Archive for edinburg

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.

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Your Crap Sandwich

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2014 by runmyssierun

A SPECIAL THANKSGIVING MISSION MOMENT… please read, and remember that there is still work to do. ‪#‎TNTSCTX‬

Thanksgiving by Kristie Escoe

“Thanksgiving. Giving thanks. Something I’ve found pretty easy to do most years, and took for granted pretty much every year up until now. Sure, I know a little bit about worrying about the health of family members. So I thought I was a veteran at worrying, but always managed to give thanks irregardless. WRONG. Nothing prepares you for the fear and worry when your child is ill. More than ill. Ill with a disease that, even in this day and age, still claims innocent victims. And now you want me to give thanks?????


Imagine every year for Thanksgiving that you and your family go to a wonderful all-you-can-eat buffet. The food is always great and you look forward to getting the same delicious meal, year after year. So this year, you give your standard order to the waitress: an appetizer of “love”, a “caring” salad, the side dishes, “thoughtfulness” “compassion” and “laughter” and a big, juicy entrée of “good health and happiness for everyone”. The waitress brings you everything you asked for but the entrée. Instead, in front of you on the table, she places a big, fat crap sandwich. And the conversation goes a little something like this:

poo-sandwich
YOU: “Excuse me, I didn’t order this crap sandwich”
WAITRESS: “House special. You got it without asking”
YOU: “But I don’t want a crap sandwich. I want good health and happiness for everyone.”
WAITRESS: “Well, you got a crap sandwich.”
YOU (getting upset): “Well take it back and give me what I asked for instead!”
WAITRESS points to a sign that says “Absolutely NO substitutions”
YOU say adamantly: “There is positively no way I am going to be able to choke down this crap sandwich and I think it’s really unfair for you to expect me to”
And the waitress replies “Hey, look. You’ve still got love, caring, thoughtfulness, compassion and laughter, so try to appreciate those. Oh, I almost forgot, here’s your condiment tray for the crap sandwich. You also get big overflowing bowls of fear, worry, anger, guilt and resentment. Bon Appetit!”

And so you’re looking around the restaurant, feeling really grumpy about your crap sandwich, and you realize that there are a lot more people with crap sandwiches than you ever thought possible. And from the looks on their faces, none of them ordered them, either. Then you see a couple of tables with really, really big, Dagwood-sized crap sandwiches and you summon the waitress again. “Excuse me, why are their crap sandwiches so big?” And she explains that those people are facing situations even worse than yours. Their kids haven’t responded well to treatment, have had cancer relapses, or worse yet, died. And you start to think maybe your crap sandwich isn’t so bad after all. Maybe you should keep your big mouth shut, choke it down, and be glad when it’s all gone and everyone is well again. And then, right then, your waitress reminds you of one last thing: “Management reserves the right to serve you another, bigger crap sandwich, anytime they want”
We are nearing the END of treatment, not just starting out. The crap sandwich we have left on our plate is crumb-sized… we’ll be choking down the last few bites in the upcoming year and then OUR. PLATE. WILL. BE. EMPTY!!!
But, we’ll be required to hang out in the bar of the restaurant for the next five years or so. We won’t order off a menu, or make eye-contact with any employee on purpose, heaven forbid. For the next five years we will sit in the bar and keep a low profile and hope and pray the waitress doesn’t come back to our table. I’m not sure when we can ever pay our check and leave… and as long as we’re here, we’ll continue to see crap sandwiches being slung out of the kitchen on a regular basis. You don’t want one yourself, and you hate to see anyone else getting one, either. But you know they’re coming. So you just duck and pray you don’t get hit.”

The above was posted on the Team in Training Central South Texas facebook page. Now, I know I’ve been guilty a few gazillion times of complaining over things that ultimately in the big scheme of things don’t really matter and take for granted so many things that so many others would give anything for.

I’m trying. I really am trying to slow down, breathe life in, smell the roses, see the silver lining and enjoy my itty bitty little crap sandwich. You know… it really isn’t all that bad. How’s yours? It really isn’t as bad as some of the others around, huh?

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving and hope that you all have the opportunities like I do to enjoy a feast of great bounty with friends, family and dear loved ones above and acknowledge the endless beautiful blessings around us. May we all seek betterment for mankind, find contentment and gratitude for our current possessions and situations, live peacefully amongst all peoples with encouragement, kindness, tolerance and compassion for all. And in doing so, may we find inner peace, health and happiness.

P.S. As a rule of mine when I first started this blog, I said I wouldn’t write about my personal relationships with my children and husband and other close family members where it didn’t pertain to my health and fitness journey and the road to a cancer-free world. Today, that rule will be broken. These last three years could have easily been a downward spiral to a rock bottom of epic proportions. But they weren’t. I’m not saying they weren’t difficult – because they surely were! But had it not been for the love and support of my family, I’m not really sure I’d be here today smiling like I am. Soooooo no details buuuutttt I find myself in a similar situation in that I’ve lost so many of my close family members over the last few years and in the next few days, I am about to lose another. And while this loss is not one resulting from death or cancer, the distance will sting my heart with excruciating pain. For this reason, I have been quite silent over the last few months and will likely continue to keep the posts rare until I find the strength and time to journal the thoughts of a fluffy-middle-aged marathoner/triathlete/centurion and future Ironman’s journey to a cancer-free world.

~Much love & Happy Thanksgiving!

Mad World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2014 by runmyssierun

There sure are some crazy things happening around the world now. It seems like drugs and cartel have taken over South and Central America and their children are fleeing from there to here. As if North America is any better. We’re the ones who are using all those drugs. Greed and extreme religion has taken over the Middle East. For any human being to think that beheading someone is the right thing to do is completely beyond me. The Ebola virus has taken over Africa. And bad design has taken over the stages of New York’s Fashion Week this week!!! Ok, that last comment was sarcastic… but really.

Way too much craziness. We’ve become mad!

So in the middle of it all, I’m trying to raise a family, make a living, be a loud mouth against cancer, advocate for safer roads, and train for silly events to keep me living a healthy lifestyle. The world isn’t making this easy for me. How YOU doing?

It was about this time last year that I changed my training around to make it more “fun” so that I didn’t burn out. So when I got a note asking me to participate in the McAllen Stair Challenge in honor of the fire fighters who lost their lives and those who survived and continued to give of themselves for us… I couldn’t resist.

I’ve been training well. I feel good, strong, healthy… why not? I can climb stairs!

Oh boy… sure, I’ll give you permission to rub this one in my face. I deserve it.

Alright, let’s begin. Remember how I had briefly talked about hurting my hamstrings right before TriRock triathlon? Well, Coach W said that hamstring injuries occur pretty often when the leg muscles around the hamstrings become more developed and start to take up the slack that your weaker hamstrings can’t handle. Guess what I did? I started doing lots of hamstring strength exercises!!! AND GOT SORE.

So I went to Kefah. Kefah is this wicked fast runner who the locals pay to have him torture our legs so that we may run faster. He has this way of “massaging” your legs while making you hold your breath and turn various shades of red, purple and blue, dig your head into the bed and pound your hands into anything near by in excruciating agony and then still give him a tip. Aaaaannnnddd yes, I did that. And boy did he get after me!!! Telling me that I knew better than to do this. That I should have been coming in way before the event and two or three times a week. He was right. Life caught up to me and I’m trying hard to balance priorities. I always feel guilty doing things for myself like massages or mani/pedis or shopping or getting my hair done. In the end, I either don’t do them at all or I do it myself… and I don’t do any of that stuff like a professional does.

My legs were tight. Tighter than they have ever been before for any event. I was worried. The last thing I needed was for my hammies to pop just when I decided to do a full marathon later this year. All Friday night and all day Saturday, I was stretching, massaging, rolling, stretching, massaging, rolling, etc…

Sunday morning comes around and I jump into my gear. It’s been raining a lot so I packed some additions into my bag … you know.. just in case… and I zoomed over to Chase Tower. I put on a little mascara and liner while in the car really as an excuse to see if anyone was in the cars next to me or around me to see… and when I saw that the coast was clear, I used the rest of that whole big old bottle of that Perform/Bio Freeze spray I loved at TriRock all over my legs. I went from my butt down to my ankles. I wanted to make sure there was going to be as little pain as possible. Whew! No one saw!

BUT THEY SURE CAN SMELL ME!!!

There was no hiding my secret.

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I checked in. Got my badge and was scurried over to the East parking lot where the most incredible prayer, song and music played.

And then the Bagpipes led us to the stairwell… oh but first… a selfie

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And off we went…

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By chance, I was placed behind the first group of fire fighters. I didn’t think of it at the time about how important this was…

One of the men apologized within the first few steps for how badly his gear smelled. “Are you kidding me? We’re all runners and triathletes here. We smell like this all the time. It’s me that should be apologizing!” I smirked back.

I had just started on the stairs and was at the second and a half floor when I felt my heart start to go berserk. OMG! Already? I thought I was more fit than this!!! Myssie, there is NO way you’re going to be able to do 110 flights of stairs if you’re winded on the second floor. GIVE UP before you make a fool of yourself.

Y’all remember her? I don’t think she needs an introduction anymore.

Ok, I’m just going to slow down a bit. That’s all. Not gonna stop. Not gonna stop. Oh! There’s a leak in here!

I look up and it’s not a leak. At least not from the roof – of which I had expected it to be coming from with all the rain. It was from a fireman sweating profusely and spilling over on to me from the flight above me. Eww.

Don’t you DARE say anything! I don’t want a face on you or your nose stuck up in the air. Don’t you be that girl! Suck it up. THEY ARE! And so should you!

We were at about the fifth floor and the group of firemen that were around me were struggling. Already drenched in sweat and their pace declining, I saw them look around at the walls. Unlike marathons where family, friends and nearby residents crowd by the streets with posters filled with encouragement and cheers… we had art work drawn on manilla paper from the students of McAllen. We all had to smile. Some were just jaw dropping spectacular and some clearly were not meant for the Art profession but what radiated through each piece was heart and good intentions. As each of us wobbled through the next flight, we eagerly looked to the walls to see what the next one would say to us. We loved them… misspellings and all!

Gaspy conversations kept us busy. I got to know a few of these brave souls who selflessly risk their lives trying to save strangers they’ll likely never know and the material possessions the strangers value. One of them told me about his visit to New York’s Ground Zero just six months ago and got to listen to the recordings of the communication transmissions for one of the stations on September 11th. How heart wrecking is that???? And he still shows up to work after hearing this!!!

McAllen Stair Climb challenge fire fighters

Another spoke of how just yesterday he worked a crazy long shift and got out just in time to do this event.

Another responded to a compliment given by a civilian about how well their city’s fire crew works so well with each other… “Oh we are all from different cities but these guys are like brothers. Sometimes I see them more than I see my own family.”

Another spoke about how he was watching the special on Remembering 9/11 on the fire station’s television when the alarm sounded and there was a huge structural fire that he now needed to tend to. And he did. On September 11 of this year.

Story after story of heroism, selflessness, strength, challenges, fear and compassion all poured out of them on those stairs and into my ears and heart. These were a different breed of humans. They are silent, humble, jolly, helpful, courteous people who know what to do, how to do it and know who to do it with to get the job done safely and quickly so that the least amount of God’s creation is harmed.

These were not the type of people who would make children from their country flee in terror because of the illegal business they were trying to bully into their country. These were not the type of people who would behead another human being to illicit fear and power to gain territory or that their religion is above all else’s. These are also not the people that we would normally associate power and greatness with. You don’t see these guys at the head table of galas nor are they given special treatment by politicians. They are not elected. They aren’t given front row tickets to concerts, fly first class to exotic vacations or drive fancy schmancy cars. And that’s such a shame because when we feel like we are in danger, we call on them… the powerful ones who can control fire, who can combat destruction, who can save our loved ones. When did we become so backwards?

So many of my friends and teammates were at the Tri for Education at UTPA this morning and I felt odd that I wasn’t there either competing or volunteering – they all seemed to have done exceptionally well – but I really enjoyed this unusual event and off track workout (it really was THE toughest workout I’ve ever done to date). I have never felt my cardio levels pushed this far, my legs become this strong and still be in such control of my body to demand even more from it.

When I looked down on my bracelet, I realized that I was on my last “loop”. I took the service elevator down and the crowd on the first floor applauded and led me to the bell. As I stood in front of the bell, dressed in my Edinburg Fire Chief Johnny Economedes tee shirt and baseball cap (given to me to wear by his daughter, DeAnne), I showed my climber badge to the officer. It had a laminated photo of Martin DeMeo on it. He was the fire fighter that I was climbing for. He was just a few years older than me. He died on September 11, 2001, at the Twin Towers while trying to save those trapped in the buildings. He left behind a wife and two teenaged children. As I lifted the badge up, the officer saluted me. I felt awkward and unworthy. I just climbed some stairs and came out sweaty. Martin DeMeo never came out. My head fell. The officer told me to go ring the bell for Martin.

And I did. For him and for all of those who did this for us and those who bravely continue to.

There was a sense of invigoration that was planted in me. Not having my usual suspects around me gave the opportunity to observe more, listen more, feel more. And I liked it. In fact, I loved what I saw. I realize that there are bad people who will likely never change, there are good people who make mistakes, good people who make bad choices and good people who do mostly good. And even in this mad mad world… the good still outweigh the bad.

Martin DeMeo Martin DeMeo, 47, of Farmingville, was a 16-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, working in the hazardous materials unit in Maspeth. Remains were recovered. Martin DeMeo used to be disappointed if he wasn't working when a "big job" occurred, his wife, Joanie DeMeo, said. "He always wanted to be out there helping in a big job. It's ironic, he died in what was the biggest job there could be." But, early in their 18-year marriage, "he talked about death. He felt he wouldn't live a long life," said his wife, now 58. "He felt if he could envision how he would pass, it would be doing something he loved, and that was firefighting. Almost like this." His other passion was baseball - as a Yankees fan, memorabilia collector, and father of a Little Leaguer. Their son, Nicholas, 14 when his father died, pitched a game the Sunday after 9/11. His father stressed discipline and persistence, and "it kept his focus in the right place during a very difficult time," DeMeo said. "My son was very angry, and if he didn't have that focus I'm not quite sure what direction we'd be heading in right now. In late December, Nicholas DeMeo will graduate from the New York City Police Academy. The DeMeos' daughter, Kristen, 26, is "quite happy," working as a Suffolk County probation officer, married to a NYPD officer, her mother said. DeMeo is now in a relationship with a retired firefighter, and they are close friends with her late husband's best friend, Frank Virga, and his family. Virga, also of Farmingville, helped get a ballfield in Morris Avenue Park named in DeMeo's honor. "He was a true friend; if you needed him for something, he wouldn't ask questions. He'd just show up," Virga said. "I think about him often. It's a little bit easier now, and sometimes more difficult." DeMeo "was just a regular guy, but he was my hero and my children's hero," his wife said. "He was fun-loving and an incredible father and I miss him every day." - Carol Polsky

Martin DeMeo
Martin DeMeo, 47, of Farmingville, was a 16-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, working in the hazardous materials unit in Maspeth. Remains were recovered.
Martin DeMeo used to be disappointed if he wasn’t working when a “big job” occurred, his wife, Joanie DeMeo, said. “He always wanted to be out there helping in a big job. It’s ironic, he died in what was the biggest job there could be.”
But, early in their 18-year marriage, “he talked about death. He felt he wouldn’t live a long life,” said his wife, now 58. “He felt if he could envision how he would pass, it would be doing something he loved, and that was firefighting. Almost like this.”
His other passion was baseball – as a Yankees fan, memorabilia collector, and father of a Little Leaguer. Their son, Nicholas, 14 when his father died, pitched a game the Sunday after 9/11.
His father stressed discipline and persistence, and “it kept his focus in the right place during a very difficult time,” DeMeo said. “My son was very angry, and if he didn’t have that focus I’m not quite sure what direction we’d be heading in right now.
In late December, Nicholas DeMeo will graduate from the New York City Police Academy. The DeMeos’ daughter, Kristen, 26, is “quite happy,” working as a Suffolk County probation officer, married to a NYPD officer, her mother said.
DeMeo is now in a relationship with a retired firefighter, and they are close friends with her late husband’s best friend, Frank Virga, and his family. Virga, also of Farmingville, helped get a ballfield in Morris Avenue Park named in DeMeo’s honor.
“He was a true friend; if you needed him for something, he wouldn’t ask questions. He’d just show up,” Virga said. “I think about him often. It’s a little bit easier now, and sometimes more difficult.”
DeMeo “was just a regular guy, but he was my hero and my children’s hero,” his wife said. “He was fun-loving and an incredible father and I miss him every day.” – Carol Polsky

Hundreds of climbers participated in the inaugural McAllen Stair Climb. Each climber carried a lanyard with the picture of one of the 343 firefighters who perished in the Twin Towers. Participants climbed the 17 floors of the Neuhaus Tower 6 1/2 times to complete the challenge.

Hundreds of climbers participated in the inaugural McAllen Stair Climb. Each climber carried a lanyard with the picture of one of the 343 firefighters who perished in the Twin Towers. Participants climbed the 17 floors of the Neuhaus Tower 6 1/2 times to complete the challenge.

Don’t Stop Believing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2014 by runmyssierun

So remember that busy week I was telling you about a few posts ago??? Yep, it happened!

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Fabulous fixie with orange wheels donated by Wally's Bike Shop for our auction!!!

Fabulous fixie with orange wheels donated by Wally’s Bike Shop for our auction!!!

We hosted a fabulous mixer at Cimarron Country Club last Thursday. Auctioned off a wicked awesome fixie donated by my trusty and generous bicycle guru, Wally’s Bike Shop, and some ticket concerts to a great show coming up and honored a great local gastro doctor who jumped on board to help with the cause.  RGV CAP board members even jumped in on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!!!

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Friday was packet pick up.

And Saturday was our RGV CAP 10k race!!!

http://pics.mvevents.com/

Monies generated from these events go to Rio Grande Valley residents who are at high risk of colon cancer and are unable to afford a colonoscopy. Since colon cancer is one of the MOST curable cancers if found in it’s early stages, many understand and empathize with the passion we have to this cause and supported it with all that they could. I’m so grateful for the amount of support we have received!!!!

Oh how I wish Momma would have found her cancer in an earlier stage.

But I know.. I know..

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This was peak week for my training and I’m pretty pleased. I’ve swam more than I ever have and feel very comfortable at the pace that I’m at and my form seems to be improving each time I practice – thanks to Coach W’s drills every Wednesday.  I still wish I didn’t have my crazy reactions in the ocean water but am reassured that Town Lake in Austin won’t make me swell up like that with the ictchies or wheezies. My running was probably the sport that I needed the MOST improvement in. It sure is humbling to see me go from where I was to where I am now. But again, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. So long as I am moving forward, I know I’ll get there. I’m feeling healthy and strong and mentally… I’ve put that sarcastic, doubting voice in my head securely in place… with some duct tape 😉

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I sure miss riding my bike as often as I did. But I had to work on my weaknesses. Cycling to me is FUN so I know that on game day, I won’t be riding with my legs, I’ll be riding with my heart. As I should be.

Getting over my personal disappointment on my swim at CapTexTri will be an adventure. But I’m confident I’ll beat my demons. Lets watch and see!!! My story is yet unwritten and only me and my coach have my goals.

Self improvement has lessons every day and on various subjects.

I am a forever student.

I am still quite a distance from my finish line.

 

 

 

Let your light shine!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by runmyssierun

“Is that you Myssie?”

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I had just gotten out of the pool and finished my run/swim brick when I saw an old friend and greeted him with a big, wet, sopping hug. It had been a few years since we had talked and caught up quickly under the beating sun by the pool.

“I was worried for you for a while. Just a few years ago you were on top of the world in Real Estate and at Rotary Club.” He beamed a huge smile when he said that.

“But then it was like the weight of the world was on your shoulders. And you bounced back. I see it every day but you probably don’t. You have touched so many people with what you have done. Don’t ever forget that.”

He went on to tell me that he’s heard of so many women who had similarly taken a back seat to their family once they reached a certain age or pivotal point in their lives. He also said that those same women saw what I was doing and challenged themselves to attempt their own similar goals regardless of their age or athletic background. His words were so validating to the laps I had just finished and the goal that swam around in my head. THANK YOU PATRICK!!!

Most of my life (with the exception of my pageantry years), I sat on the side lines in the stadium stands cheering on those I loved and taking photographs of them doing awesome physical feats. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be doing what I’m doing today. I am lucky – seriously lucky – that I entered this journey with some highly experienced athletes that had incredibly generous, patient hearts. They understood my personal goals. They respected them and never once tried to alter them. They were MY goals.

I had a goal many years ago to become Miss Texas and then Miss America. I was fixated on it. In four years, I entered 22 pageants and won or placed finalist in 20 of them. The only 2 that I didn’t place or win was Miss Texas. I was really really good at winning. I was uber competitive. So much that I became another person. I was constantly checking out the other competition, reviewing their stats and videos, finding their weakness and making that my strong point. I became that wicked evil girl that pageant reality tv shows spotlight for the drama and ratings.

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And that really wasn’t who I was but it was quickly who I was becoming. Thank goodness for Julie and Noe who both sat me down and opened my eyes about their friend they missed inside of me. Noe’s words in the courthouse parking lot will forever echo in my head… “Why are you ALWAYS comparing yourself to them?”

I aged out of pageantry, retired and hung up my heels but went on to “train” countless winners successfully with that lesson in mind. “Don’t compete against the others. Compete against yourself. Make yourself a better person.” And that’s exactly how my pageant trainees won.

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These women didn’t find a characteristic about another contestant to make fun of while saying it was all fun and games. They didn’t use passive aggressive antics to play with the minds of other contestants nor spread gossip and innuendo around the contestants. They won on their own merit… not by trying to dim the light of the others.

Your light does not shine brighter by dimming the light of others.

Long story short(er)… I understand that some people thrive on competition. I, however, DO NOT. I do not like who I become when my ruthless, competitive spirit emerges. It takes great effort to muffle that person that I did not like within myself (nor did anyone else like).  I am a goal oriented person. My focus is on MY finish line… not someone elses. My goals are measured by me, internally, by small incremental babysteps that go in one direction… FORWARD. So that when I fall, when I fail to achieve that step I was planning on, I know how to get back up and keep moving because I’ve been there already.

Larisa, my Matron of Honor, at my wedding almost 20 years ago!!!

Larisa, my Matron of Honor, at my wedding almost 20 years ago!!!

On Tuesday, I was able to put those mental blinders on my Matron of Honor, Larisa, as she ran two miles with me for the first time. She was inundated with the same fears we all have.

  • I’m too old to run this fast
  • I’m too old to run this far
  • I’m too fat to run this fast
  • I’m too fat to run this far
  • I’m too out of shape to run
  • I haven’t run since high school
  • My knees hurt
  • My ankles hurt
  • My hip hurts

I stayed by her side the entire time and put my iPhone on my arm with the speaker towards her. “Keep the pace of the music and we’ll be just fine. Pump your arms and keep your hands above your waist at all times otherwise you’ll get chorizo fingers at the end of the first mile.”

“YES!!! I do get chorizo fingers!!!” she exclaimed. That’s when the light bulb turned on and she gained faith in that I knew a little bit about what I was talking about.

“Ok, we’re going to jog from here to the light pole and then walk to the next but still keep our hands relaxed and up. You’re going to feel yourself losing your breath. That’s ok. Sing or whisper Mary had a little lamb. Trust me. I know it sounds crazy but it will get your breathing back to normal.” Ya, I think I lost her trust on that one.

I kept her stride short like the marathon shuffle and the conversation shorter so she didn’t feel pressured to talk and show the embarrassment of losing her breath to me because I know I am embarrassed to hear my own gasping breath. I needed her to finish this with strength and confidence to come back and double what she did today the following week.

Those last two light poles she hit the fastest pace she ran the whole time! She ended her two miles strong and fast and our conversation ended with the topics of glide and sports bras. SHE DID IT! SHE DID IT! And then she joined the rest of the gang for a beer. *I went home 😦

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It doesn’t matter what your limitations are. With the right people around you who understand and share and/or respect your goals, anything is possible. A few people can do this all by themselves. I am not one.

Like I said before, some people thrive off of competition. I do not. I thrive off of the positive energy and enthusiasm of those around me who also have big goals. There is a BIG difference.

If you are considered a friend of mine, please, know that I will never compete against you. If you try to force me to compete, I will either distance myself from you or let you beat me by not putting forth effort… or both. Beating you is not my goal. Beating CANCER is. 

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So to clarify, my next event is not including fundraising for a cancer organization. It is to make myself a better person inside. I am still healing and thankful that I have found a healthy outlet to do so for myself and my family. I have to do this one for myself so that I can know that I can keep moving forward. I fell off the horse at CapTexTri. This is me getting back on the saddle again. I gave my goals to my coach. In a nutshell, my goal is just to finish it.

That’s all I need to make me happy with myself again. Just finish it.

And then I’ll get back to my promise to Sissy and Momma in the right state of mind, love in my heart and surrounded by good, supportive people.

 

Just Du It already!!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2014 by runmyssierun
Me riding my "Mimi" custom Felt bike from Wally's Bike Shop and wearing my sunflower trisuit from http://triflare.com/

Me riding my “Mimi” custom Felt bike from Wally’s Bike Shop and wearing my sunflower trisuit from http://triflare.com/

After last weekend’s disappointing DNF at CapTexTri, I entered the Duathlon last minute with the promise to myself to just finish it.. not for time… not for anyone… not for any cause… not for glory or “I told you so” or “I knew you could do it” or even the whispers of “I knew she wouldn’t beat me.”

I needed to finish this so that I could prove to myself that I was not going to give up. Still sick, I pushed through.

My legs felt heavy during the run. I hadn’t run like I was supposed to so I expected this to hurt… but I didn’t give up. Didn’t stop once. But boy oh boy all that mucus that had accumulated over the last few weeks all of a sudden wanted to come out… and it did!!!

I wore my brand new beautiful Triflare sunflower one piece triathlon suit. I got so many compliments (although I wish I was 20 years younger and had the body of Alex when she wore her Triflare trisuit in Brownsville). I loved it!!! Well, until I tried to figure out how to get OUT of it in a hurry while running straight past T1 and onto the bathrooms while asking the race volunteers to unzip me!!!

What happened in the bathroom is seriously TMI. Don’t even ask. All you need is a good imagination.

I spent a good 10-15 minutes in there.

I walked out and found another fellow runner who was relaying and asked her to zip me back up.

I looked over to transition and saw just three bikes left racked… including mine. “Eh… might as well be the last one out and enjoy this one.”

What????? Is my inner sarcastic voice having a nice day????

Well, alright then! Let’s go have a great time!!!

I gently took Mimi off the bike rack and maneuvered her to the mount line. Stroked her seat, said “You ready Momma? Let’s go!” Jumped on and the fun began!!!

That feeling came back and boy did I need it!

I remember Sissy saying that she wanted me to find a way to deal with stress in a healthy way because she knew things were only going to get harder on me. She was right and I did.

I remember every single person’s advice along the way. I remember every helping hand and loving gesture from supporters, donors, sponsors, coaches, friends and family. Best of all… when I’m riding my Mimi, I forget all the pain, sorrow and anger I hold inside and feel more alive and happy than I’ve ever felt before.

So I understand what Mike Padgett said a few weeks ago about how if he died riding his bike, he’d die happy. As much as it hurt to think that it could happen like that, I understand that feeling. I hope it doesn’t happen like this but if it does… I’ll die happy.

And as promised… the latest from the media regarding Eddie Arguelles

http://www.krgv.com/videos/driver-indicted-in-cyclist-s-death/

 

 

Ride of Silence

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by runmyssierun

Hundreds rode in remembrance, honor and solidarity. It was monumental for this community that is just opening it’s eyes to the vast numbers of people who are taking huge strides in managing their own healthy lifestyle. I was in awe… until I rode by Eddie’s ghost bike. I lost it. I completely lost it. Thank you to the unknown rider who stayed by me patting my back until I was able to wipe away the tears.

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/ride-of-silence-makes-way-through-mcallen-edinburg-pharr-in/article_54af4c0a-e152-11e3-b3c2-0017a43b2370.html

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/ghost-bikes-to-honor-trio-of-rgv-cyclists-recently-killed/article_e55e3f5c-e07d-11e3-a71e-0017a43b2370.html#.U3y3B9bNc2M.facebook

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