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21 April 2009

12 days to a new t-shirt!

37 days tshirt_final A number of years ago, I was determined to visit the 24-Hour Church of Elvis in Portland, Oregon. I had heard about it for years and knew that if I took the tour, I would get a 24-Hour Church of Elvis t-shirt at the end.

I really wanted that shirt.

I teach every summer in Portland, so it was a good bet I could make this happen, and probably sooner rather than later.

After all, the Church of Elvis was a landmark, with a sidewalk coin-op store and all.

And so, one year, I dragged two colleagues with me. The 24-Hour Church of Elvis, it turns out, had moved from the location where the sidewalk coin-operated store was featured, to a second floor walk-up.

I can safely say that even after years of travel, interacting with many thousands of human beings, and finding myself in extraordinary circumstances the world over, this one was a Big One. A Big Very Odd One.

A woman welcomed us into an apartment, mentioning that they had just relocated and weren't set up quite yet, but that she would be glad to do a tour. If we paid, of course. I paid for the three of us, seeing as how my friends were unwilling victims.

What hit us immediately was the smell. And the piles of what could only be called trash.

It's a longer story, and one I'll write someday when I'm not sleep deprived from the sheer exuberance of finding a calf muscle in my leg for the first time today.

Here's the short version: one of my two friends was so freaked out by the "performance" of these two people and the smell that she went to wait outside. No refund, of course. The other woman wanted to leave, but just didn't feel comfortable leaving me in there alone with what appeared to be two people with significant mental issues.



So I could get the t-shirt.

I feel the same way about going to Cincinnati to walk the Flying Pig Half-Marathon in 12 days with 12 women from nine states. TWELVE DAYS, people.

Unprepared, with just one calf muscle (I thought I found a second one, but it was just a varicose vein), I am determined to finish for the t-shirt.

And for Amy.

See above for a sketch of the Life is a Verb team t-shirt!

Emma decided that going on a cruise to the Bahamas with the marching band and spending spring break in Florida with her grandparents and studying for chemistry tests might be more fun than sitting home and designing a t-shirt. Can we blame her?

And so, artist Mary Campbell is creating the design in her stead. I love Mary's work and asked her to help. Mary is one of the artists with beautiful artwork in Life is a Verb. Many thanks to her!

The back of the shirt features a quote from Confucius that is appropriate for my half-marathon performance: "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."

And so, that's all to say this: Just 12 more days on our 37 days challenge!

Are you in it for the duration?

What have you learned about yourself in these past 25 days since the challenge began?

What do you do when you "fail"? The answer to this question reveals your patterns.

How could "failing" be reframed as "learning"?

What's your t-shirt?

[You can make a pledge and get a t-shirt! And/or you can leave a comment below with a quote that would be inspirational right around mile 9 and I'll draw a t-shirt winner's name on Friday, April 24!]


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I live in Portland and am sad to say that the 24-hour Church of Elvis is closed. The move to the upstairs location was the beginning of the end. There was a brief time when there was no smell, although it was still QUITE an experience to be there.

We do have VooDoo Donuts (you can get donuts with pepto-bismol or Capt'n Crunch - not together) which, right now, is the closest thing to the CoE. And the Art Car that is owned by the scariest clown ever.

I hope when you are teaching out our way, you might consider doing a reading at Powell's City of Books, or In Other Words or any book store in the city. I'll do what I can to help!! :)

I'm pondering a mile 9 quote.

Love love love the new Tshirt.

...and so I rise.

-Maya Angelou

I've missed a day here or there, but am still moving forward. I must be somewhat successful because as I've been de-cluttering, no new piles have occurred. I've been less successful about recording what I'm doing, but that was the least part of my goal. :)

I think what's crucial for me when trying to create new patterns is to remember that everyday is a new day and an opportunity to start over. And that keeping going might mean starting over and starting over until it becomes habit.

That t-shirt is great!

My life has become so FULL as a result of this challenge that I have had hardly anytime to blog about it. I believe my life was always full but it took me slowing down and examining myself and my surroundings to become aware of all the possibilities.

love that shirt Mary! u r amazing Patti.

There is a 2nd calf muscle in there!

How about some Rumi-

Love is a river, drink from it!


Let the beauty we love, be what we do.

or a mindfulness gatha from Thich Nhat Hanh-
say this to yourself as you walk each
I have arrived
I am home
in the here
and in the now
present moment
wonderful moment

or how about just a simple word or two to help.



I'm looking forward to "earning" my tshirt on May 3rd!

How about this for inspiration: Okay, Patti, you don't DESERVE the t-shirt unless you finish the race! (just kidding)

Mile 9: "I wonder what my butt cheeks look like after all these steps."

"What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life." ~ Leo Buscaglia

Just one more step, Patti...all you have left is one more step.

Well, not *that* one--that one is only one which is getting you to the point where there is only one more step.

Hitch your wagon to Lisa. She will provide any needed Mile 9 muscle to get you through.

Yay! You have a calf muscle!! That's worthy of a victory dance, right there.

I love the t.shirt and the quote. I'm a big collector of quotes. Here's one for you:

"By perseverance the snail reached the ark." Charles Haddon Spurgeon

I used to live in Portland before moving out to the beach and always wondered what lurked inside the Church of Elvis on Broadway Street. Good on ya' for collecting the t-shirt! I'm so looking forward to wearing the beautiful design Mary created.

While it's encouraging and wonderful to hear Rick's support, Mile 9 more than likely will find my muscles maniacally laughing as I huff and puff towards that finish line.

Mile 9 inspiration: "Those bagels are going to taste sooooo good!"

Dear Patti,

Here is my quote to you for Mile 9. Please remember it when you get there! :0)

"It is not irritating to be where one is. It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else." John Cage

Something short and sweet, but inspirational:

No winter lasts forever
No spring skips its turn.
Hal Borland

Wishing you the best of luck on the journey, beth

I think it's awesome you are taking on this challenge!! You are an inspiration!

Here's my quote for mile 9:
You can do it Patti! You know you can!

I am in complete awe of those who can run. Thinking about our Boston Marathon that just occurred this past Monday I am blown away by the distance that people are traveling--on foot!

Here's my quote that gets me through tough times: "When nothing is sure, everything is possible." ~Margaret Drabble. Of course, I've never run a marathon, and have barely run 1 mile so you may have some other choice words that'll get you through it!!

my quote , though very simple, hopefully will keep you moving forward... and I love that shirt.

a lot.

if I don't win this drawing I am going to have to figure out the pledge details and work out paying for a shirt.....

the quote....


I am in awe of patti, delaney, and the entire group of women going for this. i live 5 hours from cicncinnati and i don't have the guts to join this ambitious group of awesome women in this endeavor. best wishes to you all!

love the shirt, love the quote, and love you guys too!

oh, a quote:
'you must be the change you wish to see in the world'

Patti -

I did my first half-marathon at the end of January. I was of the mind that it didn't matter how much I ran of it, just that I finished it. I, too, have never been an athlete, but little by little, it all happened. I ran some, I walked some, I danced some. And Amy's right: mile by mile ... hell, step by step, even.

And worst comes to worse - I've got a tip for you: there was a band playing "Eye of the Tiger" at around mile 12, and I gotta tell you, that bit of camp propelled me in the most fabulous way. I highly recommend putting it on an iPod when the going gets tough and strutting your tired tootsies home! :)

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