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Category Archives: Herstory

Big Things, people.

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I promise there are good reasons for my lack of posts and slacking on joining Yeah Write this week.

You see…. I have a surprise for you. I can’t tell you what because duh, it’s a surprise. But I can tell you the when. Here goes.

Sometime over the weekend (but definitely by Monday) you’ll see these Big Things. Check back with me over the next few days to find out! 

Yes, I know this is evil. But I’ll give you a few hints:

  • This has been a long time coming.
  • I’m seriously sweatypits right now.
  • No, I’m not pregnant. Or engaged.

Send me good juju that all goes well, please?

In the meantime, I’ll share a few pictures from yesterday, which was my birthday! It was an amazing day and I was showered with texts, calls, Facebooks, tweets, flowers, and LOVE. I’m so blessed to have so many wonderful friends IRL and here through this blog. This girl is grateful. Sniffffff.

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Cake Batter Pancakes. Enough said. Recipe here. 

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TROUBLE. Lululemon gift card. There goes a paycheck. #zerowillpower

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Gorgeous sunshine from my west coast bestie. ❤

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Amazon gift card, silicon baking cups, Bob Harper sweaty yoga and a new speed rope for CrossFit. Yay!

To make my birthday even better? Something really awesome happened professionally and they didn’t even know it was my birthday! Remember when I tweeted this?

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I GOT IT!!!

Again… blessed. 

See you all very, very soon!

~Peach

13.1

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The sea of runners crushed around me as we were all herded towards the starting line. I thought of my friends Bertie and T, who had already begun and would surely be waiting a long time for me at the finish. Trying to calm my racing heart, I prepped my Nike+ app to record my mileage and started my 13.1 playlist. As “Thrift Shop” began pumping through my noggin’, the starting line loomed. I had to pee. Kind of. Shit, too late now. I hit start on my Polar monitor and off I went.

I was running my first half marathon.

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After jockeying my way to a clear path for what felt like an eternity, the masses finally thinned out a bit. The first two miles flew by, and so did the second two. Still comfortable territory, but I’d been warned that the hills on this course were a doozy.  My plan was to manage them cautiously – quick steps and lean forward on the way up. Long strides and breathe deeply on the way down to recover.

Instead of worrying, I focused on the people watching. I smiled and waved at the pregnant lady cheering us on, wearing a tshirt that said “FUTURE RUNNER” with a down arrow. I ran past people offering me Krispy Kreme donuts!! and stations set up with M&Ms and jelly beans. Tailgaters offered beers, which I breathlessly declined. Later, though… yes. GOD YES.

My mind was kept occupied with the lyrics playing through my earbuds, the scenery of the city around me, and with what people wore or didn’t wear. There were lots of St. Patty’s Day festive outfits with garland, Irish shirts, leprechauns, green sequined tutus. Me, I was set with my bang buster and my turtle socks.

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The skyline didn’t draw my eye when the view appeared. I was drawn to the coral-strewn sunrise on the other side of the road. Typical me. And I kept on running.

Somewhere in Piedmont park I saw someone waving a sign that said, “We don’t know you, but we’re proud of you!!”. My heart lifted and I thought about how sweet they were. And at that moment, I felt proud of me too.

The miles kept rolling on and I feel like I hit my groove. My body knew what I wanted it to do and it did it without complaint. I kept my (turtle) pace and my breathing under control and laughed inwardly at the signs that said “We’re not wearing any underwear!” or “We tailgate for ANYTHING”. The race photographers loved me – I was the cheeseballing one who pointed directly at the camera and open-mouth laughed. I might have also been the one flexing her bicep. One guy lowered his camera and laughed at/with me. Nice, Peach. 🙂

When I hit mile 10, my face lit with pride. I’d just run the farthest I ever had in my life. And I wasn’t done yet, but I was okay.

Then, it was on that next hill that I felt the first twinge in my right calf muscle. The kind that threatened a vicious cramp if I didn’t back off. So I power-walked that up hill. And the next. Dammit, why do the steepest hills have to be at the end??? Sadistic course planners, I tell you.

Miles 11-12 wound up being significantly slower than my previous pace from all the walking of the hills. I nearly got upset about it. Instead, I thought, Dammit… be proud. You’re doing this race the best that you can, and it’s okay if you walk the hills after you’ve just RUN for TEN MILES. Just keep going. You’ve got this.

And just then I saw a mom-type lady waving a sign that said “RUN, [MY NAME], RUN!!!” And I thought of my own mom’s Facebook comment that had said the exact same thing the day before. I kept running for my mom and dad. Because they can’t.

The next hill nearly did me in, but as I was cursing inwardly, “**** THIS ****ING HILL ALL TO ****ING HELL.”, I thought of my big brother. He completed his first half this fall and I felt him cheering me on in spirit, too. I kept running for him.

I cheered when the race sign appeared that said “1/2 mile left!!” and I kept running. For me. Because I could do this.

And… it sucked. That last stretch felt so long. I was tired. I wanted to be done.

Then I looked over to my right and thought, hey, who’s the really skinny guy running over there on the other side of the barriers?  And then it hit me. OH. THAT’S THE MARATHONERS. WHO ARE FINISHING A course TWICE as long as yours and IN THE SAME TIME AS YOU. Oh the humility!!! 🙂

But as the spectator crowds got bigger and I could hear the race announcer’s peppy voice, my gloom lifted. I’m no Kenyan. Never will be. I’m just Peach. Running her first half and doing a damn fine job of it.

The finish line finally appeared and I kicked it up a notch. My legs felt like they weren’t going to agree with what my brain wanted, but they did.  I crossed the line with a victorious overhead fist pump and a huge grin. I bowed my head for my medal and posed for pictures, then went off to find Bertie and T. AND FOOD. Holy crap I was hungry.

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The post-race rewards were worth every drop of sweat. I did it, y’all!

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Come What May

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To write down your intentions is one thing. To begin to live with intent is quite another.

Starting The Mighty Peach List pushed me to attend Camp Mighty. It was there that I met the most incredible people and told the world my dreams. Suddenly, the dreams-turned-words-on-paper became tangible actions and realities. I had professional portraits taken, traveled to Portland, tasted foie gras for the first time, saw the Christmas tree at Rock Center and had a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. I ran a 5K, 10K and a half marathon. I’ve planned to visit London and to hug a gigantic Redwood at Yosemite. I declared my desire to buy a house and start my book.

All this has been heady and empowering. But these are things. Stuff.

The real work appears when you realize that you’ve been living your life and dreams at the will of others, or at least in consideration of their judgment. The real work comes when you finally choose to stop letting THEM decide YOU.

At first, the change happens in small ways. Someone makes an assumption about your feelings, casually dismissing a hurtful remark. Calmly and honestly, you correct them and state your hurt aloud.  And the moment you receive acknowledgement – the moment you’ve shown up to be seen and heard – the moment you get a heartfelt apology and an admission of wrongdoing? That’s when you promptly crumple into an ugly-crying mess.

Because WOW you just put yourself out there, utterly naked emotionally, fully expecting to get your heart stomped on. And instead you were given validation.

The actions snowball. Other difficulties are confronted. Each instance is more awkward and difficult and scary, but you’ve grown to understand that you matter enough to be heard and seen. No more will you sit quietly and let assumptions be made about your heart or your life. Careless people that once would have been silently resented for their thoughtless actions are now admonished aloud for their behavior. Relationships are ended because you realize that if someone cannot make room for you in their lives, then they are not worthy of having your heart.

You learn to stand alone in your skin. To take pride in the person you’ve become and the person you’re still growing to be. You’re able to reflect on the thorny path you took to get here and you’re grateful for each tumble over twisted roots. You start to live with your whole being. You’re able to use this new-found strength to reach out to the one person who never left your heart.

And blessedly, luckily, find love in return.

The possibilities are staggering.

Because in the end, stuff is just stuff. Go seek out the scariest work. Face your biggest fears and don’t be afraid to eat some concrete. Once you set your intention to live for your own happiness and no one else’s, the rewards are significantly greater.  Do the work and be ready for what comes your way. You’ll be amazed.

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This piece is being submitted to the amazing Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. Git you some.

I’m only running for the pancakes.

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Please think of me on Sunday morning, when I’m hauling my sleepy ass from my cozy bed at 4am. Why would I wake up at o-dark-GIVEMECOFFEE-thirty? Oh, just to go run a half marathon. Voluntarily, mind you.

Damn, I’ve come a long way in a year.  This used to be my attitude towards running:

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And then, I had to go and get all motivated to get healthy. Silly me.

This whole running thing started when my big brother convinced me to run a 5K in April of last year. That was my first 5K since ohhhhh, 1997. I’d just started working with a trainer and was maybe 3 weeks smoke-free. Yay me, but my lungs and my body were still utterly shit a far cry from healthy.

I was SO SLOW. Hated every second of it. I was exhausted after 2 miles. At 2.5 I remember that my face was on fire and just wanted it to be OVER already. I mean, my linebacker-sized brother and my 8 year old nephew were both WAY far ahead of me if not already done. And it was starting to rain, and WHAT THE FUCK is this hill doing right before the finish line? It sucked. My time was something embarrassing… my brother finished in 32, my nephew in 34 and me? 38 something. Or more. I don’t know, I blocked it out.

But since then, I ditched the trainer and the globo-gym, started and stuck with CrossFit, kept my diet clean and healthy and Paleo-ish. I’ve put on muscle, remained a non-smoker, and have tackled a few other runs since then. They got better. I got better. So I did a few more 5Ks, a 10K in July,  a relay in a tutu!, a 15K in January, and now… a half marathon.

Yep, this weekend I’ll be tromping through Atlanta for 13.1 miles until I either a) reach the finish line or b) have to be scraped off the pavement with a pooper-scooper. Hopefully not c) both.

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My only goal. Finish.

Is this ambitious progress in under a year? Uhhhhh… I’m either the most motivated amateur runner ever or I’m just flat-out DUMB. But I really think I can do it. My body is in the best shape of my life, thanks to CrossFit, yoga and running. But my concern with the half is my endurance. I’ve never run that far or that long at once and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I thought about joining one of the free pacing groups they offer, but I think I’ll do better going at my own speed with my running playlist blasting in my ears.

I have my trusty Brooks Ghosts that I wore for the 15K, so they’re broken in. I’ll be hydrated and fueled beforehand. I’ll get enough sleep the night before. It will be warm but not hot: high 50s are the low that morning, creeping up to 70 by mid-day, so extra layers won’t be needed.

As for the run, all I can think to do is adopt my approach to the 15K – running an easy pace for 2 miles, have a few sips of water and 1-2 energy beans, then repeat until done. That plan kept my pace steady and the 9.something miles were very doable. I didn’t feel like I ran out of gas anywhere along the route. I was a little stiff for a day afterward, but it really wasn’t awful. Why wouldn’t 13.1 be as doable? At least… that’s the theory.

Hopefully I’ll run with grace and elegance, and not like this:

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But even if I finish dead last, there will be none of this.


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Because you best believe that afterward there will be piles upon piles of pancakes and pints and pints of BEER for St.Patty’s!  Pancakes make me sooooo happy.

Finally, I’m way grateful that I’ll have excellent company for the race in the lovely Bertie: a gorgeous Crossfit badass,  running inspiration, yoga buddy, brunch/coffee partner and fashion advisor.  That last one? Seriously, she should have a fashion blog. Like, yesterday. 🙂 But on race days, her self-proclaimed propensity to run like her favorite hashtag cracks me up: #wilddogontheloose.

As if keeping me motivated to run and preventing me from dressing like a homeless person wasn’t enough, Bertie gave me the coolest good luck gift for the half. My very own Lululemon Bang Buster in a gorgeous reversible minty-polka-dot/kelly green!  Check out the awesome card she gave me, too… snifffff…. she is the most thoughtful, sweetest friend ever.

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no pinching allowed!

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polka dots and shamrocks

That minty fresh baby will be worn on race day as my good luck charm, my green for St. Patty’s, and to keep my *#)&%#@*ing bangs off my face while I run. Not that I’m salty about the bangs… Wait. I am. Don’t get bangs, people. Not if you work out all the time. Better choices have been made, Peach.

But can y’all help a girl out?!

What say you,  fellow runners and athletes? Do you have any advice for me, the half-newbie? (Newbie-halfer? Newfer? Halfbie? What do you call me?)  Am I crazy? 

…don’t answer that last one.

The Unfinished

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Sitting in the lush back seat of the chauffeured car, she stared down at the iPhone in her lap. His name and number stared back at her.

She was there on business for only a few short days and could have easily slid in and out of town without him knowing the difference. After all, it had been over a year since she’d pulled him up on her screen. Over a year since they’d exchanged a final painful goodbye. Yet something indescribable was screaming at her to make contact. It was a pull like the love she’d always had for him – undeniable and annoyingly persistent.

They were together for nearly three years. Everything fell apart. She moved away. And she moved on.

Except she didn’t.

Since the two of them had shattered she had dealt with blind dates, suffered the torment of speed dating, endured the crazies of online dating and had an embarrassingly horrific one night stand. She’d made poor decisions while drinking and tried to force feelings when there were none. She smirked, remembering the tribal-tattooed musclehead. That one had almost resulted in an intervention by her friends. She remembered the men who claimed to love her but left coldly and without explanation. Men that weren’t looking for the same things.  Men who were devilishly handsome but devoid of emotional connection.  Men who amused her but never managed to make her belly-laugh.  Men who could certainly turn her on, but never gave her butterflies. Shorter men, taller men, military men, musicians, men far away and men right around the corner… hell, her friends teased that they needed to create a flowchart to keep her love disasters straight.

All she knew was that she had things to say to this man. There was risk, for sure. Reaching out to him meant facing the possibility that he may be seeing someone else, or be married with kids. She didn’t think he would be, but he could also be completely cold or cruel towards her. Yet even though she was opening myself up to a world of potential hurt, she didn’t care. There was no way she could ever completely be whole again if she didn’t take the opportunity to voice her side.

She wouldn’t live her life as a fraud, having never faced the full extent of love and pain and letting go. She knew it was the unfinished holding her back, preventing her from fully opening her heart to anyone else. Yes. She needed to charge headfirst into this, acknowledging fully the element of danger.

The deep inhale and long exhale had a finality in its weight.

Still glaring at her phone, she thought to herself, “He needs to know how much he hurt me. He needs to know what I’ve gone through since the day I packed my car and drove away in tears. How I’ve changed. How the person he dated for three years was a broken, unhappy version of myself. And he needs to see the strong, vivacious woman that I’ve become since him.” Her heart didn’t leave her any choice.  It was time.

Her finger hovered over his number on the screen. And then it made contact.

The screen filled with his name.

rrriiiiiiingggggg….

rrriiiiiinggggggg…

*click*

“Ohmygod. …….  Hi.”

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This piece is being submitted to the amazing Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. The crew at YW are not only amazingly talented bloggers who write and writers who blog, they’ve become my friends.  Not friends with benefits, you perv. Just friends. 😉

I don’t trip up the stairs while collecting an Oscar, but I do drop shit.

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Has anyone ever fallen so elegantly? EVER? I think not. Stop saying shit about my GirlCrush.

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Moving on. But I’ve still got my eye on you.

A few posts ago I wrote about my fat ass FoodWars and my evolved attitude towards Paleo vs. Clean Eating. Fortunately I can report that clean eating is working WAY better for me. I’m happy. And when momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.

I still cook all of my staples and I’m forever on the lookout for new recipes to try. For instance, Peach’s Vegetable Saute is always awesome.

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But it’s fun to experiment with new mini-quiche flavor combos.

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Bacon and Veggie Mini-Quiches

  • 2 whole cage-free, organic eggs*
  • 3/4C egg whites (approx 4 egg whites)
  • 1/4 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • heaping handful of baby spinach
  • 6-8 slices of COOKED bacon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the bacon in a large skillet. Reserve a little of the grease for greasing the muffin pan. Whisk all your eggs in a big bowl. In a food processor throw in the onion, pepper, squash, zucchini and process until finely chopped but not liquified.  Add this mixture to your eggs.  Put spinach into the processor and finely chop and also add to your eggs. Mix the egg mixture well and using a 1/4 measuring cup, fill the greased muffin pan. This recipe makes one 12-muffin pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle.  *You can use 6 whole eggs, or all egg whites, or any combo of whole/whites you wish.

Oh, and here’s what happens when I have a klutz moment – I bring salad fixings to a gathering and when I try to leave with the uneaten, wind up with 3 pounds of spring mix lettuce in my tote bag. Transportation FAIL. I swear I only had 2 glasses of wine. Sheesh. At least my aim is awesome. JLaw, I am not.

have roughage, will travel.

have roughage, will travel.

My workout routine hasn’t changed: 1 or 2 short runs, 1 day of yoga and CrossFit 3-4 times a week. I take my rest days when my body tells me to, and even when it doesn’t.

p.s. – Lululemon is the devil. I have NO willpower.

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in my defense, I’ve lusted after this jacket since December. And it was on sale. And I LOVE IT.

I’ve resisted the invasion of the tiny humans bearing crack-in-a-box-Thin-Mints.

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avoid all eye contact. keep walking.

But instead, I made (and sampled) my own cookies. Sorry, no recipe for these… the owner would hunt me down and noogie me to death.

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All these sweets, just in time for my CrossFit gym to do a 30-day Ladies-Only Challenge! All of us participating were weighed and had our body fat measured with calipers on day 1. Then we all had to do the baseline WOD, which we will do again in 30 days to see our progress.  Some of the ladies are doing strict 100% Paleo. I would not be one of those ladies, but I am going to make an effort to continue clean eating and sweets/booze only in moderation. Peach is going to be lean and mean, dammit!

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I was shocked to hit a personal best with my deadlift that day! Yay, me! But I’m not going to lie, this WOD had me wheezing, gasping, cramping and wishing burpees would go straight to fucking hell. It sucked, but I got three rounds plus 10 cleans. And then I played “dead starfish”and made a “sweat angel”. Gross. But cool.  But gross. Kinda.

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So tell me:

What diets/eating styles work best for you/your body? What’s your “food philosophy”?

Feelin’ the love!

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I was thoroughly surprised this week to be awarded not one, but TWO bloggy awards!

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One Lovely Blog

First, Kathleen at Michigan Left surprised me with a Liebster award, and then Kristin over at Kristin Has Two Eyes has bestowed upon me the One Lovely Blogger honor!

I have lovingly placed these badges in my sidebar and send mucho love and sloppy kisses to Kathleen and Kristin. Next up, as part of these awards, y’all get to learn some fun facts about Peach. Lucky you. 😉

Kathleen’s questions to her Liebster recipients:

  1. Where would you live if you could pick any place in the world? I want to say Italy, but I haven’t been there yet!
  2. What is your favorite CD and why? I can listen to Mumford & Sons all day, every day. Their words hit me smack in the heart.
  3. Why and when did you start blogging? 2005, for no reason other than I love to write.
  4. Were you a jock or a nerd in high school? Both. Band nerd, academic nerd and soccer player. Overachiever, much?
  5. Who, besides your significant other, knows you better than anyone else? My undergrad college roommate. She and I were born 22 hours apart. We speak without speaking and know each others’ moods/quirks like our own…because they’re the same.
  6. What book most influenced your life? The Agony and the Ecstasy – Michelangelo’s story by Irving Stone.
  7. What is your biggest fear? Failure.
  8. What is your dream profession? Earning a living as a writer. Somehow. Some way.
  9. What attracts you most to someone?  Humor! Make me laugh and you’ll have my heart.
  10. Beatles or Stones? Oh, Beatles.

And 15 random factoids about Peach, for Kristin:

  1. I hate vinegar. Anything vinegar-based, pickled or fermented, no thank you! Ick.
  2. When I was much younger I wanted to be a veterinarian. Even though I am happy today, I still wonder “what if” sometimes. Oh, to give my 18yo self the confidence I have now…
  3. In dating, I’ve found that my height is an effective method of weeding out insecure men.
  4. I have a dimple. Just one.
  5. I have never broken a bone, needed surgery or stayed overnight in the hospital. Knock on ALL OF THE WOODS.
  6. To fall asleep I need total darkness. And I cannot nap during the day, no matter how tired I may be.
  7. I am a classically trained musician, but that is not what I “do” anymore.
  8. A challenge is my biggest motivator. Tell me I can’t do something, so I can prove you wrong.
  9. There lies a mean temper under this sassy and fun demeanor.
  10. My college debt is still bigger than yours. I guarantee it.
  11. My first car was a big ole honkin’ truck.
  12. Sheets with thread counts under 600 need not apply. 1000 is preferable.
  13. I talk in my sleep.
  14. I despise being told that I’m ‘too sensitive’. No, you’re just being an asshole. Don’t invalidate my feelings. (also see #9)
  15. I am hyper-observant. I notice even the smallest of the most inconsequential details. It freaks some people out. 🙂

Thank you again, Kristin and Kathleen! Have a great weekend, everyone.