Joey’s “life is fun” smile
I debated sharing this very personal and very special moment I had Wednesday, but in the end I decided it’s all part of my journey. This blog is about being totally true to myself and sharing myself with my readers, and I can’t claim to “Never Betray” if I hold anything back.
So here goes. I’ve been in a really good place in the grief process over the last few months. I still miss Joey a ton, but I know that living my life well is really my only option. And I feel certain it’s exactly what Joe would want for me. So every day, I purpose to live this day to the best of my ability. I purpose to love on my husband and kids and really invest in them; I get active whenever possible; and I love, love, love people.
I’ve been doing cycle classes pretty regularly for a couple of months now, and it’s a workout I really enjoy. Makes me think I’ll be looking for a good bike in the near future. And my fave instructor had played this song I just love a while back. It’s called Alive by Kim Walker (Jesus Culture).
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On Sunday, October 13th I ran The Color Run 5k with some friends. Since we’re all moms of twins, we dubbed our team the “Double Divas,” which we thought was a cute double entendre.
It was fun to actually run with some people for a change, but I must admit I was a bit disappointed in myself. Since I discovered cycling classes, I’ve slacked off on my regular running, and it became apparent when I started too quick out of the gate and had to slow to a walk a few times throughout the race. It’s not a timed race, and I didn’t time myself either, since I didn’t want to risk getting color on my phone. But I think I made pretty decent time: at least under 45. Still, somehow I was left feeling less than good about myself.
Basically, I didn’t really feel all warm and fuzzy like someone who had been running through rainbows and hugging unicorns. Read the rest of this entry →
Joey Jello on right
Since my latest tattoo, a person who cares a lot about me mentioned their concern that people would judge me because of my tattoos. Because of who this was, I knew that this concern was real and not a roundabout way of saying that this person was judging me. And I understood the concern because I remember thinking something similar when Joey showed up with the words NEVER BETRAY backwards on his neck – all I could think was that so many people would miss out on knowing my awesome brother because they would write him off as soon as they saw ink on his neck.
But then Joey died, and all these amazing people, many of whom had ink from head to toe and dressed and lived so differently from me, came out of the woodwork it seemed and cared for me and my family as though we were their family. Read the rest of this entry →
I’ve been eager to get this new tattoo started ever since returning from my trip to Austin for my Joey Jello Memorial Race. Last night we got it started, and I couldn’t be happier. I had originally thought of getting a phoenix to symbolize my new birth from the ashes, but I saw a sketch similar to this with birds carrying a flying elephant, and it just spoke to me.
So many times through this process of learning to run I have felt like an elephant trying to fly, but I have kept going due to the amazing support of my family and friends as well as the memory of Joey’s life-well-lived. The second shot shows my “free bird,” who has dropped his rope and is moving on. I may not have arrived, but I’m so much stronger than I was last year, and I am learning to fly on my own steam, so I’m letting him go. He will always have a place in my heart, but from here, the journey is mine.
Today, I made it to the bike/run interval class, and… Wow! That was intense. I’m not nearly at the same level of some of those folks, but I feel pretty good with the workout I got out of it.
As with most of my workouts, this was a great time for God to minister to my heart. I really hope I won’t offend any of my followers who may not share my same belief system, but this experience was wrapped up in my grief process, and I can’t leave any of it out if I want to be true to myself. Read the rest of this entry →
SInce I didn’t make it to Monday’s bike/run/bike class, I decided to pick up a spin class today and see what I could do. This was my second ever cycling class and my first attempt had been so painful, I doubted a repeat performance would occur. But I’m SO glad I gave it another try.
This was one of the most strenuous workouts I’ve done, but also the most invigorating. Part of it, I’m sure was the instructor and her way of encouraging and inspiring me to push myself further. Read the rest of this entry →
Well, I’m sorry to say I didn’t make it to the running/cycling interval class today. But when your 4-yr old wakes up looking like this, getting to the doc becomes priority number one for the day.
Turns out he has a skin infection on his eye, so we have started antibiotics and hope to see improvement in the next 24 to 48 hours.
I didn’t let myself off the hook for exercise, though. Once I got the boys settled down for their respective naps/quiet time, I threw on my workout clothes and queued up the 30-Day Shred workout. It’s still ridiculously hard, but as with running, I’ve learned to talk myself into FINISHING instead of QUITTING or even SLOWING.
Yep, that’s what it means to NEVER BETRAY.
I looked really hard for an epic Morgan Freeman audio file, but just couldn’t find the right thing, so this will have to do.
That’s right, I did it! 5k in 39:38! I know for some runners out there, that probably sounds incredibly slow, but for me that’s a huge improvement. I feel amazing and fierce.
And as usual, I learned some really important lessons on this run. I discovered that I had started phoning it in a bit without really believing in myself and pushing my body to perform. I’d been defeating myself with negativity. It’s so important for me to keep my self-talk positive and to continually remind myself of what I CAN do.
Yesterday’s run was possible because I believed it was. By the time I finished my first mile I was 100% convinced that I would finish in time, and so I did. What I believe about my ability is integral to my performance, and I must never forget that.
“Now FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
I must confess that I feel a bit as though I’ve been spinning my wheels over the last few weeks. I haven’t gained a bunch of weight or given up on running & exercise, but I just haven’t been wholly committed in the same way that I have been up to now, thus the scale has been immovable. Which adds a bit of sadness in its turn. I know, of course, that the scale isn’t even the reason I’m doing this, but I can’t seem to shake the disappointment of hitting a plateau.
But I can’t quit just because the terrain here isn’t very interesting. I will not betray myself with self-sabotage. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, and eventually, I believe I’ll reach the downhill.
So tomorrow I run, and fast or slow, it’s gonna be epic, as the quote here implies, since every step is taking me closer to my goals. I’d love to take my run to the trails, but unfortunately, that’s not an option, yet. Read the rest of this entry →
As I sit down to write, my whole being wants to mourn. But I can’t do that. Because I love Joey, and celebrating life was his reason for being. So that’s what I choose to do today – celebrate the life of Joey Jello. For my newer readers, this is the life that inspired me to take charge of mine. Joey Jello is my brother, and I will always love him.
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