Determination

I was having dinner last evening with a friend and colleague who retired from the field a year ago; so we meet for lunch, dinner or a movie to stay in touch. We both have had a tasking week so met for some Tai food. Una is getting over a bad summer cold she was telling me about knitting a sweater for her granddaughter which she was very proud of when she was finished. She then saw a pattern for a shawl and she thought she would begin on that project. However, this proved to be a little more difficult than the sweater, and for her knitting was a relaxing fun thing to do. Doing this shawl wasn’t fun for her even when she got assistance she found herself more frustrated and decided not to do this pattern. It was at this point in her story she stopped, looked at me said, “I have to give you this compliment, you are one of the most determined people I know; you start something and you will plow through to get it done, it’s one of your biggest strengths I just want you to know that”.

Interesting how we are given messages just when we need them. It’s been kind of a tough two weeks. I found out last week I’m getting better with my physical therapy which was good news, however, I know I still a lot have a lot of work to do. I have to stay vigilant in order to meet the goal of getting back to running and the May 2018 Half-Marathon. I’ve also had some frustrations with working on my dissertation…ugh! I’ve had to revamp it, change it and I’ve wanted to just throw it out the window.  So when Una said this to me, first I said thank you, because it was nice of her to say.  Then I started thinking throughout my life I guess this was true. When I was a freshman in college, I went to my academic advisor for assistance, instead of offering me help, she told me “I don’t think you will graduate from college”. I will never forget that one! Needless to say, I did and without her help. There have been situations like that, hard times that it would have been easy to throw in the towel and many times I came close but didn’t.

When I started running and training for my first 5k, there moments I didn’t think I would make it I even wrote a post about it Remembering the “Why”—Week 5  I also called a friend of mine during that time, who said to me “Tammi have you ever set a goal you didn’t meet?” Again, I thought about and the answer was “no”. So I pushed through and finished my first 5k. The same held true for my first half-marathon. It funny how we can forget when we are in the middle of a difficult or frustrating time, that we may not make it; then someone comes along and reminds us of the challenges we’ve gotten through or why we are working towards a certain goal, like my friend Una did last night. And it always just when we need it…funny how God works.

This one of the main reason I push my clients as hard as I do; I know their potential and many of them have never had anyone in their corner to tell them they can achieve their goals and dreams. It can be a battle sometimes but excuses won’t get them there.f

Don’t Stop Believin’ and keep on pushin’ 👊

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My Trip to Paisley Park

This week I’m in Minnesota for Residency for school as part of my doctoral program. Well, I’m here at least yesterday through the rest of the weekend. Anyway, I knew I had to make this trip and when I realized it was the day after my favorite artists’ Prince’s, birthday I thought I’m going to Paisley Park! So I immediately got online and started doing some research. I found the website and looked up the tickets. There were a lot that was sold out but it just so happened on Thursday, June 8th at 1:40 pm there were tickets available. Which was perfect because my flight got in really early and I didn’t have to register until 6 that evening. It was meant for me to go! And by the way, if was going on this tour…I was going VIP baby! Yes, I bought the VIP tickets! I was all in for this one. So I purchased my tickets about a month and a half before I went; you can’t buy tickets at the door in case you plan to go.

I arrive in MN totally exhausted because I had to get up at 4 for my 6:15 am flight. But I didn’t take a nap when I got to the hotel I was a little excited about going to Paisley Park. I googled it before I got here and found out it was only 20 minutes from the hotel; can you believe it 20 minutes! How could I have not gone?! Anyway, you can arrive 20 minutes prior to your tour time. I wasn’t sure about the traffic here so I got an Uber about 12:15 and we arrived too early. They are serious about that 20 minutes. You are not allowed on the property until 20 minutes prior to your tour time. They were not kidding. So I had to hang out in the gift shop area until my time. Which was fine I got to scope out some things to buy and talk with some people who had already been on the tour. I met a woman who had to be in her late 60’s or early 70’s she had a shirt she had made with Prince and some other things on it. I thought she bought it was a nice shirt; when I asked her where she got it she said she had it made for herself. She was from Atlanta and saw him at his last performance there prior to his passing. She asked me to take some pictures of her with some of the posters in the tent. She was sweet but so cool. She had the Holiday Inn shuttle van bring her there and was waiting for them to come and pick her up. Is that not the best?!

My tour time came so I went to the front entrance. I had my ticket, as you walk in there is a sign stating there is no food, or drink, no photos allowed and to please wipe your feet before you enter. These folks are serious about preserving the integrity of the building and respecting its owner. The security guards, who I think also worked for Prince, were dressed in black suits with earpieces, the first one meets you at the door to check your ticket and to get you in the correct line, either General Admission or VIP. The carpets are read with the paisley park symbol on them. Once you get to the desk the attendants check your tickets, VIP’s are given a red band around their wrists. They ask if you have a cell phone, if so they ask you to power it off, they take it and place in a green case and lock it. They give it back to you until the end of the tour. If you have a smart watch you are asked to take those off as well. They are serious.

The house is pretty much the same as when Prince lived there with a few modifications for the sake of the museum and to preserve items. Like his awards are now behind plexiglass to protect them. Some rooms have been changed as well and we were told which rooms on the tour. As we entered there is a mural of Prince looking over the entry way that he had done it was awesome. There are gold and platinum albums on the wall he had put up. On the left on the wall is the letter President and First Lady Obama had written expressing their condolences to the family.

Now as we walk into the first room there is a white marble floor with Prince’s famous symbol in black in the middle of it. Oh, the furniture is still there, were not allowed to sit on it to preserve it. Anyway, this room is full of light due to the skylight he had installed. As such it was a favorite room. Because it was one of his favorite rooms the family decided to….wait for it……place his ashes in this room…We did not see that one coming! You could hear our whole group gasp! The tour guide said we can now take some time to pay our respects if you like they had tissues there because just about everyone started to cry, including me. I was not expecting that..it was surreal. It was too much to take in. I hope I didn’t spoil it for anyone who may go. The woman I met in the gift shop..never said a word about it.

Then there were several rooms named after his early albums we could into, as well as his office that has been untouched. I’m telling you it was too much to take in. The VIP tour was an hour and a half. It included additional rooms, studios he recorded in, they took a picture of us in one of the studios and we got to record a track of one of his songs in the studio as well. Most of sang Raspberry Beret, we could choose from that one Creme or You Got The Look. It was so much fun! Prince liked to play ping-pong and the ping-pong table he played on was up and we were allowed to play ping-pong while they were taking out pictures and people were recording. And we could take as many pictures as we wanted, they put the pictures and the recording on a USB. One room that had been modified was the room where he had done choreography. The big mirror was still up but it was now the Purple Rain Room. It had one of the three bikes from the movie, the purple outfit he wore when he sang Let’s go Crazy, his Script from the movie, the small keyboard he danced on, you can see the scuff marks on it. I’m surprised he didn’t fall off that thing it was small!. Also, the Oscar for the best soundtrack was in this room. The movie was playing on the wall. It was AMAZING. There was so many words can’t explain it. There were a group of women from Kentucky who were just as stoked as I was; in fact, my whole tour group was crazy excited. They are my new BFF’s 😁 one guy from Texas had been there seven times! A few of them when Prince was there.

The tour ended in a room just outside the kitchen which is still in operation with the chefs who worked for Prince. Pancakes were his favorite food so just outside the merchandise are you can order a stack of pancakes to eat. There is also screen playing Prince’s SuperBowl Half-Time Show (best half-time show ever!). They also had a portion of the fence where people had left mementos when he passed. The rest of all of that is being archived to be preserved. There was another security guard who we gave our phones to and he unlocked them took the case and gave us our phones. After the tour, I bought a crazy amount of stuff, because when am I going to get to do this again?

It was a long tour and I had to do a lot of walking. Even though my physical therapist said I could do some walking, that hour and a half was a bit much. I was hurting a good bit by the end of the tour. So after my purchases, I sat down for a bit while I waited on my Uber to come and get me. I had the best time ever; I’m so glad I went some folks in my tour group were surprised I was there by myself. I told them a few years ago I wanted to go see Prince in Pittsburgh for my birthday and no one would go with me. I won’t make that mistake again.

I won’t be able to purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, it’s an hour and a half away 😢 and my class schedule really tight the rest of the time I’m here. But I had a blast on this tour and met some great people. So I’m good.

Carpe Diem!

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Paisley Park

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Friendship, Meditation, and a MRI

As those of you have read this blog know I had a MRI scheduled on Thursday to hopefully find out what is going on with me. But before I get to that I want to talk about my friend Susan. As I mentioned in my last post she is now my emergency contact she had no idea what had been going on until I asked her permission to use her for this position. We had made plans to meet for dinner on Thursday; well as things sometimes go, when we finally got the approval for the MRI the appointment would be the same day and time we were supposed to meet for dinner, 530 on Thursday. I let Susan know about the appointment and without missing a beat she asks if I would like her to go with me. Honestly was taken back by her question, I mean really it was just a MRI and if you know me I function pretty much independently. I mean I’m the one who takes care of everyone else, that my job, it’s my role.  So I gave my typical response, “Oh that’s okay you don’t have too, I’m good”. To which she said “it’s no problem” asked me what time the appointment was, she was not letting me off the hook. 😄

The day before the appointment I get a text from Susan asking me how I was feeling and what time we were meeting, it should be noted Susan and her family have a lot going on right now, and that’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to “bother” her with this “simple” appointment. Anyway, I told her what time to meet, but here’s where I realized what kind of friend Susan was, when I told her what time to meet, she asked me if I wanted her to come and pick me up and take me to the appointment. Instantly I started to tear up and cry. Now this may seem silly to some but let me explain. My friends are very important to me, when anyone describes me the one word that is typically used is loyal. I know I’m a good friend but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that friendship has not always been reciprocal. I’ve since learn my patterns of dysfunction that have contributed to that and I’ve “trimmed the fat” so to speak and let go of some people that were not healthy for me (hard lessons). When I bought my house (my current address), “my friend” whom I had known since I was five years old and at the time referred to as my “best friend” she said to me “I won’t come and visit you down here”. I was stunned by the comment from my “friend” one because she said at all and two because it wasn’t that far away. But the statement did have an impact on me, from then on no matter who it was I would always accommodate them so they wouldn’t have to go out of their way to come see or anything. And it all went back to that one statement. So you see when Susan graciously asked to pick me up for my appointment, that person and her statement came to mind; and the difference between her and Susan and the type of friend Susan is to the type of friend I thought the other one was given our long history together, brought me tears. True friends are so very hard to find.

Needless to say I didn’t have her pick me up, not because I didn’t want to inconvenience her I was leaving from work and to go home would have been out of the way and I would have been late for the appointment so it would have just been easier to meet at the office for both of us. Had it not been for that I would have accepted her offer. But it gets better. Thursday comes and I arrive a little early, (traffic was better than expected). So I start with the paperwork, Susan arrives a few minutes later, and we talk until I’m called back, she keeps my purse while go back. It turns out I was glad she was there I was a little nervous.

The MRI technician, Sally, was so very nice, she did everything to help me to be comfortable. She told me the MRI would take about 20-30 minutes, I had no idea..so I went out and told Susan, she said “oh yea, I know, I got my book”. I was like okay..still in disbelief she was going to sit there and wait for me. I get into the room and there’s that tube I had to go into, Sally, gives me earplugs, a sheet to cover up and asks me what I like to do. I told her running of course, she says close your eyes and picture yourself running, to help me calm down as she puts me into the tube. She then offered me a small cloth to put over my eyes to further help me calm down. She was so great, as she got me ready she offered me headphones to further block the noise, she said relax you are running and before I knew it I was in a meditative state, my breathing was slow I could feel my body, and I was running a full marathon in my mind. It was a beautiful sunny day and I saw myself running and completing the marathon before I knew it, the MRI was over. Meditation is a wonderful thing. I was somewhat startled when this guy started taking things off of me, I asked where’s Sally? He said she’s at the control panel. When I got up, I went in gave her a big hug for being so nice to me and making this a pleasant experience. Being a healthcare provider myself, I know all to well that healthcare providers too often have a tough go of it and are not told they are appreciated, I wanted Sally, to know she was.

Anyway, Susan was waiting for me when I finished I hugged her too and thanked her so much for coming and staying with me. She had a pretty stressful day so that fact that she was with me, speaks volumes about her. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at a Mexican restaurant and then we parted ways for the day. I haven’t gotten the results yet, hopefully early next week I will know something. But even without the results yet, I learned a lot from the experience for which I am grateful. 😊

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My friend Susan and me on my birthday this year.

Gotta Find My Mojo

It has been awhile since I have posted to this blog and it had also been awhile since I had been on run, that is until yesterday. After doing my first three 5k’s last year; with my last one in December “I took a break” there was a lot going on…blah, blah, blah. Anyone who is a true runner knows those are just plane old excuses. I got lazy and the longer I did not run the easier it got not to run and come to up with reasons not to run. In that time there have been changes I started working on my doctorate, I have a new job, some more personal things have happened and with all these changes I have not taken as good care of myself. My mood is not great and I can tell I have gained some of the weight I lost last year. I know when I was running at least three times a week I felt better, it was not even about losing weight I just felt better. So being in a weird space and it was going to be in the mid 60’s here yesterday I decided to get out on the pavement. I emailed a friend of mine earlier in the week to see if she would like to go with me; we have been talking about going running together for months and have never done it. She agreed and I was happy about that it would be nice to have someone to run with versus being out there by myself as I typically am.

We made arrangements to meet Saturday afternoon we both had family obligations to take care of prior to meeting. I wanted someone to run with so I could not talk myself out going, hold me accountable. If someone was expecting me I would not back out. But just before we were supposed to meet she texted that she was not going to be able to meet me. I will admit my first reaction was “well this typical” not just of her of anyone. I have come to expect people to not be reliable and follow through. So it was moment of truth time…I could get mad and not go or I could just suck it up and go because I wanted to get back out there and run. And that’s what I did. I came home changed my clothes and went for a run.

Once I was out there I quickly realized I was not where I left off in December. My pace was much slower and several times I had to stop,walk and catch my breath. I lost my mojo! Whew! I’m not sure if I was disappointed, frustrated or what but if I am going to meet the goal of running a half-marathon by the fall I have a long way to go!! I can’t believe I let this happen. The good thing is I know what to do to make it right. So after the run or walk I went to the gym and signed up for circuit training so I can back on a schedule and get my mojo back. I feel much better when I have it and even if I don’t make the goal of the half-marathon, I want to feel better again.