Project Whitespace is Moving!

September 3, 2012

Hi everybody!

I just wanted to let you know that I have finally set up a place for my site outside of WordPress.com.

Yep! You heard me right. I am taking this little blog out on her own and we are going self hosted.

This will happen in the next couple of days so there are a couple of things I need to tell you.

If you follow me via the wordpress.com reader, I will no longer show up in that. If you want to keep following me you will need to get on my site (which will still be projectwhitespace.com) and subscribe over there.

I am not sure about you who have subscribed via email. I believe you will need to re-subscribe once I get my email subscriptions ready. You also always have the option of following me via RSS.

Also,  I have updated my look a little and gotten a new theme. So when my next post comes out, I would love for you to stop by and check out the new look.

So, there you have it. I was busy all weekend working on this and I am so happy to finally reveal the new whitespace.

Until next time . . . .


Just wanted to remind you guys that you are the most awesome people just the way you are!

It’s Friday! (For some of us, anyway). Go out there and lift some heavy stuff, bake something to die for, run faster, pray harder, give a little more and just be more the awesome you that you are!!

Love you!

In the comments, how about we say why we are awesome?! Go ahead–let me hear about your awesomeness!!

Fight or Flight?

August 30, 2012

graffitti of the word crime

I was five years old when I first remember feeling the fight-or-flight complex. I don’t remember the incident exactly, but I do remember that it had something to do with feeling being dealt a cruel act of injustice. My response was to want to leave. To flee.

Being only five years old, my ability to flee very far was limited. So instead, I took to daydreaming about how I would run away to California (I lived in Ohio), the furthest place I could imagine in my five-year old mind. I went so far as to stuff berries in my box. My “box” was an empty, plastic, card deck holder that they used to sell decks of Old Maid or other kids cards game in. I had two of these boxes. In the other box, I placed all my life savings; my many pennies, nickels and dimes that I had managed to save. Then I stuffed them in my dresser drawer only to pull them out later and find the berries had molded.

In times of feeling this need for flight, I would plan my great escape. I would pull my boxes out, re-fill it with berries if it were summer, crackers or cheese or whatever else I could find if it wasn’t summer, and then I would walk around the property on our house and think about it for a while.

Phrases like, “why did they do that?!” and “how could they do that?!” would go spinning through my brain. Injustice was something my little mind could not comprehend, not for the life of me, and that when directed towards me, would hurt and hurt, and the incomprehensiveness of it all would cause a great deal of stress to me at that young age. It’s what started the flight complex inside of me—a complex that spread over other areas of my life.

As I grew older, I finally stood up to fight. This time, the fight was not against the injustices of the world. But it was a fight against the habit to want to flee. And since, through my life, I had found flight to oftentimes be impossible, this habit had translated into weakness, depression, quitting, an act of disinterest in life, a feeling of victimization. And so, these are the things I decided to fight against in my own life.



Something happened along the way.

Suddenly, I realized that I didn’t need to fight. Not at all. These were, after all, simply feelings. Why should I fight them? I am not suggesting that at that moment I began to wallow in them. No. I did not do that. Instead, I recognized them. I thought about why they were there and what they meant. I realized that these feelings were a result of the vulnerable and compassionate person that I was at five years old, who knew no other way to deal with what she was feeling. And I had a little conversation with that five-year old. And I gave her new ways to deal with those injustices.

Many people see only one side of me: the happy, optimistic, enthusiastic and fun-loving side of me. And I’m glad they see that side. But I am writing this down because I want to express the other side because I believe it will connect with many people. The parts of us that hurt, the parts that cause us to be weak or afraid or injured people—those parts that we try so hard to hide. The thing is, most of those things are just feelings. And they are there for a reason. And my hope is that you stop trying to escape them or fight them. That you look them in the eye and figure out deep down why they are there. And that you acknowledge the vulnerable, loving, five-year old you that had no understanding of the things of the world, and no way of knowing how to deal with them. And give that five-year old new ways of coping. Healthy ways of coping.

I don’t like injustice. Not any against myself or against others, especially when it is dealt by the hand of a man or woman, and not simply chance. I can see now that this is my first step to confront it. I hope God hasn’t given up on me yet, and since we know there will always be injustice, I hope he gives me other chances to confront it in the future.

Climbing Mountains

August 27, 2012

Hi everybody!

When I visited San Diego, I recorded this video for you all. Text is at the bottom for those of you who prefer to read.

I hope you enjoy!

I climbed Cowles Mountain in San Diego, California. The mountain is not large; it’s about a mile and a half in distance and about 1500 feet in elevation. But for this central Ohio, flat-land derived girl, the rocks and upward motion my legs had to conquer were tiresome. I thought to myself, is this really so important that you have to keep on going? Why don’t you just stop, go back down and sit down? Wouldn’t that be nice?

But I kept going, because there is something about finishing things like this that you set out to do.

I am so glad I did because the view at the top of the mountain was totally worth it. Not only the view, but there is just something very satisfying about completing something that you started, especially when during it you wanted to quit.

In life, we confront all kinds of mountains. Sometimes, these mountains arise by choice, and other times, they arise of their own accord. If we set out to climb it, though, as much as we want to quit along the way, it is imperative that we keep on going.

There is so much to be learned along the way, and so much to be captured at the top. So finish those mountains that you set off to climb. Don’t stop till you reach the top!!

There is nothing like good old nature to refresh the mind and heal the soul. This is one of the reasons I love hiking and running and other outdoor sports. It’s sight and sound and atmosphere, and soul and exercise all rolled into one.

So when Brad and I go on vacation, we like to spend a lot of time outdoors. Yesterday, we spent the day hiking a mini-mountain at Torrey Pines National Reserve; and to our great pleasure, we ended the hike by strolling along a gorgeous beach upon which our hike opened up to. Here’s 20 pictures with very minimal narration. Hope you enjoy!!


The hike up the mini-mountain had signs throughout that warned us of unstable cliffs with falling rocks. Oh, and rattlesnakes. But this formation was caused by the falling rocks, not rattlesnakes.

One of the trails is named after the man who was ahead of his time in nature preservation, and who was the first keeper of Torrey Pines National Reserve.

A real torrey pine. A rare tree nowadays. The seedlings are edible.🙂

Two very happy people.

This was my first time to see a cactus in real life. So I had to touch it.

The sign called this rock formation “Lion’s Paw.” The sign also said to keep away. I guess the paw might scratch you.

Brad pointed at the rock-wall. “Look, it’s a heart!” I looked and sure enough, I could see it. Can you see the heart? If not, maybe you see the second thing Brad saw: a butt.

The mojave yucca plant. The fibers from the leaves were used as bow strings. Parts of it are also edible.

No matter where we go, it seems I always spot a beautiful dead tree. It’s a reminder to me that death does not always have to be a sad thing. I call this image, beauty in death.

Who says white sands make the most gorgeous beaches? The black and brown of this sand was mesmerizing to me.

And here’s that yin and yang beach scene.

Hiking made us both hungry. So we ate. Very healthy! Very delicous!

Two very happy people–again! We loved it so much, we are going to spend our day there today, after doing our 20 mile run. We figured laying around at the beach was a good follow-up for that kind of activity.

Have a great day!!

Where Have I Been?

August 21, 2012

palm tree against blue sky

If you noticed a bit of silence from me over here at Project Whitespace, it’s because I have been busy, first getting ready for vacation and second, flying to La Jolla in San Diego, California and running my butt off on these hills!

beth leaning on palm tree

Thank God for my new shoes, because my old ones were starting to get the best of my ankles and feet, and with these hills I’m running out here, I really needed a good pair of running shoes.

Where I live in central Ohio, we have no hills to run, so this is quite a difference for me. I have only run these hills twice so far, but my glutes and quads are feeling very alive this week!

I have already been enjoying the yin and the yang of running the hills followed by a refreshing swim in the ocean. There is just nothing like burning up your muscles on a good long run and then jumping in the cool of the ocean at 7 a.m. in the morning, before the masses come to the beach and create a different kind of peace.

For a long run, I start here.

stair steps leading to the beach

The above picture is of a beach located along this scene shown in the picture below. The picture below was taken at our turn-around (half-way) point.

That was about a nine mile run. I can’t believe I ran that far on hills!!

La Jolla is a beautiful town, and I have found many a homes here I think I could spend the rest of my life in. When you are running the streets, you get a much better feel for the neighborhood, and you see things you wouldn’t normally see passing by in a car. Here’s a sample of what my husband adeptly referred to as Froto’s house.

And here is a house that is well rounded.

I thought this house was charming. Very zen.🙂

Yesterday we ate at a nice little Thai restaurant, and I snapped this picture of one of the decorations in the dining room.

I love visiting new places I haven’t been. There always seems to be new things to take pictures of, but I know that’s not entirely true. There are just as interesting things to take pictures of in our own home towns, so visiting new places, reminds me that I just need to open up my eyes as a newcomer every day when I am home. See my home for the first time.

Hopefully, my husband doesn’t run me too ragged on these hills, and I can blog with some more pictures. Of course, we have a twenty-miler to run on Thursday, so I’m not too sure about that.

Hope you all have a great day!

After having a great experience at Road Runner Sports, my best friend Caroline insisted that I go there as well and get perfectly fitted for a new pair of running shoes. Of course, I balked at the idea of driving a whole 15 minutes across town for a pair of shoes, but in the end, her insistence paid off. And I made her go with me to take pictures. Hence, our Great Shoe Dog Adventure!

welcome mat that says welcome to your shoe dog adventure

Shoe Dog is just Road Runner Sports marketing for how they fit you for their shoes. I’m not sure if it has any meaning beyond that. But hey, I love dogs, and so does most of the rest of the country so I’m thinking it’s pretty clever. Who can resist a cute dalmation with shoes in his mouth?

First, the Service

So, when we first got there, we were greeted promptly by a nice lady who we asked permission for taking pictures of our great adventure. She cleared it with the manager, and after a brief wait for a Shoe Dog fitting, I was ready to be sized. Just a side note here, to say that this kind of service happened from beginning to end, and I totally loved it. It really made a difference in my experience. Friendly, prompt service is hard to come by these days, and Road Runner Sports has got it going on, that’s for sure!

Basic Sizing

With all the technology that abounds in the world, you think they’d have something different than the same tool they used 30 years ago when I was sized for a shoe at my small town shoe store. But, I guess for basic sizing, it works.

One thing is, the Shoe Dog adventure doesn’t stop here. They ask you some questions about if you are using your shoes for running, walking, hiking, etc., how much, etc., and then, it’s onto the balance board.

The Balance Board

The balance board essentially lets you see what kind of arch you have, plus it lets you know how you carry your weight on your feet. It turns out that I have a much higher arch than I thought I had, and I carry my weight a little forward, in the ball of my feet. So you stand on the board (above) and then you get to see the computerized version of this afterwards.

The Treadmill

Next, they put me on the treadmill and had me run. They video-taped my feet, people!! I loved watching the video of my feet running, especially since the guy helping me could speed me up to make me look like I was running fast! (Olympics, here I come!)

The video of my stride essentially showed that I have a pretty darn straight stride, placing my feet squarely in front of me with a straight aim from my heel to my toe.

The Shoe Type Recommendation

Taking the information they gathered from the questions, the balance board and the treadmill, they recommended I use a neutral+ shoe. Shoe type recommendation–accomplished! High five for a mission accomplished!!

two people giving a high five

But wait, it’s not over!!

The Insole Mold

To get the “perfect” fit, they don’t stop there. They also take flat insoles and MOLD THEM TO YOUR FEET! Now, this rocks. Now, this isn’t free, but Caroline told me they were my marathon/birthday present and she would pay for them, so I said, sign me up!

They had me stand on this cushion thing, barefoot so they could get my exact foot imprint. They get me ready by having me stand on one foot until they can place the insole directly under one foot. They call this the pelican stand over there.

Placing my foot directly on the insole for a good mold.

The insole is molded, and now we are ready! It is shoe-trying on time!!

Trying on My Shoes

I tried on several pairs of shoes, without the mold first. I narrowed my choices down to two pairs, and I was still totally not convinced on the insole, because I hadn’t tried it on yet. So we stuck the insole into the two different pairs of shoes, one each, so I could get an idea. I thought it felt pretty good, so I took a quick jog around the store to feel it in my stride. I had both shoes on with the insoles in them for about ten minutes, when I tried on one last pair without the insole.

All I can say is, oh. my. gosh.

The insole made all the difference. When I tried the shoe on without the insole, I felt like I was standing in a totally unsupported pair of shoes. They felt FLAT!!

Gimme those insoles!

What’s Up With the Bell

Now, here’s a cool thing they do. Road Runner Sports has a VIP program you can join to get ten percent off of everything in the store. Or near everything I think. Anyway, when people sign up, they ring the bell.

gold bell

I was totally sold on the service, selection and science they use to fit you at this store. Road Runner has obviously one-upped the whole shoe selling experience in my opinion. And I just want you to know, they didn’t pay me a thing to write this. This is NOT an affilliate post. This is just me, being super duper pleased. Road Runner Sports gets a two thumbs up in my humble opinion!!

woman giving two thumbs up