Monday, March 10, 2014

Random musings while listening to Biggie

Thanks to the short-lived beef between LL Cool J and Canibus, we will always remember that "the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9." In honor of the Notorious B.I.G., I decided to dedicate my workout to his music. With my iPod classic safely on the treadmill, I hit play on my Biggie playlist and set out for a 5 mile run followed by a quick total body lift.
Just two minutes into the run, and the first song, I knew this was going to be a faster run. Music has a way of subconsciously motivating us and masking the effects of fatigue. I knew this run was going to be easy and fun as I jammed to classic hip-hop. Listening to Biggie brought back a lot of memories of what was going on in my life when the were originally released and a lot of  random thoughts, musings and jokes. Here is a list of my random musings while listening to Biggie on the treadmill ...

Notorious Thugs is actually a great cadence track for running a 9:30 - 9:40 minute mile. The steady beat kept me going as I increased the pace. "Armed and dangerous, ain't to many can bang with us. Label us notorious ... you should too if you knew what this game would do to you. Been in this sh*t since '92. Look at all the bullish*t I've been through. So called beef with you know who ..."

Oh, Lil' Kim ... she was the original side chick. She accepted this role though. She did not (and still has not), hoverer, accepted the fact that he would never claim her. She is still out here losing and trying to claim him as her man. She even went so far as to let people know that she somehow has Biggie's blessing to be pregnant right now. Girl, bye.

One More Chance (Remix) will always and forever be the greatest remix of all time. You could argue otherwise, but you would be wrong. That video was also the first time we actually believed Faith was his wife. This song came on at the end of my run and I couldn't stop. I ended up running an extra mile because of it (and because this song came on next). Great cool down songs.

They were dead ass wrong for every word of the Dead Wrong (Remix ft Eminem and Busta Rhymes); which I suspect was the point. Biggie set it off with the first verse and it escalated from there. What was Busta Rhymes talking about though? He had way too much to say about booty holes.   [Pause] "I got a lion in my pocket. I'm lying ..."

Which brings me to a point my friend MJ brought up this morning: "'Kick in the door waving the .44. All I heard was Poppa don't hit me no more.' was blatant domestic violence and we've been okay with it for so long." There are plenty more egregious lyrics we've let slide, from domestic violence, to rape, to child abuse. If this music was released today, the media and fans alike would be in an uproar. So what are you going to do before you throw them over the bridge? Oh ok BIG ... Listen here, here and here.

Diddy is a whack rapper. Not that is is at all groundbreaking, but one would have at least expected Biggie's talent to rub off on his best friend. If not the delivery, the writing. But nope, Puff Daddy P. Diddy insisted on writing whack sh*t. "Dumb rappers need teaching"

Biggie is an excellent writer. His literary ability matched his delivery. Niggas Bleed could have been a story in the New Yorker and we all would have eaten it up. Juicy, I Got A Story to Tell, Warning could easily be the best episodes of your favorite podcast or short audiobook. "... stupid as a young and chose not the moves wisely."

Biggie was always relevant with current events, and not just sh*t that happened in the streets. The lyrics " ... my style you're admiring. Don't be mad, UPS is hiring" came soon after a wide-scale UPS workers union strike. And the infamous line "I'm not only the client, I'm the player president" was a play on a popular late 80s/early 90s hair club for men ad campaign.

We played I'll Be Missing You on the last day of school our senior year.  Our school was new and had only graduated 3 classes before us - the Class of '98. Each of the previous classes all chose Boyz II Men's version of "Its So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." I worked in the school office then, so I had the opportunity to choose the song. Everyone expected Boyz II Men, but I chose Puff Daddy and the Family - I'll Be Missing You. It was very fitting for our class. We weren't the hug you in the hallway crying because this was the best time of our lives kind of group. We knew the best was yet to come; so instead of crying, we Diddy bopped through the halls of Fort Dorchester High School. We left our high school ways behind and grew to be professional, fun-loving adults. This song was perfect for us and it still is.

I loved the fact that they remixed All Around the World. I used to jam to the original by Lisa Stansfield, so the fact that Biggie was remixed an adult contemporary, cross-over adult R&B hit was everything. Been Around the World wasn't that great of a song, but I loved it for so many other reasons. It also introduced us to Carl Thomas.

Biggie made his mark on hip-hop with only two albums. Two. Albums.

"Biggie Smals is the illest."



Monday, February 10, 2014

6 Cover Songs I Prefer Over the Original

I don't know how or why I started thinking about this, but late last night I thought about songs where I prefer the cover version over the original. This happens a lot as older music is sampled, but with each song I took the time to listen to both versions and really get a feel for both artist's interpretation. There are many songs where I will always love the original no matter who covers it, but these six songs particularly stand out for me. So in no particular order here are the 6 Songs I prefer the cover over the original ... 
1. Tamia's version of Careless Whisper over the original recorded by George Michael's group Wham! Tamia's voice is flawless. She makes you feel the song as if this story of betrayal just happened to you. "I'm never gonna dance again. Guilty feet have got no rhythm ..."


2. Michael Jackson's cover of the Beatles' hit Come TogetherMy friend J-dot and I have argued this, but I still love MJ's version better. He used it in his self-produced movie, Moonwalker. It literally has a way of bringing people together. "Got to be good looking 'cause she's so hard to see ..." Speaking of MJ and coming together, a friend of mine said that if you want to get a group of people to let their guard down and start talking, ask everyone to name their favorite Michael Jackson song and why. Or favorite MJ video. Mine is Dirty Diana.


3. Mariah Carey's version of Against all Odds: Take a Look at Me Now. Originally recorded by Phil Collins, this song was the theme for the 1984 film Against All Odds. A former track teammate of mine refused to listen to Mariah's version of this song out of respect for Phil Collins. I stan for MC, but I can whole heartedly say that this version is better. Her voice was so powerful then. Side note: I miss movie soundtracks. What happened to the great soundtrack albums?


4. Donnell Jones' 1998 cover of Stevie Wonder's Knocks Me Off My Feet. The first few words capture your breath and doesn't let go, "I see us in the park ..." I especially love how he sticks very very closely to the original medley.  So much so that when I played this in my room (ad nauseam) my dad walked in to ask me what I know about this Stevie Wonder classic. Sorry dad, that's not Stevie. Songs in the Key of Life was such an iconic album. I even had the entire album sped up to 170 beats per minute when I used to teach group exercise for older adults in Virginia. We were in there jamming and working it out. The Donnell Jones video is horrible though. If I didn't love the song so much, I'd be mad. 


5. Dru Hill in The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind) which was written and recorded by the 50s group The Dells. Joss Stone's version also gives both groups a run for their money. I love hearing a woman's take on the misery in this song. My friend CW and my best friend MJ and I have debated this, even throwing in Joss Stone's cover to stir the pot. We have yet to reach a consensus. I have a playlist on my iPod with all three versions of this song. I play them in consecutive order and appreciate each one respectively.


5b. This counts, but not really because he wrote the original song and performed in both versions ... Darius Rucker's solo version of the 90s Hootie and the Blowfish hit, Let Her Cry. I love how he introduces the song. It makes me smile every time. "This is probably the first country song I ever wrote, a long time ago ..." He recorded it live for a CMT country music festival and decided to bless us all with it by including it as a bonus track on his second solo album Charleston, SC 1966.


6. And the Pièce de résistance of all covers is Maxwell's live performance of Kate Bush's original, This Woman's Work. Another song that grapes your attention from the first note. All we need to hear is the two claps of the drummer's sticks before I am totally engrossed in the song. He even recorded a studio version on his album Now (also featured on the Love and Basketball soundtrack) that is slightly different. My frind T and I argue over which Maxwell version is best.  Maxwell's Unplugged performance holds a special place in my heart. Sidebar: What happened to those great MTV Unplugged performances? MTV needs to bring that back. Seeing as how I haven't watched MTV in years (outside of the VMAs), I wouldn't know either way.


Bonus: A song we ALL love better than the original ... Whitney Houston singing Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You on the Body Guard Soundtrack. "And IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIeIIIIIIIIIIII ...."


Honorable mention: My boo Tank's cover of Bonnie Raitt's cult classic I Can't Make You Love Me (the acoustic version). Although I love Tank, I still have to say that the original is slightly better. I heard him sing this live and girl ... I needed a moment. Save your ears and never listen to Boyz II Men's version. It's good and terrible. Don't say that I didn't warn you. Adele and George Michael both took a stab at it too. Their versions were much much better than Boyz II Men's failed attempt, but still not better than Queen Bonnie.


So what do y'all think? State your biz and why in the comments. Which songs do you prefer over the original version?


Monday, February 3, 2014

My first ski lesson

think my skiing career may come to an end before it even began. I went skiing the other day at the beautiful, award-winning Big Sky Ski Resort in Big Sky, Montana. I was lucky enough to be there for a work conference. Since the job was paying for the flight, hotel and meals all I had to cover was the gear and skiing lessons. The conference even has a midday break in the schedule to allow participants to get outdoors or have small group discussions. I’m pretty sure those small group discussions happened on the ski lifts. Sweet.

Pics from their website
I prepared for this trip by checking online for various “what to pack for skiing” lists, then I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to find some gear. As I looked through the store, I kept thinking that I didn’t want to look all brand new like that one episode of the Jamie Foxx Show where he buys a ridiculously loud ski outfit instead of buying Christmas gifts for the Kings. 

I purchased a new jacket, pants, gloves, socks, hat, snow boots and goggles. Some from Dick's and other gear from The North Face store. Luckily, both were having a winter blow-out sale.

I had plenty of base layers from running in Indiana. And thanks to my nephew, I have a thermal running hood that came in handy during my ski lesson.
Hey Shaunah!
Let’s get to the lesson. After the first session of the conference wrapped around 11:45, I went over to the Mountain Village to register for lessons. They asked me what level of skier I was and I promptly replied: Super beginner (aka Turtle). Turtle is for those who have never been on skis before. They ushered me through the steps to pick up a helmet, get fitted for snow boots, then pick up skis and poles. I changed into my gear and made my way back down to the meeting area for my lesson. Whoa. I’m really doing this.

Our instructor was very nice (although I don’t remember his name) and took a few minutes to get to know the 4 beginners in the class. He started the lesson with a few goals:
  1. Be safe.
  2. Have fun.
  3. Learn to ski. 
I can get with that agenda. We begin with putting the skis on and learning about lines and angles. The next part of the lesson was moving in the skis. And here is where things started to fall apart for me. I just couldn’t get it. None of his verbal cues were working. It seemed so easy for everyone else. The basis of our lesson was turning your knees in to walk on the side of your skis. This is against every part of my being as a runner. I just couldn’t do it. I slightly pronate anyway, so turning my knees in was practically impossible. I struggled through it and used my upper body strength to move myself around. I took small offense to the instructor telling the two ladies that we had to do this other maneuver because we lacked the upper body strength to move ourselves using the ski poles. Sir, you don’t know my life! I wanted to challenge him to a push up contest, but you know that would have been disruptive.

The instructor and other students continued to progress with the lesson while I continued to struggle. I had found a way to use my upper body to pull myself up the terrain. This was wasting soo much energy, but I had to do something in order to keep up with the class. As we got higher and higher up the hill, the instructor taught us basic ski techniques like turning and stopping. 

This little moving ski walk way was cool.
And this is where it got ugly. I still wasn’t getting the basics so adding on turns and stops was just too much. Because we were higher up on the mountain, I kept looking down and seeing how far I could fall if didn’t get this right. That fear was my downfall. When the instructor’s cues weren’t working right away, I would get scared that I’d end up down at the bottom trampling into a group of little kids. He’d yell the same cue and I got worse so I’d just fall down. He kept saying don’t do this and don’t do that, but none of it resonated with me to produce the movement. So fall I did. Over and over again. I fell on purpose out of fear that I’d speed down the mountain. As we kept going higher and higher up the mountain, this fear grew larger (we weren’t that high, by the way. Any advanced skier would think this was a speed bump). It felt like a mountain to me and that’s all that really mattered. About two hours and a half hours into our 3 hour lesson, I was done. It wasn’t fun anymore and fear really got the best of me. I kept trying to will myself to keep going because 1.) this lesson was not cheap, especially when you in the cost of gear and 2.) I didn’t want to be a quitter. But since I wasn’t fulfilling goal number two (or three), I called it quits. A little defeated, I packed up my rented skis and walked slowly back down the hill, deciding that skiing just isn’t for me. Before I left, the instructor asked me a few questions about my travel to Big Sky, what I ate that day and how much water I drank. Turns out after a grueling 16 hour travel day, 6 hours of sleep, sitting in a meeting all morning and scarfing down half a turkey wrap was probably not the best lot of behaviors before my first ski lesson. Then he threw in the fact that we were at nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. Say what? Sir, you should have led the class with that. I could have taken my arse to sleep during the break and tried this whole skiing thing another day.
Not having fun anymore
So yeah, my first attempt at skiing didn’t go so well. It sucked actually. Next time (if there is a next time), I want to go with friends or family. The more defeated I felt, the more I really needed a friend out there on the slopes. It wasn’t so fun going out with strangers. My brother grew up skiing with the local boy scouts so it would have been much better to have him there to help me.

Have y’all skied before? Is this a standard tale of all beginners? I’ll need all the encouragement I can get in order to try this again. Too bad I didn’t read this article beforehand. It has some useful tips for beginners.
On the bright side, the guy in the rental area gave me a great quote as I came in early to turn in my skis, “A bad day on the mountain beats a great day in the office any day.” Indeed it does sir. Indeed it does.


PS, you can burn some serious calories skiing. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Atlanta, you failed and Charleston did everything right.

Oh, Atlanta ... I was so ready to roast your citizens for complaining about the cold. My Instagram feed was filled with screen shots of 20 to 30 degree weather. Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, place a negative sign in front of that number. Y'all were complaining about 25 degree weather when it was -25 in Indianapolis. That is a 50 degree drop in the temperature for you mathematicians. Marinate on that for a moment. I'll wait ...

I do understand that temperature is relative, so I will give you ATLiens a pass (as well as anyone else living in the South who wears shorts on Christmas day). The body can handle a 10 degree increase in temperature much better than it can handle a 5 degree drop in temperature, so I get it. You're cold. Every body is cold. I even posted this fun article on the 20 Cities That Can Complain About the Cold. It acknowledges the polar vortex and the fact that Al Gore had it all wrong about global warming (I may have added that last part). Warm deez.

This post is not directed at the citizens of the Atlanta metropolitan area or Southerners who don't have a warm coat. This post is dedicated to the Georgia state government, the Atlanta metro area government and how they did everything wrong. 

First, lets lose the excuse that "we don't get weather like this." That is all the more reason for you to proceed with an abundance of caution. You don't know how to handle it and neither do your citizens. From what I saw on national news and social media, the roads were in horrible condition. I know that I have complained about the inadequate road conditions here in Indianapolis, but at least they were passable. The roads in Atlanta were iced over and impassable. The Atlanta metro government left their citizens to fend for themselves on icy roads. They saw the forecast and that the temperature 30 or so hours later would be back above 45 degrees; therefore deciding to let Mother Nature clear the roads. But here's the gotcha, Atlanta: you are a commuter city and you have to deal with the people on the roads right now. The majority of your citizens travel more than 30 - 40 miles to/from work. You put 6 million people at risk because "we don't get weather like this." Girl, what?! (clearly I've been listening to The Read too much). I heard it took people 6 - 18 hours to get home. You can almost drive through Texas in 18 hours. I can't even imagine. 

From Jemele Hill's Facebook page "How does this happen in 2014?"

What the Atlanta and Georgia state government should have done was  (because you don't get weather like this) issue a travel warning for essential travel only and when the storm hit, upgrade it to emergency vehicles only. This way your people are sufficiently warned not to travel and doing so will put themselves in danger. They are also alerted of the serious nature of this storm. No one seemed to know the  danger they were about to face. It's like the entire city, all at once, looked at their respective time pieces (S/O to Chi Chi Omega) at 12:45 pm and said "Oh yeah, that storm was supposed to hit at 1 pm today. Let me go on home." Well here's another gotcha: none of you accounted for traffic. And how could you? Your city officials did not sufficiently warn you about the danger of the storm, nor did they let you in on the little secret that they were not going to treat the roads. The city of Atlanta (and metro area) failed its citizens yesterday, epically. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal should be ashamed of himself. These decisions should not have been placed on Mayor Kasim Reed to deal with alone. The city of Atlanta is small. The Atlanta metropolitan area is huge. The entire metro area should be all BP-Oil-Spill-Obama: "I need to know who's ass to kick."
For shame
The biggest tragedy of the Atlanta snowmaggedan came in their decision not to close schools. Let me get this straight ... Last week you closed the schools for the day because the temperature dropped into the teens, with a 5 - 7 degree wind chill. I get it you didnt want the kiddos waiting at the bus stop in frigid temps and riding to school with no heat on the bus. Faced with 3 inches of snow and icy roads that started during the school day, you don't deem it necessary to make the kids stay home. Who is making these decisions, Atlanta? They are failing you. Children are being left behind. I heard a school of 1,800 kids was stranded and had to sleep on the gym floor. The buses couldn't make it from the depot (or wherever they go during the day) back to the school to pick the kids up. Then you tell the parents to come pick up their children. What makes you think that Stacey's mom can get to her in the mini van if the buses can't? Many heads should roll for this. Governor Deal, I'm looking at you.

Meanwhile, 300 miles south east in Charleston, South Carolina (my home town), the Holy City was faced with the same weather forecast. The only difference is that the storm was expected to hit Charleston at 5 pm instead of 1 pm (Jack Bauer 24 voice). Charleston city officials, unlike Atlanta, did everything right. 

Hey, Boo. Hey
  • First, the Governor got involved. Then she declared a state of emergency. This essentially allows for federal funding to support preventative and relief efforts for the entire area. Individual cities and local mayors can now work together to protect their citizens. This also rids you of the excuse "we don't get weather like this." Declaring a state of emergency acknowledges that very statement and puts a plan in place to do something about it.
  • The Governor closed all government offices on the day of the storm (to prevent citizens from getting caught in evening rush hour traffic when the storm was supposed to hit) and the day after the storm (because they knew they couldn't adequately treat the roads this kept people off the roads until Mother Nature could do her thing a day later). Are you reading this Atlanta? Take notes.
  • The Governor closed all schools the day the storm was supposed to hit and the day after. This takes the responsibility off individual school boards to decide whether or not they should close, delay or end early. The Governor took the heat for that. She made the decision so if parents got mad, they can come for Governor Haley's wig. But don't come for her unless she sends for you. She ain't got time.
  • I found out earlier today, that schools will also be closed on Thursday because overnight lows will be in the teens and Mother Nature won't be able to do her job unthawing the city until midday.
  • She closed the bridges. We all know that bridges (and overpasses) ice before the roads. It's colder up there. Not only did she close the bridges, but she let everyone know at what time she was going to close the bridges. This gives the private sector and everyone else time to plan accordingly.
Charleston, had a plan. Atlanta did not. This meme explains it all ...

One bright spot in this whole ordeal was a story a co-worker told me today about her friend who was stuck in traffic in Atlanta. After several hours of not moving, she realized that she may have to sleep in her car. So she calls her husband to give him the update. He confirms her location and hangs up. Oh, but that was not the end. He put on his boots, hat, gloves, scarf, threw a bag over his shoulder and walked 10 miles to find his wife. They were able to move her car to a nearby convenience store parking lot and grab a few more supplies. Together, they walked the 10 miles back to their home. Bae was like, tha hell my wife is gonna spend the night in her car on the side of the road without me. Dude was not playing. Just a few years ago he made them vows in front of God and their family to be there for better or for worse. I heard people roasted them on Facebook calling out their newlywed behaviors. Can you sit your bitter, lonely, unhappy ass down. This man took his vows seriously, and how the heck was he supposed to sleep knowing his wife is stuck in her car by herself? The Georgia Dome has 71, 228 seats for you to choose from:

So what did y'all think of this situation? Anyone from Atlanta want to share their experience? Midwest / Northeast peeps feel free to chime in too. Did I miss something?


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hair Salon Dilemma

So yeah, I am failing on my resolution to blog more. I am doing great on the others, but this blogging once a week thing ... not so much. Anyway, I want to share a story.

I hate black hair salons. Passionately. Why can't I find a hair dresser who does a good job AND doesn't make me spend all day in the salon? Is that too much to ask in 2014? Here's the story ...

I took a day off after a long work trip to run some errands, go to the doctor and get my hair done. When I tell you my kitchen was the struggle ... I schedule my hair appointment at 9:30 am and a doctor's appointment at 2. Should be plenty of time to do both (so I thought). I pull up to the hair salon, walk through a few inches of snow on the ground only to find that the door is locked and the lights are off. I look at my watch and realize that I am actually 20 minutes late. I had to drive much slower due to the deplorable road conditions (that's a story for another day). I go back to my car and notice that another woman is also waiting in her car. So we wait. Do you know this fool did not show up until 10:15? Ten. Fifteen. My appointment was 45 minutes ago. Thank God I was late and didn't arrive 10 minutes early like I usually do because there is no way in hell I would have waited an hour. Mind you it is 5 degrees outside, so I had to wait in my car, wasting my gas for this fool to stroll in late.

I go into the salon and he is taking his sweet ass time getting set up. By this time there are four of us waiting. Two that needed a wash and set and two more that needed a touch up, including myself. Of course he takes care of the wash & set ladies first to get them under the dryer. I don't get into his chair until 11 am. F'ing 90 minutes after my appointment was supposed to start. He starts chatting me up and shooting the breeze, asking me where I've traveled lately. Never once does he mention why he was late or apologize.

He takes care of my perm and gets me under the dryer. Every few minutes I keep looking at my watch, knowing that I am going to have to leave soon. While I am under the dryer he has to leave to go "take care of something real quick."Ugh! Im frustrated, but lady #4 had to be especially frustrated because he still hasn't touched her hair yet. It is now approaching noon and she and I walked in the door together at 10:15 when his late behind finally showed up.

He finally comes back about 20 minutes later and gets started on #4. As he's finishing up the first lady, my dryer has finished and I am steady looking at my watch like we ain't gonna make it. I absolutely have to leave at 1:15 to give myself time to drive back downtown and arrive a little early to my doctor's appointment. IU Health is serious about their disdain for lateness and I wasn't trying to get caught up. If you are 15 or more minutes late they will make you reschedule your appointment and they will charge you a no-show fee of up to $50. Now this fool is really playing with my money. He wasted my money in gas waiting in the car for half an hour and now he's trying to dip into my HSA. Oh hell naw.

As the clock quickly approaches 1 pm, I pull out my check book and write out a check for the amount I think I should pay for this service. Usually, I ask "how much do I owe ya?" And then I add a  fairly generous tip. Not this time. This time he was gonna get what he got and I dared him to question it. Say something I don't like. Sensing my urgency, he asks what time my doctor's appointment was. I tell him the time and politely let him know that I have to go. He asks "you got time for a little curl?" Me: "No. Just cut the back and trim my ends." He does, then again insists that he put a little curl in it. "Sir, I do not have time. Had you shown up on time, then maybe, but now I have to go." So I begrudgingly hand him the check and go get my coat. He gives my a hug like he always does after my appointment and quietly says "Sorry about that sweetie." Sorry about what?! About strolling your ass in here an hour late? About not saying boo about it? About leaving for 20 minutes when you are already way behind? I mean there are so many reasons and I need you to name them all. People are gonna stop thinking they can give this blanket "I'm sorry" BS apologies. Own up to your sh*t. Don't just run around saying I'm sorry just to do the same thing over again because you don't really even know what you are sorry for in the first place. Ugh! Four and a half hours later I am still looking like the struggle (less of a struggle, but a struggle nonetheless) and have to walk out of the salon wearing the same baseball cap I arrived in. Girl, what?!

Now I don't know what to do about going back to this salon. I am very very busy and travel a lot. Sometimes I am only in town for 72 hours and I have to use that time wisely. Tell me where I have time for foolishness (s/o to JB for that gem). I am hesitant to make another appointment, but I know in a few weeks I'm going need to see somebody. My schedule in February is absolutely insane and this BS cannot happen again. I think there is a stretch where I am only in town for 48 hours at a time so there is no room for foolish error. I know that if I decide to go back that I have to tell him how unacceptable this situation was. I would have told him that day, but I  truly did not have time. I had to get out of there to get to my doctor's appointment on time. This is the third hair salon I have been to in this city so I really don't want to go through another change in salons, but I can't tolerate this kind of treatment. This fool also has the nerve to ask me to send my friends/co-workers his way (not during this particular visit, but in others). Tha hell if I'm gonna expose my people to this. They are just as busy as I am and there is no way I can honestly recommend him to someone else. What do I look like subjecting a referral to horrible service.

The bright side of it all is that I was able to get a workout in that afternoon because my hair clearly wasn't done so I wasn't ruining my style by sweating in the gym.

So what do y'all think I should do? I need some help on this one cause these naps are returning by the day.

And for all of you natural-haired sistas who are about to tell me that I can solve this problem by going natural, you may keep your seats and that advice. Not gonna happen.

What say you?

PS, someone please caption that photo. I can only imagine what was going through their minds when this picture was taken.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resolutions and Running Goals

I don't typically make New Year's Resolutions per se, but I do take the time to evaluate the previous year and set goals for the next. This time, I've decided to keep it simple:

Life goals:

  • Be fearless
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

  • Blog at least once a week

Running goals:
  • Run 1,400 miles in 2014 (27 miles/week; 116 miles/month)
  • Run a sub 50 minute 10k
  • Run a sub 2 hour half marathon
  • Run at least one run per week with the BGR! Indy ladies
  • Join the Indy Runners or other running group
  • Register for the January 2015 Disney Marathon Goofy Challenge

What are your 2014 goals/resolutions?


Sunday, December 29, 2013

13 things running 1,000 miles has taught me

I accomplished my goal of running 1,000 miles in 2013 and it has taught me a lot about myself and life in general.

1.  Consistency is the key to accomplishing any goal. Never underestimate the power of erosion. A small, slow moving stream can erode mountains.

2.  People make time for things they care about. No one is that busy. You aren't the president.

3.  Busyness is a disease, a perpetual moment of nothingness.

4.  Running is therapy. I didn't truly understand what that meant until this year. Running, and specifically marathon training, has helped me through anxiety, sadness and depression this year.

5.  I stopped succumbing to "I don't feel like it." What does that even mean? Whenever I don't feel like doing something, I hear my dad saying "what do you mean you don't feel like it?" I never have an adequate response to that question so whatever it is, I just get to it. Better to get it over with.

6.  Be careful who you share your dreams with.

7.  Do not spend one single, solitary moment with someone you don't want to be with. It isn't healthy for either of you. [This has nothing to do with running, but is something I learned this year]

8.  I waste a lot of time. Hours will pass with nothing to account for them.

something like that ...

9.  I loved the #31Write Now blogging challenge. It encouraged me to write consistently for a month. [Clearly, this list has turned into more than just running]

10.  With the exception of December and the week after the Marine Corps Marathon, I didn't go more than two days without running. No matter what I was going through on the third day, I made sure to run at least one mile. That consistency and relentless determination is how I met my goal.

11.  I need to lift more. Now that I have renewed my strength and conditioning certification, I will write myself an annual plan to peak at certain races throughout the year.

12.  I need to foam roll more. Oh, but I hate it. A post on why you should too is coming soon...

13.  I learned to listen to my body and block out outside influences. I only experienced one minor injury at the beginning of the year and I feel that I was able to stay healthy because I didn't push myself beyond what my body was capable of. I rested more and paid more attention to my nutrition and overall recovery. As we increase mileage, recovery becomes more and more important.

Running is a great teacher and I am continuously learning from it. What has running (or something you love) taught you this year?