Friday, January 30, 2015

Slow

Yep. That's me. I run slow. I walk slow. Put me in heels and fugghedaboutit, I'm molasses on a cold day. OK, so maybe I'm not that painstakingly slow, but as far back as I can remember, I've always been a slow walker. I try to keep up when walking with others, and for the most part can push myself to do so, but ya know what? I don't like it. I'm just slow damn it. I prefer to stroll through life and enjoy the scenery unless it's raining, I'm being chased or I have to go to the bathroom. If any of those three scenarios occur you can bet I'm haulin' ass like you've never seen before. It's amazing.

For a long time however, especially during the height of my "running career" (I use running and career both loosely here) I wasn't so comfortable with being dubbed "slow". I've been given advice on how to elongate my stride and increase my foot turn over, but the fact is running faster is something I had to learn to not care about. I have no grand illusions of winning races versus enjoying participating in them, but I always made excuses for my slow pace. I was embarrassed by my finish times for years and constantly felt like I had no right to compete along side elite runners and marathoners who were in the same race events as I was. It took the likes of stumbling upon John Bingham and his penguin philosophy for me to be ok with being a slow runner. Thanks to John and the Penguin Brigade, I realized that no matter how slow or poor the results, a runner is a runner. Frankly, the finish line is the same, no matter when you cross it. Now, when people comment on my slow finish times, I usually state that I'm still lapping everyone who's sitting on their couch at home and am met with a smile and recognition of truth.


Despite society's drive for perfection, that fact is if you draw, paint or sing, you're an artist. If you run, you're a runner. If you exercise, you're an athlete. Don't let someone else's standards tell you that you're not "good" enough to be exactly who and what it is you are. Step up and own it. I am a runner. I am slow. I am a proud Penguin and even have the medal to prove it. 





The below is from John Bingham's website, and yes, I've had some of these happen to me! Read on and laugh...
You might be a Penguin if...
...you have to politely (for the third time) tell the men in the police car moving behind you that no you do not wish for a ride.
...you wear your jog bra on top of your singlet. This is especially true if you are male.
...during a race, you keep turning around to see if there is still anybody behind you.
...the rest of the pack is out of sight before you have run 100 yards.
...you meet both the hare and the tortoise running back towards you doing their cool-down after a race
...the only reason you don't drop out of a race is that you are embarrassed that the police in the car behind you (closing the course) will see you.
...as you are rounding the corner onto Main Street and the finish line, you overhear the announcer on a microphone to the crowd of 500 saying "We are assured the young lady is coming in!" (Oh well, at least I was young).
...you recognize all the regular runners on your favorite route from behind.
...you get passed on the uphill by a runner pushing a double baby jog stroller.
...you shoot a 24-shot roll of film during a marathon.
...you make arrangements for a late checkout at the hotel.
...you are more worried about the porta-potty lines than the start line.
...your support crew talks about meeting you for supper, not lunch.
...you have to memorize the route because you know that you will lose the back of the pack.
...the truck picking up the cones is pressing on your behind. (Don't laugh - this actually happened to me!)
...as you pass a course volunteer they ask you, "How many are behind you yet?" and you say "Behind me? Behind? Gosh... I think two... Unless they turned around!"
...the awards ceremony is over before you cross the finish line.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Moment

Class tonight was awesome, despite my self doubt and internal criticism due to lack of having a standard curriculum. I'm anal, I'll admit it. I want a game plan. I want an outline. Tell me exactly what it is we're supposed to cover and I'm a happy trainer. Of course, structure is something that's pretty elusive when working with dogs and owners, because one question from an owner or a reaction from a dog can change the course of your entire night. Permanently. And I'm fine with that. I can roll with punches and go with the flow. Come on, I said I was anal, not incapable of flexibility! So how does a semi, type A personality fit into a world of constant change? By acting like a dog of course and by living in the moment. It's been a challenge, but it's been worth every minute of it when I can make it happen. Why don't you act like a dog and focus on only the now, this very moment? Come on, give it a try, I think you'll like it. 





Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kamryn

I once read that "Native American" legend said that a dog with bi-colored eyes can see into the heavens as well as on Earth and that they were called Spirit Dogs. Of course, now I can't find any article or information to substantiate that claim, but who cares? This dog (pictured below) is pretty awesome, and I enjoy the mysticism - real or imagined. If only all pet owners would cherish their animals in such a regard as the original Natives. *sigh*



Monday, January 26, 2015

Tosca

Despite reading this, I still jumped.
Damn it.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday

Because this song coming across my I-tunes makes today's 
Friday even more awesome.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lucky

I'm lucky to have co-workers who tell me how well I've done something, and then share that they will do things the same way in the future because it's just that awesome...

I'm lucky to receive random messages from people telling me that what I post makes a difference in their life/lives...

I'm lucky to have friends that miss me, and actually reach out and let me know that, instead of thinking I'm too busy to miss them too...

I'm lucky to have encouraging family members...

I'm lucky to have people say they trust my opinion and actually seek it out...

I'm lucky to know that I am the reason for people's smiles...

But most of all, I'm lucky because I've gotten to hear that I make a difference in people's lives, first hand. And that my friends, is pretty awesome.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chill

It's 


So I made...


And it was awesome.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

24

In the past 24 hours I've seen this... 
(though abstract, those are police lights in my rear view mirror)


Way too many of these in two too many places...


And could really use one of these...
(and another nap - sigh)


Monday, January 19, 2015

Fight II

I think I may have turned a corner in the ongoing battle of the attitudes at work!
Positivity 1, negativity 0. 
Yay!

In other news, cold germs 1, me 0. 
Boo. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Chatty

Nothing chaps my hide or lulls me into a coma more than an obnoxious call who's presenter goes over the time limit by 45 minutes (and counting) just to hear themselves talk... 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Peace Sign

Tonight I went to a bra fitting appointment. And yes, it actually was exciting. (I'm sure I've just lost my male readers based on that opening, but this can apply to you boys too!) As I walked through the door, I saw the sign posted below and it totally shaped my mindset for the night. All too often we are overly critical of our looks, especially in a fitting room mirror, and in the end it's our own inner monologue that does the most damage to our psyche, not someone else's voice. 

While we shouldn't need a literal sign to be nice to ourselves, the fact is sometimes we do! I love this sign. What a great reminder to be kind to yourself, and love yourself. Just the way you are. Quiet that inner voice that says you need to lose five more pounds or change any part of yourself to reach "perfection". Find some peace within and just "be". Enjoy the moment. Find peace with your body and stop the war on it. Enjoy it for what it is and what it can do. 

This sign resonated peace for me. My appointment was amazing, and confident building. I feel like I can conquer the world. So much so that I signed up for that long thought about Pole Dancing class and my first 5K of the season. 

What can you and your body do as a team, when your too busy loving it to hate it?


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Exponentially

My day just got exponentially better! 
Negativity will be kept at home one day a week - I'm stoked! 


Monday, January 12, 2015

Teach

After giving a dog-demo tonight about hand targeting, and using it as a tool to help your dog's focus when out for a walk I was asked, "Why?". 

Hmm. "Why we use it?", I asked. And then re-explained that it's only one, optional tool in the toolbox of dog training, to help benefit your dog's loose leash walking ability by adding focus. 

"But aren't multiple commands confusing for my dog?". At this point, I would have loved to reply that it's not as confusing for the dog as it seems to be for you, but then I'd have no clients. I reviewed the tasks at hand instead, which caused more questions. So I continued to explain, explained some more, demonstrated again, encouraged, praised and asked for understanding from this client, and I think she "got it" (she said she did and, more importantly looked like she did). 

My client isn't a bad person, and not even a bad dog owner. But for trainers, a point of frustration comes from lack of lay-person understanding of what seems to be self evident and clear communication. My dog trainer peeps know what I'm talking about. The fact is, at the end of the day and my opinion aside, the conversation I had with my client reminded me that not all people will understand your "language". Not all people will be as passionate about things as you are. The "big picture" here, for me, is when you're considered the "expert" on something and someone comes to you for help, you need to find a way to change your language until they understand. I did just that, and hopefully with a little style and grace to boot.

So, the next time someone asks you "Why?". Take a breath, take a moment, and teach the moment - whatever it is. We can easily get caught up in the cynicism of life and perhaps think people are being difficult. But what if they weren't? What impression will you leave your student with? And more importantly, what are you teaching today?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Numbers

I'm a numbers junkie and since many can attest to this, here are my "numbers" for today...

I drove 499+ miles today, saw 3 bald eagles soaring above the highway (the first I've ever seen in the wild), paid $1.85 per gallon for gas, received awesome size 9 boots that are sold out everywhere, ran 1.5 miles out of 3 on the treadmill (I'll be back to my 5Ks in no time!), read a 288 page book, slept 8 hours (I think?), enjoyed time with 3 other family members, and missed 1 significant other. Awe. I love my numbers!

Sadly, not my image - I was driving.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fight

I made a bold (for me) move at work today and felt awesome about it. Hours later, someone potentially kaboshed it. I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised due to this person's negativity. While it would be easy for me to let things stay as they are, I won't let my efforts be thwarted. I'm on vacation, but next week is a new week to continue my plight. And let me tell you, Debbie Downer gots nothing on me! The fight to get what I want will continue. The good fight always does. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Not Necessary

A high of zero? 
If only we all could have such high hopes and standards!



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Shopping

I finally finished my 2014 Christmas shopping tonight. Don't judge me, I'm still ahead of the game. I'm not meeting up with my family until the upcoming weekend! And the best thing about it is, I avoided all of this...


Unfortunately, I can't avoid this...





Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday Musings

Random thoughts and experiences from the weekend...

I went to a germ infested waterpark (for the first time) and...well...I actually liked it!

Water slides aren't as scary as they look.

I cannot get out of an inter tube gracefully. Not. At. All.

Using chopsticks to eat soup is not productive.

New equipment at my recently renovated gym kicks major butt.

Trying to flip someone the bird in rush hour traffic while wearing mittens is about as useful as that soup and chopstick combination.

My first official, all mine, dog training class rocked tonight and (finally) reminded me why I fell in love with training in the first place! (Phew, I was worried for a while!)

Watching gratitude in motion is the most amazing thing I've witnessed this holiday season.

I'm excited it's finally snowing (not excited that it's cold, there is a difference!) so I can dust off the ol' snowshoes and go exploring! 

New Year's resolutions are still going strong (yeah, I know it's only the 5th but I'm rockin' it!) and I hope yours are too!




Friday, January 2, 2015

365 Project

Happily, I've learned how to save photos on my I-pad and get them uploaded here via Picassa. No, it wasn't difficult, rather there was a resisted need to embrace technology on my part. Now that I'm smarter than I was a day ago...

I've created a new page on my blog to reflect a new project that I've started! Check out my 365project for 2015! It's being built one day at a time of course, but I'm looking forward to the outcome of my photo-a-day challenge.

On a side note: I just finished reading "Wallace" - a story about a true underdog and recommend it if you like dogs, quick reads, and inspirational stories. No time to read? Check out some of his (and his owner Roo's) amazing feats on Youtube!





Thursday, January 1, 2015

NYD

I rang in the new year calmly and peacefully with my love last night. Dinner was an amazing, if I say so myself, surf and turf dinner followed by the movie, Interstellar. Afterwards, we grabbed a drink and headed home to watch the countdowns. As the ale flowed, we celebrated midnight for hours, from time zones spanning Chicago to somewhere on the west coast.

As the musical acts danced across the screen, I happily refelcted on the past year and am so excited for the year to come. My excitement for 2015 reaches beyond the "hope of a new year" or "fresh start" that comes with January 1st. My excitement is in the belief of life changes to come. Of course, there are resolutions too, but I'm choosing to keep those details to myself. I'm sure if you follow me here, you'll see the fruits of my resolution labors come to pass, but until then I'm wishing for you that 2015 is everything you need it to be! 

Here are some new year day photos taken during a hike with friends, and what happy looks like!