Category Archives: Running

And It Cliqued, Just Like That.


Here’s the thing about women. They are POWERFUL. They have influence individually, but in groups, they are exceptional. And if anyone has been to middle school, or high school, you may have experienced some of that. Whether in a school dance or at a lunch table, school age groups of females have been a force to be reckoned with. I know this because, well, I am one. And from experience, I know how hard it can be to operate around a group of females. A bad hair day, or the wrong jeans are sometimes all it takes to feel the brunt of a gaggle of ladies. We women can be cliquish. Dramatic. Catty. Gossipy.


powerful womenWe woman can be inspiring. Empowering. Encouraging.  This is what I experienced tonight. I experienced a MeetUp group called Onederous Women. Onederous Women chose into creating an inclusive space where networking was not a cattle call for business cards. I experienced a space, instead, where strengths were shared.  I got to be part of a space where women met to empower, enjoy, and partake of each other’s lives.

It was an honor.

Imagine this: Nourishment for the belly and the soul all in one room. Practical solutions to everyday problems. A group of problem-solvers devoted to hearing a call and responding. That’s what happened tonight. Right there in the basement of a church, inspiration happened. Bravery happened. Connection happened.

And I was in awe.

I choose to believe it was all for me. It had to be. Because it was that specific to me. No, seriously. Look. I have needs. And wants. We all do, but all I can do is speak for me. So, again,  I am saying that I lack in many areas. And mostly, I get to them eventually. EVENTUALLY, some things get handled, but some just keep getting pushed to the bottom of the pile. But it was a bit uncanny that so many of my needs and wants and lacks were being solved in one room, at one time. The room was filled with innovative solutions by women who utilized their talents, their experiences, their sorrows and joys into a workable resource that filled a need.

My need, tonight.

Check this out. I need a tailor. For my husband. We have been looking and looking, but never really got around to pulling the trigger. So we just let it hang out there, in nebulous space. Also, I need to eat healthier. I say it every day, and so does my daughter and hubby. Again, nebulous need. However, I also need a practical way to travel. It has become more important. Also, I need clothes that rock. But I just hate shopping.

stuffNebulous space gets a bit crowded sometimes.

So many more. I need guidance with my finances on an ongoing basis. So does everyone I know. I crave knowing what I don’t know. I stink at sending out cards and correspondence. I am on a journey of discovering how to heal and move forward. I need help knowing how to market to people who are looking for what I can do for them (Freelance writing, by the way. Shameless Plug.) Blah, Blah, Blah. I lack in many areas, but what I lack the most is a cheering section of people who know how hard it is to be living life as a woman, and know how to help.

I didn’t even know that having a one-stop problem-solving shop was an option.

These ladies brought all their power together and what came from it was an alliance of possibility. Power radiated throughout that room, and I don’t know that they even realized it. Actually, they probably do. And now, so do I. Think about the power of possibility. Now add to it the real-life applications, the experience, the innovation that comes from hard working business-minded women. It adds up to much more than hope.

lightbulb momentIt is what makes success.

If you have one whit of sense, you will seek out this group. For networking, sure. For fun, yes. But for a life-changing experience, definitely. Be part of a power clique.


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The Piano Guys Did Battle

Gray Sphere, see

I didn’t realize how much I had simply gone….Gray. How I had frozen and forgotten to feel anything. Something sad set it off, but I pushed it away as not having time to feel about it and so it sat there, doing nothing but doing something, nonetheless. I didn’t have time to feel about it and so it let me go about my day or night, and when I woke up, I hurt deep down inside. My dreams were sad, sad, sad. My body ached about it, and my smile went away. I woke up and I was sad, but didn’t know how to let it go. I didn’t know how to let that go because it had nestled into my emotions, making a place along the hub-bub of my schedules and car rides and budget making. And then it spread its tendrils just a little at a time, unbeknownst to me. And it waited.It could afford to wait because I was too busy to see that my smile was going away, and I was getting short-tempered. “If I can just get this budget right, then I can take a break.” But I didn’t take a break, and something else talked louder than the heartache. The tendrils spread a bit more and I forgot to love on my kids, and then I forgot to use kind words, and then… and then I just was mad. (Mad is only covering up sad, you know. Mad is a flavor put hastily on to cover the hurt that is bubbling up.)

Until this morning. I felt gray and I kind of liked not feeling anything at all that was real. Until this morning.


A strange thing happened. It was called music. The music was called “The Piano Guys”. (Really, that’s their name.) They played something  beautiful, with a Cello and a Piano, and with heart. It sounded good and deep and it called to me. Music washed over me this morning, and little did I know that it would do battle with the sad something. They played a soothing, moving song. It let me remember that I could feel, and it melted and thawed the something that was holding me back.

The grayness started to melt, and it showed up as tears.

Great Battle

I sat there, in my bed, with kids coming back and forth, and schedules going on, and I cried. Hard. No holding back, with the music doing battle in the background. Kids and husband asked me why and what was wrong, and what did they do to set off mom, and I didn’t care enough to pull out of my battle with the gray. Not yet. I waved the loved ones off just long enough for the tears to wash away the sad something that had held on to my emotional self and I found me again.  I found my smile, and my animation, and the part that had been held hostage.  The music did that for me.  The tears did that for me. The notes washed the gray away.


I remembered what it felt like to love on my kids, and to get dressed in warm clothes, and to communicate kindly. With a smile. I remembered me.

Music is that strong.  It is that kind, and good, and powerful, and needed. For me, it is my shield against the gray. It keeps my emotions flowing, and even if that means I cry a bit more, I am grateful. Thank you, Piano Guys. I am loved because you love what you do, and you are talented at it. You do battle with The Gray.


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Dear Bike, My Bum Will Not Be Able To Make It Today….

Because my tailbone is temporarily out of business. And here’s why.

As I was bringing my laundry downstairs, I slipped on a sock.  A rolled up sock. A dirty, child-size, turned inside-out in a careless fashion sock. It didn’t mind that my big toe snagged it, and that my heel kept it from moving. It didn’t mind that I lost my balance and whoomped right onto my bum, sliding down 3 stairs before coming to a stop on the 1st stair from the bottom, still holding my laundry, and heaving the air in and out of my lungs. 

Stupid Sock. I just added it into the pile of laundry and was glad no one saw the grown-up fall. That was 3 weeks ago. And that sock has stayed with me every day since then, with my bum and back area getting worse and more sore each and every day. (I choose to blame that dag-blasted sock, and not the hard edge of the stairs. Go figure.)

So I now have a sore tailbone and bum, in general.  The doctor let me know I couldn’t wrap it up. (There is no cast for a bum, apparently. I asked.)  And no reason to get an x-ray because, lets face it, it would just be a pic of my bum with a sore tailbone. And nobody needs to see that.

An xray of a person with a intestinal volvulus.

The prognosis is officially, “strained tailbone and surrounding muscles.” A strained tailbone.  I would call it, however, “A pain in my …” Just sayin. So, recumbent bicycle that lets me sweat at 24 hr fitness…You will have to wait. 

I did try using you, if you will remember, just last week. Just 2 weeks after this happened. And, if you will remember, it looked like this:

A. Swagger into 24 hour fitness because, hey, I have a membership and that is what people do. They swagger everywhere in the building that they go. They swagger as they move from machine to machine. They swagger as they take a sip of loofah-enhanced energy drink. And, they swagger as they put in their secret number that allows them into the building in the first place.  So there was a swagger. A purpose. A meaning.

B. Look around hopelessly for a recumbent bicycle. This consisted of walking up and down the endless isles, again with purpose and swagger. (Heaven forbid people don’t know what to do, or where to go.) So looking around and walking with purpose ensued until, looking like a shiny, secret nugget of metal, there stood the bike of my dreams at that time. And that was you, bike. You were in a corner. Unoccupied. And no one was near you for at least 3 bikes away. (granted, the person using that bike was about 17 years old, looked like a model, and was pedaling at hyper-speed.) I took you gratefully.

Gym at Work 2

Gym at Work 2 (Photo credit: The Killer Biscuit)

C. Looked at the you, bike, and then at the mandatory wipes, sitting 12 feet out of reach, and then back at you. Then at the wipes again, knowing that the minute I hoof it over to the magic wipes, someone will snag this prime property. But I must have wipes. You know, the wipes that are used to wipe away the previous person’s disgusting, hideous, copious amounts of sweat. At least, that is how it is portrayed. Those wipes sitting at every corner, except the one that is close to the machine you are using.  I run with a purpose to those wipes, bring back 4, and get back to the you, bike, just as Bertha, the 88-year-old work out queen zero’s in on my prize. I give her my “Back Off, ….” look and start to wipe you down.

D. Put in the paraphernalia that is a must for any gym rat: Cell phone with headphones. Enormous Jug of Water that just so happens to fit in the water bottle holder provided at the top of the machine. Car keys. Busy-Bug calorie counter (supposed to be on my arm 24hours/day but I get sweaty just thinking about the thing.) Half of a Kit-Kat.

iPod 2G Photo by Jared C. Benedict minus Backg...

Do you remember all those things? Well, it may be hazy because it is what every gym rat does. Or every aspiring gym rat does. (True gym rats don’t bring anything but their perky butt, their flat abs, and a book that they read as they use the machines for 4 hours straight.)

I got on you, bike, and started with my 5 minute warm up. I gingerly sat on you and started pedaling, and that was when I started feeling your betrayal. You asked me for my weight. Right out in the open. Blatantly asking how large I was so you could adjust accordingly.  I put my true weight in, but looked around to see if anyone was hovering over my shoulder with a clipboard or a youtube camera. Then I kept pedaling. And my bum started to hurt. “Push through the pain”, I thought.  It’s what you do at a gym.

I saw that people push through the pain by looking up at the 13 screens that are blaring every program from the Home Improvement Channel to Court TV. All blaring silently. I was supposed to plug my headphones into you, bike, and you would let me change the channel to the one TV channel that would let me forget that my thighs were burning, right along with my butt.  I opted to listen to my audio book instead.  

This listening of the book was what let me zone out for a bit, seeing nothing but the screens and gym bunnies that wandered around.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003

Gym bunnies…Women who carefully apply makeup and hair and nails in such a way that when they walk into the gym, their job is to turn the heads of the sweat-soaked men that they are interested in. Never do they do real reps or cardio. Never do they cause a bead of sweat to mar their makeup. Their job is to go from station to station, looking like they came from the station before and just happen to run into the buff man straining his pecs and looking like an early Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This was all entertaining until I felt a sharp pain in my bum and realized it was you. I was sitting on your hard seat, and you were not yielding in any way whatsoever. I glanced at the clock, by the way, to see how many hours I had sat on you, as I was sweaty and disgusting. Your clock said exactly 7 minutes and 13 seconds.


So I stopped this agony, picked up my plethora of items, and kicked you by the pedal. That was me. The one that kicked you and walked away, with the next torturee grabbing for the wipes that would save them from my neglect and wetness.

I’ll see you in about 4 weeks.

-Sharon, beginner gym bunny. (I’m not wearing makeup to the gym, no matter what the gym bunny rules state.)


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What’s Up With Finding One’s Purpose, Anyway?

Trumpet Solo



I just knew, at the age of 9, that I would be a Trumpet Player. The best in the entire town. At 10, that turned into the rush of knowing I  would be the best trumpet player on the planet. At 12, I knew my purpose was song writing. 5 months later, I just had to become the most passionate baritone horn-ist in all of Small-Town, USA. At 15, my purpose turned back to songwriting, but this time from the seat of the piano. I was a girl with purpose.

My trumpet days are behind me, for the most part, left at my high school graduation. That baritone horn keeps it company.  I do have horns next to the piano in my home, but they have a bit of dust on them, and that’s okay.


I’m 38 now, and today I had no purpose. In fact, I felt a bit disconsolate about it. Especially because I have been asked in the last week, “Oh, and what are you up to NOWADAYS? What do you DO?”




an colourful image than a 617.LT Side-by-Side ...

I am a mom of 5, and run a home 24 hours a day. My kitchen is a revolving island of comfort and conversation, messiness and mopping up. I have kids in High school and Elementary, and 1 that is a welder, and out of school completely, on his way to his own life. I cheer my husband when he has a bad day, and I balance the budget. I make all the appointments and phone calls, take those that need to, to appointments and back again, and sooth them into going there in the first place.  I take and pick up kids from school and work, I take them to get clothes and shoes, and I listen to hubby relay his day, every day.


I have spent time in the work-field, but am currently raising a family full-time. And I couldn’t answer the question of “What Do I Do?” definitively.  I felt keenly empty.  Why was that?


Well, I would say it is because I lost my purpose.   I forgot that it takes passion to make one count to oneself.



It doesn’t matter what we are doing currently in life, as long as we do it with purpose.  I was not doing anything with purpose today. And that stank.  I did look at Facebook about 270 times today.  I did play online scrabble on my phone.  I did wait for someone to call and need me (which didn’t happen), and I did go to the gym only to do such a bland routine that I watched the seconds on the machines go by, one at a time.  I did forget to love being me.


How silly, to forget to love ones self.  How silly, to need to be needed to the exclusion of finding the adventure in the day.




It is 9:06 PM, and I just got out of my hot tub, watered the flowers on my patio, and schlumped onto my bed.  However, I did these last 3 things with purpose, and they felt great. Tomorrow, no matter what, I will use purpose in whatever I do. It will push back the whiny, needy, insignificant feelings that eat at our lives when we cannot always tell people in one sentence what we do with ourselves, “Nowadays”. And my purpose, whether I pick up my trumpet, or pick up my kids, will be what defines me. Not the physical action itself.



Rose Sanderson Women's suffragists demonstrate...


I think that trumpet is going to win out, tomorrow, though.  And I’ll play it loudly, and with passion. The neighbors can ask themselves what THEY are doing with themselves, lately, that they are listening to a 38-year-old woman try to play “Blue Bells Of Scotland” well.  And doing a fair job of it.  I don’t mind in the least.



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I Caught A Whiff Of Heaven.

It smelled like spring. Like the scent of blossoms on the trees, lining our street, and the bushes bursting forth sweet lilac-flavored promises of more to come, if you just come around the next corner or sneak into Mrs. So-n-So’s back yard.


It also smelled like the grass of a soccer field, with bunches of little feet scuffing through the blades, turning those white sneakers and knee caps green. With the breath of moms and dads encouraging those little ones to hang in there, just a little longer, until they can break out the orange slices. .


Like the scent of promise and what-if’s.  It smelled like what smiles and laughter and giggling and rolling down a hill, pell-mell, with a new best friend, smells like. Like that.


(It has been a bit of a wonderment to me, Heaven.)


What will it look like? Will I get in? Who will I see if I get in? and, secretly, What will I wear/eat/drink/do in Heaven?HeavenBut in all my wonderings of Heaven, If forgot to wonder this…I forgot to wonder about the scent of heaven. I’m pretty sure it smells like spring in Westminster.


I hope so.


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Winter Beauty Discovered Right Under My Cold, Red Nose.

Winter Beauty Discovered Right Under My Cold, Red Nose.

Its winter here.  The snow says so.  The leaves have left the trees, letting the birds show their nests and warbling posts. It is winter, as the streams gurgle, letting ice stay over and under and around the flow. The water doesn’t melt the ice, but gives strength and length to it, and it stays even when the sun is at its highest in the sky.

Winter In The Water I woke up knowing that I couldn’t possibly go outside today. It was gray and overcast and no birds were singing. That was proof enough, right?  But today was New Year’s Day.  My New Year’s Day, anyway. The 15th of February signifies that the year can get nothing but closer to warmth and gardening and smiles.  So I donned my alternate pair of tennies (the main ones are lost somewhere under my daughter’s bed. I don’t know why, but I’m not going under there.) I rummaged around and found a soft, clingy pair of yoga pants (I know no one else will be seeing me walking on a cold winter day), and decided to walk.

You should know this about me.  I despise being cold.  My nose is cold even when I’m in the house and I end up holding the warm power supply of my laptop to it when I watch movies. I wear socks to go get warmer socks that have percolated on top of the dryer, just for such occasions. I sit in my hot tub in the middle of summer, for heaven’s sake.

Having said this, I went out for a walk.  I’ll tell you this:  There is a lot of goose poop out in Colorado.  It’s like all the people go inside for warmth and the geese say, “Finally! I can drop a load. Come on, Bob. Pete. Jainy. It’s safe. Just don’t do it in their yards because THAT would be over the line.”

So I started walking and I realized that I don’t have to be in a sunny place to have a beautiful experience.  I walk in suburbia, and I see the large trees that have shed their leaves and leave no place for the squirrels to disappear. No place for them to secretly eat their nuts and berries and bits of trash that Old Mr. Paul left out.

I start to meander with my head down, in a slight, yet cold, breeze.  I usually would see nothing in my mind until I would hit the edge of the neighborhood.  I would see nothing because I would assume there was nothing worth seeing, out here in the cold, sun-less day.

What struck me this time was the lumps and piles of snow. I said it before and I’ll say it again…I see it as OOBLECK, the imaginary type of thing falling from the sky in Dr. Seuss‘s land of Bartholomew Cubbins.

This stuff is ooey and gooey.  It lands in puffs or shards or streaks. It sticks and piles up in corners of patios and hangs around on tree branches. It hides bushes and small bumps and trash and paths to mailboxes. It is something to be played in and thrown and dug up and shaped and smiled at. And. And, it does get old. Unless I am looking for the good in it, like today. Today it sparkled and smiled back at me. I saw birds frolicking around it, and squirrels chattering on top of it, and dogs prancing through it.

All of that distracted my cold nose and hands as I moved through the neighborhood and out into the open space. All of it let me love winter today and let it be another place that I can live. I do not need to wait it out in the living room, or bedroom, all huddled up and waiting for the sun to come out.  I can love it like it is, being a part of the beauty that is …Winter.  


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My mom always wanted me to write in my journal.

Just about spiritual things. So here goes. I am hanging out in my temple. My feet are dirty, I am sticky from sweat, and I am laying down on my sofa with no one around. I have some serious joy going on.

I ran/walked today. Who cares? I do. Because I noticed that it was just me out there in the 94 degree day. I mean, of course there were others. The bulked up guy sweating it out on the top of his mountain bike. The older couple in spandex holding each other up coming down the hill. The nazi mom with 3 kids keeping them well exercised and hydrated at precisely the right time. (This is Colorado, after all.)

What I’m saying, though, is that no one was with me but me. No one was with me in my black shorts that were really my sons swim trunks (not a good idea in the sweltering air) , complete with mesh-ness (a great idea). No one shared my blotchy face and breathe counting. Not one person felt my butt muscles work, but me. My wheezing at the end… was my own. I was my temple. My place of honor, of love, of peace and comfort. I guess mom was right after all. She always said not to defile “My Temple”, and to take care of it. What a blessing.

it was me that decided when to push faster and when to ease up. It was me that asked myself why I had let my thighs grow together so my shorts rode up. And, it was me that forgave myself, got a chuckle out of it, and used it as a rhythm to walk to. (fwwp, fwwp, fwwp…step to the side to bring them down,…fwwp, fwwp, fwwp, …step to the side…) This has become a spiritual ritual that I adhere to daily. No husband, no kids or friends go with me, and it is damned freeing. I am partaking in the joy of doing it for me. The sky, the air, the bugs, the sounds, the flavor of the outdoor world… these are my temple grounds. Woot.

Each time I went from voluptuous curves, to “you look great! So thin! How did you do it?”, it was due to a heartache of some kind. A tragedy. I didn’t eat or sleep as I was going through heartache, and the pounds just fell off. No joy in it a-tall. Currently, however, I am not in a relationship with a heartache, so I wanted to see what it was like to be healthy on my terms. Thus the walk/run every day earlier than the rest of the family gets up.

I don’t ask or want praise from family or friends. I don’t care that my socks match my shirt when I go. I certainly don’t brush my teeth first. I absolutely revel in taking this space and being perfect in it, however it looks. Even when it looks like taking two water bottles and lifting them in the air at various positions to get my arms a workout at the same time. Or cans, as the case was today. The older couple on the hill thought that was great. I know this because I wasn’t paying attention to them until I whacked the lady in the shoulder with one. (I now know her name is Thelma and she has 9 grandkids).

Then back to the breathing, the counting, and listening to the latest Harry Dresden audiobook as the prairie dogs chitter at me and the gnats compete with my nose hair.

The stretching at the end is the best. The climax. Out on my lawn, still alone and dedicated to my ritual as cars and neighbors pass. I bend, lunge, reach, and flex until… Until… until I am done. I water my plants, checking on them, loving them, and staying smelly for another half hour or so Just for the joy of it. When finally I move indoors, I look to the next step, and now comes the only decision of the morning. Shower? Or flop on my sofa and Facebook? Either way, I have permagrin.

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