showing up

January 2016 is winding down…FINALLY! Am I the only one who felt like this was an endless month? No, it was not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month. It was actually an okay kind of month at least here under the Big Top. It just seemed like January was a long as a cold, dark Winter night.

Speaking of Winter…

I can neither confirm nor deny that Jodie was anywhere near the East Coast last weekend. I asked. Believe me.

But yes, January is coming to an end which, it would seem, be the PERFECT time for me to shake up my workout.  I never was a New Year, New You, New Workout or Joining a Gym kind of girl because anxiety girl hates the crowds. Still, struggling with the I’m getting older too season of my life, I am realizing that in order to maintain I need to do so much more than just run and throw some weights around occasionally; because it’s not just cardio vascular and muscular skeletal function that wanes in our middle ages…I realize that literally every single time I am crawling between ventilators, isolettes and parents kangarooing their tiny babies so I can hang IV fluids, administer meds or shut off an alarm, and then trying to get back up again. I won’t talk about the hobbled state of my back, my hips, my knees and my ankles at the end of a 12 hour shift.

So honoring my #oneword2016, I am pausing the running…kind of sort of because if I run, I run, and if I don’t, I don’t...instead I am walking more and as of last week, accepting Jodie’s challenge to get my Yoga on. Last week I discovered Adriene, whose playful humorous yoga practice is exactly what I need as I get back on the mat and accept the reality that is my ebbing flexibility and old lady joints. Five days into her New Year 30 Day Yoga Camp (while everyone else is almost done with it), I am learning to accept, create, embrace, awaken and celebrate that I am alive as I enjoy this one wild and precious life that is mine. There is more to come the next 25 days but the biggest thing I am coming to realize is not how flexible I am or, obviously, am not.

No.

The biggest thing is that I have shown up on that mat.

And that is kind of the biggest thing one can do literally in any relationship in their life whether love, friendship, work, your own self. If it’s important, if it’s valuable, you got to work with it, care for it, but first you got to show up.

Start here.

Show up.

 

I should write

I should write but…

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it’s raining and we know how everything literally SHUTS DOWN in California when it is raining.

Still, I should write…

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but I’m working on trying not to fall down whilst attempting Virabhadrasana II. Actually Warrior II isn’t so bad. It’s my creaky, older, achy joints that are the problem. Something else I can try to blame on the rain.

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I have (as always) laundry to fold…WARM, fresh out of the dryer laundry to fold before Zelda curls up on it all spreading the glitter that is cat hair ALL OVER IT because all the freshly laundered clothes are so soft and warm and purr-rect for a kitty like her to curl up in. She thinks so.

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Hollie is distracting me from writing sending me impossibly adorable pictures and videos of little ballerina girls. I should be writing but I can’t. I just can’t even!

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Plus it’s raining and my backyard is literally flooded…

I should be writing but…

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the struggle…

It’s real.

photo dump: brown belt edition

Our “Tae Kwon Dan” has earned his brown belt which really, truly is a huge ass deal, at least to me, when one considers his SPD problems and struggles while he sometimes now must spar with light contact. People touching him…touching, not hugging. Most people can’t imagine the struggle that is. Even those closest to him sometimes don’t get it. Thank goodness his Tae Kwon Do Master teacher does get it.

How far he has come since that tiny 7 year old white belt student!

Still the smallest but size really doesn’t matter in Tae Kwon Do…neither does gender.

Having fun, on the other hand, matters. It matters a lot.

Good bye blue belt.

Hello brown belt!

play it again: that’s what friends are for

originally published May 8, 2012 and because right now, my girl, Tracey is rocking her final marathon. If you’re reading this go tweet encouragement and congratulations right now to her because I said so and because she is seriously kick-asstastic and family.

You gotta love social media. Yes, I know some days you can’t help but hate it…the drama, the “vague-booking”, the time suck. But some days you just have to love social media. The last couple of days I have loved it.

My friend, Tracey, was running her very first marathon back home in Pittsburgh. She trained well for it and, thanks to Facebook, I was able to follow her in her training all along the way. I was so excited for her…her very first marathon!!! I was also a little nervous for her too…a worrisome foot injury late in her training schedule and the typical race-eve freak out…I couldn’t help but be worried a little…it’s what I do. More than anything, I wanted to be there…to cheer for her at the start, along the route and at the finish…because I know how much fun it can be…but more importantly, because Tracey is my friend and I wanted to be there just as I have felt like I have been throughout her training that she has shared. I set my alarm to remind me while at work early, early Sunday morning, west coast time, to send out a shout out wishing her luck and I began to follow her posted split times as well as #PittsburghMarathon live tweet updates.

Okay, fine. It wasn’t like I was there but then again it was…kind of sort of.

It was then on my Instagram feed I saw my friend Kim had posted an amazing shot of one of the elite runners running past her. It was a great capture indeed…air under the guy’s feet as if he was running through the air rather than on the pavement…you know, like us

mere mortals who try to run. I KNOW that it had to be exciting as I once got to see running greatness run past me…in the opposite direction…while running in the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Excited I messaged Kim and told her how Tracey was running in the same event and just might be running by her soon…okay, later…still Tracey was headed her way! Kim messaged me back asking, “How can I spot her? I’m at mile 16. Would love to cheer her on.” Kim and I send back and forth messages with me trying to describe Tracey and then I send her a screen shot of Tracey with her running bib. An hour later I receive another message, “We just saw Tracey! I think we gave her a nice boost at mile 16!“, followed by, “Wish I could have lined up a few more folks to cheer for her.

Oh yeah, Kim is good people. She even came to my aid during BlogHer 11 with a dose of Tylenol…yes, it was part of her calling card but it helped me out and how can one ever forget that…oh, and I enjoyed sitting with her and sharing during a session or two. Even better, thanks to social media, I get to enjoy Kim’s company a lot and get to remind myself of the wonderful things that I miss about back home in Pittsburgh and that which makes Pittsburgh Someplace Special. Some pretty good people live there…like Tracey…like Kim.

It was after the race that I saw a posting on her Facebook wall from Tracey:

I’m home, icing every part of my body, reflecting on the day. A marathon isn’t fun or easy but parts of it did rock…My teammates, friends, fellow athletes! Laura Scarborough Setting up a surprise cheering section from 3000 miles away! The band at mile 9.29 playing Take the Skin Heads Bowling! Getting hosed down by a hot fireman in E Liberty! Knowing my Dad was with me every step of the way! My coaches Phil Thompson & Drew McCabe crossing the finish line with me! Best running partner Kathie O’Donnell finishing the last mile together!

Reading that made me cry…cry happy tears because although we can’t be face to face every day and we can’t just hop in a car and drive on over to be there for one another, I have some pretty amazing friends out there and thanks to the interwebs and a whole lot of social media I know that we can and are there for each other to support and encourage each other…to cry together…to pray together…to laugh together…tell me how and where to bury a body, you know, if I had to…to just be there for each other. It’s a small circle still it is a circle that has expanded my world in a way that I could never imagine…even when I am feeling alone here in Manteca. I have some pretty awesome friends…friends like Tracey, like Ann, like Kim, like Kari, like Kale, like Jenn, like Bill…I am so lucky…even if you all aren’t physically just around the corner.

Love you Tracey! Love you Kim! I hope that someday I can hook you two up…perhaps while taking in a game at PNC Park.

And one more time, congratulations Tracey!!! I am thrilled and honored to have cheered you on this weekend. You. Are. Awesome.

final marathon

When accomplishing something pretty amazing, most everyone can name at least one person who inspired them. When it comes to running and who inspires me two people immediately come to mind. There’s Kari, whom I hold personally responsible for the fact that I do run no matter how slow I go; and there is Tracey, a high school classmate and dear friend who remains my touchstone and connection to my “back home“…and because she pretty much adopted me into the Baker clan, my sister. Tracey can and will run in almost any crazy condition and considering the winter that was this past winter, I know she did while training for this year’s Pittsburgh Marathon. It’s kind of hard to whine about your running conditions in the Central Valley California when your friend is talking about ice and snow and freezing rain and freaking wind chill factors when sharing her running updates on Facebook.

Then there is the fact that she looks so damn good while running and looking like she is having a great time.

Apologies, Tracey, for snagging this picture from your Facebook wall. I couldn’t help myself because, yes, you look so damn good and like you are having fun. I would be the runner soaked in sweat with sweat drying so I look like a salt lick…a salt lick with a beet red face which would likely scare you and any spectators. I blame the ginger gene for the red face.

But look at her!

I’m inspired to run right now; except for the fact that it is nearing midnight and the Big Top is slumbering.

I received a text from Tracey early Friday morning that made me smile and cry sad and happy tears. This Sunday in Pittsburgh will be Tracey’s last marathon.

No, not her last run.

Thank goodness!

But, for so many reasons, it will be her last 26.2 mile race. And I was sad. Then she told me how she has read and re-read this particular blog post…and then the tears were happy tears filled with so much love.  I’ll be at work, again, but I am looking forward to following my dear friend and running crush via text alerts as she rocks this marathon in the ‘burgh. If I had the power and influence, I would make sure that all the hot firemen were all along the route cheering her on. I don’t have that influence and power…alas.

But I will be cheering my dear friend on 3,000 miles away in spirit, in my heart and via text messages because that’s what friends are for.

You’ve got this girlfriend!