Wow, how can it be Saturday again so soon? This holiday season is just flying by; can someone ask it to slow down just a little? I have three major things I need to give an update on. The first is my latest race recap, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I’m scheduling that post to be part of the Tuesdays on the Run linkup next week because our topic is running in inclement conditions. Seems like a perfect fit to me.
The second is my fitness progress this week. The biggest accomplishment was sticking to my No Crap, No Exceptions eating plan even while at Disney World and even after running a half marathon. I think I deserve a second medal just for that! I feel like I did a great job with my diet this week.
I got a two mile run in on Tuesday which really helped shake out my leg soreness. I’ll be running today as well, hopefully somewhere between six and ten miles. (Edited to add: I got my ten miles in!) I did not do any other cross training but I tried to stay as active as possible otherwise.
Next week I’ll run 3x and do PiYo 2x and continue with my No Crap, No Exceptions eating plan.
Finally, an update on the project that has been consuming my attention for a couple of weeks now. About a million years ago (well, maybe it was a couple of months ago), I submitted my application to be on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a group of people who know and love Disney and help answer questions from other guests. It is a great resource to just browse the questions and answers, to search for a specific topic, or to submit your own question. With my love for writing, researching, Disney and for being a general all around know-it-all, it sounded right up my alley!
I knew that somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people would probably apply and that it would be at least five weeks before the announcements were made of who was going on to Round 2. My Round 1 application was done in about one hour, after work, with Eli running around and being wild. I barely reviewed it before I submitted it and I didn’t even copy and paste my answers into Word to save them for future
review obsessing over. To be honest, while I was hoping to move on, I was realistic about my chances and just kind of forgot about it.
While driving out to Joshua Tree last month, (Erik was driving to be completely accurate) I noticed a lot of activity on Twitter with the #DisneyMP hashtag and realized that the announcements for R2 were being made! It seemed like most of the early e-mails were “congratulations!” and the later e-mails were “thanks, but not this year” messages. I still hadn’t gotten one after about 45 minutes of refreshing and decided I must be in the latter category. An hour or so later, I saw a tweet from Gary Buchanan (the social media mastermind of this process; follow him if you don’t already!) that said that hotmail was having issues and to e-mail him directly if you had hotmail and hadn’t gotten your notification. After fighting with my iPhone for a bit, I managed to get my e-mail sent and shortly thereafter I got the glorious “congratulations!” e-mail! I was so happy and honored to be moving forward. No number are released, but rampant speculation on the internet estimates around 1,500 people moved on from Round 1 to Round 2 (probably around a 90% cut).
I then had lots of fun in California and about the time we were heading back to Florida, Round 2 officially opened up. It involved a series of questions that all had strict word count limits. Two questions were sample Disney Parks Moms Panel questions and the rest were “get to know you” questions. And there was the video. Seventy-one seconds of video. Of me. I was dreading the video, but it ended up being so much fun to shoot and edit. We went down to Walt Disney World for just two days and visited three parks and I was able to do a little video shooting. I ended up having to finish at home because I decided my script was too scripted (imagine that) and that I wanted it to reflect my own personal brand of crazy a little better. A quick submit and then back to waiting. We knew there would be another big cut from Round 2 to Round 3 and I was feeling less and less confident but still happy to have made it to Round 2.
Last Tuesday, the Round 3 announcements were released. This time, it seemed that the “not this year” emails were coming first. So I had this sick feeling of refreshing my email while simultaneously hoping to see an email and hoping NOT to see an email for about 45 minutes. I cannot explain the grin on my face when I opened an email that told me I’d be moving on to Round 3. Internet speculation and interview spacing calculations have estimated the number of people who moved on to Round 3 to be somewhere around 120. I am so incredibly honored and excited to be part of that 120.
Things started moving quickly then. By Wednesday, I had an appointment for an interview with Gary and the selection committee for Friday morning at 8am. Yikes! I usually do well in job interviews, but those are in person and I know the kind of questions they are likely to ask. I really had no way to prepare for this interview and just had to decide to try to do my best. When the call came, I had a couple of good moments where I think I relaxed, but at least a few moments where I was too nervous and over-thinking things. It was over much too quickly. Gary was a lot of fun to talk to and I wished the interview could have lasted a lot longer! I think I would have been able to warm up and show my true Disney passion and knowledge a little more. Being an introvert by nature does have its down sides sometimes.
And now we wait again. The next cut will be just as bad as the previous ones. I’m not sure how many spots are open, but it’s not many. And everyone in Round 3 is talented, passionate, intelligent and would do a great job. I have no idea how the selection committee will make the final decisions, but I am confident they’ll end up with an outstanding team. I’d love to be part of it but if the answer ends up being “not this year” then I will just mark my calendar for August 2015 and plan to try again. I’m proud of myself for trying and for putting my all into the process. I’ve met some great people and have definitely grown personally, with trying things that I’m uncomfortable with. I’ve learned that I don’t hate myself on video and that I need to work more on my extemporaneous speaking under stress (wouldn’t hurt for my professional career either!).
The new additions to the Disney Parks Moms Panel will be announced in about a week. I’m keeping hope alive, but I am also realistic about my chances. Wish me luck and feel free to send a little pixie dust my way over the next week!