Run Smidge Run!

IMG_20160121_200920 Let’s get one thing straight from the onset; I am not a fan of pounding pavement (don’t let the smiles fool ya!). There are times when I’ve enjoyed it, such as running tank trails on Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Then it was just me, the dusty road, the tall trees and birdsong. Peaceful. Most other times I used loathe running, especially the platoon or company death runs when the senior enlisted or the officer was being maniacal (which was often). I am a slow to start and a slow and steady runner, not made for Marine Corps, “lo right ah left right”, start fast and finish faster physical training (PT) sessions. I survived them, pulled hamstrings, countless turned ankles and an iliotibial (IT) band that thinks tightness is it’s de rigueur state.

IMG_20160124_150632 I didn’t start running until my mid twenties, when my recruiter disabused me of the notion that boot camp was going to get me in shape. I think he might have laughed at me when I shared that misguided idea with him. So the summer of 2003 saw me strapping on a pair of brand new running shoes, powered up my trusty old disc-man (y’all remember those), slipped in a Disturbed’s The Sickness CD and got to running. I didn’t like it then and still don’t like it now but running is now part of my life. I even tried to run away from running but the fact it, putting feet to road is good for me. It improves my fitness, gives me focus, heck I even am writing again because in the minutes I’m on the road I start crafting essays. In fact the beginnings of this post came to me while participating in my first 5K in a long time.

IMG_20160126_194549 As I was running, I started talking to myself (What? You don’t talk to yourself? How strange) saying, “You’ve been training for this, keep one foot in front the other, don’t stop, don’t walk, keep going, you got this. Run, girl, run.” Somewhere in that moment I thought it would be nice to get my friends and family involved in this particular journey (yes, a smaller journey within the larger journey of my life). I thought of how encouraging many of you have been in the past 2 very difficult years of my life on and off line. That’s when I thought to make my own words of encouragement a mantra for myself but also a hashtag which I can share it with you all to use online. As I continued to run, the aches started and my breathing got ragged, and I kept on, telling myself “Don’t stop, keep running, you got this. Run, girl, run.” I and especially liked the “run, girl, run” part and thought it would be a great hashtag. In the age of social media and the hashtag it was inevitable that I’d so there. I also use a few for various things, the main one being #littlefootsjourney. I thought #rungirlrun would be great, but figured it would already be in use (I checked it is) and I wanted something more specific to me.

Now while running, I flashed back to my first year on active duty and my peaceful runs under the trees, but I also remembered the Marines I served with. One Staff Sergeant (SSgt) in particular had his own nickname for me that nobody else was allowed to use. One day we were discussing something (I don’t recall what) but it led to us discussing about whether smidge or smidgen were correct words (the both are). Later, he rolled into our office and announced he was going to call me smidge. If you’ve ever stood next to me you’d understand why that was fitting. (not exactly like below but close enough).

I had a great rapport and working relationship with him so I was okay with HIM calling me that but that’s it. Part of the culture of the military is giving each other sobriquets, some good, some bad, many questionable (such as Mooseknuckle for a female Harrier pilot) so SSgt H having his own diminutive for me was no big, thing and this one I liked. It was unusual (smidge is not a word you hear often) and I thought it described me neatly, but back to running. With these reminisces I heard SSgt saying, “run, smidge, run” and thus the title of this post and the hashtag was brought to life.

So I kept running and made it across the finish line. I didn’t make my goal of 30 minutes but that was a bit ambitious considering I strapped on my sneakers on January 9th and the 5K was January 30th. I finished the race in the middle of the pack, with a time of 34:08. I was 45 out of 83 in my age group and 339 out of 638 women overall. I am proud of me. Of setting a goal and doing the work to accomplish said goal. I want to give a big thank you to my girl Yolande (sheblog on at for inspiring and encouraging me to get up off the ever widening ass and get moving. I may not like running, but as she pointed it out, it’s good for my health and it gets me out the house to meet others who’re about that fitness life as well.

Here’s us crossing the finish line at the Matanzas 5K, she came back and ran me in and having that support was awesome. download_20160130_174019

So when you see my posts about putting the miles in you can cheer me on and add #RunSmidgeRun to your comment(s). Tell me your fitness stories in the comments or shout out a friend who got you doing something to improve your health and fitness, whether it’s a simple as giving up soda (don’t tell me you still drink a teaspoon of sugar) or walking around your office building at lunch time.

“beautiful restlessness”

Hello World! Didja miss me? I know I’ve been MIA for sometime but am going to try to get back to chronicling my journey on a consistent basis. I make no promises except to say I will try. here we go.


Several years ago the gentleman I was cavorting with described be as having a “beautiful restlessness.” At the time I didn’t quite understand what he meant by those words and to some extent I will never really understand what he meant as we have gone our separate ways. However the phrase keeps popping in my head and more-so in the last year or so. I wonder whether to be beautifully restless is to continuously be alone. To endlessly search for a place to belong. To eternally wonder will love find me in this city?

This year will be a dozen years since I got on a plane and flew to Parris Island to become a Marine. Sometimes I think it’s the best thing I ever did and sometimes to worst. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it. My time in the Corps helped to polish me into who I am today. It also put a few dings in my self-confidence. I struggle to write this post today as I’ve struggled since I got back from Barcelona to articulate what’s going on inside. I lacked the words because I was missing the understanding of how adrift I had become somewhere between finally finishing that degree and coming back from my second deployment. Was this the “beautiful restlessness” G-man (there is a story on this shortened nickname, perhaps I’ll tell it one day) saw and commented on? The searching for something, something to believe in, some cause to support, some passion to dive headfirst into, some love to call my own. It’s been a difficult journey to identifying that I AM searching … but for a while I did not know what I was searching for or more accurately I wasn’t willing to clear away the muck of expectations and examine what I, me, this little brown girl, from a little peninsula, in a little country near the equator really wanted from life.

I think some days I don’t dare speak it into being because many times what I have wanted was subsumed under what my circumstances would allow me to have, what I should do, what was the supposed better choice to make. I realize from a very young age what my natural instinct and curiosity led me to do was curtailed and redirected into “more appropriate” venues and expressions. That takes a toll, after a while you stop trusting your desires and curiosity, you stop yearning for things. Why bother, either they’ll be the wrong things or you won’t be good enough anyway, so just look to what is safe. I wonder is this where the “beautiful restlessness” comes into place? It’s funny (no ha ha, but more fascinating ) to me that even looking at, reading or thinking about the phrase I focus on the “restlessness” part of it rather than the descriptor of beauty. I equate restlessness as something bad or unwanted but perhaps I need to look at that again, and consider it as something that indicates a lack of stimulation. I’m not sure.

This is where I am with many things, I start thinking about it and my brain gets stuck at the opening salvo going round and round like the wheels on a bus. (yeah I know these aphorisms don’t really go together but whatevs). I think part of why I get stuck is this depression I’m dealing with. Some days are good and some are bad. On the good days I do as much as I can and on the bad days I stay in my house watching some forensic crime solving show on Netflix. It doesn’t leave much room for pondering the origin of certain attributes but now that this germ of an idea is planted I will meditate on it. Plus I’ve told y’all, so now I’ve plenty of accountability partners.

I know I’m a bit all over the place with this post, but I decided to just write it rather than wrangle my disparate thoughts into one cohesive whole. I’m not setting any goals for this, who am I kidding, I’m already thinking I need to get something up once a week if I’m returning to the blogosphere. Another thing to work on, unrealistic expectations of myself, perhaps I’ll write about that next.

How has everyone been? Can you identify with my struggles? Meet me in the comments.


P.S. If you know me in off the interwebs and want to comment, don’t email or call me just leave it down below. Smooches, ‘Foot

my favorite brownies | smitten kitchen

my favorite brownies | smitten kitchen.

No words

You may have noticed that, for months now I haven’t written anything. I can blame it on being busy with school and taking care of my nephew. While true, I could have taken the time to write something. I did try several times but I had not the words to describe what I was feeling and thinking. Even now writing this, I am struggling to convey what is going on in my head. I find the words to express my thoughts out of reach and when I find the words they are not right and I spend an inordinate amount of time rearranging them so they are just right.

I’ve been back from Barcelona for just over a year and in that time I’ve been going and going without stopping for self-reflection. At times when I do reflect, I actively shy away from delving deep as I am not ready or in a place to deal with further introspection.

On the way to Oslo

On the way to Oslo

Anyhoo, I decided to pop in and let you all know I’m still here, just have nothing to share, or rather an inability to articulate what is going on in my head and life at the moment. I’ll have some time this summer to hopefully focus, reflect and move forward. I don’t have my nephew (he’s back with my brother) or school (I dropped my classes) to use as an excuse. I do have my garden but it doesn’t take all day so I can’t really use that either.

Hope you all are well.