Archive for December, 2012

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Sharing experiences

December 29, 2012

The snow was crunchy beneath my feet and the air was cold. The kind of cold that was warm inside your lungs, not the kind that took your breath away. The kind that reminded you that you are alive. I love runs like this, on those perfect winter days. The snow is 3 feet deep all around you but the streets are relatively clear. The sun is shining and it’s just the perfect mix of winter. Warm enough to run and not cold enough to freeze.

You look out over the world once you reach that light post at the top of the hill and for once….. for just this moment…. in a world that these last two weeks especially has seemed so dark…. it’s light. It’s bright. That makes me feel hope.

After all these years of authoring this blog, I never get tired of writing about training. It’s not the paces though, not the watts, not the execution that I like to write about. That’s the easy stuff. Training is easy. Day in day out it’s what I choose and love to do. I write about the experiences that happen during. The lessons. The feelings. Even on the treadmill, even on the trainer when all I do is stare at the floor. I don’t need to be outside to have the experiences, but sometimes I am lucky enough to.

I hope that the experience never gets boring. Or that I never get complacent with it. Or that it’s never important to write about or share. Sharing those experiences is important to me…. because I know that you have them too. I know you feel them too and I know you can relate. Being an athlete is such an incredible gift…. as well as a choice.

I struggle when I hear athletes tell me about the sacrifices they make to be at the level they are at. I really struggle.

By definition sacrifice means:

  • an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially : the killing of a victim on an altar
  • destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else

Sacrifice to me….. is when someone donates a kidney to someone else. Sacrifice to me… is when a woman donates an egg to another woman, who can’t have a baby on her own. Sacrifice to me…. is when a soldier leaves his (0r her family to fight a war halfway around the world…. because he (or she) loves his country that much.

Sacrifice to me…. is when a police officer or firefighter runs into danger to help someone else. We learned that lesson all too clearly this week in Rochester.

Athletes don’t make sacrifices. Athletes make commitments and we make choices. As athletes we are doing nothing heroic. Those I just mentioned…. those people are heroic. Being an athlete is a choice and a privilege. Winning races is the privilege of the privilege. Regardless of whether I have won or lost in this sport, it’s a lesson my father taught me and one I have never forgotten nor taken for granted.

By  definition  commitment means:

  • an act of committing,  an agreement or pledge to do something in the future.

And by definition privilege means:

  • A special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste.

I will never take for granted the experiences I get to have being an athlete. My sport has literally taken me around the world. My sport is where I met my husband. My sport is where I have become family  with thousands of people who I get to share this with. My sport has allowed me the fortune of working for and with an incredible group of coaches. Like it or not, they are family to me as well. That is more than a privilege, it’s a blessing.

When I announce races I look around and feel incredible privileged to do what I do. Again sport allows me the opportunity to watch their day unfold and watch sometimes 1,000 finishes in just a few hours.

Ever watch that many people finish a race? It’s amazing. Sit with me one day at the announcer’s tent and watch. You will watch 1,000 stories unfold. No matter how the race went…. there is always the look of accomplishment and achievement. Not because the sacrifices they made to get there….. but the commitment they made to themselves to get there.

There is a difference. A big one. Once you start realizing that, realizing what all of this is….. it takes on an even deeper meaning. Give it a try…. change the word sacrifice when it relates to sport…. to commitment and privilege. See what happens.

Being an athlete has nothing to do with sacrifice. It has everything to do with privilege and commitment. The soldier who lost his legs…. or life fighting a war is the one who makes a sacrifice.

The fortune of the experiences I get to have as an athlete is something… as I said…. I hope I will always share. The experiences have nothing to do with winning or losing. They have nothing to do with how fast I did not didn’t go. They have everything to do with living, breathing, being. They have nothing to do with how long or how much. When I train I don’t think about anything but the simple act of what I am doing. To be able to turn off like that… another privilege. Another gift. If I can do that… you can do that. If you struggle with that… here I share what that feels like and maybe that in turn…. can help you.

As I ran through the streets yesterday I couldn’t help but smile. I couldn’t help but feel good. I couldn’t help but have some hope during a period of time around here where hope feels so lost. This year there have been too many funerals. Too many tragedies. Too many lives snuffed out because of senselessness.

Bring out there brings me back to what is important to me. The basics. The abilities that I have and the experiences I have been so fortunate to live. The good and the bad, it’s all a privilege.

As you move forward don’t forget that. Don’t lose that. Use it as motivation to not waste what you have. Use it as motivation to continue the circle of sharing that experience. The more we share and build that circle….. the more we grow and the closer we get.

For me, that’s as good a reason as any.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Four nutrition tips for 2013!

December 27, 2012

Yesterday we talked fitness… today we will discuss the other piece of the puzzle… nutrition. January 1st is a magical day for many people. That’s the day they take everything on earth out of their diet. They eat perfect for one, maybe two, maybe three days. Then they have a piece of chocolate and bam. Fall completely off the wagon.

This year I challenge you to do something different. Instead of weight loss…. think health gain. Instead of deprivation…. add to your diet. Sounds good already doesn’t it?

Through my work with QT2 and The Core Diet I have learned a lot about nutrition. How it affects us not just in performance but in daily life. Whether you are a competitive athlete or fitness enthusiast the foundation of everything you do begins with what you put in your body. Put good fuel in your car, and your car runs well. What trips most people up however is this idea that it’s all or nothing.

So how about, we do things a little differently this year? How about this…. for the month of January don’t take anything away from your diet. Add to your diet. But try this (and this comes from The Core Diet)

1. Eat four fruits per day. With the advent of the Magic Bullet (and we just got the nutribullet) we can make a smoothie with four servings of fruits and vegetables in one shot if we really try!

2. Eat four vegetables per day. One salad can cover this if you really load it (spacing it out is recommended though!)

*** The caloric content of adding four and four to your diet as it exists today will not cause weight gain. The extra bag of Doritos will***

3. Use the windows.  One of the mistakes many people make is that they go into a session under-fueled, neglect to take anything in during, and totally neglect the post workout recovery window. Have some simple carbohydrates before a workout. A Nature Valley Bar or two Fig Newtons are good choices. During the workout … fuel. Aim for 12-24 ounces of 1/2 strength organic apple juice (one of my favorite and cheap workout fuels during this time of the season) and afterwards (if the session is about an hour) have 8 ounces of chocolate milk.

If you properly fuel before, during and after your workouts you will not only feel better, you will get more out of that workout, and you will not crash and burn afterwards. Try it for five days and just feel that difference.

4. Don’t neglect protein. I grew up a swimmer so I can exist on pasta and bagels alone. Most of us don’t get enough protein. There are formulas and such to figure out exactly how much you need… but make it easy. one serving at each meal, and how about a serving as a snack? Good sources of protein are Greek yogurt, lean meats, whey protein is a good choice (mix it up with a banana and some baby spinach… you won’t even taste the spinach!)

Those are four easy things you can do today to vastly improve your health. Can we be much more technical? Yes. can we be much more scientific? Absolutely. But what if we…. weren’t? The benefit is still the same. These New Year’s Resolutions we make never work….. because we take an all or nothing approach. sure that approach works for some, but stop counting yourself out if that is not how it works for you.

I encourage you not to jump on the weight loss bandwagon this year. I encourage you to clear the path for improved health instead. Doesn’t that just feel better to say? Let’s give the body what it needs and not deprive the head of what it wants. I bet in a few weeks you will begin to naturally trend towards healthier options all the way around.

Don’t worry…. this is a thread we will continue to weave throughout the new year, I will not leave you hanging.

And check us out at the Core Diet. What a great gift it makes…. to give someone the gift of health.

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7 tips to get started getting fit

December 26, 2012

I firmly believe that fitness is the key to many things. We know the physical benefits of it, and there is without a doubt psychological benefits as well. Just Google exercise and depression, and you get plenty of proof. Click here for an example. Just like anything else in life…. fitness is a choice, a habit and a way of life. Around here it’s part of our lifestyle…. the fact that we are competitive athletes is an aside. Even if we were not it would still be a priority. We are just not folks who sit.

How do you make fitness a lifestyle? Here are some tips how to work it into your life.

1. Decide it’s important to you. Once you decide it’s important to you, really decide…. you will find a way to commit to it.

2. Make time for it: As little as 20 minutes a day reaches far to improve health, help you lose weight and help the mind too. We all have 20 minutes in our day to move.

I happen to workout in the morning. As a lifelong swimmer who was routinely in the pool at 4:30am before school…. it’s just how I am programmed. I find that between the hours of 4-7 am … no one needs me. If they do it’s an emergency. People tend to think that because my son is 12, that he was never a baby. Not only was he a baby he was a difficult baby. And I worked shift-work. Sleep deprivation?  I invented it. Qualified for Kona three times that way. It wasn’t the best way, but I got it in because it was important to me. Now…. it’s much easier because I mostly work from home, I don’t do shift-work and I sleep regularly. I have paid my dues!

3. Do what you love to do: What do you like to do? I love to swim, bike and run. I also like to take classes. Group ex has always been fun for me, and I have allowed myself to bring that back into my regimen again. If you hate running, I have a simple solution…. don’t run. Look around… what’s out there that is fun for you? Do it!

4. Get into a schedule: Piggybacking on number 2……  get into a regular schedule. for me it’s early morning. for you it might be that class at 4:30 in the afternoon. Schedule it out, put it right into your calendar, treat it just like everything else. For me training is non negotiable. It’s just as important to me as a doctor appointment. I also go to bed rather early. I don’t watch TV in the evening, I spend time with my family and I go to bed. I never have trouble going to bed! But find your time and get into the schedule of it, and allow nothing (aside from an emergency) to disrupt that. It’s your time.

5. Get organized. I have about 15 pairs of hot pants. They are just short black bike shorts without the padding. I also have a bunch of tank tops, most of which are men’s black hanes undershirts. I am not a fashionista at the gym (but I have some color, no worries). My point is this; on Sundays I prepare for the week in terms of workouts. I have a bin of clothes ready to go for the week. I hit the gym Monday through Friday (train at home on the weekends) and my clothes are ready to go. I pack my bag the night before so that nothing needs to be done for the morning.

My training is very organized. It’s all laid out a month in advance and on Sunday night I review the upcoming week. The beauty of training is that it’s simple. It doesn’t change much except for recovery weeks and even those are the same. Know what you are doing for the week on Sunday night and if you have to … schedule your bedtime. Then… stick to it.

6. Schedule assessments. Find someone reputable to hep you determine your body composition. It’s good when someone else knows and knows your goals, outside of your family. The benefit of an outsider doing that assessment and knowing your goals is that you are more likely to hold yourself accountable. Also… knowing where you stand in itself can be very motivating. If you begin a fitness program today, schedule a reassessment in 6 weeks. You may or may not see change in 6 weeks…. but it gives you something to work for.

7. Determine your why: This is the crucial one. I can’t tell you how many emails I get a week asking how do I get motivated. You get motivated by finding your why. There is the story of a man who was 100 pounds overweight. His daughter needed a kidney and his was the only match. Because he was so overweight he was not able to donate that kidney, and her life depended on it. He lost 100 pounds and was able to donate, saving her life.

His why…. was that he wanted to save his daughter’s life. His how… just became easier. If you determine your own why…. your how will become more doable (I hesitate to say easier). This ties back to #1 up there. You have to decide that this is important to you. it’s not something you will do for a while and then stop. That’s how you got here in the first place.

Don’t wait until january 1st. Start today. I see so many people decide to begin this whole new lifestyle on Jan 1st, so they eat themselves sick this week as if they are attending the last supper. Start TODAY. It doesn’t mean you can’t have your Christmas goodies, it doesn’t mean you are perfect. Start today. There is just no reason to procrastinate. It’s your health, it’s your life. Don’t wait.

A year from now, be able to look back and say… this was the year I really prioritized my health and my life!

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Classes at Midtown

December 23, 2012

I am very excited and honored to be joining the amazing fitness team at Midtown Athletic Club this week! I have been teaching a very long time (both yoga and cycling) and being the new girl on the block is a place I have not been in YEARS, but a place I look forward to. It makes me hungry again. It raises my bar.midtown logo

This team is one of a kind and like I said…. top freaking notch. What an opportunity. I went from an amazing team at Breathe…. to another amazing team at Midtown. Through my career(s) I have been able to learn from the best. Love this life!

I will be subbing this week for some GREAT  instructors… what better way to dive in then to dive right in!

I am subbing for the awesome Kathy for cycling at 9am on Saturday the 29th. That same day I am also subbing Doug’s power vinyasa class at 3pm. Need a guest pass? Just let me know! I have gazillions!

My regular class schedule will be as follows beginning the week of January 2nd.

Tuesday 6am Cycling. My cycling classes utilize power, HR, cadence and some days we just turn off the lights, cover the data and freaking ride. The challenge these days with indoor cycling is blending those who ride outside, and those group ex’ers who don’t. We rely on the data and the science stuff to a degree but we won’t marry you to it. Data like this should be used to teach you how to read your own body. You should not be 100% dictated by it, you use it as a guide. If you don’t know your zones and such…. no worries. I will show you what you can do with it!

Wednesday 5:45pm Cycling. Note that this class backs up to Missy and Christine’s 7:00 class. Which means as long as there are bikes available, I will be riding a double! BONUS!

Friday 6a, Power Vinyasa Yoga: this class will be one hour (not 75 minutes) and it will be geared toward athletes. Wait… you are not flexible? You can’t touch your toes? You are not bendy twisty? Excellent. You and I will get along just fine. In fact, we will get along better than fine. This class will be a strong dynamic flow (expect to sweat) blending strength and flexibility…. without being all pretzelly. If you happen to be a bendy twisty yogi….. of course come on in and take your practice to where it needs to go! The beauty of yoga is that you create it to fit you. Bottom line.

I have tons guest passes if you would like to come and check Midtown out. I have been a member there since 2010 and …. I love it. You get to be an athlete here and you get to work with Rochester’s best trainers and instructors. As I said I came to MidTown in 2010, truthfully I went there for the pool. I didn’t come inside much if at all until this past spring. They do the little things that make a big club seem like a small family run business. They call you on your Birthday. They know things about you and they get to know you. They do small things that seem so exceptional… just as part of every day life.

I am eager to learn more. This is a quality team and it’s the chance of a lifetime to get to join them and learn from them. Although I have been doing this for over 15 years I still consider myself a student of the industry.

If you are interested in a guest pass…… please let me know via comment, message me on facebook or twitter …or shoot me an email at maryeggers@gmail.com and I can get you some guest passes!!!! and yes… THIS is the club with the pool that’s open April to December!

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Inspire

December 21, 2012

I think that when people die the first days and the first week is the hardest. For me… it’s…. 24 hours ago they were alive. 48 hours ago they were alive. 72 hours ago they were alive. Last week at this time they were alive.

Then the weeks become months. Last month at this time…

Then comes the first year. Then the second. The pain never gets better. The hole in your heart never heals. The day that you lost them just feels like it gets further away.

Any given second you are brought back to that day, that moment. When you realized they were ripped from your life. The smile leads to tears and that big heavy gasp, the one that takes your breath away and the world falls down all over again.

I haven’t slept in a week. I stare at the ceiling. And I wasn’t involved in anything that had anything to do with Sandy Hook. Over the past week I have read about every single one of the children and amazingly brave heroes that were killed. Their faces are memorized and I stare at the ceiling at night and think about them.

As a pediatric nurse I could handle when children were in pain, and when they were hurt, because I could do something about it. What rips my heart out is when children are afraid. The thought of how afraid those children were keeps me awake. It takes my breath away in the worst possible way. And I knew none of them.

But I am a mother. And a human being. The what if this happened to me…. has cycled through my mind more times then I want to admit to you.

I am also the mother of a child on this damn autism spectrum.

Over this past week I have read every story. Looked at every picture. Tearfully watched each interview with families. I don’t know why I watch and look…. I am curious I suppose. I can’t wrap my mind or my heart around such evil that I seek that answer…. WHY. The truth of the matter is….. no why in the world could make this make any sense at all.

We allowed our son to learn what happened. To understand what happened. We talked about what to do if we ever find ourselves in this situation. We haven’t hugged extra this week or said I love you any more…. because we have always done that anyway.

I watch these families who have lost their children go on TV and give these interviews….. they inspire me. I don’t understand how they are able to breathe. I don’t understand how they are able to smile. How they are able to function. In each of these interviews I have witnessed unbelievable strength and faith. They are telling stories of their sons and daughters. They are imagining what they are doing up there in heaven. You can almost feel the faith that these parents seem to have.

I find that to be inspiring. I find that it gives me strength to lend to someone else who needs it. In the hope that they lend it to another. In the hope that we spread faith and strength around as far as it needs to go.

I will admit to you that I am scared. I will admit to you that I fear being in a place like a movie theatre where someone opens fire. I fear that my face will be one of those plastered on the cover of People magazine next week because someone decided to take their own life and bring innocent people with them.

I fear that I will not be able to defend myself…. or worse…. I fear that I will not be able to protect my son.

I fear that one day I will get that call. It never happens to you…. until it happens to you. I fear being one of these parents. I know for certain I would not have half the strength that they have.

This fear of mine will not stop me from living. From going places, from experiencing this world. But it’s still a fear nonetheless.

I want to be angry. I want to stage a revolution. I want to fight back. The problem is…. there is too much to fight back against. There is not just one issue or one problem. There are twenty. I don’t know where to start.

So I start at home. I start with what I can control. I am the mother of a child on the autism spectrum. What that means is that we still raise our son right. That means I work harder because the stigma is now bigger. That means we work together as husband and wife to raise a good man.

I feel helpless. I feel lost. I can’t sleep. So imagine what they are going through. I am just a person hundreds of miles away peering into their world. Getting to know people I shouldn’t have ever known about unless our paths crossed. Being so inspired by the strength and faith of a community. Smiling at pictures of mischievous little boys and girls. Feeling my heart sink at the same time it swells for those adults who were true heroes. And I feel grateful for those who chose to share the stories and the memories with the world.

Sometimes I am afraid that these holes in my heart will heal because i am terrified that I will forget. At the same time I don’t know how I could possibly forget. I don’t want to forget these beautiful faces and these beautiful spirits. I don’t want to forget their mothers and fathers who are so incredibly brave.

As I lay awake at night … I imagine they are laying awake at night as well. I am lucky. My life will go on as planned. Theirs will never be the same.

I can honor all of them by doing right by our son. By doing right by other people. We can honor them by taking care of one another instead of tearing each other apart. By being part of the solution and not part of the problem. It’s easy to complain about lack of this and lack of that. As they say complaining is a lot like being in a rocking chair. You get a lot of movement but you never get anywhere.

So let’s do this right. Let’s be good to one another. Let’s take care of one another. Will that create change? To those who do it, it can. While we are doing that…. we can hold those who are at the epicenter of this great big nightmare tightly in our prayers.

If my biggest problem is that I can’t sleep for a week or two…. I have a pretty sweet life. I don’t know how these families will ever be able to go on. But I do know one thing…. their strength, faith and hope…. are the most inspiring I have ever seen.

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Product review: Nootca Goggles

December 19, 2012

Please don’t tell my Swedish goggles. I have been cheating on them.

Over the summer Steven Keegan reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in testing out a few pairs of goggles he designed. Claiming that he reinvented the Swedish goggle, the only goggle I will ever swim in a pool wearing…. he wanted me to try them out and see what I thought.

I agreed, partly because I wanted to prove him wrong. No one could ever improve upon the swedish goggle. Trust me, they have tried. You can’t improve upon perfection. Or so I thought.

He sent me three pairs of Nootca goggles. The 5, the 207 and the eleven. They arrived in very sleek packages, which I thought was a trick. Sure… catch me with sleek packaging. Then I opened the boxes and there they were. The three most beautiful pairs of goggles I had ever seen.

The Nootca eleven

nootca 11

The Nootca 207

nootca 207

The Nootca 5

nootca 5Aren’t those some beautiful looking goggles? I thought he had me fooled with fancy packaging and sleek design. Then I took them to the pool.

What I have always loved about swedish goggles if how they fit. They come in pieces and you custom fit them to you. Nootca has in fact, improved on that design I have to admit. They come assembled but with the option to actually custom fit them as you would a swedish goggle, and they come with the option to bridge the nose with a string.

Check this video out on how that works. Notice the design. Seriously sleek.

The first time I swam in these I noticed the panoramic view. There was no more seam in the corner of my eye. I could see everything. They didn’t fog. If you swim in swedes you know that they fog, and you just accept it. No fog. I touched the lens, licked the lens (don’t judge) and still…. no fog.

I not concede. Nootca has in fact… improved the swedish goggle.

Both the eleven and the 7 are very close to the 5, but with a little more padding around the eye gaskets which makes the option for open water …. an actual option. I don’t wear my swedes in open water because if I were to take a hit to the face (which has happened) the possibility of fracturing my occipital bone (eye socket) is very real, because they sit in as opposed to around your eye socket. The Nootca seven and eleven…. have some more padding. If I were to take a hit to the face I would have much better luck not getting hurt.

I have been wearing both models in open water and they are fabulous. The panoramic view allows me to see everything. I never knew that could happen with a  goggle. It’s just a pair of goggles!

Two other features I like with Nootca is the nose bridge and the straps. The nose bridge as you saw in the video above is really easy to adjust. The fact that you even CAN adjust it is amazing. The seven and eleven come with another type of nose bridge that is equally easy to adjust too. See the below picture for how that works.

nootca nose

When you typically wear swedes you tie the straps to get the correct tightness, which can be a real pain if you need to adjust. Nootca has a very col strap holder that is completely adjustable. Check this out.

Bottom line…. I love these goggles. I love them. I don’t go anywhere without them. The design is sleek, but the functionality is amazing. I can see, they don’t fog, and they are so adjustable. I love them. What more can I say! I love them!

I happen to have four pairs of Nootca goggles to give away!!!! We will do that giveaway on Thursday, right on Twitter. Starting at 5am I will post some triathlon related trivia questions. The first person to tweet me back with the right answer wins.

The rules:

1. Follow Nootca on Twitter. You MUST be a Nootca follower to win! Follow them at @nootcanews. (I guess that means you have to follow me as well @maryeggers).

2. You have to have @nootcanews in the response.

3. You have to have the correct answer!

One the winner is selected, I will PM you for your address and send them to you!

First question will be before 5am! I have four to give away so stay tuned and GOOD LUCK!

Now before you do anything else…. check out the awesome website for Nootca by clicking right here!

 

 

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Hope

December 15, 2012

I love coming to Boston, this is our fourth year making this trip. I have a deep love for American History (I wish I would have paid better attention in elementary school, because I am teaching it to myself all over again). Boston of course has such deep American history. This is where so much happened and to be walking along the same grounds as the fathers of this country did is something I don’t take for granted.

Especially today.

I learned of the murders in Connecticut late yesterday and like the rest of the world I sank to my knees wondering….. why. It felt somehow ironic that I was walking on the very grounds where men gave their lives so that we could have the rights that we have at the very same moment that we are killing one another.

My heart hurts. All of our hearts hurt. I don’t know what the answers are. Right now people are throwing around big words and big feelings naturally. I want to start a damn revolution my feelings are so big right now. At the end of it all…. once again we are brought back to the basics of our lives and we are reminded how precious our lives are. How precious the lives of our children are.

As we walked through the streets of Boston I looked around. I still have faith in people. I looked at people of all kinds walking together, smiling together. Even the ones texting and talking on phones while walking around…. smiling, connecting, living. I believe still that we as a society are good people. I don’t think we are lost.

Call me an optimist, a dreamer and maybe delusional….. but I still believe that good can triumph over evil. I still believe in God. I still have faith and I will admit that my faith right now is shaky but it’s there.

Last evening I got to meet someone I have been wanting to meet since we connected on Facebook a while ago. A man named John Young. Check out his website here. He came down to Boston to meet with our family and it was the perfect ending to what felt like a heavy day. John is a little person. A dwarf. He began competing in triathlons in 2009, is a high school math teacher, a swim coach for his school, a father and a husband (not all in that order)! John told us the story of how be got involved in our sport, what his goals and ambitions are and the amazing things he has accomplished. Half Ironmans. Marathons. He told us about his bike and how that came to be, his wetsuit, his training. His amazing weight loss after a life changing diagnosis of sleep apnea.

What I admire about him…. is that he’s got that make it happen type of attitude. It’s what we needed to be around last night on an evening that felt so full of despair. You want to talk about someone who has their shine on…. John has his shine on. He radiates positivity, hope and desire.

john marathon 2

John is what I mean when I say that there are still good people in this world. He is one incredible man and I am beyond ecstatic that we finally got to meet.

john and mary

Thank you so much John for the chance to hang out. Thank you for all you have done to support myself, my family and the Teens Living With Cancer family.

I have to admit I have an obsession with people. I love people. I love to connect with people and experience everything about someone. I am not reserved or shy about that. I love to learn your story. I want to know what drives you. I want to know where you came from and I want to know where you are headed. I want to know what sustains you. I want to know what scares you.

Each person in this world has a story to tell and I want to learn it. I love social media for that reason. There is so much I learn from each person I meet, and I want to learn and grow every day in every way I can.

On such a heartbreaking day….. I went to bed with my faith and hope a little stronger, thanks to John.