Category Archives: running

I keep on dancing.

When I arrived back in the US, I began eating everything!  I was eating full meals 5-6 times a day.  I have been eating steak, burgers, bacon, burritos, chile, cakes, chocolate, real – delicious – amazing – wonderful FOOD. 

I finally weigh a healthy weight of 123 pounds!!  120 is the lowest number I should be at, so I’m grateful to finally have crossed it.  6 weeks of stuffing myself like a pig getting ready for Christmas and I’m finally there! Thank you mama for being such an amazing cook. 

Now, it is time to start getting my healthy weight into a healthy state.

While I’ve got a few things burning on the back burner, up front I’m recovering by restoring myself to general health.  It feels good. 

As a former personal trainer,  you would think I could train myself, yes?  

I can, but we all need external motivation to get started.  I don’t care who you are.  If you are having to start over from square one, it is infinitely more difficult to do it on merely your own will power.  I thought, ok, now that I’m back in the world of way too much, I’ll use my smartphone and give myself a little boost with one of these new-fangled apps.

I found about a million different exercise and fitness apps when I searched.   Aye, how is a girl supposed to know which one?


Mouth curled in, head turned, eyes squinting, fingers typing anyway. I admit, I am not, so far, very good at finishing my challenges.    I am working on it already….  It’s a challenge. 

For 3 weeks I am going to try 6 apps.  Then I’ll try a different set for 3 weeks.  I’m only committing to twice for now.  Trying to keep it real here.

But I’m going to post my thoughts and progress about the apps I try. 

Nope, I am not turning into a fitness blog.  It’s still my life.  I try to be fit amongst all the other things I do. 

OK you ready?   Here are the apps I’m trying for the next 3 weeks.



S Health came with my Samsung super phone, so it seems right to check it out first.  My phone has a heart rate sensor!   Who the freak knew?  I didn’t when I bought it, but hey, I’m psyched about it now!  It uses the GPS, the heart rate monitor and who knows whatever other cool gadgets are in there to track my steps, knows when I’m running vs. walking, and keeps me posted on my heart rate.

I need to be more active apparently.  I started it this morning with my little walk/run.  But I know I’m starting easy, so I’m ok with the 20% of daily activity.  Besides it’s only noon.


This is the 7 Minute Workout, by Abishkking.  It has a calendar, a classic (full body) workout option, an ab workout option, and a soon to come butt workout option.  I looked at the 13 exercises listed, jumping jacks, wall sit, push ups, crunches, step ups, squats, tricep dips, plank, high knees, lunges, push up with alternating rotations, and side plank, and think, this might just be pretty good. 

I can set up reminders throughout the day as I choose.  I decided each morning, post run. 


Each of these apps, by NorthPark.Android, create a program based on where you start.  I haven’t started yet, so I can’t tell you what my program is…   But I got a pretty good laugh when I realized that my push up trainer expects me to touch my phone with my nose or chin to count how many I’ve done.  Hehe  that makes me giggle for some reason. 

These I’m going to do in the evening to keep life rounded out ‘round here.


Water Your Body is also by NorthPark.Android

This one asks my weight and sets a goal for how much I should drink each day.  It let me set the perimeters for when to start and stop each day and the increments of water.  I chose 5am to 7pm and 9 oz glasses.  It says it only gives me a reminder if I haven’t checked in that I’ve drunk enough water.  

Seems like it might be labor intensive with keeping up, but, we’ll see.  I foresee a lot of toilet visits in the next couple weeks.   I know it only takes a little while to get used to it, but, in the meantime, I’ll keep the tp in plentiful supply.  Smile

Nothing keeps me down too long.  There are some interesting things coming up in my future.  Lots of changes happening slowly.  I’m grateful all the time for how lucky I am.  Life keeps me on my toes.

So I keep on dancing. 

I love the music of life. 


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Whoever invented heels should be shot

Whoever invented heels should be shot

Seriously, we need to invent a time machine and just take that guy out.

I have no facts to base my assumption on, but I am seriously serious when I think it must have been a guy that invented these stupid things and the idea that we girls can only look good – in them.

I hate them.

(Not really, just go with it for rant’s sake)

Let’s take the space your toes should take up, decrease it by 50%, make it pointy, squeeze your toes into that space like the Lotus Feet of the Chinese women, then increase the height of your heel so that all your weight is going into that tiny space.

Totally logical.


Walk bitches.

That’s right, stay upright, move gracefully, and walk like you mean it.  You own the place now that you’ve got your feet constricted, your center of balance off, and 1/4 cm of surface area to keep it together on.

Even better!   Run in them.  Oh yes, we look so good as we elegantly run after something while wearing the baubled, knotted, wrapped, spike heeled shoes of awesomeness!


He was a real bastard.

Best of all, if you’re going to wear them at school, while standing all day teaching young ones, feel free to get your feet stepped on by a running child while bound into these blasted things.

In case I didn’t mention it……  I got my toe broken today.

Heels can bite me.

And that dude, better be on his guard when I meet him in the afterlife!


But really I kind of like them, just not today.







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41 things to do before you’re 41

First a little rant

There’s been a lot of craze about the 23 things to do except get married blog.  I have mixed feelings.

I started college after my children were older.  I have seen the countless girls that go to college to find a husband, with their degree being a secondary consideration, (though they will say and possibly believe otherwise).  There are astounding social boundaries put around these young high school and college girls to marry right away.

I think the blog was written with a need to break free, by someone trying to let loose of boundaries that are far more commonplace than we’d like to acknowledge.

That’s fair.

I also think it was written with a little too much severity towards those that choose to get married earlier in life rather than later.  It’s true you shouldn’t do it just because it’s the norm, just because there’s pressure in the ideal that you’re only whole when you’re with someone. 

That does NOT mean that there is an age boundary in which to or not to get married exists.  Marriage should be about love, commitment, and hope.  

I know lots of women that have married at a young age and have been happily married for decades.  I know young women now that truly have found someone special and perfect for them and they are happy.  They didn’t choose to get married because of societal pressures.  And that’s also fair.

My list will not include marriage at all, because hopefully along the way, each of us will find that someone, and whether or not it’s our choice to create a (joyous) legally binding contract with them, is a matter of personal taste.

And Now for My List

And so, at 41, this list includes things I wish I had done, things I have done and hope that everyone does, and things that just belong on the list.

1)   Stop worrying about what others say or do.  

If you can end each day able to say you did your best with what you knew and what you had, then nothing anybody says or does changes that.  It’s none of your business, even if they are trying to make your business their business, it’s their enterprise in futility unless you engage.  So don’t.

2)   Find a hobby.

Or three.  Do something on a regular basis that just makes your soul sing.  I love to make art.  I don’t do it nearly enough.  But when I do, it’s like something else takes over me and I sit back and enjoy watching my soul dance to the song that plays in the background.  Find that something and do it, often.

3)    Grow a plant.

There is one kind of plant that will grow for you.  As a general brown thumb I know there are also lots of plants that won’t grow, but keep looking until you find that one that has the same rhythm as you, then talk to it every day.  Yep, it’s ok if you look stupid talking to your plant.  It will do you both good, so do it any way.

4)    Travel.

A)   It doesn’t have to be around the world.  I never realized until I started travelling out of the US, how few Americans travel within our country!  Or how many people I’ve met who have done little to no travelling inside their own countries!  Yes, it’s completely, totally, amazingly awesome to see other countries, but don’t let it stop you from seeing your own.   America is really a whole lot of little countries.  I’ve been to all 49 Continental states, and I can tell you from experience that no region is like another other than national pride stuff.

B)   Go to as many countries as you can.  When they say life changing, they are not kidding.  Do it.  Go somewhere at least once.  It’s worth the sacrifices to get there.

5)    Do something so outside of your comfort zone that the people you know and love would never believe it was you except you brought photographic evidence.

Take one giant leap out of your imposed boundaries.  And take pictures of all of it.  Then, try something else too.  Why stop at once?

6)    Believe in yourself.  Love yourself.

  • If even for just one day, every single time you hear those self-doubts creeping in – push them back and stand tall.  Believe in you.  It’s always amazing to me to find out how many people believe in me, but yet I still find it hard to believe in myself.  But I’m starting to.  And so should you.
  • Love yourself.  I feel as though this should have happened long before 41, so put this high on your list.  Look at and learn from, then let go of the negatives in your past.  Be who you are today with the understanding that it is what it is at this point.  Let yourself relish in all you’ve overcome and accomplished to be who you are today and then love yourself.

7)    Be a self promoter.

Maybe not the pushy lobbyist type, but when you talk to yourself or to others, talk about your good points.  Leave your bad points out of general conversation.  Accept compliments graciously and give them freely.  Don’t talk bad about others because it makes you look bad.  Self-promote your positivity and positive will float back to you.

8)    Don’t hunt for your special someone.

It really is true that love comes along when you least expect it.  So stop looking, wishing, waiting etc.  Just live your great life and one day BAM.  My BAM hasn’t happened yet, and I’m 41.  But I’m not out there with my love harpoon; I’m just living my life. I have shared and learned about love along the way.  And I am learning to love me.

(*if you already have a special someone, you can hunt for them.  Hunt for their dinner, hunt for their socks, or make them dress up and then hunt them down, that’s ok)

9)    Complete a 30 day challenge.

It doesn’t matter what your choice of challenge is, but complete a full 30 day, every day, challenge that pushes you out of your comfortable zone.  It doesn’t have to push you out of your comfort zone, but at least your comfortable zone.  Ie, reading a poem everyday isn’t out of my comfort zone, but it’s not something I’m used to so it would be out of my comfortable zone, whereas making my bed every morning is well within my comfort and comfortable zone, I just don’t always do it.  Be courageous, pull up your gumption, exercise your will power for 30 days.  Then see how much easier it can be to take on the little tasks of life!

10)    Go to college.

You don’t have to take on a full degree program if you can’t afford it, but take a class every year.  Even if it’s a how to fix stuff around your house class.  Keep learning and interacting with other learners.  It’s important. Just do it.

11)    Read Les Miserables.

Don’t just watch the movies or see the musical; read the book.  It will change your life, you will be amazed.  Yes, the first 200 pages are kind of long and slow, and will make you want to abandon the mission.  But I promise it’s a worthwhile understanding of the characters as they transition into the rest of the story.  Even if it takes you a year to read it.  Read it.

12)   Learn how to ride a scooter, motorbike, motorcycle, etc.

It’s so cool.  It’s fun.  It’s energy efficient.  It’s fun.  And it will help you empathize and be more aware of cyclists on the road.  Did I mention a cool and fun it is??

13)   Be involved in a child’s life for at least one school year.

School is tough.  Give your time to help a child or children get through a school year the most successful they can be.  The reward is priceless.

14)   Get to know a teacher.

If you are not a teacher, get to know one.   Be their friend, listen to their stories.  I would personally suggest not having this be your child’s teacher if you are a parent.  But get to know a teacher and see all that is involved.  Appreciate everything that teachers put into teaching.

15)   Dance.

Just do it.  It doesn’t matter if you’re good or have rhythm, just get out on a dance floor and dance.  If you’re a guy, I sincerely promise that a girl will not care about the moves as much as she will appreciate that you got out there and danced with her.  If you’re a girl, think less, feel more and just dance.

16)   Know how money works. 

Understand what it is and how credit works for and against you.  Figure out how to live within your means.  Appreciate the work involved in making money, and how it depreciates as soon as something is purchased.  Be wise in your purchases.  Understand money.

17)    Wear color.

Put a splash of color in your outfits.  Be bold, love it.  Wear a crazy color and don’t give a rat’s ass what anybody thinks.  You’ll be surprised at how many compliments you get.

18)   Walk around naked. 

I was in my thirties before I felt comfortable walking around naked outside of my bathroom.  I’m not necessarily saying become a nudist, do that if you want to, but be comfortable in your skin.  If you have to make sure all your curtains are closed first, do that, but take command of your home commando style.  It is liberating. 

19)   Make a collaborative art piece.  

Find some people willing to sit down for an hour and take turns putting something new into the piece.  Let each of your own creative inspirations fall onto the same place and see what comes out.  It’s a magical experience.

20) Learn how to do basic car maintenance.

It’s not just a car guy thing, it’s a driver thing.  Know your vehicle, what it sounds like, what it feels like when it’s running well so that you  know when it’s not.  Know how to check your oil and what different colors mean.  Learn where all the basic engine parts are, what they are, and what they do.  Learn how to change a tire, a spark plug and when it needs to go to a mechanic.

21)   Play lots of board and card games.

They’re FUN.  Have fun, play for fun, enjoy the time with the people you play with.  Bring one with you when you travel.  They are great time consumers that keep you interacting with people.  Heck, invite random airport strangers to a game of go fish.

22)   Get to know your neighbors.

Have block parties and bbq’s.  Invite them for dinner or drinks.  My neighbors throughout my life have been such a blessing.  We look out for each other, burglars beware.  Take them a little plate of something and introduce yourself.  We’ve lost a lot of community by not asking for that proverbial cup of sugar.  So go ask for it.

23)   Love the holiday, not the commercialism.

No matter what the holiday is, be about the holiday.  I have spent too much time forgetting about many holidays as I let my bitter emotions get in the way.  Get the stuff you want, when you want, not when the stores dictate.  Give homemade stuff, be with the people, live in the moment of it all.

24)   Be in a theater production.  

Be a tree if that’s all your comfort level can handle, but go be part of a production.  It’s an amazing feeling.  Theater people are amazing people.  Don’t blame me if you start making a habit of it!

25)   Move house at least once.  

It really helps you see how much unnecessary stuff we can accumulate just by being stationary.  At the very, very least, pack up like you were moving and change something in your house.  Make it necessary to box up your life, then make sure you keep what’s necessary, and start sorting through what’s not.

26)  Have an emergency plan and bag.

It may sound crazy but, emergencies by definition rarely have a time frame to prepare for it in.  So be prepared before hand.  How prepared is up to you, a full year of survival food, water, clothing, first aid, etc.;  or a few days worth of basic minimum’s.  Make sure the people you will want to know where they are, know where to look for or find you too.  Nothing makes an emergency more difficult than the fear of not knowing the whereabouts of the people you love.

27)   Climb a tree.

You can hug it once you’re there if you want to, but just find the joy that we used to know and climb a tree.  If you can’t right now, do what it takes to get able to, because it’s just a fun thing to do and you will be so happy.

28)   Make a bucket list.  

Watch the movie, check out The Buried Life guys, and make your own list.  Then look at it every day.  Remind yourself that you have goals so that you can live today in preparation for them.

29)   Kill a mosquito.

Ok this may not sound like the best idea, but it will make me personally really REALLY happy.  Just squash one for me.

30)   Get your face painted.

Just do it, it’s fun, and as an adult you can appreciate how nice a brush feels against your skin in a way you never could as a kid.

31)   Try really hard to learn a new language.

As a still monolingual language learner myself, I am not going to say you have to learn it in order to gain the experience, but try as hard as you can.  It’s so cool to communicate with a stranger in a different language.

32)   Make a silly, just for tonight, bucket list.

I think you can also call it a scavenger hunt or any number of things, but get some friends to help you make a list of some silly things you have to do, get a picture of you doing it, or a signature, or something to show you accomplished it.  IT IS SO MUCH FUN.

33)   Write a blog.

It’s kind of cool to see that people you couldn’t possibly know are reading your thoughts.  Mine started out as a way to keep family and friends, that refused to use facebook, up to date with the happenings of my life.  But it’s become a thing I just do now, just because it feels good to do.  And who knows?  Maybe, you’ll be the next super blogger!

34)   Make your bed first thing every morning.

If the bed is made, even the messiest rooms look better.  And clean rooms look messy if the bed isn’t made.  It gives a sense of accomplishment to the start of the day.  I mean, you’ve barely gotten out of bed and VOILA, instant success.  Who doesn’t want to start their day that way?

35)   Literally laugh out loud.

Don’t hold back, don’t just giggle, laugh.  For that matter, cry out loud, feel peace out loud, be anxious out loud, express yourself.

36)   Have a heart to heart with people at least a decade younger and older than you for the purpose of hearing their story.

Listen, ask questions, be a receiver, a learner.  None of us know any more truth than what we’ve learned, and there is SO MUCH MORE out there to learn!  Take relationship advice from the younger generations as well as the older generations.  Find out about political views and dance moves.  Vast stores of wonderful thought is out there, be open to it.

37)   Participate in an activity that makes you the master of your body.

Join a sports team, start cycling, train for a marathon, learn how to swim, sign up for an amateur body building competition, start a fitness video challenge, but get out there and discover your weaknesses and strengths.  You’ll find you can do so much more than you thought!

38)   Volunteer.

Help those less fortunate, even if you are in unfortunate circumstances yourself.  There is always a way you can help someone, even if you need help.   Trade services with someone, join a soup kitchen for a month, mow your neighbors lawn for no reason, check with a religious institution if there is any need you can fulfill, read aloud at a local childrens’ library or retirement home.  Be a positive force and positivity will find you.

39)   Have someone else wash your hair.

OH MY GOD does it feel good to have your hair washed for you.  It’s most awesome if you’re both in the shower, just saying, but if right now, the best you got is the local hair dresser, well, honey, pay the $10 bucks and ask for a 15 minute shampooing.

40)   Learn about the sky.

The clouds, the moon, the stars, they are our history, our present, and our future all wrapped in one beautiful eyeful.  You can be just as good a predictor of the weather as any TV weather man with very simple knowledge.  It’s amazing to just watch the clouds, but to have enough knowledge about them to truly be wowed by how remarkable they are is a feeling that is indescribable.

41)   Run/ Walk a marathon.

I haven’t done this yet, but I want to.  So, I can’t give a lot of insight, except it seems to be one of the most commonly suggested things by people I’ve asked what they would put on a list like this.

Bonus)   Hug and Kiss the people you love more.

Be affectionate and caring and say you love them.  It’s funny how living abroad everybody does the cheek kissing.  And it’s wonderful how much of a bond you make with people because they are open, hug and kissy friends.  If you’re one of my friends back home, be prepared, I hug and kiss a lot more now and I LOVE it.

There it is, my list of 41 things to do before 41.  I hope you do them all.  Peace and Love to each of you!







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Bangers for Breakfast

I’m wishing I had been able to get my Wicked Tinkers CS’s downloaded before I left.   Missing my bagpipes today.  Weird, but true.

I accomplished a few firsts this last week!

First week since my fall that I’ve been able to go to the gym 4 days in a week.

First time since the fall, that I did weighted squats WITH the squat bar!!!  Heck yeah!

First time I ran past my goal time without even realizing I had, until I looked down, and I had past by 5 min already and I wasn’t even really ready to stop!!

First time I drove the scooter outside of my little area here…  AND drove it all over northwestern Taiwan in search of a beach.  I may not have found a beach yet, but I can add a lot of scooter time and sight seeing onto my “ta done” list.

First time I killed a freshly satisfied mosquito that was INSIDE my mosquito net.  sigh.

First time I made plans to go to a Latin Carnival!!

First time since I’ve been here that I can share the newness of it all with someone thanks to my new friend Jennifer.  It really does make such a huge difference.

I didn’t have bangers for breakfast this morning, but, maybe I can find The Wicked Tinkers online and listen to some amazing bagpipe and didgeridoo, feel good, toe tapping, awesomeness this evening.



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Going forward requires a look back

I am now part of the Blog Expat community.  I decided to go back and look at some of my past blogs to see what the whole world may read rather than just my family and friends.  I found some funny stuff, some favorite posts, and did some reminiscing.

The first sentence in my first blog post clearly demonstrates how little I knew about what I was beginning.

Jan ’09  This is the beginning, as of today I am fully monolingual, by the end of the year I will be bilingual.

I’ve learned so much and so little since then!   I am NOT bilingual in anything.  I haven’t even gotten to a point of knowing enough of the Spanish, Czech, or Mandarin that I have needed to use, to actually communicate a thought with anyone.   I can repeat phrases, but I am afraid that if I say “Ni how ma?” to someone here, they will expect me to know more and start trying to have a conversation in which I will be able to answer with only the other phrases I know, “I’m full”, or “I’m hungry”.

I have a long way to go.

Or there’s this little tidbit

24Jan’09   It’s getting easier.  So there I am, listening to “Exercises on minimal stress contrast” or something, when I pick up my son from school.  -Now, here I should mention that my CD player is permanently stuck in random mode.  For the life of me I cannot listen to any CD from track 1 to track 2 to track 3 and so on.  I get track 7, then track 43, then track 2, then track 14.  This is *slightly* frustrating.   Enter my son, the CD is saying pronunciation drills in complete sentences.  (these are the drills I especially get stuck on because I haven’t learned all the tracks up to this point, at this point we’re on like track 42 and I just finished my third round of track 6 because random sometimes mean repeat)

Remember that I do not have any written words, I’m in my car, I don’t know  these words yet, and I hear,(I don’t know how to put the accents in, sorry) “Donde esta la Embajada Americana, ahi a la izquierda, perdon come dice usted, deme la pluma”  Right now I can write what I was hearing then because I have the book in front of me and I can look it up, but I didn’t then and each sentence rolled together like one long word.

I need to give tremendous kudos to the instruction I received at TEFL Worldwide Prague.  With the actual grammar I learned during this class, (not what I thought was grammar before this class), I have had a much easier time understanding how to begin learning Mandarin while I am here in Taiwan.  I am not sure if I’ll take actual classes, but I have been able to learn more Mandarin in my almost 2 weeks here, than I learned of Czech in my month in Prague.  I honestly wish I could go take the class again.  I would be able to concentrate more completely on the how.  And, I miss the beauty of that city.  Taiwan has it’s own beauty, but Prague’s beauty is unmatchable.

I will always like my Are Mommies Super Heroes? post.  Try to hear the words in your mind as you read it….

27May’11  No Spanish for 2 weeks now, but it has been nice to have sporadic Spanish conversations with David and Thane at home.  Granted they are the kind of conversations that the average 2-year-old Puerto Rican would feel was childish, but still… we are trying to use it and that counts.   The other day my phone battery died and I said, “ahhh mi celular es muerto” ( which I’m not sure is exactly correct), and David says, “like battery dead or like no es bueno?”  to which I replied, “umm, either way, no es bueno….  but, just the battery”.

Of course some of my very favorite favorite posts are those dedicated to teaching Les Miserables to my 8th grade ESL class during my last semester of student teaching.

14Apr’12      22Apr’12       01May’12        24May’12         10Jun’12

And then a few others:

24Aug’12  Is an incomplete list of the many things I’ve been taught by friends.

19Sept’12  My life as an expat is beginning

01Nov’12  Day two of being in Taiwan.

Let me know what your favorites are 🙂


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The First 24 Hours


This is the most amazing experience and I have only just begun.   Here I am in Prague.

To set up The First 24 Hours: It is 2 days before I am set to leave, I have officially, finally, begun to pack.  I have suitcases everywhere, everything I own, everywhere.  The garage is full and a mess, Ed has just put even more of my stuff into his storage for me. (Thank you again Ed!!)  My entire wardrobe has been folded and laid out on the bed for me to look over and decide what not to take.  I can’t choose.  What if I need this?  What if I need that?  What if I get there and I need it and I don’t have it?  Why should I spend the money to buy something again if I already have it?  Is it better to ship it if I need it?  Buy it or bring it?  What if I don’t need it at all?

If I don’t need it at all there, did I need it at all here?  What does that say about my choices now?  Who am I really?  Am I just stuff?

Yes…. I was absolutely going through all this in my head while staring at my clothes, after having paid off David to take care of the stuff in the garage because it was too overwhelming to me.   I was finally having my panic moment.  But it wasn’t about leaving.  It wasn’t about whether or not I was going to be safe.  It was about what crap I should bring and what I could bear to part with.  How freaking ridiculous.


I brought it all.  Oh heaven to Betsy, I brought it all; 50 pounds in a large rolling suitcase, 46 pounds in an overstuffed backpack and 37 pounds in a smaller rolling suitcase.   The smaller suitcase was so loaded down that the one wheel broke at the first airport.  Uh huh, I had to carry that bag, while lugging the backpack through the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport – across 3 terminals and on the Sky Train.  Yes, it hurt. A lot.

But, let’s backtrack a little bit from that point to begin The First 24 hours.

After many non-graceful moments of packing, unpacking, repacking, and starting over again – I got everything that I could possibly fit into each bag,

obviously forgetting the important things in order to fit random stuff I might need in.

In a moment of sheer genius Jamie got me and David and my bags into her car and off to the airport EARLY.  Yes, you read that right, early.  I said I wanted to be there no later than 3:45 and we were there by 3:15.  Perfect.

Until the lady at the check-in counter asked who was flying because the ticket said Mari, but the passport I handed her with my driver’s license and flight information, was David’s.  Jamie is in fact a great friend, great friend because the second she heard the lady say it was David’s she was off and headed back to the house to grab mine – which was sitting safely where I thought David’s was supposed to be – no questions, no hesitations.  The Universe was watching out for me that day, because had we not been early I may have missed my flight altogether with that little fiasco.  Thank you again Jamie!!

Luck truly being on my side the flight was also delayed by almost an hour.  I was able to calmly sit in the terminal for about 50 minutes, exactly how long the flight had been delayed.

And so we meet up with where we were before – : too much luggage, one broken wheel and 3 terminals to go in order to make my connection flight to London, which was running early.   Again, fortune blessed me as I met a very nice man that was also headed to that connection AND most importantly knew where to go!  In the hustle and bustle of trying to get on the plane, I was forced (thankfully) to check my smaller suitcase with the broken wheel.  We were in such a hurry that I forgot that my boarding pass to the next flight was in it … along with all my medications, flight information, important phone numbers for the next couple stops, and the only outfit I had packed in case something happened to my checked luggage.

Never fear, I still had a 46 pound back pack full of useless stuff!  I would be fine 🙂

I have been so blessed through this whole adventure and I can honestly say I was equally as excited to meet up with Rodney and Lisa for a plate of fish and chips and a pint in London, as I was to get to Prague!!  And I was rewarded with a wonderful visit.  I will put pictures up here as soon as I can get my computer to recognize my phone as a device.

Rodney met me at the airport once I got the connecting flight boarding pass situation taken care of.  Gratefully, it was an easy fix and the rep was very kind.  I got through customs having had a pleasant conversation with the passport guy about who Rodney was and why he should seek out a show.  We got on the subway, aka The Tube, and headed for South Kensington where we met Lisa and the baby at the Natural History Museum.

After some more time on the Tube and some fast paced decisions in which I was a definitely a tourist with no idea, we found an authentic, fantastic, exactly what I was looking for English pub.  I ordered fish and chips and a pint of Guinness.  Ok, I know that Guinness is Irish, but it may be the closest I’m getting to Ireland for a little while yet.  Not a long while, but possibly a little while.  It was delicious and I enjoyed watching the little one poke around.  She has two great parents : )

Once I got back to the terminal, having ridden the Tube on my own this time (yes a little patting myself on the back for that one!) I went through customs in a breeze, showed them my new boarding pass, got onto the plane and promptly fell asleep.

I woke up to a pretty good Coronation Chicken sandwich and only 20 minutes to arrival!  Yeah 😀

And so much sinus pressure that I was not sure what the hell someone had done to me while I was asleep.  That’s what I get for going from mile high altitude to sea level altitude in just a few hours of pressurized cabin air…  One crazy cab ride later, a few HEY’s and hugs from the new roomie, an hour or so of slightly unpacking, eating a candy bar because everything else was closed, and taking a new kind of shower,

I went to sleep for 12.5 hours.



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Saturday was an amazing wonderful, fun, exhausting, and exhilarating day.  After not sleeping because of being so excited, I got out of bed at 5:00am ready to begin getting ready for The Color Run!!

Yes, I can officially take participating in a real race off of my Bucket List.  I am a Color Runner!  It’s pretty cool how not-difficult it was.  I have not done a 5k before because *first I thought it would be really hard and *then I thought it was going to be taxing on my neck.  Granted I power walked more than I ran (way more if truth be known), but I made it easily.  I can definitely see me doing this more often now.  I keep seeing new signs around town for various 5k’s and I think, oo I can do that one!

That is an awesome side effect of accomplishing a goal; the realization that I can do it again.  The fear of the unknown is taken away.   Taking my power back from fear helps me realize that I can do more than what I’ve already accomplished, more than what I’ve already dreamed of.

I got to the meet up location at Civic Plaza and waited for my teammates. Beth, Jamie and I make up Team Prismatic Accelerators, yes sir.   Once everyone had their t-shirts, number bibs, uber cool headbands, wristbands, etc – we put all the extra stuff in Beffer’s bag and headed to the start line.  There was an INCREDIBLE amount of people!!  5 city blocks 20 people wide!  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that many people in one spot before.  There were 15,000 registered when they closed online registration, with more people signing up that morning.   There were so many people that they had us start in waves.  The first wave of runners came through the finish line before we even got to start and we were somewhere in the middle of the pack.

I really liked how they had the route double back over itself.  I do not know if this is normal as I’ve never run one of these races before, but I really liked high fiving the people who were “in front of” me and then high fiving those that were “behind” me as I was doubling back.  It was pretty awesome!!  There is no doubt in my mind that this was indeed the most fun 5k on the planet.

After a nap and a little work and another nap, Jamie and I went out dancing.  I’ve been bugging for a month or so to go dancing, so I finally talked someone in to taking me.  THANKS JAMIE!  I danced my little patooty off for a couple hours and had just decided on one more song before leaving.  Right in the middle of the last song we were going to stay for, I was trampled on my some enormous drunk lout.  It is funny that with all the people in there it had to be the giant that decided to attempt removing my foot at the ankle with his awesome dance moves.  But, it is fine, no major harm done.  I am walking without issue.

I got TONS of work done on the still enormous amount of stuff to go through and sort out and pack away before leaving in 8 days.   8 days!!   AAAAAaaaaaGhhhhhhhh!   I’m so excited!!

I’ve been hitting the grammar books, doing some major brush ups.  Besides the packing, I’m ready.  Hold onto your pants, Prague.  I am a mere week away.


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The poop about running.

I now have a much better understanding of the “multiple health benefits” of running.  I’ve been running most mornings for the last week.  This is week 2, and I had my best run yet today.  Why, you ask, am I trying this running stuff again?  Do I not recall the disaster of the Arthritis run for David?

Yes, I remember, I remember that because I financially couldn’t afford the end trip I quit trying to make running part of my rehab.  Dang that’s sat in my head as a sore spot.  So, when I heard about a 5k coming up called The Color Run, I decided I have to do it.

It’s happening the last weekend before I leave for Prague, it raises money for the Ronald McDonald House, and I can finally check off having run in an event like this.   Kinda excited, not gonna lie.

So, Cori and I have been running through the neighborhoods and I have been able to increase how much I run vs walk each day.  Doing a 10 min forward standing bend afterward seems to be helping keep my neck in decent working order.   Let’s it decompress.   I have to make sure and do my strength exercises I got from my PT right after that though, because otherwise it seems to loosen my neck too much.  It’s all about finding balance.

We have a local park just a few blocks from the house, so today I ran to the park and all the way around it.  Then I walked around it, then I ran around it again and walked around it again.  I was so happy after the second time of running all the way around that I hardly remember the last walk around.

I feel like I might have been able to go around 2 more times, except for 2 things.

1)      I really don’t want to push myself too far.  Push, yes, too far, no.  And

2)      At about the 1.5 mile mark, I have to poo.

This has been true each time I have gone running.  Ok, so regularity is a health benefit.  It’s a good thing.  But how am I supposed to plan on running further than a few blocks from my house if I know that at a certain point, the poo is on its way?

I know we’re not supposed to talk about these things.  Pleasant company and all that, but in thinking about this I realized that a 5k is more than 1.5 miles and the whole race is a fair distance from my home.

Is it something I need to figure out how to work around or is it my body getting used to being jostled around in this way? Does this go away?  Obviously the need to poo doesn’t go away, but the need to at a specific point as I’m running, does that go away?


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