General musings on the ups and downs and ins and outs in the life of a 30 something, unmarried, life loving, some times interesting and sometimes not, mostly happy girl just trying to figure it all out!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Triathlons (An Instructional Post)

I have recently became a triathlon fan. Not because I think exercise is fun, but because my friend Allyson decided to start participating in them. Let's be clear: she is completely nuts! There is entirely too much exercise involved in these events. And all before 9am. Not rational. However- in my ever present effort to make all things fun (even waking up at 5:30am on a Sunday to watch people hike and bike), Marissa and I have worked out a system to make these races entertaining for ourselves as well as Allyson.

First and foremost, sign making is a must. This is how your evening should look the day before a race:

Signage must be bright and involve glitter, and if you are getting up before daylight on a weekend you owe yourself a glass of wine. 

Do not use standard signs. Customization is a must.

Our first attendance was a Mother's Day race, thus we thought it'd be funny to pretend she was our mom.

Standard "Fan Club" signs are OK if they have glitter.

Signs that involve alcohol get comments from other racers as well. One we received: "Can complete strangers get a mimosa?" Uh- yes! But only if you hurry because Marissa and I are good drinkers, there may be none left.

On the way to the race, get coffee. A lot. You are going to need it and you'll kick yourself if you think you can wait until after. You cannot. 

Do not follow the directions for parking a half mile away. Whatever! Do YOU look like a triathlete? No. Leave the exercise to them and drive into the neighborhood next to the event and park on the street. 

You are going to be waiting around a lot, so your best bet is to bring a friend. 

Generally, you hurry up to get to the first part (swimming), see the racers and then wait for the next section (biking or running). You might get to see them going for the transition, but the best idea is to get to the point where they'll be coming out on the bikes. They're going to need the encouragement to get going. Yell, jump and act a-fool to get them going. Their faces should look something like this:

The goal is laughter on their way off. But if you get this:

It's OK. She's just trying to figure out #1: WHY she puts up with you and #2: WHY she signed up for this crap.

After they are off for round two you wait. Find a comfy spot, sit down, and get out your cooler.

Don't bring a heavy one because you need to be mobile. This one's perfect- has handles, keeps things very cold and has a pocket to store stuff in. It's also monogrammed, so that helps. 

Be sure to bring water, because you're going to need it. Conceal any alcoholic beverages inside the cooler. You're probably somewhere that open containers aren't allowed. However- I recommend bringing the alcohol. It really helps when you're kicking yourself for being awake. 

While you wait, people watch! You will be surprised at the people who participate. You have a few of what you'd expect: buff, steroid-ed, crazy people going all out. But a lot of the people are just doing it for fun (???) and there's a lot of older men with beer bellies. Who knew?

Every good triathlon needs a bag pipe player in a kilt. 

In the mean time, keep an eye on the people coming in from the current leg of the race. You don't want to miss your person! A good tip is to watch the numbers on their arms. It'll help tell you what wave they are in and you'll get an idea of when your athlete is coming. When you see them coming, be sure to start creating a huge ruckus. Jump, leap, yell, cheer! Glitter should be flying from your sign, folks. Just be careful, if they're coming in fast on their bike they're about to have to dismount. Wouldn't want to distract them so much they nearly miss the jumping off point and fall (Sorry Allyson). 

While they are transitioning RUN (this is the only exercise you get, it's OK) to the next starting point (biking or running- whichever hasn't been done). To be a good fan, you HAVE to be there to cheer them into the last leg. Commence acting a-fool again.

Wait again.

This little girl is a good example of how you might feel after watching hundreds of people run around as the sun comes up. 

Make sure to run at your athlete, yelling their name, after they finish. This is a nice touch. Also give huge hugs, regardless of sweat. I mean, come on, they just swam, biked and ran. They earned it!

Honestly- I have really enjoyed the two I attended. It's a lot of fun to cheer on a friend and you can nap later. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's All About the Value

Niki and I were on an ice cream date Wednesday having a very serious discussion about relationships. DQ is where we do all of our serious talking... DQ, the kitchen, the trails in The Woodlands, the kitchen table... Anyway, we were talking about romantic relationships and friendships- all of it. She just lost a close friend to some misunderstandings and as I am single, we regularly discuss romantic relationships and what I want, etc. We always go back to this thing we learned in college: Value. Value is critical in any relationship.

When we were talking about losing a friendship and how often, other friendships don't work like ours does I told her I thought it might be because we both truly value friendship. Niki's practically my soul-mate, but aside from that, I also hold my other friends close. Because they are valuable to me. They add things to my life that I would not have otherwise and each of them is vital to me.

In a marriage, value is necessary. To be happy, to be the right match, for it to really work- a couple needs to truly value each other. Are you with them for a reason? Do they add something to your life?

Guys- remember that you must demand to be valued. And you must value in return. Make sure people add to your life- because it is about you too. Love, whether it be in friendship or romantic, is a two way street. Be sure to require that you are valued.

Friday, June 1, 2012


"Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you failed by default."
— J.K. Rowling 

It was so interesting to come across this quote today, because reading before bed last night I read about failure as well. In this case, Brennan Manning was commenting on failing as a Christian. He said that the most successful Christians he knows are the ones who have failed- but gotten back up and kept going. Christians that last know they are going to screw it up, and they accept it. Because they know they are loved.

I had to read that a few times for it to sink in. Because I am truly afraid of failure. Not as much in the day-to-day life way as I am of failing at life itself. I am afraid of not being kind enough, not doing what I am meant to, not being where I need to be. So after that line sank in, I had to sit back and regroup some. I wanted to cry. Because I need to know that I am going to mess up, I am not going to get it right and things will not always work out- but that that is OK. 

I am not there- but I think I will try. :)

"For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened," He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love."
-Brennan Manning

All About Ashley

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Spring, TX, Southern, United States
Playing with and keeping up with my nephew and niece take up a lot of my time. Van Geaux takes up the rest of it. Work is an afterthought most days! I like to be outside- but not when it's too hot. I get bored at my desk all day. Niki keeps my world spinning and without her and AC I'd lose it. My work ethic crashes at 4 p.m. daily and I live my sweet puppy and my hedgehog whenever I am not at Niki's. I truly believe naps are quality pass-time events, and sometimes I say bad words at work. I'm pretty sure I'm insane on multiple levels and I believe rules don't apply to me.
It seems that my life is quite entertaining. I didn't realize this myself, but was informed of it by my friends- who are rather entertained by tales of my life occurrences.

I'm far from a professional writer. These are just stories, comments, and other items for simple amusement. Hopefully it's a fun read, as Shannon plans to edit it into a book one day! Maybe we'll become famous, and maybe we'll just have some good laughs at my expense (and some other characters in my life). Either way, happy reading!