So who stole the weekend already? Sunday night has shown up with the stealth of a cat ready to take down the dinner mouse.
I’m pondering the wisdom of coffee but it seems like a warm, delicious hug after a busy day and I’m close to losing the battle on making it.
Ah yes, I think that’s exactly what’s needed while I let my random Musings outta my head.
Let the monkeys loose
I wondered again today, how I can possibly squeeze more out of myself. Besides the usual life stuff, taking care of myself,family, housekeeping and all that, there’s my little vintage business that is growing.
I’m all happy over that but gosh…I need more time for projects. Besides pieces I do for my shop, I’ve been blessed with repeat customers and custom orders.
Ya know, in the beginning, that terrified me a wee bit. It’s one thing to dive into one of my needy, fixer upper pieces and a whole lot different working on a piece my client tells me has been in her family for over 100 years 😱
I got over it.
I will admit there’s a huge amount of vulnerability putting my work out there.
No one is tougher on me than me.
It all vanishes as soon as my customer sees their refinished piece and is thrilled over it.
I just wrapped up this little curio cabinet for a customer this weekend.. check out its before condition….
And now with it’s cool new look. I’m obsessed with these colors..
I’m pondering what piece I have that I can use this look on.
Maybe this little vintage table/magazine rack? I had a customer bring it to me….she was like…here I want you to have it. It was in an old rent house we’re cleaning out and I know you love stuff like this.. I happily took it..dust, cobwebs and all 🤣
Not to mention hubby and I went out hunting items this weekend and got some cool pieces for the shop. With the approaching holiday season I want it packed out.
Snake oil and magic potions
Ok if you’ve been with me for awhile you know one of my favorite soap box topics is the modern day snake oil of the diet/health industry.
It definitely makes for plentiful writing topics.
Kinda like shooting fish in a barrel.
I’ve been researching/watching/ learning about one company that seems to have quite a cultic following.
I have more than one problem with this (company that shall remain nameless…for now at least)
For instance, nothing is discussed online. Not the name of company or what they are about…other than miraculous weight loss concoctions. However yours truly picked enough keywords from comments to figure it out. 😛
You do have to wait to receive a message from someone about it after you ask then I guess you get the secret info
I get it. The idea is so people like me don’t show up and ruin their party calling out the nonsense and drivel.
Doing things like informing them of the junk that’s in those fat burning, toxin cleansing, appetite suppressing, fat blocking miracle supplements they are shoving down their throat.
I think one of the biggest things that got me was a comment from a supporter of this and she said.. I quote…
“Diet and exercise backfire”.
What kind of thinking IS this???
Yes, a restrictive, depriving diet won’t last.
Learning to have a healthy daily balanced diet will last.
Combining it with purposeful exercise will go a long way to keeping you fit and healthy.
Of course that doesn’t sound as dramatic and exciting as the miracle potions Karen is trying to sell me on.
But more disturbingly kids, smart people really buy into all this.
In the past I’ve been a Guinea pig with various things so I could write on them from an informed way.
Everything from foods, to diets ( hello whole 30 and Paleo) to exercise trends (crossfit showed me how capable I am to lift heavy stuff) to more harmless things like athletic wear and shoes.
I love doing it because I can write from a really informed place.
I…briefly…contemplated being a lab rat for a short time.
However…one…I’m not up for paying the equivalent of a car payment for a month of fat burning supplies…( yes for real) and I don’t mean a cheap car payment….
Two….I don’t dig starving and being hungry for the sake of losing weight…especially since I know you don’t have to for success.
Oh and three…I really don’t wanna put all the crap in my body.
So I will continue my fact gathering and may present a post on this…this company…. who shall be nameless cause I’m not giving them advertising time 🤣
Oh a final tidbit…their revenue was listed at 103 million dollars.
In fitness news
I’m doing some time in physical therapy. Mostly we’re working out hips and legs and an IT band that is really giving me fits…horrible fits some days.
Last week they wanted to do some assessments on my strength. They put me on a machine and calculated how much weight I should do with one leg.
165 lbs. For a single leg press.
I was told to just start and do as many as I could. I got to 20, felt like I could do a few more but decided to finish strong and leave it there.
After doing it on the other side I got a brief rest and then had to knock out 2 more sets of 10.
My PT guy comes back and was like…wow you’re pretty strong.. yay for the old lady hahaha
I will admit…it felt pretty cool. It’s one thing to know I’m strong and another to be put through a test and knock it out of the park.
The goal is to get me loose so I can be 100% on the road again doing what I love.
Time will tell I suppose.
I’d still rather play hard, hitting hard goals an challenging myself than watching life from the sidelines. I understand doing that might involve injuries.. it’s a part of the game.
Fall is coming… I think
We’ve had a cool morning or two and its hard not to think of those comfort foods that always seem so enjoyable once the weather changes.
I whipped up a chicken casserole that’s a family favorite this week. Find it below😊
It’s amazing what can be found there if you time it right.
Yeah, you have to wade through the usual cheese graters, random glasses, candleholders, tired picture frames and whatnot to get some cool nugget but I find the hunt as fun as bagging the game.
Anyway, I was waiting for the door to open last week (’cause they don’t open till that clock hits 10 ya know 😉 )
They had racks of markdown winter clothes out front, I guess giving us something to do while we waited. I had noticed this leather jacket hanging right on the end of the rack
I tried to ignore it.
I have enough black, rocker chick type jackets. I have a thing for them and they in turn, work for me.
But it was just hanging there like it was waiting for me to find it…. and then I thought.. I think it’s my size…
“just try it on” the little bad voice in my head whispered
I pulled it off the hanger, slipped it on, and of course, it fit like a glove.
And it was black. And it had all the zippers and snaps, and cool stuff I love on those jackets….
I casually asked the lady what the price was since there wasn’t one on it.
Her reply… “Oh, it’s 3.99 but all that is half price today.”
I blinked twice… and popped the jacket back off the hanger into my waiting arms.
2.00? You’re coming with me baby.
Ok, I don’t always find cool clothes… I don’t really look for them. As stated, I’m usually after discarded goodies I can flip for my shop. Sometimes, I’ve got an armload and other times I’m left empty handed.
One week though, I had decided that there was nothing I needed/wanted/ could use. I was on my way out and did a final “drive by” down the frame aisle. I saw a lady holding a sampler.
A “sampler” is what girls used to do back in the day, practice their sewing. It could contain things like numbers, ABC’s, simple pictures etc. I love them and have several in my home.
How had I missed these the first time???
I lurked around looking at random things hoping she’d discard it and walk off.
I snatched it up and also a smaller one on the floor next to it.
My first thought was that they were so heavy. They were framed in glass, double glass.
My second thought was… these look really old.
I didn’t hesitate, but scooped them up, paid the clerk the 11.67 they came to and left.
Outside, I eagerly examined them and came to the conclusion, they had to be real because who would go through such trouble to preserve something that wasn’t that old unless, well, it really was??
And why were they tossed in with the cheapo frames on the floor?
I have questions.
Who would get rid of these? Why would someone take such effort to preserve them to only have them land in a bin of cheap frames and art work? Why was something so old, obviously antiqued, so cheap??
They fit right in with my love of old cool things. And I got both for 11 dollars and some change.
It was my lucky day 😉
Before we leave this topic….
Hubby and I went to a big flea market yesterday. I found a bunch of cool goodies, but this table, how cute is it?
I love these old school tables. The claw feet always help me to date it. They just don’t make such detailed furniture anymore.
This is going to go through a lovely transformation… I promise to show it off when it’s done 🙂
When I’m not flipping furniture……
Spring time also means birthdays in my family. My daughter in law requested a chocolate cake I make with strawberries. It’s a family favorite…
Honestly though, the frosting I could just eat out of the bowl. With an entire pack of real butter and rich chocolate, it melts in your mouth.
I’ll give you a minute to just stare at it and imagine….. haha
Well, I did make some healthy side dishes for the meal… that helps right?
There are lots of recipes for asparagus and tomatoes but I kinda do my own thing. I toss the asparagus and tomatoes together with some olive oil, crushed pepper and sea salt, plenty of fresh garlic, and then roast in oven turning frequently till it’s all tender. I added fresh parmesan cheese at the end.
It’s like heaven.
It should also be noted that we were celebrating her birthday early ’cause next week her and my son will be in… Ireland….
and it should also be noted I will be watching my 2 year old granddaughter while they are gone.
She’s like 2 going on 20.
She makes me laugh and she does crazy things.
She’s my spirit animal.
I’m grateful that I’m an above “average energetic” grandmother ’cause it’s gonna be a busy 9 days 😛
And in some final what on earth?? thoughts….
I heard a story on the news recently that made me just wonder … wonder why on earth it even needed mentioned.
It was about some actress or some famous “ish” person “coming out”….
What was she coming out about?
She has stretch marks.
Yes you are reading correctly. She was coming out that she had stretch marks a common normal thing millions of people have.
I was scratching my head at how this was newsworthy and I guess on some level she had felt this had made her less than a person or something like that.
This is what our world has come to. That our value is based on surface things. That if we are somehow “flawed” there’s something wrong with us.
Listen, you may be genetically blessed and not have a single one. You may have done every thing possible to not get one and boom, there they are.
It’s not just that. You don’t have to look far to see that besides stretch marks, cellulite ( again something millions have, even skinny people) is another damning factor making you less than worthy.
Let me just state this incase you need reminded.
Those things don’t define you nor do they make you less valuable.
I can tell you this. When I’m on the road running or cycling or when I’m lifting heavy things, the last thing on my mind is my stretch marks. ( and yep I got some with pregnancy) they don’t define my strength and power. They don’t affect my performance. They don’t keep me from wearing running shorts and a sports bra or a 2 pc swimsuit.
And I hardly let them bother my self esteem.
We live in such a shallow world where such surface things can define us or reduce the value we feel for ourselves. Society. social media and beauty magazines do a good job promoting this crap.
This is just a reminder that you, and your real or perceived flaws are fine just the way you are.
Now… tell me…. do you go to thrift stores? Do you like finding treasures others have cast off? With the arrival of spring, what’s your favorite outdoor activity?
Happy Monday beautiful people! It’s really Sunday evening as I write this, and I’m finally finding a moment to sit down after a long busy day and catch my breath.
Football has been on all day and of course all my men must keep the sound at a level that resembles being at the actual football game.
When the games are over, the sound comes down, it’s then I’m reminded how nice a quieter house is.
With everyone here I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family…. even if they do have the football games ridiculously loud 😉
It’s hard to not reflect on how blessed I am with my family. I have an amazing, wonderful husband, great kids, my sons wives, grandkids ( another on the way arriving in the spring!) and my daughters boyfriend who after 2 years of putting up with her 😉 is also family.
I’m grateful for who we are as a group. For the love, laughter, silliness and uniqueness of each person. I guess I’ve become even more appreciative in a world where so many families aren’t like that, who are mean spirited and cut throat to one another, where jealousy and petty things take place over the value of relationships. These behaviors are so sad to me.
It just makes me want to hold closer those I love and what we have. I don’t mean “perfection” because not one single person or family is “perfect”… that also is an illusion many try to present…. just learn to love perfectly with not perfect people.
But really though, if you don’t take care of your family, at the end of the day what do you have? The world is a rough place, love those who are yours, over look faults, be patient with weaknesses, set loving boundaries, speak truth, love fiercely and value the uniqueness of those who are your tribe.
Ok I’m gonna get off my soapbox now 😉
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Speaking of family… for me Christmas and family are closely tied together.
This past week I’ve gotten all my Christmas decorating done and my massive tree all decorated.
All 13 feet of it.
It’s got over 400 lights, 180 feet of silver beaded garland, and 100’s of ornaments. It took pretty much every ornament I have and my 6’0 body hanging precariously off the very top of a 6’0 ladder… but it’s done.
It is really, I think, the most spectacular tree we’ve ever had.
I love turning all the lights off at night and just sitting in the quiet house before I go to bed and just looking at it.
I find those times peaceful as it lets my mind unwind and wander and reflect on so many things. It’s a practice I’ve enjoyed for years and I find simple joy in it.
Here… I’ll let you have a sneak peak at it all….
Long before you young whippersnappers had that crazy little Elf on a shelf thing going on, I had this little guy be a part of all my Christmases…which are getting up there now 😉
According to what I was told a long time ago, these little guys came on dish soap bottles back in the dark ages.
My grandmother was the one who got them ( a green and a red one) the green I retrieved from an old tub of my mom’s where Christmas decorations go to die. Although faded and more worn looking I dragged him out and he has a spot on my primitive toy tree ( I’ll show you later )
The red one comes out every year to quietly perch among the branches of my tree.
I don’t have to do anything with him, move him around or pose him in a bowl of cereal.
He’s just a quiet sentinel marking another Christmas in his family.
I love having things from my childhood past to share with my kids and grandkids. Those things evoke feelings and memories of Christmases long ago and the people I loved who I shared them with.
I hope these traditions continue a long time in my family.
But on the topic of trees….
I somehow, in the past few years, have managed to have more than one tree. I’ve got little theme trees that I haven’t been able to resist doing.
A primitive toy tree surrounded by my old rocking horse obsession. A cool black and silver tree that holds all my kids ornaments they lovingly brought home from school projects years ago, a silver tree that holds tons of little glass ornaments that date back to my great grandmother. It’s so vintage looking… I love it.
A few years ago I got a pink one. Sorry, I’m a girl and pink is like one of my favorite colors. It’s in my kitchen and it’s all gingerbread and candy themed and my granddaughters adore looking at it. It’s full of whimsical sparkly play candy and garland although I do buy various colored candy canes to add to it.
I think I’ve got like five theme trees around my home… but hey! It’s better than being a crazy cat lady, right??
In other news….
in a busy month with not only usual life activities, but holiday preparations as well it might be tempting to skip your workouts.
May I suggest something short and sweet that also brings a punch ? HIIT (high intensity interval training) is hard work in a short amount of time.
Got 20 minutes?
Here’s an example of one I did last week.
10 push ups
10 jumping squats
20 jumping jacks
20 mountain climbers
30 sit ups
30 second plank hold
Do as may sets as you can in 20 minutes.
It was a cold morning when I did this. I was sweating at the end. I managed to get 5 sets done. I was thinking that didn’t seem like…a lot.. until I realized I had done 150 sit ups in those 5 sets. I do butterfly sit ups with a 25 lb weight plate to make it a little harder. I do a longer hold on my plank as well.
It’s important to remember that you can always modify a workout to your current physical abilities. If you’re stronger, add some weight or push a little harder.
If you are just starting out, reduce reps if you need to and go at an easy pace.
Short, powerful workouts are very effective and if you are limited on time, they offer a high energy boost and get you on your way.
Visit me on Pinterest and find more short workouts on my fitness boards.
Ok and you know I need to leave you with something tasty….
I will also encourage you to maintain healthy eating habits during the festive season of Christmas and all that goes with it however there are going to be tasty treats to eat as well…..
My daughter in law found this recipe and suggested we should try it. We are quite the dessert lab rats around here haha
These are delicious and will probably be added to our list of favorites. Don’t take my word for it, go make it and see what you think.
My cookie baking and candy making will be getting going soon so I’ll share some of my favorites with you in an up coming post 🙂
So tell me… are you ready for Christmas? How goes the decorating? Are you done shopping yet? Do you have a favorite Christmas item or recipe?
Today’s post is a compilation of thoughts, reflections, and an overall recap from my recent duathlon. I largely write this to exercise my mind and the emotions that come from not only doing this type of event, but the months of training and ultimate finishing of it as well.
It is perhaps, hard to explain. It’s easier to understand if you’ve ever undertaken a similar event but really, for anyone who does this, or triathlons, we all have our “whys” for what we do.
It’s the thing that puts us out there not just for the race but the months leading up to it.
So, if you wish to continue, get comfy and go along on the ride with me. I promise to not bore you with stats and stuff like that 😉
Maybe you’ve never entertained the idea of something so crazy, or perhaps you’ve wondered if you could do it and are sitting on a fence pondering that idea. I’ll just say this… anyone… can do anything they determine they are going to do.
You might not be the fastest or most skilled but by damn, you can do it if you determine you’re going to.
How did an ordinary woman get to this point?
Seriously. It’s a thought that’s danced through my head on more than one occasion.
Somehow a middle aged, wife, mom, grandmother, jack of all trades, previously non-athletic person turned into an athlete. And not just one who plays with one sport, but a duathlete.
I’d have to say it’s largely come from chasing down one goal after another. Once I saw I could do something bigger than I thought I could do, I’d set the bar for another goal, yet larger one.
Although I hated being sidetracked a couple years ago with an Achilles injury, that’s what put me on the bike more. I could cycle and get those miles I craved I wasn’t getting from running. Turns out all that running made me super strong and pretty capable on the bike, not a bad thing.
I kept at the bike as I healed. I learned and practiced. I shamelessly talked to anyone who could tell me what I needed to know. I kept increasing my miles and riding hard terrain.
I wanted to do the duathlon the year I was still recovering from my running injury but when it got to the time I needed to be training, I just felt like my leg wasn’t ready for running.
Last year everything was in place for me to do it.
I invested myself heavily into training, practiced transitions, did brick sessions once or twice a week ( run/bike, or bike/run) to train my body to the demands of shifting from one activity to the next.
Race day I went out and did what I’d trained myself to do. Being my first multi sport event I felt like such an inexperienced baby but I got it done.
And done enough to place first in my age group. I secretly hoped I’d be good enough to place but hadn’t voiced it out loud.
Overall, it was a good experience and I set my sites on 2018 and doing it again.
Same game, new year, new adventures.
As I began training this year I at least understood more of what was involved and required of me to do this event. This duathlon is a championship race and it’s listed as the “toughest in the state.” They tell no lies about this.
I knew the physical demands as well as mental demands.
There were however, new life things I didn’t have going on last year in competition with me for training.
Namely, a 4 day a week job that took up leisure time. Yes, I could still get in training on most mornings, I just didn’t have as much time to extend those sessions.
Running. Straight up, running was harder this year. I think there are a variety of reasons, but it is what it is.
Because of that I didn’t push myself as much on it. Yes, I knew I could do it. Would it be ultimately what I wanted in time/pace etc? Maybe not but I’d just have to be good with it.
I kept to my cycling and training on the hardest roads I could find. Hills are definitely one place my strength really shines and since the duathlon course was loaded with some hard monster sized ones it made sense to keep my physical and mental training honed in this area.
The struggle is real.
As race day approached, mixed with my usual pre-race nerves was the overwhelming feeling of…
“What am I doing??”
I found myself wondering if something might come up and then I wouldn’t be able to do it. Like .. “what if I got sick?” haha something every athlete worries about before an event.
I questioned my training. I questioned my abilities. I questioned if I had what it took to do it ( which is kinda laughable considering I’d done it last year and I’d been training for it this year)
I remember pouring out all my angst to hubby to which he responded….
“You know you can do it. Just go and do it. When you cross the finish line it will be amazing. I don’t even know how you do what you do.”
Somehow those words settled me.
No matter what, doing it, and seeing myself across the finish line was all that mattered.
Quitting was never an option.
Needless to say like any athlete with an event coming up, I stalked the weather hoping it would be…well… decent. I’d trained in all kinds of weather but really, who doesn’t want race day to be prime?
Temperatures were promised in the mid-50s with a chance of rain… afternoon rain.
ok well, to me the promised temps were decent… I could still work up a sweat with that.
However, weather you know, has a mind of it’s own…..on the way to the race it started raining some.
Ok no worries. Except once I got there in the early morning dark it appeared the rain wasn’t interested in waiting till the afternoon. Intermittent showers were our friend through out the morning.
Not only that, the comfortable, warmish weather shifted with some arriving wind knocking it into the mid 40’s.
Now we had some rain, wind and much colder air.
All of the athletes were being warned to drop the PSI in their tires, to watch their speed and to be careful on corners.
I was grateful that the rain didn’t daunt me, that I had spent time in it training…. but still… I understood the roads were slick and I also understood that meant a newer level of caution.
Of course I’d dressed more for warmer weather but thankfully had my waterproof cycling jacket on ( which was a bit to warm for the first run leg) I tossed it when I transitioned to the bike…. which made for a colder than anticipated bike ride being wet and flying down the road at rapid speeds.
None of that mattered…. this is what we had for the race…. deal with it.
As I was running the parking lot warming up in the breaking dawn with rain coming down on me one of the police officers stopped me and said “are you sure you want to be out here doing this?” I laughed and told him there were probably a few of us who might think being home, comfy with a cup of coffee, would be preferable to being out at 630 on a cold, wet morning shaking out our legs and nerves pre race.
But then I added….” you have to understand that every single one of us out here might be a wee bit insane. It’s that insanity that has us here and will drive us to finish today ”
He gave me a big laugh and told me to please be careful out there as I went loping off.
And I still stand by that. Being a little crazy is what keeps you out there and is the undercurrent to getting the work done.
And nothing…nothing… feels better when that insanity brings you across the finish line.
The first leg of race, the 5K was just crappy and I knew it would be. It wasn’t my best time and it wasn’t anything that impressed me. I just focused on moving through it knowing I’d close ground once I got on the bike.
I moved through transition as quickly as I could. I think this year I had it about 1:15. Not only are you transitioning into new gear, preparing for another sport, I believe your mind has got to transition as well.
As I knew I would, once I took off on bike I started covering ground and picking off other cyclists. This became as game as I settled into the ride. I was trying to not think about how much colder it was as I sped down the road in shorts and a sleeveless cycling jersey.
As the miles disappeared I knew I was getting close before we would turn and head back.
The miles with the beastly hills were what I still had to tackle. Only today they were wet and dark looming like large, formidable sentries in front of us.
This however, was home turf and I felt comfortable in it.
As I got closer to the first huge hill that is my nemesis, the one I have a love hate relationship with, I could see it littered with cyclists… all pushing their bikes up.
My mental game had been pretty strong at that point, but seeing all those people pushing their bikes up, well that can really start to do a number on my mind.
I’ve never, ever since I started riding that beast had to push my bike up and I didn’t plan to start anytime soon.
I locked my mind down, looked directly at the road in front of my bike and plowed up that hill past them. I think at that point if anyone had gotten in front of me or challenged me on anything, I could’ve taken them on my mental game was just that strong. I got on top of the hill, and began to prepare for the second one which was just over the top of the one I’d just climbed. Again I had to dodge people pushing their bikes up.
I had a brief moment to let the bike do the work before we hit the final back hills. As I came around a curve that was so familiar to me, and prepared to fly up a hill, there were cyclists walking their bikes down saying the spotters had encouraged people to walk down.
Ha. Not likely.
I got to the top and prepared for the descent down the back of the hill… again coming back I had to pass people pushing up. Once again I locked my mind down… set my focus directly in front of me and shouldered into it.
The two spotters at the top were like… “wow, nice work ma’am” ha I hardly had time to acknowledge them before I was flying off the hill again, now on my way back to the start line.
A few miles from getting back to the transition area I was aware that I was oh so cold, my feet felt numb and then out of the blue stabbing cramps in my quad, up into my hip, wrapping into my hamstring.
I’ve never had that happen before. Thankfully I was able to stand up and keep riding and work it out without having to stop.
It was debatable for awhile.
Cold. Cramps. Wet. Battling mental demons along the way. So many battles that day.
The end was closer. I fought for this thing and I would finish it out.
And finish I did. The last run was a surprise in that it was longer than last year (ah) so where I thought we’d turn and head back…well… no.. we got to keep going for a bit longer.
When I finally got to the stretch and could see that finish line, the big red numbers with the race time, the announcer calling my number, saw my husband patiently waiting for me, knew my months of work was about to pay off, it was worth it.
It was worth the months of training, the early mornings, the tired legs, the days that left me exhausted, the doubts were crushed, and once again, there was that overwhelming immense satisfaction in stepping across that finish line.
It makes me weep every time.
My emotions run high as it all culminates …. the proverbial icing on the cake… my own personal victory.
And well, it was pretty cool to check my stats and see it showed me as first in my age group. 🙂
I’d never entertained that because I just thought my time wouldn’t be so impressive. Once they posted times for both genders, I could see that my finish time was what some of the 20-24 year old guys placed in … so there’s that 😛
So what’s next?
I don’t have any plans of slowing down or sitting on the sidelines watching life. I’d love to do at least two duathlons in 2018. I’d also like to ease back into distance running and maybe cut my teeth on a half marathon again. It’s technically now “off season” although I don’t see myself not training. I will add in an extra strength training day ’cause muscles are nice to have in a variety of ways. 😉 Not just that, it’s freaking cool to be strong and being strong is what helps me get through the tough part of these events.
I am such a baby in this world of multi sport events so I have plenty of room to grow, learn and improve. I guess that’s what keeps me coming back, knowing I can constantly challenge myself.
And finally, I’ve gotta say thank you to my amazing family, my husband and kids, my tribe who love me, encourage me, tell me I’m crazy, and are so proud and supportive of what I do. My husband who willingly gets up at crazy hours to go with me, who endures the weather, takes pics, and is the smiling face I’m looking for when I come in, who buys me food and coffee when I’m frozen and starving….. his support is crucial to what I do.
And of course my friends who love me, cheer me on and also love telling me I’m crazy… I appreciate all of your encouragement and support 🙂
Thank you for sharing in my recent adventures by reading this post! Your turn, tell me about your adventures…what you’ve done or what you may be planning to do. Do those dreams ever just scare you a little? How have you felt when you accomplished something you’ve never done?
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”
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.
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.
All of us can do things, can strive for improving on them yet it will never come easy.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
What does your week ahead hold? Are you ready for fall and a change of seasons?
Exercise. It’s one of those subjects that when the topic comes up, people delicately shudder and walk off as if you’ve mentioned the plaque or some other horrible ill.
There are jokes made about pain and sweat and how hard it is.
There are comments about how “they should start to do something” or their “doctor told them to” or “my friend is trying to get me to go with them” and many other similar thoughts.
We can be challenged, made to feel guilty, or completely ignore the idea.
For some, just the mere thought of having to move their bodies in purposeful exercise makes them sweat.
Honestly, I was in a similar boat a few years ago.
Then one day, like many people are, I was at a doctor appointment for my yearly check up. When he asked me what I did for exercise I told him I “used” to go for little walks but hadn’t done it in a long time. He encouraged me to do something, to at least get back into walking and to try and drop a few pounds.
I literally left his office that day, went home, took my first walk and pretty much never stopped after that.
It wasn’t all fun and games.
I didn’t skip out and dive into my walks happy. No. I grumbled over it. I lamented being fat and “having” to exercise. ( gosh have I learned a lot since then) I hated being hot and I would’ve preferred staying in and doing something else.
I wanted to come up with reasons not to do it, but I’m kinda stubborn and when I get into something I get determined to make it work.
Yet somehow in all of the talk about the “how’s” and “why’s” for exercise, there’s a whole lotta things that never get mentioned.
Exercise IS hard.
In the beginning it feels like… death. You wonder why on earth you signed up for this fresh hell and how is it really gonna benefit you? Where are the results already?
Seriously, I’d dutifully go for my 2 mile walk and want, ya know, instant results, for my efforts.
Honestly though, I always did feel mentally better after I did it, so there’s that.
Exercise reminds you that you are really outta shape.
Admit it. Who hasn’t gone up a flight of stairs, tried to run for a short distance, or even gone for a brisk walk without breathing like a freight train and feeling like your heart is gonna come out of your chest.
Yet I never got the memo that those were some of the awesome side effects I could encounter when I decided to pursue exercising.
I hated that feeling ’cause it did tell me I needed to work on what was inside of me as well as what was on the outside.
Let’s not forget the other awesome side effects of looking like a red ripened tomato ’cause your blood is wildly rushing and you have sweaty hair plastered to your face.
You ache and feel muscles you never knew you had.
No wonder people run away from exercise.
Don’t do what you hate.
If I had a chocolate bar for the times I’ve had people come to me asking about exercise activities to do but they start with… “Ok, well like, I reallllyyy hate running. I mean, I know YOU like it and all but for me…well..no.”
I simply tell them, well then, don’t run.
Hey I never imagined I’d turn into a runner. That stuff is hard. But somehow, in some weird way, I started doing it and before I knew it… I was running.
I won’t lie. There’s a pleasure and pain pay off to it, but it’s always fiercely rewarding so I’m kinda loathe to give it up 😉
Find something you can enjoy and look forward to and then become the biggest expert at it you can. It’s that simple and it’s the best way to stick with it.
It eventually WILL pay off.
It will. Trust me. It won’t pay off after 9 days or maybe even a month, but it will. But long before you may see physical changes, you will mentally feel better. Going for purposeful exercise can clear your head, help you problem solve, and make you feel better overall. It’s a great day to unwind from your day or start it. I prefer and have turned into a morning workout girl for a variety of reasons.
Mornings are when people typically want/need almost nothing from me so I can take that time. I also feel like it starts my day in an energetic positive way… even if I may still be rubbing sleep out of my eyes why the sun comes up behind me. I am also smart enough to know it is easier to have excuses later in the evening than morning so I just make it my first priority.
No matter what time you choose know you are making an investment in yourself and it will have pay offs.
You’ll actually start to look forward to it.
Really, you will. Once you’ve built it into a new habit it will become easier to incorporate it in your day and you’ll come to actually crave that time, even when you know it will be hard and it will be work.
You won’t mind that because you will come to understand that it makes you feel good and that’s a pretty nice side effect to hard work.
I honestly schedule appointments and other activities around making sure I have time for my training and some moments to get cleaned up and human looking after I’m done . This is as important as anything else in my day and I make no apologies for putting it on my agenda.
You shouldn’t either.
Some things won’t feel so hard.
Really. In the beginning when you are gasping for air like a fish out of water and your heart is pounding you may think you’ll never adapt.
Your body will begin to do all the miraculous things it can and make adaptations so the work “feels” easier but the reality is you are getting stronger. You’ll be able to walk or run longer, lift more and as you make progress you can ( and should) keep pushing on for more that feels hard again.
Years ago when I started doing a little lifting I had these cute 5 lb weights.
Yes, for real. ( I’d never let anyone get away with that now 😉 )
Anyway, I decided I’d make a big move up to 8 lbs. at the time, I felt it a little more. When that started feeling like nothing after a million times, I made a huge move to 15 lbs. ( go big or go home right?? haha)
I won’t lie. That was work. I could barely do 6-8 reps without deciding it was enough. ( girl arms)
I worked those weights a lot. I did what I could do and when I felt like I could add “just one more rep” before my arm fell off, I did it.
Obviously, I camped there for awhile gradually building in sets of high reps that kept me feeling it.
A while back, I realized the 15lb weights felt like the previous ones, like easy, no effort.
I got the small barbell, tossed on about 25 lbs and oh yeah, I’m feeling it again.
Seriously, the first time I could barely squeak out 3-5 reps before it was fail ( meaning I couldn’t curl it one more time)
I just worked that in each time… I’d push for one more rep…
Now, I’m kinda proud to say I can do 3 sets of 8 before my arms are yelling at me. Even though I use heavier weight for other moves, the 25 is for single arm work and my arms are definitely earning their muscles haha
I’m serious… keep at what you do… no matter how small it seems… and build on it. You’ll get stronger and the work in some ways, can feel easier.
It can really build your confidence
So you’re thinking, “well, I am a confident person without working out”. Yeah, I was too. But when you start exercising and putting your body through vigorous work, it changes and you get stronger and you’re doing things other people tease and make jokes about, it will build your confidence even more.
When you set goals, sometimes bigger than you foresee being able to do, go through training, sacrifice, sweat, tears, exhaustion and a whole list of fun things, you’ll get it.
Train for and run a marathon, it will give you the confidence you can do anything. Trust me.
You’ll meet amazing people doing what you do.
So, I’m a little bit.. social.
I’m mentally seeing my hubby reading this choking, reading that last line to which he would snort and say… “A little?!?”
Ok well maybe, quite a bit.
Turning into an athlete certainly has brought me into different circles, and in those circles, meeting some amazing and talented people.
A few years back when I was selected to be in Runners World, “Runners Body” edition, https://sassyfitnesschick.com/runners-world-body-edition-feature/ I was privileged to share the pages with some amazing athletes scattered all across the U.S. These were people I would’ve never encountered otherwise. After the magazine hit the market (Dec 2012) thanks to the world of social media many of us connected. Many of us to this day, are connected and cheering on each others accomplishments.
Locally, I love knowing people who perform in similar sports as I do and having that common ground to discuss our fields of interest ( this often saves the sanity of our loved ones who may or may not be weary of hearing of our times, our negative running splits, or what technique is best for releasing worked muscle groups 😛 )
Knowing these people remind me I can always strive for more, to get more from myself, and to keep setting bigger goals.
My Ironman friends… well… are you even human???
Maybe… someday… who knows.
All that to say, you can meet some interesting people when you get out there. And if you’re semi- social like I am… well it goes together like peanut butter and jelly 😉
Energetic. You’ll get more energy.
I will admit. That was a hard sell in the beginning. How… how… could I get more energy when I could barely drag my carcass off the sofa to go do something ?
This didn’t happen over night. However, the more I did, the more energy I seemed to get. It’s like exercise became the breeding ground for more energy.
Weird, I know, but it happens.
Just start, it will come.
That whole healthy thing.
Ok, I knew intellectually, before I started working out, that it had some health benefits. However, I had no experience with it. This takes a little time but when you start eating better and exercising, it has positive results on your body, inside and out.
My doctor tells me each year at my annual check up my labs are boring and normal, which I think is a good thing.
My good cholesterol level is off the charts past “normal” to which he tells me is generated from all the exercise I do.
There’s a win.
My resting heart rate is usually dancing around in the 40-50 bpm range, thanks cardio and a whole lot of endurance training.
The things I do in my daily life are easy and I have strength to do things on my own and not need “help”.
Let’s not forget how exercise also constantly is generating new cells and growth which many believe is the best anti-aging medicine.
Find some posts below I’ve written on this topic….