Running to Overcome

October 27, 2010

Last week I ran a mile without stopping.

For many, this would actually be considered a negative thing.  For me, it is quite the opposite.  I have never been so proud of myself.
I grew up in a small Baptist school where we were required to wear culottes past our knees in gym class.  I use the word gym class lightly.  The teacher (whose degree was in youth ministry) would follow us in a blue church van yelling for us to go faster.
Around the same time in my life I was diagnosed with a heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia.  During an episode of SVT my heart can beat up to 300 beats per minute.  This is quite terrifying to a 13 year old.
Once in volleyball practice we were running laps in the church gym.  I had an SVT episode and asthma attack at the same time.  My coach (a term I also use lightly in this story) accused me of faking to get out of running laps.  My older sister had to step in to rescue me.  We both got in trouble.
I left that school a year later, but the trauma it caused still haunts me to this day.  One of the traumas is associated with running.  I literally thought I would die any time I had to run.  I avoided it like the plague in all future endeavors.
A few weeks ago I decided it was time to overcome this fear.  I signed up to run a 5k on Thanksgiving and started running 3-4 times a week.
The mile I finished on Friday was so much more than that.  Each step I take, each difficult breath is a victory won over my past and all the people that tried to keep me down.
My saucony running shoes are a symbol of inspiration to me.  When I feel unmotivated I just put them on and am instantly ready to go.
There is no feeling like accomplishing something you never thought you could.

Cooking

October 27, 2010

Ordinarily, I despise the idea of cooking.

For one thing, I work in an environment where I am on my feet all day, serving a luxury item to mostly ungrateful people.  The last thing I want to do when I get home is continue to stand on my feet in production of something, even if it is for myself or someone I love.

Secondly, I have an aversion to being in the kitchen.  My mom is the best cook I know.  Until I was twelve years old, she made dinner nightly and we ate as a family around the table.  Now you would think, what is your problem then?  Shouldn’t you be comfortable in the kitchen being raised like that?  The answer is a resounding no.

I could never cook as well as my mother.  It comes so naturally to her and she does it so well that it is downright intimidating.  But the main problem is, she never let me help other than the uninspiring jobs like peeling potatoes or stirring the pot.  Other than that, I had better stay out of her way.  Not unlike myself, my mom has very little patience.

My whole adult life I have felt like I must have a missing ingredient myself.  Does the fact that I can’t cook make me an undesirable candidate?  No one wants to admit it in this day and age, but the fact remains that men still think women should be able cooks.  Thankfully, I am in a relationship where my boyfriend likes to cook.  Well, I’m not really sure how much he actually likes it, but he does it.

It is this lack of pressure  that has made me reconsider my stand on cooking.  I am still terrified of it, but I know that I will not be rejected as a person if I burn something or make the same five things over and over.

Cooking is a way of taking care of yourself and the people you love.  The problem with me is that I have never valued myself enough, but that is changing.

So, last winter I found this cookbook.  “Quick Cook.”  What doesn’t sound amazing about that?  I used it a few times when I first bought it because I was “working on things” (whatever that means) with my ex and honestly thought overcoming my aversion to cooking would make me more desirable.  It sounds silly, but when you want to hold on to something you’ve had for six years no matter how dysfunctional it is, you’ll think of anything.  For obvious reasons, neither endeavor lasted.

I am bringing out “Quick Cook” again.  This time, for the right reasons.  I want to overcome my fear of failure and learn how to take care of myself.

In the spirit of celebrating the return of Amy & Wayne Review Everything, I will now also review some things.  It seems like good fun and gives me a chance to talk about my new shampoo.

Loreal has a new sulfate free shampoo.  I am not a hipster so I don’t really know what that means, but it smells and feels great.

The next thing I will review (but not assign a number to) is baby llamas.  They are great and quite under rated.

I also love http://www.apartmenttherapy.com.  Here are some pictures from that website.

And now for some anthropologie dresses….

Also, Audrey Hepburn:

I also love Africa babies.

That about sums it up for now.  Oh wait.  I forgot about this cutesie Via ad on the Starbucks website:

Caramel is my favorite.

I also love people who speak with British accents, but that is quite common I’m sure.

I would also like to add these running shoes, which are changing my life.

Today in the news.

October 16, 2010

Admittedly, I am no journalist.  Somehow learning how to write news stories and feature stories makes me feel smart and important.  I think someday I might like to be a journalist.  Interviewing super smart people doesn’t hurt the overall sense of somehow being a news reporter.  Especially when they say “that was a really good question” repeatedly.  Well sir with a PhD. from oxford or cambridge or something, I am nearly 30 and have a lot of interview experience.  It doesn’t matter.  I am good at it.  I’m good at it and I’m going to pursue it PAST the usual point of discouragement.  The usual point of discouragement happens to come sometime shortly after I set out on an endeavor and it stops coming naturally to me.  See: knitting, piano, guitar, gymnastics, volleyball, embroidery, sewing, etc.  I have a life long habit of quitting around Wednesday (if new endeavors were on a weekly time line, which they often are for me.)

But not this.