500 Miles for SMA: The Finale Part 1

August 16 I arrived in San Francisco to Join my pal Joe as his support crew so he could run from The Walt Disney Family Museum to the Gates of Disneyland.

Fast Forward September 19, 2015. We are on Disney property, arrived yesterday. I have big giant bats in my belly because all the butterflies were destroyed by the bats. Nerves are killing me.

We made it this far and are not finished yet. We have about 10 miles left as of this post.

I think back over the the past 2 years when we began planning. We faced a lot of negative bashing. “You’ll never do it” “Its ridiculous to think its possible” “you’ll never reach your goal” “you are CRAZY”

If you know Joe like I do, then you knew he would do it. He is the one guy whose mental strength can over power his physical being. To be honest, I didn’t really know why I said I would help. I knew he could do it. It angered me that no one supported this idea and I knew he needed support.

So I signed up.

I wanted to quit a million times before we started but I stuck it out. Now I am one of 2 people on the planet who truly understand what happened out there. That reference when only people understand who lived it really applies here. TEAM has a new meaning for me.

I learned a lot about me. I learned a lot about Joe. We both learned a lot about the people closest to us.

I learned he hates White Food, is afraid of bears and cougars, and can bounce back from being run over by a car – 11 times. I learned his instinct is to do things on his own and asking for help is hard. I learned that karma is healing and paying debt is painful but necessary. I learned that some people don’t understand hard. I learned that some people are surprisingly supportive when you expected them to be jerks. I learned that past actions can be forgiven but not forgotten. I learned that moms are okay with waking me up but not him.

We are reluctant to celebrate because we are not done. For the first time I have been in Disneyland for 2 days and have not walked through the park gates. I am still working. I will relax once I get that final finish line hug. I am sure I will cry. I didn’t want distractions.

We had a final ‘family crew’ dinner last night, just the 4 of us. Our girls arrived last Friday to help and support and indeed they did. I am super proud of their efforts, their comic relief and the women they have become. Words cannot express my excitement for witnessing their bright future.

I am relieved this is almost over and I am devastated it is almost over.

$11 000.00 raised for the Do Away with SMA Foundation where will support families for the little things they need that funding just wont help with.

Let’s get this done Big Guy, I am proud to call you my friend and am sure this is that reason we talked about. I love you to the moon and back.

And I called it – I knew you could do it. Sucka….

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500 Miles for SMA: I have no idea what day it is and other FUBARS

It is some day during this event. Joe told we are half way. I don’t even know what that means.

I get up, make food, get ice, make ice packs, make cold compresses, gather food, load the car, get gas, buy groceries, drive, scout, map routes, drive, check route, check on runner, drive a head, drive back to feed/hydrate/cool down runner, find finish line, go back and tell runner where finish line is, make sure runner is safe, make dinner, tend feet… yep I just said that, stretch out a body that isn’t mine.

Then I shower, and go to bed.

Rinse Lather Repeat.

I have no idea what day it is. My vivoactive won’t tell me what time it is: Dear Garmin, we hare have in BIG FREAKIN CHAT when I get the chance.

Do I regret agreeing to this?

Not a chance.

We have raised – get this – close to $8000 for SMA.

Worth every second.

Things I have learned:

1) My super power is Navigation. I knew I was fluent – but holy hell – I hardly use my GPS. I drive from several towns away. I get there by the running route, come home via the fast way. I don’t know how I do it other than I think about it logically and BOOM. Hello hotel – screw you Pheobe (my GPS unit) I don’t need you anyways!

2) I have a crap ton of transferable skills. I know how to do and fix things that would impress MacGiver.

3) I am always in ‘Teacher’ mode. I went to the Sports Authority today and and they are not Authorities. The Manager and I had a conversation about what I needed. I was specific. I asked for friction free RUNNING socks. I don’t care the brand – I prefer Balega or Wright, but not really caring. He didn’t know what that was. Fine….show me where your running socks are. Scattered everwhere (for the record – crap selection). Fine….I need a pair of Brooks Cascadias in a 11.5 2E. He brought me to the Asics section and told me they were what I was looking for. Dude – Asics are too heavy. They are covered in Gortex – this is a DESERT. they will be too hot. Show me Saucony trails – he showed me cleats. Really? Lets have a chat about shoes okay? A quick little PK (Product Knowledge) session. I need Brooks. My runner runs in Glycerine 13s they are wide in the toe box. He has Fred Flintstone Feet. I need a wide shoe. You telling me a D width will be fine is not fine. I know it is too small because I apparently just schooled you in shoes! Its okay if you don’t have what I am looking for. Tell me you don’t have it or tell me you don’t know what I am talking about. Its okay, I know you are a glorified Sport Check – but HOLY HELL – DO NOT ACCUSE ME OF NOT KNOWING WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. Jerk.

4) I gave up diet coke and I am the crankiest person on the planet because of it. I feel better but DAMMIT addiction is freakin hard! I went to the vending machine, drooled on the glass a bit and bought a lemonade. You suck lemonade.

5) I am impervious to Sunscreen. I apply it everyday – twice a day. My arm is fire-engine red. I wear a long sleeve over my arm that is in the sun. I burn fast and I burn well. I kick ass at sunburns.

6) Apparently 4:00 AM is the best time to think. My brain wakes me up every morning at 4 to think about stuff. I am living the El Camino Trail here in California. I have learned things I never wanted to know. I have cried like a baby. I have been more angry than you could ever imagine. Karmic debt will be paid in full once this is done. Then I will move forward and leave a pile of crap behind. Its cathartic. Its painful.

7) I get irrationally angry at people I don’t know. I am concerned I may shoot my mouth off without thinking properly. Sometimes at 4 in the morning, that is a fantasy I have. Sometimes I  get excited to say these things to people I haven’t met. It will be interesting how it all plays out. Clearly, I wont say anything unless provoked….I am Canadian after all.

8) I am not a magician. I can’t force Joe to eat/sleep/or do stuff I tell him. He is pretty good at doing stuff because he is that tired. He lets me direct him/assist/provide for him. But telling me to make him do something is impossible. I can’t make him do anything. He is bigger than me. Mostly tho, he is super cooperative and a super patient. If he wasn’t, I’d tell his mom. She has become my pal.

9) my car has a special kind of funk living in it. I need to buy Febreez

10) Haggen has the best Grocery Deli I have ever seen in the USA.

11) Joe keeps telling me he couldn’t do this without me. Right back atcha pal. I couldn’t do this without you either. I’d look stupid driving back and forth for no reason. Seriously, we are a kick-ass team.

P.S. Don’t shave the beard – the Hockey Gods heard you and that would bring a decade of bad luck.

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500 miles for SMA: Day 4 – Lessons Learned

This is something Joe published over on 500 Miles for SMA. How the man can still think a coherent thought is beyond me. He feels pressure from everyone. Pressure to blog, pressure to post photos, pressure to run every second. I try to get him to get out of the game at dinner time and we talk about stuff that isn’t charity or run related. The mental break is important. We came back, bid good night until 6:00 AM tomorrow and I find him publishing blogs at 9:30 PM.

He needs sleep in the worst way.

This is how far he has come:

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When we drove to the start line this morning he couldn’t believe how far he ran. These are his words:

500 MILES FOR SMA – LESSONS LEARNED FROM DAYS ONE THROUGH FOUR…

So I am four days in to this long distance run, and the education I’ve gotten thus far is truly fascinating.

Day 1: The hills were a killer from the Presidio to my stopping point south of Daly City.  You’ve heard me say this a bunch of times: hills are stupid.  But…not training on them is stupider.  That’s right – I used a word that isn’t even a real word in order to get the idea across.  Lesson learned: don’t just recommend hill repeats to other people – actually step up the hill work yourself.  Because I did not do enough training on hills, these hills did a number on me both physically and mentally.

Day 2: I made it south of Half Moon Bay.  Today was a trial because of logistics.  Detours and mishaps galore.  Lesson learned: be ready to accept whatever the day has in store for you.  Roll with the punches.  Take those little mishaps and translate them into necessary obstacles that stand between you and your goal.

Day 3: I made it to Watsonville.  Safety was the concept of the day.  I found the hood of a Toyota 4×4 at one point (no harm done – I got lucky), and had to dive into piles of dirt and high grass more than once whilst running on busy roadways – even though I was safely in designated bike lanes at the time.  There were several points where, based on the traffic volume, I made the decision to not run sections of the pre-plotted course.  I had to make this call, because the first key to accomplishing this long distance effort is a requirement to FINISH the event.  Experiences on day three had me a bit gun shy on Day 4.

Day4: I was reminded of a very important concept today – just because a day starts off FUBAR, does not mean it needs to stay that way.  I had a goal of arriving in Monterey, and I hit it.  Have a goal, be able to visualize it, and let it be a carrot that hangs in front of you throughout the day.  You need a finish line each day – and that goes for any task you are looking to achieve over a duration of time.

I’ll try to provide additional details as we go.  I’ve been a bit fried from the effort thus far – but I feel a second wind coming.

I want to again express my sincere thanks to everyone following this effort, as well as everyone who donated thus far.  This run means a lot to me, as both of my brothers were claimed by SMA type I.  It’s something I spend time thinking about each morning that I lace up my running shoes during this event.

And to all of you competing this weekend in any event: good hunting.

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500 Miles for SMA: Day 3 – Holy Hotness Batman!

In the words of Rob Thomas when he sang Santana’s Smooth….It’s a hot one

It started out grey and cloudy, perfect running temperatures north of Santa Cruz, we ended close to Monterrey in the blistering sun.

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Joe bounded into my room this morning for breakfast like a puppy – all full of energy and excited. This was a welcome change from his nervousness and concern of the past 2 days. He FELT great. He looked strong and ready to roll. Me, however, I felt like crap. I need to figure out how to worry less so I can relax more. The last thing I want is for Joe to fall or get hit by a vehicle, so I am constantly driving a head checking the route, making sure things are good. Then I race back, feed and water him, race ahead and get groceries/gas/Starbucks…that’s right, I am not camping, I need my coffee.

Today was interesting, people are beginning to ask about the sign on my car and about Joe’s Epic Run. One lady flagged me down at the street light in Aptos to ask what SMA was. Clearly we are raising awareness, Goal 1 met! People are donating money too, Goal 2 met! We are finished day 3 and I am calling this successful already. Now to get him to the finish line in one healthy piece and I will be satisfied.

I mentioned yesterday about our arguments. They go EXACTLY like this:

Me: It’s been an hour, eat this.

Joe: No I’m good, I’m fine.

Me: Eat this.

Joe: No I am good

Me:Eat this

Joe: No

Me: EAT

Joe: Fine….

I win because he knows he needs to keep his energy stores up. It aids in recovery and in the amount of distance he is able to do. So far, so good. I watch for signs of cramping, brain fog, dehydration – we have just encountered Brain Fog – fig newtons fix that. It means he needs sugar. Salt levels are good and I took his pulse today – all good. He gets really hot so I a have cloths soaking in the ice bucket for the back of his neck and forehead, ice packs ready for his legs and and ice to fill his water bottle with to lower his core temperature. I think this helps, at the very least he feels supported and I think that is half the battle, knowing he isn’t alone in this and there is someone who has his back.

We were in farm country today. Workers bent over in the fields endlessly. I appreciate my food more today than I did yesterday.

I found Fleet Feet today. As a gal from the Running Room, I had to explore! Shoe prices are only about $20 less than in Canada and with the exchange, I’d be paying WAY MORE. But those gals knew their stuff! I was listening to the gal in the shoe pit  – I’d hire her. After their customer left, we talked about differences in the stores. They carry more weird socks and feet things, not as much accessories and less shoes. But if I lived in Santa Cruz – I would shop there because those gals know their stuff.

I texted Joe to see if he needed any gear – we are good. He may need new shoes before the month is up but he brought 3 pairs, so we will see. Everything else is good. We are well supplied. We just need more shade.

We shall see what tomorrow brings.

Please consider donating to help us find a cure to stop the #1 genetic killer of children under the age of 2. Joe’s lost two brothers to SMA and we think no one should have to watch their children die.

https://www.crowdrise.com/500MilesforSMA

500 Miles for SMA: Day 2

Today was rough.

Hills were easy compared to today.

We started out at Devil’s Slide, it is the old HWY 1 but erosion and unsafe driving conditions had the State build a tunnel through the mountain. They developed Devil’s Slide as a pedestrian only trail. It was the only way for Joe to complete that leg of the trip.

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I dropped him off on the north side of the parking lot, wished him well and I drove through the tunnel that brought me out on the other side. I parked on the far south of the parking lot, sat on a rock and waited. Dawn on the ocean is a pretty amazing time. It was quiet – for California, there were pelicans, gulls and whales. I could have sat there all day, and I wish I had.

I waited for Joe to arrive and he raved about his views as well. To say the Pacific Coast of California is anything but spectacular would be a lie. It is simply stunning.

Drought is causing real issues here on the coast. Trail erosion has closed down trails that we had hoped to utilize. finding safe spots on the road to continue has been tricky. We cross the highway to access roads and trails, and when they end, we cut back in search of other roads and trails. We were able to find access to the coastal trail that lead over 17 miles. But it ended with a locked bridge. The plan was to go around, but the trail on the other side was closed too. Drought conditions are so severe, they need to preserve the trails so they don’t fall into the ocean.

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23.2 today when we had hoped for 35 miles. It just became so laborious to find suitable road.

The good news is, tomorrow the shoulders are wide enough to run on the highway. We decided the safest way would be to run facing traffic. That way he can see what is coming.

It is also straight – which is important because it is exhausting chasing him to head into the correct direction. With all the changes, it has been a challenge to keep to the right path.

We are so close to Santa Cruz, I am sure he will run through part of it tomorrow.

I have to say, if you ever decide to give this a try, do it with your pal. We are having the best time and laugh most of the time and fight the rest. But if you know us – it is expected. That is our thing. I can argue and fight with Joe the way I argue and fight with my brother Mike. It is a thing of beauty. Arguments of EPIC proportions. That is part of the fun.

Joe hasn’t slept in days but I think he will finally sleep tonight. Which is good, because I am planning a 35 mile day tomorrow.

500 Miles for SMA: Day 1

First day done, in the books, finished.

Mileage was short but the course was challenging. If you have ever been to San Francisco or have seen it in movies you may understand the kind of hills we are dealing with. Joe is from New York. He thought he knew what a hill was… yeah… no he didn’t.

When we started at the Presidio, he told me that was a tough hill. I replied with “By the time we are done today, you will wish you just running a little hill like that one”

The Start Line

That was no joke. The hill over on Skyline drive made me think I needed to put my car into low gear to climb it. And I wasn’t running it. But he did it. It was long and steep, the back side was also long and steep. But he did it. There was trails and switchbacks he climbed and trails and switchbacks he scaled down, because what goes up must come down.

Long long climb What goes up must come down

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My end of things kept me hopping. People kept texting us wishing us well and asked if I was bored.

HAHAHAHAHAHA

When you run support for someone there is a lot to do. I needed to drive a head to make sure areas were safe and clear, I made him eat, drink regularly, make ice packs, check cognitive abilities, sunscreen applications and shop for stuff I forgot. I brought a book to read – and I didn’t get through the first chapter today. The Midwife of Venice. I average 55 books a year, I am not going to get through this book in a couple of days. So no, I am not bored. But seriously, the views! Why do I live on the prairies?

Once he reached the finish line at Pacifica on the Beach, we went through the recovery routine of ice for the legs, chocolate milk, pretzels and a banana. We drove to the hotel and he stretched for 45 minutes, showered and napped. I have to admit, his recovery was better than I expected. He is really ready for this. His training and his Coach The Bad Man, have him ready.

We had dinner overlooking the ocean. It is just water, but I could stare at it for days. We drove the next course and it also will not be easy.

Tomorrow we need to make a better effort to keep the Garmin ON. he did 22 miles today my my calculation but he lost 5 miles on the Garmin because he was daydreaming. Its all good. He deserves to think about what he wants if it makes his legs go. We will have a tough time tomorrow. Road conditions will make some parts unsafe. So I will drive those parts. I made a promise to his mama that I would make sure his efforts would be smart. He will run some beach, some paths but sometimes on the road.

The views make his efforts worth it.

Please help support Joe’s effort by donating to https://www.crowdrise.com/500milesforsma/fundraiser/doawaywithsma

You can listen to Joe’s story on Mickey Milers http://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-5mcqp-5819c1

500 Miles for SMA: The Day Before

Its been quite the day. I arrived in San Francisco yesterday and Joe arrived earlier in the day. We went for dinner, caught up on all the newsy news friends need to know then we went back to our rooms – to lay awake all night thinking…

This morning we had an earthquake rumble through the rooms to wake us up. I thought someone had come into my room and jumped on the bed, apparently Joe thought the same thing. IS it okay that I thought an earthquake was cool? As always, a girl from the prairies finds earthquakes a bit novel.

We decided to get out of our heads and headed straight for the Walt Disney Family Museum. This is where the start line will be. Joe was feeling anxious, so I tried to keep conversation light and Disney Trivia filled. A few hours later, he headed back to the hotel for lunch, route planning and a rest.

Looking at the route was making me uncomfortable. There seemed to be more traffic heavy spots than I preferred. While Joe thinks about the mileage on his feet, I am thinking about safety. How would I call his family and say ” ya, so – Joe was run over because I wasn’t watching” yep… not cool. I needed to drive the route.

I suggested we drive for a couple of reasons.

  1. I needed to fuel up
  2. Joe visualizes the routes of his races – if you ever heard him talk about the New York Marathon, you know what I mean. He likes a plan.
  3. He avoids stuff when he is stressed. Making him see the route was incredibly important. He was REALLY resistant. I said I needed to see it for me. I need to know what to expect – which was true. I like knowing. But I also know it would calm him down.

We headed back to the Presidio, the Start Line. With our hand maps, we made our way south. We got lost, we freaked out, we stressed at each other. But the great news was, we found paths and sidewalks the entire way to Half Moon Bay. We made it to the Finish Line and both exhaled loudly.

  1. The Route is beautiful, there will be lots of great things to see.
  2. The Route is safe. He will not be in traffic once – well, except for the part when he crosses the street at the lights.
  3. The focus has been narrowed to just be Day 1.

You can’t look at the Finish Line before you cross the Start Line and that is what he was doing. Understandably so.

So we have a plan. We will be at the Start Line at 5:30 – just light enough to broadcast from Periscope  – 500miles4sma

We will post it on twitter @5oomiles4sma 5:30am PST.

Meanwhile, I hope he sleeps. He has a big day tomorrow.

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Face Palm

My friends often asked me about Running Tech. I work in the Running Industry, I know a lot about different stuff, so it makes sense. I don’t mind answering questions because I want everyone on the planet to love running or walking or cycling or something that keeps them active and happy. You don’t have to obviously, its just been my experience that the body and mind work best together in tandem.

Friends have an easier time asking me questions than a tech professional.

I get a lot of comments from friends like…. I have blisters on my toes and my toenails fall off – but I love my shoes!

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or I get a really a bad chaffing problem but I love my shorts!

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Really? I don’t know about you but when my body tells me I am in pain, I feel the need to stop. Pain receptors are natures way of telling you something is wrong. The Hubs wore a size 10 shoe and always complained about how his feet hurt. I made him get measured up…the man is a size 11.5. He squeezed into a size 10 because some time in his high school past he was a size 10 and thats that.

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I am training for my BIG Adventure this summer – you can read more about it here. With that is finding Bottoms that are comfy to run in. I bought a special skirt/short combo from Sparkle Skirts. Everyone RAVED about how amazing and awesome they are. So I had a Green Sparkly Feather placed on the shirt for my Dumbo experience….because I want to fly like Dumbo! I also lean towards the philosophy of NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY. So I took my skirt out for a test run.

To be fair, I have super sensitive skin. I feel seams and tags and usually break out in rashes if fabric is washed in a soap thats not Edmonton Tourist Approved.

I chaffed so bad in this skirt that I thought I was bleeding. The band bruised my leg and I chaffed where the seam was. I was talking to my friend who said….Glide it up! Wait…what?

I don’t use glide. Why? If something hurts I stop using it.

I should have prescribed to this method with Boys – they hurt me….stop going back for more. But with clothes….WHY WOULD I EVER WEAR THIS AGAIN? Especially when I have capris that feel good right now. I will wear those instead. I just thought wearing a fun skirt would be…well fun!

Thats fine…my hair will have a fun Sweaty Band. And I am in search of a new Running Shirt that will feel awesome too. I discovered Nordstrom’s carries Nike for girls will that extra cush because some of us are built for comfort and cuddles. Running is something we do to stay heart healthy! BUT THEN… Nordstrom’s Canada does not ship Nike Plus to Canada. WTF Nordstroms!  Nike Canada does not have an on-line store for me to shop at… just stores for me to choose from that carry their product but those stores do not carry plus size. WTF NIKE!

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I guess that means I get to wear what I always wear. Regular yoga pant – does not fit the same as a running tight. I may shop in California when I am there but then I only have a few days to test it out.

Meanwhile… John Stewart has had quite the month too… I feel your pain man.

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Manly Chips #FindYourStrong

Today at coffee time, I busted out a bag of chips that has been in my desk since the first week I started my new position. They were a gift from my new boss because of an upcoming event…more on the event later.

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Yes that is the Silence next to the chips…but this doesn’t surprise you with my love of geek.  But look at the bag!

Guinness Thick Cut Chips!

First off – Guinness!

Secondly – Chips!

Thirdly- They tasted Manly.

Not the Irish Spring Manly “and I like it too” but like Gravy and dirt. Manly stuff. I shared it around the office and everyone agreed “Manly” was the proper adjective. Not to objectify, but it changed our persona when we ate them. We felt  – well – manly in a cartoon fashion. We all agreed it needed cheese then it would be poutine chips. That would be a win!

But the real reason I was given Manly chips was because I earned a spot on Team Canada for the Race to Kinvara!

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It sounds more impressive than it is. Wait…its still impressive. And I have finally stopped crying about enough to tell the beginning.

I work in the Running industry. I know a lot about shoes. Saucony held a contest and I earned top spot for my company.

First off, you may not be able to tell, but I am super competitive. I like winning. I think that is why I run. I suck at winning when running. Last place is where I reside. Being last teaches me things that don’t feel comfortable but I learn more from that than if I was good at winning.

So winning this contest is incredibly complicated.

It means I get a Spot on Team Canada and I get to participate in a relay that will have my team run from Dublin to Kinvara in 3 days. Saucony asked my 5k time. I said 50 minutes because I stop for Sheep and Pubs. But the reality is that will be me running my heart out.

That makes me cry a bit.

I want to be fast, and I am faster than yesterday. But it is still painful to be last. Especially since Team Canada has Fast Runners. People who work in the running industry tend to be established runners who are fast. They look the part. They are fast and svelte. I am neither. So the fat girl in me is terrified. When I go for a run, a guy I work with says “Enjoy your walk” – WOW … I am defiant right back and tell him I may not be as fast as him, but I still run. I play a tough game but that makes me die inside.

Its like high school all over again. Watching everyone be good at something and me still trying to find that something I excel at.

But the flip side is, I am the only one for my company who out in out earned the spot. Others had their name drawn for a chance to go. I knew I got to go because of my placement. I was first.

I’m #1! I’m #1!

But I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t get to go. You  see, I started a new position and taking time off is complicated because of timing. But the powers that be graciously let me go because I earned it.

I need to remember that. No matter what anyone says to me about how slow I am … I EARNED IT.

I will also be about 100 years older than everyone too, that complicates things. But Dammit, I EARNED IT.

So here is the stuff I am super excited about:

  1. I am going to Ireland!
  2. I get a Team Canada Jersey. TEAM CANADA my childhood dream fulfilled! Sure its not the Olympics but I am on a RUNNING TEAM!
  3. I get to eat in Kilkenny Castle
  4. I get to visit the Guinness Factory
  5. I get to see Dublin
  6. I get to see Kinvara
  7. I get to run part of a 200km relay in Ireland.
  8. I get to go with my pal, he won a spot too!
  9. I get to visit Ireland.

I leave in 22 days.

My plane tickets came today. I cried a bit.

I suppose it is because of where I have come from. I changed my life, found my passion, turned it into my job, and became good at it.

Boom, Irony in its purest form.

I am good at what I do because I make connections with people just like me. People who want to run, so they take it one step at a time. People who want to be more than what they are. People who can tell I get them, because I am them.

Ironic because I am not good at the running part. But I am consistent. AND I have run. 8 half marathons in 3 years plus countless other distances.

Next Stop: The Race to Kinvara, luckily I have found my strong. Thank you Saucony for this amazing oppourtunity.

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The Mystery Box

My friend came to stay for a visit and brought a box as a gift. A simple wood box with dovetail corners, a 6″ square cube  with the lid glued shut.

With the lid glued shut there are two options. Pry it open, or leave it shut.

This gift came to me as part of a deeper meaning. It all stems from this video:

The premise of the box is The Unseen Mystery.

I spent some quality time with the box this morning. Holding it, flipping it around and wondering if something was put in the box or was it just glued shut while being empty.

Part of me wants to rip the thing open and see for myself. Chances are it is empty. But there are a myriad of items that could fit into it. I wouldn’t put it past my friend to put something in it. All of the possibilities would be just things. The meaning of objects becomes less powerful once it becomes a thing. 

Once I gave a my bestie a Grape Soda Bottle Cap Pin. It had nothing to do with the pin itself and everything to do with the meaning behind the pin. It was about taking risks, seizing the moment and trying new things. Risks were hard for both of us, but it was something we both were willing to try. So with pins in hand, we set out to try new things and report back on our experiences. So far, this has been a very successful adventure. New risks happen weekly. Some are terrifying and some are fun, but knowing we have the support of “YOU CAN DO IT!” behind us, it makes the leap of faith just that much easier.

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This box isn’t quite the same but it has meaning – so its similar.

While looking at the box, I knew what I wanted to be inside. I don’t need things or trinkets, I like meaningful things. So I would prefer a note to be inside. Something that has a sweeping tale of friendship and possibilities for the future. Places and new adventures that friendship brings.

What I like about the box is not knowing. Something that holds that much potential becomes invaluable. A source of inspiration that becomes endless because there is no beginning and no end.

I have decided not to share what my box looks like because it doesn’t meatier. It is mine, it is a gift and it is meaningful.

It’s very first inspirational job was helping me plan my next adventure.

Stay tuned…