Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Actually it wasn't precisely "hooky" but...I and only one other person in our non-profit human service agency are shared by the state office of mental health. State employees are being downsized in numbers tremendously as cost cutting measures result in farming out the work that we do to the lowest bidder: the local non-profits. I call this the Walmart-ization of Mental Health services. Despite being one of the remaining few I am not happy to work side-by-side with others doing the same work for less pay, less benefits...podium dismount.
So one of the clunky aspects of this work scenario is that the state shuts down for Veteran's Day but the non-profit doesn't. So I and the other person had the day off today. Felt like hooky to me...! :-)
Normally it's a wasted day of puttering around the house, etc. Especially when it falls in the middle of the week.
BUT: Mother Nature served up some WONDERFUL weather today and I have been knocked off the bike since perhaps the end of September due to family events, work, leaves and stuff...SORELY MISSING MY BIKE!
Our bike club has a wonderful tradition of their Wheels-to-Meals club of folks that get out every Tues. & Thurs. Woo hoo! I get to join the club and savor a retirement "preview!"
Better yet, I kicked it up a notch as the group was meeting in Binghamton and riding south of the border into Pennsylvania to have lunch in Hallstead / Great Bend. Round trip of around 26 miles. I decided to start from my home, around 13 miles north of Binghamton, making the whole trip over 50 glorious miles! We had 30+ members show up...great turnout! A sea of bright yellow jackets, I was the easy one to spot in my florescent pumpkin orange long-sleeved t-shirt...lol.
PLUS I got to debut my new long cycling tights:
It was a chilly start in the low 40's and these did very nicely to keep me warm and better yet they weren't uncomfortably warm when the temps climbed into the mid-60's in the afternoon.
I indulged in chili & a grilled cheese sandwich...yeah, Mr. No-Grains, but I figured since I was only chomping apples during the ride I could afford the extra carbs. Best part? The sandwich was no big deal...did not provoke the carb crazies. Didn't really enjoy it, but the chili rocked! Jalapenos and a bunch of glug-glugs from the Hot Sauce made it pretty tasty.
When I got home I discovered other plans usurped my upcoming Saturday when I had planned to get a ton or so of wood pellets to hunker down for the big cold spell coming our way. Plan B? After arriving home feeling terrific about the ride, but energy on the wane...I decide to nab those pellets TODAY and moved a ton of pellets from the store to our front porch.
Due to lack of time as the pellet store closed by 5 I went to get them in my bike tights, rather than change into something else. I have to admit that wearing these tights have me taking a comfortable step or two toward being able to consider myself an "athlete," and sorta wanted to be seen wearing these out & about.
Now? Whew, I'm ready for a shower and a good night's sleep!
Thursday, October 16, 2014
It's been a WAY crazy busy week with not much room for celebrations but I already have SO many ways to celebrate the passing of another year.
So as busy as it's been I slowed down tonight to take stock of my "presents":
---of course every time I hop on my bicycle I am so grateful for the pay-off of a body that can immerse my being into the world of nature and friends who share my enthusiasm. And the journeys I've made this year locally and to the Catskills...all have been precious and cherished.
---bouncing back from the blood thinner jitters!
---tweaking and finding even better ways to manage my Achilles Heel: FOOD!
---checking in with RealAge www.realage.com and finding I'm still staying ahead of the curve with a "Real Age" 3 years younger than my chronological age...growing YOUNGER not OLDER! :-)
---checking in with my waist & hip measurements, finding them to be another couple of inches down from the springtime of this year!
---creeping ever closer to my goal weight of 200
---wearing my "skinny" size 38 jeans!
---wearing "large" or size 16 shirts not only with room to spare, but noticing while wearing a more trim t-shirts greater definition of my biceps. No muscle man, for sure, but I'll take muscle curves over flab anyday! :-)
---noticing more muscular definition in my super-duper, Catskill-mountain-climbing quads and calves!
---improving my self-image a notch or two, as measured by a lessening of self-perceived unattractiveness...still haven't reached a point of being able to psychologically claim an increase in attractiveness...but in time...? Who knows?
Arriving today for my birthday are my new bicycle tights. Another milestone. Back in the day I absolutely ruled out wearing any lycra / spandex stuff, sparing myself and the world of such a horrible sight! That was before my backside met the hard truths of good bicycle saddles...lol! So begrudgingly I was dragged under protest into the world of bicycle shorts, or what I called "dorkey" shorts! Not that I was calling the shorts "dorkey" but actually calling MYSELF "dorkey"-looking when I wore them!
Now? I'm kicking it up a notch a ready to tackle full length bicycle tights! Louis Garneau Oslo Airzone Tights...arrived today, right on my birthday, whaddya know?
Now I'm ready for cycling a bit more in colder temps. Although I doubt I'll ever be anything but a fair-weather rider in terms of precipitation. I just cannot imagine enjoying myself, regardless of gear, enjoying cycling in the rain or snow.
It's great to take stock of our accomplishments now & then and am sending this out not only to celebrate MY birthday and accomplishments but hoping you all are either savoring accomplishments made or YET to make!
Thank you everyone among our SparkFamily for adding your part to making this the place where we continually make our dreams come true, share, celebrate and pay them forward to each other!
Monday, October 13, 2014
It's been a while since I've used my home gym which I've dubbed my "SparkHaven" :-) The fitness center with it's elliptical, rower, spin bikes and weight machines run a stiff competition and because it's so close to work I can fall right into my workouts pretty easily there.
Once upon a time, pre-fitness center, I had a long, good streak of morning mojo in which I would wake up and hop right onto my treadmill in SparkHaven. Quad speakers set up in all four corners of the room around my treadmill kicking out the tunes.
Since I'm off most of the week doing lots of special projects around the house, the fitness center isn't so convenient. So it was time to dust off the treadmill and start off with the dumb bells, resistance bands and crank through the body weight exercises.
The cool thing about doing this at night is that I leave the lights off with only my 17" laptop running iTunes visualization set to full screen shuffling kaliedoscopically through my thousands of tunes. With the laptop set up just a little way in front of the treadmill I could zone out to the music and the light show on my laptop while working up a sweat with the elevation set to the max of 15 and doing a slow jog, fast walk of 4 mph.
Nice to remember such a different way to work up a sweat!
Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone!
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Well phooey...the scale is UP! Unfortunately I out-ate the miles I climbed this weekend.
The extra pounds are TOAST and lesson learned re: gauging food that's necessary for the burn vs. indulging the carbie tiger, which has been dutifully re-shackled!
Keeping the SPARK!
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