Twenty-two years ago I was celebrating New Year’s eve with friends — and the next day I was head over heels in love with a man whose birthday we celebrated that night. I’m not sure that I ever believed that I could fall in love the way we did. It may sound cliche, but I had never felt that way before in my life. In our first year together, I lost my craving for sugar, (I’m a sugar-aholic), I couldn’t stop smiling, and I was certain that this was forever. Whenever someone asks me how I knew he was the right person, I tell them that it was the fact that we made each other better people. We are like yin and yang, not only because he is white and I am black. I am a better person because Michael Scott not only accepts me for who I am, but encourages me to be ambitious and reach for my dreams. He challenges me intellectually, he supports me even when my ideas are crazy, and he can keep up with me on the athletic side — or even beat me when it comes to skiing or mountain biking. He pushes me out of my comfort zone and gets me to experience new things. When we married in 1995, he was supporting me through graduate school, and we have both made sacrifices for each others’ careers.He is truly a partner in raising our sons, and he is absolutely dedicated to giving Andrew and Brandon the best in life.
Now this doesn’t mean that our lives are perfect. In fact, we tend to learn more from and about each other when we are in conflict. We both have strong personalities and aren’t afraid to stand our ground. But we also know how to forgive, move on, and learn from our mistakes. I’m back to eating candy and I don’t smile all the time, but I love Mike even more with each passing year. As he turns 50, I hope that we have another 50 years ahead of us. Happy birthday Michael Scott!
It’s well known that I love running and have been an athlete all of my life. I rarely let the weather keep me from getting out, even the extreme weather we have here in Central Texas. I ran the Hill Country half marathon in Marble Falls during our first bout of cold weather back in October. It has been a season of major shifts in the weather, with highs getting up to the 80s just a few days ago. We are currently in the middle of a cold snap that will take us down into the 20s tomorrow (with a windchill into the teens). Our current weather brings back memories of my days running track in Spokane, WA for the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups. There was many a track meet where the temps could be in the 30s, or 40s. We learned to adjust to the weather back then, wearing heavy sweats when necessary. My first year at Stanford was lovely…until I went home to Spokane for Christmas. It was one of the coldest I could remember, temps in the 20s when I arrived, and down to negative 20s after a few days. I finally was able to get out and run when it warmed up to the teens. There was lots of snow on the ground, but I managed to make it a few miles. I wore a scarf over my face to avoid breathing in too much cold air. I was very happy to get back to California after that holiday. I have lived in many places with a variety of climates, but Austin’s has certainly been the most changeable. In a few months the temps will start heading back into the 80s and 90s and we’ll be back to the sweaty and muggy running days that I have learned to love. I love to run, and have managed to figure out how to do it in all kinds of weather. Running gear has evolved to the point where you can stay warm without having to put on heavy layers, and for those hot days, they can wick away much of the sweat. As a shop-a-holic, I love shopping for new running clothes and checking out the latest fabrics. So an advantage to living in Austin is that I get to try out gear for all types of weather! It has been said so many different ways, “making lemonade out of lemons” etc…its all about making the best of your current situation and keeping a positive attitude. I find that running helps me keep my positive outlook on life, and when I’m feeling down, it helps pick me up, regardless of the weather. Whatever you do, the main point is to stick with it. There are so many benefits to exercise, going way beyond the physical benefits. And when I really can’t get outside, I have all kinds of activities I can do, from Zumba on the XBox, to jump rope, even hula hoop! I do crossfit a few times a week, since I’m a firm believer in strength training as cross training. So whatever you enjoy doing, don’t let the weather get you down. Treat yourself to some new gear to help deal with the weather if necessary, or if you’re like me, just because. As the holidays approach, consider a gift of fitness for a friend or loved one. There are lots of great groups (like Fit on Your Feet! ahfcoop.org), fitness gear from places like Texas Running Company and many others. Whatever it takes, keep moving!