Thursday, July 28, 2011
If you have to choose between living your real life and writing about it on Spark, clearly, LIVE!
This morning found me growling at my weather radio that awakened me at 3 something to inform me of severe thunderstorms in the northern part of the county. Grumble, grumble, roll over, go back to sleep. Twenty minutes later, it invades my dreams to inform me the storms are moving north and east... away from me. Grumble, grumble... etc. So I wasn't happy to greet the alarm, and decided to snooze on for a while. By the time I was showered, lunch prepped, breakfast in hand and ready to Spark it was nearly time to head to work... so here I am after work instead.
Today at work I managed to get drawn in by some furry faces in need of homes... and this evening's "one thing" entries are getting ready to receive two new members of the household, tomorrow after work. I've spent four months pet-free, nearly five. I know I said I wanted to go a year before deciding... but these little ones need homes now.
This is how kitties come into my life. I don't go looking for them. They somehow find me. A friend at work has a farm, where people tend to abandon animals by the roadside. This past year, two pregnant cats were "dropped off". One of the litters is now three months old, spayed/neutered, wormed and rabies shots behind them. I'm getting a brother and sister... grey and white. He has stripes, she has patches. I'll do photos later.
I think I shall call him "Number 6". I shall call her "Number 2". I'm a fan of The Prisoner, you see. And his rabies papers say "kitten number 6", and hers say "kitten number 2". It's too cute. And since they will be brought to "The Village" (my house) from which they shall not be allowed to escape for the first couple of months anyway...
Yes, it doesn't take much to amuse me.
Life's good. Spark on!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
It rained overnight. When I stepped out on my deck this morning, I saw a whole raft of weeds that had appeared seemingly overnight in the cracks on my patio. I decided my "one thing" this morning would include pulling a few of them. The soft, moist ground made extracting them fairly easy. There was this surge of "I did it" good feeling, immediate. Why? Because I truly dislike yard work... and when I do something I dislike, in a small amount, see the good result, and pat myself on the back, I feel a surge of victory.
Doing well in the 5K was a thrill of victory... but athletic competition is not the only way to get that feeling of living victoriously. Every day victories need to be recognized, cherished, and celebrated. Keeping small promises to oneself is the most empowering thing there is. So when you *do* the ten minutes of strength training, when you decide to have a smaller portion or make a healthier choice in a restaurant, when you alter a recipe to make it better for your family... toot your horn, if only to yourself.
Celebrate living your life victoriously. You are worth it!
Life's good. Spark on!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The gal who hates finish lines is here... with a little reverie over "when is a finish line NOT a finish line"? When it is a transition! Just about everything that "feels like a finish line" with a little bit of insight and work, can be seen as some kind of transition... because "there is no finish line".
Life has dozens if not hundreds, thousands, or millions of these transitions.
There are the tiny daily ones: bed to up and awake. From home to work mode, and vice versa. From one task to the next. In school, changing classes. In books, chapters, changes to a different set of characters or plot lines.
There are the annual ones: changing of the seasons, planting and harvest, Holidays, vacations.
There are the major life ones: Graduation from a given level of school, moving on to the next or to a working life. Marriage. Addition of members to the family (furry ones, too). Loss of loved ones. Kids growing up and moving out. Health issues or injuries.
There are major lifestyle (or financial) changes that can give pause: getting, losing, or changing jobs, moving to a new house or apartment. Downsizing, upsizing, relocating.
These changes happen to us all. They are a part of life. They shape us as we adapt to them.
Now take a look at the changes in your life and where you put health and fitness in your list of priorities as these changes occurred. Did you (as I did) leave it off the list of priorities? Drop it to the bottom of the list (just until this crisis is past)? Wish for it, but not act on the wish?
What brought you to Spark? It wasn't just that you heard about it from a friend, or saw an ad... there was a motivation inside you that said "I have to do something about my life, health, fitness"... and you came. Will you stay, through all the rest of life's transitions? Will you keep the Spark alive?
Life's good... Spark on!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Another photo from the triathlon on Sunday. This one shows people in transition.
The young woman in turquoise / blue is one of the juniors, transitioning from her bike ride to her run, pulling her hair down and headed for that blue archway where the run begins. The one in hot pink is one of the adults, transitioning from swim to bike, on her way to the bike starting line.
Transitions in a triathlon are very specific, but we have many transitions in the larger sense of life. Whatever change comes our way, we need to transition to whatever new routine will support that change. There are short transitions and long ones. Some can be planned for, others not so much.
The triathletes who think ahead and have everything laid out to make for a smooth transition shave vital seconds off their race time if the race is a close one. In life, some transitions can be similarly planned for and laid out... adding a new job? Changing schedules? Think ahead and plan for how you'll handle it without undermining your larger goal of living healthy... will you carry your lunch to work? Will you alter the time of your workouts? Will you take breaks? Stretch at your desk if it is a sedentary job?
Things can be unpredictable in transitions. A competitor has to be able to alter plans without becoming ruffled. Shoelace break? Having trouble finding the clip on the bike pedal... take the time to adjust and fix it, and your race goes smoother.
Life's journey has many transitions... here's to not letting them frustrate us, but to resiliently making them and getting into the rhythm for the next phase as smoothly as we can. It may be difficult (I know it often is for me)... but it is well worth it!
Life's good. Spark on!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I just had the best morning. No, I did not run another race... this time I took my camera with me and walked over the the venue where the State Games was having the Triathlon competition.
In case anybody who reads these has been living under a rock and doesn't know what a triathlon is, it combines a swim, a bike ride, and a running event, all into the same race. In between the events is "transition", where the swimmer changes into the biker, and the biker into the runner, and starts the next event in the sequence. That said, here are a few shots of the Juniors, for whom this was a qualifying event for "real" events later in the year.
First swimmer got out (0.47 mile swim) when the clock said:
Here he is starting his bike ride:
At the end of his first loop of the ride (there were three loops around the outer perimeter of the park containing the lake where the swim was done all the way out to the Library I sometimes walk to, adding to a total of 20K / 12 miles):
Him again, returning after the third lap:
Starting his 5K run:
And coming on toward the finish line. I missed the clock, the shot was badly lighted, but he did this all in an hour and eight minutes and change. Amazing performance for a 16 year old. His 14 year old sister finished ten minutes behind him, and his nearest competition 8 minutes.
Next year? May...be me as a participant? May...be... that's a huge time commitment to train. We'll see... but some of you all know about me and my bucket list... a TRI is on it.
Oh, and as a spectator, I put in 15,000 steps, moving from spot to spot to snap my photos and cheer the athletes on.
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