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Run or crossfit today? Hmm….

I have been in London for the past 5 days. Before that, I was in team meetings for 3 days. As a result, I haven’t been able to go to crossfit much. (And by much, I mean I have gone 2x since March 31st.) That’s pretty rare for me and since that place is like a second home, I miss it.

When I woke up and saw that today’s workout was snatches and rowing, I groaned. (I hate snatches! I hate rowing!) The crossfit community tells you to “work on your suck list” and “embrace the pain.” So all day I planned to go to CF at 6pm and do those things and get back into the gym I missed.

But then this afternoon I went for a 3 mile run during my lunch break. It was glorious– sunny and warm and perfect. In fact, too perfect for snatching and rowing.

So today, I am going to run more, because though I haven’t been doing much CF, I have been at least keeping active since March 31st.

 

3/31 - 3.6 miles

First time wearing a tank in Indiana in 2014: March 31st – 3.6 miles

And when I was able to wear this long lost running skirt - 4/4 for 4.2 miles

Wearing this long lost running skirt:  April 4th- 4.2 miles

Regent's Park - 4/7 for 3 miles

My favorite place in the world, Regent’s Park: April 7th -3 miles

Hyde Park - 4/8 2 miles

Runsploring a new spot, Hyde Park: April 8th – 2 miles

Obviously, I haven’t put in long miles. But man do I love being back outside and moving. So if you’ll excuse me, I am headed to the IUPUI track for a short little happy run. Because this weather says so.

 

 

Weekend workout mania

This past weekend was one full of memories, friends and sweat. It all started on Friday with the Crossfit Open 14.3 workout. For those that aren’t familiar, the Crossfit Games start off with the Open which lasts for 5 weeks and is “open” to the entire crossfit community. Each week a workout is announced on Thursday night and athletes have until Monday night to complete it and submit their scores. From those scores, regional athletes are determined. At regionals, the top elite athletes from each territory compete and the winners attend the Games which takes place this summer. I am an average crossfitter so will not be going to regionals, but it’s still a blast to be part of such a massive crossfit community doing the same workout each week and to compare scores. The first workout (14.1) didn’t go as well as I had hoped. The second workout included chest-to-bar pullups and so I knew I wasn’t going to do great. BUT, much to my surprise, I did my very first chest-to-bar pullup that weekend and ended up getting 6 in the workout! Then came 14.3 which was box jumps and heavy deadlifts. On Thursday night, JD and I watched two Games athletes go head-to-head after just minutes before finding out what the WOD would be.

Watching the elites go head to head on Thursday night, completing 14.3

Watching the elites go head to head on Thursday night, completing 14.3

Then on Friday, I mapped out my weight strategy. I didn’t want to waste time messing with pulling off and putting on weights, so tried to find the most efficient strategy. set up cf All Friday I was pretty excited about this one because they are movements I can do. But knowing how I flopped 14.1 when I put so much pressure on myself, I decided I was going to make this one fun. So to keep it light-hearted, I showed up to crossfit that afternoon to do the workout in my Scottie Pippen jersey. JD, in solidarity, chose to wear his Pacers jersey. These heavy, awkward jerseys are definitely not the most conducive to workouts, but I hoped that the silliness of it would keep my head calm and to remember that I crossfit for a great workout and for the fun it provides. There was no need to have any additional pressure. And it worked! Cindy was my partner and she cheered me on and coached me through every rep (Even when I dropped the bar on the bottom of a rack, it popped up and hit my shin in the exact same spot where I missed a box jump a few weeks ago. So as I was cursing in pain and my bar was rolling away from me, weights falling off the side, Cindy said “Get back on the bar and get mad. Do this.” And I did. My score was 110 which means I got to the 185# of deadlifts and knocked out 20 of them! I was thrilled.

Though my box jump injury was almost healed, I managed to open it all back up in 14.3

Though my box jump injury was almost healed, I managed to open it all back up in 14.3

I texted my friends Kelly and Jaime right after. Though they work out in different gyms, they too are doing the open which allows us to chat about our successes and failures each week! Jaime called me right away to hear all about it and JD took a pic of us in our jerseys, whilst I was talking with her. :) jd and i jerseysAthletes have the opportunity to redo each workout as long as scores are in by Monday. I knew I was just going to hold tight to that score and let my back muscles rest. After all, I had a full weekend of working out ahead of me.

On Saturday, my friends and I came up with the brilliant idea that we would run both Shamrock races downtown. So we woke up, put our green on and headed to Monument Circle to meet Ted, Adam, Chris, and Rory. JD planned to run the first race at his pace, as did Rory and Chris. But Ted, Adam and I were sticking together all day. We joked that if one person had to stop to walk, we all walked. If one person vomited because of a hangover, we all waited. Luckily, we had to do neither in the first race. pre racesThe Shamrock Run was a 4-miler from downtown to Fountain Square and back. We planned to do 10 minute miles and ended up at an overall pace of 9:37/mile. That was just fine by me! Once we finished, we met up with a larger group of friends for outdoor fun, green beer, and Irish music. green beer josh and i at race(If you are wondering why I would run in my glasses, it’s because I have to. I am getting LASIK this week and have to wear my glasses 2.5 weeks prior!)

We checked out Georgia Street which wasn’t quite open yet so we decided to go to lunch at Harry and Izzys. Eight of us waltzed in there in spandex and green running shirts which seemed a little out of place. But after a long lunch and a lot of laughter, we went back out to Georgia Street for the festivities. We picked up our shirts and running packets, grabbed a beer and found our friends before lining up for the race. By this point, we had definitely drank a few beers and committed to running the 5K together as a 5some. I told Adam “I have a really bad idea. What if we turned this into a Navy Seal run and we have to carry one of us the entire time as a team.” He said “Nope.” So then I told the rest of the guys my idea and JD said “I am in as long as I am the one being carried.” Apparently these guys were not up for the challenge.

Yates and Ted pre-5K

Yates and Ted pre-5K

Waiting for the start with Adam and Ted!

Waiting for the start with Adam and Ted!

The dudes

The dudes

 

The race started and it was a blast. In fact, I doubt I have ever run a 5K that was this much fun. The running crowd was amazing – lots of walkers, some runners. Lots of people who were out there just to get the beer! (Upland sponsored this race so every 1K, we each got a shot glass full of beer.) And you better believe at least a couple of times, we tried the Navy Seal run.

The times w hen you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.

The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.

The course was an area of town I had never been before – south of the zoo and right along the river. It was actually a pretty awesome view of the city.

JD posing in front of the skyline

JD posing in front of the skyline – wearing 4 shirts

At one point, Ted and Adam jumped on the Handlebar and managed to chug a solo cup full of boxed wine. As you can imagine, that didn’t go so well. Pretty soon after, one of our comrades was off to the side, emptying his stomach. And true to our mission statement at the beginning of the day, we waited for him. When we finished the 3.1 miles, we got an awesome medal and a pint of beer. We had the most fun day together – gorgeous weather, 7.1 miles of running and a lot of memories. I think this will become a tradition.

post 5kBut the weekend of workouts wasn’t complete. Because on Sunday, I traveled to Cincinnati for a crossfit competition.

It was a 6-person, co-ed competition that happened to be outside at a High School football stadium. The concept was awesome – hard workouts outside that included running around the track, climbing bleacher stairs and doing wall balls on the field goal. But the problem was, it was 30 degrees with 20mph winds. In a word: freezing.

We caravaned up that morning and had enough clothes to outfit a track team. We had blankets and hand warmers, snacks and water. When we arrived, we set up camp at the far end of the track. We thought we had found cover by posting up against a high jump mat, but the wind seemed to suck all life and motivation out of us. We knew the workouts in advance and had prepped for them. We expected to do at least 4 WODs and if we advanced to the semi-finals, a 5th.  As we waited for the fun to begin, we cuddled together.

Wearing my yacht hat and being miserable

Wearing my yacht hat and being miserable

Cuddling with Sloane and using a high jump mat as a wind cover

Cuddling with Sloane and using a high jump mat as a wind cover

Cindy and Meghan hunkering down

Cindy and Meghan hunkering down

JD, Sloane and Tyler snuggled up

JD, Sloane and Tyler snuggled up

Of the team, I am probably the weakest. Meghan is the strongest in lifting. Cindy is the best at body-weight movements and I am decent at both. JD is our fasty, Tyler our ringer and Sloane is consistently good at everything. But what mattered most is that we supported each other 100%. We coached each other, advised each other and had fun together. It was an awesome team regardless of the shitty day.

The first WOD was pretty awesome. It was a relay: each person had to do 15 Overhead squats (girls at 65# and guys at 95#) and then run a 600m course. Essentially that was one lap around the track but halfway around, you ascended up and then descended down the bleachers twice. I went first and though I was the 2nd to finish the squats, I was the fourth of 6 to finish my lap. Then came Meghan, Cindy, Sloane, JD and Tyler. We finished the WOD with only 200m left in the course under the time limit. We were pretty darn happy with that. And immediately after, we packed on all of our clothes again and headed back to camp. The wind was howling and even though I had hand warmers in both my shoes and my mittens (I even did my OHS in mittens!), it was so so so cold. Finally, we made the decision to move our camp to a place with less wind. And that was a game changer for my attitude. It was still cold, but without the bitter wind, I felt rejuvenated.

Our second WOD was also a blast. The girls took turns pulling a rope with 90# at the end of it 50 feet. We did this by essentially pulling hand over hand until the weight got to us. Then, the guys followed by hoisting a 50# slosh tube (think a tube filled with water) overhead and doing 10 lunges. Then we repeated this alternating process until we had gone 150 yards. We felt really strong at this WOD. The girls pulled that thing fast and furious and the guys did a great job of balancing the tube and getting through the lunges quickly.

meg pulling rope josh slosh

Though we felt really strong, we were in 15th place after this WOD. This meant we were paired head to head against the 4th place team for the 3rd WOD. When we watched the first couple of heats go, it became glaringly obvious that the organizers did not trial this WOD with the timeline they gave. It was a 25 minute cap and we operated in pairs. The first F/M pair had to do 100 toes to bar (on a freezing cold rig), 100 Wall balls on the goal posts (girls 16#, guys 20#), 100 burpee box jump overs and 100 KB (1 and 1.5 pd). Then the second pair would go through the same, then the third. And finally, we’d all end at 100 pullups. Except that the first pair took anywhere from 16-20 minutes. Which only left the second team enough time to get through the toes-to-bar and maybe get some wall balls in. The third pair, did nothing and there was definitely no opportunity for pullups. I was in the third pair.

Tyler and Cindy went first because they are the best at toes to bar which was the hardest part of the WOD. Not only was the quantity high, but the rig was set so tall that girls had to climb up using a weight rack each time. And the bar was freezing so they wore gloves but had a hard time gripping the bar. Regardless, these two killed it. They busted their asses and got through the first round in less than 18 minutes.

cindy t2b tyler t2b cindy box tyler box jump tyler kbThen JD and Meghan went. They got through the T2B and got a few wall balls up before the time ran out. They had a great rhythm with toes to bar and managed somehow, now to rip their hands! They were awesome.

meg t2b josh t2bSloane and I were responsible for cheering and counting. Nailed it. :)

After the WOD we knew we weren’t going forward in the competition as the 4th place team beat us. We were fine with that. Being able to get out of the cold was well worth it. That being said, we were really frustrated. We spent $300 to attend this competition. We drove 3 total hours. We froze our asses off for 6 hours. And yet, Sloane and I got maybe 10 minutes of Crossfit in. The rest of the team didn’t get a whole lot more. We came to compete but whether it was lack of judges (They were short on those) or lack of planning, we didn’t get much of a workout. I sent a message to CINNCity crossfit via Facebook and have yet to hear a response. But it was very disappointing.

The positive is that we had an amazing time as a team. We had awesome cheerleaders (Cade and Jake). I got to compete with JD for the first time. We made a new great friend (Tyler) and we made some chilly memories.

Let’s hope there is another competition on the horizon as we’d love another shot. And the idea of an outdoor competition would be awesome, if only 30 degrees warmer!

yacht club post

So that wraps up the weekend of working out. Next up: a week of normal crossfitting and running, 14.4, and an 8 mile long run!

 

 

 

Oh hey!

Why hello old friends. And new friends. Soon to be friends. And strangers.

Today, I logged in to blog for the first time in over a month and my topic was going to be about how figure skating is a sport. I was all ready to challenge those haters who love to ride the “sports who rely on judges aren’t really sports” bandwagon. But after a large Diet Coke from McDonalds, an appointment with my therapist, a bottle of gin delivered to my desk (no, I didn’t drink it!) and an amazing package sent to me by my company, I am no longer as feisty. We’ll save that humdinger for another day.

Instead, I’ll provide a teensy little update on my running status.

Back in November, running and I decided to take a break, Ross and Rachel style. We went cold turkey for 40 days and saw other people (I went on plenty of dates with crossfit). Though we both attempted to move on, on day 41, we reunited…and it felt so good. Since then, we have been seeing each other on and off and we have definitely been taking it slow. But the love is still there, and that’s all that matters.

In January, I ran a measly 28 miles and almost all of it was on a treadmill. Lucky for me, my company has a fitness center in my building so I have been packing my gym clothes almost daily with an attempt to find 30 minutes to run. And though I don’t love the treadmill, it’s becoming a habit. Some days it’s 3 miles straight with no breaks. Sometimes I run 4. Once, I ran 5. Other days, I can’t find the time.

This week, I have started training for the Mini Marathon and so actually have a plan to go by. Hopefully that means more consistency in both running and in blogging. Until then, here are some pictures of my reunion with running in the past two months.

The first treadmill run of 2014.

The first treadmill run of 2014.

photo 5  2

Trying to run in 7+ inches of snow and 15 degrees. Ick!

Trying to run in 7+ inches of snow and 15 degrees. Ick!

The time I ran home in my snow boots after 3 glasses of wine. BRRR!

The time I ran home in my snow boots after 3 glasses of wine. BRRR!

Before today's 3 miler with a few intervals mixed in.

Before today’s 3 miler with a few intervals mixed in.

 

 

 

 

You made your bed….

Maybe it’s the impending New Year, the stress of the holidays or the fact that for only the 2nd time in 18 quarters, I will not be hitting 100% of my quota. But whatever it is, I am snarky, resentful and disenchanted. And as one of my favorites says, I am ’bout to go the hell off.

I spent 6 hours watching “Time of Death” yesterday. It’s a documentary series on Showtime about death. The series follows one family throughout 6 episodes and then also profiles another family/death each episode. It’s as depressing and sad as you think. I watched a 19 year old girl die of skin cancer while laying in her zebra print bed. I watched a man take his last breaths when dying of ALS (and subsequently irrationally cried to my husband “Just not that. Please don’t let me get that disease. I can handle all others, I just don’t want that one.”) I cried every single episode and yet couldn’t pull myself away. The way each person dealt with their terminal diagnosis was fascinating. It was incredible to watch how families helped their loved ones despite their own feelings of loss and abandonment. And the most beautiful part of the entire series was when Mel was describing his wife’s last minutes (She didn’t want the cameras in there). He was holding her close to him in bed and she turned to him and said “It was terrific.” He responded “It was terrific.” She looked at him one last time and repeated it. She died in the arms of the man she had loved for 53 years and thinking that her life was terrific. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

Anyway, after a day of crying and going through every thought process I have regarding my own death and those that I love, I am feeling pretty lucky.

But social media is just pissing me off. It feels like the self-righteousness of individuals is getting out of control. These aren’t people who are screaming about social injustice to the poor and needy, or inequality among minorities. They are screaming about why things are hard and unfair for themselves.

More often than not, we choose the life we live. If you choose to have kids, you are going to be more tired and have to balance your life differently than those who don’t. If you choose to be in sales, you may work on New Years Eve to close those last-minute deals. If you choose to follow your passion in the workplace, you may have more emotional investment than others in their jobs. If you are training for a marathon, your body is going to hurt. These are all choices. Choices we make and aren’t we so very lucky that we can make them?

Because the 7 people I watched die yesterday, didn’t choose to get cancer or ALS. They didn’t choose to die before their parents. And those who didn’t grow up as privileged as the people I follow, didn’t choose to have a harder upbringing than their classmates.

So let’s get a little effing perspective? Can we stop seeking attention for how hard our lives are when “hardship” is often a choice we make? All of those things I mentioned above – kids, jobs, exercise – aren’t actually hardships. They are the things that will someday cause you look back and say “It was terrific.”

You made your bed. Now lie in it… or remake it.

Advice, laughing, niceness and shooting a gun.

I have been pretty delinquent on my Think Kit posts. I read each prompt in the morning with the intention of writing, but then work gets in the way. That’s what happens when you are a quarterly based sales person and we are rapidly approaching the end of both the quarter and the year. The pressure is on!

So as I sit here at Thirsty Scholar on this very rainy, chilly day, I intend to do a little catch-up. I used to be so good about finding time each weekend to write and I can’t tell you the last time I grabbed my laptop, headed to a coffee house and put my fingers on the keys. It feels like home.

So let’s begin! In no particular order (obviously), here are my responses to a few of the prompts.

adviceMy boss actually gave me great advice. When talking to him about career options, he told me “There will always be small, entrepreneurial software companies out there who want the type of experience you have here at ExactTarget. Make sure the time is right to make that move.” Ok so maybe he told me this advice in 2012 when I was actually entertaining a small, entrepreneurial software company’s offer. But it stuck with me. Especially this year as my company was acquired by Salesforce and it feels like the future is very unknown. When I heard the news that Salesforce purchased us, I cried. I don’t exactly know why but when you love your company as much as I do and believe so much in the culture, the worry of change made me emotional. So I reached out to my brother who at times is like a father figure to me and always gives good advice. He said “Think of change like a glass of soda. When you stir up the ice, the bubbles rise to the top. Be a bubble during this change.” Since that moment, I have only viewed this change for our company as a positive one. I trust my leaders and am confident that this move is not only a great one for our employees and our industry, but also for me personally. I have watched some of my colleagues jump ship and each time, I think about what Tom told me: “Make sure the time is right to make that move.” For me, now is not the time. I love my company. I love what I do. I am good at it. The foggy crystal ball is what excites me about my days – I never know what could be coming next. Will I retire from ET? Who knows? But if they’ll have me, I think I have quite a few years left here.

LOLI laugh a lot and think there is no better feeling that to so hard it makes me cry. I wish that happened every day! Here is a picture of me laughing out loud while singing Christmas carols at Chatterbox with my friends. It’s an annual tradition. (The caroling, not the laughing, but they are pretty much one in the same)

abc

Also, a little fun fact about me: I never write “LOL.” Ever.

I type “haha” as a substitute and if I actually laugh out loud, I will write “I just laughed out loud.” I am not mad when people type LOL to me. I just can’t do it.

niceDid you see how I got sussied this week?! If you want to read the story, check out my blog post about it here. I was absolutely floored and thrilled. I have no doubt that this prompt from Think Kit and Smallbox had something to do with it. So thank you!

sussy 50

something new

On Thursday – the same day I realized our packages were stolen and I got sussied, I did something new. I shot a gun.

I have always hated guns. I didn’t grow up around them and instead grew up in a very liberal, pro-gun-control family. We aren’t hunters, and though my dad was in the army, I am pretty sure he hasn’t touched a gun since. When I met JD, I found out early on that he was shot accident by his dad when he was 12. That story and his GSW scar only strengthened my stance on hating guns and believing our society doesn’t need them. I don’t know the answer to gun control now that so many people in our society have them. But if we lived in a society of just single-shot guns used for hunting, I think we’d be better off.

I have friends who own guns and I am certain that each one of them has gotten a lecture from me about gun control. But despite our differences, I respect their opinions and we agree to disagree. About a week ago, in a discussion with my friend Dan, I somehow agreed to go to the gun range with he and his cousin Marcus. Both are gun owners and Marcus is quite the expert. Dan assured me that Marcus would be a great teacher and we would go to a very safe range. I asked all sorts of questions:

“Does the range background check everyone that comes in?”

“Are all the guns that come into the range legal?”

“Could someone straight up shoot me in the range?”

“Do you use real bullets?”

I wanted an SLA, NDA and MSA all signed sealed and delivered before I showed up. Then a date was put on the calendar: we were going to the range on Thursday.  I agreed and said yes like I do most new adventures but when Thursday rolled around, I was incredibly anxious and nervous. I told JD that I didn’t want to go. I told him that not only was I really nervous, I also think that me showing up to a gun range and firing a gun makes me a hypocrite. I am pro-gun control – I am not supposed to be shooting guns! He assured me that shooting a gun isn’t the same as owning and I am fine. I was inches away from cancelling but decided I’d at least show up and check out the scene. After all, I didn’t have to shoot if I didn’t want to.

When we arrived, Marcus was amazing. He had eyewear and an ear set to protect my hearing. He pulled out his guns and showed each one of them to me. He explained the differences but with all the shooting around us and my earphones, I could barely hear him. Guns are so loud! He had me hold one and I was shocked by how heavy it was! Having only ever held a toy gun before, I didn’t know what to expect. He started me with a 9mm and explained how to hold my hands around the gun and was very good about safety. He answered every silly question and whereas I was convinced I’d be scared in the presence of so many guns, I really wasn’t. The range was incredibly nice, clean and felt safe. Then the loaded gun was in my hand and I stood exactly how Marcus told me to. He coached me on how to aim and told me not to put my finger on the trigger until I was ready to fire. I fired. The kick was more than I expected and fire came out the nozzle! What the eff was that??! Why was there fire!!!! I set the gun down and backed away. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all.

I wasn’t exhilarated. I instead felt dangerous and I didn’t like that feeling. Marcus and Dan assumed that I would keep shooting the 9mm and then would graduate into some of the other guns. But I just stood back among all the empty shell casings and watched as each of them shot. The feeling of firing something so powerful and knowing the damage it could cause was overwhelming. But while I hung back wand watched, I was quite fascinated. There was so much to learn and so much I didn’t know. Marcus explained the different ammunition and the various guns. Though I know he and I disagree politically about guns, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his guns. He took every precaution and was really sensitive to my anxiety. He said “It’s ok to be scared of guns. Guns can do really bad things. I get it.” He didn’t make me feel silly at all for being such a fraidy cat.

abc2

Marcus’ other cousin was shooting a 22 and it didn’t seem as aggressive. The ammo was smaller, there was no kick and I didn’t see any fire from the nozzle. So after a long break from my first shot, I decided to try that one. He did exactly what Marcus did – taught me the grip and the safety. And when I was ready, I pulled the trigger. MUCH better this time. It was so much less aggressive and I wasn’t nearly as shaken as with the 9mm. Granted, I didn’t do any more shooting after that, but I was happy I at least tried. I faced a big fear of mine that day and feel more educated than a week ago. I am not sure if I will go back to the range in the future.  I do know that I am grateful of my friends who helped me conquer this fear.

 

Betcha can’t break that habit.

Today’s prompt:

habitI actually looked up the word habit to make sure I was answering this correctly: Habit: a usual way of behaving : something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way. Another website said that habits tend to become subconscious. And when thinking of my behavior in that way, I am not sure there are too many habits I have started in the past 12 months that I wish to continue! But the big one that comes to mind is crossfit. (Oh great, here she goes again about crossfit. We get it!) Shut it, peanut gallery.

I know. I know. I talk a lot about crossfit. But when I think about an activity that became a true habit this year, crossfit is it. It’s just a part of my daily life. Instead of deciding which class to attend, I now have to consciously decide which day not to go. If I don’t wake up early enough in the morning, then I fit it in at noon or after work. It’s a routine and honestly, how could I not love it? I walk into a building full of familiar faces. Welcoming faces that seem equally as excited to see me. Faces that have become friends outside of the gym. I sometimes think the very best Meggie comes out in that box. She’s confident and energetic. She is strong and her sense of humor is edgy. She encourages others and shows humility. She works hard and admits failure while celebrating successes. Why wouldn’t I want to be there every day? It’s the best habit I have adopted this year and it most certainly will continue.

family

But never fear, this blog post wouldn’t be complete without some talk about the other habits of 2013.

These habits have kicked the bucket:

Earlier this year I discovered that I was doing a lot of winking at people. When I’d cross paths with someone at work, instead of waving or doing the normal head nod, I’d wink. I winked at my friends when they left my house. I’d wink at people across a room. I didn’t even know I was doing it until I caught myself! I confessed over twitter and found out that my friends had noticed a lot earlier than I did. Can a girl get an intervention now and then? Friends don’t let friends wink.

I also went through a pretty serious addiction to Easy Mac. Easy Mac in the morning, Easy Mac in the evening, Easy Mac at suppertime. This lasted a few months but I am proud to announce that I am over 45 days sober of EM.

These habits are still a work in progress:

I know it’s not healthy but Nestle “lil bit of heaven” cookie sandwiches are amazing and I will get one for an afternoon treat a few times a week.

Selfies: I used to be the selfie queen! In fact, some of my friends renamed them “Meggies” and I was proud to own it. But I have cut back significantly on my selfies in the past 6 months. I know there is a lot of debate out there and some people want to take the word selfie and use it as their platform about why society needs affirmation through social media these days. Yeah yeah yeah…I get it. More often than not, I’d rather look at people than inanimate objects so I don’t have an issue with selfies, as long as they are interesting. So when instagramming, I have been trying to be a bit more purposeful of my selfies. If I am going to do it, I hope to make it good. (Or at least funny.)

My last selfie was while cuddling my very adorable sleeping nephew, Mac.

selfie1

Before that it was while riding a horse on JD’s and my anniversary date in Brown County. His horse was so slow and I couldn’t stop laughing about how far back he was from the group.

selfie2

Prior to that it was a pic of myself wearing Redskins gear in support of JD’s favorite team. I love sport games.

selfie3

And being at mile 23 during a marathon is as good of a reason as any to selfie!

selfie 4

So maybe I fell off the wagon here, ok? We all have setbacks.

selfie 5

And well this is just beautiful.

selfie 6

So 6 selfies taken in 14 weeks? I don’t know if that’s progress or not, but I think it’s an improvement. :)

 

Think Kit days 6-9

I am a little behind on blogging so I am going to whip through these posts quite quickly.

6Answer: As previously discussed in my last blog, I am actually trying to say no more than yes this coming year. But that doesn’t mean I want to become a hermit. My goal for 2014 is to be very strategic about the things I want to be involved in. I absolutely love my neighborhood and want to continue to help plan our annual Oktoberfest. I will also be helping two candidates who run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Woman/Man of the Year this spring. I am involved in selecting the Jefferson Award winners and look forward to helping a good friend with her start-up project “Face First.” Beyond that, what interests me is the betterment of Indianapolis and so I hope to find new ways to have a voice and execute changes for our city. (If you’re reading this and thinking “Then you should sign for up _____, Meggie” please comment below! I’d love to learn about great ways to make Indy awesome)

7The past two years I have created inspiration boards on Pinterst (see 2012 and 2013 here). It has been a lot of fun to look at pretty pictures and align them with my yearly goals. I haven’t gotten around to one for 2014 yet, but plan to. In the meantime, I will answer this in regards to my house. Though we spent a good amount of energy in getting our house to look the way it does after we moved in a year ago, there are some areas that still need work. For example, I have asked for a Kyle Ragsdale painting for Christmas to hang over my bathtub. I also want to paint our guest bathroom some crazy color like orange or dark teal. And though we have a deer head, amazingly comfy furniture and a plaid blanket up there, I’d like to continue working on making our 3rd floor feel like a cabin. I envision a fake bear skin rug, exposed lightbulb lamps and more plaid. I’d like to add some additional art to the walls but am pretty particular about the overall look so that will be a work in progress. Our house is all white and though I never thought I’d like something so stark, I am in love with it. Therefore, it’s important to me to keep the modern, streamlined feel throughout. I hope in 2014 my husband and I get motivated to make these little changes to put the final touches on our home.

8My first thought here was to share with you the dress I made for Halloween. Every Sunday from March to July, our group of friends get together to watch Game of Thrones. We make food, bring drinks and are not allowed to talk during the episodes (I broke that rule during the Red Wedding episode when I stormed off saying I’d never watch another episode again). Last year, we decided that we needed to dress up like the characters for Halloween. It wasn’t difficult to assign costumes – and I happily chose Khaleesi. I wanted to respect the Mother of Dragons with a pretty killer costume so decided to create my own dress. I bought all of the materials and started by researching some patterns online. I then painted the fabric over many days with a variety of gold paints to add some color and sparkle. I hand sewed the seems, created pleats, added elastic and handcrafted the beads from things I found at Jo-Ann fabrics. I bought the gold shoulder cuffs and belt from Etsy and the final product is seen below. I am darn proud of it and actually loved that I had something crafty to do each night when I came home.

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As you can see, each one of us took our costumes pretty darn seriously. We are ready for a killer premier party this March.

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9

I was shocked around episode 4 of Homeland. I was just about to call it quits on this series – so much crying, so much crazy. And then boom. They totally redeemed themselves. I don’t want to discuss this further as it will be a major spoiler alert for any who haven’t seen it. But hold on to your britches…it’s amazing.

Other than that, here is a small list:

  • I was surprised when Paul Walker died.
  • I was surprised when I could easily front squat 140#. Booyah.
  • I was surprised when I learned that Parkinson’s Disease can cause eczema and also make those affected by it become obsessed with things. This horrible disease just continues to surprise us with more symptoms. I hate it.
  • I was surprised when my dog Dexter started howling after hearing sirens. It was the most hilarious reaction and a noise I had never heard.
  • I was surprised when my nephew was born! A healthy baby boy! (BIG positive!)
  • I was surprised how much I loved the chicken wings at Libertine. Try them!
  • I was surprised when that sting ray bit my finger. “Oh they don’t have teeth. It won’t hurt if they bite you.” LIES. Ouch!
  • I am surprised by the people who support HJR-6 in Indiana. I can’t even discuss it.
  • I am always pleasantly surprised when I don’t talk with old friends for a long time and then we connect and it’s like nothing ever changed.
  • I am surprised by how interested I am in reading cold case files. I have gotten kind of obsessed!
  • I am not surprised that my patience level is only getting less and less. I ain’t got time for patience.
  • I am pleasantly surprised at Pope Francis! He continues to show humility and a true commitment to those less privileged. And he was a former bouncer!
  • I am so happily surprised to continue to meet and engage with smart, ambitious, unique and talented individuals. I think moving downtown has opened up a whole new pool of incredible adults in Indy and I love meeting all of them.
  • I was surprised how bad the Dexter series finale was. It made me rethink all those hours I watched the entire series.

 

Just say no.

Today’s Think Kit prompt:

tk4Man these guys at Smallbox are good. They create such thought provoking and difficult prompts…and I really like this blogging movement so far. I have struggled with blogging lately, and not all of it has to do with not running. When I first started this blog, so few people read it which gave me freedom to write whatever I wanted, how I wanted. I could talk about anything from Danica Patrick to what I dreamed about the night before. But then people started following my blog and the pressure built. It was all in a good way until it wasn’t. I started thinking more about how people would react to my blog than my intention for writing. I was more concerned about the “haters” (for lack of better word) and started to overfilter. My writing wasn’t as carefree and raw. I know that by blogging, I am opening myself up to the public: the good, the bad and the ugly. But the ugly made me hide. Until Think Kit. It’s the jump start I needed to get back to why I started this blog to begin with: for me. These prompts from Think Kit have become my soft landing into finding my blogging groove again.

Pardon the sidetrack… what were we talking about? Oh wise decisions, yes.

My wisest decision this year (and “decision” is a bit strong considering it’s still a work in progress) is to be ok with saying no.

no

In the past, I said yes to everything. Do you want to be part of this project? Yes. Hi. I am a stranger, do you want to meet for lunch? Yes. Do you want to raise money for X. Yes. Would you be interested in being part of this? Yes. Want to run this race? Yes. Saying yes was a big part of who I am: being involved in everything and with my finger in every pie. Often people ask me how I have more than 24 hours in my day because multitasking, planning and organizing my time comes pretty naturally to me. But it was an exhausting way of life. Not because I was actually tired, but because I wasn’t enjoying a good portion of the things I was saying yes to.

After the Woman of the Year campaign, I had, what felt like, an immense amount of time on my hands. I balanced two full time jobs for 10 weeks and when one of them was over, I had time to spare. Typical of Meggie, I was ready to slide the next big thing into its space. But my therapist (yes I have a therapist) urged me to do just the opposite. She said she was going to hold my feet to the fire to say no. I was quite nervous about this actually. Busy is my happiness and what would I do with the extra time? She told me that I should spend it being mindful. And that mindful doesn’t have to be as dramatic as it sounds. It’s not necessarily finding my “center” in hot yoga or going on long walks by myself to find the beauty in nature. It’s making time for what matters and being purposeful in relaxing my mind. She told me that this could mean something as simple as sitting on the couch on Sunday afternoons and binge watching “Scandal” episodes. So I started saying no.

When people I don’t know ask to meet, I don’t immediately shut them down, but I ask about the agenda to determine if it’s a good use of time. When my heart wasn’t into running another marathon after Chicago, I did the half. I have stopped nurturing one-sided friendships and have caught up on a lot of TV series. :) I have spent more time with my family, got more strategic at my job and upped my frequency at Crossfit. I’ve narrowed down the charities I work with and have some really exciting things in the works with The Sussy Project. Whereas before I was the jack of all trades, master of none, I am now becoming inch wide and a mile deep on the things that are most important in my life.

But I still sometimes waffle on this idea of saying no. And one of the biggest hiccups to this decision came after I watched Condoleezza Rice speak at my work conference. She is incredible and much more accomplished than even I knew. After listening to her speech, I felt the urge to sign up for everything and anything that could help me grow. Condi gets up at 4am (not 6:31am) to workout. Condi has never taken her foot off the accelerator and surely she never stops to relax. While I am playing chess at a bar with my friends, she is hosting dignitaries to talk about the Soviet Union! If I want to do big things, then I need to work when no one else is working. I need to sacrifice now so that the rewards come later. This is not the time in my life to back down, it’s the time to say yes. Right? Well, my therapist calmed me down and told me that 1) I am not Condi. (Point. Therapist). 2) Things don’t have to be so black and white. It’s not that I have to say no to everything. I just have to process, analyze and decide what I say yes to. 3) This doesn’t mean I am letting off the accelerator. It means that I have the wisdom and maturity to invite the right things into my life. And lastly (4), Condi surely does the same thing. There is no way she can say yes to everything and everyone. She prioritizes, she triages and she spends her very valuable time on the things that matter most. She is mindful.

I still welcome every opportunity that comes my way. I keep my ears to the ground and my eyes peeled. But I make less impulsive decisions and when I do say yes, I say yes fully.

 

The time I talked with ghosts.

Today’s prompt from Think Kit:

TK3Are ghosts strange? Because that’s what I am going to discuss: The time I talked with ghosts.

My friend Craig is a ghost hunter. He’s extremely smart and talented, is a great architect and photographer, and in his spare time, is a paranormal investigator. After he told us his personal ghost stories over drinks, I was plenty intrigued. So one night, he took my friends Dan, Kate and I to the basement of the Murphy Building to go ghost hunting. He started off telling us about the many “sightings” he has heard about and experienced in the building. And then he got to work, setting up shop.

Kate, Dan and I waiting for the ghosts

Kate, Dan and I waiting for the ghosts

 

Kate and I in the basement of the Murphy Building

Kate and I in the basement of the Murphy Building

There are a few different ways for ghosts to communicate to us living. The one that worked the best for us that night was through the use of small flashlights. You can see how Craig sets them up in this video from IndyStyle this past fall when he took host Andi Houser to the City Market Catacombs. Essentially, he screws the top just shy of turning the light on so that the slightest touch (say, by a ghost) will turn on the bulb. He set up two lights and we faced them. He also had a night vision infared video camera that was on throughout. Within minutes, we had our first activity.

Kate asked the ghost if it was a girl. Nothing. Then she asked if it was a boy. Light came on strong, and then turned off. Then she asked if she met him the last time she was there (this wasn’t her first time). Light on, light off. I was aghast. I didn’t think it would happen so fast and so obviously. I assumed we would have to really stretch our minds to “see” something and use liberal rationale to believe we were talking to a ghost. But these were clearly answers. And so the interview went – us asking questions and the ghost responding by turning on one light very strongly for each “yes” answer. I wish I could remember all we talked about, but as you can imagine, it was mostly small talk.

We did ask the ghost if it could turn on the other flashlight and it never did. I think had he, I would have been 100% convinced as it would be doing everything we asked it to do. But there was really no, non-ghostly explanation for the light. It wasn’t flickering. Instead, it was timed perfectly with our questions. Craig also showed us what the video was picking up and through the camera, you could clearly see orbs floating over the flashlight. Craig tried a few other methods as well – one being a radio that flutters through frequencies trying to pick up sound. Another is a box that is meant to allow ghosts to speak through. Later Craig told us that when he played back his digital recording, which can detect sounds we can’t hear with the naked ear, he heard Kate’s name clearly spoken.

After some time, we made the grave error (pun!) to take a break and use the bathroom. When we came back, we couldn’t get the ghost to talk to us. We tried the divining rods and then went back to the flashlights. Though they turned on, it was much slower and less purposeful. Craig asked if this ghost was different than who we had talked to earlier. Light on, light off. We had a new ghost! This one just wasn’t as talkative.

Now before going on this strange, paranormal adventure, I didn’t take a stand on ghosts. But afterward, I was pretty darn sure I had talked with the unliving.

Craig promises he will take me on more ghost hunting trips – City Market is definitely on our list. The one thing I refuse to do is anything that seems scary and haunted– I’ll just stick with the friendlies, thank you. For more on Craig’s experiences, you can read Kate’s article here, and check out Craig’s YouTube channel here.

 

#thinkkit

What does a girl do when her blog is all about running and yet she is taking a break from running? Well my answer as of late is to just not blog. And though I haven’t been super inspired to write about another topic, I do miss writing. Imagine my excitement when I heard about Think Kit put on by Smallbox. You can read all about what this is and can search the hashtag #thinkkit to read others’ posts. Though I am a bit late getting into this, here is my first post on yesterday’s topic:

thinkkit

I take a LOT of pictures so the thought of choosing one to symbolize my year seemed impossible at first. I searched my Facebook albums and each time I thought I had it, I would find another that seemed more meaningful than the last. Isn’t reflection incredible that way? We spend so much time thinking in the present and planning for the future that sometimes we forget what has been in our past. I considered a crossfit picture since that sport has become such a large part of my life and community. I thought about a picture from the Boston Marathon as it was such an impactful day for so many. I considered pictures of trips – Grand Cayman, South Haven, Mexico, Portland and the memories made from each. I thought about a picture of my favorite little human ever – my niece Wynne. I thought about a picture from the Woman of the Year gala to represent the 10 weeks of work we put in to raise over $63,000 for LLS. But though all of those things are hugely important to me in 2013 (and will no doubt make the Best of 2013 post later this month), what I settled on was this:

sedonaI took this picture at the top of a mountain that I climbed (and mountain is probably a little dramatic). I went to Sedona at the start of this year by myself to reset. You can read all about the trip here, but why this picture won out is because of those 4 words. Human Kind. Be both. It’s a message that I believe in so passionately. Being human, to me, means that we can feel and decide and love and hurt. That we can fail and we can admit it. We build relationships and laugh and we can constantly improve. We can be selfless and help those around us. We can relate and accept and fight and can rationalize and understand and seek.

And being kind is the most important thing in life.

Be both: it is the simplest reminder about what’s important in life. And if I look back on all the other pictures that were considered for this post, all of those events and times were made better because someone was humanly kind to me. The friendships I made, the warm welcome at a new gym, the text messages asking if we were ok, the people that donated and the beautiful goodness that oozes out of a 2.5 year old. Kindness surrounds me, but our work here is not done.

What would this world look like if we always kept those 4 words in mind before we tweeted something nasty or judged someone’s outfit or ignored the homeless person. What would it look like indeed.