Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mask sneak-peek and running from zombies

The front of my mask is still getting painted but I called an audible Friday afternoon and asked Jason at Head Strong Grafx to add a tribute to Jessica on the back of my mask. Now, what I asked for was her initials in the spot where San Antonio is on the map of Texas that was already going on the back.

What I got (after he asked if I wanted something cooler than that), was this:

WHAT? I was just blown away. It's just beautifully done and since it's kind of zany mask theme and Jess was kind of a zany girl, it just seems so fitting. Plus, I got green to go with my red hair... hey! Go red-heads!

Anyway, so excited to wear this mask finally. Just honored to have such amazing artwork on there. It's really a treasure. Will unveil more as Jason sends me progress shots.

But one of my last messages to Jessica was that I would let her know how I liked the Zombies, Run! app I was trying out. She hated running and was intrigued by the idea of something to make it less boring, just like I was.

Except I don't find running boring... yet. But I wanted to try Zombies, Run! to see if it maybe distracted me from the agony of running and made it more fun or, fingers crossed, EASIER somehow.

Well. No. It did none of those things for me, but I think it's just me. Lemme 'splain.

I have two things working against me:

First, I shut down like Fort Knox when you boss me around, especially for no good reason. So when the comm guy who is talking to me, Runner 5, as I'm running around collecting supplies for the town and avoiding zombie hoards, says, "OMG RUN RUN RUN!" I'm like, "Fuck you. No such thing as zombies."

Second, running is hard. Like, the first mile, I kind of enjoy. My breathing is good, my legs are peppy, I'm not coated in a waterfall of sweat. But as the run goes on, the more I have to focus on continuing to run. There is self-talk going on like you wouldn't believe in order to even get 2 miles out of me. 3 miles? Yeah, total and complete focus. By the third mile, I don't even really hear my music anymore.

"Just keep going. You can only stop if you're physically ill. But you're fine. It's just hard, but it's not killing you. The hard is what makes it worthwhile. Keep going. I'm sure the lady will say it's been a kilometer in her super awkward way before you know it and then you can walk for a minute. But don't think about that. Just keep going. Zone out. Look at houses, yards, just keep going or you'll feel like a jerk when you're done."

So, if I have to listen to these zombie town people talking to me over my headset between my songs, not only does it keep me from diligently keeping myself going, but it also doesn't time up with my walk breaks (which I really find are helpful to keep me fresher later in the run and also gives me a mental "treat" every now and then).

In my one run with the Zombies, Run! app so far, I ended up walking more than I have for any run. It was literally my worst run ever in terms of accomplishing my goals, feeling strong, etc. Part of that is that I was running along the bayou by my house which isn't flat as a board like my usual route, and also, I really hadn't eaten much in the way of carbs that day and my legs just would. not. go. Though I honestly think that was 90% mental.

At some point, I'll try it again. Maybe when the weather cools off and it doesn't feel like I'm boiling from the inside out and maybe it will take less focus and maybe running 30 minutes won't seem as horrible for the final 15 minutes. And I'll do it on my usual flat sidewalk routes around my neighborhood.

All that said, the story is good and well acted and engaging. I just don't have the focus right now to do anything but will myself to put one foot in front of the other. I kept wanting to stop and walk and listen to the story because I didn't have the focus to both run and enjoy the story.

Bottom line, if you're a headcase like me, it might not work out for you, but if you're an experienced runner, I think this might be a fun way to shake up the ol' routine a bit. At $8 or so, it's not a huge risk either way.


Friday, July 20, 2012

It's everybody's loss

"So sorry for your loss."

My dear friends, hockey and otherwise, have expressed this sentiment many times today as I've let loose my sorrow at the horrific death of my friend and fellow red-headed Texan hockey writer, Jessica Redfield, in the movie theater shootings in Colorado last night.

I very much appreciate the sentiment and support and hugs, but all I can think is, "It's all our losses. We ALL lose here." We are all minus one spunky, funny, down-to-earth, smart, hockey-loving gal.

She was someone I considered a friend, even though we hadn't met yet (I always assumed we would eventually... hockey is a small world), but I've come to realize how many people fall into all the same boat. "I just talked/texted/DMed with her yesterday." I've seen that so many times from so many people today. She managed to touch that many lives, up close, from afar, everywhere she went.

We bonded over a number of things: Being southern girls passionate about a northern sport. Our deep love for Texas and hockey and most importantly, sharing our love of the game with others through our media work. She didn't just dally around the edges of hockey either. She learned to play, she wrote about it, she connected with movers and shakers in the hockey media fearlessly -- not because of what they could do for her, but because of what she could learn from them.

It's been a really tough day. I can't imagine how much worse it's been for her family and closest friends. I'm surprised by how hard this has hit me personally, but Jessica stood for something that you don't see much anymore. She had integrity in the face of plenty of reasons to ditch integrity. She had maturity beyond her years in that regard (beyond MY years, even), and I've long admired her for that. I was so looking forward to seeing her career and her life blossom. She had so much going for her, I had no doubt she was going to get a big chance one of these days.

I've seen a lot of great things written about Jess today, but this post spoke to me the most.

I keep seeing pictures of her that her boyfriend is tagging on Facebook and I just can't believe she's gone. But in a way, she lives on in all of us who knew her, even just a little bit. I'm having her initials painted on my mask so I always carry a little piece of her spirit with me. But right now, it feels hollow. A pretty special light was extinguished last night and it will take a while to come out of the dark.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Drunken win

Well, that was a fun night at the rink.

Started with meeting the opposing goalie at the bar before the game for a few drinks. Neither of us had ever played tipsy goal before and we figured if we BOTH were buzzed, it would be an even playing field. So, tonight was the night. We met an hour before we had to get dressed, each knocked back 3 frozen strawberry margaritas, and wobbled to our locker rooms to get ready for the game.

The hardest part was remembering how to put my gear on. I'm usually kind of on auto-pilot doing that, but I kept having to stop and think, "Okay, now, what's next? How do I do this?" Once I got on the ice, though, I actually felt fantastic! Well, after a quick warm-up anyway. At first, I couldn't track the pucks (which made me giggle a lot), but I got it together pretty quick.

I've always said I'd be happier and more successful in life if I could just go around with the equivalent of one drink in me. Just knock that inhibition down a notch, right? And it seems that in goal, a little alcohol in the system and a little inhibition reduction is quite a good thing. Also, thinking less is good. Moving more freely without fear of really getting hurt. Just reacting. It was pretty great.

Of course, they scored first and I thought, "Uh oh" but it was a breakaway by their best player, so even sober, my odds aren't great there. Rest of the game, I made some crazy saves that I don't normally get to and though the score was stuck at 1-1 for a long time (how great a story would it have been if it had gone to a shootout?), we won 3-1 in the end.

Hard to deny that a little drinkie-poo might be a good thing, or at least isn't a bad thing. I think 3 drinks was too many, but a shot, maybe two, seems about right. I don't think I'll be making it a habit though. Too many calories negating the workout.

After the game, we headed back to the bar (I wasn't going to pass up victory beer) and I HAD to have some of their delish chicken noodle soup. So good!

Then I look over my shoulder and notice the Griffs taking the ice. I tell the girls, "OMG, my pretend goalie boyfriend is playing!" and from there, the rest of the night is spent watching the B-league game and cheering for my pretend goalie boyfriend (okay, one of many). He rocked it out as usual, in his foxy Brusty pads, and had a shutout until about 2 minutes left, when the dumb other team got a couple of quick goals that I totally blame on defense. :)

It was fun to watch and hopefully we didn't embarrass anyone with our cheering and gawking. I will admit, there was one glove save that made me blush. Inappropriate things were said. It was a really sweet.

Anyway, the Griffs took the win and we took off for the night.

Supposed to get up and run in the morning but I drank a bunch and wrote this instead. Goooodnight.


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