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Yep, crazy Army Mom here

Saturday, May 19, 2012



In my e-mail, thanks to past participation in fitness events locally, was an e-mail, advertising the Quest for the Vets, a 5K obstacle race to be run on Memorial day. victoryquest.com/

Now, I'm somewhat intimidated by obstacle courses, especially those that require upper body strength. I have never, in my entire life, been able to do a chin up, much less a pull-up. Doing hand over hands or parallel bars? Forget about it!

Still... the tri training plan has nothin' on it for Memorial Day itself, and I'm dealing with a son, currently serving overseas. What a great way to honor him, by going and TRYING this thing. The ad said they were open on Saturdays to scope out the obstacles... and y'know... DEXTER talked me into it. Yep, that's the story and I'm sticking to it.

This car wants to go to fitness events. He dragged me, kicking and screaming... nope, curious and feeling silly... out to the site where this race is going to be run in a little over a week.

I started walking from the parking lot around the building, when the owner came out to greet me and ask what I was looking for. Then he gave me the tour. And I started "trying out" the easier obstacles... the tire wall you see in the background? Yep, I climbed over that, with a little help from the dude.

I let him take me on a distance measuring trek through it. We skipped several of the obstacles today, didn't do the mud pits or any of that, but did climb the dirt birms, ran through the corn fields, and a-hem "attempted" some of the obstacles. News? There are are lot of these that are built for 6' 3" guys, not 5' 3" little old ladies. BUT... I was informed, any of the obstacles you don't feel safe doing, you can substitute something like 5 jumping jacks and go around. I may be doing that a LOT. There are 24 obstacles!

Anyway, that was my TRI substitution for "run 20 minutes". I had gone to the gym and done the trainer's workout #3, which I hadn't done since she first gave it to me in January, right about the time I was getting sick. Problem? Do I remember what those words on my workout card mean? cough-cough

And after showering off? I registered for the event. Yep, crazy Army Spark Mom here. emoticon Wish me luck.

Have a great and FUN active weekend all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYOTTER 5/21/2012 3:35PM

    Yea! You'll be happy you went, regardless of the outcome, and those around you will certainly be inspired by your attitude!

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SUNNYWBL 5/21/2012 1:09AM

    The event sounds like a hoot! I love your attitude and know you will have a great time!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROSGETSSERIOUS 5/20/2012 4:56PM

    You are an amazing mum - you go for it!!!
You will have lots of fun and I predict that you will do less jumping jacks than you think!! Way to go - cant wait to hear how it all goes - gotta love Dexter!!!
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ANDI571 5/20/2012 9:08AM

    HOOAH! You are awesome. I had missed where your son finally got deployed overseas. My heart aches for you.

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REJ7777 5/20/2012 8:14AM

    You sure are one gutsy lady!!! emoticon
I'm sure your son is proud of his mom (and happy that you've undertaken such a healthy lifestyle).

Sure. Sure. Blame it on Dexter. emoticon
Then again, that sure is one handsome dude! emoticon

I'm convinced you'll enjoy the challenge! emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 5/20/2012 7:59AM

    I love you.
I get so much mental exercise reading your blogs.
Now to convert that motivation into real energy. emoticon

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LLREED 5/20/2012 12:24AM

    You go girl! I'm a crazy Army Mom, too, and would have loved to learn of this earlier. I've got it on my calendar for next year, though!

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SHARON10002 5/19/2012 11:38PM

    You are going to knock the socks off of everyone there!! You'll do emoticon!
Your son will be beaming through and through. . .

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WATERMELLEN 5/19/2012 10:37PM

    What a fabulous way to honour your son. He will be thrilled!!

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EBEAMS 5/19/2012 9:55PM

    I am SO TICKLED for you! Way to go ... Your son will be so HONORED and thrilled!

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MOBYCARP 5/19/2012 9:10PM

    Obstacle course, huh? I predict you'll have a lot of fun, even though you won't be the fastest participant through the course.

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KARIDIAN1 5/19/2012 8:22PM

    Good luck on the Challenge. You can do it!

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SUNNY332 5/19/2012 7:48PM

    No matter what you do, you will give HONOR a whole new meaning. I am so proud of you. If I had the lung power, I'd be right there with you.

BTW - thanks for the goodie. That was very nice of you.

Take care and BTW - love Dexter. Too cute - not anything an "short old lady" would drive but something a "winner" would. You are that winner!

Keep up the good work.

Sunny

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1CRAZYDOG 5/19/2012 7:48PM

    One word, Barb . . . HOOZA!!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/19/2012 6:56PM

    You are AWESOME, Barb!

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_LINDA 5/19/2012 6:42PM

    That is awesome you are taking this on. Interesting they are open every Saturday for training and conditioning for this course and you already used one up looking it over lol. Dragging a tire that looks like it weighs more than you? Don't think so :P I think you may be doing a lot of alternatives.. You will show them how its done!
Spark on Barb!

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MSLZZY 5/19/2012 6:11PM

    emoticon

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KRISZTA11 5/19/2012 5:55PM

    That obstacle course looks like a challenge,
you are very brave and tough!
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Rest day and human powered transit

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday the schedule called for a swim, so even though the bike shop called to say my newly tuned up machine was ready, I deferred picking it up until after work today.

Instead, after work I went to the gym, and put in the pool lengths... 20 lengths of crawl / freestyle (dumb question, is what I learned as the Australian crawl the same as the modern-day "freestyle"?)... and 14 more lengths in rotation of strokes.

The deal about swimming, for me, is that it doesn't really feel like I'm exercising. I just relax into it, the rhythm, the joy of motion, the wet... it's amazing, swimming is.

Today after work, I drove to the bike shop, and even though my new Dexter (car has a name) will fit the bike in the back... chose to put on my helmet and ride the bike home, then walk back to pick up the car. This, too, did not feel like exercise. Today is a "rest" day on the training schedule, so I wasn't pushing for performance.

As I was riding and then walking, it dawned on me that when I was a kid (boy, do I start sounding like Grandma, or what!) the high school was about the same distance from home as this bike shop is from my current home (2 1/2 miles). And I used to ride my bike to school. Or walk to school.

Now, wouldn't THAT take care of childhood obesity that we have such problems with in this nation... if we once again walked six to twelve city blocks each day to school in the morning, and home again after school?

Anyway, the point was, human powered transit is good for us, as physical beings. And we end up getting fit seemingly without effort, purely through a lifestyle.

Not that I'm giving up my car (I know I blogged the fantasy last year)... but this little experience once again reminded me how good it feels to be functionally fit.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/19/2012 11:45PM

    Exercising three times in one day!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
You're so right about riding bikes. When I was a kid we would bike down the back roads to the local "swimming hole" every afternoon right after lunch. We'd swim three or four hours, and bike back home - 8 miles round trip. Now that I think about it, I should have been much skinnier than I was. . . emoticon

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THEEASYKILL30 5/19/2012 10:02PM

    I work in NYC and public transit is pretty good but I'm at the point where I prefer to rely on my own two feet. I could take the subway to a bus from the train station to work. Or I could walk. It takes the same time actually but walking doesn't cost me $2.25.

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SUNNY332 5/19/2012 4:47PM

    You drove to the bike shop, then biked home, then walked back to pick up your car - woohoo and way to go.

What a great way to "work in extra exercise".

If that is one of your new kittens in the photo on your page, I would say they have grown up pretty fast. Do let me know.

Take care and keep up the great work.

Sunny

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REJ7777 5/19/2012 7:37AM

    You drove to the bike shop, then biked home, then walked back to pick up your car?! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 5/19/2012 7:18AM

    Functionaly fit--I love it!---- And that IS you!--I hope when I shed this faty, I can say this too--I always enjoy your blogs! Enjoy the weekend Barb-Hugs-Lynda

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OVERWORKEDJANET 5/19/2012 6:19AM

    I want one tenth of your energy. emoticon
I love to walk but I think I get more out of it if I have a destination. Walking just to walk in my neighborhood feels, well umm, circular! It's 2 miles around the main drag in the development. I think I should walk to the stores, 3mi roundtrip just to feel the purpose.
You rock! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/19/2012 1:03AM

    I never got out of human powered transit -50 years of walking where ever I wanted to go hasn't much changed. Not having a driver's license means not ever missing what you never had to begin with. Walking has more then just physical benefits. Walking gives you a peek into life. Enjoying the many and varied gardens and landscaping as you go by houses. Their unique architecture. The people working in their yards never fail to say howdy to someone walking by if you take the slightest bit of interest in what they are doing. The sights, the sounds, the fresh air. It just doesn't get any better than that. Yes, I stop to admire the flowers, and smell the roses :)

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MSLZZY 5/18/2012 11:28PM

    That was a way of life that went by the wayside. I am
thinking that would make such an improvement in
the life of a kid, if they would just walk. Too much to
hope for, I guess.

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WATERMELLEN 5/18/2012 10:28PM

    When we walked everywhere . . . or rode our bikes everywhere . . . with wind in our hair!! . . . we didnt' have to think about extra weight!!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/18/2012 9:34PM

    I'm definitely into the human powered transit as well! Better for us, better for the environment!!

HUGS and have a wonderful weekend.

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Biking, walking and more random thoughts

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One thing I love about rhythmic motion of the human body without external audio stimulation is the way thoughts just randomly pop into my head for consideration and working out. This morning I biked to work. As I got to the top of a hill and started coasting down, this one presented itself:

"I am afraid of speed." Hmmm! OK. WHY am I afraid of speed? Well, speed on a bicycle has got me into trouble in years past. When I was about 13, I took a nasty tumble (as in over the handlebars) when my chain froze up on an arterial street. Later in life, as a young adult, I managed to take a corner too fast on my moped and slid across a sidewalk on my helmet. I was OK, but shook up. And ever since... speed on a two-wheeled vehicle has NOT been something I am comfortable with.

Anyway, the thought came, it was processed, the memories examined, and then THIS one popped up: "This activity, and the triathlon, is about facing my fears. It doesn't have to be fast. I don't have to cross the finish line first. But I SHALL cross that finish line. And I will bike sensibly and safely, but I won't let this fear STOP me from doing what I have on that bucket list!"

Later on in the ride, I encountered a young man cycling, and another random thought popped up: "I like being an older lady. The young guys are SO nice to me!" Tell me, other gals of my generation, isn't it true? The young guys treat me like I'm their mom, or aunt or grandma... and I admit that I LIKE IT!

So, I got to work (they really should be warned... I'm already an insufferable morning person, but I was an insufferable morning person on endorphins and caffeine)... and had a good work day. Then I hopped on the bike and pedaled through a beautiful afternoon to the bike shop, where I left it to get a tune-up, and I walked the rest of the way home.

When I got to a major intersection, about a mile from home, it dawned on on me that I did not consider the three mile walk to be much of a such at all, and in fact, when I was a mile from home, my mind was saying "I'm home." That's another randomness... the brain on fit says a mile away is HOME.

This is your brain. This is your brain on fit! Endorphins rule.

That said, time to brush the teeth and toddle off to bed! Life is good. Spark on!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 5/19/2012 3:02PM

    I think I need my brain on "fit". I'm not sure what it is on right now. It has definitely shifted into low gear.

Keep up the good work Barb, you are awesome.

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LEANJEAN6 5/18/2012 8:28AM

    Hi again Barb---- Thanks for encouraging me--I thought about you at 5am this morning--such an inspiration you are!-Lynda

Comment edited on: 5/18/2012 8:29:16 AM

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WATERMELLEN 5/17/2012 9:53PM

    I too am an insufferable morning person often on endorphins and caffeine. And: love the idea of a "brain on fit"!!

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MOBYCARP 5/17/2012 5:42PM

    Yup, this is my brain on fit: "I don't have time for a long run, so I'll just do the flat 5K and hope that's good enough." Then I get out there, and the brain decides to add some distance.

I'm glad you're having fun being fit!

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CONCHA77 5/17/2012 12:59PM

    Ok, I admit it, I DO love it when the young guys (and gals) treat me well. It's great. One of the perks of getting older, I guess. RIDE ON!


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HEALTHYOTTER 5/17/2012 11:44AM

    I like "this is your brain on fit". I, too, get nervous when I go fast on a bike, having slid out with road rash souvenirs. As I've gotten a little more accustomed to my bike, I've started taking corners faster. I ran over a stone yesterday, and had a moment of: I love fat tire bikes! They're so stable!

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KALIGIRL 5/17/2012 11:10AM

    Love it that the endorphins are kicking in! Never experienced them, but something to look forward too.

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MNTWINSGAL 5/17/2012 10:27AM

    You're funny, Barb. It's fun to follow your thought process - and fun to see you so happy and lively! No wonder the young guys are so nice to you!

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SUNFLOWERGRRL 5/17/2012 9:08AM

    Great blog! LOL about young men treating us like mom or grandma...they do, especially when you are out biking or hiking right alongside them! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 5/17/2012 8:12AM

    I like the extra treatment too----- LOL---You are a careful biker!!-- I was laughing---reading yer blog with husband here--- We enjoyed the blog--Lynda

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MSLZZY 5/17/2012 7:49AM

    Such a positive attitude that it sneaks up on you and
bang, you learn something new about yourself. HUGS!
Endorphins rock!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 5/17/2012 4:27AM

    You make me laugh, feel good and tired all at the same time!

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_LINDA 5/17/2012 2:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I always was a morning person before the insomnia hit and I became a 24/7 person. There is nothing like exercise in the morning to start your day off right! Its still my favorite time of day to exercise!
Go, Barb, GO!!

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REJ7777 5/17/2012 1:23AM

    What a delightful blog! You made me laugh. I'm also an insufferable morning person, but add the endorphins and caffeine... and I could just imagine how any evening person you work with must have been blasted off the planet by your energy. emoticon

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COMETER 5/16/2012 11:00PM

    Yes, we morning people can be annoying to others. We, and they, have to learn to live with that.

I had a bike crash when I was nine or 10--it was a moral dilemma because the girl who was our houseguest wanted me to ride double with her. Well, that WAS against the rules, but another rule was that guests got to have their way, so off we went. Going down the hill, we crashed. She was fine. I needed stitches in my chin and I chipped my front teeth. The chipped teeth broke my mother's heart--she'd always had bad teeth, and had high hopes that her kids would have sparkley whites.

It was Fathers Day--my dad took me to the hospital for the stitches, making the point that SAFETY rules had to be obeyed before politeness rules. Poor Dad--he's completely squeamish about blood.

No surprise--I don't go for speed either!

And thanks for the thoughtful post.

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BESTSUSIEYET 5/16/2012 10:41PM

    Love it!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/16/2012 9:21PM

    Ah, I can't say I am a Perky Polly in the morning, but I am certainly more of a morning person than a night owl. For Sure!

I LOVE that . . . this is your brain, this is your brain on endorphins. Love the endorphins myself!

Keep it up. You inspire me.

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Two a day and random thoughts

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Swimming at 5 in the morning, you find the die-hards.

Swimming a single stroke and musing while you do, you discover why your buddy who swam a single stroke could never tell you how many laps she did... YOU LOSE COUNT! Anyway, I know I went at least as many lengths as the training plan called for. I spent 20 minutes with my "freestyle / crawl" stroke and the remaining 10 rotating strokes. Probably 800 yards in that half hour... rough estimate.

Swimming at 5 in the morning and then going to work, best warn your co-workers 'cause you are arriving filled with endorphins.

After work I dressed as a runner who votes or a voter who runs... take your pick. Walking to my polling place I pondered over why here in the US we "run" for office, but in the UK they "stand" for Parliament. Why is that? Are we more aggressive over here? Lingusitically, at least?

After doing my civic duty, I did the full walking / stretching 9 minute warm up, then jogged the full 15 minutes, then walked a cool down that turned out to be about 8 minutes.

This, by the way, is "Bike to Work Week". www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemont
h/
So tomorrow it is my plan to combine celebrating this event with my TRI training. I'm supposed to cycle 6 miles tomorrow, according to the training plan. It's about 7 miles to work via the bike trails. I figure wear work clothes and make a leisurely commute in, and carry the biking togs to change in to after work, and ride my workout home.

Have a great Spark-week, all! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 5/16/2012 8:04PM

    Love that "run"/"stand" thing . . . we use both expressions here in Canada!! And it's absolutely true: a special breed of person shows up at the gym at that hour in the morning (hours opens at 5:30 a.m.!)

Here's to firmer thighs! That's what we want anyhow! To look good, to feel good, to stay healthy and strong.

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DEBRA0818 5/16/2012 9:40AM

    If it's Ride to Work week it's a good thing I don't have a job since I don't have a bicycle either (but that may change this for my birthday in August).

Way to Go, Barb!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/16/2012 8:56AM

    You're doing great Barb! It's ride your bike to work week? How fortunate for me that I rode my bike to work on Monday and Tuesday! Will definitely ride it there again today!

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KALIGIRL 5/16/2012 8:38AM

    emoticon
I love to swim in the morning - glad you were able to experience emoticon
It was great to see you on your emoticon - you looked super.
Not riding my bike (still dark @5:15), but can't wait to start.
emoticon

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BD3269PM 5/16/2012 7:07AM

    You are an inspiration. emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 5/16/2012 7:02AM

    Barb--You are amazing!--Determined!--Successful--
-just getting up at 5am makes you a "'Wonder Woman"'---Wonder which pool you go to??----- Anyway--Keep it up--very encouraging for me!-Lynda

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OVERWORKEDJANET 5/16/2012 6:05AM

    You either make me really envious of your energy or really tired reading about your energy.

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REJ7777 5/16/2012 5:40AM

    "Swimming at 5 in the morning, you find the die-hards." I believe that. emoticon

"Swimming at 5 in the morning and then going to work, best warn your co-workers 'cause you are arriving filled with endorphins." I believe that one too!
emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 5/16/2012 1:03AM

    Wow! That is dedication getting up that early!! Well thought out plan as usual to get your cycling in! Hope you have some nice weather to enjoy it!
You know the British are much more reserved in their manners ;) After all, they enjoy high tea in the afternoon, while North Americans hit the drive throughs to chug a mug a Java :)


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SHARON10002 5/15/2012 11:08PM

    Barb, I'd probably drown if I tried to swim at 5 in the morning! emoticon
You are definitely working your plan! emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/15/2012 10:16PM

    Sounds like an excellent plan. My ride to work would
be 2 blocks LOL!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/15/2012 9:17PM

    Good question, Barb, and I have no clue!!!

Great job with the swimming. I remember in HS when I was on the team, man . . . swimming @ 5 am and I would lose count of my laps, too, but I think that was because I was so tired!

Hope you have a good evening. HUGS

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Do it anyway - taking my own advice

Monday, May 14, 2012

I woke up in a fuzzy, not quite grumpy mood. Then I stepped on the scale and it bumped up not quite half a pound, despite good behavior all weekend. emoticon

Had an emoticon moment about how often a Monday *is* a bump up on my scale. Often that has some Sunday or Saturday eating behavior associated with it, but this time, not so! I could choose to decide that behaving myself over a weekend isn't worth it, but instead I contemplated that this might just be my body's natural rhythm. And I'm moving on! Reminding myself that the number on the scale is NOT my grade in life and is NOT allowed to dictate my feelings about myself. emoticon Taking my own advice, that's the ticket!

I did not get a phone call or even an e-mail yesterday... did not detect an online presence. So I'm hanging on to the pre-Mom's day one I got last Wednesday. It will have to do. Feel a little blue about that, despite the logic that knows he's busy and potentially unable to communicate? Mayyyyybe? Move on, LIVE anyway. emoticon Again, taking my own advice, that's the ticket!

And it dawned on me besides that today is a "rest" day on the training calendar. Whatever shall I do without being able to "run away" from the negative feelings? emoticon Breathe, that's what. As the line in Sleepless in Seattle says, remember to keep breathing in and out until you don't have to remind yourself to breathe in and out anymore.

Feelings, you see, are transitory. I don't have to DO anything for them to go away... they will fade in time. Distractions are fine. But staring uncomfy emotions in the face and saying "Yes, that's what you are!" works too.

So now, it's off to a work day. Healthy lunch and snacks packed. Healthy breakfast consumed. Spark coffee mug filled and being sipped. emoticon

Today WILL be a good day. emoticon Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 5/15/2012 2:55AM

    Sorry you didn't hear from your son -but glad you can rationalize why at least the reasons he might not have been able to contact you. I just can't imagine the thoughts you must have when you don't hear from him -number one being is he okay. Even if it was a rest day -a nice easy walk would get you out of the house and not sweat it up, but stroll and just enjoy the life going on around you. I find walking to be very peaceful, particularly if its in a place not busy.
Hope the rest of your week goes better!

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SHARON10002 5/14/2012 9:26PM

    Sorry you did not hear from your DS, but I am very sure he had a very good reason and that you were on his mind. I would have worried too, and felt like you, too. Great blog, Barb! You'll hear soon I'm sure.

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REJ7777 5/14/2012 6:29PM

    You're right, the hard part IS following our own advice! emoticon
You seem to be doing a pretty good job, though. emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/14/2012 1:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 5/14/2012 11:37AM

    For what it's worth, Barb, I have two - and didn't hear from either of them. Dunno what THAT says (if anything) about my parenting skills. Mmmm... I think I will be taking some sound advice - yours - and just let any negative feelings fade in their own time.
emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 5/14/2012 11:04AM

    Oh, sometimes it is sooooo much easier to give others advice than to take it . . . even our OWN advice!

I hope your Mother's Day was peaceful, and so sorry your DS didn't get to call or mail you. emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 5/14/2012 11:03AM

    Didn't see my mom either, Called several times, but no answer. Could have been out with my sisters, or at church.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/14/2012 9:18AM

    I'm sure your son will be calling/emailing you the first chance he gets. But I imagine it's hard not to worry when you didn't hear from him. You're wise to take your own advice on that.

Today may be a rest day in your training, but you can still fill your time doing some of those things at a more relaxed and enjoyable pace. Go for a fun and relaxing swim. Take a nice bike ride. Or get outside on your lunch break and take a nice stroll. Move slowly and feel good about. And focus on the simple pleasures of life -- like learning to breathe in and breathe out. . .

Have a great week!

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KALIGIRL 5/14/2012 8:26AM

    Here's to a emoticon day! and Happy Mom's Day!

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