The Look of Accomplishment

After a couple of weeks of back & forth with the race photography company, I finally received the download I had paid for.

Taken minutes after I crossed the finish line...this was my look of pride...of accomplishment. I still have the medal hanging from the top of the mirror on my dresser. I look at it every day. It reminds me of something I already knew - I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to. It is an affirmation that I don't have to say out loud. All I have to do is look up at it.

I swore I wouldn't do another race...and yet have the link to the Columbia Sprint Tri & the Columbia Triathlon in my inbox with a reminder of when registration opens. Go figure. I guess I got the bug. We'll see.

Whatever I decide....

I can do ANYTHING! I put my mind to. Hear me roar.



YES! I finished the Navy 5 miler in just the time/goal I had set for myself coming off the Nation's Triathlon two Sunday's ago. After the Triathlon, I took the week off from all forms of training to give my body a rest. Last week, I did a couple of short runs just to get the feel of my legs back under me.

I felt slow. I WAS slow. My legs still felt like concrete slabs but I pushed through. I set a goal to do the 5 miler is an hour or less and I FISHISHED just as I planned.

Now, it is time to put in some work for the Army 10 miler (I am the Team Captain for the Usual Suspects - see our team shirt over to the right). I plan on doing a lot of interval training in an attempt to pick up a little speed and add 1-2 distance runs during the week. Under 2 hours for the Army 10 miler is the goal. That would be awesome.

Regardless, I will be a FINISHER!!!


Princess Cara Gets Her Yellow Belt

I thought I was over the whole "Soccer Mom" deal with Erin grown & Jordan off to college...but alas, with the addition of Princess Cara to the family, The FireMarshall and I are doing the drill all over again.

Here we go again with PTA's, Sports, Play Dates, All Things Disney & now Karate. Except this go around, 13 years after Jordan, The FireMarshall and I are those old parents that are like "Whatever makes you happy, baby." (within reason, that won't turn her into an axe murderer). If she falls or hurts herself, we don't get all in a huff or make a big deal out of it...we are like if there isn't arterial blood, then oops, you be a'ight. Princess Cara is spoiled; we spoil her rotten...but she is a good girl. Ya'll know we love it.

"Mommie, I want to get all the belts my brother has!" Prince Jordan is a Black Belt.

Absolutely Princess Cara. You can do it. We will be there cheering all the way.


Sucker Punched

I had a doctors appointment today. It was a follow-up, but I had to discuss another issue that has reared its ugly head AGAIN (fibroids). No biggie. Right up until the nurse who took my BP and weight, decided to tsk, tsk, tsk me about my obviously not controlled BP & my weight.

"Don't you work out and stuff? You got gym clothes on an all?"

BYATCH WHAT!!!! That red haze of rage & watery eyes of frustration clouded my eyes and for once I was stunned into silence. Why? Cause I was being tsk, tsk, tsk'ed by a nurse that was 2x larger that me. Da Hell YOU know about it? But okay.

Enter the doctor. Who promptly told me she only had 10 min to conduct this exam..."But let's TRY (you know what I think about trying) and see if we can address your other issue." She flipped open my chart, told me what we needed to do first to "rule out" other causes (Listen, honey, been there-did this, let's move along) and then told me "You know, for your height your weight makes you morbidly obese. If you would JUST loose some weight, you might not have so much difficulty with the fibroids." FUGGGGGG YOU!!!!

Two weeks after finishing my first triathlon - still feeling pretty damn good about myself - I get SUCKER PUNCHED in the gut that I am a walking ball of death about to stroke out and that if I simply lost some damn weight I'd be all hunky dory.

It just isn't that fuggin simple.

I have been struggling with my weight for over almost 30 years now. FIGHTING a battle that just seems futile. I was put on "TRIM" tables at West Point which stood for The Right Image of Me for years and threatened that I wouldn't graduate if I didn't make weight. What the fugg do you think that does to you psyche when you are constantly reminded that your image ain't the right one. I was told that I would get a poor "performance" rating from my commander if I didn't make not only the "tape test" but also the weight standard. Didn't matter that I was a Master Fitness Instructor and could whoop his azz up and down the track or was one of the ONLY officers or soldier in my unit that maxed out the PT test.

The stuggle, the battle continues...and today a bit of the wind got let out of my sails...and I wanted to lay down my armour; my sword and give up the fight.

...and then there was TDJ - who, while at work, took the time to walk me back from the ledge. There was MsPattey that gave me the biggest phone hug ever and real talk. The converstation of forever friends. They gave my wind back and I picked up sword.

...and then there was The FireMarshall, who, when I wailed "Why can't just one thing be easy! Why can't just one thing NOT be a struggle." enveloped me in his arms and said "We are easy, baby. We are easy."

He gave me the strength to continue the fight. I put on my armor and with my sword in hand am ready to get back in the fight.

I am a warrior. I refuse to get beat.


Zevia Natural Diet Soda

Being the fitness & nutrition buff "willing to try new healthy stuff" ho that I am, I was excited when I was asked to give this relatively new Natural Diet Soda - Zevia - a try. I do drink my share of diet C.o.ke & Dr.P.epp.er on a regular - along with plenty of water too (so SHUT UP) - and was like what the hell.

Zevia promotes itself as the first all natural zero calorie soda with only "pure ingredients." It says that it contains none of the chemically processed artificial sugar substitutes, artificial flavors or artificial colors found in other diet sodas. ZEVIA is all-natural, has zero calories, zero net carbs, zero fat, and little or no sodium (depending on flavor). On the can it says "ZERO net carbs, calories, glycemic index."

I pulled out a can of one of my regular diet sodas and compared "nutrition facts" The number of ingredients were pretty much the same, EXCEPT for the 40mg of sodium in my beloved Diet C.o.k.e. Now that is not really a lot, but if you don't watch it - 2 soda, plus a bunch of other crappy processed food can put you way over the daily intake PDQ (pretty damn quick).


Before I got started with my taste test, I decided to look up the two primary sweetners/all natural ingredients in a Zevia Natural Diet Soda.

Stevia is a natural herb native to South and Central America. For centuries, native Americans of Paraguay and Brazil called it "sweet leaf" and used it to sweeten native foods. Stevia is used as a food additive in China, Japan, all of South America and in the United States. The extract from the stevia leaf has no calories, no effect on blood sugar levels, and is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.

Erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables, has no calories, and has no effect on blood sugar levels. Erythritol does not promote tooth decay.

Well, that hundreds of times sweeter than sugar thing was spot on. I popped the top on the Cola flavor and my gut reaction was DAAAAAMMMM that is REAAAALLLL sweet. I just wasn't used to a diet soda being sweet and my initial take was "yuck". But I decided to finish it with a sandwich I had made for lunch and it grew on me. Not bad...but I wasn't sure I would just go and buy it...but that damn sodium thing really was standing out to me. I needed to weight that in my mind.

I then decided after about a half hour that I would try another flavor and see what happens. I popped the top on the Ginger Ale flavor and SHAZAM! A hit. I loved it.

Unfortunately, there is a little detail about the Erythritol that is not really mentioned.
As a whole, erythritol is generally free of side-effects in regular use, but if consumed in very extreme quantities (sometimes encouraged by its almost non-caloric nature), effectively consuming it faster than one's body can absorb it, a laxative effect may result. The laxative response does not begin until the body's natural absorption threshold is crossed...

I would NOT recommend downing two cans of Zevia in a sitting...but I do feel oh so lighter for the effort. Thanks.

So, where do I find this all natural diet soda? I is not at my local grocery store, but it is at my local health food store right up the street (R.oo.ts) and at our Organic Food Store (M.o.M.s) just down the road, giving me an excuse to do better and visit R.oo.ts more often. I'm going to give the other flavors a try...the Cola, while it did grow on me, was still a little too sweet.


UPDATE!!! I forgot that I can GIVEAWAY! a six pack of Zevia to one of my readers. If you would like the opportunity to give Zevia a try, leave a comment and tell my why. It's that simple. You will get another entry if you follow my blog (google, networked blogs, or FeedBlitz) and if your RT this on twitter (include @TheTravelDiva in the tweet so I know).

Easy Peesy!

This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Diet? - EXACTLY!!!!

Slayed in the Spirit AGAIN!!!! This is exactly how I feel on the subject - both sides.

Foamy The Squirrel is my hero.


HumpDay Randoms of a Traveling Diva

Getting back in the saddle of running again after the Triathlon is NO JOKE. I'm really not feeling it but I have the Navy 5miler on Sunday. I best get to trodding along. I have no doubt I can do it, I just won't be posting no lickity-spit time.

I designed the shirt for the Army 10 Miler for our team - The Usual Suspects. KEEEUUUTTTE.

I think I'm going to hop over the Michaels and get supplies to bedazzle hats for the team. Perhaps a craft activity for the MyGetTogether. Bring your hot glue gun and bedazzler if you have em.

I decided to read the sequel to "Waiting to Exhale" entitled "Getting to Happy". Well, I figured I actually read the 1st book instead of just going off the movie and then start the new one. Fine. I enjoyed Waiting to Exhale...it was much better than the movie (always is). However, when I picked up Getting to Happy, I got through the 1st couple of pages and threw the book down. Same damn sniveling bullshyat I hear and know a lot of women are doing in real life and I just wasn't down for reading about it.

What do I mean, you ask? I was so friggin annoyed with the age ole story of a woman that LIVES with a man for a year, KNOWS that he is scared to fly, thinks Den.n.y's is fine dinning and REFUSES to try anything else, only reads magazines, REFUSES to go on vacations or to movies or plays..blah, blah, blah...and then she is MAD ABOUT IT after 10 years of marriage, BLAMES HIM for her boring life, RESENTS HIM, doesn't COMMUNICATE with him about her needs and LONGS for a DIVORCE or has an AFFAIR.

BULLSHYT. You made that bed, now lay in it or woman up - BLAME YOUR DAMN SELF - and move on. I just hate that sniveling, blame everybody but yourself for your miserable lot in life crap.

HUMPH. But one of my Top Mafia - MsPattey - insisted that I keep reading so we can have a "bookclub" conversation about the book.

Anybody else reading it? Would you be interested in an online book club review/conversation about the shenanigans? Let me know.


I've had the pretty much the same Top Mafia for 20+years. My ride&die, don't ask no questions, just bring a shovel & Lyme kinda gals. I have recently been blessed to be able to say that I have added a new best friend to the team. Do you know how hard that is? But we are just kindred spirits and I feel blessed to have found her. Tree. Apple. Seed.

...but I often have to say "Why ARE you that way?" She brings me joy.

I'm sorry, but I just can't help, consult with or turn over my Rolodex to everybody. Imma need you to stop. People ask too much.

I REALLY wish there was a dislike button on FB.

My new Scrubbing Bubbles Sonic Scrubber is the most FANTASTIC cleaning tool EVER!!!!!! Don't ever clean without it. There is no greater joy than getting well water mineral stains out of your ceramic anything. I'm in love!

I also love my new Sink Snake that I bought on a *gasp* infomercial. Drano wasn't working AT ALL. I slipped that sucker down the sink, twirled, and pulled out the HUGE hunk of *GAG* nastiness.

No more stopped up sink. I'm in love!...but it was really gross.

All I have to say is I am leaving the chapter in way better condition, with more money, more sponsors, more members than I found it in. I'm done!

BTW - not all married women who comment on a "relationship" post are jumping up & down, lording their "superior" married status over the single women. Seriously. In my case, I just state my opinion (just like a belly button - everybody has got one) and roll out. If the person reading the opinion reads some "extra" stuff into it - that's on THEM. Whatevz.

I think from now on I'll add...."and I've been married for 23 years, so there." to all of my comments. Just kidding - you know I can be snarky.

I do find amusing what some people call a "standard/non-negotiable" vs a "preference". SMH.

Do you, ladies! Do you...and good luck with that.

I hate when people say they "will try" to do something or be somewhere. Just say you won't or no, you can't. I am a graduate of the Yoda Jedi Master School of Thought...DO OR DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY.

Learn to say NO. That try bull crap is some passive aggressive nonsense. IMHO. Yes or No. Do or Do Not. Simple.

The FireMarshall has some great things poppin off. We are ready.

I miss The Prince, Heir to the Empire. Letting go of my son is one of the hardest things I am (have ever) done.

Happy HumpDay. What random thoughts are you having today?


MyGetTogether - Any Excuse For A Party

Well, it really doesn't take much to get me to throw a little get together. MsSmart told me recently that I need to have a "Welcome Fall In" Cocktail Party. Juanita & my MIL consipired on FB to throw a party at my house and invite me. The Queen Mom is no better with her "what's on the agenda for this weekend" quips.

...and when the people over at General Mills asked if I would be interested in being a MyGetTogether host for their Chex Mix Snacks "Game Day" get-together where me, my friends and family can sample a trio of flavorful and fun Chex Mix Snacks during the big game (or whatever activity I dream up), I couldn't resist. We are going to mix and mingle with Chex Mix!...and some fall cocktails that I have already started dreaming up.

Ya'll know that I'm "The Mixologist".

A lot of you have already recieved an email invitation - go ahead and pull it out of your spam box or open it up and RSVP so I can have enough cocktails & snacks for the festivities.

If you didn't get an invite and would like to hang with the TravelDiva and Welcome the Fall Season in with a bang, then drop me a note with your email addy and I'll send you an invite.

I look forward to seeing you on Oct 3rd. *click glasses*


First Ever Super, Super Reunion

Written by CPT Marcus Brooks, USMA 2007
Youngest USMA Graduate in Attendance at the Inaugural Black Service Academy Graduates Super Reunion

During 26-28 August 2010 history was made as the “First Ever” gathering of African-American Graduates from all five US military service academies got together for a Super Reunion. The focus for the Reunion was to connect diverse skilled professionals with limitless opportunities for collaborated community service; network on one of Maryland’s finest golf courses, learn how to access the many services available through the Veterans Employment Office, rekindle old relationships and expand their social and professional network. (Photo: LTC (R) Minton Francis '44 and Captain Marcus Brooks '07)

The attendees learned how to best leverage their pool of resources from Herman Bulls '78, CEO, Public Institutions, Jones Lang LaSalle (USMA ’78); William “T” Thompson, CEO, USAF Academy Associates of Graduates (USAFA ’73); Rear Admiral Michelle J. Howard, the first African-American woman to command a ship in the US Navy (USNA ’82); Eugene Campbell, Vice President, Domestic Minority Business Development, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

Invaluable dialog was exchanged with the Military Leadership Diversity Commission with invited panels; Commission Chairman General Lester Lyles (USAF Retired); Lt Gen John Hopper (USAF Retired): and, Brig Gen Rebecca Halstead '81 (US Army Retired). The culmination of the event was the celebration of History in honor of those who first blazed the trail – the “Most Senior Living African-American Graduates” from each of the five service academies and recognizing the “First African-American Female Graduates” from each academy. From West Point LTC(R) Minton Francis USMA Class 1944 and Pat Locke USMA Class 1980 were honored with gold medals and a thunderous standing ovation from the all those in attendance.

The West Point Admissions (represented by Major Michael Burns '00, Captain Marcus Brooks '07, Captain Maurice Hickman '06, and Captain Kirsten Rowe '06) held a 150 min breakout sessions specifically for the West Point graduates to dialog about the State of the Academy, a Minority Admissions update, Field Force opportunities and the expansion of Strategic Partnerships.

The energy was transferred to the Potomac as the graduates sailed along the Potomac during sunset while enjoying great food, a live band and a beautiful ambiance. It was an epic event, a beautiful event, treasuring the past and looking towards the future with a collective positive and opportunistic approach.


The TravelDiva is a Triathlete

For the few of you that actually follow along with me, you know that I was training to do my 1st Triathlon. That crazy girl, Becca, convinced me to do The Nation's Triathlon with her and being the challenge sucker that I am, I accepted the challenge.

It is done! I FINISHED! It wasn't pretty and my stats are nothing that will get me a sponsor or anything (HOWEVER-I would be glad to do this again and again if West Point would make me an honorary Triathlon Team member and let me wear that FABULOUS gear & use one of their bikes...HINT, HINT USMA!...I'd be glad to be the WooPoo old grad mascot for the team...Please & Thank You.) but I FINISHED MY FIRST TRIATHLON!

And I feel great. Nothing that 800mg of ibuprofen every 4 hours won't cure...at least for me.

My 1st Triathlon was an experience. I can say awesome experience now that it is all over with, but in the midst of it...all I could say was "This is some BOOLSHYT!" At least that was the look on my face as I got out of the water. The FireMarshall got me down to the race site by 5:30am and it was POURING DOWN RAIN. I stood in the transition area, setting up my gear, IN THE POURING RAIN. All I could do was laugh.

Swim. Bike. Run. Swim a mile, Bike 25 miles, Run 6 miles. That's what I did this past Sunday.

Swim...A whole lot harder that I ever thought possible. For me it was a tad harrowing. I was ready for people bumping into me and me them. What I was not ready for was just downright rude and aggressive swimmers that almost drowned me. If I was a weaker swimmer or prone to panicking, I probably would have had to be pulled out of the water. People would just push you out of the way...and when this guy pushed down on my back and swam over me (I was all like a scuba diver, swimming underwater - fuggin baztard) it was time for me to fight. I mentally designated my swim zone around me and if you got within one inch of me - you got an elbow or a push. If I felt you touch my feet or legs - you got kicked. Da hell wit all ya'll. I wanted to get the eff out the damn water on my own and if it required me to fight someone to do it - well, too bad.

I finished the swim in under an hour (barely) - and that was my goal. ACHEIVED.

I was crushed that I didn't hear anybody from my cheering section when I got out the water, but I had to keep it moving. I had to get into the transition area and get ready to for the Bike section of the race. Come to find out later, the FireMarshall was tee hee'ing and eating donuts with Becca & my support staff and by time they looked at their watches to see where I was at, I had already gotten out of the water and was on my bike at about mile 10. HUMPH.

I walked-shuffled to the transition area to prepare for the bike ride. I got to my bike, pulled my bike shoes & helmet from under the trashbags I stashed them under (to keep them dry), wiped my bike down with the hand towel I brought, pulled out my snack (hardboiled egg & a bananna) and then it hit me...I gotta pee. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. I don't have time to go and find a porta-potty, stand in line & pull this damn tri-suit off & back on just to pee. What is a Diva to do? Well, I had 4 bottles of water in my pack...I stood there, ate my egg and, well...I took care of business right there in the rain. A Triathlete has got to do what she's got to do. I used two bottles of water to "rinse" off, jumped on my bike and began the 25 mile trek.

Bike...that was the longest 25 miles of my life on a bike that was NOT meant for racing. The only thing it was good for was navigating the potholes and other debri on the road. Those knobby mountain bike tires came in handy. There were a lot of triathletes that hit one of DC's famous road holes and were out of commission on the side of the road changing a tire. I was so sick and tired of hearing "ON YOUR LEFT" (meaning they were passing you). I KNOW DAG NABBIT!!! SO FUGGIN PASS ALREADY!!!. The only people I passed on that mountain bike were the people broke down. Sigh. It took me 2 DAMN HOURS to do that 25 miles. 2 DAMN HOURS.

I must have hit the wall around mile 20. We were going into that last 5 mile stretch into a park like area and I must have been delerious. I looked at the otherside of the road and it looked like everyone was going UPHILL on that last 2 1/2 miles back. I freaked out. There was no way I was going to be able to finish the bike going uphill. I just didn't have anything left. I burst into tears and started cussing. Just as I was about to just jump off and throw the bike down, we came to the turn around - low & behold - it was downhill. OH! I can do that.

My spirit was renewed when I hit the Lincoln Memorial and saw Princess Erin there cheering and taking pictures. As I rounded the last curb to the dismount, I suddenly heard my name being yelled by the "Support Team". They were so loud - THANK YOU JESUS. Without them standing there yelling, jumping up and down and egging me on I don't think I would have finished. They gave me the strength to go 6 more miles. I racked my bike, drank an XS Energy Shot, put on my running shoes and got started to finish.

Run...They say your legs feel like bricks after the bike portion. Ummm...mine felt like concrete blocks so I decided to do my best imitation of an Airborn Shuffle and kept it moving. Those 6 miles felt like 15. I got around to the last .2 miles of the race and suddenly The FireMarshall comes up behind me and says "Come on baby, let's take it in." I burst into tears and picked up the pace. Then came Erin and they ran with me till about I had 400 meters left so they could be at the other end of the Finish Line. If you could call that last 400 meters a sprint, that's what I did...VICTORY!



A Genius Saved My Life

You know that song Last Night A DJ Saved My Life? Well Today A Genius Saved My Life!

I had a MAJOR FAIL with my beloved iPhone4 yesterday - the dag on screen just went totally black - or at least that is what it appeared to be doing. I could hear it ring, I could hear the text messages coming in after the Triathlon, I could hear the pings from FB updates...what I couldn't do was see a damn thing. Thus I couldn't answer the phone, I couldn't do NADA.

I called Ap.p.le support and we reset, we restored, we did a factory reset to default settings...NOTHING. Well, I could faintly see the icons but that just wasn't going to do. So the support person on the phone told me to take it over to the store and they would swap it out for a new piece of hardware. Cool.

Well, not so cool. I showed up for my appointment with my A.p.p.le Genius right on time and he gave me the side eye -albeit in a very nice way - like tsk, tsk, tsk. Looks like there was some "damage" to my phone that IS NOT covered by the warranty. He must have seen the despair that came over my face. He must have seen my shoulders drop and my knees almost buckle...for I KNEW what that meant - I was gonna have to buy a full priced replacement. Lawd Jesus.


My Genius listened to my sob story and told me to wait a minute while he checks with his manager on what to do. I don't know if he really went to talk to his manager or not, but about 5 minutes later, he came back out, beckoned me over to the counter and said, "I'm going to take care of you...this time."

I almost burst into tears right there. I almost grabbed him to plant a big fat smooch on him that would have probably earned me a FireMarshall over the eyeglasses stare down. However, since those counters are about as tall as I am, I couldn't quite get at him.

As my Genius worked on my new piece of hardware and got me set up, I gushed. I couldn't thank him enough and asked if I could take him to lunch for his kindness. He said he couldn't do that, but offered to walk me to the front of the store. As we walked up front, he told me he wasn't trying to be rude with his no, but if he accepted then it might cause problems with his co-workers and that he really appreciated my offer.

I asked for his card and he gave me his vitals. They don't work on commission at the A/pp;le store but if you need something, need help with your M.a.C stuff then go see Johnny at the Columbia Mall location.

I wrote a thank you note to him so that he would know that I appreciated his patience, kindness & generosity. I hope he does some IT work on the side so I can throw some opportunities his way. I wish there were more people out there that practiced random acts of kindness. The world would be a better place. I plan on paying that forward.

Today a Genius Saved My Life...not with a song...but with a new phone.

Be blessed, Johnny, for you blessed me today. Thank You!



It may hurt, it may suck wind, I just might smell like a yak by time it is all said and done... BUT I'M DAMN SURE GONNA LOOK GOOD while I'm doing it.

Nations Triathlon here I come.


Bikram Yoga - Achieving a State of NO DRAMA

I decided that I needed to get in some yoga before the Triathlon this Sunday. Get more limber, get centered, help with focus. After tonight's class, I have scrapped all the other mini-workouts that I had planned leading up to Sunday in favor of nothing but Bikram Yoga.

What did I learn tonight...
1. Whew, Lawd - my muscles are....don't rush it....wait for it....
2. I need a couple of days of learning to achieve a state of NO DRAMA.

NO DRAMA. What does that mean? Our instructor tonight said it several times. She meant stay still, stay focused on yourself, stop fidgeting. STAY CALM. When you are struggling with a pose & can't hold it - don't get frustrated & agitated - NO DRAMA.

Be Still, Focus, Breath.

When you start to get dizzy, overwhelmed or tired, BE STILL. BREATH. FOCUS.


So what, you ask? Well, with 4000 athletes and a gazillion spectators all yelling, screaming, cheering, fidgeting, nervous chattering, moving...I need to know how to stay calm, stay focused & not fidget. I need to be able to lower my heart rate on command. I need to be able to calm down (especially in the water) when I get kicked, swallow some water or whatever else that might happen.


My Bikram Yoga class tonight reminded me how to achieve that state of NO DRAMA. I'm going to get 3 more classes in before the race.

Centered. Focused. A Triathlete.


Cheering Section Info - The Nations Triathlon

Friends & Family,

On Sunday, September 12th, I will participating in my 1st Triathlon with my friend Rebecca (her 2nd triathlon). It would be an honor and make the race go that much smoother if we had a large cheering section for all of the parts of the race.

If you can make it out next Sunday to cheer us on, the course map and some recommendations or parking or taking the metro is included above. If you would like me to forward the image and stuff to you for better viewing, drop me a line via email or comment (you will have to include your email) and I will get it to you.

My Bib # and Swim Start Time is as follows:
Bib #: 3475
Swim Start Time: 08:08:00 AM

If you arrive by metro or car by 7:00am you should have enough time to get to the swim start area by the time I enter the water at 8:08am.

Here are some other tips:
1. If you can take the metro, the closest to the start is at GW Hospital (walk down 23rd, across Constitution, around the Lincoln Memorial to the Start) OR the Arlington Cemetery Station (walk across the Arlington Memorial Bridge and hook a right to Ohio St to the Start).
2. Bring a portable chair
3. Bring a small cooler for snacks/drinks although there are plenty of places to get something along the way.
4. Bring camera/video…help us get some pictures for posterity

To learn more about the race…go to http://www.nationstri.com/

Becca (her swim start time is 8:48) and I hope to see you there. Thank you for all of your support! Your prayers & cheers are greatly appreciated.

Highlights from Super Reunion

LT Tyrone Broxton, USMS, highlights the Inaugural Black Service Academy Graduates Super Reunion held August 26-28th, 2010 at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center with interviews of graduates from all the service academies & scenes from various events.

Just the beginning of awesome things to come.


Nails Done, Hair Done, Everything Did...

Oh, You Fancy, Huh?
Yep, I'm Fancy

Final Harvest

I finally got up out of the bed after dragging my behind in the house around 3 am after CreoleInDC's fantastic dance birthday party, and decided to do some weeding around Princess Cara's Garden. As I was doing the weeding, I also decided to harvest anything left to be harvested and be done with it.

I was lifting up and removing all these huge zucchini leaves and lawd all mighty - there was the zucchini pictured above that was half the size of Princess Cara.

Miracle Grow sure does work Miracles.

The Queen Mum arrived and has taken possession of the King Sized Zucchini and will be making a casserole & a bunch of chocolate zucchini bread. We shall feast off of the fat of the land.

I would have to say that our container garden experiment was a huge success and I have decided to build a box garden next year (a big one). Maybe we just might be able to enter one of our mutant produce into the County Fair.

All of those years of hanging with my girl at HomeAtLastFarm finally paid off.


Bull Shark, The Potomac & A Triathlon

I'm sitting on my chase, minding my own business, having a cocktail & watching TV when I get a text from Becca - my Triathlon buddy - with the following message:
"I'm trying REALLY hard to forget about the report of a fisherman catching an 8 feet bull shark in the Potomac today."

Why would she care? Why would she text me with this chilling bit of information? BECAUSE WE HAVE TO SWIM IN THE FUGGIN POTOMAC NEXT SUNDAY FOR THE DAG ON TRIATHLON...THAT'S WHY!

So, what to do? What to think?

I tend to think on the bright side and responded to not worry too much about it...that any other bull sharks in the Potomac should be full feasting on all the fast swimmers & the gazillion people that are in a swim time way before us. That should clear the way for Becca and I to swim through...ya think?

Then I go over to The National Geographic Page and hear that these are "the most dangerous sharks in the world.".... DA HELL!!! I need to run over to the Nation's Tri page and see what they are doing about his. Is one of God fiercest & oldest eating machines gonna be bold enough to swim up to the Lincoln Memorial for a feast. Possibly...but that sucker gonna get a whole lot of younger, faster swimmers before Becca and I even get near the water. I see one lunch box happening and I'll walk the fugg home. TRUST.

So, what am I gonna do. Nuttin. I'm in it to win it. *need to check the race rules on carrying a switchblade* I have a hellacious weekend of training and then rest (Bikram Yoga Mon-Wed; Sleep & Carbs Thurs-Sat) till Race Day (Sept 12th).

You might want to come out with your camera & video....just in case somebody becomes a Happy Meal.

Sorry...that was in poor taste. WHATEVER.


Prince Jordan's 19th Birthday

Happy 19th Birthday to Prince Jordan, LAX Goalie Extrodianaire, future law enforcement officer, heir to the Empire! We love you bunches and hope you are having a wonderful birthday at college. Don't party TOO hard with the lax bro's.