Time for a New Year’s Cocktail with a Shot of Perspective

Well kiddos, here we go again. Time for the annual “this year is going to be different” nonsense. Because let’s face it – how much do we really have control over?

Silly blog readers…

I know I may be sounding like a pessimist right now, which if any of you dear readers know me, you know it is definitely NOT in my wheelhouse to be that way.  Once in a while though, life just smacks you in the face.

HARD.

And you have no choice but to take it like Humpty Dumpty falling off that stupid wall.

Did he just not know about gravity?  Stupid egg.

Remember this?  Yeah, 2018 was definitely not a banner year in the Black Dog crib.  That being said, it was infinitely worse for a lot of others.  Worse to the point that the pain of life’s crap being thrown at you at the speed of light could in no way ever be lessened, much less have it go away completely.  And yet, the planet keeps spinning and everyone’s life right along with it.  That thought alone is enough to always drag me kicking and screaming out of whatever funk I may be in and realize one thing.

My life is pretty. freaking. awesome.

And guess what?  I bet, so is yours.

I have this habit of every time things feel like they are going down the proverbial toilet, of doing everything I can to keep things in perspective.  My body hurts, but at least I can still run when so many others can’t.  I may have been in a nearly lifelong battle with my weight, but so too are many, many others, and they’re in much worse shape than I am.  My bank account may look pretty damn pathetic, but at least I have a decent job and can pay my bills.  I may miss my dad, especially around this time of year, but at least he wasn’t taken from me by a sick, twisted teen-aged murderer who thought the world revolved around him.  That one alone can smack you right up side the head.  HARD.

I got the idea for this post after hearing the story of Tyler Trent, a 20 year-old Purdue student and football superfan, who had contracted a very rare form of bone cancer at 15.  His outlook on life – knowing his days were numbered – was always one of staying positive and gratefulness.  Talk about a dose of reality.  Here is this kid, knowing his death could come any day, and instead of crawling under a rock to feel sorry for himself, he lived each day knowing it could be his last.  How many of us do that?  I know I always get so wrapped up in life’s little stupid things like paces, the number on the scale, the lack of numbers on my bank balance, that I sometimes to forget to LIVE.

As we kick off another new year, once again promising ourselves to make yet ANOTHER fresh start, just keep this in mind.  We really never know when this crazy life of ours may come to an end.  So when the boss is up your dupa, or the pooch has chewed up your favorite pair of running shoes, or the significant other has once again thrown in the red socks in with the white sheets, try to keep it in perspective.  At least you have that significant other in your life to turn the sheets pink.  Besides, who doesn’t need a little more color in their life anyway?

May we start off the New Year with a heartfelt very, very Happy New Year from the Black Dog family to you and those who matter in your lives.  May the year bring you nothing but health, wealth, happiness and most importantly, love and laughter.  Otherwise, what’s the point?

 

Enjoy the ride.

 

What are your biggest hopes for the New Year?  Do you find you sometimes get lost in the minutiae of life and forget to stop and appreciate what you have?

Come Sit By Me

As things were pretty non-existent for a while around these parts, I figured it would be a good time to catch up on life.  So pull up a pool chair, order a margarita, and let’s chat a bit.

Salut!

I WANNA DO-OVER

Let’s just say 2018 has been a total poop show.  It’s always tricky deciding how much we want to reveal of our personal details in the blogosphere, and it’s no exception here.  Let’s just say, the Black Dog staff had some MAJOR medical issues come up, but thankfully, all pulled through and the recovery process is moving along nicely.  Word to the wise: when you have a bellyache for a week, don’t give your significant other grief when the doc says to get your dupa to the hospital.  And once you’re there, thank your lucky stars said significant other is too stubborn to let you leave.  2018 could have ended a whole lot worse than it started, so we are happy to leave it in the dust.

THE WONDER MUTT STILL REIGNS SUPREME

This girl.

Beware the snoot……

Still just as silly, still a splash queen, still the BESTEST WONDER MUTT EVER, even if she has gotten a little more “sun exposure”.  She is the love of my life, my confidant, my fashion consultant, my workout buddy, bestie and running partner.  And yes, her Daddy gets it and makes sure to occasionally give me grief about it.  Maybe if he met me at the door at night wiggling his butt with a hedgehog in his muzzle, he’d rate right up there beside her too. 🙂

Do you like my hedgehog?

AGING SHOULD ONLY APPLY TO FINE WINE 

Have I ever told you I’m the youngest of five kids?  Yup, FIVE.  How the heck my parents did it is completely beyond my comprehension, especially since I have enough trouble with a husband a dog.  I hit another decade last year and fighting Mother Nature with everything I’ve got.  As much as I despise admitting it, all those articles about your metabolism slowing down each decade are absolutely true.  Mine however, has decided to just plain check out.  I swear I just LOOK at a mini peanut butter cup – LOOK – and POOF!  That’ll cost you another five pounds lady.  I know I did not do well when I was recovering from my two knee surgeries, but dammit Mother Nature, can you cut me a bit of a break here??  I turned half my garage into a gym, tuned up the bike, and kick my own dupa six days a week.  And still.

Nothing.

Nada.

I’m coming for your hips lady….

Hello Jabba the Black Dog.

There is nothing more frustrating than forcing your muscles to lift more, run faster (well try to anyway), pedal away the miles, eat enough veggies that you swear you’re turning green, and still nothing.  The hubs tells me I look great and there’s only so much I can do.  But this is ME.  Stubborn, concrete-headed, determined, refusing to give up, and just plain pissed off.

Ladies?  Ya see what I’m sayin’??

I understand everything is a balancing act.  I cannot obsess about calories in/out, but I do pay some attention to what I shove in my yap.  If only there weren’t so many amazing tastes out there!  Drink half my weight in water most days, but then…..WINE.  Sweat my dupa off in the Island Time Sweat Box then find that creating cocktails is kind of fun.  What’s a girl to do?  If any ladies out there suffering from a slowing metabolism and uncooperative genetics have any ideas, by all means – feel free to share.

Then we can down those margaritas. 😉

PRIORITIES MOVE LIKE THE TIDES

There’s nothing like a good old life scare to make you step back and re-evaluate what’s important.  For all my metabolism bitching, in the big picture it means nothing.  The love and health of family and friends, the health and happiness of your critters, slowing down life for a minute and enjoying a sunset with a special someone and a good glass of cabernet, traveling outside your comfort zone and embracing adventure, that’s what life should be all about.  Not making enough money?  Live within your means and be happy you have a job when so many others don’t.  Angry the man of the house keeps forgetting to put the toilet seat down?  At least he’s there to forget to do it.  Living with what seems to be a case of a permanent bad attitude?  Make the effort to do something nice for someone else and then try to fight that smile that’s tugging at the corners of your mouth.  Without question what was important to me 20 years ago is nowhere near what it is now.  We all have personal trials we go through and times in our lives when it seems like everything is a big pile of dog poop.  Then something happens to make you realize your poop amounts to nothing.  NOTHING.

LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

Races. Travel. Laughter.  Great friends and great times.  Funny how the simplest things have the biggest impact on your life.  Some of the best times I’ve ever had included a glass of wine, music, friends, dogs, and a simple backyard fire at this great little tiki bar I know.  It’s easy to find things to be grateful for each and every day, if you just take the time to stop and notice.  A helpful coworker, a smile from a stranger, a funny joke made by a passing runner at a race – all good things.  So my advice to you as I bring this recap of sorts to a close, is to appreciate the life you’ve been given and everything that makes it awesome.  You only get out of life what you put into it, so make that little extra effort, especially this time of year, when so many feel so lonely.  It costs nothing to thank a veteran or first responder for their service (dispatchers too!), or to help a senior citizen load groceries in their car.  Little things go a long way and people always remember the little things.

My challenge to you this day is to do some little thing for someone else.  Pay for their coffee, hold a door open, give their dog a biscuit (after making sure it’s ok of course!), then come back here and share what you did.  I guarantee you will feel a bit better about yourself and life in general.  Perhaps if we all do a little something for someone else, this tide of animosity that seems to be overtaking our lives will turn back just a little bit.

And little bits can change the world.

 

Enjoy the ride.

What little thing makes you smile?

Thank You Veterans

veterans-day-2016

 

On this most reverent of days, everyone here at Black Dog Productions wish to take a moment and thank those who sacrifice so much for our country.  Without you, we would never be able to enjoy the freedoms that we do.  We thank you for your service and your sacrifice, not only today, but every day.

Enjoy the ride.

Marathon Monday

It’s go time.

boston-finish-line-300x200

From the ice cream in Fanueil Hall, to the penguins that greet you as you step inside the Aquarium.  From Yawkey Way and the legendary Monstah, to the pier where I stood amazed as the Tall Ships sailed into the Harbor.  From the record (yes, RECORD) shops in Cambridge, to the Charles River where I watched my brother’s crew team dump him in when his boat won their race, Boston has always held a special place in this New England girl’s heart.  And it always will.  I know many would argue, but the people of this city have the most amazing and resilient spirit of anyone I have ever known.  As they once again welcome the citizens of the world into their homes, their streets, and their hearts, they once again will show how easy it is to prove how this sport of running brings us all together for a common love.

And for that my dear Boston, we thank you.

BostonStrong Collage

 

Enjoy the ride.

From all of us here at Black Dog Central, we’d like to wish everyone running the Boston Marathon the best of luck!  Is Boston on your wish list of races to run?  What other world majors would you like to try?

As we celebrate one of the world’s greatest races, please remember those can’t run or even walk because of spinal cord injuries.  Let’s help them take their first steps by donating to Team Wonder Mutt as we run the Wings for Life World Run on May 8th!

When Running Is About More Than Yourself

Hey!  Look what I found!  My blog! Yayyyyyyy!!!!!

yay turtle

Yipppeeeee!!!!!

I know it’s been a crazy long time since I’ve regaled you all with tales of my shenanigans, but fear thee not!  I’m back. Pretty much.  Still trying to coordinate all the nonsense that makes life….well…LIFE.  Hang in there my faithful peeps.  I have all kinds of glorious tales lined up for you.  Stress, school, shenanigans, surgeries, spinning, puppies, paddleboarding, trips, and general madness and mayhem, just to name a few.  I’ll be catching you up on all the latest and greatest in the chaos that is the Black Dog world.  But that is for another day.

Right now though, it’s time for what shall be a glorious Black Dog return to racing! (Please keep in mind I consider complete and utter gloriousness simply putting one foot in front of the other for more than 8 feet without falling flat on my face).  After three months of pavement-less days, I have returned to my first love.  And I’m not talking just Moose Tracks, mutts, and margaritas here people.  Nope, uh huh, no way.  We’re talking honest to goodness RACING.  Like with a bunch of other peeps racing.  People ALL AROUND THE WORLD RACING.  AT THE SAME TIME!

“What are these shenanigans you speak of Black Dog?” you may ask.  Well, let me tell ya.  One thing that has always meant so much to me and a lot of other runners  too, is running for those who can’t.  Believe you me kiddos, knowing there are so many people out there who are unable to take even one step has helped me get through many a mile when all I wanted to do was call it quits.  That’s why my first race after Knee Gate Part II means so much.  Thanks to fellow Browardite and shenanigator Hokeyboy, I found out about this uber cool race that has NO FINISH LINE.  Crazeeee, right?!?  How can a race have no finish line, Black Dog?” you may ask.  Well, LET ME TELL YA.

Wings for Life World Run is just that – a world run.  On May 8th, runners from all over this hunk of rock we call home will be taking to the streets to run while raising funds for spinal cord injury research.  The coolest part?  100% of all registration fees and funds raised go to research.  How awesomesauce is THAT kidaroonies?!?  And that no finish line thingamahoozie?  Well, you just keep running until the official Chase Car catches up to you!  Yeppers kiddies, a chase car!  Thirty minutes after the runners cross the start line, the car is hot on the trail.  Okay, maybe “hot” isn’t exactly accurate.  More like turtle pace speeds to start.  Then each hour, it speeds up just a little more until the fastest runner is caught.

No, no, not THAT kind of caught sillykins.  Getting caught is actually a good thing!  “Why is that Black Dog?” you may ask.  Well, LET ME TELL YA.  Once you get passed, you the get to hop on a party barge!  Said party barge then takes you back to the start to engage in further post-race party shenanigans!  Party shenanigans that include shenanigating with the very peeps your donation money is helping out!

Now, from what I understand from Hokeyboy’s review of this most amazing day, meeting those whom your generosity is helping can be quite an emotional experience.  (Cue the sappy tears just thinking about it here.  It’s okay,  No judging from this Mistress of Sappiness.)  It can definitely help keep things in perspective when you’re having one of those runs and just want to throw in the shoelaces.  At least it does for this Queen of Busted Knees and Ibuprofen. As crappy a run as you may be having, at least you’re running.  Which is a whole lot more than those suffering from spinal cord injuries can do.

wheelchairs

You know what’s coming now my faithful followers.  Time for me to appeal to the generous hearts I know so many of you have.  Since I needed to make my return to racing about something so much bigger than just a pair of somewhat recovered #brokeknees, it seemed only appropriate to help those who can’t race today, maybe race some day.  And I need your help to do just that.

I’ve set up the Team Wonder Mutt page here.  As I’ve never been very good at this whole asking people for money thing, I set a very modest goal amount of $200 to start,  Imagine my surprise when, after only a week, I had already met that goal! (Thank you so so much to my friends and family who already donated!  You guys ROCK!)  Never being one to settle for mediocrity, what I’d like to do now is see just how much you guys can help me DOUBLE my goal amount!  Yes, my faithful Black Dog Bubbykins!  You go right ahead, pull out those credit cards that have just recovered from Christmas, and DONATE AWAY!  I promise it will result in nothing more than a warm, fuzzy feeling inside from helping those who want nothing more than simply to put one foot in front of the other.  And in the immortal words of Larry the Cable Guy, let’s…..”GIT ER DONE!”

wings for life

Let me take a moment and extend a very, very warm thank you to those who have already donated and to those of you who are already pulling out the plastic.  You guys are a big part of why I love this sport so much, and put up with all the aches, pains, and surgeries that I do.  If it wasn’t for you, a lot more people would never be able to put one foot in front of the other ever again.

For more information on this amazing event, please visit the Wings for Life World Run page here.  I promise, you’ll be glad you did.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever participated in a race like this?  Do you try to make your running about something bigger than yourself?  How did it make you feel?

 

Never Forget

I know I’m normally amusing you on Fridays with some of the funniest stuff I can find on the interwebs, but not this week.  So as you go about your day, please remember how our world was changed on that beautiful fall day, all those years ago…

firemen-9-11-never-forget

Enjoy the ride.

Where were you when you heard what happened that day?  Has it affected how you live your life?