Happy New Year!

Today, I tied my shoelaces and slipped on a tutu in support of the Western Arkansas Ballet Company!  

It was frigid and windy, but I pushed through.  I got 3rd out of 6th place!  And I've decided to be proud of this accomplishment instead of downplaying it.  I have a tendency to worry about how my success affects other people.  I don't want to make anyone feel bad.  Or jealous.  Or sad.  And then it finally occurred to me that I don't live for anyone else.  No one else but me.

I'm the one who runs every.single.day!  Even if I don't tell you I do, I do.  I'm the one who sticks to my 1,200 calorie diet.  I'm the one who stopped making excuses and worked as hard as I've ever worked before.  I've been building up and doing all of this work over the last 6 months.  That's why I'm where I'm at right now.  That's why I can type the words "I've lost 40 pounds!"  Not because I'm younger.  Not because you didn't have that much to lose.  Not because of anything or anyone else.  It's because of me and the work I put in.  You can always tell when someone is actually doing what they say.  The results never lie.  Science doesn't lie.  And losing weight is a science full of mathematical equations.  

So, to any hater(s).  This race was for you. 
 PS, your passive aggressive comments make me uncomfortable.  And not because I don't understand them.  It's because I do.


Week 8 - "River Valley Run"

So, if you like Jesus, this race is for you!
Support your local FCA!



Here we are coming around to the final week of my 5K Challenge and I've never felt more excited to be alive.

 I can't believe that I have allowed an entire decade of bad habits and poor choices to run through my life.  It doesn't matter, I suppose.  What's done is done.  I know what I need to do now to move forward and I'm going to do it.

1. Clara, meaning: bright; example sentence: Clara is my sunshine.

Since July, I have lost a total of 26 pounds.  And with that, I feel like I have gained so much more.  I don't feel like I'm just changing physically – something took over on an emotional and mental level.  I feel like I am becoming my truest self.  A truly confident me.  I don't feel as afraid to try new things or to meet new people.  My shyness is a little less dibilitating.
(Although, I'd still much rather prefer to be alone.)

I now realize that I don’t have to be the best at something to enjoy it. I can suck really bad (and I mean really bad) and still have fun.  Having fun makes me incredibly happy.  The most important thing to me now is living my life.  Not just being here and existing.  I mean, actually, living my life.   Freely.

 And running has granted me that new found freedom.  It seems like it's become a great outlet for frustration.  A time for me to think and reflect without being interrupted.  It’s also the perfect time for me to hum Christmas classics and the ghostbusters theme song without drawing too much attention to myself.  A time to think positive thoughts and admire my shrinking cankles.  

Running even allows me to practice mathematical word problems.  
For example: If Dog A chases Woman B at a rate of 3 mph up a 30 foot incline...Will she get eaten?  Will the neighbors call for help or place bets?

This challenge has introduced me to a group of driven individuals who live for many reasons and causes.  It’s given me a whole new discussion topic with my co-workers.  More bonding stroller time with my sweet, baby girl and a stronger connection with my family.  A family that wants me to be healthy and live as long as possible. 

It’s taught me patience.  And dedication.  I never thought I would be the one to run in the rain.  But I laced up and went out in the sprinkles.  Yes, I'm that girl.  The girl that I always see in the park on my way out from work.  The girl that is, for now, excited about her future and on her way to being completely content and happy with her choices.

Yay, for change.


Week 7 - "2015 Everyday Superhero 5K"

This was a tough one.  The roads were flat and I nearly gave up.  
Almost finished.

I feel drained and slightly depressed.


Week 6 - "2015 Sparks Stampede"

This week we ran in support of physical fitness and to raise awareness for a variety of cancers!
We completed this race in 46 minutes!  This is officially our best time to date!  Woot, woot.  

Marie and I were interviewed by Channel5 News.  Marie did an exceptional job and I did that thing where I became my old, introverted and quiet self.  You know, the "boring" me.  Sadly, they chose to use the "boring" me segment instead of Marie's playful and informative banter.  

Thankfully, Marie isn't the jealous type, so we all had a good laugh and tried to put my awkward tv appearance behind us.  

Here is the quote they took from the video and audio clip.  Marie really enjoyed the fact that they called us "avid runners".



Week 5 - "2015 Survivors' Challenge"!

We had to take a small break last Saturday to allow my knee to fully recover. 

 This recent race was amazing!  Not only does it support our local Cancer Support House, but we ran our fastest time, yet!  That's with about 3 minutes of goofing off during the race, stopping for stupid selfies, and silly pictures.  My knee feels a lot better and I'm glad I can start running again!  Life feels back on track.  If you would like to learn more about the cause, please click here.

Here's a video for your viewing pleasure!



This is Vicky.

I love hugs.  I love the way they make me feel.  I love how connected I can become to another human being just by touch.

I feel alive.

When I get a hug I have a super hero heightened sense of awareness. I can feel individual strands of hair against their back. Soft squishy skin under a warm fuzzy sweater.  In some cases if I stand still long enough I can feel their heart beating.

I have many amazing huggers in my life, but today I'd like to talk about one of my favorites.

This is Vicky.
Her long, poofy hair and slender, narrow face have always reminded me of the classic movie stars.  Not to mention her eyes that seem to smile.

Vicky is the strong, silent type.  She was there at the center when I started years ago.  Vicky didn't speak or acknowledge me for nearly a month.  And we only sat a few feet apart.

She admits to me now that she has always felt uncomfortable with change.  I understood.  Most people find new situations and/or new people overwhelming.  I can still remember how excited I was when she first spoke to me.  She asked me a question about my Sissy.

Vicky has no children.  And she has never been married.  We often tease her about the many suitors from years past.  The coyote man who worked for the city was my favorite.  The hot water heater dude comes in as a close second.

Vicky does have a cat.  The cat prefers to snack on particular blades of grass.  Vicky usually complies with the demands without complaint.

Sometimes, Vicky can be spotted feeding the ducks behind the local pizza place.  She stops there to pick up food for her Pop.  He lives in an assisted living community.  (Pop and I share the same Doctor.  Whom I have decided to refer to as Dr. SweetLips).  Vicky cares a great deal about her family and prefers to spend the majority of her free time with them.

Vicky can also be considered a rebel.  Back in her heathen days, Vicky nearly got arrested for bootlegging a few things across the OK/AR border.  Now, she just hijacks the wifi from her neighbors.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of seeing how Vicky moves out on a dance floor.  It's an uplifting sight to behold.  When she dances, her eyes sparkle and the entire room fills with happiness.

Vicky is a true, dancing queen.  She has a strong love for music, mostly because of the way it makes her feel.

In another life, I'm sure that Vicky was a nurse.  There isn't a medical dictionary that could hold a candle to her wealth of medical knowledge.  She's the first person I go to when I don't feel well.

Even when I'm feeling blue, Vicky always knows what I need.

And usually, that entails her scooping me up and giving me a hug.

Vicky, I can't imagine what my life would be like without your constant love and support.  And more importantly, your hugs.  I feel so honored and blessed to know you.  Thank you for letting me in.