Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Good Samaritan

For those of you who think LA is a scary city full of self-centered people, let me tell you a little story about my evening. As I sat in the office at my latest temp job, I overheard a few people mention dark clouds and the coming rain. Uh oh. I didn't have an umbrella in my bag. I know better than this. I've been relying on public transportation for two and a half years and I know one should never leave home without cash, a cell phone, a book, and an umbrella...even in southern California. As I left the office, it was only lightly raining but as I arrived at the bus stop, it was pouring. A guy came over with his umbrella and offered to share it with me. His name is Mark and he's my new best friend in LA! We got on the same bus and he told me where his stop was, which happened to be the same as mine. He walked me all the way to my apartment! Now, I know what you're thinking, he'll show up at my door in the middle of the night or something but I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt. He said he was "overdue for a good deed" and I was desperate and happy to oblige. I love life's unexpected moments and I'm glad that I'm more open to accepting them.

So, the next time you think of LA, think about how kind it's citizens are and plan a visit. Who knows, maybe Mark will share his umbrella. :) Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go put an umbrella in my bag.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1,694 Miles

Thanks to my dad, one of my favorite activities is to hit the open road. Ironic, since I don't own a car and haven't for at least two and a half years. Over the weekend, I accompanied a friend on her move from Missouri to California. I did that same drive last fall with my sister and it was just as beautiful this time around. The views are just spectacular so if you ever have an opportunity to spend 24 hours in a car headed west, take it and take me!

"O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you, you express me better than I can express myself." ~Walt Whitman

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Support A Good Cause

Last week, I sent out my first email to family and friends, letting them know that I'm partnering with Team In Training again this year in order to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I'm also posting it here in case you would like to join me in this effort. Thanks, everyone!

Dear Family and Friends,

Last year, I had the distinct privilege of training for and participating in the Nike Women's Marathon with Team In Training (TNT). The event is a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and thanks to many of you, it was a great success. It was such a moving experience that I've decided to do it again! And this time I'm taking along at least 7 college friends, my sister-in-law and my mom! Our training has begun and I'm asking for your support, perhaps for the second time.

This year's training is a bit different since I'm doing it along side so many people that I love. Kristin, a college friend of 15 years, is one of them and while this is her first endurance event, this is not her first encounter with the LLS. In 2000, her husband, Gideon, was diagnosed with Acute Promylocetic Leukemia and thanks to the research that has been done thus far, he is cancer-free today! Gideon and Kristin have three beautiful children and we are all grateful for the success of Gideon's treatment. We want more people to have the same opportunity at life. That's why we're running.

All of us with TNT are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma from taking more lives. I'm completing this event in honor of my friend Gideon and all those battling blood cancers and in memory of all those who lost their lives to the disease. These people are the real heros on our team and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line--a cure!

I am incredibly grateful for all the support I received last year. And I appreciate that many of you support deserving charities throughout the year. If you can consider this one, I'd like to ask that you please make a tax-deductible donation to the LLS on my behalf. Donations can be made at my website or if you would prefer to make a donation by check, feel free to contact me for instructions.

I hope you'll stop by my website often to check on my progress, visit the blog my college friends and I have set up to document our experiences, and even forward this email along to others that might be interested in partnering with a worthy cause. We welcome all support!

On behalf of the LLS and the lives they touch, thank you.


"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Hope, I Hope, I Hope

Of course you've heard of them, maybe even known a few. Those people who's response to any difficult or negative experience or emotion is to exercise. HA! My whole life I've been dumbfounded by that response. It seems so unnatural. I mean, sure, I've had days where I felt better after a workout but that's where it ended. If I felt depressed, chocolate was my natural response-- NOT hitting the pavement.

Then last night, the strangest thing happened. I had a difficult day and felt frustrated and completely drained. I was scheduled to run/walk but I just didn't think I had the energy and planned to postpone a day. As I sat zombie-like on the couch, I felt an almost uncontrollable and overwhelming need to physically work out the frustrations of my day. I had to have a place to put it all. Afraid I might lose momentum, I threw on my running clothes and hit the pavement. It wasn't the best 2 miles of my life but it was a great release of all the negative emotions and even tiredness I was feeling. I was lighter, happier, more peaceful at the end so it worked. Whew.

I believed people when they said it was natural for them to run after a hard day. I just didn't ever think I would be one of them. I hope, I hope, I hope this becomes my natural response to...well, anything! Good or bad. Maybe someday. Until then, this seems like a good start.