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BigFoot Rides…in Delaware?

These things look huge!

These things look huge!

OK…so, I knew I needed to get out and start running again.  A little history I talked about in the book:  I used to live in a little rental in the historic district of Dover, and even in the most bitter cold, I was out there on those nice, flat, well-lighted streets, greeting the transit drivers who drove by and waved, recognizing me in my red windbreaker and DelDOT-approved safety vest.  I trained for a number of months and finally entered a 5K.  I didn’t know until I arrived at Killens Pond State Park that the race was cross-country.  It had already been raining for some time, as up and down he hills I went, striding through dark puddles under which lurked tree roots that dared me to stay upright. 

Somehow, I did though, and when I ran uphill toward the finish line, I heard someone who was recording time look at a co-worker and say, “she’s 3rd.”  I had no idea what that meant until awards started being handed out and I had taken 3rd Place Women’s in my age group (50-59 at the time).  My then roommate was a letter carrier, and I drove back into Dover and met up to show her my trophy.  We laughed later at how, when I got out of my car splattered with mud and soaked, holding the trophy, she could have sworn she heard the theme from Rocky playing, and that’s pretty much how I felt.

Fast forward a couple of years, when I had built my house in the country west of Dover and was thrilled to discover that the little enclave of homes across the county road from me had an exact, one-mile loop, so I had started running again.  It wasn’t the bright streets of Dover and there were no transit drivers, but it was my new home….until things started to get weird.

One winter morning, for instance, I had gotten about 1/8 mile into the loop, and someone in a white sedan saw me running on the county road and did a U-turn to come back.  I had gone into the development and he pulled around me and abruptly turned into the driveway in front of me (and yes it was a distinctly male profile — I’m not being sexist).  I ran around the back of the car and continued on.  The next thing I knew, he had backed out of the first drive, driven just ahead of me and again, pulled into the driveway immediately in front of me. This happened one more time and I was on edge. 

Now, if this were the days of milkmen or newspaper delivery people who brought the morning news to the doorstep, I wouldn’t have been concerned, but something about this hit the pit of my stomach and not in a good way. 

Ask me how fast I can run. 

Well, that morning, knowing the families whose yards were unfenced wouldn’t mind, I would tell you I can do Mach 3 when I have to.  One neighbor who saw some of the drama told me later she could not believe how fast I was moving.  It took a few days for me to get past it, but I knew I couldn’t let one idiot ruin my routine.  Winter turned into Spring, neighbors were out earlier walking their kids, dogs, ferrets (yes, really) and I was enjoying my morning runs again.

Then another funny thing happened (note here that I have a rather peculiar sense of what’s funny)– I was on the “back stretch” as I called it, the last quarter mile which is out on Rte 8 when a neighbor’s Doberman apparently considered me something of a threat.  Now, I will concede I tell people I’m “118 lbs of raw, raging power” but c’mon, really?  …out on a major artery road that runs between Maryland and Dover, Delaware?!  This pup scaled a 6′ fence and before I could say, “I love big dogs” had me down on the pavement, and I was doing everything I could to have my body take the impact and not my head.  I know it sounds weird but I was not afraid of the dog — just of getting a concussion.

“Bro'”s owner was out his front door like a shot, grabbing his dog by the scruff with one hand and pulling me up with the other, and was clearly afraid.  We live in such a litigious society these days, I’m sure all he could think was, “this b***h is going to sue me and have my dog put down” but I told him, “I just need to go home.  I’m okay — he’s just doing his job….but I think you need a bigger fence!”  The guy insisted on driving me home and he did put a row of lattice atop the chain link (which looked rather ridiculous, but hey, whatever works!) but I have not gone running in my own neighborhood since that time.  The bruises on my ribcage and hip bones took weeks to heal and even lying in bed at night hurt.

I’ve let that scare me long enough.

This past week, ready for some inspiration to train again, wherever it works, the Governor’s challenge came out — Gov Jack Markell sponsors a 5K in September, and I have taken up the gauntlet.  It’s been years, and I’m not sure yet where I’ll run, but I will do this and keep this promise to myself to get fast and strong again.

Much love to all of you who are working on your own transformation as I am on mine –

Talk soon,



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64 Trips Around the Sun

Signing Table Talbots 07 18 14This past Monday, I celebrated my 64th birthday, and what a year it’s been!

Most recently, closely following my first radio interview promoting the book, I did my first book-signing at the local Talbot’s here in Dover. For those of you unfamiliar with the chain, Talbot’s is a nice women’s clothing store, and having shopped there from time to time over the past few years, I had formed a cordial relationship with the senior sales associate, Alison. When I first told her back in late May that my book had come out, she was happy for me and almost immediately suggested having a book event right there at the store. After clearing it with store manager Wendy, we agreed on Friday, July 18th for the date.

If there was a glitsch in the preparations, it was only that the flyers I had printed up ahead of the event for the Talbot’s folks to include in shoppers’ bags weren’t ready until the Wednesday before the 18th; but the day itself went off like clockwork.

I took a day of Annual Leave from my State job, arranged to squeeze in a safe-driver refresher class I needed for the discount on my car insurance, and made a list of to-do items leading up to the 2:00 – 6:00 P.M. date with Talbots: put box of books in car; refresher class 9:00-12:00, cash from credit union to make change for cash sales; grocery store for cookies & bottled water; drugstore for small tray & paper napkins; downtown pick up small soft purse for cash; stop @ BB&C and let Dar A. know about event; Talbot’s 1:45 to set up.

When I got to Talbot’s, one of my posters was on a decorative easel right by the door, and Alison set up a lovely little table for me nearby where I could set my stash of books next to me and have a shelf for the cookies and water to offer those who stopped to talk about the book. Alison and Wendy both made me feel very comfortable, talking with their customers and selling/signing books. By the end of the afternoon, I had met not only some really nice people who were local, but women from neighboring Maryland and Virginia and one who is part of the theater & arts community in Manhattan.

To those of you for whom I signed books, I hope you are enjoying the read and that you’ll stay in touch and let me know if you’re making some changes for the good in your lives. I’m already drafting the 2nd and 3rd books around this subject and any input you can provide is of course most welcome. !

Meanwhile, back here in lovely central Delaware, Sherry has been a baaaaaaad girl where her exercise routine is concerned; and now that the book is out, I have no more excuses. Time to get back into my regimen, re-make it a habit, and establish some goals. This is an important year — completing 64 means I’m officially embarking on my 65th and I want it to be pure magic. Right now, that means putting on the cross-trainers I keep under my desk and getting out for a walk before I get back to work for the afternoon.

Take care & talk soon,

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First Radio Interview!

Good morning from central Delaware on the lovely Delmarva Peninsula. Last night I had the pleasure of sitting for an interview with Michael Foster, one of the veterans of WVUD 91.3, the radio station at the University of Delaware. I arrived a bit ahead of Michael at the radio station and one of the students let me in, as it had started to rain. Michael, ever the gentleman probably arrived five minutes or so later and was outside waiting for me to arrive so he could let me in. When the students and I realized he hadn’t evidenced himself by 6:20, I went back out to the door and there he was. We had never met in person, but he looked to me exactly as his voice had sounded over the phone and on the air.

I had a mild case of the jitters, as my experience with public speaking has been confined to classrooms and occasionally an auditorium for my work; but Michael put me at ease and teased that perhaps there were no one listening at all. I knew better, having been assured by numerous friends that they’d be listening in, but the half-hour flew by and Michael’s facility for asking good, open-ended questions allowed me to talk about some of the more important concepts discussed in Young For Your Own Good.

Many thanks to Michael, as well as to those who have already given me feedback in text, email at the website and in person after the show. Michael feels there is another host who loves interviewing and highlighting paradigm-breakers, so there may well be another WVUD interview on the horizon. For now, though, I’ve got to make sure my dog Barney gets outside one more time before I get dressed and head into Dover to work.

Have a wonderful day and keep the questions and feedback coming in the Contact link at my website