A Super Bowl Pool for a Good Cause

24 Jan

As you probably know, I am currently fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society while I train to run the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach.  My race falls on Super Bowl Sunday, so I will run in the morning and then get to eat and relax the rest of the day while watching the game – or maybe just the commercials.  In an effort to finish up my fundraising and meet my goal, I am hosting a Super Bowl Block Pool.  It is $10 per square and half of the proceeds will go to LLS.  The other half of the proceeds will be awarded as prizes.

So what do you say?  Do you want to help out a good cause and have the chance to win a little cash as well?  If you are interested in buying a square, or 5, leave me a note in the comments.

I Need Help

18 Jan

I need help in so many ways these days.  As I wrote yesterday, I need help letting go and figuring out where my life is to go in the future.  I am trying to be grateful for what I have, trying not to get overwhelmed, and trying to have faith.

I also need help with my fundraising for Team in Training.  My race is in three weeks and I am supposed to have all of my fundraising completed by this week.  I was trying to be considerate of the demands of people during the holidays, so I didn’t send out as many requests as I should.  Now I am trying to do everything I can to finish my fundraising, but I am still struggling.  I have tried offering incentives for donations – a drawing for a custom knit item made by me.  I have let people know about a comedy show at the Brea Improv at the end of the month – buying tickets to the show will result in a donation to my fundraising.  I am also organizing Super Bowl block pools to try to raise money.  Nothing seems to be working for me now though.  I don’t know what else to do.  If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  I could really use your help.

Here is something I wrote last night when I sent out another email to everyone I know hoping for support:

I truly believe in this cause, and in addition to losing people to leukemia and lymphoma, I have met people who have survived because of the wonderful things that LLS has done.  In fact, two weeks ago, we had an all team practice where the marathon, triathlon, and cycle teams from Orange County and the Inland Empire met together for our Saturday morning practice.  Before we went out for our training, we had the pleasure of hearing from John Gronnel, who just recently finished his second battle with lymphoma thanks to LLS.  If you want to understand how inspirational this program is and how wonderful it makes you feel to help out, just watch this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm4pPUfRQUM

We run in honor of those who are currently fighting the disease and in memory of those we have lost.  Help me support LLS so that there can be many more people like John Gronnel who are surviving this battle.

I truly do believe in this cause, and my struggle with fundraising for it is disheartening.  I hope things start to turn around quickly.  This cause is too important for me to fail.

How do you let go?

17 Jan

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sometimes you read something exactly when you need to see it.  The above quotation by Martin Luther King, Jr. was floating around the internet today, along with many of his other profound statements, as we all remember his contribution to our country.  Today has been a very difficult day.  I am struggling to let go of something I don’t want to lose.  I am struggling to let go of the dream I had for my life.  And, I am struggling to figure out what is next.  How do you let go when your heart wants to hold on?

I know life is not easy and it is the struggles that make us stronger.  Yet, sometimes I feel like all I do is struggle and I would just like something to be easy for once.  Sometimes I just want a break from it all – a time to relax and refresh so I can face it all again.  I guess the truth is that I need to just follow Dr. King’s advice and have faith.  I know that eventually everything will work out, I just need to have faith and take the first step in that direction.  I need to have faith that letting go is the right thing to do and faith that I can do it.

Two more quotations caught my eye today as being meaningful to my situation as well:

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. ~ Unknown

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Seuss

It is not the end for me or my dreams, they are simply going to change and grow.  Things are not okay right now, but they will be… eventually.

I have cried a lot over my situation, and I will probably continue to do so because it is very emotional to me.  I love very deeply and that means that I also hurt very deeply.  I am experiencing a huge change and I have to mourn the loss of what I thought would be.  But someday, I hope I will be able to smile at the memory of this part of my life.

How do you let go when you don’t want to do so?  I don’t know the answer, but I will have faith that I will find my way.

1/11/11

11 Jan

It’s a day full of ones.  Everyone has been talking about how it is a special day because it is 1/11/11.  But for me it truly is a special day for me because it’s my birthday! Yay! It isn’t a particularly exciting age this year, so to make it more fun I have decided that I am going to celebrate the 13th anniversary of my 21st birthday.  That just sounds a little more exciting.

Although I have been very tired today, it has been a good day.  I got phone calls from my family and close friends.  My Facebook wall was full of birthday wishes.  And I had a super yummy dinner with a bunch of girlfriends and my mom.

I am hopeful that this new year will be less stressful and trying than last year.  On my last birthday I was hopeful for an exciting new year of my life.  Unfortunately, a few weeks later my life blew up and everything changed.  This last year was a year of change.  Some of the change has been unbelievably hard and I am still working to deal with it.  However, during the past year I have also reconnected with some old friends and made some wonderful new friends.  I have realized I was missing the connection with girlfriends and I am so thankful to now have that in my life again.

I hope this year will help me to better understand myself and to fully deal with all the changes of the past year.  I also hope I start to figure out what I want from my life in the future.  I know that things are going to change and I need to decide what changes I want.  Life is unpredictable, but I now know that I have the support to survive anything that comes my way.

So here is to my special day!  I hope that you all enjoyed your day also.  And thank you to all my friends and family for the special birthday wishes.  You have made this day very special!

Let’s Get Started

10 Jan

Last week I posted that I wanted to try to publish a post a day in 2011.  Well, I figure Monday – the beginning of the week – is a good time to get started.  Now the only problem is figuring out something to write about.

Over the past year I have taught myself to knit and crochet, which has provided me an outlet for creativity as well as a way to help me relieve stress.  I hope that writing more often will help me to feel more creative also.

I knit quite a few gifts for Christmas, so I guess I will show a few of them off to display my creativity.

One of my favorite gifts was a hat I knit for my brother who lives in Massachusetts.  It was a little bit silly and crazy, but it was the perfect gift for him.  Luckily, he seems to love it.  He sent me this picture of him with my nephew, who apparently also got a fun hat for Christmas.

My brother in his custom knit hat with my nephew in a sock monkey hat.

Unfortunately in that picture you can’t see all of the fun details.  First, I knit the hat in an orange and white yarn that I got at a yarn swap, and it ended up creating a pretty cool striping pattern.  Then, the ear cover parts are actually detachable.  Each piece has 3 buttons that connect it to the hat.  The best part was that I found fun pig buttons and I used one on each side as a little nod to a joke my brother and I have had between us for years.  Here are some more pictures that show off the details of the hat.

See the Piggie button?

One of the other nice pieces that I finished for Christmas was a scarf for my brother’s girlfriend.  At the same yarn swap where I got the yarn for the hat, I got some really beautiful yarn and knew I wanted to use it for a scarf.  The scarf was actually made with two yarns held together – Eucool, a eucalyptus/wool blend, and an Angora/wool blend.  I thought this combination would make a nice warm scarf for the East Coast winter.  I knit an easy, open lace pattern and I was pleased with the result.  Unfortunately, the pictures don’t do justice to the color.

So those are a few of my recent projects.  I have more to show off and a number waiting to be finished.  I will continue to share.

As part of my fundraising (I need your help) for my current TNT training (my race is in 4 weeks), I am doing a drawing for everyone who donates to receive a custom knit item.  I will provide the winner with a choice of patterns and then will complete the item in their desired color.  If you are interested in contributing to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and getting a chance to win a custom knit item, please make a donation on my fundraising page.

I guess that will suffice for my first post in my post a day challenge.  Tomorrow is my birthday, so I already know my topic.

A Post A Day in 2011

5 Jan

I’ve decided I want to blog more this year. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day for all of 2011.  Well, at least that is the goal and I am going to try hard to make it happen, but I may miss a day or two here and there – so please forgive me in advance. I also hope that writing more regularly will help me to rediscover the enjoyment I used to get from writing before it became all about legal writing for work.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. I am going to continue writing about my journey with running and also write more about my knitting.  In fact, I just completed a bunch of projects for Christmas gifts that I now need to show off.  However, there may be times when I am not sure what to write.  Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Wish me luck,

Angelica

A Reminder

7 Dec

Ok, I know that I have failed to provide updates about my last few weeks of training and my race.  I promise to bring you up-to-date on everything later this week. (Spoiler alert – the Nike 1/2 was great, finished pretty close to my goal, and had a great time in San Francisco!).  Additionally, I am training again to run another 1/2 marathon in February.

But, what I really wanted to write about first was a reminder I recently received about the importance of the appreciating what I have and the importance of my efforts to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Over the past 8 days, I have been reminded in a number of ways about how precious life is.  As I have mentioned, I am an attorney practicing in estate planning and probate.  I enjoy the area of law in which I practice, but I don’t necessarily always enjoy some of the work involved.  Let’s face it, completing forms for the Court can get pretty boring.  However, I do really enjoy the parts of my job where I feel like I am helping people through difficult times, and in some way, I am making their life a little bit easier, even if just for a moment.  That is the part of my job that keeps me going.

Last week I was introduced to a new client who had been recently diagnosed with cancer.  He had been in great health until he went to the doctor with some stomach pains, then suddenly his whole world was turned upside down and inside out.  He realized he needed to put together an estate plan to ensure his wishes for his assets and his desires for providing for his family would be properly carried out.  And that is where I came in.

I first met my client last Monday, and while it was our first meeting, from the pictures around his house, I could see that the cancer had already taken its toll on his body.  Although he was physically weak, he still had a determination to fight, and win, his battle.

On Friday, I met with the client again to sign his estate plan.  The four days that had passed between visits had not been good to him, and it was clear that he was deteriorating quickly.  He was still fighting, but I could tell the fight was getting harder.

After leaving our second meeting, I was overwhelmed by the reminder that he provided me.  Life is so precious, and we so often take it for granted.  While just a week ago I had been thankful at Thanksgiving for all my friends and family, I was now even more grateful for them and for the fact that as bad as I sometimes feel my life is, my problems are small in the overall picture.  I have my family and friends, I have a job, and I have my health.  I am truly blessed and lucky, and I don’t acknowledge that enough.

Saturday morning I woke up early for my TNT group training run.  Little did I know that another reminder was headed my way.  Each Saturday morning before our run, our campaign manager makes announcements and gives us updates on our fundraising.  She also presents us with a Mission Moment, which is a story or fact about how LLS makes a difference in the lives of those suffering with leukemia and lymphoma thanks to the fundraising that we do.  This week our campaign manager had a special guest for our Mission Moment.  His name is John.  In fact, he was the honored teammate for my team when I was training for Nike, but we never got to meet him then.  You see, John is now recovering from his second battle with lymphoma after being in remission for 10 years.  John told us his story, and there were some tears shed in the early morning cold, but it was another reminder of the blessings we all have.  It was also a reminder of the importance of the fundraising aspect of our training.  Our fundraising helps patients like John continue to beat cancer.

Yesterday, I went back to visit my client again.  He is now in hospice and it is heartbreakingly clear that he will not win his battle.  I hope that knowing we were able to put his affairs in order will give him some sense of peace, and although they may not realize it anytime soon, I hope his family will be comforted by the fact that he took the time to make decisions to care for them even after he is gone.  I am so sad for my client and his family, but I am trying to remind myself that I did what I could to make this difficult time the slightest bit easier for them.

During the holiday season, we all often get caught up in the excitement of gifts and celebrations.  I hope you will all join me in taking a step back to appreciate the blessings we have in our lives everyday.  And once you are reminded of all the good in your life, pay it forward – volunteer, make a donation, offer support and compassion.

This past week has been a reminder … a reminder to appreciate life … a reminder to continue to help others.

7 Hilly Miles

26 Sep

After taking Labor day weekend off from training, we returned to our normal training site on Saturday, September 11th for a 7-mile run.  Once again, our coach wanted us to get some hill training in during this run, so the first 4-miles of the course was all uphill.  It wasn’t a steep hill , but it was a steady incline that I could feel in my legs as I ran.  Once again I ran almost completely straight through the course.  I took one short walk break, as the constant incline really tired out my legs.  Other than that, it was only the water stop, as we seemed to have “good” luck and caught all the crosswalks on green.

The sun came out during our run, but it wasn’t too hot and we had some nice shade along the route.  I sped up again this week with an average pace of 11:49 per mile.  My training is definitely helping me to increase my speed and endurance.

Here’s another picture of some of us after the run.  Mel, our assistant coach (on the left), actually ran the course twice.  She ran it early to mark the course so we would know where to go, and then came back and ran it again with all of us.

You can still support me in my training by making a donation in support of my goal by visiting My Fundraising Page.

Thank you again for all your support!

Go Team!

A 10K Training Run (or 6.2 miles)

26 Sep

On Saturday, August 28, we ran a 10k training run, which really means we ran 6.2 miles.  We met at Hicks Canyon Park in Irvine, a few miles away from our normal training site.  Luckily, the overcast and cool weather returned for this run.  In order to train for San Francisco, the first 2-miles of the course was a steady incline and it was a little tough.  The rest of course was downhill which allowed me to recover a bit.  Although it was a little challenging, I was able to run the full 6-miles without taking any walk breaks.   My only stops along the run were for crosswalks and the water stop.  In addition to running the full course, I kept a pretty good average pace of 12:19 per mile.

We also had a short clinic on proper clothing for running.  The biggest rule to remember – cotton is rotten – because it holds the moisture next to your skin.  Wicking fabrics are the best to keep you dry and prevent blisters and chaffing.  During this training, I have discovered that I prefer running skirts to running shorts.  The skirts don’t bunch up during the run and the compression shorts under the skirt prevent chaffing during the long runs.  I love the skirts that I have gotten for running.  And an extra bonus is that they come in pretty colors and designs so I can look pretty while I run.

Here are a few pictures of our team after completing our run.  If you look closely, you can even see my cute running skirt.

Don’t forget that you can help support my journey by making a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society HERE.

Go TEAM!

Dinner Out for a Good Cause!

13 Sep

For everyone in the Orange County area, I have a great, fun way for you to help support my fundraising.  Along with a few of the other women training with me, we are having a fun fundraiser tomorrow night – Tuesday, September 14, 2010.

Join me out for dinner tomorrow night at Johnny Rockets at The District in Tustin between 5-8pm.  All you have to do is use the flyer below when you order your food.  20% of the sales made during that time will be donated back to support my fundraising efforts.

Since you are eating out for a good cause, you can enjoy your burger, fries, and shakes without any guilt!  I hope you will join us.

JRFundRaisingFlyer


And if you can’t make it tomorrow night, but still want to support my cause, please visit My Fundraising Page!

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