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The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

Quote by John Bingham

Let’s just skip the whole “Sorry I haven’t written in forever!” crap and get right to the meat of this post. Today, history was made. I, Bethany Weathers, willingly participated in a 5K run/walk to benefit Susan G. Komen breast cancer research.

For those of you that haven’t known me long (i.e. less than two years), this may not seem like a big deal. But for those that knew me back in high school/early college, this is HUGE.

Why?

fig. 1

This was me on my senior trip. It was taken in Colorado, about a quarter mile up a mile long trail. It took me nearly an hour to reach the top of the trail because it was too hard for me to walk (yes, walk) up the trail. When I reached the end, it took me so long to catch my breath I had to sit down and missed playing with my friends.

Gym was by far my worst subject in high school. It was co-ed (which never helps the fragile self esteem of any high school girl), and both of the gym teachers were avid runners. Because of this, they would make us run a lot. I would refuse. Seriously. I would walk the mile every year. When we had to run laps around the gym or soccer field I would walk them and make everyone wait for me to finish. Countless times my teachers would threaten to fail me if I didn’t run, and my reply would be the same: “Go on a fail me, because I’m not running.”

But really.

When I got to college, things didn’t really get any better.

 

fig. 2

That’s me at the Eric Hutchinson concert my freshman year. To be honest I wasn’t even sure I wanted to put that photo in this post because it is quite possibly the worst picture of me. But it needed to be added in order to fully grasp the gravity of today. When I got to college, I couldn’t care less about the amazing rec we have, or the fact that there were Tiger X classes. Just walking to class was enough of a work out for me. I had shin splints the first few weeks at college because I wasn’t used to walking so much. Why would I go work out? People would look at me, and I didn’t want them to see how unfit I was (although you wouldn’t need to go to the gym to figure that out; it’s pretty easy to see from that picture that I was NOT doing myself any favors).

End of sophomore year, something changed. I changed. I got fed up with hating myself and I decided I would do something about it. I started small. I did the elliptical for 15-20 minutes at the lowest resistance level possible. I (reluctantly) joined my friends when they went to zumba classes, and would trip and stumble my way (huffing and puffing) through the routines. But still I was too afraid to run.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. For years I was told that I was built like a runner: tall, long legs. But something inside me held me back. I wished I could be like those girls I’d see running past my dorm or on the treadmills next to me at the rec.

So finally, I decided if I really wanted to learn to run, I’d have to do something about it. I downloaded a podcast to help you build up to running for 30 minutes straight. The first day, I ran for one minute intervals with two minutes walking in between. I thought I was going to die.

I didn’t even have the energy to raise my arm like that, so this squirrel is even better off than I was.

But with the help and encouragement of my friends, I started to get better. Then I got Lyme Disease (which you can read all about here), and I had to quit running, despite the fact that I was actually starting to enjoy it. As soon as I got the okay from my doctor to resume physical activity, I was back on the running track.

Which leads me to this morning. After some minor coercing I managed to convince my roommate Rae to run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. We began to train for it as often as we could, and we got to the point where we were getting pretty good. Still though, I had never run an actual race before and I was terrified out of my mind. Sure, I knew I could run the 3.1 miles; I’d done it many times before in work outs. But I’d never done it in a race with tons of other people trying to get around me (because, let’s face it, I’m still not very fast). I knew I’d have Rae running with me, but I needed more reassurance than that.

Cue God.

I wrote Hebrews 12:1 on my hand so every time I looked down I would see it and be encouraged. The verse says:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

It didn’t cure all the nerves, but it definitely helped. As we walked around the sponsor booths before the race getting as many free goodies as we could, the atmosphere began to calm me and soon I was getting excited to run with all the people around me.

Finally, we were told to line up at the start line. Rae and I got a spot towards the middle of the un-timed runners. We picked our playlists, limbered up, and took off at the sound of the announcer. We made our way around the people who were walking and found a spot to run. We maintained a (relatively) steady pace the entire race. When we came into the stadium  and saw the finish line, we took off and gave it all we had. The Mizzou Golden Girls (who consequently wore pink) and breast cancer survivors cheering me on made me feel like I could finish, and I did. We had made it. I had done it. I ran a 5k, something that only a few short years ago I would have thought impossible.

After much high-fiving and bro-hoofing, Rae and I asked a random lady to take our picture.

Victory.

We beat our best time by 2:30. The euphoria surrounding me was amazing.

So yeah, I’m probably going to talk about this for a while. But when I think about how far I’ve come, I can’t help but feel proud. I know I still have a long way to go, but I know I can do it. It won’t be easy, but if it were the payoff wouldn’t be as great.

Next goal:

Disney Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World.

Okay, maybe just another 5k first, but one day, I am running the Princess Half Marathon, because I know I am capable of doing it.

Chick Flicks and Fun Songs and Hot Guys–Oh My!

Last year for Valentine’s day I created a playlist for all the single girls out there. This year I wanted to do something different. Everyone who knows me knows I am a hopeless romantic, especially when it comes to movies. So what better way to celebrate the Day of Love than to compile a list of most romantic clips from my favorite movies? Let the swooning and cheesiness commence!

Disney’s Cinderella: So This Is Love— http://youtu.be/byPjh6unMOM

Cinderella is my all time favorite Disney movie, and this scene in particular was always one of my favorites. Cinderella finally arrives to the ball, her eyes meet Prince Charming, and that’s it. They’re in love. Jane Austen said, “To be fond of dancing is a certain step towards falling in love,” and after that quick moment of the two dancing, it’s safe to say that idea rings true for them.

Beauty and the Beast: Tale as Old as Timehttp://youtu.be/3eRWM8tKph8

Another Disney classic, but for good reason. Belle is finally able to see past the Beast’s rough exterior and the Beast is able to put aside his fears and take a chance on love. Not to mention Belle’s dress is to die for and the ballroom is stunning. I don’t know what girl wouldn’t want to dance in there.

Tangled: I See the Light— http://youtu.be/ut1_0cRRYeE

Something about a Boat, twinkly lights and a super attractive thief makes this scene. The amount of lanterns surrounding Flynn/Eugene and Rapunzel add the most romantic glow, and the lyrics to the song are so adorable. It’s the a-ha moment. it’s like the lightbulb, or in this case lantern, went off in their heads.

Pride and Prejudice (2005): Darcy and Elizabeth Dance— http://youtu.be/ykf0dtw8OYc

While the BBC five-hour version of Pride and Prejudice is my definitely favorite adaptation, this 2005 version warrants some attention too. Especially this scene in which Darcy and Lizzy finally dance. Remember that quote from Ms. Austen? Yeah, it applies here too. In a big way. My favorite part of this scene? When everyone else fades out and it is just the two of them dancing. They are so focused on each other they don’t even notice the other dancers in the large room.

Love Actually: Jamie in Portugal, Sam at the Airport— http://youtu.be/-EuupVLB4VI

I could easily have put this entire movie on the list, but Sam and Jamie were my two favorite storylines throughout the movie. And the fact that their endings are juxtaposed is absolutely perfect. I can only hope one day some guy will be willing to bypass airport security and fly to another country just to tell me he loves me.

10 Things I Hate About You: Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You— http://youtu.be/jpWJ-rY-Hdc

Cutie Pie Cameron told Patrick the only way to win Kat’s affections again would be to “sacrifice himself on the altar of dignity.” In this one sweeping gesture, Patrick did just that, and not only melted  Kat’s heart but the hearts of every teenage girl watching the movie, myself included.

Atonement: Library— http://youtu.be/NPca-YKsT1w (This is the edited version, so it’s safe for all audiences)

 

Thankfully I was able to find an appropriate clip of this scene, because the unedited version does include mature content, but it has all my favorite elements for a romantic movie: period dress, a library and James McAvoy.

 

There are so many other movies I wish  could include, but Youtube doesn’t have clips for them. And given the chance, I would have posted many more Disney Princess movies. I decided to just pick my favorites instead of putting them all. Hope everyone enjoyed giggling like a little school girl and being swept up in the romantic-ness of it all! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Put the Lime in the Coconut…

I know I haven’t posted in goodness knows how long, but I just didn’t have anything interesting to write. I figure if I don’t have anything that I wouldn’t want to read in mind to write, then I won’t write anything. But since Kate is busy writing magnificent reviews for Oscar noms (to be read here), and Rae is chronicling her adventures abroad (hers is a private blog), I figured I should find something to write about.

Only, nothing of significance has happened in my life lately.

Except that I contracted Lyme Disease.

Wrong kind of lime.

To save you the gory details, look it up on WebMD or Wikipedia. In short, the disease has settled into my joints and causes pain whenever pressure is exerted upon them. What sort of pressure? Oh, you know, walking, standing, sitting, bending, kneeling, pulling things, pushing things, carrying things, sleeping, breathing, etc.

Ow.

I’m sure you are probably wondering, “How on earth did you get Lyme Disease?” I’m wondering that myself. As one friend put it, “You know Lyme Disease comes from ticks, right?” Many of you know that I am not exactly what you would call “outdoorsy” (as explained in my previous post about the Infamous Canoe Trip of 2011), so the idea that a tick somehow found me, bit me, and gave me this disease is a bit puzzling.

And I will admit, it is pretty painful. I have to take antibiotics and pain killers, and those only sometimes help. I have to take elevators and ramps instead of stairs because the latter is too painful. I’m not allowed to work out because it could hurt my joints even more. Even the most low impact activities can hurt. Getting to classes take For-Freaking-Ever, because I walk so much slower than I usually do. So I have to leave a lot earlier for classes in order to get there on time.

I guess I could always find another means of getting there though…

Too creepy. Sorry, Gaga. I don't like eggs. Or rubber dresses/boxer briefs.

Now we're talking...

…I kid, I kid. Unless there are some attractive guys who would be willing–in that case I have class at nine every morning but Tuesday.

While having Lyme’s is painful, I’m learning to deal with it. And hopefully, if I take all of my antibiotics, I’ll be cured of it forever. Until it goes away, I’m learning to take things slower, enjoy downtime, and put aside my incessant need for independence in order to ask for help when I need it (Seriously, being 21 and asking someone to help put your shoes on–not fun). Thankfully I have amazing friends and family who are willing to help, and have been praying and encouraging me through this whole process. This all would be so much harder without them.

So hopefully the next time I post (and really, you never know when that might be), I will be Lyme free, and this little guy will have found another living thing to infect:

Lyme Disease, plush toy style. The real thing is probably not as cute. And I'm guessing way, way smaller.

Tree Climbing Fish vs. God Given Talent

During my procrastination in studying this evening, I was scrolling through Facebook, creeping on my friends, when I came across this quote:

Tree Climbing Fish. Let's just make that animal even scarier.

The quote really struck a chord with me, because lately I’ve been wondering what exactly my talents are, other than owning the world’s largest collection of headbands and being excellent at getting stressed. Because let’s face it, I have a lot of things I’m not very good at.

For instance,

  • I don’t know how to ride a bike.
  • I’m really not good at any sports.
  • I’m not very artistic.
  • I feel nauseated and grow faint at the thought of public speaking.
  • I am the least confrontational person I know and would rather avoid the person/situation entirely rather than deal with it.
  • I am the worst test taker ever. As soon as the test is set on my desk, my mind goes blank.
  • I am a complete drama queen and freak out over the littlest things.

But, if Einstein was right in his quote (and I’m pretty sure he was, since the guy was a genius), then maybe I’m just a fish trying to climb a tree. Or, for the sake of leaving fish out of it, I’m a cow trying to walk downstairs (which is completely true by the way. Cows can walk up stairs but they cannot walk down stairs). Maybe I’m failing at those things because I’m only focusing on what I can’t do. Maybe I should think of what I can do instead.

For example,

  • I can shimmy like nobody’s business.
  • I can write decent, albeit predictable stories.
  • I have really great, intimate conversations with a person.
  • I can crank out a research paper in my sleep.
  • I have a pretty good sense of style.
  • I am good a color coordinating things.
  • I am known to throw nice parties.
  • I am a decent cook.
  • According to my roommate, I make people feel welcome.
  • I try to find the pretty and good things in life.

So, even though I have a lot of things that I am not so good at, and in fact suck at, I have a lot of other things that I do well at (wow, that’s a lot of prepositions, forgive me, it’s late.). I know I get really down on myself sometimes, and I often wonder what on earth I’m going to do with my life after I graduate, but at least I’m studying something that I can excel in; I could be a math major and hating my life right now. God has given me certain talents, and I need to learn to use them, no matter how small or petty they may seem. He wouldn’t have given them to me if he didn’t want me to use them, right?

Just some food for thought before bed.

What do you want me to do? Dress in drag and do the hula?

Last night, after seventeen years of waiting, I saw The Lion King once again in the theatres. The first time I saw The Lion King, I was three years old. I don’t remember much of the experience, but I do remember it was the first movie I had ever seen in the theatres. I also have a vivid memory of sitting on my dad’s lap during the stampede scene. The conversation went as follows:

Me: “What happened?”

My Dad: “Simba’s Daddy got hurt really bad.”

Me: “Will he be okay?”

My Dad: “Um… I think he’s just going to rest for a little while.”

I was then confused later when Simba grew up, because I thought that was Mufasa, and I kept asking where Simba went. Ahh, the mind of a three-year old. Such a magical, naive thing.

This time seeing it though, I was nearly 21 (9 days!), I knew every single song by heart (both from the movie and the Broadway musical), and I was squealing with anticipation (I really was; ask my friend Rae. I think I annoyed her). On the way to the theatre, we listened to the Broadway soundtrack and belted out the lyrics–well, what we thought were the lyrics. I’m a suburban white girl; I have no idea how to speak Swahili– all of which psyched me up even more for the evening.

I was a little apprehensive about the 3D aspect. I’m not a solid hater, for there have been a few movies that did quite well with 3D, but there have been a lot of botched movies too. And The Lion King is so perfect in its own way, I was worried that adding 3D would somehow change it. It changed it alright, but for the better.

First off, the scenery. The movie already has stunning panoramic views of the African Savannah, but add dimension and it feels as though you are actually sitting there watching the wildlife go by.

Pink Pajamas, Penguins on the Bottom...

It wasn’t as though things were popping out at you, but rather you were included in the scene. There was more depth than just a flat cartoon. There were a couple scenes in particular that literally made me say, “Wow.”

The Stampede/Mufasa’s death: I had high expectations for this scene. It is on all accounts epic even in the original. The way they do it in the Broadway show is incredible. So adding 3D to it had to make it even more epic, right? Right. I felt like I had to bob and weave to keep from the wildebeest hitting me. My palms were sweating and my heart was racing, even though I had seen this movie hundreds of times. I was so invested in the scene and worried about Simba’s well-being that when Scar throws Mufasa back into the stampede, my heart skipped a beat.

Thank God I was wearing the 3D glasses so no one saw me sobbing...

Being older now and understanding this scene made such a bigger impact than it did seventeen years ago. No, Simba’s Daddy is not going to take a little nap. He sacrificed himself so that Simba could live. He’s dead, and will never be alive again. Simba is now fatherless, and thanks to Scar, guilt tripped into thinking his father’s death was his fault. What completely set off the waterworks though was the little boy sitting behind me. He couldn’t have been more than five. During all this he kept whispering to his parents, “Mufasa is hurt isn’t he? Is he dead? Is he going to be okay?” Deja vu. It was like my past was sneaking up behind me and I was overcome with emotion.

But enough about the weepy parts (although they are SO GOOD). We continue…

The Final Battle Between Simba and Scar: I always loved this scene, because Simba was so hard-core. Plus, the slow motion slapping always made me giggle just a little bit.

Cat Fight! Me-ow!

I felt as though I had ring-side seats to the big showdown, which was awesome, that is, until this happened…

I just peed my pants.

When Scar jumped through the fire, I literally scrunched down in my seat because it looked like he was coming right for me. My heart was pounding and I couldn’t breathe for a moment. It was truly terrifying (which in reality it probably wasn’t, but I get scared easily. So I guess you’ll have to take the previous statement with a grain of salt).

Visual effects aside, it was still the same, great movie that I grew up with. It was fun seeing it in a college town, because 95% of the audience was my age. We were kindred spirits, watching our childhood unfold before our eyes. At nearly every moment of the film, there were quiet murmurs– people singing along, quoting the lines, or commenting on what was happening. And I’ll admit, I sang along with every song. I quoted my favorite lines. I bopped my head along with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa as they walked across the fallen tree in “Hakuna Matata.” The Lion King is one of the most beloved Disney movies, and it’s easy to see why: seventeen years after its original release and it still captures its audience. It is timeless, and will continue to live on for generations to come. And for those who think otherwise: Hakuna Matata. You’re wrong. It’s the circle of life. Whenever someone grows out of wanting to watch it (and they are idiots, by the way), there will always be someone new to take his or her place.

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