Archive for February, 2008


It’s 3am

February 28, 2008

Here’s a random picture…. it’s Curt, my nephew Cameron and I sledding on Christmas Day. Luc is to the right of Curt, but I am not so great at the self portrait!

It’s 3am and I am mustering the guts to go run on the treadmill before I leave for the airport. It is 16 degrees outside, which means in the garage it is 30 degrees out. By nigh time I will be in a warmer place.




February 26, 2008

In two days I will be on an airplane leaving all of this snow behind. Destination: South Carolina. Agenda: Camp HTFU. Purpose: HTFU. Harden the fuck up… for those of you not in the know ;-). It’s not a phrase I came up with. I believe this originated from Coach Paulo Sousa, who passed it on to Coach T, who passed it on to me.

I think that’s how it went. It’s like that game of pass it on……

Lucky for me, Coach T and I are on the same page when it comes to this whole “camp” thing. I’ve been doing a camp up in Lake Placid for a few years now, in May. Taking a few days out of your normal life, eating, breathing and living triathlon for a few days does wonders.

It’s the same thing as going on a retreat for yoga. To the spa for those who go to spas.

Same bar as they say, different drug. My drug of choice happens to be multisport. Yours might or might not be, but you get the idea.

Camps allow me to find the next level. They give me something to work towards. In the middle of winter it gives me something to look forward to. I will be in this camp with 7 other girls who are essentially out of my league, especially in the running arena.

And that’s why this is so important.

This Wizard that Elizabeth speaks of…. he’s waiting for me you see. I have feared him before, and when faced with the possibility of coming face to face with him, more often than not I have turned around.

I am slowly learning that the Wizard is not something to fear. It really wasn’t him I was afraid of, it was me. The Wizard is something, someone to look forward to. Because when you see it, you’ve just taken the next step towards your own personal excellence.

We are riding some kind of massive mountain thing this weekend, I have hard that 50% of South Carolina is joining us. I hear I need a 12X 27 to climb this thing. Good thing I ride a 12X23. Gulp. In reality I am not afraid of the climb I am afraid of the descent…. but that is a different story.

Should it happen that the mountain exceeds my gearing, that I can’t push anymore I will have two choices. I will have the choice to turn around and I have the choice to get there. Getting there might mean I get off my bike, take off my shoes and run the damn mountain with my bike on my shoulder. If that does happen know that I have seen the Wizard. Given the choice between riding and running my second choice will typically be running. So if I am running with my bike… something has gone very wrong.

As I look out the window and see the snowflakes descending upon the land that I need to fly out of in 2 days I am not filled with worry. I am not afraid that these ladies are significantly faster and at an entirely elevated level than I. I am not afraid to be dropped. I am not afraid to run my bike, roll down a hill, and I am absolutely not afraid of seeing the Wizard.

In fact… I am looking forward to seeing him, introducing myself and then shaking his hand. This season he and I will be seeing a lot of one another. And I just can’t wait.


National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

February 24, 2008

It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. A few people I told that to sighed and shook their heads. “Everything has an awareness week now!” they cried. It does not offend me at all. I realize the lack of understanding there is about eating disorders whether is be anorexia, bulimia, and even overeating.

There is so much disordered eating going on we begin to wonder what normal is anymore.

But if you did sigh when you read that, think of a teenager girl you know. Or maybe a woman. Or maybe a man. We all know someone who is affected. If you know a teenage girl, think of her Dad and what he is going through. Think of their mother and whet they are going through.

Think they’d appreciate that sigh?

The University of Rochester will be hosting a week long symposium this week, featuring several local experts and panelists. I am honored to be part of a panel that will be speaking on Monday Feb 25th at 7pm at the University of Rochester.

Here is the info for the week:

Please join us for the opening of Joy Christiansen’s exhibit entitled “Family Gathering: A Look into the World of Eating Disorders” on Tuesday Feb. 26th from 5-7pm. The artist will give a short talk at 5:30 that evening. This photographic installation encourages a closer look the world of eating disorders through personal interviews of both individual sufferers of the disorder as well as from their family members and friends. Please see the attached press release and image for more details.

Centered around this exhibition is a week of programming for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Below is a list of upcoming activities:

The Hartnett Gallery has teamed up with the UHS Health Promotion Office, University Counseling Center, UR Women’s Caucus and other student groups to sponsor these events for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Please consider attending the following events, and pass the list along to your friends and colleagues. All events will be held on the UR River Campus, unless noted otherwise. For more information, directions, and a campus map, please visit

Monday, Feb. 25, 7-8pm. Hoyt Auditorium. Panel Discussion: Health, Art and Life: Breaking the Silence of Eating Disorders. Featuring Mary Tantillo, PhD., local expert, Mary Eggars, RN, triathlete and coach, and Joy Christiansen, MFA, visiting artist & creator of the exhibit “Family Gathering.”

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 5-7pm. Hartnett Gallery, Wilson Commons. Art Exhibit Opening: Family Gathering: A Look Into the World of Eating Disorders. Joy Christensen, the artist, will be on hand to talk with attendees informally about her work.

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 8:30-10:30am. Hirst Lounge, Wilson Commons. Wake Up in Wilson Eating Disorders Book Display.Thursday, Feb. 28, 11am-4pm. Gowen Room, Wilson Commons. Eating Disorders Screening. Students can complete an assessment and meet privately with a professional from University Counseling Center.

Thursday, Feb. 28, 8-9pm. Ciminelli Lounge, Student Living Center, Eastman School of Music. Mindful Eating Workshop. Learn from a University Counseling Center professional how to pay closer attention to your body and mind while eating.

Friday, Feb. 29, 8-9:30pm. Strong Auditorium. The Vagina Monologues. A student performance sponsored by the UR Women’s Caucus. Tickets available at the Common Market and at the door.($5 UR students; $7 all others).

NEDAW is sponsored by the Hartnett Gallery, Women’s Caucus (SA Funded), Graduate Organizing Group, UHS Health Promotion Office, University Counseling Center, Wilson Commons Student Activities, New York State College Health Association, and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies. Additional support provided by the Panhellenic Association, MGC, UR Student Health Advisory Committee, and ESM Residential Life.


My Very Own Confession

February 22, 2008

I confess. I am addicted. Completley addicted. To LOST. It began in the beginning of January when I got the iPod Classic. I had 80 G of memory, more than the enitre military and now the capacity to watch TV on my iPod!

I hadn’t watched TV in ages. During my Ironman Florida taper I started to get invloved with Days of Our Lives again, but it was the same loop. Over and over.

Then I found LOST. Lucky for me there was a writers strike. And lucky for me I like to ride my bike. A lot.

I had three entire seasons to watch and it took me a lot of hours on my bike, and nearly three weeks. For the big premeire I was ready. And every Thursday night I am glued to the TV. Last night was no exception.


Just when you think you have a theory, you think you have figured it out there is a twist. It’s not just the plot either, it is how the story is told. The first 2 seasons it was present day + flashbacks. Now it is present day + flash FORWARDS. FORWARDS?

So there. I have said it. I am shamelessly addicted to LOST. So if you find me wearing a T Shirt that says “SAVE CHARLIE” or one with “The Numbers” on it, just smile. Unless you are a fan. Then we can sit down and trade our theories on how on God’s green earth did Ben and Syaid become partners??????

What nickname would Sawyer give you? Click HERE to find out!


Cold with a Capital C!

February 21, 2008

It’s all in your attitude … I told myself as I started my car this morning at 5am. Home is where the heart is…. it’s all about attitude…. I start my car for about 15 minutes before I leave in the morning. So if you are looking to steal a SUV, come on over to my house early. Chances are you’ll get caught pretty quick. My car is pretty easy to spot. We’ll just say you’d better be an Ironman, and you’d better be a chick. (How else can I prevent my husband from driving my car? 🙂

I will not get a remote car starter, I said to myself. How lazy could I be? Upon my arrival at my 6am yoga class somehow that was the topic of conversation. Remote car starters. Now I admit I am being stubborn. When I leave the hospital at 2:30 am and have a 20 minute walk to my car, it would be nice to have it started and toasty.

It would also be nice if there was a hot cup of coffee waiting for me but I park accross from Starbucks so I will take that.

When I leave for Masters or yoga in the morning …. I go out and start my car anyways… what would be the difference?

So I at least promised myself that this Sepetmber I would reconsider it. It certainly not about price, the things are dirt cheap these days. It’s about principle. Too bad that right now I can’t seem to define that principle. I can’t seem to find the reason I was against one in the first place.


Next week is Camp HTFU and I have decided this…. if South Carolina for some reson is not warm enough we will pack into the van…. the Camp HTFU van and we will drive south until we find the sun. So far they are calling for 61 degrees and I will take 61 degrees. 61 degrees is more than thirty degrees warmer than where I am.

It’s also 30 degrees warmer than the garage which houses the bikes and the treadmill….. it’s also five degrees warmer than it is in my house ;-).

So bring it on. Let’s go. Give me the sun. Better yet, if my plane flies me straight into the sun, I will be one happy camper.


Home Is Where The Heart Is

February 20, 2008

My Father always told me that I should be able to live in a cardboard box and be just as happy as I would be if I were living in a mansion. Later on I did understand that. Happiness is a choice. And things are truly what you make of them.

It’s funny these life lessons I keep learning. My father also always told me the grass was greener on the other side. Take when I went to college for example. I went to Long Island which met my criteria for a school that was 6+ hours from home.

I landed right back in Buffalo.

Take my little stint in California. Laguna Beach.

I landed right back in Buffalo.

So when Curt was transferred to Rochester I laughed as I looked at where my sister and brother ended up; Paris and Georgia. And here I was. the one who strayed the furthest ended up the closest.

But it means things like Luc knowing his Grandparents more than 2 times per year. It means never having to stay at my parent’s house for a week. It means I talk to my father at 12:45 nearly every single day and the phone bill is easy. It’s things like that that sit with me deeply.

I looked to change careers. I applied and was accepted into 2 Masters programs for education. I began to drift and I began to wander. Then something very strange changed. And it was me who changed. It was an 11 year old girl with cancer who was in Peds ED a few months ago. No one could access her port, we needed a line and the nurses one by one tried and were unable to get IV access.

That means she was poked and poked and poked.

I went in. She was crying. Her parents were exhausted. I looked in this girl’s eye and I told her we were going to get this line. This was the last poke. And if I didn’t get it in 15 seconds I was out.

So she agreed. And we agreed to sing a song together. “You are my sunshine”. This girl and I sang together and before the song was done I was in, labs were drawn and the ugliness had ended. And it was nothing special that I did. It was just luck. Every nurse in Peds ED is a rock star at IV’s. Every single one.

So I sat with her for a bit after that, as she was asking me questions. Sometimes these cancer kiddos rooms are great places to be. The door was closed and in chaos it was quiet. As nurses we know when there is time to sit and talk. We talked about being a nurse. I told her I was thinking of changing careers. She told me not to.

“Who would get my IV if you were not a nurse? Who would sit and talk to me if you weren’t a nurse?” She was convincing. “Please don’t quit…. it is too important to kids like me.”

I wanted to say….. someone else would take my place. There’s always someone else. But I didn’t. She got me thinking.

So I have decided on which Masters Program to accept an acceptance to. It will be Nursing. It will be NP. And I have a local university friend pulling me to not only pursue that but also consider Nursing Education as well. Hmmmmmmm……

In addition today I had a very cool experience and I was given a large choice to make. I take three days to make a major decision and it would not impact the remainder of my life, the business, training. In fact it might have made things a little easier.

As I sit here tonight weighing the pros and the cons….. thinking through options and possibilities…. I can’t help but remember how each time I stay away from home, I see the value in home. Now I am not talking about home as in my family or where I live, I am talking in terms of career.

As today is day two, I know where my decision is beginning to lead. I just need some training time to think on it. And 2 more conversations with my father.


The Meaning of HTFU

February 20, 2008

What does this elusive four letter acronym mean? It’s very simple. One day at band camp……. in between my training for IMLP and IMFL last season, I mentioned to Coach T (Trevor Syversen for those who are not in the know….) that I was tired. Go figure. Someone had told him once, and it was time for him to pass it along to me.

Click here for the meaning of HTFU.