Thursday, September 30, 2010

Team Challenge of Wisconsin presents a special screening of Spirit of the Marathon, “The first film to capture the story, drama and ultimate essence of the legendary 26.2 mile running event. As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.”

What: Spirit of the Marathon movie fundraiser
When: Saturday, October 16th at noon
Where: Times Cinema, 5906 W. Vliet Street in Milwaukee
Tickets: $20 in advance or $25 at the door (includes movie, soda and popcorn)

Click here to purchase your tickets now!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Push Ups for Dollars!

Today I performed one push up for every dollar donated to Team Challenge up until 8pm. How many did I end up having to do? 76! I figured I should provide some sort of documentation so I did the first six in the office in front of the web cam. Plus, Karla wanted to make sure my nose touched the floor for her dollar. (Let's just say that my form on the later ones wasn't quite as good. I need to do more of these!) Thank you so much to those of you who have supported me. Go Team Challenge!

Still want to donate? Click here for more info.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chapter One

It’s a Saturday morning in May. I’ve got my iPod on, a new cute running top, bright white sneakers and some shades. I burst out the front door of my house on a mission: I’M GOING TO RUN. I’m tired of looking on wistfully at all the local runners with their nicely toned legs as they stride down by the lake like gazelles, sweat running down their backs. I’m headed down to the neighborhood park and I’m going to make myself a runner if it kills me. I tear down the street at top speed with a carefully selected Run Playlist pumping through my headphones. This isn’t so bad! I pass other people walking their dogs and I start to feel a little self conscious. Can they tell I’m not “really” a runner?

Uh-oh, my legs are starting to hurt. I turn the corner and enter the park and my lungs begin to burn. I get a stitch in my side. I look down at my stopwatch to see how much time has passed.

A minute and a half.


Fast forward to a little over three years later. This morning I registered to run my first ultra-marathon.

Yeah. Anything is possible.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change is Hard

Miss Lulu Gessner
July 31, 1999- September 1, 2010

Jason and I brought Lu home in a cardboard box. A co-worker at the restaurant I worked at in college had a bunch of kittens she was giving away after her cat had babies. I remember the exact date they were all born because I was so excited to get another kitten. We waited a few weeks and then picked Lulu out from the litter. Her name at the time was Phoebe but we knew that name wasn't right. We immediately began calling her Lulu, Lula or BabyLu. We already had two other cats in our house. Sailor, (a.k.a. "Po") our big orange "tiger," and Spike our sleek, black-and-white guardian cat. Don't ask me how I convinced Jason to get a third one but somehow I did. I had always wanted a white kitten- probably a holdover from my ponies and unicorns phase as a child- and Lu fit the princess bill quite well. (The joke was on her though since she had the most unfortunate grey spot on her nether region that at first glance looked like something else entirely.) The evening we carried her home in the box she nearly jumped out of the top and ran away as we crossed a busy street on the way back to our apartment. I had to hold the top closed as she pushed against it with her tiny head. Luckily, she got home safely was a part of our family for the next eleven years.

Lu was an odd duck. Jason likes to say that she didn't bake quite long enough. I have a feeling that we took her from her mother a few weeks too early because she took to Sailor like he was her mama. She used to suck on his belly like she was trying to nurse. Ew? For some reason this was endearing to us at the time and Po didn't seem to care either way so we let it go on. In fact, she seemed to always prefer the company of the other two cats to us humans. They were her boys and they took care of her. Even when she started to get sick and lost interest in cleaning herself, the other two did their best to look after her and keep her clean. When she was younger I used to wonder how she would go on if the older cats died first. I don't think she could have taken that.

Two years ago I found out that Lulu had developed diabetes. They told me that with twice daily injections and the proper food that she could still live a happy life and I know in my heart that I tried my best. We noticed a change in her immediately after she got on insulin. Suddenly she was much more affectionate towards Jason and I, like she was grateful that we had helped her feel so much better. Never a cat to purr, she developed the tiniest little rumble during the past two years that would pop up now and again. This would always surprise me. Even though there were ups and downs with controlling her disease, I feel like I connected the most with her during this time. She still loved curling up with the big boy cats but every once in a while she would come rub on my leg, nudge my face or do something to let me know that she loved me too. Though she still would never sit on my lap. She was prissy like that.

So goodbye, sweet Lulu. I will miss your sound of your voice when I walk into the kitchen, your shaky little tail, and even the way you woke me up at night, howling while you played with the rolled up socks in my laundry baskets.

You are loved.