Living up to my Claim

I warned you all that I am the worst blogger in the universe. Sadly, it took me coming down with a severe cold to find time to sit here and write a post. The only problem I have is, where do I begin? There is so much to write about, a lot has gone on in my life in the last 7 months, and I have learned a lot of useful information that I would love to share with you all. I have decided to start with an explanation of my absence this time.

Last year was a tough year for us on several levels. My husband lost his father in May, his job in August, and his mother in September. Much of our time for the second half of 2017 was spent traveling and reassessing our near future. It’s no wonder I didn’t have time to sit down to blog about anything.  I haven’t been on social media channels either, so it’s not just the blogosphere I’ve disappeared from.

However, the last year also brought some positive things our way.  We finally sold our house in California, and I started teaching SoulBody classes at our local YMCA. That house had been a thorn in our sides for 9 years, and I’ve been trying to convince the local chapter of the YMCA to consider the classes I had to offer for over 6 months.  Patience and persistence certainly paid off in these efforts.

In reflection of the events of 2017, I have been overwhelmed with emotion.  Sadness and grief for my husband and the loss of his parents, and his job; joy and gratefulness for the sale of that house, and my welcome to the Y; and overall humility in knowing that so many others are going through much harder times than I am, and still coming out stronger and with a more positive attitude than me!  I want to be that latter population.

Today, I am sick in the literal sense.  I have a cold.  I am to the point of a productive cough, but it feels like I have razor blades in my lungs.  I am 5 weeks into training for a marathon and this illness is throwing a wrench into my training plan.  It is also keeping me from performing at my real job and leading group fitness classes at the Y.  However, I am not going to let that get me down.  I will take the time needed to recover from this illness in such a way as to expose as few other people as possible (so they don’t have to suffer through this), and to ensure a complete recovery for myself so that I may get back to work, teaching and training as quickly as possible.  While I am indisposed, I will make good use of my time as best I can by updating my blog and working from home.

Life is what you make of it.  You can choose to focus on the positive, the negative, or realize that we all have equal ups and downs and it all evens out in the end.  Your situation is what you make of it.  I hope you choose what makes you feel best.

Hold me accountable!  Next post will happen within the next 30 days!  I’ve got a lot going on in the coming months.


5 weeks to my first half marathon

Only 5 weeks left until my first Half Marathon (finally)! Today I ran 12+ miles, of which my running buddy CJ was able to finish the last 5 miles with me. He is almost 9, so I only allow him to run with me for up to 10Km. More than that is just too much. And when the weather gets warmer, unfortunate for him, his distance gets much shorter. Today he joined me at mile 7 and we ran for 5 and walked the last half mile.

Not only am I preparing for my first half marathon, but two weeks from today is when I go to get my POUND certification! I’m really excited about this because I really enjoy Pound, and I am looking forward to sharing the fitness phenom with others.

I’ve been asked to teach Pound at my local fitness facility during the month of April. It’s so soon! There’s no way I’m going to be ready to teach a class by April! But I have been working on songs and routines and think I might just be able to come up with something in a month. Playlist is set, now I just need to get the routine set…in my brain…so set that my nerves won’t F*%k it all up when class time rolls around! So I agreed to do it.

Why do I do this to myself? I’ve got a half marathon I’m training for, I’ve got tons of fundraising to accomplish for the Run for the Animals between now and my half marathon, and now I have to learn a Pound routine and have it ready to go by April! And there’s a trip to visit some friends in PA smack-dab in the middle of all of this. Oh, yeah, and I have a full-time job. I do this to myself because it helps to motivate me to get stuff done! Yes, sometimes I get stressed out, but nothing so serious that a beer or three can’t take care of.

Oh, yeah, and I’m still taking classes for my AFAA certification too. But I have until November to get that finished…

We are given this one life. I am trying to make the most of it. For myself and for others. That’s what makes me go. If I don’t get all of it accomplished on my schedule, I hope that I am given enough time to accomplish whatever it is that I am here to do!

For the Love of Run

As a kid in a tiny town in Northern Illinois, I did a lot of running and bicycling because all of my friends from school were several miles away.  Where I lived was considered the “boonies” so, to visit my friends, I’d hop on my bike and ride into town (about 5-7 miles, but it felt like 20+) and back, or I’d run and make my Mom pick me up from Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  I was also active in school sports, namely basketball.  I don’t know how many of you are familiar with basketball, but there’s a lot of sprinting that goes into the game, along with the dribbling and shooting of hoops!

Unfortunately, I was one of those kids that was easily influenced by others and by the time I was 18, I’d taken up the awful habit of smoking.  It started out as it usually does; one here, another there as I was hanging out with my friends.  Then eventually it developed into a habit.  A nasty habit that I was not proud of and tried to break myself of at least a dozen times.  Along with the smoking came the lack of willingness to do other physical activities, like running.  By the time I was a Junior in college, I was smoking a pack-a-day and not really doing anything in terms of physical activity other than walking to and from classes, daily routine stuff, and working my full-time job.

Fast-forward to 2008.  My long-time boyfriend (still happily un-married; another blog post at a future time) and I moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia from Southern California.  We went from the Mojave Desert to the beautiful green, surrounded-by-water Eastern Shore.  It was like I belonged here!  It reminded me of my childhood home in Northern Illinois; a small farming community where the majority of the people are very friendly and sociable, only this place is warmer and surrounded by salt-water as opposed to fresh-water.  This new environment made me want to get out and explore!  But I was so out of shape; I wasn’t overweight, I was just not very physically fit and was unmotivated.  Cue the motivation.

In order to get my diet and nutrition on track, I signed up for Weight Watchers.  I had a few pounds I could stand to lose, but I really wanted to learn how to 1) eat right and 2) control my portions.  No matter what your opinions may be about Weight Watchers, it was great for me.  It was step one to gaining control of my health.  Not only did Weight Watchers teach me how to control what I eat, but the meetings and the other members were very supportive and helped provide me with the much-needed motivation I was looking for.

During the time I spent at Weight Watchers, I also started getting active again by walking.  We live 1 mile from the water, so I’d leash up the dogs and we’d head down to the end of our neck and enjoy the beautiful view.  The dogs could run off-leash and explore the shore so they were having a great time!  I eventually started incorporating short bouts of running into my walks; I’d walk for 5 minutes then run for 30 seconds to a minute, and walk some more.  I would often get short of breath because of the smoking.  Stupid cigarettes.  I wish I’d never started because quitting smoking is not easy!…

After numerous unsuccessful attempts at quitting smoking, I was finally successful in 2011!  With the help of running and an electronic cigarette by blu, I was able to curb the addiction and then the habit.  The more I ran, the more I wanted to run; the less I smoked, the more I was able to run.  So, running kind of saved my life in a sense.  And I’ve been keeping up with it ever since.  I literally love to run.