Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Naysayers

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: A day when we share why it’s better to be here, not matter what kinda crap we got going on, than to not be here. A day to reflect on the fact that life is awesome and I, for one, am glad to to be here.

Naysayer: nay·say·er (\ˈnā-ˌsā-ər, -ˌser\) one who denies, refuses, opposes, or is skeptical or cynical about something.

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Five or six years ago I was with extended family, sharing my new goal of going back to school to become a physical therapist. I had a long road ahead of me, pre-reqs and GREs and hoops to jump through and all, but I was excited to finally find what I wanted to be when I grow up!

And this one Naysayer just kept shooting me down.

“It’s a really competitive field.”

“Those classes are really hard to get through as an adult.”

“So-and-so didn’t get into this-other-medical-school, you probably won’t get into NYU.”

All from the same person. The same Naysayer. It got me so down about my choice. In fact, this was what I’d been telling myself for years. It’s too hard. You’re not smart enough. There’s no way they’d want you. Finally I’d got the guts to say it out loud and here was a Naysayer trying to put me down before I even go going.

photo-9JB, the Obi-wans, and my closest friends didn’t let me give up on my dream. And here I am. At NYU. Kicking butts. Taking names.

There was another Naysayer who (still) cannot believe I’m not working as a personal trainer for the money and, instead, putting money into my education. I can’t. I just CAN’T even begin to tell you how frustrating THAT conversation is for me.

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Naysayers can get you down. They get me down sometimes, too. But they can also be fuel for your Fire of Awesomeness. Naysayers are often people who are not living the life they want to live. (These Naysayers certainly weren’t/aren’t) and they just loooooove dragging others down to their unhappy level.

You know what, thank you, Naysayers. You have given me the opportunity (more than once!) to say, “TOLD YOU I COULD DO IT!!!”

If that’s not a reason it’s better to be here than not, I don’t know what is. Happy BTAT, friends. Haters gonna hate, you keep on rocking.

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Family

First off, welcome to all of you who are clicking over from Runner’s World via Twitter. Stick around, stay awhile. Today is Better Than the Alternative Tuesday and yes, I know it’s Wednesday. I am a day behind. I was busy enjoying my last day in Colorado with my Family and my sweet baby niece.

I miss her already!

For those of you who are new to my blog, Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays were inspired by my Dad, Obi-Wan (not his real name, duh) who, against countless odds and obstacles, has managed–along with my Mom, Mrs. Obi-wan, to remind me and my four siblings that no matter how much life sucks, it beats the alternative.

And that’s how Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays were born. It’s a weekly reminder for me and all of you that you’re still here and that’s a victory in and of itself.

This week’s BTAT is Family.

My Family is huge. I have 23 (I think) aunts and uncles, 40 first cousins, several dozen second and second cousins-once-removed whom I actually know and love.

Our wedding was one hell of a party. Our Family knows how to get down!

I also have two sisters and two brothers. Two of them are also married to seriously awesome people whom I love as my own siblings. We got really lucky with outlaws and non-married significant others.

You’d think it would be easy to get lost in such a humongous Family. It’s not.

No matter how far away we are from each other, my sisters and brothers always seem to find a way to support each other and keep in touch. It’s kind of a miracle, really.

We take turns being the last one to know about someone else’s news and feigning exasperation at whomever failed to inform us about said news. We call each other at insanely early hours of the morning because that’s the only time we can get each other. We celebrate each other’s victories and huddle together for strength when there’s a life crisis among us.

We run/walk for each other. That's just how we roll.

This past holiday season, I was able to spend a lot of time with my Family. Some more than others, but it reminded me of how lucky I am that I have such a loving, caring, fiercely protective Family. Not everyone does. And for some of us, we choose who become our Family as life goes on and our friends become our Family.

They are the people who are always there.

I mean, it’s 6am and I’m sad because my boyfriend is in Iraq and I need someone to talk to and they pick up the phone. I have to get picked up from my yearly colonoscopy because I’m not allowed to leave the hospital by myself on account of I’m hopped up on drugs and just came out of anesthesia and they make time in their day to make sure I don’t end up on the side of the road somewhere in the Bronx.

I am not this awake post-colonoscopy, but I am this cheerful. Apparently, I am "drunk Abby" while coming out of anesthesia.

They’re easy to be around and welcome my gorgeous husband into the fold with open arms. They are the ones who save cookies for me at Christmas because we are the last ones to arrive and who surprise me for my 30th birthday.

Surprise! Happy birthday to me!

They are also probably the single reason why anyone outside of my Family reads my blog. I generally figure that about half of my readership is made up of my Family, and I’m ok with that. Thanks, guys! Love you all.

More than anything, Family is always there. For better or for worse, I will never shake these people. Mrs. Obi-wan likes to remind us that our relationships with our siblings are the the longest relationships we’ll have in our lives (hopefully) and we should treasure and nurture them.

I get it now.

I cherish my Family. Near and far. Related and adopted. They really are the ones I can count on and who make being here way better than being there.”TRAMPS like us, baby we were Born to Run!”

Who makes here better than there for you? Family? Friends? How do they support you? Tell me all about it.

Now go out and run!