Friday, February 26, 2010

Closet Geek

I have a confession to make. Some of you sort of know what I do for my job. I think it's safe to say, though, that most of you still don't really know. You know I do "stuff" on my computer. You know I do some "stuff" on YouTube and the internet. You know I do "stuff" for Louisville's chamber. That is all correct...but what exactly is that "stuff"?
Answer: Geek work.

Geek. Nerd. Call it what you wish, but I've fully embraced it. Actually, for years I've told people I'm a complete nerd--I embraced that at the time of
GSP. But I knew I was truly a computer geek the day I started to get engrossed and excited about fixing websites and hacking code. No, no, no, I don't actually write any web code--I'm nowhere close to being able to do that, but I can partially understand it and I can
look at it and find what I need to edit to get the look on a website I am going for when it's not what one of our client's wants.

The main servic
e/software Member Minded offers are customized websites for member-based groups. (Chambers, associations, organizations, clubs, teams, etc.) Bsically they are personal online communities or personal intranets. We have ventured out some and built some sites that slightly branch out from that platform, but the point is I spend many of my days creating websites. I have to admit that as I finished up my communication degree at Bellarmine I never saw myself down this track, but I'll also admit that I like it!

The people I work with are too much fun and our clients are all so innovative and creative that they are constantly challenging what we know and already do and pushing us to discover new capabilities of our own tool. I used
to be lost in my office with most of the conversation and lingo being tossed around, but now I hear myself saying things like, "I checked the template css file but I think we're going to have to edit the php." I'm pretty sure it was a statement similar to that that caused my coworker Trenton to giggle and ask, "Rita...Do your roommates know how much of a nerd you are?"

Work is picking up and I'm learning more everyday. It's amazing what I have the ability to do and teach others now and i
t was only a year ago that I basically knew nothing. Here are a few of the sites we've recently done (some not 100% complete) that I've had a major hand in:

External Sites:

All County Realty
Member Minded

Secure Intranet Screenshots:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Healing Powers of Running

I suppose the title should actually say, "The Healing Powers of Whatever Type of Physical Activity You Enjoy Most" but that just doesn't have the same ring to it. Besides, although I am very biased towards running, being that it is my passion, I believe running itself does have a special ability.

I have been running for 12 years now. I have considered myself a true runner for probably ten of those years, starting when I began to run on my own outside of track season. This began the fall of my freshman year of highschool when I'd head to the track after school to do a solo workout of some sort. These workouts eventually inspired me to write a short piece I entitled, "These Eight Lanes" my sophomore year. I'll find a copy of it later and make a post out of it, but the bottom line of this short writing was that the track and the running I did there had become my sanctuary. My getaway. A place for me and only me. A place of clear-headed thinking and peace. The football team practiced on the field at this time, but somehow, even with them there, I felt in my own world.

I was going through a lot of internal struggle during that time in my life. (Come on... I was a 16-year-old sophomore in high school. Who isn't dealing with a lot of self-growth?) The best part of my day was when classes were over and I got away from studying, friends, gossip, drama, activities, sports and I had life to myself for an hour or so. The football players often times called me crazy but I told them it was relaxing for me. No doubt they thought that was nothing but crazy talk.

As I've grown older and been exposed to so many more runners and more running in general I now know that the relaxation I found down on the track years ago is a relaxation that so many of us can find through running. The older I get (and as I slowly become removed from the essence of running with a formal team) I am coming t know more and more people who run simply for themselves. Some are former high school or collegiate runners who can't give it up. Some are simply former athletes who still need that physical activity and fitness. However, many are people who were never runners. Maybe they weren't even athletes. But somewhere along the line, in defining their own life and the person they are, they have picked up running and I can help but see a trend of it happening to so many people at a time in their lives when they needed something new, rejuvinating and stable in life.

Running was the answer. Running continues to be the answer.

It gives you a sense of accomplishment. No matter how you felt before your run, no doubt you feel better afterwards. Even on the days when the run itself feels pretty crappy, you can feel renewed. Your head is cleared. It's just you and the path ahead of you. In the simplest terms I can find to describe what I find on my runs: it's a spiritual therapy.