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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where the thoughts go when the IPOD Dies

The music starts, my breath is heavy, my legs are starting to burn a little, and then it gets good. My feet hit the pavement in rhythm with the music, my breathing gets in sync, and the burning fades away. This is the amazing feeling of running with an IPOD. I’m the kind of runner that trains with an IPOD regardless of what anyone says it motivates me. I freaking love my IPOD. I wake up, and turn my IPOD on. I put on my makeup, and I turn on my IPOD. I even have a slumber playlist for when I go to sleep.  My IPOD comes in handy the most when I’m hitting the pavement, getting a run in, or lifting weights at the gym. So imagine how lost I felt when my IPOD gave out on me during an 8k in Richmond.

It was right around mile two, and I was still on the slower pace songs.  My running play list is organized by tempo. It starts off with soft, slow tempo music then eventually picks up. Just as I was finding my stride without warning my IPOD turned off. I had forgotten to bring my IPOD charger. I was hoping I had enough juice to make it through the race. I was wrong.

 My mind began to race, what was I supposed to do with my thoughts? I usually mouth the words to the jams I’m running to keep my mind busy. All I could hear were the sounds of dozens of sneakers hitting the road, the few walkers chatting to pass time, and all the race route music. Then I began to notice all the cool things along the race route. There were people young and old standing with water, and PowerAde. I would grab a cup to quench my thirst, and hear the sounds of paper cups crunching beneath my feet. I took the time to read all the signs along the route, and I smiled with delight.  The signs read, “You’re doing great.” “You’ve got great stamina, call me.” There were really some creative ones out there. I noticed all the race bibs dedicated to people. “I’m running in honor or this person or that person.” It reminded me of my first Susan G. Komen run for my mother, an awesome breast cancer survivor.

Running through downtown Richmond, VCU, and the Fan so many memories started to wash over me. I saw the places I used to eat and cram for tests. I remembered all friends that used to live on those streets, and the great times I had in the River City. I ran my first race in Richmond, the Monument 10K. I was 30 pounds overweight and unsure if I could finish, but I made it.  It brought me joy to be racing this 8k a stronger, healthier person.

After mile three I had passed my running buddy. With the reminiscing behind me, I thought to myself I’m so thankful to be healthy enough to run this race. There are so many people who don’t know this blessing to be true in their lives. I kept counting the blessings in my life, my health, my career, my family, my true friends, and my dreams coming to pass. It was quite cleansing. As if the race could not get more interesting, I felt a pain in my right knee. I often get this aching pain in my knee, and sometimes I run it off. But, this time it lingered. It grew more and more intense. I wanted to stop and walk so bad, but I could feel how close I was to finishing. I kept thinking, Lord I don’t want to stop, help me run through this pain. The whole process made me think about my life again. As you can see I’m a thinker.  I’ve had my share of unexpected pain, the kind of pain that blindsides you, and makes you want to quit trying. It was the relationships that I wanted so bad to be forever, but somehow came up short. It was my mom’s cancer diagnosis on a fun, family night. It was the friends who walked out of my life when I needed them most. It was realizing the people who seemed so real never cared at all. I could have let those things stunt me, stop me, make me want to stop loving, giving, or living. In those moments, I got so close to giving up, when I realized I could not run this journey of life without my Heavenly Father. It was He who brought me through those things. You know how they say God is preparing you? I never knew what that meant before. I never understood how trials and tribulations prepare you for something greater. Sometimes the preparation hurts, it’s the bumps in the road, the obstacles that shape us the most. So I kept running through the pain.

 I was even further away from my running partner. I kept looking back to make sure she was close. In this journey of life there will be so many times you will have to run alone. Then what do you do? When you come home to find the only person there is you? When you want to call someone to discuss your day, and you realize everyone has their own troubles in life to worry about, you don’t want to add yours too. I know these statements to be true. And, yet I keep running. Because I know in this time God is defining my strength, and showing me that through Him all things are possible. I won’t need friends blowing up my phone, or a gentleman caller chasing after me, I  know now this stride of my life is meant to for me to learn how to love me. It’s a run that only I can finish. It’s a journey God has given me in preparation for something more. And, sometimes the steps hurt so bad. The runs get so lonely, and I all I want to do is call out to someone to run next to me. But, I know it’s ok. You learn the most about yourself when you learn to run alone.
I crossed the finish line this weekend, with heavy emotions. This time in my life is still not easy, but I know I’m training for something bigger, better, and God lead. And, I know when I finally finish this stretch I’m going to be so ready.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'll Still Be Keeping Up With the Kardashians

I am probably going to get some flack for writing this. But, all things considered I know I'll still be Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I mean who else could have taught me the correct way to use "fab" or "glam" in a sentence? And, who could have made me appreciate leggings, and the use of the word "bible" as a replacement for the word "truth"? Paris Hilton's show certainly didn't give me that much material to work with. I'm just saying. NOw that Kim is calling it quits after 72 days of marriage a lot of folks are calling foul, and saying the Kardashians are money hungry bitches... and their show is fake... Well here's what I think..

This whole Kim Kardashian divorce announcement reminds me of the time I found out wrestling was fake. I won't lie the little wrestling lover in me was crushed. What do you mean all the moves are choregraphed, and the outcome is predetermined? How could this be? How could Vince McMahon do that?  But, I kept on watching. And, it wasn't the least bit disappointing. Those WWE people know how to write some stories lines. I am well aware that reality television is nothing it claims to be. The days of the true reality television are long gone. People on these reality television shows all know their role, their story line, and set up. And, many are using the show to be famous. I am well aware that producers stage shots. It is anything but reality. And, I know for the Kardashians their show is one long promotion of themselves.

Remember the "Real World" when it first came out? It was reality television at it's finest. You really got to see seven people picked to live in a apartment and really saw what happens when people stop being polite. The early seasons of the Kardashians were a lot like that. If you go back and watch it was the Kardashians in their truest form. Kim is struggling to be noticed by Hollywood, and her sisters are a bit envious that their sister is getting all their mom's attention. Before the baller husbands, the endorsement deals, the books, and fame.. it was just about a wealthy California family trying to noticed in Hollywood. It was entertaining to watch. Khloe with her insecurity issues, Kim with her hunger for fame, and Kourtney struggling with her loser boyfriend. Over the seasons you see what fame and spotlight does to even the wealthiest of families, how it tears at the self esteem, and at times makes you ditch your true self. I am not saying this is the writing of Oscar worthy drama but for a second there it sure was real.

And, now I have to suspend my disbelief a little more to enjoy it...just like those days when I watched the wrestling matches for the first time with new eyes. And, ya know what I think it will still be entertaining. It's my modern day Young & the Restless... It may not be completely real, but who says entertainment is supposed to be that anyway. Here's to Kim and Kourtney Take New York.. I'll be watching