Wednesday, December 16, 2009


(Photo: Erik & Julie Hull)

When she was six, perennial Team Minnesota member Julie Hull was told by her family's quasi-competent physician that she suffered from Pernicious Zygomatic Peristalsis.

PZP is a very rare genetic disorder wherein all 12 facial muscles associated with smiling, especially the zygomaticus major and minor, are permanently frozen. Muscle relaxants are uniformly ineffective.

The afflicted patient cannot not smile.

It is true, Julie Hull smiles all the time. Her husband Erik claims that she even "smiles in her sleep."

But Julie's former family physician was WRONG! She does not suffer from PZP.

How do we know this?

PZP sufferers are unable to eat with their mouths closed. (Don't you hate it when people chew with their mouths open?) Anyone who has ever supped or snacked with Julie, who is a paragon of etiquette and good manners, knows that she DOES NOT chew with her mouth open.

Why then, does Julie Hull smile all the time?

The truth is, she, for lack of a better word, "suffers" from a condition called CHS: Chronic Happiness Syndrome. This affliction is as rare as PZP, but unlike Pernicious Zygomatic Peristalsis, it is treatable with heavy doses of television news, cynicism training and migraine-inducing medication. Ms. Hull has refused these therapies, opting instead to embrace her symptoms, which include loving life and people (and flora and fauna, too), finding the "fun" in anything, and unforced laughter. She unresistingly allows things in her life to make her happy.

Here are some of the things, including umbrella drinks and Shania Twain songs, that make Julie Hull smile:

Occupation: Sr account executive at Metro Sales (Comment: She LOVES her job!)

College? Where? Degrees? Winona state, MN; BS in marketing (Comment: She had soooooo much fun in college!)

Favorite food: tough call I'm pretty diverse, but has to take under 30 min to prep for and be healthy :) (She LOVES being healthy!)

Favorite books: not a big reader, but "it's not about the bike" by lance Armstrong was a great one. (Julie is not really into punctuation and syntax.)

Favorite Movies: three amigos, Shaw shank redemption I'm sure there are others and I'm at a loss, oh you've got mail, Forrest Gump

Favorite actors & actresses: Harrison ford, meg ryan, tom hanks (She wouldn't dump Erik for Harrison or Tom.)

Favorite TV shows: 24 & biggest loser (She likes Keifer, too. And former fatties.)

Favorite Singers or Bands? U2, van halen, Shania twain

Favorite Songs? About anything that I can run to.... 88-92bpm

Favorite Junk Food: after a hard workout: chips and homemade guac, m&m's (She sometimes gets pieces of M&M shells lodged in her chronically exposed teeth.)

Your Perfect Meal: with erik and/or friends

Favorite Restaurant: oh so many... this simple: quizno's, chipotle, big apple bagels. Serrano's in mesa, AZ.

Favorite Alcoholic Beverage: screwdriver, 70.3 runner, rum runner, about anything that would have vodka mixed with something fruity (but not too sweet) served with an umbrella or decorative fruit... perhaps in a pineapple

Non-Tri Hobbies: fun travel, yard stuff (perennial and veggie gardens)

Favorite Pro Teams: oh I better say the Chicago bears

Dream Vacation Destination? Australia with Erik with no time objectives.

Winter Training? How do you train in the off-season? Keep the schedule flexible, social and fun... try new things. going to a spin class tonight for the first time in years. Did Free Running a couple weeks ago, played tennis in AZ with tri buddies.