Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Our Voice. Our Power.

Sitting at her desk, she didn’t ask for her shoulder to be rubbed.
Standing by her desk, she didn’t ask for her body to be raked by your lewd eyes.
Dancing near you at a club, she didn’t ask for her ass to be grabbed.
Sitting by you on a bus, she didn’t ask for her thigh to be touched.

Recognized.  When will we be recognized by all?
By all.

Chairs, clothes, cars etc.
They are all objects.
Rated.  Graded.  To be freely touched.

Feelings.  Intelligence.  Empathetic nature.
Selflessness.  Willingness to help.
Care for others.  Skills.  Knowledge.
Common sense.  Love.  Strength.
Responsibilities.  Earn Money.
Make decisions.  Cry.  Laugh.  Integrity.
Dignity.  Discipline.  Travel.  Work.
Successes.  Failures.  Strive.  Build.
Take risks.  Plan.  Believe.  Focus.  Play.
Be courageous.  Hide.  Design.
These things we have and do in abundance.

More intelligent and better skilled than you realize.
Capable.  We are CAPABLE.

We object to you treating and seeing us as mere valueless objects.
We object loudly and strongly.
We have always objected, but did so silently.
We were forced into silence.

But no more.  We will make you hear us.
But most importantly, we will make you see us as
vital, valuable, prominent beings that matter.
We matter.  Respect us.
We matter.  Respect us.

They say “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
I say “hell hath no fury like enraged, determined women who take action.”
We are not scorned.  We are pissed off and vocal about it.
You find it scary, but say we are being stupid and painting you in a bad light.
Aww!  How awful you finally are being called out, shamed and facing consequences
for your reprehensible, inappropriate, dismissing and disrespectful choices.

We’ve been put down, stomped on, overlooked, abused, 
mistreated, held down, repressed, stifled, broken, 
humiliated, gagged and invalidated for far too long. 
One day of this bullshit is far too long.

But here we are.  Fighting for respect, dignity and equality.
We are getting louder.  Getting stronger.
We found our voice.
And we won’t stop.  Get used to it, because

You can’t touch us anymore and get away with it.
We will call you out and make public the danger and harm you cause.
We are taking away your power and self-proclaimed greatness.

We will no longer just take it and suffer in silence.
Feeling ruined, guilty and emotionally damaged.

You can’t touch us anymore.
You must always ask for permission.
If we say NO, then you stop immediately.
If we say NO, you STOP.

We are not weak or vulnerable.
We found our power, and we are stripping you of yours.
We found our power and wearing it like a second skin.

We found our power and are stripping you of yours. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mud Running for a Third Time

(This post is about 4 months late but I wanted to put it up anyway as I did have a good time running Rugged Maniac mud race.)

Mud-Running Yet Again

My good friend Emily and I decided months ago to run the Rugged Maniac in Rockingham NC again for the 3rd time this year.  This year’s race was on May 20, 2017, and our run time was noon.  We did not sign up early enough to get into an early morning time slot before they all sold out.  So high noon it was. 

This year we called ourselves The Dazzling Unicorns.  I found awesome shirts off Amazon that were just perfect for such sparkling, sensational and bad-ass racing women!!

To get ready for this run, I did a lot of walking and jogging as part of my regimen to get in shape and train.  The first time I could jog 1.5 miles without stopping caused me to send out an excited selfie through Snapchat to my friends. J  I kept jogging regularly and eventually got to the point where I could jog just over 2 miles without stopping!!  I was so excited.  I had a feeling Emily and I would do even better this year compared to last year for our run as she ramped up her exercise routine too to be even more kick-ass and amazing. 

A couple of days before the mud run, we went on a carb-loading lunch.  Mainly I suggested it because I really just wanted to go back to that little Italian restaurant I love.  ;-)   The night before we were set to get muddy and rugged, I got most of my stuff packed up – a change of clothes, sunscreen, drinks, protein bars and a 5-hour energy drink for afterwards.  Husband and I got up early that Saturday to make sure we got the truck loaded up and could leave in time to meet up with Emily.  Husband was our one-person cheering section this year; our cheering section has dwindled over the past couple of years.  But I was incredibly grateful for hubby to be there for us, carry our waters, hold our stuff and take pictures.  Thanks hubby!!!!

We arrived about 45 minutes before our start time, which I thought was perfect.  That gave us just enough time to get on our shoes, check-in, slather on the sunscreen and get stretched out without standing out in the humid brutal heat for too long before the noon showdown. 

So we make our way over the wood fencing with the rest of the group of the noon runners waiting for the start.  We start off really well and then become caught up in a log jam of a large group of people that were up at the front because they were at the front of the pack in the starting line up.  It took us a several minutes to be able to work our way past them at the first couple of obstacles, but once we did, we kept up a pretty quick pace with lots of jogging and quick walking throughout the course.  I was extremely glad and relieved to see that this year that one of the three obstacles I was dreading the most was reduced in how much of it we had to complete.  This one was those bastard stadium stairs.  Their official obstacle race name does not matter.  To me, they are just ‘those bastard stairs.’  The first time we ran the course, we had to go up and down the stairs about 5 times; last year, we were made to go up and down them 3 times.  And thankfully, this year, we only had to GO UP THEM ONCE!  Hallelujah!  J 

I knew all the jogging I did leading up to the race would help me out in the long run, but I was uncertain how my legs would hold up by using them in a way I really had not trained them for – climbing stairs, walls made of boards, cargo netting and whatever other climbing and crawling we had to do.  They held up fairly well throughout the course, though there were sometimes my overall stamina was low and I needed to walk.  Thankfully, Emily was cool with my needing to walk for a rest; however, I definitely jogged as much as I knew I could while still having the energy to complete, well try to complete, the obstacles.

Another obstacle I was also dreading was The Trenches – huge, deep ditches that we were supposed to jump over.  I jumped over the first one and apprehensively attempted to jump over the second one.  Well my right foot just did touch the far edge before I fell landing hard against the trench wall.  So I climbed out and then climbed in/out of the remaining 4 or 5 trenches.  That was an improvement over last year because after falling in one last year, I just walked to the end of the obstacle without even trying to go over the rest.  Emily was able to jump over most of them but did have to climb in/out of one that was dug extra wide.

The third obstacle I was anxious about was the Frog Leap.  Last year I managed to complete it by leaping onto and across the 4 ‘lilypads’.  This year, well this year….  I barely made it onto the 1st one and when I tried to land on the 2nd ‘lilypad’, my right foot landed on it; however my left leg lagged behind and landed in the water.  This terrible combo of my legs not moving athletically as one caused me to hit the ‘lilypad’ really hard with the back of my right thigh.  I very ungracefully wiggled my right leg off so I could walk to the edge and wrench myself out of the water pit.  I wound up with a huge purple and yellowish-green bruise on the back of my right thigh that took a while to go away.

There were a few new obstacles this year.  One was not challenging at all; I don’t recall the name of it, but I hope it is left out of the line up next year.  Another new was The Crag.  You had to climb up and over a giant inflatable obstacle, and let me tell you, I was sooo graceful.  :-l NOT!!

So about halfway through we have a positive and pretty convincing feeling that we were ahead of our time last year at the halfway point, and when we came up to the last couple of obstacles, we had a strong feeling that we were definitely faster than last year. 
The last obstacle was a combo of 3 – the same as the rest of these races.  You had to run up a curved wall, make it over, followed by crawling over cargo netting up the giant inflatable slide.  This year when I ran up the curved wall, I just barely touched fingertips with one of the volunteers at the top who help people make it up over the wall.  By our fingertips barely making contact, I found myself slamming against the wall and sliding back down to the ground.  L  Once again I got a running start, a better one at that, and got up the wall far enough to be within range of grasping volunteers hands so they could pull me up.  Three of these heroes came to my rescue and helped me succeed in making it over the wall.  I was deadweight to them.  Watching me try to get over the wall, was probably like watching a fish flounder about on land; really a sad kinda funny.  When it came time for Emily and I to go down the slide, which was taller than last year, she held my hand to help me be brave again!  The inflatable slide was definitely more fun to go down.  Once we climbed out of the water pit and ran through the finish line, we realized we ran the course in 1 hour and 6 minutes!  About 10-15 minutes faster than last year!!!   :-)  :-)  :-) 

I had a blast running the course again and am really looking forward to running it again!  Once again, Emily was an ass-kicking, awesome, inspiring, positive, fun and exuberant partner!!!  Thanks girl!!!  :-)

                        Love our amazing shirts

                                          The writing doesn't show up clearly, but the back 
                                               of our shirts say "The Dazzling Unicorns"
                                               "Rugged Maniac 2017" and "Mud is Fun" 

                                                                And we set off....

Happy to be near the end

... still rocking her badass-ness

Emily successfully makes it up the terrible wall the 1st time

Me, well I failed. :-(

sliding back down

Let's try this again

Success!  I reached the guys.  

My heros!!!  :-)

going up to the slide

As usual, Emily is much more excited about going to the slide

     I'm done


We finished in 1 hour and 6 minutes!!!!!  We Rock!!!