The Anti-New Year’s Resolution Post

Ahhhhhh, New Year’s……..that magical time of the year when one can look back at everything they feel they effed up in the previous 364 days and say “no freaking more.” (Note my paws are raised too.)

Well, 2016, I’m tapping out.

Is it just because they were celebrities that it seemed like more than the normal amount of peeps were lost to this world this year?  I know of family, friends, pets, friendships, and even marriages that were lost this year and wonder if they don’t count on that emotional roller coaster scale too.

emotional-roller-coaster

 

BUT…..

Instead of getting caught up in the inevitable “I’m going to do this and that and not to do this and that and get all ticked off because The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones continue to take those STUPIDASS MID-SEASON BREAKS“, we’re going to take a little side trip down the less-traveled road of……..

 

…..dare I say it…….

 

OPTIMISM.

Yes, the election sucked on ALL counts.  Yes, my friend’s daughter continues to have seizures.  Yes, another friend continues to battle to keep her beloved dog alive, and yes, my oldest friend in the world kicked her ex to the curb.  All bad stuff.  However, being a true believer in that irritating old saying of everything happens for a reason, (even if the reason completely stinks moosepoo), somehow the human race always seems to come out on the other side victorious.

I really do believe at the heart of it all, we can’t help but be good to each other, even if at our worst times, we tend to forget that.  Holidays tend to bring out both the best – and the worst – in many of us.  In the end though, love and compassion always seem to win out.  Every. Damn. Time.  We just have to get out of our own damn way and let the good in us just pop on out of there.

puppy-kisses

“Well, this is awkward.”

As we head into 2017, let’s try something new.  Forget the weight loss resolutions, the promises to finally get the closets cleaned out, the efforts to try and spend less money, and focus on what really matters….

Kindness.

Compassion.

Patience.

Positivity.

Love.

Belly rubs. (Wonder Mutt wanted to make sure that was on the list. Just roll with it.)

belly rubs

As 2016 draws to a close (none too soon), from our humble abode to yours, we wish a very, very, happy, healthy, loving, and incredible New Year.  Life truly is what you make of it, and it’s time we make it simply amazing. Felice Anno Nuovo!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Was 2016 a bad year for you?  Are you glad it’s over?  Are you looking forward to 2017?  What do you think is the most important thing you can do for one another?

 

 

 

Advertisements

(A Wine and Dine Story) And So We’ve Come….

…to the end of the road.

Literally.

I know this has been a long, drawn out, painful process.  Much like my running life has been the last few years.  And it ain’t over yet.  Well, almost.

I promise.

The pain is coming to an end.

When last we checked in here and here, I was headed for that great big starting line in the……….wait.  No no no. Not THAT one.  This one.

wine-and-dine-start

Jeep packed up, Wonder Mutt dropped off at the neighbors, and off to the most Magical Place on Earth we go.  Not without a giant case of the nerves.  After checking in to our little temporary home for the next few days the night before, we headed over to the expo.  Nothing too exciting there, just your usual, if more complicated, expo shenanigans as in past years.  Complicated as in “let’s just make everyone walk all over kingdom come to get anywhere else between packet pick up, shirt pick up, and goodie shopping” kind of complicated.

We managed to get through all the madness, hook up with running buddies Rae and Lisa, grab a brewski upstairs from the expo, head off for a day of eating, shooting aliens in Studios, grabbing some moonshine at Fort Wilderness (literally, moonshine!), and singing our way all over central Florida.  Yep, that was us you heard.

night-sweats

Much less hairy though.  MUCH.

Fast forward to Sunday morning.  Oh-dark-thirty.  No sleep.  Nerves jumping like Pop Rocks.  I tape the beeJesus out of my knees, get dressed, try to eat the bagel the hubs had so thoughtfully picked up for me the day before, quadruple check that I have all race necessities – tunes, shades, Sport Beans, sanity (not so much), and off we go.  Hubs drops me off at Coronado Springs so I can hop race transpo to the start, and back to bed goes he.  After a very short wait, bus arrives, off to WWoS we go, and the reality of what’s about to happen REALLY starts to sink in.

Holy crap woman, you’re about to run 13.1 miles.  Again.  With the very real possibility that you may finish, not finish, implode before you hit the start line, or act like that ninny in A League of Their Own.

baseball.jpg

Thankfully, the wait to start wasn’t unbearably long, and before I knew it, Rudy and Carissa, those ever faithful runDisney announcers, had the corrals off and running.  Ever vigilant of not starting off too fast, I ignored the typical bizarre looks I was getting from runners around me as I had the following convo with my psyche.  Apparently out loud.

“Hey idiot.”

“What.  Can’t you see I’m trying to run here?”

“Yeah.  That’s why I need you to rein it in and make sure you stick to your intervals.  Otherwise you may not finish.”

“I may not finish anyway.  And I hate running intervals.”

“Hubs said if you finish, he’ll have Patron waiting for you.”

(silence)

(more silence)

(even more silence)

“Dammit.”

Needless to say, agave juice won out.

Margarita in a glass

Dammit.

Soooo, as I wound my way at a snail’s pace around Animal Kingdom, of course I had to stop and hang out with these guys.

Stilt Guys1.jpg

My, you’re all really…..tall.

The new course then meandered along random Disney World roads and back towards Epcot.  At which point, my eyes lit up like I had just discovered a giant bowl of spaghetti with garlic and olive oil.  Due in no small part to what was probably the GREATEST MILE MARKER EVER……

mile-9-rev

Maniacal smiling!

Mile 9.  I knew I was going to finish this bad boy one way or another.  But not before I had to go through what I lovingly termed the MILE OF REALLY MOTHER-EFFER?!?  I JUST COULDN’T GET THROUGH THIS WITHOUT YOU, COULD I?!?

stubborn mule

Nope. Not a chance lady.

Hello Mile 10, hello “what the hell just imploded in my left leg?”  Oh wait, just a lovely little mixture of tight IT band, tuckered out left glute, with a touch of inner left knee soreness thrown in for good measure.  Now, all that being said, I had stuck to my intervals, stopped to stretch every 1-2 miles, and never pushed the pace the entire time.  I knew this was not going to be a speedy half, and had already decided to just have fun with it.  Having this blow up at Mile 10 didn’t really bother me all that much, and if I had to walk it in from there, then so be it.  I could live with it.  I knew the hubby and Lisa were already celebrating her oh-so-speedy finish, and I had every intention of joining them in consuming vast quantities of celebratory libations before much longer.

lisa-grouper1

“Move it girl, there’s partying to be done!”

Then I knew the runner gods had been paying attention.  Mile 10 consisted of an insanely banked ramp up to an overpass.  A ramp which had no flat spot to run on.  ANYWHERE.  Now, I had received very strict orders from the Man and Torture Tony to NOT RUN THE RAMPS OR ELSE.

And for once, I actually listened.

Not just because there wasn’t a flat spot anywhere along that ramp to run on, but also because – you know – that whole pesky left leg thing.

Then, a Disney miracle happened.

miracle.png

No, not that miracle.

As the ramp peaked at the top of an overpass around Mile 11, I decided just to test the waters a bit and see if the extended walk break may have been enough for everybody to calm the hell down.  After a few cautious jogging steps – and a lot of breath holding – things seemed to actually be…..ok.

laugh dog

Say WHA?????

What?  Were you not paying attention?

I said,

EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE OK

AS IN NO PAIN

ANYWHERE!

In complete and utter disbelief, I called the hubs and Lisa, told them to get the ‘ritas chilling, kicked it into high gear – well, MY high gear – and brought it on home.

The rest – as they say – is history.  Enjoy.

choir1

medal-shirt1

Enjoy the ride.

Thank you for following along with me on what has been on helluva ride.  Your good wishes and crossed paws all helped me cross that finish line on that beautiful morning, and I could not have done it without you.  I especially could not have done it without the encouragement of my hubs, my family, Lisa, PT Pam, Torture Tony, and Dr. Testa.  It’s been a long and painful journey, but we have finally arrived, in no small part to every one of you.  My running adventures will continue, and I hope to take all of you along on them.  Hang on tight, as the ride is only going to get better from here on out!

The Cooler Side of the Pillow

And just like that, another beautiful light goes out.

stuart-scott-cancer-twitter

Unless you pay absolutely no attention to the sports world, then you know what a great loss the world has suffered.  Stuart Scott was as engaging as your best friend, funny as any professional comedian, and as down to earth as the guy next door.  A devoted father, consummate professional, and creator of some of the best sports quotes known to man, Scott was the picture of determination and inspiration to those who knew of his fight against cancer.

Feeling like I was raised on all things sports and ESPN thanks to an older brother, my love of sports continued – and still continues – thanks in no small part to my ESPN-addicted husband.  Nary a day goes by that doesn’t start with Mike and Mike, or end with PTI and SportsCenter on a TV somewhere in the humble Black Dog abode.  Saturdays are meant for NCAA football and Sundays are devoted to the NFL.  Baseball, basketball, it doesn’t matter, we watch it all.  But the best, the best, are the back stories.  Whether it was about a football player down and out on his luck who made it to the big show, or an athlete who came back from the brink of death to prove to the world she was the best,  Scott brought us those stories in his own unique way.  But the best back story, was his own.

StuartScott1

Along with thousands of others, we welcomed Scott into our home, welcomed his knowledge and insights into all things in the sporting world.  He exuded confidence and objectivity, but above all, he inspired us – to fight, to be strong, to be a better person.  And that will be his legacy.

Scott and Daughter

He fought the good fight, and in doing so – in his own special, unique way – he beat cancer.  The disease may have eaten away at his body, but it never touched his soul.  He wouldn’t let it.

During the third quarter of the AFC Wild Card Game on Sunday, Jim Nance summed it up in six small words, “What a man.  What a loss.”  I don’t think anyone could have put it better.  No one, except perhaps, Scott himself.

SS quote

 

Boo-Yah, my friend.  Boo-Yah.

 

Enjoy the ride.