Okay, so the original idea I had for the new EmilyHaHa.com was a blog devoted to work, because at the time I fired it up, I was in the middle of a job hunt and was – for the first time in my adult life – staring in the face of involuntary unemployment. I had a couple of small side projects going on, but nothing that would count as full- or even part-time “work.” And that was terrifying.
Fast forward a few months and now I have two 25-hour-a-week jobs, plus an additional side project! Some days I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but for the most part it’s exhilarating to get paid to do things like market a theatre or communicate about public housing. And I get to work with so many smart, funny, wildly talented people that it’s unbelievable. I learn new stuff every day and I am challenging myself professionally in new ways that I haven’t experienced in years. In short, work life is good.
But one thing I have not been doing is challenging myself personally, either mentally or physically. I’ve slipped into old patterns of too much couch time and too little fresh air, which is ridiculous because I live blocks from one of the most beautiful lake fronts in the world. Plus I don’t have cable anymore so that’s not even an excuse!
I had to find something radical to snap me out of my pattern of behavior and jump start a goal I’ve had for years, which is to lose a significant amount of weight and get myself to a place of good health. Like, no more late night pizza, no more going days without eating a fresh vegetable, and no more instances of getting winded by sprinting up the steps to catch a train. No more.
So I found something to kick my lazy rear into gear: Ride for AIDS Chicago. I know what you’re thinking: Em Hall is neither an AIDS activist nor a cyclist. Tawk amongst yourselves. But seriously, what am I thinking? Well, I’m thinking a couple of things. I get to raise money for an organization that I’ve fallen madly in love with – About Face Theatre – and I get to spend time doing something that’s good for my health in so many ways.
My biggest fear isn’t that I won’t complete the ride (because I will) or that I’ll injure myself (because I won’t). No, my biggest fear is that I won’t know how to live with my new self, a self that eats a healthy balanced diet and craves exercise. A self with a mind that’s sharp as a tack during the day and quieted during the night. A self that’s better to those around her because she’s better to herself. So yeah, that’s the scary part. Becoming a better version of myself. Because let’s be honest: it’s far easier to stick with bad habits and tell yourself that tomorrow is the day you’ll change. But today is the day I’m changing!
I hope you’ll follow along on my journey. If you want to donate to support my ride, that’s fantastic (and I thank you in advance!) but really I just want you to join me as I work to be that better self that I know I can be. I’m going to need all the support I can get. And I’m already learning new stuff, like the fact that my road bike as Presta valves (that’s an example above) and that I need an adapter to air the tires (the Chicago Bike Blog tells you how). That should tell you how often I’ve ridden that bike!
Okay, that’s enough to get this thing started. Look for lots more content from me moving forward. It’s great to have you along for the ride…
I’m riding 200 miles in support of About Face Theatre and other amazing community organizations in this summer’s Ride For AIDS Chicago. If you’d like to donate, please visit my fundraising page. Thank you for your support!