52 Weeks of Adventure: Week 4 Love Rocks

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Bentley, Ciera’s doggie.

I found myself on the drive to Maryville last Monday. Maryville, TN is a quaint little town of approximately 27,000 people, a suburb of Knoxville (source). Maryville is where I first came to settle in Tennessee at age 18, choosing the town for the small, liberal arts college that resides there on the hill. Maryville, Tennessee is one of my favorite places on earth and has a special place in my heart. Not only does it have a homey feeling to it and is easy to navigate, it has some of my favorite places which includes Vienna Coffeehouse and a crossfit gym with friendly people. It’s where I learned and struggled to be an adult and where I flew from my parents nest. It’s where I made friends that have lasted a lifetime and learned that some friendships don’t always last. I learned to run in that little town and learned each running trail and knew each distance like the back of my hand. Regardless if I wanted to run 2 miles or 7 miles, I knew exactly where to go. No GPS needed. Maryville is the source of so much joy, heartache, tears, and redemption for me. Maryville is also where Ciera lived with her parents. It is the place where Ciera and I found an anchor in our friendship and the place I prayed for her to come back to. Maryville has intense and deep-rooted significance for me.

DSCN0396For those of you who may not know, Ciera is my best friend who passed away October 26, 2015. If you want to read about the legacy she left when she passed, click here. 

I finally pulled up to Ciera’s parents, Mr. Mike and Mrs. Sherri’s house later on Monday night than I had planned. I hopped out the car and rushed to the front door, eager to begin our adventure. Excitement radiated through me as Mrs Sherri and Bentley, the overexcited young boxer, answered the door. They had all been kind enough to not only let me be a part of this activity we were doing, but also invite me to their house and cook dinner for me. Mr Mike and Mrs Sherri have the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever met. They open their doors and open their hands and open their hearts and say “thank you” even when you’re the one imposing. They invite you to intimate activities such as making Love Rocks for Ciera in her memory… which is what we planned to do that night. Mr Mike and Mrs Sherri have kept Ciera’s memory and legacy alive through their openhanded generosity to me and others. Every time I get a taste of their kindness, I think of her and when I get a moment to dwell on it, it overwhelms me.

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Mr Mike made the most delicious Salmon.

For those of you who don’t know what Love Rocks are, I really want to encourage you to go read their story and find them on Facebook.  Love Rocks is a foundation and a community of people created by one mama and daddy in Oregon who lost their two daughters named Anna and Abby in an unthinkable tragedy. The two girls were playing in front of their house in some leaves one fall morning and a motor vehicle did not see them and hit them on October 20, 2013. In honor of their Creator and the lives of their sweet girls, they chose to spread love and joy by creating Love Rocks in April of 2014. They began by cutting fabric in the shapes of hearts and using Mod Podge to glue them on rocks- creating love rocks. Love Rocks aren’t meant to be kept, but meant to be shared just as love and joy are. They have been left at doctor’s offices, hospitals, on hiking trails, near the Eiffel Tower.. and so many more places. You can read more about them on the website.

DSCN0392After learning about these, Mrs Sherri and Mr Mike decided to make some Love Rocks- in honor and memory of Ciera, so we can leave them in different places wherever  we go so that whoever needs love and joy will find the Love Rocks and get that courage they need…

The adventure this week wasn’t that I spent time in Maryville. The adventure was that Mrs Sherri and Mr Mike opened their home and hearts up to me and allowed me to be a part of something so special that I will forever cherish in my heart. We made several Love Rocks in Ciera’s honor and maybe one day i’ll get the courage and strength it takes open my hand in thankfulness and let them go…

Thank you Mr. Mike and Mrs. Sherri for this past Monday. Thank you for letting me take pictures and share this with others…Thank you for continuing to… be like C and leave a legacy!

All photographs belong to me and were taken with my L820 Nikon coolpix camera. I didn’t receive any compensation for advertisement for this post. This is just what my adventure was this week. Please feel free to make your own adventures and share them with me. Also, feel free to make your own love rocks- if you do i’d love to hear about it.

 

 

52 Weeks of Adventure: Week 3~ Snowmageddon

By the title, I’m sure you all know what I’m referring to, correct? This past week, I was spoiled with adventure and it was a lot of fun. On Monday we got off for MLK day. Tuesday I went to work. Wednesday we had a snow day and technically I could have taken off, but I chose to work from home and.. have a little fun with Watson in the afternoon during a break.

Watson and I decided to go gliding and sliding through the snow and we met our neighbor and her dog, Tiki (Short for Tikvah which can mean Hope in Hebrew). Tiki and Watson ran around for a little bit, but Tiki got pretty cold since he’s a puppy Boxer.

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Watson is wearing his bright blue coat.. he doesn’t always understand social skills

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No matter how much he tries to sit, he won’t get Tiki’s treats! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Watson with his wild spirit! This is one of my favorites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Watson and Tiki had their fill of playing, which surprisingly didn’t last too long, Watson and I decided to walk around and take some pictures. We took pictures on my Nikon COOLPIX L820 camera that I received for Christmas a couple of years ago. I have recently pulled it out, bought a bunch of batteries and have been using it for my blog along with other things. I’m not a photographer by any means, but…. that’s part of the adventure isn’t it?

Once we settled down at home after our walk, Watson and I watched the news and realized the true snowmageddon was coming and the whole town was shutting down for Friday and Saturday. I cancelled my plans for the weekend and tried to make adventurous plans for the two of us.

By the end of the weekend, we didn’t have but a couple of flurries- We had nothing compared to the northeast! Me and Watson stayed home all day saturday, read books, watched movies, and drank tea. It was so, so lovely… and definitely our kind of adventure.

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Where is your life taking you this week? What adventures do you see in the mundane? What makes you smile and laugh and throw your head back and think “this is forever”? 

That’s adventure. Maybe it’s snow, or thankful journals, or friends. Maybe it’s wine and dine and cheese. Maybe the adventure is in the book you read last week or the church you visited. Maybe it’s a deeply spiritual experience or maybe it’s from wrestling with the Spirit.  Wherever your adventure lies, i’d love to read it. If you have a blog or want to start one, please join me in the adventure by writing them down and posting the link in the comments!

To learn more about the reason behind my 52 weeks of adventure series, click here.

52 Weeks of Adventure: Week 2 Friday Night Fights!

For week 2 adventure I attended Friday Night Fights, a realistic defense tactics and scenario training hosted by Imperative Insight, owned by Todd Mills and Breck Ellison.  Imperative Insight is a training organization that focuses on real world self-defense scenarios, combining martial arts combat training with weapons training. Imperative Insight offers an incredible range of courses including hand to hand combatives,  tactical handgun courses, tactical pen defense, low light tactics, third party defense, home invasion, Tactical Baton certifications among many more. Since I have decided for the time being to not carry, i’ve been taking Friday Night Fights to learn skilled self defense tactics and experience night-time self-defense scenario training. Those are things I feel like I could truly learn and use. To check out Imperative Insight, please visit their Facebook page. If you are interested in Friday Night Fights, they should be announcing one training every quarter on their fb page! I was not awarded compensation for this blogpost for any advertisement purposes, I am writing about my experience this week as a personal adventure in my 52 weeks of adventure series.

I arrived early to get acquainted with people I would soon be rolling around on the floor and running through the dark with and also to drink a smoothie for dinner. It was fun to meet both familiar and unfamiliar faces as we got ready for our Friday Night training and scenarios. I floated from person to person, table to table, making banter and jokes with acquaintances and greeting old friends. I was probably in the middle of a ridiculous story of mine when Todd and Breck got up from their conversations and went to the main room to begin. It was time. We shuffled our belongings away from the cafe and into the wide open room with black rubber floor mats and large gym-like lighting above us. This room is normally used for crossfit and would have to do for us during our training. We gathered in a semi circle around Breck and Todd as they began explaining basic safety.

We learned tons of things that night! We learned how to do what they called “floor work” which means basically means getting your opponent off of you and on their back. We also learned not to let people we don’t know within  certain number of feet with us (sorry breck and todd… I forgot!) and how to sternly tell them “NO! Don’t come any closer!” As I started to practice, my voice wasn’t stern or in charge, but with practice I slowly noticed that self-defense is a mind-set more than anything. The more confident I became in telling my opponent to “STOP!”, the more I could feel my posture, body, hands, eyes, and voice all give a command and truly believe that they would listen to what I was saying. I felt empowered by the end of that exercise. We also learned how to use tactical flashlights properly and that we should always have one with us, especially at night. Flashlights shined in an opponents face the correct way can go a long way for self-defense! I never even knew it. Todd and Breck spoke lightly on different ways to approach people, home invasions, and hand on hand combat. They touched on how to handle a gun when drawing and defending yourself and lightly touched on when to and not to use it.

Since I had previously participated in Friday Night Fights, I knew the night-time scenarios came next and was excited rather than nervous! The first time I did it I was afraid that I would freak out and hurt someone or make a scene and I died in every scenario. However, this time I could feel my mind-set shifting from afraid to confident and in control. The shift was empowering as I stepped outside to the first of three scenes.

This scene was me walking out to an empty parking lot in the dark with me weapon(s) of choice, I chose a flashlight because that’s realistically all I carry with me. I had to respond to strangers who approached me and tried to talk with me, but of course since I just learned how to command people not to come closer, that’s what I did- and I ran! I booked it and made it out alive.

The second scene was inside, as I approached a hallways with doors I was supposed to be entering a cabin in Gatlinburg I had rented for the weekend and no one was supposed to be there… I had to defend myself against invaders. I ran outside and “called 911” and lived! (whoohoo!)

The third scene I had to navigate a full parking lot to my car and defend myself against a woman who wanted my purse. She pulled a fake gun on me in the scene so I died! But it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

In this week I learned to trust my gut. If something feels wrong about a situation, a parking lot, a cabin in the woods, a house… I should go ask someone to accompany me no matter how silly it feels since two are always better than one. I learned to always have my flashlight with me and if needed, shine the light in any intruders eyes since that may blind and confuse them. I learned how defending myself is a choice, a mindset, and it won’t just happen because I have a will to live. Defense must be planned and practiced (as much as possible, you can’t really practice being attacked).

I learned that I can.

 

Learn more about my 52 Weeks of Adventures and join me by making your own blogging adventures! Share a link to your adventures in the comments each week!

 

 

52 Weeks of Adventures: Week 1

Hi Everyone!

I am starting a series that I hope to do every week for 52 weeks (one year). This is an adventure series inspired by Lily, as I’ve watched her for the past 52 weeks take adventures and record them in her blog! She was inspired by  a fellow blogger named Brenda who had taken her own 52 weeks of adventures too!

In turn, I hope to inspire you to look at life a little differently along with me! My goal in this is much the same as both of them- to make the mundane adventurous and see the fun in everyday life. My biggest goal in this is remaining Thankful for the everyday that He gives and remaining faithful toward one goal. I may not get all 52 weeks in, but since my word of the year is Faithful, I am going to try- even if I fail His grace covers me. Faithful and Grace go hand in hand, but that’s a discussion for another day!

So without further ado, i will start…. with Week 1!

Week 1: 

Week One’s Adventure goes back to November 2014. In November 2014 I read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Ann, a farmer’s wife, who has lived a really hard life when her sister died at a very young age, crafted a book about thankfulness. Eucharist. Her words flow like poetry as she explains, page after page, line after line, that Eucharist – thankfulness- happens in the mundane and in the simplicities and especially in the hardships of life. And that’s what makes life fully lived: thankfulness to Him who gives gifts for us to unwrap. Journals

She beautifully demonstrates her point by describing the Lord’s Supper. The night Jesus was arrested and beaten, He sat around with His friends, including His betrayer. He took bread in His hands, He gave thanks, and broke it. He gave thanks. He Thanked God for His body being broken hours before His body was broken. He took the wine and gave thanks by blessing it and drank it. He gave thanks before His blood was poured, for His blood being poured. In the hard. With the sweat and the prayers and the tears that came later. Can we, too?  In our hard? Can we see His gifts? Can we give thanks even through sweat and tears and blood? Through loss?

IMG_4510Ann started to count her gifts one by one, and through the numbering and the counting, her perspective on life gradually shifted as she saw every moment as a gift… and her world went from stressed and hard and frustrating to… thankful in and through the stressed and the hard. Through the book she dares each one of us to “Live fully right where you are” by numbering gifts He gives, we unwrap, and express thanks for.

I started noticing, numbering, opening, unwrapping, and giving thanks for gifts He gives on November 3, 2014. This week on January 8, 2016, I reached 1,000 gifts. The adventure in this week is not that I made an achievement by counting 1,000 gifts, that I became more thankful, or opened 1,000 gifts to give thanks for. No.

The adventure in this life is that He’s given me 1,000 gifts and in that, there’s 1,000 more to open, no matter my circumstance. In each gift there’s grace. In each grace, there’s thankfulness. And each thankful moment is every moment. Grace after grace. Gift after gift. One thankful heart after each thankful moment. 

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What an adventure. I can’t get over it. I can’t fathom.

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Some gifts He’s given are simple and light and adventurous:

  • Golden hue of Fall leaves in the sunrise
  • Erratic fingers across the keyboard
  • Yarn sliding through my fingers
  • A roommate that makes me laugh
  • A kitchen clean
  • The dew on summer grass
  • Dancing in the kitchen…
  • Frisky puppy playing with new toys
  • Smiling eyes
  • The bursts of blueberries in my mouth
  • The laughter of students learning
  • Challah made with small smooth hands
  • Wet puppy kisses.

Sometimes His gifts are in and through painIMG_4516

  • For heartbreak
  • Friends who “Store treasures in Heaven”
  • Repentance for my wicked heart
  • Loneliness that lets me lean on Him
  • Peace in my restlessness
  • Admitting my lack of faith
  • Broken and pleading prayers
  • A faint smile through pain-soaked tears
  • Saying goodbye to a friend
  • The art of letting go and open hands
  • He sympathizes in our time of weakness

There are so many gifts… countless.

Will you use the adventure of life to see them? Will you be thankful with me? Even if it’s something silly like wet puppy kisses, wild hair in the mornings, or red berries on green bushes… Eucharisteo and thankfulness is an adventure because a thankful heart is what He wants and commands (1 Thess 5:18). IMG_4519

2016 New Year Goals and My One Word

Last year I made New Year Goals for 2015 and I surprisingly stuck with them for the majority of the year, which makes the first year in my life that I have made New Years Goals, written them down and not forgotten about them.

Some of my goals for 2015 included going on a mission trip to Jamaican Deaf Village which you can read Here and here. Training and completing a triathlon while you guys donate money to St Jude Children’s hospital. To read about my triathlon, you can click here and here. Praying continually, which became a struggle after my closest friend passed away. You can read about the struggle in my most recent blog about the tension between grief and prayer. Those are just a few of my goals listed that were completed. For the goals that I didn’t meet, I made them more specific and wrote them down for 2016!

Here is the list:

  • Continually clean the kitchen as I use it (This has been a HUGE struggle for me).
  • Read one book a month (Last year my goal was to read the books on my shelves– I didn’t even read a book a month, so this year I will).
  • Piano Practice: 30 minutes at least 3-4 times a week. (I started piano lessons!)
  • Pray 10 minutes a day and say prayers before meals
  • Post in my blog at least one time a week.
  • Make steps to move forward.
  • Complete my Half Marathon and Raise money for St Jude in Ciera’s Honor
  • Read through the bible Chronologically when I’m done with Cover to Cover (I’m almost done!)
  • Be Mindful
  • Spend time with others and develop deeper friendships
  • Possibly go back to Jamaica (If funds allow)

 

In addition to having these goals, I decided to choose a word for this year to focus on and reflect on. My friend and fellow blogger, Lily chooses a word to focus on yearly and her blogs about each word she’s chosen have impacted me. Her most recent blog is about her word for 2016- I encourage you to read it!

My word for this year is:

Faithful

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Credits to google images

 

Pre-Triathlon reasons, disasters, and musings

I’m currently sitting in the airport waiting to board my plane to Charlotte, then to Miami and I’m no longer nervous. I had been shaking in my boots, terrified, hoping I can conquer this triathlon thing and afraid that something I planned would go wrong.
What Could Go Wrong

But the things I was afraid of have already happened and guess what? I’m okay. What a shocker, right?

I had a serious brain fart today and misread the time of my flight and arrived to the airport when my plane was taking off. I missed my flight. I misunderstood the paper and thought “arrival time” was actually the “departure time”. Please don’t ask me how my brain works. I stood there with silent tears going down my face as the man behind the counter tried to find some way to make it to Miami tonight. He waived my baggage fee and got me on the next available flight. I will be getting there just a few hours later than anticipated. I’m no longer crying. I’ve since gotten Midol, Caffeine, Water, and Dinner. This is a lovely combination. I’m so thankful for the airport stores. I feel calm, cool, collected and am no longer nervous for the tri, but excited. I have trained for this for months. I know that I can do it.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about the Kids at St Jude. I’ve been thinking about kids with cancer in general and how they want to Swim, Bike, and Run even more than I do. I’ve been so encouraged to see person after person donate to St Jude on my link… I cannot believe that what once started out as a goal of $1,000 has been raised to $1,300 then now to $2,000. I cannot wait to reach that goal and anticipate it happening even before SUNDAY! I know it can.

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But Sara, you ask, Why do you keep raising the amount if you’ve already reached the original goal? 

I won’t stop, my sweet friend, because Cancer doesn’t stop. Cancer doesn’t take breaks for holidays. It doesn’t give reprieve because a child wants to swim with their siblings or bike with their friends, or run around at school carefree…cancer free. Cancer doesn’t stop. And because cancer doesn’t stop and because St Jude doesn’t stop; I won’t stop either.

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So when you look for pictures and updates this weekend on my race. When you consider Sunday morning about saying a prayer for me. When you get excited to see if I cross the finish line…. Pray. Pray for St Jude children. Pray for Ciera. Pray for her as her and her mother endure the transplant process. Pray for them as they continue this battle. They are on the last streak.. One more transplant.

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The day my foot sets in that salt water is the day Ciera’s foot steps onto the transplant floor. Her race is much more treacherous than mine. Her battle has moments when it feels uphill. Encourage her. Encourage her family. Encourage her spirit.

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Encourage St Jude by donating…

http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes?px=2236863&pg=personal&fr_id=28540

Month Madness Mania- March 2015 Edition!

I’ve been following my friend’s Lily’s Blog for quite a long time now and every month she does a “What i’m into” blog post to recap her experiences, adventures, and triumphs for the month… So i’ve decided to do the same thing, since I think it’s splendid. You can view her march post and follow her blog Here. I decided to give my “What i’m into” a different name, because I like to be silly! “Month Madness Mania…” Just made my heart happy because of the 3 m’s. Don’t ask…

So this post is basically.. “What I’m Into March 2015”

What I’m watching: 

I have not been to the cinema in many moons, so I won’t even include Cinema movies, but I have been a netflix, Youtube, and Vimeo fanatic….

Friends

FriendsI love friends! It’s my favorite show on Netflix right now. I believe I’m on Season Four at this moment! I don’t watch it everyday because Ross and Rachel are making me nuts… But when I do watch it it makes me laugh out loud! The characters are all in their mid-to-late 20’s, they all have silly idiosyncrasies that are relatable to me. I understand their struggle with life, relationships, finances, and… friends. My favorite character was Ross until him and Rachel “were on a break,” but now I don’t like him too much. I’m tempted to say Chandler and Phoebe are now my favorites.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt- a Netflix Original Series…

KimmyMy roommate introduced me to Kimmy telling me that Kimmy reminds her of me and that we are likely kindred spirits. When I asked her why she said that, she eluded to that Kimmy and I are both pretty much living in our own happy, clueless bubbles. After watching it and becoming addicted to and adoring this show… I think her assessment is at least partially right. If I could get away with her 90’s wardrobe I would! Kimmy Schmidt was abducted in Middle School by this crazy guy who proclaimed the world had ended and he was a prophet- saving her from the World’s outside destruction. 15 or so years later, the outside world, that is not apocalyptic, discovers her and 4 or 5 other women who have been living in this basement under a religious cult…. So When Kimmy breaks into the outside world, she moves to New York… and makes an adventure discovering life.

That’s about all I’m going to be giving away of Kimmy’s story, but I definitely adore her, her smile, her personality, and her cheesy wardrobe.

Vimeo: 

This Video on Vimeo about the Deaf people in Yemen from IMB Deaf peoples. The video has subtitles for those who do not know American Sign Language.

Youtube: 

I’m a huge fan of SpokenWord Slam Poetry- This month I will feature Sarah Kay- She’s a great spoken Word Artist.
Here is her Channel…

My favorite Video by her Is called Mrs Ribiero. Beautiful Poem

What i’m Reading: 

AHA: The God That Changes Everything by Kyle Idleman

AHA.jgpI started reading this book with my small group a couple of months ago and really hated it at first. I think part of the reason why I hated it was really personal- that I had a hard time connecting with my small group and was dealing with some personal things as far as obedience to The Lord. In the end, I finished this book and really enjoyed it. The author, Kyle Idleman lays out the familiar story of the Prodigal Son that Jesus told throughout the entire book and explains how we can change our lives by following the steps this prodigal took to make change- Awakening, Honesty (brutal honestly about yourself), and Action. Through reading this book I did see several times in my life where i experienced AHA moments that lead to action, but I also identified several moments in my life where I experienced AHA moments that lead to self-pity instead of Action. It helped me be more aware in the future of how I can respond to these, sometimes dark moments. I recommend this book to those who want to learn… And change.

AHA: The God that Changes Everything by Kyle Idleman is on sale for Kindle for $1.99 for those of you who want to read it!

Since my month was very busy, that’s about all I had time to read this month, but It was a good book, nonetheless.  I started another book as well, but am not ready to talk about it since I’m not very far into it. I hope to increase my reading in the coming month: April!

What I’m Eating:

I made a Chicken, Kale, and Quinoa crockpot soup on Sunday night. I don’t care that the weather is getting warmer, I didn’t want to have to stand in the kitchen and work for it! I saw my friend TheKnittyHippie, had made it and posted a picture to her Instagram… so when I asked her for the recipe, she sent me this link… I added and took away a few things the recipe called for… I added Chickpeas instead of beans and Water instead of Chicken Broth. I added cajun seasoning, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. I forgot my Olive Oil and didn’t have the yellow onions or celery, so I put green peppers and sweet onions in it. I typically use Recipes as suggestions or guides and then do with what I have. I have had some Terrible disasters and also some pretty wonderful meals…This happened to taste wonderfully.

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Since March 1, when my trainer had a serious talk with me about nutrition and fueling my body for working out, I’ve been eating lots of fun breakfast foods and sometimes even making them for lunch and dinner. This makes me really happy. Since this talk, I have added Eggs, Low Sodium Bacon, Protein Powder, BCAA Amino Acids and a few other things to my diet. I have been very, very scared to add new foods to my diet, especially the bacon and eggs since it’s imperative that I maintain a low-sodium diet because of my Meniere’s disease which I have a blog forming about… right now.

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I Typically eat Pancakes every Saturday- I love pancakes, especially these.

3/4 cup of oats, 3/4 cup of Yogurt, 1tsp of baking soda, enough egg whites to make batter, and whatever sweetener you want (I like Carmichael’s Honey).

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The Internets: Blogs I love

Such Small Hands

I’ve already mentioned my friend Lily and her blog.  Lily and her husband Jonathan have been teaching English in Korea for quite some time now. I really enjoy her blogs about her adventures there and have been keeping up with her. She’s from my hometown and I think we went to the same school or church… or something when we were younger, but we were never friends. I know Lily best through the blogosphere world though our paths have crossed!

Sights from the Road:

My sweet friend Robin, who I know from Crossroads Church in Louisiana, has moved back to Africa recently to live an adventure of Sharing Christ with others. I have been Following and in love with her blog and writing for a while as well- I really encourage you to head over there and check it out.

Dogs and Dumbbells

My personal trainer, who has also become my friend, writes in her blog from time to time. So far, I love each one of her posts. They have been really enjoyable and always educational. She has also written a pretty awesome ebook called Gym Bag Essentials for $8.99 that I plan on purchasing when I find the time to read more and more! If the book is anything like my conversations I’ve had with her about health and fitness, I know they’ll be educational and inspirational!

All in all, that’s what’s going on March 2015… Can’t wait to post my April Edition… It may include something like a… triathlon.

Crossfit Challenges and Fun!

Yesterday after crossfit, I approached coach and said “coach, I don’t think my body was ready to come back today.. maybe i’ll miss tomorrow”.

Greg, one of my favorite people in class stood nearby, interrupted me “You’re being a wimp!” he held his thumb and his pinky together, stringing his tiny violin in the air “do you know what this is, Sara?”
I glared at him “you’re a meanie head!”
He laughed. “How old are you?” Greg and everyone else in class is in their 40’s and 50’s.
“Ten,” I smiled through the lie, “I’m ten years old” I gave him a sideways glance, ashamed that I was so weak and the youngest one in class still struggling to get through the workout. We smiled.
“You should be getting here before me, then and doing more than I do!” We laughed it off and walked away.

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The next day I arrived at the Box about 10 to 20 mins earlier than usual. Greg wasn’t there yet. I hopped on a row machine and began my warm up.. wondering if he was coming. When Greg finally walked in “GREG!!” I shouted, “I came today and I’m here before you!”

We walked over and looked at the board: WOD
50-40-30-20-10
Double Unders/Singles (For singles: 100, 90, 80, 70, 60)
Wall-Balls
Box Jumps.

I gathered my ball and my jump rope and Greg and I stood in front of the boxes, comparing sizes and deciding how high we wanted to jump today. He picked up a little box, the smallest box on the floor and started toward his station “Greg! You’re gonna go with THAT box? You can do better than that!” I smiled up at him. He looked at me and was like “oh alright” and picked up the next box up. We made eye contact, his eyes followed mine to the big box. “I bet you can do this, Greg! Don’t be a wimp!” We smiled as I turned yesterday’s words back on him. “Watch, I can do it!” I put the big box down.

“It’s almost as high as your WAIST!” he exclaimed. I doubted myself, pushing the doubts out of my mind, I jumped. My feet landed on the box. I opened my hips.

“If I do a big box, you have to do a big box” Greg challenged me. I took a deep breath and thought about the first round… after doing 50 double unders and 50 wall balls, will I be able to jump it? I hoped so.
“Okay, fine.” We had the biggest boxes in class. I was nervous. I’m not ready for this, what the crap am I doing… a big box, AGAIN?! I felt insane.

As the timer was ready to start Coach turned to us “Alright, looks like everyone is doing singles in this group, remember single jumps do more.” I unconsciously stepped forward. He looked at me and glanced at the jump rope in my hand “Alright, you can do double unders, Sara. Go for it”.

As I was halfway through round 3.. doing 30 wall balls, I looked around. Most people were finishing. I was one of the only ones going and still had two more rounds to go. Sweat poured from my forehead as I dropped the wallball and went to my box. I ran my fingers through my hair to comb it back, I was soaked with sweat. I looked at Greg, he dripped with sweat too. “I hate ourselves” I said. We laughed. I walked around to catch my breath and faced the box.

I was the last one to finish. It was hard! Coach stood by me and counted every round after that. I had taken my hearing aid out earlier, but every time I looked around, my crossfit family was watching me, cheering me on. “Go, Sara!” I read on their lips.

As I was cooling down from the workout, sitting there in a daze the conversation that I had with Ciera the night before came fluttering back to mind.
Ciera: “You wanna meet tomorrow and run?! You can run 2 miles with me and then 2 miles with Matt and get your 4 miles in!”
Me: yeah Sure!! What time?
Ciera: 4:00 pm, after Matt finishes class!
excited, I put it in my mental workout plan.

Now as I was sitting on the floor of the gym, I wondered how on earth I was gonna do 4 miles later today… I really doubted I could get through two. I doubted my sanity. I doubted what I was doing. I doubted myself. I doubted everything. I heaved to breathe… And then I came up with a plan:

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Hopefully it works!!

Mardi Gras, Spin class, and Research!

Happy Mardi Gras, Y’all! I hope all my friends down in Louisiana are having a good time and thinking seriously about the next 40 days of lent! Or… Y’all are probably just partying away.
Party Tardy… Happy Tardi Gras! 🙂 
(A picture of Tardar Sauce, the kitteh).
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Can you guys say the word “busy”?? I’ve been super busy this past week! I’ve been itching to write to you since Friday, but i’ve been trying to get a paper done! The paper i’ve been attempting to accomplish has taken so much of my time, but I finished it at 1:00am today… and then went back and made revisions this morning when I got back from the gym! Since i’ve finished the paper, I can’t even explain how light and happy I feel! I may have a test on Thursday and I have another paper due next Monday and a church retreat somewhere in between then, but for now, I’m happy! I feel like the more work I get done, the more motivated I feel. I think I’m experiencing that Homework High I talked about a few weeks ago.

You should see how gorgeous it is outside in east Tennessee! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, It’s only in the 50’s!! It feels just like spring! Maybe the groundhog was right, Spring is COMING!

Anyways, I want to tell you guys about the day I had on Friday. Friday is typically a day full of studying, reading and papers for me. However this past Friday I tried to make it about friends and exercise and some studying! I was so excited when I woke up Friday morning to go to crossfit. Thursday night, my friend Ciera had texted me and asked me if I was still on for the spin class that we planned to do at 5:30 on Friday afternoon, with great excitement I said “YES!”, but still wondering in the back of my mind if I should go to crossfit. I have done two-a-days before and they were hard, but I got through them. I didn’t know anything about “spin” class. The only way I had ever familiarized myself with the word “spin” was when I had vertigo attacks and the world was “spinning” around me and I couldn’t see straight. I didn’t even know what a spin class consisted of! In short, I didn’t do my research!

So Friday morning, I found myself in the middle of the crossfit workout, doing a ridiculous amount of wall balls and shoulder presses that no sane person should ever have to do. I was the last person to complete the workout, but I finished it! Once I finished, I went to our little coffee house Vienna Coffee house and sat down for the next 7 hours and did research for school and chatted with a good friend named Paige along with a couple of other people!

Fast forward to spin class. We arrive to spin class about 20 minutes early, I discover that it’s a bicycle class and I get on my bike and try to find the pedals with my feet. I’m too short. The lady behind me came up to me “you have to adjust the seat, dear”. After spending a good 15 minutes trying to adjust the seat, I get on my bike and begin to pedal and I look around the room to observe. I notice that every person in class has a towel with them and there’s even super serious people putting on special shoes for the class. Special shoes? I don’t have special shoes. I don’t know what i’m getting myself into I thought. My legs burned while I lightly pedaled from this morning’s workout.

I look to Ciera “Should we have brought towels?” She shrugged. My heart raced.

I raised my eyes and held my head high as the instructor pounced into the room. In a high pitched voice she said something to the effect of “okay guys! Let’s get our spin on!” I have no idea if that’s really what she said, but I could definitly imagine this skinny little blonde saying something so… peppy. I raised my eyebrows. She got on her bike facing us and gripped the handles. Her arms flexed. Muscles upon muscles. Panick began to overtake me. What am I doing here?? I mentally prepared myself. Well. If you can call that “preparing”.

Thirty minutes into spinning, my head started to spin a little as sweat dripped from my forehead to my nose. I licked my lips and tasted salty sweat. “okay, let’s spin rest a few minutes” I sighed from relief. It’s a 30 minute workout! I thought, This is GREAT!! I settled into a nice pedal pace and looked up just in time to see her say “Okay you guys, this next track, we’re going to go over three mountains!” Next track?? I looked to Ciera and thought Did she say mountains? MOUNTAINS?! I saw the look of determination on her face Yeah.. she said mountains. I wiped sweat from my face with my shirt and gritted my teeth.

When I finally got off the bike to stretch and start walking back to my car, I felt a little like this:

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Well, I guess I won’t be running that 5 miles tomorrow…

As I was leaving the gym covered in sweat, a smile spread across my face. I sipped my coconut water. I felt proud that I had done so much in one day and still made it. I was proud that I kept going even when I wanted to quit. And boy did I want to quit… especially when I saw her say the word “mountains”. However, I have to say I learned a valuable lesson Friday: Always do your research. I have the habit of just showing up to see what something is, however when doing two-a-day workouts, that’s probably not a good life choice! hehe!

You are all probably wondering If I plan on doing spin class again. The answer is YES. It was so amazingly hard that I have to go back! I can’t stay away!

Spin spin spiiiinnn!

Fishing For Ideas!

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That’s exactly how I felt early this morning up on getting out of bed. I’m also supposed to be doing 3 miles of running today on my training schedule. I know I just need to suck it up and remember what i’m training for: For kids who can’t run, who fight their health, who fight to breath and live and do. I’m running, along with Ciera, just because I can. I’ve got to remember that.

I’m thinking of doing something like a bucket list on my page and checking them off as I do them, and writing about them. I’ve been brainstorming different ideas and want to get a couple from you guys. I asked people on my facebook last night what their bucket lists were…Check out a few of responses: (names are blacked out to protect the privacy of facebook users and personal friends).

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Do you guys want to add anything? Give me more ideas!! I’m going to make a page with ONLY bucket list items and over time as I complete them, you’ll be able to click on the items and see my blog post about them!

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