ME TOO

If you have been online in the last 48 hours you’ve surely seen the words “ME TOO” popping up all over timelines and Twitter feeds. This latest social media trend started when Alyssa Milano sent the following tweet on Sunday–  “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

The response has been big because so many of us face unwanted advances every single day. As a woman I am constantly being checked out… cat called… touched… being told, you look different today… you look tired… you have pretty eyes… why don’t you smile…

ENOUGH!

This may be a silly social media movement to some but abuse, rape culture and victim blaming have become the norm. There is widespread acceptance of this behavior in society and it’s a very real problem.

It’s in Hollywood, see recently Harvey Weinstein.

It’s in sports. I haven’t sat down to watch a full NFL game all season. The organization’s response to domestic violence by players in the league is egregious.

Remember Brock Turner? Read these powerful words from his victim. Brock was released from prison after a 3 month sentence.

Also, Donald Trump is still president…sigh…The guy that has a sexism tracker online that qualifies for a long read on WordPress — Donald Trump sexism tracker here.  Even more dangerous, he is using his power in office to actively promote policies and laws that are harmful to women.

Me too. Her too. Us too. Hear us. Props to the ladies who have bravely led the charge by speaking up and telling their stories, and to those victims who haven’t yet found the courage to speak up, you are not alone. To all of the men who respect and fight for us, thank you.

To all of those out there who feel the need to make a pass at a woman on the street or in the office –We don’t want to talk to you. We know we look good. We don’t want to fuck you. We’re not tired, just didn’t feel like wearing makeup today. We may have resting bitch face (a term we had to make up in response to being constantly told to smile). We may just actually not feel like smiling because the world is so fucked up right now.

 

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From Witchsy (www.witchsy.com)

 

A blogger that I follow posted a great list of resources for victims of sexual harassment, assault and violence and rather than reproduce the list, I will direct you here: The Purple Almond 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Days are Getting Shorter and the Runs are Getting Longer

I ran 15 miles for my long run on Sunday! While this is technically less than where I should be in my training, I’ve been fighting hard for a month to beat the 12-13 mile slump that I found myself in. More importantly, I’m recovering well and continuing to work towards my last long training run before the big day.

I was nervous all week but when I woke up Sunday morning I was ready to go. I felt well rested and in good spirits. I fueled up with some almonds and a coffee protein smoothie! These have been my jam lately, recipe below. 

My playlist was stacked with two of the bands that get me pumped up the most, The Menzingers x The Bronx.

I had water, snacks, gels (ew, forever, ew).

The weather on Sunday was perfect. A sunny 70 degree, feels like fall, warm in the sun, cool in the shade, kind of day. . I hit the Clear Creek trail with a vengeance. This trail has has defeated me twice already. My turn. 

The Clear Creek Trail is a beautiful trail that stretches from Denver to Golden. On the trail you are literally moving closer to the mountains as well as passing many parks and lakes. A couple of weeks ago I saw thousands of painted lady butterflies on the trail as they migrated for the season. I’m sure it’s an amazing bike trail but it is not my favorite place to run.

Clear Creek Trail is good for long runs simply because it is so long but the sun exposure and monotony makes it tricky. It’s not good for heading out on a long run unprepared and getting 8 miles out to only be able to run 4 miles back (guilty as charged). That’s a little tough on the ego.

The last few weeks my focus has been on trying to take a more relaxed approach. I got myself a Groupon for a month at Core Power Yoga, which is going to be hard to say goodbye to when the month is up. I’ve been running fewer days during the week in favor of yoga as well as running with other people which has forced me to break up the discipline of training a bit.

I was talking to Jim on Saturday about how I was nervous for Sunday and he pointed out something that hadn’t even crossed my mind.

J — “What did you run last week?” 

M — “13.5” 

J — “Isn’t that the farthest distance you’ve ever run?”

M — … 

M — “OMG YOU’RE RIGHT!!!”

So rather than set out with a hard and fast goal on Sunday I set out simply to do better than the last week; to run farther than I had ever run before; and I did it!

I heard a quote on an MTA podcast a few weeks ago that I wrote on my training chart. Though I forget which guest said it to credit, it’s really stuck with me time and time again, reminding me to be grateful for my body…

“Take what your body gives you each day, and nothing more.”

We had a great relaxing Saturday which I’m sure helped put me in the right mindset for my run. I’ve been dying to get into the mountains to hike and see the leaves but it’s been rainy and cold. The crappy weather took enough of a hiatus that we were able to get in a good hike on Saturday. There is nothing better than being out in nature.

Hessie Trailhead to Lost Lake | Nederland, CO

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Lost Lake

AAAND I can’t forget the sweet, sweet BBQ that we found in Nederland at James Peak Brewery & Smokehouse. The folks were a bit strange but the food was quite delicious. If you ever find yourself in Nederland, I recommend checking this place out.

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My Coffee Protein Smoothie

  • Iced Coffee (3/4 of a Nutri Bullet blender tall cup)
  • Ice
  • 1 serving Chocolate Protein Powder (I like Vega)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Coconut Milk (optional)

Blend together until smooth and you’ll have a refreshing & energizing iced coffee/smoothie hybrid. The final result will be closer to the liquidity of coffee than a standard smoothie.  *Ice is super important, especially if you’re starting with warm/tepid coffee.

By the way, I’m sure it’s GREAT for you to chug a giant coffee with a straw every morning 😀

 

 

Burn Out?

Training for a full marathon is tough business. It is a huge time commitment, especially as your long runs increase in the later weeks. It is a major physical commitment, it’s hard enough to run just one mile. It is also a commitment to being mentally strong in that there are many (MANY) challenges to overcome along the way.

What I’ve learned in the last couple of years is that I absolutely love running. Running is my meditation. Running is when I don’t look at my phone for a few hours. Running is when I listen to that new album that I love, uninterrupted. Running pushes me to test my physical ability and prove that hard work actually pays off. Running makes me feel healthy. Running makes me feel accomplished.

What happens when something you love becomes something you’re completely frustrated with??? I am weeks behind in my training. My long runs should be 17 or 18 miles and I have been stuck hovering around the 13 mile mark. I’m experiencing some muscle tightness and knee pain. I’ve been going to yoga as much as possible and it’s helping with my physical ailments but the extra workout is leaving me a little drained and less than amped to head out on a run, even after a few days of rest.

Am I burned out? Plateaued? I’ve been thinking about this and battling this thought for weeks. Finally it hit me – – – Stop taking it so seriously! Seriously. This is my first marathon. I was *perfect* with my half marathon training schedule and I have strayed, quite a bit, with this full marathon training cycle. Of course I’m not performing where I could be, but my body is still giving me a lot and I’m grateful for it. At this juncture I really need to be mindful that I am not overtraining.

I want to get out there on November 4 and kick that marathon’s ass. I want to PR in my October 15th half. Most importantly, though, I want to keep running distance in the future. Now I’ve got to focus and make sure that I don’t burn out physically or psych myself out mentally.

Also, I have some really amazing things coming up this winter that revolve around shorter fun runs and running with other people. Things that I’ve admittedly neglected in this quest for distance. Things that make running about more than just yourself, they make running about a community.

What else is new?

I’ve been experimenting with diet and still – despite the fact that I just ate a handful of Brookside chocolate covered acai berries, have you had these?! – Paleoish is still working best for me, even with the added mileage. When I’ve tried to re-introduce grain based carbs, I have felt tired and sluggish on my next run. I just really need to get better at eating enough high quality food to support the energy that my body is expending. It’s not reasonable to think that a 14 mile run can be done in a fasted state. This is where a nutritionist and a better understanding of macros would come in quite handy.

The Bronx have a new album out that is my new running jam. Bonus, they are playing at Globe Hall the night of my half marathon and I am pumped to be coming off of a race and having that show to look forward to. The War on Drugs (also have a new album out, which I have not listened to) are playing at the Ogden the night before my half marathon <- this is where balance and priorities become so clear. If I don’t PR in the Rock ‘n Roll half because I was out at a concert the night before, so be it. I’ll be happy nonetheless.

Also – best for last – I’m finally starting my own kombucha brew at home! My fabulous co-worker brought me my very own big ol’ slimy SCOBY from her home brew and I’m way too excited about it. I found this website to be extremely helpful in getting everything set up. I’m starting with Black Tea and I’m on the hunt for some cool glass to store it in so I can infuse it when it’s ready. Ginger is my favorite.

I drink ACV and eat pickles pretty much every day so the vinegar smell doesn’t phase me one bit. I hope my loving hubby can adjust to the smell and the live culture that will now grace our counter tops 🙂

 

xoxo

 

Ah, Paris!

Ah, Paris! *spoken in a French accent* is the reaction that’s met me nearly every time I told someone I was going to Paris. Paris is the city of love and romance. A cultural center for art, fashion, croissants. I’ve always wanted to visit Paris but never really knew much about it beyond how dreamy I thought it to be.

When I went to Italy a few years ago I flew into Paris for a layover. It was my first time on land in Europe. We landed at CDG airport as the sun came up casting a green glow across sprawling fields of yellow flowers, that I later learned to be fields of rapeseed. I awoke from a long flight and whether it was the effects of the Advil PM, or the fact that I had listened to The Flaming Lips album The Terror on repeat for the past 8 hours, there was something magical about that sunrise.

Last summer was crazy busy with planning a wedding and though we really wanted to go to Europe, we knew that we would just want to relax after the wedding so we did a quick beach trip and saved Europe for this year. It just so happened that with some foresight and a lot of messing around on Kayak, we scored an amazing deal for a Euro trip over our first anniversary. Go us.

This summer ended up being just as busy as last summer, and maybe we didn’t do the planning that we should have but I think that ended up making the trip perfectly us. We had a flight to Paris and a flight out of Amsterdam and the rest would fall into place. I am not the type of person to pick up a Rick Steves travel book anyway, but it helps to know a little bit about what you’re doing. I’m thankful for friends and my boss who gave us some wonderful insider tips.

We probably did the most research on Paris and which neighborhood (arrondissement) we wanted to make our home for the few days we were there. I was leaning towards St-Germain-de-Pres but we ultimately decided to stay in Le Marais, and we couldn’t have been happier with our decision!

Our flat was right on a main street, Rue Vieille-du-Temple. We surrounded by lively bars, cafes, street vendors, local father & son butchers, gelato shops, boutiques that sold makeup, clothes and emitted a fragrant scent of perfume that I later came to realize fills all of the streets of Paris. We could walk anywhere and if we didn’t want to walk anymore the metro stop was a few blocks away.

We left Denver on Thursday morning and landed in Paris on Friday morning. Both o fus hungry, tired and jet-lagged we showered up (and Nespresso’d up) and got ready for the day. Running on zero real sleep in one of the dreamiest cities in the world, in the rain, we were in a haze.

There is SO much to see in Paris. We armed ourselves with a Museum Pass. Typically the type of tourists who thrive on seeing neighborhoods and immersing ourselves in city streets and the local scene, we knew we were going to be attraction tourists in Paris. You can’t truly experience Paris unless you immerse yourself in the amazing history and architecture that the city has to offer. We checked a few off of our list on this trip.

Picasso Museum – All Picasso, all day. The man had a tumultuous love life and they really tell the story and trace how the love of his life, Olga and all of his mistresses are expressed and evolve throughout his work.

Notre Dame – Meaning “Our lady of Paris” in French is the famed cathedral that I’ve learned is a perfect example of French Gothic architecture. The details both outside and inside are incredible and it’s hard to believe that something of such quality was made by hand. The plaza surrounding Notre Dame was swarming with people who take photos in front of the cathedral’s twin towers, and wait in line to go inside to view the equally breathtaking stained glass that adorns the interior, and to light prayer candles in this ancient holy place.

Pompidou – Home of the Museum of Modern Art. The Pompidou is a neat multi-level steel building with really great views as you move throughout the levels of the museum. From Impressionist to Abstract to Surrealist and everything in between, this museum houses some cool stuff. My favorite was the Herve Fisher exhibit. Definitely a new favorite artist.

The Louvre – We almost didn’t go to the Louvre but we had to, right? We saw the famed pyramid in the courtyard and skipped the line to get in (thanks, Museum Pass!)This place is massive and crowded. There are endless halls of quite amazing paintings. The old oil paintings that I saw both in Italy and now here have colors and details that rival modern 4K television. The Renaissance subject matter is very human – wars, beasts, sex, gluttony. We saw the Mona Lisa and we saw Venus. Neither piece lived up to their hype in my opinion but still very cool to see these pieces of history.

Arc de Triomphe – The Arc de Triomphe stands at roundabout on the ChampsElysées, which is said by some to be the most beautiful avenue in the world. You have to go under the street to get inside. We figured that out after a few minutes of watching people play live frogger through a 12 intersection traffic circle. Once inside, we climbed a spiral staircase that seemed to go on forever – 284 steps of forever – and we were handsomely rewarded with an incredible view of the city from the top.

Eiffel Tower – We had one thing scheduled in each city and in Paris it was our Eiffel Tower tour. I planned it so that we would be in the Eiffel Tower on August 27 at 4pm (albeit local time), which is exactly one year from our wedding ceremony. The Eiffel Tower is the epitome of a tourist attraction. It feels like you’re going into an amusement park or waiting in line for a roller coaster the whole time you’re there. Being there in person is overwhelming. The cynic in me thought “It’s smaller than I thought it would be”, “I don’t feel any special mystique about it”, “So – f-in – touristy”… but being there, at this wonder, on our anniversary and thinking about how special and care free the day was and how here we finally were, in this moment – it was nothing short of magical. We went it all the way to the summit and sipped champagne at the top.

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A few more highlights…

We drank wine, ate cheese, held hands and simply strolled.

We ate Fois Gras at Le Dome du Marais. I still hate myself for it, but damn was it good.

We walked along the river Seine. I didn’t get to go for a run in due to rain and general exhaustion, but if I had, this is where I would have run.

We sat for breakfast on a bistro patio in the 6th, while a group of performers played live music on the street corner.

We had some killer falafel and gelato within steps of our flat.

We made friends with an Aussie who runs a cocktail bar in Le Marais. Had one too many Absinthe mixed drinks. (Really, if you’re in Paris, go see Julian at to La Resistance)

We raced to the train station on the morning we had to leave for London. Still in a haze. Maybe it was the drinks, maybe it’s just the city.

Ah, Paris!  The all encapsulating phrase that describes how stunning she truly is. Until we meet again, au revoir ❤

 

 

 

Hitting a Wall

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. As the title of this post says, I am hitting a wall. In running, in writing, in a lot of things in life at the moment. When you’re constantly in motion and constantly turned on you reach a point where you feel invincible and you just keep pushing as hard as you can, until something inevitably stops you…

I’m not writing as much because it’s been hard to find the time. I am trying to cook as much as I’d like to but am feeling less than inspired about meal planning and maintaining an overall diet plan. I can’t do yoga as much as I’d like because I always have to run. I can’t get my house cleaned up because I need to take the dogs out. I can’t take the dogs out because I need to work around the house. I can’t work on my project because I can’t even weed through my primary email, because I’m still trying to get caught up on my work email. I can’t hike because I’m entertaining company. When I’m done entertaining company I’m already on Pinterest looking for new ideas. I can’t sit on the couch and watch a movie because I’m out with friends. I haven’t been able to catch up on shows because I fall asleep every time I hit the couch.

Tradeoffs. Opportunity cost.

Recently I saw an article about a statement by Randi Zuckerburg (Entrepreneur/Former Facebook Employee) that goes “Work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends–pick three.” She calls this the entrepreneur’s dilemma but really it’s a dilemma that we all face.

It’s more than work/life balance because for so many of us the line between work and life is completely blurred. Even those of us who aren’t out there building tech companies (which is actually what I do for work…) have family, friends, diet, exercise, dogs, homes, and countless side hustles that we’re devoted to and passionate about. Picking just three is not an option.

My long runs should be up to about 17 miles at this point and I keep tapping out at 12.5 miles. I’m frustrated. I am sticking to plan on the rest of my training. I slowed down my pace for my long runs to allow my body to adjust to the distance. I was feeling good yesterday and then BAM at 12.5 miles the body said “No more!”

As I was walking my last 3 miles yesterday I texted a few runner friends to complain, seek reinforcement but mostly to ask what the hell am I doing wrong? A friend messaged me back “Are you just exhausted?”

I knew that training for a full marathon was going to be time consuming. I loved training for the half so much, but it did fit pretty perfectly into my already established routine. Training for the full has been a lot. I’m starting to have some self doubt. Can I even do this? Is it worth it? Maybe someday I will look back on this and laugh, but it doesn’t feel that way now.

Am I just exhausted? Quite likely that is the answer. Now that fall is here and the summer of craziness is over, it’s time to slow down and recreate some balance.

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When there’s a mirror on the wall, it’s a perfect time for self-reflection.

We sold our tickets to Riot Fest this past weekend because we knew we just couldn’t do one more thing. I started the week of with yoga and some writing time. I am going to cut out one day of running this week to devote to something else, probably more yoga and writing. We have a nice Saturday hike planned. One thing about living where we live is that no matter what is going on, there is no therapy better than getting out into the mountains.

What do you do to get back on track when you’re feeling overwhelmed and uninspired?

 

Running for Your Body & Your Brain

I’m using today’s post to work out a summary that I’m doing for another project so I am going to get back to running and fitness for a minute here.

Don’t fret, I will tell you all about Europe in a series over the next week or two. Spoiler alert: it was AMAZING.

I’ve also been walking around with a heavy heart due to the tragedy and turmoil that we’re experiencing in the world right now. I have a lot more to say in that regard so expect more like my last post going forward.

As for today. I’m not ready to share the full details of my project just yet but the task at hand is to compile a list of positive impacts that running has on physical and mental well being. Why should people think about starting running?

There is a ton of information out there supporting the benefits of running. Every time you head out for a run you are working your muscles, joints, bones, lungs, heart, and brain. Running is truly a full body workout.

Physical activity is great for the body and necessary for achieving and maintaining optimal health. We are not meant to sit all day! (#sittingisthenewsmoking) It is important that each person choose an exercise program that works best for them but my focus here is specifically on the activity of running because it’s my fave ❤

I’m interested in both how running physically changes your body and your brain. 

In addition to overall fitness, running has been shown to have the following physical benefits:

  • Increased muscle, joint and bone strength
  • Improved blood circulation and cardiovascular health
  • Increased brain plasticity and memory
  • Decrease in stress hormones
  • Running can get you high. Seriously 🙂

I wish I was a neuroscientist but I’m not so I’m going to refer you to this interview on Marathon Training Academy that discusses the running<>brain connection in more detail. MTA Interview with Dr. Wendy Suzuki. 

With regular running the brain can actually change and grow. Aerobic exercise aids the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain associated with memory, in generating and retaining new cells. Really cool stuff!

The mental benefits that are not so obvious are what I’m most interested in. Running improves all aspects of your life. This is a bold statement and one that I think most runners would agree with.

Regular running has been shown to improve mood. Running can help with depression. Running boosts self-esteem. Running can help people overcome many challenges and adversities beyond just fitness and weight loss.

Check out the Runners World Human Race Podcast. Each story profiles a person or a group of people who literally changed their lives through running.

Running is a sport where progress is very clear and tangible. If you want to run 5 miles, you have to start by walking 1 and build your way up. Anyone can do it but it takes time and dedication. I think that most people are surprised and satisfied at what they can achieve by following a simple training schedule. Goal setting, hard work and sense of a achievement are all benefits of running that can translate to other parts of life.

I don’t have a crazy transformation story but speaking from experience, when I am active my outlook is positive and I am more productive. When I take a break from working out, I notice that my mood starts to slip. My body is pretty sensitive to activity and diet changes (aka mostly I’m just moody and hungry) so I have to be careful to maintain a balance. If putting on my sneakers and doing something I love helps keep me on an even keel, count me in.

Not everyone is going to be a runner, I get that, but how do we make sure that people who may be interested in running get the opportunity and direction to get started?

Not a runner? The podcast that I link to above analyzes running, walking and HIIT as they relate to mood improvement and the activity that has the most significant impact is… walking!  So get moving!

Have a wonderful day out there people.

Here’s a neat sign I found in Lodo this morning. Generation Wild is a movement created by Great Outdoors Colorado to inspire kids to reconnect with nature. Good reminder for all of us.

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Human Lives Are Not Wedge Issues.

Last week the President of the United States of America openly defended a hate crime and refused (still refuses) to sincerely denounce or blame the hate groups that are responsible for the crime. From the moment I heard about the events in Charlottesville, the death of Heather Heyer and the flurry of incoherent rhetoric that has transpired since, I have been reeling. As I mentioned in my last post, I tend to keep my political and social commentary off of the internet but I feel strongly that I need to raise my voice.

There have been a lot of times when I’ve felt that because I am a middle class, white, millennial that my thoughts on many of the social issues that plague our country and our world are not valid. My goal here isn’t to pretend that I understand or empathize. My goal is to express my solidarity to everyone who is out there fighting tirelessly against injustice. I stand with you. While there are countless things going on in this country and in the world that I don’t agree with and that I am just plain angry about, I am focusing my energy in this post on the most recent events.

Donald Trump, the President of the United States, has over and over again shown that he is a racist and a bigot. He again has made his stance clear this time by defending the Alt-Right which is made up of extremist white supremacist groups including the KKK and neo-Nazis. NAZIS, as in people alive today who idolize Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. People who overtly spread hate to others because of their race, religion and viewpoints.

These groups are not only dangerous in what the preach but even more so in that that outwardly promote physical violence.Their hatred is so rabid that they actively work towards the realization of a modern day ethnic cleansing i.e. they believe in mass murdering of a group of people because they don’t like them. As most recently evidenced by the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer in Charlottesville and the Alt-Right’s response to it.

A lot of news outlets have been referencing this VICE Special Report on Race and Terror and I implore you to go watch it. Albeit short, this look at some of the key people involved in the Alt-Right movement is terrifying. “I think a lot more people are going to die here,” says white nationalist, Christopher Cantwell, in the footage.

Donald Trump’s response and continued discussion about the events in Charlottesville is reprehensible. His campaign platform and his behavior thus far in office has emboldened extremists in and, let’s call it what it is, terrorism, worldwide.

How does someone even become a white supremacist? At what point does a person decide that hate and negativity are admirable ideals? Surprisingly to me, although maybe it shouldn’t be, a lot of the Alt-Righters are young – they are my age.

I grew up in a town where racism was rampant. The school that I attended from K-12 had zero minority representation both among students and faculty. There were confederate flag vanity plates on the pick up trucks in the parking lot. It would take more fingers and toes than you have to count the number of cut off t-shirts that could be seen on a daily basis claiming that the wearer was a “Redneck”.

When I was a Freshman, there were kids in my high school that were openly members of the KKK. Go ahead, read it again…you read it right.

 

 

As solid an upbringing that had, I was misunderstood at times. I once had a kid grab me by the throat and call me a “freak” in the stairwell at school. I am the girl that got called into the principal’s office for wearing an anti-Nazi pin on my purse, a Marilyn Manson patch, a spiked collar… Everyone shuddered at my hand written t-shirt that said “Oppressors be warned, all dreams come true someday”(The Unseen, thank you very much). Let’s be honest, though, I was a typical angsty teenager.

Here’s the thing. Despite being an honor student, I was denied acceptance to the National Honor Society. Later in high school I wrote a personal essay denouncing the KKK. An essay which was later nominated (by my amazing English teacher) for an award and lost because, from what I understand, the judges “didn’t agree with the subject matter”. Oh that Melissa, always stirring the pot…

TL;DR When I was 15ish my dad took me to a KKK rally that was happening in our town. My parents 100% do not support the KKK, but they wanted me to see it. I didn’t want to go because I didn’t care. It ended up changing my life.

I’m not going to rehash that essay here, although I still read it sometimes and am proud at how my teenage mind decided that hate is fucking terrible and wrong. I was outraged by the fact that these people were allowed to spew their hate on the steps of the county courthouse, that they had children in robes up there, that they were too cowardly to show their faces.

We talked to protesters. Their stories were horrifying. We talked to people who found burning crosses and KKK paraphernalia in their yards. People who lived in fear for their families lives because of the color of their skin. Yet, even though their lives have been threatened they were still there, unmasked, standing up to hate. It was inspiring.

I’ve never really asked my parents why they decided that I should go that day, but I know that I am LUCKY to have parents who exposed me to such harsh realities when I was young. Then gave me the foundation and support to make the right decisions and then allowed me to be strong willed and outspoken about what I believe in.

If it weren’t for my parents (and punk rock) I don’t know if I would have learned it any other way. I am in fact suggesting that love and acceptance vs hate and bigotry are learned behaviors.

At some point, I feel like I kind of gave up on trying to be a force of change. When you’re young, you set out to change the world. As you mature and realize just how many walls stand in your way, especially when you grow up in rural conservative town. You adapt to pick your battles or fight your battles in more subtle ways.

Now is not the time for subtlety.

 

When Donald Trump was elected President, I was in complete disbelief. There is really so much to say here but I’m going to stay focused. I understand people’s opposition to Hillary Clinton, that’s not what I’m here to discuss. BUT. Donald Trump’s campaign was based on nothing but slander, hate, fucking the system, and fucking all of us.

I have opinions about the system of course. I am a registered Independent. I do not believe that a two party political system is a sustainable path towards progress. The two party system thrives when we as a people are divided. The two party system is the reason that Donald Trump is in office right now.

Dichotomy is in the best interest of politicians as it pits the masses against each other. When there is confusion and adversity among the people, the politicians and their inner circles maintain and strengthen their power while everyone is distracted and looking the other way. Opposing viewpoints on issues such as taxes, foreign trade and the economy are one thing, and all in the spirit of the game I suppose.

Creating opposition where any human is ostracized for their race, nationality, gender, sexuality or any other fundamental attribute is a cruel and dangerous game to play.

Human lives are not wedge issues. 

I am not naive enough to think that it’s within the realm of human nature to live in total peace, but when the people in power are driving hateful ideology it is important that we band together. Part of the job of the President of the United States is to be a moral leader. Donald Trump is failing us. He is making this country and the whole world a more dangerous place. That is why I feel compelled to speak up right now.

We should not be a danger to each other. We all have so much to teach each other.

As I am travel overseas for the next couple of weeks I will do my best to exude the kindness, positivity and acceptance that I believe we should all embrace. I hope to see some awesome sights and meet some incredible people and have some stories to share with you when I get back.

To everyone out there fighting the good fight, thank you. #RESIST