Wednesday, October 24, 2012

late night ramblings

It is 10:08 p.m.

What? That doesn't count as late? Clearly you have no children and a night-owl husband then. In my house anything in the double digits is way past bedtime.

So why am I up and why the heck am I writing at 10:10 (yes, it took me two minutes to write that.)

The fact is, I'm in a funk. A major funkity-funk-funk. How do I know this?

Let's just say I've been hiding Tootsie Roll wrappers where Kel can't see them because there are so many of them I'm sure he would be embarrassed for me. See, I'm really just being nice to him...there is nothing weird about this behavior. Also, I had to get motivated to get up and go to Target today. Clearly if I have problems making it to Target there is a Major Motivation Malfunction (MMM...tootsie rolls) happening in my life.

Moving right along....nothing to see here....

For reals, though, it's been a rough month, and the fact that I don't have a big upcoming goal of any sort, and especially of the physical sort, is not helping.

So I've decided I need to do something epic. I'm not sure what that will be, but I've given myself a list of requirements:

  • Must be done locally because I can't afford to go anywhere. 
  • Must involve being outside because that speaks to my soul.
  • Must be cheap.
  • Must be fun.
  • Must be something that makes people raise their eyebrows. (So this is weird, but it wouldn't really be epic if it was something that wasn't, well, eyebrow-raising.)
  • I'm thinking I would like whatever this epic thing is going to be to be relatively self-supported, i.e. not officially organized, although if anyone wants to join me they can as long as they are cool enough.
Even as I'm writing this my mind is flooding with a list of possible feats of epic-ness. Maybe a self-supported trail marathon on a random weekday (eyebrow-raising to be sure). Maybe a day where I just strap on a backpack and run and walk the whole day and see where I end up. (Note to this on a weekend so Kel can come pick you up wherever you end up.) I don't think I want any epic bike riding to happen, so I'm leaning towards the running.

So, can you help me? What do you do to get de-funkify? What would qualify as an epic feat? I know at least half of the 13 people that read this blog qualify as crazy, so I want to hear your ideas. Really...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest Post: An Open Letter to Lady Gaga

Sometimes I am just overwhelmingly inspired by the people in my lives. I reached out to a friend and fellow triathlon coach the other day with a favor and she asked a favor in return. When I read what she was trying to pull together, I was floored and so proud to be able to help. So here is a guest post by Lisa. If you think this is a wonderful idea, please share this on Facebook, retweet, email to your friends, etc... Lisa has also posted this letter directly on her blog as well. You better believe I am on board with this!!



“To all the girls that think you’re ugly because you’re not a size zero, you’re the
beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.”

Thank you, Lady Gaga, for channeling the words of Marilyn Monroe through your
BODY REVOLUTION campaign and reminding us that our flaws can be fabulous.

Your recent tour photos have made me smile. I don’t see a pop star who has gained
twenty-five pounds, I see a woman who is pouring her passion into her craft and
doing what she loves on her own terms.

Here in Syracuse, there’s a team of girls who has not only accepted our bodies
despite our excess weight, scars and other imperfections, we’ve shown society what
we can do with them. And we want you to come and do a REVOLUTION FREEDOM
RIDE with us to help support the BODY REVOLUTION and get the next generation of
girls feeling as good as we do.

Over the years this group has collectively completed 3 Ironmans, 6 Half Ironmans,
5 Marathons, and 41 miscellaneous swimming, biking or running races, covering a
total of 1649.4 miles.

Based on that, you might imagine us to look a certain way. Society says that athletes
should be skinny. We should be lean and muscular with near-perfect bodies. Sound
like any other industries you’re familiar with?

But we’re not—and like you—we couldn’t care less that we don’t fit the mold. We’re
in this because we love what we do. We are fueled by our passion to reach new
limits, not our desire to uphold society’s expectations of what an athlete should look

And we don’t hide our bodies because they aren’t “athletic” enough. We’re sporting
the same tight shorts and teeny tops that the world champions do. Society be

For three years now, I’ve been volunteering as a coach and mentor with the local
chapter of Girls Inc, a national non-profit organization that inspires girls to be
strong, smart and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help
them navigate gender, economic and social barriers. I lead them through a series of
workshops rooted in fitness—not because I want to give them the tools to LOOK a
certain way, but because I want to give them the opportunity to FEEL a certain way.

To me, fitness isn’t about exercising your body—it’s about exercising your mind in
a way that makes you feel something so strongly you have to move. That’s the way
I’ve taught my spin class for the past seven years, and it’s the way I’ve executed
every race I’ve ever done.

The way you tackle a piano with emotion, technique, and hunger is the same way we
tackle each workout. The way you own the stage for hours on end is the same way
we’ve taken to the roads for hours on end (Ironman can last for 17 hours…ride, ride

Girls need to know that this kind of strength and fire doesn’t come from conforming
to society’s idea of what they should be doing. It doesn’t come from throwing up,
cutting, abusive relationships, or drugs. It doesn’t come from those short-term vices
we find and rely on in our darkest moments.

It comes from accepting yourself and your flaws and being brave enough to feed
your passions despite the obstacles that are in your path. It comes from feeling good
enough about yourself that you can rise above the pressures from society to look
and be a certain way—as a superstar, as an athlete…

As a woman.

In that spirit, I would like to invite you to lead a #RevolutionRide spin class with me
to support the next generation of girls who are fighting against society every day—
from the people in their day-to-day lives who judge and bully them, to the strangers
at large who stereotype the way women should look and behave.

I promise you an hour of sweat, fun, progress, and acceptance with hundreds of
women who will proudly flaunt their flaws together on the fly wheel to raise money
for Girls Inc.

Let’s get on the bike with our huge asses and give society a big middle finger as we
pedal to a better place. Are you with me, Gaga?



Little monster, fat triathlete and passion junkie



Monday, October 1, 2012

October Reboot

October 1. 

I love the beginning of things. The first page of a good book. the moment you crack open a brand new notebook with all the clean lines waiting to be filled. Breakfast. The first sip of a really good latte. The moment right before you start a race. The first day of school.

Sometimes it's hard or even impossible to hold onto that feeling of the beginning of something, so sometimes you just have to create new beginnings. I have been inspired this last week by one of my athletes who sent me an email about 2 weeks ago asking for help. She said she was in a major slump and needed something to jumpstart her, both physically and mentally. Without going into a lot of the details, I proposed a reboot: a time when we would shut everything down, focus on some rest and recovery, and then start back up with all the systems in a better place. She did an amazing job with the goals I gave her last week, and that prompted me to give myself my own reboot.

The thing about a reboot is that everyone's will look a little bit different. I am coming of three full weeks of basically doing nothing. The second week after Cedar Point I did get out for an easy jog and an easy swim, and then my body promptly rebelled and got sick. I took this as a sign that it just wasn't ready to get back into it just yet. I had been toying with the idea of running a November 50K, but when I really took a hard look at what my body was telling me, I realized that October 1 would be the start of my off-season. 

Off-season for me doesn't mean do nothing. It just means do different. It means do what I want. It means explore and take chances.  So I made a list of goals, some of them physical, some of them not, to focus on during my off-season, my reboot, if you will.
  • Take the foundations level CrossFit classes.
I have been wanting to try CrossFit for some time now, and it was just hard to fit it in to my training schedule. Also, there haven't been a lot of places in Syracuse to do this that were convenient for me. Now there are more choices and I have found a box that is relatively close with times and rates that work. I'm hoping this will be my winter strength conditioning.
  • Run on trails a lot. Walking counts too. 
One of the reasons I wanted to do the November 50K is because I love fall trail running. I don't need a race to justify that, so I plan on running on trails a lot. I have the time in my schedule right now. My plan is to get out for lots of easy trail running, short runs and long runs, but all easy, until the weather gets to uncomfortable.
  • Eat beautiful food that makes my body happy.
  • Avoid food that makes my body (and my soul) unhappy (and unhealthy).
One thing that I have learned over the years, is there is food that makes my body and soul happy, and there is food that does not. Unfortunately, the food that does not is usually what makes my mind (temporarily) happy. I do believe in moderation (which I have not been practicing of late), so I'm going back to what I know works. Holistic Guru would call it "Top Tier" eating. I'm actually really excited about it because I know I'm going to feel so good!!
  • Continue working on understanding my kids and creating solutions with them so we will have a more peaceful home.
So, my boys are 9 and 6, you would think I would have figured them out by now, right? Ha! We have been working on really changing how we interact and solve problems in our house, and I really feel like it is starting to work. It is taking a huge mental shift for both me and Kel, and we are not quite there yet.
  • Continue to create work opportunities for myself that honor my gifts and abilities.
Now that both Ryan and Noah are in school all day, I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to increase my workload. In doing so, I ventured down the path of applying for a bunch of jobs that I knew I could do, but wouldn't really love. After a couple of very stressful weeks, coupled with coming off the high of Cedar Point, I had a moment of clarity. I realized that if I am doing a job that is just a job, I will not be happy and I will not be productive. I won't have the time to devote to things that I really love and enjoy. Ultimately, I won't be honoring myself or God by doing those things. So, instead of seeking out jobs that I don't want, I am going to work on creating opportunities that allow me to use my gifts. I have already got some ideas stirring and it fuels my creative drive even more.

So today my October reboot begins. What do you do to reboot your hard drives when the systems have crashed?