Sunday, January 01, 2012
I went to the gym at 8 this morning, not remembering exactly when it would open, if it would open later than its usual 6 and not wanting to make two trips. In fact, it did open at 6 today, but even at 8, only the die-hards like me, who went to bed on time last night were there... all bright-eyes and determination. The included a range of current fitness levels, but mostly what I saw were people who had a plan and were going about executing it.
No problems getting the equipment you want. You know the best part for me? I felt STRONG! Going into the new year, I bumped up the dumbbell weights by a couple of pounds for my flyes, kick-backs, and squats. I did 15 reps instead of 12 on the later circuits involving bands, but I didn't move to a bigger band. And as I said, I just plain felt strong... and that to me says that everything I did in 2011 to maintain was worth it.
In 2011 my theme was "majority rules" for behavior. In 2012 my theme is "Strong just feels so good." Strong mind, strong spirit, strong body. In balance. It's going to be a great year. As Jean-Luc Picard would say, "Make it so!"
Life is good. Spark on!
Saturday, December 31, 2011
I am about to enter the third year in which I considered my major goal to be maintenance. I sort of declared myself "done" at this point, looking for fitness more than weight loss going into 2010:
Well, what I didn't expect was that I would continue to slowly lose throughout 2010, and I ended 2010 with a waist that was 5 inches smaller!
This morning, while the scale may be a couple of pounds up from a year ago (2.4, to be precise) the tape measurements are the same. I have to consider 2011 to have been a successful year of maintenance!
As for 2012, about to start? I plan on once again having FUN in this healthy body. I plan on enjoying and embracing my second childhood.
What does it mean to this little old lady in training to have fun? It's to do things one doesn't expect of a soon to be 60-year-old. It means I want to ice skate at least once this Winter. Ride a horse at least once in the Spring or Fall. And of course, keep on training, don't stop training, you want to run a race someday... (oh, yes, that last bit to the tune of "Keep on singing").
Race already signed up for: half Marathon in early May. I was lucky. I signed up the first day. It's already filled, so anybody who dragged their feet will have to find a different race to register for.
Race that's MINE, barring huge life events getting in the way: Triathlon in late July, sprint distance, my first official one.
Race that is in logical prep training spot for that half: a ten-mile outing in late March.
Race that is purely for fun... if I can get myself signed up for it... a color run in June. They tie-dye your shirt as you run, I guess.
Other races may come into my life, but that's the starting line up of stated intention. I have a half thought to start looking for races in the home cities of Spark friends... to give myself the double treat of meeting some of you all that aren't necessarily local to me here. Meeting Mary on her way through town Sparked this thought!
New Year's is a time to dream and plan, to assess and evaluate. And to start making those plans and dreams come to fruition. May 2012 be kind to each of us, and may we be kind to ourselves: mind, body, soul, in balance... building our lives, one day at a time!
Happy New Year!
Friday, December 30, 2011
A college chum of mine once quipped that as a child she had been warned to not talk to strangers, but she had trouble distinguishing between "a stranger and a friend I hadn't met yet"! Online friendships allow a certain distance in making that determination, in identifying kindred spirits and developing trust before meeting in person.
Most of my Spark friends are just that: kindred spirits that I have identified by reading their blogs, going to their spark pages, being on their teams and finding that they have similar goals, interests and motivations in this great journey to a healthy lifestyle. Many of them have similar challenges and road blocks in the path, or echo feelings and attitudes I have felt. Many are in similar life phases. It makes for the potential of magic.
Yesterday's meeting with Mary was one of those magical things. Another Spark friend described her first meeting with a fellow Sparker as being like an instant connection and level of comfort, as though they had been neighbors for years. That's kind of what it was like for me: we know a lot about each other already, as neighbors do, but not everything... there are a lot of little gaps and holes that getting together and interacting in a live conversation can fill.
And sorry but icons can't hold a candle to the real thing!
So, as I said after meeting other Spark friends last year: if you get the chance to meet a Spark friend in person - go for it!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
A friend of mine quoted to me once that people entered our lives for "a reason, a season, or a lifetime". It rang true at the time, as I thought back over the people whose words or actions have touched my life... seemingly at random... for a reason. And of those whose paths crossed into my life while we worked together or lived in the same town, or shared an interest... but then we went on with our lives and lost touch... for a season.
And then there are those that we meet that remain friends for a lifetime. Some may be those that we drop back in to the same themes when we meet, even if it has been years since we last saw one another. Some are in our lives by accident of birth, but somehow despite that are close (I feel this way about my siblings). Some started out as "for a reason" or "for a season" and then became lifelong friends... I have a collection of people with whom I worked when I was younger. Our lives took different directions, but this time of year, we write and play catch up.
And then there is my Spark friend collection. The semi-anonymity of an environment on-line makes it possible to share inner thoughts in ways we sometimes fail to do with those close to us "in meat space" (as my son calls it). The possibility of actually meeting face to face or doing something together is a transition or a milestone. Today holds the potential of such a meeting. COOKME123 (Mary) and her husband intend to be on the road and might just hit my city at a time that makes meeting possible.
I am trying to protect myself from having too high expectations, as I know that vagaries of travel can play havoc with timing and such... so this is a day of HOPE. It may not happen, but I am hoping that it will! I've cleared my afternoon calendar of work meetings just for this reason.
We have been Spark Friends for a while now, swapping encouragement, blogging back and forth... reinforcing our determination to live healthier. If this comes off, we've promised to take pictures and share.
But I wanted to say that even if I never meet some of my Spark Friends in person, these are folks that are definitely in my life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. We're in this journey together, even while we are miles, states, or nations apart.
Here's to YOUR Spark journey, and to mine, and to where those lines intersect: for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime! Spark on!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
probably different for everyone. For me? The hardest thing to maintain is motivation.
This is why Spark works for me. This is why I need Spark even though I use other tools (like a commercial diet program, a gym, a personal trainer). Spark gives me a place to obsess in writing about "me, me, me!" and my motivation. It gives me a place to brag on my successes and whine about my failures among others who truly do "get it".
This is why I come blog almost every day.
I'm fond of saying several old tired things, and I need to hear myself say them over and over again.
1. "It's not about the scale. It's about the behavior." Behave in healthy ways and the scale will take care of itself.
2. "I love feeling fit." I love the little surprises of fitness: discovering that it's easier to do things than it once was. Things that come into one's life at random or regular intervals and require one to do something out of the norm, for example wresting the Christmas tree into the house, or running up the stairs at work because of a power outage.
I love being among fit people and feeling that "I belong here". OMG! I never would have thought it 25 years ago, but I find participating in events like 5K's and last year's first half marathon bring on an incredible high! Finding that the others accept you because you're out there putting forth the effort? Priceless.
Speaking of being among fit people, a funny thing happened at the gym. While jostling for position, a very muscular young man stepped around me swinging a kettle bell and apologized, I shrugged it off and said something like "just think of me as your mom"... then back-pedaled... "or maybe that's not a good thing..." Thinking and joking about the possibility that he might NOT avoid giving his mom a hard time. He said, "No, that's a good thing."
Being fanciful, I envisioned many of us "older" moms with fit adult children, becoming fit ourselves, making a tidal wave of fitness across the land!
3. "It's never the same ten pounds." This is one of my favorites. Because it's not. When I slip and start to regain, it is usually a sign that something else in my life is out of kilter and needs examination. And it's NOT the same thing over and over, it is something new, or something I didn't quite address before. Maybe I'm ready to address it now.
4. "Activity is a tool. Nutrition plans are tools." Tools are used to craft things: these tools are used to craft health and fitness, and build a good life.
And life IS good! Spark on!
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