12 Sep 2016

Cajun Navy

*orginally published in Marsh & Bayou magazine, September 2016 On August 11, 2016, central Louisiana experienced a weather event unlike anything in our history. An unnamed storm came to a standstill over Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and the surrounding areas, and proceeded to dump trillions of gallons of rainwater mercilessly onto those parishes over the next several days. Catastrophic flooding began on August 12 and continued daily as riverbanks overflowed and floodwaters rushed over tops of

20 Jul 2013

Grit

Several years ago I found myself going through a very tough time emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually. My marriage of thirteen years had just ended, I had sold my home, moved into an apartment with my son, and was struggling to find my way forward as a single woman and mom. I remember feeling intense fear and emotional pain like I had never experienced in my life. My family had watched my weight drop and

1 Mar 2013

Marathon

On February 2, 2014, I will run my first full marathon, 26.2 miles, in the city of New Orleans. I have been training diligently for one full year to prepare my mind and body for this challenge. Throughout the journey of working toward this goal there have been wonderful moments of accomplishment as well as tear-filled setbacks, and I have loved experiencing all of it. As I look back, I realize I completed every single

15 Feb 2013

Hurt

I am excited to be running my first half marathon in New Orleans on Sunday, February 24. I will have been training for a total of seven months, and this journey has certainly not been without its challenges. In October of last year I fractured a bone in my ankle and had to sit out of training for four weeks. It was a difficult time for me emotionally and physically, and I had many doubts

13 Feb 2013

Guilt

Through the years that I have been in fitness, I have found one of the biggest impediments to staying on track and achieving fitness goals is guilt. We feel guilty when we eat too much or when we stray from our diet, when we skip the gym or interrupt our fitness routines. After the holidays, after vacations or major life events, we tend to look at our diversion off course and criticize ourselves for choices

12 Feb 2012

Healing

For anyone who has ever sustained an injury, whether physical or emotional, the greatest lesson is that it takes time to heal completely. We learn that we cannot shorten or control the time in any way. It is almost as if the healing has a life of its own, and we can do nothing but wait for the process to unfold. For seasoned athletes, this wait can be grueling, and can even feel like a

12 Feb 2012

Pain

Humans tend to live by the principle of pain avoidance whenever possible. We sidestep major issues, postpone critical decisions, ignore obvious signs, and remain in unhealthy situations just to avoid the discomfort of taking action. We dull physical pain with substances as quickly as possible, and we dull emotional pain by using other people to make ourselves feel better. Unfortunately, all of our best efforts to escape pain seem to bring more of it into

11 Feb 2012

Plateau

If you are working toward specific fitness goals and have been diligently following a plan that works for you, it can be very frustrating to suddenly find what feels like a halt in your progress. This is often called a fitness “plateau,” or a period of time when you are no longer seeing measurable results. It happens to everyone at one time or another, and it certainly does not mean you have been doing something

11 Feb 2012

Resistance

I recently began taking a spin class at the gym. This class wears me out, every time. By the end of the hour, my hair is matted and stuck to my back, my cheeks are flushed, and my legs are shaking as I climb off the bike. As I am struggling to catch my breath, I notice the precious lady sitting next to me who has not even broken a sweat. Her makeup is still

11 Jan 2012

Desire

There is a bible verse that comes to mind when I am contemplating lifestyle choices. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). I do not interpret this to mean, when you finally get what you want, then you can be happy. On the contrary, I believe you can find happiness in the desire itself. Desire is a life giving, powerful force, and it