Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Single Girls Green Grass

At the last book club (yes, I’m in a book club and have been for almost 10 years!) we were having the often discussed single vs. married “the grass is always greener” competition. We talk about it often as like most things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages. Most of my married friends are very thankful they no longer have to deal with the trials and tribulation of dating (and I’m pretty sure most of my blog posts reinforce their thankfulness) and are very happy and content with their husbands and families, however, they brought to my attention many of the advantages we single women can enjoy before we find our “lobster”. So, I was inspired to write this post highlighting the Single Girls Green Grass to remind us of the good parts of being single!

Impromptu Vacations. I was telling my friend about my recent trip to San Francisco and Napa and my upcoming trip to Tulum, Mexico last night and I literally saw her face turning green with envy (shout out Renee!). The California trip was planned around a concert of a beloved artist who wasn’t coming to Texas on this tour (J Timba Timba Timberlake) and the California trip was planned in about two days when a friend and I, after both dealing with break ups, felt the need to get away and lay on a beach. We literally said – you busy labor day? Nope, me either. And our trip was booked in two days.
Happy Hour. If I get an email from a friend at 3pm on a Wednesday asking to meet up for drinks after work on most days this is no problem. Even if I had errands to run or a workout I was planning I can rearrange those things be happily enjoying a glass of wine (or three) with my bestie by 5pm. From what I hear from my married friends, especially those with kids, this would be a rare occasion as there are about 18 things that would have to be done and rearranged before they could even dream about sitting atop a bar stool with a cold beverage by 5pm.

Pool Day. The fact that I can literally lay at the pool ALL DAY LONG on the weekend is enough to send some of my married friends over the edge. I too use the weekends to get things done that can’t be done during the week but when you have a family it isn’t only get-things-done time but it also doubles as quality family time, especially with little ones who go to bed early during the week.  They could do pool day too but I doubt our pool days are the same J

TV. Yes, I have watched an entire season of a television series in a 48 hour time period. Not once, many, many times. Some might say this is a lazy way to spend your time and to them I say “HAVE YOU EVER SEEN HOMELAND!?!?!?!?!”. Because if they had they would understand. And while I am selective of bringing on new shows to my regular watching schedule (I watch a lot of TV people. No judging please) I do not have to be as picky as those that share a cable box and a home with their hubby and/or kiddos. Primetime, MTV, Showtime, HBO, Mini-series…I can do it all.

Being Hungover. If and when I am hungover, I do thank my lucky stars that I only have to deal with myself. There is not another human depending on me to do anything and if I need to lay in my bed under the covers sipping Gatorade and popping advil all morning I can do so. There is no child waking me up at 6am (but sometimes there is a dog doing so) that I need to feed, dress, entertain or husband reminding me that we have brunch plans with his parents or today is yard work day. If I want it to be, it’s just me and Taco Joint.
Money. Another point made by my friends last night was the fact that I can spend my money on whatever I want to. Yes, I have responsibilities like rent, bills, savings, etc. just like my married friends do but I do not have daycare payments, college funds or a joint bank account. Napa or Mexico, sure. That new Tory Burch purse, absolutely. Nice dinner or hefty bar tab just because, no problem. In a nutshell, I have more freedom to decide where I want my money to go.#mymoneylikeswine

Schedules. I am a planner so even though I’m just dealing with myself my week is pretty planned out most of the time in terms of when I schedule appointments, meet ups with friends, errands, working out, taking it easy at home, work, etc. The silver lining is that it is just me so I can rearrange as needed and do not have to check with anyone when I want to do it. If I am late getting ready in the morning then maybe I’m a little late to work but my child isn’t late for school. If I want to go to the gym after work I can just go and not worry about checking with my husband to make sure he can pick up our kid from daycare that day instead of me. If I want to go to a friend’s birthday party on Saturday night then I do and it doesn’t require me to either a) negotiate a night out with my other half or b) find a babysitter, pay said babysitter, and have to be home at a certain time.

The grass can always be greener on the other side BUT if you water your grass it can be just as green :-). No matter what your relationship status or status in life for that matter, live life to the fullest and ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I could not resist posting about a dear friend and her recent very unfortunate weekend which centered around dating and being single in the Big D (and yes she gave me permission to post). It was almost just too much – like when Charlotte shit her pants in Mexico in the SATC movie and later in the movie when she was scared of losing her baby Carrie reminded her of this by saying “Nothing bad is going to happen. You shit your pants this year. I think you’re done”.

I too have had these thoughts of “how much more can I take!?!?!?!” and I do hope my friend is “done” with crap like this but in the meantime I must share because sadly it does reflect the reality that many of we single woman deal with from time to time while searching for our person amongst a sea of d-bags.

My friend and I decide to start the weekend right with happy hour at a new spot in Uptown that we hadn’t tried yet. We arrived to a semi-empty crowd but with potential to fill up, found us a prime spot in the center not too far from the bar, and posted up. We decided to swing for the fence on the first pitch and go with dirty martinis. A favorite cocktail for both of us and perfect to end a long work week. As we were sipping the last drops of vodka in our drinks and munching on the last olive (and btdubs the waitress only gave me TWO olives – who even does that? Everyone knows THREE is the staple, right?) I digress. Anyhoo, at this moment a gentleman, and that is a strong word, who has been sitting with his friends at the bar approaches us and asks our opinion of the martinis. I tell him smooth and good but explain my disappointment in the olive situation. He insists on buying us two more and abruptly YELLS over to the bartender and tells her to whip them up and to not be stingy and give us “three fucking olives”. Oh great, I can feel the female bartender shooting knifes into the back of my head as we speak. A free drink is always great but thanks buddy. Geez.

Then it gets worse. I was wearing a little sundress and sandals as I had worked from home that day so was more casual and my friend was in an adorable short-sleeved shift dress and heels as she had been at work all day. Said gentleman decides that he should pass on some fashion advice at this point and says this to my friend.

D-bag: “I hate your dress. It’s ugly”
Us: “EXCUSE ME????”
D-bag: “It’s ugly. Your shit is hot as fuck and you should be showing more skin”.

I am not joking, this is what was said verbatim people.

My Friend:  “Uh, thanks a lot, but I actually work for a living and came straight from the office so showing skin isn’t exactly appropriate”.
D-bag: “Whatever, I’m going to take you dress shopping to get you some sexy dresses”.
D-bag: “No, it’s not. It’s advice and a favor”.

Seriously? Does this person think that was flirting? What even WAS that? We were dumbfounded and now I fear my friend will never where that dress again (and it is adorable!). We ignored the dude (who promptly began smoking one of those fake blue cigarettes inside the bar – WINNING) for the rest of the evening and  enjoyed our free but most likely poisoned, peed in or spit in martini’s the d-bag bought us. Then I think we went home and at cheese and crackers and drank wine on my couch.
Yes, it continues for my dear friend. My friend had started dating a guy about two weeks earlier. Amazing first date, tons in common, chemistry off the charts and they hung out 4 times that week. Enter Week #2. Daily texts yet no inquiry about schedules or plans? Hmmm. For those of you who are currently in the dating pool or recall dating in a digital world this is a common landslide or tactic used by men to create a “casual” relationship with you that does not involve commitment or planning but moreso convenience. Because my friend is in her 30s and not her early 20s (not being a hater but its true ladies, you learn a lot!) she called him out with a simple “I would rather be dating you than texting you”. He did what even some men won’t do and actually picked up the phone to HAVE A REAL CONVERSATION (so he gets props for this) and ended up giving her the I-really-like-you-and-want-to-see-you-again-but-I-don’t-want-a-full-blown-relationship-or-anything speech. (Props revoked but appreciate the honesty).  
This is where the 20s vs. 30s thing kicks into gear. In my 20s, I would have said “oh, okay, me either”, played it cool and continued dating this guy while secretly wishing and hoping that the more he got to know me and the more fun we had then he would be immaculately cured of his relationship phobia and decide I was amazing and it would all be rainbows and butterflies. While in reality, I would say “oh, okay, me either”, play it cool for a few months continuing dating this guy until I finally FREAK out on him one night when he didn’t call me is girlfriend or I caught him with another girl or he wouldn’t bring me around his friends and then we would have a massive breakup that caused me to cry for days and him to tell all his friends I was crazy. Point is, I learned a long time ago that I can’t CHANGE a man or his feelings and if a man is telling you two weeks in that he “doesn’t want a full blown relationship”, which what does that mean exactly anyways, then it is a HUGE red flag and you should get out.

Luckily, my friend turned 30 earlier this year so she did just that. She was honest with him and herself and said she didn’t know if she wanted a relationship with him necessarily (she just met him – this isn’t the Bachelorette people!) but she was looking for her person and for her dating wasn’t just to sport-fuck. Well, she said that in so many words and probably more eloquently. You get the point. That being said, it was still a disappointment and she was bummed.
Saturday Continued
Yes it gets worse. After I hosted my umpteenth bridal shower that afternoon (shout out J. Giles – you know I love you!) and she had been blown off we met up to go meet a friends new boyfriend (shout out Becca and Q!) and then decided it would be best if we went and got drunk. So, we met up with some guy friends of hers and were having a decent time a new bar in Uptown with barely a d-bag in site (score!) when one of his friends, who was very intoxicated, decided he wanted my friend’s attention. The thing was, my friend was talking to me and her guy friend so instead of politely saying “excuse me” or waiting for the conversation to come to a point where he could join in he decided to….wait for it….wait for it….SLAP HER! Yup. I can’t lie people, that is what happened. Now, this wasn’t a Stucky a.k.a. George Castanza slapping Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman hooker bitch slap but it wasn’t a love tap either.

There was a pop. It was audible. And if it wasn’t so dark I might have guessed there was a tiny red mark and I bet it stung. Legit slap people. The way dudes slap each other to taunt one another when they are trying to start a fight. That kind of slap. Okay, I think you get the picture now that I’ve described THE SLAP for you eight different ways.

As you might imagine, this did not go over well. Again we yelled in unison “EXCUSE ME!?!?!” (how many times will we have to yell this at a man in one weekend?). His response you will love. He quickly explained that it was a sign of affection and he was FLIRTING. I then climbed atop my single-woman-soapbox and proceeded to lecture him on the matter that if you have to tell someone that what you are doing is flirting then  a) it is not flirting and b) there is a problem. My friend then reminded him that we are no longer in kindergarten chasing each other on the playground,  pulling each other’s hair and calling each other names to let the opposite sex know we like them. And that was pretty much that. And then my friend started saying “I want a taco and I want to go home” on a loop. Stick a fork in her – she’s done. Just like Charlotte and her poopy pants.

I on the other hand had run into a guy that works on my floor who never smiles so I decided to question him about this and we ended up becoming besties and talking about who filled up the refrigerator on our floor with their groceries and what salad dressing we sometimes “borrow”. Riveting night. Universe 2. Us 0.

So we called Uber (no this is not a friends little brothers foreign exchange student classmate, but the name but a car service similar to a cab) and our driver was so kind as to take us through the Taco Bell drive thru (which may I point out that a cab typically will NOT do. Another point for Uber!) so my friend could get her taco and then we sat in my kitchen recapping the night and assuring ourselves that “We had fun, right?”. Yeah, I think so. Didn’t we?

As my friend said Sunday morning when I drove her back to her car, well, my weekend can be summed up like this: I got called ugly, was dumped and then got flirt-slapped. And yes, I think we should trademark flirt-slapped. Can’t be the first time it’s happened to someone. I’m sure it’s an epidemic.
Moral of the story. There isn’t one. It’s just funny, well sort of sad funny, but I had to share. #itshardoutthereforapimp

In the meantime, we will keep looking up, cause that’s where it all is!
R.I.P. Kidd Kraddick


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Don't Call It A Comeback, I've Been Here For Years!

Drum roll please....

Sunday, July 14th 2013, I completed my FIRST TRIATHLON! I signed up a little over a week prior and told absolutely no one, except for my two friends that I trained with earlier this year prior to my injury and competed with me as well (shout out Brittany & Chris!), woke up that morning at 4am, headed to Lake Ray Roberts north of Dallas and dove in. Literally.

"Surprise Triathlon" is what I'm calling it :-). Basically, after missing my first try at a tri back in May due to an injury and enduring another personal heartache just weeks after (a rather dramatic break up - you don't want to know) I felt a bit jinxed. While I did share with others that I signed for an Olympic Traithlon in late September and had begun training, I feared that the build up and hype of it all, in addition to the nerves of an unknown race day, were a dark cloud hovering over me. So, due to my recent luck, or lackthereof, I thought that if I faced this challenge and completed this goal unbeknownst to anyone else, God might allow me to finish it and move on. And I was right!

Don't judge - remember, nothing about a Triathlon is cute!

It was all I thought it would be and more! It was my first open water swim in over two months and the first in the lake without a wetsuit, which can be a bit of a security blanket as it creates buoyancy. But the water felt much better than I remember it back in April and as soon as my feet touched it I was good to go. Minus the kicks in the head and arm swipes on the back :-). Swimming in a race in open water doesn't resemble alot of swimming in the traditional sense as there are alot of limbs flying around going in exactly the same directly in a very tight space. It's crowded to say the least. Transitions were smooth as can be - thanks to two things a) my set up (Thanks Coach Paul for that valuable lesson!) and the luck of not having the two people next door to me transitioning at the same time. Hooray! The bike was the bike, my least favorite of the three, and since it started pouring down rain during it we were all concerned with slick roads and watching participants on the side of the road deal with popped tires obviously didn't help either so I just prayed I could escape the bike ride without a fall or flat tire. Minus the sopping wet socks and shoes the run was a breeze and it felt like it went by so fast! I felt fantastic crossing the finish line and also felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. It was quite a morning! And I have to say I can't wait to do another!

While I missed sharing the day with friends and family (but thanks ladies for the post-race Taco Joint!) it felt tremendous to complete this goal I have been working so hard toward and do it for myself as I intended in the first place. I completed a Sprint Triathlon (this one in particular was the Disco Triathlon and was a 500 yard open water swim, 17.6 mile bike and 3.1 mile run) and while I am happy to now finally call myself a triathlete in addition to a marathoner (wha wha!) I am still on a journey to complete what I started - an Olylmpic Triathlon. Initially, I set out to re-join, train and fundraise for Team in Training benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society but due to some obstacles (raising $800 more with an exhausted fundraising pipeline, the fact that the race I would do was an odd course set up (heavy on the bike - no thank you!) AND out of town which is tough on myself and my family/friends who want to support me, I decided to change course, yet again but by choice this time, and sign up for the Stonebridge Ranch Olympic Triathlon (1500 meter swim, 24.9 mile bike and 6.2 mile run) which is in McKinney, TX (just north of Dallas) on September 29th, 2013.  

So, please continue to pray for my health and sanity as I continue on this journey. I will finish my Olympic Triathlon just under a week before my 33rd birthday. Not a bad way to say goodbye to 32! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Just Don't Understand Why You Are Still Single

I Just Don't Understand Why You Are Still Single. How many times have you heard this comment? While it is meant to be complimentary because it is typically followed up by "you're so smart" or "you're so pretty" or "you're such a catch - any guy would be lucky to have you" it is really just uncomfortable and a little rude to be honest (especially if coming from a stranger or some lady who goes to church with your Mom). And while it is also meant to be rhetorical, my girlfriends and I thought it might be funny to start answering it and see just how uncomfortable things could really get :-). Some possible answers might be...
DISCLAIMER: No, these are not true, they are meant to be ridiculous and funny. Just go with it.

  • It probably has something to do with my small boobs and love handles. I mean, I've ruled everything else out so that is probably it.
  • The ankle bracelet tends to scare people off.
  • I mean, there is my small drinking problem and I tend to be clingy so that is a possibility.
  • That STD I got last summer might have something to do with it.
  • I assume it is my dolls. They make most men uncomfortable.
  • I'm in my 30s now so my number is pretty high and some guys just aren't okay with it.
  • I make too much money and it can intimidate men.
  • My red room of pain isn't for everyone so I am waiting for that special guy who is into S&M.
  • Most men can't deal with all of my cats.
  • I'm a lesbian so dating men has been pretty difficult.
  • Well, I am secretly a man so that can be surprising for people.
  • Living with multiple personality disorder is difficult. Gina doesn't always agree with my choice of men.
  • My furry personality is a kangaroo but some people are put off by me wearing a giant animal costume in bed.
  • I have Daddy issues so...
  • I've gotten some feedback that my deadorant doesn't work too well so that could be it.
  • The whole binge and purge thing is tough to pull off well on a date. Plus, I usually forget breath mints.
  • Men find it awkward that I invite my Mom on all my dates. We are very close.
  • Didn't I tell you?! I'm celibate now.
  • Sometimes my teeth get in the way and I hear that's not good.
  • Because I'd rather be single and free than trapped in a loveless relationship.
To be clear, the discussion over why some of us are still single and why some have been lucky enough to have found the one is a common one that we ladies chat about all the time. This post is about the people that you don't really know that well who make comments about your love life or comment to your parents, sister, friends about it. It is typically followed by "Don't worry, you will find someone special" in which I want to reply to random friend-of-a-friend at a wedding "I'm not worried but thanks. It seems you are much more uncomfortable with me being single than I am!". And for the record, being pretty or smart or a catch doesn't guarantee you a relationship but thanks for the compliment. haha. Anyhoo, it's just a funny scenario we singles encounter from time to time so I thought I would blog about it. I hope it made you laugh and brought back some memories of these moments for you.
#notbitter #wewillallfindsomeoneoneday #loveyouall

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Am Out There But Not Looking? Contradictory Dating Advice - Let's Review!

I don't get it.

Recently, some girlfriends and I (shout out Jessi & Laura) were discussing the unsolicited dating advice that we receive what seems like daily from friends, parents, coworkers, random people we meet in line at Target or in the bathroom at the bar, etc. and realized that it is all so contradictory no wonder we are still single!

Exhibit #1
I am not supposed to be looking but I am supposed to be out there. Huh? First of all, where is there? The bar, social clubs, the internet?  I am still not sure exactly where there is but I do know it definitely is NOT your couch. So, I am out there but now I am not supposed to look? Picture me at a bar stool at a hip uptown spot on a Saturday night with my head down and hand over my eyes thinking "pick me! pick me!".  I am out there but not looking, right? How does this help me? It doesn't unless a new form of peacocking is posing as a lunatic.

Exhibit #2
It will happen when you least expect it but you have to be open to it. Eh? Assuming in this scenario it is referring to love then love will happen when you least expect love but you have to be open to love. Do you see how this is confusing? How can I be open to something that I'm not supposed to think about happening? If I am open to it then I expect it on some level so this makes no sense.

Exhibit #3
You have to love yourself before someone else can love you. If I hear this one, or any of the other versions like you have to be happy by yourself before you can find happiness with someone else, etc. one more time I will put my finger my own eyeball. And maybe the person who said it to me as well. I'm 32 years old. I know myself. I love myself. I'm ready. Moving on...

Exhibit #4
Don't be too picky but don't settle. I understand the sentiment behind this one but it is still contradictory when every guy you date is under the microscope and if you continue dating the 26 year old because you "didn't want to judge him just based on age" but then you are judged because he owns a bong and his idea of a nice dinner date is happy hour at Macaroni Grill. Which is it people? To write him off initially was being too picky but now I'm apparently settling. I give up.

Exhibit #4
Let the guy make the first move. But you have to let him know you are interested. If I let him know I am interested doesn't that mean I'm making the first move? This is so confusing. I am a fan of the traditional dating rules where the dude pursues the lady but we no longer live in the days where a boy asked if he could call you and then looked up your number in the phone book.  No, in these modern times there are countless way to communicate, many having nothing to do with a phone number! Text, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and I'm sure there is another social media site being created as I type, are all credible options to communicate and flirt with the opposite sex. Point is, is Facebook friending someone a proclamation of love? The answer is simple: Sometimes. haha. Fooled ya. Anyway, this one is tough but I will say just don't be a bitch and follow the rule of three. Meaning, be nice to him and not standofish as to intimidate or disinterest him and if you have communicated in any of the ways above with a guy twice and he has not initiated a convo with his own flirty text or funny pic then DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, text, chat, message, whatever a third time. Wait it out sistas. And the truth will prevail. At the end of the day, boys don't do anything they don't want to do. And if they want to see you, talk to you or ask you out. They will. Hold tight.

Exhibit #5
Don't have a checklist but know what you want. And contradiction strikes again. Apparently, we should not be comparing our dates and prospects via a checklist such has he MUST be over 6ft, dark hair, own a house, work in Finance, parents still together, no kids, not crazy, etc. However, if you just go at dating all willy nilly with no deal breakers or must haves then you may find yourself in a relationship for two years with the wrong guy! Perhaps we should know what we want but keep it in non-list format in our heads and agree never to write it down. Then it is just random thoughts and feelings floating freely in our brains and when we start dating someone they will magically appear at the forefront of our minds, but not as a list, and that is how we can decide if moving forward with a special someone has long-term potential. Make sense? I know, it doesn't to me either. It was my best shot.

Exhibit #6
Get involved but leave time for dating. This one is such a lose/lose. Many of my friends are very involved in the Dallas community whether it be volunteering, social or networking groups, sports leagues, church, etc. But then when you meet someone and start dating you become that girl who says "yeah, it looks like I am free two weeks from Tuesday" because you have booked yourself up with your own stuff to stay busy and "put yourself out there" that your new dude thinks you a) party too much or b) are not available. But on the flip side if you don't stay busy then you and your couch start spending way too much time together and you end up as the crazy cat lady. There must be a balance, no? #singlegirlproblems.

We decided the moral of this story is we should just live and see what happens. Best of luck ladies!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Waiting Room

Mortality is defined as the state of being mortal, or susceptible to death. I suppose the moment when each of us realizes that we are getting older, we begrudgingly admit we are in fact adults, and we are forced to face our own and the people we love's mortality happens differently for every person. No matter what, it is a daunting moment. A true reality check. And let's face it, scary as hell.

A few months ago my Dad was having his annual physical and during a routine check with a stethoscope his doctor thought things sounded foggy when he listened near his neck. He referred him to a specialist in Abilene (a nearby "big" city compared to measly Brownwood) as he suspected some blockage in his carotid artery. My parents went and had tests done that concluded there was in fact blockage but the level was uncertain but enough (somewhere between 60%-85%) to warrant surgery. So three days later Jayne and I were en route to Abilene on a Thursday to meet my parents at the hospital so a thoracic surgeon could cut open my Dad's carotid artery and remove said blockage.

Here is a quick medical lesson for you if you haven't brushed up lately. And forgive me if you are in the medical profession and I am annihilating a true scientific explanation. You get the gist. The carotid arteries (you have one on the left and one on the right) are the largest in your body, supplies the head and neck with oxygenated blood and if punctured you can bleed out in minutes. Trust me you have seen someone stabbed in their carotid in a movie or TV show (Scandal Season 1 Finale for instance. RIP Gideon). It is also a way we can take a pulse. When it becomes blocked, it can cause a stroke or heart attack. So, even though this surgeon does this type of thing all the time and the surgery is only 90 minutes it is still very risky and the procedure could trigger a stroke as well.

Let me also preface this by saying that my Dad is a pretty healthy guy. He walks in the mornings, plays golf regularly, and pretty much eats exactly the same things my Mom eats and she is very health conscious and cooks balanced, nutritious meals. He had ZERO symptoms so this all happened pretty fast and we were unprepared.

The moments I will never forget are 1) after the pre-anestesia our family correcting the anestesiologists that instead of him being about three margaritas in he was a scotch man so he was more like two scotchy wotchy's in - haha, we Cavetts like to keep things light 2) holding hands with my Dad, Mom, Sister and our Pastor saying a prayer before they wheeled my Dad off to surgery 3) Seeing for the first time in my life a bit of worry and uncertainty in my Mom's eyes. And for those of you that know Debbie, she is the strongest person I know and always keeps it together. She is the rock of the family 4) The waiting. The waiting room sucks. For those of you who have been there, it SUCKS. You think about a lot - what if that was the last time your family was all together? What was the last thing you said to your Father? Was it the right thing? Was he scared? How can you support your Mom? What if he survives but is comes back different? The four of us are as close as a family comes and it wouldn't be the same without our Dad. But you have to stay calm and pray and know that there is no reason to think of those things and wait for the good news when the doctor comes out and says "it went well. he is in recovery".

And that is exactly what happened. He was/is fine! Happy moments I will remember are 1) hearing those words "it went well. he is in recovery" 2) seeing him awake and lucid in recovery, albeit he still had tubes everywhere so that was still scary and 3) the support of our family and my parents friends who were either there with us (shout out Kathy & Dennis James!) or texting, calling and emailing for updates. Today, my Dad is as good as new! Barely even a scar. In fact, when people ask him how he is feeling he says "I feel great. I never felt bad to begin with!". The scary thing is that his artery was over 90% blocked! The doctor even brought out the nasty, fatty stuff and showed us (I spared you all on this one and decided not to upload a pic). We were VERY lucky that for whatever reason my Dad hadn't already suffered a heart attack or stroke and even luckier that my Dad's regular doctor payed attention during a standard exam and got my Dad to the right doctor. And I am even MORE thankful that my Dad takes care of himself and actually goes to the doctor! Who knows where we would be sitting now as a family if he didn't do his due diligence for his health.

Point is, we are getting older and so are our parents and loved ones. We are all mortal, susceptible to death, but we do have some control over how we can live long, healthy lives. Be thankful you are here and take care of yourself and encourage your loved ones to as well.

And for those of you who weren't as lucky as our family was this time and have lost a loved one I am truly sorry and can't imagine what that is like. I do know that you know what the waiting room is like and I am sorry for any of you who have had to experience it, whatever the outcome. My prayers are with you and yours - always.

And thank you to Dr. Mark Martin of Brownwood, TX and Dr. Scott Crocker of Abilene Medical Center in Abilene, TX and the nurses and staff for helping our family through a scary day and taking care of my Dad!

When You Fall – Get Up And Tri Tri Again

For those of you that read my Jessica vs.Triathlon post a few months ago, you may have heard that the Triathlon won. Meaning I wasn’t able to complete it due to an injury I endured the week before the race. Insert sad face here. While I still plan on completing one either this summer or fall after I have fully recovered, I have been reminded by many friends and family members that the journey I’ve been on the past four months is just as important and might even surpass the experience of the race itself. Upon much reflection, and trust me I’ve had plenty of time on my hands to reflect, and finally coming out of the fog of pain medication I thought it might help me heal to share that journey.

If you recall, this was a pretty big challenge for me as I was a complete novice when it came to swimming and cycling. Yes, I could “swim” and “ride a bike” but those are both VERY different than competing in the actual sport of swimming (in open water I might add) and truly cycling on a road bike. My first time in the pool was quite comical and my coaches and I all wondered if I could get there. And the first time I took out my bike I was such a dope that I didn’t even realize that my gears weren’t working! I told you, NOVICE. So, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this was going to take a lot of discipline, focus, time, and flat our WORK to get to where I needed to be by race day. And if you know me at all, when I am in – I am IN. So, I grabbed the bull by the horns and hit my training plan hard.

This was my biggest challenge by far but you just have to get your butt to the pool and work. My training group unfortunately had their group swims during the week on a night that I could never attend due to another commitment (should out Major League Bocce Dallas!) so I was really hurting for some help. I spent one short session in the pool with one of my coaches who gave me some fantastic tips to start with including how to breath (pretty important one!) and later in my training got some great advice from a friend with a background in swimming and diving (Holla Wendy O’Connell) but I swear to you I learned everything else from Olympian Swimmer Ryan Lochte’s new reality show “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?”. Oh how I wish there was a “sarcastic” font. KIDDING. I learned everything else from Your Tube. Seriously, You Tube is the greatest thing on earth. You want to know how to do ANYTHING you can “You Tube It”. And that includes swimming! I watched countless videos, read articles, bought buoys and hand paddles for drills and each week I could feel things start to really “click”. When my coaches saw me in the pool again a month or so after that first day they were in shock! My improvement continued through our transition into open water swimming but then there was a whole other new series of things to learn like a) how to put on and pull off a wetsuit by yourself (and living with how super sexy you look in said wetsuit) b) how to control your breathing in cold water and while getting hit in the face with waves c) how to use more arm power than legs as you want to save your legs for the other two events d) how to “sight” or “spot” as unlike swimming in a pool you have to look up while swimming in open water to know where you are going and many more things like getting used to being in a gross lake with your face staring down at nasty green water! Good news was it took one training swim on an evening in bad, windy weather and super choppy water for me to conquer it all and feel completely comfortable swimming in open water. Yay!


Although new to this sport it wasn’t as hard to adjust to as swimming but there was still a lot to learn. I now know why cyclists wear special tops or sometimes have bandanas over their mouths. BUGS! Another lesson learned the hard way, but depending on the trail or time of day or even type of day you may sail into a swarm of bugs at 20 miles per hour and it is disgusting. Lance Armstrong duped us all in more way than one as it takes more skill and practice than you think balance grabbing your water bottle and taking a drink while maintaining your speed and direction on your bike using just one arm. There were a few times I thought I might bite it or miss my bottle holder completely when putting my water bottle back! Windy days suck. Hills suck. I mean hills REALLY suck. Puddles suck. And cars suck. I now have an entirely new appreciation and understanding of cyclists. For cars my advice is, just drive! Just drive like normal and we will work around you. It makes it worse when you are scared to pass us or wait too long at the stop sign or whatever. We know we make you nervous but you make us more nervous so just be cool. It is way easier for you to stop then us to stop as our feet are strapped into our pedals! And I’ve already given you my rant about the bike shorts but just wait until you’ve ridden in wet tri/bike shorts – no fun! I never got to where I loved going for a ride but it was a nice alternative to doing something active outside instead of running.


As you know, I’m already a runner so this was easy-peasy for me. And I learned that for all athletes that attempt their first Triathlon it is typically easiest for a runner because that is the sport that the majority of people struggle with the most. Great news for me! The run is the last part of the race and comes directly after the bike so the hardest part is the transition your legs have to make as the first mile they feel like lead! Tip: if you put your bike into a “spin” meaning you are barely using any force from your legs but literally are just spinning your wheels about a half mile to mile out from your transition area your legs will adjust much faster. The biggest thing to remember here is to take off your bike helmet before you take of running. Trust me, people do it.

I had no idea how all this worked before I started my training. I hadn’t even watched a triathlon on television. I just knew it involved three sports but had no clue how you transitioned to each during a race. First of all most triathletes wear what you call a “Tri Suit”. The shorts are spandex and have padding like true bike shorts but less of it and made of material that absorbs water (remember – you will be swimming in these bad boys). The top is also spandex and very, very tight and is typically sleeveless and is also super dry fit to absorb water/moisture. Some people wear the one pieces but I preferred the top/bottom option (again, nothing about a Triathlon is attractive so you just learn to go with it). At all Tri’s there is a place called a “transition area” where you put all your crap before the race. You don’t have much room and you start in the water so you are already wearing your tri suit, wet suit, cap and goggles so you have to have your bike, helmet, sunglasses, bike shoes, socks, running shoes, sunglasses, towel, nutrition and whatever else you think you need all ready to go and easily accessible so you won’t take forever during a transition or get in anyone else’s way. This is very important as when you come flying in after an event and are trying to get moving to the next one it is a cluster and if your stuff isn’t organized it can really hold you up or stress you out. One Saturday training we did two “mini” Tri’s so we could get the feel of jumping from one event to the next. It was madness but gave me a great idea of what race day would be like and how insane it is to literally jump out of the water, onto the bike and then take off running. It’s insane really but I loved it. Even though it was practice it was hard for me to not “race” and my coaches placed bets on me on if I would catch the boys in the run – they got to know me pretty well. And if you are wondering, yes, I did catch them and beat them J.

Team In Training
I am beyond thankful that I decided to train with Team In Training for this event. My coaches (Paul, Tim & Jen) were all incredibly inspiring people and they were so patient and encouraging and motivating to all of us. I can’t imagine having taken this all on without them. And if you think I’m crazy with all my physical challenges, etc. you have no idea what crazy is! These people do Triathlons and Marathons and Iron Mans and any other race you can think of practically every month AND they still make time to be there for us twice a week, plan our trainings, answer our questions, etc. They are truly inspirational! My team was also amazing. We had men and women ranging from 25 to 70, Singles, Moms, Dads, Grandparents, one Married couple. Some newbies to Tri’s and some veterans. We had a blast and were truly a support system for each other. I was most disappointed to not get to compete with them on race day and share that moment with them after sharing so much blood and sweat (no tears at least) with them over the past few months. Some of us are talking about doing a Triathlon together in July so I’m hoping that works out.

The Accident
To give you some background, the weeks before a Marathon or a more running-heavy race you do what we call “taper”. You slow down the training – you run less days, shorter distances, etc. Your body is ready so you really just need to stretch your legs and rest. For a Triathlon, you do a similar process but not as extreme of a back off so you still have several workouts the week before the race but again they may be a little shorter or less intense as during prime training time. I say this because some wonder why I was out riding my bike 5 days before my race and the answer is because I was supposed to be! It was my last training ride – a 30 minute “light spin”. And in all fairness, I did complete that workout but with a bumb arm, jacked up bike and several bloody limbs J.

I was riding over a bridge on a trail at White Rock Lake near my house so I was already going downhill, was directly behind another bike, and approaching a sharp turn that forked into a road that pedestrians, cyclists and cars all used. So, there was a lot going on and I was riding defensively as I should. I admit that it wasn’t my typical route as I was taking a short cut since my ride didn’t have to be as long and I mis-judged the turn. While I took it too sharply, it would have been fine had the grass and trail been flush but instead there was a huge gap/hole between the two and my front tire went directly into said hole and there was no turning back at that point. I saw it right before I hit it and knew what was coming. The rest is a bit of a blur but I ended up landing on my left side, not sure what hit first, and skidding across the pavement, banging my head against the ground (Thank God I finally learned how to wear that helmet!). My left knee, right thumb and left shoulder were all skinned and bleeding and my left elbow and arm were pounding. I got up pretty quickly and a few people nearby asked if I was okay (shout out to the homeless man taking a nap on the grass by the water) and I brushed them off being in a state of shock, pain and embarrassment. I tried to get back on my bike but the chain was loose so I fixed that, added greasy hands to my list of troubles, and took off. I considered turning around to go back towards my car but still being in race-preparing-mode I didn’t want my last memory of being on a bike on race day to be me crashing so I wanted to settle in again and get comfortable. So – off the bloody, greasy, crying mess of me went. I realize this sounds crazy to the “normal” person but when you are an athlete at heart your nature is to push yourself when it hurts and sometimes it takes a while to realize your body limits. My arm continued to throb, swell and become difficult to bear weight, move, etc. so I knew something was up. Being stubborn and sure I just “stung” it on my fall I popped some Motrin and still drove to book club that night, despite the protests of my passenger, (what’s up Renee Harris) and sat quietly with an ice pack. My friends knew something was wrong as at this point I couldn’t even straighten or bend my arm it was so swollen and it HURT. The rest of the evening was a painful nightmare and I was terrified of what I might learn the next day at the doctor. Here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure.
Full Body Shot - Right After I Got Home
Ouch - Nice Chain  Grease

Starting to Swell...

These Cuts Were Actually Really Deep
Not Sure How My Right Hand Got In This Mess
The next day consisted of a visit to PrimaCare, Xrays, prescriptions for antibiotic cream and pain killers. They sent me to an Imaging center for an MRI later in the day. The following day was an appointment with my Orthopedic doctor (yes, I have two actually already from previous injuries) and the results of my MRI. While all had laughed in my face when I asked about the possibility of racing that Sunday, the final diagnosis of a fractured radial head (part of your inner elbow) in addition to road burn, bruised/cracked ribs, severely contusions and sprains in my elbow, arm and wrist it was clear that I would not be competing or finishing my first Triathlon. Instead I would be visiting the Physical Therapist for the next 4 weeks and doping myself on pain meds and anti-inflammatories until further notice. Good news was no surgery and apparently this is the best elbow injury you can have as it heals quickly and you typically re-gain full mobility.

Two Days Post-Accident
Wicked Road Burn and Hella Swollen

Moment of Truth - No Triathlon For Me

However, this was heartbreaking. If you have ever done anything like this, it takes over your life. Your entire world changes to evolving around when you can fit workouts in, what equipment you need, watching you tube videos and reading articles, paying attention to what you eat, sacrificing work or social time to train, rest or prepare, etc. Not to mention that it is just physically exhausting. My point is I had worked VERY hard for 4 months and sacrificed a lot, body-mind-soul, to accomplish this goal and now I wouldn’t even get the chance to try.
And for the record, I do mumble a curse word or two every time I drive by the stupid scene of the "crime". It will be interesting the first time I ride past it!

Thankfully, I have the most supportive friends, family and colleagues in the world so there was no lack of love coming my way. And let’s be honest, it could have been MUCH worse so I was thankful to be relatively healthy with a short recovery time! So, after I threw myself a drugged up pity party in my super sexy sling and bandages for a week or so I launched into physical therapy twice a week, progressively started using my arm more, upgraded to a compression sleeve and then an elbow support brace, and weaned off the pain meds. Once the swelling went down, I had the most trouble with rotating my arm so things like round-brush blow drying my hair, unscrewing a bottle cap or twisting a door knob hurt like hell! While my therapist did give me the okay to try running after two and a half weeks, she did warn me that I would “pay to play”. Meaning I wouldn’t hurt my elbow, arm, wrist or ribs any MORE by running but it might not feel so good and was it really worth it? The answer was, No. It was not really worth it. Haha. I tried running one day and my ribs and arm were throbbing so badly with just a few strides in I had the mental discussion with myself reminding me that I was not an Olympian who needed to push through this run and was an average Joe who probably needed a few more weeks of rest. Dammit.  

Today, I am happy to report that just one month after my injury I am almost good as new, minus a few scars from my road burn that are still healing nicely J I still have a little bit of stiffness and limited mobility in my elbow but the majority of the issues are with my arm and wrist. Apparently, fractures, or the type and location of mine, heal pretty quickly but it is the sprains and such that are more of the problem. I’m not quite back to 100% in terms of weight bearing (can’t use just my left arm to bear my weight to get up off the floor, lean on a bike, etc.) BUT I have officially started to run and swim again and it feels great!

One of my goals this year was to complete a Triathlon and although I didn’t get to do the first one I signed up and trained for I still have it on my list for 2013 J. Call me crazy!  And for those of you who donated to Team In Training/LLS on my behalf to reach my fundraising goal you will be happy to know that the majority of what I raised can go towards my goal if I decide to sign up to train with TNT again in the fall. Thank you again for your support both financially and emotionally and I will let you know when I reach this goal!