Posted by Tegan on Dec 11, 2012 in brave things
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I don’t know why, but phone calls are brave things for me. Maybe it’s something about not being able to see someone’s face as I talk to them? Maybe because it feels like improv? Maybe it’s that I don’t like the awkwardness of those little delays and sometimes talking over someone? Whatever the reason, I always get that butterfly feeling in my gut before I make phone calls.
Nine times out of ten, I’m even calling someone I really like and really want to talk to. But actually dialing to make a phone call still feels like a brave thing.
Is there such a thing as phone phobia?
Whatever the reason, I won’t beat myself up over the fear. Today I’ll choose to pat myself on the back for making three brave phone calls before lunch.
What can we pat you on the back for today?
I was thinking in my living room about many things the other morning while scrolling through FB, and ran across this challenge from a photographer, MeRa Koh: “Make today all about capture images that speak to you about ‘cozy.’” I looked up and this is what I saw:
Heather’s UGG’s ready to go for a nice fall day of coziness. All day I was thinking about cozy. I will spare you the photos of dinner and what I wore to work that evening, although both qualify.
I know this is one of the reason I enjoy fall so much. I love cozy. I especially love cozy after wet. And we are getting some wet now aren’t we? I keep saying to myself, “You can get all warm and dry and cozy after you brave the weather for that walk or run or drive to the gym” (in my case pool).
And yes, I have a pair of UGGs my size I wear after swimming in the mornings. A true cozy reward.
Where do you find cozy?
I’ve been feeling more than a little overwhelmed. So today I applied Linda’s strategy of breaking things down into manageable pieces to finally check things off my to-do list. (I have a separate to-do list for work, but let’s not even go there.)
Here’s my list. It’s actually the second version. I already broke “clean house” down into laundry, bathrooms, sweep & vacuum, and dishes before I started accomplishing anything. I was too overwhelmed by thinking about cleaning the whole dirty house. I don’t have time for that!
I broke it down, but I still felt too overwhelmed. All that laundry? ACK, that would take all day. Instead, I gave myself an out. Something’s better than nothing, so I modified my goal– towels. And while I was at it, some underwear and socks filled out the load. Bam! One thing done.
Then bathrooms. If I had to clean both bathrooms completely, it would take at least an hour. So I told myself if we just have clean sinks and counters today, I can do the tub and the toilets later in the week.
Sweeping but not vacuuming seemed like a reasonable compromise because it only meant one set of cleaning equipment (broom and dustpan) and one round through the house. I included the bathroom floors on this and felt like a champ because now the bathrooms really are clean enough to go a few more days.
I had too many dishes to fit in the dishwasher, so I didn’t even want to start. I told myself I just had to get one load in the dishwasher and rinse everything that wouldn’t fit. Once I lowered the bar, I just did it.
Finally, the workout. I’ve been feeling guilty for not getting my usual 45 minutes to an hour in regularly. Since something is better than nothing, I did 15 minutes of cardio and told myself I’d do more later if I had the time. (Surely that scurrying around with the broom and dustpan had to help my health a little, right?)
Now I’m on to the blog post, and I’m almost done with the list. Sure, my post isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. Say it with me: “Something’s better than nothing!”
Have you felt paralyzed by perfection? What pass will you give yourself to enjoy the truth of today’s mantra?
On Sunday, I ran my first 5k with my friend and training buddy, Beverly. This was the first time I’ve participated in an event that my husband hasn’t been running, so it was also the first time I had a designated cheering section: Jordan and Linda!
Linda did a great post about being on the cheering side of things, so I thought I’d share some observations from being a runner.
-It feels GREAT to have people cheering you on. Jordan and Linda were champs at cheering, and together they covered the course so we had friendly faces several places through the run. I also particularly loved the kids with the cowbells, the guy with the rabbit puppet, and the bikers with billboards from Portage Bay Cafe. I’ve enjoyed people cheering me during walks before, but I felt like I earned it more this time.
-I wish I’d had someone take our picture before and after the race. It was an exciting day, and it would have been fun to see that in our faces before and after. Plus, wouldn’t that have made for a better blog post? Thank goodness Linda caught us on the course.
- When you run, the race is over faster. That seems obvious, but I didn’t realize that isn’t always a good thing. In rain and wind, what a blessing to be done faster. But on a beautiful day like Sunday was, with a friend by my side, I enjoyed the race so much, I wouldn’t have minded taking a bit more time. I guess one solution would be to do a longer distance, but that would mean longer training sessions, too…
-Rewards feel even better after you’ve worked hard for them! I feel particularly proud of my new training shirt and medal. I even wore my medal out to breakfast after the race. People in the restaurant asked about it and congratulated me. That’s a first!
Have you tried something new lately?
p.s. Now I have a medal that coordinates with Linda’s– see her Iron Girl medal in our blog header collage?
Posted by Linda on Sep 12, 2012 in friendship
, Linda's posts
I was in the support crew on Sunday, and I made a few mistakes. Like tell your people where you will meet them before the race. I told Tegan I would be wearing red but not where to meet. My parka was a beautiful stop sign red. I even stood up on the raised platform by the statue and looked out into the crowd for about 30 minutes but did not spot them. And they did not locate me. So I paced up and down where the athletes lined up, but still no Tegan and Beverly.
I gave up on seeing them before the race and took to the course. About 2/3rds into mile one I found a tree to lean against and waited. It’s been fun to try and follow Tegan’s Cheering guidelines from an earlier post. It was a strange position for me; I can’t remember the last time I was at an event simply to cheer. I remembered her direction to cheer for everyone. “You are taking up prime real estate; cheer for everyone or step back.” So I did, as I waited for Tegan and Beverly to come by. I’d yell, “You’re looking good!” or, “Everyone is looking strong this morning.” Then Tegan spotted me and yelled my name. (It was the red coat.) We squealed and jumped up and down, then I ran ahead and got this photo.
You might be wondering why was it important for me to get to this race and cheer Tegan on? Well, this was the race she crossed over from a walker to a runner. And she has been looking forward to this race for months.
I’m also a big believer in celebrating all of life’s achievements. I hope this run was as fun for them as wearing red and cheering was for me.
Congratulations Iron Girls, Tegan and Beverly! And everyone else who crossed the finish line that morning. You Rock!!!
This Saturday is the day for Swim Across America open water swims in my current home state (Washington) and my original home state (Rhode Island).
I’m hoping for calm waters and great swims for everyone participating, but especially for the fundraising team Betsy and the Estro-Jets. Betsy, who organized the team, is my mother’s cousin. It’s her third year doing the swim to raise money for women’s oncology research and her first year with her own team.
This picture is the photo Betsy and the Estro-Jets use for motivation: the New England ocean with a soaring gull and the names of the women the team is swimming to honor or remember. My mother, Ariel Scott Willever, and my aunt, Melissa Scott Thomas Robbins, are listed right above and below the seagull. They both died of cancer.
In the spring of this year, my friend since infancy, Cathy, mentioned that she was inspired by the blog post I did last year about my brave cousin Betsy. Cathy was the first to join Betsy’s team! More soon followed: my aunt Toni (my mother’s sister-in-law); her sister Ginny; Betsy’s daughters Kristin and Alison; Leah; Caitlin; Peter; and Joseph. The intrepid team has trained for the swim, and they’ve raised over $10,000 for cancer research!
Thank you, Betsy and the Estro-Jets! Thank you for swimming to honor, remember, and protect. I am proud of you all, and I can’t wait to see a team photo. Have a safe and happy swim.
Do you know anyone doing Swim Across America? Who are you rooting for this weekend?
This seems to be a week of benchmarks for me.
I’m getting ready for my first 5k run next week, so I’m testing myself around the track to see if I can run the whole distance.
Linda and I met for strategic planning about our manuscript for One Brave Thing a Day. We assessed where we are with the writing, with building our audience, and with our agent.
I tutored a student I’m helping in test preparation for the first time in a few weeks. I gave him tasks to check his knowledge and his focus.
I have been very satisfied with all the benchmarks. Knowing where I stand gives me a sense of calm but also helps motivate me for the next challenges.
Do you use benchmarks in your goal setting? Are you happy with where you stand?
I like the behind the scenes story on this swim more than the swim.
I had decided to take August off of swimming. I had pushed really hard all winter and spring and half of summer to complete the Alcatraz Sharkfest 2012, and now it was time to rest. It took three weeks before I started missing it at all; I was burnt-out a little bit.
Back up the story to a woman named Judy, who attends a gathering on Wednesday evenings with me. The last time I saw her was about a year and a half ago when she specifically came to say goodbye to me and said she needed to go battle breast cancer. I wanted to keep track of her so we agreed that Facebook would be the best way.
Judy is a light bulb, full of enthusiasm and positive energy, so it did not surprise me that on the flip side of her surgeries and radiation and chemo she was also signing for 5K walks. Then she took on open water swimming, again. I followed her postings on Facebook and from time to time she would comment on mine, especially the Alcatraz ones. So it surprised me when she posted that she was disappointed with her time during her Emerald City 1 mile swim. Others posted back: “Judy! YOU just swam a mile!” I let curiosity get the better of me and within a day or two I looked up her time. And I thought, “That’s not a bad time… actually it’s a good time if you started swimming as an adult,” and I let it go.
Then on Wednesday evening who should walk in the door to our meeting? JUDY!!! And the first thing out of my mouth wasn’t welcome back (sorry to say), it was: “What are you talking about? That was a good swim you had last week, timing and all!”
She broke into this huge grin/giggle. Then said, “The event I’m most excited about is this Sunday the Park to Park that benefits Children Hospital. We swim across Lake Washington.”
By then Hannah, a welcome eavesdropper, had entered the conversation. Hannah asked how far that race was and Judy answered 1.5 miles. Oh the same distance as the Alcatraz race? And I said,”I heard the race was closed.”
Hannah whipped out her smart phone and said, “Let’s see… Oh! It’s sponsored by my boyfriend’s company! You want to do that race don’t you?” And we were off to the registration race: “Hey Linda, how do you spell your last name?” (Don’t you think this would make a great iphone commercial?) Before I knew it I was committed to the new race.
Welcome back Judy!
It was a beautiful morning. Both Judy and I had great swims.
And Judy was happy with her time, this time.
And I think I am most happy for serendipity and quick friends with smart phones, thank you Hannah.
Next year I hope to have this swim on my radar and be recruiting others to join me.
Are you the recruiting type? If so, what and who are you recruiting today?
Posted by Tegan on Aug 23, 2012 in motivation
, Tegan's posts
The first time I overheard runners on their way to a race talking eagerly about their “PR,” I wondered why they might be getting media attention. But they weren’t talking about public relations, they were talking about personal records.
Today as I was training for running my first 5k, I had a revelation: as long as I finish the race, I will achieve my PR! Because I’m sure that no matter how slow my running, it should be faster than the 5ks I’ve done walking.
That put a little bounce in my step as I jogged along the track.
Posted by Tegan on Jul 31, 2012 in brave things
, Tegan's posts
photo courtesy of moms.today.msnbc.msn.com
I haven’t watched any real Olympics coverage yet this year, but I’ve been loving the clip of US gymnast Aly Raisman’s parents as they watched Aly perform her uneven bar routine.
Mom, Lynn, keeps up a running commentary throughout. Her stream of encouragement (“C’mon, Aly, c’mon, let’s go, let’s go…”) is mantra-like as she focuses on Aly, sometimes bouncing in her seat or squirming. At her side, dad, Ricky, stays quite still through much of the routine, but my favorite parts are when the two lean dramatically, anticipating and following their daughter’s movements.
You can tell that these parents know the routine backward and forward. They’re willing their daughter to succeed with every fiber of their being. That concentration is certainly Olympic level spectating!
Congratulations to Aly, Lynn, and Rick for their obvious dedication to the sport and to each other. I also cheer the family’s sense of humor about the attention they’re getting; 18-year-old Aly has been tweeting about it (@Aly_Raisman), starting with the comment, “I love my parents.”
Hooray for brave fans who are all in!
Go, Aly, and GO USA!