How Miss America Is Influencing My Marathon

Remember when people actually watched and/or cared about Miss America?

I do. Or maybe this is just because I am from the south (Alabama then Tennessee) where pageants are “a thing.” Exhibit A: Toddlers and Tiaras.

Starting them early…

During my formative years (maybe up until age 10), I watched Miss America with fervor and definitely practiced my winning wave (but who didn’t?). I thought long and hard about what my talent would be, and this was very problematic to a 7 year old who could not sing well nor sit still long enough to practice piano (talent was decided upon as gymnastics by my 7 year old self).

Maybe I could’ve even choreographed the whole thing to music…

Anyways, anyone out there remember Miss America 1995? Heather Whitestone? Deaf contestant? Was a lip reader? Talent was ballet? From Birmingham, AL?

Ringing any bells? See..she’s signing to the crowd I think…

She must have had some profound impact on my 7 year old self as I wanted to be Miss America for Halloween that year (slash Prom Queen — I couldn’t decide, so I was both).

I think this was the year before “Miss America/Prom Queen,” but you get the general idea. Big dress. Crown. Sparkles. The Works.

I remember in her interview portion that she said she liked the word “American” because it ends with the words “I Can.” And, her message (or “platform” as they officially call it, I think) centered around something related to self-belief and the message that you can do anything you want to with hard work, perseverance, so on and so forth.

C’mon! Anyone remember this? Or is it just me?

I was reminded yesterday of Heather Whitestone when I was still stalled in my doubting Thomas stage re: the NYC marathon.

I wrote the following on an index card (some words highlighted, for extra nerdy effect) and placed it by my bed:

I CAN.

I am strong in body and mind.

I can do this.

For some reason, writing those words down made me feel more confident. I also wrote it in my Believe I Am training journal, for good measure.

That coupled with talking to the RC, my personal running anxiolytic, put me in better spirits. (RC: “Well, you know you can make it through a marathon and what its about?” Me: “I can? I do? Oh, right, I’ve done three of them. Right, got it” The RC is like my running Xanax)  A bit more confident, even if sometimes I’m having to fake it ’til I make it.

Running coach. Running therapist. Synonymous, right?

But, there’s like 5 more weeks to train and build confidence, right?! Right. I can.

Two final things completely unrelated to this post:

1) Recessionista by Essie is my new favorite fall nail color

Props to Jocelyn for clueing me in on this shade.

2) I applaud any of you who can stick to that Paleo diet . No peanut butter = no go for me.

TELL ME: WATCH MISS AMERICA? FAVORITE SELF-BELIEF STATEMENT? FAVORITE HALLOWEEN COSTUME AS A KID?

Until next time…

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12 thoughts on “How Miss America Is Influencing My Marathon

  1. I met Heather Whitestone! She came and spoke at my church youth group sometime in middle school (I think). No idea why she’d come to some random tiny town in south Georgia, but she did.

    Also, that nail color is awesome and quite similar to what I’m currently sporting – OPI’s Just a Little Rosti at This.

  2. Hahaha, love this post! Every word! Yes, I remember Heather Whitestone. I loved her and remember wanting to become good at lip reading!
    I also spent many nights wondering what my Miss America talent would be! 🙂 lots of wasted hours there!
    As far as paleo goes, I couldn’t do without peanut butter either. That comment made me think you might be reading my diary. I just thought the same thing literally days ago…

  3. I went to the Miss America contest In 1989. My cousin was Miss Hawaii that year. It was a lot of fun. But the contest was already beginning its decline by that time. Still, it was exciting to be there in person after many years of watching it on TV as a kid.

  4. yes! We used to watch miss american too and I definitely remember heather whitestone. haha.

    You can definitely do it, Meggie! I am liking “I own this shit” lately, and also just telling myself that “you’ve got through xxxxx (extreme life challenge), you can do anything.”

    My sister and I dressed as birthday presents one year, which was great except we were very wide and kept knocking each other off of people’s front porches. haha.

  5. I TOTALLY remember Heather Whitestone! I loved Miss America in my childhood days. Now? Notsomuch. The scandal!

    Favorite Halloween costume of my childhood: Pippy Longstocking. In fact, I might have to resurrect that costume idea for my adult years.

  6. My adult Halloween costumes were way more creative than my kids ones haha. If I can come up with a good idea, I love making my costumes. In 2010 I went as Liz Lemon. Last year I was Black Swan. I think this year I’m going to go go as a hippie/’60s girl. Planning to hit up Buffalo Exchange, see if I find a cute white cotton dress, tie-dye it, wear some head bands and braids, peace sign jewelry, etc.

  7. I’ve never actually watched Miss America before, nor any pageant for that matter. I don’t think they’re really a big thing in Michigan, where I’m from. At any rate, I can still understand the impact Heather Whitestone had on you. She sounds really inspirational and it’s cool that you’re still pulling inspiration from her now, even though you came across her as a child. It’s true, you can and will do this. Don’t doubt yourself! (By the way, the sign she’s making to the crowd is “I love you.”)

    What is your goal for NYC?

  8. I used to love watching Miss America!! My mom and I would write down our favorite contestants and score them throughout the competition. I don’t think I ever once picked the winner, but I do remember Heather Whitestone. I remember being so impressed and in awe of her, she was a terrific role model.
    I think my favorite Halloween costume was one I wore a couple years of ago with my husband. I was a police officer and he was a criminal. I know…pretty creative. 😉

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