Views From Here: running, health and the world around me

November 21, 2014
by Shalama Jackson

It still doesn’t seem real

kendra cusaacI am typically a very strong person. I pride myself in being able to handle lots of things by myself. But this week has been one of the hardest times in my life.

Earlier this week, I found out that one of the closest people in my life died.

She was a very private person and it almost kills me to write about her because she would prefer me not to. But not writing about the way she impacted my life also seems wrong.

It just doesn’t seem like this week has been real. I’ve been walking around in a fog hoping that I would wake from this nightmare. But still as of this morning, that has not been the case. On Sunday,when I went to the women’s USC basketball game it was odd not seeing Cusaac just a few rows down below. I knew something was off, but not sure what because I hadn’t heard from her in a few days. Then again last night when I was there, it almost tore my heart out. I knew she wouldn’t be there but I kept looking as if she would walk in any second.

You see, Cusaac basically saved my life. Several years ago my father was killed when he was hit by a car crossing the street. Life as I knew it changed. A lot of people that I thought would be there to support me somehow disappeared except for one – Cusaac. She is the one person that stood by my side without hesitation. The months and years since have been hard, but whenever I have needed her she has been there.

It’s been several days and the tears are still flowing. I’ve worked behind a closed door because spontaneously I feel my eyes fill up with tears and I can’t stop them. I  know we are all human, but I never thought in a million years that I would not hear her voice outside my head or see her at some USC event. There’s one thing to not have someone as your professor or stop being their client, but it seems inconceivable that she is no longer here with us.

She has made a huge difference in ways that I can’t express to anyone. I know she has made a difference for a lot of others too by reading a few of the social media posts about her. I’m grateful for the time that we did have and how she allowed me into her personal life. We were working on a few things for 2015. I plan on following through with them because not doing it would go against everything we talked about.  One of my goals is to put into action things that I know she would have steered me towards.

I’ll remember her laugh. And I will remember the faces she would make or how she would raise her eyebrow depending on what I would tell her.

As I work towards keeping those memories alive, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I am deeply saddened and my heart remains heavy.

November 18, 2014
by Shalama Jackson
1 Comment

Peanut Butter Lovers Unite

peanut butter cookiesFirst thing first. Creamy or crunchy? Which way do you like your peanut butter?

Personally, I am all about creamy peanut butter. Creamy peanut butter with some grape jelly makes for the best PB&J sandwich.

But now that we’ve gotten that settled, did you know there is such a thing as Peanut Butter Lovers Month? Well, there is and it’s time to celebrate. I just found out that peanut butter lovers were suppose to celebrate the entire month of November.

According to the National Peanut Board, about 94% of American homes have at least one jar of peanut butter in the pantry, and chances are you grew up eating the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Besides my traditional PB&J sandwiches, I also love peanut butter cookies, Nutter Butter cookies, Nutter Butter milk shake from Smashburger. The milkshake is so delicious! Yes, I like the sweeter things in life.

Do you like creamy or crunchy peanut butter?

November 17, 2014
by Shalama Jackson
1 Comment

Workout or play sports? Try WIN High Performance Sports Detergent

win sports detergentDisclaimer: I received this product free to review through a Fit Approach campaign. I received no other compensation. All opinions are my own.

I live in workout clothes. Well, not really but it feels that way when most days I am at the gym twice a day as I work to achieve my goal of becoming an NPC Figure Competitor in 2015.

My days either include a morning cardio session followed up with weights and a visit to the sauna at night. Or a lunchtime workout with coworkers followed up with weights and a visit to the sauna at night. Either way, my workout clothes seem to breed babies.

Ultimately it means that I always have shorts, capris, tank tops, socks and sports bras to wash. Always. Oh and let’s not forget adding football or basketball practice clothes from my little athlete.

smelling WIN detergentAnd while that might seem like an easy problem to fix by washing clothes, it isn’t always so. Last year my skin decided to have a falling out with the world and left me in search of a different detergent and soap to use. I eventually found one brand for washing clothes and one for my skin. I’ve only used those since then. However, after a few weeks with WIN, it has  been added to the list of two things I can use for clothes. It also smeels good to boot.

According to WIN:

WIN Detergent is specially formulated to get persistent, sweaty smells out of the synthethic materials used in today’s workout apparel.

  • Synthetics are great because they wick moisture away from your skin. But those same properties trap and hold onto oils.
  • Those oils bond to the fabric, and that’s where the stinky smell comes from.
  • WIN is optimized to break those bonds, removing the source of the smell and truly cleaning the garment.
  • The result is your gear not only smells great, but it works a lot better without all those oils in the way!

Copy of WIN_Bottles_New_B&G_NoReflect (square) 3

Want to try it out on your tech gear? Head over toWin Detergent on and get your bottles today or enter the giveaway below! Since there is only one winner for the giveaway, WIN is offering a $1 off coupon with code WINGIVE1 at checkout.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Since there is only one winner for the giveaway, WIN is also offering a $1 off coupon at Amazon. Enter this coupon code at checkout: WINGIVE1.