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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

bilbl_superToday’s AIF was another 5K, but this one was special because it was my first one with Tinkerbell.  She and I have each done many 5Ks on our own, and she even finished the Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon in Disneyland last weekend, but up to this point, we’d never done a race together.  Our original plan was to do run/walk intervals, but my bad cold had other plans.  Tink was sweet enough to say she didn’t mind if we walked the whole 5K, because she was more interested in our experiencing it together than she was about getting to a certain timing.

jennyslight.org-grey-circle-1Jenny’s Light was founded by local professional triathlete Becky Lavelle & her family in response to the tragic and untimely passing of her twin sister Jenny and her nephew in December 2007.  Jenny’s Light is a non-profit foundation created to improve & save lives by increasing awareness of all perinatal mood disorders, including postpartum depression. ”  In looking up the background of the story, I discovered that Jenny actually shot and killed her baby son and then took her own life.  I can’t imagine the pain and loss her family must have felt, and I think it’s remarkable that her sister decided to turn that terrible tragedy into something that raises awareness of postpartum depression, and other perinatal mood disorders.

Since this was a more home-grown 5K where the profits went directly to the non-profit, it was a bit more bare-bones.  Meaning no cute race tee.  So I decided to make Tink and I our own shirts.  When we registered, they’d asked for a team name, and when Tink asked me what I thought it should be, I combined both our aliases and said, “TinkerBellas.”  We both loved it!  For the our tees, I knew I wanted to put our team name front and center and I because Tinkerbell wears a green fairy dress, I wanted to find a fun, bold green color.  I headed to Michael’s and came up with these:

2014-01-26 16.15.51Originally, I’d bought us crowns to wear, but the crowns fit pretty loose, and we both agreed that they’d probably be more of a bother during the race.  Still, for my first time hand-making a shirt like this, I’m pretty pleased with the way they turned out.  And can I brag for a second and say that my shirt was a size Medium!!  How cool is that?!  All these 5Ks are paying off!

2014-01-25 15.07.11 Yesterday Tink and I headed to Sports Basement to pick up our race packets, and I was so surprised at my low number.  I hoped it was going to bring us luck – Sweet 16!

This morning we headed to Vasona Lake Park early to make sure we’d get a parking spot. We had no idea how many people had signed up for the race, and because it’s not easy to park in the surrounding neighborhood, we didn’t want to take any chances.  Plus, this way, we had plenty of time to take lots of pics to capture how cute we looked:

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Do you love the wings, or what? I’d had those from an outfit during Spirit Week back in October, but they were the perfect color for this Tinkerbell-inspired outfit.

Tinkerbell had bought her skirt for the 1/2 marathon from a woman who makes  them specifically for that race. I love that she was able to use it again!

Tinkerbell had bought her skirt for the 1/2 marathon from a woman who makes them specifically for that race. I love that she was able to use it again!

I mean, there couldn't have been a cuter pair of racers in the whole 5K!

I mean, there couldn’t have been a cuter pair of racers in the whole 5K! (Even if we are both looking in two different directions for the photo).

And what 5K would be complete without a pre-race selfie?

And what 5K would be complete without a pre-race selfie?

We started out toward the back of the pack because we were going to walk.  The difficult thing about this course was that it was super narrow.  And when the racers who were doing the 10K were on their way back, we were sharing the course.  They didn’t block off any of the roads, as most 5Ks do, and they also didn’t prevent Sunday exercisers from being on the course, so we had to share the road with bikers, joggers, etc.  I’m really glad we didn’t run it, because I think it would’ve been pretty hectic.  As it was, Tink and I were able to catch up; I’d been wanting to hear all the details of her 1/2 marathon, and we finally had a good amount of time to dish.  That’s one thing I enjoy about walking 5Ks – it gives you the time to just walk and talk.  The thing that’s hard about walking is that you get antsy, or at least I do.  I want to go faster, finish sooner, and see how I can challenge myself.  But because this cold is moving into my chest, keeping our brisk pace was challenge in itself today.

At one point we were on a bit of an incline, and I was finding it really hard to breathe.  I started almost wheezing, and Tink just took my hand and said, “you can do it, Bella! We got this!!” And that one small moment of motivation was all I needed.  She totally sparked something in me, and from that point on, we were on our way!

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I was shocked when I saw these stats! We really were walking fast the entire time, and when we saw the 3-mile marker, we decided to finish strong and run the last .2 into the finish line.  I can’t believe we completed the race – walking most of it – in 47:13!!  I wasn’t expecting a PR in this race, but I ended up with one, for walking anyway!  I’m really proud of Team TinkerBellas!!

As soon as we were done, we put the top  down on my Beetle (it was already 71 degrees at 11am) and headed to Tink’s house, where her hubby had a delicious, healthy breakfast scramble, whole wheat English muffins, fruit salad, and coffee waiting for us.  How sweet is that?

Now that Tink and I have done one 5K together, she and I were already planning future ones where we’d run/walk: Mardi Gras Madness 5k, Wharf to Wharf (about 6 miles)…who knows how many we’ll end up doing.  One thing is for sure, we always have a blast when we’re together, and we enjoy motivating each other to do our best.  We’ve been in it together throughout our WLS weight loss journey, and we continue even now that we’re both nearing our own personal finish lines.  I’m so thankful that just over a year ago Tinkerbell reached out to me to support each other as we started a new year, bound to make it past our pre-op weight loss requirements to surgery, because I couldn’t imagine my life without her.  Team TinkerBellas for Life!!

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Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb12: celebrating the successes of 2012, honoring the challenges of 2012, and planting the seeds for a rich and rewarding 2013. December is the perfect time to reflect on the year that has passed and start to manifest dreams for the new year.

Day 22 – What was the greatest gift you received in 2012? What was the greatest gift you gave? What do you intend to give yourself in 2013?

I feel like so many of my posts are about weight loss, but since that’s the #1 goal I have in my life, it seems natural that it will be a central focus.  The best gift I received in 2012 is definitely when my parents loaned me the money for Jenny Craig.  Being on that program, and then being able to apply it on my own using Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and other prepared meals, has transformed my belief that I will make it to my weight loss goals.

The greatest gift I gave was probably the support that I offered my friend Ani as she struggled with a really terrible situation she was going through at work.  She and I spent hours together in my backyard as our dogs played and she shared the gritty details of the turmoil she was dealing with.  At times I felt helpless because I couldn’t do much to help her, but I do think that sometimes just listening and being there to offer advice is more than enough to make a difference.

I intend to give myself the gift of qualifying for WLS in 2013.  It’s a gift that is way past overdue.  It’s time.

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Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb12: celebrating the successes of 2012, honoring the challenges of 2012, and planting the seeds for a rich and rewarding 2013. December is the perfect time to reflect on the year that has passed and start to manifest dreams for the new year.

Day 8 – Your Most Important Relationship?
Considering the idea that nothing lasts forever: what was the most important relationship that you fostered in 2012?  How will you continue to nurture it in 2013?

As much as I love my family, and I love them above all else, I would have to answer this by saying I put my efforts into my relationship with my friends in 2012.  There’s not just one friend that I focused on, although I did see some friends more than others, but I can honestly say that in 2012, I was an amazing friend to the people I love.

A couple of my friends were going through very difficult times that rocked their worlds, and I was happy to be there to listen, offer advice (if they wanted it), and just shoulder some of the burden.  It’s not easy to see someone you care about going through such turmoil, so anything I could do to offer a bit of solace was my pleasure.  I hope they each know that I will always be there for them, although I truly hope that things are going to turn around and we’ll spend 2013 celebrating rather than consoling.

Many of my best friends live across the country from me, so nurturing those relationships is more challenging, but always rewarding.  Time differences, hectic schedules, and just plain, old everyday life sometimes keep us from connecting, but where there’s a will there’s a way.  Getting up a bit earlier than normal to make a phone call, or sacrificing time that should be spent on work to meet up for a short-notice visit is more important than anything else.  In 2013, I am committed to mailing quick letters for no reason, writing more emails about “the details,” and making phone calls just to say hello.  Life goes by so quickly, and small moments should be shared with the people we love the most.

My friendships are dear to me, and I know that the time and effort I invest in fostering those relationships will be returned to me tenfold.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Today I am thankful for all of the amazing people whom I consider friends. They are there to celebrate my joys. They are also there to console my sorrows. Many of them live across the country, but are still just a text, email, or phone call away. I’m grateful that so many connections that I made while I was in high school have survived the test of time; most of the people that I’m closest to are girls that I met in high school.

The abundance of riches was clear today when I drove to SF to see CTLB, who lives just outside of Boston, but was visiting for the long weekend. It’s been about two years since I’d seen her, and I’d never met her 8-month old baby, so we were long overdue. CTLB and I became BFFs instantly when we started teaching at the same high school, went through our Masters in Educational Leadership as a partner team, and have seen each other through the highs (and lows) that come with life. She is an amazing friend, a true soul sister, and someone whom I wish I could see more of. Even though the timing was less than ideal because I have tons of grading to do before Tuesday, I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to hang out for the world, even if it was too short. With us, a week would’ve been too short! Distance my divide us, but CTLB and I will be friends for a lifetime.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in SF – chilly (58 degrees), but sunny. I was meeting CTLB in the Marina district, which can be notoriously difficult to park in, but I found parking in a garage across from Monaghan’s, their usual watering hole/hangout spot. Unheard of! Then we nabbed a bench inside Peet’s for a coffee chat so that CTLB could open the early Christmas gift that I brought for baby M:

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I also got him a 3-pack of matching socks, but I couldn’t find the photo.

It was so great to hold M in my arms (he’s a BIG boy!) and see his reaction as he saw me for the first time. He is seriously the happiest baby I’ve ever been around – adorable. CTLB look so happy, and I loved seeing the pride in her hubby’s eyes every time he looked at his son.  I love CTLB and her family so much, and I wouldn’t have traded my time with them for the world.

I raced from SF (mercifully no traffic) to meet up with LMK, the friend who inspires me to chase my dreams. She took the year off to travel the world, and is just touching down long enough to regroup before she chases the sun to an ashram in India, followed by Bali, New Zealand, and then she’s off to Australia. LMK is starting a blog, about her travels and life in general, and wanted to get some tips for me.  We spent hours catching up, planning, and being creative.  I cannot wait to read and hear all about LMK’s adventures!  I’ve written about LMK in the past because she is such a motivating force and an amazing example of living a healthy lifestyle. LMK runs half marathons for fun (she just got back from Santa Barbara, where she clocked in at exactly 2 hours!), practices yoga to clear her mind and fill her soul, and is always up for a new adventure. Plus she has a fantastic fashion sense. In many ways, she’s who I strive to be “when I grow up.”

These two friends are just a sample of the many people whom I’m lucky enough to have in my life. I truly love each of them and know that my life is so much richer because they’re sharing in it with me.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ~Elbert Hubbard

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Many of you know that ScaleWarfare and I are BFFs in blogland.  We’ve never met in person, but we’ve been friends for a couple of years via our blogs.  About a year ago (more now) SW and I started emailing each other our daily food logs to keep each other accountable, for encouragement, and for support.  Just knowing that someone out there understood my struggles made them easier.  She and I are similar in so many ways.  In fact sometimes we sort of freak each other out with how spookily similar we are.  😉 She and I have been through so much on our weight loss journey, and it’s happily carried over into our personal lives too.

We started giving each other gifts to celebrate all of life’s joys – birthdays, weddings (hers), and just because.  We do it because we want to let the other one know we’re thinking of her, or that we want her to smile through a rough day, or because she deserves it.  You know, all the reasons that friends are there for each other.

I consider SW one of my very best friends, but today that notion was forever solidified when I recieved this:

What an overwhelming surprise!  She took one of the many photos that I have of Lulu and turned it into this amazing keepsake.  It’s printed on a canvas so it’s more like a painting, and she had it personalized with Lulu’s name.  It also has a little poem on it that is beyond sweet:

Dogs come into our lives, leave paw prints on our hearts, and we are forever changed.”

It’s perfect!  Not only does it capture everything that I feel, but it has one of my very favorite photos of Lulu. I’d said I’d wanted to have a photo collage to hang up, but this is even better! Now every time I look at it I’ll remember Lulu as a little puppy, but I’ll also be reminded of what a great friend SW is to me.  And I’ll feel loved for both reasons.

ScaleWarfare, I can’t begin to tell you how much this means to me.  You are the BEST friend anyone could ever ask for.  You are thoughtful, kind, supportive, empathetic and truly special.  I am honored to call you my friend. It’s amazing to me that two people who have never met face to face can become so significant in each others’ lives.  Thank you!

And now you know this means that we need to meet up somewhere halfway in between our two homes even more!  I can’t wait to give you a huge hug and thank you for everything.  You are the embodiment of friendship!!

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 16 – Friendship
How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

Throughout 2010 ScaleWarfare and I have been sending each other daily emails containing our food journals, concerns, suggestions, recipes, and encouragements.  We started it as a way to be accountable to someone else in an effort to curb our nighttime snacking, but it has morphed into something completely different.

I look forward to our daily exchanges because I know that someone I’ve never met in person is out there, on the opposite coast of the country, cheering me on.  And I strive to do the same for her.  That kind of support really helps me make  good choices, think twice about indulgences, and just gives me that “warm fuzzy” feeling having made such a great friend.

Our friendship has gotten to the point where we send each other birthday and Christmas gifts, as well as little gifts “just because.”  Most recently SW wanted to show how proud she was of me for my new-found vigor with setting my calories to 1400 and for becoming a non-smoker, so she sent me this:

We’re both Philosophy Girls, so she knew I’d love it.  And more than the invigorating, spa-like scent, I love the sentiment written on the bottle:

if you really want to be somebody, you don’t have to be great, you only have to be good. good people live by the golden rule, and in doing so, they become somebody to everybody. great people live by their own rules, which too often become self serving. therefore, don’t be great, just be good. and if you’ve got to be great, then for goodness sake, do something good.”

What started out as a kinship with a fellow weight loss blogger whom I had a lot in common with (scarily so, sometimes) has turned into a very real friendship.  And though we’ve never met in person, I’m  closer to SW than I am to many of my real life friends who live in my city.  That’s the power of a shared experience.

So SW, I thank you for being you.  For being such a positive influence on my life.  For never judging me.  For being my friend. My life has been changed for the better for having you in it.

In 2011 I hope to be that kind of friend for someone new so that I can touch their life as much as mine has been touched.

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