awareness

The One about the Turtle Crossing the Road

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When she was little, my daughter Anne loved turtles.  She used “turtle girl” as her nickname online.  She had a turtle named Swimmy for a pet.  She loved reading about turtles.  When we went to the beach, I scheduled time for us to work with local turtle patrols, visit aquariums, or watch turtle hatchlings be released into the ocean.

Turtles were her thing.

She’e a teenager now and her interests have broadened, but deep down I think she still has a soft spot for turtles.

So it didn’t surprise me a couple of weeks ago when we were out and about, driving on a long rural road, and I dodged a turtle stopped right in the middle of our lane.

Just like I used to do when Anne was little, I screamed “turtle!” and, just like she did when she was little, she yelled “turn around!”

It was a long stretch of road with rolling hills…visibility was tricky…cars were flying by…no flat shoulder and few places to turn around.  When I finally turned to go back for the turtle, someone came up speeding behind me so I couldn’t pull over.  So, we found a place to turn around again, and tried again.

I had my hazard lights on so people knew I was up to something.  Pulled over on a soft grassy spot, then she gave a quick look and jumped out of the car.  She ran full force probably seventy-five yards back and got the little guy.  She picked him up gently and moved him across the road in the direction he was going, just like we learned about when she was little.  She placed him down right by a small pond near the side of the road.  And off he went. Safe for the moment.  And then off we went toward our destination, feeling like we helped the world in some small way.

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At least five cars passed over him while we were making that multi-step turn around.  Who knows how many more had flown past him, over him, as he slowly made his way across the lanes toward his goal.

All this made me wonder about how many people I know, who I see daily, who are trying to cross their own treacherous lanes in life.  How many people do I know who are moving toward goals but keep dodging obstacles, negativity, or just the rushing flow of the daily grind? How many are in periods where things in life are flying by, in different directions, leaving them pulled into their shells much of the time?

Do I even notice them?  Or am I just speeding by, consumed with my own tasks and concerns, not even seeing those who I could help along if I just slowed down and took time to pay attention?

And how can I lift them up, shoulder their burden, ease their journey somehow? How can I put my lights on so people know I am slowing down, wanting to help, up to something?

These are the questions that are on my mind this morning. It doesn’t take that much to help someone across a scary patch.  I just need to pay more attention, be willing to slow down. Be more open and attentive. Work to see the potholes and rough patches others might be crossing. Sharing my own bumps and tumbles so they feel safe sharing their own.

What good is it to make it to my destination more quickly, if I have passed over others I could have helped along the way?

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hustle

31 Days

31 days have come and gone in January 2019. I already feel like it was 365 days. Crazy I know.

January just seems like the longest month ever. Add the cold and that equates to another whole level of awful. Or maybe January just seems so long because I am always waiting for February to arrive. Once February comes and goes it’s time to think warm weather, sunshine and vacations on the horizon.

As a memory tracker I decided to write down 31 significant or interesting things that transpired in my life in January. Here is my 31-day reflection to start this month with a bang.

1. I survived a high speed car crash.
2. I completed my first weighted CrossFit workout.
3. I got a tattoo.
4. I drove 4 different rental cars within 5 days for stupid and annoying reasons.
5. I drove from Boston to Atlanta in under 19 hours as a solo driver.
6. I had a career change.
7. I gained weighed and lost weight.
8. I tracked my food journal every day.
9. I did manual labor work a few days.
10. I ate chowda while traveling.
11. I went ice skating.
12. I started a push-up challenge for 30 days.
13. I joined a coed spring softball team.
14. I signed up for the CrossFit open 2019.
15. I took an Olympic lifting class during the month.
16. I used “WTF” notes for various events in which WTF applied.
17. I shoveled snow.
18. I spent time with family and friends.
19. I flew on a plane.
20. I made new friends.
21. I tried new foods.
22. I cheered my daughter on during basketball games.
23. I ate out with all my boys this month despite everyone’s crazy schedules.
24. I dealt with drama full days.
25. I got a hair cut.
26. I got a massage.
27. I went to the doctor.
28. I didn’t have any alcohol.
29. I blogged.
30. I got some new shoes.
31. I completed tax checklist items.

As I look back on the month, I can safely say it was busy. In addition the time had many ups downs and everything in between.

Even when life tosses you to the wolves, we are still empowered to find our inner sunshine and really just seize the day, the week, the month.

Don’t ever let one negative take away all your positive mojo. We are each capable of defining our own path to success. We decide for ourselves. We put the work in to reap the benefits.

Keep on keeping on and take a moment to reflect on your January. Did you make the most of it? If you had a “do over” button, what would be different? If you had only one day left on earth what would you do with your day?

Spend some time thinking about what you can do or can’t do. Remember all can change in the blink of an eye so savor every moment and don’t wait for life to pass you by. No adventures happen while you are sitting still.

Happy February all. It’s my birth month and I accept gifts and celebrate all month long. Every day. All day. Happy b-day month to me!!!

I cant wait to see what my 47th birthday month has in store for me. Counting my blessings and anticipating life challenges along the way. No day is perfect but I’m going to tackle each day with enthusiasm.

friendship

A Pic is Worth a Thousand Words (or is it Clicks?)

 

This pic says so much about the stories and adventures of Chick 1 and Chick 2, aka KT and Beth. Is it worth a click?

A pic is like a piece of chocolate in today’s internet-crazy world – tempting. One picture can make or break person’s image online. One picture can lure someone to to the darkside. One picture can get a click, a like or go viral. Just one click. Just one pic.

Enter the above picture. Grainy at best. Boring to some. Intriguing to others. A Thelma and Louise duo of sorts. Two trailblazers setting out to tackle whatever life throws at them. Today it may be a road trip but tomorrow it could be a covert operation.

Is that an exaggeration? Maybe, but that is what #1095Days is all about. The ups, the downs and everything in between that these two muddle their way through on the daily. Endless opportunities right there in the front seat. The pictures captured are part of the stories.

Fulltime jobs, Mom duties, business partners, athletes, mentors, the list goes on as do the adventures and challenges on the ride. Buckle up, you are virtually engaged in this project. Keep following the hashtag online to see more tidbits as they are released. #1095Days

No two days are the same. This pic will be a story told in our upcoming project. A sleuth adventure that neither planned. An adventure that could have left them both in tears but instead it was met with smiles and a “we got this” attitude.

No outfits were planned but when they connected both were in dark clothing dressed for a caper. What a surreal experience unfolding in the blink of an eye. KT grabs the camera to capture the crazy. Beth in her firm tone says “don’t you dare! Don’t you dare!” (Of course, she dared.)

Look again at the pic. KT has a devilish smile as she snaps. Beth has a look of horror as she focuses on road ahead.

Enter the hoodies, a dark night and a zest for life, the duo took on the adventure ahead including sleuthing. True badassery if I do say so myself.

Of course, they found time to stop at Starbucks and fuel their adventure before the suburbanites hit the road. Sorry to leave you with a cliff hanger but that is how the #1095Days project was designed.

As the new day appeared the duo met up at their local gym for an action shot as a fellow gym goer took a pic of the two authors side by side. Normally the Chicks work out at different times but there is one day a week that their schedules collide. It’s a Saturday and both had separate workouts but put in an extra cardio session together. Once again solidifying the adventures of the dynamic author duo. Bound together like book bindings. True adventurers. Another in our #1095Days.

fitness and nutrition, friendship

Every Peach Has A Story…

My Peach(tree) story began in Atlanta, GA in 1997. I wasn’t a runner but a friend asked me to run the Peachtree. What was the Peachtree? Well it is only the biggest 10k Road Race on the planet. So I did it. No training, just did it. The internet wasn’t so big back then so I don’t even know how long it took me to complete the race. All I know is I conquered the challenge and moved on. I was a one run wonder.

1998 was a new year with new adventures and the Peachtree hype faded in a blink of an eye. I wasn’t a runner, I didn’t grow up in Atlanta and I just didn’t have a fit circle of friends who ran the Peachtree each year. Over the next 20 years, I climbed the corporate ladder, I had a few kids, I raised a child with health issues, and I worked hard at being a mommy and a wife yet something was missing. What was missing? ME time. I learned to prioritize and put everyone around me first, before me! I see this happens to many women (not men) but women. I had tried to lose weight in those years, I tried to live an active lifestyle, I tried and tried but I never made me a priority so failure was always around the corner. How could I be the best version of me and show my kids how to be fearless?

I had to reinvent myself. Some would judge me, some would defriend me, and others would support me. I guess this is where you really find out who your true friends are.  As I make changes in my life, I find myself seeking out new adventures. And with new adventures come new friends. I would meet new friends with similar interest and goals. I had always told my kids and employees that you become what you surround yourself with. And it’s true: spend all your time around negative people, you will be negative. Spend all your time around lazy people, you will be lazy. Spend all your working hours with those comfortable in dead end jobs, you will find yourself right there with them. This isn’t what I wanted in my future. So I changed my scenery. Slowly but surely. Out with the old, in with the new.

Fast forward to December 2015. I found a gal pal who was willing to work out with me consistently at 5:30am at a gym in between our homes. Why so early? We had to go before the kids had to get on the bus so we didn’t take any time away from our husband (hmmm) and then before we had to work (yes we had full-time jobs in addition to being full-time mommies). We pushed each other, we relied on each for accountability and we got in 1-2 hours of gym time 3-5 days a week. This was huge for us. But we were both moms just relying on the internet or friends for workout advice. We met people at the gym that marveled at our consistency and progress but we eventually hit a plateau. We considered kick boxing, a personal trainer, a boot camp but nothing jumped out at us or gave us a spark to change. We finally saw a Facebook ad for Crossfit at a local box for women only in a trial boot camp. We said let’s give it a shot. It was whimsical. We were not in the worst shape when we got there but we certainly were not near the cream of the crop either! And we said holy cow what if we never worked out before we came here? We would have died! Seriously.

For about 6-8 weeks we did core work, we ran, we crawled, we walked, we sweated and we lost our pride over and over and over again. We even learned a new vocabulary. A snatch, an immature squat, a Russian baby maker, and so many more. What started as 30 women got to less than 10 by the end of the time commitment. We were still lifting weights (not really) with a PVC pipe. Is that even a thing? Oh now what to do now? Well we could spend a good amount of discretionary income for the monthly membership and see how we fair. Let’s check in to see what the others are going to do as we liked some of the friends we made. 4 of us opted to stay and give it a go. We were nervous entering the regular class with the “big boys” who all seemed to be friends but we sucked it up and went 3 days a week. We got stronger. At the end of month 1, one of the girls dropped off so we were down to 3 but a new boot camp started and we met the ONLY girl in that boot camp, Sarah. She was just like us before. She really was just like us so we took her under our wings and the new foursome became the best of buds. We again sweat, ran, crumbled but we never quit. We never QUIT. We chipped away at each workout and we cheered for each other along the way. We all had good days and we all had our share of bad days. We scaled the workouts to our abilities and in time we earned our spot in the morning class. Shoutout to my WOD Goddesses below. These friends left the box for the beach this past fall to celebrate life. I remember one guy saying we (the guys) don’t acknowledge you (the girls) until you have been here 6 months. That’s when we know you are committed and are going to stick around. Did he seriously say that? How offensive! I guess when I look back, he did me a favor. He pissed me off so bad that I had to show him that was like flies on shit and I was sticking around and I would make sure the other girls stuck around too just to prove a point. HA to that one guy, SUCK IT! I/we are still here 2 years later at the same box and we are crushing it in our own way every time we come into that box. PR-PR-PR, some might say PR as in personal record but I say PRRRRR as in lady ROAR. Slay all day after you get your WOD in at 630am with the PURE DIVAS. Here we are with our friend #burchie who motivates us each and every week at the box and here at the race.As I reflect, we not only stayed but we conquered our fears and we slimmed down in the process while gaining confidence, friendships, and offering inspirations to others who thought they couldn’t do it. NO matter your shape, your size or your athletic ability, YOU can tackle anything YOU put your mind to. Weight loss, professional aspirations, workout goals, family goals, etc. The playing field may be different but the process is still the same. Commitment, goal setting, and achievement are all common denominators.  Check out the pre-race fun we had in 2017. So what does this all have to do with my PEACH story? EVERYTHING! My Peach story was revived in 2017 when a group from my Crossfit box started talking about running the Peachtree. I did the math and 2017 would be 20 years from the last time I completed the race. HOLY COW! I have to do it. I was feeling pretty good after being at Crossfit for a year and had dropped a good amount of weight, so why not? I got a few of my gal pals to jump in and do it together. There were about five of us who took part in it together. Each of us conquering our own set of challenges to get there and get it done. It was great. We planned for 2018 to keep the momentum going.2017-2018. One year of fitness. Can you see the difference? I can feel the difference. In my energy, in my clothes and in my mind.Now here we are in July of 2018. Life has been full of ups, downs, adventures and memories but through it all our gal pals at the gym have been together pulling for each other. This year there were almost 10 of us attempting to connect for the race and many “others” we knew who would be there racing as well. As I reflect on 2018, I see where I hit the 20 year milestone that has now started the annual event log for my fitness journey. This will be an event that I can continue to attend as long as my body will allow. I will strive to conquer the race and improve my race time each year. From mile 1 to 6.Because age is just a number and I am like a fine wine, aging to perfection. At almost 50 years old, I am now focusing on me. ME! I am committed to eating healthy, working out, and plan to enjoy all that goes along with living a healthy lifestyle. While others turn into couch potatoes at 50, I am working towards FAB at FIFTY. I am proud of my accomplishments thus far and I am excited for what is on the road ahead. I am sure there will be bumps along the way but hopefully this blog post will be one way to hold myself accountable and possibly inspire others who can’t see the finish line in their journey at the current moment. DO YOU, FOR YOU. It’s not to let late to start writing your amazing story!Go find your Peach story and live it. I am a Georgia Peach and live life to the fullest each day. I keep the negators away and find ways to smile each day even if it is at my own expense. Be thankful. Inspire others. Improve communities. #MiniMadness=doublefun#KTV #2CHX #Crossfit #Fitventures #PeachtreeRoadRace #GetMoving #AuthorsBlogToo

family

2 Chicks and their Baby Chicks

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As life would have it, our daughters are besties just like their mommas.

Sometimes it seems like we have known each other for three months, sometimes three years, but in their world they are already lifelong friends.  They met on the lacrosse field and it was quick chemistry.  It didn’t take them long to figure out they had chemistry off the field, too. This made them a duo on the field that no one wanted to compete against. The kind where they just give a quick glance, the smallest nod, or point a toe in a certain direction and the other automatically knows where to best position themselves for support on the field. They are simply in tune with each other.

It’s almost uncanny how this mirrors the connection between their adult counterparts.  You’ll find Chick 1 and Chick 2 supporting each other on and off the field in much the same way.  The games may be different but the principle is the same.

Even though they are a bit apart in age, for years they played on the same lacrosse teams. Until now. Recently, Chick 2’s daughter Anne moved on to high school sports, while Chick 1’s daughter Lexi had to remain competing in middle school.  A few months ago the girls played their last game together for a while but made a pact that they would share the field again in two short years. Then, in an unpredictable fluke, they ended up playing against each other in a tournament in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago, when they merged their two age groups.  What an odd twist of fate.

Chick 2 felt cringy inside at the thought.  Chick 1 said “watch out Anne! the littles are going to school the high schoolers.” (That’s a different story but the short summary is that age should never define anyone’s talents or ability to succeed.)

Lexi had a great idea before we all left for the tourney.  Chick 2, could you bring the nice camera?  It would be fun to have some shots of the friends competing – an in-action photo shoot of the besties back on the field together, something we thought would take years to happen. Of course, we not only photographed those games, but decided to blog about it as well.

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If you read our blog for a while, you’ll discover that in many ways, KT and Beth are opposites.  This is a perfect example.  As far as activities go, Beth grew up participating in the arts. She shies away from competition and seeks harmony.  Karen is a multi-sport athlete. She’s been a coach for years now. She ignites passions in others, showing them that they too can be leaders on the field and in life.

These early experiences are part of what shapes our very different approaches to life, adversity, and working together.  You can see this in our writings and when you meet us at grass roots events. It’s part of our spark and signature. It’s a mix you can’t recreate as it’s genuine and deep-rooted.  This is the same special spark our minis have and we cherish every day we get to see them laugh, grow, smile, and share memories. Heck, we even try to join in the fun as much as we can or as much as they will tolerate us.

As for Anne and Lexi, they both played their hearts out that weekend. They bring out the best, most competitive parts of each other. At the same time, they are probably among each other’s biggest fans, just as both of the Chicks cheer for both of them wholeheartedly.

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Each had their winning moments that weekend. And when the game was over, they were right back to the same silly, goofy, lean-on-each-other friends they always are, a team that transcends uniforms.

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As we blog this both girls are in their different uniforms again, playing the game they love most, lacrosse. Anne is in Florida, Lexi in Georgia.  No matter the miles they are still connecting and supporting each other with updates via text, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Just wait until they figure out we were blogging about them as they were on the field.

#2CHX