Friday, January 31, 2014

Sometimes We Can't Have It All At The Same Time!

2013 Miami half marathon

This is the weekend for the Miami marathon and half marathon....

For the past two years, I have run the half marathon in Miami.....

However, this year I am not running in this race, and I am feeling "some kind of way about it."

Normally, I will spend November and December training for this race. However, this winter, I joined a cycling team, and I have not had time to train for this race. Cycling is taking up every weekend and quite a few of my weeknights.

Because I love cycling and want to do well on this team, I have no complaints about the amount of time that I spend with the team and cycling. However, man, I am feeling "some kind of way" about not being in South Beach, lying on the beach, mentally preparing for this race.

Well, I think a lot about "having it all," I know that we can have it all but not necessarily at the same time. It is almost impossible for me to train for both running and cycling if I want to take care of other areas of my life like working, dating, reading for pleasure, meeting up with friends, and working out with Berhane, the greatest trainer in the world. Yes, I could do both but at a very high cost to my life and body, and it's just not worth it to me.

So, right now physically, I am focusing on cycling and strength training, and it's all right with me......

Read all about my 2012 and 2013 half marathons.

Enjoy your weekend folks!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Say it Ain't So?

Not sure who the source is for this information, but I hope that it is not TRUE!

Say it Ain't So!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

7:35 AM....

View from my balcony today!

Today, the schools were close again because of the small snow storm that we had yesterday. I'm saying small, because in my neighborhood, the streets were cleaned quite quickly, and we were able to continue to bustle around. (Oh, How I love my neighborhood.)

This morning at exactly 7:35am, I got a text from Berhane, the greatest trainer in the world, and it said:

"Good morning Jackie, can you come at 10am?"

I instantly responded:


(Oh, How I Love Berhane!)

Sometimes, we need people in our lives who hold us accountable and who will not accept excuses!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Soooo, I recently finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni AGAIN!

As I was reading it this time around, the thought came to me that sometimes we must take a figuratively journey, and we must take it alone. We may go through something, life happens, and the only person who may be able to help us is us. Other people may be there for support, but sometimes we must take the journey alone, with a higher power, that some of us call God.

One of the main characters in The Kite Runner, Amir, was compelled to take a journey. On this journey he had support and even a few guides, but he had to take this journey alone; no one could walk it for him. On this journey he had to rely on himself, and he discovered a lot of things about himself like the fact he could stand up for himself and others and that he could face fear head on and survive. At the end of his journey, Amir was a changed man.

As I was reading about Amir, I thought a lot about Milkman, one of the main characters in Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, who also had to take a journey, and he had to take it alone. Like Amir, Milkman had support and guides, but he had to take the journey alone in order to grow.

Once Amir and Milkman took their journeys, there seemed to be some type of shedding of skin along the way, and they both seem to grow new skin that came with happiness, peace, and even relief.

Now, I believe that if we learn and grow through the small lessons that life teaches, we will be well equipped for the journey that we must take alone. You know how sometimes we will try to avoid tough situations or blame other people when things happen? Well, doing these things do not allow growth to take place and therefore our alone journey may be tougher than it should be or may even take longer than it should.

I believe that life does prepare us for next if only we would heed the lessons alone the way.

So, I try to be mindful about what I put into my spirit, because what I put into my spirit, may be just what I have to rely on when I take my journey and take it alone....

Life Will Force Us To Grow.........Ohhhhh Boy!!!

Thoughts On A Snowy Day!

Busboy and Poet Restaurant in DC!

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year: Dr. King Day. Normally, on this day, I make sure that I attend some type of program that honors the life of Dr. King. However, yesterday I was not in the mood for a crowd, so I decided to go to Busboy and Poet restaurant for lunch, to the Dr. King Memorial, and then I checked out a movie.

As I was crossing the street to go to Busboy and Poet, a man who appeared to be homeless said something like this to me: "Great day today; we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow." Of course he was talking about the fact that yesterday was a mild 50 degrees, and snow and extremely cold weather were predicted for today.

However, when he stated "We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow," my mind starting churning...

We DON"T know what's going to happen tomorrow; something great could happen or something that is not so great could happen. So, I thought that we really need to consider "Seizing the Day."

After a routine mammogram, Amy Robach's, from Good Morning American, life changed forever. She found out that she had breast cancer, it had spread to her lymph nodes, and she is currently going through chemotherapy. I really hope that she was appreciating her life everyday before this diagnosis, because "We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

Amy Robach

I've found that when change happens, it can happen suddenly: we can break a bone, get a phone call about an unexpected death, an illness, unemployment etc. Most of the time we come out of the fire and do not even smell like smoke, but our lives could be changed forever.

So, I guess I'm saying that everyday needs to be lived intentionally, with deep appreciation for everything, with love and kindness towards ourselves and others, because "We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

These are my thoughts on a snowy day!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Dr. King

I been thinking a lot about Zora and Dr. King; It's their birthday month for crying out loud....

Anyway, I have thought about the idea that we don't have to come from a wealthy family or go to some of the greatest schools in order to do great things for the world.

All we need to do is hear the calling, and TAKE THE FIRST STEP......

Zora and Dr. King are proof of that!!!!

Happy Born Day, Dr. King!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Reading Writers of Color

Tananarive Due

I remember when I read my first science-fiction book by an African American woman, Tananarive Due, with African American characters, I thought that I had died and gone to heaven. I excitedly read every page of the entire trilogy; I was so excited to see myself in this type of writing. I had never read a book like this before by an African American with African American characters

One of the best trilogies that I have EVER read....

Now, you know that I love reading, and I read just about anything, but I do think that there is value in people reading all types of books by authors of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds, with characters with diverse backgrounds and experiences, in order for us to stretch and grow....

Please read this article on the value of reading books by people of color:

Happy Friday..... I am looking forward to a weekend with some awesome bike rides, socializing, and reading!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Zora's 123rd Birthday!!!!

Zora Neale Hurston

This morning I woke up super excited, because today marks the 123rd birthday of Zora Neale Hurston.

I received a text from my dear friend, Stephanie, at 7:12 this morning, and she wrote: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY Zora Neale Hurston (123rd)!"

My Dear Friend Stephanie

Later, I received a text from another dear friend, Rhonda, and she sent me her favorite Zora quote which happens to also be my favorite quote by Zora:
"Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me."
I carefully thought about what I should wear on this special today, and I selected one of my Zora shirts:

I stopped by the grocery story to buy a treat for my students and me so that we could celebrate the birth of Zora. Sadly, many students asked "Who is Zora?" However, they asked the right questions, because I pulled out one of favorite books about Zora that also has a CD of Zora singing and talking, and oh, the fun that I had introducing my students to Zora.

As I have been reflecting on Zora today, I hope that we all are living lives that people will celebrate for years and years after we leave this place. I know that when Zora sat down to write Dust Tracks on a Road, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Tell My Horse, Seraph on the Suwanee, Mules and Men, Spunk, she more than likely had no idea the legacy that she would be leaving. Zora answered the call to write, and a whole lot of people and I are soooo happy that she did! Zora's life mattered....

You know that I love where I live, and here is one of the many reasons why:

Tonight at the Dr. Martin Luther King library in DC, there is going to be a birthday celebration for Zora. Yes, we still celebrate Zora's birthday in Washington DC.

My people, join me in celebrating Zora by trying to live lives that matter and that will be celebrated for years to come.

Happy Birthday To My Girl, Zora Neale Hurston!!!

By the way, an image of Zora is on the homepage of google today...WOW! That's BIG TIME.

Seize the Day!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"If We Surrender to the Air, We Can Ride It" from Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Every time that I teach Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, there is always a message that I get from it. And on this read, a student pointed out the last line of the novel: "If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it," and this quote has been on my mind every since.....

Surrender, Surrender, Surrender! So That We Can Ride!

I've started training with a cycling team, and I must admit that every time that I ride with them, I am extremely nervous. The team consist of about fourteen men and four ladies, and these men are fast and furious. Now, I love to ride with these guys, because they are very helpful, caring, and emphatic to us women who want to ride fast and furiously just like them. However, loving to ride with this team does not keep me from being fearful. (Sometimes, we must act even if we are afraid!)

On the rides, I do a whole lot of thinking and trying to be in control instead of just surrendering to the ride.....

Yesterday, we did our training ride on the inside, because our regular route was icy. I put my bike on the trainer and the quote "If you surrender to the air, you can ride it" came to my mind. I decided to stop thinking and just surrender to the ride, and once I surrendered, I had an awesome ride. I sent a text to a friend after the ride and told him " I decided to surrender to being uncomfortable, and I had an awesome ride," and I did.

I am constantly having to remind myself that with whatever I do, I normally want to go to the next level, and biking is no different. I want to ride faster and stronger than I did last season. So, I must be willing to be uncomfortable, to stretch, to take constructive criticism, to get out of my comfort zone, to get rid of old bad habits for new good habits, to give up control, and to surrender to the change that is going to take place.

However, I have to constantly remind myself of my goal, because I always think about quitting the team and going back to my comfort zone. (My people, being uncomfortable is no fun, but it is necessary for growth.)

Many of us have set goals for the new year, and know that making these changes is not going to be easy; it will be uncomfortable, you will have to stretch, you may want to revert back to what you have been doing, you may cry, you may feel like 'why,' you may need to be coached, BUT I am challenging you and me to "Surrender to the Air, So We Can Ride It."

Me being me, I believe that this lesson that I am learning from cycling is soooooo much bigger than cycling; we just never know what God has up his sleeves, but I do believe that when we answer God's calling, it is always preparation for us to receive even bigger blessings that add to the good of the world.....

My people, "If We Surrender to the Air, We Can Ride It."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year: 2014!

As I was reflecting on 2013 today, the words of a gospel song come to mind:
"Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before!"
And , the words to this song basically sums up how I feel about life; 2013 was sooooo good, and I am expecting 2014 to knock me off of my feet....

Happy New Year, My People!

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