dare to be different

21 Odd Things

Going into 2021 I thought I’d jot down 21 odd things about me. Hoping to have people play along and send in 21 odd things about themselves.

1 – I like peanuts but not peanut butter.

2 – I eat cherry tomatoes but not tomato slices unless they are fried and green.

3 – I like chunk white tuna from a pouch but every other kind of tuna is gross to me.

4 – I like roller coasters that are short and winding but not the ones that have a steep drop that leave my tummy in an uproar.

5 – I like to drink from a plastic straw but hate to use a paper straw.

6 – My workout socks matter. They have to be just the right fit, matched and no holes.

7 – I like to put chalk on my hands at the gym and put the hand prints on the nearest black pants that somebody is wearing.

8 – I also like to use chalk when doing a lot of burpees to decorate the floor and show that I did a lot when I’m done. Very gratifying.

9 – I like to meet new people and ask questions to learn about them but it could be unnerving to others.

10 – I am always planning my next tattoo.

11 – When I order my coffee at a restaurant for breakfast I only order 1/2 cup. The other half is normally for creamer!

12 – When I order an omelette I ask for a sprinkle of shredded cheese. I don’t like a big blob.

13 – I am somebody’s safe word.

14 – I post a lot of pictures online or more so than many my age or so my kids say.

15 – I like to wear different shoes for different kinds of workouts.

16 – I change outfits more than once at a competition.

17 – I order my nuggets extra crispy at Chick-Fil-A. Some people don’t even know it’s an option.

18 – I like thin chicken breasts not plump chicken breasts.

19 – I like soft cooked carrots but not hard carrots.

20 – I use many notebooks for many different tasks and ideas.

21 – I like to drink Shirley Temples and I like extra cherries.

It took a minute to think of 21 and I might have asked a few close friends for help. It was fun to think about.

This was a good way to end 2020 and all its weirdness. We all have our own weirdness about us. Now go make your list. Be bold and share it.

challenges

0 to 100

It all started with a Facebook post.

Just a handful of nut jobs jumped in. Then 200 plus. Now it’s at almost 500 people.

500 people willing to do burpees for 100 days! Starting with 1 on day one and adding another each day. That’s over 5,000 burpees in total. If only 400 people complete the task then it’s over 2,000,000 burpees in 100 days.

That’s pretty nuts if you ask me but I’m doing it anyway and so are a couple of my gal pals. We shall see how we fare. For now I will just journal my happenings as they unfold. Maybe I will finish maybe I won’t.

Day one = done

Day two – easy peasy

Day three – omg there are 32 burpees in my workout so I decided to knock out three before. That didn’t seem to bad so I did four more. That put me one day ahead. Then at night I did five more for one more day in case I slacked on the weekend.

Little by little I’ll chip away. I’ll go ahead now while numbers are low and build as the days progress. Good news is I didn’t die yet.

Update. I’ve been taking a bite out of my burpees when I have a few extra minutes. I’m surprising myself because I really don’t like burpees. Mine are sloppy and they are just not fun. I think that’s why I decided to do this extra work.

8-10-10-12-7-7-6. That adds up quickly. Now I can knock off a big day in the future without my mind struggling with the daunting task of x burpees in a day. Partitioning my work the way it works for me. Bite-size chunks. Strategy wins in my mind. Today I knocked off day 30, day 6, day 14 and day 10. I obviously kept tallies of my smaller numbers that allowed for rest and decided how to record on the calendar.

I could have chosen day 60 because that all adds up to 60 but I opted for variety to make me feel like I accomplished more. Such a mind hack for me! I’ll update again soon as do how I am doing.

3Splitz Farm, adventure

Farming

It’s kind of funny how life works out. Some days you’re plugging away at your day job in a very routine and regimented way and boom. Life changes. In an instant. In an explosive type of way.

You go from predictable to spontaneous. You take a look at life and say why not? Enter the word farming. Farming is a way of life. Are you farming crops? Are you raising livestock? What is your farming niche or lane? Where is your farm? Is it a hobby farm or a revenue-generating business?

I am not your typical farmer, live-in-the-country type of girl. I like Starbucks drinks. I have muscle cars. I love to go to the nail and hair salon. I like to work out at a gym. I like to go to the grocery store down the road each week.

Then there was opportunity. Somehow in a twist of fate, farming crossed my path. To some it’s a big opportunity. To others it’s a crazy shift. No matter to me, it’s my next adventure. Farming my way.

Farming, farm girl, farm life. New project in the makings. I will provide a glimpse of shifting from glamour girl to farmgirl. Part-time or full-time doesn’t matter because it will take a dynamic team to manage the project that is unfolding. The farm has a name. An identity. A brand. A plan. And of course goals to get after.

The fun has begun. My picking adventures were a part of a barn project I wrote about recently. The funding has begun in a big way making the project real. From land selection to procurement and beyond. This weekend’s big investment was a livestock trailer. Last week was tractor and components. Learning my way as I go. Big dollar spends on the front end. No real ROI to see yet but that’s part of the process.

Teaming is key in this equation. I will leverage many talented people as I evolve. I already started the process. As I learn I will pass on knowledge as well. What to do. What not to do. How to get started. How to push through the tough stuff.

Look for an introduction to my farm life in future posts. I am sure you will be some furry friends along the way. 2Chx will be covering our farm adventures as they unfold. Looking forward to showing the world what entry level farming looks from the inside. The good, the bad, the ugly.

Stay tuned for my definition of farming, farm adventures, life learning, mentoring, entrepreneurship, and so much more.

Let the excitement begin.

friendship

My Independence WOD or Nod

My Independence WOD is really a nod to all those survivors living independently after a tough loss this year.

Each year on the fourth of July I normally run the Peachtree Road Race. This year was postponed. I’m getting used to the word postponed. Heard it way too many times in the last 90 days. Instead of focusing on the negative postponement I made it into a positive day.

I completed the 1776 WOD with a group of good friends and two of my kids. It wasn’t the hardest workout I’ve ever done but it was a grinder. One you had to push through. Lifting heavy weights, high repetitions of a daunting task, and so on.

While I was completing this WOD I wanted to honor of all the strong women in my life who are living independently without their loved one due to recent losses. Just a nod or tribute to celebrate their strength. Nothing said over the PA system, just a silent nod in a WOD.

Who knows what next year will bring on Independence Day but for today I am celebrating.

 

perspective

Stripping the Fun Stuff Away

The return to “normal” has begun.  Gyms, restaurants, hair salons, sports leagues, bowling alleys, summer camps and a host of other businesses have gotten the green light to open their doors. Yay! (right?)

Of course, nothing is really normal and the “new normal” has already lost it’s luster (if it ever had any). Opening business doors often comes along with an eye-popping list of new restrictions.

Both the chicks have recently given their views on restaurant dining.

Like restaurants, for many businesses, industries, and institutions, it’s still a strange time. We are all figuring it out on the fly, customers included.  I’ve noticed that in some cases, we are stuck trying to do the hard parts but the fun parts are what we miss now.  Here are a few examples:

Gyms are starting to reopen.  But, I never really stopped working out.  I’m still exercising in my basement or on the pavement most mornings due to financial and work constraints. Some lifting, some cardio, some basic bodyweight movement, Heroes on Mondays. I get my exercise in one way or another.

Is it the same?  Yes and no.  Yes, I get my movement in.  But some of the most enjoyable parts of the gym experience are gone.  I don’t see friends and like-minded people.  I don’t get coaching.  I don’t get to use all the great equipment. I don’t get the occasional coffee and breakfast after with friends. Sure, I don’t miss certain things about the gym, but some of the parts that made it fun and special (and the hard parts less hard) can’t be replicated in my home.

My work is a similar situation.  I am a librarian that teaches in an elementary school.  We left school for a long weekend in mid-March, not knowing that students and most teachers wouldn’t return this year.  Instead, we’ve been teaching and learning online for almost 9 weeks.

Are we getting the job done?  Yes and no.  Yes, there are lessons and many teachers working extremely hard to connect with students and families.  Yes, there is learning happening.  But, some of the parts that make school fun and meaningful are stripped away.  Field day. End-of-year culminations of work and celebrations.  Social time at lunch and recess on the playground. Working shoulder-to-shoulder to finish a puzzle or create something together. For me, it’s just walking through the library with a student and helping them find a great book.

Or reading a funny or suspenseful picture book to a live Kindergarten audience, laughing and responding together in that moment. Nothing replaces those. And those are some of the things that make school worth going to for many kids (not to mention food, etc.)  Instead, online school often seems like a lot more of the work and a lot less of the fun stuff that makes school special. (And yes, this is about the teachers, too.  I miss the energy of my students! Computer screens, while helpful, don’t cut it for connection!)

On the flip side, there are also students and families who aren’t built for distance learning.  Some have limited or no access to technology. Some need the structure and surroundings and encouragement of others working.  Some need the social benefits.  Some need the food and care that come along with being at school.  Some parents are working from home while also trying to manage multiple children learning online.  It is all extremely stressful.  School isn’t working for many, and it is definitely not the same even for those getting by.

Then, there are the fun things that are just not happening anymore at all.  Most notably for me are travel plans for myself and my family, and races I was training for.  Pleasure travel by anything other than car seems risky (and if you take a road trip, where do you stay overnight?)

I was sad that the triathlon I was training for got canceled.  They can’t guarantee safety and I am sure liability is also a big part of that decision.  Would I have wanted to participate in some sort of sanitized race?  I had mixed feelings about the virtual 10K I ran recently. Although it wasn’t terrible since I was able to do it with friends, I missed the trip to Nashville, the mass of runners, all the spectators and the thrill of race day. It just wasn’t the same. I may still do a virtual version of the triathlon at some point since I am already training.  But, some things just can’t be replaced.  You can’t take away some of the most fun and challenging parts and expect a similar experience. Again, some of the most fun stuff of life is stripped away.  And it is hard not to be bogged down in the frustration and sadness of it all.

You can’t recreate the Mona Lisa with a Magic Marker. It just isn’t the same.  And will it ever be the same?  What do I expect? I don’t know. I know many people are trying their best.  I know many people disagree about how all of this is being carried out.  Frankly, between dealing with that personal and political drama and the abundance of the day-to-day changes, I am exhausted at times. The fun stuff buoys me along and there is so much less of that.  Nonetheless, I want to try to find the celebration in the irritation.  Today, I realized I would have never bought my road bike if I hadn’t set the triathlon as a goal.  My bike has been a huge part of my sanity through the stay-at-home orders. So there is a bit of sunshine.

It’s hard not to wonder when things will get back to some kind of regularity.  What will things look like on the other end? When can we plan a race, some pleasure travel?  When will I be able to read to kids again?  When is the finish line of this mess?  I can budget my energy if I have a finish line in sight.  But now we are in the long middle miles when it’s hard to stay energized and forward moving.

I think it’s ok to pout as long as you don’t wallow in it.  Acknowledge the loss then move on.  It might be easier if we knew the story had a happy ending.  I can deal with suspense as long as it gets resolved.  I have to believe that day will come.  Maybe not quite happily ever after, and maybe this is a heck of a long chapter, but it will be resolved.