Saturday, May 31, 2014

Steps to Success: Fatigue is a Choice

For the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to figure out what steps I have to take to be success in my tri-adventures this year. This is particularly important because I'm going to be challenged with doing my first 70.3 in many years.

I've always struggled with the training for a 70.3. Of course, I also did them without the help of a coach. That makes a difference. A coach will ask the questions or comment on things that I've never been aware of....I get so wrapped up in training (being tired or having good/bad days) that I can't always see the forest for the trees.

My biggest battle is the mental part of the run; primarily, the second half of a run.

My favorite workout is 5 X bike/run brick. This workout takes from about 2:10-2:30. The bike portions increase in intensity with each interval. The runs also increase in speed or increase in length of time running at a particular pace (for me that's 10k pacing or 5k pacing).

In other words, this is a very hard workout.

Last Wednesday, I was doing the workout. On the second run, I lost focus. I started thinking that I still have 3 more intervals....and this is so hard...and my legs are getting tired....this pace is ridiculous. I didn't hit my interval pace. I missed it by :05 per mile.

I was upset by this. I got on the bike for interval #3. I'm pretty mad at myself. I finish the interval, and I head out to run.

My legs are more tired this time around. I start running, and I think "there is NO WAY this is harder than racing. NO WAY."

At that point, I made the decision that I was going to hit the pace no matter what I had to do.

I finished that interval running faster than the previous interval. It felt easier than the 2nd interval.

The only thing I did differently was change my perspective. All I did was focus on THAT interval. I didn't think about the next interval. I didn't think about how much my legs hurt. I just focused on running as hard as I could.

The 4th interval.....I ran even faster....and I was more tired, but I ran faster.

I finished the workout, and I felt so great....not physically....I was tired, no I was wiped out. Mentally, I was so happy. I got back and uploaded my workout with my notes.

Of course, I get a message back from my coach. All it says, "Why did you lose focus?"

So, I told her about losing focus because I was "worried" about the next intervals....blah blah blah.

She wrote back, "It's pretty great when you realize that fatigue is a choice, isn't it?"

Fatigue is a choice.

Those words hit me. I thought back to the workouts that I'd recently had. I was tired but I made the choice to keep running hard.

There have been few things ever said to me that has ever pointed out my biggest weakness, like those three little words.

Today, I ran off the bike 8 minute intervals: 4 minutes at 10k pace and 4 minutes at 5k pace.

Mentally, I broke the workout into 4 minute warm ups then 4 minutes run hard. Come on it's only 4 minutes of hard running.

It was hot. I just road 75 minutes on the bike.

The first interval blew by.

The second interval was harder, and I said, "Fatigue is a choice. It's only 4 min at 5k pace"

The third interval I was fully into focusing only on the interval at hand and running as hard as I needed to maintain my 5k pace.

The 4th interval....and I was absolutely consistent. When I *should* have felt tired.....when in the past, I would have said, "It's normal to drop off a little bit at this point." I DIDN'T.

Fatigue is a choice.

I always have more to give.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Who's got your back?

Why do you read blogs?

As an introvert, I know why I write them. It's a way to process things. I'm not always right. In fact, most of the time, I'm wrong. I've said it before. I can be and need to be irrational here. It allows me to work through some issues I might be having. At the end, there's always clarity.

This clarity happened this week in a conversation with Molly. Of course, the conversation was probably some insane thing about sex or food or training or y'know NOTHING to do with the enlightenment that hit me afterwards.

This year, the past 5 months or so, I withdrew emotionally from many things. I threw myself into work. I threw myself into training. I threw myself into getting JMan graduated.

I did it so I wouldn't have to feel certain things that I just wasn't ready to deal with. OR that I didn't have the energy to deal with. I think physical work is much easier to handle than the emotional stuff.

Well, of course.....everything happens for a reason. I crashed my bike. It was not a bad crash, but it was enough to slow me down. What that meant was that I FORCED to stop being so damn physical and actually deal with my own sh*t.

Here I was accomplishing some pretty cool things, but I wasn't enjoying them. There was a piece missing.

Then this week, things started happening. First, I got the message from LBTEPA. Then, the conversation with Molly. Then, another person made the simplest of comments to me. The comment hit me very personally...even though, it had nothing to do with me personally. There was the race over the weekend. I had a lot of things hit me all at once.

I decided it was time for me to make some changes, and.....a weight was lifted. I finally figured out some of the things that were going on.

My "issues" were that I was trying to force some things to happen. I was trying to make things happen that needed time. They weren't meant to be forced. It's like that old fitting a square peg into a circle hole....or however the saying goes.

The other bigger issue was having to let go. I mean, really let go of things. I'm not good at that.

When I accepted those things, other things started falling into place.

It's not perfect, but I'm feeling a lot better.

So many of you have had my back for the past few months. And Molly....there's just no way I can thank you enough for making that drive down to the Sneak that day. It was chilly and drizzly, and it was a blast. If it weren't for you, I probably would have had another meltdown....besides....there were pancakes....and lots of syrupy goodness that day....and driving all over Denver looking for a place to eat.

Here's where I am. I'm happy. I have really great friends in my life.

Sometimes I feel like with those people behind me, I can accomplish anything.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Brilliance of Friends

I'm smart.

I'm smart because I surround myself with brilliant people; people like LBTEPA.

She said something the other day, and I've been thinking about it ever since. She said, "You are not powerless."

She is right.

I don't have to let someone else's behavior affect mine.

If I want to do something, I'm going to do it and not care what anyone thinks.

I've let another person's behavior affect my own for the past few months, and I'm not doing it anymore.

Welcome back the NEW, OLD Tea.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Race Report: Pelicanfest Sprint Tri

Let's start at the end because I know there are those of you who like to compare times, speeds, etc. (Information taken from my Garmin since the official results are not online as of this writing).

I came in 2nd in the F45-49 AG.
Swim: 17:35, pace 1:28, 1200yd
T1: 1:40
Bike: 30:49, 19.5mph
T2: :48
Run: 31:02, 9:48 pace

Some quick notes about this race.
1.) There was sort of a last minute bike route change.
2.) The night before the email that went out stated the wrong time for starting. They sent out a correction email.
3.) The RD said the water temp was 64, but it was closer to 57ish in my estimation. I do a lot of chillier swims. I know temps.
4.) You know that saying, "Don't try anything new on race day?" Yeah. My bad.

I saw the correction email, but I didn't adjust my alarm clock. When I woke up and saw the time, I knew that I was going to have to haul ass. What this meant was that I didn't quite get my morning breakfast in. However, I keep a stash of Frontier Bites in my car. I usually have them AFTER a long swim or AFTER some other kind of workout. But, I was desperate. I needed something to eat. I munched on them on the way up to the race.

For me, a colder swim is a good thing. Cold doesn't bother me. In fact, I tend to overheat on the swim. While everyone is shivering and talking about how cold they are, I don't even notice it. I pulled out my NEW sleeveless wetsuit.

I was in the last wave. It's a beach start, which I (normally) love. I know my swim is pretty solid. Still, I have no idea what I'm going to be able to do today. I'm not 100%. My goal was to go hard. I thought if I could do a 2:00 per 100, I'd take it. I know. I know. Sandbagger, right?

Beach start. I'm checking out all the women, trying to figure out who I would be able to draft off of when out of seemingly no where.....they say, "15 seconds to start."

Well, F*ck that plan. IT'S GO TIME. We start running. I'm not even in two steps, and I take a colossal face plant. There was a big slippery rock. I hit it just right and DOWN GOES TEA. front of everyone. No big deal. I'm sure they all thought I decided to dive in early. I start swimming, and I'm laughing thinking, "Oh, that's just classic."

The faceplant cost me, and I realized that I was right in the middle of the pack. My goal was to take it easy for a couple of minutes then go hard. I thought at the first buoy, that's when I'll hit it.

I'm navigating through....back strokers (come on. Really? We're not even 100m in). Some guy zigzagging.....there's ALWAYS a zigzagging old guy that I seem to get wrapped up in.

In other words, THIS

wasn't my fault. Ok. fine. Totally my fault. I should have been aggressive and held my ground.

I'm in the midst of a ton of people. WE hit the first buoy. I start picking up the pace. I start catching and passing people with my swim cap color. I notice that the swim caps are getting fewer and far between, but at this point, I'm focused on the 2nd buoy. I have NO IDEA where I am in the pack.

Halfway between the first and 2nd buoys, I catch the slowest swimmers in the previous waves. Being the last wave has some challenges, and that is getting around other swimmers.

All of a sudden I hit the next buoy and realize that I am not going hard enough. CRAP. How long have I been out here? It doesn't feel like a long time, but I'm clearly not going hard.

I think, "I must be close to the back of the pack. That's ok. No big deal."

When I got to shore, I glanced at my watch: 1:30ish pace.

That's not possible. I couldn't have swam that fast. I felt like I was going so slow. I was thinking 2:00.

I get out and run up to T1. Being as I'm in a new hadn't practiced in it and got a little stuck. Once I got unstuck, I flung that sucker off so fast and jumped on the bike. I blew past the woman who beat out of the water....I just didn't know it at the time. She beat me on the swim by :02 seconds or something ridiculous. In turn, I beat her through transitions.

T1: 1:40

Last minute course changes. This course is about 4-5 miles up hill. The 2nd half is rolling hills with some tight turns. Unfortunately, those tight turns all seemed to happen at the bottom of a hill. We couldn't really use momentum to get up the next roller.

This isn't a big deal. I knew this going into it. I just wanted to go hard on the bike.

The bigger issue was the course change. We veered off the road and onto a REAL bike path. YES....a bike path that is also used by casual walkers and families enjoying the Memorial day weekend. Sharp turns, flat with families walking by and in front.

I started thinking that I have no idea where I am in regards to my AG. I haven't seen another woman. I've passed people in previous waves....where are my girls?

Granted, I'm going fairly hard. If there is someone ahead of me, she really has to be moving for me to not catch her. That leads me to think....they're behind me.

F*CKING A, I can podium today. I just have to hold my shit together on the run.

Anyway, the ride was a little more treacherous than I'd like, but I'd been riding a bike path recently that had many similar turns. When it was clear, I was able to hit the turns pretty hard.

As I'm nearing the end, it occurs to me that I haven't seen anyone in awhile, not even guys. All of a sudden, I have no idea where I'm supposed to go to. There is a volunteeer standing there....not doing anything....granted, she's a volunteer....and very old.....I had to ask her 3 times "Which way do I go?"

Now....hang on....I's MY responsibility to know the course. I would like to point out that the map was not detailed and an entire team was DQ'ed because they went the wrong way.

I'm on the right track. A little further, and I'm at the dismount line with a long run to transition.

I'm in and out of T2 in :48


While I was on the bike, I lost my bottle with my drink in it. Although, I'm not thirsty. I know I need to stop at the very first aid station and have my emergency gel that I carried with me.

I start running. I'm checking out everyone running toward me. Not my AG. Not my AG. What the hell? Where is everyone?

All of a sudden, I see a woman who could possibly be my AG. She is running in the opposite direction.

I didn't find out until we finished that we had almost identical pace the entire time. She just ran faster than me.

But not faster than I'm capable of running.

For whatever reason, I was running and I thought, "GOD I LOVE TRIATHLON."

I can't even tell you how significant that was. Here I was running. The thing that caused me to start to dislike tri' much so that I had considered taking the year off. Here I was running, and thinking about what a good time I was having.

I wasn't going to PR. I don't really care about getting 2nd place.


Maybe I didn't run as hard as I could. I know that's the truth. In a way, I was still in my old mindset where I start to crash on the run. But, I wasn't crashing today. I figured out my fueling. I was running and having fun doing it. 

I could have swam faster.

Maybe I could have biked faster.

I didn't care. The entire day was fun. I wasn't frustrated. I didn't drop any F bombs (other than the very start). I just got out there and had fun.

I think this was an emotional hurdle that I had to get over before I could start to go really fast. I could have ran faster. I just didn't because I was in my old mindset of "my run always falls apart. I suck at running."

I never once thought "I suck at running" today. Not once. It never even crossed my mind.

But I needed to feel good running....feel good mentally and physically.

I needed to know that I could have fun racing.

Going fast but not having fun....isn'

I hit the turnaround, and it took about 5 minutes before I started seeing the women in my AG coming.

This has never happened before. I've always had to count on my bike and swim in order to podium. TODAY, I came in 2nd on both, and I still came in 2nd.

THAT is a HUGE accomplishment.

I've gotten the nerves of my first race out of the way.

I checked my emotional baggage at the start, and I never went back to pick it up.

I'm ready to gun for a PR at my A race next month.

P.S.-Remember the face plant that no one saw? A guy I know was there cheering for his son. He came up to me after the race and said, "That face plant was AWESOME."

There ya go.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's just me.

I hate not being allowed to do something.

I hate it. 

I don't like these rules.

I want to be me. I want to be able to take my own risks and not worry what other people think about me. 

If I like you, I want you to know.

But I'm not allowed to.

I want to call a friend.

But I'm not allowed to.

I want to email. 

But I'm not allowed to.

It makes me crazy.

I just want to say: Hey, how are you? I are you? Yeah, I know you a thousand social media *friends*, but I'm the one that actually cared.

And I'm going to see you.

And I'm not allowed to say anything or do anything. I have to act like it's no big deal. AND I can't do that.

I don't even get the opportunity to say, "I'm sorry for hurting you."

And it tears me apart.

These aren't my rules, but I have to play by them.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Race week

This coming Saturday, I have my first tri of the season. Getting to this point has been filled with emotional highs and lows & total craziness.   

The past 5 months have been probably some of the weirdest months I've had since I started triathlon. I don't think I've had so many weeks of ups & downs, physically & emotionally.

  • I've been working with a new Coach. At first, it was so hard. I had to figure out what this new relationship was going to be. I admit that I had some serious trust issues when I started. I was afraid of saying or doing anything. I had to learn what her expectations of me were going to be. I've had to learn so much. It's been non-stop work on my fueling and figuring out what I need to get me through races and training. Besides the fueling, I have been (and will continue to be) challenged by different types of workouts, different types of training. It's a completely new methodology. Quite honestly, this is the kind of coach I need, and this is what I got. 
  • Work had it's own challenges. For awhile, we thought we were moving. Then there was getting through an insane Easter and hiring and the list goes on.
  • I've also been dealing with getting Jman graduated and off to college. There are few things as hard as keeping a senior in high school focused for those last few weeks. We made it. He graduates this week.
  • Of course, there was the bike accident that left me unable to breathe, move, bend over, cough, sneeze....or move in general....and getting out of bed felt like a searing hot rod was being stabbed into my chest. A left leg that was bruised and cut up from top to bottom....and I never even realized that I had a swollen knee for several days. I've had to replace mostly inexpensive things on the bike and fix one component. Overall, it wasn't really all that bad. 
But, you keep going; sometimes having to miss a workout or go easy or bonk because you don't eat enough or bonk because you're dehydrated.....or really don't want to do that freaking ride in the wind because you're so sick and tired of the wind. Then, the last snow storm comes in. Finally, spring and warm weather comes in.  Then, REALLY this time, the last snow storm comes in. 

Day after day, month after month, training goes on. Between being tired and recovering, there's no clue as to how everything is going to fit together.

Before you know it....race season is here. 

I'm staring down at my first race of the season, wondering how all this is going to fit together next Saturday. The only way to get through the first race is to do your training & follow the plan.

My Coach asked me for my race plan.

Race plan? Seriously? My first race, and I hadn't even thought of my race plan. At this point, I was thinking, "Well, I guess I'll swim then bike then run."

I gave it some thought. Honestly, I have no idea how the swim is going to go. Since the crash, I hadn't been able to swim without significant pain until last Friday. 

Prior to that, I'd been having my fastest swim times ever.

My cycling and running has been stronger than it ever has been with my running off the bike being some of my best times. 

Still, it's the first race of the year, more of a prep race for my A race in June. We're not even tapering for it. 

But, what the hell? Why not just go for it and see what happens?

I've never really gone hard in a sprint, and she knows that. She's had me doing these really hard effort intervals to teach me how to handle the pain that high intensity races bring. It's been as much mental training as it has been physical training.

Still, I don't know what to expect. I sent my plan. She responded as I expected her to respond without bullshit.

The swim: Hard charge through the swim.  Turn your arms over fast and if it feels comfortable at any point, you are NOT going hard enough!

My Goal time: 11:30 for 800m

The bike: If you want to go above 105% FTP, do so in the last 5 miles!

My goal time: 27-28 min for 10 miles, there are some course issues such as sharp turns and congestion. 

The run: Remember that the run on the sprint should NOT feel good, fluid or comfortable for any minute.  Don't wait for your legs to come around or expect it.  Expect screaming pain, go with it and run as hard as you can through it!

My goal time: Match the bike time.

So, I'm done looking back. I've put everything that I can into my training.

The race will be what I make it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Coming clean

I've finally found acceptance in my training.

I've identified where I let my anger and hurt get the best of me. When it happened, I registered for some races out of spite. I didn't really want to do them. I only signed up to prove someone wrong because I was so hurt.

Lately, this has really been weighing on me as my race season is getting ready to start. There were races that I was looking forward to doing....and others that I was regretting my decision to register.

I've been dwelling on this for months because training and racing is really hard. You have to be 100% committed to it.

I wasn't.

It was really bothering me. It finally got to the point where I decided to talk to someone about it.

I thought I could go into those races with a different attitude or just look at them as training or having fun with all the other athletes. But it's really hard to train and race for something when your heart isn't in it.

I've had so many people trying to convince me that I need to stick with my schedule.

So I talked to someone who's opinion I trust. I was so happy to hear the response of "You can't do this if you're not into it."

The fact is that if all I did was train, and I didn't have to work or have other things going on.....well, I could train for ANY distance.

But that's not my situation. Training has to fit into my life. I will never again try to fit my life into my training.

When she said that, it was like a weight lifted. I realized that I can do whatever I want to do.

I don't want to do those races that signed up for out of hurt and anger and the "I'll show you" attitude.

I want to do the races that I want to do for me----not "revenge"---so to speak.

As much as everyone struggles to understand this, I don't want to do long distances. It's not that I "can't". It's not that I'm afraid of them. I don't have the time to train for long distances. Could I make the time? Certainly but only at the sacrifice of things that I'm not willing to sacrifice. In that regard, I don't want to do them.

Down the road, there will be plenty of time for me to go long.

I'm not here to talk about priorities because you have heard that story ad nauseam.

What's out? What's in?

At this writing, The Boulder Peak is out. There are two other races that are later in the year. I don't have to decide now. I have plenty of time to see how my Summer goes.

Now that the Peak is off the radar, I can go about enjoying my upcoming races and not worry about who's there; how I have to perform or what someone else is thinking about my performance.

Because it doesn't matter.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Scientific Survey

We all know that the surveys found in magazines are of the highest level of scientific study.

Of course, that means when there's one in Triathlete magazine....well, I need to pay special attention; especially for a survey that is going to tell me what my ideal coach should be like.

When THIS is one of the questions.....
And THIS is one of the answers.....

We know exactly where this survey is headed. 

Creepy. It's like the author can read my mind, but that's Science for you.

Until next time!

Friday, May 9, 2014


As a triathlete, I see a tendency for athletes to ignore their limitations. They see "things" as weaknesses instead of "life".

  • Working too many hours? I'm SUPERMAN! I can work 60 hours a week and keep training!
  • Injured? That's for pansies! I can still hit up my +15 hours of training.
  • Family time? No problem! That's why the gym is open 24 hours!
It's like if you can't get it all done, you're a failure.

I've never believed in that way of thinking. When work is too much, I back down my training and change my goals. (My mental and physical health is more important than looking tough). I will always choose more sleep over getting up early for a training session. I've never done triathlon to impress people with my training volumes. Oh, I did that for about a year, in the early days. I learned very quickly that if I was training 18 hours, someone else was training 20. It could quickly spiral into a "keeping up with the Joneses".

When the boys had activities and sports and things, I quit long distance to be able to spend time with them. (We have only one opportunity to raise our kids).

Now that I'm injured, (for those of you stalkers who don't regularly read my blog. The story is here in a somewhat condensed and explicit version), I can really appreciate what it means to be patient and taking recovery one day at time and doing only what I can do.

None of this means that I'm giving up on my goals. It means that there are times where other things are more important.

This week, I've been looking at my most recent months of training. From the looks of it, when I throw in work issues or injury or family issues (the unexpected things that come up), it looks like my most successful training weeks don't exceed 12 hours per week. At up to 12 hours per week, I can absorb unexpected things pretty easily. Beyond that, I will sacrifice training.

I can't speak to what will happen in the future when Justin leaves for college (in a few months). I don't know what that part of my life will be like.

All of this is causing me to reassess my goals this year. To what? I don't know. 

I'm going to look at my race schedule, determine why a particular race is important to me and decide if it is something that I want to do or maybe shelve the idea. 

I can tell you that there were a couple of races that I look at now and think that I might have signed up for them for the wrong reasons. I just won't know for a few months.

At the same time, I can also adjust my outlook of those races. Instead of going in with time goals or really goals of any sort, I can just do them for the fun of doing them. 

There also the impact that friends have on me. That weighs in on my decisions. As one key friendship ended, the interests that we shared (primarily triathlon) doesn't have the appeal that it once did. Triathlon was always something that I enjoyed doing with other people. Even if I wasn't doing it with someone, I had my BFF to talk to about it afterward.

The people who are still friends are also looking at other interests. 

Finally, we all know that training ebbs and flows. There are weeks that we feel GREAT and weeks that we are down because we're tired....make that exhausted. It's hard to think clearly when I'm in the throws of a big training week.

All of these are factors. 

That's why it's best for me to take it one race at time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tales from the bike: How to be a bad ass

One would wonder...

Why the attitude, Tea?


Smart?  Maybe not.

Bad ass? Fucking right, it was.

Here I am a few days post crash. I have bruises and cuts up and down my left leg. My right leg has only a few bruises.

As of today, I'm able to breathe fairly well; however, sneezing, couging laughing, opening windows, lifting anything.....pretty much hurts with a bruised sternum.

How did it happen? I have no idea. One minute I'm up. Then next minute I'm lying on the ground with aerobars lodged in my left boob.

You might think: Well, that pretty much SUCKS. You'd be right. Except for a few things.

First: I went to the bike shop. The service manager there knows me. He is the only one that works on my bike. When he found out what I did, he was awesome on so many levels. He checked out my bike, fixed what was necessary....and then (since he's a triathlete and all), he wrote this at the bottom of my receipt.

Not only did he do that, but since I'm unable to move very well, he brought my bike out for me.

Of course, he also left me a smart ass voicemail that made me laugh. Did I mention how much it hurts to laugh?

Oh. I'll get even with that one.

Second: I attempted a swim on Monday. I knew it was really going to hurt. Immediately, I realized that there were a few things that were absolutely OUT of the question: fly, breast stroke, flip turns and using paddles.

I could barely get enough air and had to go extremely slow.

Then, I discovered something pretty amazing. If I used the best form that I could, I could swim minimizing the pain. AND, if I used the pull buoy, it kept my body in perfect form and made the swim hurt even less. I swam 1500m that day at a 3:00/100m pace.

I swam again today. Flip turns, A-OK. Using paddles: A-OK. I'm not yet to the point where I can trust fly or breast stroke, but that's a really small issue. I'm not quite able to sprint or even go particularly hard, but I could swim today with minimal pain & considerably less than Monday.

I realized that as unfortunate as the crash was, I'm going to be a better swimmer because of it. In order to minimize my discomfort, I have to focus 100% on my form.

Sometimes, we have to slow down in order to go faster.

That's pretty damn cool.

Tomorrow, I'm back on the bike for some hill repeats and a time trial.

I think I'll get a BAD ASS BITCH tattoo.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Less than perfection is perfect

I was going to write about this topic in regards to training. Then, I realized that it's so true in every way.

For training, I have this lovely training plan. The plan outlines everything that I'm supposed to do. It's neat, clean & organized.

But, life is not neat, clean & organized. That training plan is the ideal. It's what can happen if I lived in a vacuum. I don't. Sometimes I miss a workout. Sometimes, they don't go as planned. Sometimes, I screw up my fueling. Sometimes, I don't eat enough the day before. Sometimes work gets in the way. Sometimes, I have to handle family issues or scheduling conflicts.

When you've been doing this for awhile, you learn this very quickly. Something goes wrong or not according to plan, and you just keep moving. Don't worry about it. Keep moving forward.

I was in the pool, on my own because I couldn't make it to masters, and I thought about people that I know. The reason I love them is because of all their quirky little things. I love this person because he's stubborn and this person because of her biting sarcasm and this person because of her brutal honesty and this one because of her dark sense of humor.

I love people who are human and don't put on some kind of act. I've always preferred when people be themselves. Maybe you're 10lbs heavier than you want to be. Maybe you have more gray hair than you want. Maybe you have more than your share of wrinkles. Those are the things that I love about my friends.

That's what I find most attractive in people: they are who they are.

They are perfect because of their imperfections.