Team Williams

Have I mentioned that Spencer and I are a team? It’s true. While we certainly endure tons of repetitive drills, we get to go out and win, too, sometimes!

Exhibit A: This empty space that I dreamed of becoming a secret writing cove.

  
Exhibit B: Writing cove brought to fruition by the engineering mind of my Point Guard. Not only was he able to pour an entire weekend into thinking up this now beautiful (looking and smelling!) desk, but he was able to create and fill up on what restores him. While I definitely came out with a desk I love, he came out renewed because he was able to do something he enjoyed.

 

Teamwork.

The same is true with my early morning weekend outing. I need one a weekend. So, either early Saturday or Sunday morning, I will head out for a run (or walk, if my body is rebelling). Spencer runs interference until I can resume the position. And he does an amazing job (who else comes home to their husband making pancakes for the family at 7:25am?).

But I don’t get back on the court exhausted, I return renewed. And this is good for the team.

See, we both need this. There are no martyrs because we are a team. And we both need a weekend. And rest. And, while we are propelled by different petroleum, we both need to fill up or we will wear out and shut down.

Alright. Back to practice!

 

This Voice in my Heart

I told you I would review Gilbert’s book this week and, since this is the final day of this week, I figured I should keep my word. So, here we go.

  
A few years back I read a book called Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza on the Rwandan genocide. A movie called Hotel Rwanda was later released shedding further light on the Tutsis/Hutus and what took place there in that country during the early 90’s. What I didn’t realize was that this clash extended beyond Rwanda’s borders.

Enter Gilbert, his family, and their home country of Burundi. Just as I’d fallen in love with the countryside of Rwanda in Ilibagiza’s book a number of years ago, I quickly fell in love with Burundi, farm life and the simplicity of Gilbert’s childhood. I will admit that I’m the teensiest bit jealous that he’s had milk warm from the cow, eggs warm from a chicken and grew up running barefoot (owned his first pair of shoes at age 12). Of course, the harsh reality of genocide interrupts this story once Gilbert, a Tutsi, goes off to school.

I rooted for him as a young runner and student and then my heart broke as his school was attacked by the Hutus. Crawling under charred bodies that had been burned alive, Gilbert still has the burn scars to remind him that he was the only one from his school to survive.

I feel a warm place in my heart for Gilbert because he is a Christian. And he came to Texas. And stayed. And loves it. And runs the same trail each weekend that I do.

Read his story if you haven’t.

As I ran his foundation’s race last weekend, I looked up to the tower over the starting line. He beamed at all of these people who would volunteer their time, money and bodies to this cause (each race bib gives someone in Burundi clean drinking water for life).

A quick side note on the Burundian drummers you see at the finish line. Not only is their music beautiful, but this book explores just how complicated this art actually is – something people should take note of in the live music capital of the world.

  
Gilbert has created beautiful, lasting music out of running that reaches across the globe.

Liars

My Sunday running buddy took a selfie of us at the starting line. It was early and we are about to run a long way, so chances are we’d have the dark circles and bags under our eyes that we did – you know, just not be in tip-top photo form. But, when my friend posted this photo of us on Facebook, I was pleasantly surprised.

“Why do I look better here than I actually do,” I asked.

“Oh, I filtered it on Instagram to remove dark circles and wrinkles.”

“What?”

Best news ever.

 
                         VS  
 And I was this close to creating an Instagram account, when I happened upon the following article. And it blew my mind.

Read full article.

Don’t get me wrong, I was pumped to have a little free beauty enhancement, but when I read this, I felt so sad for our young girls and what social media and selfies have done to them.

Multiple filters just to post a selfie?

Posing in something over the top that you’d never actually wear out of the house?

Situating yourself for half an hour to make a shot look natural?

Oh, boy. What has happened to us? As I read this girl’s account, my heart ached for a generation that seeks its value from likes, otherwise known throughout history as the approval of man. It looks differently than it did during my youth, a more vicious vanity.

And what I really went away with were thoughts of my own daughter. Do I want her to remember her mommy taking “selfies” and “filtering” them to erase imperfections so the world can think she doesn’t have the flaws that she actually does?

As I returned to my Facebook feed this morning, I could not look at a single picture without wondering if it had been doctored in some way. We are so afraid of our wrinkles and dark circles and muffin tops that we are straight up lying to the world about them. Nope, not me! Looking perfect as always! This is what we project, but what kind of legacy is that leaving? I want to raise a daughter who knows she is more than a doctored selfie that earned 100 likes, easy clicks of approval that will never be thought of again.

 

 

 

 

 

Running My Own Race

Running teaches me a lot about life. Yesterday I was able to run a 10-miler with a gal from church. Run for the Water is an amazing cause created by the Gilbert’s Gazelle’s dude (a running group in town/author of a fantastic book I just read and will review later on this week). Each race entry provides “clean drinking water for life” for one person in Gilbert’s home country, Burundi. Did you notice the word “run” smack dab in the middle of that country’s name?


Anyhoot, I was grateful to wake up yesterday, on All Saints Day (and 6 months from my last drink), and head downtown for this important adventure. We ran through the most prestigious part of Austin, Tarrytown, and meandered through its most breathtaking street, Scenic Drive. What a treat! I feel spoiled when I drive down this street, let alone soak it up on foot. The sun came out after a brief morning rain and the water of Lake Austin to our left provided a gorgeous backdrop for the rigorous hills. Residents came out to cheer and I was impressed by the attitude and number of volunteers. I have put “race volunteer” on my to-do list for sometime in the next year.


I had some pain in my right leg, but it’s teaching me to run my own race. I was feeling good from the start, so I omitted my little walk breaks. This was a mistake I am paying for today. I need to take care of my body and that means not worrying about what other people think and just doing what I need to do. I need those walk breaks and my dorky little timer to remind me not to get carried away by my emotions (or delusions). Lesson learned. And I’m glad this applies to my life as well.

Halloween 15

This was the first year my son really “got” Halloween. The kids dressed up adorably, stocked up on candy and, in Brooks’ case, ate too much as evidenced by the vomit in his bed come Dia de los Muertos.

   
 In the end, I have never had so much fun playing dress up and holding my little giraffe son’s hand as he eagerly ventured from one happy pumpkin/spider house to the next, shrinking back from anything ghoulish or creepy. I like his taste. Hopefully he will skip the gory phase and just keep it light.

   
   
Moral of the story:

1. Costumes are fun

2. Dressing up is fun

3. Halloween sanctions both

My little peacock and giraffe had a blast! And I’m so glad they got to enjoy it with their grandparents!