When You Can't Tell Who's In Charge

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

We know Paula can be quite the diva, but sometimes she can just be downright pushy! Take yesterday at work for example. While at work, my friend Travis started feeling picked on, so he started singing, "All by myself..." Of course, my little diva would jump in to finish his line in her cute little squeaks, sounding just like the next line. "Don't wanna be..." Then she was joined by a few others, "All by myself!" This was of course then followed by a loud round of laughter. They must have put laughing gas in the vents at work or something because I was literally crying from laughing so hard.

But wait, it gets better!! Once the laughter died down, Keely and Shain started to mention how funny Paula is and how I can't just let her take over like that. Pretty soon I'll have to start asking permission to speak up. So the question was posed, "Paula, can Jessica come out?" And Paula screamed, "NO!!!" We were simply dying of laughter. So I guess Paula is going to stay and work for me, so I'm going to head home to work on my writing.


No? That's not how it works?


Dangit, Paula! Who's in charge here?

Obviously, not me.

Inside Out

Monday, April 23, 2018

We all know that I am a fan of children's movies. I love animated movies, especially Disney. Sometimes one movie will stand out more than others. Inside Out is one of those movies. It has incredibly powerful information in regards to healing, handling emotions and growing up in general. Though I'm obviously putting this off as long as possible.

While I don't remember how exactly this conversation started, but at one point, Keely started singing, "Who's your friend who loves to play?"

Jumping in with a great harmony, Paula sang along with Keely, "Bing-Bong, Bing-Bong!"

The best part was the look of absolute and child-like joy on Keely's face as they finished. Paula just makes things so much fun!

Try Something New, I'll Join You

Thursday, April 5, 2018

I wanted to try something different today. You see, I have this awesome friend who has taught me quite a bit as of late. I have known him a few years, but he recently started a blog and I am just loving his content and how much it has helped me personally, as well as with my TS. Who knew sports could do such a thing? Coming from someone who never really did any athletics before, I had no idea what I was missing.

Sometimes I feel like I have no control over... anything. Tourette Syndrome has that effect I think. I can't control what comes out of my mouth and I can't control my body's actions. But sometimes I forget that while I don't have that control all of the time, it doesn't mean I don't have any. Maybe I just didn't learn to push myself, or train myself to do the things that I want to do. I have been thinking I might have to run a 5k, just to test all this stuff out that Austin talks about. I'll keep you posted.

Anyways, I shot him a few questions and I'll share them with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. But first, some backstory. Because stories. 

Photo of Austin Patten by Wes Photography
Austin Patten is from a suburb of Chicago, IL. After serving a 2-year mission for his church in Brazil, he graduated from BYU-Idaho in business management. Despite being busy as a business analyst, Austin is dedicated to his health and athletics. He takes the time to practice every day and helps others along the way.

In addition to sports, Austin loves hanging out with friends, movies, camping, the stock market and puzzles.

Austin and I have attended the same congregation, or ward, for several years. Somewhere along the many activities our ward does together, we became friends and I am a better person because of it. He is always serving and giving.

I guess that's all the more reason I like the stuff he posts. It's all incredibly real. This is how he lives life every day. It's not just pretty words on a page with a few nice pictures. I asked him a few questions, see for yourself some of these great lessons he has:

1. Tell me a little about why you started this blog. Have you always been a writer?

I have not always been a writer. I think the last paper I wrote in college was for a freshman writing course that was a general ed class. Since then, I haven't written a whole lot. I love to think. Often times I think of my life philosophy. I have found that writing these thoughts down, helps me develop them better so I can have a more clear image of my philosophy as well as what I am doing good and what I can improve on. It helps me remember my thoughts better to so when I talk to people I can remember my talking points better.

 I wanted to show people that there are lessons for life buried in athletics. Often times people just race because they want to win and have bragging rights. But there are real lessons that occur in training and racing that we often do not recognize. 
I want to help people see these. I also want people to live the best life they can. Sports have given me so much, especially the endurance sports (running, biking, and swimming) so I want to share it with people and encourage them to try it. They changed my life, I know they can change others lives too. Most will not decide to run a marathon but they might decide to run a 5k or just start walking every night instead of watching an hour of TV. We live in a world where we are all plugged in all day every day. These activities give you a break from the negativity we see in the news on Facebook and TV. They help us get some fresh air which is good for our brains and bodies and relieve the stress from life. It helps clear the brain so we can approach our problems more clearly and come up with better ways to solve them. I want people to have these experiences.

2. Were you always a natural born athlete?

  I wouldn't say I was always a natural born athlete but I have always had a passion for sports. It started when I was a toddler and my parents bought me a baseball and a glove and signed me up for t-ball (now you see why I love baseball and softball so much). I have played a ton of sports in organized competition in my life including baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, cross country, football, wrestling, marathons, and triathlons; and many others just for fun. I have never excelled at any of them but I love to play so I do. I work on improving every time I play. The sports I have excelled the most at are marathons and triathlons. I have also spent a few years coaching people for running 5ks, half marathons, and marathons. This includes kids as young as 9 all the way up to college students.

3. How did you get where you are now?

A. I started running after high school. It was really casual until I got back from my mission in Brazil. Then it picked up to marathon training. In high school, I hated running. I think what changed was I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to run a marathon and many of my friends told me I would not end up doing it. I had to prove them wrong. Little did I know it would change my life and lead me to love running. When I started training for a marathon, I could barely run a half mile. That was my starting point. I worked my way up until I could run a marathon in under 3.5 hours. Now I do triathlons. I still hate swimming but know that if I want to be good at them, I need to work on what we call a "race limiter". This is something that can prevent you from racing your best. Swimming is a limiter for me
so I make sure I get in the pool three times a week in addition to my running and cycling training. Most of the time, I do not want to be in the pool swimming but I have come so far. I never took swimming lessons as a kid and could really only swim to stay alive before. I know that sounds crazy for a 29 year old to say but its true. I started out struggling to swim 100 meters. now I can swim 1.5 miles without stopping. There is no point that is too low to start. I am so glad I decided to get in the pool and start swimming because it has allowed me to become a more well rounded and stronger athlete.

4. What was the hardest thing you have ever done as an athlete?

I ran a relay race from Rexburg, ID to Idaho Falls, ID. It was supposed to be on a team of 8 people and a distance of 37 miles. I did the entire thing alone. It took me more than 7 hours to complete. I was in tears several times during the race. It hurt so much physically, mentally, and emotionally. But I learned so much about me, relationships, and God. It gave me more than 7 hours to think both negatively and positively. I had the opportunity to see what others do to help. as well as the excitement others had for my achievement. There were so many lessons I learned here both in training and in racing it. There were times I sat on the curb during the race and just cried while I caught my breath. Then my best friend would tell me to keep going. I remember telling him over and over when I reached a certain point I was stopping. Then when I got there he would tell me to keep going. This situation would repeat over and over for the last 10k of the race. Almost every half mile. That is how hard it was. I would get somewhere and then keep going to only 3 minutes later wish I had stopped. I did not stop and ended up finishing. I was the last one to come through the line but I came through the line and learned so much over that 37 miles. I would not take that experience away for anything.

5. If you could do anything differently in your career as an athlete, what would it be?

 I would have kept playing baseball in middle school and high school. I would have started all the sports for triathlon much earlier in life so I could be stronger than I am now. And I would have taken my nutrition away from sports more serious. I love candy, ice cream, cookies, pie and all the sweets. Over the past year, I have worked on portion control, reducing sugar intake, and increasing my fruits and vegetables. It has made a huge difference in how I feel and what I can do! I still eat all those sweets but in much smaller quantities. You really are what you eat. If you want to perform well in races, you have to take care of your body when you aren't running, biking, or swimming. Training is 24 hours a day. It's what you eat, how much you sleep, what extracurricular activities you do, and how you take care of the muscles and brain.

6. Where would a person be able to find more information or contact you with questions?
I have a Facebook page called "The LDS Triathlete"
They can find me on Instagram @ldstriathlete
I write on Medium as well. Everything I write can be found at https://medium.com/@ldstriathlete
If needed I can also be reached via email at ldstriathlete@gmail.com

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