Birth Month

Birth Month

August is my month but this year it was actually horrible so I extended my celebration to September to at least Virgo season. I say horrible as in comparison to other years. 2020 has been quite a year and while I tend to be a half glass full person life has been kicking my butt. I am doing my best to stay upbeat reason, and the reason I had to add September to the mix.

So my birth month started good with a date although the guy ended up being a cheap skate. Then I hung out with my line sister and Sorors at an outdoor restaurant. It actually felt like a normal Friday versus one in a pandemic. After finishing seventy-seven mile ride on the day before my birthday, my car was stolen from my parking garage. It was the best ride of the year and the most I had ridden and I felt strong the whole ride. I had planned a karaoke mini adventure thanks to a good friends that has a mom with a lake house for my actual birthday. So the weekend was not a total lost. After the ride I developed an injury that required a minor procedure that took me out for about five weeks. I could not swim, bike or run. I was basically struck at home similar to the initial quarantine.

I had orginally planned a weekend get away to Vegas to see a friend but Vegas was on the banned list of cities that required a fourteen day quarantine upon return to Illinois so I decided that would not be a good idea. So Labor day I planned a weekend get-away or I invited myself to a trip that one of my girls had planned. COVID had me scared. I wore my mask that makes me look like a space alien. I went to a beach get away where I basically read books, jet skied, and played in the water away from people. I did play a little at dinner, it was a nice COVID trip, and a nice wrap up to my birth month. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade.

What I Learned From Chadwick Boseman

What I Learned From Chadwick Boseman

I am still processing the loss of Chadwick Boseman. Although I never knew him personally, I feel like I knew his sprit. My heart hearts for all that truly knew and loved him. I pray for his mother, father, two brothers and his wife. I can’t image his wife’s pain. She had the love of her life who inspired so many and he is gone. I can’t image the void in her heart right now. Today I want to share what I learned from the way Chadwich lived his life and I hope that his lessons inspire me and others to live their best life no matter what.

  1. Cancer sucks, but the diagnosis in itself is not a death sentence. Chad was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. He fought and did not let the disease dictate his life. He fulfilled his passion with the same drive and focus that he had prior. Some might say he had more passion and drive. Cancer has taken away so many that are near and dear to me starting with my parents. All of them left a legacy that continues and he is not any different.
  2. Live today like there will be no tomorrow. Call that person you have been meaning to call. Start that project that you always wanted to start. Tell that person that you have a crush on him or her. Go for it, as you only live once, and you don’t want to have any regrets
  3. Choose your circle wisely. Chadwick was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and his close circle kept his diagnosis private. His circle had his back and honored his wishes until the end.
  4. Along with number three, everyone does not need to be in your business. In the world of social medial it seems like people share a lot of information. Sometimes you feel you even know people you have never met. While this sometimes can be good, somethings are best kept private.
  5. Live you life according you your standards. Chadwick took transendent roles of real and fictional icons. He never settled. He spoke of his role on All My Children and the issue he had with the role in his address at Howard (see below). He demanded the best and he gave us the best. He left it all on the screen.
  6. Last but not least this is what I learned from Chadwick’s wife Taylor Simone Ledward. She found the love of her life it seems. He was diagnosed with cancer stage III which quicken advanced to stage IV. She knew she would not have the time with her love that she had hoped but she stayed, she loved, she took care of him. She was at his side when he left the earth. I learned to love a little harder although it is scary and nothing is guaranteed.

Rest well Chadwick Boseman our forever King #WakandaForever

Saddle Sores

Saddle Sores

This article is not for the faint at heart but knowledge is power. Don’t be like me. How many people have had a saddle sore?  Well I just had the worse experience ever with saddle sores. I have been seriously cycling for about three years when I started my multi-sport journey. I can attest that saddle sores are one of the most frustrating and uncomfortable ailments you can develop as a cyclist. They happen to all riders although some may not share as they happen in an intimate area of the body.  

WHAT ARE SADDLE SORES

When I made my first appointment with a dermatologist and said I had saddle sores. The receptionist had no clue what I was talking about. She did make my appointment though. A fellow triathlete referred me so I knew the physician actually had experience treating them. The doctor explained that saddle sores can be divided into two main types: those caused solely due to excessive friction. The friction causes extensive chaffing and then there those that result from infected hair follicles.

The most simple type of saddle sore is one that’s caused by abrasion of the skin due to excess friction. This can be caused by improper fit, or the wrong saddle. Abrasion saddle sores initially present as raw marks on the skin. If they develop further the skin can break or they can cause a crater-like in appearance.

Infected hair follicles result also are causes by excessive friction. Our skin normally has staph on it. Staph is a bacteria that lives in the skin. The excessive friction around a hair follicle causes breaks in the skin and this can cause an infection. This infection cause results in a small cyst that looks like a pimple to an large abscess that needs an formal incision in order to drain the area. 

HOW TO PREVENT SADDLE SORES

Experiment with different saddles. Find what best for you. I had to try two or three to get the best fit. It was especially difficult on my Triathlon bike. Get a bike fit by a professional.  My bit fitter actually help me decide on the best saddle for me.  Get out of your kit as soon as possible, and shower as soon as your can. If this is not possible baby wipes are a good option until you can get to a shower.  Wear good cycling shorts. This is really important with high mileage rides.  Don’t wear underwear under your cycling shorts. Avoid increasing mileage too soon.  Use chamois cream. I use them on all rides. Some people save for longer rides.  Reapply if possible every 3-4 hours.

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Force yourself off of the saddle every 30 minutes or so. This is especially important on trainer rides as you are more stationary and it causes more pressure. One of the reason I love hills is while I am coasting on the descent I rest my bottom off of the saddle. There is not a consensus on shaving and waxing. Some say avoid it as it irritates the hair follicles and allow bacteria in those follicle. Also shaving and waxing can cause ingrown hairs. There is also the theory that hair provide a buffer to absorb some of the friction that would be transferred to the skin.  Some like me can’t go free- meaning can’t grow free. I believe the hair removal methods that causes the least irritation are laser or electrolysis. As Laser is long lasting removal, and electrolysis is permeant removal. 

HOW TO TREAT SADDLE SORES

If you develop an abrasion, a cyst treat it. I use A&D ointment. My dermatologist also recommended acne medication for pimple sized sore without open skin. Some use Noxzema, tea tree oil, etc. I usually visit my dermatologist and get a cortisone injection and this resolves it. I also use Lidoderm gel to numb the area when I can’t truly rest as I did before my IronMan race last year.  The best advice is to get some rest if you can.  Make sure you thoroughly clean the area. Sitz bathes and warm compresses help with the pain. If sores are severe and don’t get better don’t be like me stop cycling and go see someone before you develop an abscess and need an incision for it to clear up as the pain is unbearable. 

I Feel Violated

I Feel Violated

Dealing with the chaos of a thief, can take a great deal of time to resolve. After getting over the initial shook that my vehicle was stolen, and realizing that I would not make my midnight bike ride I had to make my way to the police station. I could not get anyone on the phone to make a report. I did not way to delay.  After filling the police report, I called my insurance. I then called one of my girls. She calmed me down. It is the worse feeling to be robbed. It is as if you have no control. 

I was blessed to get my vehicle back the following day. A nice police officer who was scanning plates noticed my tag came up. He called me and waited for me to come. My car had minor damage to body. It also smelled like gas as whoever stole it had a generator in the cab of my vehicle. It had wasted gas everywhere.  


Without any clear indication of who stole my car there will be no arrests. The police after I spend time looking at video evidence said it was not enough evidence to pursue. I actually saw the two young men take my vehicle out of the parking lot where I live on the footage from the parking lot. They had masks on. I am sure the masks were not due to COVID.  Since they had masks on there was no way to identify the men. So they will just steal from someone else. The psychological effects after burglary I read  are anger, shock, worry and fear. Many victims experience depression and/or anxiety, with many reporting difficulties sleeping.  I can attest to feeling down, and anxiety. I thought my place in the South Loop in Chicago was safe. I considered my parking lot to be one of the safest as before COVID-19 there was always an attendant on duty. 

Not to mention one week later someone stole and vandalized packages from our management office. So I am missing masks, and my Honey Stinger apparel that was delivered to me this weekend. Add that to the items that were missing from my car it is disheartening. 

Things that I have read that benefit victims of theif

  1. Talk to someone you trust
  2. Breathe, and try to relax. As one thing that 2020 has proven to us all is we are not in control.
  3. Get back into a routine. That was somewhat easy for me as the following day was my birthday and I had to do something to celebrate
  4. Take care of your health, I was forced to as I had matter related to my endurance training that could not be ignored 
  5. Do what you can do to prevent it from happening again. It helps to have good insurance. I recommend State Farm. They have never failed me when I needed to use my insurance. 
10 Ways to Practice Self-Love

10 Ways to Practice Self-Love

Self-Care Sunday we all saw Molly and Issa start the season of Insecure with opportunities to practice some self-love.  I am still in mourning about the end of the season of one of my favorite shows. Well, in the days of COVID-19 we all need to show ourselves some love and grace. Single people like me who may not have our usual social interactions need to be particularly mindful of this. Not to leave out people with families as you are probably spending more time together than usually. You also need some me time for sanity. You deserve to be loved by— YOU. 

These are 10 ways to practice some self-love

  1. Fuel your body with nutritious food, and in the words of my friend Scott Parker hydrate. It is especially important to hydrate in the summer months 
  2. Move something. I am an exercise fanatic and the hardest part is getting out the door or bed if it is an early workout. Exercise promotes endorphins that give you a natural high. It can be something as simple as a walk.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up and not tear you down, and cut those negative people out of your life.
  4. Stop comparing yourself to others. We all are a work in progress. There is always someone better than you, and someone worse than you. Don’t feel bad about yourself or on the other hand don’t be too prideful. 
  5. Celebrate the successes and learn from failures. Don’t dwell on either, life is about continued movement. 
  6. Love yourself. God made each of us different. You are special and uniquely you. 
  7. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s incredible the feeling you get when you realize you have achieved a phenominal feat.
  8. Find a higher power for me that is Jesus. Pray and meditation keep me sane. God is my guiding source and leads me in the correct direction in life’s uncertain time. 
  9. Learn to say no.  No is a sentence and you don’t have to give a long explanation . 
  10. Let go of  that ex who broke your heart, that friends who stabbed you in the back, your Dad who was not there, etc. They may not deserve it, but the resentment and pain that you carry only hurts you. Letting go frees the heart. 

Let us all give ourselves a break in this trying times.

Love Languages

Love Languages

I read Dr. Gary Chapman’s Book at least eight years ago. It was very insightful. I learned that my love language was quality time and a close second was physical touch. My mother second career was a counselor so I have always been about self-awareness. I had another blog about relationships earlier this month, and this is part II.  

Do you know what your love language is? 

Why is it important? 

Well, I was having a deep conversation with one of my friends about life. We were talking about everything COVID, marriage, divorce, dating, raising kids, economy, how things have changed with everything due to COVID-19.  One thing that resonated with me was a story about her marriage.  She had all of the boxes checked so to speak. She went to college. She got a job. She found a man. She had a child and a dog, but she was not happy. She was going through the motions. She was taught that it was easier to smile and be agreeable than to speak up and be yourself even if they means you might not be compatible with a fine young man.  Well, one day after years of smiling and being agreeable my friend realized that she was not happy in her marriage.

She was going through the motions. 

I have been there too. I met a fine young man. He was everything on my check list. I smiled, I was agreeable. I was always the first to apologize even though we both were wrong numerous times. I kept the peace. The worse part about it was although I loved this man, I felt that he just thought I was okay. I felt like I was trying to prove how special I was. Prove to him that I was worthy. Well I lost myself in that relationship or more so situationship.  I didn’t know where I ended and he started. Well it ended badly and it took me awhile to get myself back. 

You may ask why I go into all of this. In order to love and be in a healthy relationship you need to know and love yourself. Part of that is knowing how you love, and how you want and need to be loved. Most people love how they want to be loved.  In order for this to happen effective communication needs to take place so your partner knows your language and you know their language. Effective conversation, not an argument, not whining/nagging requests. I know this can be hard from experience, but it needs to happen.

Primary example would be my love language in quality time, and touch.  Although I am busy I am not the women who need to be with a man twenty-four hours a day. What I do need “quality” time. I need for that person to be present, and be able to hold an intriguing conversation. I love to talk (to certain people- fine men would met that category), that is the way you truly get to know someone.  I mean talk not text. Texting is not a great way to get to know someone although some people think so. 

So I share with you the love languages quiz. See link below

There is one for couples, teens, kids, and single

Learn what your love language is and what you need and want from a potential partner. Also learn what your partner’s language is as well. If you can’t get it the love you need and desire, don’t hesitate to move on if need be.