Okay, I’ll admit it. I am guilty of unnecessarily stressing myself out over things that really are, in the grand scheme of things, no big deal. I tend to internally blow things out of proportion, which leads to over-thinking, which then leads to increased stress and sometimes a minor breakdown. I just want to throw my hands up in the air, screaming “I can’t do this!” like a lunatic. We’ve all been there, right? Between searching for a solution to my living situation, debating what my next career move should be, marathon training, and still finding time to manage my friends and family, I often feel like my head will explode. And on top of that, I am not the most confident person when it comes to making big decisions (surprise!). I won’t bore you with minute details but I do want to share the end result. Plain and simple: Everything has worked itself out (or is at least on the brink of it). I will be starting a new job at an ad agency in Midtown Miami in just under two weeks and have found an accommodating apartment that will not require me to make too much of a drastic change too quickly. Perfect. And here I was freaking out. Sometimes all it takes is saying things out loud and/or talking about them with someone else to realize that you already have a decision made. What you’re really looking for is reassurance. For me, at least. Lesson? Have confidence in your decisions and stop fearing that you will make the wrong ones. Even if you do turn out making what you think is the wrong move, it at least served as a valuable learning experience. Time to turn things around and move forward. As stated in earlier posts: There aren’t many things that are irreversible. Stop being so damn scared.
On another note, remember how I mentioned I’ll be going through those mood swings and bitchy moments during this training period? TADA! Here it is. Last Thursday night I stopped my run at six miles feeling like I was going to collapse. I went home to a hypotensive blood pressure of 81/41. I was severely dehydrated. I hate hospitals and refused to go to the ER. So I stayed up all night with a life-saving friend that kept me company and made sure I chugged water and gatorade all night long. I was back to normal by Friday mid-day, but needless to say, I gave my body a break for the weekend. Already discouraged from the incident, I went for a short tempo run on Monday night and somehow managed to strain my groin (self-diagnosis). Really? Another setback? I’m in a lot of pain and I know the only solution is rest. GREAT. More time wasted and I feel like the clock is ticking harder, faster, stronger. I really need to make an effort to not get ahead of myself and let my body heal before I hit the pavement again (oh, and and drink more water. Lots and lots of water). This whole limping thing isn’t a good look for me (although it may have solved my Halloween costume debacle….Penguin, anyone?) Timing is everything in life, I suppose.
I realize my training is not going exactly as scheduled and is actually becoming much like an obstacle course rather than a simple running plan. But such is life. It’s what I’ll do with these curveballs that matters in the end. Hit and Home Run. That’s my plan. Miami ING… you still don’t scare me. I have my heart set on you. See you in January.
Another non-stop weekend has me (already) feeling exhausted this Monday. I kicked off the weekend on Friday with a 10 mile run along the beach after work. My buddy Ryan joined me for most of the way. I was thankful for that. It’s so much easier to run with a partner. It felt good but, needless to say, I called it an early night.
Then came the fun stuff. Saturday morning involved a 7am start to head over to Boy Scout Camp Elmore to participate in the C.O.P.E. Program Instructor Training, directed by my long-time friend Alex Gomez (let’s get real though, everyone just calls him Gomez). Just some quick background, C.O.P.E stands for “Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience” and consists of group initiative games, trust events, and low/high course events (i.e. ziplining, wall climbing) all in attempt to challenge participants as a group while developing individual skills and emphasizing eight major goals: communication, planning, trust, teamwork, leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, and self-esteem. Our group of eight (inclusive of another long term friend, Trevor) spent two entire days getting to know each other, learning about safety precautions, how to properly use equipment and manipulate the course, doing occasional handstands and, of course, playing Hug Tag (Note: if you have never played Hug-Tag, please contact me immediately for a demonstration). The whole thing was a new experience and something outside of the norm and, as you probably already know, I’m constantly looking to get involved in things outside of the norm.
During one of our reflective discussions Gomez imposed a question for debate. What do you think holds more weight: attitude, actions, or appearance? There’s no doubt that these three A’s all go hand-in-hand. Actions speak louder than words. The old saying exists for a reason. No one will ever believe a word you say until you back it up with an action. Give them some tangible evidence to support your claims. On the flip side, however, it is your attitude, after all, that drives your actions. So without that positive mental attitude (or “PMA” as Gomez likes to call it) there will exist no positive actions. And then what about appearance? We all have bad days where that PMA seems completely unattainable. It would be inhuman for every one of us to be cheerful and smiling 100% of the time. But what if you can fake it for the sake of those around you? Is it really just the appearance of happiness and optimism that matters?
Just something to think about as you start your week. I would love to hear your various thoughts and opinions on this. In the meantime, a few photos from the weekend. Happy Monday!
Sunday was the 1st Annual Pedal 4 Kids bike ride in Ft Lauderdale to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida. I rode the A1A course with fellow friends and teammates and, as always, made new ones. The morning started off rough. About 5 minutes before the start of the 60 mile ride I realized that, thanks to the bike shop which I had taken my bike to for a tune-up the day before, my pedals were on backwards and I couldn’t clip in, making my bike unrideable. Really?!? That never happens. So in efforts to save time I didn’t go into a fit of rage or curse the name of the idiot (for lack of better terms) that worked on my bike, but instead I ran to the event-sponsored bike repair tent to get it fixed. What they told me broke my heart. Not only did they not have the tools to fix it on the spot, they also recommended I get new pedals. Apparently, putting them on backwards had ruined the tread and would make them unsafe to ride. I painfully told my teammates to go on without me. As Petunia (my bike) and I began to make our way back to the car, one of the event volunteers asked why I was backing out. Backing out? Wait, Emily doesn’t back out. I immediately made my way to a different tent set up by another bike shop who just happened to have the proper repair tools needed. In short, they were able to fix my pedals and assured me I had nothing to worry about. At this point, it was nearly half an hour after the start. I wasn’t really sure what my intentions were but I knew I was going to ride. So I got on my bike and flew. And I mean FLEW. I passed the leaders of the 30 mile group (who started 15 minutes after my group). At the 30 mile turnaround I wasn’t sure where my teammates were or if it was even feasible to catch up to them. Realizing I might have to do this entire ride solo, I continued on. It wasn’t until I almost reached the 60 mile route turnaround that I caught up to one of my teammates and got a hell of a reaction. “How the hell? I thought you couldn’t ride?!” Nobody tells me no. My legs were dead but I was ecstatic. I felt so accomplished.
This is when the ride became fun. We eventually caught up to our other teammate who had pulled off road due to severe leg cramps. His calves were twitching uncontrollably and there was no chance of a comeback (we have footage. It’s both gross and awesome). We went to the next rest stop and called the SAG van to transport him to the finish. It was a valiant effort on his part, seeing as though he had never completed much more than a 30 mile ride. I think he learned a lot of Do’s and Dont’s about riding that day. Good for him. The best way to learn is through experience, after all. Everything I know about cycling I have learned from other riders and my personal experiences on the road. And I LOVE to be a part of other people’s learning experiences. I hope to see him on many more rides.
After catching almost every bridge on the return trip, fighting the battle against killer headwind and struggling to make it up the 17th Street Causeway at the 58th mile, this seemed like the longest ride ever. But worth every second.
If you take away anything from this story let it be this: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Don’t let minor obstacles obstruct your pre-determined goals.
Overall, it was a great day shared with great people. And the Bison burgers at the finish made it all worthwhile.
I went running with my friend Joe a few days ago, who also happens to be in marathon training mode. One of the reasons I enjoy Joe as a running partner is because of his goofball personality (aside from the fact that he pushes me to run harder and faster because he knows what I’m capable of). As previously mentioned, I don’t really enjoy running since I started taking on other less-grueling activities. So when I meet Joe for a run and he gets hyped up about Justin Bieber on his playlist, the laughs that follow force me to forget about the pain and the experience becomes so much more enjoyable.
On my way home that night I thought about the effects of Joe’s persona on my overall attitude. My friends are pretty awesome (shout out to you all!) and one of the many reasons is because they keep my spirits high. There’s nothing better than posting a vague Facebook comment and watching hilarity ensue in the threads that follow or acting silly with friends at work and laughing until your tummy can’t take the pain.
There are few things that I’m good at. And I mean REALLY good at. But I’ve been told I have an innate ability to make people laugh and keep things jovial and light-hearted. Why not? I think people underestimate the power behind a smile. Laughter is truly contagious. It’s why I strive to keep a positive outlook not just for myself but for those around me. You never know whose bad day you can completely turn around with one nice comment, one silly joke or one simple smile. Even from a complete stranger.
So here are a few of my favorite people caught in the act. Make it a point to pay it forward.