Single parenting, co-parenting and blended families are a part of life. I’m a single parent, which is unfortunately all too common these days. But not all single parents are women. What about single fathers? What do they deal with? Why have some of them never gotten married? What are their struggles in relationships, and in life? And what would it take for us as a people–in the Black community–to stop blaming each other for our problems, hurt feelings, distrust, and resentment and come together?
Ending the Blame Game: Single Black Fathers on Relationships will be released on March 25, 2014, giving some insight into those subjects and more!
I’m celebrating with a launch party on March 29 in Atlanta, Ga. Save the date and come out if you can!
Posted in writing
Tagged baby mama drama, Black love, child support, community, coparenting, custody, family legacy, remarriage, self-help, single fathers, single parenting
As the days drew closer to the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K yesterday, my anxiety grew. I was prepared to run the distance (15K = 9.3 miles) because I trained properly and did my first running streak throughout December, but I heard that the parking situation was a mess last year, so I was on guard.
In Atlanta, several races begin and end at major landmarks like Piedmont Park and Turner Field, the former home of the Atlanta Braves. Like the Thanksgiving Day race I did, this race was at Turner Field. And I had received several emails from the race organizers stressing that parking passes were mandatory to park in their lots, but parking space could not be guaranteed if arriving after 6:30 am.
I tossed and turned early that morning, then arrived at the exit to Turner Field at 6:05 am. It took me one hour to crawl around the side streets and finally get a spot. Nerve wracking. And honestly, that was the worst part of the day. It was 10 degrees warmer than the Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day races, but still cold. For some reason, the 5K started before the 15K (I am used to the longest race distance starting first), so I had a long wait before it was time to stand outside in my corral (15K start time was approximately 8:25 am).
One thing I love about racing is the costumes, the volunteers and the spectators! A lady near me at Grant Park was running with a tutu, sash, and cute headband that said “30th.” I wished her a happy birthday as we went up that hill. Next I saw my people, Black Girls Run at a water station. Later I saw a lady on the sidelines holding a sign that read, “WHERE IS EVERYONE GOING?” On another street, cars were stopped and a couple of little kids were hanging out of the window giving high fives. Those kinds of sights do my heart good!
I was a part of a wonderful show last summer that reminds me a little bit of BET’s Teen Summit. We are screening the first episode this Saturday with a panel/forum to follow.
I got this nice email from the team at Fusion Teen Talk Show afterward.
They have a “All Things Fusion” campaign at Indiegogo, with a mission to raise $5,000 to help with the cost of production, distribution, etc. You may donate at the Fusion Teen Talk Show Indiegogo website, www.igg.me/at/FusionTeenTalkShow. You can also check out the Fusion Sizzle Reel (you may see yourself!)
Having spent the first 21 years of my life living up north (being born in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in upstate New York), I’m no stranger to cold, snowy, icy conditions. However, since I’ve moved down south, some think I never deal with anything related to winter weather anymore. I wish. Even in Georgia, I had to scrape by car off several times already this winter. People are “taking cover” because it’s going to dip into the single digits tomorrow.
I have gas heat but I keep my thermostat put and use a lot of thick socks and blankets. A blanket can be a literal or metaphorical symbol for warmth, security and comfort. I have some that I’m attached to.
Unlike me, my mother and grandmother both learned how to sew, knit and crochet at a young age. My grandmother has made patchwork quilts for many, many years–some of which she has donated to hospitals and a few of which she has made for me and my daughter, which I still have. Continue reading
I hope you enjoy my yearly review of major events and accomplishments in 2013.
What I Did in 2013
Me, feeling exuberant after a 7-miler
I obtained three fitness instructor certifications this year, but I’m proudest of my decision to start–and keep on–running. It was monumental that I even started running in the first place!
Super-quick running summary:
- Finished five 5K races (four in Atlanta, including a 6K, and one in Charlotte)
- Total of 425 miles ran in approximately 86 hours (April to December)
2014 Plans include more races: one half marathon in Virginia Beach, one 15K in Atlanta, three 10Ks (one in Brooklyn), and several smaller races in Atlanta. (I am also shooting for a race in Boston and other cities as my budget allows.)
This year I went to Virginia (visiting family and friends), Charlotte (runner’s conference), and Las Vegas (fitness conference).
2014 Plans include trips to St. Louis, Cleveland, and a few cities where I hope to run in races as mentioned above.
4 Big I-Want-To-Dos in 2014
These are listed in the order in which I think will be hardest to easiest to achieve:
- Learn how to swim
- Learn self-defense techniques (I had a scary encounter while running alone the other day)
- Finish a half-marathon (at least one, as mentioned above)
- Launch my new book Continue reading
Posted in event highlights, goals, journaling, personal growth, planning, publishing, self-help, slice of life, writing
Tagged accomplishments, attitudes, clutter, comparison, half marathon, homeschool, impatience, recap, rest, running, sleep, swim
I’m still doing the Runner’s World streak with just a few more days to go. It’s pretty awesome, as I’ve never ran more than 6 days in a row before this Thanksgiving. However, sometimes it’s challenging to even complete the minimum 1-mile run for the streak. (Driving several miles to get to a treadmill so that I can run one mile on it?) It has been raining a lot in Atlanta this December, and I’m accustomed to running earlier in the day, although now that winter has set in, it’s colder in the morning than the afternoon. An incident just happened that made me re-think how I get my miles in when I’m close to home.
The other day, I decided to do this quick 1-miler in my neighborhood before sunset–around 5 pm. It was still daylight and I always in my own neighborhood when I am alone. (Since the seasons have changed, my running group meets at the same times, but it’s always dark outside now and I don’t like running in the dark, even with reflective gear.) When I get literally two blocks from my doorstep, and a bright orange car with three or four 20-somethings rolls up. I notice them as they are about to turn down the street that I am about to cross. They yelled something out the window–I don’t know what. I looked to see who it was and then turned back and ignored them. They turned on the street and pulled over. One of the guys ran and caught up to me, but I didn’t give him a chance to say anything before I told him to leave me alone. He immediately put his hands up almost apologetically, turned around and went back to the car. I’m grateful that no one touched me or did me bodily harm. I also saw a couple running in my direction, so I wasn’t totally alone.
I’m well aware of safety precautions to take, including carrying mace, a phone, ID, and not running with both ear buds inserted. I know some terrible things have happened to all kinds of people while running, from dog attacks, kidnappings, rapes and of course death– but like Beth of Shut Up + Run, I refuse to let a few dummies incite fear in my heart and keep me from doing an activity that keeps me sane. I learned how to do a take-down earlier this year, but it looks like I need some more self-defense classes.
All of us out there were troopers… it was #SoCold on Thanksgiving morning!
In my 9 month-running history, I haven’t lost any toenails or suffered so much as a shin splint. Unfortunately my in
jury-free status changed on my first cold run in October: After my usual dynamic warm-up, by the end of mile 1, my left hamstring started crying. I still can’t figure out how I pulled it, but I suspect I did something funky in a strength training class that week, but I rarely go past 5 miles on any given run. Running buddies encouraged me to go to the doctor, but my orthopedic doc can never see anything on me with an x-ray, and I didn’t want to pay for an MRI. I decided to lay low and not run for a few weeks, which was depressing. I did a few more runs after that where my left leg hurt after mile 1, but not as intensely. (Yoga and nightly stretching helped.) Over a month since I came back to running, and thank God, I feel no pain at all.
I accepted the Runner’s World Holiday Streak Challenge: Run at least 1 mile per day every day from Thanksgiving to New Years’ Day. So far I’m on it! I’m starting and finishing the streak with races: Did a 5K race on Thanksgiving morning when it was a bone-chilling, extremity-numbing 23 degrees in Georgia! (Yes, we get frost, ice and have to scrape it off our cars too!) 30:49–just 9 seconds slower than my last 5K when it was 50 degrees warmer. I will also do my first 10K race on January 1, called the “Resolution Run.” Something came over me on December 12 (discounts), and I enrolled in 3 races that day that will take place at various times in 2014, including the Resolution Run. Continue reading