Blue's UnBashful Blog

Blue's UnBashful Blog

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Disconnected Stay-cation Home-treat

When I was around high school age, I remember talking to my uncle about technology.  I don't know how the conversation came about but I remember stating something like, :technology is going to make our society more lazy, more obese, and more hateful". The pretty recent Disney movie Wall-E is pretty much exactly what I pictured many years ago.  Well, how about that Nostradamus, I was right.  College wasn't so bad, we had AOL instant messenger but we didn't yet discover texting and didn't have smart phones.  I have noticed a significant change in our society's behavior and culture since facebook.  Keyboard warriors, fake friends, and zombie soul-sucking energy vampires was created with facebook. Holy shit.  I personally was vehemently attacked via social media upon my DUI bad decision and furthermore when a police report was falsified and bitter police charged the local media and social media for a character defamation hail mary creating the infamous "Pill-Gate".   Boundaries ceased to exist and any joe blow could make up a fake name and slander the hell out of me like it was their job.  Whatever,  I called out a shit ton of corruption and I gave them ammunition when I made the mistake of drinking and driving (something I will never do again).  But to say what they did was right and that I made a bad decision that made me a target and gave haters an opportunity is like saying I was raped because I had a few drinks and my skirt was too short. That issue will be resolved in time. 

Smart phones has created an unmindful society from texting and driving to checking the phone every minute to see if we received an email, text, facebook "like" or otherwise.  It has made us more inefficient, more vulgar, and  more gullible.   The generation of immediate gratification has created a monster.  With that being said, after 4 years of always being connected and putting over 2,700 people's needs ahead of mine, I needed a break!  I decided that I would shut everything off Thursday through Sunday.  No internet, smart phone off, no email, no phone, no TV, no media...I stay away from news since I was in politics, I have a box full of examples of how the media twists and turns, lies, and is just flat out negligent.  ! I purchased a pre-pay cell phone and gave the number to my immediate family only to use only in case of emergency. 

Sweet baby cheeses it was like I unplugged from the Matrix but there were no men in black suits with expressionless faces chasing me.  It was amazing.  At first I was anxious and would reach for my phone out of habit.  But then I became present and mindful, my creativity came back, I could think without interruption, and I was focused. 

I spent these days on a juice cleanse care/of Fruit Vibe in Rocky River, I love their juices!  I took detox baths ( Epsom salts, baking soda and lavender), I wrote, I reflected, and I just was.  I exfoliated and dry scrubbed, pealing back layers of thick skin, eliminated scars, healed wounds, dried tears and confronted tears that were suffocated by others' needs, all accumulated over years of being connected.  I confronted my disgust from a corrupt government system, and broke free from fraudulent friends.  I hydrated myself with lots of water after feeling like a withered flower left to die in harsh dry conditions.  I meditated.  I refueled everything that was lost, damaged, and neglected.  It was amazing and I plan on doing this at least 4 times a year!  I'm currently exploring ways to disconnect daily and to not be so attached to my stupid smart phone.  You must try it!  If you need help in making this happen, email me at bluemeg1981@gmail.com. 






Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Learning to just be in 2016

The year started off with a football game in Arizona.  Me and the family took a trip out west to watch Notre Dame play in the Fiesta Bowl.  I desperately wanted time to myself, to heal and unwind, and to get back to a normal routine full of positive adventures.  In the past I put many things on hold when it wasn't convenient for me and each time I regretted it deeply.  So, I said "Yes".  I shy away from things when I don't feel like myself, especially when I've gained LOTS of weight and have nothing to wear.  I've learned that I miss out on a lot because of body image issues and I'm tired of it. 

The family and I had a really awesome trip to Arizona, despite an ND loss, germs, an overwhelming amount of flatulence on the airplane ride home, and fat clothes.  It was so great to create new memories with my family, to enjoy the sunshine, explore a new area, and to just be....where no one knows us.  
Upon return I tired to get into a routine but failed as I needed to just unwind and to just be.  I needed to just be, to just feel, to just go with the flow after years of spinning around on a merry go round.  Remember back to the days of recess when we carelessly spun around on the merry go round?  We stood up and felt out of balance and needed to wait for the dizziness to subside.  That's how I felt and how I still feel. The merry go round of fight or flight has stopped but I'm still a bit dizzy and working on getting my balance back. 

I took time off from managing apartments, well at least I tired. Of all things I got called for Jury Duty, though I didn't have to report it was a weight on my shoulders for many reasons.  I've watched a lot of television and have gone to they gym, practiced yoga, and so forth.  I haven't felt quite ready to get back into a routine.  My mind is screaming, "hurry up you type A perfectionist, time to get to training, time to lose that weight (so that everything else falls into place; because, god forbid I don't love myself unless my body image is on point).  But, my soul was screaming, "No, Just be.  Just feel what you are feeling, acknowledge it, accept it, and let it happen.  Do what you want  and what feels good to you".  So that is what I have been doing.  It has been like beginning a
meditation practice.  Sitting still and being mindful, being present, but having that itch to scratch.  It was quite the challenge, but it was a challenge and that is what I live for...challenges. 

This month I deactivated facebook for a bit and I really enjoyed it.  I truly feel that facebook is a major contributor to many issues in our culture these days, that is another blog post....or book.  I went to the Dropkick Murphy's concert with my brother, it was so much fun.  We had a limo so we didn't have to worry about driving and I felt safe because my BIG lil bro was with me.  Our family and friends honored and recognized my father at the Leadership Lorain County Difference Maker's Gala, a fun night dedicated to my amazing father. 

I've decided that I need to do more than deactivate facebook for a bit.  I need a "media blackout".  From Wednesday through Sunday I will be shutting everything off including email, internet, TV, texting, phone, etc.  I'm going to create a spa-filled, relaxing, disconnected holiday for myself.  It will include a juice cleanse, detox baths, massages, reading, meditating, exercising, yoga,  sleeping, and napping with no distractions.  I'll journal and it will be a sort of relaxing, planning, jump start to my spring of 2016.  In a perfect world I would travel to somewhere tropical with all of the above but I'm so close to a big financial goal that I've been striving for so I don't want to spend the bucks until I reach that goal, plus did I mention that nothing fits?!?  This is a happy medium and disconnecting from everything seems like a heavenly approach regardless of where I am located. 

Check back after I reconnect to see how it went!  I hope you're 2016 is going great.  With all of our technological "advances" don't forget to reconnect to yourself and the things that matter and to just be in 2016. 




Thursday, December 31, 2015

A year in review 2015

Oh 2015, what can  I say?  It was a decent year.  I wanted to complete as many races as possible and survive my last year in politics.  I succeeded at both.  It was a great racing season with lots of bling.  I didn't have many PR's but I finished what I set out to do, less a few planned races at the end of the year. I had fun!  I learned how to SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) and fell in love with this new activity!

Politics is not for me.  I like to accomplish things, be productive, and not wasteful.  I'm ethical, educated, experienced, and I have morals.  I can't kiss ass, won't conform, and complying with a status quo that is subpar is not something I want to do.  I don't have an ego that needs stroked.  As a citizen I'm disappointed to learn that ethics, sunshine law, common sense, data, facts, and so forth are not common themes in government nor are such practices that are followed. In fact, I'm pretty disgusted with Government operations.  We have the best system in the world, but it is seriously flawed and will continue to erode until serious action is taken across the board.  At any rate,  I accomplished what I could with little tools and little support.  Rather than just complaining, I stepped up to the plate and put my words into action.  It was a learning experience to say the least. Now I have a ton of information that I can put to use and help to educate citizens on local government, the local media fiasco, bias, and negligence, and the  general corruption in local politics....awe, I digress.  I have been burned out politically for a while, one can beat the head against a wall for so long before developing a massive headache. 

I focused all of my strength and effort to the last few months in office.  This took a lot out of me but I'm not a quitter and I wanted to insure that there were no loose ends.  I chose not to run for re-election for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, I felt like I wasn't able to be as productive as I wanted, as I set out to do.  This was a result of being stonewalled and railroaded with just about everything.  The majority of council refused to communicate with me, bottom line.....sexism, ageism, "Flanigan"-ism, stubbornness and/or ignorance, whatever the reasoning it's moot now.    I also didn't feel comfortable staying in a position where my ethics and morals were compromised.  As Mayor,  I was in charge of departments per the Charter but I wasn't given the authority to implement changes, policies, and so forth that I felt were needed for the safety, well being, and success of the Village.  I feel that the position, Mayor, is a total waste of tax payer dollars when the council is obstinate, and there is no vote nor veto power by the Mayor.  The position turns out to be a scapegoat/ figurehead type position  and I'm not comfortable with that.  Running for re-election would have been strictly ego driven based on what happened over the last 4 years and I am not ok with that either as it's neither beneficial nor feasible for the Village.    Our local media is ridiculously biased, lacadasicle, and negligent.  They only reported when a story could be told to make me look bad.  I  ran for office with the strict intent to help the village in which I was born, raised, and living.  I don't need a title for my ego and the pay was mostly donated back to the community ($13,500 a year before taxes were deducted).  It was a tough decision but I made the right choice.  I need to be in a position where I can utilize my education, experience, knowledge, passion, and drive.  I have a lot to offer and being stuck in a position where my hands are tied is not something I want or need.  I'm looking forward to getting my voice back!

I was hanging out at home before my last council meeting going over everything that has happened over the last 4 years, almost in tears, and former Navy Seal, Christopher Mark Heben rang my door bell. I do not have the words to express how much this meant to me at the most perfect time that I needed it. It was a brief encounter that completely changed how I was feeling about the last 4years and about the future.  I was going to wrap up the year as down and out or I was going to be ready to reinvent myself;  I chose the latter.  He gave me the best pep talk ever. and I'm extremely thankful.  Wow. I am still speechless and I am enjoying his book, Undaunted.  It is a great read!  I'm looking forward to starting his Seal Team Challenge in 2016 as well. 

Furthermore, I was able to go swimming with Bruiser, #2 on my bucket list.  It was a blast and I will be doing it more in 2016.  I love my little furbaby so much. I'm looking forward to more Bruiser and Meg adventures in 2016.   I also became vegetarian in November.  Yep, I went from a meat lover to a vegetarian.  It took me a while to adjust to this way of life and my weight certainly suffered; but, I feel happy with my decision.     

The last quarter of 2015 included massive weight gain.  The last couple of months in office really took a toll on me and I stress ate like it was my job. In addition the stress hormone, cortisol, was bonkers.  Weight has always been an issue for me, I've always struggled with body image issues.  As a result  of this recent weight gain, I'm learning to love myself unconditionally and I reached the point where enough is enough with regards to my own body shaming. More on that issue later.   I look forward to shedding major pounds in a healthy way this new year.  I want to be in my best shape ever, for myself, my racing, and for my health!  Yes, I realize how "New Year's Resolution-y" that sounds and I don't care.   

"Enough is Enough", that short yet powerful sentence wraps up 2015.  Enough self abuse from myself, enough negativity, enough with being silenced, bullied, bullshitted, stymied, stonewalled, and stuck.  Enough!  I'm a very nice person and I was faced with many obstacles and battles.  I really had to pick and choose what to fight but in doing so, I feel that people underestimated me and treated me poorly, thinking that would be tolerated.  I let a lot slide.  I have no tolerance for disrespect, bullying, lying, being treated poorly.  I simply will not accept those behaviors and types of people in my life as I move forward.   Enough of that shit.  I have a lot to offer, I'm a great person, and I have a lot of awesome, badass, positive things to give back in this life and it will happen! 


I'm so excited for 2016.  It is going to be the most epic year yet! 

Cheers to Peace, Love, and M.F. Happiness <3









Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tri-ing and Swimming, and Running and Living.....Ommmmmmmm MY!

I haven't done much blogging....but I HAVE BEEN BUSY!  Busy, enjoying summer, working towards the future and of course Tri-ing, Swimming, and Running....Ommmmmmm, I can't forget yoga, my practice is very important to my mind, body, and spirit and it has helped me in a million ways. .   Let's sum up these races, shall we?

 The Thirsty Dog 8k was wet, complete downpour but a strong race and finish. 

The following day, the Milton Man Sprint Triathlon was wet as well and chilly!  The water was not as cold as I thought but my feet got quite chilly on the bike and I was sore from the 8k the day before.  My running.....looked goofy, like I was the tin man. 

 The 1/2mile Open Water Swim Meet.  Oh Boy- I was late waking up,  got lost on the way there, literally parked the car, grabbed my goggles and ran to the pavilion to get numbered and capped.  I made it just in time and I placed 1st! 

The Greater Cleveland Triathlon is one of my faves, mostly because the swim is challenging.  However it was a safety concern, swim was canceled and this turned into a duathlon, 2 mile run, 14 bike, 2 mile run.  I placed in my age group, even after spending a bit of time in the restroom with tummy issues.  It happens!

The Perfect 10miler was pretty perfect.  We started at Beachwood place which was pretty fancy.  The route was great and it was organized really well, I enjoyed it though I had to pee so bad but didn't want to get behind.
 

The Akron Burn Rubber 10miler was pretty neat!  I barely made this race as well.  I parked, grabbed my stuff, raced to the corral and then started running.  The sun was a bit brutal.  We got to run around the rubber area thingy that the cars go on (I think?)  that was cool- though it was black-top rubber stuff with no shade but no complaints here! 


My favorite triathlon, Vermillion!  The race that popped my triathlon cherry many years ago.  I love the venue, the course, the fans, it's just great all the way around.  I missed 3rd place by a few minutes this year and came in 4th.   I was bummed because I felt that I could've placed 3rd had I not pushed it too hard the day before at Burning Rubber.  I'll share a funny story about my first tri at Vermillion in the future. 

My tri season usually ends after Vermillion and then I do a few runs but I just became obsessed with finishing these races.  I think I feel like I failed in some areas of my life and so pursuing the finish medals and shirts is making me feel like I am accomplishing something.  AND it's all up to me- no one can train me but  me.  But, I also LOVE the atmosphere and the people- each race brings so much positive energy I'm just happy to be able to participate.  I get to swim, bike, run.  It is a privilege! 

Leave no Trace Trail Half Marathon was a new one for me.  I felt like I've done the half distances a few times already so why not?  The course was beautiful and it was tough.  I was out there for at least 4 and half hours.  It was well worth the time and I will do it again!

This brings me to today's race.  Challenge Cedar Point, formerly known as Rev3 (Which I completed the half iron 70.3 distance at Rev 3 on Sept. 11, 2001, an AMAZING experience.)  The company is now Challenge family.  They have a sprint distance which I was to complete in addition to a kids triathlon on Saturday followed by the Full and Half Iron distances on Sunday.  Today's event did not go as planned, mother nature was cranky.  The swim got canceled and then the bike got canceled.  We ended up doing a 5k "fun" (not timed) run.  It was fun, we got to run along the beach and check out the wicked waves.  I will definitely do this race again.  Kuddos to the race organizers and volunteers,  ya'll were troopers!
 
 
 
I managed to organize and carry out a fundraiser for our fireworks, again raising over $15,000.  I didn't run this race but it certainly took a lot of time and great help from Peace Racing!  A busy couple of weeks, or months?  I don't know, is it labor day yet?  Time flew by but more adventurous stories to tell and more adventures to be had on the way.  My Type A and OCD personality really wanted to get current on my "race reports".  TA-DA!  AND I even missed 2 races due to a back injury :(  My friend's Rise and Shine 10k and then the Canton City 10k.... I'll get them next year!
 
 
 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

F.A.Q.'s / How do you do it?

Some frequently asked questions and statements:

1. Why are you still single? 
I have no idea?  How am I supposed to answer that?  Prince Charming's GPS isn't working?  I don't know.  I do know that I have never had a good/ healthy relationship.   In the past I was needy and as a result I ended up with narcissists, a sociopath, a psychopath, and a bunch of jerks.  I will never settle again and I have higher expectations.  I focused on furthering my education while most of my friends got married and started families.  I'd like to eventually start dating again and I thought I recently found a good match; however, it just doesn't fit for me right now.  I have a crazy schedule and I'm not willing to sacrifice a lot of things that I did in the past.  Bottom line, I don't freaking know.  Stop asking, it's an annoying question that I can't really answer. 

2. Statements that serve no purpose that are pet peeves
"You look tired" , "You look sick", "You look angry".  First, none of these statements serve a purpose, stop saying them.  My response is usually, "thank you, you too".  The statements should just not be said.  I have always received comments like, "you should smile more" or "why do you look so serious" (usually when I'm at work).  Most of the time I'm thinking and concentrating and working in my head, these actions result in a "focused/ concentrated face", don't take it personal...move along.   The best (most annoying) comment ever was from a coworker several years back who would ALWAYS pass my office as I was staring at my computer, either reading emails or figuring something out (you know, concentrating) and he would ALWAYS say, "smile".....No, I'm not always going to smile, especially when I'm working and/ or when I'm focused.   Who smiles at the computer during work?  No.  I'm a genuine person, I can't fake a smile it looks bad and obvious.  I will smile when I sincerely mean it.  Thank you for understanding. 

3. How do you do it all?
We ALL have the same amount of time.  We have the same amount of time as Bill Gates, Donald Trump, and our neighbor.  We have the same amount of time that Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and George Washington had.  We all have the same amount of time in a given day.  Understand that 1. I don't have kids, 2. I don't have a husband or boyfriend 3. I'm efficient and productive, I've never been a stand around the water cooler and gossip person.  4. I don't like to be bored or to waste time.  5. If I can't do it or if I can't dedicate myself 100% to something, I say "No".  It's good to say no, it's ok to say no. If you can't commit, just say no. 

With the above being said, I value efficiency and productivity.  I'm not a clock watcher, I like to work and get things done.  I remember one job I had at American Standard, I worked maintenance, 3rd shift, in the hottest department (the kiln department) over the summer through college.  My supervisor would give me a list  and I would be done in an hour or two, search him down and tell him I was done and needed more work.  He always said, "take a break, you're working too hard" or "take a nap" (yes seriously).  I cannot do that, it's not in my nature, it's boring, it makes the time go very slow.   The below was given to me when I left the job (made during their work time), I've always found it humorous on many levels.

I recently finished reading Tim Ferris's book, 4-Hour Work Week, and he made great points that illustrate how inefficient we have become since technology.  He provides examples on how much time we waste by unnecessary meetings that take up time, delegating tasks, and dedicating times for certain tasks such as checking voicemails and responding to emails and so much more!  I read this I thought, "wow! this is exactly how I have been operating!". 

Most importantly, I learn to go with the flow.  I schedule my week on Sundays and almost always it changes...... several times, I adapt, and I change with it.  I'm very accommodating to others but I also make time for myself.  Keeping myself healthy mentally and physically result in me being most efficient and productive as well as happy and preventing burnout. I schedule in daily things such as mediation, reading, writing, etc. and I use a timer for those tasks and I make it happen...which brings me to #4

4.  How/ why do you workout so much? 
All of my physical activities and hobbies are crucial to completing "Me".  Each regular activity I do serves a purpose from physical health to mental health, stress relief and providing focus and creativity.  I come up with my best ideas, responses, and so forth during a workout.  Each activity helps me in one or more of these ways and by also giving me the tools to face challenges, obstacles, burn-out, and so forth.  Spinning, Yoga, Swimming, Biking, Running, Trail Running, Triathlon, Strength Training, Aikido/ Self Defense and recently added, Stand Up Paddle boarding.  I'll go into detail with each activity in future blog posts.  I make time for these things because they make me a better person and help me function.  I'm also very organized and structured.  I don't waste time trying to find paperwork or things I need for a task or activity...


Bottom line is, if you want to do something you will make time for it.  I'm not perfect.  I miss workouts sometimes.  Some weekends I don't leave my couch, and that's ok.  Sometimes you just need to nap and stare at the TV.  I go with the flow and I listen to my body.  If I can do it, anyone can do it .  We all have the same amount of time. 

Be organized, be like water, be ok with saying no, make time for yourself, and believe, love, understand, and empower <3





Sunday, July 12, 2015

Munroe Falls Sprint Triathlon 2015

Sunday June 21st I headed east for my 1st triathlon of this season, I was giddy to say the least!  I love the triathlon community and the sport.  I had originally signed up for Maumee Bay Tri but then learned that this one was the same day.  I switched to the Munroe Falls Tri because of the driving distance.  Both are great races but I had much to do that weekend and didn't want to waste too much time in the car. 

The swim went much better than expected.  I hadn't been swimming much and it was my first time in the open water since last season.  The water was a bit cooler than expected but no worries, I adjusted well.  The swim is an out and back.  I struggled to find my groove on the way out but once I turned the buoy I found my groove and kicked butt coming into the beach. 

The bike was challenging.  I assumed that all of my spinning sessions would help but this was also my first time on my road bike since last season.  There were lots of hills! I struggle on inclines.  I kept getting passed on the bike and was getting frustrated but I kept pushing through and forward. There was another female that I would pass on the downhill and she would pass me on the uphill, she kept me motivated. 

My run was great, I PR'd and felt fabulous.  My competition from the bike was gaining on me, passed me once, then I passed her and pushed myself to keep the lead.  I'm not usually competitive, I do these races for fun, the atmosphere, the accomplishment, and the great people.  I must say that I enjoyed the competition and she no doubt helped me PR'd.  She pulled back the last 1/2 mile as I sprinted through the finish line. 

I PR'd overall from the last couple of years.  My swim was stronger, the bike average was about the same, and my run was badass.  It was a really great race by Champ Racing.  I was elated to see so many familiar faces and new faces as well!

Friday, July 10, 2015

I AM....34

The words that you choose to say following  "I AM......"  are the most important words you will use.  What you say you are, you are, and you will be.  Negative self talk is one of the most self- sabotaging things you can do for yourself. 

As I turned "34" yesterday, I reflected on the last several years of my life.  Challenges, obstacles, accomplishments, and so forth.  Each birthday I always seem to say "This year is going to be the best yet" or "This is the year......"   I have no idea what this year will hold but I'm looking forward to it. 

I am resilient
I am perseverant
I am tenacious
I am kind
I am justice seeking
I am truth speaking
I am compassionate
I am always learning
I am thankful for all my life lessons
I am helpful
I am continuously improving
I am empowered
I am Me
I am "34" years young


Choose the words that follow "I am...." wisely, those are the words that choose to be now and tomorrow. 
Choose words that incorporate Believe Love Understand Empower and Be that! 


Monday, July 6, 2015

I will not drink and drive....because I said I would


I will not drink and drive....because I said I would 

In the early hours of September 28th, 2013 I received my first (and last) D.U.I.  I've had many people ask me, "why", "what was I thinking?", "what happened"?   There are no reasons or excuses  for the poor decision that I made that night.  I drank and I chose to drive home.  The morning and weeks following were incredibly embarrassing, disappointing, and filled with guilt.  I kept thinking, "Oh my god, what if I had hurt someone?"  I am incredibly thankful that no one was hurt as a result of my poor decision. 
I lost my license for 6 months and I refused any/all driving privileges, I took full blame and wanted the full punishment.  It was most embarrassing doing the walk of shame back and forth to work but I still had to work and it was all on me.  I was rarely able to go workout and participate in my usual stress relief activities.  I'm  so blessed that my yoga teacher was able to make the drive and work with me once a  week during this time.   I did a lot of reading and thinking during that time; I was very hard on myself as I felt I should have been.  I had tremendous guilt as I let my family and I let me constituents down, I let everyone down.    
I received my license back March 28th, 2014.  I promised myself that I would NEVER drink and drive again.  I will never take a sip of alcohol and get behind the wheel of a vehicle.  This was (and has been an easy promise to keep). 
If you know me you know that my word means everything to me.  My family says things like ," If Megan puts her mind to it, she will do it" , "Megan does what she says she is going to do", etc.  That is something that I have always been proud of because I feel that it is lacking in today's society.  People say they will do things all the time, when I hear those words from someone it goes in one ear out the other because it's a rare occasion that someone follows through.   If by chance they do come through, I'm surprised in a good way. 
In June of 2014 I attended a yoga event outside the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The speaker of the event (before we were led through a yoga session) was Alex Sheen.  Alex is the founder of "Because I said I would...", he is also local.  Please check out his message and his meaningful organization http://becauseisaidiwould.com/.   His message struck a chord with me and I knew immediately what I had to do. 
On my 33rd Birthday, July 8th 2014.  I filled out two of Alex's "Because I said I Would" cards, one for my Mom and one for my Dad. 
They read:
Dad, I will not drink and drive again.  I love you xo ....because I said I would

Mom, I will not drink and drive again.  I love you xo.....because I said I would
Though I made the promise to myself when I received my license back, I wanted to do something more official and really seal the deal..  My word is my word and I take it seriously, and putting it in writing makes it more profound. 

It has been almost a year since I gave my parents those cards and it has been over a year since I received my license back and I have not taken a sip of alcohol and sat in the driver's seat of any vehicle.  It's not bad at all and it's not difficult.  I'm a single, soon to be 34 woman. I still like to go out and socialize.  Most functions, especially political functions serve alcohol.  I have had no problem meeting friends at a bar and ordering my water with lemon, I end up super hydrated which is great for all of the physical activity I do.   I enjoy being a designated driver for my friends and family. 
 I do enjoy having an adult beverage but when I do I have a designated driver, end of story.  I drove myself to Richmond Virginia shortly after receiving my license back for a Rob Zombie concert.  I had to drive and I enjoyed visiting the city and I was completely sober for the concert.  It was the best experience ever!  I met the band, I was in front of the stage the entire time.  I didn't have to worry about losing my spot to purchase expensive beers or miss anything because I "broke the seal".  Most importantly, I experienced it all!  I remember it all and it was perfect! Recently I went to Nashville for a half marathon.  Everything in the downtown area is within walking distance and my hotel provided shuttle service and was also within walking distance.   I had a blast walking from one bar to the next and not  worrying about driving.  I'm not treated differently when I don't drink.  When I'm out people don't look at me like I'm an alien because I'm not drinking.  It's ok to socialize and drink. 

I love that I no longer drink and drive and I know 100% without a doubt I will never put myself in that situation again.  I feel safer, I know that I'm not going to kill anyone because of my actions, and I save money, calories, have less hangovers, and STILL HAVE FUN! 
As a result of my position my DUI also provided an opportunity for a group of nasty, vengeful, people, to act illegally and unethically.  Tuesday November 26, 2013 I was charged with drug possession charges over a  pill that was found in the back seat of the cruiser as a result of the incident on September 28th, 2013.  (this event I refer to as "pill gate").  This act and the actions that these people took to make this happen was a (poorly) thought out character defamation campaign.  I was quickly labeled as a drug addict, no questions asked.  There is an ongoing private investigation and I know without doubt that there will be a reckoning...in due time. 

I hope my story inspires you to not and drink and drive and I hope that you choose to make that promise.  Drinking and driving is not worth it and it's ok to socialize and drink water (or other non- alcoholic beverages) or get a designated driver! Also, think about keeping your word.  When you say you are going to do something, follow through and do it. 
 
 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Cleveland Half Marathon and Candy Mountain Half Marathon

It was my intention that the Nashville Half Marathon would be my only long distance race for the season.  However, I love racing even though I'm not competitive and I enjoy the Half Marathon distance. 

May 17th I set out to run the Cleveland Rite Aid Half Marathon.  I've run this race a few times and so I was familiar with the location and course.  I wasn't as excited because I have done it before and I'm starting to enjoy races that are new to me.  The weather was overcast and humid, my kind of running weather!  I started our wearing my long sleeve shirt because I was terrified of chaffing again and felt that it helped to wear the long sleeves (for as long as I could).  The race was fun as always, unfortunately I had to stop and use the porto potty around mile 5ish.  While standing in line, I noticed that they were using water from the fire hydrants for the water stops.  Ugh, not something that is the best choice.  I carried my own water but because of the humidity I did have to refill my bottles a few times.  (Later made me feel a little sick). 

There is always something that stands out during races, the crowds, the signs, the runners.  I remember running and looking over to witness a fellow runner put in a dip (tobacco chew stuff), that's a first time seeing that, gross and odd.  At any rate, I headed into the last 3 or so miles which brought me to the shoreway which was a long stretch where there weren't many spectators and it seemed to never end.  I'm so glad the sun wasn't out otherwise it would have been much more uncomfortable with no shade.  I ended up taking my long sleeve shirt off around mile 11 and still ended up chaffing.  I was getting cranky because of the chaffing and because the road was uneven (I was probably cranky because I was also getting dehydrated and needed electrolytes)   Once we headed back "in town" it went by fast and I finished another Half Marathon!  I would have had a PR if I didn't waste 18 minutes in the restroom.  At any rate, I felt strong and enjoyed it!  Best race sign on the course, "You run better than your government"....awesome and yes! 

 
 
June 13th I decided to run the Candy Mountain Trail Half Marathon.  The race directors are super awesome (www.BBA50.org)  The race benefited the Edna House for Women.  This was my first trail half marathon and it was for a great cause.   The weather was again perfect, humid and overcast with some rain. Again, I started out with my long sleeve shirt to prevent chaffing.  I really need to buy some new tops but until then.... The first 8.5 miles were awesome, I met some knew runners and chatted a bit.  I also loved the trails because they were new to me.  I headed out for the last 5miles which was part of the BBA50k loop- a race I DNF'd last November, but really enjoyed the infamous loop.  I struggled a bit on the last 5 miles and everyone that was behind me passed me. 
 
The water crossings felt amazing on my sore feet and I enjoyed the scenery.  I eventually finished (much longer than a road Half Marathon because trails are different).  I finished dead last, which I am ok, I was still under the cut off time and I had fun.  Upon finishing I was awarded with an awesome hydration pack...because " for enduring the race the longest".....so awesome and it really made my day!  I'm looking forward to running the Candy Mountain Half Marathon next year! 
 

 
 
I was supposed to race the LULA 5miler the next day (one of my faves for www.girlswithsole)  Alas, I hit the snooze button that Sunday morning and then woke up at 10am, I must have been tired! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Nashville Part TWO!

  The drive south was pleasant, little traffic and no tolls!  Upon reaching my hotel, I was informed that a shuttle service is provided for free (tips).  This was so great to hear as I hate driving in city traffic and I also wanted to enjoy some adult beverages and when I do, I don't drive.  I unpacked, freshened up, and jumped in the taxi first stop, Johnny Cash Museum!  On the way to my destination I was informed and then noticed that basically everything was within walking distance, my hotel was about a mile from downtown and I was advised not to walk to and from, a decision I challenged on the first night, Thursday. 

I was elated that I could be dropped off and let free to wander.  Thursday and Thursday night I basically walked around from destination to destination, soaking up the scenery and people watching while relaxing and not looking over my shoulder.  I felt free and safe!  I danced the night away. 

Friday was packet pick up and it was a day of rest and hydration.  I was really excited for the half marathon run, I felt prepared in an under-trained sort of way.  I'm not a cold weather runner so my running was slim but my cross training and strength training was plenty.  Saturday I woke up bright and early, though not too early because I paid for the $20 shuttle specifically for runners.  Totally worth it because there were so many people!

It took a while for my corral to get going because they staggered the start (by predicted finishing time) to help ease the congestion.  I was surprised and a bit irritated that our National Anthem was played while the 5k run took off and was happening.  I'm pretty sure all of the races I attended up to that point was very respectful of the National Anthem.  What seemed like a long time, (long enough time to build up a full bladder), we were off!  I had to pee so bad and used a porto potty within the first 2 miles but it was quick, no lines, and I didn't have to worry about that again! The weather was HOT and Humid...my kind of running weather.  I had on my long sleeve shirt to start, knowing that I've had some chaffing issues under my arms with longer distance runs. 

I enjoyed the scenery, the cheering, and the music.  Around mile 8 I took my long sleeve shirt off as the sun started to beat down.  At mile 10 I stopped for Vaseline because the chaffing was so unbearable I couldn't move my arms.  Moving forward, I finally reached the finish line, grabbed my medal, some water, and headed to the shuttle area to get back to the hotel and showered.  There was a free (with race bib)  Martina McBride concert that night.

I knew the chaffing was bad but when I stepped in the shower I realized it was very, very bad.  It took my breath away.  I headed out for some food and fun before the concert, it ended up being a great sunny day! The concert was fun, afterwards I walked around looking for food but every single place had a long line for entrance.  I was really happy that I had my fun Thursday night because I don't like lines.  I called the shuttle to take me back to the hotel where I would grab a bite to eat and get to bed! 

I was really excited for Sunday, Yoga with Rachel Brathen!  What an amazing experience.  She is just how I imagined.  It was a challenging yoga practice, I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't so sore.  Afterwards, we got autographs and a hug! I hope I can attend one of her retreats one day.  Afterwards, I was ready to head home.  I grabbed  a quick bite to eat and headed back to my room, ready to wake up at 4 and head out by 5am.  I was anxious to see Bruiser! 

I highly recommend the Nashville Country Music Marathon/ Half, it is a fun race and it is well organized! Nashville is a great place to visit, I will be going back.

Peace <3




Monday, June 8, 2015

One month "Til 34

One month and I will be 34...34 years of age.  34.  Wow, 34.  I remember thinking that 34years old was old, and here I am ......about to turn 34. People have said, "The 30's are the best years of your life!", "Welcome to the thirties! It's a blast", blah blah blah.  Courtesy of facebook, I imagined myself un- alone at 34.  Most of my friends are married with lots of kids.  Some people have gone through 3 serious relationships since I've been in my 30's and I have had none. 

I think my expectations for 30 was too high.  I thought for sure I would be in a serious relationship by now, if not married or at least have experiences in a good relationship.  I'm a professional bad -relationship seeker.  Too gullible....the guy who thought he was G.I. Joe and then told me he was dying, later I found out he was a bonafide, holy shit,  sociopath.  Oh gawd, and the dude with the broken femur and unforgiving hatred....oye! There are so many mistakes to name I can't keep track.  All driven from that, "Oh, here's my prince charming, he's the guy this time I can feel it.  He'll protect me. He's going to make everything ok". ..."He's going to save me".....  See what I did there?   Come on Megs, really?  And people wonder why I'm so elated to see my dog, Bruiser at the end of the day!

Here I sit, 3 college degrees deep.  My work experience is unparalleled and I have been fortunate to have received further training in various fields, certifications from six sigma to social work to my tow motor license.  Yet I feel like I have accomplished nothing.  I'm going to be 34!  I'm going to be 34 and I have nothing to show for it.  Shout out to all of the narcissists, sociopaths, assholes, and mismatched adventures, right?

I don't even know how to date these days.  Hi, my name is Megan will you fill out this psychological assessment for me?  How is your relationship with your mother?  Do you wet the bed, start fires, torture animals? 

All joking aside, I'm going to be 34! thirty freaking four!  Almost 40!  I got nothing.  There's gotta be more than 34.  Yea....that's it!  There WILL be more than just 34.  I feel like I should give some advice or something but I got nothing.  Time goes by so fast and before you know it 34 sounds like a fabulous age.  Things may night bot be all sunshine and rainbows but I have a vision.  And 34 will be hardcore!  (eh, I can still rhyme! "Lol")

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A thoughtful excerpt from "After the Ecstasy, The Laundry. How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path" by Jack Kornfield


I'm reading After the Ecstasy, The Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path by Jack Kornfield.  Basically the book illustrates the lives of people from spiritual leaders to those who obtained a certain enlightenment.   They come back to their daily lives and find that applying principles that they learned through retreats or long periods of meditations, mindfulness, etc. is rather difficult and after reaching such stages there is much upkeep and continuous upkeep that is required.  It's easy to be mindful in the mountains studying among monks, but navigating through traffic, work, and family can be challenging. 



At any rate, I'm reading this book I came across a particular excerpt that really struck a chord with me and stood out for many reasons.  I felt that it resonated with today's society, especially with social media, internet tough guys, and how fast judgments are made, even by our own news media(something that I will eventually address as well).  Without further explanation I want to share this excerpt with you.  It can be found on page 244-246 of this book, which I highly recommend as it is a great read! 



...One man, a military officer who was studying meditation in a class for stress reduction, recently found this out at the supermarket.  It was a crowded evening, the lines were long, and the woman carrying a child in front of him had just one item but would not get into the express line.  The officer, whose habit was impatience, began to get annoyed with her.  it got worse when she got to the checkout stand and she and the clerk started cooing over the baby.  The woman even handed the child to the clerk. 

   He began to tense up, his anger building at the thought of how selfish she was.  But because he had just come from his class, he noticed what he was doing to himself and began to breathe more softly and relax. He even noticed that it was a cute baby.  By the time he got to the clerk he had let go enough to say, "That was a cute boy". "Oh, thank you.  That was my baby," she replied.  "You see, my husband was in the air force but he died last year in a plane crash.  Now my mother takes care of my boy and brings him in once a day so I can see him." 

   We judge each other so quickly, yet know so little about what another carries in his or her heart...

A close friend, the psychiatrist and consciousness researcher Stan Grof, tells a story of one such teaching that took place soon after he arrived in the United States.  Through his work at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Stan met with a psychiatrist of Native American origin, who offered to arrange a visit for Stan and several other staff members to his traditional peyote circle in Kansas. 

   When they arrive they were drive far out onto the plains to meet the Road Chief, the elder who runs the ceremonies for the Native American Church.  Although the chief had previously agreed to include the visitors, the other Indians who saw these white men balked, and it took a good deal of persuasion to allow this unusual participation.  The history of anti-Indian prejudice, the monumental losses of Indian culture, the genocide at the hands of white people were still painful, but because the Johns Hopkins doctors had come a long distance, they were finally permitted to join the circle.  Still, one man clung stubbornly to his anger at the white men who had come to "steal" this last Indian treasure, their spiritual gold.  All through the nightlong ceremony, his mood only amplified by the peyote and drumming, this angry man sat silently, glaring at Stan, who sat opposite him in the circle.  By morning he had not softened, even after a whole night of prayers.  It seemed as if this was how it would end- in an angry standoff. 

   Finally, on the last round of blessings, the host psychiatrist thanked the tribe for being willing to include these white healers in their midst, especially Stan, who was living in exile because the Communists were preventing his return to his native Czechoslovakia.  All at once the angry man's face changed.  He leapt to his feet, crossed the fire, and fell into Stan's lap sobbing.  For many minutes he hugged Stand and the others nearby, apologizing for his misguided hatred. 

   As he wept, his story poured out.  He had flown a bomber in the air force during World War II.  In the last weeks of the war, as the Nazis withdrew, his plane had bombed and unnecessarily destroyed Pilsen, one of Czechoslovakia's most beautiful cities, even though Czechoslovakia had been anti- Nazi and forcibly occupied by Germany.

   Now the tables had turned.  Not only did Stan and the Czechs never steal Indian land, but he, a Patowatame Indian, had helped destroy Stan's homeland.  He was the perpetrator and Stan's people were the victims.  This realization was more than he could bear.  He kept embracing Stan, begging forgiveness, apologizing for his behavior during the sacred ceremony.  Then he paused to say what he had learned: "I see now that there can be no hope for the world if we carry hatred for deeds committed by our ancestors.  I know now you are not my enemies but my brothers.  All that happened long ago was in the time of our ancestors.  Who knows- at that time I might have been on the other side.  We are all children of the Great Spirit.  Our Mother Earth is in trouble, and if we do not work together we will die".   (Kornfield, Jack. After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.  How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path pg245-246.  Bantam Books 2000.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Slip slidin' ok

Sunday morning I energetically woke up ready to enjoy the day.  First on my list was early morning yoga.  I sweat a lot.  People say that they sweat a lot, they lie.  I really for really real sweat a lot.  It pours from my head so much that I wonder if some contraption could be designed to catch that sweat and recycle it for water, it seems like such a waste.  I have yet to find a really good non slip yoga mat. I've tried them all, I've tried with towels, with yogi towels, etc.  It just doesn't work, I sweat. 

I had the opportunity to try a new non slip yoga mat Sunday morning.  It was a disaster.  I was slipping everywhere, it was quite frustrating.  The yoga teacher guided us into Warrior 2 pose, then reverse....

my front leg then slipped forward so much that I almost did the splits....I yelled out, "shit!" in class.  Everyone got a chuckle of course.  I was hesitant to continue class afraid that I would slip into a position that I would not be able to recover from, like the splits. 

As I continued practicing, I was extra cautious.  But then I remembered something.  I have slipped in life many times, I've lost grip, I've made mistakes.  Bouncing back was always the most difficult part. 

It's ok to slip, it's part of the process of life.  We slip, we fall, sometimes we fall flat on our face.  But we get up, we wipe it off and we continue.  This can be scary, being afraid to try again or to keep going but we do, that's how we continue to improve.  Future falls and slips become easier, we get up faster, we shake it off faster. 

It's ok to slip, just get back up and keep trying.  Try a different approach, try a different mat, just keep trying. 

#believeloveunderstandempower. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Nashville......PART ONE

I ran a half in Nashville, just to see how it felt.  I hope you get that sentence.   If not, it's ok.  To my recollection, I was on Pintrest (looking at things non related to food and crafts) and found the Nashville Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon on a top 10 list of races to do.  I felt that it was close enough for me to drive....so why not?  I signed up! 

A few weeks, or months, I don't remember.... Yoga Girl, Rachel Brathen, announced that she was going on a U.S. tour in honor of her debut book, Yoga Girl.  I was so excited that she was going on tour, I immediately checked the places and dates.  Holy shit, she will be in Nashville the same weekend as my half marathon?!?!?  Wowsa.  It was meant to be.  I have been following Yoga Girl for quite some time.  Her eloquent, raw, honest writing drew me in immediately, her amazing and beautiful yoga poses struck me as fascinating.  I had to meet this amazing yogi. 

After following her facebook page for weeks, registration for her tour was finally open.  I remember going into a yoga class on that day and at that time that registration opened, thinking that I would sign up after my yoga class.  I blissfully walked out of yoga, stepped into my car and proceeded to do the usual checking of the phone and email.  I checked out yoga girls page and clicked on the links to sign up.  Holy shit, SOLD OUT!!  Awe man, what a bummer.  I really thought it was meant to be. 

Life proceeds, as it always does.  Ready or not, here is life....moving on, moving on......

So a couple of weeks later or months?  I don't remember.  Yoga Girl sent out a notification.....she was adding classes to some locations.  HOLY SHIT!  I immediately dropped everything to check out her page and see what locations.........HOLY FRIGGIN' SHIT.....she added a 2nd class for Nashville....the DAY AFTER MY HALF MARATHON!  Holy alignment of the stars batman!  THIS was meant to be!  Hell yes, I signed up immediately and secured a spot!

TO BE CONTINUED!

Friday, April 3, 2015

St. Malachi Church Run 5miler

Saturday March 14th I completed my 4th 5mile race for the St. Malachi Church.  This race is a local favorite, the first race of the season, a sure sign of spring and of course St. Patrick's Day.  This year I asked my friend Janet to join me and run her first 5miler.  It was a brisk morning, I misread the start times and therefore us two "Graftonites" made our way downtown earlier than.....everyone else.  We got a great parking spot and were able to hang out at a local pub and chat with other early birds and spectators. 

I was super excited for this race this year.  It had been a long, depressing winter and I was ready to see how my winter training worked. After several trips to the bathroom, a brew for my friend and a coca cola for me we both ventured toward the start line.  And then.....we were off! 

I felt strong and giddy, race season began! I was overdressed as usual and about half way through I discretely removed my middle layer of clothing, while running.  This is a technique I have perfected over the years from swim team and soccer practices.  I hauled ass back in, finished strong, gave it my all and ended up with a finish time of 56:24 (11:17/mile).  Just a little bit slower than last year's time (this year I was carrying a few more pounds).  I was pleased with my time and spent the rest of the day rocking my medal. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Wanderlust


The wanderlust

All that remained was a feather left in the dust of her captive cage

Misery loves company but her loneliness was like a gnawing hunger pain

No good deed goes unbeaten, unscathed, unharmed

A longing for a rapture long overdue consumed her mind, body and heart for she knew

That it was out there waiting… somewhere patiently as her impatience grows steadily

Like a tiger gracefully and peacefully preying on dinner

She only needed to move on from her past, her pains, and the weight pushing down on her like water rolling over her, trapped by a shoelace caught in debris

Damn shoelace, should be easy to free

Censored, caged, taking a stand, ageism, sexism, blonde-ism

A utopia it’s not; but the negativity consumes, distracts, and derails

Or does it?

Stronger, faster, patience grows, character built, endurance lasts longer

All that remained was a feather left in the dust of her once captive cage

Dreams, wishes, and hopes come true

No longer caged, balance, faith, and love renew

The wanderlust is the rebirth of something new

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

THANK YOU 2014


Dear 2014, thank you. 

Thank you for the pain, thank you for the suffering.  Thank you for giving me the strength to preserve, forgive, and overcome.  From feeling great pain, anger, hurt, vengeance to feeling joyous and certain, 2014 provided many lessons and opportunities.  2014 brought many great memories from my solo trip to see Rob Zombie in Richmond, Virginia to my solo trips to the woods.  Summer birthday celebrations, my brother’s wedding, meeting someone amazing, and growing friendships.  November and December are the most memorable of the year and they were  filled with peace, forgiveness, strength, laughter, and happiness.  Thank you 2014. 

To anyone going through something that feels impossible to get through, please keep going.  It may not get better tomorrow, next month, on within a year but it will get better.  To go through difficulty opportunities will arise.  Dig deep within yourself and keep moving forward. 

Thank you so much 2014, you were just what I needed.  I Believe, I Love, I Understand, and I Empower <3

 

 

 

The warmth of the sun beats down on my face where so many tears were born

The fresh air fills my lungs where it once felt like I was suffocating or trying to breathe underwater

Chirping birds drown out hurtful voices

The crisp leaves leftover from a brief fall barely make any noise as I lightly skip around

My heart, body, and soul melt into your arms in a way that I didn’t know existed


Saturday, December 27, 2014

What makes us want them to stay


all along it was abusive

you can't do this, you can't do that

you are nothing, and you know nothing

but it feels so great to be held

so you cope and you manage

but real love is not weak,

real love doesn't hurt, it makes you float

you're not good enough, too many curves, too many questions, and too much opposition

so on the floor you're thrown

all the decorations are broke

so what makes us want them to stay

change is inevitable, one can become whole

those are lies we tell ourselves

and we continue the cycle

is it low self esteem or do we wish change those which cause us pain

is it motherly love or sadistic torture

you are good enough, keep your head up, and move on

that which does not kill us makes us stronger

but if we do not change and strive for more we become more weak

so go ahead and let it peak

for seeing first hand makes us see

sometimes all you want is arms around you, holding you tight

but in reality you realize that all the answers lay within you and alone you should be

Sunday, December 21, 2014

BBA 50k, not so much

Saturday November 15th my sister picked me up bright and early to drive me down to the Bill's Bad Ass 50k trail run course. A 50k is over 30 miles.  The course is a 5mile loop to be completed 6 times and then the final mile being mostly stairs.  It was my intention to stick to short distances this year as I was struggling with staying "in the game" mentally.  I decided to run this race before I sprained my ankle and I decided to raise funds for one of my favorite organizations, Girls With Sole. 

The weather was brisk this Saturday morning.  I was among the early starters and in great company.  The first 2 loops felt great albeit slow.  Looking back on this day, I believe I may have mentally talked myself out of a finish, knowing that I was undertrained and one of the slowest runners out there.  On the 3rd loop my knees began aching, especially on the uphill and downhill.  Most of the course was a hill, thus the awesome challenge and finisher's receiving the title "Bad Ass".  I finished the 3rd loop mostly hiking.  I consulted with fellow runners about my knee pains, some said "push forward" while others said, "don't injure yourself more".  After finishing 15 miles I decided on the latter. 

I raised nearly $1,000 for Girls With Sole and I ran 15 miles, a distance I didn't plan on running in 2014.  It was my first DNF (did not finish) ever but I feel it was the right decision.  I have been resting my knees as both were diagnosed with "runner's knee".  Luckily I'm a multi-sport athlete and have swimming, biking, strength training, and yoga to lean on during the winter months.   I finished my racing year on a good note, with great people.  Life doesn't go as planned, we must learn to "Be Like Water" and go with the flow.