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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Spring Has Sprung in KC (Finally!)

 Happy Spring everyone! 

Kansas City in the Spring! OH, how I love you! (Source)

It's the middle of May, and the temperatures are finally climbing into the 50's - 70's, something that makes me smile when I wake up with the sun pouring through the blinds and the birds singing outside. It's been a long, bitterly cold winter, but I've been able to be back on my bike for about a month and a half now, give or take. Making it though a winter here really makes me appreciate how amazing the good weather in the late Spring, Summer, and Fall really are! 

Kansas City, 2019 (Source)

I'm excited to analyze my training and set new goals- goals that now include being outside! Of all the goals I set for myself, the goal to write more hasn't really happened, nor has upping my running mileage. To be honest, after Connor passed last Spring I've had very little motivation to do either. It's been difficult coming to terms with what happened, and I've realized that I can't push myself to feel a certain way in a self-prescribed time frame. I'm just going to have to feel what I feel, and work things out in my own time. Connor was such a good person, a good influence, and made such a positive impact on my life that I'll always carry his memory and the things he taught me along, however, I can't help but think how much he would have liked to see 2021, and I wish harder than anything that something could have changed his mind. I miss my friend. If you or someone you know is battling depression or having a tough time, it's OK to not be okay, and it's OK to talk about it. In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. You're not alone. Please talk to someone. 

During the winter several things did happen. In January, just to get out of the house, my boyfriend and I donned our masks and went to Whiskers Cat Café, like we do every now and then, to play with the kitties. I fell in love with one in particular, a little 5 month old, white with faint cream polka-dots, blue eyed kitty with a chocolate tail and masked face (I later learned that he is a Snowshoe). They were having trouble finding a home for him and his best friend, a 1 year old, green-eyed tuxedo (Tina Belcher, aptly named) who was terrified and never came out of the back room. They had been surrendered from a multi-pet home in Missouri to the Joplin Humane Society, where they remained for months, until they were transferred to Whiskers. Everyone was interested in the tiny kittens, so no one wanted them. They mentioned that the Snowshoe (Yoshi) never goes up to anyone, and he held eye contact and went straight up to me. We went home, tossed it around, and decided to go for it! We outfitted the house with a cat tree, toys, and the usual necessities, and two weeks later they were ours. I'm a firm believer that pets pick their owners, and rescuing seemed to us like the better choice. While this seemed like something out of the blue, getting a cat was something we were planning on, just not for a year or two. They've been with us 5 months now and they are the most loving, kind cats. 

Meet Tina Belcher. And yes, they have their own custom couch. 😂

This is Yoshi (and he will tell you- he LOVES to chat!)

The second thing that happened is that we started in on a fun, custom made cruiser. I don't race cruiser right now, and don't really have a strong plan to, since traveling with one bike is SO much easier, but this bike will be ridden anywhere and everywhere around here! You never know though, a race or two may be in its' future, lol! It's a long term project, and has just been sent to paint. I'm so excited to see it all together, but it may be a few more months until it is. Patience is definitely key, since I'm inwardly jumping up and down at the prospect of riding it. 

Speaking of riding and BMX, this is now my second year of assisting a local track with social media. Throughout the winter I came up with several campaigns, which included reaching out to different BMX racing professionals throughout the U.S., as well as to local racers, gathering information, photos, required sponsor tags, etc., and creating unique, interesting posts with the help of my friend and fellow board member, Mike, for some cool graphics. This helped us increase traffic and engagement throughout the winter months when the track was closed, but it also provided racing and training tips and featured local riders to the BMX community. I had a blast doing it! Our metrics are up, our page is interesting, and overall it's been a good experience. The challenging aspect to my being asked to volunteer with social media actually came in the form of the newest board member. He doesn't see the value in it, and constantly disparages me and my hard work. Despite his ongoing unsolicited efforts and digs, I try my hardest to be pleasant and professional when I need to interact with him. After all, he may be going through his own battles and just doesn't know any better. In my experience, people who react negatively toward others for no reason are looking for ways to feel better about themselves, so it's really about them. They typically aren't very happy either, so I have a certain amount of empathy for him. I am glad that the riders and the members in charge love it, and it makes me happy that I can help the track out! 😀

Raytown BMX (Source)

Now, let's talk (a little) more about goals. 

Circling back up to earlier, one more goal I have is to cut out eating so much junk food and eat healthier. This is a goal that is ongoing, and requires multiple trips back onto the wagon. I can't help it, I love Skittles! Well, my friend Trisha is amazing- she lifts weights like a beast, mountain bikes all over in Texas, and has a clean diet to boot! She basically rocks. Recently, after I asked her a little about her lifting and diet, she suggested an app called My Fitness Pal, which is free to download. You can give it your goals, input what you eat (no lying, lol), as well as your activities, and it will help keep you on track. I can't wait to try it out, so thank you so much Trisha!! 

Check out My Fitness Pal if you need a little extra help with keeping track of your diet!

I am going to give this healthy diet goal a good effort. I can't promise that I won't eat a cheat meal now and then, but I plan to pick right on up and keep trying. After all, by July it should be warm enough here to go for a swim, and eating healthy will help me feel more confident when I need to wear a swimsuit. Not to mention, it's just a good thing all around. I hope everyone is having an awesome Spring so far. 

Repeat after me, everything doesn't need to be perfect for something to still be enjoyed. 

Until next time! 👋😎

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Living in the Arctic Tundra That KC Has Become

Happy Hump Day guys!!! 

I have my puffy coat, my USABMX beanie, and being from Texas, sometimes snow is pretty cool. I'll never admit it though.

It's been awhile since I've written anything, and one of my goals in 2021 is to write more here. For a while, it's been tough to write. Some events in the past year took away my drive and excitement, and for a while I didn't want to write about anything. In fact, I think I preferred, like a lot of people, to not have to look back on last year at all. Good things did happen though, and little by little I've begun coming to terms with the negatives. Even though Covid and the resulting issues slowed my travels down to pretty much only BMX racing, I've had a blast with it and have been making my own fun at home (hello, ice-dying!). We also adopted two kitties from the shelter, and they're so much fun to play with and be around! 

Meet Yoshi, our little polka dot Snowshoe kitty.

Yoshi and Tina (Belcher).
They are a bonded pair and are related (we think big sis little bro).
Adopting instead of shopping was the best decision! (Nothing against the other, though.)

I have mixed feelings about leaving 2020, because that means leaving some friends behind. They'll never experience 2021, and that gets to me. I think about it on the treadmill a lot; it's a tough thought to get  through, and an even tougher one to cement in writing. No matter what though, I try hard to do things that would make them proud, so in effect, maybe I am carrying a part of them into 2021 with me. I miss you everyday, Conor.

As always, winter in the beautiful Midwest is the usual mess of frozen tundra most days, this time including Oklahoma and Texas, which has been mind-blowing. Wearing two pairs of tights, including all the other needed layers, only to go outside and feel your face tighten, then lose all feeling, isn't something I like. In fact, I've always disliked it enough to get in the car and head to the gym for my off-season workouts. I used to fight it, but you know what? I'm OK with it. Having a treadmill this year has helped with my motivation levels, and I've been running nearly everyday on it, taking classes and running virtual races. I feel stronger, not to mention happy that I can look at the beautiful snow while not floundering around in it.

 

What my kitty tries to do and why we have to put him upstairs when it's treadmill time, lol! 

Speaking of the cold, we were all set to go to the Sooner Nationals last weekend, but ended up cancelling when the temperatures dropped so low I felt uncomfortable getting there (close to 0), and I am SO glad I did. I will also mention that due to the cold, I felt there was no way to socially distance like we normally try to do, and after seeing photos of the area and stands, only about half the people were even wearing a mask. There are plenty of warmer nationals coming up, so this girl is going to wait it out! Good riding to friends and teammates who went. I’m so proud of your hard racing!

As for KC, I've got my fingers crossed that we get some not freezing temps soon, and I can't wait for Spring. Until then, I'll be getting ready. 

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