Running: An Exploration of Ego and Musical Landscapes

I’ve always enjoyed running.  I can’t really go so far as to say I love it.  It’s more realistic to call it a love/hate relationship.  Some of the reasons it’s pleasurable are also the reasons it can be miserable.  You never win at it really.  You can always go farther.  Or faster.  But it’s reliable.  It’s that friend who meets you every morning with an encouraging gesture and a boost to your ego only to kick you to the curb in 45 minutes when she’s had her fill of your company.  It’s hard more times than it’s easy, but yet I keep coming back.  Because every once in a while you have a day where you do win.  You set a challenge for yourself and then kill it.  And it’s enjoyable and almost, dare I say it, fun.  Today was one of those days.  Maybe it was a good night of sleep or maybe it was the fact that my playlist just kicked ass, but I had a great run.  I launched head on into my day ready to conquer the entire world.

So I thought I’d share my playlist for today.  Because running aside and second only to my husband and dog,  is my love for music (if you’re not a consistent reader of this blog).  Anything good is made great with a soundtrack.  Life needs it and running, at least for me anyway, damn near requires it.    Maybe you can tie up your sneaks and take it for a test drive; universe willing, you too will have an awesome run.

*Small disclaimer, some days I run to a created playlist I’ve painstakingly curated, but mostly I hit shuffle and go where the musical road may lead.  Today was a shuffle kinda day and as you’ll soon see (again, if you’re not a consistent reader of this blog), my musical tastes are all over the highway.

The Cult- Coming Down (1994)

Origene- Sanctuary (2003)

Metallica-  For Whom the Bell Tolls  (1984)

The Limousines- Undercover  (2013)

Ted Nugent-  Motor City Madhouse (1975)

Foo Fighters-  Dear Lover (1997)

Nirvana- Downer (1989)

Full Service- Greetings (2013)

Band of Skulls-  Wanderluster (2012)

Joe Jackson-  Breaking Us in Two (1982)

Dropkick Murphys-  I’m Shipping Up to Boston (2005)

Perry Farrell-  100 Ways (1996)

Goldfinger-  My Girlfriend’s Shower (1996)

Dirty Projectors-  Two Doves (2009)

The Inmates-  Dirty Water (1979)

Cypress Hill-  How I Could Just Kill a Man (1991)

Leftfield-  A Final Hit (2005)

The Four Tops-  I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) (1965)

Douglas Armour-  The Whole World (2008)

The White Stripes-  Hotel Yorba (2001)


Happy trails and tunes!  Let me know how your run went.

Stay positive and love your life.


Trifecta: Surprise

She felt the telltale squish under her sneaker.  “Jesus,” she muttered, surveying the trail, hoping to spot the offending pooch.  Why can’t these folks grasp the concept of picking up after their pets?


Stoney Run

Photo credit: Baltimore Sun


This post was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge.   This week’s challenge:

GRASP (verb)

: to take or seize eagerly
: to clasp or embrace especially with the fingers or arms
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.



And so I continue what started with the 100 Word Song Challenge and join the Trifecta Challenge group.  There are so many great writers participating and I’m hoping to capture some of their genius through osmosis.


Stay positive & love your life!




Listening:  Silence.  I’m in an oddly quiet mood today.

Eating:  Three leftover meals all crammed into one Tupperware.

Drinking:  H20′

Random fact:  I always put a line my 7.  Sometimes I put a line through my Z even though there is no chance for confusion and my days of algebra are long behind me.

GRASP (verb)

: to take or seize eagerly
: to clasp or embrace especially with the fingers or arms
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words. 
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post. 
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response. 
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 
  • Only one entry per writer. 
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz. 
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join u

– See more at:

Not Gonna Cry Over Spilled Coffee

Some days just start out completely wrong.  Today is one of those days.

1.  I had work dreams all night.  Not dreams of just being at work, but actually doing work.  Holding meetings.  Discussing things that need to be done.  Coming up with resolutions.  This work week’s been a doozy.  Today’s the first day I’ve stopped to take a lunch….just to keep myself from going mad.  I love my job, but I’d like to be able to sleep without trying to get a little work in.

2.  I am awoken at 3:30ish by a pacing dog smacking her lips.  That usually means one thing, vomit.  Yep, it happened.  Huge pile on the floor.

3.  I get up at 5:15 for a morning run.  And I have “one of those” running days.  You know the ones.  Legs feel like shit.  You know you haven’t properly hydrated.  It’s already 75 degrees and super humid.  You get a side stitch even though you never get them any other time.  Your stomach feels horrible.  You swear the hills grew 10 feet overnight.  So yeah, my morning run that’s usually something I look forward to and which typically provides stress relief just decided not to cooperate today.

4.  This….

photo (3)

That’s the parking lot enjoying my coffee.


And then I just started laughing.  Out loud.  I’m sure I looked a little batty, but it was my way of saying, “Okay universe enough.  Let’s reset this day.”


We all have these days.  And sometimes all you can do is pick up your empty coffee cup, laugh it off, and keep it movin’.


Stay positive & love your life!




Listening to:  Silversun Pickup-  Three Seed

Eating:  Left over beans

Drinking:  Not my coffee

Random fact:  I really need a pedicure.

Everybody Sweat Now!

What do I have in common with Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and Anthony Hopkins?  I’m ridiculously wealthy!  No, wait that’s not it.  I’m an old dude who isn’t aging very well!  Close, but no cigar (see what I did there) !  The correct answer is that they have all expertly played villains.  And I get to play the bad guy every morning I visit the gym with my workout partner!


I like to smoke cigars while I count push-ups. 

I’m completely fine with the eye daggers and cuss words hurled at me.  It is a nice reminder of my days in the gym as a trainer. Matt is the current president of the “I hate Melissa’s sadistic workouts” Club.  He dethroned my best friend Bee when he made the move here from Birmingham.

*I need to take a moment to inform you that Matt is definitely NOT from Alabama.  Don’t even try to joke with him about this.  He just doesn’t find it funny for some reason.  He is originally from the best state in the U S of A, Florida.  And don’t you forget it!

I  love creating a plan and having a good workout buddy, because it makes me push myself a lot harder.

Today I share with you this morning’s workout.  It’s a doozy.  So pop in your ear buds and fire up a playlist that motivates you!  This routine is great for all fitness levels and can be modified to just the right amount of torture to elicit a few F bombs.

You’ll need:

  • An area that allows you to take roughly 15 full lunges (an empty group fitness room, your driveway, a hallway…I could list open spaces ad nauseum)
  • A weight:   I like using a medicine ball.  But anything you have around the house that can provide a little resistance will work.  For this workout, a weight as light as a few lbs. provides a challenge.
  • A treadmill or the good ‘ole great outdoors.  If running isn’t a possibility for you (due to injuries and not because it’s hard and you don’t like it!), you can substitute the elliptical trainer or biking.

Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up.  A quick walk into a jog is ideal.


In your open space, mark out the distance it would take you to complete 15 lunges (total).  That’s your goal distance and turn-around point.  Each of the exercises in this circuit are there and back; meaning you work from your start point to your finish line and then turn around and work all the way back.

  1. High Kicks:  Start with the medicine ball above your head, arms extended.  Step forward with a straight, high kick bringing your arms down as you kick up.  The medicine ball should almost meet your toe.  Keep stepping forward repeating this motion on each side.
  2. Sumo Squat Walk:  Holding the medicine ball to your chest, get down into a low sumo squat.  Staying low in this position, stride forward taking short, controlled steps.
  3. Walking Lunge/Shoulder Press:  Start with the medicine ball at your chest.  Step forward into a lunge (making sure your knee does not extend beyond your ankle.)  When down in the lunge position,  press the medicine ball over your head. Lower the ball back to your chest, come up and step forward with the opposite foot.
  4. Figure 8s (basketball dribble):  Taking wide steps and staying low, weave the medicine ball through your legs in a figure 8 as you walk.  It helps to imagine basketball players dribbling through their legs while walking. *medicine ball does not hit the ground.
  5. Bear Crawl:  Get into a crawling position with your legs and arms fully extended (like an upside down V).  Crawl forward being sure to maintain a somewhat straight leg/arm position throughout.  This one should really burn in hamstring/glute tie-in area & your shoulders.
  6. Inch Worm (optional push-up):  Start in a standing toe touch.  Walk your hands forward until you’re in a plank (start of a push-up position).  From there inch your toes up to meet your hands.  Repeat.  If you want a bigger challenge, do a push-up (or 5) at each plank position before walking back up!
  7. Side Shuffle (basketball defensive position):  Hold the medicine ball to your chest and get into your sumo squat position again except turn it sideways this time.  Staying low, shuffle sideways to your finish line.  Come back leading with the opposite leg.


10 minute run-  Push yourself.  Try starting out with a manageable jog,  building to a sprint at the 5:30 mark and then tapering back down to a manageable jog.  Or try some intervals:  one minute sprint/one minute recovery (jog or fast walk) for 10 minutes.



Perform another 10 minute run.  This is the last 10 minutes of your workout!  How far/fast can you go?  How hard can you push?!

Be sure to end with a cool down (a few minutes of walking to let your heart rate come down) and spend some time stretching out or doing some work on the foam roller.


If you did it right, this is the face you’ll make. 

How’d you do?  Are you sweating?  Cussing?  Feeling awesome?  I’d love to hear your success story, so drop a comment!  Or feel free to cuss me out here via the interwebs.

Stay positive & love your life!



Song:  Tame Impala – Elephant

Food:  Leftovers- Malibu veggie burger, rosemary smashed potatoes, and lima beans

Drinking: H20

Reading:  Latest edition of the Running Times

Random Fact: The first movie I remember watching in theaters is “Big”.  My Mema & Papa took me to see it at the Oaks Mall in Gainesville, FL.