Her Soul I’ll Carry Forever In My Heart…

As I write this, it’s been just over 24 hours since the announcement.

On Your Feet!Β is ending its Broadway run on August 20, 2017.

Now, I know in the midst of everything going on in this world – Manchester, Portland, Kabul, Syria…and the list goes on and on – a show closing is a minor thing. As Ana reminded us all in an InstaStory last night, “No one has died. We will all go on to new things.” And yes, we all know there is going to be a tour.

But at the same time… Yes, we know that nothing lasts forever – especially Broadway shows. Yes, OYF has had a good run of almost two years. But yes, we’ve also all been in the house when the back of the orchestra was far from full – hell, a couple of weeks ago I won the ticket lottery and my seat was FRONT ROW. Side, sure, but front row. Yes, we had all heard the rumblings and rumors for a while, the “if we’re still open” comments from time to time at the stage door. I think deep down we all suspected it was coming.

But it was still one of those moments when the Facebook posts and Tweets started coming from the cast – I was sitting on a bench at my dojang before class and I know I audibly gasped. It felt like a gut punch.

I waited until I got off the subway and was walking home to put on the cast recording on my iPod, and I made it to “Anything For You” before I lost it.

Seriously – ALL the feels.

And yes, we know that no one has died, but it is a kind of a death for those of us who have come to love the show, for whom it’s a safe space to turn. We need the freedom to have all the feels we’re all still working through.

I had no idea what I was getting into on February 19, 2016 when I won the ticket lottery for OYF. I’m not normally a jukebox musical kind of girl, but I quickly discovered this was no jukebox musical. It’s the story of two people who fought for what they believed in and for the life they wanted – and made it happen. The story of triumphing over adversity – in more than one way. It’s Gloria and Emilio’s story, yes. But underlying everything is the story of every immigrant who has come to this country to seek a better life, of anyone who has a dream and the courage to pursue it, of anyone who has faced obstacles and overcome them.

I found a familia that I never knew I had – or needed. I’ve made friends. I’ve learned about this world and about myself – I traveled to Cuba partly because of this show, of wanting to see, to feel, to experience that land. The show has made theatre feel like a safe place for me again after experiences with another show had made it feel not so safe. It’s a haven where I can laugh, cry, sing, dance…just BE.

I’ll see it on Sunday for the first time since the announcement – already planned to celebrate my belt test on Saturday – and I’m sure it’ll be emotional. I’m seeing it on my birthday – a month before closing – and I’m sure it’ll be emotional.

But I won’t be there on August 20. I will be in another place of peace, happiness, and comfort on that day – I’ll be at the beach with my family. I’ll celebrate the show in my own way that day. My last time with the show on Broadway will be August 17 – the night before I leave. On a slightly selfish note, I’m kind of glad my last time won’t be THE last time. But at the same time, another part of me would love to be among this familia on the last day in person. You can bet I’ll be there in spirit.

I’ve discussed the show at length before, and I’m sure I’ll do a farewell post, but tonight I just want to say Thank you. Thank you Emilio and Gloria Estefan for allowing your story to be told in this way. Thank you Emily for the beautiful song you wrote with your mom for this – “If I Never Got To Tell You”. ALL the feels!! Thank you to the cast – Ana, Ektor, Eddy and Kevin, Alexandria and Fabi (and the “new” girls Madison and Amaris), Doreen, Christie, Linedy, Genny-Lis, Karmine, Yasmin, Emmanuel, David, Angelica, Natalie, Alexia, Henry, Nina, Omar, Hector, Liz, Jeremy, Eliseo, Jose, Julius, Jennifer, Marcos, Martin, Brett, Eric, Lee, Andrea, Luis, and Carlos for weaving this magic every night and for those who know who they are, for making me feel like part of the familia. And thank you to my other Feeties – even if I’m not always involved in everything you know I love you!

The title of this post is taken from “Mi Tierra” and it’s the most honest thing I can think of to say about this little show. I will carry her soul forever in my heart.

PLEASE do yourself a favor – if you’re in or around NYC, go see this show before it closes; and if you’re anywhere near a city where it will tour, go and see it.

Conga forever!!!

Life and other stuff

The calendar just keeps moving on! Of course that beats the alternative, so… I’ll take it! πŸ™‚

Got through Open School for the Spring. Hooray. That is always a long day, so it’s nice to have it over, even if we were all like “It’s early this year!”

Last Sunday I went to Whippany, NJ to Jill Hennessy’s gig at the Ukrainian Cultural Center. It was probably my favorite gig of hers I’ve ever been to – super intimate setting and with only her on guitar and her keyboardist. You really felt every word even more than usual, so that was super cool.

After having to prove I’m me to the IRS, I got my refund, and so I have paid for my hotel in Toronto over Spring Break and booked all my excursions for the Italy Cruise. Cannot believe I am nearing the 90-day mark when I can check in and make my dining time reservations!! My excursions are…

  • Villefranche – Nice and St. Paul-de-Vence tour. The Nice part is reportedly a compensated drive, but we get wandering time in SPV which looks like a super cool place to explore.
  • Livorno (Florence) – Winery Tour in Tuscany. Since I spent almost a week in Florence a couple of years ago, I didn’t want to spend the time or money going over things I’ve already seen (though don’t get me wrong, Michelangelo’s David is pretty friggin spectacular), and this tour looks like it will be interesting. Plus, WINE! πŸ™‚
  • Civitavecchia (Rome) – Shuttle bus to Rome and then touring around on my own. I’ve been assured by many people that it’s definitely easy to tour around on your own feet, and this way I don’t get stuck at the Vatican for two hours like pretty much any of the tours do.
  • Salerno (Amalfi Coast) – After much dithering and debating, I’ve decided NOT to do the private tour I was going to and instead will be doing the ship-based Capri on Your Own tour – we go as a group by boat to Capri and then I have 5 hours to explore.
  • Venice – Day 1 is a Murano Glass and Burano Lace tour which looks to be super cool. Day 2 is the Secret Venice Walking Tour. Again, awesome looking tour going where not all tours go.
  • Ravenna – A Ravenna and Mosaics tour.
  • Kotor – Montenegro Highlights which again looks awesome!

So super excited for this trip!! Pre-cruise in Barcelona, I am staying in the L’Eixample area and have a Flamenco show with dinner booked my first night, and a Gaudy tour cumulating with Sagrada Familiar followed by an evening tapas tour. Epic times!!

I’m also planning a trip to Disney World in the second half of August, so it’s going to be a summer of travel and celebrating a big birthday!!

Taekwondo continues to go well! I had the Belt Test for my Blue Strips today and passed, so yay!! I stayed to watch the rest of the testing including a teen testing for his Black Belt. His test was AMAZING and awe-inspiring!! And it made me say “Yeah… so not asking my parents to come when I test. They would be ok with watching most of it, but the sparring would NOT go over well with them (I gloss over it a bit in discussing TKD with them, though right now I am in the “baby beginner”Β  (my term) adult sparring class where I have dubbed myself the “beginningest beginner” in there. And after hearing what happened to one of our instructors – a Third Dan Black Belt – in the advanced sparring class, I am QUITE happy to stay in my “baby beginner” class for quite a while!). Maybe I could settle them at a restaurant or Starbucks near the dojang and as soon as sparring is over have someone text or call them to say come back for board breaks. Of course, this is probably at least three years down the road, so…

Oh, yeah. You read that right. My little eyes are set on getting that Black Belt. It’s always been in the back of my head, but I was unsure if it was even possible having started older. During our Midwinter Break week, I took advantage of the time off to go to the morning classes – which is almost all women (at least it has been every time I’ve gone). So lots of good influences and role models there. One day we were discussing age or something that my age came up – which of course elicited the usual “NO WAY!!!!” comments I get – and one of my instructors who is kind of becoming a mentor (I have a couple) to me at the dojang said “So you started just a year younger than I was when I started!” And then one of my other becoming mentors and I were talking in the locker room, and she was not only older than me when she started, it took her 10 years to get her black belt, but she did it! Then when I mentioned how running club teammates want me to go to the Gay Games in Paris in 2018 to the Master I see the most, he said “You can definitely do it! And not just Poomsae! You can spar! It’s plenty of time! I’ll coach you and go as your coach!” (The jury is still out on the sparring – see above – but I definitely love Poomsae!) So… Talking with all of them, hearing what some of the other women said – all positive things about what they’d observed with me – and really discovering that I love it helped me make a decision I’d been pondering for a while…

I changed from the “year-to-year” program where I would basically renew my contract every year to the Black Belt Program. With this, I will make payments for a set number of months to pay one lump sum that covers ALL my classes up to Black Belt. I still pay for my tests and doboks and stuff. But the classes are paid for – even if it takes me 10 years. 80% of what I’ve already paid got applied to the program, and that makes the monthly payments even a bit lower than what I’ve been paying with the year-to-year thing.

I am so excited about this!! I know it’s going to be a ton of hard work, but I feel like I can do it. The dojang is an incredibly supportive family – watching so many people come to watch the Black Belt test today proved that. And one of my mentors (who for the second test has made sure she had my marking sheet, and who I suspect will again ensure that she ties my belt on me at the belting ceremony), after I told her I had switched to the program and after she hugged me and teasingly said “So we’re stuck with you for the next set of years, huh?” reassured me that yes, all Black Belt tests have certain elements that are there but they still shape it to the person testing as much as they can. Again, still the toughest thing you’ll do, but there really aren’t two exactly alike.

So I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m super excited!!

So…that’s about it!! Don’t forget to check out Lost In Time GoFundMe CampaignΒ to check out the movie and help support a truly independent film by an awesome female filmmaker, Kat Brooks!!

Peace and light!!

 

Good friends, good times!!

Last weekend was the snowstorm – or as the meme said “Winter is coming! All of it! In One weekend!!” Haha!! We have warmed up and now there is just some “snirt” (snow that’s dirty) left on the side of the sidewalks.

The week was a little rough with shit going on at school. But I’m into the part of the year where I’m comfortable with the units, so things can only get better, right? I hope right!

The weekend has been awesome though!!

On Friday, I met up with my friend Kaz to take a NJ Transit train to Red Bank to see Jill Hennessy and Indigo Girls.

Kaz teased me that I was *only* going to see Jill, so I couldn’t help but toss a “Crossing Jordan” quote at her – “Um, and that’s a problem…why?” Heehee! I love Indigo Girls too, so it was an all-around AMAZING night!!

Jill rocked it out as usual! Songlist was: 4 Small Hands, I Do, Something’s Comin’, Edmonton, 10,000 Miles, Aimee, Save Me (those two could have been reversed, I forget), and her fan-friggin-tastic cover of No Surrender! LOVE!!!

Between Jill and Indigo Girls, Jill was signing CDs so I got to say hi. πŸ™‚

And then it was time for Indigo Girls!! I have loved them since college!! Ah the memories there!! They were amazing – just them and Lyris Hung on violin and dulcimer – and man, she kicks ass!!

So good!! And yes, my seat kicked ass – I bought my ticket before Kaz (with my assistance and link to the Count Basie Theatre website to get her ticket) got hers, so being solo I scored one of the single seats on the two sides’ front row!!

There was an empty mic far stage right, and I was pretty sure I knew what that meant… And I was right!!

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Jill came out to sing “Closer To Fine” with them for their final encore!! AMAZING!!! (Of course I cracked up with her with her hands in her back pockets because that is exactly how her twin Jacq stands when Jacq sings with Jill at her gigs! LOVE my girls!!)

I had to use the Dreamscope app on that one and LOVE the way it came out!

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So that was Friday night. AMAZING!!!! I would have loved to have gone to their concert on Saturday as well, but it was a lot more difficult to get to via NJ Transit (I’ll say this…Jill’s gigs that have been in Jersey have gotten me to expand my transportation horizons. Haha!! Whippany, here I come on 2/28!!).

Plus it turns out that it was Front Runners Awards Night! And even though I ran all of three races last year and knew I was up for nothing (they only count cycling and swimming as “multi-sport” – not martial arts), but it’s fun to go and socialize!

Hanging with Scoops at dinner…

And Kaz and Scoops at the after party (and yes, the guy behind us cracks us up…so serious!!)

I hung with all my other FRNY peeps too – just didn’t get pics with all of them. 😦 Next year!!

But good times for sure!! If only all weekends could be like this!!

But then I guess they wouldn’t be special.

New Year, New Goals!

The day is upon us! That exciting first day of a new calendar year. We put up our new calendars and see the year stretch before us – wide open with possibilities. Hopes and dreams.

Given my reduced (to practically non-existent) thoughts and plans for running, it should probably come as no surprise that running plays no part in my goals this year – well, other than the bit that pertains to Taekwondo when we do sprints or whatever as part of our warm-up. Instead, I’ve got some bright new shiny goals for 2016.

Here they are…

1) Move up to my Red Stripe in Taekwondo (blue belt with red stripe). That is three belts up from where I am, and I think doable. I would LOVE to get to my Red Belt, but I’m only not putting that as a goal because I don’t know at which point they slow you down in the testing process. I’m pretty sure I have free say (I decide when I’m ready) up to Red Stripe, so therefore I have control (as much as one can) over that. This, of course, is barring any illness or injury that prevents me from getting to enough classes to do that. But to the degree I can control it, there you are.

2)Make sure I hit AT LEAST one yoga class per week – preferably (if only one) Hot Yin as the stretching is very good for me after all the TKD. Being back into it these past couple of weeks that the dojang has been closed has helped me remember what I love about it. I would love to hit more than one class per week, but given the focus on Taekwondo and my increased classes there, I’m not sure how realistic that is. One per week is reasonable.

3) Begin actual sparring classes – not just the basics class. This is more a second half of the year goal since I want to get the basics down first, though everyone says the best way to learn to spar is…TO SPAR. (Some of the black belts I’ve worked with are thinking up my sparring nickname already…they say everyone has to have one…) It’s scary to think about – but then so was stepping on the mat that first time. This is where injury becomes a legit possibility though. I’ve seen people hurt feet and hands – all with protection – while sparring, and those are just the kids! But, as one of my instructors told me in what was my third class where she’d had us doing non-contact sparring and my partner didn’t stop in time and my block bruised/jammed his toe, “Any time you step onto the mat, you accept that you might get hurt.” So…it’s something I’ll have to come to terms with if I want to move up in my belts and keep growing.

4) Make sure that I’m hydrating EVERY day! Not just when I take a yoga class. This one is just for health in general! It’ll also help with the calf cramps I’ve sometimes gotten in Taekwondo.

5) Have at least one meatless day per week and make sure that the meat I do consume is organic/free range/grass-fed if applicable. (Because of my peanut allergy and the way too much soy affects my hormones, I can’t get enough protein for my activity level if I go all meatless – I tried and the Saturday TKD class at the end of the week was NOT pretty…the diet was the only significant difference in the week.) The trend seems to be “Meatless Mondays” so that’s what I’m going to aim for.

6) (My almost 100% guaranteed attainable one…) Have a BLAST on the 12-night Brilliance of the Seas Mediterranean/Venice cruise I’m taking solo to celebrate my 45th birthday. It’s slightly early (I get off a week before the actual day), but the cruise is my present to myself! This is hands-down going to be the most expensive vacation I’ve ever taken – I’m treating myself to Delta One business class on my flights to and from Barcelona, I’m taking tours in Barcelona and doing an excursion in every port (Nice, Livorno (Florence), Civitavecchia (Rome), the Amalfi Coast, Venice, Ravenna, and Kotor Montenegro). But like my dad’s said when I’ve commented on how much I’m spending on myself with this vacation “You only turn 45 once!”

7) Remove toxic relationships (or at the very least those that don’t feed me) from my life. In some cases that means letting go of relationships that in spite of the best intentions of both parties won’t grow into friendships – the effort to grow something where there is nothing in which or from which to grow a friendship sometimes just isn’t worth it…and that’s not a bad thing to admit that. In other cases it will be examining relationships to see how they feed me – and how they feed the other person as well, because one-sided relationships aren’t relationships either. And in some cases it may just be letting go of relationships that just plain aren’t good for me or the other person involved. And on the flip side, deepening some relationships I’ve got now that ARE healthy and are feeding me and the other person involved. Doesn’t have to mean romantically – even deepening the friendships is a good thing! Increasing the healthy relationships can help make ridding myself of the toxic ones easier. This one’s probably the most emotionally difficult, but most emotionally healing and healthy one of all my goals.

So those are the big ones. I have other things as well – read at least 45 books, write in my sentence-a-day journal daily (as opposed to playing catch up every few days), getting halfway through my Live in Wonder prompt journal that I’ve had for a while, keeping a journal of my travels through the year, blogging more regularly in here. Those are just smaller ones.

I’ve got some cool things planned for the year – trips and so forth…

  • January 29 – I’m going to see the Indigo Girls in concert in New Jersey with Jill Hennessy opening for them!
  • April 23-27 – I’m going back to Toronto to play and explore over my Spring Break. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up with friends in the area while I’m there as well.
  • June 28-July 13 – The big one! I fly to Barcelona for a couple of days and then board the Brilliance of the Seas for a 12-night Mediterranean/Venice cruise (the one mentioned above). This is going to be my primary celebration of my 45th birthday!
  • August 18-23 – Finishing off my birthday celebration summer with a trip to Disney World! I’m staying at POP Century and have put in a request for the 70s section – I mean, since I’m technically celebrating my birthday on the trip, and I was born in 1971… Cheesy? Maybe. But fun!

There is still a lot of year that’s not planned. A lot of things that hopefully will happen. Hopefully more Jill gigs to attend (possibly including Nashville, which would ROCK!), more places to explore (pondering a weekend (or even weekday) trip to the Jersey Shore since I’ve never been there…pondering a weekend trip up to Boston to explore…pondering, pondering), and more adventures I can’t even imagine!

Carpe 2016! Bring it on!

Priorities and Perspective

Anyone who reads my little blog with any regularity should know my love of pretty much all things Disney. As long as I can remember, some aspect of Disney has been part of my life – from my first movie, “Bambi”, to Sunday evenings with TV dinners and The Wonderful World of Disney; from numerous vacations to the parks as well as wonderful cruises, to the site of both my first half marathon and full marathon.

Disney is a huge part of my life in many ways.

I have come to realize over the past few weeks that in terms of my “part-time” job, it was becoming way too huge of a part.

It’s been building for a while. I realized over Spring Break that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a day where I wasn’t working one job or the other – where I’d had a complete day off, at least without requesting it. Our store manager kept saying “Hang in there. We’re working on hiring people.” but the hours were never decreasing – put this way, my availability was supposed to be set at no more than 25 hours, preferably 20-22 but they have been consistently scheduling me at 28-30. And yes, they hire people, but it’s the proverbial inchworm in the well where they’ll hire 5 and 3 people will leave. I’ve had to pass on doing things I’d really like to do, not the least of which is hanging out with friends. Two of my friends have lost their moms in the past 6 months or so, and I’ve been so scared of calling out and dealing with “occurrences”, I don’t feel like I was able to be there for them the way I’d like to have been. I’ve had to plan far out in terms of when I’d like to be off, and then just take some guesses when doing things like signing up for races. But basically all these swirling thoughts boiled down to two major things…

1) I really, really miss my friends and need to be able to spend time with them, sometimes spur of the moment and without requesting 90 days in advance, trying to find someone to switch with me or take a shift, or calling out.

2) I signed up for the Goofy Challenge. A half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday of WDW Marathon Weekend. When training for this year’s full marathon, I was so tired from essentially working two full-time jobs, my training suffered badly. I know I cannot go into Goofy that undertrained, and I don’t see any of the issues at the store changing.

So I did a lot of looking at budget and stuff over the weekend. I realized that now that I’ve gotten some things paid off, I honestly was just using the money from the store as extra – and often just as funding for meals before work on weeknights or during work on weekends. It’s not essential income. And so I set up a plan in my head.

Like a race, I set an A-goal and a B-goal. The A-goal was to turn in notice so that my last day would be just before leaving for Seattle and Alaska. My B-goal was to have my last day just before Labor Day weekend.

Then when I got to work yesterday, my friend L informed me that she had turned in her notice. She’s been there longer than I have, and she loves Disney just as much. The proverbial straw got to be too much and she also got another job with more reasonable hours and better pay. Seeing the relief on her whole person made me really think. There was very little reason I set the A-goal and B-goal as far out as I did. Yes, the intention was to just use that money to pay off my February cruise, but paying that off (even early) is highly doable with just my teaching income (even before whatever is going to happen with contract negotiations happens). And so…

Last night I turned in my notice at the store. My last day of availability is Thursday, May 15.

It is bittersweet, and there were some tears when I turned it in, but there was also an overwhelming sense of relief. I still love Disney, and I want to keep loving Disney…and I could feel myself beginning to walk an edge I could have tumbled over.

Now I can spend the time I want to spend with my friends. I can train at times other than 4:30am. But mainly I can breathe and feel like I’m in charge of my own life more than I’ve been able to in a long time.

Priorities. I feel like I can say I haz them now.

Cheer Force One!! (Or, cheering the ING NYC Marathon)

My running club, Front Runners, calls our cheer groups at various races Cheer Force One. πŸ™‚ And today, I got to drive it!! Can I tell you how much I love the fact that the girl who NEVER made the cheerleading squad (yes, I did actually try out. once.) was the leader of the cheerleaders today?!?!?!?!?

It was the 2013 ING NYC Marathon, and we take over Mile 24 for the water stop! And over the past few years (well, clearly not last year) we’ve added a zone for Cheer Force One. I was the cheer zone capatin, appointed by one of our Mile 24 co-captains. I was pumped!!

I woke up with my first alarms, but decided to doze until the second set. And, well, leave it to me to oversleep the night we get an hour back! OOPS!!! I opened my eyes at 6:45 and flipped out. I was supposed to meet Doreen at Starbucks at 86th and Lex in an hour!! I threw on my clothes – jeans, two long-sleeved tech shirts, a hoodie, compression socks, shoes, and a hat and gloves – brushed my teeth, grabbed my bags which I’d thankfully set up before going to bed, and headed out.

And in spite of missing the first train I could have gotten – it was pulling out as I was going into the station – I actually beat both Doreen AND Ruth (who I didn’t know was meeting us but I adore her, so clearly it was fine) there! Ruth arrived a few minutes after me, and we joked about how Doreen lives closer to there than either of us, and we both beat her. HAHA! We got caffeinated up and headed over to get our assignments and get started.

Soon, we were assembled

and ready for the wheelchairs to go by. They are always soooo inspiring!! No amputees in this bunch today, but later on I did see some running with Achilles.

Then the elite women came by…

(Those are just some of them.)

And then the elite men…

Mutai…our eventual winner. Looking like a friggin gazelle. Beautiful!!

In the green is Yuki Kawauchi, a favorite on Marathon Talk. He looked so happy!

Meb!!! Truly one of my heroes. He is running with Cassidy, an elite from Staten Island. They finished in 22 (Cassidy) and 23 (Meb) side by side. Meb is truly a class act and committed to the sport and all who participate, not just those times when he can win. Check this out…

http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/250963-New-York-City-Marathon-2013/video/723689-Emotional-Meb-Keflezighi-after-NYC-Marathon-2013

I absolutely adore him!!!!

There was definitely a presence of security this year – most on display in the helicopters that repeatedly flew over, some very low…

This one we could actually feel the wind from the blades and it knocked leaves off of some trees.

The local elites went by after that, and we went NUTS for our teammate Ruth who finished in 3:10 and change, pretty much (I think I’m remembering correctly) obliterating the existing club records. She is awesome and humble!! And then the masses started pouring through and didn’t stop. And neither did we. Cheering all on to the best of our ability!

I saw Dahlia and she took a Twinkie (it’s ok if you tossed it hon!). Was tracking Scoops and Amy and Amanda – but somehow never saw Scoops in the crowd!! 😦 V sad about that, but she KILLED it!!!! She is awesome!! I saw Amy, but she was in a pack and I couldn’t get to her. It turned out ok as she couldn’t have taken one anyway. Amanda found me for a hug, no Twinkie (totally cool!). And then someone…I am SOOOOOOO sorry but I am blanking on the name…else came up and asked if I was Beth. We kept cheering and cheering. I only got louder and more enthusiastic as the day went on. In fact, during the last hour an Italian family was next to us, and the father loved my cheering. He proclaimed me “adorable” and insisted on taking a picture with me. (That’s on their camera…I don’t have it.) A couple of us stayed at the cheer zone until the “the support ends here” vehicles came by, cheering my head off!!

I got to leave shortly after that, after finishing up cleaning up the zone. I was cold, my throat is a bit raw, and I have very little voice…and I’m pooped. But it was a great, great day!!

I may have no desire to run NYC…but I’ll support and cheer every year!!

You can help make a difference!!

Longer-term readers of my blog may remember this entry I wrote about my experiences being bullied. It was definitely a “there but for the grace of God…” kind of thing, and I still feel that way.

While my bullying was not a result of anything going on with me sexuality-wise (I’d shut that part of me down completely), it easily could have been. And for that, I wouldn’t have known where to turn for help. I don’t think there really was a place for gay or questioning young people to turn for help – largely because at least as far as I knew, it wasn’t really discussed anywhere – homosexuality that is.

Now, there is The Trevor Project. For those who don’t know about it, please check out the website. It’s a suicide hotline and just a general support place for kids who feel like they don’t have anywhere else to turn. Even with marriage equality gaining ground across the country, there are still far too many cases – many even in New York – that prove that being gay or even questioning isn’t always safe, even in places seen as the most accepting and liberal.

My running club teammate and friend Stacey is running the NYC Marathon in November through the 9+1 program NYRR offers, but she’s also chosen to raise money for The Trevor Project. She doesn’t have to in order to run – and she doesn’t have to raise a set amount other than what she has set as her goal. She’s choosing to because she knows how important this vital resource is.

If you’d like to help support Stacey’s efforts and help support The Trevor Project, her fundraising page can be found here.

BTW, in case you were wondering, she didn’t ask me to do this – I’m choosing to. πŸ™‚

Run Scoops run!!