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Wheelchair Tennis? Yet another reason why I LOVE my Healthplex!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Well, okay...MY Healthplex doesn't have tennis at all (being the smallest of the 3 campuses). :(

But still, this is just totally awesome.

Meanwhile, being utterly exhausted after work today and having to stop at the grocery store (I've been MEANING to leave early so I could get the grocery shopping done all week, knowing that the next 2 days I'd have to stay late for meetings...yeah, not so much), I called 'Yote to get his "vote" on food and picked up a frozen DiGiorno pizza for meal (because anything more complicated seemed like just way too much work).

I had one piece. ONE PIECE! I stuck to the actual portion size, and only had one serving! And didn't have any of the internal conflict I usually do saying "Oh, it's just one more piece, what harm could it do really?" - I decided I was only having one serving, and was totally fine with it.

Here's hoping tonight isn't the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day the past two have been (primarily because durn it, I want to finish writing up the handfasting post already).

And in SUPER AWESOME news, it turns out Deer Hunting season (at least with guns, and according to the guy at the park system I talked to they don't get a whole lot of bow-hunters) doesn't start until November 12th, SO my date on Saturday for hiking and a picnic is a go! *does happy dance*

Oh, and in the utterly random...'Yote and I went to see another of our favorite bands (Ellery - no really, go check them out they're awesome! ) play on Saturday night. The usual suspects were there (like one of my mainframe guys at work who is also a huge Over The Rhine fan) and it was a terrific concert (I've uploaded a few videos I took on my phone to my facebook page for anyone interested -
). The following night at work, as I was heading to the break room one of the OTHER guards stopped me "Hey, did I see you at the Ellery concert yesterday?" Now you have to understand, dude is generally known as "the Christian one" of the guards - not that that bothers me at all, we're totally friendly and he's a good guy. So as we started talking about Ellery and their music, he asked if I knew another musician (yup, dude has opened for Ellery before) and told me that person had been the music minister at his church. And being me, I asked...turns out he goes to the Vineyard in Florence. At which point, I gave him about a 15 minute history lesson regarding the Vineyard here in town (I came up with the nursery design they are STILL using at the big "Vineyard Church and Convention Center" up in Springdale, and my first husband and I were the ones schlepping all the nursery stuff back and forth every week when they were still meeting at Scarlet Oaks Vocational School back in the late 80s) AND the overlap between that church, my former church home (Fellowship Christian) and the music scene here in Cincinnati. I don't think the poor boy knew what hit him (because he's overheard my conversations with my lesbian security guard...dude KNOWS I'm a freaky pagan now).

So yeah, I'm amused. LOL I love it when I get to freak out the mundanes by knowing more about their own culture than they do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 10/5/2011 3:48PM

    One piece of pizza?! Great job. I had 3, count them 3 slices of an over done, yucky pizza on Monday. Glad it's gone. Won't be getting that one again!

Hope today is better at work! Glad you enjoyed the show.

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NSTARSMITH 10/4/2011 5:35PM

    Well, bad days or not, your sense of humor is still delightfully intact, eh?

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PJMOGG 10/4/2011 2:23PM

    Your a HOOT emoticon

Congrats on the moderation! emoticon


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MONETRUBY 10/3/2011 10:39PM

    One piece!? Holy cow, that's fantastic! And I love the wheelchair tennis-anything that gets all kinds of folks involved in activity is super-duper by me.

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FANGFACEKITTY 10/3/2011 8:43PM


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When Size Matters

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So I'm 70 lbs down (well 65 lbs at the moment with the gain after the last few weeks, but you'll notice THAT is 2 pounds down from the weekend, so heading back in the right direction again! WOOT!), but I haven't really done a whole lot of shopping for clothes over the past year or so. Oh, I've had to get new pants ('cause I'm not gangsta enough to pull off the "pants around your knees" look...and eww anyway), but I've mostly continued wearing the same old shirts and tops, figuring loose is better than too tight and hadn't thought much about it.

This weekend I realized that one of my favorite summer tops needs to be retired. Like now. Because not only is it so loose it makes me look pregnant, but being a tank top style, it just won't stay put where it belongs anymore. I think my date may have suspected the "off the shoulder showing my bra and cleavage" look was intentional (and when I told 'Yote about it afterwards he said he figured she'd appreciated the view and not to worry about it),, that wasn't the look I was specifically going for.

Though I'll admit, it seems to have had a favorable affect anyway (she's already asked me out again, we're going hiking in two weeks and I can't wait! *does happy dance*).
emoticon emoticon emoticon

So today I'm wearing my new khaki-colored jeans, and I decided to wear one of my older work shirts - one that I originally bought when I'd lost the weight on Atkins and hadn't been able to wear again until just a few months ago. It's probably one of the only shirts I can wear to work (because we have to wear shirts with collars, so the t-shirts I've picked up recently won't do) that actually fits right now. (Side note - with the new logo they offered us the chance to buy new shirts again, and I ordered two shirts in XL...and NOW I know I totally could have ordered the next size smaller! Win! Well, except for the fact those new shirts are already too big, but still I say WIN!)

I went out into the break area to put my food in the fridge and make a phone call around 10 pm tonight, and ran into one of our former co-workers who now works upstairs with the Fifth Third crew (we still share a building, though they've restricted access on our badges to our own work areas). Now, I KNOW she's seen me recently - she lives near me so we occasionally run into each other at the grocery store, and she's mentioned seeing me out walking in the neighborhood from time to time. But I guess this was the first time she'd seen me actually wearing something other than work-out clothes that actually fits, because she seemed totally floored by how much weight I've lost. She kept hugging me, and telling me how proud of me she was (and yes, I sent her the link to Sparkpeople afterwards - yay for spreading the Spark) - it REALLY felt great! So I took a couple of pictures, 'cause yeah...even I'm amazed at the difference wearing clothing that actually fits can make.

So what if I'm up 5 pounds from the lowest weight I've seen so far (this time around anyway - my lowest adult weight EVAR was 180 when I did Atkins, another milestone I'm rapidly approaching)? I've made HUGE strides on this journey, and it's far from over. Right? Right!

It's all about the adventure, Sparkfriends! Make it a great one!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEIDIWRITES 10/12/2011 11:40AM

    You look great Euphrates. You are such an inspiration (I know I've said that before). I just got my morning smile catching up on your blog, so thanks!

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LADYNEST 10/3/2011 7:01PM

    You go! That is awesome!

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 10/3/2011 12:43AM

    I am so jealous!

Actually I am really proud of you and happy for your success.
emoticon emoticon

And, seeing your success can help light the fire under my butt...
emoticon (Well, a bulb gets hot right?)


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WEDNESDEY 10/2/2011 12:05AM

    Being able to show off your hard work by wearing form fitting clothes, is definitely and esteem booster for me. Soak it up, you deserve it!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 9/30/2011 1:36PM

    ♥.•*¨-:¦:-. ;.•.♥ -:¦:-♥.•*¨-:¦:-. ;.•.♥ -:¦:-♥.•*¨-:¦:-

. ;.•.♥ -:¦:-♥Woo Hoo!!! looking good!

♥ . ((¸¸.•´ ..•´-:¦:- Victoria
-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´*♥.•*¨-:¦:-. ;.•.♥ -:¦:-

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PJMOGG 9/30/2011 1:23AM

    I can hardly wait to go shopping in my closet emoticon...and get into all those clothes I have grown out of SO many times!

You look FANFREAKINTASTIC emoticon

You got this,

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/28/2011 10:28PM

    Looking good! Having clothes that fit well is an immediate mood lifter, especially when you get to go down a size or two!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 9/28/2011 5:00PM

    WooHoo! Great pics. You look more comfortable in the clothes that fit. Looking good!

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MONETRUBY 9/28/2011 4:52PM

    Fantastic! You're doing an amazing job. You know that already, but I've found that it never hurts to hear it a whole lot,'re doing an amazing job!

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KRZYKAT3 9/28/2011 4:32PM

    yup, clothes that fit make all the difference and I am glad to see your pictures as I am oign to have to make this decisions soon myself!

you look great!

Comment edited on: 9/28/2011 4:32:22 PM

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CINDHOLM 9/28/2011 4:31PM

    emoticon Lookin' GOOD kid!!

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KAREN_NY 9/28/2011 3:16PM


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VALKYRIA- 9/28/2011 3:03PM

    You are doing emoticon!!!

You totally deserve to go shopping for some new tops!
You look AMAZING and you should show it off!

Keep spreading the spark emoticon

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DRAGONSPITTLE 9/28/2011 2:20PM

    Huzzah! Sounds like you might want to find a seamstress, too. That way you can keep older favorites for less than going and getting new, usually. =)

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MEAG29 9/28/2011 1:36PM

    Great pictures!!!! So stinkin' proud of you!!!! Keep it up!

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SUETINGE 9/28/2011 11:45AM

    You look amazing! Keep it up and you'll be needing mediums before you know it.

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ESBELL 9/28/2011 9:55AM

    Yeah Baby - Wear those smaller shirts with pride! You look hot!

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KESHA1975 9/28/2011 9:01AM

    Great Story!! Yea YOU!!

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ELYMWX 9/28/2011 8:17AM

    Yes indeed; when I finally stopped wearing the shirts that my bigger brother and I could have fit into, the difference was amazing. Great job, and I'm ure that if you had got the L's you would be saying the same thing about them in just a couple months!

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ZIPCONTROL 9/28/2011 5:54AM


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    You rawwwwk!!! And you look amazing too. I used to believe that wearing too big clothes made me look slimmer (and they felt better) until someone pointed it out to me. OK, my sisters had an intervention for my 50th birthday. I am seeing them in a couple of weeks to celebrate our birthdays for a weekend getaway. I haven't seen them in a couple of years. They will probably be taken aback by how much I've aged in that two years. You are right; it's about ADVENTURE and celebrating living each day we can and have!

Bring it Euphrates! And yes, the XL shirts are too big already! :)

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This is NOT the "Handfasting Post"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Though hopefully I'll have that together in the next few days - I'm back to work though, so don't expect much until Wednesday or Thursday, as my plan on how I want to put that together is somewhat elaborate (and involves picking my favorites of nearly 100 photos) and thus probably more than I'll have time for while working 12 hour shifts.

In the meantime, I haven't posted a blog or written any significant updates since the day before we left, and I've definitely got some non-handfasting-specific updating to do.

I'm finally back on my game as far as exercise goes, but I've changed the game plan up a bit. Having taken the week between my fall/collapse and the Warrior Dash off completely, and with limited ability to do any working out the following week with all of the activity surrounding the handfasting, I find myself about 3 weeks behind on the half-marathon training. I *could* push myself to catch up, but after the fall/collapse at 9 miles, I'm really REALLY leary of pushing too hard too fast again. And I think I've mentioned the various conflicts that have come up the weekend of the half marathon. SO, I've decided not to do the Columbus Half next month, and instead I'm going to focus on doing a FULL marathon in the spring. Having already done a half before, I'm not really disappointed by this change of plans (well, other than I was looking forward to doing it with some fellow Sparkpeople). And it gives me a lot more time to get myself where I need to be distance-wise. It's been a goal of mine to do a full marathon before I turn 50 - this will have me meeting that goal a whole year ahead of time! Plus both my daughter and my son's girlfriend have decided to do this with me - we're signing up for the Flying Pig Marathon right here in Cincinnati the first weekend of May!

And then I expect I'll stick to 5 or 10K distances - I only really want to do this to be able to say I did it. :) After that, I see no reason to ever go 26.2 miles again. Evar. LOL

Meanwhile, the Warrior Dash has me all fired up and wanting to get ready for the next one. When I wore my t-shirt to the gym early this week, the one trainer I've had my eye on came over to talk to me - turns out she did the one in June, and is already signed up for 2012! So I'm looking into ways to try and afford her once a week - if anybody could help me prepare to do better next time, it'd be someone who's actually done it themselves! I've not had a lot of success in finding anything local for Parkour training - there IS a local facebook group, but for actual training it appears I'd have to go to Columbus. Not impossible, but not especially practical either, so I'm thinking the trainer at my gym is my best bet. Now to come up with a plan to afford it!

The bottom line? Over the past several weeks, between having to back off on exercise for a bit and then all the travel, I've gained a total of 7 pounds. And you know what? I'm not all that worried about it. The fact of the matter is, my focus has completely changed - it's not about a weight or a size, it's about what I can DO. Like Warrior Dashes, and marathons, and maybe getting into SCA fencing or taking up tennis again, or trying rock climbing. Life is an AMAZING adventure to me now - there are no limits to what I can accomplish! Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting to a size 14 so I can buy clothes *anywhere*, and I'm still working towards losing the weight, but I'm not stressing it. :) I know I'll get there.

Bring it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUBYCLAIRE 9/29/2011 5:13PM

    Woo Hoo!!!

GREAT way to think, my dear friend!!

I can see it all now!!


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MONETRUBY 9/27/2011 5:24PM

    You are FABULOUS! Rock that attitude, woman!

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CINDHOLM 9/27/2011 4:55PM

    Great Attitude.. emoticon

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SUETINGE 9/27/2011 4:40PM

    Fabulous attitude Eu!

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ZANNACHAN 9/27/2011 4:30PM

    Nice to see you back!

Best of luck with the marathon! My dad has done several and he says it's an awesome experience.

I'm a big believer in focusing on what you can do--and also on other health indicators, especially if they are bad or borderline (like fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, resting heart rate, blood cholesterol levels, etc.) I mean, yeah, I'd love to fit into my skinny clothes again and feel thin and pretty etc. But I'd much rather LIVE my life than LOOK nice, you know? Things like fencing, and canoeing, and hiking, and climbing a pyramid, or whatever.

That's what keeps me going. I get so frustrated with the weight loss goal because I just can't seem to make any headway (not that I'm expecting to this week, as I wasn't very active this week--too much time spent trapped in a car--and ate terribly since I wasn't home and was on the road and ended up eating out a lot). But I *can* see progress in terms of being fitter--I'm doing things now I literally couldn't do 2, 3 years ago. And that makes me feel both powerful and liberated.

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    Nice to hear from you Eu! You will rock whatever you decide is the right challenge for you at the right time of that I am sure!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 9/27/2011 12:07PM

    Xena is one of my heroes! I love the fact that you are being so realistic with regards to the exercise and marathon. I think you are making a wise decision to let the 1/2 marathon go this year and concentrate on your true goal. Yes, it probably would have been fun, but your health is so much more important than one race.

It sounds like you found a great place by taking the time off to realize what you want your focus to be. Being active and healthy is my main goal. A side effect of that is wanting the excess gone, but I'm not waiting until then to live.

Rock climbing is awesome! If you try it I know you'll enjoy it. Added bonus is that it will help you with climbing over the obstacles at the warrior dash because it tones and strengthens arms, cor and legs.

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ESBELL 9/27/2011 11:41AM

    This week off seems to have really helped you define your goals. I'm glad you have relieved yourself of the stress of Columbus Half, you have so many things going on that weekend I don't think you will miss it (to much emoticon )

The Flying Pig sounds like a great full marathon to tackle - best wishes in all your runs!

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JONEIL513 9/27/2011 9:41AM

    I'm glad you have such a positive attitude! I hope you can figure out a way to afford the trainer and I am so excited you're working toward a full marathon, that is quite the goal!!!

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MSBLT82 9/27/2011 9:33AM

    awesome picture! warrior on! emoticon

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JEN-LOVES-LIFE 9/27/2011 9:17AM

    I will miss you in Columbus next month. I totally understand why you aren't doing it. I think it's cool that you are going to do the marathon in the spring with your daughter.

That's cool that you are training for the Warrior Dash next year. Mike can't wait to do it either! I can't wait to be the photographer.

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BE-THE-CHANGE 9/27/2011 8:35AM

    You have a great attitude!

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From One Cougar To Another

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So a few of our wolves have decided to embrace their inner feline this round of BLC, and have become Couragous Copper Cougars. And it seems one of their leaders followed them into the wolf den when they came for a visit, and has decided to stick around - and turns out she's just as much into Zumba Porn as I am! I predict a wonderful collaboration ahead!

And look, she posted an A-Z list I haven't done yet! So you can thank FITNHEALTHYKAL for this one!


A. Age: 47

B. Bed size: Double (for the moment, we're thinking our handfasting present to ourselves may be a new bed, a queen this time)

C. Chore you dislike: Vacuuming

D. Dogs: neither of my dogs live with me - Lucky is my sons' dog and lives my kids' dad, and Hagrid lives with my ex-spice (spice = plural of spouse) and the heart-kids (being a Mastiff, he needs his people around and we're just not home enough, he'd be far too lonely and then he'd get distructive...and 190 lbs of destructive isn't fun)

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee (Amen Kal!)

F. Favorite color: Green (followed closely by purple)

G. Gold or silver: I generally prefer gold, but mostly wear silver.

H. Height: 5’ 3"

I. Instruments you play(ed): Piano, flute, recorder, lap dulcimer, bodhran

J. Job title: Night Shift Systems Operations Support Analyst, Production Control (and also Mom to Many)

K. Kids:
4 bio kids:
Daughter I placed for adoption who is 27
Son - will be 25 on Monday (!)
Daughter 23
Son - will be 21 the following Sunday (!)

6 "heart kids" (ex-step kids if you want to be technical, but they all still call me "Mommy Lisa")
Son - 13
Son - 11
Daughter nearly 9
Son - just turned 7
Daughter - just turned 3
Son - will turn 1 the day before my bio son turns 21

L. Live: Lifelong Cincinnatian (well, except having been born in KY and living there the first 2 months of my life - hey, nobody's perfect) LOL

M. Mom's name: Nancy Rosella Lerman (called Rose)

N. Nicknames: I guess Euphrates could count as a nickname. Also known as "The Goddess of Spreadsheets", "The Poet Handler", and "The Keeper of Linear Time" OH, and my sister called me BeeCee when she was little (she couldn't wrap her mouth around Lisa, and then it kinda stuck)

O. Overnight hospital stays: For all 4 C-sections, and one soft tissue infection YEARS ago. Oh, and when I got my tonsils out when I was 4

P. Pet peeves: Passive Agressive behavior

Q. Quote from a movie: I've got two (which are on my sparkpage) -

Granny Wendy: So Peter, your adventures are over.
Peter Banning: Oh, no. To live... to live would be an awfully big adventure.

- Final lines from the movie "Hook"
From the movie "Parenthood" 1989:
[Gil has been complaining about his complicated life; Grandma wanders into the room]
Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: [sarcastically] What a great story.
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty (who spawned left-handed sons, go figure)

S. Siblings: 1 sister

T. Time you wake up: between 7:00 - 7:30 PM on work days. My days off are a total crap shoot

U. Underwear: Yes (when I'm wearing clothes anyway).

V. Vegetables you don't like: Okra

W. What makes you run late: But...but...just one more e-mail!

X. X-rays you've had: Teeth, that's about it

Yummy food you make: My mom's Salmon Salad (we consider it summer-time ambrosia) :)

Z. Zoo animal favorites: All the big cats (shocker)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIMAWEYGH 9/20/2011 7:32PM

    Oh I love this and Eu I do miss being a wonderful wolfie but find that KAL is making me just love being a CCC and I am having so much fun. And who knows where I might be next round, can I split myself in 1/2 and be a wolgar............giggle

I think i might have to steal this one myself. Love and miss you gal.


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DOGSTARDADDY 9/19/2011 6:08AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 9/16/2011 7:11PM

    Fun! Just posted mine.

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WEDNESDEY 9/16/2011 6:57PM

    Very cute!

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RUBYCLAIRE 9/15/2011 7:44PM

    Cute & interesting!

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CORNERKICK 9/15/2011 12:38AM

  I'm gonna "borrow" this one...thanks for sharing!

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ZANNACHAN 9/14/2011 2:40PM

    Fun meme *grin* I may have to steal--er, borrow-- this one.

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FAVORED_ONE 9/14/2011 2:40PM

    I will have to do this one.

I knew the lines from Hook right away. My favorite line from Hook would be "He really did lose his marbles."

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AMYSRUN4LIFE 9/14/2011 12:44PM

    Awesome! And I have to say, ever since reading your spark page and that quote from the movie Parenthood, I think about it all the time. However, they are both fantabulous quotes!!


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    emoticon Thanks for sharing!

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MONETRUBY 9/14/2011 11:30AM


All right, I might just have to steal this one, for realz. I always say I will, but never do.

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MARGARITTM 9/14/2011 8:41AM

    Cute! You Go Girl!

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    RAWR....Cougar in the house! emoticon I've got coffee emoticon chew toys emoticon emoticon but do you wanna take a nap? emoticon BTW, go for the king sized bed. You'll be glad you did! :)

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I’m a WARRIOR! RAWR! (The Promised Account with Pictures!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Saturday dawned bright and early – way too early in fact, since I set the alarm to get us moving by 6:30 AM in order to have enough time to pack the car, check out of the hotel and meet up with ‘Yote’s best friend M and ex-girlfriend H (yeah, I’m friends with most of his exes…I think I’m friends with more of them than he is) at 8:00 AM. And in actual fact, it WAS too early – we got to the house where they were staying at 7:30 AM – oops! But that gave us a little time to visit while they finished getting ready, and then we were on the road to Carrollton!

All of the weather reports I’d seen called for rain, and it was definitely drizzly when we left Akron, but the closer we got to Carrollton (about an hour away) the more the sky cleared. Oh there were always a few threatening clouds to be seen, but they were scattered across a mostly blue sky with bright sunshine. As it turned out, from the moment we arrived onsite until halfway home afterwards, the weather stayed dry as a bone (which is a heckuva lot more than I can say for US…but I’m getting ahead of myself). I noticed two things while on the drive to the site – Carrollton is FAR closer to Minerva than I had realized (Minerva being where the daughter I placed for adoption is living now). At one point I saw a sign that indicated we were only 4 miles away. That was kind of cool and freaky at the same time – I mean, I wave at her every time we pass the Wooster/Canton exits on I-71 because I know she’s out that way, just farther east, but only 4 miles? I think that’s the closest I’ve been to her (that I was aware of at the time it happened) since the last time I held her in my arms. (Side-note: she’s been invited to the handfasting this weekend, so far she’s left it up in the air and I kinda doubt she’ll make it, except that she and my *other* daughter have been talking about her visiting the Cincinnati Zoo some time, so maybe? Perhaps the half-siblings are more of a draw than meeting the birthmother…I can totally cope with that). The second thing I noticed was that pretty much EVERY business in Carrollton had “Welcome Warrior Dash!” signs up everywhere.

Apparently this is the biggest thing to hit that town in ages (a hunch that was confirmed later by the waitress in Ponderosa, who told us “I’ve never seen so many people in Carrollton in my LIFE!”). I looked it up, and as of July 2009 the town’s total population was 3,211. The total number of participants for the WD was 10,945 – so we more than tripled the population for that day. Which explains the traffic trying to get to the site and get parked! We arrived in Carrollton an hour early for our 11:00 AM wave just as they’d recommended, and it took us 70 minutes to get parked – we totally missed our start time. Considering the line, I figured we weren’t the only ones so we didn’t worry too much about it. I’d already heard that they weren’t being real strict about policing when people started, so I figured (correctly) they’d just let us go with a later wave.

We got our packets, put on our race numbers and tied our free beer tokens to our shoes, and took a few “before we get dirty” pictures, and then we were off to the start! I wasn’t sure exactly what time we got going – I’d *thought* it was about noon, but considering our race times I don’t think we actually got started until nearly 12:30 PM. ‘Yote tried to get pictures but he was far enough away that if we’re actually in these pictures, I can’t spot us.

Blue Valkyries! (Pre mud)

And they're off!

Linking to the website now, where you can hover over the pictures on the course map to see what the obstacles looked like - NEXT time (yes, I said that out loud) I'm going to try doing what I saw a couple of other people do, and strap a waterproof camera to my arm. :)

We started out running down hill (okay, more of a “controlled fall” than a run really – it was steep, so even though M wasn’t really planning on running, there wasn’t much choice). It was a lovely day really – the clouds kept it from being too hot, though the sun was an issue (I debated from the car to the start whether to keep my sunglasses on or not for fear of losing them, but I decided to keep them on and I think that was wise in retrospect). Of course by the time we got to the first obstacle: the “Deadweight Drifter” – a stream we had to wade through and cross over 3 logs suspended by chains from the banks - we were feeling pretty warm, so the cold water was a welcome relief. That first obstacle set the tone for the whole race – after the first step into the stream the bottom dropped out which made it easy to fall, so once we found our footing we helped some of the folks behind us get in, and then the whole group of us worked together to get over those logs. It’s harder than you’d think – they were huge, and they float and spin, so you had to have everybody push down in unison to submerge the log and then climb over together. Once we got a rhythm going it was pretty easy to get ‘er done. Of course, getting to the other side of the stream we were faced with what became the biggest obstacle of the whole race – climbing out into the mud created by all of the wet runners that preceded us! And trying to get up that ridiculously steep and muddy hill! I saw a few sad looking orphaned shoes on the way up and felt bad for the runners who’d had to continue on barefoot (and was REALLY glad my shoes were well tied on, because the mud definitely did its best to suck them off my feet). We’ve since heard from WD veterans who did the race that day that it was the steepest and muddiest course they’d ever dealt with (which makes me feel like less of a wimp for being bogged down in it).

I’m pretty sure the next obstacle was the “Cargo Climb” (that’s not what the race map on the website says, but I know for a fact some of the earlier obstacles listed came later on, and I know we doubled back on ourselves a bit, so I think it’s less than accurate). This particular obstacle was a huge high point for me (literally and figuratively). See, I am deathly afraid of heights. Seriously. DEATHLY afraid. But I was determined NOT to let that thwart me, so I dutifully grabbed hold of the cargo net and started climbing. It took some work – the ropes were farther apart than I’d realized, making it a challenge to decide the best place to get my footing (another theme of the race for me – being SHORT was a huge obstacle all on its own). I got to the top…and froze. I tried really hard not to look down too much, but you kind of have to in order to get over the wall, ya know? In moments both H and M were back on the ground cheering me on, telling me they knew I could do it. Of course, there are people climbing up and over on either side of me, and I don’t want to kick them (or be kicked), so I let most of them pass me (thanking those who offered a hand and telling them to go on without me – I need to hang on to the ropes myself, a person just wasn’t steady enough of an anchor). I really thought I might have to back down the side I was on and go around this one, but I was already UP there, so I just took some time to get comfortable where I was, and then when the coast was clear I swallowed my heart back into my chest and slowly, methodically, systematically picked a good sturdy hand-hold and then raised my right leg over…stopped for a moment to get comfortable there, then scooted my leg around until I got a toe-hold on the closest rope on the other side (turning my leg so I wouldn’t end up facing the wrong way), inched my hands to adjust my hold and then swung my other leg over…and I’D DONE IT! I was nearly in tears on the way back down the other side, both from relief and the most amazing sense of “OMG I did it! I did it! I really did it!” I can’t begin to describe the feeling – I’ve never been so proud of myself. Ever. Both M and H cheered for me and hi-fived me when I had both feet back on the ground, and said they wished my mate had been there to see it. At that point, I totally felt like a superhero - I could do ANYTHING!

Yeah, not so much – the very next obstacle was another wall. But I’d just tackled one and beat it, so I was sure this one would be a piece of cake…until I got closer. The wall had beams going up you could use to climb with your legs, and knotted ropes to pull yourself up by. It seemed fairly straightforward from a distance, but the beams were placed a lot farther apart than I’d realized. My legs were too short to get ANY kind of purchase on the beams, so all I had to work with was my upper body strength. Which I don’t have. I tried, but just couldn’t get myself hoisted up. M tried too, and she had the same problem – even though she’s taller and has longer legs, her arms just couldn’t handle it either (which I’ll admit, made me feel tons better not being alone at having been thwarted by that one). So we cheered as H climbed her way up (I called out “Go Blue Valkyrie Monkey!”) and we walked around that one and met her on the other side.

Next came the “Junkyard Jam” – a bunch of old tires you had to pick your way through to get to a series of three dumpsters separated by more tires. You had to then climb into the dumpster (not too hard, there were ledges and rails), and then climb back out. Except inside the walls are sheer and straight – no toe holds. M had no issues (heck, she did it twice ‘cause she came back to help me) – as a martial artist she’s done Parkour training and said it was very similar to some of the obstacles she’d dealt with in that setting. Me? Did I mention short little legs? It took some serious strategy (with help from both M and H), and in the last dumpster (which was taller than the rest) one very kind gentleman who kneeled next to me and offered me his leg to boost myself up with (I guess he figured he couldn’t get any muddier). LOL

I *think* the next obstacle was the “Rubber Ricochet” (a frame with tires suspended from ropes you had to run through) – I know I’m getting the sequence mixed up. That one was pretty simple (I had to laugh when one runner next to me went through roaring “I’ve conquered my fear of hanging tires!” LOL) Then there was the “Barricade Breakdown” – a series of waist-high (well, for the average person they were waist high, more like chest-high in my case) walls and fences, where you had to climb over a wall, and then shimmy under the bottom rung of the fence, about 7 times. Once again, I needed a bit of assistance with this one – I just don’t have that kind of arm strength to lift myself over from a dead stand, even with a jump. Most I could hook my foot over and then drag myself up but one was just too tall, so H boosted me up (apologizing for “the hand up you’re a$$” - I teased her for thinking I was a muppet).

Then we were faced with the “Teetering Traverse” – a series of balance beams that *should* have been easy, but weren’t for me. That fear of heights plus generalized balance issues has *always* given me problems with balance beams, ever since I was little. If it’s on the ground I’m fine, but even a foot or two up and I get panicky. I took about 3 steps, and saw that there was an even narrower beam in the middle of it, and decided to go around and met M & H on the other side.

And then we came to the “Chaotic Crossover” – basically a cargo net suspended between three supports. You had to climb up and then across. It looked easy in the pictures on the website, but OMG it was hard! I think that’s what has my arms so sore today – I alternated crawling and laying down and pulling myself across because the ropes in the netting were so far apart it was a challenge to find places to balance! Of course, once I got to the end of the thing THEN I saw people rolling across! DOH! I was pretty proud of that one too, because it took serious muscle to accomplish. More incentive to get better on those push-ups!

Then we came to the last wall – this one was another with ropes and beams, but it was on more of a slope. Same issue as the other one for me – beams too wide apart and not enough arm strength to get myself up and over, so I went around (though M made it over that one with H). And then, the “Warrior Roast” – two lines of fire we had to jump across! Took a false start or two but we did it! (There are some GREAT pictures on the website of H going over the fire, I’m in a couple of them off to the side - I intend to purchase some, but if you cant wait here's the site - my bib number is 45729:

And last but far from least, the “Muddy Mayhem” – anyone who’d managed to stay relatively clean up to that point was SOL, because you had to wade through the mud under barbed wire, and just like the stream the first step was a DOOZY! There are great pics on the website (see link above - they’ve got them encrypted so you’ll have to wait to see those until I can purchase them for me to actually post them here), but in the meantime here are a few my mate took while he was waiting for us (he missed us crossing the finish unfortunately, but we took far longer than the hour I’d projected and after a while his knees start hurting when he stands in one place too long so he’d had to wander a bit).

All in all, an amazing adventure! We finished in 2 hours 7 minutes – here’s the official results!

And finally, news story from the local TV station:

I came away from this experience a much richer person - first of all, I had a GREAT time with my Blue Valkyries! Particularly when you consider 7:30 AM that morning was the first time M and I had ever met face to face (FINALLY! Not like we haven't been good online friends since not long after 'Yote and I first met) - talk about your bonding experiences! Such wonderful memories to treasure! Secondly, I recognized something pretty important to consider as I set goals going forward. See, my friend Jen (who did this with her husband, and is the one who convinced me to go for the Columbus Half with her in October) made a comment afterwards that her husband wants to do it again, but she is much happier just being a long distance runner, and that got me thinking. I think I'm pretty much the opposite - I'm doing this half, and the full marathon in May, primarily to be able to say "Yeah, I did that" - and then I don't really see any need to go such long distances ever again. It's just not that big a passion for me (oh, I'll do races, and probably some longer ones like the Heart Mini Marathon in the spring, but just 'cause it's for a good cause and I want to participate, not to prove anything to myself). But this? THIS was a blast! I totally want to do it again, and am already assessing what I need to do training-wise so that next time I WILL CONQUER EVERY OBSTACLE! I'm even thinking about checking out local Parkour training, 'cause I really like the idea of kicking a$$ (and heck, maybe even martial arts are in my future, something I'd never seriously considered before). Which dovetails with my hopes of getting into SCA fencing eventually quite nicely. I'm gonna be a SUPER HERO b*tches! RAWR! Just watch me! I may not be there yet, but hey - I DID THAT. I'm totally on my way.

So yeah. BAMF? Check!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ESBELL 9/15/2011 1:59PM

    You totally ROCKED that race! It makes me crave one even more now - I have got to find one close to home!

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/15/2011 1:15PM

    RAWR!!! You rock!

The Dash is such great fun, I enjoyed it much more than a traditional race. I have a HM this weekend, and I want to do a full sometime in the future, but I think going forward most of my races will have some sort of theme like this. There is one in Baltimore next month that is very similar to the Warrior Dash...a 5k obstacle course where you are also being chased by zombies who want to eat your brains (i.e. grab one of the flags hanging from your belt like in flag football). I think it is called Run for Your LIfe. I think I'm going to do it next year, I just couldn't make the timing work for me ths year.

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~INDYGIRL 9/15/2011 12:58PM

    You are looking trim! Way to go girlie! RAWR!

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QUEEN_REINA 9/14/2011 11:03PM

    Great pics! And I must say, you are really looking AWESOME!!

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DRAGONSPITTLE 9/14/2011 2:21PM

    HUZZAH! I wants to do the Dash up in Portland in a year or two. Too much fun!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 9/14/2011 10:59AM

    Victory! Congrats on conquering your fear and doing it all (well as much as you could). I am so proud of you! You look like you had a blast. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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JONEIL513 9/14/2011 10:32AM

    You rock, my warrior friend!!!!

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DISACK 9/14/2011 9:42AM

    Great job!

Thanks for the recap. I'm doing a Dash on Sunday and this was great for getting me pumped up! (And I'm going to go buy some disposable waterproof cameras.)

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    Thanks for the great race report! It sounds like you had an incredible time, way to go! My warrior dash is coming up in just a few weeks, now I have a better idea of what to expect. :)

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KRZYKAT3 9/14/2011 8:18AM

    wtg! Did oyu really walk through fire???

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ZANNACHAN 9/14/2011 12:56AM


It sounds like an awesome experience. I don't run. Not only because my hip makes it a bad idea, but because I don't like it, and never have--even when I was younger, thinner, and much fitter, running just wasn't my thing. And I never, ever do races. But that one sounds like a ton of fun. Other than the running part, at least!

My baroness ran in that race--I wondered if it was the same one when she said she was going to run in it (for her birthday, no less). I don't know how she did--all I know is that her facebook pictures she's beaming ear to ear and completely muddy. Now I know why!

I'm not at all familiar with the Parkour training, but a friend of mine who's VERY into martial sports (he does judo, I think? And he practices several times a week, plus he fences in the SCA every week and many weekends. He's crazy *grin*) and another friend of mine who did Tai Chi (as a martial sport) and Kung Fu (?) and does armored and rapier fighting int he SCA have both said that other martial sports can help a lot with SCA fencing--and vice versa. You just have to remember to watch yourself for the things that you can't cross over (like no grappling with people and tying them up in binds.) But things like footwork and even point control cross over really well, as does a lot of strategy--perhaps even more in fencing than armored.

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LYNNANN43 9/14/2011 12:25AM

    I so woosed out this year doing this because of the walls. I didn't realize until Jen mentioned that you could skip them!

YOU ROCKED IT!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONETRUBY 9/13/2011 10:38PM

    emoticon job!

LOVE that attitude-go for it next year, nothing can stop you!

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JENBELLE13 9/13/2011 10:20PM

    Way to go! I'm glad to get a real account of it because I want to do it this coming year. Thanks for sharing!

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REMODELINGPAT 9/13/2011 9:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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INDIANOAKS 9/13/2011 9:16PM

    LOVE all the pics, Eu!! GREAT JOB conquering your fear of heights and having a FUN time while doing so!!! YOU ROCK!!! Your enthusiasm is contagious -- and VERY inspiring!!

SO, did it take you FIVE times of washing your clothes to get rid of the mud TOO?? Jen mentioned something about 5 "friggin' or frickin' " (can't remember which) times... LOL... emoticon

You ARE a superhero!! emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 9/13/2011 8:52PM

    You go girl!


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ANA_M_N 9/13/2011 8:49PM

    It looks and sounds like you had a great - dirty - time. And this race, which I had only heard of but never researched, sounds like a blast: less a competitive event and more a community festival.

You should be so proud of yourself.

Go Blue Valkyrie Warriors!

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CYNDERROSE 9/13/2011 8:32PM


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JEN-LOVES-LIFE 9/13/2011 8:18PM

    What a great recap of the day! I am so proud of you!! You made me realize that I did not do FOUR of the obstacles, not the three I had thought! Oops. I could not do the shorter walls / barbed wire in between. Whatever it was called I did not do it. I did not even attempt it.

I am so happy for you that you loved it. I wish I did. If I said I did, it would be a lie to myself. I have no desire to ever do this again. BUT I have no problem cheering you on! It's funny because I talked a few people into doing this and they all loved it. I was the one who did not like it. Oh well. Live and learn. I lived, I experienced it and now I am moving on.

I am soooo proud of you and I really hope that we can meet up at the Columbus Half Marathon.

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    You rock!

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DINGALLSTOO 9/13/2011 8:11PM

    woohooo!! proud of you! what a woman. RAWR

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DANE02 9/13/2011 8:08PM

    Great Job and thanks for sharing! I need to plan on attending next year...I live near Canfield, so not too far...lokked like a great time

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