I run (runner for 10 years) , read books, and write about places I go and things I do.
I love travel. I'm harder on myself than anyone else. I love books, the smell of books, and how reading can take you anywhere. I love blogging about the interesting things that are happening to me here or anywhere. I hope you can take away something interesting from what you read.
I did my first “fun run” this weekend. Austin Peay hosted their own color run, but for a third of the price of the original.
At check-in, I got my white t-shirt that had the words “The Gov Run” on the front and the names of sponsors on the back. All around there were people wearing stick-on mustaches in honor of our mascot, who has just been changed to look meaner on behalf of our football team. The friendly mustache is like a throwback to when he looked like the peanut bag guy. Anyway!
During the run (which was somewhere over a mile, I think….I wasn’t wearing my Garmin) we were sprayed with flourescent liquid, and shot at with colored cornstarch powder at different intervals. Once we finished, we were directed to the intramural field and given a packet of colored powder each. Then at the end, we waited for the time to come when we were told to throw our colored powder in the air as a unit.
Waiting to throw the powder was boring for me, since I wasn’t really dancing or down with the beat. I had the misfortune to meet a large-bottomed student who asked me if she could could move up to the front with me, when she really meant was that she didn’t care whether she pushed me out of the way or not with said large bottom but was going to do it faux-nicely.
Nevertheless, I stayed until it was over. I managed to catch (and break) an APSU frisbee thrown my way, a skittle packet, and an extra packet of colored powder before it was all over. And I got thoroughly covered by colored liquid and colored powder as volunteers made their rounds. I took a few pictures of myself before leaving. I also got some yummy “street tacos” from the taco truck parked next to the intramural field.
It was fun. I would do it again, but I would try harder to recruit a friend next time.
This past weekend I did my first-ever relay. However, if you count other types of relay, it isn’t exactly my first. I did the 4×8 my last year of high school. This, my friends, was a bit different. Where the 4×8 was four girls running half a mile each, this baby was 8 (7 since we lost one) people running what added up to 116 miles. The race went from Paris, TN to Pickwick, TN.
What led me to do this, you might ask? I didn’t look the event up and then decide to do it. About two months ago Jan and I went to support fellow runners/nab free food 😉 at a race. A mutual runner friend walked up and was chatting with us, and asked if we might want to join this race he was doing if someone dropped out.
I didn’t think much about it after that. A week ago, I got a text from a former teammate from college and then I got a message from the friend Jan and I were talking to in February. Once I cleared it up that they were on the same team, I looked up the event. This was the first year that the Tennessee River Relay has been held. The event didn’t yield many results on my search, and though it had a facebook, the website for the actual race didn’t have a lot of information. Nonetheless…Jan and I got set up to join, as more people dropped out of the team and were replaced by us. The day before, someone had to drop out. By the time of the race there were seven of us instead of the race director’s preferred number of eight members.
I didn’t sleep very well that week, and the night before the race was no exception. I got an hour of sleep. One of the team members, Kent, picked Jan and myself up in his vehicle. He and Brandon rode over together. We met up with my former teammate Tracee nearby. Next we all rode over in our respective cars to Paris, Tennessee, where the race was set to start. Here we met our remaining two team members.
There weren’t many teams signed up. For a second I was disappointed, but then I thought about how we could win. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts, as the rest of the team started talking about how we wanted to do really well.
We ultimately decided to do evenly measured distances for everyone, until we got tired or needed to adjust our strategy. Ultimately that worked better than Jan and my initial plan of having one longer distance in the middle of two shorter race legs.
Someone proposed our team be called Team Terminus. The ‘Terminus’ part comes from the last half of Walking Dead season 4, in which the characters keep seeing signs for a “safer” community called Terminus. The name stuck. After Brandon, the team leader, wrote the team name and drew a zombie on the car, I started drawing too. We covered the side windows of both team cars with drawings from the show.
The race proved to be pretty exciting. Another team had a back and forth with us early in the race. They even passed us. We changed up our strategy after that, and were able to pass them again.
Much of the day was spent munching on food and driving to stopping point of the runner running the current leg of the race. We changed our strategy as necessary if someone got fatigued or we needed to extend our lead over second place. Ultimately, I ran 7 legs. 5 of them were 3 miles, and the last two were less than 3 miles. I ran nearly 17 miles in total, Jan ran even more.
I hadn’t met 2 of the people on our team before. I enjoyed getting to know them as the day went on. For the entirety of the race, we were on roads like the ones pictured above. We were rarely in the downtown areas of where we ran. For the most part, we did have a shoulder to run on, except for a few scary times when we did not. There were a few times when we ran past barking dogs. We ran past roadkill and litter. Kent had a hurting foot, but otherwise the only injury any of us got was a sunburn.
The race was such a fun time. As the race neared to a close, we started worrying that second place was closing in on us. Though they were nowhere in our immediate sight, we acted as if the threat were real, and kicked it in for the end. We started doing shorter distances or taking breaks. All of us were pretty tired by this point. In the end, we won!! Well, kind of. Though we beat the second place team by well over 5 minutes. (We finished in 15:23 and they in 15:29). The race director considered the second place team the true winners since they had a full team of 8 members and we only had 7. We disagreed, but none of us was going to cause a scene.
After taking pictures and talking to the other team, we went out to eat. We had originally decided to camp out in tents after the race, but thankfully we decided against it. I don’t think our bodies would have responded favorably to sleeping on the ground after the exercise we we put them through. We got hotel rooms and called it a night after that.
The next day we ate breakfast and said some bittersweet goodbyes.
I have a feeling that may not be the last time we all see each other. I think they were great people to meet and I am glad I got to run with such a fun and energetic group of people.
I really enjoyed this race, mainly because of having the people that were on my team. I also liked the competitive nature of our run. I think the race itself could have some improvements in communication and resources for the runners.
I am thankful I was asked to run on this unexpected adventure.
This first picture is from the back of a card I made today. I didn’t realize a friend and I shared the same birthday month, so I decided to make a card for her.
I would show you the front side, but just in case she looks I’ll just show you the back 🙂 There’s a Dr. Seuss quote in the middle, that’s why I put the hat on there.
With the left over pant, I went and “painted” my name in the snow. I went outside barefoot. This is left over snow, it wasn’t as cold outside as you would think. The ice did make my feel feel cold though.
I accidentally squeezed out too much paint onto the newspaper that separated me from the table. I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I put it on another card that I’ll send out in the future.
I like making cards. I like that other people like them, too.
I do agree with those who say that Valentine’s is a commercial holiday and that love towards one another and significant others ought to occur more often than once or twice in a big romantic sweep a year.
On the other hand, it is nice to treat a holiday as a slight depature from the every day and do something a little different.
Some girls were giving people roses. I was the recipient of one 🙂 While I was out of the room, a girl gave me a valentine and then another child brought a little baggie of candy. I got the cupcake from a Valentine’s day party I raided.
I was especially excited about getting my towel. Let me tell you, it’s an interesting story….
So I’ve been mentioning for the past few weeks how I really like this frog towel from walmart. I even showed Jan how I made it the background of my cell phone to help myself remember to go back and buy it. Finally, I told him yesterday that I was going to go get it. Today he calls me as I tell him I’m coming into walmart and acts like he wants to get cooking together right after I get back home. I’m a little surprised since I thought we were getting together later but I don’t make a big deal of it. I go to look for the Frog towel, and I find that there are none on the shelf. None. I’m surprised because this style appears to be the only one out of stock. I text Jan and relay how I’m sad about it. He calls me at least three other times while I’m in walmart, asking me when I’m coming back home and if I can hurry up a little. I’m start to feel a little rushed since I still don’t get what made him change his mind about meeting earlier. I leave walmart and tell him. We don’t actually see each other for several more hours; he’s doing stuff and working out.
When we meet up, Jan gives me a gift. It’s the frog toothbrush holder, socks, and frog shower curtain holders! I’m happy about it, but there’s a small pang because I had hoped maybe he got one. Then Jan acts like he wants me to look at some pictures on his phone. He shows me some funny work pictures. Then he shows me a picture of a hand holding a basket of 12 or more frog towels. My first conclusion is that he wanted to make them impossible for me to find to be funny. Then he says he has one more thing for me, and it’s the towel! Funny story and good gift. (Frogs are some of my favorite animals ever).
“I’m terrible at doing what people tell me I should do, but I still get things done. I’m not sure why this is, but here is my best guess:
I manage my desires more than my time.”
I kind of like this guy’s perspective.
I have a hard time managing time. It could be a learning disorder, it could be a bad habit. I’m not sure and maybe it doesn’t really matter. The past year and a half have been a demonstration in my concentration problems.
I knew people in South Korea who returned after their year abroad to jobs the following weekend after getting back. Their focus and network contributed to starting a job right after the first one was finished. I have applied to numerous jobs in a couple fields I have really wanted to work in without any luck yet. I’ve also applied to jobs in fields I have no interest in, and I have a hard time pretending to really want to be a phone operator or to work in the clerk’s office.
Is it knowing themselves that lets others get farther, sooner? Is it their work ethic? Their friendly demeanor and lack of social anxiety?
People want experience and skills. I’m now going to work on getting more computer skills, and asking around to others who have gotten jobs I would like to have eventually. I have a small network and I want to fix that.
Then there are times when I go to Duolingo.com and start studying Spanish. Because I’m more interested in that sometimes, and because I can see results soon after. Yo soy una mujer. (<—-Don’t ask me to say anything more complicated than that yet.) I may never get a job where I can use my budding Spanish skills, but does it matter? I like this website and it’s cool to think that I now have a little bit of knowledge. It’s productive procrastination.
I want to see the world. I want to contribute meaningfully to my closest relationships but not be a pushover. I want to remember and not forget as much. I want to be treated kindly. I want to make a living and not be underemployed. I want to be able to save money to retirement every month. I want to have a job where I can put some money aside, but can afford a vacation. Those things I could answer in an interview, but instead I forget how to answer “where I see myself going professionally.” I think part of my employment problem is that I don’t know where I see myself going professionally. I see where I want to go personally (sometimes) but I don’t know what kind of person I am professionally, other than one who needs to enter the professional world or risk never getting anywhere.
The gist of this article is that “getting ahead” can be more of:
saying no, telling the truth (to yourself as well as others), making time for others, and if it works better for you- not always finishing what you start in business. The writer recommends losing to-do lists, and keeping track of “did” lists.
Don’t do hard boring useless things.
So much of what work is involves keeping the workers busy. Workers who want more meaningful work have to ask for it, but what I think ends up happening tends to be that they are just given more work instead of quality work. I can give better work, even as I look for something better. If I can’t give my best at a job I don’t want for 30 years, it’s harder to believe I can give my best at a job I really want.
What some people fantasize about might be my greatest nightmare. This kind of stuff is subjective.
What are we talking about anyway? We are talking about your time on earth, so before you decide on how to manage your time, you need to know what you want your life to be about. You cannot have it all and therefore if you concentrate on one thing then something else will have to give.
We can’t have it all. When we try to have everything, something inevitably suffers. Even when we have most of what we want, it is at the expense of a former dream or desire. There are a few things I have to decide about because they affect me and others, and being on the fence doesn’t help my personal relationships or my job prospects. I haven’t found my focus yet. I used to think I knew who I wanted to be like. That hasn’t worked out, no matter who I currently want to be like.
Conan O’Brien says it well:
“It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.” (from his 2011 speech at Dartmouth.
Ah, that was a cathartic little blog post. Perhaps I rambled a bit, too.
Friends on WordPress, I’m reading a book that is suggesting a different approach to finding employment. I’m now going to look and see which jobs are in demand. Maybe I’ll have better luck with one of those, who knows? I’m posting this because I probably have friends or followers out there who know about available job postings in “in-demand” fields. If you do, then please contact me. Even if it’s a field that you work in that you feel is little-known about (and don’t necessarily know of job postings) still feel free to contact me. Finding a job is a lot more about who you know than where you find job openings, I’m realizing. Thanks 🙂
A job I applied for recently fell through. I was really hoping to get this one. A classmate from my university told me about the job opening. I deliberated whether I should apply, if I were good enough. Finally, I did apply. After the initial phone interview, I picked up on a question or two that I didn’t answer so well. Due to that or a combination of better candidates (or both), I didn’t make it to the in-person interview. Right now, I hate phone interviews. There is this low feeling in my heart that I’m not good enough for any job that I really like. Is this all there is to it? I can keep looking, and keep reading books about how to figure these things out. I can apply for more jobs. I may have keep doing jobs that I don’t want to do until I have the skills to start a career I really want.