Solo performance

Music is so, so powerful. You can see how much power it has over the violinist or pianist as they perform with their instrument.  It’s almost like they are dancing.  Just as it can play with our emotions, it can also heighten our senses.  The first few chords of that certain, life altering song, can take you back to any previous place in time. You can feel the feelings as they just happened yesterday.  The tenderness of your first kiss, the fear of the time you almost wrecked your car, the sadness as you watched someone disappear right in front of you.  I can’t really think of anything else in my life that can do this.  Some songs can dig up memories I haven’t thought about in years.  Remembering so many things that I thought were forgotten.  The heart lets them go but the memories are always there, locked away in our subconscious.  The other night I got out of a soak in our bathtub where I held my own private concert.  I had my “I Love that Song” playlist on and was trying to shuffle my music but for some reason Siri wanted me to listen to (and perform) Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” over and over again.  It actually put me in a really great mood.  When I perform, there is not only an attempt at singing but also an array of movements and “dances” that allow me to really feel what I am listening to and just super relax.

So why is it, when I could use this pick-me-up the most that I tend to shuffle to the most depressing songs in my library instead?  Slow, sad songs that really amplify whatever it is that I am trying to forget.  Downer songs.  Just like a drug, you listening to them thinking that they will make you feel at peace, but instead they bring you down the twisting path into the deepest, darkest parts of your own mind.  Yes, you start thinking about everyone that you have ever hurt.  Ever loved.  Lost.  How your life is just passing you by.  That you are tired of working for someone else’s dream.  What does it all really mean?  And what about the end?  That’s what happened earlier when I listening to Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind”.  All the sadness and fear started to startle my calm mind.  But literally as soon as a more up beat song came on everything changed.  I will never be able to completely forget the sad memories I have but instead I can turn around my way of thinking, reshuffle my music and try to focus more on the things that really matter.

Life is what is happening right now.  What soundtrack do you want to add to it?


Appalachian Trail, Blogging, Everyday

Here, is where I belong

The other day I had a friend that I haven’t talked to for a while email and ask me if I was still going to hike the trail.  See, I had planned on doing a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine in the spring of 2017 (see blog posts starting here).  He lived in Georgia at the time and was considering starting off with me just for the weekend.  Things in my life changed and as my start date got closer and closer (April 10th), I realized that this year was not going to be the right time for me.  Even though I was a little disappointed I was also a little relieved.  The year before I was in a weird place in my life where I felt like I needed to alter my viewpoint and what better place to do that then on a 2100+ mile trek?  I felt the need to walk out of my life and walk into a trail life for what could be over 6 months.  Although my family and friends were supportive, I think they were all relieved as well that I had changed my mind.

A couple of months before what would have been my start date, I had let one of my 13-year-old cats cross the rainbow bridge because she was loosing her battle with cancer.  It was devastating and as I was going through those emotions, I couldn’t even imagine leaving my husband and our other cat behind at the time.  So April came and went and then in the summer I had to face an even bigger loss in my family when my father passed away from cancer as well.  If I had been on the trail, I might have been too late to have ever said goodbye and I can’t imagine how my life would have been after that.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and there was a higher power that was holding me back from the hike so that I would be able to be with my loved ones in a massive time of need.

I replied back to my friend that, for now, I didn’t have a new start date in mind.  Not that I would rule it out for the rest of my life but that my life had changed so much in the past 6 months that I have been looking at it differently.  I told him that “…before my father died, I felt the need to find myself on the trail, but after he died I feel like I have found myself right where I am.  If that makes sense”.

And even though I don’t know exactly what 2018 is going to look like, I am confident that I will discover even more of who I am, right here where I belong.


Blogging, Everyday, Fitness

I felt consumed

I was up at 5am for some early morning speed work at the track.  It was crazy cold, with feels like temp of about 35 degrees (well crazy cold for Central Texas).  So I layered up, ate my sweet potato breakfast and was out the door.  It was really dark at the track and only 3 other people showed up.  The work was hard; 8×400 repeats at about 5k pace with 2 mins rest between.  The view was great as the sun began to start it’s day.  If camera contact lenses existed, I would have taken a picture.  We were also taunted by an owl; with each lap came his distinct ho hoo.  He probably watched us and thought we were all crazy running around and around in circles.  His day was coming to an end while I was just starting.

It felt good to have gotten that accomplished before most people had even had their first cup of coffee.  The runner’s high did wear off pretty quickly into the progressing day.  Work was taxing.  My work has never really been “hard” in the almost two years I’ve been there, but there is a first for everything.  I had the Midas Touch but in the worst possible way.  Everything I touched turned to absolute shit.  It was horrible and I let it get to me.  I could feel anxiety creeping in to take over my day.  It wound up being 7 long hours of nothing good.  7 hours that I just wanted to end more than anything.  I wanted nothing more than to come home, draw a hot bath for my achy muscles, and wash away my tears fears.

I finally came home.  It was finally time to unwind.  I went to my soaker tub, poured the epsom salt, started the hot water, and put on some of my favorite music.   I mentally eased my way into relaxation.  After a couple drags, I began to think.  I thought about the music I was listening to.  It made me think about my dad.  I wondered if he had been scared during the last hours of his life?  I think about things like that a lot.  Death is so foreign to me and so out of anyone’s control.  I felt consumed.  I became consumed by my own morbid thoughts.  But then the music crept back into my mind.  “……echoed in the wells of silence.  And the people bowed their heads and prayed……”  I really want to make a video using that song*.  I would dedicate it to my father.  I wanted to share it with the world.  Should I go back to school?  Would I be able to make it?  To learn?  To teach and be heard?  I have no idea, but I feel a need to share my thoughts.  Maybe I need to talk to someone?  Sometimes I wonder how I get around these feelings.  What was I doing?  What will tomorrow look like?  What about the space between?

I got out of the tub and finally felt relaxed and ready to end the day.  Tomorrow had to be better.  There would be another sun rise waiting for me in the morning.  There would be another workout to tackle and another day to go onto.  Another day to love my family and miss my dad.  Another day closer to figuring it all out.  I wonder if the owl has nights like this?





**Song reference was to:  The Sound of Silence, composed by Paul Simon.  But by far my favorite rendition was performed by Disturbed.  I highly recommend listening to it here if you have never heard it before.  It is very powerful.




Blogging, Everyday, Running

Gotta do what you got to do

Something that I have heard a lot of writers or authors say to aspiring writers is that some days you have to sit down and write even when you don’t want to.  Today is that day for me.

Writing when you don’t have the urge to, is like try to make a baby when you are not in the mood.  Come on hunny, I’m ovulating!  I know your tired and just got done mowing the lawn but if we don’t do it now, we will have to wait another month.  Sure it could turn out to be fun, and hopefully will pay off in the end but damn if you aren’t in the mood, you aren’t in the mood.  Ugh.  Everyday that passes that I don’t write is just another day wasted towards my dreams.  If I want my writing to take off, well then I HAVE TO write.  Just as simple as that.

I’ve also been feeling that way when it comes to my running.  I am currently signed up to do the Austin 3M Half Marathon at the end of January and right now I can barely get past running 3 miles, let alone 13.1.  My training should have started a month ago and I am in need of some new shoes as well. Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I have been keeping up with my strength training twice and week but my endurance is shot.  Plus, it doesn’t help that central Texas has not decided on what season we are in yet.  Running when it is hot and humid is why I don’t run in the summer.  Running when it is warm and humid and DECEMBER is just a cruel joke.  I am a cold weather runner.  60 degrees and under is my ideal running weather.  When it is 75 degrees and just as humid, I have a really hard time moving one foot in front of the other.  I did manage to get up and do 6×100 meter repeats on Wednesday morning.  Stupid me also did my first leg workout in two weeks the day before that.  My calves felt like water balloons ready to pop and foam rolling was excruciating.  Thank goodness our new house came complete with a soaker tub in the master bathroom!  Epsom salt to the rescue (along with some well, lets just say recreational plants of choice) to really help take the edge off.  Ahhhhhh relax-o time.  By Saturday I got back out and did my first 4 mile run in months.  It was rough but just like the baby making and writing, it had to be done.  And afterwards I felt really glad that I did it, just as I do now because I wrote about it.

But seriously, I need to get my shit act together.  Whether with writing or running (no baby making for me) it’s time to get back out there.


Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my wonderful mother’s birthday.

I wish that I could give her everything she would desire, but I know this year the only thing she would wish for is to have my father back.  He died on July 21st and both of our live’s haven’t been the same.

My mom loves to receive Hallmark cards for every occasion.  She has told me in the past that even if I was late with a gift, that I better always have a card for her.

This year, I didn’t get her a card (sorry mom).

When I was at the card store searching through all the birthday cards they all seemed “fake” and “cold”.  Something that a million dollar corporation puts out that really doesn’t cater to all of the emotions that a single person can have at any given time.  How exactly do you wish anyone a happy birthday after they have had one of the hardest years of their life?

All I can do today is to let my mom know that she is very loved and that my husband and I can only hope to live up to my dad’s last wishes to take good care of her.  I try my best everyday.  I hope you know that mom.  I love you more than you could ever know and I miss daddy too.  It is bitter-sweet.  With his death, he gave me my greatest wish, to have you in my life again and not with miles between us.

Thank you daddy and I love you.

The holidays are coming up fast.  We all will be faced with new emotions as we feel the void of our missing loved one.  I’m truly grateful that we have each other and we will get through it all together.  I promise that to you, today, as always.

I love you mom and Happy Birthday.


Blogging, Everyday

Feeding my fire

I feel like I need a reset button.  A control, alt, delete for my life this year.  End task now and restart.

2017 has been a really hard year.  I’m not writing this looking for sympathy, but to merely remind myself that even though things were treacherous at times, I have to keep moving forward.  My husband tells me that I am stronger than I give myself credit for but I need a break and a hard reset.  I need to look past the sadness and come out on the other side stronger than before.  I’m not sure yet what that might look like, but I have a feeling deep down in my very being that some big changes are in my future.

This year was full of changes.  I had to say goodbye to one of my fur babies after 13 years back in the spring.  I had never felt my heart hurt the way it did as I said goodbye for the last time.  Loosing her brought me to a different level of empathy.  And just as I thought I couldn’t hurt any worse, I lost my dad to cancer.  It went undetected for what was probably years, but took his life in less than a month.  I never understood what it was like to lose a loved one; a parent.  It feels like a small piece of your very being dies right along with them.  One of the two people who made you whole, who gave you life, is no more.  My mother lost her life partner of over 40 years.  Literally half of her heart and soul.  She had been with my father longer then any other signal human being.  I cannot even begin to understand her loss.

Loosing him meant gaining her in my life.  I am an only child and I was the only family she had left.  So she chose to pack up and change her entire life and move 1000 miles away to be with me and my husband.  We have all faced an array of feelings because of this.  The three of us are reforming the small family that I came from.  Years of being apart are bring us closer together but it is tragic that we had to lose someone along the way to get here.  It is bitter-sweet.

In the last week that I spent with my father he made me promise him to keep writing.  Yell from the roof tops about my beliefs.  To make sure my voice was heard any way that I could.  He had always believed in me and I want to make him proud.  I want who he was to live on through who I am.

This is one of the first entires I have made since he died.  I have been so tired and so uninspired.  I haven’t been writing, reading, running or really anything else that I used to enjoy.  Each day feels so long but at the same time goes by so fast.  But lately I can feel a small fire inside of me that keeps pushing me forward.  It keeps me from wanting to just crawl up in a ball and give up.  If I do that, then I would fail myself and worst of all fail him.

You only need one small spark to set the world a blaze.  


Everyday, Fitness, minimalism, Running, Vegan

Living with intention

I want to live a more intentional life.  I want to eat better.  I want to love harder.  I want to exercise and get faster.  I want to cut out the crap and be more inline with my personal values.

I know today is actually June 5th, but for me it marks the start of many things.  For awhile now I have gotten a little off track with my eating (don’t worry still vegan, but being vegan doesn’t automatically mean being healthy) and with my exercise.  I want to incorporate better food choices into my diet and get back into my running after a brief, but very much-needed break.  I also haven’t been to the gym since maybe November?  My work picked up and my hours changed to a point that I couldn’t get motived to workout.  To be honest with myself, yes work did pick up, but I am still working under 30 hours a week, so not having enough time is not an excuse.  And my hours did change, but truth be told, it’s more about me not wanting to wake my ass up earlier to hit the gym!

Having a good balance between food and exercise is very important.  Even though I haven’t been eating as well, I am by no means overweight, but I have noticed that my muscle to fat ratio has changed.  Last summer I actually weighed more but the extra pounds were from the extra muscle I had built.  I would like to build back some of the lean muscle I have lost in the past 6 months.  I am not sure what I am going to do about the gym; whether I am going to rejoin or join a different one, but I am going to get back into my running, actually starting today.  I have joined an 8 week speed work program that meets every Monday and Wednesday at 6:30pm.  I don’t particularly like speed work.  It is hard and the Central Texas summer weather doesn’t make it any easier, but I am more motived to get back into it because it is a group effort.  I have a couple close friends that are joining the group and our coach, is my trainer from the gym that I have been friends with for over 3 years now.  Plus if you can run in the summer you will be in tip-top form for when the fall/winter races start back up again!

As far as food goes, I am going to try to focus more on whole foods; getting in more fruits and especially more vegetables.  Last week I went to see my new doctor (Dr. Linda Carney in Buda, TX) because I was having issues with dizziness, foggy mind, and my cycle had been going  a little wack-a-do these past few months.  Dr. Carney is a 100% plant-based, vegan doctor.  So many people have raved about her in the Central Texas vegan community.  She is located about 40 miles from where I live, but after meeting her I have absolutely no issues with the distance.  She promotes healing through nutrition and tries to steer clear of medications whenever possible.  She ordered up about 15 different blood tests for me, to help her narrow down what/if anything is wrong.  I go back to hear my results on Wednesday!  This doctors visit was the first one I was ever excited to go to.  I had no anxiety and I can’t wait to find out what blood tests say.  Dr. Carney had a great “bedside manner”.  She sat and went over a bunch of different things with me for probably over 40 minutes.  Asked a lot of questions and took notes on our whole meeting.  Her office has plant based resources everywhere.  From Forks Over Knives posters on the walls, to a book shelf full of plant based authors (many of whom’s books I currently own) and a website for clients filled with even more plant based nutrition information.

I mentioned that my female cycle has been off for a little while now.  Nothing too extreme but sometimes, somethings are just too much to let go unnoticed.  I ordered a book called:  “WomanCode:  Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source” by Alisa Vitti.  The author takes a very close look at how what you eat during your 4 stages of your cycle (yes I said 4 stages) can affect your overall health.  While she doesn’t promote being 100% vegan, I am curious to read about what foods she suggests to eat when and then why.  I do not plan on adding animal products back to my diet but I am open to reading as much information as I can about how what we eat can affect who we are.   The book has great reviews, so hopefully I won’t be too disappointed at the mention of animal products.

One more thing that I am finding to be more and more important to my overall health and welfare is just living my own life.  Cutting out things that don’t add to it and focusing more on things that do.  I realized this past weekend that I had spent a lot of time on social media.  That time could have been used for far more important things.  I literally could have written this blog yesterday and then had time to write another one today.  I could have spent more time with all of our fur-babies more evenly (we recently got two new kittens and our rabbit I think has been feeling a little left out).  I could have went out and bought the rose-bush that we wanted to commemorate the passing of our 13-year-old kitty, Raspberry.  I could have read more.  Talked with my husband more.  Or just enjoyed the silence, that comes with the lack of social media clutter.  (OMG I just realized that I just checked my Facebook page, oh my phone, while typing this on my laptop!)  It is time to disconnect a little.  The Minimalist talk about how they both took all social media off of their phones and only allow themselves 30 mins or so a day to scroll through their feeds while on their computers/iPads.  I mean do we really need that much information at the tip of our fingers at any given moment?  No.  I know for a fact we don’t because I am old enough to say that I grew up without the internet (until I was in High School) and without a cell phone (until I was out of High School).  (OMG I literally just did it again!  Something live came across my feed so I had to click on it!)  We have become like Pavlov’s Dog when we hear our phone “tweet”;  we are zombie slaves to our little glowing screens.  It is time to make a change.  So besides changing up diet and exercise, I am going to delete all social media platforms from my phone for the rest of the month.  Hopefully I will live to share the accounts of my actions with you all.

Oh and one more thing I forgot to add is that I will also be cutting back on all alcohol and caffeine intake as well!  Man, when I set out to do something, I really know how to go to the extremes, don’t I?  Honestly, I don’t drink much of either substance.  Alcohol I am eliminating just from the weekdays, and will only have a drink with dinner on the weekends.  And the only source of caffeine I have is from my morning tea, but I also have plenty of decaf teas and herbal teas that I can use as substitutes if needed.  I love having the will power to make these changes in my life.  I am the master of going “cold turkey” and I can’t wait to see how I feel about everything in a month.  If you have changed up anything that you consider pretty drastic in your life, please feel free to share your story in the comments!