My name is Dani and I am a 32-year-old wife, of six-months and mother of two ridiculous pit bulls.
I live on a farm-ette in rural Wisconsin and have absolutely no idea how to take care of it.
I am a ballet teacher who will always leap in public places, squeal at Nutcracker music, and despise all other forms of exercise.
I will always notify you of rainbows and of cows we are driving by.
I believe good things happen when it snows and am a professional bargain shopper.
There is nothing better than the first sip of coffee in the morning.
I am addicted to nachos and could eat them seven days a week for the rest of my life.
I am an early bird who has a seriously hard time waking up in the morning.
I believe there is always a good reason to drink cheap champagne.
Princess Anna, Leslie Knope, and Taylor Swift are my soul sisters.
I am trying to learn how to cook but have an irrational fear of setting my house on fire.
I have more shades of lipstick, graphic tees, and pairs of sparkly Keds than any one girl needs.
I am namas'cray about hot yoga.
I am a hippie flower child who will go braless and barefoot in the sunshine any chance I get.
In February of 2018, I completed the Disney Princess Half Marathon, seven weeks pregnant, totally unprepared, and it completely changed my life.
As I ran across the finish line, I broke into tears realizing I had completed something I had fully convinced myself would never happen.
It was a moment when I realized I was much stronger, braver, and resilient than I allowed myself to believe.
It was a moment when I realized I was capable of accomplishing much more than what I tell myself to strive for.
It was a moment when I realized life is only limited by the beliefs and restrictions we create for ourselves.
Two weeks after I crossed the finish line at Epcot, I was completely crushed when we found out the strong likelihood that I had lost our first pregnancy.
A pregnancy we had found out about just over one month ago, that had completely changed our world, and that had slipped through our fingers like sand. The idea of names and nurseries, hedgehog-patterned swaddle blankets and giant Pooh Bears had to be set aside for another patient day of peeing on a stick.
In our first ultrasound, fours days after the race, the what-was-to-be-baby measured ten days behind where we anticipated. I, naive and hopeful, thought nothing of it.
It was early, everything looked healthy, and the doctor wasn't worried; he scheduled us for an ultrasound one week later, where we were excited to see a tiny little peanut appear.
The ultrasound, more thorough than the first, showed our not-likely-to-be-baby had not yet made its debut. In fact, nothing had changed at all. It wasn't boding well. I hoped our doctor would reassure us that everything was still alright even though every fiber in my being was telling me it wasn't. He couldn't.
He recommended one last ultrasound one week later to give we're-just-hoping-to-be-fashionably-late-baby a chance to materialize.
Many tears, many bars of chocolate, and many wishes that I could drink a glass (or six) of champagne later, I became prepared for the news that 99.9% of me believed to be the truth already: I was no longer pregnant.
Yet, I was not NOT pregnant because my body was still holding onto something that stopped growing nearly four weeks ago.
I had a D+C procedure, less than four hours after that final ultrasound, the one that finally confirmed what we had been expecting: I was having a miscarriage.
It was like waking up from one of those immensely vivid pregnancy dreams that used to horrify me in college - the ones that feel palpably real, but were just my brain's way of processing the fact that I was bloated from too much cheese bread.
I had woken up (from anesthesia), no longer pregnant, shoved to go right back to the "normal" life I had been leading for the last 32-years.
Am I OK? Most of the time I am - shockingly so at times. I'm probably not handling it in the way people think I should, but in my grown up years I have grown quite accustomed to doing things my way.
At other times, it hits me like an unpredictable freight train and I let the disappointment wash over me until it doesn't and then I move on. I return to my key beliefs that "everything happens for a reason" and "the universe works in mysterious, magical, and intentional ways".
I mentally go through all of the incredible and amazing things I have to be grateful for in my life and understand is a normal occurrence for 25% of pregnancies in their first trimester.
Here I am, three months from the date I crossed that finish line, with endless words I could continue to say, but without enough ways to compile them together to describe this feeling. I was placed at the beginning of a new path, one I wasn't intending, but one I am choosing to see as my most important journey yet.
Two months and about nine Facebook announcements about other people due to have babies the same time I was, I am still saddened by our news, but I am not going to become defeated by disappointment or put my life on hold while I wait for a new life to begin.
Running a half marathon is a very lonely experience.
It's just you and the road. You, alone, have to push yourself to keep moving forward. No one can understand the exact mental and physical rollercoaster you are going through, even if they have been through it themselves.
Going through a miscarriage feels pretty much the exact same way except that no one so openly shares about their experience.
That is the true inspiration and motivation behind this blog and my Dopey goal to live healthy, live foolish, and live outside of my comfort zone - an idea that crossed my mind as I crossed the finish lane in the parking lot of Epcot, but seems even more important now.
I am using this time to live boldly and approach life with an enthusiastic rhythm because that is the type of role model I want to be.
I am using this time to remind myself of how strong I can be because life is much less about the cards you are dealt and much more about how you play them.
I am using this time to regain my spirit because if you've lost your spirit, you've lost everything. And I'm not willing to lose everything.
I am using this time to create a colorful story of what life can be when you throw away the excuses, live every day to the fullest vibrance, and enter each moment with the energy that something amazing is about to happen.
Want to join a group of life-minded individuals excited about creating a ballsy, authentic, BIG, purpose-drive life?
Have you always dreamed of starting your own business or take a big career leap?
Always wished to take a solo trip to an exotic place across the world?
Hoped to lose that extra weight, walk 10,000 steps a day, or complete some other big physical challenge?
Yearned to learn how to cook, take better pictures, learn a new language, or earn a certification?
Just want to feel happier, more fulfilled, and more in tune with what YOU want?
Visit GO DOPEY'S private Facebook group to get inspired, get motivated, and get moving towards your goals ... whatever they may be.
It doesn't matter whether you are just starting on your monster goal, are totally crushing it already, or have no idea what you want to accomplish next.
This is a place for those of you who, like me, have been sparked by the idea of a fantastic new idea but don’t have the courage, commitment, or knowledge to voyage out on the journey alone.
This is a place for professional excuse makers who need an accountabili-buddy to keep them on the path when Culver’s, comfort zones, and couch-surfing are calling.
This is a place for any person looking for a push off of the path of ease and routine and a nudge onto the happier (but much harder) unexplored trail.
This is a place for us to get real about the ugly (and totally un-fun) side of conquering our goals and how to push through the temptation of giving up, playing small, and putting things off.
This is a place for proving yourself wrong, smashing the limits that have been placed on you, putting yourself first, and finally taking control over those goals you have been dangling in front of yourself for years.
This is a place for realizing how much stronger, braver, and smarter you are than you allow yourself to believe.
This is a place for faith, trust, and a little pixie dust, and for not just flying, but soaring.
This is a place for believing you can because TODAY is a good day to try.
Everyone in the group is working on different goals, but I will hold different challenge groups for those who are looking to add some variety to their goal-crushing (plus a little extra accountability never hurt anyone.)
Share as much or as little as you want.
Don't be shy. We're only a little mad here.
You have reached a place to believe in impossible things and reach to infinity and beyond.
My goal-setting has always been the same: get super jazzed for “something special” to work towards, make a stellar plan to put things into motion, stick with the aforementioned plan for a good 3 days, make excuses, fall off the wagon, eat lots of cheese, buy a new planner, and begin again at the next start of a new week/month/year.
Powered by an excess of coffee and La Croix, a daily chocolate habit, two rambunctious dogs, a stack of personal development books, an unwaveringly supportive family, and a love of all things Disney, I invite you to follow along in my journey to go from couch to completing
the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge along with whatever other adventures present themselves on my blister, self-doubt, and sore-muscle filled journey.
But life is about so much more than fitness goals, and fitness goals are about so much more than physical strength.
Don't turn away from this page if you hate running, health food, and keeping track of how much water you're drinking. (Spoiler alert: So do I.)
Alongside my daily endurance training, I will be pushing myself to try new experiences, be present, and become a part of the community around me.
Life is not all about crossing the finish line, but the experiences we have along the way.
Life is not about waiting to begin our lives until the day we've accomplished all of the things we want to accomplish. It's not about only living for the weekend or vacation or special occasions or when everything else is done. It's not about only rewarding ourselves when we've conquered everything on our calendar.
Life is about experiencing all that we can experience.
Life is about celebrating every little thing while we are on the way to accomplishing our biggest dreams.
Life is about doing all of the things we've always said we wanted to do.
Life is about LIVING it instead of just Pinteresting it.
Life is about actually getting out there and living the brighter and bolder life you've been watching other people live on their Instagram accounts.
Life is about what you can achieve when you stop talking and begin doing.
Life is about venturing outside of your comfort zone and realizing how rewarding it can be.
Life is about discovering who you are and fearlessly being that person.
I will be sharing the good, the bad, the ugly, and the vulnerable when it comes to sweat and self care, wanderlust and wandering willpower, courage and compassion, miscarriage and Miss to Mrs, and anything that lies between.