Friday, September 09, 2011
I read a blog this morning, in which a Spark person contemplates walking in her first 5K. She mentioned the fear of judgment of others and my mind went back to a 5K I ran back in 1991, I think it was. I may have blogged about it before, but it bears a revisit.
This particular 5K was in Canton, Pennsylvania. It featured a course that was pretty flat for the first mile, almost straight uphill for the second, and a huge breezy downhill to the finish, rounding a corner to cross the line.
I kept playing leapfrog the whole way with a speedwalker, while I jogged. I put in my personal best and was on a huge high. I had lost 80 pounds and was in the best shape of my life then-to-date. I hung around the finish line cheering the remaining finishers on.
One of the last finishers was a very large woman. She reminded me of myself during the journey. She walked the whole way, and as she rounded the corner, I muttered aloud (remembering well my own fear of judgment) that it took a lot of guts for her to get out there and do this. My admiration for her courage was bigger than her body size, for sure!
Some jerk nearby quipped for his friend, "Yeah, in more ways than one!" I wanted to punch him out. But seriously, there were far more people whose hearts were touched and spirits soared seeing her out there, than those who were shallow judgers. And here's the kicker: will we let those who hold jerk attitudes prevent us from fulfilling our dreams?
NO WAY! If 90% of life is showing up? Let's not miss out on that 90%. Let's go ahead and "just do it". Let the rush of doing it overpower the opinions of the small-minded. We are worth it, every last Sparker of us!
Life's good. Spark on!
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Anybody over the age of 25 has probably had at least one or two moments in life where the limits were reached: Something has to give! If you haven't, guess you're a Teela Brown (an incredibly obscure reference to a Science Fiction novel called Ringworld by Larry Niven... she was a character who lived a completely charmed life).
So... when you reach that point, where something has to give, what gives?
At various points in our lives, different things have "given". For many of us, our efforts at self-nurturing "gave", as we threw our all into some other aspect of life, or even several aspects of life, juggling the balls and dropping that one.
Often we think we'll pick it up again "once this big push is over". Only to find when this big push is over, another crisis or big push follows it. Sometimes it seems the ball has suddenly become much heavier and unbalanced, and it's not all that easy to pick it up again.
Resolved: Not going to let that happen any more! If something has to give, it will have to be something else. Because my health is worth more to me now, and I no longer take it for granted. I may dial things back a bit, change the plan a little, but there is a point beyond which I will not give up the ship:
1. I will not give up my 30 minutes of walking each day.
2. I will not give up getting sufficient sleep.
3. I will not give up eating well-planned and balanced meals and snacks (even if it means I buy pre-packaged and convenient single serving sized foods... I will read the labels).
Because I'm worth it! What about you? What's going to "give" in your life, next time push comes to shove?
Life's good. Spark on!
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Blogging is an interesting exercise. It is a personal journey, taken somewhat publicly. The writer controls what goes in to each entry, and most of what I journal (blog) about is "me", my life, how I'm coping with what comes down the pike. This helps keep me on track.
There is a benefit to being public (within the semi-sheltered scope of Spark People). It opens one up to the comments of others, which could include criticism, advice or comparison... and that can shake up one's world view.
I am a believer in allowing the help I get to come from whatever source happens along. I take the comments / advice / experience of my Spark buddies seriously, because like a step meeting where one shares experience, strength and hope... that's what comes across in the comments. I am most deeply grateful for all the comments on yesterday's blog about the unstructured time / fatigue "pattern" I deal with.
I have been given a wide selection of things to ponder and assimilate. Thank you.
Life's good. Spark on!
Oh, oh... and fellow maintainers, have you seen? Spark has introduced a whole selection of new tickers to choose from, including: ta-da... a maintenance range ticker! I'm trying it out. It doesn't show the loss, though, so I may switch back at some point, because I like to encourage others who may have a similar large mountain to lose.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
This morning I read a Spark Article that purported to tell one how to avoid weekend over eating. It talked about celebration eating and social eating. What it didn't talk about was fatigued eating, anxiety eating, unstructured time eating.
Honestly, I do worse with emotional eating when I'm home alone. Especially on those days when I have "loose" plans, i.e. I'm waiting for a phone call from my son and I have no idea if/when he will call or what our final plans will end up being. Yesterday was such a day. I was tired, woke at the usual time, got up, and kind of walked around in a fog until about 1 p.m. Did a little yard work, but was deliberately trying to have a restful day, all the time trying to conserve energy for whatever he would want to do, even just dropping over for coffee.
At this point I took a nap... my son probably was getting up about that time. This is a danger time zone for me... I'm tired, he's energetic. But he didn't call. When I got up from my nap at 2, the grazing started. It didn't stop until around 7 p.m. And he never called. I was still fatigued, and went to bed on time, and slept in this morning, making me wonder how much of my over-indulgence yesterday was self-sedating with food, i.e. fatigue related.
What bothers me most is that this is a pattern. I know I need the "down" days to recharge my batteries, but I'm reluctant to admit to the anxiety that the lack of structure, anticipation of needing to expend more energy brings. Which is why retirement scares me: having no plans is not good for me. But having too many is also not good.
I hope someday I figure it out. For now, it's virtual Monday. Structure and work return. Next weekend I have an athletic outing planned. But emotionally, I'm disappointed in me and my seeming inability to change this pattern. I'm living with it for now, I know how to recover from it. But retirement scares me, and it's only a decade away.
of a new effort. Spark on.
Monday, September 05, 2011
I'm typing with a lapful of purr. The smaller kitty, Patches, has decided on this chilly morning to warm my lap. When I first came downstairs and sat on the couch, I had two of them draped all over me. When you just relax into the experience, this is so totally calming.
As I predicted from observing their young personalities, she's turning into more of an indoor kitty than he. The Prisoner is the mighty jungle cat, and loves the great outdoors. Patches is more likely to go out, sniff around the deck, then ask to come back inside. Both have captured my heart completely in the few weeks they have lived here.
I've been out this morning to do my "one thing" which is continuing to work on the volunteer trees around the front of the house. It's going slowly, as my "one thing" efforts are time-boxed, but progress is visible.
Today is dedicated to recharging my batteries. I may go for a long walk later. But essentially, the plan is for it to be a quiet day: I have the dentist tomorrow morning, a big work push that will spread over the next six weeks or so, and week after next my sister's follow up radiation treatment. While I'll only be on tap to take her to the one little surgical procedure, it's on my mind... as it would be on anyone's.
Next Sunday is the 5 mile Buffalo Run. It is held in a big park, and the terrain is hilly. I'm trying to listen carefully to my knees in consideration of things like: will I walk the distance, or attempt a partial jogging pace? Five miles is longer than my normal 5K outings, the past two of which I didn't even run the whole distance. I think I'm more concerned about the potential damage to my joints if I overdo than anything else. This is for fun, and to get a baseline time for the distance.
2011 has been an "interesting" year so far. It has been the year of athletic outings, and I'm looking both backward in time and forward, trying to see what is the right balance of these events and what is the right mindset for them, to keep maintaining fitness for the rest of my life.
Meantime, a lapful of purr should help me relax into the plan, and recharge those batteries.
Life's good... Spark on!
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