Thursday, October 27, 2011

Are you a morning runner?

One thing I always struggle with is my workout time. I'm best early evening, but when I get home from work I need a few minutes to chill, which turns into a few hours, which turns into dinner, which turns into more hours of chill afterward.

And this is all before those nights I have something going on.

Basically, this means I hardly ever get in a run. Lately I've been thinking about trying the morning run, and, sure enough, just in time for daylight savings and cold winter mornings I found this article:

Rise & Run

I may have to try this. I could give 3 weeks to the experiment. Do I sound noncommittal? I kind of am. But seriously, maybe I'll try it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

11 Celebrities with Crohn's Disease via @HuffingtonPost

I'm still in the process of writing my long-winded race recaps for you.

In the meantime, check out this article on The Huffington Post - a list of 11 people who didn't let Crohn's disease get in the way of their dreams and goals!

View slideshow here.

____________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:
I completed my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America! Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate ____________________________________________________________

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Rest of the Story

This is Part 3 in a series called "Injury Prone." For Part 1 click here, for Part 2 click here.

I was slowly coming to grips with the fact that I had broken my right wrist the first week of my second semester of my freshman year in college. I'm right-handed. This was going to be a problem. How big of a problem it would end up being hinged on my upcoming appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon.

As I killed time before my appointment, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Luckily, I got a bit of a boost right before I went to the clinic.

I arrived at the clinic with a few minutes to spare. The doctor brought me into the exam room, and put my x-rays up on that wall-mounted backlit thingy.

"Wow! This is the worst break I've seen all year," he exclaimed.

"Hah! You're kidding, right?" I asked, sure he said that to every patient as a way to break the ice.

"No," he deadpanned.


He went on to tell me that I needed surgery because the bone was, basically, crushed at the joint. If I wanted it to heal properly and if I wanted to gain any movement back I would need a titanium plate put in to hold the pieces together so that they would heal properly.


Furthermore, I needed surgery, like, yesterday, because (apparently) the longer you wait after an injury the more swelling there is and the more swelling there is the more difficult the surgery.


It was here that I told him I was right-handed and played the violin. Please, sir, won't you help me be able to use my right hand/arm/wrist for the rest of my life even just a tiny bit?

I told him I was ready for surgery ASAP.

He didn't believe me.

I showed him my fingernails sans nail polish. I made him listen to my empty stomach growling wantonly for food. He had already been staring at my less-than-impressive makeup-less face for at least 45 minutes.

He agreed to schedule surgery for 4:00 PM that afternoon, which was now 5 hours away.

I requested my one phone call, and called my parents to let them know their daughter would be unconscious and her body would be cut open later that day.

Throughout this entire process I never remember feeling anxious. If anything, I was resigned to the fact that I needed surgery if I had any chance of future mobility with my hand, wrist, and forearm; and, having gone through it before, I felt calm and peaceful knowing that I would make it through again.

Later that day...

The beauty of living in the big city at a university campus with a medical research facility is that the hospital where I was to have surgery was located - literally - in my backyard. I said goodbye to my roommate and walked the 200 yards to the hospital to check in for surgery.

I proceeded to wait for 70 minutes.

My parents miraculously arrived 10 minutes later. They had taken off of work immediately after I called to tell them my confirmed health status, and they drove directly from Green Bay, WI to Minneapolis, MN in exactly 4 hours.

Don't tell the state highway patrol.

Their presence meant I wouldn't be alone when I came out of surgery - an immensely comforting thought. A short while after they arrived I was wheeled into surgery.

The Rest of the Story

You're now probably wondering how it went.

Surgery went well and I began physical therapy the next week. Because it was a joint they wanted me to begin exercises right away so that it wouldn't stiffen up or heal all wonky-like.

I had this cool zip-up plastic cast that they continually melted as the weeks went on and reformed on my arm as the swelling went down.

I religiously did my exercises and strength training.

I audio recorded all of my college lectures.

I painstakingly made my way across the frozen, icy campus every other day for my physical therapy appointments (never falling once, you'll be happy to know).

At the end of 3 months - to the surprise and pride of my doctors - I gained back 100% of my mobility, blowing away everyone's expectations.

That summer, just 2 months after my full recovery was declared, I worked as a Camp Couselor at Camp Luther, my childhood church camp in Northern WI. I'm pretty sure the pure physicality of that summer only helped to strengthen my healing (as well as the spirituality strengthened my spirit).

The next year at university I joined the worship team for City Celebration, a campus group that met monthly to praise and share Christ in greater-Minneapolis. I played my violin with this group for the next 3 years...not always well, but, hey...beggars can't be choosers.

You may recall that girl I told you about who prayed so earnestly for my recovery when I couldn't move beyond the worry.

You may remember me thinking how I knew her from somewhere, likely one of the many college social groups I visited or maybe from a class I was taking.

That girl? I never saw her again.

Make of that what you will, but now you know the rest of the story.

____________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate ____________________________________________________________

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I've Never Told This Story Before

This is Part 2 of Injury Prone: Learning How to Write Left-Handed

You may recall that after I broke my wrist, I immediately fell asleep for, give or take, two days.

I blame it on the pain meds.

I still had to see a specialist to determine if the break needed surgical repair, but the first available appointment was a week later. I attempted to look pitiful at every class the following week.

On Friday morning, the day of my appointment with the surgeon, I had a funny feeling. I've been down the surgical route before and knew the rules. My appointment was as 10:00 AM. Because I had an 8:00 AM class I woke up at 7:00. I didn't eat breakfast. I didn't put on makeup. I removed my nail polish.

Just in case, I thought. Just in case he says I need to have surgery.

After class I had about 30 minutes to wait until my doctor's appointment, so I settled myself outside the university bookstore to catch up on some reading for class.

As I sat in the hallway outside the store, I couldn't get my mind off my hunger. This, in turn, led me to think about the reason for my hunger (As a rule, you're generally not allowed to eat before surgery as your metabolism can interefere with the anesthesia).

I'm usually not a worrier or one induced to panic, but this morning I couldn't keep from thinking about the worst case scenario.

Maybe it was being away from home. Maybe it was being on my own in college in a big city. Maybe my lack of panic in the past was just banked for a moment like this.

Either way, I wasn't in the best shape, and I gave up any pretense of reading.

That's when I saw her approach. A lovely gal with long, straight brown hair whose face looked SO familiar.

But where did I know her from?

I mean, this is my first year of college; I've met, literally, hundreds of new people from dozens of new places. It's hard to keep track.

She approached with a hearty, "Mandi! How are you?!?!"

Not wanting to sound like I didn't remember her, I replied with a tepid, "Hello!" and then, with the worry on my mind, proceeded to word vomit all over her greeting, telling her about my broken wrist, the broom ball ordeal, the past lethargic week, and the imminent visit with the surgeon.

I was a bit taken aback when her first response was not, "Oh, I'm so sorry!" but instead, "Can I pray for you?"

I shrugged and said, "Sure."

She took my injured wrist between her hands and began to pray. I don't remember the words, but I remember the passion and the confidence with which she said them. I know she prayed for my heart, my healing, the wisdom of my doctors, and the burden of my worry.

At the time it felt kind of strange. I mean, this was a broken wrist. Usually people pray for victims of wildfires who have lost their entire livelihood, or people pray for children starving in Africa - big things, people usually pray for big things.

But this mystery woman was praying for my wrist. In the scheme of things, a broken wrist didn't seem like such a big deal.

Regardless, she finished her heartfelt prayer, and I still couldn't place her even though I recognized her.

Fishing for a clue as to where I knew her from, as she walked away I said, "See you later..." hoping she would fill in the blank.

She didn't.

Instead she replied with - and I'll never forget these words - "In heaven if not sooner."

Want to know the rest of the story? Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow!

____________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate ____________________________________________________________

Monday, July 11, 2011

Running Out of Water Next to Largest Fresh Water Lake

____________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate ____________________________________________________________

Friday, July 8, 2011

Injury Prone: Learning How to Write Left-Handed, Part One

I tell ya, the money I saved my parents by not needing braces or glasses as a child, I had 'em pay out in spades through ER visits, X-Rays, and the occasional surgery.

Sure, I've broken my arm, my knee, I've injured my shoulder, I've even got a couple of fingers in there for good measure (spoiler alert!)...but none of these injuries required me to become ambidextrous.

Until The Shattered Wrist of '01.

It was a cold, frozen evening my freshman year of college in Minneapolis. The beginning of the 2nd semester, classes hadn't even begun yet, but my friends and I were back in town and craving some fun social time.

A recent ice storm had left the campus covered in mortal danger (especially for an accident-prone person such as me), so, instead of trying to beat Ma Nature we joined her by planning a game of broom ball on the intramural ice rink.

Now, if you're unfamiliar with broom ball, it's the basic rules of hockey (read: insert ball into net on ice using long stick); however, instead of a puck you use a ball and instead of a hockey stick you use a broom. Did I mention players don't wear pads or skates? One just bundles up in the warmest clothes on hand and ungracefully glides across the ice on tennis shoes.

It was, maybe, 10:30 PM and my team had the ball. I was open along the boards, and right after I was given the ball I took my chance at a slap shot. Being the athletically-inclined person that I am, I immediately fell backward, bracing my fall with my arms extended behind me.

This was a mistake.

Instead of landing on my rear and, maybe, having to deal with a bruised tail bone and/or ego, I instead landed on my palms, taking the brunt of my weight on my wrists.

Having broken bones before, I instantly knew the hot, quickly swelling, throbbingly painful joint was broken.

Luckily we were close to the university's athletic center, so we carefully made our way off the ice to get help.

By this time I was crying the silent, persistent tears of one who knows she's in deep.

The hospital was a mere 1/2 mile away, and the receptionist at the athletic center asked if I wanted to walk or if I wanted an ambulance.

These were the good ol' days of me being covered by my father's insurance plan, and that, combined with the fact that all sidewalks were covered in glare ice, led me to choose option B, the ambulance. I figured the EMTs would be able to patch me up a bit before the ride, and at least this way I was sure to not break anything else. It was me; there was 45% chance of such a thing happening.

I got to the ER and, like in every other hospital in our great nation of profiteering HMOs, I filled out a mountain of paperwork and waited an hour and a half for a doctor, X-rays, etc.

Not to gross you out, but X-rays were pretty much unnecessary*. When I lifted up the sleeve of my sweatshirt, everyone could see my wrist bones (distal and radius for those playing at home) created a slight S-curve, where before they were straight. *Note: X-rays, however, were necessary for the surgeon later that week, more on this later).


The doctor put me in a temporary cast and gave me some pain pills to last me a few days. She then signed me up for the next available appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon - a full week later.

Faced with the daunting 2+ mile walk back to my dorm across ice-encrusted walkways, in severe pain and slight loopiness with medication kicking in, at 1:30 AM no less, I wondered what the heck I was going to do.

As fate would have it, I remembered a very important moment from my church group's meeting that took place the previous evening...

...The Previous Evening

My friend, Aaron, stood up in front of our Campus Crusade for Christ group and gave his testimony. This was a common way to start our meetings - share a testimony, run down items of business, worship, speaker, and prayer, etc. At the end of his testimony, Aaron said, "If you have any questions or just want to talk about what I've said or what you've heard here tonight about God, give me a call at 301-0103*...any time, any day." *not his actual phone number, but you get the idea

During the meeting I couldn't get his phone number out of my head, which was ridiculous because he lived one floor above me in the dorm. I was never going to need to call him; I could just walk up and see him. For some reason, though, I couldn't get "301-0103" out of my head; I kept repeating it and repeating it until it became a sing-song mantra of a sort.

Little did I know...

...Back at the Hospital.

My roommate, Amanda, was with me through the whole broom ball, broken wrist, ambulance chase (read: ride), ER visit fiasco. As we were getting ready to leave, we thought about how we were going to get back across campus to our dorm (NOTE: we went to the 2nd largest university in the country, hence, a "walk across campus" generally consists of miles, plural, and at least 25 minutes).

Me: To be honest, I really don't want to walk. Knowing me, I'll fall and break something...else.

Amanda: Do we know anyone with a car? (This large university is located in Minneapolis, which means the cost of parking is atrocious and not many college students bring their cars)

Me: What about John? (A friend who lived on our floor)

Amanda: Do you know his phone number?

Me: Hm, no. (He lived on our floor. We never called him, we just knocked on his door)

Amanda: *thinking*

Mandi: *thinking on narcotics*

Mandi: 301-0103, 301-0103, 301-0103...

Mandi: Hey! I know Aaron's phone number!

Amanda: Does he have a car?

Mandi: Why yes, yes he does!
In a truly blessed and foreseen-by-God moment we called Aaron - of the "any time, any day" friend variety - and he graciously drove over to the hospital in the middle of the frozen, icy night to pick us up and save us from a long, perilous journey home.

I'd say he saved Amanda more than me, because, now that the Tylenol+Codeine was kicking in, I surely would've been a handful for Amanda on the walk home.

We arrived safely home to our dorm, where I promptly fell asleep for the next 48 hours.

Like this story? There's more! Stay tuned for Part Two...
____________________________________________________________  Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mandi Runs and Mighty Life List - Press!

First of all, thank you SO MUCH for helping me get even closer to my goal of raising $3,000 for my Team Challenge half marathon! I have the bestest family and friends EVA, and I am committed to wearing your support on my race jersey in Napa, and giving you all of the goods and lowdown about my journey and the change YOU are making in the lives of Wisconsinites!

Second, I'd like to draw your attention to two neat-o items that came across my desk yesterday.
  1. This blog has been accepted to Alltop, a site co-founded by the famous Guy Kawasaki! I am so pretending to be a cool kid right now - just check out the badge to the right! Alltop has a great community of bloggers who run, and I am humbled to join them, learn from them, and be inspired by them (if you scroll down the list, you'll see my blog!). 
  2. Who has two thumbs and was featured as "Someone You Should Know" in her local community newspaper? THIS gal! I put my mad PR skillz to work, and was recently interviewed by the fine staff of WauwatosaNOW for a feature. You can read the article here, discussing my Team Challenge half marathon goal, and how I am taking strides to not only help those who suffer from Crohn's and colitis, but also live a Mighty Life each and every day!
If you'd like to know more about my Mighty Life List, you'll find a running list (wordplay intended) at the bottom of the sidebar on the right. I'll periodically post stories about the items already checked off, and if they're linked that means I've already written about them on other blogs.

Have any other ideas of things I should add to my Mighty Life Life? Leave a comment with your idea!

____________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate ____________________________________________________________

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today is the LAST DAY to help me change lives! (with incentives)

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me reach my Team Challenge goal of raising $3,000 for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation!

Today is the LAST DAY to donate before I’m charged the remaining balance. You can help change lives (and, to be honest, keep me from impending debt) by making a donation at Every dollar helps!

I do have a couple of incentives for you…

1. Endless warm fuzzies – for helping change the lives of those who live with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis every day. Click here to learn more about what IBD is and why I’m running this race.

2. Dinner for you and your family – for my TOP DONOR (currently at $150). Must live within driving distance of WI, or, if farther than 4 hours round trip, include a comfortable couch to crash on. Check out to see if you think that’s a good deal.

3. Packer Raffle – for every $10 you donate you will gain a chance to win a Packer football signed by the entire Super Bowl XLV Championship team. Not a Packer fan? Though I shudder to say this, you could sell it on EBay and kill two birds with one stone – make your money back AND make Packer fans weep in their beers.

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Overdue: Recap of Hart Fest Rock 'n Run 5K

This is long overdue, but I ran Hart Fest's Rock 'n Run 5K to benefit the MACC Fund, erm, nearly two weeks ago.

How did it go?

Well, let's see. At 11:00 AM I decided it would be a good idea to do my long run of the weekend. My friends were out of town and I was tasked with feeding their cat. I ran up to their place, a mere 35 or so blocks away. I ran back home.

You know that feeling when your muscles get tired enough that a) they stop hurting and b) you're subsequently lulled into thinking you're an awesome, resilient, strength-defying machine of running greatness?

Yeah, that. So much so that though my legs were jelly I looked at the positive side and called it "light on my feet."

I got home 1 hour and 40 minutes and 8.25 miles later and took a shower. This was a mere hour before the 5K was set to begin.

Originally I had planned to walk down to Hart Fest, run, and walk back home, but my brain (this time) knew better.

I drove the measly 7 or so blocks, parked, and put on my race face.

Race face lasted about a quarter mile when my body gave up and I was forced to walk. I, in turn, kindly requested that my body keep it together for 2.75 more miles.

We continued to argue the run/walk game for the rest of the race and I finished with one of my worst 5K times of 41 minutes and change. But at least I finished. And that good looking officer stationed for crowd control at mile 2 didn't have to resuscitate me.
Book 'em Danno.

I followed up my miserable 5K with a drive to J's followed by another drive down to Hart Fest. The nice folks who organized the 5K made sure we runners rehydrated and re-vitaminized by supplying us with 2 tickets for free beer. The ladies running the Tosa East Athletic Boosters tent were kind enough to pour me some Honey Bears. I also had a globaco from @FastFoodieMKE so delicious I wanted to marry it. The night was capped off with a large cupcake and the musical stylings of Old Mil.

All in all, not such a bad day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What is Crohn's disease, @CCFA_WI, and @TeamChallengeWI, and why am I running a half marathon with/for them?

Shout out to my teammate, Sunaina Talwar, for inspiring me in writing this post. I hope you don't mind that I took some direction from your informative and inspiring words!

Have you ever thought about running a half marathon (13.1 miles)? Have you ever actually run a half marathon? Have you heard of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis? Have you heard of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America? Have you heard of Team Challenge?

Prior to March 2011 I would have answered ‘NO’ to all the questions above. Now, three months later I feel blessed with the opportunity to be educated and able to answer ‘YES’ to all but the second question above, because I am currently training to run my FIRST half marathon. Not for myself, but for those who suffer EVERYDAY with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis!

I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with information about this new adventure in my life, why I am taking this journey, and I want to also pass along the chance for you to help me make a difference in taking strides toward the cure of these diseases on behalf of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

Don’t worry, I won’t mind if you skim. :)

What is the CCFA?
The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It was founded in 1967 by Irwin M. and Suzanne Rosenthal, William D. and Shelby Modell, and Henry D. Janowitz, M.D. Four decades ago, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation created the field of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis research. Today, the Foundation funds cutting-edge studies at major medical institutions, nurtures investigators at the early stages of their careers, and finances underdeveloped areas of research. Educational workshops and symposia, together with a scientific journal, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, enable medical professionals to keep pace with this rapidly growing field.

No wonder the National Institutes of Health has commended the Foundation for "uniting the research community and strengthening IBD research.”

What is Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Crohn’s Disease:
  • Ongoing disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract
  • Most commonly affects the small intestine and/or colon
  • Areas of diseased intestine can be found throughout normal intestinal tract, more commonly referred to as “skip” areas
  • Affects not only lining of the colon, but also thickness of bowel wall

Ulcerative Colitis:
  • *Affects only the colon.
  • There are no areas of normal intestine between the areas of diseased intestine, in other words, no “skip” areas
  • Ulcerative Colitis affects only the inner most lining of the colon

What is Team Challenge?
Team Challenge is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s endurance training and fundraising program. Through Team Challenge, you can run or walk 13.1 miles while helping to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans.

On July 17th, 2011 from Napa, CA to Sonoma, CA I will be joining 25 other brave souls from Wisconsin and taking strides and running 13.1 miles towards the cure!

Why am I supporting Team Challenge?
You might be wondering why I have chosen this route, this challenge in my life. Well, I would like to take a moment and explain why I have chosen this direction and provide YOU with an opportunity to help complete my journey.

How it all began…

As most of you know, I’m not much of a runner. It’s always been on my Mighty Life List to run a half marathon, but I never really thought seriously about training.

Again, as many of you know, I turned 29 this year. One year shy of the big 3-0. It’s at this point in our lives that many of us reflect on what we’ve accomplished, where we are, and how close we’ve come to achieving our dreams and goals.

I’ve come pretty darn close.

I graduated from college. I became a missionary and spent a year overseas teaching English with my church. During that time I trusted God to provide for me emotionally, physically, and financially, and He certainly did so. Furthermore, He provided for me when I came back to the U.S. He blessed me with the best family in the world, who graciously gave me the time I needed to decompress and find my way back to a life in America. God provided me with an amazing opportunity to start a career in Milwaukee, and sent me even more amazing friends to welcome me here with open arms. I earned a Master’s degree on full scholarship and had the opportunity to; once again, travel overseas for work and study. I now enjoy a career in the nonprofit world, doing the kind of work I love, helping and training others to do the same in their own organizations, and completing all of this in an industry that allows me to give back just by showing up to “work” every day. How amazing is that?

God has been good to me. My life has been satisfying in a truly blessed way.

A few months ago I had been praying about what God had in His plans for me. I have several friends – those same friends God has so generously blessed me with in Milwaukee – who have trained with Team Challenge, and I knew it was something I needed to do. God put it within my heart that it was time to train and run a 1/2 marathon for those who are suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

I didn’t know what Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis were when I started this journey. I didn’t know anyone who suffered from these degenerative, and sometimes embarrassing, diseases when I started this journey. Since I started training and fundraising, however, I have met SO MANY who live with IBD every day.

Can you imagine having diarrhea every day for 3 months straight? Can you imagine going to the doctor every seven weeks for a painful and time-consuming IV treatment to counteract your symptoms? That's what people with Crohn's deal with. Normally, the immune system helps protect the body, but with Crohn's disease the immune system can't tell the difference between normal body tissue and foreign substances. The result is an overactive immune response that leads to chronic inflammation, sometimes even requiring surgery and removal of part of the bowel.

I am less than a month away from my deadline, July 6th, 2011 and 25% of the way towards my minimum goal of raising $3,000 towards the cure. Most people would be worried, nervous, or overwhelmed, but God has put this within my heart and I know that He WILL finish ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that He starts. I have NO WORRIES that this goal will be attainable. I have FAITH, TRUST, HOPE, and BELIEF that He will finish what he started and put within my heart!

How You Can Help
By now I hope you agree with me about the importance of this cause, making a difference, and having faith and hope – whatever that may mean for you in your life.

Please help support the CCFA in finding the cure for those with Crohn’s or Colitis with a generous donation of whatever amount your heart leads you to (THIS DONATION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE). My deadline for fundraising in July 6, 2011 and if I don’t make it, I have committed to paying this amount on my own. It goes without saying that I can’t really afford that, but that’s not why I’m asking you to help. I’m asking you to help for my best friend’s father, who, before I started this journey, I didn’t know suffered from Crohn’s disease. I’m asking you to help for Katlynn, Team Wisconsin’s Honored Hero, who is now a teenager, but has suffered from Crohn’s disease since she was 7 years old. I usually give hugs, kisses and warm fuzzies for free, but just this once - and for a good cause - they’re going to cost extra.

To make donations simply go to this site

OR send in your donation check to me (email me or leave a comment for my address), PLEASE MAKE CHECKS OUT TO ‘CCFA’ and mail no later than July 1 PLEASE!


Once you donate I will be wearing YOUR NAME on MY JERSEY the day of the race, so YOU will be taking strides with me the day of the race as well!

On July 17th, when I run my first half marathon, my strides will be in honor of those people I have met during this journey who suffer from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. If you know anyone that suffers from Crohn’s Disease and/or Ulcerative Colitis PLEASE let me know, because I would be HONORED to take my strides for them as well!

I am excited to see how else God plans to use me to make a difference, and all the other people that He will put within my path, like YOU. I would like to THANK YOU in advance for your consideration, time, and your support towards finding the cure of Crohn’s & Colitis!


PS – for every $10 you donate, you will be entered in a drawing to win a Packers football signed by the entire Super Bowl XLV Championship team! If you’re a Packer’s fan – great news, right? If you’re not a Packer’s fan – just think of the hysterics you’ll cause when you tell your Packer fan friends that you’re going to sell it on eBay!


Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Friday, June 10, 2011

When did I become a runner? I swear I'm not.

In the past week I've inexplicably become committed to two more races before the big half in Napa.

First up, June 18th: The Hog's Rock N Run 5K to benefit the MACC Fund.

As a member of Women for MACC, I don't do nearly enough to support the cause. When Leff's Lucky Town tweeted that folks should sign up for it and I saw that it benefitted MACC, I said, "Ok." A 5K can only help my training, right? And, let's be honest, it's a 15-minute warm-up walk from my house plus there's beer at the end.

Who could say no to that?

Second, July 10th: The Summerfest Rock 'n Sole 10K to Benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities
Again, a run for a good cause, not to mention this one takes me over the Hoan Bridge. The freakin' Hoan Bridge!

As it's a 10K, when I first heard about the Rock 'n Sole (pre-half marathon training) I thought, "Gee, that sounds kind of awesome but I could never do a 10K or half marathon by July 10th."

Guess the joke's on me, kids, because I'm doing it. This 10K will be a great pre-cursor to my Napa half marathon just one short week later.

This opportunity also came to me through The Twitter by my good friend and future business partner, Maggie. Unable to take part, she wanted her registration to go to a good home. I was the second-best choice, I guess. ;)

So that's the story of how I'm running three - count 'em, three - races in a month.

Two Questions:
What was I thinking?????


Dare to join me?
__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Goodbye Letter

Goodbye, Hateful Heat.

I don't miss you nor any of your 100 degrees.

I revel in your socially lesser-favored, cooler-by-35-degrees, younger sibling.

I love working up a sweat, not sweating for sake of it.

My hydration levels also are not sorry to see you go. My kidneys, brain, muscles, and metabolism all have a message for you.

They say,
Don't let the proverbial door hit you on your metaphorical rear on your way out.

Don't believe me?

Read what happens to you when you're dehydrated.

It ain't pretty.

Yeah, that's right. Heat makes ice creams trucks melt and children weep.

You probably like the fact that you have the sorrowful tears of a million children spilled by your hands, Hateful Heat.

You know...if you had hands.

Please don't come back.

You can, however, tell your younger-by-15-degrees, devilishly-handsome brother that I called.
__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Running Playlist

In my post last week I alluded to the fact that I like to listen to sermons when I run.



But I find it motivating - the messages last longer than a song, they're harder to tune out than a playlist, and they don't make me laugh as much as certain podcasts so my breathing stays consistent. Not to mention I'm learnin' stuff.

If you're interested in where I get these sermons, you can hear them and download them at Specifically, here.

Hope Community Church is the church I went to when I was in college at the University of Minnesota. Their teachings are biblically based, their community is close knit, and their worship is led by some awesome musicians (plug, ahem).

Thank you for playing.

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Friday, June 3, 2011

Confession: I'm struggling

I know it's been awhile since I last posted, and you'll have to forgive me.

I've been struggling.

There. I said it.

There've been some really interesting happenstances in the last couple of weeks, and I wrote them down confession-style. Because I promised at the beginning to take you with me on this journey, I've embedded most everything here using Storify. It might look super long, but it explains where I'm at. I'll keep you posted as things develop.

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saturday, May 21: Cookies! For Kids with Cancer

This Saturday I'm participating in the Cookies for Kids with Cancer Bake Sale & Silent Auction.

I like kids.

I hate cancer.

I love baking.

So bam, there you have it.

You can find more info about the event here. I highly recommend you attend!

I'll be helping to raise money for a cause other than Team Challenge, but it's a good one so I encourage you to attend.

Purchasers of my baked goods will be delighted to also receive a little card of encouragement from yours truly, including information about my Team Challenge participation. See? Two birds...

In an effort to keep things healthy, what with my half marathon training and all, I will be making the following recipes.

Whole Foods Flourless Brownies*
1 (15 oz) can no-salt black beans, drained and rinsed
3 large eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. Splenda
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F
Butter an 8-inch baking pan. Place black beans, eggs, melted butter, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and Splenda in food processor and blend until smooth. Gently stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Transfer mixture to pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until set it center. Cool before cutting into squares.

*Image from Whole Foods Market

Dashing Dish Single-Serve Money Bread
2 cans reduced fat Pillsbury cresent rolls
1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup
1 tbsp light butter
3 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Splenda

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick sspray. Open cans of crescent dough and cut each triangle into 3 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece of dough into small ball, just a little smaller than a golf ball.

Combine splenda and cinnamon in bowl, and toss each ball in mix until coated. Place 4 balls in each prepared muffin cup.

Melt butter in microwave-safe bowl and add syrup and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Stir to combine. Pour over each muffin cup until dough is almost covered.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until carmelized crust forms on top of each monkey bread. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes. Use knife to loosen edges and remove.

*Image from Dashing Dish

If you'd like to attend, here are the deets:

Bake Sale & Silent Auction for Kids' Cancer
Saturday, May 21, 2011

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Best Place - in the Historic Pabst Brewery
901 W. Juneau Ave, Milwaukee, WI
__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Friday, May 13, 2011

TONIGHT: Your Chance to Win These Amazing Prizes at @AJBombers!

Not only is this weekend my birthday, but it also marks a chance for you to join me in kicking the crap out of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

First off, I am sad to report that the Lakefront Brewery Tour is CANCELED. Do not fret, for it will be rescheduled at a later date. Though it is a big bummer, I know (I'd link to the post describing the awesome event, but a) I don't want to pour salt in the wound, and b) Blogger erased it).

I would, however, like to remind you of my little AJ Bomber's Guest Bartending Benefit that's taking place TONIGHT from 6:00 - 9:00 PM. Yes, I will be spending precious birthday celebration time slinging some kind of orange-colored concoction at everyone's favorite Twitter bar.

Details here.

In addition to the general event details you will find by following that link, I'd like to whet your appetite for the amazing, fabulous prizes you could win if you come and purchase a raffle ticket or two...or seven.

Timber Rattler 4-Pack of Tickets
I went ahead and solicited raffle donations for things that I enjoy with the thought that, if you've heard about this event then you must know me or someone I know, therefore, all of us knowing each other means we're somewhat similar. Thereby, you must also like these prizes.

Sound logic? Debatable.

Regardless, I enjoy myself some minor league sports. I do enjoy major league as well, but what major league lacks is the spirit of showmanship combined with approachable irreverence.

For every Major League moment in a major league game (hello, Brewers base running anyone?), there is 10x that fun in a minor league game.

And that's why I like it.

So for the low price of $1 (or $5) you can get your very own raffle ticket (or 6), which may or may not lead you to actually winning 4 tickets to a Timber Rattlers game.

Like how I did that there?

Wine Tasting for 20 at Captain's Walk Winery
Captain's Walk Winery in Green Bay, WI has to be one of my favorite places on earth.

The wine has a lot to do with it.

But so does the veranda.

There's a rocking chair with your name on it.

Every year for my birthday for, oh, the past 3 years or so, I've invited friends to Green Bay to join me on Door County winery tours and/or enjoy fun "Green Bay" things (aka: visiting Lambeau Field).

Captain's Walk is always our first stop on the list.

And this raffle prize is good for you and 20 of your favorite people on Earth to enjoy a tasting ($60 value) and then receive 50% off wine by the glass and 10% off wine by the bottle on top of their everyday discounts.

Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

2 Tickets for 2011-2012 Milwaukee Buck's Game

Did you know that Bango is one bad-A mickey-fickey?

Exhibit A:

Yeah, I'd like to see your mascot do that.

Newsflash: He can't. Because he isn't as awesome as Bango.

Bango = Superior in all ways.

That's why I'm giving you the chance to win the chance to see Bango live and in-person (as opposed to live and out-of-person).

You - yes, you - may just win 2 tickets to any game in the 2011-2012 Buck's season. The only drawback to winning this prize is that you have to wait awhile before it can actually become a reality. Let's consider that #Winning Charlie Sheen style.

I hope these prizes and the promise of me slingin' you drinks is enough to get you excited and ready to head down to AJ Bombers tonight.

I'll see you there.

And, again, sorry for the late notice on the canceled Lakefront Brewery Tour. It really puts your day in the crapper, I know.

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fundraising Letters - SENT

I finally got my behind to the post office to send my fundraising letters y'all! Don't mind me if they're dated April 13th or April 22nd - just goes to show how much care and time I spent writing all my little personal messages to you on each one.

That and I had to wait for my business cards to arrive from Moo. The most adorable and inspiring little mini cards you'll ever see!

Check your letter, there will be one in there for you.

And yes, I mean you. YOU will get a letter. All of you.

If I have your address then you're getting a letter. I wouldn't be doing my fundraising best otherwise.

If I don't have your address don't fret. There are many other ways to give. You can come to one of my fundraising events, you can donate quickly and securely online, or you can even view and download your very own letter here...sans mini business card, I'm afraid.

Note: For security purposes I had to take off my address, but if you download a letter and would like to send me a donation, email me at mandilindner AT yahoo DOT com and I will give you my long as you're not a stalker or something.

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner: Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor.

Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flu...'Nuff Said

In other news, I roused myself yesterday long enough for a call with a fellow fundraiser. Bringing out the big guns, so to speak. Thank you, JB, your advice was helpful and your encouragement much-needed.

"Don't get in your own way."
__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's like she knows...

Mother Nature is one vindictive jerk.

Sure, I neglected her a bit these past few months.

It's not like she was a joy to be around.

Four months of PMS, is what I say (but don't tell her I said that).

And now she has her revenge.

She heard I was training for a half marathon.

She knows I'm not the biggest fan of running (yet).

So she brought out the big guns, and decided to screw up my schedule and test my mettle with this:

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Totally Counts as Training

6:00 PM Team Challenge WI Fundraising Clinic
7:21 PM Arrive home
7:25 PM Walk three blocks to Subway for dinner
7:37 PM Walk back home with delicious Subway sandwich, dreaming of the moment I bite into it and let all that sandwichy goodness entertain my tastebuds while reruns of It's Always Sunny entertain my eyeballs

Sidenote: Walking = training, right?

7:42 PM Arrive at home, ope...


frak! op...

7:43 PM Okay, so the door's not opening.
7:43 PM and 10 seconds Okay, so my keys are not in my pocket

7:52 PM Walk over to local gas station hoping they have a phone book and pay phone
7:57 PM Why doesn't anyone have a phone book and pay phone anymore?
7:58 PM Walk over to Janet and Martin's house to beg asylum

Sidenote: See? More walking...

8:13 PM Yes! Martin answers the door. Who does that anymore? Happily, Martin
8:13 PM and 10 seconds Martin offers me a beer - Yes, please! I will pretend I am the Beer Runner! (only, you know, for walking)
8:17 PM Email....nope. Facebook Message....nope. White Pages search...nope. Frak! How am I going to find Jess's phone number???
8:18 PM Facebook Chat > Brian.
Me: Do you have Jess and Evan's cell numbers? I need them asap!
Brian: Sure, gimme a sec
8:24 PM Bada-freakin-Bing! Call Jess, explain situation
8:26 PM Commence with Strider Dog petting
8:35 PM Martin drives me home (I've done enough "training" tonight, no?)
8:37 PM Evan (Jess's husband) arrives with my keys, lets me in, and I walk up the stairs to my apartment.

Sidenote: Stairs totally count as my workout cool down.

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Training Q: Shoes? Injury? Something else?

I like running; I really do. Just not when my legs hurt.

For the past two training sessions (5 miles on Sunday, 2 miles yesterday) I never got into a good rhythm because my calf muscles kept hurting.

Like a Charlie Horse on steroids. Like my muscles mysteriously shortened and I couldn't extend my leg as far as I used to. Like I felt every darn impact of my sole hitting the pavement to the Nth degree. That crap literally echoed in my head.

Yes, these types of things are largely psychological.

I would need to stop and stretch every half mile or so, which would bring delightful relief, only to have the problem act up again 5 steps into my next jog. Even walking hurt.

It wasn't until about a mile and half in that either the pain numbed my leg so much I didn't notice, or my legs finally just got used to it and I could put up some semblence of an attempt at jogging.

What gives?

Is it my shoes? Do I need to stretch even more after each run? Will ibuprofen help? Icing? Spelling the alphabet with my toes in the air? Not wearing high heels during the day? Nutrition?

To be honest, I haven't been training as much or as long as I should so I have a hard time believing it's overuse/exhaustion...

It's a conundrum.

Calf Soreness = Running Form

Thank you, Google.
__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shake Your Booty

Let's hear it for a shout out to Team Challenge WI!

And Dashing Dish!

And this little blog!

That's right, folks. I wrote a guest blog for the Journal Sentinel's Post College Kitchen, and it highlights what I've been enjoying daily as my Breakfast of Champions (in training).

Katie, over at Dashing Dish gave me the recipe, I adapted it for my needs, and experimented with flavor combinations and mix-ins. The result is a delightfully healthy, low-calorie, high-protein breakfast (and/or snack) that fuels your morning and/or workout.

Head on over to Post College Kitchen for the recipe.

If you're visiting this little corner of the Interwebs because you read that post, then thank you for visiting and I hope to see you around more often! You can also follow me on The Twitter.

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate __________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Big Reveal: May 13th Guest Bartendiing

Have you figured it out?

Where my May 13th guest bartending Birthday Benefit for Crohn's & Colitis is going to be?

Okay, let's recap the clues...

#1: Book, Hashtag - Vague, but totally obvious if you know what I'm talking about

#2: Sharpie - Not incredibly intuitive, but, again, if you know what I'm talking about it's as clear as day

#3: Bullseye - Which narrows it down to Target's in-store bar or some establishment located near a Target, right?


If you guessed Barnes & Noble, The Sharpie Factory, or Target, you're not only wrong, but I worry about your deductive reasoning skills.

No, the bar in question is...


AJ Boooooombers! (said in Ben Bailey, aka: Cash Cab, voice).

That's right, on Friday, May 13th I will be guest bartending at AJB to raise money and awareness for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.

Go Team Challenge WI!

Join me and get your burger - and your drink - on for a great cause. Hey, you may even win some great raffle prizes.

That's right. Instead of presents this year for my birthday, I want your presence at AJ Bombers and your support for CCFA - Team Challenge WI.

For more information and RSVP, click here.

Who knows? Maybe I'll even get to launch some P-Nut bombs...

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate

Monday, April 11, 2011

Injury Prone: Breaking My Arm. Twice. In the Exact Same Spot.

Which do you think are greater - The odds of getting struck by lightning? Or the odds of breaking your arm in the exact same spot, twice, in 11 months?

Sure, anyone can break their arm, but I've always been an overachiever.

Injury: Broken Humerus, which I certainly didn't find all that humourous (oh, c'mon, like you didn't see that one coming)

Sport: Sledding & Kickball
I would say "Competitive Sledding" if that made it seem more awe-inspiring, and I should also tell you it was kickball on ice.

Effectively impressed?

The sledding thing happened in my Mom's hometown. I went down the hill on one of those inflated rubber donut-y sleds.

I didn't see the jump some A-hole kid had built in the middle of the sled hill.

Seriously, parents, you're not doing your job very well if you let your kids build public safety violations in the middle of a public play area.

I'm not bitter.

As I was airborn, I tried, unsuccessfully, to hold on. I landed on my side, effectively breaking my upper arm in half.

Sorry, if that sounded graphic; it wasn't in real life.

My Mom was standing quite a distance away at the bottom of the hill, and in my pain-induced young child's mind I thought, "I need to let her know something is wrong."

So I started screaming at the top of my lungs.

I didn't stop until we arrived at my Grandma's house (luckily she lived nearby), and not even then, really. I think, once you get into the spirit of it, it's hard to stop. As a kid, you do realize the immediate danger is over, but now you've worked yourself into such a tither that it's the tither fueling your episode.

Luckily, I didn't have to wear an immobilizing plaster cast, but I did have a velcro brace that went 'round my chest and strapped my arm down. This always led to the somewhat-awkward morning question, "Arm under clothes or arm over clothes?"

Strapping my arm down underneath my clothes meant less jostle in the morning. Pain seems much more acute when you're not yet fully awake.

Strapping my arm over my clothes, however, meant I wouldn't look like a one-armed lumpy blob.

Usually I switched it up to keep things fresh and my classmates confused.

It was exactly 11 months later that I was playing kickball on the icy playground during recess.

Why was I playing kickball on the icy playground during recess, you ask?

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Well, I'm glad you asked, and allow me to answer your question with a question.

Why does any young child do anything that's clearly not in their best interest?

Because children are inherently stupid.

And my stupidity bought me another couple of months in the velcro brace/sling combo having to ask that awkward morning question.

Likeliness of Happening While Running: 65% if it's winter and there's ice on the ground, apparently.

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate

Sunday, April 10, 2011

May 13th Guest Bartending - Clue #3

Here's your last clue as to the Mystery Location of my Guest Bartending Fundraiser on Friday, May 13th.

To recap: Clue 1, Clue 2.

Also, a special thanks goes out to Steve and Professor Plum for helping me unveil these clues. Thanks guys; it's been a pleasure to work with you!

Clue #3:

Any guesses? Tune in next week for the official invitation!

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Injury Prone: The Time I Got a Hockey Injury Not Playing Hockey

Injury: My Shoulder's Really Frakin' Sore-itis
Sorry, I don't remember the medical term. If you know, enlighten me.

Basically, it was a similar injury that a lot of hockey players get when they are body-checked into the boards. The shoulder joint is impacted and smashed inward.

Nothing's broken or torn, but the possibility for sprain/strain still exists.

include waterworks-inducing pain whenever the arm is lifted to the side, out front, or, really, any movement of the joint at all. Let's not even talk about weight-bearing.

Treatment includes solid dose of Ibuprofen, regular rounds of icing, Kleenex for the tears, and immobility with the aid of a sling. Ambidextrous-ness helps as the arm is good for nothing during this recovery period.

Sport: You'd think Hockey, but no. It was downhill skiing.
I don't downhill ski. I feel this is one of those skills you need to learn as a child, because once you turn into an adult the idea of zooming down a mountain at any miles per hour with poor ability to stop just doesn't seem all that attractive.

But it seemed like a good idea at the time.

My friend's family has a cabin near Duluth, MN, and we spent our New Year's break during college hanging out, drinking some brewskis, and trying on some actual skis.

At Spirit Mountain.

Which later I was told is one of the hardest mountains in the area and the professional skiers and snowboarders of Minnesota sometimes practice there.


I spent the morning on the Bunny Hill. The day progressed nicely with my friend's sister experimenting on a snowboard, going down the bunny hill, biffing, and breaking her arm and getting a concussion.

Again, awesome.

Not to be deterred I manned up when it looked like we were about to head home, and I decided to try my first Green run of the day.


Almost immediately I fell, landing on my side (aka: smashed shoulder), and banging my head on the iced-over snow.

That's the thing about ski hills on sunny days.

It seems great, but the surface area turns from delightfully powdery to death-defyingly ice-crusted pretty quickly.

Needless to say, I walked down the rest of the hill with my friend so we could catch the chair lift back up to the chalet. On the way down Ski Patrol stopped by and asked us if we were alright.

My friend replied, "Yep, she fell so we're just taking it easy."
The Patrol Guy replied, "Hey, weren't you the one who's sister broke her arm and suffered a concussion?"

That's 3 Awesome's now for those of you playing at home.

The Prognosis:
The immediate injury was the concussion, which I didn't get checked out and I ignored the rest of the night. It was New Year's Eve and it wasn't my best Life Decision.

Always get your concussions checked out, kids.

I went into the doctor a week later when my shoulder started hurting.

You must know that I went to college at the University of Minnesota, meaning the doctors at this school are old hats at treating the D1 athletes, and especially the super star hockey players.

This led to my first doctor claiming I had no injury and that, basically, I should just suck it up. I'm pretty sure he even checked "Girl" on my chart instead of "Female" in the Sex category.

Three weeks later I was in so much pain I couldn't even shift the gears while driving. I saw a different doctor who took one look at me and my history, and then the following conversation ensued:

Doc: So you've had this injury for about 4 weeks now?
Me: Yep
Doc: And the other guy didn't give you pain meds?
Me: Nope
Doc: And he didn't give you an icing schedule?
Me: Nope
Doc: And he didn't give you a sling to immobilize it?
Me: Yes....ha, just kidding. Nope.

It's not what was said, but what was insinuated that's of interest in this dialogue.

And that's, basically, the end of my story. With New Doc's rehab tips I got better, yet still continued to have random problems throughout the next couple of years whenever I overworked that shoulder. Whatevs.

Likelihood of Happening While Running: 7%, there is that rogue, Wauwatosan Body Checking Bandit running around...

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate

May 13th Guest Bartending - Clue #2

Yesterday I announced a birthday fundraiser I have scheduled for Friday, May 13th at a local, Milwaukee bar. But which bar is it?

You be the judge. Here's the second clue as to the location:

Any guesses?
__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

Follow | Donate