Friday, April 08, 2011
Today I was awake at 4:30. And not in an "oh shoot it's only 4:30" kind of way, but in a "hooray it's Friday! I want to get this day started!" kind of way.
For April, I planned not to plan. I have been trying to focus on a million things and because of that, I haven't been able to focus on a single thing.
I know, deep.
So this month, it's strength training. I have to get these limbs in shape for skirts and short-sleeves weather. Which, according to the 10-day forecast, looks like it might start on Monday of next week. (78 degrees!!!)
My schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at the gym. That's all I have planned. If I feel like going another day, I will. And if not, well then, I won't go. I've been planning my weeks for so long that I think it finally caught up with me. Why should I have EVERY SECOND planned? I'm allowed to have nights where I don't have a plan... where I don't have a to-do list...
Off to brush brush brush my teeth and head off for some weights!
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
As lots of you know, Brad (my honey) is a chef and he works crazy hours. The very nice thing is that he cooks at home (when I came home from school today I had some bread dough all ready to go in the oven for dinner) but the not so nice thing is that we don't get to spend a whole lot of time together. I often come home from school and I am alone.
Now before we get all sad and pity party (well, *me*, mostly), I will write that I actually *like* to be alone. I prefer lifting weights with my iPod to taking a BodyPump class. I prefer running by myself or with a buddy to running with a big group, and I have absolutely no problem going out to eat alone.
So what's the problem?
I've been putting together my April goals and I've been considering lots of things. I already know that I've become complacent (thanks for the word, John!) about tracking my food and tracking my workouts. I know that I have not earned as many Spark Points as I should have, and I feel like I'm falling behind on my Sparking. I also know that the key to moving forward with my goals is for me to stay involved with my Spark community - comment on lots of blogs, read and post to the message boards, and give lots of Goodies and encouragement.
One of the very first lessons a Sparker learns is that setting small goals at first and not trying to change everything at once leads to success. My first thought about April was to schedule tons of working out - strength training, yoga, running, stretch... phew! When was I going to have *me* time? And what would happen when I didn't make all those workouts? I know what happens - I look at myself as a "failure." And then the excitement for the rest of the month is lost. Since I took so much time off during the winter, I decided to focus on one thing for April. And that is strength training. I really like this New Rules of Lifting workout - so that is my focus. When I get other workouts in there, I will celebrate those.
Um, ok so what does this have to do with being alone?
Well as I was sitting here this evening, I kind of had an "aha!" moment. I was scheduling so much working out so I didn't have to sit here with my own thoughts. Which is weird, because I like to be alone.
So I put a positive spin on this.
Instead of being upset that I missed a workout (which I won't do because I'm not scheduling a million workouts), I will take my evenings to do Sparking. It's important to me, and I haven't been taking enough time to do it. I must be involved more in Spark for success...
So this blog is a little rambling, I know... but here are April's foci anyway.
- Strength training. Three days a week. The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I am doing really well with it - I can shoulder press 25 pounds (woot!) and I'm working on getting some super legs with all my squats, dead lifts and lunges. Oh, and step ups on a high bench with weights. I love "lifting like a man."
- Track food, or at least write it all down. This is to keep me more mindful about what I'm eating. My complacency about tracking has caused me to make excuses about my eating. "I'm running today." "I ran yesterday." "I'm running tomorrow." "It's Tuesday."
- Instead of scheduling tons of workouts, I will have Spark time instead. Like tonight. I thought about going to yoga, but you know, I don't have to be at the gym every minute. Having me-and-Spark time is important, too. My meditation coach is very wise - I once told her I wanted to spend more time meditating, and she said that if it was that important to me, I'd find time to do it. So simple, but sometimes it takes someone else saying it to you to make you go "oh yeah, that's a good point."
- I will continue sending out cards. This is a New Year's Resolution I made, and I really like it. I love picking out fun cards and sending them out.
- I will continue buying fresh flowers for my room at school. It's just a little thing that makes such a huge difference in my mood. And the mood of others! I had three people stop in my room today and comment on how wonderful it was to be in the music room - fresh flowers, nice lighting... I am very proud of how I've turned my music room into such a wonderful place to be.
- I will continue being mindful and patient. I learned in my meditation class to really be in touch with my feelings (it sounds a little cheesy, I know, but really it's the most amazing thing) and I've brought that into my teaching. Since I have done this, I have never had as many hugs as I've gotten in the last few weeks and I've never had fewer discipline problems. I feel as if my kiddos want to do well in music just to do well. I don't give out rewards and I don't have a "time-out" chair. My kids just want to do well. And I feel like that makes me a success.
So it's off to drink some more water and cut up some fruit. I feel really good about my choice to have fewer foci but really concentrate on the ones I have.
Monday, April 04, 2011
According to Merriam-Webster online, impetus means:
a (1) : a driving force : impulse (2) : incentive, stimulus
b : stimulation or encouragement resulting in increased activity
Impetus has always been one of my favorite words. When used correctly, it is the *perfect* word. But incorrectly, it just sounds silly. Like when I hear people try to use the word "myself" in a sentence. "Give the paper to Mary or myself." No, "give the paper to Mary or *me*."
But I digress.
I was thinking of what my blog was going to be about, and the word "impetus" came into my mind. I don't know why, it just did.
Last week's race in Pittsburgh (JASR!) was really the impetus for my spring activity. This winter was miserable... weeks and weeks of COLD, nine snow days (alright, *those* weren't so bad), lack of excitement for running and working out...
Meeting all the Sparkers last weekend and hearing training stories, workout stories, eating stories, goals met and goals people are working toward... all this really made me want to get off my duff and get moving again.
I *thought* was doing alright on the nutrition and fitness fronts, but I was wrong. And I am comparing me to ME, not anyone else who was there. I realized that I had once been in love with running and in love with tracking my food. I ate mindfully and I drank all my water. So where was this girl? I think that girl got lazy. Lazy about tracking, lazy about water, lazy about getting out there and running, even if it was for 15 minutes.
So I came back from Pittsburgh and made a chiropractor appointment for my tight hammy (I had it today and it was wonderful!).
I scheduled workouts and STUCK TO THEM.
I filled up my brad-spankin'-new SparkPeople water bottle (thanks Coach Nicole!) and DRANK THE WATER. (Give me a new water bottle and I'm drinking like a camel.)
I didn't eat a single bag of M&Ms at work! Or a single M&M, for that matter.
And for the first time in a long time, I feel really really good. Not that I was feeling bad, but now I feel good. I'm ready to reevaluate some things and get back to really thinking about this lifestyle of mine. I know that I can change my lifestyle even more and get my body to live its life as a smaller and more fit body.
I cooked some salmon for dinner tonight. It's going on some lettuce with some raisins and maybe something else. I don't know yet. But I do know that I am very excited about this impetus I've been blessed with.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
I know this is cliche, but I really *don't* know how the days got away from me and I haven't blogged!
Last night was my final meditation class. This class has helped me in more ways than I know... I'm sure I will be reaping the benefits for the rest of my life. Last night was especially good for me. I won't get into it, but I found out a lot about myself and my feelings. One of the feelings I'm having right now is "sad." And the woman who runs the meditation class is really wonderful, and one of the things she always came back to was that it's ok to feel sad. It's not good or bad, it just *is*. And I really took this to heart. It's ok to not be happy all the time. It's important for us to be in touch with how we're really feeling, and important for us to acknowledge those feelings and not just push them aside.
So today I am emotionally exhausted. It was so wonderful last night to get all this out and to really just let it all out. If you have never taken up meditation and/or mindfulness practice, I highly recommend it.
The weather forecast for my area is 6-10 inches of snow tonight. I would actually LOVE to have a day off tomorrow - April Fools' Day is so UGH. I wrote on my Rookie Runners thread that I can't stand it - hearing that your shoelace is untied or that there is a bear in the room is kind of funny the first time, but multiply that by 300 six- to eight- year olds, and you can see how the humor quickly fades.
On the happy side of school though, yesterday I had a really nice moment as a teacher. Two first-graders were upset with each other about something and the nastiness was flying. So I talked with them, and long story short, the conversation ended with the two kids hugging, and then skipping down the hall back to class. It was a really special thing for me.
Off to school... i am stopping somewhere for breakfast today. There is nothing in the house to eat, save some bread dough, so I must stop for something.
Have a great day!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Since I did the 5K, I don't have a very long race report.
Wake up after less than five hours of sleep following a late flight into Pittsburgh.
Break my no-coffee-for-Lent thing. (But I went back to tea today.)
"Warm up" at the Rose Barn. And I noticed today that in all the pictures I *still* have on about 39 layers. Inside! I am the one wearing a hat, ear warmers, a scarf wrapped around my neck, and a sweatshirt over two other shirts. And I'm from the Poconos!
Race starts. Big WooHoo!!!
Think, "Shoot, it's cold."
Think, "Shoot, this hill is crazy."
Notice my left knee. The good news is that because I was wearing my knee brace, my *right* knee didn't hurt. I made a chiropractor/sports doc appointment for next Monday.
Take off my gloves and shove them in my sweatshirt.
Take off my scarf and tie it around my waist.
Run a little bit with a girl who was running her first 5K and her friend! I was SO happy for her. For that little bit of time I was running with them, I didn't even notice my knee.
Crossed the finish line with a big smile on my face! I have to search for my finish line photo...
But the real story about this weekend for me wasn't the race. It was the amazing time I had meeting Spark Friends. Typically, getting picked up at midnight at the airport by someone whom you've never met is a little odd-sounding. But I *knew* John.
And when I came into the hotel room at 12:30 and Suezette was peeking out, I *knew* that face.
It was a very liberating experience for me - not for one second did I feel like anyone was judging me. No "do they think I'm fat? does anyone notice the giant bags under my eyes?" and the BEST feeling was that I never thought for a second if anyone was thinking "*SHE'S* a runner?!?!?"
When I met my first live Spark Friend (Hi Mike!) I wrote about how it kind of felt like meeting a celebrity. I had seen his picture and his blogs and everything and then there he was! In his car! Ready to run! Up lots of hills! (The first Spark Friend I meet and the evening was spent running hills!)
So this was like some kind of movie opening for me! To put a voice with the blogs... a real face with the avatar... a hug with the ...
This past weekend was such an amazingly wonderful experience. I learned so much from everyone and I got back my excitement for running. It's one thing to read someone's post about how they ran in the nasty weather, but it's another to see their facial expression when they *tell* you about it.
And it's funny - we were all brought together by running, but there is so much more in common. As I talked to people, I learned that perhaps we were brought together by something more. People on SparkTeams come and go, but this group of people was different. Why else would anyone travel to Pittsburgh in the FREEZING cold to run hills?
And now as I sit here crying, I feel like you all aren't just Spark Friends anymore, but Friends. I can't explain how Spark People has changed my life, it just *has.* And how you all are such a wonderful important part of my life - I can't do it justice with my words...
You are the best!
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