fitness and nutrition

Air Relaxation

Recently I went to a stretch therapy appointment. Part of my therapy included an air compression method that would help increase blood flow, circulation, reduce swelling and aid in recovery. I had seen this type of device in use before but never had the opportunity to test it out.

Today was the day. The timer was set for 15 minutes. My head was propped up with a neck pillow and I just relaxed. It was peaceful. The minutes went by quickly but they also allowed me some time to myself to let my mind recover. Not the intended purpose of this device but an added benefit to me.

Now, did I feel any immediate results? It’s hard to say. I’m sure I did but I can’t articulate what for sure in relation my legs. However, the relaxation did offer me enough motivation to order myself the same device to use at home. I justified the investment because I have multiple athletes in my home that could benefit from both the relaxation and the recovery aid it promises.

It’s been a few weeks now and I use it a couple of times a week. Post-workout is the main time I use it but if I also have a sedentary day at my desk I opt to use it to increase my circulation. This might not be for everyone but I am merely tossing this out there to my blog readers in case somebody was on the fence about giving this therapy a try.

It’s obviously cheaper to go for a one-time session at a facility that offers this to see if it’s a fit for you. Then if it is, think about your use level. I’m pretty active thus it was an easy justification for this girl. Also do your research. There are many options. Choose the one that fits your wallet and has good reviews.

Just a little Soapbox Sunday post for you.

fitness and nutrition

The Streak Ends

If you’ve read this blog for a bit, you know I love streaks. I’m on streaks with some of my snapchat friends. But the big one for me was closing my move ring on my Apple Watch each day.

First, I wanted to make it to 365 days. Done. Then, I wanted to stretch it to two full years. Recently, I hit that goal. I was trucking along toward my next goal, 1000 straight days, when it finally happened. My watch broke. My luck finally ran out.

My battery on my watch had started to fade. I had to charge it midday. One day I was charging it in my car as I was driving. I had to hop out of the car and my watch hit the ground. The cracks started showing, and a few days later pieces started to chip off. Once I got it wet it was dead. On day 771, my streak ended.

It took a few days to get a new watch. I was surprisingly not all that upset about waiting, or even losing my streak. I took a few days to just think about gratitude. I was grateful that I didn’t lose my streak due to illness or injury…considering that my streak started just as COVID-19 hit the US, that streak took on new meaning. I was grateful that I didn’t lose it due to lack of effort or motivation. I was grateful that the technology gave out before my will did.

I did miss quite a few things about it…I missed looking at my heart rate during workouts. Many of our workouts at our CrossFit gym tell us a percentage of effort we should be putting out. These match up with heart rate info for me. For example, if I am supposed to be giving out 70% percent effort, I’d expect my heart rate to be around 125. I looked at my wrist many times only to find my watch tan line. I also missed seeing my calorie totals as they went up throughout the day. Funny how technology shapes our behavior. Oh yeah, and I missed knowing the time.

Really I also missed the connections to my other fitness friends that I have on my watch. I love to give friends a virtual high five through a watch comment. I just get a kick out of them…some friends get sarcastic ones, some get cheerful ones. Regardless, it makes me feel connected and happy to encourage people when they are working on their health. And I like the little cheers I get in return.

So I got my new watch just after Mother’s Day. I didn’t miss any days of workouts or movement when I didn’t have the watch, but the counter starts over regardless. So, it’s back to day 1 for me. 999 to go.

fitness and nutrition

Run Forrest Run

Oh how I wish I was Forrest Gump some days. Like the days my gym programs a running workout or when my friends do a trail run. I’m just not a motivated distance runner. I’m more of a short sprint girl. 

Hill sprints off and on, no problem. 200 meters, no problem. 400 meters may push my limit. 800 meters just seems overwhelming on most days early in the morning when it’s dark out.

A few weeks ago I strolled into the gym at the wee hours of the morning or more specifically 6 am. A friend called out what are you doing here? It’s a running day she shouted. I giggled because I knew it and still showed up. I had my running shoes on instead of my CrossFit shoes. I felt prepared. I knew I wouldn’t do the run as prescribed for many reasons but I committed to walk/jog/run the entire time. Just keep moving, that was my goal. Lo and behold I did it and felt accomplished.

I had a week off for spring break so I missed the next running segment. Of course I didn’t care because most know I am not an avid runner. Then today came. Another running day. Do I even go to the gym because I could run at my house or the park? Unfortunately, I know I won’t so I go to the gym for accountability and my routine. Sure I was tired. Sure I was not excited about running, but I somehow put my mind to it.

This time was different. We had three options today. Mostly the options had to do with pacing. Meaning I run a lot slower than a 22 year old guy thus I could elect to run for the same time he would and not worry about my distance per se. This was brilliant for me. I didn’t feel discouraged for me slower and I still got my rest time allowing me to maintain my pace.

I got to choose my path or route outside. I had a set run time and off time. I chipped away at the task. I even enjoyed it. Partly because of my music selection but nonetheless this was a big win for me. I even opted for hill sprints for my last 45 second sets. The picture above was snapped for me to hold on to. First I am confident I can do this workout again and improve my pace and distance. Second it’s a starting point for me to say I came back to running this way. 

Who knows where my running will take me now but just a few years ago I was able to run a half marathon. That may be ambitious today but everyone starts somewhere. Today I’m celebrating my little run progress and the fact I enjoyed it.

fitness and nutrition, giving

Poke Me Poke Forward

I’ve made it a point to try new things this year. New things include new foods. Today I experienced my first poke bowl.

I was a bit conservative with my choices but I enjoyed it and thought it was filling. I had double shrimp for my protein. They were small shrimp but they tasted good. I had some roughage in the bowl as well as crunchy onion bits, carrot strings and onion slices. I stayed away from the sauce and raw stuff.

I neglected to save a photo because I was too excited to give it a try. This meal was especially sweet because a loved one sent it to me via Uber eats. It came delivered nicely in a brown bag dropped on my porch. This was also my first time using Uber eats even though I didn’t actually place the order. 

What I learned in the process was how convenient Uber eats can be for somebody you care about that is a distance away. You can easily order online, follow the delivery status and communicate to the recipient for them to follow along as well. I even got a text showing it arrived. So convenient.

In my case this was sent from miles away in another state. I enjoyed the thought of a virtual meal with my buddy who was unable to be with me in person. Such a cool experience. I will be sure to pay this idea forward in the weeks ahead. 

My hope is that I send a meal forward and the recipient is as elated as me and pays it forward to another. Not to make Uber eats benefit but rather to share joy with others through a meal even if you can’t sit across from each other at a table.

Poke forward. That’s my motto for the weeks ahead. Maybe for a meal train for somebody in need. Maybe for an elderly person living alone. So many options.

adventure, fitness and nutrition, friendship

The Season Is Over

My first tennis season in the senior league (over 50) is over. Done. Finished. Kaput. Five weeks went by fast and I learned so much this time around. Maybe I was ripe for learning. Maybe it was a good stress reliever. Maybe it was just good timing.

Nonetheless my partner and I lost every match, but we worked together and achieved our goals for the season. We won a game. We won her serve. We made it to deuce many times. We won single games. We won multiple games, but never a match. We took a tennis lesson. We learned to work together. We had fun. We exercised together. We even had a cheering section for some matches.

It was my partner’s first tennis experience. She never served or knew how to score in tennis. She didn’t even have a racquet. From the start she learned. She adapted. She got better. She faced her fear of not wanting to try. She was a great partner for me this season. She can look back at herself and I say look what I did now. And what a great feeling it is for me to know I encouraged her the same way another encouraged me. 

We met some people we never would have met before had we not joined tennis. We traveled to some neighborhoods that were new to us. We played in the cold. We played in pollen-filled spring air. I’m pretty sure my eyes looked like I was crying in the last match however it was really all the pollen that was getting to me. We heard some great comments from seasoned players. Just keep playing. The more you play the better you will get. Ya’ll are doing great. 

Lo and behold we signed up again for the next season. It is not the senior league this time around so we shall see how the new adventure goes. For now I will remember this season as my first in the golden years age group. Where teams don’t physically move as much but they are well trained to place the ball where you just can’t hit it back. I guess that’s what I like about tennis. No two games are the same. No opponents are the same. The weather is never the same. 

You just show up. Do your best. Win or lose, you live on. Pretty simple way to get some fitness in for a day. I can happy that my body allows me to step onto the court each week to play again. Some don’t have that ability. I treasure the fact that I can compete at any level.