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 →
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.
Read the rest of this entry →
Yesterday, I did something I’ve never done before: I ran my first 5k without any walking! Another goal crushed!
I have been choosing the 5k workout on the treadmill and just walking the first 5 minutes to warm-up for a while now, so on Tuesday, I ran the rest of the workout for a total of 38 consecutive minutes of running. Having gotten that close, I knew I was going to have to attempt the full 5k yesterday, so I restarted the workout after my 5 minute warm-up.It was just as I found my running gait that the stream of sunlight was redirected through the windows directly into my face, where it stayed for the first 2 miles of my run. Read the rest of this entry →
The view from the start of today’s run.
So this blog feels a little like your house the day after that huge party you planned for months. It was great fun, but now it’s over, you’ve cleaned up, and now you just can’t seem to figure out what to do with all the energy you’d previously spent planning.
Of course, my journey isn’t over. Nor is my grief. I have released Joey, said my big goodbye, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped loving him or missing him. I will always love him. I will always miss him. I will always be a different me without him in the world.
But I do feel like it’s time for this phoenix to rise above the fire & ashes and to fly with my own wings. I want to keep writing because that’s a big part of who I am, and I’ll probably still mention Joe from time to time, but you may see some changes around here as I make NEVER BETRAY more mine. Read the rest of this entry →
Joey Jello Ghost Bike Memorial at the intersection of Pleasant Valley Rd and W Cesar Chavez (site of accident)
Today marks one year since the world lost Joey Jello, and one year since my world turned upside down. It has been the toughest year of my life while simultaneously teaching me that I’m tougher than I ever thought.
As most of you know, I traveled to Austin on Friday morning to run the Keep Austin Weird 5k on Saturday evening. Joey’s passion for life and early death awoke in me the need to live my life to the fullest and pursue my dream of becoming a runner. The entire weekend was full of emotions from start to finish, and it may take a bit to get through all of it, but bear with me, and I’ll make it worth your while.
Thursday night after putting my kids to bed, I headed over to my parents’ house to spend the night since mom and I had an early flight in the morning, and they live quite a bit closer to the airport. I got to bed late but had trouble putting my mind to rest with the anticipation of what was to come. An added concern for me was the fact that this was my first night away from my boys overnight.
Read the rest of this entry →
Holy, Moly! Just 4 days to race day! What???!!!! I’m praying the rain holds off today so I can get a good practice run in this evening. And I’m also praying that the perfect Jello-esque running socks I ordered arrive at my house before I have to get on a plane. It’s hard to believe the day is almost here.
It’s going to be a very emotional weekend as I meet many of Joey’s friends in person for the first time and see other’s again after a year. I look forward to hearing more stories about him as I see the places where he lived and played over the last couple of years of his life, seeing the ghost bike erected to honor his memory, and just soaking up the atmosphere of Austin.
The whole weekend, as well as the race, is my chance to honor my brother, to remember him and thank him for being the catalyst I needed to get started on my journey to an energetic, healthy, and passionate lifestyle. Joey’s death was a rude awakening to the reality of death, the frailty of human life. He always seemed invincible, but in truth no body is. I saw my lifestyle for what it was, slowly taking years off my life, and determined to stop watching my life go by and jump wholly into living it.
When I return from this trip, I plan on getting a new tattoo to represent the journey and letting go of Joey. I have held him tight through this journey, but it’s time for me to fly on my own. I will never forget him or stop loving him, but he wouldn’t want the rest of my life to be all about him either. As I’ve said many times, it’s about me being a better me.
Please think of me on Saturday at 7pm as I run the Keep Austin Weird 5k. I will be taking some of Joe’s ashes with me and scattering at the finish line if no one objects. Love to all my readers, and stay tuned for pics of the new tat!
As proud as he’d be of my accomplishments, this is likely the type of reaction my ranting and raving about running would incur.
My workout on Tuesday was like turning a corner for me on this journey to fitness. I almost feel…reborn. Born into a runner. Today I ran for 20 consecutive minutes. Sure, I only covered about a mile and half, but I’ve NEVER run for that long before in my entire life! And maybe it wasn’t easy, but it was possible, and I knew it. For once, I knew that I could do it.
Oh no! I’m turning into one of those obnoxious people who talks about how much they like exercise! I’ve always hated those liars, but…. it turns out they’re not lying. If you find the right sport or activity for you, it can actually be fun. And I do look forward to branching out into other things like more lifting, cycling and dance, but for now I’m content to just lace up my shoes and run.
And this is where things all come back to Joey. All of you who knew him will remember how single-minded he was. When he was excited about a new interest, it was all he could talk about or think about – whether it was building freak bikes, learning a new instrument, or just discovering an interesting part of history (like the Mayan civilization). Read the rest of this entry →
I had a really good run today, and as so often seems to be the case, I learned some things. But before I get into that, I need a minute to celebrate not one, but TWO 10-minute running intervals! That’s two repetitions of my longest-ever running times. I’ve run for 5 minutes; I’ve run for 8; but something about running for 10 minutes took me into a new zone.
Side note: Our living room tv has been broken for about 3 weeks now – they’re delivering the new one tomorrow – but because of that, we were forced to watch WAY less tv. It’s been really good for the boys, and it’s helped me begin to appreciate the quiet more. I even took off my headphones for the last half or so of the 5k I ran a couple weeks ago and just listened to the wind in the trees and the sound of my feet on the road, and it was pretty great. Read the rest of this entry →