Mudder Part 2

May 16, 2012

The Tough Mudder is a 10 mile (or longer) race with over twenty obstacles designed by ex-British Special Forces guys with a sick sense of humor. The point is not to get a fast time or even to win; in fact there are no clocks anywhere on the course, and they don’t use a timing chip like they do for most running events. The goal is to finish – ideally in one piece.

As previously mentioned, they made us climb a wall to get to the starting line.

Me, waiting for the boys to make their way over, that’s Matt on the top of the wall.

Starting at 8am, they sent groups out every twenty minutes, until noon or so (not sure, so don’t quote me on that). They gather you up, make you kneel in the mud and give you a pep talk. A solid mixture of, “you guys are awesome and can do this if you stick together,” and “be careful, this is the toughest Tough Mudder course we have ever seen,” with a little bit of inspirational Wounded Warrior talk mixed in. The pep talker was good, I have to hand it to him, I was “hoorah-ing” at the top of my little be-glittered lungs. The national anthem was sung, and we were off, swarming up the hill, because it started with a hill into the unknown (a little dramatic, I know, but I can’t help it.)

From here on out I could bore you all with a lot of little details, but that would be, well, boring. So I’ll just hit the highlights.

Mom caught up with us at the Arctic Enema, which is basically a big pool filled with colored water and ice. That’s right, ice. I don’t think anything can prepare a person for what happens when they jump in a giant ice bath. The wind gets knocked out of you, your heart rate sky rockets, and you well, freeze up. And then if getting in isn’t bad enough, you actually have to go under water to get beneath this wall that is halfway between the getting in and getting out. Like I said, sick sense of humor. It’s Vermont. It’s May. The sun is not out, and they force you to go under water with ICE IN IT!!!!!

Here you can see Matt dragging himself out and Craig and I holding hands leaping into. I’m cold just looking at this.

Craig and I attempting to run after our ice bath, it only kind of worked.

And then once you are out, you start back up a hill. This one was call The Death March, and it was really crummy. So I will pause here and say that the most challenging thing about this whole event was the hills. I guess I should have known better, it being at a ski slope and all. Still, I thought they would level it out at some point, but nope, we were either going up or down, or completing an obstacle. And basically every obstacle was preceded by a huge climb or a treacherous descent and each obstacle was followed by more of the same. At some point during the first or second huge climb, teammate Matt said, “I think this is going to be the steepest part.” I was pretty pissed later when I figured out that he had lied to me.

After some hills, we hit our next obstacle which was our first brush with mud, Kiss of Mud, which entailed crawling through mud under barbed wire. There were safety wires between you and the barbed wire, and we all made it through okay, and then off up another hill. The next two obstacles were not bad: Spider’s Web and Devil’s Beard, one was climbing a rope thing and then other was going under a rope thing, and they were surprisingly devoid of mud.

The next one was Trench Warfare. I am not going to lie. This sucked. They dug trenches in the ground, covered them with plywood and then covered the ply wood with dirt so it really was like you were crawling though tunnels, and they put a turn in the trench so once you were in it, you had no sense of when it was going to be over. AND of course it was filled with mud, and rocks. Spectacular. I tried to convince Craig to go in first, but he wouldn’t. I think he was worried that he would have to shove me out from behind. Luckily the dude in front of me was cracking somewhat inappropriate jokes the entire way which kept me from losing it. (It also helped that Craig refrained from cracking bug jokes, I know he was thinking about it. I may be a Mudder, but I don’t do bugs.)

We were so nasty after this one that we actually stopped at a mountain stream to wash off a little and then we were off to the first set of Berlin Walls, which were cake (especially since I had two teammates to boost me over) and then Bale Bonds, climbing over hay (also super easy), all interspersed with hills of course.

We didn’t see our spectators until the Electric Eel.  During the pep talk at the start, they make it clear that if there is an obstacle you can’t do, just go around it. I was seriously considering skipping this one. Wires that are hooked up to a car battery, hanging over a pool of water that you have to crawl through on your belly. Something about the combination of water and electricity just seems like a bad, bad plan. However, Mom was there to talk me through it and I slithered on my belly avoiding most of the zaps, surrounded by a chorus of expletives from those being shocked, and had the added benefit of being a little cleaner at the end of it!  I don’t seem to have any pictures of the Electric Eel, but Mom had started filming by then:

And then, you guessed it. Up another hill.

Dong Dangler came next, and I didn’t even attempt to do the hanging upside from the rope thing, I just hopped in and swam across the dumb pond. The poor girl in front of me needed to get rescued, the water was so cold it took her breath away about half way across. The water was cold even with out ice in it; May in Vermont is not warm.

The half way  point obstacle-wise was Cliff Hanger. Ugh. I know I keep talking about hills, but this was straight up a really steep ski slope, like so steep most people had to take it on all fours, and so steep that if I had found myself at the top of it during my skiing days I would have refused to ski down it (I was not the daredevil type). This was where people started cramping up in a big way. I stopped along the way to help a guy with a huge quad cramp. I think this is where being a distance runner really started to help. The Tough Mudder website says that you really only need to be able to run an hour straight to be able to complete the course. Whether it’s different for Vermont or not, I don’t know, but neither Craig, Matt, or I ran into endurance issues. Our last two trail runs during training were two hours each and almost ten miles so our legs were at least a little prepared for this event.

This was actually the steepest hill, but it wasn’t that long. If you look along the flags to the left and notice the little clump of people where there is a break is the rope, that’s me and Craig helping a fellow Mudder get de-cramped. I was quickly dubbed the world’s best massage therapist. Thank you MT3.

Mudder PART 1

May 9, 2012

Wednesday, Pre-Mudder (PM): I am standing in Wal-Mart with my mother (we are super cool like that), buying cat food and cases of seltzer (that’s right, I know you want to be us), and she asks me innocently, “Are you ready for the race?” I freeze for a moment, look around and decide right then and there that I need glitter for this operation.

Thursday, PM: It’s getting late, and we are packing up to leave right after work on Friday. I do a practice run of my glitter. I bought a cobalt blue cream eye shadow with tiny sparkles in it which I apply liberally over my eyelids and with a good solid line underneath. This is very different from my usual look of a light shadow, and thin liner. I don’t even like wearing stage makeup on stage. Now I look a little like Joan Jet. I top it of with a serious dose of gold glitter. “That should do it,” I think to myself. I fully understand that by the end of the race I will look more like Alice Cooper than Joan Jet, but I don’t care. I NEED glitter for this.

Friday, PM: We got off to a rocky start, with mixed up pick ups and Friday night traffic. The stop in Brattleboro VT for dinner leaves our team-mate Matt, a little shaken he has never seen that many hippy and punk kids so high on Red Bull and God knows what else roaming the streets at once. The kids were nothing compared to the fog we encountered on the back roads to Mount Snow, thanks to a creative GPS we were driving through pea soup, in the dark. Craig trying to keep the car on the road in spite of the very loud back seat driving happening around him.

We check in, the boys watch some basketball, we plan our wake up time, turn off the lights and attempt to sleep. I get about three-ish hours, and then another three in fits and starts. I dream that people keep giving me things to stick in my fuel belt (this is what runners call a fanny pack so that they don’t have to call it a fanny pack) until I can’t fit anything else.

Saturday Morning, PM: I eat breakfast in the room, I packed my usual breakfast ingredients: banana, protein, berries, and granola. I bulk it out with extra protein and granola. It’s about two hours to start time and it should take us over three hours to finish. I am going to need some extra calories.

When we go down the hotel breakfast for the boys (coffee and half a bagel for me), we meet a woman running by herself. I offer her some glitter which she gladly accepts. Boys don’t understand glitter. (Except maybe Craig, as he gamely applied it all over his face. Matt shook his head.)

We get to the check in around 7:30am,  take a few laps around the start and finish area to check out the sitituation. I am getting more and more nervous. Matt keeps checking in with his wife to see where she is and I keep checking in with my Mom. They are both coming up to watch. I cannot figure out why anyone would drive over two hours to watch people trudge through mud, but I also can’t figure out why I would drive two and a half hours, stay over in a hotel and pay over 100 dollars for the privelge of truding through mud.

I see the hills and I get more and more nervous. We watch a group take off. I am pretty sure that I am not going to be able to do this, and cannot for the life of my remember why I thought I could. We go inside the ski lodge to warm up. I do a handstand. I feel a little better. I do another. I check my make up. Joan Jett it is. Evelyn, Matt’s wife shows up and we get rid of our extra stuff. I say good bye to my cell phone, my tube of extra glitter and whoever I thought I was before I climbed over the wall to the starting line (yup, they make you scale a wall before you start).

Things are about to get muddy.

I may have lost my mind. . .

February 9, 2012

I have written about my desire to be a bad ass before, but I am a pretty poor specimen. I won’t watch scary movies, I scream (like really scream) for my husband to come take care of it when I see a bug, my rain boots are pink, and if I were on a desert island and I had to choose between killing  fish to live and starving to death, I would most likely starve.  And yet, I am signed up for (i.e. paid with no possible refund) for the this year’s New England Tough Mudder.

“What is a Tough Mudder?” you maybe asking? Well, it is a ten-mile trek through mud and a variety of obstacles.  The New England event takes place at Mount Snow and has 30 or so different challenges all with witty names that make light of the pain that will be inflicted.  The gentlemen who designed the race a ex-British Special Forces guys so there is a resemblance to a military  training course, scaling 12 foot walls, climbing rope ladders, squirming under mesh netting though (you guessed it) mud, and inclined monkey bars.  And what happens if you fall off the monkey bars? You land in a pond. In Vermont.  In early May.

All of this makes for some seriously entertaining You Tube clips, but why is this a good idea again?  For me, lots of runners turn to triathlons to diversify their training, but if there is anything worse than swimming in my book, it’s bicycling, so obviously that is out.  The Tough Mudder requires a good amount of cross training in order to survive it, and that is what tends to get lost when I am training for a long(ish) distance race.  I think the threat of falling off the monkey bars might be enough to encourage me to do a push up or two, which is a good thing.

Also, a Tough Mudder is not about winning. It is literally about surviving . . . I mean finishing.  There is no way to know how you are going to deal with the obstacles (much less running on a ski slope) until you get there, so the pressure to finish within a certain time frame doesn’t exist.  Also, it’s a given that some of the challenges require a helping hand (I hear there is a 12 foot wall to be scaled), so there is a certain amount of camaraderie fostered on the course. As someone who eschews team sports due to the competitive spirit they stir up, to me, this seems like a great way to work with people to achieve a physical goal.

So I guess we will see how tough I am come May.  I know I can do the distance, and I have resigned myself to some pretty chilly swims, but I think it will be fun.  Just don’t expect me to come home with a tattoo. . .or a mohawk.

Finishers are entitled to a free hair cut. . .mullets and mohawks for one and all. I think I will pass.

The first couple hundred finishers earn a free Tough Mudder tattoo. I think it might clash with my lotus. . .

Coffee: Friend or Foe?

January 18, 2012

I should warn you, this is not a balanced scientific evaluation of the pros and cons of coffee drinking.  If you want the chemistry lesson you can go ask my brother the chemist as I am sure he can draw the molecular structure for you, and he may or may not have a tattoo of it somewhere on his body (he has quite a few, so it’s hard to keep up.) If you are looking for cold hard facts on the matter, you will have to read several contradicting studies to get a grip on the issue because as far as I can tell, there is a new one every week.  One will say that caffeinated beverages are dehydrating while another will say it can prevent Parkinson’s and a variety of other diseases and so on, and so on . . .

Nope, this is just about my struggle with coffee.  I come from a long line of serious coffee drinkers.  My previously mentioned brother goes through at least a pot a day and if he doesn’t have a tattoo of the molecular structure of caffeine yet, he should.  He inherited his black coffee habit from my mother who’ after years of a pot of day, has weaned herself down to one cup a day (most days anyway) and follows it up with green and herbal tea for the rest of the day.  She has cut down due to an unfortunate heart palpitation situation, not at all by choice I can assure you. 

My father still drinks, to put it mildly, a hella lotta coffee.  As does my husband.  And my stepfather.  Not to mention the people at the chiropractor’s office I work out of.  And then my own history; about 15 years of coffee shop service.  Six of which were at a corporately owned and operated giant. 

I was late to the coffee game; I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was in college and even then it was the super sweet and (soy) milky variety.  Carmel Soy Latte was my middle name for a while, but I have never been fully comfortable with my coffee drinking ways.  I really like being in the tea drinker category.  I think it gives me an aura of health and a glow of saintly self contol. I also love all things British and therefore should choose tea over coffee anyday of the week.

Over the years I have given up the “joe” for months at a time.  During the last two years that I worked wearing a green be-siren-ed apron, I only really drank coffee for the last 6 months of it.  Once I gave up coffee because of the addiction factor and the first withdrawal headache was enough for me to go cold turkey.  And once I gave it up because I was “going raw’ and coffee is decidedly a cooked item.  Right now, I have a cup-a-day habit.  Part of me says, chill out, it’s just a cup a day and most wellness professionals will say a cup a day is fine.  But something in me, maybe the perfectionist part, says I shouldn’t have any of it at all.

I’m not in it for the caffeine, although it is sometimes a nice little boost in the a.m.  I think it’s the ritual.  But then, if that is the case, a cup of tea should work just fine.  Maybe I am harboring a baby addiction, because if I wasn’t I wouldn’t be rambling on like this.

When I started drinking coffee again, I justified it by reasoning it was just getting through finals, and then it was to get through the transition from barista to full time massage therapist, and now? Well right now I have about 3/4 of a pound of Christmas Blend left over and obviously I can’t let that go bad. . .

I will say I like being off coffee because it increases my sensitvity to it so if I am really tired I get a massive boost, and in most cases it can knock out a headache. And then there is that whole saintly British thing.

Obviously I have too much time on my hands if this is what I am worrying about, or maybe, I just have too much coffee in my system. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I start with a nice glass of green juice or perhaps a cup of Earl Grey, or perhaps I will just wait until I finish that bag of Christmas blend. . .

Any other coffee drinkers out there think the should get off the sauce? Or defend the habit?

A New Year an New. . .

January 9, 2012

So, I’m a little late with the whole New Year thing.  The truth is I like to do things in my own sweet time.  That doesn’t mean that I am a slow poke or that I am always mulling things over (although sometimes I do) or that I am constantly late (only sometimes!) or even that I miss deadlines (hardly ever!)  I just don’t like artificial starting points or finish lines. In fact, I don’t like anyone or anything telling me exactly how or when to do anything. It may be a delayed onset rebellious streak, but when an outside source says NOW is the time or THIS is the only way, my inner dialog says, “Oh, yeah??!! We’ll see about that!”  A result of this is that I hardly ever start anything on a Monday, and if I get an idea in my head, it may come to fruition a few weeks from now after lots of research and thinking, or it might happened RIGHT NOW.  It’s honestly hard to say.

On New Years Eve my mom went around the dinner table asking what everyone’s New Years Resolutions were, my husband decided to go vegan, my brother vowed to get a “real job,” his girlfriend is going to get grant money to finish her PhD project, and Mom said her list was to long to really get into, but included professional and personal goals.  When it came to my turn, I looked her dead in eye and said, ” You know full well I am NOT making any resolutions.” She laughed, but after nearly 30 years of my odd personality she knew enough not to push.

The next morning while walking the dog (I always make my calls while walking the dog), I was talking (um, ranting) about things I knew I needed to do in order to be successful in the future.  And she said, “Gee, Bo, those sound like resolutions to me.”

I snapped back, “They are not! It’s just crap I have to do!”

Token Regina picture

That conversation got me thinking. First of all, moms sure know how to push buttons even when you are nearly 30.  But also, what is the difference between a resolution and the “crap” that needs to get done?  And why do we let someone else decide when it’s time to take stock?

It’s true that it is nice to start a new year with a new calendar that is going to be filled with all of the fantastic things that are going to be accomplished, and noted in perfect penmanship and prose, but they sell calendars year round, in fact they are cheaper in the off-season.  I am just not interested in letting the “powers that be” lay down the time line for me, because it seems to me that in life there aren’t a whole lot of periods to mark the end of a complete sentence.  There are far more commas and semicolons and run ons.

Old cruddy beat up planner and nice new shiney planner.

So do I have goals for 2012? Of course – writing, business, yoga, running, being a better, more rounded person, etc, etc.  But did I set those goals because I knew that ball was going to drop? No. My goals arise out of being ready to grow personally and professionally, they are the next logical step in my growth, and they are, above all, the “crap” I am happily ready to do.  I have learned that letting the day of the week dictate when I should begin something can often lead to a false start.  I would much rather begin when I am good and ready so I have the energy and desire to see the project/change/whatever through.  I am so over starting on Monday and quitting by Tuesday.  Therefore I take stock and make goals on my own schedule.  So even if that process happens to coincide with the new year and no matter what my mother says, they are not New Years Resolutions. (So THERE!)

source: timessquareball.net

Facebook is not a hobby

October 10, 2011
 

I need a hobby.  In July I finished two jam-packed years.  I went to school full-time, worked part-time, took yoga trainings, meditation retreats, got married, moved once and a few other things that do not come immediately to mind.  Suffice to say it has been busy.  With a schedule like that I was either doing something, on my way to doing something, avoiding doing something, or crashing on the couch.  There wasn’t any time that wasn’t spoken for, downtime was meant for studying or attempting to catch up on housework or bills or something. And like I said, there was a good amount of crashing.

Now I am done with school, I am a Licensed Massage Therapist working at a well established spa, teaching a little bit of yoga and have one more massage gig lined up. Oh yeah, and I am still working at that giant corporately owned coffee shop.  Still busy yes, but even with all that going on, I find myself with a little time on my hands.  I don’t have to study anymore so what is a girl to do with an extra hour here and there? Currently I spend a lot of time on Facebook and Netflix, neither of these are really enriching experiences, addictive yes, enriching or enlightening, not so much. 

So I think I need a hobby.  I know lots of people with hobbies.  My brother has a hobby.  Mom calls it his stamp collection, but in actuality, it’s a motorcycle.  My husband has a hobby, he plays the penny whistle.  Yup, the penny whistle, I am good with it until about 8 pm, and then I would like for him to find a new, quieter hobby such as collecting stamps.

Mat's "hobby"

I have lots of things that could be considered hobbies I suppose. I do yoga, I like to cook, I pretend to meditate, I run and like to take ballet classes but those don’t really fill that niche.  Mostly they seem like lifestyle choices, not ways to fill the odd hour or two.  And its only going to get worse.  I am literally on count down for that coffee shop job and not only will I have more time on my hands, I might actually be awake and functional.  Who knows what I will be able to do if I don’t have to wake up at 4:25am five days a week. 

I guess my hobby for right now is thinking about what my new hobby will be.  Heavens knows it will not be the penny whistle. Or a stamp collection.

This book is actually in my house. What's up Seventies?

One Thing at a Time

June 6, 2011

The title of this post is a little misleading; I don’t remember the last time I was only doing one thing.  On the small-scale, I am writing and listening to my friend Cindy on the radio.  Big picture, I am in school, working, and have about a bajillion (real word!) things I am working on in life. 

From where I am sitting I can see the bulletin board where I’ve posted all of the things I am actively working on.  There are goals for how I want to live, exercise, eat, work, meditate, almost everything I could think of on one snowy afternoon this past winter.  It is meant to be a visual reminder of what I want in case I can’t remember (and on some days I can’t).  I keep it in the room I use most, in easy view from the couch, the computer and the TV. 

When I made the board, I put some things on it I was already doing, some things that I could not possibly do in the near future and some things that were just out of reach.  All of the things on it support each other - the hours of sleep, for example, are necessary for the amount of running and massage I want to do. The yoga supports those goals, too. 

So, with all of those things up there gently staring me in my face everyday, I decided to try a new tactic.  For once in my life, I did not say, “Starting Monday, I will do everything up there perfectly.”  Instead, I thought to myself, “Okay, let’s go for a run today and over the next month or two let’s get to the point where we are running 20 miles a week.”  And I did.  One goal, accomplished. 

It was daunting to think I was going to fit 20 miles, five hours of yoga, etc, etc, into a week.  But now from the other side of 20 miles, I can see some room.  Will I try to add in five hours of yoga this week?  Nope.  Maybe two.  And when I finish massage school will I massage 15 people the first week I become licensed?  Probably not.  Maybe five.  With each item I incorporate into my life, the more confidence I have that I get the next thing done, as well.  I know I can’t jump unless I have my feet firmly planted on the ground first.

Because even when you are shooting for the moon, the journey still happens one step at a time.

The Down Side of Off Days

May 26, 2011

I kind of got out of the habit of exercising regularly over the winter.  My school days conflict with possible ballet classes, and in my defense, there were no sideways to run on for a huge chunk of the winter.  I did keep up with short yoga practices at home and a brush with Insanity, but it was nowhere near my regular intensity or frequency.

About six weeks ago, I decided enough was enough.  Spring had finally arrived, the snow had melted and I started building mileage and doing workouts from this awesome (crazy) website, call bodyrock.tv.  I have more than doubled my weekly mileage, knocked a bunch of time off my cruising speed, and have muscles again. 

At this particular moment, I am trying to convince myself to go out for a run.  The problem is, I took an extra day off.  I said I would do a “cut back week” (a week were you take it easy) once I hit midterms, and here we are at midterms, so, I took Monday off.  I always take Tuesday off because of school, and here I am on Wednesday with no momentum to get me off my butt.  Oh, I am going to go, but not without complaining about it first.  An object in motion stays in motion so even though it may increase the risk of injury, sometimes when I am getting my engine going again, it is actually easier to do something more days than not. As I have been at rest for TWO whole days now, there is no part of me that thinks getting out there is a good idea.  See? Its just science.

Okay, if I don’t go now, my dog is going to have a fit, she does not seem to understand the basic laws of physics. 

The moral of the story?

1. Don’t take to many rest days. (?)

or

2. at least be prepared for the struggle to get shaking again. (?)

or

3. Get a dog, bad at science, good a running, great at being a nudge.

Note: After writing this I ran a solid 5 miles and did this work out http://www.bodyrock.tv/2011/05/23/run-the-world-workout/.  Object in motion.

True Story

May 23, 2011

True story, I haven’t blogged since October 5.  I have been busy though.  Since then I did ANOTHER yoga teacher training with the beautiful and brilliant Jill Miller, I decided to bump up my wedding and, oh, yes, got married.  I wrapped up terms four and five of massage school and am now plowing my way through the sixth and last one.  I have written now and then for an online local newspaper, wrote a blog for the Yoga Tune Up website,  went on a silent 10 day mediation retreat,  and survived the winter.  In no particular order.

 At the moment I should be studying for a mid-term in East/West Pathology but because I don’t want to do that, and also don’t want to clean my house (does anyone else clean to procrastinate?), I thought I would swing through here.  Since I should be doing other things instead of coming up with something new and interesting to write about now (which can be really difficult and time consuming), I will just put some links to some of the stuff I was writing elsewhere.

http://www.yogatuneup.com/blog/2011/03/23/tensor-fasciae-latae/ A little yoga anatomy about one of your hip flexors, there are two other short pieces that kind of go with this, but I think this is the best one.

http://bethwood.patch.com/articles/mat-and-bo-christmas-cookie-success I made my brother Mat help with the Christmas cookies this year, I swear nobody got hurt.

http://bethwood.patch.com/articles/of-snow-boots-and-puppy-dogs  After the first, or second or tenth (?) big storm this year?  I can’t remember.  By the way, my dog is weird and LOVES snow.  And I am pretty sure taking the pictures for this is what killed my camera.

Another true story is that I can’t figure out how to do the thing where you make a word or phrase a link instead of having to copy and paste the whole url.  Sigh.

There are a few more newspaper-y things on the Patch website, but that is mostly what I have been up to for the past 7 months or so.  I mean aside from school work, getting married, running, yoga, dog walking, latte slinging, etc.  I have another mid-term next week, so maybe I will come up with something to write while I am putting off studying for that one.  Or maybe I will clean my house.

Its a Bloggy Blog World

October 5, 2010

I am a tiny, inconsistent blog.  I blog when I have inspiration, when I have something to say, but mostly, when I am on vacation.  I have lots of ideas for post right now, mostly to do with being busy, but at the moment they will have to wait.

Even though most people don’t know it, I am part of the “healthy living blog community.”  This a huge community of blogs written by people, mostly women, who share their day to day lives.  Like me, many of them are focused on being healthy in mind, body, and soul.  Some of them write mostly about food, others about exercise, some write about family.  The through message seems to be, “I aim to have a happy life, and this is how I go about doing so.”

Today an article in Marie Claire slammed 6 of these bloggers, saying their blogs, and blogs like them cause readers to develop poor body images, eating disorders, and unrealistic exercise expectations.  I only regularly read one of these blogs, but I have been fascinated with the reaction through the blog community and on line world for much of the afternoon.

I do not think a blog that focuses on healthy eating and exercising can “give” someone an eating disorder unless they are already headed in that direction.  I also don’t think someone whose goal is simply to share their own experiences should be required to have a degree in a related field to back them up.  I do think people need to be responsible with what they write and on the whole I think bloggers in this community are.  I do not think the woman who wrote the Marie Claire article was.

I love stories.  I especially love the stories people tell about their own lives.  I love how someone can start at point A and end up at point B or C or Q, especially when they never expected to.  Thats why I read blogs.  They are places where people share who they are, some more honestly and openly than others for sure. I read blogs so that I know that I am not the only one who wants to be happy, and that I am also not the only one who strives to be healthy and balanced.  Even though to the big players in this debate I am nothing more than a sporadic comment or a tick on the visit counter, I feel like I know them, and through them I get to know myself as a human being, as a woman, as a writer, and as some one who strives to tell the truth about who she is and how she lives.

Thats what people do, we see other people, how they live, and decide if it fits for us or not.  Not because the other person is an expert on nutrition, or exercise, but because they are real people, with real lives, real struggles.  Thats why I read those blogs, because these women are brave enough to say what works for them in their lives, base on trial and error, and I hope that the blogesphere continues to be the kind of place where some one can share what they ate in a day with out someone screaming eating disorder.  In a world where the voices of the individual are drowned out by the masses (media, experts, and naysayers) its amazing that people even dare to write anything anymore.  And I am proud to be an itty bitty corner of the world that says everyone should have a voice if they want to, please come share yours with us.


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