Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Girls

I forgot to add this to my post last night. It's too precious not to tell. The girls have been watching me very closely these past couple of weeks. When I sent the text to my oldest telling her I didn't get through to the next level, it seemed devastating to her. I later found out Larissa was very concerned about me. Lexi told me she was sorry but didn't say much else and Kaia has been oblivious to the whole thing. The girls are staying with Jason's parents this week. Last night when I made my regular good night call Lexi got on the phone and said, "Mom, I've been thinking about this whole thing." "You have, what have you been thinking?" I asked. She asked me, "You know how they make these shows to help people? You know, to make them better?" I was a little confused by that but decided to go along with it, so I said, "Yes?" She quickly answered, "Well I think that you were already good enough and they didn't have anything to teach you so they had to pass you up and go with people who still need help." I was stunned. I told her that I love that angle and we're going to go with it. This little girl of mine stopped me in my tracks. She's the child we have to talk through so many things. We've had to work on seeing things from different perspectives. Well she turned the tables on me last night. Thank you Lexi Lou. You brought me back down to Earth.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Voice

How do I describe this experience? I'm not quite sure how to classify it. So I'll start at the beginning and let you decide. . .

My audition time was 2:00 PM.  Jason & I went and scoped out the venue at 11ish to make sure we knew where it was and to see what the lines looked like. There were a few people hanging around outside and the line we saw looked short. It wasn't intimidating at all. So we went to the nearest thing that was familiar, a Costco, and walked around for a while. I told Jason, even though the lines were short, I wanted to be at the venue in line at about 1:00 PM.

The scene was about the same at 1 o'clock as it was at 11. I let out a huge sigh of relief. Armed with my purse and my 8X10 before pictures I approached the entrance. There were two gentlemen standing there with security shirts on and walkee talkees clipped to their shoulders. They were asking for ID and the artist pass. Once they looked at my driver's license they instructed me to move forward and said, "Good luck." I walked around the corner to see two tables with two people checking purses, backpacks and bags for anything "sharp" and two men checking IDs and artist passes. The man on the left was like something out of a movie. He was a very large black man, bald, straight faced and a gun on his hip. Definitely the "body guard" type. His eyes would move back and forth from me to my Driver's License picture.  All that came out was, "uh huh," in a grunting sort of way. I was concerned because my Driver's License picture is from my "big" days. He finally let me through and as I walked past him I let out a huge breath. I don't even think I realized I had been holding it that whole time. I walked up to a set of double doors. There a man was standing with a walkee talkee in hand, yes once again, checking artist passes and Driver's Licenses. Once he looked at my ID he directed me to line 2. As I stepped into the room I saw 7 lines. All roped off with numbers taped to the floor. The center line however, didn't have a number. Once I was up to the front there were two tables with 6 or 7 people sitting at them checking, yes, IDs and artist passes. From there I was instructed to go to the back of the line, only this time get in the center aisle that didn't have a number. Once I was at the front of that line I was instructed to go see the man in the green shirt. There he checked my ID and my artist pass. Only this time he scanned the bar code from my artist pass with his phone. He said, "Good luck" and pointed me down a hall way. I just knew this was it. I took a deep breath and walked around the corner to see a long line of people waiting. I let out the breath and with disappointment went and stood in line. The woman at the door with a very chipper attitude and a headset that made her seem very "important" told us it was our turn. She let us go through the doors and into a foyer. The foyer had a food table set up, rest rooms, and several "important" people standing around. We were instructed to go through the doors into "the" room and have a seat. As I walked through the doors my heart stopped. It was the holding tank. It was a large conference room. The original venue was The Cow Palace. I thought to myself, "That was a more appropriate name for what this was. We definitely looked like cattle." There were three sections of chairs. Each section had at least 25 rows of chairs and each row had 14 seats. There were hundreds of people in there waiting for their turn. I'll be honest, seeing this many people actually calmed me down. At that point I realized how much of a "number" I really was. I ended up sitting in that seat for nearly 2 hours. When they came to our row they counted out 10 people and told us to follow another "important" looking person to the back. He led us down a hall where we saw 3 or 4 other groups of 10 standing and waiting for their turn to sing. As we stood there waiting a woman that had been standing in front of one of the rooms came up to us and gave us instructions. She said that all 10 of us were going in the room and trying out together. She said the man in the room would give us more instruction, but if we didn't make it to come back out of the room together, they would take off our bracelets and we could leave. We watched several groups of people come out. Many were trying desperately not to cry, several seemed embarrassed. I saw one woman with a red piece of paper. As they were rushing her to another room we heard the "important" man tell her she had 45 minutes to get ready for the next try outs. Wow!!  No pressure. When we entered the room I saw that the rooms were divided by those dividers you can hear everything through. We could hear everyone trying out. It was very distracting and caused some people to go off key to whatever the person in the next room was singing. There was one man sitting at the head of the room at a white folding table. He had a notebook, many papers and a white mac laptop. There were 10 black chairs lined up against the walls and a small piece of white tape on the floor in the middle of the room. The man started off by telling us the rules. He said that if he didn't look at us while we were singing it wasn't because he thought we were bad. He said remember what the show is called and that will bring it back into perspective. When it was my turn I blew into my pitch pipe for my note and set off singing. When I hit the high part my voice cracked. I shook it off and kept going like it never happened. Those darn nerves! I told myself that he still heard what I can do, it's okay. I tried to look at him the whole time and he never took his eyes off of me. It seemed as though he was studying me. I watched him closely when others were singing and he was shuffling through papers, playing on the computer, etc. I thought to myself, it must be a good thing that he watched me. When everyone was done, he picked up the stack of artist passes and straighted them. He then said, "While a heard a few voices in here that I liked, after the talent we had last year the bar has been raised and I didn't hear anybody today that hit the bar. Thank you for trying out and remember there's always next year," and we were ushered out. I was stunned. Not because I thought I should have made it through, but I would have loved a little feed back. Anything.

I've experience the whole gambit of emotions. From feeling like I've let everyone down, to saying well I'm done singing, to waking up mad this morning and saying how dare he. Ha! Before I went down to this try out I said I was facing a fear. Like the contestants on Biggest Loser go to New Zealand and jump off of bridges and tall buildings. I can tell you I think that would have been easier. When you finish doing something like that you are praised for conquering a fear and everyone thinks so highly of you. Doing this and having this outcome made me feel like I jumped off of one of those buildings and hit the ground. Splat. It hurt!! Where do you go from here? I didn't meet the bar. . . hmm.

I am so grateful for the support I had from everyone one of you!! I am humbled by your generosity and your encouraging words. I wouldn't have been able to go through with this "experience" with out your love and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

So now I move onto the half marathon that I run in two weeks. Jason runs the Hood to Coast this weekend and I still have to finish my weight loss goal. I will work through this and keep on singing because it's what I was created to do and I love it. Where and how will that all happen, I don't know. We'll just have to see where this crazy ride called "life" takes me next.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Love My Family!!

While I was at work today, my family decided to make a video helping me with my fundraiser. They are so cute.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Killer Run

Saturday, July 30th, I decided to tackle a 12 mile run. My brother, Martin, was going to be in town for my Grandfather's memorial service so I invited him to join us. We've been trying to run together for some time now, so when he agreed to run with me I was thrilled. Friday night we sat down to map out our run. I started to work up some routes and talk him through them, when he informed me that he doesn't run on streets. He ONLY runs on trails. I glared at him, looked back at the computer and pounded out the words, trails in bend or. (I don't like running on trails because they can be really rough on my knee and I'm nervous about rolling my ankle.) Of course, since I'm the oldest, I gave in to my younger sibling's desire. :) We settled on the Brooks Scanlon Rail Trail.

Being ignorant of most of the trails in the Central Oregon area I headed towards Shevlin Park with anxious excitement. I had done my normal prep. I ate a Clif Builder Bar and drank some water about an hour before the run. My arsinol was loaded with water and raisins; I was ready to go. We started out chattering and commenting on how beautiful the landscape is and how beautiful the morning was. All the while I'm thinking to myself, "This first mile is kicking my tail. I normally rock the first mile, but something's different this time." Then I noticed we had been running a slight uphill grade for the first mile and it didn't look like it was ending soon. As we approached the end of the pavement we looked around for a clue as to where the Brooks Scanlon Rail Trail began, when I started feeling critters all over me. I looked down and mosquitos had attacked. They were all over any skin that was exposed. I began smacking them and as I glanced up noticed Jason & Martin doing the same. I said, "We've got to keep running or we'll be eaten alive!" We quickly decided we would continue straight on the dirt trail before us and took off.

Before we knew it the trail was taking us up a steep switch back incline. Martin turned around and ask, "What did you get us into?" I laughed and said, "I have no idea." Still so naive about what we were in for. We came to another point where we had to decide which way to go. We noticed a service road near us and decided to go that way. Once again, we were running on quite an incline. I kept telling myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other. By this point we had been running up hill for about 3 miles. I smuggley said, "Just remember when we turn around it's all down hill," as we came to the top of the hill. Finally, we had some relief! We started on the down hill and before we knew it we had been running for another 3 miles or so. It felt so good. I guess at some point on the down hill Martin asked Jason if we should go ahead and turn around because the run uphill was going to suck and he didn't want to do more than he had to. Jason said, "No, let's keep going." I wasn't apart of that conversation otherwise I would have sided with Martin. :)

When we finally came to the turn around point I drank some water and ate my raisins because I knew we had to run back up that hill. It was quite a struggle. It seemed as steep as Pilot Butte. It was such a mental battle to get myself up that hill. I had to walk parts of it. I kept my heart rate up but couldn't keep up the running. Once we got off the service road it was down hill again. We were concerned about falling because the trail was made up of really soft dirt and lots of rocks. We laughed and cut up while we ran down it. At one point Jason was about 20 ft in front of Martin and Martin was about 20 ft in front of me. Jason had tripped over a rock and stumbled but didn't fall. Martin exclaimed, "Good save," then thought,  "I should warn Sandy to watch out for that rock." Except. . .  he didn't. All of a sudden he heard a thump. When he turned around all he saw was a plume of dirt. Yep, it was me. Laying face first in the dirt. I was fine. My knee and my forearm were bruised and cut up and I was covered in dirt. After convincing them I was fine, I picked myself back up and said, "Let's go." I wore those bruises and cuts like a badge of honor. I couldn't wait to show them off. As we came to the pavement again, Martin told me he couldn't believe I had picked this trail out. He told me that it would have been categorized as Technical and VH for very hard, in runners magazines. He told me it was crazy and that he doesn't run on this kind of terrain. I laughed and said, "I don't run this kind of terrain either. If you had just let me run on the road it would have been a different story." He shot me a classic Martin look. As we finished up mile 11 my hamstrings started cramping. So much so that I finally had to walk because they were hurting so badly. I finished the last mile walking, which was very disappointing to me. During the last mile I began experiencing "runner's trots". When I came to the end I ran to the outhouse. I began feeling very light headed. I kept telling myself I was fine, it was just hot in there. When I stood up to leave I felt like I was going to pass out. I stepped out of the outhouse and despite all my mental battles couldn't figure out how to get myself to the van, so I laid down. Within just a few minutes I was able to stand back up and get myself across the street. As I approached the van I told Martin I wasn't doing well.  He handed me his water and told me to start drinking immediately. He also handed me a banana and told me to eat it quickly. I could hardly focus. It took me about 5ish hours to start feeling somewhat normal. 

One interesting thing that happened was we passed some runners on our way back up the service road. When Martin and Jason got back to the parking lot they were there. Apparently the service road continues on and brings you back to Shevlin Park. They told Jason & Martin that they couldn't believe we turned around. I think they thought we were crazy. She heard that my hamstrings were cramping and told Martin that I had depleted my body entirely of sodium and carbohydrates. She told him to get sodium in me as quickly as possible.

The guys drove me to the nearest convenience store and had me start chugging Gatorade recovery. I kept telling them, "No I can't drink it until I get home and weigh." My brother in his frustration said, "Sandy, I'll let you take two pounds off if you just drink the stuff." We all got a good laugh on that one.

I can now say I've run a very hard trail. I can also say that I don't want to do it again!