Monday, October 31, 2011

Hold on, get your minds out of the gutter. I'm not talking about that kind of role playing. Here at the Georgia Mae headquarters we love getting all dressed up for Halloween. 


At school we have several themed days and last week for past decades day I decided to take it WAY back and pay homage to one of my favorite works of early American literature by being Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter






To put this together I just ordered a pilgrim costume online and made an A from red fabric. 


I've known what I wanted to be for Halloween since March when I first saw the hilarious Sun Drop commercial. In case you were trapped under a boulder 127 Hours style this spring and you don't know what commercial I'm talking about, check it out: 





And here I am as the Sun Drop girl: 







This year Edd will be defending his title for best costume (which he won at his job last year dressed as Michael Jackson). Here he is as Robin Hood, or Robbin' from da Hood, as he calls it:




Happy Halloween!
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Today Edd creeps a little bit closer to 40. (He's gonna kill me for saying that.) Help him celebrate by leaving birthday wishes for him in the comments.


Edd as Billy Dee Williams selling cereal?
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Today we look back at some of the most distinct voices of 90s R&B.


Kimberly Jackson stops by with an old favorite:






SWV, It's About Time (1992)


Kim said: I LOVED this CD because, for me, it contained lots of "coming of age" songs like "Weak" and "I'm So Into You." "You're Always On My Mind" made a great impression also. Classic CD.





Also check out:
"Weak"
"I'm So Into You"
What Ever Happened to: SWV


This one comes from Georgia Mae fan and fellow blogger Courtney Boyd:






Monica, Miss Thang (1995)


Courtney said: Miss Thang is one of those rare debut albums that can be listened to from start to finish without skipping a song, and it's an album full of female empowerment anthems.






Also check out:
"Get Down"
"Before You Walk Out of My Life"


Now, it’s your turn. Email edward@georgiamae.com, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album. Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on the blog.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

We talk about one-hit wonders ad nauseum during our occasional "What Ever Happened to..." pow-wows, but sometimes I wonder - is it really that bad to be given that dreaded label?


Success might be short lived and you could be moving back in with your momma soon after the spotlight fades but I think it would be pretty cool to be forever synonymous with a song.


Unless you were getting your Helen Keller on in 1996, if you hear the name Gina Thompson, you are required by hip hop law to either sing "Da things you dooooooooooo" or to recite Missy Elliott's infamous battle cry. I don't think that's a bad legacy. Let's reminisce.






Lugenia Thompson (um, let's stick with Gina...) grew up with a love of singing in Vineland, New Jersey. After gaining a record deal in the mid-90s, she had the great fortune to work with producers Rodney Jerkins, Stevie J and Puff Daddy on her 1996 debut, Nobody Does It Better on Mercury Records. An unknown like Gina working with Puffy in the 90s is comparable to Kanye West producing my debut song. She couldn't have asked for a better platform. Puff tapped another emerging artist, Missy Elliott, to appear on the remix to Gina's first single and magic was made:





Let's be real, Gina won't be singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. But "The Things You Do Remix" is a perfect breezy, summertime video: a catchy beat, cameos from Puffy and Biggie, and one of the greatest lines of the mid 90s:



"HEE HEE HEE HEE HOW HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HOW!"


Only Missy could make something so stupid so iconic.


Although Nobody Does It Better initially didn't chart, the success of "The Things You Do Remix" eventually pushed the album to platinum sales.


As we've seen in past "What Ever Happened to..." columns, once an artist breaks out, he or she usually floods the market with follow-ups. That wasn't the case for Gina. She never released an official second single and besides a couple of random soundtrack appearances she was very quiet.






Gina finally resurfaced in 1999, now a part of Missy Elliott's Goldmine records. Her comeback single, "Ya Di Da," was met with yawns. The poor reception of that song and the follow up "Caught Up" (a track I don't even remember) caused Gina's second album to be shelved. If You Only Knew became a sadly accurate title. Fear not, Gina fans - you can find most of the tracks on Youtube. "Up All Night" with Jon B is OK.


I still don't agree with the decision to trash the album - "Ya Di Da" was pretty pedestrian but it did chart (peaking at #38 on the R&B boards) and there were MUCH WORSE songs released that year. My main beef is with that album cover. - did she trip over the camera before taking that shot? Gina asked to be released from her contract (and probably some crutches) soon afterward.






Following the "Ya Di Da" fiasco, I assumed Gina went back to her momma's house in New Jersey to live her out days. But no, Gina actually released an album a few years ago. By the looks of that album cover, somehow along the way she swapped bodies with Tiffany "New York" Pollard.






Missing You consists of 12 tracks, nine of which are remixes to the first song.


Yes, she released an album with 3 songs and NINE REMIXES!


The Dancehall remix seems to have been the official single - and it's no prize, sounding like something Pitbull belched out during Sunday dinner. Click here to watch a bunch of weird, half-naked virtual babies dancing to the track. Is that what's hot in the streets, Gina? Half naked dancing babies? I checked out the hip-hop remix but it was as dull as Drake hosting Masterpiece Theater. I didn't bother listening to the 97 other remixes. Someone let me know if the Sour Cream and Onion Remix or the Balki Bartokomous Perfect Strangers Remix  is worth my time. Gina parted ways with her new label Blue Mountain Records/Sunset Urban Records and I can't blame her.


Should She Come Back?: Nuh uh. Poor Gina, things just haven't worked out well for her since Missy HEE HEE HEE HEE HAW'd her to fame. As I said earlier, sometimes an artist is better of basking in past success. Gina might be a one-hit wonder, but she did have one hit.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Blog Like a Girl is a new Georgia Mae feature that highlights some of my favorite babes who blog. This week we chat with Nik G. of Nik Star Was Here




What inspired you to start Nik Star Was Here?

I initially started my blog after “discovering” some fashion blogs.  I was kind of late to the game, and had no idea it was going on.  I was intrigued--so I decided to start my own blog.  Initially, I figured it would mostly be about fashion and outfit posts and that I would throw in some stuff regarding my change in lifestyle from party girl to wife/mom.  Eventually, the lifestyle aspect became more prominent as I feel like I've been busy with life more than I get the chance to focus solely on fashion and outfits. 

How did you get the word out about your blog and what advice would you give to other bloggers about keeping readers coming back once they find a blog?

As far as my following/audience--I've had an internet presence for years now.  It started out with message boards (particularly hair boards), then of course Myspace gave me a big audience during its time.  So, I think right away when I started the blog, I already had a group of people who right away were into it because they already "knew" me.  Also, I try to make sure that I comment on other blogs that I follow.  I've come to see in this blog world that "you give love--you get love."

Your posts also seem to always generate comments from your readers. What do you do to encourage that?

I actually am not sure what I do to get comments to my posts, but I'm very grateful!  I'm always pretty happy to see that people want to comment or ask me questions, etc.  I don't, however, obsess over it.  I blog as if it's my own little diary of sorts, so whether anyone reads it or not--I'm still going to post what I want to post.  I feel like you have to do it for the joy of doing it, because if you're doing it just for popularity or just to try to turn it into income that will show--not to mention, you may end up very disappointed if that doesn't happen.  

Some blogging gurus say that blogs need a niche to be successful, yet you seem to have had great success with a lifestyle blog. Why do you think this has worked for you? 

I do think blogs that cover a specific thing may do better.  I would actually encourage someone to get a little more specific when starting a blog.  I haven't necessarily done that, because from my past experience on the internet I've come to see that people seem to be interested in me in general for whatever reason. I think people like to see how other people live.  I know that I do. So that's my draw.  Hopefully, I can give some insight on how life changes once a woman gets married has kids while still trying to remain in touch with that piece of herself that will always be her.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011





Judging by these questions, y'all have some dramatic love lives. Hit me up for my sage advice.


Send your inquiries to edward@georgiamae.com, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname.    


Here's today's question:


What if you find out your spouse went out to a club, got somebody's number and told that person that y'all were separated and y'all weren't? And that person later called your spouse's phone while you were around. Would be justified to snap? And is it grounds for immediate divorce?


Caught 'em Creeping


Uh, yes. Please snap.


See you next week, everybody!


...


Well, um, I guess I should elaborate a bit. Clearly, CLEARLY, the spouse is all kinds of wrong. Not only is the spouse totally disrespecting your marriage, another person is unknowingly getting dragged into the drama.


I've said it before and it bears repeating - there is NEVER any justification for cheating. I don't care how lame your boo is or any other excuse: If you don't wanna be with your partner just break up with them, THEN get your creep on (word to Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez). Running around on your mate - even if the relationship is on the rocks - does nothing but fuel already burning fires (word to Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez).


Here's one thing I'd like to stress - I hope your anger is not totally directed toward the person your spouse met in the club. Case in point: Cheaters.


Yeah, yeah, I watch Cheaters, and I love it. Y'all watch Jersey Shore and the Housewives. Leave me alone.


Anyway, it drives me nuts on that show when the jilted woman attacks her man's mistress. Why attack the mistress? Whether she knew about the marriage or not, she has no loyalty to you - the cheating man is the true guilty party. It's HIS marriage, after all.


In your case, the club beau thought the marriage was over - that person is not at fault. It's your spouse's responsibility to uphold the marriage, not the clubber. That needs to be your focus.


Now that we've established that your spouse is pond scum, I do not think this incident alone is immediate grounds for divorce. No, that wasn't a typo. Assuming this club crap was an isolated event and the creeping spouse is truly sorry, then you should at least attempt to mend fences. Marriage should not be treated like a junior high relationship, in which you break up every time there is drama. A marriage requires a much deeper level of commitment and, yes, forgiveness. The wifey and I enjoy a very healthy marriage but if we broke up whenever something went down I'd be a five-time divorcee by now.


Yes, your spouse was wrong, stupid, disrespectful, etc., etc.  but a true marriage can endure even the most vile offenses. I wouldn't be so quick to throw in the towel.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

image via Clutch


For years now America has appeared to be obsessed with the love lives of African American women. In any given month you won’t be hard pressed to find a news article spinning the tale of the single black female who is destined to die an old maid. If you're like me, you're sick and tired of these stories. One of the things that bothers me most, however, is that this lonely black female narrative is not only degrading but also has the potential to be divisive. 


This is the topic of an article I wrote last week for Clutch magazine. Click here to check it out. 


If you're a writer curious about how I landed the opportunity to write for Clutch click here
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Beware, assaults, no smoking and no sharp objects
Will natural hair be added to this list?
photo by David Lisbona via Creative Commons

Back when I lived in California and most of my loved ones lived nearly 3,000 miles away in Alabama and Kentucky, I was hopping on a plane every few months with ease. But these days I'm terrified of flying. No, I'm not afraid the plane will fall out of the sky. I know the annual risk of being killed in a plane crash for the average American is about 1 in 11 million. What I hate most about flying is going through the security checkpoint as TSA regulations get stricter and stricter year after year. And there's a chance the next time I fly my curly coif may get a pat down too. 

Patrice Yursik of the popular natural hair and beauty blog Afrobella recently had her afro inspected by a TSA agent at Chicago's Midway airport, as she shares in an article at xoJane. Yursik, who admits that one of her first thoughts was "I can't wait to tweet about this," had a good attitude about the situation:

I laughed at the situation right away. I could tell the TSA lady didn’t want to feel up my hair any more than I wanted her to. The whole thing had a taste of let’s-get-this-indignity-over-with-shall-we about it. The fact that I blog about natural hair (among other things) for a living made it all feel wry and ironic. Maybe I could just laugh it away. La la la. But the outraged Twitter responses I got started to resonate.

Yursik went on to say that while she completely understands that the TSA is only trying to make air travel safer for us all, the indignity is still hard to shake:

And I get it. I get that things won’t ever be the same when it comes to air travel. I get that the Transportation Security Administration is here to keep us safe from terrorist attacks. In a world where explosives have been smuggled on flights using shoes and underwear, it makes sense that airport security would want to do the most thorough checks possible. I appreciate their efforts. But to be really real with you, the more I contemplate what happened to me and my hair at the airport and what’s happening to other women and men like me, the less cool I feel about it.

Furthermore, Yursik shared that on her flight she sat next to a blonde, white woman with "a big, fluffy, fabulous cropped head of curls" who said her curly hair wasn’t examined, and that she thought it was weird that the TSA singled me out, seeing as her hair was just as voluminous as Yursik's. 

Yursik's incident certainly isn't the sole case of the 'fro frisking. Renowned Dallas hairstylist Isis Brantley recently faced the same humiliation at the Atlanta airport, in September.

Yet, as horrible as all this sounds, I can't help but think, "Well, better safe than sorry." I certainly don't want the TSA to be lackadaisical in its efforts to keep our flights secure. However, if people of color are being singled out in these big hair pat downs, that is unacceptable. 

Either way, this naturalista isn't looking forward to the next time she has to fly the so-called friendly skies. 
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Friday, October 21, 2011

There's a chill in the air and it's finally starting to feel like fall. Cozy up to these old favorites.


LaTasha Merchant, one of Georgia Mae's biggest supporters, shares this one:






No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom (1995) 

LaTasha said: This is the first CD I ever owned and, yes, I still have it. It makes me feel 16 again!






Also check out:
"Spiderwebs"
"Sixteen"



Edward takes it back to Hollywood:






Money Talks Soundtrack (1997)


Edd said: Man, movie soundtracks used to be AWESOME, and in some cases even better than the movie. Money Talks is a perfect example. Just look at that album cover - that's a BET Blackbuster Movie if I've ever seen one. Forget that and focus on the soundtrack, which features forgotten gems from Mary J. Blige, Lil Kim, The Refugee All-Stars and SWV; big-stage debuts from Angie Stone and Next; and bizarre collaborations (Rick James and Lil Cease?) that actually work. And it also features the best song ever recorded by my ol' high school crush, Deborah Cox. Watch the movie on mute and play the soundtrack instead.





Also check out:
"My Everything," Barry White featuring Faith Evans
"A Dream," Mary J. Blige



Now, it’s your turn. Email edward@georgiamae.com, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album. Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on the blog.
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 Using a True Random Number Generator, I have selected the winner of the Darcy's Botanical's Giveaway. Congrats to Tiffany Gunn, who was the sixth person to enter.


True Random Number Generator  6Powered by RANDOM.ORG
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Thursday, October 20, 2011





Who needs love advice? We're here to help.


Send your inquiries to edward@georgiamae.com, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname.  


How long is too long to be in a relationship without the biggest commitment, marriage?


Time for commitment, KJ


Probably the most frequently asked relationship question I receive is "How long did it take you to realize Jai was The One?" How long did it take Laurence Fishburne to realize Keanu Reeves was The One? How long did it take Mary J. Blige to realize Drake was "The One?" Who knows, who cares. It's the selection we remember, not the time frame.


I wish Mary J. took more time to consider her selection, though. That song was wack.


Anyway, there are no set expiration dates for relationships. I've mentioned before that I have a friend who met her future husband online and married very quickly. They're still happily married today. Some of y'all have been together since high school and still can't agree on which brand of toilet paper to use. It's much more important to cultivate a healthy relationship than rush it to the next level.


And along those lines, why rush anyway? I'm a huge supporter of marriage but every single relationship is not destined for a trip down the aisle. Take time to assess what you and your partner want - no matter now long that takes. If you're still happily dating 10 years from now, that's better than being unhappily married in the next decade.


I do realize, however, that some partners tend to drag out things longer than you might like, which causes  questions like the one above to arise. You might be hearing wedding bells, he's hearing doorbells, and after dating for 20 years, you're ready for more. That's not an issue with time, that's an issue with commitment. If you're not on the same page with your mate regarding marriage, pointing to a stopwatch and saying "time's up, homey!" won't suddenly make him ready to be a husband - or you to be a model wife, for that matter. Same goes for a relationship that's thousands of years old but is stagnant and not progressing - ignore the length time involved, the relationship itself needs work.


Setting a time limit will do nothing but lead to hasty decisions. In this case, time ain't nothing but a number. Commitment is key.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Georgia Mae feature! 


Since I started this Georgia Mae three years ago I've had the opportunity to meet so many amazing women who write fun and inspiring blogs and I believe that the best way to make my blog better is to learn from other bloggers. With that in mind, today I'm launching Blog Like a Girl, a Q&A with some of my favorite babes who blog. It's only right that I kick things off with Kate Spears of Southern Belle Simple, whom I met this summer at the skirt! Creative Conference. 







What inspired you to start Southern Belle Simple?

I was feeling a little bit burned-out with my day-to-day routine and wanted an outlet for creativity. I never thought anybody would read my blog, so I was mainly just writing it for myself.  

You seem to have a huge following of loyal readers. How did you get the word out about your blog and what advice would you give about keeping readers coming back once they find your blog?

This is one of those things that sometimes feels like a fluke. We don't always know why some folks end up reading our blogs. Some of my loyal readers are my family and friends. Others are bloggers I've met along the way and connected with. I've found a great deal of support from other bloggers in this growing community. We are all in this together and I love how everybody encourages each other, as opposed to competing with each other.  


How did you choose your niche? Do you think having a niche has helped make your blog successful?

When I first started my blog (back in fall of 2009) it had a different name (Small Town, Big Dreams), but I couldn't figure out a way to weave what the name represented into each post. It finally dawned on me that so much of who I am (positive & negative) has been established because of my experiences growing up in the south. I knew that because my love for the south runs deep, I would never tire of writing about it. Plus I wouldn't have to reach very far to find topics to write about because it's just what I know best.

I think having a niche both helps and limits a blog. While I sometimes dream of being strictly a fashion blogger, that's not what SBS is all about so I keep posts on fashion at a minimum, unless they are specifically southern fashion oriented. As far as helping a blog be successful, I think a niche is good because it lets readers know what to expect. My readers can be sure that they will never arrive at my blog and find a post about a hot-button political issue or me ranting about some current event. These types of blogs definitely have a place as well, but that's not what I wanted mine to be.


Why do you love blogging?

I love blogging because it gives me the chance to create something each day and share it with others. Other than the act of blogging, my favorite thing about it is the connection it allows me to make with other people. I have met so many wonderful people, many that I consider real friends (including you, Ms. Javacia!).  

Kate and I at the skirt! Creative Conference

How would you like to see your blog grow and evolve in the future?

I have big dreams for my blog. I'd love for Southern Belle Simple to be a household name. I'd like to publish a cookbook of my anti-recipes, for folks like me who love to cook but are sometimes intimidated by lengthy ingredients lists and complicated procedures.

That being said, I don't care if I ever make a cent from SBS because I just love it so much. I want it to be a little bright spot in a person's day. I think one day blogs will serve as important historic records...letting our descendants know what we were all about and giving them a glimpse into our daily lives.

You do a lot of posts on small businesses. Is this something that you've found has helped increase your readership and foster relationships with the community?

Writing about small businesses has been a win-win for me. One of the desires I have (which I believe is God-given) is to use my blog to help other businesses succeed. If I can do a post on a fledgling restaurant and it makes people want to eat there, I feel like I'm helping that restaurant succeed. I win as well because it provides me with content for the blog and a great excuse to try out new places and shops. We're all in this together and I feel really honored if I can help someone's business grow, even a tiny bit.

Any other words of advice for bloggers hoping to one day have the success you currently enjoy?

There are all types of blogs. Some are personal journals full of family pictures, others deliver breaking news, and others just offer a bit of loveliness in that vast space we call the interweb. I would encourage anyone who wants to blog to dive in. Write what you know and don't try to speak with a voice other than your own. God put something inside each of us that is so special, so unique. I think we are doing a disservice to that if we try to be anything other than who we are. It might sound cheesy but also don't underestimate the power of helping each other. Also never judge the quality of your blog by how many followers or comments you have. Of all the posts I've ever done (a few of which I genuinely believed were thought provoking), my most-viewed post is about homemade pimento cheese. Sometimes we just can't explain these things.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011



Call me a hater (and all of you do) but your boy gives credit when it's due. After the phenominal cyphers that took place during last week's BET Hip Hop Awards, I've done nothing but sing the network's praises. BET probably has a bruised spine from me constantly patting them on the back.

But BET, and specifically hip hop cypher honcho (and arguably the best producer of all), DJ Premier caught some flack over barring Justin Bieber from the cypher.

No, that wasn't a typo. JUSTIN BIEBER WANTED TO BE IN A RAP CYPHER. And it almost happened!

This can't be life.


Don't believe me? Via sohh.com:

Renowned producer DJ Premier has caught heat this week by being the person allegedly responsible for not allowing pop sensation Justin Bieber appear in last week's BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher. According to reports, Biebs' aim to have Ludacris write his rhymes forced Premo to turn down the cypher request.

Apparently, Premo's beef wasn't specifically with Lil Justin rapping, he was just vehemently against Luda Cliff Notes. What's the point of showcasing hip hop skill if you're gonna allow kids to read off a teleprompter?

Stand up from your computer right now and applaud DJ Premier.

Sure, having Bieber bouncing around a cypher would have brought BET a ton of publicity (hyperactive Bieber brats would have blown up Twitter with BET hashtags, that's for sure) but I guarantee that the intergrity of all the cyphers would have nosedived.

And I'm sure someone will make the argument that more than half of the cypher's participants probably had ghostwriters. And you're probably right - but I'm sure they weren't dumb enough to publicly proclaim they had someone else do their homework. Bieber gets props for honesty, but not intelligence.

In the words of my boy Styles P: "As for y'all MCs, whoever write your rhymes might as well hold your microphone, that's how I feel if it ain't your own."

But here's a scary thought - Premo might have been OK with Bieber performing if he wrote his own lyrics. The horror. The unspeakable horror.

Check out Justin "Shawty Mane" Bieber spittin' hotness with my family's favorite, Cousin Chris Brown. OutKast, they're not.



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Last weekend I crossed off the following item from my bucket list:


Dance in a flash mob


Don't believe me? Here's the proof. (I'm the extremely bouncy chick in the pink tank top in the middle of the center row.) 





Special thanks to Jamme Morginn of Crunk Fitness for organizing this (and to Brookwood Mall for not calling the cops on us)!
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Monday, October 17, 2011





Believe it or not, I was a tomboy as a kid. I'm sure this comes as a shock for those of you who know how ridiculously girly I am these days. But growing up most of my friends were boys so I had to climb fences and trees with the best of them. 

In spite of this I was never much of an athlete. I was the person always picked last for kick ball (and with good reason). And I hated those physical fitness tests we had to do in school because I could never finish the 1-mile run in 12 minutes. Never!





So this summer when I decided to get serious about running one of the first goals I set for myself was to run for one mile without stopping and to complete that mile in 12 minutes or less. I accomplished said aim this fall, running a mile in 11 minutes. But I wondered if I would be able to maintain such a pace for a long period of time. Therefore, the goal I set for myself for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K I participated in this weekend was to finish the race in 37 minutes or less (since 3.1 - the number of miles in a 5K - times 12 would equal 37.2 minutes). 


Adrenaline rushing through my body, I started the race strong. When I hit the 1-mile mark I checked my stop watch: I'd finished in 11 minutes. I smiled and kept going. But before reaching the 2-mile mark I had to take a short walk break and  by the time I did reach that sign I was loosing steam. Later when I looked at my watch and saw 33 minutes had passed my heart sank. I wasn't going to reach my goal. 


Then I heard one of the cheerleaders on the sideline say, "Good job! Look you're almost there." I looked ahead and realized she was right. The finish line was in sight! Overjoyed, I turned into Flo Jo for a minute and blasted out the rest of the run. 

I am very happy to report that I finished the course in 34 minutes and 58 seconds! And I only took three 1-minute walk breaks. 



It's so crazy to think that there was a time when I thought I couldn't run at all and then thought I could only run for a minute at a time. Now I can run more than a mile without stopping and I can do so in less than 12 minutes. 

I wonder if I can still climb trees? 




If you enjoyed this post check out Running Away From Can't, my post on how running a 5K has made me a bolder writer. 
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