This post however, is about rock climbing…sort of. Thought it was something else? Yeah, I figured…but stick around. Something cool happened!
A few months ago I started rock climbing. I've only been a few times, but I love it. It's a great workout and all that jazz, but there is something so much more to that wall. It's what I think everyone is talking about with Yoga, but Yoga just makes me feel crazy for trying to be a tree or a downward facing bitch or something. Rock climbing is just kind of…bad ass. I'm constantly amazed by the walls my friends lady handle (oh yeah, it's a new phrase I'll be using a lot – Thanks Laura!) and the routes the crazy dudes climb in that gym. What is NOT awesome is my debilitating fear of heights. While I do enjoy the gift of exaggeration, I'm not even slightly exaggerating about this little gem of me. A couple of the routes I climbed left Shine down on the ground watching as my legs trembled uncontrollably and I almost burst out into tears. In a weird way it had nothing to do with falling or even heights. It had to do with control or more importantly…letting go of control.
I hide behind fear to keep control. Ouch, that hurt. The first time I got to the top of the wall, I wouldn't let go. It was explained to me about 1800 times that I could only fall the same distance as the amount of slack in the rope. With my non-stop yelling to take the slack out of the rope, that meant about 2 feet at most. I didn't care. I physically could not let go of that wall. On the wall, I was safe. On the wall, I had control. I'm sure you see the problem though, right? I was still on a wall, THIRTY feet in the air. I was more afraid of what happened when I let go than I was if I stayed right where I was. I was more content to keep fighting to hold on and to tire out my body than I was to sit back and trust that the rope and my friend would keep me from a free fall. I said I couldn't let go. Actually I kind of yelled that Shine was insane if she thought I was GOING to let go. Fortunately, I did finally shut up and I let go. You know what? I was fine. More than fine. I got back down to the ground and I was in one piece. I'd climbed the wall, I'd let go of the wall, and I was still standing on my own two feet. I also knew that wall changed me.
FYI…yelling, almost crying, and BARELY letting go of the wall is NOT my idea of rocking anything. I'm getting there. Rock climbing did something for me that NOTHING physical has done since I quit skating. Skating made me let go. Every time I touched the ice, I was a different person. You could see it transform me. And I KNOW that's why I was damn good at it. I sincerely believe that our physical being tells us what our emotional self just can't or won't say out loud. No, I'm not a hippie. Just listen. We spend our lives building a protective shell around us. At least I have. Every time I went through something difficult, I just threw on another layer. What I didn't realize is how much that shell started to change who I am. I am an extremely positive person. I believe the absolute best in people all the time. I'm also let down a lot. But instead of realizing that failure was about THEM and not ME, I took it as something I needed to change. Become tougher, harder, bitter.
I was wrong. That's not me. I'm the one who throws up a hail mary pass 50 times just for the few that make it worth it. Like Brett Favre, without "retirement". So yesterday, I decided to get a little of me back. Before I got on the wall, I just decided to stop being afraid. Fear wasn't helping me. Bobism (aka: my dad's advice) #489 – Just get over it. And guess what? I did. I climbed routes I've never climbed. I didn't pause. I didn't get scared. I pushed through when I thought my body couldn't do it and I rocked it…HARD. It was incredible.
This is a snippet from Jason Vallotton's, Fear is a Prison… "Fear is a prison; it's no one's friend. Even powerful people deal with fear. But for them, fear is an enemy." Take this with you today and whatever you're afraid of, LET IT GO. What's on the other side is completely worth it and what you let go of won't be any less a part of you than it was before. It got you to the top of the wall didn't it?
A few weeks ago, we all rallied around Brandy. She is an amazing writer, teacher and woman who fell deeply in love with a man (known as H.A.D. to the internets). He has recently been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. You can read the original rally of support for her HERE. Today a great big group of us are offering a lot more than just our prayers and getting the word out to Love Harder. We hope to do a lot with a little, as helpless has become a part of our daily vocabulary and we've HAD IT.
PLEASE read the information below. If it tugs at your heart the way it’s tugged at mine and many in our little internet community, then give as you can….happy thoughts, prayers, a loving message, or otherwise. There is a HILARIOUS video too, so at the very least make you smile.
Our friend Brandy is a brilliant writer, a wonderful teacher, and a generous friend. And she is in love with a man who has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
We are raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Fund in his name. For the price of a cinnamon dolce latte, half-caf, hold the whip, you can be part of an effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide.
CLICK HERE TO GIVE - http://www.loveharder.org/
Every dollar brings us a dollar closer to a cure. And every donation brings a sliver of hope to a girl who needs all the hope she can get.
What YOU Can Do
Give. Be part of a worldwide effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide. Every dollar helps.
Pass it on. Forward this story to five people. Share this blog post. Become our fan on Facebook.
Love harder. Life is short, love is unbending, and no one knows what could happen next. Tell someone you love them today.
Where Your Money Goes
The American Institute of Philanthropy recently named The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation one of the best organizations to give to in terms of their accountability and use of resources.
By working closely with researchers, clinicians and partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, the MMRF has helped bring multiple myeloma patients four new treatments that are extending lives around the globe.
The MMRF has advanced twenty Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. They need your support to advance these clinical research programs and accelerate the development of better, more effective treatments.
The MMRF's Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative recently became the first to sequence the multiple myeloma whole genome in its entirety.
A whopping 98% of your donation to the MMRF will be used immediately to support high-priority multiple myeloma research.
With diminishing funding for early stage drug development and the next myeloma treatments not expected to be approved until 2011, the MMRF desperately needs your help.
NO ONE should have to go through this. I do not understand it. Any of it. I have another VERY DEAR friend, whom I love, going through this with her incredible mother (although it is a different form of cancer). I find myself crying just writing this post and I feel helpless all the time. But I can give and I can spread the word, so I do. Whatever is in your heart, please follow it. Hug tighter, kiss longer, and LOVE HARDER with us today.
MORE INFO: http://www.themmrf.org
I give all credit to Bevin's post for this idea, but it was genius.
We all have guilty pleasures. By definition*, it's something you shouldn't like, but like anyway. I'm sure this will send shock and awe through all three of my readers**, but here on Gofahne Road I don't really care much about the "should and should not" likes that are accepted or "normal". I yam what I yam, I like what I like, and I'll probably talk your ear off for an hour defending it without a single fact and LOTS of self justification if you let me. However, the little idiosyncrasies that make me, well me…are nothing short of hilarious.
So for your random reading enjoyment, here is a "short" list of those UN-guilty pleasures of mine. Shake your head, roll your eyes, or thank your lucky stars there is only one of me. There just isn't room enough for two of me on this planet or any other.
- Lists – I don't kind of like lists. I LOVE them. I love organizing anything into bullet points and the cheap thrill of checking off something from the "to do" to the DONE list. The amount of happiness I get from this little accomplishment is easily deserving of a therapy session or twelve.
- The Snuggie – Take my word from experience…don't rag on anyone until you try it. I did and then I got giddy like a school girl the moment I was wrapped up in one for football watching. Commence non-stop barrage of comments reminding me of my previous opinion. I immediately purchased my own and there are few things I'm willing to list as more fun than "time in snuggie" now.
- The Big Bang Theory – Not the ACTUAL theory, the television show. If you haven't watched this gem yet, DO IT. It's a very new development in my life, but it now falls firmly in the things I adore category. I watched all three seasons in one weekend.
- Animated Movies – Pretty much every.single.one. I don't have kids. I'm a grown adult and I will watch Bolt multiple times in a week. I'd love to spend more time with my niece and nephews so I wouldn't feel like a fool for knowing almost every line to Madagascar. Even then, I own more Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks than I could ever pass off as "oh, the sweet little ones just left those here". And dammit if Cars doesn't make me cry every time Lightning McQueen, Mater and Doc bond at the end of the movie.
- Dancing (interchangeable with skating, but ice hurts a lot more as you get older) – Yeah, yeah…dancing itself is not a guilty pleasure. Lots of peeps love to dance. But it was pointed out to me this week that I like to overanalyze things to a degree that would make Jerry Springer directors tired. Yet when I'm on the dance floor you wouldn't know I had a care in the world. Reckless abandon, no shame, and busting out every move to "Beat It" could be the moment I would die for.
- Kate Voegele, Ingrid Michaelson, Jason Mraz, Michael Buble, Glee, and Miley Cyrus – also known as musicians I hate to admit I listen to all day long at work. These peeps can take my day from mediocre to incredible in a few crescendos. If you don't know them or you are already judging me, I don't blame you. I blame Pandora. Select Glee as your music station and start bopping your head. That's how I found the first two and started an accidental love affair with all of them. Just to add to my shame KV is from One Tree Hill. A show I REFUSE to watch.
- Acronyms – No misleading or double meaning on this one. Acronyms, words formed from the initial letters of several words, make me happy as a clam (Are clams extraordinarily happy or something? To be googled another day). Gofahne? Acronym. FAB, name of our bi-monthly girls' night out? Acronym. It's like having some sort of secret code or pig latin. No actual code or language, no importance of any kind, and yet I feel like a genius with every new word or almost word.
- Mark Wahlberg – Yes, Marky Mark. Make your jokes. Pants dropping or Departed/Four Brothers bad ace, I am in love. Of course he's easy on the eyes, but it's in the shoulders ladies and gents. Strong shoulders on a man = HOT. I will watch every movie he makes from now until my student movie discount turns to senior appreciation cheap.
That's it (for today) kids. The dirty little secrets that I'm just not ashamed enough to keep from the internets any longer. Enjoy!
Did you think I wouldn't ask? So….UN-guilty pleasures…got any?
*Thanks urban dictionary, what would I do without your simple and typically useless explanations?
**This is modesty, not in any way ungrateful…I'm genuinely shocked that anyone reads this little blog.
As a solid singleton at this point, who better to give relationship advice than me? Clearly my track record with relationships qualifies me, no? Don't follow the logic, that's alright. But stick with me…I just might be on to something here.
Tell me if you've heard this one before: "Relationships are complicated." If you haven't, you're probably in high school or dead. Either way this blog won't have much to offer you and you certainly won't LOL or IDK anything with your BFF. However, for the rest of you, I'm starting to think relationships aren't really complicated at all. WE are complicated and we make an otherwise simple idea incredibly complex.
For longer than I'd like to admit Lately, I've been observing relationships. Sitting on my little perch in the land of my very own space and no one else to blame to the TP roll being bare, I've noticed a lot. People you'd never expect fit together in the strangest ways. The relationship you feel just HAS to work, doesn't always turn out that way. It's my personal opinion that God is a comedian. Give Him your "idea" and he'll just laugh as He sends a tornado of WTH just happened to shred it to pieces. Maybe you know yourself pretty well, but what if this "you" is an ever changing thing? What worked or what you thought worked perfectly in the beginning, may no longer be the case. Every person you meet and experience you have changes you a little. They leave a footprint on your life and you are different for that experience. The key is to finding the people that make you better. It shouldn't be forced. You shouldn't have to convince yourself on a daily basis not to fly off the handle because ONCE again they've annoyed the holy tar out of you.
Now, I'm not claiming black and white here. This isn't, we had a fight so I'm out! This is an overall objective look at a relationship. The realization that no matter how much you want it to work, a square peg just doesn't fit in a round hole without an Apollo 13 team grabbing every resource to squeeze and twist every last idea they have to make it work. And yes, you could argue that Apollo 13 was an amazing mission. They made the impossible a reality. But, the key to my metaphor is (yeah, I'm amazed there is a point too), they never made it to the moon. It was survival, not accomplishment.
We are all puzzle pieces. On our own we are a bunch of weird looking jigsaws that don't make much sense. You can try 15 times to get that bubble looking T shape to go against a flat edge, but you'll finally realize that curved C is where it belonged all along. While there is A LOT to be said for the process of trying every option and finding the best fit, when you realize it's time to change strategies? Change them! You may not find the fit where you expected and you certainly may not see the big picture right away, but at the end it's a masterpiece. The right move was the simple one, you just didn't know it at the time.
2010 has gone done* and knocked me upside the head in the best possible way.
My last post was a little ho hum for Gofhane style. I certainly wasn't complaining (there are plenty of those rants to come), but it was the end of the year. A time for reflection and I just didn't feel like anything was necessarily note worthy. It wasn't a year of ups and downs, like so many previous years had been. I didn't have some huge accomplishment I could frame on my wall that year or even someone to share the not so important moments with when I laid my head to rest at night. So I thought I'd somehow "matured" and realized that sometimes life just isn't all that exciting.
Puuuh-lease. Like some sort of universe challenge, the New Year has already been nice enough to put chocolate on that leather shoe as she** smirked and shoved it right down my little throat.
I spent the last week living up the last birthday of my 20's. I think I'd been so caught up in the "almost 30" category that I was almost willing to let this last little number 29 slip right by. It didn't. My friends stepped up in ways I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams. I went to a Stars game with a friend of 16 years. I went with four lovely ladies to the Cowboys/Eagles SHUT OUT that Sunday and got the treatment of a queen. Free drinks, amazing seats, free food and VIP parking. All that without even mentioning that the company itself would've made nose bleed seats feel like Jerry's suite. Then an impromptu gathering of friends on my actual day was met with shots and rock star karaoke and a complete stranger singing, "Simply the best" to me. And last, but certainly not least, the gathering I actually planned happened last Friday. Over 30 friends and family members showed up to celebrate my life with me. Family that has seen it all, friendships with years of laugh lines, and other relationships I made or grew just within 2009. They all represent my life. This unbelievably supportive group of people is my life's scrapbook. And it is damn fine looking if I do say so myself.
All of this happened in celebration of one day of my life. The only showers I have are to wake up in the morning. I've never had a ring on my hand that I didn't buy myself. There aren't really lifetime achievement celebrations for the single ladies. But I just don't believe that is the only success in life. I have a family that loves me. I have friends that come out to celebrate this silly narcissistic day with me once a year even when it's FREEZING ace cold outside. I have a bazillion acquaintances/friends that spent a moment that day on FB or through email, just to share a little love for me. And I said that not much really happened in 2009. So THIS little post is me, EATING.MY.WORDS.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for an amazing start to 2010. Thank you for humbling me in the best way possible. My cup runneth over for every single one of you. MWAH!!!
*I'm from Texas. We talk how we like.
**Like a year bad ace enough to smirk at you wouldn't be a woman.