Acquiring blog readers is hard. Simple as that. At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for. However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience. When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure. I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.
I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog. Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though. During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since. I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.
Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques. Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others? Oh yes, that’s right…my mother! Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right. See what I did there with the “almost” part? I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.
It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own. I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer. Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof. Anything and everything has the potential of being funny. I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.
Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me. Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh. She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting. Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly. For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit. There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.
I’m a little behind on my update, but just a little over 2 weeks ago team “D.W.A.R.F.F. Awareness” participated in the Expedition Everest Challenge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s an experience I would highly recommend to anyone interested in a night of fun.
*Sorry for the photo quality on these. The only cameras we had were the one’s on our phones.*
The challenge consists of a 5K race with a few obstacles sprinkled throughout it and then a scavenger hunt throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night. Once crossing the finish line you get to enjoy a few extra hours in the park to celebrate your accomplishment with fellow racers and a crazy cast of character friends.
Of all the races thus far this was by far the one that I was looking forward to the most (and not just because it was only 3.1 miles). It was a really exciting experience. Matt’s motivating pace managed to help me shave quite a bit of time off of my usual run times. We crossed the finish line for the 5K just a few seconds before the 36 minute mark and for me that is a HUGE accomplishment.
The medal was really cool. After running the Princess Half Marathon with me, I’m sure Matt was glad that this medal is a bit more manly. It has a fully functioning compass incorporated into it. He was like a boy scout playing with the medal while we waited in line to ride Expedition Everest. It seemed like the natural choice after conquering the challenge. I fully recommend this event to anyone just starting out with the Run Disney events. It’s fun, gives you a good taste of the atmosphere these events have, and you only have to make it through 3.1 miles.
Next up for us will be the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in September. Right now I’m adjusting to running in Florida in the summer. When I started training last year it was already starting to cool down, so running in the thicker humidity and higher temperatures has been a big adjustment. I’m bound to not let it deter me. Now that Matt’s helped me to decrease my per mile time, I’m really looking forward to seeing how my time improves for the 10 miler. This is where I cross my fingers and hope for my knee to hold itself together while I take on another longer race. I know I’ll have Matt there by my side cheering me on, or holding me up, so I’m eager to get back out there and take on another challenge. I’m fighting like hell through my Fibromyalgia challenges and refusing to give up!
The photos are in just in time for us to prepare for the next challenge. Crossing the finish line at our first half marathon was an amazing experience, but now we’ve got a new challenge ahead of us. For my birthday my amazing boyfriend surprised me with entries for us to run in the Expedition Everest Challenge in May and the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in September. It looks as if 2012 might possibly be the start of new running traditions for us.
Since I had problems with my knee during the half marathon, and we think it may have been due to over training, I am preparing for the upcoming Challenge in May by only running a 5K three times a week. I’m really looking forward to this event since it combines a 5K with a scavenger hunt inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom after the close of the park. The Tower of Terror 10 Miler in September should be exciting as well…as long as no one makes me ride the Tower of Terror as part of it. Let’s just say that ride and myself have decided it would be best if we agree to disagree.
I digress. Back to the fun! I’m excited that the photos and videos finally arrived. Although my mom did a great job of capturing the action that she could, the person who decided to jump for joy in front of her kind of added to a reduced number of usable photos in the end. It was exciting to also get videos of us coming down the castle ramp and across the finish line. I hope you all enjoy getting to be a part of the journey!
Despite looking like a healthy 28 year old with an active lifestyle, I wake up each morning facing a battle with Fibromyalgia. After being diagnosed in May of 2011 I feel into a bit of a FIbro-funk and started feeling like I had lost a part of my identity. After over 20 years of being a dedicated active dancer it was hard to face the reality that my pain would never completely go away. One day I woke up and realized I was taking precious days for granted. I needed to get my butt back in gear and take advantage of what I’m so very lucky to have, so I set a hefty goal for myself.
On February 26th I donned my Livestrong apparel from head to toe and obtained my goal when I crossed the finish line of the Disney Princess Half Marathon 3 hours, 10 minutes and 4 seconds after crossing the starting line hand-in-hand with my most amazing boyfriend. We were just two runners in the sea of over 19,000 others who were all there to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Paired with all of our fellow runners millions of dollars was raised for a cause that is near and dear to my heart. This amazing organization has helped my family directly and I couldn’t think of a better first half marathon experience than one that would benefit LLS. If the Disney volunteers weren’t motivational enough then the LLS volunteers and fellow runners were there to help push everyone across the finish line.
Despite severe knee pains starting around mile 6, I achieved my goal of not giving up and finishing all 13.1 miles with a smile on my face. It truly is a motivational run when you see how supportive all the runners are. Women cheered each other on, inspired each other and my boyfriend showed me just how much he truly accepts me for who I am and all that comes with that. My Livestrong shirt was stamped with the phrase “Fight Like Hell” and it became my motto of the day through the pain and slight rain. I watched cancer survivors run to raise money for the organization that helped them each step of their way without any hesitation. We ran as team “D.W.A.R.F. Awareness” in an effort to “Dance, Walk and Run for Fibromyalgia Awareness.”
Having Fibromyalgia, I knew there was a chance that my body would be pushed to its limit in trying to complete a race that lasted multiple hours with strenuous activity. Despite the few tears that popped up around mile 9 from the knee pain I knew I had a mission. I was there to walk for those who couldn’t right now. With each step the pain was more and more debilitating, but it reminded me of all that my loved one experienced during his multiple battles with Lymphoma. I watched him lose his hair and his mobility, but he never gave up and I knew I was meant to do the same. Each step closer to the finish line was for him. His strength to wake up each morning and continue to fight for another day kept me moving. I wanted to make him proud and complete the goal I set for myself when I told him I would finish no matter what challenge I faced.
For those who wake up to the daily challenge of cancer, know that you inspire those around you. You’ve touched our lives and we see your strength, even on the days when you might doubt it yourself. I was fortunate to have an amazing boyfriend by my side to lean on for strength. He is my rock like so many of the other runners are to those they love that are affected by cancer. He held my hand, reminded me that nothing could stop me when I put my mind to it, and pushed me forward so I would achieve my goal. His kind nature, acceptance and understanding of my challenges helped me give back to a loved one who has always been there for me when I needed him. Without a doubt I would do it all over again and I intend to do so while I encourage others to do the same for this amazing organization.