Monthly Archives: January 2012

Sledding

The winter night concealed the rate at which the icy snow passed underneath the saucers generating a pack of fearless riders. We sat side by side on saucers at the top of the hill counting in unison, one, two, three! Six sets of eyes scanned the landscape below for darkened shapes suggesting a tree, a bush, or even a fence.

The kids pushed off first, my sister and I allowing them to gain a small lead before we began our rapid pursuit.

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The saucers fanned out but I quickly caught up to my niece and hooked into her arm becoming a two (wo)man speeding train. Across the hill I heard peels of laughter, squeals of delight, and statements of awesomeness. My saucer spun around till our train was flying backwards restricting my view of our path and the obstacles in it. I dragged my right mittened hand to redirect the train and shortly yelled, “BAIL! BAIL! BAIL!” The niece and I rolled off our saucers about 5 feet before a prodigious weeping willow.

“Hurry! We have to do that again!”

There is nothing quite like the magic of nighttime sledding. Besides the kids feeling fearless, I felt like the last thirty decades had blurred together making me ten years old again. I was not merely relating a childhood memory to them; they were living my childhood right along side of me.

I stood at the bottom of the hill marveling at Dad’s home, my childhood home, my home. The warm light from the living room reflecting off the snow giving everything at the top an orange hue. The moment was timeless and the joy endless.

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Filed under family, Michigan, snow

Thesaurus Thursday

I am so excited about this week!

Why, you ask?

Because this week, I moved up to 1.5 miles!

What, you catechize?

Last week, I ran 1.25 miles each run. This week, I increased the distance to 1.5 miles. (running only, walking is a separate distance)

Why aren’t you running farther, you canvass?

Tendonitis issues in my right foot throughout 2011 led me to decree a break from running for nearly all of December. I established a plan to increase my distance at an excruciating pace to remove any doubt of committing the sinful “too much too soon”.

Affirmative, I am blissful and fervidly await my subsequent rendezvous with the piceous, circumvolve belt of nullity. I will scuttle and culminate 1.5 miles discalced.

Existence is recherché.

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Filed under Barefoot, running, thesaurus

Fight Like Susan

Today I won’t be writing a post for you. I have a demand for you.

I want you to go to the Fat Cyclist and read the his post. Right now.

Wait. I’d appreciate it if you’d skim through the rest of my post first.

Then go here:
Diagnosis. This is the start of the story of Susan’s Fight with Breast Cancer. She was 37.

But, don’t stop there. Read Fatty’s blog from start to finish. This is by far the best blog ever written.
The Fat Cyclist Start: I Am So Cliche

Be warned, it might make you want to ride a bike, eat Oreos, ride with Lance Armstrong, wear Clydesdale covered clothing, but mostly, it will make you want to Fight Like Susan.

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Snow Shoes

I’m standing in the kitchen, still in my pajamas, staring at the clock while mentally scheduling my day. I am trying to find time to fit in a run…

…4:30 pm get home from CPR class
12:45 pm leave for CPR class
12:20 pm take nap
12:00 pm eat lunch
11:30 am shower
Hmmmm. Currently, 9:45 am… If the hubs gets back from the store in time… Wait, I should be in my running clothes ALREADY! …

…I’ve established that I will have time for a run but I don’t want any ol’ run. I haven’t run outside in weeks and for the first time all winter we actually have snow on the ground. Running around Circle Drive seems as much fun as the treadmill. I want a Run Smiley run….

…The park is pristine white everywhere I look except at the river where it is shades of steely grey. I am mentally crossing my fingers that my New Balance Minimus Life shoes are up for the job. I intend to run full blast across the center of the park through the snow instead of along the park roads. My Minimus Life shoes have little to no ventiliation which means they will keep out snow better than my well ventilated Merrell Pace Gloves. I am finding out they also have little to no traction in the snow causing me to slide around on the uneven ground behind the fishing pond. I am going to take it in stride and focus a little more on keeping my balance. Otherwise, my foot strikes feel like I was made to run in the snow…

…I’m not even halfway through the park and I’m miserable. I’m running faster than I should because a snowshoer came up behind me when I started and I didn’t want her to laugh at me trying to run in shoes in the snow. The cold air is burning my throat. I’m laboring to take a breath. At least two toes on each foot are numb. I think, “OMG, I have got to stop”. I have to admit that I am bummed that my run smiley run is turning out to be craptastic….

…Since the run stinks, I might as well pull out the camera took take a few shots. I hope that I can get a good picture that I can lie write about…

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…I don’t know how it happened but somewhere between the last picture, the river, and the baseball field, I changed. Now, I am feeling spectacular. My feet feel like they’re nestled up next to a cozy fire. I’m running with the wind so my lungs and throat are no longer being brutialized. My joints are moving like high precision ball bearings. THIS IS A RUN SMILEY. I feel so good that I am not going back to the car just yet. I am going to run to the playground and have a little fun…

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…Alright, the playground is fun but I’m a little nervous about slipping on the snow covered wood. And, let’s face it, I’m really here at the park to run. The snowshoer left me a great trail to follow so I am going to go where she went. Interestingly, it looks like she went into a part of the park I’ve never gone into. It’s like I’m Christopher Columbus. I’m pretty stoked to be going into unchartered territory…

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…I’m glad I didn’t give up on my run today. I’ve never outright run through the snow like that. I’m having fun, feeling challenged, and knocking off new experiences at every turn. But, since I just landed on my tush, I’m coming back with snowshoes next time…

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Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

I cannot rescind calories consumed, choices made, or self sabotage; I may adjudicate healthy options regardless of the substances’ sources; and I should not let the past determine my future. Too often, I surrender to thoughts that push me into standard consumer behavior. I resist calling attention to myself fearful that my requests will leave an impression of someone who is pretentious. In social settings, I consume excess food too often because I don’t want someone else’s work to be regarded as wasteful. This continuous behavior creates a paltry food cycle that can only be cancelled when I hold firm to proper choices.

Today has only 24 hours, tomorrow has only 24 hours; persistent exercise is an effective means to healthy living; and Rome was not built in a day. The mantra is “Do it today”. I must remember that what must be done today is one healthy step in a lifetime journey. I am solving one portion of the overall formula that leads to success. Tomorrow is another part of the formula. I have anxiety that I am not exercising enough or doing the wrong exercise. I must remember that all activity is good, a variety of activity is good, but most importantly to keep active. Breaking down large goals into manageable daily goals will build a body worthy of a Roman goddess.

I cannot remove stretch marks created in the expansion of my waistline and development of my children; I can reduce the percentage of fat and increase the percentage of muscle; and physical beauty goes beyond the skin. Those stretch marks are a reminder of permanent consequences that can happen when I’m not living a healthy life and if those are my only consequences than I am a very lucky person. When I build strength, I create grace, poise, and balance. All attributes we use when describing the classic beauty.

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My Go To

Realizing that the conversation was not going to go the way I had hoped, I said good-bye to John and headed out of the lobby. My frustration was boiling over like a full pot of potatoes. There was the small consultation prize of knowing he agreed with me but he wasn’t planning on doing anything about it. John is a pleasant enough person to be in the boat with but I had the feeling no one had pulled up the anchor. I was done with it all.

I need to release tension. I wanted a drink. No, I wanted my Go To.

Ten minutes later, I’m walking into the fitness room in exercise clothes that had seen skinnier days. Never mind, I thought to myself, I dare anyone to say something. After all, this night wasn’t about the clothes, how I looked in the clothes, or even how I could look better in those clothes. It was about going to my Go To.

I’ve got my arms and legs pumping. I’m striving for something. I press myself to go faster, urging my body to work harder. I’m searching for a feeling, a physical representation of the mental frustration I endured earlier. I need to feel exhaustion in my lungs, my legs, and my arms. I need to deplete my energy reserves. I need to run.

Finally, I’m done. I’m gasping for breath. It’s a struggle to walk normally. Plus, it’s late in the evening so I rid myself of the salty residue and climb into bed for sweet oblivion.

The next morning, I feel so much better. It’s as though my body tapped into my frustration as though it were fuel for a race or a recovery drink or both. I am rested and optimistic. My head is clear, and I am ready to conquer the next obstacle.

I have running. It’s my Go To.

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One Week

One luminous January day, I was overdressed and perspiring within 1/2 mile of starting an excursion. Truth be told, if it had been a normal Saturday in January, I would have been struggling to keep frost from building up on my eye lashes rather than struggling to cool down after making a last minute decision to put on a light jacket. My two companions, on bikes, were fairing much better in just jeans and sweatshirts. I, on the other hand, had pulled crazy snowflake (hopeful thinking) socks overtop tech running tights then slipped them into Merrell Pace Gloves. On top, I had two (many) layers of shirts and a jacket, hot pink, ironically. The only thing I got right was my lack of head gear allowing my head to breathe.

Did I mention it was Saturday? The three of us were headed into town to drop a package at the post office, stop in for smoothies at Jazy’s Java then pick up a handful of candy at the candy store (otherwise known to adults as the party or liquor store) before running/biking home for lunch.

One week later the situation was as turned around as a contestant in Pin The Trail On The Donkey. Snow was lightly falling upon seven inches of powder that had accumulated the day before. I was trudging up a hill of untouched snow on the edge of a rolling soybean field. This time, my companions had replaced their bikes for antique snowmobiles and were driving them in gigantic circles at the center of the same soy bean field. On this cold and blustery Saturday, a pair of Rocky Gear hunting boots rated for forty below zero encased my snowflake socks. A fire engine red Columbia jacket and a pair of waterproof bib overhauls replaced the tech tights and hot pink jacket to protect my body from blowing snow. A ten pound, black and white striped helmet securely rested on my head with the face shield raised open. A mask protected the lower half of my face and neck from the arctic breeze. I was hiking the edge of the field as something to do while the boys practiced driving the sleds. Even then, I was sweating.

One week. A different world. The same person.

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Photo by Arnis Kengis

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Filed under Michigan, minimalist shoes, running, snow