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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Flying while bruised

Sunday it happened again, twice. I fell while riding  my new bike. I had a melt down. I actually burst out in tears. I was supposed to be getting better and I felt like I was doing anything but that. And this time was not in a swamp. So I guess that is an improvement except pavement hurts more.

I am bruised. I am bruised more than I have ever been bruised in my life. Even more than when I fell through my attic. And I hurt a lot. My body looks just like the picture of those bananas. And the fact that it is on my butt make is hard to sit for long periods of time. And it hurts in certain positions when I sleep. On a scale of 1 to 10 my medically knowledged friend says it's only a 4 and that I am being overly dramatic. But I don't think so.

But I cannot give up. I sort of want to, but I paid too much money for that bike to let it collect dust. I will never be able to ride a century (even though I am rethinking that) if I do not get more time in the saddle. And I am a bit afraid.

All of this was going through my head and then I met Carlos Moleda former Navy SEAL who has won the handcycle division of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship five times. He is paralyzed from the waist down in the line of duty. When he noticed me he promptly stuck out his had and said, "Hello, I'm Carlos". Just like that. Just like that I was amazed to see him simply get up from his bike and into his wheelchair smiling and chatting.

And I am just bruised. I am crying because I fell twice in one day. I feel twice in one day and am bruised. Now that does not seem like much to cry about. So today I went on a run and am thinking about what to do differently the next time I get on my bike. I may be bruised, but I am not broken or paralyzed. I have no excuse not to ride again. Plus my friend Tyra won't let me.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Flying with a lot of new going on

 The other day I got a new bike. The one in front. I actually rode it 22 miles. This is significant because it was a new bike, new shoes, new clips on the shoes, new gears, and new bike shorts. That is a lot of newness happening all at one time.  

I was nervous. This bike is a lot sleeker, lighter, jazzier, and advanced than my previous bike. I did get a bit frustrated clipping in. I had no issues clipping out (which is a very good thing).

I was so worried that I was going to fall that in fact I did fall. On grass this time which was nice, but not as much fun as telling people that I fell in a swamp. A guy in a truck pulled over and ran out to help me. That was very nice. It was especially nice since the guy was white. I know that it shouldn't matter and it really doesn't. It's just that after all of the hate going around, it is nice to know that there are people who do not subscribe to that rhetoric. And he did not even think about race because he jumped out of his truck immediately. Normally I would not have noticed, but now I am a bit more aware of these things. This is new for me, really thinking about skin color.

I am not sure I am happy about that. I mean I always notice how many of 'us' are in a room, but not out in traffic. A whole lot of new going on.

I think our country is in a state of awakening. Just because people have remained silent does not mean all is well. I feel like the next chapter of civil rights is unfolding. People are rethinking and people are researching. I now know the history of the national anthem and many other things.

A whole lot of new going on.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Flying with Faith

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending a yoga workshop with Faith Hunter. Admittedly I had never heard of her before. I am not at all familiar with the icons of yoga. I am sure that will all change once I begin my yoga teacher training next month. But I am not there yet.

Anyway, I was apprehensive about participating in the workshop. I am not a bendy person. My quest for pretzleness has not gone very far. And the arthritis in my knee makes a few things a bit more challenging than I would like. But we all have challenges, right?

So why did I sign up for this workshop? Well, this was my very first opportunity to be taught by a woman of color. And freaking yes I was excited about that. I also thought it would be a great prelude to my upcoming yoga teacher training. And I needed to do 'something'. It was really just that simple.

I was well beyond the edge of my comfort zone. That is a great place to be, but I certainly don't want to live there. I did things that I had ever had the nerve to try. I did things I did not know how to try. I amazed myself. I pushed myself (okay two margaritas at lunch may have had something to do with that), but in the end I exceeded what my mind thought I could or maybe should do.

I have a lot more to learn. I still want to hold a crow for more than 1.5 seconds, do a handstand, a tripod headstand, a wheel, and who knows what else. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin again. I want to feel the power physically and mentally. I want to feel endless possibilities.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Flying in my version of Wonder Woman

Today I felt a little bad-assed. I ran four miles for the second time in a week. The goal is to be able to run six and a half miles comfortably for my leg of a relay in November. Today I ran without my watch. I ran with my watch Monday and all I know is that I am running a lot slower than ever before.

Yes, I know that I have really not been running since March. Yes, I know that osteoarthritis in my knee makes things incredibly hard. And yes, I was still bummed to be running so slow when I should be thankful to be able to do this much.

I am thankful for my body. It is a good body. It allows me to swim, do yoga, and bike between 20-35 miles on any given Sunday. Not too shabby for someone not really training for anything. I am just trying to balance out my fitness routine because menopause is a thing.

Menopause is a thing and I cannot take hormones. Menopause is a thing and the weight has materialized where it wasn't before. I am learning to embrace the change and move forward no matter how slow.

So today I ran. It is a small victory but isn't that what life is? Connected small things that lead up to bigger and better things? Please say yes, because that is what I keep telling myself.

Today, for the first time in a good while I am walking around believing that I am my own version of Wonder Woman. I hope this lasts for more than one day.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Flying waiting for Irma

Hurricane Irma is on the way. It is amazing to me how predictive models can change over the course of a few hours. It is even more amazing to listen to people rationalize their decisions to stay or go as if it is a game. Many laughed at the people who evacuated in an attempt to be safe when the hurricane changed course. Others were angry after evacuating when perhaps they could have stayed. And the same thing is happening now. 

It isn't funny to those who took the information they were giving and made a sound decision to spend whatever resources they had to flee. And if you left based on the information you were given and that information changed (or the storm changed course) shouldn't you be thankful? There is no one all knowing in either scenario. 

Aaron Burden
I am also tired of people throwing the random scripture out there about God punishing us. But of course, He is only punishing us for certain sins. Funny how that works. And this is the reason Christianity leaves an awful taste in some of our mouths. 

I am happy to see the wonderful humanity in most of us. The people who have opened their homes to strangers who have no place to go. The people who are providing food, clothing, and other needed services and items to anyone. That overshadows the others who are sitting in vast judgment from their social media accounts. That is the world we live in. 

I am trying to be careful not to be quick to judge. This is hurricane season. No, I do not think God is punishing us. If He wanted to punish us I think it would be due to being respectful and accepting of others. It would be for the gluttony, greed, laziness, wrath, envy, pride, lust, and a few other things because there is certainly enough of those going around and they are not isolated to one's pro-life, pro-birth, pro-choice, sexual orientation, sexual preference, immigration status, skin color, socioeconomic status, or education level. So we should all be careful when hurling those bible verses. We just may be talking about punishing ourselves. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Flying into the next month

Eric Rothermel
Tomorrow is a new month. And the year is almost over. I already saw Halloween decorations in the grocery store. And those dreaded cinnamon brooms which give me a headache.

So much has happened and yet it is hard for me to remember exactly what I have done so far. I mean I have run two marathons, two half marathons, become a Pound pro (that is a story for a different day), and got diagnosed with osteoarthritis. There it is the good, bad, and the ugly. And that is not even everything. It's funny what we remember without going back to read the notes on our calendar or in my case my journals. I have been journaling since 1990 and trust me there is a lot of stuff in those books.

Tomorrow is a new month. Another opportunity to begin again. I feel the need to do something differently. At the moment I have no idea what that even looks like and I have less than 24 hours to put something in play. I was supposed to be thinking about it while doing laps today, but I did not. And I am not really thinking about it right now, not full force anyway.

Perhaps subconsciously the plan is in motion. And maybe it isn't. I have time. It's all on me. I am not seeking anyone's approval. I just want something different. And maybe that begins with a new hair color. Hey, one small change can be the catalyst for many more.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Flying honoring the journey

I went back to Charleston to view the eclipse. I commandeered a friend's house and had a viewing party. It was great being back and hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones. A few important things happened this weekend.

I got fitted for running shoes and was given exercises to straighten my right knee. I even ran an easy two miles after not running since March. That was huge.

I took my Pandora bracelet to a Pandora concept store to get a new bracelet. In the end I kept the old bracelet that I had since 2006 and just added a safety chain. The women in the store told me just how much each charm cost (they had all been retired) and now I know approximately how valuable my bracelet is. I bought a charm for each class I took while pursuing my PhD. So it was valuable regardless of the dollar amount, but now I know that it has monetary value. I would not be able to replace it if I lost it.

My friends and I cooked incredible food to celebrate the eclipse. We did not have moon pies, but we had a moon cake which was delicious beyond words. We also had solar eclipse cocktails and various appetizers.

As the moon appeared we howled at it from the backyard. I have no idea why, it just seemed like the appropriate thing to do at the time.

I made myself available to folks and some showed up and others did not. It was all good. I know who my friends are. There was one that I was a tiny bit confused about, but I was able to tell him "I hope what you did over the weekend was amazing because you chose that over me". And now I am no longer confused. I was surrounded by friends who love me, support me, and honor me. There is no longer any room for any other kind of relationship in my life. There never should have been, but we all head down the wrong path a time or two.

The journey to Charleston to witness a magnificent event was well worth the 2.5 hours on the road. And what I discovered while there made it even better and the leftovers that I brought home even more so. And with the strength of others finally letting go was the best journey ever.