Thursday, August 31, 2017

Running Gave Me this Life

It might be too much to say running saved my life. I know it has been a literal lifesaver for many runners out there. For me, it is enough to say that running gave me the life I have.

It helped forge me into the person I am.

It has made me resilient.
It has made me strong.
It has made me appreciate failure.
It has made me brave.
It has made me compassionate.
It has made me analytical.
It has made me prioritize.
It has made me face truths.
It has made me more sociable.
It has made me determined.
It has made me focused.
It has made me grateful.
It has made me insightful.
It has made me humble.
It has made me joyful.

Running changed the way I think and helped me shed societal expectations for my body.

Running showed me over and over what I am capable of.

Running gave meaning to the corny cliches about pressure and diamonds and self-determination.

Running did not save my life, but I would not be who I am today without it, and I love what it has helped shape me into.

As I write this, on the eve of surgery, I am looking back at old posts and remembering why I am doing this. Why it's worth it. I will never be a competitive, elite runner, but I am not whole without running. I am not truly myself without it.

Last week, I was getting cold feet about the surgery. I've been numb the past couple months, as this process has dragged on. I wondered, Do I even miss running enough to undergo surgery to get it back?

This week, I know. I have not felt like myself since February, when my running had to be drastically cut back. I have felt strangely hollow and half-there. I am ready to feel alive again.

I am so ready.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Various Updates


A couple weeks ago, I went back to see my doctor and schedule my fasciotomy. Not only has my calf pain been back, but the mental and emotional anguish of being injured has been weighing heavily on me. Running has been the only exercise that ever worked for me; I believe it played a huge role in making my depression manageable and helping me live a more balanced, happier life.
So I am very much looking forward to surgery at the end of the month. I'm savoring each run right now; after surgery it will be three months before I can be truly back to running the way I like, or think seriously about training.

This month I wrote a post for the Skirt Sports blog about my WORD. A word that motivates me and keeps me moving. I have used transcend as a mantra for ages - it has applied to overcoming pain, doubt, negativity, and fear. These days, it seems even more applicable to life in general.
My post is here. Please give it a read!

I laughed a little at this robot's assessment of my writing skills. Doesn't it know purposeful repetition is an artistic choice?! 
Product Review Update

I've tried out the MIIEGO headphones a couple more times. While they definitely resulted in sweaty ears at the gym, I found this wasn't as uncomfortable as I thought it would be when outside.
The picture on the right shows all the sweat from wearing them to the gym, but after my outdoor runs they're not this sweaty!
The band across the back is still a little too tight and pulls a bit, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with them. I hope the band loosens up a touch with use, because right now my one major complaint is that they slip due to the band wanting to rebound into its twisty shape.


I'm enjoying being back at work. This year we have a third CRT (curriculum resource teacher) and it's been great! The three of us make a really strong team.
We had 78% totality during dismissal on Monday. That was fun!
We moved into a bigger office this year, too, and it's much nicer than the old one. The year has gotten off to a smooth start so far.

Real Life

Last Friday, some friends joined me and Matt for a peaceful march of resistance and reflection, followed by a vigil for Charlottesville and Heather Heyer. It is very hard for me to explain how it feels, as a Jewish woman and an American, to see Nazis brazenly marching in the streets, but gathering with others in hope and love served as a balm for my sore heart and strengthened my resolve to resist.
And seeing the response in Boston? That was perfect.

What is your word?
How have you been dealing with national events lately?


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MIIEGO Headphone Review

A couple weeks ago, out of nowhere, my Jaybird headphones stopped working. I am really not in the market to replace $150 headphones, so I started looking around for a new brand. In the meantime, I struggled with some cheap corded earbuds I had lying around the house, and I remembered how much I freaking hate cords.

Then, I saw a post on Flip Belt's Instagram. You guys know I'm a huge fan of Flip Belt, so I was excited to see that they were pairing up with a bluetooth headphone brand...I trust Flip Belt so I figured the headphones would be a good bet.

I reached out to Flip Belt to see if I could test out and review a pair, and a couple days later I had a beautiful pair of coral MIIEGO headphones in my hands. I really wanted to try the M1, which is their bluetooth earbud version, but I was happy to try the AL3+ Freedoms.
The headphones come with a carrying case, extra foam speaker covers, and a charging cord.
First Impressions:

I immediately found the packaging, color, and design attractive. The headphones coil up into a neat little bundle and the carrying case is compact and sturdy. The instructions were clear and simple; the headphones paired up easily with my phone and were fully charged and ready to use right out of the box.
Right out of the box, full battery! I tested the pairing and buttons immediately and mastered their use in under 5 minutes.
I did have a couple concerns right off the bat, though. Would they stay in place while running? Would they feel bulky and warm?

After taking them out for a spin, I'm pretty happy with them.
Ready for a run. I tested the headphones in 88 degrees, 90% humidity, sunshine, and no breeze.

Easy storage
Good sound quality
Easy to install & use


A little warm for FL summer
Need some adjusting/moved a little
The band doesn't lie quite flat enough
I was pleasantly surprised - the headphones stayed in place and needed less adjusting than my favorite earbuds ever did!

For the price, these are really nice headphones for the gym or just hanging out. They're not my favorite for running but they aren't bad.

I wish they fit a little more loosely. The twist in the wire made the headphones "tight" across the back of my head so they pulled a little, which is the only reason they moved at all; I think with time this tight coil will loosen a bit and they'll become more comfortable, will stay in place better, and will pull less.

They are not as bulky as I thought they'd be - they're really lightweight. My ears definitely got warm from wearing the headphones. I tested them in fairly normal Florida weather but what others might call extreme. I don't think the warmth would be bothersome in most other states at any time of year.

Rating: 8.5/10, B+
Price: $79.99

I'll definitely continue to use them! If the coil loosens up and the fit improves, I'll write an update, as well.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Earworm Wednesday: Linkin Park

I was really shaken by the suicide of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. I think most people my age can agree that Linkin Park's poignant lyrics and powerful instrumentals got us through some tough times in high school and college, and so far I've loved every song I've heard off the new album.

In "Leave Out all the Rest", Chester sings, "When my time comes/forget the wrong that I've done/help me leave behind some/reasons to be missed", and I think the legacy of his music absolutely fulfills that wish.

So today, I wanted to share some of Chester's last songs off the new album One More Light.

One More Light: "If they say who cares if one more light goes out/in a sky of a million stars?/it flickers, flickers/Who cares when someone's time runs out/if a moment is all we are?/We're quicker, quicker/Who cares if one more light goes out?/Well I do"
Battle Symphony: "...When they turn down the lights/I hear my battle symphony/all the world in front of me/if my armor breaks/I'll fuse it back together/Battle symphony/please just don't give up on me/and my eyes are wide awake"
Talking to Myself: "The truth is you turn into someone else/you keep running like the sky is falling/I can whisper I can yell/But I know I'm just talking to myself"
I will always be grateful for the solace Chester's music brought me, and still brings me. I am grateful to have this final album. I wish it didn't have to be his last.