Monthly Archives: March 2011

March Taught Me

  1. Bananas taste a million times better sprinkled with cinnamon.
  2. March Madness loses *some* of its luster when your team gets knocked out and/or your bracket belongs in the garbage.
  3. I will forego the Kroger Plus Card extra 10 cents off each gallon of gas if it means I have to stand in the cold even two seconds longer.
  4. Giving up chocolate for Lent hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.
  5. I’m just now realizing that I used to have short hair. I recently saw a picture from four years ago, and my hair was short. How did I not know this??!
  6. My dentist’s office has the best magazines, and I always hope there is a long wait so I can read without interruption.
  7. Only seven of the President’s names are monosyllabic: Bush, Ford, Taft, Polk, Hayes, Grant, and…. now I can’t think of it….Bonus points if you can.
  8. I suppose I must accept that my favorite peanut butter, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl by Peanut Butter & Co., is no longer sold in local supermarkets. I’m taking it kind of hard.
  9. My camera needs approximately one hour and 55 minutes to charge.
  10. It can take over two hours for a party of ten to be seated at The Tavern in Nashville on a Saturday night even if they have reservations. Doesn’t make sense to me, either.

Getting There is Half the Fun

Roadtrips are the coolest.

One thing I love about roadtripping is the drive time. Of course I anticipate the destination, and I wouldn’t be going if I didn’t want to end up on the other side, but I must say, I love the getting there part too. To me, it is not wasted hours of dreaded monotony, but an opportunity in itself. It’s a time to converse, to think deeply, to check out a new CD, to let your mind wander, to stop at a gas station and purchase a ridiculous trucker hat for your friend, and to make a random pit stop at a random place in a random town. Who knows? So much possibility, and possibility is my friend.

Jax has become my constant companion on roadtrips, and I cherish those uninterrupted hours of time we spend together in the car. There are few distractions, it’s just our voices logging long hours of conversation and engaging in off-key duets.  Sometimes we enjoy deep and meaningful discussions, sometimes we play little games, and sometimes we have deliriously silly chatter. It depends on the time of day, the distance we have left to cover, and how full my bladder is. I mean think about it, with the whirlwind lives most of us lead, when else do you have three plus hours of unrivaled time to sit and talk with somebody? If you are living my life, the answer is not all that often.

This evening, we embark on a short hop to Nashville to visit amazing, wonderful, cherished friends. We will start this trip with peanut butter and (grape, because I finished off the strawberry yesterday) jelly sandwiches, energy drinks, and a CD case full of good tunes.

Off to adventure! A fun and safe weekend to all!

Blast from the Past: I owned this suitcase as a child. Why oh why did I ever get rid of it?


Let’s Do Something!

I’ve compiled a list of random ways we can aid in relief efforts for Japan:

  • LivingSocial’s (it’s like Groupon) current pledge can’t be beat – for each $5 donation we give through this offer, LivingSocial will also  contribute $5 to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund. Click here to donate today! 
  • In the aftermath of such destruction and despair, it’s easy and natural to say that we are praying for Japan. Harder to decipher is exactly what it is we are praying for. By clicking on the picture below, you’ll open a PDF of a simple prayer guide that will give you a little guidance.

  • Another neat tip I heard today: draw a red dot on your hand, symbolizing the Japanese flag. Whenever you catch sight of it, use that as a reminder to pray. Pretty nifty.
  • And lastly, you’ve heard me mention Nashville-based charity Soles4Souls before. Well, they are at it again, donating slightly used footwear to victims of Japan’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami. While donating shoes is just one tiny aspect of relief, it is still meaningful. Consider taking time this weekend to gather up your unused shoes and pass them on to a worthy cause. There’s a drop location in Memphis, but if you don’t feel like going there, I’d be happy to collect all of your shoes and take them myself. Seriously, get in touch with me if you are interested, and I’ll make it happen!

Friday Ramblings

1) There are many things I love about Memphis in May, like dancing in the rain, barbecue festival, and picnicking to the sounds of the symphony. One thing that’s often overlooked, however, is the country the city is honoring. And this year, that country just happens to be one I’ve visited, and one that I absolutely fell in love with the few days I was there. Belgium. Sweet, charming, exciting, delicious Belgium.

2) Make plans to go shopping next weekend with this sweet coupon:

3) Last night while volunteering at an event to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis, the house band broke into a cover of Bob Marley’s Stir It Up, and I couldn’t help but dance around. In that moment as I watched the crowd light up and move along, I was all smiles. This song reminds me of live music and sunshine, and it made me so excited for warmer months ahead.

4) I just updated the Race Recaps portion of my blog with details from my most recent half marathon, which I miraculously happened to run over 15 minutes faster than my previous best time. Check it out, if you’re so inclined.

5) I had intentions of writing a full blog post today, but with the current events in Japan, anything I would have written seems a bit insignificant now. My heart and prayers go out to the earthquake and tsunami victims. Tragedies like this are a reminder of how very fleeting life is. This is a great opportunity to focus on perspective, and to make sure the ones you love know how much they mean to you. Tomorrow is not promised, and the present is a gift. Don’t waste it.

Born to Run

I just read the most phenomenal book.  287 pages, and I finished it in 3 days. I absolutely could not put it down.

Sunday morning, I opened the book, and immediately I was engulfed. It took two pages, and I was hooked. What started as an innocent reading session turned into an all day binge. I shirked all other responsibility – laundry, working out, even eating, and that’s saying something. I did manage to get a quick nap in (reading for seven hours straight will do that to you) and tore myself away long enough to bathe the mountain bike, but otherwise, I was glued to the pages of Born to Run. This nonfiction account of one runner’s search for a true understanding of distance running was gripping. It introduced me to the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and their fascinating running culture, the biomechanics and evolution of running, and the ultra-athletes that push it to a whole new level.

It was informative, inspiring, factual, thrilling, and captivating. Author Chris McDougall broke running down into its purest art form.  He removed the iPods and Garmins and fancy running shoes, the self images and the drudgery, and spoke of running as a beautiful, natural expression of the body, and I loved every word of it. His words dissected the motivations behind running, how our bodies were built for it, and our inherent need to engage in it.

I managed to watch the Grizzlies take on the Spurs, but at every commercial break my nose was buried in the book. I somehow forced myself to go to sleep before midnight, but Monday morning I was up reading before heading to the office and again on my lunch break. After work, I toted my book to the gym, hopped on a treadmill, and ran with no shoes, just like the Tarahumara tribe. Minus the exercise machine, and insert canyons and mountains. I dreamed of running 50 miles, just as the super athletes in my book did so effortlessly, but I only got in two before it was time to wipe away the sweat and go to Bible study.

When I got home, I convinced myself to entertain a load of laundry before settling down with my book. I stayed up late reading, woke up early for bootcamp, went to work, and then stole moments throughout the day to satsify my reading craving. I forgot to take a lunch break, let alone eat, so I didn’t read the final pages until after my family and all significant others dined at the Rendezvous and witnessed the Grizzlies OWN the Spurs at the Forum (sweet, sweet revenge). Then, after an exciting basketball victory, I finished the book. Borderline obsessive, but it was that good.

Every sentence resonated with me. It made me want to run. Not just to go on a run, but to run for the sake of running. To set out with no agenda or predetermined distance, but just for the passion and pleasure of it all.

Just read it. My account doesn’t do it justice. If you love running, or wish you loved running, this book is for you. I cannot recommend it enough.

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