Life: Some of the Worst things People say & ask. Whyyyy

You know those times in life when you’re left standing with a puzzled look on your face, crafting a delayed response to something dumb someone said a few moments earlier? Yesterday at the gym I found myself in this situation and it inspired me to write (rant) about some of the dumbest shit people say to others – without thinking first! And often to people they don’t even know!

WHY. Seriously. Why is it necessary to offer up an opinion via unecessary comment or question? I’ve had conversations about this with others before, so I know I’m not alone in my confusion. This really is a rant, but I hope it’s relatable and that we can all learn from it, because I know I’ve accidentally been “that guy” before. It does happen. But COME ON.

 

“You look tired.”

sheldon

Ahaha, why, thank you! WTF? This is like going up to someone and saying, “hey how’s it going, you look like shit”. What purpose does it serve to point out to a person that they aren’t looking fresh? Extreme confusion. Quit saying this to people! Suggested response – “aww, you too.”

 

“What are you doing working on such a nice day!?”

seth

What the serious F kind of question is this??? OH, well I originally had the day off but I saw how sunny it was so I came in. Hahaha are you kidding me? People have schedules and they don’t usually come with a special “great weather clause” to accomodate a sunny day. I also don’t know many people who are allowed to just up and leave their place of work when the clouds part. Jesus. In the case that someone is self-employed, they’re probably working because they’ve made commitments, or their business has hours of operation.

 

“Where’s Jamie? Did she move?”

melissa

I’m dead serious, people ask my colleagues this when I’m not at my place of work. She’s not here, so she must have moved. WHAT? LOL. Have they not heard of a day off? Do most people who work with the public work seven days a week, all day long, every single day of the year? I have nothing else to say about this. Oh, except that it leads me to the next one, which usually occurs at the grocery store or while running errands on a day off…

 

“What are you doin’ off work today?!”

chelsea

People get days off sometimes. Or maybe I should say, “I’m just getting ready to take off, I’m moving.”

 

“Why don’t you have have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”

rock

Hmm. Maybe this person you’re rudely cornering likes being single, hasn’t found the right person yet, won’t settle, isn’t looking, is asexual, is desperately searching, just got dumped or really looks forward to being in a healthy, happy relationship but it just hasn’t fallen into place yet? Go away. And, why does it matter!?!?!?!!!?!? I want to punch people who ask questions like this.

 

“What are you doin’ workin’ on the weekend!??”

arya

Well, haha, I’d love to leave but then you’d probably be freaking out that the place is closed.

It’s the year 2018. I’d say the majority of businesses, or at least half these days, are open more than just Monday to Friday. At establishments that the general population (including the person asking this annoying AF question) expects to be open every single day, someone has to work on the weekend. No robots yet. Most employers don’t offer the luxury to be unavailable on the weekends. If they did, who the F would work? And please, don’t make the pity face. Working on the weekend usually means a day or two off during the week, which is amaaaaazing.

“You have really (insert unneccesary observation about someone’s appearance)”

amy

Example from my experience: “You have really short legs.” Crazy, I haven’t noticed in the thirty-three years that I’ve been alive. Let’s estimate that I’ve looked in the mirror once daily for my entire life. Obviously it’s been multiple times on some days, and zero on others, like when I was a baby, but just to simplify, let’s go with 11,721 times. I’VE NOTICED. There is a very good chance that something noticeable about a person could be their biggest insecurity. Don’t.

 

“You’re not going to like that tattoo when you’re an old lady.”

betty

First of all, how does this concern you in any way, idiot? It’s the 21st century; we, the people who get tattoos, are fully aware that they’re permanent. That’s the point. We are also fully acquainted with the fact that as living beings, days go by and we age, and our bodies, including our skin, change. We also do not care. Give your head a shake. Personally, I have no idea if I’ll be wearing tank tops and shorts in fifty years, but I’ll decide for myself when the time comes and I’m not going to ask anyone if they think it still looks “good”, whatever the hell that even means.

 

“So, you got married! When are you going to have babies?”

fran

My personal favourite response, “never, I’d rather die” always gets a great reaction.

How do you know this person even wants kids? How do you know if they can have children?? Why would you assume that this person’s next item on the to-do list is to reproduce? Why do you think the person wants to discuss this with you? Maybe they had a miscarriage, abortion or hysterectomy yesterday. Maybe the thought of being a parent makes them want to barf. Why do you think children are what automatically follow marriage?? I could go on forever. THROAT PUNCH.

 

“Do you work here?”

eric

HAHAHA. No, I’m just wearing this embroidered jacket/vest/apron/lanyard and name tag to pretend I work here and look cool.

 

And, the comment from a fellow gym member that got me writing this post:

“I’ll tell you right now, you’re gonna mess up your back stretching like that.” (Or any other remark lacking supportive, positive or accurate feedback)

Interesting. First and foremost, who asked you? Not me! Next, how do you know more about my body than I do?

For anyone who’s into yoga, you may be familiar with Supta Virasana, also known as sleeping/reclined hero pose. I am. The reason I’m familiar with this pose is because I’ve been doing it for about a decade, originally taught by certified instructors. I’ve also taught this pose for years as well, because I am a certified yoga instructor with over 570 hours of training. ALSO, I don’t have a “messed up back” from doing it. My back is problem-free and my body is very capable of all sorts of shit like running marathons and swimming, etc.

Unless someone is in a dangerious situation, asks for help, or is putting others at risk, it’s likely safe to just keep to yourself.

supta

Supta Virasana. Fkn love this pose. LOL.

 

Let’s think before we speak. Besides coming across as a total idiot, sometimes questions or comments like the above can lead to things like self-consciousness, sadness, anger, embarassement, or simply put a damper on a good mood. I am NOT saying I’ve never commited any of these crimes. What I’m saying is that we can all do each other a favour by keeping our observations to ourselves, or before speaking, asking ourselves, is this remark:

  • helpful
  • supportive
  • constructive
  • positive
  • welcome
  • open-minded

Or, is it:

  • nosy
  • presumptuous
  • completely useless
  • insulting
  • intrusive
  • biased
  • judgy
  • annoying as fuck

Have a great day!! And good luck out there bahaha

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Spotlight on the woman who teaches people how to create their ideal lives, Suzanne Fetting!

Have you ever wanted to make a serious change, or set of changes in your life but you either don’t know how, procrastinate making them happen, or just simply ignore the feeling all together? Have you ever compared things about your own life to someone else’s and felt numerous forms of discomfort because you want your life to be more like what their’s appears to be? I highly doubt anyone can answer a straight-up “no” to these questions. I can’t, and for a VERY long time my answer was a straight-up “yes”to both.

I was doing the things above NON-STOP in my twenties but didn’t know how to create the changes I needed to get closer to being genuinely happy. I was a stick in the mud. At one point, I found myself in such an uninspired place that I started to actively search for help. Maybe it would show up in a self-help book, or an inspirational speaker’s seminar or a course, but I was ready for anything because I was so tired of feeling the way I did; shitty with no goals and lack of excitement for daily life. Can you relate to this? Finding yourself in a place that maybe isn’t even necessarily bad, but could be so much better??

Deciding I wanted to feel better was enough to get the ball rolling, because during some relentless Googling in 2011, I came across a “Women’s Confidence Workshop” being held by a woman named Suzanne at Trout Lake Park in East Van. The tag-line was Find your Inner Strength! I had no clue what this meant but I signed up for the Absolute Confidence workshop anyway because I was desperate for some improvement, in any shape or form. I’m so thankful that I did, beause I ended up building a relationship with the best role-model I’ve ever met in my entire life. Over the next six years, including today, she has taught and continues to teach me how to create the life I want. This blog post is to shine a spotlight on my friend, Suzanne, possibly the most empowering teacher and mentor someone could hope to find!!!

So far, this post is a bit vague. Yeah, of course most people have had low parts of their lives..and yeah, lots of people would like to feel better than they already do, and everybody would like to have a life they truly love. Duh. Let me tell you a bit about Suzanne.

Suzanne is a coach who helps people uncover things about themselves (good, and not so good things) that they may not know, or be very in touch with. Things like:

  • passions
  • core values
  • goals
  • FEARS
  • self-sabotaging behaviours
  • beliefs formed about ourselves when we were little
  • people-pleasing
  • saying “no”
  • self-doubt

With her, a client works on strengthening the positive things, identifying negative things, and then figuring out productive ways to blast through barriers that are standing between them and absolute confidence in life. I’ll share the first testimonial that I wrote for Suzanne to elaborate a little on what I’ve already said. This was written in 2012 after working with her weekly for about nine months. Our sessions were on Skype for convenience, in case you’re thinking “well I don’t live in Vancouver.”

“Before hiring Suzanne, I was in the middle of a difficult emotional experience. Also, long before this particular situation, I had a low mood almost all the time and was living day to day worrying about the past or future and not enjoying the present at ALL. I had a lack of hobbies and passions and was totally unfulfilled with life. Prior to my work with her, I felt like I had no real purpose. It was like I was waiting for someone or something that would change things.

Developing confidence is important to me because it leads to finding your authentic-self. Working on this with Suzanne has taken me from where I was (the “dark place”) to where I am today, which is loving my life and enjoying everything I do on a daily basis, big and small. I know what I like and want, look out for #1 and feel fulfilled because she helped me uncover what excites and motivates me and what my unique gifts are. I was also able to finally give up the ways I allowed other people & my own thoughts to affect me negatively. Instead of waiting for life to change, now I make it happen by getting to know myself and creating opportunities. I actually feel really good nearly all of the time because I do things that I love and spend time with the right people. I’ve also learned to truly enjoy my own company which is really important, especially for someone who lives alone.

Working with Suzanne on a personal level is great. She’s welcoming and non-judgemental while always holding you accountable. She has great ideas and exercises and does a professional job running her business, always staying open-minded. The most important things Suzanne has taught me about are self-awareness, personal responsibility and how to really identify what matters to me most. My life is honestly different now; it was a major transformation and it’s not just me who notices. My friends and family also see that I have a completely different outlook and love life. I feel authentic and confident and every day is a good day.

If you’re thinking of hiring her, go for it. You will be amazed with what she’ll help you discover about yourself and the ways it will change the way you feel and live.”

So now you might be thinking, yeah okay well what does she teach people to make all of these great changes happen? Really good question with a very long answer, but I’ll try to be concise about the most important things I’ve learned from Suzanne and how she goes about coaching her clients.

Self-confidence, or a lack thereof, can be traced to the root of almost all personal successes as well as problems. This is not an exaggeration. Suzanne has shown me that the components of confidence, which include things like self-awareness, self-concept, assertiveness, belief systems, and personal responsibility are skills that can be learned and used to live the life I want and avoid most issues or challenges I face or used to face in daily life. Question: If you haven’t been taught how to change a tire, ride a bike, or cook a turkey would you expect to just magically know how to do these things? We, the adults of of today, are born in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The majority of us didn’t grow up with a mentor who specifically taught us how important it is to know and like ourselves, value our uniqueness and take responsibility for our own happiness, so can we really expect these things to be totally second-nature? Sure, for a handful of people these things may come naturally, but if you aren’t in that handful, don’t beat yourself up. Suzanne is that mentor.

confidence2

An appointment with Suzanne is not like going to a counselor or therapist, it’s like having an exciting meeting with a friend who helps you crack open your brain, heart and soul and dig into the source of the issue(s) at hand. Need an example of an issue? Fear of going somewhere alone to meet people, going through a transition at work or home, doing things to please others before yourself, blaming someone else for your unhappiness, feeling you cannot be happy until you find a partner/have a baby/win the lottery or lose weight, fear of public speaking, saying you want to do something over and over but never taking initiative, believing things about yourself that aren’t true, feeling bored with life, not knowing how to stick up for yourself, etc, etc, etc!

After boiling it down together, she then provides the client with the tools needed to face these issues directly and learn to overcome them or manage them. That’s the homework. The sessions involve the investigation, and the homework is where the client takes responsibility and does the work; the reading, writing, monitoring, practicing and executing of the methods introduced during the session. It is up to the client to create new habits and make the magic happen under Suzanne’s guidance. And then report back to her! And when you do, she’s the most excited, supportive, enthusiastic person you could imagine having a personal discussion with.

Here are a couple more testimonials, also known as success stories, for you to read if you want some more examples of what Suzanne does for others! A very good friend of mine’s is here  and my own (more recent, from 2016) is here. I highly encourage you to read these. This woman is freaking unreal.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs

I wanted to write this post about Suzanne because she taught me how to create the life I want, just like I said in the title. She is the BEST. Everyone deserves to feel happy the majority of the time, and like they’re the boss of their own life. If you feel like you’re in a bit of a rut or need some assistance with things like prioritizing yourself, figuring out your passions, learning how to enjoy your own company, fear of “the unknown” or having more confidence in any area of life, think about connecting with her! Her business is something that I talk about daily to friends, acquaintances and complete strangers. I’ve had people ask me “how did you get so good at giving zero fucks?” and I just tell them, SUZANNE TAUGHT ME HOW. (She did’t call it that, though. LOL.)

She taught me the skills and wisdom necessary to create new habits and stop holding myself back from being the happiest and most inspired version of myself possible. It’s a good feeling! I want people to know that it is not necessary to settle for feeling less than wonderful.

One last note with respect to cost. Working on ourselves is an investment. It makes life better for the individual, but also for that person’s friends, family, partner and colleagues. Do you own an expensive pair of jeans, a snowmobile, electronics, go out for dinner sometimes, take a vacation occasionally or love to buy multiple pairs of sweet ass Nikes or RayBans? We spend our money on ourselves all the time. This is the same idea. It’s just not a garment, toy or glamorous trip. If you are feeling the slightest pull to contact Suzanne, DO IT!!!! Treat yo self!!! Or someone you care about! Or even just tell someone you know about her, because she’s the best and helps change lives ❤

suzanne

www.absoluteconfidence.com

 

 

Bell Let’s Talk – Joining the Conversation

Jamie: Today is Bell Let’s Talk day. If you aren’t sure what this is, it’s a Canadian campaign to help reduce and hopefully eliminate the stigma associated with mental health, and to promote care, access to care, workplace health and research. My friend Whitney and I have been talking about this today. She is the other author of this post, I am just too computer illiterate to figure out how to add her as an author.

Whitney: Bell Let’s Talk Day is an initiative that’s raised over $80 million for mental health programs since 2010 and is making major moves to create a stigma-free society – so amazing!  To learn more about how you can contribute, check out http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

Whitney: Sometimes we surprise ourselves in the best possible way, and this morning was one of those times. When I realized that today was Bell Let’s Talk Day, I knew it was my chance to share my story.  Jamie’s blog was the first platform that came to mind, since her transparency and bad-assery in general have been majorly inspiring to me lately.  I messaged her a few hours ago to ask if she’d be willing to hold a space here for me, and for the memory of my dad, and she was really into it! Thank you Jamie!

Here are Bell Let’s Talk‘s initiatives:

In September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk began a new conversation about Canada’s mental health. At that time, most people were not talking about mental illness. But the numbers spoke volumes about the urgent need for action. Millions of Canadians, including leading personalities, engaged in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle, with numbers growing every year.

As a result, institutions and organizations large & small in every region received new funding for access, care and research, from Bell Let’s Talk and from governments and corporations that have joined the cause. Bell’s total donation to mental health programs now stands at $79,919,178.55 and we are well on our way to donating at least $100 million through 2020.

Jamie: As a healthcare professional, plus being someone who has worked through multiple major depressive episodes as well as a history of anxiety and insomnia, this campaign means a lot to me, and I like to learn why it means so much to others who have been affected in totally different ways than I have. This is how we can become more open and more supportive to those who need it, regardless of if it is someone with a mental illness or someone who is part of that person’s support network. Driving the conversation to help reduce stigma and promote awareness and understanding is such a crucial step towards change.

I remember a specific period of time when I was very depressed, and the person I was dating at the time would say things to me like, “I’m not going to hold your hand every day of your life,” “snap out of it!” or “stop being so miserable.” I have tears in my eyes now from writing that, because anyone who has ever suffered from a mood disorder knows full well that all you want is to go back to feeling like yourself again. Reactions like that from others come from lots of different places; misperceptions, fear, frustration, total lack of understanding, impatience, the list goes on and on..

Did you know that all of these and more are considered mental illness?

Earlier today, Whitney asked me if I was familiar with Bell Let’s Talk and I was happy that someone I know and love was talking about it! Whitney is going to share her experience with you here on the blog. This is us joining the conversation.

Whitney: The piece that you’re about to read below was my part of a Partnership Education Presentation (PEP) put on by the BC Schizophrenia Society in 2014.  The BCSS is an organization that provides tools and support to people and families dealing with all types of mental illnesses, not Schizophrenia alone.  I won’t get into detail here about all of the amazing free benefits they have to offer, but please click the link or get in touch with me if you’d like to know more.

My name is Whitney and I am here to talk to you about what it’s like to be a family member of someone with a mental illness.  This is my first time speaking in public about this, so please bear with me.  

I feel fortunate to be here to share my story, and hopefully to help break down some of the stigma surrounding mental illness. While preparing what I wanted to share with you, I was having a hard time getting started.  I decided to start with the end in mind.  I asked myself what I wanted you to take away from this short presentation today.  These are the messages I came up with:

Mental illness is exactly that, an illness. Like so many illnesses, mental illness can be managed, but not cured.  It is something that many families, including my own, will always struggle with. Dealing with mental illness is a marathon, not a sprint.  If there is anything that I’ve learned over the course of this journey, it’s to celebrate each small step in the right direction, day by day, and week by week.

There are resources and there is hope.  Prior to becoming involved with the BCSS, I was not so aware of where to turn for help for both my family member and myself.  There are many advocates and organizations in our area who are eager to help those who need it.  I can’t stress enough how much of a difference these people have made for me over the past couple of years.

10 years ago, my father was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  Because of his illness, he cycles through periods of extreme mania (highs) and extreme depression (lows).  He must take a variety of medication each day.  His medication, despite it’s side effects, keeps him stable, somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, and he is able to carry on with his every day life. He is a great dad, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend to the many that know him.  

I was devastated when my dad was first diagnosed with Bipolar.  I didn’t know anything about it, and didn’t understand how long it would last or how we could make it go away.  His doctor explained it best to me, by explaining that my dad and his sickness are separate.  My dad is not his sickness.  When he is healthy and stable, he is my dad.  When he is manic and acting out in an irrational, scary and unreasonable way, that is his sickness.  This message has always stuck with me, and it’s something I must remind myself of often, even 10 years later.

Around 6 years ago, my parents divorced.  While they are still on good terms with each other, it was hard on all of us, and it was especially hard on my dad.  It was hard on me too, to know that he would now be living on his own.  Who would make sure he was taking his medication?  Who would make sure he was eating properly and looking after himself? Growing up, you never believe (or want to believe) your parents when they tell you that you’ll be looking after them one day.  My sister and I had to step up and become my dad’s advocates.

Every two years or so, when he starts to feel he doesn’t need them anymore, my dad goes off his medication.  From then on, it’s a slippery slope into a manic episode.  He stops eating and sleeping through the night.  He starts having coffee and smokes for every meal.  It’s scary for us because he loses track of time, his concept of right and wrong, loses contact with us and acts without any consideration of the consequences.  He often behaves in a way that puts himself in danger.  He can sometimes scare people, and at times like these, he scares me.  It’s an awful feeling to be scared of one of your own parents.  I remind myself over and over – my dad is not his sickness. He just has a sickness.

Through working with his healthcare team, reintroducing his medication, and at times, hospitalization, he eventually slows down and becomes somewhat stable again. What usually follows is a period of depression.  He goes from the highest high to the lowest low.  I find trying to help my dad cope with his depression can be frustrating.  It’s important to be patient, with him, and with myself.  One part of me wants to call and invite him out everyday, urging him to get out for a walk around the block or a cup of coffee, but the other part tries not to become a nag. No one wants to be nagged everyday, especially when they aren’t feeling like themselves.  It’s not easy to see someone so down, and to feel helpless.  It is at down times like these when I really try to focus on any positive improvements.  Sometimes just the fact that he returns a phone call or accepts a dinner invitation is enough reason to celebrate a nudge in the right direction.

I have learned a lot since my dad’s diagnosis.  I have learned a lot about bipolar disorder, the treatment options available, and a lot about myself.  I have learned what his warning signs look like – what to look for when I think he’s taking a turn for the worse.  I have learned how to be strong when I have to be, and how to ask for help.  I have learned that the ways that I deal with all of this are not always the same as my family members, and that’s OK.  We all deal with things differently and what works for one of us may not work for another.

Up until last year, I felt stressed out a lot when it came to supporting my dad and being involved with his health care. No matter how much I did, I always felt like there was more that I should be doing.  Then a friend saw an ad for a program called Strengthening Families Together, a 10 week program put on by BCSS for family members of those with mental illness.  Even though putting myself out there and registering for the program was completely out of my comfort zone, I am so happy that I did.  It was comforting to connect with other people in similar situations, and to share my own experiences in a place that felt safe and free of judgement.  I learned about local resources and coping mechanisms that I hadn’t explored before.  One of the most important things that I took away from the program was the importance of self care.  None of us are able to help care for another person if we are not taking care of ourselves.  For me, it was an eye opener and a chance to make some great connections in the mental health community that I would not have met otherwise.  I started to look at helping my dad as more of a responsibility, and less of a burden.

The tricky thing about mental illness is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  There is not a treatment that will work for everyone.  There is not a blanket cure.  Finding the right combination of medications or the right program and combination of activities for someone can be a long and drawn out process.  Many times it is trial and error.  Many times what works for them changes over time.  There are a lot of ups and downs.  As a family member, it can seem like forever when you are waiting for things to take a turn for the better, but the good days are worth waiting for.  

I know that there is only so much that I can do for my dad, and there are still many days that I wish I could do more.  I am starting to get more involved within the mental health community.  I am glad to have the opportunity to help dissolve the stigma around mental illness.  I try and take good care of myself, so that I am able to take good care of my dad.  Each day I count my blessings.  I am lucky to have my dad in my life, lucky to have a lot of support, and lucky to have the opportunity to keep growing and learning how to cope with all of this.  For me, one of the best ways of coping has always been sharing my story.  Thank you for having me to share my story with you today.

Whitney: My dad passed away in October, 2015.  I miss him every minute of every day, but talking about him keeps him close.  He taught me so much, forced me to live outside of my comfort zone, and being there for him when he needed me helped me grow in ways I never thought I would.  He definitely wasn’t perfect, but he was the perfect teacher in many ways. What I know for sure is this  – we all have mental health, whether we are ill or not – and we need to talk about it to understand one another.  If you or someone you love is struggling – you are not alone.  If you think no one cares, or no one can relate to what you’re going through – you’re wrong.  You might just not have found them yet.  Keep going.  Keep talking about it.  I’ve become a huge mental health advocate and there are so many ways to get help.  I’m here if you need someone to point you in the right direction. Jamie can put you in contact with me.

Jamie: Twenty percent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and basically everyone will experience in one way or another, indirectly, through someone in their family, a friend, in a relationship or a colleague. Like Whitney, I am am also an advocate for mental health. People do not want to be alone in navigating this kind of stuff. If you want to talk about it with me as a pharmacist and/or friend, acquaintance or stranger, please be in touch!

Whitney: When I first gave this speech, I was 28 years old, I was 8 months pregnant, I was struggling with my own self-care, and I honestly never thought I’d make it this far, especially without my dad by my side.  He taught me about unconditional love, the strength of community, and that it’s OK to ask for help.  He taught me the importance of showing your true colours, and that at the end of the day, everyone’s human.  Thank God for that.  Thanks Dad.

First blog post! Happy 2017

Happy New Year!!

This morning I opened a Snapchat from my online running coach, Andrew, who was making an observation about himself.”All I really care about is running” he said…making training plans for his athletes, planning races, etc. and I responded: ME TOO!!! Obviously this is an exaggeration on both of our parts, neither of us are A-holes who care about nothing aside from running, plus I’m not a coach and I don’t make training plans for others, BUT in the last year I have definitely become beyond passionate about all things running. That Snap made me so happy! I am not alone! Then I assisted my non-runner husband out of bed to head down to the waterfront with me for the Rupert Runners Resolution Run that I was in charge of promoting this year.

At the event my friend Shannon who is a very talented journalist, photographer, yoga instructor and runner, suggested that I blog about the upcoming challenge I’m taking on next week. The Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in Orlando, FL. I obviously agreed with her because now I’m sitting here writing this first post on this new blog. I actively use Instagram as a sort of photo training log and as a place to find inspiration and interact with a massive online running community, but since a caption on a photo isn’t always the best place to reflect or report on day-to-day training and progress, this blog now exists!

If you’re reading it, I hope there will be things that you can relate to, learn from or get ideas and inspiration from. I am no running veteran. Growing up I was a soccer and volleyball player, a tap dancer and a skier. Aside from a few years of elementary school track & field, I don’t have a running background. It was only in 2013 when I was 28 years old that I participated in a clinic with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training and completed my first half-marathon, the Nike Women’s 1/2 in San Francisco. Now, with 6 half and two full marathons under my belt, I’m heading into a giant four-race 78.3 km endurance challenge in just a few days. I have many other goals for 2017 and beyond that continue to evolve over time and experience, and I think writing about all of it is a good idea. More accountability, planning and reflection. Hopefully what I learn along the way is useful to anyone who comes across these posts.

Hope you had a great New Year’s Day. The short, non-competitive Resolution Run reminded me of something very important today, that I actually just love to run. What an awesome thing to be reminded of on the first day of the year.