Remember Who You Are

Today was a first for me: the first time I have heard a Lion King reference used during a homily said by a Catholic priest. As I sat with my cousin, Karen, at St. Jude the Apostle Cathedral in St. Petersburg this morning, Fr. Anthony referenced Simba, Timon, Pumbaa, and Nala during his remarks. He reminded us of the line “remember who you are.”

I had the good fortune to spend the weekend in Tampa and St. Petersburg. As I scrolled through pictures from the weekend, it occurred to me that this trip rather succinctly sums up much of “who I am” (if you put aside the fact that my husband and kids were not along).

READING (no picture for this one …)

My audiobook choice was a horrible choice if I was trying to escape (because it is about a son being the caregiver for his elderly mother). BUT I am thoroughly enjoying Bettyville and am impressed at the author’s ability to interject humor into a situation which (believe me, I know) is often devoid of humor.


Isn’t this sunset over Old Tampa Bay glorious?


Although my iPhoneography didn’t really do it justice, this rainbow over St. Pete was beautiful!


This morning’s sunrise over Coffee Pot Bayou:

sunrise coffee pot


My friend Diane Berberian and I ran the Lowry Park Zoo Run Run 5K yesterday morning. The course ran through the zoo and along the river. Seriously, running friends are the best!


Back when I was making my way along the Tallahassee Burger Trail, Diane had said “if you’re ever in St. Pete, I’ll show you a great burger.”  She did! And I enjoyed a Black and Blue Burger from The Burg (and voted for it in the 4th Annual Grand Central District Battle of the Burg(er))! Yummy!



Being part of a virtual team is great because of the flexibility but there are just times when you want to look each other in the eyes! Megan and I have been social media friends for a while, then became coworkers with Weaving Influence when I joined WI in October 2014. She recently moved to Florida (yay!!!!!!). Her husband Frank and I have been Swarm friends for a while, and narrowly missed a Newark Airport meetup in March. And then there’s Blake, who truly fits that “for this child I prayed” verse. I so enjoyed meeting them IRL and face timing Becky (our founder!).



The genesis of this trip was my desire to visit with my Aunt Faye. I was unable to attend the memorial service in June after my Uncle Marvin passed away, so I had promised to spend some time with her this summer. A few logistical hurdles jumped and it all worked out great — I got to enjoy dinner with her, my cousin Kathy, Kathy’s husband Bob, and two other friends (and snap the great sunset picture above).


Then, rounding out the cousin visit agenda, I went to mass with Karen (Faye’s other daughter) this morning!


Lastly, I rarely get down to Riverview to visit our family burial plot. I spent a few moments visiting Ann, Chuck, Wayne’s grandparents Stanley and Lottie, his Aunt Susan, and a few other Thomasson relatives.



When I went up for a blessing during Communion today, the deacon’s blessing was “May you have an awesome week.”

Thanks to a weekend characterized by so much of what I love: Books, Friends (and coworkers!), Family, Food, Running, and Nature … count me “grateful” and on target for an “awesome week”!

I hope your week ahead is full of blessings and “awesome” as well!

Move Nourish Believe Challenge (Week One Wrap-Up)


The first week of the Move Nourish Believe Challenge is over. I have really enjoyed the structure of the various challenges, and the new people I have been able to interact with.

Monday’s challenge was “sweat it out — show us your favorite way to sweat”!

Monday was a “stretching” day for me but I shared an older “sweaty” picture of a running day; running is always my favorite way to sweat.

Challenge Day One

Tuesday’s challenge was “Change it up! – Sweat a new way”!

Tuesday was a “regular run” day for me but I shared a picture from my “Kangoo” workout last year. It was definitely a new way to work out and a fun challenge!

Challenge Day Two

Wednesday’s challenge was “Let’s get planking — plank at least five minutes today”!

I did this in five one-minute segments: an elbow plank, a regular plank, a left side plank, a right side plank, and an elbow plank.

Challenge Day Three

Thursday’s challenge was “Buddy Up – work out with a friend today”!

Since I had no buddies for my 6 am run, I shared a picture from last summer, when I got together with my friends Diane and Amelia for a Saturday morning workout (I ran with Diane then kept running while she did an open water swim with Amelia) on Clearwater Beach.

Challenge Day Four

Friday’s challenge was “Show us your five fitness faves”!

Five Fitness Faves

My faves are (clockwise from top left):

1) My coach, Jeff Kline;

2) Yoga;

3) The child I run for through I Run for Michael, Gareth;

4) The camaraderie of runners (this picture is from our day running “Megs Miles” from Badass Fitness);

5) “The sheer joy of running.”

(And although I was only supposed to demonstrate five things, it’s important to note that Charity Miles is almost always part of my running!)

There you have it! There are two more weeks left in the challenge, so please feel free to join us! For more details, visit this link.

Thank you to Lorna Jane for sponsoring this challenge. Check out their cool fitness apparel via this link.

And although today wasn’t an official challenge day, I’ll close with the highlight of the day. My son (who has been sucked into a few years of gaming after many years of being an active youngster) joined me for the “Run for the Cookies” (he ran the mile, I ran the 5K). It was a happy happy moment.

Cookie Run Mother Sun

Teammates Make the “Have Fun” Part Happen!

prs logo two

I have been coached by Jeff Kline of PRS Fit since April 2012. The team motto is “Be Healthy. Train Smart. Have Fun.” Teammates are spread all over the world (our training plans are on a web-based system and we email, call, Skype, etc. to interact with our coaches). We have a team Facebook page that is its own community — a place where we have shared small questions (best anti chafing product? How to keep your heart rate strap from irritating your skin? Gear questions of every kind) and big ones (how do you move on past the big losses in life?). Several of the 200+ teammates are on Twitter too, but the Facebook community is the heart of the team’s communications (to me).

As incredible as social media is, though, there are times when you need to deepen the bonds by meeting in real life. For example, I already felt a bond with Ann Brennan through many emails and various messages, but having an opportunity to walk a few miles with her in the summer of 2012 confirmed all the great vibes I had already felt and allowed us to establish even more common ground.

I was happy to meet two more teammates this weekend, Diane and Amelia. We shared two meals (oh, and a five a.m. wakeup call) together. Yesterday morning at Clearwater Beach, Diane and I ran 40 minutes then she and Amelia did an hour-long Open Water Swim while I ran another hour.

I had been pretty nervous about running with Diane (a/k/a The Iron Maven). I knew she was faster than me. The original plan was a 2 hour run and although I knew I could do it, I haven’t run anything longer than 1:30 in a few months. I wasn’t sure if we were going to be tethered to one another (Diane is a paratriathlete). Turns out we did 40 minutes (untethered) and it was awesome!

While Diane and Amelia swam, I finished off my hour. When Diane told me to anticipate a bridge, I started getting excited because I’m a fan of running bridges. She wasn’t kidding! It was the Sand Key Bridge and it was a BEAR to run. I also realized that the sips I had taken out of my PowerAde had depleted it, then I was drinking faster than I had anticipated because it was hot (duh, Florida, Clearwater Beach!). Thank you to the proprietor of the Subway/Internet Café who let me fill up my water bottle. Water has never tasted so good.

Preparing to Approach

Preparing to Approach

View From the Top!

View From the Top!

While we’re on the subject of Diane, she will be competing in the World Paratriathlete Championships in London next month (maybe another reason I was a little intimidated!!!). She is 85% toward her fundraising goal to make this trip a reality. You can donate or use the “share” buttons to spread the word here.

I liked Diane and Amelia already “from a distance.” Having met them up close and personal I am even more proud to call them “teammates.” We were already “training smart” and trying our best to “be healthy” but they really helped with the “have fun” part of PRS Fit!

Paula, Amelia, Diane

Paula, Amelia, Diane