2017 had a series of highs and lows.
Listen, I didn't think it was possible to be in anyone's newspaper or magazine unless I was choking someone out in the street. As a New Yorker, I keep in mind that I'm one subway ride away from a night in jail. Somehow, I've been in a laundry list of places last year and it's all from being myself. If only my ten year old son understood this logic, perhaps he wouldn't feel so awkward some days about being a self professed weirdo.
See Ya Later 2017
There are parts of 2017 that I don't want to think about nor mention. I'd rather not have a shitty night crying thinking about the ways this year damn near broke me. On the other hand, 2017 made sweet love to me. It was almost as if he held the back of my locks, slow stroked and rubbed baby oil on my thick legs. Shut up. I HOPE we are all grown and if not, I'm sorry. Now you know where babies come from.
I was going to celebrate New Year's Eve running in 9 degree weather with all of the other delusional...wait, dedicated runners in Central Park but December 30th had other plans. On my way to see my friend Monique who was visiting for the week, my Lyft was in a car accident. Fortunately, I am writing you guys with good humor (or else I'm the most epic zombie that ever lived) and with all of my limbs in operable condition. After taking seven or more drinks that night, I reminded myself that I was okay. That morning, I battled my internal thoughts and anxiety. Turns out my nerves told me to stay the fuck home. I ended the year reminding myself that I did a LOT in 2017. One missed race isn't going to make me a quitter. And so, I stayed home.
New Year's Day with Nature
Somehow, Mirna Valerio and I thought it would be a great idea to go for our annual hike at Anthony's Nose for New Year's day. Sure, nothing wrong with kicking ass in >4 miles if there wasn't a bunch of snow, ice and 19 mph winds in 19 degree weather. We watched our respective Instagram feeds call us everything from inspiring to fucking nuts. Nevertheless, we took our time, laughing about how cold the weather was as we inched to the top and celebrated our success.
Being plus size African American female athletes in ultra running is foreign to many. Constantly, people pick our brains about our drive or what keeps us going. Perhaps we are kinda insane or a bit zany but we're in love with a sport that society tries to tell us we shouldn't desire to entertain. If I questioned if we were qualified to be called athletes, I'd think back to hiking that cold ass mountain and somehow thinking it was fun.
Once on top of Anthony's Nose, we took pictures with our phones and cameras, praying that our devices didn't freeze like my water. When you're that cold, you are thankful for things like your fingers still existing or in my case, knowing that the snakes are not coming out to play with me.
On the commute back home, we saw the super moon and I entertained Mirna's suggestions about trail races. I still think she's out of her goddamn mind about the Javelina Jundred but...maybe, just maybe, I am a bit inspired to try it out once.
Through her suggestion, I'm enrolled in swimming lessons set to start in less than two weeks. If I dare, I might embrace my inner crazy and impulsively sign up for my first triathlon. I'll see how the next few weeks speak to me and my lint-collecting pockets.
Is it Really Only Jan. 2?
A few weeks ago, I agreed to participate in the Blink Fitness campaign. This morning, I woke up to this dope but goofy looking banner on their page where I'm with several other members as I'm captured in mid-cackle. I laugh unapologetically and obviously the photographer loved my lack of fucks in this photo.
Shortly after, I saw the promo video and it all felt surreal. Is it really only January 2nd? Is this really happening? It's a strange thing to be admired for being yourself. I'm trying to ride the wave without being paranoid. My new fears are in letting people down and for someone to see that I have no fucking idea of what I'm doing with all of this. Well, guess y'all know now. My transparency is a gift and curse. Embracing my inner hippie, I told myself last year that I'm going to follow the opportunities and leave it to the universe. And so...it's happening.
I received a bunch of congrats throughout the day and while battling a queasy stomach, I took my jug of water and started typing articles for The Root. I admired my board of personal deadlines and told myself that tomorrow is a gym day. I'm anxiously looking forward to it.
As I tried transcribing the rest of the voice notes, I received a notification on my Facebook messenger. I'm in Plus Model Magazine again. Wow. Is this real?Is this what the rest of my year gonna look like? I find myself typing this blog on the keyboard and I'm in awe of my journey. I find myself glancing at my medals, looking over at my black Spencer's Gifts cape filled with signatures from my first marathon and think to myself: This all started because I hit rock bottom.
Thank God I didn't drown, my loves. I'm going to get some shut eye. I have a big day tomorrow. Your girl's gonna be on TV. I'll keep you posted. Still waiting for that pinch because I must be dreaming. Not doing bad for an eighties girl who grew up in East New York, Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. If I can get this far, anyone can.
I am so proud of you and I wish you the best in 2018!
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Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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