5 Years.

5 years ago today – my Dad died after a late-stage cancer diagnosis and 5 weeks in hospice care. It was a seemingly fast death, considering it was from cancer. The diagnosis had just been a few weeks before he went into hospice. This was the eulogy I read at his funeral and I share it out every year on the anniversary of his death. I was blessed to have had him for the 62 years, and I’m grateful for that, but what I wouldn’t give to have just one more day with him. I miss him so dearly.

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Eulogy: Read April 2, 2009.

Donnie and I were talking one weekend in the car on the way into town. We were discussing traits I may or may not have gotten from Dad. Things I’m proud to have inherited, like his love of geography and things that have caused me worlds of problems, like the insanely curly hair. I was thinking about how my parenting reflects the way Dad parented us and I said, “You know -Dad was an extremely selfless parent.”

I’ve been a Mom now for 14 years. Many times in those 14 years, I’ve needed to take breaks. Sometimes I take the kids to a babysitter while we go to dinner, or see a movie, or even just run errands. I have a lot of friends who are also parents and they’ll agree with me in those breaks being a necessity. I don’t know of anyone who has ever said, “A break? Nah, I don’t need one!”

Except for Dad.

Dad enjoyed being a parent so much that parenting was his break from the rest of his life. Not only did he NEVER take a break from being our Dad, no matter how crazy we were acting, but he always claimed parenting us was EASY. He said raising us was the easiest thing he ever did. This proved one thing for sure: Dad had a different definition of “easy” in his head than I did.

Dad went above and beyond the regular requirements of a parent. He coached soccer for both of our teams. This was especially difficult for me since I have absolutely no natural athletic skill whatsoever. He took me to gymnastics and both of us to piano lessons. He helped us with science fair projects (we always had the best ones, of course) and book reports. He took us to museums and to the library.

And that’s just the beginning.

As we got older he found ways to stay involved in our lives. He traveled to see us play sports all through high school and stayed up late many nights to wait for us to get home so he could hear how our school functions went. I remember one time, as a Senior in high school, he ended up driving a car full of my squealing friends from Camp John Knox to Knoxville and back one night so that we wouldn’t have to miss a Y-Teen rally for our Senior trip. If you’ve never been trapped in a car for an hour with more than five hyper-active teenage girls you many not realize how charitable of a gesture this was. You’ll just have to trust me. It is considered a war crime in some parts of the world.

The funny thing is? Dad loved it. He loved nothing more than just being a fly on the wall when C and I were around our friends. He often considered our friends and their parents his own peer group. He joked that when we graduated from high school he lost a lot of his social circle in the parents of our friends.

One time I volunteered Dad to chaperone a field trip for my biology class when I was a Senior. He was given a group of freshmen to be in charge of and realized immediately that it was more of a formality than anything. Those freshmen didn’t need or want him to be in charge. That didn’t keep him from trying his best to at least memorize all of their names on the way to Chattanooga. Dad didn’t know how to do anything halfway.

He took me shopping for prom dresses in high school. He even managed to fake enthusiasm (in between yawns, of course) as I tried on dozens of outfits. Let’s just say that raising a teenage daughter is a difficult task for anyone, but for a single Dad? There just aren’t words, I’m sure. And he still rose to the challenge.

His selflessness raising us to adulthood knew no limits. But it didn’t stop there. C and I both have leaned on his shoulder several times as adults. He continued to be our best cheerleader as he traveled out west to see C do his Ironman and came to Nashville to watch me run/walk my marathon. Even just in the last year or so he spent a week in Tucson helping C tile his home and spent a week in Alabama helping take care of Nikki when I was recovering from my c-section. Anytime we asked for him to help us, he did. Never once putting anything before us.

Essentially, he put his whole life on hold while he raised us, letting his own personal dreams and goals fall to the wayside. I think that’s the hardest part about losing him now, I don’t feel like he ever got to live his own life. Maybe if he hadn’t been so busy watching me try on hot-pink satin prom dresses, he could have hiked the Appalachian Trail or written a book.

But I’ll try not to focus on that and instead focus on the sacrifices he made for us and do my best to repay him by making similar sacrifices for my own family.

But don’t count on me driving a car full of teenage girls anywhere. I know my limitations.

I know I’ll face many pains in my heart in the years to come as things unfold in my life that I know he would have been excited to hear about. I told him everything, from getting picked on in 2nd grade to learning how to rack servers a few months ago. I told him about new books I discovered and new challenges I faced as a Mom. He was always there.

When trying to decide what to say today, I just thought this was a side of Dad worth telling you all about tonight. The side you may not have been aware of – the amazing selfless father who was more than just a Dad to us. More often than not – was our best friend.

Scottsboro Half Marathon Race Report…PR BABY!

It’s a good feeling where my running page is outdated because I haven’t added my most recent PRs yet. I need to do that this week! WOOT.

Should I have put a SPOILER ALERT! warning on that preface? I mean, in case you were reading this race report in breathless anticipation wondering…Did she do it? Did she break her 3-year old 13.1 PR yesterday?

I should add a disclaimer about that 3-year old PR…I haven’t been trying to break it for three years. I felt pretty dead the day I got that and I was fine knowing that would be the best I’d ever achieve. The course was flat, the weather was great that day, I had no problem dying with that 2:07 PR. Also, sometimes it’s hard to embrace the fact that sometimes you can get faster with age. I mean, I’m almost 40 now! I was just 35 then! How could I compete with that young whippersnapper!?

Yet…this last 6 months of racing has shown me that I have gotten faster. At least on the long distances (PR’d 2 marathons and 2 50Ks) – and I hoped maybe some of that would translate to a shorter race. So, this was really the first time in three years that I even tried to beat my old 13.1 time.

But still! For 3 years I’ve been telling people, “My best 13.1 is a 2:07,” to give a gauge of my running speed. However, my best 26.2 is a 4:38, which is a bit slow for a 2:07 half-marathoner, so I usually depend on that more as a reference point. Either way – I’ve been throwing out that 2:07 for three years and now? I HAVE TO GIVE IT UP!

Now…On to the race report!

I went into this race with a 2:05 goal because there was going to be an official 2:05 pacer and I much prefer to run with a pacer and leave the stress up to THEM than to stress out on my own. I had two BIG issues facing me that morning:

1) Rain. I like running in the rain, but on race day it’s not ideal
2) Reflexor Tendonitis. I’ll write more about that later but basically it’s some irritating pain and swelling on the top of my foot.

About 30 minutes before race start, it starting POURING. OF COURSE. And that’s when I realized: Wait. I didn’t wear wool socks.

See – that’s a mantra amongst runners in our local FB running page. When people pop in and say, “Advice on running in the rain?” everyone always says: WEAR WOOL SOCKS. And I have some wool socks I break out often – mostly during my wet train runs because your feet stay wet all day on the trails. But for some reason yesterday – I wore regular running socks. Which, are NOT as bad as cotton, but no where NEAR as wicking as wool.

That was rookie mistake #1.

I also realized I didn’t bring any fuel. I like REAL food so on my long runs lately I pack sandwiches in my hydration pack. But this is a road race! I don’t carry my hydration pack in a road race. Also? I was going to be racing – not just running – and I’ve been taught to fuel every 30 minutes if you’re racing. And I had NOTHING. No gummies. No gels. No nothing.

That was rookie mistake #2.

Luckily there were Starburst in our race packets so I just unwrapped all of them and put them in my water bottle. I also had a friend offer 4 of her running gummies which was a GODSEND because the Starburst all started sticking together in the rain.

So…my wet socks and my lack of REAL fuel were my biggest downfalls in this race. You know, because I’ve never run before and I don’t know anything.

The first few miles were weird because my pacers didn’t have GPS watches and I don’t know that pace very well and they were trying to get the feel of it and at times I felt like we were running too fast, but I wasn’t sure. My watch reads immediate pace, not average, and on a hilly race that’s not easy to work with. Which is why I was hoping to depend on the pacers. They stopped at an aid stop and I kept going and just thought, “I’m just going to gauge the best I an with my watch and not think about the pacers.”

I did okay, even though I kept thinking…What I wouldn’t give for just a 3-mile long stretch of flat road to zone out on… The constant hills kept me very flustered about pace and at times I think I was probably pushing too hard, but other times I wasn’t sure I was pushing hard enough. None of the hills were bad, at least not like I’m used to with hill running, but they’re just CONSTANT rollers. If you’re used to pacing yourself flat (which is what I do when I’m doing speedwork) it’s very hard go pace yourself on hills. Usually I don’t focus on time when I run hills…this was a new experience. Basically, what I ended up doing is spending more time just looking at the elapsed time than the pace, and setting myself time goals: Get to this mile by this time…

Around mile 8 things started getting bad. I was irritated with the course (even though I’ve run it before) because I just wanted some LONG and FLAT so desperately. I also was chugging gatorade at every aid stop since I didn’t have the right fuel. I’m not sure if it was the chugging gatorade or the constant fluctuation in pace, but for some some reason I started getting the burps (YUM!) and then I got some KILLER side stitches.

Now…side stitches are like blisters…there are a million things “they” tell you to do to prevent or get rid of them. (Here’s a good article for starters.) I tried EVERYTHING. NOTHING worked. I kept taking short walking breaks and slowing down and focusing on my breathing, and at one point I thought: Welp…there goes my PR.

The 2:05 pacers which I had passed around mile 4.5, but were still right behind me around mile 6.5, passed me around mile 10 or so. I found this VERY disheartening, especially when I was trying to wrestle my sidestitch.

But then I got further into mile 10 and started doing the math and thought Wait a minute. I can still PR. If I keep all of the rest of this race under 10-minute miles, I’ll still PR. DO NOT GIVE UP.

So, I started pushing again and just stopped thinking about the sidestitch. It was tough too because my wet socks had given me HELLA blisters which started hurting at that point. But I just pushed. My 11th mile was under 9:30 which was my desired pace for the entire race ANYWAY. I started catching up with a girl who had passed me on my last walk break and who had cheered me on to push through. I thought let me just catch up with her. I just kept pushing even though I was SO VERY MISERABLE. I was also ready to be done, and ready to PR. I could TASTE it and it tasted WONDERFUL.

I passed the girl who cheered me on during the last mile. Then I caught up with another girl who had passed me who I knew her PR was 2:11. I caught her on the home stretch and cheered her on. I said, “WE’VE GOT THIS!” because I knew if I was PR’ing with a 2:07, she was PR’ing too. I didn’t think I was close to a 2:05 though because the pacers were long gone.

When I rounded the corner to the finish line a friend cheered me on and I screamed, “I’m about to PR!” I thought I was hitting about 2:06 or slower, but I knew it was under 2:07.

Then I looked at the clock. It was 2:04:XX…DAMN IT! I wanted to hit 2:05 SO BAD! That was my original goal!

I SPRINTED the last 20 yards to the finish line and the clock said 2:05:03 when I crossed.

But my CHIP time (thank GOD for chip-timed races) was 2:04:51. I was SUPER stoked! I actually met my original goal even though I didn’t run with the pacers at all!

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I am having mixed feelings about actually racing races. I don’t like not being able to chat with other runners to pass the time. I can’t do that because A) I can’t talk and run race pace at the same time and B) I can’t lose focus on my watch or I’ll slow down. I like talking to other runners, it passes the time. I don’t like going into a race knowing I won’t have that. I also hate that miserable feeling of pushing when I just want to SLOW DOWN or WALK. I’m not running happy during a lot of races lately, and I hate that.

BUT HOLY CRAP, the euphoria from a PR is SO AMAZING. I’m still on cloud 9 about it. And that? Kinda makes it worth it.

But that’s it for the races I’m racing. I’ve got two more weekends of races, but nothing I have to push too hard on for any reason. I should PR my duathlon without trying since I have a better bike, but I’m not positive. Either way – no stress! If I want to push, I can, but I have no reason to do it. I’m going to enjoy just running for fun for a few weeks.

Starting…And Ending…with My First 5K.

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Taken by my Dad on the morning of our First 5K

In 2006 I invited my Dad to come visit us and run a 5K with us. It was going to be our first, Donnnie, E and I were all going to do it. I had been training on the treadmill at the YMCA because the thought of running outside terrified me. I periodically did loops around my block with E, but I felt like it was a million times harder than running on the treadmill, so I didn’t do it often. I wrote this entry the night before and even joked that I was worried my system was going to go into shock at the feeling of running on the GROUND instead of the treadmill.

I ran that 5K in a hair under 35 minutes and felt really proud of myself. It was a good day that I would love to mark as the start of my running journey that brought me to where I am right now.

That’s what we want, isn’t it? We want to start a journey, make a decision, that will finally give us that healthy and fit life we’ve always wanted. And in some ways that has happened for me, but it wasn’t “Training For My First 5K” like I wanted it to be.

And here’s the thing…I really started to get into running back then. And I had recently read two bloggers recount their journeys towards their first marathons so I signed up for a local half marathon and even a marathon in Nashville. I was AMPED. That 5K training made me feel like I could CONQUER THE WORLD.

The problem is that I didn’t really stick with it. I think I did a good job sticking with my long runs up to the 10-mile mark. Which allowed me to survive the two half marathons (one here, and one in Tucson with my brother) with a moderate amount of success. I wasn’t able to run all of either race, but I ran most of both. But 10 miles does NOT carry you far in a marathon. BUT – I had already signed up for it and my Dad and brother were all flying in for it so off I went to “run” my first marathon in 2007. It took me almost 8 hours since I walked all but about 10 miles.

And then I stopped running completely for about four years.

I remember several times just deciding: Running is NOT for me. That 5K was great, and maybe I’ll periodically do those in my life, but nothing more. Deep down I don’t really like running. I actually kinda hate it. Stupid running. That marathon can be crossed off my bucket list and I can go about my business and never think of running again.

I tell you this in case you tried running, and then hated it.

Because I decided I hated it.

I remembered a few moments of joy, some races I enjoyed and some good long runs that I finished feeling strong and awesome, but overall? I hated it. Decided it wasn’t my thing. Wrote it off.

And here I am, about to run a half-marathon this weekend and I woke up with a thought: How many half-marathons have I run?

And I didn’t have a number ready to go.

Half-marathons have become so common place, and so insignificant, that I no longer bother to count them. I know I’ve done the local one here 4 times, I’ve done Oak Barrel twice…and if I keep going on that vein I can come up with 9? Maybe? Yeah…I think 9. And I’ve got 3 more coming up in the next 3 weeks. So, 9 going on 12?

The funny thing is that I don’t really like half-marathons. The distance is great, it doesn’t take much out of me to run 13 miles, but I hate the cost. They’re usually about the same as a full marathon and I’d rather do that. I’d rather pay that much and run 26.2.

This is who am I now.

But it’s not who I was then.

I just often feel the need to remind people of that. Especially if you’re working on your first 5K. I spend a lot of time telling people, “Oh! Look where running led me!” But I forget to remind people that I started this journey once before, did 2 half-marathons and 1 full and then stopped completely because I hated it.

It wasn’t: Train for a 5K and then love running forever!

It was: Train for a 5K, then partially for a half-marathon, then decide you hate running but fumble your way through a full marathon because you already paid the money and then NEVER RUN AGAIN!

AND THEN…four+ years later…it was: Train for a 10K…then successfully for a half-marathon…THEN love running forever!

We’d love for it to be an easy formula…start this one thing and then end up where you want to be! Clear and easy road that once you start walking on, the only option is to end up the place you want to go!

But it’s not like that. I started the road to running in 2006, didn’t get very far before I got off of it forever.

Or at least – I thought it was forever. I SAID it was forever. I said MANY TIMES…running is NOT for me. I even add my argument, “I tried the half-marathon, even the marathon, and hated every second of it.” I used the whole: GAVE IT THE GOOD OLE COLLEGE TRY! to assure people that I knew running wasn’t for me. Nope. No way.

But then different things motivated me to try again.

And THAT time…THAT time it stuck.

But that was four years after the first time! I ran my first SUCCESSFUL half marathon 5+ years after my first 5K.

First successful 5K: September 2006
First successful 13.1 where I trained properly and was able to run the whole thing: November 2011.

FIVE YEARS between those two steps. With 2 GOOD attempts and 1 BAD attempt at half-marathons and one completely RIDICULOUS attempt at a full marathon in between.

And a lot of “running is not for me” was spoken during that 5 years.

So, sometimes you do that first 5K and it leads to a lifetime of running and fitness.

But other times you do that first 5K and it leads to a few decent months of running and a lot of verbal declarations of HATING RUNNING FOREVER!

And the funny thing? I’m still not really where I need to be. I’m still REALLY bad at the mid-week runs. I do my long runs on Saturdays and Sundays no problem, but during the week? I kinda crap out. I do better in the winter when I don’t have to work around Donnie’s triathlon training, but right now? It’s hard. Especially now that Wes had started t-ball. I’m glad my running season is coming to a close because my training has crapped out in a GLORIOUS fashion trying to work around everything.

However, even when my training is crapping out, I am confident that running will always be a part of my life from here on out. I’m there. I’m at a point where I couldn’t imagine my life without running. I’m constantly planning my years in terms of my races. I’m doing a Grand Slam this year. (It’s a local thing, I’ll write more about that later.) I’m hoping in 2015 to do a “real” 50-miler (I just haven’t decided which one yet). I’m planning on doing my first out-of-town 50K sometime in the next 12 months. I’d like to log in maybe 5 out-of-town ultras in the next 24 months. In 2017 I’d like to start training for my first 100-miler to happen maybe sometime in 2018 or 2019, depending on which one I decide to do. This is my life now. I plan my running career years in advance. I’m on that road for good now.

But that path did not start with my first 5K and smoothly lead me to this point in time. So, if you’re disappointed that your first 5K didn’t start your journey to running and fitness? Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. It might not have been your time. I’ve got friends who started their running journey in their 50s. After their kids were grown and gone and they wanted a new hobby.

Just don’t assume that one failed attempt means that it’s just NOT for you. It’s just not for you THEN, but it might be for you LATER.

Counterbalancing The Runner Snark

As always - thanks to Gregg Gelmis of We Run Hunsville for documenting me acting like a fool.

As always – thanks to Gregg Gelmis of We Run Hunsville for documenting me acting like a fool.

Once upon a time a popular Women’s wellness magazine mocked runners in tutus. I was going to respond to them about that until some beat me to it. But I’m still very worried that some new runner donning a tutu for her first race (BECAUSE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!) will see that bit in that stupid magazine and will be shunned from running again.

It’s just so easy to be intimidated by other runners. Especially when they snark in magazines about what you’re wearing. I’ve had bad experiences too…the under-the-breath comments about how people like me, “Think they’re trail runners after running the white loop once.” (If you’re not local, the “White Loop” is a 3’ish mile “easy” trail on our local mountain.) I’ve had people grumble about being behind me on a trail. I’ve had people scoff at the wings on my shoes.

But luckily none of this stuff stopped me because it has been LARGELY outnumbered by support in my community. And I want to share that with newbie runners. I’ll give you DIFFERENT stories to counterbalance the mocking of tutus. I’ll tell you all the stories I heard/saw/experienced in my early stages of running that inspired me to STICK WITH IT. Hell…some of these stories I’ve heard in the last month! Stories from runners and triathletes who kick my ass in every way, yet still shared with me their failures or stories of not taking themselves too seriously. Because – in the end – they all wanted me to stay the course and not give up. And if their stories of silliness, or their stories of failure, helped me feel more comfortable? They were going to share them.

And that’s what the community does, for the most part. We have fun. We jump in the air for local race photographers, or pretend like we’re blowing snot rockets. We give each other nicknames and wear wings on our shoes. The runners in my community have shared their stories of failure with me to help me calm my nerves. They’ve told me about times when THEY were terrified, even though I see their awesomeness now and wonder how in the HELL they used to be like me.

These are the stories I want new runners to hear and see, because racing is intimidating. You’re surrounded by people you are CONVINCED belong there more than you do. You convince yourself that they’re all judging you. You constantly say, “I’m not a real runner.” I know because I still do all of that. But these stories from people in my community have helped remind me that we’re all the same. (That entry is written by the winner of the race I did this last weekend.)

  • I saw a super-fast runner wearing socks with CAPES on them at a race I did once. It makes people feel less intimidating when their socks are superheroes.
  • I saw a top-10 finisher at a marathon running in crocs. CROCS.
  • I was passed at a Disney race by two grown men in FULL female costumes. Dresses…makeup…wigs…ALL of it.
  • A triathlon coach told me after a race that he accidentally racked his bike on the wrong spot and didn’t realize it until he tried to put on someone else’s running shoes.
  • An Ironwoman friend of mine told me she had a panic attack in her first triathlon. Which was in a pool.
  • A local running mentor ran a half-marathon in a kilt. I saw that and thought, “Wait. We don’t HAVE to wear boring running gear? SWEET.”
  • The winner of a 50K I did apologized when I got out of his way. THE WINNER. Apologized to ME. The girl who has come in LAST before.
  • An ultra runner who has done the Western States 100 and Badwater told me her PW (personal worst) marathon time was FOURTEEN HOURS. My marathon PW is just a bit under 8 hours.
  • A local member of the FF racing team who has won several of the races I’ve participated in has been at the finish line of races I’ve done TWICE…still there even hours after he’s finished…and helped cheer me across.
  • Another ultra runner told me he felt so awful during a trail marathon he actually stopped and napped on the side of the course. Bringing his final time in around 9 hours.
  • An ultra runner who has done all the toughest US races said, “My favorite ultra food is snowballs.” Knocked my assumption that all badass ultra runners treat their bodies like temples TOTALLY out of the water.
  • I ran with a girl who has done Badwater and she wore flowers in her sun visor. She is a total badass who has FUN with running because – isn’t that the point?
  • Several of my running friends have shared with me their stories of DNFs – not finishing a race they started – and it’s a reminder that EVERYONE has a bad day and not to give up.

In Defense Of Selfies

Kids These Days

I saw a surly tween girl the other day, standing in the clothing section at Target, making a duckface into her phone and snapping a selfie. OH. MY. GOD. I wanted to make fun of her SO BAD. She took several, adjusting her bangs and her lips each time. Tilting her head the OTHER way. Raising her eyebrows. I watched her take…maybe 10 selfies before she dropped the phone down, tapped a few times, and then LAUGHED HER ASS OFF.

It was BEAUTIFUL. I don’t know if she was laughing at her own face as she posted to Instagram, or her friend’s snapchat reaction, or a funny text from her brother (that’s what usually makes ME laugh that hard) but whatever happened on her phone moments after the selfie? Made her smile the most beautiful smile on the planet.

And I suddenly remembered all of the articles and tweets and Facebook posts I’ve seen lately bashing the act of taking selfies: It’s narcissistic! It’s stupid! It’s trivial! It’s making us all self-centered and hyper-aware of our own appearances! KIDS THESE DAYS!

What we need to understand is that a lot of these selfies? Are for someone. Maybe that tween at Target was sending a picture to her boyfriend and saying, “UG. Shopping with Mom. Shoot me now.” And that picture made her boyfriend smile. Maybe the Harry Styles looking guy in his college cafeteria is sending a snapchat to his Mom that says, “Just ate my weight in soft serve.” Maybe the girls posing together at H&M are posting a picture onto Instagram that says, “BFFs!”

I mean – yes – there are plenty of tweens and teens and young adults on Instagram and Snapchat and posting selfies for no one but themselves and it’s narcissistic and they’re going to grow up to be unaware of their role in the world as it relates to their community.

But you know what? That tendency was there BEFORE they had a smartphone. The smartphone didn’t birth that personality trait into them.

Most of these kids are just entertaining themselves or their friends or their family and SOMEONE is getting a kick out of it. It’s not to entertain YOU – the grumpy adult sick of the duckface – it’s for their friends. Maybe a boyfriend. Maybe even a sibling or a parent. Chances are it’s going to bring a smile to someone’s face, even if it makes us scowl.

Documenting Moments

But on an even grander scale…it’s to document a moment in time. A moment that SHOULD be documented. Either to smile at later, or to fill in memories when you’re gone forever.

I used to store all of my photos on Flickr back before I had a smartphone that took high quality photos. I tagged EVERYTHING so I could find them easily. I had a tag that I started because of my Dad called: ArmsLength.

See? My Dad traveled the world a lot for work. He took his digital camera with him and always snapped pictures of himself at cool places. This tendency prevailed when we all got together as well, we always tried to take “Arms Length” photos as a group when we could.

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So now we have these hysterical group shots documented from Dad’s cameras. Yes, was it silly to group together for a selfie in a hotel lobby before a photo? OF COURSE IT WAS. Why do you think we’re laughing? It’s ridiculous! But now we have this photo of that day and it’s one of my favorite photo in the world.

But we also have loads of pictures now of Dad at cool places. Did anyone see him taking these photos and giggle? Maybe.

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But I took those photos and made a book out of them for my brother. I have some of them hanging on my refrigerator. I love these “Arms Length” photos SO MUCH. I love that my Dad – the least cool person on the planet – is the one that introduced me to the selfie.

So, unless someone taking a selfie is personally affecting YOU, stop worrying about it. There are two things that will make you change your mind about selfies.

1) Having a child go off to college where selfies becomes beautiful moments of communication where you look at your phone and sob BECAUSE YOU MISS THAT FACE SO MUCH.

2) Losing someone whose selfies become precious documents of lost moments.

In the future I’ll continue to momentarily scoff at people taking selfies, but it will be a temporary scoffing. Because I cherish selfies from my son and my Dad anyone who posts them on Facebook to bring a smile to my day.