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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Flying with the vote

I voted for the first time as a Georgia resident. Before voting I had a lot of research to do. I had no idea 'who my people were'. I did not want to go into the poll without knowing anything. Plus, I am always telling people to be informed voters and I use the hashtag #foryourfile so that I can catalog the issues and responses that I would not remember. I even attended a political luncheon in an attempt to hear from the candidates themselves. I did not learn much. Partly because not much was said and partly because it started an hour late and well, I had other things to do.

So I paid attention to the televised debates. I read everything I could get my hands on. I particularly had to read, read, and re-read articles from various sources on Stacey Evans and Stacey Evans. I was not sure which one best represented me and the television commercials were a bit misleading. I had conversations (not as many as I wanted and I think my friends and coworkers were getting weary of my questions) with people in an attempt to decipher what was needed and who could best deliver that. Again, it was the primary. The winner would go up against the Republican primary winner. There will be a runoff to determine that.

It was different voting in Chatham county. Much of it was manual input. It took a lot longer than I am used to. There were no ballots posted. There was no explanation of the referendums or whatever those questions were on the ballot. I was unprepared for them and I thought I had downloaded the most recent ballot. I got frustrated because I did not understand the manual stuff. I got a voter registration card so why was I manually put into the system? I did not ask because my words may have come out harsh and I may have been escorted out. So I stood there waiting glaring at the woman who I am sure was doing the best she could to put my information into the system. I managed to vote and next time I try the early voting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Flying with Thursday's Word

Photo by Saffu on Unsplash
Thursday's Word is back!


John 4:24 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

Think about your greatest hero (someone you don’t personally know) you can know all about them, without knowing them. Pick a superhero and detail all the things they do.  What have any of them done for you? 
The same thing happens with God, we can know all about Him without having a relationship. Now think of God. testify to what He has done for you?  Not a superhero but a Supernatural God who is alive and well in this world today. He is holding you up right now and giving you life.

Jesus Christ is the one we all need a relationship with in order to live a good life down here. Get to know Him today.

May God continue to bless you, is my prayer.

Brenda Smith

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Flying with the same number

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash
I am in a 6 week challenge. The goal is to get back to eating healthy and get my body ready to start running again. That means strengthening my leg muscles especially the ones around my arthritic knee and possibly dropping a few pounds. Dropping the weight will make things easier on my knee. I am talking about 5-10 pounds. I just want to feel better in my clothes. Some things are a bit tighter than they should be and I do not have money to buy a whole new wardrobe. Nor do I want to.

The first week I lost 4 pounds. I did not see it go, notice it gone, or anything. But I was still happy. In my Weight Watcher days I never lost that much weight except that one time when I was sick. So that doesn't count.

The second week I felt the missing weight. My clothes fit better. I was making better food choices. I was estimating how much weight I thought I had lost. I was guessing about 2 pounds. And when I got on the scale, I lost NOTHING! Not a thing. Not a decimal point. Not an ounce. Absolutely positively nothing.

I will admit that I was disappointed. I had to research why I did not lose weight and discovered that what happened to me is pretty common. In fact in the beginning stages of change it is also common to gain a pound or two. That made me feel a bit better. More importantly I can see the results of the workouts and the food choices. What I am doing is sustainable long term. I am not starving myself. I am not drinking two shakes and a sensible meal. I am not depriving myself of the foods I love. I am just eating them in moderation.

I am on my way to a healthier me. The number on the scale is not important. What is important is that I feel so much better and my clothes fit the way they are supposed to. I just hope I can remember all of this when I step on the scale Monday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Flying while rambling

Classes started last week and I just did not feel as prepared as I usually am. So in this second week I am already playing catch up. I feel like I am going full speed ahead and yet I see very little evidence of my work. I think it is because I am looking at what I have left to do. I have a lot left to do. And of course nothing is going as planned.

Jonathan Brinkhorst
I started a 6 week challenge. Thinking about it I am not sure what the challenge is exactly. I know that I meet with a personal trainer three times a week and for 30 minutes I sweat more than my body weight. And once a month I get weighed. And there is a meal plan. So it is almost like Weight Watchers, but with a lot of food restrictions and a fitness dude. There are push-ups involved. Lots of push-ups, squats, and holding planks for FOREVER. And there are cute little kettlebells that are evil. Pure evil. But they are helping me get the work done. this is week number two. I even discovered that I like lentils. My goal is to drop some weight to take pressure off of my knees. Then I plan to ramp up my running. I haven't eaten a chunk of miles in a very long time. I miss them. I miss how my body felt after 10 miles.

I have been teaching yoga to elementary school kids. So much fun.

I am trying not to get overwhelmed and I am failing miserably. But I am doing the best I can. most days anyway. Some days not so much. I am trying to make myself believe that everyone else is crazy and that I am the only sane one. Most days it seems that way, at least to me. At least today, but I have not had any sugar in a few days so my worldview is slightly skewed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Flying after the bridge

It really happened. The race that I had envisioned for over three years happened. And it happened in a HUGE way. People from all over the country came to Selma to run the 51 mile relay. One guy even ran the entire race alone. Triple ^5 to him! Okay maybe more than triple.

Let me tell you, it felt great to have the race of my dreams come to fruition. Now I can add visionary to my list of adjectives. It was an amazing day. There were a few bumps along the way and definitely things to improve upon, but the majority of the feedback was positive. This was a first. This was the inaugural race. And the date is already set for next year. I am a legend! (Ha, if only in my own mind)!

Running over the infamous Pettus bridge was just as emotional as it was the first time I did it. This time I had the added thoughts of running along the same road that the marchers did in 1965. The camps where they spent the night are clearly marked. I think we all said prayers of gratitude as we ran by. Sharing this experience with my dad (our van driver) and my Charleston running crew was awesome.

I did not do this feat solo. There were many people who worked tirelessly to make this race a success. The are the members of the Walk Jog Run club. They were on the ground making things happen. But this was my dream. I will take sole responsibility for that. And yes, I know and appreciate that dreams do not become reality without hard work.

I have no idea how many people participated. But it was many. It was a diverse crowd. It was diverse, because civil rights benefit everyone. I cannot tell you how many times I had to school people on the Civil Rights Act and its various titles. Or how many times I had to say that civil rights is not just a 'black thing'.

Anyway, the race was a success. It was beautiful. It was a dream come true. The only thing that would have made it better would have been having Representative John Lewis there. Maybe he will be there next year. I need to start working on that right now.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Flying to Montgomery

I am flying to Montgomery, AL tomorrow. I am a bit frazzled because I am not the world's greatest packer. I am not even in the top 2 billion. I keep throwing things in my bag. Since I am flying that needs to stop because I am not checking a bag. I am taking one carryon. So I need to pack smart which is not something I do well. And my mom is not here to help me. And yes, I was in the Army and no, I did not learn how to pack then either.

Aside from my packing woes, I am getting excited. I am going to run from Selma to Montgomery with my Charleston crew. The ladies I ran at 4am with. And truth be told, I really miss those days and those runs. I struggle now getting up to be at the pool or the gym at 6am. Times have changed along with my location.

This relay is important because it was my dream to do this. It is important because we must remember that those before us paved the way for us. We do not have to run this relay in the footsteps of those who marched the 54 mile trek. We choose to because we honor them and we honor our right to vote without poll taxes, being beaten, or any obstacles in our path. (Yes, there are new obstacles such as voter ID and reduced early voting, but we will tackle those another time.) This race is in commemoration, celebration, and honor.

I am running the first leg which goes across the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was here that voting rights marchers were violently confronted by law enforcement personnel on March 7, 1965. The day became known as Bloody Sunday. This weekend the law enforcement will be on our side protecting us from traffic.

I will not pretend that this relay will accomplish or achieve the same impact of the march in 1965. I only hope that it gently mimics the road paved for us and gently reminds us that there is still many more miles to cover-literally and figuratively.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Flying called something else

Samantha Sophia
The other day someone said to me (via Facebook) that she apologized for sending me a long email to send to all my friends. I asked to stop sending her rantings. She apologized because she thought I was a Christian. So she did not apologize the convoluted message. She did not apologize for sending me a chain message. She apologized because she thought I was a Christian.

That stopped me cold. My faith has never been questioned. And it should not have been questioned by someone who does not know me. But that is what happens. People we do not know see/hear something and immediately they launch into all sorts of judgments.

This woman jumped to her incorrect conclusion because I refused to forward her email asking for prayer because (I am paraphrasing here) same sex marriages, abortions, and a host of other things are the cause for our decaying society. I refused to forward it and told her to stop sending me private messages like that. So that is what makes me (in her eyes) not a Christian.

Of course I do not care what she thinks of me. She is not someone in my real life. But the lesson I learned is that I also need to be cognizant of the judgments I am making about people I do not even know based on one something that I saw/heard. Not that I am equating my refusal to perpetuate her venom a reason to believe that I am not a Christian. I just need to be careful. I need to attempt to get the full picture of a person before I decide anything about that person. It's only fair. I also need to watch the flinging of labels  because people have been called many things and some of them dangerously wrong.

I guess Christianity has many flavors. I guess mine just did not gibe with hers. I have not looked, but I doubt I will find anywhere in the Bible where it says that we should judge a group of people because their beliefs are different than ours. No where does it say (I am just guessing) that it is our duty to perpetuate lies and hatefulness about others.

I am quite sure about that, but I will dust my Bible off and read it just to make sure.