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The Runs

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The Down and Dirty Guide to Having the Runs

How do I make time to run so much? Valid question, and quite frankly, I don’t blame you for asking and in fact I have no doubt there’s been some dinnertime talk about how I fit it all in and honestly, the rumors are more scandalous than reality. Unfortunately. How dull.

Let me break it down:

BE LOOSE!

Be open to the idea of splitting your runs up; each mile counts, yo. Force your hungover ass to run 2 miles on the treadmill before you let yourself have a cup of coffee. Before the kids wake up. Before you can really think about it. Have your coffee, get the kids fed and off to school and then get 2 more miles in with the stroller before you hit the grocery store and post office with the baby. Boom. Four miles right there before you even know it.

Accept imperfection in other less important areas of your life. Be realistic, and let it really sink in that you can’t do it all. If you really want to be a runner, then you’ll run, not garden. If you really want to be a gardener then you’ll garden, not run. Sure, I’ll pull weeds so that things look neat and tidy but it’s not my passion so it’s not going to resemble anything fancy. If you’re not okay with this, then maybe re-think your passions and interests.

BE ANAL!

Make running a priority. An obsession. Be weird about it. Eat for it, dress for it, fixate on it like a terrier on a tennis ball and don’t stop until you get it done.

But don’t forget to take care of your people. Make them your priority. We are created for relationships with other people. As much as we might be introverts, we can’t deny our innate desire for human connection. If you have partners, or children, family, close friends, whatever, show them that they’re important to you. Imagine if Andrew and the kids came home from work/school to a messy house, no dinner, no food for lunches, no bills paid so no cable, no hot water, and then they found out that at least I got my 12 mile run in?!?! From the second I wake up, I’m going full-tilt. I make sure Callum gets fresh air each day, or at least the chance to run around and work up a sweat. I go through my to-do list like a machine gun, picking off each item as if it’s a game, until I get the lunches made, dinner prepped, bathrooms cleaned, laundry done, couches wiped down, carpets vacuumed, all so that I can get my run in while showing my people how much I love them too.

BE KNOWN AS “THAT GIRL”

Identify yourself as a runner and don’t waver. If we see ourselves as runners then we will act as runners. If we fight it, if we fight the uniform, the ponytails, the giant water bottles hanging out of our purses, then we’ll find it much easier to push a run aside for a trip to the mall. I don’t mind wearing leggings or Nike shorts and running shoes all the time because I am a runner. It’s who I am and it’s what I wear. Sure, I do a lot of laundry but my junkitalia thanks me for the constant costume changes. When Andrew and I have date night or when we go out for one of the kid’s birthdays, I’ll put on something nice, punctuating the sacredness of the occasion; if I wore that stuff all the time then it wouldn’t be special. I totally agree with the notion of “dressing for success.” If you want to run well, then dress like you’re going to run well. If you’re going on a date with your partner, dress in a way that shows them how much more you care about them than running. If I looked exactly the same from morning to night then the shift in priorities between running and mom to wife and lover would be a bit grey.

My kids only know me as a runner. People stop me in the grocery store and at the coffee shop to ask me if I’m that runner girl. Having the reputation as a runner keeps me as a runner. My kids grow up with their mama having treadmill time while they nap or have quiet time. They are used to being pushed in the stroller, so they’re comfortable with the wind and sun in their faces. They watch me run but they also watch me work hard. When they’re little, I don’t clean the house when they nap; I do that when they’re awake! When they nap, I have me time, and that’s running time. Even showering is something I do while they fuss a bit in their bouncy seats.

TALK DIRTY

Get comfortable with the lingo. Be okay with the occasional public bathroom break. Open yourself up to the fact that your body parts will be exposed, and they’re gonna bounce. We ain’t wearing full hockey equipment out there; summer calls for sports bras and bootayyy, and chances are we’re wearing lycra right through the frigid temps of winter.

How do you fit your priorities into your life? If it’s a passion, then is it hard work to make the time, or does it come easy?

Am I missing anything important?

Be the devil’s advocate! Let me know where you think there’s a gap.

 

 

 

 

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Pregnant and Running: 25 Week Update

I am a solid 133lb this week. I know I said I was 133 last week but I rounded up a bit–this week is 133lb on the dot. It would just feel a little weird and obsessive to be like, “I weigh 132.654378 lb after poo and coffee before shower after blowing my nose before clipping my toenails.” Know what I mean? Weight gain is just a super vague guideline that can give hints to the mother and baby’s well-being. I like keeping track of it because I run so damn much that I find it even more necessary to hone in on the hairy details in case anything comes up.

Moving along.

Running has still been going great! More than great. I am so incredibly tickled pink with how it’s going. Like I keep saying, I am taking this one day, one hour, one minute at a time and I am well aware of how fast things can change so I’m just staying thankful for each mile that I can cover. If you’re interested in last week’s Mileage Monday, here’s the link.

I hope you guys know that it’s not glamorous though. I mean, if you’re a runner than you already kinda know that the sport can leave a bit of a mark here and there, but pregnancy takes it up a notch. I was blessed with some vag chafing (I guess I pulled my underwear up wrong and it got folded over and well, yeah…) which changed up my gait a bit because I was trying to run in a way where it wasn’t so sore, so my knee ached a bit, but settled once the chafing went away.

The pee breaks are out of control. For example, I ran 10 miles today and I had to take 4 pee breaks. FOUR. One of which included a surprise poo, which always gets me a bit flustered.

I know that a lot of people would be annoyed and bothered by all the gross stuff and just throw in the towel, and I would too, if I were actually bothered enough. But, I’m not. Because I love my sport, and when you love something that much, you put up with the annoying stuff. It’s worth it. I don’t even really feel pregnant when I’m out there running. I feel it when I’m bending over to clean up toys or to load the dishwasher. I feel it when I hold Callum on my lap to read books together. I feel it when I’m trying to get into a comfortable position to sleep at night. But running? My body transcends that feeling of being weighed down. I mean, I notice the changes on the inside, like pressure on my bladder and bowel, or how my sciatic nerve flares up a bit and makes my left foot go numb. But man, when I’m out there on the roads it’s like I’ve got superpowers. My abdomen is taught and my core is solid. It feels great.

How often do you go poo during the day?

Do you know what I mean when I say “surprise poo?” Do you get those? Where you’re sitting down for a pee and all of a sudden you’re like, whoa. Poo is totally coming out now.

I wonder how many people I lose each time I talk about poo.

 

 

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Week in Review

It’s Freddy’s 15th birthday today! Fifteen years and one day ago, after I got out of the bathtub and beached myself onto our bed, I felt yet another Braxton Hicks contraction and heard a faint “pop” sound. Jason was at a friend’s house playing poker, and my due date wasn’t for another couple of weeks so this all came as a bit of a surprise. We had just moved into our newly built house and hadn’t yet had our blinds put in so as I tore through the house naked, my waters pooling around my feet with each step, the whole neighborhood was able to watch a National Geographic documentary without paying for the subscription. Freddy was born 3 hours later weighing 8lb 7oz. He was the quietest, cuddliest baby of all of my kids. He’s got a gentle disposition but a strong will, and a cheeky sense of humour.

It was a short week last week (for the kids, which means long for the parents) but we managed to squeeze quite a bit into those four days. Friday was a Professional Development Day and so because today is a holiday, the kids had a four-day long weekend.

The weather has been decent so we spent as much time as we could outdoors. Katie and I brought Callum to the park and at one point we looked over at him and he had his knickers down and was going pee in the grass. Thankfully nobody else saw him.

Katie’s school had their track meet on Wednesday and we’re so glad that it didn’t rain. I hated track meets when I was a kid but I always ran the 100m and 400m because nobody else wanted to. At our middle school, everyone is required to participate in at least 3 events. Katie did the 100m (because it’s over the quickest and she hates running), shot-put and discus. There was a parent volunteer at the end of the 100m race who held her hand out to collect Katie’s sticker but Katie didn’t know what she wanted so she gave her a high five. We had such a good laugh about that! You had to see it.

Callum had his first swimming lesson. He got super clingy with me and wouldn’t go in the water so next week I have to wear my bathing suit and go in with him. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. He looks all happy here but things changed pretty quick once he realized I wasn’t going in the water with him.

On Friday, Freddy and I dropped Katie and Callum off at my parent’s house and then I took him shopping for his birthday. It was SO NICE to be able to have one-on-one time with him! We literally never EVER get to be together without anyone else around so I was so thankful to my mom and dad and Katie for taking care of Callum while we spent a couple of hours together. <3

Andrew took Callum for me for a couple of hours on Saturday and I ran a super slow 12 miler in the sunshine. Then we bought a cute little bistro set for our back patio and sat out there for a while and ordered in Indian food for dinner. We dropped Callum off to Andrew’s parents on Sunday afternoon and Andrew and I headed out into the heat for a run together. It was a cooker! Then we got showered and ready and went out to Fort Langley for dinner at the Fort Pub. No photos, no proof, so you’ll just have to believe me.

Even though it’s Monday, it still feels like it’s the weekend because it’s Victoria Day here today!

Thanks to Meghan from Clean Eats Fast Feets for hosting yet another Week in Review!

Did you take swimming lessons when you were a kid?

Did you participate in track meets? Were you forced to or did you like it? Which events?

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Mileage Monday

Well, hello there! It’s noon and I just woke up from a 10 minute nap. We’re in the middle of a long weekend and the sun has been shining, spreading its fingers through the slits in our bedroom blinds and poking me in the eyes each morning at 6am. It was so nice to wake up to a beautiful morning with my cup of coffee and Callum still fast asleep in his bed. HA! He slept until nearly 8 this morning which was wonderful. I’m not gonna lie.

I had another 70 mile week last week including 2 really kickass workouts. I’ve also been on point with my strength work which I swear has made such a difference in my ability to keep running this much while pregnant. Here’s how it went down:

Monday– I wanted the middle 8 miles to be done at a tempo pace of 7:15 min/miles (that would make for a 3:10 marathon) and I actually had a very easy time doing this! What a relief! 3 mile warm-up, 8 miles at 7:13, 7:11, 7:13, 7:10, 7:15, 7:15, 7:12, 7:09, and then 1 cool-down. It felt amazing.

Tuesday– Just some slow treadmill miles followed by all my strength work. I ran the first 6 miles at a 10 min/mile pace and then the last 2 miles at 9:13 min/mile pace.

Wednesday– A super slow and chill 6 mile run in the morning outside and then 4 slower treadmill miles in the afternoon.

Thursday– I did a slow and easy 6 miles this morning with Callum in the stroller (he’s been waking up at 6am–where normally he sleeps past 7!) and then I had an hour to myself this afternoon to do my speed work on the treadmill. I warmed up for 1 mile, ran 2 miles at 6:49 min/mile pace (that’s 8.8 mph on the treadmill), then cooled down for a mile, but then I felt pep in my step so I did one more mile at 6:49 min/mile pace and then one more cool-down mile for 6 total (12 for the day).

Friday– I really should NOT have complained about Callum getting up at 6am yesterday because this morning he pushed it back to 5:30 and I wanted to die. The kids didn’t have school today so Katie watched Callum while I ran 6 miles after I had done 2 on the treadmill. Hooray for Katie!

Saturday– I meant to do 10 but I lost track of distance because I was listening to a podcast, so I kept going and turned around at 6 miles, so I logged 12 miles total. It took me TWO HOURS to run 12 miles. I used to run 12 under 90 minutes. Oh well!

Before pic:

After pic:

Sunday– Alright, so you guys know that I rarely do this, but I’m documenting a run that hasn’t happened yet because it’s date night and I won’t have time to publish this later! Andrew and I are dropping Callum off at Grandpa and Grandma Slane’s house and then we’re going to run 8 miles together. It’s super warm out (25 degrees Celcius) so I’ve been chugging water all morning in prep.

Do you nap? How long is the perfect length of nap for you?

I seriously feel like a million bucks after my measly 10 minutes!

What’s your weather like?

Have you ever lost track of time/distance and gone further than you meant to?

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Backstroke

May 1, 2017

Eighteen years ago I married my best friend.

Confused? I think most of you guys know my story but I know I recently picked up a few stragglers (welcome to the crazy train! woohoo!) and so it’s only fair that I give you guys a better idea of what my life is about.

Jason and I started dating when we were 15 years old and anyone who has ever done it knows what I’m talking about when I say we became each other’s family, because that’s what happens when you hold hands with someone through the transformation and evolution of the child-to-adult years. We weren’t sure where one of us started and where the other ended.

We got married on May 1st, 1999 when we were 20 and 21 years old, and then had our first son Jake in September of 2000.

Some people get married for all the right reasons, and it doesn’t work out. Some people get married for all the wrong reasons and it settles in like a pair of well-worn leather boots. I’m not sure why our marriage didn’t work out in the end. I mean, I can speculate, and I have no doubt that there are a few friends and family members that can and most certainly have cast their votes, but at the end of the day, I mean, who really gives a shit why? One person’s why could be another person’s grace. Baking bread at an elevation of 8000 ft is a lot different than baking bread at sea level, but bakers in either state are still liable to start a goddamn fire in the kitchen.

Divorce is ugly. As Chris Farley often said, “That’s gonna leave a bit of a mark.” But I’m thankful for the part Jason and his family played in my life. There are a few of them that I miss so much that my chest physically hurts. I’m over the frigging moon for the kids that Jason gave me, and I know he is too; they’re incredible people.

I love how even though we’ve both started new chapters, by the gift of grace we are still able to flip back to the dogeared pages and inhale the familiar scent of all the good times.

This song gives me all the feels, the good ones, the bad ones, the ugly ones. But it’s healing. Have a listen, but have some snot-rags nearby!

 

This post was for you, Molly Rose! 🙂

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Food for Thought

Did you know that when I was pregnant with Freddy, I topped out at 183lb the week I gave birth? I probably started that pregnancy at 140lb, so I gained 43 lb total. Something like that. I lost 18lb right off the bat and settled in at around 165lb and stayed there for a solid 5 months postpartum.

I didn’t run during Freddy’s pregnancy, but that’s not the only reason I was heavier back then. After I had my first son Jake (my pregnancy story with Jake is here), I ended up at Women’s Reproductive Psychiatry with a major anxiety crisis and was put on medication to help stabilize me. I was put on Paxil, which is an SSRI and then I took Ativan for short term relief for things like panic attacks, although I was too anxious to take it because anxiety is stupid. Paxil was amazing. After the first few weeks, I began to feel totally chill and that’s when I really started to enjoy my life! For the first time ever, food tasted good, and it digested well, and was just overall an enjoyable experience. Anyone with anxiety knows how much it wreaks havoc on our digestive systems.

I weighed about 130lb postpartum with Jake and happily put on 10lb that year, then got pregnant with Freddy. Freddy’s pregnancy was a dream! I wasn’t sick, I had no preterm labour issues, no spotting, nothing. I didn’t run because back then I believed my running had put me into preterm labour with Jake so I felt better just avoiding it altogether. I also craved really weird things like laundry detergent, and I’d constantly chew ice, breaking teeth and trashing fillings. I found out later that Freddy has a blood disorder which explains all of my weird cravings but at the time I just pretty much ate anything to try and meet those nutritional voids.

The only reason I ever lost weight after I had Freddy was because he and Jake and I all contracted hand foot and mouth disease and I couldn’t eat or drink anything for all the sores in my mouth! I dropped 25lb in a short amount of time and figured it would be a good time to start running again, so I did. And then I got pregnant again which ended in a D&C, so I resented my body, and shed even more weight to deal with the stress. When I finally got pregnant with Katie, I felt comfortable enough to keep running a little bit throughout that pregnancy and I didn’t pack it on the way I did with Freddy.

But guess what? My pregnancy with Freddy, weight included, was perfect. My anxiety was low, my overall love for life was high, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a wife and mama, being pregnant, and breastfeeding my babies. I had visible rolls, 38D bras, and the softest, warmest lap for my boys to recline on. I felt like a Goddess.

I say all this because I want you to know that nobody collects $200 when they pass the “Go” of gaining between 25-35lb during pregnancy. That life isn’t black and white like that. I know super tiny women that gained 13lb during their entire pregnancies and some that gained 30lb after they give birth! Nobody acquires superhero status if they run through to their due date, nor do they fail at life if they don’t. If you truly love running, it will be there for you when you’re ready for it. In fact, I didn’t qualify for Boston, run Boston and come in third at the Whistler 50 miler until after I had three kids, or get my 3:06 marathon PR until I after I had my fourth, and I plan on hitting a sub-3 after my fifth.

It’s easy to compare ourselves to others, and we all make that mistake. I still do. But we gotta give our heads a shake, boil off all the bullshit and do what’s right for us in that moment. It may not look pretty on Instagram, but most of the best posts don’t!

So, there. Did this story surprise you? What do you think of the photos? LOOK AT HOW YOUNG I AM! And Freddy was my second baby!

 

 

 

 

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Pregnant and Running: 24 Week Update

Alright, so… this boy is growing by leaps and bounds. Literally. He’s using my bladder as a springboard and my stomach as his soft landing, pushing the contents of my lunch up my esophagus into my throat. Just a little side info: I had to take a time-out during sex the other day to burp. I was all, “Wait–hold on a sec–I need to burp,” and I sat up and did one of those chin to chest pumps to get the air up and out. Sex during pregnancy needs to have its own post, and not to worry, it’s not all bad. Trust me. Okay, moving on.

The only other negative thing really worth mentioning is how hard I have to concentrate on not peeing my pants while I’m running. I have to say, it’s completely normal to have pee leaks during pregnancy and after having babies but for some reason, I haven’t struggled with this issue! Not once! And I don’t plan on it. In fact, I dabble with the idea of inserting an underwear liner in there just in case a bit of wee leaks out but then I think no, because having a safety net might subconsciously tell my body that it’s okay to release. Having zero protection forces me to work that pelvic floor like never before. I swear, running has been better for my vagina than any other body part.

Other than these things, this pregnancy has been a frigging breeze. I weigh almost 133lb (I’m rounding up a bit) which puts me at a 10-13lb weight gain. I’ve been eating veggies and meat and all the good stuff like a champ, and my running feels absolutely amazing. Here is the link to my Mileage Monday post for my 24th week of pregnancy.

Bump pics!

Callum wanted in on some bump action too. He often tells us about the baby in his tummy:

Have you ever had to burp during sex? Or any other scandalous stories that the internet needs to know about?

 

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Week in Review

Well, last week was all about getting a bunch of stuff done: van repaired, post-op dental check-up for Jake, van insurance, organize the house, hair cut, and help Andrew with work. Of course I sprinkled in a little fun here and there because it’s the only way I’d ever survive.

Here’s some proof of my paces for last week’s 10-miler (the first 2 miles were on the treadmill) with a 2-mile tempo:

That was such a great run. I felt like a beast! Although I can’t imagine getting those tempo miles at that pace up to 14-16 consecutive miles after I have the baby. GULP.

There’s always time for a dance party in the kitchen. Always.

Callum is pretty good at sprinkling too, if you can see the front of his pants. He attempted to have a wee into this puddle here during our trail walk. I also love how he tucked his jacket into his undies.

A few weeks ago I told you guys that I tried to take the cat in to get groomed and she freaked out at me and wouldn’t get into her box. Well ever since then I had been worried that her temperament would shift to an angrier sort but although it did shift quite a bit, she actually went the other way! She’s been even more gentle and more patient! No hissing, swiping or growling. She’s always let Callum kiss her, thank goodness.

As much as I don’t like the pressure of Mother’s Day, it’s not all about me. Wait, what? Really? Really. My mom is beautiful, loving, gracious and kind and while I have a tendency to get all moody teenager buzzkill on happy things, she really likes all the girly stuff. I got her the most pink flowery card I could find and took her out for lunch to Denny’s. That’s where she really wanted to go! Then Jake, Freddy and Katie asked to join us at the last minute which of course I’d never turn down, Mother’s Day or not, so we all headed out to Langley to pick up my mom and eat a bunch of food.

Another week in the books! Thank you to Meghan from Clean Eats Fast Feets for hosting this week’s Week in Review. <3

Have you ever had an animal that turned on you?

What did you dream about last night?

 

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Mileage Monday

I managed a 72 mile (well, 71.7 mile) week this week. Whaaaaat?!? How am I able run this much? And while pregnant? Nearly 6 months, too! I HAVE NO IDEA. That’s the God honest truth. I don’t even feel like I can take credit for this because it feels so weird, so out there, so unreal. I’m still super thankful and taking it day by day. Literally. And so far, so good.

Monday– What a great run! Callum went to Grandpa and Grandma Slane’s house, and I ran 13 miles at an 8 min/mile pace with the last mile in 6:56. YASSSSSS. Hamstring hurts to walk on it, but I can run on it fine! The running gods are shining upon me today! I BELIEVE!!!

Tuesday– I ran 3 times today. Yep, you read that right. We had to bring the van in early this morning and then I had to time the use of the car for Jake’s follow-up appointment for his teeth so I pushed Callum in the stroller for 4 miles right when we woke up (he got up at 6 today!), then another 4 on the treadmill when we got home from Jake’s appointment before Freddy and Katie came home from school. I was super happy with 8 miles for the day but because Callum went to bed early and Katie was doing homework anyway and Freddy was pleased as punch with his hot fudge brownie and ice cream, Andrew and I ran another 4 miles together. It felt good to run after dinner just because it helped to settle it a bit. I came home feeling a lot less burpy and bloated. All my miles today were around 10 min/mile, so I definitely took it really easy.

Wednesday– Just a slow 4 miles pushing the stroller and then 4 slow miles on the treadmill. Still no lower body strength work quite yet. I want to make sure my hamstring is totally healed before I do any of that. I hope to do it tomorrow after I run my tempo miles!

Thursday– Once a week I aim to run 2 miles straight at goal marathon race pace (6:50) and today was the day because my mom came over. I warmed up for 5 miles, ran 1 mile in 6:47 and the next in 6:44, then cooled down for 3 miles (up a mountain).

Friday– I started out with 2 miles on the treadmill then got called away by one of the kids for something and then decided that since I was already out that I’d renew my van insurance. Came back, hopped back onto the treadmill for a couple miles but Callum was clingy with his mama, so I pushed him in the stroller for the rest of the run. 10 miles total.

Saturday– I escaped for the usual route with Lora this morning for 12.7 miles. I took 3 pee breaks, all in the great wide open. Thankfully Lora didn’t seem to mind. We settled into an average 8:27 min/mile pace.

Sunday– Just a nice little shorty 6 miler with Lora early this morning!

I started up my strength work on Thursday and did it again on Sunday and my hamstring is totally fine. Phew!

And that’s a wrap!

If you had to choose, would you eat a hot fudge brownie and ice cream or cheesecake?

Do you dare to make any bets on how long this mileage will last into this pregnancy?

 

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My Back Up Moves

So, I told you guys that I couldn’t fit everything that happened last week in this Monday’s Week in Review, right? Which is mostly true but a little bit not because the real reason I didn’t tell you guys this story is because it’s embarrassing. It showcases an ugly side of my character that I’d rather keep hidden and quite frankly, it’s handing out sandwiches to homeless people compared to the really shitty stuff I’ve said and done so don’t think for a second that what I’m about to tell you is like, oh, a sneak peak into the Real Suzy Slane. Hell no. It’s just an embarrassing story. I’d rather tell you guys that I nearly crapped my pants in public than stories like these because only one of those scenes reveal character flaws.

Disclaimer much, Suzy?

So there’s this parking lot from hell. The grocery store we frequent on the regular throws down this poorly organized lot filled with tight spaces and one-way capabilities but with two-way traffic. I mean, we’re Canadian, so the apologies rain down harder than the weather but once in a while you’ll come across some tension, some honking, some yelling. It happens. It happened last week when I waited forever to back the Hotyssey up and when nobody let me out, I decided to just gun it and force the other cars to stop and wait for me.

But when I settled into neutral after backing up, the lady who I had just cut off was practically sitting on my lap she was so close to me, her window down, looking cross as ever and she stuck her arm out the window and gestured at me with a “oh come ON” arm motion. And me? I took my sunglasses off, stared right full into her face, smiled, and gave her the middle finger. Not thirty seconds later and my friend Cora texted me saying, “Nice back-up moves!”

Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is watching, sure. But if you’re ever wondering if you’re a bag of dicks, I promise you, at some point or another, people will notice.

If you want to read more posts about this, check out the time I littered a huge cup of Diet Coke out my van window.

Do you get road rage? How do you deal?

Do you have any road rage stories?

Done any shitty things lately?

 

 

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