Saturday, January 14, 2012

Have a Little Faith

This post is a product of three hours of yoga today. One deep stretch class at and one hot vinyasa. I had a cleared mind but at the same time a lot on my mind. I also have an exuberant feeling right now as result of the classes.

First this. When I started yoga four years ago (I can't believe it's been that long, nor that I've been in Charlotte that long) we had a special guest join us in class one day. This was Michael Franti. I'm not sure if I knew who he was at the time, but I went home and downloaded some of his songs. I love this one. I hadn't heard it in a while, but it randomly popped in my head last night and hasn't left. It's called "Have a Little Faith."

My second yoga class today was extra great because I had stretched so much in the first class. My hips are super open and I love poses like pigeon, and even frog. I did both of these today, twice. And then I came home and drank a kombucha.


Photo from : (Interesting read.)

Embarrassingly, this sounds just like this:

I still laugh hard every time I watch this :-)

When I get in the shower after yoga I'm still into busting moves.

Yep that's dancer while I turn on the shower.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Brotherly Love

It's obvious I am an emphatic college football fan. That being said this post will be very slowly written as the Bama/LSU game just started...In the past two years I have grown to have more appreciation for the NFL. I used to pretty much strongly dislike it, but my mind has changed. I will go ahead an explain why so no assumptions are made. Two years ago I watched "Hard Knocks" on HBO and it featured the New York Jets. I absolutely adored Rex Ryan. Yes, I said it, not  Sanchez. All he was to me was the quarterback from USC. Rex just has that passion and fire that I love to see in a coach. Sure people think he's ridiculous to always say they'll been in the Superbowl, and sure he has one of the dirtiest mouths ever. My problem with Coach Richt has always been he wasn't passionate enough in the locker room. At least I don't feel like he is. I feel like he's encouraging in a gentle way. Rex insists that they must get better. That they will get better. He yells and screams but he gets the point across. Anyways, I could go on about that forever, but that's my explanation for the initial attraction to the Jets. The whole Revis deal was pretty entertaining too.( A disclaimer here. The Jets didn't make the playoffs, Rex has had a lot of criticism lately, and people are suggesting he does need to reevaluate his coaching style. And I get that. But I think his personality is what's so passionate, so hopefully that won't ever change.)

So I headed up to Philadelphia to see a friend and go to my first NFL game- Jets vs. Eagles. I had never been to Philly either but was excited to be somewhere up north during the Christmas season. (The last couple years I've been in NYC.) I had seen some videos on youtube about this tree and an organ at the Macy's in downtown Philly, but this was so great to see in person, so festive. Notice all of the small children. There was a 45 minute wait to see Santa who was off in some other part of the department store. It was wild. Here's the video:

After the visit to Macy's I was lucky enough to grab some drinks with one of my best friends from home who recently moved up there. And she asked me to be in her wedding next spring :-) Later we had dinner and I met everyone I was going to the game with the next day. Super fun group of people. Then I got a taste of the late night scene in Philly. It was really fun, but with tailgating ahead I knew it shouldn't stay out too late...

Sunday was an early rise. The whole Sunday tailgating this is still kind of foreign to me. It's killer on weekends with college and pro football. I bundled up and headed to the game. And I do mean bundled up. I had on two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, a hat, two shirts, two jackets, my jersey on top, and two pairs of pants. I have to go back to the "jersey" statement. Never in my life did I imagine putting on a football jersey, like never. If you know anything about college football in the South, girls do not wear jerseys. Sun dresses all the way, no matter the weather. I know some people think this is outrageous, but whatever. So I rocked my #24 Revis jersey despite being told I may get harrassed like wild at the stadium. Tailgating was a blast. A good portion of it was spent in a car with heat, but it really wasn't too unbearable. Thankfully the wind wasn't bad. I was very impressed by the fact that all three stadiums/arenas are in the same spot.

Lincoln Field on the left, basketball arena. Citizens Park is just to the left of this.

We headed into the stadium and I didn't even get yelled at too much. Thankfully another one of the guys with me was in a Jets jersey too.

In the stadium. Can you tell we're trying to stay warm?

The view!

The Jets lost, no they got killed. But it was still a perfect first NFL game experience. It was an absolute blast. We went out that night and had a ridiculously fun time. The Eagles fans were happy, so everybody was happy.

The next day I had a few hours before heading back to Charlotte. Besides visiting Macy's I wanted to see the Rocky steps and Liberty Bell, and I had enough time to see both!

Me running up Rocky steps.

The view from the top of the steps was gorgeous. The whole city and parks and everything. I would have loved the opportunity to run in the city. I've heard the marathon there is great!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Here's to a great 2007

I started this post about two weeks ago, I'm finally finishing it...

Re-Gifting: I can honestly say I have never done it. Not yet at least, though I’m not saying I never
will. I was told recently about a hilarious re-gifting story. Someone I know received a gift that
was a bit outdated. It wasn’t awful, but they laughed thinking it was definitely a re-gift. The best
part came at the bottom of the giftbag. It was a note that was written to the original owner of
the giftbag. It went something like this:

Thanks for all of you guidance throughout what proved to be a rough year. I hope that you have
joy and peace in the upcoming 2007.

This was hysterical! Not only was it potentially a re-gift, but it had been since Christmas of 2006!
5 years! My thoughts are it was perhaps a leftover gift bag, though I have never kept a bag for
five years without using it. Anyways, this got me thinking about where I was during Christmas
2006, and where I am now.

Here’s a short list of what has happened in my life:

  • Attended the Memorial Day NASCAR race in Charlotte where I met with my future boss for a pre-interview interview
  • Completed my final semester of college and graduated from UGA with a Marketing degree
  • Moved to Charlotte and began working in Event and Retail marketing, with Wrangler as my #1 client
  • Met Dale Jr., multiple times. This was my dream come true at that point in my life
  • Met four wonderful people from England who I gladly entertained for 7 days, taking them to everything NASCAR you could ever imagine. (Unfortunately this was before the Hall of Fame was built)
  • Had my first visit to Lake Norman with the wonderful group of new friends I instantly made when I moved here
  • Encouraged by a co-worker to attend my first yoga class. Hot Vinyasa at Yoga One here in Charlotte. I fell in love.
  • Financially supported myself for the first time ever, well almost
  • Cheered on my Georgia Bulldawgs during a phenomenal season with Stafford as quarterback. Auburn blackout and Florida field stomp were by far the best games I’ve ever seen in person.

(And that’s all just 2007)

  • Traveled to Daytona, Florida for 10 days. Besides meeting Dale Jr., this was really my dream come true. It was actually what I wanted as my graduation present from Georgia. I’m still amazed at how fast it happened. The company I worked for managed a race experience like no other. We attended every single race at the track that week, spent time on pit road and in the garage, had a brunch the morning of the 500 that was in attendance by several popular drivers, and watched the races from a suite at the Start/Finish line. Oh, and I got to do this again in 2009.
  • Went to the Masters in Augusta.
  • Ran my first half marathon, Thanksgiving Day in Atlanta. Finished in about 2 hours and 15 minutes
Not quite as exciting as 2007, but 2009 brought a lot

  • Again attended the Daytona 500 
  • Laid-off from my marketing job. Though it was a great first job, an incredible learning experience, and just what I wanted, getting out of this job was one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I wouldn't be where I was today if it didn't happen.
  • Soon after I took a trip to New York City. Thus began my love affair with NYC.
  • Ran my first Rock n Roll half marathon in Nashville. Improved my time by about a minute. It was unseasonably warm.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed my summer without a real job. Returned to lifeguarding after a 6 year hiatus. 
  • Applied and was accepted to UNC Charlotte for the Masters of Art in Teaching degree. Finally pursuing what I always really wanted to do.
  • Began part-time graduate program and got my first taste of teaching as a teacher assistant to 2nd and 4th grade classrooms.
  • Ran my third half marathon. Thanksgiving Day half was becoming as annual for the family as the Peachtree Road Race

  • Kept up the running and completed my fourth half marathon in Phoenix with my high school friends. Fantastic trip overall marked by another PR. 2:03:13. Improved my time by 12 minutes in 14 months.

  • Addicted to half marathons- completed my fifth in Atlanta with a near PR. I was very pleased with this as Atlanta much hillier than the deserts of Arizona.
  • Decided to start P90X with my roommate. This led to me dislocating my shoulder. Long story. Most excruciating pain ever. 
  • Lost another job in result of school-system issues. 
  • Took my second math class at UNCC and was encouraged by my professor to try and teach math in middle school.
  • Continued my career of lifeguarding. It was at the pool I received a phone call and offer to teach 6th grade math.
  • First year of teaching. Worse group of kids ever. I'm starting to think this is expected for the first year. I was told if I could deal with them, I could deal with anyone. And yes, now I love when they visit my classroom.
  • Decided to run a full marathon. I was very discouraged when Atlanta's Thanksgiving Day decided this would also be the year they would drop the full. So I decided to do the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte. Then my IT-band flared up, and my doctor told me, "Some people aren't made to run marathon." Uh oh, now he really had be fired up and determined.
  • I ran my 6th half marathon in Atlanta, injured. A lot of walking, but I was still very happy to be doing it.
  • Ran my 7th half a month later in Charlotte. That was originally when I was supposed to be running a full marathon. This hurt too. So much for resting the injury...

Two Thousand and Eleven
  •  Beginning of the year was met with my brother's 30th birthday, first of my best friend's bachelorette party, and my Marathon.
  • Running a marathon. I don't really have the words to describe it. Breath-taking obviously. It was the most accomplished I have ever felt in my life. I was blessed to have my entire family and many friends cheering for me. My brother and his now fiance road there bikes nearly the whole way offering constant encouragement. My time wasn't what I had wished, but finishing was my main goal. I was on a runner's high for weeks.
  • Traveled to Big Sur, California with my family for the Big Sur Marathon Relay. Highway 1 had collapsed just North of Big Sur, so the route was changed to an out and back. Each of us ran a 4-7 mile leg along the cliffs and blue water of the Pacific. This was the most gorgeous run I think I will ever do. I hope to one day return and run the marathon.
  • Finally finished my first year of teaching. It was challenging and draining in every way possible, but exactly what I wanted. I knew I was in the right place. I was excited to begin year two. Thankfully I am blessed with an incredibly sweet group of students and the same wonderful and supportive coworkers.
  • Completed my 8th half marathon in Atlanta with a PR! 2 hours and 15 seconds. Now if I can just get under two hours!
  • Began my part time job at lululemon athletica. This has been more of a treat than I ever thought it would be. I have met some incredible people who share my love of fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle. 
  • Attended my first ever NFL football game. Philadelphia Eagles vs. NY Jets. I have become a huge Jets fan. It was different from the college scene. A very fun, and cold, experience. More to come on this...
2012. Well it certainly has not been a year of running. I know it's only the 6th, but I still can't make myself run. I've gone to yoga every day of the year though!

Looking back on all of this now I realize how incredibly blessed I have been. It's been an unbelievable five years. I'm even more excited about what the future holds.