Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#228 Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign

I believe in signs. I believe God sends them to me just when I need them most. I don’t get signs often, so when I do see one, I know it and I realize its meaning. I don’t really ask for signs that often either. Usually when I do I don’t get it right when I want it. Then later on it just appears. Wham-o.

My first big sign came in high school. I was trying to decide which college to attend. I had a few in mind but it’s a huge decision for a 16-year old. I prayed a lot about what to do and eventually asked God for a sign. I had lived in the area around my high school most of my life and had travelled the roads to my school many times. One day I drove down the residential entrance and for the first time noticed a street sign, “Auburn Drive”. Some time later a girl walked into my English class with an Auburn sweatshirt on. Her sister went to Auburn. The last sign was in a book I was reading for class – it mentioned a girl with auburn hair. Wham-o, I’m going to Auburn! Now, I did evaluate each school I was interested in and made sure they would be good fits for me, but I must say the thing that pushed me over the edge was the three signs. I had a wonderful experience at Auburn and can’t imagine having gone anywhere else.

My next big signs were related to a boy I met at Auburn. One came while we were in school, one came about 14 years later. Both came out of nowhere, but I had all the confidence in the world once I saw them that something wonderful would happen. It did. Twice. It didn’t last forever, as I had hoped, but I don’t regret a thing.

Now to my most recent sign. I won’t go into too much detail, other than to say it’s about another boy. (Ok, he’s over 40). I’ve been over-analyzing things like women tend to do. Finally last night, while driving to play tennis, I asked for a sign to make me feel better. Then I went to tennis and forgot about it. After tennis, wham-o! There’s my pink, flamigoed sign. Thank you God! And thank you too, Ava.

Monday, October 24, 2011

#227 Napoleon's Dynamite Ride

Last Saturday I led a Central Indiana Bicycling Association (CIBA) ride on the southeast side of town.

The ride went very well, once it got started. It was my own fault, but I had a pretty hectic morning. I put off making copies of the map and when I got to Office Depot at 8 a.m. Saturday I saw that they open at 9 a.m. on the weekends. I had to be at the site (well, was supposed to be at the site) at 9 a.m. I drove downtown to work to make copies (yes, I plan to repay them) but was then stuck in traffic due to a running event. Agh!!! I thought I had avoided it! It was 8:45 a.m. and I had 15 minutes to get to the start. After five minutes of praying and freaking out, I asked the policeman directing traffic if he could let the guy in front of me turn right so I could also turn right to get going. He said there was a break in runners coming up and he would let us through. HUGE sigh of relief. I made it to the highway and then hit Southeastern Avenue. TRAIN. OMG. Turned around, went to Washington Street and proceeded to get to Southeastern another way. I finally made it to the start site at 9:15 a.m. in time to use the church bathroom and be back at my car before the first person arrived. Whew!

After the rocky start , all was well. The day was sunny and fairly warm, about 30 riders showed up and they all seemed to enjoy the ride. Krista and Julie helped me at the rest stops. Thanks ladies! Until next year!

Almost forgot - why is it Napoleon's Dynamite Ride? The route passes a llama farm. "Tina! Come get some dinner!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

#226 Hill Yeah!

Last Saturday/Sunday I rode in the 44th annual Hilly Hundred. It was a great weekend full of sun (and eventual warmth) good food, good friends and a little wind (ok, maybe a LOT). My friend Jan recently bought a road bike and did a great job after only training for a couple months. Way go go Jan! We also rode with former Hilly buds Joe and Steve.

My personal goal was to ride up Mt. Tabor (.2 miles, 21% max incline) and not go to my granny gear. Mission accomplished! That hill is a beast. I get nervous about five miles before the hill when I realize it's coming up.

A great day with no bike issues/mishaps. That, in itself, is a success!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#225 Freudian Slip?

After my last post, I received this email from one of my brothers:

"You really should proof read your blog.

Your first line is “Today is my birthday! Happy birthday do me!”.

The subconscious works in strange ways."

I have since changed the spelling error but thought it was too funny not to share. He's always looking out for his "little" sister.

Monday, October 17, 2011

#224 They Say It's Your Birthday!

Today is my birthday! Happy birthday to me! Although today is kind of a sad day too. My fifth grade teacher, Mr. Pride, passed away last week from cancer and his funeral is today. As I was driving to work thinking, “It’s my birthday!” I also thought about what a sad day it is for his family. And the news of Dan Wheldon’s death is also very sobering. So on a day that I am celebrating another year of life, I am also saying prayers for those who have lost a loved one. Treasure each day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

#223 Ranger Danger

So the formerly-mentioned Marissa is friends with Brandon, who is the brother of my friend, Jen. Small world! (Check out her post Proud Friend in September.) I work with Jen and during the past few months she has given us updates on Brandon going through Ranger school. If you look it up, it sounds like the most demanding, crazy, incredibly exhausting thing anyone could ever do. There are several stages and they can get "cut" at the end of any stage. I am happy to say that Brandon made it through and is now an Army Ranger! Way to go Brandon! And War Eagle!!

#222 Marissa Update

I haven't been blogging much lately and also haven't checked out any other blogs for a while. I looked at "A Day In The Life" today (see my post Nos. 152 and 189) to check up on Marissa. She is doing well but still receiving treatments. Please continue to keep her in your prayers!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

#221 I Would Bike 100 Miles

Three years ago I did my first century and first event with the Leukemia Society’s Team In Training (TNT) Program. Sunday, September 23, I completed my second century and second event with TNT. The team set off in the dark at around 7:30 a.m. from Three Oaks, Michigan (we couldn’t see much. Watch out for the manholes!). Saturday and Monday were fairly nice, even sunny, days. Sunday? RAIN. It rained pretty much the entire ride.

By the last rest stop we realized that the 100-mile ride was turning into something longer – eventually 106. Six extra miles may not sound like a lot, but when it’s cold and raining, it is. Luckily, the sun finally came out the last five miles or so and I was pretty much dry by the finish line (the high winds helped too).

We did have one accident during the ride. Seventy-three year-old Lois went down mid-way thorough the ride and had a concussion. She went to the hospital in South Bend and was released a short time later. She now wants to ride her remaining miles with the team to complete her century mileage. We plan to do that later this month. What a lady!

At mile 80 we stopped at one of the rest stops and I had a snack - an Uncrustable. The coaches told us not to eat anything on the ride that we've never eaten before in case our stomach didn't get along with it. Well, I've eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before, so didn't think anything of it. Until my stomach started hurting and I had stomach cramps for the next 30 minutes. I had put an extra Uncrustable in my back pocket for later, but trashed it. Maybe the nutrition information should have been a warning - 350 calories, 150 calories from fat. A long list of ingredients I couldn't pronounce. Peanut butter and jelly sounds so simple...

Luckily my stomach recovered by the end of the ride. They had a free pasta dinner, which I took advantage of: spaghetti and salad with lots of fixins. I then proceeded to eat four small bags of Doritos, Fritos, Lays and Cheetos. And my granola bar. And an apple. "I can't stop eating!" We finally took showers and ate dinner at Redemak's.

It was a long, physically draining day, but a great one. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you train (thanks coaches!), when you have the support of a team and when you have a real purpose for what you do. For some it was also an emotionally draining day. Most everyone on the team has their own story of a friend or family member affected by leukemia. Some beat it, some did not. We ride to celebrate those who made it, as a tribute to those who didn’t, and to help raise money to fund new medical procedures for those who still struggle or will be affected in the future.

I am so proud of the Apple Cider team! What a great group of people! Our Indiana/Illinois/Southern Ohio TEAM of 54 people raised over $115,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We also had a great group of coaches and mentors. If any of you have ever thought about doing a TNT event, I highly recommend it. It will change your life! And you, in turn, will change the lives of many others.