Sunday, October 30, 2011

.:i don't typically do this, but here's the deal:.

is it really already sunday night?? LATE sunday night, might i add. here i am sitting in a quiet room to reflect on the ups and down of another weekend that went too quickly. the downs:. i dropped my BRAND NEW blackberry in the toilet, i did not quite achieve all that i wanted to (do we ever?) and i missed basketball practice with my girls today due to a schedule change (which will never happen again!). fortunately, the ups of weekend out weigh the downs, by far. i got to spend quality time with my mom, took a much needed nap, went out with friends til late hours of the night/morning, had breakfast with the cutest guy i know, got my BRAND NEW blackberry to work again, spent time with the cutest guy i know's family (yes, the same guy from breakfast) and drum roll please, went for a run!

ok, so here's the thing, running for me is a big deal. not the 'yea, i run to fit into skinny jeans' big deal, but the 'i'm willing to wake up at 5:30 am, bundle up and run through freshly fallen snow' big deal. so, here is where i should probably fill you in on the whole 'knee' situation, blah....

it all began when i was 15 years old (i promise this story is going somewhere).....deep breath.....

it was the last soccer game before playoffs and having went to state the year before (for the first time in school's history), we were favored to make another appearance. i was a sophomore sweeper (for those of you unfamiliar with soccer, that's the last defender before the goalie). all i remember from that game, was being told my injury was not that serious and i should ease back into practice over the next few days. when i climbed out of bed the next morning and having my knee too unstable to initially stand up, i knew this needed to be fixed before playoffs, which brought me to local orthopedic clinic. a few hours later, i was on crutches telling my coach and teammates that i had torn my ACL, but not too worry because i think it's a quick fix, right coach? wrong. not only was i 15 undergoing a relatively major surgery, but it was to be followed up with months of dedication and rehab. that year i missed out on playing basketball, but this rehab process made me grow in more ways than any sports season could have. i succeeded, cried, struggled, laughed, cried some more and grew. i grew as a person and as an athlete, maintaining my passion for soccer and basketball, which brings me to my first soccer game back 8 months. i was forced to wear one of those awkward knee braces (when you see someone wearing one of these, you're so thankful it's them and not you), but had the support of family, friends and teammates as i made this big debut back to the field. this big debut ended in another torn ACL. the sexy brace did its job on my bad knee (trust me, that thing was bionic), but it was my 'good' knee that would now need surgery. i could go into details about how emotional this was and how sorry everyone was for me, but i'll just say this was a dark time for me as an athlete and as a person. after days of being in self-issued solitary confinement, i came out with a chip on my shoulder, ready for sentencing. i'm sure this rehab process was just as demanding as the first time around, but frankly, i was too pissed off to notice. 7 years down the road (that made me instantly feel old), i have now had a grand total of 5 knee surgeries, 4 on what was once my 'good' knee. i went from being an all state soccer player my freshman year to becoming medically ineligible to play D3 anything after my first year in college. sure, i could sit around and dwell on 'what could have been', but where would that put me? a bitter retiree blaming everyone else for my misfortunes? hmm, no thanks, i've got shit to do and goals to accomplish. 

running became my passion when i was 'encouraged' to find other activities that were less impact, but let me tell you, it was not a pretty start. i started out running/walking 2 miles (that may be stretching it) to losing sleep the night before my first 5k. running turned into my outlet, my way to decompress, my way to keep my competitive spirit alive, my drug of choice. these 5k's turned in 1/2 marathons, triathlons, dualthons and recently added to my resume, the twin cities marathon. had i really found my athletic niche again? wrong. whenever i seem to get too 'cocky', i am quickly reminded that i am human and there is a greater power above me who will do what it takes to form me into who i am supposed to be. after 4 knee surgeries, you'd think i'd not only own a wing of the clinic (sorry, mom and dad), but also, have bionic knees. wrong again. i had my fifth, and probably not my last, surgery this june which has left me with minimal cartilage, aka cushioning, in my left knee.

so, now do you kind of understand why running has turned into my passion? i am still struggling getting back into running. i realize after 5 knee surgeries i will have to run through pain, but some days the pain can be too much. although i am still coming to terms with the thought that i will probably never be able to run consecutive days like i used to, i start and end each run the same way, with patience and gratitude. patience, for however my body decides to feel that day and gratitude, that i have the strength, (read stubbornness), and ability to run what i can. run this weekend reminded me of why i love it....

here are my necessities for running:. nike lunarglides (i have transitioned with nike thru the 1's, 2's and now 3's), ipod with my regular running playlist, protein shake-if i can't help my knees being sore, i can at least help my muscles and newly added, a heart rate monitor. i used to run with the nike+ device, but my running has taken on a new form. distance doesn't matter to me (as much) anymore, now i gauge my runs on how i feel. this weekend's run felt amazing, i was able to run over 4 miles in under 35 minutes while maintaining an average heart rate of 179. sorry heart, but my legs were not listening nor did they care how you felt because for once, they felt great. i have to try not to get too giddy over this run because tomorrow may bring a pissed off knee and a frustrated me. 

well, now that i have wrote another novel (i promise they all won't be this long), you have another piece of my puzzle. i'd like to end this post with goals because honestly, what are we without goals?

the goals in my head at the moment:.
-get up and run in the morning
-clean my room (did not get crossed off my last goal list)
-clean my car and put new tabs on the license plate...sorry dad, i still have not done this, but i do know to clean the license plate prior to sticking them on. 
-get my girls ready for their first big tournament this weekend!
-encourage and support the cute dude to accomplishing his current goal, passing an important test!

what did you do accomplish/wish to have accomplished this weekend? 

i have decided to throw another component into this blogging thing, a challenge. your first challenge, ponder events that you've experience, positive or negative, that has made you who you are today. who do you have to thank for that?

my bed and kitten are calling for a cuddle session....

always striving for more,
dee b. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

.:working for the weekend:.

well, i have survived yet another week helping the senior citizens of MN and in 22 counties of WI. this whole working 8:30-5, M-F thing is new for me....which means, the weekends are alllll mine to hang out and relax (after getting caught up on laundry, sleep, cleaning, grocery shopping and working out). besides our 'minor' system crash monday and tuesday, this work week was rather smooth. i dealt with many sweet, yet ridiculously cynical senior citizens. i am grateful to have made it through the week without being told i'm trying to kill a member's wife (no sir, i promise that by me reading off your pharmacy benefits does not mean i am trying to kill your wife) or by having to discuss the craziest grocery trip for 34 minutes ( i cannot believe you had to pay $2.49 for an apple either, prices these days....). either way, monday will come too soon and i will have to return to my job (not career) of assisting these "cute" old people.

highlights of my weekend include:. my mom is here! she is running in the monster dash tomorrow morning, so i have the pleasure of playing hostess while she stays with me to prepare for this feat. while she is running tomorrow, i will be busy tending to the local Corepower yoga as a 'grime fighter'! being a participant of the work for trade program at Corepower is a fantastic opportunity, while waking up early on a saturday morning, not so much. sunday afternoon will bring corralling of 5th grade girls around a basketball court and possibly a second round of pumpkin carving with the boyfriend and his fam. 

not only was today a great day because it was friday (payday, as well), but i had the opportunity to reconnect with my oldest and bestest friends! the story of the three musketeers (or donkeys, thanks to the roles in a church play we participated in before we had minds of our own) started on our first day of kindergarten. i was 5, innocent and reserved, quite polar opposite of my personality today, with my mom on one side and my soon to be 'bestie' on the other. the conversation was sparked when we found out both of names were andrea, but she went by annie and i went by dee and it seemed that as soon as we knew our identities (or names) would never conflict, we would get along just fine. my mom and annie's mom hit it off as well, discussing how they couldn't believe their babies were going to kindergarten already. if i remember correctly, annie and i were trying to play it cool like we had been waiting YEARS to start this semi-important thing called school. annie would quickly introduce me to lizzy, now called liz, (apparently), sorry LIZZY, but old habits die hard and the love triangle would now be complete. as we spent more and more time together, our hips began to become more and more attached. we did EVERYTHING together. we played on the same soccer and basketball teams, went to the same schools (although it was devastating if we got split up into different classes), played the same roles in church plays (this is where the donkeys came in) and our houses were even in the same neighborhood, within walking distance from each, and in the shape of an isosceles triangle. we shared clothes, hair accessories, makeup, food, memories, secrets (with the help of a little black notebook and stickers as IDs), tears and happiness. even our moms got comfortable scolding all of us. we were meant to be. they were the sisters i never had.

can you guess which one is me?

although fate brought my family and i to move to alexandria in the 8th grade, these three muskateers would live on! excited, anxious and absolutely devastated to leave my girls behind, i forged a new path in a small town (where you see tractors almost daily and smell manure even more often). throughout the years, we've snail mailed, facebooked, tweeted, and drove back and forth to keep this love alive. we've grown up, made bad decisions, made good decisions, said and done things we said would never happened (sounding like our mothers is a big one), yet we will always have and accept one another with unconditional love. 

here we are today, 3 beautiful, smart and grounded women, drinking alcoholic beverages and carrying on as though we get to see each other everyday. i can say that i wish life would allow us to spend more time together, but i can also say that i know we will continue to grow up, possibly move and/or get married, simply continuing to experience life, yet we will always be able to come together and pick up where we left off. unconditional love. 

maybe tomorrow i will post some more goals, but for tonight, i'm practicing living in the moment and cherishing yet another memory i've made with these 'besties' of mine.

always striving for more,
dee b. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

what is the point???

hello friends:.

here i am starting my first blog! i have followed various blogs, some religiously, some in passing, always wondering if i would ever be interesting enough to start my own blog. well, here's a leap into the unknown world of blogging with fingers crossed!

what is the point to this blog??? well, i guess i'm not sure, a little bit of this and a little bit of that! i am a recent college grad trying to find my way in this crazy game of the "real world" unsure of where i will end up. here is what i am sure of, i am a yogi, runner addict, cooking and baking extraordinaire (perhaps more of a wanna-be), germ-a-phobe, member service rep (what up ucare), basketball coach, 'that's what she said' joke expert, momma (to the naughtiest cat), coffee-phene, animal lover and recently added, blogger! along with many more and not necessarily in that order. :) 

i do hope to accomplish a few things with this 'virtual journal':. 

  1. help keep in touch with friends, family and whoever has an interest in following events in my life
  2. organize my thoughts, aspirations and maybe, a recipe or two. my brain is always working and as a result, i am always having a random thought or writing a 'to-do' list (which my boyfriend and friends can attest to). this seems to have become worse after finishing college as my brain doesn't quite know what to do with the extra energy!
  3. to inspire and be inspired. my life has consisted of obstacles, triumphs and more obstacles. i hope my experiences may bring hope those who are facing adversity and in a selfish way, feed off my 'followers' in my moments of weakness. 
  4. to decompress. although this time in my life is very fresh and exciting, it is also stressful. i am young and educated, poor yet happy, anxious yet laid back. 
  5. last, but not least, to cherish the simple things that happen day to day. i have never been one to live in the present moment and here is my modest attempt to begin that today.
i am a big fan of goal setting. my motto=if you don't chase your dreams, who will? shout out to my mom for always reminding me of this in times of uncertainty and despair! by her stashing this quote on post-its around my room, bathroom and car, it has helped make me who i am today and even inspired me to get it inked along my side so i will never forget where i've been (i may post of pic of this tattoo, if you're lucky....). i'd like to share with you a few of my goals, some short term while others are long term (again, not necessarily in this order) and let you get a better feel of who i am:.
  • **run the boston marathon-which means i must qualify, which means i must run another marathon, which means my knees have to cooperate for training (at the rightful age of 22, i have expensive knees that still suck, more on that later....i suppose)
  • get up tomorrow morning at 6:15 and go for a run. 
  • start practicing yoga at least 3 times/week 
  • figure out what the heck i want to do with my life (career-wise), more on that later as well....i suppose. 
  • clean my room
  • be a good momma and tame my kitten somehow.....
  • become a certified yoga instructor 
  • volunteer 
i'd love to hear anyone and everyone's goals!

with the much needed prelude out of the way, i'd like to share my first recipe with you! after sitting in my cubicle all day long, i decided to take my night of no plans and cook with the acorn squash that my grandma gave to me fresh from her garden (thanks grandma!). after work, but before i got to cooking, i rushed to a yoga sculpt class at the local Corepower and got my butt kicked! not only was it HOT, but the speaker system was broken which made it harder to play music at the appropriate level. for any of you who have not taken a yoga sculpt class, that means LOUD! inevitably, i left the studio sweaty and full of gratitude for all my body still allows me to do even with bad knees (still not ready to talk about those). 

and the cooking is what i started with....

....and this is what i ended up with, acorn squash bisque! although the process to achieve these results may seem daunting, it was extremely easy and included ingredients that almost every kitchen has! another bonus, it's healthy for you! thank you for this recipe ----> 
this bisque is very savory and sweet, but does include onions. i enjoy onions, but in moderation, so maybe next time i'll try it without onions and more brown sugar and/or cinnamon!

well friends, to avoid turning this first blog into a novel and setting the bar too high for future blogs, all this must come to end for the evening. i am off to attempt 2 of my goals, cleaning my room and getting up before work to run (which means bedtime must be soon), thank you for starting this journey with me, i will be back for more!

always striving for more, 
the 'dee' list