Showing posts from 2009

Cudos to Seth

Just a little bragging about son Seth (18).  He is currently attending Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging and Arts in Waltham, MA, enrolled in the professional school of photography.  He called yesterday to tell me that one of his portraits was selected as one of the "Daily Dozen" on December 22, 2009 for National Geographic Magazine. Feel free to visit the site and give his photo high credits!  Here is the link:

Christmas Greetings

Hi Everyone and Merry Christmas, I intended to get this letter out as soon as Seth, our resident photographer, got home from school. But the big snowstorm of 2009 put a dent in those plans, leaving him still waiting for three whole days to catch his flight. Hence, a letter filled with pictures found in the dark recesses of my computer files. Gary is still the facilities manager at New Covenant Schools, responsible for the entire property inside and out. And yes, he has to make the grass grow on the soccer and lacrosse fields. He does a great job! Gary has some flexibility time-wise and has been able to hunt a lot more this year. Our freezer is getting full of venison for the coming year. A couple more deer should do it. I am teaching on-line high school for Liberty University in addition to creating on-line education for perfusionists. Along with two friends, we set a woman’s record on the South Beyond 6000 in North Caroline, summiting forty peaks over 6000’ after connecting th

The stalking lion

Ever feel like the runner in the picture? You are just doing what comes naturally. The world is good. No worries. Just a brief moment of rest and relief. If she only knew what was about to happen. . . Do we know what is going to happen tomorrow or the next day, next week or next year? Of course not. And it's probably a good thing. God may have ordained circumstances that would terrify us. But we dare not live in fear. God never gives us anything that He has not given us the power to overcome. Whether it be strained relationships, financial difficulties, tasks that occupy our every waking hour, children, parents, or injury and illness, God give us what we need when we need it. Worrying about those things is of little benefit for it is counterproductive. Embracing the difficulty, however, by trusting in the tight embrace of the Father on your life will see you through. When Paul was writing to the Corinthians he must have been feeling the same thing. In fact, he said that &quo

Hellacious Hellgate

I heard the sound switch from the scuffle of gravel to the crunch of leaves. My confused mind sent a signal to open my eyes. Good thing. My mindless weaving had nearly cost me a trip down the steep embankment. But in some curious way, it wouldn’t have mattered. Once I landed I could have dozed. Sweet contentment even if it was near single digit temperatures. Sleep running is not a new phenomenon to me. In fact, I find myself in that mode quite often. Eat. Drink. Talk out loud. Sing. Falalalala. Take a caffeine tab. I do all the right things but sometimes it is miles before I wake up. When I do, all is well. But when my mind is hazy and my body fighting forward motion, it is, well. . . hell. This was my seventh Hellgate 100K. I miserably failed one year but was attempting to complete my sixth wicked race. After a year of heavy-duty volunteering at the other five Beast series races, I could not resist the call of this course. There really is no explaining it. It is cold, dark, wet, s
I have been privileged to speak to several groups in the last couple of weeks. The purpose was to encourage and motivate these athletes, my topic being "Ordinary to Extraordinary: The Road Best Traveled." On Saturday, I was invited to speak to Liberty University's Woman's basketball team, Big South Champions ten years and running. I spoke to them for about thirty-five minutes, had lunch with them and then took my seat with them on the bench as "honorary coach" (their term-not mine!) during the game. It was great!  But I wish I had a picture. . .I would be the very short one in the middle! I encourage you to share your love of athletics and look for ways to impact young athletes. There is a good chance you will be encouraged more than them!

Keep on keeping on

The night surrounded me, the black inkiness nearly palpable. I was chilled to the bone, trying desperately to preserve my body heat as I lay curled up in my hammock. Waves of nausea swept over me. The cacophony of jungle sounds only heightened my dread. I felt terribly alone and scared. I had come to triumphantly race through the Brazilian rain forest but now. . .was it all for naught? Would my body succumb to the stress though my mind was willing to go on? I was in the middle of a 250-kilometer race in the Amazon jungle. International competitors had gathered to challenge the course and each other. I was racing well in this seven-day, self-sufficient race, leading all the women and the other Americans. First, that is, until severe dehydration took its toll. The jungle takes prisoners; the oppressive heat, onerous humidity, swamps, and treacherous terrain its guards. How was I going to continue in the fight against time, the miles, and my own body? I needed a miracle. And a mirac

Brotherly love

I am sitting at my desk this morning trying to get some work done. The to-do items are being checked off one by one but probably not with ultimate efficiency. You see, I am working under—literally—two difficult circumstances; one is named Loci and the other, Fraya. These five-month old furballs are kitty siblings. We managed to find homes for the other four and the five that preceded them but ran out of friends to place the last of the kittens in loving homes. Hence, they still live in contented bliss under our roof. These young cats are adorable even if somewhat demanding. As I type, both are curled up in a furry heap between my arms and my laptop. For a long time they lay draped over one another, hiding my arms under a mass of hair and whiskers. It was hard to type but harder to disturb their contented snoozing. But now, they are engaged in a peculiar activity: community grooming. Fraya started it. She nuzzled her brother and then started licking his head with tender care. Loc

Why is this so hard?

“Hard?” you ask. “What’s so hard?” Well, let me tell you. A few days ago I was ecstatic with my feelings of burgeoning fitness gains. Then a day or two of entertaining relatives and power shopping shifted my training from the roads and trails to the sidewalks of the mall and the comfy cushions in my family room. But, okay, it was a holiday. I’m allowed time off for good behavior. Right? The holiday eventually brought the dawn of my long-run day and an insurmountable desire to sleep in. After all, who said all long runs have to start in the pre-dawn hours—especially when it’s cold and windy! So sleep in I did. Ahhh. What bliss--until I remembered the demonic Hellgate 100K looming a mere two weeks away. But did I spring to my feet and fly off to the mountains? Nope. I put on a pot of coffee, ate my cinnamon roll, and watched DIY programming waiting for my oldest son to rise. When his feet eventually found the floor, he announced plans to run with a friend and not with good ‘ol mom.

Could it be?

I don’t want to get too excited. And, I’m not really even sure I want to say anything publicly because there is always a chance that I might have to eat some crow. Yuk! Not my idea of fun. But, I feel something stirring inside and I like it. (And no, the stirring is certainly not a baby!) I haven’t felt like this for a very long time. Maybe. Just maybe. . .See a smile slowly creep across my face. Several weeks ago I decided to join the YMCA again. More non-running options for this aging body, you know. I wanted to glide effortlessly through the water again. And all those exercise contraptions. . .well, who could resist? So join I did. Headlong into the pool I went. The effortless gliding took a little more work than I had remembered. And the 5:45 a.m. core strength class nearly caused my stomach muscles to explode like rubberbands too tightly stretched. Then we have to talk about Pilates. My, I knew I wasn’t Gumby flexible but this was ridiculous. What was so easily achieved in my

Turning ordinary into extraordinary

Remember the story of the Israelites right before they went into the Promised Land? Twelve guys went on a reconnaissance mission; one brave soul from each tribe. Over the border they went, starry-eyed and amazed. The land was bountiful, grape clusters so huge two men had to bind them to poles carried between their shoulders. And this was no overnight camp out. They explored the territory for forty days before reporting back. I can just imagine them standing before Moses, each so filled with images of what they had seen that their mouths ran on ahead of their brains. Truly, the land was glorious but—and this was a big but—the people were ginormous, so much so that the Jewish men looked like little grasshoppers by comparison. Ten men said, and I paraphrase, “You gotta be kidding. I’m not going in there! We’ll get creamed, annihilated, squashed like bugs!” So convinced were they of their inevitable demise, they got the entire nation stirred into a frenzy, threatening to stone Caleb and

Running blind

When my youngest son was in grammar school, I got this phone call. “Mrs. Trittipoe. Seth had an accident. Can you come?” It’s what every mother hates to hear. Upon arriving at the school, I found my tearful second-grader whimpering in the office, tissues held against his mouth to catch the bloody drool. “What happened?” I inquired as I further noted a clear imprint of a brick embedded into his forehead. Seth looked at me with those puppy-dog eyes, not quite sure how to respond. It seems he and his gaggle of girlfriends had been playing a game. The girls called out directions to Seth and he was to do accordingly. “Turn right. Go straight. Now left.” Simple enough. Simple enough, that is, if one could see. Those girls had Seth don his sweatshirt backwards, the hood covering his face. It was only blind faith—or stupidity—that guided him. The game proceeded for a time but as young girls often do, they soon became distracted and left Seth running full speed into the old brick schoolhou

The Empty Room

Written January 2009 to a first-time expectant mother: The bedroom at the top of the stairs, the one on the left, was spotless. With the door propped open by the weighty brass doorstop, it invited the passer-by to enter into the room—or at least give a quick glance. The duvet on the bed, designed and created by Mother, was perfectly arranged, nary a wrinkle to behold. The custom pillows were propped just so against the headboard. Books and mementos stood like well-behaved soldiers on recently dusted and organized bookshelves. A comfortable chair sat in front of the clean desk as if anticipating the arrival of an occupant, pens and pencils at the ready. The curtains on each window hung elegantly from the rods, the blinds beneath all opened to precisely the same degree. The dust bunnies that reproduced so easily underneath the bed had migrated to the dust pan and not even the corners held captive little bits of dirt and debris. It was an impeccably-kept room, perfect in every way. Perf

So soon we forget

Enjoying sunny skies and warms temps, I took off on a little jaunt around my 8.5 mile country block. Having time to think, I wondered how my young friends were doing wandering around campus in the aftermath of their first marathon over the past weekend. I wished I could have seen their agility levels (or lack thereof). But it also gave me reason to think back to my first big race. At the time, I thought for sure those memories would be forever embedded in my brain. Alas, they were not. Hence, I offer these humble suggestions. 1. As soon as possible after a race, write down everything you can remember: how you felt, what you were thinking, impressions along the way. If you don't, you'll be lucky to recall the details two days afterward. Re-read whenever you need to reignite your passion and excitement! 2. Be prepared to feel depressed by mid-week after the race. Years ago, this one caught me by surprise. But after all the planning, training, and pre-race hype, the finish lin


It wasn't exactly what I envisioned. I anticipated a happy-go-lucky drive marked by senseless chatter, raucous laughs and good-hearted ribbing. With college kids in the car headed for their first-ever marathon, the mood was light.  Light, that is, until I glanced at the race information handed to me at dinner.  It was nearly eight o'clock when we found our tables at the pizza shop. "Race packet pick-up:11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.. There will be no packet pick-up on race day."  Houston. We have a problem! "Uh-oh. I thought you said pick-up was until 11:00 p.m.," I  blurted out to the leader of the pack. Oops. Though exceptionally organized for this adventure, she had the wrong 11:00 in her brain. It happens. We asked for the afterburners to be cranked up on the pizza ovens and inhaled the food as soon as it hit the table. A GPS phone calculated a twenty-minute drive to the convention center. We headed out at 8:10 p.m. But as these things go, a few missed tur

Slip-sliding away

"Well, you see, I was getting on the entrance ramp and well, it's like. . .I sort of spun out. I'm OK and so is the car but it's stuck and facing the wrong way." Don't you just hate getting these kind of calls? If you have little kids, just wait. Big Wheels turn into bicycles which morph mysteriously into two thousand pound moving targets. This time it was Caleb on the other end of the line. The wet road and his slightly aggressive acceleration on the curvy ramp (I'm just taking a wild guess on this one) caused him to lose contact with the road, sending him into an unanticipated spin. Thankfully, his angels didn't desert him and after rescuing him with the Jeep and a tow rope, we are all safe and sound back home. But isn't that how life is? We get just a little complacent, thinking that we can take the road in front of us at the same speed as always.  We're almost on autopilot. But when we do so, we gravely err. We fail to recognize things

God hears and listens

I was shocked.  Probably shouldn't have been but I was. God must laugh when we react that way. A young college friend of mine had suffered what appeared to be a stroke several weeks ago.  After a frantic but unproductive trip to the emergency room, she left without a diagnosis, the remnants of her symptoms following her back to the dorm.  A promised consult to the office of a neurologist failed to materialize, further frustrating the student and her worried family, living in far away Ethiopia.  A distant late December appointment was offered instead. Little good that would do as she would be in Africa at that time. So when her symptoms reappeared yesterday, I suggested we try to open a few doors together. We first collected her medical records from the hospital and drove to the neurology office.  As we stood at the check-in window, we saw the receptionist pick up the phone and dial. "I am calling for Rachel Chestnut. If you get this, we have an opening today at 2:30. . .&q

Brief introduction

Welcome to my blog spot. My name is Rebekah and I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up! I've been a lab tech in a radioimmunoassay lab, a high school teacher and coach, a cardiovascular perfusionist for a long time (twenty-plus years), and now an online high school teacher and provider of online continuing medical education. In addition, I am an author and speaker, seeking to  inspire and motivate both athletes and women. But, I also love power tools, building things, design, landscaping and yes, even organizing!  What's a girl to do? I want to be authentic and will do my best to write honestly and often.  There's no telling what you might find on these electronic pages.