Go Fast Shoes!

Can we talk about how I’ve been missing out on speed shoes?! Long story short – I have weird, messed up feet from wearing the wrong size boots for 4 yrs. Turns out the Navy only measured one of my feet during gear issuance time (I have two feet) and issued boots that fit one foot properly. Now, I take a ton of responsibility in this mistake because I didn’t speak up. In my defense, bad things tended to happen to people who spoke up so there’s that. Eventually, it felt like the boots fit properly because after a certain amount of time your feet become deformed to fit the shape they are forced into. Long story not so short.

Which leads me to the present. Two different lengths and widths of feet complete with incredibly painful bunions (I think that’s what they are) which leave me self conscious and in pain almost constantly.

team weird feet

Moving on. I wear very supportive Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes for nearly all my runs. However, I noticed a sale on the Brooks Hyperion Tempo, a version of their speed shoes. When people say “money ain’t a thang” they are lying. It’s definitely a thing! Sale…shoes…yes, please!

My feet felt like walking on clouds. Not super supportive, duh, they’re incredibly lightweight, but they made me feel like I could run faster than I’ve ever run before! By the time you’re reading this post, I’ll have completed another stride workout in these fancy shoes.

Obviously these are not my everyday shoes and certainly not made for long runs. However, when I want to feel fast – these do the trick.


I ask you –

Tried any new shoes lately?

If you also have them, what is your opinion of the Hyperions?

Share a speedy story!

(The post Go Fast Shoes! first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Never Seen Before

It’s fascinating to me how often I hear the words, or some variation of, “We’ve never seen this before.” As it’s almost always said with shock, eliciting fear and a call to action, I’ve realized we don’t often say the complete opposite, “Oh I’ve seen this before.” Guaranteed many, many, many situations, events, or challenges have been seen before. Maybe it’s the generalization that bothers me most. I’m opposed to words like always or never because it’s rarely true. No one always does something, there will be times when they don’t. No one never says the right thing, surely this is a lie. The human behavior side of me rests on believing people do the right things. A cynic I am not.

As a generational statement, the phrase is incredibly subjective. Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t. The start of WWI was thousands of people going “We’ve never seen this before”. Do you think by WWII people were suddenly saying “Oh, it’s fine, we’ve seen this before “. Eye roll.

On a slightly different note, family drama – at least in mine – is the result of unsupported mental health, trauma, and lack of adequate coping/communication skills. Basically everything. To protect the innocent and guilty, I won’t be slandering anyone on here – even if the truth does need to be told. Perhaps it’s not my story to tell, yet I will say one thing: when someone speaks up for themselves and emphatically stands behind their decision, I believe that’s the epitome of strength and healing. And it’s something we don’t often see or congratulate in the way it deserves. So despite the snarky last word and the passive aggressiveness of future interactions, I’m here for it. And I’ve seen all that before.

I know I’m super geeky about human behavior stuff, but this is interesting to me! The innate versus learned, nature vs. nature – whatever you want to call it. We’re all products of multiple pieces of our lives we have zero control over. It’s what we do with the pieces defined as choices that make us human.


I ask you –

How often do you state “I’ve never seen this before!”?

Do you have family drama, too?

Tell me about a time when a choice impacted your life in an unexpected way!

(The post Never Seen Before first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

This is My Face

It’s official. No matter what I do, I give off mom vibes. To my coworkers, Spare Parts, and everyone else I’m around.

For example, Parts tells everyone I’m her mom and they believe her. She’s the oldest twin! Even prior to this – which is how the whole story got started – a coworker I knew had met Parts and asked if she knew me, then proceeded to ask Parts if I was her mother. FFS.

we’re not related at all

Example #2: my coworker/best friend/wingwoman McK and I went to a presentation. Someone whom I knew asked me if McK was my daughter. At first, I thought they had heard the stories of Parts. Oh no, they were serious.

CMSgt Bass and McK, my other daughter (apparently)

Example #3: the same wingwoman and I went to an appointment for her. Unfortunately, McK had a bout of laryngitis so I did the speaking for her since she could only whisper. As they took her to the back, the nurses asked did she want her mother to come? McK kindly declined but I HEARD IT ALL!

Soon I’ll be accepting suggestions for plastic surgery and a Botox provider. But maybe it’s not my face. Maybe it’s my attitude, the way I take charge and speak first. If that’s the case, then I’m doomed to forever be everyone’s mom.

Seriously, though, these expensive facial products are clearly not helping. Lies!


I ask you –

Have you ever been mistaken for someone’s parent?

Do you think some people just give off a certain aura?

Now taking suggestions for plastic surgery. I need your input, please!

(The post This is My Face first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Thank You for Tuning In

A great guy doth not a leader make.

Me, after espresso

Therefore, on the day of our fearless unit leader returning to his rightful throne, aka big messy desk, I thought it fitting to mark his homecoming with a post. After all, he did hire me, unbeknownst to his well-being.

Fortunately for you all this post really isn’t about him. Exhale.

It’s about all the cool things I’ve done lately, you know, with all my spare time and non-demanding job requirements. Right. Those things.

Returned to my first sport love: volleyball! I voluntold my coworkers that we were playing and they indulged me. This is fun! Note: a well developed running base sure does make volleyball a lot easier. What doesn’t make volleyball fun? A bandaged toe from racing a General (he didn’t know we were racing but of course we were) and the oft overlooked but no less important underboob. Well, the chafing of the underboob was the problem. Anyway, if you’re still reading after the mention of underboob – said three times now – then welcome to Running on Fumes, where we (and by we I mean I) type the ridiculous things that come to mind.

maximum, for sure

Fairly sure there was a point to this post.

Oh. Right. Cool things. I did stand out in the blazing heat giving out tickets to a drawing held by Spare Parts and the team of fabulous marketing folks who make all my wildest creative dreams come true. Mostly posters and schedules because I’m not creative at all. Also, I packed up an entire event’s worth of stuff in about 6 mins flat at the mention of severe thunderstorm, lightning, and hail. Did I already state it was hotter than jalapeno cornbread? They supplied me with multiple bottles of cold water, I worked for free. Until next year.


I ask you –

What’s your favorite sport? I particularly like curling.

Is it still cool where you live or getting hot?

Tell me your thoughts on cornbread! Yuck. Not a fan.

(The post Thank You for Tuning In first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

But Can We?

At times, I think I’m too focused on the behavioral aspect of, well, everything. Human behavior is one of the most fascinating parts of life. I want to know why people are the way they are, why they do what they do, and what the thought process was to get them there. Pretty sure I’m the most trustworthy person in the entire world. I mean, the Navy trusts me and I keep all their secrets, so … No fear I’ll tell anyone else’s. Promise.

As usual, I digress. Focus! Maybe this is why – I’m always evaluating my papers from the behavioral perspective. Not that I’m not focused on solutions but I sincerely want to understand the underlying causes and thought process. And maybe the foolishness leading people to bad ideas. Been there.

But I think it’s also a limitation. My muse stated, “sometimes we can’t make sense of things.” My heart believes that…yet my brain is on a rollercoaster of Oh Yes We Can! I want to know all the things. I want to make sense of it. During a recent “What Color Is Your Brain?” training, it turns out I’m a red. Obviously.

So the real question here is how best to utilize my red brain, especially around the super sentimental blue-brained people and the OCD yellow people and the very creative orange-brainers. And, on that note, even as I write this with a clingy 7 yr old attached to my side, I know in my heart – I still need to go write another paper. Why am I like this?

I ask you –

Does human behavior fascinate you?

Have you ever taken this particular training? If so, what color were you?

Tell me what you have going on this week! Wk 7 of 8. So close.

(The post But Can We? appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

People. Not Programs.

Sometimes we need a reminder that many (most) of us are surrounded by people and the importance of being a leader is one not to be taken lightly. As it is appraisal season in the fairytale land of federal government employment, it’s time for me to administer them. While my own was a pleasant experience and nearly always has been, predecessors have royally convoluted the process and make it seem like a dirty word. It can be disheartening to build trust and camaraderie when employees are fearful, distrustful, and generally blah (which is definitely a scientific word). Often I find myself correcting others when I’m referred to as a manager. That’s not me. I strive to be a leader of people and a manager of programs. People are our mission; programs are our resource.

All this being said – work has posed some challenges lately. Seems this course on human resources and the legalities surrounding it have taken a toll on my decision-making skills. Not necessarily in a bad way; just that I’ve repeatedly questioned whether or not I’m doing the right thing. Turns out I think I have. But still.

So far, these are my (and by “my” I mean I didn’t do much…the team did) shining moments: hosted a staff meeting that included a rousing game of volleyball of which I am (ongoing) healing from; established 24/7 access to a gym that did not previously have this amenity, and completed a 3 week streak of consistent call-ins yet managed to recover. I can’t understand why my award-writing skills aren’t cutting it. Just another example of how supervising people and managing programs can be rewarding in itself.

this photo really helps the abused look

As for the volleyball part of this post, we’ve decided to develop a team complete with custom shirts, wildly inappropriate shorts, and substantially-lacking coach mentorship. At this point in the proverbial game, we have about 11 months to start practicing. Nothing can stand in our way!

I’m leaning toward these shorts

Until I receive the phone call asking if someone can bring in their inflatable gymnastics mat. Do what?


I ask you –

Do you supervise anyone in your workplace?

Have you ever played volleyball?

Tell me your thoughts on leadership versus management.

(The post People. Not Programs. first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Stumper and Stumpee

As soon as I saw the email solicitation to attend a visit by a two-star General, admittedly I got a little excited. Not only is she a wonderful speaker but she has made waves as a pioneering female with a knack for telling it how it is. The day finally arrived, amidst lots of venue changes and confusion on the attendee list. I had my ticket and I was ready.

Let me preface the remainder of this post: upholding my unofficial call sign was not my intention. However, this was designed to be a dialogue-forum type of event. With at least 150 people. Right. The facilitator had a list of questions she asked, then the floor opened for other questions. My hand instinctively shot up.

My original question had already been asked by the facilitator. I switched on the fly. Then something unexpected happened. Maj Gen Edmondson turned on me! Instead of answering, she posed the question to me. Again, I was forced to think on the fly. That’s not my forte. I’m a planner. Fortunately, the rephrased question was met with a heartfelt and genuine response about how such a successful and ambitious woman is able to stay connected with her children while navigating a fast-paced, highly visible, demanding job. She spoke of being present at home and carving out time to connect with her teenage daughter. She mentioned being a “gymnastics mom” which she stated is unlike anything she is comfortable with. For me, it was important to be reminded that all moms, no matter where or what they do, struggle with the same issues…missing events, getting home late, having to choose between what is attainable and what is not.

As the audience was heavily military, maybe civilians didn’t feel she was relatable. However, having once worn a uniform, she and I are alike. I suspect many others in the audience are, as well, even if no question was asked. I feel I represented my squadron well, but, more importantly, her answer united many people in what we are capable of, as mothers, as people, as part of the military.

Perhaps I did not showcase “Stumper” this time. But, I did take an opportunity to be seen by a woman whom I admire from afar. And she said the word balance is total BS. I couldn’t agree more.


I ask you –

Do you attend work functions deemed “forum-type”?

Are you the first to ask a question?

Planner vs. Spontaneous: tell me about you!

(The post Stumper and Stumpee first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Busy is not a Badge

Backstory: the position above me has been vacant since I accepted my current job. Not a big deal. Sure, the workload has been maximized because those job tasks fell on me and another manager. Really – the entire workload fell to everyone. Nonetheless, hiring for that position has been much needed. Typical of the federal workforce, I could churn butter faster than expecting a decision to be made.

Of course I applied for that job, even though I’d only been in my position for 4 months. Because, why not. So when I found out I didn’t get the job, I was a little disappointed for a moment. Now, writing and reflecting on it in the days after, I’m actually very thankful. Prioritizing my own health, fitness, to-do list, school, and a million other tasks has been challenging. Don’t get me wrong: I have an incredible wingwoman and staff that make it all worth it. I enjoy responsibility. However, it sure will be nice when I can unload a few things off my plate.

Minus the week away from school and the return to 124 emails, I was feeling stressed about not “jumping back in” to everything. I found myself leisurely writing the first assignment, forgetting to prioritize my workouts, and generally not trying very hard. Then, I read an article about how society places being busy as a value everyone should strive to obtain. News flash. Even I was guilty of portraying this value to others, specifically my staff. How many times have I said just look busy? Perhaps it’s not the same as to look busy vs be busy but I said it nonetheless.

That week away refreshed me, gave me renewed purpose, and reconnected me to someone I love beyond words. I needed it. Needed. My soul needed it. However, as a type A, it can be so difficult to embrace not being busy.

Often, I must remind myself: the badge of being busy does not equate to value, to actually accomplishing anything, and it certainly shouldn’t define a life with purpose. If busy is indeed a badge, then it’s time to rethink how often I wear it. Maybe just special occasions.


I ask you –

Is being busy also your badge of honor?

Are you a type A? B? Is there a C?

Share with me how you prioritize yourself!

(The post Busy is not a Badge first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Hello, fun? Where are you?

“Your expectations lead to your disappointment.” At least, that’s what I heard right before my phone started ringing one early morning with work issues.

Shortly afterwards, I was ruing every small step toward agreeing to be a supervisor. It will be fun, they said. You have so much experience, they also said. It’s not that hard. Right. Where is this fun I was promised? Excuse me, I’m ready for the fun part. Maybe fun isn’t the most accurate depiction of what I’m looking for. But I don’t really know.

flower time!

Unrelated: Is “foot stomp” a redundancy? Because stomping implies using the feet. During a training session last week, I guess to reiterate the material, the speaker said “foot stomp” at least 3 times. Now I can’t help but to wonder if it’s another one of those buzzwords the military and society in general likes to use. Excessively.

This is the final week of classes. A glorious 10 days of no school work awaits me. My hope is by the time this post is published I will have submitted the final discussion post replies and put away all my textbooks. Except for the one I have to return. Note to self: figure that part out pronto. I’m escaping reality for a few short days and then I shall return refreshed for another 8 weeks of papers.

Barring how many telephone calls I receive for advice and complaints. Join the club. Somebody has to do it.


I ask you –

Do your expectations actually lead to your disappointments?

Foot stomp: redundancy or no?

Tell me what you do to escape!

(The post Hello, fun? Where are you? first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Miss Big Mouth

Let’s overcomplicate things, shall we? Most definitely rhetorical sarcasm. I inquired about some training I need to satisfy an additional duty at work. The answer I received was this: it should only be an hour or two. Well, which is it?! And what do you mean by “only”?

In referencing additional duties – the Navy calls them collateral duties – an argument ensued between my team and an individual over the concept of additional duty vs primary duty. I thought it was self-explanatory but I was wrong. You see, everyone has additional duties. Military, civilian, contractors, all of us. So when someone uses the phrase this is my additional duty, it hits me wrong because we all have them, aka it’s not an excuse to disregard the duty. Next time, I’ll draw pictures.

How to make a corsage. Step 1: don’t. Hire your sister. Or mother. Depends. But this is what she gets for volunteering to make my niece’s prom corsage. Hope she’s keeping notes. Her additional duty.

When I wake up at the butt crack of dawn to finish a paper and discussion post so I can focus on a different paper of a million words and a gazillion pages – that’s a primary duty. Does this require any further explanation?

No questions please. The demonstration is over.


I ask you –

What is the civilian terminology for additional or collateral duties?

Are you creative enough to make a corsage? Definitely not.

Tell me the page length of the longest document you’ve ever written!

(The post Miss Big Mouth first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes