opening my bento box so I can grab my fig newtons during my ride, getting into a good position with other riders and I am just past the mile 3 mark and I hear a noise-this noise sounds like my chain is hitting some metal (not a big deal; have heard it before).  I try to fix the issue with a simple gearing adjustment-um, that doesn’t work. In motion I look down and all I can see is my entire crank set shifting left to right with every revolution I am making.  So, I tell myself “SELF-it will be a long 51 miles to do this but just slow down, keep your legs as mid line as you can, and finish the bike portion.”  Right about the time I had digested my new game plan “BINK!!!” off pops my crank arm, attached to my bike shoe, and um…obviously I can’t pedal anymore.  HOW DO I STOP?  I am still clipped in with my right foot as well.  I was trying not to wreck, trying not to hurt the parts of my bike completely, knew I would have to scratch some things somehow and managed to come to a safe stop (thank you, Hayzeus) and there I am.  Standing on the Side of the Road.  Michelle, a team mate, passes me and says “I will go get help!”  Cyclists are whizzing by me one by one, some of them asking if I am okay, “well yes, I am-I am not hurt.”  What I am IS Angry, Pissed, Helpless (don’t have the right tool to fix this) and now MacGyver.  I am looking around for something the same dimensions as my crank to screw the bolt back in place.  I can do this!!  Um, no-no I can’t.  I realize this.  (Cyclists still whizzing by me).  Race Support motorcycle goes by and waves, and I wave and point to my bike..she smiles.  I think, “OKAY HELP IS ON THE WAY! YES!” Then, two ladies out for their morning wog pass by and I ask if I can borrow their phone. They oblige and I dial the Hubster’s number. He picks up “what’s wrong??”  I commence to vomit in a chaotic voice what has happened, that race support has passed me, the intersection I am at, what I am looking at and then hang up.”  And there I am, Standing on the Side of the Road.  I am near a convenience store and I watch people come and go; one man walks up to help me and I thank him-but there was no way he could.  A couple out for their morning walk ask me if I need anything, I tell them no.  I am thinking help is on the way-but thank you, nice people. Keep in mind, cyclists are whizzing by me-they have a RACE to do!  🙂   About that time a cyclist, who is out for a morning ride, cycles up and says to me “are you the lady with a crank issue?”  I reply to her that I am, and she states “you need to know your husband is working very hard for you right now back at the race site.”  She is an accomplished cyclist, looks at my problem, I tell her in need an Allen wrench, she doesn’t have one and she walks into the convenience store and comes out and says “um yeah, they don’t even know what an Allen wrench is.” I say thank you, and she pedals away.  And there I am, Standing on the Side of the Road.  I call Hubster again and he tells me there is no race support on the bike course and I am on my own and that he is trying his best to get to me.  WHAT?  WHAT THE HECK DID YOU JUST SAY? No RACE SUPPORT for the bike?  Um….

About this time a man riding a “fat tire” bike with a big ol’ basket on the front comes pedaling up.  “Ma’am, do you have a flat tire?”  I said “no sir, I sure don’t-I wish that was all that was wrong with my bike.”  He says, “well, I want to help you.”  I say “thank you, I appreciate the offer, but I am afraid he can’t.”  He inspects my bike from afar, is enamored with the fact that my shoes are attached the pedals, says “oh you are a PROFESSIONAL then!”  I laugh, tell him “no sir-not quite.”  And he paused, and then he looked at me and said “well, I do hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day tomorrow-if you are one.”  MELTED MY HEART!  He then told me his name was Xavier (had a foreign accent as well, I told him my name, and away he pedaled.  🙂  The silver lining to a VERY bleek, gray cloud. 

Here comes my CAR!!!!  My HUBSTER!  YES! Hubster gets out, flips this, does this, quick hold this, do this, jam this in there, this will get you going, here you go, wow, okay, yeah, OKAY–GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!!  I look at him and say “what if it happens again?!!!”  He says “HERE! TAKE YOUR PHONE!” And, about that time, the last cyclist of the entire race goes by, followed by the motorcycle who follows the last cyclist during the race. I told Hubster to rack my bike and then I just sat in the car and cried.  Hubster too, I believe; on my behalf.  He drives me to park by transition, he is going to go into transition and get my bag for me.  I call my mother and can’t manage to do anything on the phone but cry to her.  She tries to comfort me.  About this time Don, Eling’s husband, walks by where we are parked, he comes over, offers words of solace, and then Hubster returns telling me the Transition Nazi (TN) (we will call her) will not let him get my things.  He did turn in my timing chip, though.  I start immediately walking that way and in my head “let this TN tell ME I can’t get in there to get my things-JUST LET HER.  Obviously, in the angry phase. I walk in without incident, walk out, and ask Hubster to take me back to our house so that I can get out on the run course and cheer on my friends and teammates, and that is exactly what I did. 

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The race was over, we finished cheering on race participants, go back to the house we had rented, and I was mad, I was angry, I was sad, I was exhausted, I was frustrated, I was tired, I was just PISSED to be honest.  All very valid feelings.  We decided to shower and go out to dinner that night and ended up having a great time.

I received a late night visit from QST and her husband Don; we sat out back by the pool with an adult beverage and spoke about the incidences of the day and QST looks at me and tells me that God was looking out for me that day; there was a reason I wasn’t supposed to be out on that course.  And, I agreed.  It was silent for a few minutes and then Don looks at me and says “so, did you know that you got a 4-minute penalty for blocking?”  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!  WHAT?  WHAT IS BLOCKING?? I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO BLOCK!!!  ARGHHHH!!!!!  Further validation that, that just wasn’t my day.  And, I finally laughed. 

Standing on the Side of the Road-watching every race participant go by (you see, I was in the first wave that went off so EVERYONE had to pass me-) will teach you some things.  It will teach you to be humble.  It will teach you that things are not in your control.  It will teach you to swallow some things that are hard to swallow.  It will teach you that it isn’t your way, it’s God’s way.  

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After all, I did get to spend Mother’s Day on the beach with my family, friends with most importantly with LGC:  🙂

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You see, there will always be another race entry fee to pay.  There will always be more training you can do.  There will NOT always be life lessons and hard times; it is through those hard times you grow, evolve, change, and become a better version of you.  Just. Take. Another. Step. 

 

 

 

 

 

No DOUBT!

It’s been a while since I could sit and write; my apologies to the three of you that missed it.  🙂

As most of you know my ‘goal’ race this year is fast approaching; the Gulf Coast Half Distance Triathlon.  That’s swimming 1.2 miles; biking 56 and running a half marathon (13.1).  So today on my POPTLB (piece of paper to live by) was a straight 2000 yd swim.  I dropped LGC off at school, arrived at the BRC and got right in; work has been demanding lately (hence no time to write) so I had no time to waste.  I swim in a 25 yard pool so in order to meet my goal for today’s swim I had to swim 40 laps.  Nonstop.  *GAK*  I was on lap 21 and it got a little rough for me, as recently I have a new stroke and it is like learning to swim all over again. I started crazy breathing, worrying, my stroke was all off, and I was way off base and knew I couldn’t remotely get close to my goal distance keeping this mess up.  All I could think was, “Becky, you are going to be in the ocean–you can have absolutely NO DOUBT in yourself whatsoever.  Power through,”  All of a sudden I could picture myself in the ocean, lap 30 I pictured myself turning the last buoy and headed back in to the shore.  I had to dig deep and MAKE myself realize there was no room for doubt.  If I doubt myself and my abilities I could drown; and, ain’t nobody got time for that.  There are times in our workouts, in our lives, in our workplace where doubt wants to be ever present.  We mustn’t let it; and BOY HOWDY is that easier said that done.  Can you be unsure?  Yes.  Can you be afraid?  Yes.  Just don’t doubt yourself or your abilities.  Doubt=no courage; no self worth.  Power Through.

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I do honestly believe it is okay to have fear; fear breeds things like success-you have to want it and push through it.  Fear brings courage; courage you thought you would never have.  Fear CHANGES you.  Doubt HINDERS you.  Am I scared to swim in the ocean?  Um yes; too many variables I have not faced before. Will I wake up and the red flag will be out and the under toe and current awful, waves are huge, buoys bouncing everywhere?  *ACK*  Will I swim anyway, yes; at that point of my most heightened fear I can have absolutely NO doubt.  (see what happened in the pool above)

It is so easy to get caught up in what society “thinks” we should be like; therefore, producing doubt in ourselves.  Example, “well, I saw celebrity “xyz” wear this on TV and she looked gorgeous and here I am in the dressing room and I look like am ‘oomp-a-loomp-a’!”  Well, Charlie, no you don’t-you are doubting yourself and that leads to a downward spiral. Shut it, put whatever is back on the rack and find something YOU like not to copy “xyz”-ain’t nobody got time for that, either. Be. Yourself.

When LGC comes home from school upset because “Sally Sue” said this, and “Jimmy Joe” said this I just wish I could transplant myself in her and go speak to these children; but, kids are kids; they will grow, evolve and learn and it is my job as LGC’s mom to say “listen to me, don’t EVER doubt yourself.  Stand firm in what you believe and let them talk.  If someone else is going to find it necessary to say something mean to you then they have an issue for why they feel like they need to be mean to you in some way.”  Teach strength. Teach perseverance (we still are working on this in my house with LGC).  Teach faith.  TEACHThese teachings just don’t stop when the you think the children are old enough.  I am 38 years young and I am still teaching MYSELF for goodness sake.

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Doubt also can equal failure; if you doubt your abilities you are inclined to fail.  For me, there is absolutely no doubt.  All I can see in the gulf coast white beaches is the finish line that I WILL cross.  Does this mean I won’t have some ugly hard spots along the way? Oh, you can bet your bottom dollar I will.  HOWEVER, I can give myself the tools I need mentally by not letting doubt creep in; the spiral starts at that point.  Always BELIEVE. Never DOUBT. You can ACHIEVE.  The absolute beautiful thing about being on a journey?  You change constantly; always learning.  Accept it.

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I close with this; so many of us get caught up in the who’s, what’s, why’s, must’s of today, pause; reflect.  What if you were at the end of your journey of life?  Would you have doubt that you gave something your all?  Would you doubt that you told certain someones how you felt?  Don’t doubt-power through; conquer all that you want to do; believe in yourself and the journey.

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” ~James 1:6

You’re not…?

Just because I have been on my ‘journey’ for almost 4 years (April 15 will be 4 years!!) doesn’t mean I don’t struggle from time to time, still.  I take this to mean I am still growing, learning, evolving and I LOVE to learn new things.

I love to run; that is what I started out doing and found I really love it.  Am I good at it?  That is a matter of opinion. I happen to think out of the three sports I do, do-that running is my best suit.  Am I blessed with *good running genes*? Um, no. Ha!

I have had the privilege to ‘coach’ at our local Memphis Runners Track Club’s Women Run Walk Program http://www.womenrunwalkmemphis.racesonline.com/    here in Memphis for the past 2 years.  During these summers I have met so many wonderful women who thought at the beginning “I just can’t do it.”  Or, “I am not any good.” I have gotten the opportunity to celebrate with them, high-five them on their accomplishments no matter HOW big or small, talk with them, share stories, share sorrows with them, accomplishments, defeat and I absolutely love this.  Why Becky, why?  Well, because I was there once and EVERYONE deserves to better themselves.  I am where I am now and I STILL need the encouragement from my friends-something that should never end.  I love the fact that I can share with Terri how A-W-F-U-L my run was; how I just didn’t have it today; how MUCH my back hurt; or OHMYGOSH I JUST PR’D!!!!  And she listens.  I love the fact that I can text Heather (who is a very talented athlete) and ask her a question I am just not sure of-she is an AMAZING coach.  I can also tell Heather to go fly a kite when she gives me hard(!!!) advice that I KNOW I should do..but man, that sounds hard!  I don’t wanna!  🙂  These ladies listen, don’t judge, accept you, and want you to succeed.  I wanted to give back more.  I NEED to do this!

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I am also VERY passionate about helping others. For this reason (and a few others) I had placed myself on the Road Runners Club of America (https://www.rrca.org/) Running Coach Certification Course email list about a year ago-this list would ensure that each time a new RRCA Running Coach class opened up I would get an email and hopefully find a class close to me that I could sign up for.  This went on for months…and months.  I got one, one day and the class it was listing was in Little Rock-SCORE! Close enough to my hometown, and I had to register immediately as they fill up VERY quickly.  I took the course, came back and became CPR and First Aid certified and WAH-LAH! Congratulations, Coach Becky!  You are now an RRCA Certified Running Coach!  In my RRCA certification class was a diverse group of women and men and the instructor is an amazing athlete.  I came out with knowledge and stories I will remember for my lifetime.  I made friends with some ladies from Little Rock who also put on a women’s program; we swapped and shared stories.

The point of this post is to confront the issue of the saying “I am not a runner.”  It is my opinion that we think we can say “I am not a runner” if we don’t run a 7 minute mile; don’t run a 3:00 hour marathon; don’t *look* like a runner (whatever THAT means) and just don’t think you qualify.  Let me tell you one thing right now it doesn’t matter how FAST or how SLOW you run; you run.  Yes, in the past, running seemed to be much of an *elite* sport I believe; the best of the best were swift, talented and there is a lot to learn from them.  I firmly believe that today, in 2014, there is a new running boom (has been developing for a while) where middle aged men and women are just now getting off of the couch, mustering up the strength to decide to try and hit the door.  You, sir or madam, are a runner.  I don’t care if it takes you 8 hours to do a marathon, I’ll tell you that you are a runner.  And I KNOW there are people that will disagree with me and hey, Jack, that’s fine-everyone has an opinion.  This is mine.

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I became a coach to gain more knowledge about a sport that I love and to give back.  Now, will you see me trying to help an elite runner?  No, not my cup of tea.  There are some absolutely majorly talented running athletes in this city-they inspire me and amaze me weekly.

You see, I was a smoking couch potato.  I see so much potential in the ladies the show up to the Expo for MRTC’s WRWM program; the ladies that walk up the first night of training at Shelby Farms while they are clouded with so much doubt, lacking confidence, and wondering if they made the right decision.  OF COURSE you made the right decision. You made the decision to lace up your shoes, walk out the door, and do something to BETTER yourself.  I don’t care if you just got off the couch and you want to do a couch-to-5K program; I don’t care if you used to run before you had 5 kids; I don’t CARE!  What I DO CARE about is that you have made the hardest step, are taking another step forward and you should be proud of you.

If anyone EVER tells you that you are not a runner you should be able to look at them in the face and say well, of course I am!  Smile, and walk away. Don’t let someone steal your joy.  And, MOST OF ALL, remember your accomplishments.  Remember that time you couldn’t run to that mailbox?  But now you just ran your first 5K?  That’s what I thought-made ya smile!  Let someone tell me I am not a runner because I ran a 5:07 marathon and not a sub 3:40 to get a BQ.  I care not.  I ran those 26.2 miles and no one could EVER take that away from me.  Do it for yourself and mind not what others think.  And, to quickly address that you “don’t look like a runner.”  Have you ever been a volunteer at a half marathon or marathon and SEEN the diverse group of people?  Stereotypes suck-and are not needed.  You are a runner.

It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round; black, white; gay, straight; old, young; tall, short; big boned, skinny.  God made you in His own image-you are who you are for a reason.  There is strength in diversity.  I just wish people didn’t look down on ‘diverse’ individuals that “don’t fit (their) mold.”

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Happy Trails!

~B

Ruin the Princess

Alas, it is Tuesday and I have returned back from New Orleans after a great trip, a fun race even though it was 99% humidity, hot, and just really the weirdest crappiest conditions I have ever run in.  At one point I looked up and couldn’t see the blow up Michelob Ultra sign on the race course, at another point I could see my breath, at another point I could see moisture particulate in the air–all together very odd race; but FUN with some wonderful ladies! I also returned home sick-I haven’t been sick in a year so I am due.  I can’t gripe too much, I am alive and blessed.

Moving on to the point of my post today.  I wake up and start the morning regime and EVERYONE is happy to have “mom” home!  Right?  Yes.  Wrong?  Maybe.  Ha!  Up and at ’em we are this morning, wrangle the LGC this morning and without too much of incident we get in the car and get moving this morning.  The radio is on, mindlessly, and the LGC and I have a lull in conversation and it is then that I hear, “OKAY-today’s call in topic of conversation, ‘Do you think that there should be an overweight Disney Princess out now?’ Call in and let’s hear your vote/opinion.”  Now, I turn this off and I do not even let on to LGC that this disturbed me.  Not one time have I EVER said something about weight to LGC.  Have I said “oh wow…the calories in that, is that the smartest thing to eat right now?”  Um yes, and I will again, and again, and again, and again until her cute little butt leaves my house one day and moves out. Think about what you put in your mouth; but, still have a fun and indulge every now and then-JUST BE SMART ABOUT IT!  I pull through the car rider line; LGC gives me a kiss goodbye, pulls her backpack on and out she goes to tackle another day of awkward middle school  🙂  ( I STILL get exit-from-the-car kisses and this makes me VERY happy!)

NOW, let’s REALLY get to my point.

DO YOU THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE AN OVERWEIGHT DISNEY PRINCESS?  Seriously?  Why…WHY is this even a question?  And, stop right there, that is what is wrong with society today on this issue.  Put a label on it.  Why can’t you just leave well enough alone. EVERY little girl is a Princess and I pity the fool (spoken in my best Mister T. voice EVA) that tells her otherwise??!!  Argh!

Look at this picture; these are fictional characters whom all little girls have seen on the big screen one time or another-

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There are all types of different ethnic princesses, short haired ones, long haired ones, WHY must weight be addressed here?

Teach your children to live well, be happy, and to accept things as they are and not want to change every little thing.  Now, this is a daunting task considering the society that we live in but totally dooable.  Someone tells MY child she isn’t a “princess” so to speak I will squish this person, then back up and do it again.  Period.  Adults need to quite forcing their children to view things like the radio stated today-idiotic.  They already are growing up way to fast today, anyway and you want to put gasoline on the fire?  No. Let’s talk about ways to teach your kids to live well.

There is absolutely no need to Ruin the Princess; motivate her, nurture her, let her know that she is one and THAT is what ALL princesses need; regardless of age, height, weight, hair color, dress size, shoe size, etc.  Take this a step further, put it in line with YOUR female life.  You ARE a princess; your own princess; and you are loved by many-love yourself and for God’s sake don’t listen to STOOPID media/society outbreaks stating otherwise.

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I am under the weather and a little more animated than usual but COME ON people take the DUNCE hat off.  I will now step off of my

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Have a FANTABULOUS day!  Oh, but Becky, have you not looked outside and seen it is 35 degrees below zero and raining/snowing/sleeting/pouring ice?  Yes, I have-but YOU make it a good day; don’t want on it to be good.

 

~B

 

 

Beauty and the Sponge

As I was scanning through my Fakebook feed I kept seeing this ad for me to “like” a certain page and it had a woman who had “lost 36 lbs. and looks AHMAZING!” and she had done it by taking a pill.  As I watched some local TV this past weekend I noticed that this is EVERYWHERE!  WHY is there so much emphasis on it?  And, why is sponge in the name of my blog?  I’ll tell you.

I recently had lunch with a fellow PTA board member and we had a discussion of the things that are going on in schools; the conversations we have to have with our kids these days earlier and earlier and earlier in age; and the fact that they are sponges. They hear WAY more than we think they do; they see a lot; and-soak it all in.  This is true for my LGC and, it is true to me and the three of you.  All you see these days is “take this,” “drink that,” “eat this,” and you will be “beautiful.”  Bullsh*t on a stick.  Period.

When I started my journey was I not at my heaviest weight.  My heaviest weight was in 1997 and I weighed 220 lbs. I tried to find a picture of me at this weight and was unsuccessful, I would have no problem showing you what I looked like.  I have had stretch marks since high school; as I have told you I have struggled with my weight for years.  These, obviously, don’t disappear.  When I did start my journey I was 186 lbs.  I have lost 40 lbs.

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Before; Maine 2008

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The picture on the right is the finish line of the St. Jude Marathon 2012.

Along with weight loss comes excess skin.  Couple that with stretch marks and really?  Recipe for hotness?  Um, no.  I think not. (A matter of opinion I believe). This is where you have to be mentally secure and tough and start to realize that what “SOCIETY” deems as beautiful is just smoke and mirrors.  Because, my 3 friends, it comes from within.  Will I line up in a Victoria’s Secret outfit on the cat walk?  No, never. Will you see me on the cover of a magazine with a 12-pack set of abs? Nope, fraid not.  Now, will see me at the start line of a triathlon ready to kick some size 1 model rear end?  Absolutely you will.  Why?  Because…

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Doing triathlons, running races, etc. aids me in being the best possible version of me.  Do I have excess skin that causes chafing?  Yes.  Can I wear a size small?  No.  Will I be able to wear the short cycling shorts this year that some of my triathlon teammates wear?  No.  Does it bother me? Sometimes, I will not lie.  And then, I had to remember this:

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It is truly the inside of a person where beauty comes from.  Does the outside matter?  Yes, it does and I think we would all be lying if we said it didn’t.  That is where hard work and dedication comes into play.  Remember, it didn’t get broke overnight; you can’t fix it over night but you damn sure can do your best each day to make a better version of you.  There is no stupid magic pill.  There is no “shake.”  There is eating right, exercising, maintaining a healthy balance in your life of your faith, your family, and your friends and fitness and then there is finally realizing that you are beautiful, because God made you; whatever you happen to think of yourself currently.  You don’t like what you see? Change it and I will help in any way I can.  Did you do good for a week and then life happened and you fell off the wagon?  STOP beating yourself up and just get back on the damn thing, geez.  Not rocket science.

I will close by saying please, by all that is holy, do NOT look at the TV, the magazines, listen to the radio, and think you are not beautiful in comparison to what society deems is beautiful.  KNOW you are beautiful and teach your children the same.  Let them see you be okay with your beauty; teach them they are beautiful no matter the size, shape and form and don’t let the Sponges (our children and ourselves) soak up unnecessary roughness so to speak.  This provides a firm foundation for them to have and to be equipped with when they will be presented with iffy situations in their little lives going forward regarding self esteem, abstinence, etc.  You can’t put them in a bubble but you damn sure can equip them with what they need.

My stretch marks, my extra skin, the new wrinkles forming in my face; this all makes me.  I know I am beautiful.  Do I get discouraged? Yes, of course I do; for about a day. I told you 3 you get 1 day of a pity party and then it is time to suck it up buttercup and move along, little doggy.  You are beautiful in the eyes of God; your family and your friends.  Know it.  You don’t know it?  Realize it.  Need help with that?  Refer to the bible verse above.  And, make sure your sponges know it too (your children and your friends).  TRUE beauty is something to behold.  Be the most beautiful version of you (the best mother, wife, friend, employee).

Do you know you are beautiful?  No? You should.

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~B