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Why do some bananas turn grey as they get older, while others retain their “yellow” while just developing the usual brown spots? I’ve been pondering this very question over the past few days while staring at my parent’s kitchen counter covered in grey bananas. Well, I’ve googled it… and turns out if they are ever stored at below room temperature then it stalls their ability to ripe. So, these must have been refrigerated at some point. Isn’t that interesting? Well, maybe not that interesting. All I know is that there isn’t anything more unappealing than a grey banana.
Speaking of grey, that’s also the description I’d use to describe the weather for the past few days. I guess spring just came long enough to give us a little tease. That’s OK, I know the warm & sunny weather will return soon enough. And when it does, I know happy times will come with it!!
Another benefit of staying with my parents are my mom’s delicious smoothies. She blends together (grey) bananas, frozen blueberries, greek yogurt, ice, walnuts (I know, right?), ground flax-seed, ice and fat-free milk for a “healthy way to start your day”. I’ve started to cut my cereal portions in half just so I can have some. I’m always in for anything made with greek yogurt.
I am really looking forward to heading out-of-town with my coworker Misty to Dothan this weekend for the TriStates 100. Looks like I’m just going to do the shorter distance as to not overdo it with my knee. But, if I feel good after those 25 miles, I may keep going as long as I’m pain-free. Woooooooooooooooooooooohoo!!!!!!! I can’t WAIT to started training again.
Weigh-In Wednesday #52 – 147.8
How do you measure a year?
A lot has happened to me in the past 365 days. Mostly good, very little bad. Here is a small sampling:
1. I started The Jen West Quest exactly one year ago today!
2. I finished my first Half Ironman last April.
3. I lost over 45 pounds!!
4. I was featured on the Rachael Ray Show for my weight-loss success & blog.
5. I was featured in Health Magazine’s “I Did It!” Spotlight.
6. I was a Birmingham Bombshell.
7. I made new running besties.
8. My wonderful husband and I decided to split up, but remain friends.
9. I injured my knee and was unable to finish what would have been my first marathon.
10. I am temporarily living with my parents until our lease is up in August.
11. I have grown & prospered in my 9 to 5 job.
12. I blew my previous 10k PR (personal record) out of the water.
13. I have become both mentally and physically stronger.
14. I appreciate food as nourishment for my body, not as an emotional filler.
15. I am a much more confident person.
16. I turned 32.
17. I met or exceeded all of the expectations for myself.
In honor of this special day, my boss surprised me with a new haircut at my favorite salon in 5 Points South (Peter @ Orbit). I go today over my lunch break for my new ‘do. Thank you Andrea!!!! I love you so much. I will post a photo later on Twitter to show you guys what it looks like.
Thanks to all of you for surrounding me in love, on both the good days and the bad. I can’t wait to share the next 365 with you!
Yesterday while talking with some running professionals, I realized that my knee injury could be from mental stress just as much as physical stress. I was told that the body can’t tell the difference between the two. This can cause inflammation to linger and our bodies to react in strange ways. My rosacea is coming back on my face as well, which is also a form of skin inflammation probably brought on by stress. So, it is now my mission to learn how to relax… especially with all that is going on around me at the moment. Last night I had dinner with a friend who told me about a meditation session at a local Buddhist Center tonight at 7. SO GOING. New Jen West Quest: to find peace. :)
Last night was my first night away from Mike over at my parent’s downstairs apartment. I moved all of my clothes and bathroom stuff yesterday during the day, and it was very sad. I know I should be embracing the change and I am trying my best to, but it is still hard right now. My parents welcomed me with open arms and the living space I’m in couldn’t be better. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful family! The first thing I said when I walked in last night was, “It’s me… for the next 4 months!” :)
I’ve got a super busy week at work, especially today. I’m also going to see Dr. Fagan over my lunch break to get another ultrasound and make a final decision about the injection. My thoughts are not to do it, because if there is pain in my knee I want to know about it rather than cause further damage. As far as the New Orleans Half Ironman goes, I have new peace with that event. My friend (& sports nutritionist) Alison suggested that if I just finish the swim & bike then that is still a huge success. I should take pressure off myself for the run, because it is highly likely that I won’t be able to finish that portion (which happens to be the last). When I get off of the bike, I can make the decision then whether or not to take on the run. And even then I can take it mile by mile. I was asked if this was my most important event of the year, and the answer is no. A full Ironman is my goal event so it isn’t worth further injuring myself if it comes down to that in New Orleans. This brought me great comfort to know that I can find success without crossing the finish line… and all I had to do was adjust my expectations.
As I’m wrapping up my blog for today, my dad is sitting next to me reading off old people’s names in the obituary section. He says as these “old people die off”, we may never hear some of these names again. Here are some of his favorites: Dovie, Edna, Alvin, Hazel Mae, Essie Mae, and Velma. He says that one day my name will also be a novelty… I hated to break it to him that “Jennifer” may never fit into that category. ;) It’s as common as sunshine.
One of the positive aspects that Mike and I look forward to the most when being single again is to able to devote more time & energy to our personal creative projects. I remember when I met Mike in 2006, one of the first things I confessed to him was that sometimes I lose focus on my creative drive when entering a relationship. We’ve both pushed some of our ambition to the wayside while putting that energy into making “us” work. Maybe that isn’t the way it has to be, but for our case, it was.
While on the way out-of-town yesterday to a baby shower with some of my coworkers, one of them asked a very interesting question – What would you do/be in life if you had to do it all over again? We all went around and gave our answers… but my immediate thought was that my life isn’t over, and I can still be whatever I want to be. My answer in the car was to be a professional athlete, but that’s not the only one. I want to write a book, I want to make a feature film, I want to compete in Ironmans around the world, I want to learn Italian, I want to experience everything I possibly can before the day I leave this earth. I want to live in a bigger city. I want to have a taste of the good life. I want to help the less fortunate. My interests are very broad and overwhelming to most, but for me they are exciting and the reasons for living.
While trying to sleep in this morning, which wasn’t happening, I felt this tremendous urge to write about my future creative projects today as my blog entry. So, I got my tired a** out of bed to do just that (despite the fact that I babysat my niece until the wee hours of the morning last night).
I’m just going to name a list off that I’d like to do in the near future, then talk about each one individually.
1. My book – The Jen West Quest
2. Writing a feature film
3. Sponsorship for my Ironman races (I’ll explain why this is “creative” later)
4. Ghost Ghirls
#1. – My book – The Jen West Quest. This is first and foremost on my list of things to do. While I am not an expert in the process, my goal is to have something strong on paper to be able to sell by early/mid summer. I don’t expect to be finished, but I hope to have something that I can present to people in the industry by then.
#2. – Writing a feature film. You know I used to be so passionate about filmmaking, but it’s something that has faded with time. No matter what happens with this interest, I have three strong story ideas waiting for me if I ever want to pursue one of them. The first one is about Louise Wooster, a prostitute/madam Birmingham native who was the self-proclaimed lover of John Wilkes Booth when he shot Lincoln. Her story is amazingly dramatic & sad, and it deserves to be told. My second concept is to tell the story of Nellie Bly, a female journalist in the mid/late 1800′s who faked insanity in order to study a mental institution from within. I’m surprised no one has done anything with her story yet because it’s so courageous & inspiring. The third idea is to do a modern-day Helen Keller story about a deaf & blind child who learns how to communicate. While doing so, the beauty of a world with no sight & sound is expressed in a whole new way. Honestly, this would be the easiest film to make since it isn’t a period piece and funding could be secured to help raise awareness for this type of condition. But no matter what happens, making a film is a full-time commitment and one that I would take very seriously if I ever decided to jump in.
#3. – Sponsorship for my Ironman races. I’ve already decided that if I am lucky enough to get a slot through the Ironman Kona lottery, then I am going to pursue sponsorships. I listed this as a creative project because I would have to market myself in an attractive way and think outside of the box since I’m not a professional athlete. I would become a product in a sense, which is a whole new way to look at myself in the Ironman world. It would be every exciting and fun to take this on!
#4. – Last but not least, Ghost Ghirls. It’s important to remember that this isn’t meant to be a career or major time suck in any way… it’s primarily just a hobby and something I’d like to do. We are pushing back our webisodes until this summer when we all have a little more time to dedicate to it. It’s turned out to be a little more complicated and time-consuming than we originally planned, but it will be worth it in the end. First and foremost, it needs to be FUN!!
So that’s that for my creative project standings. I am really looking forward to what the future has in store, and my dreams are bigger than ever!
Today is my first American Sign Language class, as part of a 9 week course offered through where I work. For those of you who’ve been around, you know that learning ASL was one of my big 2011 goals. I have no reason for wanting to learn it, but the desire is there nonetheless. In high school I took a few lessons where I learned the alphabet and some simple sentences. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to learn more. The class is 2 hours every Monday for 9 weeks. Excited!
I also see Dr. Fagan again today since our appointment was canceled last week due to her being sick. I have good days and not-so-good days with my knee, but the good are definitely outnumbering the bad at the moment. I’m mostly curious to see how much fluid is left in my knee. My PT thinks that there is still some inflammation going on, but it’s going down at a slow and steady pace. As long as I am rockin’ and rollin’ by April 17 (my Half Ironman), I’m OK with it. I’ve already decided that I’m not going for a time goal this time around, I just want to be able to finish. If I can cross that finish line, then I’ve accomplished something very significant.
I’ve got a pretty busy day ahead of me at work, with lots of items to knock off my to-do list. I’m going to need to keep my head down and focus to get through it. Definitely starting my week off on a bang!