Potential Overhaul

October 26, 2011

What's the deal with the human lure toward ugly things? Ugly dogs, ugly patterns, ugly pumpkins, ugly cars--people like ugly. And lately I'm absolutely obsessed with an ugly little storefront that's down the street from Jared. Do I feel bad for it? Do I want to mother it?

I don't know, but I take that back. It's not ugly, it's tired. No, exhausted. And I feel like it's an egg (a wood-panelled egg), and my dreams are swooshing around inside of it, waiting to BURST OUT like a butterfly, catch a draft on a moonbeam, and glitter my life with heaven dust. Except butterflies don't hatch from eggs, which is fine.

Did I mention that it's also an Art-Deco egg? I love Art-Deco.

Back in the day, this place must have been a little dress shop--at least that's what the storefront windows make me think. A dress shop or a hat shop, but either way, a place where fabulous ladies shopped. I don't know what it's been lately, but I think I know what it's about to become, and damn. Just damn.

I haven't been all the way through this space, but I'm planning to get in there today or tomorrow--when I can really peel back some carpet, and pull down some paneling, and see if there's cool looking duct work up above the drop ceiling.

Right now, the potential is completely in my imagination, which is an okay place to start. In my imagination, the space runs all the way to the back of the building. In my imagination, the space has old wood floors that I can paint. And in my imagination, I'll be able to afford an awning by spring.

In reality, I know that if only one of my imagined scenarios is true, I'm a lucky duck.

So. Can anyone out there tell me an amazing transoformation story? A house your remodeled? A barn you saved? A rust bucket car you restored? How you learned to use a hammer? All for fifty bucks?

Sometimes I forget that we overhauled Jared's office, and a tiny little house back in 2003.

What have you overhauled?

D-U-N and a Win!

October 21, 2011

I'm done teaching seminary. If you're confused, 'seminary' is Mormon for the-class-of-ten-teenagers-that-meets-at-my-house-every-morning-from-6:10-7-to-learn-about-the-Old-Testament.

When I say, I'm done, it doesn't mean I'm having a hard time, feeling pretty overwhelmed, and may or may not want to hurl myself out the one-and-a-half story window of a raised-ranch. I'm done means that's how I felt a month ago, so I went to my Bishop, asked him for access to said window, and he told me they'd find someone new.

And today was the last day.

Now Ben DP Sue K (CES), I don't know the details, (and yes, I'm kind of avoiding your calls on purpose), but I do know that the kids showed up at my door this morning with muffins, signs, and bacon. And in my world, that's what I call one hell of a send-off party.

Typically, Mormons don't ask to be done with a job like this. They keep going, and going, and smiling, and being awesome, and faithful, and taking high blood pressure medication. But honestly, my umph was straight up gone. In the words of Dooce, "The Mormon Pioneers are not impressed."

But right now, on the record, I want to make it known that IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE STUDENTS.If James and Maggie turn out to be like any one of those kids (Christa, Emma, Thomas, Otis, Caitlynn, Corena, Chelcie, Jabob, Teearna, Shelby), I'll consider myself a raging success of a mother. They were polite, hilarious, enthusiastic, and gave me tons of compliments. I love those kids.

The reason I decided to give it up is simple: I had too many things going on at once.

I've been waking up at 3:30 or 4 (not because I try to, but because I can't help it), teaching seminary, working a professional job, coaching60+ runners, momming, selling Cub Scout popcorn, morning meetings, night meetings...you get the idea. These days, Jared works until 6:30ish at night, and I kid you not, I was going to bed at 7:45.

I really, really, REALLY started missing my husband. Kind of.

I also got tired of pounding a Red Bull at 2 o'clock every afternoon. No, actually I've been loving it too much.

I also think I had two panic attacks in a day one time. Well, I don't know much about panic attacks, but if it feels like it's 700 degrees, you're about to drive off the road, and a huge man is squeezing your heart muscle with his bare hands, that's maybe what I had.

Something had to give. Luckily, my new church-job is teaching teenage Sunday School. Same kids, once a week, normal hour, blam. So perfect it makes me wanna fart.

In more better news, I won a race two weekends ago, and FINALLY got a decent picture out of it:

Well, it's a decent picture in my world.

It was a four mile race. Two miles up Sunday River ski mountain, and two miles down with a mud pit at the end. It was really freaking fun, but really, when is a medal not fun?

I've been a ginormous, lazy ass since that race, so it's time to get back on the exercise wagon. Now that seminary is over, I want to try to make running a more regular piece of my day again. My goal is to run at least thirty minutes every day between now and Thanksgiving.

Starting tomorrow.

Oh, and I'm running a biathlon this weeked with my mom. Because running and .22ing? Heaven has officially landed on earth.

Jumping In

October 4, 2011

This past weekend I went to Connecticut for for a USA Track & Field conference. It wasn't fun. It was more like 5:30-10 on Friday, 8-9 (with NO DINNER BREAK!!!) on Saturday, and 8-4:30 on Sunday. In my world, anything that has no dinner break, has a 0% chance of being fun.

But I learned a lot. A whole lot.

If you have questions about the pole vault, or the hammer throw, or the long jump, or the 100 hurdles, I'm your girl. Actually, don't ask me about the hurdles. I skipped that section and gave myself and damn freaking dinner break.

So, if you want to know about the hurdles, I say this: Don't do the hurdles. They look dangerous...and hard...and have too much potential for accidentally ripping your genitals right off your body frame.

I also learned a whole mess of new stuff about distance running. Most of it involved superbly complex math like adding fractions and figuring out percentages, and I'm still like whoa, because honestly, I don't remember how to add fractions.

Jared mentioned something about common denominators. But he's full of crap, I just need an iPhone with a Third Grade Math app to do that kind of figuring-out. I could also use an iPhone for my self esteem.

The highlight of the weekend was probably this guy:

Aside from being a ridiiiiiiculous stud, he was insanely smart. His name is Mike Young, and you can read about him here. He was almost worth skipping dinner for--I actually would have skipped dinner if he did his presentation shirtless.

I also had the chance to pow wow with a guy who coaches world-class middle-distance runners. I was like, "Hi. I have a really funny running stride."

And he got, I kid you not, four inches from my face and said, "Oh yeah, what's it like?"

So I took a step back and said, "Some people call it an egg beater stride."

And he stepped forward, maybe three inches from my face and said, "That's permanent. You can strengthen your hip flexors, but you really can't fix it."

So I said, "Thanks Coach!" and ran away.

I guess it's a lot like that close-talking disorder he has--you can't just magically turn it off.

After the class got out on Sunday, I had a five hour drive ahead of me, and man I was tired. I stopped around hour three for a visit, and to talk business with my mildly drunk dentist friend, and then kept plodding north. Then, right around hour four, I decided I had to have McDonald's fries IMMEDIATELY. So I drove twenty miles to the next exit (seriously, I live in Maine, they really are that far apart), and got my fries.

And here's where the story turns heartbreaking.

It was 10:30 on a Sunday night, I had my fries, I had a good song on the radio, and I had a renewed sense of faith in humanity. And then, I accidentally got on the highway going in the wrong direction. The. Wrong. Direction.

I dealt with the pain by yelling @#$%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as soon as I realized what I'd done. Then I dealt with the pain by eating my bucket of fries in three minutes. Honestly? That helped.

I drove the extra forty miles, got home in the middle of the night, curled up next to Jared and whispered, "Babe, this is it."

Because you know what? This is it. Coaching? Training? Motivating? Fitness? Helping people realize they can do what they always thought was impossible? I've never felt so comfortable/motivated/excited/challenged in my life.

As long as I can keep my muffin top, this is exactly where I want to be. The world might not need another Jillian Michaels, but maybe Central Maine needs an Amy Lawson. We'll find out. (!)