challenges

Pretend It’s Normal

It’s not quite the end of 2020 and there are about ten thousand phrases I’d like to forget with the new year.

Here are just a few, besides the obvious social distancing:

Abundance of caution – “Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve postponed another event you’ve already planned for / paid for / trained for / committed to indefinitely.”

A little different – “Thanksgiving / the holidays / Disney World / The Peachtree Road Race will look a little different this year, but…”

A year like no other…the list goes on. I want it to stop.

But the one that is like a dagger to my lungs is just the word “normal” in almost any context. Yes, “new normal” is annoying because it implies that this is going to drag on and on forever. But just the word normal is even worse. Especially in my work environment.

“We want it to be like a normal school experience.”

Say what you will about science and politics. What we are going through is not normal. I’m hopeful it’s a once-in-my-lifetime occurrence. Walking around in masks, keeping 6 feet apart, sanitizing a million times a day, kids unable to move as they please or need to, feeling suspicious every time someone sneezes…none of this is normal. Dear bosses…Evaluating how or what I am doing based on “normal” standards is also silly. Thankfully, our state lawmakers came to their senses and made the high-stakes tests high school students take at year end irrelevant to their grades. Take it all as just data, not as a way to penalize kids for situations they didn’t create or choose.

People are doing the best they can. And now more than ever that can be a messy, unpredictable, incomprehensible jumble. Forgive it all. Accept it. This goes for my attitude toward myself, too. Keep going. Lift others up when you can. That’s all I can do.

So when you say you want it to be more normal…I want work (and grocery shopping and traveling and everything else for that matter) to be more like a “normal” experience, too. I wish none of this were happening or that I could wave my magic wand and have it be over. Voila! Normal!

Not that easy. Hopefully we are on the way to a better normal in the near future. But for now, can we please just treat this like the anything-but-normal experience it is?

What pandemic words and phrases make you ragey these days?

Teddie Aspen

Captain Destructo

Well I’m sure you have read about my sweet pup named Teddie. She is a joy in my life. A cuddle buddy. A spoiled rotten girl. But what I don’t always mention is she is a destruction queen.

Enter the new toy posted above. The indestructible toy as advertised. I’m not sure why I buy these things other than to see if she can shred it to pieces.

Guess what? She can shred it. In record time. She finds a way to get every ounce of the white stuffing out and leave the trail in every room she visited. Yes, it was just hours after I vacuumed so that chore was a definite waste of time!  She destroyed the indestructible frisbee. The light up ball. The window blinds. The rope with a ball center. The shoe that was left out. You name it, she shreds it. She has bones. She has treats. She just likes to rip apart all the items I get her. Even her little brown bear. The lifeless bear that she totes around like a security blanket but then sits in the corner and shreds it.  I have even thrown away her shredded items and she hovers at the trash can like I’m the worst person in the world. I seriously don’t want her to get sick from ingesting material not meant for consumption.  Is there any dog toy you can suggest that is actually destruction proof? I would love a suggestion. Or maybe I need a dog whisperer.

I guess she wasn’t a fan of the adorable “spoiled” sweater I got her for the cold weather. She immediately started to eat that too. She has even chewed through her walking vest while on a walk. Good thing this girl is cute and gives good snuggles because she keeps me in the poor house with her destructive ways.

challenges

0 to 100

It all started with a Facebook post.

Just a handful of nut jobs jumped in. Then 200 plus. Now it’s at almost 500 people.

500 people willing to do burpees for 100 days! Starting with 1 on day one and adding another each day. That’s over 5,000 burpees in total. If only 400 people complete the task then it’s over 2,000,000 burpees in 100 days.

That’s pretty nuts if you ask me but I’m doing it anyway and so are a couple of my gal pals. We shall see how we fare. For now I will just journal my happenings as they unfold. Maybe I will finish maybe I won’t.

Day one = done

Day two – easy peasy

Day three – omg there are 32 burpees in my workout so I decided to knock out three before. That didn’t seem to bad so I did four more. That put me one day ahead. Then at night I did five more for one more day in case I slacked on the weekend.

Little by little I’ll chip away. I’ll go ahead now while numbers are low and build as the days progress. Good news is I didn’t die yet.

Update. I’ve been taking a bite out of my burpees when I have a few extra minutes. I’m surprising myself because I really don’t like burpees. Mine are sloppy and they are just not fun. I think that’s why I decided to do this extra work.

8-10-10-12-7-7-6. That adds up quickly. Now I can knock off a big day in the future without my mind struggling with the daunting task of x burpees in a day. Partitioning my work the way it works for me. Bite-size chunks. Strategy wins in my mind. Today I knocked off day 30, day 6, day 14 and day 10. I obviously kept tallies of my smaller numbers that allowed for rest and decided how to record on the calendar.

I could have chosen day 60 because that all adds up to 60 but I opted for variety to make me feel like I accomplished more. Such a mind hack for me! I’ll update again soon as do how I am doing.

family, fitness and nutrition, friendship

Spiked

I got spiked. I spiked others. Of course this was done playing the game of Spikeball and has absolutely nothing to do with spiking drinks. After playing this game I realized how much I missed sports, athletics, competition, people and so on. Thank you corona for this time to appreciate my surroundings and the valuable people in my life.

What is Spikeball? Four players (2 per team) strategically or frantically bouncing a ball off a springy circular net about 2 inches off the ground. If you haven’t played this game it’s a fun activity for a small group to play in the yard, at a picnic or even at a work outting.

You can get a little workout if you move around as a bonus. My Apple Watch indicated I had a brief workout. You can work as a team with your partner or you can play solo within a partnership and see how you fare. That’s part of what you have to figure out as a duo.

I played this game in the past with friends and it was a ton of fun. I had said I was going to buy the game but never did. Life keeps me on the go go go so I just never got it. Then guess what? Corona hit.

When in corona time it seemed I had almost too much time. What did I do to escape the boredom? One of the first things I did while on lockdown was hit up amazon. What do I need? What do I want? What have I had on a pending list to snag? I ordered Spikeball of course. It took a while to arrive since it wasn’t essential but I got it and wasted no time putting it into action.

Not hard to set up and boom just needed to find me some family members to get to four players. It was a lot of fun.

Just hearing the giggles was good. Then the competition came and I was thrilled because I had been missing that in so many areas of life. Then the crazy came out. It was either the awkward faces or body movements or even the oops I completely missed the ball!

Spikeball will be my game of choice for a while and I hope to get many different players to try with me. I guess I will have to wait a little longer to get with my friends for a game but I can be patient.

If you are looking for a fun game that includes fresh air, give Spikeball a try. I rate it a 9 out of 10. I’m not hard to please and they don’t pay me to rate their product. I just thought it was a good filler to break up the crazy of the day. My counterparts had fun too.

What’s something new you picked up during corona isolation?

celebrations, dare to be different

The Extra Bling

What girl doesn’t like bling?

Well apparently the group I travel with is not willing to settle for one medal when they can get another to earn the bonus bling. What’s next….a 5k the morning after!

Sunday was planned to cheer on two of our group running the 5k before we hit the road for our return leg. And then the next not-so-good idea hatched.

The smarty pants of the group read the fine print. The fine print nobody else read because we all focused on the headline….the Marathon. Nope, she read that if you run the smaller race on day two you get a medal for that race and a bonus medal for accepting the challenge.

None of us registered in advance for that. Most of us were sore. Why on earth would we run a 5k? Well, because we are crazy.

Beth, aka Chick 2, sent the email to verify we could register onsite. One by one we agreed this is a very bad idea but we can do it. It’s only 3 miles. That’s a fun run compared to the day before. We pop the Aleve. We whip out the extra set of running clothes. We hydrate again. We giggle.

We have zero preparedness. We grab a quick bite to eat on the way. I got the last bagel at the shop. It wasn’t my favorite flavor but it was a carb and I needed it for fuel. Let’s face it, I needed rocket fuel.

This is us. A group of fit-ish people spending time together making memories. Pain is only temporary, I said to myself. If my calves hurt when it’s time to run I’ll walk. I’ll just keep moving. Isn’t that what life is about? You keep moving through whatever obstacles get in your way.

Port-o-potty time again. Oh, how I hate port-o-potties. They are one of the nastiest places to go voluntarily. You can not unsee what you see inside of them. You can’t not smell the rancid smell that comes with them when the contents are baking for hours in the hot sun. It’s absolutely foul.

Moving on to the race line. The national anthem plays and there is a sense of calm in the air. One by one we line up. We are moved like cattle through the corral. 5-4-3-2-1 time to get this run done.

One mile complete. That wasn’t so bad. 33% complete. The scenery was amazing. A park setting with beautiful trees. Less spectators but off to the streets we go. Houses rich in history. Roundabouts to run. Corners to turn. Mile two was there before you knew it.

Running back to the park you see some running mates. You hear the cheers from friends. The final stretch ends in the minor league stadium. A grand entrance of sorts.

Crowds of people in the stands cheering as run the edge of the field to the finish line. It’s over. We did it. We earned the bonus medals. We didn’t die. Life will continue.

The irony of this story is the bad idea was actually a great idea. The short run loosened us up for the long car ride home. We ran with friends who cheered us on the day before. We did something spontaneous. We made more memories.

The Bad Idea Club is open for membership. Are you ready to join or will you create your own club with likeminded people?

This post series goes out to my tribe. My tribe of strong friends who push through life with me. Thank you for an amazing great story, awesome memories, and adventures to look forward to.

I added some unexpected medals to my collection this weekend. So glad I have friends to remind me to step out of my comfort zone to conquer what seems impossible in the moment. Reflection is key to development. I am always raising my bar to foster my own personal growth.

This post is the third of a series. Be sure to read about the PJ party and the equation post. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.