My First Blog Post


The quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal.

— Merriam-Webster

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been chasing wellness most of my adult life in some way. It’s one of the reasons I chose to become a physical therapist. I wanted to also help others feel well, and it’s not always about medicine. I’ve also been some version of vegetarian my entire adult life, finally making the full jump to vegan over two years ago.

What exactly does it mean, though, to feel well? One could argue that there are many facets to wellness. It’s not just about your physical well-being, but also social, spiritual, emotional, and environmental factors. If one of these is off, you feel unsettled. And sometimes it’s challenging to figure out which one of these elements is the culprit.

We tend to focus on physical wellness, right? What’s my cholesterol? How many medications do I rely on to stay healthy? How can I better manage my chronic diseases? How can I achieve and maintain a healthy weight?  How can I keep up with my kids?

I know I asked myself these questions when I first began my own wellness journey. I was overweight after having 2 kids, dealing with persistent pain, and wearing the largest size clothes in my life. Not exactly great for my emotional wellness! Does this story sound familiar?

So I began with a goal. My goal was to lose weight. 30 lbs to be exact. I started making use of my YMCA membership and used the food and activity tracker myfitnesspal to reach my goal. It took me about a year to lose the weight, but I knew I wanted to keep working toward better fitness. I was already bored with gym equipment.

In the lobby of my local YMCA, I saw a flyer for a local 5k, the Ashland Harvest Run held every October. Running 3.1 miles seemed like a daunting, yet achievable task. The best way to reach a goal is to break it down into smaller ones. I worked toward running a mile without stopping, then 2 miles. And then it was race day. I ran/walked the entire thing, finishing in the middle of the pack! It was so exciting… the whole race experience, meeting my goal, and performing better than I expected. I officially caught the running bug that day. A friend of mine convinced me to join the Sports Backers/YMCA 10k training team, and this is where I met one of my best friends. She would convince me that I was capable of even more… the marathon. A few training teams later, we have a solid crew of running sisters… sole sisters… and my life is exponentially better because of them! So great for my social wellness! I have now completed 6 marathons. I’m currently training for number 7, the Marine Corps Marathon. I’m also now a coach with the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team with Pink Nation.  

What other crazy do I do, you ask? Well, my journey inspired my husband to find his tribe, too, and he started like me at our local YMCA. He eventually found his way to CrossFit, and he is now a level 1 trainer. I told him I would never try CrossFit unless he opened his own gym. In July of 2017, I had to eat my words, because he started a box with some business partners! He has even competed at the Masters level with some success, placing first in the Festivus games and third in the SuperFit games in 2018. We have since left this business endeavor, but Ralph is working out at a new box and focusing on being an athlete for a bit.

I enjoy the new challenges of CrossFit. Everyone is good at something in the box. Maybe you can’t do handstands, but you can lift weight! Maybe I can’t lift as much as you, but I can do pistol squats! The day I climbed that rope for the first time… well, I felt like Shalane Flannagan crossing the finish line of the NYC marathon! But the best part about CrossFit? It’s been great for our marriage.

I’m also spending some time fostering my creativity. I’ve recently launched a tie-dye shirt business, and I am dabbling in turning my favorite quotes into mixed media art. I hope to sell these at some point as well.

So, here I am. A 44 year old mother of two, married to a talented CrossFit coach, working as a physical therapist, 6 time marathoner, Vegan, artist, and sometimes CrossFit athlete. This sounds more impressive on paper than it really is. This is just me, chasing wellness.

Through this blog, I hope you find inspiration in your own journey. I plan to share with you recipes, running stories and tips, CrossFit stories, vegan tips, nutrition information, fitness clothing reviews, vegan food reviews, a bit of art, and fun features of living in Richmond! Thanks for reading!

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Do You Remember the Pace Picante Sauce Commercial?

I met the man who delivered the famous “New York City?” line!

How in the world did this happen, you ask?

My husband and I were out enjoying a beer at Origin Beer Lab, a local craft brewery in a sleepy little town called Ashland, which boasts its train town status and claims to be the Center of the Universe. 

It was a beautiful afternoon, and this place had large, garage doors that they opened in nice weather with bar-style seating on either side of the counters that also occupied this space. 

With the establishment located parallel to the train tracks and the Amtrak station just down the way, it’s a frequent phenomenon to see trains pass through, making part of the entertainment of enjoying an adult beverage here.

Enjoying a beer at Origin Beer Lab as an Amtrak train passes by. Photo by author.

The brewery wasn’t super crowded, but it was busy enough that we were making use of the more communal seating at the outdoor bar. Another couple sat down with us and struck up a conversation. And then an older gentleman joined us as well.

He held our attention with a most captivating story of how he met his lady friend, who lives in town, and frequently takes the train from up north to visit her. He was clearly enamored with her, because as he told his story, his eyes almost sparkled. 

We didn’t get into details about what he did for a living, just that he lived in New York and traveled a lot. 

After he finished his beer, he said his goodbyes and went on his merry way. 

We and the other couple seated with us commented on how nice and interesting he was.

Very soon after he left, the owner of the brewery came over to chat with us.

“Do you know who that was?” he asked.

“No. But he was really nice!” we agreed.

He continued the story. “Do you know that Pace Picante sauce commercial? The one where the old man says, ‘New York City?’” which he said with inflection just like in the televised ad. “Well, you were just talking to the guy who said that! He’s a regular here.”

We were shocked to have such an intimate conversation with someone so notorious!

His name? Raynor Scheine. A stage name, obviously. But since we met him, I’ve realized how many other things I’ve seen him in. 

He played an expert witness in the trial in “My Cousin Vinnie” and was also in several other movies. 

This is now one of those stories my husband and I tell frequently. 

Raynor Scheine may not be the most famous person I’ve ever met, but he’s certainly the most famous person I’ve interacted with for so long, and he was very gracious. 

It just goes to show that you never know whose path you may cross, even in the most unlikely places, and it may just be someone sort of famous!


Have you ever met someone famous and had not known it? I’d love to hear about it!

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

On Finding Joy

And it feels strange

I know. This is an unusually optimistic post for me. But, yes, lately, I have been feeling joy.

It’s not necessarily a comfortable feeling for me, but I’m trying to accept it and get used to it. 

Why the uptick in mood, you ask? 

I’ve finally taken a bit of my own advice. I tell my patients that there is no gold star for completing rehab without pain medications. If it manages their pain to allow them to participate in physical therapy with me, they should take it. Likewise, I’ve figured out that there is no prize in recovering from my past traumas without help boosting my serotonin. I started taking Prozac over a month ago. 

It was challenging at first. I felt so very tired. I was slightly nauseated. And I felt completely unmotivated to exercise. But I also knew these feelings would pass, and they finally did.

Now I feel as though the cobwebs are clearing. It’s as if my brain had been under this immense cloud of darkness with no hope of light. Now that I’m on this medicine, the clouds are dissipating, and I have felt moments of peace and immense joy.

The best feeling is being with my family, everyone happy, with their significant others, and thriving. I am at peace. Sometimes I simply have to take a moment to take it all in. These moments bring me goosebumps and warmth, and sometimes even tears. These are not feelings I’m accustomed to. 

There is so much injustice in this world, especially these days, that we can easily become overwhelmed, and I tend to soak all of it up like a sponge.

I’ve found it easier to take news breaks now. I get enough through social media to be aware of what’s going on, but I don’t indulge in NPR every single morning on my way to work. If I see or hear about something terrible that I want to explore more, I will do so. Otherwise, my driving soundtrack has been music recently. 

I was afraid that this medicine would make me feel nothing. I don’t want to be numb to the suffering in this world. But I also don’t want to be overcome by it. 

With this, I can be a bit more objective. I can make a plan to combat injustice. I can still write about my feelings. But I do find that I’m more rational. 

Initially, my writing suffered, as evidenced by my lack of proficiency and my drop in monthly earnings on Medium. But there are other reasons for this, too, like having more work hours and needing the time to make some major life choices, like adding a second job and finding a new car. (Also the reason for the second job!)

But sometimes I find myself doing a mindless task like driving, and it hits me that I’m happy. It’s simply the strangest feeling.

Is this how normal people feel? I ask myself. 

I don’t think I’ve been normal my entire life. I had a therapist tell me once that I was born with depression based on my recurring childhood night terror. It was of a thunderstorm where the thunder told me that I was a bad child. This was one of my earliest memories, this nightmare. I was around three years old when they started.

Ugh. Born with depression. What a miserable assessment of my life. 

The abuse, molestation, and attempted rape I endured when I was nine definitely didn’t help, nor did the lack of attention these atrocities received after I revealed what happened to me. There was no justice for me. I still wonder if the boy who abused me went on to hurt other girls. 

But even so, my underlying mantra is shifting. 

It used to be my life, my world don’t matter.

Now it’s life is good

And it’s all because I had a doctor who listened and prescribed the right medication. 

Is it really that simple?


Do you battle with depression and anxiety? As we wrap up the month of May for Mental Health Awareness Month, I am sharing bits of my struggle on my main blog and on Medium. I realize this is deeply personal, but I hope that sharing will encourage someone else who is struggling to seek the help they need. We only get one life, and we deserve to make the most of our time living it. 

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy. 

It Was a Long 5 Miles on the Green Loop of my Ragnar Trail Race

Trail running at night may not be my thing

My one and only trail Ragnar relay race was in 2017. It’s an annual event in Richmond held in Pocahontas State Park in April. It was 36 hours of little sleep, lots of running, and time with great friends. 

That particular year, Mother Nature decided to bless us with some early summer weather. Temperatures climbed into the upper 80s during the day accompanied by Virginia’s typical humidity. And although it was cooler at night, the air was just as thick.

We each had to run one of 3 loops once, all technical, and with one loop surely to be in the middle of the night. This was the loop I was most anxious about. 

Relaxing between runs at the Ragnar trail relay event. They had lots of hammocks and coffee! Photo by author.

Fortunately, I kind of won the lottery. With a 7-mile, 6-mile, and 5-mile loop, somehow I managed to draw the right straw. My night run was the shortest loop. 

This is how I ended up setting an alarm for 1:30 AM. Not that I got any sleep waiting for my turn to run, anyway. But I did try!

My estimated start time was around 2:00 AM. I made my way to the exchange area and waited my turn. 

My person arrived, the group bib was donned, my headlamp lit, and my running flashlight engaged. It was time to begin my night run.

Starting the run didn’t feel so scary. I could light my path far ahead with my headlamp, and I could illuminate my feet with the flashlight. 

However, pretty soon, I seemed to be all alone. I think I ran about a mile and a half solo, and in that time, I began to doubt if I was even on the right trail! I did finally see a green flag, indicating that I was, gratefully, still on my intended path.


My feet landed on something that was definitely not inorganic. 

Oh, shit! Was that a frog? Oh, no! 

I never intended to harm the wildlife. And as this race coincided with my first official weekend as a vegan, I felt extra guilty. But I kept going. 

Suddenly I became aware of shadows flying toward my headlamp. 

Moths. It’s just moths, I tell myself.

But then there was something larger coming after those moths. 

Bats. Those are definitely bats, I realize. 

Of course. I’m providing an avenue for a feast for the bats. The moths, attracted to my lights, with the bats swooping in for a tasty snack after them.


I try not to think about it anymore. I tell myself I will feel better once I see another human.

Finally, this happened. How am I running faster than anyone else out here? I ask myself. But I’m grateful for the interaction, as I was really wondering if I was losing my mind or lost in the woods until that point. 

Running solo on strange trails was an invitation for my mind to wander to places it shouldn’t and for the onset of doubt in my abilities to navigate. 

I was never happier to see a finish line in my life!

Thrilled to see my teammate, I happily transferred the bib to her and made my way back to our tent. It was time to try to get some sleep so I could repeat this process in the daylight in a few hours!

My night running experience was weird enough and the lack of sleep was disturbing enough that I decided Ragnar was a one and done for me.

My shirt expressed exactly how I felt about running after the event! Photo by author.


Lead photo is with my team after we finished our runs. Photo by author.

Have you ever done a night trail run or a Ragnar relay? I’d love to hear about it!

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

My Break from Running is Over

The roads were calling

After a disappointing Spring marathon training season that ended in a canceled marathon as we were running it, I decided to take a break from running. I found myself completely unmotivated to run or work out, so I listened to my body. 

And life, as happens sometimes, got in the way of running. 

Work became really busy as census picked up and I was needed more. Long work hours also left me too tired to run. But recent patient interactions have been highly rewarding, and for that, I’m grateful.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time deciding on a new vehicle since my 15-year-old car has finally waived the white flag. My poor girl is tired. I keep telling her she won’t have to go much longer, and that she has served me well. I have a car on order, though, which should arrive in June. I’m definitely not looking forward to a car payment. 

After three weeks off, the roads began to call to me, so I listened again. Mother’s Day was my first run back, and I only ran 3 miles. 

It was a group run, and I surprised myself with my ability to keep up with runners who I know are faster than me! And as we returned to our cars, my brain was like, “That’s all? We normally run farther than that on Sunday!” But I didn’t want to overdo things after taking so much time off.

Did I lose my aerobic base? Probably not. I do believe that I helped spare my body a greater risk of injury by giving it a break. And I certainly needed it, because I was feeling a bit burnt out. 

Running should be fun, not tedious. I don’t have to do this. I get to do this. I have to remind myself of that every now and then. 

The next couple of months will be weird fitness-wise. June begins marathon training season again for fall races. And I will return as a coach for my team. But I will also be traveling to London. I’m not sure if I will run on vacation or not. It’s a school trip, and I have no control over the itinerary. They have also encouraged us to only take a carry-on bag for this 10-day adventure, so that limits what I can bring. All problems for another day. But I’m certain we will be walking a ton!

I will focus on finding a workout routine again, with no pressure to adhere to a set schedule. I just need to return to the simple joy of movement, the meditative time on my feet during solo runs, and the therapy of conversation during group runs. 


The lead photo is on my last run, where I was greeted by the neighborhood horses. They even came over to say hello after snapping this photo! They seemed disappointed that I didn’t have treats for them.

Have you ever battled exercise burnout? How did you cope? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

My Hot Flashes are a Danger to Backyard Wildlife

The tale of an unexpected house guest

Dear lovely wild birds in my backyard: just because there is an open door, it does not mean you need to fly in and explore my home. I definitely won’t hurt you, as you simply found yourself in the wrong place, and the open door was completely my fault. But you really must leave!

This was my experience the other morning. 

As I am in my late 40s and dealing with the onset of menopause, I have been getting terrible hot flashes in the morning. I’ve grown accustomed to opening the door to the back porch while I eat my breakfast, getting a bit of relief from the inferno that is my hormonal body while the air is still cool in the dawn hours.

An example of the beauty that let himself into our house! Photo by Skyler Ewing on Pexels.com

I certainly didn’t expect company to invite themselves in, especially in the form of a bird. Not just any bird, but a tufted titmouse. 

What’s a tufted titmouse, you ask? It’s about the size of a cardinal, but two shades of grey, and with a crest similar to the red bird. 

My dog and cat were delighted with the entertainment from our unintended guest. My cat especially was like, “I got this, Mom! I will get him for you!” chasing that poor bird to exhaustion. And my dog insisted on helping the cat, who has on occasion lived up to the promise of catching said bird. 

This guy thought he could solve the problem of our uninvited guest. Photo by author.

In the few minutes that this scenario played out, I was sure I would have to call work to let them know I’d be late. What a most unusual excuse for tardiness! I don’t think there’s a checkmark for “flying bird stuck in employee’s house.”

The only thing I could think to do initially was to open all of the doors on the first floor and hope the poor bird would find his way out. I kept following him around the house until eventually, he made his great escape through the front door. 

I suppose I could have gotten a net out of the garage to try to catch him as my plan B, but fortunately, plan A worked! Plus, the net may have harmed him. 

The best part of the story is that the bird escaped to live another day. But the second best part was having a great tale to tell my patients at work, and this was a particularly entertaining one!

But I will absolutely have to reassess my strategy for managing hot flashes.

I think I will simply eat my breakfast on the back porch from now on!


I’m completely overwhelmed with how hot I get during these episodes! I don’t know what I’m going to do once it’s hot in the summer, too! Does anyone have any tips for managing these? I’d love to hear about it!

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

Days that Physical Therapists Live For

Yesterday was a good day

Sometimes in the world of a healthcare provider, it’s easy to become discouraged. Too much hurt and injustice can become overwhelming. It’s no wonder that nurses are leaving their profession in droves post-pandemic.

But rehab professionals are a bit different. Not that we don’t have our struggles, too, because we absolutely do. But some days are simply magical and restore your faith in the life path you have chosen.

Yesterday was one of those days. 

There are two things I always tell my patients. I tell them that it’s my job to help them get their lives back. The next thing I tell them is that it’s their job to show up and do the work.

All of my patients showed up yesterday. Two in particular had me almost in tears, I was so proud of them.

My first was the grumpiest McGrumperson I’ve had in a while. When your injury robs you of mobility and speech at a young age, you deserve to grieve. You even deserve to get a little pissed off. But I still want you to try. 

This poor guy was starting to give up. I could see it. All he wanted to do was stay in bed and feel sorry for himself. I get it. But, oh, how I wanted him to try. 

Today, I had a breakthrough with him. I convinced him to sit on the edge of the bed and eat. And then somehow managed to convince him to get in the wheelchair and go to the gym with me. 

Walking is so much of a spiritual part of being human, and when you can’t, it’s really humbling. So my primary focus, especially in patients post-stroke, is to work on this. Studies show that intensive gait training is crucial to recovery.

Today I used an old-school trick with an ace wrap to help my patient move his affected leg more effectively. And he could walk in the parallel bars with very little help from me. So we took the show to the rolling walker. 

He walked 75 feet on that first try! He was grinning ear to ear. I had goosebumps! And so we tried twice more. 

When I got him back to his room, he simply couldn’t stop smiling. He even reached out to shake my hand and thank me in his own way. I made sure his nurse knew of his success so she could be excited with him. She said he was still very happy when she checked on him. 

I’m hoping this is his turning point.

My second success story is another patient post-stroke. 

Knee pain in his affected leg was limiting his progress. Pain along the joint line as he described is usually arthritis. My guess is that since he has lost some motor control, his joint has to pick up the slack. But it was getting so bad that his knee would begin to buckle when he was fatigued. 

I tried kinesiotape to provide more support and proprioceptive feedback to his knee. I dropped his pain level from a 7 to a 3 out of 10. Not only did I reduce his pain, but he was also able to climb the stairs for the first time! And, again, I had a patient grinning ear to ear. And again, I had goosebumps. All wins in my book.

If every day could be this amazing, where your patients showed up to fully participate, and all of the interventions you chose actually worked, I would never feel like work was actually work. I’m very grateful for a good day!


Are you a healthcare provider or have been a patient in rehab? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

Stop Telling People with Anxiety to Calm Down

Here are some things to say and do instead

Keep calm and carry on. Should this be our mantra in this world full of danger, strife, and stress? Tell that to our overly anxious, overthinking brains. 

As I lay in my bed, tossing and turning in that witching hour between 3:30 and 4:30 AM this morning, I contemplated my own anxieties. Trying to solve all of the world’s problems during this time of night is never successful, but I can’t seem to turn off the intrusive thoughts. 

By experience, I know that upon wakening, the catastrophes my brain was creating during my restless attempt at slumber will never seem as insurmountable in the daylight hours. 

I hate that I have anxiety, but I do believe that we all have it to some degree. If you don’t, you’re lying. At least, I tell my patients and family this. 

See, sometimes I look at my own trials with anxiety as a gift. Even though at times I struggle to manage my own thoughts, I have a gift for talking others out of theirs. Overwhelming anxiety, panic attacks, and fear of falling all come down to the feeling that you are not in control of your life, and initiating a fight or flight response. 

With my family members who suffer, I try to get them to break down their anxieties into manageable tasks. We look at all of the problems, list them out, and tackle them one by one, starting with the easiest or most pertinent problems to solve. 

With the recent death of my father, in those moments after his heart stopped, my mom was understandably overwhelmed. But she had some decisions to make and needed to decide pretty quickly. My dad had never discussed his wishes upon his death, and he left the choices to her. So I was able to get her to talk to me about her own wishes. And then she could reach a comfort level about making choices for him. 

My daughter has a predictable response to end-of-semester deadlines every fall, without fail. She’s a perfectionist and has maintained a 4.0 throughout her college career. I’ve been able to help her figure out how to manage every time. Sometimes it’s asking a professor for an extension. Sometimes it’s being her editor for papers. Sometimes it’s simply reminding her that she is loved and safe. 

And I’ve encountered friends during panic attacks as well. The best phrase to hear when you are in fight or flight mode is you are safe. That’s it. That’s the primary message. If they will let you, hold their hand. This grounds them. Give them something to focus on besides their sense of panic. Tell me five things you can see, four things you can hear, and three things you can smell

I needed to do this as a coach on one of my group runs. I talked one of my team members through a panic episode when she was harassed by someone on our route. These tactics really helped. 

With my patients, my approach is a bit different. I try to address the emotional response to healing with all of the people in my care. As a physical therapist in inpatient rehabilitation, I often spend over an hour at a time with my patients, providing lots of opportunities to address their fears and concerns. 

I try to anticipate anxieties. I imagine how I would feel in their situation. It’s especially challenging for those who are experiencing a major medical event for the first time. Feeling vulnerable on that level is supremely humbling. 

The witching hour is definitely something we address. I kind of joke about it, talking about the things that race through their mind at 4:00 AM. It’s surprising how many of my patients give me this shocked look when I do, as if I exposed their little secret. I educate them about discharge planning, stages of healing, fears of loss of independence, and typical patterns in recovery from their illness or injuries. These are the thoughts that often run through your brain in rehab. 

Granting as many ways to control their situations is one element of care that can make a big difference in the anxiety level of my patients. It can be as simple as asking them which side of the bed they would like to get out of, showing them how they can adjust their hospital bed themselves, or choosing what part of their therapy they would like to tackle first. 

Sometimes my patients are so overwhelmed by a fear of falling that it makes participating in therapy difficult. I rely on a mantra my favorite running coach told my team: Breathe, relax, believe. First, I get my patient to look me in the eyes, as often they need something to focus on. Hi there! Good. Next, I ask them to breathe. We take a deep breath together. Exhale. And then I ask them to relax. We are going to get through this together. I promise I won’t let you fall. I know it’s hard for you to trust someone you just met. But I’m here to help you get your life back, and this is how we start. Your job is simply to show up and do the work. My goal is not to make you miserable in the process, so if we start getting out of bed, and it’s terrible for you, we’ll stop. And I keep my promises.

Breaking down big tasks into parts, once again, is another element of managing anxiety in mobility training. Getting out of bed, for example, becomes a more complicated endeavor when you’ve taken inventory of your body, and nothing seems to work like it used to. I help my patients problem-solve based on their new to them bodies. And as we work on the skills, they begin to restore what was once lost. 

Sometimes my patients are dealing with side effects of medications that they don’t understand. For example, pain medications can alter thought processes, and other drugs like albuterol used in breathing treatments can increase your heart rate and make you feel anxious. Explaining these effects to my patients, letting them know that I understand and that they are not crazy, goes a long way in earning their trust so that we can get on with the therapy for the day. 

The one thing I’ve learned that doesn’t help my family, friends, or patients when they are burdened with anxiety is telling them to calm down. A brain in fight or flight does not respond well to this. People simply need to know that they are safe, that someone cares, and to be given things they can control. An anxious brain often can’t do this. This is when an objective person can help. 


Do you deal with anxiety? Do you have people in your life that do? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

I Promised Myself I’d Take Time Off from Running

But this feels weird

Here’s the deal. I was supposed to run America’s Toughest Road Race, the Blue Ridge Marathon, the other weekend. And I did. Well, sort of. 

Before the race I didn’t finish due to weather and course closure.

The race was canceled due to severe thunderstorms about 6 miles into my race. We made it 9 miles to the stop where buses would pick us up and return us to the start. And then my race was over.

I fully expected to still be recovering this weekend, just over a week past my race. But I didn’t need to. 

I expected to take the month of May off from running, devoting more time to essential strength training and cross training, giving my body a break from the relentless miles from my spring marathon season, as we begin the fall training season in June. 

As expected, then, I’ve done absolutely nothing for two weeks! It was really weird to sleep in on my long run day. 

I’ve worked. A lot. Census is up at the hospital with multiple admissions nearly every day, making me in high demand. 

I took a day to go visit my older daughter who won an award at school. A nice ceremony followed by dinner out. A whirlwind tour of central Virginia. 

My younger daughter needed a prom dress. We got lucky and scored a bargain at Ross. A beautiful dress in a size smaller than she has been wearing. She’s losing weight like crazy. 

I’ve been cuddling with my fur babies in the morning with no need to get up early to run. I think they love it. 

Letting myself heal, both physically and emotionally, is important. I know this. But I also need to find the motivation to get into my garage gym and do some work. 

I’m also struggling to find the motivation to write right now. There was a time that my mind spun with all kinds of ideas. I don’t know where that part of my brain has gone. 

The Richmond Road Runners Club held their annual banquet. It was so much fun watching my friends win awards, especially those we recognized in our community for their important contributions to the Richmond running community. It felt like giving perfect gifts at Christmas! And the speaker was phenomenal.

With Martinus Evans, AKA 300poundsandrunning on Instagram. He spoke about the importance of making the sport of running accessible to everyone.

Part of me feels guilty for not running. And I feel really guilty for not running a marathon or finding the motivation to finish the one I started. I need to get over that. But I’m also feeling a bit burned out from an exhausting training season that led to nowhere. 

Coaching for the fall marathon training season begins next month. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And I can’t wait to usher in a new group of first-time marathoners. Surely running with my team will inspire me to fall in love with running again.

It will be nice to begin coaching again! With my fellow Pink Nation crew.


I’ve dealt with post-marathon blues before. Maybe this isn’t much different. Post-almost-marathon-melancholy? Maybe that’s more accurate. I did all of the work without the big, triumphant finish. Has this ever happened to you? 

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy. 

Why Buying a Car Sucks

I’ve only ever purchased one car that I actually went shopping for. I was still in college, likely going to graduate school the next year, and needed to have a way to get there!

No longer tucked safely into a pedestrian-friendly, small college campus, I’d have no choice but to obtain transportation to travel from a suburban apartment to the urban campus of my graduate school. 

I went shopping with my dad. Under the guise that my earned scholarship money would be utilized to purchase said car, we scoured dealerships for a sound, reliable, used car whose price wouldn’t break the bank.

I ended up with an early 90s Toyota Corolla, and I kept it until 2005. My poor husband ended up driving this later because I usually had the responsibility of taking the kids to caregivers and preschool. 

My current vehicle was a bargain from a friend who maintained a fleet of cars for his business. He kept them until they were out of their bumper-to-bumper warranty, and found a worthy recipient at an amazing price. I thought I’d won the lottery. 

Alas, I’ve driven this car for 12 years, and in its advanced age, I’ve poured about $1,000 into it about every 6 months. Tires, brakes, fixing the air conditioning, a new starter. And the key fob no longer works. It’s at almost 300,000 miles. Lovely. But we’ve reached the “add oil every week and pray” stage of its life. I’m not happy about it.

The thing is, I love my car. It’s a Honda. Sure, it’s got some problems. There’s definitely something going on with the power steering, as the steering wheel no longer sits level. It vibrates violently when accelerating between 50 and 60 mph. (My daughter went so far as to give it the nickname “Parkinson’s Car.”) And it also complains with extreme turns. And apparently, I will receive a recall notice soon, something about the potential for the rear axle to spontaneously combust. Sigh.

But, oh, the agony of acquiring a car payment. Who can actually afford a car right now? 

I almost bought a used Toyota Rav 4. I’m lucky that I have a friend in the car business. It seemed like a good deal. 

I only had 4 requests: a functional key fob, cloth seats (because Anne the Vegan cannot drive a car with leather seats!), Bluetooth, and a rear camera. You know, most of the features of every modern-day car.

I pulled out of the dealer lot in my potential new car, drove to a restaurant to meet my family, got out of the car, hit that key fob button, and NOTHING. 

Shit. The key fob doesn’t work! And as OCD as I am about locking my vehicle, I love that satisfying sound of the beep indicating my car is safely locked. 

Plus, sitting in that Toyota was like visiting a foreign country. Nothing felt like my Honda. 

And on the way home with it, all of the safety features popped up on the dash with errors. Nice. I called my friend. She was speechless. She sent a tow truck for it, and we are starting over. 

So, here’s the dilemma in the current car market. We typically buy used ones, however, they are so expensive still! So do I go with something smaller and new? This is where I’m leaning. 

But I will miss my old car. I love her so much. She’s been reliable until recently. She has a 6-disc CD changer, which makes the music lover in me very happy! We became inseparable for the year I did home health. And she has taken me on numerous adventures. 

Is it weird to grieve the loss of a car? 

Well, I don’t know what I will end up buying, but I will have to make a decision soon. And I will have to say goodbye to my beloved car.


I hate that I will have to work more just to have a car to drive to work. And I am the absolute worst at making decisions about big purchases. The whole situation makes me a giant ball of anxiety. Wish me luck.

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

What Guides Your Moral Compass?

Mine is guided by empathy. 

There’s nothing necessarily wrong if yours is guided by your religion, but let’s be clear about what your religion teaches. 

If your leaders are teaching you things like, “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” or that certain groups of people don’t deserve God’s grace, then maybe your religion isn’t truly righteous. 

Perhaps those of us who are seemingly good people without the guidance of organized religion are even more righteous. Why, you ask? Because we are good people without the threat of eternal damnation being held over our heads.

Can you believe that some religions teach that empathy is a sin? That trying to relate to others is overindulging in your own feelings? By attempting to relate to others, you submit to and accept their personal sins and become sinful yourself. Such are the teachings of certain theologians. 

Some of these go so far as to say that the general cultural shift to be more empathetic has broken down the very values of Christianity. 

But empathy is not a sin. It is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 

I eat with empathy since I follow a vegan lifestyle. Why should an animal have to suffer for me to survive? I can thrive on plants. 

I’m so empathetic that I rescue spiders from my house. They just found their way into a place where they aren’t supposed to be. 

This brings me to the rash of shootings making the news lately; those of people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Crimes that can seemingly only happen in gun-crazy America. 

But in the past month, we have had 3 shooting incidents that seem way out of proportion to the supposed crime of entering someone’s property. A Black boy was shot when he showed up at the wrong address to pick up his siblings; his elderly white male shooter is free on bond. A 20-year-old woman was shot and killed because she dared to turn around in someone’s driveway. And two teenage girls were shot when they entered the wrong car, mistaking it for their ride. 

This violence is senseless. Did any of these shooters actually feel threatened by these people? Startled, maybe. But did they really think they were going to die? I doubt it. But they have pent-up anger and a gun, just waiting for an excuse to pull the trigger. 

Perhaps if they had taken a moment to pause, to try to understand the intent of the person in their space, maybe they could have seen these actions as they were: simple mistakes. 

The world needs more empathy. 

If we could imagine living in the world of another human, maybe we could reach a better understanding of all of the injustices in this world. But more than just thinking with empathy, we need to act with empathy.

In order to correct the wealth gaps, racial disparities, ageism, and ableism of our world, we actually need to consider what real people experience in modern America. Lawmakers need to get their hands out of the deep pockets of corporations funding their campaigns and try to understand the constituents they represent. And based on the discriminatory teachings of evangelical circles, I can’t say that guidance through a religious lens is the correct path for a just America. 

When your rules and laws encroach on personal freedoms, Americans are not free. America should not be a theocracy. We are not a Christain nation. Whites are not superior. Mothers should have more rights than a fetus. Justice should be dealt equally; no separate rules for the white and wealthy. And guns should not have more rights than people. 

I’m increasingly disenchanted with the current situation in the United States. We have more guns than people. We have the worst healthcare system of any developed nation. Our life expectancies are dropping. Guns are the leading cause of death in children. We have the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country. Where do we go from here? 

One thing is certain. If we don’t try to understand these injustices and problems, even if they don’t seem like they will affect us personally, we will not make progress as a nation. We need to seek empathy as a guide. We need to act with empathy and help make this country better. This is no time for apathy. 


Are you frustrated with the state of the US as well? I’d love to hear about it.

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.