Sunday, April 12, 2015

The one where I ask for you to hold me accountable

In August of 2009 I began sending out a morning verse of the day to about 10 people.

There's a whole long story to explain WHY I started doing this- and you can ask me about it if you'd like. It's a story I prefer to tell in person.

But for the purposes of this post, just know I started doing this in 2009 and have been doing it ever since. The list of people who get this text has grown.

Monday-Friday at 8am about 80 people get a text message from me with a morning verse of the day. Two years ago I started a Twitter account to accommodate a couple people who wanted the verse of the day- but needed it at a different time of day - and last year- an Instagram account. @VOTDtweet. 

I've been challenged recently to 'do something' with these short devotionals. It's something I've WANTED to do, but didn't really know what or how. 

I've begun dreaming. And thinking. And forming a plan. I have roughly about 1500 short devotionals on my phone. Yes. On my phone. I need to move them off my phone and into a document so I can start moving forward with a plan. 

So I guess this is me saying "Hold me accountable! Ask me how I'm moving forward with this project."  :) In the meantime, if you'd like to follow along, you can do so on Twitter or Instagram at @VOTDtweet. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Running with friends can be intimidating. You want to run together but you have different paces, or maybe you need to stop and take a breather, but don't want to slow the other person down.

Maybe you can only run 2 miles while your friend wants to run 10.

Finding a good running friend isn't easy.

I've been really fortunate to have found one in Tallahassee (Alexis!) and here in DC. (Jess!)

Last weekend I was talking with some friends (Jason and Dan!) about running and needing that accountability especially when there are no races in the near future that you should be training for.

Insert lightbulb idea.

How about picking a place on the weekend. Setting a time. And saying "Run to this location. Be there at 11am! Then we can all enjoy a cup of coffee together."

This enables everyone to leave their place at their own time. Run their own pace. Run their own preferred mileage.  And still get to show up and enjoy a cup of coffee with friends after your run!

If you want to run 10 miles, you just need to start your run earlier and map out a course to get you to the set location on time. If you want to run 2 miles, same goes for you. If you can only run a half a mile and need an hour to do it- no judgement! No one needs to know what time you left your place or how far you ran. All we need to know is that you ran to the set location. Running half a mile still makes you a runner. If you want to run 2 miles but need to walk half of that- no judgement. You can still get to the set location.

And so begins #OwnPaceSamePlace running group.

Only one rule: You have to actually run to the set location.

But a couple added stipulations: You are not allowed to judge anyone on smell or appearance, and no judgement for those who uber home. (Seriously. You do you.)

I picked a Starbucks location in the District that seemed pretty central for most people.  Set the time at 11am- and we all arrived within 5 minutes of each other but had all started at different times this morning.

Today was the inaugural run. And it was FANTASTIC.  We had six friends show up, enjoyed a cup of coffee outside then all made our way home.

If you're interested in joining next week, let me know and I'll send you the next time/location. :)


Friday, February 20, 2015

The one with the.......bomb?

I just walked downstairs to get the mail. I put on my coat and shoes. I wasn't even going to walk outside, but it's well below freezing so boots and coat were needed.

I stepped off the elevator and turned the corner to find the mailboxes.

The mailroom area was empty and quiet except for a slow, steady beeping. I looked around. Nothing to be seen. The beeping was coming from inside the mailboxes. I stood there for two extra seconds to make sure I was not making something up. The beeping was loud. It was consistent. And it was definitely coming from inside the mailboxes. And it was freaking me out.

I ran outside (negative temps, people) and called my roommate. I said "would it be overreacting to find and tell someone about this?"

She said "nope." She said I should go to leasing office and tell them. Because....this is DC. You just never know.

So I did. Ok. Maybe I ran. I mean, I've watched every season of "24." Jack Bauer would have wanted me to run.

My heart pounding, my face FREEZING. I ran to leasing office and told manager "I could be overreacting but this is what is happening."

He stared at me like "who is this crazy woman." He asked "Are you serious?" I said "yes."

He called the on-call service. I left leasing office. I walked back to apartment to make sure I'd heard correctly and that I wasn't making this up.

I walked back in to my building and heard the beeping loud and clear.

I exited the building to find the mail man coming inside.

He asked "Did you hear a beeping in there?"

I said "yes, sir."

He laughed and said "I left my scanner in one of the boxes."

I said "um....well someone might be calling you because I just reported a suspicious beeping coming from a mailbox."

And I walked back inside from the cold and returned to my warm apartment. Heart racing. But grateful there wasn't a bomb. (And I did call leasing office to tell them the source of beeping so that no one else freaks out.)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

To my first valentine

I've had the same valentine for the last 30 years. When I started school, my valentine would come to my class dressed in a suit and tie with a single red rose. He'd interrupt class, halting any discussion verbs and adverbs, addition or fractions, or talk of the periodic table. He'd walk in, give me a rose, and hug me in front of the entire class. My senior year of high school, he gave me my first dozen roses.

Once I left for college, my valentine didn't let distance stop him. I would receive a package in the mail- most often to the day- with a card and gift.

I know a lot of single girls who dread the day. They dread watching everyone around them get flowers, packages, chocolate, etc. It's a reminder that they don't have a significant other.

For me? I've never dreaded the day. The day is a reminder that I DO have someone in my corner. Someone who will always be in my corner.

I'd watch classmates get gifts from their boyfriends. It didn't make me jealous. I knew a guy with a suit and tie would be coming for me.

I'd watch as coworkers have deliveries made to their offices. It didn't make me jealous. I knew something would be in my mailbox.

And even at the age of 30, I opened my package this morning while I ate my heart-shaped pancakes.

Dad, thanks for being my valentine. Thanks for making this day so special for me every year. Thanks for affirming me, for loving me. For making sure I never felt left out on this day.

You've got my heart.

Mom, I can't finish this post without recognizing you. Growing up, we always started Valentine's Day with a fun breakfast thanks to you. The pink and red wrapped gift on the table usually had some piece of jewelry that you'd picked out for us. You were always in the details. The small things. The little things. You made the little things the big things. Thanks for loving us so well.

And lastly. When I see dad's taking care of their girls on Valentine's Day- I want nothing more than to stand up and cheer you on. I want to tell you "You're doing it right! Don't ever stop! Keep going. Even if she rolls her eyes at you (which I may have done on more than one occasion.)" Most of my friends these days are becoming parents. Dads, you will be her first valentine. That's a role no one else can fill. Do it well. Set that bar high.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The one where the embarrassment never ends

It all started last week when I was really sick. The throwing up kind. Not the sniffles kind.

On top of being sick, work had been a bit frustrating and I thought if I could JUST get to the gym, I could get some endorphins pumping. And endorphins are good things when sick and frustrated. Or so I thought.

A good 3 mile run one day, a spin class on Wednesday, and a barre fitness class on Thursday. That was the plan.

Now, I must say, I'm not really a fan of group fitness classes. And to say I'm not a fan- I really mean I hate hate hate hate hate them. It's just all sorts of awkward and uncomfortable. But. I am all about trying new things these days. It's 2015. Give it a shot, right?

I begrudgingly showed up to class 10 minutes before it started. I'd changed out of my work clothes and got to the class, finding it to be completely silent in there, with 6 girls all sitting on their mats, legs crossed, doing random stretches, and one girl in particular doing weird breathing things. I should have turned around right then.

But no. I didn't heed the warnings in my brain.

I got my mat, randomly decided to spray it down, you know- to let the other girls in the class see that I care about cleanliness and no germs, or something. I mean, really. I don't know why I did that. I already felt out of place entering a room full of girls in their coordinating hair accessories and workout outfits (I didn't get the shimmery coral memo, evidently). And then I sat down to wait for the instructor.

6pm comes- still no teacher.  I think about leaving. But at 6, I can't leave because that feels a little TOO eager to escape. 6:10, still no teacher. I'm thinking at this point- this is my chance to leave! No teacher? Not my problem! I at least showed up, right? I start to stand up and put my stuff away when one of the girls in the class goes downstairs to ask the front desk. Overachiever. Sheesh. She returns saying teacher should be there in 5 minutes. I have 5 minutes to make my decision. Will I stay or will I go?

I decide to stay. The class will be 15 minutes shorter. I can do anything for 45 minutes, right?


Teacher comes in all out of breath (not a good sign as she is the TEACHER) so I think "maybe she will be tired and give us a break." She asks who is new. I raise my hand with two other girls. She says "alright, let's get started." She may as well have said "hope you can keep up, suckers! Welcome to hell." At least that's what I heard.

We begin class and I think I might die. I'm not kidding. I left work frustrated and in need of endorphins only to enter a class in which I feel out of place, uncoordinated, and completely left to fend for myself and figure out how to do what the rest of the class is doing. I look around the room to the other girls who had said they were new and they looked like I imagined myself looking. Let's just say it wasn't pretty.

30 minutes in and we get down on the mats and go into plank position. I can do plank. Good. I've got this. 45 seconds in and still planking while adding new movements. Wait. I can do plank for a minute- then rest. Then do it again. But we're not stopping. I kid you not- we were in plank for almost 5 minutes. (let me rephrase. THEY were in plank for 5 minutes.) I laid down on my mat (my CLEAN mat, I might add) and had my face to the ground. Tears were forming.

Not good. I get back up in plank and give myself the "get your act together, Corso" speech. It went something like this: You have more self respect than to allow yourself to cry in a workout class. Don't even think about it.

I am continuing to plank and one girl says from the back of the class: Is there a modified movement for us who can't do this? My arms are shot. They can't handle this.

What I should have done is gotten up from my mat, walked over to that girl and given her a hug. But again with the self respect thing- I resisted. I turned to look at her and she was SO fit. Another bonus. Not a weakling just dying. An actual fit person who also had enough of this garbage.

The teacher says "Well, we really want you to work these muscles... I guess if you can't do it- you can just do crunches."

I may have given her the finger in my mind.

I looked up at the clock and saw that it was 7pm.  I'm out. I don't care if they were to go longer because of the teacher being late. I was outta there. I get up and put my stuff away (no one else did.) I don't care. I got out of that class as fast as my legs would allow. Which evidently isn't very fast after all the leg workout we'd just done.

I start walking limping down the stairs. I don't know if I was more exhausted or more relieved. You know, relieved that the class was over. On the second flight down, of course I see someone I know coming UP the stairs. If you know me at all- you know I LOVE talking to people. And I love saying hi when I see people I know. But I almost tripped and fell trying to cover my face in attempts to have this person not see me.

I walk to the metro and don't even care about waiting for my train to come. Waiting means not walking. Waiting means resting.

The train comes, I sit down and go to grab my headphones out of my bag. They were, of course, at the bottom of the bag. The bag holding my work clothes that I'd previously changed out of. And wouldn't you know it- the headphones were caught on something and as I yanked them out, everyone on the blue train got to see my bra fly out of the bag and land on the floor. I didn't have energy to even be embarrassed. My first thought as I scrambled to put the bra back in the bag was "at least I'm not planking right now."

I arrived back at the apartment, threw my stuff down, and proceeded to eat a piece of pie.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The one where I hold on

Wrestling in the silence.

I know God speaks.

I know His voice.

But what do you do when He is silent?

I wrestle.

Like Jacob, I hold on, ferociously sometimes, saying "I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME."

It would be one thing if I didn't think He was capable of speaking. But I know He speaks. And I know what His promises are. So when He appears to stay silent, I will wrestle.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The one with the ring

Meet Jess.

While we DO work together, we're more than coworkers. She is a dear friend.

Jess moved to DC last year with her husband and their sidekick of a dog, Freddy.

We became running buddies, as it's always good to have a friend who runs the same pace as you!

The days she is in the office are my favorite days of the week.

On an especially cold and rainy Monday, Jess and I made our normal morning trek to get coffee. We'd been out of the office for almost 2 weeks and we had a LOT to catch up on! She'd gone on a cruise for Thanksgiving break, I'd gone to Texas and NYC.

We got back to the office with our coffee and resumed or mornings.

About 40 minutes later, I was in the middle of a conference call when Jess came into my office a bit stressed and started scanning the floor and my desk. She then walked out. I wasn't at a point where I could figure out what was happening, so just made a point to follow up with her later.

I went down to her office after my call and found a very nervous looking Jess.

She said "I can't find my engagement ring."

She'd been in contact with her husband who works closer to their house and he was going to see if it was there. But she remembered seeing the ring on her finger this morning while in route to the office via the metro. She knew the ring was lost. What a sick, sick feeling. I was sick for her.

I reminded Jess about a story in the Old Testament in which a group of prophets were cutting down trees in order to build a shelter. While in the process, the axe they were using fell into a body of water and the guy exclaimed "it was a borrowed axe!" Elisha asked where exactly it fell, and prayed for the axe to resurface. The axe floated to the top of the water and they were able to pull it out.

My dad had reminded me about this story several years ago when I'd lost something of importance to me. We prayed for it to resurface and it did.

I prayed with Jess that the ring would do just that. That it would resurface.

I went over to Starbucks and retraced our steps- finding nothing. She called the metro. Found nothing. Her husband called back and said it wasn't at home.

Jess left work and had a pretty emotional night. Understandably.

I continued to pray for the ring to resurface.

The next morning, I got to work, heard Jess come around the corner, and found this:

While cleaning that night, Starbucks found the ring. When Jess came back over to the office and showed us, I couldn't help but cry. I don't always have prayers answered the way I want them to be answered, but He is never beyond showing up and showing off. I absolutely loved having a prayer like that answered. He made the ring resurface. He hears us when we pray. He really does.