Sunday, September 25, 2011


Today was T-Day - Triathlon Day.  That meant swimming,  [Which is for the birds - figuratively speaking.  It's actuallly for the fish but that's not how the saying goes] biking, [and hoping that you don't steer into a car or a mailbox - I almost did both], and running [because swimming and biking weren't enough to send my heart into convulsions,  I decided to tack on 2.5 miles].  Two years ago, I saw a story on a local news reporter that did the Ramblin' Rose triathlon in Huntersville and I decided I wanted to see how this "tri" thing worked.  I talked my mom and my sister into training for the RR last September.  My sister was really  the only one out of the three of us that could swim, my mom had a bum knee, and the only bike I had to ride was the one I had at UNCC 20 years ago.  We managed to train and successfully became triathletes in September 2010.   

Now, just a year later, my sister has competed [I do mean competed - she has invested some serious time, money, and training] in FIVE triathlons and my mom has competed in three.  Me? [Yeah....I'm getting there] Well since I started this whole thing one would think I'd be a little more competitive by now....but I am sad to say I am not. [To be completely honest, I was ZERO threat to anyone today. Swear.]  I could give you a whole list of reasons to justify:
1. I have four busy kids.
2. I am married to a coach and he is gone alot.
3. I don't have a really nice bike to ride.
But, today, reality slapped me in the face. [Along with some woman in the pool while she was swimming....and I'm not sure if she meant to.....]  As Molly and I were lined up to swim a news camera caught my attention [Yes, my beauty is that stunning that they were following me] and the scene being filmed was one that brought tears to my eyes.  A woman was preparing to swim - with only one leg.  She walked to the wall, removed her prosthetic leg, and took off down the lane.  Let's go back to my list of reasons why I didn't do so well today:
1. I have four busy kids.   She has a prosthetic leg and she swam in less time than I did.
2. I am married to a coach and he is gone alot.  She has a prosthetic leg but it was obvious that she invested a lot of time into training.
3. I don't have a really nice bike to ride.  She only had one leg.
I don't know her situation but what I do know is that she probably didn't make any excuses about her prosthetic leg and I came up with a million that prevented me from using my TWO good legs to train.  She was not the only person, literally in my path, that made me feel so ashamed.  One lady rode by with the words "Liver Transplant Recipient" written on her leg.  Another lady walked with a cane during the running portion.  Still another athlete with a physical disability crossed the finish line.  And me?  Well I crossed the finish line too but it wasn't because I truly worked to get there.  It wasn't just about today and crossing the finish line but about working to get better.  On my bucket I put a favorite verse: Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord and not for men."  I didn't work on it with all my heart and that makes me sad because I know that God knows that too. 

As I crossed the finish line, Molly told me, "I am ready for the next one!"  We have decided to work on training, together, so that we can be more competitive.  [Actually, today, I was probably more of a threat before I entered the pool....then it went downhill from there....] She did very well today and I am so proud of her effort. I cried when I saw her running back towards the finish line.  My sister [aka Triathlon Hitler] set a new PR for herself and was amazing.  She has trained so hard and her efforts paid off - she made it look easy!  I cried as I watched her round the corner on her run.  I am so proud of her!!! And my mom cut almost 30 minutes off her time from last year. Yes, she passed me on the run and I cried when I saw her too.  She, too, is amazing :)  Three generations of women in the same triathlon ~ God is so good! 

So this F.G.R [Fat Girl Running] is ready for a change.  No more excuses - it's on like Donkey Kong my friends.  I will work at it with all my heart [and train so that my heart doesn't explode because that thought did cross my mind today] and give glory to God in the process.  I have a plan so stay tuned.

If you see me trying to make it up the steps please be nice and don't make fun of me. [Besides, my arms hurt from swimming and I can't hit you.]  As always, life as a Short couldn't be better :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Boots the Bat and Other Strange Tales

I met a vampire today.  Swear.  It nearly attacked me. [It was not named Edward nor did it sparkle.] Emma and I stopped by home to change clothes, grab snacks and the camera, before heading off to Coop's game at North Lincoln.  As I opened the door, I hear this weirdo noise, almost like a cricket.  [Except crickets aren't large with fangs.] I looked over to see Emma's rainboot moving [and not because she was putting it on] and then I realized there was something underneath it.  [Hmmm...could it be a frog or a snake or one of those large Madagascar hissing cockroaches? Frog and snake likely...hissing cockroach was quickly marked off the list]  Upon closer inspection [if you call about 5 feet away close] I noticed fangs [HUGE fangs] then it became apparent that this was not one of your more friendly varmits.  I yelled at Emma to run in the house [I am pretty sure I knocked her down trying to get myself away from the blood sucking monster] and I slammed the door.  Just like in those terrible awesome 80s horror flicks, I opened the door to meet the Monster on Fulton and I quickly found I had royally pi**ed the bat off.  The screeching actuallly broke the glass on my screen door and caused neighborhood dogs to run in circles. [Not really but it sounded good.]  So what do I do?  [I knew what I was NOT going to do and that was try to make nice with Mr. Bat.  Yes, it was a he because only a male would scream when agitated and lost.]  What every wife should do - I called my favorite coach and pled my case: It was an enormous bat with blood dripping from it's fangs and the carcass of a large animal laying near it.  It said it wanted to suck my blood and drink all my diet Sundrop.  You should rush home right away and get it - oh save me!!!  The reply of my favorite coach?  [Only decipherable AFTER he laughed hysterically] "Just pick up the boot and shoo it off!  Or call Billy the Exterminator! [Irritating laughter from all the testosterone junkies (aka coaches) in the background.]  Emma and I had other plans to escape the confines of our house which included using the front door, running like the wind, and getting the heck outta dodge all while the bat's steady screech pierced our ears.  Apparently a little gentle persuasion [and some serious water pressure from a garden hose] will also send Mr. Bat into a little tantrum [see there is another male characteristic] but also remove him from my carport.  Emma will never wear those boots again.....

I wish I could say this was my only strange encounter with an animal but there have been plenty.  One time, on my way to school, I saw several [OK, only three] horses in our neighborhood. If we lived, say, on a horse farm this would not have been weird but we didn't have neighbors with horses [nor did we live on a farm].  One horse was in the neighbor's carport while another was running back and forth across the road.  I panicked [I know - shocker] and decided I should "save the day" so I did what everyone does when they see horses in the carport - I dialed 911:
Dispatcher: 911.  What is your emergency?
Me: Well, it's not really an emergency but I don't know what to do.
Dispatcher: Go ahead. [And at this point, seriously thinking I was just another in a long line of people that calls the comm center for the time, the weather, and directions.]
Me: There are horses in my neighbor's carport?
Dispatcher: Did you say horses?
Me [Now terribly embarassed to have called 911 for horses]: Ummm...yes.  There are several that are running all over our neighborhood.  I am afriad one of them will get hurt. [Or break in, eat some carrots and steal my good china]
Dispatcher: OK.  I will call Animal Control.  By the way, is this the Mrs. Short from Boiling Springs Elementary?
Me [now thinking that I've just turned myself in for some crime I was framed for in the past]:  Yes it is.
Dispatcher: Well this is Mr. Smith* [We'll change the names to protect the innocent] and my son is in your class.
Me [thinking, "I am such an idiot"]: Well what a coincidence. [He will probably be at school, in about an hour, demanding that his child be removed from my classroom and that I be institutionalized.]  Thanks for your help.  Sorry to bother you.
Dispatcher: No problem! [You only wasted 10 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.]  Have a nice day.
Needless to say, Craig has NEVER let me live that one down.  And that parent?  We are still friends and he takes his jabs at me every now and then....and I deserve it.

Yet another freaky animal story to tell....this one about a sheep dog on my front porch.  I arrived home [in my candy apple red minivan] to find a HUGE [legitimately huge] mangy dog thing on my front porch.  I make no bones about the fact that I am not a lover of the canine [except for Maggie and Rylee Turner] but I even know that if a dog ain't waggin' its tail that can spell trouble. Mr. Mangy Mutt was not wagging a tail and he was staring straight at us.  My first thoughts?[I couldn't call Craig because we didn't have a cell phone.]  CUJO!!  Remember when the woman tried to get out of the car and he attacked that yellow Pinto and left his slimy, slobbery yuck all over the windows?  Well I remembered it and we were not going to end up as a Stephen King novel.  I took matters into my own hands: I ran in the house and slammed the door...expect for one thing [well, two really] -Molly and Cooper were in the car still. [Note to self: Make sure the plan includes everyone next time.]  So I ran back out and grabbed the little ones [they were little then] and ran back inside.  Plan B? [As if there ever was a plan A.]  I grabbed one of Craig's shoes [because they are big and heavy and I sure wasn't about to waste my shoes on this dog] and chunked it out the door at this beast.  What did he do?  Yawned, looked at me in disgust, and moseyed off to someone else's front porch.  [I am sure he was Cujo's cousin or at least he'd met him  at a golf match somewhere....]

No need to go anywhere else for entertainment - just ask me about all the stupid things I've done - and you'll be enteretained aplenty.  As always, life as a Short is just batty :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Are You Fo' Rizzle?

We are so very busy these days that sometimes I am totally not sure if I should be picking up a kid, dropping one off, going to a game or to practice. [Actually that is nothing new for me - busy or not] Not to mention that there are three in the house doing homework, Craig has gone back to school to get his Master's degree [I am sure I will deserve a degree beside him since I'm gonna be doing all the typing......], and I am supposed to work in laundry, dinner, more laundry, and just being mom [which is what I ♥ the most]. AND I should be doing more to work out [notice that one came dead last]. This week has been most crazy - haircuts and football games, cross country meets and density labs. [What? You don't do density labs at your house?] Funny thing is, I enjoy every stinkin' minute of it - I love watching Molly cross that finish line. I am so happy when people ask me, "Do you have a son playing today?" and I get to reply, "Yep - he's number 52 and he's the starting center and he plays some defensive end and he's learning to long snap." [Not a proud mom or anything am I?] I follow my favorite coach to every game [and yes, I have learned not to worry about the chatter from the stadium coaches]. Emma, Gabe, and I have a ball after school, running from here to there, laughing, and singing. Never, ever a dull moment around here.
Conversation with Gabe and Emma:
Emma: What is a consultant?
Me [trying to put the word in 7 year old terms]: Well it is sort of a person that can be an expert in something and they help other people get better at that something. [Vague, I know, but she bought it.]
Gabe: So me and Paw Paw we are experts. We are experts in everything.
So if you know my Pops then you know he got a big kick out of this and said he was honored to be in the same company as Gabe.

And once again, since it is the beginning of football season for both Coop and Craig. I stand in amazement at the things people will shout from the stands:
Overheard: What kind of play calling was that coach? What I want to say: What? You've never heard of the fumble play. We tell the boys to fumble the ball on occasion just to keep us honest.
Overheard: We should score coach! What I want to say: Scoring is completely overrated and not really in the playbook tonight.

Overheard: Run boy! You show 'em how you tha best and they need to play you all tha time. What I want to say: Yeah - what he said.

Overheard: That coach needs to change that offense so my boy has his hand on the ball 'cause he goin' prime time. What I want to say: Me too! I love prime time TV - The Office is my favorite.

Overheard: That kid can't play - take him out! What I want to say: SHUT UP YOU MORON!
It's comical really. I've actually come to love it - bring it :)
Craig has become the FCA sponsor at the high school this year and I am so excited for him. He really feels led to be a part of this organization and to especially show the world that he is madly in love with Jesus. The very best part is that Molly and many of her biffles were there and they are excited to spread His word at the high school. [Hey, one person recently said, about Molly and her friends, "They are a bunch of Bible thumpers." My reply? "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19"Thump...thump...thump...thumpity-thump, thump :)]

I was watching Molly run in her first cross country meet today and a kid [high school student that I know] standing near me asked me this question [swear], "Are they playing soccer?" My reply? [I was going to tell you anyway because this was just too juicy to pass up.] "Yes. They are playing soccer. In a minute the ball will come out of the woods with several kids chasing it. It is called cross country soccer." "Are you for real Mrs. Short?" "Yes, I am fo' rizzle." [Today's youth ladies and gentlemen]

I hope to blog more frequently. What you people don't understand is..... that they start foaming at the mouth when dinner isn't ready.....we nearly lost Gabe in a pile of unwashed clothes one time....when did Emma last take a bath?....I don't care if my dresser is clean - I like the clutter so leave it alone....there's going to a mutiny if I don't stop at the grocery store for Klondike bars. [Real conversations and things that have happened at my house.] I will blog when I can [honesty is the best policy] and as always, life as a Short is awesome :)