Him: I guess I could get a McChuble.

Me: Huh? What’s that?

Him: You know, when you smash a McChicken and a McDouble together.

Me: Bahahahaha, that’s awesome.

Him: All the kids are doing it.

I’d give credit where credit is due, but “him” is not here to ask. So, for right now, I’ve just made up this awesomeness, for everyone to enjoy. Click the picture to enlarge, you’ll be glad you did.

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Dear McDonalds lawyers, please don’t sue me, this is not an actual McDonald’s sandwich and is intended for hilarious purposes only. But, PS, McDonald’s marketing department, all the cool kids are doing this, you should too.

Apparently, I’ve got the gift. The gift of gab, that is. I will talk your ear off, if you’ll let me. My story will start way back in 1988 and continue to 2014. And, even then (most likely) that story will have no point.

Talking is fun to me. I like to talk to people. I hate to talk in front of people.

But, really, hate is a strong word. Technically it’s not even the right word. I don’t hate it. I fear it. I fear I’ll look stupid. I fear I’ll sound stupid.

And, after last week’s ridiculous attempt at a Table Topic speech, I did what any sane person would do, I went ahead and never showed up again joined Toastmasters.

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So, today, instead of being an honored guest, I walked into Toastmasters as a fellow Toastmaster. Cool. Again, I sat down on that cold, hard chair, with sweat dripping down my back and told myself, “you don’t have to speak today. Speak when you’re ready. If that’s next week. That’s okay.”

I felt my face turn a nice shade of red and stomach started churning, as the Table Topics were announced. Last week’s fear settled right in my chest. I felt like I couldn’t breath. But, oddly enough, as time passed the topics seemed easy. Everyone was participating. And, just as soon as I had talked myself into it, I heard, ‘I’ll do one.” Whew. Close call. You almost embarrassed yourself again.

This is good. This is fine. We’ll run out of time soon. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel guilty not doing it. You did it last week.

Then, I heard, “I think we have time for another one.”

Silence.

Everyone had given a speech, except me. The guilt was now bigger than my fear.

“Alright, I’ll do it.” I heard myself say.

And then people were clapping and cheering me on: “Yay!” “Good job, Kendra!” “We knew you’d do it again!” Dang. I can do this. I can do this. But, really… can I really do this?

So, here it was, in my face, my table topic: If you could go back and talk to yourself at the age of ten, what advice would you give yourself?

“Ok. Shoot. I wasn’t supposed to say ok,”  I said as I paused. “Okay,” I said again, nervously, then I laughed.

“Um, I wouldn’t tell my 10-year-old self anything, because I can’t even remember much of my childhood at all. Not because it was awful or anything because It was awesome. And, so, anyway, instead of going back to ten, I would just go back to last week. When I was standing right here. When I couldn’t talk at all. And I would tell myself, “This isn’t so bad. Don’t be so scared. You can do this…”

And then I kept talking. Honestly, after that, I don’t remember what I said. I remember looking at everyone. I remember feeling nervous, but I kept talking. Then my head started feeling tingly. I glanced over at the time clock and it wasn’t green, but I didn’t stop talking this time. Then my lips started to tingle. I felt like I’d been standing there for longer than a minute. But, I hadn’t. Apparently, when I stand up to talk, time stands still.

My fingers felt tingly and my leg started to twitch, as I blurted out, “alright. I’m done” and I quickly threw myself in my seat.

Everyone clapped. I was embarrassed. Again. Less embarrassed than last week, but still embarrassed.

I ended table topics and it was time to vote for best speaker and best table topics. My hands were shaky and my head was spinning, as I quickly wrote two names and passed my sheet over. Just as the meeting wrapped up, I hear, “It’s time to announce the winners! And, the winner of best table topics is Kendra!”

Wait, whoa. What?! No. What? Me? I won? I won.

And, then, the president handed me this.

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I got  a ribbon! Those two things in that picture above are two things, two years ago, I never, ever, thought I could do. Or, ever wanted to do. Run 26.2 miles and speak in front of people (for fun).

I’m pretty sure I have this video to thank for that ribbon. I watched it right before I left for Toastmasters. Best video ever. Watch it.

Let’s punch fear in the ear, then that 4-star B won’t be able hear us. PS, I made up that word, 4-star B. Pretty awesome, huh?

“I think you’re gonna get up and speak today. And, then you’re gonna blog about it.”

“Maybe” is what I reply aloud. “Nope, not happening,” is what I hear in my head.

Just as I have for the past four weeks, I sit down in the same, hard, plastic chair, next to the same u-shaped table, in the same chilly room. And, immediately, I begin to sweat.

I’m able to say my name and why I’m here, without too much trouble. Then the Table Topics Master begins her normal spiel, “Table topics are random topics that you will be asked to speak about for 45 seconds to 2.5 minutes.” Easy, right? Easy for me, because I’m not speaking.

Just as she’s wrapping up, she says, “I think Kendra’s gonna speak today.” I can feel my face turning bright red as she looks right at me and continues, “it’s your fourth time here! I have a feeling!” And she smiles.

I, of course, smile back and do my classic nervous-giggle. Yeah, that’s not happening, lady.

As the main speeches near the end, I can feel my heart racing, my hands are getting sweaty, my legs are starting to stick to my hard, plastic chair. Table topics have to be soon. How am I gonna say no when she asks? I’ve already declined before.

Then, as I hear, “the meeting is running a bit behind, we’ll only have time for three table topics today.” I feel my heart start to slow to a steady pace. Whew. No way she’s calling on me, especially if she only has time for three.

Finally, I’m able to pay attention to the meeting again, “for these table topics, I’ll be giving you an undesirable location and I’d like you to tell me why you love living there.” She starts with Tom, “You live by a nuclear power plant…”

Holy hell, thank god I don’t have to actually do one of these. What in the world would I even say for that?

Of course, Tom’s already talking and it’s funny, “the best part is soon you’ll start to glow…” I was laughing and certainly relieved I didn’t have to give a speech. After all, I am a guest and they don’t pressure you into anything at Toastmasters.

As Tom takes his seat, she looks around and says, “Well, I did say I thought Kendra would speak today. So, Kendra, would you like to do the next table topic?”

Was that my name? That was my name! Oh my god, that was my name! Am I hyperventilating? No. I’m fine. I’m fine.

As I hear her saying, “You don’t have to do this. We don’t pressure you into anything.”  I stand up.

Wait, what?! Why in the hell am I standing up?

I smile and with a nervous giggle, I sputter, “Um, make it an easy one!”

“Oh, I will, it’s so easy! You live in Garden City. On a farm. Everyone knows how awful it smells in Garden City, we’ve all driven through it. The cows, the…”

She continues talking, but I’m no longer listening.

Everyone is looking at me. I can feel their stares. I’m not looking at anyone. I can’t focus on anyone. Except the timer. When is he gonna start the time? I wonder if he’ll start it if I just stand here? I don’t hear a click. Maybe I should just say one word and he’ll start it.

“Ummmm”

Nope, he’s still not starting that damn timer. Think. Think of something to say. Don’t just stand here. Maybe in a few seconds something will come to me. Yes. Think. Think. Think. Nope. I can stand here all day. Not saying a word. SAY SOMETHING!

“Okay, Um, Garden. Uh. City. I uhhhh”

I stop talking and continue to stand. Face burning. Head spinning.  Thoughts running through my head, but nothing is making sense…

Shit, I don’t even know where Garden City is. Does that matter? I’m still standing. Still not talking. Not looking at anyone except that timer. Still not talking. That damn stoplight timer will not turn green. Which, why would it turn green? I’m not talking. Time is not moving. Kendra, just say something! Anything.

I look up, my voice quivers as I blurt out, “Okay, IIII’m, uh, done.” Quickly, I sit back down and put my hand up to my face. Embarrassed.

15 seconds. That’s all it was. 3 seconds of talking and 12 seconds of standing.

My face is burning. I can feel the sympathetic stares. And the sweat, as it drips down my back. Sheesh, really?

Silently, I sit. I pretend to listen to the final table topic, but I’m just listening to the voices in my head. Don’t cry. Don’t leave. Don’t cry. Don’t leave. Keep smiling.

And, then it happens. The meeting is over and the supportive stories are thrown my direction:

“I started out just like you, I could barely say my name in front of a group. It’ll get easier!”

“We’ve all been right there, that’s why we’re here!”

“I shouldn’t have singled you out. I’m sorry. I’ll feel so bad if you don’t come back next week. Sometimes all you need is that one push.”

“It took so much courage to even stand up. Most people wouldn’t have even stood up. I see courage in you that will pull you through this class. In two years they will bring this up again, and then they’ll say, look at you now!”

I could have cried.

I could have walked out.

I didn’t do either, but I definitely thought about it.

Most of all, I could have stayed sitting in that same hard, plastic chair, as I had the four weeks prior, and just said, “no thanks, maybe next time.”

But, I didn’t.

TRY-FAIL-BLENDRA

Samuel Beckett said it best, “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”

There’s really no recommended serving size for fruit, right? It’s fruit. And, if it fits in one bowl, you’re good.

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In the past three days I’ve written three blog posts. First post, too long and boring. Written. Re-written. Sent to draft folder.Second post, do I sound arrogant? Written. Re-written. Sent to draft folder. Third post, who cares. Publish.

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Life’s too short to worry about what everyone thinks. It’s your life. All in one little bowl.

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Your life can get eaten up by you or everyone else. They’re your grapes. Don’t you forget that. Now go eat those grapes before everyone else does.

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So, I bought these cute leopard print boots. Only problem, I couldn’t seem to find anything to wear them with.

Enter Pinterest.

There were lots of cute chicks wearing their red skinny jeans (which I totally just bought last week) with some sort of leopard. Leopard flats. Leopard heels. Leopard scarves. Leopard shirts. I got this.

Or do I?

600-PINTEREST_FAIL

Some days you win. Some days you fail. Some days you win even when you fail.

Wondering how I won? I tried.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Good advice, Eleanor Roosevelt. I did that today. Sure, maybe, it was only an outfit today. But, I wonder what it’ll be tomorrow? Maybe I’ll actually speak at my Toastmasters class. Who knows.

So, here’s my last piece of advice, “Don’t be ashamed. Embrace your true self… even if it dresses itself oddly.” I didn’t say that, someone said that to me. Today. After he laughed at my outfit. Don’t worry, I made fun of his sweater vest.

Me: I really like this book. My dad really gets me.

Preston: Really? What’s it about?

Me: Well, this guy keeps failing and then he keeps trying again.

Preston: That’s called life. I could write that book. I’ve failed at a lot of things.

Me: Yeah, well, you should do that then! <total sarcasm> Go write a book!

Preston: Everyone fails. If people didn’t get back up and try again there would be no successful people.

Me: It’s about more than that!

Preston: Like what?

Me: Geez, get off my book’s back! I really like it!

Preston: <laughing> I’m not making fun of your book. It was just how you described it.

Me: Well, apparently I failed at the description, I guess I should go ahead and try again. See. Look how that book is teaching me things already.

Preston: Okay…

Me: Well, I’m not going to describe it right now… I haven’t read enough of the book. It has, like, goals and stuff in it too.

Preston: Like?

Me: Well, it says I need to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep. That’s not gonna happen. Especially with me reading this book. Oh, but also, it says to exercise, and “you don’t have to go out and run 8 miles today.” But, I totally did that already today. I can run 8 miles. I’ll pick that running goal instead of the sleeping one.

Preston: I’m glad you like your book.

Don’t worry, I’m not giving away a free book book in this post. I’ve already tried to do that (in this post) and I couldn’t get enough comments to even do that. PS, there’s still time for that. That offer never expires (well, it will when I get 100 comments). <— Free book.

But, if you’re interested in “self help” or “motivational” books, this one’s a good one. And, it’s only 99cents for your Kindle. If you’re all, “I don’t have a Kindle” blah, blah, blah.  Well, I don’t actually have a Kindle either. If you have any sort of digital tablet, you can download the Kindle app for free. Yeah, look at me helping you. But, this isn’t about me helping you. This is about you helping you.

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So, go ahead, go self help yourself. You’ll thank me for it later.

PS, check out this link here, apparently James (the author) says he’ll give you your money back if you buy the book. Oh, you have to actually read it. Interesting. (;

Gas, bloating, discomfort. Ain’t no one got time for that. So when BzzAgent asked if I wanted to give these Fiber One bars a try, I said: challenge accepted. Haha. My stomach, along with everyone else around me, can just deal with it. (;

Nervously, I bit into my peanut butter, chocolate, loaded with 9 grams of fiber, bar. At work. Not surprisingly, it was good. Anyone who has tried a Fiber One product knows this. The issue with Fiber One isn’t with the flavor, the issue with Fiber One is with the consequences after you’ve consumed over the serving size. And that serving size is always ONE. And one only.

I’ve come up with a catchy slogan for them and for us. Fiber One is all you need. If we wanted you to eat two we would have named them Fiber TWO bars.

Trust me, we’ve all been there. I know it said it had 9 grams of fiber, but it’s just a tiny little bar. Surely there’s no harm if I just have one more. It’s small. Pshhh, fiber. Turns out that one small bar, or brownie, or whatever tasty Fiber ONE treat you’ve just eaten, does indeed pack double the fiber punch, when you eat two.

But, these new Fiber One bars, BzzAgent sent me for free, they’re bigger. You feel like you’re getting your fiber’s worth in a meal form. Well, either that or you’ve learned your lesson from the time (or times, hey sometimes it takes more than once) before.

These tasty bars are packed with 10 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber. Holy cow, eat three and you’ve consumed your daily amount of fiber and protein. But, seriously, don’t do that. Unless you’re going to space them out throughout the day and do nothing in-between, except drink water. Lots and lots of water.

I tried the Strawberry Greek Yogurt bar the next day and I liked it too. I’m not sure if they’ve pulled some of the deliciousness out of these bars, or if I’ve just learned my lesson from previous bars, but I felt awesome just eating one bar. And, one bar only. The temptation wasn’t there and for that I’m glad.

Dear Fiber One, my stomach and my work friends thank you for this bar.

Four months ago, I loved running. Four months ago, I ran a full marathon. If I hadn’t loved running, I’m not certain I would have tried as hard as I did.

After my full I took a break. A long break. Certain songs would remind me of running, but I just couldn’t get back out there. Running wasn’t the same. I tried to keep it up, but it became a chore.

I was pretty sure the love was gone. Or, maybe it wasn’t love after all, maybe only a mere crush. And that crush had run (no pun intended, alright it was) it’s one-year course.

Bummer.

Although the love seemed to have died, I still had a race (or three) to train for. I had signed up for back-to-back half marathons (one in May and one in October) and a 5k and stair challenge in between.

And, as much as I tried to suck it up, doing something you don’t like, really just isn’t any fun. I was back up to running six miles and hating every minute of it. I wasn’t running fast, I wasn’t proud of myself, I was just getting it done.

Until yesterday.

I started my music and the love came back. I finished seven miles in the fastest I’ve ever run seven miles. My last two miles being the best yet. I finished that run proud of myself and loving the work I’d just done.

I totally agree with Steve Jobs when he said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

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Now, go out there and do what you love and love what you do.

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I’ll throw this out there, I don’t normally watch The Biggest Loser. At least I haven’t for years. I remember watching the first few seasons and really getting into it. But, seriously, It just makes me want to eat.

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These people lose huge amounts of weight while on “the campus.” Or, maybe it’s “the ranch.” Haha. Whatever it’s called, these people are there to lose weigh. You know at the “Lose Weight by not adding Ranch Campus.” Hell, I’d be able to lose weight if that was my job. You go work out for 12 hours and I’ll make you the only food you can eat. Done. Now, don’t get all mad, I’m not saying this isn’t hard work. Working out for that long on not much food can’t be easy or fun. But, let’s get real, that’s all they’re doing. I’m not trying to totally bash The Biggest Loser, it’s great. These people are getting healthy, losing weight. Awesome.

My problem, right now, is with how mad people are about how skinny the 2014 winner, Rachel Frederickson, was. Read that article here.

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THIS PHOTO IS FROM THE INTERNET.

Hell, if I had $250,000 on the line and I couldn’t see how much the other two contestants were losing, there’s a pretty good probability I’d only be eating the things good for me and working out as much as humanly possible. It would not be healthy. But it’s $250,000. You’ve worked so hard and there’s only one winner at the end. Second and third get zilch. I ain’t gonna be second or third.

So, here’s the thing. You want people to get healthy. You want a competition. Give second and third a chance for a prize too. I think I’d still try really hard for the first place prize, but if I’d still be in the running for $100,000, I’d maybe not go as crazy.

I do like how they now give the people who got kicked out a chance for a prize, that’s cool.

But, if you’re gonna have a competition with that amount of money, which ain’t exactly chump change, then you’re gonna get some pretty drastic results. Drastic results bring ratings. Drastic results win you money. So, I’m all, whatev. It’s a show. At 5’4″, is she healthier at 105 pounds or 260 pounds? I’m not gonna judge her. That’s what the rest of the world is here for. Sheesh people.