Giving Up

I joined a gym. I’m losing inches. I’m getting stronger. I’m eating chocolate. I’m wearing shoes.

It’s been several weeks since I started working out at the gym again. The guard at the door verbally greets me with half open eye lids. He even confided, one day, it was tough to get up at 4 am to come to work. I smiled in solidarity. I’m practically a regular.

Which is why I felt it was the right time to remove my shoes.

I’m giving up my shoes but I don’t think I’m giving up chocolate.

I’m not sure how many people think it is crazy but there have been enough people over the years commenting on my preference for bare feet that it’s more than just in my head. Add the public shower barefoot fungus phobia to the intense germ-a-phobia that exists in the gym as evidenced by the plethora of anti-bacterial gels on every exercise machine. Let’s just say, I gave up my shoes but I didn’t trumpet the virtues of barefootedness. (besides on here, of course)

PSA – Foot fungus develops in warm moist areas that don’t dry out. No shoes = dry feet = poor environment for fungus growth

We’ll see if I continue to get away with it or if I get asked to put the shoes back on. If that happens, I’m giving up the gym.

I’m still won’t be giving up chocolate though.

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Cliché Update

Does anyone remember their New Year’s Resolutions? I have a vague recollection that my helicopter was under enemy fire.

Wait. Sorry, that’s not my story.

I’m more likely to forget.

Q. Did there come a time when you and Admiral Poindexter met with the other New Years Resolution officials or members – as well as members of Congress to try to relate to them what your resolutions were?

A. I don’t recall having anything to do with the Congress in that sense.

That’s why I blogged it. Official, written evidence of my cliched attempt to grow up in 2015. Did I stay the course?

RESOLUTIONS
1. Gain a better understanding of which foods negatively impact how I feel and irritate my digestive system
Yes, if I can count eating fast food 2-3 times a week as trial and error?

2. Build functional strength
I successfully lifted the rear end of the snowmobile. And, I can do two full push-ups in a row.

3. Reduce unnecessary spending
I’m in the middle of a kitchen remodel, planning a big summer vacation then I let my husband go buy a snowmobile..

4. Spend more time on creative projects
Kitchen remodel, string art heart, three unfinished scarves

5. Get on with life
I’m in the middle of a kitchen remodel. Who has time to get on with life??

I remembered 4 out of 5. I’ve actively worked on 2 out of 5.

My status on being cliché – 80%.

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Yoga yoga yoga yoga yoga

My feet were planted into the floor. I raised my arms over my head and lowered them with each purposed breath. I was supposed to be aware, connecting my breath with each body part. In reality, I felt as though my torso was hovering above a couple of stumps. This wasn’t my first time on yoga mat, but it’s been quite sometime since I was a practitioner of yoga or any regular physical activity at all. My mind was a little freaked out that it had other body parts to control.

I liken the experience to a time when I was in the 8th grade. My best friend was Aimee. I thought it’d be cool to write her a note that was a sheet of paper just covered in random writings of the word “Hi!” After 200 printings, my brain began to over analyze the correct spelling of Hi and convinced me for a few minutes that I was not writing it correctly. Obviously, I’ve been sedentary too long if my brain can’t get through a yoga class without over analyzing how my muscles are supposed to work.

I’m enjoying reconnecting with a functional body. There’s a great deal of satisfaction in shifting my weight forward onto my front leg while I extend my arms toward opposite walls in a warrior position. It is strength, It is power. And, I have appendages that can do this!

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Do I Really Need To?

It was a warm summer day in a place that I can’t remember the name and couldn’t tell you how to get there. I do remember being with my best friend, her boy friend, and couple of guys from high school. All I can see in my memory, is Kim and me standing next to each other with our necks craned upward. Todd, the boyfriend, is next to us in a wide footed stance wearing gloves and gripping a rope as though his life depended upon it. It didn’t. But, Topher’s, the subject of our attentions, life does depend upon it. Topher, connected to Todd through a harness and safety rope system, is attempting to stand/hang on to barely one inch wide ledges of a limestone rock cliff while every muscle in his body shakes from exhaustion.

Climbing, it looks easy but it really, really, isn’t. It IS amazing, however. I was pretty excited when the Boy Scouts decided to try out Upper Limits in Bloomington last weekend. With Topher’s shaking muscles imprinted in my memory, I spent last week doing a variety of exercises to strengthen my core, arms, shoulders, glutes, and calves. By last week, I mean about two days then prayed the rest of the week that I would be strong enough to climb more than six inches off the floor. (My resolutions were a cliché after all)

I faced a 65 feet tall former silo turned into a climbing facility for my first climb in 25 years. At first, you think the height is what is going to scare you. Honestly, the height itself didn’t bother me. I was as scared in the first 6 inches as I was at 6 feet and at 26 feet. I had to fight my fear that I wouldn’t be able to hold myself onto the wall. I’m not sure any amount of strength training would have eased that fear.

Fortunately, my mid-life crisis clock ticks loudly. I am also competitive. I felt a need to prove myself relevant to the young ones around me. I find the best way to minimize their attempts at insulting me with a “You’re how old?” is to show them that age doesn’t matter. Or, is it really me that needs the proof that my age doesn’t matter?

I climbed on the wall. At 6 inches, my fears asked me, “Do I need to climb higher?” I answered, “Yes, I do.” At 6 feet, my fears inquired again. I climbed on. My mid-life crisis motivation took me higher than where most of the climbers in our group had climbed. I may not have been the best but I was near the top, though not literally.

Once my mid-life crisis motivation was drained, I examined climbing holds, reviewing each one for good grips and angles. The next hand-hold was out of my reach, so, I utilized a foothold below that shifted me upward. In this position, my hands were below shoulder height. Trust me, it’s an unnatural position to be in when you’re clinging to the inside wall of an old silo. My arms contributed meagerly from that position. The lack of security kicked my fear of not being strong enough to cling or maneuver into overdrive. Having already proven myself to myself, I strained against the thought “Do I really need to climb higher?”

As unnatural as the position was, moving my hand out and around to the next hold was just as awkward. For 10 seconds, although it felt like a full minute, I was relying on only three points to hold, balance and cling. Once that hand was in a good position, I moved the other hand to a higher, more natural hold. For five seconds, I breathed sigh of relief over a successful maneuver. Then the fear and mental block reared back up. “Do I really need to climb higher?”

Admittedly, I asked to be lowered to the ground before I reached the top or fell. My request had more to do with my mental block rather than my lack of strength. I figured I’d gone far enough. But, looking back, did I?

2015/01/img_4815.jpg The Older Kid giving me a photo opp.

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Dance Like No One Is Watching

I don’t understand why someone created the catch phrase “Dance Like No One Is Watching”. I just… What? Huh? Hmm..

I will dance. I will dance if someone is watching, I will dance if no one is watching. I could care less if someone thinks my dancing is good or bad. I could care less if someone else’s dancing is good or bad. I only care if they are or are not getting down next to me on the dance floor.

I am a dancer. I’m not a classically trained ballerina or a hip hop master. Although, I have been asked where I learned to dance like that…(The answer is Sisters 3 Dance and hundreds of hours of wedding receptions)…although, on second thought, my mother-in-law may have been politely inquiring how her daughter-in-law could act like such a hussy…

I will be dance. Since the 6th grade, I have given my whole being into dance. At the end of the pre-teen co-Ed dances at the local church, I left drenched in stinky sweat with my Aquanet bangs stiffly hanging in my eyes only despairing that the dance was over, not that the boys saw me at less than my finest. As an adult, I don’t understand why my friends stand around at the 50th birthday party chatting with people we talk to every week when there is music and a dance floor, things we DON’T have every week.

I don’t understand. How can you not dance? How is it that you need to talk yourself into dancing? Truthfully, however, I think slow songs are only good for when nature is calling, but, also only for ballet dancing in my kitchen.

Frankly, I do have dancing every week. Just no one is watching.

2015/01/img_4606.jpg

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2015

It seems so cliché to make resolutions these days. Yet, I just can’t stop myself.

I’m in need of a makeover, January 1st (actually 5th) (now the 8th), seems like the best time to do it. I might as well jump on the self-improvement train and make a go of it.

Here are a few things I’d like to accomplish in 2015:
1. Gain a better understanding of which foods negatively impact how I feel and irritate my digestive system

2. Build functional strength

3. Reduce unnecessary spending

4. Spend more time on creative projects

5. Get on with life

2015/01/img_4804.jpg

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Merry Wrapping Season

Every year I can’t help myself. I just have to over achieve on the present wrapping. I don’t know why I do it. I just spent 2.5 hours on one present.

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I haven’t done a glitter present in some time. It looks more like a doilie than a snowflake. I had a great idea but some trouble implementing the design. After about five snowflakes, I went back to the first one I made . Let’s just say it’s a good thing I didn’t make it any bigger because Ben Franklin isn’t open 24 hours.

Now, I just left it standing on its side too long after the picture so the snowflake is starting to look like its melting.

Merry Wrapping Season to you!!

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