2014 Greater Orlando Heart Walk

This year’s Greater Orlando Heart Walk was another success! First off, thank you to everyone who helped me reach my fundraising goal. I raised $500 total!

Money, money, MONEY!

This year I did something a little different. I volunteered with the Passion Committee! Instead of getting there right before the Walk began, I was able to drag my tired behind out of bed at 3:30 AM and report to duty at the Advocacy tent! Along with a few other Passion Committee ladies we got people to sign postcards for elected officials regarding the lack of CPR as a graduation requirement here in Florida. I got to speak to other survivors, family members, even high school students who were in support of the change. We obviously were the coolest tent EVER because we had temporary tattoos. Hotness.

You’re The Cure…you’re obviously b@da$$ too
It’s amazing my eyes were this open at 5 AM
Finally, the sun rose in the sky and people flooded the UCF campus including my loves, Lina & Jo. This was Lina’s first Heart Walk! Jo is no stranger on this blog either. As I’ve said before, he walked in memory of his mother who died from a heart attack in 2009 and then helped me survive mine. He even rocked his heart guardian tee I got him.
My lovers for the morning

And we’re off! 3 miles in the hot Florida sun. I’m used to the mileage, but we always run before the sun comes up so this was brutal. But we made it through. Another successful Walk!

Let’s do this!

Almost done! Must. Have. Breakfast.

Until next year!

No Pressure, No Diamonds

I literally did not accomplish one thing from my list this week. Nothing is crossed out, in the slightest. So why do I feel so satisfied? I’m “letting it go.” Please don’t sing.

I ran. Once, but I ran. I just didn’t have it in me this week. Instead of the usual heavy guilt trip I might normally lay on myself, this week I slept in on Saturday for the first time in…I really don’t know when. It felt amazing.

I’m down a total of 7 lbs. This is amazing considering I tried it my way and lost hardly anything. I’m super excited and ready to lose more. Nutrisystem is actually super easy to follow. I even took a mini break this weekend to enjoy time with friends (and a certain cup of delicious fro-yo) and still went down a half a lb. No guilt here.

I’m a little stressed, I have to confess. School has started back up again, and my to-do list has grown astronomically over the last 24 hours. Thank goodness I love my job. It’s worth the anxiety. My real source of stress this week comes from this lump I found in my neck. It’s been there for about 2 months (maybe more, I’ve been a little distracted) and it’s super annoying. So when I was at the doc last he recommended I go to an ENT doc and have it looked at. Faaaantastic. Is there a Carfax for bodies? Pretty sure I got a lemon. So I’m trying not to think about my appointment next week until I have to. I’ll keep you posted. Fingers crossed, it’s just a mutant lymph node or alien fetus. That’d be rad.

My goals for this week are
1. sleep (I’m still exhausted alll the time and this week really takes a lot out of any normal human)
2. see the Cardiologist on Thurs (regular check up)
3. get to OTF at least 2x
4. that dang media kit (that’s been a goal for how long?)
5. raise some moola for the Heart Walk

This is my “If by go for a run you mean sleep in, then I’m sold” face

7 down, ? to go!

Heart Walk!

What a change from last year to this year! Last year: crying, tired, depressed. This year: proudly wore my red cap, laughed and enjoyed the day instead of being a hot mess.
If someone had told me last year that at the next Heart Walk I would’ve been PROUD to be a survivor, I literally would’ve laughed in their face. Well, more like scoffed since I wasn’t laughing a lot last year. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be in this place. 
If I can do it, so can you. 
Who’s that proud chick rockin’ her red cap? Whoa, it’s me.
The most amazing friends anyone can ask for. They were there last year, and again this year. Amazing.
Thanks UCF and AHA…you rock.

Greater Orlando Heart Walk

The day finally arrived! Yesterday was the Greater Orlando Heart Walk! I have been fundraising like crazy and ended up with a grand total of $765.00! Not bad, not bad! 

As I previously said in a post, this event has given me a little agita since I signed up for it. I worried that I would be emotional but really this Walk turned out to be the best thing for me. There were over 20,000 walkers and you could almost feel the happiness and inspiration everyone walked with. The weight of this event quickly went away when I saw my amazing friends who walked to support me and to honor family members that were taken too soon. We looked adorable.

The crew. L-R: me, Jessica, Amanda, Jo, Leah, Amy, Elie, Kathleen
My survivor hat.

My awesome custom t-shirt. It got tons of looks.
The back. Pardon the sweat…it was a hot morning in CFL.
Amanda and Jo rocked their heart guardian shirts.
Ok, let’s do this!

So we walked. We did a lot of laughing, crying, swearing, sweating and general foolishness. We even stopped at 7-11 for slurpees. For once I didn’t feel like I stuck out for a bad reason, or that I was weak. It was actually kind of empowering. If you tell my therapist I said this, I will deny it. Ha. I knew I was going to have a sign on the walk with my name and picture on it so we kept our eyes open. Right around 2 miles, there it was!

Me and…me. Plus my slurpee (sugar free folks, don’t get it twisted).
Me and my heart guardians. Jo raised $865.00!
I had decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to do something to honor loved ones that weren’t able to go on the walk. So I got candles for Jo’s mom and grandmother and Kathleen’s father. Then I gave them the same scents to take home. Here I am trying to set fire to the neighborhood.

Don’t tell Smokey the Bear.

In honor of them.
No caption needed.

So we kept walking. Through the beautiful neighborhoods of Orlando and towards the end…or was it the beginning. Maybe a little of both. ♥

At one point we were at the end of the pack. Y’know I love a good cop reference.
Central Florida Accordian Club…rock on my Eastern Euro brotha.

Greater Orlando Heart Walk

T-minus 2 months and 10 days until the Greater Orlando Heart Walk! Please take a moment and support me for this important event. All of the proceeds go towards the American Heart Association. These funds help improve patient care, advocate for better health, reach out to at-risk populations, raise awareness, protect the future and educate Americans about heart disease. This will be my first Greater Orlando Heart Walk! As a recent survivor I want to be able to give back as much as I can. Definitely feeling lucky these days, so let’s pay it forward! Click on the thermometer below to pledge and read all about the Greater Orlando Heart Walk!

Another great way to support the Heart Walk is through CFLBlogCon’s “Blogging For Good” basket raffle! There are some fantastic baskets in the raffle, including the American Heart Association basket that includes heart-healthy red wine, a cookbook, a gift certificate to Shula’s in Lake Mary & a gift certificate for The Spa at Thorton Park! A suggested donation of $10 will put you in the raffle!
Thanks for supporting the Greater Orlando Heart Walk & American Heart Association! #cflgood ♥  

Why We Walk

What a whirlwind! The past 2 weeks have been consumed with studying, teaching and the occasional cat nap. Comps have come and gone, and now it’s time to end the school year. In the midst of all of this I was interviewed by the American Heart Association Heart Walk organizers! Here’s the story that will end up on the website! Pretty exciting stuff! Shout out to Taylor Roberts Photography for the photo. 🙂
Me?! No way!
Next stop? Oral comps at UF and then SUMMER! Time for rest and relaxation! I’ve decided to go vegan for the summer, hoping that will help speed up my EF recovery and prepare my body for marathonfest training. Time for running & sunning! ♥