Balancing Act

Follow through was my strong suit today.  I woke up, determined that my workout was just going to be a component of my day, not the guiding principle.  I sauntered downstairs, Freddie Soakrlesnin my arms, noticing that it was uncharachteristically dim but not realizing that pigs and noodles were raining down with the cats and dogs!  I headed back upstairs with the morning coffee and the bad feeling about running.  It was about to get angsty and I didn’t want my workout to dominate my day.  Today was meant for tree decorating and kid canoodling, not fretting about the right time to run.  Jude popped up early and brilliance struck: the spaceship.  Jude and I would head to the garage right away to run on the treadmill (him) and spin the elliptical(me) for 30 minutes.  We were in, out, sweaty and done by 9:30am with the whole day in front of us for the tree and more.  

While I was spinning and reading Jeb Bush’s opinion piece about the future of the Republican Party*, the thought occurred to me that I didn’t have that panic of training hard under my skin bothering me.  I usually have a drive to go longer, to run further push beyond where I think I can go because every bit of training is appreciated in the long run.  I continued reading Dan Savage’s thoughts on stamping out fascists in the cities and realized that while I believe that more training leads to success, that still holds true, there’s something to be said for allowing myself to run for thirty minutes and then just be done with it.  It’s ok to train for my health and not always have the intense pressure of a long race in front of me.  I’ve turned up my nose at short little 5Ks  over the past year, wanting only to pay for something that offered a challenge in distance to me, but I have been enjoying the prospect of an easy, fun run next weekend with my bestie, her sister, her niece and both my own kids!  I feel relaxed and excited more than nervous, and that’s such a great place to be!  Now, let’s deck those halls!

Loving this quote from Jay Z: “Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther could walk. And Martin Luther walked so that Barack Obama could run. And Barack Obama ran so that all the children could fly.”

*Google them if you’re interested.  I was surprised to agree with Jeb on some major points.  Dan’s post was more about how we all participate in the system and was a bit of a rally cry.  In everything, I’ve been wondering where my activism should take place and I finally realized that I’m already an activist every day when I work in my classroom.  While I’ll never share any political leanings at school, with my families or students, I will always stand up to inequity and bullies, I’ll continue to advocate on behalf of my students and families and I’ll continue to institute a culture of love, democracy, kindness and community amongst my students while I strive for truth and honor every day.  

I try not to be political here, but some stuff really matters.  Like education. Please sign this.

A Thanksgiving

Last year at this time I was trying to wear out my gym pass by visiting as many Zumba classes as possible.  I was walking by pie, eating serving sizes and going running when I wasn’t prepping food or at the gym.  I was a whole lotta different Shazam.  I tell ya.  

This year I’m a whole lot more Tamara than Shazam.  I’m much more human than superhero these days.  I look back to a year ago and I was gearing up for races, getting ready to make my 2016 miles in 2016 and was determined to not gain weight through the holiday season.  I was a force to reckon with!  An exhausting, relentless force, oh my goodness!  Running here!  Riding there!  Training for this!  Making that class!  I never had time for anything but working out, it seems.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m realizing that I’ve missed a side of myself tremendously.  Crafting and creating and making is therapy for me, just like running is, and I need to strike a balance.

My injury changed me.  That may seem silly, but it forced me to slow down and fill my time with other stuff besides running.  I was going stir crazy at first, not knowing what to do; picking fights with my poor husband and paying way too much attention to the election or my iPad.  What’s a girl to do who doesn’t want to exchange an injury for 150 pounds of fat on her body?  She plugs in her glue gun, finds her hammer and level, mines her supplies and goes to town making anything that pleases her fancy on Pinterest.  (Link to most of the printable tags here.)

So that’s what I’ve been doing.  I’ve been taking short runs and occupying the rest of my time with my paper cutter, my sewing machine and cricut.  I’ve redesigned our Christmas using things we already had around the house and have just been getting down and dirty with homemaking.  

That said, tomorrow Gigi and I are taking the first trial-longer-run since October.  We are planning to take on ‘extra large’.  It’s a 2.8 mile loop that is the furthest you can go without taking on some major hills or wooded areas in our neighborhood.  I don’t foresee a problem and am excited to prove to myself that I can still run. And craft.  I keep pushing myself to be a distance runner, when really, I feel much more like a 15k, tops, runner.  I’m still planning to train up to the half marathon this year, and maybe I’ll change my mind and want to keep going that distance, but after that I think I’m going to relax it for a little while and see what my life looks like as a life-lover rather than life-chaser.  I think distance became what I did because I didn’t know how else to fill my time but I think I’m figuring that out. Because that’s what I think Tamara Shazam needs to be about from now on: I need to be a person who runs within a balanced, healthy life. I think that’s because there’s this other part of me that’s pretty important too, and I need to see what she’s got up her sleeve now.  

Not Complaining!

I’ve been avoiding the scale like the plague.  It feels like if I’m not working out like a maniac then I’m destined to fail.  With good reason, too, I suppose.  In the past, the second I step off the scale I also step into bad habits.  Blinding myself to that scale number also makes it kind of okay to put whatever I feel like in my mouth.  If I can’t see the gain on the scale, it’s not happening, right?  In the recent past, this has made me gain, then have to lose an extra ten to twenty pounds of Christmas weight along with the weight I already wanted to lose…  So, every once in a while I manage to to screw up my courage and hop on the scale!  It usually happens in a burst- I wonder what I weigh, assess my day, peel off my clothes, pee out any remaining ounces and jump on the scale.  I hold my breath and stand tiptoe, because that helps, you know.  You’re lighter on your tiptoes, you know.  Today I weighed in at 197, on my tiptoes and every other way!  I haven’t gained- I’m LOSING weight!  Yahoo!

Sweater Weather

I am really into the timehop feature on Facebook. I realized it not only reminds me of many sweet memories, I also post, now, with the awareness that I will get a reminder of this event, which is something I want to remember in another few years.  This morning I got to see the picture of myself when Bradley, the kids and I were all at a restaurant and I was being really goofy. I’m often goofy, and I’ve always behaved as a goof, but I’ve rarely been goofy in public when it has had to do with my appearance and photography.  This photo captures the first real moment when I didn’t even think about that.  I made that little wax mustache at our dinner table and selfied the heck out of it, then I even posted it to Facebook and Instagram.  I felt cute enough that my cute shined through the dorkiness in public.  Four years ago today I had just turned 39 and had just realized that I was winning and decided to push harder, to lose another 40 pounds before I turned 40.  I was empowered by the awareness that I could actually beat the foes of fat, food and complacency.  I realized I did have control and that my life was mine.  This goofy picture, popping up on my timeline, was such a great reminder to me of where I’ve been, the journey to where I am now and how much I want to remain right here in this square.

This brings up a story.  Yesterday I got busy as soon as I woke up with preparing food for the week. As you know I’ve gotten into the habit of preparing all of our evening meals the weekend before so that our evenings can be focused on family and togetherness rather than cooking and cleaning.  As a result of cooking several meals in one go I think that I felt like I had been nibbling and eating, that really my diet all day yesterday consisted of Diet Coke. Around 4 o’clock I got really sick feeling so I decided to sit down and eat, having realized that I had not consumed anything real. As a result I started eating everything that I could possibly fit into my mouth. I ate a bowl of chili with popcorn on it, followed by a smaller bowl of chili with cornbread, two cookies, another glass of Coke, and I finished it all off with a pumpkin muffin- I just made them and had to sample one.  I was sitting there playing video games with Jude when all of a sudden it was like everything hit. I got cramps in my stomach, I started sweating, I felt lethargic and simply disgusting. I ran up to the bathroom to use it and just sat there for about 45 minutes feeling like I was gonna barf. Afterwards I realized that I went into sort of a food shock. After not eating anything all day and then smacking my system with this huge caloric load, it put me into overdrive and it did not have a good result. The rest of the day I pretty much just laid around and felt awful and realized my folly.  Yuck!   Just because I didn’t eat a lot all day didn’t give my body the go ahead to make up for it in one sitting. I have not binged quite like that in years. I can’t see myself doing that again anytime in the near future either.  LESSON LEARNED!

Today we started off by using our extra hour to work out.  When mama stops running, the whole Lj clan stops running, apparently.  I signed us up for the Beat the Blerch December run and my kids both panicked.  One hasn’t run since August, and the other had her last run when we did the last Blerch, half marathon in September!  I’m experienced enough to know now that I can run three miles without training for it, as long as I’m not too far away from activity.  The kids, though, had to prove to themselves that they still have these chops.  As we were running I asked Gigi if it is a good kind of pressure to have a 5K in front of her so she keeps going, and she answered that it’s the best kind of pressure.  I agree.  I like having a race in front of me.  There’s a different level of motivation when you know you have to prove up in public.  I think I’m going to keep a race about every three months lurking in the future with my kids.  It will keep us moving forward and maintaining healthy habits.  The medals don’t hurt, either.  

Baby Steps

A few years ago I went to the spa and Gigi was so jealous.  She begged to return with me the next time.  Pleaded.  Whined!  I think she thought the spa was going to be pepto pink with a sparkly makeup counter and elegant women puffing themselves with lush, sweet smelling powders and applying the prettiest and fanciest makeup.  Sparkles, too.  Of course.  So.  Many.  Sparkles.  I found out that she had to be 13 before she could walk those halls, though, so she elicited a promise from me that at the stroke of midnight on her 13th birthday we’d go to the spa on a school day.  That’s right.  A personal day was promised, so you know this was serious!  These days she’s not a sweet little eight year old anymore, though.  She’s a sweet little junior high kid with responsibilities and tests and stuff, so it took a few weeks until she felt okay enough in the rhythm of her days that she would join me.  Today was that day and it was AWESOME!  We had a great day together.  No pink rooms, a lot of reading, chilling, chatting, giggling, soaking and even eating.  We ate in the spa restaurant and enjoyed some new to us foods.  Both of us tried bibimbap, neither of us loved it but I was thrilled to check that off of my list of curiosities.  Mostly, though, I think we started something.  I love having a buddy to take to the spa with me!!!

{Freddie Sparkles has decided it’s sweater weather and I’m obsessed with these gorgeous mushrooms I’m seeing everywhere!  We need some elves and fairies to fly around them to complete the scene. }

But, of course, I woke up and it was sunny as anything and more beautiful out than any November Pacific Northwest day ever is.  I slept well, rolled over and knew I was going to take a stab at my first post-injury run.  My big idea was that if I did engage the sciatica again during the little 1.5 mile run, at least I was planning to spend the remainder of the day laying in a variety of heated rooms, soaking in pools and steaming my muscles into submission!  Lucky for me, though, the only thing that happened was that I surprised myself by running faster than I thought and nothing hurt.  Not even tonight, I’m still just fine.  I feel soooo happy!!!  I’m still planning on taking it slow and meeting with people, learning exercises and everything, but I’m going to start taking some baby steps.

{Hat Day plus Halloween plus silly string recess plus Monday and I was still smiling!  A good day.👍}

Now onto gossipy goodness.  My gossip is that I love Ben Folds now.  I mean, I have enjoyed him in the past, but I always said that given the opportunity, I’d eat dinner with another celebrity.  Ben always seemed to be compensating for something, making him seem somewhat poseur-esque, not at ease with in his skin with his success, but this new album paints a very different picture of a different man who has grown into his piano and space in the world, I guess.  Perhaps in him I also see me, a person who was occupying space apologetically for years.  A surprise baby who squealed her way through childhood with persistent demands only to grow into the embodiment of my own personal disappointment: obese, insecure, depressed woman who was trying to make a solid go of it.  Faking it till I made it.  But I, too, have grown into my skin over the past few years and feel so much more okay about occupying the space I require to live.  Seeing that in someone else, no matter how much more it’s an inference over reality, just makes me like him more.  I have a habit of developing and enjoying celebrity crushes, and sheesh if I’m not digging on Ben Folds since that concert.  Swoon.  LOL!
The other men on my list?   I like them tall, funny, with glasses if at all possible, negotiable facial hair…

  • Ewan McGregor – he may be short, but he makes up for it in integrity, kindness, authenticity and magical babeliciousness.
  • Stephen Merchent- he’s so tall. And I like tall. He’s also crazily funny as one of the cowriters from the original Office series. And did I mention he’s, like, 6’7″ or something something?  
  • Donnie Wahlberg- my first one.  Never forget.  I haven’t.  He’s got the right stuff and I’m still hanging tough.  I think I’ll be loving him forever.
  • Colin Firth- he reminds me of Bradley.  Smart, serious but with the right person, hilarious.  And a babe.
  • John Krasinski- tall and funny.  Though I have to admit that I’m probably really crushing on Jim from the Office here. 😉
  • Jim Carey is tall AND funny.  More than that, though, he sees the relationship of love and fear and uses that as his divining rod for life.  He chases love.  How can I not love him?  Furthermore, Jenny McCarthy has dated two of the men on my list: Donnie and Jim.  She and I could have a fun girls night together.  
  • The Batch, AKA: Benedict Cumberbatch.  He’s new to my focus group, but after watching him as Sherlock, I went down The Batch’s rabbit hole, exploring anything and everything I could get my hands on.  What I could get my hands on lead me to believe he chases parts because he’s a certain kind of man- ache generally plays misunderstood, sensitive, brilliant characters with a soft spot for love.  I like.  And despite not being ridiculously tall, he reads as tall and that means a lot.  He he.

Alrighty then.  I think we are done here.  

Two Slices of Awesome

Today served up a couple of awesome things that brightened my day exponentially.  

1.  I opened my email to find the advertisement for Beat the Blerch: Christmastime!  On December 3rd, Jude, Guinevere and I will be jogging around Greenlake one, easy time.  I’m looking forward to this race so much!  All the fun of a Blerch, but in the bite size serving of a 5k.  It sounds perfect.  At the very least, I can walk around that lake a lot and run a little.  

2.  I opened another email to find out that my blogger profile went live on the Orca Running site!!!  I’ve been feeling like it’s cool that I was invited, but today when I saw it up on the website, alongside the other Orca Running ambassadors, I felt really proud.  Like I was part of something all of the sudden.  Cue the shoegazing, blushing shuffling of feet awkwardly.

(Don’t even, ever forget to get your friends-and-family, yeah-we-know-her discount of 10% by using the code TAMARASHAZAM17 when you register for any races!!!)

All of this is making me itch HARD for a run.  I’m so ready.  Let’s do this.  I feel totally and completely normal.  Squeeee!  You know, this day started so much darker than it ended.  I love it when a day proves that it is not nearly as terrible as I made it out to be.  😊

Birthday Weekend

We took off to Bellingham on Friday, as soon as the ink was dried on my new drivers license, and spent the afternoon tracing our old roots, before we headed to see Ben Folds.  We moved up to Bellingham in 1997, soon after we started dating, and laid down some roots while we were there.  Bellingham is where we became a married couple, where we found Martha, where we figured out to be homeowners and remodelers, where we learned to grieve a lost baby and, later, give birth to our family.  Bellingham is where I decided to become a teacher.  It’s where we figured out that Bradley should be our stay at home while I should support our family with my job.

But Ben Folds?  Holy cannoli.  I’ve long loved Ben’s funny mix of off the wall hilarity with deep sentimentalism and sensitivity.  I like how he sprinkles swears throughout his songs making me grasp my pearls.  I like his stroytelling.  I like the way he describes situations with metaphor and story rather than just saying it:

Next door, there’s an old man who lived to his 90’s
And one day, passed away in his sleep
And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away
I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way
To tell you that I know we belong
That I know that I am
I am, I am the luckiest

Who doesn’t want to be a part of that couple, I ask you?  The show was just amazing.  It was literally just him and the baby grand on the stage for two and a half hours.  For the second half of the show we were invited to write our song requests on a paper airplane to throw it onstage.  This prompted a lovely second half full of wonder and explanations and backgrounds of songs from Ben.  As it was a season ticket option for the regulars, Ben had to explain a few songs and allow for leaving if needed, but my kids sat through it all.  Toward the end, I was worried that the kids were bored from the length, but I heard Jude exclaim how much he loved Ben Folds and Gigi was sitting next to me singing along.  Fantastic.  Even through the marvelously horrible and cringeworthy B*tches Ain’t Sh*t.  Sit next to your kid through that for a growing experience…  aiyiyi!  I tell you!  It paralleled my New Kids experience, which Ben would hate to hear, but I thought it was interesting that the two shows could exist in such a similar space even though the product is so different.  But holy cow if Ben Folds isn’t just an amazing musician and songwriter.  I’m obsessed with all of his albums again.  

On my actual birthday I was lazy!  I opened some presents, did some crafts, went to Target and Ross to exchange a few gifts then home for a delicious eclair, love, snuggles and of course my birthday wish.  I’ve wished for the exact same thing every year since I started my body project.  So far so good and the wish magic seems to still be working.  I wanted to try a run but decided to hold off for a while longer.  Our busy day left me a little sore yesterday as we walked the streets, revisited three different trails, danced at a concert and visited the old Kobs Farm.  It seemed appropriate to skip it for one more weekend.  

Today we made up for all the playing we did all weekend.  We cleaned house, we cooked the meals for the week, planned outfits and carved pumpkins.  I’m ready for the week…  I think.  Keep me in your thoughts.  As my boss said:

2016 has been ok for me, but a Monday Halloween is difficult when you’re a teacher.  I almost added ‘of second graders’ but I think even high school teachers have a tough go of Halloween!!!

And…  Scene!

A few nights ago we were discussing birthdays.  Specifically, mine and Guinevere’s as we share the blessed month of October as our birth month.  Guinevere and I are making a super duper cool Harry Potter themed planner for her to use for the remainder of the school year.  For this, we need a color printer, so in July I started campaigning for one.  They’re cheap, often free, the ink being the most expensive part to purchase…  I hinted…  I waited…  and finally I kind of blew my gasket. I spat at him that I couldn’t make my gift for her, as I had no printer.  He asked, kindly, if I would like an early birthday gift to which I saucily retorted that I would not, if it were a printer.  A printer is like a vacuum cleaner, and who wants an appliance for a birthday gift?  It stung in that way that stung me as deeply as him and I instantly regretted being so needlessly nasty.  He shyly told me that one would be on my doorstep in three or four days time if I wanted it and I suddenly thought of a million projects I’m dying to do, which need a color printer.  Like these candles.  I’m so making a set of these when my color printer gets here.  For my birthday.  I apologized and confessed my fantasy printer life and things returned to happy normal Lj life.

Tonight I turned and asked him if the Bowflex is accessible in the garage.  It’s been off limits to me for weeks because my birthday is lurking somewhere in there.  I thought we could throw a sheet over whatever it is and I could start working on my arms, shoulders, back and chest.  He asked me if I wanted an early birthday gift and, with stars in my eyes, I suddenly realized he was hinting that he had purchased a free weights set!  He looked back at me, baffled, and said, “My wife.  Who is this woman?  A printer is an appliance, but free weights are a gift?!”  Nope.  He was just offering to rid me of the inconvenience of my gifts sitting in the garage/spaceship/workout space and was allowing an early birthday.  I opted to find a different workout, for now, and a surprise, come 10/29, thankyouverymuch.  But, HA HA HA!

Life is a Carnival

This weekend I took my favorite Pokémon trainer and 11th Doctor (from Dr. Who, of course) to my school carnival. I tried to be a deer and, while I think I really rocked my makeup, it was hard to tell if I was a squirrel, deer or lion. I suppose I’m a ‘squeerion’. He he he! Nonetheless, we had an excellent time helping kids make beaches in bottles, touring the local haunted hallway and running around like a kid is supposed to after eating too much sugar and having more freedom than usual. It was a great night! And I promise I wasn’t trying to be overly serious, I looked like a dog when I smiled! Too confusing!  Look:


Today I was working away in my kitchen, making my evening meals for the week, considering why it is that I’ve been able to maintain my weight without really paying a lot of attention to it.  In fact, I’ve been avoiding weighing myself until I finally bit the bullet yesterday.  As I was peeling carrots and prepping broccoli and Brussels sprouts, as I was pressing steamed cauliflower and potatoes through the ricer, I started considering what I was doing at that very moment: I was preparing healthy (mostly) food for my family to eat for the week.  Because I’m preparing multiple meals at once, I don’t prepare intentional leftovers.  I make serving sizes so there’s not room for overeating.  It’s not intentional, it just kind of naturally happens as a time saver mid-prep of five meals.  I haven’t even been prepping the healthiest food- it’s all about moderation.  We’ve been eating broccoli cheese bakes and cheesy potatoes- just reasonable servings.  It’s been brilliant and, more than anything, a pound saver, too.  I have my evenings back as well as healthy meals for dinner.  Better than all of that, though, is I never have to answer the ‘What do you want for dinner?’ question that I hate answering more than any other, that one.

We also attended a funeral for my best friend’s dad this week.  It was really shocking, in a way, to see all of those photographs with the artifacts from my own childhood, right there.  It’s funny how you really curate and preserve your own family and home, but it took me by surprise to see all of the same photographs, furniture, and artifacts from someone else’s life and realize how much my life merged with theirs.  What a flashback and beautiful service.

{I made this for my Orca Running Ambassador bio pic and thought I’d share here, too. }

Cheers for a great week.  It’s parent teacher conferences for me with a celebration on Friday to kick off my birthday weekend.  I just happened to see that Ben Folds, whom I have adored for years, has come on tour with just his piano and will be playing the Mount Baker Theater in Bellingham this Friday.  I saw him once when he opened for John Mayer, whom I don’t enjoy, but I’ve been waiting for the just right opportunity to see him again- not at a college or in a big stadium again.  I wanted a pared down experience, small venure, small band, and this is perfect.  I know he swears like a sailor, but after Pitbull and Macklemore made the scene in our house I realized my kids have heard it before.  When considering leaving them in a nearby hotel or bringing them along, we decided to bring them along!  I’m SO EXCITED to finally see Ben with my whole family!!!

Moving Forward

I haven’t been terribly motivated to post things when I feel like I’m not even doing anything.  Ha ha!  Apparently to post I also need to have taken a run, done some dynamic calorie counting or lost some pounds, but I’m doing NONE of that right now.  I’m kind of glad for the break, too.  I’m going to speak frankly, now about why:

First, I love my students and class.  At this point, they are mine and you can’t have them.  Even if one leaves, imagine the toughest kid ever in any of your classes you had as a child and realize that he or she belongs.   With me.  Once they’re in my room, I love them like they’re mine and I want them.  Those are my people.  I work well with them, we love each other and work well together.  My class is mine and I wouldn’t exchange anyone at all at this point.  

Without going into it overly much, I have the biggest caseload I’ve ever had as a teacher with both the huge class size of 29 kids, who are also heavily impacted with unique needs.  I’m not going to tell about numbers or specifics or anything, but I have more mandated, legal documents requiring specific services for specific kids in my classroom than I’ve ever had.  My days are jam-packed to the point that I rarely even have time to eat my lunch.  If I’m not working with a student directly, I’m walking around putting out the many fires that light when there are that many spirited kids in one small learning space at once.  What I’ve realized is that with a 24:1, student/teacher ratio in play that I, the teacher, have enough time to circulate once around the class, looking at all the work happening, helping as needed and can get back to the first kid before frustration hits.  29 kids, on the other hand, means that by the time I get back to the seven year old I began with, he or she is often in tears and then next kid has started some beef with the kid next to him about a pencil or something similar, not worth fighting for and, in the meantime, the office has called and so and so needs to get ready for early dismissal while these three kids leave for special services….  it’s intense.  Each day when I get home I’m often in tears, not of anger, sadness or frustration, but of sheer exhaustion.  I wouldn’t want to run or work out if I could during the week, quite frankly.  Perhaps this injury was really and truly a gift that will allow me to forgive myself this break from training and focus on being a solid mom, wife and teacher without worrying about the workout all the time.  I can be fairly relentless.  

There are bright spots, though:

  • I just weighed myself for the first time since the injury hit and am holding steady at 199.  I haven’t gained anything.  Which is good.  Right after the injury hit I tried to get dressed one morning and my jeans wouldn’t close.  It was water, obviously, but damn if that didn’t freak me out!  199 means I’m doing this right and I need to just stay the course.
  • I had two friends who offered to help me figure out how to exercise around the sciatica and help heal iI was so flattered to hear from the both of them and am planning to meet up to chat as soon as conferences are over.
  • My hip feels better.  I keep trying to tell myself I feel healed, but then I go and work at the costume carnival after a full week of work and feel the tightening happening again.  I’m not healed, just better.  I need to play this smart.
  • I realized I can still be an Orca Running Ambassador!  I’ve been privately so disappointed that I might not be able to run for a while.  Three months seemed long, but I know people with injuries that take a year or more to heal and worried that I might be lame for the year, unable to partner with Orca, but that’s not the case.  I’m in!  I’m going to spend some time tonight and tomorrow getting the campaign ready.  Hopefully I will get to see you at some of the races and you’ll save a few pennies off of the entry fee!  (Use code TAMARASHAZAM17 to get 10% off race fees.)  *

I got way into motivational speakers this week, too, and fell in love a little more with Jim Carrey.  

I discovered Steve Jobs, again, and Alan Watts for the first time and meditated a lot on my purpose in life. How passion should motivate me. What my gifts to the world are.

It may seem overly touchy feely but I needed to hear these messages this week.  Where I am in life is on a rather demanding and challenging path.  I’ll get through it, but in the meantime it’s helpful to conclude, again, that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.  I’m in the right place.  

*Full disclosure: in return for promoting Orca races I am being compensated with two entry fees to races.  That said, they are races I was already planning to run: Better Half and Iron Horse Half.  Their races are well organized and the people who run them are really personable and nice.  I was honored that they would ask me to be an ambassador and I’m excited to be on their team!