Perfection doesn’t exist

How does one lead by example with the caveat that they aren’t perfect? The personal project that I’m currently working on embodies ideals that I’m completely passionate about yet I have to come to terms that I might not be absolutely excluded because of my opinions on many controversial beliefs. This is why writing a blog has always been risky if it’s personal. I’ve had this blogging habit since I was 11 years old where I’ve shared my life with the world who paid attention. Now it takes me quite awhile to post an entry because some things aren’t meant to be shared. When I’ve reread, besides the terrible grammar, I realize the entries have been cryptic and easily mistaken for something else if people who read it aren’t close to me. For example, many situations that occurred in the past week absolutely changed my opinion on the topics of marriage, faith, sexuality and race. However, I can’t share those opinions unless I’m in the company of like minded individuals. I realize that I can’t write them on my blog because I’m almost 30 and the decisions I make have real consequences that didn’t exist when I was in high school. That makes me sad.

Many entries have been drafted in the past months also and I’ve yet to publish them because I didn’t want them to be misrepresented. That also makes me sad. For example, not only do I not want to ruin people’s reputation when I’ve been wronged in such a public outlet, I also don’t want to be considered petty (surely one might consider me petty for even writing that). Under better circumstances, I’d not care, however—although I’ll never be a politician, it’s best to remain silent.

Anyway, back to my current project, I’ve had something in the works for over a decade that is being resurrected and I truly hope that I have your support. It will be worked on silently but I do have a deadline and I would like to hope that I will be perceived as someone who is constantly growing and learning. That’s how life should be right?

Item 7. Fall in love: completed

So I truly debated this, you know, whether I fell in love or not. This was the first year in a very long time that I had a boyfriend on Valentine’s day or around my birthday. By the way, let me apologize now because this entry is also super candid and I apologize but, I did say I’d write about every item on the 30 things to do before I’m 30 list.

Falling in love

So, falling in love—I had the most fun in a very long time that ended terribly, and hopefully haven’t scarred me, in the last few weeks (I’ll talk to someone if that’s the case).  If some of you didn’t know, my birthday was two weeks ago and while it started incredibly, it ended with me fearing for my life.

I allowed myself to be completely vulnerable for a little over a month. I went on a date with a very nice young man. I learned about him, got introduced to his family and we were looking forward to doing things together such as writing new lists for when we both turned 30, races that we’d run (yes, he wanted to run races with me) and even the possibility of meeting my family (I’ve only introduced one guy to my family). He had a young son, which I was fine with me (I absolutely love children) and we spent time sharing stories that were quite similar to each other (he had a rough life growing up and was an outlier and we both lost our 19-year-old younger brother). We were both around the same age, which I’m not used to dating (can’t find the right formula of maturity apparently).

Anyway, we had a sort of fast-paced, honeymoon of complete reckless abandon, not on my part mostly because I’m usually super cautious with my heart, but, for once, I jumped. He got lots of points for volunteering during a race with me, working out with me (he’s a basketball player and if you guys didn’t know, I LOVED playing growing up) and we just enjoyed talking. He was exceptionally brilliant, I adore brilliance. We even had a song! I swear it was like high school again and I hadn’t felt butterflies for anyone in such a long time (It was fun).

Then it ended. I’m still fortunate to have met him.
That was my falling in love story.

P. S. I swear the first draft of this had so much detail but it just seemed pointless when I reread it. I much prefer the succinct version.

I’ll say this though:
After listening to other peers in relationships in the past few weeks, I’m quite content of where I’m in life in that area. I still can’t take advice from others because it’s their perspective of what’s right for them. I’ve never thought about the future of my dating life when I was younger. It was always about my craft/profession. It still is. Relationships are so distracting although necessary. To care for someone is rewarding to me. For now, I care about my family and friends. As for love, one day it might happen, or not. I’m still quite alright with that. It always will come to an end—eventually.

I’m also considering that there’s still many months before I’m 30. So, did I really fall in love :)? Gosh these updates are too far apart, I’ve got to tackle the rest of my list!

Item 17: Try snowboarding

Crossing off item 17 off my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30—I snowboarded.

Snowboarding was never on top of my list of things to try even if many of my peers from college took trips however, since I’m usually running during the winter season, I wanted to push myself in another way. I’ve tried iceskating before but snowboarding just seemed so bad ass! I was right.

Two weekends ago, Wendy (the coworker that I trained with for the Tough Mudder who Boston qualified at her most recent marathon) and I decided to go snowboarding. To be honest, I thought I was going to wait another year to actually do it but the opportunity knocked and I’m so happy that we were able to.

Wendy has been skiing for a number of years and she always wanted to try snowboarding. It was awesome that we got to learn together.

We went to Camelback Mountain Resort where there was a deal for $129 for 3 days (not consecutive if we didn’t want that, which was a great idea)!

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I started off by going on a shopping spree. Apparently snowboarding is an investment. I purchased waterproof jackets, pants and gloves from paragon.

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Mine went to the more expensive side but I think if you layer very well if it’s cold and have waterproof outter layers you’ll be fine. My gloves were probably abit too thick to be able to wear the wrist guards and to strap and unstrap but they kept my fingers very warm.

Here’s some great deals from Amazon:

A jacket under $300 with good reviews: Marmot Women’s Intervale Component Jacket, Black, Large (I got a Gore Tex)
A ski pants under $200: The North Face Freedom Ski Pants TNF Black Sz XL
A pair of waterproof gloves $70:The North Face Montana Glove – Women’s TNF Black Medium

I met Wendy at 7:15am and we were on our way.

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We got to the resort and sort of got lost in the sea of people and it was freezing (So, next time we know which lines to wait at). We checked in, got more gear (I need a helmet next time but we got wrist guards, the boards and boots). Then we went for the 11am lesson.

The instructor, Amanda, taught us turns, how to get up, about our dominant leg, how to get up, etc. I wish the class allowed repetitive practice but group lessons aren’t that organized. Wendy and I took in as much as we could and as soon as class was over, we went for lunch and headed to the slopes.

By the way, this chili bowl seems to be the norm at these places. It was delicious!

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We headed back to the slopes but I was incredibly stuffed and uncomfortable for a bit but I had an amazing time laughing at myself falling over and over again. I was also worried about my heel from it being affected by my shoes that week so that didn’t help. I do have a few races in a few weeks so I don’t want to go crazy.

Awhile into practicing we were made aware that the lift that we took, although it took us to a beginner’s slope, was more advance than the bunny slope. I just wasn’t ready for it. In the middle of coming downhill I realized that I definitely needed a helmet.

Wendy (wearing her own helmet) went for one more round on that hill but I waited it out.

When she came back she told me that someone had made her aware that we weren’t on the bunny slope when she commented about it being quite steep.

We corrected that by doing a round on the bunny slope (well, she did two). I realized that I was getting better at stopping and turning to the left so I practiced that instead… Also, there was something about looking at obstacles that made me collide with them so I tried to change where my eye went.

We had a curfew so we couldn’t practice all day however, I was pooped! Next time, I’ll need lots of rest.

Item 17 completed!

By the way, Sammy sent me this website with great beginner tips for snowboarding. I’ll watch all the videos by the time I’m ready for a next trip!

My current love affair

I wrote this for the Dashing Whippets blog: The Running Dog and it was edited by  Jonathan Kline. Please check out the blog here. I’m reposting it here to share my passion with everyone:

Falling in Love and Making the Commitment to Run.

Jerlyn and the space suit

Running and I have had an on-and-off relationship since 2008. It knew it was a “Friends with Benefits” situation, as helped me cope with my brother’s death, so there wasn’t much by way of support or rules in the process. It left me stranded many times with injuries and, now and then, we’d go through separations until it beckoned me again. It always seemed like we just used each other until we both felt guilty in the end.

We had an awkward relationship during 2012, and had spent a great deal of time together when I suddenly decided to challenge myself with a marathon (you know, to take our relationship to the next level). I didn’t want to make the commitment of signing up, but followed a schedule anyway. Eventually, an internal mediator chimed in, letting me know how Running felt, and encouraged me to sign up officially. I did. I became a marathoner and Running felt good for the first time. A couple months later (in January of 2013), I was injured while preparing for the Miami Marathon and I thought our relationship to be over. I started seeing my physical therapist instead and, because I missed Running so badly, thought about getting injections in my knee (but didn’t) to help stabilize our rocky relationship. Even if I wanted out of the arrangement, I had already booked the flight, paid entry to be #MiamiFamous, and my AirBnb room was not going to be wasted. I was going to give Running another chance.

During Miami, like a slap in the face, my goal wasn’t met. The run was excruciating. My KT tapes fell off mid-race and I missed my target goal, coming in a minute later than I wanted. I was devastated. For weeks I beat myself up about it and decided to separate from Running again. What I didn’t understand was why my running peers didn’t think it was such a big deal. They didn’t think a divorce was the right resolution, and I had already invested in all this time and gear. Some of them wanted what Running and I had because their relationships hadn’t progressed as much as mine, or they wanted me to share what they had developed. Even so, I was putting my foot down, and I didn’t want to compromise.

Let’s make some things clear: At the beginning, Running knew what was up. For 2013 it knew that I called myself “The Solo Runner.” I only saw familiar faces at races but met no one and spoke to no one. My heart wasn’t opened to meet others. I thought I was doing fine by signing up for races now-and-then to make Running happy. After Miami, as soon as I was strong again, it wanted more. It became obsessive and got into my head. I knew if I ever signed up for a marathon again, I could not be injured and I definitely wanted to PR like I had intended.

Then, out of nowhere, Running started slowly taking over my social life. I started to resent it a little but I tried to be open-minded. I still didn’t think meddling was the practical way to handle any relationship. It had begun introducing itself to others at races to find friends with common interests, and started a log of the time we spent together to make sure we were always making our dates to keep our relationship healthy and not overbearing. All of a sudden, I started appreciating those things. I agreed that we could rekindle. In the end our bond was so strong that it introduced me to a great deal of “firsts.”  It led me to my first running vacations, focused running friends, track class and the Dashing Whippets. When I completed my 3rd marathon in December 2013 having Running in my life had me surpass all my goals. I had run the marathon the way I wanted. I was in love. I had assessed why I had fell in love in the first place and the support that I had from everyone around just made our relationship stronger.

I don’t know how much longer our open relationship will last, but I took the commitment. I’m in love again, and I trust Running wholeheartedly. To honor it, I even signed up for many races for 2014 as my resolution—hopefully our journey will last for decades to come.

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Photo by Vandy Prince

Happy Holidays!

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Yay a post that’s not related to the 30 things that I want to do before I’m 30!

I just want to thank everyone for an exceptional year. I’m currently writing my year in review which I’ve done these past years:

• You can view 2012′s here: Au Revoir 2012

• 2011 wasn’t so bad either: Good bye 2011

• And, of course 2010 long before Facebook started adding it’s year in review: Will blog in 2011

This year’s will be a bit different and of course, will try my best, universe-willing to get it done by January 1st. A great deal happened this year including the amplification of my health-conscious mindset. I’ve matured more, in my opinion, and I’m looking forward to learn more about life and reach out more positively as I can.

Wishing you a great warm holiday and prosperous new year.

Cheers!Jerlyn

Item 4: Sub-4 a marathon

Vandy and JerlynI spent thanksgiving with a friend from childhood, Vandy, in Tallahassee who I haven’t seen in over 17 years (crazy right). It was quite lovely to see her, since we chat often on GChat.  She’s quite frankly a bigger nerd than I am although she’d deny it. While there, I anticipated my 3rd marathon in Cocoa, Florida. I got to meet her incredible family, hung out with Delvin, whose love of football made me look up fantasy football and even sports betting. I’m still lost with the way this works but for now I’ll focus on running.

I’ll write more about the logistics of the marathon on 30for30fit talking about running only three times a week, etc., etc., but I made it in 3:47.

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My first marathon was 4:18, second was 4:01 and my third 3:47! I shaved off 31 minutes since I’ve attempted one! I’ve set personal records on my races, like a boss. One thing that I’ll speak more of on my other blog was the best advice anyone ever told me to approach the marathon: “Run the first third with your mind, run the 2nd third with your legs and the last with your heart!” Thank you Carolyn I’ll always remember that!

I’m pretty excited for being able to cross this off my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30. What I wrote was:  “My last marathon was ran in 4 hours and 1 minute because I was injured and miserable. This time, I’d like to complete one without stopping and while I definitely believe I can sub 4. A marathon is tough on the body and it’s incredible to me that I did 2, which I’m happy about however, I really wanted to run under 4 hours.”

Yesterday’s run was definitely one to remember. We ran in Cocoa, Florida along the Indian River. I can get into details about the smells and how I felt, etc., but that’s all in the fitness entry.

Jerlyn and the space suit

Item 24: Sell some artwork

I did it. I sold some artwork. I actually have been commissioned for drawings prior but it was great to actually have my first art show this past weekend where I sold my first post-college piece that I did without any other direction but my own. This is also the first time I showed some art in public since being published at age 15.

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It was held at UnWine Bar in Brooklyn. I sold a few post cards that I used to raise funds for the typhoon relief that I donated to the following day.

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The first person who bought one was Preston, a coworker. Jerry (one of my very supportive coworkers) also purchased a few after. He’s also now the owner of  the painting that I did of Martino Chiavellio (a former coworker). Some other people bought them throughout the night and that made me feel really happy.

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However, the biggest surprise was when an IG follower, who I met for the very first time: James (@delnyc). He purchased two of my favourite pieces.

Thank you so much to everyone who was supportive of my new venture of having art shows. I didn’t know that people would even show up. I teared up a little.

Who knows, maybe I’ll have some more—but, item off my 30 things before 30 list!

Item 16: Take a Ferry to Staten Island

Now I’ve been to every borough in New York City.
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(Thanks for the photo James)

The Staten Island half, aka item 16 on my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30.
I woke up and and got my breakfast fuel ready: Bagel, peanut butter, apple and a banana—I learned this from Wendy.
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I was on my way to catch the 2nd ferry listed on the nyrr site to get there in time for the race. My new friend James spotted me and we chatted abit before crossing over.
I prepped and made my way to the starting line, ran and loved that I did a PR! I wrote more about it on my training website: 30for30fit.com so go there to read about how my 3rd marathon training is going. In the meantime, just wanted to let you know that I finally went to Staten Island, covered over 13 miles, and now I can cross it off the list!
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Item 15: Complete another Tough Mudder (completed)

As I mentioned in the last post, Item 27 coincided with completing another Tough Mudder 2 weekends ago so here’s about Item 15: Completing another Tough Mudder from my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30!

Read about it on 30 for 30 fit. These are the incredible people that I spent time with and they had me laughing all the way home!

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