Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Clownfish?? Well okie dokie then.

I will admit the below image is exactly what the ENTIRE team looked like right after Adam said "Ok I got it, are you ready for this... (pause)... CLOWNFISH ON THREE!"

It was really quite funny as there was a pause and Adam starts counting and we all yelled CLOWNFISH? (Notice the question mark). I had this thought in my head immediately"is he making fun of us. Do I really look THAT silly running down the beach or road or maybe I look like a clown while trying to do sit ups or squats or dive into the ocean (no comments Amanda!!)"

Then I realized I probably really do, but at the time I did not realize that Nemo and his dad Marlin were in fact Clownfish and after a parking lot google session with Kendall and Brooke (I think it was Brooke) it was quickly realized they were and I was ok with that. I mean seriously why not embrace my inner 6 year old and love me some Clownfish.

Let's look at it this way, Nemo got a bit lost out there in the big huge Ocean right? Well for the last 40 years I have been lost in a big huge ocean of my own, called Life. Nemo needed help getting back home and he and his Dad Marlin found some of the greatest people errr hmmm fish friends that helped them both on their journey's to get Nemo back home. Now I am on my journey back to my own little "home" (safe happy healthy spot) and I too need a bit of help. I get that from my Bootcamp Team.

The journey his dad Marlin had to take to help little Nemo was NOT an easy one by any means, met with obstacles and fears but he NEVER gave up, and neither will I. No matter what I am faced with I will not give up. With hard work and perseverance Marlin found Nemo and they made it back home. Neither little Clownfish ever giving up, they had their goal in front of them and they kept striving for it.

It was mentioned that maybe we should be "Shark Bait" as that was Nemo's nickname and at first I was thinking that is ever so fitting as The General is always seeing shark out of shore and sending out there to play with them, much like "Shark Bait". Not to mention the name is just a bit cooler than err hmm Clownfish. However, after some careful pondering I realized that bait is not exactly something that I want to be. Bait gets caught, eaten and spit out. I personally want to be the little Clownfish that out ran the shark and made it home.

So too my fellow Clownfish out there.. lets Own It. Let's find our goals and not give up and make our ways "Home" regardless of what "Home" is to you. 

Not to mention I found out that Clownfish come in this kickbutt pink color!!!!

In the words of Dory let's "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming"
Much Love

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So much to say...

I have so much bottled up inside of me that I want to say today and just don't know how to get it all out.

It's strange being in the position that I am right now. Knowing that life is MUCH better than it was and knowing that I am in a much better place, mentally, physically, and emotionally, but yet still having days that you just feel like you have done nothing but screw everything up and want to hide from the world. That is where I am today. Wanting to hide.

Feeling like I am never a good enough friend, mother, daughter, teammate, trainee, employee... you get the picture. Just that all over I am never going to measure up feeling. Do I know that it is not logical to actually think this way, yup I do. Do I feel that way anyway, yup I do. It just makes me wonder, does everyone have days like this or is it just me, the mental case, that feels like this.

Maybe it is because today is my Monday, and after a 3 day weekend of a friend lovefest it has come to a screeching halt and I am left with only myself and my thoughts. Let me give you a quick run down of the fun of the weekend and maybe that will help you understand the desire to jump in a hole this morning.
Banx LOVES pretty girls! 

Friday, I spent the afternoon on the beach with my friends Amanda, Ilona, and Kati. Then went to Corolla and had dinner with Mama Gee, Miss Helen, Miss Nancy, Miss Judy, Miss Loretta and Miss Wickie which was a great treat!!! Then went on a quick little food delivery and got to see Baby Landon for the first time.
Where my toes spent a lot of time this weekend.

Saturday, I was up early and went to Kickboxing, Zumba, worked out on the beach with Amanda, headed back to Knuckleup to help with Wine Down 5K packet pick up and then spent a lovely evening with Ilona, Charlie and her mom Cookie for dinner.

Banx and his new friend Max.
Sunday, as soon as I woke up I took the little Banx to Duck for a nice long walk on the beach with Ilona and Banx's new friend Max, then home to the beach with Amanda and Alison, then off to the Wine Down 5k with Sandy, Melissa, more of their friends and a ton of bootcampers and friends alike.

Showing we had Sarah with us in spirits.. I mean spirit
Monday, bootcamp first thing, followed by a mad dash to Avon to run the Shore Break 5k with Amy and Lisa, back home to beach with Amanda for 5 hours and then to church with Mike, Ashten Ree, and Betsy!

The mad dash bootcampers! 

No wonder today just isn't measuring up!

I guess the point of my post today is just to say that no matter how things appear on the outside on the inside sometimes I am still really new to this game and some days I really am not so ok.

It's days like today that I just plain miss hugs and someone saying "It is going to be ok."

My wish is that your weekend was as fun filled as mine and that you didn't run smack into a wall of sadness when you got up this morning.

Much Love to you All

PS. We had 128 people show up for bootcamp yesterday morning! That right at DOUBLED our graduation number from last Wednesday!!! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Guilt and Knowing when to stay home...

Today was the second time I have heard the words.. "Go home." I think those words are worse than any of the others that I have heard while on my journey. The first time was a few days prior to half marathon and I had cut the skin away on my blister and the hope of sending me home that day was to have my foot healed enough to run the half. It worked it did heal and I was able.

Today it wasn't for such a reason, today it was because I don't know when it is OK to stay home yet, today it was because I don't know how to pick my "day off". As I was standing there waiting this morning I told my friends that were there that I would be walking today and when they asked why I said "because today is my day off and I can't really remember the last time I did not exercise of some sort and I don't really have a day off in the foreseeable future." My thought process was I knew I would feel guilty if I stayed at home sipping coffee knowing that today was a run day and I had friends and team mates out there running their hearts out and I figured the LEAST I could do is show up and walk and that would give my calves a stretch AND a break. Seems logical doesn't it?

When Adam got there I knew I needed to tell him my plan because if I waited I wouldn't follow through with what I had already declared I was going to do because as soon as he said Run I was going to do just that. When he asked me why I was going to walk I quickly said because I haven't had a day off and I don't see one coming soon. He asked if I was racing on Sunday and I said yes I was. I was honestly expecting his response to be ok walk. Instead it was "Go home, get in your car and go home." I stuttered a but... and a glance around looking for someone to save me. The only thing I heard was "I knew that was coming" and "See ya Sunday" (it is hard to relay sometimes in words what was going on but it needs to be told that everyone had smiles on their faces they weren't hurtful comments). I didn't hear anymore and I don't remember if I said goodbye or not (if I didn't I am sorry guys and bye) because I quickly went to my car. I can tell you how I felt, a bit shocked and a bit ashamed. Shocked cause I REALLY didn't see that coming and ashamed because 4 months in and I still can't handle what I THINK everyone else is doing, by that I mean in my world all the other bootcampers exercise every day from the time they get up until they go to bed. (yes rather unrealistic isn't it).

So here I am with my cup of coffee, writing my blog because I needed to get what I am going through down on paper (or what we now considering putting it down on paper) so I can SEE what I have done and what I am doing. I am going to back track and try to figure out the last time I didn't work out now so please excuse the jumble of mess you are about to see.

Thursday - 3 mile beach run Kickboxing
Wednesday - 2 mile road run 2 mile beach run (bootcamp)
Tuesday - 2 Kickboxing
Monday - Bootcamp - 2 kickboxing
Sunday - Cupcake 5 k
Saturday - Kickboxing and Zumba
Friday - Aviation Park Friday Run
Thursday - Kickboxing
Wednesday - Bootcamp Kickboxing
Tuesday - Kickboxing
Monday - Bootcamp
Sunday - Knuckle Up Sunday Run
Saturday - Nags Head Woods Run
FRIDAY- THAT WAS THE LAST TIME I TOOK OFF!!! I seriously had to go back on facebook and see what happened that day.

Now let's move forward for the coming week..

Friday- Friday Fun Run Workout with Amanda 11 am
Saturday- Kickboxing and Zumba
Sunday- Knuckle Up Run / Wine Down 5k
Monday- Bootcamp / Kickboxing / Kickboxing
Tuesday- Beach run with the girls/Kickboxing / Kickboxing
Wednesday-  Bootcamp / Kickboxing / Kickboxing
Thursday-Beach run with the girls/Kickboxing

Add in there that I really want to get in some ring training time and that I need to figure out where I am going to fit in the following training in so I can do the marathon this fall and I may need to give up sleep as well as any kind of rest day.

16-Week Marathon Training Schedule
163Rest3Walk 2Rest26.2Rest34.2

Should I be upset that I was sent home after looking back at everything I have done the last 2 weeks, no. Should I be upset I still can't seem to figure out that a rest day is just that? Probably.  They are the coaches they know what they are doing me I am still floundering around trying to figure out how to fit this all into my life and not feel guilty about missing a Friday Fun Run come Monday morning when The General brings up how many were not there taking advantage of the extra training.

Now I am going to need to spend some time figuring out how to not let the guilt bug me... seems like the perfect thing to do on the beach this afternoon.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Graduation!!!

A very happy group of campers.
I am sure that each and every one of you are just DYING to hear about the graduation cermony of Bootcamp.

I am not sure that I can even make the words to describe what it was, or is. To me graduation day is a HUGE deal, it marks another 6 weeks complete on this journey, another 6 weeks that I laid it all out there and did not die. (even though my mother thought I was going to die from some unknown disease that would not be curable by modern medicine). So I will give you a run down of the morning because it is as very worth while tale considering you have read the rest of the journey.

It really started the night before as I laid out my clothes for graduation and went to bed.. all of a sudden the panic hits! I am going to over sleep I know I am going to over sleep there is no way that the alarm clockS and the cell phone are going to wake me I am going to sleep right through graduation! Needless to say that didn't happen and I was up well before the phone or clocks went off but there is the fear of it.

So I eat my oatmeal and jelly beans (not a good combination I might add) and out the door I bebop to the car... wait a dang minute here... we are meeting less than a half a mile from my house and I am headed to the car?? It just didn't feel right, so I laced up my shoes grabbed my back pack (ps I don't know where my back pack is right now because we didn't really need it) and made my way to Awful Arthur's parking lot. I walked over and took a peek at the ocean as I was a few minutes early and over to the group I trotted. We heard a couple of words of wisdom from The General about stretching and into formation we go.

It was HUMID yesterday, it felt as if we were running in a sauna, it wasn't hot just really wet. Within a half a block I was sweating bullets and ever so slowly falling behind the main group. My little Dory heart was screaming "just keep running running running" and at no point did my brain ever say "you can't do this" or if it did I didn't pay any attention because I did just keep running even though my running was not as fast as some others running. It was not long at all before I heard Adam say 'GET TO THE FRONT AND GET THE FLAG" (Adam talks to me in CAPS in my head I think it is because he yells at me.. or maybe it is that I think he should be yelling at me, I am not really sure which) that is when the Dory heart went "Oh... dear." but with the help and guidance of a great coach and my fellow team mates as I went by them I made it to the front, only to see the flag being handed to someone and have Adam say "That is ok stay RIGHT THERE by them until the next turn." I did, I stayed right there and the flag was handed over for my turn, it is a nice feeling running with that flag even though there is some awkwardness to trying to run with the thing and not hit someone with it. After my turn with the flag I handed it off to someone else (no i don't know who) and was told to "STAY RIGHT THERE", heavens knows I tried to stay right where I was told but all of a sudden in one swoop 75% of the team passed me at one time. It was slightly deflating but I keep trudging along until we got to the monument. I will say that by the time I got there my calves felt more like hardening cement than muscles but I made it!
I don't know what was so funny.. or how I even had the energy to laugh.

As our team made our way over to the upward trail of Holy Hill we were met by the Bluefins, a team of united red shirts applauding our run to the Hill, no time to rest here UP we go! At the top we all gathered as the first Bootcamp Plus group to ever graduate and to hear the final words from the coaches. Honor awards were handed out to the select handful that went above and beyond expectation. I had the enjoyment of watching the looks on the faces of those that were handed those dog tags yesterday knowing exactly what they feeling, I remember the first thought I had was "Me??"

Drowned Rat
Back down the hill we go (that was after a very painful stand up.. I had to once again realize that maybe Bootcamp followed by 4 kickboxing classes in two days was probably a bit much before yet another Bootcamp) as we made our way I was walking or one may say hobbling with my friends and I stated "You know I was going to catch a ride back with you guys.. but I am not" I decided right then and there that I was going to finish the journey the same way I started, with all the fight and determination I had to lay on the line. I knew how I was feeling and that I was hurting but I also knew that it wasn't an injury it was just exhaustion of the muscles so off I went again following my team "The Stingrays" back to Beach Road. Up and over we went and we were faced with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean with Coach Matt Costa giving us even more words of encouragement with yet another "shark" making an appearance. The words I heard last were, we are going to run back the beach and when you get to the pier you can leave or you can wait on your team mates, I was so close to speaking up and saying "Please do not wait for me.. this could take awhile"

I kept my mouth shut and figured they would all figure it out on their own and down the beach we started, all of a sudden I hit my groove, the calves, loosened up, and bless my little Dory heart I JUST KEPT RUNNING, all the way to the Pier. I honestly could not believe it, I made it back and my team was still there waiting and it was not 9 am like I thought it may be.

The Stingray's
We took a final photo and back to our cars we headed, well me to my house, I started walking towards home and I thought to myself... WHY are you walking you moron you just ran 2 miles down the beach I think you can handle the quarter mile home. And that is exactly what I did and how I ended the first 6 week of Bootcamp Plus.

This is exactly where I am getting ready to screw this whole thing up and forget people but special thanks needs to be given to the following people because without them during this journey I would never have made it to graduation again.

Matt, Jay, Adam, Christine, Jody - for coaching me and believing in me even when I didn't.
Daddy, Ed, Missy, Christen, Amanda - for being there for me,  believing in me, and encouraging me
Special Bootcampers - Amy, Brandi, Sandy, Melissa (both of you), Lori, Steve, Mike, Ilona, Terry, Todd, Kati, Alex, Lisa, Lindsey, Joan(oh good grief this could take FOREVER because right now there are roughly 150 people that would need to be listed so let me just say THANK YOU TO EVERY BOOTCAMPER!!)
And thank you too all of you have read the blog or facebook and left encouraging words, they mean so very much!

Stay tuned next week to hear all about the first week of Bootcamp Plus Round Two!
Much Love

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What can YOU do in FOUR Months?

Today I come to you with a challenge, a challenge to see how much you can change about your life in four months.

Four months ago was a cold rainy January Saturday.  I had told myself earlier in the week I would go by Knuckleup just intending to just check the gym out and see what this hoopla about Outer Banks Bootcamps was all about. Back up to the cold rainy part, when I got up it was a nasty nasty day and I decided I was not going out in the cold rain to look at any old gym I would just take a peek on Facebook and maybe I would go another time. So on the sofa I sat with Lifetime Movie channel already on..

Side Note: it was like 8 am anyone who knows anything about Lifetime Movie Channel knows if you turn it on during the day you will be sucked into it head first and you will NOT move another inch unless it is to get a snack.

... Laptop opened to Facebook and I decided now is a good a time as any to check out the gym, on Facebook, in my jammies, with my coffee, and my blankie. Imagine my surprise when I saw they were having an All Ladies Event THAT DAY! Imagine more of my surprise when one of the voices normally wandering around in my head told me to get off my fat butt and GO. I will admit that I didn't jump right up and go throw on my shoes, I had an internal argument with myself. Go.. NO.. GO.. NOT ON YOUR CHOCOLATE LOVING LIFE. Get. Up. And. Go.

As you all know the Go voice did win. I went, the first thing I walked into that morning was two incredibly energetic beautiful ladies who I shortly learned were, Amanda and Jordy. I had NO IDEA how much my life was about to change and how much of a part of that change both of these ladies would be. Then I met Matt and Morrison again two more players in my journey that at the time I thought were just plain old regular people. They aren't, all four of them are Super Hero's along with Adam, Jay, and Christine, at least they are to me.

Within an hour I had not only signed up as a member of the gym but also handed Matt the check for the Bootcamp Plus that began on March 27th. I figured if nothing else he had my money I would at least show up.

This is a photo of me that day.

This was my first Zumba class in OBX.
 Since that day just four short months ago I have done the following:
  • Ran 3 5k's
  • Ran 1 8k
  • Ran 1 10k
  • Ran a Half Marathon
  • Gone to countless Zumba and Kickboxing classes
  • Completed the Express Camp for the Half Marathon
  • Lost 25 lbs
  • Lost 3 almost 4 shirt sizes
  • Lost countless inches
  • Lost 4 pants sizes
  • Gained a healthier lifestyle
  • Gained respect of my friends and family
  • Gained friends of a lifetime
  • Had people BELIEVE in me.. truly BELIEVE in me. 
  • Gave up chocolate for 6 weeks
  • Done countless situps, pushups, jumping jacks and any other imaginable exercise. 
  • Dove into the ocean an untold number of times starting in MARCH. 
  • Shaved 8 Minutes and 33 seconds off of my total 5k time since March. 
  • Gone from a 14 minute pace to a under a 11 minute pace 
  • Above all of these things I !!!!
I am not about to ask you to do any of these things in the list above, that is my journey not yours. What I would like to ask you to do today is just decide to become a more healthier you. That is all I did that day four months ago and now look what I have accomplished. I am asking you simply to believe in yourself for 16 weeks, then look back and see what you have done. 

Day one to the day of the Half Marathon

Sunday with my friends at the Relay for Life Cupcake 5k
The pink shirt I had on the first day I went to the gym. The Red is my Bootcamp shirt I wear now. 

I took this photo yesterday in my new Outer Banks Bootcamps shirt for tomorrows Graduation, in my brilliant brain I was still and XL now I have a tech shirt that can double as a nightgown ;)

Tomorrow is the end of another leg of my journey, graduation day of the first bootcamp I signed up for. I know a lot of people would probably be writing a blog post about all the things they are planning to do in the next four months. Not this girl! After being on this adventure for the last four and not knowing where it was going and what I was going to be doing, I have learned...  I LOVE THE THRILL OF THE SURPRISE! 

There is just a few things I already know about the months ahead:
  1. I can't wait. 
  2. I will not give up. 
  3. I will believe in myself.
  4. I will continue with Zumba and Kickboxing (with a desire to become a trainer, there is it public now it has to happen)
  5. I will be standing in formation on Monday morning with the Stingray's 
  6. (and above all again)  I WILL
I can't wait to hear about how you changed your life on September 22nd!

Much Love,
PS (edit) Before you start thinking... "But that was you and you probably could do half of that when you started in January." On day one I could only do 1 push up, 3 sit ups, and could only run 30 seconds straight without thinking I was going to die, so don't tell me you can't!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Our Flag. Photo by Christine Flip Flop by Re (yes I have OCD)

Today was one of the hardest work outs I have encountered at Outer Banks Bootcamps to date!

It was also the most amazing and enlightening day EVER! 

I know you are sitting there thinking how in the world could it have been the hardest and the best. Well I suppose that is where my brain is these days, the harder the better. Even better yet, not once today was I the "weak link" nor did I ever feel like I was being left behind or weighing the team down.  I left that beach today feeling completely exhausted and elated! Why? Because not only was I not the "weak link" NO ONE was!! Today we fell completely together as a team. We were there for each other with short words of encouragement, a little extra tug on the rope, a hand when doing sit ups in the surf, a high five on the run to the pier and back. Today we weren't A Stingray we were THE Stingray's.

On Wednesday we graduate, we will be together for one last run, 5 and half weeks ago I may have been worried that I was going to be in the back, or I couldn't keep up, or that someone would think I was holding the team back (ok ok I thought that a little bit LAST week) but as I am sitting here typing this I know that even if I am in the back (not that I plan to be Matt) that it is ok. I am growing and learning and becoming healthier and stronger with each and ever step I make. And while we aren't out there to win any races... yet... we are out there to finish strong and as a team.

To my coaches of the last 6 weeks, Matt, Adam, Christine and Jay,  you have my utmost respect and admiration for the time and effort you have placed in each of us with asking only for us to be determined and committed to succeed and to give you our best.

To my team mates The Stingray's thank you for supporting me, and each of our other team mates through the last 6 weeks there is not a single one of you that I would not call "friend" and trust with my entire being.
Stingrays! Photo by Christine

Yes this sap is sitting here crying while I type this, Kati said I was going to cry today, or that I might cry today, or maybe she said she was going to cry today, I think she meant out there with those logs but I didn't, she didn't, none of us did. We owned those logs. I think it was poor Brooke that ended up by me when we were doing the sit ups, (things happen so fast out there I tend to not really *see*) but having two non water people together doing sit ups in the pounding surf was quite funny but we never let go. None of us let go! We owned the surf sit ups too, even though at one point Adam yelled UP and the only thing up was my two feet straight in the air. (I wish Christine had a camera for that one)

At the end of the morning we stood side by side for one final beach front speech from our General and with my arm around Ilona and the rest of the team gathered around I knew my wish was for us all to be right there together next Monday side by side ready to become an even stronger unit. The stronger we become together the more of an amazing individual we will each be.

Much love and until Wednesday.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

My heart talks to me in a Dory voice, my brain doesn't.. my brain sounds more like Nemo's dad Marlin. My brain is always grumbling and telling me I can't or I will never be good enough or it hurts way too bad or I am fat or .. there are so many OR's that it is not even funny.  Very much like Marlin in the movie, everything was always gloom and doom.

My heart says just keep swimming, swimming, swimming or running, running, running or BREATHING BREATHING BREATHING. Whatever the occasion calls for. (recently at bootcamp it has required all of those and then some). My heart wants so badly to be more than I am, to not be the one in the back, to not be the one the rest of the team is constantly waiting on in push up position, to not be the one who's foot feels like glass just split the bottom of it open again and tries to get off of the shells... cont.

Side Bar on Foot:  it hasn't split open just truly felt that way, the only way I can describe what my foot feels like is in relation to a cavity, you know the one, the one that doesn't hurt then you eat some ice cream forgetting about it and next thing you know you are on your knees in tears.. yup that is my foot.

... my heart wants me to not be the biggest girl on my team, (yes I realized that I am today who doesn't realize that before now???), to not be the weakest link. So all of this begs to question, why am I still all of those things I do not want to be. I could blame it on being new to this, I could blame it on half a dozen things that I normally blame it on while out there in the sand, the truth is I don't think I am trying hard enough. When I am doing it and out there I THINK I am doing the best I can and complain and worry and cuss my way through the morning but when I get home and I sit down to work my first thought to myself recently has been "why didn't you try harder?" Maybe I need to try doing it all with a smile, and a pleasantry but come on when both of your calves feel like concrete do you feel like smiling???

Before I go any farther in this blog post, I want to say I am not writing a bit of this so you can tell me how great you think I have done and to stop being so hard on myself. I am not writing this as a complaint about what I am doing or as a complaint in regards to what my trainers and coaches ask of me every time I show up. I AM writing this because it is part of my journey and it is where I am right this minute and I NEED to be able to look back and see where I came from so that this journey I am on means more to me. I don't for the life of me think this journey would mean as much to me if it were all down hill, so while I LOVE what I am doing, I need to remember the not so great days, or weeks as it feels it has been right now, and I need to be open and honest with myself (and I guess now the websphere) in order to get PAST this speed bump. (oh the irony).

Today I made an effort to NOT be the last person on the rope and made attempts when I felt like falling behind on the rope to actually let go and move UP and not back. It worked, I never fell to the back on the rope today (with the exception of when I did let go trying to get out of the water I was yelled at and rightfully so.. I went back and grabbed the rope and still was not in the back so I guess that is something). Right now as I sit here typing this I can still hear The General yelling YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE WEAKEST LINK. No Sir I don't WANT to be but right now I feel like I am, there is no doubt that this feeling is caused not by the fact that I tried to get out of the water today but more because of life itself and 40 years of not really being a link in anything at all.

Isn't it funny while it seems that I am focusing on one aspect of my life with bootcamp and kickboxing it turns out that I am just working on life as a whole? Maybe that is part of what is .. owning the WHOLE THING. Not just the 75 minutes spent with the team, not just the 60 minutes spent at kickboxing, not just the Friday or Sunday runs, not just the 5ks, 10ks, 8ks HALF MARATHONS, or Tri's we sign up for but each and every moment in between as well. Making ourselves healthy physically and mentally.

So in closing today I will say maybe I didn't physically leave it all on the beach this morning, but I left all of me that I have right here in words, words to grow by. So until next time when I vow to try harder, stronger and better...

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Are you ready for a war?"

So I fibbed a bit.. this next post is not about Jockey's Ridge it's about Braveheart. Yes you heard me right it is about that 90's movie that every time it is on the TV you get sucked in and you realize 3 hours later that you are still sitting there!

Last Wednesday "The General" Matt Costa announced "Monday is Braveheart day, you show up with some kind of blue on your face." That was it, that was all, no further instruction given. Shortly there after we get an email, all BCPlus teams, show up with your "War Face".  Over the course of the weekend I was asked by more than one, "Is he kidding?" by the end I wanted to just say I don't think Matt Costa kids. So I showed up like this:

Thankfully it wasn't a joke and more and more people fell in line with their beautiful war paint. Thanks to my gorgeous friend Lindsey I also donned a "Kilt" (mens plaid boxers but they did the trick).

I also couldn't just let it go with facepaint and did my nails to match:

Last night as I reflected on what was being asked of us the next day and tried to guess what new and exciting adventure would fall before me, I decided to keep a quote in my head from the movie.

"Every man dies, not every man really lives." ~ William Wallace

I have chosen to live, to REALLY live, to make every moment count (even the moment I have to fall out of line to puke.. yes I did and then I felt better so it was worth it). I caught back up to the group eventually and started doing the ball toss squat exercise, next thing I know ball goes flying by me into the surf and I hear.. "ANN MARIE GO GET THE BALL!!" Oh dear I haven't played this game since I was 4. Off I trot after the ball and as soon as it get to where it is.. WAVE and there the ball goes.. CRAP! (yes I now look like an idiot) BUT WAIT I know what is going to happen next if it goes UP with the surf it MUST come back with the surf so my happy butt trotted up behind it and whalaa right in my hands it came! Woot!

Time to take off down the beach again (did I mention we were doing the running with a 60 foot rope?) I ended up in the back with the rope, my brain has not caught up with my commitment to not be last any longer apparently. Off we trot with me and a hunk of rope. Next stop, pair up in our little groups and it is thingiemajigger and ball toss, then I hear TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF.. QUICKLY OFF! Followed by Ann Marie.. move closer to the front.. Brain.. "HAHAHAH!" Me.." What, who, me??" Matt.. YES NOW GO. (oh boy) I went and was told to NOT fall behind again.. I seriously did the best I could, I know I did the best I could, but I did fall behind again, after repeated trip ups in the surf, and sand that just made my new skin on my foot feel like it was being eaten!

OK ENOUGH ENOUGH I am sure you are sick of the play by play by now so I will stop, here is the highlight reel.

Barefooted to Avalon Pier, in the ocean up to waist, fall down repeatedly, knock poor Kati into a wipe out as she is trying to help ME up, helped Kati up (its a good thing she loves me), rotten foot couldn't handle the surf, run parallel to group running in surf, feel like loser, make it to pier, hear a little story about a dead body that turned out to be a dead body, (think to self forget about foot at least you aren't dead) run down beach holding rope closer to the front, in the ocean swim out 10 strokes (for me it was only twice the 3rd time I got so tangled up in the surf it was a work out just to stand) run back down beach holding ball (in the back again) caught up to rope, did something don't remember what, picked up rope, got back to shoes put on shoes, now at front of the rope only one person in front of me.. woohoo!, run back to White St and maintain my position, start on White St and ask the gentlemen in front of me, if he minded swapping with me for a bit, I just wanted to see what it feels like to be in the front. LET ME TELL YOU IT FELT GREAT!

Thanks Christine Da Mosta for the photo!!!
All in all it was as GREAT morning.. even when we heard "Remember where there are dolphins (pointing to dolphins), there are shark... NOW GET IN THE WATER!!!"

William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... THE FRONT OF THE ROPE! (ok that was modified a bit)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Color Me Rad!!!

"The greater danger for most of us is not
that our aim is too high and we miss it,
but that it is too low and we reach it."
- Michelangelo

First I would like to say thank you to Miss Crigler for posting such inspirational little quotes each day. It never seems to fail to strike something as fitting in my life at the moment, usually relating to my journey with Outer Banks Bootcamps.

Now on to some colorful fun and a wonderful way to clean it up!

On Saturday I got to spend some time with two of best guys on this side of the Universe, which is always a joy in it self, but this was extra special cause we spent four hours building the outside shower here at my house! It turned out PERFECT, and exactly as I envisioned it. (Even if at first we all just kinda had different ideas of what it should be). I can't thank these guys enough, I am truly blessed to be able to call them both "Friend".

On Sunday I spent time with some of the bootcamp girls! Lisa, Amy, Brandi, Nora, Kati... oh there were more my brain just slips every now and then. We took a little road trip to Va Beach to go to the Color me Rad 5K in Va Beach. (I think the 5K part was a bit optional but who cares we had fun)

It was my first event back on my foot after the ouchie, and it was a good test as there was just as much walking as there was slow jogging. Footie held up perfectly by the way. I have to say that this event was the most fun I have ever had running, or walking, or doing anything exercise related for that matter. How can you not have fun when you are running around looking like a Rainbow Bright Reject! I am sure I am making zero sense, so it may be best just to focus on the photos instead of my words today.

At the start... we were so clean!!!
War Paint!!!
Our finish.. together! We weren't so clean any longer.
I think I smiled ALL DAY!!!!!
Even our numbers look awesome in color!

I am not sure what to even say.. but this was fun stuff!!!!
Awesome Shot! I am saving all my bibs and putting them in a photo album.

 I would like to give a HUGE shout out to Adam for taking all of these photos! He spent he's day off running around, literally, running around us so he could get in front of us to grab the next shot. Also, thank you to Brandi and Adam for the ride and the fun to and fro!!!!

Can't wait for the next one!!!!

PS. Tomorrow's post all about how I tracked running up, down, around, and everything else you can think of Jockey's Ridge!

Have a colorful day!!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

52 Pick Up Bootcamp Style!

Yesterday was, thankfully, finally, my first day back at Bootcamp since my little boo boo (aka as the foot nearly rotting off). I have to say it was beyond wonderful!

We played a great little hand of 52 pick up Boot Camp style! Coaches Jay Bowman, Jody Long, Adam Swansen and Christine Da Mosta all gathered us around in a big circle on the sand and one by one a card was drawn out of a deck of cards hidden in a hole in the sand to prevent card fly awayage. We were to do the exercise associated with suit the number of times the card indicated with the exception of 2's (wild cards) 7's (break cards) and face cards (get your head wet I don't care HOW just get your head wet cards).

46 bicep curls, 46 tricep kickback, 46 flies, 46 burpees, 1 badly attempted head stand in the ocean ending in a snoot full of sand and water, 11 head first dives in the ocean, 4 Wild Cards, 4 30 second breaks (some how I missed out on two of those four lol), one side bar with the wonderful Coach Jody, a set of 5lb weights buried in the sand (which I finally found), light jog to and from the beach, and a couple of jogs to a house or two on the beach, I mean WHO WOULDN'T be happy to be back to all of that! I know I was and it appeared from facebook postings as the day went on all involved enjoyed.

I did realize last night while discussing the fun of the morning with a couple of the bestie's Amanda and Alison (yes we are a triple A force to be dealt with when we are together) that unless you are standing right beside me at bootcamp, or if you are a one of a select few I have NO IDEA if you are there or not. Isn't that strange, because there is not a person in the group that I wouldn't call "friend" or wouldn't help out if needed. I am just that focused. Of course I have some I speak to when I get there and I KNOW they are there but during the work out, unless you are right beside me, (like my dear friend and partner in comiserating was yesterday) I don't know how you did, what you did, or even if you did at all.

So more than likely no one notices when I do silly stuff either (unless you happen to have a camera on me.. errrhmmm) such as attempted head stand that end up looking more like just being on all fours in the ocean, or shirts that fly up over my head, or a side step over 10 paces cause you lose your footing when running the sand. There have been moments that I have held back out of fear of doing something incredibly stupid and having people just laugh at me cause I look so crazy, so this realization is a wonderful thing I will no longer hold back out of fear of looking silly cause the chances are that NO ONE sees me either!

At the end of the morning we were all standing under a beautiful sunrise having left as much of ourselves on the beach as we could give and being handed cards to remind us of this day, the beauty of where we live, to exercise a little harder, to eat a little cleaner (heavens I teared up a little as I wrote this sentence). I was handed the Queen of Diamonds, to which some stated that every time I looked at it I would need to head to the water, I won't hesitate as being close to the water seems to be the only place I feel at peace. I will admit that was not the first thought when I was handed the card, in my head I started to sing "don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy, she'll beat you if she's able" and considering my competitive nature it seemed incredibly fitting. I will own my Queen of Diamonds and it is placed so I can see it daily and be reminded of the place I belong. 

After completing my morning yesterday and heading back to kickboxing at noon, my fears of the last 2 weeks subsided. I have been in overwhelming fear that when I went back that things would be different, that I would no longer be part of the group, that I would no longer fit in, that I would no longer belong, all those fears seem silly now as everything was as wonderful as it always has been. In the next week or so I have a decision to make in regards to my next Bootcamp, I am already leaning one way but will take the time to really weigh the pros and cons of the situation. It is not a matter of where I fit cause I can fit in both camps but I need to weigh where my heart belongs and where I will feel most pushed and supported. Either way I will perform my best and leave as much of myself on the sand, the dirt, the asphalt as I have to give! 

Much Love to you all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Sunny Disposition

"I have learned that the greater part of
our misery or unhappiness is
determined not by our circumstance
but by our disposition."
- Martha Washington
Do I realize at this moment that half of my readers are my family and are are dying laughing at the thought I may have a "sunny disposition"?? Yes. Do I think it is funny they are laughing at me? Sure why not? Being a "Sunny" kinda person has never been my strong suit. I have always maintained a "screw the world" attitude (Sorry Aunt Ann but you know it is true) about pretty much everything in my life. I was also an amazingly unhappy person with no true direction, goals, or path in life. 
I tried a little bit of everything to fit in, marriage, friendships, jobs, being part of the family, divorce, changing jobs, not being part of the family, drinking, not drinking, partying, staying home... you get the picture. The problem was nothing quite clicked and for years I blamed everything but the truth. The truth happens to be that if your attitude sucks everything you do is going to suck, and while you may have tiny successes they won't matter near as much or have much of an impact on your life as whole. 
For me part of the attitude came from never being able to measure up to other peoples expectations of me and what they thought I should be. It is a very fine line between trying to be yourself and hating yourself for not being what others want, a very fine line indeed, and wavering on that line for extended periods can in fact cause a "screw the world" attitude instead of a "sunny disposition".  I was 40 before I finally jumped completely off that line and decided that trying to be something I wasn't or could never be would never lead to any kind of happiness. 
So you can imagine my surprise when I just decided to be me and be happy with me and who I was, how much nearly everything in my life changed. I live in a wonderful place, have some of the most amazing friends, family members who are actually PROUD of me, I have been called an inspiration, the list goes on. All of these things were  sparked by my desire to change my own disposition and my own thoughts. Sure there are times I slip backwards and I am a grump or get a little more down about things than I should, but this is just another part of my journey. 
I will continue to make people proud, I will continue to be an inspiration to anyone I can, I will continue to be a good and caring person, I will learn to take all things in stride and with a good and happy disposition. This is life, there are bumps, bruises and blisters, God never said life would be easy, he just said he would get us through it, and that is a faith I will stand on. 
So where am I going with all this, if you are having a bad day, if something has got you down, try facing it off with a "Sunny Disposition" and see where it will get ya. I mean really what do you have to lose????

Much Love, 
Still a Flopping Flounder

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Well... this is different!

First and foremost I received my official time yesterday from the half marathon. Apparently there was a computer glitch and it wiped out some of our times when we finished, I of course was one of those people. In light of the glitch I did receive a photo of myself crossing the finish line, I will warn you it is not a "pretty" picture but really would yours be so glamourous if you had just run 13.1 miles in less than 3 hours in the pouring rain??? I am gonna take a bet and say no.
Cool note about the pic, the girl in the visor and the guy in the orange smiling are my friends Amanda and Randolph cheering me on to the finish!

My goal time for this race was 3 hours and 30 minutes, by the time I got to the race I decided that was going to remain my goal time because that is what I had set, well that and not to crawl. Somewhere a long the way I must have had it in my head I wanted it to be under 3 hours, because that is all I focused on at the finish was the clock saying 3:04 something and really wanting it to be under 3 hours chip time. It was for that I am proud. I mean really I finished a half marathon with a slightly better mile time than I did the 10K with a rotting foot!

Ok it isn't really ROTTING it just feels ROTTEN. I have been going to the Doctor since last Thursday because well lets just say the foot looked horrible (you don't want the details trust me). I am taking meds, have had more shots in the last few weeks than since I was 5 and going to kindergarten, have soaked, cleaned, wrapped, you name it I have done it to get this thing better, having told you all of that so you won't yell at me (because I have been fussed at enough trust me), when the culture thing came back at the lab it showed I had a "heavy staph" infection. There is a good chance that some of you are now wincing or gagging a little, but the truth is when she told me I had a staph infection I shrugged my shoulders and said," Ok but it looks better when can I go back to Bootcamp?"

The good Dr Donna sighed audibly and said "Go back Wednesday if you PROMISE not to do ANYTHING (I didn't realize that by "not do anything" meant I wasn't supposed to be working either but apparently it does) until then, you don't push yourself to the front of the pack, you don't take off running, you come home and clean it out REALLY REALLY good, and you take another round of antibiotics (that make me feel like crap so I thought). I was so excited to be able to go back to Bootcamp and working out that I just totally agreed to all of her conditions. Figuring I would not abide by any of them if I was not accountable to someone, anyone, all of the bootcampers, I came home and promptly posted all of that on Facebook with a big huge "WAAAAHOOOO I can come back!"

See this is what is different (hence my title.. don't you love it when you figure out the title Partner), 4 months ago I would have been saying "WAAAAAHOOOO She told me not to do anything!!!" now I am like completely and totally bummed out! I feel like I am missing so much and that each day I miss I am falling back at least a week from where I was in my journey, that when I return I will only be able to run a minute, not 13 miles, that I will only be able to do 1 situp, not 50, that after 10 squats my knees are in such pain I cry, that I can't do real jumping jacks at all, that I will only be able to do a right round house 6 inches up, that my left hook will look more like a girlie slap.  I worked so incredibly hard to get to where I am, in what I have been told was an amazing time frame, and now because of one little blister (yes that is what it started out as) I am sitting on my rear end eating bon bons (not really eating bon bons thanks to the antibiotic kicking in I have no real appetite at all).

Anyhoo, back to the facebook posting, little did I know that a Staph infection is actually not like say an Ear infection, where you take antibiotics and it goes away, you go about your normal life in like 24 hours. Nope not me, I have to go all out and get some kind of crazy infection that can kill you. SIGH! I suppose if it hadn't been for some great friends and bootcampers I would be out there Wednesday trying my damnest to get through bootcamp, risking just getting sicker. So rest assured I have been told not to show up.. PERIOD, so I am not. I have also been told to cut my foot off, but I don't feel that is a good option for me. After some serious "talking to's" and a few really scary posts I finally googled Staph and sure enough this is some bad stuff!!!

So for now I am going to have to sit on the side lines and watch as my friends and bootcamp family start a new journey in Bootcamps or continue their journey in my camp. I read on facebook this morning that all the groups have been given names "Wahoo, Stingray (I think this is was mine), Jellyfish, and Bluefin" because I just want to be part of everything so bad I kinda made up my own little group "Beached Whale" which I was promptly told NO! and to NEVER use Whale to describe myself again! Thanks to my dear friend Mike,  I will be the "Flopping Flounder" until I can rejoin my team as the Crabcake.

Signing off to go rest (aka take another work call)
Much Love
The Flopping Flounder