Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bucket-ish List

Funny thing... this time last year I just wanted Ironman to be over so I could focus on living a full, well-rounded life again.

I think I took care of that over the past year! However, things are slowing down & I'm getting antsy. (It's what I do!) So, I thought I'd brainstorm a few things that I'd like to do over the next few years. Just put it out there and see what comes of it.... (These are all unrelated to my job & GMW & seeing the world, for the record. Just adding more stuff to my plate!)

1) Become a GOOD public speaker. Rejoin toastmasters. Practice.
2) Learn to cook. Or, more realistically, learn not to fear the kitchen.
3) Keep boxing. And still love it.
4) Write the business plan for my next business. (Goal = next April)
5) Start my own consulting company.
6) Learn Adobe Illustrator.
7) Go back to school.
8) Get scuba certified. Next trip = Belize?
9) Form better relationships with my mentors.
10) Do an internship at a totally different type of company than I'm used to.
11) Become a mentor to others.
12) Learn some carpentry. Be able to fix things myself.
13) Learn how to mosaic.
14) Learn how to landscape.
15) Start playing piano again.
16) Write a book.
17) Write a children's book. (Or series.)
18) Really learn the sport of football... not just a surface level state of knowledge.
19) Win some type of award, like "40 under 40" or "Entrepreneur of the Year" or something like that.
20) Be a recognized "expert" on something. Not sure what, yet... ;)

So, that's a start. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Strengths Finder

I went to a luncheon a few weeks ago with a topic of "Strengths Based Organizations." I was so moved by the concept of playing to your strengths versus working on your weaknesses that I bought the book Strengths Finder 2.0 & took the test.

Here are the results:

My Top 5 Themes are:
-->Maximizer (focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence; seek to transform something strong into something superb)
-->Activator (turn thoughts into action)
-->Positivity (contagious enthusiasm; get others excited about what they are going to do)
-->Futuristic (inspired by the future and what could be)
-->Woo (love the challenge of winning people over & making connections)

I read the themes over, thinking "sure... these could apply to anyone." Until I realized there were 34 different themes, and most of them were not like me at all. Upon further reading, I realized that my themes were all, in fact, very true to me.

But then again, I'm a sucker for tests like this. So, I had my trusty mentor look my results over & he agreed fully. In fact, he's said many of my results to me for years, nearly word for word. I'd feel rather silly posting the full results on my blog; the purpose of me writing about them is because they make me feel justified in the direction I am heading.

At this stage of my life, there are no blinking arrows telling me where I need to go next. There is only my intuition and some persistent yearning, and now some better (written) understanding of what I'm good at. (i.e. my strengths.)

I embrace these strengths and will make every effort to put them in the forefront of my future. Long story short - having these 5 results reaffirms my direction.

(For the record, there are no dramatic changes to speak of... but if you know me by now, you know the wheels are always turning...)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Oh yeah...

I forgot what training is like... being tired, sore, wandering aimlesly in a constant search for coffee....

I love it. :)

Speaking of things I love... I've started boxing! Boxing is largely what got me into this fitness mess.... I've always loved it... but I couldn't figure out how to work it back into my schedule once I picked up triathlons. Thanks to a UT informal class + Esther's reassurance, I am now hitting the boxing gym 3x per week. Sure, it's only my second week, but I can easily see how I will become addicted to it. (At least as long as Erin addictions last, which is +/- a year or so.) Pow! Pow! POW!

In other news, I went to Barton Springs this morning for the first time since Ironman. (Um, to be accurate I did go another time, but I just stood in the water for 20 minutes before getting out.) I'm pleased to report that I can still swim 800m nonstop. That's a relief! And I remembered that I like swimming, too! Also, I didn't run into ducks, people or iron posts! Wahoo!

Okay, gotta go find some coffee now...

Monday, June 07, 2010


I just got through opening all the birthday/housewarming cards from Saturday night, and it got me feeling all reflective and stuff. Darn sentimental, sweet & thoughtful cards! :)

So... I've talked recently about my extreme desire to move to Seattle. It's dwindling a bit. Don't get my wrong - I still do want to move there someday - but I'm not quite in the same rush as I was a month ago. See, when I got back, my brand new house felt sterile and lonely. Sure it was pretty, but it didn't feel like home. In fact, nowhere really felt like home. (So why not beautiful Seattle, right?)

Fast forward to Saturday, and my house was full of people I love. Finally, I'm feeling pretty planted in Austin again. In other words, I feel like I have a home again. Yay! Speaking of my full house, I want to give a public thanks to a few people who made it happen for me. First, there was Jess (& Amy I think?!) who catered the whole thing. The food was amazing and Jess was as sweet and wonderful as ever.
Then came cookies from Elizabeth which were suuuuuper yummy. There was also a traditional Alisa-cake complete with lots of fuzzy alien thingies! I love Alisa cakes! Then came perhaps the most incredible piece of food art I have ever seen. This lovely red velvet cake, surrounded by cake balls, housed the most adorable fondant robots I've ever seen. (Come to think of it, I've never seen fondant robots before... but if I had, these still would have been better!) Thank you, Meredith! This was incredible!!!Here I am with Jess & Mer. I love this pic because it reflects how happy I felt (and feel!) these days. And... I'm sharing it with amazing & talented friends! (And a kick-ass forehead sunburn!)
Then there was Mike, who won't admit to actually doing a thing, but for the record - he ran errands all Saturday afternoon on a mission to do last minute "man tasks" for me. Then, he made a very cool slideshow of my build on his I-pad, Gert. (Yep, I-pad has a name. And yes, his name is Gert. Just go with it!) Then, the best thing he did was get my guests to recognize my dad's birthday along with mine. That may have been my favorite part of the night, cause ya know, I kinda like my dad. :) Thanks Mike - you made my dad super happy!
Oh yeah, the Sangria (& ability to keep me sane) was provided by this guy... he's kinda awesome too... ;)
Lastly, the two people who needed to be there more than anyone were able to join me. They cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned, and prepped, and cleaned, and then acted as perfect host & hostess all evening. I am so grateful I got to share the night with them AND introduce them to my Austin family. I love you Mom & Dad! Thanks for making the night so special! :) Dance of joy!

So back to the reflecty-ish stuff... I once again feel like I am the luckiest girl on the planet. Reading people's cards & thinking about Saturday makes my heart feel all warm and happy and stuff.

Yup, I am home now. Happy, happy home.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Birthdays are best when you get to share them! Happy birthday, Dad. I love you!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Training Again

Yesterday, I was hanging out poolside with Joe's family and casually mentioned to his bro-in-law that we should do the Couples Tri together. His response? "Sure, sounds fun." My response? "Oh damn. Why did I open my mouth."

However, some part of me wanted to ask him. If I didn't want to ask him, I wouldn't have. So I responded, "I didn't expect you to say yes, but let me think about it & we'll talk this week." He was already emailing me last night, reminding me that he was in and talking about registration.

This morning I talked to Coach Charles about it. In addition to giving me a little pep talk, he also informed me that the new periodization schedule was posted on the T3 server. It started yesterday. I'm only one day behind. That's doable. And quite timely!

And so it begins again. Two years ago I placed 3rd in my division @ Couple's thanks to my awesome partner D. I was in amazing shape. Couples was easy. This year, it will be hard. It will be dreadfully hilly. It will be an interesting swim. It will be a hot, hot run. But, it will also be fun. There's no pressure this time. There's no hiding that I'm out of tri-shape. There will be no hiding that I'm happy to be out on the race course, either. It's gonna be okay!

I am so excited to train again. I knew the time would come when I'd be ready to pick it back up. It's fitting that I'm starting it all over on the week I start a new decade. It's also so cool to start training again because I want to - not because I have to or need to. I love my life right now, and it'll be fun to see how adding training back in with a positive outlook works out.