Sunday, April 30, 2017

trotting in the rain...

It's Tulip Trot Day! 

It's pouring rain. And yes I do intend to walk it regardless!  I had been hoping for sunshine and nice temperatures. Mother Nature, that fickle old woman, decided chilly and wet was far more preferable. Ugghhh, it's the first time that I will go to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  I'd had such high hopes to enjoy the beauty.  I will still enjoy the beauty, just in a different way. 

I don't mind rain.  I seriously do not. The girls are joining Hubs and I, although I feel Hubs is considering opting out.  He is not a fan of rain. Who knows the girls might opt out also.  I hope not.  I am not willing to give up so easy.  It's just another step on this journey. 

I got on the scale this morning, yes I know I told The Beast I would wait two weeks, I didn't.  I wish I had. On a basic level I know that weight training is going to cause swollen muscles initially. I know that muscles have more "weight" than fat. Logic weighs heavily in all of that.  But I can tell you, that the emotional side, the heart that has pushed through this journey was NOT happy this morning. 

I need to really refocus on my cardio and watching my diet.  Hubs and I have been resorting to our old ways far too often.  Not out of laziness, but out of sheer exhaustion. I toyed with getting something quick to eat for breakfast this morning.  But with the scale burning in my memory and The Beast's words about cardio and diet ringing in my ears I stopped for a moment and reassessed.  

A healthy, low-fat, low-sugar, high protein bowl of Greek yogurt, whole grains and a few strawberries later, I feel ready to take on the world.  Or at least 5K of soggy.

I know I am making progress, yesterday for the first time in almost a decade I shopped in the non-"women's" section. Not everything was bought there.  But enough to make me proud of my hard work.  

This journey is hard.  We are so ingrained to want instant success.  To take those baby steps, to struggle.  It feels unnatural.  And truly it is the most natural thing in the world.  Now if you see my gorgeous daughter who had a baby just over 9 weeks ago and she looks like a super model, it's easy to understand my frustration. Then I remember that she has the time for those walks and all those projects she's always working on are the truest definition of functional fitness.  And I feel a bit better about where I am on my personal journey. 


So... As we were heading to the Tulip Trot we got a notification that it was being cancelled due to rain. We decided to go pick up our shirts and transfer our registration to the Garden Gallop they are having in June. My girl and I were so excited to find out we could not only transfer, but also still walk the 5K, they just weren't allowing runners due to the standing water on the paths.  Safety first you know (which actually was not a bad idea as several places were a bit slick due to the water on the stones and or wood). So we smiled sweetly and got the Hubs and Grand Daughter to walk with us. That's our version anyhow...  it had nothing to do with the fact that we had the truck keys and were not negotiating.




If felt pretty amazing to hit 10,000 steps before 8:30 am.  And even in the rain, those gardens are breath taking!  Absolutely beautiful!  How have I never been there before?  I was feeling like a total slacker about it until Hubs made the comment that he's from here and in his WHOLE 65 years, he's never been either.  He has me beat hands down. Completely.



So, not only are we the proud owners of sore thighs, achy old knees, pruned feet and probably a few blisters, we didn't let a little (okay, so we are under an areal flood warning) rain deter us.


Now a tub with some Epsom salts and catching up on my magazines await my attention.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

early morning mumbles...

Sleep is starting to evade me.

I've been up for almost two hours now.

I've already taken the boys for their morning walk.  At least I think that is what we are still calling it.  They are both starting to show their advanced age and what used to be a 15 minute adventure of being dragged, is now a very leisurely stroll of about 30 or more minutes that involves a great deal more time standing still while they slowly meander along.  The big guys allergies are wearing on him, that and the fact that he is 10.5 years old.  Pretty advanced age for a Shepherd/Rottweiler mix.  The little guy, he's still trucking along at 16, (although that is pretty advanced for his breed mix of basset/pit) and there are days that I am pretty sure he is actually moving in reverse, at least until the last sprint when the leash comes off.  Then he's greased lightening. Although, I've noticed that our race has more breaks in it than it used to.


I worry that their time with me is drawing down.  And I find myself listening for their snores at night, more than sleeping.  For years Hubs has said that he hopes when they cross the Rainbow Bridge that they are sleeping safely in mommy's arms.  While I can understand that thought, as said "mommy"... I don't want to wake up to one of my boys gone in my arms. My heart would shatter!

So once my sleep get's disturbed and I start counting snores, well that's the end of it.  Because then my to do list breaks into my mind and simply there is no sleep from that moment on.



We are crazy close to opening our new branch.  It is an intense and overly busy time.  There are tough decisions to be made and so many things that are having to be sort of started from scratch.  New staff to either be hired or current staff to be retrained.  A 91 year old building full of "stuff" that needs to be sorted and planned for. A new one that needs to be monitored and filled.  I've measured offices and work spaces. Looked at more paint colors than my brain can process at this point.  I woke up this morning with visions of YMCA medium green versus YMCA light green and hearing the voices in my head arguing their different points.  For the record, I am not a fan of the light green.  Actually of any of the light colors.  I gravitate to the medium's, but dark's are where my heart is. Because at 3:30 am that is the conversation rattling in my head.





At random times I find myself making mental notes to order toilet paper dispensers and debating with myself over where I want to install paper towel dispensers. Evaluating the needs of the new facility with what remains in the current one, how many trash cans do I really need to purchase?

Don't even get me started on all that I have learned about fitness equipment, loading docks and installation processes! Although, I am incredibly excited to see and experience all of the new "toys" that will fill our space.

It is such a different kind of experience.  Such a big change.  It's exciting and it's terrifying all in the same breath.

I am thankful to Hubs for starting me on my own personal fitness journey almost 10 months ago.  It helps me understand so much more of what I am dealing with.  Most of the people that come to us are "Health Seekers", they are searching for the path.  Maybe they are still in denial, maybe they are still trying to rationalize it all in their own heads.  I feel so much better prepared to help them, to take their hands and say walk with me, I'm on the same journey.

A year ago, a comment was made that offended me to my core.  I still hear it in my head.  It wasn't meant maliciously, it was said carelessly and could have been worded better.  The young woman that said it is no longer part of our organization, and it's probably for the best, in a nut shell she was a super fit, young, single person and she could not understand the sheer laziness and lack of will power of anyone that could allow themselves to get "fat". She didn't have the depth and context of working long hours, finding little time for yourself, getting caught up in the day to day life far too many live, raising children, taking care of other family members and all of the things that lead to that slippery slope.

I hated that she'd callously said that.  I am sure there is a better way to encourage.  I have always been that person that has to make the journey to be able to fully understand the path.


I was that "fat" person.  I am still that "chubby" person.  I have a way to go on my journey.  I have found my path to my destination meanders a LOT! And that sometimes I lose track of where I am going.  Thankfully, I haven't reversed directions, but moving forward with everything else going on has been a challenge.


Working with "The Beast" 4/26/17 
I am so enjoying working with the Beast.  She might be the ying to my yang. She pushes me just hard enough that I don't really love her for a few minutes, but not hard enough that I hate her for days. She makes me work for it, and I love her wicked laugh as I am not so silently cursing her.

Me and my "B's"! Yep the Beast is in there!
It's not a pretty sight combining my personal and professional hopes, dreams and goals. The marriage has been messy.  It's so rewarding for all of the bits and pieces to finally feel like I have the right puzzle.  It's not the toddler version that I had all the wrong parts to, but I wasn't really expecting the 5000 piece one without a picture.

I was searching through old photo's today.  Looking for just the right one of Hubs, I need it for a special occasion. As I searched it was like pulling a scab off a festering wound.  The pictures I saw of me, that I allowed to be posted... wow... It's been an eye opening morning to say the least.

September 2013










April 25, 2017
So the lack of sleep is probably just my mind working over time.  Thinking through all of the bits and pieces and figuring out how to sort it out.  My old boys are just that, old... and eventually the Rainbow Bridge will call them to run like puppies again, but for now they are snoozing in the sitting room, safe and dry away from the rain.  I will manage to open and close the buildings.  Our golf tournament will happen.

And I will continue on my journey to me. Thankful all the way for the people that I hold most dear!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

do unto others

My adopted "hometown" often surprises me.

There are times that it feels like a "big" small town.  Where everyone is kind and helpful, if a bit nosy.

Then there are the times that sadden and shock me.  Because when someone says they are from St. Louis, well that actual number is really quite small.  "St. Louis" encompasses so many small municipalities and townships that I am often dumbfounded by the sheer number of city limit signs you pass driving up highway 70 to the airport.

The local news screams about districts, areas and counties.  In the all too recent past this jumbled up group of individual towns that all get lumped together have even made the national and international news services.

As an outsider, I can tell you, it's a hard city to understand.  I have had to learn lessons that I never learned in my life.  I am not sure how well I have learned them now.

I digress..

I want to share a story with you.

There is a hockey round two game.  Meaning... first off "Let's GO BLUES", next... traversing the city to leave is going to be a nightmare! (I mean we have two sports that we are passionate about... Hockey and Baseball - both have the same outcome on traffic.)

Secondly, it's raining.  I've lived all over this crazy planet and I have never witnessed rain being a magic potion that eliminates the driving skill of thousands of people all at once.

The path I usually take is fairly quick it's a simple two 4 lane divided city street, a couple of lights and a choice to take 44 or 55.  Because in this city everyone knows you avoid highway 40 at all costs, especially during rush hour.

It was moving slow, as in a 10 minute drive out of town became a 35 minute drive to an even worse commute on the highway.  A disabled vehicle in the right lane was making it worse.

I wasn't close enough to help, but an elderly man, quite frail and fragile looking was trying to fix a flat, he'd evidently hit one of our infamous pot holes.  As I was debating on how I could possibly get over to help him, and how much help I was going to be.  I mean, I haven't changed a tire in about 30 years, at least I don't recall doing so, since my dad MADE me learn before I could have a license.

It was then that I noticed a big guy parked a bit ahead of him with his hazards flashing, rushing up to help. He was young, strong and looked like he could have bench pressed that car to get it out of the traffic lane. Watching him rush up to help, filled me with not only pride, but hope.

My heart soared even higher when I watched the young woman in the car with him, rush out, grasping her umbrella to hand them for shelter, she didn't stay under it, she walked further down the road to direct traffic away from them.  The night in shining armor and the wise old man who'd already slain his dragons.

Yep, I believe in fairy tales.  And I believe that even in a town such as this, that the pure and honest good in people can overcome so many things! This town is very racially divided, still.  This tears at my heart. It isn't something I always understand.

I tend to see people in two buckets and two buckets only.  Either you are a good person (flawed or not) or you are a bad person (someone that just doesn't care who you hurt with your actions or words).

I deliberately left the race of these wonderful people out of my story.  But in a town such as this can sometimes be, it was what made it the most poignant part of the story.  That young couple didn't think twice, that old man graciously accepted their help.  In a neighborhood that is questionable.  Where lives are often viewed as disposable, I watched love, compassion and concern.

Maybe, just maybe, there will come a day when we no longer see colors of skin.  When we see the goodness of the heart and soul. Maybe that shining moment will happen when hatred, fear, and all the other ugly things will face that kind of love and light.

Can you imagine it?  In a pouring cold rain, I watched the proof before my very eyes.

I hope that incredibly unselfish young man and his beautiful compassionate woman will continue to be just that.  Rescuing those that need their help, regardless of their personal discomfort, because it is the right thing to do.  And I hope that old man proved that wisdom comes with age and was gracious and thankful...

Yep... this city is full of surprises... and I am thankful for the one I witnessed.

It restored my faith...

ps... I'm not Paul Harvey, I'm not going to tell you "the rest of the story", because those silly details that the media focuses on... they don't change the story...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

another day, another chance...

Good morning sunshine!

What a difference 24 hours makes. Yesterday's cold, gray, wet and dreary morning has been replaced.  It's still cold, 38 degrees is not a brilliant spring morning in my opinion.  But it's gorgeous!!  The sun is brightly shining through all of the new fresh growth on the trees.  It will edge up on the thermometer in a few hours, 70 is right around the corner

Hubs started the day out questionable for the boys and I.  When you haven't even had coffee, walked the boys or really even gotten out of bed and the bedroom door gets shut with both boys in the room... that is an ominous sign that baths are going to happen. Which means... mama is giving them their baths.  I sure wasn't ready for that today.  Neither were they.

We all survived, now we are waiting for them to dry off enough to go for a good morning walk, not a quick relief walk. Neeko is getting tired of waiting.  And truthfully they both needed it.  The pollen was kicking Neeko's butt and Gator has gotten rained on a few too many times lately.  It really was time.

In fact it's been pet care weekend.  The turtle's aquarium needed addressed yesterday.  We've gotten that down to a fairly reasonable time commitment and neither of us has to carry water anymore.  Although my fingers feel awfully wrinkly after that chore.


Never did get any landscaping done yesterday.  Noticed on Friday I had cracked the glass over what appeared to just be my flashlight on my phone.  It wasn't.  It was the wide angle lens on the camera. Cheapskate me didn't feel it was anything to worry about, I mean, I don't need to take wide angle pictures. Hubs did not agree. So off to AT&T we went.  Guess what, they don't repair broken lenses, but I do feel I was possibly manipulated, as Hubs has been really anxious to get DirectTV and get rid of Uverse.  Not really sure why that matters, still.

As I was using the wasted visit to question some sneaky stuff they did to my phone bill, Hubs saw his moment.  He even put out the cigar to come in and drive that conversation.  So any hour or so later, after a delightful conversation with a young man that reminded me so much of my son, we are switching services. Again, I am still not sure why.  As I really don't watch it, I guess I really don't care overly much.  Particularly since it is saving me almost $70 per month.  And... as he wants it, he has to deal with switching it, not me.

After hours searching for new workout shoes I was pretty excited to get two pair that I adore! Well... I did adore.  Until I went to put the ones I liked the most on this morning and realized that in the stores dim lighting I couldn't tell that they are not the same shoes.  I have two opposing colors, and as I didn't see another pair in my size I am guessing that someone else has the same issue.  They open at 9:30 this morning.  Guess I will find out then.  Have to admit I am a bit sad over this turn of events. I absolutely love this particular style of Asics and I bought the only two pair I found in my size.  Guess I am not the only one that loves them, wish me luck that there is another mismatched set of shoes hidden on the shelf... who knows they might actually sell an additional pair!

Maybe, just maybe after getting that all taken care of I will tackle a bit of the landscaping before we take off on the Harley for a bit.  It's going in the shop today.  Hubs is like a little kid before Christmas.  Again, I am simply not understanding!  I get the need for the 5,000 mile tune up. I am even excited about the install of the luggage rack (daughter bought him luggage for Christmas). I absolutely cannot wrap my head around the need to replace perfectly good, barely used (I mean it's only got 5,000 miles on it) mufflers.  He keeps going on and on about it not sounding like a Harley.  It's a Harley!!  Is he trying to tell me it sounds like a Honda? Of course it sounds like a Harley.... ya know what, if it makes him happy and keeps him smiling, then... new muffler it is.  Just kind of wished he'd voiced this concern when we bought it brand new a year ago today.

I am feeling accomplished this morning.  Yesterday I scheduled (on my calendar even) 3 training sessions for the coming week. Yes, I may very well regret it by Saturday or Sunday.  But I am recommitting! I really do have a goal in sight.  Nope, not sharing that one yet!

I am even getting ready to roast a turkey and make some fresh pasta for dinner and meal prepping for the week.  I might scare myself if I manage to get organized.  It could be frightening!

Well... it's time to finish off this coffee, take my boys out for their morning constitutional, and get busy tackling this day!  There is much to be accomplished and enjoyed before this day ends!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

the journey continues...

It's been a minute...

This crazy life I am thriving in is moving at warp speed.  And there are days I barely catch a breath.

Today, I've opted to slow down for a minute.  That truly is about all the time I have right now.  I'm enjoying the heat of my coffee on this particularly cool and wet morning.  It's even too cold to enjoy breakfast out on the deck under our HUGE umbrella, like we were able to do Monday.  Today's breakfast is being munched on at the kitchen island, enjoying the view and tastes of spring through the windows.

The rain appears to have stopped for a bit, so I might go and get my walk in, not sure if I am brave enough to risk it. I might use the opportunity of the wet earth to celebrate Earth Day in my own way and work on finally finishing the landscaping around my house.

Hubs and I are on a mission to eradicate all of the English Ivy that has been allowed to grow unchecked for over 20 years.  It has been quite a chore. After I finish fighting with it, I will attack the area surrounding the back patio. Evidently at some point it had black berries planted and sadly over years of neglect all it ends up being is a very large patch of brush with a few wild looking berries to feed the birds.

Who knows... today will depend on Mother Nature.

First off is a trip to the store.  I am on two missions.  The first, I need new workout shoes.  Even rotating my 4 pairs I have pretty much destroyed them all.  They have a bit of life left in them.  But simply a bit. And we have two 5K walks/runs coming up.  The Tulip Trot is next week.  I am really excited about it!

Yes I live in St. Louis. We have one of the best Botanical Garden's in the country.  I drive past it every day. I have NEVER been there.  Next Sunday, starting at 6:30 am, my shoes will be laced, Hubs, Daughter and the grand daughters will participate in the Tulip Trot.  Afterwards we have a full day pass to the gardens. Definitely getting our steps that day!

Second, I want some Adidas sweats... I am praying that I have finally worked hard enough to be able to get a pair.  I know that seems like a silly goal.  But... it's my goal! They have always been my favorites.  It's been far too long since I could wear them.  I want them.

I haven't given up on my health journey - been a bit distracted with other things momentarily - but recently I decided it was time to focus again.  I was finding myself getting a bit too complacent.  When I would get busy at work (because lately that is simply reality) the first thing that got erased from my schedule was my workout.  My focus shifted in that area and I needed to bring it back.

Well, it's back!  I hired an amazing woman to be the Health and Wellness Director at our new location.  She has an amazing background in fitness, has followed the same journey that far too many health seekers follow personally and her personality is DYNAMIC!  Her "nickname" (not from me, although I agree) is The Beast!

So... long story short, she was wanting to develop a staff fitness challenge and needed guinea pigs, at least that was her story.  I am thinking it was far more insidious than that, but I don't have any proof yet. Naively I agreed to be one of the guinea pigs as did one of the B's and the Hubs.

Today, I am feeling it.
How we feel... Beast!

But... I am also feeling powerful, in control and energized.  As soon as I can move without pain, I will tackle the last workout she sent me via text message. I want to excel, I want to rock it! More so, I want to see more of the changes that I am seeing.

I am only semi-joking when I say she is torturing me.  Note I said semi.  But I am finding that I want to watch my diet closely, why backslide with what I am eating.  I am finding I want to know what the next challenge will be, because I want to conquer it.  Nope, I don't want to become the person that weight trains non-stop and focuses on fitness 24/7.  I want to become the person that incorporates it seamlessly into my life, that isn't willing to cut it out of my schedule to accommodate other things.  Because I like me feeling like this.

Today, I am grateful for the push that The Beast provided.  Suffering a bit, yes, but grateful.

It's giving me the energy that I will need to tackle the next few months.  I'm closing a Y, I'm opening a new one.  My plate is full.  And I am blessed!

I am surrounded by positive, energetic, vibrant people.  At work, at home, in outside activities.  I am blessed!

I've missed writing, dumping my thoughts and clearing my head.  At least for a bit it will remain sporadic.  So much to accomplish. Professionally, personally, just all around in general.

My life is evolving.  I have had to leave people behind, they didn't fit where I was going.  I have had to leave habits and thought processes in the dust also.  They were holding me back.

This evolution is a blessing.  Those I love are still there beside me, some including Hubs are on either this full or partial parts of the journey with me.

I'm very excited about these next chapters... are you finding yourself excited by yours?