emailing an old friend today…

…having a conversation about living on the east coast or the west. I always think of the following when I talk east or west:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97.
Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience… 
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked… 
You’re not as fat as you Imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. 
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind.
The kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; 
Sometimes you’re ahead, 
Sometimes You’re behind.
The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; 
If you Succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
[ Lyrics from: ]
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don’t Congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. 
Enjoy your body, Use it every way you can… Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people Think of it, 
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own… 

Dance… even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through
Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there
For you. 
And I’ll be there, just tell me now, whenever I can. 
Everybody’s free.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; 
They are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. 
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; 
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will Philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. 
Maybe you have a trust fund, Maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen… 

~Baz Luhrmann


grateful for my limbs

As I ran along the lake this morning, It dawned on me:

Never fail, my absolute best moments of clarity are when I am either running or driving- down a road alone, and in complete silence. Like a mom rushing to kiss a child’s bruised knee after a fall, my road time by foot or by car is for me what “makes it all better.”

So today I would like to thank my legs:

Thank you legs- for allowing me to pound that pavement and push those pedals.




adding fuel to the good fire

Serendipity? Luck? Perfect timing? Meant to be?

All of the above and then some.

In 2009 a girl LeeAnne (whom I’d just met once when I lived in Wilmington, North Carolina) sent me an email one day out of nowhere:

Hi Diane,
I saw that one of my friends from high school is living in New York City now and has a pretty interesting job.  She does running tours of the city.  Basically its much like a running group, except they also give tours of the city while running different paths/distances/etc.  I know you are a runner and this might be an interesting way to generate some income in the busy tourist months here by taking a unique approach to tour-giving! Here’s the link to their website so you can check it out:

Of course I checked out the site and thought City Running Tours looked awesome, but at the time Wilmington wasn’t one of their tour cities to be a guide so I just sent them a “Hello- you are awesome!” email, and have followed the company ever since. When I lived in Napa I thought I might end up living in San Fran and be a guide, after that I was hell-bent on moving NYC so I imagined I’d guide tours around The Big Apple. Well here I am currently living in Chicago a year via Virginia. (You following with a map? Good. Welcome to the life of a traveler.) The point is to illustrate how far and long I have followed this company, and that I’ve kept up with my running habits.

Several months back in 2011 I sent City Running Tours a second email: “You should hire me to be a guide because I am a runner, I can talk to a brick wall and I am awesome, and I think you are too.” We finally connected this week and Chicago Manager Marlin invited me to meet up and join in a run this morning. I happily accepted.

Let’s just say this was one of the best, most energizing, inspirational mornings I’ve had in a very, very long time.

Just like LeeAnne’s email to above said, City Running Tours is much like a running group, except they also give tours of the city while you run. Well, today was so much more than a tour and daily get my miles in. A group of Fantastic fun runners gathered at The Bean at Millennium Park bright and early to meet guide Marlin. Even though I have now only spent a few hours with him- Marlin could possibly be one of the coolest, most humble, interesting, I can’t wait to learn more about and hopefully work with- people. Check out this video!

I googled Marlin as soon as I got home after hearing some of his stories today, I had to. This video was shot and posted in 2007. Get your copy of Marlin’s book Our Life on the Run, HERE.  I know what I’ll be reading this week! A fellow 50 stater. Yeah!

I have a feeling there will be many more stories in the future about Marlin and City Running Tours.

If you’ve followed here regularly you know I’ve posted less frequently than usual the past few months. This is because I have been working my tail off on a big transition for BLR and a huge event, as well as going through one of those times in life that have been exhausting and less than inspiring. As I plug away slinging burgers and beers to pay debt I was left with a few years back, I keep my heart and soul here figuring out ways to keep this entity of BLR trekking.

The past few months have been the hardest, but best and much needed months. Admittedly even with this needed- nose to the grindstone/good for the long term time, there have been a few days I’ve thought- That’s it! I am giving up my dreams! I’m just going to go work in a cube so I can rest easy at the end of the week and have a few extra bucks in my pocket!- Then? Somehow (my Mother would tell you it’s that stubborn sass) thankfully I shake that crazy talk in my head. Who else am I trying to be anyway? I’m not meant for the cube. It always happens that right when you are at the end of that rope, if you push with everything you have to keep going you always meet someone or happen upon something like I did today, that shows you giving up dreams is not an option. There is no “rest easy” in giving up what fuels every part of you. Not for me anyway.

What fuels your good fire?

Thank you to LeeAnn for taking 5 minutes 3 years ago to share information because you thought of me. Thank you to my super fun new running buddies from today Amy and Anne. Thank you to Marlin, for being one of “those” people. The ones you admire, learn a lot from and who make you want to do and be even more.

Here’s to following what gets you up out of bed excited at 6am on a cold Saturday morning!

***Very important side note to anyone out there who likes/loves/digs someone or something: Turns out if you call or write to that someone/thing that you genuinely dig, tell them you think they are awesome and the reasons why- you always get invited to the party. Seriously. My batting average is 100% so far. As you read above that’s how I even ended up on the run this morning. Even a behemoth company like Honda responds to to “I love you” messages. How did I ever get to talk to them and then have one of their cars loaned to me to do a road trip a few months ago? I stopped into a Honda dealer in Mechanicsville, VA last year- asked a service guy if he had a general  800 number for Honda corporate, called the number and asked to be patched through to someone in PR/marketing. I left a voicemail with my information adding “I love your cars, you should call me” (and they did.) The Secret is out! I have never shared that here before. Awesome right? I have lots more stories like these two. Don’t be afraid. Life is too short. Walk up to whatever/whomever  you totally dig and tell them you do and why. What have you got to lose? When you get invited to the party (because I promise you will)- write to me and tell me about it! Then I’ll share your story here 🙂


no wonder why people love yoga so much

I’ve practiced yoga very sporadically through my years. I’ve always been a smash-em up beat-em up soccer playin’ booty shakin’ and runner kind of girl. I typically prefer to be more mover, shaker, sweat it out- than quiet and still, but recently I’ve added a big helping of yoga to my weekly diet.

I’m loving my ohmmmmm…in the mix of my typical go, go go work outs. I like how different the classes can be depending on the instructor. (There’s quite a variety at my current gym.) At the end of class this morning during shavasana, instructor Sarah suggested us to place one hand on our heart, the other on our stomach. I followed, lying there listening to my breath. Sarah continued: “The only things you need are the ones under your hands right now.”

Well hot diggidy dog Sarah!

I felt a smile come across my face. Brilliant!- I thought. My heart and “gut”- those two things I have always followed, the ones that’ve never steered me wrong. The two best friends a girl could have and really all she (me, you, anyone) needs. So true.

Lesson for the day?

If you are questioning anything, looking for clarity, struggling about a choice on something- put one hand on your heart, the other on your belly and listen to what those two tell you. They will always give you the right answer.

Isn’t it nice to have your two best friends right there with you no matter where you go?




thanks to the lady in the grocery store

An email just popped in my inbox from someone saying they love reading the Daily Awesome, and it made me realize how much I have enjoyed writing it these past few months. I feel all giddy and excited when I look forward, or back on my day and actually “put on paper” the little things that make me think to be thankful for.

Todays Daily Awesome feel especially awesome. Lessons from strangers, who don’t even know they’re giving them.

Also? Reader James who left a very nice comment on this post last week. Thanks James! I love getting feedback and am so happy you like visiting here. When you create something that means everything to you (like I have with this) and other people appreciate it, it’s pretty much the coolest feeling in the world- so thanks again! 🙂

What’s awesome in your Monday?


faq and thanks to all the things and people that have made me so “smart”

“What’s Blue Lollipop Road anyway?” A very regular question from others to me and me to myself.

The short answer: It’s about living the life you want to live.

The longer answer: It’s about allowing yourself feel things, think things, want things- and then go after them. It’s about showing and telling people when you love them. It’s about appreciating TIME more than anything. It’s about dreaming then jumping. It’s about realizing that nothing is as hard or scary as we think it might be. It’s about making change when you want it, being savvy, thankful, and aware. It’s about standing in the figurative spot that you want to, living, being who you really are, and owning yourself no matter what expectations are out there to be something/someone else. It’s about following your instincts, trusting yourself and realizing the little awesome’s in every day even when everything feels like it totally sucks. It’s about making choices, doing the right thing when nobody’s watching, and being proud of who you are. It’s about seeing the truth in things, being fearless, living in the moment and realizing that anything really is possible. Most of all- it’s about following your heart and running towards life, not away from it.

How did I become so “smart” and get such perspective?

Newsflash: I’m not really all that smart or more amazing than all of you- no seriously, I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am amazing (that’s for you Jim and Carl), and “one smart cookie” as my grandfather calls me- but I really am just a regular chick who’s been through a lot of crap (“Chick” and “crap” are technical terms of course.) When you go through a lot of crap, perspective is a no choice delivery. I credit any smarts I might have to the people I’ve spent time with in my life.

A few years back when I was going through a very difficult time, and was in nothing short of a pathetic state, a friend loved me enough to say: “This is one of those forks in the road Diane. You either let yourself go, live on the side of that mountain like that crazy old man, or you get your ass up and do something.”

Phew- thanks to friends who love me enough.

When I was a teenager, my mom wrote in a journal she gifted to me that quote: “With courage greater than your fear, jump into the unknown and you will fly.”

Phew- thanks to my mom and great quotes she never knew I’d really take to heart and live by.

I could go on and on.

As I arrived back in Chicago from my long weekend in California, at midnight Tuesday night- I was thankful. Thankful for amazing fun time, weather, food and laughs with great friends who really love me, and for being an area of the world I feel like I belong in and that “gets” me. As I talked to a girlfriend on the phone last night who’s waiting on her dad’s cancer diagnosis today, I was thankful to laugh on the phone with her and think about how lucky I am to have had her as a friend for the last 15 years. I was thankful about time once again. As I sent my little brother an email this morning to tell him I love him and was thinking about him- I was thankful to have an incredible brother who works so hard to earn his living and allows himself to take a winter break to a warm place each year to find adventure and stretch himself.

Oh I could go on with thanks and thanks and more thanks. I am so thankful.

I now must run to the gym, before I go off to my glamourous job of slinging burgers and beers because rent is due in a few days. I’m thankful for today. I’m thankful for living the life I want to live, even though being there and getting there requires doing lots of not so glamourous and not so fun things. I am thankful for every single time I can type away here freely when the mood strikes, to share thoughts and things I believe in- and that all of you out there who read- appreciate it.

How are you living the life you want to live?


my badass friend

As I was thinking about a friend this morning, who has recently blown my mind with her strength- I was reminded why it’s Ok that I’ve been accused my whole life that I expect too much, I am too hard on myself, that people can’t “keep up” with me, and that I am intimidating. I need to take more compliment than insult out of those observations. Why do I want to always be, see, do more, follow my heart and go for all my dreams? Why do I always fight for what I believe in and to live the life that I want to live? Why do I want to be a badass?

Because of people like my friend.

Over the past 6 weeks, I have watched this friend first hand, live through a hell that I cannot imagine. The kind that could easily debilitate, destroy or buckle any human- even of the strongest kind. She has not only picked her head up and functioned as a normal person in the everyday routine, but she has taken on even more responsibility than she had 6 weeks ago, she’s kept an incredible attitude and she’s just this week finished a huge personal goal that would be difficult for the average joe with no “problems” to finish. Even more? She’s been smiling through it all. Have there been tears?- Yes, lots. Have there been occasional fits of “why, why, why did this happen? I just don’t understand!”- Sure. I’d be worried if there weren’t those outbursts. 90% of the time though, she’s been positive, hopeful and fought to stay in the mindset that she has so much to look forward to, and cannot/does not want this recent tragedy to define her life.

She (like me) has also been accused of expecting too much, being too hard on herself, that people can’t “keep up” with her, and that she’s intimidating. If being the above means that when I am faced with more tragedy in my life I will handle it with the grace and courage that she has- I will roll in those compliments and take them every day.

We are all a product of our collective experiences, but often forget where we came from/what we’ve been through or chose not to think about it because it’s too hard, too embarrassing, or we just don’t know how to deal with certain things. I so admire the honesty and transparency of my friend. For the rest of her life she will have to respond to one of those common questions we all take for granted with an answer that would make anyone gasp. She’s straight up owning this terribly sad hell she’s been handed to live through. It is an incredibly humbling sight.

Who inspires me? Who makes me want to be a badass and hard to keep up with? Who defines resilience?

This girl.

Who do I want this post to inspire?

Anyone out there who thinks they just can’t get through something. Believe me, you can.

I am so lucky to know you G. Congratulations on this week. You are the ultimate in badass. We’ll always have Corcoran’s. Love you Mamma 🙂


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