Monday, September 6, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Last week I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by my dear friend, Kris. Kris and I grew up together in Rockford, Illinois and have been friends since I moved to her neighborhood in the 4th grade. Thanks, Kris!

Last year, Kris and her husband Jason adopted a cute little boy from South Korea named Xavier. I saw him a couple weeks ago for the first time while he was cheering his mom on at the Madison Mini (half)- Marathon. I saw him only briefly as I was running by, but I could tell even from my brief glance that he is a cutie!

Apparently, here is how the Versatile Blogger Award works:

1) Thank and talk about who gave you the award (check!)
2) Share 7 facts about yourself (see below)
3) Give the award to 7 other bloggers who rock! With the exception of 2, all of the blogs I follow are about running (with some triathlon blogs thrown in for good measure). My favorites thus far are: The Boring Runner, Always a Reason to Run, madcitygirl, frayed laces, one run at a time, mile at a time, sweat once a day

Here are my 7 facts:

1. I have the best husband in the world. My instructions were to give 7 'facts' and that is a fact. Many of my friends have asked if we could find a way to clone him (kind of a "does he have a brother" but more scientifically advanced), but alas, we can't. Wish we could- we would make bank!

Adam in the Bahamas.

Adam in New Zealand

2. I used to be a high school science teacher in rural Mississippi. I initially lived in a town of 200 people called Lula. No stoplights, one stop sign. Then I moved to Robinsonville with my dear friend, roomie and maid-of-honor, Tamara. I loved my students and I loved the chance to live in Mississippi. I still miss it sometimes, and it's been 8 years!

Tamara and I in front of our apartment. When I have some more time I'll do some scanning of old Mississippi pics- we have some great "frolicking in the cotton fields" shots that deserve some bloggy attention.

3. I love to travel. Behind eating, sleeping, and running, it ranks up there in terms of favorite activities! While I constantly have the 'travel bug', every two years or so I get the dreaded 'international travel bug' (dreaded by my husband because it knows it means a serious outlay of cash!) and have to flee the country:) I am so thankful that fact #1 and fact #3 go together- Adam is a great travel partner! Some of my more interesting international destinations have included New Zealand, Ghana, Egypt, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco, Chile (Patagonia!) and the Czech Republic.

My most recent international adventure: New Zealand! This pic is from Milford Sound in Fiordlands National Park on the South Island.

My friend Bonnie and I at Torres Del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. We woke up at 3 am to get to this peak in time to get back to our afternoon bus. Wow, so hard, but totally worth it!

The Torres, sans us:)

Our most recent trip: Manitou Island, MI

4. I'm a marathoner. I'm the tortoise, not the hare, but I've yet to DNF (do not finish) a marathon (knock on wood!), so I guess that means I'm a successful tortoise! I went from couch potato to marathon runner in 2006 and haven't looked back. I couldn't imagine my world without running- it would be a very depressing, fat, inactive place! I'm trying to get faster for this year. It would be so nice to not have to run for over 4 hours and 30 minutes! Look for me at the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10!

Here's me with my Grandma near mile 15 of my first marathon (Chicago 2006, "the cold year").

Adam and I after last year's Chicago Marathon. So lucky that I can combine Fact #1 with Fact #4 as well!

5. I'm a doctor. The MD kind. Internal Medicine, soon to be Hematology/Oncology. It's taken a while for me to be neutral about that fact because I really hated my job for the first few years. But now, it's not so bad, and I've moved into what I think is the mentality of most working Americans: My thoughts on work are that "there will never be anything I enjoy about work more than anything I enjoy outside of work" but that's a big improvement from "I hate my life, I hate my life, I hate my life" which is where I was 2 years ago!

Me with some of my med school gals. I graduated 1 year late because I got a joint MD/MBA, hence I'm wearing normal clothes in this photo! (L to R: Jenny, Trang, Deepa, Sandra, me).

6. I love my car. Her name is Elly. She is a VW Eos (means 'sun goddess') hardtop convertible with sun roof and she is AMAZING!! I'm just as in love with her today as I was when we purchased her almost 3 years ago. Driving with the top down is like the difference between watching life and living life, between seeing life in 2d and seeing it in 3d with smells, between 'getting through the day' vs choosing to experience life to its fullest. I mean some of this literally and some figuratively. Seriously, though, if you have the chance to own a convertible, DO IT! Life's too short to drive with a roof.

7. I am obsessed with bison. Have been for years. I think they are just the coolest animals in the world for so many reasons. They deserve their own series of blog posts, but suffice it to say that my bison obsession has infected almost all of my family members, I have a huge 8 ft portrait of a bison in my living room (and, yes, we live in a 2 bedroom apartment not some vast mansion, so the picture is HUGE on our wall), and my favorite trips, movies and books all involve, you guessed it, bison.

Here's me cross-country skiing in Yellowstone sidling up to some wonderful bison!

Well, that's it folks! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Thanks again, Kris! I'll leave you with a picture of Adam and I in New Zealand, hiking on one of the "Great Walks", the Queen Charlotte Track.

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