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.

fitness and nutrition

Fresh Eyes

Sometimes a pair of fresh eyes can make you see yourself differently.

We had a new coach at my CrossFit gym.

First of all, I got to class late. I’m ashamed to admit this has become my norm over the past few months. I haven’t stopped to unpack why yet, but it was still embarrassing to make a first impression that way.

Next, he had already explained the workout by the time I got there. Every coach does things a little differently, but I wasn’t expecting to miss the whole description with my lateness. Yikes! And as a teacher myself, I knew better than to ask him to repeat it.

I kinda got the hang of what was happening, and launched into my usual scales. One of the movements was pullups. For some reason, the modifications I have become some comfortable with suddenly felt “less than.” I’ve been doing CrossFit for several years now and I am no closer to a pullup than I was two years ago. In fact, I’ve stopped trying to progress in that area. I just don’t really care…but in that moment, I felt a little bit lazy for giving up on it. Should I be content to just be a beginner in certain things for the foreseeable future? Does it matter? Why should I give up on it? Should I really be doing CrossFit if I don’t care about making progress and don’t even bother to get to class on time?

All these thoughts from a pair of fresh eyes on me. My usual coaches have gotten used to my actions, and maybe they just don’t try to argue with me anymore. They joke about my tardiness. They don’t tell me to pick up more weight or try something that will help me move forward. I’ve kind of stalled out.

Not sure why it left me rattled and thinking hard. No conclusions yet, but something I need to think about moving forward. What direction am I heading?

fitness and nutrition

Back on the Wagon

After “keeping it off” (mostly) for a few years, my weight has drifted up, up, up. I had an “alarm bell” weight of 180, where I was supposed to get my act back together and tighten up again. I hit 184 about a year ago and shifted my nutrition to a template with more vegetables, little added or artificial sugar, limited dairy, and lots of protein at each meal. I lost weight and felt better, even getting back into the 160s briefly, but mostly hanging out in the 170s.

Late in the year I hit 180 again. Then my weight continued to go up. Sugar made its way back into my eating toward the holidays. Then cheese started to creep in pretty often, too. Sigh. I just didn’t feel like resisting everything anymore.

My clothes didn’t feel right. I couldn’t see my muscle definition buried under more pounds. But couldn’t get going in a better direction.

Then, a post from a co-worker. Folks at work are feeling similarly and need motivation to get on track before summer brings swimsuits and skimpier clothes. 20 dollars and one weigh in at the beginning, one at the end. Highest percentage of body weight lost gets the pot.

Wanting to game the system somewhat, I gave myself a “free for all” weekend before the first weigh in. I went for Mexican and dove into the chips. Ate big desserts. Fried chicken. The works. Unsurprisingly, I weighed in at my highest number in several years.

So now I’m back on the nutrition bandwagon. Here’s the plan… I’ll keep the vegetables and protein. I’ll reduce the fats and non-vegetable carbs that had been taking up more and more of my plate of late. I’m going to add back in high-protein flavored yogurt and some chocolate chips in moderation. I’m hoping that intentionally incorporating some of the things I crave will keep me on track and not going overboard.

Still working on water. Still skipping alcohol. Keeping up with workouts. Posting here for accountability. I have until May 2 to see how this little experiment works out. Updates will follow.

In the mean time, readers, how do you deal with nutritional backslides? Setbacks? Redirects?

fitness and nutrition

Year 6: The Open

I was adamant I wasn’t officially participating in the CrossFit Open this year. The main reason for this decision is: I wasn’t feeling like I was in the same shape I was a few years back. Making me think I wouldn’t be happy with my results. I thought about it a good bit. I answered NO, when asked if I was participating many times.

Then I decided to log into my Open app. It showed my participation history and I had already invested five years in tracking my performance. Why not make it six years? Why not see how many years I can physically participate vs focusing on what number I am on the leaderboard?

This year I am 50. I hit a new age band. I had competed in RX the past few years but I have shifted to scaled workouts in most of my recent events. I also focus on going the distance or continuing to move through a grueling wod vs pausing. Slow and steady is my pace these days. It has taken me some time to adjust, but I have come to terms with being a scaled athlete. However, I strive to be the best version of scaled I can be. Thus I will see how I fare as a masters athlete in year six of my CrossFit Open history.

Another fitness benchmark. A couple of weeks of focus and self-motivation. A snapshot of my abilities at that point in time. A worldwide leaderboard allowing me to compare my peers worldwide. Why pass up the opportunity to get better?

Once my decision was solidified I decided to write this post. At the same time I glanced back at what I wrote last year about my Open participation. To my surprise I was on the fence about signing up but I did it. Just as I am doing again this year. Funny how my blog posts serve me purpose time and time again when I want to reflect on a subject. 

My vault is online. Cataloged for many to read. It is by no means all-inclusive memoirs however, the content is genuine. I write with feelings and undoubtedly express emotions to others in a very public way. I’m sure some will read this and the feelings are relatable. Others may lose interest and click away. It’s okay either way. 

As I want to end my evening with a dessert, I instead wrote this blog. In good conscience I will attempt to eat better for the coming days to prepare a tiny bit. Wish me luck. That translates to no dessert. Even if it was my favorite Kind bar frozen treat.