MMB

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Body Issue (part 2): Post Mormon




One summer, while studying at Utah State University, I was fortunate to have a bedroom to myself. It was in a attic room in an old house, and it got really hot up there. There was no air conditioning, and I was working at Wal-Mart  that summer. I used my employee discount to purchase a small fan, that I still use to this day.  I came up with all sorts of techniques for staying cool. But my favorite thing of all out of this situation was what I called 'Naked guitar time.'

After I got out of the shower, I'd buzz across the hall to my room in a towel, shut the door, drop the towel and spend how ever long I felt like it playing my guitar and just being naked. 

It was one of the greatest stress relievers I had ever experienced and was incredibly freeing. It was a time to litterally be comfortable in my own skin.  But the time was short lived. The summer ended, I moved into a shared room in an apartment of six women. 

Then I decided to go on a mission at the end of the year, resulting of course in receiving temple endowments, and beginning a decade without naked guitar time, or really any naked time outside of showering.

Slowly my body became alien to me, always covered up in so many layers of clothes. I lost a small piece of myself for a while.  

When I left the church, and stoped wearing garments, I was very cold all the time. Having direct contact with my bra to my skin felt odd, and having had that thin shirt layer between me and the world for a decade left that area extra sensitive for a time. Eventually I adjusted.

Finding underwear was difficult. I no longer liked the thin material of traditional women's underwear, nor the feeling it gave me of having my legs separated from everything else by these two small little leg holes.  I also had issues with thigh friction, and they were used to being protected from that. 

I immediately began a quest to find women's boxer briefs and the closest I found was boy shorts. This was not adequate, so for a time I tried a number of mens boxer briefs, but they were not a whole lot better. Then one day I stumbled upon Tomboyx, and found my match. Shorter than garments, but longer than boy shorts, these colorfully designed underwear were made for women's bodies, and I felt more comfortable than I ever had before.

Adjusting to clothing was a big part of the journey. "Modest is hottest" was a phrase that had dominated a decade of my life, and the route back to my teenage tank top, and normal length shorts has been far more tricky than the underwear. My tan lines on my arms, as well as not used to feeling air on that skin made that a two year journey. 

When I took the above pictures with my friend earlier this week, it was not the first time I had wore a tank top in public, but it was the first time I felt comfortable doing so since probably my senior year of high school. Me and my post Mormon friends often joke about 'porn shoulders' for our sleeveless shirts, confronting the remnants of modesty shaming in our cultural lens. 

Another hot topic in that circle has been tattoos. Should I get one? What should I get? Where would I put it? We were all pondering this until one friend followed through and told us how much it hurt. We're still discussing it, but some of us want to know where is the least painful location first. It's a deeply thought out process. 

There is a freedom that has come post Mormonism, to decide what to keep, and what to not keep when it comes to ideas about our body, what is good, what is bad, what is harmless but just up to me. There is a deepening recognition of rape culture and it's effects. What you wear doesn't cause rape, rapists cause rape. What you wear doesn't lead to out of control immorality, if anything hedging yourself in with fear about your body creates a culture steeped in taboo, and unhealthiness that feeds into that out of control feeling.

The greatest gift of post Mormonism has been a healthier relationship with body and sexuality, which has given myself and those I have spoken with freedom from that feeling of peril, of being on the edge of disaster by any and every small choice, and neglected need.  Healthy sexuality makes life much easier, and much more joyous than overly rigid, disconnected, unhealthy  pent up frustrated sexuality.

Confronting to culture of the Word of Wisdom brought many of us to enjoy coffee, and recognize it's health benefits. Beliefs of what you should put in your body, can effect how you perceive your body. 

As I transitioned to new beliefs, I talked to my friends and did research, to find what was true about my former beliefs, and what was questionable, or even false from a medical and scientific perspective. 

 Alcohol was was another chapter in this transition. It can have negative effects, but in moderation isn't always harmful. In my post Mormon friend groups, some smartly stay away, recognizing a history of alcoholism in their families. Some studied up and try things, but in moderation. I learn that I am the lightest of light weights, and strict moderation is the only thing my body will allow for. You will never see me have two drinks, and it's more than likely, if I have one, some one will be finishing half of it.  Some others  found they didnt get the calming effect from it they were expecting, and had much higher tollerance.  

There was a feeling of being a second adolecence/young adulthood, as 30, 40, and older year olds try things or learn about things for the first time. Other people your age already did this, you did not. That can make you feel a little insecure, behind, and overwhelmed. 

Along with the fear of a Mormon friends seeing you in a tank top, drinking your latte and judging that the reason you left the church was to go have fun and "sin" experimenting with these things, rather than that you left and no longer  could find a logical reason to not drink coffee, or tea, or wear tank tops on a hot day. 

As our thoughts and beliefs about clothes, and food, and drink change, our relationship with our bodies change. Things we used to be very judgemental about before  are now things we are curious about, and must ponder if they fit in our lives after all or not. It is a journey that brings many questions, many choices, much responsibility, but also much joy.

The journey out of the LDS church has a lot of physical and emotional ramifications. It is a journey of self discovery, at times deeply emotional, but ultimately I feel I have come to know and understand myself better, and I have come to feel more confident with the decisions I have made for myself. 

It's a journey of becoming more worried about what I think, than what everyone else will think, because you have to. Because your Mormon friends may think what you are doing is wrong, and your never Mormon friends may not understand why wearing a tank top on a hot day and Drinking a coffee is such a big deal to you. 

I have moments where I fear being judged by one side or the other. I sometimes fear something will happen and someone will say "it's your own fault, God told you so."  

But I feel as comfortable in my skin again as I had begun to feel those college days of naked guitar time, and in those moments I start feeling afraid of judgement of other people, I ask myself, what do you really feel and believe about this? Why are you feeling these feelings? Is it because you are wrong, and you know you are wrong? Or is it because you were taught this is wrong and you know what people are thinking about you for disagreeing? 

I answer That question as honestly as possible, and move forward, becoming more of who I am, and less of who people think I should be, and that gives me peace. I have felt more and more self confident and steady as I go, despite continuing wobbles, and fresh challenges along the way. 



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Body Issue (Part 1) : You Should Go And Love Yourself

This past Sunday, I experienced a body image roller coaster the likes and intensity of which, I do not recall ever experiencing before.

I was extremely tired, having not slept well at all. So I was glad my friend had messaged to cancel our 9 am walk, because I would have more time to try to sleep, and get ready for my Seattle Reign game and volunteer duties. But I was also kind of sad we weren't meeting, because I knew I was struggling deeply to feel human connection, to feel lovable, and acceptable.

This game was a big deal to me. Marta the Brazilian soccer legend  would be playing, as would Ali Krieger, and one of my favorite human sports celebrity figures on the planet... Ashlyn Harris.

I Knew I would be headed to the fan zone post game for autographs. I wouldn't skip this definite once in a year (possibly once in a lifetime) opportunity. But, I also hate the fan zone. I hate being there asking for autographs.

The players are amazingly kind and friendly  to the fans, but internally my shy side is in full effect in the fan zone, coupled with the feeling of "you're an adult. You're older than most of these players, it's not cool for you to be here"

I have no idea where this feeling comes from, as there are pleanty of people my age and older in the fan zone, without kids. Humans need inspiration and roll models no matter the age of either the human seeking inspiration, nor that of the human inspirer.

But we ain't even there yet, because I ain't even left my house. So let's back this up. Deciding what to wear to a game and getting my hair right is very important to me. Memorial stadium is a major part of my community life post Mormonism. And a desire to be accepted by ones community is ever present.

I wanted to feel like a badass. I wanted to dress and look in a way that would make me feel empowered. I was on my way to potentially meeting some of the most badass, inspiring people (cough cough, ashlyn harris),  meeting new friends in my volunteer efforts, and meeting people I am interested in ... getting to know better ;)

So I went for my "power suit" and snapped on my utility kilt. My hair game was tops, and I felt like I was looking pretty hot. Game on. Ready to go.

I boarded the ferry an hour later, feeling confident and bold. As I walked to the "quiet cabin" I passed a group of ladies, sitting on a bench outside. I didn't look and see these ladies, but my mind decided they were pretty feminine straight girls. As I walked passed I heard myself being talked about and my defenses instantly went up, and I started to shut down.

I heard one of them say "look at her Utility Kilt, I love it. That is the cutest one I have ever seen."

Wait? What?  I'm pretty sure I was blushing as I tried to remain cool and slip into the cabin, quietly. Pretend you didn't hear a thing, don't make eye contact, you don't hear them talking about you.

How did I feel so defensive about a compliment? I had been expecting the worst. The opposite had happened. But good or bad, I don't really like a lot of attention. I went and took a nap, pondering the underlying emotional dynamics I was feeling.

I showed up for my volunteer time, and strung some passes on a lanyard, and that was it. They didn't really need us today, and I felt kind of useless. At one point the wind picked up, and me and another volunteer doubled back to help brace up the merchandise from the gusts. Then back to standing around.

Then the Seattle Magestics showed up. And one of the most peppy, fun women's pro football players came up and started talking to me. They were there to get more fans coming to their games. It worked. I plan on going. They were really nice, and really cool, and mentally I felt a little pick up for a bit.

Then during the game, I was admiring Ashlyn Harris's new short haircut, which I absolutely adore. The college girls behind me started talking smack about it, and how they liked it much better long, it was so much prettier then, they said.

This instantly brought back all the memories of flack I have gotten over my short hair, and I just wanted to shout at them "Listen, a holes, your opinion of her hair, and my opinion of her hair doesn't matter. What matters is how she feels about her hair, and if she loves it."

I didn't, but I wanted to.  I love my hair. I love it. It makes me feel empowered and very happy.

In this moment of projection, all those small passive aggressive digs at my short hair, and not so passive aggressive digs flooded back to me and I projected things I wanted to say to the diggers. I love my hair. Your negative opinion on it, is none of my damn business, and I don't want to hear it. You aren't destroying my love of my hair, but you are a little bit destroying my desire to be around you, and I would like it if you would stop.  Keep your negativity to yourself. My short hair is a hard won life long battle to care more about my own opinion than everyone else's, to love myself for who I am, and freely express that. Your words won't make me lose that fight, but they remind me that I have to keep fighting it and I can't always trust the people I wish I could.

Soon after that, Ashlyn Harris got injured. Now I might not get to meet her, and I might not get an autograph. I was sad. The game was intense and amazing, and by the end I didn't even care that we had tied.

I went to the fan zone, alone. Something that's hard for me to do. And while waiting there I felt confident enough to start talking to this really good looking lady standing next to me. It went pretty well. We met Marta, who took a picture of me and her with my own phone. Then we met Ali Krieger.  The reign players came and I got a rare Laura Harvey autograph. Lu Barnes and Bev yanez came over, and made me feel right at home chatting like we were old friends.

Ashlyn Harris was still on the field, hobbling around with help. I hoped still she could hobble our way, but understandably  she did not. Me and my new friend desperately wanted to meet her. We both love her hair, and her soccer skills and find her inspiring. We discussed possibly shouting "Hey Ashlyn" to see if we couldn't possibly coax her our way. But as if she heard our discussion in the moment before we could say or do anything, Ashlyn Harris looked straight at us, waved, and hobbled into the locker room.

It was good enough. Next I thought about giving my new friend my phone number. ;) but I couldn't. I felt too fragile. I was bolstered enough by all the positive events of the day, but I felt this weak undercurrent of emotional energy, like one rejection would be enough to topple the whole thing  and send me into a horrible downward spiral.

I have spent the days since in conversations and thought  on body image, on self esteem, on confidence. I have listened to podcasts and read blogs and reports from some of my favorite celebrities being real, and honest about their own struggles. I have talked to friends and considered a lot of angles and dynamics. I'm feeling fairly good about things this week, but I felt the time had come for a discussion on this topic, from me.

The undercurrent of negativity is still flowing in my life. The only way I know to defeat it is openness, honesty, and vulnerability. I must face this head on. So we will face it together.

There is far too much to fit in a single blog post, so this will be a series I will write through the week. Some of my topics will include: nature vs nurture vs me, athletes, skin deep, masculinity/femininity, dating and marriage, hight, weight, and healthiness, and  post-mormon issues.

These will be my thoughts and experiences, as well as those of my friends who have boldly shared their stories. This won't be expert advise, just an opportunity to know that we are all human, and we aren't in this alone.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Carry 5k

Well, I promised a blog post about our 5k for water 1st international, with the Seattle Reign. So here it is.

Diana and I left poulsbo at 9:55 am sunday. This was much later than we should have left, but I woke up early and got distracted in my garden, and didn't start taping my legs with KT tape until it was time to go.

Diana took Nick for a quick walk while i finished  placing the magic stretchy tape in all the magic places to give support to my foot. And then we hopped in the car and hoped we would make the ferry.  It was a very close call. I dropped D at the top of the hill, with all of our empty water containers and wraps, and hurried down to park at her friends house.

Then I ran up the hill, then down to the ferry. I made the boat just as they did the last call for walk ons. I was tired, my legs were tired. And my lungs burned. And then we sat for 40 mins and I drank a protein shake. I probably should have stretched or something other than just sitting, but it was fine.

We got off the ferry, and walked pretty quickly to the monorail. We were at the fountain and the space needle in no time at all, so we walked around, signed in and got our shirts, and started loading up on free goodies. Kind bars, Pop popcorn, and stumtown nitro cold brew coffee. We also drank a ton of water. Well, I know I did, not so sure about D.

We saw Elli Reed from the Reign, but I wasn't in the mood for chating  or autographs, so I just pointed out that she was the one from utah, and we sat by the fountain and watched Thor  and some other cosplayers do a photo shoot.

We filled our gallon jugs then played with the wraps. Figuring out how to wrap and carry the water was the big challenge. We made it work.

Just before the race was about to start, Carmen Sandiego showed up, did a walk in registration and joined us.  We did two laps around key arena, the space needle, and memorial stadium, for a nice easy 5 k walk in excellent weather. I wore my kilt, and that kept things nice and cool.

We stopped once in the middle, with a bunch of other people for a potty break, and then we were done. It was over. Carmen Sandiego said goodbye, and we emptied our water jugs and headed over to Mod Pizza to get some lunch.

D went out on the patio to save us a place after we ordered, and I waited to grab the pizzas. When I brought them out, my friend was not looking well at all, her face was red and you could tell she wasn't feeling well. I figured some time sitting and some food would probably help, but after 10 minutes she wasn't looking any better and she wasn't really eating her food.

I went inside for help. The super awesome manager, Brandon came out and sat with us, quickly determining it was dehydration. He gave her ice filled gloves and wet towels to put on her head and cool her down. He sent an employee over to get some fresh orange juice from the skillet, and  he swabbed her wrists with alcholol wipes, which is supposed to help with blood flow I believe he said and then he called the paramedics to come check things out.

D's vitals were all  ok, so we just sat there and rested for a few hours and kept cooling her down.  Finally she started to seem animated and normal again. Her face went back to a normal color, and we hopped on the monorail and caught a ferry home with all the mariners fans.

It was very emotional for me, to see my friend not feeling well. I felt a bit scared and wanted to cry at one point. But luckily everything was ok, and we all got home safely.  

The moral of this story I think can be the things the EMT  pointed out. Diana is a runner, she's in good shape, this was not a difficult 5k. However she had done a lot in the days leading up to this event, and that does take a toll. No matter your fitness level, your body needs recovery days. Especially the older you get. It also needs water. Stay hydrated, it's very very important.

As my friend Sara and I sing at work

"Stand up, stand up, drink water before you dehydrate."

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Some People I'd Like You To Meet

 The other day I was talking to my brilliant co-worker about things we love and why. She is not the least bit into sports, with one major exception. She is a massive baseball fan, and specifically she loves the New York Mets more than any person I have ever heard of.  I made her a special Mets Nutcracker for Christmas.

Then there is Carmen Sandiego. Those of you that are friends with me know that Carmen Sandiego is the nick name of a lady that I have gone on a number of dates with, surprisingly most of them to Reign soccer games. This is surprising because  she, like my co-worker, isn't the slightest bit interested in sports. But after I got her through the first half of the first game, and explained to her the basics of what was going on, and who people were, she seemed to like it. I think she may have been more interested in the game than me.  Ha ha! and she still isn't a sports person.

 As my co worker and I had our deep discussion about why she loves baseball, and why she loves the Mets; And I talked about why I love the sports and teams I do, and why I don't care about others, we came to a mutual conclusion that a big factor in being invested in and caring about a team  (whether you like sports or not)  comes down to having some personal connection to that team, that community.

That's how I, a Figure Skater who watched soccer once every 2-4 years, suddenly became a die hard fan attending every game.

 When I think back to the first Reign game I went to,  I only knew who Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe were. I felt a little out of place in the stands, and even though I knew the rules, I didn't know the players or traditions and I felt a little odd.

 But then I met this girl from Kuwait. We met online and became soccer buddies, attending the games together. She became one of my best friends in the world, and she got me to finally take advantage of one of the greatest opportunities Women's Pro soccer gives you- The Fan Zone. I'm extremely shy when it comes to asking for autographs. but my Kuwaiti friend would drag me down to the Fan Zone, and she knew all the players. She talked to them after every game. So, because of her, I started to know who they were, and it started to take on some meaning for me.

I often invite my friends to come to soccer games with me. its much more fun that way, and I will be your guide to the traditions at Memorial Stadium, the rules of the game if you need it, and right here, right now I am going to give you the opportunity to get to know my take as a fan, on some of these  amazing women. Please bare with me my non sportsball loving friends and read to the end of this post. I promise you, I will make it worth your time.

I'm going to start with the Goal Keeper- no, its not Hope Solo. She did play for the Reign, last year. but she had shoulder surgery, and all that craziness with the US women's national team, so for now she is not playing. I wish her an excellent recovery, and much more distant  happy ending to her career.

Our goal keeper is Haley Kopmeyer. She was trained under Hope Solo, and  is pretty impressive. If you didn't like the drama of Hope Solo, as many people did not, you may find the comedy of Kop much more palatable and she learned a lot skill wise from solo and is amazing at stopping that ball. super talented.
In addition to her job keeping soccer balls out of the goal, she also does these hilarious and charming short YouTube videos  Stops With Kop where she goes around Seattle talking with her team mates. Her tweets are also well worth following for those who do twitter.  Also, she smiled and waved at me when I was doing the volunteer set up, on her way into the locker room pre-game. I was focusing on grabbing some heavy metal gate, so I wasn't expecting that at all, and I was quite excited about it after.


Next I'm gonna mention Megan Rapinoe. I'm sure just about everyone has heard of Megan Rapinoe in some context. She was on that very watched women's national team that won the World Cup in Canada. She is also (as far as the last time I read up on this stat) the only person to score a goal from a corner kick. And she did it during the Olympic Games!   But the reason I love Megan Rapinoe is because she has a way of helping people just learn to embrace their inner weird kid and love themselves for who they are. If you haven't read it yet, you simply must read this letter she wrote to her 13 year old self. If you are having a bad day, the very first thing you should do is read this letter.
 Its powerful stuff            http://thelab.bleacherreport.com/dear-megan/ 

Jess Fishlock is from WALES. She has 100 caps (that means she has played 100 games) for the Welsh national team. More than any other man or woman. Shes pretty amazing, and she isn't that tall, which is surprising because she has a tall presence. Ive met her, she has maybe an inch on me. possibly 2.  This summer she went in the off season and played in the Women's League in Australia.  Her team wasn't doing so great, and half way through the season the coach left the team! So Jess Fishlock steps up and becomes a player/coach, and her team goes on to win the League.  She is pretty amazing, and one of the kindest people I have ever met (off the field. On the field she isn't one to mess with). Last year at the season ticket holders event I was so Impressed with how willing she was to spend time with all the people that wanted a picture or an autograph. it was a very positive experience and so great to watch the way she interacted with fans of all ages.

Now, there are obviously a lot of players on our team, so I can't spend all night talking about all of them... well I could but you would stop reading. So I'm going to do a quick run down on the rest.

Coach Laura Harvey.  Harvey is amazing. She is from England, she has the best accent. its Brilliant! and she is super smart. She is the only woman coach still coaching in the league and only one of three original coaches from the first season. This off season, they even had her coach the us women's under 23 team.  She even has tee shirts with her face on it, because the fans here in Seattle love her so much.

Carson Picket- Shes in her second year with the team. shes from Florida, and she has so much spunk and talent. If you come to the game you will probably spot her for the speed and agility first. But the second thing you are going to notice, when she stops moving is that she was born without a left forearm and hand. But only when she slows down, because usually you will just see a blur speeding past you. Amazingly talented woman, inspiration to not let others or our own perceived obstacles stop us from doing what our heart says we can and should in life.

I'm now going to speed this up a bit with some lumping:
International Super players:
We have two amazing Japanese players-  Naho, and Rumi Utsugi. they have definitely added to the diversity our fan base, and I love it.  They don't speak much English, but are very nice during autograph signing. and they are pretty badass players.

We have a great Scot!!! We used to have two Scottish players, but now we only have one. But she is super cool, and you may get to hear her accent if you head down to the fan zone after the game. Rachel Corsie plays on the Scottish national team.

If you LOVE Kiwi's (not the fruit) We Have one! Rebekah Stott. I haven't got to meet her yet, but I want to. because my brother served his mission in New Zealand, so maybe he would think I'm cool.

Utah folk- We got one! Elli Reed is from Utah. and she is super cool, super nice, and super doing the 5 k with me tomorrow. me and everyone else.

Rookies:  Our rookies are awesome. they just got drafted from college, and immediately came onto the team, started, and scored some goals. Kristen McNabb,  and Katie Johnson, I haven't met them yet, but I am excited to see what they do. they are off to a great start.

Now, we've gotten this far and I haven't mentioned Beverly Yanez or Lu Barnes. Yanez and Barnes are probably the nicest people  I have ever met. I got to talk to them a lot last year when I was with my Kuwaiti friend. They also incredible at the soccer, but since I'm not writing this for soccer fans, I'm just gonna say, that meeting Bev Yanez and Lauren Barnes is probably the best thing that can happen to you if you are having a bad night and want to have hope restored in the goodness of humanity.

Merit Mathias. Merit is a baddass.  That's how I feel about Merit. she's pretty aggressive on the field, in my opinion. Also she got hit really hard a week ago in a game and had an instant massive goose egg, and then just laughed at it as she came off the field to get checked for a concussion.

Kiersten Dallstream, and Christine Nairn. I don't know them yet. I have seen them play, they are good. but I haven't had a chance to meet them.

I'm a little shy, and my friend has gone back to Kuwait. So, I have an extra ticket for all of the home games this season. I need a soccer buddy. Even if its someone that "isn't into soccer"  I've gone to a lot of games with people that aren't into soccer.  If you go with me to a Reign game, just like them you will want to come back for one more. They are really exciting action packed games, no diving like the men. Even if you don't know what is going on, it will hold your interest, and if you do know what is going on, you will be impressed with the skill level. AMAZING.

 I would like to meet Nairn and Dallstream, and Stott. Will you join me? Will you be my soccer buddy? I will explain all the rules to you when you ask, and I will admit honestly when I wasn't paying attention and missed something (this happens sometimes, and will help you feel less alone when you don't know why everyone is suddenly booing the ref. I don't know either, I was posting that last goal on Facebook).

And you may not leave the stand feeling like the worlds greatest soccer fan, but the great thing about the Reign games, vs the Sounders is that its smaller, and you don't have to stand for 90 mins. you can sit the whole time if you want and no one is blocking your view. you can sit on the front row, even with my tickets, which weren't very expensive. you can get really good meat pies or tacos from the food trucks. the tacos are only $2  a taco.  They are the best taco's I have ever had.  And, you may even get a sun tan. Its a great way to get vitamin D.  Mostly, you will get to spend a lot of time with me, and these wonderful women.

And that's not all... If I may appeal to the feminists in the crowd... If you want to resist the current administration and their attacks on women, showing up and supporting the local women's team is an excellent form of resistance. ;)

Any way, I may or may not have won  you over  I hope you have at least gotten to know a few of my favorite amazing women a little better. Even if its not on the pitch, I hope that you will find them and their stories inspirational.  You can see their games on Lifetime this year.  yes, home of Project Runway does a Saturday NWSL game of the week.  And if you don't have cable, you can watch the other games on www.Go90.com  and you are always welcome to come to my house for away games. I will feed you.

Tomorrow I will be walking the 5k for the water charity with some of the team. If the opportunity arises, I will take pictures and post them, so you can see who these lovely ladies are.  They are very special to me. they give me my inspiration fuel when humanity and politics make it run low, and that happens a lot these days. They fill my bucket with Reign power.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Time For A 5k

In two days time, my friend Diana the Most Awesome  (I just gave her a title, because she is, and deserves it) and I will be heading to seattle on a ferry, then doing a warm up walk to west lake mall. I'm assuming we will want to take the monorail, so as to not over do it before the race.

The Monorail (I cannot say this without picturing Homer Simpson driving it) will take us to the space needle. We will register, and then take a container for water over to the fountain, fill it with a gallon of water, and prepare to walk a 5 k with it around the space needle area.

As much fun as I think 5 ks  are, I hate running, so I'm happy this one is a walk. What makes me a little nervous is that I will be doing this walk carrying a gallon of water.

The walk is for a charity, Water 1st international. And our  whole registration fee will be going to the charity. So that's really cool.

As someone who has ran a charity drive, one thing I love about this walk is the reason we are carrying a gallon of water. This charity helps small communities in certain poor areas of the world be able to get clean water near to them.

This helps less people die from  bad water, and allows girls to go to school instead of walking and fetching water all day. What I love about the 5 k carrying water, is that it is an opportunity to not just send some money their way, but to gain empathy for a small part of what those people might go through.

I'm a bit nervous because my plantar faciatis has started to flair up in the past week, and so I may have to back out on carrying water and just walk. However, I really want to carry the water, so I've been very good about icing and all the things this week, and it has gotten better.

If anyone wants to join me and Diana, you can do a virtual walk if you can't make it or don't live in the  seattle area, or you can sign up and join us even on the day.

Or... You can sort of sponsor my walk, and just send a donation to the charity if you desire. I don't have Diana's link, but here is my page for the event
https://my.water1st.org/fundraise?fcid=972175
Or, one of my favorite co workers, who has done the walk before, is going to come cheer us on from the sidelines with her cute little dog. I also appreciate that, and the friend in Arizona that is cheering me on via Facebook messenger.

Any way, we will be walking with the Seattle Reign pro women's soccer team, and it should be fun. I will write a follow up blog to let you all know how it goes, pictures and all. 

Happy Friday!