Day 15…Can I go home?

So here it is, day 15.  Here’s what’s happened today.

I am extremely passionate about Aurora Central.  It’s where I grew up, it’s the only school that I ever went to from start to finish.  Meaning from the beginning of high school through graduation.  It wasn’t always easy, but I did it.

There was a time that my family had to move way out to west Colfax.  We were living in a terrible little weekly rate motel.  I think it had to have been maybe my sophomore year?  Well anyway, we lived in this crappy little motel, that no longer stands right across the street from Casa Bonita.  Changing schools was not an option for me.  So every day I’d wake up early, really early to ride the #16 bus to transfer to the #15 bus to transfer to the #121 bus to school. It sucked. But, Central is home.

My senior year of high school, there was a familial shake up, I guess that’s what you can call it.  And for about three months? Maybe six? My sisters and I were placed into foster care.  There was a period where my “foster” parents (and social services) wanted to have me transfer from Central to Smoky Hill.  Simply wasn’t going to happen.  I’d ditch, I wouldn’t go…I was completely inflexible.  And because of Rodger Noell (my HS counselor) and Phyllis Starr (our HS nurse) I was able to continue and finish my senior year at Central.  Ms. Starr would pick me up, and Mr. Noell would get me back “home”.  I’ve never told them how incredibly grateful I am that they cared about me, and were able to see how important it was for me to be able to cling to that one area of consistency in my life.  ACHS.

Well here we are, and I’m still there.  We have a lot of work to do for Central, it’s been on a gradual decline since my days there.  Though there are still many amazing things that happen in those walls and those halls.  We have Daniels Scholars, Gates Scholars and young people who are doing amazing things inspite of the challenges they face.  I get it.  So today, I wrote to Dom Testa — he’s the CEO of the Big Brain Club here in Denver and shared a little of the ACHS story.  My hope, well, it’s just to get some good publicity happening for my school, make something happen, even if it’s for just one student.  I was that one student at one point.  I get it.  I think that’s why I get it.  Sometimes, all a person need is familiarity, consistency, a place to be home.

Aurora Central is home.



Oh yeah… man my hair is growing fast.

When in doubt…

blog.  Here’s what I love about blogging.  I have this space, this space right here that is mine, it’s for my thoughts, my feelings, observations, humor, sarcasm, it’s my forum.

I’ve started talking about my 40 of 40 with my clients today.  Particularly about the head shave.  Let’s be honest, it’s an area of concern for many.  What will people think?  Do I have….? Am I just going through my midlife crisis?  It doesn’t feel crisis to me, it feels liberating…welcoming and exciting.

So here’s what happened.  I was talking with a client and he totally didn’t get it. That somehow when I shave my head I’ll become less woman, less beautiful, less…I don’t know just less.  I almost felt we were speaking totally different languages, and perhaps that’s true, he’s male, I’m female.  Enough said right?

Long story short, he thinks it’s a BAD idea, and…was this okay with my husband?  Do I have his permission?  After the initial shock at the absolute audacity and might I add well…shallowness I thought a couple of things.  First, I don’t need anyone’s permission one way or another, this is my head, this is my life this is my 40 days of 40.  Next…while Eric isn’t crazy about my new hair do, I know he believes in me, and he is completely supporting something that is important to me that I believe in. This woman is fighting for her life, she doesn’t get to choose which if any, how much or how her hair will fall out.  It’s happening, without her ability to choose.  She isn’t going to be able to choose that her breast is going to be removed, for the sake of her life — it just will.  And so that started me thinking…just how much of being a woman we identify with our hair, our breasts, eyebrows, finger nails, pedicures, what we wear, how we wear it.  And really, what I’ve decided is being a woman is really much much more than ANY of that.  Women share an unspoken bond, an ability to empathize, sympathize, male bash when necessary…pick each other up when necessary.  We all answer turn our heads in the grocery story when we hear….”Mom!” We catch throw up, we make dinner, do laundry, go to work….we seem to all have the common ability to brush teeth and make lunches simultaneously. We share the ability to always find one more moment to do one more thing for those that we love.  

How lucky am I to be a card carrying member of the XX Chromosome club? Of the many many things I am, I am a woman and I am blessed.


Where do we find IT?

[moh-tuh-vey-shuhn] Show IPA

the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way: I don’t understand what her motivation was for quitting her job. Synonyms: motive, inspiration, inducement, cause, impetus.

the state or condition of being motivated: We know that these students have strong motivation to learn.

something that motivates; inducement; incentive: Clearly, the company’s long-term motivation is profit.

So here’s the thing, I’ve been on an up and down, in and out rollercoaster since really, since March. Over the past year or so I’ve made some incredible change to my being. How I think, how I act on what I think, what I do, how I live, breathe, eat, pretty much everything. It seems to be rolling back to my March injury and somehow that one event in my life seems to be putting an absolute strangle hold on EVERYTHING. I’ve had amazing support from a great group of friends, my family and a million other places and yet I am still on a daily struggle to find IT.

Motivation. But not just motivation…I am looking for that motivation, you know the one, it’s not just the ordinary get up and get ready for the day kind…it’s the kind that moves mountains! And I’ve lost mine. This weekend I went to see my friend/nutritionist/ass kicker extraordinaire Lauren (Fuel for Life) for those of you here in Denver…you should really check her out. And we spent a great deal of time talking about the goals. What are they? I’ve thought about it quite a bit this weekend. I think that my life is shifting and changing. I’m not sure where it’s all going to lead, that’s okay too, I am learning to dump EXPECTATION, it often disappoints when we miss the mark. But if I could sum it all up, the goal is to find that ass kicking, mountain moving, I can do ANYTHING ANYTIME kind of MOTIVATION.

So game on…again, this is a process isn’t it? There are good days, and there are some that maybe aren’t bad per se, but rather don’t hit the mark. I am on the search to have more of the good ones, by any means necessary, so if that means I need a little straight talk, then let’s have it.



So I’ve been nursing the injury. You know the Achilles pull from March? I ran fairly strong last week, seven miles. So the vote was in and it was time to press on to the Colfax Half Marathon today. I missed the Platter River Half with this injury and I wasn’t about to let it take me out again.

My son “ran” this with me. A Mother’s Day gift, looking back at it, if I had it to do over…I’d probably have him participate in a more obstacle sort of challenge. I think because I run a slower pace, it made it more difficult for Daniel. I run between an 11-12 mm which isn’t quite a walk for him, but it’s certainly not a run either. Well… that and that training wasn’t on his list of to dos. So I had a slightly slower start…but quickly found my stride and was hitting consistent 12s…until mile 8. Achilles pain starts in, Daniel is feeling the pain assoicated with the run and it morphs from a run to a walk for the rest of the course.

3:17 Yikes!! That’s how long it took to put together my 13.1 today. I’m not disappointed with it. Who am I lying to? Of course I am. But, I need to remember, to focus on healing an injury that is likely to take six months to make better. The goal was to finish, to not let the injury win. It didn’t. I have a tremendous support system, so I am truly grateful for that. From my husband right on down to my FB tribe of peeps, it all makes the effort so worth it.

I am giving myself this week to consider…what will it take to get back to 100% and what does it take to push one step more? The big “ah-ha” in this, my medal doesn’t care what my time was, neither do my sneakers…the point is, I didn’t quit.


Tell me what I don’t already know….

So the Achilles is still bothering me. I kind of feel like I am at an injury plateau. So I bite the bullet Saturday, pay my $30.00 co pay to have my physicians assistant tell me what I know. It’s strained.


He guesses it’s about a six month recovery time to get back to 100%. Really? Baby it, ice it,heat it, ibuprofen it, tape it. Repeat.

I ran 3.8 ish on Friday, it wasn’t too bad, but it isn’t too good either. Sunday, it flared up again, sheesh. I think I’d be more “okay” with the injury if there was something remarkable about it, like crossing the finish line of a race, reaching a personal best on time or distance, but there isn’t any of that. I simply mistepped on a Sunday afternoon.

The thing that’s been the craziest is to really realize just how easy it is to slip into old routine in the face of adversity. I’ve been super hit and miss with diet and exercise. I’m working on the how to put a stop to that. Paddle boat at Wash Park…not expected, but felt the burn. There is no easy answer…but wait, there is. Just do it. Nike said it best didn’t they? If I want something, no matter what it is the best and right answer is to just do it. So Sunday I went to the Botanic Garden with my husband, enjoyed the day, the sun, the walk. Then, Get serious about meal prep again. I was hoping for another run on Sunday, but I am also working on listening to my body, and the Achilles is talking, so I am listening.

There is always another step to take.

Knocked down…not knocked out….

MiracleSo my last real run…February 17, 2013, 10.2 miles.

Enter cold — down one week, no running. So March 3 ish…time to get back at it right? I suffered a misstep at the beginning of my run. I pressed on thinking nothing of it. Fast forward three miles later and I am on the phone with my husband to come pick me up, I can’t finish. So I take a week off to nurse an incredibly sore left foot. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but I know something is wrong. So we rest, and a week passes, and then another. I bite the bullet and go see my PT. Pulled Achilles Tendon. Treatment, shorter running if possible, tape, ice & heat. So it’s been like this for several weeks. I missed the Platte River Half last weekend. The lack of distance, lack of training and injured Achilles just won’t have it. Set back after set back after set back. It really does something to you. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, it just messes with you. It allows room for self doubt, for poor eating choices, for poor exercise (or lack there of…) choices. I could go on in this pattern forever, it’s comfortable, it’s what I’ve done for long long periods in my life.

Fast forward to today.

It’s been a heck of a week at work, we’re busy, crazy busy. Everyday I am exhausted…today I considered two plans after I was done with work. Plan A, go to Taco Bell, yes…Taco Bell and grab a little something for the ride home. Plan B, get your gym clothes on, go to the gym, get on the treadmill…test the ankle, push a little harder. Start the process of getting back to where I was just a short month ago. Plan B won. I’m happy it did.

So my plan to 1000 miles has been seriously hampered. I am still working to the goal. I’ve been knocked down, I have not been knocked out.

Oh yeah, 3.25 miles — 40 minutes.

When you can’t do something…

That you love to do, that in some ways you feel like you were born to do, it does something to you.  I’ve been out of my running loop for almost three weeks.  My last long run was 10 miles, about three weeks ago.  After that I got dogged with a nasty cold — week off. Next week, I’m thinking I’ll get out for a quick five miles, just an easy get back into it sort of run.  Misstep.  I kept going and made it about three miles before I had to call Eric to pick me up.  It’s the first time that’s EVER happened, I don’t quit.  So for the last two weeks I’ve been pretty much off my feet nursing a pulled Achille’s Tendon.  I’ve run on the treadmill a couple of times, but still feeling sore.  I finally decided it was time to go see my amazing PT and with Jeff’s help and a great “how to tape” lesson I am back at it.  I went 4.82 miles today.  Certainly not at 100% but it was a great feeling to be back outside running.  I am a runner, It’s what I do.

There’s something about making a public declaration…

That gives every action more meaning. Last week I had a community meeting with an organization I mentor for (Colorado Youth at Risk). At the end of our meeting, we were asked to make a declaration of something we’d do this week to move us further along in our “Rule Your World Plan”. Well, 1000 miles is my rule my world plan, and so my declaration was simple. I am going to run 9 miles on Sunday. I could hear some of the people in our little tribe, say…omg, etc. etc. And I’ve thought about this run all week. The weather was actually much better for a run yesterday, but I had tons of things to get done, so I made the concious decision to make Sunday run day. Of course, it’s snowed, and it’s become colder. But still, I’ve made the declaration that I am going to run 9 miles on Sunday. So about 9:30, after eating a piece of toast with almond butter, I laced up and out the door I go.

I changed it up on my run today, I turned right on Wildcat instead of left, and the smallest of actions makes the biggest of difference. I really think that one small change made my run a stronger one. Not my best time, but today it was just about keeping a promise that was based on a public declaration and made to myself.

927.9 miles to go. (Today I celebrate 72 miles run)