dare to be different, fitness and nutrition

Sense of Direction

It’s true, I’m getting older.

As I age, I notice that certain things are starting to deteriorate. Today’s example: my sense of direction.

When I was young, I would read Atlanta’s Creative Loafing newspaper every Thursday or Friday. I’d check out the list of festivals, events, art openings, even new music releases, and make my weekend plans. I’d pull out my mom’s Atlanta road atlas and set on my coordinate spree to map my weekend adventures. From these jaunts week after week, year after year, I got to know my way around Atlanta inside and out.

These days, I can hardly find my way around my little suburb without waze or google maps. If I’m somewhere without service, I get nervous and often guess the wrong direction. Such a change. It may not just be due to aging. Maybe more a combination of getting older and over reliance on technology. Still not a change I like, no matter the cause.

I spent the past week in a confusing condo building. Actually there were two buildings connected by bridges and corridors. There was also a parking garage. None of the connecting floors had the same number. Walk through a hallway from one building’s first floor and suddenly, without stairs or elevators, you’re on another building’s third. The garage was a totally different mess. I felt lost and disoriented much of the week.

After a couple of morning condo workouts, I went to the gym one evening to make sure I could find it from our room. The next morning I spent a half hour with dumbbells in the gym. After I was done, I decided to test myself and make my way back to the condo from the gym using stairs instead of the path I already knew.

I walked into the stairwell. When I opened the door, I was surprised to find an old man, slightly hunched over, standing at the bottom of the stairs. He was short with groomed gray hair. He wore a cotton t-shirt, athletic pants and tennis shoes. He was there to exercise. He smiled at me.

Good morning, I said.

Are you still moving every day? he said,

Yes sir, I replied. I want to be sure I can move for as long as I can, so I try to do it first thing every day.

Good for you, he replied. I do the exact same thing. Keep it up. It’s so important.

And with that, one floor up, I walked out of the stairwell. He kept walking up the stairs. Up. Up. Up. Moving. Ascending.

It was like the (living) ghost of Christmas Future. Letting me know that taking time to move, for me, is what will keep me moving long term. I can feel confident when I get up and make my physical and mental health a priority each day. What others think of it is none of my business. My approval is what is required.

Did I find my way back to the condo? Happily, yes. And taking that different path gave me unexpected landmarks and signs. I’m heading in the right direction. It was a roadmap to the future I am heading toward, nimble and purposeful.

dare to be different

Here for the Sex

I’m sure this title brought all the boys the yard just like a milkshake in a hit song. I wonder who will catch the tune when reading this?

Here For the Sex signs are popping up all over. First one was on a main street where 30,000 cars pass by each day. Am I the only one who almost crashed when I read it?

The next time I saw it in a text message. Not a text about sex, rather about the sighting of a sign in the area. Then I saw a friend across country post another sign. From full blown yard signs to banners, the catchy phrase is most likely coming to house nearby for a gender reveal!

Are people even calling them gender reveals now? May it’s find out the sex now since maybe identify as a different gender later in life. 

The sign gave me a chuckle the first time. Maybe an eye roll the second time. Now here I am posting about the damn sign.

I don’t think I’d pick the sign if I had a need but would you? Sorry to disappoint those who thought they were here for the sex!

dare to be different, fitness and nutrition

Have Fitness, Will Travel

“It’s okay to live a life others don’t understand.” -Jenna Woginrich

The older I get, the more that quote rings true. Today’s example: Time away from home. Vacation, business trip, whatever it is. Many use this as a break from their regular exercise routine. Not this girl.

With fitness, consistency is the name of my game. I rarely go a day without intentional exercise. Some might scoff at this. But, I know I am happiest when I get it done, first thing in the morning if possible. It improves my stress level and mental outlook immensely. Those things need to be on point whether I am home or not…(even vacation travel is stressful!)

How do I make this happen? First, I pack exercise shoes. For a recent road trip, I packed CrossFit shoes, running shoes, and hiking shoes. Second, plan for some equipment if possible. On this stretch, I knew I had several nights in hotels with fitness centers. I packed a 25# dumbbell for other days. That’s about all I needed. The rest could be improvised.

Fast forward to my first night on the road. Reliable Hampton Inn. Saturday morning. Up early for coffee and a quick sweat before my daughter’s lacrosse games.

Walk to the hotel fitness center only to find it is closed for COVID. But the sign on the door says we can get in to the LA Fitness next door. Score, since I have my swimsuit and need to train for a triathlon anyway. Until….LA Fitness doesn’t open until 8:00 am on Saturday and we need to leave for the field by 7:30. What to do…go back to bed? Pout? Nope. Open up the Compass trunk and grab a dumbbell, start a timer, and away I go.

Pulled up a “travel” workout from Street Parking that I hadn’t done before. Pushups on pavement or overgrown grass were a no go. So, elevated pushups against a light post would do. Goblet squats with the dumbbell and some taps against the curb. Got sweaty. Got my heart rate up. Did something. Forty-five minutes later, I am good. The next morning, another parking lot workout with hang power snatches and some air squats. Is it perfect? Nope. But I moved and made myself a priority. Mission accomplished.

The rest of the week was a hodge podge. 5 bike miles to a local coffee shop, then back. Kayaking, running, and a couple of actual hotel workouts with pretty nice equipment to boot. Moved every day and felt much better than I would have otherwise.

Would this work for everyone? Surely not. But making my health a daily priority through movement is one of the ways I honor and love myself. Although some in the hotel lobby or parking lot might raise an eyebrow when they see me, perhaps there are others who feel inspired or encouraged to do what others may not. No matter what, I’m doing what feels best in my own skin.

dare to be different

Blu

Blu was her name.

She was born in 1965.

She has lived many life stories.

She has had many adventures.

She has a solid core.

She has traveled many miles.

She is ready for new stories.

She ready for new adventures.

She will travel many more miles with me.

Blu is new to me.

Blu is a 1965 Chevy Stepside C10! She is a little weathered but she has aged with grace. She is the oldest car I have ever owned. She is a beautiful shade of powder blue. She is ready to hit the road or the show.

Her last job had her as a photo prop for many families looking for a cute photo setting. I guess the photographer has moved on to a new backdrop. Her loss is my gain. Now Blu is on to bigger and brighter adventures with me.

My first ride with Blu: I had the windows down. Air flowing through the cab as the engine purred. The oversized steering wheel was a blast to use. It somehow just made the ride complete. No need for the radio as I was listening to all the new sounds of the vehicle. 

I rode by the waterfront. Then traveled the back roads. I hit the speed bumps. I idled at the traffic lights. With each traffic stop,  I had some conversations with those admiring her beauty and badassery. It made me giggle a bit but inside I was beaming with pride.

Oh the memories I will make with this vintage vehicle. Definitely checked an item off the bucket list with this purchase.

Beep and wave if you see Blu on the road.

dare to be different

What Goes Around

Do unto others as you would have done to you.

Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

What goes around comes around.

You get what you give.

There are many ways to phrase this fundamental principle of the world. From the Bible to modern day, it’s pretty much the same. Basically, you will generally get back what you put into your life (or other lives). This goes for all kinds of resources: attention, investment, energy, whatever.

Imagine this: you check your bank account only to find that your employer has paid you double what they owe you. What do you do? Just consider it a lucky gift in your favor and splurge on something fun? Keep it (and keep it quiet) but just save it for a rainy day? Call your boss and let them know what happened? No one will see, will they?

Imagine if you lost your wallet in a store. You get to the checkout only to realize you laid it down somewhere. What do you hope happens? It’s gone forever, or some kind person turned it in to customer service and you get it back and move on with your day? If someone sees a lost dog, should they just keep it or make a sincere effort to find the owners?

Does the reward you seek come back immediately? Not always. Not even usually. Cue the cries of unfairness. Poor, poor pitiful me. Yes, it does seem like nice people finish last sometimes. We can all point to examples of people who are dishonest, distasteful, or just plain disgusting getting the rewards that pass good folks by. We also see good people suffering for what seems like no reason. It can be a huge challenge to let those things go. But in the end, I also believe in…

Karma.

The universe will take care of things. And…

doing good is its own reward.

I try to let these be my guide when I feel that poor, poor pitiful me creeping in. When petty troubles pull me down and life seems to be the thief of joy. I tell myself to trust that things will work out. If I continue to put positivity and uplifting effort into the world, it will return to me. It may take time. It may be repaid in ways that surprise me, but it will return.

“Choose daily” has been a theme since the early days of this blog. What would I choose if you ran across the lost wallet or dog? What energy is my choice putting out into the world today?

I’m sure it sounds cheesy or trite or even naive. In the end, I just try to choose positivity, joy, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and trusting that they are doing their best with what they know at the time. This walks me back from anger and frustration. I focus on what I can control.

Regardless of what I may be faced with, I always have the choice to be kind, generous, and understanding. I’m not perfect at this, but I am getting better. There are still many days when it is easier said than done. My energies and daily choices create the world and return to me over and over.