November 25, 2010
Or perhaps I'm just really immature... ((PERHAPS??))
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family - thanks for coming to my blog and for sharing the proverbial miles with me........
November 20, 2010
John Couzins....to know him is to absolutely love him. This man brings things to mind like championships lost and franchises ruined. This man has been referred to, by some of the less kind journalists, as a disaster waiting to happen. A lit match in a gasoline refinery. A critical mass of high grade plutonium in a sea of free protons. The lone Hershey's Kiss at a fat lady convention.
"Cuz" and I have been friends for years, and I was thrilled to get to spend some time with him amid my recent trip to TN. There is something about him that makes me collapse in giggles all the time; he has the type of deadpan sense of humor that I totally respond to. Thank God for the people in our lives who truly make us laugh, huh?
John is not afraid to speak his mind, with little to no regard for social graces, levels of appropriateness OR even personal safety. You gotta love him.
We'd be hitting a bar on the outskirts of Nashville on a rainy evening. And...ok....I'm going to withhold my many jokes about "The South" because some of my best times, and some of my best friends, have been found amid this sacred land. However, allow me to pose the rhetorical question: How do stereotypes become stereotypes?
Our friend Bert decides to join us for the evening. Awesome, he's a ton of fun. Bert, clearly one concerned with appearances, shows up in the mother of all jackets. I think people in Memphis saw this highly flammable, illuminated spectacle.
Carole: "Ummmm, is that what you're wearing, buddy?"
Carole: "No reason..."
So..........we three clowns (John, Bert and I) walk into this 4-star establishment (aka - the type of saloon we all saw on an episode of "Dukes of Hazzard"). I wouldn't exactly say the music stopped when we walked in, but just about everyone turned around to stare at the freak in the bright jacket. Here is what we looked like:
I tried to hide my embarrassment and just put my head down as we quickly made our way to an available section of the bar where we could order some brews and hang out. Even the bartender couldn't contain his thoughts. He actually leaned in to me and, I swear to God, said, "Are you really with these guys?" I said yes. And he said, "The guy with the bright jacket? You're with him?" Again I said yes, sort of smiled but also sort of looked perplexed (what kind of question was that?) and ordered our group a round of drinks. John heard the whole thing and laughed.
Meanwhile, there was a group of people not far from us at the bar.... a fairly shady sort who looked like they were, indeed, inbred - but whatever.
Clearly they were making fun of Bert in his jacket, one of the women in the group definitely leading the charge. I just ignored them. Bert just ignored them. John did not.
John, in a huff, marched over to the group and said to the woman, "I wouldn't be making fun of him if I were you. You're not one to talk given you're missing a few teeth!" And John walked away.......
((OH MY GOD!!))
Holy crap. I was ready to be pulled into the second bar brawl of my lifetime. (Yes, second...) No way we weren't going to battle after that comment. The good 'ole boys weren't gonna take kindly to that yankee messin' with his toothless woman. I grabbed my mug of beer, guzzled it and then grabbed John by the collar saying, "This is when we leave!!!", grabbed Bert's arm and said emphatically, "We're gone!" ....and then I bolted out of there with John and Bert hot on my heels.
We burst out of the place laughing, utterly SHOCKED at John's BALLSY comment.
All I could imagine was how narrowly we avoided a bar fight that would have resembled this scene from Entourage:
Moral of the story, never leave your wingman....and never go out publicly with John Couzins unless you are prepared for anything to happen... You'll laugh your ass off -- but you may also get your ass kicked. You never know with him....
(Thanks JC and Bert for the great laughs! The South will rise again!)
November 19, 2010
November 17, 2010
I’ve been pulled over while driving a number of times in my life by the police. Not A LOT but let’s just say it’s been more than a few times. Minor traffic violations, speeding, etc. (I’m not going to talk about my arrests, that’s for another blog.)
To date I have never once gotten a traffic ticket. So far I have gotten a warning, every time. (And each policer officer was very kind to me, I'll point out!) Bless them. I’ve also been in the car when others have been pulled over by the police and have gotten tickets or gotten warnings.
So what's my theory?
Based on these observations and personal experiences, my theory is this: when the police officer comes to your window, if the first thing out of his/her mouth is “take out your license and registration”, you’re screwed. You’re getting the ticket. However, if the police officer approaches and asks you a question before asking for your license, you have a shot at getting just a warning. If they’re chatty, you’ve struck the lottery of traffic violation pull overs.
It is also worth mentioning that I believe in two non-negotiable rules when speaking with an officer, the absence of which can be highly caustic:
1) Always speak respectfully, addressing as “Sir” or “Ma’am”, and always with a nonthreatening tone. A smile and humble attitude is critical. I’m shocked by people who get argumentative with an officer. Really? Are you HIGH? Think you’ll argue your way out of the ticket?? No way.
2) Always tell the truth. Period. They are not stupid and know, 99% of the time, you both know what you did. Denying it or playing dumb just insults their intelligence. Don’t do that.
(I would suggest living life with these ideals in mind regardless, but my experience is these two things will work in your favor if pulled over.)
A few days ago I was racing down I-75 en route to the Atlanta Team in Training Kick-Off party. http://rev3tri.com/knoxvilleComingSoon.htm I was there to help support the Rev3 Knoxville program now on their calendar.
Out of nowhere I saw lights in my rearview mirror. I quickly glanced at my speed – I was going about 85mph (in a 55)... “Shitballs!”, I said to myself. This is going to be a mother of a ticket.
I pulled over. I would be lying if I said I didn’t quickly take my hair out of the pony tail and shake my hair out. I’d also be lying if I said...ummmm... I didn’t hike my boobs up just a bit – what little there is to hike up. However, I do not play on my sexuality in these situations, nor do I ever remotely flirt. I save the flirting for after I’ve gotten out of the ticket. Ha. What I do play on is factual data cited in just about any case study. My work towards my Masters degree in psychology trained me to know a reasonably attractive person is more disarming than someone who is totally disheveled. If I looked like a complete hoodlum or like I was heading to initiation for the Crips Gang, odds are not in my favor to be given a warning.
So the police officer walked up to my window. I looked up and smiled. Not a flirtatious smile, a kind smile.
“Good afternoon, Ma’am. How are you today?”, he asked.
(SCORE!!!!!! He asked a question! Just be cool, Carole! Play it out…)
“I’m well, Sir, thank you”, I respond.
“Do you know why I pulled you over today?”, he asked.
“Yes Sir, I do. I was going a little fast.”
“How fast were you going?”, he probes.
“Before or after I saw your lights?” (A TOTAL gamble to throw out that joke, that could have backfired, but I accompanied it with a look of me biting my lip and raising my eyebrows in a facial gesture that implied I was completely admitting I was at fault.... C'mon baby! Aces are wild!!!!...)
He smiled. (PHEW!)
I answered before he could say anything. “I was going about 85, Sir. Way too fast.“
He was still sort of smiling, not really, but a small smirk maybe. “Please give me your license and registration.”
I grabbed my purse and opened the glove compartment box as he carefully watched every move I made. I handed him my Colorado license and the rental car paperwork and told him I was visiting from CO. He looked at the license and paperwork. Then started handing it back to me.
“I’m going to give you a warning today, Miss Sharrrrppless? Sharpless, is it?”, he said looking at my license.
“Yes, Sharpless. Reason enough to get married, isn’t it? I get jokes about my name all the time”, I smiled.
He chuckled. But then his smile turned to a stone face and he looked down at me, “Slow it down out there!”
“Yes, Sir. I will. I’m sorry. Have a good day.”
And with that my white knight police officer strolled back to his car.
I put everything back in my wallet and got back on the highway, all while doing some internal fist pumps! The streak lives on – NO TICKETS YET!!!!!!
The Van Halen song, “I can’t drive 55” came to my head. :-)
Later that night I was thinking about how it all played out, and how consistent the talking point really is. If you’re asked a question at the beginning – you’ve got a shot!
Always be polite (you should be anyway) and always tell the truth (you should anyway). Good words to live by, in general.
November 13, 2010
I’m not sure what it is with me, but when I have no objectives and no expectations, I seem to do much better in life. For example, this morning I met my best friend Doreen for a run while in Atlanta. I had no plan in mind, no idea if we were running 5 miles or 15 miles, or anything in between. I didn’t avoid margaritas, hydrate properly, or load up on carbs the night before. I didn’t set my alarm extra early to insure plenty of preparation time in the morning. I just rolled out of bed, shoveled a toaster waffle in my mouth on my way out the door, sat on the front steps of my friend Robyn's place (I'm staying with her while in town) to put my shoes on and strolled over to The River, Atlanta's popular run spot.
When I got there, she was already ready and waiting.
"Whassup?" I said with a smile.
"Mornin’", she said as we embraced in a big hello hug.
Time passed in a complete blur. We talked, caught up, cracked up, detoured down memory lane, shared corresponding stories, etc., and eventually wound our way back to our cars.
We ran for over 90 minutes.
You know the feeling when you see a great movie…you leave the theater kind of disoriented and wobbly, the light has extra glare and you feel like you have been in a wonderful time warp? I love that! That is exactly how I felt as I sat and stretched afterward. I was hungry and happy, having just spent 2 hours in a way that somehow felt like 10 minutes.
If I had planned a "long run" of almost 2 hours, I would have come home early the night before, rested well, hydrated properly, considered possible routes to accomplish our intended mileage, woken up early, packed my First Endurance Liquid Shot…all the things I would normally do. Yet I am not sure I could have had a better morning. Maybe this casual pace works best for me. Maybe I can go farther and enjoy more fully when I just go and let go, leaving the planner in me at home in bed.
After all, she needs her rest.
November 4, 2010
from my home in Santa Monica. While enjoying the majestic beauty of the impending sunset (my favorite thing) ....
I saw an elderly woman walk out onto the sand. I expected her to slowly wander along. She walked for a bit, but then her gait picked up and as her creaky body fell into her own timeless rhythm she looked the same as any runner I know. I remember wondering how many miles she had run over her lifetime, how she could run so smoothly over uneven sand without shoes, and how she got so lucky to still be able to run when most of her friends probably needed a cane. That evening, I understood what health meant to me, and knew what I wanted to grow into. Suddenly exercise - but, really health - took on a whole new meaning.
People have been asking me a lot lately if I am going to race again. I always hesitate…knowing deep inside that I'd rather run a little bit for a long time than run a lot and have to stop. I wonder about this, about where the line is for me.
I've been struggling a lot lately with feeling good enough. Good enough for what, or for whom (??) - only I can really challenge myself with those questions, or understand where the challenge lies. Sometimes I have a spell of weeks where I feel contentedly 'good enough.' It is enough that I get out there and try, over and over again, every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Some weeks, good enough is pretty damn good. I look at the vision staring back at me in the mirror and feel proud. I know she is doing the best she can.
And then it happens, a wave of doubt leaves me sputtering and gasping for air and suddenly 'good enough' is up for debate.
I am a practical woman… I know that wishing is for stars and change comes to those who pursue it. It's just that the sheer overwhelming nature of just living, of desperately trying to create a life worth something, can make my head spin. Suddenly all the things I'm not doing eclipse everything that I am doing well. (Does anyone else do this???) We had work reviews today, basically a goal setting session for 2011. Even in the midst of all the positives and praise, I fixated on what I should and could be doing better. Nothing motivates me like success - and not success tied with financial prosperity (although who wouldn't love a great Christmas?) - but success intrinsically tied to doing my job(s) well, pleasing my boss and colleagues and furthering their belief in me...but all of this, to me the greatest success is being HAPPY.
In these moments where good enough no longer feels like enough…I need to stop and breathe. I need to figure out if the voice that is convicting me is the voice of truth, calling me in earnest to step up my game…or, if it is the voice of doubt whose sole purpose is to undermine my core. I need to respond to the truth. I need to turn up my iPod on doubt.
So will I ever race again? Does it even matter if I do, really? Will I think less of myself if I choose to quit? Will I live with the sting of regret if, for the first time in my life, I give in to fear? I'm not sure I have the answers to those questions...my ability to sleep would be even worse if I really thought about all of this. But in the still of the night...when it is quiet...and dark....and loneliness jumps into her side of the bed...I sigh heavily as I force the calming ideal in my head...
It is indeed possible to be good enough in the midst of trying to get better.