Share No More + Adopt-a-Highway

I shared my body, my peace of mind, my time, my humor, my breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks, and my personal space with her. I’m not sharing my cookie! P.S. I sat in my car alone and ate the ENTIRE cookie.

Crumbl box sans cookie

Then I did something nice (read: made plans, changed other’s plans, rescheduled the changed plans, updated the newest plans) for a group of people and they thanked me with Girl Scout cookies.

The following emoji indicates the remainder of May’s weather: 🥵 I can’t run outside in this. I can’t even walk! All. Month. Long. My fear is if it’s this hot in May, what will July look like? Please send us rain.

wind = blow dryer

And, like any half-brained person in the midst of triple digit temperatures, I scheduled a Day of Service volunteer opportunity for 2 squadrons and 1 group. AF lingo. I’m supremely pleased with the turnout – 18 people – and the nearly 10 full bags of trash we removed from the sides of a 2-mile stretch of highway. I can’t speak for other states, but Texas has the Adopt-a-Highway program where organizations can “adopt” a stretch of public highway. The intent is for each organization to host quarterly cleanup days to maintain Texas roadways. Admittedly, I had no idea my squadron owned a piece of land until a few weeks ago so my tentative plan is to offer a volunteer opportunity twice a year. Read: when it’s cold outside and the threat of snakes is virtually nonexistent.

…but why…

Oh hell no! If you need me, I’ll be anxiously scanning every piece of dry land for slithering inhabitants. Texas, please stop being so difficult.

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I ask you –

Do you hide from your children when eating snacks? You can lie to me but not to yourself!

Does your state have something similar to the Adopt-a-Highway program?

Snakes: “look, friends” or “run for your life”! Obviously – run for the hills screaming like a banshee.

Day in Photos, pt 9

Haven’t done one of these in awhile. Probably because I’ve had other things to share. Important things, like…I don’t remember exactly what, but I’m positive they were more important!

#leagueofgarmin @garminfitness

Garmin Fitness adopted me. Bless their hearts. I saw where a running friend (who doesn’t really know me at all but alas we’re friends) was also “adopted” so I took a gamble and submitted my own info. Then, they said ok, we guess you can be a part of our club. And here we are!

Pretzel Lightsaber

We have some truly creative people in our squadron. A spouse made these for everyone for May 4th. Get it, get it. Since we’re the force support squadron – you get it, right?

Team JENGA

I stayed up wayyyyyy too late one Saturday night to attend a dining in event with some truly amazing women! There was alcohol, food, shenanigans, and a skit. Video exists somewhere. Team JENGA ruled the night. Except for those 42 women with nerf guns; they had it out for everyone.

The next day – ahem, whole week – I was reminded why I don’t stay out late. Or take shots. Meh. But, the fun was priceless!

I ask you –

Cinco de Mayo – yay or nay? I adore chips and salsa.

When was the last time you stayed up late? And until what time was that?

Vote: Jenga or Nerf! Nerf. Of course.

Facing Giants

I’m 5 weeks into a long 10k training plan and it still blows my mind how I ran a sub 10 min/mile avg for over 13 miles just 5 months ago. And it was awesome! Now? I’m barely sustaining a 11:30 min/mile for a 5k.

Whoever talked so highly about a comeback was a liar. What’s this comeback you speak of? Because I sure haven’t seen it yet. The only thing coming back is my level of discipline. Although work is really trying hard to throw me off. Anyway – 10k. It doesn’t feel possible I’ll ever get there. On the bright side, most knee pain has all but disappeared. Sometimes there’s a twinge, occasionally it’s a little more than a twinge, but I’m reminded this is normal and may just be a lifelong effect of a torn anything. A run last week reminded me I’ve come a long way and not to be too hard on myself. Still weird though.

In April, I also faced a different kind of giant…the celebration of my great Aunt Mary Catherine’s 95th birthday! She’s no giant. But the revere and awe I am of her is bigger than life. You’d think she’d stop falling for these surprise birthday parties, but it worked again. Her big smile, bigger heart, and sweet words make my soul sing. She is a giant in my eyes – of the most tender loving kind I’ve ever known. Many relatives, family friends, and neighbors were there to share in her day. I even convinced her to eat two pieces of cake. It wasn’t difficult.

Mini finagled her way into Rubik’s cube lessons with my uber-smart cousin.

fast learner

We also had time to take Bluebonnet photos on the side of the highway. This was near where I had the car accident 2 yrs ago so it felt good to find something beautiful near a place I’m not fond of.

Giants aren’t always scary, looming creatures; sometimes they’re just small stepping stones. Other times, they’re the people you love the most whom are giant in your eyes.

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I ask you –

Are you currently training for anything? Survival counts!

Who is the oldest living person in your family?

Tell me what a “giant” looks like to you!

Resiliency Revolution

Occasionally I accept as a compliment what people say when it fact it isn’t. That’s a you problem! For example, someone in my office stated “You’re always doing something.” I saw them smile as the words exited their mouth so, naturally, I thought it was a good statement. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. I have no idea. But it got me thinking – am I doing too much?

Credit: mytherapistsays via Instagram

My predominant belief is I should/like to give my time and effort to select things. In the Navy, we were encouraged to participate in everything. The problem here is you can’t give even 60% of yourself to 10 obligations. Hello, short stick. I chose (and often got dirty looks) for giving my time to 2-3 collateral duties. Those duties deserved my attention. Fast forward to the Air Force, the duties are called additional duties yet the volun-told status is still in effect. This is why… I take the initiative to cultivate and choose my own additional duties.

Introducing the Resilience Training Assistant (RTA). After a very involved two-day, interactive, emotional course, they felt I was qualified for certification. Yippee! I recognize resilience is a military buzzword; however, it is something I truly believe in because it can be used to reframe the culture of mental health stigma, as well as foster the conversations between military personnel both up and down the chain of command and within all branches. Yes, I know that’s a lot to ask. At the time of viewing the list of qualified personnel on base (nearly 40 people), I only recognized 2 of the names. TWO. Clearly there’s a problem because it means I didn’t know them from resiliency efforts, but from other duties.

Super incredible classmates!

The next hurdle is attending the Master Resilience Trainer (MRT) course at Maxwell AFB. Genuinely looking forward to a TDY. In the meantime, there’s a huge need to provide this curriculum to squadrons, groups, and all personnel. My vision is to ensure the word resiliency doesn’t go the way of other buzzwords, aka out of sight/out of mind. I want people to talk to each other when they’re hurting, when they’re struggling, when they need help. Billions of dollars a year are spent on (I’ll say it) completely useless things – why aren’t we spending money and time on changing culture instead? It costs nothing to empower others.

“If you’re self-aware enough to be self-deprecating, your IQ must be high!” – Will Lannon

We’re going to spark a revolution!

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I ask you –

Have you ever heard of Resiliency Training?

What are some buzzwords in your profession?

Tell me about a time you participated in a culture-changing curriculum!

RoF – Caffeine Injected

It seems we’re a family of gadgets. I don’t know how we got to this point, but it’s here for the long haul. I realize it has been awhile since I’ve created a new post for this series; life got busy for a few minutes. This is why…I need coffee.

New Family Member

small but mighty

Introducing Evelyn, the espresso machine. Not to worry – the blog post heading was click bait only. As coffee is an essential part of my life, so shall an inanimate piece of machinery be aptly named. Like Betty. And Dot. Evelyn is a lovely new friend. She graces my life with dainty shots of life-giving liquid heaven and then she elegantly spins regular cold milk or cream into heated, frothy additions. It’s quite the sight.

I can’t wait to share my new coffee-making skills with others. Thus far, mini has had a portion of an espresso shot. Then, she didn’t stop talking for nearly 2 hrs. Whoops.

such a beautiful sight

Seems my afternoon routine isn’t complete without a double shot. I’m not quite there with creating any fancy designs, but occasionally it looks like I poured a glob of foam at the top of the cup. I can only get better from here! Unpopular opinion: the more I research how mainstream coffee shops create their beverages, the more I dislike their practices. Did you know a (very) well-known coffee establishment’s drinks are either a) nearly 3/4 cup milk (as in very little actual coffee) or b) made entirely from a carton of pre-made tea or coffee? Yet we pay $6 or more for something touted to be “hand crafted”. Just wow. I understand we’re paying for convenience, but, honestly, the coffee – what little you actually get – isn’t even that good!

I did my research on what coffee to buy; I even asked my favorite coffee shop for their feedback. What with millions of options, the choice was difficult but I believe I made the perfect one. Lavazza Super Crema has a beautiful finish, it’s smooth and delicious, and it isn’t bitter in the slightest. Granted, Lavazza isn’t a “reserve”-type coffee, but for the price it was a great start on my coffee-creating journey.

Unbeknownst to me, there are many common terms in the coffee industry. Some are puck, brush, demitasse, and many others. I’m still learning designs and pretty things. All I know is I’ve sort of become a coffee snob. It’s hard to pay for coffee when I know I can make the same (better!) at home.

So this is where I typically give you the name and location of my Caffeine Injected series. Alas, there is none to give this time. But if you ever want to stop by for a fancy coffee and some random jokes, I’m always available. Except when I’m not. Which is most days, 5am-9pm.

Want to see more?

If you or someone you know owns or frequents a favorite coffee establishment and you’d like to be featured (or nominate them to be featured), please comment below!

Cheers to the Caffeine Injected series!

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I ask you –

How much is too much to pay for coffee?

Where is your go-to coffee spot?

Rate my naming skills! Evelyn: A+

Following Along

Allison of The Broad Running Broad published a great article in early April on the popular InsideTracker. You can check it out here.

Seems all the running influencers are somehow a part of the biomarker and nutrition tracking app, Inside Tracker. The premise is you submit your labwork to them, it’s analyzed for nutritional, hormonal, etc deficiencies and then a customized plan is sent to you detailing how to improve your health. The fine print though. Turns out you can pay upwards of several thousands of dollars per year for their customized plans and labwork costs. Until now I hadn’t heard anyone share the deep, dark details.

Using a clothespin as a hairclip = distortion

And, on that note, the Navy really distorts what health and fitness looks like. Probably all branches but I’m only speaking to my own. Maybe distort isn’t the correct word, but it certainly played into my distorted views. I haven’t looked lately – there’s no reason to – but the height/weight requirements are completely impractical. Truth time. I currently weigh 150 lbs. That’s a lot in my little, distorted, unhealthy mind. I don’t like that number. I don’t like it at all. However, I’m liking how my clothes (still) fit, I can run, I can keep up with mini, I can do my job without restriction, I can LIVE. So what’s the problem? Well, nothing, I guess. Again, it’s just a number! Kel! It’s just a number! Ugh. I hate how society places value on the number on the scale. How many times have I said it doesn’t matter – but that stupid voice inside my head says something is wrong.

Deep breath. I’m trying. There’s a fitness friend I follow along with in social media who also weighs the same. It was a bit of a news flash when she casually stated her weight. It clearly doesn’t define her. But going back over her story, she seemed to have struggled many years ago, too. Hmmm. I’m sensing a pattern here.

Nonetheless, I’m sticking with my plan of “training” for a 10k and strength training 3-4x a week. Last week was the highest mileage week since December…a whopping 8 miles! Tell the press! Or is it hold the presses? Meh. I sincerely feel strong this time around. It’s incredible how much we rely on our back end to propel us forward when running. Of course I knew all this. I just had to break something before being reminded.

Isn’t that always how it goes? The little things creep up on us and, then, BAM. We’re in over our heads with lab work plans and physical therapy and who knows what else. Meh.

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I ask you –

Have you heard of InsideTracker? Have you tried it?

What things in your life do you believe you may have a distorted view of?

Tell me your word du-jour! Lately mine is “meh”, but I use “whackadoo” daily.

Cue the Frustration!

You can’t reason with someone who is having unreasonable feelings.

Presumably anyone with anxiety

Season 7 of Grace & Frankie streams at the end of April. Don’t come at me with your Vietnam War comments. I’m well aware of her previous publicity. Everyone makes mistakes. She’s an actress. A great one. Life goes on. In related news, I’m sad this will be the final season. I have laughed, cried, and lived with this show from the beginning. It’s a riot.

Image Credit: Netflix

On the subject of movies, have you ever heard of “Top Gun”? Rumor has it there will be another movie premiering end of May. It’s only been rescheduled two, three, five times. I’ll believe it when I see it – and I do plan to see it opening weekend. Iconic in its own right.

Last week, whilst changing phone service providers, I had an ‘I’m becoming my parents’ moment’. Turns out my phone was too old to transfer service properly so I needed a newer phone. The phone was only 5 yrs old! I probably frustrated the young assistant manager with my blank stares and horrific sticker shock. He handled it well. Then I spent the remainder of the evening and some of the next day trying to log in to all my regularly accessed apps. You know, like my blog. You’ll all be pleased to know I’m now the proud owner of some fancy contraption that can call Mars and will most likely spontaneously combust in my hands. Oh joy.

I lost my check in record of 960-something days and 3 cities’ progress

In an effort to tie this semi-random post together, I’m soliciting for a director to write and produce my life story. Must work for free. The content is self-explanatory and abundant. All you need to do is follow me around for a week before you realize this could be the easiest job ever or you run screaming for the hills.

The cost of phones these days is exorbitant. Did I mention pro bono?

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I ask you –

Are there any upcoming movies or shows you’re looking forward to seeing?

When was the last time you bought a new phone? What did you pay??!

But seriously – I need a director. I’ll pay you in stressful moments and fancy coffee!

Spring Cleaning

Where has the time gone? How is it April?

My incredible co-worker, Ms. Pat, and I located some gloves and trash bags for “Spring Clean Up Day” at work. Photo op fail. We looked like a service crew who had lost their party…like a prison work group minus the orange jumpsuit. From our vantage point, we didn’t see but one other person outside participating in an event touted as “base wide”. Hmmmppphhh. 30 mins later, with 30 mph wind gusts, we tossed the bags in the dumpster and returned to our building. Spring cleaning: ✅.

One man’s trash, you know the rest. I decided weeks ago to participate in the “Citywide Yard Sale” something or other. Even my neighbors happily gave me their discards to haggle. Why not. As I reminded my MiL I was going to be camped out in her lawn from dawn to whenever, she had a fabulous idea: to ruin my party of 1 with a robe-wearing rendition of old lady humor complete with a solid dose of “GET OFF MY LAWN!” Maybe it was funnier pre-sale. Alas, I waited all day for the show, but none appeared. I sold each item for $1 while Mini bombarded them with items she thought they needed. Team work!

And, on a less funny but more in line with spring note, it was past time for a haircut. I needed something lighter for hot weather.

New do, who dis?

P.S. mini will be 6 years old tomorrow and I’m in shock of how this happened. I swear she was a newborn yesterday. If you leave her happy birthday wishes in the comments, I’ll read them to her tomorrow!

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I ask you –

When was the last time you paraded down the street picking up trash?

Are you a garage saler? Negative. Haggling gives me anxiety.

Spring cleaning: yay or nay

One Day, but not Today!

More funny radio show things to share: forgive me, this isn’t really funny, like hahaha, but more like haHA! A man in Brazil was being chased by bees. He ran towards the nearest body of water and jumped in. Wouldn’t you know said body of water was inhabited by piranhas. And the rest is history. First, let me say I laughed entirely too loud within the confines of my solely occupied car at 7am. By this point, if you don’t know my death-is-funny past, then allow me to reference many previous blog posts with prime examples. Then, I cringed because the radio hosts went on to say…”did you know piranhas are very small, about the size of your palm?” Alas, I did not know this pertinent piece of information and I wonder what this man’s final thoughts were on escaping bees only to be eaten alive by palm-sized fish. FFS. Cue my future fear of bees and water. Wonderful.

I had a song stuck in my head so, like any good employee, I located the song and began to blare it through my desk speakers. Mostly kidding. Whilst searching for this song, I found a playlist of it on repeat for ONE HOUR! I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to repeat a song for one hour, but you’re my hero! It’s been said repetition is the pathway to higher learning – ok, no one said this, I totally made it up, but it’s true – therefore, listening to the song over and over again will most likely remove it from my brain. I hope. But, if not, that’s ok, too, because I rather like the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPanjfwJvlE

Forgot to Mention –

In my next to last physical therapy session, the amazing people at Reneau brought out the big guns…ehh, needles.

The following day after dry needling, mini said to me “Mom, I just have to ask you one question. What does your leg look like after all the needles? Is there holes in it?” Truth be told, she was extremely disappointed there were no visible holes. If you missed the PT graduation post, it’s here: (link)

We had a joint birthday celebration in the office with some of my favorite birthday buddies. And any reason to eat too much cake is always welcomed. In fact, I’m still eating the cake. Sidenote: frozen cake is delicious! I’ve shared before how the military celebrates everything with cake, even the things that make no sense to celebrate, like sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR). Cake? What?

One day, I won’t be so random. Not today! Maybe tomorrow. Probably not.

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I ask you –

Do you think you’re an annoying co-worker?

Do you always celebrate with cake or something else? I love ice cream.

Tell me if you’ve had any experiences with dry needling!

Released Unto the Wild

I graduated! For the fifth time (or something like that).

(L to R) PJ, me, Max

PJ and Max at Reneau Rehab have been quite incredible on this entire 6 week journey. When I started there, I could barely stand on my left leg for any amount of time. The pain levels were intense, I was pretty depressed about the status of my injury, and I wasn’t entirely sure I would ever run pain-free again. Disclaimer: I know I get dramatic, but I was seriously in a rough place!

PJ continued to challenge me until even the final minutes of the last session. I learned to focus on the mind/body connection of the muscle groups I’m working instead of nonchalantly going through the motions. My left knee tends to just do whatever it wants (falls inward, acts ridiculous, etc) so I really have to put thought into what I intend it to do for me. It’s more than strength training – it’s using the muscles for a purpose. Mind and body!

As I completed a few 5ks – distance, not races – throughout the course of physical therapy, the changes were noticeable. I really had been slacking off. Wayyyyyy off!

Now that I have a whole week of on-my-own training under my belt (minus a few days of insanity), I’m especially happy I wrote the exercises down as I went through them at Reneau. The exercise band is kept in my purse so it travels wherever I go. That’s not weird at all. My goal has been to dedicate 3x a week to strength training. I only got in 2x this past week but they were good because the soreness was real! Indeed I received some odd looks when, at the gym near my workplace, I was surrounded with “toys” aka a bosu ball, a weighted bar, a medicine ball, and a yoga ball, among others. Yes, you can get a great strength session without actual weights. Shocking, I get it.

Indeed I noticed several gentleman with a huge upper body and stick figure legs. Excuse me, Sir, can I interest you in a medicine ball? Allow me to show you a few things. Maybe next week.

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I ask you –

What did you last graduate from and when?

Did you know it’s possible to strength train without dumbbells?

In a scale of 1 to an uneasy staring contest, how well will a “let me help you train your legs” conversation go? Knowing my ability to be humorous, probably a 2.