Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

First Day of School

School is back in session in this part of the world, which means freshly sharpened pencils, new lunchboxes and backpacks and lots of jitters. I’m not in school anymore, but seeing the photos on my Facebook feed of kids ready to go made me remember the 17 or so first days of school I had (K-College). Most were good. One was bad.

First thing you should know is that until I could drive, I rode the bus. Every day. Rain, shine, whatever. For the most part I loved it. My friends rode the bus and we lucked out and had great drivers most of the time. I even rode the bus on the first day of school. Maybe not for my first day of Kindergarten, but definitely the ones after. By 5th grade, my friends and I were the Kings and Queens of the bus. We sat in the coveted back rows and we knew that we ruled.

When I started Middle School, I asked my parents to take me on the first day. I knew most of my friends were being taken by their parents and I didn’t want to be the only 6th grader on the bus. My parents said no – something about character building. So, on the first day, I waited at the bus stop. This was a new bus, with a new driver and new kids. I got on the bus…and knew no one. To be fair, I was one of the early pick-ups, but still. The bus route went on and still, I knew no one. If there was another 6th grader on the bus, I didn’t know it. Every kid on the bus seemed so much older than me and none of them were nice (maybe they were, but it didn’t seem that way!).

Not long after I got on the bus, things started to go wrong. Our bus driver took some wrong turns and started running late. Since it was the first day, a lot of the kids on the route weren’t riding. But since we didn’t know that, the bus driver would wait at each stop for awhile, making us even later. Keep in mind there were no cell phones back then (the horror!), so even though we all knew we were going to be late, no one could call our parents or the school and let anyone know. We just had to wait while our bus driver got more and more lost.

We finally arrived at school. At 10am. A little more than an hour after school started. I tried keeping a brave face on, but I was now terrified and upset. Take first day jitters, a new school that I didn’t know and the fact that I am almost never late, and I was a wreck.

Three elementary schools fed into my middle school. Theoretically, I knew 33% of the sixth graders. When I walked into my first class (5 minutes before it ended), I knew no one. Not a soul. Every single other kid in that class was from the other two schools and they were all staring at me – probably wondering what kind of yahoo is an hour late on the first day (did I mention that I was a huge dork with awful glasses, frizzy hair and braces? Nightmare.). The teacher made a light-hearted comment about me being late, which I’m sure was her way of welcoming me and making feel at ease, but I was mortified that my tardiness was being mentioned (because obviously, no one had noticed until then).

The rest of the day went fine, if I remember correctly. I found all of my classes, found my friends, and the bus dropped me off right on time. Day two went even better and we arrived at school right on time. When it was time for my first day of high school, I asked my parents to drive me first day. They said no. Then I reminded them of sixth grade. They said yes.

Like I said, just about every other first day of school went great. That awful morning didn’t stop me from being excited for new clothes and school supplies every other year. I miss the first day of school. I don’t miss the second, third, forty-fifth, one hundred and fifth, or last day of school. Good luck to all those who haven’t had their first day yet and congrats to those who survived.

By the way, do you know how far away my middle school was from my house? 4 miles. 10-15 minutes in school traffic.

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“Holly, tell me about your life. What adventures have you been on lately?”

This question was asked to me last weekend when I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. My answer?

“No adventures.”

It was easy to feel that way. In the past 6 months, they had taken trips to Italy, New York, and the Mediterranean. The last time I left the state it was to Arizona. In 2008. Going to work every day and watching reality tv every night sure didn’t seem like an adventure.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized, “Hey, I DO have adventures!” Last week I went to a Rangers game and got a free seat upgrade. Saw the musical Chicago. Had dinner with some hilarious senior citizens. Went to a monastary.

My adventures don’t involve planes and passports, but they are adventures. Life is full of them if think about it!


Race #4: Dash Down Greenville

Whoops. Late on this update.

So, on March 17, I did the Dash Down Greenville 5K along with 7,998 of my closest friends. I’d say 7,999 but Jared couldn’t make it. It was super crowded, but I was amazed at how smoothly everything went. I took the DART rail to the race site since parking was going to be such a beast. I also left from my parents house, an important part later. The final leg was really crowded, but not too bad. Once there I walked around and got ready.

The route was good, just a square with only one hill or so. I didn’t beat my previous time, but considering I didn’t finish running like I have in previous races, I wasn’t surprised. As soon as the race was over, I high-tailed it to the rail station and headed home. The rail headed home was very light, thanks to everyone heading to the parade.

I did manage to make a race mistake. As I said, I left from my parents house because it would be a faster rail ride than from my place. So, I packed up Friday at lunch and after work headed there for the night. I double checked that I had my race bib and everything. Saturday morning I woke up early and got dressed…aaaaaand realized that I only brought 1 sock. I checked every place in my room and my sister’s room, but since we don’t live there anymore, there were no socks in the dressers.  I could have gotten some from my parents, but they weren’t up yet and the last thing you want to do is wake my mom. So, I wore 1 sock. No blisters, but I don’t really want to do that again.


Next race is this Saturday, Run 4 Life. It is not timed, and I will be walking with friends.


In other news, next Friday I get to do something I’ve always wanted to do: go to Opening Day for the Rangers!!!!! So excited!

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Race #3 – The Color Run

Back in November/December, I saw an ad on Facebook for something called The Color Run. I looked into it and it’s a 5K race where each Kilometer, you get a “color” thrown on you. The color is a cornstarch-like substance that is dyed a different color. It looked like a lot of fun, so I signed up, along with my friends Michelle, Carrie, Kathryn, and Angela.

Saturday, I had one of the worst “pre-race” moments. I had a stomach ache all day long. I have no idea why but in the afternoon, I felt awful and it was painful to even move. I drank ginger ale and ate Saltines and went to bed, hoping and praying that I would feel better in the morning. Kathryn and Angela had already come down sick and weren’t able to make it, I really didn’t want to miss this.

Thankfully, I woke up Sunday morning feeling MUCH better. Got ready to go and headed out about 7:20. I almost took the DART, but I was going to my parent’s house later and decided to drive. The race was at Fair Park and I knew traffic would be a pain. Sure enough, everything was good until I got to the Fair Park exit. The back-up was atrocious. I was fine with the waiting, but I did not appreciate the people who cut in line -grr. Anyway, made into the parking lot and met up with Michelle and Carrie right as the first wave was leaving. We made it into the third wave and before we knew it, we were off. It was funny to see everyone in white, rarely do you see everyone match at a race. Some people got really creative though and were wearing painters suits, tutus, etc.

After 1K, we approached our first “color zone.” It was yellow and while I had no idea what to expect, it wasn’t bad at all. It had kind of a talcum powder smell and feel and just kind of stuck to everything. It also created a “cloud” of color through the zone. We kept going and color zone 2 was pink, zone 3 was purple, zone 4 was green and zone 5 was, well, kind of everything. By the end we were completely covered in color and it was definitely one of the most fun races I’ve ever had.

I toweled off at my car as much as I could and drove to my parents house, where I immediately threw my clothes in the washer and jumped in the shower. I thought I got everything off (more on that in a minute) and my clothes came out pretty clean – the white shirt looks tie-dyed, but that’s fine by me!

So, I thought I did a good job of getting rid of all my “color,” but today I went to get my hair cut. When my stylist started washing my hair, she said “Did you do the Color Run?” I said yes and she laughed. “I can tell.” Whoops. Guess I didn’t get all of it out!

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Race #2 of 2012








Ok, I’m about a week late on this one, but here we go!

Race #2 was only 8 days after Race #1 – eek. It was the Too Cold To Hold 5K at White Rock Lake. As you can tell from the name and the fact that we got beanies as part of registration that this is typically a cold day to race, but we lucked it and it was about 54 degrees at start. It was windy though and the wind coming off the lake was a bit cold.

Jared and I started the race just like the one before. This time I brought music to listen to, plus I used a new-to-me app, RunKeeper.  I used to use MapMyRun, but I like that RunKeeper informs me of my pacing and timing. Just as I assumed, my pace slows throughout the race. I need to work on my consistency.

With only a week between races and a different (hilly-er) course, I didn’t have high hopes for my time. In fact, I prepared myself for a longer time. But, I ended up finishing almost 50 seconds faster. I’ll call that an accomplishment!

Next race is Feb 19, but this one will be a fun, laid back race: The Color Run!

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Race #1 of 2012







Ok, I’m like a week late with this. Whoops! Let’s pretend it’s Sunday, January 15.

I did my first race of 2012 yesterday! Woke up early and was out my door at 7:15am for The Hotcake Hustle. Luckily, the race was nearby and I met up with Jared at 7:30. We chatted for a while and got ready. There was a Fun Run at 8am. So fun to watch the kids take off at full speed when it started. Then it was time to line up and before we knew it, we were off!

Jared and I started together, but we both knew we have separate goals and paces, so we wished each other luckand he took off. I started off jogging and then slowed to a walk (but a speedy walk). I chose not to listen to music this time, just to see if I liked it (more on that later). The course stayed relatively flat, except for a bridge. That bridge stunk. Not literally, it just wasn’t much fun.

Anyway, I got near the end and Jared came back to finish with me. As we got near the end, we started jogging and crossed the finish line. The announcer guy even said my name over the PA as he announced people finishing. We went inside and grabbed pizza pieces (small ones) and granola bars. Unfortunately, no hotcakes. While everything else was in a ballroom and people kind of weaved in and out, the pancakes were in another room (I think) and the single-file line was ridiculously long, so we left.

Then I went home and laid in bed for 4 hours. 🙂

Oh, my verdict on no music? I did not like it. I didn’t mind not having the sounds, but I think my pace fell without it (I don’t have proof, just my hunch). Eventually, I’d like to be able to do either, but for now I will use music.

This race set the “benchmark” time for the next race, so I’m pleased with the result no matter what.  Not where I want it, but I know what I need to improve on.

Next race: Too Cold to Hold, next Sunday! (Remember, it’s Jan 15!)


Do Life Movement Challenge 2012

If you don’t know who Ben Davis is, you should. He’s awesome. His strive to improve his health and lose weight has catapulted the Do Life Movement. Last summer, he traveled the U.S. (and Canada) doing 5Ks in various cities to encourage people to get up and get active. I joined him in Dallas on the Katy Trail (in July. It was nasty hot.)







Anyway, this year he is hosting a 12-week challenge that I will be participating in. Details for each challenge will be posted early in the week and then…well, you know what, I’ll let him tell you:

Get Excited: The 2012 Do Life Movement New Year Challenge.

Excited to announce the 2012 Do Life New Year Challenge.

While maintaining a little surprise for the people who join, here is a little information on the 12-week challenge.

  • Starts next Monday, January 2nd.
  • There will be a new theme launched each Monday with a challenge for the week.
  • Every Sunday we will choose a winner of the week. Prizes each week to the winners.
  • There are no physical requirements to join (i.e. there are no “run 30 miles this week.”) Not all challenges will be of the physical variety and the ones that are will be adaptable to any level of fitness, so don’t worry.
  • $10 joining fee to help cover costs of prizes and shipping. Also, I’m always more committed when I pay some money, no matter how much. We want everyone to stick with the challenge through all 12 weeks.
  • There will be a dedicated messageboard at DoLifeMovement for the challenge.
  • Registration ends Friday at 11:59 p.m. so, join up!

To join: click here for the Paypal link. We will email you a confirmation and further instructions!

Join Join Join!

It’s going to be an incredible 12 weeks. Spread the word.


My New Balance Kicks


As part of the RunProject deal, I got some (almost) free new running shoes, courtesy New Balance. Of course, nothing is ever easy with me, it turned into an “ordeal.”

About a week after getting the voucher, I went over to RunOn! to get my shoes. I was greeted and immediately started the process of measuring my feet. That’s when we ran into a problem. Thanks to my awesome genetics, I have a high instep and wide foot. Which means some shoes don’t fit, no matter the size. We tried women’s first. The length was perfect but it felt like a vice was around my foot -even with the widest shoe. So we moved to men’s, which went wider. The width felt great, but the shoe was way too long.

After consulting the catalog, we determined that yes, NB did make a short, wide men’s shoe. It just wasn’t in stock. So, they called in an order and about a week later, my red and black (!) Men’s size 7 width 2E’s came in. Back to store to try them on and they were a great fit.

Can’t wait to start the races with these shoes on my freak-of-nature feet.

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I’m baaaack!

Did you miss me?

I neglected this blog for quite some time. But I think I’m back. Probably not a daily poster, but I have a project in 2012, and I want to blog about it.

So, going back to the summer, after a long look at my life, I stepped down from my volunteer position at church. As much as I love the teens, it was time to move on. Plus the time and effort involved was taking a toll on me. I didn’t completely cut ties. Not long after I stepped down, I agreed to serve on an adult retreat team. I figured it was a good move, a little less time and still involvement with people I love. However, I was put in a role that did require some extra time, which was fine (and perfect, seeing as I could never have done it if I was still working with the teens).

By late October, when the retreat was over, my schedule became very free. I am by no means a hermit and my weekends still manage to be busy, but my weekday evenings were now wide open. I started thinking about picking up my on/off relationship with my gym and even went a few times again. I needed a goal though.

Then I got an email from a local running store that they were hosting something called Run Project. Run Project is 7 local races that you can sign up for one at a time, or all at the same time. If you signed up for all of them at the same time, you got a voucher for free running shoes (!). This was a tempting offer. 7 races would definitely be a good goal, and since they were spread out over 2012, it would keep me motivated – I’m too frugal to pay for something and then not do it. Then my friend Jared mentioned he was signing up. Even better. Some one to keep me accountable, plus a friendly face at the races. So, I signed up.

Oh, then I signed up for another 5K because it sounded fun. And I’m looking into doing a race with my friend Amy when I go visit her.

So yes, I’m crazy. And yes, this blog will focus on that, at least for 2012. Sorry if that’s not your cup of tea, but to paraphrase my friend, this is what is new in my life.

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End of the World


As probably everyone in North Texas knows, some guy has been saying that the world is ending…yesterday. No comments on this except to say that if the world had ended yesterday, I would have been ok with that because it was a day filled with love, laughter, and good friends.

My friends Marfi and Josh were married yesterday and it was a great celebration. Marfi and Josh both helped out with the youth group at my church (where they met) and we got to watch their relationship begin and grow. It was so beautiful to watch them celebrate the sacrament of marriage. They both looked amazing and the wedding was lovely. The reception was a lot of fun as well.

After the wedding three of us went to the house of some college friends of mine for some dinner and poker. It was a great time and I had a lot of fun watching the Mavs win and playing some poker and grilling some brats.

So if yesterday really had been the end of the world, and mine was filled with all of that, I am doing alright.

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