When Instagram Doesn’t Let You Say Everything You’re Feeling

It’s still only about 6:30pm on Wednesday as I’m writing this, so technically, I can still get it under the wire for a Wednesday publication date. WHEW. I wasn’t sure where to start with my post for this week, but I wanted to revisit some thoughts I started hashing out on instagram earlier this week. Sometimes, you need more than a caption to articulate the full breadth of what you’re thinking.

I’m in a weird season of life where things to be simultaneously moving very quickly and at once not at all. I feel busy, but then I also feel… bored? (The boredness, I’m certain, comes almost entirely from the fact that I am still struggling to find people here, so I have full on conversations with my cat.) I’m also grappling with a lot of anxiety about what the next few months of life will look like as we continue this transition to life on the West coast.

This past week has been an emotional one for me, in a way that I haven’t quite felt in years. The last time I can remember feeling this “whelmed” by life was maybe after finishing my undergrad, but coming to terms with the fact that my law school dreams weren’t going to come true in the way I’d pictured them. Over the course of about two months, I completely changed my life path: I went from planning my Fall matriculation as an 1L, to moving home, working two jobs, deciding not to shoulder another $120 thousand in student loans, and then moving again to work on a political campaign. 180 degrees from where I thought I’d be, but all the while I managed to stay positive and felt secure in my decisions.

But there’s nothing quite like moving across the country and completely upending your life to give you ample time for reflection. The last time I moved across the country, I was excited and hopeful and looking forward to the opportunities. This time? I tried to find that same sense of optimism. Before we left Virginia, we did a lot of talking about the ways in which our lives would change – the opportunity to learn and grow in a new workplace, the freedom to put our finances in a comfortable place, to build a new community. We talked about the challenges associated with those things, too, but we were confident that we could handle whatever arose.

What we didn’t talk about as much was how we would cope if things weren’t what we had prepared for. What if Clay’s new job wasn’t better than what was left behind? What if opportunities were extraordinarily difficult to come by? What if it just wasn’t at all what we had hoped and this big change felt like a colossal mistake?

Two months in to this adventure has us asking some of these questions and really leaning in to some of the fear and insecurities that were a bit easier to quiet before we left our comfortable bubble. In this moment, I’m experiencing an enormous amount of vulnerability. I feel a lot of fear about things that I can’t really articulate at the moment. There has been a lot of reflecting, along with lots of tears, frustrations, and fears that have been given space to be felt and (hopefully) learned from. I’m grateful to have a partner that values communication and deep thought about the things that challenge us and our relationship.

This move has been harder on me than I expected. I don’t admit to defeat or weakness easily, but it would be disingenuous of me to say anything other than the truth: I’m well outside my comfort zone and adjusting to this new place is more challenging than anticipated. I’m anxious about a lot of things. I’m scared about others.

But. But – after this weekend, though I’m still feeling scared and anxious, and emotionally exhausted – I feel better knowing that we’ve put words to our fears and concerns. We’ve given them names and now we can start to tackle them one by one. It will take time, it will mean being uncomfortable. It will also give us space to grow – like a lobster shedding its shell. Still feeling anxious and fearful, I’m working on releasing the tensions of the weekend and breathing in some resiliency. One step at a time.

When the Weather Doesn’t Cooperate: 2016 Atlantic City April Fools Half

There’s a new hashtag circulating for Atlantic City: #thisisAC

After this weekend’s race I would like to add an asterisk that reads #thisisAC *but please don’t base your opinion on the weather this weekend.

This weekend marked my 5th April Fools Half Marathon. Forget about 13, apparently 5 is the unlucky number when it comes to the Atlantic City Race Series.

The normal pleasant conditions that I associate with this race were MIA. With steady rain for the 7k/11k and the gale-like winds for the half marathon on Sunday, racers were not dealing with what we would call “ideal weather”.

And to think when we got our hats, we were worried that we might be too hot in them. Not so much.

And to think when we got our hats, we were worried that we might be too hot in them. Not so much.

Chrissy and I had our normal text conversations going the whole week prior, discussing weather, outfits, changes to outfits because of the weather, plans on what to do if one of us blew away, etc. We had a couple of windy training runs in Atlantic City but nothing that quite prepared us for Sunday’s half.

What did help us prepare for the half was doing those weekly training runs in AC. Honestly, I’m so very glad that we were able to do that because it did help us know our way around the casinos, boardwalk, and gave us an overall idea of what to expect.

However… we were not planning on the heavy winds and really, there’s no way TO plan for something like that.

So you can do one of two things:

1. bail
2. run, smile, and keep a positive attitude (as you’re getting sand in your mouth and pushed all over the course like a rag doll)

We went with option number 2, of course.

#finsup

#finsup

It was a little disorganized prior to the start. I’ve grown accustomed to this; the host hotel has changed more than once over the years and packet pickup is always at a different location from year to year. However, it’s still challenging to figure out exactly where to go. Runners rely on runners and we were all following each other around the Resorts Casino, looking for packet pickup.

Close to 8am, we made our way outside to get ourselves acclimated to the colder air. While heading out I overheard a coordinator saying that they were pushing back the start time 10 minutes.

The blow up start line was not out, due to the high winds. The race director also cautioned us to watch for blown over cones on the course.

The blow up start line was not out, due to the high winds. The race director also cautioned us to watch for blown over cones on the course.

I’m not exactly sure why that happened but the extra minutes went by fast. There was a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and then we were off!

I don’t have many pictures from the course because it was pure survival mode out there. Plus, I was afraid my phone might blow away. But a big highlight was seeing Hollie (FueledbyLOLZ) being escorted with a cyclist as first female. What does it even feel like to run that fast? I’ll never know.

I was on the lookout for music on the course so I could break out a little dance solo, as Jenn has done previously. Click the picture to see her little jig.

With the wind, it made things difficult for musicians to be out there. So I was very excited when, at mile 6 or so, I heard the sweet wail of the bagpipes played by Piper Rick. Chrissy grabbed my phone and I geared up to do my very best bagpiping dance moves. Click the pic to see!

Sadly, you will never get to see my bagpiping dance moves. I’m truly sorry for that.

The winds were not hitting us directly from the front, or pushing us along from the back, but rather coming sideways. Which meant that we were getting literally swept off our feet both out and back along the course.

It was… not fun. There was never a point in the race that I thought, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.” It was mostly just gritting our teeth (and the sand in our teeth).

I kept thinking it might get better. Alas, it did not get better. The only better was when we were finally done and we were able to not be in the wind anymore.

But through it all, Chrissy and I stuck together and looked out for each other. The conditions were miserable; we were not happy. But we did it and I’m so glad that we did it together. Once I got home I was ready bed I was looking on Facebook and found that I had shared this image a year ago, to the day.

Thanks Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Via Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

We adjusted our sails yesterday. And while admittedly, it was not perfect, we did it anyway.

Plus, we got some pretty awesome bling.

medals2016

It spins!

And also awesome drinks.

drinks

So while yes, #thisisAC, I hope first timers to the race don’t get scared away by the ridiculousness that Mother Nature threw at us this weekend.

Because this is also AC!

This was my first race of 2016 and my thought is when you start with the toughest conditions, it can only get better. Right? Right! A few days later, my body is still hurting although slowly but surely, I’m feeling back to the status quo.

Did you #doAC this weekend? Run another race? I heard Syracuse was brutal (Bonnie had frost on her brows!), and the Philly Hot Chocolate 15k ran out of medals. What races do you have coming up? Next up for me is the Vineyard 5 miler and Broad Street 10 miler!

Video May Have Killed the Radio Star…

But it sure did help the bloggers. (That’s how the song goes, right?)

On a rainy June day I was lucky enough to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference in NYC. Remember? You saw me geek out and fangirl over the New Amsterdam theater tour.

Blogger Video and Pic tips

Along with the incredible experience of the conference location, there was a lot of information shared at the conference. The speakers were experts, fonts of knowledge; I was able to not only glean valuable nuggets of blogging goodness but now I can share them with you. Win/win!

Let’s talk about pictures and videos. Meet multimedia goddess, Victoria Lim.

Victoria Lim on scootadoot

This was the second time I’ve had the opportunity to hear Victoria speak and each time has been a pleasure. She’s quite dynamic and knows her stuff when it comes to presenting on social media platforms.

We are very visually driven creatures, gravitating toward pictures rather than text alone. Here, check out these stats on the graphic (wink, wink).

Visual info graphic

Personally I feel like I’ve got my finger on the pulse when it comes to pictures, or, at the very least I can handle pictures!

Meanwhile, I’ve been working hard on learning the ropes with different video applications. Victoria had some great suggestions of apps to check out and each offers a unique set of qualities.

For example, for a quick little snippet of fun, Instagram video is a great way to record in real time and then automatically share. Check out this one of Jenn dancing during the 2015 Bolder Boulder.

Jenn has enough pizzazz to make that video up there entertaining on its very own.

However, sometimes we want a little bit more like the ability to incorporate pics, jamming music, and storytelling. And in that case, Magisto might be the editor for you.

Plug in your favorites, pick a theme and lickety split, you’ve got a video! The app does all the work for you.

The only thing that I’m not loving about Magisto is that picture placement is random so they might be a bit out of order. Depending on the story you want to tell, this can potentially work against you. (Although I think this one from the 2014 Disneyland 10k is super cute!)

Also a bit of Magisto fabulousness? Give them access to your photos and videos and they’ll randomly make videos for you. Just as a little treat! How cool is that?

Videolicious is perfect if you’re looking to do a voice-over with video. Put pictures where you want to and then warm up those vocal chords (and uh, make sure you know what you want to say. I was rambling a bit). This was my very first attempt and I don’t think it turned out half bad!

We weathered the storm AND survived a 36 hour power outage.

Videolicious allows you to pick a song to enhance your video; I think the one I picked sounds very Harry Potter-ish.

I’m just learning more about Periscope. As in, I was getting texts from Jenn who was learning about it at FitBloggin’. Anyone have any advice for us there?

One of the things I like so much about video is that it’s a way to really connect with others and show your personality! I know it can be a bit daunting to talk to seemingly no one at the moment or not get immediate response but don’t let that scare you away from video blogging.

As a blog reader I can say that I really enjoy when there are video elements within a blog. I gravitate toward them and find that they can really enhance content.

Generally speaking, there are some good habits to have when you’re shooting either pics or video. Fancy cameras aren’t mandatory but clear shots and shooting with intention should be!

Photo and Video blogging tips

So go forth and get clicky with it! And if you try one of these video apps, I want to see your creation! Tweet me at @scootadoot or find me on Facebook and share, share, share.

The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was a free event that I was fortunate enough to be invited to. Other than a magical day, no other compensation was given and all opinions are my very own unless stated otherwise. Thanks to Victoria Lim for the invaluable advice!

New Look, Same Attitude

Hey friends! We’re sure you’ve noticed the changes to Scoot a Doot that have happened the first week of November!

We’ve added Jenn and Kyle onto our author roster, changed from a .com to a .org (if you’re on bloglovin’, it’s time to update the link), and our new look is courtesy of Laurie at Laurie Miller Design!

If you’re looking for a great designer who listens and doesn’t mind eleventy billion questions, Laurie is your lady.

scoot a doot logo left scoot

Saunter around, check out the joint, and put your feet up on the coffee table. Heck knows we do! And we love hearing what you have to say; hook up with us all over social media. Otherwise it sort of feels like you’re talking to yourself, which gets lonely!

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Leave a comment with your social media names and we’ll “like”, follow, and friend you back. If you want to a quick response, feel free to email scootadoot@gmail.com