Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year. New. Happy.'s about 30 minutes until I ring in the new year (eastern time, that is) and as most do, they reflect on the last year. I think of the many blessings first:

health, roof over my head, and a new job that I am in love with! Then there were some athletic accomplishments, 2 Half Ironman, 4 Half Marathons and well...yes...the Ironman folks...the Ironman. (And the start of 2009 already has me dreaming about Arizona in November and what I can accomplish there.) and then some extra's along the way falling in love, lot's of fun travel, new friends (Carrie B., Ash and Brett, KAB, Anthony, JJ and my Gateway family) and then old friends where I was able to continue down a beautiful path of growth. And yet a tear is brought to my eye thinking of my friends Andi, Heidi, Heather and Robin who ventured to Idaho just for my Ironman. Mizz Fuller who supports each and every decision I make and allows me to join her in the pool by giving me a ride...and is well one of the MOST self-less people I have ever met. Slo-Diggity- a first time 70.3er, my ACL partner in crime and truly a wonderful person on the inside and out...thanks for staying close over the miles!! I know there are those that have touched my life in the past year that I am forgetting....but if you shared a cup of coffee, if we laughed or cried together, if we traveled to a race together, maybe swapped music favs, were certainly a part of the journey, my journey...and well, 2008 was pretty much a rockin' year. I think that is what I learned the most this past year is that each person has a part, or at least we certainly have the power to choose that. I am so fortunate and blessed to have friends that stick by in the yuck and push me to see the good and beautiful.

Yes, there were parts of 2008 that were hard and so very rough. The first 5 months I was living in a job that was tearing my soul out...I loved the job, but the environment...I did not and I have blessed and released those people that caused me hurt. I had some financial set-backs, totaled my car and am doing the bike commuting thing until I can afford a car the right way. There were a few friendships that really changed...more than I thought they would. In fact, it was one year ago tonight I was planning a New Years Day run with them. There are still moments I am sad, but then I also know some friendships stick for a season and not forever. And last, I continue to see those I love move through cancer and hope for a miracle.

But all of these...good and bad, make me who I am and allow me to trust that much more in what God has for me...and possibly in 2009! I am a goal oriented person, but I will keep that for my personal journal because well, I am super self-motivated!! :)

It is exactly two years ago that I moved to Austin, TX and well...I LOVE IT IN THE ATX!!! It has truly been the best move I have made for myself in career, in personal life and love, in truly feeling like I am HOME. I didn't feel that for 9 years in Orlando and didn't know I was missing something until I moved to Austin.

I am in Virginia, spending the night babysitting my precious niece and nephews so my sis and bro-in-law could go out and it was worth it! I wouldn't have had it any other way (except maybe Sam come along next time). And with that as 2008 wraps up (and it takes me all of January to remember putting 2009 on things) here are a few Irving Berlin lyrics...

One minute to midnight
One minute to go
One minute to say good-bye
Before we say hello

Sunday, December 21, 2008

no pain, no gain...right??

So I have expressed to a few friends at how I don't want to get on the bike right now...I'm just a little over it, can't seem to get motivated to turn those wheels on the weekend. I know that not riding will not change the speed factor on the bike. Then I had a friend send me this quote:

"To be a cyclist is to be a student of cycling's core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks."

So I am going to print this out, put it up where I can see it at my office, at my house and January 1 begins time back on the bike again. I wish I could take some of the running/swim energy and transfer that to the bike..

I have been back in the water 3 times a week, putting in around 2800 m each time...thanks to the Mizz Fuller who has been my chariot while still car-less...In the new year, I would like to start going 3-4 times per week and that excites me. I am really loving the water. It could be that I just read the new Phelps book, No Limits? It might be...however I have also found that I have a new's Jason Lezak. Does anyone know how I could meet him? the subject.

In the running world I have had a good fall of PRs in the Half marathon distance...3 more to close out that season...Disney Half, 3M and then the Austin Half. Then I will be in Triathlon season and will start to get that race schedule together.

And as this blogged started out....WHEN WILL I START TO LOVE CYCLING AGAIN??? Right now...I am uninspired and I just hate that. Help??

Friday, December 5, 2008


I have been holding this in for over a month. And CAN'T believe that all was pulled off without a hitch for someone that is a gem of a friend!! A few months ago, one of my closest life friends, Andi Canny, let me know she was doing another photography/art show at Infusion on December 6th. In my brain I thought...Can I make it there? (here is where I would like to thank Jet Blue for the direct and rather cheap flight) You see Andrea has recently started to sell her photography, which is pretty amazing and genius! What is great about our friendship is that we met singing at Disney and when we found out that we had other talents, we encouraged one another to pursue those wholeheartedly. The past couple of years have been that for Andrea and I. Andrea was one of my friends that really supported me in my decision to leave full-time performing and work in the fight on cancer...hence the job with the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Andrea started working diligently on getting her photography onto canvas's and postcards, notecards. Her first showing earlier this year....went...well, better than great!! And so now she is being brought back for her second show and I can't wait to see what she has done! (don't worry Austinites, I am hoping I can get her to our land at some point to do a showing!!)

On top of that....Andrea flew out to Idaho for my very special day of becoming an Ironman. And she will never know what that meant to me....because I didn't want to be alone that day, and I wanted others to see what I had worked so hard for AND she has seen me climb the ladder of Triathlon. A few nights before my day, she wrote this to me:

When we're kids, what do we think we're gonna do when we grow up? Mostly we think about what we're going to BE when we grow up, not knowing that BEING and DOING are two very different things. And that we'll have so many inner dialogues debating the definition of these. While we are living our lives, we dream, we react to what else happens and sometimes never follow those dreams...leaving us feeling cheated and flat...sometimes failed. Although, where usually that spot lends good company, we don't feel any better about ourselves.

If we are lucky or blessed (whichever you prefer) we meet people we can call friends that accept us, love us and inspire us in immeasurable ways. I am such a blessed person. I've proven my mother's theory of being "lucky enough to have a handful of true friends in this life" wrong. I don't prove it out of spite or to prove any Universal law. It just IS...TRUE for me. And I am forever thankful and grateful. One of those friends is Colleen Wilson.

Colleen and I first bonded via humor as I thought she was so f$*(in' funny in the original cast of "Theme Park Diva", the brain child of my genius friend, John deHaas. Then, we ended up in Vybe, a singing group at Disney. That is where we truly bonded and began to enjoy a true mutual admiration society. We became roomies and she was the "Kate" to my "Allie" when I went to Japan and took care of my Tony Baloney in my me the comfort of knowing he was in loving hands.

We became sisters, sharing the bathroom naked(sorry boys, no pictures), boy stories, drunkfests ("boobieeeeessss!!!"), small fights, tearfests for many reasons, big or small and slept easily knowing someone close had our back, no matter the reason or hour. You can't buy that. You could buy an employee....but you can't buy the feeling deep in your soul that knows and enjoys the beauty of true friendship. And this true friend is a CHAMPION MOTHER FUCKER!!!!!!!!! And a rockin' queen of music, but that's another blog!

Colleen is swiftly approaching the day of her first Full Ironman competition!!!!!(Sunday, June 22, my Dad's b'day!) I was there to witness the beauty & excitement of her first 1/2 Ironman here in Central Florida. The pic of her here on my page, with her medal and Bud Light is from that race! We got the beer from a stranger!! Lovely stranger! She has since done so much, including her 2nd 1/2 Ironman in Austin, her true home.

But this Sunday I will be there with the beautiful and vibrant Robin Grasso, Heidi Hanna & Heather Komorous to root Colleen on in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho during her 13+ hour race! (We will be hydrating with Mimosas and Mojitos~) A full Ironman is a 2 1/2 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finished with a full marathon(26.2miles)!!!!! She fucking rocks!!!!!!!!!! Seriously! Who the FUCK does that!!!!!???? Ok, so lots of other people do that, but their not my friends, so fuck 'em! No, really, I think they are great too, but I'm just so proud of my friend for following her dream.

She's trained countless hours, endured accidents resulting in injuries, altered her daily lifestyle and nutrition needed to withstand such training. All the while keeping a full & overtime job with a non-profit cancer organization. All of this is a lot but many people do it. But, not all people do this after such life trials as my friend has endured and risen above. This part of her story is not mine to tell, but there have been great burdens for her to bear, obstacles to navigate, physical and emotional. She is my CHAMPION!!!!!

I know I'm not changing the world by writing this blog. But, my life has been changed. Changed by this beautiful and wondrous friend. Her dedication, drive, constant sense of humor and thumb on reality keep me coming back time and time again for inspiration! She's not only been there for me as a friend, but just by being HER, her TRUE SELF, she has inspired me in countless ways. I will not only be at Coeur d'Alene in body but my whole spirit will be there, enjoying the bounty of her work!!!!! Reveling in her dedication to her dream! She has done this not for a charity(although she can't even count the hours she has dedicated to charity!), for a boy or for a drunken bar challenge(perhaps this is the next dream!). She has done this for HERSELF. As women, we are constantly taught to do only for others and not ourselves. This is where I bring out the oxygen mask example...put the mask on YOURSELF first and then on others you are helping!

I will be cheering on, gladly, happily and proudly while my dear friend realizes her dream!!! What a true JOY!!!! What a gift...she will be giving herself.....she will be giving me and all who love & support her!!! And all because she is living her true life......DOING what she wants to BE when she grows up....AN INSPIRATION TO ALL WOMEN!!!!!!

Love yourself and then love your friends....and if you're like them hard first and keep working on loving yourself!!! Who's to say at the end of your life that the two won't meet at that lovely crossroad!!!!??

Rock on, Sister Colleen!!! See you there!!!! Andi I have saved this letter from Andrea since my weekend in Idaho. When I start to doubt or when things get tough, I read it. The crazy thing is...or I guess the cool thing is I could say the same for her. Andrea is making the choice to live and pursue everything that truly wants from this life and I am blessed to have a front row seat to her life. (and to think that her and I were in Japan at the same time working and barely said 5 words to eachother!!! Timing truly is everything)

The move from Orlando to Austin has allowed me to open my eyes and see just who my real friends are. And Andi is right...Austin is my true home, but I will always go back for weekends of Marc Broussard, Seito Sushi, a Half Marathon (yeah, I know...I'm not right), her fabulous art show and many more memories and laughter. This is just the weekend I needed. Andi- it is YOU that inspire me and you push me the extra mile each and every day. I will laugh with you until we grow very glad I could do this for you this weekend!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

So you will stop asking me....

Armstrong to Race in 2009 Tour

New York Times-- Lance Armstrong will ride in the 2009 Tour de France, marking the first time he will compete in that race and the Giro d'Italia in the same year.

''I'm committed to riding for the best guy,'' Armstrong said Monday, acknowledging the taxing schedule could leave him riding in a supporting role in France. Armstrong's Astana team includes 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador and is loaded with other talented riders.

''We'll abide by the same code that I do: cycling is team sport, while we'd all like to win,'' the seven-time Tour champion told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Tenerife in the Canary Islands where Astana is training.

The 37-year-old Armstrong stunned the cycling world in September, when he announced he was ending his three-year retirement. He's scheduled to return to elite racing Jan. 20 for the Tour Down Under in Australia.

He has dedicated his comeback to raising awareness for his global fight against cancer.

After voicing concerns in recent weeks about his personal safety in France, Armstrong dismissed that issue Monday: ''It's not going to keep me from going and doing my job, and it's not going to keep me from spreading my message.''


Ever had one of those days where you wish everything were made of chocolate? Well that is In fact, this picture about says it all. And I didn't get this from the internet...this is the daughter of close friends of mine...

Much better weekend....

Thanksgiving was a rough day, but I got through it. I always do. Woke up on Friday and wanted to start off fresh so I met my riding buddies Clark and Kim to ride the Progress route. What was supposed to be 50 miles, turned into 60. And the wind picked up and it got colder as the ride went on.....but thank goodness for friends! Especially Clark who stayed with me when the last 15 miles felt like I was cycling through mud. (I was having some IT band issues that day...needed to roll it out) Shared a few beers with them at the end of the ride and then was on my way.

Picked up a rental car, did a Target run.....and then was back home to relax and eat dinner.

Saturday was a church rehearsal for Sunday and then I ran a bunch of much needed errands. Another early night in as I wanted to start the Mad Men series. I have had a lot of friends tell me it's a good one to watch, so I rented the first season DVDs and put my feet up for the night.

Sunday was an early morning and onto church for some singing...the first service I saw some familiar faces...Carrie, Eddie, Jodi, Jonathan, Terra and Zane! Sang all 3 services and then headed home to change so I could go for a 7 mile run. I NEVER run with my iPod as you can't race with them, but decided to throw it on as I had gotten a few new CDs via iTunes. I wanted to escape for the 7 miles and take a listen. Not worried about time as I have a Half Marathon next weekend, just an easy 7 mile run. Started out with listening to this album:

She is totally rockin, especially Track 2 with vocals and bass. Delicious. Check her out, you won't be disappointed. Of course, once again a UK artist has done it! Then for the last 3 miles I turned my iPod to shuffle and Beyonce's new "Single Ladies" song came on. I am not normally a fan of Beyonce' fact, I can't remember why I downloaded this song? But this song made me pick up the pace and I couldn't get the catchy chorus out of my head all night long. (just ask Sam) It's my new favorite jam and apparently my friend Kennys says the entire album is worth buying...I am not sure if I will do this just yet but at least I can shake it to this is the video. Who doesn't want to dance around in a onesie like this?