Sunday, January 15, 2012
Yesterday as we were strapping on our skates, Becky asked me what it was, in my childhood, perhaps, that gave me my spirit of adventure. I did not hesitate... it was a gift from my mother. So today, let me talk a bit about my mom.
I struggled with separating myself from my mom. Sometimes I'll even say I moved 1200 miles away from her just so I could. There is a germ of truth in that. At times it seemed to me that she projected her own life onto me, that I lived some of her dreams, not entirely made my own.
Eventually I reached a point where enough things about us were different that I pulled myself up by the boots and said, "My life is *not* my mother's. My life is *mine*." We all have to do this at some point, it's called "growing up". The fact that I was in my late 30's by the time I did? Well, what can I say?
That said, though, the spirit of adventure? This was something she had, in spades! Once you *do* establish your identity as separate, you can find things about your role models that you *want* in your life. This is one that made me at times proud, at times embarrassed, and in the end, grateful that she had and modeled the trait.
You see, my mom died at 66. 66 is not very old. But she lived large, open, loud. She was unafraid to try new things, to talk to strangers and make them friends, to be enthusiastic. To sing whether she could carry a tune or not. To shoot hoops with the kids in the driveway. To lose hundreds of chess matches to my brother, just to have the time with him through his teen years. To keep faith with my father, her husband, 'til death indeed did part them. To remain loyal to her faith. To make her own decisions, yet still be part of a union. To offer encouragement and a positive outlook to all she met. Mom lived wisely and frugally and generously, all at the same time.
I am now 59, going on 60 next November. Oh, I "intend" to outlive that 66 by quite a bit. BUT... the truth is... NONE of us knows how long we have on the planet. It is my desire therefore, make each day count. To TRY those things on my "lists", whether I turn out to be good at them or not. And at the end of my life, whenever that comes, to be able to say: "I lived. No regrets."
That is why I spark. Because life is good, my friends. Spark on!
Saturday, January 14, 2012
In an initiative to keep one another motivated, Becky (KALIGIRL) and I made a date to go ice skating today. Unfortunately, we discovered some truths about photography and action sports.
First, my cheap little phone? Rudely told me it had insufficient memory to use the camera. Bummer. Second, Becky tried to snap some action shots with her smart phone, but we ended up in giggles over it... she'd line up the shot, then if I looked at her, I'd start to lose my balance... or another skater would move into the way and I'd have to move out of the line of sight... or *something*. I don't know if she got any good shots at all... hopefully if she did she'll post them.
As we were leaving we did prevail upon a bystander to take one posed shot of the two of us, and hopefully she'll put that one up. But the important thing is not the photographic evidence; the important thing is that we went out and had some active FUN!
We both marvelled over how the skaters' skills (including our own) improved over the course of the session. The families, parents and little kids. The long time smooth skaters. The young people who clearly know what they are doing on the ice. And us... the determinedly active "seniors", if it's OK to call us that.
In the end, we were out on the ice about an hour, exercising *different* leg muscles from running or walking... we shall see how we feel in the next few days... and decide... what is our NEXT active fun cross-training adventure?
Life is indeed good, people. Spark on!
edited to add link to KaliGirl's blog *with* initial proof photos. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Friday, January 13, 2012
I was feeling so smugly proud of myself. I had "done" each workout of the week's training plan so far, and I *got myself in the front door of the gym*. That's a victory in itself.
I hopped on the elliptical, did my warm up, and proceeded to a very crowded weight room. My workouts are divided into three mini-cycles... I managed to find room to do the first cycle, involving flyes, squats, bicycles, and triceps kick-backs... back in a corner of the room, trying to avoid the fit-bodies grunting and doing their thing.
The second mini-cycle I had to go compete for space and equipment, but I was working my away around a couple of sets of trainer-client and getting the job done. There were *several* of the high school athletic crowd there last night working out with the trainers.
Partway through my cycle, I spotted "my" trainer, with her client of the hour: looks to be a high-school basketball player! Out of the corner of my eye, I watch what she's putting this gal through, and it was one of those moments: as I've often said, no matter how good you get, there's always somebody that if you try to compare yourself, will deflate your balloon, burst your bubble, or whatever!
That knee-high ledge she had me stepping up to last Saturday? I was on 8 reps? She AND the client were *jumping* up onto it, repeatedly. Trainer A was doing the workout alongside this client. Later in the evening, as I was finished and leaving, I spotted them in the basketball court, doing rebound drills.
I just had to laugh at my old lady workout (which, by the way, I still contend is not bad for a gal who's working on her 60th revolution)... compared to this young athlete's!
There are those who will be tempted to comment something about not comparing oneself to others, but sometimes it is good at this level to "not take oneself too seriously". Humility and humor go together.
Oh, by the way, hope her team wins... looks like a great kid.
Today is a rest day, break walks only... tomorrow: (What, no figure skating icon?) KaliGirl and I are going ICE SKATING. Hear that CrazyMango... I shall be meeting the challenge we set! You?
Thursday, January 12, 2012
While seeking my zen on foot, I'm also trying to get started with the pre-training weeks of the beginner's Half Marathon plan I used last year. I feel it is appropriate to use the same plan, in that last year I was training to walk it, this year, I'm seeking that blend of walking / jogging that will feel right.
At the same time, I am trying to include more cross training, and the strength training that will support my triathlon dreams for Summer. So, it's not quite the same plan.
Last night's blended target was 4 miles on foot. I was not feeling the jog, so I started out giving myself permission to walk the full four miles if I chose, and I started slow... like 3.5 mph, reading a chapter of a book I've been hooked on. I finished the chapter before the first mile was done, tossed the book aside and started playing with the speed controls... a little faster, a little slower, allowing the drop back to a 4 mph walk or bumping up to a max of 10 minute miles, and everything in between, as the spirit moved.
To get myself to start, I told myself I could quit after 4 miles or an hour, whichever came first. The four miles came and went, and I cooled down to round out the hour... 4.42 miles, for an average of 13 minute miles... but that was a wide variety of speeds, really.
Zen? Nope, not yet. But I did it, and I'm on the way. Life's good. Spark on.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The first step in getting where I want to be (zen mode at a jog)... is in the discipline to get on the treadmill and GO SLOW. Last night after work I got on the treadmill for 40 minutes. The first five minutes was my warm-up walk. Then we played with the jog.
Funny thing: jogging alone on the treadmill, I'm not as motivated as when I have Sgt. Son at my side. Hmmm. So, seeking my "zen zone", I allowed myself at times to drop back to a fast walk... then after a minute or so, back at the jog. Mentally, I gave myself permission to do the entire session at a walk if I so desired, seeking that zen. But I was going to do the distance the plan called for, regardless of how long it took.
In the end? I covered "at least" the 3 miles (3.29), in 40 minutes and change. Was it zen? Not yet. But baby steps. I'm going to find it. I don't know what pace or intervals it will involve, but that is the half marathon plan: find the zen for 13.1!
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