Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The First Run

The first run outdoors after taking it easy, and utilizing a treadmill indoors, is both a shock to your system and a wonderfully uplifting and exhilarating experience.

I'm registered for the Pittsburgh Marathon, which is a mere 3 months away, with some trips to Haiti and Italy thrown into that time, so I really need to get my weekly mileage up if I'm going to complete that New Year's Resolution of a faster time, and you know, not cause myself any irreparable harm in the process.

Anyway, yesterday was my first outside run, and it was lovely.  Yesterday was also the first practice of Girls on the Run, which I am thrilled to be an assistant coach for again this year.  If you don't have any 8-10 year old girls in your life right now, I suggest you find some, because they are just delightful.  Last night they taught me that high-fiving is not cool, and proceeded to fist bump before continuing their laps around the gym.

At the end of the night their parents came to pick them up, and the 3 of us coaches zipped up our jackets, walked out of the gym, and then proceeded to run off in 3 different directions to get home.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I suppose there are worse misconceptions that people can have of me.

Last week, some friends of mine told me a story of how a mutual acquaintance of ours told them that I was married, in answer to one of them mentioning that they wanted to set me up.

This story in particular was funny because the person who was under the assumption that I was married, was also under the assumption that I was married to Precisely.  We are not. In fact, right now, I'm about as absolutely single as you can get.

Even stranger however is that not too long before this marriage misinterpretation, a coworker of mine mentioned that he was under the impression I was engaged.

I do not know where these assumptions are coming from.

I wear no ring, make no mention of a partner, have never introduced anyone as "my husband" or "fiance", and while I don't discuss my personal life with the whole world, I feel it's fairly well known among my networks that I date.

The minute my friends told me that someone else thought I was married, I immediately responded with. "This is why I'm still single! I apparently give off an air of being in a committed-for-life-relationship!"

Though, really, this is not the worst misconception that people could have of me.  I mean, at least no one (to my knowledge) is saying "Poor Kelsey, she'll probably die alone." No! Instead, they think I'm already married. Capable of that kind of a relationship.  So I will take the misunderstanding as a compliment.

Just to set the record straight though.  I'm not married. Not even a little.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

All you need is Love (of Friends)

It was Valentine's Day this week.

Which means that I spent Tuesday evening, as I've spent the last 4 Valentine's Days, throwing an awesome party for 200 people with some of my closest friends.

The LoF Team! Bethany, myself, Chris, Alexa, Jordan, Kelly, and Regina
photo credit: the lovely and talented Renee Greenlee

Love of Friends chapter 6 was held this year at Bakery Square.  Thanks so much to them and Revive Marketing Group for their generosity, sponsorship, help, and friendship.

I got the chance on Tuesday, to pause for a second and look over the crowd, and take it all in. Which, is maybe the best part of event planning. And I was so blown away by all of the beautiful people, the gorgeous artwork, the music, the energy and positivity all come together in one place.  It was so inspiring.  Check out this wonderful video from Ben Noftzger, and you'll see what I mean.

Love of Friends 2012 from Ben Noftzger on Vimeo.

Pittsburgh, I love you. Regina, Kelly, Chris, Jordan, Alexa, and Bethany I love you.  Thanks everyone who was involved, for making Valentine's Day so wonderful.

I hope it was happy for you too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I've Got Something to Say

As a woman living in the United States, it's frustrating to see the inequality apparent in my gender's healthcare access. I am not going to stand on a soap-box here and rant about feminism, or women's rights. What I am going to do is talk about the disappointment I felt upon discovering that the Susan G. Komen Foundation decided to cut funding for breast cancer screenings that were being provided to millions of women through Planned Parenthood.

I consider myself to be an engaged community volunteer, and advocate for women's health.  I donate money to organizations whose mission it is to provide healthcare access to women, especially if they are reaching under or uninsured communities, or serving populations in developing countries.  I serve on boards, committees, and donate my time to helping local organizations such as The Midwife Center, Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh Affiliate, and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania further their missions.  Because their missions are ones that I am passionate about, and that I believe strengthen the community I live in.

I was happy serving and supporting these organizations, but upon learning of Komen's decision to pull funding for cancer screening from Planned Parenthood, I was shocked and severely disheartened.  Komen's mission is to eradicate breast cancer. The best chance women have against breast cancer is early detection.  How pulling funding from this imperative screening, is in line with eradicating breast cancer is a mystery to me. I cannot see how this decision from the Komen Foundation will do anything except harm the women who were dependent on these services, and as I believe strongly in women's access to healthcare, I have pulled my support, and resigned from the YP advisory board of the Pittsburgh Affiliate of the Komen Foundation.

I really like the staff at the Komen Pittsburgh affiliate. They said they understood and respected my decision, and that the affiliate would be working to ensure that women and men continue to have access to cancer screening. It must be a difficult situation for the Komen affiliates around the country, not being involved in this decision making, which came from the National Office. Still, I feel that this move directly contradicts their mission, and so I am out.

I know that Planned Parenthood is a controversial organization, and a politically charged topic.  However, I cannot help but think that most of those who oppose it, are largely misinformed of the services the organization provides, or the benefits it brings, not just to women, but to men as well.  As someone who has used Planned Parenthood's health services, and supports the work that they do, I am determined  to stand with Planned Parenthood. Access to healthcare should be a human right, not a privilege.