#OnePulse

It has been a few days since the horrific and catastrophic events that took place during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12th. As most of the world knows by now, a deranged (as how could he be anything but..) gunman walked coolly into a very popular and busy gay nightclub and opened fire – killing 49 people and leaving 53 others injured. 5 of those injured are reported to still be in critical condition today and the world waits to see if the death toll rises.

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The gunman, whom I refused to name – we all know it now and I refuse to provide any more memorial to him than what the media has already allowed – reportedly laughed while he was shooting in addition to being ‘calm and collected’ while speaking with various negotiators through out the ensuing 3 hour stand-off.

As details emerge these past few days reports include that the gunman had visited the club regularly and that he has also scouted out Walt Disney World parks as a potential target. Now, the information pertaining to the parks hits rather close to home with me as they are areas that I regularly visit, and indeed was on Disney property that weekend. Worse yet, to hear that the information was being provided to authorities from the gunman’s wife means that this event quite possibly COULD have been avoided if only she had told authorities sooner. Thankfully, at least, Disney has a rather strong and vigilant security presence, both in their own personal security force (which does include trained K-9 units) as well as uniformed Sheriff’s County Deputies that work the parks as off-duty details. Disney security was, notable, even more prevalent and dutiful Sunday morning and I suspect moving forward will continue to be.

Regardless, however, innocent people lost their lives for what amounts only to one person’s misguided, wicked and arguably unbalanced beliefs. Whether they were truly religion based or solely the thought processed of someone who was truly unbalanced I doubt we will ever know. But yet again, a senseless tragedy has occurred taking with it not only the lives of those lost, but the safety and well-being of their families and the trust and innocence of our nation, which still repeatedly attempts to heal itself.

This event will also polarize our nation, sending it into a spiral of debate, rhetoric and division. I’ll be addressing some of my viewpoints on those things in other upcoming posts because I have remained silent and feel the need, after this which happened so close to home (indeed, I have many friend who thankfully were NOT in the club that night, but could have been).

But here, in this space and in this time while you read this, I wish to honor those who are no longer with us. I want to show those within the LGBTQ community as well as the families directly affected that you are not alone. We voice your anguish and carry your sorrow. We stand with you, your families and your loved ones in this loss, as with all things. As we stand together, than inequality and terrorism can not, WILL not win.

We are #OneVoice, We are #OnePeople, We are #OnePulse.

 

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One Week and Counting…

Well, technically 8 days until the race itself. But in eight days, this shall be mine!

 

Isn’t it pretty!? I have struggled all year long, both mentally and physically with training. I’ve used excuses to not run, I’ve allowed myself to grow stagnant mentally and then I when I decided enough so that I could obtain this beauty right there, I started to have physical issues with my legs. I finally completed 6.2 miles a bit ago. It wasn’t at all fast. It wasn’t nearly close to the level of running I was at when I allowed my brain to stop me. But it will be enough and this, this will be in my collection.

I’m pretty much tapering this week and next in preparation for it only so that I don’t inadvertently push myself into injury. Shoes do indeed make all the difference (I’ll likely write on that later as I have a new pair arriving today I am going to be trying out)

Now, to figure out of the idea I have in my head for a race costume (my first) will be successful. That is the focus for my upcoming weekend.

In addition, I found out that this Springs Dapper Day will take place the same weekend that the race will be on which means that the parks will be packed with sartorial delight and frivolity. Should make for an interesting mix. I’m still considering bringing something to wear for that as well, if for nothing else than to just be silly and have a good time.

Wish me luck!

 

 

It’s Amazing What A Day Makes….

I ran yesterday. For the first time in over a month, I ran without pain or discomfort!

I tried out my new orthotics yesterday with the intention of only running a mile at the most. I didnt wnat to overdo it and wasn’t sure how running in the orthotics would feel, or how well they would work. It took a bit to get used to the additional support and admittedly felt a little weird to start. Then I realized about a half mile in I was alright. NO pain. NO stress or soreness. I ran a mile. Then I decided to go farther.

I ran two.

The woman who couldn’t even run a mile a month ago, after having completed 5k’s and 4-milers, ran 2 miles pain free and could likely have done more mileage. I opted not to so that I wasn’t overdoing it. I spent last night brainstorming on a running costume for the Dark Side Weekend 10k.

Today, I woke up a little sore and happily so. I put on my shoes and ran another mile.

It is utterly amazing to me how much my mood has improved and how excited I am now that I can and will be abe to run again and continue to participate in races. Physical therapy is coming on Tuesday and I’m looking forward to it. Anything that will not only help me regain running, but lead towards my goals to loose weight and get back to where I’m physically happy with myself is exciting.

Cross training resumes tomorrow.

To Debox or Not To Debox…..That is the Question

Hamlet asked “To be, or not to be – that is the question” in his contemplation of death and suicide. Now, certainly this post isn’t about anything nearly as morose or extreme as suicide, but the phrase has become a sort of pop-culture reference when making what one deems to be an important (or at least dramatic) decision.

For those that collect, the debate about whether to debox their collections or keep them in tact, on the card and in their cardboard/plastic packaging has been ongoing. There are indeed arguments on both sides, and certainly a well-kept collection can in time prove to be a very valid and profitable investment. Recently, it has been discussed that investing in Lego’s was more secure and profit driven than investing in gold or anything else.

 

When it comes to dolls, as well, there is an added layer. Many times, the dolls are absolutely gorgeous and for certain brands, like the Bob Mackie Barbie Dolls, you want to ensure that they are kept in their boxes as their values can exponentially increase. When it comes to lower end dolls however, there are things to be considered.

Monster High ranks 3rd behind Barbie and Disney Princesses as the best selling brand of dolls currently on the  market. Granted, both Monster High and Barbie are owned by Mattel, which unquestionably has a stronghold on the fashion doll market. (Something that Hasbro hopes to toppel having obtained the Disney Princesses line from Mattel for 2016.) But that also means that they aren’t as likely to retain the same sort of investment value that more established and ‘collector’ level dolls command.

Though a vast majority of the dolls I currently ‘own’ are for customizing and reselling in my Etsy store, I do have a few dolls that I simply enjoy or love that I’ve added to a personal collection. That collection has grown some since I started this journey a little over a year ago and most of the dolls that I have for personal are alternative dolls and not the original ‘ghouls’. Now, the benefit there is that these dolls generally only show up once or twice and then are gone while the original ghouls are utilized through out all the series that are released. Innately that means that the ones I generally gravitate towards collecting personally are more rare.

Collectors know that a valuable item will be valuable regardless; but if you are able to get one mint, in box, with undamaged or acceptably worn packaging than that will significantly increase the value of the items you keep. Taking them out of their packaging can devalue them, and depending on the item, that could be a huge hit.

Of course, there is always the argument that one should collect things they love because they love them, and because they want to enjoy them. Now, as an adult I don’t have a desire to play with my dolls though I know quite a few adult collectors who find great joy in the practice and I find no fault in their enjoyment. I just want to display mine and think that displaying them out of their boxes is more appealing. Others disagree with that. My conundrum comes from wanting to display them out of box (not just for aesthetic but for sheer space constraints!) but also wanting to maintain their inherent value!

 

Such is the life of a collector.

Stress is the Mindkiller

Those that have lived a long life generally state that their attitude was the largest contributor to their longevity. I get that. But then I also see people who are apparently absolutely miserable living well past their presumed expiration date and then I have to wonder if that’s because they enjoy and revel their misery.

That being said, I was part of an event recently where the guest speaker was Dave Mitchell, the author of “The Power of Understanding People” and “Live and Learn or Die Stupid“. Dave is an enigmatic and wonderful speaker and someone I highly recommend you get a chance to check out because his assessments are spot on. That being said, one of the things that Dave mentions is that we, as humans, are pack animals YET the largest cause of stress in our lives is one another – primarily because we anticipate and expect that everyone else will react and act as we would. That has certainly been the largest issue I’ve had in my relationships – even now when I KNOW that my partner isn’t going to react or handle something the same way I would, I still get stressed trying to navigate their idiosyncrasies. Add this to General Anxiety Disorder and it’s amazing I’m not asexual I think.

Stress makes anxiety work. It’s bad enough that those of us riddled with the burden of dealing with anxiety are already trying to circumvent our brains cognitively trying to prep for every single possible outcome that the future has in store, but now we have to deal with the reality of the current circumstances and INVARIABLY we didn’t see that coming so now that’s an added layer of stress because we didn’t plan well enough!

Relaxing is something difficult to do for someone with anxiety – and relaxing is never something you think about doing when you’re stressed. You’re focused on the issues that are causing the stress and alleviating them. I wish that it wasn’t associated with Disney’s Frozen, as I’m totally over anything Anna and Elsa related, but relaxing is really the BEST thing to do when you’re stressed. You really do just have to let it go and deal only with what you can and NOT focus on the things that you can’t handle at that moment.

 

Its a lesson I keep having to remind myself of…..

Cheating at Races…

I saw this blog post this morning from Lani Tashima who is a writer for MousePlanet and I couldn’t agree with her more. Now, I am nowhere near a level where I would ever have to be concerned with being cheated out of an age group win – but as someone who diligently pays for her races and trains for them, those that do not really rub me the wrong way. I know the first race I ever ran, when I went onto Marathofoto to look at my pics I realized someone else also had my bib number. Now, how they got it I have NO clue unless they just guessed, but it was still an annoyance.

We all know cheating, in any environment, is a bad thing. We’re (hopefully) taught it at an early age. When you cheat on a race, regardless whether it’s a small local event or a large production like the runDisney races, you are hurting not only everyone that pays to run that race, but everyone that helped to ensure that the race was something that could even exist AND you make future races all the more difficult to participate in, which is really counterproductive.

Now, I wish I could say I get it because, particularly in the case of runDisney races, they are expensive. A 5k is generally going to run you about $65 – $75 and the challenges are usually a couple of hundred dollars and that’s before you factor in hotel stay, transportation, etc. Local 5k’s in my area, by comparison are usually $25 -$40 with little to no transportation and obviously no need to lodging to factor in. But runDisney races are expensive in part because they do provide finisher medals for all and (usually) those medals are solid quality items that simply because they are Disneyana can become collectors items. This is in addition to the event shirt that is provided with registration, AMPLE amounts of post race refreshments (which cheese dip that is not purchasable anywhere else and is apparently to die for) and race specific merchandise that is available for an additional charge that has to be designed, created and stocked. Beyond that though there is the traditional Disney spin on things; on route entertainment, plenty of water/rest stations, medical staff on site and on the routes themselves (not all races provide this!) plus opportunities that are intrinsically Disney with character meet-and-greets before, during and after the races and a tremendous amount of organization for not only the races themselves, but logistically pre, during and post race. Even the Expos that they provide are generally larger events unto themselves and chocked full of vendors and training and information.

But here’s the thing, just like anything else that someone loves to do, they are going to be alright spending money on that thing. For some it’s crafts, others it’s dolls, for some it’s even Christmas decorations. For some of us, we ENJOY the races, even when we despise the training, and there for we plan and save and decide which ones we want to do and invest not only in the race, but in our own motivation, determination and enjoyment of the experience.

When someone cheats – either transfers/sells/buys a bib when that is not allowed, or has a sub racer run for them, or outright just copies a bib from one posted online – they are hurting everyone. They might feel that they are sticking it to Disney, or the race promoter or whomever. They might feel that they are getting away with something taboo. They might just be an ass who simply doesn’t care. But they forget that they are hurting the people who want to invest in this sport and themselves. They are hurting the person who decided to start running in order to improve themselves, their health, loose weight, help out an existing medical condition, or otherwise celebrate something that they have overcome. They hurt the kids that have goals and dreams to accomplish something. Because if they continue to do this, then the races get more and more expensive, there is less and less provided and those that normally could have participated have to opt out.

Basically, if you cheat when it comes to running, then I have no sympathy for you and truly feel you suck. I worked hard to meet the goals I’ve met so far and to work towards the ones I have set for myself and I will not allow others to ruin the opportunity for me , or anyone else who is TRULY working and investing in themselves, to accomplish them. This is the feeling when you know you’ve worked for it, tackled it and overcame it. This is what you are actually robbing people of and that, my friends, is just despicable.

 

 

Resolution

I do not write as often as I want to or should. As I’ve mentioned before, my daily schedule is pretty chock full of things to do and mundane day-to-day tasks to tend to. I’m changing that with this post. I want to blog about my business. Yes. Because blogging about my business is a smart thing to do – it’s literally free advertising and it’s a great way to share the art that I find so much joy and relaxation in doing. But I also want to blog about the two other things in my life that take up what there is of my free time – running and Disney (and combined there is runDisney!)

This week I start to train for my first 10k coming up in January. Between now and then I’m certain to run at least a few official 5ks and I’ll recap those. I want to write about my experiences in training, the joys and heartaches, the progress and set backs and yes, I know there are plenty of blogs about the running lifestyle. But I’m a late thirtysomething who just recently truly discovered (and subsequently lost due to the opressive Florida humidity) the joy of running and I want to help inspire others to do the same.

I want to write about Disney because, yes, though there are plenty of other Disney bloggers out there, me and my family regularly take day and weekend trips to the Happiest Place on Earth and I almost always run into someone in the parks to whom we’re able to give some sort of information that they either didnt know or else were able to assist them in saving some money.

 

I also have grandiose ideas about costumes I want to do for various running events. All this in addition to the various things I want to do with my dolls throughout the next year. And maybe even some family/personal growth stuff too along the way.

Regardless, I want to get at least one post up a week, and preferably one a day if manageable.

Ready to take the journey with me?