Saturday Snippets

As I’m writing this little installment of Saturday Snippets, I’m a bit in denial that July is now tipping into the “it just started and is now wildly speeding out of control ” zone.

Holy hello, where has the month gone??

Besides pondering that deep question, I thought I’d share with you what I was up to this week.

I’ve kept athletic things low key ’cause I went and got this done on Tuesday…..

And when you have that much open skin…well….the idea of sweating alot into it wasn’t appealing 🤣

I’ve had ideas for quite awhile to pull together some pieces I already had. I got with our local artist for a consult and set things in motion.

This is what my arm previously looked like.

It was so exciting to pull the ideas out of my head, hand them over to her and let her weave them together.

To say I’m in love with how it’s shaping up is an understatement. This piece is about 90% done now.

In two weeks I’ll go back to touch up any areas and also to have some lace added around my wrist.

Since I’m writing a post on my most recent tattoo shenanigans, I thought I’d share questions/comments etc that I’ve gotten. I have many people in my life who understand what goes into it all and mostly there’s a whole lot who don’t.

So here’s my favorite question.

Did it hurt? The first time someone ever asked me that ( I resisted the urge to roll my eyes)

I said, just think of a sewing machine needle stitching thread into the fabric…Haha the look on their face. 😝

Seriously though, of course there’s pain.

There is a level you just get comfortable with and then there are areas that you definitely take yourself to another zone and just breathe through it. Weirdly, there are times I look forward to the pain.

I’d have to say with this piece, being about 4 hours in the chair, the shading of black was the most intense.

This literally feels like someone using little razor blades to dig into my skin…over and over..

Yeah the arm starts feeling a little raw. It’s especially fun when the hot sun hits it.

How long does it take to heal?

After finishing my arm got wrapped in something akin to plastic wrap. I’m wondering why this stuff can’t be used for my kitchen bowls 😝

This keeps it clean and protected. I’m supposed to wear it 3-6 days.

Here it is at day three. I’m ready to take it off.

No my art work hasn’t smeared, it’s just extra ink oozing under plastic. Can you see the tiny lace details though? It amazes me she could do such tiny work.

Once plastic comes off it’s washed and cleaned several times a day. Washing it feels.. delightful.

Raw open skin with dial soap on it 😱

It will begin to heal as it dries and then it goes through the awesome itchy phase in which you attempt to not scratch. A few weeks out it’s 100% again

What made you do it?

Why not? The pieces on my arm were specific, intentional, and have meaning to me. I wanted to fill between them with the end result looking like a vintage type lacey sleeve. I have a small area on the back of my arm yet to do that will complete it.

Beside all that, it’s been a wonderful way to wear creative art that belongs to just me.

I think that’s uber cool and I’m privileged to wear someone’s art.

What about when you get old?

Uh. I am old. Next question.

Seriously, I am way old enough to know what I want, what I like, and do what I wanna do.

Have you regretted it?

No.

Do you want more?

Is the Pope Catholic?

When I got my first one it was a flower bracelet with the word strength in it. This was such an important life word for me that I wanted it on me in a visual way. I had thought to get that and I’d be done. (Fyi, the wrist is one of the most painful places…)

Not true. Less than a day later I was plotting my next.

I still have creative ideas in my head 😉😉

I was warned by those who had gone before me…”you’ll want more”…. I didn’t believe them…now I know better.

What if your kids got them?

Ha. My kids encouraged me and own quite a few of their own. My son jokingly gave me a list of “girl tattoos” that I should not ever get lest I lose cool status. These included standard quo things like a flower or dolphin on my ankle or inside my wrist, anything tribal (as if!) Or any tattoo in a shop where you select them by numbers.

A final thought

Spending hours in a chair gave me plenty of time to chat with the young artist working on me. She discussed her struggles at trying to open her business in our town and how she had been told at one city meeting by someone that they didn’t want “those kind of people” around. Ha like wow.

I forget, or rather I’m surprised, at the harsh and judgmental attitudes people still carry in regards to this topic. But those personal opinions are there and firmly in place even though I find them a bit dated.

To each their own.

I’ve just learned you can’t or shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and some of the most authentic,interesting, creative people I’ve ever met have had tattoos.

Your turn. Do you have any? If so, any stories with them? If not, do you want one but haven’t? Or are you in the “thanks but no thanks” camp? It’s cool if you are 😉

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Running, Tattoos, And Muscles

Yesterday I made a trip back to see my sports doctor. I haven’t seen him since last summer when I was in for my running injury.

I bit the bullet ’cause the crazy thing has never gone away.  After seeing him, then my visits to do Airrosti in December, it was still hanging around.

And being a runner my stubborn thought was…. “well, if it’s gonna be there and bother me whether I’m running or not, I might as well run. If it doesn’t get any worse…. go.”

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Did I say I was stubborn ? Head strong? Willful ? Why do I hear my mother in my head ? haha

Realistically, I know it needs to be fixed so I can really get back out there and run like I want to run.

So… it was back to see him… to see what was going on.

The first thing he says,  grabbing my arm, “that’s cool… you got a new tattoo!”

Seriously? A doctor that remembers what ink you have on your arm ? And that you got a new piece ?

I did get new ink a few weeks ago… and it looks like this… I totally love it.

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Did I mention he’s cool ?  He’s also an athlete so he understands you not just from a medical perspective but an athletic one as well. He asks about goals and plans you have.

A quick assessment put me right into the (still) diagnosis of insertional Achilles tendonitis.  Ugh.

Soooo I will be icing…lots of icing it several times a day … using a topical ointment…. and…. rest from running…. as in….none.

Whatever.

So that puts me more into being confined and focusing on strength training… as in lifting heavy things and working on building those muscles while my feet recover.  I will also incorporate boxing into it ( great cardio) and I can still be out on my bike as long as it doesn’t cause any pain. That at least lets me get the miles under me that I  crave. I really wanna get a rowing machine since that is the perfect all over body work ( in my opinion) and it’s something else to add to what I do.

Actually, since my miles have been so reduced these past months, I have added more muscle ( ha… not burning it off)  😛 I don’t mind having the muscle… I just need to adapt with my jeans =)

Adapt.

Sometimes I embrace that word, other times, I loathe it.

The definition says to make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify. To change so it functions better. Interestingly, it’s a verb.

Adaptation and adapting are active processes.

My body ( yours too) and the activities we put them through can definitely be an adapting process.

Weight loss, weight gain, building muscle, getting older, exercise, strength training.. so many things make our bodies change… aren’t they amazing things?

But then there are these times I have to adapt to what is going on with my body.

Recovery is not a patient place for me. Therefore, I am learning to adapt even more.

No running means using other activities to get in my cardio. It also means spending more time in strength training… and this activity will change my body differently from running.

I’ve learned these past few years as an athlete that my body can change a lot depending on what I’m doing to it.

I loved how I looked at the peak of my marathon/50K training last year. Lean and chiseled running 55-65 miles a week, I was burning off way more than I was taking in… and truthfully…sitting in the very low end of my weight range.

The reality is, I can’t stay in that top “peak” of training all the time. Our bodies aren’t designed for it. I’ve learned my body will change a bit in off season.

I’ve learned to adapt to that reality.

Now I’m adapting to the constraints of injury.

Adapt. Change. Transform.

It’s a big part of life isn’t it ?

What about you? Have you learned this process, whether in life, or in the way you have to handle your body ? Do you fight against it or embrace the change it brings ? What has adapting taught you ?

 

 

 

 

 

50Something

So in earth shattering world news, I turned 51 on Saturday. You know what that means ? I survived a year of being 50 and am now officially “50something” 😉

I can tell you…. being 50 was pretty darn ok so I’m kinda geared towards 51 being rockin’ too.

Last year saw me hitting some of the biggest goals and challenges of my life.

Athletically, I ran my second marathon knocking 33 minutes off my previous years time. I attribute that to harder training and getting my nutrition even tighter.

I moved from that, into training for a 50K (31.7 miles)  in March, doing that a little over 6 hours. I also did two half marathons in March.

By that time I had reached a point of being in the best physical condition of my life… at 50.

live your life

I had also increased time on my bike for cross training as well as challenging myself more with weights to build more muscle and make me an overall stronger runner.

Getting older ( I’ve learned) also means just getting down right comfy in your own skin and embracing who you are. I’ve allowed myself to pursue and do what I want to and not be hampered by the rules of others or the secret unwritten code of society that seeks to put women to sleep after they reach a certain age.

Shhh…  and ladies… it’s ok to keep your edge… really 😉

And the other thing I’ve learned (really in the past couple years) if you wanna do something…do it. What are you waiting for ? It’s your life…live it…do those things you think about… do something that’s been hanging out in your mind… dare to be different.

And in saying that…. I just got my second tattoo on Thursday and I’m totally in love with it. I’ve had the idea cooking for awhile in my head. When I contacted my artist and told him what I wanted I sat back to eagerly await what his rendition would look like. So when he contacted me for a Thursday appt and shot me the design to approve, it seemed like a perfect birthday present for me (there’s a good way to kick off birthday weekend )

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I’ve had a few people tell me that it fits me perfectly…like it belongs there….and it does.

My explanation? It’s like an inner piece of me revealed. It’s been a part of me for awhile… now it’s just visible.

I’ll share with you what’s behind it…. life… has been teaching me.

In the past year or so I’ve learned it takes a lot of courage to live… not just exist…but to live. To stand when you don’t think you can stand… to see beauty in life when the storms are crashing in. To have courage when you feel like hiding or running away.

The rose represents the beauty and fragility of life. The sword piercing the rose is a reminder that although life is beautiful, it’s often harsh and not always a bed of roses.
The sword is a powerful weapon, one that is taken up to stand and fight, to stand against the trials and difficulties that come. The sword represents a warrior spirit, courage, and a never say die attitude towards life. It represents the strength to endure. Spiritually it’s a reminder of the One who’s strength, courage and power rest in me.

Together, it all tells such a beautiful story.

You see, even though I had some amazing personal triumphs in my 50th year, I had some painful losses and life things that brought grief and struggle. Life takes courage to live.

I lost my mom in April and had to face my first birthday without her… a milestone birthday she should’ve been here to share with me. This year… as loved and surrounded as I have been by family and  friends I’m aware of her presence not with me. Losing her meant taking over with my dad who has Alzheimers and maintaining his home and trying to make the best choices for him. His condition has rapidly declined with mom’s passing.

My husband parted ways from his company after 23 years to take a new job that involved traveling and being gone from home all week, and sometimes two weeks at a time. I learned to step up even more handling and dealing with everything on the home front and then.. there’s just all the life stuff in general.

And of course, let’s not forget,  our most recent adventure with his thyroid cancer.

I don’t tell you these things to whine. Or to feel sorry for me.

I won’t negate my feelings though… it has been hard at various times… sometimes… crushing.

that’s when I started thinking about how life demands so much courage for us to keep living and finding beauty and laughter and joy in the dark places.

Courage demands I take a stand and fight back to live and appreciate life, even in the hard times.

So it was with an overflowing heart and fresh awareness through out my birthday weekend at how blessed I am.

To have an evening celebrating with all my kids, niece and nephew and their kids and other family… was wonderful. On the day of my birthday, just time being home and later dinner out with hubby for some one on one time was nice. I wrapped up the weekend on Sunday by picking up my gift I had asked for….. a new little road bike. Nothing fancy at all, but I’ve almost worn the wheels off the mountain bike I got a couple years ago. ( I’m slowly creeping along to becoming a cyclist… eek… THAT is a pricey hobby) but you know what? My body doesn’t know if it’s on a pricey bike or not… it’s just out there working hard 😉

new goal

So yeah, I’m grateful. Another year. New challenges and goals to tackle. New opportunities for growth.

Who wouldn’t be excited?

Strength

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Strength~ the quality or state of being strong, bodily or muscular power, vigor. Mental power, force or vigor.

It’s no secret, I love running. However, one thing I found I enjoyed a few years ago was tossing around some heavy metal objects, namely weights. When I first started I had these cute little 5lbers ( don’t give me a hard time…. I didn’t know better 😉

I moved up to 8’s, then 15’s, 20 and finally to what I use mostly now, 35’s. I got a 35 lb kettle bell for Christmas I like working with. At this point, I’ve built some wicked arms. Not only that, building my upper body has made me a stronger runner.

When I slip on these gloves…. it makes me feel all business. I know I’m planning to work. I love how strong I feel when I’m doing it and I love the strength and muscles I’ve built. These gloves are like… work clothes 😉

Strength has become one of my, life words, in the past year. Strength isn’t just necessary in a physical way, but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally too.

Strength became such an important life word to me that I made the (very) permanent decision to have it tattooed on my wrist as a bracelet. The word is in the banner, and chains surround my wrist to reflect the strength of iron, while the flowers bring my feminine side into it.

I guess I feel rather, passionate, about it.

There are so many times I glance at that when I’m going through something and it reminds me: I can bring home the final miles of a marathon. It reminds me when life situations threaten to swallow me. It challenges me to look beyond what I think is difficult, to fight back and push against the very pressures that are (ultimately) giving me strength.

The culmination of events, good and bad, in my life have forged this out in me.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times I wish I could’ve passed on, but then, would I have developed the mental and physical strength I have now ? Things happen for a purpose and if we let them, they shape and mold us to be stronger.

Do you relate? Have you been through things that you feel have made you stronger ? Share with me in the comments.

Why Hello World

I feel like I’ve given birth today.

True, it’s been a lot easier than the delivery of a small person from your body, but it’s been a birth process none the less. It’s how I always feel when an idea finally gets launched out of my mind and into action.

Something creative is born. Future plans are made. Vision and goals are set.

In this instance, finally having the ” idea” of a blog, to actually moving forward to making it happen. Getting out of my personal world of Facebook, Instagram, and small town writing, to flinging myself into the vast world to share my version of life and all it entails.

Given that this is my first post, and you don’t know me from your third cousin twice removed, there’s a lot I can tell you. However, if I don’t tell you ….. you’ll have to keep coming back to find out… more 😉

I’ll tell you this though…. I do love life, people  the weirder  um… more interesting… the better, running, health and nutrition, being strong and fit and helping others get on their own journey of  health and fitness. Actually, nothing delights me more than seeing someone “get it” and the confidence and strength they gain as they learn to make better life choices. I love sharing my fitness journey with others so they know I can relate to where they are, that I’ve experienced the same struggles, feelings, and frustrations.

BUT….. in the sharing of that I want them to know if I can take daily steps and get where I am, they can too. I haven’t always been a running girl (you’re gonna hear lots more on this topic) nor have I always been concerned about what foods I eat or how they make me feel or the impact they have on my body. It has been a process and I’ve taken it one day at a time.

I believe in a practical, realistic approach to losing weight and getting fit. I don’t “do” diets. I believe life is to be lived and enjoyed and food is a gift. We just need to handle it in an appropriate manner. The old school way of moving more, eating better and in moderation led me to a 55 lb weight loss, as well as dropping about 5 pants sizes.

Now days I’m more interested in how my body performs for me when I run, or do strength training than I am about numbers on the scale.  I eat well because I know it fuels my body for activities I love. I don’t view exercise as something I “have” to do, but more as a gift  to my body.

And other random things…. I’m a free spirit. I’m not interested in being kept in a box where someone else defines the rules. I’m not interested in conforming to “the norm”. I love black coffee, Peanut M&M’s, reading, laughing, and unexpected treats. Pink and black are the perfect combination of colors. I love clothes and the more unique and fun, the better. I’m 6’0 tall but love to wear crazy high heels… because I can… and because I don’t care what someone might think about a tall chick wearing them. I love piercings and tattoos..no apologies there…see previous sentence.  I love finding adventures in every day life and I have an off the wall sense of humor.

Ah well…. enough of me… and you already got that in my opening blog line.

Older. Smarter. Stronger.

Come back again… and in the meantime…. welcome to my world.

Share. Let me hear from you 🙂