Integrity, Believe, Strength…

Joe and I had the privilege to host my good friend Kimberly (i.e. my NY hubby) and her mom ‘B’ or Brenda for those of you who prefer formal names for a long weekend.  Kimberly has been my recent impetus to commit to running my next half marathon in Philly on September 19th.  In addition to being my old roomie in NY, we now have a new commonality: finishing the half in under 2 hours, which is 9:16 pace. That’s right, I said it so now, it is official.

In addition to gallivanting all around L.A. and causing trouble, yesterday we also had the pleasure of doing Runyon Romp, one of my favorite training regimes.  This workout, as I have written before, is not for the faint of heart.  It is an intensive core and strength exercise topped off with some major hill training up a mountain so steep that it has built in steps to avoid having to climb it on your hands and knees.  When you get up to the top and you feel just about ready to pass out, it is time for circuits of lunges and squats while you hold a weighted rock to add an additional challenge.

Even though I have done this course before, I have to admit on my way up the steep slope of the hill, I got a familiar feeling-  I wanted desperately to stop.  It was hot. I was sweating.  I could barely catch my breath.  The arches of both of my feet were starting to feel like someone was jabbing them with a large needle.  I really felt like there was nothing left in me.  However, it may have been my pride or it may have been something else, but something got me up that hill.

Fast forward to this morning.  Kimberly and I had a leisurely morning chatting and catching up on the two years we haven’t seen one another and I checked my e-mail only to find a message from a foundation I had been anxiously waiting to hear from that could potentially fund me in expanding my work with Get On The Bus.  When I opened the e-mail and I read the first line, “Dear Applicant, Thank you for applying but we regret to inform you that…” my heart just sunk.

Talk about taking the wind out of someone’s sails.  How could this be happening?  Why did this need to happen in the company of my out-of-town company?  Further more, why did this need to happen two hours before I am slated to present to the Board at my final Board meeting?  And so my life fell apart…at least I thought.

As I rushed to the meeting while trying to dry my running mascara in my rear view mirror, I tried to think of what I was going to say to the Board.  I was projecting that my news would be not only a disappointment to them, but a personal let down.

I arrived at the meeting and sat still waiting for my turn.  When I spoke, I gave the news from my heart, which is the only way I speak these days.  Instead of absorbing the looks of shock and disappointment that I was expecting, something really wonderful began to happen.  One by one everyone came up and gave me a hug.  They seemed to carry concern, not for the project, but for me.  They also seemed to be quick to come up with suggestions and let me know, that this was a small bump in the road and we will find another path to make it happen.  Everyone was more than willing to not only sympathize but to empathize with what I was feeling.  It was truly an incredible day.

As I got home and shared my moment with Joe, Kimberly and B, Kimberly handed me a present that she bought me in SF.  When I opened it, three silver charms popped out and they read, “Integrity, Believe, Strength.”  Three words I really needed right then.

I am not sure how Kimberly knew last week when she bought that gift how fitting it would have been today.  Nor am I sure of where my future path with GOTB or another organization will lead, but I am sure that the universe must be cooking up something good at least I hope so ;p.  Thanks for all of you who have been praying that I would get this grant.  This is one mere set back.  I am confident that something good will come out of this and just as with the hill at Runyon Romp, I am not giving up until I get it.


  1. Kimberly

    that's the spirit Maria!! all things are possible when you refuse to give up on your goals and dreams…and you have plenty of people surrounding you to remind you of that if needed. i look forward to our latest adventure of breaking 2 hours…i got chills when i read that; you're right, it's official!! let's do it!! xo

  2. Kimberly

    ps, thank you, thank you, thank you a million times for having us 🙂

  3. Maria Costanzo Palmer

    So welcome!

  4. Dave Rengel

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was searching for!


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