Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My life according to Tom

My good friend Tom sent me this when he heard of my upcoming trip to London...

"Seriously. Sneak me in your bag. I'll affect a glorious English accent and no one will be the wiser. Are you going to be there for three weeks?? No wait, let me guess...you'll be in London for four days, then whisked away to the south of France for tea with the Prime Minister. Then, you're off to Shanghai to present the medals at the end of the men's marathon event. From China you'll hop down to New Zealand, where you'll talk with Peter Jackson about an upcoming movie based on Lance Armstrong, in which -- if things fall into place -- you'll play the new love interest. While in New Zealand, you'll do a bike across the country event, raising awareness for both the LAF and the new movie, and at the end of that, you'll head to Tibet for a one-on-one with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, where you'll advise him on upcoming human rights work to be done with China. From there, a quick stopover in Sao Paolo for some much-deserved surfing, after which you'll return home."


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The slowest paid runner in the world....

I have a couple of exciting weeks coming up! I have been saying that it has been hard getting back into running as the Ironman burnt me out BUT as you will see, in the next few weeks I will be forced to lace up those Asics.

Yes, that right...I am headed to Portland tomorrow for the 197 mile Hood to Coast relay. What is funny about this is I was supposed to and take a team of 12 to do this event with Team LIVESTRONG. Notice I said take...not run. Well, one week ago I had a runner come down with pneumonia and she cannot make it, so who is the alternate? Yup...me. I am now the 12th member of this team and will be running 3 legs of this race....totaling 18 miles. I guess that is one way to get thrown back into running. At least the scenery will be pretty...and the finish is on none other than the Goonies beach....what could be more perfect?

I arrive back next Monday, have a few days to do laundry, unpack and then re-pack. On Thursday, August 28th...I board a plane for....

That's right. I am headed to London to represent the LAF at the Human Race. I will spend 4 days with the Nike folks and in getting the LIVESTRONG word out internationally. It is really exciting to be a part of this event on a global level! I will run the 10k on August 31st in London...spend a few extra days sightseeing, and then return back to Austin!!

So two weeks, exciting places and I will be running 'for the LAF'.

And there you have it....I am the slowest paid runner in the world.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good Will Hunting....

What a strange/tough/full-of-life-lessons week I have had.

Monday started off pretty normal, getting things ready for an event in Oregon next week. Went home that night and went to bed as normal.

Get up on Tuesday and head to an LAF Team Meeting at Dart Bowl up on 2222. (Yes, we mix business with a bit of fun at times!) On the way to this meeting, I was not all quite there as my head was racing in many different directions, for many different reasons. And then I saw the red lights in front of me, that were the red lights of a Ford Explorer and BAM! I hit the car full on and 24 hours later found out my car was totaled. Done. My 1999 paid-off Toyota Camry was not going to come back alive...Kirk Camry was quite good to me since 2001 and I will miss this car dearly. Knowing that I cannot afford a car payment right now, I was pushed 100% into bike commuting. So Wednesday I get up and ride the 3 miles to work, take a shower and get on with my week.

Now, those of you that know me....the transition wasn't quite that easy. I cried pretty heavily on the phone to my Dad that I was so proud of how I had paid off that car and since I only have liability on that car, I have no money coming to me to help towards the down payment of something else.

As the week went on, friends were helping me get here and there, I was finding the safer paths via bike and a co-worker going out of town for the weekend, offered me her wheels until Sunday night. (which was certainly a HUGE help for me so I could run errands to really get myself into the work of bike commuting.)

As Saturday afternoon came my way, I had lunch with a friend that couldn't imagine me riding my bike everywhere. I said to her, "well, after the Ironman I said I really wanted to get stronger on the bike! Now, I don't have a choice!!"

This seemingly 'negative' thing has turned to be a positive thing in my life right now for many reasons.....

*I am learning to ask for help (which isn't my thing)
*I am learning all the safe commuter routes...which is fun!
*I am learning to live life a bit simpler, which is another thing that was on my list.
*I am learning that things could ALWAYS be much worse...and here is why

I found out yesterday that an old friend/acquaintance of mine from when I sang at Disney lost his 4 year battle with brain cancer. Yes, when he was diagnosed 4 years ago, it was stage 4 and was told they would try surgery and then chemo, but of course, no guarantees. Dave fought hard and always with a smile on his face...at the time of diagnosis his daughter was only 6 months old....fast forward 4 years and the cancer came back, and it came back harder. He was given 6-12 weeks and so he, his wife and daughter spent his last days together. I talked to an old friend today that was very close with Dave and he said how precious and amazing that he was given those four years with family. My friend continued on telling me that when the cancer came back and contracts were up for renewal at Disney....Disney gave him his contract even though they knew Dave would not return back to work. They wanted him and his family to have the paycheck so they could have the time together and not worry about finances. Disney also gave his entire cast of singers off this coming Tuesday for his Memorial service....

Then I went to church this morning and the pastor talked about thanking God for the good stuff....do I really do this? ouch. Do I focus on the discontent and wanting more? I think so. So this week (and hopefully beyond) I want to focus on all the things I take for granted yet are SO SO precious to me.

So with that my new week and my life of bike commuting begins. (if anyone is going to T3 swims and can help me out, I will help pay for gas!!!) Of course, eventually I will need to purchase another vehicle but I know in time, that will come. I have to trust that I will be provided for.....which is also hard for me.

What I do know..
I came out of the accident ok, not hurt.
I have a place to sleep and eat at.
I have a few bikes to choose from for commuting.
I have a great family that supported me through the phone calls.
I have good friends that offer rides and help.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some pictures....

It has been a LONG waiting game, but here are a few pictures from the world of RAGBRAI...and some new cycle buddies!!! A few of them will be here for LIVESTRONG Challenge in October and I can't wait to ride with them again!!

these are the guys I rode in with the last day, a lady gave us an American Flag to ride into the finish with

This is the Kim Barnett. She is the reason I survived RAGBRAI.

I just love the people in this picture! They made the miles go by rather fast. From the left, Matt, the Kim Barnett, Brett (super funny guy, knows everything about the Tour from the last 75 years and likes to make fun of people just as much as me) and then me.

Friday, August 8, 2008

TGIF.....John Edwards

I got a phone call on the way home from work from my good buddy Brett...met him at the Bike Ride in Iowa...called to let me know John Edwards had finally admitted to the affairs with the movie producer. See below.

In the interview, Edwards says he lied repeatedly about the affair with a 44-year-old woman while his wife struggled with cancer. He denied he is the father of the woman’s child. (however he has NOT taken a paternity test yet)

The woman, Rielle Hunter, had run a firm that directed four Web videos for Edwards’s political action committee in 2006. Hunter had a daughter in February. She didn’t put a father’s name on the birth certificate filed in California, according to the Associated Press. Andrew Young, an aide to Edwards, has claimed to be the father. (hmmmm.....that one seems strange)

Let the mudslinging begin folks! It's election year!!! WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!

Oh, and John, be prepared for ANY woman in America to flip you off, curse at you, throw sharp objects at you because the man who was "standing by his woman" while undergoing treatment, well....you made your bed (apparently with 44 year old Rielle) now lie in it.

And if McCainn wins? You will probably blamed for that too as this is going to shake up the Democratic party.

Nice. Really nice. McSame it is!!!

say-what-you-mean, mean-what-you-say

SAY WHAT YOU MEAN?.... Sounds easy, huh? Saying what you mean is more than choosing your words and stating them. Words, after all, have at least three meanings: what you mean, what the listener thinks you mean, and the dictionary definition(s). One way to be clearer about saying what you mean is to think about your message from your listener’s perspective. I remember at a work training being asked to 1)listen to what the other has to say. 2)repeat back exactly so they can tell you hear 2)state your case. I have seen this work in ANY relationship....friend, significant other, co-workers, famiily.

SO...how do you MEAN WHAT YOU SAY? I am sorry but this 'common sense' principal...ain't so common folks. In order to mean what you say, you have to be very firm and certain about what message you are trying to communicate. If your message sounds like your waffling about on a topic, and you’re not, you are unfairly misleading your listener. This is no time for passive aggressive communication, hinting about hoping someone will “get” what you really mean. (sadly, I have been guilty of this in the last few weeks and in journaling yesterday realized I gotta get better about this)

I have been tested on this specifically with a friendship.....I am afraid to say what I mean with this person because honestly, the friendship has changed and I think I can see where it is headed. When you pour yourself into something (the both of you) and you end up not really getting what expected in the end....well...to be point blank. IT SUCKS.

I learned a little lesson this past weekend about the differences in communication patterns between certain types of people/friends. My absolute best bet was to bite the bullet, let go of all those touchy-feely conversational props, and just be blunt....yet in the end, I could not. I actually watched myself having a conversation that is NOT the way I communicate AT ALL. I passive-voiced myself when in all truth, I was deeply hurt.

I’m not advocating being heartless about it. Which is tough because I communicate in the black and white for the most part. I am an all or nothing person except when I can sense the super-sensitivity and don't know how to communicate the pain in such a way that would put someone on the defensive.

It's tough. I am learning.