adventure

Bricks & Alpacas

Bricks remind me of strength. Bricks are the basic foundation for many buildings and / or empires. Bricks would be the last thing I thought about carrying around today yet I am so excited I had such a great opportunity with a brick.

You see, the brick is representative of a challenge from my adventure book. As odd as the instructions appear when read, the more fun that can be had ahead. How one interprets the assignment leads to the adventure itself. We started by naming our bricks. Mine was named Flash as a brick doesn’t move fast. Another was named Richard or Dick for short. Chase was named as well as Ash. Little Ash has a backstory. She could be short for Ashley or Asher making her gender neutral. Also bricks are represented in fireplaces as is ash. Brittani with an I was named in honor of Brittney Spears and the brick she is. Below is the first outing with our brick family as we set out for the day of fun adventures.

The girl gang is loaded with bricks today. A weapon? A stepping stone? An item to build with? For today it’s about the adventure and memories we create with our bricks. A strengthening of our relationships. Our travels start by car so the bricks are packed in a bucket with tissue paper for protection as well as flair. Off to eat brunch we go. Will the restaurant give us a high chair for our little brick family?

The bricks were involved in photos ops and shenanigans as the day progressed. From poses at the restaurant to a visit to an Alpaca farm. There was never a dull moment.

The bricks will find their final resting place in a pasture on our family farm while we head off to make more memories without the weight of the bricks. The giggles will be present for years to come as we pass by the bricks in their new spots on the farm.

As I close out this brick post i’ll now leave you this smiling Alpaca who posed for me on our field trip. This gem of an animal smiled bright with its stained teeth and grass-colored face. It was so funny to share this creative pose. So soft and fluffy yet such a hot mess up close.

What started out as a brick adventure ended up including an educational agri-tourism component allowing me to learn about Alpacas. It was a pretty cool experience and I won’t ruin the surprise by giving away the details of my Alpaca experience but I will share some photos for fun.

Because who doesn’t like a creature with hair as cool as this?

fitness and nutrition

The Days After

As a follow up to my experience post, I figured I would document the soreness I alluded to at the end of the post. The aches and pains are real the day after the big competition. That’s how you know you pushed your limits. When muscles hurt that you didn’t know were firing during your adrenaline-rushed day.

You may see a stiffness erupting late in the day you compete. This is just the beginning. Then you rest the night and wake up with everything tight. You need to move to loosen your body even though you feel like you should stay in bed all day. For first timers this is a whole new level of sore.

Remember we had teen athletes in our group. They would say they were in shape yet one struggled to lift their arm over her head while the other said my legs are anchors when I run. I would say their bodies would bounce back quicker than mine at age almost 50 but maybe I have built up a higher pain tolerance with age.

As you loosen you feel better but simple things like bending over, sitting on the toilet or reaching for something can really push your limits. Again it’s a new level of achy tightness. A good night’s sleep again will help tremendously. The texts from other athletes read: I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I’m only at 50% but I moved today. I’m still sore. Communication is key in the recovery process as well to see how your gym mates are doing or to share in the woes or to make sure nothing major is surfacing.

2nd full day post-comp you normally have areas that have improved tremendously but may have lingering soreness. For me it was my quads. They improved a ton but in/out of the car was an effort. A deeper squat of any sorts showed my soreness. I leveraged Aleve at some points as well as essential oils and my quads liked the repair gel in the photo below. 

As an athlete recovery is important. Movement is also important. I didn’t skip activities rather I scaled them back during my recovery to speed up my healing overall. Or that was the plan anyway.

Today I will play tennis and see how my body fares. Specifically my quads. Yesterday the motion of the bike erg was refreshing and achy all in one but I still got it done. I may have written about recovery in the past however each comp has varied workouts thus the recovery varies, meaning my soreness may be disbursed over different areas of my body.

I am still thankful for my experience despite the soreness. I’d do it again and again as well. Have a great day and think of me as I’m recovering.

adventure

Mystery Coffee Date

The adventure begins with the drive. Over the bridge, missed exits, over the bridge again and again. The chaos that ensued on the ride to the coffee house in an unknown city was one for the record books. Giggles galore, but we made it!

The Bold Bean was our destination for today’s adventure. The task was to order three coffees selected by the barista with ingredients unknown to us. A complete surprise to uncover the flavors or fail trying. We sipped and sipped. We took notes on our phone for suspected flavors. We snacked a little to cleanse our pallet. We had to sip and sort out the flavors. We failed miserably.

Coffee 1 was a lavender vanilla latte. We thought it had curry. This was a major failure on our part.

Coffee 2 was curry chocolate cappuccino. We got the chocolate right only because of the darker coloring but we really thought the flavor was nutmeg. Wrong again!

Coffee 3 was iced vanilla / honey / cinnamon. We got the cinnamon right only because of the aroma and the residue on the top of the ice. Also we thought this had oat milk but it was whole milk. We are not good at guessing.

This adventure was super fun. 1 hour of sipping, sorting out flavors, snacking on pastries and lots of photos to prove how bold we were today in trying something new to us.

My partner in crime was my pal Kim who traveled miles upon miles with many missed turns, oh shit moments, and too many bridges to count for this experience. It’s a one of kind Saturday morning episode of KT’s Bad Idea Club. She was a willing participant for the most part.

Before I wrap up this post I must also explain the ambiance of the coffee house. It’s an eclectic and calming place. From exposed ceiling beams to the abundance of brick and simplistic furnishings. The patrons are a mixed bag. We have two cyclists nearby breaking from their morning ride. A few couples out on what appears to be a morning date. A few groups of young ladies catching up on life. The strays on their laptop as a big party of one. The dad who is adventuring with his toddler boys to the coffee shop. Soft background music adds to the calm.

And I can’t forget to give a sweet nod to my barista. The fun girl who helped me with the challenge. The one who took a picture of what she made so she wouldn’t forget after she took 50 other orders. And the name for the order was Frances today. For those of you who know me would giggle as I always use an alias at a coffee shop when ordering.

dare to be different

2020 Wind Down

Yup, I’m planning my wind down to the shit show year of 2020. Just taking a look at what areas I can finish strong in and what I actually chipped away at during the blah year of the pandemic.

When I look at my goals. I can say I will hit my goals of more than 2,020 burpees, 2,020 miles, 2,020 sit-ups, 2,020 pushups and so many other other fitness-related goals. This wasn’t easy because I took time off from the gym in the middle of the pandemic and it was tough getting back on board with routines. I’m still not as fit as I was prior to March 2020 but I still got on my goals.

I worked on my emotional strength this this year for sure. Supporting many during difficult times and battling hard while I lost loved ones in 2020. This year has been one for the record books in this area.

Change. Really remaining optimistic amidst change in our world. Many changes I planned and many I had no control over. It’s been a heck of a year and I’m sure there is more change lurking around the corner before 12/31. Bend. Flex. Pivot. Adapt. The words of wisdom for 2020.

Bring on 2021. It has to be better than 2020. And guess what? I have huge plans for 2021-2022. I’m approaching the big 5-0. That means lots of milestones to meet leading up to my 50th year and then the celebration of actually being 50 for that whole year. That’s 24 months of this, that and more. Can’t wait!

Approaching 50. Feeling 23. Looking 38. Celebrating being me!

This means you get a front row seat in my shit show. Not the crap year of 2020. My becoming 50 and me living it up while 50. Buckle up. The plans are in motion.