#YesAllWomen

By this point, if you’ve been on the internet, I’m sure you’ve heard about the shootings in Isla Vista, California. I’m sure you’ve heard of the reasons behind all this stemming from a man’s (and I use that word loosely) opinion that he was entitled to a girlfriend and attention from other women.

And hopefully by now you’ve heard of the hashtag on Twitter, #YesAllWomen.

There will be people who are able to and will speak about this movement, about this hashtag far better than I could. There will be those who are able to put words together to eloquently and adequately express just why this is important. I’ll leave that to them.

But I have to say something about this.

Because it is important. Because all women at one point of another have been on the receiving end of harassment, of judgment because of their gender, of gas-lighting from someone who thinks they’re reactions are “too emotional” and “probably due to that time of the month.”

What I feel is nothing new, it’s nothing unique. And yet it is still dismissed so easily by so many.

#YesAllWomen because my pre-dawn run on Tuesday was filled with anxiety and a conscious effort to not give 100% in case I needed to get away from someone.

#YesAllWomen because ignoring catcalls on the street somehow makes ME the bitch, makes ME the one in the wrong.

#YesAllWomen because I consider myself one of the lucky ones because I haven’t been raped.

#YesAllWomen because I don’t go running after dark unless my fiance is with me. Because I look every single man I pass in the face and note his clothing in case I need to identify someone later. Because I am uncomfortable running in just a sports bra in case someone feels it’s an invitation.

#YesAllWomen because I am terrified to have a daughter for fear of the type of world she’d have to grow up in.

#YesAllWomen because of the number of times I’ve been asked to “prove” how much of a fan I am of sports or my team or whatever just because I’m a girl.

#YesAllWomen because of the fact that I love kickboxing not just because of the workout, but because it taught me how to throw a good punch. Just in case.

#YesAllWomen because I have these “just in case”s.

#YesAllWomen because explanations of spending two years in a relationship with someone who so damaged me mentally and emotionally that I STILL, ten years later, find myself reacting strongly to certain things is still met with “Well, he was just young and stupid then” and “Why didn’t you just break up with him?”

#YesAllWomen because it shouldn’t be a surprise or unique to be with someone who validates every feeling I have.

#YesAllWomen because my no should be good enough and shouldn’t be an invitation to call me a bitch or try to persuade me to say yes. Because my engagement ring shouldn’t be more of a reason for someone to back off than just me saying “I’m not interested.”

#YesAllWomen because the “friend zone” is bullshit. Because I should never have to read about men I respect saying that being with a jerk boyfriend is a girl’s fault for having “friend-zoned” all the nice guys. Because a woman has the right to say no for whatever reason.

#YesAllWomen because no should always mean no.

#YesAllWomen because we are people too. We’re not just someone’s wife or mother or girlfriend or daughter or niece. We are people, and we’re worthy of respect. We should be able to feel safe at all times because we are human beings, not because we’re in some way related to a man.

I am tired of having to explain that my being a feminist does not mean I hate men, but that it means I would like to be seen as equal. I’d like to be seen as more than my physical attributes. I’d like to be seen as a successful scientist and a runner and a sports fan WITHOUT the label of “female” before it. Because it shouldn’t matter that I’m a woman.

I am tired of learning about the abuse, physical and mental, that my loved ones have been put through. I am tired of the implication that somehow they deserved it or were asking for it or were somehow at fault themselves.

I am tired of misogyny and tired of the attitude that as a woman I am somehow “lesser.”

I am just tired.

#YesAllWomen

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Here Comes the Sun

Can you feel it? Can you feel the days getting longer? Is it just me and my wishful thinking?

It’s not something that happens drastically or all at once or even in increments that are noticeable. There’s a feeling in the air though.

There’s heading out for a run after getting home and realizing that there is an extra 10 minutes where I can stay out before it gets too dark.

There’s the sun popping up behind me, behind the Arch as I’m driving west to work every morning rather than slugging through the hazy dawn.

The thing is, I know that winter is not over. It’s not even Groundhog’s Day! I am well aware that St Louis has a bad habit of screwing with your plans all Spring. Just last year during the final weekend of March, I spent my whole day unpacking in my brand new apartment with GCB as it BLIZZARDED outside. It was weird and stupid, and I’m ready for Spring.

And yet, yesterday at lunch, snow came blowing through town. It’s supposed to be 18F/-8C and snowing on Tuesday (so much for those hill repeats on my schedule, I suppose). Winter’s not going anywhere.

Guys, I miss warm weather. I miss Spring and long days and sunglasses/cold drinks on a back patio and running in fewer than six layers and washing my hands for a normal amount of time instead of keeping them under the warm water longer just because it feels good.

I know it’s got a while until it warms up for good, but the days ARE getting longer. Today that’s enough for me.

Hi, My Name Is

Hi, my name is Ann, and today I:

…had the first laser treatment to remove the tattoo on my right shoulder blade. You know, the one that means “friendship” but I tell people means “youthful indiscretion.”

…wore my marathon shirt.

…cursed, yet again, that the MLB All-Star Game determined World Series home field advantage. And the DH rule.

…realized that though I’m not yet into the middle of training, I still get runger pains.

…spent far too much time refreshing ebay pages in order to just go ahead and miss the winning bid on Game 4 tickets.

…figured that it might be a little crazy, but I do really like the new Eminem song.

…spent the first inning paying more attention to fixing my suffering fantasy football team (16-team, 16-roster spot keeper league) than I did to the WS.

…bought a friend a birthday present that I am VERY excited to see him get.

…decided to look at my fantasy hockey teams to find that I’ve got multiple people in my starting lineups who are on injured reserve. Maybe I should look at these more often.

…took the big tervis of coffee to work.

…determined that the straw that came with a cup is only to be used for fruit juice and root beer floats.

…should have done pushups…..and didn’t.

Odd One

It has been a weird few weeks. It has not been bad, but it feels like some crazy shit’s up with the universe.

  • Some of my friends have been dealing with some SERIOUS shit lately. It’s pretty well breaking my heart for all of them, so I do what I do best. Send emails full of random links to funny things. Internet hugs. You know.
  • This past weekend was Mardi Gras. It was, as expected, a bit wild. The wildest part, though not entirely unexpected, was running into a former friend’s fiance. Our conversation was pretty successful in opening some old wounds and making me feel incredibly raw. Not his fault in the slightest, but it was still certainly odd.
  • On a brighter note, GCB and I have been approved for an apartment! We move downtown in just under six weeks. Walking distance to Busch Stadium and Scottrade Center? I’ll take it.
  • So. This past Friday I went to a sports medicine doc about my hip, which hadn’t been feeling much better in the four weeks since that stupid marathon. I had X-rays done plus an exam. Diagnosis? IT band shit, plus a little bursitis thrown in on top of that. I’m now on an anti-inflammatory regiment and will be starting up physical therapy soon. The thing is, I started the NSAIDs on Friday. Today, for the first time since before the race, I went lifting. I had MISSED it, and oh man it was good to be back. I’ll probably be sore tomorrow, but you know what? Worth it. I don’t like how I feel when I’m completely idle for weeks months at a time. I mean, putting my shoes on and driving to the gym, I started to get anxious about the potential pain, but the endorphin boost, seeing the other regulars, sweating, all of it just made me insanely happy.

  • On a somewhat related note, since my hip is neither torn nor fractured, very soon (as in before the end of the week) I’ll be signing up for Tough Mudder. I spent some time today building the framework for a training schedule that I’m pretty pumped about. This, of course, was decided the day after I found out that my marathon is causing me to lose probably my entire right big toenail. After still noticing traces of my blisters. At least that race isn’t until September, giving me a little time to slowly work back into things.
Guys, things have been crazy, but also very good. I am incredibly excited about some of the things I’ve already got planned, and can tell that 2013 is going to be the best year ever.

Love Hurts

So. Yesterday was quite cryptic, huh? I truly am sorry about that, but honestly, there’s some stuff I can’t, or more appropriately won’t, put on here. In the past I know I’ve written things about my family, but at a certain point that stops. These people are THE most important people in my whole life, and we’ve run into a situation where we have to band together and protect one another, support one another, love one another more than we’ve ever had to in the past. This is a really fucking difficult, dark time for us. I keep bursting into random tears, though today’s much better than yesterday. I know that doesn’t explain a lot, well, it doesn’t explain anything, but just know I’m grateful for the good juju being sent our way. Truly.

That said, and maybe it’s because of this situation, but some of the good things in life are seeming that much better. I just spent a week in Portland with my dad and his side of the family, and it was SO GOOD to see all of them. I hadn’t been out there since October of 2008, so there was a lot to catch up on. I have one cousin who looks just like me, so much so that it’s like looking into a mirror into the past. It’s weird. She acts like I did at that age too. Not to mention the time I was able to spend with my stepsisters, brother in law, dad, step-mom, niece, and nephew. The niece and nephew are getting SO BIG, and seriously I think I melted every single time my niece would call me “Aunt Ann.” This is, of course, not to be confused with “Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.” Just no.

I was talking to my grandmother on Sunday (at church even, and I didn’t even burst into flames). We were discussing children, marriages, etc, and she lamented that she’d wished she had done it right the FIRST time. The man she’s married to, my grandfather, is actually my step-grandfather, and her third husband. I suggested that I wouldn’t be here then, which brought out her response of knowing that her children were supposed to be her’s, and she’d have had them regardless. I reminded her that I was supposed to be my mom’s. I was also supposed to be my dad’s. They’re not together, and haven’t been since I was fourteen, but I have no doubt that my mom was supposed to be with step-Mark. My grandfather is MY grandfather, as my biological grandfather died when I was 3, and I don’t remember him. I am where I’m supposed to be. I have MY family, as I was meant to have.

I guess I say all that because family has been on my mind a lot, obviously. Family on the other side of the country, family here, people who have married in, people I intend to make my family, people who are as close as family regardless of legal or blood ties. My mom’s best friend is family. My closest friends are my family. And these people are so important to me.

This sounds all rambly. That’s how it feels in my brain. I love this family of mine. Painfully so, at times. Sometimes they do things I disagree with, and sometimes they make me so mad all I can do is scream or cry or spend hours upon hours staring out the window and yelling horrible things at them in my head. Yet there’s always love. It’s conflicting, and right now, it hurts.

I don’t even know what to say past that.

Power of Love

Ok, I’ll be honest. The title has NOTHING to do with anything, except for the fact that the stupid fucking song is in my head. I blame GCB, as this morning he made reference to the fact that I was his lady. OBVIOUSLY I went ahead and started singing at him….that’s right, Celine Dion before 7am…..and NOW the fucking song is STILL STUCK IN MY GODDAMNED HEAD.

Good thing he’s cute.

This picture makes me smile like an idiot

Today is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday. Right now, I am anything but wordless. Not for any bad reason or anything like that. I’m just FULL OF THOUGHTS.

Honestly, I’m always full of thoughts, but some of those are so random, so prime for making you all think I am a lunatic, that I usually keep most of those to myself. Not today.

Random jibberish commencing.

First of all, there’s this:

Awesome, right? My friend Andy has been creating these Faceless Facebook designs, and this is the one he did of me. It’s coming from this picture: 

I absolutely love it. Seriously. He blows me away on a regular basis with his talent.
Not too long ago, my friend Sarah (who works for the Girl Scouts) offered me a chance to get cookies for $1.50 a box. I got ten boxes of Thin Mints. They’re almost gone. Today is the rungriest day I’ve had in a while, and I am working my way through killing the last sleeve of them I have here. My boss thought it was a great idea to tell me that lean proteins would probably be better for me than the sugar. I had to hold myself back from stabbing him in the throat. Maybe it’s that lately my patience at work has been minimal, but for some reason this just bugs me. Like dude? I’m an athlete. I fucking KNOW that protein would be better for me. I also know that if I ate my lunch now, I would be STARVING by the time I got home, and I have a six mile run on my agenda. Being that hungry with that kind of run ahead never ends well. I also know that one sleeve of Thin Mints is not going to kill me. I ALSO know that I’m in better shape than any single person in my group, so I’m pretty sure I’m o-fucking-kay with this decision. Why this is grating on me, I’m not sure, but I’m all bristly about it. Maybe it’s the implication that I don’t fucking know what I’m doing. Because I guarantee you, I fucking know what I’m doing. That statement applies to work too. I’m trying really hard to not rant about work right now. It is difficult not to. Whatever.
Happier topic. This week I got my flight booked to go out to Portland to see my dad’s side of the family. I am pretty pumped. Granted, I don’t have my flight back yet (still waiting for prices to drop), so that could get entertaining. Not only will I get to see a good chunk of my family (immediate AND extended), but I am taking twelve days off work. TWELVE. I am REALLY looking forward to it.
And then there’s this whole Ann’s running a LOOOOOONG way in like a week. Guess who just took five days off from working out? This girl. Guess who’s just SO burnt out that she’s looking forward to the END of Ragnar? This girl. I am really excited about this race, truly, but at this point I cannot physically improve anymore. I cannot get into my own head about failure, because it’s not an option. I cannot do anything but push myself to the limits and beyond, experience the whole race, and then come home for a pedicure that finally WON’T get jacked up and a few days of doing absolutely nothing while staying guilt-free. I realized yesterday talking to GCB that I have been in training mode since last AUGUST. I need a fucking break. But until then?
Impossible is nothing
My motivation is gone today.
The end.

In the Pines, In the Pines, Where the Sun Don’t Ever Shine

A few things:

–Apparently ordering an entire bucket of beer for oneself does not faze the servers at the bar we went to last night. Works for me.

–Kid Cudi covers Nirvana on his latest album. My current self is staring my seventh grade self in the eye. It is weird. Past meets present.

–I am starting to get questions about why I’m not going to Boozefest. It would be a lot easier to just tell people what happened, but I can’t seem to bring myself to. I miss them all. This hurts my heart. I will not break down this weekend. I will not break down this weekend. I will not break down this weekend.

–I skipped my workout last night. All of it. I napped and went and drank beer. Somehow I feel like this was necessary.

–This commercial motivates the shit out of me. Bring it on, Johnson Ochocinco Johnson Ochocinco.

–I don’t think I say it enough, nor do I think I express it enough to my friends, but I am so beyond grateful that when I’m out with my friends who are in couples that they don’t even slightly make me feel like the odd man out. They really are the bestest.

–Some other friends got me started on Game of Thrones. All I want to do is finish the whole entire first series. Now I am left waiting until we can watch more. This is sad.

–Missouri weather is weird.