Saturday, March 25, 2017

What is your happy place?

Ever since the election, and even more so since the most frightening ever Inauguration Day, I've been trying to temper staying informed and being involved with putting more effort toward adding things that make me happy to my days.  It's a silver lining of the cloud we find ourselves stuck under that this administration has me turning more than ever to practices of self care and focusing on the positive.

In that spirit, I want to start a series of entries focused on those things that bring me joy in life.  A happy place seems like a good place to start.

There are many places I'd identify as my Happy Place, and the one I'm featuring today isn't necessarily a specific place.  Races are a major happy place for me.

This past Sunday, I fulfilled my volunteer credit to work toward getting into the 2018 Marathon.  I went to bed at 9:30, woke up at 4:20, and was out the door by 4:40 heading to Central Park.  If you think that's early, just ask the volunteers for bag check - I think they had to be there at 3:30!  Total madness.

There's a quiet excitement in Central Park before sunrise on the day of the NYC Half Marathon.  20,000 runners are preparing to descend upon the park, heading to their respective park entrance depending on their corrals, checking bags, bouncing up and down or wearing soon-to-be-donated sweatshirts to stay warm.  Volunteers are cheerful and excited and giving as much crazy energy as they can - to stay awake, to stay warm, and to get the runners even more pumped up.


This is the second year I've been a NYRR Ambassador for the Half and both years it has been freezing cold.  One of these days I'll remember that March in NYC does not equal March in the south.  In the south, March is basically the start of flip flop weather!  The cold does, however, I think make the energy even more fun.  Runners who are feeling nervous probably feel a little more nervous, runners who are feeling excited probably feel more excited - and since most runners are feeling both of those emotions at once, it makes for really intense energy really early in the morning.

By the time the first two waves of runners are headed through security and toward the corral, the sun starts to rise over the park.  The world starts to feel a little more real, although there's a profound sense of unreality at sunrise in Central Park, especially when you've already been up for three and a half hours.


My volunteer shift is fun, simple, and rewarding, and this year I got to take advantage of the amazing NYRR RunCenter and their free lockers and went for a run myself around the park after my shift ended.  Running around the course, cheering the runners on, seeing the gorgeous snow in Central Park, seeing the area get flooded with typical Sunday tourists and atypical excited, cheering friends and family just creates even more joyful, excited energy.

Usually, I'm a runner at a race - and usually, the race is a smaller one, like a 5K or a 4 miler.  Volunteering is so valuable not just because it's so very necessary for races to function, but because it reminds you of what is so wonderful and special about racing from a totally different perspective.  It also brings back both bitter and very, very sweet memories of my half marathons and marathon.  Being on the outside looking in helps you see things from a different angle and, for me,  helps me value it all the more the next time I get to be the one wearing the race bib.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A dose of irrational love

The snow day sucked the motivation out of me to do a decent entry yesterday - I did a self-driven home practice for the first time in ages, though, as the snow fell early on Tuesday morning, so that was fabulous.  I still get a yoga related gold star, despite giving my blog the short shrift.

I have a lot of things to write about in the coming weeks, but for now, I'm just going to share something that I really, really, really needed to hear today, for a wide variety of reasons in a wide variety of circumstances.

These words are attributed to Mother Teresa, though some original lines were written by Kent Keith.  She certainly made it famous, in any case.

Wishing everyone peace and warmth on yet another frigid, frigid NYC night!


People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight.
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough.
Give the best you've got anyway.
You see,
in the final analysis it is between you and God;
it was never between you and them anyway.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

One Down, Ten to Go

When I tore the plantar fascia in my left foot last year, I wasn't just upset because of being confined to crutches and all the expense and inconvenience and garbage that entails.  I was just two races away from qualifying for the 2017 NYC Marathon under the New York Road Runner's 9:1 program - run in 9 races, volunteer in 1 during a calendar year, and you automatically gain entry into the following year's marathon.

Running in the 2017 marathon was to have particular significance for me because it would fall around my ten year anniversary of being a runner.  I'm a big nerd when it comes to anniversaries and special occasions and pretty much any excuse to celebrate or acknowledge milestones, and the symmetry just seemed to perfect.

Shortly after I first started running in August of 2007, I subscribed to Runner's World.  The idea of running any farther than a 5K seemed like an insane, superhuman feat of unattainable athleticism.  I was intrigued by the columns and articles meant for runners far more advanced than I, and by the constant emphasis on half marathons and marathons.  The race that sounded the most appealing - if I were an athlete instead of just an out of shape college graduate trying running for the first time because I secretly always wanted to and didn't think I could - was the New York City Marathon.

Now, obviously last summer's injury was not a death sentence.  I'm here, I'm almost 100% recovered, and I'm back chasing the goal of the NYC Marathon.  And honestly, I don't care if I ever run another marathon ever again after I conquer this goal.  The marathon distance is not my favorite, and the Disney marathon was really rough.  But there's just something about the New York City marathon - about running through all five boroughs, all of the neighborhoods and cultures and people and life of the city, that has been on my mind for what feels like forever.  I don't really have a bucket list - I just have this one thing that I want desperately to do.

As grateful and happy as I've been to dip my toes back into running, the fastidious, precise part of me that was so pleased by the symmetry of completing this goal on in the same year I'd celebrate 10 years of running was still incredibly disappointed by the loss of the race this year.  And of course, though I entered the lottery for the 2017 marathon, I didn't get a spot.  (It's about as likely as winning the Hamilton lottery if you opened the Hamilton lottery out to the entire world.)

And yet - there's another way to look at it.  As my always-helpful husband pointed out, I can look at the 2018 marathon as a way to kick off the first year of my second decade of running.

And in 2017, this tenth year of running, my challenge to make it to that 2018 marathon is to complete - oh, how funny - 10 races.  Running in 9, volunteering in 1.  My neurotic desire for symmetry is satisfied!

All of that incredibly long and wordy and self indulgent intro is to say - I ran my first race toward that goal on Sunday.  I ran my first race in over 7 months on Sunday.  I ran my first race after injury and rehab and muscle atrophy and oh so much physical therapy homework on Sunday.

After layering with approximately 47,000 pieces of clothing for the 5-degree-with-the-wind-chill-weather and making the hour long schlep up to Washington Heights (it's a lovely race but NEVER AGAIN!), I made it to my corral, bouncing up and down with all the other crazy people running the race with me.  (Some of whom were in shorts.  SHORTS!) Once we crossed the start line and really got going, I kept thinking back to my first race ever, back in the early spring of 2008.  My sister came up from South Carolina, where she was living at the time (or was she in Charlotte by that point?) to run it with me, as she started running shortly after I did and we Galloway method-ed together, which was an awesome way to long-distance bond.

The course was around a place I know and love well, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  And oh lord, I thought I was dying.  I think it was the first time I ever ran 3.1 miles, it was probably the hilliest course I'd ever run (and how could it have been that hilly?).  My sister ran ahead at a certain point, and I ran/walked it the rest of the way myself, wondering if I could make it.  My mom was at the finish line cheering us on - a physical manifestation of the metaphorical cheering on she does constantly for us.

My concerns about this run on Sunday were simply paying attention to any pain or sensation in my feet, making sure I didn't let the excitement of a race keep me from my run/walk plan of taking it easy, and making sure my eyeballs didn't freeze solid.  Luckily, I had success on all fronts - although my run/walk ratio was definitely a little off in the first and third miles.

The emotions that overcame me approaching and crossing the finish line were so similar to those I've felt crossing the finish lines of my distance races - the half marathons, the oh so painful marathon.  The sense of accomplishment was for much more than running 3.1 miles, but to being free to go back to doing something I love so much and the hard work it took to get back there.

For a yoga teacher, I can be incredibly inflexible.  I get hung up on an idea of how I want things to be, how I think things are supposed to be - and when things go wrong, when plans, change, when injuries and sickness happen, it can take a long time for me to calm down and get perspective.  It took awhile, but I think I'm there.  I'm so grateful for this giant mess of a race and for the opportunity to participate in 9 more this year on my long, long road to run NYC.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

I love running. That is all.

I've had a topic I've wanted to blog about for almost a month now, and it keeps getting sidelined.  Plus I had a phenomenal visit with my big sister this week!  It'll all have to wait til next week because today, I am just overwhelmed with joy and literally crying and have to shout out the rooftop of the Internets that I love running.

I've been gradually increasing my run intervals since I started back to (w)running at the beginning of February, and today I broke the one-minute interval of running - hooray!  Today's run was 30 minutes at 2 minutes walking / 1 minute, 30 seconds running.  If my left heel and right big toe continue to improve, next week I hope to bump that to 2:2 intervals.

Compared to the half marathons I've run and the marathon I ran (which admittedly was probably my poorest performance and worst-feeling race of all the races I've done) and the smaller road races, this is total peanuts.  But compared to the August 16th-end of January, it's like an ultramarathon, with all the endorphins, sense of accomplishment, and pure joy that go along with it.  (I assume.  Ultramarathons, I can confidently say, are not in my future)

Running gets me outside when I otherwise wouldn't be out.  This past week was gorgeous (thanks, Global Warming?) and this morning is right back to chilly weather.  But oh man, the light blue February sky, the early morning sun peeking through Monet clouds, seeing the vast empty park and the other few hardy souls out running or walking, letting my mind go off leash and unplugged and wandering to the Brooklyn Half and someday, dammit, the NYC Marathon, and all the work it takes to get there, and the things I've done right in the past and the things I've done wrong, paying attention to my form, and just being so unbelievably grateful for my body and for what it's capable of and for what it's gone through and overcome and what it will accomplish.

When I got home and moved into my post-run routine of snack and stretch, I just started crying out of nowhere.  Granted, a part of it is probably due to the fact that I had a terrible night's sleep last night, and bad sleep = quick tears for me every single time - but I really had just turned into a leaky faucet of thankfulness.  I am so grateful to have gone from being in a cast to where I am now, even though where I ultimately want to be is far beyond where I currently am...if that makes sense.  Having the ability to even just run 90 seconds at a time gives me an unbelievable well of hope.

There is a lot to be frightened of and angry about at this moment in our world and our country, and that's all the more reason to move deeper toward what brings you satisfaction and joy.   If you have something that makes you feel this way, go to it today.  If you don't, go exploring and find something. I suggest going for a run.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Sounds of Silence

Full disclosure:  As I write this, I am bouncing and fidgeting in my seat with anticipation and excitement at seeing my sister in an hour.  Just one hour!!!  I can't take it.  It's her first kid-free, husband-free getaway since the kiddos were born, and we are going to eat all the food.

Since my attention will be 100% swept away this week as a result, I'm writing today.

This morning marked another first in my return to running - or as I'm referring to it for now, (w)running, because my intervals for any given run contain a higher ratio of walking than running as I ease back in.  My left heel, for the record, feels great - about 98% recovered after these frustrating last six months of recovery.  My right big toe, which I just stubbed stupidly on New Year's Eve, is still talking to me a little it.  It's always something...

Today was my first run post-injury that I did with zero headphones.  No music, no podcasts, no nothing (except my running app telling me when to walk).  Nothing in my ears but the sound of my breath, my steps, and my neighborhood.  It's an absolutely invaluable form of meditation that I didn't even realize how much I missed.

I've been desperately missing the endorphins from running these last six months.  I've missed being outside, I've missed that active alone time, I've missed romance runs with Marc, the chance to do training runs with Laura, missed running into friends in the park, missed the unmatched feeling of having accomplished something great before most people (non parent-people, anyway) are awake on a Sunday morning.

The silence - the head space, if you will - was something I forgot about.  It's one of those things that you know is good for you, you know you genuinely enjoy, yet you sort of sabotage yourself on.  We've become conditioned to always be looking for the next source of information input, and so I feel I have to have a podcast or a playlist or I won't enjoy myself.  I keep forgetting - my own company is pretty awesome, and it's so important to give my brain time and space to wander off.  Plus, nothing is motivating like a really detailed daydream about running the NYC marathon.

If you're not a runner, take a walk - or do a solo yoga practice that you make up as you go along with no music and no guidance.  Find some kind of activity with which you'd normally have some background noise and turn off the noise.  It's one of the easiest and most satisfying shortcuts to presence.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How to open your heart, even when you're tired. Or lazy. Or both!

Happy (day after) Valentine's Day!  Or as I like to think of it, Love & Chocolate day.  It's always been one of my favorite holidays, even though I spent most of them single in my teens and early twenties.  I never wanted to be one of those negative, bitter folks about it - why force it into a pigeonhole of just being about romantic love?  We all have people we love in our lives, and my God, who doesn't love an excuse to eat all the chocolate?

This week, in the spirit of opening and sharing our hearts around Valentine's Day, I want to share one of my favorite restorative poses - a pose I love all the more because I actually cannot stand the non-restorative version of it.

Matsyasana, or fish pose, is a very intense upper-back-and-neck backbend.  For me, there is nothing restful or peaceful or pleasant about it.  My neck doesn't like going that far back, my throat doesn't like being that exposed, and I always feel like my shoulders are shoving themselves into my ears.

From YogaJournal.com, as photographed by David Martinez.  Not my fave...
The restorative version of this pose, however, is absolutely delicious for a variety of reasons.  First of all, there are a billion different ways to do it.  Even though my favorite version involves two yoga blocks, you can enjoy this pose even if you don't own a single yoga-related item (including a mat).  You can use a yoga bolster, pillows, rolled up or folded up blankets, or even super thick books to mimic the feel and heigh of blocks.

The fact that I couldn't find a picture of my favorite way to do it on the Internets just shows you how many ways there are to enjoy this deliciousness - check out the variety of a Google image search of it.

The idea is to support yourself and prop yourself up until you are 100% comfortable and can sustain your position for 5-15 minutes.  (Or longer!)  Prop up either starting at the base of your spine or just below the shoulder blades - you can either prop the head up so it's level, or give yourself a hint of that big throat opener by letting it rest on the ground or propping it up a little lower than your heart.

In restorative fish, take slow, deep breaths with a focus on the inhalation and the deep expansion of the ribcage.  You can keep your focus on the breath or come into any number of visualizations.  Imagine the breath massaging or soothing your heart, or imagine your heart as a warm, shining beacon of light.  Or, you know.  Just relax and take a little yoga nap.

Pictured with smaller-than-average yoga blocks - I prefer a slightly thicker block, but it still feels deeeeelicious.
It's a lovely (and yes, cutesy) pose for this full-of-love holiday, but it's also a really great pose to take in the thick of winter.  Walking around the city, we all scrunch our shoulders up and hunch forward to stave off the cold and wind, leading to caveman posture and ridiculously tight chests and shoulders.

Bonus points - take a deep breath of some essential oils (like Eucalyptus, Peppermint, or a blend like doTerra's Breathe) to really open up.  You can also put your feet together and add on supported baddha konasana (or cobbler's pose / butterfly) by supporting your knees with blankets, pillows, or blocks.  YUM.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Running. Just in time.

I have to start by saying - I should really plan on writing my blog before reading the news.  My plan was simply to write about the absolute joy and glory and gratitude of finally, finally, FINALLY - after almost six months - I went on my first walk/run since my injury.  And as of this morning, my second!

And then - Betsy DeVos and the inevitable gutting of our public schools.  HR 861.  A permeating feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, despair, rage.  A feeling that all the phone calls and protests are for naught.  How can I write about something so trivial as running after all of that?

Because running will be an absolutely essential tool for my sanity during these hard times.  Last week I touched a bit on self care, and running is really more of the same.  Part of why it's been so hard not to run is that it automatically gives me more energy and confidence and ability to take other people's crap without taking it on.  Running doesn't just make me physically stronger and more powerful, it makes me mentally and emotionally stronger and more powerful.

If there's one thing the left needs over these next years, it's strength and power.

I'm starting slow.  Walking for 4 minutes, running for 1 in intervals for 30 minutes this week.  Seeing how I feel.  Checking in with my feet. (Yes, feet plural - my right big toe doesn't want to feel left out of all the attention my left heel is getting) But even that slow, steady start is bringing back a strength and a joy that I haven't felt in so long I almost forgot how amazing it feels.

We're going to get knocked down a lot in the coming years, no doubt about it.  What matters is the strength to get back up and fight harder and smarter with each subsequent issue worth fighting for.   I waited about a thousand times longer to get back to running then I thought I would have to when I first went to the doctor back in August, but there is no time like the present to get it all back.

Stay tuned for more about how my running - and eventual races - are going to be put toward good causes in this good fight.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Self care for the resistance

I was going to write much more about this, but it's one of those days where I honestly just don't have a lot to give.  Just posting feels like enough.  I fully admit that I am feeling beat down by all of the horrifying news that has been coming out.  Even if you put everything policy related aside, it's the attitude toward the press, purging the state department, firing the acting attorney general, and complete mismanagement and gag orders of government agencies that are really making it hard to sleep at night.

Luckily, we have helpful folks like this lady to help remind us to calm down and not operate in panic mode 24/7.  No one can survive that way - and no one can be useful that way.  Check out her article on medium.com here.

I promise next week I'll write with more perspective and elegance about how to find and embrace the good during these crazy times.  Today, I need to get away from the screen to not go crazy myself.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book Report: Plan B (and its extreme timeliness)

Well, hello there on a Sunday!  My designated day of the week to post is Tuesday, and more often than not I'm dragging myself kicking and screaming to the computer, either feeling like I have nothing to say or that I have so much to say that there's no way I could even start.

After a week like this, well...it's definitely the latter.

Other blogging challenges for me lately have been political.  I make no secret that I'm a liberal (also, I'm a yoga teacher living in New York City - it doesn't take a genius to figure that one out) but in the past I usually tried to avoid anything too political on this blog.  I have plenty of conservative family and friends who I love and I don't like the idea of alienating anyone.

What's happening now in our country, though, is way beyond politics.  It's not about liberal or conservative, it's about decency and respect for the truth, about keeping with our core American values.

Again, as a yogi it should shock no one that I gravitated toward the calm, measured, thoughtful, educated candidate who practices meditation as opposed to the one who can't name a particular group of people without putting the othering "the" in front of them (i.e. "the" blacks, "the" gays, "the" Mexicans), and who has said, "Show me someone without an ego, and I'll show you a loser."

Even her slogan of "Stronger Together" is all about the true essence of what yoga is - connection, yoking together, all things being one.  Hell, it's our country's national motto - e pluribus unum.  Out of many, one.  So I strive to be inclusive rather than divisive, and at the same time feel a profound patriotic duty not to remain silent when the stakes are this high.

So where does this book come in?

In our fearless leader's absence, the fabulous ladies' book club I've been a part of for years has been left in my care.  At my friend Laura's insistence, and given the struggles we have to look forward to, I chose for our next book Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott.  It's a memoir about her improbable conversion to Christianity after being raised by fiercely atheist/agnostic parents and friends in California during the 60's and 70's.  I'm not a Christian, but Laura and Lisa (aforementioned fearless leader of our club) are, and I always love talking faith and spirituality with them.  They always inspire me.

In anticipation of loving Lamott (I already loved her memoir on writing, Bird by Bird) I stocked up on her stuff before heading to Costa Rica.  I wound up leaving Traveling Mercies with my wonderful mother-in-law, as it's right up her alley.  She is also a devout Christian, and while she doesn't share Lamott's poltiics (or mine, for that matter), she also grew up in California around the same time and found a lot to relate to.

So after devouring Traveling Mercies, I moved right along to Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.  It was written years after Traveling Mercies in the early throes of the Bush administration's tragic decision to go to war in Iraq.  It was so striking to find Lamott having such similar anxieties and feelings of writhing, angry powerlessness as I feel now.  It felt comforting to know she survived it - although I think we all agree we are in a wildly different league than with Bush.  At least he has class.

Although portions of Plan B would probably not be the most enjoyable read for a conservative - Lamott pulls zero punches with how she feels - it's not all politically focused.  Again, it's mostly a spiritual memoir about her faith, and she also talks a lot about being a mother, a friend, coping with her contentious relationship with her mother and her mother's Alzheimer's, and surviving life's challenges and tragedies.

Much of her books are collections of essays that Lamott has written for publications like Salon.  Happily, I can share with you in entirety one of my favorite essays of hers that had the most resonance.  This sentence in particular struck a chord in my heart, "I felt addicted to the energy of scorning my president.  I thought that if people like me stopped hating him, it would mean that he had won."  And thus follows an essay about one of the single hardest challenges of my life - the notion of forgiveness.

Later, she goes on to say:

Driving home, I tried to hold on to what I'd heard that day: that loving your enemies was nonnegotiable.  It meant trying to respect them, it meant identifying with their humanity and weakness.  It didn't mean unconditional acceptance of their crazy behavior.  They were still accountable for the atrocities they'd perpetrated, as you were accountable for yours.  But you worked at doing better, at loving them, for the profoundest spiritual reason:  You were trying not to make things worse. 


It touches on an element that I've struggled with a lot all election season.  To be passionate without going crazy.  To be informed without becoming obsessed.  To have some peace in your heart, even if the news makes you despair.  It's like the old quote, often attributed to the Buddha - "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of hurting another person - you are the one who gets burned."

The entire essay is really worth a read:  "Loving Bush, Day 2."  And just go ahead and order the book, which is seriously worth it:  Plan B:  Further Thoughts on Faith

---

Yesterday was exhilarating.  The women's march in literally all 7 continents did my heart so much good.  To feel so connected, to feel so one, with so many people was heartening.

But it hasn't fundamentally changed anything - not yet, at least.  The work that is yet to be done is less fun, and much harder.  We still have a President who sends his press secretary to dispute accurate reporting on the size of his inauguration crowd instead of actual life and death issues facing this country.  In attempting to protect his ego, he puts us all at risk.

Yet even though I'm not a Christian, and even though I am sure as hell not a Trump supporter, and even though I don't pray with much regularity or structure or faith that I'm actually being heard - I'm going to pray for this President.  I have never prayed regularly for a President before, not even Obama.  He did just fine without my help.

But I will be praying every. single. day. that whatever forces or Gods are out there help him to keep us safe.  Help him to keep him off his goddamn Twitter.  Help him to see truth and seek truth to the best of his ability, even if it's not that great.  I will be praying that he listen to the better angels of his nature - and he must have some, he is still a human being.  I will be praying that he grows a semblance of thick skin, that he can ignore inevitable criticism and get to work.  I will pray his attention span grows.  I will pray every single day.

And I will donate, and I will call, and I will write letters, and I will march when there are marches, and I will do everything in my power to stop him from destroying this country that I love.  We are the popular vote.  We are not going away.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Whole 30 Round 4 / New Year's Round 2

So, tragically, we had to return to the US after a magical time in Costa Rica.  It was extraordinary beyond any description - we cried having to say goodbye, and have already made plans to return March 2018 to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary.

Every morning - with the exception of the morning we had surf lessons (so fun!!) - I did my very own yoga practice outside in an observation deck my father-in-law had built outside, just above the house.  Like the house itself, it has both a jungle view and an ocean view.  No guidance, no teacher but me.  No music, no soundtrack but nature.  I can't adequately describe how special and moving it was, each and every day, so I'll just the pictures speak a thousand words.

 It was so special getting to share my in-laws dream house with them and spending so much time together.  We were incredibly sad to part, but so grateful to them in knowing that this home is in our family forever.

Coming back, I wasted no time - Sunday was Day 1 of my 4th round of Whole30.  It's definitely the most whiplash-like I've ever done it, in the sense that the day before was full of non Whole30 foods and spent largely in the air, rather than in the kitchen prepping and cooking.
But having done it a few times gives me the advantage of having a predictable few simple, easy meals I can easily whip up.  My mom is joining me too, which always makes it easier and more fun!

So while I'm mourning the end of both vacation and the Obama administration, it feels like a second crack at New Year's.  A second crack at that feeling of fresh-start, of getting ourselves grounded.  Reaffirming resolutions, immediately taking drastic steps to improve my health on as many fronts as I can, and settling back in to our home sweet home feels really good.  Almost as good as the Costa Rican sun, but I'll still take it!