Friday, August 31, 2012

I dreamed a dream

Last night I had one of those dreams where you dream of someone that you see on a regular basis, but are not involved with, nor have you ever thought of being involved with them, but then you have a dream about them were you are involved with them and it makes you want to be involved with them.
These dreams frustrate me. I see this guy all the time, and now I see him totally differently. I find myself thinking about him and about the dream and how comfortable we were together. Dang subconscious! Messin with my head again!

This is my niece Leah. She can sleep anywhere.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lose Weight... WITHOUT Surgery!

I am so sick of hearing this. Every time I hear that, or see it on a magazine I think, "What about the people that can't? Would it be better to not have the surgery and remain overweight? Feel deflated because you 'failed' at dieting? Feel like your life will never change? Feel like because that person on the magazine did it and you can't that means you are lazy and gross?"
I'm so tired of hearing that and the automatic thought that if you did have surgery you are less strong, less dedicated, it means less that you have changed your life.
My opinion that I will defend to the grave: No matter how you do it (with the exception of eating disorders) surgery or not, you are a stronger person than most. People that have never had to work that hard will never understand, no matter how you do it, commend yourself for taking the step to change your life. If surgery is what you needed to get your foot in the door, more power to you.
I personally know that had I not done that I would not be where I am today. I know that it is what I needed to get me to this point. I worked my butt of (literally) I trained hard, I changed my habits, and I have to work hard every single day. Surgery was not a cop-out. Surgery was not me being lazy. Surgery was the starting point to me becoming the person I was always meant to be. I will never regret doing what I did. I will always defend it and stand up for it.
To those who say otherwise, quit being ignorant and judgemental, you clearly know very little about what you are talking about.

*Disclaimer, no one said anything to me to start this rant, I just saw it on a magazine cover.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Singing... Hot or Not

I like to think that most people would think singing is an attractive talent to have. It is one that I am happy to possess, but I find myself hesitant to talk about on dates. I realized why that is this last weekend.
On Saturday I went on a blind date. In being set up with this guy, the common denominator with us was that we are both "snarky". Truthfully, that was a big seller for me, I love a sarcastic guy, I can handle it, and better yet they can handle me.
Anyway. We went to lunch and as happens on all first dates we starting talking about hobbies.
I started wondering if I should even tell him that I am a singer. I have a lot of other hobbies, and if we were going to continue to date he would figure that out really quickly, so should I bring it up?
The reason I question it is, when I get started talking about singing, I talk about it A LOT. I say things I probably shouldn't say, like the fact that it is a big priority in my life. That it's something I'll do for the rest of my life. That if a guy doesn't appreciate that about me it is likely the relationship won't last. That it would be difficult for me to leave Utah, because I would be giving up some singing opportunities that I am not really willing to give up. That I spend a lot of money on it. That I spend a lot of time on it.
I did talk about it, and I did talk about all that. I also mentioned that I remember in my early twenties the way my dad would guage my feelings about a guy would be that he would ask, "would you give up singing for him?" At the time, there were guys that I would give it up for, but as time as went on, as I've spent more time and money on singing than anything else in my life. As I've honed my skills and found my niche, if he were to ask me that now, I don't know what it would take for that answer to be "yes". Truthfully if I were ever to encounter a situation where it was to choose the guy or music, I wouldn't want to be with a guy I'd have to "give it up" for, and I can't imagine a guy would ever ask me to. But, leave Utah? There is a good chance that whoever I marry will need to work out of state, or something and that would be a big sacrifice for me. Yes I can sing anywhere, but I can't really pursue the music I want to pursue outside of Utah. I can't sing with my group, I can't sing with my duo. It would be a big sacrifice.
So that, all that, I can imagine that would be a lot to take in. I can imagine a guy would hear that and think, "Geeze, that's heavy stuff do I really want to get involved?". That is why I question even talking about it.
This date on Saturday, the look on his face, I could see a look of intimidation, I could see a look of, "That's intense" and I kind of regretted saying anything, and it made me want to keep it to myself in the future.
So my question is this, guys, what would you think about that? Would that scare you away, or intrigue you? Should I just keep my mouth shut?

This is a picture of my group, Mountain Blue, singing on a single's cruise we were hired for back in 2010.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Gotta Tri

The very first time I did a race was October 11, 2008. I did a 5k. I wasn't ever really planning on getting into racing. At this point in my life I had just lost about 80 pounds and was just getting into my athletic side.
I was sitting at my friend Spencer's house and he was talking about triathlons. He told me we should do one together and I laughed in his face. ME doing a Triathlon? Really that was laughable. I told him, "in all honesty I couldn't run a mile right now if I wanted to." He assured me I could and I said, "No really, you don't understand, I couldn't." I had never run a full mile without walking ever before in my life. I'd think about running a mile and I'd flashback to high school where all we had to do was run one mile in less than 15 minutes to pass, and I failed.
I told him, I couldn't even do a mile, there is no way I'd be able to do a whole TRI by October, he was still insistent that I could do it (it was the end of August when we had this conversation).
I kept thinking about it, and the next day I text him and said, "I won't be able to do a tri, but I will do a 5k with you in October." He agreed. I found a 5k online, the PIMI 5k in Provo Canyon, and I started training.
I was a mess, I'd run and be SO tired after only like 2 minutes. I was more than a little discouraged.
That weekend we went to Las Vegas and one day we were there he asked if I wanted to go running with him. So we went. He said it was all about pacing myself. I didn't have to run really fast, just run at a speed I can handle. We ran/walked for a while. At one point he said, "Ok we'll run you just tell me when you need to walk." We ran roughly 27 feet and I said, "Ok... ok..." he said, "That's it? That's all you could possibly run? You couldn't run ANY further than that?" I said, "Well yeah I guess I could." Then he said, "Ok I'll decide where we stop running from now on."
He pushed me, but not too hard. When we got back from Vegas I went to the gym one morning, and I set my pace to something I could handle and said, "Ok I'm just going to run for 5 straight minutes." I ran, 5 minutes came and I was still feeling good so I added 5 more minutes, still felt good so I finished the mile, still felt good so I went until 20 minutes... still felt good so I finished 2 miles.
I could not believe it, I went home and practically started crying when I told my parents I just ran for 2 miles straight.
When October 11th came, I was nervous, but excited. We drove up there early together and my dad met us there. I was planning on running it in about 12 minute miles as that is what I paced on the treadmill. So 36 minutes was my goal.
I felt good while I was running, really good. I would see my dad at certain locations throughout the race taking pictures. When I was in the home stretch I couldn't believe it. Over 3 miles... ME! I turned the corner and saw my dad and Spencer waiting for me at the finish line and I got all choked up. I looked over at the time clock when I crossed the finish line 32:56. I did it, and faster than I thought. I have done a lot of races since then, but that will always be my first. I will never forget it. That will always be the best race I ever did.
I loved the feeling of completing that race, and I craved that feeling more and more. I did another 5k that Thanksgiving. The next year I did a few more. I was always signing up for more. Last October I completed my first half marathon (which I hated every second of but I did it!) In April I did my second half marathon. All this time I would think about that first conversation with Spencer. Ever since the first time he mentioned triathlons that was on my bucket list. One day... One day I would do one.
When I finished my first half marathon, my cousin Josh wrote me on Facebook and said, "Ok, now I know you can do anything, you should do the Spudman Triathlon with me." It was a challenge, I couldn't back down. I accepted.
I found out in February that I was accepted to do it (it's a lottery system) I was scared. The date was July 28th, I didn't feel like I could ever be ready.
The months went by and the training went on, not as hard as it should have been, but I was getting ready. I bought a bike, I swam, I ran (never one right after the other, which is a lesson learned). I just watched the time fly by, and the day get closer and closer.
The week of the race I realized how much I hadn't thought of, "I don't have a swimsuit! I don't know how the transitions work! Where do I change clothes? Do I run in what I bike in? Do I bike in what I swim in? What am I going to swim in?" I was panic stricken. Luckily thinking about all that stuff took away from the fact that I was days away from having to swim a mile, bike 26 miles and run 6 miles.
The day before the race (and about 2 hours before my ride was coming to get me) I went to Sports Authority and bought a bunch of stuff. Stuff that I felt comfortable swimming and running in. I was feeling a little more calm about that, which meant I could now panic about the race.
Surprisingly I never really got that nervous. I knew what I was about do was going to be hard, but I also knew I could do it. I knew I would survive and this time around all I wanted was to finish. I had no time goal, I just wanted to be able to say I did it.
I swam in spandex shorts and a sports bra (gasp I've never let anyone but my family see that much skin before! I tried to act like I was comfortable walking into the lake wearing that biz, but the whole time I was thinking, I hope no one I know can see me! Is everyone looking at me? STOP LOOKING AT ME!) I got in the water and was happy to feel that it was actually pretty warm. As soon as I got in they counted down and I was off.
The swim was awesome. My favorite part by far. It was downstream in the Snake River which was awesome, it took me 37 minutes, but I felt really strong. I easily could have kept going.
I went to the bike transition (the night before I was putting my stuff at the first transition and saw my friends placing towels out... towels... huh... drying off would be nice. Yet another thing I didn't think of. You know... you'd think with all the people I knew that were doing this or have done it, that people would give me this kind of info. OH it's common sense you MIGHT say. I'M BLONDE!!!! MY COMMON SENSE IS BROKEN!) I got changed and started biking. The bike, though challenging wasn't bad at all. Sure, at one point as the 179th person passed me they said "Half WAY!" I thought, "You're KIDDING I'm not DONE yet?" but I forged on. The hardest part about the bike was the seat. YOWZA!!! The amount of padding I would need on my shorts to make that not so painful would be immense. I knew I wasn't going very fast, people were passing me right and left, but I had never biked that far before and I didn't want to exhaust myself, so I just kept it steady. I didn't have a time to beat, I just had to finish.
When the bike was over and I was "hopping off" to start the run, I realized my legs lost all feeling. They were complete jell-o. I got off the bike and about collapsed. I hobbled over and set my bike down, took my paddy shorts and my helmet off and started the run portion.
Note I did not say started the run, but the "run portion" The part where most people ran. I did not. I ran (aka lifted my feet a little higher than in walking) some of the miles, but walked most of it. My legs were not having it. They were mad at me, I could tell. They were going to punish me.
Again, I didn't have a time to beat, I just had to finish. (I had to keep telling myself that when the 70 year old with the knee brace passed me saying, "You're not gonna let the old, fat cripple pass you are you?" To which I responded, "Um... yup... yup I am" what I wanted to say was, "Listen PAL! You don't know what an accomplishment THIS is for me. Chyeah, maybe I'm slow, but I'm doing it, something I never thought I could ever do EVER. Something the me 5 years ago could only dream of. SO yeah, maybe the old, fat, cripple is passing me, but I'M DOIN IT!" but I refrained) when there were 200 yards left I had people who had already completed the race cheering me on, "200 yards left. Finish strong. Run the rest, just 200 YARDS." So I started to run. The last part was downhill and I ran, I ran hard, I felt like at any second my quads would give out, honestly it could have happened. When I saw the crowd I heard my Aunt Robyn and Uncle Craig yelling with the pride I knew my own parents would exude, "JULIA!!!! YEAH JULIA!!! THERE SHE IS!!!" I ran harder. I crossed the finish, yanked my medal and met my family. When I stopped running my quads were still going. I looked down and they were going nuts, spasming like crazy as though to say, "You gave us no warning! We're over worked, we don't know how to stop."
We sat down and chatted for a while. I just kept thinking, "It's done! My first tri, I did it. I finished."
The next 12 hours after the race I had 3 of the worst charly horses I've ever had. If I flexed my foot my shin charly horsed, if I pointed my toes my calf charly horsed, there was no relief. I would drive and my right leg would freak so I had to drive with my left foot. I was walking from the couch to the kitchen, leg freaked out and I couldn't walk anymore. My cousin walked in the house to find me laying on the ground half in the kitchen half in the living room. I just said, "don't mind me".
I'm proud of those charly horses, proud of what caused them.
The whole race took me about 3 hours and 45 minutes. I know I could have done better, I know I could have pushed harder, but not knowing what it was going to take, how hard it was going to be, I didn't want to over do it. BUT now I know. I know what I can do, I know I can push harder, I know I can do more, and NEXT time around I will do better. Next time I will have a time to beat. Next time I will be the one doing the passing. And there will be a next time.
I did it. Almost 4 years after the first mention of a tri, I did it.
I did it, and this like that 5k so many races ago, was just my first. My first of many. The one that I will always look back on. I did it.

This is me about to cross the finish line at my very first race.

Me about to cross the finish line at my very first Tri!!!!