Row, Row, Row Your Mind

I looked at the rowing machine’s monitor. Seven minutes in, I was just about to hit 1500 meters. Seven minutes later, 3316 meters flashed from the screen. The coach came around to check the monitors and wrote mine down – for women over 40 in the 7:45 a.m. class that Saturday morning at that Orange Theory, I went the furthest in the 14-minute row.      Pride came over me – even with a torn meniscus – I won! I snapped a few pictures to memorialize the moment.      At the grocery store deli counter, while my roast beef was getting sliced, I looked at the leader board picture I took at the gym. The board displayed the top distances rowed by gender and age. The three others crossed the 3700 mark. The deli clerk cleared her throat, commanding my attention. Meat in cart, off I went. “You totally could have rowed farther,” I compared their numbers to mine.      Despite winning, despite the torn meniscus, I should have rowed farther. But you see, the mind plays dirty tricks on us – tric…

The Problem with Expectations

Jake Ryan Gregg lays 10 feet from me; half on the dining room rug, half off. The bare wood floor is dark and pressed against his belly it cools his body. I scan him for signs of life. Slowly, his ribs expand and contract as I count his breaths to mine. One full for me, two – nearly three – for him. We are nine days from welcoming his twelfth year, three months from our 12-year anniversary. Expand and contract. My eyes can’t look away, even as they fill with tears. I walk to him and press my face against his failing body. Expand. And contract.
I won’t bore you with the story of our lives. I’m a dog mom, and not a novel one at that. Just like most dog moms, I love mine beyond words. I’ve taken him on countless walks. I’ve held him when he hurt. I’ve snuggled him when he was tired. I’ve joyfully met him at the door every time I opened it. And then one day it all changed. I am a mom. I knew.
“Diabetes,” the vet relayed on a mid-March morning. “Manageable,” she continued. By mid-April, manag…

Dri Tri'ed and Didn't Die Tryin'

The dense fog covered the county road as I made my way to Orange Theory this morning.Unlike most drives to the gym, my heart was heavy and full of fear.Today was the Dri Tri.Participants row 2,000 meters, do 300 body weight exercises then run 3.1 miles.Each of these are manageable – but cumulatively? A “sprint” option was available:1,000-meter row, 150 body weight exercises, and a shorter run.
The week leading up to the event, I replicated the workout at my other gym – rowing and running for time.I sketched out how long it would take me to complete each activity, even budgeting 20 seconds per body weight repetition.Including an assumed five minute warm up, finishing in 60 minutes seemed plausible.
The internal struggle consumed me for days:You can do the sprint, easily.You’ll finish quickly, maybe even get yourself into the top three.Just do that.Why bother with the full?But the full is a challenge – a real challenge.You hate rowing.Can you imagine hell?Hell includes rowing and burpees.…

The Space Between

Orenthal James Simpson was released from jail today. I really don’t care. I kind of forgot he was in there. If I cared, I would have been shocked that it’s been 9 years since he went behind bars. But I don’t care about OJ. What I think about how much the world has changed in that space of time.  In 2008, Obama was starting his first term, Facebook was taking the place of MySpace, and the Spill hadn't happened. I reflect on how much my world has changed: a few jobs, that White House Fellows thing, numerous dog health scares and two road trips across the country.  I think about these things because I don’t care about OJ and his 9 years. I care about me. This shouldn’t be shocking new to anyone who knows me.
Since he’s been locked up, I’ve moved from Huntsville to the beach to Huntsville to Seattle for a disastrous relationship. Moved four times in my three years in Seattle and then moved back to Alabama almost two months ago.
The move back happened unexpectedly and quicker than I thou…

Lord, I'm Coming Home to You!

Lynyrd Skynyrd is coming to a local casino in a few weeks.  A few weeks ago, the ads featuring “Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I’m coming home to you” aired on the TV.
Those lines danced through my head for a few days, and they were mighty present when a friend/consultant said, “Oh, hey, we (the firm she works for) are up for a job in Alabama.” We were at lunch and my new hire – just four days into her job – was with us. I tried to play it cool, “Well, let me know if you need anything.”
A week later airline tickets and hotels were booked for a quick trip to Mobile for me and the co-president of the public relations firm – a company I have wanted to work at for two years. We planned and interviewed and hoped.
A few weeks later - and Sweet Home, I’m coming. And this time, I’m not leaving.
I have been busy manifesting things for the last few months: alternative work schedules, good seats at fancy restaurants, new clients, etc. For a year or so, I’ve been wondering how I would land a job where I w…

My Life's Purpose

I was standing on the train platform looking at my Facebook memories feed for that day when what to my wondering eyes should appear but the following declaration from seven years before:  I want to be a life coach. Chills. Pure chills. Because later that day - seven years after I had declared my intentions - I was interviewing for Seattle Coach, the area's leading training program. It was no coincidence. I could not believe I had waited seven years to follow my dream!

Fast forward a year plus forward and I have wrapped up my coach training and here I am, launching my coaching practice.

Last week was our final class day. We all went out to celebrate and bid each other farewell with tears and hugs. Not this girl, I was so stoic. Until I got home and looked at my certificate. Pride overwhelmed me. Throughout the program I've been coaching my classmates and willing clients. And I love it. It sets me on fire to see those ah-ha moments and walk with people as they journey to greatne…

I deserve it (and so do you)

My dear friend, who we’ll call Mollie, is a take-no-prisoners kind of gal.  Her senses of self and humor are enough to drop an ox.  Many moons ago she was discussing something I perceived as lavish – a regular message schedule or other type of beauty treatment.  My facial expression must have conveyed my thoughts.  Her response was simple, “I deserve it.”  My love for her grew immediately.  “Deserve it?” I thought, with a mixture of jealousy and happiness. 
            Truth be told, she’d worked very hard to get to a place where she could treat herself.  She completely deserved it.  Fast forward many moons to a few months ago.  With the passage of 25 pounds off my body, I treated myself to a 90-minute massage.  While checking in at the spa, the clerk’s comments revealed a surprising tone when she saw the amount of time.  “I deserve it,” I quickly offered.  She chuckled, “I love it.”  Her response was genuine.  I mumbled to myself, “That’s right, I do.”  I pushed myself ve…