Friday, December 26, 2008

So Many Blessings....

This has been a unique Christmas for me. Its not the first Christmas that I have been without my husband as he flies other families to their Christmas celebrations BUT it is the first Christmas that I have worked on Christmas Day. I decided to volunteer for a shift at Disney so some other Divemaster who had family in town could enjoy their holiday. My family and I spent the morning together, had lunch then it was off to work.

I grumbled a little. I grumbled about traffic around the park. I grumbled about how stupid I thought it was that Disney is actually OPEN on Christmas Day (it wasn't until the reign of Michael Eisner as CEO that we opened the park on Christmas). I grumbled about not being able to put my feet up and watch some sports it football or basketball or golf while I digested a huge Christmas meal....grumble grumble grumble.

How stupid and selfish am I?? I got into work and everyone was so upbeat. Sure, they all wanted to get the job done and get home but not a single person was truly negative. Our dive groups were fun, happy people that REALLY appreciated the fact that we worked on Christmas. We wore Santa hats. We wished people in the observation deck Happy Holidays. We worked our butts off but we had a ball.

Its amazing how things can be so different if you just address them with a positive attitude.

So goes it with the rest of my life. Business is a little slower than last year (not surprising with the economy) but we are still blessed with some regular clients who continue to attend. I am not an Ironman but I have been blessed with the experience of being the Ford Everyday Hero and knowing what the start, swim, T1 and some of the bike is like for an Ironman. Christmas was a little lighter all the way around but my friends and I had a ball with a Chinese Christmas exchange...probably more fun than if we had spent alot of gifts for everyone. And my amazing husband ... that incredible man of mine kept me guessing and surprised for the holiday even when he wasn't here.

We are sooooo blessed...and its all a matter of perspective.

As we enter 2009, my goal and my dream is to keep it all in perspective. The beginning of a new year brings such hope...such excitement. I want that hope and excitement and belief to carry on throughout the year. I want to keep in mind that each day is a gift so precious that it should never be wasted.

This is my year...and I know it will be yours too!! To all my friends, to the people that I have never met face to face that pay me the ultimate compliment by reading my words and to all those who I hope to meet and learn from in 2009...

Sunday, December 21, 2008


"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway...."
-John Wayne

I was walking out of a store today (finishing the last of my Christmas Shopping) and had my mind on the upcoming races of the year. I am terrified about doing the Half Marathon at Disney in January (I haven't been training but I just wanna give this a shot) and as I walked out the door...there was that quote..on the back of a guy's pickup truck. It struck me so that I just stood there and read it over three times.

Have you ever thought that the big guy upstairs was trying to get your attention? Today, I felt like I got a good slap in the tush to remind me that anything is possible if you believe. Just gotta keep believing, keep dreaming and keep training!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas came early and I am SOOOO EXCITED!!

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I can hardly contain myself!!! I LOVE SANTA!! SANTA...YOU'RE THE MAN!! SANTA...You're the man who is going to make my swim a whole lot faster in 2009!!!

Im getting a Fastlane Swim Machine installed in my pool!! I don't know how I truly explain what exactly this is if you have never seen one. If you're a serious triathlete, you have probably seen the ads for this product. If you have been to an Ironman race, you have actually SEEN one demonstrated onsite. The machine creates a current that you swim against to give you one great swim workout without having to do laps upon laps in a pool. I can literally jump out of bed, throw on a suit and hit the pool in the morning for my workout!! YEEEEEEAAAHHH!!

I had seen this demonstrated at the St. Anthony's Triathlon and my husband put a deposit on one for my anniversary gift. With the economy the way it has been, we haven't been able to pay for the rest of the unit. My husband has been stashing money away since April so that he could do this for Christmas. Wow!! Is he amazing or what??? I am so blessed!!

Isn't it weird?? I use to get excited about clothes, makeup and jewelry (ok..I still get excited about jewelry) for all I want is workout equipment!! :) **giggle** I can hardly wait for its installation!!!

HO HO HO!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another installment of "As the Stomach Shrinks"

Did Melissa survive dinner with her friends and their Chinese Gift Exchange (My husband ended up with a "yodeling pickle" as a kidding)??????

Has Melissa logged in her food as her beloved nutritionist has asked her to??

Has Melissa survived the Christmas rush with a weight LOSS ???

Actually...the answer to all these questions is...shockingly...YES!!

My weigh in this morning revealed another pound lost!! we are at 4.5 pounds lost. Definitely not moving fast but my workouts have decreased DRAMATICALLY (almost non- existant) and...well...ITS THE HOLIDAYS!! Ill take a small loss over ANY gain anytime!!

I have enlisted the help of my sports nutritionist as I try to lose weight so I go to Weight Watchers for the support (and let them weigh me) but also see my nutritionist who is helping me with some of my eating ISSUES!!

...and the story continue....tune in next week for the next installment of this Saga :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ironman Burnout

Sometimes its hard to admit that your body and mind are screaming for a break. Now six weeks post Ironman, I have been having a difficult time focusing on my workouts. I have been skipping out on my workout plan and when I do get out there to get it done, my heart doesn't seem to be in it.

Hector and I discussed my issues and determined that after 11 months of training, Im a bit burned out. So on Tuesday morning we decided to give me a few weeks off. When I walked out of his workout studio, I felt...well...lost. I cried and wondered "Holy what??" Training has been such a big part of my life...what will I do??

I thought my mind and body were screaming for rest. On Wednesday night after working at Disney, I slept for 12 hours. On Saturday, I had another 12 hour night sleep. I NEVER sleep this much. I usually get 4 to 5 hours a night at the max and move on with my day. I still wake up at 430am thinking I have to be up for a long run or ride...but I pushing myself back to sleep.

Its Sunday...just 5 days since Hector and I decided to give me a rest and you know what Im thinking...WORKOUTS!!! Im starting to WANT to be on the road or in the pool. We thought I would take a break until Feb 1. Now I think it might be just January 1. I crazy?? Feel free to comment it you dare...hahahahahahahah!!!

Ironman vs. Triathlete...BIG DIFFERENCE

Last night was my brother's 50th birthday party (man, are we getting old) and I saw people at this party I haven't seen in years. My parents, not knowing any better, went around telling everyone I was an "ironman"...which I immediately corrected "Im a triathlete...Im not an Ironman....yet." I would say. They would ask "What's the difference?"


When you tell people you do triathlon, they immediately think the HAWAII Ironman..especially today since the coverage was on NBC. When you tell them that there are Ironman races all over the world, the typically response is :" long was YOURS?

The other responses I would get are: "I can't walk around the block without getting tired" or "How do you DO THAT??" "Why do you do that??" "How in the world did you ever get involved in such insanity??" "My idea of a marathon is drinking all the beer brands at the bar?? "Isn't that exhausting?"

Shall I go on?? Nahhh you get the picture.

I left the party last night and realized something for the first time in a very very very long time. What we do as triathletes and athletes in general is so foreign to the rest of the world. It is so much easier to just float through life sitting on the couch with the remote in your hand! It is CERTAINLY much easier to sit in front of the tube and WATCH the Ironman than make the commitment to BE one. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to achieve this goal.

Life is too damn short to sit on the couch....

Friday, December 12, 2008

That one little line...


In a sea of other entries, there is my name. I am entered for Ironman Florida 2009.

Its true!! I got up at 400am on November 2nd, 2008 and waited in line with my friends to sign up for Ironman Florida. Upon entering the registration tent, the kind people from North America Sports told me I didn't have to wait in line. I had an automatic entry into the race of my choice for next year since I was the Ford Everyday Hero. Im glad I got up and waited in line with Beth, Hector and Rick and enjoyed that special moment with them...and I left the tent without registering.

The participant list came out a few weeks later..and my name was not on the list!! GASP!! Should I have signed up?? Did I screw up and they gave me the wrong information.? I wrote to North American Sports and asked. They sent me a registration form which I immediately filled out and sent back. That was Monday. Today, my name is on the list!!! WHEW!! Its good to be in the group!!

Ahhhh now the fun begins!!! Bring on the 6 hour bike rides, open water Lucky's Lake Swims and 15 mile runs!! Well...not yet...maybe on January 1???

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Introducing a new special part of my life...

It never ceases to amazing me how the big guy upstairs can show you how blessed you are. Since November and my DNF at Ironman, Ive been a bit disappointed in myself. Sometimes its difficult when we focus all our thought and energy on our failures and stop looking at the possibilities that exist in our lives. God changed that around for me three weeks after Ironman.

In 1966, I was just 3 years old. My father, Judge D. Arthur Yergey was serving his community in Orlando's Orange County Juvenile Court. He had a vision. He saw a need for a residentail facility for young boys who had exhibited negative social behavior due to their family circumstances but had not turned that behavior into a life of crime. The goal was simple: give these boys a safe environment where you could rehabilitate them and show them a positive path in the world.

That was 42 years ago. What started as Edgewood Boy's Ranch is now operating as Edgewood Children's Ranch and it continues to do the work that my father invisioned. On Tuesday afternoon, under beautiful skies, my father and all of my family gathered at the Ranch along with 75 current resident children and staff to dedicate the new onsite school. The schoolhouse, which use to be known as the Jefferson Learning Center is now double the size, upgraded with brand new classrooms, desks, computers and restrooms and is called the Judge Yergey Learning Center. It was awesome to stand there in a place that is so incredibly special to my see his picture on the wall and watch these children come up and give him a hug. Many told him and my family how they now have their own desk and that they don't have to share supplies. Several told me how thrilled they were that the water fountains that worked and that each classroom had its own restroom. One little boy told me that he liked the smell of new carpet and that he now loved coming to school just to be in a "new clean place".

The things we take for granted are so special to so many. This Ranch is a very special place where they have over a 90% rehab rate with many "ranchers" returning to the facility in their 20's and 30's to be cottage parents or teachers on the site. My father has built quite a legacy...which I intend to help continue.

On Wednesday, I was recommended to be part of the Board of Directors of the Ranch. I couldn't be more humbled and honored. One of the board members was so excited because she heard I was an Ironman. I immediately corrected her but told her I was working on that. She KNEW I could help her organize a 5k run to raise funds for the now I REALLY have my hands full....

Fundraising for the Leukemia Society, Board participation with the Edgewood Ranch, running a fitness business, working for Walt Disney World, taking care of my amazing husband...and Ironman training. I really need sleep to survive???

As I receive the pictures from the event, Ill post them here :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Janus Charity Challenge

This is what I call putting my money where my mouth is!!

The Janus Charity Challenge is for athletes participating in Ironman events throughout the world that want to raise money for their favorite charity. After 12 months of training and not doing any work for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I was excited to find this avenue where I can train for the most grueling race AND help to find a cure for cancer.

I have some high expectations. I have set my fundraising goal at 25,000.00 before November 2009. I am planning on having a gala event, a BBQ, several garage sales and car washes and quite a number of Ebay Auctions with items donated by some dear friends.

The most exciting part? If I am the top fundraiser at Ironman Florida, Janus will donate an extra $10,000.00 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!!! Can you imagine!!?? That would be $35,000.00 towards research!! AWESOME!!!

Please visit my fundraising page at:

Whatever you can donate...from $1.00 and beyond is so appreciated!! Thank you for checking it out!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We got Mom home..and then my own fun began ....

And almost back to normal. She told me she needed to go get her hair done today...and I informed her she was staying in bed and sleeping. My mother and I are the same genetics..she doesn't like being told to stay still!!!

With my mom's experience and some of the issues that were a little overwhelming, I called Hector today and asked for a couple of days off. I really need a break. He was incredibly kind. He KNOWS how bad I want to run the OUC Half Marathon this weekend but family obligations (my Mom and the fact my husband comes home for the first time in 8 days) makes it difficult to see the race as a priority.

I also think its important for women to make sure they take care of themselves. Cancer runs in my family so I am very vigilant about check ups such as OB/GYN and Mammograms. I had my mammogram about 10 days ago. You go in, they squeeze two private parts until they look like something at a Sunday Morning Pancake Fundraiser and you go big deal..

Until you get the letter that says YOURS was abnormal and they want to take another look.

Last night, as I returned home from taking care of my Dad, I opened the mail to find this letter. I didn't panic. This has happened before. Im a big girl and I have AMPLE bust line. The density of this bust line sometimes makes it difficult to read my scan.

I called the Radiology Group that did my scan so I could reschedule. I told the scheduler the issues with my Mom and she made it her crusade to get me scheduled as soon as possible. As it turned out, it was TODAY at 3pm.

My doctor is awesome. She knows I worry about this stuff because alot of people in my family have lost their lives to cancer including this type. They had someone review the scan but he was not sure so he called in another doctor. That physician called me at 545pm and told me...I was abnormalities..BUT he wants me back in 90 days for a follow up scan.

These are the moments that you sigh with relief and you thank the man upstairs for his grace. These are the moments I understand why you don't waste a single day of the great life you are given!! Thats why my push to raise money for Cancer Research is so strong. I guess the Manifesto of the Lance Armstrong Foundation kinda sums up what drives me in the fight against this disease:

We believe in life.
Your life.
We believe in living every minute of it
With every ounce of your being
And that you must not let Cancer take control of it
We believe in energy:
Channeled and Fierce
We believe in focus:
Getting smart and living strong
Unity is Stength
Knowledge is Power
Attitude is Everything.
This is the credo of the Lance Armstrong Foundation

....and this is the way I live my life.....


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You know you have been to the ER too much when...

**The doctors and nurses know you by name
**Its Wednesday-that means they have GOOD vegetable soup in the Cafeteria...and you know this by heart.
**The Valet Parking Guy at the front of the hospital doesn't charge you for parking

and the greatest indicator that you spend too much time at the ER..

When several of the nurses say you should get a job here...

Hmmmm An interesting day. I did a few organizational things for my boot camp this morning but I didn't sleep well so I headed back to bed at 7am to get 1 or 2 more hours of sleep. I got up at 9am, worked around the house and then headed out for some errands.

I was about 5 minutes from my house when my phone rang. My brother, the attorney, had that very scary calmness in his voice " don't be upset...but...Mom is in the Emergency Room" Don't be upset?? What?? Trying and succeeding to be the calm big brother, David explained to me that my mother had had an allergic reaction to some blood pressure medication and was in serious condition. They were taking her by ambulance to the hospital just a few minutes from me and could I meet my Dad at the ER.

I made the most illegal U Turn of my life and headed for the hospital. Jumped out of my car...and the valet (who has gotten to know me over the last few months)...threw me my ticket and I was in the door of the ER. I walked up to the desk and before you knew it, I was at my Mom's side.

...and to say she was serious was an understatement. Her heart had stopped during the ride over (I found that out at 630pm tonight) she was having trouble breathing to the point they had strapped a O2 demand mask to her face and her resting heart rate when I walked in was 137. She couldn't speak, she couldn't move and for the first time in my life, I saw serious fear in my father's face. The last time he said he was that scared was when my mother almost bled to death when she lost my baby sister at delivery.

I am thrilled to report that she is stable now. She will probably go home on Friday.

They are in the process of flushing her system of this blood pressure medication that made her so ill. As for me...I am making my dad dinner...and then I am headed to bed so I can get up early for a visit in the morning!!

Thanks for listening..and your always..are appreciated!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Weekly Weigh In Report

Well I survived the holiday....I didn't lose any weight but I didn't gain any either!! I am still at a 3.5 lb loss. Not particularly thrilled with that but it is difficult to lose weight during the holidays!!

I am suppose to run the OUC Half Marathon this weekend but I am not sure if I will be able to. My husband has been gone for almost a week and he arrives back in town on Saturday morning..the same time the race starts. I just can't have him grab a cab and come home after a week of being gone!!! Im gonna talk to Hector and possibly run the exact same route of the OUC on Friday instead of the race on Saturday. I won't get a medal (major bummer) but at least Ill get the distance in!!

My life has currently been filled with Christmas shopping for my parents (my mother is not well and I have been trying to help out), decorating the house for Christmas and getting ready for the Boot Camp Christmas Party on Sunday!! Along with the celebration, we are having each boot camper bring a non perishable food item to give to the Second Harvest Food Bank!! Just another way to give back to the community!!

Well..I gotta fit in a 1 hour run today along with the running around town!!!