Archive for the Mom Category

Buy this! Do that! Subscribe here! Don’t eat that! And other expensive extreme stuff that doesn’t work…

Posted in come back, health & fitness, Mom, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2018 by runmyssierun

“You need to eat low carb and high protein. Lots of meat!”

“No, you need to stop killing animals. Go vegan. Eat fruits and berries and vegetables and you’ll be fit naturally.”

“No, all you need is this meal replacement shake that you can buy from me.”

Everywhere I turn, there seems to be people who tell me how I’m supposed to be doing things… and yet, here I am… still.

I remember growing up watching my mom drinking tab and being on the grapefruit diet. I’m guilty of buying a Shake Weight, thigh master and some ridiculous balance thingamajig that a couple of fellow Realtors® convinced me to get with them – and never used.

I remember my husband’s grandmother eating a full box of chocolate exlax every other night and being surrounded by a bunch of beauty queens with other notorious eating disorders that seemed oddly ordinary at the time. In my house, there was a full set of Gilad, Jane Fonda, Buns of Steel and Cindy Crawford on betamax tapes.

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I pay an $80 monthly membership for my husband’s jujitsu gym that he went to a couple of time about 7 months ago. Also pay for a monthly membership for us to go to another gym and now pay extra for spin classes that I can get free with my monthly gym membership at the other place. I’ve paid for medical weightloss programs like HCG and tried every diet known to mankind like keto, adkins, paleo, bone broth, vegan, vegetarian, fasting, juicing, eating five servings of air a day, etc…. only to find that my triglycerides go through the roof, extremities swell up like the elephant man and end up gaining more weight than when I started the silly diet! I’ve tried to melt off pounds with saunas, hot yoga and trashbag looking sweat suits and even tried to freeze off love handles with cryotherapy (although cryo is really good for other things and muscle recoop that I love and saunas for simple peace) and continue to remain the flabalanche that I am.  I’ve hesitantly bought into programs where if I just drink this shake, I can magically melt off the pounds…. really just look at these before and after pictures of one of their clients yada yada yada. And have now had the horrible thought go through my head where I’ve reduced myself to giving up and thinking if I just go get a mommy make over now, could I possibly have enough time to recover and be perfect for my son’s wedding pictures? Every possible option has been entertained, hesitantly entered, jumped in head first 100% and still failed miserably.

Thousands of dollars spent and hundreds of pounds lost and gained and lost again and gained back… I’ve come to the conclusion that health and fitness is NOT a one size fits all solution. Until I did things the old fashioned way – the hard way – the long way – and even then, got hurt and have found myself starting over.

Each one of our bodies are different from the other and so are our genetics, our good habits, bad habits, every day physical behaviors, customs and beliefs. To get sucker punched hard enough to think that there is one magic pill, shake or exercise and diet program that can conquer this multifaceted dilemma is seriously far fetched.

What I write about in this blog is what my own personal family history, upbringing, genetics and experiences have brought me. It may NOT fit you. If you have just started reading this blog, go to the search box and type in “How it all started” and read the entries in chronological order, How It All Started I, How It All Started II and How It All Started III.

I’ve learned through the course of all this time, expense and great lessons is simple:

  1. Make better food choices: If God didn’t make it naturally, don’t eat it. If you ate something you aren’t supposed to and/or too much of it, just get up and get yourself back onto the band wagon and start over. We all fall down some time.
  2. Move: do something you like to do so it’s not such a downer chore. Gardening, Zumba, Soccer, Marathons, Triathlons, Hiking, Roller Blading, Walking, Crossfit, nigh club dancing… whatevs… just do something and do it consistently.
  3. Don’t compare yourself to others or yourself from way back when: I have ONE nemesis, 22 year old Myssie.   You remember that girl, the one who ate pizza and nachos and cheese puffs and still had the body to die for? Ugh! I hate that girl!!!!

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Simple huh?

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Yeah right. I’m still and will always be a work in progress. Always seeking out something fun to keep me active, and open to new ideas… yeah, even a shake weight. I do good on the food choices… MOST of the time and other times, eh, not so good.

I work – a lot. It’s not an excuse. It’s my personal priority at this moment. Yes, there IS a difference. I am a mom. It’s not an excuse. It’s a priority and although I’m not having to deal with changing diapers and lack of sleep like a new mom, I do deal with the stress of having a son being deployed, not knowing where he is, what he’s doing, if he’s healthy, hurt, etc… and another son who is a teenager in that stage where he is going through some of life’s most difficult challenges. I’m still a mom. It is my priority. I am also a wife. It’s not an excuse. It is a priority. His job is dangerous – like REALLY dangerous. I stress out about that, too. And equally dangerous is the temptation of countless other women who throw themselves at him in hopes that he gives them the life they see us have. It’s an endless, daily struggle balancing, prioritizing, executing, conquering, failing and doing it all over again day after day. I’m a stress eater… see where I’m going with this???

Get to know yourself, what sets you off, what is the root cause of your unhealthy behaviors and find solutions that work for you to chip away little by little to make yourself better each day.

If I sound like you… a working woman, midlife, tons of stress seeking ways to live a longer, healthier, happier life, follow/join me. Let’s try to help each other out. No subscription, no monthly payment, no book to buy, no club to join, no magic powder to put in your meal replacement shake. This is me. Just me. Wanting to help you. All of you. In hopes that in the end, we just all help each other help each other.

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Mother’s Day

Posted in Mom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2017 by runmyssierun

Today I give thanks and honor to my mother and the many that mothered me.

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My mother – an amazing woman who managed to mold my perception of the world as one of love, happiness, and fun in all things, places and people. She had a brilliant mind, the voice of a song bird, the courage of a lion and the heart of a saint. She raved about how determined her own mother was in her eyes and in my eyes, I saw all that she said of her own mother. WORDS CANNOT CAPTURE HOW MUCH I MISS HER IN MY LIFE.

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My grandmother – a woman who was forced to grow up quickly during the war torn era of the Great Depression, she managed to help raise her youngest sister and paid for her to finish school by cutting hair and upholstering furniture while sacrificing her own education and opportunities. She was a fiercely determined woman of super human faith with a Sailor’s mouth that kept her family together, fed, alive, healthy… and adopted two more children because her heart truly was that awesome. And she managed to send all three children to private Catholic school, too.

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My Aunt China (pronounced Chee-nah and not China like the country) aka Lucille Trevino – the first elected Hispanic woman in Hidalgo County, Texas, and the first woman who ingrained in me the love of costume jewelry and all that sparkles bold and dainty. China was a dignified, faith driven woman who stressed proper manners, vocalized her adoration of Pope John Paul II any chance she could get, was a staunch Democrat, loved a stiff drink occasionally and sweet chocolate bar or hard candy frequently. Because my Momma worked full-time, used her lunch hour to pick me up from school and drop me off at piano lessons, and used her nights to try to finish school, I spent the majority of my youth under the care of China… and Sissy, so I became much like them.

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My Sissy – If anyone in the world would be considered a “cool mom” it would be Sissy. The duties of a mom go way further than simply giving birth to a child. If you have taught someone to LOVE and LIVE, then you have been a mom. Sissy mommed hard and dare I say harder than most Moms I know today. She even grandmommed and godmommed harder than any other grandmother or godmother I have ever known. And if you are a follower of this blog, you’ve read several times that I credit Sissy with saving my own life by forcing me to take up running for her as her last wish. I owe her my everything and am forever grateful.

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My Dirty Gertie – always “mona” and a little bit off the cuff, this peleonera will not blink an eye to start a fight to defend the people she loves and she does not stop until she wins every fight.  Trust me, you don’t want to see that side of her. She will wear you down before she gives up and she NEVER gives up. For years I’ve heard of horror stories between women and their mother in laws. I am so blessed that this isn’t the case for me. Now, as I see myself as a new future mother in law, I see all that she has done to support me and her son and our little family in all that she did. I hope to keep her lessons in my heart and offer the same understanding and support to my future daughter in law.

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My Aunt Norma – she is a mom of boys but when I lost my own mother, she gracefully stepped in like a professional mom of a broken hearted princess and helped me heal as I watched the family I once knew and was so proud to be a part disappear. In matters of Real Estate, she was there to guide and discuss ideas and find solutions. In matters of family, she was there to listen and lend a shoulder to cry on. In matters of simple friendship, she was there to support. Moms are multifaceted super heros and she exemplified each part of being a mom even when she didn’t have to.

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Cyndi – probably my dearest and most treasured friend and relatively new mom who moms hard because this chick is a freaking awesome hot smarty pants know it all who can do it all – seriously no limits. When I worried and complained about having a baby at what I thought was late in life at 35, this girl had to one up me by having TWINS ten years later just to shut me up and prove to me it can be done AND show me that they are the cutest Gerber babies ever AND work full time AND have all her **** together… ok, well, most of her **** together and still jam out to awesome playlists.

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The Moms of PNO – taught me that as different as we all are, we share similarities in that we really love our children at a level that seems so different than so much of the rest of the world that surrounds us. They have taught me to love fiercely and fervently with a big stick, soft loving tone, chic style, proper grammar, a box of kleenex, belt busting belly laughs, everything thought and done under the eyes of God after a two mile jog, an hour of Mom-Fit, a glass of wine and a monogrammed matching sun hat kind of life. You just can’t get any more fabulous than these women that I am blessed to call my close friends. Each one is a treasure to me and offers a unique lesson to my heart that I hope to extend to my own children.

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Mother Mary – for years I struggled in confusion over the love and adoration that my own mother had with Mary. It wasn’t until recently that I have come to understand it (thanks to ACTs and an epic epiphany) and hope to grow it. While all the other women written about above this name are incredible pillars of strength and ideals to me, Mary is who I hope most to emulate. If I struggled for so many years to understand her, I imagine it will take even longer – if ever even possible – to purposefully live my life like hers.

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My sons and husband – these are my everything. They are the keepers of my heart, my source of joy and meaning. I’ve messed up a lot in my life and they have patiently loved me anyway. I’ve done some pretty awesome things in my life for them and for myself, and they loved me anyway. Whether selfish or selfless my actions or absence of actions were, the love is always always always constant and I am always always always seeking to improve on the way I mom because they deserve the absolute best mom from me.

I know I mentioned a lot of people but honestly, so many are missing from here. Teachers, God parents, friends, neighbors, bosses and co-workers….

You have all mommed me hard and loved me unconditionally. Thank you. Celebrate your day today and every day. Your love does not go unnoticed nor uncherished.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

On this day…

Posted in cancer, Mom, training for my first half ironman, Uncategorized on April 8, 2017 by runmyssierun

It was five years ago today, right this very moment, that I crawled into bed with my Momma, held her hand, smoothed her hair back and whispered into her ear that it was ok to let go of us and stop the pain she was in. I remember hearing what the hospice nurses called the “death rattle”. I was the only one in the room with her in the end.
A few nights before, she had become quite antsy and restless. It was difficult for her to walk but she was adamant about going from her bed to the living room to watch TV on the couch. I lifted her up and walked her over, carefully holding her under her shoulders just incase she fell along the way. It was about 3:00 a.m. This would be the last time that she would have a conversation with me.
“I’m so sorry you have to see me go through this,” she said.
After I gathered my will and a bit of silence passed, I responded “I’m so glad it’s me you allowed to see you go through this.” I laid my head down on her frail bony shoulder as we sat on the couch together and she held me in her arms for the last time that night.
April 8, 2012, Easter Sunday, five years ago today… If you believe in the biblical story of Jesus Christ and know about the time when he began his journey of suffering, of crucifixion and death…it matches exactly the same time frame that Momma followed that day. I truly believe in the deepest part of my heart that she chose that day and that time to join her Lord and Mother Mary for that reason. I wish with all my might I could have faith and strength like hers.
I held her hand as she took her last breath.
No other honor in my life time can ever surpass that honor. I now live my life trying to smile like her no matter how hard it gets. I now live my life reflecting all that she taught me no matter what anyone else tells me. I now live my life like hers so that my children can feel the love that I felt for her.
I love you Momma.
The miles I run for you will always be Mimi’s Miles. Cancer picked the wrong woman.

Body, Mind & Soul…the REAL Triathlon workout

Posted in ACTS, cancer, half ironman, health & fitness, ironman, Mom, rgv, rio grande valley, Running, team in training, texas, training for my first half ironman, triathlon, triathlon training, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2017 by runmyssierun

I started this blog to share candid experiences of my personal journey with cancer and how I used marathons and triathlons as my soap box for awareness and a toolbox for fundraising. What I didn’t expect coming was the impact both would have inside of me… my soul.

So let’s talk first about FAILURE. Sure I entered my first marathon thinking that if I could show God how much I was sacrificing and how hard I was pushing myself to run TWENTY SIX POINT TWO miles that He would spare my Momma’s life and cure her cancer and all would be back to normal. Well, that didn’t work out the way I planned, huh?

Three full marathons, seven half marathons, thirteen triathlons, lost count of all the 5ks and 10ks and still… three DNFs

FAILURE

I was made fun of. I could have stayed quiet about it all and avoided the whole thing and the humiliation that came with it but I gave myself rules from the beginning and I did my best to stick to them:

No complaining. I had no right since I knew Momma had gone through so much – cancer treatment, surgeries, expenses, the loss of her sister and the loss of her only son. I had no right to complain.

Momma and her crown before her surgery

Be vulnerable and honest. If I was going to put it out there, I was going to go all out so that others could connect, understand, share, help and get the conversation and ultimately the movement of human compassion started.

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Never ever give up. This was the most difficult. Since I was never an athlete, it was hard for me to gauge the difference between soreness and injury. Not allowing myself to heal correctly and pushing myself because of my determination was the perfect combination for muscle injury.  When all the progress I made was thrown out the window because of my stubborn stupidity, it was humiliating and humbling to find myself right back at square one… overweight and out of shape.

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Oh but not all was failure. I did something pretty amazing. I did something that so many people never thought I could do… including myself. I accomplished physical feats that few attempt because of fear of failure. I accomplished getting a community to give of themselves for others so that a dollar here and a thousand dollars there could help someone in need… and we never even had to know who that person was. It was only important that they got a chance to live longer, happier, and healthier even if just for a moment. I accomplished a conversation that continues today… and important one. One that changed the way we treat, cure and charge for those services. I was a part of it. I did not sit on the sidelines of life. I was a part of this movement. It was just a little bit but it was MY bit and although it may not have been much, it gave me purpose, helped others and showed my children the example that my mother showed me.

 

The entire journey, I referenced God and angels and miracles and “signs” on a daily basis but something was missing. A connection was still missing… no no no… correction…

The connection was always there… I was just too blind to see it.

I knew what I needed to do. I always knew. I think all of you did, too. So this weekend it happened.

I attended the same retreat that my mother attended that set her soul on fire and strengthened her faith like no other I’ve ever met. That hand sign I throw at races was the hand sign she threw at me when she returned from her retreat. It means “I love you” in American sign language. It was an ACTS retreat and although I didn’t not attend it at the Shrine the way she did, I was able to attend it at my home church with the Priest that raised me and 71 other women whom were all strangely and purposefully meant to be with me this weekend.

Crossing the finish line of my first full marathon, witnessing my son graduate and choose to serve his country, giving birth, marrying the love of my life, winning my first crown, experiencing my first kiss… these life moments now have a new addition to my collection of favorite life memories. ACTS is officially a part of this collection.

The journey that this blog is based on began in 2011. But this week marks my true beginning. I now have all three “sports” in my line up and fully intend to workout each – MIND BODY & SOUL – to become the ultimate triathlete, the one He always intended for me to become.

And now, most importantly of all… I have mentioned “I” a whole bunch in this post. None of it was done alone by just “I”.  From the very, very beginning there was my FAMILY, there was our team of DOCTORS AND MEDICAL STAFF, there was TEAM IN TRAINING and THE LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY and THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, there was the incredibly long list of SPONSORS, DONORS and VOLUNTEERS, there were numerous RUN GROUPS, COACHES, and TEAMMATES, CO-WORKERS, and seriously freaking awesome FRIENDS who joined me, there were my SONS and my HUSBAND and my FATHER who joined me in training or 5ks or followed me at my 2nd full marathon or helped throw orange paint at the Color Dash, and then there were 71 SISTERS IN CHRIST and HIM who never left my side… ever.

I’ve said it from the beginning… this was never just about me. This has always been about something much bigger… way bigger than just me.

As each phase in this journey has evolved, peaked and molded my life, I have seen the world of cancer change, my personal health change and that of my community, too, and ultimately the love of my family, friends and yes, my spirituality change immensely.

And for all of this… I thank you. So here I go again…a little quieter, a bit more purposeful and a whole lot stronger.  I invite you to join me if you are also ready to get over that fear, too.

 

 

Viva Bike Vegas – the Triple Crown

Posted in cancer, cycling, Mom, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2015 by runmyssierun

My vicious, super duper mean spin cycling RPM instructor from Gold’s Gym posted on my facebook wall today that he removed all the coveted finisher award shirts from the gym members today… except mine.

Joey Williams took a picture of my shirt in his cycling studio and posted it on my wall... this... this meant sooo much to me. Thank you Joey! Thank you Gold's Gym!!!

Joey Williams took a picture of my shirt in his cycling studio and posted it on my wall… this… this meant sooo much to me. Thank you Joey! Thank you Gold’s Gym!!!

That shirt… wow. That shirt is so treasured. It symbolizes EVERYTHING I had done. All the blood, sweat and tears to keep my promise to Momma & Sissy. The 40-plus some non-athletic anti-gym rat with absolutely NO experience took on THE toughest 100-mile bike in America and I was able to do so with Joey pushing me harder and harder every dang morning at that class… making me stay longer, turning my gears two to three times more than anyone elses so that he could make sure my legs were ready for those mountains. The triple crown is significant because it symbolizes to me and to everyone around me in this journey that nothing is impossible so long as you have passion and support. I was way out of my league in EVERY single event I attempted but I didn’t give up. I trained right for all that I did and was surrounded by countless experiences supporters that believed in what I was doing. Together, we did it. That shirt is not mine. That crown is not mine. Those awards, donations, treatments, lives saved are not mine… they belong to all of us. Re-reading the blog post for Viva Bike Vegas and watching the video of the three sisters on the Silverman trail… I still can’t believe that I did that. Wow!

Just the first few minutes of this video, you hear from the greats themselves how difficult this is!!!

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You have to be brave with your life
So that others can be brave with theirs

The moment was here. I boarded the plane knowing that quitting was NOT an option.

“Fasten your seatbelts. The captain just said he was going to try something new.” – Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant and part-time comedian. He kept my nerves at bay with his comedy act over the loud speaker.

After a few delayed hours of flight, I went straight to Las Vegas Cyclery to pick up my “Mimi”. To the person who has never ridden an awesome road bike before, the relationship between me and my custom built Felt bike is probably perceived as a bit coo-coo. And to those people I have to say “so what?”. “Mimi” was beautifully reassembled and rolled out to me with unanimous comments from the bike store staff gasping “Your bike is wicked!” – yes, I…

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A Starry Night

Posted in cancer, Mom with tags , , , , , , , on May 15, 2015 by runmyssierun

I got a text on my phone over lunch… “call me at your earliest convenience”

Hmmm…. in the business of my business, this means “Call me NOW” in the most polite way possible. So I called immediately. It was from the American Cancer Society office. Miss Lovely advised me that there were some changes in the event, program and promotion of Cattle Baron’s Ball…

She sent this link to me

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Wow!

This is really happening. This is REALLY happening!

For two days now, I’ve been getting the most incredible emails, texts and phone calls from people of decades ago that she helped find jobs when the Levi’s plant closed down when she worked at Texas Employment Commission or from those she helped find financing for their first home that they bought when she was a Realtor or from those she prayed for in their time of need with Catholic Daughters. This is it. This is when it all comes together.

The journey so far has been on a winding caliche unpaved road.  I am now at an elevator and all I have to do is push a button. But if I’m not careful, it can also all come crashing down.

I’m so excited and scared at the same time. I hope I get it right for her and for all she hoped for.

   
         

I remember you

Posted in cancer, Mom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2015 by runmyssierun

It’s still very awkward for me on holidays. Especially Mother’s Day without my mom and Sissy (who helped raise me)  and the only other person in this world who would know what I feel… my baby brother.

I was watching GMA (Good Morning America) yesterday and saw Garth Brooks surprise an unsuspecting mom with a personal appearance and sang a song to her that touched my heart..

I know I question a lot of what God puts me into… and I know I shouldn’t because God sure put me into the arms of the most perfect mother ever. He knows what He’s doing. I hope I’ve become the mom that she was to me for my boys.

My son and I at the very first Little Heroes Prom held by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the Rio Grande Valley at IMAS.

My son and I at the very first Little Heroes Prom held by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the Rio Grande Valley at IMAS.

Last night, I was able to get dressed up and share an evening with my youngest son at the Little Heroes Prom held at the International Museum of Arts & Sciences. And although the event was designed for the children in the area who have or have had cancer, you couldn’t help but see the mothers of each child there beam with pride as their beautiful/handsome child danced to Pharrell’s Happy or Taylor Swift’s Shake it off.

And as I looked beside me and gazed upon the child I helped create, I couldn’t help but get a little choked up realizing that this was the first Mother’s Day that I would be without my eldest child and simply stayed quiet as the women around me at the table asked each other how they would be celebrating their weekend as moms.

I won’t be doing anything “special”. But I’ll be feeling special.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who helped mold a child to become a better person.

My Momma and I celebrating me becoming a mother.

My Momma and I celebrating me becoming a mother.

The Heart of the Matter

Posted in cancer, Mom, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2015 by runmyssierun

I’ve been feeling like a broken record these last few months when it comes to stress. It’s been punching me from all sides.

I spent Saturday with Dad working on his website for his Real Estate business and finally got some good opportunities to be a daughter again. Things have been a bit awkward lately.

He took me out for lunch afterwards and we got to talking… and before I knew it, I was just spilling out my guts to him like I hadn’t ever before of how I was desperately trying to keep everything together, calm, cool and collected. I’m not pompous enough to say that the pressure I deal with is more than the pressure anyone else deals with but I was lucky enough to have found a healthy outlet to allow me to peacefully escape from pressure and find serenity in my life where I can calmly find solutions to problems or accept those problems and move on… all on two wheels.

And that’s when he stopped me… “Your neck is breaking out in a rash again.” I had been talking about all that had been stressing me out how I was trying not to make matters worse but I just didn’t know… I don’t know how to be like Momma. She would have known how to deal. She would know. She would have been able to stop things before they go to this level.

My Momma’s neck would break out in hives when she had high blood pressure and got excited, angry, scared, etc.

I had indigestion at night for weeks. I was gaining weight. I wasn’t working out like I had the year before. My close friends and family and breakfast club that I had leaned on for years were gone or scattered all over the globe with problems of their own. I was surrounded by people who insist on keeping troubles to yourself. And so I did.

And it’s backfired.

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When I went running last week, I felt myself compensating on my right side. That night, I couldn’t sleep because my hip would send shock waves from my toes to my head. My indigestion was making me nauseous and I was thirsty, so thirsty! And so tired but couldn’t sleep. I’d go to the bathroom and just a trickle of dark urine would escape and I was so constipated and bloated that laying any which way on the bed would be agonizingly uncomfortable. My ankles were always swollen and this sounds funny… but I actually feel the water under my skin all over my body! And my headaches… oh my headaches made me so dizzy that I didn’t even want to read books or skim through pinterest, watch TV or keep my eyes open!

Those are a lot of symptoms!!!

After squirming on the couch, it was suggested that I see a chiropractor and that may be the reason I was compensating on my run. Hmmmm

Made sense.  I guess I better start checking these symptoms off and see a doc about them.

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So I went to Dr. Martin Chiropractors – just ONE of the doctors I made appointments to visit. I did NOT expect what happened to happen. You know the first thing you do when you go into a Docs office, right? They give you tons of paper work, weigh you and get your blood pressure.

My blood pressure was through the roof!!!! The look that the nurse gave me was all the instruction I needed. I am normally a person with very LOW blood pressure – which is not healthy either but to be this high was extremely unlike me. SOMETHING’S WRONG.SOMETHING’S VERY VERY WRONG.

I took tons of exams and x rays while I was there and Doc comes in with the results and discusses options for continuing my goal towards Ironman.

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I have two curvatures in my spine that had been creating these problems in my stride. I have high cholesterol and high blood pressure again. With all that I had been doing… my doomed body returned bigger and badder than ever.

Here we go now!!! Adding another team of doctors to my list of guardian angels.

You can eat all the right things. You can do all the right things. And sometimes genes and heredity still give you a good fight. Now, let me be clear about this… I’m not saying give up, we all die anyway… I’m saying do it right – live life the best way possible – because everyone dies but only those of us lucky enough for it to click get to really live life to it’s fullest. I can smile as I look back on all I have done, all I have learned, all I have met, all I have befriended, all I have inspired and all that is yet to come.

The nurse didn't believe that I had squiggly veins. After a few tries she was able to capture a few vials of my fatty blood.

The nurse didn’t believe that I had squiggly veins. After a few tries she was able to capture a few vials of my fatty blood.

And then the thought flutters through my mind… if I had not started exercising and eating better, how far back ago would high cholesterol and high blood pressure have taken my life? I look back at the Myssie of 2011 and how horrible she felt inside and out. There’s no way that Myssie experienced the happiness that Myssie of 2012-2014 felt.

I suddenly felt like the world came to a screeching halt. But my world doesn’t stop for me. It stops for my family and my loved ones.

I got two phone calls… one that said my uncle was at the hospital. He had a stroke. The other phone call was that another dear friend of mine was just diagnosed with breast cancer.

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My heart is broken. My arteries are clogged. My mind is scrambling. My muscles are strained. And my back is bent.. but not broken.  The fight to be healthy and cancer free keeps punching the lights outta me. God, I don’t know what you’re trying to do and don’t know where you’re leading me but I’m not sure I’m strong enough to do this again.

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Cattle Baron’s Ball Shocking Honoree

Posted in cancer, Mom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2015 by runmyssierun

A short while ago, I got a message via facebook to meet over coffee from a good friend. While sipping coffee at Starbucks, she ever so gracefully mentioned honoring my mother and I at this year’s Cattle Baron’s Ball. I’ll admit, I was stunned and didn’t know what to say or do other than keep the coffee from spurting out of my mouth and onto her impeccably styled self and just nodding my head up and down.

Cattle Baron's Ball Trifold Yep, that's my family in there.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Trifold
Yep, that’s my family in there.

A few years ago, when Momma was first diagnosed with cancer, she was named REALTOR OF THE YEAR by her fellow Realtors and members of the Greater McAllen Association of Realtors.  I remember her hanging her head low shortly after accepting the award and shared a rare moment of doubt with me.

“They feel sorry for me because I have cancer. That’s why they voted for me,” said whispered to me.

“Momma, this wasn’t pity. We all admire you. Not everything is about cancer.”

She forced a smile on her face and gave me a hug. I knew I did an awful job of convincing her that it wasn’t pity. I wish I could go back in time and tell her something else… something eloquent, profound and full of wisdom, poetic and strong enough to have made her believe what I saw and admired in her.

Oh how hindsight is so 20/20!!! How I would do things differently if given the chance.

Momma was an officer for GMAR (Greater McAllen Association of Realtors) for several years and was President elect the year that she was diagnosed with cancer. No one told her to – but she removed herself from the position to tend to her treatments. She was never the type of person to not give %110 and she thought that her treatment away at MD Anderson would diminish her effectiveness as a leader for this organization that she loved so much.

She did an awesome job of teaching me by example to never half-ass something important to you. You do it %110 or don’t do it at all until you’re ready.

What Momma either forgot or didn’t realize at the time was that this group of Realtors, friends and co-workers had all admired and trusted her enough to make her their leader even before cancer was in the picture. And I failed to remind her of that fact.

Dad, Momma, me and hubby at the Greater McAllen Association of Realtors (GMAR) Realtor of the Year awards

Dad, Momma, me and hubby at the Greater McAllen Association of Realtors (GMAR) Realtor of the Year awards

She was Realtor of the year, Rotarian of the year, Woman of the year (and many others)… and in the back of her mind, I think she doubted whether she deserved all these incredible awards by merit or if they were given to her by cancer pity. And I think I did a terrible job of convincing her of her true worth and value to her community. I should have done more when I had the time to do so.

So now here we are in present day and I find myself in a similar situation and guilty of feeling undeserving of this honor.  See, I’ve never HAD cancer. I live a healthy life. I don’t suffer the effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgical removals of organs and body parts. I don’t have to miss work or family time because I’m away at hospitals being poked and prodded for experimental treatments. I don’t have to schedule Real Estate open houses and viewing appointments around the times I know I’ll be vomiting. I just have to run or swim or ride a bike. That’s all. Why does that make me so special? I’m really the under achiever of the family.

I mean… I’m not even one of those amazing athletes that qualifies for Boston. Or Kona. Or… anything worth qualifying for.

They should have picked someone else for this award. And cancer should have taken me instead.

Yes, this is how I truly feel.

BUT… these last few years really have changed my outlook and I refuse to let myself mope around in my dramatic pity parties. Regardless of how I feel on the inside, these last few years and experiences have taught me that although honors AND criticisms are directed towards me, much of them have little to do with me. I was chosen for this because of the love I have for my mother, the admiration I have for her and all that she went through and all that she did when she could. I made a promise to raise awareness and funds for a disease that I am not stricken with and being noted for it. I made a promise to do my best to take care of the health that I was blessed with and not take it for granted and I don’t do it alone, I am led, pushed and followed by countless others….

So in essence, who is really being honored here is not me but my mother, my family, my friends, my community, my teammates, my supporters, donors, sponsors and especially the victims of cancer, their families and caregivers who know all too well what it is that my Mother saw and desperately wanted to remedy.  Little actually has to do with me and so much has to do with everyone else.

I bow down to you, the deserving – the ones who have loudly and silently confided, cried, comforted and competed with me. I bow down to you, the fighters, the lovers, the haters, the cheerleaders, the sick and the healthy… for YOU are the ones that I’ve always wanted never to endure what we did. It was her wish and it is my promise. And neither of us are quitters.

I will accept this honor on my mother’s behalf and bow to you… because we are all deserving to live in a world without cancer.

For more information about the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball this year on September 19th at the Boggus Ford Event Center in Pharr, TX, would like to attend and/or sponsor it, please call the RGV ACS at (956) 682-8329. Once they update and finalize the website, I’ll post a link here.

Sometimes (1)

My third Stanley’s Triathlon

Posted in Mom, triathlon, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by runmyssierun
The Real Stanley

The Real Stanley

So before I do my recap of today’s triathlon, let me tell you a little bit about WHY this event means so much to me. See, I’m a daughter who loved her mother and I do lots of crazy stuff in her memory and honor so that others don’t have to experience this pain that she went through with cancer. When children do incredible things for their parents, it tells me that those parents did something right. They showed real love to these children, the kind that garners life-long respect and admiration. Something that I thought every child received is actually a rarity now.

A little over three years ago, I met a young, kind, and generous man by chance while posing for a photo shoot by Mid-Valley Events Athlete of the Week story at his bike shop.  It didn’t take long for this guy to take me from marathons to triathlons. I was hurt anyway from the marathon that I had done and was using triathlon to continue my training while my feet were healing. I borrowed my husband’s bike and took it to him to get fitted and I guess he either felt sorry for me or he knew I was way in over my head or it was a combination of the two… but he took me under his wing for probably the same reason I admire him… we both love our mothers and do these crazy things for them in their honor.

Stanley, the namesake of this triathlon, is a seeing eye dog. He was his mother’s seeing eye dog. Stanley is no longer here but lives on through this sport of triathlon in La Joya, Texas.

Proceeds from this triathlon go towards the organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Because Wally supports me in all my crazy adventures, I’m going to make sure I make Stanley’s triathlon an annual event on my calendar and support him as much as I can. Because we both have extraordinary moms and that’s just what good kids do.

Want to know more about this? Here’s the link: Guidingeyes.org


And my recap…

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Ok, it’s no secret that my training has been a tad bit wacky and unconventional lately so I was a bit worried about how I would perform today. Nerves were hacking their way through me as I drove in… no coffee, tired (the last couple of days I’ve been living on just a few hours of continuously disrupted sleep) worried that I had forgotten something really important. I unloaded, asked Nesta (who had parked near me) to zip me up (told you I was tired) and made my way to body marking and bike check at transition. I was happy to see Alex eagerly waiting for me to remove my jacket so she could body mark me and then –again — purposely picked the very last bike rack to set up shop.

I carefully placed everything in the order that Coach Sandy taught me, got my earbuds, picked out my playlist and immediately began warming up with a stretch and a short, casual jog and then found a quiet place to sit and listen to my saved voicemails from Donny and Momma. This – this right here – keeps me grounded and focused on my WHY.

I’m surrounded by extremely gifted athletes that train very, very hard. There’s a few newbies, too. Scared and nervous and wondering what they got themselves into… I remember that feeling. And this is when I remind myself to do the absolute best I can do today and that, yes, I will hurt and yes, I will be out of my comfort zone for a while… but I am no quitter and I am not here to compete and I am not here to injure myself, either. I know how to listen to my body now. I know when to push my limits. And I know when to bring it down now. These are great things to know!

There’s something quite extraordinary about triathlon training. You get to know a lot about yourself – things you never really thought you needed to know. I think I’m a better person now because of this. No… correction. I KNOW I’m a better person now because of this.

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I jump into the pool and within seconds I can gather that just a few swimmers ahead of me there’s a person struggling and they’re going to back up all the other swimmers because no one wants to pass them. I scan my way over to the other side of the pool and there are families cheering their participants on and quickly pan over to the opposite side and I see German examining each swimmer, locking in on form, speed and safety.

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Number 9 GO!

I push off from the ledge like a torpedo and don’t come back up for air until I’m half way into the pool. My stroke was conservative and on point. As I entered the third lap, I felt my breathing accelerate and caught myself in time to calm myself down. This was also about the time when I caught up to the struggling swimmer. I tapped their foot and passed them. Went forward a few more and saw Maritza holding her nose at the ledge of the pool.

“Are you ok?” I asked.

“He kicked my nose!” she shrieked.

Boom! I took off, passed him and thought about doing the same to him… but didn’t. The thought was evil enough for my revenge. Eh, I’m sure he just got freaked out a bit with all the crowd in a lane and just hit her by accident.

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I exited the pool and in one graceful swoop took off my swim cap and goggles while jogging barefoot to transition in what I was hoping was a Bo Derek moment… but let’s be serious.. even I know I was moving like a walrus.

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Transition was a blur – literally. I felt like I was going to faint. I guess I just stopped too soon or something but when I leaned over to slip my shoes on… the world kinda did a little twirl around me. I grabbed onto the bike rack and got my bearings, snapped my helmet in place and took “Mimi” off her rack.

Here we go… my favorite part!

Click click click click my shoes went and I trotted through transition to the mount line. Remembering my little dizzy spell, I went to the side so that others wouldn’t rear end my clumsy butt and carefully leaned over to begin my ride. It had rained pretty hard the day and night before and it left puddles of uncertainty all over the road, especially around the first corner but let me tell you after I got out of the event area… I booked it like there was no tomorrow. Off the seat I went.

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click click

I went into the hard gears and savored that wind against my face!!! Man oh man that felt awesome! It wasn’t like the wind at the Jalapeno 100 a couple of weeks ago… this was different. It was a welcoming, friendly, how you doing kinda breeze. It’s a little deceiving, too, because you start dancing with those sneaky rolling hills on Jarachinas Road!! You don’t see them coming really but you feel them in your legs and before you know it… boom! Elevation!!! Change gears!!!

The sun was up, fellow triathletes are all cheering me on and delicate periwinkle colored flowers were blooming along the fenceline… it was so so so very pretty!!! Oh my gosh! Wait… where’s the drama? Every single time I am in La Joya… something really crazy happens.

The first time I did Stanley’s, an SUV filled with illegal aliens almost clipped me as they tried to escape into the brush nearby and then I fell off my bike at the dismount line going into T2. The second time I did Stanley’s, my saddle sack with the required flat repair kit fell off on the drive over to the race that morning! I ended up riding my bike with my running fuel belt on and an extra tire kit packed inside!

I should have known something crazy was going to happen.

Just when I thought I was going to have a drama free event, Maritza passes me and seconds later she wails out in agony and plop goes her bike into the grass. From my point of view, it looked like her leg popped out and was only still by her side because her shoe was clipped in to her bike!! Screaming from a patch of grass and her bike on top of her, I jumped off my bike to help. Two other cyclists did the same. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head as she exclaimed,”Your times!! I’m ruining your times!” Silly girl thought that being on a podium was more important than her. Thank goodness it was just a cramp. She got back up after a few minutes, stretched her leg out and finished the race.

I know the rules. I’m not supposed to help other racers. I risked disqualification but there’s a point where the real Myssie pops out and punches the pseudo competitor facade and takes over. This is Maritza. She is a friend. You cannot leave her. No race is worth that. I’m sorry. It’s just not how Momma raised me. I really though she had broken her leg and if I had left her like that, she would have been in serious agony for God only knows how long. I thought I had it all on my gopro… but I hit the wrong button… again. 😦 Bummer.

I saw Sandy about a quarter mile ahead of me. Nah, I’m not going to speed up and take it away from her. This was her first triathlon. That was third place right there in my age group and I was letting it go. And I smiled and felt absolutely wonderful knowing that she was going to feel on top of the world in just about an hour. I rode the rest of way back about three bike lengths away from Maritza just to make sure she was ok and wouldn’t cramp up again. I’m glad I did that. I would have felt awful if it did happen again and no one was there to help her.

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T2 zoomed by and off I went a-running.. er a-jogging… er I was moving in the direction of the course. My feet felt like concrete. They were so heavy and I was honestly very disappointed because I had had a fabulous run earlier this week. But to be fair, I hadn’t had a good solid “brick” training and I was angry at myself. I deserved this. Regardless, I trotted on. It was a short two mile stretch and although I was slow, I was on a consistent pace with no signs of stopping. Good!

As I reach a little over half way, I see Coach Chavez beginning her run and I notice the struggle in her face. I haven’t known her for very long but I can pick up on body language and knew her enough to note that she needed some pushing. So I cross the street and decide to do the run portion over again so I can make sure she’s not struggling alone. I think she panicked for a while and didn’t understand what I was doing at first and when it sunk in, she said, “You don’t have to go this slow. You can go ten steps for…”

I stopped her there. “Don’t you worry about me. I’m fine.” I said curtly so that I wouldn’t get any other arguments. Plus it was probably my only chance to not get an argument from her since she was out of breath. I had the advantage in this conversation hehehehe

She said a few curse words… mostly the “F” word but that’s her style and it’s what works for her and I pushed her as best I could with encouragement. Between the vulgar language, she blurted,”I just wanted to finish this… (this part was inaudible) to be last.”

“You’re going to finish. You’re not going to be last. I’ll be last.” I said very matter-of-factly.

So as we were about a half block away from the finish line, she said,”Don’t be last. Finish this with me.”

And that was the smile I carried into the finish line.

The best Last Place finish to date. It is in journeys like these that you finally figure out what really matters in life. Kindness, encouragement and finishing what you started are just some of the lessons I've learned.  I've crossed many finish lines but I'm far from finished. :)

The best Last Place finish to date. It is in journeys like these that you finally figure out what really matters in life. Kindness, encouragement and finishing what you started are just some of the lessons I’ve learned. I’ve crossed many finish lines but I’m far from finished. 🙂

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Thank you to those Dos Guys, all the sponsors and volunteers for yet another extremely well organized and produced event.

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