Friday, August 29, 2008

Fantastic Friday - Leaving for a Long Weekend

Need I say more?!?! I'll be on a plane in less than 12 hours with Amy and David. That, my friends, is FANTASTIC. Looking fwd to a weekend with some of my favorite people in the Midwest. Good times will be had and photos will be posted. I. AM. OUT. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Cloud of Grey Muck

I think it's a valid statement to say that most people have at some point in their life have felt a void or had some sort of empty feeling. God made us with those voids so we would need Him to complete us and ultimately seek him for wholeness. But too often that's not the route we take because God doesn't always fill us in a tangible way. And we in our human nature often want to tangibly FEEL the things in which we believe. We don't always feel whole, although through Him we are. So I've been thinking about this for the past couple days b/c I seem to have a few friends and aquaintances in situations that I have labeled the Grey Area in dating. Grey area dating normally starts off as a fun, seemingly harmless distraction in the form of a relationship, from whatever it is that's causing angst, heartache, emptiness or hurt in your life. I think a good number of us have probably done this before but not even realized it until it's too late. Grey area dating starts off as a crutch or diversion from whatever it is that's crippling your soul or just making you feel like you're missing something or someone in your everyday life. The relationship, if you can call it that, is not predicated on love, honor and respect but more often as a means to make life a little more fun and a lot less lonely. It's a quick fix for loneliness, if you will.

Come on, you've been there before... when a good book and some ColdStone on a Thursday night just won't cut it anymore. Before you know it the guy or girl that you considered as strictly friend material is all of the sudden seen in a different light.... "maybe his arrogence isn't THAT bad, at least he's confident (what?!)," or "her materialistic approach to life could possibly be outweighed by her looks if you squint really hard" (yes guys get involved with Grey Area Dating too) because for a brief moment in time (or lapse in sanity) the thought of companionship, even if it isn't God's best for us, sounds better than eating another pint of icecream and watching a rerun of Grey's Anatomy alone or another night of poker with the guys. So it begins. The downward spiral of Grey Area Dating. It becomes this breeding ground for emotional instability because you and the other G.A.D. (Grey Area Dater) using each other to fill a need that was never meant to be filled by either party. At first everything is great, the interruption of your icecream and quality time with Meredith Grey and her coworkers is welcomed and always enjoyed. It's new, it's exciting and often times feels like you're making progress to filling this void that has reared it's ugly head again. Your problems have all magically vanished and life is good. Then the next thing you know, lines are crossed, feelings deveop but neither one knows if what they're feeling is out of selfish motives or genuwine care for the other person. I guess at times it's possible to be both. But never the less, the ride has begun.

The problem with Grey Area Dating is most of the time there is no "defining the relationship" talk and the feelings go back and forth from elation, depression to down right confusion. But nothing is every said for fear that actual communication might scare the other one off and the bandaid each of you has become to the other will be ripped away with out a single word or warning. So all of the wounds and hurts that you were trying to bandage up with this pseudo-relationship all of the sudden are no longer covered but exposed. Great. The overarching theory behind your masterminded plan to forget about your issues has now just opened them to the elements. I guess that's the problem with Grey Area Dating. It doesn't really get to the root of the problem, it's just a way to distract you from what's really lying beneath it all. It's like hitting your thumb with a hammer in order to stop thinking about a broken ankle. Works for a brief moment but in the end, the pain is still there and needs time to heal and be strengthened.

All in all I guess we get involved in the mucky waters of Grey Area Dating because we're doing what we were made to do... seeking for something more. That emptiness that we feel is there to lead us to Christ and allow Him to give us our identity. Afterall He is the one who created us and knows who He has made us to be. I for one, wish that my faith wasn't so precarious and I would remember that in times that I felt a little lonely and sick of icecream! But I guess we can learn from the different paths we take in life and I'm thankful for that. I think God must watch us sometimes and either laugh or cry. We are quite amusing with our ideas of "fixing" our problems on our own!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Writers Block

.....If I'm allowed to call it that and not be actually "deemed" a writer.

I know I know. I haven't posted in a week or two. It's strange because I love writing but lately everytime I sit down to write something, I lose all interest in what I thought I was going to pontificate (I think of Bill Cosby everytime I use that word. Do you remember that episode?). It's like my creative juices are at a halt and need to be rehydrated. Normally when i write I don't think much about it, I just kind of feel it. Kind of hard to explain, but my thoughts normally just run through my hands and in the end I have a finished post that anyone who feels led to can read. Lately, I got nothin. But the odd thing about that, is that I really have had a lot going on in my life. Seriously. Maybe its that I have SO much going on, I can't decide what to write about or that I'm not sure its all really that exciting and worth blogging about? Who knows. All I do know is that I haven't blogged in a while. Man, it's a good thing I don't get paid to write.... For now just know that I haven't been avoiding my blog, just the words to put on it have been avoiding me! I'm sure the words will find me soon and I'll be back in action... until then I'll leave you with the topics that I've thought about writing on.

1. Michael Phelps

2. A trip to Iraq

3. How the stuff that children watch is taking their innocence (way too deep for someone to get into with writers block!)

4. Me being a head coach at EHS

5. Relationships

6. More on my trip to SC

7. The happenings of last weekend (parties, baseball games n such)

8. The Olympics

Yeah, those are all things that something has hit me and I've thought "oooh, I should blog about that." But then the second I sit down to write, I get unmotivated.... lazy or just don't have the words. Well, I guess that's it for now. I'm signing off until I feel motivated to get back on here and write something worth reading. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trip down yonder.... waaaay yonder!

Well, I'm back from South Carolina. I went down to my parents' place in Six Mile, SC and had way more fun than I deserve. I got to hang out with my family, sans the Little Scotts, visit with old friends, golf, play in the lake and chill by the pool for 5 days! Doesn't get much better than that, does it?! It's a different world down there in Six Mile. Megan and I were driving to the grocery store from church and saw 5 cars pass us... we looked at each other and said it must be rush hour. The lake is absolutely beautiful. You can see the Smokey Mountains from almost anywhere and you get the feeling that God is showing off just a bit when taking it all in... "you see all of this? enjoy it. marvel at it. take care of it. Can you see the joy it brings me when something I have made takes your breath away?" I think I would've stayed on the lake all day, everyday if it were possible. I kept asking Dad to take me out on the boat as if I were a child asking to go to the park. I ended up giving him some gas money because he obliged and took me out more than my fair share of times! :) Thanks Dad (and Mom). I'll post some more about the trip but for now I'm just going to list my Top 6 moments of the trip and put some pictures up!

6. Tubing with old friends.... watching Megan try to get in the tube for the first time might have been one of the funniest things about that event!
5. Golfing at the Cliffs
4. Sunset cruise with Mom and Dad
3. Pool competitions with the fam (baseball, races, helping Beckham fly highest, inner tube diving... it was a riot)
2. Watching the Olympics....Cheering the Men's 4x100 relay team to a Gold medal over the French.... most amazing race I've seen!!!
1. Being with my family - my favorite.... Food, Fun and Fellowship

Jules and I just hangin out

The Newlyweds :) cute
Captain and his mate!
The Smokey Mountains from the Lake

Meggles and I on the boat...again.
The kiddos
Golfing at the Cliffs with Mom and Barb

Dani and I on the tube... well trying to be!

Beautiful SC sunset...ahhh.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Triathlon Revealed :)

Finally, the day has come. I have raced my very first triathlon and am still alive to blog about the event in all it's glory! The story has to begin with the night before because that's when the pregaming began. We figured out that we were going to have to rise n' shine at 0345 hundred hours in order to get out the door, over to Allie's, and down to Culpepper for packet pick up by 0600. I knew there would be no way that I would fall asleep before 10 so my plan was to climb into bed at 10:00pm (yes I'm switching to a 12 hour clock rather than military time. It's easier). Well, bed time got pushed back because we were watching "The Great Debators." It wasn't going to end until about 11:10pm and it was good! So I watched it and climbed into bed. My mind was racing with visions of gold, everything I had to do and couldn't forget in the morning... to make this part short... I fell asleep after 1am and had to get up at 3:45am. Seriously.

I was awakened by the director of morale in our group, Melissa. And quickly realized why she was given the title. I walked out of the bedroom and she squeals "it's time to be a triathlete," while doing a little dance to show me just how excited she was to be awake before 4am. Love that girl. Fast fwd through the drive and we are in Culpepper, VA. Beautiful place to have the race but in my mind not very practical. Who in the world thinks it's a good idea to put a triathlon course amongst millions of hills? A sadistic person, that's who. But I digress, back to the day. Packet pickup was fun cause we got all of our numbers and info that we needed for the race.
(#488... tat tat tatted up for the race)

This was really happening. The lake LOOKED beautiful and the weather was perfect. One more quick trip to the bathroom and I'd be ready to go....

(Amy and I... in the same suit... how does that happen?!)

You could feel the excitement in the air. Normally at 6:15 in the morning I wouldn't so much as move if you threw a rock at me. But that day, I was awake and energized to be there! It's go-time baby! The blue caps (David's group) are off!! Now it's my turn. Time for the pink caps to get in the water and get ready to start. As I start entering the water I'm stepping on slippery rocks and then the rocks ended and all the sudden I was knee deep in disgusting mush up to my knees with little seaweed type branches engulfing me any which way I moved. I was almost too disgusted to move. I started treading water while waiting for the horn just so I wouldn't have to stand in the warm muck.

(The lake of muck...looks pretty, doesn't it?)

Then just as I thought if I sat there any longer thinking about how gross this was I may just get out, the horn blows! Yipppeee! And we're off! The first 100 meters or so felt like I was swiming through seaweed, not to mention the arms and feet getting in the way with every stroke I took!

(finished swimming in the muck lake)

I finished the swim 31st in my group. As I got out of the water I felt pretty good. How could I not? While running to the transition area I saw and heard my awesome friends cheering as hard and loud as they could! I was ready for the bike! I was hoping my four rides (only rides) preparing me for the race would be enough. As I go to put on my tennis shoes I realize that I forgot to untie them and then were double knotted! Stupid me. That made my transition all the slower because I had to get the knots out and then put on my shoes! oh well, I learned for next time! Running up the hill to the mounting piont for the bikes I see Amy up ahead! I finally caught her on one of the downhills but then she pulled about 20 meters ahead for a little on one of the monstorous hills. I caught back up with her again at what I felt like was probably close to the end. I looked at her and asked "how much more do we have?" She replied with the wind rushing past us, "4." I thought to myself, sweet! I can totally do this! I asked her again just to make sure, "so how much have we done?" She looked over and said "6.4 miles." I was shook. What?! We have 10 more miles to go?! My shoulders slumped, my head dropped and I thought to myself, I'm gonna die. My mouth was dry, my chest was burning and it seemed like all the down hills were much shorter than the up hills. How is that possible?! But I kept it moving. I didn't die, and I finished. Right along side of my big sis!

(Amy and I at the end of the bike)

Onto the run. My legs are now jello as I jump off my bike and I about fall over because my mind has not told my legs that we are no longer riding a bike, we are on solid ground running. Come on, keep up with me! I won't spend much time on the run because it was just miserable. At one point in the race a girl ran by me (it seemed as though, everyone passed me) and on the back of her shirt it said "Pain is temporary, Victory is forever." I was thinking, Whatever girl, "Pain is now and victory is out of reach!" My how my mindset has changed in the last 6 years. I had to laugh at myself as I thought of my new slogan. I finally got to the home stretch and my friends were cheering me on! Liss even ran with me for a little (until she caught a cramp).

(before she caught a cramp)
I had a little pep in my step because I had the finish line in site and was locked on! If only I could've ran that fast the whole time... I would've made it under 1:50:00. I crossed the finish line and my friend Samantha, another tri participant who obviously had been finished for quite some time, called my name out. She screamed "Great job! How do you feel?" At that point all I could get out was "thanks." So I walked up the hill (blasted, stupid hill) to her and sat down. She was all scratched up and bleeding with ice on her shoulder, elbow and knee. I asked her what happened but it was apparent that she had crashed. I was sad for her because I knew she was one of the favorites in the race. I assumed she didn't finished but asked her anyways and she said that she did. I was amazed! Then I found out not only did she finish but she came in 3rd place. right. Well that did loads for my self esteem! :) lol. She crashed on her bike, got the wind knocked out of her and still managed to come in 30 minutes faster than I did!!! That is why I'm claiming and standing true to the title of a TRYathlete!!! :)

All that being said. It was an awesome experience and I'm so thankful for my friends (Amy and David too!) joining me in this little adventure!! They were so supportive and fun! I'll definitely do another one but I think I'll stick to the Sprint Triathlons. I'll leave the Olympic distance to the Olympians!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fantastic Fridays - 59 minute rule

If you are a government worker you don't need an explination as to why that is fantastic. But for those of you non-government types, I'll elaborate. This won't take long. When a commanding general puts a 59 mintue rule into effect it means that the employees can leave 59 minutes early! wooot wooot! Normally we get a 59 minute rule after our Town Hall meetings (once a quarter) but yesterday the meeting lasted way longer than normal so our General extended the 59 minute rule to today! And it is already my early Friday today, so I get to leave 2 hours, minus 1 minute early!! That's pretty friggin' fantastic!!!

When I get home I have to get a light swim and possibly bike for my taper work out before the race. Tapering from what, I'm not sure... I think you have be training at a pretty high level to be able to say you're actually tapering but I'm gonna run with it and just pretend. It makes me feel better.

So wish me luck! :)