Finding my wings

For the first time since my life was flipped upside down last August, life seems to be moving swiftly, and I feel less of a stranger in the city I live in, the city I’ve grown to love. I’m making friends, creating memories, experiencing new things and living in an apartment I love calling home, with a roommate I adore.

I’ve also been traveling a lot lately and will be over the next couple months. I’ve been down to Indy a few times to see my little nephew Oliver, and I spent time with my parents while they were here from California. It has been such a blessing being driving distance from my brother, sister-in-law and Oliver. I forgot what it was like to have family close, and I’m soaking it up.

My beautiful parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

My beautiful parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

Tomorrow I will be heading up to Minneapolis (for the first time) and spending time with a bunch of special people to me. I will be seeing my dear friend Andrea who I marched Bluecoats with nearly five years a go and haven’t seen since.

Then, I will be spending the rest of the weekend with a bunch of people from my Venture Expeditions community–many of whom I cycled 500 miles with this summer to raise money for International Justice Mission. Please take a moment to watch this video about Venture and consider joining a trip this summer, it’s life-changing!

I haven’t seen several of my Venture friends since we ended our tour, and I cannot wait to be reunited. Among the group will be my sweet friend Una, who will be coming in from NYC. Una was the person who ultimately convinced me to go to the doctor last July, which lead to my diagnosis. Without her, I really don’t know how things would be today…

In less than a month, I will be traveling to Philly for The Justice Conference, and I could not be more excited.  This conference encompasses everything I am passionate about, and I look forward to being with like-minded people and making new connections. I will likely be staying in the area for a couple days post-conference with another person I marched drum corps with, and spending some time in NYC!

The Justice Conference will come a couple days after my next neck ultrasound, to check if I need another round of radiation. Praying I’ll be able to say I’m “cancer free” when I’m headed out to the east coast! Obviously, I’d prefer not to go through another round of radiation, but we’ll see!

For now, I am just enjoying the time focusing on gaining strength and energy, running daily, experiencing Chicago and traveling to see friends and family. I have been babysitting, freelancing and continuing to apply for jobs, but I am embracing this time right now. I’m learning to enjoy freedom; I think I’m finding my wings. Please let me know if you’d like a visit, I can put you on my calendar :-D. Who knows, Airfarewatchdog is making flying around the U.S. less daunting financially, too.

OH YEAH, and there’s a chance I’ll be going to Italy with my dad in March on his business trip. I have been itching to go overseas, and if this pans out, I will be so happy!

Run Free for the Border

As I mentioned in my last post, with a group of 18+ other people, I am challenging myself to run 1000 miles (about 20 miles/week) and save $1000 throughout 2013. This money will send food to the Thai/Burmese border. With 18 people participating, we will run 18,000 miles and provide 274,000 meals for Burmese Refugees.

Since January 1, I have run almost 50 of the 1000 miles. I’ve been running almost a 5k a day, resting one day a week and pushing myself hard with pace. It’s been a bit of a challenge–my energy level is still very depreciated. In any event, I’ve been doing some interval training to hopefully help get my mile time back down.

Since surgery, my mile time is still one to two minutes slower than it used to be, and since it takes me that much longer to complete a mile, running 3+ miles daily is time consuming and also sometimes a little overwhelming for my body. I’ve been listening to my body, though, and making sure I rest when I need to (this is a huge accomplishment for me–I’m normally stubborn to my body and clock in miles no matter what, but seriously health issues can change that mentality 🙂 ). The last thing I want to do is set myself back by pushing it when I shouldn’t.


“Over the course of conversation and the reading of a book, I’ve been wondering. Teeming with questions that I’d never thought of, and some answers would be welcome. I think the most troubling thing is that whatever answers I would receive could not be absolute. I want to mean something to the world. I want to mean something to culture. I want to mean something to somebody. I don’t want to be a mere phantasm. Here one moment and gone with the wind from your mind the next. I want to last.” – John Dybdall (1/2/86-1/24/09)

I can’t believe today marks four years since your passing. However, John, you’re lasting, this I know for sure. We miss you.

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