Friday, December 25, 2015

The Miracle of Christmas

     The whole meaning behind Christmas is believing in the miracles of a man we've never even seen; but our faith helps us trust that things will always be okay, even if the path isn't what we expected.

     The same thing holds true for the man with the white beard and red suit.  We all know he makes the season jolly, even if his claim to fame is purely fantasy.  

     One thing, however, that seems to be a rite of passage from one generation to the next, is that infamous photo with Mr. Claus, and our little ones.  It leaves us with memories to last a life time.

     But the whole "Santa thing" is a process in and of it's self, because it's almost inevitable that our little ones, at one point or another will act as though they're being put through a torture chamber, before realizing this man's on their side.

     I know I have pictures from long ago of my own children looking less than thrilled to be sitting on the lap of this iconic wonder, Mr. Chris Kringle; it's just what we do...

     As you can see in this picture from last year, my grandbabies weren't the least bit interested in a visit with this scary old man.  I even mentioned at one point that they should consider making Santa look a little friendlier so the babies wouldn't fear him so much.  William was certainly giving it his best ditch effort to make a quick get away.
     But somehow as they learn to trust that this man is good, the tears seem to fade away.  Notice below, William is finally figuring it out, while poor little Connor isn't quite there yet.

      Then, it occurred to me... this is no different than what we as adults are also going through.  We sometimes experience fearful challenges in life that cause us to wonder how we'll ever get through them; but with a little faith, we realize that eventually things will work out, if we just believe; I know, I do:)

Merry Christmas!!


Friday, December 18, 2015

I may talk a lot, but it's a good thing people don't always listen:)

     It's funny how easily we find ourselves eating our words; but somehow it doesn't stop us from saying things we later regret.

     As you know, the 2016 Bike To The Bay season is already under way, and one of my first teammates to register for the upcoming year is my good friend Maryann; my right hand lady.  Last year she was by my side, encouraging me every step of the way, and I'm sure it was a challenge; I know it was for me...). But she made a promise to me that she would never leave my side, and she definitely made good on that promise. 

      The buddy system is a great idea in the Bike To The Bay, but in my case it's critical.  I never know from one minute to the next when my crazy brain and body will decide to stop talking to each other.
     Last year, that 55 miles was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do.  But that was due to the fact that over heating and dehydration are just enough to make my brain and muscles go on strike.  And my cooperative left leg has one heck of a time pushing that 20 pound hitchhiker on the right pedal for countless miles.

     I've since learned some things that I may want to modify for the up coming year, to make it a little less of a struggle.  However, Maryann recently reminded me that last year when I was about ten miles from the finish line and I was ready to throw in the towel, I made her promise to remind me how brutal it was, and just like child birth, time makes you forget just how much.

     But Of course, you know this stubborn Scorpio isn't going to let anything defeat her, so here I am signed up for yet another year, and anxious to see how many miles I make it before I start wining "never again" :) Last year, at every rest stop if I ever mentioned I couldn't feel my legs there was good old Fred LeFevbre, from 1370 radio, in my face telling me to quit my wining and get back on the bike...  I guess if someone older than dirt could do it, then so could I! Of course I mean that in a nice way:) Incidentally, I see Fred is signed up for the up coming year already as well.                           

     So any of you who would like to ride in 2016 but think you're out of shape, just think of me, and realize, if I can do it, anybody can!  Please join my team!

Oh, and registration is only 25.00 from now until the end of the year:) Please join my team!

Have a great weekend!!


Friday, December 11, 2015

The holiday season isn't about the gift wrap.

     Leapfrog for MS was created two years ago just because I wanted to promote the Bike To The Bay, and raise awareness about MS.  However, all the people I've met along the way have made me the one who became aware; aware that so many people deal with challenges every day, and something as simple as riding a bike isn't going to fix them.

     Most people think of the holidays as the time to show our friends and family how much we care about them, by baking the tastiest cookies, and planning an awesome holiday party, with the most amazing decorations, and shopping for the perfect gifts; all beautifully wrapped.
Of course you know Christmas is pink too:)

     But what ends up happening is we all become frazzled and in a panic to try to beat that deadline that comes and goes in the blink of an eye; and we forget the real meaning of the season.

     I'm sure it's an ongoing thing, but for some reason, I feel like this year I'm running into a lot more people struggling with the "holiday blues".  This doesn't make sense; the holidays are supposed to make you happy.  Maybe it's the whole lack of daylight theory that has so many down, or maybe it's just being overwhelmed by how much there is to do to make it a "perfect" holiday, or it could even be that people see others around them making it all look effortless and yet they feel like the weight of the world is on them.

     But the one thing that has become apparent is none of us has it totally figured out; however, if someone does, please let me in on the secret;)  I don't claim to be Albert Einstein (though first thing in the morning we may share the same do...)  
     But I do know that sometimes the best holiday gift you can give a person is your ear; of course, keep in mind that this gift should be valid year round.  

     I've decided to make a special effort this year and reach out to people, even if they look like they have everything under control, and if they do, then I'll take notes:)  An invitation to grab coffee could end up being a game changer for that one person struggling to find that Christmas Spirit, and ironically, I usually end up gaining something as well. Something as simple as messaging someone and asking them how their day is going is huge.  And a few seconds of idol chit chat after making eye contact with a stranger is priceless.

     With all of the challenges in this world I have a simple challenge for you. In the next few days reach out to someone you've lost touch with or haven't been in touch with lately, and invite them out for coffee or simply send them a message, asking how they're doing.  You just might hit that one person who really needs it:)

         You can have all the lights and candy canes you want; however, on Christmas day that pile of presents ends up being a mound of gift wrap strewed all over the floor. But in the end... none of that really matters... because good will can't be gift wrapped:)

Have a great weekend!!


Friday, December 4, 2015

We all know about St. Nick; well this Nick is also a saint because he just joined my team!!

       We all know that Saint Nick brings presents on Christmas, but my new friend, Nick is also a saint, because he just joined my team!

     Once again, I was at the car dealership getting my car washed (and then it rained the next day...ugh) I started up a random conversation with yet another sales associate, Nick.

     While I was waiting for my car Nick and I started talking about the Bike To The Bay and I told him I had convinced a couple of the others to join my team.  Nick mentioned he rode in the BTTB a few years back.  You know that's all I had to hear before I started working my magic. I started with my pitch that I ride in spite of my MS and I started with a team of one... Surprisingly, Nick was an easy sell.  No arm twisting that day; he volunteered to join my team all on his own.  And yes, we got the camera out to document it, because that's just how I roll:)
    Some people commit just to make me happy, but Nick didn't take long to convince me he was serious.  Within the next week he had gone to the website and signed up; for both days no less!

     Like I said, Nick along with all of my friends who help me try to wipe out MS, whether you ride with me or donate to my team; in my book you are all saints.  And those are the best presents I could ever hope for:)

Have a great weekend!!