Monday Musings

Hello world 🙂  As I’m writing this it’s at the end of the weekend…. a weekend that has been near perfect weather. A weekend that has breathed the promise of fall and changing seasons and all things cozy.

Forget the fact it’s still warm enough for shorts…..

The sun was out and after so many weeks of mostly rain and dark cloudy days, this sunny weekend was a balm for my soul and I know, many others.

This meant some long overdue work outside in the yard and it was wonderful to just be able to work outside in the sun and feel the wind on my skin and hair.

There was some time spent cutting grass…. I don’t mind using a push mower and honestly enjoy the work of pushing it everwhere. We’ve got a lot to cut so it can keep me busy.

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Ready for work… need your grass cut ?

 

The electric company was also out cutting trees back this week and left some oak trees cut laying off the side of the road. Well, actually, it was down the hill…. so it was run down, grab chunks of wood, and back up the hill with it.

Me… I’m thinking… I should go get those, drag them home, and get hubby or my son to get the chain saw and cut them into more manageable pieces that we can use later for our fireplace ( eventually we’ll get one or two cold days :-P)  and I love having a fire on those cold dark nights.

So I apprehended the red flyer wagon laying around my grandkids use occasionally and loaded it up and dragged the wood back home.

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Uh… yeah.. it was a little workout haha

It was overall one of those satisfying, working weekends.

Don’t over look the fact that doing some extra movement outside can be a fun part of keeping fit 🙂

Oh… but then… food.

When I’m not doing athletic things or other activities, I am a wicked baker. So there’s cookies…..

I made two kinds. Hubby had requested oatmeal raisin but then I just wanted something chocolate …so…..

I’ll share recipes below. Find all of my tasty dessert recipes on Pinterest. ( you can also find lots of exercise tips and workouts too 😉 )

https://www.inspiredtaste.net/18596/soft-and-chewy-oatmeal-raisin-cookie-recipe/

https://www.ihearteating.com/chewy-brown-sugar-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe/

I’d never made a chocolate cookie recipe where you melted butter first, then stirred everything else in. I loved how fast and simple these were and sooo good too 🙂

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Aren’t they pretty ?

 

In other weekend fun….

One of the things hubby and I enjoy doing is going for breakfast dates at a local place in town. The building is old. It’s not fancy.  During the winter it can be stupid cold in there ’cause their heat is sketchy at best. On any given morning you’re hoping you can score a table because the place is packed and sometimes you are wrestling for the last fork in the utensil holder.

The food is good and the coffee is too.

This past week I couldn’t help but again get distracted people watching and observing.

Couples, families, friends meeting for coffee the place hummed with a low key activity and bright energy.

It’s one of the cool things about living in a kinda smallish town… the local eating place. The place that isn’t fancied up… it’s just down home cozy.

That’s one of the things I love about my home town. These small areas that still feel “homey” in the mix of growth and things changing so much.

Not only can you meet new people but it’s often a place to catch up with friends you may not have seen in awhile.

For a social person like me….well.. it’s a good fit 😉

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A cozy corner you can sit and watch the world go by in….

Oh… and so like… Halloween is this week.

Stay tuned… perhaps in next weeks post I’ll have a pic of my costume. Let’s just say I’m putting my own spin on Glinda the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz.

Am I the only one who mooches candy of their kid while you’re out making the rounds to houses gathering candy? Please tell me I’m not 😉

Actually now days I’m mooching it off my grandkids hahaha

Of course once Halloween is over, it seems like things are full speed to Christmas. My kids have already begun to present their gift lists to me.

How early do you start shopping ?

And finally… that approaching duathlon…

Got a solid brick training session in on one of my days last week. Out on the road in the dark early morning, fog still in the air, I really wanted to be inside drinking coffee.

But somehow, there I was, out on the road taking off for my first run. I kept it short. A 2 mile run, followed with a 10 bike ride, then a 2 mile run.

I’ll tell you, it’s always that last leg that I have to intentionally and purposefully dial in on my mental muscle. I guess because at that point I know I’m close to finishing and I have to remind my legs, we aren’t quite done yet.

I have to stay focused and sometimes that’s hard when I know finishing is so close!

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Finished for the morning!

I’m actually anticipating a training week ahead that doesn’t involve wet stuff outside! Although I know race day can offer up anything, I’m hoping for perfect weather like we had last year.

That’s a wrap for this week….

It’s another busy week ahead with lots going on. What will be keeping you busy? Have you tried any new recipes? Had any new adventures?

 

 

 

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Monday Musings

Hello world! In the words of an old Staind song…. “it’s been awhile….”  since I’ve offered something up.  I’m still here and per usual, got stuff on my mind.

First of all, here in Texas we’ve had an unusually high amount of rain and overall wet stuff for what seems like weeks now… which can feel like…eternity….

Cloudy, rainy, foggy days seem to literally suck my creativity out of me for some reason. Not just writing, but with my furniture projects too.  Am I the only one who gets derailed when the weather is awful?

Last week it was wet and cold. I layered up and took off for a 4 mile run while the rain had seemingly stopped for awhile. Well, stopped till I was about half through then the skies opened up.

I just kept going. I was already out and semi wet from the misty air, might as well finish and get it done.

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This photo doesn’t reflect the fact my clothes are all wet 😛

 

Ah, then I returned to find no power which meant no hot shower  and a chilly house to come back to.

Cold. Wet. Hungry.

Good times.

It just felt wonderful to be out, moving, even if it was cold and wet. There’s no guarantee of the weather the day of the duathlon next month ( which we’ll discuss more in a bit) so I try and suck it up and train in the awful weather too.

Other things happening in November….

Here in the states, it will be time for our elections. We have a tremendous freedom, privilege and responsibility to vote for those we feel can lead and represent us best. I saw a sign out on my bike ride today encouraging voters to vote a certain way to support a parties “Agenda”.  Guess we’ve all got an agenda but we really need to vote for those who hopefully have a less self serving agenda.

Please, make it a priority to go to the voting booth and exercise your right to use your voice.

Oh… and football….

Football is back in full swing and having a family with lots of men, well, needless to say it’s a standing party every Sunday and some week nights too.  Even now as I’m writing, I can hear the cheers, yelling and excitement of them watching the game.

I should mention, my kids who are now adults, several married with kids of their own, have chosen to live close by.. And when I say close I mean they walk over from their house to mine.  We’ve been blessed with land and they have chosen to stay close.

I don’t take that for granted as I know for many, they only see kids and grandkids a few times a year.

My home becomes a place of controlled chaos, kids, toys, dogs, food and stuff every where during this time.  I’m not as much worried about trying to keep a spotless house as I am making sure they all always feel welcome and want to hang out here.

Those are the simple things that make life good, right?

Now about that duathlon…..

it’s less than a month out. November 18 it’s going down and it’s only my second time so I hardly feel like a pro at it.

And because of that, it’s exactly why it was back on my radar as soon as I finished my first one. There is so much room to grow and improve my game because well, any time you are juggling multi sports, it just gets more intense and there’s a whole lot more involved. It’s not “just” running or “just” cycling… it’s both and both demand hard work.

I like a challenge what can I say?

Here’s the deal though. This year, life has been different. I don’t feel like I’ve had the extra time to do “more” training.  The weather has been less than ideal for months now which in the name of safety has cancelled many outdoor workout sessions. I do have a “Plan B” which is indoor strength training or rowing or boxing or a combination of it all but it’s not the same as putting those miles in.

I am working several days during the week with my son so that wasn’t planned and although he knows I need to get my training in before I come, I don’t have a lot of extra time for doing more.

On top of that a couple weeks ago my leg started acting up. I can’t say it’s my knee, but more like on the outside of it.

Like where did this come from??   I do NOT have time for any of these kind of shenanigans.

Properly warming up it tends to not be to bothersome… but it’s there.

Saturday I finally got to get back on the road for a 4 mile run. With the weather and my schedule it had been a week since I had been able to run so I let myself go pretty easy for half of it.

It was in the last half mile that I really started feeling it… and then the overwhelming emotion of what I was training to do…. and then the tears started falling.

My gosh have you ever tried running and crying ? It is not a good combination.

I have to say, endurance sports bring out an emotion in me that I had never experienced before I started doing them.

The tears can come from anger over a situation I can’t control, frustration when I want to do better,  to falling with joy when I do something I didn’t think I could do. Like the very first time I rode up this massive, massive hill.

I just can’t stop it from happening but have to rein it in so I can keep doing what I’m doing ’cause you know, crying and breathing to support my exercise don’t go well together.

Last year, as I crossed the finish line for the duathlon, the tears were there. The poor guy guiding me in and directing me off course as I finished was all “Are you ok? Are you hurt?” I assured him I was fine but the enormity of just finishing something I had worked so hard for, sacrificed so much for, invested myself in ways I never thought possible just washed over me. It is an emotional experience I can’t explain.

I had done it.

But the tears falling during my run on Saturday were ones of frustration, momentary self doubt, angst over the worry of an injury so close to the race, and the general feeling of “what the hell am I doing??”

This is a state championship race. Most of the athletes are college age young adults. No I don’t compete directly against them but they make up a huge part of their field.

The course is listed as the toughest in the state, and it is.  I cannot imagine even attempting it without some real training under me.  It’s brutal.

And maybe that’s where I am, knowing all these things.

Me, a middle aged wife, mom, grandmother in the mix of these young athletes at the top of their game.

Me, just beginning to dabble in multi sport events, but loving the challenge of it, yet feeling like I have so much yet to learn, surrounded by those who seem so experienced with it.

So many thoughts running rampant through my head as I finished my run with my leg reminding me it was there.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s good to have some feelings of inadequacy with such a big event.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m strong and capable. Physically, I know I can grind it out. I just went out and rode the whole course today and topped it with a mile run.

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Smiling after 21 miles on the bike and a mile run on Sunday

Will it be in a time I want? Only race day will really reveal that.

Saturday I wore my t shirt I got last year for finishing ( that’s the only t shirt I’ll ever collect, the finisher one) and I got to thinking that I had earned the right to wear that little shirt.

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It represented months of work, sacrifice, early mornings, aching muscles, learning new things, training in cold, rain and heat, tears, and more sacrifice.

I earned that shirt and in the same way, I’ve earned the right to be heading back there again.

I’ve learned a few things you can only learn in events with the transition areas so I’m hoping to tighten my time down there.  I know the course. I know the freaking hard parts and the places I can “briefly” recover before hitting more hard places.

I don’t know what the weather will be like or other random factors.

I do know I can get my mental game locked in tightly, protect my body as best as I can and keep it healthy and go that day ready to take no prisoners.

I really would like to scoop up first in my AG again.

Regardless, I’ll be there, as ready as I can mentally and physically ready to do “My” best, not worrying about anyone else and what they are doing. I’m fiercely competitive so that will add to my fire too.

I’ve earned the right to be there and I’m ready to what I’ve trained for all these months and that will have to be enough.

Processing these things out before an event seems to be how I roll.  Does anyone else relate to that?

And of course before I leave you…..

Food. This weather has definitely been about comfort foods. I’ll share a recipe everyone has gone crazy over and it’s soooo easy.

FYI I subbed greek yogurt for sour cream… less fat… more protein.

https://www.plainchicken.com/2009/01/creamy-chicken-casserole.html

Now tell me about your week. What’s new out there with all of you? Anyone training for an event? Do you have any favorite comfort foods?

It’s Easy!

It’s easy!

That’s such a relative term, isn’t it? What is easy for one person, may not be so for the other.

Webster defines easy as ” achieved without great effort, presenting few difficulties”

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Reading has always come easy for me. I loved it as a child and was a classic bookworm. Summers were for dragging bags of books home to get immersed in.

Words come easy to me. It’s satisfying to use them in creative ways, to paint pictures and to be able to describe and tell a story.

Now imagine my shock when one of my sons really didn’t like reading. At all.

Why? Because it was work for him. It was hard and he had to have no distractions otherwise it didn’t “stick”.  Words were hard and he did not find the joy in it that I did.

It’s precisely why one year, I too, read “Where The Red Fern Grows”, out loud to him.  In reading it to him, it somehow stuck better, and even though he was older we both enjoyed that time each night reading a chapter so he was ready for the quiz the next day on it.

Word got around that was going on and soon his friends who hadn’t read would ask him…”so what’s going on in the current chapter?”

But ugh… seriously… damn sad book. Tears fell for both of us.

Easy.

Reading and words were easy for me. My son struggled.

I guess we can see this applied almost anywhere in life, right?

The shining athlete, the top scholar, the jack of all trades who can seemingly do anything,  the cook who effortlessly whips a gourmet meal out of nothing but flour, salt, beans and some peanut butter.

Ok, I’m teasing on that, but we all know that ONE person who can work with nothing and make something, and Suzy Q is struggling to follow directions on a box.

Easy.

All of us can do things, can strive for improving on them yet it will never come easy.

Math.

For the love of numbers, I hate math. I’m always semi in awe of people who wield numbers the way I can words.

They look at those algebra equations and it all….makes… sense.

Amazing.  Like how does your brain DO that??

I barely, and I mean barely, skated by my last math class in high school and I really think it’s ’cause my teacher just had a level of mercy on me.

And I did show up for extra tutoring so there was that…..

I was never, ever so glad to say good bye to math class. It’s what freaks me out about ever doing any college stuff. I took a practice exam once for the English and nailed it off the charts.

We won’t discuss the math one…… 😉

Easy.

Easy for some, but not for me.

Hold on… I’m going somewhere….

I was thinking a few times this week during my workouts how some things I view as “easy”, most people think are crazy and can’t imagine doing.  They view it as ridiculously hard.  Hubby tells me all the time he doesn’t know how I do what I do.

This usually comes when we’re driving up a huge hill and I’m telling him what it feels like on bike or foot.  Or telling him about my run/bike/run sessions.

I do it. I don’t think about it. It’s work but it mostly comes easy for me.

Recently doing dead lifts I thought how they weight was starting to feel not as challenging. I’ve been doing around 140lb, at a 3 set 10 reps as a part of my strength  training.

Now some of you who lift a lot.. no laughing.

I try not to overwork my body on weights because training right now, I hit the road the next day and sometimes my legs and lower body are asking why I killed them the day before.

Strength training is icing on the cake for my other sports.

Here’s the deal.

In the term of being “easy”, it’s not.

Honestly, to think of lifting something weighing 140lbs straight up off the floor would seem like work.

My body is going through this wonderful thing called adaptation. I’ve been doing it long enough now that in some ways it’s starting to feel easier, but really, I’m just getting stronger and it means I’m going to have to up my game soon.

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It’s taken a bit of work for this to not feel as hard anymore….

 

When it comes to exercise, so many people put at the top of the list, it’s hard.

Why? Well, because in the beginning, it is!

Exercise can quickly reveal to you that you are out of shape and need to be doing it more.

No one likes that feeling.

Exercise really, I don’t think, comes “easy” to anyone. Well, at least in the beginning stages.

And if you’re wanting to continue, grow and improve, if it starts to feel easy, you should be looking at the next step.

How do I get to the easy part?

In the running world, we talk about base miles. Basically, a foundation that you can build on. You train and work in certain mileage that allows your body to get stronger and make those adaptations that come from the rigors of running.

So many cool things change inside your body as it adapts to it. These changes are good and allow you to stay on your feet longer, work harder and go farther distances without injury.

I didn’t wake up one morning and just decide to go run a marathon. It took months of training building my body and adding more mileage each week.

This is how you need to approach getting into a new exercise regime.

It has to be slow and steady, no matter what activity you may choose to participate in. Doing it in this manner not only keeps your body from hating you the next day, it encourages you to keep pressing on to the next step.

And for you the next step might be literally committing to evening walks around the block.  Or it could mean increasing your distance if you’ve stayed at the same distance forever. You could be thinking of dusting off the bike in the garage ( and you better be wearing a helmet!)

Maybe you want to start lifting some weights. I can’t stress enough to make sure it’s heavy to make you work. I mean maybe 4-6 reps before you can’t lift one more.

Find a starting point and then build from there. Always be mindful to do enough, but not to much in the beginning, to avoid injury.

With a careful, intentional approach, in time you will find yourself thinking that what once seemed so hard, now seems easy.

Tell me. Can you relate? Have you moved from a point of it being hard and painful to feeling easier?

 

 

Monday Musings

Hey boys and girls. Happy Monday! So many things I could talk about in todays edition but I’m going to just focus on a topic that’s been on my mind a lot this week and left me musing the ways of our world and how disturbing a current situation is.

So I guess I should just say today’s post is going to be a little heavier and a whole lot of me thinking out loud on some dark things.

So what’s on my mind, exactly?

Well, if you live in the states, you’d have to be under a rock to not know what’s been going on in the political arena of our nation.

We (were) in the process of appointing a new Justice to our Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.

If you live somewhere in the rest of our vast world, I’m sure there is possible news of it where you live as well.

In a nutshell, things were moving along, literally hours from him being appointed when a woman materialized proclaiming he had sexually abused her some 30 odd years ago… like when they were in college.

Say what?

Ok.. but first.

Before I go any further I’m going to establish this…… never, ever is it right or appropriate for someone to touch, handle or take advantage of a person, man OR woman against their will or wishes.  To cross boundaries they’ve not been given permission to cross is unacceptable.

Yes, I’m including men because if women hold back from saying anything about what happens to them, men for sure will not speak. And yes, it does happen to them but there’s always the stereotypical thought that a guy would be ok with it and would want it ’cause well, he’s a guy.

There’s a meme that circulates around that I guess, some find to be clever or funny. It’s pictures of Hollywood women in glamorous, yet low cut, backless, thigh cut dresses. The caption says something stupid like… “If you don’t want people touching your critters, don’t make your barn look like a petting zoo” and supposedly someone’s grandmother said it ( yes they can say some funny things) I don’t find it funny… it makes me angry every time I see it.

Not only is it stupid, it’s putting the blame on the person and how they may or may not be dressed and not putting the blame on the person who’s putting their hands on someone against their wishes.

Let’s put the blame firmly where it belongs… and it’s not on the victim.

AS IF… how you may be dressed gives someone a right to touch you. This is the screwed up mentality that has to be dealt with today.

No matter your gender, any unwanted, non consensual advances directed towards you are wrong.

Now with that being said…..

I guess I’ve been troubled over so many aspects of what has turned this important appointment into a circus by grown men and women who are a part of our government running our country.

Shameful behaviors all because at the root they’ve never gotten over the election results.

Shameful how a man has been placed on trial…although they try and pretty it up calling it a “job interview”. It’s reminded me of the old time lynchings when white men went in angry mobs to find the black man they were so convinced had done an offense because he was well, black.

Did they have facts? evidence? Anything conclusive?

Often, not likely.

Shameful how he’s been ridiculed for having a righteous anger over having his name, his family and his reputation dragged through the mud. How dare he be angry? As if… how dare he be upset over all that was going on? How often I’ve heard the holy than thou people bring that up.

Shameful that a woman who decided she had to “share her truth” …. ironically at this very moment in time…… has not been given any more protection from the onslaught that has come from bringing her story forward.

Even if it does lack huge gaps and  has some perplexing questions to it.

I’ve watched numerous news stories with women screaming in the streets already proclaiming he’s guilty. They are wild eyed and on a mission.

This is my gender. Sometimes I’m disturbed my by gender.

They have no evidence. They have no facts. They have no personal accounts or interactions with either of these people. At best they have what the media has regurgitated and fed them.

But by damn, he’s a man, and he’s guilty.

I understand many carry pain and angst over personal experiences, but personal experiences aren’t what’s used to proclaim a man guilty.

And I don’t want someone going off telling me I don’t understand. Yes, there are all types of abuse, inappropriate behavior, and wrong doing that happen against people who wish otherwise.

Growing up, I always looked older. People saw my height and made an assumption I was older. My mom was constantly keeping the male species in line with me.

I remember when I was young, 13-14, a family friend being a bit to flirty and hands on with me at a party.  I remember an Uncle ( slightly drunken at the time) making comments about my barely there breasts in a little dress I happened to have loved.  I remember spending time at the track during the Fair ( I adored horses) and many would let me hang out and brush them and a man far to old wanting to hold me in a hug longer than necessary which to this day I can still remember how uncomfortable it made me. These are just a few situations I’m sharing,

I was far from my woman skills which would take me years to hone, to learn how to handle and deal with anything like that.

Every one of those people trespassed where they shouldn’t have, whether it was with comments or their hands.

As a woman today I am confident in my abilities to put people in their place. Do I deal with things still?

All the time.

There’s a fine line between an admiring look and someone leering at me. I’ve been followed in the grocery store multiple times. I’ve had someone stand so close to me in line they told me my hair smelled good… I thought I’d need security that day leaving I was so creeped out.

I’ve seen men with their phones out not being subtle that they were taking a photo.

So yeah, I deal with stuff.

I say all that to put myself in with those who have dealt with inappropriate behaviors too. Yes, I know many have dealt with much more. But what I shared was as unwanted as what any one else would not want.

Yet, I’m disturbed over the absolute head hunt of a man when there has been no hard facts or evidence.

Where has fairness or reason gone to?

It’s hard to hear things like “college party”, “heavy drinking”  etc and not think.. how is that different then from what we hear going on today? And how if people were judged on being in college and drinking and it played into their lives 30ish years later would that affect their jobs? their lives?

Many people live a heavy partying lifestyle in younger days and mature into responsible, law abiding citizens.

Again, I have no “personal” facts or information on this subject, I am merely an outsider observing and thinking out loud.

And really, the majority of people will only cast outside opinions driven largely by emotion and their own personal experiences.

That… does not make a man guilty.

I know my gender.

I’m surrounded with some cool women.  But then I’ve been exposed to some that make me raise my eyebrows and wonder… what the heck?

I know stories can be turned. I know anger can breed revenge. I know unreturned desires can lead to petty behaviors. I know willing sex can be turned around on the man to get even or make a point or even proclaim rape.

Again, I do not have personal information on the woman involved in this situation. I’m not judging her. I believe something happened to her.

I’m just saying… things aren’t always what they appear to be painted.

So I watch all of this unfolding, troubled, as I know many are. Troubled over how all of it seems odd, how people are acting so horribly, how people to the far left think nothing of a respected man and his family being dragged through hell and back thinking “he deserves it” when they know nothing, and at this moment, there isn’t any hard evidence or witnesses supporting it otherwise. Troubled over how it feels like a modern day lynching as I referred to earlier.

As I write this, there is an “official” investigation under way before any possible progress moves towards him being seated on the Supreme Court.

I feel fairly certain, even with the FBI involved, there will be that group who will still not be happy, still not accept the answer and still continue to stir up trouble and angst, no matter what the answer is.

And like many others, I feel like, good. Do the investigation. Then no one should be able to complain, right? Ha.

It is important to cover all important angles before something as big as a new Supreme Court Justice is ruled on.

An honest inquiry gathering facts is far better than the crazed frenzy I’ve seen displayed on the news reports.

But more troubling than all this….

I have a lot of wonderful men in my life. Much like Brett Kavanaugh is to many people in his life and his work.

It is troubling to think that years from now a woman could go back to some random party, ( to use words in the news ” a drunken party” or a “drunken college party”) and with years gone by and an alcohol ladled mind, bring charges against one of them.

Far fetched? Maybe.

If you asked Mr. Kavanaugh a couple weeks ago, he would’ve thought it a bit far fetched too I’m sure, yet here he is.

Just as women need protected from sexual assault, and unwanted advances and all that go with it, men need protection too.

So I’m left mulling all these things around in my head this week. Wondering what the answer is, not just for this situation, but for our society as a whole.

How do we protect women? How do we protect a man who would be innocent? What if all our lives ( those things from our past) were dragged out and waved around to our employer? If we did this with others in high political positions it’s fairly certain many would be ushered out the door.

How many could stand under the examine and be able to walk away still holding their job? If drinking and college partying are criminal, there’s a whole lotta people in the same boat.

I’d be way more concerned if this was still his behavior and what he participated in today.

Where have we gone wrong to feel self righteous in finding a man guilty without evidence to support it?

So my thoughts continue to roam, unsure of what the answer is, or will be. I do know that we need to have a level of human decency in the process. I do know that wild behavior,  driven by personal emotions, isn’t the answer.

What I do pray is that righteousness and justice prevail and that those in charge have clear wisdom in all that goes on in this process.

As stated, these are my thoughts, my musings, on a highly volatile topic.

Now….

Your turn to weigh in. Thoughts? Is there a cut and dried way to deal with situations like this? How do we help victims and protect those who may be innocent?

 

8 Easy Ways To Stay Active

Hello beautiful people. It’s evening as I write this, unwinding with my preferred drug of choice, a big mug of coffee and patting myself on the back that I didn’t give in to any basic urges and punch someone today.

Working with, and dealing with the public has challenged that a lot lately.

I’m constantly amazed at the sense of entitlement so many have and it’s been an extraordinary and amazing to thing to not only keep my hands to myself, but my tongue too as my brain can conjure up sarcastic comments like crazy.

It’s work keeping that in!

Haha ok I jest…. well…. partially…

But let’s say I’m glad to now be relaxing and letting the ideas out of my head that have been bouncing around for awhile.

I thought we’d talk a bit about ways to make staying active easier. We are ending summer here in the states and moving towards fall and maybe a bit of winter here in the south. Typically a time of year when most begin to want to hibernate inside and the idea of exercise seems like an even bigger chore. Unless you are already a dedicated gym goer or have a disciplined exercise program you may not be thinking it’s a time of year you want to start getting active.

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Earlier this year… the sun looks deceiving… but it was in the high 20’s out riding. Coldest ride ever.  Just call me Ninja. This is what happens when exercise is just something you do 😛

 

So what are some steps to build a fitness plan?

No one, and I’m pretty sure no one, decides they are just gonna scamper into getting active. Let’s be honest, most dread the idea of having to do exercise even though they may talk about it and really want to do it.

You may admire those who are active, understand the benefits of doing it, and strive to do it yourself but somehow you can’t quite put it together. Of course you also understand that staying active take a lot of work and discipline.

Don’t get discouraged. Some planning and structure will go a long way to your success. Staying active does require more work than being sedentary but it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult to maintain.

Let’s take a look at some ideas to help.

Find the thing you want to do.

It’s important to choose something you think you will enjoy and can stick with. Don’t worry about being “good” at it or thinking you can’t do something. Just get out there and start taking baby steps. In time, you’ll gain confidence at it. If you like what you’re doing, you’ll look forward to your time working out.

Be consistent.

Like building any new habit, consistency is key. Find a time to workout in the day that is suitable for you and your schedule. Forget what your neighbor or sister is doing, you do your thing. Find a time that you can devote to yourself and put it in your day.

For me mornings have evolved over the past few years.  In the beginning it was what I did to get the job done before the rest of my day started. It was hard to get up earlier to get it done but I did.

Mornings are best for me because in the 24 hours of my day it’s when I have people needing and wanting me the least.

I’ve actually come to love being out on the road early. There’s something quite satisfying knocking out miles while the sun is coming up and the world is still getting coffee.

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Favorite view from my bike

Not only that, it just sets an energetic tone for the entire rest of my day.

Pick your time of day and stick to it.

Get your gear ready the night before.

Now days it doesn’t take much for me to reach for my exercise clothes. When I had to be up on Saturdays at 5a.m. for long runs, I had everything laid out for me to just step into. My mind immediately, although still sleepy, knew it was time to get serious. ( I do not wear athletic clothes as “leisure wear”, for me they represent work and my mind shifts to a different mode once I’m in them)

If your clothes, shoes, socks, accessories etc are there and waiting you won’t have to think about putting it all together. Even if you are an evening work out person, have it laid out and waiting.  It will be one less thing you have to think about doing.

Get your nutrition in order.

Knowing what you will have for breakfast and having it prepped will give you less reason to skip on fueling properly. If you are an early morning person, you may have food ready the night before.

Having healthy snacks prepped for pre and post workouts will keep your energy levels up and will be one less thing you have to attend to when you finish.

Have stretches or moves you use at the end of each workout.

I have several go-to yoga moves that feel good after I’ve been running and cycling. This helps my body recover after a workout and ease tight muscles.

Have some stretching and mobility exercises that you can use afterwards. Not only does it feel good, it helps your body to recover faster.

Leave your gear in the same place.

My running bag has everything from some spare change to extra cycling gloves, my running belt, ipod (although I rarely use it on the road anymore) my helmet, glasses, a clean top, and a whole host of other things. I always know where my stuff is at in a moment.

Find a bag or space that is dedicated to what you need for your workouts to keep you organized.

Focus on your workout.

ok I’m notorious for being in the midst of a workout thinking about what needs my attention when I’m done, what I want to write about next, or being distracted by other random thoughts.

This totally takes my mental focus off what my body is doing and keeps me working hard on the task in front of me.

Be in the moment with what you’re doing. Appreciate all your body can do for you, think about how movement feels. All the other stuff will still be waiting for you when you finish.

Plan your workouts.

Seriously.

I literally schedule appointments around knowing the time it takes me to get them in and clean up and look like a respectable human again.

With my duathlon training I consider what days in my week I can devote to my longer sessions, my run/ bike days, and put them there. Shorter mornings may be one of my fast high intensity workouts that I can slam out in 30 minutes or less. Regardless, I know where to fit them in and how much time it will take.

And no, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling that anymore than scheduling a doctors appointment. It’s important, just do it.

With some planning, structure, and intentional purpose you can build a strong and healthy exercise program that will serve you well. When our minds know what to expect we can look forward to being active and truly benefit from each activity.

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Find an activity you can enjoy and look forward to doing 🙂

Tell me, do you have any tips or tricks that helped you get on a disciplined path for exercise?

 

 

Who Am I?

I read a post recently by two bloggers who are really hustlers in the blogging world. They write with a purpose to help other bloggers be successful at what they do. They offer tips, tricks and ideas on every aspect of blogging.

Some of it to me is well, really, common sense.

Blogging at it’s most basic concept ( in my mind) is casually chatting with a friend over a  cup of coffee.

I talk and chatter, as the blogger, and the reader gets to engage by commenting and responding back.

Blogging isn’t complicated when you know the direction you wish to go, then set out to be good in that direction of what you feel called to write on.

Oh. And ideally not bore your readers into an early death. Boredom is the kiss of death.

Please, please, please I don’t wanna be boring haha

In one of the posts written by the author, they discussed being you, authentically you, with your readers. ( I promise, I don’t hold back) but they indicated sharing about who you are so when the reader comes to your posts they have a better idea of who’s behind the writing.

So that being said, I thought we’d step away from our usual programmed affair and I’d bring some “real me” stuff into it.

The blogging world

it still kinda surprises me when people follow me whether it’s via Word press, e-mail, or on my social media accounts.

Part of me is still like…. they want to read my stuff. How cool IS that? Maybe because in a world with millions of people, and so much clamoring at our attention, it’s nice to know people will take some of their valuable time to read my posts.

So.. thank you…

I’ve always enjoyed writing in one way or another. Words come rather effortlessly for me and ideas often clamor to escape my head. As I’ve moved along in this it has become easier and easier to find my voice and use it.

Basically, I can speak my mind.

I “toyed” with the idea of starting a blog for several years ( AH! do you know how daunting that seems?! and IS for someone who is not a techie person? )  but when a small local paper I was writing health and fitness articles for unceremoniously gave my little humble area to a …guy…. and thanked me and sent me off….

Well… let’s just say anger, annoyance and irritation were just the catalyst to move me to blog world. I have always kinda been that way… make something bigger and better than what I thought was so good before.

And really.. what’s better than going from your local town and surrounding areas… to having the entire world be able to read my ramblings?

So within a few weeks I had figured out all the basics to get my page set up , found some tutorials for things that were stumping me, and well, have faked the rest haha

No, not really. I am a quick study though so that helps.

With a bit of nervous apprehension I hit that publish button on my first post and well… here I am 3.5 years later…find my very first post here….

I’m still learning and I’m open to being taught new things in this process.

I don’t overthink things or make the idea of blogging into more than what it is.

I’m not hung up on all the techie stuff and trying to figure which SEO’s will propel me into the mainstream of reading.

Although, thanks Google, my post on the keto/dash diet has consistently sat in the top  search positions for awhile now…. so there’s that 😉

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/21/keto-and-dash-diet-review/

Mostly, though, I just like to have fun with writing. And hopefully educating… and motivating… and offering up a healthy dose of sassiness while I’m at it.

Besides being a writer, who am I?

I have a quick wit, I’m far to sassy for my own good at times, sarcasm can be a second language, I laugh at things I probably shouldn’t laugh at, I’m clever on a lot of levels, I will tease unmercifully with people I like, I’m to soft hearted sometimes, but can be as tough as nails when I have to be. I’m stubborn and a bit hard headed but it can serve me well at times.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to use my voice and not shy from it, but have learned the value of remaining silent if I need to be.

I’m extremely social and feed off energy of others. I don’t usually meet a stranger which works well for me on a daily basis.  I love meeting new and interesting people who have something different to bring into my life. Basically, I prefer not to stay in my same social “bubble”.

I’m random. If I wanna do something I do it. There’s adventure in that.

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Why yes, yes I’ll do a random selfie showing off my new nails and promoting a current blog post on my social stories.

I don’t go with the flow and I find conformity largely boring.

I’m not afraid to jump into a new challenge or take on something I’ve not done.

I’m Texas born and bred, I’ve never left the area or gorgeous state I was raised in. I’ve seen my town grow way to much, way to fast, but it’s still home and I can’t dream of being anywhere else.

I got married, had kids and made permanent camp here.

As weird as it is, all my kids are adults now, some married, and I’ve got some precious grandbabies too.

I’m a homey kinda person meaning I enjoy things like cooking and baking ( from scratch) I was taught the ropes by a mom and grandmother who knew their way around a kitchen and taught me the art of not just cooking but doing things that make a home, “home”.

Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday and I love the creativity of decorating and creating fun visual areas through the house to look at.

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A small snap of my favorite Christmas treasure… my antique cardboard Christmas village with original Barclay skaters

My daughter in law told me one year that my house was the kind where people should be able to come in and roam around looking while eating cookies… such a sweet compliment.

I love black coffee and on some days I drink copious amounts of it. Coffee is my legal drug 😉

In my mid 40’s I started dabbling in exercise. The bug kinda bit when I turned into a runner… yeah… who accidentally starts running? haha

The trend continued as I fell more in love with exercise and how I felt. I learned more about myself and what I can do in the process. It was a heady experience knowing what my body could be trained to do.

Along came cycling and now who would’ve thought, I’ve turned into a multi sport athlete.

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Out doing what I love….

I was working on losing some weight and the exercise regime certainly helped. So did learning more about what I put in my mouth. It has been a slow determined process but I’ve taught myself a lot about nutrition and now willingly make better food choices for my overall health and wellness.

I started sharing my experiences on social media, people were interested and started following me, which lead to me wanting to branch out and do more, thus began my blog.

And well, here we are.

The main focus I have here at Sassyfitnesschick, is to talk sane, sensible, and practical health, nutrition and exercise.

There is so much nonsense when it comes to these areas and I want to be a voice of sanity in the tidal wave of craziness.

I want people to know they don’t have to suffer and go through extreme things just to lose weight and get fit. I want to teach that they can slowly adjust eating habits and patterns that will lead to permanent changes. Or that exercise can start slow and easy ( as it should)

progress

I just feel bad when I see good people desperately clinging to things that will ultimately get them nowhere or worse, spending LOTS of money of products that promise them the golden ring but all they do is throw away their money and are still fat and unhappy.

Of course there will be some times I’m just gonna talk about life because as I’ve shared with you, there is more to me than “just” my passion for sharing sanity in the realm of health and fitness.

I’ve shared about my new adventures in flipping furniture and how it’s turning into my little side business… I’ll continue to share my passion with you.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

Of course there are also so many other awesome topics to write on you can bet I’ll be bringing more real life to you as well.

Most of all thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments.  Thank you for being a part of my world through my writing.

Thank you…some of you out there.. who have the same witty spunk I do. I like you …. you’re my tribe haha 😛

I appreciate you all and look forward to sharing more adventures with you in the future.

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Loved this shirt… nothing happens unless we hustle… right?

Monday Musings

Send a boat. Seriously. Send one. The rain has been going on here long enough and I’m starting to feel like if I should sit still to long I may get moldy.

In the south we hate to complain about rain ’cause when it’s done, it goes and we don’t see it for awhile, but I think we’re all ready for a break. The ground just can’t hold anymore and smooshes under you when you walk.

Yes, I just used smooshes. Enjoy that 😉

I’ve come to the realization if I’m running or cycling I’m gonna get wet from more than just my sweat. I’m ok with that, mostly.

Have you ever been on a bike, flying along, with water flying from the sky and it’s all over your glasses?

I’ve yet to figure how to make that all work as I need/ prefer to have them on.. tricky though.. with water on them and not wanting the wind in my eyes.

Speaking of my athletic shenanigans……

I took off on Friday with the intent of doing a brick session, meaning  a run/bike training work out.

The weather guy had promised a “mostly dry” day ahead. I pondered that statement when I walked out and felt light, misty rain hit me.

No big deal. I grabbed my bike and other gear, got set up and took off to do my 5K run.

Finished off the run. swapped gear, and got on the road for miles on the bike.  It always feels good to settle in and have time to drink something and catch my breath from the run.

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It was still fun and games…until….

My mind moved ahead to the route I was taking as the miles dropped under me. I approached a road that I turn on and ride into the cul de sac before looping back the way I came.

There’s a house that sits on the corner and the people there have a couple dogs. It’s not usually an important thing to me however one of them last summer decided it wanted to chomp my thigh when it chased me into the cul de sac and I had to really slow down because of all the loose gravel.

It took me a couple rides down that road before I started to relax again. So whenever I ride I’m always aware.

This was my mental status on Friday. However as I approached to turn on the side road I saw one of the dogs through trees in front of the house…. immediately aware…

Oh my gosh they are out and loose.

It’s funny…well not funny… but my mind began to immediately seek out the best way to avoid conflict.

First, I’m obviously not turning up the road as planned. If I kept going straight it took me down a huge hill that immediately dropped into a sharp, fast “S” curve. As much as I love playing daredevil off those hills. the idea of doing it with dogs chasing me didn’t seem prudent.

I determined to come to a stop as quick as possible, unclip, and hopefully put my bike between us.

I guess I wasn’t aware of this, but now instead of having two dogs, there were four, ( when did they get more??) who began barking and heading towards me, including one who snacked on my thigh last year.

It just happens so fast….

Before I could fully stop to unclip,  he came charging up and yes, again, chomped me in the thigh.

By now the owner was calling all of them and they were scampering off sniffing grass and what not.

Shaking I got off my bike, my upper thigh already throbbing, blood running down my leg.

Then damn it, tears.

It hurt, but seeing four dogs coming at me had been a little unnerving. I can’t explain how my brain was processing things, but I couldn’t get it all going in time to avoid the bite.

Tears because I was angry as I knew my ride was over, that I’d need to go home and tend to myself. Angry because I already felt like I’m behind in my training and this clipped the rest of my training time.

Angry because that stupid dog bit me….again.

The owner was like… “Oh that’s  bad bite.”

Really??

I’d say as it was a full mouth bite.

At that point I just wanted to get home. She asked that I wait while she herded them inside.

Here’s what you need to know. I live in areas where the roads are mostly quiet and there aren’t a lot of people up and down them. It’s great training ground. Plenty of hills, inclines and flat roads.

Being outside with your dogs with you, not in a fence, isn’t awful, necessarily. The problem is, if someone comes along and you have a dog that already goes after someone on a bike, he should never be loose. I mean, realistically, they don’t know when someone will come along and well, then, it’s to late.

After getting home and cleaning up, I sent hubby a lovely leg photo. Probably not the kind of leg photo he may have preferred as this one was a thigh with teeth marks, bruising, and blood.  Let’s just say I won’t win any great leg contests right now 😛

Of course, he wanted me to go to the clinic to be seen. Which of course I did.

Something  I hadn’t really planned into my day.

Before I got back home, the owner was sending messages that they were calling authorities, that the dog would be quarantined and was current on shots etc.

Damage control?

The thing that concerns me with all of this is…. the dog was very focused and intent on what it was about. Headed right into me to bite.  I carry a lot of heavy muscle on my thighs and it took the impact and still had damage. But what if I was a smaller person? Or worse, a kid on a bike? They might not stand up under it as well.

So I’ve got some decisions to make and things to consider with this.

I hate having to deal with it. I hate that my leg is swollen and tender and I seem to hit it on everything. I hate something making me feel insecure. ( after last years event it took several times that way before I didn’t feel tense riding there)

Could I not ride that way?

Yeah, I guess. But why shouldn’t I be able to ride a public road without fear of being attacked? It’s not my responsibility to keep my dog under wraps.

and this is the second time…..

Anyway… that was my exciting way of ending my week…

In the ways of work…

it’s been a busy week in my vintage furniture world. I sold several things this week, picked up another custom order and got the coolest table and chair set… that I want to keep. That is the cool thing about doing this. If I find something I love, I rework it, and it gets added to my collection.

I’m going to freshen it up and it will be a unique kitchen set, It’s legs and details on table…. so gorgeous!

I’m telling you… you just can’t go down to the local furniture place and find things like this anymore.

Oh and I also got some fun fabric for my chair projects.

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I scored a set of 8 antique harp back chairs that I’m getting this week. I guess we’ll see what I do with them…

I know we are approaching Fall….

my daughter in law asked me the other day if I was going to decorate for fall. I told her when it’s not 99 degrees and feels like summer.

I just want a little bit of a weather change, that’s all.  Just a bit of crisp in the air.

The warm, muggy, humid, sauna like weather we’ve been having has not put me in a festive mood wanting all things Pumpkin Spice

Speaking of that…shame on Starbucks for getting greedy rolling out Pumpkin Spice in August,

Are you kidding me?  August?

Not feeling it guys, not feeling it.

The grey days though have put me in the mood for soup and cozy foods. One favorite around here is taco soup. Toss all the ingredients in a crock pot and whoever shows up can grab something to eat. It also reheats well too.

 

I’ve got another busy week ahead…per usual…. and as always new adventures wait.

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Smiles for a new week ahead

What does your week ahead hold? Are you ready for fall and a change of seasons?